Viva L'Event » Blog

  • Viva is a full service boutique planning and design studio specializing in destination events. We absolutely LOVE what we do making our clients special day a day they will never forget, an event that is “buzz worthy”.

There is nothing like a Mother’s touch.  A shoot inspired by the love between a Mother and her daughter as well as the strong bond between sisters who have daughters themselves.  Highlighting the elegance, soft touch and gentleness of a mother’s touch. Strong women teaching the strength to their own daughters.
THE FUTURE IS FEMALE!!! We hope you feel the love!
Designer/Stylist-Viva L’Event
Hair/Makeup- Teighla Norris
Mother’s Day Cards-

One question I get a lot from people when I tell them what I do is “Where is your favorite place to plan a wedding?”, Charleston, South Carolina is one of those favorites.  I have had the pleasure of planning and designing weddings in this beautiful city a few times now and each time I can’t wait to go back!

It’s been a while since I have written I know but I am making it a goal of mine to make a more consistent post at least monthly and maybe even a few times a month.  I want to write not only professionally but also personally.  I have to tell you though (and from my own Mom, who was an English teacher) I am not a great writer, I write with how I talk.  I like to think that’s not a bad thing, I think it is what has hindered me to not post pieces because of the judgement on my writing.  I think I need to just throw that away and say “WHO CARES!”, right???  What you want to hear hopefully is what is truly just in my heart and so that is what I am going to do.  Screw it, if you are a grammar freak maybe my blogs are not for you, if you are all about hearing my heart keep reading.

Charleston Wedding Planning/Design by Viva L

Ok, back to my clients Jennifer and Steven’s beautiful downtown Charleston, SC wedding in the historic downtown section set in an old cigar warehouse called The Cedar Room.  Destination weddings are something I love to do and a majority of my clients don’t even live near me or even near their venue, just like in this case with Jen and Steven.  Our first consultation was a video FaceTime call, living 3 hours from their wedding location and 4 hours from me, what made this the perfect fit, not only are they fabulous, but that they FULLY TRUSTED in why they hired me.  This is one of the most important factors in hiring any vendor for your wedding or anyone you ever have to hire for work on your house, a job, etc. is trusting in the skills of what drew you to them in the first place.  I always feel so truly honored when I am hired as someone’s planner and designer because it is such a special time if anyone’s lives that I take that so very seriously.

Jen and Steven their freshman year in college at Virginia Tech. They lived across from each other in the dorms and had a lot of the same classes since they were in the same major. The people in their part of the hall spent a lot of time together- they had classes together, ate meals together, went camping, went out on the weekends. Their little section of the dorm became like a family.

When asking Jen and Steven to describe their proposal they said…

“The proposal was perfect. The week prior had been a whirlwind. Within 10 days, I had graduated from PA school, taken my board exam, packed up and moved myself to South Carolina to be with Steven, and flown to Mexico with Steven and a couple of friends for a celebratory vacation. The week we got back was Christmas and unfortunately Steven was working the night shift that week, so I expected to spend most of the week without him. Early Christmas morning, when Steven got home from work, he woke me up and asked if I wanted to open Christmas presents before he had to go to sleep. Half asleep, I agreed. The final gift I opened that morning was from Steven and was a glass desk nameplate for my new office with “Jennifer Templeton” on it. Still half asleep, and now slightly confused, I looked up and Steven was down on one knee! It was the most perfect proposal.”

Why did you choose Charleston, SC as your wedding venue location?…

“In the short time in our new home, we had spent many of our favorite weekends in Charleston, so it was an easy choice for us!”

Describe your wedding day?…

“Jennifer: The wedding day was pure bliss. It was everything I had hoped it would be and SO much more. I wish there were more words to describe how perfect our special day was for Steven and I. From the amount of love, support, and happiness ALL of our friends and family exuded, to the beauty of the ceremony/reception, and everything before, during, and after, our wedding day was flawless in our eyes. Everyone tells you how fast the day goes, which is 100% true. Some of the best ‘day-of’ advice I was given was to take moments throughout the day to stop and really enjoy each part.

Steven: As Jen said, the wedding day WAS a blur. There are so many moving parts, so we made a point to take small breaks and appreciate the day. The wedding day was magical. So much hard work (big thanks to Stephanie) went into making the day as special as it could be. Surrounded by our closest friends and wonderful family, I could not imagine a more special day.”

I love to ask what was your favorite design detail and this is what they said…

“Jennifer: It’s so hard to pick just one! Everything was so incredible. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the floral arrangements. Lots of “greenery” is something I expressed to Stephanie that I really wanted to incorporate and she truly delivered on this! Her floral arrangements were breathtaking. They felt so unique and purposefully planned; they really popped in our venue setting against the other colors while complementing the overall design. I look back at our wedding photos and am still amazed at how much I love the florals.

Steven: I agree with Jen that the floral designs were wonderful, and I was pessimistic about so having a lot of greenery in the wedding; after seeing it, however, I realized that the women were right.”

I had so much fun planning and designing their wedding and creating their floral was such a wonderful experience! I want to wish Jennifer and Steven a very Happy 1 year Wedding Anniversary today!!!  It was again a true honor to be a part of your special day, for you to trust in me and now life long friends!


Wedding Planning, Event Design & Floral Design: Viva L’Event

Photography: Kait Winston Photography

Venue: The Cedar Room 

Rentals: Ooh Events

Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

Ceremony Music: Bunn DJ Company

Reception Music: Diverse Groove Band

Catering & Cake: Merchantile and Mash

Hair/Makeup: Canary Rock Salon

Transportation: Coastal Limousine





We were so excited to see Megan and Ryan’s wedding was just featured on The Carolinas Magazine for their Southern Wedding Charm at Orange United Methodist Church and the beautiful Carolina Inn.  A staple here in North Carolina for all the UNC Tar Heel fans and alums.  You can see the feature here.

I just loved the touches of shimmer and pops of color for their wedding day.  They wanted a fun but elegant feel to their Southern wedding.  Who doesn’t love some Jimmy Choo shoes too, am I right!?

Tre Bella did such a beautiful job on their flowers, look at Megan’s bridal bouquet.

I salute Ryan for his service as a Marine for our country and just love this image that Julia captured of his medals.  Beautiful!

They asked guests to have a silent ceremony and allow the photographer to really capture the moments, and did she ever!!! Love this image of Ryan as Megan was walking down the aisle.

A smile to me really says it all and you could see such pure joy they had with each other it was beautiful to witness.  They embraced each other, held on and enjoyed the moments.  This is what it is all about!

Megan’s Modern Trousseau dress was so stunning.  The lace portion of her dress was a separate piece that she was able to take off later in the day to dance the night away making the dress strapless.

The Carolina Inn has such lovely grounds for couples to take their photos and their ballrooms really capture that true Southern elegance.

For a Marine Corps cake cutting ceremony, the sword is usually placed unsheathed on the cake cart and handed to the commanding general/commanding officer by the senior escort. This is done by laying the sword over the left forearm, cutting edge away from the body, and the hilt towards the commanding general/commanding officer.

At a wedding, an officer, warrant or staff noncommissioned officer passes his sword and presents it to his bride, by laying the sword over his left forearm, cutting edge away from the body, hilt towards the bride. The bride takes the sword and cuts the wedding cake, with the groom’s right hand resting over hers on the sword’s hilt and with his left arm free to place around his bride. I love that they did this Marine tradition with the beautiful cake by Ashley Cakes.

Best confetti departure EVER (with biodegradable confetti)!!


Photographer:  Julia Wade Photography//Ceremony Venue:  Orange United Methodist Church//Reception Venue: The Carolina Inn//Floral Designer:Tre Bella Flowers//Event Planner: Viva L’Event//Bridesmaid Dresses:Amsale Bridemaids//Musicians: Arioso Strings Inc.//Cake Designer: Ashley Cakes//Transportation:Carolina Livery Transportation//Musicians:Groove Town Band//Cinema and Video: Hart to Heart Media//Shoes: Jimmy Choo//Makeup Artist: Makeup for Your Day//Calligrapher: Mason Dixon Designs//Dress Designer:Modern Trousseau


Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva L

It is truly special to have a couple contact you to celebrate their wedding anniversary by having their very own 10 year wedding renewal of their vows.  They chose the funky and beautiful Durham Hotel as their venue to celebrate this special time in their lives.  This time around with their 2 children and close family.

Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva L

An intimate celebration with 24 of their closest friends and family.  The Durham Hotel is the perfect location for an intimate event, they used the penthouse suite rooftop space for their ceremony, with a gorgeous city views.

Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva LBohio Fine Art Photography-Viva LBohio Fine Art Photography-Viva LThe love these two shared was so special and beautiful. Then to see the moments with their children within the ceremony was a tear jerker!

2017-04-07_0012I can’t get enough of all their outfits with the pops of this minty-blue, navy, and soft grey.  How adorable is that seersucker suit their son wore, and those adorable shoes on their daughter!  Danielle asked me to create the floral for their wedding using all her vintage bottles and I especially loved creating her and her daughter’s floral hair accessories.

Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva L

Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva LThe Durham Hotel has such beautiful lighting all throughout the space from the penthouse suite, the rooftop, to their lobby restaurant, and surrounding areas outside.  As you can see Vanessa of Bohio Fine Art Photographer captured it all so stunningly!

Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva LI’m obsessed with the decor at the Durham Hotel, some of  my favorite in the Raleigh-Durham area.  I mean look at these pendant lights!
Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva L Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva L

2017-04-07_0015I love the image of them dancing in the street, and Vanessa said this was just something they were doing and not posed (adorable right!).

The guests then all transitioned to the 2nd floor mezzanine space for dinner and dessert.

Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva L

Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva L

Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva L

Love these night images of them just walking in the street with the urban setting and the pop of her dress, love, love, love!

Bohio Fine Art Photography-Viva L

Something extra special about seeing a couple renewal their vows after 10 years.  Things change, life gets crazy, children, and to see them so in love and saying even more today then when they first said “I Do” is beautiful to see.  I know in my own life journey in relationships, they are hard and take a lot of work, love and respect.  Over the 12 years in events this is only my 2nd renewal but I hope to be a part of more in the future.


Venue & Catering- The Durham Hotel

Photography- Bohio Fine Art Photography

Flowers/Styling- Viva L’Event


This organic spring design was a fun one to create. Sometimes I come up with crazy ideas that maybe aren’t that crazy in the end.  Something that I think maybe I am going out on a limb thinking, “Are people even going to like this and get my design?” In the Rickhouse Durham Bridal Show I wanted to bring out the elements of the upcoming spring season, being very earthy, while still being elegant.

Mikkel Paige Photography-Viva L

I believe the use of farm tables is still here to stay and I’m ok with that as long as we keep creating something new.  Something unique for our clients and their personalities.

Growing up in an Italian family I LOVE food.  You can ask anyone that knows me knows I LOVE to eat and when I don’t eat I can get pretty hangry.

Mikkel Paige Photography-Viva L"Event Planning & Design

I wanted to show couples that you can use everyday natural elements to create a tablescape.  I used herbs such as rosemary, basil, chives, and thyme in terra cotta pots with moss filled in-between.  With the additional touches of votive and taper candles it’s a perfect mix to the greens.  You could even use different colored taper candles too, a huge trend right now I love.  This look and styling is also a wonderful way to give something to your guests after the wedding by allowing them to take a potted herb home to enjoy.

I am slightly obsessed with any wax seal and use this within my branding with a bee gold seal just like you see here.  I created these adorable honey favors that were simple to make and adds that final touch to the table.  You could use this as part of your menu where guests add some honey to a specific dish that is served or for a favor to take home with them.  Of course the is keeping to additional organic element we wanted to keep to for this look.

Mikkel Paige Photography-Viva L"Event Planning & Design

It is important to communicate and sit with your designer to talk about key words and elements that you want for your wedding day.  How do you want to feel and your guests to feel?  If you have hired a designer, be open to creative ideas and trust in what they present them to you.  Working with any budget for my clients I am a big believer on being able to create elements that are beautiful and specific to their personalities.  It’s all about thinking outside the box, and remember when your in the stages of hiring a planner and designer think about what type of designer is right for you.  Trust is key.

I can’t tell you enough the importance of a talented photographer, I could create an incredible event but without them I wouldn’t be able to show it.  Thank you to Mikkel for capturing this look so beautifully!


Planning, Design, Floral & Honey Favors:  Viva L’Event

Photography: Mikkel Paige Photography

Venue & Farm Table:  The Rickhouse

Chairs, Napkins & Place settings:  CE Rental