Category: Inspiration

Happy Friday, everyone!!  Today I have a fun treat: a little update blog from our Love & Splendor coordinator, Michelle!  xo, Angel


The past month has been busy, busy, busy!  We are gearing up for a fantastic season at some of our favorite venues and looking forward to discovering some new ones along the way!  Here’s just a glimpse of some of the things I’ve been up to lately…  Enjoy!

Well first of all, I must admit I’ve become addicted to Pinterest (you can find Michelle HERE and Angel HERE).  It’s not only a great source for wedding inspiration, but I’ve found it extremely helpful for finding amazing DIY crafts and delicious recipes.  It’s also been a great way of communicating with clients about various ideas or inspiration for their weddings.

One of our clients getting married next month saw this bocce ball pin on my wedding board and decided it’d be a fantastic addition to her cocktail hour at Saddlerock Ranch.  For those of you who’ve been there, you’d certainly agree!

originally pinned from 100 layer cake; photo by James Moes 

Here I am at Town and Country showcasing a table for the same client’s pre-ceremony cocktail hour.  The gorgeous table is part of T&C’s vineyard collection.

And for those of you just wanting some more eye candy of the gorgeous Saddlerock, here is a breathtaking picture of just a snapshot of the property.  Do you spy the giraffes — one of my favorite animals?  Unlike the other wildlife on the property, these guys are made of metal and so sweet in this setting.

I had the pleasure of meeting with another client and her mother at their venue earlier this month.  She’ll be saying, “I do!” at the beautiful and serene Rancho del Cielo.  Check out this stunning view!!  It was a crystal clear day when we were up there and you could literally see for miles in every direction.

I was able to attend a preview of the renovations at Marvimon and let me just say, wow!!  They did a fantastic job transforming the space.  I must say I’m in love with their awnings, red and green brick tiles, and the outside permanent bar updates the most.  You read that correctly: outside permanent bar!  It’s fantastic for celebrating!

Aside from working with fabulous clients, I’ve been redecorating my place from top to bottom and have found Pinterest to be an amazing resorce for all things pretty.  I have been able to view so many different sites and have pulled from so many places to make my place truly “me.”  I love coming home!

In love with this Moroccan stencil pattern from Royal Design Studio that I did across my dining room wall.  The starburst mirror is an added pop!

Sweet-smelling gold chevron drawer liners from Hammocks and High Tea in my new office desk…

great DIY project!  I found the perfect pair of antlers at the Melrose Trading Post, spray painted them glossy white and had them mounted.  They look unreal!

finally got around to creating a front door yarn wreath.  I love ranunculus and these faux babies make me smile every time I get to my door!

And last but not least, I wanted to share two tasty recipes I found on Pinterest which I was able to make for Easter dinner.  I’m typically in charge of desserts for all our family dinners because I have found my love for baking and have gottne more creative since the birth of my nephew three years ago.

these guys celebrated Christmas with us…

But this holiday I wanted to do something a bit different a found a meyer lemon bar recipe and a truly unique apple pie in an apple recipe.  I’m lucky enough to have a sister with a bountiful lemon tree (meyer lemons, to be exact!) so the lemon bars were a must.  Both were extremely simple (minus the time it took me to carve out 15 — yes, 15!! — apples) and highly recommended!

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading what we’ve been up to!  Have a truly amazing weekend!

xoxoxo, Michelle

Just last month, the ladies of love & splendor had the opportunity to feature our work at the CREAM event — a fab ‘wedding showcase’ of sorts, curated by the lovely ladies at bash, please.  We were honored to be one of four featured event designers at this great event, which was bursting at the seams with wedding inspiration and creativity.  Many of our other vendor pals were a part of the CREAM l.a. as well, which made it an extra special treat to be partnering with people we love and admire in the industry.

As one of the featured designers, we were paired with one of the featured floral designers to create a tablescape.  We were blessed to be matched with Heather from twig & twine, and together we created a set-up we were really crazy about.  Our inspiration and design direction was industrial-meets-ethnic, outfitted in a neon-tinted palette.  We utilized a funky metal dining table as a base, and integrated a blend of natural and neon textures and objects in the design.  From branches wrapped in yarn and gilded in gold paint, to cement vases and bone-handled flatware, the tabletop was all about texture and color.  There were lots of layers to the look, which I love… Anytime I set a table, I want to imagine guests sitting down and marveling over every little detail, being delighted moment-by-moment as they discover unexpected touches.  I think you’ll see lots of love & splendor’s characteristic whimsy in this tabletop.  A million and one thanks to Heather, our partner in design, whose creativity, artistry and floral design brought everything to life.  I also have to give HUGE kudos to Michelle, whose fingerprints are all over this table.  Since I was *very* pregnant during the weeks leading up to the event (I actually attended the event 6 days before my due date, 11 days before Olive was born!), Michelle really took the reins with many creative projects and I can’t thank her enough for her leadership, hard work, attention to detail and of course, fabulous touch.  😉

Here’s a look at our table, courtesy of some of the fab photographers from the CREAM!

Photos below are from Joie La La

 This next set is from Studio Castillero

these overhead branches were my favorite

 A few from Aaron Shintaku:

and then a couple of my own…

the lovely michelle, and the box of samoas we devoured in literally minutes

me, as pregnant as it gets! + jane, my dearest friend since middle school

{ingredients for our tabletop}

{all the fab folks behind the CREAM l.a.}

venue: Book Bindery / music: the flashdance Molly Jenson / The Get Down Boys / Dominique Pruittfashion & accessories: BHLDN / Twigs & Honey / Antiquaria / Heather Heron / food & drink: Whoa Nelly! / Heirloom LA Pharmacie Swanson Wines / forage / Dry Soda Handsome Coffee Roasters / sweets: Sweet Lucie’s  / Simplethings / Superfine Bakery / Sno-con Amor / Cool Haus / rentals: found yeah! rentals / Casa De Perrin / Town & Country / photographers: Joie la laAaron Shintaku / Birds of a Feather / The Weaver House / Braedon Photography / Sloan Photographers / The Long Haul / Studio Castillero / Wedding Artist Collective /  videographers: Austin Hendrix / Son of Sharkpig / Landshark /  photobooth: Smilebooth / A Little Scene / event designers: sitting in a tree / Love & Splendor  / Canvas & Canopy / enjoy event co. / florist: The Little Branch / La Partie Events / twig & twine Honey of a Thousand Flowers / Botany /papergoods: Urbanic Paper Boutique / media: Grey Likes / Green Wedding Shoes / C WeddingsRue / travel: EA Honeymoons / Cobblestay  / favors: J and R Foods / calligraphy: Jill Velezlighting: The Lighter Side / valet: United Valet / linens: La Tavola / other: Geronimo Balloonsbeauty: Fiore Beauty / Blushington

Enjoy the week, friends!!  xoxo, Angel

Happy Monday, loves!!  All this stormy weather would typically get me down, but I’m choosing to look on the bright side: I get to wear my favorite violet glossy Hunter wellies!  I’m also looking forward to a fun-filled week, with a friend’s baby shower to attend, my 34-week prenatal appointment and another baby shower for Olive!  This week follows two consecutively amazing weeks.  Just last week I took maternity photos with Jose Villa, a photographer who endlessly inspires me and is also a dear, dear friend.  I cannot wait to see the special images he captured of our family of three.  <3 Just saying that makes my eyes sparkle with tears.  (and hugs to Jose, who made this pregnant lady feel like a million bucks)  The week before that I got to spend lots of time with family, celebrate baby Olivia with not one but TWO ridiculously, overwhelmingly, beautiful showers (can’t wait to share with you!), and had the honor of being featured on Style Me Pretty!  🙂  Right now my cup is just overflowing with blessings and opportunities to savor the moment!  I pray I am always as mindful as I am today of how very blessed I have been.

an iPhone snap from one of my showers — me + two of my dearest friends from middle school and high school!  and disclaimer: my drink was non-alcoholic!  it was a scrumptious raspberry fennel concoction made just for my shower, and i wish i could have one right now!

I want to spread the love today by sharing some random inspiration with you all.  Here are some of my “lately-loves”: the things and sites that have sparked my creative soul recently.

a new favorite — a whisper of gray, a muddled celery, rich guava, teal and a soft aqua.  (original post HERE — from design-seeds)

  • Design Seeds: oh my goodness this website. I am obsessed!! If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ve surely had your feed clogged with my incessant pinning of color palettes from this site.  If you like exploring unique color combinations, you will LOVE this site.  Every palette is accompanied by the loveliest photo to further spark the imagination.  If you’re anything like me, you could spend hours scanning and pinning and dreaming.  And I do.
  • The Hunger Games: It had been a while since I read a fiction work, so after having my curiosity piqued about this series, I picked up book one at my local library. I devoured it in 24 hours. Same goes for book two (although it was my least favorite), Catching Fire.  I just wrapped up Mockingjay a couple weeks ago, the final book in the trilogy, and loved it. I always enjoy a good futuristic dystopian novel. (Brave New World, anyone??) Watching the film trailer for The Hunger Games makes me cry every.single.time.  The casting is brilliant!  If you’re looking for a gripping read (or 3), check these out!  Dreams of the games have been haunting me for weeks now…
  • Chic & Cheap Nursery: This is my latest favorite blog, thanks to the immense amount of beautiful real nurseries featured.  Although I can appreciate a lovely inspiration board, there is nothing like seeing a fully-styled real nursery (or wedding, for that matter) to really spark my creativity.  I am working on pulling together little Olivia’s nursery now and can’t wait to share it with you eventually…

  • Mom’s One Line A Day Journal: I received this from my sister-in-law, Megan, for Christmas.  I’d had my eye on it for a while but didn’t mention it, and then surprise, surprise!  Meggie saw it and thought I might like it.  🙂  I LOVE it.  It’s a five-year journal that has space for a few sentences (more than just one, haha) everyday.  I cannot wait to write about Olivia’s milestones and little memories once she’s here.  For now (I started on January 1st), I enjoy writing about my nursery-prep progress and the things that Erik and I are doing as we look forward to Olive’s arrival.  I cherish the few reflective moments I spend jotting notes into this journal each night.  It is something of a gratitude journal for me, as I am actively reminded to reflect on the sweetness of the day.
What about you?  What’s been lighting up your mind’s eye these days?  I’m currently getting my creative juices going by sewing Olive’s crib bedding and planning a Valentine’s Day tea party I’m hosting.  I’d love to know how you keep the inspiration alive in your life, regardless of what you do for a living.  Enjoy your week!
xoxo, Angel

Happy Friday, everyone!!  December is here and Christmas is just around the corner… I feel like the air is just buzzing with excitement and joy for the impending celebrations.  Today I want to help you kick off your weekend with a double feature of Brian and Natalia, the couple I mentioned in my last post about the “perfect” wedding.

I have been DYING to share their preview video with all of you since I saw it the night of the wedding.  Now you’ll be able to get the smallest idea of what I meant when I said this wedding was drenched and saturated with love and emotion…

And yes, that’s me in a little cameo around 0:27ish.  That little part always makes me beam; I so cherish the precious friendships I built with this pair.

As a second serving of amazingness, you get to hear the intro to their ceremony, as masterfully told by their friend Johnny Irving.  This was just the introduction!!  He had us all laughing and crying throughout.  I was covered in goosebumps by the time they shared their first kiss as husband and wife.

Enjoy these fabulous videos, courtesy of my dear friends Ben & Drew of Cana Video Production.  I’ve already watched both videos TWICE this morning.  🙂

I hope your weekend is fabulous!  My immediate plans include trimming our fresh cut Christmas tree, priming the bookshelf for babygirl’s nursery, and finishing up Catching Fire (the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy).

xoxo,  Angel

Happy Monday, everyone!  Thank you so much for all of your kind words on my last post — I love sharing the joy of my pregnancy with you!

Today I wanted to write a special entry about my last wedding of the 2011 season, which took place on 11.11.11.  It has been 10 days since the incredible celebration and I am still daydreaming about it.  Honestly.  This wedding affected me deeply and powerfully.  And although it is dangerous to use the word, I would dare say it was perfect.

(hauntingly beautiful image by The Image is Found)

When most people think of the “perfect” wedding, what do you think comes to mind?  A dazzling couture gown or the score-of-a-lifetime vintage frock?  Over-the-top florals, luxe linens, and a five-course dinner?  Or maybe a day where everything goes smoothly… without a single hiccup… with nary a hair out of its perfectly-coiffed place.  Of course, the perfect weather — warm and glowing sunshine with a cool breeze — is a given.

What if I told you that none of these things made my 11.11.11 ‘perfect?’  It rained.  It POURED.  It was dark and stormy.  We had to get a tent a few days prior to the wedding — the dream of a glorious outdoor wedding was going to be impossible to achieve.  We tried to start the ceremony outdoors and it started to rain, on the guests, sending everyone running for the tent.  Twice. Things got muddy.  I’m sure some ladies ruined their designer stilettos.  It was freezing cold once the evening was underway (outside the warmth of the tent, anyway).  Trips to the bathroom became treacherous jaunts through lawns-turned-marshland.  We had to fashion ponchos out of trashbags to escort umbrella-less guests to the shuttle stop at the night’s end.  I am sure that for some couples, it would have been more than they could have handled.

But not this couple.  Not these guests.  Not this wedding.

Meeting Brian and Natalia for the first time was like the perfect first date.  It was easy, natural.  We were perfectly matched in terms of style and vision.  They were planning an amazing wedding to celebrate 10+ years of love and companionship.  I fell in love with their love.  For months and months we dreamed and planned together for a day that would be warm, personable, festive and unique.  From the placesettings to the dinner music, everything was intentional.  Every detail seeped with their love for each other and the people they share their love with.  I felt truly blessed to be a part of it all.

When the weather forecast turned grim the week before the wedding, the couple was steadfast.  We carefully went over the options and they were able to wisely opt for the safest rain plan.  And then we waited to see what the day would hold.

And it was perfect.

When I greeted each of them on their wedding day (separately — they didn’t see each other until the ceremony), we shared huge hugs and undeniable excitement.  They were both just yearning for the night to unravel.  After two false starts with the ceremony, we DID get to hold the ceremony outside (praise God), underneath the great tree they fell in love with when they first picked the venue.  The bride’s dramatic entrance was heralded by shouts of joy and thunderous applause (and the festive shake of tambourines, of course).  Their truly personal ceremony, officiated by one of the most passionate and uniquely gifted ministers I have EVER seen/heard, was perfect.  I mean, I literally got the chills.  Multiple times.  I teared up throughout their vows.  I almost lost it at the end…  Their blissful kisses as the ceremony concluded (under the most dramatic sky) just MOVED you.  Forget the weather.  I don’t think anyone present could believe the heart-wrenchingly beautiful ceremony they’d just witnessed.

I was accompanied by some of my all-time favorite vendors that evening (Hi Nate, Jac, Ian, Ben & Drew!) and we all kept looking at each other, bug-eyed, throughout the evening… It was like we couldn’t believe what we were seeing.  It was the most beautiful, emotional, love-filled wedding I had ever seen.  As the night progressed, we saw the fruition of a warm and insanely romantic reception inside the tent… a first dance that made me laugh and cry… toasts that filled my heart up with so much happiness…  Brian and his AMAZING band (The Brian Buckley Band — go check them out; you’re welcome in advance.  I can’t stop listening to Hysterical Blindness) performed a set that had us all mesmerized.  More of their musically-gifted friends performed throughout the evening as well…  It was, simply, perfect.

At the end of the night, as I gave hugs and kisses to the departing couple, their heartfelt thanks reached me way down deep inside.  I was still processing all the enchantment and wonder of the evening.  It was like a dream…  And even now, as I try to recall every detail to mind, it is like a too-perfect dream.  Brian and Natalia’s wedding was perfect not because of external circumstances, but because of their powerful, one-of-a-kind love… and the beautiful people they celebrated with only amplified that love.  I will truly never, ever forget that evening and the way I felt as I watched it unfold before my eyes.

I wanted to write this post to remind any of you out there who are still planning a wedding: what makes a wedding “perfect” is the love you share, and those with whom you share it. Sometimes, we all need to be reminded to look beyond everything else and just be inspired by the core, the heart of a wedding.  Love.

Dying to share the images and video with you, and promise to do so as soon as I can.  😉  Until then, trust me.  It was perfect.



Hello dearest readers!!  I am back after an incredibly busy two months and am excited to get back to regular posting.  😉  I have over a dozen weddings that I still need to blog from THIS YEAR — can you believe it?  Keep your eyes peeled for lots of beauty and inspiration coming very very soon.  In the meanwhile, I thought I’d ease back into blogging with an inspiring preview video from a wedding I did last month in gorgeous San Luis Obispo.

You may remember this stunning couple from a post I did on their engagement shoot by Ryan Ray (btw — Ryan Ray is as amazing a person as he is an artist).  I am dying to see the film he shot on that magical day.  The wedding was truly one-of-a-kind lovely.

Now grab some tissues (no seriously, you might need them if you’re anything like me) and enjoy this beautiful video prepared my dear dear friends Ben & Drew from Cana VP.  Watching it on the wedding night truly moved me.. and it still hasn’t lost its captivating effect after multiple subsequent views.

Hope you have a marvelous day — stay tuned for another post this week catching you up on where the L&S team has been lately!



WOW!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for the overwhelming response to the new blog!  I cannot tell you how delighted I was to get so much positive feedback.  The ultimate compliment is that the blog is “so me.”  I really appreciate each one of you taking the time to write me a little comment — I look forward to sharing more of my heart (work, life, and otherwise) here!

I will announce the winner of the giveaway at the end of this post.  🙂  Before I do that, however, I want to tell you about this AMAZING couple that is getting married this weekend.

photo by the lovely Nina Brav

How adorable are they, right?  I have enjoyed every moment working with these two creative, passionate, all-around-wonderful individuals.  We have a gorgeous celebration in store, and one aspect of the day that I’m really excited about is their music.  The have selected some beautiful and personal picks for their ceremony and reception.  I’ve written about this topic before (see here), but I never tire of seeing how couples infuse their tastes into the music used for their big day.  This weekend’s clients have exceptional taste because, well, I love they picked out (and many are by my favorite bands/artists).  Here is a peek at the music behind the day…



  • Grand Entrance – “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates
  • First Dance – “That’s Where It’s At” by Sam Cooke
  • Father/Daughter Dance – “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young

What are YOUR favorite music picks for a wedding?  I’d love to hear what you used or plan on using.  🙂

What else is in store for this wedding?  Oh you know… ruffled crepe, a citrus-inspired colorway, modern glass… and a dream team of vendors including The Food Matters, The Flashdance spinning records, Hollyflora making things beautiful, and the talented Nina Brav behind the lens.

I’ll be back with more loveliness next week, including my engage!11 recap.  Enjoy your weekend!!  xoxo, Angel

P.S. CONGRATULATIONS to the blog launch giveaway winner: Kim!  (Winner was selected using  Check your email so I can get your box of goodies to you right away!  😉 For everyone else, I will have some other fun giveaways coming very soon, so be on the lookout for those!  xo

Happy Friday, everyone! 🙂  As you know, I love to shout from the rooftops about how much I love my clients.  I have said time and time again I am blessed with the most kind, gracious, creative and stylish clients EVER.  (While I won’t name any names, I will say I am constantly told by vendors that my clients are always the sweetest…)  And frequently, I like to give you glimpses of these fabulous couples as they prepare for their weddings.  You may recall that last month I shared this charming proposal with you.  Today you get to meet the couple behind the gnomes! You’ll see they are as gorgeous as they are playful!  (Their wedding is going to be amazing, too…  whimsical and eclectic and intimate…)

Here is one of the most beautiful engagement shoots I’ve seen recently…  Their photographer is the talented Ryan Ray, whom I can’t wait to meet later this year.  His work has a natural, easy loveliness to it.  And it doesn’t hurt that Scott and Jess make an utterly stunning pair.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did…

Seriously, Jess has the most graceful, delicate radiance!!!  Completely captivating.

a perfectly accessorized pair.


P.S. Earlier this week, I shared a little guest post for my dear friend Mara.  Check it out here!  And if you haven’t seen Mara’s blog yet, you are in for a treat.  She writes the loveliest personal + fashion blog.  🙂

P.P.S. Jess can also be blamed for my new love and fascination with Pinterest.  I literally *just* joined but will be pinning soon, so feel free to follow my boards there~

May your weekend be sweet!  xoxo, Angel

Happy weekend, everyone!!  Here in southern California, the weather is absolutely spectacular.  I wish I had planned for a beach excursion, but I am still enjoying the sunshine.  After a morning out and about, I’m currently organizing things in the office before date night.  😉  But, I wanted to swing by and spread a little sunshine to those of you who may not be fortunate enough to live here in soCal.  One of my darling couples (and one of my newest!) recently shared their proposal story with me.  When I heard about it, I knew I had to see photos and share them with you!

Scott, the groom-to-be, sent the following quirky photos to his fiancée over the course of a few days.  It featured their garden gnomes engaged in various activities… leading up to some treasure-hunting.  😉  The day the gnome stumbled upon the “treasure,” Jess came home to find her sweetie all dressed up and waiting on the front porch with their dog, Bacon (yes — their dog’s name is Bacon.  Could they be any cuter??).  Scott proposed right on the steps, next to the flowerpot with the ring in it.  It was just the three of them and as Jess says, “It was perfect.” My sis, Anna, has a slight obsession with gnomes so I know she is going to fawn over these photos.  I hope all of you get a smile out of this very sweet proposal~

Looove this one!!  Look at his tiny whisk!

These baking photos are especially sweet since Jess used to work at a cupcake shop and is an avid baker herself.

Jess & Scott — thank you for letting me share these adorable images!  I cannot wait for your wedding this fall!!

See you all next week!!  xoxo, Angel

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  I wanted to quickly drop in and share that the organic and nature-inspired baby shower we planned for Kristin of Petal and Thorn is featured today on “On To Baby.” If you haven’t checked out this blog, you are missing out on the most lovely and inspiring spot on the web for mothers and mothers-to-be!  I will admit I am one of those non-mothers who can’t get enough of nursery design, baby showers, and birthday parties.  😉  I am definitely going to be in trouble when I join the mommy club!!

photos by the lovely and fabulous Trista Lerit

A million thanks again to everyone involved with this shower, as well as the ladies of On To Baby for the great feature!!

Planning: Angel Swanson, Events of Love and Splendor, along with sister of mom-to-be, Jennyln, and friend Chie
Event Design, Florals, Paper Goods, & Signage: Angel Swanson, Events of Love and Splendor
Furniture & Decor Rentals: {found} vintage rentals
Cake, Desserts, & Favors: Sweet and Saucy Shop
Food: Homemade by Kristin’s sister Jennylyn

See you all again very soon; have a wonderful day!