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)

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:

Christmas-Photo-2012-small

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!

maternity

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

baby

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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A

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:

m+m

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!!! 😉

Happy McAwesome First Anniversary Neva + Rob!!!!

These two get around, at least on my blog.  The photos aren’t always the highest quality (since I took them and I’m decidedly not a photographer)  but it hasn’t stopped me.  I love them and always will.

Elephants!

Actually I love this whole wedding.  I’m SO glad I got to be a part of it.

Elephant-topped cupcakes by Courtesan Cupcakes!If there were ever a wedding that was a testament to the statement that you can have a wedding on any budget, this was it.  Spending under $4000 for a fabulous day full of love and personality and celebrating with your 60 closest friends?  Yes please.

Welcome to the McAwesome Wedding hand drawn sign by Events by Elisa

Of course it helps when you have a couple that is completely laid-back with no real expectations aside from having a good time.  And that particular couple happens to have a lot of talents.  And talented friends.

Cupcake Table by Events by Elisa and Courtesan Cupcakes!Also?  A fun theme rocks it every time.  This is the first time I’ve ever seen a wedding inspired by the movie The Party, but that didn’t stop them.  In fact, they took the basic inspiration and ran with it.  So this is also a great example of not letting the inspiration for a wedding or party limit you.

Yes, an elephant in a birdcage!It’s also a great reminder to let your personalities shine.  After all, not many people would get married by a robot.  But these two?  This was the perfect officiant for them.

Father Emiglio, the Robot Officiant!Of course if Father Emiglio is the perfect officiant for you, don’t hesitate to contact the couple.  They’d love to program him to marry you too.  No, really.  They made a video about it.

Married by a Robot. Oh yes.

It’s hard to believe that this wedding took place on the couple’s one year anniversary of knowing each other – and only three months after they got engaged.  Neva + Rob, you two truly are McAwesome and I love you both to bits.

The McAwesomes, shot by Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture

I am so proud to have been a part of your wedding and I’m wishing you the happiest of first anniversaries, with many, many more to come!!!

The bridal party!

Neva + Rob’s McAwesome Backyard Wedding has been featured on RogueBride!  To read Neva’s fabulous review and see more photos of the day, check out my website!

Neva+Rob’s McAwesome Backyard Wedding Inspired by The Party 07*24*2011 Wedding Details:

What I’ve Been Up To Lately…

June was an extremely busy month for me (spilling into the first day of July).  I’ve got three more events happening in the next several weeks but I thought that on this beautiful holiday I might share a little taste of what I’ve been involved with over the last month!!!  Three styled shoots (including stationery for two) and two weddings (including programs for one and all the stationery for the other) meant a ton of work and very little time off.  But look at the gorgeous results!!!

I hope you have a fantastic holiday – I’m off to spend the day with friends and my husband.  Be safe!!!

What I've Been Up To!

Photo credits:

Happy Anniversary E+D!

I can hardly believe that it’s been a year since your wedding day, but today marks the one year point…  I’m so blessed to have been a part of your wedding!  I only wish I could show pictures of your smiling faces that day. 😉

E+D Wedding Program

Bridal bouquet with mixed white flowers and ivy

To see more of E+D’s wedding, check out the following posts:

Neva + Rob “The McAwesome Wedding” 07*24*2011

It’s not every day that one of your best friends gets married.

And it’s not every day that you get to be in the wedding.

But when one of your best friends gets married, asks you to be in the wedding, and asks for your help designing and coordinating it?  Epic.

McAwesome.

As Neva says, “McAwesome isn’t a last name, it’s an unconventional conventional way of living.”  And Neva and Rob are anything but conventional!

Their wedding day was one year to the day after their first date.  Their wedding decor was inspired by the 1960s Peter Sellers classic The Party.  Their colors were “the colors of the sunset.”  The groom wore orange pajamas, a Chinese-patterned smoking jacket, and a fez.  Their wedding feast was cooked entirely by their family and friends.

Oh yes, and they got married by a robot.

Father Emiglio, the Robot Officiant!

Friends, meet Father Emiglio, robot officiant extraordinaire.  He started life as an Italian child’s toy.  Neva found him in a thrift store and brought him home.  Rob made him…

Well, McAwesome of course.

With a fresh coat of paint and an incredibly complex and hilariously funny program, Father Emilgio moved, spoke, lit up, and played “The Final Countdown.”  He interacted with the bride and groom.  There were incredible extras like R2D2’s beeps.  This robot was amazing.

Of course it’s not legal in California to get married by a robot, so he had a little help from a minister friend of the couple’s, minister Eric Sherman.  But really?  They were married by a robot.

Married by a Robot.  Oh yes.

If YOU want to get married by a robot (or emceed, or bar-mizvahed), or just to get better acquainted with Father Emiglio, check out this video made by the bride and groom!

That’s not the only thing I loved about this incredibly personal wedding, by any means.  For one thing every single vendor was a friend of the bride and groom, except for the girls at Classy Covers (who are friends with me!).  That meant cupcakes, decor, officiating, and photography by friends.  Who all happen to be professionals.  Love it!

Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture hard at work on the couple's formal portaits!

Now, I have one special request.  Please look at the content of these photos, and not the fact that most of them were taken in Auto mode by myself or my husband (and de facto assistant for the day).  I will eventually learn how to properly use my camera – but in the mean time, unless there’s a professional photographer capturing every moment (and our professional was IN the wedding party!), you might have to make do.  But this wedding was so unique, so fun, and so pretty…  I think it’s totally worth showing off my poor photography skills in this incredibly photo-heavy post!

I adored the string of yellow and blue elephant Chinese lanterns, and the matching damask patterned ones we hung in the trees.

Chinese Lanterns!

Chinese lanterns!

I loved all the fun ceramic, ivory, and wooden elephants that Neva and I found at thrift stores, swap meets, and discount stores!

Elephants!

Elephants!

I think the elephant in a birdcage (a special request by the bride) was my favorite, though.

Yes, an elephant in a birdcage!

I drooled over the delectable vegan cupcakes by Courtesan Cupcakes.  No really, vegan cupcakes can be AMAZING.  At least, these were.  YUM.

Vegan Cupcakes by Courtesan Cupcakes!

Vegan Cupcakes by Courtesan Cupcakes!

And the cupcake table looked so pretty with my vintage serving pieces!

Cupcake Table by Events by Elisa and Courtesan Cupcakes!

I was so proud of the florals, primarily white mums and daisies with green billy balls and peacock feathers, wrapped in leather cords, that Neva and I created, seen here in a photo by Erin of Paw Prints Pet Portraiture (also one of the bridesmaids!).  Erin usually specializes in pet portraits, but was happy to photograph the “wild things” at this wedding!

Florals with Peacock Feathers by Events by Elisa, Photo by Paw Prints Portraiture

I thought that my vintage suitcases and books, and my Moroccan lamps, helped make the buffet table beautiful!

A buffet can be beautiful, no matter what is being served!

That food, by the way?  Seriously delectable.  I have been the guest at other weddings, weddings where a caterer or venue was paid thousands of dollars, where the food did not taste this good.  Or look this pretty!

Mushroom appetizers!

The secret?  I think it’s lots of love for the couple on the part of the cooks (the groom’s dad and grandfather, both moms and grandmas, and several of the couple’s friends!).

And of course, I am thrilled that I could bring in the beautiful handmade elements that I did, including this pair of elephants.  I wish I’d been able to make these more perfect, but the idea came to me less than a week before the big day.  I still think that they’re super adorable and they were a fun surprise for the bride and groom!

Handmade Elephant cake toppers by Events by Elisa

And the hand-drawn welcome sign, on the cabinet door chalkboard I created for E+D’s wedding!

Welcome to the McAwesome Wedding hand drawn sign by Events by Elisa

And of course these two fifteen-foot paper table runners (one for each of two feasting tables), and the pieces we used on the two smaller tables.

Handcrafted rice paper circle "sculpture" table runners by Events by Elisa

Neva and Rob hand made all of their wedding invitations using a beautiful sunflower-patterned rice paper and the elephant motif that was carried on as cupcake toppers.

Elephant-topped cupcakes by Courtesan Cupcakes!

So when Neva and I went shopping together for elephants to decorate the tables, we brainstormed other ideas for the table decor, and I came up with the idea for these runners, using primarily the rice paper from their invitations, with pops of solid color.

Handcrafted rice paper centerpiece for the family's round table by Events by Elisa

Sweetheart Table Sign!

Handcrafted rice paper runner by Events by Elisa!

I know I made them, so I should probably be a little bit more humble.  But I can’t help it.  I think they’re amazing.  I wish I’d gotten more photos of them, since they really were sculptural hand-made works of art.  Every inch of the runner was different from every other inch, and together they included over 300 individually hand-cut rice paper circles in various sizes, from 1/2″ to 6″ in diameter.

Using white cloths from Classy Covers as a backdrop, we were able to decorate the tables with these…  McAwesome (heh!) runners, and pillar candles and flowers and elephants.  The runners brought it all together.  I love this photo by Erin of  Paw Prints Pet Portraiture (although I wish the wax wasn’t so drippy!).

Closeup of the family table by Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture

Back to the McAwesomes.  Don’t they look happy and in love?  This was their first look.

McAwesomes!

And their first kiss as husband and wife.

First kiss!

And a formal, shot by Erin of Paw Prints Pet Portraiture.

The McAwesomes, shot by Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture

SO. adorable!

And of course Neva looked STUNNING.

GORGEOUS bride!

That first photo is by me (so you can see her pretty dress too), but the ones Erin took are so much nicer!

Gorgeous! Mrs. McAwesome by Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture

Smiling Mrs. McAwesome by Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture

It was fun and creative and fit the couple perfectly.  Neva + Rob are anything but traditional.  And I was so happy to be a part of their McAwesome day.  This wedding is a great reminder that you can have a beautiful wedding with any budget – it’s all about making the right choices for the couple and the budget.  And these were the perfect choices for this couple.  Actually, for all of these people.  Aren’t we a colorful, fun bridal party?

The bridal party!

Neva+Rob 07*24*2011 Wedding Details:

Lauren + Chris Vow Renewal 08*20*2011

Today is the first of many blogs I’ve been behind with writing!  I have so many great events and ideas to share with you from the last six months!

Lauren and Chris celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary with a vow renewal and a giant party!

The number 18 is a lucky one in Jewish tradition, as it’s associated with the Hebrew word for life (chai), and Lauren had just completed work on her art gallery in Liberty Station, so this was the perfect time for celebration!

Like E+D, Lauren + Chris asked that we please not feature their faces online, so this post will be mostly detail shots, but you like pretty things…  Right? 😉

Lauren and Chris contacted me in mid-July with an idea and a date.  In one month, we did the rest!

Being an artist, Lauren had a definite vision for the day.  She wanted a travel-inspired theme, with nods to her exhibition in the form of sparkly gold candles, silk flowers, and snow.  She chose all the rentals herself and created a world all her own!

For the ceremony itself, Anar Party Rentals provided the chuppah, which was placed on the lawn outside Lauren’s gallery.  Raphael’s Party Rentals provided the chairs, and we purchased luminaries to help create a festive feel.  The luminaries were also used to illuminate the path between the ceremony and reception!  We also lined the aisle to the chuppah with votive candles, which sparkled as the sun set!

Chuppah by Anar Party Rentals

The ceremony!

Lauren + Chris used the most beautiful carafe, a gift from friends, for their wine ceremony!

Wine ceremony carafe

Raphael’s Party Rentals built a gauzy etherial tent inside of an empty shell of a building nearby the art gallery.  Within the next year, this space will be transformed into more studios, galleries, and retail spaces.  But back in August, thanks to a generator and a team of event professionals, this was an otherworldly celebration space filled with twinkling lights!  Lauren created all of the centerpieces herself, using enormous, heavy brass candlesticks rented from Raphael’s.

Reception Space

Reception with Twinkle Lights by Raphael's Party Rentals!

And since we had a professional pianist as the night’s emcee, we had to have a piano.  A grand piano to be exact, provided by Greene Music.

The beautiful piano provided by Greene Music

My incredible team of assistants (thank you SO much Ryan, Rachael, Desiree, Daniel, and Paul!) had SO much to do, between putting together tables, distributing favors and place cards, setting up 120 luminaries, and scattering snow on the ground!

Scattered Snow on the floor of the reception!

Extraordinary Desserts did a gorgeous job with the rustic chocolate cake (flanked by my lanterns in the background and the cake serving set from my own wedding in the foreground!).

Cake by Extraordinary Desserts

And of course Iliana Morton captured all the details of the day!  Isn’t she amazing?

Ceremony Song

Favors by Chi Chocolat

I love this shot; rings on a piano!

Thank you to all the amazing vendors and again to my awesome team (I love you guys!!!!!).  And to Lauren + Chris, whose love for each other was resonant throughout our planning and their day, I raise my glass to 18 more amazing years!  Mazel tov and l’chaim!

Lauren + Chris 08*20*2011 Vow Renewal Details:

Happy Anniversary Liz + Juan!

photo by Stephina Photography

One year ago this week, the day after Thanksgiving 2010, I was blessed to be able to coordinate the wedding of friends.  This is the wedding that changed my whole trajectory in life.  This is how it often happens – you’re trucking along, minding your own business, and then something happens out of the blue to make your life new.  Changed.  Better.

I’m about to confess something and I’m a little scared to.  I don’t want you to think any less of me for my unwillingness to see what I should have started doing years ago.

You see, I didn’t always want to be a wedding planner.  In fact, I was patently against it for many, many years.  I’d joke in the quiet moments of my gala planning job that I should just start doing weddings (I’d been planning events of all shapes and sizes, on a professional basis and as a volunteer, since 1998), but would always follow it up with, “But I don’t think I could deal with brides” or “I just don’t think I could go without having my weekends to relax.”  Also, I could never come up with a good name.  Seriously, that was one of my biggest excuses.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll remember that I coordinated Lynn + David’s wedding last April.  It was something I wasn’t really expecting to do, but I knew I could step in and help out because I knew how to run an event.  I loved it, but I still had a mental block against planning weddings on a professional basis.

But Liz saw the photos I’d posted on my personal Facebook of Lynn’s wedding, and asked if I’d help with her wedding planning.  I’d known Liz since high school, and had me Juan at our 10th high school reunion.  They had been engaged for a few years, but couldn’t ever quite make a wedding actually happen for one reason or another.  I agreed, and we started planning.  We planned the whole day in three months, and did all the decor and florals together (Liz is AMAZING with a bouquet!).

At the end of the day, Juan gave me a huge hug and told me that I needed to do this.  This wedding planning stuff.  And that they’d support me 100%.

Hmm.

I have to admit that the idea was intriguing to me, but that I didn’t actually make the decision to do it until the photos, taken by the amazing Tina of Stephina Photography, came back.  Then, as someone once said to me, “it hit me like a ton of bricks.”  I HAD to do this.

I HAD to be a part of the happiest day of peoples’ lives.  At the risk of sounding cheesy, it was my calling.

That very day I purchased my domain name.  I was over the idea of coming up with the most impressively creative business name.  I just wanted to plan weddings.

And now I do.

In this season of Thanksgiving, I’m so, so thankful for the ability to do what I love.  And for the couple who really kicked it off for me.  They’re still super supportive of my business, and we’re still friends.  In fact, I am so excited to visit with Liz – and her infant son Oliver, born this August – later today!  It was even through a connection with Liz that I met Desiree of Penny Blooms (who is now a good friend and design partner in addition to being a colleague).

And that whole thing about not being able to deal with brides?  Let me just say this: brides are amazing.  Brides are lovely.  So are grooms.  Couples are lovely.  I love every one of my couples like they’re my children.  I can’t believe that I was so wrong for so long about the way I’d feel planning weddings.  The only thing I don’t like is that after a couple’s wedding day I don’t get a chance to spend nearly as much time with them, or even talking to them, as I would like.  I get so close to a couple, get to experience the joy of their wedding day, and then have to let them go.  Which is incredibly hard and sad.  But incredibly amazing.  Oh, and totally worth giving up my weekends.

So I’ll conclude this extra-lengthy Thanksgiving post with a TON of beautiful photos of the gorgeous autumn-themed red, orange, purple, and yellow wedding of Liz + Juan, courtesy of Stephina Photography.  Some of these will probably look familiar if you’ve visited my website!

To begin, the dress and shoes!

photo by Stephina Photography

photo by Stephina Photography

And the gorgeous DIY bouquets, with flowers from Wholesale Flowers and Supplies San Diego!

photo by Stephina Photography

photo by Stephina Photography

photo by Stephina Photography

You know I’m a fan of adorable details.  Like the autumn fruit and vegetables and the multicolored leaves in and around the centerpieces:

photo by Stephina Photography

And these adorable miniature pumpkins I found to decorate the sweetheart table!

photo by Stephina Photography

And the adorable little touches everywhere, like photos of Liz + Juan and their “furbabies” on the escort cards.

photo by Stephina Photography

photo by Stephina Photography

Or the whimsical handmade chair decorations!

photo by Stephina Photography

Let’s not forget the pretty program I designed for them!

photo by Stephina Photography

Not to mention the delectable cake by Flour Power, decorated with autumn leaves and flowers left over from Liz’ bouquet!

photo by Stephina Photography

I have to tell you, though, that the highlight of this day was the bride and groom themselves.  They are so in love.  It’s obvious by the way they are looking at each other in this photo.

photo by Stephina Photography

They had a gorgeous bayfront ceremony.

photo by Stephina Photography

And then it was time to PARTY!

photo by Stephina Photography

I love how they got into the cake cutting!  And the cake got ONTO them!

photo by Stephina Photography

photo by Stephina Photography

SO much love.  Don’t these two just make you smile?  Their feelings for each other are impossible to mistake.

Congratulations on one amazing year of marriage, Liz + Juan!  Wishing you tons of love and happiness in the future!  Thank you SO much for everything you’ve done for me, and I’m so blessed to have worked with you! ❤

photo by Stephina Photography

P.S. Can you spot the coordinator in the picture above? 😉

Liz + Juan (11*27*2010) Wedding Details: