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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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… 😉

***

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:

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:

Emma + Chris’ Whimsical Music-Themed Wedding at House of Blues San Diego, 06*02*2012 (Part 3)

You’ve already seen how ridiculously gorgeous Emma + Chris are… But wait until you see their bridal party!  One of the handsomest I’ve ever seen. 😉 Okay, maybe I’m slightly biased, since I’ve known some of the bridal party for a long time.  I will say this – they were one of the smiliest I’ve ever seen!  Their joy was uncontainable.  That goes for the couple too.  These portraits speak for themselves.  So.much.love.

 

 

 

 

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

Emma + Chris’ Whimsical Music-Themed Wedding at House of Blues San Diego, 06*02*2012 (Part 2)

I’m so excited to share today the next post about Emma + Chris’ super fun wedding at House of Blues San Diego!!!  You’ve already seen their details…  Today it’s time for their ceremony!

Emma + Chris’ wedding ceremony started a little late, as weddings often do.  They were both actually ready, but traffic conspired against them, as one of their bridesmaids (who left almost two hours before the ceremony was scheduled to start, to make a drive that should have taken about 10 minutes each way!) got horribly stuck in an untimely snarl.  While we were waiting, both bride and groom prayed with their bridal party members, and I remember Chris walking by the room where Emma was getting ready and yelling “I love you!!!” through the closed door.  I was struck by how calm they both were, after such a delay.  Don’t get me wrong – they were both full of energy.  But it was mostly about getting this show on the road – not worry.  They were ready!!!

Emma’s bridesmaid finally made it and we were ready to go.  I started the bridal party up the aisle toward Chris, Lyndon, and our officiant Brendon.  Bridesmaids and groomsmen, moms and grandmas.  Until it was Emma’s turn.  She’d told me the day before that she’d love to have the doors to the chapel close after the bridal party walked through, and then open for her.  So I closed them after her Maid of Honor walked through.

Only apparently they’d been locked.  I’m honestly not sure why I didn’t check; I am typically excellent about those things.  But I’ll admit that it didn’t cross my mind until the usher (who was to help me open the doors) and I tried them.  And they wouldn’t budge.  After about 10 seconds that seemed like an eternity, a guest in the back row of the chapel came to our rescue (much to the other guests’ delight) and we were able to give Emma the grand reveal she wanted.  But it’s a testament to how happy and sweet she actually is, because she kept smiling the whole time and only uttered, “Did that really just happen?” with a giggle before walking up the aisle with her father to meet her new husband.

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

Emma + Chris’ Whimsical Music-Themed Wedding at House of Blues San Diego, 06*02*2012 (Part 1)

I remember the way Chris’ face lit up when he said it.  “I’m picking up her ring tomorrow!”  We were at Denny’s, a group of probably eight of the two dozen members of a my friend Lyndon’s music group.  He was so incredibly happy.  So radiant.  And also kind of nervous.

He was going to propose that weekend.  He was going to Colorado to propose to his girlfriend at her family’s house.

“What if she says no?” he asked.  We all assured him that she wouldn’t, of course, but I think we all were holding our breath all weekend.  Until he posted on his Facebook wall: “SHE SAID YES!!!!”

Even though we all knew that it would happen, there was so much happiness in that simple statement.  I know there was some squealing in my household.  Chris came back from the trip and asked Lyndon to be his best man, and two other members of the group to be groomsmen.  Shortly thereafter, Chris asked if I’d be interested in planning their wedding day.  Of course I said yes too. 😉

What followed was one of the most challenging wedding planning experiences I’ve had to date (how do you create a beautiful wedding for 200 people, essentially at under $30 per person including food, cake, and florals?), and one of the most rewarding.  And at the end of it all, I got to celebrate a fantastic love story between two genuinely beautiful people (inside and out, as you’ll soon see!).

I hadn’t actually met Emma yet when I took on planning for this wedding (a rarity), but when I did, I immediately loved her – she’s got such a genuinely sweet spirit and a gorgeous smile!  I hope she had as much fun planning her wedding with me as I had with her! 🙂

We came up with a quirky, whimsical teal and lime color scheme full of fun touches and music details, since both Emma and Chris are musicians and since the wedding reception was at an amazing music venue.  Blue and green tend to be the hardest two colors to use in wedding design, since very few flowers are found in either color, but Emma also loves colorful touches (we flirted with the idea of doing a rainbow cake – it was ultimately nixed by Chris!), so she asked for a super colorful bouquet, and she got one that delivered on both color and texture!

The dynamic duo behind We Heart Photography captured some gorgeous photos (and had a slideshow available that night at the wedding reception!), so I’m going to let them mostly speak for themselves.  😉

Starting with the gorgeous details!

Emma bought the fabulous boutonnieres (featuring sheet music roses and scripture leaves) from Etsy seller HBixbyArtworks, but the gorgeous bouquets were made by Desiree at Penny Blooms Floral Design!  Love how they are full of different textures and colors – Emma told me that day that they were nothing like she’d ever dreamed; they were better!!! Love the little music note detail on each of them, too! 🙂

Emma also ordered the fabulous flower she wore in her hair from an Etsy seller, PetalBlushLove.

Gah…  Just LOOK at those two!!!

Anyway, using Emma’s favorite Pinterest invitation as an inspiration, she and I created a fun, quirky, and Typography 101 rule-breaking invitation that has gotten more compliments from people who just know that it shouldn’t work…  but does!  I love it to bits. 🙂

Can you count how many different fonts were used?  I’m seeing nine.

I made a coordinating program, too, and you’ll see other bits and pieces I designed (I did all the printed materials for the day, from the Save the Date on).

I created a small display in the entrance to the ceremony, using the programs and some fun items Emma had given me.  It set the tone for the whole day!

The reception details were just as whimsical and modern (although they didn’t get as much photo love – I’ll explain why later, and I promise it’s a good reason!).  Because we were on a strict budget, I had to get seriously creative when it came to centerpieces.  They had to coordinate with our mix-and-match whimsical style and while not clashing terribly with the colorful, quirky decor at the House of Blues San Diego.  In the end, I painted the inside of forty eight glass vases of various sizes collected from WalMart and Dollar Tree and my assistant Rachael and I carefully placed a mixture of different textures of white flowers and succulents (the latter came from Chris’ mom’s garden and my front yard!) into each vase.  I loved that no two were the same – in my mind, it mirrored the stationery.  I’m no florist, but I AM pretty happy with how these turned out.  Especially with the addition of the fun sheet music- and kraft- paper mache shapes that I got from Michaels!

Emma hand crafted a special card box just for the occasion, featuring sheet music!

San Diego Desserts created a massive three-tiered chocolate cake frosted in white buttercream, which I decorated with a topper that Emma hand made for the occasion.  It tasted just as good as it looked!

 

And while I was at the offsite ceremony, my amazing assistant Rachael styled their entire sweets buffet (featuring pastel candy purchased by Chris’ mom) herself!  I am so proud of her for knocking this one out of the park:

Come back next week to see more from their ceremony, portraits, and fabulous party!!!!

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

E+D Wedding Invitation

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I promised you that I’d be showing you E+D’s wedding invitation in a future post.  I’ll admit that it took me longer than I’d expected, and I wish that I could show you more of it.  I hate blurring things out because you lose some of the effect.  But I understand the lovely E’s request for privacy!

Before I get to the pretty photos, I want to share the love that she sent me about my last post:

OMG, Elisa!  What a super, super sweet feature!  Such kind, generous, happy, warm thoughts and words — thank you so much!!!  And, thank you so much for getting us and what we were going for — and for helping making it happen!  And, you made it look easy and no stress, how do you do that?  I miss collaborating, talking and thinking with you!  You were always so receptive and supportive of all the crazy ideas from the start, being excited with me about the million cute and creative ideas out there, and talking me through just about all of them.  At the end, the day was so much more than I could ask for — all I could be was happy and overwhelmed.  :o)

E + D, every time I see the photos from your wedding I end up with a big dopey smile on my face.  You guys rock!

And now on to the pretty things!

E wanted a very handmade look to her wedding invitations, so she asked her friend R to make a papercut background for us to use!

R worked magic with her scissors and her scanner, and sent me this.  Seriously, isn’t it gorgeous?

E+DInviteDraft

She even cut out E+D’s names and “hung” them from the banner between the two trees, but obviously that’s been blurred.

The only thing was – construction paper is a different size and shape than invitations.   So I worked with E for about 8 hours, playing with drafts and sending ideas back and forth from San Diego to Los Angeles (thank goodness for the internet!).  It was a marathon session, since E+D weren’t sure until a few days before whether they were actually going to send out paper invitations, and wanted to get them sent out a month in advance of the big day.  But I’m really really proud of what we came up with.

E+D Wedding Invitation

I know it might not mean a lot to anyone who’s not a computer design nerd.  But the original invitation background was made from construction paper.  Working with it digitally involved painstakingly cutting out pieces of the original invitation and blending colors (since construction paper has natural variations).  And since we changed the aspect ratio (landscape to portrait) entirely, I found I needed to create some pieces of the picture that weren’t there, including lower tree trunks, grass, and flowers.  I conjured up tiny shadows to mimic a scanned construction paper page.  In addition (and I know it’s hard to see in the photo), I worked with E to find a font that looked like it, too, was cut from paper.  I also created a reply card and a map to match, taking little elements of the invitation and recoloring and editing them in the style of the original.  This was a true labor of love, but when it was done it was truly beautiful.

But the gorgeousness didn’t stop there.  You’ve already seen the front cover of E+D’s program, but in case you need a reminder, here’s the photo taken by Heidi Ryder:

E+D Wedding Program

This photo isn’t nearly as gorgeous (since I took it), but here’s the cute bird detail we added to the back of the kraft paper program (we wanted it to look like they were stamped, the look we went for on the front too):

E+D Program Back

And inside was a beautiful “medallion” that R designed.  This art was used on the COOLHAUS wrappers too!  Photo by Heidi Ryder (yes, sorry, I blurred out names too).

E+D Program Inside

And R came through during the reception too, creating the gorgeous custom guestbook to match (photo by Heidi Ryder):

Beautiful Handmade Guestbook

Of course I had to get in on the act, adding birds to my chalk welcome sign (photo by Heidi Ryder):

Welcome Chalkboard

E had tons and tons of ideas.  And I love how we were able to in tie many of them – even ones that didn’t seem to go together – using a single motif!  The handmade birds really made the details of this gorgeous wedding!

E+D – 06*11*2011: Wedding Details!

I absolutely adore this couple.  I enjoyed every second of working with them, and I hope we can continue to be foodie friends! 🙂  Unfortunately even though they’re completely gorgeous, they’re also camera shy.  So they’ve asked me specifically not to feature any photos showing their faces or those of any of their guests.  As a result, today’s blog post will only feature photos of the wedding details!  Never fear, though – they’re beautiful!

This Rancho Palos Verdes wedding was all about Los Angeles.  From the food trucks which served guests dinner and dessert to the table names, made from photos of street signs in the couples’ favorite neighborhoods, the laid-back personal style of this couple and their love for their city was evident throughout.  The wedding’s overall feel was handmade but modern, relaxed and celebratory, and the couple was sure to include lots of fun and thoughtful elements.  They wanted to make the day comfortable and fun, with an emphasis on family, friends, and food.  The wedding itself took place in the groom’s parents’ home, with the cocktail reception, photo booth area, and food truck service in the front yard, the cake in the dining room, and the dinner in the back yard.   This entire wedding was put together in just under three months, and the bride and groom’s amazing family members all pitched in to help out.

An enormous thank you to the amazing Heidi Ryder for sending me these lovelies with such a quick turnaround time (and for re-sending them when I needed it!).  The full vendor list is below.

First, the program.  The wedding invitation (which is now featured here) was a colorful cut-paper affair (the guestbook, below, matches it).  But the bride wanted the rest of the wedding day details to be modern and understated, with the look of being handmade.  Yes, these ideas can coexist.  I’ll show in a later post how we tied the whole thing together, but for now, isn’t this pretty?

E+D Wedding Program

One of the groom’s aunts put together all of the flowers for the day (including corsages, boutonnieres, a crown for the flower girl, and these lovely bouquets!):

Calla Lily Bridesmaid Bouquet

Bridal bouquet with mixed white flowers and ivy

The ceremony was at a local church; following the ceremony, the bride and groom took photos on the beach while their guests mingled at their cocktail hour, which featured a fun photo booth area.

Photo Booth

The morning of the wedding, as we were setting up the photo booth area, I decided that there needed to be something a little more special in the background, so I whipped up some tissue poms.  They added just the right touch!

Tissue Poms

A friend of the bride’s had created papercut art for their wedding invitation; she used elements of the original artwork, plus the kraft paper used in the other printed materials for the day, to create this amazing handmade guestbook!

Beautiful Handmade Guestbook

To welcome guests into the reception, the bride asked for a chalk board.  I made this out of a spare cupboard door, and created some artwork to mimic the birds on the wedding invitation and guestbook.

Welcome Chalkboard

We used belly bars in the front yard to allow guests a space to stand and eat, and the bride requested menus at each table.  The mother and aunt of the groom spent a weekend putting together countless succulent pots to decorate the tables for both the cocktail hour and the reception.  Each pot was filled with a mixture of plants.  The pots in the back yard all matched, while the ones in the front yard were unique.  It’s little elements like this that I just love.

Appetizer Menu

Front Yard Succulents

Succulent Pot

The back yard was transformed from a simple grass area into the perfect party.  Ambiance AV provided white globe lights to make the space magical.

Backyard

Backyard

Backyard

The same very talented friend of the bride who created the invitation artwork and the guestbook put together this fun seating chart!

Seating Chart

Seating Chart

You may have noticed the table names on the seating cards.  For anyone not familiar with Los Angeles, they’re the names of neighborhoods in the city.  The bride and groom are UCLA alums, and have lived in the city for years, and they just love where they live.  They made table names from photos of the street signs in their favorite neighborhoods – the resulting table names were a big hit!

Table Setup

Table Name

Another of the groom’s talented aunts baked and decorated the walnut wedding cake with cream cheese frosting.  It was incredible!

Wedding Cake

The bride and groom are huge foodies and knew that they wanted to feature food trucks at their wedding.  They contracted with Kogi for a dinner of Korean tacos and Coolhaus for a dessert (yes, there was cake and dessert!) of ice cream sandwiches, including brown butter and bacon ice cream!

Kogi Food Truck

E+D, thank you so much for letting me be a part of your special day!  I adored all the fun little details, the personal touches, and the love that you put in to every single element of your wedding!!

Thank you to the team of amazing professional vendors, below:

And of course, thank you to the family and friends of the bride and groom for lending your incredible talents:
  • Artwork (used in invitation, guestbook, program, and custom ice cream sandwich wrapper) and Seating Chart Design * friend of the bride
  • Floral Design * aunt of the groom
  • Cake Baking and Design * aunt of the groom
  • Succulent Design * mother and aunt of the groom
  • Reception Location * parents of the groom