Friday, July 29, 2011

Annie & Darin's Wedding: Team Member POV

 Amber Events Team Member
 Post Wedding Questionnaire

Rozie took some time from her busy schedule (working for Truly Yours Catering and raising a family) to fill out this post wedding questionnaire. 
Thank you Rozie, it was a pleasure working with you for Annie & Darin's wedding on July 16th, 2011.

Q. How did you learn about Interning or Assisting for Amber Events? 

A. I was working an event for Truly Yours Catering. Amber was the coordinator for the wedding that day, and had the pleasure of meeting her. I asked her for the opportunity to be part of Amber Events because I love being part of an event, especially weddings.

Q. Tell us about yourself and how it relates to the wedding industry. 

A. I am a people’s person, and consider myself energetic, fun, and organized. I enjoy working weddings because it really challenges me to bring out my creativity and abilities to make things happen.

Q. What tasks did you complete for this wedding? 

A. As a team player that day, I was able to complete all tasks given to me, such as, making sure all tables were in order for guest’s, and seating arrangements. I also made sure everybody signed, the “memory book” for bride and groom, and directed everybody to the ceremony area once people arrived.

Q. What surprised you?     
A. I was very surprised on how quick we were able to finish somewhat of a challenging task, for me that is!  A crown made of beautiful flowers, and it was my first time!

(Note from Amber: the crown of flowers was made last minute per the request of the groom's Aunt.  In the Jewish faith, when a parent marries off their last child they are crowned with flowers, sat on a chair on the dance floor, and the family & guests dance around them)

Q. What is your favorite part of this wedding? 

A. My favorite part of this wedding was that it was very traditional. I never experienced a traditional Jewish wedding. I also liked the fact that it had a country, warm home touch, with lots of flowers, and colorful arrangements. Location and weather were also a great part of this special day.

Q. What shoes did you wear?

A. I wore black flat shoes.

Q. The uniform for the Amber Events staff is a black button down shirt and slacks. What did you do to Jazz up your look?  

A. I wore a silver chain belt with the same kind of necklace.

Q. What is your favorite wedding scene from a movie? 

A. Oh my God! There are sooo many favorite wedding scenes that I can watch over and over and consider all, my favorite!!! 

Q. Do you have any words for anyone wanting to join the wedding industry? 

A. I feel that if you would like to get into the wedding industry, you have to enjoy what you do, challenge yourself to have the imagination and be creative to make every “fairy tale” a special one!

Final Comments: So far, I have worked 2 events with Amber Events, and I have to say that it has been a great experience. Just to see all guests, especially bride and groom enjoy themselves, gives you a great satisfaction that you are doing a great job, and making the bride, groom and family happy and smile at the end of the day… is priceless! Thank you for the opportunity of working with such an awesome team!

Note from Amber: the books on the bookshelf were not only a guest favor, but also the seating assignments as each guest's name was written on the spine and the table assignment on the cover.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New series on the Amber Events blog: Team Member Point of View!

Ok, so I don't know if it's obvious but I really like questionnaires. I like facts, random snippets, and concise answers. And the not so concise ones. I like words.

There have been some new things introduced on the blog this week: Nira herself, the pretty pictures that Nira finds, and now we're introducing a follow up after every wedding from one of the team members that worked on the wedding. Most of the time it will be "the new girl" (one of the interns) but it might be one of the assistants or myself. We'll see what happens.

Come back tomorrow to hear what Rozie has to say about her point of view on Annie & Darin's wedding day!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pretty Pictures - True Blue

Welcome to my weekly discovery of pretty.  Here is a photo by Tim Walker, London based photographer, who takes fantasy dreaming of wedding dresses to another level. 

A dress not too blue
but enough to suit a bride that is true
An extra long train, as she knows the sky is the limit 
Harmonizing a new bride in an old world

Please take a moment to inhale this world in. Dream and enjoy.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Follow up from a Mother of the Bride

Below is a portion of an email that I received from last week's Mother of the Bride about her daughter Annie's wedding at the Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve and it so made my day. Graciously, Carol is allowing me to share it with my blog readers. I loved hearing about the day from her perspective and of course, I loved her kudos and kind words. Messages like this are why I do what I do.

photo taken on my iPhone. I can't wait to see the pretty from Sarah Yates Photography!

"Dear Amber, 

I have to say when we started this project I was a little stressed over the cost of things out there.  I was also surprised at everybody's desire to have all the money up front.  I'm so glad I got to spend all day Saturday at the venue with Annie and her friends, not just because it was so beautiful and so much fun, but I got to watch everything unfold and learned a lot from it - the loading and drive time, unloading and set up of the rental stuff plus having to do it all over again at the end of the evening - the designing of the flower arrangements, labor, delivery, set up (I think the Chuppah alone took hours) of same - the travel time and unobtrusive hour after hour of photography by both Sarah and her assistant not to mention the hours of perfecting those pictures after - the hair dresser and makeup artist who spent hours up there with us and did my makeup and hair for fun for nothing and even put some eyelashes on Sarah for free.  It was a real eye opener for me.  And not having to worry about getting people paid afterward was so great! 

I told Annie the first thing she had to do was get a planner.  She chose you because she liked you.  She felt you would get along and be able to work well together. I also know that people in your kind of business have to know how to read the client and give them what they need and want.  It's an art and you do it very well after a fairly short career in it.  It's a stressful job and you should not only have a knack for it but enjoy it.  You and Nira were unbelievably patient and helpful.  I can't imagine fielding and handling that many responsibilities, requests, concerns and questions and all at the same time and for hours.  You were also so sweet and so much fun.

I was just going to send you a quick email and write a long letter later but once I got rolling...when you have time, please write me back with your take on the day. 

I really can't say enough or thank you enough."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Amber Events introduces: Nira DeLuna

My name is Nira DeLuna, and I am the other gal here at Amber Events. 

I have worked with Amber for over a year in making the magic happen for every wedding. I initially interned for Amber and have grown with her to the position I am in now. I'm currently at about 20 + weddings and I am waiting for the day to say I'm at 200+!

Photo by Andie Green Photography  (Andie happens to be a former Amber Events bride that we worked with last August! See her wedding on Style Me Pretty)

A bit about me:

  • I am originally from New Jersey (no fist pumping please) and moved to Los Angeles about six years ago. The warm sun, loss of my daily nasal allergies, and strong emotional bonds have kept me from going back. 
  •  My parents are from Venezuela, and I keep a huge part of that culture with me. I speak Spanish to my family each and every day in order to keep me grounded. 
  • I embrace cultures and languages, hence my attempt at learning French right now. 
  • I love exotic foods and recently realized I don't like sea urchin.
  • I have a fascination with all things European, and must be a hopeless romantic if I keep saying I will one day move to Paris. 
  •  I enjoy a glass a wine after a hard day at work. Actually, lets make that two please.
  • You may find me riding around town on my red beach cruiser bicycle that I named Florencia. She includes a very cute wicker basket good for bringing back french bread, brie cheese, and some peonies.
  • I love photography, and keep a collection of photos I just find awe inspiring.
  • I love Beauty and believe in Love, and know it can be found and cherished. 

You'll see me around every week for my postings on Photo Beauty-- my dedicated blurbs on all photos juicy, inspiring, and just plain beautiful!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

PSA: be on time

Brides: when you're coming to a meeting with your vendors or your potential vendors, please give us a heads up if you're going to be late OR early. Late arrivals usually know to call or text about the traffic. But you early birds? You're the worst. Arriving early can destroy the tone of an entire meeting because we're not ready for you, and then it just wastes both of our time. Like every other person who works in the wedding industry, I'm balancing running my home life and my business, and when a meeting is set for 6:00 PM, I could be in my workout clothes as late as 5:45 PM or still in a meeting with another client. 

While I know it's impossible to rule the 405, it's not hard to send a quick text or a call and say: "I'm running 15 minutes early/late". Let's not waste each others time, shall we?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Anniversary photos

One of the great things about working in the wedding industry is the friendships that I built with some incredibly talented people. Last month my husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary (no, we did not get married when we were 12!) and I asked one of my friends, Adi from Next Exit Photography, to take pictures of us. Adi, being an awesome buddy, spent an hour or so with us at the LACMA light installation and would have spent a lot longer had I not told him that I was "over it" and ready to go eat sushi!

I don't normally wear a lot of makeup, but I couldn't resist taking up a makeup artist on her offer to do a free trial on me. I loved what Stacey did (individual fake lashes!) and so did Eric. Without making this sound like a commercial, she is offering free makeup trials for if brides end up booking her for their summer or fall weddings. That is almost unheard of! Stacey Herman can be reached at staceyslrh at

Here's to another 10++ years, babe! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Carondelet House Inspiration Shoot

Confession: this was my first inspiration shoot, and honestly? It's probably going to be my last. Don't get me wrong, I'm crazy proud of how it turned out but it was a TON of work and was a 12 hr day on my feet. And then there was the whole planning of everything. But! This new venue is so, so, so pretty! I got to design something fun! I got to work with people that I love, respect, and admire! And, I have pretty, pretty, pictures to show! So all in all? Win/win. Read more about it on Style Me Pretty!

One of the aspects I loved so much about this  shoot was the fact that we did two shoots with two separate photographers: one daytime and one nighttime. Suthi Picotte of Picotte Weddings did our daytime portion, and Duke Khodaverdian of Duke Photography . I loved seeing the day not only through the photographers different perspectives, but the impact of how lighting changes a room.

Some of my favorite images from Suthi

Some of my favorite images from Duke

Our Amazing Team

Planning + Design: Amber Events
Venue: Carondelet House
Site Management: Tact Event Management
Floral Design: Peony and Plum
Daytime Photography: Picotte Weddings
Nighttime Photography: Duke Photography
Cake: Superfine Bakery
Rentals: Town & Country
Invitations + Calligraphy: Olive Hue Paper Goods
Catering: Auntie Em’s Kitchen Catering
String Trio: Strings by Reiko
Lighting: Aspect Lighting
Wedding Dress: Chantilly by Claire Pettibone
Hair + Make-up: Fiore Beauty
Jewelry: Margaret Rowe
Dresses for Quartet: The Dessy Group
Cinematography: Duke Khodaverdian and Eric Film
Female Model: Monika Zimaniova / Male Model: Mike Thompson

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Amber Events Featured on Style Me Pretty today!

I'm so excited to share an inspiration shoot I designed and produced back in May that is featured on Style Me Pretty today. I'll be posting some of my favorite photos tomorrow, so head on over to SMP to see the pretty! Los Angeles Photo Shoot by Amber Events + Picotte Weddings + Duke Photography

Online Reviews in the wedding industry

Last June I wrote the below blog about online reviews. It was looking at it only from the negative side of reviews when they're not so stellar. On the flipside of things? Good reviews keep me in business and they're a huge part of the reason that people hire me. I want to remind you currently engaged couples: as much as you read reviews before you hire your team, please, please, please take the time to write reviews after your wedding. I know you think you will now, but the day after your wedding you're on to other projects.

Online Reviews in the Wedding Industry 
(originally published in June 2010)

Don't get me wrong, I love to google a company to see what comes up, but when reading certain sites,  I always remember to take everything with a grain of salt and know that angry people tend to be the ones to write reviews.

Why am I talking about this? Recently one of my clients emailed me back after I referred a certain vendor. In years of working with this vendor I have never had a problem and neither have my brides, yet my client asked me what was up with the nasty reviews online? Sure enough, I googled this vendor and was shocked by what I read. Had I not worked with this company, I would steer wide and clear if I were a potential client.

I immediately got on the phone with said vendor and asked for their side of the story. In a nutshell: bride booked services, signed a contract, then 2 weeks before the wedding decided to cancel. Then bride got angry that she was being held to the contract that she signed. So bride and fiance got on the warpath and wrote some nasty and untrue things online. That vendor has lost who knows how much money due to this act.

What many brides don't know is that these "free listing" sites contact us vendors telling us: "you have bad reviews, if you advertise with us, we can 'help' you". In between the lines this means: if you pay us $400 per month, we'll make you look better. Kinda smells like blackmail to me... 

Other sites (ones that rhyme with "help") only shows reviews from people who are active "helpers".   Meaning, a happy client can open an account, write a few reviews about their vendors, then never log in again. Those good review disappear after a while. The nasty reviews? Those tend to be from perpetually angsty "helpers" who like to "keep it real" and constantly review things. This site won't take anything nasty down, nor will they let a business owner thoroughly refute something, but they still want $400+ per month from us small business owners.

Brides and Grooms, I beseech you: read these sites with a grain of salt, a spoonful of sugar, a glass of wine, whatever. Just because it's on the Internets doesn't make it true.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My weekend in photos

These two pictures sum up the highlights of my holiday weekend:

#1. Camping in the Sequoias for 4 days sans cell signal, internet, electricity, and running water (unless you count the roaring river right next to us) with our dog, Rita. It's heaven up there.

#2. Me at Holly of Cakes & Kisses wedding at Dodger flippin Stadium yesterday. Dodger Stadium! Loved it! And yes, those are flags on my head thankyouverymuch--it was the 4th of July!