Friday, December 23, 2011

Event Styling Tips (Part 2): Non-Floral Decor

Hope you're enjoyed our previous post on event styling tips. Today, we'll be covering non-floral decor and how these elements play a huge role in transforming your space.  Non-floral decor refers to all of the elements that contribute to the overall esthetics. This includes, but is not limited to lighting, draping, tables, chairs, candles, unique furniture pieces, paper goods and etc.  
Before I continue on with this post, here's a before & after picture which may shock you! :)

J & J's wedding was back in 2009 at LA Congregational Church and they had hired me to transform a typical church function into an elegant reception space. We had a few different companies come in to cover draping, lighting, linens and chairs and the result was breathtaking.

Via Martha Stewart Weddings
Please don't misunderstand me. I LOVE flowers and I get extremely picky whenever we have floral mock up meetings but I do believe that flowers alone won't do the magic.  If you rely solely on flowers, your only option to make your decor more impactful is to keep making your flowers bigger and bigger. Not only does that look often become heavy and overwhelming, but it becomes expensive.

Again, here are some few examples to show you why rentals play a huge role in changing the aesthetics of your celebration.
Adamson House Outdoor Wedding: Instead of going with the chiavari chairs, we used rustic tables & natural wood folding chairs to keep the natural/casual ambiance.
Photo Credit: Sarah Yates
Casa Del Mar Wedding:
We had all white flowers and gave a little contrast by using charcoal gray linens and silver chiavari chairs. We carefully placed each gardenia on silver beaded chargers to complete the look.
Photo Credit: Taek Photography
This ballroom was completely draped in white fabric for a clean, sophisticated feel. Tables were a mix of rounds with gray linens and white lacquered rectangles. NOTEJL Designs was the creative brain behind this gorgeous event.
Photo Credit: Meg Perotti

A Winter Wonderland theme photoshoot designed by Couture Events. Again, they kept the flowers to a minimum and let non-floral decor shine. So in love with these clear ghost chairs!
Photo Credit: Scott Lawrence Photography

Craven's Estate Wedding:
Due to our budget, we only rented 8-9 vintage pieces from The Found and they were worth every penny! We later moved some of the couches to create a beautiful sweet heart table for the couple.

Jonathan Club Wedding:
What about adding some chic white lounge furniture during cocktail hour for your guests to mingle?
Photo Credit: Taek Photography

I stumbled upon this image from Apartment Therapy a while back and took my breath away. It's elegant, dramatic and just simply gorgeous.
Ok.  These examples are nice but Esther, what if we're on an extreme tight budget? We can't afford to rent these items for our wedding. Any other tips you'd recommend? Part 3 is coming up for all you savvy DIY brides! Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Event Styling Tips and Tricks (Part 1)

I get asked quite often where I rent and purchase my decor props & rental pieces from fellow vendors out there, so today, I wanted to cover some basic event styling tips with you. Hope this post will also push brides to think outside the box and think about creatively using their venue space.

One of the main jobs I take seriously is styling different stations such as the escort card display table, dessert bar, sign-in table, drinks station and etc. Uniquely setting these displays can definitely set the mood and excite the guests as they anticipate the wedding they're about to experience.  If done right, it cohesively pulls the look together to match the overall ambiance and details you're trying to achieve.
I honestly think rentals including tables, chairs, lounge furniture, decor furnishings and dance floor can play a huge role and can contribute even more than flowers and lighting.  But I would only suggest rental pieces that would be worth renting after carefully evaluating your overall budget.

Before you add any rental items to the invoice...
Scout out the venue carefully and see if you can find any unique decor pieces/furniture you can incorporate.  I know some venues are pretty strict with moving their furnishings but if you kindly ask the staff, you never know the kind of feedback you'll receive. hey, it doesn't hurt to at least ask!
Here are some examples to show you what I've done in the past that worked.. Of course, for free but with our labor of love! 
We turned La Venta Inn's custom made coffee hut into a dessert bar station. I knew this coffee hut had more potential than to display coffee cups!  I believe this was the first time they had seen their coffee hut turned into a dessert bar and the staff loved the way we set up everything. 
Photo Credit: Perpixel Photography
Polaroid Photobooth station at La Venta Inn
Since the bride wanted a relaxed, cozy atmosphere, I kindly asked if we can move one of the sofas and coffee table in the bridal room to the courtyard.  The guests loved the idea of taking pictures behind the beautiful water fountain as their backdrop.
Ceremony set up at the Viceroy
The venue itself had a modern, sophisticated decor so I really wanted to let the venue shine.  The flowers were kept to a minimum and we used three of their white high boys to put flowers on top.  We also took their outside lounge sofas inside the ballroom for guests to feel right at home.
Photo Credit: Hazelnut Photography

Candy Station at the Craven's Estate
Going along with this couple's book theme wedding (they met while studying together) the groom had purchased an old library catalog from his school. It catalog fit in perfectly in the Craven Estate's built in bookshelf and we filled the drawers with different colored jelly beans & candy.  Guests were also encouraged to write well wishes on "library cards" and place them in the drawers. Adding some flowers was a perfect touch, no? :)
Photo Credit: Heather Kincaid
Cake Table at the Heritage Museum
You would not believe where I found this white dresser from! Inside the women's restroom! Ha! I honestly didn't think they would allow our staff to move it but they said 'yes'! 

Cake Display at the DryBar
Again, we kindly asked if we can use their yellow side tables together
Escort Card display at the London, West Hollywood
As soon as I saw the gold trim mirror at the lobby, I knew this would be a perfect spot for the escort card table. Sparkles, floating candles and feather centerpiece? Yes, please!
OK. What if the venue isn't flexible or doesn't provide anything except the space? This is when you want to start looking into adding rental pieces that would make a statement...

Part 2 is coming up! Stay tuned! I'll be covering draping, lighting, linens and other rentals.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Some of my favorite fashion blogs

What? Is Esther blogging about fashion? If you have been following our blog for a while, you know I rarely talk anything related to everyday fashion or beauty tips. Today, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite fashion blogs I stalk. I seriously have a girl crush on these ladies and you'll see the reason why.
If you haven't heard of Wendy' lookbook yet, you're totally missing out! I'm sure you'll find her pairings very inspirational especially for this year's fall season. Please head over to her blog & her AMAZING youtube videos and you'll instantly be stalking her videos just like me! :)
Via Wendy's Lookbook
 Another awesome blog I follow is Jean from Extra Petite.  Her blog is more geared towards petite sized working women and I find her blog extremely helpful since she lists all the clothing/accessories/shoes that are on sale. Who would have thought this black cocktail dress she's wearing is from H&M?
via Extra Petite
 I also absolutely adore Kendi from Kendi Everyday. I love that her style posts are both relatable and affordable!
via Kendi Everyday
 If you're looking for perfect outfits for your e-session, why not browse through these blogs and get some inspirations before the shoot?  Any pregger fashion blogs I should be checking out? ;) Can't believe in a few weeks, I'll be starting my 3rd trimester!