Map it!

We’ve been slightly obsessed with the work of Stephanie Barba for many years now.  She’s been all the rage in SF for quite some time, but we feel we need to let Oregonians in on her amazing talents.  If you’re looking for a way to spice up your invitations or to familiarize your guests with the surrounding areas of your hometown, or include a fun addition in your welcome bags for guests of your destination wedding–Stephanie has what you’re looking for.  Go to for more info.


Passionate Creations

We planned an event for PeaceHealth Medical Center during their grand opening festivities last July and we were blown away by PassionFlower Design’s remarkable creations.  We shouldn’t be surprised.  Jewel and her team always bring our visions to life, and often dream up things we’ve never thought of.  We admire their work, and always love working with them. 

PassionFlower also sells unique treasures at their lovely boutique in downtown Eugene.  From elegant tea towels to candles to dreamy PJ’s and divine glassware–you’re sure to find some amazing gifts for a hostess, friend, bride or even your hubby.  Visit their website, or simply stop by to see them and tell them Cocoa Belle sent you! or 128 E. Broadway in Eugene, Oregon.



Photo courtesy of Jack Liu Photography.

Portland Designers

We feel so blessed to have such talented artisans in Oregon.  We can’t believe we don’t have to go very far for high fashion.  In fact, we are totally enamored with two particular clothing designers out of Portland–Holly Stalder and SarahSeven.  Whether you’re attending a wedding, cocktail party or even if you’re a bride-to-be, we suggest you check these two out.  Their feminine creations will have you oohing and ahhhhing! You can purchase their fabulous creations at


















Photos courtesy of Etsy.

Join our Facebook Group

Hello, blog enthusiasts! Join our Facebook group and engage in some fun discussion boards. First discussion–tell us about your favorite venue. We look forward to hearing your top picks!

The Meaning of Flowers

As event planners, we’re always trying to customize an event and really make it a reflection of the individuals involved. Flowers are one way to do that if you pay attention to the meaning behind the flowers you choose.  We preface this post by noting that all cultures have different beliefs and sometimes the meaning of flowers differs by nation, by culture, through history.

We’ll start with our absolute favorite flower–the Peony. We were pleased to know that the peony has very positive meaning. It is a deeply rooted plant, and therefore, many suggest the flower enhances the power of a promise.  In other cultures, the peony symbolizes prosperity.

Orchid. Did you know there are over 25,000 species of orchid? It’s no wonder the orchid stands for ecstasy.  It’s simple and elegant and we’re confident you won’t go wrong when using orchids at an event, or giving them as a gift.

Rosemary. Rosemary is for rememberance, which is why many use it in weddings and events to remember those who could not be present for their special day.

Gerbera. Otherwise known as “Gerber Daisies” suggest eduring purity.  And they’re hearty too–sometimes lasting up to three weeks in a vase with water.

Lily. The lily has been highly regarded in many cultures and was a favorite of many goddesses of the Western world. It represents youthful innocence.

Dahlia. We were dissapointed to hear that the dahlia doesn’t have a very positive meaning.  It’s a fickle flower–difficult to grow, and often doesn’t survive. Therefore, it’s been known to suggest instability. However, because of its immense beauty and size–this bloom is still a big favorite.

Jasmine. In Italy, this flower is very popular because a servant for the legendary Medici family was said to have stolen a sprig of jasmine from his master to give to his bride. At the time, by law, only the duke was allowed to grow jasmine. So many Italian brides today wear jasmine in their hair to bring good luck.

Gardenia. Oh, the gardenia…one of our eternal favorites…not only because of its beautiful aroma, but because it represents feminine grace, subtlety, and artistry. What could be better?

Red Rose. Many of you can probably guess the meaning of the red rose.  Pure and simple–deep and passionate love.

Hydrangea. Many say this flower represents boastfulness. Bummer! It’s because it produces such enormous blooms but no fruit. This doesn’t change our opinion of this luscious flower, though.

Honeysuckle. The Victorians were right when they coined this flower representative of the bonds of love. They did so because of its twining nature. And you can’t beat its sweet summer scent.

Tulip. Not that it’s anything like the rose, but a red tulip actually symbolizes declaration of love, which is quite similar in meaning. And even better–to give a yellow tulip is to declare your love hopelessly and utterly.

Sunflower. POWER. That’s what it means, and that’s what we think it evokes on its own or in bunches and fields.  It’s cheery and representative of the sun itself.

Whether you give flowers, receive them, or utilize them to create mood at your event, flowers speak for themselves. They evoke our most cherished feelings and they bring life to a room. We hope knowing what these flowers symbolize will give more meaning to your events.


We’ve entered a new era, ladies and gentlemen. Actually, the era started long ago, but these days its more mainstream. Many of you have probably heard the terms “eco-friendly,” “sustainable,” or “green.” They permeate all industries, but they’ve wormed their way into the event/wedding planning industry and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

We believe there is a common misconception, however, that we feel the need to clarify very early in this post. We think a lot of you out there hear the words listed above and cringe… especially our girlfriends from L.A. that always teased us about being the granola eater from Eugene! Well, we’re here to say cringing would actually make you look a bit out-of-place in today’s world. Cringing aside, we think the words have a tendency to make people envision something entirely opposite of what we choose to envision when seeing or hearing those words.  To us, these words mean developing a more acute awareness of the world around us, creating a little lighter footprint–and all of this in the name of “being natural.”  We believe being “eco-conscious” or “eco-chic,” as we prefer, is about doing what feels most natural.   So while many people think planning an eco-chic wedding would be more of a burden or require more effort, we actually believe it to be LESS painful than the average planning experience. 

Here are a few tips from Cocoa Belle Events for making your special day more “eco-chic”

  • Utilize flowers that are in-season and locally grown. Not only will you save money, but you’ll get the flowers that are naturally grown at that time, and therefor more abundantly beautiful. By finding flowers that are locally grown, you’re reducing your carbon footprint. Flowers are shipped all over the world, but sometimes you can find the best in your very own backyard.
  • Skip out on petroleum-based, parrafin candles. Not only are they toxic but the aroma you’ll get from a beeswax or soy candle will be much more pleasant.  And speaking of candles…lighting an event with candles is not only extremely simple and elegant, but you save on electricity. So as long as your venue allows them, we suggest using them in EXCESS!
  • Using china is one of the best ways to save on waste. Using paper products gets tricky because some are recyclable and some are not, and when contaminated with food, the process only gets more and more complicated. So, renting items that can be cleaned and reused is by far your best option.
  • Work with your caterist to come up with a menu that is reflective of your personal tastes, but also a reflection of the season and the bountiful selections from nearby farmers and ranchers. Food is at its best when it’s fresh, hopefully organic and in-season, we promise!
  • When selecting your stationary suite, we recommend talking to printers and designers that use natural or recycled papers, print with soy based inks, and also power their presses with wind power. You’d be surprised at the fantastic eco-chic stationary options available nowadays and you’ll feel that much better about sending out all those paper products.

We really could go on forever on this topic, but we’ll save more for later. We hope this post inspires you to take a deep breath, relax and plan what comes naturally to you.

Dauphine Press

I have to take a moment to give a shout-out to Dauphine Press. Tracy, your stuff is AMAZING! The letterpress invitations, business cards, programs and menus that Dauphine does is absolutely a work of art. I want to make this company available to my clients so if there is any interest out there for a high-end letterpress invitation, please email us at We’re envisioning a preview party in the near future! Thanks to Dauphine and Tracy for introducing us to your spendid work samples.










Photos courtesy of Dauphine Press.