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Nearlies: Erica + Brian


Can I just say one thing? I love a good last name. Like, I love my last name now that I’m married.

In case you’re wondering, it’s Auer like Bauer. Like hour. Like our. Like power.

It’s simple, short and sweet. Don’t get me wrong, my maiden name wasn’t bad [though I myself, being a traditionalist, adore being tied to my husband via last name- and everything else]. But a married name is special. A married name is chosen, and I feel that it speaks volumes about me.

So when I met with Erica and she told me Brian’s last name was Winter, I about died. Can you imagine? How completely adorable is that? Any child they have will be the cutest kid in school with that last name. And their 11.11.11 wedding- just on the cusp of that pivotal season- is complete with theme, just being them. Matt and Molly Snelson of Mathieu Photo did it again [and again and again] and knocked my socks off with their gorgeous images. So, meet Erica, meet Brian… meet the [to-be] Winters:

Exactly. See? They get it!!

Erica is exceptionally sweet. She’s graceful and looks you in the eye when you talk with her. And she is so trusting of us. I’m thrilled that we connected on a personal level from the get-go. Chatting with her and knowing that she trusts us and our vision to make her wedding exceptional makes me feel like I’m on a whole new level of loved. And more than that- it shows tremendous things about her character!

Brian fits her like a glove. They’re considerate of one another, genuinely best friends and so excited to begin their life together. It’s amazing to watch and an honor to be a part of!

Oh yeah, she’s also a little bit vixen. In all the best [bridal] ways! Really though, I have a feeling she prefers her time to be spent right here:

In a place where we live the literal Endless Summer, it’s nice to get us a bit of Winter!! So, go leave these Winters some love by commenting lots right here!!!

Take a break with your head on someone’s shoulder today. Romantic or not, it’s real, and we all need us some reality at moments. It’s nice to be needed- and more than that, it’s great to show that you need, too.


Team Retreat!


Expect to be inundated. And, well, a little left out. We’re off for a team retreat weekend to the mountains!

In case you, as a reader, haven’t heard me say it enough- here it is again…

I am in LOVE with my team. I know myself. I’m a communal person- and without a web of supporting, cheerleading, magic making people around me… I’d collapse into a pile of mushy Amanda yuck. Sounds terrible, right? Well it is. Hence why I try my best to make it known how indebted I am to my community here at In The Now. And thus, to the cabin we go! We’ll be baking and playing games and pampering ourselves and enjoying general merriment together. And yes, it’s as ideal as it sounds!

Once we return, we’ll share pictures and stories and memories from our time together. We’ll try to keep it brief [but we really like each other, so….]. And to give you a snippit, here’s some images of most of us [we’re missing two gals and a husband of mine] at the recent Utterly Engaged New Year’s Party. It was a good time, and we had a good time at it.

In case you can’t tell, the sign behind us in the booth reads “Pillow Fight” [thanks Jesi!!]. So, here we are…. fighting:

To having your own pillow fights over your weekend…


A simple, small picture for a simple, small idea.

What you’re looking at- it’s Pear Brandy [news to me thanks to Details By Oksana], and it’s compliments of Clear Creek Distillery. And yes, that’s an entire, full-grown pear inside that gorgeous clear bottle.

Wanna know why I’m impressed? Because it’s a beautifully fantastically simple idea. With a beautifully fantastically wonderful and clean presentation. But that’s not to say that the process of getting there is easy. In fact, it’s painstaking. There’s a lot of waiting. There’s a lot of thought involved in the process. And there is a lot of effort to this method. But in the end, it all proves worth it.

I can’t say that this business is any different. I adore my job- every aspect of it, and each year I learn more and more how to refine my skill, to refine what we offer, to train up our team to be a top notch part of this industry. It’s painstaking and it’s effort-ridden and it’s not to be rushed… perfection never is. But I hope you readers, clients, and supporters know- it is all for you. Every day and every meeting and every event and email and improvement is for your benefit.

Go here and admire the process- the beauty, the timing, the details.

Remember that the best things are refined by fire today- and that we always come through it, one way or another.


Yay! We got an award!!

The letter we received this week states that this award “recognizes and celebrates excellence in quality and service within the wedding industry, as determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 750,000 newlyweds from the WeddingWire Community”. Well, HOLLA to that!

Thanks to anyone and everyone that made this possible. We truly adore what we do and we’re thrilled that you all adore us, too!! Visit our WeddingWire Page to see what a few of our clients have had to say!


I tend to refer to myself as a ‘Mama Bird’- both to my clients [I love being the guiding, protective mama bird from the industry to them] and also to my team. So, this Mama today is so incredibly, endlessly proud. And, I’ll be honest- I’ve been proud for a long while: since October, when Christie and Seth tied the knot and my girls Rachel and Sharon rocked their flawless, totally detailed wedding day into existence. So when I heard that the wedding was recently featured on the stellar Wedding Chicks blog, I was brimming and beaming about it for my girls [and for all the other vendors involved]!

The wedding was fun, whimsical, rustic, chic, and totally personality-driven with one of the most characteristic and lovely couples we had the pleasure of working with from 2010. It’s always an honor to have our efforts noticed [and featured]- and I couldn’t be more honored to have a team of people assembled who are willing to work hard, make beautiful events happen, and do it all with a smile on their faces!

Hop on over to the post for lots of pictures of their gorgeous wedding feature! And of course- more thanks must go to Matt and Molly Snelson for their incredibly consistent work capturing amazing photos of our truly-in-love-ly couples [um, just made that term up and I am SO into it!].


Oh Starbucks, you’ve done it again. Be still my beating heart:

I know there’s quite the controversy on the new, to-be-unveiled Starbucks logo, but I haven’t one negative comment to make about it. It’s understated. It’s modern. It’s simple. It’s completely spot-on for the “times”. And more than that- it’s one heck of a genius marketing move. I mean helloooo taking your name OFF of your biggest built-in advertising… the product! That takes some serious guts- something that Starbucks has proven to possess in spades! SO into it.

Company branding is something I love and am passionate about. If you haven’t seen the team sport our In The Now shirts, don’t worry- you will on your wedding day. The long list of things I’ve felt the need to personally brand run from company pens to my laptop desk top to bottles of water for our guests and mini totes for our gals. We are INTO IT here. And thus, I have nothing more to say- just, soak it in. The new logo is here to stay for them, and I couldn’t be a more proud Starbucks supporter of this shift into the 21st century!

Figure out what you’re saying to the world, and how you’re saying it! Make your own shift today!!


I’m going to level with you guys for a minute: I’m prideful in this arena. And it’s fair- I’m only human. But really, color selecting and pairing is what I consider to be a strong suit of mine. If you’ve been a reader for a while and thumbed through our shoots and weddings from the past year- you may notice it. But here I am to spell it out for you, because gifts are meant to be shared [and yes, I do consider this a gift].

You want to know how to create your perfect pairing?? Well, start here.

Pick a color. Any color. [I won’t get into the idea that your best bet is to match your venue/feel for the event- but, it’s true].

I’ll start with a few examples from our real clients.

Stacey’s Rustic Spring Wedding: chocolate.

Irene’s Ranch Summer Wedding: lime.

Sarah’s Quirky Feminine Wedding: navy.

Julie’s Outdoor Summer Wedding: red.

TYPICALLY- and I say this loosely even- typically, this prominent hue will be the bouncing off point for good reason, it’s the colors that the girls in your bridal party will be donning. Not always the case, as Irene’s gals will be wearing a different color entirely. But the rest, pretty true to fact.

So, you’ve got your first color. After that, we pick an accent. The accent color is defining for many reasons.
1. It typically will be what you use to give definition to your florals.
2. It will further push your “idea” or feel [i.e. feminine, romantic, rustic, etc].
3. It may appear in your paper graphics or other details quite prominently.

Here’s the example:

And a brief reasoning:

Stacey is a yoga instructor and really wants her wedding to be rustic, eco-friendly, and inviting. We knew that the indian-inspired color scheme would be the best way to go about it, but we wanted her “florals” to focus on leafy greens and nature, so we paired her truffle brown bridesmaid gowns with a natural green.

Irene booked a gorgeous sprawling outdoor area for her wedding- but didn’t want to go along with the “rustic” movement as she feels it doesn’t represent their relationship. Though she picked green for her main color, we knew popping in a modern tone like deep fuchsia would be the perfect compliment to the muted natural backdrop.

Sarah envisioned long formal bridesmaid gowns with rich tones to set a deeply romantic mood. You may be worried about how “dark” this scheme looks- but just wait to see the finished product!

Julie loves the eye-catching boldness of red but didn’t want to loose the soft feel of her wedding. Consider her venue and the natural stone they have in the courtyard where her reception is held, we suggested an uber feminine shade of peach to bring a “darling” element to it- while allowing the red to breathe and be placed in the areas that will leave the most impact.

Now what? It’s as easy as heads and tails. Yes, that’s right- heads and tails. Pick a top, pick a bottom. Each wedding should have a defined TOP color, and a base. The top color is easy- white or ivory? Stark or soft? Clean or warm? And no, this may not have anything to do with the exact shade of your gown. It has more to do with the feel of your wedding.

For the “base” color- be selective. This, I feel, may be the most defining color in the palette. The base is the new black [or, well, it can BE black as well should you chose]. It’s what the guys will wear. It’s what color your fonts are on the invitations and in the wedding programs. It’s considered to be that ROOT color that you’ve been missing this whole time. And don’t be afraid to push it. Though many people considered chocolate a base a few years back, it’s still an acceptable base. As is grey, navy, tan… and black! If you’re seeking a black-tie affair, put it in the color board! Don’t let what the guys wear be an after-thought, style it into your wedding. Make sure it flows. Make sure you LOVE it together- because they’re gonna be in a whole lotta pictures you don’t love if you don’t love your “base”.

The LAST STEP: add in the after-thoughts. These are complimentary tones that you already know will be present [In the room? In the space? What color are your chairs? Your plates?] or that you feel strongly will compliment the scheme either in floral design or fine detail. I push my clients to think a bit outside the box when adding these “notes” into their wedding colors. Extra pushes into the soft and feminine = romantic. Extra pops into the unexpected = modern and wild. I suggest adding up to 3 of these [no more than]. Typically I add two. Sometimes only one. It depends entirely on the balance of the scheme itself as you’re working along.

We mentioned that Stacey was a yoga instructor already, right? So, we infused her muted, “natural” [nearly granola] color palette with some super saturated hues to give her that pop of color it was dying for. It also instantly updated the look from a color scheme that was “last generation” and made it something lively, fun, and free spirited! Just so you know, her base color is tan and her bridesmaids are in truffle brown. Since her gals are wearing a common “base” color as well, we’ve chosen chiavari chairs in fruitwood as well as some colorful, nature-inspired bouquets and some unique seating/decor to infuse personality into their day.

Irene went out on a limb and trusted me with the idea to really pop some GREAT modern style into her day [after all, that’s why they booked us!]. Her original ideas of white, grey, and green made the board easy to start off, and then combining it with a soft fuchsia and a deep “hot purple” [my color of the year, for sure] gave it an ultra luxe feel. Adding in the fact that [because of her space] we’ve chosen wood tables and not linens for her outdoor reception, we knew tying in that deep chocolate tone was crucial. This scheme gives her the freedom to pair understated elegance that matches her venue with modern uniqueness that compliments their ideal style. Her base color is grey and her bridesmaids will be in a chic shade of hot purple.

Tying the knot at a quite popular quirky Los Angeles venue, Sarah wanted to capture that romantic candle-lit feel without completely losing the space itself. We paired her ideal colors [rich navy and eggplant] with a soft natural succulent green [almost minty- feel those fuzzy leaves!] and popped the color scheme up a notch further by adding in a bright coral/poppy tone. Considering, again, that the furniture that comes with the venue is all wood, we added onto the board a chocolate-y tone to ensure that the scheme would bring out the best of what this venue offers. Their base color is navy, and we may also vary the groomsmen to sport grey attire and give the groom a bit of significance.

From the moment I heard about a bold red being used as the main color for Julie’s day, I knew it’s perfect match would be an ultra femme peachy tone. Bringing in the romance and ramping up the softness, I suggested the tiniest hints of mint green [think lace wraps on the napkins]. The base color in this scheme is grey, which the guys will be wearing [but I could have equally loved navy for this one], and the fruitwood brown will be featured in the classic chiavari chairs. The girls, of course, will wear red.

Hope that this helps some of you truly define your palette. Remember, if you’re stuck or stumped… visit a paint store. It’s fabulous inspiration [and sometimes they actually have “designer palette” samples with random colors together- consider them!]. If you haven’t had luck, just email me and I’ll whip you up a color board, gratis!

Color your world today!


The fabulous Mary Lallande from Jay’s Catering approached us and asked if we would be interested in designing and planning an opening party for event planners to introduce a new Southern California Venue. Of course we said yes, without hesitation! The venue is question in Serra Plaza, a fantastic little [actually, not so little. It can hold up to 450 people!] spot near the Historic District of San Juan Capistrano.

The first thing that popped into mind was kraft paper, graphic phrases, and neutrals with a pop color. You know how I am with the pop color. It’s my fave. Keeping it muted really let the venue shine, since, a-doi, that’s what we were there for!

For the guests we made cute balsa wood boutionniere’s with their names printed on kraft paper leaves, and they were encouraged to “Pin One On”. The bouts were attached to a fantastic glitter board, created by us In The Now girls, with a special blend of Martha Stewart Glitter of course.

The guests were then prompted to “Beat The Odds” by entering a raffle using a specially made wedding planner Mad Lib card. (‘Twas a hoot, let me tell ya’.)

Next, we had some very delicious libation options. Annabelle’s Coffee came by, where you could “Get Your Fix”, or you could “Cool Your Jets” by the bar, and then sass up your bubbly at the “Dress Your Drink” station.

For some fun, Cheesy Photobooth’s rolled up to give the peeps a reminder that “This Was Fun”. And of course, it was, if I don’t say so myself!

In keeping with the three word phrases, we added vinyl on kraft paper runners and invited the guests to “Pick Your Seat”.

We used the AMAZING Onyx Charger from Classic Party Rentals and interspersed kraft paper plate wraps amongst the place settings.

If you were feeling a bit parched from the midday sun, we put decals made by Creative Media Print on swingtop bottles so you could “Have Some Water”.

Sussanna from French Buckets put together the florals for us.

Jay’s Catering, Good Gracious!, Sundried Tomato Cafe, Andrei’s and Delicieuse French Ice Cream offered up their delicious fare.

These tasties from Good Gracious! were melt in your mouth delicious.

The event was topped off with a gorgeous bridal fashion show styled and orchestrated by Hope Stanley from Mary Me Bridal, with hair and makeup by the ever so sweet Vivian Tran and the All Made Up Team. Seriously, they were amazing! Large Banners were hung from the breezeway letting everyone know where the show was to take place.

And you might remember this model…it’s Brooke! One of our brides to be.

And THIS model is one of our lovely interns, Carizza!

On the way out, the guests grabbed a swag “box” filled with yummy goodies like Izzie’s and gourmet graham crackers from Sugar Tart.

Many, many, MANY thanks to all the wonderful vendors who worked on this super fun event! It was truly a team effort.

Annabelle’s Coffee
Ashleigh Taylor Photography
BBJ Linen
Cheesy Photo Booths
Creative Media Print
Cynthia Bower at Classic Party Rentals
Delicieuse French Ice Cream
French Buckets
Good Gracious! Events
Hope Stanley at Mary Me Bridal
Jay’s Catering
Joel at Studio EMP
Martin at Waveform Events
Serra Plaza
Sundried Tomato Cafe
Sugar Tart

Vivian Tran and the All Made Up Team

*whew* What a list! All in all it was a splendid day in a splendid place.

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