Tuesday, December 22, 2009

{ CALLING ALL COVER MODELS } Real Weddings Magazine Contest!

It's that time again, Real Weddings Magazine is looking for their next cover model. If you're interested fill out the application here!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Happy Holidays from all of us here at Alison Ulshoffer Events & Design! We wish you all a wonderful, safe and happy holiday! The office will be closed until January 4th and we look forward to the amazing year ahead! { Gina, Alison, Jennifer, Brennda + Christina }

Friday, December 11, 2009

{ PALM SPRINGS } The Parker + Rancho Mirage + Amazing Clients = One Happy Wedding Planner

Sarah + Clark's fabulous Mexico venue (above)
The Parker Palm Springs

Honestly, where do I start? It's been quite the week.
It's been quite a blur. You know it's bad when you're not quite sure what day it is right? This is what I remember: Stuck in the snow for 6.5 hours, Jennifer standing in the fresh powder laughing, Kimberly + Rob, San Francisco, Christine + Aldo, Sarah + Clark, Brooke + Jan, airplane, The Parker Palm Springs, TONS of calls to Mexico and a glass of Rombauer Chardonnay. Yep, that sums up my week. Every last minute was incredible. The kind of incredible you feel when you have to pinch yourself because your clients are just too good to be true.
Friday was definitely fabulous. Flew into Palm Springs to meet my incredibly stunning, sweet and gorgeous couple. I could go on about them for days, really, I could. And my brides Mom + Dad, lets just say I have a feeling I may break my rule of "no drinking at my events." I need to have a margarita with Dad, I will find the time. ( Are you listening Sarah? Can I have permission?)

My favorite things encompassed this quick 24 hour trip to the desert. Planning a celebration of love is, of course, an honor. But when you meet a couple that's number one concern is their guests...well, they stole my heart. This wedding is going to be an honor for us to plan and attend. You know it when you see it, the loving glances, the gentle squeeze of the knee, the excitement in Mom and Dad's eyes, and to top it off a groom who's grin spreads ear to ear and says to you, "I am so excited now!" Music to my ears.

After my short flight to Palm Springs I headed to the newly renovated, highly desired Parker Hotel. I was not disappointed. Funky, eclectic, sassy. I felt as if I was in the middle of cheeky Rat Pack movie, as if Dean Martin or Sammy Davis would be basking in the the desert sun the moment I stepped out into the sunshine. Of course I love the aesthetics, but the staff is perfection and most importantly, not scripted.

So back in Sacramento, but I will take with me what "Dad" said, "Look at her! She loves this!" I thought about that statement the entire drive back to the hotel. I DO love "this." The chaos, the running around, the 24 hour trips to different states, the OCD personality in me that comes out when I find the slightest flaw...but at the end of every event I do LOVE "this."

I am one happy planner.

Monday, November 30, 2009

{ PERSONALIZE IT } Paperwink

New love of ours, Paperwink. Adorable, personal and a new favorite of us all here in the office! Our order is on it's way and I cannot wait! The reason I also share this lovely idea is because these journals would make perfect wedding favors. No secret here that I'm not a huge fan of wedding favors, but these are a huge exception. One of our Cancun couples have ordered these beautiful journals and will be inscribing each and every one of them to their friends and family. Now THAT my friends is a true wedding gift.

The custom stamp above, of course I fell in love with the bird, is a fabulous way to express your personality. Paperwink has several to choose from. So be sure to have a peek at their site, I'm sure you will enjoy as much as we do!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

{ WE LOVE IT } Skype away....

It's NO secret that I am not thee most computer literate person here in the office, BUT, I love to SKYPE. It's such a fabulous tool for myself, the girls and my clients! So if you ever need us you can find me at alison.ulshoffer during your SKYPE search.

Hey Penny....hope you don't mind! I took this still while we were discussing an album...Happy Sunday everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

{ ASK AWAY } Martha Andrews

For the past few weeks I have been rounding up some of thee best wedding professionals and destination wedding vendors Northern California has to offer. They will be answering some of the many questions we receive. A fresh perspective and different accounting from someone other than us will be, well in my mind, fabulous. We know you will think so too!
Here is your chance to ask those questions that you just quite aren't getting the answers to in the magazines or Internet! Do you sometimes think you don't have the right to ask certain questions, or maybe don't have the gumption that day? If so please, ASK AWAY....

It's no secret that I have an incredible partner in designing heaven with Martha Andrews! I knew the moment I contacted her that she would take time out of her busy schedule to be our first post. We value her opinion, honesty and ridiculous talent more than I can articulate which is why we're presenting her to you today.
What do you believe is the most important aspect when choosing a florist?
When selecting your florist, the most important factor, like any relationship, is trust. It is very easy for a bride to get caught up in a flower she loves and focus all her decor thoughts on that. She should actually keep her thoughts on the big picture. Let your florist know about that flower then, after careful interviewing, trust that her florist will create the look she loves.

I want a specific flower, why can't I have it?
Mother Nature is fickle and the one flower you love just might not cooperate with your wedding date. If you can find a designer that you can trust to capture you and your vision, even though that flower might not be there day of, the look and feel that you get from that flower will!

I want to get the most out of my consultation with my florist. What should I do to prepare?
I tell my brides to come in with pictures, inspiration pieces, i.e. Grandma's broach, a wooden box they found at a tag sale, a piece of glass from Italy, etc....Anything that helps convey what you want to see on your wedding day. All these items help me get a feel for who the bride is and what look she loves. Also be sure to bring a photo of your dress. I always start with the dress. In many ways it is the centerpiece of the wedding and really the starting point of the brides style.

What happens when I don't have a vision in my head, but I know what I like and don't like?
Often my brides will come in and tell me, "I really don't know what I like, or there is SO much that I like," but once we start talking, lay out all of the pictures they have brought, often a vision comes out. They will see they really do have a theme, they just needed some guidance to see it.
Another thing I ask my bride is to give me a sentence or a phrase to convey the theme of their day, i.e. rustic charm, vintage chic, classic modern, down home comfy...catch words that again convey what they like to feel on their wedding day. From there I can begin to create and this is where the trust comes in. A bride needs to meet with a few florists and choose the one that "gets them." Then, as hard as it may be, let it go and trust their designer to bring to life their vision.

Time after time I hear, "that's exactly what I wanted only better!" or "you really got ME!" This is what you want to hear as a designer.
Final Tips:
When picking your venue, keep your total budget in mind. You may find a gorgeous venue, but if it eats up too much of your budget you won't have enough left over to adorn it. If you spend too much on your venue and leave nothing for your decor you are left with a sterile wedding. Nothing says "this is us" more than your big day. It's better to choose a less expensive venue that leaves you plenty of room for decor. It will look so much better, finished, and like your own!

Keep in mind the floral budget should be 10-15% of your total budget. Allow more if you would like to see lighting or draping. Remember it's all in the details. Details speak volumes and really polish your event!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


{ Dress by JJ Park }

{Givenchy Wrinkled Corset tote }

{ Christian Louboutin }

Do I need these? DEBATABLE. Do I really really really want it? YES. No secret here that I am a fan of pink, all shades of pink, all hues, and glorious tones of pink. I was actually putting an inspiration board together for one of our clients and got a little, ehem, sidetracked.

Ahhh, a girl can dream. Or hope that The Deputy is reading today....

Monday, November 9, 2009

{ ETSY FIND } Pine Cove Cabin

Wow, this custom lace bridal shrug blew me away when I first laid eyes on it! Handmade by Pine Cove Cabin, aka Colleen Raney is also a gifted musician! You must have a peek.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

{ OUT OF THE OFFICE } Time to Breathe.....

{ The girls and I a few years back. We've come a long way! One of my all time favorite pictures }

This past wedding season has been, in a word, incredible. I don't mean sort of incredible, I mean downright incredible. So with all the hard work behind us for a couple months, the girls and I are taking a MUCH needed mini-vacation to Lake Tahoe. We will be relaxing, sitting, breathing.....

No doubt we will have files in-hand, Blackberry's at the ready, and laptops charged. Some event planners, present company included, use this time to head to San Francisco, New York or the Mid-West for inspiration. I can honestly say, these ladies give me inspiration every week of every month so there will be no shortage this weekend. I promise to finally get up more wedding gallery's on the website as well!

Until then, we are off for some very past due calmness! See you on 11. 9. 09

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


We are so excited that our gorgeous bride Karen was selected as the San Francisco Style Unveiled's very first "Bride in the City." These two hold a special place in my heart as they must be one of my sweetest, most-in-love, gorgeous, amazing couples ever! Seriously, they are.
Head on over to see the full post here. Cheers to Karen + Gabe. Smokin' hot!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

{ POM + COSMOS } Sneak Peak

We cannot WAIT to show you the amazing images from Pom + Cosmos's wedding. Scott Andrew did a fabulous job capturing their intimate, glamorous and incredibly chic wedding.
More in a few days...we've given "blogging rights" to one of our favorite blogs so I can't spoil the fun.... I can say this wedding was an absolute dream to work on.
My fabulous ladies Jennifer and Christina knocked this one out of the park. And thanks again Scott, you make us look good!


{Photos courtesy of Penny Sylvia }

We had so much fun putting together Ava's 5th birthday party a couple weeks back. Here are a few shots of her adorable day. It was such a blast creating her invitations, building her mason jar party favors and watching the kids in birthday bliss!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

{ SABRINA + CORY } Granite Bay, CA

There are so many reasons I was excited about this wedding! When Sabrina and Cory hired us to plan their Granite Bay Country Club wedding I knew she and I would have a blast with the planning process. She was a fabulous bride!

Over 80% of our weddings this year were outside of Sacramento, so we were really excited to be working with so many wonderful local vendors. Katie Edwards of Ambience Floral Design created Sabrina's perfect centerpieces and bouquets. Katie's staff were fantastic! My favorite stylists Amy Branum of Glow Esthetics and Tiffiny Tredinnick of Mane Attractions had Sabrina looking gorgeous! Brandon and Kami of Sound Image Entertainment did a fabulous job entertaining the eclectic crowd, I absolutely love working with those two! Of course Stephanie Cooley of Stephanie J Designs knocked it out of the park with the gorgeous gorgeous menus, place cards and programs. Steph you are fabulous! Last but not least, Richard Siegel has got to be the most genuine, wonderful person I have met in a LONG time! He and Lee were such a joy to work with and even weighed in on some last minute "round table decisions!"
Cheers Sabrina and Cory, it was an honor working with you this past year.

Friday, October 16, 2009



We love when our gorgeous couples are featured and others in the industry acknowledge all the love, time and effort we put into each and every event. Thank you Rebecca + Ryan for being such an amazing couple...Cheers!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Can we just step back into the 1920's? Just for a few weeks? I am so in love with our new find, Stephanie Browne. Gorgeous is an understatement! Stephanie's collection of hair pieces, head bands, earrings are just phenomenal. Inspired by the 1920's showgirl, Stephanie uses flawless crystals, pearls, feathers for her one of a kind pieces.
Simply stunning.