Fun ideas for Valentine’s Day

9 Feb


Valentine’s Day is around the corner and this year it falls on a Sunday. It’s the perfect day to enjoy this romantic holiday!

Being a wedding planner, Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays of the year because lots of couples get engaged on that day. It’s also considered a time for gifts and lavish dinners at fancy restaurants but you don’t have to do something over the top to enjoy it. This is a wonderful way to celebrate any type of love, whether you are newlyweds or you have been married for decades, whether you have children or pets, and whether you are single or not!

Here are some ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day at its best.

1. Try something new! This could be a yoga class, a cooking class, a new networking group, a dance class, a new language. Challenge yourself with something that you never thought you could do or learn
2. Throw a party and invite your favorite single friends! This can be at your house or at a park, wherever your heart takes you
3. Several friends of mine always give and volunteer on Valentine’s Day: they visit their local food bank or a hospice and just spend quality time with those in need. You can also visit a local hospital and bring flowers even if you don’t know those people
4. Go shopping! From chocolates to clothing to things for the house, the possibilities are endless

1. Read your horoscope for that day and do something together related to what it says
2. Make an appointment for a couple’s massage or an exercise class together
3. Spend a few hours together to write things that you love about each other and things that you love doing together. Once you reach 50-60 put the notes inside a jar and read them (once every week, for instance) to remind yourself about your relationship and to get ideas on what to do together on that specific day
4. Spend the day at a park or where you two met or where you went on your first date and photograph each other. Make sure someone can take some pictures of the two of you together. Create a photo album or frame your favorite picture

1. Keep the spice of your married life by treating yourself to a dinner date. If you can, get ready in separate rooms of the house or at different locations, and treat it as a first date
2. Surprise your spouse – This could be an overnight or weekend getaway. Make sure that you take care of the hotel and flight reservations and pack luggage for both of you
3. Start a new tradition that you can repeat together on every Valentine’s Day: read a poem to each other when you wake up; spend some time together to talk about your plans for the year as a couple; go to a local attraction and take some pictures together
4. Renew your vows! A couple of mine has been renewing their vows every Valentine’s Day for 10 years. They always invite the same guests (friends and family members who were in the wedding party) and they always order the same cake they had at their wedding reception

1. Start the day with a heart-themed breakfast with your kids! I have a link to yummy recipes at the end of this post
2. Teach your children something new about Valentine’s Day (its history, where chocolate comes from, how to grow roses, etc.)
3. Select a fun movie to watch together (either at a theatre or at home)
4. Celebrate with a party for you and the kids: decorate the table with heart-shaped confetti or pink and red paper doilies, add sparkling cider and play happy music for a fun dance party!

1. Spend extra time with your pets: if you have dogs take them for a walk at their favorite park, if you have cats play with them a little longer, if you have birds play their favorite music
2. Buy a new toy or a yummy treat for them
3. Create a paw print in clay to preserve the beautiful memories forever – You can find kits at craft stores and the process of creating one is simple and fun
4. Donate to a local shelter


Make your favorite Valentine’s Day cards for family and friends. It doesn’t take much time and the fun is guaranteed! Some ideas? The one and only Martha Stewart has a collection of projects HERE

My favorite list is HERE

What is your plan on Sunday? I would love to know! Leave a comment below

Wedding Artist Spotlight – Karen Orr Illustration

29 Jan


I have so many beautiful things to say about Karen Orr, a fabulous artist who specializes in fashion illustrations. Her designs are beyond amazing, and now you can see her most beautiful bridal illustrations coming to life on Periscope.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Karen formally studied Fashion Illustration and Fine Art. After heading a successful business for 16 years as a muralist, she went back to her passion: Fashion Illustration.



I always love to watch Karen’s Periscope broadcasts while she tells the story of the bride who commissioned the illustration, she shows the original picture and she takes us on a journey while she adds makeup to the bride’s face, beading to her gown, a sheer veil, flowers to her bouquet, and more. Her storytelling matched with her expert painting techniques are the perfect combination. Wouldn’t you love to have one of your wedding pictures turned into a beautiful illustration like these?



Take a look at Karen’s fabulous creations on her WEBSITE. Information about ordering your keepsake illustration is also listed there.

Don’t miss Karen’s Periscope broadcasts while she paints live!

Celebrating my years as Director at San Diego ABC

21 Jan


The Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) is the only organization exclusively dedicated to serving wedding professionals worldwide. Their 4,000+ worldwide members encompass the entire scope of the wedding industry and strive to increase wedding industry professionalism. I was very honored to serve the Board of San Diego ABC as Venue Chairperson (planning monthly meetings with educational and networking components) between 2008-2010 and as Co-Director for 6 wonderful years (2010-2016).

Since I joined ABC in 2006 I met amazing members and guests, promoted education at monthly meetings, and helped young planners to find their true passion. Being part of this association  shaped my career, provided me with experiences that I will never forget, and opened many doors that allowed me to provide stellar service to my clients.

My Steering Committee at San Diego ABC recognized me at the monthly meeting last Tuesday with beautiful speeches; they showered me with a beautiful floral bouquet and gifts, and a glass plaque (professional pictures will be added soon).


My advice for wedding couples: Look for professional planners and coordinators who are part of ABC or a professional association. This shows their commitment, dedication and desire to keep learning about trends and practices, and to stay up to date with the latest technology and information in the field. Having an ABC planner will give you an added peace of mind :)

My advice for wedding and event professionals: Get involved with ABC (or any other professional association), stay involved and make the most of your time as an active member. Never stop learning and connecting with your peers!

Styled shoot – Parisian Glam

3 Jan

Gold is here to stay and it was the perfect accent for this styled shoot that I designed for the Town & Country Resort while it is undergoing an $80M renovation. I can’t wait to see the final result!

The entire design was inspired by the beautiful floral carpet in the Ballroom where we set up: I envisioned a glam Parisian atmosphere with soft pinks and lavender.



Noemi with Trendee Flowers created tall centerpieces on crystal vases surrounded by smaller clusters of flowers and lots of candles. I used crushed taffeta linens in Champagne by Laura with Sweet Ribbon Events. Cheri with Cheri’s Vintage Table provided exquisite place settings that replicated the floral pattern on the ballroom carpet, as well as gold flatware and gold rimmed glassware. Blake Miller with Pro Motion Entertainment added a soft and warm pink hue with uplights in the Ballroom.



Calligraphed menu cards and table sign were made by Loren with Four Things Paper; Loren finished each piece with gold foil. So beautiful! I tied the menu cards to the napkins with a thin lavender ribbon.



The sweetheart table was very pretty with florals, candle sticks (by Cheri’s Vintage Table) and pinwheel satin linens by Sweet Ribbon Events.



The cake table was another lovely sight: The simple white cake was embellished with a gorgeous gold ribbon and platters by Cheri’s Vintage Table completed the look.



What do you like about this shoot? Let me know in the comment box below!

My fantastic team:
Design, Sweets, Decor: La Dolce Idea
Location, Chiavari chairs: Town & Country Resort
Linens, Napkins: Sweet Ribbon Events
Place Settings, Decor: Cheri’s Vintage Table
Flowers, Candlelight: Trendee Flowers
Lighting: Pro Motion Entertainment
Photography: Pam Scott Photo


Happy Holidays from La Dolce Idea

22 Dec


Wishing you a wonderful 2016 filled with happiness, prosperity and health!

Introducing Pantone’s Color(s) Of The Year 2016

3 Dec

I had the pleasure to attend the webinar hosted by Pantone this morning where they introduced the 2016 Color Of The Year or, should I say Colors Of The Year?


Yes! For the first time in the Color Of The Year history, Pantone selected two colors for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity.  At first glance they look like the traditional baby pink and baby blue / girl and boy color combination but if you look closer they are much more than that. Besides being part of our life for decades (and we haven’t even noticed) these two shades are the perfect combination.
Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director at Pantone Color Institute, said about 2016 Colors Of The Year: “Joined together Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing peace or order and peace.”
Words that come to my mind when looking at these two colors together are Balance, Peaceful, Relaxing.
In the webinar they described the process to select these two colors and they showed how pink and blue have been with us and around us for decades (as I had mentioned earlier) in many different areas: fashion, home décor, art, beauty, and of course society. They went over talking about the gender blur that we are experiencing with the changes in our society (including marriage equality); as a result, pink and blue get along very well together and they can be considered two uniting shades.

Here are the suggested Rose Quartz and Serenity color pairings from Pantone:


Take a look at this picture I took outside my house this afternoon – This sunset is so Pantone!


I can’t wait to use these two complementary colors for my next inspiration boards!

What do you think? Leave your comment below!


Styled Shoot at the Town & Country Resort – Rustic Opulence

27 Nov

Styled shoots are a lot of fun, and when I have the opportunity to work with the best creative professionals in San Diego they are even better!

I was asked by Maddy at the Town & Country Resort to put together a winning team for a series of styled shoots to promote the property which was recently acquired by Destination Hotels. While it is undergoing a multi-year, 85 million dollar renovation the resort will still be open to host events and weddings. The Terrace Café and Charlie’s Sport-Beer-BBQ reopened in the summer, and the construction of the new lobby will begin in early 2017 with scheduled completion expected by the end of the year. But that’s not all: all guest rooms and the on-site Convention Center will be renovated, plus a water park and a new spa will be added on property. I can’t wait to see the final result!

Today I’m sharing pictures from the first styled shoot that was set outdoors at the Lion Fountain Court.

Brant Bender was the official photographer for this shoot and he masterfully captured every single detail.

I used wooden tables in different sizes from Farm Tables And More for this rustic vignette to include a guest table, a sweetheart table and – my favorite – a s’mores bar. They also have great chandeliers like the one pictured here.



Adrianne Smith created luxuriously organic centerpieces that matched the light color palette and she accented the tablescapes with candles in different heights.


Loren with Four Things Paper provided the fabulous place cards and table signs, all calligraphed and finished with watercolor ripped edges.



I embellished both tables with linen runners and peach-green-ivory satin ribbon.


I provided all the yummy ingredients for the s’mores bar: vanilla and Champagne marshmallow, coconut graham crackers, milk + dark + mint chocolate. I added watercolor flags to the wooden sticks and I placed them inside aluminum cans wrapped with peach satin ribbon.





At the end of the shoot we tasted some delicious s’mores – yes, the bar came with real burners!

Design & Styling, Linens, Napkins: La Dolce Idea
Location, Lighting, Place Settings: Town & Country Resort & Convention Center
Rentals (tables, chairs, chandelier): Farm Tables And More
Floral design, Décor: Adrianne Smith Floral Design
Stationery: Four Things Paper
Photography: Brant Bender Photography


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,762 other followers

%d bloggers like this: