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Shoes For Thought Thursday, Crazy About a Bow

Kate Spade



Oh Kate Spade how I love thee. Find this beauty here.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Happy Monday!

Today is an extra special day for me because I celebrate two anniversaries with two very important people in my life on October 8th.

Today marks six years for Heidi and I as business partners and the start of a wonderful journey of friendship, sisterhood, business, partnership, ups, downs, a baby, so many weddings I can’t even begin to count and so many more belly laughs, tears, hugs, dance parties, bottles of wine and well more laughs. We’ve been through the most amazing six years, I am so proud of how far we have come, how many beautiful memories we have helped create for people and how many wonderful friends we have made along the way.

K & H

Heidi and Karissa BPF’S!!!!!! “Business Partners Forever! ;-) photo by John Kammerling

Then there’s this guy and our seven year anniversary is today!

Karissa and Lyle's first Dance

Karissa and Lyle’s first Dance at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur photo by Craig Smith



I am also incredibly proud of my marriage to Lyle. We have  had so much fun, traveled all over riding crazy mountains and swimming in beautiful oceans, we built a beautiful life in Santa Cruz 12 years ago,  started creating a little family with our first babies Mingus and Sally then last year with sweet baby Miles. I am so lucky to be loved by Lyle and we are so lucky to be so in love. This man makes me laugh and keeps me entertained everyday.

As you can see, I have so much to celebrate on this day!  I am one lucky girl.




Celebrating Our Own Little Anniversary


Via Sarah Tucker


Later this week Karissa and I will be celebrating 6 years since we merged our two companies. While we have been doing this now for about 10 years, the 6 years we have done together have been the most amazing. We are both so proud of the company we have build, the amazing women who have been and are Couture Girls, The fabulous couples we have gotten down the aisle and the stunning parties we have thrown. We both feel blessed to do something we love for a living. We are two women with a passion who built this with sweat, tears, hard work and yes some fun. Happy Anniversary Coastside Couture! Excited for the fun to come!

Building a Rockin’ Vendor Team

Happy Monday!

I just finished up my last September wedding of this season on such a high note, I wanted to share the successes of it all.

As a Planner/Designer/Coordinator we wear so many hats, take on so many tasks and are there on so many levels for so many people involved in just one wedding. From the obvious -the Clients and their guests, to maybe the less obvious-the vendors, we do our best to make sure that everyone involved with the wedding has a smooth experience. Of course with some weddings this is a harder to achieve goal than others, but we truly strive to make sure our clients and families don’t have to stress on their big day. With that being said, we love when a wedding day so so amazingly well and that got me thinking (especially after this last weekend because it was so AWESOME thanks Katie and Tanner!!!!) “how come some days go better than others?”

I have concluded the following after looking at all my events from the past three years: it is the vendor team we put together.

When you have an amazing team, everything falls into place, we all work together to make sure to get the job done right and well. I am going to use this past Saturday’s wedding as an example.  I’ll start with one of our favorite DJ’s Jon of Belmont Entertainment helped us fold pashminas, straighten chairs  and make sure our dining area was set for detail pictures prior to guests arriving to the dining tables.  Amanda of Laughin’ Gal Floral built a special ceremony archway specifically for this Saturday three days prior to the event because she wanted to make sure it was exactly what the Bride and I had envisioned. She also came a day early to set it up and help me with draping it so we didn’t have to stress the day of the wedding.  Nancy, Ashley and Staff of Paradise Catering not only set the most beautiful tables, served excellent food and gave our guests amazing service but also helped at the last minute when we needed to order lunch for 30 people within the hour on the day of the wedding.  Bianca of M.U. A. H. kept me informed and in the loop on timing prior to my arrival with the girls getting ready, Edith Meyer came an hour early to make sure that I had time to go over (of the six beautiful cakes she made) what had what flavors and brought me her personal cake stands to use display. Dancing on Strings Trio went with the flow when there were some last minute in the middle of the ceremony changes by the “officiant” and helped to make  it look like everything that she did was purposeful ;-) Jo Ann Manolis and her awesome second shooter Patrick helped me late night moving a huge ladder so I could do my best to get breakdown finished in a timely manner since my rockstar assistant Darcy had to drive a couple of guests to the hospital (don’t worry they are ok!).  Britney from Chic Event Rentals, spent lots of time with me, playing with  beautiful material we used for the ceremony, helping me with the measurements and then the day before delivery she made sure I had exactly what I needed and explained which piece went to which structure. prior to delivery saving me time on having to figure it out on the actual day.  Kyle from Holman Ranch made sure throughout the day that if my team, one of our vendors or the guests needed anything, he was there for us. And SO MUCH MORE!

I know that was a big example but the point is, these fantastic people helped to make the day go so much smoother, our clients enjoyed a wonderful wedding, and there wasn’t much stress surrounding the entire event.

When you allow your planner to build a great team of trusted vendors, you can relax knowing that everyone will work well together. When your planner hires local vendors who have worked together, they become your very own All Star Team, who are going to work hard for you to make sure your day is all that you wanted and dreamed!

Thanks to all the rockstar vendors I had the pleasure of working with this past weekend! You guys make my job go so much more smoothly and you make me look good! Thank you love you!


An Open Letter to “The Band”

Happy Monday!

We have had a couple of awesome weddings with bands as opposed to DJs recently, which is always so great for guests and couples to get the party really rockin’ but with great live music comes more things to consider. Please note, close to my entire family is some kind of musician (I am actually the only one that isn’t). I love live music, I had a band at my wedding, live music is THE BEST!!!! Please keep this in mind when you read the next paragraph.

Dear {insert name here} Band,

Please do not do the following at one of our events:

Bring more than your guaranteed amount of vendors/groupies/set up assistants

Eat all of the vendor food prior to going on, there are most likely other vendors who have been there all day that need to eat too

We are a team and vendors typically try to take care of each other.

Thank you!





Thank you.

Coastside Couture

Bathroom Baskets!


Hi Everyone! We are starting a new blog series around here where will talk about different ideas and special touches you can add to your wedding day.  Today’s bright idea is- Bathroom Baskets! Bathroom baskets are baskets (or any container you please) filled with toiletries and amenities to place in the restrooms located on your venue’s property. Things to include are: soap, lotion, hand sanitizer, mints, mouth wash, those awesome mini disposable tooth brushes, gum,toothpicks, hair spray, spray deodorant, body spray, bobby pins, hair ties, bandaids, Bandaid Friction Block ( I swear by this stuff),  chapstick, shout wipes or tide pens, eye drops,feminine products tums, Advil, etc…. basically buy one of everything from your local drug store travel aisle :) These items will allow your guests to freshen up with some great amenities, and keep them partying until the end of the night.  To store all these goodies, you can pick up a really cute basket at Ross, Marshal’s, Target, or even the the Dollar Store! Guests will love it, and they will really appreciate the extra step you took for their own comfort!

Kristen and Tyler, A Holman Ranch Pastel Palette

Happy Thursday!

I thought it would be a great #TBT to  show off this fantastic, romantic and sweet wedding we had the pleasure of working on in 2012 with our darling friend Meg Perotti at Holman Ranch

Kristen and Tyler are about as nice as you can get in a couple. Those  two are  funny, cute and thoughtful to boot!


Darling Flower girl with a Flower Crown at Holman Ranch

Meg Perotti captures the beautiful wedding gown

Meg Perotti captures the beautiful wedding gown

Darling Bridesmaids in robin blue dresses 


Beautiful Bouquet with local in season flowers

Frandsen_Monroe_MegPerottiPhotographer_0509KTwed_0_low (1)

Stunning Bridal party at Holman Ranch


The Bride and Groom handmade each bird house for the reception table numbers


Lush lemon garland hangs from the welcome beverage station


June Wedding Ceremony at Holman Ranch


Beautiful wedding ceremony site at Holman Ranch


Butterfly Ceremony at Holman Ranch

Butterfly Ceremony at Holman Ranch



Dining on the main plaza at Holman Ranch



Cocktail Lounges set up in Rose Patio


Lanterns hung in the tree at Holman Ranch by Chic Event Rentals


Romantic cake with fresh flowers



Sweet Kristen and Tyler



Reception lighting on carriage house lawn

S'mores at Holman Ranch

S’mores at Holman Ranch

 Excellent Vendor Team:

Venue- Holman Ranch

Floral-The late and great Linda Arietta of Country Essences

Planning- Coastside Couture

Lighting and Rentals- Chic Event Rentals

Cake- Not Just Cheesecakes

Catering- Paradise Catering

Ceremony Music-Fred McCarthy for Kelly Productions

Live Music-Notorious for Jay Siegan Events

Videography: Thomas Hughes Films

Hair and Make Up- Shawn Cavalan Beauty Co. 

Bridesmaid Dresses: by Carol Hannah

Bride’s Dress: Anne Barge

What is up with that signature? #beagoodhuman

Hello Happy Wednesday!

I’ve been getting a lot of awesome comments about my updated email signature lately:

*Please note, I do my best to return emails and calls as quickly as I can. Your time and event is important to me. In order to take the best care of you, the business and my family, I may not be on my phone or computer 24/7. Weekends I am typically at an event or spending time with my family. I will get back to you as soon as I am back in the office.Thank you for your patience and understanding.  I may be a super hero but I am also a mom, wife, friend, daughter, and human being.. …

So here it is. In our industry it’s been a standard that we work 24/7 all day everyday no matter what you drop everything. Well Heidi and I absolutely LOVE our business, Coastside Couture is our baby and it’s a huge priority in our lives, ask the countless friends and family we have.   We would like to start a new trend in the industry that is making time for our families too.

We spend so much time helping people create the day that begins their lives as a family together, we needed to step back and take a look at our own lives and nurture our wonderful families as well.

This certainly does not mean that our clients are not a priority, it just means that we are family people too and we could not be where we are today without those amazing people. It means, that we may take a weekend off if we don’t have a wedding or not answer our emails after 5pm at night so we can sit down with our husband and kids. It might mean we take an extra hour to work out or call our Moms who live far away from us, hey we might even try to take a nap every now and then. We are human and man it’s tough being a super human.  ;-)

So here’s to being  a good mom, wife, friend, daughter and human being!



Inspire Smart Success Riviera Cancun!

Isse Riviera Cancun

Isse Riviera Cancun

It’s 100 days until ISSE Riviera Mexico and if you haven’t gotten your tickets, you need to! This year is going to be even more over the top than ever. With an amazing speaker line up (Hello Amy Atlas, Nikki Kahn, Youngson Martin and so many more!!!!!!!!!)

Go to the registration page to reserve your spot now. This is an incredible event and so inspiring! Go do it now!!!!!!!!!