Holidays at Home: Decorating Tips

December 15, 2016   |   Posted in: ,

I was so honored to be asked to style four spaces in my old historic home for the December issue of San Diego Magazine. We were paired with the lovely photography duo of Auda & Coudayre Photography to produce a true version of home holiday decor. While we are used to producing over the top wedding table tops it was refreshing to focus on real life home styling. (A current obsession for both Cara and I in our house holds)

I’ll leave the magazine article to advise on all of our holiday pointers (go get it!), here I share a few.

I love an old fashioned mantle with green garland, candlelight, and a wreath. I’ve added some layers to make this mantle an updated version with antlers and felt balls. A peekaboo of pink in the garland and stockings is a fun unexpected touch to typical xmas palette.

Mantle Tips

*layering branches of greenery on a mantle can look as lush as a garland for half the price, I also love the feathery look of cedar
*pick a single branchy flower type to be repeated throughout the decor, I’ve chosen snowberry branches. Sticking with one type keeps the look clean, and does not require fancy flower arranging skills


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Greenery, birch branches and vintage vessels holding snowberries continue the theme. A touch of blush in the dessert plates adds a special layer. A cake under a pretty cloche becomes a focal point of the table in lieu of a massive flower arrangement.

Tabletop Tips
*pick your home made moments, if you are a great cook but not a baker outsource that piece of the hosting puzzle. I don’t bake so I entrust my local baker to make a beautiful cake.
*Order “naked” or “messy buttercream” and you can add some of your own styling to match your table design. I’ve added greenery and pomegranate seeds.
*don’t be afraid to mix and match whats around your house to set the table. I like a mismatched set of glassware to make a table feel more like home than a table set a store.



Yes, thats what we named it. Don’t forget the other little nooks and crannies in your house. If you spend time in a room, add a dash of decor to make the room merry.

C&C Room Tips
* minimalist wreaths are in right now, try your own DIY version, repeated wreaths add major impact
*I love sprinkling small xmas trees throughout the house, they don’t need a lot of ornaments to bring some cheer to a lonely corner
*OK, am I OCD? I love picking wrapping paper that matches my design scheme too.




The front porch is a perfect place to show a peekaboo of what merriment is to come inside. A couple of kiddos playing out front doesn’t hurt the cute factor. 😉

Front Porch Tips
*every front door wants a wreath! Like the cake, you can order simple base and add some decorative elements to match your unique styling. Here- a pink feathery bird & snowberries to repeat the decor theme
*battery powered lights are great for small outdoor trees = no extension cord needed
*wood logs and branches add easily styled impact

Photography: Auda & Coudayre Photography
Design: Palm & Prep Design
Magazine Publication: San Diego Magazine
Paper Goods: Brightly Designed
Cake: Cake

Happy 10 Year Anniversary to Us!

October 6, 2016   |   Posted in: ,

Ten years ago today Cara and I jointly decided to walk out of our office jobs and step into the world of entrepreneurship. I’ve never been more frightened or exhilarated.

This journey was TOUGH. Ten years ago there were no wedding blogs. Can you imagine? How do you plan a wedding without Pinterest, Style Me Pretty, or Martha Weddings? How do you provide a visual of what you know in your heart you can create for clients? Inspiration photo shoots were to come into play much later in our decade of planning. We had to find potential clients who trusted our words and energy alone with nothing more than corporate planning experience behind us. We had to navigate through wedding vendors who were not always kind knowing that so many wedding planners come and go from our industry. Were we the kind of company that would stay? I remember one day calling my mom crying after a meeting in which a vendor was particularly condescending. I believed in our business, myself, my business partner, but we needed to prove ourselves to the world. It was a slow burn. We are not the type to self-promote. In retrospect this really could have been our demise. We worked diligently, quietly, and with passion. A few amazing clients led us to an amazing referral pool. We did not pay for advertising until many years into our business when we could no longer ignore the new social media world. We found our soul mate vendors along the way. Those that shared the creative drive to collaborate on projects in which we elevated one other. Our lonely office world of 2 felt like a space of 100 co-workers. We connected with our talented colleagues and learned from our fellow coordinators.

At some point the skies parted and we knew this business was solid. I discovered things about myself I never knew before. Some one called me a designer, and at first I laughed this title away. But when we decided to split our tasks into coordination (Cara) and design (myself) the word that seemed too elegantly loaded, started to feel comfortable. I fully and totally embraced my obsession with styling. Let my craft grow. I experimented with colors, patterns, sourcing options. I failed, and I succeeded. Some of my early designs are truly cringe-worthy. I can promise you’ll never see, as I keep them buried away. With every wonderful client and wedding we scribbled down lessons learned and tried again better professionals.

Cara and I diverged roles as she discovered she got her kicks from excel spreadsheets, people moving, and master coordination. And I must linger on this for a moment. This is after all a love story at heart. A love for the baby we built, and the love my other half Cara. She has taught me about partnership in the way a marriage can. We have to trust in a very intimate way. Bank accounts, task lists, burdens all shared. We have to be accepting of each other’s idiosyncrasies. There needs to be cheerleading during mutually dark moments and a celebrator during the occasional highs. Cara amazes me as I’ve watched her grow into the most contagiously zen, driven force of coordination mastery. From co-worker to business partner/work husband and my dearest friend.

A few hundred weddings later I am absolutely blown away by the trust we’ve been given. By our fellow industry pros. Who I might add, have grown themselves from the early days to this new world of warmth and collective collaboration. By those sweet souls we collect along the way, our clients. I will never ever not feel a butterfly twinge in my heart when I learn we’ve been chosen. Its one of the great honors of my life.

Happy 10 year to Luxe Events! Our cups are full.

photo credit: Bryan Miller Photography