Borrowed & Blue Interview

Ever wonder what an event planner’s job really entails? Borrowed and Blue, a locally-focused online wedding resource, teamed up with us to quiz us on a few insights into our world of our event planning!

Here’s our Q&A with Borrowed & Blue, with answers from Chelsea, Brenda and Caitlin:  

What is your favorite moment of a wedding day?

We had a tie on our team between the first dance and first look. Brenda’s argument for first dance: “I love watching the couple dance to a song they feel is special to them or watching a creative dance they spent months on perfecting.” Chelsea’s argument for first look: It is such a genuine moment between the couple where they can just breathe a sigh of relief, hold one another and have a moment before their lives change forever.”

ryan-and-john-julie-weisberg-photography29

How would you describe your event aesthetic?

We personally all have our own tastes, in fact I think that Brenda, Chelsea and Caitlin would all design a completely different event if it were up to each of us to do it from scratch. But ultimately, we want each event to reflect the client and the guests, so it’s individual, unique and non-replicable. We prefer personal, classic events that will stand the test of time.

catherine-and-andrew-kate_harrison4
What is the first thing you ask when you sit down with a couple?

We ask to get to know them and have them tell us about themselves. Other than your photographer and your officiant, there is no vendor that is going to be as “intimate” with you that day as us, so it’s important to us that we all know each other and like each other, at least a little bit. We’re a “face to face” vendor — so it’s good to meet face to face and make sure we click!

julia-and-marc-rock-the-image12

What’s the best piece of advice for couples who just got engaged?

Take some time to celebrate! Planning a wedding is exciting but it is also usually a long process. Take a few days before you dive into things to share the news with friends and family. Additionally, we think it’s important for couples to talk about what’s important to each individual before decisions are made so that the wedding encompasses both of their personalities and priorities.  

ryan-and-john-julie-weisberg-photography21

What are your thoughts on DIY weddings?

This depends on the individual. Some people are fortunate enough to be artsy and have the drive to do special projects — and also have time in their life to take on these projects! Other folks either don’t have the creative side, don’t have the time, or both. That doesn’t mean your day will be any less creative or personalized. It just means you know when it’s best to delegate something to a pro, or source ideas from the experts!

Frankly, we do the same thing when we hit a design funk or wall — we look to our design vendors to collaborate, and ultimately come up with something better than we would have all on our own.

jess-and-tony-andre-nguyen-photography5
What’s your favorite of all the San Francisco wedding venues to work at?

Gosh, this is a hard one. I really don’t know if we have a favorite since each has something unique to offer. That being said, I think we particularly love museums or historic venues — they just have such a class and vibe on their own that each client tends to interpret differently, so there are never two events the same at any of these venues.

0682

What is the most important part of wedding planning?

To us, the most important part of wedding planning is getting to know the couple and building a relationship with them. We work with clients who have just gotten engaged to clients only a few months out from their wedding and are able to build a strong relationship with all of them. We want to truly understand the vision they have for their big day and be able to execute that for them by being their advocate throughout the process.

laura-and-kyle-deborah-tracey-photography-5

What’s the most frequent mistake couples make when planning their wedding?

Clients sometimes forget that their wedding is a reflection of them as a couple. They make decisions based off what they have seen or what they think their guests would like to see. They often also partake in traditions that do not mean anything to them but feel obligated because it’s something you are “supposed” to do. It really takes the personality out of the event and guests can feel it is not genuine.

fabianna-and-kyle-russ-levi-photography49

What makes Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events different from other event planners?

From what we have heard from our vendors (who see a lot of events each year!), we go farther above and beyond for our clients than any other planner — and yes, we are super proud of that and maintain it as our one bragging moment! In all seriousness, though, we love taking on events that we feel passionate about, and to us, we pour our whole selves into each event and that is what makes us, and our events, unique — there’s only one CAWE team!

 

If you’re looking to book a planner for your own event, we would be happy to chat with you more about what we do! A special thanks to Borrowed & Blue for the Q&A!

breanna-and-alex-jen-philips-photography13

 

A special thanks to our photographers:
Julie Weisberg Photography
Kate Harrison Photography
Rock The Image
Andre Nguyen Photography
Carlie Statsky Photography
Deborah Tracey Photography
Russ Levi Photography
Jen Philips Photography

Vendor Blog Spotlight: Sound In Motion

logo1

Caitlin was recently interviewed by one of our fabulous DJ teams, Sound In Motion. Their goal is to help future and current clients find a great coordinator by interviewing fabulous coordinators that they know and work with often. We were able to shed some light on what we believe are great attributes for a wedding coordinator to have. We’re excited to share with you our thoughts! Check out the full blog post here.

 

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-1-12-36-pm

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-1-19-01-pm

 

Jennifer and Kyle

By: Chelsea Hudson

JK-Previews-5

Jennifer and Kyle’s wedding day was an intimate affair filled with hints of their favorite TV show, Game of Thrones. They got super creative with their details to bring everything together and bring out who they are as a couple and some of the things they love most. They featured margaritas as their specialty cocktail with their own amazing recipe, the bride made custom GOT candle holders for each table, and guests were treated to a candy bar with some of the couple’s favorite candies!

J&K-Wedding-4   J&K-Wedding-88

JK-Previews-3

J&K-Wedding-48

J&K-Wedding-200   JK-Previews-7

JK-Previews-6

J&K-Wedding-27

JK-Previews-14

J&K-Wedding-259

JK-Previews-24

J&K-Wedding-137

JK-Previews-23

Congratulations again to the happy couple!

JK-Previews-28

 

A special thanks to all of our vendors:

Venue – Hakone Gardens
Catering – Caterman Catering
Photographer – Andre Nguyen Photography
Florist – Sweetness & Light Floral Design
Dessert – Kara’s Cupcakes
Music – Caliber DJs
Hair and Make Up – Xampu
Stationery – New and Blue
Wedding Gown – Maggie Sottero

Ryan and John

By: Chelsea Hudson

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0001

Ryan and John’s Domaine Chandon wedding was inspired by a palette of gold on gold with white accents – and this wedding definitely set the “gold standard”! The day started off with an intimate ceremony where guests filled the chairs that created a circle around the bride and groom. Everyone came together during a special candle ceremony and the flame was passed around the circle, where it reached the groom’s mom and a special candle that was set for the bride’s mom, and ended up at Ryan and John for them to light their candle as a symbol of the beginning of the rest of their lives together.

After the ceremony, the sun began to set and cast a warm glow over the cocktail hour where guests were beginning the celebration. It was important to the couple that their guests felt pampered from beginning to end, especially with delicious food and wine. This led us to a restaurant-inspired dinner reception with a variety of tables while utilizing the space within the venue where guests were wined and dined.

One of our favorite touches was the custom dessert bar with some of Ryan and John’s favorite desserts. Guests indulged in sweet treats along with a photo booth station, busting moves on the dance floor, and a cigar and whiskey bar – complete with custom smoking jackets!

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0007 RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0021

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0203

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0204 RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0207

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0212

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0148 RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0152

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0137

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0175

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0437

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0117 RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0123

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0214

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0259

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0267

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0263

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0270 RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0347

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0354

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0406

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0424 RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0441

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0438

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0439

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0428

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0553

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0557

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0448

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0454

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0458

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0459

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0468

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0545

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0574

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0761

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0965

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0948

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0954

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0962

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0968

RyanJohnWed_highResJPGS_20150530_0967

Congratulations again to the happy couple!

A special thanks to all of our vendors:
Venue – Domaine Chandon
Catering – Elaine Bell Catering
Photographer – Julie Weisberg Photography
Videographer – Steven Bailey Films
Florist – Sweetness & Light Floral Design
Dessert – Honeycomb Desserts + Design
Ceremony Music – Corelli Strings
Reception Music – Caliber DJs
Photobooth – The Laugh Box
Transportation – Pure Luxury
Linens – Napa Valley Linens
Lighting – Magical Lighting
Hair and Make Up – Lux Image Agency
Stationery – Minted
Gown – Marina Morrison
Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Accommodations – Napa Valley Lodge

Jessica and Tony

By: Chelsea Hudson

J&T-Wedding-100

When I first met Jess and Tony I instantly fell in love with their love for one another and the vision they had for their wedding day. Our goal was to create an outdoorsy yet intimate environment where guests felt connected and were excited to celebrate a truly momentous occasion. Once they toured Asilomar in Pacific Grove, they knew it was the ideal venue to bring their vision to life.

The ceremony and cocktail hour were held outside surrounded by redwood trees with the beach in the background and the fire pit was going to keep guests toasty. Personal touches were abundant, from the #Hooray4TJ step-and-repeat, to the cake toppers handmade by the bride herself, to candy bar favors of the couples favorite chocolate, to photos of the couple hung all around the cocktail space, and of course their favorite Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake wedding cake! They were also super clever in planning some fun posed photos for lasting memories and laughs – including a surprise first look that the Tony didn’t see coming!

J&T-Wedding-6 J&T-Wedding-11

J&T-Wedding-36

J&T-Wedding-56

J&T-Wedding-68 J&T-Wedding-71 J&T-Wedding-73

J&T-Wedding-85

J&T-Wedding-96

J&T-Wedding-171 J&T-Wedding-133

J&T-Wedding-167

J&T-Wedding-200 J&T-Wedding-196

J&T-Wedding-227

J&T-Wedding-191 J&T-Wedding-192

J&T-Wedding-323

J&T-Wedding-180

J&T-Wedding-182 J&T-Wedding-183

J&T-Wedding-358 J&T-Wedding-399

J&T-Wedding-501 J&T-Wedding-456

J&T-Wedding-488

I can’t wait to share more of my weddings with you! Stay tuned!

-Chelsea

A big thanks to all of our amazing vendors:
Venue, Catering and Bar: Asilomar
Photographer: Taken by Andre
Florist: Sweetness & Light Floral Design
Dessert: Baskin-Robbins
DJ: Big FUN Disc Jockeys
Photo Booth: Night Owl
Napkins: Chic Event Rentals
Accommodations: Asilomar Lodge, Pacific Gardens Inn, Rosedale Inn

Breanna and Alex’s rustic and modern wedding featured in The Knot!

Untitled

Haywood_Feliciano_Jen_Philips_Photography_705BreannaAlex43062

We’re finally announcing that Breanna and Alex’s modern July wedding was featured in The Knot! I could not believe how much I fell in love with this couple and their families. They were kind, excited and just FUN from start to finish – and so romantically perfect for each other! Take a look at their gorgeous feature!

The Knot_Breanna and Alex

The Knot_Breanna and Alex 2

A big thanks to all of our amazing vendors:

Venue and Catering: The Vintage Estate

Photography: Jen Philips Photography

Officiant: Reverend Michael LeBlanc

Videography: W Video Productions

Bakery: Sift Dessert Bar

Florals: Flower Designs by Karen Brown

Music: DJ Jose Miguel

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Photo Booth: Purple Monkey Photo Booth

Hair Stylist: Lynnae Emery

Makeup Artist: KG Makeup

 

Katie and Adam

By: Chelsea Hudson

1479-Rhee Bevere Photography

Katie and Adam tied the knot at scenic Nestldown in the chapel beneath the soaring redwood trees. The day was filled with laughter, celebration, and the natural beauty of the venue around them. The couple’s dog, Kylie, even made a special appearance down the aisle with the rings and joined the party afterwards for some dancing in the barn. As the sun began to set, the fire pit was lit and guests indulged in s’mores, cake, and letting loose on the dance floor. Congratulations again to the happy couple!

284-Rhee Bevere Photography 1331-Rhee Bevere Photography 585-Rhee Bevere Photography 337-Rhee Bevere Photography 409-Rhee Bevere Photography 410-Rhee Bevere Photography 415-Rhee Bevere Photography 445-Rhee Bevere Photography 578-Rhee Bevere Photography 501-Rhee Bevere Photography 592-Rhee Bevere Photography 594-Rhee Bevere Photography   611-Rhee Bevere Photography 622-Rhee Bevere Photography 1250-Rhee Bevere Photography 1511-Rhee Bevere Photography 770-Rhee Bevere Photography

I can’t wait to share more of my weddings with you! Stay tuned!

-Chelsea

A big thanks to all of our amazing vendors:
Venue: Nestldown
Caterer: Toast Catering
Photographer: Rhee Bevere Photography
Florist: Plan Decor
Bakery: Icing on the Cake
DJ/MC: Sound in Motion
Hair and Make Up: Lux Image Agency
Lodging: Hotel Los Gatos
Transportation: Corinthian
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Hosting with Grace in 5 Steps

This week we thought to just provide some basic nitty gritty tips for hosting an event (these also apply to a wedding!). While you can probably Google “how to host an event” and find all sorts of advice and tips, our goal was to provide some perhaps often-overlooked perspectives and thoughts, as well as keep the ultimate host or hostess’ composure in mind. A stressed host is not a good host, and a host that is happy but has unhappy guests has failed, in our opinion.

Anna Kuperberg Photography Anna Kuperberg Photography

  1. Remember that if you are relaxed, happy and having a good time during your event, your guests are much more likely to also.

This advice was actually once given to me by my mother-in-law before hosting my first Christmas party as an adult, and it has stuck with me ever since – I also remind brides and grooms of this before each wedding! Your guests are coming at your invitation, they care about your opinion and at least to some degree, care about the purpose of your event. You need to intimate to them that the party is fun, a great place to be and you’re enjoying their presence. You should not be acting stressed, obsessed over details or focused on your planned timeline, but acting like you want your guests to feel.

Copy of Debbie and Randy - Danny Dong Photography

  1. Think of your guests’ comfort at each stage.

Put yourself in their shoes from the moment they park (or are looking for parking) all the way to the moment they leave to go back to their car or ride. What would inconvenience them or put them in a stressed or uncomfortable state? The more you can do to alleviate or address each little detail will all add up to an overall enjoyable experience for them – even if it’s things they don’t even notice (like the temperature during the event). They will notice if it’s NOT there.

Copy of Breanna and Alex - Jen Philips Photography10

  1. Don’t forget that hosting used to be called “entertaining.”

Providing food and drink isn’t all you need to host a great event. I think this has been forgotten at a lot of parties. You want each guest to feel “entertained” in some way – this doesn’t have to mean jugglers or anything extreme, it could just mean entertaining conversation. But you do want each guest to feel engaged, and at least momentarily distracted from their lives outside your event.

Copy of Catherine and Andrew -Kate_Harrison5

  1. Think small but well done.

You do not need to go big to be impressive, especially if it means you’re spreading yourself, or your budget, too thin. A few small well-planned dishes, drinks, activities and décor touches will be more memorable than a lot of “noise.”

Copy of Breanna and Alex - Jen Philips Photography14

  1. Don’t step outside your skill set.

In the era of Pinterest, we all tend to suffer from the “I can do that!” problem. Your guests know what you do well, and want to see that from you at your event. For the rest, hire professionals or utilize someone who isn’t trying out an idea or Pinterest creation for the first time at your event. Your guests don’t want to be your guinea pigs, and ultimately it will probably cause you to stress if you are struggling to create something new.

Copy of Sydney and Cole_M&Him Photo and Video1

Photography credit:
Anna Kuperberg Photography
Danny Dong Photography
Jen Philips Photography
Kate Harrison Photography
M&Him Photo and Video

Stephanie and Mark

By: Chelsea Hudson

12

I began working with Stephanie and Mark from the beginning of their planning which allowed us to build such a strong foundation and made the planning process so much fun! From finding their perfect venue, to selecting an amazing florist, to doing table mock ups to select just the right rentals – we worked together to bring out vision to life.

15 20

18 9 2

Stephanie and Mark loved the idea of going with blush and creams with hints of gold to add some sparkle and my suggestion of adding emerald green brought richness to our palette and everything came together seamlessly.

21 27 3

30 26

The couple wanted a traditional and elegant day which started at Mission Santa Clara and lead guests to The Mountain Winery for a classy and fun reception. Views of city below the venue wowed guests and as the sun set, the party really amped up! Mark and his two brothers, who were groomsmen, even partook in a family tradition of a push-up contest as part of their toast to their younger brother. Of course, our studly groom came in first place!

14 11 19

Our nine-piece band got the dancing started and had guests dancing the night away along with a dessert table that would satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth! To top off the evening, guests were surprised with to-go boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts as they left the party.

5

16 4

32 24

23 29

I was so honored to be a part of Stephanie and Mark’s special day and throughout the entire course of planning! Their day was so memorable and made a lasting impression on all of their guests.

13

22 17

6

Congratulations again, Stephanie and Mark!

25

I can’t wait to share more of my weddings with you! Stay tuned!

-Chelsea

A huge thanks to all of our amazing vendors:
Reception Venue – Mountain Winery
Ceremony Venue – Mission Santa Clara de Asis
Catering/Bar – Mountain Winery
Photographer & Videographer – Acorn Films
Bakery – Honeycomb Desserts + Design
Florist – Soulflower Design Studio
Reception Music – Lucky Devils Band
Favors – Krispy Kreme
Hair and Make Up – Sorelle Salon
Accommodations – The Juniper Hotel, Cupertino
Linens – Napa Valley Linens
Rentals – Stuart Event Rentals
Guest Shuttles – Corinthian
Bride and Groom Transportation – Elegant Journey
Stationary – Sleepy Hedgehog Press
Gown & Veil – Bridal Galleria
Bridesmaids Dresses – Nordstrom

An and Evan

By: Chelsea Hudson

An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1148

An and Evan wanted to highlight the day with a romantic tone but ensure there was a true party to celebrate their love for one another as the night went on. We used soft colors and lots of lush textures that came out in our fabrics and the flowers.

An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1143 An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1135

An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1059 An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1127 An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1004

 

Natural elements of the day were highlighted as the couple said their vows beneath a towering oak tree and the party got underway with cocktail hour in the garden of the Los Altos History Museum. Specialty cocktails were used to showcase the couples personalities and adventurous side with one drink in particular, the “Around the World”, which symbolized their love for traveling the world together.

An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1083 An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1061 An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1065

An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1017 An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1019

An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1081 An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1102

Our dinner space really pumped up the party atmosphere with specialty lighting, sequined linens, and an outfit change for the couples’ choreographed first dance mash-up which featured hip hop, salsa, and two-step.

An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1099 An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1142 An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1136

An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1120 An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1030

Guests danced the night away in the main hall of the museum and enjoyed a surprise slide show.

An-Evan-Diana-McGregor-1113

Congratulations again, An and Evan!

 

I can’t wait to share more of my weddings with you! Stay tuned!
-Chelsea

A huge thanks to all of our amazing vendors:

Venue – Los Altos History Museum
Catering – Ginger Café
Beverages – Best Beverage Catering
Photographer – Diana McGregor
Bakery – Friend of the Bride and Groom
Florist – Friend of the Bride and Groom
DJ/MC – Caliber DJs
Linens – Napa Valley Linens
Rentals – Hartmann Rentals
Photo Booth – Memento Strip
Hair and Make Up – Travis Vu