Saturday, March 31, 2012

Flying high!

Yesterday was my husband Eric's birthday and instead of buying him a present I planned a day of fun for him. I surprised him with a trapeze class with Richie Gaona at his elaborate trapeze set up in his backyard in Woodland Hills. It was adrenaline fueled fun and athletic Eric was a natural at flying! After swinging through the air on the flying trapeze we headed up to MalibuFamily Wines for a picnic and wine tasting.

 For the bachelorette or bachelor party that has to stay local and short (as in, no 3 day cruise to Ensenada or weekend in wine country) this trapeze class would be a fun and bonding experience for you and your crew.

Granted, you probably won't be able to re-catch the bar on your first lesson like Eric did because he has unreal ninja-like skillz, but you'll love the feeling of flying and cheering your friends on. Just don't do this within a few days of an important event where you have to walk gracefully (ahem, wedding)  as your calve muscles will be so sore you'll hobble. It was worth it though!
Now I'm of to join the circus....

Eric's mad skills 

My fabulous tumble 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wedding Industry Experts - Question # 5

Today on the Wedding Industry Experts weekly question I used the word "barf". How 'bout them apples?


Q. What is the name of your business and why did you choose it?  Do you have any advice for people trying to decide on a name for their Wedding Planning or Designing business? 

A. My clients are highly educated and powerful career women so I knew I could not have a cutesy name like "Precious Dream Fairytale Diamond Rose Platinum Princess Weddings" that would make them barf, so I chose "Amber Events". It's clean and easy an it doesn't limit me to just weddings. It doesn't hurt that it starts with an "A" either.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

One Year ago today

We created the below with the coolest couple ever and an amazing team of videographers (David Robin Films) and photographers (Callaway Gable Photography)! Happy anniversary, Joya & Emre! xoxoxoxo

To see how it was made, check out this BLOG I wrote on it and read all about the wedding on Junebug Weddings.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wedding Industry Experts - Question # 4

Q. When you first started your business, if you could have done one thing differently what would it have been?

A. Nothing. I approached this business with the goal to learn from others, maintain humility, ask for help, and to build my business without debt. I've made small mistakes here and there, but overall I'm happy with everything so far.

Check out all of the other planner's answers HERE--they're so interesting!  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The most important design elements

Short and sweet blog post to say: go read this blog that The Youngrens wrote about design impact on your wedding day. They are SPOT ON but I'd take it one step further and add a third element: Lighting.

Two key Elements for your wedding decor 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wedding Industry Experts

A few weeks ago I was asked to be on an on-line panel of Wedding Industry Experts (along with some people that I really admire!) answering questions about various aspects of being a wedding planner. I decided I'll start posting my weekly answers in my blog, so stay tuned weekly!

Q. Before you built your reputation as a leading Wedding Planner or Designer, how did couples find out about your service and how did you land your first paying client?

A. I was serious about paying my dues in this industry before I printed up a business card and started taking on guinea pigs brides. I worked for a florist to learn a bit about the floral world (NOW I know why "just 12 peonies" are so expensive. Labor & overhead, y'all), worked as a cater server on the weekends to understand the food & beverage flow of an event, and also interned for veteran wedding planners to learn their secrets.

I earned the reputation as a good assistant and an intelligent person. That was nice. So when my mentors were sent referrals that had budgets that were too low, my mentors sent them to me. I got paid $500 for my first wedding and I was thrilled and terrified at the same time. One of my mentors actually came and worked as my assistant that day to make sure I had the backup I needed. It is still one of the toughest weddings I've done.


Q. What advice would you give someone thinking about becoming a Wedding Event Planner? 

A. Besides telling them to become a photographer instead? Well, I'd tell them: you have to get access to the wedding community. Just calling or emailing a wedding planner saying, “Weddings are my passion!!!!! Can I have a job?” will get you nowhere 99.99% of the time. I recommend joining an association, taking their certification courses, and finding out how and where the wedding industry networks. Courses and seminars are fine and dandy, but until you spend some time in the trenches getting dirty, you don’t know squat about weddings. I don’t care if you planned your own wedding: attending a wedding as a guest or a bride is nowhere near the reality of working as a planner. Trust me.

Once you find out where we planners network, you come network with us. Networking is crucial in this industry, so you better get used to and get good at it. Coming to network with us takes guts, and we recognize that, and so we’re open to talking with you just because of this. I don’t recommend coming in with a business card with your new company name on it though, because you need to be honest and tell us what experience you have. If you have zero to little experience, please please please don’t take on a bride and use her as your guinea pig. You could inadvertently ruin her wedding day and tarnish the respect that professional coordinators work so hard to obtain in this industry.

Once you have found a potential mentor, you intern until we trust you enough to start scheduling you as an assistant. Because our reputations are always on the line and our staff reflects us, we rarely give second chances. So if you show up dressed in a cocktail dress and heels when my intern agreement states to wear black pants and comfy shoes, you won’t be working with me again. All of this takes guts, time, and commitment, but when word starts to get around that you are smart AND hardworking you start to get paid to work weddings and you start to become seasoned.

Once you feel like you have trained enough and can start taking on your own clients, you have to start building your business: branding, website, portfolio, marketing, etc. I recommend working with a business coach in order to start up correctly and get your policies and procedures in order. Then you have to start finding clients. And if you find the magic answer to that question, let me know, will you? In my case it is a mixture of networking, advertising, and optimism. Be prepared to get turned down a lot—it’s part of the gig.

Q. Why did you become a Wedding Planner?

A. For the money, duh! (note: anyone who is a wedding planner just spit their coffee out laughing at that one) Truly though, since I was a 13 year old I knew I wanted to own my own company and what better job for a bossy, opinionated, manipulative persuasive, creative, organized, and funny girl to have than that of a wedding planner? Thankfully, I'm good at it. And I like it. A lot. I truly enjoy being a part of the birth of a new family. Sometimes it's messy, crazy, and stressful but I thrive on it. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

pre-gaming for the wedding season

Ah, Springtime networking events....that magical time of year when it really does seem like those of us in the wedding industry lead glamorous lives! Right now we have manicures, 8 hours of sleep a night, and cute shoes when we see each other. Come August we see each other on our 9th wedding in a row in our orthopedic support shoes with bags under our eyes. And sleep? Ha. Ha. HA.

But 'tis the season to be out and about! I don't know what it's like in other cities but in LA it is done RIGHT. We hop from party to party and consume lots of (free) booze, air kisses, beef sliders, dessert buffets, and photo-booth photos. Every event has a photo-booth. I think it's a rule.

I was looking at my calendar and in the past 10 days I've attended not only multiple breakfasts, dinners, lunches, and happy hours with my fellow wedding industry colleagues (along with all of my client meetings) but also the cocktail party at the SLS Hotel for the Wedding Salon, the Utterly Engaged Leap Year Party, The Reveal at Casa Unici, and The Cream Event, the grand opening for Jen O'Sullivan's new studio.

These people below? These gorgeous (and crazy) fillies are the gals who professionally execute your wedding days. Me, Cat from Next Exit Photography, Kristeen from Kristeen Labrot Events, and Jen from B and G Photography. 

The wedding season needs to get here soon because all of the skipped gym days, happy hours, and dessert buffets are causing some problems and I don't know if I'll be fitting in my black wedding day pants come wedding season.....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Amber Events in Bridal Guide Magazine

I'm so excited to be featured as the West Coast expert for the article in Bridal Guide Magazine titled "All-American Weddings - how brides are celebrating from coast to coast"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pretty Pictures- City Life

I wish I could say I've traveled much. That I've been thru ruins and dangerous heights along with "Oh that reminds me of the time..." For me, it's not really like that. I've been to only a few places, but boy have they made an impact on me.
I came across this photo on Pinterest (yes my new found addiction) a few nights ago, and not only did I repin it but I saved it to my desktop! I really liked this message. It rang true to my heart. 

I've grown to love Los Angeles, the almost seven years I've been here. It's fresh and fun with so much variety! I have people around me that I care about and I have the places I frequent. Yet I remember the excitement I felt being new in the city.  I would wander the streets just to find a new coffee shop or a place to buy furniture for my new home. I wouldn't get stopped by my grade school teacher at the market or a friend's ex having to explain my sloppy appearance or what I'm doing with my life.  I could talk to who I wanted and absorb my surroundings, alone. It was freeing!!!
All through high school, I would experience the same freedom wandering the streets of NYC. Manhattan was my home away from home. I'm aware that there is only a river of separation, but I felt so anonymous yet comforted by being surrounded by so many people. I would take time to people watch and wonder what everyone's story was. Where were they going? Why they walking so fast? Who they talking to?
Nowadays I'm the one to go out but I'm almost never alone. Sometimes I wonder if anyone is ever looking at me and wondering the same thing. 

Craig Baldwin

Friday, March 2, 2012

Upper Los Virgenes Open Space Reserve Wedding

A&D are very private people and asked me not to share their names and faces on my blog.  I'm in love with the flowers from their July 2011 wedding though and so excited to share the pretties of the day! Their wedding was held at the Upper Los Virgenes Open Space Reserve (formerly Ahmanson Ranch). The day was photographed by Sarah Yates. So romantic!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm an expert today

Well hello, Thursday! You're just being too kind to me today! Not only am I being interviewed live at 11:30 AM PST for Backstage Bridal Academy about wedding day logistics, but I'm also featured on the new panel Wedding Industry Experts.  I am honored, humbled, nervous, and excited!

Today's question: " Why did you become a Wedding Event Planner or Wedding Designer?"  My answer is a bit cheeky. Obvy. Click here to view all of our experts reply to this question.