Category: Events

I’m SO excited to round out my 2014 Love & Splendor Workshop recap series (Welcome Recap / Day 2 Recap / Day 3 Recapwith this look back at our beautiful farewell dinner.  I wanted to send off my attendees with a grand final experience: an incredible meal, an inspiring environment, and surprises around every corner.  Although I’m biased, I felt we achieved just that.  🙂  I loved planning and designing this evening alongside some of my dearest friends.  Going through the images for this blog post made me SO nostalgic and simultaneously excited.  I cannot wait for this year’s workshop, coming September 14-17 to San Luis Obispo, CA.  I plan on announcing all the details NEXT WEEK (ahh!) and registration will open on Wednesday, June 10th at 9a PST.  Here’s hoping that we’ll have another fabulous group of creative, joyful and energetic attendees!

i love this arrival/reaction photo!

missing a few but i love this photo of these beautiful ladies!

For this special farewell dinner, I invited attendees and speakers/collaborators to join me for dinner at a secret location.  I didn’t reveal the dinner location until the night of the event itself, and provided direct transportation for my attendees to keep the excitement high.  With the help of The Venue Report, I landed on The Washbow as the perfect backdrop for this celebration.  This modern gem in Culver City has a sprawling indoor space that is an ideal blank canvas for any event.  For my more intimate dinner, however, we kept the festivities outside in their beautiful urban garden.  There is a striking metal “pergola” on-site at the Washbow that was perfect for hanging charming bistro lights, along with foliage-draped chandeliers from JL Designs.  It set the tone for the romantic autumn feel I was hoping for, inspired by a magnificent mountain lodge.  To foster conversation and a feeling of camaraderie, we all sat down to one feasting table (made up of multiple wooden tables from Found Rentals) in beautiful bentwood chairs.

I embraced a jewel-toned palette of mostly oxblood, burgundy and crimson, with texture everywhere, from wooden tables and chairs, to fabrics like wool, tweed and velvet, to sprawling fall foliage used alongside the most sumptuous blooms of the season.  Once again, Carissa from JL Designs made the perfect collaborator as she brought my visions to life.  I especially loved her use of dramatic amaryllis (a fav of mine!) and whole pomegranates in her design.

Casa de Perrin tabletop wares stole the show in a variety of textures: walnut florentine chargers as a base, white collection china, gold flatware and a mix of red and cut crystal goblets for an extra pop on the tables.  The look was unabashedly luxurious while still feeling accessible.  Linens from La Tavola added even more color but the natural linen texture kept it subtle.  I set each seat with a wooden box filled with curated treasures like a name tag by Anne Robin, travel candle from Rosy Rings, beautiful matches, my homemade gluten free granola packed into Weck Jars, handmade Malvi marshmallows and Solstice Canyon almond butter.  It was a final opportunity to spoil these precious new friends.

Heirloom LA blew us all away with a phenomenal family style meal featuring all the best the season had to offer: a red grapefruit salad with speckled lettuces, fresh figs and sunflower seeds; grilled coho salmon and crispy pork belly served alongside roasted root vegetables and a warm sunchoke salad.  It was easily one of the most wonderful meals I’ve had, thanks to Chef Matthew Poley and his unparalleled team.  I loved looking up and down the table, watching new friends share in this meal together.  It was magical.  Heirloom LA put together a decadent mini dessert display, accented by ice cream cakes made by Sweet and Saucy Shop with Sweet Lucie’s ice cream (what a collaboration, right??).  My friends from Sweet Lucie’s even came out with their signature cart to scoop their ice cream in person.  Guests mingled in stylish lounges by Found Rentals and hopped in and out of the fun Flipbooth (a photobooth that prints out perfect flipbooks!) until we had to say farewell.

For a special takeaway station, A Rental Connection hung my favorite Edison bulbs on a vintage arch from Found Rentals.  This beautiful display featured seasonal apples from my favorite local orchard.  Apples are one of my favorite things about summer and fall, so I had to share some with my guests!

Without further ado, here are the stunning photos from my dear friend Ryan Ray.  I am so grateful I had him behind the camera, capturing every detail with such an artful perspective.

me & Ryan himself! Grateful I got him in front of the camera for this snap!

obviously this was before I changed, but I love this snap of me and Cary (Ryan’s wife), my soul sister

Michy, Lauren from Found, Erica from 10.11 Makeup, me, Jeni from Found, Carissa of JL Designs

my precious friend Tara of Heirloom LA

I always love seeing Mike from Sweet Lucie’s!

My Dream Team… event planning + design + styling: Love & Splendor // photography: Ryan Ray // venue: The Washbow Culver City, California // catering: Heirloom LA // florals: JL Designs // furniture rentals: Found Vintage Rentals // tabletop rentals: Casa de Perrin // linens: La Tavola Fine Linen // lighting: A Rental Connection // ice cream cakes: Sweet and Saucy Shop x Sweet Lucie’s collaboration // ice cream: Sweet Lucie’s // photobooth: Flipbooth LA // hair + makeup:10.11 Makeup // calligraphy: Anne Robin (placecards and menus) and Miss Multee (apple station signage) // venue scouting: The Venue Report

I hope you’re all having a great week!  How is already Thursday??  Look out for all the workshop details next week & don’t forget to set an alarm for Wednesday, 6/10 at 9a PST when registration will (finally) open!  Hooray!!  Thank you for stopping by; I am truly grateful for you.

I had such a sweet Mother’s Day weekend this year, so I thought I’d share a few snippets of how we celebrated.  I know so many people are vehemently against “greeting card holidays” like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day.  I can never truly understand why.  Of course we should honor our parents and tell our loved ones how precious they are to us more than one day a year.  BUT, I see nothing wrong with a special, dedicated day to really remind us to go that extra mile in pouring out our appreciation.  It doesn’t have to be elaborate or cost a lot of money (or any at all, frankly!).  I am always happy to have a reason to celebrate the blessings in my life.  Mother’s Day is not about getting spoiled by my family (obviously not opposed to that, though! ha!), but about reveling in the joy of motherhood itself.  I want to spend special time with my family, slow down a little (read: not do dishes for a day), and just reflect on the wonderful privilege of mothering my two children.

TWO!  This year I have two beautiful children, making this Mother’s Day extra special.  We are so close to the finish line with finalizing our adoption with Noah so it won’t be long before you see his sweet face.  🙂  Everyday with him is a joy and I can’t wait to share more about our journey and experience.  I thank God for these two precious blessings.

On Saturday I kicked off the weekend in the best way possible: working at the Giant Playdate by the Alliance of Moms.  This special event is a fundraiser for the Alliance for Children’s Rights — a non profit organization that advocates for LA’s foster kids.  I was honored to plan + design this year’s playdate.  It was a ton of fun (and a great change of pace from weddings) and I had the double joy of bringing my kiddos along for the last hour!  I will be sharing many more photos from this event in a full blog post down the line but here are a few sneak peeks for now.

romper by sweet threads / cupcake by sweet and saucy shop / frill from geronimo balloons

endless entertainment from best bubble parties

The following photos are by the incredible Abby and Lauren

she LOVED this camp craft station where she made me an adorable wooden bead necklace

On Sunday morning, I woke up to an excited Olive and Erik at my bedside.  They had a card and a few hilarious gifts that Olive chose for me (one was a Barbie doll which she has now taken back for herself and the other was a light-changing bouncy ball).  We went to church and then had our usual post-church lunch of In-N-Out.  We then hit the road to Cambria, where we have gone to celebrate every Mother’s Day since 2012.  I grab an olallieberry iced team at Linn’s and we strolled around the antique and garden shops together.  The weather was perfect and we had such a lovely afternoon.  We returned home for Olive’s nap and then went for Thai food for dinner (my fav) before doing a Target run before bedtime.  Nothing super fancy but a joyful day spent with my three favorite people.  I couldn’t ask for more.

Olive’s dress by little minis / my dress by anthropologie

This week we’ve been working hard at purging and organizing (perhaps for an upcoming garage sale?) and putting finishing touches on Noah’s nursery.  I’ll share soon!  I also am working on final preparations for next weekend’s weekend in southern California.

I hope you are having a great week so far; see you again soon!

I am busy working this week on a very special event and for the first time in a long time, it’s not a wedding!  I am so honored and excited to be planning and designing for the Alliance of Moms’ 2014 Giant Playdate.  It’s exactly what it sounds like: the playdate to end all playdates, a time for families to come together and enjoy one another and just have FUN for a cause.  The event is a fundraiser for the Alliance for Children’s Rights: a wonderful organization that provides support and services to foster youth in Los Angeles.  I honestly cannot think of a better way to spend the Saturday before Mother’s Day!

I’ve had a heart for foster children for a long time, and as a new adoptive mama (by God’s grace, almost official!) I couldn’t be more delighted to support such a wonderful cause.  If you are free this Saturday, snag one of the remaining tickets and join me for a playdate!  You can get your tickets HERE.

Here’s what we have in store…

  • It’s all taking place at the beautiful Lombardi House in Hollywood: home of the prettiest house + modern barn you’ve ever seen!  The event is from 10a-1p.
  • A scrumptious lunch by Heirloom LA is included, along with snacks and beverages from Annie’s, Organic Valley, and Leaf & Love Lemonade.
  • To satisfy your sweet tooth, grab some treats from Sweet & Saucy Shop and a refreshing paleta from Sí Paletas.
  • There will activities for everyone including…
    • Bubble fun by Best Bubble Parties
    • A craft activity by Camp Craft
    • A garden activity by Bramble Gardens
    • Drumming for the whole family with Free to Be Me Drum Circle
    • Photobooth fun from Flipbooth LA
    • Stroller cleaning by The Tot Squad
    • A braid bar & hair finishing station by Spoke & Weal Salon
    • A Tattly station — for all your “designy temporary tattoos”
    • A station for kiddos to put together a floral posey for their mamas
    • Great tunes spun by Daisy O’Dell
    • … and an incredible auction with items donated from all of your favorite mama brands + great dining experiences, gift certificates and luxury items!
  • I’ve brought on all my favorite pals to help make the playdate gorgeous…
  • Everything will be beautifully captured by Lauren & Abby Ross (photography) and Shark Pig (video production)
  • …and of course, Love & Splendor will be there with bells on (probably not literally, but who knows), holding down the fort and making sure everything runs smoothly!  You’ll also likely catch me playing at all of the above stations…

I hope to see you on Saturday!  If you’re a reader, please come up and say hi!  I’d love to meet you.  😉

I am getting SO excited about doing another Love & Splendor Workshop this fall in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California.  I catch myself daydreaming constantly about it, and have been working hard to put together another incredible experience filled with instruction and inspiration.  If you missed the announcement post about this year’s workshop, click HERE!

There are lots of details to share soon, and I hope to open registration in a few weeks.  Today, I wanted to give you a better look at what happened at last year’s inaugural workshop.  You may have seen glimpses of the workshop on Green Wedding Shoes (Part 1 and Part 2), but today I’ll be sharing a more unabridged recap of the event.  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to look back on these beautiful images by my dear friend, Ryan Ray.  The entire workshop experience was magical, from start to finish.  I loved meeting these creative women and sharing my heart with them!

I kicked off the 2014 Love & Splendor Workshop with a welcome dinner at The Salon — the private tasting room of Heirloom LA.  If you follow me on Instagram or have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know how I feel about Heirloom.  They are set apart in the industry as champions for sustainable, local, & organic foods.  They put together beautiful menus that feature the best of the season.  They work hand-in-hand with small farms and purveyors to utilize the most interesting and flavorful ingredients.  Most of all, their food is INCREDIBLE and is prepared with a great amount of love, care, and intention.  I frequently say if Chef Matt is in the kitchen, I want to be at the table.  I can never get enough Heirloom LA, and neither can my clients!  My favorite meetings are tastings at Heirloom LA because really, how can it get better than working while eating scrumptious food??  I knew I wanted to share the intimate “tasting” experience with my attendees for this welcome workshop, so there was no better setting than the The Salon.

With the perfect sized group of 15 attendees and a handful of vendors, we were seated at two tables: one large “horseshoe” shaped table and a second dining table.  Chef Matt prepared the entire meal in front of us, in the center of the horseshoe, answering questions about the food as we went.  It was the ultimate foodie experience and I heard many tell me that night that it was the best meal they had ever had.  That makes me so happy!!  I wanted to simply enjoy our first night together in a more casual way, getting to know each other, laughing together, and bonding in that unique way that only comes from breaking bread with one another.

I embraced a black & white palette for this event, with a slight “newspaper” influence.  With such a limited color palette, I knew I’d have to bring in lots of layers, patterns, and textures to add visual interest.  It was fun designing in black and white… especially for a color-lover like me!  Menus read, “Extra! Extra! Eat all about it!” (I couldn’t help myself…) and were formatted in columns like a page out of the newspaper.  A chalkboard was covered with modern b&w typography prints featuring inspirational quotes, offering uplifting “headlines.”  I loved using a geometric b&w patterned rug from found as an anchor in the room, along with a black dining table and industrial bar cart for the welcome drinks.  La Tavola‘s abstract b&w patterned runners and napkins made the perfect statement on the tabletops.  One of my favorite details?  The opaque black and white goblets from Casa de Perrin, white signature collection chargers, and ebony flatware.  So chic!  Carissa from JL Designs topped tables with white bud vases filled with b&w textured blooms (we needed lots of space for food, so these petite pieces added just the right amount of height and interest to the tables) and placesettings were noted with placecards hand-lettered by my friend and favorite calligrapher, Anne Robin.  The look was simple and unfussy but still brimming with playful details.  I can never resist adding a little bit of whimsy when I can…  I even dressed the part, in a black and white dress from Anthropologie topped with a loud & crazy Alice + Olivia embroidered jacket.

As guests arrived, I greeted each one (alongside my amazing assistant, Michelle) and they were offered a beautiful hand-crafted drink.  I was crazy about the “mocktail” we served up which featured passion fruit juice, pear nectar, lemon juice and sugar.  Yum!  As attendees trickled in, they noshed at one of Heirloom’s signature crostini stations: a feast for the senses brimming with artisan cured meats, fresh milk cheeses, olives, organic pickled vegetables, grilled flatbreads, housemade crostini and a variety of dips, nuts and butters.  I made sure we took care of our two gluten free attendees (Hi sweet J & L!), too!

I made a brief welcome and let Chef Matt take it from there!  Our menu was as follows:

White Corn and Radish Salad: shaved carrots, mouse melon and cucumbers,
cherry tomatoes, tomatillo vinaigrette, toasted ricotta cheese and spicy almonds.

Fresh Ricotta Cavatelli: plancha grilled pumpkin, fried sage, crumbled queso fresco,
charred spring onion, swiss chard swerved witha  pumpkin bisque velouté

Heirloom LA Syrah Braised Buffalo Short Ribs (!): served with tuscan kale,
natural jus and tuscan cabbage

Sautéed Baby Broccoli: with citrus vinaigrette, roasted fennel and dandelion greens,
spicy pumpkin seeds and a cilantro vinaigrette

Flourless Chocolate Cake: topped with dark chocolate ganache,
creme anglaise and seasonal berries

My mouth is watering just reliving that perfect meal!

what can I say?  I get excited about food, clearly…

By the end of the evening, I felt like we had all successfully broken the ice and made some new friends.  It was the ideal way to kick off our time together and give the attendees “just a taste” of what was to come…  Each attendee left with a food-inspired gift along those lines, featuring a favorite ascolana olive oil from Il Fustino and artisan finishing salt from Jacobsen Salt Co.

VENDORS: Design & Styling by Love & Splendor | Photography by Ryan Ray | Catering by Heirloom LA | Venue: The Salon by Heirloom LA | Furniture Rental by Found Vintage Rentals | Tabletop Rental by Casa de Perrin | Floral by JL Designs | Linens by La Tavola Fine Linens | Paper Goods by Love & Splendor in-house graphic designer, Kristin

I can’t wait to welcome a new bunch of attendees this fall and make new memories and new friends…

I’ll be recapping the rest of the workshop in 3 more posts coming your way soon!  🙂  Until then, make sure to save-the-date for September 14-17 to join me for round 2 at beautiful Greengate Ranch in SLO!  One thing I can certainly promise is that the food will (once again) be utterly incredible.

It’s true — I haven’t blogged in ages!  As things got busy around here with my final weddings of 2014, the blog took a backseat.  Then, I spent the majority of the last month finalizing preparations for the very first Love & Splendor workshop.  I’m here to report that by God’s grace, the event was a smashing success.  I am still floating on cloud 9 from the experience, and I know it will be a few weeks before I can fully process the beauty of it all.  It will also be a bit before we see the professional film photos from Ryan Ray (eek!!) so these iPhone snaps will have to do for now…

This past Sunday, as I scurried around the Heirloom LA Salon with Michelle, prepping for the welcome dinner, I confessed that my heart was beating wildly in my chest.  She couldn’t fathom why I’d be nervous.  After all, I’m definitely not afraid of public speaking, and I was totally prepared and ready for the workshop itself.  I told her that I thought my nerves were a mix of excitement, anticipation and maybe even a bit of self-imposed pressure.  I spent nearly a year thinking about hosting a workshop, and then planning every last detail.  I wanted to present a workshop that was impactful, educational, and inspiring.  Once we had our attendees locked in and registration closed, I think it became real to me.  There were 15 incredibly passionate, intelligent, creative women coming to this workshop — would I meet their expectations?  Would I be “worth” the journey some were making (from as far as Greece, Canada, Detroit, Pittsburgh…)?  In the end I knew all I could do was my very best, and all I could give them was myself, genuinely and freely.

Once the ladies arrived on Sunday and the introductory hugs were given, my nerves naturally calmed.  I felt truly humbled to spend a few days with this beautiful group of women, just sharing my heart, my story, and the lessons I’ve learned in the 9 years I’ve worked in this business.  With such an intimately-sized group (the perfect size!!), I got to spend time chatting with each of them, too.  I got to hear about their goals, their struggles, their desires.  We laughed together, I cried (haha! at least 3x on Tuesday — all happy tears!), and we shared some unforgettable moments.  When I walked into the farewell dinner at The Washbow, I burst into (joyful) tears.  I felt like I had finally given birth, in a way… something I had dreamed of for so long had finally come to fruition and I felt so blessed.  I am SO thankful I put on this workshop.  I am SO grateful to have met each of these hearts.  I can’t wait to keep in touch with each of them, following their journey in the years ahead.  Look out for these ladies — I think the L&S “alumni” are the best of the best for the future of this industry.  😉

I could not have put on this workshop alone and I plan to blog a bit about each of the speakers, collaborators and sponsors for this workshop in the weeks ahead.

Our amazing team included: Ryan Ray // Heirloom LA // Green Wedding Shoes // Jesi Haack Design // JL Designs // found vintage rentals // Julie Song Ink // Casa de Perrin // The Venue Report // Elysium Productions // La Tavola Linen // Sweet Lucie’s // Sweet and Saucy Shop // Financially Wise Women // The Washbow // 10.11 Makeup // Flipbooth LA // Jacobsen Salt Co. // Rosy Rings // Il Fustino // Pinch Provisions // Herbivore Botanicals // Malvi Joy // Solstice Canyon // Vanesa Rey // Rifle Paper Company

For now, let it suffice to say that I had the BEST team of people behind me for this workshop and that made all the difference.  Above all, I have to give all glory to God.  Anything good in me, any gifts that I have, come from Him.  I am so grateful for the opportunities He has given me.

I also have lots of general blogging catch-up (life, Olive updates, real weddings) to do.  Now that my 2014 season has come to a close, you’ll be hearing more from me here again!

I’ve already been asked many times — will you do another workshop?  I think the answer is a resounding yes.  But, before diving into that process, I will be taking time to relax, recharge and pray about it.  It’s important to me that each workshop has the same level of intention, purpose and attention to detail as this one did.  Once I have some information to share, you’ll hear about it!  If you would like to join the interest list for the next workshop (and have priority pre-sale for tickets before they are released), feel free to email

Thank you to each of you who has followed along here on my blog (or on Instagram) as I embarked on this inaugural workshop journey.  Your love, support, prayers and encouragement mean the world to me.

Have a wonderful weekend and chat again soon!

I absolutely LOVE putting together welcome bags for my clients and their guests.  I firmly believe that a guest’s experience should begin the moment they receive an invitation (or save-the-date!), and culminate in a well-planned weekend full of personalized details.  With this weekend’s destination wedding in Paso Robles, my sweet bride and groom commissioned me to assemble some fabulous “swag bags” for their favorite people in the world.  As I delivered them this morning at four different hotels, I couldn’t help but smile thinking of the lucky guests who would receive them today and tomorrow.  A welcome bag is a special touch that can simultaneously: 1) Tie in the look/feel/design of your wedding, 2) Provide your guests with helpful weekend info and enough snacks to postpone their raiding of the minibar, 3) Make the recipients feel really special, kicking off the celebrations of the weekend and setting the tone for the wedding.

a trunk packed with hospitality!

For today’s installment of {the nuptial primer}, I thought I’d break down how to plan and prep your own welcome bags.  From simple to over-the-top, we never tire of these thoughtful gifts.

photo by Ryan Ray // custom artwork by Kristin, in-house graphic designer for Love & Splendor // printing by The Wedding Chicks

1) Start with a great tote/bag/basket/container!  Many of my clients love to use reuseable totes from the Wedding Chicks shop, which are reasonably priced and totally customizable.  They have tons of darling designs to choose from but you can also send them your custom artwork for printing.  🙂  For this weekend, we used their airplane state wedding totes but adjusted it slightly to have the plane’s trail coming from Texas, where the couple currently resides.  Beyond totes, I have used kraft paper gift bags, gable boxes of all colors and sizes, baskets and sturdy gift boxes.  For a tropical destination, you might consider a straw beach tote.  For a garden wedding, a galvanized steel bucket would be a charming pick.  Make sure that the size of the bag or container is appropriate for the contents you plan to pack inside.

2) Include the basics.  I think all welcome bags should contain a bottle or two of water, a sweet snack, a salty snack, and a pack of gum or mints.  These are traditional items that will definitely be appreciated by your traveling guests.  Depending on the location and season, I also like to include a piece of fresh fruit (like an apple or banana — something that travels well).  For the sweet and salty snacks, consider favorites of the bride and groom.  This weekend’s couple requested Pirate’s Booty as well as fun-size Snickers and a piece of fresh Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory fudge.  For my sister and brother-in-law last year, we included a tin of Hampton Popcorn because they love watching movies together.

3) Add local flavor.  Guests love getting to sample some local treats.  Is the city or town famous for their citrus (ahem, Ojai)?  Well throw in some Ojai Pixies (tangerines) for your guests to enjoy.  For Anna and Sean’s wedding, we also included local favorites like Zhena’s Gypsy Tea and raw lavender honey.  With this weekend’s wedding taking place in Paso Robles, a half bottle of wine was a must-have.  They opted for a Cabernet Sauvignon from Justin Vineyards and Winery.  I had a couple who got married in New Mexico and they integrated both local treats (roasted nuts) as well as items from a city important to them (New Orleans — beignet mix from Café du Monde).  A Hawaiian welcome bag might feature chocolate covered macadamia nuts or a small bag of Kona coffee beans.  For a Santa Barbara wedding, I might include some Robitaille’s famous mints (from nearby Carpinteria).  And for an L.A. shindig, some inexpensive sunnies, some Handsome Coffee and a box of See’s candy might be perfect.

I hope Ryan Ray forgives me for taking an iPhone pic of this print because I don’t have the photo uploaded to my comp.  The fuzziness and light leaks are all mine.  😉

4) Share vital info.  If you need to update guests on a shuttle schedule or various weekend events, include a little note or card with important addresses, contact information, and itineraries.  It may also be helpful to put in some local maps and guides to help your guests navigate the area.  For an SF wedding, you might put in a BART or MUNI schedule and map, for example.

5) Pack up to perfection!  Consider working with your stationer to create custom labels, tags and notecards to go with your welcome bags.  If you are buying certain items in bulk that you will be repackaging (e.g. Goldfish crackers to go into small clear boxes), you may need to source just the right mini boxes.  A simple tie-on tag that says “welcome” is also a nice touch.  Assemble the bags/boxes carefully, putting heavy items on the bottom and any printed materials on top (so they won’t get crushed/bent).

pretty paper goods from Le Partie Sugar

Now deliver those special packages to your guests!  Make sure to save one for yourself and have your photographer shoot it on the wedding day for some great detail shots.

I hope this post was helpful to some of you out there!  What was the best thing you’ve ever seen in a welcome bag?  Or on the flip side, what would you make sure to put in one now?

See you again soon!

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you all took a peek at Olive’s 1st bash on 100 Layer Cakelet yesterday.  Today I’m back with more details + pics of a truly special day for our family!

Most of you know that our darling Olive was a long-awaited child so we knew we wanted to celebrate her 1st birthday in style!  In the Korean culture, the 1st birthday is traditionally a momentous and grand occasion, and many families throw lavish parties to herald it.  Since I am half Korean (and Olive is only 1/4 Korean), we went with an in-between celebration: plenty of details to make it feel special but with a casual vibe to still feel like a children’s party.

Our initial venue was on the beach, so we started out with a watery palette of blues. Although we ended up moving the party to another location, we stuck with that original seaside inspiration.  The party integrated soft shades of pool, sky, and aqua blue, along with complementary shades of mint, peach, and coral.  Gold was a subtle accent.  The lovely and talented Chelsea Petaja of Oh My Deer Handmades designed the beautiful invitations using swashes of watercolor and floral accents. Envelope liners featured a distressed scalloped pattern reminiscent of fish scales. Tied up in twine and sent off in kraft envelopes with white calligraphy, the invites set the tone for what was to come.

Franklin Canyon Park is a hidden gem tucked away off Mulholland in Beverly Hills, and their auditorium was a great blank canvas to work with.  We dressed regular banquet tables in various shades of blue + aqua linens from La Tavola Linen, and set them with playful pink and blue goblets from the fabulous Casa de Perrin.  Their pink swirl luncheon plates and gold flatware completed the ladylike placesettings. Luscious springtime florals were created by our dear friend Jaclyne from Heavenly Blooms Designs.  The featured flora included garden roses, poppies and anenomes.  I had collected an assortment of vintage bottles and modern vessels to use on the tables, along with some ocean-inspired decor like a glass fish terrarium vase and a classic white Shreve, Crump and Low gurgling cod pitcher.  My husband and I also made 7 lovely papier mâché boats using the lovely Ann Wood’s paper boat tutorial and we hung them up behind the dessert table.

I needed an excuse to pick up a Confetti System fringe garland so the party was the perfect justification!  We hung up the perfectly-hued garland over a lounge area created by {found} rentals, using their amazing vintage furniture, ottomans, and cozy quilts and pillows.

I wanted to provide lunch that was going to be appealing for all of our guests, which included vegans, vegetarians, paleo-dieters and omnivores alike.  I had a wonderful experience with catering through one of my favorite LA chains, Lemonade LA.  Their seasonal offerings were beautiful and scrumptious and we had rave reviews from everyone!  I went with five beloved marketplace offerings (including their watermelon radish ahi salad, Israeli couscous and mushrooms, curried cauliflower), lots of fresh seared ahi, buttermilk battered chicken, and of course their refreshing watermelon rosemary lemonade!  My mom and I also prepped lots of seasonal fruit, along with pouches from Ella’s Kitchen (our fav!) for Olive’s friends.

As a prelude to the sweet treats to come, I prepared a candy display with all of my favorite Asian sweets including Pocky and Milky.  They looked perfect on the round display from {found} and guests tucked their treats into hand-watercolored muslin bags I prepared!

I left the actual desserts to the experts, so we had Melody from Sweet and Saucy Shop create the beautiful cake (with rock sugar “sea glass”) along with mini desserts like candy bar cupcakes and passion fruit panna cotta.  As an extra sweet surprise, I had Geri from Sweet Lucie’s bring her party cart for our guests, and they served up three flavors of their amazing organic ice cream: pistachio, strawberry mint lemonade sorbet, and my special request of bananas foster: banana ice cream with caramel swirl and toasted almonds!!!

Perhaps the biggest hit of the party was the “bubbleologist” from Bubblemania and Company.  They were amazing to work with from start to finish.  Jilbert was our performer that day and he was INCREDIBLE.  Check out my faces in the photos… I think it’s plain to see that I was his biggest fan.  His fun show kept everyone entertained — he was funny, educational, friendly and a consummate professional. After his magical show (which concluded with him putting willing volunteers into giant bubbles!), he had set up equipment in the courtyard for the kids to play with themselves.  It made me so happy to see everyone rush out there to take their turn with the big wands and toys.

The afternoon ended with a slideshow that Erik put together.  It chronicled my entire pregnancy (from announcing it, to a montage of me growing everyday, to the parents  to the delivery room!) a well as Olive’s first year.  It was definitely a tear-jerker and was the perfect ending to a lovely day.

We were so blessed by everyone who came out to celebrate Olive with us! The day flew by but we are grateful for the gorgeous photos captured by Courtney of Erin Hearts Court; we will cherish them forever!!

Okay… now on to more photos!!  🙂  Here are lots and lots (and lots) of photos from the beautiful day.

Again, a million thanks to the people who made this day a reality…  I cannot say enough about each of these artists and purveyors of fabulous wares.  I am blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people in this industry!


I have one final post about Olive’s party that I’ll share sometime next week or so.  It will focus on the planning process and my tips & lessons learned from the big day! Also in the posting queue: Olive’s 13 month update (by popular demand, they’re continuing!), a wedding post, and another installment of {the nuptial primer}.

Hope you all have a marvelous weekend!!  xoxo, Angel

Our Olive is 1.  No surprise here, you guys knew that already.  😉  But, I have been dying to share photos from her 1st bash with all of you and today I can!  We are so thrilled and honored to have Olive’s 1st birthday party featured on 100 Layer Cakelet today. The site is spinoff from the fabulous ladies behind 100 Layer Cake, so you know it’s wonderful.  It’s a great place to be inspired by great parties, showers, family photos & children’s lifestyle posts — check it out!!


photo by Erin Hearts Court

Check it out on 100 Layer Cakelet today (and leave us some love there!), but I’ll be back tomorrow with all of my mommy details and some behind-the-inspiration.

As always, it took a village!  Many thanks to the amazing friends + vendors who made this special day for my family come to life…


See you tomorrow!!  xoxo, Angel


Happy Friday, everyone!!  I hope you all had an amazing week~  Thank you for stopping by before you kick off the weekend!

Although Olive’s actual birthday isn’t until the 12th, I officially have ONE WEEK left until Olive’s 1st bash.  We are excited to celebrate the first year of our darling daughter with so many loved ones, some of whom are traveling pretty significant distances to be with us!  I should’ve known better than to plan the party for a Saturday when so many of our wedding industry friends have events to shoot and style, but the date was set to coincide with some travel plans.  All that to say, we are grateful for each of the amazing families coming together next weekend on behalf of our little girl!  I think at last count we are expecting about 60 adults and 30 (!) kids & babies.

a spark of inspiration from my friends at Casa de Perrin.  The top left photo is of the actual party invitation, created by the amazing Chelsea Petaja.

I started thinking about Olive’s birthday about 3 months ago, because I knew I wanted to do something pretty special à la cultural tradition.  After chatting with Erik and my parents, we made some initial guidelines and I got down to business planning and designing!  Today I wanted to give you a glimpse of what’s in store for this celebration.  I still want to keep most of the details under wraps for our guests, so here are just a handful of hints about the plans in progress…

  1. The party will be swathed in a palette that includes watery shades of blue and green (aqua, teal, ocean, sky, mint), feminine blush and peach, and a touch of GOLD!
  2. There is a subtle water/ocean motif in many design elements.  The original venue for the party was steps from the ocean, but we changed it right before sending out invites.  My inspiration for the palette remained the same nonetheless.  There won’t be any starfish, shells or anchors in sight, but other whimsical details definitely reference my love of the sea.
  3. I hired an entertainer for the party.  Don’t worry: it’s not a clown or magician or mime!  I am actually really excited about this part of the party and think the adults will find it as fun as the kids (at least I hope so!).
  4. Lunch is being catered by a yummy chain restaurant.  Yep, I said chain! There will be scrumptious, healthy, colorful options for everyone in attendance: vegans and paleo dieters and omnivores alike!
  5. Dessert will be coming from two of my favorite industry friends… I’m not telling who they are, though!  I’m also bringing some nostalgic sweets to share with our guests.

I must say I have LOVED planning a child’s birthday (of course partly because it is for *my* child), and would love to do more kids’ events in the future.  It’s always great to break out of the norm and do something to flex my creative muscles.  There is an undercurrent of playfulness and whimsy in children’s event planning that really suits my aesthetic.  😉

little party things…

This weekend my plan is to finish all of the signage and printed goods for the party, assemble favors, and SLEEP.  I’ve had one too many late nights this week and concealer can only do so much…  This girl needs some old-fashioned R&R!

Enjoy your weekend and see you Monday for our EXCITING news + giveaway!!!

xoxo, Angel

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