Category Archives: event design

December Wedding at Mountain Mermaid

By | December Wedding, event design, Flowers, Mountain Mermaid, Red Roses Wedding Flowers | No Comments

We loved coordinating and providing florals for this beautiful December wedding. It was a relaxed, warm event with an intimate guest count. The rich ambiance of the Mountain Mermaid helped set off the combination of greenery and rich red roses.  Don Norris of Norris Photo captures all of the goodness.

What I love about this palette is that it is not afraid to go deep and rich, with vivid greenery such as sword ferns and eucalyptus. We still provided a light touch with the soft pink roses; but the couple were not afraid of using rich red roses as well.  Anchoring the centerpieces were black vessels that echoed the black favors on the tables.  Rustic tables by Found Rentals completed the look.

Delicious catering was provided by Evil Pig BBQ, and the gorgeous wedding cake was by Jamaica’s Cakes.

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Rustic ring box lace mr mrs wedding roses

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Real Wedding: Moroccan touches at Cliff’s Edge

By | event design, Flowers, Moroccan Design Weddings, Uncategorized, Wedding Decor, Wedding Design, wedding flowers | No Comments

Collaboration is the key to cohesive, personalized design for every client’s wedding. For this beautiful celebration last October, our couple provided us Buddha statues, lanterns, and handmade runners and we provided the floral decor and a few other cool touches.  Guests were delighted by the spiritual, zen elements that went so well with the lush, hideaway atmosphere of the restaurant Cliff’s Edge.  Photos by Jenna Rose Photography.

Other awesome vendors:

Cake: Auntie Ems

DJ: Jack from VOX DJS













One Table, Two Ways: Event Design Options

By | Budget and Costs for Wedding Florals and Design, event design, Event Design Tips for Weddings, Wedding Design, wedding flowers | No Comments

One of the most fun aspects of wedding planning is creating the overall look of your event design. It can be a little overwhelming too, due to all the many, many options out there- so many inspiration photos, blogs, Pinterest boards! The key thing to remember is that your desired look has an affect on your budget, too.


In this styled shoot, our inspiration began with the Lismore Gardens print linen from Luxe Linens. (By the way, the photos are by one of our favorite vendors, Jillian Rose Photography.) You don’t see prints used a lot in weddings, but here’s a great trick about them: They add more visual elements for the eye to look at, thus, the tables feel more populated; thus – you may not need as much decor as with a plain linen. And they’re just cool, unique, and playful.

napkin with gemFor one version of this tablescape, we created floral pieces overflowing with roses and eucalyptus, votives, and bejewelled napkins.

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Another version has lanterns along the center of the tables. The lanterns have a faux-worn, vintage feel, with a cream color that melds well with the overall design. The florals on the table are now bud vases. The cost differential in this case, swapping out the lanterns for the larger floral pieces, can be substantial, yet the lanterns add visual interest, a focal point down the center of the table, and can be used at your home after the wedding or re-sold online.

lantern tablescape dee flowers

lanterns florals

This is just one example of how playing with options can help you meet your spending goals without a sacrifice on style. We go through this process all the time with clients as design can spiral wildly beyond the original vision, but with careful thought and research, the integrity of the event can be maintained without blowing your budget.



Grazing Tables for Weddings

By | Dessert Table for Weddings, event design, Event Design Tips for Weddings, Event Planner, Flowers, Grazing Table for Weddings, wedding flowers | No Comments

I am fortunate enough to work with a variety of cultures.  Many of them are focused on displays of abundance – to graciously offer delicious food and thus show hospitality to their guests.

My take on this is what is known as a Grazing Table.  I played with some ideas based on this ‘greige’ colored tablecloth by Luxe Linen, which triggered a design of earthy foods like nuts and whole fruit, classic crisp colors, and vintage serveware (crystal cut bowls, slightly tarnished silver pieces).  Our florals featured white hydrangeas and drapes of seeded eucalyptus, as well as sweet bud vases with vendella and sahara roses. (Photos kindly provided by the awesome Jillian Rose Kling of Jillian Rose Photography.)

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Not only does a beautifully styled table of food serve as a conversation starter, it also absorbs alcohol throughout the night (!) and offers a chance to display heirloom serveware, utilize a design theme, or otherwise show off your personality.

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Food can be customized to the couples’ taste or season – tea biscuits and pastries for a bride who loves to take her tea every afternoon, or perhaps luscious whole fruits and spa water for a summer wedding.

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When planning the table, it’s best to ensure your caterer handles the setup and refilling for health and safety purposes. Cheese and meats can only be set out for so long; these may be ideal for the cocktail hour, and then switched out for more temperature-stable foods for the rest of the night.

Regardless of what you do, grazing tables are another great opportunity for brides and grooms to show off their style, and please their guests. For more ideas about design, style, and wedding planning, sign up for our monthly newsletter here.  Happy planning!

Real Wedding: Party Animals at SmogShoppe

By | DIY, event design, Event Design Tips for Weddings, Event Planner, J Huffman Photography, king Protea wedding flower, Los Angeles Wedding Planner, SmogShoppe, Uncategorized | No Comments

When great ideas and great execution collide, you have the definition of successful event design.  We love taking our clients’ ideas and transforming them to tangible decor that has a purpose at their event.  In this case, for Hayley and Nick’s wedding, they wanted to implement the fabulous “Party Animal” theme with bright colors, flamingo figurines, and the playful shape of the king protea.  We created fun and stylish centerpieces, had a spray paint ‘clinic’ on how to class up the flamingos with an ivory and gold sheen, and weighed in on the selection of chic table runners from Luxe Linens.  The couple’s details – animal masks, menu and signage design, perfectly painted mini animals, and a station for advice givers – were so clever. Together we worked to create a cohesive design for a wedding that truly was a party!

Vendors and Venues:

Ceremony: St. Timothy’s

Venue: SmogShoppe

Photography – the awesome J Huffman Photography

Videography – George Street

Catering – Huntington Catering Company

Reception Music – DJ Swon from Red Shoe LA

Cocktail Hour Music – Jenny Luna and Alex Logan

Florals – No Worries












Real Wedding: Vivid Colors at Carondelet

By | Brian Leahy Photography, Carondelet House, Downtown Los Angeles Wedding, event design, Fantasy Frostings, Hey Mister DJ, Peony and Plum, Robert Nachman, Rustic Wedding, Tres LA | No Comments

Carondelet House is one of the most unique spaces in L.A.; the exposed brick, original wood, and other architecture elements lend texture and depth to every photo.  When our sophisticated and sparkling clients married there last December, we were excited to combine their vivid color scheme with Carondelet’s natural elements.

As wedding consultants, we advised on design, logistics, and making sure the personalities of our clients and their friends and family were incorporated into the big day.  Vendors Tres LA, Brian Leahy Photography, Fantasy Frostings, Lee Dyson – Hey Mister DJ, Town and Country Rentals, Robert Nachman videography, and Peony and Plum all worked in tandem for a unified, gorgeous event that flowed beautifully from one element to another.

Peony and Plum blended pops of vibrant colors with touches of peacock feathers – a whimsical element that never overtook the overall feel.  The bride loved round lanterns, and wanted to greet guests with this festive look, so we installed a few in similar colors from the rafters.  Lee of Hey Mister DJ has a knack for lighting as well, and his dramatic, wallmounted pinspots and uplights completely transformed the ceremony and dining area.

Brian Leahy’s photos tell the story best…


Florals by Peony and Plum

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Cake by Fantasy Frostings, Lighting by Hey Mister DJ



Top 3 Design Mistakes: Event Design Basics

By | event design, Event Design Tips for Weddings, Flowers, Rustic Wedding | No Comments

Time after time, we meet with couples who use the web, magazines, and Pinterest to inspire the look of the event.  As event designers, we love to help them take these ideas, weave in their specific ideas and tastes, and fulfill their vision on their wedding day.  There are three key mistakes that are easy to make as you build the design of your event:

1.  Ignoring the design of the venue.  The rustic wedding has been huge in recent years.  We have run into brides and grooms wanting to have the rustic look in a ballroom setting; the mason jars and twine don’t typically work in an upscale environment of wallpapered walls and elegant carpeting.  Instead, work in elements of your desired look – such as linen runners with a slightly burlap look, without the rough texture; or lean on lush greenery in your centerpiece but use a dressy glass vase, versus a mason jar. This photo below, by Brian Leahy, shows an excellent blend of rustic, yet elegant touches that work well with the wood and brick textures of Carondelet House. We combined neutral linen runners with the bride’s vibrant color palette.  Florals by Peony and Plum.

Rustic Runner and main room Deidrie Douglas copy

2.  Being afraid to stand out. It’s easy to go with the current trend, but don’t be afraid to do something a little different. Take the trend you like the most, and then shake it up – is there a style you are drawn to with home decor? For example, if your centerpieces are super simple and classic in clear glass vases (as many are), but you love collecting white porcelain china, ask your florist to source opaque white vessels instead of the clear vase.  You’ll add a twist to the look and make it uniquely your own.

3. Ignoring the power of lighting.  Always bring in lighting whenever possible. Uplights can be packaged in with many DJ services and do wonders adding ambiance to a room.  It’s a cost effective way to change the space significantly.  Colors from ‘moonlight’ to ‘champagne’ offer a spectrum of options. This picture below features the work of TMM Pro, lighting specialists who are familiar with a variety of local venues. Photo by Brady Puryear.


Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to reflect your true personalities, but remember to let the surroundings guide your look.  Happy planning!

Design Notes: All About Chairs

By | Chiavari Chairs, event design, Kyoto Grand Hotel, Planning, SmogShoppe, Wedding Decor, Wedding Design, Westin | No Comments

Scintillating post title, no?  But truly, if there’s one thing event designers love, it’s good chairs.  Many times venues will have dated or so-so chairs – a color that clashes with the theme, or a casual wood chair where a dressy event demands more – and clients have to bring in seating. In my book, bringing in chairs (along with lighting) is one of the best ways to transform a setting style-wise, and it’s worth the extra rentals expense.  It’s great when a venue has some that are already gorgeous, I personally love the Westin’s chairs and also the Kyoto Grand‘s.

Another venue with fabulous chairs is SmogShoppe.  Their selection is a carefully curated blend of mostly bistro-style wood chairs, with a vintage feel of being well-loved (yet still in excellent condition).

The variety of SmogShoppe's chairs create interest, yet they form a cohesive look when all used together.

We’re planning a wedding at a Redondo Beach venue this winter, a French-Asian restaurant called Maison Riz that is literally right on the water.  The view is tremendous, and the chairs are so cool – appropriate for a location on the pier, these “captains” chairs  have a 70’s charm with their beige cushion and carved wood back and arms, but they match the dark wood and white tablecloths of the space and fit in easily with the classy-nautical vibe of the space.

The cool Captains Chairs at Maison Riz have character that still blends in with the dark wood and decor of the space.

Most rental companies offer chiavari chairs, folding wooden chairs, and bistro.  Bistro are my faves, but for a dressy event, chiavaris are perfect.  You can interchange the cushions depending on the colors of your wedding; velcro’d cushions have a cleaner look, are a bit more expensive but don’t have the tiebacks interrupting the clean lines of the chair.

These chiavaris have the velcro'ed cushions for a polished look.

Less expensive are folding chairs.  All white are crisp and classic for a daytime outdoor affair (or an indoor one utilizing light colors in the decor).  A good compromise for budget is using dark wood or fruitwood folding chairs – the darker wood has a sophisticated sheen, without the expense of chiavaris.

Handsome wood chairs set up for an outdoors ceremony. Photo by Jeromy Robert Photography.

Yes, I just wrote a blog post about chairs – chairs!!  But trust me, they’re a huge element of any event.  Save room for them in your budget when discussing rentals – pick your battles, and you can have beautiful chairs without spending a fortune.