January 22, 2012

Wedding Planner Vs. Onsite Coordinator

Often we get asked what the difference between an onsite coordinator/Venue Manager and a certified wedding planners is?

Your hair was loose, you needed an extra hair pin…dont worry we got some in our pockets.

This is a great question, and we love to help people understand the difference that most seem to overlook or assume otherwise. This is why we have finally decided to do a little write up to help everyone clearly get this question answered- we hope this helps you all better understand so you can properly access your needs for your special day.

Wedding Planner setting up decor, even attaching the little rhinestones to that ribbon you wanted around the cake base.

The finished product. Your wedding planner will set the cake table up piece by piece. From the base, cake, monogram &/or flower placement and candles. In some cases an excellent cake delivery person will be quite helpful.

How is a Wedding Planner’s role different from a Venue Coordinator or a Catering Manager/Coordinator?

Our roles are actually hugely different, with just some minor overlaps. As your Wedding Planner, I work alongside you on all facets of your wedding. Everything matters to me, including the way your grandmother is going to arrive to the venue, and whether your mom’s corsage will have a pin or be tied on.

Day of timeline and vendor management..one less thing for you to worry about

On the day of the wedding, I represent you, the bride and groom, and will act on your behalves to execute the wedding the way that you envision it to be. All questions will be directed to me, and between my assistants and I, we will provide hospitality for the bridal party and families, management for the vendors, styling for the decor and details, and full control on the timing and production of your event from start the finish.

Is all in the details- dont worry we can help the groom too.

Your Venue Coordinator’s role is to ensure that the site itself is protected from harm and destruction during the event, especially as vendors are coming and going with their trucks and setup. They represent the site, and will field questions that pertain to the site itself.

This onsite manager was there to let vendors in, turn lights on, the heat on etc. He was onsite..somewhere, not always around during event.

Your Catering Manager’s role is to ensure that the food and beverages are brought out in a timely manner, that the catering staff is providing exceptional service to the guests, and to partner closely with the Wedding Planner for all setup components.

Catering Manager will work closely with wedding planner, and often check in with them to ensure proper timing


From all of us at La Vita Bella Events.

December 8, 2011

Baby It’s Cold Outside: Warm Up Hot Cocoa Party

Nothing says wintertime fun like hot chocolate! Steaming cocoa fragrant with chocolate and half melted marshmallows is a favorite with children and adults. Why not use this simple treat as an opportunity for holiday socializing? A hot chocolate party is an inexpensive way to host an informal party and share in the joy of the season. Are you newly engaged? Why not have a hot cocoa engagement party, what a warm and cozy way to celebrate with your friends and family.

Table Decor & Cocoa Toppings

Set up a table, with festive cloth and décor for your hot cocoa station and snack bar. You can fill the table with platters of sweet treats to dip into your cocoa. We love the idea of making marshmallows a bit fancy; why not dip them into sprinkles that sparkle? Your guests will be sure to love making their own personalized hot cocoa. Use bowls to offer an array of different toppings or mix-ins to the cocoa.


It is as simple as that! Don’t forget to make your holiday play list and invite your guests. We suggest something as easy as evite.com or make it a Facebook event for your friends to RSVP to.

Happy Holidays,

La Vita Bella Events.

October 30, 2011

Our Halloween Cocktail at La Vita Bella Events

Sinister Cider
Serving: Makes 1 cocktail
• Fine black sanding sugar
• 1 lady apple, chopped
• 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
• 1 ounce maple syrup
• 1 ounce apple cider
• 2 ounces vodka
• Ice
• Club soda
• 1 thin crosswise slice lady apple, for garnish
1. Moisten the rim of a martini glass with water. Place sanding sugar in a saucer and dip rim of glass in sanding sugar to coat; set aside.
2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together apple cubes and lime wedges. Add syrup, cider, and vodka; fill with ice. Cover and shake until well combined. Strain into prepared martini glass; top with club soda. Garnish with apple slice and serve.











Credit : The Martha Stewart Show, October 2009

October 21, 2011

Love a Local Business: Vote La Vita Bella Events!

Did you know that we have been nominated for the Intuit Love a Local Business Grant? What an honor this is, and we hope to continue to receive even more votes for our company. Each vote brings us one step closer to expanding our company as well as helping our companies future well being.

If you are a past client, fan, lover of our blog perhaps? please take the minute to vote here:



La Vita Bella Events,

Hayward CA.

Then make up your own cute little screen name, enter email ( dont worry they wont share it) and a little message about this company.

Thanks you all- with gratitude from us all here at La Vita Bella Events!


October 8, 2011

Benefits of Having a Fall Wedding

Many people prefer to have their special day during the summer months, but a fall wedding can be charming, romantic, and friendly on your budget. The fantastic colors and mild climate that this season provides can inspire a beautiful wedding. Let’s take a look at some of the best reasons to have your wedding in the fall months.

A great time for weddings

The Décor: Be inspired by nature’s warm fall color palette

Autumn brings many beautiful colors and it can be a great idea to theme your wedding around the season. The colors of fall such as burnt oranges, browns, purples, and rich reds can be warm and romantic, and they can be easily incorporated into your wedding décor. You could even have your flower girls throwing colorful golden leaves down the isle rather than flower petals.

Fall color palette

Fall leaves on a tree

You can use this color scheme to inspire your wedding invitations as well. Choosing fall colors for your invite perhaps a brown with burnt orange accents. You could even order in bulk or buy at your local craft store gold leafs to slip into each invite with your wedding date stamped on for there reminder cards.

Depending on the time of day that your wedding will be held, it could be a great idea to add candlelight to the ceremony. Not only will it create a captivating and attractive backdrop but it’s incredibly romantic. Imagine saying your vows to your partner in the warming glow of candlelight. Another great idea to bring candlelight to your wedding is via your bridesmaids; how about have them carry lanterns with a candle softly lit? This could be a potential money saver; no extra bouquets to buy from the florist and it will result in lots of romance for your special day.

Bridesmaid carrying candle lanterns

Plan an autumn-themed menu

This is a season that brings many tasty foods, and you can easily conjure up a menu that breathes the delicious flavors of autumn. Why not greet your guests with a glass of warm mulled cider, a butternut squash bruschetta with a sage pesto, perhaps serve a game bird like Cornish hen or quail for the main course.

Butternut squash bruschetta with sage

No extreme weather

The weather can be just perfect in fall – depending on where you live. In sunny California you’re in luck, with only slight chances of cool wind or a drizzle of rain. This gives you a great reason to appreciate the outdoors and bask in the comfortable temperatures and magnificent autumn scenery.

Outdoor fall wedding venue

Your wedding photographer will be in their element with a backdrop of attractive golden foliage for your wedding photos. Due to mild weather your wedding party will not be sweating in their tuxes and beautiful dresses while standing around for pictures. The best part, in case you are afraid of a little chill you can purchase a beautiful bolero jacket to accent your dress and cover your arms.

Various bolero jackets for the bride

Many venues will have cheaper fall rates

With most people preferring to tie the knot in the brighter spring and summer months, having your big day in autumn can save you a lot of money. Hotels, halls, historic buildings, even a park and garden venues are likely to be cheaper (just don’t forget the time change when you plan your day).

There are many benefits of having a fall wedding– take advantage and set the date today before it’s too late and all you have to wait is another year before you tie the knot!

Congratulations to you all,

From all of us at La Vita Bella Events

July 21, 2011

A Look at Ethnic Weddings

One of the most fun parts of wedding planning is making a wedding personal. We love when brides and grooms incorporate bits of their cultures into their wedding, making the event a truly unique experience that epitomizes the backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities of the couple and their families.

Over the years, we have seen many of these weddings and have fallen in love with some of the traditions that other cultures have. Some are truly inspiring! Who knows: maybe it will inspire your future affair?

 Mexican Weddings

The ceremony:

Traditionally, during the ceremony couples have a “lazo” (white rosary) around their necks while they kneel at the altar. This symbolizes the couple’s unity. In very traditional ceremonies, the groom places 13 coins (called “arras”) in the bride’s hands: this symbolizes the groom’s role as the family provider.


The reception:

Mole, a sauce made of chilies, peanuts and chocolate (among many other spices!) is a traditional meal at Mexican weddings. In fact, saying “there is going to be mole” (va a haber mole) is a Spanish idiom meaning that someone is going to be married!

Live mariachi bands are common at Mexican weddings, and DJs often play Spanish version of popular rock n’ roll and hip hop songs.

 The décor:

Bright colors are everything in Mexican weddings. We love the festive feel that blues, oranges, reds and pinks bring to the occasion!

 For inspiration:

The bright colors are one of the most fun ways to draw on Mexican weddings for inspiration. Translate this colorful feel into bouquets and centerpieces for added fun, making sure to incorporate lots of yellow, orange, and bright blue.

We love the paper flags often seen at Mexican celebrations: they are a fun design element for invitations and décor.

We love this beautiful archway as well!

For an added touch, draw on the Mexican and Spanish tiles for a truly unique (and gorgeous!) wedding cake. Stunning!

We recently covered inventive “late night snack bar ideas”… how about a late night taco bar with these fun watermelon bites?

Indian Weddings

The ceremony:

Ceremonies vary from region to region (and are also different depending on the religion of the families), but generally the ceremony is broken up into pre-wedding ceremonies, wedding day ceremonies, and the “Vidaai”,  when the bride is formally sent from her father’s house to the house of her new husband. Brides typically wear red or pink saris and paint their hands and feet with beautiful henna patterns the night before the wedding.

 The reception:

Perhaps the word “festival” is more appropriate: receptions for Indian ceremonies can last for days! Typically, the entire family contributes to the festivities in order to fund such elaborate affairs and dancing, music and food abound. Fun!

The décor:

As with Mexican weddings, color is key in Indian weddings! We love the bright colors, the beautiful patterns of the fabrics, and the many flowers used. Marigolds are a traditional stem for Indian ceremonies and can usually be found throughout the décor: their lively golden-yellow is a perfect match for the turquoises, reds, and plums of the wedding.

For inspiration:

Colorful shamiana (tents), low seating on comfortable cushions, lots of bright colors, lots of tea lights, and marigolds. We love the idea of a henna-inspired everything: invitations, placecards… even the wedding cake!

Chinese Weddings

The ceremony:

A Chinese wedding ceremony encompasses over 2,400 years of tradition and celebration! We couldn’t possibly do each of these age-old traditions justice in this short post, so we are mainly focusing on the tea ceremony, which is an intricate part of a Chinese wedding.

The reception:

Historically, the bride would serve tea to her family before the wedding ceremony, then after the vows, the couple serves tea to the groom’s parents. Today, it is common to have one tea ceremony for both parents.

Because the tea ceremony is an opportunity for the bride and groom to show respect for their parents, the order in which family members are served is very important. Traditionally, parents are served first, followed by grandparents, grand-uncles and aunts, uncles and aunts, older brothers and sisters, and then older cousins, in that order. The father’s family is always served before the mother’s.

Lotus seeds and two red dates are used in the tea for two reasons. First, the words “lotus” and “year,” “seed” and “child,” and “date” and “early,” are homophones (they have the same sound but different meanings in Chinese). Secondly, the ancient Chinese believed that putting these items in the tea would help the newlyweds produce children early in their marriage, which would ensure many grandchildren for their parents. Also, the sweetness of the special tea is a wish for sweet relations between the bride and her new family.

 The décor:

Red is considered a lucky color in Chinese culture, and brides typically wear a red jacket, skirt, and shoes. Gold is typically used as accent color.

Traditionally, the families would decorate the new couple’s house and ceremony location with these colors along with “happiness banners”, red paper banners with Chinese writings wishing the new couple well. Dragons and phoenixes are also symbols often used.

For inspiration:

The purpose of the tea ceremony is to show respect to the bride and grooms families and recognize their importance in the union. We love this concept! A tea ceremony might not be for everyone, but this concept certainly is: consider doing something special to recognize your family members and your groom’s family members during the nuptials and/or the reception. Some brides choose to present the mothers with a flower, others pay homage to family members with a table of photos, and other incorporate family into the ceremony with readings, etc.

Cakes decorated with a dragon and phoenix are traditional wedding cakes. We love the idea of a dragon snaking around a circular cake!

July 8, 2011

“Tutto lei deve è l’amore” (All you need is Love): Italian Country Wedding

Italian Country Wedding

It goes without saying that an Italian inspired wedding must focus on three things: a beautiful country setting, food, and wine!

 The Décor

Nothing screams “Italian” more than olive oil, but the olive tree itself is also a beautiful element to the décor. The beautiful silvery leaves of an olive tree are great additions to table arrangements and sprigs can be used in bouquets for an added “Italian” touch.

Olive trees are also used for their wood, as seen in many Italian stores selling dinnerware, so incorporating wooden bowls or vases gives an authentic feel to the dinner. We love this table decor with Italian stemware and herb garden favor at each place setting.

Southern Italy is known for its lemons, which are great décor accents. Use them sliced in vases, or even use potted lemon trees as decorations. Lemons also make great place card holders!

The Food

For a perfect Italian-inspired menu, we suggest simple family-style, rustic dishes with local ingredients.

Coursing a reception meal can be a bit formal, but keeping the dishes family style will also keep the meal a bit more casual. Talk with your cater for some Italian-inspired dishes: appetizers of crusty bruschetta with tomatoes confit, truffle butter crostinis (a staple in Central Italy), bite-sized frittatas and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and cantaloupe… the options abound!

Keep the salad simple: Central and Northern Italy are known for pine nuts, sheep’s milk pecorino cheese and aged balsamic vinegars, why not have a simple butter lettuce salad featuring these three beautiful ingredients?

 The Wine

One of the best things about Italian wines is the affordability. For a white wine, skip the ubiquitous Pinot Grigio and opt for a light Frascati, Grechetto, or Orvieto: all are reasonably priced white wines that are light and have a lot of citrus and good acidity!

For reds, keep in mind that many wine producing regions make two types of red wine: one that is meant to be aged (and is much more expensive) and one that is meant to be drunk now (obviously, the more inexpensive of the two!).

An example of this is in Montepulciano: the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a wine that must be aged for at least two years. It is a beautiful, rich wine… and a bit pricey! Opt for the Rosso di Montepulciano: this is the lighter red wine from the same region. It is only aged for roughly six months, is lighter in body, has bright fruit, and is a perfect accompaniment to many tomato-based dishes and chicken. Ask your caterer for these young Italian wine options: this is a concept that is practiced throughout Italy, so you should be able to find some steals!

Make sure to toast with Prosecco, the Italian champagne (and much more affordable option). Its bright bubbles are great with desserts, although we also love it poured over a scoop of lemon sorbet for a lovely treat!

July 1, 2011

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something… “navy blue”?

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something… “navy blue”? We think so!


Summer is here, and as our brides look for inspiration, we thought we’d revisit the colors that are so indicative of our nation and of summertime: navy blue and red.

Navy is a very popular color in 2011 and is perfect for a summer wedding. Along with a deep red, the bold colors stand out on a bright, mid-summer day, and the options for invitations, table settings, flower arrangements, décor and accessories abound.

Courtesy of Aylee Bits

We think simplicity works best with such bold colors: deep navy tablecloths with red runners, minimalist topiaries, clean lines, and simple, stunning flower arrangements. Whether it be with bouquets, table settings or bridesmaid dresses, white really pops against deep navy and adds to the clean, crisp feel of a wedding. We love how beautifully these white bridesmaid bouquets stand against their dresses: simplicity and beauty at their best!

Photo by Trista Lerit

One of the best perks to a navy wedding is accessorizing: deep sapphire jewelry, flirty blue clutch purses…

Fun navy & silver bridesmaid clutch

and how fun are these blue satin shoes?!?! (Ok, we love these red ones too, and had to throw them in as well!)

Manolo Peep Toe

From Tulle Bridal

The possibilities are endless for lively red and blue cocktails. Deep red cranberries, raspberries, strawberries or bright blueberries are perfect garnishes for any drink: we even love the look of them bobbing up and down in a champagne flute. Or, add a splash of cranberry juice to sparkling wine for a fun, fruity and colorful cocktail.

Cranberry cocktail with blueberry garnish

Of course, with a red and navy themed wedding, we can help but to throw in a little 4th of July inspired décor! Sparklers are such a fabulous way for guests to send off the newlyweds after a night of dancing and fun.

Shannon Ho Photography

And a million thanks to Michelle from My Personal Artist, who was kind enough to share these classy, beautiful firework-inspired invitations with us. Gorgeous!

Elegant red, white, and blue wedding invitations by My Personal Artist

It is hard to believe that spring has passed and summer is here. We are busy at work prepping our brides for their upcoming nuptials and can’t wait to show our readers some of the weddings we have been working on! Until then, good luck to our brides as they put the finishing touches on their warm weather weddings, and congrats to any recently engaged couples who just happened upon our site: we hope you choose La Vita Bella Events to make sure that your big day is as smooth, elegant and perfect as you want it to be!

June 5, 2011

A Bohemian Wedding: Inspired by the movie Chocolat’

One type of bohemian table decor

We have a confession to make: years after the movie came out, Chocolat is still high on our list of favorite films of all time. Who doesn’t love a movie featuring a gypsy-clad Johnny Depp and chocolate?  One of our favorite scenes is the dinner party. We love the effortless Bohemian style of the affair: the beautiful colors, the dripping candles, and the massive amounts of delicious food. We had a lot of fun imagining a wedding that pulls on this scene for inspiration with a modern touch. We hope you enjoy!

One “must” for a Bohemian wedding is COLOR. Think vibrant, beautiful draped fabrics!

Tara Arrowood Photgraphy- We love to work with Tara

Lighting is also key: dripping candles set the scene at the tables, while fun globes light overhead. How about a clear tent to let the moon and stars shine down on your night, now that’s stunning.

Tara Arrowood Photography

Arrowood Photography

Balance the colorful décor with romantic, flowing bridesmaids dresses in soft, neutral colors like tan, brown, or black. The dresses work as a blank canvas for beautiful, colorful bouquets, accessories like fun hairpieces.

Shelley Paulson Photography

Shelley Paulson Photography

Serious about going Boho? Have fun with beaded slippers: they are a million times more comfortable than any heels and certainly more fun!

Moroccan Beaded Slippers

A bohemian bride MUST wear flowers in her hair. Or, take it a step further and use one of the halos that are quite popular at the moment.

Untamed Petals Halo

Don’t forget about a fun fair accessory for the flower girl!

Untamed Petals

A mismatched hodgepodge of dinnerware completes the effortlessly beautiful theme. Incorporate as much greenery as possible to continue the natural, bohemian feel. Or, keep the dinnerware simple and mismatch vases full of colorful flowers for a fun centerpiece.

Elizabeth & Designs

Invitations and menus printed on handmade paper give a beautiful, rustic touch.

Of course, as in the movie Chocolat, food is key at a Boho event! We imagine heaping family-style dishes of plates like the shrimp passed around in the movie. Plates of vibrant grilled vegetables, salads, and pastas being passed around is a sure-fire way to get guests mingling and comfortable. And Boho is ALL about effortless comfort!

Arrowood Photography

May 30, 2011

“Going Green” with wedding floral arrangements

Plantable invitations, recyclable wedding programs, organic reception menus and bio-dynamic wines… brides really seem to be going “green” lately! We would like to applaud our clients for being so environmentally conscientious, and we thought we’d do our part as well by suggesting ways for brides to make the greenest part of their wedding, the flowers, become even “greener”! Thanks to Stacey from Stunning Stems, who answered our questions on how to make our flower arrangements environmentally-friendly. We are excited to share them with our readers!

Forego arrangements that require floral foam (Oasis)

Floral foam, also known by the popular brandname Oasis, is used to secure flowers and provide continuous hydration.  As Stacey says, “It works wonderfully for certain designs (pomanders – balls, tall arrangements without stems showing etc.) but unfortunately it is made out of plastic and chemicals that negatively impact the environment: it’s not biodegradable and can leach chemicals in landfills.” Ouch! Stacey suggests: “If possible, opt for designs that don’t require floral foam for stability or where your florist can use other armatures, such as balled up branches or recyclable balls of wire”.

Willow branch floral ball with solar powered lights inside

Reuse containers

Get creative! Work with your florist to incorporate reusable containers into your arrangements. As Stacey said, “For my home I tend to scour garage sales, second-hand and antique stores and trade amongst friends.

Garage sale tea cup with local flowers

I’m now applying this approach to my business and hope to acquire a supply of unusual containers.” Your vendor might be open to being creative and finding other materials: Stacey adds, “I love to make structures from used lumber and found items when possible. These items will then be made available for rental for weddings and events.” Brilliant!

DIY recycled floral tin containers


DIY tin floral finished product

If possible, buy seasonally, locally, and organic

As Stacey says, “By buying seasonally and locally, brides can keep their wedding carbon footprint to a ‘strappy-sandal’.”  According to Stacey, the fuel cost to grow plants in a green house or to import them via plane is huge: the U.S. imports nearly 70% of all its fresh-cut flowers from Colombia, and transportation costs (and the carbon footprint) just to get them to Miami are astronomical: flowers are shipped via a 747 or large cargo plane, which on average burns five gallons of fuel per mile. The distance between Miami and Bogota is 1,500 miles, resulting in 7,500 gallons of fuel each way for each plane used! And this number seems to be increasing annually: in 1971, the U.S. produced 1.2 billion blooms of the major flowers (roses, carnations and mums) and imported only 100 million.  By 2003, it was reverse; the US imported 2 billion major blooms and grew only 200 million. (For more reading on this trend, Stacey suggests a great article on Columbia and the flower industry in the Smithsonian’s February 2011 issue.)

To be fair, Stacey also notes that this is just one side to the story. She adds that William Miller, a professor of horticulture at Cornell University, said the carbon footprint of imported flowers is not fully understood yet; however, he states that “There’s definitely more CO2 production in the transportation process of the imported flowers… but in Colombia they can effectively grow roses using less greenhouse emissions because the weather is better. Growers in California might have to heat greenhouses to produce quality flowers.” We are glad to see both sides to the story… but regardless of the pros and cons of transportation and growing costs, we think that buying organic and supporting local growers is always a good idea!

The best option, of course, is to focus on flowers that thrive in the local ecosystem and do not need greenhouses. This also means buying flowers that are in season. Consult your local florist to find out what flowers will be in season during your wedding, and make sure to ask if they use local flowers to cut down on transportation.


Donate your flowers

Sadly, all arrangements must eventually wilt… but they still have some life in them after your wedding day! We absolutely love the idea of sharing the beauty of a wedding day with those who could use a little cheer. Stacey reminded us that “Hospitals, convalescent homes, hospice etc. house many people who could use the positive effect of flowers in their day.” Couples can choose a charity or organization to donate their stems to, and then designate a bridesmaid or groomsman to donate their flowers after the wedding.

Stacey adds that “some cities have organizations that will appropriate flowers and deliver them to folks in need. San Diego has an organization called Blooms from the heart (http://www.Bloomsfrom theheart.org).  Check your community for similar options.”


Opt for potted plants

Aisle ways, centerpieces, and other floral arrangements don’t necessarily have to be cut flowers: opting for potted plants is an incredibly green (and economical!) option for brides. After the wedding, plants are still alive, well, and ready to be transplanted into your home or garden. We love this idea!

We have to admit, we had NO idea that there were organizations like Blooms from the Heart, and wish we had known about before our own weddings! Thanks again to Stacey for giving us these incredibly helpful suggestions for how to make floral arrangements environmentally-friendly. We hope we inspire our brides to not only make their special day colorful and “green”.