besties & bubbly: NYE party inspiration

Going "out" for New Year's Eve is so 2015. The older I get, the more I simply desire staying in or spending the evening with a few close friends. All of that in mind as we creep into the end of 2017, I felt inspired to create a girls' holiday/NYE shoot. Because I'm obsessed with SF, I wanted the venue to be based there and somewhere niche that felt like every girls' safe haven. Somewhere that lived and breathed "city sleek." Enter, Wine Down in SOMA!

As we're all probably aware by now, metallics and velvets are taking over the fashion world for the fall and winter months, so that was where my initial inspiration came in.  I wanted to play off the natural textures inside the bar, particularly the wood. There is something so inviting and warm about it. I decided to go with a bare tablescape, paired with a sleek black and gold runner from Lavish SF to keep things clean. My amazing friend and vendor, Angie of Chairs and Cups helped me conceptualize the perfect plateware/stemware set to make everything flow cohesively with the colors we had chosen. The best part was accenting this table with mercury votives, wooden antlers, and other odds and ends I sourced from Eileen (owner of Lost + Found Vintage Rentals). 

I hope this shoot inspires anyone planning a party to not be intimidated to go BIG on the details. I think that a tablescape that is well-thought out is one of the most important pieces of planning a perfect party. I really wanted to incorporate something that would make the table pop (but not in a gaudy way) and working with Angie (owner of Bobo Design Studio) was a dream. She came up with those gorgeous diamond-cut personalized name cards for each of the guests. 

ProTip:  always incorporate some type of interactive activity for the guests. In this case, I wanted it to to be DIY-related. I've worked with the amazing Keegan (owner of Petal Atelier) for over a year now, collaborating on different projects, and she knew exactly the route I was wanting to go down. She suggested a DIY floral wreath station. I wanted the aesthetic to be neutral enough where it didn't scream Christmas at you, so we went with very earthy florals and greenery for these wreaths. The girls had an amazing time using the tools and creating some fun wreaths to take home. PS: How stunning are those bigger bouquets with strawberries, pomegranates, and anemones?! We were jaw dropped at their beauty. 

Then came the cake! Rachel (owner of Bay Cakes Design) came up with a perfect mini cake to round out the party. I knew I wanted black and I have admired her work for a while now, but she blew me out of the water with the detail she added with the sugar flowers on top of it. Sitting it on top of Lost + Found Vintage's bar cart with my felt board was one of the most inviting vignettes of this shoot.

Finally, it was MY job to do all the wardrobe styling for this shoot which was very fun for me. I wanted to go with jewel tones, metallics, and subtle dramatic additions of fur and velvet.  Huge shoutout to Sunshine Shannon for capturing all this goodness! Peep the gallery below and the whole vendor team under that! Happy New Year babes <3

Vendor List:

Creative Direction/ Planning/ Styling: Naseem Events 

Wardrobe Styling: Naseem Events (Anthropologie and Madewell // Jewelry: Kendra Scott) 

Venue: Wine Down SF

Photographer: Sunshine Shannon

Florist: Petal Atelier

MUAH: Imagi by Fiona

Diamond cut name place cards: Bobo Design Studio

Cake: Bay Cakes Design

Invitation and Signage: Caffeineated Letters

Runner and confetti poppers: Lavish SF

Plateware/stemware/glassware: Chairs and Cups

Video: Elmira Saalabi  

Bar cart, pillows, votives, and wood antlers: Lost + Found Vintage Rentals

speakeasy-themed holiday party

Oh how I love Christmas time! There is so much joy everywhere you go, cozy crisp air, bright lights, and a festive sense of community. Best of all, HOLIDAY PARTIES! :) Since I'm lucky enough to also work on staff at my church, Awakening, I look forward to Christmas time because that means I get to plan our leaders' party in appreciation of everyone who volunteers throughout the year!

Since we meet at a high school, we decided to keep things simple this year and hold the party in the school's cafeteria. There came the challenge in that I wanted to completely transform the space. We landed on a speakeasy-theme; a way to transport guests back in time and to create an underground feel of a vibe. The trick to achieving this was honestly mostly the lighting and draping. 

This party was super simple and I encourage anyone planning to remember to come up with a few key elements to highlight your party; you don't need to break the bank to take your guests somewhere magical! I hired a jazz band, catered some light bites, and had Scoop n Stick do an ice cream pop-up stand which was a huge hit. Our photo booth ended up being one of the more popular parts of the night too so I definitely suggest having something interactive like that if your party is more of a mingling affair.

Little touches like our 20's-inspired centerpieces, "champagne bubble-inspired" balloons, and beautiful signage (thanks to Britni and Jess of Caffeinated Letters) rounded out the evening. Thank you Yasmin Roohi for capturing these! Another amazing night that I was so lucky to not only plan and host but MC too! 

holly, jolly holiday parties

Ahh the holidays! I love Christmastime SO much. It's crazy to see how quickly it came upon us this year -- but I'm not complaining! I absolutely love the crisp air, rosemary garnishes everywhere, and the warm winter colors. I had the privilege of working with my home church, Awakening last weekend to help bring to life our vision for our annual Christmas party. My favorite part was that we held it at this amazing warehouse venue in downtown SJ, Forager Tasting Room-- that brick wall in the back?! Swoon! We had an indoor gelato cart, photo booth, dance floor, raffle, and of course - drinks & light bites. I decided to go a more minimal route with the table centerpieces and went with long wreathy garlands (save a buck or two and get these from Trader Joe's) that I cut into shorter pieces, and then added texture with candles and ornaments. Who says ornaments only belong on the tree?!

It was such a fun time for all of us:) Thanks to the talented Oh.Pictures for taking these photos,  Cafe Primavera for catering, and my amazing friend/ planning parter Kathryn for helping make all of this come together so seamlessly.