We had the good fortune of connecting with Annie Rodriguez Nikki Rapp and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annie Rodriguez, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
We both worked at the same wedding planning company (Nikki for three years and Annie for four.) We spearheaded individually all of the editorial shoots for the company. We come up with a design concept of a wedding, choose the color palette and overall vibe to deliver a visual concept as inspiration to couples. In our last year, we collaborated together on a shoot. We had so much fun and quickly realized we liked to work with each other. We wanted to provide the level of service that we both loved giving while providing couples with the design aesthetics we loved creating. Fast forward, we both had strengths and weaknesses that play off with each other. Nikki does all our social media content and Annie does all the organizational tasks to keep the process streamlined. We’ve become the perfect pair to create stunning weddings for our clients.
What should our readers know about your business?
We built our business because we saw firsthand the specific needs that brides wanted for planners. Brides wanted a best friend through the process, to share every single detail with, but also be there to give input and advice on how to navigate planning a wedding. We saw how frustrating it could be for brides who had strict parameters and guidelines on access to their wedding planners. We also saw how much of a need there was for planners who were able to tie a bride’s vision together. We absolutely adore designing and love taking a bride’s vision and running with it. We strive to be known as the planners who not only will design you a drop dead gorgeous day but also be lifelong friends with you even when the process is over. We want our brides to feel like besties with us from day one. We’re super passionate about every single one of our couples and want to communicate every detail of their love story. It was definitely a struggle starting a business a few months before COVID-19 hit. People always ask how could we start an event planning business during this pandemic? But we did! And we’ve overcome every challenge that comes with that. We’ve helped our brides through postponements, assisted our friendors (vendors that are friends) in navigating the tough client, but have also been able to spend the time needed on our branding and marketing. We’ve been super successful in booking for the next few years even through this crazy time!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Sun – pick her up from LAX and head straight to brunch to enjoy ocean views at Malibu Farm restaurant. Then cruise along Pacific Coast Highway from Malibu to Santa Monica Pier and Venice. Grab an early dinner at one of the best places to eat authentic pasta in Los Angeles, our favorite – Felix Trattoria in Venice. We end the night with handcrafted cocktails at Perch DTLA and appreciate the grand views of the city. Mon – take a mini overnight trip to Palm Springs! We’ll wake up early, grab a quick coffee and make the drive out to the desert. On the way there we stop at the outlets and do a little retail therapy, stopping at all the fun stores. Then we head to the Sands Hotel + Spa in Palm Desert to check in. We do a quick outfit change and head straight to the pool where we spend the day, all the while ordering poolside food and drinks. We then grab dinner at the Pink Cabana before having a fun movie night in the hotel room. Tues – wake up slowly and enjoy a coffee by the pool, check out and then head to brunch at FARM, one of our favorite brunch spots. Enjoy all the food and start the drive home. Arrive home, relax then freshen up and end the day with Taco Tuesday and margaritas at Gracias Madre in Newport Beach. Wed – grab coffee at Coffee Dose in Costa Mesa. Then shop at Fashion Island and grab lunch at Fig and Olive. Burn a few calories from all the recent indulge and take a little sunset hike at Seaview Park in Laguna Niguel. Enjoy a home cooked meal for dinner and relax for the fun adventure the following day. Thur – invite friends and rent a party bus out to Temecula and do a full day of wine tasting at all of our favorite wineries such as Wilson Creek Winery, Baily Vineyard and Ponte Winery. Grab dinner in downtown Temecula at The Goat and The Vine for the most unbelievable food before heading home for an early relaxing evening. Fri – gourmet bagels at Dough Exchange and morning cocktails (owner of Playground DTSA) sunbathe the day away in Newport Beach, grab a quick lunch by the beach and then head home to get ready for a fun night out. Once we’re all dolled up, head to Ola in Huntington Beach for dinner and then drink signature cocktails at The Bungalow which is located right next door to Ola and enjoy good music and the ocean view. Sat – Start the day off with coffee at Reborn Coffee and a walk on the beach in Corona Del Mar to enjoy the ocean. Then head to Social in Costa Mesa for brunch and the most amazing bottomless mimosas. After brunch, drive up to LAX, say our sad goodbyes and plan our next adventure!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We’ve been incredibly lucky to have a supportive community within our friends in the wedding industry (Association of Bridal Consultants – Orange County Chapter and Wedding International Professional Association – Southern California Chapter) and how thrilled they were in starting our own planning company. Eric Acuna, Vice President of Friar Tux and Taylor Decker, Director of Eureka Building were individuals that really pushed and guided us to venture into this new beginning.
Foolishly Rushing In Darian Shantay Photography The Hendrys Michelle Lillywhite Photography