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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Miss Maya’s Dia de Los Muertos Birthday Fiesta!

Last October, I got a phone call from my friend Jacquelyn, asking for help planning her daughter Maya’s first birthday party.  She wanted something really special and unique – a Dia de Los Muertos celebration!

Maya came into this world six weeks early.  It’s my theory that she was just way too excited to finally meet her parents and couldn’t stand waiting any longer to do so.  I mean, with incredibly awesome parents like these, I don’t know if I’d have waited around either!

It was, understandably, scary for Maya’s family and everyone who loved them, back in November of 2010.  But now, it was time for a fiesta – a celebration of life honoring this beautiful big-eyed rosy-cheeked smarty pants!

She looks a little worried here, but I think she just wanted to get back to the party!

Jacquelyn sent me artwork she liked (purchased off Veer) and I laid out an invitation fit for a fiesta, along with food tags for the dinner and cupcakes!

Invitation lay out by Events by Elisa, featuring artwork from Veer.com

 

I created these gorgeous giant tissue paper marigolds with the help of my incredible assistant Rachael, and Maya’s mom loved them so much that she kept them to hang from Maya’s bedroom ceiling!  Of course I couldn’t have hung them without the help of my “other” assistant, my amazing husband Ryan!  If you like them, you can buy a custom set in my Etsy shop, here!

Tissue flowers by Events by Elisa, available in Elisa's Etsy Shop

Tissue flowers by Events by Elisa, available in Elisa's Etsy Shop

Tissue flowers by Events by Elisa, available in Elisa's Etsy Shop

Something I try to do whenever I’m shopping for a social event is to look everywhere, all the time.  Whenever I’m out and about, shopping for groceries or office supplies or the like, I have a constant list of things I’d like to find in the back of my mind.  I usually find the best – and best value – decorations for social events and inspiration shoots this way!  This party was no exception – I found the lollipops on clearance at Target and the fabulous fabric used for the table runners on sale at Joann’s fabric.  Actually, I should say that my assistant Rachael and my sister Jessica (who were shopping with me) found the fabric.  I just decided we had to have it, and I was right!

It pays to have social event decor on the brain!  I looooove this table runner!

Of course this amazing cupcake display would not nearly have been as beautiful without the artistry of Stevi from Hey There, Cupcake!, who created all the cupcakes you see, as well as the sugar skull smash cake in the center (yes, that’s a cake!!!!).

Cupcakes by Hey There, Cupcake, with custom tags created by Events by Elisa from artwork purchased at Veer.com

Yes, this is a cake, by Hey There, Cupcake!

Maya had never eaten sugar before, so she wasn’t quite sure what to do with her cake, but everyone else enjoyed these gorgeous treats!  She also loved opening her presents –  so she could play with the tissue paper and bags! 🙂

Her mommy thought of every detail – down to the bib she wore for her cake smash.  🙂  This family photo makes me so happy too – aren’t they beautiful?

Maya's adorable Dia De Los Muertos bib, and her family!

Thank you Jacquelyn, Dave, and Maya for letting me be a part of your fiesta!!!  I loved helping to make your day memorable and beautiful!!!!

Maya’s Dia de Los Muertos First Birthday Fiesta 11*13*2012 Details: