Let’s just start by saying that I feel extremely embarrassed, considering I haven’t  “blogged” since July of 2017! I blinked and here we are!  Trust me when I say I meant to blog, to post after each event, to share DYI ideas and random thoughts…but life happened, and I failed miserably on that mission. However, rather than feeling guilty about it, I will try to focus on all the things that I did accomplish, and I like to think they are the reason I didn’t have a chance to blog.

2018 was an incredible year for Say I Do to Details! It was also challenging in many different ways. We planned just about 50 events in total, we made new friends, we learned new lessons, and we opened our own office! (Office, Store, Studio, Party Shop, Girl Gang Hub) – Opening our own location was a long time dream of ours. As event planners, we don’t “need” an office, as we meet clients on site, coffee shops, and we can even handle our meetings virtually through Video Calls. But as our brand grew, and so did our dreams, having an office was like a “trophy” for us. So we decided to pursue this dream of ours. We stumbled upon a location in Redondo Beach, we contacted the agent, (with excitement and a LOT OF fear,) and we made an offer! Our exact words were ” If it is meant to be, it will find its way” – and so it did ! Our offer was accepted, and we took on this huge but rewarding responsibility! We remodeled for almost two months. We turned the place around, and created the space of our dreams!

To celebrate our victory, we had a soft opening party in late May, and our store is now open Monday – Friday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Meetings are done by appointment only. If you haven’t had a chance to come by, please come say hi soon.

Here are a few photos, from concept to reality,  including a before and after!

 

This major milestone in our event planning career, have been an amazing adventure this far and we are so excited for what 2019 will bring to our little space. We are almost done with the store website, and we plan to focus our marketing efforts, so we can hopefully become the number 1 party boutique in the South Bay.

Back to the many things that kept us busy this year, to be exact, we did 29 weddings, and 21 events! We worked at the new venues, met new vendors, built new relationships, and embraced the Community Over Competition movement, where we partner, support and help fellow industry planners and vendors.

Looking back in January 2018, we started the year with a fusion Indian/American wedding at the Natural History Museum Downtown in Los Angeles. Christine and Adi tied the knot at the Dinosaur Hall, and had the cutest DYI centerpieces made by the bride’s family. These centerpieces were made out of straws, and you would have never known, unless I told you.

Still in January, we had a wedding at the beloved South Bay event space, Smoky Hollow. Hannah and Jason had a ceremony at the beautiful church in Palos Verdes, followed by a reception at Smoky Hollow. Hannah’s dress give us all those Fairytale feels, not to mentioned how stunning she looked. Her flowers were also to die for, and her bouquet still got me speechless!

As we enter the month of February, we thank God we actually didn’t have any events. It just so worked out that this was the month in which we signed our lease, and our energy and focus had to be in our office. (as you can see from the previous pictures) Sandra took a much needed vacation to Brazil, where she recharged and came back ready to take on 2018.

March on the other hand, was a busy month! For me personally, it was a challenging one, as we had a destination wedding in San Juan Capistrano, and that was the first time I traveled without my daughter Dahlia Rose. We spent two long nights without each other. The events however, went without a glitch, and even the rain in San Juan Capistrano did not stop our beautiful event. We also also showered the beautiful now Mrs. Cayton and we also did our first wedding at the Ebell in Los Angeles.

Fast forward to April, and it was a busy month with a total of 5 events! We started the month with Sterling’s 4th Birthday party (3rd planned by us), followed by a “4.20” inspired wedding, (literally, with “weed favors” for guests), than three events on April 21st, at Carondelet and Smoky Hollow and China Town respectively,  and closing the month on April 28th with another beautiful event at the Natural History Museum.

 

And just like that it is May. May was special, as it was my first mother’s day. I spent time with my daughter and felt truly special. In the month of May, we also had a super fun Indian/American fusion wedding at Smoky Hollow. It was over a year planning with the sweetest bride Gwenn, and I was so pleased with the results. We also celebrated Joanna’s 8th birthday party, and planned the sweetest first birthday party for Maite.

Although June is known to be one of the busiest months for wedding season, our month of June was relatively calm, with only two weddings and a corporate event. We were back at the beautiful Redondo Beach Historic Library for Elizabeth and Adam’s wedding, and we did our first event at the gorgeous Japanese Garden in Pasadena. We also gave back to the community by helping with the inauguration of newly rehabbed apartment complex in the city of Compton.

And, with a blink of an eye, it is July. I personally love July as it is my birthday month (born on the 4th of July), but the events went beyond my birthday, with 6 events, including a baby shower in Arizona, a wedding in Santa Barbara, amongst others. Perhaps it was the busiest month of the year. It was also my daughter’s baptism in Scottsdale, so we were busy to say the least.

And suddenly, it is August. More than half way through summer! Since it was a calm month, with only 2 events, I was able to take a vacation down to Brazil to visit my family. It was Dahlia’s longest flight! Flying for 12 hours with a 9 months old, was no joke, but we made it! It was nice to see the family! Meanwhile, Sandra handled our August events like the champ that she is. We were once again back at Smoky Hollow and at the Trump National Golf Course.

And now, it’s September. Where did time go? My daughter Dahlia Rose turned 1 (going 21) and I had so much fun planning her birthday party and styling her Smash the Cake Session. In addition, it was a busy month of weddings and events, as summer comes to an end (at least on the calendar, not so much for SoCal) We were back at Terranea and at the Double Tree by Hilton in San Pedro. We also did our first “Sip and See” event.

Where did the year ago? Halloween is around the corner, it is October! There were 3 weddings in October, (2 in which we are still waiting on pictures). I have to confess, that my October wedding was my favorite! We designed and planned this wedding for so long, and it felt so good to see everything come together, and if felt even better when it brought tears (of joy of course) to the bride’s eyes.

We are now in November, and I can’t understand how this year has flown by faster than the speed of light. We had a beautiful wedding at Calamigos Ranch, exactly one week before the devastating fires in Los Angeles. My couple was so lucky, but I could not stop thinking about the many couples that were affected by the fire. We also had a beautiful wedding at Smoky Hollow, with probably the most chilled couple of the year! 

And JUST LIKE THAT, it is December. December was a month of a beautiful themed Nutcracker Corporate event, and a 75th Birthday celebration at the Natural History museum. We designed these beautiful nutcracker centerpieces, and Sandra wrapped over 75 boxes, and put these army together!

This year, we were done with our events by mid-December, which gave us a small break to spend with friends and family. But not before we had a chance to OCD our store and storage facility. Oh yes, did I mention that this year, we also moved to a larger storage, and we now rent all the stuff that you need for your event day, but don’t have to own it? From cake stands, to cake cutting utensils, to cute Mr. and Mrs. sign, we got your covered!!

Finally, the last few days of December have been all about cleaning up, organizing, and coming up with our goals for 2019. And boy, do we have many of them? A running list of pages and pages, and we will try to tackle them one of the time. My next post (hopefully still this year) will be a summary of our goals, and we will share them with you, so that we can keep ourselves accountable.

I have been in Arizona since Christmas day, and have been able to update the gallery section of our website, that was literally abandoned just like the blog section. But it is definitely in the resolution list to try to keep the galleries and blog up to date, but can we do it?

Yay! And there you have it. The Say I Do to Details, 2018 Year in Review!

Cheers!

Paola

Event Planner & Detailist