P H I L O S O P H Y
Here at Asiel Design, it is our responsibility and privilege to really understand the vision you have for your wedding theme or special event. It is important that everything from the floral design to the hand crafted design elements that compliment the event space or wedding venue are created for only one purpose: to bring your dream to life. Deriving from our experience with over 700 weddings and special events, we have extracted what we believe to be the most important elements to create an incredible wedding theme or special event design. To this day, we continue to use these principals as our guiding philosophy when collaborating with our clients. Our philosophy is as follows:
1 | Great design begins with a relationship [client + designer = TRUST]
2 | Great design can be attainable.
3 | Great design is to be experienced.
O N E | Great design begins with a relationship of trust between you and the designer.
We believe design begins with a relationship of trust with your wedding planner and event designer. When choosing an event designer or a wedding coordinator, we believe that you should feel listened to, understood, and guided through the process in a way, which helps you achieve a look and feel that is personalized to your style. There should be a connection with the designer’s work, esthetic, and a comfort-ability with the professionalism of the company they represent. Mutual respect between the client and the wedding coordinator or event designer is the foundation to a successfully designed event. We believe it is the client who holds all the secrets to their design – what they like, what excites them, and the message and experience they desire to convey throughout their event.
The wedding planner or event designer holds the keys to unlock those secrets by asking questions and offering images to lead the client toward an event design that they may not yet have the words to express. A designer can use building blocks such as floral design, containers, and design elements to bring a style or desired event theme to life, which is beyond one’s imagination and completely in line with a client’s unique design, esthetic and personality. We believe an event designer needs to be not only artistic, but also competent to fully execute the wedding theme or event design that is agreed upon.
T W O | Great design can be attainable.
[ DESIGN FOR ALL ]
After more than 12 years specializing in floral designs, custom wedding themes, and special events, we noticed our design services became so specialized and couture that only a few could afford them. This did not sit right with us because we believe everyone deserves the wedding or special event of his or her dreams. We have taken great lengths to ensure that our designs would be available to more than just a select few. In short, we aim to give our clients the best design that their budget allows. Here are the concepts we incorporate when planning wedding venue or designing the event space.
STYLE COLLECTION [stahyl] + [kuh-lek-shuhn]
Definition: The Style Collection is a gallery of our work, organized into 30 different “collections.” This guide acts as an inspirational tool in helping our clients put their style into words and pictures. By using the Style Collection as a source of inspiration, we do not need to “re-create the wheel” within every new event we are a part of. In the end this saves our clients time and money.
DESIGNER LOOKS [dih-zahy-ner] + [looks]
Definition: Our Designer Looks are pre-designed wedding theme packages that utilize some of our most well loved wedding themes and special event design concepts in a way that remain cost effective and stylish.
VENUE REVIEW [ven-yoo] + [ri-vyoo]
Definition: Our Venue Review is a design tool to help clients envision different décor ideas within some of the San Jose and San Francisco Bay Area’s best wedding venues and event spaces. Each Venue Review approaches event design from an interior design perspective, keeping in mind the coloring of the event space and any architectural or outdoor features that may affect the overall design of the space. Time and money can be saved by working with the event space and not against it.
T H R E E | Great design is to be experienced.
[ Design that Evokes Emotion ]
We believe that a great event theme and design can create an emotion inside those who interact with it. Our vision is for our clients and their guests to walk into the wedding theme or special event space, which we custom created, and begin to see it dance and come alive. An event can touch people, speak to them and transport them into a new world of wonder, excitement and awe. It is beyond something you put on a table or in a room; it should be life giving and captivating. The most encompassing experience we offer is our B.SPK.N (bih-spokuh n) Events.
In the end, regardless of how much is spent or the scale of the design– great design should be experienced and that experience should evoke emotion –Events are temporal but memories last forever.
Jonathan and Linnae Asiel
C O M M O N Q U E S T I O N S
We have put together a collection of the most frequent common questions asked by our clients. If there is something that is not covered here, please contact us and speak with a member of our team.
O N E | Are you expensive?
We are not the least expensive floral design and event planning company out there. We take pride in our services and art, and charge for them. Having said that, we have gone through great lengths to keep our services affordable and available to a wide base of clients. (To learn more about how we have made our design more attainable check out our Philosophy page.) Something we often hear from our clients and other wedding coordinators, event designers and industry professionals is that “ASIEL DESIGN offers VALUE.” We are also told the weddings and special events we do, look like they cost at least 2x more than what our clients actually paid.
Again, pointing to value and not cheapness.
T W O | Do you have an event minimum? If so, what is it?
We more recently started to enforce a $4,000 minimum to help us withhold a level of excellence and style. We strongly recommend that our wedding floral design clients have a budget that starts between $4,500-5,500 for a typical wedding of about 150 guests. Being wedding planners, floral designers and special event coordinators for over 12+ years, we have discovered our services run about this much to get the essentials, which are needed to create a wedding of this size, even if we are cutting back and creatively stretching the budget. This includes all floral bouquets and boutonnieres, ceremony decor, centerpieces, cake flowers, delivery set up, etc. This price range is based on weddings and special events located within a 1 hour drive of our San Jose Design Space.
T H R E E | How far do you travel?
ASIEL DESIGN is located in San Jose, which is located at the Southern Part of Northern California’s Bay Area. We frequently work in these areas and our location is easily accessible to:
San Francisco | 45 minutes drive
Mid Peninsula | 30-45 minutes
Oakland and the East Bay | 30-45 minutes
Santa Cruz | 30 minutes
Napa | 1hr and 40 minutes
Carmel | 2 hours
Monterey | 1 hour, 30 minutes
Also, we were running a second studio out of Los Angeles and still continue to work with clients there. In this scenario we typically create our design in our Northern California location and truck in all décor items. We also have successfully approached events in Tahoe and Yosemite from this perspective as well
Finally, we do take a handful of destination events a year. This is where we travel with our team and set up a design space closer to the destination. We have done events in Houston, Ecuador, Cozumel, etc.
Please call to learn more.
F O U R | What does Asiel Design do?
We provide design services for weddings & special events. The different services that we offer are: Floral Design, Event Design and our most encompassing service of B.SPK.N Events. Please visit SERVICES to get a more comprehensive idea of what our services entail.
F I V E | What do your floral design services entail?
Our floral design service provides all floral creations for your event. We can provide all centerpieces and many décor items for your event. In the case of a wedding we provide bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, ceremony décor, and reception centerpieces with optional room décor. We also offer “Design Elements”, which are rental pieces that enhance an overall look or design. These rentals include but are not limited to items such as: hand selected antiques, sculptural Manzanita trees and custom wrought iron décor.
Our floral design service is FULL SERVICE, which means that we deliver everything to the event location and set everything up. We also have a staff return at the completion of the event to retrieve all rental items. This allows our clients the freedom to not worry about their design and focus on their celebration. Our installation crews are known for being professional, effective and courteous.
S I X | What happens after we meet?
Following an initial consultation we offer our floral design clients an estimate outlining the services and design that we are offering. This estimate also has an exact dollar amount of all the products and services that are being offered. Each item and service is itemized with an exact dollar amount listed in a line item so you can see how much each item costs. You then have the opportunity to decide if you would like to go with the services offered or make any changes. To move forward a retainer is paid and a contract is created and signed.
S E V E N | Can I just hire you for floral design?
Yes. Floral design is the main service we offer.
E I G H T | How do I meet with you?
Call or email our office. Our office manager Meg will follow up with you to talk about your event details and schedule a time for you to meet with Linnae, our owner and designer. For larger scale productions you will meet with both owners, Jonathan and Linnae.
N I N E | Where do you meet clients?
We prefer to meet all local clients in our SAN JOSE LOCATION. We feel that it is the most compressive way to visualize and experience the design that we have to offer. We also have a satellite location to meet with clients in San Francisco.
We do understand that not all clients are local and are unable to make it to our San Jose location. In this scenario we are happy offer a virtual consultation via Skype, in which we can look at images online. This is a wonderful option for destination event clients, but again, if you are local we recommend coming in so that you can better visualize the design options that we have for you.
T E N | Do you offer an initial complimentary consultation?
Yes. All initial consultations are complimentary.
E L E V EN | What should I do before I come in for a complimentary consultation?
Regardless of whether you have a very clear vision of your event or if you feel quite lost, Linnae and Jonathan are able to walk you through your event in a way that will bring a lot of clarity to your vision. Collecting any pictures or inspirations of things you love is helpful but not required. If you can’t find any picture that you can relate too than that’s OK, Linnae literally has thousands of pictures to show you. It’s no wonder she has been called a “design therapist.”
Also check out our Style Collection, which will help you discover your favorite “Asiel look.” We recommend that you look over this gallery and let us know which you like. It can save you a lot of time during the consultation if you are able to do this.
It’s also helpful to come in with a budget in mind. We like to work with a range of what is available, and what is the maximum. Linnae, will then be able to walk you through the design process and show you what is within the allotted budget. We truly try to balance the budget and deliver incredible design at the same time. The range you offer will set parameters to our consultation.
T W E L V E | How soon should I come in?
For weddings we like to see our clients a minimum of 3-9 months prior to your wedding. We have begun the design process on large weddings only weeks prior to the event, and while that is doable it is not ideal. More time is beneficial for the planning process. We see clients up to about a year to eighteen months prior to their event. Booking earlier does help to ensure our availability for your event as we only take a limited number of events per day. Booking earlier also helps to ensure the availability of your favorite rentals.
For special events, the scale of the event is taken into consideration for planning purposes. Smaller events can be taken on if we are still available anywhere from 1 month to 4 months before the event where as larger events should have more time allotted.
T H I R T E E N | I don’t have an event space yet, can we still meet?
In most cases it is best to have an event location first, unless you are looking for us to recommend a fabulous event space. In many cases though, having an event location is necessary to begin the design process. It allows us to design more specifically.
F O U R T E E N | Do you take kickbacks?
Kickbacks are hidden charges that clients do not know about that tend to directly come from the client’s pocket by up charging. No, we do not accept them or believe in them. We do see however a difference between a commission and a kickback. A commission is a wholesale rate that is offered to a planner or designer for working with a specific company for many years. It makes the sale easier for the company that offers the commission because they do not need to pay their sales person to sell a product. We do accept and offer commissions under these terms. It does not come from the client’s pocket and is not available to the general public.
F I F T E E N | Is there anything I should know?
This journey begins with you. Your style and who you are. Trends come and go, but you will always be you…so celebrate that and be sure to incorporate your personality and style into your event! This is what we believe is the beginning to a successful event.
Jonathan and Linnae
G L O S S A R Y O F T E R M S
Welcome! We know the wedding and special event world can be an overwhelming place. It’s a new culture with new words and ideas all of it’s own. In hopes of clarifying the design process and concepts we decided to create this glossary of terms to explore
Below are some terms and ideas that may have popped up in our website, blog and within conversations with other wedding coordinators or floral designers. Some of these terms are general design ideas and some are terms that we have coined within our company to create concepts and help make designing your next wedding venue or special event an easy and fun process. Either way we hope this GLOSSARY is helpful in understanding our philosophy and approach to design.
[ Terms to be defined below ]
|[A]||ART NOUVEAU||[I]||INDIE WEDDINGS|
|ASIEL DESIGN CENTER||[J]||JUXTOPOSITION|
|[B]||B.SPK.N EVENTS||[L]||LAYERS OF DESIGN|
|[C]||COORDINATOR | PLANNER||[P]||PAVE|
|[D]||DESIGN ELEMENTS||PERSONALIZE vs. CUSTOMIZE|
|DESIGN THAT EVOKES||[S]||SIGNATURE DESIGN ELEMENTS|
|DESIGN FOR ALL||STEAMPUNK|
|DESIGNER LOOKS||STYLE and TREND DIRECTORS|
|[E]||EVENT DESIGNER||SUSTAINABLE DESIGN|
|[F]||FLORAL DESIGNER||[V]||VENUE REVIEW|
|[G]||GREEN WEDDING & EVENTS|
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art that was most popular between 1890-1910. This term refers to themes and designs that harmonize with the natural environment and is inspired by natural forms and structures. Asiel Design offers various styles that follow this line of thinking.
ASIEL DESIGN CENTER | AKA “THE WAREHOUSE”
The warehouse has been the home of Asiel Design since 2003. This 10,000 sq ft warehouse was built in the 1800’s. Its corrugated steal walls and exposed beams are the perfect backdrop for this creative space. Asiel’s event productions and design consultations take place here. This is also one of the top wedding venues in the San Jose and San Francisco Bay Area in addition to being a great event space for photo shoots and special events.
This term refers to people or works that are experimental or innovative in respect to art. Asiel Design is considered to be Avant-Garde in that they push the boundaries of typical design combinations, wedding design etiquette, floral designs and colors, and design elements. They are leaders in their field bringing in new ideas and offering alternatives to those who are curious.
B.SPK.N EVENTS (bih – spohkuyn)
B.SPK.N Events are special events where Asiel Design is acting as the Event Designer, Floral Designer, and Producer of the event. We are involved in all design aspects of the B.SPK.N. Events. A B.SPK.N Events are the most encompassing service that we have to offer.
We believe that the B.SPK.N events are the truest form of our imagination and use of our skills. That is why they present the most emotion. Here we play off of our “Layers of Design” concept. (See layers of design below).
COORDINATOR | PLANNER
The role of a COORDINATOR/PLANNER is different from an EVENT DESIGNER. In the truest sense, an event coordinator/planner coordinates all logistics as it pertains to an event i.e. timeline, scheduling, event orders, etc. A coordinator may have input into the wedding theme or design of an event. That said, design responsibilities typically fall onto the floral designer and/or event designer. As an example, a wedding coordinator or wedding consultant is very helpful when budgeting and helping to create a flow for the special event as well as walk a client through contracts and liabilities. We recommend wedding coordinators and/or event planners for large events with many logistics.
Refers to any inventory that could be reused. DESIGN ELEMENTS could consist of branches, antiques, vases, glassware, candelabras, feathers, rhinestone encrusted vases, etc.
Asiel Design uses these elements to create DRAMA for wedding themes or special events while they typically offset high floral design costs. Design elements could be custom made (i.e. candelabras) or collected (i.e. antiques). Rental of these items are typically tax-free.
DESIGN THAT EVOKES EMOTION
This phrase embodies the idea that design is more than something to look at. Rather, when done properly, design can actually have you GET IN TOUCH WITH EMOTION. Whether the sentiment is calm, passionate, or celebratory, design is to be experienced. Our B.SPK.N events most encompass “design that evokes emotion.”
DESIGN FOR ALL
The idea is that Designing your wedding venue, floral designs, special event theme can be made more accessible to people by being made more affordable. Some ways that we have lowered costs are by; using sustainable design elements, utilizing pre-designed concepts (Designer Looks) and by not “recreating” the wheel for every special event (Style Collection). We still strive to create designs that fit our client’s vision in conjunction with presenting designs that are tried and true.
Our designer looks are pre-designed wedding theme packages that utilize some of our most well loved design concepts in a way that remain cost effective.
DESTINATION WEDDINGS [EVENTS]
Any wedding design or special event where the guests, or more often the clients, live in a different region from where the event or wedding venue is taking place is considered a destination event. Most, if not all, of the planning process happens away from the destination.
Often the guests make a vacation out of traveling and the event is the highlight of the trip. Typically, a destination wedding has a smaller guest count.
Asiel Design does work on Destination Weddings to other countries and cities. We also take clients coming from cities such as New York to have their weddings in San Jose, the San Francisco Bay Area or Napa. We call this Destination California.
An event designer may be a separate person from a “floral designer”, “wedding coordinator”, or “event coordinator/planner”. An event designer typically oversees many (if not all) design aspects within an event.
Anything pertaining to flowers, linens, lighting, rentals and stationary are usually within the event designer’s responsibilities. Many event designers are not involved in the creation of décor elements, yet their responsibility is to ensure that the various companies create a cohesive and seamless look. In other words, as an example, making sure the floral designer, event planner and event designer are all sharing and communicating your vision accurately.
Some event designers are involved in the production of the tangible goods or services provided. Asiel Design, for instance, may act as floral designer and/or event designer.
The difference between florists & floral designers: A florist is a person who makes floral arrangements for all occasions including wedding flowers. They usually work from a storefront and clients walk in to purchase items no matter how big or small the design.
Floral designers, however, are usually met with by appointment only and custom-create specific floral designs for your wedding theme or special event. They take into account the client’s colors, themes, style, taste, and location of the event. They will usually design floral arrangements prior to the event then set up or install their creations at the wedding venue or special event space.
Gothic subculture is found in many countries and has associated tastes in music, aesthetics, and fashion. Gothic inspired wedding themes are typically off the beaten path and are considered “Indie Weddings.” Asiel Design has created groundbreaking photo-shoots and event design concepts that cater to gothic décor wedding themes. If you are interested in a gothic aesthetic for your wedding or event, be sure to visit Haute Gothic (with modern influences) and Gothique Rose (with old world influences) within the Style Collection.
GREEN WEDDING & EVENTS
A green event is an event that is environmentally conscious of the effects that it has on the environment. Green events are also aware of its social impact. When we, at Asiel Design, talk about green events, it is mostly in conjunction with the floral design aspects. Topics that we cover are pesticides, sustainable design, fair trade, carbon footprints and uses of toxins in the floral industry. We have several blog posts on this for your reference. Be sure to let us know if you are interested in a green wedding or special event.
An “Indie” wedding theme, much like indie music, is a wedding style that is forged off the beaten path. The style is usually trend-setting and is an eclectic fusion of the couples’ personalities. The word “indie” is a short hand for “independent.”
When we are talking about juxtaposition, we are taking two ideas that are seemingly contrary and joining them together in a new and interesting way. A visionary example could be something as simple as “rusted can” coupled with a “soft garden peony.” Juxtapositions can create a new feeling of wonder, awe and curiosity for your wedding theme or special event.
Kickbacks are hidden charges that clients do not know about that tend to directly come from the client’s pocket by up charging. We at Asiel Design do not accept them or believe in them. We do see however a difference between a commission and a kickback. A commission is a wholesale rate that is offered to a wedding planner or event designer for working with a specific company for many years. It makes the sale easier for the company that offers the commission because they do not need to pay their sales person to sell their product. We do accept and offer commissions under these terms. It does not come from the client’s pocket and is not available to the general public.
LAYERS OF DESIGN
Layers of design are Asiel’s four most important aspects of a successful event. They consist of [ Art/Décor ], [ Music/Sound ], [ Food | Alcohol ], and [ Guest list ]. When working in conjunction, these layers are the building blocks to any great wedding theme or special event.
Pave floral design consists of a repeating flower or texture that is tucked low and tight. For example: a low rectangular vase with a line of lavender roses that resemble soldiers marching in a line.
PERSONALIZATION vs. CUSTOMIZATION
This concept pertains to the idea that we do not need to recreate the wheel every time we approach a new wedding or special event. By using Designer Looks and/or the Style Collection, Asiel Design takes a wide range of pre-designed concepts to create the best possible designs for perspective clients.
We are then able to “personalize” these designs to our client’s vision.
The concept is TO MAKE DESIGN READILY AVAILABLE to more people by making it MORE AFFORDABLE. Asiel Design does create wedding themes and events that are one of a kind and customized as well.
SIGNATURE DESIGN ELEMENTS
Custom created inventory made by Asiel Design and made exclusively for Asiel Design’s clientele. Examples of such design elements are Lion Stands, Firenze & Apothic candelabras, candle walls, and the glamour vase.
The “Steampunk Theme” movement is an exclusive subculture that is reminiscent of the original steam powered era of trains, hot air balloons and engines that operate off of gears. This is referring to the early 19th century, and is mixed with elements of fantasy. Clothing works off of the Victorian Era, and is industrialized with accessories. Elements that are consistent are goggles, gears, Edison light bulbs, wings, and earth tones mixed with bronze, and terracotta; it all tends to be dramatized.
Asiel Design offers a line of STEAMPUNK inspired design elements and wedding theme packages. In 2011, Asiel broke ground with a major wedding photo-shoot presenting this style to the couture bride. It can be found in Today’s Bride Magazine. For Steampunk inspired design inspiration check out Steampunk Subculture and Industrial Ambiance wedding themes in our Style Collection.
STYLE and TREND DIRECTORS
Jonathan and Linnae are the STYLE & TREND DIRECTORS for Today’s Bride magazine. Being seen as trendsetters and innovators in the event industry, Jonathan and Linnae were asked to help invigorate unique wedding themes, new styles and trends both within Today’s Bride and in the wedding and special event industry. Their responsibilities within the magazine are to select designers to participate in new shoots and help select artistic content and direction for the magazine. In 2013 Asiel Design oversaw all the cover and editorial shoots, which proved to be a groundbreaking year for Today’s Bride Magazine. It took the magazine’s 20th Anniversary to a new artistic level for décor.
The STYLE COLLECTION acts as an inspirational guide to help our clients put their style into words and pictures. Clients can choose the style(s) or wedding theme packages that most represent their vision for their event. Although, we personalize each style to our client’s needs, we save time and energy by not completely reinventing the wheel within each event, which in return, allows us to pass the savings on.
Our Style Collection is vast with over 30 wedding themes and styles, and is growing. With so many “tried and true” styles, there is sure to be something for everyone. Check the Style Collection out today to see which theme or style you relate with the most. Some clients are drawn toward multiple styles and we are able to blend them together to make a personalized design.
The Style Guide is a “Pinterest like” database that will allow our clients to select pictures and make storyboards of their favorite Asiel Design images to better understand their own style. This one-of-a-kind feature will allow our clients to select their favorite designs, flowers, and textures and will conveniently have a budget calculator to better understand what they can get with their budget. This puts the power back in the hands of our clients to shop wisely and understand their choices.
Design that lessens the impact on our environment. Asiel Design uses sustainable design elements [see Design Elements above] and in doing so lessens the amounts of cut flowers, flower costs and floral design. For example, we are able to wire flowers to a tree and use less stems of flowers to create an equally (if not more) dramatic piece for less costs than a traditional floral centerpiece of the same size.
Our Venue Review is a design tool to help clients envision different décor ideas within some of San Jose’s and San Francisco Bay Area’s best wedding venues and event spaces. Each Venue Review approaches event design from an interior design perspective keeping in mind the coloring of the event space, and any architectural or outdoor features that may affect the overall design of the space.
Each Venue Review shows pictures of the venue, Asiel Design décor options, linen swatches that work well with the space and lighting suggestions as well as other décor tips. Please use the Venue Review tool as an important design tool to create a seamlessly designed event.