The next six weeks are going to be all about how to start an event design business here on my blog. It will be all the information that I wish someone handed me when I started. Because I had no idea what I was doing. There was a lot of Googling and asking questions and making mistakes and figuring it out. As my business grows, every next step is still filled with questions and mistakes and a lot of trial and error. Each business move in any industry is a scary one backed by a lot of research and learning. From Facebook going public to Beyonce’ launching a surprise album to your favorite restaurant’s new brunch menu to that Etsy shop moving to brick-and-morter, it all took hard work, answered questions, and overcoming obstacles.

My goal with this series is to inspire, motivate, and teach all of you budding event designers how to get started. No, I’m not going to give away ALL of my secrets. But I will tell you the bits that I’ve learned every step of the way that helped me build a company and a brand that I’m proud of and is profitable. It will be the story of what worked for me, which may or not work for you, although I’m hoping it will give you the confidence boost to register your business name, build your website, and start designing.

Get ready to get jazzed about these topics:

  • Defining Your Voice
  • Producing Work When You Have No Clients
  • Your Website is Your Life
  • Networking While Being Authentic
  • Book Clients, Make Money
I’m going to be speaking from a very practical place with actionable steps. I highly, highly, highly recommend purchasing Lara Casey’s Powersheets. They are an incredible tool to help you get stuff done and make what’s most important to you happen. I’m on my third set. That’s how good they are.
See you back here every Tuesday for the next five weeks.

 

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  1. Sooo excited about this series!

     
  2. Lindsay

    This is incredible and so exciting! I follow you and your blog and really admire your work. I can’t wait to read all of your advice! “Thank you” doesn’t seem to cover it!

     
  3. Anna

    I agree with Lindsay! Looking forward to this!

     
  4. [...] to this series? Start here: Introduction Post Step 1: Define Your [...]

     
  5. [...] Step 1: Intro Post [...]

     
 

You might remember Alexis and Chris’s surprise wedding from last year. They were married in a surprise ceremony at The Wythe hotel on a chilly December night. This is the first of a new series I’m starting called Design Live. It’s the story of how each couple’s wedding design came to life from an inspiration board to concepts to the photos of their wedding day.

Alexis and Chris chose the then brand new Wythe Hotel for their engagement party-turned surprise wedding cocktail party because of it’s vintage, industrial vibe and remarkable food. They love saturated colors, shine, unexpected details, interesting flowers, metallics, and globe lights. The above Design Board was our starting point for their Industrial Chic Whimsical wedding.


The three main design elements in the room were a globe light installation, 500 carnations hanging over the bar, and a large lounge area. Above are the photos of the first two. Like the fog machine during Beyonce’s performance at the Grammy’s, the globe lights gave just the right amount of ambiance over the dance floor to create a sexy vibe. For the floral installation, the bride had her heart set on using all peonies. The florist in me knows that 500 peonies is A) ridiculously expensive, and B) won’t hold up that well out of water for an extended amount of time. We found these beautiful variegated carnations, strung hundreds of them, and created my favorite installation to date.

The smaller arrangements on the tables were a mix of flowers with tons of texture and saturated colors. Since this was a cocktail party, the room was set with only two 8′ tables for older guests to take a load off. This gave me the opportunity to create fun little vignettes throughout the room on coffee tables of mercury glass candles and succulents.


The lounge wall, all from Patina Rentals, created the intimate and casual setting that the couple was looking for. Guests snacked on passed sliders and ice cream sandwiches while sipping on craft cocktails and relaxing on vintage couches.


To mix in the bride’s love of shine, we made custom glitter colored clothespins to display instax photos and hand sewn confetti packets for each guest.

Bright, saturated colors, a sexy atmosphere, industrial touches, and a couple who thrives on surprise elements (surprise! Getting married. surprise! Hanging carnations. Surprise! Beat boxer as entertainment.) made for a design experience that was fun, creative, and built a wedding a day that they loved.

Photos by Jacquelyne Mae

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  2. So excited I found this article as it made things much quikrec!

     
  3. That saves me. Thanks for being so sebslnie!

     
 

Nisha and Brendan

January 14, 2014
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Excuse me while I officially freak out over these two. She is Indian, he is Japanese. Naturally, they had a wedding that combined and honored both of their family traditions while keeping to the bright, modern, colorful aesthetic that they both love. Pretty much my dream people. I was lucky enough to be sent to India on a work trip a lifetime ago when I was working as a textile designer. I spent a week in New Delhi eating the street food I wasn’t supposed to and buying armfulls of sparkly bracelets. India’s cultural traditions, love of bright colors and gold jewelry, and beautiful saris had me dreaming of working on an Indian wedding one day. Nisha and Brendan blessed me with that opportunity and I’m so happy how their modern and colorful Indian/Japanese wedding day turned out.

Just like India, this post is large and very visually stimulating. Thanks to the AMAZING photos by Our Labor of Love! The venue, Stone House at Stirling Ridge in New Jersey, sits on beautiful grounds and is full of windows. Natural light for the win! 

Nisha and Brendan had a traditional Hindu ceremony, although they were not interested in a traditional mandap. I commissioned the Chuppah Studio to construct a very modern and clean mandap structure, which I then decorated with grossgrain ribbons and handmade lilly garlands.  The aisle was lined with metallic gold triangles. A few vintage chairs, rented from Patina Rentals, finished the mandap design. 

Their tablescapes were a mix of colorful triangle confetti, super cool airplants, red protea in yellow glass vases, and succulents in gold dipped terracotta planters. I love how Nisha was only interested in quirky, unique flowers and plants. It was important to her that the guests could take home the centerpieces and use them to decorate their homes. Sturdy succulents and hearty airplants were the perfect choice! My team installed a globe light and ribbon garland to hang over the reception tables. 

Congratulations to Nisha and Brendan!!

Photographer // Julia Robbs of Our Labor of Love, Venue // Stone House at Stirling Ridge, Decor and Flowers // Michelle Edgemont

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