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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Give Me One Good Reason I Should Hire a Wedding Planner

I can do better than that, I can give you 5 reason off the top of my head why you should hire a wedding consultant.  The age old question is what do planners actually do and what value add do they bring?

BUDGET ANALYSIS

Do you have trouble budgeting in your day-to-day life?  Well budgeting for your wedding is equally as important.  Planners can work with you first to help you determine your true budget by walking you through all of the elements that should be considered for your wedding.  Although all weddings have some common ground, there may be things specifically for your wedding that would need to be considered.  Most planners have wedding checklists that includes a budget analysis.  A budget will tell you how much you should spend on each major element of your wedding, and it can also help you manage and track what you’ve spent and if you are in jeopardy of going over budget.  I also use the budget to help align my clients with great vendors that fit within their price point.

VENDOR RELATIONSHIPS

Who better than a planner to help you find vendors that fit YOU!  Event planners work with various vendors that all have different pricing, styles, availability, and personalities.  Because a planner works so closely with the bride and groom they understand their wants, needs, personalities, and style.  It is very important to be aligned with the correct vendor.  A planner will be able to take the knowledge they have obtained to pair the couple with just the right vendor.  I want my bride and groom to feel as comfortable with their vendors as they are with me.  The goal is to build an A+ team for my A+ client.

 TIME AND STRESS

Planning a wedding can be a full time job at times.  It takes about 250 hours to plan a wedding.  So add this time, to your already busy schedule of either working, going to school, taking care of family, and did I mention you have to fit sleeping in there somewhere.  If you are having issues trying to juggle everything and stay on task, you should hire a planner.  A planner can remove the stress of planning the wedding.  If only we could quantity the value of having a stress free life, I think we would all be rich.  It is so important for you to enjoy the planning process.  Don’t stress your planning experience away.

MONEY

Planners can help save you money.  Vendors often will give planners special pricing that is passed on to their couple.  Planners are also able to help negotiate fair pricing which can also save money.  I often save my full service clients between $500 and $2,000.

THOSE HIDDEN THINGS

Life happens and planners are experienced in handling sticky situations, as well as, warding off situations that may occur.  Often times, the little things that occur never get to the bride and groom because the planner and his or her team has already resolved it.  Who wouldn’t want the assurance of enjoying their day, knowing that the planner is taking care of all of the details?

These are just a few notes on the value that a planner can bring.  Often clients wished they had hired a planner.  Huffington Post published an article “Why We Didn’t Hire a Wedding Planner..But Wish We Had”  which gives a reflection from a bride on hiring a planner.  I got married 8 years ago, and although I had been a wedding planner for 10 years, I’m sure glad I hired someone to ensure my vision was brought to life.

Take Care,

Erika

Birthday Wishes

I couldn’t let this day go by without saying wishing my mother a happy birthday.  This lady is so special to me and has poured so much into my life from instilling great values, love of education, and passion for our family.  She is the one who got me started with creating things which launched me into event planning.  Here’s to you momma!

Happy Birthday

My momma

Momma

Thank you blogosphere for sharing with me in celebrating my mother’s birthday.  I wasn’t able to be in Saint Louis to celebrate physically with her this year but we sure did have a blast her last birthday.  I’ll share some of the decor created for that event later this week.

Take care and enjoy the rest of your week!

Erika

Pantone’s Color of the Year Marsala – A Slam Dunk

Pantone Color of the Year

When Pantone introduced its new color of the year I was immediately captivated.  It’s a color that may be familiar to many of us, but I honestly haven’t taken advantage of the fullness of it’s beauty.  In fact, I can only remember having one client who used this color and I think it makes for a wonderful color palette.

Per Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, “Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us into its embracing warmth.”   And I totally agree, when I look at Marsala I get a cool feeling and can see it being used for invitations, bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen attire, linens, and so much more.

Marsala can be paired with so many other colors such as oranges, yellows, lavenders, and even reds to give it a vibrant pop.  Pantone even recommends the following options for Wedding Color Palettes.

pantone-color-of-the-year-2015-marsala-wedding-color-ideas

So what’s all the buzz about?  Take a look and see how so many have been inspired by Marsala…

I love how the designer of this invitation paired the Antique Gold color with the hot sultry color Marsala

Pantone invitation

Check out this beautiful nail color by Essie, a nice touch for any bridesmaid or a bride who wants to add a splash of color to her nails on wedding day.

Pantone Nail Polish

 

Give me a splash of this lip color any day!

d and g lipstick

Now that we’ve seen some items to accessories ones beauty let’s take a look at some of the attire.  I love this bridesmaid dress.

Long-V-Neck-Empire-Ruched-Waist-Bridesmaid-Dress-p-TBQP247_a1

Being a shoe girl myself, I couldn’t quite decide which pair I would wear, so here’s an idea why not buy them both!

http-www.elizabethannedesigns.comblog20110902lemon-pomegranate-outdoor-weddingburgundy-wedding-shoes

PW-marsala-shoes

And now something for the bride, she defintely would be the center of attention with this awesome bridal bouquet

marsala_bouquet

And lastly check out these awesome wedding decor ideas

marsala-sandstone2

MARSALA_2015-COLOR-OF-THE-YEAR_IDEAS_WEDDING-SUMMER-TABLE-SETTING_YACHT-CLUB-MARINA-SHORES009

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I don’t know about you but I am even more inspired by this wonderful color.  I can see myself using this color in wedding decor, home decor and even fashion in the near future.  Well I hope you guys have something planned this weekend.  After the launch of the color of the year, I realized that I have a purse in that color scheme that I will toting this weekend.  I am so excited and can’t wait.

I hope you guys have an awesome weekend and I look forward to talking to you soon.

Take Care,

Erika

Photo Credit: InvitationNails, Lipstick, Bridesmaid Dress, Shoes Photo 1, Shoes Photo 2, Bridal Bouquet, Wedding Decor 1, Wedding Decor 2, Wedding Decor 3

Happy New Year

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been since last year that we last connected.  Well Happy New Year to you!  I am so excited to be back in California.  I went to my home town of Missouri and was able to spend three whole weeks with my family.

It was super awesome.  I am a huge family lover and always revel in the time I get to spend with them.  I was able to spend a lot of quality time with my mother and aunt, something I really value especially with the year we had in losing my dad, and my cousin during the Christmas holidays.

I also got to spend time with my nieces and nephews and boy are they getting big.  And lastly I got to spend time with my sissy poo, my brother, my little sisters, cousins and friends.  Well enough about me, I feel like I have so much to tell you!!!

Well during my visit, I was also able to really put some time into looking at my business and what will come this year for Erika’s Elegance Weddings and Events.  This is where you come in!

Happy New Year Post 1.20.2015

What do you want to see from Erika’s Elegance this year?  Are there questions about Wedding etiquette that you need advice on?  Are you planning a kids birthday party and don’t know where to begin?  Or do you want to know what colors pair well together to make a fabulous color scheme for your event?

Your opinion matters to me and I would love to hear your feedback.  I believe this is a year for us to grow and I want you to be a part of that journey.  Well here’s to an awesome year and I look forward to connecting with you soon.

 

Take care,

Erika

 

Engagement Season is Officially Here

dreamstime_xxl_37273881Between working a wedding yesterday and seeing a good friend post his proposal to his girlfriend yesterday, I realize that Engagement Season is here.  Well November 27th officially kicked off that time of the year that many men and women wait for.  It’s a time that we hear all the wonderful proposal ideas that happen during this time.  Yes engagement season is really an occasion that happens between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.  I especially enjoy this season because I often get the chance to help grooms come up with that perfect proposal idea.

The buzz this year has also been that many brides would LOVE to get engaged, and even married on December 13th of this year leaving them with an iconic date to remember of 12-13-14.  How cool is that???  Per a survey completed by David’s Bridal, there are over 20,000 couples slotted to get married on this date a huge jump from the 7,200 that got married on December 13, 2013.

So if you’re one of those lucky women who have already been proposed to, hats off to you, we share in your excitement! But if you are one of the ones still waiting to here those magical words, we can continue to dream with you about planning that wonderful event of a lifetime.  Stay tuned for more as we share some awesome proposal ideas, and I’ll even share how my hubby proposed to me, I still get Goosebumps thinking about it.

Have a wonderful day!

Take Care,

Erika

How do you Spell October, C-R-A-Z-Y!

Hello there!  I sure have missed you guys.  A few weeks ago I predicted that October was going to be a crazy month for me and boy was I  right!  Well I can’t actually predict the future, but I new that I had lots of events and things coming up over the next few weeks.

I’ve been planning weddings, girl’s day events, and birthday parties and have been designing and creating custom décor.  I am so blessed to be able to do something that I love…who could ask for anything more.  I was able to create a couple of custom backdrops for a festival and was able to meet the Disney Princesses and boy was that a treat being surrounded by all of that royalty :).

I also assisted with a celebrity wedding and was able to meet the beautiful actress Denise Boutte from the Tyler Perry Hit Show “Meet the Browns.” She is such a beauty with a wonderful and bubbly personality.  This was definitely a perk of the day!  Check us out!

Denise Boutte and Me

These are just a few things that have been going on over here.  There is so much more that I’d like to share with you about what we’re working on at Erika’s Elegance.  So stay tuned for some DIY craft ideas, wonderful themed birthday party ideas for both kids and adults, and everything else in between.

Take Care and I’ll talk to you soon!

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

 

Wedding Invitations 101 – Ordering Tips

You’ve found the perfect invite that fits your wedding style and embodies everything you and your fiancé are.  You’ve also worked with your event planner or stationer to address the proper etiquette for your invitation.  Then you begin to wonder when should your invitations be ordered? How many do you order? When do I mail them? And the list goes on and on. I’d like to share with you some invitation ordering tips during this post.

Wedding invitations should be ordered 4 to 4 ½ months prior to your wedding. Invitations should be mailed 6-8 weeks prior (please note that for a destination wedding or a wedding surrounding a holiday, you want to add an additional 1-2 months onto this timeframe to allow planning time for your family and friends). It takes about 4-6 weeks to work with your stationer to come up with the invitation style, the correct fonts, the correct paper, and even the correct wording. After that is complete it takes about a week to get the order placed and off and once that is done it takes about 3-4 weeks to get the invitations back.  You also need to consider addressing time for the invites.

Calendar

It is very important to have your guest list completed before ordering. You will need roughly one invite per household. You will want to order about 25 extra invitations for those in case you need to resend some invites out, want to send some to additional guests, or even want to keep one for yourself. It is expensive to go back and reorder invitations after the initial order. You will also want to order extra envelopes for the mistakes you may potentially make.

The last thing you need to consider when ordering invitations is postage. You will want to take a sample invitation with all of the enclosures as though you were sending to a guest to the post office to have them to weigh it. You want to make sure you have sufficient postage. You don’t want your invitation to get sent because you don’t have enough postage. In addition, you need to account for the postage for the RSVP envelope.  Please remember to include this amount in your budget as well.

usps

I must admit, this is something that I used my contingency fund for because I didn’t account for it in my revised budget.  I know, I know what was I thinking.  Rest assure I always include this is my client’s budget. Depending on the size of your invite and whether or it can run through the postage machine, you may have extra postage added. Not only do we specialize in Wedding and Event Planning and Production at Erika’s Elegance, we also create custom stationery. We would love to create something specifically for you.

 

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Got an invitation question???? Contact us today!

Visit us for our last post on the Wedding Invitation 101 – Assembling Your Invitation

Take Care and Have a great day!

Erika

Wedding Invitations 101 – Recap

Invitations are a very important aspect of any event, especially your wedding. The invitation gives your guest a glimpse into what’s to come on event day. It denotes the style, the formality, and most importantly the color scheme of your wedding.

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We started a series called Wedding Invitations 101 to share what we feel are some important aspects of choosing your invitations.  The first post on Wedding Invitations 101 – Invitation Styles which discussed my three favorite invitation styles, The Wedding Card, The Folded Card, and the Pocket Fold.  In that post, I also discussed the printing options available; Engraving, Thermography, Letterpress, Foil Stamping, Digital Printing.  Check out our post from  May 29th. 

Next we did a post called Wedding Invitations 101 – Etiquette which looked at invitation etiquette answering questions such as “Should invitations be hand delivered?” “Can you put “Wishing Well Wedding” on your wedding invitation?” Well can you? “Can You have two guest lists?” No, no, no.  And one I see all too often, “Is it okay to add “and guest” on your invite?”

We have two more aspects to view for our Wedding Invitations 101 series.  We will next look at Wedding Invitations 101 – Ordering Tips answering questions such as when should you order and even how much you should order.   Then we will look at Wedding Invitations 101 – Assembling Your Invitations looking at things such as which way should the invitations face when placed in the envelope.

We look forward to you stopping back by!  The goal for me at Erika’s Elegance is to breathe life into your dreams….I would love to work with you on any project, be it a wedding, birthday party or event corporate meeting.  I’m your gal!

Take Care and Have a great day!

Take Care,

Erika