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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.


malinda said...

great interview!

paper olive said...

thank you! we loved getting the chance to speak with rachel. gorgeous work.

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