Friday, December 25, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs." - Going to the Chapel with Modern Day Floral

{Photography by Jen Kroll}

Although Jodi and I may be cherishing every minute of our precious (and rare) vacation time, I cannot resist following all my favorite blogs from home during the break. And this week I am hoping you are all doing the same. Chris and I were featured on Modern Day Floral's lovely blog and I encourage you to check it out.

What can I say about Modern Day Floral? They do the most phenomenal design work. Honestly, it's beyond fantastic. Every time I see one of their fresh, new designs, I find myself staring at it going "How in the world did they make that?" I consider myself very lucky to be one of their clients. You can't help but fall in love with their outside-the-box approach in floral event design. Seeing the flowers at my wedding for the first time... well, let's just say I cannot wait to see what they bring to the table. Literally.

If you have a minute, please pop over to their "Going to the Chapel" post and read our story. And if you have a little more time, be sure to check out the galleries to see all of the incredible work done by the Modern Day crew.

Hope you are all enjoying your holiday break!

~ Jillian

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On Vacation!

Hello, dear blog readers. I will be taking a two-week vacation from all work including blogging. I need some time to refresh and renew and spend quality time with my family. I will resume posts on Monday, January 4. And I promise to come back with some great stuff. Including never-before-seen photos from the ArtPrize events we designed and produced back in October.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Until 2010,

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Enhancing Your Holiday Season

Although our busy season has come to a slow, there is much to look forward to around this time of year with friends and family. Festive holiday parties. Gorgeous winter weddings. Fun theme parties. New Year's Eve celebrations. All kinds of delicious fun awaits. And yes, the holidays can bring much stress into our lives along with all the good things. I know that, believe me I know. But we won't even go there. 'Tis the season to focus on the blessings, I always say.

What will you be doing this holiday break? Hosting Christmas dinner for all of your family? Baking cookies with your kids? Going out to a swanky New Year's Eve party with old friends? Whatever the event, may you be inspired to do it bigger and brighter than last year! Remember, a little bit of design and decor around your holiday party, around the house, or even just around your dinner table adds a lot to your holiday season. Your friends and family will look up to you like you hung the moon.

To all the industry professionals: Here's to keeping the creative juices flowing through the planning season!

~ Jillian

{Photo: Courtesy of Cornerstone Events, LAist, Country Living}

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday's Tidbits

Happy Tuesday morning, everyone! For some unknown reason, I feel lively and energetic this morning. This is an unusual thing because I am not a morning person. In fact, I hate the mornings. It dates back to birth, my mom says. I've just always had a hard time getting started in the morning. But with this new found energy, I'm sure a lot is going to get accomplished today!

Last night, my husband and I attended a beautiful Christmas party hosted by one of my most treasured clients. I'll tell you the truth, though. I felt a little like a fish out of water. I'm usually planning these types of parties, not attending them. I felt like I should have been working! But alas, I was there to celebrate the holidays and enjoy their company. And it was wonderful! {Thank you, dear client, for inviting us and for your confidence in my work! You're such a joy to work for. It truly has been a blessing to know you and your amazing family!}

We're rockin' and rollin' over at Gwyneth Paige. I will tell you that starting a letterpress company is not for the faint of heart or wallet! It's a tremendous amount of work to produce designs and finished products that scream, 'COUTURE!' But what a labor of love it has been! Though there have been trials to make everything perfect-o, it's worth every minute! This will truly be a special company!

So, there's a lot I want to accomplish today. I need to get Christmas presents wrapped and sent to Nathan's family in Minnesota. I want to get some artwork framed for my office. I need to run to the grocery store to pick up all of the ingredients for my traditional holiday peppermint pattie making with the kiddos. And of course, there's the trip to Verizon to deal with BlackBerry issues that I've been putting off for too long. I just might feel energetic enough to endures their lines! I can't tell you how lovely it is to have a break in the event-action to work on these things. It's long over-due and much needed!

Hope you all have a wonderful day. Be sure to add the Gwyneth Paige blog to your Google Reader so you can keep up on the latest happenings. Our Creative Director, Andrea, is a blogging genius and always has such relevant information to share. It really is a lovely blog {if I do say so myself!}.

{source and disclaimer: photo has nothing to do with this post...I just like it!}

Friday, December 11, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs." - Our Save the Date Cards!

Yesterday I got a chance to post my Save the Date cards on the Gwyneth Paige blog. But I just couldn't resist showing them off today as well on my weekly post for In Any Event. In case you missed reading my other post, I want to make sure you are properly introduced to my obsession: Couture Letterpress.


Gwyneth Paige has been a labor of love. To see the hard work behind this company come to life gets me all squirmy inside with excitement. Now to be ordering the product for my very own wedding is thrilling. And I have to speak the truth here, which is that my Save the Dates are beautiful. That is a fact. Well, I guess it technically is only my humble opinion...but I feel it's an agreeable one. The details and everything about these cards are nailed to perfection. They have been created with the utmost care, and I cannot wait for my guests to receive them in their mailboxes.

Maybe it's the deep, artistically-placed impressions. Or maybe it's the fact that it's a process that has been around for ages, but there is just something about letterpress stationary. Nothing compares to the touchable and tangible quality of it. Nothing.


Feeling slightly addicted yet? Welcome to the club.

~ Jillian

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fabric Bouquet

SQUEEL! I'm in love! I think this is the most fabulous fabric bouquet I have ever seen. I came across it on Etsy and I'm completely overwhelmed by it! Offered by the amazing Milkpod Studio, this bouquet speaks directly to my inner-crafter and I'm going to do my darndest to find the perfect bride for this bouquet!

In addition to bouquets and boutonnieres, Milkpod Studio also sells fantastic fabric garland for decorating fireplace mantels and door frames. It's all so fabulous!

{happy sigh}


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kumquat Cupcakery

While in Connecticut a couple of weeks ago to attend my sister-in-law's baby shower, Purvi mentioned how excited she was to share her favorite cupcakes with me. She's a self-proclaimed 'cupcake connoisseur.' She's tested all the famous cupcake shops and has determined that her absolute favorite is Kumquat Cupcakery.

Located in NYC, where my SIL hails from, Kumquat offers only miniature cupcake goodness. This is a good thing because you don't feel too guilty eating them but a bad thing because they seem to pop in your mouth one-after-the-other!

The owner, Keavy Landreth, offers some pretty fantastic flavors. And some off-the-wall combinations too, like Maple Bacon! But I can attest that the ones I had at the shower were absolutely amazing. And you can bet we'll be visiting Kumquat when we're in NYC in May for NSS!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Thankful Post

Thanksgiving has come and gone. And Christmas is just around the corner. But, I never took the opportunity to tell you some of the things I'm thankful for. So, as we draw near to the end of another year {and a decade!}, I thought it would be a good time to share. I'm thankful for:

  1. A loving husband and two wonderful children. I wouldn't be the same person without these three people in my life.
  2. Amazing parents and three fantastic siblings. They're the ones who've known me the longest and have always had my back. They've been my rock and my soft-place to land.
  3. The opportunity to practice my art and to be financially rewarded to do so. What a blessing.
  4. HGTV and the WE Network!
  5. Amazing industry friends who support me, challenge me and encourage me.
  6. A brand new company {Gwyneth Paige} and all of the possibilities that she holds.
  7. Tums anti-acid tablets :)
  8. My assistant Jillian, who somehow manages to keep my life running smoothly from day-to-day {a BIG task!}
  9. My housekeeper who can do laundry and clean the house at the same time!
  10. Good health, good friends, and a good life!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs." - Engagement Photos are Here!

Receiving these was like getting an early Christmas present. When Jen Kroll emailed me earlier this week, I could hardly wait for today to come so I could post them on the blog and share them with you!

But first, let me just mention a quick side note before sending you off to view these little delights. Reading and studying wedding magazines has occupied 90% of my alone time for the past four years. I am also an avid blog reader. Therefore, I can't even begin to estimate how many engagement and wedding photos I've seen. Well, you have no clue how different it feels to actually be the one in front of the camera. To be the one trying to creating the poses. Being the photographer's muse. Let's just say Chris and I are no professional models. Thankfully, though, Jen knew how to handle us well. And we ended up having way more fun than we expected.

Anyone getting professional photos taken, whether it's wedding-related or not, you need to let yourself enjoy the experience. Trust your photographer. That is what they are there for. Just be sure to prepare yourself for the occasion. We brought props (well actually just balloons, but still), a few different sets of clothes, and of course a pair of nervous smiles. Fortunately, the 'nervous' part faded away after the first handful of shots. Just as Jen had promised they would.

Having said that, I invite you now to Jen Kroll's blog to see her lovely little post with a closer look at the photos, as well as many more shots to enjoy!

~ Jillian

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

If you haven't picked up the latest copy of The Knot Michigan {Spring/Summer 2010}, be sure to do so. My lovely sister's wedding has been published in the current issue in a four-page spread photographed by the amazing Jen of Jen Kroll Photography.

There's also a beautiful wedding in this issue photographed by the uber talented Ben and Laura of Harrison Studio. I'm lucky to count Ben and Laura as dear friends and their work speaks for itself. I hope we're lucky enough to work on an event together in 2010!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

'Are We Doing Enough?'

My husband and I saw an amazing movie last night. So amazing, in fact, that I can't get it out of my mind today. Truth is, it's made me realize that I'm not doing enough. I live an extremely comfortable life in the suburbs. I've got an amazing business, my husband has a fantastic job and our children go to private school. But is that enough?

We saw The Blind Side. And my husband really didn't want to go. I believe his exact quote was, 'What stupid movie are you dragging me to tonight?' He wasn't saying that after the credits rolled. Today I asked him, 'Do you feel like we're doing enough?' His response was, 'No.'

I've never made it a secret that I'm a Christian. And my family and I live by a different set of rules and values. But it's not enough to just say that. I need to show it in different ways, too. I need to be open for uncomfortable situations that I can respond to in a Christ-like way. Situations that take me outside of my comfort zone.

Tomorrow, I'm going to pick up the telephone and call an organization in town that's been on my heart for many years. And I'm going to offer some of my time to them. And I'm going to pray that my time makes a difference in someone's life.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

He's Arrived!

After 40 hours in labor and delivery, my amazing sister, whom I love with every ounce of my being, delivered a healthy beautiful baby boy this morning! Lucas William weighed in at 9lbs 4 oz and 20.5 inches long. Not bad for a first baby! I can only imagine how much baby #2 is going to weigh!

Lucas is absolutely perfect! His skin was so pink and I was able to see him within 20 minutes of his birth. Kara saw both of my babies within 20 minutes of their birth, too. And it felt so special to be able to do the same for her.

{Disclaimer: I'm no Jen Kroll, but I did my best to capture this bundle of wonderfulness!}


Friday, November 20, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs." - The Official Launch of Our Wedding Website!

{Photo: Courtesy of WedShare}

Remember when I made a post a while back about creating a wedding website? Well, great news! After being under construction {for what seems like forever}, our wedding website is finally up!

Many months ago, I took time to scour the variety of templates available out there. And boy oh boy, there are a lot of options. Truthfully, it's almost overwhelming. But after hours of shopping around, we eventually narrowed it down. The final choice for our site came from Why? Well, for one thing their site templates are overflowing with feature options. WedShare was able to provide us with my "must-have" feature, a flash site {simply put, they just look impressive, don't they?} Another great thing is that the page design of our selected template, in my humble opinion, is just plain adorable.

And the final big selling point? Being able to customize the design with our wedding colors. When I said I want everything in my wedding to coordinate, I meant everything.

So, if you are planning on creating a website, I highly recommend this one. This particular site does have a small monthly fee, I should warn you. But there are many free templates our there if you can't bare the thought of putting money into a wedding website. Check out these other sites I found. The $14/month is more than worth it for me though.

Now, I welcome you to pop onto our new wedding website and take a gander! We still have some tweaks to do here and there. But I'd love for you to check out the progress we've made so far!

~ Jillian

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday What-Not's

Can you believe it's Wednesday already?! I returned home from Connecticut earlier this week and I've been playing some major catch-up; mostly as it relates to Gwyneth Paige. All 12 invitation suites are complete and on press right now! We will have everything in our hands right after Thanksgiving. Then, we will begin the task of assembling binders in preparation for NSS. And we'll also start sending out samples to our favorite bloggers and magazine editors. It's all so much fun!

In other news, we just had a pretty fancy little telephone system installed in the office. We're all pretty giddy about it over here. In addition to four lines, we also have a new toll-free number. And as soon as the voicemail boxes and the auto-attendant is up and fully running, we'll get those new numbers posted for you.

I also need to share my love for Paper Source with you. Oh yeah, and Midori. These two companies have amazing products that will be incorporated into the Gwyneth Paige invitation line. I'm so excited to be working with both of them and I can't wait to show you all of the goodness that we're using.
In case you missed the 'sneak peek' of the invitation line over on Gwyneth Paige's blog, I thought I would show you here, too.

What do you think? Of course, this is just a small sample of what we'll offer. These invites have some amazing coordinating pieces like custom envelope liners for the invitation and response card, amazing save-the-dates and more.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs." - Crucial Lesson Learned

Dress shopping last weekend was everything a girl could ask for. Ultimate Bride was like being in a candy store. Only for an adult. An engaged adult. There were tons of beautiful gowns. And I had fun trying them on.

After trying on several dresses, I found my perfect dress. When I put on the ivory, Rivini gown, I lit up. My mom and girlfriends cried (yes, we got a little sappy), and I was completely content with my choice.

Well, then the next morning hit. Big difference from the day before. My mom went down to the hotel lobby to get Starbucks. That is about the time that I decided to lock myself in the hotel bathroom and sob. I was dead-set on buying an A-line dress but it didn't happen. When I tried on that style, it didn't work on me. I found a different cut that was much more flattering on my body type. It was a smart move. But I purchased a dress that was not my original vision. Stressed that I had bought the wrong dress, I had a private meltdown.

The reason for sharing this embarrassing story is because I learned a crucial lesson. Being stubborn about a dress that doesn't fit you well is a problem. If you are a bride, don't do this. Please, for your own sake, don't do this. Don't narrow your options. Go into dress shopping with an open mind.

You may have already heard this a million times. But now I can attest to how true that statement really is. You have no idea what is going to look best on you. You don't want to get so stuck on having a specific gown that you are too blinded to see what really looks fabulous. It's fine to narrow things down, but don't get so specific that you can't fully appreciate a gown that was truly "meant for you".

Now, it's been a couple days and I am thrilled about my dress. Honestly, I can't stop staring at the photos of it! But still, that morning after episode is not something I recommend for other brides to set themselves up for. You don't want to go there. Trust me.

~ Jillian

PS. I am dying to show you the photos of my dress! But, it can't happen. You will just have to wait until June 26th to see...

Greetings From Connecticut

Greetings from West Hartford, Connecticut! Yesterday morning, I left the great state of Michigan for the likes of quintessential New England. It's a short trip but a much needed one. My brother, Jeff, and his lovely wife Purvi live here. They're expecting their first baby on January 12 and I flew down with my mom for their baby shower.

Aside from the shower tomorrow afternoon in Manhattan, the trip is all about shopping, going out to great restaurants and antiquing. I can't remember the last time I've been this relaxed. I found myself dreaming about event design last night while dining at Besito. What a fantastic restaurant and the decor was so inspiring.

In just a few moments, we're heading to my sister-in-law's favorite couture stationery shop called Plimpton's. Can't wait to scope it out as a future site for Gwyneth Paige. Then, it's off to Louis Vuitton to buy the wallet I've had my eyes on for quite some time. And tonight, we're going to Gouveia Winery to taste all kinds of loveliness!

Have a wonderful weekend, all. Jillian's up next with her latest installment of 'Notes from the Future Mrs.' Until next week.....


Monday, November 9, 2009

Meet Our Newest Member

Introducing the newest member of the In Any Event team! She was purchased last week and I feel like one proud mama! If you see her around town, be sure to honk!


Swooning Over Ruffles

One of the hottest trends for Spring 2010 is ruffles. The frilly, girly kind. The kind that I love! The kind that, no matter what it's on, makes my hands reach and touch. So, in the spirit of all things ruffly, here are some inspirational photos that make me {swoon!}.

{photo 1, photo 2, photo 3, photo 4, photo 5}

Friday, November 6, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs" - Dress Shopping this Weekend!


Wow, is it Friday already? This week I spent a lot of my time hiding under my covers. My #1 mission was to get rid of this annoying cold. And my second goal was to avoid the H1N1 virus, A.K.A the Swine Flu, which decided to grace Grand Rapids with it's horrible presence. Normally, I would try to plow right through my illness and forgo the rest, but this week was no time to be taking chances. This weekend is officially my dress shopping weekend. Wedding dress shopping, that is!

Back in July, I mentioned my plan to go dress hunting in late August. Well, I lied. Deciding to reschedule after we get through our busy season at work was a better idea. So here we are, in November, and I finally get to take a trip to Chicago and pick out my dress! The hotel room is booked. The dress fitting appointment is set. The champagne is purchased. My 'Something Blue' Lolita champagne glass is packed (courtesy of my MH). My mom has flown home. And my Matron of Honor is waiting patiently in Chicago for our arrival, along with my other bridesmaid Ashley. All the plans have been made and we are ready to go! And I cannot wait to finally meet the lovely Stephanie, my consultant, at Ultimate Bride!

So, let the dress shopping commence! Wish me luck.

~ Jillian

Thursday, November 5, 2009

MiraBella Confections

I've been hearing rumblings around town about 'the new pastry chef' for some time now. Truth be told, we were so busy in 2009 that I didn't have time to contact Ken at MiraBella Confections until a few weeks ago. But when I did, I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was extremely impressed.

As a planner, a crucial part of my job is to know 'who's who' when it comes to vendors. I need to be able to present the best-of-the-best to my clients so that they can decide who they would like to work with. Each client has different needs and I need to meet those needs, not matter what they are. And that means being able to offer options.

Well, Ken is a new option! To say that he is one phenomenal pastry artist would be an understatement. His cake is absolutely fantastic. It's so melt-in-your-mouth moist that you can see the moisture on your fork! And his decorating skills? Let's just say he creates things you'd see come out of Chicago and NYC.

A couple of days before Seth's 6th birthday party last week, I called Ken and asked him to make a Scooby-Doo cake for his birthday party. I didn't give any direction other than Seth likes Scooby Doo. The photos you see above is what he presented to me! My husband, who's a pretty low-key guy and doesn't get too excited about a lot of things, was completely blown-away by this cake. And the party guests didn't believe it was even real until I cut into the cake in front of them!

Thanks, Ken, for a fantastic cake!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Etsy Find: Virginia Geiger Jewels

I recently stumbled upon the most wonderful shop on etsy! I was immediately captivated by not only this exquisite necklace, which might I add is so reasonably priced, but by the combination of the charcoal dress and the champagne pearls. I think this might be one of the most elegant color combinations I have seen. And I'm captivated by its timeless beauty. I keep dreaming of a winter wedding with a palette consisting of bright white, charcoal and champagne.

Happy Winter Thoughts!
{source: Virginia Geiger}

Friday, October 30, 2009

Notes from the Future Mrs - Are Your Vendors the Right Fit?

Choosing the right vendors. This may be one of the most important decisions for a bride. And a difficult one, to say the least. My friends always tell me, "Planning your wedding must be so easy because you work in the industry", and "You're so lucky you work for a wedding planner". Well, to be honest, it's not so easy. And it doesn't always feel so lucky. Only being able to choose a few vendors from the sea of talented people that I have met in the past year is hard. Really hard. And to be perfectly frank, I have hit points where I just want other people to make the choices for me so I don't have to.

Here is the honest truth. Having every vendor I know be a part of my big day would be like a dream come true. That's impossible, yes, but the truth. Is that greedy? Maybe a tad. Alright, alright, maybe a lot...I know. But the arts that people master in this industry blow my mind every single day. You can't really blame me for wanting them all there, can you?

At the end of the day though, it's important for me as a bride to remember a couple things. One, I simply cannot afford everyone's service (I do have a budget after all). And two, just because I like someone's work, it doesn't mean it's the right match for my wedding.

So what's my point to this whole rant? My point is that this is true for any bride, not just me. No bride should go into debt trying to afford certain vendors. No bride should get sucked into hiring a vendor that they know is not the best fit either.

Being on both ends of the wedding planning spectrum {vendor and client}, I learned something. Vendors should not bend their entire business trying to fit with the wrong client. Nor should the clients bend themselves to fit a specific vendor. The results are never pretty and no one walks away feeling good. Either you fit, or you don't. And it's okay if you don't. It's being able to identify what works for you that really matters.

Here's to hoping brides {and vendors} keep these thoughts in mind when making tough decisions. I know I'm not the only one out there facing these challenges.

Good luck,
~ Jillian

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Debut of Gwyneth Paige

It's up. It's up. The blog is up! That's right everyone. The Gwyneth Paige blog went live this morning. And she's real pretty, if I do say so myself!

Please swing by and take a look at her. She's been a labor of love for Andrea, Jillian and myself. And we're pretty proud of our newest addition.

There's a whole lot to come in the weeks and months ahead so be sure to become a follower of Gwyneth Paige's blog and keep track of her on Twitter, too!