I’ve said it before (here!) and I’ll say it again now: lighting is key to transforming a venue.  Great lighting design can create any mood you desire.  But how do you install lighting sources in a beautiful way?  And how can you make audio equipment work with your design?  And what if you need to re-shape a space?  Well, Amber Lu has a company for all that and we were very excited to sit down and pick her brain.  She shared with us all about how she got started, what inspires her, and what she’s loving right now and we’re pretty sure you’ll find it as interesting as we did!

Amber, what sparked your interest in wedding and event design?

Being around corporate events, I wanted to involve myself in the softer side of event production where I could pair the technical with the aesthetics. It seemed that most people had the thought that lighting and audio/visual were very mechanical looking and a bit of an eye sore, so everyone tried to hide them, but that makes the equipment less functional. At the time most planners and designers did not realize that white lighting fixtures and white speakers existed and could make such a huge impact on the overall look. I thought I could help to not only present this idea, but to also blend the two together in order to show that lighting and audio can be visually pleasing and still remain functional in a space.

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How did you narrow down on such a specific area of design work?

My partner at the time was a DJ, and provided audio and lighting services for events. I was intrigued by the idea that you can do so much with lighting and audio/visual. After visiting him on job sites to see how both lighting and audio paired to become such an energetic force in the room, it made me want to create a similar atmosphere. I added draping services later, as I felt it was crucial to maintaining the aesthetics of an event.

What is the greatest challenge you’ve come up against in running your own business?

I would say the biggest challenge I have faced is managing a group of people with different personalities and keeping them in line with my own philosophies of doing things. In business, you start out as a one-man show and you learn to be a renaissance man, or woman in my case, then you grow and realize you need more people to help you with things. Managing people was definitely not easy in the beginning, but I have learned and evolved with my company to find what works for everyone, including me.

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What is the most important asset in this business? (And perhaps in life in general ;)

The Golden Rule or Law of Reciprocity: “Treat others as one would wish to be treated oneself.” We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with and it takes a village to make things happen. If you show respect and compassion to the people that surround you, they will also reciprocate. The event business is a hard business to be in due to the fluctuation of time and hours each week. Some people cannot endure the long hours or the constant “go”, so environments can be tense at times. When you stay positive and show kindness, it makes for a better working environment and life, in general.

 

What is the most helpful thing a client can keep in mind when meeting with you for the first time?

It’s helpful to bring in photos that you have selected that would best represent your lighting, audio/visual or draping needs. It gives us a better insight on your overall look and helps us predetermine the services you are looking for so that we can have a very efficient meeting.

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What trends are you loving these days in event design?

Lighting: Twinkle lights. While they were hot before, they are hotter than ever now. The use of twinkle lights has expanded from adding them to fabric to filling up an entire tent or ceiling (it is the ideal way of creating the illusion of stars and that perfect night sky) to incorporating them stylishly into floral treatments for that added sparkle. No matter what shape or form, the ubiquitous twinkle lights/fairy lights/Christmas lights are here to stay for some time.

Draping: Colored velvet draping. While the popular wine color has made a comeback in covering the walls of ballrooms, velvet draping of all colors is trending immensely. Colors, such as ivory, navy and light brown, have made their way to the forefront in uplifting a ballroom and making any event appear ultra lush and super swanky.

Audio: Bluetooth streaming audio. Wireless control via phone has been popular since apps were created. What’s trending now in audio is speakers with built-in Bluetooth capability so you no longer need a cable to connect your phone to a speaker to play music and you can play your favorite tune from anywhere in the room. These are great for conference rooms and cocktail reception areas.

Video: The biggest craze these days is video projection mapping. Whether it’s projection mapping on a building, blank wall, or cake, video projection mapping has become the IT thing in events. I recently projected fireworks and diamonds on a 7 tier cake for a wedding on the Fourth of July weekend and the reactions from both the couple and guests were priceless. Video has become a platform for many unimaginable things.

Amber Event Prodution

Are there any other thoughts or additional insights you’d like to share? We’d love to hear anything our questions may have brought up!

Many people place a lot of their attention on design elements for their wedding and displace lighting, audio/visual and draping services. While equally important, it is the overall presence of services and the way it plays on each other that makes for a good atmosphere or exceptional photo.

Learn more about Amber Event Production here!

 

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Every time we see this photo of Courtney’s happy face the morning of her Terranea Resort celebration it reminds us of why all the work is worth it.  Being a part of one of the happiest times in a couple’s journey is such an honor; it’s thrilling and rewarding and satisfies the sucker-for-love that exists in most of us wedding professionals.  We hope you like this little flashback to Courtney and Pascal’s sparkly summer seaside wedding as much as we enjoyed helping put it together!

Courtney & Pascal
Courtney & Pascal
Courtney & Pascal
Courtney & Pascal
Courtney & Pascal
Courtney & Pascal
Courtney & Pascal
Courtney & Pascal
Courtney & Pascal
Courtney & Pascal

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You might be able to guess that we love a trip to the linen showroom, as it’s basically a candy shop for the design-obsessed. Well, La Tavola is one of our favorite destinations and today we are excited to feature the lovely woman who is our guide through all of the fine linens there: Lindsay Newby-Snode.  We love working with Lindsay and jumped at the chance to pick her brain with the following interview – we hope you’ll enjoy her insights and stories as much as we did!

Lindsay Newby-Snode of La Tavola

Lindsay, what sparked your interest in wedding and event design and decor? And what keeps your interest sustained?

Weddings are so magical and it is such an important day. It is the one day that is totally about you and you get to live out your dream of your perfect party. The day will always be remembered by the couple, their family and guests.

What are the most important things clients should keep in mind when coming to the showroom for the first time?

Don’t get overwhelmed. It is supposed to be fun! We have so many linens to choose from but our staff is here to help and make everything simple and enjoyable!

La Tavola

What is the most helpful thing a client can bring to the table?

An idea of what they are looking for, yet be open to suggestions. They might love something that they thought they would hate. Ideally knowing your color palette and overall style is best so we can help to narrow down the choices to find the perfect linen.

What is the greatest challenge you’ve come across in your work?

Sometimes budgets can be tricky but since we offer such a wide array of options, we can always work within your budget to find an option that will complement your style.

La Tavola

What trends are you loving (or loving least!) these days?

I am obsessed with our velvet collection – it is almost like a suede and it is FABULOUS! The fabric is so lush and rich. The color wave has something for any season ranging from bold shades to muted tones and chic neutrals.

What is your favorite memory at La Tavola?

I loved working with Morgan Stewart from the #RichKids of Beverly Hills on her recent wedding to Brendan Fitzpatrick.   It was so fun to meet her and get to spend time with her working on her special day. She was so fun and had such a good time with the planning process.

La Tavola

Are there any other thoughts or additional insights you’d like to share (best tips, best advice)?

Visiting our showrooms and seeing the linens in person makes all the difference over browsing online. The fabrics really come to life and you can play around with different options to visualize what your wedding will look like.

La Tavola Linen

To learn more about La Tavola click here!

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The Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills oozes classic glamour and today we are feeling it as we look back at Alice and Robin’s photos from their 2011 wedding.  Here’s a quick peek at some of the highlights and sweet moments from the day’s festivities.

Alice & Robin
Alice & Robin
Alice & Robin
Alice & Robin
Alice & Robin
Alice & Robin
Alice & Robin
Alice & Robin
Alice & Robin

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A shared background in theater (as well as our bride’s love for her time spent teaching elementary school) guided the theme for Andrea and Phinny’s sunny Malibu wedding. Chalkboards, school craft paper, and impromptu tambourine and kazoo serenades infused the occasion with nostalgic whimsy, while a floral medley of ranunculus, garden roses, tulips, and white peonies (and an orchid-topped cake!) added a touch of romance.

Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny
Andrea & Phinny

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Women tend to be natural givers. Often having an instinct to put the needs of others before their own — even when it comes to planning their weddings. 

Of course the engagement will always have stressful moments, there are lots of decisions to be made and it is up to you to make them. But that stress goes into overdrive when trying to accommodate the demands and expectations of others.

Here are six tips for handling stress and prioritizing self-care during your engagement, to feel calm, confident and relaxed in the busy months ahead. 

Prioritize What You Want

Before you were influenced by Pinterest, Martha Stewart, David Tutera, your best friend’s wedding, and your mother-in-law’s opinion, what did you want your wedding day to look like?

Make a list of the non-negotiable, must-have wedding details that represent your style and personality. Then only share this list with the people who need to know about it, such as your fiancé, your caterer, and wedding planner. The more people you tell, the more opinions you’ll receive, and eventually your personal touches may no longer feel like you.

Bridal Wellness 101

Stop Asking Opinions

Start getting very specific about whose opinion you ask for any wedding-related detail. More chatter, more opinions, and more decisions lead to more stress. Rather than having to validate your ideas with multiple people, become confident in making your own decisions and let your guests receive a lovely surprise on the big day. 

Get More Sleep

Everything feels more stressful late at night, and rarely is a good decision made in the early hours of the morning. Replying to vendor emails might seem urgent, but it’s not nearly as important as getting enough rest. Prioritize your sleep and watch as everything else falls into place a little more easily. 

Move Your Body Everyday

Not only does regular physical activity help you to look great on your big day, it also calms jangled nerves and boosts your mood. Keep in mind that exercise doesn’t have to be intense to be effective, and just 20 – 30 minutes a day can have a calming effect on the mind and still shape your bridal body. 

Don’t have time to get to the gym? I’ve got your covered! Download your free, Mind Body Bride 14-day at-home workout calendar right here!

Bridal Wellness 101

Swap Social Media For Real Face Time

Have you ever ended a session on Instagram or Facebook only to feel like your life and your wedding doesn’t match up to everyone else’s? Close that can of comparison worms and spend time engaging with friends and family face-to-face, or at least pick up the phone and have a chat. Bonus points if you don’t talk about the wedding!

Honor Your Yin

Life doesn’t stop because you’re planning a wedding, it may just become more hectic. We all know you are able to step up and work hard to move the wedding planning process forward, and also keep regular life humming along as usual.

While this is fantastic, it tends to draw from a very “yang” energy. Yang is masculine energy, it’s what you feel when you’re focused on completing a task, pouring out creativity and solving problems. But the expense of too much yang — i.e. decisions, responsibility, expectations — is the depletion of calm, softness, intuition, and nourishment (or your “yin” energy).

Remember as you continue planning your wedding that taking time to prioritize your feminine side will balance the flow of energy and bring you more peace, calm and joy as your continue to move through this very exciting time of life. 

With love,

Jennifer Dene

 

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Hello friends!  If you’re going to be in the Los Angeles area over the weekend, you should definitely take the time to stop by the gorgeous new Carolina Herrera location in Beverly Hills for a special viewing of the Spring 2017 Collection.  That is, if you’re in the mood to see some swoon-worthy gowns ;)

Carolina Herrerea

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