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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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!!!

http://www.jasonalmazanphotography.com/

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:

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:

Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel, 03*24*2012 (Part 5 – The VIDEO!)

I can’t even say how excited I am to share this video with you!

If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen it already; it was posted way back in April by Liz at Porcelain Rose Productions.  But now that you’ve gotten the chance to see Michelle and Dave’s Ceremony, Details, Stationery, and Reception, it’s only fitting to see the hilight reel!

Liz from Porcelain Rose actually approached me for a one-on-one vendor meeting back in late February.  She’s a friend of my sister-turned-model and saw the photos of our Boho Glam shoot.  She previously worked for another videographer, and asked me if I had any clients who were in need of a killer deal on videography.  Did I?

I’ve now worked with her four times, for weddings and shoots, and I can definitely attest to the fact that she’s not only incredibly talented, but also incredibly sweet.  Seriously!

And just look at this hilight film!  Anyone who is a fan of Bryan’s shots of the groom tearing up when he sees his bride will love this!

She did such a great job with Michelle + Dave’s hilight reel, and then surprised me with a special treat of my own; a video of my team and I (including former bride Marisa, who was my Wedding Day Setup Assistant!) setting up for and working at the wedding!  Now, I’d imagine I’m not the only one who hates seeing the faces she makes while concentrating, or of the self-conscious cheesy smile I flashed Liz (and I swear I wasn’t telling off DJ Dave – I was checking in with him!!).  And considering that this provides a rare look into the chaos that is backstage several hours before a wedding (the shot – you’ll know it when you see it – was taken not long after we all arrived), I’m a little nervous to show you.  But I also think that it demonstrates a lot of what we do on a wedding day, taking chaos and making order and beauty.  And it’s rare to get a chance to show that to anyone.

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