All right. It finally happened…she’s accepted it: I am engaged y’all!! It’s real, it’s hit me and I am so happy to celebrate my relationship with Erik. Over the past five years we have shared so much, building a business, overcoming challenges, raising our dogs and learning that being happy is always better than being right. It sounds wicked corny, but I love him more now than ever before. Our relationship gives me strength and motivation to be the best person I can be. I am no longer stressing out about the planning process, instead I am experiencing so much gratitude for the blessings in my life. Currently the mantra has been, “We will figure it out.” No matter what, “We will figure it out.” Try using it today to solve a problem, you can thank me later. I know it may seem simple and silly, but this positive perspective helps ground me, allowing me to move right into problem solving instead of freaking out and getting derailed. It works on virtually anything, except running out of toilet paper.

She Likes to Party

Real talk though… our engagement party was magical, a glimpse into how special our wedding will be. The majority of our 75 guests were local, a blend friends, family and colleagues. We celebrated by gathering at W Scottsdale to eat incredible food, drink outstanding wine and be merry…it was truly glorious and has us giddy for our next party. Since Erik and I are both from Los Angeles we decided to have a second engagement party in LA next month. We are expecting roughly about 150 guests at the hotel where Erik proposed to me: Hotel Figueroa. Right now I’m working on my second article for The Knot where I will go into more detail on both events and explain why we chose to do two parties — read my latest article on The Knot by clicking here.

Event planning and production has always been something I’ve enjoyed. I’m fortunate to have worked on a diverse range of events throughout my career, from fashion shows and private parties in New York, to product launches and press events in Los Angeles. Although nothing has been as exciting as planning these celebrations with Erik right here in the living room of our home in Phoenix, AZ. Engagement parties are unscripted, you and your fiancé can do whatever you want. I feel like there’s less pressure because there aren’t the same type of expectations as with an actual wedding. This allowed me to focus on what really matters: food.

If You Feed Them, They Will Come

The first thing I ask myself when I’m planning an event is, “What will I be eating, and can it be eaten daintily?” Yes, daintily. No one at your party wants to end up with food all over themselves, but they absolutely will if you don’t help them out. Plan accordingly and ensure everything you serve is easy to handle, delicious and well, dainty! Sushi Roku to the rescue! Sushi Roku Scottsdale is one of our favorite restaurants in Arizona and their Executive Chef, Joseph Castillo, crafted a culinary experience that weeks later I’m still dreaming about — see more of what we served at the party in this blog. Everything served was incredible but my favorite favorite bite was the Short Rib Bao (yes it’s on the restaurant’s menu and you have to try it) and the most innovative presentation was the Ceviche Proposal he served inside ring boxes…genius! Guests had a lot of fun playing around with them, especially after a few glasses of wine (as I am demonstrating above). The wine by the way…FABULOUS!!! I took the short quiz on First Leaf’s website and it’s recommendations are what we served: a red, a white and a rosé. If you want to try them out you can save $10 and get free shipping by signing up here. Treat yourself, I’m drinking a glass right now.

Ambiance, It’s Important

Another equally essential element of a successful event is the decor and it all starts with the location. I am a huge fan of hosting events in hotel suites. It feels unexpected, while making your guests feel special as they are escorted to the room. It sets a cool vibe (fully attained with a proper playlist) for the party, which is exactly why we chose W Scottsdale. The property’s Mega Suite has a beautiful layout with a sliding glass wall that opens up to the property’s largest private balcony overlooking the pool. We worked with the existing design elements by complimenting them with dozens of gold roses from Venus ET Fleur and placing them throughout the party. They were also a huge hit with our guests! We chose Le Petite arrangements to place on the high top tables outside and Large Box arrangements to compliment the bar and food displays.

Love Wins

Let’s be real though, the most important part of the party are the guests. Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate us, we felt so loved and have so much love for all of you. Thank you for the generous gifts and the thoughtful cards. Really though, more than anything, since our engagement I have felt an outpouring of love from those closest to us. We are here for it, happy to receive, but also happy to return it. I’m feeling profoundly grateful and excited for the future.