We at PR Couture are huge fans of Ruby Press, a boutique lifestyle and fashion PR agency located in Berkeley, CA. In addition to being one of the earliest, and most constant supporters of PR Couture, everything former fashion editor turned PR maven Melissa Davis touches has that mix of elegant panache with vintage sensibility that melds so well with our own aesthetic. Therefore, when catching up on the Ruby Press blog, notice of a recent Bridal Soire hosted by Melissa and company, did not pass unnoticed. And how could it, with photos like these?
So we got the scoop on this delicious event straight from Melissa herself. Read on for a ton of useful event production tips, ideas and inspiration for your next fashion PR event!
"The idea was to create a low-pressure, elegant, and fun evening for brides-to-be and wedding planners to learn about some new wedding vendors," said Melissa, "as well as to produce an event exclusively by Ruby Press that really showcased our company and vision." Instead of the usual bridal event/fair model, where there are multiple companies in each category, Ruby Press "curated" the event for the brides, inviting Ruby Press clients which made sense for a bridal event and then choosing one company in each other category needed by a bride (photographer, floral designer, caterer, bridal gown boutique, etc) to round out the event. Each company donated their time/services to be to be involved, and unlike most bridal events, there was no fee to attend.
The Guest List
Ruby Press works with Bridal media on behalf of several clients on a regular basis. In addition to inviting local media, locally-based bloggers, and wedding/event planners, Melissa also wanted to give her clients direct-to-consumer time with brides-to-be. To do so, Ruby Press invited brides through selected national bridal blogs by giving each blog 5 tickets to give to their first 5 readers in the SF Bay Area who responded. Additional guests were invited by contacting coordinators at the top wedding locales- hotels, mansions, wineries, etc. "We purposely did not pitch the event to outlets that would have drawn hundreds of guests because we wanted to keep the crowd to true brides-to-be who were really still looking for elements for their weddings," explained Melissa.
Invitations were designed by Ruby Press client iomoi and mailed out,"I am a true believer in a physical invite, I really believe that an invite should be reflective of the event and I think people still love getting pretty things in the mail," shared Melissa. A digital version was also created to have on-hand.
The event was held at Sarlo, the design showroom of Gabriella Sarlo, a San Francisco-based interior designer. "The space is absolutely gorgeous, and filled with the most exquisite furniture and décor items. It was just the perfect backdrop for the event and I was so grateful she was so enthusiastic about hosting us!" added Melissa. Two models (see first picture featuring Bella Dolcini from JE Models, right: Kelsey Wilhelm from City Models; hair and make-up by Get Your Do Up!) informally modeled gorgeous, high-end European designer bridal gowns from Nouvelle Vogue throughout the evening, guests enjoyed Yellow Rose cocktails by Baytenders, candy table by Crown & Crumpet, live music by Synchronicity Strings, flowers from Rosenow Floral, hors d’oeuvres from Indulge Caterers, shopping with viv&ingrid, iomoi, and Vicente Agor and of course, a goody bag full of goodies to take home.
There was a strong networking component as well, "most of the companies we worked with have already been in touch (a week later!) to tell me about the great connections they made that night," said Melissa, "I also got to know a lot of wonderful local business owners through the event and blog coverage of the event so far has been really wonderful."
The mailed invites were a hit with the local press and wedding planners, with several bloggers logging posts already. Local CBS evening magazine show Eye on the Bay filmed the event before it started for their upcoming June wedding episode and Ruby Press is now hard at work to secure post-event coverage!
Ruby Press Event Tips
- Choose a clear theme - "I always make sure the event has a strong theme, and in this case it was clearly “bridal”, but it needs to go even beyond that. The look of the soiree was very vintage-y, feminine, and pretty with colors of peachy pinks and bright pinks with acid green touches. This was reflected in everything from the bridal gowns to the flowers to the candy table."
- Connect with the pro's - "It’s important to work with the best companies possible. Hire bartenders and caterers that are total pros, it will make the event run so much smoother."
- Except the unexpected - "Think about what could go wrong, to help eliminate the chances of it actually going wrong! I’m normally an optimist, but when planning an event I have to assume the worst."
"Throwing an event like this helps get our name out there to people who don’t know us and it’s a great way to showcase what we can do, event production-wise. We can’t wait to add this event to our events page on our website and it was so fun to share the photos from the event on our website’s blog. Of course the post-event coverage we secure will be an added bonus. And any attention the event brought to our clients is a benefit to Ruby Press. If it helps our clients, it helps us."