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YAY!! The fabulously classy love story of Elena and Nathan was featured on the One Lovely Day blog [by Project Wedding]. I’m a huge fan of Project Wedding [and you can visit my page listing for real reviews from our real lovely clients, too], so naturally being on their blog is such a fun little pre-Thanksgiving surprise!

Thanks again must go to Dave and Sandy Richards for the wonderfully vibrant, happy photos. And, seriously, doesn’t everyone want ‘happy’ photos?? I know I do for you!

Visit the rest of the images [and you can click through the gallery, too!!] here!

Newlies: Elena + Nathan


This was my first time working with Dave Richards and his cute-as-a-button wife Sandy, but I’m really hoping it won’t be my last. Just looking through the images he recently blogged of Elena and Nathan have brought back a flood of memories from their seamlessly stress-free, gorgeous day. I’m thrilled to gush to you some of their perfect images!!

Radiant bride…. check!

Handsome groom…. check!

Killer cohesive bridal party…. check!

Ridiculously pretty church… check! And then, there’s love.

Lots and lots of love.

And a great reception locale like The Ebell Club, Long Beach doesn’t hurt either!

The decadent arrangements from Flower Allie add the perfect POP to this fun color scheme of navy and orange. And here’s a designer’s inside tip: when working in a candle-lit, romantic environment, go a shade lighter with your linen. In the light of day, you may not understand- but in the deep, dark colors of your reception, that extra “lift” of color will make all the difference. Keeping with Spanish feel, we used La Tavola’s dupionique in royal [a cobalt blue tone, much like the Spanish tiles we used as escort cards] to ensure the colors didn’t get lost in the evening light. It was the perfect impact!

Isn’t it always the “little” things that get you?? Elena chose for us to do a “detail wrap up and decor budget” for her. It’s one of our most popular additions these days and can be added to any of our services. For Elena and Nathan, we took the liberty of implementing several tiny decor elements to really impact her day. We upgraded linens and napkins, added a lace knot napkin wrap, detailed the bride and groom chairs [with lace tails and signage], created menu cards for their buffet, concepted and created their escort card tiles with alternating blue/orange colors, wrapped candles in custom lace, created wedding programs, and designed/assembled 20 welcome baskets [complete with custom timeline, logo/artwork, and packaging for her guests]. WHEW. All in 2 weeks time. If THAT’s not bang-for-your-buck, I don’t know what is!

Just a suggestion, but if you skip on over to Dave’s site, there’s more where this came from. He’s a great blogger [in example: timely, generous with images that are generously sized, and credits all of his vendors]. I love this in a photographer. I love this in ANY vendor. I’m on his side.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this wedding come together! I got to work with Elena and Nathan from the get-go, so here’s a shout out to our all-star cast of characters:

Ceremony: Wayfarer’s Chapel
Reception: Ebell Club Long Beach
Photographer: Dave Richards
Event Design and Planning: In The Now
Florist: Flower Allie
DJ: John Suarez, After Dark Entertainment
Napkin Rentals: Signature Party
Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen
Catering: Jay’s Catering
Custom Graphics: Kristen [Graphical Intern], In The Now
Vinyl Escort Card Logos: Creative Media Print
Hair/Makeup: Artistry By Briana

Holla! Look at that list. It’s what I love to see. :) So sad it’s over… so happy they’re married. It’s the bittersweet small moments in life that keep me pushing forward. Hoping you find some JOY in today, tomorrow, and your ‘forever’.




Just a couple of little placements that I’ve found [or been told about- thanks Carrie!!] lately…

The Party Dress recently used images from our adorable Orange and Yellow Summer Tabletop in an inspiration board:

The Wed Bug featured Alicia’s gorgeous Valentine’s Day Wedding shot by Adrienne Gunde:

The Wedding Yentas also featured a wedding of Alicia’s from last season… Emilie and Ross!

And lastly, the blog Marry You Me gave us a sweet little hollar on the Stylelab Workshop Wedding Chicks featured last week!




I’m creating a styleboard at the moment. I don’t do this often, you see, because I’m semi Photoshop inept and mostly the things I’d love to see come together are all in my head. But, this one… this one is special. This one has a purpose, and because of that… a styleboard is on it’s way! Moments like these make me eternally grateful for my talented team that works along side of me. Thanks Rachel + Shannon for the help!! Until the board is revealed, I will leave you with this:


Think rocky-sand east coast beaches meets white shingled houses and uppercrust people. I want the design to exude style and grace, and embody the cool wealthy beach vibe as it used to be in past times. Hamptons. Cape Cod. Nantucket. Grab a Tom Collins or a Long Island Iced Tea [garnished with a fresh slice of orange], put on a long flowing dress, and join me on the deck to soak in the sound of the sea.

Keep your eyes peeled for more.



I’m going to show you something that’s never been seen before. Are you so excited or what? Because I totally am!

This tabletop was part of my previous collection that I styled last summer, shot by Wayne Toshikazu. It’s taken me forever to go through the images and select a few favorites but now, here we are! The glorious day!

I love the play on traditional elements. At heart, I’m a gal who truly loves a good wedding. By saying that, I mean I love the classic feel of elegance and style. When I think about my personal style, as a designer, I know that I’m constantly taking the warmth of the familiar and splicing it into my modern, clean aesthetic. This table is no exception! Take a popular subtle color like eggplant and add a pop of orange to the pallet! Take a large over-wrought centerpiece and break it up into smaller portions by separating the flowers by style and color! Take the familiar old and hoist it away to bring in the flashy new.

It’s what we’re all about!


Orange Bengaline linen was sourced via BBJ Linen. Flowers were provided by the amazingly incredibly wonderfully talented girls of In The Now [and trust me, I’m saying that to THEM, not about us!]. The backdrop was provided by Stacey and staff at Shorebreak Hotel Huntington Beach [cannot thank you all enough for allowing us to INVADE for the afternoon!].


Each place setting held a mini corsage/boutonniere for the guest. Sandwiched between the flowers was a small round name tag, to designate each guests’ place at the table. I love this idea, like a lot!


We used opaque white crushed glass in the bottom of each cylinder vase- which brought in a great modern feel. We hand-tied each mini-bouquet of flowers with lush dupioni eggplant ribbon and then finished it with copper wire to accent.


My favorite part about this table? The lady slipper orchids. I love, love lady slippers.


The idea that all of the flowers were cascading outward and pouring off the table. The vases actually sprawled across the length of the table, taking up 2 guest places. I truly adore the idea of “unconventional” positioning of centerpieces, as well as disproportional. I didn’t want something over-the-top or extravagant, but I did want something that made a statement!


Modern votive holders in varying heights make my heart melt! And one last detail shot for you of the darling plate:


And here is my commitment to you, dear readers. Here’s the skinny on what’s been up over here: we are committing to shoot one tabletop a month. Kinda amazing, right? Since we’ve already shot our January table [and dying with anticipation to show y’all], we’re off to style-to-death our February with a – you guessed it- VALENTINE theme! Can’t wait to bombard you with design in the coming months!!

Stylize your life today! Make it cohesive and beautiful in every step, with every moment… exude your style!



Poppies | NOW


It has been literally for. ev. er. Since I posted one of my tabletops. Shame on Manda. Bad, bad Manda. Sorry about that guys! It’s not for lack of photos or lack of trying… it’s just the time! But, you can only love me now because here come two [well, one kinda two] tables right atcha!


I became obsessed with the cool, modern pallet of poppy pink, yummy warm orange against a stale, slate grey backdrop. The 3 together became absolutely drool-worthy! I knew I wanted to use poppies “sprouting” from grass for the centerpieces and the idea of a dual centerpiece became equally appealing to me. Two trays, the same size, shape and color. Filled with grass, then poppies bursting out towards each place setting. Fabulous. Of course, what’s better than having a bud and budlet tucked into each napkin! I chose to do a modern style long plate [which I love], with a modern take on the classic “menu fold” napkin that we all see these days- wrapping the plate. I did a salad plate above each place setting and to the right, leave the glasses lined on the left. So modern, simple and chic. That’s what I’m all about. LOOK at those classy flutes! Ugh, it’s love!


I chose a different colored flower for each napkin. That may be THEEE best part about buying poppies: it’s a mixed bag of color. SO organic, natural, and wild!


As a favor [on that salad plate we mentioned] we opted for a fresh, ready-to-gobble option: a trio of mini cupcakes. Not only are they modern and gorgeous, but they’re deliciously one-bite satisfying!



The whole table. What a DREAM, right? It turned out so well!! By the way- this was one of my first times taking care of a centerpiece by myself… I wasn’t thrilled with my droopy poppies at first but the more I look at them, the more I love them. It’s like they were meant to be that way!



Love this angle:


And LOVE the sun hitting the blooms:



And now… [are you ready??] for table #2!! For this specific look, I opted to add in the idea of a “kid’s table”. Kid’s-only tables are great because you can vary your decor to suit them, and really have fun with the look. It exploded into it’s own little world of table and I love it ever-so-much!!


Same linen. Same colors. Pizza for dinner!! I came up with the idea of using mini pizza boxes and turning dinner into a craft time full of fun. Provided that your catering company will be flexible with it, I basically filled this mini box with cut outs like the toppings they could put onto their own pizza: veggies, pepperoni, extra cheese, sausage, pineapple. I know that kids love a good activity! We also switched their plates to white square plastic ones to be more kid-friendly.



I loved the idea of giving each kid a balloon, tied to the chair. The more you can do to make them feel special, wonderful, and loved.. the less they’ll care if they’re in the corner or even in another room! The pink trays that you see on each seat are lap trays- coloring books and crafts provided for them are easy to use since they have a place for everything!


Switch out those mini cupcakes for a box-o-goodies, kid style! From bubbles to candy to slimey sludge, it’s a good time all in one place! And don’t forget the centerpiece…


Creating a smaller centerpiece will give the kids more room on the table to make a mess [and isn’t that what all kids love doing??]. I swapped the poppies for large round suckers in cotton candy flavor- a crowd pleaser [… especially for my husband!].


I gave each place setting a sparkling fruit juice so that when the toast arrives, they’ll feel just as special with their bubbly… and of course, the straw attached is the easiest way to dress up ANY cute bottle/can! Behind the plate is the plastic craft box that we filled with goodies- easy to move and then take home at the end of the night!


My favorite thought/aspect of the kids table has got to be the bedtime basket. Since most weddings these days have just a handfull of kids, and most of those kids end up by 9pm sprawled across 3 chairs out like a light… why not make it a bit more comfy for them? Ribboned together is a small pillow and blanket for them to grab when they get that sugar coma we all know they love. Plopped in the corner near the kids table, it’s the perfect ending to a great evening for the kiddos!


All in all, the table came out beautifully and was captured even MORE beautifully!! Here’s the list of people who I now owe at least a kidney to, for their time, energy, efforts, and love!

Rentals provided by Signature Party Rentals
100% CUSTOM linens by Dress My Chair [yep, she made ’em to match my vision!]
Venue setting was at Rancho Capistrano
Adorable mini cuppies provided by Once Upon A Cupcake
Suckers for the kids from Ju-C Suckers
And last but CERTAINLY not least… for the visual stimulation: Hazelnut Photography and KimLe Photography

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful… right? Now- leave me comments on this seriously. Because if I don’t get any, I’ll assume you hate it. And if you hate IT, then you may as well just say you don’t like me. SO yucky. And I know [well, I think we all know] that you love me. :)

Have an ab fab Thursday!




Shelley & Tony

Shelley & Tony came into my life just a little over a month ago. We got an inquiry from Shelley who said she was planning her wedding from all the way out in Chicago and she needed help. And what better place to turn to for a wedding planner extraordinaire then here right?!?

I have to be honest, when I first heard that the wedding was only two months away and Shelley and Tony had ZERO vendors booked, it made my heart race. The wedding was to be held at her Uncle’s private residence in Trabuco Canyon, but other than the venue and me, there was zero set in stone.

Happily though, I am amazed at all we have accomplished in just this short month. Every vendor is booked and so many decisions have been made, it makes me giddy with butterflies in my stomach to think of how amazing this wedding is going to be!

So let me share with you guys, just a few tid bits of what’s to come…

Their color scheme is a base of Black & White with accents of Pink, Yellow, & Orange. Shelley and Tony have such an awesome sense of style, so it was no surprise when they picked these adorably funky invites from the Etsy seller ellothere.
Shelley Invitation

Shelley RSVP

We also got to do one of my favorite things during the one weekend that Shelley and Tony came out to California. We took a trip down to the wonderful Dress My Chair showroom in Costa Mesa and tried out soooo many combinations of table setups. We literally pulled practically every linen from the hangers until we finally came up with something Shelley and Tony loved!

It was originally one of the color combinations that Shelley was opposed to when we started, but when she finally gave in and took a look at it on the table, it was perfection! Which is one of the reasons I love taking brides down there so much. Things can look so different in your head than when you actually see them in person, so Dress My Chair’s showroom allows you to find out just what that vision in your head really looks like. :)

Shelley Dress My Chair

And while Shelley and Tony loved this color combination, they definitely wanted to do something different than a damask for their base runner. Some of you might remember the trip to the L.A. Fabric district that Amanda posted about here earlier this month? Well that was for these two!

And after searching through hundreds of options, we had a winner!! This super funky, mod fabric, that incorporates the black, white, and yellow all in at once!

Wack Forest
What do you guys think? So amazing right??

We also decided that we’ll use the fabric to wrap the vases of the cocktail table arrangements in, like this. [I make a killer stick figure cocktail table right?] ;)

Cocktail Table

And last, but not least….the caterers! Shelley & Tony tried a few different caterers while they were out here, but weren’t as impressed as they would have liked to be. So they put their trust into my hands and sent me and her parents (who live in California) off to 24 Carrots for a tasting.

Ahhh the sacrifices a wedding coordinator has to make! ;)

Ahi Apps

Shrimp Apps

Olive Salad

Bean Salad

Stuffed Chicken

Tri Tip


Needless to say, the food was all AMAZING! And the staff at 24 Carrots is JUST as AMAZING!

So stay tuned for more to come. Their wedding is just 3 and a half weeks away! And I promise that there is more fabulouness that has yet to be revealed!!!

~~ Alicia

Since Alex and Brad [who you may remember from my initial post about them HERE and then my post on their invites- still in the works- HERE!!!] have a family friend who is their florist, they made the trek to downtown LA and braved the early morning market hours to have a little floral trial run. It came out wonderful and she LOVES it- which makes me more happy than anything. The staff at Dress My Chair were kind enough to allow me to borrow the linens for a bit to allow us to really complete the look! Here are some pics below.

The bridesmaid bouquets:


Cocktail centerpieces [but our linens will be aqua crushed satin]:


And now, for the centerpieces!!




Rumor has it the manzanita branches will be painted aqua to match the runner. Yippee… and moreover, we’ve got crystals to hang from the branches. I know in their venue, this is going to be so fabulous. YAY! I can’t wait for wedding season to start!



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