I’ve always known it was you Pt. 2

Well, as promised, it’s time to revisit the Ormond Beach Wedding. The professional pictures are in and they are fantastic. Seriously, there were so many beautiful images it was hard to pick out just a few to spotlight. The ceremony was held at Rockefeller Gardens with the reception following at Plantation Bay Country Club, both in Ormond Beach, Florida. Despite reports of thunderstorms we were blessed with clear skies and a nice breeze long enough for ceremony and pictures. All photos were taken by the talented AJ Neste who is such a blast to work with! (I apologize in advance for the oncoming photo overload!) Without further ado…let the ooh’s and ahh’s commence!

Using the forsythia blossom as inspiration Jaclyn and Ryan chose yellow, grey and white as their colors which were continued throughout the day. Guests were entertained with an acoustic guitar and cello during the ceremony by friends of the couple. All of the flowers were provided by Petals and Nature Scapes in Palm Coast and Parrish Designs of Miami. The reception was filled with willow and oncidium orchids, tulips, hydrangeas and calla lilies. Guests were greeted at the reception with a signature cocktail punch and a photo booth set up by the father of the bride. Shopping around for months, the bride found a vintage type writer through a friend so guests could write notes and well wishes to the couple. Guests were sent off with personalized bottles of olive oil put together by the bride and groom.

(From the bride) “They say it goes by quickly, but you can’t imagine.  The waiting feels endless — especially when you are engaged for a year in a half — but the last few minutes soared by me before I could catch a breath.  There was so much riding on one day, All of those tiny, minuscule details for a five-hour show.  But I wouldn’t change a thing.

I was so incredibly nervous about all the details coming together.  I had flowers for the reception coming from two places, and the ceremony flowers coming from another.  The aisles were lined with bows handmade by a friend and petal cones that I threw together. I had a groomsman flying in the day before the wedding, without his suit, praying that Penny’s would have his size.  It was chaos — brought together by one of my best friends, and wedding planner, myself & the groom, and my parents, who had been wonderfully helpful throughout the whole process.

So it came down to the final minute.  I walked down the aisle.  I said my vows.  I took the obligatory photos and some rather hilarious ones.  I rode in a limo to the reception.  Danced to our song.  Cut the cake.  Smile and hugged like my life depended on it.  And then it was over.  It was a massive, yellow blur for the most part.  I remember flying to St. Lucia for the honeymoon and thinking that I couldn’t wait to see pictures because I couldn’t remember how everything looked. I was praying that it all came together like I imagined.  

It honestly wasn’t until I got to see the photos that I realized how perfect everything was.  The flowers matched perfectly and created a beautiful backdrop.  The DJ was fun and entertaining and the pictures of everyone on the dance floor show my friends and family having a fabulous time — including my 80-year-old grandfather.  By the last photo of the night, Ryan & I have our heads pressed together and I look truly exhausted and truly blessed all at the same time.  And that’s what I felt. Everything fell into place and I was surrounded by beautiful things & beautiful people for the whole night.”

All of the little details added up to a spectacular wedding! Congratulations again to Jaclyn and Ryan!



Back in Action

I know a start every post with a “sorry i’ve been absent” statement, but i’m not entirely sorry this time. I’ve had some things going on lately that have left me with less than a desire to talk about all things weddings, lets be honest. I do however have a whole heck of a lot to talk about now. First things first – a recap of the wedding I did last month. Sara and John had a wonderful “winter” (come on it’s Florida) wedding the week after Christmas in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Sara’s father is a pastor at a beautiful methodist church in the area so naturally the ceremony/reception was on location and he performed the ceremony. I had a wonderful time working this wedding because Sara and I are friends from High School, so it was great to be involved with someone I had a history with!

Sara wanted a casual, laid back event with some slightly southern touches! The main inspiration for decor was mason jars, ribbon, lots of candles and flowers that looked like they were picked fresh from the garden. We created garden wreaths to hang in the reception (the whole thing was DIY btw) and even had mason jar tealights hanging from the trees outside. It was beautiful, but I will let you see for yourself. I am still waiting for more pics from the lovely photographers Kim and Eve but here are some sneaks in the meantime (there are more photos on their blog – all were posted on Jan 19):

All in all, it was a great day! Sara looked beautiful in her lace Casablanca gown. All of the ladies wore classic black dresses so that not only would they be comfortable to dance all night – but they were sure to wear their dresses again!

As you can see in some of the photos – they lucked out by having their wedding around the holidays. The church was already decorated with greenery and white lights which added wonderfully to the decor. We created a photo booth as guest entered the reception using fabric left over from the DIY table runners in the reception. Aside from Sara’s bouquet all of the flowers for the reception and the bridal party were made by family friends to save on costs.

To save costs and allow for an interactive reception, Sara and John used an interactive “jukebox” app (available on ipods/iphones/etc) that allowed guests to request songs throughout the night!

Congratulations again to Sara and John it was such a pleasure working with you on your big day!!!!

(all photos courtesy of TheBigDayBlog).

The Virgin at the Wedding

The virgin event planner that is. That’s right – this weekend I officially coordinated my first wedding as a Certified Wedding Planner. Let me start from the beginning. I completed my course certification almost a year ago and immediately began searching for close connections who were newly engaged that would happily be my guinea pigs. Read: Friends or friends of friends that don’t want to go through the process of finding and hiring a planner but desperately wanted help.

It's Official!

(I apologize for the crappy iPhone pic)

The first couple I had the pleasure of working with came to me through one of my sorority sisters, whose cousin had just gotten engaged. They are your typical loud, fun, South Florida Hispanic Family: full of energy and expecting one hell of a party. Right off the bat I knew there were going to be some challenges with this event:

  1. The couple was working off of a very small budget as they had just purchased and were in the process of renovating a brand new home.
  2. They have a large family which obviously means a potentially large guest list.
  3. They were hoping to move into their new house as soon as it was completed, but the bride is very traditional in that sense and wasn’t having it until she was married. Needless to say – they wanted a short engagement.
  4. The couple has a very tough schedule to work around, he DJ’s at night and she works for a promotion company, so I knew that our meetings would be few and far between.

The bride and groom had an extremely sweet engagement story – he proposed while planting a sapling tree at their new home together – and they really wanted to incorporate a garden feel for the wedding to reference their proposal story. Originally the plan was to host the reception in the backyard at their new home with a traditional garden tent wedding. I was totally game with this idea – I truly believe that weddings are all about you (the bride and groom) and aim to infuse personal touches into every event I create. There was one major problem however – this theme confronted us with challenge number one: small budget.

Most people do not realize how expensive weddings are/can be – especially when you are talking outdoor tent weddings. In this situation EVERYTHING has to be rented – even bathrooms. Also, people tend to underestimate the impact their region of choice has on the event. South Florida is expensive. South Florida weddings are extremely expensive. With much pleading, convincing and a number of personal hurdles to overcome (for both parties), the couple found their way into a reception hall wedding. In my opinion this was the smartest decision they could have made, as it was an almost all inclusive package and gave them more room in their budget.

So the planning began! Thankfully the bride had a huge support system from her family and her two sisters spent a lot of their time and energy assisting in the planning process. Though I did not have a full planning responsibility in this event, I was able to offer more of a consultation role for the bride and her fiancé. I am thankful for her sisters’ involvement; I’m not going to lie- often times they were an extremely difficult couple to work with (brings us back to challenge 3 and 4). There were moments where I doubted my ability to actually pull this off with what I was given. Their ceremony was planned to be a full Catholic Mass at their local church (cathedral?). The reception involved a lot of DIY projects that the family was creating – including favors, centerpieces, place seating cards, menus, programs, décor – the list goes on and on. Oh and did I mention the bridal party was 14 children below the age of 7? No, I forgot to mention that?

In the end how did the garden infused reception hall event turn out? You’ll have to wait for the next post to find out (and hopefully see some photos from the event itself – and I promise it will be overflowing with images).

Why I Love Weddings

I feel like weddings are a touchy subject – you love them or you hate them. They are either a ridiculous party (generally involving a significant amount of booze) or a snooze fest. At times I can be extremely critical of weddings and other significant events – hey I am a planner after all – but when it all comes down to it – I genuinely love weddings. It’s near obsession actually. And probably totally unhealthy.

1.    My secret romantic side craves it (be honest we all have one). Despite the divorce rate in America, weddings are such a happy, beautiful moment between two individuals. Everybody is there for them, to celebrate the union that the bride and groom are entering into and the relationship they share. I love this. Even scrooge can’t help but be moved by the emotion. In some way – I like to look at it as a little event of hope, even if it is only for a short while. If those two can get hitched – why can’t I?

2.     The partier in me loves it (who doesn’t love an excuse for open bar). Let’s be honest – most weddings are a kick ass party. Though I think some couples concentrate too much on the event and not the act (hello – you are getting MARRIED), still it is fun. Besides, if you’re hosting 100+ out of town guests – you are expected to show them a good time, and who doesn’t love a crazy party to break up the monotony of everyday life.

3.    My design side nearly dies (in a good way). As a self-proclaimed “creative” and truthfully a crafting nerd I love weddings. There are soooo many opportunities to add personal touches – paper projects, floral projects, room design; the list goes on and on. In my world it is heaven.

I know the average person does not share these sentiments, and I know I’m a little crazy, but I think deep down – everyone loves a wedding! Agree? Disagree?