Sunday, July 19, 2015

{Featured Event} "Luxury Spa Infused Cocktail Party at the Sanctuary"


Event Chair: Jennifer Starr, J.Starr Stylized Weddings
Venue Host: Sanctuary Resort

Thursday evening, I had the honor of serving as the Event Chair for the WIPA Cocktail Party.  Planning an event like this is so much fun for me because in a sense I get to play! I was able to create the concept, select my creative partner team, and bring my vision to life from start to finish.  This is like "Christmas Morning" to a Wedding Designer. 

When the WIPA committee told me this event would take place at the Sanctuary Resort I was thrilled.  Have you been to this property?  It is truly something special; the moment you step foot on this property, you instantly feel so relaxed.  The way that this venue is nestled in the mountains lends itself to some of the most spectacular desert views that I have ever seen. 

The concept I came up with was a "Luxury Spa Infused Cocktail Party."  In a sense, it's kind of an oxymoron.  I love, love, love taking ideas that are kind of opposite and pairing them together.  If you take a look back at some of my other design concepts you will see this tends to be a trend with me.  I knew two things for sure....this was a Cocktail Party (the first members only Cocktail Party that WIPA has ever hosted...which also encouraged 5 new Wedding Professionals to sign up!) and I needed to really incorporate the vibe of the property....thus "Luxury Spa Infused Cocktail Party" was born. 

The color scheme really served as the foundation for everything else.  I met with the talented Laurie Southwick of Southwick Linens to discuss options.  Laurie is truly a color expert and starting with the linens is incredibly important because it sets the foundation of everything else.  Laurie and I went back and fourth on many options.  We first looked at doing "traditional" spa like colors, but we both felt that they weren't fitting for a "cocktail party" that's why we moved to darker/cooler tones.  We finally decided on shades of pewter, grey, ivory, with a pop of sparkle. 

The next step was to select the furniture and rentals.  Again, because this wasn't a typical "sit down dinner" event, selecting the appropriate furniture pieces was crucial to giving this event the feel of a "cocktail party." I was so thrilled to partner with Glamour and Woods.  This company was founded by one of the valley's top interior designers and as you can see, their product line is quite exquisite

All the floral pieces were designed by Jan Dekker or Jan Dekker Designs.  I've had the joy of working with Jan on many beautiful weddings in the past.  She is a true artist and always goes the extra mile to make sure her creations are not only breathtaking but also appropriate and fitting to the overall design concept.  Jan met with the Glamour and Woods team ahead of time and selected vases and structures from their collection to pair with her floral.  

The outcome was stunning.  I just loved the sold hardwoods mixed with metal fine finishes, topped with flowing romantic floral pieces.  Jan's floral creations really brought a sense of softness and relaxation to the event setting.  The room was also set with several gorgeous vessel candles...really pulling in the feeling of a spa environment.


My most favorite design element was definitely the "Vase of Venus" provided by Rolando Espinoza of the Champagne Creative Group.  As guests first entered the room....their eyes were naturally directed to the front of the room where our live model was positioned up on top of a beautiful light up vase.  This over the top design piece really created a sense of relaxation yet glamour at the same time (yes! this makes me happy). 

And yes the photo to the right is yours truly...welcoming our guests and giving recognition to all my talented creative partners.  Bringing a group of "creatives" together to bring an experience to life is really a beautiful thing.  In fact, it's one of my most favorite things. 

The Sanctuary provided a lovely spread of deliciousness...Seasonal Fruit Display, Summer Harvest Vegetable Basket, Domestic and International Cheeses with Artisan Breads, Melon Gazpacho, Seared Tuna on Cucumber Noodles, Chicken Satays, Bruschetta Bar, and Dessert Station.

I was thrilled to have Dave and Drea of Desert House Productions provide the music for the evening.  Desert House Productions is known for their upscale beats and bringing a modern edge into the event.

It was a truly a fantastic event.  The sights, the sounds, the smells...but mostly the people.  The room was filled with individuals who really appreciate an "experience." I received so many compliments that meant so much to me, because these guests aren't "normal" people.  This group of people are regulars at over the top weddings and events.  

Jennifer Newman of The Wellness Bar AZ provided an "Essential Oil Bar." Everyone was able to create their own custom bath salts to take home and enjoy.  Jennifer also provided all of the lovely paper details compliments of her business Envelope Envy.  It's always very important to communicate to your guests via delicate pretty signage. 

A Very Special Thank You to the Team of Creative Partners: (Left to Right/Front Row)  Jennifer Newman, Jan Dekker, (Me) Jennifer Starr, Rachel Soloman, Rolando Espinoza, Drea and Dave Strickler, (Back Row) Jennifer Dudones, Michael Dobbs, and Laurie Southwick. (Not pictured Taryn Pollock and Jeff Bills of Serendipity Cinema). 
A very special thank you to the Phoenix WIPA Board for asking and trusting me to Chair this special evening.  I'd also like to send a special thank you to Miss Emily Bollinger (My Intern) who spent many hours hammering this day out with me, rock star style.
P.S. There were many additional beautiful photos taken this evening, stay tuned I'll be sure and post the album to my facebook page very soon.
Luxury Spa Infused WIPA Cocktail Party Creative Partner Team:
Planner/Designer:  J.Starr Stylized Weddings
Venue: Sanctuary Resort Spa / Leah Digirolamo & Brittany Martenson
Furniture/Rentals: Glamour and Woods
Entertainment: Champagne Creative Group
Essential Oil Bar: The Wellness Bar, AZ
Cinematography: Serendipity Cinema
Paper Products: Envelope Envy
Specialty Linens: Southwick Linens
Draping: Event Rents
Hair and Make Up (on Me): Linda Valenzuela of Mia Cosmetics

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

{Last Chance} "Spa Infused Cocktail Party"

Happy Tuesday Lovelies!

So this is it. This is the week that I have been working super hard to prepare for for the last few months. Tonight, is one of the biggest events I have ever done! YES!! My mind is trying to mentally prepare for a long yet very exciting day I have ahead of me!  I'm so thankful to have my intern Emily by my side and a committee of very talented creative partners to rock this day out!

Thursday is yet another super fun day! And I would like to give you one more opportunity to attend that event! The Wedding Industry Professionals Association, or WIPA, is a great association and their events are to die for. And I am the lucky title holder of Event Chair for this upcoming event!

Last week, I gave you the inside scoop on the event with the "In the Works: Spa-Infused Cocktail Party," post. This cocktail party is going to be a relaxing, luxurious, unique event that is truly not to be missed.  However, it is for WIPA members only! So today I am coming to you with your very last chance to join WIPA and register for this event!  To become a member of WIPA, click here or contact the lovely Andrea Leslie (Director of Membership) for more details. 

Here's a sneak peak into my inspiration mood board:

If you are already a member of this awesome organization, but you still want to register for this event, click here!

Very special thank you to Jennifer Newman from Envelope Envy for this absolutely beautiful flier that she created for the event, and the previous "Save the Date" invite.
If you are not going to be able to make the event,  stay tuned as I'll be doing a follow up post with tons of gorgeous photos. 

If you would like to see the "In the Works" post for my event tomorrow, click here!
Happy Tuesday! 
Much Love, J.Starr

Friday, July 10, 2015

In The Works: "The Gala"

Happy Friday All, 

Tonight I thought I would share my thoughts on an upcoming *huge* event that I'm involved with.....that's coming to life on TUESDAY!
About 4 months ago I met up in a cute little restaurant with my wedding industry friend, Dawn Peterson (Dawn is the Vice President of the Phoenix Chapter of NACE.)  We chatted about family, food, life....and all things wedding industry related.
And then Dawn mentions, that she's looking for a "Creative Designer" to take the lead as an Event Co Chair for an upcoming National Conference (specifically the Awards Dinner Gala).  She showed me videos and photos from past conferences and gave me a general overview. 
I thought to myself...why not?  The conference was in July (that's off season in Arizona!)  I knew this was an opportunity to work with new people and incorporate creative concepts, so I accepted the position, and I am extremely thrilled to be serving as the Event Co-Chair for the Extravagant  Awards Gala for the Experience! Conference and Exposition for the National Association for Catering and Events.

Over time, I slowly began to realize that....umm....this is a HUGE event!   Umm, what?  The guest list alone is 500 people and I should also point out, these are not normal people; these are all event industry professionals!  That adds about a billion more tons of pressure because these people do this for a living and they've seen mind blowing events before.  Now all of a sudden, I'm in charge of impressing all of these people?   
And so it began....ideas upon after email, meetings, meetings, and more meetings... And now, the time has come!  I'm excited and nervous (the good kind of nervous).  It's going to be amazing to see all our efforts play out. 
The Concept:
"All That Shapes Us" ~
Artistic, Graphics, Modern, Geometric, Funky, Cool
"In the wedding and event industry, your mind is constantly flooded with beautiful imagery, new trends, exciting ideas...but have you ever taken a moment to stop and recognize how important "shape" plays into our events?  The use of shape is everywhere...invitations, room diagrams, tablescapes, wedding cakes, place settings, how entrees are plated.  We invite our guests into the awareness of "shape" and the many options you have as an event professional.  We hope you find inspiration in the use of shape, how it trends us, changes us, and enhances our experiences." 
The Design Boards: 

(Cocktail Hour)


(The After Party)

This event is *so huge* that it could only be accomplished by the incredible committee that has been hard at work for months and months to get every detail right. 

The committee is comprised of so many talented people that I am honored to be working with. It's really a magical thing when a group of people with years of experience, inspirations, and connections come together. 

Kate Christensen
Gala Event Co Chair/
Owner of Kate & Company
Jennifer Starr
Gala Event Co Chair/
Owner of J.Starr Stylized Weddings
Amber Allen
Phoenix NACE President /
Director of Catering and Restaurant Sales,
Gila River Gaming Enterprises
Dawn Peterson
Phoenix NACE Vice President/
Regional Sales, Phoenix Bride & Groom
Ronnie Anderson
Director of Catering
Phoenix Airport Marriott
Nicole Jorgenson  
Senior Event Manager
Santa Barbara Catering
Jennifer Cotsonas
Accountant Executive
Kool Party Rentals
Cheryl Denham
AZ Family Florist LLC/LUX Wedding Florist/Wed AZ
Cynthia Pottinger
LUX  Florist
Rob Hinkle
General Manager
Lori Apt
Event Director/Designer
Fred’s Signature Floral  Events

The Sponsors:

Naturally this event couldn't be made possible without all of the generous sponsors:

Kate Patay/Creative Coverings
 Linen Rentals
Kool Party Rentals
Bob Messinger, Applause Productions & Entertainment
Cocktail Hour Entertainment  
Champagne Creative Group
Dinner/After Party Entertainment
Creative Occasions
Table Numbers +
Gold Pipe & Draping
Audio Visual Equipment
The Instant Classics
For After Party
Santa Barbara Catering
Desserts for After Party
Pixy Cakes
 Desserts for After Party
Caramel Addiction by Sherrye’s Kitchen
Desserts for After Party
Gigi’s  Cupcakes
Desserts for After Party
Classic Party Rentals
The Event Essentials
LUX Wedding Florist
Kenwood Vineyards

In addition to the Gala on Tuesday, I have the opportunity to attend three other amazing events during the NACE National Conference. 

Sunday Night = The Opening Reception! I have volunteered myself (and my Brother, hee hee) to be servers...but not just any servers....Dia de los Muertos servers!  This event is going to be off the chain...and the best part, I happen to know who the surprise band is.  YES.

Monday = I get the chance to listen (and hopefully meet, fingers crossed) the famous Wedding & Event Planner: Colin Cowie.  Followed by the Keynote Luncheon.  So ready to be renewed with some fresh inspiration.

Stay tuned.....I'll share more soon.  And a special thank you to Dawn Peterson for asking me to be a part of this incredible experience.   

If you liked this post, check out my previous "In the Works" post below!

In the Works: Spa Infused Cocktail Party

Monday, July 6, 2015

Are YOU on the List?

Happy Monday all!

I hope everyone had a fab weekend celebrating our great country! I was luckily enough to sneak in a quick little overnight staycation with my little crew.  We spent it poolside... with popsicles! And my little ones received their first pedicures (via me) so much sparkly fun!

This week, I am feeling *super* busy and *super* excited, because next week I have two huge events two days apart from each other. YES...I love when all the planning starts to come to life.
In case you missed the news I shared on Friday, I felt it was necessary to share again....J.Starr Stylized Weddings now has a Newsletter!

Over the past two weeks or so, my intern Emily and I have been working on developing a monthly J. Starr Newsletter. I am very happy to say that our July edition is hot off the press and ready to be sent out!  This is something that I've been wanting to do for a long time, and with the help and research of's finally happening. 

I thought it was important to create a newsletter to be sent out each month so that you can stay up to date with J.Starr happenings.  The newsletter will feature all of the previous month’s blog posts, a few highlights from the month, as well as a planning tip, a stylizing tip, a vendor of the month, and a few of my fab finds all in one nice little email for your ease and convenience!

Now, onto the important part; where can you sign up?

If you haven't signed up already, you can still get in on the virtual party by clicking here.

So far, I'm blown away by the amount of subscribers!  Seriously in awe.  Let's keep this momentum doing so.. I'm going to be offering a giveaway!  The giveaway will be a basket full of some of my very favorite things!  I'll release a few more details soon.  Until then, sign up.  The winner will be announced in our August J.Starr Newsletter edition!  All you have to do is subscribe, if you've already done so, then you're already entered :) 

As always, thank you for caring and connecting!

Much Love, Jennifer Starr

Friday, July 3, 2015

In the Works: "Spa Infused Cocktail Party"

{Featured Friday} Our *In the Works* Upcoming "WIPA Spa Infused Cocktail Party:

And all of's July.  What?  I have two huge industry events two days apart from each other, that I'm incredibly excited about.  And today, I thought I'd take a moment to highlight my amazing vendor team for one these events. 

The Wedding Industry Professionals Association  (WIPA) is an organization that I am proud to be a member of.  I was so honored and excited to be asked to be the "Event Chair" for their July event! And I can’t wait for the WIPA members to see the vision come to life at our *Spa-Infused Cocktail Party*! This evening will include so many fun surprises with so much talent. 
Here is the extraordinary line up for talented featured vendors:


The Sanctuary Resort & Spa is serving as the venue for our luxurious event, and it is the perfect place! With the incredible views and nature surrounding the grounds, there isn't a better place to have our cocktail party at! Plus, rumor has it...they *might* be offering some onsite massages for our guests! Does it get much better?

Design Team:

Jan Dekker of Jan Dekker Designs is an absolutely amazing florist, and I am so excited that she will be designing the floral pieces for this event. I have worked with Jan for many years, she truly puts her heart into her work and has a genuine care for the outcome of the event.  Additionally, she has top notch taste. 

Glamour and Woods will be providing some beautiful statement pieces throughout the event to really enhance the look of the room. This amazing company caught my attention in the Phoenix Bride and Groom magazine with their stunning styled shoot, and I knew they would be perfect for this event!

Southwick Linens is a company that I have also had the pleasure of working with many times, and I absolutely love it. Laurie Southwick really is the master of capacities, sizes, and colors that blend well not only together but also for the venue and it's natural elements. Southwick Linens always provides absolutely beautiful and quality linens for their events!

Event Rents is an awesome company that will be providing beautiful draping throughout the event to give it that luxurious, spa-like feel. Draping can really place a big role and add it so much softness to a space.

Photography and Cinematography: 


Rachel Solomon Photography is an amazing Scottsdale-based photographer who will be taking some beautiful photos of our event! Her style is so romantic and as you can see from her photo below, she is just as lovely as the images she captures.

  Serendipity Cinema will be catching the cocktail party in motion! Some events are so exciting, we want them in still life and in motion, and Serendipity Cinema will be providing this for our event! Taryn, owner of Serendipity, is just so passionate about what her company captures, and we can't wait to work with her and her team for this event!



     Desert House Productions will be setting the mood for this event and providing hip, yet spa-like music to keep the atmosphere relaxed. I'm thrilled to be working this team. Dave and Drea (pictured below) have a such a modern vibe and ultra cool style about them. 

  Champage Creative Group is an absolutely ridiculously talented group, based in Vegas that will be creating a custom showpiece for this event.  I cannot *wait* to see what they come up with.  They specialize in incredible things like champagne fairies, cocktail waitresses on stilts, and strolling cocktail tables.              

The Wellness Bar AZ is the perfect vendor to be at this event! They will be featuring an "Essential Oil Bath Salt Bar"...and also offering some tips on how oils can enhance your life and overall wellness.

Paper Products:

Envelope Envy is a great company, and Jennifer Newman created our beautiful Save the Dates for this event, and they turned out absolutely amazing. Jennifer's easy going nature plus great attention to detail makes her tons of fun to work with. 

This event is being offered to WIPA Members Only. If you work in the Wedding Industry and have been considering joining WIPA, now's the time to do so!  Stay tuned current WIPA members, you'll be receiving registration details in your inbox very soon.

I'm so incredibly grateful and excited to be working with such talented vendors for this event, and I'm quite certain the our WIPA Members will fully enjoy an evening of luxury and leisure. 

Stay tuned for a follow up full feature on this evening!

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