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):

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!

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I’m Back, and I’m Thrilled!

“Where have you been?” you might ask…  And with good reason.  I haven’t written a blog post in over a year.  To tell you the truth, there have been some personal things bringing me stress, and I can’t really talk much about them yet.  But I have taken the last week to really reflect on what is important to me, and I am resolved to blog more often.  At least a little more often.  I have SO MUCH to share!

What ultimately spurred me into motion this morning, though, was the news today.  I’m so thrilled to share in the celebration of marriage equality!  I just can’t help but think how this was a long long long time coming.  In twenty or thirty years, it will probably feel to our children like “interracial marriage” does to those of us who grew up in the 1970s and 80s.  Or, as we say, “marriage.” If you look at my website and blog, it’s dotted with couples whose marriages would have been frowned upon or even illegal 50 or 60 years ago.  Today they are simply couples in love.  It’s my sincere hope that we will continue to make strides, as a nation, supporting love and partnership.  In the mean time, I think it’s time for a party!

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Photo from Ana + Gina’s Colorful Rustic Handcrafted Wedding, by Kaysha Weiner.

Modern Rustic Snow White Inspiration Shoot

This post is long overdue.  Like, more than a year.

Yeah, sorry…  That happened last year. :/

Anyway, I’m trying to get back on the blogging bandwagon.  Starting here.  With one of my favorite photo shoots I’ve done to date.  My Modern Rustic Snow White Inspiration Shoot from June 2012!

This shoot grew out of the Inspired Bridal Bowl table that Desiree of Penny Blooms Floral Design and I did together.  We played with moss and wood, added in some pops of white and red, and created a fun and whimsical look.  Of course, we had to step it up once we made it a “proper” photo shoot.  So we called on a little help from our friends. 🙂

We had no less than ten wedding vendors, a fantastic venue, and a couple of amazing boutiques involved in this shoot, plus a couple of seriously gorgeous models.  Throw in perfect San Diego weather, and  I guess it’s no wonder that this shoot has been featured on Lover.ly, Every Last Detail, and San Diego Style Weddings!

Melissa Biador snapped these exquisite photographs, and Porcelain Rose Productions filmed the day (linked at the end)…  And what a day it was…

Nic.Roc.Designs created some AMAZING stationery (including this fabulous wooden invitation!).

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And of course we had a sweets buffet replete with goodies, from the INSANELY beautiful cake (OMG mini frames!) by Hey There, Cupcake!

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To the apple cake pops and cake ball gems by Calculated Whisk

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To the marbled macarons by La Reine des Macarons

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To the delectable (and beautiful!) apple pie pops and mini mason jar pies from Wicked Spoon!

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Of course, putting it all together was fun…

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Then of course there were Desiree’s florals.  Seriously, Penny Blooms Floral Design is one of my favorite vendors for a variety of reasons…  But one of the biggest is because she isn’t afraid to play around with different ideas, try different things, go out on a limb, and be downright creative.  We always talk about creativity and innovation in our business, but Desiree consistently does it.  And pushes me to, as well. 🙂

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Then we have the flawless makeup and hair by Blush Makeup Artistry and Beth Whitfield:

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And the ombre dress – absolute perfection – from Bliss Bride:

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And our handsome groom’s suit, from A Better Deal Designer Tuxedo and Suit Rentals:

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Of course, our models – Taylor and Ben – aren’t too shabby either.

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Scratch that.  They are gorgeous!!!!!!

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We hung frames and mirrors from the trees…

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And cut slits into apples to use as place card holders…

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Didn’t skimp out on details…

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And even had a little play acting at the end…IMG-1

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Ooh, you can see the edge of her phenomenal dress in this shot! 😉

At the end of the day, we were just seriously blessed by all the stunning pieces to this photo shoot.  This is still one of my very favorite projects I’ve gotten to work on.  Ever.

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We’ve been trying to get the same team back together for another round…  But due to unfortunate timing it hasn’t worked out.  Cross your fingers for a second fairy tale fabulous photo shoot!

Oh yes…  And don’t forget to check out the film!!!!

Snow White: Rustic Styled Shoot from Porcelain Rose Productions on Vimeo.

Modern Rustic Snow White Inspiration Shoot Vendor Credits:

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:

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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!

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

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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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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:

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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!!! 😉

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:

No, seriously… The Boho Glam Shoot was Featured AGAIN.

I’m flabbergasted.  Seriously.  I feel like Sally Field.  “You like me!  You really like me!!”  It’s hysterical.  This little shoot that Desiree of Penny Blooms Floral Design and I put together in a week…  The one where I dragged my sister in to be our model in the biting January wind (it doesn’t look like it but the poor thing was shivering!)…  The one where I designed the stationery suite in less than a day…  It’s been published again.

This time on Kiss My Tulle, where owner Cris commented specifically on Desiree’s fantastic purple painted horses (and here I was last year questioning her choice…  Not after I saw them, but I kept thinking before they were finished that they should be gold).  Yup.  They’re still gorgeous.

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Yes, this makes six features for this one shoot.

I think I need to find an appropriate way to celebrate. 🙂  More photoshoots, anyone? 😉

Events by Elisa in PRINT! Our Snow White Shoot Featured in San Diego Style Weddings!!!

Ok, with everything that happened last week I didn’t have a chance to share my other piece of news.  This one’s pretty amazing too.

I’ve been published in my first magazine!!!!  Now, obviously *I* am not the only one responsible for this amazing shoot (which, again, I promise to share in more detail here!), and, actually I worked very closely with Desiree of Penny Blooms Floral Design to make it gorgeous.  There are some INCREDIBLE vendors that gave their all too!  But still, it was thrilling to see my business name and the work I am so proud to have done in a magazine!

We got a whole page spread of photographs, beautifully taken by Melissa Biador!  (And special thanks to Nikki of Calculated Whisk for sharing this photo – I have my copy of the magazine but keep forgetting to take a photo of the spread!). 🙂

Check it out in the huge 25th Anniversary San Diego Style Weddings magazine (available on newsstands NOW!). 🙂

A Very Special Announcement…

I know I’ve been a bit on the quiet side lately.  Part of this is because I have been taking some recuperative time; I somehow managed to have a long (3 month) break between major events.  This wasn’t by design, actually, but it did happen to coincide with the hottest weather we’ve had this year (thank goodness!).  I actually had a couple of events scheduled that for various reasons ended up being un-scheduled.  Nothing bad; it just happens sometimes.  Financial situations change, minds change, etc.  But in this case I really do think it might have been the finger of God or Fate or the Universe or something…  Because not a week after my big rainbow-colored birthday bash (which will be shared soon, I promise) I was sitting at my day job and started feeling really dizzy and exhausted.

I went home that day after barely sitting upright at my desk for the rest of the afternoon, convinced I had the flu.  My entire office had had it.  I must have gotten it.  I think I slept something like 16 hours the next day, and 14 or 15 the day after.  I was dragging!!!  I was feeling a bit nauseous too, had a bit of a headache, and body aches all over. I decided not to take anything, though, because I was afraid that it would aggravate my nausea.

It didn’t even occur to me until late that day that perhaps I was feeling sick for another reason…  And then it did.   I took a test the next morning.  And then the following week, we brought these over to my parents’ house.

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Yup, it’s official.  I’m going to be a mommy!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!! 🙂

But, of course, what does this mean for my business?

Well, first off, I won’t be taking any new clients except for limited Design Only or Stationery Design for the first 7 months of 2013.  I did have to let two Spring 2013 clients know that I wouldn’t be able to do their weddings (and I’ve helped them find other options).  It was especially tough to do this because I was scheduled to be the Coordinator for a longtime friend and vendor’s wedding in April, but it’s taking place two weeks after my due date.  So I’ll be in no shape, physically or mentally, for working a wedding day.

Beyond that, I have a sort of half-formed plan.  I’d actually decided earlier this year that I wanted to take next year a little easier, too.  May, June, and July were exceptionally busy for me, and while I loved every single wedding and shoot I was involved in, I don’t think I could continue that breakneck pace next year.  I have three weddings scheduled this Fall (2nd trimester energy – hooray!) and did decide to decline a fourth once I found out (I found them a great replacement too), because I wanted to give myself the ability to focus on the ones I’d already booked and an extra couple of weeks’ rest.  Next Fall and Winter I’ll be going back to a modified event schedule; I already have a couple of potential clients in the works and am SO looking forward to their weddings.  I’ll probably take on another 3-4 weddings on top of those I’m already talking to, late next year, as well as doing a few shoots that I’ve been designing. I plan to take on several 2014 weddings as well!

I will stay active in the San Diego wedding community, networking and meeting new vendors (this is another area where photo shoots are invaluable, as it gives me the opportunity to work with people I wouldn’t necessarily, otherwise, meet), as well as actively blog (perhaps not as often as I was during the summer, but hopefully with decent frequency; I still have SO much to share from earlier this year too!).

And I will be working on a Wedding Consulting package too (details should be worked out by early December)!

I’m so thrilled to be able to share with you the secret that’s kept me pretty quiet lately.  I know it will be life-changing in many ways.  But I also know that event planning and design is where I want to be, so I will be working hard to continue to provide excellent service and value for my clients!

 

 

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: