Thursday, June 25, 2009

Already Behind?

I chuckled a little when I got this e-mail and my heart also went out to this bride-to-be. She captures 100% what so many brides feel...

I have done absolutely nothing wedding related, and I’m starting to freak out a little since it’s already been a month since we got engaged!....I started looking at different things online (colors, centerpieces, announcements, etc.) and got overwhelmed and had to stop. I put a semi-fake date in on of 5/15/10 at the beginning of May, and it told me I was already behind on at least 6 things for something that was over a year away. (!!!) I know a lot will depend on the date we choose, and the date we choose will depend on venue availability, and so on. I honestly don’t even know where to start. People tell me I need to by a wedding organizer book, and I haven’t even gotten around to doing that yet. (Can you tell I was never meant to be an event planner?! :-)

~Bride-to-be 2010

She's not alone, right?

I had to post this because so many brides feel this and it's okay. I also wanted to say that it can get overwhelming with the approx. 272,000,000 (that's million) google hits for "wedding" and the mountain of information.

My thoughts....Don't necessarily start with and "googling" as it is an uphill climb that can feel like too much. What do you want? What have you dreamt of? What are your gut instincts? Think about those things first and search out specific information on the web in due well as ask for recommendations from friends, vendors and recent brides.

While of course I think perusing many related wedding websites and blogs for a little distraction is fun and necessary :-) ...when you are in the early stages it can be a little much. You are searching out for tid-bits of information in a vast ocean.

My advice to this bride, and others like her...take a breath, remember what matters most, and enjoy this process! It's such a fun and special time!

Happy Planning!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Night Before the Big Day: The Rehearsal Dinner

{Sarah and her dad walk down the aisle.}

The night of the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner can be so fun and meaningful.
Generally those in the bridal party and participating in the service are at the ceremony rehearsal learning about the “geography” (as one local minister puts it) for the next day. I see a lot of brides that suddenly realize at the rehearsal when they are about to “practice” walking down the aisle, that they are in fact getting married the next day. I think the rehearsal is special, and also worth capturing in photos either by your photographer or a friend. And after the "geography lesson" everyone shares a meal together (generally hosted by the groom’s family), a time to get to know each other better, and for the couple to say some words of thanks if they so wish.

More and more, rehearsal dinners are including many out of town family and guests, to welcome them to town and give them time to see the couple and others before the next day. I really love this…it adds to a fun and festive atmosphere to the night before. And, why not think outside the box for the rehearsal? Do something different than the next night…perhaps, a luau or honeymoon theme, a barbecue, an outdoor, pool side venue, or other theme or location that has meaning to the couple.

Consider these options:
Eagle Pointe in the Bloomington area, though it is a short drive, it would be worth it…a great pool-side terrace, fun atmosphere, good drinks and a space that could be quite different than the next night. {Pictured above is the Eagle Pointe Terrace.}

Barbecue in the backyard. Is your fiance from Texas where barbecue is king? Does your family love flavorful, smoked chicken, ribs or pork? Explore options to host a casual barbecue.

{Photo from Style Me Pretty}

A Mexican fiesta…almost anywhere!

FARM Bloomington, for great sophisticated local food in a more casual atmosphere, in the heart of Bloomington. They have the Root Cellar which has several space available for groups of different sizes.

The IMU...if you are not having your reception at the IMU, or even if you are!, why not consider it for the rehearsal dinner? It's in the heart of campus, is beautiful and has many great options and room for personalization.

Grazie, are you honeymooning in Italy, did he fix Italian for your first date? Grazie combines great food and wonderful wine in downtown Bloomington in their private dining space.

Also, if you don’t want to go all out on favors for the next day, why not consider a meaningful small favor for those that are with you the night before? A tree they can plant, a donation in their honor, if sweets are your thing maybe personalized cookies or a small box of chocolates from local favorite Blu, or even a favorite Oliver Winery bottle of wine. My advice is to keep it personal, keep it fun, and think outside of what you are doing the next day.

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thank You's Mean So Much...

{Paper Source stationary}

Notes and e-mails of thanks mean a lot to me. The time, late nights, and hard work are all worth it when I know I have made a difference to that couple and family.

It is my pleasure and honor to work with these couples and make their day all they had dreamed and hoped.
I got a sweet note yesterday that I wanted to share...

We are truly grateful for your sincerity, professionalism, and new friendship!
Our wedding was incredible and I wanted to thank you for that! I am so happy we chose you.

Your passion for this is obvious! I can't thank you enough! We will cherish {our wedding date} for the rest of our lives!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Eric and June's Wedding!

A big Congratulations to Eric and June who got married where they met, at DePauw in Greencastle! It was a pleasure and honor to assist them. Everything turned out beautifully in a tent on East College and white with touches of green.

Awesome candy buffet...not to mention the amazing dinner buffet provided by Gail Smith from the Almost Home Restaurant.

The ceremony was also perfect, the church bells ringing before June walked down the aisle. The unity candle brought me to tears as her dad and stepmom sang. It was so special...

Congratulations Eric and June!

And here is a picture from midnight the night and my helpers finishing placecards...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Amy's Baby Shower

Amy had a great shower on Saturday...full of cute pink stuff for her new baby girl. Here are some pictures...

Simple white stems in glass jars, accented with pink and green candy on every table.

Amazing petit fours from Beau-Coup...they were delicious and I highly recommend them (another reason to love B-C!). They have several types for your every event need. :-)

I'm so excited for Amy and Ryan, August 3rd will be here before you know it!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lilly Pulitzer at Bailey Bea

Bailey Bea Designs (I blogged about them earlier in the spring) has unveiled their Lilly Pulitzer line of stationary and gifts. Check it out for yourself or to give as gifts! Lots of cute items! {above, the Pachtastic Sticky Notes}

They also have some new designs of address stamps (perfect for a newly married couple or housewarming) and kids items. I love it all and continue to be impressed with their unique, cute items, quality, variety.

They are celebrating 2 years of business and offering customers 25% off their next order. Use code BDAY25, it expires on June 30.

Monday, June 8, 2009

it takes a village...

On Saturday night Derek, Leigh-Ann's father, said, "Things happen...but it's how you handle them that matters." That's very true. Something always happens, and it takes the team to pull through and make the ceremony, reception and all aspects of a wedding perfect, just how the couple had dreamed.

Yesterday I reflected on how it takes a team to pull off a wedding. For example, a few vendors:

the florist--truly bringing a bride's vision to life with the floral
the photographer--capturing every special moment to keep for a lifetime; staying in close touch with me through the day to make sure we're set on timing and they are ready for those important moments {to left, Morgan capturing the cake cutting Saturday)
the venue staff--bringing physical elements of the event together, keeping guests safe and assisting when needed to execute the events of the evening
the caterer--the food! the meal and cake are often times really important to the couple (especially the groom). sometimes the food is never remembered, though sometimes guests walk away remembering the food, the customized menu that reflects the couple and is prepared, plated and served flawlessly. the caterer often times handles linens alongside me and the couple...linens can really transform a room
the music -- the added detail that sets the tone of the event...during the ceremony and the reception. (see my previous post about G and LA's wedding...keeping the party going all night long) alongside food, guests also remember if the dance floor was full and the night was fun

A quick look at Geoff and Leigh-Ann's team from June 6:

Karen, Artful Blooms -- worked very closely with Leigh-Ann, her mom, and me, to take Leigh-Ann and Hilda's breath away when they walked into the room for the first time. Seeing Leigh-Ann smile when she first saw her bouquet was awesome!
Morgan, Morgan Matters Photography -- so fun to work with, able to capture every moment, tear, and laugh.
IU Auditorium Event Staff -- I cannot say enough good things about the professional and student staff at the Auditorium. They are an amazing group of people...
the IMU Catering Staff -- taking the extra time to customize a flavorful and delicious meal for Geoff and Leigh-Ann alongside impeccable service with a smile on their face...also willing to go the extra mile to be part of the team...
Brett, the Dance Machine -- as I said yesterday, Brett can easily gauge the crowd and knows how to keep the party going all night long. Brett pays attention to all the details and works closely alongside me to execute the evening.

And, I am blessed to call these vendors and outstanding professionals colleagues and team members. It takes a team to make it happen and I am lucky enough to coordinate weddings with professionals that are truly amazing, and part of a team. Not only those listed here but so many of the vendors in Bloomington. I often spend a lot of time confirming, communicating, and double-checking with these vendors-- I can be the piece of the puzzle that brings them together. I also handle the problems when things don't go perfectly. But it takes all of us, doing our job, to execute the day as a bride has dreamt since she was 12.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Leigh-Ann and Geoff's Wedding!

Leigh-Ann and Geoff and their 200 guests had an amazing day yesterday. It was so fun assisting them and the day turned out perfectly. I wanted to share some pictures...

And, this was 1:00 was a great party. Brett Anderson from Dance Machine was the DJ and kept it going all night long.

They broke into the IU fight song after the sparklers! So fun!

Congrats Mr & Mrs Cochran...have fun in Aruba!

Here is a link to the photographer's blog--Morgan Matters out of Indy. She already has a few teasers up. Can't wait to see more!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happy Friday!

The latest issue of the Australian magazine, The Wedding Style Guide, is available online for free for 10 days at this link:

There are other free downloads from their magazine here.

And great 1-page guides on etiquette, flowers and more.

It’s a beautiful publication with lots of good ideas…perfect for Friday browsing!

Have a great weekend! I’m looking forward to Leigh-Ann and Geoff’s wedding this weekend…I'll be sure to post pictures next week, its going to be gorgeous and lots of fun.

Happy Planning!

{Picture from The Wedding Style Guide}

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Be Inspired...

Style Me Pretty has launched their new site! Its fresh, clean and organized really well. There are a ton of inspirational pictures and DIY ideas. Check it out...but be prepared to spend some time browsing! :-)

There are also some great rehearsal dinner ideas on the site right now...check it out!