Monday, February 14, 2011

My Blog Has Moved!

I've moved my blog, Viva Bella Inside Out!

Please find me at (and update your RSS feed!):

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Best of the Knot & Bride's Choice Award on Wedding Wire

Wow, January is off to a great start with news that we have received "Best of the Knot 2011" and Wedding Wire's "Bride's Choice Awards 2011". Hooray!

The awards are given based on bridal reviews so THANK YOU to all of you who wrote a review for us. It truly means a lot. We LOVE our clients and we LOVE the work we do. Thank you, again!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chameleon Chairs come to town! | Cincinnati Wedding Planner

It's probably not an understatement to say I'm just a wee bit obsessed with chairs... well, before I sound too wacky, my passion is about the way chairs can impact the look and feel of an event. Having the right chair, chair cover, chair pad, chair topper, chair skirt or chair sleeve (whew!) changes the look of an event. I devoted a whole blog post to this 2 years ago!

The trendiest, coolest rental chair available now is the The Chameleon Chair. After first seeing this chair 3 years ago at The Special Event trade show, I've wanted to use them in the Cincinnati market.

And I HAVE tried to bring them in (shipped from Chicago), but the shipping price of $1200 (!) was wisely cause for pause.
However, at the ABC conference in Phoenix last November, I met with the President/CEO, Jerry Smolar, of Chameleon Chairs... And we devised a plan to get affordable ship the chairs for my next event.

And so they came last month for one of my corporate events at the Hilton Netherland Plaza!

There are endless options to accessorize these chairs (they are aptly named as the look transforms with the simple addition of a cover). For my December event, I chose the Chloe topper, as it fit best with the desired look - clean, sleek and upscale.
Not only are they great looking, they are SO comfortable, which was really important for the 2 day event. I rented the bar stools for the foyer are and the standard size for the ballroom. The clients (and Hilton staff) loved them!

Here is more information about these lovely chairs:
Pictured below they are "naked," with several styles to choose from. The pad can be changed to any color.

If you start adding toppers and skirts, you get a really wow look! Here are various looks I found around online:

I actually used both purple toppers pictured above on chiavari chairs for a wedding last fall. The fit wasn't perfect, as it's designed to fit a Chameleon, but it was still pretty!

I can't wait until one of my chair obsessed brides in Cincinnati wants to bring The Chameleon chair in for her wedding! Any takers? ;)

Images from the Hilton event courtesy of Saybrook Marketing and my iPhone.
All other images are credited on the photo.
Many of the toppers in the photos are available at Wild Flower Linen.

From perfume bottle to Cake Topper | Cincinnati Wedding Planner

One of my summer brides, with discriminating taste(!), is considering this gorgeous perfume bottle as her cake topper.

I LOVE when my brides think out of the box!

We're working with Ileana of Sugar Realm on the cake design. Expect greatness. Seriously.

The "Blair" Arabesque Perfume Bottle is available at Bergdorf Goodman.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Family Fun!

A photo session with a 1 year old is like a circus - everyone is making funny faces in hopes for a smile or a laugh!

Over Thanksgiving, we headed to Houston, Texas, to spend the holiday with my husband's parents. We decided to get some photos take all together by our good friends at Fidelis Studio.
It was a HOT and HUMID hour in the park! And we did manage to get some smiles from our Joy!

Here we are with Stevie's sweet parents, who love their little granddaughter so much! They must love us, too, because my mother-in-law woke up every morning with Joy and let us sleep in! What a treat!

Below, me chasing Joy... her favorite, "I'm gonna get you!" See that dimple... melts my heart!
Her not-so-favorite... getting caught! But I love it... scooping her up and covering her with kisses!
The gang again!
A daddy favorite below-- tossing up his girl!I love this silly picture below... Joy's letting it all hang out!

Thanks for letting me share a bit of my family with you!

Friday, January 7, 2011

How the Cool Kids Rolled in the New Year

Some people roll in the New Year in true style and that hot ticket was found in Las Vegas at the new Cosmopolitan Hotel on New Year's Eve. I had a special interest in this event because I heard so much about the plans for it during my internship with the event's mastermind, Colin Cowie.

"Budget was not the chief concern, not at all" master party planner, Colin Cowie shares (via BizBash). "What Chelsea Clinton's wedding did for families, giving people permission to spend money [conspicuously] again, this event will do for corporate event marketers."

Well, with a statement like that, let's see what this party was all about!

The pinnacle of the 3 day celebration was New Year's Eve, with the evening beginning with a caviar and Dom PĂ©rignon black tie reception. From there, guests moved to a sit down dinner. Below is a photo of Colin in front of his amazing design work!

Highlights of the dinner experience:
- Complete custom installation including custom re-carpeting, an elevated platform around the dining room and a round stage in the middle, where musicians such as Ben Folds performed.
- A mix of square and banquet tables, some with purple mirror, others in silver mirror.
- Deep purple flowers, such as peonies and dark purple calla lilies
- Lucite chairs
- Custom extravagant textured runners on the long tables
- Seating for over 1,300

All this took a mere few weeks to build out. Yowsa!

I remember Colin telling me (this past summer) that he designed the elevated perimeter of the dining room so that each person would have a great view of the stage and feel as much part of the event as the closest person to the stage.
I saw drawings of this exact space and design and sat through a meeting with the fantastic team of vendors who were going to make it happen. It's very cool to see how it came to life in these photos!
I love the custom railing in the photo below.

After dinner, the party really got started! Guests moved to a 40,000 foot "nightclub" that Colin and his team custom designed (naturally!) in the hotel's ballroom. Coldplay and Jay-Z head-lined the concert in solo and mash up performances (drool!) while Beyonce, Kanye West dropped in for surprise performances. I also read John Mayer was on hand, as well.

Oh yeah, Rhianna showed up later, too, at an after party in a night club in the hotel, as well as a slew of other amazing performers! Seriously, people, does this not sound pret-ty amazing?

Hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into this party half as much as I did! It's always inspiring to see -whether I'm there in person or reading it online- how the top in my field are staying ahead of the game, creating trends and making it happen. Thanks for keeping it interesting, Colin!

Read the full event recap as reported by BizBash here.

Photos: BizBash, Kevin Mazur/, Seth Browarnik/
Photo with Colin Cowie is from his fabulous weekly newsletter. Sign up to receive it here.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Our 2010 Favorite Things: Bridal Bouquets! *Cincinnati Wedding Planner*

Aww, the bridal bouquet! I love seeing what kind of bouquet a bride chooses to carry... it tells me so much about their personality. Is the bride classic? Traditional? Is she refined? Is she adventurous? A bouquet can communicate these things by the type of flowers, colors, and overall style.

In 2010, many of the brides we worked with chose an all white/ivory bouquet. This was a bit of a change from last year, when most of our clients carried bouquets with an array of color. But this past year's all white and ivory bouquets were still full of wonderful texture, which is a current trend and something I personally enjoy.
Here are some of my favorite 2010 bouquets, both white and colorful, which perfectly reflected the individuality of the brides who carried them.

Below is Nicole, carrying an all white and ivory bouquet.
Nicole was a beautiful, classic bride. I recall her telling me when we first spoke that she didn't want anything too contemporary for her wedding. Nicole has refined taste and also a generous heart with a fun-loving flair. Her textural bouquet of white peonies (classic) and white mini callas (refined), with peony buds wrapped in silver jewelry wire throughout, and a collar of white rooster feathers (fun flair!) really hit the mark on capturing her bridal essence. The stems were wrapped with a band of white satin ribbon that was pleated and pinned with rhinestones. And behind every gorgeous bouquet is a great designer - Neil Leeson (Cleveland), who designed Nicole's bouquet, is no exception!
For more photos of Nicole's platinum wedding, follow this link!

Next is Amy, a stunning summer bride who was a bit more on the contemporary end of the spectrum but definitely had some classic elements (I'll be blogging this gorgeous wedding soon!)

Amy is sweet, kind and soft spoken, yet she's a Texas girl who knows what she wants... and gets it. Her bouquet, designed by Kim Kenney of Timeless Fiori in Dallas, boasted cream hydrangea, white cymbidium orchids, stephanotis blooms with crystal accents, cream fringed tulips and double white freesia. Even though it was mostly whites and creams, it was full of gorgeous texture.
Wow, Amy really made this bouquet! I loved her lipstick! Her dark hair and lipstick were the perfect contrast to the soft hues of her skin.

Next is the sultry Veronica, whose look was stunning and nontraditional. I remember during the planning process, I had a weird dream about her wedding. I dreamed her bridesmaids' dresses were pink and her wedding decor was champagne and pink with roses everywhere. I have no idea why I had that dream - I know it's not her at all! But her response to my dream was, "you better not do that to my wedding!" :) And of course, we didn't!
Her hand tied bouquet, designed by Las Vegas Event Florals contained cymbidium orchids, Schwawarzwalder (black) calla lilies and black feathers. I loved how the deep colors of the perimeter faded into the white, delicate orchids in the center. It was striking, just as the bride herself.

Images by Adam Trujillo

I love it when a bouquet captures a bride's essence as the ones above did! I can't wait to see what our 2011 brides will carry. More beauty awaits!

Opening photo bouquet designed by Sprouts. Image by Alanna Photography

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