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Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Catriona McGinn in Santa Ynez

Love the spread Inside Weddings did on our recent wedding of Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Catriona McGinn. I could not have asked for a more beautiful setting than the Santa Ynez Valley -- and a more beautiful couple (both inside and out!)

The wedding took place at the stunning Villa at Sunstone. We had so much fun combining Mark-Paul and Catriona's classic taste with special design elements -- such as nods to Catriona's Scottish heritage, and nods to the Santa Ynez Valley. Mixing lavender with tartan plaids was a new concept for me -- but sooo fun! We had petal toss bags made out of a gorgeous plaid and filled them with grape leaves for tossing. For the welcome gifts, we sourced a delicious local olive oil and gave each guest a bottle of oil adorned with a sprig of lavender. We tied on their welcome note which had a beautiful water-colored image of the Sunstone Villa. The escort cards were placed in linen wrapped boxes filled with lavender. Such a cool backdrop for the escort cards -- and smelled great too!

One of my favorite moments was Catriona's bridal entrance. As she walked down the aisle, a bagpiper began playing inside the Villa and emerged from the balcony. AMAZING! Gives me chills to even write about it.

Here are a couple of sneak peak photos!


For more eye candy -- check out the full article on stands now!



photos by Elizabeth Messina


Riviera Maya Rehearsal Dinner (a.k.a. Outstanding in the Mangrove!) 

Dinner tables at an event are like the hearth of a home -- they are where people gather around to enjoy candlelit dinners, share enchanting conversations, visit with lifelong friends, and well, just savor everything about the night!

One of my all time favorite table designs comes from our rehearsal dinner at the Rosewood Myakoba, located along the Mayan Riviera. I had always wanted to do one long table for an event, and at this wedding, there were 80 guests, so it was meant to be. We created a 48 inch wide by 80 foot long table for the dinner. My "rustic" Mexican chairs that I had built years ago matched the style of the tables perfectly. From there - we went to town with the settings. The loooooong table made such a great canvas for the table design! Mindy used native mangrove foliage to create the centerpieces, and flanked the centerpieces with candles in glass hurricanes. We used beautiful dark woven seagrass chargers and a diaphanous naturally woven linen overlay on the tables. I found my amazing menu calligrapher on a street corner! Literally, we met at a taco stand outside of Guadalajara and started chatting. It turned out he had done calligraphy for one of the local hotels where I was a guest. I had seen his work in the hotel and took photos to add to my inspiration file. It was so serendipitous to meet him! So, as the saying goes, Be Kind to Strangers, they might make excellent calligraphers. Well, anyway...

If you look closely in the photos, you can see the elements of which I speak. Once the guests arrived, the event unfolded just as I had envisioned... delicious dinner, candlelit conversations, friendship and romance in the air... It was a night to remember.

 Myakoba Wedding

xoxo, Lisa

All Tied Up with Ribbons!

Velvet, Dupioni, Hand-dyed silk, Double-faced satin, Waxed twine... so many options, so many colors, so many widths!

Check out this quick spot on THEO where I pull my favorite ribbons carried on, and give tips on how to incorporate them into your parties and events.




BIG news today! I am delighted to announce my partnership with THEO Boutique – A secret in the industry for awhile, now going public, THEO Boutique is one stop shopping for all things beautiful in the event planning world!

I will be working with THEO as their Creative Director to help build inventory and share my finds from around the world. We'll be doing online tutorials and snippets from me at events, so check out their blog to see me in action!

Happy shopping!


THEO Boutique


Happy New Year, Happy New Name!

I can't believe we're a month in to 2013! I had so many wonderful experiences in 2012. I hope you did too!

I wanted to share some news with you. Oh, How Charming! is transitioning to a new name: Lisa Vorce Event Design & Production. The old moniker was great, but so many people ask for me by name, I've decided to embrace it! So, hello world, I'm Lisa Vorce Event Design & Production!

2013 is off to a wonderfully busy start. I've already completed a fiesta fabuloso in the beautiful Riviera Maya. I did some reconnaissance in breathtaking Sedona, Arizona. And, I just returned from the mighty NYC. My husband James joined me, so I was able to mix business with pleasure. What a treat!

Every time I'm in New York, I have to visit my most favorite haunts. I hit Bergdorf's (where I ran into some former clients!), I walked through Central Park with my hubby, and I bought the most delectable macaroons at La Ladurée. (Fleur de Sel Caramel is the best!)

Here I am in Bergdorf Goodman, with the lovely Grodnick family! From left to right, Mrs. Joy Grodnick, Meryl (whose wedding we did at the Ojai Valley Inn), myself, and Leah – a future client! We did Abby's wedding (not pictured) in Beaver Creek last January. Her wedding will be showcased in Martha Stewart Weddings shortly. Joy was visiting from Alabama for Leah's birthday. I think it's amazing with the millions of people in NYC that I ran into them! They are truly SO dear to me.

Lisa Vorce with Clients



Recommended Reading

So happy for my dear friend Abby and the release of her beautiful book Style Me Pretty Weddings today! Abby and her team did such a beautiful job on the book. Tons of inspiration, helpful tidbits, and visual delights!
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I was flattered when Abby asked me to design some tables for the book. It's such a joy every time I collaborate with Abby. She’s not only a brilliant business woman, but she is one of the kindest, most genuine, down-to-earth women I know! If you didn’t already pre-order your book… go run out and get one NOW!

In the meantime - here’s Abby's post from Style Me Pretty offering a peek of one of our tables designed for the book -- a little glam to brighten up your day! Our talented collaborators included:

Photos: Jose Villa (
Paperie: Mr. Boddingtons (
Cake: Sweet & Saucy (
Flowers: FlowerWild (
Venue: Carondelet House (
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals (
Linens: La Tavola (

Happy Reading!

Hei, og Takk!

That's hello and thank you in Norwegian. Hello and thank you to my favorite Norwegian follower who kindly requested that I get back on the blog wagon. You kicked my rear into gear! I've circled the globe since I last blogged -- Mexico, St. Barthes, Vietnam, Spain, Palm Springs, Telluride, Bali, Tennessee, Santa Ynez.... So many experiences and such stunning locations for events!! I've added new images in the Event Gallery so you can follow along. Oh, and I've fallen in love with Instagram, so you can follow me (LisaVorce) on instagram to see more candid shots of our events and my travels. Stay tuned for more blog posts, press and news! I'll leave you with one of my favorite personal photos -- my team. Of course, I couldn't do what I do without their hard work. Here is some of my team on location at a recent event in Bali, Indonesia.

(That's the only other word I know in Norwegian!)

Lisa Vorce and team in Bali


Breathtaking Bali!

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Ok…talk about a life changing experience! It all happened for me in beautiful, beautiful Bali!

I’m not really an island girl, but Bali stole my heart.

Our clients Ben & Sherry live in Hong Kong and wanted a destination wedding, and Bali was their locale of choice. Ben is the brother of one of my former clients. I was so delighted to get the call from his fiancé Sherry as I love doing multiple events for the same family. Always so fun to reconnect with the family and the guests.

I met with Ben and Sherry while they were visiting CA for the holidays….and was presented with two big challenges…

Challenge #1: Although Bali was the destination of choice, Sherry didn’t want anything too colorful, too Balinese, or pretty much anything tropical at all!
Challenge #2: Sherry is severely allergic to the sun. Like…breaks-out-in-intense-rashes allergic.

Hmmmm… ok. No problem. A non-Balinese wedding in Bali….(in the shade)!

As you know, I love design challenges…so we took this one on full force. We had only a short time to plan this wedding, and could only do 1 site visit. Mindy and I were scheduled for a 3-day site visit (that would be 3 actual work days + 22 hours of flying each way!). The plan was to do some rapid planning, sourcing, and designing in those three days and then meet with Ben and Sherry in Hong Kong on our way back from Bali and present the entire design to them. Yikes. No pressure what-so-ever!

Bali Destination Wedding (Shopping in Denpasar for floral vessels. Photo by Aaron Delesie)

Ben & Sherry had selected the amazingly beautiful Amanusa Resort for their wedding celebration, and had selected a hip restaurant in Jimbaran as their rehearsal dinner location. So the locations were done – we just needed to view the locations and design each event for them.

So…off we went to Bali! Within only a few hours of landing and shopping in the local markets, Mindy and I knew instantly that Capiz was destined to come to the wedding. When we work on destination weddings, our first priority is to figure out what is indigenous to the area, and more importantly what the local artisans can produce for us. The capiz products from Bali are stunning and we knew using capiz as a décor foundation would give Sherry that romantic (and non-tropical) feeling she was after.

Bali Destination Wedding (Photos by Aaron Delesie)

Our design included custom capiz chargers, all capiz vessels for Mindy’s florals, and the pièce de résistance…. a giant capiz wall as the backdrop for Sherry and Ben’s nuptials. We also incidentally later found a source to make church pews for us for the ceremony. So…the finished design included…church pews, the capiz backdrop, and capiz chandeliers flanking the “altar”. Unbelievable!

Within our short 3 days, Mindy and I had mapped out the entire design, figured out our sources, and were ready to head over to Hong Kong.

One thing was unsettling to us though…it was a tad heartbreaking for us to do an event in Bali without doing something traditionally “Balinese”. We absolutely loved our wedding day design and we knew Sherry and Ben would love it too. But…we didn’t love the idea of having everyone fly over to Bali and go to a restaurant for the rehearsal dinner.

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As we flew from Bali to Hong Kong to meet with Sherry and Ben – Mindy and I prepped and designed an entire traditional Indonesian BBQ as a potential rehearsal dinner option for them. While in Bali – we spent a whole day in downtown Denpasar at the gorgeous, gorgeous markets and found the most extraordinary produce, florals, pottery, and vessels for a traditional Balinese rehearsal dinner. Our only challenge now was to convince Sherry and Ben that this would be so much more enjoyable and memorable for their guests than just going to a restaurant. We were armed with the most extraordinary photos from downtown Denpasar…so we were certain we could convince them.

And…SUCCESS!! Sherry and Ben loved the idea and gave us the green-light to pull the plug on the restaurant rehearsal dinner and move it over to the beach for a BBQ. Sherry was perfectly content to have a traditional Balinese BBQ as their rehearsal dinner since we were giving her a beautifully romantic and ethereal (and non-tropical) wedding. Mindy and I could not have been happier! And…don’t worry…I set the timing of the event to start just a few minutes before sunset…so Sherry was perfectly fine to be out on the beach for this event!

The wedding and the rehearsal dinner were unbelievably gorgeous! And we are so grateful to Sherry and Ben for letting us do our thing. They had a tremendous amount of faith in us and we knew we wouldn’t let them down! Check out Aaron Delesie’s photos in my gallery under “Breaktaking Bali” and “Indonesian BBQ”. Both the wedding and the rehearsal dinner were featured in Town & Country Weddings, which you can view in my press gallery. The spread looks fabulous.

(Video about Balinese rain stoppers)

And…as an added bonus of our Balinese adventure… Warmana – the Reiki master at the resort singled me out (perhaps I had a little too much “energy” as I was buzzing around at this event??) and gave me private Reiki lessons. As an event planner – Reiki is invaluable. Warmana ended up initiating me in First Degree Reiki, which is a huge honor. He has initiated 700 people worldwide, and I am number 701.

(Photos by Aaron Delesie)

Site Visit – San Sebastian, Spain!

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Ahhhh…the Basque country. Talk about old school European charm. I loooooove San Sebastian. THANK YOU to our clients for choosing San Sebastian to celebrate their nuptials! I’ve been inspired by yet another amazing location!

I’ve been to Spain many times, but never to San Sebastian. I love working in new places. New locations mean new design challenges, new artisans, new inspirations, and another new culture to appreciate and understand (oh… and more new food and new drinks to try!).

The fabulous Mindy Rice joined me for this site visit. She is one of my favorite travel partners….not only because she is one of the most talented women I know, and one of the funniest women I know…but mainly because she will eat and drink ANYTHING! We have a blast sampling the local cuisine and the local libations together. San Sebastian is home to a high concentration of restaurants boasting Michelin stars – so what better place for a gastronomic adventure?

Our mission for this site visit was to find specific locations for our client's rehearsal dinner, their ceremony, and their wedding dinner reception. From the moment we stepped foot in the “Parte Vieja” (old part) in San Sebastian, we knew a “pintxos” tour was a must for our client's guests. Pintxos are essentially the Basque version of tapas, and in San Sebastian, you basically belly up to the Pintxos bars, enjoy a few, then head on to the next bar. So - rather than doing a traditional seated rehearsal dinner, we will be giving our client's guests an authentic taste of San Sebastian by doing a Pintxos tour. Delightful!

On the pintxos tour, we’ll also make sure the guests are able to sample the traditional libations of San Sebastian as well….Basque cider, Txakoli (Basque wine), and my all time favorite….Patxaran. Our darling Basque friend Fernando turned us on to Patxaran which is a delicious liquor made from soaking sloe berries, a few coffee beans, and a vanilla pod in anisette. You sip it chilled after a full pintxos meal and it is the most delicious digestif. I may have accidentally brought a bottle (or three) home for myself!

For the nuptials, we selected a gorgeous Basilica. It goes without saying that the churches and basilicas in San Sebastian are mind blowing. I get chills every time I walk through the church doors, and I can already picture the groom's face as his bride walks through the Basilica doors and down the aisle towards him. A-ma-zing.

San Sebastian Spain Destination Wedding (Images from Mindy and my 16 mile walk to Getaria)

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The dinner reception will be held in a historic Gastronomic Society. Gastronomic Societies are in institution unique to the Basque country, and particularly to San Sebastian. Historically, they were a place where men would gather to cook, eat, drink and discuss all things related to cooking, eating, and drinking! It wasn’t until recently that women have been allowed to join as well. Our local connections pulled some major strings to get us access to the Gastronomic Society and we are sooooo grateful to them! This will be the first wedding hosted in this particular gastronomic society, and I can’t believe they got us in.

My absolute favorite part of the site visit was the day trip Mindy and I took to Getaria (a small fishing village just outside San Sebastian). We were looking at Getaria in hopes that it would work for a small day excursing for our client's guests. It ended up being too far to be practical for a day trip…but holy cow…I’m so happy Mindy and I got to experience it. The town is straight out of a storybook, and is the birth place of many famous commanders in the Spanish Armada, as well as many famous Spanish explorers.

(Gorgeous La Concha bay in San Sebastion)

An incredible journey and yet another incredible learning experience! This wedding is coming up in May – so stay tuned for more photos after the wedding!


Vamos a Zacatecas!

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On the plane back from a kamikaze 48 hour site visit in Zacatecas, Mexico!  I LOVE it down there and am so excited for this event in June.  I really needed about 5 days in Zacatecas, but had to make everything happen in 2 days.... not a problem, just had to work harder and think smarter!

When traveling to Mexico, I never leave home without the fabulous Lewis Barker. He was born and raised in Guadalajara, and in addition to being a brilliant lighting and set designer, he is the most extraordinary tour guide in Mexico! Lewis can strike up a conversation with anyone and he has this magic way of getting people to say yes when they say no to everyone else. He has gained us access to some extraordinary locations in Mexico and is always able to get us out of “situations” that occur while traveling in Mexico (ummmm…yah…kind of like the time we got pulled over by the Federales on our way from Puerto Vallarta to Costa Careyes with $7000 of alcohol in our car. We purchased the alcohol for one of our client’s events. Nothing illegal…we just didn’t have the right paperwork – but had Lewis not been there, I was certain I would have ended up in a Mexican prison!).

So….off we go to Zacatecas! Lewis and I took a red-eye from LAX, landed at 7:00 am in Zac City and literally worked non-stop until we boarded the plane back for LA. Was exhausting and exhilarating all in one.  One of the most efficient site visits we’ve done. Amazing what you can make happen when you are pressed for time! It was the “quick fire” challenge of site visits!
Zacatecas Wedding background (The beautiful monastery ruins will provide the backdrop for our ceremony)

We had 3 formal menu tastings to complete during this site visit (no complaints from me or from Lewis on this!). We packed in the food in between sourcing vendors and locations for Regina and Zaheen’s events, and everything was incredible.

This event is coming up in June. I know I say this about every event – but seriously - so excited about this one! Zacatecas is a charming old silver mining town, and is known for its amazing pink stone buildings. I adore our clients Regina & Zaheen, and everyone knows working in Mexico feeds my soul – so it’s a match made in heaven for me!

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The wedding dinner reception will take place at a historic bull fighting ring…now hotel. (And…side note…as an active member of PETA…I’ve confirmed that this bull fighting ring has been inactive for years! It’s last “corrida” was in 1975). Anyway - originally built in the 1600’s…the architecture is amazing, amazing!  We’re bringing in over 600 luminaries to cluster on the beautiful tiers of the bull ring, and having candelabras welded for the dinner tables. Will be muy romantico!

The ceremony will take at an incredible museum. It is the site of a former San Franciscan convent and the ruins are insanely beautiful. For the cocktail reception…we’re going to do a traditional Callejoneada (parade) from the ceremony location to the dinner reception. Burros will carry Mescal and Tequila for the guests. Can’t wait to dress up the burros!

(Lewis Barker taking measurements of the old bull ring)