Archive for ‘Recent Events by 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

April 23, 2011

A Wedding Nightmare: Why You May Want to Hire a Professional Wedding Planner

The Stressed Out Bride

Are you on the fence about hiring a wedding planner/coordinator?  As a planner, of course, I recommend that you hire one, and do it soon.  I could go on to list the obvious pros for hiring a planner, but I’m sure you’ve already seen that list on every other major wedding site.  So, let’s take a look at things from a different point of view.  A dear friend of mine who is an on site venue coordinator, not a wedding coordinator shared a great story about a bride and groom who did not have a wedding planner.

“I am the venue on site coordinator, this means that I handle rental requests and walk clients through the process of using our facility for special events.  From this vantage point, I am responsible for having the venue ready for the client’s set-up team and then monitoring the facility during the event, not their wedding.  I don’t really have any responsibilities as a planner in these instances.

Here’s my account of a wedding that I witnessed first hand as the venue coordinator.  Guess what, the bride and groom didn’t hire a planner! They are a perfectly lovely couple.  Sweet, in love, and blissfully unaware of what happened (and didn’t happen as they wished) at their reception venue while they were at the church.  (Let me preface my story by saying it’s very hard to stand by and watch things fall apart, I like to have my ducks in a row.)


It’s a beautiful Saturday in August.  The lovely couple has planned a late afternoon ceremony and the guests are scheduled to arrive for the reception at 5:00 p.m.  I arrive at the venue at 12:30 p.m. to do a walk-through and check thermostats, turn on lights, etc.  (The venue policies allow clients to have access to the facility 4 hours prior to the event start time.)  I’m expecting vendors to begin arriving at 1:00 p.m.  The bride confirmed with me the week before that everything is all set and everyone knows when to arrive and where to deliver.

The tables and chairs are all set up but design elements like linens, floral, candles, etc. still need to be set up.  This is perfectly normal in terms of event set up and nothing seems out of place at this point.  Until I walk into the office and find a conference room full of flowers.  Hmmm.  A few questions later and I learn that the florist was told to bring the flowers over “sometime in the morning”.  Since the linens had not yet been delivered or placed, she couldn’t set up her centerpieces.  So, into the conference room they went.  Where was the florist now?  She had to go to her next delivery.  Who’s going to move all these flowers? Seems no one knows.

Disapointed Groom

Another hour goes by and we still don’t have linens on the tables.  I decide to make some calls and track down the caterer.  There’s no one else around from the family or wedding party, so it appears that no one has been given the task of checking on the reception set up.  The caterer tells me that yes they are providing the linens but had planned on bringing them at 4:00 p.m. when they arrive to set up.  Do you see the problem yet?  We now have two vendors (the florist and the caterer) that are dependent on each other who do not have an integrated timeline.  (Wedding day timelines are VERY important.  All vendors should have one a week before the wedding, and your wedding planner will do this)

I ask the caterer to send someone over with the linens early so that the flowers can be placed.  He happily agrees and it looks like things are back on track.  But, we still don’t have anyone to place the flowers.  (You can probably guess at this point how those flowers are going to make it to the tables.)  The linens arrive in a flash and since no one else is around I begin covering the tables, even though this is not my job (Yes, this would be a job for the wedding planner, or someone that she delegates to.)

Not The Emotion You Want To Be Feeling On Your Wedding Day

Red flag number three!

Red Flag, Warning!

We only have linens for the guest tables.  Another call to the caterer reveals that his contract states they only provide linens for the buffet and guest tables.  All others are the responsibility of the client.  That means that the cake table, DJ table (which proves to be a problem later), gift table, sweetheart table, and candy bar are all left bare.  Hmmm, ok well maybe the bride is sending someone over soon with specialty linens? I wouldn’t know because I was never given a wedding day timeline and there is no wedding planner to ask (Again, VERY important, people!)

Next up the cake delivery.   I point her to the cake table (still with no linen) and she looks at me expectantly with the obvious question.  At this point, I can’t stand for this and decide to go rummage through the storage closet to see if we have any linens that could do the job.  I find a somewhat respectable white linen and the cake lady and I make the best of it.  Did the florist leave any extra flowers for decorating around the cake, she asks.  Well, no.  Was she supposed to?  No one seems to know.  The cake table remains bare!

Onto the candy bar.  A friend of the bride shows up and begins unloading boxes of candy, glassware and all the fixing’s for a candy bar.  Everything but the linens, that is.  That’s right! You guessed it! She doesn’t have any linens for all those extra tables either.  She also confirms that the bride didn’t make arrangements for those tables.  What to do, what to do! ( a wedding planner would of thought of this)  Back to the storage closet I go only to find one less than perfect round linen (It’s for an oblong table not round.)  But wait, the office manager at the venue thinks she has two tablecloths in the trunk of her car left over from a previous event.  They are clean enough and our this is our only option so we grab them. (used table cloths!eeek)  Candy bar friend begins her work.

In the meantime, the DJ arrives to set up and asks for a table linen. (Seriously, this should not be this big of a problem, but clearly the communication ball was dropped.) He ends up using two round linens overlapped on an eight-foot table.  Not pretty.  Now the candy bar friend resurfaces and says, “Where do I need to put the price list for the cash bar?”  What?!  Seems the bride and groom decided to change the hosted bar to a cash bar at the last minute and they didn’t let us know.  (Don’t ever do this without consulting your venue.  Cash bars require different licensing and often that means a special occasion permit. And if you had a wedding planner they would have been able to save you enough money so you wouldn’t have to hold a cash bar, tacky). Now I’m off to confer with the bar service to confirm that we are all set with appropriate licensing.  When the bartender arrives he’s very frazzled and moving a lightning speed.  No one else seems to notice that he could have a problem so I step in to see how I can help (not my job).  I lend a hand and chat away only to find out that the original person scheduled for this evening backed out an hour ago and he was called in at the last minute.  He has exactly 30 minutes to unload supplies, prep the bar and get his act together (a wedding planner would have been handy here)

Timing Is Everything

At this point, I realize that the bride and groom miscalculated on the travel time between the church and the reception venue.  I feel obligated to tell the vendors (like caterer, bar service, DJ) that I believe the guests will be arriving about 20 minutes earlier than anticipated.  What’s the big deal? A lot of last minute preparations typically happen at the reception venue within those last 20 minutes.  Think candle lighting, bar set up, catering prep.  Everyone takes note and scrambles to adjust their timing.  Without the heads-up from me (should have been the wedding planner), the wedding guests would have arrived on a scene of vendors rushing around to complete their set-up.  Not something you want as a first impression for your party.

So right on cue everyone arrives and the party begins.  Have I mentioned the importance of a timeline?  Throughout the evening, the DJ should keep the festivities rolling by announcing important moments such as the arrival of the bride and groom, the toast, the cutting of the cake, the first dance.  Not at this wedding.  He didn’t have a timeline!  So, the bride herself had to keep giving him cues for announcements.  It should be the other way around (poor bride).


Did the guests have fun? Absolutely!  Were the bride and groom blissfully married? Yes.  But, it could have been so much better with the help of a good planner.  The venue coordinator is not really responsible for styling your event or coordinating your vendors (unless they are contracted to do so).   Why were so many things overlooked?  I believe the bride and groom just didn’t know about all the details that needed attention.  They didn’t know to ask about linens when meeting with the caterer.  They didn’t know that the vendors should have been scheduled for deliveries in a specific order.  They just didn’t realize.  They weren’t available during set-up (for obvious reasons) to point people in the right direction and to double check the deliveries.”

Here’s my disclaimer – yes in a RARE instance, you can plan your own wedding and handle the day-of details with the help of some good friends and family.  Is it as easy as it should be? No, there is plenty of stuff that you will not think of that a wedding planner will.

Now, it’s up to you to decide.  How would you like to spend your wedding day?

Bride Having Fun On Her Wedding Day

December 30, 2010

New Years 2011: The Black & White Dinner Party

The time has come for us to celebrate the new year. We hope this inspires you to throw your own party. It can be as beautiful and simple as this.

New Years Dinner Party


The table decor

Dress your table at home with black, white and silver decor. Bring in  some simple white flowers, feathers, jewels and candles to make it even more festive.


A touch of balloons

Use white silk ribbon to tie a black balloon to each napkin. A lift off to the new year in style. This also becomes an eye catching decoration that guests will be sure to love.


Dessert table

Cover a counter or table with a white linen and fill with silver or white serving plates. You can use white christmas lights hanging in the background or in my case and old plastic beaded curtain will do the trick for some sparkle.  To fill trays make or buy chocolate and vanilla treats. An easy treat is brownie bites, sold at most stores and frost them with a vanilla and shake a dash of white iridescent sugar sprinkles for a festive look.


Milk and cookies gone chic

As simple as milk and cookies! Poor milk in a glasses and top with a favorite dark-colored cookie, in this case my husband favorite Oreo cookie sticks worked perfect.







June 5, 2010

A Popular Alternative To The Traditional Guestbook

I love the idea of a wedding wishes jar rather than a guest sign in book. Often a guest book just gets filled with signatures and leaves pages of empty paper to waste.  Instead of signatures and short messages like “congratulations!” doing a wish & advice jar is a great idea that will possibly give you a more intimate message from your guests. They will have a place to write down all that they want to say right down to some advice on a good marriage.

There are so many options of how you could do this and it’s easy to match with your decor. You can use different color papers, ribbon, pens, and pencils, or whatever you fancy.  You can use apothecary jars, vases, recycled jars, cookie jars, a birdcage, or even a specially decorated box for guests to drop their wishes into.

It may be a twist on the traditional but it is guaranteed to leave you with lots of wonderful reading to look back on.  For after the wedding this can be a fun little project to relive all the little messages from your guests. What fun!

May 12, 2010

Elephant (red, orange, blue) Baby Shower

Theme: Bright Elephant Baby Shower

What a fun and creative idea for a baby shower. This party was not only fun to do and attend but just beautiful to look at. After much discussion we went with the theme of colorful elephants since the mom is decking out her soon to be baby room with an elephant theme and she loves bright colors. So lets take a look at the event!

We used a variety of bold colored vases from thrift, and antique stores that were filled with bright colored flowers from the farmers market and store. We served a variety of homemade cold fruit juices and ice tea lemonade mix drinks.

Along side the adult food was kid friendly food for those friends of the mother to be who had children with them. A cute jam and peanut butter elephant sandwich was served with other kid friendly snacks!

For dessert we had chocolate and vanilla cupcakes frosted blue with a red candy topping that was served with elephant shaped candies. At the end of the event you received an elephant crayon keepsake which were handmade by me of course. An easy crayon melting project handy for many events.

April 23, 2010

Peacock Feather Weddings

By La Vita Bella Events Wedding Planner

Trending in the bay area is the peacock feather themed weddings, everything from the actual feathers to using the colors inspired by the bird. As a wedding planner I am quite excited to see the interest in this feather because it is one of my favorite birds and it reminds me of a dearly loved painting we had in our house as a child. The usage of this feather and colors gives a fun, playful, yet very elegant feeling to a wedding.

The feather

A few ideas to bring this theme into your wedding is through cake, attire, invitations, décor, even within your flowers. The feather has blues, greens, brown, silver, and gold shimmer, giving you a fantastic palette to work with within your event.

Bringing this theme to your cake can be as intricate as having fondant hand painted feathers added to the cake or as simple as adding the actual feather to your cake stand or cake.

Handpainted feathers

Peacock feather cake topper

Many printing companies have peacock themed invitations or you can order a simple brown invite and add a individual peacock feather to each invite for a pop of color.

Feather insert to invite

You can use table linens and décor to match the feathers, which will bring rich brilliant colors to your wedding day.

Table decor

We also love the idea of a DIY project where you can use feathers, ribbon, felt and a few gems to make a one of a kind Boutonniere.

A DIY must try!

We think the peacock feather theme is a perfect idea for the spring, summer and fall wedding.