Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Amber Events office closed for the Holiday Weekend

I'm taking a few days of R&R for the holiday weekend and will not be answering emails and calls until Tuesday, July 5. Enjoy the holiday and Happy Birthday, America!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monique Lhuillier sample sale!

Need I say more?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I love my job

I love: goofing around, my fabulous clients, the talented people I get to work with, and the electricity in the air. And I love this photo because it captures everything that I just described.

Congratulations, Colleen & Roger! You rock, DJ Nahchey! You're true artists, Callaway Gable!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hello, my name is Amber and I'm an iPhone addict

Every summer my husband and I go camping up in the Sequoias for four days to recharge and rejuvenate our souls. Along with soaring redwoods, a roaring river, spongy, mossy ground, fern bushes as tall as I am, and exciting wildlife to connect us back to nature...the thing I love the most? THERE IS NO CELL SIGNAL. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. That fact was almost detrimental years ago when we locked our keys in the car , but for the most part, it is heaven. It's wonderful because I'm horrifyingly addicted to my iPhone. As in, I've checked my email on a sailboat in Greece, in Paris at Versailles, in India after a camel ride, in restaurants bathrooms during dinner with my husband, and anywhere else I get signal. That is sick. I can't even sleep with my phone in my room because that slight buzz or ding! won't let me sleep until I check it.

But forcibly unplugging for four days? I love it because I have no choice about the matter. I don't split my attention when I'm up there because I'm tethered to this little black thing.

Recently in the wedding world, brides and grooms are starting to ask their guests to unplug for their ceremony or even the whole evening so that they can truly be present. I really like this idea. Offbeat Bride wrote a wonderful blog about the Unplugged Wedding as well as another blog about how to actually have an unplugged wedding.

I'd love to attend an unplugged wedding because I would have to turn off my nasty, beautiful little iPhone.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Post Wedding Survey: Libby and Dipanjan

Libby took a few minutes out of her busy life healing people (both she and her new husband are doctors, don't you know. Insert cutesty "Grey's Anatomy" comment here _________ ) to fill out my post wedding survey. Thank you, Libby and Dipanjan! It was an honor and pleasure working with you both!  Photo by the ever wonderful Jen of B & G Photography

Q. What was the best part of your wedding day?
A. Really the whole day was great, the highlight was celebrating with our family and friends.

Q. What do you feel was totally unnecessary?
A. Any worries or stress I had before the wedding was unnecessary

Q. What would you change, if anything?
A. My Grandma ended up arriving late, so I would have reminded everyone to try to arrive early.

Q. What was unexpected that you loved?
A. Seeing all the decorations, programs, flowers, cranes, etc all come together

Q. What are your fondest memories of your wedding day?
A. Saying our vows to each other during the Catholic ceremony, walking around the fire together during our Hindu ceremony

Q. Is there anything you wish you had spent more time or money on?
A. No. I was worried about only taking a one hour dance lesson for our first dance but luckily that ended up being enough.

Q. Is there anything you wish you had spent less time or money on?
A. No

Q. Were there any unexpected surprises or issues?
A. Although it wasn’t a surprise, LA traffic was an issue

Q. What's your number #1 tip for future engaged couples?
A. Hire a wedding coordinator, ideally Amber!

Q. How did you feel after the wedding?
A. Great, and ready for our honeymoon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Catholic/Hindu wedding: Libby and Dipanjan

I LOVE fusion weddings! Fancy favors, darling details, and pretty paper don't turn me on like multi-cultural weddings do. When Libby and Dipanjan contacted me about their Catholic/Hindu wedding I was so excited to begin working with them! Both of them are Doctors (Libby in Internal Medicine and Dipanjan in Cardiology) at Stanford up in Northern California and they both had very, very little time to put together wedding.

The Catholic ceremony was to be held at Libby's childhood church in downtown Los Angeles, and the Hindu ceremony was to be held under a Mandap on the lawn of the Athenaeum at Caltech in Pasadena with the reception immediately following. For those of you not familiar with Los Angeles: these two locations are 12 miles apart through some of the craziest freeways. Add traffic, a cocktail hour, and multiple dresses changes into that Timeline and hello, potential logistical problems! Thankfully, I had the wonderful Jen of B & G Photography on our team to help keep everything flowing. Not only in Jen a dynamite photographer and a wonderful woman, she can roll with the toughest logistics grace and class. I love her.

Libby and Dipajan fused their two cultures together in such a great way: at the Catholic ceremony the ladies wore bridesmaid dresses and the groomsmen wore tuxedos. At the Hindu ceremony, everyone dressed in traditional Indian outfits. Libby's sister Margaret folded 1,000 Origami cranes to hang from the Mandap and decorate the table settings and cake. After the wedding, the cranes were sent to Japan the Hiroshima Children's Peace Memorial and in lieu of favors, donations were made to charities that they both feel strongly about: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief and Homeboy Industries.

The day could not have happened without the amazing team of:

Photography: B & G Photography
Planning and Coordination: Amber Events (with special thanks to my girls Nira, Michelle & Anie!)
Getting Ready: The Langham Pasadena
Dress: Lea Ann Belter
Catholic Ceremony: Japanese Catholic Center
Hindu ceremony and Reception: The Athenaeum at Caltech
Mandap: Krushna Mandap Decorations
DJ: Ian from Redshoe
Florist: Susan Marchant
Hair and Make up: Kelly Zhang
Cake: Euro Pane Bakery
Limo: Crown Limo

Sunday, June 5, 2011

From San Diego to Ojai

Good grief, this last week has been incredible. I don't even know where to begin! First, I attended the Engage!11 Luxury Wedding Summit at the spectacular Grand Del Mar Resort in San Diego, THEN my husband Eric and I celebrated our 10 yr wedding anniversary at the luxurious Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. Two 5 Star resorts in one week, y'all. I don't believe my life has ever been this glamorous.

Engage!11 was all that I hoped for and more. I can't even really begin to put into words what I learned, what and who I was inspired by, and what I took away from it, but needless to say it was exactly what I needed. I came home revved up and ready to take my company to the next level.

My week kicked off last Sunday with a small luncheon at the gorgeous Cal-a-Vie Health Spa and Vacation Resort hosted by motivational speaker and author Simon T. Bailey and Planner/Author/Coach Marley Majcher The Party Goddess! The staff at Cal-a-Vie pampered us with wine tastings, massages, tours of their gorgeous property, and a few goodies to take on the road with us. This property is divine and there is a very good reason they're listed as one of the top 10 spas of the world. I can't wait to plan a wedding there someday in the 17th century French chapel.

Since our conference did not begin until  Monday, I was able to settle into my snazzy room at the Grand Del Mar. Sunday night I was able to work, nap, work out, AND continue my addiction (thanks to the TV in my treadmill!) to my newest favorite TV show: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Check. It. Out. Move over, Toddlers and Tiaras, cause your bedazzled booties just got served.

In our opening session of Engage, of the 250 attendees, 11 were highlighted for doing innovative things and I almost fell on the floor when I (and attendee DJ Nahchey and former Engage!10 attendees CallawayGable) were mentioned for Joya and Emre's Black Eyed Peas wedding music video! The rest of the conference I had people coming up to me asking me HOW on earth we pulled that off. I was so humbled that the people in my industry whom I look up to were impressed by something that I was a part of!

While much of our event looked fancy like this: 

I looked a lot like this. The entertainment every night was just too, tooooooo good!

While I could post pictures all the live long day about this experience, nothing sums it up quite like the wrap video by Cloud 9 Creative:

Engage 11: Grand Del Mar // Wrap Film from Cloud Nine Creative on Vimeo.

I got home Thursday mid-day and worked until my eyes crossed as Friday morning my husband and I left for Ojai to stay at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa  for our 10th wedding anniversary. The sweet catering manager, Tiffany Emch (who I had just seen at Engage!11) had a gift of these fantabulous red ladybug slippers and a spa robe for me. Eric promptly broke them in for me.

The weather was a bit gloomy up in Ojai, but that didn't stop us from fully enjoying the gorgeous property. We rode bikes, got massages, ate delicious food, and just enjoyed each others company. Eric would not, however, watch Highschool Musical Three with me at the pool Friday night, so I guest I didn't get the full resort experience....

(sidenote: I don't know if that dude in the hot tub was trying to photobomb this shot or not, but I'd like to think he was attempting to give me bunny ears) 
At dinner Friday night Eric surprised me with a new diamond for my wedding ring! Such perfect timing as the week before one of the smaller diamonds fell out it. This stone is probably 60 or 70 years old as it came to the jeweler he bought it from from an estate sale. While I won't be ugly and give numbers, let's just say that it is going to be WHOA! on my hand.
Our actual anniversary is next Thursday, June 9, and due to a wedding on the 11th, we celebrated this weekend. Next Thursday we're going to have some professional photos taken by our friends Cat & Adi of Next Exit Photography down at one of my favorite art installations.

This concludes today's episode of "The Glamorous Life of Amber Gustafson"....tune in next time to hear all about how our cats show their disprovable of our absence, the kitchen drain that won't work and thus causes us to wash our dishes in the bath tub, and how I can't, for the life of me, cook anything other than one pasta dish.