NATALIE & CLAYTON GET HITCHED : SUNSET TOWER : LOS ANGELES

Natalie and Clayton were simply breathtaking, kind and oh, so in love. Natalie was inspired by Old Hollywood and with her location, The Sunset Tower, being an institution in Los Angeles, it was the perfect aesthetic for the backdrop. We worked with blush tones, golds, black, white and natural greens and gave them a glamourous spin ultimately giving guests a true feel for the Hollywood of the 20′s, 30′s and 40′s. My favorite detail was the chuppah which was created entirely of ferns and of course, the Aqualillies, which Natalie surprised both her guests and her groom with during cocktail hour. Enjoy the images from the super talented, Lauren & Abby Ross.

PreCeremonycocktail hour

aqualilliesstart of dinner dinner

 

 

 

2014 : THE YEAR OF GENEROSITY

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At the risk of starting my beautiful new writing space on a negative note, I have to say 2013 wasn’t my favorite. Far from it. While, I’m typically one of those annoyingly positive people with bright eyes and a passion for every single minute of my life, the paranoid side of me suspects 2013 existed purely to push me down, wake me up and quite simply put into question everything I’ve ever believed. While professionally, BHE grew and we created some of our most beautiful work to date, personally, I was simply attempting to maintain as I pushed through the greatest loss I’ve experienced in memory. If every year has a theme, 2013 was definitely the year of healing, humility and ultimately vulnerability, as I could not have gotten through it without swallowing my pride every. single. day and asking for help at every turn from friends, colleagues and occasionally even strangers. It’s not quite distant enough for me to be grateful for all the year brought me, but I’ve been reassured someday I’ll look back on the year as one that taught me the most. Either that or with utter bitterness, but the renewed positive, 2014 Beth, is going with the former :). With this being said, I’ve never been so happy to see the above sunrise this morning. While a new year can’t change everything at the stroke of midnight, it can offer you a new start. A chance to close doors and finish chapters. An opportunity for a whole new theme.

During my year of healing, I did all of the typical things one does to “heal”. Journaling, counseling, coffee and wine with girlfriends, manis, pedis, exercising. More wine. More coffee. You get the picture. But a funny thing happened. After months of doing what I needed to “take care of me,” I no longer felt like I was healing and instead felt like I was just being indulgent. I had gone from a person whose life revolved around the happiness of others to one whose life revolved around doing whatever I needed to do to be happy. And, guess what? I wasn’t happy. For me, and I actually venture to guess for many people, my happiness stems from service. I am the happiest when I’m giving to others. When I’m sharing my gifts. When I see a tear in my bride’s eye when she enters the room I’ve created for her. When I hear the mother of the groom say “this is one of the best days of my life.” These are the moments that make me happy. I did everything everyone said I should do. I pampered myself beyond comprehension. I took time off when I needed it. And unplugged as often as I could. But in the end, I felt a little bit empty and a whole lot lost because I didn’t realize the very thing that I was taking a break from, serving others, was the one thing that brings me the most joy. So, with a little self awareness and a whole lot of hard work, I’m making the theme of 2014 “Generosity”. My mission for this year will revolve around ways which I can grow personally and professionally through the act of giving. When you’re in a fog of self pity, it’s easy to forget the gifts that have been bestowed upon you. For me, I was given so many wonderful gifts from my creativity and aesthetic eye to my patience and empathy to my attention to detail. These gifts and many 80 hour work weeks have allowed me to excel in a career I love. Not many people can say that and I’m ashamed that I took these things for granted as I indulged in ice cream and manicures. Gifts are meant to be shared. It’s as simple as that. And in my case, my gifts also allow me to generate financial stability for both myself and my team. Wow. Wow. Wow. Seriously, how lucky am I? But in 2014, I want to take it one step further and use my gifts to be generous on a different level. I have set some major, major goals for myself all with the mission of generating resources for organizations that I believe are making huge impacts in both Los Angeles and throughout the world. And, I cannot wait to use my gift for generosity instead of indulgence.  While I refuse to bore all of you beautiful couples or design geeks out there who might not be interested, for those of you who are, please check in by clicking on “Soul Work” in the above menu, every so often. There I’ll be sharing more about my personal journey through my year of generosity. And, in turn, hope to inspire each of you reading to use the gifts you’ve been given to look at the world beyond yourself and give until it hurts. Or, more appropriately,  until you’re happy. I wish each of you a glorious 2014!

The above image was taken by little, ole’ me and is from my Instagram.

YOU’RE ENGAGED! WHAT’S NEXT?

Villa Sevillano

Congratulations to all you new brides out there! Being engaged is one of the most exciting times of your life. You’re in love and the whole world knows it. But now what? Keep reading for a brief outline of the planning phases of your big day.

BUDGETING
The truth is unless you have been closely involved with the plans of your sister’s, best friend’s or any other person’s big day, you are going to be shocked by the cost of a wedding. To avoid a lot of stress, determine up front how much you can afford and how much your family can contribute. From there set an approximate budget that you will use as a guideline when interviewing and hiring vendors.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Where will it be? Do you dream of a traditional wedding in the church you grew up attending? Do you want your feet in the sand? How about a private estate in the mountains? No matter where it is held, choosing the location should be one of your first decisions.

HIRING YOUR SUPPORT TEAM
Assembling the perfect team of experts for your day is crucial in the success of your wedding day. Remember, it is not only about style and budget, but you need to be able to trust each person in carrying out your vision. Here is a list of the vendors you may consider hiring for your day:

Wedding Planner
Ceremony Venue
Reception Venue
Caterer
Floral Designer
Photographer
Cinematographer
Cake Designer
Ceremony Entertainment
Reception Entertainment
Stylist
Stationer
Lighting Company
Linens
Rental Company

In an effort to secure your preferred vendors, prioritize your interviews with the professionals that need to be present on your wedding day. For instance, your photographer will probably only be shooting one wedding per day however your stationer or linen supplier can obviously service more than one couple per any given date.

While interviewing, always ask for references, review contracts line by line and be upfront about your budget. Many vendors will customize their services to fit your needs, so it is important to be honest. This will save time and frustration for all involved.

NOTE: All vendors require a non-refundable deposit to hold your wedding date or start services. Be prepared to put out close to 50% of your entire wedding day budget during the beginning of the planning process.

THE DETAILS
Once you have your team in place, start thinking about the specifics. What type of flowers will you carry? What color of linens do you want? What songs will be played during the ceremony? If you are a bride that knows exactly what you want, great! If not, spend some time researching wedding resources, gathering inspiration and talking with your vendors. As a general guideline, work to have all details and decisions made no later than one month before your wedding day. This will allow you to enjoy the days leading up to your union.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS
No matter what, keep in perspective the true meaning of the day. A more carefree mindset will save your sanity as you try to manage diva vendors, keep your soon-to-be mother-in-law happy and remain sane. Congratulations again and happy planning!

The image above is from one of our favorite Villa Sevillano Weddings of 2012 courtesy of Samantha Cabrera.

CONFETTI, GLITTER & SEQUINS

Here’s hoping your New Year’s Eve is filled with all things festive & sparkly! Happy 2014 to all of you!

TOP ROW: Confetti from Martha / Sparkly Bodice

2ND ROW: Glittery Stationery from Love vs. Design / Bubbly

3RD ROW: Sneak Peak from James & Janet’s Vibiana Wedding via Instagram (Follow me: @bethhelmstetter)

4TH ROW: Super Sparkly Jimmy Choo’s from Laura & Jeremy’s Big Island Wedding courtesy of Steve Steinhardt / Confetti EVERYWHERE!

 

 

INSPIRING NEW YEAR’S

As you head into 2014, we couldn’t resist sharing a little inspiration for a glamorous way to ring in the new year. Sequins, sparkle and luxurious textures…Below is the perfect recipe for not only a beautiful cocktail party but one that is comfortable, fun and delicious. And, if this is a little much for ringing in your new year, you could also use the same ingredients to create the perfect engagement celebration that I know many of you are gearing up for in the new year. Happy 2014 and congratulations to all of the newly engaged couples out there!

Fig. No. 1: Twinkle in this sequin sweater dress from Stella McCartney

Fig. No. 2: Kate Spade makes you shine in her Karolina Pump

Fig. No. 3: Gold imprinted Thank You cards by Gilt are the perfect follow up to a sparkly engagement party

Fig. No. 4: Silvery & silky lounge furniture with gold accents will set a funky but formal mood for celebrating

Fig. No. 5: Vintage Swizzle Sticks with just the right amount of Gold from Kiss A Vintage on Etsy.com to accent your champagne cocktails

Fig. No. 6: Mercury Glass Lanterns from Roost to hang from every beam and banister will make the room sparkle

Fig. No. 7: Gold & luxurious pillow covers from West Elm will be perfect to cozy up your lounge

Fig. No. 8: Silvery Clutch from Louis Vuitton will accessorize and sparkle

Fig. No. 9: Mini Sparklers from The Last Detail will be a fun way to light up the night and send off your guests

Fig. No. 10: Pierrer Jouet Rose will offer a classic drink option as well as add the perfect amount of pink

In addition to beautiful decor, don’t forget to keep guests full, festive & merry! For a new year’s or engagement party full of sophistication and shine, we like a standing cocktail party with heavy appetizers, a champagne bar & familiar yet interesting enough music in the background to keep people guessing yet comfortable. Below is the menu & music we’ll be using to do just that.

For music, we asked our favorite DJ, Nahchey Storer, to put together a collection of his top tunes for an elegant but happening cocktail party.

These all could easily be popped into your iPod along with some of your tried & true favorites!