Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sneak Peek!

Want a sneak peek at what one of my fall brides selected for her bridesmaids? Well, this is it! Fresh off the runway, the four bridesmaids will be wearing this amazing Vera Wang gown. How stunning is this? The bride selected the gown on the right. When this dress first appeared in the magazines a couple of months ago, I began to drool! I can't wait to see these in person and in all of their glory!

The Kiddos!

Everyone's been asking to see photos of the kiddos lately. So, I'll happily comply! They're the light of my life. How is it that these two little cuties can make me laugh, smile, tear my hair out and cry all in one day! All you mothers know exactly what I'm saying, here!

One of my favorite things to do with the kids is read. Gretchen loves Junie B. Jones books these days. I think we read two per week! I'm convinced that the reason she was reading in Kindergarten was because she's been read to every night since she was born! No lie! Seth loves 'Where's Waldo,' books. Just as my aged eyes are trying to focus in to find Waldo and Wenda, Seth screams, 'Found 'em!' Amazing!

Both of my kids have polar opposite personalities. Gretchen is a very confident child. She's fiercely loyal to her brother and protects him in situations when mom isn't around. She's a total slob in her bedroom (a trait passed on by mom :), loves friends, wants to be busy doing something 24/7, can't get enough of crafts, has an amazing singing voice, loves all kinds of music, and is always up for a new adventure.

Seth is my cuddle bug. If he could bring his two favorite things to school each day it would be his mom and his blankie! Quite often you can find Seth laying his head on top of the kitty, sucking his thumb and closing his eyes. Cutest thing I've ever seen :) Seth is much more shy then Gretchen. He's not quite as confident and leans on Gretchen to 'take-charge' of the situation at hand. They have a wonderful relationship that I will continue to foster and encourage. I think sibling relationships are so important! Don't get me wrong, though, they can have some serious battles that usually come to a screeching halt with words like, 'You two have to the count of three to shape it up or there will be consequences to pay!' Oohh, that sounds an awful lot like something my mom would have said! YIKES, I am turning into her!

So, enough musing about my babies! I love them dearly and would not be the same person without them in my life. Now, it's time to turn in for the night but first, I must do something that I do every night and sneak into their rooms, put their covers back on, kiss their cheeks and tell them that I love them.


Candlelight and Lanterns

I'm a sucker for candlelight! I think it has a calming effect on people and sets the mood for a lovely evening. I continually encourage clients to use candlelight as an inexpensive way to create an inviting atmosphere. Not only that, everything and everyone looks better when they're lit by a tiny flame!

At the August 23rd wedding that we're producing, we'll be using these beautiful lanterns from Pottery Barn to line the pathway to the tented cocktail reception. I was thrilled when I found these because they fit our color palette so perfectly. They will hang from nickle shepherds crooks at varying heights. Because these will be the first decor pieces that guests see after their cars are parked, I wanted something dramatic and different. I think these fit the bill and will set the stage for a spectacular evening!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Love for Bella Figura

I know, here I go again with my obsession with Bella Figura. But I have to share this exciting news with you! About a month ago, the owner of Bella Figura, the lovely Debbie, contacted me to tell me about a new project they were working on and wondered if I'd be willing to help them. When she explained what they were doing, I jumped at the opportunity to assist.

So, here's the scoop. Bella Figura is so committed to our fragile environment and improving the state of it that they want to do everything they can to help. They already give a percentage of every sale to an environmental cause but wanted to do more. They selected a small group of wedding planners and wedding bloggers (me included!) to curate a sample pack of invitations. What does that mean, you ask? Well, they wanted me to pick five of my favorite invitations from their wedding line. They then will sell those five invitation samples for $10 (but that's only until August 11 because after the 11th the cost will go up $25). Normally, Bella Figura charges $7 per invitation sample so this is a real bargain!

The best news is that 100% of the sale of the packet that I curated will go to the environmental cause of my choice! How cool is that?! I selected American Forests as my charity because I believe in their commitment to planting trees in areas ravaged by wild fire. I also love this cause because my Dad is a Horticulturist and has a special affinity for trees. He shared his love for these things with all of us kids and to this day I'm quite certain I was the only first-grader on the class trip to the nature center who knew what a Quaking Aspen was!

This is what I want to do to help the cause. Post a comment on my blog and I will randomly select someone to receive the sample pack I curated. The deadline to post your comment is Friday, August 8, at 11:00pm EST. To learn more about this program and read about the samples I selected, just click here. There's even a lovely little photo of CEO on their site :)


Saturday, July 26, 2008

My A*M*A*Z*I*N*G Sister

My sister's getting married! That's right, she sure is. I'm SO excited for her wedding. My dear, sweet, Kara is just 16 months younger than me. Though I've been married for almost 11 years, Kara has been waiting for Mr. Right for a long time. She's kissed a lot of toads, my sister. I'll spare all of us the pain of recounting them! But, I am so happy to say that her Prince has arrived!

We love, love, love, Kara's fiancee. When I say 'we,' I mean me, CPA, our kiddos and the entire extended clan! He's so sweet and funny and he can handle Kara's mood swings :) For that alone, we love him!

Anyways, I'm in the midst of planning Kara and Jason's November 8, nuptials. In fact, just yesterday morning I ordered her wedding invitations. Oohh, they're beauties! I called Kara and told her she was going to love what I picked out! You read that right, she hasn't even seen the invites yet! I told her I was going to pick them out and she was going to love them :). Crazy as it sounds, Kara didn't receive any of the detail-oriented, creative genes that her sister did. She received some other lovely DNA strands from our parents but the love of details is not one of them. So, it's just better for all involved to leave those decisions up to me and our mom!

I've got a rock-star line-up of vendors for Kara's wedding. And she's going to have a bunch of yummy details, too. Like her hand painted aisle runner. Oh, is it going to be awesome! I think that's the detail she's most excited about. She's also super excited about her chocolate brown pintuck linens, taupe lamour chair covers and ivory cream bichon chair ties and napkins. I'm pretty partial to the moss green hand beaded tulle we're using on the cake table. It's fabulous!

The amazing Jen of Jen Kroll Photography will be shooting Kara's wedding. And her champagne brunch will be held in the Imperial Ballroom at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Her flowers will be provided by the amazingly talented Jenn Ederer of Modern Day Floral. Just wait until you hear what we've planned for the three flower girls. They will all carry purses made out of flowers!

Another great vendor we'll be using is Chocolate Impressions from Detroit. I used this great company at an event last year and their product was a hit! The concept is brilliant. Two people arrive with their digital cameras and 300 milk chocolate lollipops. They then take photos of the guests and print their picture on sugar and adhere it to the chocolate pops. Amazing! I think the wedding guests are going to love this!

Kara, you lucked out with an event planner as a sister! I'm fairly confident you'd still be sitting on the sofa, drinking a cup of tea, and wondering where you should start. You're probably laughing now because you know it's true! I LOVE you, sweet sister. And I'm so honored to be able to plan such a special day for you! I'm beyond excited to be your Matron of Honor because it's truly a place of honor. And hooray for the staff of In Any Event who will be coordinating the wedding so that I can enjoy the day with you!


A Fun Weekend with Family

Yesterday, CPA's (a.k.a. my dear husband, Nathan) brother Kendall, his wife Traci and their kids Ethan and Reagan arrived for little visit on their way back home to Minnesota. We had a GREAT time with them. And I wish they could have stayed longer. Our kids get along so well which makes for very pleasant adult time!

Last night, we decided to throw a little party for Kendall and Traci and invited a slew of college friends over for a BBQ. A lot of the friends hadn't seen my BIL and SIL in a couple of years. It was a gorgeous evening and we had the perfect mix of good food, good friends and good conversation. I believe at one point in the evening, we had 12 kiddos jumping on the trampoline. Serious fun, for sure!

This morning, we went to the Red Geranium for breakfast and then my SIL and I pawned the kiddos off on the husbands and headed over to Talbot Kids to do some serious damage. Well, I guess I did the serious damage and Traci did very minor damage. CPA is beyond thrilled that Talbot Kids is shutting their doors for good come the beginning of September. I, on the other hand, am trying to figure out if I need to seek help for the sadness I feel at the loss of this store!

We were sad to see them leave after lunch today. We can't wait to see them again and wish they lived closer. Thanks for a fun visit, guys! We love you!


PS - The photo above, from left to right, is my niece Reagan and my dear daughter Gretchen. How cute are they!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ode to the Black Chandelier

And now for another installment of the 'Ode to' series. I didn't decide this was going to be a series until just now. But hey, that's okay because I'm not one to turn away a great idea when the light bulb flickers on!

So, we're working on this fabulous....okay, let me say it again, F*A*B*U*L*O*U* that will take place this fall. I absolutely adore this bride! And the groom just cracks me up with his imitation of her vision for 'timeless elegance.' Truly hilarious stuff! I love it when I can connect with my couples on this level. It makes the planning process so darn much fun and I fall in love with my profession all over again!

Okay, back to today's Ode! Check out the chandelier above! Tell me this is not seriously amazing! This is what we've decided on for the dining area. Several of them, in fact, hanging in all their splendor! I get chills just thinking about it. You know, it's just the simple things that make an event planner happy :) I can't wait to share photos later this fall of all the yummy things we're doing at this event. So, stay tuned!


Fabulous Header

So, I got myself a new header! And I'm super excited about it :). Many thanks to the uber-talented photographer/videographer, John Pottenger of Coastline-Studios , for the photo and design help!

John took this spectacular shot at a wedding we did on June 20. The photos he produced for that event still blow my mind! He recently posted a slideshow from which you can see here. It was such a fun wedding to design! There were so many yummy little details which always makes me happy! I didn't work directly with the bride on this wedding because she lives in Colorado. Instead, I worked with her mother which was loads of fun! She has a spectacular sense of style which I always love (makes my job easier :) The event truly was a surprise for the bride....and surprised she was!

Thanks John, for all of your help! You're one amazingly talented and gifted guy and I look forward to many more events together!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Beautiful Bella Figura

* photo courtesy of Bella Figura

There's a great, and may I please emphasize the word great, artisan letterpress shop in central New York that we've been using exclusively for our letterpressed invitations. My ever-so-amazing rep at Bella Figura, Andrea, recently called to tell me that they loved the customization we did on their Soleil design so much, they wanted to highlight it on their website. She wondered if that would be okay? Well, yeah!

I can't say enough wonderful things about this company! Their invitations are truly a work of art. Their 100% tree-free cotton paper is made exclusively for them in a European mill. There is no other print shop in this country that uses the paper they do. And I'm here to tell you it's absolutely luxurious. The texture is like no other I've ever felt!

I get giddy when I see a new box arrive from Bella. I tear it open like a child at Christmas so I can be the first to admire the beautiful inks, amazing hand-lined envelopes, and the yummy impressions of the letterpress. Oh, and don't let me forget to tell you that the invitations are all wrapped in this amazing taupe and champagne damask wrapping paper then placed inside an equally amazing brown box that's lined in the same damask paper. In fact, these boxes are so popular over here at IAE, I've only managed to hold on to three! Between my staff and the calligrapher that we use, everyone snags them from me!

So, if you're looking for a truly unique, truly luxurious and truly remarkable invitation, you simply must have one from Bella Figura!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Rockin' Hand Soap and Lotion

So, I wouldn't normally post about something as crazy as what I found in a client's bathroom but I just have to tell you about this new discovery! We recently produced an event for a client at their home. After using the little girl's room, I proceeded to wash my hands just as my mom had taught me to do :) As I'm lathering and admiring the dark circles under my eyes, I began to smell this lovely scent. I looked down, then looked up at the soap I was using and instantly fell in love!

Have any of you heard of Molton Brown? I hadn't heard of it before either! It's made in London and it is just down right to-die-for! My client had both the Naran Ji Fine Liquid Hand Wash and the Naran Ji Soothing Hand Lotion. I proudly returned to my staff and encouraged each one of them to take a break, go to the bathroom and wash their pretty hands. They all fell in love with it, too!

So, just last week I decided that the CEO of IAE needed a little treat for all of her hard work in June! And I went ahead and ordered myself some. All I can say is, no one is getting near that stuff but me!


Ode to the Cake Table

I'll admit it. I LOVE cake tables. I just down-right love them. Everything about them. I spend a lot of time concepting and creating the perfect cake table for every event we produce at IAE. What I find so appealing about them is that you can use completely different linens - within the same color palette, of course - to create a show piece that sets off that ever-important butter cream dream!

All too often, the cake table is completely forgotten about and dressed with the oh-so-offensive cotton white table cloth with creases running here, there and everywhere (another pet-peeve that you can look forward to reading a post about in the near future!). Not a worthy resting place for such an important element!

I'll admit it, we've spent hundreds of dollars on linens for the cake table alone. This isn't always necessary, though. I challenge you to think outside-the-box when it comes to the presentation of your cake. Is there a wonderful little table in your Grandma's house that would set your cake off and warm her heart? How about building a table out of hockey sticks to honor your husband's love of the game? Or what about shopping your local flea market or tag sale for an old credenza that could be brought back to life with a coat of paint? There are just so many things you could do that won't cost a lot but will bring character and personality to your event. (And much pleasure to your photographer and baker for doing something fun and creative :)!

So, get fun and get creative! But just don't forget about your cake!
PS - The cakes above were designed by the lovely Barb Hoek of Sweet Cakes Design (her's is the dreamy one on orange) and Pastry Chef Scott Hunter of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. I'm here to tell you they tasted as pretty as they look!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Beautiful Liz and Fearless Color

June was an absolutely insane month for us. Seriously! Thank goodness for such an amazingly dedicated staff because without them, there's no way I would have survived! Now, with a couple weeks of sleep under my belt, the whole world looks brighter :).

The next wedding for In Any Event is just around the corner. On August 23, we will realize months of planning when we execute the wedding of Liz and Curt. They are an absolutely adorable couple! They are both so sweet and kind and I can't wait for their wedding!

We selected a truly inspired color palette with Liz!

The tables will have pistachio crinkle taffeta, royal pintuck napkins, and orange/gold crushed shimmer chair pads on white chivari chairs. We're using white square dinnerware, and a very modern and clean-lined stemware and flatware.

The stunning invitations were designed by my dear friends at Bella Figura. All I can say is, WOW! They turned out so beautifully! I spoke with Liz's mom, Jillane, this afternoon (another dear soul!) and she said they have been receiving so many comments on how fun and fresh they are.

This, my dear blog readers, leads me to the point of this post. Don't be afraid of color! It's what will set your event apart from others. You don't want to go overboard, of course, but splashes of unexpected color (in unexpected places) will set the tone for a truly memorable party. Don't get me wrong, ivory and champagne are amazing colors that will 'ground' your palette. But go ahead and spice it up a little by throwing in some of your favorite jewel tones like saffron, purple, fuchsia, get the point :).

So, you might be asking now, 'Where should I add these so my wedding/event doesn't look like Joseph's coat of many colors?' Well, there are a number of places to add color. The most obvious would be the florals. Nothing is more striking then neutral linens with a pop of color in the centerpieces. But I think there are other ways to introduce fun colors. What about neutral linens with a beautiful, colorful brooch on each napkin? Or gorgeous letter pressed invitations with custom mixed ink? Or how about a hand painted aisle runner? The ideas are endless!

So, if I can leave you with one thing, it's that color is your friend! Love it and use it!


Hello to the world of Blogging!

Wow! Here it is. The first blog post from In Any Event. I've wanted to start this blog for over a year now but, quite frankly, have been so busy that I haven't taken the time to get set-up. Thanks to my dear friend, Jen , I'm all set-up and ready to rock the blogging world with some great posts (I hope :-).

I've got some fun ideas for this blog. Of course, there will be photos and descriptions of events we've produced, but I also look forward to talking about trends, give you some tricks of the trade, introduce you to vendors and give away some great products, too! So, stay tuned and check back often! There's a lot in store!