Floral Frenzy: All About the Flowers

Good morning, lovelies!

Fall is here and winter is coming, but at Marisa Nicole Events, our minds are always on spring and summer where everything is in bloom and the sun is shining. We just love all things floral and thankfully, here in SoCal, we don’t have a hard time getting fab florals year round. Although many elements work together to craft the aesthetic story of your day (linens & lighting, china and tables, and more!), florals tend to be the one piece in your wedding design that captures people’s attention. While other mediums sometimes take a supporting role in the look of your day, florals get first billing. We know that constructing your floral design can be difficult and couples may need help. Where do you need an arrangement and where can you go without? Today, we’re going to walk you through the various places throughout your wedding that you will want to incorporate floral decor into your day.


Photo Credit: Anya Kernes Photography

Photo Credit: Amanda McKinnon (Left) Booth Photographics (Right)

Your welcome table will most likely be the first thing your guests will see. You will want to accessorize your table in a way that will invite your guests to leave sweet notes in your guest book. Remember to “dress to impress!”

Personal Flowers

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Photo Credit: Jillian Rose Photography (Left) K Stone Photography (Right)

Photo Credit: Lukas Van Dyke

This includes bouquets, corsages, nosegays, and boutonnieres. These will go out to everyone in the bridal party, immediate family members, or any V.I.P. members of your wedding that should be visually honored.

Ceremony Decor

Photo Credit: K Stone Photography (Left) Iris & Light (Right)

Photo Credit: Jessica Hickerson Photography

For your ceremony, you will have to decide on the style that you like to determine what flowers to use. You can put some florals to ground you at the altar, or hang items from a tree or columns. You can even rent a chuppah and decorate it with beautiful florals. You will also want to include something to line the aisles. You can use a trail of petals, or shepherd’s hooks with hanging details. The idea of the floral design in your ceremony is to frame the altar and create a direct line leading to it. If aisle decor is not in your budget, then focus on framing the front for the couple and the back as an entrance for the ceremony.

Cocktail Hour

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

Every surface should have a bud vase or floating bloom with decor like votives and tea light candles. Once the sun is down, the candles are a perfect way to glow up the night.


Photo Credit: Anya Kernes Photography

You can use florals to make your bar look fun and beautiful. However, it is important to keep in mind that the bartenders may move the arrangements to make room for their services so plan for simple floral designs that are easily transportable, if you are opting for florals on the bar.


Photo Credit: Iris & Light (Left) Amanda McKinnon (Right)

Photo Credit: Booth Photographics

Photo Credit: Amanda McKinnon

Photo Credit: Nick Radford

We highly suggest some sort of decor lining the seating chart or table assignments as well as the cake/dessert table. Every tablescape should have a centerpiece for the perfect organic touch to your party, including the sweetheart table for you and your other half. You can even substitute florals for succulents to add some greens into your design. We love using floral tucks, bud vases, and candles; but your design is ultimately up to you!


Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

The last thing to remember when it comes to your floral arrangements is the proper etiquette that comes with them. Typically, florals can be taken, but vessels cannot. Talk to the onsite wedding coordinator to talk about reusing florals and to determine the intangibles. We are big advocates for reusing florals, but you can’t do it all the time. Generally, if all your events are held in one room, the florals will not be moved.

Photo Credit: Next Exit Photography

As you can see, there are many things to consider when picking the florals that will brighten up your wedding day. We suggest thinking about each of these categories to help you with your decision. Hope this helps!

Will You Marry Me? – Picking the Perfect Officiant for your Wedding!

Good morning, darlings!

With wedding season coming to a close and engagement season gearing up, many of our couples are beginning to get their vendors in line for their weddings next year. One vendor that every single wedding has in common is someone to actually do the deed and legally marry the love-birds. Some couples choose to have a friend serve as their officiant, while others hire a professional. For those of you planning to bring in a ringer, it is important to find an officiant that is the right fit for your ceremony needs. Today, we are talking you through the process of finding and booking the minister, rabbi, non-denominational officiant, or marriage guru for you.

Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian

It’s About The Important Things

Different couples have different needs and instincts as to what they want when it comes to who will be the one to marry them. Would you prefer a male or female? Do they need to have a specific religious affiliation? Do you want someone with a traditional, old-school vibe or someone young and hip? You may want to consider the services that your officiant may offer. Some officiant companies include premarital counseling. Others aid with obtaining your marriage license (so you don’t have to waste a couple hours during the workweek at the courthouse). Some officiants have a very set way that they conduct their ceremonies, while others will let you organize it however you want, as long as you say “i-do.” It is important for you and your partner to sit down and discuss what both of you want in each of these sections before actually speaking to or research officiants.


Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

Photo Credit: Jessica Hickerson Photography

What kind of ceremony do you want?

Once you have started to think through what you want in an officiant, it would be good to discuss what specific items you do or do not want included in your ceremony prior to talking to any potential officiants. This way you go into these conversations with a game plan and can describe what you are thinking for your ceremony. Different plans can range from recreating a version of a catholic mass in an open field to mixing together two very different religions, or from having a completely secular ceremony to including a ceremony with tons of readings, songs and traditions. Ultimately, the type of ceremony you have will determine what kind of officiant you choose.

Photo Credit: Lukas Van Dyke

Identify potential officiants

By now, you and your partner should have a clear idea of what you are looking for in an officiant that you can start doing some research. A good place to start would be to ask your wedding planner to refer you a list of officiants they may have in their network. If you are flying solo without professional vendor leads, then do some research on officiants in the area. Officiant services can range between $300 to $700, depending on the services and experience. This is something to keep in mind while budgeting for your wedding.

Photo Credit: Oh Hello Studios

Reach out to your top 2-3 favorites

After you have done your search and narrowed down your options, reach out to your potential officiants and schedule “get-to-know-you” phone calls. It is important for both partners to be present for these chats so you can get the general vibe of the person and determine if they are a good personality fit, as well as a fit for the ceremony you want as a whole. Be sure to ask how long their ceremonies tend to last as that may also be a deciding factor in your choice.

Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

Hire the one that’s right for you!

Once you have found the perfect officiant that you can vibe with, fits your criteria, is available on your date and the price is right, hire them asap before someone else books them!

Photo Credit: Docuvitae

By following these tips, you should be able to find the officiant that is right for you. It’s okay to be picky with who you want. After all, it is your big day!

Bridal Beauty: Your Wedding Hair & Make-up Done Right!

Happy Thursday Friends!

We’re finishing up wedding season and today’s post is aimed at helping all you brides that are stressing about what to do with your locks and looks on your special day. I’ve come up with five tips to share with you that will help ensure your hair and makeup on your big day are simply fab fab fab (from a wedding planner’s point of view, or course!).

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Tip #1: Go With A Pro

Believe when I tell you that going with a professional is one of the best things you can do on your wedding day.  Even if you are an talented with a makeup brush and super handy with a curling iron, I have seen many brides break under the self-imposed pressure of making herself up on her wedding day. Relieve that stress from yourself by bringing in someone who knows what they are doing and is 100% focused on making you look like a rock star. Your wedding day self will thank you and your photographer will bless your name! Something to keep in mind is that the camera will take off 25-50% of your makeup in your pictures. You’ll be glad you invested in a professional with sustainable products so your hair and makeup will be one less thing to worry about.

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Tip #2: Choose A Style That Looks Like You

The goal for each of my brides is for them to look their best for their big day. Your wedding day isn’t the time to try something new. Too often a bride will get excited and want to try colors and styles that she would never consider under normal circumstances. While we do want you to stand out, remember to keep your choices consistent with your everyday life sense of style. Trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to look back on your wedding photos and think, “That doesn’t even look like me” or “what the heck was I thinking?”

Photo Credit: K Stone Photography

Photo Credit: Jessica Hickerson Photography

Tip #3: Time It Out Right

Make sure you give your stylist enough time to perfect your wedding look. Wedding days are crazy: people run late, tasks run behind, but make sure that you reserve time to get your hair and makeup done right!. You want to make sure you have between 2.25-2.5 hours for your hair & make-up to be completed. Even though your stylist may say only 2 hours are needed, give yourself some extra time in case you need to change something or something unexpected happens.

Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

Tip #4: Spring For The Trial

Seriously, I can’t impress this upon you enough. You absolutely, 100% need a trial before your wedding day to make sure that the look you want actually looks good on you. This will also give your stylist the opportunity to get to know your complexion and hair-type so that they know the best products that will work for your particular hair and skin type. Don’t take chances on your wedding day. Seriously, despite the cost, take the trial!

Photo Credit: Jessica Hickerson Photography

Tip #5: Communication Is Key

Before you go in for your trial, send your stylist photos of the hair and make-up styles that you are considering for your wedding day. It is extremely helpful for you to provide a visual example for your stylist. A verbal description won’t be enough. Make sure your stylist can see the look you like, and also hear a verbal explanation of why this is the look you want to achieve.

During your session, don’t be afraid to vocalize any concerns while you’re in the chair! If you’re uneasy about what you are seeing, communicate your feelings. It’s your big day, you deserve to look the best!

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

*Bonus*: Show Your Stylist Some Love

Show your stylist some appreciation by including a tip with their final payment. Vendors will go above and beyond to make sure your day is as perfect as possible so don’t forget to give them your thanks. Tip your stylist!

Photo Credit: Nick Radford

If you’re struggling to find a makeup artist and hair stylist that is right for you, use these tips to help guide you in the right direction and narrow down your options. Stay beautiful, my loves!


Wedding Planning in a Nutshell Pt. 3: Final Logistics

Happy Tuesday, friends!

We are back today with the final installment of our wedding planning in a nutshell series. In week 1, we shared a visual via our wedding planning cheat sheet. In the second part of the series, we talked you through the first three levels of wedding planning priorities including hiring a fab planner, choosing your venue, designing your day and hiring some of the bigger vendors. Last week we talked you through the middle three levels of priorities in the wedding planning process including booking the majority of your vendors. Now that you have the majority of your wedding day team and design in place, it is time to focus on the minute logistics to make sure everything goes as planned. Here are the final three levels of priorities to focus on in the last few months leading up to your wedding!

Photo Credit: Ronca Productions

Tier 7 – Officiant, Valet, & Bar

Now that you have the majority of your high costing vendors in place, you need to determine who will officiate the ceremony! The choice of an officiant varies between couples. Some couples choose a family friend to do the deed, while others hire a professional. If hiring a professional, you’ll want to find someone you connect with and feel comfortable around. The next thing to consider for your event is whether you have any outstanding parking or valet needs. We tend to need valets most frequently at urban venues or private estate weddings in a neighborhood. Venues like these tend to have limited parking options and hiring a valet will prevent your guests from worrying about having to find a place to park when arriving at your event. It will be one less stress for your guests and you won’t have to worry about any of your guests getting a ticket on your special day. Now is also the time to determine the details of your bar. From a beer and wine only bar to a partial bar with a few specialty cocktails, or a full bar to a full bar with specialty cocktails, whatever you decide to offer your guests, we always suggest offering a hosted bar (switching over to cash, just isn’t the classy thing to do). A beer and wine bar is the most cost effective way to go, while a full bar with specialty cocktails is the most costly. Keep your budget in mind and make the decision that is best for you and your party. Once you decide which way to go, touch base with your caterer or bar company for the type of bar needed and the drink quantities based on your guest count. Pad that number a bit, and make sure that everything you need for your bar is either on the bar or catering order (we often get mixers, ice and water through the caterer).  Just remember that for many venues, if you don’t bring it to the party, it won’t be there if you need it. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for the beer, wine and bubbly to be chilled for delivery (trust me on this one).

Photo Credit: Booth Photographics

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

Tier 8 – Day of Flow, Aesthetics & DIY Projects

One of most difficult projects to attack for a wedding, is crafting together a solid day of flow that outlines everything that happens on your wedding day, by whom and when. By now, you should have pretty much all of your vendors booked and your design nailed down. With the major details in place, you can switch gears to figuring out how this whole day will play out by putting pen to paper and creating a detailed day of timeline. This will indicate both specific times (such as vendor arrivals and bridal party call times) and specific tasks (such as items to be set-up and announcements to be made), all the way until you and your partner are back in your room at the end of the night as an official married couple. At this point, it is time to really flush out the overall design with some personalized touches and DIY projects. This can be as party favors for your guests or minor details just to add a little fun to your event with your “couple signature.” Personal details are the best way to make your event unique and memorable for your guests. For you Pinterest lovers, this will be your favorite part of the planning process. Get creative and have fun with your projects!

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Photo Credit: Dennis Kwan

Tier 9 – Final Logistics: Lists, Seating Assignments, & Layout

This tier will be the last of your pre-wedding “to-dos”, yet most important part of your day. You will need to compile lists, seating assignments, and venue layouts to keep everything organized and how you want it on the day. First you will work with your venue, caterer and planner to get a good looking venue layout in place for each section of your wedding. This layout will show where all rentals, tables, chairs and structures will be placed so that everyone knows where to put things on the big day. From there, you can turn your focus to the many lists needs for your wedding. You will want to give your photographer a list of family/friend formal or posed photos that are important to you (be specific, list names!). You will also need to create a music list of specific songs and genres you’ll want your entertainment company to play at specific times throughout the wedding. We have also found it helpful to have a “packing list” of all the items that you are providing for the party (not through a vendor). This will help keep you organized on the crazy days leading up to your wedding to ensure that everything you planned to bring to the wedding is actually packed up and present on the day. It will also help your execution team get everything back to you at the end of the celebration. It may go without saying, but you should have a compiled vendor list with email addresses, special notes and day of emergency contact info in addition to the other lists. Finally, you will need to create a thorough guest list with table and meal indication in two forms: alphabetically and by table. If you choose to assign your guests to specific seats, you will need a map indicating this as well. These final logistics are absolutely essential for the production of your big day. Your lists and layouts will serve as aids for everyone working at your wedding so the whole day runs smoothly.

Photo Credit: Amanda McKinnon

Well, that’s all folks! That is pretty much a breakdown of how to plan a wedding Marisa Nicole Events the Marisa Nicole Events way. We hope you found our wedding planning cheat sheet helpful. Don’t hesitate to use this blog series as your guide to plan your perfect wedding day!