Allure: 16th and 17th Week in Review

Something is in the wedding water around here!  This past week, I received more inquiries, and had more meetings with vendors and couples than I have in the past two months!  I'm excited to share some developments and I can't wait to start working on these new weddings and keep you updated along the way! 1.  Jonathan Moore Photography.  Jonathan is an LA based photographer that works in the Bay Area often and shoots destination weddings anywhere.  In a six-degrees-of-separation kind of way that I love, he got in touch with me after finding out what I do from his old college buddy, my brother.  Jonathan and I met for coffee (with Joey in tow) and chatted about the industry, our styles, and our shared commitment to marriage equality.  I like Jonathan, and I hope to work with him this year.  Check him out!  Below is one of my favorite photos from one of Jonathan's 'Beloved' sessions.  2.  BoLee Bridal in Sunnyvale.  I visited BoLee with my friend Elizabeth Chang, of Skyla Arts.  I often get asked by brides for suggestions of bridal boutiques, and I have a couple go-to answers, but I definitely need more in my rolodex (head).  BoLee is located in the heart of Sunnyvale, about ten minutes away from downtown Mountain View.  It's in an unassuming strip mall, and the building masks the store's glamorous interior and gorgeous inventory of sample dresses.  I am happy to have a new store on my short list, and I look forward to working with Bo, the owner, on future events and promotions.  3.  Allure's new blogger!  Did you read my post Wednesday?  I'm thrilled to announce that starting Friday, June 1, Abigail Rutkowski of Wedding Row California will be guest posting on the Allure blog.  Abigail will be bringing the pretty now that Kaella's inspiring stint has ended.  I can't wait to see what kind of creative and unique inspiration boards Abigail has in store for us!

4.  Cupcake Tasting.  This week, I had a pleasant task on my to-do list:  Meet with Ashley at Frost Cupcake Factory for a client cupcake tasting.  I tried 4 different versions of a lemon cupcake, took copious notes and made executive decisions.  It's a tough job, y'all.  Frost is my very favorite local bakery, I'm always happy when business or pleasure brings me into the store, and of course I'm thrilled when my clients choose Frost for their wedding.  I like to do quality control during that time between hiring Frost and the wedding day.  I take my job very seriously. 5.  Client meeting at Tartine in SF.  Speaking of baked-goods-as-job-hazard...I met with one of my brides last week while her mom was in town.  The three of us met at the delectable, world famous, stupidly crowded Tartine Bakery in the mission district of SF.  I enjoyed an AMAZING gruyere croissant and mocha while we discussed wedding details.  One item on the agenda was favors.  I don't love wedding favors, I love trying to come up with creative, fun ones for weddings I plan, but I don't love them as an overall wedding tradition.  I think there are far more 'important' things to spend money on when planning a wedding, and I like to find other cool ways to make the event personal for the couple and memorable for the guests.  I do, however, like the idea of a charitable donation in place of a favor for each guest.  This is what we were discussing at Tartine.  My clients are making a small donation in the name of each of their guests (which amounts to a nice donation!) in place of buying a favor for everyone.  We are going to place a small placard at each place setting describing the gift and it's significance will be inherent.  Just discussing this element of the wedding was emotional for my bride and her mom.  I'm so glad they were able to find a nice way to honor loved ones at the wedding reception, I know it will have an impact.

That's it for now!  I have proposals to draft!

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!

Allure: 5th Week in Review

This week has been so busy; I feel like I barely have time to draft this post!  When it rains, it pours...true for work and 'real' life, I guess! Here's a little of what I've been up to this week:

1.  Big Day of Meetings:  On Saturday, my clients from LA came up for a visit and we were a wedding planning A-Team!  We met with Shawna Futagaki of Flower Divas, Kalani Germono for a hair and makeup trial, Gavin Farrington for a photography consultation, and then had a cupcake tasting and planning session at Frost Cupcake Factory in Downtown Campbell.  (Black Velvet = best cupcake ever!)  We got so much accomplished in the wedding-planning-department and had a ton of fun getting it done!  After a long day...I felt really great.  Confident, energized and grateful...it's a nice feeling! One of my favorite engagement shots by Gavin.  Look at that light!

2.  Pinterest!  I am always on the look out for inspiration to add to my Pinterest boards...Pinterest is now pivotal to my job as a wedding planner, and I'm addicted personally as well.  This week, I have posted a ton of pictures w notes for several clients.  My boards serve as a reference when I am talking to vendors, brainstorming design ideas, and planning styled shoots.  Kaella and I LOVE Pinterest.  I'm planning on posting specifically on Pinterest later...but for now, check out my boards and follow me if you want!  I'll see you out there, pinners!  (Tidbit: I coordinated Ben Silbermann's wedding, one of the brilliant founders of Pinterest!  Learn more about Ben and Pinterest here!)

3.  Allure on the Inspired Guide on Engaged & Inspired!  Check out our listing...we are in great company!

Now...on to the Oscars!  If the cable guy makes it out in time to fix our dish...womp womp...

 

 

Allure: 4th Week in Review

Hi!  I hope you all had a fabulous Valentine's week!  I'm a teensy bit glad it's over, actually.  Spring is on the way!  I am really excited about some goings-ons in the next few weeks...Kaella and I have been working on a fun, new project and as details fall into place (and by 'fall', I mean 'get handled by experts--us!'), I am giddy like a school girl with a secret! Here are a few highlights from this last week:

1.  Swedenborgian Church.  I visited the church on Saturday to meet the new events manager, Jenny Son.  We talked about the church's rich history, and it's renewed commitment to LGBT weddings and marriage equality.  We also discussed an upcoming collaboration...more on that later!

Images courtesy of Jere Visalli Photographics and Discovery Bay Studios

I coordinated a wedding at Swedenborgian last September and it was beautiful.  I love the space...it feels warm and intimate, and you can feel the history when you walk in.  It is a pleasure to work there and I hope to many more times!

2.  Our video!  Front page news, people!  On the Allure Home Page, check me out!  I shot this a few months ago with Martin Rossetti of Fill in the Blank Media.  I wanted to put something on the site so that visitors could get to know me a little, and to find out what makes Allure different than other wedding planning companies.  There are plenty out there now and I believe that our training (Cal State Wedding Planning Certification Program), our many years of experience and our commitment to marriage equality do make us stand out.  My goal was to get that across in 45 seconds.  I'm proud of the video and I'm so happy to see it on the site.  Thank you, Martin!

3.  This week I've been doing a lot of planning for my clients K and AJ.  I was hired to do 'Full Planning' for them and they live in LA, so I have been researching, referring and booking vendors this past week...we have a busy Saturday next weekend when K and AJ come up to visit.  4 meetings:  florist, photographer, hair stylist, baker.  Candlestick maker!  Just kidding, but if I needed to find a candlestick maker, I would, no problem!

A week in the life of a wedding planner.  Lots of time on the computer, lots of coffee, lots of phone tag, more cupcakes than other professions (job hazard), sifting through pretty pictures, sending thank you notes, tweeting, blogging, linking, quickbooking, filing, researching, attending fun meet-ups, and shopping for deals on vases and containers...at least that's what this wedding planner did in a week!  The work never ends.  I wouldn't have it any other way! P.S.   Promotions! Facebook

Wedding Wire

Yelp

    

Allure: Week in Review!

Hiya!  Happy Sunday!  Today I am going to post about this week.  And every Sunday, I am going to do the same thing--an Allure recap of sorts.  The 2012 ball is rolling now and as we start working, I'd like to share our adventures!  Each week is different, that's why I love this job.  A post at the end of the week will be a chance for me to reflect on the work done and recharge for the work ahead.  I envision the posts will be about where we were, who we met, what's inspiring us, and what weddings we are currently working on.  I'm looking forward to sharing!

This Week in Review: 1.  Cake Plate in downtown Napa.  Kaella and I met Paige Smith at The Lab Event on January 14th.  We totally hit it off and planned a visit to see Paige at her gorgeous clothing and accessory store in Napa.  We aren't exactly sure how we will collaborate, but all parties involved hope we do soon!  We'll start the brainstorming off with the fabulous private "shopping parties" that Cake Plate has been known to throw.  Shopping...engagement parties...brides...there's gotta be something in there, right?

2.  Calistoga Ranch.  Allure has been on Calistoga Ranch's preferred vendor list now for a few years, I'm proud to say.  I have planned weddings there before, with Michelle Martinez (the owner of Allure), and I very much look forward to working there again in 2012.  It was really fun to head back up to the resort with Kaella to meet with Mike Moran, the director of sales and marketing there.  The property is simply gorgeous.  The experience of staying at Calistoga Ranch, or having a wedding there, is one of pure luxury -- nestled in wild, beautiful nature.  When I win the lottery, I will definitely book a personal stay.  Until then, I will work for clients getting married there.  And very happily! check out this wine cave--dinner reception inside!!

3.  The Clement Monterey.  Kaella and I drove out to Cannery Row the day after our wine country trip to Napa and Calistoga.  Lots of driving in two days, but totally worth it.  We went to the Clement to visit Nicole Lisane, the new catering sales manager there and old friend of Allure's.  She isn't old, of course!  She and Michelle have been friends for many years and along with 3 other wedding planners in SF, called themselves the Fab 5.  Nicole showed us the hotel and Kaella and I briefly discussed moving in.  (It could never work, how would our husbands eat dinner?)  Right in the heart of one of my favorite little towns, Monterey, this hotel is new and pristine and it smells like a beach and there are fireplaces everywhere and they give you fresh chocolate truffles just for walking through.  I fell in love with it.  And with Nicole!  She was so gracious to take time out and show us around...and Allure is on the Clement's preferred vendors list too...very exciting!

Hope you enjoyed our first Week in Review!  I enjoyed writing it.  I can't promise every post will be this long, but this was a big week for us!  And it's fitting that I would start this new installment after a big week!

In other news--I am almost finished unpacking and I don't need my gps to find my house anymore.  Next week will be filled with lots of research, inspiration hunting and referrals for my newest clients, Kate and AJ.  I'll keep you posted! (Literally.)

photo from calistogaranch.com