As a former bride and as professional photographer I constantly have conversation about the importance of choosing the perfect wedding professionals to work with, that best suits my clients needs and wishes. Not everyone is a good match but for certain there are some vendors that I love and adore to recommend because I hold my brand at the highest standards and I want to partner up only with the best wedding planners in Los Angeles.
There isn’t an unequivocal set of qualities that makes someone “the best”, however there is definitely a luxury experience associated with working with the brands and people that I will be introducing in this series. From wedding planners, to florists, to makeup artists, etc.
I am happy and proud to work with some of the most incredible wedding talents in this industry and I want my clients to have access to their pool of knowledge too. So lets begin!
Berlanti and Vai are two amazing planners of The Elegant Ninja Event Production and Management, I had the chance to work with both of them several times and let me just say, they definitely know how to create a luxury event taking the guessing game out of the picture. For sure some of the best wedding planners in Los Angeles that you could choose to work with. All of their events’ aspects are curated to perfection from the location choices to the smallest of details and I am excited to share with you my interview with them.
Jessica: What is the creative process you follow when designing a wedding for your clients?
We produce thought-out events that not only tend to our client’s vision but also create a meaningful experience for every guest in attendance so our creative process is based on two key elements; a deep and personal understanding of each of our couples and a creative approach that focuses on entertaining as a whole and with intention.
When it comes to understanding our couples, we’ve come up with a series of questions designed to help us understand them on a deeper level. We then utilize our experience, creative insight and strong vendor relationships to translate this knowledge into a wedding that best represents them while also creating an unforgettable experience for all lucky enough to attend.
Since our services focus on the art of entertaining as a whole our process is based on just that. Every selection made — from rentals, florals, cuisine, drinks, music, etc.— is chosen with intention. We take into consideration all five senses when creating an atmosphere— sight, smell, taste, sound and touch are all key factors to consider when curating an unforgettable event!
What makes a venue the perfect choice?
The venue is the foundation from which we build everything off of so finding the right one is key to any successful event. There is a lot to consider when choosing a venue— Budget, logistics, layout, flow, and of course the awe-factor are all equally important.
Although we work at countless turnkey venues, we specialize in private estate venues because they provide the perfect blank canvas that allows us to create magic from the ground up. We love the creative freedom and the ability to tailor each of our events down to the smallest details.
We recommend booking our services prior to booking the venue in order to fully take advantage of the knowledge and connections we have to offer. A good planning company will know exactly what to look out for and will also help you set a realistic budget for each venue.
Vai says “if you gasp for air when you arrive on site, that’s your venue right there! Hence why I proudly manage Stone Mountain Estates. The views, the grandeur, the uniqueness is everything in my opinion.”
What are your favorite wedding venues to work at?
We are so blessed to be based out of California— with our temperate weather and our diverse landscape, it’s no wonder the majority of our clients consider California the perfect destination wedding state! With mountain, ocean, desert, forest and city views to choose from, California is arguably the Mecca for venues with stellar views! But if we had to choose our top venues, we’d say:
Stone Mountain Estates is a hidden gem between Malibu and Calabasas. The estate is a statement piece in itself. Its neutral colors and pristine surrounding landscape allows us to offer a wide variety of styles and design for each of our couple.
Malibu Rocky Oaks is also another venue we call “home”. Berlanti says “I‘ve produced over a hundred weddings there, each one as unique as the couple behind it!”
If you could give one gold advice to your brides and grooms, what would that be?
Berlanti always says “We can only be a good as we are allowed to be” which means that every client ultimately will determine how much they want us to do for them. Some want to be more in control while others prefer we take the lead. Typically, the more creative flexibility we are given, the better the outcome. Our biggest advice would be for couples to trust and the process. Our goal is to represent each of our couples while also using our knowledge to create an experience that guests will never forget.
What does “luxury experience” means to you?
Luxury, by definition, is reserved for the few, the ones who desire something more. It’s defined by its uniqueness. A luxury experience is one that is removed from the commonplace, and defined by something extra. Something special.
A “luxury experience” is all in the subtle details. An event that feels luxurious doesn’t necessarily have to be opulent or over the top. Instead it should feel unfamiliar but comfortable. Contemporary but timeless. Vai adds “We both have a strong background and training in five star hotel service prior to event planning. We realize that luxury is far from just good costumer service and a uniformed staff.” We believe a luxury experience is defined by the perfect blend of comfort and refinement.
How do you pick vendors for your clients?
All the vendors we refer have been personally vetted by our team. They show a consistent commitment to excellence both in their craft and in their communication behind the scenes. We value transparency and fair market pricing, but above all, we value team players who understand that we are all after the same goal; a perfect execution.
We have strong relationships with countless vendors throughout Southern California and beyond. When matching our couples with their prospective vendors we focus on budget, style, theme, and for some vendors, personality. For example, when our couples are new and uncomfortable in front of a camera, we highly recommend Jessica Mangia as we believe her detailed direction and communication on the day of is unsurpassed and her ability to command a room is a necessary skill when dealing with large wedding parties. Her work ethic, personality, and creative vision make her the perfect example of what we look for when recommending vendors.