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  Over the years they’ve been a go-to for weddings but they have to be used cautiously to avoid an outdated look.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.


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


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

Monthly Mood Board for March – Featuring Greenery, the Pantone Color of the Year!

By | Inspiration, Mood Boards, Planning & Advice, Trends & Great Finds, Weddings | 3 Comments

Its official…the Pantone Color of the Year is having quite the moment. Now, if you’re not familiar with Pantone – they are a world renowned provider of color systems. They forecast color trends and inspire a multitude of industries world wide including, fashion, interior design, and special events. Many designers and planners, myself included, use Pantone colors as inspiration for their weddings and events. Every year, Pantone shares a “Color of the Year”- representing a color snapshot of what is expected to be used globally for the upcoming year. For 2017, Pantone announced – Greenery.

Greenery has been highly talked about, because of its bold “trans-seasonal” color while also having a “fresh and zesty yellow-green shade”.  Honestly, I was a bit unsure whether I liked the color when it was first announced; however, it is definitely growing on me.  We’ve had a lot of rain in So Cal this winter and Pantone’s Greenery is literally popping up everywhere!  On grassy hillsides, on sprouting leaves, even in moss that grows between the pavers in my backyard!  I have come to really appreciate this shade of green which symbolizes growth and a fresh start and I think it is so perfect for spring!  What I love most, is how Pantone described the shade as the pursuit of passions and vitality. Because a wedding is so personal, it can be quite easy to include this Greenery shade into your special day, combining the passions of both the bride and groom.

Although Greenery is named the color of the year, I recommend using it somewhat cautiously – I prefer it as an accent color. Whether you plan to use it in stationery, tableware, or florals, knowing how to carefully include the color is key. Greenery was my inspiration for March’s Monthly Mood Board. I hope you enjoy seeing how versatile this color, and all shades of green can be!


Greenery down the steps via Damaris Mia Photography | Upper right bouquet via Deer Pearl Flowers | Bottom middle bouquet via 100 Layer Cake | Vibiana Bar Set up via Krista Mason Photography | Bottom Menu and Table Scape via Krista Mason Photography Published on Strictly Weddings  | Green Gown with Bouquet via Star Hansen Events | Green Goblets via Krista Mason Photography

Epona Estate Styled Shoot

By | Featured, Inspiration, Photo Shoots, Weddings | One Comment

I’m a girlie girl and a true romantic at heart so I must admit, I love Valentine’s Day.  I realize it is a commercialized holiday but I don’t care.  I love seeing all of the hearts and reds and pinks in store windows.  I love making valentines with my kiddos and picking out little treats for them.  I love dark chocolate Dove hearts and I always buy a few boxes of conversation hearts even though I don’t care for them – there is just something so nostalgic about them…they take me right back to my elementary school days (pink and white were my favorite flavors)!  Because I love this time of year, I was inspired to design and style a shoot using the romantic colors of Valentine’s Day as my inspiration.  I recently shared my inspiration board for this shoot via February’s Monthly Mood Board.  The shoot took place at Epona Estate and an amazing team of vendors collaborated to make it truly beautiful.  It was featured on Inside Weddings last February and I think now is the perfect time to share it here with all of you!

Epona Estate is a magnificent ranch and vineyard nestled in Hidden Valley California, surrounded by the breathtaking Santa Monica Mountains.  I chose a romantic color palette including various shades of red, fuchsia, lavender, and mixed metallics.  I felt this unique pairing of elegant and feminine colors to be just perfect for a celebration of love.  The deep shades of crimson, burgundy, and scarlet mixed with muted lavender and metallics truly oozed romance and elegance.  This color combination contrasted with the greenery of the vineyard in such a beautiful way!  This color palette may look familiar – I featured the inspiration board I created for this shoot earlier this month on “Monthly Mood Boards”!

Our bride and groom, Michelle and Kylin, are a real life couple and have been together for more than six years.  Michelle was dressed in a gorgeous Jim Hjelm lace gown.  Her bouquet of garnet blooms, which includes deep red peonies, was the inspiration for her striking red lips.  The dining table was draped in a wonderfully textured amethyst linen and the table was adorned with beautiful floral arrangements.  The mix of peonies, roses, dahlias, and antique hydrangeas, created great depth and texture and we loved the varying heights. The watercolor inspired stationery suite added just the right amount of whimsy to the elegant decor. The cake was designed to mirror the stationery and complement the color palette.

I loved using a real life couple as our models for this shoot because their love for one anther is so clear.  They are a truly gorgeous couple!  FUN FACT: Kylin proposed to Michelle shortly after this shoot and they have just tied the knot in Oahu, HI!  I was grateful to assist them with the design of their Hawaiian wedding!  I can’t wait to share it with you – stay tuned!

Vendor Credits

Bridal Gown – Jim Hjelm

Cake & SweetsFrost It Cakery

CateringCommand Performance Catering

Designer/PlannerStar Hansen Events

FloralsXO Bloom 

Hair & MakeupCheek to Cheek Artistry

Linens  Luxe Linen

PhotographyJenny Quicksall Photography

RentalsTown and Country Event Rentals

Stationary & SignageGubba Gumma Stationary Studio

TuxMen’s Warehouse

VenueEpona Estate

Introducing Monthly Mood Boards|February Mood Board

By | Inspiration, Mood Boards | One Comment

Hi, friends!  I am so excited to announce my first blog series – Monthly Mood Boards!  Mood boards, also known as Inspiration Boards, are a way to compile and view lots of inspiration on one document.  An inspiration board is just that – inspiration (none of the photos included in the board are my designs).  The idea is not to replicate any previous designs but to use them as inspiration to create something new and unique for each event.  These boards are a tool I use with my clients to help hone their ideas and inspiration into a concrete and manageable vision.

One of my favorite parts of the planning process is getting to know my clients.  I love chatting with them about their interests, style, and event priorities so that I can ensure their special day is unique and personal.  Many of my clients come to me with lots of great ideas; however, they are often all over the place.  I find that creating a mood board for them helps them narrow down their preferences.  My clients and I work together on the mood board until it feels like the perfect representation of their event day vision.

I’m excited to share our first ever Monthly Mood Board for the month of February!  February is a month that celebrates love so for this first mood board, I chose a romantic color palette of reds, pinks, and purples.  I love how fuscia, deep red, and lavender compliment each other yet are a somewhat unexpected combination for anyone of the over five years old crowd.  One may be sprised to find that this color palette can actually be quite chic and elegant!  This board was the inspiration for a shoot I styled last winter – stay tuned for photos of this shoot.  I think it is really fun to share how an inspiration board can be applied into a real design/event.  It is so rewarding for my clients and I to see how a design we’ve planned and visualized for months and months can come together on their special day!

I hope you enjoy this first Monthly Mood Board – Please share with me in the comments what colors you would like to see on future boards!

Credits: Cranberry Ring Box via Mrs Box | Bridesmaids gowns via Style Me Pretty photography via Sarah McKenzie Photography |Menu via Burnetts Boards | Tablescape via Burnetts Boards | Rental and Florals via Chrissy Marie | Lavender Linen via Luxe Linen

Paramour Estate Wedding | Sophie and Josh

By | Inspiration, Weddings | One Comment

Sophie and Josh’s wedding day was filled with love, laughter, and tons of style. When I first met the bride and groom, I immediately picked up on their casual and unconventional taste. With their venue being at the unique and historic Paramour Estate in the heart of Los Angeles, Sophie and Josh wanted to incorporate as much of themselves into the design as possible. Paramour Estate extends over 4 acres, with sweeping views of Downtown, the Los Angeles Basin, and the Hollywood Hills, and is known to be a “magical Landmark” for weddings and events. The view is breathtaking and the design and decor in the mansion is so special!  The mansion is bold and opulent and oozes Gatsby era. You can just imagine the parties that took place here in the 1920s and 1930s!

One of the noteworthy aspects of the wedding was the ceremony setup. Reinforcing that casual aesthetic, the bride and groom decided on an eclectic mix of seating options for their guests – love seats, sofas and wood chairs, as well as cocktail tables for those who preferred to stand during the ceremony. A talented duo who are also friends of Sophie and Josh started off the ceremony by singing the bride and groom down the aisle.  This was such a sweet element and brought a ton of emotion to the processional. The ceremony, although short and sweet was lovely and the bride and groom wrote and spoke their own vows (which I always love).  One of my absolute favorite moments of the whole wedding was when the Josh pulled out a selfie stick at the end of the ceremony and the bride and groom took a selfie with their wedding guests.  So fun!

Something you will notice as you look through the photos is the amazing style of the Bride, Groom, and Bridal Party. The Bride was absolutely stunning in her classic white gown which she paired with the most beautiful pair of purple Prada sandals. They were the perfect pop of color to compliment the couple’s bold jewel tone color scheme. Complimenting the Bride, the Bridesmaids were dressed in gowns of their choice, completely mismatched and fit to tell each personality perfectly. The Groom and Groomsmen were suited up with some of the coolest boutonniere’s I have ever seen and completely rounded out the close friends that made up Sophie and Josh’s Bridal Party and their truly unique and special wedding day.

Guests were encouraged to celebrate from the moment they walked in the door when they were handed a glass of Champagne.  The Bride and Groom’s signature cocktail was a dirty martini ad cocktail hour by the pool felt very “old Hollywood”. The entire night had an amazing vibe and guests danced the night away!  The Bride and Groom even decided to extend the wedding because no one was ready to leave!  That is when you know its an amazing party! I overheard a number of guests say that this was the best wedding they’d ever been to and I’m so glad I was able to be a part of executing this amazing day for Sophie and Josh!

Vendor Credits

CakeSweet Lady Jane

CateringContemporary Catering

Event PlanningStar Hansen Events

DJThe Flashdance

FloralsJoseph Free

Furniture RentalsArchive Rentals 

Photo Booth – BookIt Photo Booth

PhotographyHeather Kincaid Photography 

RentalsPremiere Party Rents

Sketch ArtistMiles Lewis

ValetPremier Valet Parking

VenueThe Paramour 


Kathryn and Scotty’s Santa Barbara Engagement Shoot

By | Inspiration, Photo Shoots | 4 Comments

I met Kathryn almost a year ago and we immediately clicked.  We have a lot in common – we both love hot yoga, coffee, and traveling.  She is however, much more adventurous than I am (she has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail!!!) and this is something I love and admire about her!  She is such a kind and genuine person, one can’t help but adore her!  When we met, Kathryn was preparing to move to Tanzania Africa with her fiancé, Scotty, who was already living there for a work project.  Kathryn who is a RN wanted to volunteer her nursing skills to assist the naive people in the area.  Another reason to love her right?!  Scotty is sweet as can be and couldn’t wait for his fiancé to join him on his adventure in Africa.  Kathryn and Scotty lived in Tanzania for a few months before Scotty returned home to So Cal and Kathryn moved to the east coast to obtain her PA.  Most of our wedding planning has taken place while Kathryn has been away and we got really good at communicating via email and phone calls.  However, we still managed to stay connected and met up every time she came home to for school breaks or to visit family.

Today is Kathryn and Scotty’s wedding day.  I can’t wait to see all of our planning come together for a beautiful celebration but most of all, I am excited to watch Kathryn and Scotty become husband and wife.  Their love for each other is so deep and so evident – I know it will be a perfect day!  I look forward to sharing photos of their wedding day; however, in the meantime, I’d like to share photos from their Santa Barbara Engagement Shoot.  Their engagement photos were taken by the talented Jenny Quicksall who will also be shooting their wedding today!

Happy New Year From Star Hansen!

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Happy New Year!  My sweet hubby watched our kiddos this morning so I could start the year off right by taking a Soul Cycle class.  Soul Cycle has a way of allowing me to focus on nothing but myself for an hour and I love that the instructors are always so inspirational and motivating.  Today the instructor encouraged us to wish, dream, and work for what we want in the coming year.  Although my legs were spinning and my heart was pounding, I was actually able to turn inward and find peace.  I reflected on the past year and thought about what I hope for in the coming year.  I’m grateful to have had some time to myself this morning to sit (or spin, rather) with my thoughts.

I realize that a New Years post is a bit cliche, but just like so many of you, I love the feeling of starting a new year.  The feeling that anything is possible in the coming year – the feeling of a fresh start.  Although 2016 had its ups and downs, all in all, it was a pretty amazing year.  My husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage and were able to enjoy a few nights away just the two of us – this is a big deal when you have two little ones!  Our son turned four and has grown into a little boy full of his own ideas and thoughts about the world around him.  Our daughter turned two and her feisty little personality has really come out, along with her blonde curls!  They’ve both surprised and delighted us with the ways they’ve grown and bring us tremendous joy every day (well, most days ;).  We’ve made so many fun memories this year and I continue to feel so grateful that I get to life with them by my side.

2016 was a huge year for me professionally.  Although I’ve been in the event industry for a number of years, 2016 was they year that I made the decision to start my own business.  It was a huge decision because although I’ve always known my heart was in event planning, I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur nor had I ever planned to start my own business.  However, with lots of support, encouragement, and dedication I’ve been able to pursue my passion while creating a successful business that brings me so much joy and works for my family.  In 2016 I joined the Rising Tide Society which has lead me to some really amazing colleagues, many of whom have turned into my friends… my tribe.  I am beyond grateful for this community and for all of the people who have been by my side since I started this new journey.  The coming year promises to be busy, exciting and eventful!  I look forward to assisting each of my clients in achieving their perfect day, while working alongside incredibly talented vendors and gorgeous venues.  I am beyond blessed to be doing what I love!

I thank you for your continued support. I wish you nothing but the best in the coming year. Cheers to 2017!

photo credit – Jenny Quicksall Photography

location – Vibiana

Festive Blush Pink and Gold Holiday Table For Luxe Linen

By | Inspiration, Social Events | One Comment

Luxe Linen is a fine linen rental company based in Southern California.  They manufacture their own linens and create custom linens for any occasion, always offering the highest quality!  I’ve worked with Luxe at many events and their gorgeous linens add such a glamours touch to all types of events.  Their showroom is located in Beverly Hills and it is filled with such a stunning collection of linens for clients’ viewing pleasure!  I am always so inspired when I visit their showroom.  Gorgeous luxury linens have become one of my favorite elements when designing a table top which is why I was so honored when Luxe Linen asked me to design a display table for their showroom in the month of December.  I was excited by the opportunity to design a festive table and knew I wanted to do something a little different from what we often see this time of year.  I chose to use an unexpected combination of festive blush pink and gold holiday decor.  Luxe Linen‘s Blush Monaco overlay with a gold underlay is a combination I’ve been eager to use.  I paired it with their Snow Iridescence napkins to add a touch of simplicity to the elegant design.  XO Bloom designed a gorgeous mix of blush pink roses, festive greens, holly berries, and pine cones nestled in glamorous mercury glass containers.  Dish Wish provided the gorgeous burgundy and gold rimmed dishes, gold rimmed crystal glasses, and gold flatware that tied the colors in so beautifully.  The floral bread and butter plates were the perfect touch and one of my favorite pieces on the table!  Kelly Patrice hand lettered the place cards in her gorgeous calligraphy.  We placed them on top of the napkins along with some festive berries to complete the look.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to work with amazing vendors and design this table top for Luxe Linen in their gorgeous Beverly Hills showroom.  It was so fun to see it set up amongst their collection of beautiful linens.  Thank you to Jenny Quicksall for the lovely photos!

Vendor Credits

CalligraphyKelly Patrice

Designer – Star Hansen Events

FloralsXO Bloom

Linens/Venue  Luxe Linen

PhotographyJenny Quicksall

Table Top RentalsDish Wish