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

My Favorite Things

As an event planner, I find inspiration in many things BUT lately I have this growing obsession for lighting, specifically chandeliers.  I visit a lot of  of venues, and I find myself immediately gravitating to the ceiling to see what type of lighting they have.

These are some of my recent finds:

Chandalier 1
Fairmont Costa Mesa

This next one may be my all time favorite.  It is so whimsical…can you imagine this in the ceiling and your centerpieces having these same crystals dripping from the vase.  OMG how amazing would that be.  I see a vision coming to life :).

L.A. Hotel Downtown
L.A. Hotel Downtown

I’m not sure where I captured this one from, but it is not a traditional chandelier but it has so much flair.  It almost reminds me of having a sea of glass birds flying over you…How cool would that be?

Chandalier 3

If I could have a house full of chandeliers, I would be in heaven….I would keep the lights on all day, but that wouldn’t be very energy efficient and besides my hubby wouldn’t go for that, but a girl can dream can’t she? :).

What are some of your favorite things?  What gives you inspiration to decorate or throw an awesome party?  Leave us a comment so that we can share in your inspiration!

Take Care,

Erika

Who’s Birthday is it Today?

Is your birthday today?  Well if so…

h-birthday-ribbons-balloons

 

Today is my birthday too and I want to celebrate with you!

I haven’t blogged in awhile and boy have I missed you guys.  There is like a longing that you have when you haven’t connected with the blogosphere and man did I feel it.  BUT there was good reason for me not blogging.  As you may have heard me say before, I’ve been busy as a bee….well I have truly been busy as a bee.  I have had events every Saturday and Sunday for the past few months and other stuff in between.  It has been great.  I truly enjoy living out my purpose, passion, and dreams as an event planner.

Well, I’m back and I hope you’re ready to put up with me :).  During my events, I had a chance to do a few milestone birthday parties which were super awesome.  I’ll share those with you, as well as, share a few ideas about throwing an awesome birthday party.

I hope you guys have a great weekend and if it is your birthday or you know someone born on May 1st, drop a line here and wish them a Happy Birthday so we can all share in their special day.

Take Care,

Erika

 

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

2014 New Year’s Resolution

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Well we are closing in on another year out with the old and in with the new.  I don’t know about you, but this has been a humdinger of a year for me.  I have faced many challenges over the course of the last 12 months, many I would not want to experience again.  I have seen many posts and discussions about New Year’s Resolutions.  I have even been a part of many of those discussions.  Often times, when talking about our resolutions, we want to focus on the things we would like to change in for the New Year or that we want to do differently.

 This year, I am switching the focus a bit.  Of course, there are things that I am working on both personally and professionally.  But there are some things that I am pretty darn happy with and so I want to countdown my top 10 work/life philosophies that I want to carry into the New Year with me.  Are you ready?

Glitter Gold 10

CREATIVITY allows you to dream BIG.  I encourage you to think outside the box.  Some of the best ideas have been birthed by what I call “crazy thinking.”  Often times I’ll have ideas that seem even outlandish to me.  They at times don’t make sense, but when I put all of the elements together those are the times when I have created some of my best pieces of work.

Glitter Gold 9I want to be able to always provide supreme VALUE to my clients.  I believe they deserve the best I have to give whether it’s during a planning session, vendor meeting, or on event day.  I want every encounter we have to add value to their life.

 

 
Glitter Gold 8Paying ATTENTION TO DETAILS is one of the things I strive to improve upon daily for my events.  I love to take a client’s vision and to incorporate one key element into every element of the event, albeit entertainment, design, or décor.  I once had a bride who wanted to be a princess, not only did she dress like a princess, but she was pulled by statesmen to her groom in a white carriage.  She was then transported from the ceremony to the reception site in a horse drawn carriage.  I love finding ways to pull unique elements into my client’s day.

 

Glitter Gold 7GRIT is the same thing as passion, sticking to it, pushing forward even when there are multiple things stacked against you.  This is so important in life.  You never know who you may inspire while you’re pushing your way through.  I have often found at times, I inspired myself.

 

 

Glitter Gold 6PROFESSIONALISM that should be displayed in everything that you do.  Other’s want to know that you take what you do seriously.  This is displayed in how you run meetings, the tone and look of your emails, and even your overall demeanor.

 

 

Glitter Gold 5I believe that we either learn something new every day, or gain insight into things that we already know.  GROWTH is so important.  I never want to stay stagnant.  I love to feed my mind with new things, whether it’s learning a new word, learning something about a new topic, or even learning a new game during my down time.  I can always count on my hubby to help me grow in the news area, he is a LOVES the news and always keeps me abreast of what’s going on in our world.  I truly appreciate him for that because I would spend all my time creating all day :).

 

Glitter Gold 4POSITIVITY can make a difference in how your day goes.  Have you ever been down and then someone came and just started speaking positive thoughts into your life?  Or have you have just started reading some motivational material and it just pulls your inner spirit up.  I’ve learned that life happens, and often times we are dealt lemons, but I am so grateful for the person who came up with the saying “when life hands you lemons make lemonade,” because how you choose to deal with life’s happenings can mean a new opportunity, a new creative idea, or even a new encounter with someone.  Negativity drains so much out of you.  It is said that it takes more energy to frown than it does to smile and I’m all about conserving energy :).

 

Glitter Gold 3 GREAT RELATIONSHIPS is a must for everyone.  I am a firm believer, that EVERY one doesn’t need to know your business, however, it is important to have a close circle of friends who can encourage you, who you can bounce ideas off of, or who can just be there when you need them.  These relationship should be cultivated and they should always be reciprocal.  We often get into relationships that are one sided and one person’s needs aren’t being met.  I’m talking about those times when you both are giving 110%.  And yes, those type of people are out there, and they are just waiting for YOU!

 

Glitter Gold 2INTEGRITY is one of the most important elements of you and your business.  You have to create an environment where your clients and vendors can trust that you will operate in their best interest.  This means meeting deadlines and delivering what you promise.  I was always taught by my parents that if you don’t have your word, you don’t have anything.  This is a philosophy that I currently live by.

 
Glitter Gold 1Lastly I want the LOVE of God to shine so brightly through me that my clients, vendors, and prospects all experience the same love that my family and friends receive.  It is easier to love those who we are in constant relationship with, but I want to be able to love everyone because love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, and it is not proud.

 
Although I placed a numbering system with the items they are ALL important and valuable attributes I think that are important for your mind, body and soul.  I am so happy for all the support you’ve shown me over this past year.  I look forward to growing together in 2015.  Happy New Year.

Let's Do This

Take Care,

Erika

Where’s My Fork?

So you’re preparing for your big dinner party and you want every thing to be right.  You’ve picked the perfect party theme, paired together the perfect color palette and have an awesome dinner menu that would make anyone want seconds and thirds.

You want to make a great impression on your guest and you want everything to be perfect.  All the decorations have been put up and you begin to set your table.  Fork, spoon, knife?  No, knife, fork, spoon?

What is the correct way to set your table for your dinner guest.  We’ll share with you the formal table setting that will guarantee your guest will say, “wow they really know how to throw a party.”

 

Bed, Bath and Beyond Love Story Place Setting
Bed, Bath and Beyond Love Story Place Setting

In order to get the correct information, we called upon the etiquette experts at The Emily Post Institute who is known for providing the proper etiquette since their first etiquette book in 1922.  Your table setting should include a charger plate, dinner plate, salad plate, bread & butter plate, teacup & saucer, dinner fork, dinner knife, salad fork, soup spoon, teaspoon, champagne glass, red or white wine class, and an iced beverage glass.

Start your look by using a charger plate.  The charger plate provides the framework for your dinnerware and is not used to eat on.  It is taken away once the dinner starts.  Next you place your dinner plate on the charger and the salad plate on top of the dinner plate.  You can add your napkin on top of the plates and add a name card or other decoration for a nice added effect.  If you don’t want to add to the top of the plate, you can add your napkin to the left of the fork.

Next you want to add your bread and butter plate which goes right above the dinner plate.  To the left of the bread and butter plate, you’ll add the teacup and saucer.  You can elect not to have the cup and saucer on the table and have it brought out after dinner.  Then you’ll add the add the champagne, wine, and iced beverage glasses.  The iced beverage glass goes directly above the knife, place the champagne flute to the left and the wine glass to  the right.

Finally, you want to place your utensils.  The key is to work from the outside in.  The silverware that is used first will lie farthest from the plate.  You’ll place your salad fork down and then your dinner fork closet to the plate on the left side.  On the right side, you’ll place your knife with the cutting edge facing the plate then your soup spoon, if needed, and lastly your teaspoon.

Also, If you have spoons and forks for dessert, you can set those up horizontally above the plate, the spoon handle should face right and the fork handle to the left.

I know it may seem overwhelming trying to get everything in the right place.  Although it looks really nice to have everything in order, what your guest will remember is the love and friendship that they’ll share with you.  So don’t sweat the small stuff.

Stay tuned for our upcoming Crab Boiled Themed Birthday Party.

Take Care,

Erika

 

Wedding Invitations 101 – Assembling Your Invitations

Assembling your wedding invitations closes out our series on Wedding Invitations 101.   It’s a simple task right?  All you have to do is put the invitation in the envelope, seal, and send.  Well yes, but keep in mind, your invitation is the first sneak peek your guests see of your wedding day.  Don’t you want it to be the best impression that can be made?  It’s not just about making a good impression, but assembling the invitation wrong defies the laws of nature :).  Well not actually, but it makes it a little easier for your guests when opening the invite.

Assembling your invitation:

  • Lay your invitation down with the wording face up if it is a folded invite, insert the folded edge first, if it is a single card invite, insert the left edge.
  • Next start placing your enclosure cards on top of the invitation in size order with the smallest on top and wording face up.
  • For the response card you will need to tuck it under its envelope flap, also wording face up.
  • If you have tissue paper, then you would put a piece on top of the invitation packet and then slide into the inner envelope.
  • The unsealed inner envelope is then placed in the outer envelope with names facing upward so when the envelope is opened the names of the guest are visible.

Wedding Invitations

But we’re not done.  It is also important to address both the inner and outer envelopes correctly.

Addressing your inner envelope:

The inner envelope lets the bride and groom signify exactly who is invited to the wedding.  If you have a family of four that has two children your envelope would be addressed as such:

Mr. and Mrs. Bowers
Brandon Bowers
Gabrielle Bowers

*It is also appropriate to write names informally such as Uncle Tony and Auntie Erika

Addressing your outer envelope:

The outer envelope is professionally using proper titles, first, middle (optional), and last names.  Titles are abbreviated, however, words in the address are spelled out such as Fourth Street or Begg Boulevard.  Children’s names are not included on the outer envelope, their names would be on the inner envelope if they are invited.

Married Couple:  Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Bowers

Married Couple (wife outranks husband): Dr. Shondalette Adams and Mr. Desmund Adams

Married Couple (both doctors):  The Doctors Adams or Drs. Desmund and Shondalette Adams

Single Woman:  Ms. Kimberly Isaac or Miss Kimberly Isaac (under 18)

Divorced Woman:  Mrs. Willie Mae Owens, Ms. Willie Mae Owens, Ms. Willie Mae Parker

Widowed Woman: Mrs. Charles Owens

Separated Woman:  Mrs. Charles Owens, Mrs. Willie Mae Owens, Ms. Willie Mae Owens

*You should never address an outer envelope with “and guest.”  You should find out the guest’s name and use the unmarried couple living together naming convention if the couple shares a home, if they don’t, you should send the guest a separate invitation.

Hope this helps you on your quest to complete your invitations.  I would love to answer any questions you may have.  Please feel free to contact me.

Have a great day!

Erika