Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Notes from the Future "Mrs." - Bridesmaid Dress Shopping {Finally!}

So, off I go to Vera Wang. Today, I'm in Chicago for another dress shopping adventure! Only this time the dress hunting is not for me. The "hunt" is for my eight ( heard me right, eight) lovely bridesmaids.

After toying-around with different color options for their dresses, a decision has finally been made. Well, sort of. The girls will be wearing either a champagne or taupe colored dress. It depends what looks best on Theresa and Ashley {two of the eight} when we try them on.

Originally, I planned on navy dresses. But as the planning propelled forward and as the overall design developed, I dropped the navy from my wedding completely. I think it's a good decision and I'm confident the end result will be exactly as I had envisioned. I'll be sure to let you know how we did when I return on Monday!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PART 3: ArtPrize Room #3, "The Swanky Room"

We have now arrived at our third and final room. And I'm not afraid to say it, I LOVE this space! It was my favorite to design because the colors are so fabulous. With all the rich purple draping, velvet linens, ice sculpture pedestals and overall swanky feel, I think it turned out marvelously!

Once again, I need to send huge props out to my favorite three musketeers over at Special Events Rental {yep, that's you Larry, Mike and Todd!}. These guys work tirelessly for me. They make my visions come to life and are just fantastic to work with.

In this room we offered all kinds of wonderful sweets. Can you think of a more perfect way to end an evening than with delightful desserts catered in by the Amway and lovely signature cocktails from Martha's Vineyard? Me either!

Plans are already underway for the 2010 version of this party! I've got lots of ideas swimming in my head and am anxious to spend some time in the next few months scouting a perfect venue for these ideas!


PS - Once again, I need to thank Jen Kroll for her amazing work photographing these events! Girl, you rock!

PART 2: ArtPrize Room #2, "The Modern Room"

Now, onto the second room. After the guests left 'The Organic Room,' they were introduced to a crisp, clean area. This room had an unexpected and uniquely fun color palette of blue and yellow, and was spiked with clean white and grey accents. This is the space where the guests danced the night away.

What were some of the unique details, you might be wondering? Well, the first thing worth mentioning is the full-sized custom ice bar. Which was created by our favorite guys over at Ice Sculptures Ltd. They always do a fantastic job for us. Always. And the ice bar was awe-inspiring. The second detail that we loved was the sea of George Nelson bubble lights, which hung above cocktail tables draped in blue suede linens. Yes, I did say suede! How fun is that.

The floral accents were simple but full of impact. And added just the touch of warmth the space needed!

My favorite room is up next....Room #3!


PART 1: ArtPrize Room #1, "The Organic Room"

Okay, first up is the room guests entered when they arrived at the sponsor party. It was the room I called, 'The Organic Space.' This room had a lot of potential when I first scouted the space. It had beautiful original wood floors, an amazing built-in wood bar and gorgeous exposed brick. It only made sense to decorate this room with as many natural elements as possible.

Great arrangements courtesy of Modern Day Floral.

We had fun food stations in this room including a roasted nut station, candied apple station and a gourmet popcorn station. The guests loved it!

Don't you love the texture of the linens! I've been in love with this linen since it first came out and this room was the perfect excuse to use it.

More proof as to why lighting is so important. In addition to the custom chandeliers that we made for this room, we also had Odyssey Lighting do some amazing washes from the ceiling to create even more ambiance.

Seriously! Can you even believe this floral pieces! The brainchild of the ever-so-fabulous Jenn, owner of Modern Day Floral. The products she uses never ceases to amaze me. They're spectacular.

Beautiful boxwood hedges and brown leather furniture helped set the mood and feel of the room. Honestly, I don't know what I would do without Special Events Rental and their amazing ability to make my visions become reality!

Next up? The 'Modern Space.' The color palette I selected for the space was grey, turquoise, marigold and white. There was a lot of blue lighting. And a whole bunch of ice! I'll see you back here in a couple of hours for those photos!


PS - The photos you'll see today were all taken by the amazing Jen of Jen Kroll Photography. She never ceases to amaze me!

ArtPrize Photos in Full: Intro to the Mini Series

Okay. I screwed up. Jill wrote this lovely post for you to read prior to the reveal of the first room. So, please read through and take a look at the space before the transformation occurred. ~jodi

Remember how we mentioned during Christmas break that we had never-before-seen ArtPrize photos? Well, they are finally ready to be shared with you.

Let me back up for a quick second to say a few things. Maybe I said it before, but it's important to reiterate this point. ArtPrize 2009 was amazing. Amazing for Grand Rapids, amazing for Michigan, and amazing for artists around the globe. And the opportunity to be a part of ArtPrize was, in a few words, wonderfully insane. I don't think Grand Rapids anticipated the kick-off year for this world-wide competition to be as huge as it was. But it was truly a smashing success. Thank you to everyone involved. The creators, vendors, artists, the community... everyone.

Like so many other people who were on-board to make this grand concept come together, we were able to lend our hands to this event. And true to form, we did so in our own special, In Any Event, kind of way. In other words, we got to seriously deck out the ArtPrize parties! And we loved it. Transforming spaces into something spectacular is what we live and breathe for around here.

In particular, it was the private party that followed the closing ceremony of ArtPrize that we indulged ourselves in. And this is the party that we are unveiling to you now. Because this party was a collection of three different rooms, with three completely different styles, we figured what better way to share it with you than in a blog series!

We have three rooms to show you. Room number one is on deck ...but first, take a peek at the space before it's transformation.

Real pretty, right? Stay tuned.

~ Jillian

Follow along on Style Me Pretty!

Our very own (and loved-to-pieces) Andrea was featured on none other than, drum roll please... Style Me Pretty! Style Me Pretty is one of the most fan-flippin'-tastic wedding blogs out there. And Andrea, who is the main voice behind our Gwyneth Paige blog, was asked to be their guest blogger. We are thrilled, thrilled, thrilled! Yep, that is three times thrilled.

Remember the heavenly July beach wedding we did this past summer? The one that you could stare at on a cold day like today and feel happy instantly? That is the one. Andrea has posted up all the gorgeous photos captured by Jen Kroll for your enjoyment. The calm, beautiful beach and the amazing flowers will warm you right up. I promise.

Yesterday, both the first and second posts went up. And there are more to come, so keep watching!

~ Jillian

Friday, January 22, 2010

That's Market Research?

I just read the most wonderful post over on Sasha Souza's blog, Sparkliatti, and I had to share it with you.

This very thing has happened to me three times in the last 6 weeks and it's so disappointing. What many of these people who 'inquire' about our services don't know is that it's pretty easy to track down who the request is coming from. And I do know who you are. However, I have graciously given out the information because really, it's not a trade secret.

Here's the thing. I'm an honest, straight forward kinda girl. If you want to know what we charge, then just ask. BUT, and this is a capital B-U-T, as Sasha said, 'I'm not you, and you're not me.' We've got different business models , different gifts and different levels of experience. We all do things a little bit different and that is good because we're all perfect for someone. And not perfect for everyone.

Do read her post. I had the chance to meet Sasha last year at a conference and she's one of the most honest people we have in this industry. And it's refreshing!


Notes from the Future "Mrs." - Luxury is in the details

When I ordered my Save the Dates, I also ordered liners for my envelopes. This was a detail that we decided was a "must have". There is something about beautifully lined envelopes that feel so luxurious. And I knew I wanted to start my wedding off with gorgeous Save the Dates enclosed inside beautifully lined envelopes.

Sometimes, the more detailed you get with any element in your wedding ...the deeper you have to dig into your pocket. This includes invitation add-on's (like envelope liners, for example). What is the solution to this budget-pressing problem? Make your own liners! Sure, it takes a little time and care, but the result is beautiful and your options are endless. Just a trip to the craft store and you can have any colored or printed paper that suits you. Your guests will love receiving these in the mail!

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to line your envelopes, check out the following:
1. Wedding Crafter
2. Bird Cage Cards

And to purchase an envelope liner template kit, visit Paper Source.
photo credit - Smock

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Adding Flare to Wedding Shoes {No design skills required!}

I have been tirelessly searching for the perfect shoe to wear on my wedding day. And can I just tell you that finding that "perfect wedding shoe" has felt next to impossible? Sure, there are plenty of great designer shoes out there {Stuart Weitzman is always a fave}, and even some decent finds on Ebay. But nothing seems to be floating my boat these days.

My original thought was to settle for something basic. And that is when the thought of a customizable option came to mind. Naturally, I hopped onto Etsy to see what I could find. And as luck would have it, I found these. Adorable, ruffled clips that you can add onto any simple shoe. How perfect are they! Especially since I have ruffle details floating all throughout my wedding.

Now, I know not every bride or client wants ruffles. But not to fear! There are tons of options. Some with a little bling, some with texture, some with fun colors, and some that are just flat-out pretty.

Whatever your preference, there are truly enough styles to go around. These are even great to switch up the style on your basic pumps. You know, the ones you have in your closet that you have worn over and over {and over} again! The ones you absolutely refuse to toss out. How great is it that most clips costs less than $25? That is a lot less than buying a brand new pair of shoes. And you can change them from one pair of shoes to the next. Flats, heels, even sandals name it. Sounds like the perfect win-win situation to me.

~ Jillian