2014!

Hello Lovelies!  Happy New Year!  I have taken a bit of time off…my last blog post was August!  2013 was a very busy year. I had my second son, Thomas James, in May, and planning weddings while being a full time mom to two was a whirlwind!  The holidays brought a much needed break, and now I am back to the office (during kids' naps and weekly set aside hours) and I'm thrilled to also be back online - blogging, pinning, tweeting and generally trying to keep up with the wedding industry's crazy social media scene.  On one hand, I feel like shouting, "I'm back!" from the proverbial rooftops.  On the other, I feel like I wasn't ever really gone.  Like all working moms, I have a lot of balls in the air and I'm just doing the best I can to keep juggling!

Later this week, I'll be posting an Allure wedding shot by Mary McHenry.  Here is a sneak peek of Joanna and Patrick's SF wedding:

This year, I am looking forward to planning weddings at the Fort Mason Center, the W Hotel and the Presidio in San Francisco.  So far, so good!  Keep up with me here:  Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Yelp.  Seriously, say hi!  Let's comment, share and link away in 2014-- together, we'll stay connected and stay inspired!

 

Photos above by Ashley Paige and Mary McHenry.  Click on the photo for the link!

Allure Wedding: Jaime and Reyna Celebrate in San Jose

Hi all!  Today, I am excited to announce that one of my Allure weddings from last fall is featured on a local wedding blog, The Lovely Bay! Reyna and Jamie tied the knot in grand style and I am so happy to share some of the beautiful photos here from Elo Photography.  The star of the evening was certainly Reyna (two dresses, two hair styles, one gorgeous smile!), but I think the centerpieces were a distant second!  Flower Divas created tall, glamorous, centerpieces filled with soft pinks and bling -- the effect was fairytale-like.

A talented team of vendors, friends, and family members all contributed to the big day and all the details came together to create a memorable and personal event.  Congratulations to Reyna and Jaime!

 

Allure: 12th Week in Review

Hi!  Happy Sunday!  I am actually working on this a little late this week.  I like to draft my posts on Friday or Saturday, but this week has been a whirlwind! 1.  St Francis Yacht Club.  I am working with a bride to plan her wedding this September at the St Francis Yacht Club in SF.  It's my first time to work at the venue and I am really excited!  She and I met up this week in the city to discuss everything--we started with the big picture and then got down to the details and logistics.  I'm busy pinning for this wedding now...check it out!  2.  Planning Planning Planning.  This job hinges on scheduling.  As a full time work-from-home mom, it's all in the planning...and the planning is 90% scheduling.  It's a juggling act, for sure.  Last week wasn't any busier than any other week, in fact it was fairly calm...but I was really busy setting my schedule for the next two weeks.  I have lots of weddings coming up and they all have different packages based on different proposals.  So my 'Month of Coordination' package differs from one wedding to the next.  In order to keep on top of it all, I have to plan ahead--my phone calendar is my lifeline for this job.  It automatically backs up to my google account, a feat that allows me to sleep at night!  I would be lost without my calendar.  Some days I have to put 'shower' or 'sleep' into it.  Those days are particularly hectic!  For now, I am scheduling a tasting with clients at the Presidio Social Club, several design meetings with a couple getting married at the General's Residence in Ft Mason, a trip to Napa for site visits, a rehearsal in Marin for a June wedding at the Marin Art and Garden Center, and a visit with my partner Michelle Martinez when she comes into town.  I thrive on busy...and I might need a few days with 'nap' on the calendar!

3.  Cupcakes!  My favorite cupcake shop is Frost Cupcake Factory in downtown Campbell.  I have clients getting married in September and we've already had a tasting there and put in a big order.  I like to visit from time to time (every week, sometimes twice a week) to do a little quality check...so far so good!  But I'll still check, wink wink.  My favorite cupcake is the toasted almond (pic below).  Now Frost is serving Peets espresso drinks, so I think I might have a new coffee-shop-to-work destination!  Yum!

More to come!  I'm excited to share my styled shoot, my new video, and my pictures and experiences from next week's Rengstorff House Unveiled Event!  I'll keep you posted.  Literally!

What We Do: Month of Wedding Coordination

Day of Wedding Coordination.  Month of Coordination.  Partial Planning, Full Planning, Custom Proposals and Agreements, Wedding Designer, Wedding Planner, Wedding Consultant...  What's what?! Allure is here to help.  Literally, that's the business of Allure...helping couples have amazing weddings, and doing the work so they can enjoy every second of them!

I don't believe in "Day of Wedding Coordination".  The whole concept is flawed...it sounds nice, but it's a unicorn as far as I'm concerned...not real.  Not possible.  Not a good idea.  To simply show up at a wedding and 'take over' is unrealistic.  I am getting anxious just thinking about how unprepared I would feel in that case.  Sure, I can direct vendors and I know the most basic timeline for the average wedding...but there would still be a lot of guess work involved.  And who wants an average wedding??  There are so many boxes that need to be checked in order for an event to run well and look effortless in the process.      If a planner is willing to show up on the day-of with little or no work before hand, those boxes are not getting checked, bottom line.  It's a risk to hire someone offering this service and I question that planner's training and experience if they are willing to take on a true "Day-of" job. What we do for you: Allure's "Month of Coordination" package is our version of the Day-of deal.  Allure specializes in Month-of packages, and custom drafts each proposal for each and every inquiring potential client.  The proposals start with this:  The Month-of Breakdown.  From here, we add in other services such as design assistance, vendor research and referrals, and production--which can all add up to a Partial or even Full Planning package.  We start working with you, at the very latest, 1 month before your wedding.  We take over at this point as the main vendor and venue contact, and act as a liaison between you and your wedding 'team' from this point forward.  40-50 hours on average go into a Month-of package on our end.  We create a full day-of schedule and do all the prep necessary to execute it on your wedding day.  Allure has been in business for 9 years; we have systems and templates in place so that our weddings are coordinated and come together in that last month to ensure a flawless day.

Here is what Bernadette of 14 Stories in NYC posted about Day-of/Month-of service.  Allure is recommended on her page of national wedding planners that specialize in Month of Wedding Coordination (and are educated in LGBT weddings).

Basically, Allure is an event planning firm.  I am a Certified Wedding Consultant.  I specialize in Month of Wedding packages.  I can be hired to plan your wedding from the very beginning of the planning process, to coordinate your wedding day, and to assist with design ideas and implementation.  I call myself a wedding planner, that term seems most recognizable and more all-encompassing than the others for what I do.

Hiring a wedding planner is a huge part of wedding planning.  A wedding planner can save a couple lots of money by negotiating with vendors and by working with vendors they know and trust.  A wedding planner is an expert in the industry--who to hire, and for what exactly, is an important decision for couples.  Here is an article from Sunday's Style section of the SF Chronicle--Allure is mentioned because we are professionals certified by the program featured.  Finding a planner that is experienced, professional, certified, connected and awesome to work with* may not be easy, but is absolutely worth it.  I'm not just saying that because I am a wedding planner!  I wish every couple could hire a "Month of" planner, I hate that it's often a cost-prohibitive decision.  It truly does make the process easier and more enjoyable.

* This is important.   I always tell couples inquiring about Allure that they should like (if not love!) their wedding planner.  We work so closely on such an important day, and the days leading up to it.  Being friends makes the whole thing a better deal for all of us!

 

 

 

A repost: Gay Weddings, an open love letter to my brother

This post was originally published on my dear friend Trisha Dean's blog.  I worked for Trisha Dean Events in 2011, TDE and Allure share a commitment to marriage equality.  This post is important to me and I wanted to share it again. An Open Love Letter to my Brother…

With Love, Christy

My dream career is to plan weddings for gay couples. I am a certified wedding planner, have been working in San Francisco for over 3 years, and got married myself in 2009. My brother, Alex, stood as a groomsman while our vows were exchanged and I know one day, I will stand up for my brother as he recites his own vows with his husband.

Here’s the thing: My brother is awesome. To know him is to love him. He is brilliant, ambitious, handsome, hilarious and loyal. He is the best person in the world to people–watch with. His sense of humor is wicked and no one makes me laugh more…or laughs with and at me more, which is a true delight in my life. I think he might rule the world one day.  Thing #2: He is gay. So in most of America, by law, he is not allowed by to get married and he is stared at if he so much as walks down the street holding hands with another man. Not to mention the myriad of civil liberties he is not afforded. I don’t want to rant about politics here, but you can see where I stand and where I am going with this. I love this man. He deserves to be happy the same way that everyone else does. While I continue to love planning straight weddings, I need to put out there that I also love the gay and lesbian community, I support gay MARRIAGE, and I would be living a personal dream if I were working for gay couples right there along with my beloved straight couples.

So…here is my mission for 2011 and the future: I will work tirelessly (and happily!) to create beautiful, personal events for my clients. I believe weddings are a heightened experience and we have so few of these elevated moments in our lives. I also believe everyone deserves to feel loved and supported as they make the monumental life decision to get married. I hope one day planning gay weddings will be as “normal” as planning straight weddings, especially out here in California. But that day is not now, and for now I want to learn how to reach out to the gay community, market to the gay community and better support them through my career as a wedding planner. I truly look up to Bernadette of14 Stories, who has created the first gay wedding planning firm. She is an inspiration to me and to the wedding industry overall.

I don’t just want to stand up next to my brother when he gets married one day.  I want to plan the wedding. I want to plan the wedding in a country that recognizes, accepts, and embraces love and marriage for all.

So catch up with me, America!**

**you know who you are

Photo source: Shaughn Photography

Allure in the Inspired Collective!

Hi Wednesday!  I am knee deep in the middle of moving this week and while I am sad to leave my beloved San Francisco, I am excited about our move to San Jose.  It will be a friendlier city for my two year old, and we will be living much closer to my husband's work, so it will be nice for our family.  I'm relocating both personally and professionally, so I have a lot on my plate right now, it's filled to the brim with exciting transitions!  I am ready to get Allure into the south bay fold while continuing to work in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area.  My first big step in San Jose was getting Allure in the Inspired Collective at Engaged and Inspired.  Done and done!  I'm thrilled to be a part of Allison Silber's collective and I can't wait to get to know the other wedding vendors in it. (A short list of some of the other vendors is below).   Also, I'm so happy to announce that Allure has a new logo (created by the amazing Kaella--see her intro post our blog) and that we will be part of the library of vendors at The Lab Event in Sonoma on January 14.  I'm not even officially living in San Jose yet, but Allure is all over the place! Let's do this 2012!

Some of my Inspired Collective peers!  Encarnacion Photography Fox and Fawn Bakehouse Huckleberry Karen Designs Over the Moon Vintage Rentals Josephine Harmon Fine Makeup Artistry I can't wait to get to know everyone!