We are in the midst of our busy wedding season, and I am already loving it! All of our weddings this year are so unique, and each wedding has a different design aesthetic, it’s so much fun to see all of our planning coming into fruition. Shanon and Marc got married this past weekend. They had a beautiful Italian countryside inspired wedding at Lanikuhonua. Here are just a few non-professional photos taken by me, and an amazing SDE video put together by Aria Studios. Thank you to Kolby and the Aria team for always delivering such great videos! ~ Sandra
What a whirlwind week it was as we hosted our first Social Light – The Art of Wedding Design event. Thank you so much to those who attended (it was a sold out event!) and all the wedding professionals for making this event possible. As we head into our busy wedding season, I thought it was important for me to recap the event again, remember the heart behind it, and write down all the lessons we’ve learned while planning this event, while looking forward to an even better Social Light 2012!
Social Light is conceptualized out of a desire to bring knowledge, tips and secrets of all the “how to’s” in creating an amazing wedding to Hawaii brides. I feel like there are alot of great wedding planning resources out there (websites, blogs, magazines…etc.), but most of these resources focus on helping brides book their vendors and vendors promoting their services. There’s really no resource available teaching brides how to plan a wedding right. If a bride doesn’t have a wedding planner, she is relying on her own knowledge on how to plan all the details of this big day. Yes, she has the best vendors hired, but now what? How will she program her wedding day timeline so she can enjoy herself on her own wedding day? Should she see the groom before the ceremony for photos, is that bad luck? What she can do to encourage her aunties and uncles to get on the dance floor at the reception? I feel that a bride usually plans her wedding based on the weddings she has attended, but what if all the weddings she’s attended are not the most exciting events? Will her wedding be just another wedding?
As a wedding planner, I am aware that not every bride thinks they will need a professional planner or they simply cannot afford one. But I think everyone deserves a great wedding! It’s been a passion of mine to take wedding planning and design education beyond sales, and create an event that provides substantial wedding planning education and will inspire brides to take their weddings to the next level. When I say taking bridal education beyond sales, I mean having vendors share their knowledge and tips with a common goal of educating the brides, NOT to promote their services. And when I say substantial bridal education, I mean sharing knowledge brides will not typically find in a wedding magazine or website (for example: boring topics such as timeline, budget, how to book your vendors…etc.), but knowledge only professionals can share from real event experience (for example: do guests really care about the favors? How do I get the biggest bang for my buck in terms of decor? How I can avoid guests from leaving early at the reception?).
With all these ideas in mind, I began inviting vendors to be a part of the event. It was really important for me that the vendors who are apart of SL understand the heart behind it: it is not a sales event, it’s an event to educate. Unlike regular advertising, it doesn’t cost the vendors any money to participate in the event. It was most important to me to select a wide range of vendors who are experts in their fields, super talented and really respected in the industry. Using photography as an example, I’ve invited Dave Miyamoto – a photography legend here in Hawaii who is well respected in the industry. Dave is a really down to earth kinda guy, and I know the attendees can easily relate to him and hear what he has to share. Frank Amodo is the other photographer I’ve invited – a super talented photographer with such an edge to his images. Dave and Frank have completely different styles and appeal to completely different clientele. It was important for me to have varieties at Social Light because at the end of the day, I am not trying to promote a vendor over another or to say one style is better than another, but to rely on these vendors to share their knowledge with our brides so they can have the tools they need to plan an amazing wedding. I have to say, one of my best moments from Social Light is seeing Frank, Dave and Michelle on stage, sharing so openly about all their “secrets” on what brides can do in partnership with their photographer in creating beautiful wedding images. It humbles me to see Dave and Frank, two photographers with completely different style, sitting on the same couch, so supportive and respectful of each other, sharing what they know with our brides! One neat thing about Social Light is the opportunity to bring vendors together, and I think we’ve achieved that.
Tristin and I learned so much planning Social Light, and I feel that this experience have definitely made us better event planners overall. Even though there were some really stressful times during the planning process, but I am so glad we pushed through. I’d say the most challenging part about putting on SL is marketing and promotion. From the very beginning, I know SL will be a fabulous event because I have control over how everything will look. I mean we plan events every weekend, and making sure everything looks amazing is what we do; however, I have never had to promote a public event. How do I get people to come to a first time event? Since it is a first time event, I thought it will be smart for us to hire a PR company to help us with media relations. It was a great experience working with our PR guy Nathan. He is such a wealth of knowledge when it comes to social media, and I have definitely gained great knowledge on how the media works. While marketing the event, I was shocked to experience some sabotaging, but I think this is unavoidable when it comes to “business”. For those of you who know me and have worked with me, you will know that I do not have a competitive nature. Social Light is an event created for the brides, and to bring the industry together, not to divide. This experience became a major bump along the road, but again, I am so glad we pushed through. It was hard for me to not let this experience dampen our mood, because it is hurtful when all we are trying to do is to put on a positive event, but others are trying to say otherwise. During this time, I just had to remind myself that it is our role to put on a great event, and let God take care of the rest. Planning Social Light was actually a really good reminder of how it feels to be a bride again: the anticipation, the unknown, the preparation. But in the end, just like planning a wedding, as long as all the preparations are done right, going with the flow on the day of the event always works best!
Alot of vendors are already asking if there will be a Social Light 2012. Well, I am happy to say that we are definitely exploring options, and have already started brainstorming ideas for SL 2012. SL 2012 will be bigger and will involve more vendors. There will also be breakout sessions for brides to choose from based on their topic of interests. And of course, our signature after party will remain. Be sure to follow this blog, and we will be announcing Social Light 2012 in the Fall.
Phew… now this is one LONG blog! It’s been such a joy conceptualizing and planning Social Light. Thank you again to all the vendors for believing in the event and the idea behind it. For those of you who missed SL, you can read about it in our live blog from the event. To view the highlight video from the event, click here.
Until next year… aloha! ~ Sandra
Social Light is all about beautiful details and flawless execution. Everything (yes, EVERYTHING) we are having at the event will incorporate some kind of personalization. With that said, we will need all RSVPs to come in before Friday March 25th. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, please do so now. We only have 10 pairs of tickets left (20 seats total)! You don’t want to miss this must-attend wedding event of the year!
To register, click here – http://www.sociallighthawaii.com/registration/
Getting sooooooooo excited!!!
Congratulations to Jamie! She is the winner of our Inspiration Board contest, and will be receiving a pair of tickets to Social Light. Here’s why I love her board:
- I love her color scheme of ivory, steel with raspberry and wisteria accents. These colors are very fitting for her late Fall / Winter wedding.
- She included ceremony inspiration. A majority of the inspiration boards we received didn’t include ceremony photo. I love dramatic ceremony set up!
- Love the playful hair piece Jamie plans on wearing!
Thank you to all who submitted their inspiration boards. You all are an inspiration to me! It’s not too late to register for Social Light (although our capacity for the event is closed to maxing out), so be sure to RSVP soon. This may just be the most talked about wedding event of the year, you don’t want to miss it! I hope to see you there! ~ Sandra
It’s our goal that Social Light will inspire Hawaii brides to take their weddings to the next level, and design the most beautiful and memorable wedding. We will be giving away a pair of tickets to Social Light to the winner of our “Inspiration Board Contest”.
It’s super easy to enter the contest. Email us a short blurb (no more than 100 words) describing the style, ambiance and theme of your wedding, along with an inspiration board full of all the design details you would like to incorporate. The bride (or groom) with the best inspiration board will win a pair of tickets to Social Light! Please email the inspiration board as a PDF or JPG file to firstname.lastname@example.org before March 15th, winner of the contest will be announced on Friday March 18th. And yes, we will feature the winning inspiration board on this blog!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with inspiration board, here’s just a example we found on the fabulous Style Me Pretty blog. An inspiration board is basically a collage of pictures that helps you pull together color schemes, decorating ideas and other wedding details. You can show your board to your florist, baker, photographer and/or wedding coordinator to help them understand the look and feel you want your wedding to evoke.
We can’t wait to see all the beautiful inspiration boards! Tickets are also going fast for Social Light, be sure to register soon as we do have limited space (only 150 capacity). We hope to see you there!
You wake up the in the morning and see your wedding dress hanging in the closet, wedding gifts stacked in the corner of your hotel room and although your wedding day is over, you begin thinking of ways to help you relive and preserve all the wonderful elements of your special day. In addition to wedding photos and videos, you can also consider ‘preserving’ your wedding day in other ways!
Wedding Gown Preservation
Brides take months to find the PERFECT dress and although the wedding day is over, many brides can’t bear to part with it. Many brides want to keep their dress as a special memento or to even pass on to their daughter one day. Some tips on wedding gown preservation:
1. Research different wedding gown preservation companies in your area. Ensure that the company is reputable.
2. Act quickly – take your dress to a preservation company within 6 weeks of your wedding date.
3. The dress should be stored in 100% acid free paper and box.
Wedding Bouquet Preservation
It is very common for brides to have a small toss bouquet made in addition to their wedding bouquet because they don’t want to toss their actual bouquet. So it makes perfect sense that brides are preserving their wedding bouquet to be displayed in their home along with the rest of their wedding photos. Some tips and information about bouquet preservation:
1. A common method for preservation is freeze-drying. This will extract the water from the flowers allowing them to keep their three dimensional shape.
2. Another method is pressing the flowers which will be two dimensional and is usually pressed onto paper or fabric.
3. After the wedding, keep the bouquet cool and hydrated until you can get them to the preservation company.
It is great to live in the moment but, it is also nice to have these wonderful keepsakes of the day that you said “I do!” ~ Tristin
Here’s more information about this meet up…
Want to learn how to throw the most fabulous wedding while sipping on cocktails over looking Waikiki Beach? Tristin and I will share insider tips on preparing for your big day in an informal “talk story” meet up.
Whether you’re a “do-it-yourself” bride-to-be or working with a professional planner, Tristin and I will share tips that will maximize your budget and help you focus on the elements to make your wedding memorable for all of the right reasons. Oh, and grooms-to-be are definitely welcome too!
There’s no cost to attend. Light refreshments and pupus will be provided by Finishing Touch and Tiki’s Grill & Bar. Three hours of free valet parking. Seating is limited on a first come first serve basis. We look forward to meeting you! ~ Sandra
One of my must have make up essentials is eye liner. Whether I am running to the store, going out for dinner and drinks, or on my way to a wedding I HAVE to put on some eye liner because I feel naked without it. I have tried pencils and powders but they didn’t make my eyes pop or give my eyes that defined look I was looking for. Then I tried a liquid liner and while I thought the end result was great, I never got the hang of applying it. It would either take me many attempts or I would end up looking like I applied my eye liner on a roller coaster! Then I came across the Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner from Smashbox. It is a gel based eyeliner that glides on with ease, dries pretty quickly and best of all is waterproof – no more raccoon eyes or black smudges in the crease of your eye. It comes in a variety of colors including: Bronze, Dark Brown, Midnight Purple, Teal, Navy Blue, and Midnight Black. While I am not quite daring enough to sport Midnight Purple, I absolutely love my Midnight Black Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner from Smashbox. Whether I’m caught in the rain without an umbrella, racing around under the sun at a wedding, breaking a sweat at a Zumba class or getting misty eyed at movie, I can be sure that my eyes will still look perfectly defined and smudge proof! ~ Tristin