New Allure Addition

Hi Everyone!  I am proud to announce the arrival of Thomas James Matthews, my second son.  I thought I had the entire month of May to tie up loose ends for weddings later this year and to prepare for my maternity leave, but Tom decided to show up a little early!  He was born on May 16 and we are both doing well.  I've been juggling work and family these last two weeks and now I am excited to take the rest of June off for my leave!  I will be going off-line for the month and will be back at work on the rest of my 2013 weddings starting July 1.

photos by Meg Perotti

Allure: 8th Week in Review

This was a very productive week!  I spent the rainy days inside working, or at coffee shops working, or on Pinterest 'working' when I needed a break from the work!  Let's start with Pinterest...

1. Pinterest.  I Love Pinterest.  It's an online personal organiztion tool, it's a website to collect pictures with links of things you love, it's fashion, blogs you like to visit, home decor, project ideas, recipes, how-to's...whatever you want to 'pin' onto your 'boards', you do!  For wedding planning/inspiration/DIY it's a daily go-to.  I have boards for current clients, and I show prospective clients my Weddings of My Beautiful Clients board at every first meeting.  Pinterest is time-consuming because it is addictive, not because it is hard to figure out.  And it's time saving, because I don't need to bring individual portfolios to meetings to show clients.  I can do a lot of research and collecting on Pinterest, then send my clients the link to their board.  If you are anything like me, you have had a large spiral notebook at some point in your life, filled with pages torn out of magazines---inspirational sayings and articles, pretty pictures, lists of random ideas or goals...my pinterest account is that beat up spiral notebook.  Except way more organized and less likely to get lost.

2.  New promotional video.  This week, I shot the interview part of the short video my friend Sean Basaman is producing for me.  (Sean Basaman's business website is under construction--but here's a link to his wedding that I planned!)  Sean is an excellent producer and director.  He has been the field producer for Dancing with the Stars, so he knew how to work with a diva like me.  Just kidding.  He didn't know.  Kidding!  I'm not a diva.  Really.  Anyway, we are doing this video to share my commitment to gay rights and marriage equality.  It's a commitment Sean and I share and one that is very important to Allure's mission as a small business.  Shooting the interview was really fun, and I can't wait to share the final product!  It's a project that is also tied into the styled shoot Kaella and I are doing next week with Meg Perotti.  Hint hint...!
Allure Video.1
Here's the first video I did for Allure.  On my youtube channel.

3.  2012 Weddings.  This past week, I booked a few weddings and spent time organizing as I prep to start the actual planning work.  Like I've said before...it feels like a lot more work to get weddings than to do weddings sometimes.  I'm about to start a lot more doing!  Here are a few of the venues I'll be working at this year...Rengstorff House in Mountain View, Fort Mason in San Francisco (pic below), St Gregory's and the Presidio Social Club in San Francisco, and the Marin Art and Garden Center.  And in two weeks, I'll be at Tilden Park in Berkeley to help set up a reception for dear friends!

      Gotta go!  I have work to do!

Allure: 6th Week in Review

This week flew by!  I can't even believe it is March already!  I was busy with lots of following up, lots of flower and vintage inspiration research and LOTS of proposal drafting. I sent them out like a mama bird pushes her babies out of the nest...I hope that some of them come back to me! Here's a little of what kept this wedding planning mama busy this week:

1.  Flowers Flowers Flowers:  I feel like I am up to my eyes in flowers right now.  Working on the design concepts for two of my couples now, I am constantly adding flowers and information to my lists and pinboards.  Also, I am helping a friend out with the flowers for her wedding at the end of this month and this week the basic plan for this friend-job changed drastically.  I was juggling ideas, research, contact, and budget for these flowers and I learned so much in the process.  I also met a new vendor friend!  Yo, from Array of Flowers, was an amazing contact to make.  His tiny shop is literally across the street from my house and he creates beautiful arrangements in addiction to selling wholesale flowers to businesses like Allure.  I know I will be working with Yo on future projects (so knowledgeable, so helpful!).  And I will also be heading to Yo for my own flowers.  I'm going in today, actually!  I need some hydrangeas on my kitchen table stat.

2.  Office Hours.  I feel like I am working all the time...I have a 2 year old and I have a babysitter that comes once a week to help.  In the 4 hours that she is with Joey, I swear I do a full day's work.  The to-do list I have to catch up on by the time she gets here every week is daunting, to say the least.  Between my son, my husband, my house, my work...you know the rant...I have very little time for anything!  I love my wedding work, I love the business that I am able to have and still be a 'stay-at-home' mom, and I am proud of what I have going on.  But I am on my computer until 2am most nights and weekends don't mean anything anymore.  So I have decided to try to maintain a better balance.  I need to set boundaries for myself and for my clients.  If they see that I am emailing them a response at 2am, I'm afraid they will think I am always available to them, which just isn't possible.  (Or fair, or right, or sane!)  Every profession has 'office' hours in some respect, mine does too!  I just don't adhere to them because I think I can't justify having set office hours since I am working on things all day long...but not 'full time'.  I'm a full time mom, doing my best to do it all.  The only person who can always get a hold of me 'after hours' is Joey.  So, New Allure Hours: 8am-10pm, Monday-Saturday.  Ha!  See, I'm trying, ok?

3.  Styled Shoot!  Allure is teaming up with Kaella Lynn Events and Meg Perotti for a styled shoot.  My first one to produce and coordinate!  My first one to be a part of at all!  I'm super excited about this...Kaella and I have been teasing you for a while about our big 'project' coming up and this is it.  Details are still top secret, but I can tell you it is going to be bright and beautiful and inspiring.  Not just in the pretty details and fun ideas, but also in it's inherent message.  It's been a lot of work to come up with it and set it up, and Kaella is working hard on the styling and design.  I'm so happy with everyone involved.  I can't wait to do it (mid March) and I super duper can't wait to see the final product of Meg's!

Allure: 2nd Week in Review

I'm writing this weeks 'Week in Review' as the delicious smell of chorizo queso fills the room.  It's Super Bowl Sunday and we have traditions around here, folks!  My husband considers Super Bowl Sunday an important national holiday, and I consider it a day to eat lots and lots of bacon.  The party we'll be heading off to soon has an annual appetizer contest and 90% of the food entered in will have pork as the first ingredient.  My Quesizo will have to compete against (among others) my husband's famous spicy mac and cheese, homemade sausage stuffed jalapeno poppers, and the ever popular sausage-roll-wrapped-in-bacon-basted-in-it's-own-fat.  Disgusting, I know.  Please don't judge me.

While extremely interesting, Super Bowl Sunday is not actually what this post is about.  This post is my second Week in Review for Allure.  And we had another fabulous and productive week!  So here goes!

1. Baby's Breath.  This week, I was doing lots of research for my full-planning clients; getting married in September at the Rengstorff House.  I love this historic Victorian house venue...the ceremony and reception will be outside on tailored lawns and brick patios, and the land around the house is lush and wild and just beautiful.  I was thinking of some decor and floral ideas that would complement the natural setting and fit in with my client's wedding vision, and speak to their personal style.  I've always liked the way that baby's breath looks when it's bunched together tightly, so I started with that.  I loooove what I found and I sent a description of my preliminary plan (line the aisle with baby's breath on the grass, possibly use baby's breath to decorate the cake and escort card table) over to my clients and they jumped for joy and celebrated my brilliance over champagne and caviar!  (They talked about it and decided they liked the idea, and told me to proceed.)  Here's an example of what I am talking about.  I'll post pictures of my creation in September, of course!

Flowers by Heavenly BloomsI love this topic so much, I might just post more on it later!

2.  Kaella.  This week, Kaella (my assistant, mentoree, and friend!) had her second class at Cal State Hayward's Wedding Planner Certification Course.  She aced the quiz and will post about the class later this week!  This is the same certification course that Michelle Martinez and I both took, so we are so proud of Kaella and can't wait for her to be certified!

3.  Allure's first styled shoot.  I'm thrilled to announce that a special project is in the works for Allure right now.  We are planning our very first styled shoot.  Kaella and I are putting together the details right now and we'll shoot in late March.  I don't want to give too much away, but I will tell you that the reason I am so very excited about this is because we will be styling and shooting vingettes for a wedding with two grooms.  Another super exciting thing about this shoot?  Our friend Meg Perotti will be shooting it.  She is ridiculously talented--here's her site, you want to take a look, trust me!  Here's an example of a styled shoot that Kaella did last month with Edyta Szyszlo.  It was featured in Style Me Pretty! 

That's it for now!  I have to taste this queso...