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

Our 2010 Favorite Things: Bridesmaid dresses! *Cincinnati Wedding Planner*

Bridesmaid dresses have come a long way, haven't they? I personally have 9 (or is it 10?) bridesmaid dresses scattered in boxes in my basement. How many of them have I actually worn again?... um... well...
Here are a few from our client's weddings that I would consider wearing again!

Below, Jacquie chose sophisticated full length silk gowns for her best gals. The neckline was gorgeous, plunging and the perfect dose of sexy. Ow!

The women had coordinating fur wraps to keep them warm from the brisk December chill... total cuteness!

One of our June brides, Hailey, also chose a long silk dress for her maids. The gowns were a beautiful shade of purple with each dress having a unique neckline: strapless, halter and v-neck. Pretty, pretty!

My favorite short dress this year was one that our bride, Maggie, chose for her girls: an adorable "shadow" colored dress by the designer, Thread. The above the knee length dresses were duchess satin fabric.

The absolute best feature on this dress was the ruffled one shoulder neckline. So, so cute! Paired with Katie Elfer's bright and whimsical bouquets, it was a perfect dress for a hot July wedding day!

Can't wait to see the dress our 2011 bridesmaids will wear!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our 2010 favorite things: Dresses! *Cincinnati Wedding Planner*

How is everyone's holidays going? I'm relaxing in 70 degree weather in Texas with family and friends!
Now, with just 2 days left in the year, we still have time to do "Our Favorite Things" review of our 2010 weddings!
Let's start with something I love, love, love... the bridal gown! Here are some of our favorite gown worn by our brides this past year.

First up is Lindsay in her gorgeous Vera Wang Aurora gown. The metallic duchess draped front empire gown had a beautiful jewel corsage on the bodice. I really loved the sheer trimming on just 1 side of the sweetheart neckline. It was the perfect detailed delicate touch.
The back of her gown featured a black grosgrain back tie. Pretty! Greatness can only be paired with greatness. Jimmy Choo anyone??
Lindsay looked simply beautiful in this gown! It really suited her personality perfectly!
Lindsay's photos courtesy of Neysa Ruhl

Next is Michelle who also wore a Vera Wang gown. The dress was featured in the first Sex and the City movie in the scene where the character Carrie was trying on several couture bridal gowns. I previously posted the clip here.
This dress was anything but simple! I love the contrast between the smooth bodice and the full & fluffy skirt. It was amazing!
Michelle added a jeweled belt to give the dress even more pop. She also added the long gloves to complete the sophisticated and highly stylish look! She was stunning in this gown.

Michelle paired her dress with these fantastic stilettos (I don't know the brand!). I love the fabric laced on the heel!

The next gown is Enzoani's Dulcina mermaid silhouette beauty worn by Veronica at her 10.10.10 Las Vegas wedding! (That's a 40 foot chandelier behind her and Santiago at the Red Rock Resort!)

The sweetheart neckline with ruched tulle bodice perfectly complimented her. I loved this dress on her! She wore is beautifully!
Images by Adam Trujillo

So, those are some of our favorite 2010 dresses our brides wore! Next up, our favorite bridesmaid dresses!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree

I've never had my own Christmas tree. I've avoided it, actually.

Growing up, we always had a tree, but after graduating from college or even after getting married and having our first baby, I never put one up.

I used to say it was because we would be leaving town for the holidays, so why put it up when we weren't here to enjoy it? But if I'm honest, the real reason why I've avoided it is because I'm intimated by decorating it! There, I said it. That's the truth. Decorating a tree seems daunting to me.
It's funny because I design many weddings and events for my job - and I LOVE doing it! It's one of my favorite parts of my job. So, what's the big deal about the Christmas Tree? I can do this, right?

When we decided to get a tree this year, I did what I normally do when I approach a "design" project - I get inspired! My first stop for inspiration was Colin Cowie's website. Of course, he has fabulous holiday decorating tips (such as, pick a color scheme and carry it all the way through, right down to the wrapping paper you use). His website also had photos of his personal tree and holiday decor in his home (pictured above in the opening image).

After looking at other amazingly decorated trees in design magazines and online sites, I settled on this: I want a pretty tree but more than that, I want our tree to be personal and tell a story; a story about our family and our growth together over the years. The design for our tree would be simple & sweet! And here it is:

A few of my favorite ornaments:

Top left: Joy as a newborn; Top right: me and my older sisters sometime in the 80s!
Bottom left: my newly formed family a year ago. Bottom right: A sweet ornament from my husband's 4th grade teacher.

Here is me and my Christmas JOY in front of our tree!
We actually have 2 trees in our house...
Last year someone in my family gave me a little tree with all Joy ornaments. I really love this little tree. It reminds me of God's goodness to finally answer our prayers over the years to give us our Joy. We put it in her nursery.
I've decided to take a picture of her with it each year... What a difference a year makes!

Here's a great "outtake" photo below when I was trying to catch the perfect shot of Joy by her tree! She was running out a patience with me...

I'm so glad I finally got over my tree intimidation! It's fun and fills our living room with warmth. Now ready for the holidays!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Come Together! |Cincinnati Event Planner|

Argentenian tango dancers accompanied by the world's best bandoneon player (he recorded with Shakira this year). A troupe of drummers circling an aerial acrobat. A rock show accompanied by a string quartet. Phenomenal hand balancing gymnasts. As I walked through the incredible video, the stunning lights, and the pumping rhythm, I felt privileged to be part of such an impressive show, let alone being part of producing it.

In September, we had an incredible chance to do a spectacular event for 800 people at Procter & Gamble: the North America Brand Building Awards. The celebration brought together 4 business functions and recognized the extraordinary work they accomplished together. Nine awards were given that night, and fabulous entertainment was intermixed throughout the evening.

The concept for the performances: a suite of acts revolving around the Beatles' "Come Together" (also the theme we chose for the event). They seemed incongruous when performed separately, but when combined, they became something entirely greater than the sum of those parts. It was a visual metaphor for what teamwork looks like in action, and it was inspiring! It was a gift to work with these talented artists. I'll let the photos speak for themselves!

Opening act to begin the show

Areialists and guitarists
The photo below is probably my favorite image. Such beauty and grace captured!
Amazing hand balancing gymnasts. I couldn't believe their strength.
My favorite act: the tango dancers. You could truly feel their passion.
The finale brought all acts performing together. The energy was amazing!
The entire event was inspiring! I loved seeing a company "come together" to recognize and celebrate teamwork... and having the opportunity to creatively express their message "strong individually, stronger together" was an honor!

Thanks for staging such a great event for P&G marketers on September 22. I was really impressed with the event – as usual, you think of all the details but bring it to life in a way that entertains and delights. I had a great time and wanted to make sure you knew how much we enjoyed it. Chris K. P&G

Original music & Creative: Steve Manuel
Musicians: Robbie Reider, Dave Eberhardt, Steve Manuel, Carl Larson string quartet
A/V Production & Lighting: Prestige, Steve Brock
Video: Ben Nicholson, Bill Poff, Patrick Buescher
Venue: Duke Energy Center

Monday, November 22, 2010

Small Business Day Promotion!

Thank you to everyone who supports their local small businesses!
We appreciate your continued support!
Small Business Saturday is Saturday, November 27th!

As a thank you for supporting Viva Bella Events, a Cincinnati small business, we would like to give you a gift! Call, email or Facebook us on November 27th, schedule your complimentary consultation and if you book your event with us, we will give you free event design services – valued at $500! Let us help you take your event to the next level with our design services that will create memories that will last a lifetime.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

An Afternoon with David Tutera | Cincinnati Wedding Planner

Last week I attended the Association of Bridal Consultants Annual Conference in Phoenix! Our keynote speaker was David Tutera, the host of WeTVs My Fair Wedding.

I have blogged about David before, when he was one the show, Celebrity Apprentice. The Apprentice featured him in a less than favorable light (on the show, he quit on the job, working with Joan Rivers), so my opinion of him was...well... a bit uncertain.
During an open Q&A, I have the opportunity to ask him about his experience on the show... I asked him what takeaways he learned from the experience. My question flustered him (poor guy!) as he rolled his eyes and sighed as he considered what happened on the show.
According to David, the producers were interested in drama and created a no-win situation for him to succeed. I believe it. Reality TV is nuts! He told us behind- the-scenes version of the story with great humor and charming charisma, which we all ate up with laughter! He is a funny guy. In the end, to answer my question, he said his take away from the experience that even bad PR is good PR because the exposure on the show increased his household exposure and google rating.

So, my opinion of him was redeemed (like it really matters!?) and his presentation was wonderful. He showed us pictures of the beautiful work he does and shared with us his best tip to be a successful wedding planner....


Listen to your bride and groom, find out who they are and tell their story through each detail of the wedding. FANTASTIC advice, I say.

So, everyone, I'm all ears!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Latin Fusion... in Cincinnati! *Cincinnati Wedding Planner*

At some point during the wedding planning process, my client and bride-to-be asked me "Have you ever planned a Latin wedding before?" I paused to think. She immediately responded, if you have to think about it, then you haven't!" And she was right.

So, here's the story of Nicole Portal and Andres Velarde May 2010 Latin wedding... full of passion, surprise and PEOPLE!

Serendipity is how Nicole describes meeting Andres in 2007.

Both Nicole and Andres are Miami, Florida natives and Nicole always envisioned herself being married in the city she loved. But life had other plans, as it always does!

Andres was offered a position with Procter and Gamble that he could not turn down. Nicole and Andres’ new life together would begin in Cincinnati, so they thought the best way to celebrate their new beginning was to be married in the Queen City... Miami style!

Nicole and her planning team of mom, Gloria, and sister, Lizette, traveled to Cincinnati to ensure a flawless plan. Nicole wanted her wedding day to be an affair that would be remembered by each and every guest. And her mission was definitely accomplished! Nicole and Andres’ special day was stunning, full of emotion, and of course, memorable for all. And we were thrilled to have been a part of it!
The bride wore a Rosa Clara gown embellished with custom crystals. Cincinnati master-hairstylist, Sam Hills of the High Five Salon, created a classic style to match her personality. Gerri from Saks and Brideface made Nicole glow, with their finishing touches.

The result... stunning!

Nicole wore custom jewelry designed by Giancarlo Jewelry Designs to compliment the detail in her dress and hair piece.
Beautiful bouquet accented with white feathers.

Below, Nicole and her entourage of bridesmaids... yes, 11 of them! The bridesmaids were custom designed dresses of charmeuse, chiffon, and crystals.

Steve Lyons captured this day beautifully in his photos. I love this one of Nicole. Classic beauty with just a touch of sass, as she waits for her moment to walk down the aisle.

The ceremony was held at Holy Trinity in Norwood. With a wedding party of 33 (!) people (11 bridesmaids, 12 groomsmen, 1 junior bridesmaid, 1 junior groomsmen, 3 flower girls and 3 ring bearers and of course, the bride and groom!), the processional alone was 20 minutes!

The ceremony was full of tradition! Pictured below, Nicole and Andres were draped by a mantilla (bridal veil). They also participated in the tradition of the Arras, which are coins exchanged during the ceremony. The coins are presented by the groom to the bride as a sign that the man is giving to his bride all that he possesses and with the promise that he will use it for her support. The woman then gives them back to him to accepting her duty to protect their riches.

Immediately following the recessional, Nicole and Andres released 12 doves as they left the Church as a symbol of their love for each other.

In platinum wedding-style, Nicole chose the Hall of Mirrors at the Hilton Netherland Plaza for her reception, with Hanna Minor managing the many reception details.

Nicole worked closely with Neil Leeson from Akron, Ohio to create truly one of a kind centerpieces. The final result was a fairy-tale wedding with an abundance of flowers, crystals and fun personal touches. The centerpiece below was my absolute favorite. Gorgeous!

The centerpiece pictured below anchored the 4 corners of the room. I had never seen anything like it! It was about 20 feet high. It felt like Miami Heat to me!
Another beautiful creation by Neil. I love the crystals draping over just one side.Nicole's cake was a six tier, hexagon shaped masterpiece. The cakery used the piping to match the texture of the bride’s gown and custom crystals as trim to match the bridesmaids dresses. The cake was topped with Lladro Doves, to compliment the theme of the wedding.

Below was one of the highlights of the reception for me... the first dance. Nicole and Andres were so playful during their dance - you could really see their friendship and enjoyment of one another come through.

Another reception highlight (not pictured) was a beautiful poem Nicole recited to her mother. It was “I carry your heart with me” by E.E. Cummings. Nicole wanted her mom to know that even though they live apart now, Nicole will always have everything her mother instilled in her, especially her love. How sweet to honor her mother this way at her wedding!

Studio+Z Films presented their Same Day Edit of the ceremony and reception, gave a little back-story on the couple and even spotlighted some events of the week leading up to the wedding. Here is the happy couple enjoying the video during the reception.

Nicole and Andres know how to throw a party! With the majority of their guests coming from Miami (we were on our toes managing the seamless transportation for all of those guests!), they wanted to make sure everyone ate, drank and danced all night long. And with the help of Mark McFadden mixing up great music, they did!. After dinner and cake was served, the guests enjoyed an espresso and cappuccino bar from Coffee Emporium. Once the dancing started with "I got a feeling," mojito shots were passed to kick off the fun. Later guests could enjoy a midnight cupcake bar (from Abby Girl Sweets) and the Hilton's delicious late night (or morning?) 1 a.m. burgers. All this was planned to keep surprises coming and to keep guests energized all night on the dance floor. Nicole and Andres danced away with their guests until 3AM!

What a day!

Take a look at Studio Z's amazing Same Day Edit video that was showed at the reception. Guests were buzzing about it for hours afterward!

Studio Z Films : Award Winning Wedding Filmmaker » Nicole and Andres: Enhanced Same Day Edit

Best wishes to Nicole & Andres and their new life together in Cincinnati!

All images courtesy of Steve Lyons.

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