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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!


How To: Define Your Style

POSTED BY Amanda

I feel like, these days in particular the pressure to have the “right” wedding is immense [as weddings about 30 years ago were nothing like they are now; cake and punch on the church lawn after a humble ceremony where the pastor was nervous and left the crowd standing all of 15 minutes after the bride gracefully walked the aisle… no? Just my parents, then?].

The industry has, as I’ve put it lately, fallen into the idea of the “deconstructed wedding”- nearly anti all of the things that our parents have thought and accepted a wedding to be. We’ve tried cocktail style [you mean you aren’t providing a seat for every guest??], dessert-only receptions [wait, there’s no actual MEAL?], we’ve incorporated our own ideas [candy and cookie buffet] as well as gotten rid of a few we didn’t love [no, we’re not dancing- it’ just not US]. But I do think that now, we’re ready to invite back most of the beloved traditions of years past and appreciate them for what they are, while still showing who WE [the brides and grooms] are in the process too.

A major part in this has been to push the limits of expectations. If you’re in the right age bracket [say, 20 to 35] then you’ve been to your fair share of recent weddings. You’ve seen the deconstruction. You’ve been a part of the inspired group of young adults trudging on to make their mark on this industry through unique decor, tons of details, and new twists on old thoughts. But I want to admit something to you right now- and I’d like it to sink in.

Nothing is new under the sun.

It’s scary to say, but it’s true. We can only start conceptualizing things to be “bigger” and “better” for so long, before we wind up back at square one copying someone else’s old ideas. This echos the resurgence of mid-century styling, antique pieces coming into play, a new appreciation for older/historic venue sites [that would have 10 years ago been oh-so-bland and “out”]. The only thing we can truly do to make something US, is to find what we like, and do it “better”. Since the term better is relative to the individual, this will be the breaking point that makes something decidedly YOU instead of the next guy.

Here’s a great example that I have no choice but to blush over. I’ve been styling tabletop photo shoots for a few years now. Since this specific tabletop was blogged [images taken back in March of 2009], it’s been found all over the internet [as well as the kid’s table that was counterpart to it- very popular]. I’m not saying that to make myself feel anything in particular; it’s fact. In this day and age, it’s easy to be widespread on small, random, seemingly meaningless [to the general public] sites all over. Who is to say WHY something is inspiring to someone- it just is [perfect is example is why and how I post my Friday Lovelies as well as our tumblr page, just random stuff that we find all over to inspire us on a daily basis]. Here is what I coined as “Poppies | NOW”:

But this picture was recently featured in the brand new, Spring 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings [the only wedding magazine I consistently purchase due to the loads of authentic inspiration and ground-breaking ideas that it truly contains… all wrapped up into the cutest most thought through packaging ever, always]:

You can visit the picture online right here.

Seem similar to you? When I flipped through the pages of the new Martha, my jaw dropped as I got here. I literally couldn’t believe that here we are, two years later, and my “idea” was splashing over the pages of my favorite decor guru. Now, I’m not one to think so highly of myself- I have no idea if my images floated into their grasp [but I’d sure love to think they did]; and for now, we’re going to assume so… just to illustrate a point. The point is: make it you.

Clearly, the tabletop that I put together from 2009 is not current. So, how does one take into consideration that the idea needs an update as well as the fact that it needs to be established from THEIR [Martha Stewart] point of view? Simple. Tweak the colors. Add in some tulips. Update and simplify the place setting [making it very a la Martha]. Use flowers that accent the naturally curved stem in poppies even more than the inspirational photo.

This is what I’m trying to get you to think like. Don’t just pull images to replicate; pull images to inspire! Make them you without feeling the pressure to have your wedding be the ONLY wedding that’s ever done _____ in the history of weddings [trust me- it just won’t be the case]. Remember that creating beautiful weddings and inspirations are people’s full time jobs [not just magazine; blogs work more than 24 hours a day just to ensure you have access to lots of pretty and unique ideas at your darling little finger tips whence you choose to click around]. Real inspired weddings stand out because they put their unique twist and perspective on an already fabulous and flawless idea.

The ideas are out there- jump up and grab them! The ones that stick with you, in your heart and mind, are worth an effort to put into place at your wedding- with you written ALL over them!

Happy hunting- Lord knows the inspiration is endless [and pick up a copy of the new Martha Mag; it’s gorgeous]!!

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,

A Helpful Article

POSTED BY Amanda

On wedding blunders to avoid…

GO HERE to read it. Quite compelling and easy to navigate. Plus it’s quick, but worth the time to think on some of these points. :D

Just lookin’ out for your best interest, y’all!

xoxo,

A.

In the past few months, we’d had a facelift. It’s been plain to see- and it’s also been a slow, thought-through, calculated process. I’ve gone through a refined our logo, scaled back on our weddings gallery, gave a real focus to our table designs, and put our personality out there through our new bios, pictures, blog style, and more. We’ve made a lot of changes that can only mean good things for both the team at In The Now as well as each client we take on- each calculated, perfect-fit of a client.

So, with our new website and new vision for the future of In The Now, also came a new set of responsibilities as well as new ways to present our services and packages.

Currently, I’ve committed to taking no more than 2 weddings a month, personally. I feel that my time is best spent in undivided attention to the clients who have booked and claimed that time appropriately. Also, my non-wedding time is much deserved by my adoring husband, as we look for balance and sanity in the years to come. Having spent so much time pouring into my company with blood, sweat and tears over the past years has truly had it’s advantages- I’ve gained tons of experience, trained up a stellar team of people who work along side of me and who I can confidently send out to weddings representing the brand we’ve established and the name we have, and it’s also given me the luxury to choose my weddings wisely. Meaning- at this point in time- every single wedding that I take personally has design services attached to the package. My minimum service level is a package that I’ve coined the “essentials” package. It’s basically an all-encompassing package to ensure the needs are fully met on the day of the wedding, plus design services and a bit of pre-planning. It’s perfect for someone looking for a partner in crime to help them plan their day.

That being said, I realize that there are people who are still in a greater, urgent need of just the basics. Although I don’t personally honor this package myself, I thought I’d fill you in on what I like to consider the “emergency” package. It came out of the need for someone to have a “day of” coordinator, and the passion that we have for the industry. Here’s what’s included:

Organizational Services Provided:

• Available via phone and e-mail at any time, to answer any questions or meet any requests you might have from 3 months prior to your wedding date up until the day of the event.

• Two face-to-face meetings with your coordinator geared towards planning/efficiency of wedding execution [typically used for a site walk thru and a timeline meeting].

• Storage of wedding-related items prior to wedding day including but not limited to candles, custom pieces, vases or other floral container, programs or other paper items for up to ONE WEEK [seven days] prior to wedding day. This may also include storage of items after the wedding, which are expected to be picked up within ONE WEEK post-event.

• Customized professional itinerary made for set-up [at site] and distributed to each vendor either at final consultation meeting or via email the week prior to event.

• Customized checklist [for In The Now use] detailing out items to be set up or supervised on the day of the event. This checklist will be created by ITN and approved by client for accuracy in the final weeks prior to event.

• Referral of any last-minute vendor needs via email/phone.

Basic Services Provided:

• Provide an adequate number of assistants [whom client shall meet in advance] for the execution and set-up of the wedding and reception to ensure that In The Now is equipped to meet the needs of the client in every way. No less than two coordinators are assigned to each event [one lead, one assistant] and up to four coordinators may be provided for crowds of 250+ wedding guests. Assistants are assigned to events uniquely based on event circumstances [not only number of guests, but distance between ceremony/reception venues as well as venue restrictions or circumstances themselves].

• Greet vendors and oversee the proper set-up of ceremony and reception, ensuring that your requests have been fulfilled to the fullest extent.

• Coordinate and run the wedding rehearsal including direction of friends, family and wedding party to ensure all people involved understand their roles [as prior arranged with the clients and officiant].

• Full-service coordination of your wedding day or event and reception with no hour limit on In The Now services.

• Wedding day director for all family, vendors, and wedding party to look to for direction.

• Accurately ensure all seating plans and arrangements are executed properly [favors, place cards, table numbers, etc].

• Cue ceremony [including lining up and coordinating the wedding party, seating of parents, ushering, etc], cocktail hour, reception and all other large events, coordinating with church, DJ or live music hired for the events.

• Distribute final payments and gratuities as needed to vendors and other service providers on the event date.

• Keep all activities scheduled per time line [including set-up, ceremony, and reception as best as possible].

• Box-up and deliver all personal items [toasting glasses, gifts, extra cake, serving set, veil, makeup, etc] to their respected places [i.e. hotel room, car, mother’s car, etc].

• All services include the quality and integrity that In The Now is known for. All of your needs will be met on the Day-Of your wedding. No request is too minimal to address and the ITN team is committed to the stress-free success of each event we are a part of.

Click here to print Emergency Package Details

A few things that I’m committed to providing for any In The Now client are to ensure that each event is fully staffed [meaning we provide as many team members as we think are required to properly get the job done], and that no client feel “nickel and dimed” by hours on the job. One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that you can never have too many helping hands [and it’s why my team is so big and why we’re continually working with interns], and that some weddings are just longer than others. Some of our days are 14 hours, some are 8 hours. The situations vary and I feel strongly that each event deserves to be executed to the fullest extent. So does my team. That’s why they’re a part of In The Now. This package is meant to truly be that huge sigh of relief at the end of one’s engagement- that’s why it’s only booked last minute [up to 3 months prior to the wedding date]. But, the cruciality of the package remains. That’s why this is the same level of service that each In The Now client receives on the day of their wedding- no changes. It’s because we always want In The Now to reflect integrity, quality, and love of the event above all else. We can’t cut back from something that we already know is going to be a very important part of our clients stress-free, love-filled, gorgeously perfect wedding experience.

It’s what makes me tick.

If you’re on the fence about finding someone to work solely on your behalf on the wedding day- do it! It’s one thing that I’ve yet to hear someone regret. The emergency package sits at $1150 and just may be the right fit for your pending spring/summer wedding!

Plan well, my dear readers… but more than that, plan smart!

xoxo,

A.

Formspring Monday!

POSTED BY Amanda

Well, if you aren’t familiar with Formspring, it’s a site dedicated to questions and answers- mostly anonymous. I set up a Formspring account a few weeks back and have been answering openly and honestly any questions that come my way. Since this is a great tool to get to know me both professionally and personally, I figured I’d blog a few questions once a week, for as long as people ask!

Q: How do you go about recommending vendors to your clients…that you haven’t worked with before?

A: Typically I preface it, if I do this at all. If I know someone that has worked with them, that’s a huge selling point. If I’ve met them and spent time with them in person… even bigger. To me, the wedding industry is all about character. Sometimes you truly CAN tell that by reading a person’s blog/website. Sometimes it’s face to face contact that leaves an impression. It’s always quality of work. I’m fortunate enough to have a large pool of vendors that I’ve worked with in the past to chose from. I have incredibly high standards for myself and co-mingling my name with anyone’s name in ANY capacity can be scary. I also let my clients know up front any known issues with vendors that I still recommend [ie. “she’s amazing, but really not so great at email… we’ll just have to pick up the phone and call her”]. I believe honesty is key!

Q: Will you be hiring new interns anytime soon?!

A: Hiring is a sticky word!! I do have one current intern- a newbie- who is working with me come May in the office. We’ll need another [or two] to help with the summer season and also in-office once or twice a week with admin stuff. If you’re interested, follow the blog and I’ll post something on there when we’re a bit more sane on the home front!

Q: When did you decide you wanted to be an Event Designer?

A: I think it came gradually and over time. I definitely didn’t know when I got married at 21. About a year later, I took an intern position for a wedding planner that my mother had known many years prior. It just so worked out that she taught me all the ropes [however, she is not a designer]. The design side is something that grew out of my love for the event as a whole. It’s where I’m most skilled. :)

Q: What is your degree in?

A: Although I attended college for one year, I never graduated! I don’t have a degree in anything. A rarity these days, I’m sure. Planning [and event design, especially] just came naturally to me. I always thought I wanted to be a mom and wife above all else. And though I look forward to that very much, I feel blessed beyond words to have found something I’m passionate about as well!

Aaaaand there’s the honest truth for this week!! Hope you find it interesting enough to ask any burning questions that you might have! If you want to read more of my answers about my life, my husband, or my job- visit my Formspring Page and ask away!

Here’s a quick picture of my husband Josh and I over the holidays on a day where he bought me a beanie with flaps to match his!

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Always remember to laugh, y’all!!

xoxo,

A.

Project Wedding Makeover!

POSTED BY Amanda

So of course from time to time, I mosey on over to my listing on Project Wedding to see if any new reviews are up, ensure that all of my clients are happy, and check up on the status of the industry.

I was SO pleased tonight when I went over there and saw their BRAND new format for their vendor review pages. TOTALLY love it. Easy to read. Pretty to look at. Thorough and friendly. It makes me 100% happy.

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If you aren’t really sure what Project Wedding is, and you’re trying to plan a wedding in southern California… you are missing the boat. They are probably THE most comprehensive vendor review site for So. Cal. vendors and I heart them SO big time. They enable engaged [and married] couples to set up a profile, search through inspiration images and real wedding pictures, chat with other brides and grooms, and of course- read vendor reviews from REAL clients, REAL PW members. They’ve been a huge part in my career and for that I am so grateful!

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To stand on my soap box for a bit: it may sound like a broken record, but review your vendors! If you’re engaged right now, you know how overwhelming it can be, when you feel like you’re blindfolded picking these people and trusting them with your money and your most important day. Reviews from REAL clients that are unsolicited [as in NOT on the company website] are so crucial to knowing who you’re doing business with. You can see a ton of vendors that will pay for a booth at a bridal show- but unless you do your research, you won’t really KNOW. So when I say that PW made my career- I mean it. I am eternally in debt to my clients who took the time out of their busy newly-wed lives to spread the word about their experience with me. It’s such an important [and often overlooked] post-wedding element, I beg of you- make it a priority… if not just for me, for ALL of your vendors. Our integrity counts on it!

Alright- enough drama for one day. Now, GO TAKE A LOOK… it’s beautiful over there!

xoxo!

A.

Through osmosis, anyway.

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Apparently the fabulous blog “Stylish Events” does a weekly award column for blogs that they find helpful for navigating this crazy industry successfully. Well, not sure how many of you pop on over to the Elizabeth Anne Designs blog on Wednesdays, but that has become MY time to shine and dish on what I know. Last week, I wrote THIS ARTICLE regarding budgeting- the first of a 4 or 5 part series based on what to do after getting the ring.

I was so thrilled when I found out that Stylish Events picked my article as their “best budget friendly idea of the week”.

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YAY YAY! It was literally a light to my little, weakend heart. It’s been a long week and it’s still only Monday morning! It’s so amazing to know that I can always depend on my friends and fans to pick me back up, just when I need it.

xoxo!

A.

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