Kaella Lynn Events - Event Planning and Design

Kaella Lynn Events is an event planning and design boutique in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Styling: Custom Invitation Suites

“One never gets a second chance to make a first impression” – we’ve been hearing this mantra for years, always reminding us to dress up for a meeting or carefully consider your hostess gift for an event, making sure its just right. But what about your wedding? How do you take to set the right mood and tonality from the very beginning? And how do you convey your own personal style and brand as a couple to your guests, letting them know what to expect? In some ways, you’re letting them in on your love story: giving them a peek behind the curtain of what makes your union special, and why they should come celebrate with the two of you (outside of the obvious!).

Cue the custom paper suites! The first indication of your wedding and upcoming nuptials that any guest will receive is typically a save the date, and then an invitation. Even if you decide to put together a website, the paper goods begin ‘the conversation’ with your guests, and the website comes second to reinforce the information already conveyed (‘Black tie’, ‘Adults only’, ‘stay at the Four Seasons’, etc). When we, as planners and stylists, think about a wedding’s customization opportunities, the paper suite is a HUGE part of the puzzle – and it should be for you! Imagine a perfectly designed set of cards and stationary, both beautiful and functional, that is suited exactly to your taste and the mood of your wedding. Whether your event is garden formal, a beach getaway on a far off tropical shore, or an intimate gathering of friends and family in the forest, your paper goods should speak to who you are as a couple, and your unique event. There’s no better first impression than a customized invitation suite, and we’ve gathered ten of our favorites here that will have you RSVP’ing ‘YES’ instantly!

Kaella Lynn Events // Custom Paper Goods

Paper by Mon Voir // Photo by Kelly Sauer via Grey Likes Weddings

Kaella Lynn Events // Custom Paper Goods

Photo via Ruffled Blog

Kaella Lynn Events // Custom Paper Goods

Paper and Photo by Blue Magpie Invitations // via Style Me Pretty

Kaella Lynn Events // Custom Paper Goods

Paper by Smitten on Paper // Photo by KT Merry via Style Me Pretty


Autumn Engagement Shoot Inspiration

Kaella Lynn Events // Autumn Engagement Sesh InspoPhoto via Dylan and Sara Photography

The autumnal harvest is in full swing this month – and unless you’ve been living under a pile of leaves recently, fall is everywhere! We see it in shop windows and driving down the street, and as wedding planners, we love seeing the season make an appearance in small parts of a wedding design. What better place to start than with the photos you take to celebrate your engagement? Today, we’re dishing on our favorite fall engagement inspiration. The rules of thumb for a perfect autumn engagement session include incorporating nature in an organic fashion, staying away from overly posed or cheesy studio-like shots, and making the photos reflective of the couple’s style. From the foliage to the fashion, the overall mood of the collection of images should feel bold, deep, and warm – a perfect final hurrah before winter’s first chill. A lot of this will be handled behind the lens by your photographer, but don’t be afraid to speak up if you have strong feelings about the shoot. Not a big fan of buffalo plaid or leaf piles? You can choose to keep things golden and harvest-like by incorporating simple fall tones into your attire and choosing a backdrop that reflects your personality. Feeling adventurous? A hike through the trees or a canoe on the lake is a perfect opportunity for your photographer to capture all of the beauty of fall around you both, with your love and engagement at the forefront of the image. Whatever your preference, if you keep the focus on you and your fiancé(e), your photos are certain to come out beautifully.

Kaella Lynn Events // Autumn Engagement Sesh Inspo

Photo via Blogspot

Kaella Lynn Events // Autumn Engagement Sesh Inspo

Photo by Austin Gros // Via Oncewed

Wedding Venue Series: Classic San Francisco Venues

Rich with history and a classic style all its own, San Francisco plays host to a number of great urban wedding venues, and has for decades! The city is also full of limitless entertainment and dining options for your guests, and has an iconic history behind it that lends perfectly to bespoke events. Have guests flying in from out of town? Multiple local airports and hotel options are also a bonus in the city.  If you grew up here, perhaps booking an SF city wedding is a nod to your childhood. Or perhaps you hail from a more rustic locale, and are looking for an urban wedding with lots of history behind it. Whatever the case, the architecture and detail that are part of San Francisco’s history make a perfect backdrop for your big day (fog optional). Check out our favorite iconic venues around the city 7×7 –  which one is your favorite?

1. The Legion of Honor

Originally opened in 1921, the Legion of Honor is a smaller replica of the Hôtel de Salm in Paris, and was a gift of the Spreckels’ family (sugar magnate and horse breeder) to the city of San Francisco. A huge colonnade, open plaza, and structured rotunda are home to some of the most famous European artworks of all time. The museum houses paintings, sculptures, and artworks spanning more than 6,000 years of history, and is famous for playing host to Pierre Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ in its front plaza. Couples are welcome to say ‘I-do’ in the plaza, or on the front lawn with sprawling views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Presidio. Dinner and dancing are hosted indoors, where guests are free to mingle with sculptures and paintings in the galleries, as well as dine under the rotunda. Weddings at the Legion are an immersive experience in classical art and San Francisco culture, and are truly unforgettable.


2. The Fairmont, San Francisco

Perched high atop the highest point of Nob Hill and originally named after Senator James Graham Fair, the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco is as classic as a foggy morning in the city. Built ornately and intended to stand out on the hill, the structure features sprawling stone colonnades and flags of the world above its classic black awnings. Although the original structure was almost leveled by the 1906 Earthquake, the Fairmont still stands today as one of the oldest and most luxurious hotels in the city. Whether you prefer a church ceremony across the street at the Cathedral (not affiliated), or a reception in the lavish ballroom or exclusive penthouse, the Fairmont’s ample entertaining venues provide a glorious context for your city wedding. 


3. San Francisco City Hall

Having officially re-opened as the local seat of government in 1915 after the catastrophic 1906 earthquake, the SF City Hall building has stood as a monument of the city for last 100 years. Built in the Beaux-arts style, the building epitomized the high-minded ‘American Renaissance’ of the early 20th century, and continues to dazzle visitors and locals alike with its beautiful facade. The dome on the building is the fifth largest in the world, and the structure is now comfortably seated in the heart of the city’s civic center plaza.  San Franciscan’s will note that the evening lighting on the building reflects the current happenings in the Bay Area – whether that be a Giants’ baseball victory or the Fourth of July. A wedding at City Hall, whether a small scale elopement or full affair, is guaranteed to be classic and glamorous, like the building itself.


4. The San Francisco Ferry Building

Built in the Beaux-Arts architectural style in 1898, the Ferry Building that once served a major port and transit terminal has been adapted in the 20th century to serve as office space, a market hall, and an enduring modern ferry terminal. Events at the property are managed exclusively by the great Paula LeDuc, and are resplendent in the great nave area, no matter the occasion. The background of the venue setting is the San Francisco Bay, and boasts views of Treasure Island, the Bay Bridge, and Oakland/Berkeley. Wanting a nautical vibe at your event? The docks on the water are the perfect setting for sunset photos or happy hour cocktails.

Kaella Lynn Events: Classic SF Wedding Venues

San Francisco Ferry Building

Kaella Lynn Events: Classic SF Wedding Venues

A view of the Nave


5. The James Leary Flood Mansion

Sitting high atop the crest of Pacific Heights, Flood Mansion is a historic mansion built of marble in 1915. During the week, Flood Mansion houses Sacred Heart SF (a private Catholic girls school), and on the weekend can be rented out for private events and weddings searching for San Francisco Splendor. You will not find a view better than that of Flood Mansion, and the classic architectural characteristics and property lend themselves perfectly to a formal event in a glamorous setting. Looking for classic splendor, but not interested in the congestion of downtown? This property is located off the beaten path in a residential area that boasts views of the Presidio, Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco Bay.

Kaella Lynn Events: Classic SF Wedding Venues

Photo via Style Me Pretty

Kaella Lynn Events: Classic SF Wedding Venues

Photo via Flood Mansion

5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

When you think about your upcoming wedding day, what single element do you expect to have the largest impact on the outcome? Over the years, we’ve seen weddings that fall all over the spectrum: and we’re confident in asserting that choosing the right vendors (for your location, budget, look+feel, and aesthetic) is the single determining factor in how a wedding turns out. Fabulous vendors can take an average wedding design and elevate it to be spectacular – while issues with poorly chosen vendors can drag down even the most perfectly planned event. “Vendors” here is a broad category, but should encompass all of the people you choose to plan, orchestrate, set up, run, and break down the physical elements of your wedding. Some of the most important vendors to your wedding day include your planner or coordinator, caterer, photographer or videographer, florist, musicians or DJ, rentals company, and venue staff. Here are our top 5 tips on choosing fantastic ones:

5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

Photo by Jose Villa

1. Start with your venue

Your venue is a perfect place to start with selection, since it will be the backdrop to the entire affair. Many people choose to host their ceremony and reception at two different sites, and others opt to have both portions of the wedding day take place in the same spot. Whichever you choose, be sure to ask a lot of questions of your venue regarding details like charges and fees outside of the main site fee, power accessibility, restrooms, onsite kitchen accessibility, parking, etc. Do they include an onsite coordinator to ensure that the day runs smoothly from the venue’s point of view? Be sure to get a very direct line of clear communication going with the venue representative quickly, so you can make an informed decision. Once you’ve selected a venue, be sure to ask about their ‘preferred vendor list’ (if they have one) – many times, it makes the most logistical sense to choose other vendors from their list, since they are tried and true, and will have experience working there.

2. Shop around, and ask for a few proposals: Options are good

Don’t feel the need to book the first florist you speak to: if you have concerns around ambiguous costs or uncertainties around her vision, ask for a proposal and compare it with other florists you have spoken with. Shopping around is healthy, and will ultimately help you match up with the perfect florist for you and your day. In addition, proposal comparisons will help you get a baseline understanding for how much your wedding florals should cost, based on your taste and requirements for the wedding day. If you find a vendor you cannot live without, however, don’t shop around: many vendors book up a year or more in advance, so if you can’t live without the photographer you just spoke with, book them as quickly as possible.  Most vendors will reserve your date with a signed agreement and paid deposit at the time of booking.

3. Understand creative value, and don’t over-negotiate

Nothing takes the wind out of a creative’s sails quite like an endless haggling negotiation over price. I’ve sat through a few consultations where the bridal party is less interested in creative vision, and purely interested in how low they can whittle our investment price for a given wedding package down. Don’t be that bride – your vendors are in creative professions because of their talent and passion. Many of us eat, sleep, and breathe weddings, purely for the beauty and creative potential that comes with each new client and booking. If you think a proposed price for a given service (such as an 8 hour photography package) is too high, ask about what’s included before asking for a discount. Perhaps this isn’t the right photographer for your needs, or maybe you could stand to go with a less inclusive package. Think of the services you’re paying for (floral set up, design creation AND execution, etc) as the highly specialized tasks that they are, and understand the inherent value in each one. If you have a set budget for each vendor, like a $2,000 floral budget, let the florist know ahead of time, so they can cater to your needs. Above all, never offend a vendor over her pricing: the industry is very small and tight knit, and it’s best to be honest by saying “I think you may be a bit out of our price range, but we love your work. Please let us know if you can point us in the direction of someone who may be closer to our budget.”

4. Specific Experience is key

If your caterer has never worked at your venue, and is unprepared, your wedding day is in for a wild ride. Similarly, if you select a hairdresser who does not have experience working with wedding timelines (even if they’re a world famous stylist!), you’re going to run into timing issues and possibly be late for your own ceremony. Specific experience working with both weddings and the venue you have selected should be two of your top qualification criteria for vendor selection. Experience working with the venue is invaluable, because a caterer who knows a property well can then properly instruct his serving staff on how things are done, as well as venue expectations. A planner who is familiar with a particular site or has worked there previously will know the in’s and out’s of a logistically challenging set up, or be able to point the photographer in the right direction when they’re searching for a photo opportunity. Past experience matters, and vendors who have it should be highly considered. If possible, work with your wedding planner to choose vendors who have worked with your venue and each other before, and have a positive track record of success with past weddings.

5. Go with your gut

This one is a little less about tangible elements of a vendor, and more about how you feel about them. Did you personally connect with your florist’s artistic vision, even though she’s slightly out of your price range? Did that world-famous photographer with a beautiful website seem snotty and stand offish in person, or make your fiancé slightly uncomfortable? Take these elements into consideration when making your selection. On your big day, you want to be surrounded by an exceptional team behind the scenes, making the day spectacular and making you feel comfortable and happy. The peace of mind that comes with booking vendors that you actually like and want to work with is priceless.


Autumnal Wedding Inspiration: Jewel Tones

There’s nothing quite like a change in seasons to inspire the design of an event. The air gets crisper, the year draws closer to an end, and autumn is suddenly upon us: the perfect wedding background. Your fall soiree doesn’t have to be all leaves-and-harvest-inspired : instead, let rich color saturation be your guide. Plenty of beautiful autumnal weddings have been designed with not a caramel apple or plaid table runner in sight – the trick is to use color playfully, and stay away from stuffy traditional patterns. Not feeling the standard pumpkin and persimmon tones that linger everywhere from September through November? Try fall’s moodier alternative palette. Jewel tones are the perfect color boosters, because they’re timeless, and anchor the rest of your wedding design – not to mention, the photos! Wow! If you’re looking for impact and dimension, colors like emerald, sapphire, ruby, agate, and citrine will get you there. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite jewel toned inspirations below – what’s your favorite for a standout fall fête?

Design by Kaella Lynn Events // Photo by Jonathan Young Photography

Wedding Design by Kaella Lynn Events // Photo by Jonathan Young Photography

Design by Kaella Lynn Events // Photo by Jonathan Young Photography

Wedding Design by Kaella Lynn Events // Photo by Jonathan Young Photography

Kaella Lynn Events: Jewel Toned Wedding Inspiration

Photo by Justin DiMutiis Photography via Style Me Pretty