Friday, July 31, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs." - Meet Alishan, a Fellow Bride Blogger

Alishan got married in June 2008. She was a client of our friends over at Modern Day Floral. It was her wedding that started my obsession with peonies. Her wedding, along with my family's influence, sealed the deal for me in choosing peonies for my wedding. And as I blog about my own planning process and experiences as they happen, Alishan will be reflecting on the planning experiences that she has already had, as a guest blogger on the fantastic Petal Talk blog.

Wedding planning can be intense. I am going through it right now. She went through it already. She planned her Grand Rapids wedding long distance (all the way from Atlanta), which creates a whole slew of learning experiences for a gal! Learning experiences that are worth sharing and worth reading about. Alishan and I share the same goal: to help out other brides-to-be in their planning process. So be sure to follow Alishan on her blogging journey!

~ Jillian

Monday, July 27, 2009


The hiatus has come to a close. And I'm going to try hard to get back in the groove of blogging every day. It's been an insane couple of weeks and we're all trying to dig out. Not an easy task!

As you may know, In Any Event is primarily a social event planning firm. Though I 'cut my teeth' fifteen years ago planning corporate events, our main focus remains strong on the social. However, I do make exceptions for special corporate functions. And one such exception is ArtPrize. What is ArtPrize, you ask? Well, it's the world's largest art prize. And this is what their website says:

ArtPrize is a radically open competition. Open to any artist in the world who can find space. Open to anybody in the city who wants to create a venue. Open to a vote from anyone who attends.We admit... it's an experiment. A fun experiment. Come and see.

I'm so excited to announce that In Any Event has been hired to plan the opening and closing ceremonies for ArtPrize. The opening ceremony will take place on Wednesday, September 23, in Lyon Square in downtown Grand Rapids. This event is open to the public and will be the official kick-off for viewing the art as well as voting for your favorite piece.

The closing ceremony, with the announcement of the $250,000 grand prize winner, will take place on Thursday, October 8, at Rosa Park Circle. Again, this will be open to the public and there will be amazing entertainment for all to see and experience.

If you live in the great state of Michigan, mark your calendars now and plan to attend these amazing events. You're sure to be captivated by the art and the events that will support it.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs." - Introducing My Lovely Bridesmaids...

THERESA (Matron of Honor)...








...Here they are! All of my girls represented (and yes, there are 8 of them!) I quickly went through and found a picture of me with each girl, on various occasions. Ahhhh, the memories that flood back in with each photo!

This week I thought it would be fun to introduce you to my bridesmaids. I never had sisters (I have two older brothers, cue the violins) but a lot of these girls I have grown up with. They are my family in their own right. Krista and Lindsay have been there since early childhood. Bridget, Paula and Ashley - I became friends with them in middle school. Tory and I met in high school. Theresa and I got to know each other in a class we had when we first started college. And Anissa and I became college roommates our last year of school. Kind of got all the eras represented, now that I think about it.

Asking people to be in your wedding is exciting. They were there with you when you were a kid. You played sports together. Celebrated birthdays together. They were there through high school and college graduations. They were even there when you started dating the love of your life. So why wouldn't they be standing there with you when you marry the love of your life?

Thank you, ladies, for being in my wedding. From the bottom of my heart. I am too lucky to have you as friends. Cheers to you!

~ Jillian

Monday, July 13, 2009

Going on Hiatus

Hi Friends!

I hate to do this to you but the blog needs to go on hiatus this week. Don't worry, though. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programing beginning next Monday, 7.20.09. The thing is, we're up-to-our-necks-busy in preparation for Saturday's wedding. We begin a three-day load-in and set-up process on Thursday at 8am and the entire staff's energy needs to be focused and channeled on this lovely event that await us.

We'll talk soon, though. I promise!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Notes From the Future "Mrs." - Ready to go Dress Hunting!

The thought of wedding dress shopping makes me REAL happy. I have been thinking seriously about what kind of wedding dress I want for, oh I don't know, over two years now (and yes, this is long before Chris and I even got engaged).

The other night, my lovely MH (Theresa) showed me this gorgeous Christos dress she saw on the Today Show. The cap sleeved gown is adorned with pearls and has a fantastic silhouette. I fell in love. I got the itch and thought to myself, "I need to make some appointments and go shopping! It's that time."

{Photo: Courtesy of Christos}

Jodi has blogged about this before, but I am going to say it again...Ultimate Bride in Chicago is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. This is the place. This is where you need to go wedding dress shopping if you live in Grand Rapids. The associates there are so incredibly kind and down-to-earth. They bring out TONS of dresses for you, work with your style and budget, and have any designer you could ever want!

In a recent post of mine, I also mentioned a great tip I got for buying reduced-price designer gowns online. This is another option for buying your wedding dress. But no matter what way you go, online or in-store, trying on dresses is important so you know your exact dress size. So that's just what I'm doing. My mom and I will hit up Chi-town August 22nd (and coincidentally 2 of my bridesmaids live there to join us on the hunt!)

Here are some of my favorite looks:

{Photos (From top, going clockwise): Courtesy of J.Crew, Monique Lhuillier, Casa Blanca Bridal, Priscilla of Boston}

Can't wait to share what I find!

~ Jillian

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bride and Bloom




The photos above come directly from the pages of the newest edition of Bride and Bloom. I'm so proud of the spread and wanted to share it with you just in case you haven't seen the magazine in person.

The photoshoot was so much fun and I was fortunate to work with the best to make this tablescape happen. Jenn from Modern Day Floral created the off-the-hook centerpieces. Barb from Sweet Cakes Design made the mouth-watering cake. And Jen from Jen Kroll Photography photographed it all in her studio and made it look spectacular!

I thought it would be fun to share all of the photos we submitted to the magazine for this spread. Obviously, they couldn't use them but there were so many wonderful details that I couldn't resist sharing them with you.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Missing in Action

So, I've been a little MIA as of late. We're in the midst of a m-a-j-o-r production scheduled for next week Saturday. Please join me in prayers to the rain gods that they steer clear of July 18! No joke, we've got Terri DeBoer from WOODTV8 watching the weather for us. She's our new best friend over here at In Any Event!

You're probably wondering what we've been up to lately. So, here's a quick synopsis:

  • In Any Event's dance card for 2009 is completely full. Like, so full I'd have to double my staff in order to take anymore on this year. We've got the big affair on July 18, followed by a beautiful wedding reception on July 30, and then on to my baby brother's swanky wedding on August 29. Then, on September 23, we've been given the distinct honor of designing, planning, and producing the opening ceremonies for ArtPrize. {Which makes me giddy from my head to my toes!} This will be followed-up on October 8, with the closing ceremonies and VIP gala for ArtPrize. But, I must not forget about the beautiful wedding we're doing on October 3, for the coolest bride in town! And then, at the end of December we'll be doing another amazing wedding. {Okay, I'm completely exhausted just thinking about this all!}
  • Bride and Bloom finally hit the newsstands! Have you seen it? I'm very pleased with our design and the way it looks in the magazine. What do you think? I'm hoping to get a post up this week with all the photos from the shoot so you can see the yummy details up-close and personal.
  • Gwyneth Paige {couture letterpress} is humming right along. In fact, some of our first custom designs will be at the wedding next a beautiful fan program. Super-de-duper excited about it!

I think that's about it for now. Hope you're all well and I'm looking forward to posting about the Bride and Bloom photo shoot very soon!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Telltale Photography

I'm so excited to introduce you to an amazingly talented photographer by the name of Melissa Keeley. Melissa owns a company called Telltale Photography and is based in Lansing, Michigan. To say she is talented would be an understatement. And to say that she's priced well-below what she's worth would be the honest truth.

Melissa and I had a chance to meet for lunch on Wednesday afternoon. I looked through her portfolio and I was blown away. You all know how picky I am about photography. I don't like images that are heavily edited or so trendy that in a couple of years they'll look out-dated. I like crisp, clean images that tell a person's story. Melissa's work definitely fits in that category.

Telltale Photography is new to the area. But Melissa isn't new to photography. She's been at it for many years. But she recently moved to Michigan from Columbus, Ohio, where she had cultivated a solid business and name for herself. Now, she's trying to build that same reputation in the greater Grand Rapids area. And I think she has a bright future ahead of her!

Now, here's the best part. Her entry-level photography package with a disc of images {but without an album} costs a mere $1,850. No joke! Her first package with a stellar album costs $2,500. She's decided to keep her prices low so that she can build a reputation for herself in Michigan. Trust me when I tell you, her photojournalistic-style and pure approach to editing is worth a whole lot more. She could easily be charging high-end photography prices for her work.

All this to say, you must check her out. And book her now! Because if your budget only allows a couple thousand dollars for photography, you won't want to miss the opportunity to have her. She's that good!


Gwyneth Paige {couture letterpress}

Several months ago, I mentioned that we were hard at work developing a letterpress invitation company that would become an extension of our event planning firm, In Any Event, as well as our brand. I didn't give you much information about it so today I want to fill you in on some of the details.

You're probably wondering why in the world I would take on something this huge. Well, for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to be able to offer our clients a more stylized and custom approach to an invitation suite that reflects the true look and feel of the event. I want to be able to have more control over the design and end-product so that it speaks to the over-all look and feel of the event. My publicist often talks about branding and how important it is for a business. I think the same can be said for an event. A properly branded event with a consistent look and feel will always be a beautiful event.

The second reason for starting a couture letterpress company was to offer those brides who may not be able to utilize our event planning services the opportunity to have a highly-stylized invitation suite. In my opinion, everyone should have access to beautiful, stylized letterpress.

With all that said, I thought it made perfect sense that the next step for my business was to develop an amazing letterpress company. And that's how Gwyneth Paige {couture letterpress} was born. {More later on how I came up with the name. It's a great story!}

Now for some of the particulars. I have hired an insanely talented graphic designer in New York who has agreed to become the creative director behind Gwyneth Paige. Her name is Andrea and over the next couple of months I'll tell you more about her as well as reveal glimpses of the designs she has been feverishly sketching and working on. I know you'll love her as much as I do and the company's creative direction could not be in better hands!

In October and November of this year, you'll begin to see photographs of the different invitation suites. You'll see invitations coming off the letterpresses, invitation binders under construction, photos of Andrea working on her designs and much more. We'll take a little break over December and January to fine-tune and then begin to send exclusive sneak-peaks of the line out to our favorite wedding bloggers.

In May 2010, we'll unveil the entire line to the world at the National Stationery Show in New York City. Our invitation binders will become available to stationery and wedding invitation retailers across the nation and the Gwyneth Paige website will be up and running and ready for business.

It's all so exciting and I can't wait to see what's in store for this extension of In Any Event. In the meantime, we've got a lot of work to do. There's paper for the envelope liners to select, fonts to choose for the font library, pantone books to pour through to select ink colors, binders to design and packaging to select. It all seems pretty overwhelming given our current event load through the end of the year. But, I've got an amazing group of people working for me so I know we'll accomplish it all.

Stay tuned as we reveal more exciting things about Gwyneth Paige {couture letterpress}.