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Inspiration

DIY Succulent Stirrers

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Spring has officially started and I couldn’t be happier! It felt like a long cold winter (even here in Southern California) and I’m happy to kiss the cold goodbye and focus on all things spring – warmer weather, flowers in every color of the rainbow, and delicious ice cold cocktails with little umbrellas… or succulents…

I was recently asked to plan a baby boy shower at a gorgeous private home in Malibu.  The shower was featured on Pop Sugar Moms and I’ll be sharing it here on my blog with all of you soon!  The hostess and I incorporated lots of DIY decor elements into the day including hand dyed table linens and napkins, watercolor calligraphy, and boho dream catchers on every chair! But one of my most favorite DIY additions to the baby shower were the succulent stirrers that we used for each of the ladies beverages. Whether it was a cocktail or a mocktail, everyone got one and they loved this unique touch.  I so loved making these stirrers and wanted to share the project with you because it is so darn simple!  The best part… there are only a few things you need!

Succulent Stirrers

Supplies:

  • Scissor
  • Clear tape
  • Washi tape
  • Mini succulents (real or faux) – cut down so just a bit of the stem is attached
  • Wooden skewers cut just a bit longer than your glass

Instructions:

First, take your skewers and begin to poke each skewer into the base of the succulent.

Next, take a small piece of clear tape and secure the succulent on the skewer. Once your clear tape is fastened, take your colored washi tape and place it on top of the clear tape. Cover the clear tape as best as you can!

Ta-Da!  Easy as that!  I used these same stirrers as a garnish for the Fresh Yellow Watermelon Margaritas I served at a girl’s night last fall.  This project works well with many types of hardy flowers with strong bases such as roses, ranunculus, carnations, etc.  Imagine how pretty a mixture of florals and succulents would be for a spring party or brunch!  You could even slide some fruit onto the skewer just under the flower or succulent for an additional garnish.  Grab your crafty gal pals and and try this project out! Happy sipping!

Photos courtesy of Jenny Quicksall Photography

The Apple of Our Eye Turns Two!

By | DIY, Inspiration, Planning & Advice, Social Events | No Comments

Our Heidi is turning three next week and I am busily planning her little birthday party.  I feel like I’m so behind this year but it is tough to plan a party in the middle of wedding season!  Thankfully she is forgiving and will be happy with just about anything as long as she has a pink cake!  This year she has decided on a unicorn theme which works out nicely for me since I designed and planned a unicorn themed birthday party for a client earlier this year so it is fresh on my mind.  Although unicorns are anything but unique nowadays, I think they are popular for very good reason.  Who can resist pastel rainbow colors, sparkles, and magical mythical creatures?!  I’m having so much fun with this theme and am excited to share details and photos with you all!

As I’m in the middle of planning this year’s party, I am realizing that I never shared photos from her party last year.  Since September is in full swing and the kiddos have all just started to school, it is the perfect time to share her apple themed 2nd birthday party.  As you probably can imagine, when I plan a party for a family member or friend, it is always quite different than when I plan an event for a client.  I have to work with a smaller budget so I end up DIYing most of the decor and even baking most of the desserts myself (which I love doing).  For Heidi’s apple party we kept things pretty simple but it was still super cute and she had a blast!

Heidi’s invitations read “Sweet as Pie, the Apple of Our Eye” and set the tone for the party.  The color palette included various shades of greens and reds with a bit of pink mixed in and there was apple decor everywhere!  We scheduled the party for late morning and served brunch style food – yogurt parfaits, doughnut holes, pumpkin bread, fruit, and breakfast burritos as well as juices and coffee.  We had apples of all colors and varieties all over the place and the kids noshed on them throughout the party.  We even set up an apple peeling station where kids could use a really cool contraption to peel and spiralize their apples.  I made cinnamon play dough and put little pie pans and cinnamon sticks out for the kids to “bake” apple pies.  I also had a build your own candy necklace station where the kids could string their own necklaces of rainbow cereal, yogurt covered pretzels, and gummy apple Os.  For dessert I made caramel dipped apples and cinnamon vanilla cupcakes topped with super cute fondant apples.  We also served a selection of pies and sugar cookies decorated like apples.  Our little guests received apple shaped apple cinnamon play dough as a favor when they left.  All in all it was a really fun day and our little Heidi definitely enjoyed being guest of honor (and having free reign of the dessert and juice bars ;).

I SO enjoy planning parties for my littles!  Can’t wait for the next one in a couple of weeks!

Vendor Credits

Cookies and Cupcake Toppers – Kirsten’s Danish Bakery

Design and Planning – Star Hansen Events

Invitations – Pristine Print Co.

Photography – A Pocket of Time

September Monthly Mood Board | Going Bold With Teal and Mustard Yellow

By | Featured, Inspiration, Mood Boards | No Comments

Credits: Cake via Wedluxe | Stationery via  Owl Post Calligraphy | Programs with Yellow Bow  via Kitty Meow Boutique and Star Hansen Events  | Florals via Cat Hepple |  Cocktails via  Tending the Table | Fabric via a Pinterest Unknown Source | Reception space via Kate Holstein Photographs| Chair with bouquet via Lauren Balingit

Over the past couple of years I’ve had a love affair with teal and while blush pink (or ballet slipper pink as I used to call it) has been my favorite color since I was a little girl, teal is now definitely up there!  I find myself drawn to it for home decor, apparel, heck – even when choosing a crayon to color with my kiddos!  Teal feels elegant and chic (a grown up version of turquoise in my opinion) yet is still super bold and playful.  I incorporated teal into a styled shoot I designed at Vibiana last year and loved how the color popped against all of Vibiana’s white marble.  This shoot was featured on Green Wedding Shoes – you can check it out on my blog here.

I’m a big fan of unexpected color combinations and September’s Monthly Mood Board fits the bill.  The three feminine neutrals complement the bold and moody mustard yellow and teal so beautifully!  I don’t recommend overdoing it with teal or mustard yellow at an event, but a few pops here and there would be gorgeous and unexpected! Some of my favorite ways to incorporate these colors is through cocktails, cakes, ribbon details and lounge furniture. It doesn’t need to be in every detail, but a couple of hints can really bring a reception to life!

Fall officially starts later this month and I think the colors and design elements in this board are a really great way to transition into the new season.  Although today we are expected to hit a high of 98 degrees where I am (no joke!!!), we all know fall is upon us.  I’m seeing pumpkin spice everything at coffee shops (which is not my thing but I know some people looooove it) which means fall is right around the corner.  I’m a summer girl through and through so it does make me a little sad but with the weather being so hot, I know we still have a few more weeks of summer left!  I’m going to soak it up!

Ice Dying – My Favorite Way to Tie Dye!

By | DIY, Inspiration, Trends & Great Finds | One Comment

This summer has flown by!  We’ve executed a handful of amazing weddings and are in the process of planning many more that will take place this fall.  Although the summer has been busy, we’ve definitely enjoyed this lovely season!  My kids are at such a fun age (my son is 5 and my daughter is almost 3) so I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with them this summer.  We checked almost all of our “Summer Bucket List” items off the list including making homemade ice cream, going to a water park, hosting a summer bbq/pot luck, checking out a few local museums we’d yet to explore, and of course, tie dying (still need to have a lemonade stand, and grateful that we technically have a few more weeks of summer to fit that in)!  

Anyone that knows me well knows I love to tie dye and we’ve done it every summer for the past couple of years.  To me, it’s not summer until you tie dye, so to celebrate the end of the season, I want to share with you one of my favorite ways to tie dye.  Earlier this summer I invited some other moms and their kids over for a tie dye party!  We used a few different techniques including spray dying, a vat of indigo tie dye, Rit dyes, and of course the classic tie dye kits that you can pick up just about anywhere in the summer.  One of the things I love most about tie dying is that no matter what materials you use or how you do it, the outcome is always so cool!  It is really hard to mess up tie dye.  I enjoy all of the different materials and techniques but I have to say that ice dying is my all time favorite!  I only learned about this style of tie dye last year and it has quickly become my obsession and I fear that soon, I will own nothing white (since it will all be ice dyed!).  It is unbelievably simple and you only need a few things.  This method often goes unnoticed, but it is SO entertaining and enjoyable – and it is probably the most kid friendly way to tie dye so big yay for that!!

I know there are plenty of tie-dye instructions floating around, but let’s face it – sometimes we just want to get to the basics! So, below you will find a few simple steps to the art of ice dying.

What you’ll need:

  • Powdered Rit Dye 
    • This kit can be bought at any craft store – Joann’s, Michael’s…even Amazon!
  • Fabric
    • T-shirts, towels, cloth napkins, bed sheets maybe…anything white!
  • Ice
  • An open space to get messy!
    • I let my kids do this on our grass in the back yard, but others do it over a bucket or a foil pan!

Step 1: 

Choose your fabric!  

We’ve  ice-dyed t-shirts, towels, table cloths/runners, cloth napkins (one of my favorites), and kitchen hand towels!  The world is certainly your oyster with this decision and anything and everything goes!

Step 2:

Wash your fabric in soda ash! (Suggestion)

It’s suggested that before you ice dye, the fabric that intends on being dyed should be washed in soda ash before-hand. However, if you barely have enough time to breathe (like me!), there is simply no way we can get around to do this – so I’ll let you in on a little secret…my dye turned out just fine without the soda ash!! 😉

Steps 3 and 4:

Wad, Fold, and Scrunch…then add the ice!

Once you have your fabric and space for magic, it’s time for the fun part!  You are going to want to wad up your fabric and bunch it in any way you please. (Somewhat like the picture below!) There’s tons of folding techniques for indigo tie dye and traditional methods, but when ice dying, this good ol’ crumple method is best!

No rubber-bands are needed with this technique mostly because the natural melt results in the watercolored effect that is desired when ice dying.

After you have wadded up your fabric, it’s time to cover it inch by inch with ice.  The more ice, the greater effect you will see in your dye. Go ahead and pile it on!

Step 5:

Sprinkle the Dye!

Once the fabric is covered with ice, sprinkle the powdered Rit Dye all over the ice and fabric – cover pretty much every part of the garment (using as little or as much as you’d like).

*TIP: I wouldn’t go crazy with a rainbow assortment of colors… (I know this might be tough with kids who would love to sprinkle every color in sight!) But instead, try and pick a palette of colors that go well together so your fabric doesn’t end up turning brown.  Think blues, purples, and pinks or maybe some yellows and oranges!

Step 6:

Let it melt!

Last but not least, its time for the ice to melt and for the masterpiece to come alive!  Now, you can either let the ice melt naturally in the sun, or for a more fun and interactive way for the kiddos (or if YOU just can’t wait!!), you can use a squirt bottle filled with water to speed up the process.

Step 7:

Wash the fabric!

Before you throw the fabric in the washer, be sure to RINSE first with cold water until the water runs clear (if you are dying outside on the grass, a hose works great for this). When washing in the machine, I would highly recommend washing the pieces of fabric separately for the first couple washes to avoid any color bleeding!

Step 8:

Enjoy!

Now that I’ve shown you the steps to Ice Dying, it should be made clear that this new trend is certainly not just for children or a wacky t-shirt!  The result is really beautiful and the watercolor effect is anything but psychedelic.  Ice dyed pieces can be incorporated into special events including baby showers, birthday parties, even weddings!  If you just pick the right color palette (maybe grays and whites) this tie-dye DIY can be super chic and absolutely gorgeous.  Trust me when I tell you that all this fun can be used for unique occasions, as I have done it myself!  Click on this link which showcases ice dyed table cloths I made for a baby shower I designed last year – told ya this tie dye can work wonders!!  Before summer officially comes to a close, I encourage you to give this technique a try!

 

Below are a few photos from our tie dying party.  The kids chose different techniques and they enjoyed showing off their masterpieces.  My son and I made matching indigo tie pieces for our little family because a family that tie dyes together, stays together, right?!  My husband is a really good sport – don’t you think?

Photos courtesy of Jenny Quicksall Photography

July Monthly Mood Board | Red, White, Blue… and Blush!

By | Inspiration, Mood Boards | One Comment

Credits: Bride and Groom + Bouquet via Jenny Quicksall Photography and Star Hansen Events | Chairs  via Hey Wedding Lady shot by Nicole Colwell | Cocktails  via Bridal Musings | Groom and Bouquet via Hey Wedding Lady | Cocktail Table via Bridal Guide | Stationery via The Wedding of My Dreams  | Berry Cake via The Wedding of my Dreams| Bridesmaids via Jenny Quicksall and Star Hansen Events

July Monthly Mood Board

Fourth of July is right around the corner which means summer is in full swing!  I couldn’t be happier – despite the crazy heat we’ve been experiencing, I absolutely LOVE summer!  Enjoying longer days is kind of a given, but there are a number of other things that make summer my favorite season:

  1. Allowing my kiddos to run around our backyard in their undies for hours, playing in the water or doing messy art projects
  2. Summer produce (particularly watermelon and peaches)
  3. Eating every meal outside
  4. Tie dying
  5. Rose all day (ok, lets be honest, I’m past the point of “all day”, but Rose… for a few hours 😉 )

Another reason why I love summer is Fourth of July!  It is one of my favorite holidays because I just love the excitement it evokes!  It is a low pressure holiday full of fun activities and good food!  Often times, red, white, and blue, make people think of Firecracker Popsicles, stars and stripes, and fireworks.  I love all of these things on the Fourth of July and have been known to make fruit platters designed to look like the American Flag.

The colors red, white, and blue don’t typically make people think of weddings, but I challenge you to think differently about them.  If you darken the red and blue shades to more of a crimson and navy, pair it with a creamy white, and pop in a little bit of mauvy pale pink –  you have a gorgeous unexpected color combination!  Patriotic red, white, and blue were my inspiration for this month’s mood board, but I enjoyed glamming these colors up a bit and taking this color combination to the next level.  This look would be beautiful for a July wedding… or any time of the year!  With the dark hues, it lends itself to fall and winter weddings as well.  In fact, my clients Kathryn and Scotty utilized a similar color palette for their wedding last January.  Click here to see photos from their wedding.

Vibiana Styled Shoot | Featured on Green Wedding Shoes

By | Featured, Inspiration, Photo Shoots, Trends & Great Finds | 2 Comments

Vibiana has always been one of my favorite event venues.  From the moment you walk in you know it is a special place and it definitely has that “WOW” factor.  I was honored to be asked to design and style an inspirational shoot at this iconic venue in Downtown Los Angeles and I had so much fun coming up with the concept, color palette, and design elements.  I worked along side a dream team of vendors who all helped make the end result truly lovely!  I even had the opportunity to work with my little sister who modeled as our bride.  Isn’t she gorgeous?!  I am so thrilled to have had this shoot featured on Green Wedding Shoes – one of my favorite wedding blogs!

Vibiana is a gorgeous cathedral located in the historic area of Downtown Los Angeles. Built in the late 1800s, the cathedral was originally used by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and was the official cathedral of Los Angeles for more than 100 years.  In more recent years the building has become a sought after event venue specializing luxury weddings, special events, and performances.

With its high ceilings, abundance of Carrera marble, and breathtaking altars, we felt Vibiana was the perfect backdrop/venue for this glamorous winter styled shoot.  We chose a color palette of bright jewel tones mixed with metallic and moody accents to contrast Vibiana’s bright and clean interior.  Traditional décor elements mixed with modern pieces made for interesting contrast in this historic setting.  The outdoor walkway outside the bridal suite is a beautiful location for portraits with the Los Angeles sky line as a backdrop.  There are so many lovely nooks for unique photos.  Some of our favorites are the staircase, the gold dome, and the confessionals.  Below are a few of my favorite photos from this shoot.  I hope you enjoy them!

Vendor Credits

Bridal Gown – Jinza Couture Bridal

Cake – James Rosselle Cakes

Calligraphy and Signage – Kelly Patrice

Event Design and Planning – Star Hansen Events

Favors – Salt & Pepper Co.

Florals – Butterfly Floral

Hair & Makeup – Cheek to Cheek Artistry

Jewelry – Bridal Diamond Palace, Inc.

Linens – Luxe Linen

PR – Rayce PR

Manicurist – Luminous Nail Boutique

Model (Bride) – Anisa Diaz

Model (Groom) – Cody Medler

Photography – Jenny Quicksall

Rentals – Classic Party Rentals

Shoes – Jimmy Choo

Stationary – Kitty Meow Boutique

Sweets & Cocktails – Vibiana

Tux – Friar Tux

Venue – Vibiana

FEATURED ON – Green Wedding Shoes

June Monthly Mood Board | Neons!

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Summer is upon us and I couldn’t be happier!  There are things to love about every season but summer is hands down my favorite!  I love the sunshine and warm weather, the summer produce, and eating every meal outside!  We have lots of amazing weddings ahead of us this summer and I can’t wait to watch our couples tie the knot!

I planned a wedding in Palm Springs last month for two amazing grooms and the whole day was such a dream.  Their love was electric and their wedding so beautiful.  They incorporated lots of unique elements into their wedding decor and it made for a very memorial day for everyone!  I can’t wait to share more about this wedding on my blog – stay tuned!  My assistant and I  stayed at the Saguaro, which is known for tons of colors! Each room is actually a different panel of colors – even the A/C unit is neon. We got the chance to explore the property a bit, and fell in love with the vibe and wanted to bring a little of it to you!  The funky fun neon colors at this hotel were my inspiration for this month’s mood board.  Although they might not be everyone’s cup of tea for a wedding – you can’t deny that they scream playful summer fun!  These colors would be the perfect addition to a summer pool party, bbq, or bachelorette party.

Neons can feel overwhelming really quickly if overdone.  I love pops of neon paired with a neutral color palette.  Neon colors are unexpected paired with wood, stoneware, or kraft paper and I love this look!  You can also consider selecting just a few neon colors rather than using the whole slew of them.  Kids love them (especially when paired with a black light) and they bring out the inner child in adults!  Palm Springs or not – give this look a try this summer!

Credits: Cake via Peche Petite Bakery | Shoes via Stylish Petite | Drink Stirrers via Leslie Lukas Weddings | Chevron Place Setting via Te Leuk Trouwen | Florals In Pink Box via Ruffled | Stationery via Oh So Beautiful Paper | Ghost Chairs and Table on Lawn The Saguaro Palm Springs | Three Chairs at Table via Raisa Zwart

May Monthly Mood Board | Bring on the pastels!

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We are smack-dab in the middle of spring and I’m loving the longer warmer days.  Although summer is right around the corner and we may have our minds on the beach and summer activities – spring is still in full swing and May, one of my favorite months has just begun.  I love May for many reasons.  For starters, my birthday is in May and so is Mother’s Day (two of my favorite days of the year… obviously).  May is also when my backyard roses bloom like crazy and peonies are abundant at flower shops (Trader Joe’s offers the most beautiful ones for a really great price in the weeks before Mother’s Day).  The end of May is also the unofficial start to summer which is always so much fun!  As we enjoy the last full month of spring I think it’s time for delicate and soft pastel colors to come out and play!  They were my inspiration for May’s Monthly Mood Board.

I love pastels at spring and summer events.  Over the years they’ve been a go-to for weddings but they have to be used cautiously to avoid an outdated look.  I love when pastels are paired with neutrals and mixed metallics.  I also love it with lots of white and lucite for a crisp and clean ascetic.  Using various shades of a few pastel colors (e.g. pinks and purples or blues and greens) is lovely but I also think that a mix of a variety of pastels can be really pretty if done right.

Water color is a great way to incorporate pastels into your event design.  Although watercolor has been quite popular in recent years, the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.  Whimsy pastel florals are always gorgeous and I love the ‘dipped’ watercolor linen shown on the board – it is such a fun way to add a  little color to an all white tablescape allowing the linen to pop from the table, instead of blending in.  Its all so gorgeous!

Credits: Cake via Ruze Cake House | Stationery by Oh So Beautiful Paper | Table Setting via The Cinderella Project | Florals via Flickr Artist | Bridesmaids via Tania Olsen Designs | Place Cards via  Colin Cowie Weddings | Ghost Chair via Izzy Hudgens | Linen and Floral via Minted

Watercolored Easter Eggs with Gold Leaf | DIY Tutorial

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Watercolored Eggs with Gold Leaf | DIY Tutorial

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love to craft and create.  Before I had kids I went to Michaels, JoAnn’s and/or Paper Source on a weekly basis and I was always crafting and DIYing – anything from embellishing or transforming household items, to handcrafting holiday and party decor, I tried it all… and who can forget that phase when I stamp embossed everything?! I still love creating things with my own two hands though I can’t devote quite as much time to it nowadays.  Holidays and my kid’s birthday parties are when I manage to make time for fun crafty projects.

Dying eggs has become one of my favorite holiday projects.  I love that it is something that allows for complete creativity and that it is generally a very kid friendly activity that my kiddos love!  No matter how you decorate an egg, it always looks pretty right?!  Over the years we’ve tried many different techniques from all natural dye where we used things like red cabbage, onions, and beets to dye the eggs, to shaving cream marbling, to Sharpie tie dying to sponge painting.  This year we kept things simple, coloring our eggs with liquid watercolors and embellishing them with gold leaf for a little extra bling.  I love how they turned out and I’m so glad we use faux eggs so we can enjoy them year after year!  Isn’t the pink egg with the gold lettering so pretty?!  My friend and colleague Kelly Patrice is an uber talented calligrapher and worked her magic on it!  These would be so fun as place cards at an Easter celebration.

I hope you enjoy this project.  It really is quite easy and the outcome is so lovely!  See below for step by step instructions.

Supplies:

Part 1

  • White eggs (hard boiled or faux craft eggs)
  • Liquid watercolors (diluted a tiny bit) in spray bottles – I used pink and turquoise

Part 2

  • Zig glue pen – I purchased mine from Amazon
  • Gold gilding flakes – I purchased mine from Paper Source

Instructions:

First off – be sure to lay down paper or a plastic table cloth as the first part of this project is quite messy!  Take an egg and begin to spray it with your liquid water colors.  If you like the speckled look, spray the eggs from far away.  Let them dry, then spray the other side.  If you like the marbled watercolor look, roll the eggs in your hands (gloves optional) or around in the liquid watercolor that will eventually form on your work surface.  There is no rhyme or reason – just color them until you are happy with the result.  Let them dry.

Once your eggs are dry, use your glue pen to apply glue all around the egg.  Again, no rhyme or reason to this – just dot it on and then pat it all around the egg with your fingers.  Let the glue dry for a few minutes until it is tacky (do not let it completely dry), then apply bits of your gold leaf to the tacky areas – eventually rolling the egg around in your hand to apply the gold foil to all of the places with glue on them.

It’s as easy as that!  My favorite thing about this project is that there are no rules – you just do your thing with your watercolors, glue, and gold leaf and play around until you are happy with the result.  It’s the perfect project to do with little ones (my four year old enjoyed helping – that is his little hand below) or with a glass of wine by your side, since it doesn’t require too much concentration.  Happy spring!

Kathryn and Scotty’s Wedding | St. Maximilian Cathedral, Westlake Village, CA

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Kathryn and Scotty got married this past January at the gorgeous St. Maximilian Kolbe Cathedral in beautiful Westlake Village, CA.  Their day was filled with so much love, beauty, and tons of dancing!  There were multiple choreographed dances throughout the night and they even extended the wedding because no one wanted to stop dancing.  The dance floor was jam packed all night it was clear that everyone was having an awesome time!  Kathryn and Scotty wanted a feeling of warmth and coziness which we accomplished with lots of candle light and bistro lights.  They love the great outdoors so we brought elements of the outdoors in with wood tables and chairs, lots of greenery, and a gorgeous wood backdrop for the sweetheart table which was hand crafted by the bride’s father.  They plan to use this backdrop as a headboard for their bed.  An idea that I just love!

From the very beginning Kathryn was a low key bride and not once, throughout the planning process or wedding day, did I ever see her lose her cool.  She had a smile on her face every time we met and I truly enjoyed our time together.  In the beginning, we toured a number of venues but Kathryn and Scotty decided on family’s church for both their ceremony and reception.  When planning, I could tell that although Kathryn appreciates beauty and has great taste, the details weren’t as important to her as the fact that she was going to be marrying her best friend.  This melts my heart and I know they will have a long happy marriage!

To see photos from their engagement shoot, click here.

Vendor Credits

Catering – Command Performance 

DJ/Photo Booth – Hey Mister DJ

Event Planner – Star Hansen Events

Florals – Unique Floral Designs

Hair & Makeup – Cheek to Cheek Artistry