Author: Christina Sorensen

Wedding Day or Personalized Gifts

Have you guys ever heard of PaperGemsCo. ?? If not you have to check them out and give them a follow. IG handle : @paper_gems_co Personally we are all about details here at Ciao Bella. So when it comes to Wedding day gifts for the Bride or personalized presents we are always in the shopping for something special. These are handmade with love and we couldn’t be happier with the way they look! It’s definitely a gift you will be proud of giving! Trust us when we say this will be a hit at anyone’s Wedding Day! Also a great gift to give for an Anniversary, Birthday or Celebration! Check out how cute they are! I have attached photos below for you to see for yourself!


A little bit about Paper Gems Co.


1. When did you start Paper Gems Co? 

2. When did you first start to paint/draw? Do you have a background in art?

3. How did you come to paint bottles? What was the first bottle you painted?

4. What events are the bottles most ordered for?

5. What is your favorite type of package to paint?

6. Do you have plans to expand in 2020? Or any new offerings?

1. (February, 2018) I’m coming up on my second anniversary of Paper Gems Co! I started out solely in the stationery industry, painting Valentine’s Day cards locally and for family and friends. At the time, I was finishing my last year as an entrepreneurship student at Baylor University, and was working on a hypothetical business model. Our final project was a full-blown business plan, so I decided to use my existing tiny Paper Gems Valentines Day cards business as my project. From then, it’s blossomed beautifully, and has reached into areas I never could’ve predicted! 

2. I began to draw and paint as soon as I could hold a crayon or brush! I created my first “official” painting when I was 4 of a giant close-up of Princess Ariel’s face. It’s still on the wall of my studio, and is a reminder of the depth of the natural passion and love which truly is the reason I’m doing what I am today.


3. Starting the business as a college kid in Waco, Texas, there was a bit of transitioning to be done moving back to my hometown while entering my professional life. One of my first friends in the design space here was Trisha Langlois, owner of Sophisticated Threads. She helped me attain a better grip on the industry, giving me advice for potential partnerships, design ideas and critiques, and the list goes on. The biggest thing that she did for me, though, was not originally intended as a favor, but we soon realized that it meant significant change was to come. She asked if I could figure out a way to paint in my watercolor style on a bottle of champagne for her best friend’s wedding shower. And that was it! I began experimenting with different surface media, and found a combo that allows me to maintain my watercolor style on glass bottles. Once that first bottle was posted, I started to understand what it would mean for Paper Gems Co in the future. My business is now split almost 20/80 between stationery products and my hand-painted bottles. 


4. Around 90% of my bottles are wedding or engagement elements. The remaining 10% range from anniversary gifts all the way to corporate ’thank you’ gifts. 


5. My all-time favorite and go-to (as you can probably see) is Veuve Cliquot. Not only is it an absolutely timeless, quality brand, but their label simply screams “class,” and that’s something that Paper Gems Co holds as a core value. Everything we create, regardless of whether it’s a high-class elegant bottle or a fun greeting card, is of the highest quality, refined, and tasteful. 


6. This year, I plan to expand into a few new areas: I’ll be offering many more creative wedding services, such as invitation and announcement artwork, place cards, and custom wedding memorial paintings. I’m currently working on a watercolor monogram line for all types of stationery: notecards, organization lists, gift tags, etc.  I’ll also be able to take more commissioned pet portraits and house landscapes, which I’ve always loved creating!


I’ve had so much fun working with my 2019 clients to create their one-of-a-kind gifts, each containing symbols of their lives, love, and celebration, whether that’s their golden retriever, wedding venue, Mardi Gras krewe, or LSU football.

I am truly inspired by each person I work with in seeing the amount of love they are pouring into their gift bottles, and trusting me to capture their vision for them! 

In case you’d like more about the process: Our painted bottles carry a lightness and elegance due to the use of watercolor paint. In order to achieve this, I apply a unique base coat comprised of a variety of media. I then paint 4 layers onto the glass, each drying before the next coat is applied. Once the layers have dried through-and-through, around 4 hours later, I am able to begin painting my client’s unique design, finish it with a tough acrylic coating, and wrap a white satin ribbon around the neck to top it off! 

The Face behind the designs! Cheers to this cutie, thanks for letting us feature you Sophia! We can’t wait to see what other designs you come up with! May you continue to prosper in your love for art, you are a natural at this! Keep it up. We are so proud of your work and love your Custom Bottles!

Sofia Ungarino
Paper Gems Co.
Owner & Artist

To be loved by you

This is still going to be the best day in your life!

We wanted to stay positive in these times of discomfort and fear. We promise you your Wedding day will still be the best day of your life, you know why….because you are marrying your soulmate. And no matter where life takes you, you will always have each other. 


You have found the love of your life and as one of our favorite quotes goes, “some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this.”


We know our brides have been shaken up during this whole pandemic but good times are ahead. With pushing back their wedding dates and postponing till later in the year one thing is ultimately clear, we will all get through this together. Trust in us and your Planners + stay strong.

We are working with our vendors and doing our best to get you what you want. We are being flexible and providing you with the best possible outcomes.


With all our love, stay healthy and be safe. We will leave you on this note..”don’t worry about a thing, cuz every little thing… it’s going to be alright” —B.M.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Head over Heels

Swooning over these Dream Day Shoes! We all want a good pair of Wedding shoes but what color do we get! We wanted to give you the 411 on what’s popular in 2020! These heels are all hitting the dancefloor!

Here’s what’s trending. We are seeing a lot of white, neutrals, satin and velvets, + blush pinks in a new color in the mix { and we are not mad about it} !

As most of you know it’s imperative to have one pair of shoes for Ceremony + Professional photos and one pair for Dancing + The Reception.

Most brides are opting for two pairs on their Wedding day regardless of they have an outfit change. Two pairs of shoes are a must! View our gallery below to see what’s hot!

Photo credits : Brides, Wedding Wire, The Knot, Pinterest, Bridal Bliss, and The Planners Lounge.

Weddings + Covid-19

Dealing with the outcomes of planning during the pandemic!

A Note from our CEO

The Ultimate Checklist to help you navigate through these tough times. Let’s get through this together.

  1. Don’t let this stress you out
  2. Take time to seek out options
  3. Make the right decisions / Pick a new date if possible. If not in 2020 in 2021 or 2022!
  4. Reach out to your Wedding Planner, if you don’t have one— reach out to your vendors immediately
  5. Review your contracts / proposals carefully
  6. Even if there is a “no refunds” policy / this is new to all of us and Planners + Vendors are working diligently with our brides to offer refunds during this difficult time
  7. Postpone if you can. Postponing over canceling will help out everyone involved. Most small businesses, will most likely… not be able to survive without you.
  8. Make sure to have a back up plan! We are uncertain of when this will all end. To be safe move your March, April, and May Weddings—- to mid June, July or August.
  9. Update your Wedding Website
  10. Keep up with the News / stay in touch with your vendors

“Social distancing” is a new phrase we all have been hearing lately. To Wedding and Event Planners it’s like “nails on a chalkboard.” —- { What do you mean! This is our livelihood, to plan + coordinate huge Weddings, Events and Private Parties. }

This whole thing, is not only putting a strain on us and our industry, but it effects… each and every one of us. As of now, 80 million jobs are at risk. More than $190,000 dollars have been lost due to the cancellation of weddings. Pleaseeee, we can not stress this enough, “do your best if you can, to reschedule and not cancel.”

This is a true crisis in The Wedding World and we all need to support one another. Our Brides are devastated, lives have been lost and human beings are at risk. We are all apart of this.

Let’s do our part —stay healthy and be safe. Take social distancing seriously. Let’s not infect each other. The CDC just announced that you can only have, no more than 10 people at one gathering for the next 15 days. The US has now put 3 states on lockdown.

Industry experts are seeing a huge influx in Fall + Winter Weddings. We want you to know you are not alone. Many brides are feeling like their Dream Days have been taken away from them. Let’s not get discouraged, stressing out doesn’t help anything. Things will get better it’s only inevitable. We can not control what the future holds but we can control our emotional state. Let’s try to stay positive, have a hopeful mindset and focus on self-care. The Ciao Bella Babes are here for you during this difficult time. Please reach out to us if you need professional advice or anything at all.

Mansion Celebrations

We wanted to do something fun! We gathered up some models and designed a Gatsby Themed 1920s inspired shoot, at this jaw dropping Estate & Mansion here in Orange County.


This Estate is phenomenal. It’s picturesque grounds make the perfect backdrop from any angle. 

 This charming & enchanting Estate, is the perfect location for your Dream Day Wedding, your next Event, Party, Celebration, Corporate Party, or Holiday / Company Gathering! Imagine hosting your next Cocktail or Private Party, Family Reunion, Special Occasion, Bridal Shower, Baby Shower here!! Venue + Rehearsal & Overnight Accommodations available at this property.

The Mansion is nestled on approximately 5 acres of land, has luxury living accommodations and entertaining at its finest. This Estate is comprised of an 18,000 square foot Main house and an impressive 5,600 square foot Guest House with 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms that can be rented out separately. Midway between both houses is a lush tropical resort style 30-foot pool engulfed in large rockscapes, waterfalls, hidden grotto, elevated Jacuzzi, and expansive terraces featuring imported African palms trees and it’s own Private Vineyard. 


We had all the glitz and glam styled for our day. From eye masks, twinkle lights, to black balloons. We filled the Estate with all the necessities to make due for a glamorous shoot!

We are super excited to share photos from our Photoshoot. We hope you enjoy them. Drop a comment a let us know what you think. Also we would love to hear your thoughts on a theme we should shoot for our next Photoshoot! Is there anything in particular things that comes to mind!?? If so, please —-Share!

That’s a wrap what a fabulous turn out. We are thrilled with the way everything came together. If you are interested and would like a personal tour of this venue please send us a message or contact us at 949.514.1651.

Morning Lavender

 

Have you ever heard of Morning Lavender?? If not, you will have to look it up.

Morning Lavender Boutique and Café is the cutest place ever to have any type of Event :

-Bridal Shower

-Baby Shower

-Birthday Party

-Gathering

-Or a special event

Located in the heart of Tustin, this little gem is a must see.

It’s open from 9am-7pm. And is easy to see, from the front you will see it’s beautiful Boutique and behind the boutique is the Café.

Before coming here, I always know parking in front of the shop is limited.

There are plenty of spots down the main streets so plan on walking a little bit.

We have been here a hand full of times to meet our Brides. They have a variety of Bridesmaids dresses and gowns in their showroom to choose from. We think it’s such a great place to have a meeting.

We hoped you enjoyed our review and little segment on this hidden gem. Stay busy and be beautiful! https://morninglavender.com/

XoXo- The Ciao Bella Babes

Ciao Bella Baby

Maternity Photoshoot

We decided to do a Maternity Photoshoot near by, our house at the time. We loved the way the greenery was taking over the Pepper fields.


So we called up my brother who is great on the GoPro and has his own Drone, to get that awesome footage, my sister-in-law who knows all my good angles and went for it.

The weather was wonderful a little cold by the time we got down there because it was golden hour, but we had a little sunlight still!

It made due for the best pictures. The last time we got pregnant we, or should I say “I” wanted to get those fabulous sunset on the beach shots. So this time around we went for a totally different feel. Here is our first look.


For our second look I wanted to spice it up and add some color to our wardrobe, so I wore a red dress, and the hubs and our baby girl, Liv wore denim.

I love what a sport she was being especially during her nap time. She did get cranky towards the end, so I knew it was time to go. But I needed up doing a super cute look inside the house as well, so it was great that she wanted to go.

I am feeling great this time around. I’m super happy to be having another baby. I couldn’t be more grateful and blessed to be carrying a healthy baby. We absolutely love our doctors Tiffney and Brian Tran over by Mission Viejo Hospital. They are such a dynamic duo and made my first process of being pregnant a breeze, plus delivery was crazy, and I couldn’t thank Dr Tran enough for being my super hero that day.

The Ultimate Guide to Bridal Shopping

Have you ever wondered what the process is to go Bridal Shopping?

It’s not as simple as you would like, or even think for that matter. If only, you could just call the day of, or walk in, and be treated like you were shopping at Nordys or Bloomies.

Don’t get us wrong, yes you could, but most places are by appointment only and a lot are booked out way in advance. Unless you go to somewhere like BHLDN in Anthropology. They are way more friendly since they are at a Mall and are more welcoming to walk ins.

We are here to give you the 411 on what to do when it comes to Shopping for your Dream Dress.

Here is the Ultimate Guide To Bridal Shopping.

5 things you need to know before you go Dress Shopping

1.Scout out your favorite locations 

2.Book your appointments in advance most all Bridal Shops are by apts only and they get filled up quickly.

3.Go shopping at least 8-12 months before your Wedding or 6 months at the least. 

4.Know that the dresses you try on are usually one size and they will be clipping you into them. It is not your actual dress. Your dress will most likely be custom made accordingly.

5.Coordinate with your Bridesmaids or besties, whoever you would like to go with you and find out their availability and schedule a day that works for you and then.

Wedding Pizza Bar

Happy National Pizza Day! “I love you with every PIZZA my heart !” We love a good pun!

Imagine having a Pizza Buffet on your wedding day! We think this is such great way to incorporate something fun and affordable.

Here are 5 ways your can do it.

  1. Have a Hosted Pizza Bar
  2. Have Pizza served in slices for appetizers
  3. Have it for midnight snacks
  4. Have a kids table set for making mini pizzas and oven roast them
  5. Take them home! Have boxes to-go for people to eat as they go!

Photo credits:

https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/

http://TheKnot.com

http://Brides.com

https://www.weddingomania.com/