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Friday, October 30, 2009

a hip halloween wedding

what do you get when you mix classic autumn elements with gothic black, burgundy wine, and a little bit of whimsy? a fabulous halloween wedding.

with the amazing contrast of colors, the limitless favor and decor ideas, and a great sense of humor, there's no reason lovers of this holiday can't be a little spooky and sophisticated.

our favorite idea in the bunch? has to be a tie between the surprisingly chic skeleton ceremony site decor, and the ominous black widow cocktail. do you drink it or does it drink you?

design & photo credits
first row — skeleton bow photo • chung li photography; guest book • better homes and gardens

second row — day of the dead wedding cake • wiltelang's flickr photostream; candy favor display • the knot, photo by janae shields

third row — black widow cocktail • talk of tomatoes; bridal bouquet • melia's floral

Sunday, October 25, 2009

irreverent imagery

i absolutely love it when couples have a sense of humor about their wedding, and love it even more when a gifted photographer gets the joke and finds beauty in it.

these two photos by ben james are truly playful, personal and gorgeous. most "wedding rings" shots include flowers or fabric — this wiley couple chose chucks. too cool.

in the second photo, i love the juxtaposition between the romantically sunlit bride and the happy gerber daisies in a funky pair of cowboy boots. thing is, having clever ideas is key to a unique event, but even more important is a photograher who knows how to capture them.

if non-traditional and unexpected are two words in your personal style book, then be sure to have fun with your wedding photos too. and consider ben james, who runs studio benjamin james out of ventura, california. he also does engagement and other personal event photos. we love him.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

wedding gowns in short supply this season

probably my favorite trend this wedding season is the mini-wedding dress — something stylishly bride-appropriate, yet totally non-princess and trainless. think simple, short chic.

take for example these incredibly fun, feminine gowns from priscilla of boston, who has an entire line of short dresses, in fact. one is more adorable (yet elegant) than the next.

priscilla of boston style pl218priscilla of boston style vineyard karalyn

and priscilla is not the only designer to jump on the short bandwagon. reverie by melissa sweet (part of the priscilla of boston family) and carmela sutera are just two other designers who know that one sure fire way to wow is to show a little leg...with class.

reverie by melissa sweetcarmela sutera style 459

just look at this video of my gorgeous client angie, who recently married in a completely non-traditional short wedding gown. watching the processional i could literally hear her guests gasp as she came down the aisle. now that's what i call fabulous.

gown credits
first row — priscilla of boston • platinum style pl218; priscilla of boston • vineyard style karalyn
second row — reverie for melissa sweet • 2009 collection; carmela sutera • style 459

Monday, October 19, 2009

fabulous is in the details

picture it: you've planned the perfect event, with a beautiful location, one-of-a-kind dress, stunning florals, the coolest music, and crazy good food — but you're still looking for that hip something extra to grab your guests' attention and make the day truly memorable.

solution? head to for your party for unique favors and event extras. consider favorites like these chic personalized coasters, which come in several shapes and colors — you can even upload your own design.

or perhaps these custom match boxes for a portable memory after the event is over. a gorgeous glass bowl filled with these is sure to show your guests you thought of everything.

for the cocktail hour and the bar, how about fabulous cocktail napkins in your coordinating wedding colors, complete with your favorite love poem or monogram?

the best thing about for your party? they not only have a terrific idea gallery, but their unique party elements are generally super affordable. it's a little extra touch you'll hardly feel in your wallet and that your guests are sure to remember.

i should know — i ordered bright orange cocktail napkins with a witty little note, and some of my wedding guests still have a few as keepsakes. crazy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

anatomy of a chic event • an interview with rachel hollis

i recently had the pleasure of talking to rachel hollis, founder of chic events, an innovative event planning company comprised of a collection of l.a.'s best planners. the staff are all women and all under 30 — rachel herself was named on inc magazine’s top 30 under 30. amazing.

always on the look out for innovative ideas, the chic events team has become synonymous with exceptional weddings and soirées, with a roster of celebrity cliente and a portfolio of truly stunning work. happily, rachel was gracious enough to share her thoughts on dreaming big, the importance of good food, and setting the right tone for your own big day.

{p.o.} what initially inspired you to choose this line of work?

{c.e.} my first job was in entertainment (at miramax films). i was able to do all kinds of fabulous celebrity laden parties, and i was totally hooked! i love that event planning is the perfect blend of organization (which feeds my OCD) and creativity (which feeds my soul!).

{p.o.} in your experience, what are the top three elements a bride can explore to make her wedding truly personal and original?

{c.e.} well, i always say, every choice you make is a chance to express yourself (even down to the type of silverware), but floral is a huge element for me. whether it’s peonies or succulents, it sets such a tone. also, food, food, food... go with dishes you grew up eating, or your favorites as a couple. EVERYONE loves a great meal, and i think this is often an afterthought when it should be one of your firsts. lastly, music... don’t feel the need to play “typical” wedding music, play van halen if that’s what you love... your guests will appreciate (and remember) it so much more than canon in d! {rachel is so right my recessional was the "sex and the city" theme. it brought the house down.}

{p.o.} with so many successful events in your portfolio, what is your trick to making each event fresh and uniquely chic?

{c.e.} i believe there’s no “one-way” to do a wedding, there’s only YOUR WAY. if that means we have your wedding in a barn or on a train... whatever rings true to the couple is what we design the day around.

{p.o.} how important is the stationery and paper design in the events you plan, and what role does it play?

{c.e.} stationery sets the tone!! it’s the first thing your guests see, it’s what excites them about the party and gives them an idea of what to expect. i think it can make or break the event as a whole. a stunning invite can have your guests buzzing in anticipation! {i couldn't agree more!}

{p.o.} what is your favorite moment in the design & planning process — the initial creative discussions, the reception reveal, etc. — and why?

{c.e.} oooh, this is a tough one for me! i love love love to daydream and come up with concepts, i’m the queen of telling clients “don’t think i’m crazy, but what if we...” but i also adore seeing it all come together. what a sense of accomplishment, and pride. it’s like sophie’s choice, i love them both equally. =)

{p.o.} what do you look for in the vendors you choose to work with, in order to maintain a cohesive look and your desired level of style?

{c.e.} a vendor needs to understand our sense of style and the caliber of work we expect. they need to ALWAYS take care of our clients first, and need to think outside the box. i will use the same vendor a million times if they can make each job look unique and original... that’s the key.

{p.o.} what has been the most rewarding moment of your career thus far?

{c.e.} probably being named on inc magazine’s top 30 under 30... i was so ashamed of my age when i started (at 21) and thought no one would take me seriously. five years later, to have someone celebrate me because of my accomplishments AND my age was a big moment for me.

photography courtesy of chic events.

Friday, October 9, 2009

real weddings • rika and jeff • a safari wedding

in fall 2008, i was contacted by rika and jeff, an amazing couple seeking custom, highly personal, eco-luxe safari wedding invitations for a destination wedding in africa. i was delighted to work with them, and had a blast crafting a design that met their original, earthy-yet-elegant vision.

i was even more delighted when i saw recent photos of their exceptional event, which took place at the tuningi safari lodge on the madikwe game reserve in south africa. it's no surprise that the imagery of the backdrop, the decor, and the intimate details were as unique and impressive as this happy couple, who got engaged at the lodge over a year ago. congratulations to them both!

the wedding photos featured here are courtesy of the august issue of the tuningi lodge newsletter.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

it's all about the shoes

i have long been a fan of the anti-bridal shoe — a dramatic black heel or a pop of color peeking out from beneath a diaphanous silk skirt or sleek sheath.

one big benefit? your wedding day fashion gets a modern, unexpected twist, and the shoes can be enjoyed long after your big day. so why not consider something other than white for your wedding, and let your bridal footwear be an excuse to splurge on a fabulous pair of louboutins?

rene caovilla christian louboutin

take these black & tan chiffon ankle strap heels from rene caovilla. with an l.b.d. they'd be stunning, but they'd also look perfect under a vera wang. same with these lace christian louboutin bouquet peep toe pumps — equally at home with couture or a pair of true religion jeans.

or perhaps a pop of color? take a cue from carrie bradshaw herself, and grab manolo blahnik's something blue jeweled heels, made famous in the sex and the city movie (which i've seen nine times). can you imagine these babies playing peek-a-boo as you head down the aisle?

manolo blahnikgiuseppe zanotti

god knows you'll wear them everywhere, maybe with a pair of crisp white slacks and a blousy halter top. i mean, they're blue. i love it.

speaking of blue, why not make your something blue something sparkly with these dazzling giuseppe zanotti silver sandals. zanotti is a favorite, and i've been caught wearing uber-glitzy heels with a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt. it always works.

christian lacroix

finally, one of my favorite pairs in the bunch — the ornate coral satin objet d'art ankle strap sandals by christian lacroix. oh my. paired with a lacroix gown, simple jeans or another little black dress, they stand out in a crowd (i should know. i've worn them).

any excuse to buy shoes works for me, girls. any excuse.

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