Thursday, December 9, 2010

Engagement time!

For most, the holidays bring many things ~ happiness, spiritual inspirations, family gatherings, and much more. But to some, it brings a life changing moment. When he starts talking mushy and you're wondering what's wrong with him!! Yes, engagement season is upon us! The other day I was at Jewel's Unlimited and looking at the amazing peices of art ~ by art I mean jewelry collections. They are fantastic, and of course I wanted just about everything.
I find it only fitting that as event coordinators that specialize in weddings, it is our duty to help a fellow out! I was glad to see that I am not the only one thinking this as I read through other industry blogs this morning. So Fellas, click on links below and thank me later! In no time you'll know exactly what you want for your girl before even getting to the jewelry store.
Visit the Gemological Institute of America online and learn the 4 C's of diamond value. Learn all about the universal grading system and show her you mean business!!
Also check out this bit Colin Cowie put together to also help you out.
Shape & Setting

Regardless of the diamond and shape ~ marriage is about the love.  Enjoy the moments of this exciting time and don't let yourself get overwhelmed.
Remember every detail ~ we'll be wanting to hear all about it soon!!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Planning a Monte Carlo night fundraiser, I am having a ton o fun playing with linen samples! 

Thank you Town & Country for letting me borrow!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fresno Convention and Entertainment Center

We are so happy that we have had the opportunity to work on several events which have taken place at the Fresno Convention and Entertainment Center (FCEC).  Building relationships with our vendors, including fantastic venues, is key to a successful business.  It was confirmed today that our feeling is mutual with FCEC and we couldn't be more thrilled.
Can you believe that this start out as an empty concrete room space.  The possibilities are abundant at a venue such as the Valdez Hall and the Exhibit Halls.

It looks like we'll be back at FCEC next year and so excited about the possibilities!!!  We're even more excited to work with their amazing staff, Shannon, Amanda, Sonya and Claudia.  Thanks for everything, Girls!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Things We Love ~ FALL !!!!

Fall Goodies from Stems
Autumn Wreath at Stems
Wow, it's hard to believe that Fall is FINALLY here which means a few things are certain.

1 ~ Fall decorating (our favorite!!) 

Stems is carrying beautiful fall and holiday pieces to adorn and deck your halls!

Stems Centerpiece

2 ~ Preparations for Thanksgiving (some of us host dinner for 40, others hit the road and leave town!!)

Order your Thanksgiving centerpiece now and Stems can deliver right to you.  One more thing you can check off of your long list!

Don't forget a host gift!  Stems has that one of a kind gift to make your host feel truely appreciated!

Small Centerpiece by Stems

3 ~ ENGAGEMENT SEASON!!!!!  Between now and February 14th is when most couples get engaged. 

We love to hear proposal stories.  So, with that in mind, keep a watch out for something fun coming!!!!

We wish you well and to be inspired!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday ~ Oh Monday!!

I hope that this post will find you all with a sugar hangover like mine!  Too many twizzlers and snickers, and twix, and almond joy, and laffy taffy and kit kat ....... HOWEVER ~ the week is off to a great start and so many things happening that we just wanted to share a bit before we get caught up in the madness of it all.

STEMS is OPENING!!!!  Thursday, November 4th from 11:00AM ~ 8:00PM.  Palatine Building ~ 3rd Floor.  Here's a few iphone shots I took just to give you a tease!  Better images to come AFTER the grand Opening ~ really!!! :)

 Looking forward to seeing you there!!!

Also the annual Manchester G.A.T.E. school carnival is this Friday, November 5th from 5:00PM ~ 8:00PM.  I can't possibly thank each of our donors enough for their support.  Your donations mean so much to the students and the school.  You can read past blogs for a list of Silent Auction Donors. 
 ~ This just in ~ Eagle Springs Golf and Country Club, Lyons Magnus & Elisa Diel have just made additional donations to the silent auction!  THANK YOU!!!! 

So in the midst of a grand opening, a school carnival, and Thanksgiving just 3 weeks away, we are working on some pretty exciting events for 2011!  We feel truely blessed that the first half is pretty full and we've already started booking fall!  Stay tuned on more info coming soon about the UCSF Fresno Valley Visions coming in May.  Save the Date cards will be sent out soon and sponsor forms are available now.  

 More updates will come soon ~ take care!!! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Manchester G.A.T.E. ~ Sponsor Update

More than anything, I proudly say that I am a Mom ~ and a darn good one at that.  Well, at least for now seeing as I will officially own a teenager next month!!  Since the kids were little, we have paid an enormous amount of attention to acedemics.  And it has paid off!  Now with a second student beginning the elementary path through Manchester G.A.T.E. I find myself involved as much as I can and still wish it was more.  Some call me the Carnival Queen ~ not really knowing if I should be proud remembering the carni's at the local fair growing up and wondering where thier teeth were!  And yes, Carnival is upon us.  An enormous task that some amazing Manchester Mom's are able to pull off year after year, but not without the help of our generous community. 
Last week, I sent out an email to many people on my contacts list and just started asking for help!  The Silent Auction is a very large part of the carnival and a facet that we must rely on to help our wonderful school and the students.  Manchester G.A.T.E. has a different demographic than any other elementary school in Fresno.  They come from all over ~ and I mean ALL over!!  It is a beautiful mix of little genious's!!!  So, I'd like to give a quick little shout out to so many wonderful people and companies who have donated products or services so generously ~
Three Sisters Ranch ~ Brenda D. Lavell
SBI Boardshop
The Grizzlies
Grand Occasions
Pappy's Fine Foods
La Bella Vita Photogrpahy
Sweet Dreams Cakery
Awesome Blossoms
Find It Designs ~ Miranda Starbuck
Big City Limo
Panoche Creek
Cazebo Gardens
Kubo Orthdontic
Red Carpet Car Wash
Sakura Chaya
Renge Pharmacy
Sierra Sport & Racket
Aloha Optemetric Group
Build A Bear
Britz Fertillizers
Central Bark
Chaffee Zoological Society
Creative Cakes
Edible Arrangements
Express Grill
Fairmont Private School
Fig Garden Yoga
Four Points Sheraton
Gateway Ice Center
Gilroy Gardens
Gymnastics Beat
Jenny Kubo
La Boulangerie
Mimi's Cafe
Mous Restaurant
Stem's at the Palatine
US Sewing Machines

So, a very sincere thanks to all the above listed and so many more that I know are coming through for us and the incredible students at Manchester.  If you have some free time, Friday November 5th, we welcome you to come visit and enjoy the Manchester G.A.T.E. Harvest Carnival!!!  See you there!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flowers & Showers

On top of preparing for A Taste of RiverPark last weekend, Mary was busy at Stems with creating beautiful floral pieces for a baby shower that was taking place at Slates Restaurant
Fun swirl pattern in the linen from Town & Country Party Rentals

Hydrangea, Orchids & Roses!  Classy, sassy & fun!!!
Thanks for the pix Colter!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Things We Love

While we try to gather pictures of the amazing fashion show that went down Saturday night at A Taste of RiverPark, I thought I'd share with you my dessert I had yesturday!!  If you know me, you know that I think dessert should be considered a meal and acceptable at anytime of the day!
WHAT IS IT???  Well, It's Chocolate covered bacon, with walnuts!!  We've heard all kinds of good hype about Eureka Burger that has just recently opened, so decided it was about time to get in there and check it out.  Yep!  Good eats!  I'm not a big hamburger fan, but can appreciate a good go.  I had the Turkey Cobb Burger and it was really good!  Kinda surprised myself that I ate an entire half!  What surprised me even more was that my 12 yr old ate his entire Cowboy Burger and loved it!!!  Now that's a good sign!!
Now back to my dessert ~ it was SO GOOD!!  I was pleasantly surprised and oh so happy I tried it!!!  Come on, you've gotta give it a go, and let me know what ya think!! They're located at Palm/Nees in the GB3 shopping center.
We'll get pix and info up soon on the event from RiverPark. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Culinary Smarts: 8 things you must know before hiring a caterer! {part 1}

Culinary Smarts: 8 things you must know before hiring a caterer! {part 1}

It's so true how couples just hire a caterer without really discussing what is important to them. This article I came across is one to pay attention to people! One of the biggest pains we've had in past events have come from unprofessional catering.
Some of my catering pet peeves ~
Frozen food ~ or even a bad choice of quality can taste frozen even if prepared well.
Just hired temps! ~ Can you (caterers) at least interview who you're sending to work an event?
Caterer's who think the show is about them ~ really, we're all busy in this industry, but a return phone call might be helpful so that you know what else is happening! Open communication is KEY! Believe it or not, there are others who can and will do what you're doing and maybe even better, so get off your high horse's and realize that every event needs your special attention that there is no "hero status" to be declared in an event.

Anyway, please click on the link above and have a good read ~ then really think about what matters and really how important your catering is to your event and how much of a reflection it has on you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Tid Bit ~ Flowers

(Photo image #1 courtesy of Amotion Imagery )

It's quite a blessing and a huge benefit that TVS Stylist Mary Araujo* has such an extensive background in horticulture and creating amazing fresh floral pieces that can give colorful life to any event.  So naturally, it's
time that she gives you a few thoughts on one of her favorite subjects ~ Flowers...

(Photo images courtesy of Daniel WIllson Photography)

Flowers are an intricate and complex component of any event.  We completely believe they are necessary at best, setting the mood, ambiance and style!  While many brides and party planners feel that they can take on this task themselves, we recommend hiring professionals with years of experience.  If budget is your concern, share that with your floral designer right away.  there are several options and methods of design that mechanize less fresh product, thus saving on your bottom line.  Trying to make your own centerpieces typically end up with that homemade "look" and ironically can end up costing you more ultimately by not knowing how to buy product in correct amounts and how to store and transport the finished pieces properly.  You may also consequently cause yourself tons of frustration, costing you time, energy and wrinkles!!!  Save yourself the stress...hire a florist!

(Photo images courtesy of Daniel Wilson Photography)

Upon taking our advice, when you schedule your floral consultation, arrive prepared; know your budget, take photos from magazines, or books that you like and already have your venues, gown, bridesmaids gowns and theme chosen.  Designing the floral portion is just like accessorizing an outfit, the staples must be in place!

(Photo images courtesy of Daniel Wilson Photography)

*Mary Araujo is also the floral designer at Stems at the Palatine.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Revision ~ I read this article ~ Newbie "Wedding Planners" Plague the Professionals

I Just read this article ~ (link is below) was posted quite some time ago, but am reminded everyday of this ongoing issue. How terrible to call it a battle, but when you have put in the back breaking time and effort, I think you have a right to stand up and tell others "WTH do you think you're doing!!!!"

I understand that this is a profession that will never stop growing, and I thank God for that. But the up and coming need to realize that they need to show some respect and smart business sense OF THE PROFESSION!! Trying to lower the standard and our worth is going to get you burried.  Willingness to put in the time & effort with an open mind and learn that this business is not a big party, but real work, to stand the test of time.

I'm amazed by the creative talent that is surrounding us and seriously hope that this industry will continue to grow creatively and possitively.  There is so much room for growth and the with the help of all the creative geniuses out there, who wouldn't want to be part of it?  I see so many facets that just weren't there 20 years ago.  Yay!  It's only made my job more meaningful and more fun!  Sometimes I feel like I'm living in a playground full of fabrics and lights and feathers and flowers.  And it's cool.

I am still excited everyday that I am a part of the wedding and event industry and feel blessed. I get giddy before an event like I can't help but to laugh and sing!!! We build such close relationships with our clients that when it's over, my heart hurts that I won't be #1 on thier speed dial. I love when a new idea is being worked out and you can see the excitement in a bride's eyes with a look of "can we really do that?" I love when a Father dances with "his" little girl and isn't afraid to break down and SOB!  Or when you get so close to a family that you automatically have Sunday supper on your calendar for the next year. 
So, to everyone new to the industry, the absolute best of luck to you all ~ seriously.  But please respect the position you're in and never, never think you know it all. Learn something new from each event. Take the time to learn a caterer's job, a rental companies job, a florist job. It's tough, and if you don't know how they function, you're gonna have a pretty hard time with that itinerary of yours!!!

Newbie "Wedding Planners" Plague the Professionals

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday Things We Love

Ok, so it's Tuesday, but it was a very busy weekend and we did work on Monday, which was a holiday, so I'm sure you can forgive us!!!

Sunday was a true celebration ~ 90 fabulous years! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! And it was celebrated in true Italian style.  The vendor team on this event was none other than the amazing Mary Araujo, (TVS), Slates Restaurant, Stems at the Palatine, Walker-Lewis, The Linen Shoppe & The Pantages Company.
Enjoy the photos and try not to get too hungry!!!
What a view!!!

Seating for 92 please!
What a table!
Uber fun Kids Table!
Flowers & Fruit!
Don't forget the wine!
YUM!  Antipasta station!
Italian Breadsticks
Slates Restaurants Pastry Chef nailed the Italian dessert station.
Refreshing on a hot summer day!

Slates Restaurant really rocked this event!  Great job on the complete design Mary!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday ~ Things We Love

We LOVE destination weddings!!
After months of searching for just the right look and environment for one of our 2011 brides, we've finally got it!  We'll have to save the location for a bit later, but we couldn't be happier for our bride and for the fact that we have this opportunity to work at such an amazing venue! 

Somehow there's always a however involved....... We were surprised to learn of the challenges finding lodging for the family, guests and vendors involved for this event.  While the venue actually offers guest rooms, they are limited in quantity, leaving us in search of off-site, close in proximity, practical and affordable lodging accommodations.  Our search took us from such extremes to pulling in and out of parking lots shaking our heads saying "no no no way" instantly to jaw dropping, posh surroundings potentially unaffordable to many attending.  Persistance paid off and we were able to map and chart a range of lodging selections for all attending.
Lesson to be learned ~ When selecting destination venues, refere to thier preferred and suggested vendor list BUT inspect each with care YOURSELF!  Several of the preferred vendors were unexceptable by our standards and any standards in general.  Weddings are a milestone in life and when choosing a destination venue, the comforts of all attending must be taken into consideration.  The Velvet Society takes pride in our standard practice of research, research, research!  We highly suggest the same to all.
Happy Travels!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rockstars vs Rock Solid Professionals

There are so many wedding and event blogs out there these days that one can certainly become 1) obsessed, 2) a wedding planner in a day or 3) very confused and overwhelmed.

I've also noticed a huge trend in wedding vendors who are wanting it all.  Really, should a florist take 13 weddings in a single day?  Should a caterer take on 7 weddings in a single day?  What kind of staff is that going to give the client?  And the overall product?  Quality???  I realize that we all have to make a living and support our families ~ but it shouldn't be at the cost of bad business.  Excel in what you do best and give each client the attention and quality that they deserve. 

I read this article yesturday and thought I'd share.  Check it out if you have a minute ~
Rockstars vs Rock Solid Professionals

Have a great day!


Monday, August 23, 2010


"Dear Mary and Shelli,
Just wanted to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU once again for EVERYTHING you did to make Rachel and Phillip's wedding reception run so smoothly. We so appreciated your attention to detail throughout the process, for everything was perfect! Thank you also for ALWAYS being so accommodating whenever we had a question, problem or just needed you to run and get something. It has been a pleasure to work with the two of you and I know that Rachel, Mimi and I will miss the meetings and other interactions we have had with you over the last few months as we planned and organized the wedding. I look forward to seeing both of you at other functions and events in the future.
Thank you again for your part in making Rachel's dream wedding come true.

PS. The educator in me listed your names in alphabetical order, but I really see the two of you as one whole that has been split to efficiently run your business, so really your names should be merged into some configuration. It is amazing to watch the two of you work together as a team; there really is no head and body, just one unit! How admirable."

Ok, we don't usually boast, but we love getting letters like this! Some who have ever questioned why is there 2 of you, can't just 1 of you do it? ~ well, yes, we can individually hold our own and have done so for over 20 years. However, the power of 2 is AMAZING!!!!

Monday Things We Love

Well, I guess I just have to say that we LOVE amazing events!!!! We had the pleasure of working Rachel & Phillips Wedding over the weekend and what an event it was! A guest list of 600, a complete transformation of the Exhibit Hall and amazing vendors to create with made it truely fantastic! A big shout out to Janice and staff at Town & Country party Rentals, Vinnie & Morgan from Media Solutions, Inc., Gentile's Flower Basket, Laura at Sweet Dreams, DJ Ellis at La Bella Vita Photography, Todd from AMS Entertainment, Alan & Patty of McLane Video, and Sonya from SMG (Exhibit Hall), Pardini's Catering, Lanny at the Linen Shoppe with Jonathan Pantages ~ an exceptional team of vendors all working together to create a perfect event!
Rachel is such a sweetheart and we wanted so much for everything to be perfect for her. I'm pretty sure it was as close as possible! I was lucky enough to spend a few hours with her on Friday during production chatting as she dug in and helped out a bit! It was really fun! I usually don't reccomend that a bride is present during production ~ it's a mess!!, and you always have to test a few things out, move things this way and that, adjust here and there. Most brides don't understand that or would totally freak if they saw what went on when you're hanging chandaliers ~ but Rachel enjoyed every minute and I LOVED that she was there seeing it all come together.
We've been fortunate enough to have worked with several family members of Rachel's over the past few years, so we knew that this event was going to be an adventure ~ an excellent adventure! Seeing her family is always so fun because they are always happy to be together and enjoy eachothers company and, of course, to celebrate the union of marriage. Ok, Who's next???

Pictures coming soon! The truely talented, DJ Ellis from La Bella Vita will have images available soon and you better believe we will be posting them!!! I'll post the pictures that we took ~ although no comparison to what DJ will have ~ so you can have an idea of the transformation!!

xoxo ~

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday's Things We Love!

WE LOVE VACATION!!!! Really LOVE! But as all good things must come to an end, we are back to work, and trying get up to date with so many new projects in front of us.

On the 2nd day of my vacation, we received the news we had been waiting for what seemed like FOREVER to get. After a nice and long drawn out corporate process of RFP's, proposals, interviews, negotiations and waiting ~ we were offered the UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Research & Education fundraiser event for 2011! Big YAY for the Velvet girls! We are now rolling with the concept ideas and putting things together so that others can see our vision for this fantastic event. We'll keep you updated along the journey ~ I know it will be an interesting one, and I can't wait to dig into this event and make it happen! So today's Monday Lov'n has to go out to Karin & Cynthia at UCSF who have showed your faith in us and given us the fantastic opportunity! The Velvet Society will be presenting Valley Visions 2011 ~ May 21, 2011 ~ SAVE THE DATE!!!! We'll want to see all of you there!
Hope you all have a fantastic Monday ~ xoxo

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Things We Love ~ I know it's a bit late, but, well ~ anyway!!

Beach weddings have always held a special place in my heart. And for no
particular reason ~ other than the fresh ocean air, the sea breeze blowing
in your face, the romance that lies in every sunset, or sunrise!!

The picture above is from Joshua & Melanie's Wedding in Cambria. Oh what an
adventure we had, and will always remember the fantastic day. One of my
favorite things about this wedding, other than the Groom which I've known
since he was 15!, was that Joshua (and bros) built the arbor out of random drift wood.
How I would love to say that yes, I designed it and built it ~ NOPE! All Joshua! And
he knew exactly what he wanted and how he was going to do it ~ and he did. It
was just perfect! I wish I had a better picture, but I think you can get the idea.

Now, Can I say how darn cute the flowergirl & ring bearer are? Yes, I can ~ and not
just because 1 is my own!! They were perfect and even though the wind was on high,
they stuck it out.

The reception followed at the Cambria Pines Lodge ~ as well as an after party that was exactly what an after party should be! I'll do some searching for more images and share with you later.

Love to you all ~ xoxo

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday Wants ~

This weeks wants are not for us persoanlly, otherwise we'd be asking for a few days off!!! To our clients ~ want more from your caterer...ask to have ample amounts of hors d'oeuvres so guests don't feel shorted...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday ~ Things We Love

We love spending time (especailly an extra day!) with our families after events and also taking time to reflect on the past event and critiquing anything to improve.

Enjoy your week! xoxo

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday ~ Things We Love

Things We Love ~ Having Credit Card Authorization to get things done! Expedites ordering and simplifies hassle of final payments!

Allison & Case's Mo'Rock'n Wedding

We have fallen in love with The Dias Family. I don't even know where or how to begin to explain how amazing this family is. I just know that I am a better person now that I know such wonderful, loving people.
Ok, enough mushy stuff ~ on to the details.....
After much anticipation on the"Hanger" event, the day arrived for the 4 day production to start and guess what..... it started raining!!! I have to give many props to the guys at Walker-Lewis Rents because they did not let a small thing like what seemed to be a monsoon stop them or slow them down. They were soaked to the bone by the time thier 10 hour day was up, only to come back the next day and start again with the other 3 tents!!! Janice from Town & Country had linens made for the event that we knew would be perfect ~ and they were!! We were fortunate to have Stems deliver the floral pieces early so that we could get a jump on hanging the reverse centerpieces. Hahaha ~ I said "we"! Well, Morgan and Vinnie of Media Solutions, Inc. actually took that job over. I think the thought of me up on a 20 foot genie lift gave them a bit of a scare! I could've done it!!! Really!! This concept was very exciting for us and we were super stoked at the opportunity to finally do a true reverse centerpiece. Sure you can hang things from the ceiling, but this was much more more than that and looked amazing! To mirror the reverse centerpieces and add more dimension to the 11,000 square feet of space, Stems used the tall square vases with Manzanita and fresh floral on alternating tables along with short square vases with a fantastic mix of spring blooms.
I think the anticipation of Slates dinner helped keep us motivated. Once the table scaping began, we knew it was going to look just as good as thier food would taste. The presentation was perfect! We were priveledged to work with new vendors ~ photograper Daniel Wilson Photography and videographers Ben & Drew of Cana Video Productions. Both are from the San Luis Area, and wow are they talented. Here are some of the pictures that I took from my phone ~ reminding you that I am not a professional photographer!!! Oh, and The Dessert Table pic is from The Dotted Apron. I hope you get the idea of how fantastic this event was! Enjoy!

Ariel view of airplane hanger

Inside hanger ~ freshly waxed floor

Tents getting on...

Tents up, rain's coming down!

Tables and chairs dropped in about 20 min!!

Testing the lights on Day 3 MSI nailed it!

No fresh yet, still looks so cool!

Love this swirl pattern

And the fresh just added the perfect flare

Final touches ~ Getting there!

Love the pin tuck linen that T&C had made for the event

Stems used quite the finesse getting the floral up!

Staging for The Zippers who ROCKED the house! Oh and yes,
we did it again. The grass dance floor was a hit!!!!

Slates presentation of the Hor's was fantastic. They backed
it up with an array of incredible tasting food!
Gourmet Chip Bar ~ Oh yeah!

My fav lemonade stand to date! Oh, and Slate's added fresh
Blueberries in the mason jars for extra flare!!

The dessert table was a HUGE hit! The Dotted Apron outdid
themselves! Yum-meeee!!

A fun little detail ~ menu boards! Best Gourmet Burger Bar ~ EVER!!!

Even with last minute changes, Exclusive Creations came through
with another great seating chart.

And to end the night, the Taco Truck! Boy did we need that!!!
See you after our next event!!!

~ XOXO ~