a modern princess wedding at the SF palace hotel

Nicki and Greg’s wedding took place on September 1st, 2018 at the glorious Palace Hotel in SF. This wedding was EVERYTHING. The perfect mix of utter elegance, class, and a pinch of modern sprinkled in. Huge shout out to Greg Petersen for capturing these epic photos.

My favorite part? The fact that Nicki and Greg decided to eat dinner on their own in private while guests attended cocktail hour. They got all their portraits taken care of prior to the ceremony (thanks for first look) and opted to take the time for an intimate moment between the two of them before the party started. So special!

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! 

dessert table styling // winter mini shoot

December has been so busy for me in the best way possible. I managed to pack in planning 3 shoots simultaneously, and this one I'm sharing here is super special to me. It's always a treat to collaborate with friends in the creative sphere and I was stoked to work on this mini shoot with two of my favorites, Yasmin Roohi Photo and JustBakeCause to showcase Amanda's winter offerings. In styling the dessert table for her, I thought I'd share a few of my tips and tricks that helped me envision what I wanted the final product to look like:

1) Always start with a staple piece: When I go shopping to scout out pieces for shoots I always look until I find that one piece that I fall in love with. For this shoot, it was the antler-shaped gold tray. I absolutely loved this and thought it was the perfect embodiment of the holiday season. I based the rest of my decor off that piece and what would mesh well with it. 

2) Build upon textures: I knew I wanted most of my aesthetic to be gold (obvi), but I also didn't want it to look super regal or old-fashioned. I purposely mixed in more modern, earthy textures like the marble cake stand you see -- as well as the subtle pops of red in the holly and candles to balance everything out.

3) Less is more: I knew Amanda's desserts speak for themselves (no I don't just mean the taste); she is a true artist as you can see in the photos below. Because of that, I wanted to let the desserts speak for themselves which is why I went the more minimal approach with the colors and table decor. I wanted the focus to be on her work, with the decor as unique accents to highlight (i.e. acorns with the bells). 

Ok enjoy these beautiful photos and let me know what you think! What's your go-to for designing your holiday tablescape?

(Special shout out to my girl Neda for being on glam squad patrol for this shoot <3). 

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. 

elegant, outdoor winery wedding

On the blog this morning is one of my favorite weddings from this season. I had the honor of helping Shauna and John with their wedding this past September at one of my all-time favorite venues: the lovely Regale Winery in Los Gatos. The wedding was held the last week of September, yet the weather was well into the high 80's all the way through the ceremony and early evening cocktail hour. It was such a gorgeous day. The photos speak for themselves so I'll keep this short and sweet. Thanks to the talented Courtney of Photoflood Studio for capturing these images. See full vendor list below the photos! 

Photography: Photo Flood Studio

Florals: Petal Atelier

Venue: Regale Winery

Catering: Cafe Primavera

Planner: Naseem Events

fall inspo // styled shoot

While we in the Bay Area are currently stuck in the middle of Indian Summer at its finest, autumn is quickly upon us. When I think about color trends and inspiration for styling fall events and weddings, I really see shades of jade being prominent this year. There's just something so poignant about the color that makes everything pop. 

With this recent styled shoot I put together, my vision (that played out perfectly I might add!) was super boho, airy, and intimate. I love the freedom planners have with styled shoots because it's your chance to really showcase your own personal aesthetic and encapsulate your brand. 

Currently booking for fall weddings, photoshoot styling, holiday parties, and more. Please reach out. See below for all the amazing vendors I partnered with on this shoot. xx

DIY beer tasting & bbq

It's always fun to change things up and get creative in the events department. Last night I switched from wedding planning mode to birthdays after one of my closest friends asked me to throw her husband's 28th birthday party. First thought: a guys' birthday; how can I style this in the most manly way possible? Haha. What initially came to mind (and call me stereotypical if you will) was meat. Yes, meat. I'm very close with our fellow birthday boy too so I knew he'd appreciate a nice, meaty feast. So I went with a good old fashioned Southern BBQ theme for dinner, along with a beer tasting flight station to start the night off right. 

Putting together a DIY beer tasting flight is not as hard as one might think, and if anyone has ever wanted to style one, I wanted to give my top 3 tips/ suggestions for how to go about it:

1) Keep it simple: I wanted to keep the focus on the beers so I went with three types that I thought would be interesting to each palate. Lagunitas IPA, a Radler, and Chocolate Stout. Pro Tip: Trader Joe's personal beer selection is bomb and their visual design is very appealing to the eye. Win win.

2) Beer snacks; a must: I had a little bit of everything going to compliment each of the three beers. Some suggestions I have are olives, pretzels, almonds, and even plantain chips. Yes, you heard that right. Funny enough, those were the most popular of the night and were gone before anything else. 

3) Presentation: How you present something will always make or break it. When it comes down to food especially, studies have shown that people are universally drawn to pretty looking things; therefore my priority after I nail down what my "content" is (in this case, a beer flight), I focus on how to present it in a way that will be most visually appealing when the guests walk in the door. For this party, I wanted the aesthetic to be generally very earthy so I went with butcher paper for my table runners and wooden platters to serve most everything on. My favorite part though was the glassware for the beer flights. I've had these glasses in the family for about 10 years now, straight from Moscow. It was great to bring them out and give some flair to the design. 

 

It was fun adding other little tidbits to spice up the decor. When hosting an indoor party; especially one that's pretty intimate like this was, the little things matter most, namely making something ordinary pop. So whether it was writing out each dish name in calligraphy on the butcher table, fruit skewers instead of plain cut up fruit, or the BBQ set in the background on display,  each small thing added to the overall look and feel. And in the end, party was a success! Enjoy the photos below. Huge thanks to my fellow creative friend, Parastou Bartley, for helping me take these! <3

beatrice & mike's wedding

The photos from Bea and Mike's June wedding are here! I'm so stoked to share these photos (how perfect is Lucille Lawrence's work?!) because this wedding was so memorable for me and truly a day I will never forget. I had the privilege of working with Bea to coordinate all the logistics for her wedding about two months out. I love thinking back to our text sesh's debating about the final details and to finally see everything come together the day-of. It was so special to me to be able to spend the morning with her & the bridal party. I delivered them some much needed grub before the festivities began; her favorite, In N Out. Being a part of the whole getting ready process (that's me steaming her veil below, hehe) was unforgettable. The wedding itself was a dream. Rancho Yerba Buena is off the beaten path and boasts such stunning views, not only lush greens but a very whimsical back drop. We were treated to seeing all the horses come out right at sunset, which made for some perfect golden hour photos. The little things really added to the wedding too; from their band playing some bomb covers with a live saxophonist and all, to the homemade cake baked by Bea's close friend -- you could really feel the love. Not to mention that posh poolside cocktail hour, am I right?!

 Bea and Mike had been together for almost a decade so this was really a celebration in the making. What I love most about them is their swag; how cute are their matching Lover Jackets that they put on when it got chilly? Smiling so hard as I relive that day with these gorgeous photos! #bealikemike

Photography: Lucille Lawrence

Florals: Wild North Flowers

Venue: Rancho Yerba Buena

Catering: Karen Bevels