Viewing posts categorised under: Special Events

Top Reasons To Attend The Santa Barbara Wedding & Hospitality Industry Mastermind Summit 11.12.19

Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Industry Shenanigans, Special Events, Uncategorized / 09.13.20190 comments

The first annual State of the Santa Barbara Wedding Industry Summit: Define.  Design.  Evolve.  was founded in 2018 with the goal of bringing together an entire industry at a critical transition point in our niche business nationally, as well as in our unique hub of Santa Barbara.   It sold out 3 months in advance.

Based on the feedback we received from last year, as well as continual industry polls, we devised 4 base items as the priority for the 2019 Summit:   1)  Length: participants wanted to go all day long   2)  Longer breaks for conversations and networking  and 3)  Investment price:  90% were comfortable paying $300-$375 for an all-day session.

For 2019, we re-imagined the entire Summit to a whole new level, and decided to curate it to a very specific audience:  the leaders of the Santa Barbara wedding and hospitality industry.  And by “leaders” it does not necessarily mean business owners- it can be anyone who is  passionate about our industry and unique destination wedding & tourism location of Santa Barbara and committed to evolution, ethics, integrity, progress and community.   Therefore, we are allowing only 60 seats – less than half of last year’s sold out attendance.  This is so every participant can receive almost personalized coaching and connection with speakers and each other all day long.

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The 1st Annual Santa Barbara Wedding Industry Summit 2018

Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Industry Shenanigans, Our Events Industry Pros, Special Events / 11.15.20180 comments

On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, an entire industry came together in the Santa Barbara region for the first ever State of the Santa Barbara Wedding Industry Fireside Summit  “Define. Design. Evolve.”

The event, which was sold out 3 months in advance, was described as “the leading industry event of our area of all time” by one of the attendees.  After 20 years in the Santa Barbara wedding industry as an event planner, trainer and speaker, I witnessed many changes over the years, but none so rapid and dramatic as the last 5-7 years.  And what was happening on a national level was compounded ten fold in the unique niche of the American Riviera:  Santa Barbara, CA with the recent Thomas Fire and Flood , plus the challenges in our area with private estates hosting events.  After observing numerous industry social media groups’ conversations, I noticed there was an incredible opportunity to help colleagues define what was going on so they could custom design a plan best for them, and most importantly:  evolve.   In order to evolve, however, a foundation of understanding had to happen.

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When A Wedding Planner Weds | The Reception Soirée Story: A “Mobile Dinner Feast”

Blog, Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Real Weddings, Special Events / 05.05.20170 comments

When we announced to some of our closest friends that we just got married in a secret destination elopement to Santa Fe, New Mexico, one text came back immediately from a long-time friend:  “We want to host a reception for you when you return to celebrate.”  Seeing as this text was from one of the area’s leading event partners and her daughter, a professional wedding and event planner who had been my Associate for so many years, we knew we were in for something special.  But just how special, we did not know until we arrived at the private home of our hosts Heidi and Mike Whitcomb, owners of Ventura Rental Party Center for a grand celebration in style.  Event planners extraordinaire Heidi and Ashley  of Events by Ashley W. produced a night we – and our family and friends- will never forget.  My husband and I did not do one bit of the planning nor were we involved at all.  We provided them with a guest list and literally just showed up and stepped into our reception.  In fact, being on the other side of planning a wedding was almost overwhelming. I remember staring at our wedding cake for cake-cutting not quite sure how to tackle it, despite the fact I’ve counseled hundreds of couples for over 15 years on this exact act.

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Santa Barbara’s Oldest Private School – The Howard School – Gets Back to “Grassroots” in a Spring FUNdraiser

Special Events / 03.16.20160 comments

grassrootsunnamedSanta Barbara’s oldest private school – The Howard Carden School (now based in Carpinteria)- will celebrate Spring getting back to the “grassroots” of what’s important in life: community, education, delicious, hearty & heavy appetizers by Chef Rick Rossignol and Chef Nirasha Rodriguez , fabulous drinks,  and live music with the the beloved local band SolTree . There will be incredible items on which to bid, but even if you don’t bid, come for the community, music, fun, and to take in the atmosphere.

Held on Saturday, April 23rd at 3pm, “Grassroots”  is designed to help raise funds for Howard, a non-profit school which boasts a world-class education from preschool through 8th grade for over 100 years.  There will be something for everyone, and unlike many formal fundraisers, this one was specifically designed to pay tribute to and celebrate the relaxed, casual style of Carpinteria while supporting a worthwhile cause with no pomp and circumstance:  just good food, entertainment, community and incredible opportunities to bid on fabulous prizes (see below).   Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on the Howard School Website .

Check out some of the auction items:

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When a Workshop Is Held In a Wedding Chapel | Weddings at The Grand Sierra

Blog, Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Industry Shenanigans, Special Events / 01.28.20150 comments

Grand sierra chapelWhen NACE Reno/Tahoe asked me to do a workshop on generating immediate revenue for wedding businesses for my other company division, Engaging Inspiration, I was delighted.  When I found out that my presentation was going to be in the newly-renovated wedding chapel of The Grand Sierra Resort, I was absolutely tickled. I love originality and creative locations and how could a presenter ask for a more elegant setting for a wedding industry presentation than in a wedding chapel?

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Fresh Holiday Party Trends for 2014

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Special Events / 09.25.20140 comments

Photo: Hotel Kings Court

Photo: Hotel Kings Court

With the corporate economy improving,  the company holiday party has returned.  However, after having such a hard-hit economy with individuals and companies struggling the last several years, many company parties are returning to a holiday party experience with a conscience.  They are also offering an “experience” for guests and not just a meal with a DJ (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

The latest trends include:

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Feasting Fabulousness |A Connected Dining Experience

Blog, Special Events / 06.11.20140 comments

grappolo5

l-r : Jill Remy of Jill&Co, Cori Lassahn of Avante Events & Kerry Lee Dickey of Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings & Events

There are those moments in life when you truly realize that the pretense of what you are doing on the surface has actually little to nothing to do with the “real” moment you are supposed to be experiencing.  Such was last night at Trattoria Grappolo‘s in Santa Ynez, in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country.

The invitation said simply to come for

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Cocktails-N-Vinyl Vintage Basement Party

Blog, Special Events / 04.20.20142 comments

imageHow does a gal who grew up in the 1970’s in Southern California in a basement-less home decide to host a basement-party themed celebration?  I love the way middle-class parties were done in the 1950’s – 1970’s and I spent a year as a child living with my grandmother in the Pacific Northwest where she had an incredible basement and I attended a few basement parties in my friend’s homes. It always felt like a private world away from “reality” and lots of open space to just “hang”.  Fast forward to 2014, where it felt like a fun and inspired twist to  a “happy hour”.  Throw in my passion for music and love of the sound of music on vinyl with all the pops and scratches, and I suppose it makes me feel nostalgic for

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In College and Think a Career in Wedding & Event Planning May Be For You?

Blog, Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Event Planning Advice, Industry Shenanigans, Special Events / 02.27.20140 comments

kld ht headshotWhen I look back on my college experience, it was a time of big dreams and great hope and promise.  Junior and Senior year you felt a certain amount of pressure to make “the” job choice of what inspired you for your career post-graduation.  There were and are countless resources at colleges and in communities to provide career counseling and opportunities to open doors to your desired field with alumni contacts and more.

As society has evolved, so has the need to choose a single career with which one sticks all their lives.  As we grow as humans in our pursuits, development, personality, spirituality and more, often that vision shifts and evolves with our growth.  So what’s a student to do with all these choices bearing down hard on them?

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Tea in Paris Birthday Celebration for Gracie

Blog, Special Events / 11.07.20131 comments

Tea in Paris Collage DecorI’ve spent a lot of time in France, including living in Paris for a brief while, and also living with a non-English – speaking French family at the age of 17. I love all things French and when the school to which my daughter goes started students in French in preschool, I was especially delighted.

While I’ve planned all kinds of events, I’m the first to admit that

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