Ana + Gina’s Colorful Rustic Handcrafted Wedding (07*14*12)

As you can see by the date in the blog title, I’m just slightly behind in sharing the weddings I’ve been working on. 😉  But in truth, I realized that I’d started this blog post a while back.  I was encouraged to publish it finally after last week’s marriage equality ruling.  And see?  I’m trying to keep my promise for moar!blogging!

Ana and Gina are one of my favorite couples.  They have such wonderful energy and chemistry, and I immediately liked them.  Mind you, I have a LOT of incredible couples that I like immediately – it’s something I am proud that I can say about just about everyone – but I still remember our first phone call.  Ana had just e-mailed me and set up a time to talk.  They lived in the Bay Area and couldn’t meet in person.  She hadn’t mentioned anything about Gina at all.  “My fiancé is here and wants to meet you too!” she said, as we were introducing ourselves on the phone.  I heard Gina’s voice, and my heart leapt.  It seems a bit silly now, but in 2011 marriage equality was still such an uphill battle.  I’d always wanted to do weddings for everyone, but you can’t really pick and choose your clients.  So I had to wait for someone to choose me.  I remember getting off that phone call and dancing around.  They liked me!  They really liked me!  And I liked them!  This was happening!

Over the next several months, we worked together on decor plans for their wedding.  We always had the most fun when we were together; it felt comfortable, like we had been friends for a long time.  The venue, Hidden Valley Retreat and Spa (which is no longer), was one where literally everything was do-it-yourself.  It was lovely, but challenging, especially given their tight budget, so we had to get creative!  You can see the results in the photos – lots of paper and streamers…  But it was so very lovely.  I’m so proud of the way their whole day looked!  I loved how colorful it was (they were inspired by a painting they loved), and how many fun details we were able to bring in.

On the wedding day, I had a team of four working from 10 am to 7:30 pm (when the reception was already starting, we were still finishing up the cake table that was, thankfully, in the other room), hanging lights and lanterns, setting up tables and chairs, doing table settings, putting together a DIY Photo Booth, and so much more.  We’d have been there sooner to get started, but we were running last-second errands for the wedding!  It is actually because of this wedding that I require additional assistants for venues that aren’t “set up” for weddings, since simply placing, setting up, and dressing tables for 60 guests took two of my staff several hours to complete!

At any rate, the wedding itself was incredible.  Happy and gorgeous couple, happy friends and family, heartfelt vows, beautiful decor, and a great party!  Kaysha Weiner took the most stunning photographs (more on my website).  It’s no wonder that Ana and Gina were featured on Equally Wed!

Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner Photography Ana and Gina's Wedding, image by Kaysha Weiner PhotographyAna + Gina’s Colorful Rustic Handcrafted Wedding (07*14*12)

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I’m Back, and I’m Thrilled!

“Where have you been?” you might ask…  And with good reason.  I haven’t written a blog post in over a year.  To tell you the truth, there have been some personal things bringing me stress, and I can’t really talk much about them yet.  But I have taken the last week to really reflect on what is important to me, and I am resolved to blog more often.  At least a little more often.  I have SO MUCH to share!

What ultimately spurred me into motion this morning, though, was the news today.  I’m so thrilled to share in the celebration of marriage equality!  I just can’t help but think how this was a long long long time coming.  In twenty or thirty years, it will probably feel to our children like “interracial marriage” does to those of us who grew up in the 1970s and 80s.  Or, as we say, “marriage.” If you look at my website and blog, it’s dotted with couples whose marriages would have been frowned upon or even illegal 50 or 60 years ago.  Today they are simply couples in love.  It’s my sincere hope that we will continue to make strides, as a nation, supporting love and partnership.  In the mean time, I think it’s time for a party!

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Photo from Ana + Gina’s Colorful Rustic Handcrafted Wedding, by Kaysha Weiner.

Where Have I Been and Other Catching Up…

Oof.  It’s been over six moths since my last post.  Yeah, that wasn’t intentional, I swear.

You may have been wondering where I’ve been (although if you follow me on Facebook – and if you don’t, you really should – you probably know).  The short answer is that I’ve been EVERYWHERE.  I’m pulled in about a zillion directions right now.  It’s fantastic, and I’ve never been happier, but it’s definitely left very little time for blogging!

The long answer, of course, is that I had a baby girl in early April.  She was an eagerly-anticipated member of our family, but any new parent will tell you that it’s a big adjustment!  Baby A has grown so much in the last several months; it’s almost impossible for me to imagine that she was ever just 7 lbs!   We used this fantastic photo from Chrystal Cienfuegos Photography for our Christmas photos last year:

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Before she was born, I had some beautiful maternity pictures taken by Melissa McClure Photography, and did a Baby Wishes video with Murasaki Media.  If you or someone you know is expecting a baby, I highly recommend doing both photos and a video before the baby is born; I am so happy we did!

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Once she arrived, we had more photos taken, this time by Gabrielle Fox Photography.  She’s so tiny here!!!

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Most recently we had photos taken of Baby A by TWO fantastic photographers (it just sort of happened that way!), Sarah Layne Photography and flutter glass PHOTOGRAPHY:

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Gah, I can hardly stand the cute!!

She sits up consistently now, is eating some solid foods, and is learning to crawl (exciting and scary at the same time) and teething (awful).  She also wants constant attention!  Baby A is quite the demanding boss, so Mommy hasn’t had much time for blogging.

In the mean time, of course, the first anniversaries came and went for Julianna + Kyle, Soila + Steven, Chris + Emma, Stacy + Tyler, Alexis + Chris, and Ana + Gina!  And next week will be the first anniversary for Cindy + Neal, followed by first anniversaries for Diana + Julian and Richelle + Matthew…  It’s hard to believe that a year has flown by!  Unfortunately I am still missing quite a few photos from the weddings above (something about last Spring, especially, and getting pictures from photographers), but here’s one of my favorites, by the lovely Stacy Alberto Photography (formerly Sunday Romance Photography):

rec4cake-062386wRichelle, this is easily one of the best faces I’ve seen in a wedding photo! 😉

Fun fact; I actually had three weddings scheduled this past spring, two for fellow wedding pros.  I was thrilled to find out last summer that I was pregnant with Baby A, but sad to have to miss out on Alia, Jenna, and Liz’ weddings!

Then, of course, I’ve been working on this year’s weddings.

First, we had Megan + Mike at Condor’s Nest Ranch, with a photo by Faithfully Focused Photography:

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I did all their decor/design, and boy was it gorgeous!  It was recently featured on Rustic Wedding Chic, and I love how the feature shows off all the lovely details we came up with!

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Then was Damaris and Omar’s wedding at 94th Aero Squadron, with beautiful photography by Jessica Chavez.

i-WDQpwDG-LYou may recognize Damaris and Omar from their styled wedding shoot that I did back in March (yes, at 9 months pregnant) at Presidio Park with Erica of Les Amis Photography.  It was recently featured on Bisou Bride!

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Unfortunately I haven’t gotten photos back from either September wedding I did, but speaking of features, the shoot I did i February with former clients Stacy + Tyler and the ladies at Chris Wojdak Photography, Penny Blooms Floral Design, Unbridled Beauty, and Mili’s Sweets at Condor’s Nest Ranch got a lot of press this summer!  It was featured on Sweet Violet Bride, Things Festive, Trendy Bride, and Storyboard Wedding!

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Of course I have a busy few months ahead of me; I have two more weddings and a birthday party (or two) left this year.  And next year I’m already quite booked – I don’t have any availability until late April, and even then I’m pretty booked until the Fall!

Oh yes…  And I have not one but two big things in the works.  To be announced soon.  Stay tuned!!! 😉

Belated Happy Anniversary, Michelle + Dave!

I have been SO busy lately, most notably dealing with an internet outage at home that really knocked me off my game (three weeks without internet = a VERY tough time getting anything done!).  My mobile data is almost used up for the month (I’ve never done that!!) and I’m thisclose to my maternity leave…  But I had to leave a little love note for Michelle + Dave, since it’s been a year since their wedding (their anniversary was Sunday)!

They found me on Yelp and hired me sight-unseen to plan their wedding for them, long distance, from Chicago.  From the minute we had our first phone call, I knew they were going to be the kind of clients planners always wish for; the kind that have their own mind about things (you’d be surprised how difficult it is to plan for someone who has no opinion!) but have lots of trust in the people they hire to do the best job they can.  We had so much fun planning and creating their wedding together, and assembled a dream team of vendors.  And THIS happened.

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Yup.  Pure bliss.  Nothing makes a planner happier than to see her couple so happy that they don’t care who else sees them nuzzling. 🙂

This is another one of my favorite photos from their wedding:

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Seriously?  When the groom tears up seeing his bride coming down the aisle?  This planner melts.  I was behind the bride, way in the background, and didn’t see this happening.  When I saw the photos later on, it took my breath away.  It’s also a great reminder that the First Look (which they had) does not spoil the Coming Down the Aisle.

You can see more photos and videos on my blog:

And on my website Gallery.  You can also read what Michelle had to say about my services in my Happy Clients section!

I’m lucky enough to have been able to stay in their lives this year and I’m thrilled to say that things are going well for them – and I hope that next year we can celebrate their anniversary together, with our daughters! 😉

Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel Wedding Details:

My Enchanted Unicorn and Rainbow Birthday Party (Featured on Hostess With the Mostess!)

First of all, let me say how much of a thrill it is to be featured on Hostess With the Mostess…  And to see the great responses!  There are certain blogs I’ve been reading since I started my business…  Style Me Pretty, Every Last Detail, Hostess With the Mostess, Kara’s Party Ideas…  And I’ve been featured in them all over the last year.  Oh my, yes, do I feel blessed!  In this new year I look at what I accomplished over the last year and think, “I can hardly believe I did all that!”

This party is very near and dear to my heart.  It’s because it’s mine.  I decided last year that I hadn’t had a proper birthday party in a long time (although I had invited friends over when I first started my business to sort of play at setting up a party) and that it might be my last birthday before having a little one (and I found out a week later that I was, in fact, pregnant with the little one who has been repeatedly kicking my bladder this morning!).  So why not celebrate it with pretty things? 🙂

I also decided that I wanted to celebrate with rainbows and unicorns party because of this post.  An inspiration board I created way back when I officially started Events by Elisa (almost two years ago now!) that, for whatever reason, has been bringing people to my blog consistently every month.  It’s been one of my most popular posts and one of the most pinned photos from my blog on Pinterest (along with some pictures from Natalie’s Under the Sea Baby Shower…  By the way, Natalie is getting married today and I’m a bridesmaid!!!)!  I decided I had to do something with it.  My inner eight-year-old demanded it.

I gathered together a bunch of my favorite people and rolled up my sleeves and went to work.  Like anything else I do, I trusted my vendor friends to come up with the most amazing interpretations of what I wanted – and boy did they!!!  Desiree of Penny Blooms Floral Design went especially above and beyond, crafting the huge paper flowers, putting together those phenomenal rainbow arrangements, and painting the Pin the Horn on the Unicorn (by hand, in front of me!).  Mark of San Diego Desserts couldn’t possibly give me a plain white frosted cake (especially after I gave him such trouble to tint each layer separately!), so he airbrushed away…  Jenny of JennyWennyCakes did such a beautiful job of making the colors on those macarons pop (even though I know that they spread more than she wanted because of all the color!), and the cake pops by Nicole of Calculated Whisk were gorgeous!!!  Alyssa of Hybrid Photography captured all the elements beautifully!!!  But I think you really just need to see them to get the full effect! 🙂

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A HUGE thank you to everyone who was involved with helping me to make this a fantastic birthday party!!!  I know this is going to be another extraordinary year!!! 🙂

My Enchanted Unicorn and Rainbow Birthday Party Vendor Credits:

Happy Anniversary Alex + Allen!

Oh my goodness, this is EXTREMELY belated!!!  I thought I’d hit “schedule” on my post (to post on November 19th) but apparently I didn’t…  So this is a month and a half belated!  Alex + Allen, I still wish you both a lifetime of happiness and love!

It’s yet another anniversary around here… Last fall I was SO BUSY…  The week before this gorgeous wedding I had a baby shower and a 1st birthday party; the day after, I participated in a bridal show! 🙂

I met Alex + Allen through a referral; a friend of mine worked with Alex across campus from my day job.  We joked it was the official University wedding, since both Alex + Allen work on campus, as does Jason Almazan, their photographer.  The music at the ceremony was provided by one of the campus’ a capella groups, and the sound equipment was provided by another one of the couple’s coworkers.

Alex + Allen are SUCH a joyful, loving couple.  They’re both very reserved and quiet, although I wouldn’t say “shy” is the right word to describe them.  Both were extremely open, warm, and caring.  I’d never done a wedding without dancing before, but none of their guests missed it – they were having too much fun in the photo booth area and giggling and telling stories!

You’ll definitely recognize some of their photos from my website too…  Love the energy these two had and this picture of them giggling at their ceremony is still one of my top photos I’ve ever seen of one of my couples.  SO much love!!!

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Check out more photos from Alex + Allen’s wedding on my blog and website, and while you’re there, look at the amazing review Alex wrote!

Alex + Allen’s Modern Rustic Wedding at Olivenhain Meeting Hall, 11*19*2011 Vendor Details:

Emma + Chris’ House of Blues Wedding Featured on Style Me Pretty!

It’s been quite the summer for Events by Elisa.  I’ve had more amazing weddings, fabulous photo shoots, and incredible features in just a few months than I thought possible.  Last weekend I designed a table at my local Classic Party Rentals showroom, to be featured for the next two months and seen whenever anyone goes to pick out their linens or tableware.  I’m hard at work designing an invitation for my cousin’s wedding early next year, in which I’ll also be bridesmaid.  And I’ve had a grand total of FOURTEEN features on all sorts of lovely sites since June.  FOURTEEN!!!

Including today.  Yup, it happened again.  This time on Style Me Pretty California.  Emma + Chris’ House of Blues Wedding is featured today!!!

If you’ve read my four blogs about this wedding, you’ll know how much I love these two.  And how proud I was of all we accomplished on our extremely modest budget.  And how much I adored the stationery that I designed!  This wedding ended up being an extremely personal labor of love for me.  And I was so, SO proud to work with some of my favorite San Diego wedding vendors to make this special couple’s wedding day unforgettable.

That’s why it was such an honor to have it featured on Style Me Pretty!!

See?  Aren’t these two gorgeous???  Not to mention those drop-dead flowers from Penny Blooms Floral Design!

See the entire feature on Style Me Pretty California today, and while you’re there, check out the whole Gallery for even more fabulous photos!!!

Oh yes, and now I get one of these nifty things to put on my website… 😉

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And on a completely unrelated note…  Four years ago was my wedding day.  Celebrating my anniversary tonight with my sweetheart and looking forward to a fabulous fifth year!!!

(Photo by Beverley Woodward; I’d link to her site but she’s no longer in business!)

Emma + Chris’ Whimsical Music-Themed Wedding at House of Blues San Diego Wedding Details:

Rock & Roll Elopement Shoot Featured on Poptastic Bride!!!

I haven’t featured this shoot yet, since I knew it was scheduled to run sometime soon on Poptastic Bride and they wanted exclusivity.  So this might be your first look at it (unless you happened to see it on Facebook!). 🙂

Back in late May, Desiree of Penny Blooms Floral Design and Alyssa of Hybrid Photography and I met up for dinner.  Desiree had worked with us both and thought we’d get along well and wanted to introduce us.  Sure enough, it was as though we’d known each other forever – just like when I first met Desiree, we couldn’t stop chattering about projects we’d do together!!!

Alyssa was planning to have a booth at a bridal show in early July and wanted to style the booth after a shoot, so we started throwing around ideas. I have to admit that our first idea had to be put on hold, as our venue didn’t work out during the time period we needed, but we had so much fun creating this faux elopement!!!

I created the announcement (with a kind of graffiti-inspired vibe and lots of black!) and did a lot of the styling; Desiree did a ton of spray painting in addition to the florals (and you’ve never seen peonies like this!!); Ashley from Unbridled Beauty created a fun retro look with the makeup.  Unique Vintage, Pettiskirt Style, Whole Foods Hillcrest, and Serendipity Party Shop rounded out our look (the latter the night before the shoot – thanks ladies!!!) And of course Alyssa did a fantastic job with the photos!  Our models (especially our “bride”!) were troopers, as it happened to be an extremely cold June morning at Centennial Park!!!

My favorite element, I have to admit, was the snack cake “wedding cake.”  I’d been wanting to do something completely nontraditional for a while, and this was the perfect venue.  We used a drum (that happened to have pink flames on it!) that I’d purchased for my husband’s classroom at a thrift store topped with an old record, and three different types of snack cakes stacked precariously on top of each other (thanks to judicious use of toothpicks!).  I had waaaaay too much fun styling it!!!

Check out our whole feature on Poptastic Bride!

Rock & Roll Elopement Picnic Shoot Vendors:

Another Feature – Aidan’s Birthday Party on Baby Lifestyles!

Lauren, the editor of Baby Lifestyles, spotted Aidan’s First Birthday on my blog and fell in love with it.  “OMG so cute!” she said.  “Can we feature it?”

I said yes, of course! 😉

Check out our feature today on Baby Lifestyles!

Emma + Chris’ Whimsical Music-Themed Wedding at House of Blues San Diego, 06*02*2012 (Part 4)

You’ve seen Emma + Chris’ details, ceremony, and portraits…  So now it’s time for the reception photos!

But before I get too much into them, I have to relay a tiny story.  You see, the bridal party was a bit late getting back for the reception, and we all wondered what was up.  Once they arrived, I was clued in.  They’d stepped in to stop a fight!  In the middle of their portrait session, they noticed two homeless men starting to beat up on each other and the groom and groomsmen stepped in while the photographers called the police.  So the delay?  Totally understandable. 😉

Anyway, the reception itself was incredible fun, and captured so well by We Heart Photography!  Again, I’m going to try to let the photos speak for themselves. 😉

Congratulations again, Chris and Emma!!  I loved celebrating your wedding with you!!!! <3!!!!

Emma + Chris’ Whimsical Music-Themed Wedding at House of Blues San Diego Wedding Details: