Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Winner!

I just realized I've forgotten to announce our book winner! The winner of that deliciously wonderful book by Sylvia Weinstock is......


Congratulations, Jessica! The book is in the mail.


Innocence Lost

My kid's lost a tiny bit of their innocence today. I didn't mean for it to happen, but it did. You see, CPA said he needed some bad polyester clothes for a 70s-themed management meeting this week. I'm sure you're thinking I'm going to write something light-hearted and up-beat based on that information. And I wish I could. But unfortunately, that's not where this story is going to take me.

It was after church this morning that we went to Goodwill to find a perfectly awful outfit for that meeting. As we were browsing through the racks, my attention was taken away from the clothes and to a mother and her four small children; two of which appeared to be twin boys not much older then three.

As all kids do, they wanted to play in the toy section. And one of the twins started to head in that direction. Instead of the mother asking him to stay by her, she grabbed him by the ear and pulled him so hard his feet left the ground for a moment. I was horrified. He started to cry because he hurt. He really hurt. She told him to shut-up and if he didn't she was going to 'whoop' him.

My kids looked at me in complete horror. But at that moment my concern wasn't for them. It was for that little boy. My heart raced and so many thoughts ran through my mind I didn't know how to process them all. Should I say something? Should I walk away? Should I call someone? If so, who? Who should I call to protect this little boy? Lord, help me, what should I do?

I stayed close pretending to look at infant clothing. But I really wasn't. What I was doing was trying not to wrap my arms around that little boy. I was trying not to reach inside my purse for a Kleenex to wipe his tears. What I was doing was trying not to cry.

Once again, she pulled the boy's ear so he was right next to her. Those tears that had started to dry up now re-appeared. And again, my kid's looked at me in horror and with fear-filled eyes. And my thoughts turned to them. Because in their world, parents don't do that to children. In their world, a mom loves, comforts and protects. A mom disciplines in love and always gives a hug followed by an 'I love you,' after a punishment. In their world, scenes such as this aren't played on any stage. Scenes such as this aren't even written.

The tears began to flow. They poured outwardly from the little boy and inwardly from me. The mom looked at all four of the kids and said, 'Come on, we're leaving. You kids cry everywhere we go!' She began to march them toward the front door. And that's when I said it. ' You know, it might help if you didn't pull them by their ears.' 'EXCUSE ME?,' she said. I repeated myself. 'They probably wouldn't be crying if you weren't pulling them around by the ears. No decent mother does something like that.' 'Well,' she said, 'they my kids and I can do what it is I want!'

My kids got really close to my legs and I realized I had opened Pandora's Box. In a loud, booming voice, she told me I better mind my own business or else. At this point, I felt scared and the kids and I went to find CPA. As we walked away, she continued to mutter expletives at me and told me just where I should go with my comments.

I've replayed this scene over and over in my mind today. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut and walked away. Maybe I should have whisked my children away so they wouldn't have witnessed such behavior. Maybe I shouldn't have let my attention escape from the clothing racks.

But the reality is, I did say something. The reality is I questioned something I thought was wrong. And I can't regret that. Because maybe it was the first time someone had stuck-up for those kids. And maybe they'll always remember the lady who dared to question their mom's right to pull their ears.

Do I wish some random mother at Goodwill hadn't robbed my children of a bit of their innocence? Yes. But at the end of the day, I think I did what God expected of me. I think I showed six little children - her four and my two - that no one has a right to treat a child that way. I think I showed six little children what it means to stand-up for what is right. And for that reason alone, I'm okay with the innocence my children lost today.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Ode to...Smock

Allow me to introduce you to Smock. Smock is a wonderful letterpress company in New York that prints amazing products on bamboo paper. They offer a variety of different products including wedding invitations, social invitations, thank you cards, wrapping paper, gift tags and more. Their designs are inspired. Their color selections remarkable. And their prices simply amazing. Do check them out!


Out of the Mouths of Babes

'Mom, this chicken is exceptional!' Umm, huh? This from my seven-year-old who hates everything I make. It all became clear when she later asked for a Nintendo DS.


There's Still Time!

There's still time to win this lovely, lovely book by Sylvia Weinstock! I'm going to make it a little easier for you, too. Just leave a comment on the original post to throw you name into the drawing. No blog suggestions needed. The winner will be selected at 11:01pm tonight!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Fall/Winter '09

So why am I thinking that far ahead, you ask? Well, good news! Our August '08 wedding was just picked up by The Knot for publication in the Fall/Winter '09 issue. Even better news is that it's a feature wedding which means a three to four page spread of loveliness!

It seems that the NYC executives at The Knot read Jen Kroll's blog {yes, she's that cool!}. They spotted the photos, contacted her and asked if they could publish the wedding. Our lovely bride, Liz, graciously agreed, and she and I have been feverishly working on the paperwork ever since!

We're told that the issue will be on the newsstands in April. I'll let you know as soon as I see it.



Two days in a row. Yep, that's right, just call me the world's best mom. Because for two days in a row, I have baked my kids cupcakes for their after-school snack. And even made Sylvia Weinstock's butter cream frosting for their cute little tongues to lick {bet you didn't know you could freeze her frosting did you!}.

So, in the spirit of all things sprinkles and frosting, I'd like to announce the latest give-away from In Any Event. Oh, and it's a good one! Hot off the presses, it's Sensational Cakes by Sylvia herself. And let me tell you, the book is just that, Sen-sa-tion-al {with a capital 'S'}!

The best part about this hard-cover beauty is that Sylvia shares a ton of her recipes! I mean, seriously, that's enough to give one a sugar rush just thinking about it!

So, with all of that said, here are the rules. Leave a comment and tell me what you'd like to have me blog about this winter {I've got a case of blogger's-block}. Do you want more tricks of the trade? Do you want a weekly column? Should I muse about my kids and CPA? Or do you think I do such a darn good job I should just keep doin' what I'm doin' {kidding people, just kidding!}.

I will close this contest on Monday, November 24, at 11:00pm EST. And my lovely assistant Jill will mail your prize on Tuesday morning! Oh yeah, and I'll be using to determine the winner.

Good Luck!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

How I Spent My Saturday Night

Okay, you simply must visit my dear friend, Jen's blog. Seriously, I cracked up when I read her entry today! It's a wonderful play-by-play of our adventures together on Saturday night. It's good stuff!


Pay it Forward

Do these flowers look familiar? They may not in their current state but you might recognize them when I tell you where they came from. You see, we at In Any Event hate the thought of centerpieces from our events landing in dumpsters the following day. Turns out, so do our friends at Modern Day Floral. Which is why you see 75+ vases of hand-tied bouquets made from the centerpieces from that lovely wedding we did a couple of weeks ago.

Jenn and her amazing crew at Modern Day Floral spent close to two days disassembling 24 gianormous centerpieces and re-creating lovely european-style bouquets. After assembly was complete, they took the centerpieces to two nursing homes and gave them to the residents. Just because.

I write this today to encourage my fellow planners, and brides alike, to consider donating your event flowers to a nursing home or hospital. I think it's a wonderful way to brighten the spirits of those often forgotten. And bring happiness and joy but for a brief moment.

Thank you, Jenn, for starting this amazing program at Modern Day. And for helping us all to pay it forward.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beautiful Kara

Kara is beautiful. A simple, yet powerful statement, I know. Call me bias, but I think she's one of the most spectacular looking brides I have ever seen. Yes, she is my sister. Yes, I'd lay my life down for her. And yes, I could cry just thinking about how much I love her. All that doesn't change the fact that she was a knock-out on her wedding day!

I just got off the phone with Kara in Maui. It's been hard to go this long without speaking to her! You see, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't email her or talk to her on the phone. She's that special to me. So, imagine how thrilled I was when she became engaged and I got the chance to put together a day that reflects her and her personality! A thrilling experience, for sure.
Without further introduction, here is a sneak peek at some of her wedding photos taken by another woman I love, Jen Kroll.

Remember all of those wax seals I told you about making several months back? Well, here is one gracing the front of her program. And it's tied together with a yummy double-satin swiss ribbon. Ooohh, I love me that double-satin ribbon!

I picked out Kara's necklace and earrings from Swarovski. I love this photo because it highlight's Jen's creativity. Can you tell what it's laying on?

A must-have detail for Kara; the hand-painted aisle runner. It turned out just lovely. And Kara was so thrilled with it. Special thanks to my ever-so-talented painter, Liz Jansen, for yet another stunning runner!

And here's a closer view of the scroll work. This scroll was carried through from her invitations all the way to her cake!

How beautiful is Kara's bouquet! A very special 'thank you' to Jenn and all of the girls at Modern Day Floral for the absolutely amazing flowers. What they created for this wedding was simply breathtaking!

The flower girls holding their pomander balls. My Gretchen is the peanut in the middle!

Yep, that's me in the chocolate brown dress, gold pashmina and holding the gorgeous bouquet! Can I tell you how hard it is to be the matron of honor when all you want to do is be in the back of church directing the activities? The biggest challenge of the day for me was to relax and let my very capable staff handle everything. I'm told I did pretty good toward the end of the event! Old habits die hard, I guess :)

The Champagne Brunch was held at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel inside the Imperial Ballroom. It's my favorite room in the whole hotel. It has such character and grandeur and is perfect for an intimate gathering.

Here's a little closer look at the table setting. We used deep brown pintuck linens, taupe lamour chair covers, and ivory bichon napkins and chair ties. It was just gorgeous!

The gold beaded chargers came from Special Events Rental in Detroit. Love that company!

Here's a really great detail. Kara's husband loves to do crossword puzzles. So, I found this company on line where you simply write a question and then the answer and it will automatically generate a crossword puzzle. For free! This was such a hit that when guests were seated there was instantaneous silence as everyone tried to work through the puzzle. Kara and I came up with fun questions about the two of them so that guests could get to know more about them as a couple as well as individually. Also, if you look closely, you'll be able to see what we had engraved onto the gold pencils {which were all lovingly sharpened by my 5 year old and 8 year old!}.

The gorgeous cake by the gorgeous Barb of Sweet Cakes Design. Thanks, Barb, for another stunner. You outdid yourself on this one!

Here's a closer look at the detail on the cake!

There were free-flowing mimosas at the brunch. And they were yummy! I had Bella Figura letter-press coasters with the recipe on them and they were passed out when the mimosa's were first served. Very fun!

And now, my beautiful Kara! She's as kind and gentle as she is gorgeous. LOVE YOU, Kar!

There are a couple companies that I want to recognize and thank, too. First up, MI Photobooth. My new favorite company in the greater Grand Rapids area :). Jessica Daly, owner of the company, is one of the sweetest, most professional people I have ever worked with. Not only did I use her for Kara's wedding, I also used her on that amazing wedding a couple of weeks ago. I can't recommend this company enough. Their prices are great. Their service is impeccable and their photobooth is so classy that it fits in with high-end decor.
The other company that we used at the wedding was Chocolate Impressions out of Detroit. Again, a stellar vendor with a very unique product. Here's how it works. After they take your photo, they send it to a machine that prints the photo onto a chocolate lolliopop. This was a huge hit because no one had ever seen anything like it before. {Bet you can't guess how many of these lollipops currently reside in my freezer with pictures of my kids on them! Suffice it to say, it's over 10!}

Thanks again to everyone who helped make the day so special for Kara. She thanks you all from the beaches of Maui! {Especially you, Jennifer, Shelly and Jill!}


The Get-Away

Ever dream of a helicopter get-away? Yup, me too! Well, that's exactly how our bride and groom got-away to start their two-week honeymoon! I can't tell you what a thrill it was to be on the top of the JW Marriott for the lift-off. Truly, it was a highlight of the weekend for me. I've always dreamed of flying in a helicopter so to be that close was spectacular.

On top of the roof capturing the lift-off was Jen of Jen Kroll Photography. And also John of Coastline Studios. I have not yet mentioned John in previous posts and wanted to take a moment to do so.

In my opinion, Coastline Studios is the very best videography company in the state of Michigan. Hands down. Why, you ask? Well, simply put, John documents the day with a photographer's eye. He can do that because he's a rockin' photographer, too. It's that eye that sets him apart and puts him on the top of his game. There is no one, simply no one, I would trust behind that video camera other then John and his crew!

Now, for a fun picture on top of the JW roof! From left to right, Jen Kroll, Ryan Prins, me, and John Pottenger and his intern. This was taken the morning after the wedding and I think we look pretty darn good after the previous 21.5 hour day!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Yes, life has been a whirlwind. Both personally and professionally, there has been non-stop activity since the end of last year. And today, for the first time in months, I got a chance to exhale. Mind you, it was only for a day because tomorrow it's time to gear up for another big event. But today, was just about the exhale...{in between loads of laundry, though, since no one in the house has clean underwear!}.

On Saturday, my beautiful sister, Kara, got married. And the day was magical. There were so many wonderful details incorporated into the day. And there are so many amazing vendors to thank. But, I want to save that for a post dedicated just to Kara. Jen Kroll shot Kara's wedding and as soon as I have photos to share, I will post all about it. I promise!

In the meantime, I've got some more photos to share from that amazing wedding we did a week ago. Just to refresh your memory, this is what the room looked like when we started:

And this is what it looked like when we were finished!

Here is the stunning aisle runner. The beautiful Jenn of Modern Day Floral says this was one of her favorite details from the day. It was so spectacular words can't even describe it. All 85 feet took the artist 93 hours to paint. It was so intricately scrumptious that it made me want to weep!

I couldn't wait to share this detail shot with you! Notice on the menu card, we tied a fuchsia double satin ribbon around and attached a black, vintage-inspired brooch. We used a total of ten different brooches in all and alternated between place settings so no two were ever next to each other. When we cleaned up the next day, we were left with only 10 brooches from the 400+ that were out. Which means guests did just what we hoped they would do, take them home and enjoy them on their coats this winter!

The groom affectionately calls his bride, 'mole.' So his one request to me was this; have a mole cake made in honor of her that's as cute as she is! Well, thanks to Barb and her crew at Sweet Cakes, the mission was accomplished! Is this not the best groom's cake you have ever seen! At the 11th hour, while lying awake in bed thinking about everything that needed to be accomplished the next day, I thought about how cute 'she' would look sitting in wheat grass. Enter Modern Day Floral to help make that midnight brainstorm happen for me!

Some special details to note: her pink fingernails, her diamond ring, and the M+R that's drawn into the tree stump! Brilliance, Barb, sheer brilliance!

And last, but not least, the ice screen. Yes, you read that right. There was a screen frozen into the ice and we projected a slide show onto it. My amazingly talented assistant, Jill, designed this sculpture {along with the most amazing martini luge you have ever seen} and worked with our friends at Ice Sculptures, Ltd. to bring it to life. Way to go, Jill! It looked as good in real life as it did in your sketch, girlie! :)

Stay tuned for my sister's wedding!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More Luscious Photos

Got some more photos to share with you. I think you're going to LOVE them, too! As the photographer says, these photos are the broad brushstrokes. There are so many little details I can't wait to share with you. And I promise you'll see them soon. In the meantime, this should wet your appetites!

There was 4,500 yards of sateen fabric used in this room. No, I'm not kidding! What I love about this fabric is the way it absorbs the color washes. And leave it to Odyssey Lighting to pull out another stellar lighting job for me! I love working with this company. Lighting is an art form to them and their end product always proves that! The room would not have looked nearly as beautiful without their help.

Look at the depth in the florals. My favorite part was the gorgeous hanging ameranthus. I also loved the pops of saffron with the cherry brandy roses. Sheer genius thanks to Modern Day Floral!

Those who know me well will be able to easily spot my favorite part of this picture! Can you guess what it is? Well, it's how perfectly straight all of the chargers and chairs are, of course!

Another favorite shot! The base of the center chandelier measured 6ft across! It was simply spectacular. It was constructed piece-by-piece while it was being hung. A HUGE thanks to my friends at Special Events Rental in Detroit. You guys ROCK! Seriously, I think I have the best reps in the whole company - yep, that's you Mike and Todd! Thanks for EVERYTHING!

Another look at the chandelier. You can really see how beautiful the fabric work was. Simply stunning and it turned out exactly as I had imagined in my head :)

Ahh, the cake! The gorgeous cake was lovingly made by Barb Hoek and her crew at Sweet Cakes. Even more spectacular then this cake - if that's even possible - is the groom's cake. I can't wait to share a picture of that with you when it becomes available!

There's more to come. So, once again, stay tuned!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What a Weekend!

Amazing. That's all I can say to describe the entire weekend...just amazing! I've finally caught up on some much needed sleep and feel ready to take on the world again. I'm going to try to re-cap the weekend step-by-step over the next couple of days.

Once again, the ever-so-fabulous Jen Kroll rocked her camera. We joke on staff that we're pretty sure Jesus lives in her lens because what she captures blows all of our minds! {Love you, Jen! Don't know what I would do without you behind that lens, girlie!}.

Assisting Jen this weekend was Ryan of Ryan Prins Photography {Ryan shoots details like no one I've ever seen. Not to mention that when he's shooting, his hips are swinging and swaying to the music and his photos are perfectly that's talent!}

In addition, Jen brought in her dear friend, the uber-fabulous Bob Davis of La Storia Foto {a.k.a. the genius behind Eva Longoria's wedding photography as well as Oprah Winfrey's photographer}. Side note to all event planner who read my blog: Bob Davis is the photographer of choice for Colin Cowie and Mindy Weiss. Guess who peppered him with questions all night long :). It was like an event planners dream to ask him questions about two people in the industry I admire most!

Okay, back to business. The weekend began with a fabulous rehearsal dinner. It was small and intimate and the details and color palette were spectacular. The florals and candle collections were one of my favorite parts of the evening. I cannot begin to tell you how in love I am with Modern Day Floral! Their designs were inspired and the room would not have been the same without Jenn Ederer's creative genius! All I can say is that girl knows her stuff! She's a dream to work with and she makes my job so much easier. I'm so fortunate to be surrounded by vendors who are as passionate about their work as I am about mine. Jenn is no exception. She poured hours upon hours of love into this wedding and for that I am eternally grateful. She left no floral detail undone all weekend long and her use of candle light was like nothing I had ever seen! {Jenn, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart! Thank you for being you, for your God-given creative talent, and for your amazing staff! Love you, girl!}.

There are so many other vendors I need to thank and I'll do that over the course of the week. But, without further adieu, here are some photos from the rehearsal dinner.

Stay tuned! There's a lot more on the way. And trust me, you won't want to miss it!