Brianna and TJ

By: Chelsea Hudson


Brianna and TJ’s Mission Ranch wedding in Carmel was darling, featuring spectacular views and fluffy sheep dotting the pastures that looked out to the Pacific Ocean. They said their vows in front of their closest family and friends in an intimate ceremony with the picturesque view as their back drop. Shades of purple and dashes of yellow lended themselves beautifully to create a playful environment, while watercolored accents and twinkle lights in the barn gave the evening a whimsical feel.











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Congratulations again, Brianna and TJ!


A big thanks to all of our vendors:
Venue and Catering – Mission Ranch
Photographer – Ken Kienow
Bakery – Parker-Lusseau
Floral Design – Pink Petals
Ceremony and Cocktail Music – The Abbott Brothers
Reception Music – Caliber DJs 
Hair and Make Up Artist – Simply Samantha


Kristi and Kevin


Kristi and Kevin got married in true bright and sophisticated fashion at Villa Montalvo last August. With Kate Spade as our inspiration style, and Kristi’s love of flowers, we decorated the historic Villa with stripes, outdoor garden party-esque details and gorgeous petal-full flowers everywhere.

Kristi and Kevin had an early-established foundation of outdoor games and sports in their relationship, so we not only got to design a custom monogram for them incorporating a croquet mallet and golf club, but had custom lawn games for guests to enjoy in the summer afternoon as well.

After the sun set and dancing had everyone partying, we transformed the Solarium at the Villa into an ice cream parlor, complete with an especially designed live action ice cream sandwich station. It was the hit of the event – guests kept asking us all night what was going on in that room and when they got to see it!

Each and every guest left that evening feeling like a kid again with the youthful fun that permeated each special touch, and we were honored to have put it all together with this full of life couple!

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Check out their publication in Ceremony Magazine!


Thanks to all our fabulous vendors –
Venue: Villa Montalvo
Photography: Rhee Bevere Photography
Catering: Melons
Videography: One Day Pictures
Dessert: CREAM
Florals: Lani Elizabeth Floral Design
Hair and Makeup: Julie Morgan Hair and Makeup
Lighting: Enhanced Lighting
Childcare: Sitters Unlimited
DJ: Denon and Doyle
Transportation: Corinthian Ground Transportation
Rentals: Blueprint Studios, Napa Valley Linens, Stuart Party Rentals
Photo Booth: Smile City Photo Booth
Gown: Amy Kuschel
Accommodations: Westin Palo Alto, Sheraton Palo Alto, The Inn at Saratoga

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.”


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.

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!


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.  


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.

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.


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.


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.


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!



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


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.





Jennifer and Kyle

By: Chelsea Hudson


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!

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Congratulations again to the happy couple!



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


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!

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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


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!

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


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!



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!

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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

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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!

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


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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.”

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  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.

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