Mika + Danny :: Adamson House

It' so fun when a bride becomes a friend. It's even more fun when a bride becomes your ASSISTANT. I recently added to the Vanessa Noel Events team with a few fantastic ladies who are making my life so much easier. One of them happens to be the beautiful bride from last year's Adamson House wedding.  In honor of Miss Mika knocking it out of the park as a new assistant, I thought it high time I posted her sweet, romantic, ocean-front wedding at the Adamson House in Malibu. 

That tree at the Adamson House might be my most favorite tree ever! Mika's flowers were DIY and were truly a labor of love. I don't normally advocate for that... like ever, but this was the exception. Her bridesmaid and bestie has some serious talent, amiright?!? We strung large blooms on fishing line and mixed in having crystals for a little element of glamour amidst the colorful, casual California style. 

Everywhere you looked there were details--from the custom corn hole game to the adorable chalkboard signage and their marquee lights. To start the party, the bride's father led the group in a toast with shots of their family's secret recipe "redeye." I got a whiff of the stuff and let's just say that's one tradition that was sure to get people on the dance floor! 

Photography: Serfoss Productions

Coordination and Styling: Vanessa Noel Events

Venue: Adamson House

Flowers and Signage: DIY Bride's Bridesmaid

Catering: Truly Yours


Rustic + Luxurious Christmas Party

My tree is still up, my lights are still hung; I'm one of those people and I'm not ashamed. For me, it's Christmas season until we ring in the New Year and the leftovers are gone. So since I still have another day, I thought I'd squeeze in a post about a beautiful and festive corporate event that I designed and planned just before Christmas. 

Corporate events aren't always the most exciting from a design perspective, but I knew that with the gorgeous private estate setting and the great vendors involved, it would still be swoon-worthy. I am SO glad that Sasha Saldana Photography was there to capture all the gorgeous decor and fun festivities!

 The party was broken up into sections: the patio areas for activities, cocktails, and appetizers, and the main tent for dinner. When I say "activities" I don't mean ice breakers... this was the coolest company party complete with a slow motion booth, black jack and craps tables, a mechanical bull, corn hole, high-stakes pool tournament, and an intricately designed drawing game to giveaway some incredible prizes, including a weekend trip to New York and a Louis Vuitton purse! Over 60 presents were wrapped and on display to represent all the amazing prizes up for grabs as a thank you to the employees. 

The goal was to create a great flow for activities and mingling, then a beautiful and intimate dining space that was both rustic and luxurious. I worked together with House of Flowers to use birch wood boxes on custom white faux fur runners and gold dusted pine cones on the tables and then added hanging centerpieces for even more drama and Christmas cheer. Wood farm tables and vineyard chairs from Walker Lewis Rents created the perfect "dinner party" ambience and kept the space from feeling stuffy. 

pinterest and your wedding planner

Hey there stranger! I apologize for my hiatus the past 3 weeks. There's been a lot going on... a ton of super fun client meetings, a not-so-fun move into a totally lovable new place, a family vacation, our fist trip to St. Regis Monarch Beach (so fancy!), and the obligatory--and lingering--winter cold. We're finally settled in and it's time to get back to the blog with some very fun and exciting posts over the next couple weeks.

For now, let's chat about Pinterest. There are a lot of great and useful tips for using Pinterest to plan your wedding, but I'd like to talk about one specific aspect: using Pinterest to communicate with your planner. 

 image by christianne taylor

image by christianne taylor

I love to follow my clients' wedding and design Pinterest boards (or have them add me to their secret ones.) It gives me insight into what inspires them, their vision, and how they want their wedding day to look and feel. But with so many details packed into one pretty little square (or a collage of pretty little squares), I don't always know what the specific draw is to that image. 

Most images carry with them a caption from their source site or a comment from a previous pinner. The most important thing you can do for your Pinterest-following planner (and yourself) is make that caption your own. What in the image inspires you? What is your favorite part? What would you change? Here's a great example:

A client pinned this collage to her wedding decor board



...so naturally, I was thinking that she was leaning toward the radiant orchid trend. Upon further discussion, she told me that she pinned the image because of the arrangement in the top right corner. She liked the wood box, the clustered flowers, and the mix of colors--including the oranges and green. 

Whoa. Big difference, right? 

Here's another example. A different client had told me that she wanted romantic and feminine peaches and corals. We discussed a sweet, soft, and simple feel; the kind of wedding that really just makes you feel love all around you. 

Then she pinned this (wildly popular image):



I think, "Oh! Maybe we're going in a brighter, more colorful direction... let's look into some graphic print runners, maybe some colorful glassware..." (My mind tends to wander and get ahead of myself).

But upon further discussion, it was the lovely navy bridesmaid dress that led her to pin the image. 

So what's the moral of the story? We planners love Pinterest as much as you do. We get lost in the sea of color palettes, how-to's, and dreamy photography. What we love even more than Pinterest are clients who dream, have vision, and get excited for the decor and ambiance of their big day. All we ask is that you use that little box under that pretty picture to tell us what you love and/or hate about your specially curated selections. 

Want to see what inspires me? Check out Vanessa Noel Events' Pinterest right here.

Happy pinning and planning!

fresh picked citrus }{ styled shoot

I realize that the shoot I'm sharing today is represented on my homepage, but how could I NOT feature those images by Anna Delores Photography front and center?? Too pretty to pass up. 

Many of you have seen some of these images because, well, you're here and you probably past by the homepage before you took a slight right to arrive at the blog, but I think a collaboration filled with this much pretty deserves it's own post. So let's dive right in, shall we?

When Emily and I discussed this shoot, I decided that I wanted to do something that was filled with the happiness, whimsy and relaxed joy that comes with the lingering days of late summer. My sweet cousin who has a passion for lovely vintage goodies (if you're in town, check out her antique space in downtown Bakersfield!), had given me a set of 2 glasses and a juice carafe with the most adorable orange pattern around the center. I was immediately inspired and began to build the vision in my head around that little orange carafe. 


In addition to citrus and summer, I was inspired by watercolors and wanted to incorporate their soft romantic fluidity in some way. I did several watercolor paintings and then turned those paintings into the paper flowers that we placed on the bar cart. 

We enlisted the help of Alissa Bell Press to create the MOST beautiful letterpress invitations. I knew I wanted to add another watercolor element by way of the invitations, so I asked Alissa to leave a good amount of white space on the invitations. Alissa obliged and I had so much fun adding to her already incredible work. I enjoyed myself so much that I created two versions. 

And speaking of stationary to swoon over, Joelle from A Charming Occasion Calligraphy hand lettered the beautiful calligraphy for the place cards at the table. Love. 

The graphic pattern of the first invitation suite was taken from the pattern that I painted on the table runner... yes, I'm that crazy; I actually painted my own textile for this shoot. More on that DIY later ; )

The gorgeous flowers were so colorful and bright--they just made me happy and so in love with summer. They didn't stop at the reception table; Kissing Bees floral magic extended to the bouquets and the cutest little boutonniere. 

Between the hand painted runner, the watercolored paper flowers, watercolored invitations, custom ribbon backdrop, and the painted orange bentwood chairs, this shoot was certainly a labor of love. But, then again, I'm proud to say that I don't ever take on projects that don't turn out that way. I will sand, paint, stain, sew, build...whatever it takes to get the look just right. 

And just because my dear friend of 10 years is that pretty in a BHLDN dress and my grandparents property where I spent my childhood is that enchanting (need a rustic wedding venue in the central valley?? Let's talk) here are a few more of Emily Reiter's images to swoon over. 

a country girl and a barn dance }{ event

I'm a small town country girl at heart. No, I'm not from the south, but I was born and raised in California's Central Valley. People here often talk with a bit of a drawl, we love biscuits and gravy at tiny diners, know the sweet and earthy smell of alfalfa, and know what it's like to be farmer's daughters, nieces, granddaughters, and sisters.

Yep, right here in California. 

I've lived in and loved several other cities in the world and I go crazy for a buzzing, walkable metropolis, but I'll always have a kind of country-song nostalgia for my home town. So when I was asked to help plan and design a barn dance as part of my hometown's centennial celebration, I got a little (or a lot) giddy.

barn dance?? Yes, please. 

The dance took place in a huge cotton gin surrounded by almond orchards (much like most of the town where I grew up). The perimeter of the gin was lined with garlic boxes that were filled with delicious, mouth-watering, just-harvested garlic. The place smelled amazing! 

Photos by Sasha Saldana Photography

No barn dance would be complete without hay bales, so we created an entire lounge area out of hay and sprinkled perfect pumpkins (from my bother's pumpkin patch!) throughout the space for an extra dose of fall festivity.  

Twinkle lights, a s'mores bar, lovely sunflowers from Sun Country Flowers, live band, and delicious libations made for the most down-home and beautifully fun event. Sasha Saldana, a fellow Shafter-ite, took such lovely photos of all the pretty and rustic details and treated guests to a photobooth filled with props, of course!


Barn Dance 2013 (4 of 13).jpg