Where are we headed to next:

Starting in July we will be in:

Asheville, NC

Houston, Texas

Lake Lanier, GA

San Francisco, CA

Napa, CA

Sonoma, CA

Baltimore, MD

Raleigh, NC

……to name a few:)

2nd Quarter Travels

Site visits, professional development, vendor meetings, client meetings and event locations have had us on the road since April. We have been in:

Charlotte, NC

Highlands, NC

Cashiers, NC

Asheville, NC

Clemson, SC

Travelers Rest, SC

Last Event for the 2010 Spring Season!….but we will be back (very soon):)

Neither extreme heat, high humidity, bug bites, rain or heavy windstorms could keep our team from executing our last  wedding for the spring/early summer season in Clemson, SC June 25-26 2010. The design for the reception was based on the color of the bridesmaid gowns which was “watermelon”. From there we came up with an elegant outdoor garden party theme rich in vibrant colors of lemon, lime, melon and orange! The ceremony was held in the beautiful upper garden at the SC Botanical Gardens and the reception was held at the Owen Pavilion at the Clemson Conference Center and James Martin Inn. Over 248 ft of custom made white drape in panels measuring over 16ft long were used to soften the space. To keep with the theme, the four layer cake offered tastes of key lime and tangerine. Each section of the 26 guest tables were color blocked in one of the four event palette colors. Within each color block there were multiple linen patterns in the same color and the florals for the tables were mono-chromatic to the color section. The 22 person head table was dressed in all white to allow huge “flower boxes” to explode with vibrant colors. Each place setting had a custom design tiger paw or tar heel iced sugar cookie that was made by our amazing pastry chef Kelly. We began working on this project in June 2009. Our team designed, planned and produced the majority of this destination wedding for our NC couple and their 250 guests. They have been a wonderful family to get to know.

“We cannot thank you and your team enough for the spectacular job you did on Ashley’s wedding.  From start to finish, everything was perfect and she truly felt like Cinderella thanks to you and your team.  We have had so many compliments on the event!  We can’t wait to see your pictures, as we are sure we did not see all the detail work that went into transforming the pavilion into the magnificent venue that you and your team created.  Thank you! Thank you!  Thank you!  It is clear why you are the recipient of so many prestigious awards.”
Barb and Chris
and Ashley and TJ too! (comment from mother of the bride June 30,2010)

A special thanks to my event team (Amanda, Richard, Pryor, Brett, Kristen, Morris, Mark, Dave, Teresa, Betsy, Kelly and Walter…get some rest!) Another big thank you to the Sales/Banquet Team at Clemson (Mandi, Ric, Wayne, Whitney and the rest of their team).

First windstorm that hit during our reception set up

One of several more windstorms that we had to contend with

Simple but elegant ceremony set at the SC Botanical Gardens Upper Lawn Clemson SC

An Evening With Sasha Souza

On April 27, my team was able to attend the ISES Greater Triangle Chapter’s  “an evening with event designer Sasha Souza” in the new Cobblestone Hall (www.cobblestonehall.com) in downtown Raleigh NC. The evening was complete with great food, a unique venue, wonderful florals, beautiful orange linens and a great speaker. Sasha Souza is one of the premiere event designers and a top innovator in the wedding industry. She is one of only a handful of wedding designers who have been named a Master Bridal Consultant, the highest designation given by the Association of Bridal Consultants. Souza is the recipient of numerous awards including the Special Events Magazine Gala Award winner for Best Dining Tabletop Design, Event Solutions Magazine Designer of the Year and three ISES Westie Awards. She has also been featured in numerous publications.

Sasha’s presentation focused on emerging trends and how she stays up to date on the latest color and event design trends to wow her guests and take their events to the next level. Sasha Souza walked us through what’s hot while providing us with an approachable event design methodology to help make each of our events more successful. After hearing Sasha speak it solidified our long time belief that brides buy “people”.  They are not always going to select a vendor only on their product.  They are emotionally connected to their wedding day and they want to make sure they are surrounding themselves by individuals that have great opinions and attitudes, good experience, creative ideas and most importantly, are going to listen to them and care about personalizing their event to reflect their styles.

Out of all of the overall trends for weddings, there seems to be one underlying message – emotion.  Weddings need to feel good not just look good or taste good.  Many brides and grooms are incorporating memories of the past to include their childhoods and families.  They want approachable design and elements to their event that are not over-the-top and wasteful, but that look great and are tasteful and comfortable.  Sasha reminded all of us as event professionals to focus on personalizing the events we do particularly for weddings. “Really challenge and encourage your brides and grooms to infuse as much of their “favorites” and “memories” as possible.  Doing this keeps their event from being just another wedding and more memorable for their guests.”

All of the case studies Sasha took us through during the evening were from her new book Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design (www.amazon.com/Sasha-Souza/e/B002QDE12C) just released in January. Although there were many clever ideas shared, one we both liked is how Sasha has begun offering butler passed desserts at her events.

For more information about ISES and upcoming events please visit www.isescharlotte.com

*Thanks to Kristin Martin, Wedding Specialist at the Westin in Charlotte NC for providing some of the content for this blog.

Greenville HD.com Makes Video of Giving Back Awards – An Event by Christa Hovis Special Events

Check out the coverage from the second annual G Magazine Giving Back Awards we had the opportunity to design, plan and produce for Gulfstream Publications. We changed things up a bit this year by designing a new layout, new event experiences, different color palatte and of course great food provided by Larkins on the River www.Larkinsontheriver.com Click here to see the video coverage:


The Giving Back Graphic Logo was the primary design theme for this entire event. The image and colors were used in the lighting, floral and over all design for the entire event

A "Living Red Carpet Entrance" Greeted the Guests

A Champagne Stage was a new addition during the cocktail hour

The patio at Zen was the perfect spot for to network before and after the awards ceremony.

Kelly Holder, Pastry Chef with U Designs www.udesignsweddings.com created these mini pasteries, each were adorned with hand made sugar pieces each with the Giving Back logo on them

Christa Hovis Special Events Launches New Website

Although our previous website continuously received rave reviews, a new website was recently launched with an even newer stream lined look, sleek interface effects and as always great photos. Enjoy!


Christa Hovis Special Events Wins Multiple Regional Awards

2010 Evie Award WinnersdocThe 2010 Events In Excellence Awards event recently recognized event professionals for their hard work in a very trying 2009. We won the following awards:

Best Event Planning – Corporate Event Budget Over $40K

Best Event Planning – Social Event Budget Under $40K

Best Event Planning – Non-Profit Event Budget Under $75K

Best Event Design – Design Budget Over $10K

Best Event Design – Design Budget Under $10K

Most Creative Print Design

First Quarter 2010 Travels

Site visits, professional development, vendor meetings, client meetings and event locations have had us on the road since January 7th. We have been in:

New Orleans, LA

Las Vegas, NV

Charlotte, NC

Charleston, SC

Columbia, SC

Orangeburg, SC

Spartanburg, SC

Greenville, SC

Raleigh, NC

We Have Read Your Resume

We have always prided ourselves with being able to respond to each and every inquiry from persons interested in seeking internships and permanent positions with us. However, we have noticed since the economic downturn and the increasing over sensationalism of event planning on shows found on MTV, Lifestyle, WE….we have been inundated with job inquiries at our firm. Historically, we would usually receive maybe 2-4 inquiries per month. Each would be provided with a personal follow up now however, we have been receiving as many as 100+ inquiries per month from Juniors and Seniors in college and professionals recently laid off searching for a new line of work, or those that are thinking about starting their own event planning venture. This influx  has resulted in the inability to respond to each one as personally as we use to. We are still reviewing each resume we receive and we do place inquirers information in our file for potential event staff projects and in some cases we have passed resumes to other businesses that may be hiring that we are aware of. We do appreciate so much interest in our company and we wish everyone success in pursuing their passion.

Buyer Beware – Inexperienced Planners

When looking for planners for your event, the keyword while doing your research is “professional, experience and credentials” to name a few. The following is a recent article that reflects the impacts of unqualified planners in the special events industry. Although it is referring to “Newbie Wedding Planners” the message can apply to anyone that is calling themselves a “planner”.

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