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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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

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And lastly check out these awesome wedding decor ideas

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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!

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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

 

My Passion for Breast Cancer and Brides Against Breast Cancer!

As we embark on the close of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to share with you why I am so passionate about this cause, and what I do to support the ongoing endeavors.

The first time I was ever exposed to Breast Cancer was about 20 years ago when a very dear friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer.  At that time, I really didn’t know what it was and the impact it could potentially have on families.  I thought wow, my friend is so young and she has a husband and a little boy.  I still remember her face, her infectious smile, her bubbly personality even in sickness and her angelic voice that could sing anyone happy.  Jackie lost her battle to cancer and my heart was forever etched with her story.  I didn’t understand why someone so young would have such an ugly disease but I knew all was well with her spirit and soul.

So many of us were hurt after her passing, but time went on and it didn’t hurt as bad.  Over the next few years, cancer would get closer and closer to me.  My dad’s oldest sister Marcella, Aunt Betty, as we affectionately called her was diagnosed with breast cancer and later loss her battle.  The sting was back, it wasn’t time for Aunt Betty to leave the family, BUT again, all was well with her soul.  Then the C word hit my household like a ton of bricks.  My only child was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome which is a rare blood disorder.  Brandon loss his battle May 2003.  After that my grandmother then loss her battle to Leukemia in 2004.  Next my dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I can remember when Angel called and told me.  She said Cher (this was her nickname for me) I have breast cancer and I’m scared.  I must admit, I was scared too…my friend loss her battle and that hit me like a ton of bricks too.  After that, I had two lumps removed from my breast, neither of which was cancerous which I was grateful for.  Lastly, my mother’s oldest sister was then diagnosed.  How can this be, both my mother and father’s oldest sisters having breast cancer.  This didn’t make sense to me.  But I am proud to say that Auntie is doing well and has been cancer free.

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So I began to say, what can I do to support this cause and give back to this world???

That’s when Karen, who is such a sweetheart, reached out to me and said, hey I worked with this wonderful organization and thought about you, would you like to join team as the volunteer coordinator.  I  jumped at the idea and have been volunteering every since.  Brides Against Breast Cancer is a non-profit organization is committed to raising over $2 million dollars to fund free support services to anyone impacted by cancer.

They do this by holding their Nationwide Tour of Gown sale which includes selling new and gently worn gowns at discounted prices.  We just had two shows in the Southern California area and raised over $30K.  As an event planner, how exciting to be able to help plan the events, as well as, working with brides to help them find a dress of their dreams.  It’s been a blast.  I love the BABC team.

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I encourage you to check out more about this wonderful organization here.  If you know anyone in the Southern California area there is a show coming up this weekend.  Would love to see you there.

Thank you for allowing me to share my store.  I wanted to share, not to paint a sad story, but rather to:

  • Honor and remember those who loss their battle, they’ll never be forgotten
  • Celebrate the ones who are fighting daily
  • accomplishments and strides that have been made to fight against this disease

And that, my friend, is why I go so hard for Brides Against Breast Cancer.  In addition, I created a journal in which I donate a portion of the proceeds to support breast cancer.  See more here.

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The fight is still real, I currently have a brave friend, Nicholee fighting the battle and I’m sure you know someone who it has affected.  I encourage you to join the fight to honor those who have lost their fight, to support the ones who are going through the battle and to rejoice with those who overcome!!!

If you know someone who has loss their battle, currently fighting, or have overcome, please share their names and their story if you feel led to, so we can rejoice, celebrate and honor with you!

Take care and stay tuned for pictures from this weekend’s Bride’s Against Breast Cancer’s big event.

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

 

It’s Wedding Season

Wow, what a couple of crazy months but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are definitely in the midst of wedding season and I am having so much fun. I’ve spent the past few weeks working with brides and ensuring that their wedding day is every thing they dreamt it would be. I had so much fun with my 4th of July bride. Check out the beautiful bouquet I created for her.

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I think this is going to become an Erika’s Elegance tradition because I had a 4th of July bride last year, what do you think?  If you know a 4th of July bride coming up, send them my way. Well I have a few more weddings this month and I can’t wait. This one coming up this weekend will be a nature theme.

Can’t wait to connect with you again soon and share more details.

Take Care,
Erika

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

As the saying goes, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun?” But I’ve found out that it’s not just girls, everybody at your wedding wants to have fun. So what can you as a couple do to ensure your guests have an awesome time. There are so many fun elements that can be added to your ceremony and reception. Our favorite concept is the Photo Booth. I’m sure if you’ve been planning your wedding you have seen many Photo Booth vendors. So I wanted to know what makes this concept so awesome. So why not ask an expert?  I reached out to my good friends Art and Val of GC Photobooth to get the Photo Booth 101 lesson.  Take a look at what they had to say…

gc photo booth rental-3

So what is the concept behind the Photo Booth?

When bringing up traditional Photo Booths, most people might bring up the classic booths at carnivals in the 90’s where you step inside with your date, snap a few photos, and then have it printed out on a film strip- and that is exactly the concept of it. Simply to have photos taken and printed out on the spot to take home.

Are there different types of photobooths? If so, what are they and why are they different?

Today, while classic photo booths are still around, there are many different types of Photo Booths. The classic Photo Booth is the type where you step inside and take photos in your own privacy which are traditionally more popular for Weddings.  However, in this day and age there are other styles including the Open Air Photo Booth, Green Screen Photo Booth, and Red Carpet Photo booth. These are all considered “open” meaning you don’t go inside of any structure. With the Open Air Photo Booth, you are in an open space and may have a backdrop or simply the scenery as the background.  The Green Screen Photo Booth is also open but instead you have a Green Screen behind you which allows the subject to be superimposed on any background image such as a beach, a landmark, etc.  Finally, the Red Carpet Photo Booth is exactly what it sounds like. There is a Red Carpet rolled out with stanchions and a custom step and repeat banner that serves as the backdrop.

Why are Photo Booths great for events?

Photo Booths are fun for all ages and help to capture the moment of the event. Best of all, photos are printed right then and there and who doesn’t love a good photo? Photo Booths have become a staple in most Weddings, as well as Private Parties, and Corporate events.

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If a client is having a themed event, can you customize it to fit their event?

Certainly. The footer design that brands the photo is always customized. For example, if you have a Photo Booth at a Wedding, we will most likely design the footer to match that of the Wedding invitation. Furthermore, customizing the Backdrop is also an option and of course the booth itself. With Green Screen, you can also provide images that match the theme of the event. The possibilities are endless!

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 Wow how exciting to learn more about Photo Booths.  I want to thank Art and Val for sharing their expertise with us.  If you’re looking for a Photo Booth I encourage you to check them out at www.gcphotobooth.com.  I have worked with them on several events and they are super awesome!

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Take Care,

Erika

Wedding Planning 101 – Budgeting

Valentine’s Day has passed and we are just transitioning out of the four month “Engagement Season.” I always love seeing newly engaged couples, so in love and full of zest and excitement about their upcoming wedding day. So you’re engaged, now what? In November we shared the following Post-Engagement list to help you start the planning process.

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One of the first things I ask my couple is “What is your budget?” I guess you can say it is the previous Accountant and Project Manager in me, but understanding your budget is a key and critical component of your planning process.

Determining your budget is important because it allows you to categorize what should be spent in each major wedding expense category. Secondly, it allows your planner to find vendors that are a good fit for your overall vision, and lastly it allows you to do an actual versus budgeted amount to see exactly where your money is going.

Below is a recommended breakdown on what percentage of your budget should be spent on major wedding categories.

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My advice to brides is once you set your budget, stick to it. When working with a reputable planner, they will provide vendors and options that fall within your budget to help you stay on track.
At the end of the day, you want to have a beautiful wedding, but you don’t want to stress yourself out getting down the aisle.
Planning a wedding??? I would love to work with you as your planner. Contact us today to set-up a complimentary consultation.