Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thank You!

A big 'thank you' to everyone for your phone calls, emails, and blog comments today! It all feels so surreal. One of the questions that was asked was where the boutique is located. We like to say it's at the corner of 'Main and Main' because it's right in the middle of the city.

For those wanting to visit, A Modern Event is located at 125 Ottawa Avenue between Pearl and Fountain Street. Boutique hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30am to 5:30pm and Saturday by appointment. You can learn more by checking out the website.

If you visit before our grand opening, please bear in mind that the store is a work in progress. We're still waiting for many products to arrive and working on the edgy tablescapes. But trust me when I say, you'll all be blown away when we have our open house! If you're interested in attending, send us a quick note at events@amodernevent.com with your name and the number of people planning to attend. We would hate to run out of champagne!


The Big Announcement

I have butterflies in my stomach as I write this. If you had told me five years ago that I would own a successful event planning firm, I wouldn't have believed you. And if you had said I would become a partner is Michigan's first event design boutique, I would have said you were crazy.

Well, both are now my reality! And I'm so excited to announce the opening of A Modern Event... an event design boutique. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, this spectacular boutique is the collaborative effort of In Any Event, Modern Day Floral, Ben Harrison Photography, and Sweet Cakes Design.

This boutique was born from the idea that Grand Rapids lacked a speciality boutique solely dedicated to educating brides and those planning special events. At A Modern Event, you'll be able to browse through lots of design magazines, sip sparkling water, view the portfolios of some of Michigan's finest vendors, be inspired by cutting-edge tablescapes, and shop the area's finest collection of china, chargers, linens, chairs, soft seating and accessories. In addition, we'll sell fresh flowers, letterpressed wedding and party invitations, bridal books and magazines. All in a comfortable and complimentary setting.

We are in the process of preparing for our grand opening celebration slated for April 23, from 5-8pm. Please mark your calendars now because you won't want to miss it. And if you already know you want to be there, feel free to rsvp at events@amodernevent.com.

It's an exciting time and the founding members of A Modern Event feel so fortunate that we can bring this to you. Stay tuned as we continue to refine the storefront and create an environment that you will fall in love with!


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Boxed Water is Better for the Earth

Okay, I think I'm in love! I was at our school auction over the weekend and they were passing out boxed water. That's right. Boxed water because it's better for the earth. Instantly, I began to think how this simple black and white carton filled with water might change the face of events. Can't you just envision this stuff at swanky cocktail hours? I sure can!

After inspecting the carton, which is made of recycled and renewable materials, I soon realized that this revolutionary product is produced right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I mean really, the genius behind this makes me smile. And knowing that some brilliant individual(s) here in Grand Rapids developed it, makes me want to show my teeth when I smile!

You've got to check this stuff out! Visit the website and learn more. My new goal for 2009 is to offer this stuff at an event. Heck, I want to design an event around the stuff!

{photo credit-Boxed Water is Better}

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Random Thought Thursday

Hopefully my 'random thoughts' don't bore the begeesus out of you. I've been so busy this week working on the kid's school auction that I haven't had a lot of time for things like the blog fabulous and twitter terrific. So, all of that boils down to one thing. You're getting my random thoughts tonight.

  1. I should be sewing the quilt for the auction right now but instead I'm writing this post.
  2. Did you know I could sew? Oh yeah, sisters. I can get my groove on with a sewing machine. It's one of my not-so-well-known talents :)
  3. I've had a migraine for the past 7 days. This creates a bit of a problem since I'm a busy girl. Since my migraine medicine {Imitrex} costs $50 per pill {no, I'm not kidding!}, I figure this headache has cost me $350 thus far. Seriously, that's a plane ticket to the tropics!
  4. I'm tempted to write my migraine an open letter.
  5. Yesterday, we landed two new events. I'm excited about both of them.
  6. Nope, the new website isn't done yet. I'm happy to report that I continue to make revisions to the revisions to the revisions to the revisions.
  7. In two short weeks, I will be announcing something VERY EXCITING! I'm mean, so exciting that I haven't been sleeping for a couple of months.
  8. Grey's Anatomy just started. My dear husband just walked in the door from his soccer coaches meeting. And I'm signing off for the night. Good night my lovelies!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm simply giddy this morning after learning that one of my industry heroes, Tara Guerard of Soiree Charleston, has started a blog! There are a handful of event planners who's work speaks to every essence of my being. And Tara is at the top of the list!

In my opinion, everything Tara touches turns to eye candy. To be given an afternoon to sip tea and talk shop with her would be a dream come true! Since that probably won't happen, I'll sip tea and read her blog instead!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Great Find!

I'm a sucker for a great napkin ring! I think the passion can be attributed to my mom. She's a fantastic entertainer and as a little girl I watched her throw some amazing parties. They weren't necessarily elaborate, but instead personal and intimate. She had some great napkin rings that she brought out for such occasions. And in my head I can still envision what they look like!

Well, I ran across these really cool napkin rings the other day and had to share them with you. They're on clearance at Crate and Barrel for 95 cents! When I saw the above photo, I immediately thought that the orange, blue, and olive green would make a stunning color palette for an event.

In the same clearance section I found this wonderful napkin on sale for $1.95. Wouldn't it be fun to have the napkin embroidered with your initials in orange and pair it with the blue napkin ring above? I think I'm in love!

*{photos courtesy of Crate and Barrel}

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dress Shopping in Chicago = SUCCESS!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of dress shopping in Chicago with my bride from Australia. One of the locations I always tell brides to go is Ultimate Bride. And more often than not, that's where they find their gowns. Now, I know why. The representatives were incredible! They were kind, they listened to what my bride wanted and they didn't bring her gowns that were more than she wanted to spend.

I'm thrilled to report that we found the perfect dress for her! It's this gorgeous Rivini and it looked absolutely stunning on the bride-to-be. With permission, I'm giving you a sneak peek. Don't you LOVE it? I've always been a Monique Lhuillier fan but now Rivini might be my new favorite designer!

After settling on the dress, we scooted over to Stuart Wietzman to find the perfect pair of shoes. And we did! The gown is champagne so we're going to have them dyed to match. But after the wedding, she's going to have them dyed black so she can wear them with cocktail dresses.

If you're looking for a marvelous couture dress shopping experience, you have to visit Ultimate Bride! Be sure to ask for an appointment with Stephanie. She's just marvelous!

{photo courtesy of Rivini}

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ask Jodi Wednesday - Vintage Car Rental

I know what you're thinking. 'Wait a minute, it's Thursday.' Well, I had such a crazy day yesterday that I didn't have a chance to blog or Twitter. So, I'm going to answer a reader's question today, instead. Better late than never, I say :)

Meghan, who authored last week's question on rehearsal dinners, has sent me an email wondering if I knew where she could rent a classic car. Since Meghan is the executive assistant to one of my dearest clients, I'm thrilled that I get to help her out!

Her question about renting classic cars is one I hear often. Unfortunately, there is no where to go in the West Michigan area. However, there is a wonderful place in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham that I would highly recommend. I used them last year for a vintage Rolls Royce and was thrilled with their service and car selection.

The name of the company is Classic Auto Rentals. And they've got a wonderful selection of vintage and exotic cars you can rent by the day. They're closed until April but just leave them a message and they'll return your call promptly.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I've been mildly obsessed with ferns as of late. I go through these phases where I land on a particular foliage or flower and design an entire event {in my head} around it. From escort card through thank you gift, I've got the whole vision just waiting for the right couple to come along.

Well, in a stroke of luck, my baby brother got engaged over the weekend! He's eight years my junior {my fabulous parents had four of us in eight years...I don't know if they should be nominated for sainthood or the loony bin!} and I adore the kid! Of course we have our differences since I am a classic type A firstborn and he's a classic last child whom I think may have been a *little* babied by our mom :). Nevertheless, he's an amazing man and will be a spectacular husband and father someday.

I just got off the phone with him a few minutes ago. He was talking about some wedding details and what has been swimming around in his head as far as look and feel goes. Then came the light bulb moment! The fern theme created in my noggin would fit perfectly with what they want! Of course, I need to talk to his very beautiful fiancee about this all but I think I actually might get to use the concept!

Can't tell you any of my ideas, yet. Some are so creative I'm just giddy! But I'm curious. If you were to design a fern-themed wedding, what details come to your mind? Inquiring minds want to know!

{*photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens}

Friday, March 13, 2009

Studio 6.23

I jumped on Twitter this morning for my daily dose of ADD meds and ran across someone I had never heard of before. Why? I do not know. But it appears that they're a husband and wife photography team from West Michigan and I was *blown* away by what I saw on their website. Their names are Ben and Mindy Peterson and they are Studio 6.23. Talk about fun and funky. I think they might win the prize!

I love to read well-written copy. I think that goes back 15 years to my days as a copy writer for an ad agency. I especially love reading copy where I can hear the person's voice. Though I've never met Ben or Mindy, I could hear their voices coming through as I read every word.

So, this morning I emailed Mindy and asked her if I could be her new fan. She said I could :) Now all I need is a sassy bride with funky style and I'll be one happy event planner!


PS - Mindy says we can meet for coffee soon and she'll even bring her, 'hot husband along.' I like this girl already!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Follow-up to 'Dear Mirror'

So, I received an 'anonymous' comment about my 'Dear Mirror' post. Seems that my post wasn't taken the way it was meant. To be humorous.

If I've offended anyone who's read the post, please accept my sincerest apology. That was not my intent. It was only a personal opinion that I chose to share in the form of an open letter. And when I referred to using 'a pretty mirror' in the post, it was not anything recent but rather a situation I ran into over 10 years ago when working as a corporate event planner.

The intent of the post was to be funny and encourage everyone to think outside the box. And not settle for the ho-hum. Instead of a mirror or napkin in the center of the table, consider the following ideas:

  • Buy vintage books from the thrift store and stack them three high with the centerpiece on top

  • Visit the $1-a-yard fabric bin at your local fabric store and make a runner or overlay for each table

  • Rent a chair tie for each table and turn it into a very inexpensive runner

  • Run ribbons across the table in a grid pattern

  • Have grandma crochet beautiful doilies to lay under each centerpiece

  • Wrap beautiful fabric around the outside of a glass vase

There are so many options instead of the mirror or napkin. All you have to do is get creative!


An Open Letter to the Mirror on the Table

Dear Mirror and/or Napkin in the Middle of the Table;

You're not pretty. I know a lot of hotels and conference centers think you are but I'm here to tell you you're not. Contrary to popular belief, you do not make the centerpiece 'pop.' In fact, you make it look real bad. So bad in fact, that I feel like I've been transported back into the '80s when I see you. And trust me, not many good things came out of the '80s so this isn't a complement.

I begrudgingly admit that I've been forced to use you in past events. And it's not because I wanted to. It's because someone thought you were 'pretty.' You can only imagine the heart attack I almost had when I heard you described as 'pretty.' ARGH!

Just last week I wrote a letter to your friend Wrinkled Linen and told him what I thought. Truth be told, I'd rather see him at an event then you. Trust me though, that's not saying a lot about either of you.

So, as I put your friend Wrinkled Linen on notice I must do the same for you. That's why I'm letting my readers know that they should never use you or a napkin in the center of the table lest they are throwing an 80s themed prom.

In true hopes of never seeing you again,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's Time for 'Ask Jodi' Wednesday

Today is the first installment of Ask Jodi Wednesday. So, here we go:

Q:I have a random question that I would love your expertise on! When planning the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner, traditionally, who do you invite to each? If you have a flower girl/ring bearer, do you invite their whole family or just the parents and the child? Do you invite Grandparents? Aunts/Uncles? Do you invite people who are doing readings? Do you allow your bridal party to bring guests? I'm lost in this department (as you can tell) and would appreciate ANY direction! --Meghan L.

A: Great question, Meghan! Traditionally, you would invite everyone involved in the wedding along with a guest. That means the officiate, reader, bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, parents of the bride and groom, etc. Flower girl's and Ringer bearer's parents should be invited as well but there's no need to invite his/her siblings. As far as others including grandparents and aunts/uncles, it's nice to invite them if you can but definitely not necessary. It all depends on what your budget allows. I can tell you that when I got married {12 years ago!} we included out-of-town guests in the rehearsal dinner festivities. So many had traveled from great distances and we wanted to thank them by including them in the evening.

Your budget really should dictate whether or not those individuals not directly involved in the wedding are invited. But at the very least, you should invite everyone who has a role in the wedding along with the option to bring a guest.

I hope that answers your question and I wish you the best of luck as you plan your big day!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

All About the Shoes!

I love a beautiful pair of shoes. And these Stuart Weitzman's are no exception! The detail on the peep-toe is what got me. Aren't they adorable? I think they scream summer wedding.

But I don't think they'd be any good without the coordinating Stuart Weitzman clutch!

What can I say? I've never been accused of not having expensive taste!


Monday, March 9, 2009

The Business of Being Creative

Not long ago, I began reading {no, devouring!} a blog authored by Sean Low, President of Preston Bailey Designs. Entitled, 'The Business of Being Creative,' this blog aims to educate and inform those in the business of being creative. That means florists, event planners, photographers and anyone else who makes money from their art.

I am not kidding when I say I become giddy with excitement when my Google Reader tells me he's posted a new entry. His stuff is that good! He's one of the most brilliant thinkers in our industry and it's a privilege to read and absorb his advice {for free!}. If you're not following Sean, you need to be!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

What Inspires You?

This is a question I hear often. And I wish I had a definitive list to share with you because I would. Reflecting on this though, I've decided there are a million things that I absorb throughout each day. Here's just a few:

  1. Fashion - I love people watching and I love to see what they're wearing. More importantly, I love to look at women's necklaces. Many times women wear necklaces that add an extra pop of color not necessarily found in the outfit. And it's that different color combination that catches my eye.
  2. Home Dec Magazines - I think I subscribe to 8 of them. And when they arrive in the mailbox I devour them. I hate to admit it, but very rarely do I read the articles. I'm more interested in the pictures.
  3. Direct Mail - I know this sounds crazy but I love a good piece of junk mail. Some of my favorites are the ones that come from furniture and clothing stores. I can remember one I received about 5 years ago {that I still have} because the color combination they used was so spectacular: purple, orange and olive green!
  4. Life - Just look around you. God created some of the most amazing colors right in nature. The greens, blues, purples, pinks...the list could go on. I'm looking out my window on a dreary and rainy day but yet I see a perfect color combination through it: brown (from the tree branches), grey (from the sky) and yellow (from the dormant grass). Voila! You've got a modern palette for a fall wedding!

Don't limit yourself when looking for inspiration. Open your mind up to everything around you so that you can be inspired all day long!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Dynamic Duo

As I reflect on today, I'm so thankful for the gift of owning In Any Event. I feel a bit sappy about it for some reason. And I don't know why. I think it's because there are so many people who hate their jobs and dread each and every day. I don't. I'm always excited to see what the new day brings because possibilities are always around the corner. And new friends to be made.

One of today's highlights was lunch with Ben and Laura Harrison of Ben Harrison Photography; a dynamic duo who's talent blows my mind! They have a modern style all their own. And I've fallen in love with them. They're the hippest duo you'll ever meet but yet {and this is what's most important} their work is timeless. Forever. Never will go out of style. Never dated. And that's why they're so good!

Ben and Laura don't care about industry trends or fads because they don't follow them. It's not who they are and I love photographers like that. I love the ones that have a definitive style and are comfortable in their own skin. Because at the end of the day, we all want photographs that are timeless and best reflect who we are and not who we aren't. Ben and Laura can do just that. And that's why I like them so much!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Babes

For whatever reason, the kids were full of one liners today. Here are the two best:

'Seth, CALM DOWN! You're going to end up in the emergency room with stitches and Mom's gonna miss The Bachelor!' --Gretchen, 8 yrs old

'Dear God - Thank you that Mom could exercise today...' -- Seth's prayer before dinner tonight, 5 yrs old