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! 

white hot engagement party

Get ready to swoon. I had the pleasure of planning Natasha and Enrique's engagement party which took place last weekend at her parents' home in the gorgeous hills of San Carlos. Natasha and her sister Negisa have both been dear to my heart since we were teenagers, so when Natasha got engaged to Enrique I was ecstatic that her sister called me to help them plan their party! Natasha lives in Chicago so her sister and I tag teamed in dreaming up a white hot engagement party fit for their classy fam. 

It wasn't hard at all to beautify this home -- you can see from the photos just how gorgeous their family's home truly is. That spiral staircase for one. That VIEW. Anyways, Natasha is all about simplicity -- and I totally believe in "less is more," so we went with a fun backdrop for the bar, paired with classic vignettes around the deck. I decided to go with various white florals (added textures), accented with greenery and silver linens. I did the floral design personally and Rose Xpress Florals executed my vision perfectly!

Major props to my friend Yasmin Roohi Photo for capturing these stunning photos; it's always magic working together on projects! 

forest fête amidst redwoods and succulents

This late spring wedding celebrating the union of Nadia and Eddie was so special to me. This was Nadia's second wedding so the highlight for me was seeing her joy with her two daughters and how close the family of four had become. Not to mention her DRESS. She got it from Anthropologie and totally redid everything herself. Even the color lining to make it more bridal. She had a vision in mind and brought it to life perfectly.

Nadia and Eddie got married at Walden West in the hills of Saratoga. Total cabin in the woods vibes (not the horror movie lol). The couple absolutely loves the outdoors and hiking, so everything was centered around wood textures and greenery. You might know by now how much I love details, so it was a treat for me to work with Nadia on brainstorming how to make her venue pop -- from those gorgeous oak crossback chairs, to the table numbers named after trees, to the lawn games during cocktail hour. Her daughter is such an artist and created the corn hole and ring toss games all on her own. I loved how much the colors popped with the venue. Other notable mention are those centerpieces created entirely from scratch by Nadia's florist Marci Hayden of RockStone Gardens. Succulents galore! 

It was such a special evening. Something else that was a treat for me was getting to meet and work with Sunshine Shannon Photography  -- who is Nadia's coined "second daughter" :) How gorgeous are the photos she captured?! Enjoy. 

la la land-inspired proposal shoot

As soon as i saw "La La Land" I felt inspired. The whole film brought on so many emotions for a wedding creative; after all, one of the most iconic songs from the film was called, "Here's to the ones who dream." 

The vision for this styled shoot was heavily inspired by the film. The goal was to recreate an evening that transported the couple back to the film for her surprise proposal dinner. The groom had planned a proposal dinner for the two of them outside under the stars. We had the record playing on vinyl, bistro lights at sunset, and cocktails named after songs from the film.

The aesthetic goal in my design was to remain reminiscent of celestial skies and the playful improvisational vibes of jazz music. 

The most exciting part about this shoot was that Fire & Brilliance (ring company) was so ecstatic about this idea that they designed a new, custom ring inspired by the film as well to feature in the shoot wth us. Photos captured by my lovely friend, Yasmin Roohi Photography. 

Full vendor team below <3 

Full vendor team:

Styling/ Design/ Planning: Naseem Events

Photography: Yasmin Roohi

Florals: Blair Dugan Floral Design

Cake: JustBakeCause

Farm table:  Lost and Found Vintage Rentals

Ghost chairs and plate chargers: The Chiavari Guys

Table Linens: Party Crush Studio

Calligraphy: Inkcitra

Makeup/Hair: JirehArtistry

Models: Lucy and Sam

Ring: Fire and Brilliance

Ring Box: Mrs. Box  

botanical bliss // greenhouse styled shoot

There's something so calming about greenhouses. I always thought a wedding held within one would be so beautiful because the couple is coming together and growing into the next season of their lives, surrounded by botanical life which is constantly growing as well. It truly is love personified. And that's where this vision stemmed from - the venue! 

My vision with this styled shoot was creating an absolutely ethereal moment for the couple. I wanted to go with more neutral, earthy colors (deep reds, grey, lavender) that were more on the muted side so the true beauty of the venue itself (all that plant life!) could speak for itself. I didn't want to limit the scope of the concept by categorizing it under a specific season, but the colors and dress are definitely geared more towards the winter aesthetic. 

 I wanted to include some unique details, and one of my favorites was serving coffee in these vintage Turkish coffee cups and saucers that belonged to my great grandmother. That, paired with the romantic calligraphy decor incorporated really brought the entire look together. The entire day was simply magical. 

These stunning photos, both film and digital, are courtesy of my talented friend Yasmin Roohi Photography -- See our full vendor list under the gallery! 

Full vendor team: 
Styling/ Design/ Planning: Naseem Events
Photography: Yasmin Roohi Photography
Venue: Shelldance Orchid Gardens
Florals & Wreath: Petal Atelier
Rentals & linens: Chairs & Cups
Calligraphy: Danika.Ink
Makeup: Neda Abootorabi
Cake: JustBakeCause
Wedding dress, veil, accessories: Dean & Willow
Models: Sohrab Fatemi and Jessica Johnson 
Men's Suit and Shoes: Tuxedo Wearhouse
Hair: Nicole Jamora (One of a Kind Beauty)
Turkish Coffee Cups and Saucers: Naseem Events (personal collection)