Tag Archives: san francisco wedding planner


iPhone sneak peek from a shoot I did this fall - a Ralph Lauren inspired tablescape

Happy 2011, all! So, I’ve been a very bad blogger for the past few months but I promise it’s with good reason. I’ve been insanely busy with some fabulous weddings, events, styled shoots, a big move, buying our first home AND renovating it – phew! The past few months have been an amazing journey, and I’m excited to announce that we are now officially settled in the Northern California Bay Area.

This move has been a long time coming; the hubby is from SF originally and we longed to move from the entertainment-industry centric city of Los Angeles to San Francisco for a few years now. To prepare, I started taking San Francisco and Napa wedding bookings two years ago and spent 30% of my time in NorCal and 70% in SoCal. Now that The Stylish Soiree is officially a San Francisco-based event planning and wedding design firm, I spend 70% of my time up here and 30% of my time catering to my fabulous Los Angeles and San Diego clientele. It’s been a whirlwind of a year and quite the transition, but I can honestly say I have never been happier. 🙂

With that said, I am still on the hunt for a perfect office space in Los Angeles, and in the meantime am meeting with clients wherever is most convenient for them. I do not charge travel fees for Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco or Napa events, and love planning long distance or destination weddings for clients. Plus, since I’m down in Southern California each and every month I still see my SoCal clients just as often as my NorCal clients – it’s a really great situation and I’m feeling super excited and blessed about how everything turned out.

Now that the holidays are over and we’re settling into our home, I promise to catch up on all the beautiful wedding design eye candy I haven’t posted on yet, as well as little glimpses into our own journey to home design and renovation. Thank you for all the readers who have stuck out the long dry spell – there are lots of pretty things in store coming your way for 2012.

Warm Wishes,

Yelena Johnson | Creative Director | The Stylish Soiree

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The Stylish Soiree Featured on San Francisco Style Unveiled

Today was an exciting day, as The Stylish Soiree was featured on San Francisco Style Unveiled! I’ve always loved Style Unveiled’s beautiful article layouts and the gorgeous San Francisco and Los Angeles weddings they feature, so I was thrilled when Meg Perotti told me they were going to run the story.

San Francisco Style Unveiled relies on interviewing the bride for the article, and I was so touched by bride Elle’s sweet words about my wedding planning services! Elle and Nima were such a joy to work with, and it didn’t hurt that I loved the other vendors involved in making their big day a success. I also have to thank the super talented Meg for referring me their way when Elle began to get overwhelmed in the planning process. And if you’re in San Francisco or the Bay Area and need catering, definitely check out Global Gourmet – their food really is that good. 🙂

Here is the sweet review Elle wrote about working with me as her wedding coordinator, but definitely click on over to Style Unveiled to see the rest of the gorgeous images from their wedding at the Bentley Reserve, and for more stylish wedding inspiration.

One reason it’s great to have a wedding planner is that we’re there to handle any problems or issues on the fly. In this wedding, for instance, Elle had a wonderful, albeit overzealous relative who really, really wanted to videotape Elle and Nima at their sweetheart table, as well as during their first dance – while less than a foot away from them, hehe.

I kindly invited him to take his seat during the dance, which he did. But, had I not stepped in, the photographer probably wouldn’t have been able to get great shots of Elle and Nima’s first dance – not to mention that they were feeling a bit uncomfortable about the up close video, and it would have looked kind of silly to the other guests as well. Also, after taking pictures all over the city, Elle’s dress had a 6 inch rip – but with my sewing kit in my emergency bag, my assistant and I were able to completely sew up the rip before the Grand Entrance and first dance, and in the end Elle’s dress looked like nothing had ever happened.

So, while it may be easy to discount the importance of a wedding planner since everything happens behind the scenes, sometimes the true value is in what you don’t see – the tear in a dress, the last minute change of place cards or tables, the stealthy cues to a DJ or band to avoid silence or awkward gaps in music (or a bride in the bathroom while the Grand Entrance in announced), rounding up a rowdy bridal party for pictures, repeatedly applying Blister Block to a bride’s feet so she can dance the night away comfortably, or gently persuading a loving uncle to take video from his seat instead of six inches away from the bride and groom.:)

Though I LOVE wedding design more than anything, working with my clients on the day of the wedding is my next favorite part of wedding planning – I love being the behind the scenes miracle worker who makes the day go smoothly, easily and joyfully for the bride and groom, and I’ve been lucky enough to be blessed with fabulous, warm and positive clients and families to work with. The End.

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Filed under Press, Wedding Planner Thoughts & Musings

Wedding Planning & More in 2010

So far 2010 has been so busy, exciting and full of life for  The Stylish Soiree that I’ve hardly had time to create new posts! Keep your eyes peeled for some top-secret but super stylish wedding photo shoots we’re working on that will be bursting with fashion & decor inspirations, as well as more tips on finding that dream dress while on a budget, and fabulous guest blog posts from wedding industry experts.

I honestly couldn’t be more excited for this year. If the past few weeks are any indication, 2010 is shaping up to be a year of intense momentum with lots of big, exciting projects & scintillating surprises in store. I’m so glad you are sticking with me, and I can’t wait to share the ride with all of you, my dear readers.  Stay tuned for stunning aesthetics!

Happy Planning & Warm Wishes,


*image by Rodney Smith

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Filed under Uncategorized, Wedding Planner Thoughts & Musings

Wedding Planning & Styling: Shopping for ‘The One’

The past week has been a flurry of wedding planning and styling fun at The Stylish Soiree, and I’m excited to finally have a moment to sit down and share it in a post. First, the ridiculously talented Meg Perotti, photographer extraordinaire, has hired me and honored me with planning her Northern California wedding in November 2010.  Meg has a killer eye for style and also loves the romantic, vintage wedding look that echoes my own wedding planning aesthetic, so it’s been rather like a bridal match made in heaven for me.  I accompanied her last week on a wedding dress shopping trip with visions of feminine, floaty dresses in our heads that would compliment her “Pride and Prejudice” meets “Anthropologie” style wedding.

On our hunt through some of the best hidden places in Los Angeles for finding the perfect wedding dress, Meg tried on everything from frothy a-line tulle confections to beaded lace wedding gowns with cap sleeves, and found the one.  “The One” not only fit the theme of the wedding to a T, it also fit and flattered Meg perfectly – seriously, it looked ten times better on her than it did on the mannequin. I’m under strict instructions not to divulge details of “The One”, but I’ve included Meg’s wedding dress inspiration board above to give you a taste of the style we were searching for. I’m so excited to continue planning her wedding, and can’t wait to see the elaborate vision we have come to life in November up in the Marin Headlands (just outside of San Francisco) – gorgeous venue, gorgeous bride, gorgeous style – how did I get so lucky?!

This Friday I’m styling another bride (Sara, who is having a modern Palm Springs wedding in March) for her engagement shoot this weekend with OC-based wedding photographers Allison & Kyle of Studio 28. I’m bringing my camera and fully intend to blog about it asap, as well as tips on wedding dress shopping and engagement shoot style –  so stay tuned!

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Filed under The Style Files, Vintage Romance, Wedding Fashion