The Swellegant Seven: Real Advice From Event Expert, Frank Salas

I had the pleasure... and, it is always a pleasure... to spend some time with the one and only Frank Salas, Master of Photography.  He's a true gentleman in every sense of the word. Here's the Swellegant Seven, from Frank's perspective:

The best piece of advice to give to newly engaged couples:

"Do your research.  Not just online, but take the time the time to visit vendors face to face.  Building relationships is super important.  Nothing replaces face to face meetings.  I prefer to call someone vs. email, and get to know you."

How we first met:

Frank: "No I really don’t remember, sadly.  I’m sure it was at a wedding… maybe at The Nixon Library? (Laugh) "

Me: "Thanks, Frank.  (Laugh)  I remember when we met, and it was because you, at the time, were wearing a really cool tie."

Some of Frank's strengths:

"I believe that I really build a relationship with my clients, and that is important.  We already know that we’ll get great photos… create a beautiful album.  It’s beyond photography.  I do multiple sessions… new baby sessions, family sessions, and continued follow up with couples long after their wedding."

What it looks like to work with a really great planner:

"Comfort and confidence.    Less stress, not only for the couples, but for all of the vendors as well.  Sometimes, couples will think that a planner is “for the rich and famous”, but in fact, it isn’t.  A planner instantly puts a couple of ease."

The best piece of advice to someone new in the industry:

"Continue your education.  I always suggest that you continually put efforts into your own business.  Don’t copy everyone else.  If your work doesn’t shine, you’ll continue to be limited."

How do you keep things fresh and inspirational:

"Inspiration can go a couple of ways for me.  My photography is inspired by trends and art forms.  I’m also inspired daily by my couples and their excitement.  That takes me to a whole new level.  As we all say, 'We love our clients, don’t we?'"


Thank you so much to Frank Salas at Master of Photography!

Ten Trendsetting Ideas for 2014 Weddings

Art begets art and I have recently been inspired by the Oscars,  museums, fashion, and my latest clients.    Events tend to follow the latest trends in fashion and this is what I am seeing in 2014.  Be inspired! 1. The pantone color of the year is Radiant Orchid and I am seeing it everywhere.

2. Big BOLD prints are in.

3. The Oscars highlighted video mapping and we are seeing it at all types of events now.

4. When you create a beautiful environment, your guests will love, "what we call bringing your living room into your event space". Comfortable and chic furniture IS being used in place of typical round tables. Your guests won't want to leave.

5. Bringing food into your decor is happening everywhere. 

6. Floral design this year is bigger and better then ever. Peonies, Patience Roses from France, and of course, Radiant orchids are huge this year.

7. Bold hair embellishments are the hot new commodity for brides and your bridal party.

8. Bringing a cool and intriguing restaurant experience to your wedding dinner is what the best caterers are creating in 2014.

9. Interactive Bars: think tequila and bourbon tasting, make your own margaritas, bloody marys, or espresso bars.

10. Sweet Endings: The ideas truly Are endless. Farewell stations(instead of favors at every place setting), bride and groom send offs and everything from a helicopter to fireworks.

Photography and blog content credits: The Youngrens, Joy Marie Photography , Wildflower linen, Latavola Linen , LUVROX Photography,  Rowell Photography, Jim Kennedy Photographers , Room Forty Catering, Sweets Indeed, One and Only Paris Photography, Robin Lin Photography , Candice Cornelius Photography, Conscious Bean, Christopher Todd Photography

The Swellegant Seven: Real Advice From Event Expert, Larrissa Rehder, of Inviting Occasion

I am always honored to work with the very best partners in the Event Industry.     This spring, I'll be highlighting some of my favorite event people!  I had a cup of tea with the incredible Larrissa and Johnny from Inviting Occasion, and talked about what it looks like behind the scenes... The Drive to Be Successful with a Business:

Larrissa: "I am a people pleaser and I love making my clients happy.  Seeing the entire project come through to fruition is amazing."

Johnny: "When I see what we've created together, and always doing something new is what drives me."

A Little Bit About the First Time Larrissa and I Met:

"We met at The Dock in Newport Beach several years ago, at an event, when you said, 'Wow. What you did here is so cool.  How much would something like this cost?' " (Laugh.)

How is it Working with Real Professionals:

“It makes our job so much easier, and the client gains a more cohesive experience.  There is a mutual understanding.    For Johnny, behind the scenes, 'Experience shows your knowledge and there are far fewer mistakes.   There are no loose ends.  When I work with you and your Swellegant Team, I know we're going to take great care of our clients."

A Few Pieces of Advice For Someone New in the Industry:

Johnny: "New planners want to micromanage.  You, as an experienced planner, let's us, as professionals, shine in what we do best."

Larrissa: "Persevere."

A Few Pieces of Advice for Newly Engaged Couples:

"Enjoy the process.  Keep it simple.  Stay in the moment.  Be realistic about what you can spend, and understand a 'Pinterest' photo may cost 10 times over your budget."

The Most Important Thing that a Planner/ Producer can do for you:

"'Let us work as a team."

When are you guys getting married?

"OK. Enough already, Natalie.  Stop asking us.  You'll be the first to know."


Thank you to Inviting Occasion for making sure everything is perfect with fine detail.  Can't wait until our next event together!

Pantone Color of the Year: Radiant-Orchid


For over a decade the Pantone Color Institute has been announcing a color of the year to inspire trends in fashion, homes, and of course weddings. Say hello to the 2014 Pantone color of the year...Radiant-Orchid! With undertones of purple, pink, and fuchsia; Radiant-Orchid  exhibits warmth and royalty all while remaining modern and fresh. According to Pantone, this color "inspires confidence, great joy, love, and health." We can expect to see this color used in many trend setting and innovative ways in the wedding industry this year, as well as subtle splashes used to brighten up any ones ceremony or reception. This elegant and warm color is already hitting the market fast and we don't want your wedding to be left out. So, we have gathered up some ideas of various ways to use the Pantone color of the year in your wedding!


Special thanks for images: Pantone Color of the YearThe YoungrensStephanie Yonce PhotographyAllure Atlantic klk photographyAaron DelesieBelle The MagazineAt Home in Love