Richelle + Matthew’s Modern Whimsical Balloon-Filled Wedding (11*18*12)

Yet another 2012 wedding I have yet to share…  But I can’t just skip over it.  It’s so delicious.  So much fun!

I met Richelle for the first time at her venue; she said she was pretty convinced she wanted to hire me, so if it was ok with me we should meet there so we could brainstorm.  I think we talked for three hours (my normal “first meetings” are usually about one)!  She had some big ideas –  I mean, BIG ideas…  Balloons cascading down the side of the wall ideas.  But in the end we created just the wedding to make both Richelle and her husband Matthew smile, while interpreting some of her big ideas in a way that wouldn’t put too big a dent in their new home fund!

Richelle is, probably above everything else, FUN!  She loved the idea of incorporating balloons into her day, in a way that wouldn’t look cheesy, but would make a big impact.  She also insisted on having a cake, a doughnut cake, a chocolate fountain, and a sweets table.  If you follow my Pinterest, you’ll see that she’s my kind of girl. 😉

So we played.  And we played and we played.  I designed a custom stationery suite for her based on a rabbit figurine she loved.  We created an I Spy game.  We made a cocktail area inside the venue with sweets galore, comfy couches, and a photo booth.  Outside in the courtyard we decorated with twinkling lights and hung an installation under the pergola.

I will admit it: balloons are not my favorite wedding accessory.  They can look amazing.  They can also look tacky and strange.  I am pleased to say that despite the wind wrecking our first plan, I felt like the balloons we used at Richelle and Matt’s wedding were elegant, fun pops – get it? – of whimsy, just as they were intended to be. 🙂

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Richelle + Matthew’s Modern Whimsical Balloon-Filled Wedding (11*18*12):

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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)

The Amazing Desmond’s First Birthday Party!!!

Sometimes you meet people and you just know you’re going to be excellent friends with them.  It was that way the first time I met Desiree of Penny Blooms Floral Design.  I can hardly believe it was just two months before this incredible party!  This is a very photo-heavy post…  But it’s worth it because these photos by Lindsey Gage of Eyelet Images are totally worth drooling over!!!!

Circus Birthday Party, Photo by Lindsey Gage

Desiree’s son Desmond celebrated his first birthday at the end of August.  When you’re the son of an event professional, your birthday party is sure to be a blast!  Sure enough, Desiree’s amazing creativity shone through each and every bit of this gorgeously styled outdoor event, from the handpainted circus elephant cupcake tower topper to the multicolored fabric streamers decorating the tents to the popcorn box “vases.”  I was honored to be print materials designer and to assist Desiree with setup, coordination, and styling!

The Birthday Boy!

It all started with the circus idea.  When Desiree approached me about doing invitations for the party, I asked her if she’d rather have a cutesy or modern/edgy vibe.  She chose modern/edgy, so I worked on a text-heavy invitation that captured perfectly the whimsy and creativity we were going for (if I do say so myself!).  Designers are always cautioned to stick to no more than 2 to 3 fonts in a single page, but I had far too much fun mixing and matching, and threw caution to the wind.  I love it!

"Come One, Come All, for One Night Only, the Amazing Desmond Will Astound and Mystify You!"

The Amazing Desmond!

Of course the party wouldn’t have been as stunning without thoughtful details provided by Penny Blooms Floral Design!  She even had a ball pit and a mini big top, along with a photo booth area for the grownups!

Handpainted elephant by Penny Blooms Floral Design

Peanut boxes

Popcorn box

Handmade PLAY blanket

"Popcorn" Floral Arrangement by Penny Blooms

Ringmaster Suit in the Ball Pit

Favors in Pop Corn Bags

Photo Booth (can you spot my piece?)

I couldn’t resist bringing along a few of my favorite items too:

Vintage Brass Carousel Music Box (in my inventory at Events by Elisa!)

Handmade Photo Booth Props from Events by Elisa's Etsy Shop!

The food was provided by the incredible Jason.  He’s currently working on his catering business name (I’ll post it when it’s official!) but I’ve got to tell you that this guy is worth checking out.  I can’t wait to share when he’s ready to take on clients, because  in addition to being a really nice guy, his food was fabulous!

Pasta Salad with Printed Materials by Events by Elisa

Cupcakes and cake pops were provided by Nikki at Calculated Whisk.  She even made gluten-free flourless cupcakes (which totally made my day)!  And they were soooo good.

Cupcakes by Calculated Whisk

Cupcakes by Calculated Whisk

Lion and Popcorn Cake Pops by Calculated Whisk

Nicki also made a spectacular smash cake just for Desmond!

Elephant Smash Cake by Calculated Whisk

In addition to designing the invitations, I designed a bunch of additional signage for the party.  Like these:

The Amazing Desmond sign for his high chair

High Chair sign by Events by Elisa

Soda Sign by Events by Elisa

And this was probably my favorite sign to design:

Thank You Sign by Events by Elisa

Of course I can’t have a first birthday post without some cake smashing photos!

Cake Smashing Begins!

This is FUN!

Tasting the Fondant Elephant

Tiny Fingers!

YUM!

THANK YOU Desiree for letting me be a part of your handsome son’s special day, and thank you to all the amazing vendors we worked with!

Thank You!

Get This Hat Offa Me! :)

Vendors:

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

Smile Power Day

I have not one, not two, not three, but FOUR posts in the works.  I swear I haven’t forgotten my blog.  But I had to share this, quickly, today.

I got an Etsy message this morning from blog owner Nichole, saying that my smile was helping her celebrate today.

It’s Super Smile Day!

Super Smile Photo Prop by Events by Elisa

Thanks Nichole!  Sending you a big smile today too!

Custom Wedding “Cirque” Poster

I wish I could have done two things at once this past weekend – I would have coordinated this wedding in addition to being the Matron (eep) of Honor!  At any rate, I was able to help out with a lot of the crafts (and have a renewed love for paper mache!) and design the basic printed materials.  Unfortunately as I had other duties, I didn’t have a chance to photograph the bar menu and info tags, or the hand-made domes the bride so painstakingly painted.  But a friend of the bride sent me these two excellent photos (better than anything I took!) of the Welcome and Photo Zone posters I made as a special gift for the bride.  They measured 20×30″ and were mounted on foam core and brought a lot of fun to the party!

The design is all original – from the scroll to the tent, all made with a few (okay, a lot) clicks of my mouse.  I love the look, too – a sort of vintage circus poster in the Cirque du Soleil colors (the bride’s cocktail hour had a Cirque theme)!

Welcome to Cirque du Cabaza - Events by Elisa

Welcome to Cirque du Cabaza - Events by Elisa

Cirque du Cabaza Photo Zone Instructions - Events by Elisa

Cirque du Cabaza Photo Zone Instructions - Events by Elisa

Events by Elisa’s Etsy Shop!

I’ve had an Etsy account for a while – I positively lived on that site while I was planning my own wedding – and have had in the back of my mind that I might put a few of my designs up for sale.  Well, two nights ago I was playing around with Sculpey.  I’d planned to do moustaches and other photo booth props for my May bride’s wedding and was looking for cardboard, but the craft store I had didn’t have stiff enough paper, so I got Sculpey instead (yeah, I know, even to me that logic doesn’t really make that much sense).

All I can say is I’m so glad!

I opened up my Etsy shop this morning with a few paper designs (I’ll be adding more as I make them, but the ones on this shop will be easily customizable and pretty standard, as opposed to the completely custom ones I’ll be creating for you if you contact me directly) and a handful of the 20-ish props I have finished.  I have a few more that need to be made, but I had to go back to the store for a Sculpey run!

My favorite is this one, a handmade Rolling Stones tongue:

Rolling Stones Tongue Photo Booth Prop - Events by Elisa

Rolling Stones Tongue Photo Booth Prop - Events by Elisa

I’ll be updating the whole shop within the next few weeks, including all of my props and some fabric bunting.  I can custom-make orders for you, too.  Of course anyone who rents my photobooth props for their wedding or event will actually get the use of all of my props included in the price tag!

To stay on top of all the great things in my shop, check out http://www.etsy.com/shop/EventsbyElisa.  While you’re there, “favorite” me! 🙂