Monday, October 27, 2008

Fontaine/Odeny Wedding 10.18.08

A few weekends ago, Amber and I had the pleasure of coordinating a wedding for Keshma Fontaine and Nickson Odeny. They were such a fun and diverse couple- a great time was had by all! For this wedding, Amber and I came in with only a month of planning left, but we did some great things! My favorite thing about this wedding was that we took our first stab at arranging flowers. They looked gorgeous and saved our bride hundreds of dollars!

The bride's beautiful ivory bouquet with an ivory wrap. We then pinned the wrap with pearl pins and used an ornate pearl trim to accent the bouquet's wrap. Keshma had asked for a bit of green in her bouquet so it would stand out against her dress. She picked these berries and we couldn't have been happier with them! They looked great and we even used them in the boutonnieres.

A close-up of our handy work.

The absolutely radiant bride! We went with a smaller bouquet for her not only because she likes things very plain, but also because her dress had such wonderful and delicate beading, we didn't want to cover it up with a mess of flowers!

The ceremony was at Broad Street Methodist Church in Cleveland, which we learned is the oldest church in Cleveland. It was gorgeous and suited Keshma and Nickson's style perfectly. The reception was held at the Elk's Lodge, which was a nice and accommodating venue in the heart of Cleveland. Best of all, they didn't kick the party-goers out until 2 a.m.!

Here is the groom, Nickson. They were such a sweet couple together! From the moment you saw them together, you could really see the love that they had for each other.
Here, you can see how the green berries accented his boutonniere with his white tuxedo.

Here is a picture of the chapel and the entire wedding party. Keshma wanted the church kept very simple, so all we did was put the candelabra and the Unity Candle at the front of the church.
Keshma's six bridesmaids wore two-piece black dresses with matching ivory sashes. Each girl carried a bouquet of deep red roses with a black satin wrap. The red in the flowers and again in the flower girl's rose petals popped with the black and ivory color palette.
Nickson's groomsmen wore red rose boutonnieres, also with the green berries.

Keshma almost didn't have a wedding cake because it didn't seem important to her and the big white cake isn't really a tradition in Dominica (where she is from). Fortunately, she changed her mind and ordered this cake from Village Bake Shop. The white cake with white icing was not only beautiful but also delicious. There wasn't a single slice left- and can you imagine a wedding without some sort of dessert?

Nickson and Keshma were so looking forward to dancing and having a great time at their wedding! Since the bride hails from Dominica and the groom is from Kenya, the couple wanted to pay tribute to their native lands. We put their respective flags side-by-side as the focal point of the dance floor. It really meant a lot to them to have their cultures represented. They also put a personal touch on their day by playing Caribbean music, serving Jerk Chicken, and dancing to songs such as "African Queen" and "She's Royal."
The cross-cultural event didn't stop at the bride and groom. In their bridal party, they had people from Kenya, Norway, Japan, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There were definite dilemmas in pronouncing everyone's name correctly, but I am a big believer in getting things right, so I studied and I didn't offend anyone!

The favors for the couple's guests were ivory boxes filled with Hershey's kisses, then gift wrapped. For centerpieces, Keshma decided to really focus on candlelight and a warm and comfortable mood. Half of the tables had smaller glass bowls with black glass rocks and a white votive candle. The other half had tall glass cylinders filled with water, with black glass rocks at the bottom and a red floating candle. There were also glass votives scattered along the tables, creating a simple, romantic feel.
Down to the last detail, Keshma and Nickson's wedding was a true reflection of them, and a whole lot of fun! What a special day for SUCH a special couple!

McInnis/Cornett Wedding 04.05.08

One of the easiest ways to show just how you can personalize your wedding is by showing you the most personal one I have on file- my own! Of course I planned this wedding and I believe it is a great example of blending the traditional with the personal!

We were married at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in downtown Chattanooga on April 5, 2008. The reception was held at the Walden Club. As with any wedding, budget was a factor. Fortunately, with a lot of creativity and a love of the simple things, we were able to have a completely elegant wedding without sacrificing our children's college funds.
Having your wedding in a venue that already fits your personal design aesthetic can save you lots of money from the start- because you are accenting a beauty that is already there, not trying to create something elegant on top of an unflattering decor. We put two simple arrangements of baby's breath (pictured below) on the sides of the altar. As aisle markers, we marked every few aisles with delicate paper cones filled with baby's breath and accented it with a simple satin ribbon.
Especially when arranged with other flowers, baby's breath tends to bring up memories of the 1990's. Thankfully, this cheap and abundant-in-any-season flower takes on an absolutely elegant and simple look when done all on its own!

Our attendants were absolutely wonderful! We had 9 bridesmaids (and 1 junior) and 8 groomsman. The beautiful flower girls and adorable ring bearer stole the show!

I always dreamed of having all white flowers, so it was only natural that the bridesmaids would have white rose nosegays (smaller than a bouquet, but the same idea). Instead of baskets with petals, I opted for my flower girls to carry small versions of the bridesmaids bouquets for a modern twist.

The men looked handsome in their black tuxes, and my girls were radiant in black corset dresses. When picking your bridesmaids dresses, comfort is always something to think about, but pick a dress that makes each bridesmaid look fabulous (classic color, and a corset to suck it all in) and compliments every body type (strapless and A-line) and you might just become the most popular bride ever!

My bouquet was a mix of white hydrangea and white roses with a delicate satin ballerina wrap. To personalize my bouquet, I tied a small diamond ring from my father's side of the family, and wrapped my grandmother's rosary around the flower stems. Since my father and grandmother couldn't be with me that day, it was a way to keep their memory near- without doing some sort of uncomfortable grand gesture.
I'm glad I didn't get a 90-lb. bouquet that has been popular with brides in the past few years. It was my wedding day, I didn't want to lug around flowers that weighed more than my luggage for the honeymoon!

The cake was by Kimmee's Cakes in Red Bank. She did an exceptional job, not only on the way the cake looked, but also how it tasted! We chose an almond cake with almond icing and a strawberry creme filling on the bottom layer.
The ribbons pictured here are part of a New Orleans tradition. (My family is from New Orleans, and my husband and I both embrace the New Orleans culture as our own.) Basically, on the end of each ribbon is a silver charm which has been inserted into the cake by the baker. Each charm has a special meaning (diamond ring- next to be married, baby rattle- next to have a baby, Eiffel Tower- you will be well traveled, etc. etc.) You pick certain people to do cake pulls (you can do single women, your bridal party, or hand-select people, which is a great way to honor special people). Each selected person grabs a ribbon and pulls, and her fortune is told! This idea is also very popular to do at Bridal Showers.

It really is the tiny details, and the meaning behind those details, that make your wedding day special. These engraved champagne glasses were given to us as bridal shower gifts, along with an engraved cake cutting knife. Our favors were small monogrammed tins filled with Jordan Almonds (to pay homage to the groom's Greek heritage and to symbolize that marriage is both sweet and bitter.) Also, we rode a horse-drawn carriage from the church to the Walden Club- very romantic and worth the extra splurge!
For our food selection, we had serving stations for a more laid-back party feel. We had the stations split up into three distinct styles of food. First, we had Greek food, again for my husband's side of the family. Then we had Southern food because we are both from the South and that is where we will be starting our lives. Last but of course not least, was Italian food because we had traveled to Italy the prior summer.
Aside from the open bar, we also had a special signature drink- The New Orleans Snowball. It was something I made up from a pretty common drink, but it gave yet another twist on the personalization of our day! Down to the last detail, we made sure the wedding was all about us!

Another New Orleans tradition, known as a a second-line dance, was one of the things that guests will remember most about our wedding. Basically, the father of the bride leads the dance with the bride carrying her signature white umbrella, and everyone follows with their white linen napkins in hand. It's the perfect way to get people out of their seats and on the dance floor!

Paying tribute to the separate cultures from which you came is a great way to make a magical and unforgettable wedding! Why be the one millionth bride of the year to serve a selection of chicken or fish when you can have serving stations that blend you and your honey's own unique style? Why not make all of your guests say "Wow! That is so THEM!" at every turn?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Moates/ Russell Wedding 06.21.08

The Moates/Russell wedding was on June 21, 2008. Megan and Rusty were married in front of the giant hearth at the Rock City Pavilion in front of family and friends. The ceremony and reception were both in the Pavilion, and the staff of the Grandview catered the event.

The bride carried a beautiful bouquet of white lilies, white roses, and chocolate cosmos. Her chocolate cosmos complimented the groom's chocolate brown tux.

Megan's nine bridesmaids and one junior bridesmaid wore chocolate brown gowns with teal sashes and carried bouquets of fresh hydrangea. The bride gave each of her bridesmaids pearls and brown flip flops to wear to the wedding. To play up the colors of the day and the feelings of fun, the favors were rock candy in teal (cotton candy) and chocolate brown (root beer). Each rock candy was tied with a personalized bow with the bride and groom's name and the wedding date.

The bride's cake was a chocolate cake with white icing from Jackson's Bakery, and the groom's cake was a hunting scene. Their mongram was on the front of the cake, adding a personal touch.

The entire bridal party stayed at the Read House the night before and the night of the wedding. It was a fun way to make sure everyone was on the same page, as well as a way to create a wedding weekend that all those involved will never forget.

The couple took pictures on the grounds of Rock City, which afforded them gorgeous views of the Tennessee Valley. The amazing photography is by Chad Trammell.

What a perfect day!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Beginning

I've always considered the beginning the best place to start, so here we go! I first discovered my passion for events during my junior year of high school while on the committee to plan the Senior Banquet. Somewhere between hand making the invitations and sifting through fabric samples for chair covers, I thought, "I could do this!"

Since then I have planned multiple weddings, wedding showers, baby showers, Christmas functions, class reunions, special birthday celebrations, corporate events, and much more! In August of 2008, I decided that I needed a partner in crime. Amber Pratt, a friend for over ten years and Martha Stewart's much younger clone, is the perfect addition to the planning team. We are a great team and I look forward to many events with her in the future!