Lisa M. Griffiths – Lead Event Designer
After thoroughly enjoying planning every detail of her own wedding, Lisa continues to share her passion and creativity in the events she designs and has developed an extraordinary knack for discovering elegant finds for those on a budget. She is an incredibly sensory person – she has a flair for menu design, visual arrangements, mixing complementary textures and colors, incorporating lighting effects, and helping clients choose kickin’, crowd-pleasing music. She understands how to perfectly blend these elements, creating a unified event design that is in tune with what her clients have envisioned.
Lisa has been afforded the opportunity to travel quite a bit. While jetting around the globe, she cultivated a keen interest in fine dining and wine pairings. Although not haute cuisine, she also loves a good slice of NY pizza and some lip-smacking Midwestern BBQ. An avid watcher of the Food Network, she is always learning fun and creative ways to pair different ingredients, which makes her knowledge in this area especially useful when choosing delectable menus for an event. She can remember the details of superb meals she had over fifteen years ago! Trust us, she knows good food!
As a Licensed Psychologist, Lisa has also developed strong counseling skills, which is often helpful when the stressors of planning a big event can creep up on her clients. Working with couples and families has become her specialty; she can effectively mediate or compassionately listen when couples or families disagree on aspects of an event. She even helps couples write their vows if they request, using her background in valued-directed counseling to hone in on why they love each other and how they envision spending their lives together. Lisa’s clients usually feel at ease right when they meet her; she tends to be laid back and approachable, like a friend you might connect with immediately. She has a contagious smile and laughs often. He clients learn quickly that Lisa has not only established many contacts in the event planning industry, but she is detail oriented, organized, and has an excellent memory. Also, in her youth growing up in New York, Lisa attended many Bengali weddings, as her childhood best friend was from Bangladesh. She can dance bhangra with the best of them! As a Brandeis graduate, she also is very familiar with the customs of B’nai Mitzvot and Jewish weddings. She also speaks some Spanish and adores the traditions of the Quinceanera. She is constantly educating herself on the customs and traditions of many different cultures and is always excited to help plan a same-sex wedding.
Lisa has been working with people in different capacities for the last 15 years. While living in NYC, she put together corporate conferences and meetings for top executives of Fortune 500 companies; such companies included Estee Lauder, American Airlines, Ryder Trucks, Monster Cable, and Best Buy. In her younger years, Lisa also dabbled in web design, investment banking, and teaching. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Journalism and a Creative Writing minor from Brandeis University, Lisa went on to earn a Masters in Counseling from NYIT and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Denver.
Fun Facts about Lisa:
- • Wedding dress designer: Maggie Sottero; Claire Pettibone
- • Flowers: Lilies, Dahlias, various Lilies, Gladiolus, Snapdragon
- • Most joyful moment: Her husband seeing her in her wedding dress for the first time; the birth of her daughter
- • Guilty pleasure: Peanut butter and chocolate ice cream
- • Elegant linens: Pintuck taffeta; Burlap table cloth with white lace overlay
- • Cuisine: Saffron corn bisque with tempura flash fried squash blossoms stuffed with dungeness crab; Crispy duck over mushroom and fois gras infused risotto; Ginger lemongrass crème brulee
- • Colorado hotspots: Garden of the Gods, the top of any mountain, Copper Mountain ski resort, Little Man Ice Cream, REI flagship store, Whole Foods Market
- • Travel destinations: Watching the sunset in Santorini, smelling the verbena flowers in Buenos Aires, doing anything in Italy, hiking any US National Park
- • Charitable causes: Human Rights Campaign, St. Judes Children’s Hospital, Denver Dumb Friends League, Food Bank of the Rockies; Colorado Mountain Club
- • Color combinations: Brown and turquoise; Dark lavender and navy blue; Orange and moss green
- • Active pursuits / hobbies: Spending time with her family; climbing 14ers, hiking, snowshoeing, yoga, painting, cooking, scrapbooking, reading, Pinterest, and anything event planning related!
- • Event trends: Using tall, rustic branches, stones, and lighting for table arrangements; illusion necklines on wedding dresses for the bride who wants some skin coverage but does not want to feel covered up; a mix of several smaller table arrangements instead of one giant centerpiece; themed food stations instead of plated dinners or traditional buffets, offering a lot of variety; feathers!
Tracy Belaga - Event Coordinator
Tracy is known for her knack for creativity - anything and everything creative. She has had the opportunity to participate in a wide range of event planning experiences from Los Angeles Fashion Week, to the launch party of a major Sephora make-up line, to fundraising events, to fashion shows, to weddings and corporate events, to working for an event design and décor and rental house. Her interest in fashion, planning and coordination, design, and the arts motivated her to work in the industry and her close attention to detail, trends, and colors helps her stay in tune with event planning.
She received her A.A. in Visual Communications from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and her B.A. from Colorado State University in Liberal Arts with a minor in Media Studies. She has lived on the east coast, the west coast, traveled across the country, and beyond. However, Denver's up-and-coming city life, its expanding culture, ever-changing demographics, and countless activities have lured Tracy in.
She's inspired by nature, people, past creations (art, drawing, fashion, etc.), fashion bloggers, and her daily surroundings. She takes inspiration and puts it into everything she does.
- Fun Facts:
- • Wedding Dress Designer: Monique Lhuillier
- • Flowers: All-time favorite are Sunflowers and Succulents, but for weddings - Genista, Wax Flower, Ranunculus
- • Most joyful moment: getting her dog, Bailey
- • Guilty Pleasure: Say Yes to the Dress, Bride by Design, peanut butter
- • Elegant linens: Wildflower Linen (the company)
- • Colorado Hotspots: Horsetooth Reservoir and Mountain, Maroon Bells, Cherry Creek Reservoir, Fort Collins
- • Travel destinations: Sanibel Island and Key West, London, Mont-Tremblant, Bryce Canyon National Park, Narragansett, Cape Cod, San Diego
- • Charitable causes: Animal rescue
- • Color combinations: Mint and coral, turquoise with tans, metallics and pastels
- • Hobbies: Hiking, exercising, crafting, traveling, and revamping old clothing
- • Event trends: Floral arrangements hanging overhead instead of floral centerpieces, candlelight
Sonya Riffel - Event Coordinator
Sonya has always enjoyed planning and organizing events and activities and is really talented at it too! With several years of background in theater, Sonya has learned to maximize small budgets and to create beautiful scenery for a variety of events. Sonya also worked at a Denver-based entertainment newspaper on the marketing team, so she has valuable knowledge of working with many local venues and production groups. Sonya also loves to watch HGTV, DIY network, the FOOD channel and various fashion programming to keep up with the latest trends in design and entertainment. In addition to her experience with planning weddings, she also has planned department and team holiday parties and organized other corporate events.
Sonya moved to Denver to attend college in 2001; she loved living in Colorado so much, she decided to stay put. She convinced her now husband to join her, and they now live in Littleton with their two goldendoodles, their son, and daughter. Sonya enjoys participating in triathlons and playing and coaching volleyball. She also spends a great deal of time in the mountains hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. Sonya and her husband also greatly enjoy fine wine and dining, and they spent their honeymoon exploring the wine country of Chile and Argentina.
Sonya has a Bachelor in Arts in Youth Ministry from Colorado Christian University, a Bachelor of Social Work from Metropolitan State University, and is currently working towards a Masters of Educational Psychology with an emphasis on Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Colorado at Denver.
- • Best dessert: Any variation of chocolate and peanut butter or chocolate and caramel
- • Most joyful moments: Her husband’s proposal, her wedding day, finding out they were pregnant (both times)
- • Guilty pleasures: Pinterest, Facebook, watching Ellen
- • Travel destinations: Wine country: Chile, Argentina, Australia, France, Italy, California, Washington
- • Charitable causes: Children’s Hospital, any organization for people with developmental disabilities
- • Color combinations: Blue and brown, lavender and mint green
- • Hobbies: Skiing, hiking, swimming, scrapbooking (now digitally), sewing, reading, baking
- • Games: Wii Sports, Balderdash, Scattergories, Apples to Apples