Getting Started on Planning my Event

WOW!  Last week I had one of the best weeks a girl could ask for.  I was able to plan three different events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Sound crazy?  Well it could be a little crazy, but with your creative juices flowing and the right planning your event can turn out          amazing

So you have a party to plan or your wedding (which might I add, will be the most important event of the century). You have this vision of what you want it to look like in your head but you don’t quite no where to start!  Well you’re heading in the right direction.

It is so important that I stay with my client’s vision so that their event can have the “look and feel” they’ve dreamt about.  Below are three key elements I start with to get my creative juices flowing while planning an event.

Event Theme

The theme should be something that is significant to you.  It can be a hobby, a favorite sport, or even a certain era in time, such as the Great Gatsby era.  Once the theme is identified, it is important to pull the concept into every design element starting with the Save the Date cards through to the party favors.  Next we focus on…

Great Gastby Collage

Color Scheme

The color scheme is sometimes derived from the theme you’ve chosen.  Choosing the right colors is important because you want it to be representative of your personality and it will drive all of the design decisions made.  I love working with multiple colors in a palette and encourage my clients to pick one or two dominant colors, a sub-dominate color, and two accent colors.  Below is the color scheme chosen for the Great Gatsby event I am working on.  You’ll see black and gold has been used for the dominate/sub-dominate colors and are often associate with the Great Gatsby era.  Next we added a splash of deep red and black/white diagonals as the accent colors because the couple wanted to add a twist on the traditional Great Gatsby concept.  And lastly is your

Great Gatsby Color Scheme

Guest Takeaway

How do you want your clients to feel when they leave your event.  Do you want them to say that was the most awesome party in the world?  Or that it was the swankiest event of the century?  Or we partied like a rock star?  What ever you choose it should be incorporated in the elements you choose for your wedding.

As an event planner, I love being able to create the vision boards for my clients and rely on my past events and other event resources to find the perfect elements to complement their day.  One of the first sneak peeks your guest get into your wedding is the stationery.  There are so many great resources that provide Save the Date Cards, Invitations, and your other stationery needs.  I love to rely on my friends from Paperless Post when my creative juices start flowing because they have so many wonderful items to share.  Some of my faves for a Great Gatsby Themed Wedding from Paperless Post…

Paperless Post Konfetti Gold by Kelly Wearstler

Save the Date from Paperless Post

Konfetti Gold by Kelly Wearstler

Paperless Post Josephine Baker - BlackGold

Invitation, Menu Card, and Wedding Programs from Paperless Post

Josephine Baker also available in Black & Gold

Looking for more design inspiration? Check out these wonderful wedding invitations” target=”_blank”>wedding invitations and other stationery options that are sure to get your juices flowing from Paperless Post.

Are you hosting a party?  Would love to hear about your design ideas?

Take Care,

Erika

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Happy Birthday to You Party Ideas!

Sunday, I shared with you that it was my mother’s birthday.  I got to join the celebration via Face Time. Last year I actually got to celebrate with her in Saint Louis and boy did I have a ball planning her surprise party.  My sister and I decided that since it was a milestone for her, and we had just unexpectedly loss our dad a few weeks before, we wanted to make this an extra special birthday for her.  This was going to be a challenge though, my mother knows everything and it is very hard to pull the wool over her eyes.  So we decided to host the party at my sister and brother-in-law’s house and invited her closest friends and family.

I  immediately kicked into party planner mode, who wouldn’t with an opportunity like this, doing something you  love to do AND for the girl of my heart?  It was a win-win situation and an opportunity for me to design and create some cool stuff to add a special touch for her day.

It was excited to see my entire family kick into event planner mode with me and we got all the planning and decor done in a week AND she was so surprised!

 

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I wanted the party to focus more on the celebration versus the décor, so I created just a few focal points and allowed the love in the air create the atmosphere.

Black, cream, and gold was the color scheme.  I wanted classy colors to complement a classy woman.

 I created this custom birthday sign with a diagonal pattern and used a pearl paper to give it an elegant touch.

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I love to add contrast to things when I’m creating so I created this tissue paper pom-poms in a polka dot pattern.  I added a little twist in how I cut the paper to give it a more contemporary feel.  My mother was actually the one who taught me how to make these when I was a little girl.  Tissue paper flowers are one of those old decorating ideas that will never go out of style.  I placed these on the cupcake table and around the home.

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The main focal point was the cupcake table.  I must say I was very proud of this creation.  I wanted to give the table a WOW factor so I created this awesome back drop by making paper rosette flowers to create this masterpiece.  Well it may not be a real masterpiece, but my mother loved it so much she has it hanging in her home to this day.

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My sister’s home had a wonderful furniture accent piece that paired well with the decor.  I love the hutch the cupcakes sat on.

Another DIY idea I used was making the cupcake stands.  This was done by attaching plates to candle stick holders and spray painting them in black and gold.

This is something you can definitely keep for serving items at any dinner party.

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Lastly I asked several of my mother’s friends and family to describe her and what it meant to celebrate her birthday.  I used those saying to created these custom cupcake tags:  “It’s Your Party”, “Diva Lady”, “Happy Birthday”, “We Love You”, “#1 Mom”, and “You’re Special.”  And I created these water bottle labels and gave guests bottle water as they left.  I got so excited I didn’t take a picture of them but here is the label design.

Momma's Water Bottle Labels

I hope you enjoyed some of the Birthday Party Decorating Ideas I presented.

I would love to stay connected with you guys please:

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I love being a Southern California Event Planner and would love to help you find inspiration in planning your next event.  Looking for party or wedding ideas please contact us today.

Thanks for sharing more time with my family.  I hope you have a great day!

Take Care,

Erika

It Feels Like Christmas Time Here!

I probably sound repetitive by now, but Christmas is my most absolute favorite time of the year.  It is a time that I get to use my own creativity for decorating my home for the holidays.  I was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri with thick Louisiana roots.  One of the biggest things I love about Christmas time in Saint Louis is the snow.  I always loved playing in the snow and have fond memories from my childhood.

When I visited home last Christmas there were two major snow storms so needless to say, I was in heaven.  The snow became a release for my family and I because we lost our dad during the holiday season, so playing in the snow became therapeutic and I now have a new found fondness for the snow.  I made snow angels, went sledding with my nieces and nephews, and had good ‘ole fashion snow ball fights.  So when I thought about what would be a great concept for this year’s décor, it was a no brainer for me.  I wanted to have the same wintery feel in my home in California which is the inspirations for this year’s Christmas tablescape.  When I think of the winter, I not only think of the crisp white snow right after a snow storm, I think of things that you need to keep your warm for the snow.  Things such as boots, wood burning fireplaces, and thick furry clothing.

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I started by created these furry napkin holders made out of items found at your local fabric and arts and crafts stores.  The deep brown color paired really well against the crisp white linen napkins (which I had in my stash).  I wrapped the fur around the napkin to resemble a hand muff used when I was a little girl.

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My hubby had the wonderful idea to add the candy cane to the set-up and I absolutely love it.

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Next I cut more of the faux fur to create a placemat which was cut in the traditional size, but I let it hang over the side of the table against the white tablecloth.

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Next, I cut a piece of faux fur and tossed over the chairs to resemble a winter throw or those bear rugs you see hanging in winter cabins

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Next I wanted lots of candles to bring in the warmth for the winter season.  I chose red candles and used various heights of candle holders and even cut some of the candles to give a staggering look.

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Lastly I wanted to add a little faux snow on the custom sign I created.

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I was so excited about how this look turned out.  Every time I walk into our dining room I get feelings of nostalgia.

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What are some traditions, décor, or recipes that make you feel nostalgic?  Leave a comment here or hop on over to our Facebook page.  We’d love to hear from you.

Hope you are having a great week.  It’s countdown to Christmas.

Take Care,

Erika

What a Fun Week!!!

Happy Friday!  As we close out another week, I must say I love what I do.  I had a wonderful opportunity to work with some amazing vendors on a Bridal Photo Shoot for Hair and Make-up Stylist Monica of Monica Duldulao Professional Hair and Makeup.  She always looks stunning!

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When Monica reached out to me about the photo shoot, I was very honored and excited to join the photo shoot team to create the flowers and design and décor for the shoot.  Monica wanted to highlight three looks for the photo shoot.  She wanted to do an Elegant look that focused on crystals, a Bohemian look which focused on color, and lastly a Rustic look.  I want to show you a sneak peak behind the scenes.

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If this chandelier is any indicator of how beautiful the photo shoot was, you are correct.  I absolutely love this accent which is very edgy.

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One of our beautiful models Ruby and Photographer Joan Fuller of Joan Fuller Photography.

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Our Bouquet created for the Elegant look.  I added a little bling to the look to pull in the bling elements for the photos shoot.

Also, look a the beautiful jewelry on the model’s wrist and in her hair created by Dvnchi Bridal Accessories

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Our other beautiful model Vanessa adorning our Bohemian look.   I wanted to use flowers from the flower crown to tie the bouquet to the overall look.

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 I love the way the bridal crown came out and check out those eyes.  Monica you have done it!

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Lastly our Rustic look.  I love how the bouquet and boutonniere came out.

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Me and our wonderful photographer Joan and her lovely assistant Anna

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I can say it was a wonderful day!  Are you ready for more to come?

I appreciate your support and stopping by my blog.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  This weekend will be busy for me, I am attending tree trimming tonight and I am so excited, and then tomorrow will have rehearsal all day prepping for our big Christmas play on Sunday.  I have been directing the play for the past 3 years and it is an absolute joy in working with our Children’s ministry.  I’ll share more next week.

Take Care,

Erika

Winter Wedding Wonderland

‘Tis the season!  As we start preparing for Christmas and New Years, I am reminded that winter is almost here!  Yeah, I love the winter season, the snow, the fashion and the crisp breeze that comes with this time of year.  Now that I’m a Cali girl, I love visiting Missouri during the holidays and often pray for snow when I go and usually get to enjoy one good snow day during my visit.

Although winter is not the prime of wedding season, I think winter inspired weddings are so chic and a couple can do so much with their color palette, wedding attire, flowers and décor.  The first step is finding the right color palette for you as a couple.  When I think of wintery color palettes, I think of hues of icy blues, deep purples, and crisp reds.  Take a look at some of our favorite red winter inspired wedding ideas.

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 red centerpieces

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manolo brides

red and gold small decor

With these awesome designs, you can easily say, I’m dreaming of a Red Christmas….I’m in the holiday mood, what about you?  Stay tuned for more holiday stuff and have yourself a merry little weekend.

Take Care,

Erika

Photo credit: Platinum Event/Project Wedding, John Labbe/Created by: Preston Bailey, Calligraphy by Jennifer, Finafani, Sane Wedding Planning, Weddinggs.net, Weddings on teh French Riviera, Reference Wedding Decoration, and Weddingomania.

Real Party – Tony’s Jazz Club

This June, my hubby turned a major milestone and I wanted to celebrate and honor him.  He had never had a surprised birthday party so I thought it was a wonderful time to surprise him and at the same time throw and awesome party!

Party TimeI wanted my husband’s party to reflect who he is which is why I chose a Jazz Theme since he is a musician.  The color scheme I chose was navy blue, silver and black.  As an event planner, I can get carried away with color schemes, but I was so excited to be able to use his favorite color, which navy blue and it seemed to fit the theme so well.  Check out our day!

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Each table had a Jazz Great assigned to the table with little known facts, and a welcome sign saying “Welcome to T’s Jazz Club” IMG_9990

I must say that it took a lot of planning to surprise my hubby.  He is so inquisitive and very in tune with me, so I had to solicit help from our dear friends Paul and Lisa, and his cousin Darryl.  If it weren’t for those guys I don’t know how I would’ve pulled it off.  Well since we had the party at our house, I had to devise a plan to get him out of the house.  So Darryl picked him up that morning and the work began.  I later picked him up and brought him back to the house and the surprise began.

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We got him good.  Our family and friends greeted us as we walked through the door.  I was so happy!

I wanted guests to feel the musical tone as they walked in the door.  To accomplish this, I created a music note backdrop that would also be used for pictures.  I thought this came out so cute.  I had so much fun creating it.

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Since it was a Jazz Club theme we had a life band, the Paul Allen Connection which consisted of guys my husband plays with.  We also had the lovely songstress Lisa Newberry who belted out jazz tunes and a lovely rendition of happy birthday.  We sat the band up in our dining room where my husband’s organ is so that he could jam with the band at the end of the night. I must say this could’ve been a real recording session with all the musical talent in the room.

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My hubby loves fresh fruit, so I created a fruit bar for he and the guests to enjoy while waiting on the main course.

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 I created the table cloths to have a blue sequins on the top to give it a jazzy, disco type feel.

As the guests arrived, we had our host Mr. Sebastian to give them a menu so that they could order their meal for the night.  I had fun creating these.  I wanted it to have the jazz club feel with a black menu which I embossed with my hubby’s initial.

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On the menu was Shrimp, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo w/Rice, Vegetarian Gumbo w/Rice (My hubby is a vegetarian and I had to have something especially for him), Red Beans ‘n Rice, Put the Squeeze on Mac ‘n Cheese by Lady Robin, Chicken Wangs, and Ha’ Mercy Cornbread all cooked by yours truly with the exception of the Mac ‘n Cheese cooked by our friend Robin.

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We had several drink options which I gave musical terms.  The Blue Tone-Tini Martini our Signature Drink and the Sweet Sangin-gria, and we had Grape, Strawberry, Orange Soda Pop.  I also created name tags for everything.

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Lastly the desserts were created by Mrs. Amanda of Sweet Granny Cakes.  If you have not had her sweet treats you are missing out.

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Check out the music cupcake tags I created.

Overall we just had a good ‘ole time enjoying our family and friends.

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The Dream Team

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And kudos to our awesome photographer Harris of GC Photobooth.  He was the best!

Me and Harris

At the end of the day, my hubby was very happy and that’s enough for me.  Hope you enjoyed sharing in our day.

When planning events, I always start with my client to get the inspiration for my theme.  Where do you find your inspiration?

Take Care and have a great weekend!

Erika

It’s the Most Wondeful Time of the Year – Holiday Party Must Haves

The holiday season is fast approaching, better yet it’s here.  We just left October, Daylight Savings time ended and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Many stores already have their Christmas decorations out and I must say, I am starting to get into the holiday spirit.

This is my most favorite time of the year.  It’s a time I get the spend with my family and friends, catching up with what’s happening in their lives, and reflecting on the past which often brings lots of laughs and tears of joy.

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It’s also my favorite time of year because I get to throw a party and who doesn’t enjoy throwing a party?  So I want to share with you a few things that I think make a great party.

  1. Great Food for Everyone for me includes both the traditional holiday menu, as well as, great desserts.  I am known for my desserts and pride myself in mastering my grandmother’s Philadelphia Cream Cheese Pound Cake (but not like my granny)  and making Gooey Butter Cookies.  I also like to add something new to the mix and think I’ll be trying this new recipe for Dove Christmas Chocolate Drops that I found on the Dove website.
    Christmas Chocolate Drop
    Image from Love Bakes Good Cakes

    In addition to the traditional meal of turkey and dressing, rolls, sweet potatoes, wow my mouth is watering, I offer some “guest friendly” options.  We have several diabetics and vegetarians in our family so I like to cook certain items in my meal that they can eat.

  2. The Theme and Décor is very important to me because it helps set the atmosphere.  Most of your theme has been developed because it is the holiday season, but it is often fun to add an additional element by making it a “White Christmas” or “Winter Wonderland” in California.  Last year this was my theme backdrop for my dining area and it was so pretty.  IMG_9832This look was accomplished by using curly willow spray painted silver, cotton snow, lights, and silver ribbon.  You can incorporated your theme into your decorations and your table settings.  I am working on this year’s concept and I think it will include faux fur.  Can you tell by my themes that I must love the Midwest weather I left?  I do love the snow.  So you’ll have to stay tuned over the following weeks to see what I’m creating.
  3. Holiday Scents can make any home feel warm and welcoming.  A few of our favorite holiday scents are cinnamon which I accomplish by getting cinnamon scented pine cones and I love the evergreen fir tree scent.  Michael’s has these wonderful treecicles that are scented, they’re are a must have!
  4. Music I find adds a great touch to any dinner party.  Having holiday tunes as an under tone to great conversation will find you and your guest belting out tunes before you know it.  My favorite holiday tune is “This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway.
  5. Lastly, filling my home with Lots of Love puts the icing on the cake for any party.  I want my family and friends to feel welcomed and relaxed when they enter the door.  I think the biggest element in throwing a party is love and that outweighs all of the other elements.

So what are you doing to prepare for your holiday parties this season?  Got any great recipes to share or decorating ideas?  We’d love to hear them.  I love creating vision for any party and would love to help you if you can’t quite pull all of the elements together.  Feel free to contact me.

Do you know how to properly set-up your place settings for your holiday party?  We’ll be sharing that, along with one of our real parties in our upcoming post.

Take Care,

Erika

Favorite Friday’s – Photo Booth Backdrop

I love creating things and am amazed when my designs come together.  But sometimes I have ideas that I envision and as I’m putting them together, I know my heart and gut says they are going to be amazing, but once the design is done, it is so AMAZING and I am in awe.

I got the chance to created this custom photo booth backdrop for an event I did.  After speaking to my client about her vision, I began to allow my creative wheels to start spinning.  I worked with JD of Dazzle Photobooth and told him the idea and he said, let’s do it.

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As we were putting the backdrop together, everyone asked “what is that?”  I even had a vendor say, “they weren’t sure how the backdrop would turn out but after seeing it, it looks AMAZING and it looks amazing in pictures.”  I do agree with the vendor, it did look amazing in the photos.

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Within the next few weeks, I’ll post a “how to” for this backdrop so that you too can create something fun, but if that’s not your thing, I would love to create something for you.  I have created many custom backdrops for my events and would love to help just give me a call.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to this long weekend.  You got any holiday plans?  Any neat party ideas?  I’d love to hear about them.

Take Care,

Erika

Photo Credit:  Dazzle Photobooth