Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Congrats to the Newly Engaged!

Ever since I started this business there has been a typical pattern- work your tush off every weekend for 10 months out of the year from March through December then re-coup for a little bit in January and February. It is always a nice time to catch up on little projects and clean shop- our version of the Spring Clean! But the other great thing about these few quieter months is that I meet with so many potential clients who have been recently engaged over the holiday season and are excited and eager to get going with their wedding planning. The new year offers a great platform to start scouting and booking locations and vendors, planning design concepts...and even day dreaming about the most beautiful, unique wedding possible.

Here are a few of my suggestions to get you on your way in regards to envisioning and planning all the little design details:

*Tear Sheets from magazines are a great way to find color palettes, design concepts and inspiration. Pull what you like- even it is just one aspect of the image like the colors, the types of flowers, etc. If there is something that caught your eye- pull it!

*Keep a little camera/phone (obviously!) in your purse to snap spontaneous photos of things that catch your eye. You may see a window display or a blooming plant in someones yard that can offer great inspiration.

*Ask your friends that have gone through this process who they like and recommend as good vendors. If you are the first of your friends/family to get married hold onto that big ol' book of yours because when it is their turn they will be asking for your opinion and info!

*Look at as many locations as possible. Just like your dress, you may think you know exactly what you want until you try it on! Visiting different locations of all types can open your mind to new inspiration and could get you thinking out of the box

*Speaking of visiting many locations, ask for their recommended Vendor List. These are vendors that have worked many times at that specific location and are well received by the staff there. BUT, also keep those lists in mind even if not booking at that location. For a vendor to make it on to a Preferred Vendor list they would have shown to the Catering Managers that they are professional, competent, friendly and talented- A great resource to start looking for vendors if you don't know where to start.

*As far as time frame goes, 6-10 months pre-booking is about the average for us. We do book up quickly for May and the summer and fall months, which tend to be the busiest wedding times for most vendors. But, we have also had those random weddings that we book two weeks before the big day! I would recommend at least calling and making appointments to meet with vendors to get proposals and ideas of a realistic budget. We personally always offer preference to the client we happen to meet with first. So, if there is a popular day it doesn't hurt to get started early and receive bids.

* Be prepared to be somewhat flexible with the budget. I would imagine that planning a party as big and intricate as a wedding is a first time thing for most people. I know when I planned mine I had very little knowledge of what things cost until I started to call round, get bids and proposals (and I had already been doing my business for 4 years!). Of course, it is a good idea to have some parameters but unfortunately, that standard percentage breakdown that has always been used (i.e. 50% for that , 10% for this, 10% for that) may not hold true. Especially if there is one aspect of the wedding that is more important to you than another.
* Most of all- have fun and be creative--or hire someone to be creative for you!!! :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

San Marino National Charity League

A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of working with the ladies of the San Marino National Charity League on their Debutante Ball at the Beverly Wilshire. Although the event was a couple of days before Christmas I wanted the design to reflect a winter influence without looking like one big Christmas party. The design concept included a white on white color scheme with accents of gold. Flocked white winter branches, dendrobium orchids, roses and hydrangeas were elegantly designed on multiple stair railings, across the stage and created the mix of tall and low centerpieces and large accent pieces. Beautiful crystal drops were added to the large main pieces to reflect the beautiful lighting provided by Images By Lighting. Our ultimate design was our stage backdrop, which had to be beautiful, spectacular and add that WOW factor but not overshadow the young ladies as they made their very important entrance.
I had a graphic designer custom design trompe l'oeil panels that were massive- 10' wide by 14' tall! Each was framed with a gilded frame and layered in front of each other to create the back drop. The centerpiece of this was a very large floral design in shades of cream, champagne and white hydrangea and roses designed as if floating in the middle of the panel.
I can't wait to do something like this again for another client!! (now that I know the engineering)
These are just my photos so hopefully I will be able to post the professional images soon!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy 2010!

Oh my gosh...we made it through! The holiday season was pleasantly busy- extremely busy! Hence only one post the entire month of December!!
Thank you to all of our clients- USC Keck School of Medicine, Bank of the West, the Jonathan Clubs, San Marino National Charity League, Annadale Golf Club, Drago Centro, Girardi and Keese, Whittier Trust and our newly married couples David & Katy, Anna & James and Kimberly & Nicholas- for including us in your special events over the last 6 weeks.
Now that we are back into the swing of things I thought I would post some images of what we had been working on this past month.
Happy New Year and please look forward to more frequent posts!!