Monday, September 12, 2011

The BEST Wedding Video Ever: "Dirty Bit" by Black Eye Peas

When visiting one of my favorite florist's (Petals by Design) blog, I had the opportunity to watch what has to be one of the ABSOLUTE BEST wedding videos. (Link to video) I've watched it 3 times now and continually laugh just as much as the first time. If you love Black Eye Peas, you will love it too.....

What a fabulous way to start a Monday. Enjoy!

Samantha Darr

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Reception Design Elements: Chivari Chairs Finish Off a Tablescape

If you're like most, you absolutely LOVE chivari chairs. They are 100% more appealing than your standard ballroom chair and add that perfect last touch to your reception table design. For those who are interested in a more contemporary design, chivaris are available in black, silver, clear (ice) and white. How can you go wrong?

While most venues provide chairs, they are less than exciting. You may opt to cover them or even make due with them. They just lack the same "POP" a chivari chair adds to the overall event.

If you are one of those Bride's who are lusting for chivari chairs, I have good news for you. For a limited time, A Finer Event in Houston is offering them at $6.40/chair (order must be placed and paid in full in the month of August. Must be used for an event on or before Dec 31st). They have 7 different colors. Book your appointment today to have your dream chairs.

Blissfully Inspired!

Samantha Darr

Friday, July 29, 2011

Client Review: Congratulations Mike & JoAnne

This has been such a good week!! There's nothing better than receiving such wonderful reviews from my clients. This particular one truly brought tears to know I had made such a positive impact on a couple's life. I look forward to sharing their wedding pictures soon.

Blissfully Inspired!

Samantha Darr

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why I Love My Job: Client Review

As an event planner, the most enjoyable projects are those when clients hire me to plan/assist them in planning their wedding day. Even after years of planning events, I still wake up each morning of a wedding feeling the giddy/nervous excitement with butterflies. Wedding day is the Super Bowl of wedding planning. I always feel the buzz of excitement as the details start to come together during the set-up. It's truly what I was born to do and truly love seeing couples happy at the end of the day.

Recently, I had the absolutely pleasure of working with Lindie and Roman to create the perfect combination of their heritages; Irish Catholic and Jewish Russian. While it sounds challenging, we were able to find the perfect balance for Roman and Lindie. My heart burst with happiness to know just how much they loved working with SB! Here's what they had to say: (to read all of our client reviews, please visit

I was required by my venue to hire a wedding coordinator for the night, as they did not offer that service.... after researching all the top reviewed wedding coordinators in Houston i put them all in to a spreadsheet for me to compare pricing with the services they offered. Samantha with SoireeBliss Events was immediately at the top of my list with all she offered in her packages along with the pricing. After talking to her on the phone I knew she was the one. When i went in for our first consultation meeting, me and my husband were immediately put at ease. Samantha was exactly what we were looking for: well known/respected in the Houston wedding community, warm/caring yet very professional, and affordable. She immediately asked us our story and how he proposed, which made us feel special, like she really cared. We decided to go with her "Day of Management" package which only required her really to be there the day of to make sure everything ran smoothly, so i figured we wouldn't hear from her very much until closer to the wedding. I was very pleasantly wrong. Samantha was there every step of the way for any question i had, which sometimes i am sure was overbearing with my type A personality. She always made me feel as if it was no problem at all and quickly responded to any questions i had. Even when i had some issues getting in contact or timely responses with some of my other vendors, Samantha would immediately contact them and have a response for me usually within the same day, as all the vendors respect her. Samantha made our timeline for the evening, and it was literally down to the minute.... HER TIMELINE ALONE IS ONE OF THE MANY REASONS YOU SHOULD HIRE HER. Samantha definitely went above and beyond with helping with the setup, as we had a lot of DIY and extras to add around the reception room. I am so happy that the venue required a wedding coordinator, as i can't imagine going through that day without her. Everything went pretty flawlessly, all thanks to her. There were a few hiccups, but she never told me anything about them, i only heard later, which i am very greatful for as well because i was able to enjoy my day stress free. I would recommend Samantha to EVERY bride.. if you don't think you need a wedding coordinator and can do it all yourself, rethink that decision. :) If you are looking for someone affordable, very professional and efficient, that will make your day stress free for you to focus on YOUR day, instead of trying to make sure your timeline is followed, then Samantha and the SoireeBliss! team is who you need!!!----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I can not wait to share the pictures from their wedding at the Petroleum Club Houston. In the mean time, here are a few of their engagement pictures (Photography: Joshua Tyi Photography)

Blissfully Inspired!

Samantha Darr, Owner

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Sweetest Engagement Story: Starbucks Preposal

As most of you know, I have a deep love for coffee and Starbucks. As I was zipping through some of my favorite industry blogs, I came to a post on Green Wedding Shoes that I just had to post. I have to say that in the past 3.5 years of wedding planning, there have not been two guys who have proposed the same way. Each engagement reflects the personality of the couple. For this romantic guy, he truly takes the cake on originality.

Blog Post: Green Wedding ShoesDate: June 23rd

A Starbucks Proposal Story
Thursday, June, 23, 2011

Photo Credit: Mikaela

I love a good proposal story, who doesn’t?! Today, I’m sharing two super creative proposals. The first is the proposal of Mikaela and Shane. Their first date was at a Starbucks, so Shane decided to build a Starbucks in the woods – seriously! Wait until you see it! Shane told Mikaela (who is a photographer) that they were going on a photo field trip to this great place he discovered, well he led her to a clearing in the woods and had Mikaela close her eyes. The moment she opened her eyes, she saw this…

From Mikaela, “The moment I was allowed to open my eyes is a moment that will be burned into my memory forever. It was the most peculiar feeling to see something so unexpected, so creatively carried out, something that took weeks and hours to plan, for me. For this moment. For us. Surreal.

Starbucks in the woods. Our Starbucks, our first date in those two comfy chairs, with our same two drinks – a passion tea lemonade and a green tea lemonade, and that fruit bar Shane had as well. A homemade candle in a Starbucks sample cup flickered, the prettiest bouquet of pink peonies, and music playing in the background. We sat, me in stunned silence and broken sentences. Knowing what would most likely come next, but not daring to think it, at the same time. Derrick ran by in the corner of my eye, leaving behind a video camera, while I caught someone taking photos in the bushes! Another video camera on a table! Crap, why didn’t I wear my contacts tonight, why the glasses? And off they came :) Then Shane pulled out a ring box and said those words and it happened.

‘Ever since our first date I knew you were the one… I fall more and more in love with you each day… Mikaela Ruth, will you marry me?’

He says there was a pause before I said yes! Of course! And then I dropped to the ground to be close to him and to hug him and he slipped the ring on to my finger.”


If you are in the midst of working on the "Big" proposal for your soon-to-be fiance, having an hour consultation with a wedding planner to advise you on how to bring the concepts and thoughts together would reduce the stress. If you need assistance in executing the plan, this would be a simple task for any professional planner. For me, this is one of the absolute most thrilling opportunities. I'm such a romantic at heart!!!

Happy Planning,

Samantha Darr

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Client Review: Congratulations Kristi & Brad

When a couple hires me to assist them with their wedding; whether it be full planning or as simple as event day management, it never fails to make me feel truly honored to be entrusted with something so precious. Without sounding too overly romantic or dramatic, a couple's wedding day is a memory they will cherish, re-tell, reminisce over and dream about for many years to come during anniversaries, with grandchildren and even in their old age when one has passes. Ensuring that a couple's wedding day is perfect for them is truly a fulfilling career. Yes, as you may have quickly learned, I am a romantic at heart!

One of my most favorite couple's; Kristi & Brad, recently left us a review on WeddingWire which brought me to tears. The words were so moving knowing that I made such an impact on their wedding and for many years to come. Congratulations Kristi & Brad!!!

Here's what they had to say: "There will never be enough words to express how awesome Samantha Darr and her team of Soireebliss are. From the moment I met Samantha, I felt extremely comfortable talking to her - like she was a great friend I had known for many years. Of course this was our first meeting but her warmth and enthusiasm for planning events came across and put me at ease right away. The first question she asked my (now) husband and I was - "would you mind telling me how you got engaged?" I instantly thought, wow...she really wants to get to know us and know the background on how we fell in love. It was an instant feeling of "bliss" from that point forward. As much as I wanted to hire Samantha for the entire event, I didn't think Brad and I would be able to afford it BUT Samantha worked effortlessly with our budget which we are still extremely thankful for. There is no way we could have had our dream wedding without her experience, suggestions, and expertise. Throughout the planning processing, I had unlimited access by phone and email to Samantha. I'm sure at times I went overboard (I have a type A personality) but she never made me feel like I was a bother. She always took time to call, email, or make appointments to make sure my ideas for the BIG day were being put into place how we envisioned. The wedding day was one of the easiest days of my life. I know some of you may think I am overexaggerating but if you ask anyone in my wedding party what my mood was like that day, they will all tell you I was extremely relaxed (without alcohol) and more than ecstatic. I'll even go as far as to show pictures of our getting ready process so you can see how much fun and laughter we had that day! :) You can't go wrong hiring Samantha for your wedding day (or any event). She is meticulous with every aspect of the planning and executing process. I sincerely and whole-hearted recommend Soireebliss to anyone wanting an unforgettable experience. Samantha, Brad and I will forever be grateful to you for creating such a warm, inviting, fun, and loving atmosphere for us and our guests. We can never thank you enough!!

xoxoxox - Mr. & Mrs. Brad Martin"

Event Ingredients:
Venue: North Gate Country Club
Ceremony & Reception Music: Space City DJ
Deserts: Cakes by Gina
Photography: Jesus Gonzalez Photography
Flowers by Scott
Linens & Ceiling Draping: Elegant Beginnings
Custom Stationary: Soireebliss! Events

Samantha Darr
Lead Event Director

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Client Review: Congratulations Rian & Gavin!

At every event, I always have guests approach me at a wedding or event which I am managing to thank me for doing such a wonderful job. Often times they say it has been the best one they have attended or the smoothest or most successful. At that one moment, my heart sours and I forget that maybe I am running on pure RedBull as I had no time for lunch or dinner or that my feet have been aching for the past 2 hours. For them, they danced the night away, met their fundraising goal or are the parents of the bride who enjoyed the day stress-free.

Don't get me wrong, compliments such as this is wonderful. I love the feedbacl. But, in the end, what truly matters most to me is that the client is happy. They are why I love what I do and why I work so hard. Please let me share with you a review from one of our most recent clients:

"Samantha Darr, owner of Soireebliss! Events was amazing! I truly mean it when I say that I could not have pulled the wedding off so flawlessly without her. The timeline she put together for me was perfect, and it made the wedding flow effortlessly. I can not even begin to tell you how many comments I received from guests that said it was one of the best weddings they had ever been to, and I completely attribute this to how perfectly Samantha kept the pace and the momentum of the wedding going. And more importantly, she took care of all the details before the ceremony and setting up for the reception, and executed them exactly how I wanted so I didn't have to worry about a thing except getting dressed. I would recommend her to any bride who wants to have an amazing wedding!"

Do I Need Event Day Coordination?

My answer to this questions is always, 100% of the time Absolutely, YES! Doesn't matter if you are hosting a fundraising gala, corporate event or wedding, you need to have one person who can be behind the scenes solely dedicated to running the logistics, set-up, trouble-shooting problems, directing vendors and volunteers and answering last minute questions. Have you heard the phrase "too many cooks in the kitchen"? Without an Event Day Coordinator, you will be assured problems, conflict and stress if you leave to many people in charge to handle the execution whether it be friends, family and volunteers.

"Day Of Wedding" or "Month Of Wedding" coordinators can be hired for your wedding day at any time during the planning process and will generally begin working with you as early as 90 days to the week of your wedding or event. At this point the coordinator (or Event Director as I like to call myself) will assist you in pulling together a customized itinerary, confirm vendor commitments, discuss set-up details, and cross check outstanding balances, last minute decisions, and services that you have already contracted for. The coordinator will be working with the information you give her by providing copies of the vendor contracts, banquet event order, and any information collected during the planning process to formulate a master plan for the entire wedding day, so that you can rest assured that the details are in place and the event is being managed by a professional. Because these services are not as extensive as a planning package that covers all the planning from beginning to end, "Month Of" and "Day Of" is very helpful way to get peace of mind on your wedding day. Brides hire "Month Of" and "Day Of" coordinators for many reasons; 1. They enjoy planning and wanted to do it on their own, but knew she couldn't execute on the day of wedding, 2. Their budget wouldn't allow for a more extensive planning package, 3. They are having their ceremony & reception in the same location and their venue required them to hire one, 4. Solely for the peace of mind to know that the time and money investment would not go wrong in any way.

Secondly, you may be wondering what is the difference between the catering manager at the hotel and a personal wedding coordinator? Wedding coordinators offer a different range of services than those whose sole interest is on the venue. Specifically a coordinator is working for you, not the hotel or location, and he/she is there to see that your wishes and requests are carried out as well as to assist in planning that is not related to the hotel or location.

Catering hall manager / assistant works only during the time of the reception and does NOT coordinate with all your vendors or make sure that your ceremony and reception itinerary is acted out the right way. Catering hall manager's tasks task is to make sure the halls duties are performed but for the rest of your wedding days itinerary - they do not have any obligations.

Ask the staff at your wedding location what they will and won't do to determine your additional needs. "Month Of" and "Day Of" coordinators will work interface with all vendors at your wedding/event to ease the planning process and provide you peace of mind. It's truly their responsibility to run quality control checks to ensure that the exact flowers are delivered and set-up exactly as you've requested, oversee that the bridal party names are being pronounced correctly during introductions, move the ceremony decor to the reception and most importantly run the behind the scenes logistics throughout the event to ensure the evening is flawless without missing a beat. By hiring a professional, they will handle all the emergencies as they arise leaving you to kick back and enjoy the day with your friends, family and guests.

For me, this is one of my favorite aspects of events; event day execution and logistics. I thrive on the energy and thrill of seeing the details come together.

Samantha Darr
Lead Event Director

Photo Credits:


Serendipity Photography

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How Best to Host Guest Speakers

We spend so much time and energy securing wonderful event speakers, but our job's just beginning once the event speakers are booked. If you have the bandwidth, I recommend assigning someone on your team to be a fully dedicated speaker host. If you don’t have this person, consider hiring someone very responsible to serve this role.

The speaker host will be the one waiting for the sedans to arrive, taking the call from the limo company when the client has been picked up from the airport, greeting the speakers upon arrival with a gracious smile, showing guests to the greenroom or their hotel room, providing agendas and basically assisting your special guest with any requests.

What to give your fabulous speaker host:

- A list of all speakers and their speaking times/rehearsal times on one sheet
- Arrival/departure times with flight numbers and confirmation codes
- Speaker cell phone numbers and assistant's numbers
- Your cell phone numbers
- Copies of the agenda and maps of the hotel
- An introduction to the hotel management

The speaker host can check your guests into the hotel rooms ahead of time and therefore hand a key to the speaker upon arrival and avoid sending the speaker to the hotel desk (who wouldn't like skipping this step?). Your speaker host can also check the hotel rooms before your VIPs arrive - you wouldn’t believe the things we’ve found in the suites reserved for our keynotes.

Your speaker host will ensure the transportation company is enroute to pick up your guest at the end of the event, confirm their flight is ontime and show them to the car with a bottle of water. Your speakers will remember your hospitality, and feel very taken care of. That will certainly ensure they will be more than excited to participate in your next event if called upon.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Event Planners Are A Vital Tool for Corporate Events

As an event planner, I am approached to plan and/or manage many different events at any stage of the planning. For me, I love executing the details to see all the individual components come together. Of course, being involved in the entire planning process saves my clients time, stress and many times money as I guide them in selecting the best vendors or most cost effective choices.

For corporate events, often times, the business owner doesn't quite know whether they need to hire a planner or not. But like most executives, CEOs or business owners, it's important to hire someone who specializes in such a field to ensure success. It's important and vital to the success of their event and objective for the event to hire someone who knows and specializes in events. Just the same with weddings, Brides need someone who can be there on event day to execute and oversee the details.

The selection of an event coordinator is a smart move. Even through you remain involved in the event planning process loop, you will be free to tend to business as usual.

To be successful, you should assign one individual responsibility for directing the coordination of your events. While the client can be free to focus on establishing value-added content, an event planner (the meeting logistics expert) will focus on the details! In many instances, I act in a synergistic-team manner with the client dividing the work among the client's staff/volunteers, assigning tasks with target due-dates; however, and as the event planner, I am the one in charge, running the show and keeping an eye on the entire operation.

As the event planner, my attention to the details will be a direct link to the success of the event. When planning an event, I suggest the following strategic steps:

1. Determine the best date and time to meet (verify potential dates, times, and schedules; and then communicate with vendors, presenters, attendees and special guests)

2. Select and schedule the best location to meet (consider your budget plus options for on-site, off-site, conference center, private dining room, etc.)

3. Contact and confirm all contracts (including venue, speakers, presenters, entertainment, sponsors, etc.; and communicate frequently with all regarding their role in the upcoming event)

Plan and map out the program schedule (including general sessions, meeting rooms, break times, break-out sessions, refreshments, meals, the press room, and other special needs)

Coordinate and oversee the selection of a theme, the design, production and distribution printed items (i.e., invitations, agendas, brochures, special materials, and related mailings)

6. Arrange to have essential meeting supplies available on site (i.e., handouts, evaluation forms, flip charts, markers, sticky notes, etc.) 7. Identify each presenter's equipment needs and establish: Who? Needs What? Where? Then, verify technical infrastructure, accommodations, and arrange for on-site support

8. Verify room lay-out requirements; arrange for support to complete set-up & tear-down

9. Anticipate needs! Arrange for adequate host support available throughout the event.

10. Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! (with vendors, presenters, attendees and guests).
Samantha Darr
Lead Event Director

SB! gets published on StyleMePretty!!

If you're reading my blog, you are probably also familiar with the StyleMePretty blog. It's truly one of the most hottest, MOST stylish and trend setting wedding blogs there is. I have been a long time reader and admirer of StyleMePretty.

So, if you can imagine you excitement when I found that they chose "Xochy & Todd's Vibrant Houston Wedding" for one of their featured weddings this past Friday. Xochy and Todd were such a dynamic and fun couple to work with. Their wedding was a true reflection of themselves and their love for each other.

With an intimate destination ceremony, 3 destination photo shoots and a large extravagant celebration at the Houstonian Hotel, this couple pulled out all the stops for their big day. With multiple forms of entertainment for their guests; a DJ who spun on live turn tables, 10 piece band and a casino room, everyone who attended was speechless and amazed. The bride wore a breath-taking gown that converted to a fun party dress with a whole set of new accessories. Everyone danced the night away on a gorgeous, personalized white dance floor customized with the couple's monogram. It truly was a wedding unlike any other.

Having such wonderful companies to work with ensured that the execution of the event went perfectly. Thank you to all the professionals who helped make the wedding amazing!

Event Composition:
Joe Cogliandro
31 Films
LG Entertainers
- (Jason Garcia)
DoppleGanger Band
DarrylCo - (Tom/Designer)
Cakes by Gina
Blush & Glow Hair & Makeup
S.W. Casino Productions

Link to the full article: Congratulations Xochy & Todd

Warmest Regards,

Samantha Darr
Lead Event Director
Soireebliss! Events

Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Twist on Your Engagement Session

One of the most common activities for couples after getting engaged is to shoot an engagement session. For some couples, they want to have this shoot very soon after they are engaged. Others wait until 2-3 months prior to the wedding. The engagement session allows you and the photographer the opportunity to get better acquainted. The more comfortable you are around your photographer, the more relaxed you will be and your pictures will look better. (Photo Credit: Christine Tremoulet)

With most things related to weddings, there is an exciting evolution; trend per say that is moving away from the tradition ways of which our Mothers did them. As a planner, I am starting to see more and more couples who want to make their wedding truly unique to reflect their style and personality. Even if that style means something completely outside the box such as a camping destination weekend wedding or a picnic wedding in the middle of the day. For me, I absolute love this as it allows me to reach a higher level of creativity.
If you are one of these couples, you may love something new that is replacing (in some cases it's an additional session) the engagement session - Couples Boudoir Session. Of course, you have to feel completely comfortable with your photographer. A couple's boudoir session can be romantic, sultry, sexy and very intimate for you and your fiance. The pictures from the boudoir session can truly reflect a very artistic creative and become pieces of artwork. (Photo Credit: Jamie's Photography)

(Photo Credit: Photography by Talitha A. Tarro)

(Photo Credit: Kyle Hepp Photography)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Judd Waddell Trunk Show: Mia Bridal Couture

Mark you calendars ladies, one of the best designers in the wedding world is going to be at Mia Bridal Couture. Mia Bridal Couture is one of the best bridal boutiques in Houston. So you will be assured to receive the most personally fulfilling experience when picking out the dress of your dreams. Emily and her staff are highly trained to assist you in selecting the dress best fit for your style and shape. Emily works directly with the designers to know every detail of the structure of the gowns.

Judd Waddell is best known for his classic designs that are flattering, with many organza and lace silhouettes. If you happen to be a bit larger in the chest region, his strapless gowns are designed for fuller coverage.

Inspired to Plan,

Samantha Darr

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bride's Houston Magazine Article Part II: Venue Guide

With the most recent post being such a big hit, I have decided to do a blog post series of all the magazine articles I have done since launching in 2008. Today's post is the very first article I collaborated on Kim Forrest (Bride's Magazine Editor).

Looking back on this article, I chuckle a bit. When I was asked by Kim to provide my expert opinion on venues, Soireebliss! Events had only been officially opened for 4 months. With being a new business owner, I was absolutely ecstatic with such a great opportunity. I quickly went to work researching and touring venues to determine my top 3 venues that would fit the criteria provided by Kim. It was such a great networking opportunity.

For the article; "Top Sites for Every Guest List", I chose the following venues:

1. Artista - Unique restaurant with a great food
2. Hotel ZaZa - In my opinion, Dallas and Houston's locations are absolutely FABULOUS
3. Briscoe Manor - Perfect for the couple who wants to entertain a large guest list and show some Texas hospitality

Read the full Bride's Houston Fall/Winter 2008 article: (Link)

Stay tuned as there's many more articles packed full of helpful information.

Blissfully Inspired,

Samantha Darr

Friday, February 11, 2011

Let Me Introduce the Soiréebliss! Events Team

With any business comes growth! I am very lucky and quite fortunate to have withstood the trials of a new business, a new market, a few life changes and a bad economy. A day doesn't go by that I don't miss counting my blessings. A big part is acredited to the wonderful team of talented women who have joined my team. We share common work ethic, goals passion for events and whom equally strive to provide our clients the best possible experience on their big day. And honestly, they're just so fun to be with as well.

Over the past few months, I've been working on redeveloping Soiréebliss!'s brand to reflect the chic whimsical style which it's developed over the past three years. With that, I thought it best to share with other who makes the magic happen. Many, many, many thanks to Steve Lee Photography for spending a few hours with us on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Here are some of our favorites:

The Team in front of our new studio space. This is a long time dream in the making.
The superstars that make the magic happen: Traci Riley, Brenda Cooper and Sarah St. Lawrence. Many thanks to them as they so generously give up their weekends to assist when needed. Without their loyal dedication and commitment, events just wouldn't happen. I can not put into words just how blessed I feel to have them apart of my life and company. We were sad that 3 of of members were unable to be apart of the shoot; Diana Liepold, Kristi Gomez and Julie Clark.

And of course, me, proud owner of SB! Events

Many thanks to my significant other, Todd Rankin. Without him, the office just wouldn't run quite as well as it does. He's our IT Guru and Master Toolsman who can MacGyver anything. Litterly! Without his loving support through the many long hours, missed weekend activities and unwavering belief in me, none of this would be possible.

Big Hugs All-Around,

Samantha Darr

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Black & White Wedding: Bring Chic Back

One of my most favorite color combinations is black and white. Its chic, simplistic elegance can speak volumes in the style department. One of my favorite designers, Carolina Herrera incorporates black in many of her wedding gowns. Z Gallerie being one of my most favorite furniture stores has an endless array of items to incorporate into your wedding decor. Walking through their doors is like a kid in a candy store for me. I'm absolutely exhilarated as I begin to visualize 2-3 different event themes.

When choosing a black and white theme or color palette, it's important to remember that it's not a prom. It should not be matchy-matchy. We are past the age of Granimals. (Although, I will agree, Granimals is a great tool for young children.) Focus on texture, small details and play up the way which the black and white is incorporated together. Not every element in the design scheme has to include black and white together. Bringing in a touch of color gives your design a more metropolitan look. As most know, I am very partial to green or yellow. If you're like me and love green, try to avoid the apple green. Go for a deeper green such as kelly green or grass green. The apple green has a little more yellow and is past the trend phase of 2008 & 2009.

For a more unique look, bring in some non-typical items to your centerpieces. As mentioned before, Z Gallerie has some fabulous decor pieces. I say use them around the main item of your centerpiece. Not everything in the centerpiece has to be a candle or vase with flowers. It's important to present a visually interesting design to "WOW" your guests.

And most importantly, remember the details. Drink stirrers are new trend that adds a fun twist on the signature drink. There are some great designers on who can easily provide custom items. You may even consider a drink stirrer with fun romantic phrases to fit your theme. If you are having an Old Hollywood theme, list romantic couples from the movies. Or make them truly unique and personal by sharing funny tid-bits about each other.

And most importantly, be bold and incorporate the black into your attire. In today's fashion world, anything is possible and is perfectly acceptable. Have fun with it and make your look truly your own. You may even consider staying traditional for the ceremony and switching out your headpiece, shoes and jewelry for the reception. Adding a belt or brooches to your dress can make the biggest difference as well.

Blissfully Inspired!

Samantha Darr

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Houston Bride's Magazine: Best Venue's for A Budget

One of my favorite pastimes during a cold and gloomy day is to grab a vanilla latte and some of the most recent interior design and wedding magazines at a bookstore. As I was making my way through the magazine section at Barnes & Noble, flipping through Bride's Houston magazine. My heart jumped when I read my name in an article. I was instantly walking on cloud 9 when I realized I had been published. It feels like months ago since I worked with Kim Forest (editor at the magazine) at Bride's Magazine on the article. I'm quite flattered and humbled by her continued interest in the endless amount of tips and expert knowledge I can share. And as all my clients to testify, the endles rolling reel of ideas never stops.

The article discusses the best venues in Houston that give you the biggest bang for your buck. As many know, in this economy, that is a pretty high priority for a lot of couples. With so many options in Houston, it truly was challenging narrowing the list down to 3. My hope is that with sharing a bit of my expert knowledge, it will help a few couples to de-stress and find the venue of their dreams.

1. Ashelynn Manor
2. Tuscany Villa
3. The Gallery

To read the full article click here.

Blissfully Inspired,

Samantha Darr

How'd We Get Our Name?

Since launching in January of 2008, we've received wide range of responses to our company name. Many have asked how we chose it. Other's have proven quite humorous by the different ways it's pronounced. And of course, some just absolutely love the originality. It's a name that sticks with you.

For me, when thinking about a company name, I wanted something original and different that was a reflection of my "think-outside-the box" design style. I tried endless combination of words that can be associated with party planning, details of decor and numbers. It finally dawned on me that having my own business was a dream come true at which point was truly the happiest I had been in my career. Hence the word "bliss".

Now everybody knows, your name should reflect what you do. So I sought the help of the Google translator tool to test every word associated with parties. From there, Soiréebliss! Events was born.

However, you may still be left wondering why the exclamation mark. For me Soiréebliss! has emotion and makes me think of and an expression. So, this is what I leave you with;

Soiréebliss! (swore ā bliss). adj. 1. The state of pure and memorable happiness experienced during a grand celebration. 2. An expressive emotion felt during a period of high emotional joy surrounded by perfection.

Always Inspired to Plan!

Samantha Darr

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thank You to Our Clients: Bride's Choice Awards 2011

Soiréebliss! Events has had the pleasure of celebrating our three year anniversary on January 8th. This is truly a great blessing as I know how hard running a service oriented business can be. With anything good comes hard work, dedication and endless nights of work. I've loved every moment of it.

Of course, this could never have been possible without my clients. It's because of their trust in me that has allowed Soiréebliss! Events to be a part of over 80 weddings and numerous philanthropic events.

As a testament to our hard work, we have been awarded the Bride's Choice Awards for 2011.

Press Release:
WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, is thrilled to announce {Enter Your Business Name} has been selected to receive the prestigious annual WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 for {Enter Your Service Category}!

Recognition for the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 is determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 750,000 WeddingWire newlyweds. Our past clients are among those that shared their experiences on WeddingWire, the largest wedding review site in the nation.

Soiréebliss! Events stands among the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire community, representing quality and service excellence within the wedding industry. Awards were given to the top wedding professionals across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, and were based on the overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is honored to celebrate the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire community,” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program, WeddingWire has the unique opportunity to recognize the best wedding professionals across the US and Canada. We applaud Soiréebliss! Events for their professionalism and dedication to enhancing the wedding planning experience last year.”

We are happy to announce that Soiréebliss! Events is among the very best Soiréebliss! Events within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Martha Stewart Weddings, Project Wedding and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for nominating us to receive the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011.

For more information, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at our Storefront.

For more information on the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011, please visit

Blissfully Inspired to Plan

Samantha Darr

Friday, January 21, 2011

Unique Wedding Details: How To Enhance Your Tables

As a bride, you may be looking for the newest, most unique ideas to make your wedding different and memorable. One of the best ways to do this would the design of the individual place setting and/or table scapes at the reception. You will have at least 45 minutes to and hour of their attention during dinner. This is where you will be assured that your guests will have time to see each and every detail.

One decor detail I particularly love paying special attention to is each individual place setting. This is a decor detail which is commonly overlooked at an event. There is an endless list of options on how to show your style. You can add a little pop of color with a ribbon belly band around the napkin or flower on the charger plate next to the menu. Even folding the napkin in unique ways can make a statement. If your budget allows, renting special glasses and plates can take your event from fabulous to luxurious.

One of my recent favorites is a monogram tag by Luxecuts. Its absolutely stunning and very modern. It's a 4"X4" square that will make a statement of your style in a big way. This design can also be made in acrylic for those who desire and more chic design.

Blisfully Inspired to Plan!

Samantha Darr

Friday, January 7, 2011

Planning to "POP" the Question....Need A Little Magic?

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only is it going to be Spring soon, but many guys choose this time to "POP" the question and ask the one they love to marry them. For some, this brings shear fear to ask those four little words' "Will You Marry Me". For others, the words are easy, it's pulling off the logistics of how to make just that right moment perfect.

Being a wedding planner, I am truly a romantic at heart. There's nothing more magical to me than hearing all the wonderful ways couples get engaged. It makes me my heart flutter watching the Bride and Groom reminisce as they're telling me their story. The pure joy in their eyes and glow that exists between them is truly magic.

As you can imagine with being a planner, I have heard of numerous ways an engagement has been staged. Being a romantic-at-heart AND female, I can think of a zillion scenarios that would be amazing to get engaged. This is truly one of the most memorable days in a girl's life. Some have dreamt about it since they were little girls. This may sound like a lot of pressure for a guy, but, as long as your heart is involved, everything will be perfect.

When considering all the numerous ways to propose, keep in mind her personality and what would surprise her most. Maybe a romantic dinner at home with candlelight and flowers or a picnic at the beach with wine and cheese to watch the sunset is just as memorable with timed fireworks just as it gets dark. Would she love to be picked up by a limo just as she’s leaving for work to whisk her off to a surprise day at the spa being totally pamper, with a new evening gown waiting for her to spend the evening dancing the night away in your arms at a 5 star hotel. For most women, we simply love when you're a little creative and surprise them.

If you happen to be someone who needs a little help in the creative department or assistance executing your idea, look to someone like me. Who better to help than a planner?! I can provide you a full list of quality vendors; florists, restaurants, jewelers, transportations companies, bakers and everything imaginable. One of my specialties is logistic management. I can make the tightest schedule feel flawlessly comfortable and the impossible possible. Quite honestly, there is nearly nothing more rewarding than to see wonderful couples get engaged. It’s what starts the wedding planning process.

I recently had the pleasure of planning the engagement for a wonderful couple. The day of the engagement I was giddy knowing that a sweet girl was getting ready to have one of the most amazing days of her life. We staged it so that the bride thought she was going ice skating at Discovery Green with friends. We picked the most romantic spot there under some trees on a park bench for the Groom to ask her. We arranged for a waiter to hand deliver hot cocoa. However, to the Bride's surprise, one of the cups would have the ring inside. Minus the cocoa of course! The Groom opened the cup as he was down on one knee. The bride burst into tears of joy and giddy squeals. With a photographer strategically placed shooting pictures, they will have memories of the day to reflect and share with grandchild. After wards, the couple was whisked away to a private romantic dinner at Spence's downtown. I am not sure who was more excite; me or the Bride. It was truly magic right before my eyes. So, if you’re considering an engagement, don’t hesitate to ask for a little help. With our professional planning experience and creativity, we will create the most amazing experience for you to share with your future Bride.

Blissfully Inspired,

Samantha Darr

(Photo Credit: Jesus Gonzalez Photography)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

If the Dress Fits...Shopping for the Perfect Style

So we all wanna look fabulous on our wedding day, right ladies? Whether you want to transform into a diva like Beyonce or keep it timeless like Audrey Hepburn, this is your crash course on finding the perfect gown that best fits your hot, sizzling figure.

STEP 1: Determine what shape you are. For me, this is always a little humbling. While I wish I were 5'6", I'm really only 5' tall and beautifully puffy ballgowns just aren't as flattering.

STEP 2: Once you have determined your shape, start considering the design elements or style/theme you will want to fit your wedding. Many times, your location will also determine the style of dress. For example, if you're getting married in a tropical location with possible sand, you will want to stay away from dupioni silk or heavy ballgowns.

Straight-across Strapless: This style is simply straight across, no dips or curves.
Great for: Well-endowed brides because it minimizes the girls.

Tip-If you're top heavy, I would skip out on wearing a necklace and opt for more dramatic earrings. Wearing a big necklace will draw attention to your bustle. Another thing that will draw attention will be a lot of embellishments. I know every bride wants a little bling on their dress, try to steer clear of too much bling on the upper portion of your dress. Remember less is more!

Sweetheart Strapless: Unlike the Straight-across strapless, the sweetheart has a slight dip.

Great for: Smaller busted brides because it gives your chest some oomph and lengthens your torso, but pretty much anyone can pull this look off.

Mermaid: This style hugs your curves but then flares out right at the knee.

Great For: Petite women.

Tip- I wouldn't wear this type of dress for an outdoor wedding during the summer unless you want your dress sticking to you like gum on a shoe.

Trumpet: This is similar to the mermaid but instead of starting to flare out by the knee, the trumpet starts flaring at mid-thigh.

Great For: Top-heavy brides. The trumpet skirt balances your figure out nicely.

Ball Gown: One of the most traditional wedding dresses. It has a fitted corset and a full skirt. Petite brides beware! Since the ball gown is so big, the skirt will drown you and make you look tiny. You don't want the dress to wear you, you want to wear the dress!

Great For: Hour-glass or pear-shaped brides because it camouflages your lower half.

A-line: It starts off narrow at the top and then expands outward, like the shape of the letter "A".

Great For: Any bride! The A-line dress is the most flattering style on any body type.

Knee Length: Like its name implies, this dress stops at the knees. With brides making a wardrobe change into short dresses for the reception being such a big trend, knee length dresses are great for keeping up with trend.

Great For: Tall or short brides, this length helps showcase your sexy legs but without showing too much. With this dress, you can really make it all about the shoes. You always want to have one item be a focal point and with this dress, it will be the perfect opportunity to show off some incredible heels.

Knowing which design will flatter your figure best, will ensure you look red-carpet ready for your biggest day.

STEP 3: Start shopping! Most bridal boutiques operate on an appointment only basis. On average, each appointment will take an average of 2 hours. For a production shopping experience, remember the following:

1. Wear Spanx or an undergarment resembling what you will wear on the wedding day. Taking your own strapless bra to ensure comfort and a proper fit.

2. Take a pair of shoes which resemble the heel height you want for your wedding day.

3. If you hope to wear your hair up on your wedding day you should take a pony tail holder with you to simulate an up-do. This will be helpful when sampling veils to go with your dress.

4. Always remember to walk around the boutique in the dress along with sitting.

5. Last but not least remember to consider what the back of the dress looks like. On the day of the wedding, guests will look at your back 50% of the time.

Super Star Intern,

Kristi Gomez