Spectacular Spring Party

I didn’t have a baby shower so I took a Southern Tradition and brought it to Southern California.  Sip & See’s were used to present the newest member of a family to their family and friends.  I felt this was extremely appropriate because it was my second baby and I’m from Texas!

We held this amazing party at a neighborhood park in Camarillo, Calffornia and invited our closest friends to the event (our family is out-of-state).  I love tiffany blue (that’s why my company logo has this color!) and thought it was a cute color for a 2 month old baby boy.  I wanted it to be fun and sweet!  Spring influenced the design because spring is so bright and relaxing.  We had everyone bring their own picnic blankets and sip some tea and have little sweet treats to help us welcome our new baby boy.

Design & Style and Cake Pops: An Enlightened Event, Photography: Whitney Hartmann Photography, Brownies & Macarons: Petite Reve Chocolates, Cupcakes: Sugar Bear’s Cupcake Shack, Tea Bags: Etsy, Rentals: Ventura Rental Party Center

*Visit our new blog at www.anenlightenedevent.com/blog

This post is part of the Spectacular Spring Party contest sponsored by GigMasters. To find out how to enter, visit the Life of the Party.

February 17, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Where Have We Been?!

We have been working hard on coordinating events and weddings.  We had such an awesome end to the year.  2012 has been busy for us!  We’ve been working on a new site and figuring out the best way to make the best of our blog.  Come back soon and you’ll see some awesome new changes in the coming weeks.

February 17, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Wedding Alternatives

It’s been a while since my last post and my goal for a little while was to blog at least once a week.  Well, needless to say it’s been busy around here.  We welcomed our beautiful son on 25 April at 8:09 p.m.  He was a whopping 7 pounds 9 oz and was 20 1/4 inches long.  He’s adorable and his big sister Anabel LOVES him to pieces.  Check out the newborn pictures by Daniele Rose Photographyhttp://danielerose.myshowit.com/alexandershow/index.html.  I know you’ll love the pictures as much as I do.

Anyway…I came across a unique idea for a guest book at your wedding (or any event).  Some people like the traditional books where people write their names and something nice.  But do you EVER go back and re-read everything?  When I sign a guest book, I get a little intimidated by ALL THAT SPACE and think to myself “What can I write that’s witty and sweet so they’ll remember what I said?”  So, when I saw these puzzle guest books, I thought “what a fantastic idea!”  Not only is it unique but it can displayed and looked at all the time.  The puzzle guest books are totally fun.  Check out some on Etsy!

Tree Guestbook by BellaPuzzlesToo.  How does it work?  Your guests take a piece of the puzzle and write on it!  It’s so simple and awesome.  🙂

Want a more customized guest book?  Try CustomDogBandanas!

These are a little pricey but hey, at least you’ll treasure it and look at it more than once!  🙂

May 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Wedding. Leave a comment.

Bridal Party Gifts

Some of my friends call me the coupon queen because I love using coupons when I make purchases.  Why not save 20% or an extra $1?  It all adds up in the end.  For every bride I work with, there is a budget.  Budgets are as low as $10,000 or can be as high as a couple can (or cannot) afford.  No matter what the budget, a couple with a $10,000 budget should still be able to have as beautiful of a wedding as a couple with an unlimited budget.

Earlier this week, I shared caterbid.com with you.  Then there was the time saving tool for preparing your seating chart for your reception.  Although it may not have saved money, it did save time and time is money.  🙂

One of the categories for a wedding budget is a gift for each person in the bridal party.  Although these aren’t required, it is a way to show your appreciation.  This is where couples can get into trouble because they usually want to have personalized gifts that have meaning.  The problem?  It can be expensive!  My advice?  Wait for a great sale.  Sure you could be pushing it to the last minute but who says you can’t give the gift after the wedding?  (*shock*)  Seriously, you have enough things to worry about and your bridal party should understand that you may not have had time to do some shopping.  Besides, should your bridal party be expecting a gift anyway?! 

www.weddingchicks.com is having a 50% off sale in their shop if you use discount code unclesam.  If you spend $100 or more, you get FREE shipping!  Double deals!  Love it when this happens!

www.tinyprints.com offers customized cards that you can print for your bridal party to thank them for being a part of your special day.  Cards can start as little as $1.99.

www.theknot.com always has a sales section so check out what they have.

www.etsy.com is a great way to get unique handmade gifts for your bridesmaids, especially since they all have different personalities.  And you know what?  If you contact the owners of the etsy shops that you like, they may be able to give you a discount if you order more than one thing from their shop.  It doesn’t hurt to ask!  Worse thing that could happen is that they say “no, I can’t do that”.  I’ve gotten many deals working with these owners.

Clutches by Oatmeal Lace Designs

Although this isn’t directly related to bridal party gifts, another way to save money is to see if vendors are available last minute.  Yes, that can be stressful but let me give you an example.  Let’s say you want a photo booth at your wedding but you don’t have $1,500 in your budget to pay for a photo booth.  Why not wait until closer to your wedding date and see if the vendor has a booth available at a discounted rate.  A lot of times vendors who have these type of items want to rent it out rather than have it sit in storage.  They could potentially give you MAJOR savings!  Again, ask and the worse that could happen is they say “no, sorry”. 

One more tip and then I’m done.  Consider not having champagne at your wedding.  Most guests use whatever glass with whatever liquid to lift for the toast.  This could save money and save a lot of waste!

Of course, I’m not advocating for you to wait until the last minute to do your planning…only do this if it’s a “nice to have” item.  🙂

Happy saving!

April 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Wedding. Leave a comment.

Seat Assignments

We all know how difficult it can be to create seating assignments at a wedding.  I’ve used sticky notes, I’ve used Microsoft Visio, and even Microsoft PowerPoint!  Out of these three things that I’ve tried, I’d have to say that sticky notes were the “easiest” to use…until I stumbled across WeddingMapper.com.  They have an interactive seating chart that you can use to easily create your reception place and make tables!  The only hard part may be to figure out the dimensions of the reception venue BUT if you have a good catering manager/food & beverage manager at the venue, they should be able to provide that information for you.

Here is a screen print I took while using their demo.  You select the table shape (circle or square) and then a handy window pops up asking how many people can be seated at the table (the average is 10 people for a round).  Then it creates the table for you!  You can drag people from your guest list over to the table and move their guests with the name (as shown below).  How much easier can this get?!

Take a look at it when you have some time.  I think it’s a great tool and it could make your seating assignment task a lot easier.  🙂  Happy seat assigning!

April 4, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Venue, Wedding. Leave a comment.

Rain Rain DON’T Go Away!

A few years ago I purchased a pair of rain boots and my husband teased me because “it doesn’t rain enough in Southern California!”  Well, I was able to wear my rain boots A LOT this year and it was so much fun!  I heard on NPR.org this morning that we had 19″ of rain which was an increase of 143% from the previous year.  The investment in my rain boots was well worth it.

Well, it’s definitely NOT raining today in Ventura County (beautiful, sunny, and a scorching 81 degrees!) but I saw this post on Wedding Wire’s blog and thought it was so adorable!  Rain can make beautiful pictures and add some spunk to your wedding day.  How adorable would it be to have bright colored polka dot rain boots that matched your wedding colors?  I know they aren’t the beautiful Jimmy Choo shoes you wanted to dance your first dance in but rain boots will make wonderful memories and wedding pictures that pop with color! 

Adding umbrellas with patterns is definitely a new level of fun at a wedding and it doesn’t even have to be for a rainy day.  Umbrellas, as you all know, are great for blocking out the sun.

Etsy has some super cute umbrella inspired items.  Check it out!

Don’t let rain bring you down on your special day…take advantage it!

picture from Wedding Wire's Blog

April 1, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Wedding. Leave a comment.

Save On Catering

I attended a fantastic webinar yesterday morning put on by the National Association of Catering Executives.  The speaker gave all the attendees a fantastic tip on saving on catering costs.  There’s a website called CaterBid.com.  You submit an event and local caterers submit bids that fit within your budget!  How awesome is that?  It’s quick and super easy.  You have the option to set the timeline of how long you’ll accept bids from 14 days to 90 days!

I submitted a couple of events (total time – 10 minutes) that are coming up and there appears to be high quality caterers that are bidding on catering the event.  This could save THOUSANDS for your wedding or event!  You can be as specific as you want in your bidding process and your personal information is not shown.  Other caterers can see what each have offered to you for your event which makes it even more competitive.  Give it a try!  www.caterbid.com

March 30, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Good Things

The last couple of weeks has been great!  We were able to help the Friends of the Fredeen Family raise $4,900 during the Praying for Nina Fundraising event.  How exciting is that?!?!  I hope this money helps the family.

I also booked 2 fall weddings – Laurel & Larry who will be getting married in August and Crystal & Danny who will be tying the knot in October.  I am so very lucky these couples have chosen me to oversee one of the most important days of their lives!  I’m crossing my fingers on booking another wedding for September.  I LOVE wedding season!

So I’ve been looking at my business lately and I’ve been wondering if I’m branding it correctly.  I have no idea!  I feel like my logo needs a facelift but I don’t really know exactly what I’m looking for.  Branding is so incredibly expensive but as one wise friend and colleague of mine stated “you only have to pay for it once”.

Today I attended a Rebranding and Reinventing Your Business webinar through NACE and the guest speaker is a videographer/filmmaker.  It motivated me to try to make a video to promote my business.  Of course, I don’t have the professional skills or equipment to make an awesome movie but I did take a stab at it.  What do you think?!

I’m looking forward to possibly being in a bridal show this August.  More details to come!

March 23, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Sip & See

It all started with my friend Whitney from Whitney Hartmann Photography who was looking to photograph a baby shower.  I didn’t have a baby shower planned but I wanted to help her out so I offered to create a mock baby shower.  She asked me why I didn’t just plan a real baby shower for myself.  I said I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to invite people to a baby shower – basically saying, I’m having a baby, buy me a gift (…please).  So as we continued to talk about the photoshoot, she had a brilliant idea.  “Why not have a Sip & See?  That’s a REAL event and parents throw the party.”  I was confused and had no idea what this was.  She explained that it was a Meet & Greet.  People want to meet the baby and parents do this to show off their baby.  WHAT A FANTASTIC IDEA!  So, now I’m planning a Sip & See and I have my inspiration board put together.  Of course, we’re so far out (4 months) so I’m sure my ideas will change but at least I have a starting point.  Inspiration boards are allowed to change.  🙂

Inspiration Board for Sip & See

I know where I want to rent/buy all of the items for the Meet & Greet.  Who better to get the items from than my trusted vendors?!  So, be on the lookout for some orders Petite Reve Chocolates/Petite Reve Cafe, Dream Maker Floral, Ventura Rental Party Center, La Tavola Linens, Tiny Prints, and some of my favorite shops on Etsy.  Super excited!!!

February 11, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Celebrations. Leave a comment.

Praying for Nina Benefit Weekend

I’ve been busy planning the fundraising event in Santa Barbara for wonderful Nina.  If you’ve missed previous posts about this event, you should visit the event website.  We’re getting awesome sponsors for the event and I really believe this is going to be a fantastic event!  Now that we have the word out about this great cause, we’re in the decoration planning stages.  The benefit dinner is a black tie event at Glen Annie Golf Club and some ideas I have for the tables are:

  • SpongeBob table names (Nina loves SpongeBob)
  • Strawberry colored linens since it’s a mixture of pink and red (Nina’s current favorite color is red and previous color included pink).  Looking forward to seeing what La Tavola can offer.
  • Would love to have local florists or crafty people make the centerpieces that we can auction off.  We just need to find some florists to donate the flowers.  I’ve made contact with Big Secret Website to do engraving of some vases to be used for the centerpieces.  I’ve asked them to quote me on engraving “Praying for Nina” with a picture of Nina on the vase.
  • Going to contact Ventura Jazz Orchestra to see if they’d be available to entertain everyone at the dinner with their musical talents.  I had the pleasure of meeting one of the singers a couple of weeks ago.
  • Need to find a local framer who will frame Nina’s artwork to be auctioned off during the live auction.

I’d like to take some time to thank the Auction Sponsors:

Sandi Holder’s Doll Attic
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Zen Spa
Daniele Rose Photography
Whitney Hartmann Photography
Segway of Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Janice Seibert
Urban Optics Optometric Center
Holly Richard
Emily Hart-Roberts Photography
Jennifer Kennedy
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Delish Organic
McVeigh Massage

A special thank you to the following sponsors as well:

Diamond Level Sponsors
Austin and Dara Photogaphy

Platinum Level Sponsors
SB Parent

Gold Level Sponsors
Mission Tuxedos
Glen Annie Golf Club
Cordon Wine

Silver Level Sponsors
Peter Duffy, Jr. of Photon Concepts
Ruben Reye of Pueblo del Rey Funeral Services
Barry Sweet Auctioneers

This fundraising event is open to the general public.  To purchase tickets to the event, please visit the event website.

More to come…

February 11, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Charity. Leave a comment.

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