2013 is quickly coming to a close and it's been a year filled with fun weddings and events. Though I've been falling behind on blogging about them, I'm glad it's never too late. I'm sure you still love to see what I've been up to!  About a year ago I first met Kristy & Wes at The Grove on Mission Street to chat about their wedding. It was obvious that their love for each other is strong, but that it would also be a quirky weekend filled with lots of surprises. Kristy, who is an amazingly organized person worked really hard on making her dream DIY weekend in the wine country come to life. The location, Vintner's Golf Club in Yountville had been carefully selected to match their vision, and also continue a family tradition started by the parents of the groom many years before. The video created by Tin Can Films truly captures their day!

Wes and Kristy have an Excel-lent and Power-fully beautiful wedding. from Tin Can Films on Vimeo.

After putting a lot of work into planning a fabulous day for family and friends, it's finally time to invite everyone. A sure way to impress your guests and make them eagerly anticipate your event is to send them a beautifully handcrafted letterpress invitation.


There are many local letterpress companies like Hello Lucky and Hyegraph that create amazing work; however my favorite letterpress boutique is the Chicago- based Steel Petal Press. Shayna Norwood, visual artist and owner is a dear friend, and I have had the honor of following her work and see the company grow from the start in 2008. Not only is her work exceptional but also at a price that will fit most budgets! Shayna and her team will work with you to create a customized wedding invitations, personal stationary, business card guest book or journal that will tell your story.


You can see more of Steel Petal Press work here:

Also visit their Etsy Store front:

IMG_0709.jpgEvery couple planning their wedding day should ask themselves this question. There is no right or wrong answer but here are a few things to consider.

A planner is included in my package at the venue or from the catering company
As a former sales manager at Marines' Memorial Club, when asked if I thought a couple should hire an independent planner in addition to what was provided, I answered NO 90% of the time. The other 10% would get a YES, because their vision was well outside of the package, or the couple wanted someone to help them secure the other outside vendors. An onsite planner or catering manager have specific rules setup by the venue or company that they must follow. When hiring an independent planner, they answer directly to you, and not to some other boss.

My Maid of Honor can be the planner
Having friends and family help out with planning your wedding is a great idea. Before you commit anyone to orchestrating your big day, I urge you to take a moment and think about who you would like to celebrate it with. Anyone you task to 'work' during your wedding day will have their focus on the that instead of showering you with love and attention. It's a much better choice to have someone outside of your group handle all the details the day of, so that you can have fun with your family and friends.

We don't really want any structure
Even the smallest event needs some structure to make it successful. It should however not feel forced, and a good planner will help you create a day that flows effortlessly.  As a guest (and that includes the bride and groom) at an event you should never have to be concerned about time or what comes next.  

I'm very organized and would like to plan my own wedding
That's great! There are lots of online resources that can guide you in the process. I still recommend that you consult with a professional who is in tuned in with recent trends, have existing vendor connections and years of experience. At least, you will need to have someone manage the day of so that you can focus on being the bride and groom! This is your day and you don't want to miss it while running around dealing with last minute changes.

To sum it up, I want to use an analogy. If your car breaks down you have the option of fixing it yourself or bringing it to a mechanic. Most of us have never worked on cars, so we take it to the shop to save us time, money and have an experienced mechanic fix it. Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. Why not put it in the hands of someone who has the experience, who can save you time and money and help you create the day of your dreams!

Being that many of my clients like their events to be outside the box they regularly ask me for suggestions on something to replace the traditional flower centerpiece. A few years back, when I was brainstorming ideas for one of them I looked around the house to see what I could put together and here are a few things:


Pebbles & Water -  So simple and with endless possibilities. Add some pebbles to your vase to stabilize your flowers or add different colored pebbles into a hurricane candle holder. Let an orchid float on or in water. Use a fun vase with a single stem orchid.


Succulent.jpgSucculent Terrariums - Since I don't have a green thumb, succulents are my plants of choice. Make a terrarium and it's like a little mini-landscape inside an awesomly cool container of choice. An added bonus is that you can create these centerpieces well ahead of your event, not having to worry about them wilting. If you don't want to search for all the pieces yourself search on Etsy for DIY kits. I found this really awesome one from SucculentlyUrban that includes the container, plants, sand, gravel and instructions for only $25.00. I want one!

Bonsai Tree - Having the pleasure of working with amazingly creative clients they often come up with fun ideas of their own! Here's one from last year from a couple who are very green conscious and loves everything trees. They hosted their wedding weekend surrounded by redwood trees, their ceremony was held in the redwood amphitheatre and included a tree planting, their favor was a tree seedling and as a centerpiece they had a bonsai tree. I was given one to care for, and I would use a picture of it for this post, if it wasn't for the previously mentioned lack of green thumb resulting in a sad looking bonsai tree on my desk.

You're not the type to want to plan a traditional wedding, but can't come up with ideas to make it unique. Don't fret! Here are a few creative options designed to fit a tight budget!

park.jpgHost your wedding at a park instead of renting an expensive private venue! Local, state and federal parks are extraordinary wedding locations, providing your event with a setting worthy of a fairytale. Depending on the  park and size of your group, you will most likely need to secure a permit. That sounds a lot scarier than what it is. It's usually not more than filling out a form and paying a fee. The specifics based on your location can often be found by a simple online search, or by calling your local parks & recreation office. The cost is seemingly  low ($50 to a few hundred dollars) and in return, nature will provide you with and amazing backdrop for your special day!

Food trucks are so in right now! food truck.jpgHopefully, you've had the chance to enjoy some of the delectable creations coming out of a kitchen on wheels. Now, don't stop there! Did you know must food trucks can also cater your event, giving you the opportunity to host your guests a meal fit for a king without having to pay with your kingdom. To top it off, they can pretty much setup anywhere (say in a park) since food trucks are self contained. Cool huh!

smitten.jpgIce Cream vs. Cake I'm just not that into cake, and I know I'm not the only one. I don't know why, but I've been like that since I was a little kid. Ice cream on the other hand is a completely different story. Add some caramel or chocolate sauce, sprinkles or a cookie to it and I'm in heaven.  Set it up as a self serve buffet with different toppings or hire an ice cream caterer like Smitten Ice Cream  and your guests will go home telling everyone that your event was the best ever!

This should get the creative juices flowing. Stay tuned for more to come!


When I started In the Moment Events it was just something I did on the side for friends who needed a helping hand with their events. It was also a great backup plan for when we decided to have kids.I worked full time as an event planner at a venue, I could not fathom working my regular 10-12 hour days when the kids where really young. In 2010 we had our first child, and quickly thereafter a second and I ended my full time employment as planned. Keeping busy with a few events a year helped me stay connected with the industry and feel like a grown up.

Last year my focus was finding a good balance between being a mom and an entrepreneur. At the end of 2012, I had a chance to flex my skills when assisting Robert Fountain Intl. with a few of their clients holiday events. Pulling 60+ work weeks (standard in the industry) I was reassured that not only was I ready to go full steam ahead, but so is my family. 

This year is designated to transforming my sweet 'on the side' gig into something much bigger. I have so much event planning experience locked away in my head that I'm finally ready to share, whether you are a couple planning their wedding day, business planning their product launches, trade shows  seminars, you name it. This experience doesn't do anyone any good being stuck in my head so I pledge to you that I will post something new and exciting on my blog every day. It might just be a cool new venue I came across, or a service that I use or a great DIY project. Heck, being the food lover and home chef that I am, I might even share some of my favorite recipes. 

Stay tuned for an exciting 2013 J

ask_the_planner-swish-8-23-2012 3-03-47 PM.png
Today, with so much information right at everyone's fingertips thanks to the internet, many people choose to not hire an event planner or only hire a planner for the day of their event. 

In the Moment Events will always recommend hiring a planner and find it money well spent. However, we realize that not everyone has room in their budget to hire a coordinator, or for other reasons choose not to. We decided to create a middle ground and are very proud to announce Ask the Planner as our most recent addition to our services!

Ask the Planner provides a place where anyone planning an event can ask their event specific questions and within one day have answers from our team of professional planners. Since most people have never planned larger scale events it can be a daunting task. Finding answers to questions, the right vendors, and solutions to DIY projects can also be very time consuming. That's were Ask the Planner comes in handy.

During the beta testing we offer the service for free. The answers to your questions will help build  our knowledgebase where in the future couples will hopefully be able to find answers to most of their questions on their own.  

Setup your free beta account today and start asking your event questions here: http://www.inthemomentevents.net/ask.php

I came across an article in Brides.com about Unique Wedding Boutonnieres and it made me think back a few years. Brenna, a dear friend and former client put the trust in me to not only coordinate her wedding but also take part in creating her flowers. We met at the SF Flower Mart a few months before the wedding day to scope out what was available and then we went back a few days before the wedding at 2 AM in the morning to pick out the cream of the crop.


Brenna has an exquisite taste in colors and flowers and endless creativity. She was able to with pictures and detailed descriptions tell me what she wanted her bouquet and centerpieces to look like. 


Brenna's dad had created these amazing toy robot heads that we put into the bud of a Calla lily. I'm not sure if I will ever have a bride top this creativity.


To top off the creativity, Brenna asked each bridesmaid to make their own bouquet. We set up flowers, ribbons and tools right after the rehearsal on the evening before the wedding. It took them less than an hour, the girls had a blast and the end result was amazing.


Photography by: Mark at MV Gals.net

Registering for your wedding is not as simple as it used to be. Most couples already live together and don't have the need for that famous toaster or any of the other usual wedding gift suspects. Most guests however still want to show their support for the new couple with some sort of gift. Hmm, what should we do?  Not to worry! Here are a few creative wedding registry ideas:


Fund your Honeymoon - My husband and I really wanted to go on our dream honeymoon but couldn't afford it ourselves. We setup an account with Honeyfund and with the help of our guests could help us achieve our dream. Now, isn't it tacky to ask for money, you might think. That's where something like Honeyfund is great! You setup the trip of your dreams with tours, spa treatments, activities and dinners. Your guests then pick the items they want to support you with based on the amount they want to spend. You are not just asking for money but your guests can have a lot of fun taking part in planning the trip of our dreams. 


Amazon Wish List - What better place then Amazon to select any item you might need. They deliver and have fantastic return policies. You wouldn't even need to leave the comfort of your home if you had to send something back and money goes back into your Amazon account to use against any future purchases! Personally, I just love amazon and use them for bulky household items I don't like carrying up the steps to our house. I'm not sure our UPS delivery guy is as happy with them.


Etsy - If you haven't already visited Etsy I strongly recommend it. It's a great resource for any DIY wedding projects where you might want the look of DIY but don't have the time to "Do It Yourself". Also, you can now register to have your family and friends by you that amazingly unique gift that you can't seem to find the money to buy but would love to have hanging on your living room wall or be decorating your side table. I wish this was around when we got married!

This is just a few options. I'm sure you have more to share so please let me know what unusual wedding registry ideas you have come across.

In March 2011 I had the pleasure of meeting with Christine Yen and Helen Belogolova at a NACE function. They asked if I would consider taking a moment to review a new web resource they were working on. We met a few weeks later at Starbucks and they showed me their fantastic idea. venuetastic_office_team_smaller.jpg

Today, that idea is reality and Venutastic has been born. Venuetastic is an online database connecting venues with people who are looking for a space to host an event. You can narrow your search based on location, size and type of event and the type of venue you are looking for. The search results are displayed with an image of the venue, location, cost and capacity. You have the option of selecting multiple venues to compare them against each other. Each listing includes more detailed information about each venue, more photos, how to including prices  more pictures of the venue, details of the space and it's easy to find contact information for each location. 

Now, the most awesome thing with Venuetastic is that they don't just list the regular venues we all know about. No, they have new and interesting spots like the Farmhouse Mansion, in Bernal Heights or the Bohemian Loft on Mission Street. 

I'm really looking forward to continue to use this tool, and I wish Christine and Helen the best of luck in growing their business into something even bigger!