Monday, March 21, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. Smith 3/12/11

Who would have thought that 7 months ago when we picked March 12, 2011 as THE day, it would be 74 degrees and the sun would be shining, I mean technically it was still winter! It was an absolute perfect day for a perfect couple. Congratulations Jac and Houston. Thank you for letting me have such a large part in planning your amazing wedding day. The two of you and your families were a blessing to work with.

Mr. & Mrs. Houston Smith

Me with the stunning bride and groom

Table Decor #1 Glassware found at Pedigo Antiques florals by Sango Village Florist

Table Decor #2 Glassware found at Pedigo Antiques florals by Sango Village Florist

Pedigo Antiques was a great find. I have never seen so much glassware in one building in all my life. From crystal to toille china to mason jars, they have it all!

Guest book table at Antioch United Methodist Church.

Hand made programs sewn by the bride. Probably the neatest programs I have ever seen!

some of the tables from overhead.... Gorgeous linens by Clarksville Linen Rental

Mason jars and old milk bottles were a perfect accent to Jac's country chic wedding.

I just loved working with all of the different varieties of milk glass.

Heather ( Covered with Icing) was able to tie in the paisley design from the invitations in to the design on the cake.

I absolutely could not think of a better cake topper to represent Houston and Jac than these wooden love birds.

Heather is completing all the finishing touches to Jac's beautiful bridal cake.

Danielle from Turning Point Produtcions getting shots of all the details Jac and I had been planning for months. Thanks Dani!

Here is a shot of the finished room. Complete with lighting, decor, and guests.

He is the fabulous DJ Folley of Big Fish Entertainment. Jac sent me a text while on her honeymoon that said she and Houston were so happy with him and would give any recommendations needed. Wow, he must have done great for them to send me that while being away! Great job Folley!

Here ladies and gentlemen is the BEST BARTENDER ever!!!! Marcus Scott of Scott's Bartending will make sure to keep your guests happy throughout your entire event. No matter how big or small your event is he will make it happen for you.

Houston's Titan's groom cake, made by Covered with Icing

Bridal Cake showcased by beautiful draping provided by Total Package Events and lighting by Big Fish Entertainment. Bridal portraits shot by Joan of Art Photography on either side of the cake.

Bridal Bouquet by Sango Village Florist and Draping by Total Package Events

While outside looking up the couple just happened to see a shooting star... What an amazing thing to have happen on your wedding night and while so many people were there to witness it.

Danielle with Turning Point Productions having a great time filming the reception.

Leisa with Relish just had to squeeze in a little rap session with the newlyweds. What song you ask.....Vanillla Ice, Ice Ice Baby!!! I have never had a vendor let alone the caterer sing on a mic at the wedding. Priceless Leesa!! Thanks for the amazing food and good time.

Window Decor ~ Bridal Portrait by Joan of Art and Bridesmaid Bouquet by Sango Village Florist

Mr. & Mrs. Smith lit a love lanturn and let it fly.

Here is a list of the vendors (with links) who worked amazing magic on this beautiful wedding.
Carly Rager Events 615-417-1283
Scott's Bartending 931-278-5440
Sango Village Florist
Covered with Icing
Joan of Art Photography
Clarksville Linen Rental
You're Invited Invitations by Design
Big Fish Entertainment
Total Package Events
Party Station Rentals
The Cumberland Room
Pedigo's Madison Street Antiques 931-553-0420

Jac & Houston 3/12/11

I must say that this couple just stole my heart. From the first meeting with Jac & Houston I knew that without a doubt they were completely in love and meant to be. Not that my previous couples I have helped were not, it's just sometimes it becomes more about the celebration than the actual marriage. My first contact with Jac was simply through a few email exchanges. This began August 12, 2010. Jac originally asked me if I could help her get everything together for October 2, 2010. If you do the math that is around 7 weeks. I wasn't worried and knew without a doubt I could help make that happen, a few days later Jac wanted to set up a meeting to interview me because she had spoken with another planner as well. I was completely alright with this. I feel as though every bride should feel they have options. I never want any of my brides to think there is only one option for any part of their wedding. I must say the meeting went amazing, we hit it off and I think I may have had more ideas about their "country chic rustic wedding"than she expected. I get very excited about new and different ideas.

A few days after our meeting she called me to tell me I got the job... I immediately got to work on what I thought was a really close date when she informed me that Houston had requested that they choose a date a little further out to make sure they were able to decide on things they really liked and could make sure all family and friends had time to plan to get there. The other request from Houston was that we worked around fishing and hunting seasons and that he did not have to come to many more meetings. We worked it all out. Everything went incredibly smooth through the 7 month time frame.

My number one goal in any wedding is to make sure the bride's vision comes to life. When she said country chic but also rustic my mind immediately thought of burlap and milk glass. She absolutely loved hydrangea and brought me a picture of her ideal bouquet. I had no doubt in my mind that Sango Village Florist would be able to handle the job for her simple, understated yet beautiful floral idea. Jac had been trying to work out arrangements with a photographer and was having trouble getting calls back and definite answers. After a few weeks of this I suggested that she and Houston just go and have a meeting with Joanie @ Joan of Art Photography. I knew she would wow them with her amazing personality and awesome pictures. So that was 2 things off the list.

But wait a minute, we still had not locked down a date..... Jac and I discussed The Cumberland Room and luckily I was working on a wedding there that same week. She, Houston, and Nita (Houston's mother) came out to check out the space. Of course it is hard to picture it decorated with their ideas and forget about some of the flaws that could be hidden in the room, but they were able to. We booked The Cumberland Room for March 12, 2011 and were on our way to getting everything in place. Jac had asked me if I knew of any churches that were close to the reception. I told her about this cute little country church that sat on top of a hill just right down the road. She and Houston took a drive out there and instantly knew that Antioch United Methodist Church was the place where the two of them would be married.

When it came to cakes, this was easy. One tasting with Heather of Covered with Icing, Jac booked her on the spot. Now on to finding a caterer. When trying to find a caterer I always like to call ahead and get prices, because while some may have amazing food sometimes it comes with out of budget prices. Budget is the second most important thing to me when planning a wedding. I had heard that Relish was getting into special event catering so I gave them a call along with 6 other caterers. Their prices blew the others out of the water. I set up a tasting for that same week. Upon tasting the food I had made my mind up, but wait, my mind doesn't matter. I had to wait for Jac and Houston to decide on whether or not they liked it our not. We tasted baked chicken breast with an option of 4 dipping sauces, loaded mashed potatoes, home style green beans and mac~n~cheese. Leisa also whipped up some flavored teas and spritzers. We left that night and the two were going to talk it over. First thing the next morning Jac called me to ask if I could get the contract and get them locked in for the date.

Now that we have come to the end of 2010 and were heading in to 2011, I sat Jac up a meeting with Jenifer Shaffer of You're Invited Invitations. We were just about 3 months away and the time to get invitations out was quickly coming. Jenifer was able to create a very personal invitation for Jac and Houston as well as address and mail the invites for them. This was such a relief for Jac. She did not have to worry one bit with any of it. Jac and I met up at the Clarksville Brides Bridal show in January and I introduced her to a few of my favorite vendors. First on the list was Danielle and Marshall of Clarksville Linen Rental. We sat at their booth and picked out the linen colors that would suit our overall idea. Next stop was to see DJ Folley of Big Fish Entertainment for DJ service and lighting. Last stop was to show Jac the new photo booth that Party Station Rentals had just received the week before the show.

Stay tuned for the next post where I show you all the pictures of how everything came together.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dress Shopping 411.....

When shopping for your perfect dress there are so many things for one woman to take into account it can seem overwhelming way before the fun even starts. From budget, style, fabric, and color to who will come along and where should you go there are so many decisions. I always say keep an open mind and keep your thoughts simple.

I know you see all these episodes of Say Yes to the Dress where the brides bring 10 people along for the ride. This is NOT a good idea. When in life will you ever get a group of 10 women together and they all agree about one particular thing? NEVER. Your dress shopping experience is about no one but you. Yes, you want someone with you to give you an honest opinion as to wether a gown looks beautiful or if the color is right for you, but some women get caught up in what they like or do not like and get that confused with what you like. It is hard to keep focus on the bride with a large group. Keep it simpe 1 or 2 is enough.

Next on my list of to do's when shopping for "the dress" is to keep an open mind. Try on a variety of necklines, silhouettes and fabrics. Many times you will fall in love with something you never thought you would like. What you fall in love with while shoppping online may not be what you love on you. Keep in mind that models are 5'10 with high heels, size 4 or 6 with implants and a lot of retouching. It's perfectly fine to try them on but do not be heart broken because they do not look that way on you. Your consultant should be able to help you find the perfect style for you.

Always keep budget in mind. Never try on a dress that is way out of your affordable price range. Do not do it for fun or just because someone thinks it will look great on you. If you can not afford it then stay away. You do not have to spend an arm and a leg on a gown to look fabulous.

Shop at boutiques or small bridal salons for a personal one on one experience. Some may think that boutiques are way too over priced, but this is where doing your homework comes in handy. Many times boutiques carry things in many different price ranges. There is a huge difference in cost between a Maggie Sottero and a Vera Wang.

If boutiques are not for you and you have found a pretty dress online BEWARE! In many cases you are not getting the label you are paying for and in some cases gowns are not made to the measurements posted online. Returning a wedding gown is neither fun or easy. You are not dealing with a live person who is respnsible for your merchandise. You may never get your money back or issue resoled.

Warehouse shopping can sometimes make many brides happy, many end with negative thoughts that are never resolved. When working in a large setting like a warehouse in many cases consultants are working with many brides at once and can not give the bride the attention she needs to get her questions anwsered. Also many brides are drawn in for the $99 dress or some other "deal". Take into account that those gowns in most cases are never there in the size or color you want.

Under garments- MOST well made dresses do not require you to purchase special bras or slips. There are some cases that this is not true. If you have a very large bust sometimes there is not enough support in the gown to carry the weight. Some brides want ballgowns to be even fuller than they come and in that case larger slips are added. Just do not get these instances confused with a certain warehouse setting that requires you to purchase a bra and a slip with all of their gowns.

Ordering a dress can range in the time it takes for it to come in. This can be 3 months all the way to 9 months. Some designers offer a rush option but be prepared to pay for this option. When ordering a dress many brides want to order a smaller size because they are going on the famous "wedding diet". This is never a good idea. Order to the size you are then and you can always have it alstered. Stressing over losing the weight can cause you to do the opposite. No bride feels good if they have to let their dress out and what if there is not enough fabric to get it to zip. If you have to have it taken in then that is proof you accomplished your goal. Some stores do not offer off the rack purchases while the majority do, that is always a question to ask before falling in love with a dress that is not available in the timeframe you need.

Aterations and customizations can be made to all dresses. That does not mean that everything you want done to a dress can be. Make sure that when you get to the point of having your gown altered you are speaking directly with the person doing your alterations. Also when you meet with them make sure you are prepared and have all undergarments (Spanx, bras, bodysuits, bra cups, etc.) and shoes with you at your appointment. Before leaving your appointment make sure you inquire about the fees associated with your alterations and when they are expected to be paid. In most cases you are not required to pay for your alterations until they are complete and you are happy with them. Never pay and take your dress from alterations if you are unhappy with the work.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Helpful information when it comes to booking a venue.

I have decided that I am going to start adding to my blog helpful hints and ideas when planning any event. Today's topic is reserving a venue. I have been receiving many calls and emails in regards to insight on where to book events and what is a good amount to spend. When thinking of reserving a venue you have to take into account what it has to offer you for the set rental price.

~ Venue Questions ~

•What is the max capacity of the space? This does not always mean you can seat that many people at tables and chairs as well as have room for dance floor etc.

• Are you required to use their catering? If so what is the cost of the food. In many cases the rental of the space seems to be a great deal, but once you add the food tab it really was not a "deal" at all.

•Do they supply tables and chairs? If so how many and do they also offer any linen options?

•What are their rules when it comes to alcohol? Is it permitted? Does there have to be someone licensed to serve the alcohol? Is a cash bar allowed?

• Do they include clean up in the price of the rental? If not, what is expected? Some places require you to remove everything from the room; tables, chairs, all trash. They also require you to vacuum and mop.

•Is the location easy to find? Are there signs or landmarks that would help your guests to find it?

•How long do you have it reserved? Every venue require you to be completely out of the building by a certain time.

•What are there lighting options? Are the lights on dimmers or separate switches so you can achieve the look and feel you picture? What are the outlet wattage limits? That is key to knowing if you can bring in additional lighting and if so how many.

•It is 100% normal for every venue to have a contract at the time of booking. If you are not asked to sign a contract then you should be worried. A contract is the ONLY way to garantee you have reserved that location for you date. They also usually require a non-refundable deposit. Sometimes I have people who are scared by the non-refundable part. The reason the deposit is non-refundable is they can not be held liable for date changes or cancellations. They understand things come and things may change, but they are responsible for holding that date for you and only you. With that being said, if 30 other people call about that date, they have to turn them away because it is reserved by you. If you cancel your event you could be keeping them from reserving it for that date and in return they will lose money. They are in the business to make money and that is why contracts are put into place. So be sure that you want THAT venue on THAT day BEFORE you book.

•It is also good to know if the venue requires you to take out a special event insurance policy. These insurance policies are a great investment I think. I have told many brides and grooms about this and to my knowledge none of them have had to use them, but the thought of them having complete protection is a wonderful piece of mind. Sometimes people get out of control and can damage part of the venue or maybe even be involved in a car accident. This insurance would cover you for the time of your event so that in the event that something bad were to happen, you could not be sued or help financially responsible for whatever may arise.

It is VERY important that you follow every rule that the venue has in your contract. They have the right to keep your deposit if you do not follow what they have asked. In some cases you will be charged more than your deposit if there is damage that exceeds the amount put down.

I hope you find this helpful when reserving your event space. Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with in you special event needs.

24th Birthday Celebration!!!! 1/22/11

I received a call about 4 p.m. on Wednesday January 19 from a gentleman wanting to know how fast I could put a party together. My first question was, "When are you wanting to have this party?" His response was "Saturday January 22". My mind immediately goes in to motion as to how and where this was going to happen and who I would need to call to work this out. I asked him a few questions about what the party was for and what he would like to accomplish at the party. He explained that it was his 24th birthday and wanted a very fun night for all his closest friends and family. He is just recently out of the military and has not been home to celebrate his birthday since he joined. He made it clear that he needed me to handle everything for him from finding the venue and vendors, down to set up and clean up. I asked him if I could give him a call back withing the hour. Obviously my first call was to find a location, and I sure was lucky there. My first call was to Swan Lake Golf Course Club House. The nice lady who I spoke with on the phone went over the policies and the rental rate and wow, how affordable in comparison to the other venues in town. I set up an appointment with her the following day to sign the contract and reserve the room. Next came finding a bartender (number one request was open bar with a lot of options) DJ (number two request was great music with karaoke) and catering (number three was to have drinking food). I knew to call Marcus with Scott's Bartending. He is my go to guy on any occasion large or small when I need someone great to handle all the alcohol needs. He is so easy to work with and can manage to go above and beyond on any budget. When it came to music I like to find a DJ that has variety and also lighting options so it combines what would normally be two vendors into one. DJ Folley with Big Fish Entertainment is so affordable on his DJ rates and has a huge selection of lighting, probably more options than anyone in Clarksville. I knew he could handle the requests from Josh , the birthday boy, as well as all my lighting requests for the decor. When it comes to food, I must say that I absolutely love Leesa at Relish. She really impressed me with a few tastings in the past few months and the selection they have to offer is endless. When I told her I needed good drinking food, she knew exactly what I meant. We came up with pulled pork sandwhiches, mini ham and turkey clubs, homemade salsa and a cheese and cracker spread. Once I had all of the three requests covered I called Josh back to let him know it could definitely happen and let him know what all I had found. He was very impressed that in 45 minutes I had pulled together this party he had been wanting to plan for quite some time. We met for the first time the next day to sign the contracts and take care of all the business stuff. I wanted to know what he thought for centerpieces and he said "just something cool, but nothing girly with flowers". That I knew I could handle. My next question to him was about a birthday cake, he had not mentioned it. I knew that I would call Heather at Covered With Icing to fulfill my very quick order, but I needed to know what kind of cake he liked. Red velvet was his only request and I knew that Heather's red velvet was THE BEST!!! Saturday rolled around and it was time to kick it in party mode. (It was the second day in a row for me, my birthday was actually the day before and I had my own celebration of sorts.) Everything quickly came together and before I knew it everything was set up and Josh had arrived with his friends and family. They had such a great time. From singing and dancing to taking shots and playing beer pong they really enjoyed their night. From "flaming B52 shots" and "something fruity where I can't taste the alcohol" Marcus rocked the bar and Folley kept the fun music going all night. I was sure it was a success. I was of course worn out Sunday from to consecutive late nights, but it was a short little text message from Josh himself that made all the tiredness go away, "thanks again for everything I had a great time, I am referring you to my friends". This may have been the quickest I have pulled an event together but I always love a challenge. Happy Birthday Josh and thank you for choosing me to make your plans happen.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Heather & Alberto 12/29/10

I first met Heather and Alberto at the Clarksville Bride's Bridal Show in January of 2010, I soon ran in to them walking around the Nashville bridal show later that month. It wasn't till a quite a few months later that Heather's mom called me up an wanted to sit down and go over what all I could help them accomplished that was still on their "list". They were all in the teaching/education profession and I have never assisted a group that was so well organized. They are my official first Wednesday wedding. Their wedding and reception was so fun and I absolutely loved the Mariachi Band who played for the first hour of the reception. I wish you both lots of love and many years of wedded bliss!

Ceremony & Reception: James E. Bruce Convention Center
Videography: Turning Point Productions
Linens: Clarksville Linen Rental
Florist: Sango Village Florist
Photographer: Matt Andrews
Cake: The Cake Artist
DJ: Cale Carver

Noel & Brian 12/11/10

Noel and Brian were definitely meant for each other. You could tell that they were so in love from the first time I met them to the moment they said their vows. Thank you both for letting me be a part of your special day.

Wedding & Reception: Paris Landing State Park
Florist: Sango Village Florist
DJ & Lighting: Big Fish Entertainment
Cupcakes: Covered With Icing
Groom's Donut Cake: Krispy Kreme
Bartender: Scott's Bartending
Photographer: Joan of Art Photography
Linens: Clarksville Linen Rental