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Happy leap year day! YAYYYY!

I know we’ve been a wee bit MIA.

It’s just, well – we HAVE been working on something pretty awesome for today’s Utterly Engaged Leap Year Remix party. I won’t spoil the surprise, but stay tuned for photos of maybe the most challenging design challenge to date.

In the meantime….we owe you guys big time. We owe you a piece of our heart, and here it is. Warning! It’s a little bit long. A little bit raw. And a little bit, ALL of us.

YOUR FAVORITE PART LEADING UP TO THE WEDDING:

AMANDA | I LOVE the table trial. It’s honestly my favorite- simply because it takes all these visions and ideas we’ve been chatting through and shows them to the client. But more than that- it becomes obvious what works, what doesn’t and why. When you’re piecing together an event in your head, sometimes you can easily “see it”- but sometimes you can’t and you’re just relying on your intuition. Plus, there’s nothing better than seeing a client truly EXCITED about their wedding- the design, the love, the day. It’s an exceptional feeling.

RACHEL | The table trial HAS to be my favorite, because up until then, people think I’m crazy in the head – I know it’ll be amazing but they don’t really know, until they see it come together at the trial. (PS Rachel gave me – Carizza – her responses over the phone, so this is related via phone to the best of my abilities – if you know Rachel AT ALL – you know that the inflection in her answers are WAY more exciting than portrayed!)

KRISTEN | My fav is that moment when it hits that everything is coming together, which is typically in the wee hours of the morn when your hair’s pulled back, makeup’s half off, missing a shoe, and elbow deep in paint. The moment varies every time and sometimes happens every few seconds, but the reaction’s still the same –  “Dang.. that was a good one.” “Ahh that’s sooo. Freakin. Cute.” “Stop it, I can’t even handle it anymore I’m so good.” “I need some food.”

SHARON | My favorite part is the rehearsal… no one has seen it first hand, but they can all imagine it, and best part yet, their family is there and they are in the mix… it’s controlled chaos… Love it!!!

ALICIA | I love the times when the bride and groom have a moment to come in to preview their reception room before the guests come in. The looks of joy on their faces, when they see everything they’ve been imagining for months finally come to reality is utterly priceless.

YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE CEREMONY:

DAWN | My favorite moment at a wedding is right before the bride prepares to go walk down the aisle. All her love and excitement pulled together into one. Never has there been a bride who wasn’t smiling full of love.

AMANDA | It’s a toss up between fluffing the bride’s train [typically, this is a moment that the world fades away and although she’s distracted, she’s kind of only with you and her father. Giving those last moments of wisdom is the best feeling- just knowing they’re in good hands with you directing], and the kiss! The kiss is always so telling for me. I love watching couples- especially ones who have waited all day to see one another- finally reach for each other after [what seems like] the longest 20 minutes of their life! Nothing like a warm embrace from two people so genuinely filled with joy and love!

SHARON | When emotions are running from all ends and you send your bride down the aisle and the world stops for the 43 seconds it takes her to walk down the aisle… I’ve witnessed it… the whole world literately stops!!! I’ve googled it!!! I know! :D

ALICIA | The exchange of vows is always my favorite part. A well written exchange of love and affection gets me crying harder then most of the guests are, every time.

LISA | When the officiant pronounces the bride and groom as husband and wife for the first time. From that moment forward life is changed (!) and everyone who is there to witness has a smile on their face!!

YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE RECEPTION:

BRITTANY | The father daughter dance. I tear up every time STILL! And of course the end of the night hug from my couple. It’s like graduation day, and I’m the proud parent lol!

RACHEL | It’s a tie between the grand entrance and the grand exit. For the entrance, it’s like, HOORAY we’re married! For the grand exit, it’s like, HOORAY life together!

MIRIAM | When the bride & groom cut the cake. Their personalities really seem to come out during this process. It’s fun to watch.

NENA | All the love..love..love.. Love seeing the new husband and wife enjoying their new time together.

CARIZZA | There’s always an inevitable moment in the reception when the bride gets separated from the groom (whether its Aunt Mildred pulling him to the dance floor, or his buddies congratulating him). And while searching through the crowds of her friends and family, the bride asks, “Do you know where…my husband…is?” And she smiles softly, cuz she just called him her *husband* for possibly the first time ever.  She’s not used to saying it yet, of course, and it means the world! A small moment I know, but such a precious one.

AMANDA | Grand entrance is up there for me. Again, another moment when the world goes quiet and, as they wait for the DJ, our team gets a moment to banter, congratulate and prep the couple for the coming moments. They’re giddy and distracted and listening to the music and hearing their names announced together- it’s a flutter of excitement! Plus, I love walking couples through their cake cutting ceremony. :) You know honestly, I just kinda LOVE everything about weddings.

AND there you have it. We love everything about weddings. What’s your favorite part? We’d LOVE to hear. Cuz likely, it’s our favorite part too! ;) xoxo!

Trend Talk: Number Me Fancy

POSTED BY carizza

Happy Monday!

To kick off your week, we’re starting a reader response driven blog convo about wedding trends. The heart behind this is to encourage discussion with brides, vendors, fans and friends, about anything from design to fashion to etiquette, bring it on! I know you’re dying to ask… :)

We’re starting off this fun topic with….table numbers.

We’re often asked about those boring pieces of plastic that you see at Carl’s Jr (or at table number two with your new in-laws). Or, they can be wire numbers hand bent to match the same font that’s on your invitation/programs/design suite…as evidenced below:

At ITN, we believe that every item on your tables (and in your wedding!) should be purposeful and aesthetically pleasing. Brides, you’ve put all this effort into the linens and china, why ruin it all with a piece of plastic on a metal stand? Let’s just make those numbers part of your table!

These stained wood blocks with a sophisticated vinyl application were conceptualized and handmade by our very own Rachel! What I love most about these table numbers (besides the adorable key that is just the cherry on top), is the contrast on the table. Your guests aren’t straining to see their table numbers – it’s not hidden amongst a centerpiece or blending into the linen – it’s functional and fabulous!

Photogs, how often do you remove that cut out piece of paper stuck onto cardboard in order to get that table shot? At Courtney and Geno’s wedding, that didn’t have to happen – because the table number was seamlessly worked into the set up. Less clutter – more efficiency.

And who says a table number has to be of actual numerical value? At Irene’s wedding, we used cities as table numbers, which were places that the bride and groom had visited together. Adorable and personal.

I hope that this added a smile onto your face this Monday – and that it gets you thinking about how to make things fun and functional =)

So don’t forget to email me some current wedding trends that you’re interested in discussing (or you can write on our facebook wall!). Then on Monday, we’ll respond. This is meant to be a conversation instead of a soap box, so friends, let’s trend talk!


The first time you meet Amanda and her fabulous team of designers and planners, it’s an awkwardly glorious moment.

It’s likely that whether you’re a client or an industry professional, you’ve been admiring ITN from afar, via social media/web. So you feel like you know the team, before you’ve even introduced to everyone.

That’s exactly how I felt when I sat through my first Monday meeting as an intern. And now, six months later, I’m here to reveal all, and tell you, beloved blog readers, what ITN is really about.

The real dirt:

It’s true – the local Starbucks is frequented an average of 2.3 times daily, and ITN gals are indubitably into food. On a wedding day, the team is fueled by lunchables, 24Carrot Catering‘s creme brulee french toast, and in-n-out.

Tied bows are like fingerprints, Amanda just knows which one belongs to which Nowie.

Fictional words, like “da-dorable,” are used when no proper English word can describe how absolutely perfect a certain detail is.

The later it gets, the more inspired (and funny!) we get. We’re also quite practiced at the fake laugh.

But honest, we’re not just a diverse group of creatives who gather together and gush over the Royal Wedding. We’re a team, committed to designing, coordinating and producing quality event work, and smiling every minute of the way.

1. We care about our clients.

You know the warmth that exudes off the HTML webpages and makes you fall in love with ITN? That’s real. It’s not just friendly text, it’s tangible. The way Amanda types in her emails – that’s the way she speaks in real life, with smiles, exclamations, and the intermittent singy-songy voice. Here at ITN, we’re professionals, but we’re not corporate America. Because really,  you don’t want corporate America planning your wedding.

Each initial meeting, venue walkthrough, phone call and any interaction with prospective, current, or past clients, is filled with purposeful love. You’re not a file that we pull out when you call. We know your name. We know what makes you excited. And we know how to make your wedding day wonderful, and all the days leading up to it, nothing less.

2. Vendor relationships are nurtured.

Part of what makes our job so much fun are the wonderful people that surround us. They support us in areas that aren’t our strength, and nothing we do would be a success without such a partnership.

We can’t thank vendors enough for what they do. For the profound moments photographed. For the laughs captured on video. For the food and desserts that please everyone (even great Aunt Ernie with a bajillion allergies). For the faces made fresh, and the hair that flows perfectly. For the flowers that makes everyone want to take a centerpiece home. For the DJ that gets the crowd moving, and the technicians that make the lighting just right. For the calligraphers, designers and printers who allow us to personalize the crazy out of a wedding. For the rentals that make it come together. For the venue contact who made it all possible. For the bloggers that share it with the world. For everyone who makes love happen.

There’s just not enough space in the blogosphere for all the thank you’s to all of our loved vendors. So instead, we constantly keep those relationships well taken care of. We feed it, walk it, and occasionally, we drop them a reminder in the mail, just to say, hey – you’re appreciated. (Like this sneaky little number below – our Cinco De Mayo vendor gift).

3. Events are our love language.

We don’t settle for mediocrity. Your designer will never hand you something that they think is just “okay,” and cross their fingers in hopes that you’ll like it. Your planner will never hand you a schedule that they didn’t take time to formulate. No detail is too small, no guest count is too high.

We love what we do. We love love. We love your love. Forever and always.

With (even more!) love,

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!

xoxo,

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!

xoxo,

Okay, okay.  So I’ve slacked a bit on my dollops….okay a LOT on my dollops.  But so many exciting things are happening here, sometimes it just doesn’t make the cut.  I’ll work on it though.  Promise!  But enough of my recent slacker-ly-ness, let us talk color palettes!! Seriously, one of my FAVORITE things is creating color palettes. It’s a little ridiculous how excited I get. I find color inspiration everywhere and sometimes in the most random of places. Take this delightful combination of colors.

I snatched up a booklet when I was at Jenny Yoo recently and just about keeled over when I saw some of her deliciously rich colors. And the limitations of a computer screen really doesn’t give them the glory they deserve. It all started with her divine Corrine Dress in Casper Blue Crinkle Chiffon. And then, because shoot me dead for all things monochromatic with a pop color, this little beast of a palette was birthed.

These next boards are for ACTUAL events that I?m superly duperly excited about.

First up, the oh-so-cool Christie who is getting married at her in-laws RIDICULOUSLY magnificent home in a just a couple of weeks [fantastically epic e-pics (haha!) coming soon!] . At our first design meeting she stated that all she really wanted was billy balls, so naturally we had to include THAT in the color scheme. Then we rounded it off with not-your-average fall colors. Red took a back seat to a lovely burnt orange and olive green gave brown the heave-ho. You should watch out for that olive green. Sometimes he tries to steal the show.


Now lets slow it on down and soften it up [I totally just sounded like a radio jockey introducing ?Stand By Me?, and really, how do you slow colors down? I need help. Quickly.] for Natalie?s soiree next June at the Brookside Equestrian Center. She wanted
Elegance. She wanted Romance. She wanted Class.  And so I gave her this…

Love these colors.  Love LOVE these beautiful brides-to-be.  I just love it all!

Any color combos that you absolutely DIE for?

I’ll admit it- when the idea of a “Sleeping Beauty” styled shoot was tossed around by Kristin, I quaked in my boots a bit. I couldn’t think of anything [instantly, because that’s how I work… I’m very instant] that wasn’t Disney, flitty, fluttery, cheese-ball. And then it hit me: classic. Sewing. 1940’s. With a bed. Because, well, that’s how I roll. I’m grateful to Bethany Belle for capturing it all so beautifully. And thanks to K+D for, you know, being in love and stuff.

Yep. That’s a skort. A skort y’all.

Bed: check! Fun jumping-off-of-bed-picture: check! Classic Sleeping Beauty picture with bed: check!!!

Cute and fun.

Outfit change!!

Yep. Breakfast picnic. SO deeply into it. Cannot even handle it. And the hat?!?

Sleeping Beauty. Get it- breakfast buffet?? This also ties into the fact that Dustin proposed to Kristin by waking her up [at, like, 5am]- awaking his “sleeping beauty”. And then, breakfast. Because it’s soo 2010 to eat the most important meal of the day. In a grassy knoll. With a custom blue and pink quilt [hello, had to tie in that classic movie somehow- color scheme much??]!

And then there’s music. Because they sing- about their dreaming, about their prince. And stuff. And Dustin plays guitar so it happens.

Don’t forget sewing. She pricks her finger on a spindle. And sleeps [like a lot]. But the horses- they’re by FAR my fave. Cause that’s how he finds her!

Thanks SO much Bethany for the abundant beauty you’ve provided. Love the feel of this shoot- so glad I got to come on board and help flesh it out!! There’s plenty more, dear lovelies, over on her blog so don’t miss your chance to see it! And K+D- you know, I think you’re too fabu for words. Get married already!!

xoxo,

Sneak Peek: Steph + Tom

POSTED BY Amanda

As if my week could get any better! HONESTLY. I have the best, most gracious, faithful, encouraging clients in the world. I believe it to my core. They are so passionately for me, and I’m endlessly thankful. And now this… this beautiful, amazingly inspiring CD sitting before me, bursting with gorgeously taken photos from the likes of Trever Hoehne. Now- I can’t show you many of them. They will remain to be seen at a later time. But I have to show you a few. Just a few of my favorites- because I know Tom and Steph. I love Tom and Steph. And these photos leave me breathless.

The wordlessly beautiful Stephanie. I realize it may be an odd- almost eerie- picture to post but I think it’s captured so lovely and so perfect. Plus, I’m all about the slightly odd, semi-macabre wedding photos.

LOVE this:

And this [again with the odd and unusual] may be my ultimate fave:

Lastly, a very important one… for the road!

Love my job, love my love… LOVE my job! Their ever-so-detailed and fun French inspired wedding and reception will be in it’s full glory soon enough. Until then, soak it in [all the love and awe of childhood] like a sponge.

xoxo,

A.

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