Archives for May 2016

The Rehearsal Dinner Lowdown

Good morning, lovebirds!

The wedding of Irene Legaspi and Chris Josol was photography by Hannah Arista for Docuvitae at the Carondelet House in Los Angeles, CA on September 27th, 2014.

Photo Credit: Docuvitae

Here at Marisa Nicole Events, we hope that your wedding weekend be some of the most memorable and most enjoyable days of your life! We put in so much time helping couples flush out the details of their wedding day, but your rehearsal dinner deserves some love as well! If you think about it, it is the one time when all your truly favorite people who you want to be around are gathered in the same place. For many, this combination of people may never be replicated again! Although we specialize in creating kick-booty weddings, as planners we see our fair share of rehearsal dinners and welcome parties. To help you put together a pre-wedding gathering that you and your fiance can look back on as an awesome event, we thought we’d share with you the lowdown of throwing a fab rehearsal dinner for your friends and family. As always, we will be walking the line of traditional wedding etiquette and practicality, so bear with us as we walk you through this!

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Left: The Great Romance Right: Rachel Red Photography

Who to Invite

  • Top Priority: Start with including anybody who is invited to the rehearsal (i.e. anyone involved in the ceremony or is walking in the processional) and their significant other. For those bringing a date to the wedding, make sure to include a plus one so all your guests will have someone to talk to.
  • Must Include: Be sure to invite immediate family including the grandparents.
  • If You Have Room: Ideally, all extended family should be included, but we understand that in big families, this can get tricky. If you have over a hundred people in your extended family, it just might not be practical. Talk to your parents and find out who needs to be there and make your decision on a case to case basis.
  • Old School Etiquette: According to traditional wedding etiquette, all out of town wedding guests are supposed to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. With that being said, we totally get that this isn’t always financially practical for everyone, so you use your discretion on this one, we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you what’s what!


Photo Credit: Becca Rillo Photography

How the Evening Flows

  • Mingling: Start the night with cocktails and a 30-40 minute period of passed appetizers and socializing. This will give your guests time to trickle in from the rehearsal and also serves to loosen things up (rather than inviting guests in and asking them to sit immediately).
  • Welcome Speech: Once seated, a welcome speech of sorts can be given by whoever is paying, as it is a good moment to recognize them.
  • Toasts: Many people will want to toast (or maybe even roast) you, but they can’t all do that at your wedding, so after dinner is a great time for toasts. This can be from a few people or it can go on and on, but it is more laid-back and non-formal.
  • Gifts: The rehearsal dinner is also a good opportunity to give your bridal party (and parents) your gifts to them. Your wedding day can be hectic, so now is the perfect time to honor those who have helped you.
  • Your Speech: If you and your fiance want to throw in a mini speech at any point, that is always appropriate and appreciated by your guests.


Photo Credit: Andrew Aabjian

Who Pays

Traditionally, the family of the groom pays for the rehearsal dinner in whole. However, not all families are able to do this, so it may come out of your own pocket. We firmly believe that no one should have to pay for their own dinner, and at least a drink or two should be provided (at minimum something other than water to drink), but that doesn’t mean you need to have an open bar. The traditional rehearsal dinner is that of a sit-down, plated meal, however you can also choose to have something that works for your overall vibe and budget by having a buffet, stations, or even just small passed cocktail bites.

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Left: Carmen Santorelli Right: Emily Blake Photography

What to Wear

Make sure to wear something foxy that you look and feel good in. As the couple getting married, feel free to wear any color you look good in, including white. If you are an attendee of the rehearsal dinner, just in case, we would suggest avoiding white as a color. In fact, in general, for event leading up to a wedding that you may be attending, just in case the bride-to-be chooses to wear a shade of white, we suggest staying away from any white, off-white, ivory, or champagne colored outfits. It’s just the nice thing to do…

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Left & Right: KStone Photography

Where to Host

There are no set rules as to where your rehearsal dinner has to be, but usually the easiest place to host this is at a restaurant. The key to a rehearsal dinner is having a PRIVATE or at least semi-private space. This way, you can make toasts or present a slideshow in a more intimate space. If finances are an issue and you have relatives nearby, a backyard picnic or buffet style cook-out is also an easy and super fun option! Some people have thought about public parks, which are easy and cheap to reserve, but keep in mind that typically no alcohol can be served in these locations. The most expensive option is hosting your rehearsal dinner at an event venue, bringing in a caterer, rentals and all that jazz… but it will be kind of like creating a mini-wedding (on top of the other wedding you are already spending a ton of time, energy and money on the next day – so be ye warned!).


Photo Credit: Andrew Aabjian

Our Last Bit of Advice

Rehearsal dinners are typically hosted the evening before your wedding day and is a time for friends and family to come together and be with you before the big event. But, your wedding day IS the next day, so make sure that you get plenty of rest so that you can be glowing and feeling great the next day.  So, our last advice for you is twofold: 1 – Schedule your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner in a way where you can end your evening early enough to get to bed at a reasonable hour with a bit of time built in for vow rehearsal (if you are writing your own vows).  2 – Plan to have anything and everything that needs to be completed done before you walk into your rehearsal, this way you can fully enjoy you rehearsal dinner and the morning of your day, without having the pressure of any final tasks hanging over your head.


Photo Credit: Becca Rillo Photography

Shoespiration: Wedding Footwear Ideas

Good morning, sunshine!

The wedding of Irene Legaspi and Chris Josol was photography by Hannah Arista for Docuvitae at the Carondelet House in Los Angeles, CA on September 27th, 2014.

Photo Credit: Docuvitae

As summer begins to creep up on us, we couldn’t help but to think of beaches, ice cream and finally… letting our toes out. Ladies, it’s time to go get that long awaited pedicure you have been thinking about and upping your shoe game for the season. There is nothing we love more than a pair of sexy pumps, and whether you are getting married this year and looking for the right pair for your day, or attending a wedding and want to make sure you are looking right, join us as we find you some shoe inspiration for all your summertime celebrations!

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Left: Jill Doty Photography Right:

Born with Glitter in Her Veins

It never hurts to add a little sparkle to your step! Besides – who can say no to gold glitter? Such a foxy accent to your white dress.

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Left: CoCo Tran Right Wren & Field Photography

Something Blue…

How does that saying go? “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?” Not a bad start when you can wear your something blue on your feet.

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Left: Judy Pak Photography Right: Chris Isham

Strap Em On

Strappy heels seem to be all the rage, so add some pizazz and grab a pair of colored strappy heels (or a pair of classy Valentino’s), we sure aren’t complaining about this trend.

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Left: Andrew Abajian Photography Right: Lacie Hansen

Strut in Comfort

Weddings are a long affair, so you might as well be comfortable. Nothing makes a bride happier than walking in style and (let’s be honest) still being able to walk by the end of the night.

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Left: Elyse Hall Photography Right: Colin Cowie Weddings

Put a Bow on It

For a sweet and simple look, just add a bow to your heels. This aesthetic can still have a traditional feel while adding some glitz.

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Left: Amanda McKinnon Photography Right: Candice Benjamin Photography

Precious Gems

Sometimes a shoe full of sparkle may not be your style – and that’s okay! If you are still looking to add a shine, check out these adorable heels.

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Left: Loft Photography Right: Lindsay Madden Photography

Foxy Flats

Some gals can’t stand wearing heels – and we get it! They can begin to hurt, especially if you want to be out on the dance floor all night! Grab a pair of fancy flats and they can still be glam.

Amanda McKinnon Photo

Photo Credit: Amanda McKinnon Photography

Every girl loves her shoes, and the ones you wear on your wedding day will be the most important pair (I mean, they will be photographed and in your wedding book). We hope we have inspired you on how to dress your feet for your big day. And don’t be afraid to add a little personal touch, like some rhinestone “I do’s” to complete the look!

Iris & Light

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Love In Laguna Beach: Syeachia & Ian Married!

Happy Thursday, Friends!


Summer is almost here, and I am so stinking excited to be back on the beach, that I can hardly stand the wait! In anticipation of a time when it is warm enough to lie on the sand with a cold beverage in one hand and a book in the other, today I thought we’d share Syeachia & Ian’s intimate beach elopement with you!

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Syeachia & Ian knew they wanted to have a “toes in the sand” wedding ceremony surrounded by their family and dearest friends. We filed for a permit with the city of Laguna Beach and hoped for the best, as we got to work designing their celebration. We wanted to create a colorful yet modern coastal aesthetic. It was important that the whole thing felt relaxed and clean, but still vibrant and fun. We worked with a color palette of ivory, coral, sand, yellow, peach, gold and blue.



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In the ceremony area, we laid down colorful oversized blankets with a mix of patterned pillows to create a low-loungy laid-back feel. We dreamed up a ceremony backdrop with a mix of branchy elements and big round blooms to frame the couple as they said their “I-do’s,” but that wouldn’t block any of the natural gorgeousness that the pacific has to offer! Enchanted Garden crafted the ceremony items flawlessly and designed a mixture of floral filled lanterns and adorned driftwood to compliment it. We placed these in somewhat of a circle surrounding the low lounge to carve out our ceremony space and create a sense of intimacy amidst the craziness of Laguna Beach on a Saturday in June!



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The couple celebrated with their family on the patio of a nearby fine dining restaurant (seriously yum). We created one long table and laid the most gorgeous ivory linens with the perfect coral pattern (think actual coral in the sea) running through it (swoon). We topped it off with a peachy-coral (now the color, haha) soft textured table runner. Enchanted Garden created a mixture of tall whimsical yellow arrangements and low colorful arrangements to bring even more loveliness to the table. A personalized favor was placed at each setting, along with the evening’s menu. As a final touch, we scattered gold seashells throughout the tablescape to bring in both a touch of glam and subtle reminder of the seaside ceremony!


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Along with the clean, coastal and relaxed look we were going for, the couple wanted the dinner to feel very personal. We displayed a ton of framed photos of the couple’s families and friends in every nook and cranny of the space that we could find. As a bit of a non-traditional, yet thematic guest book, we had the guests write messages to the couple that they then placed in a bottle, for the couple to smash and read on their first anniversary. The evening ended with a sweet, yummy bite of cake for dessert and a good time was had by all!

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Vendor Love:

Pinterest Pressure: Utilizing Images to Help Your Overall Wedding Look

Hello lovelies!

Elizabeth Lauren Photography

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Lauren Photography

We are so excited that May has finally arrived, as it marks the beginning of generally gorgeous weather (and generally gorgeous weddings). Yay! It is also the time that many newly engaged couples begin diving into determining the overarching aesthetic for their celebration. Starting your design can be difficult as you begin to ask yourself what kind of overall look you are going for (such as deciding on a general color story, visual style and other design aspects). Today, many brides turn to Pinterest as a starting point to find inspiration and ideas on what they want to incorporate for their day, and we agree that Pinterest is a GREAT place to start! However, the sheer volume of visual content and wedding ideas that are online can be super overwhelming! Couples will start pinning everything they like the look of and all of a sudden your wedding board can turn into a hot mess. We want you to get out there and explore what is on trend, but a Pinterest board that is all over the place in terms of style is no good to anyone (at least for all your wedding vendors, who need a place to go to get a snapshot of the overall look for your celebration). Today, we want to show you what we have found to be a solid way to utilize Pinterest to your advantage as a useful tool, and not as a source of pressure regarding what you think that you potentially should be doing in terms of design. So without further ado, here are our steps to keeping Pinterest helpful to your wedding design, and not hurtful!

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Left: Mira Budd Right: EE Photography

Step 1: Go Crazy

I know that we just told you not to pin everything you like, but instead to pin images that are aligned with your overall style. However, the first step to finding the kind of look you want is actually to use Pinterest without any boundaries. So, before you know your colors or exact style, go overboard and don’t be afraid to pin everything that catches your eye.

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Left: Deer Pearl Flowers Right: Bloc Memoire Photography

Step 2: A Bird’s Eye View

Have you pinned everything that has caught your attention? Good, now it is time to take a step back from your Pinterest board (or boards) and assess your findings. Look at your wedding board as a whole and find out what is consistent. Take note of what style you are pinning over and over again. This can help you make some decisions regarding the specific look of your celebration and to determine what you want for your wedding day.

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Left: Daphne Mae Right: Cary Diaz Photography

Step 3: Edit, Edit, Edit!

Once you have found consistency within your boards, you can edit and delete everything that does not align with the decisions you have made regarding colors, textures and style. This can be a difficult feat because we know all the pins you have picked are pretty and you love them, but that does not mean it is right for your wedding. You can however move the pins you did not select to another board (maybe your apartment board?).

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Left: Graham Terhune Right: Annie Parish Photography

Step 4: Take Another Step Back

Once you have cleaned up your board, look at all the final images that you have selected as a whole. Are you loving what you are seeing? Do you think it all goes? Great! Now you know what direction to take for your wedding design. If not, then you know the design you don’t want and can restart your search from Step 1.

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Left: Erica Beckman Right:  Ashley Caroline Photography

Step 5: Get-a-planning!

Now you have entered the planning stage. As you go along in bringing your designs to life, you will see new things on Pinterest that you like. If it works with what you want, then don’t be afraid to add it to your wedding day look. Again, remember that just because you love it does not mean that it will work for your day.

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Left & Right: Amanda McKinnon Photography

Step 6: Ask Someone

If you are not sure about a certain design aspect for your wedding, don’t be afraid to ask someone you trust and is familiar with your wedding look. Find someone you can use as a sounding board. Someone who won’t get annoyed (not that you are annoying, but you know…). We encourage you to find the right person for this. Make sure they understand what you want for your wedding and also think the look you are going for is pretty. Someone with a completely different sense of style might not be that helpful. Asking the wrong person might cause you to chase your tail. We suggest asking your wedding planner/designer or floral designer. If asking a good friend or family member, we suggest that person to have a similar aesthetic as you, with whom there are no weird competitive issues (again, you know), and finally not someone who would just say “yes” to anything.

Ronca Productions

Photo Credit: Ronca Productions

There are so many ideas online, and there are so many people coming up with new DIY projects, but don’t forget it’s your wedding and you don’t have to be pressured to include the latest fad into your look. Just because someone else did something for their wedding and you really like how it turned out, doesn’t mean that same look would be the right aesthetic choice for your wedding! This can drive many of the most savvy brides nuts – particularly Type A brides (you know who you are, don’t deny it). This design practice can be overwhelming, so don’t allow Pinterest and other blogs of what you see make you run in circles. Find your look early and don’t get pulled into the Pinterest pressure.

Two Shades of Pink, Huffington Post

Photo Credit: Two Shades of Pink