Sunday, June 7, 2015

Enjoy the process of planning your wedding day

Hello my sweet brides!  My blog and website are under a massive reconstruction at the moment but I still want to keep up my blog posts and this is the only place to do this until my new site is up and running.  Thank you for being patient and WAIT until you see the new site!!  It is coming along and looking spectacular!!  I'm very excited!

I have been planning weddings for the past 16 years all over the country including Birmingham Alabama, Los Angeles California and everywhere in between and have met so many incredible families during this time... a common thread amongst these sweet brides and their families is so much anxiety and feelings of stress for so many various reasons from the details turning out to look like the visions the brides have developed on their pinterest boards to worrying about family members getting along on this one special day.  The advise I find myself giving away is that no matter how much people will not get along and how much detail comes to life or doesn't come to life due to weather issues or budget or time, you are STILL going to have your special day and all the ingredients that come together to make this day all yours will be all the memories you carry with you throughout your lifetime.  The goal is of course, your wedding day but the journey getting there is just as important and can be just as enjoyable.  Here are a few tips that may help you along the way:

1.  Keep your sense of humor - You know your family members and you know by now how the dynamics have come together  from holiday gatherings to birthday parties to family reunions.  There is always a moment,  a few months prior to the wedding day where the bride comes to me with horror in her eyes wanting to tell me some drama that may or may not occur on the wedding day and she is usually completely embarrassed about what she has to say and that she has to explain away her family's behavior.  Brides, trust me, I have heard it ALL!  Nothing shocks me anymore and you know what the great part is??  As many stories I have heard about and as many family dynamics my brides have told me about, this tells me that the more dysfunction involved, the more "normal" the family really is!   So please don't worry!  You will find more often than not that your family will completely behave themselves and understand that this day is all about you and your new husband and not at all about them and what kind of past drama they may be experiencing.  Laugh with them and laugh at the drama because trust me, you may think this is not "normal" but it IS!

                                                 David Shirk - Unplugged Photography

2.  Take care of yourself throughout the planning process - Keep up your mani/pedi's, get a massage, go for lunch with girlfriends and take long walks to enjoy the days leading up to your wedding.  Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself calm and relaxed and feeling the joy of this time in your life.  If the drama gets too much for you to handle, it is okay to walk away and do something to take care of yourself and for goodness sakes, please don't lose any sleep over all of this.  All my brides know me well enough as their wedding planner that I love a great hot cup of tea;  and they know I can take time out of any busy and crazy scheduled day to enjoy this and get a re-charge of energy and calmness to my soul!  I highly recommend it!  :-)

                                                      David Shirk - Unplugged Photography

                                           Jerrod Brown - Jerrod Brown Studios

3.  Stay positive and away from negativity - Keep your mind on the positives of all the planning that is going on and don't focus your attention on the drama that may or may not be brewing around you.  You attitude in most, if not all, situations is the key element to walking through it.  Read positive quotes throughout the day, listen to uplifting music and as always, refer to your Bible for positive and encouraging verses.  Just when I think I have experienced all the negative I can handle around me, this verse comes to mind:

Jeremiah 32:17

"Ah, sovereign Lord, you have made heaven and earth by your great power and outstretched arm;  Nothing is too hard for you"

                                                     Brandon Gresham - Simple-Color Photography                                                                                

4.  Stay on the same page with your groom - Throughout all the planning you will be doing, you are surely bound to hear multiple opinions on things from what time to have the ceremony to when to cut the cake, etc.   Create a united front as a team between you and your groom and stay focused on each other and working together.  This is a good time to exercise compromise for both of you, for life begins right here.  Your life will be full of things being planned for and family get-togethers so start from this moment working together to reach your common goal.  

Jerrod Brown - Jerrod Brown Studios

5.  Know your goal and outcome - Remember that not everything is perfect in this world and no matter how much you prepare for and plan for, the unexpected is bound to happen.   Have faith that no matter what may happen that was not according to plan, the goal for the day is to marry the man of your dreams and THAT, my sweet bride, is what the day is all about.  Rejoice in the dream you have for the rest of your life and enjoy all the memories you make on the day you marry.  I promise you the things that may go wrong will create very special memories you could never have possibly planned  for!

Jerrod Brown - Jerrod Brown Studios

Enjoy this time and know you are blessed... no matter how crazy, overwhelming and yes,  at times scary, try not to walk through the planning process of your wedding day like you are on a terrifying roller coaster ride.   You only get one shot at this time in your life and I have found that the most unsure and scariest times of life are somehow also the most exciting and thrilling!  Isn't it the actual journey to the goal the most fun, beautiful and fulfilling?  So unclench your hands, open your eyes and take a look at the view around you.... Don't miss this experience of a lifetime!   Enjoy it!

Blessings to you!


Birmingham Alabama - Los Angele California

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Gorgeous Bridgestreet Gallery and Loft Wedding for Katy and Jake

Katy and Jake married in an adorable chapel of Altadena Woods in Birmingham Alabama on a misty rainy day in September.  If there is one thing I want to say about a rainy wedding day it's that there is nothing to be sad about because of weather concerns.  Rainy wedding days actually make for great pictures and there are moments that will be captured you would not have had if it had not rained.  Incredible moments captured by photography that can only happen on a rainy day!  So fear not sweet bride.... your day will be spectacular and gorgeous regardless of the weather!

Katy and her Bridesmaids along with her Mom dressed at the church in Altadena Woods on this splendid September morning, excited for the events about to happen.....  I always love to thank the outstanding teams that come together for each and every wedding I do, including this one for Katy and Jake.  Among these wonderful professionals is our photographer Stacy Richardson whose images you will enjoy below....  Thank you Stacy!

Gorgeous florals arrive for the girls and our bride in beautiful Fall colors of yellows, orange and other jewel tones specially designed by our floral designer Mandy Majerik of Hot House Design Studio..

On her way to see her groom for the first time!

A little rain brightens the flowers in the garden, don't you think?  :-)

A stunning bridal bouquet of jewel tone florals for bride Katy.... created by Hot House Design Studio

A gorgeous line up of bridesmaids having some fun inside the church

Stunning color palate for Katy and Jake's wedding including the girls wearing a jewel pink accented with long necklaces and these colorful bouquets

Our bride's bouquet is wrapped in a personalized monogrammed handkerchief made especially for her

The entire bridal party looking sharp

       And it's time for Dad to walk his daughter down the aisle..... one of my most favorite moments!

And they are now married!!  

Katy had a specific idea of decor and envisioned a very organic and colorful setting for her wedding reception.  Each centerpiece had a different ensemble of props including wood slices, mason jars and a splash of color

Other centerpieces included lanterns with candles and a feather or two incorporated into the colorful bouquet of florals

Hollowed out pieces of log poses as a vessel to hold more colorful displays with mercury glass candle holders

High top tables tied with our accent color of Tiel add another splash of color to the reception space

Gorgeous displays of fruits and cheeses on the buffet table for guests to enjoy by the fabulous Happy Catering Company in Birmingham Alabama

Yummy Bruchetta!

Wonderful dips and breads

Gorgeous spackled buttercream icing wedding cake displayed with organic elements and colorful florals by Diane Olexa's Cakes

Thumb prints of their guests grows the family tree and makes up the guest book

Instead of a Groom's cake, which is tradition in the South, the Groom choose his favorite homemade cookies to share with their guests

One of my favorite images of this cake display is looking through the front window of the venue - Bridgestreet Gallery and Loft

Time to start this party and introduce our bride and groom!!

A first dance for our bride and groom

The bridal party lines up on the dance floor and serves as a wonderful backdrop of family and friends as they watch the first dances

Of course, a dance with Daddy is always a precious moment to cherish

A dance for our host and hostess of the evening, parents of the bride Dr. and Mrs. Fisher!

With the fun party coming to a close, sparklers await the bride and groom and guests say farewell

Congratulations to Katy and Jake!!!!

Thank you so much to this fantastic team of wedding professionals who came together for a spectacular wedding for Katy and Jake.  Thank you Bridgestreet Gallery and Loft for a wonderful venue, Mandy Majerik and her fabulous crew at Hot House Design Studio, Andy Tolar with Design Productions LLC for gorgeous lighting design, J Whitt Productions for wonderful videography, Diane Olexa for and beautiful and yummy bride's cake and of course Stacy Richardson of Stacy Richardson Photography for these absolutely gorgeous images!  Thank you Team!!!

Blessings to you!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Millicent and Stephen's Elegant Ballroom Wedding at Birmingham Alabama's Hyatt Wynfrey Hotel

When bride Millicent first met with me, she described a fabulous wedding in the newly refurbished grand ballroom at the Hyatt Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham Alabama.  The idea of her ceremony and reception sharing the same space was extremely appealing to her and this would also maximize money spent on her decor.    Her photographer Jerrod Brown is among a top team of wedding professionals to capture the days' events.  Thank you Jerrod for all of these gorgeous images!

The day started with all of Millicent's girls surrounding her in the Presidential Suite at The Wynfrey Hotel.  Each girl was given a special gift of floral printed robes to wear while getting ready and champagne flowed throughout the afternoon!

Ready to get into her gown and begin the day starting with a first look with her groom Stephen!  This sweet little flower girl looks on and is probably dreaming of her own wedding day far off into the future!!

Precious baby girl, watches the beautiful bride's day unfold.....

Millicent gets a little help tying her bow from our little flower girl

Stephen and the guys are all dressed and ready to go!  

Exquisite detail of gorgeous jewels and the back of her gown

A touching a sweet moment with Mom before the day's events

Simply gorgeous!

Before seeing her groom, Father of the bride gets a first look of his precious daughter as a bride

                                       Handsome groom Stephen waiting anxiously for his bride

Well worth the wait!!

Elated and smiling for photographer teams

Gorgeous floral design by Mandy Majerik of Hot House Design Studio

Beautiful bridesmaids surround our bride Millicent on the happiest day

The coolest guys.....

The ballroom is set with elegant linen chair covers of Ivory tied with a champagne satin sash

The aisle to the alter area lined with towers of white florals surrounded by a variety of candles and succulents 

Alter area is draped with white sheer draping, beautifully lit with uplights and candlelights...  The fabulous lighting and draping is thanks to Andy Tolar with Design Productions LLC

                             The pre-function area at the The Hyatt Wynfrey Hotel was designed to be a                           comfortable lounge for the guests.  Lighting design by Design Productions LLC and the lounge furniture and decor all furnished by floral designer Mandy Majerik of Hot House Design   Studio

                                                        I love the details from this wedding

Groom Stephen sees his bride making her appearance and is completely smitten 

                                   Proud Daddy walking his daughter down the aisle

An absolutely gorgeous wedding cake with elegance and a little bit of bling!

                                With the ceremony complete and guests out in the pre-function area enjoying cocktails and hor'deorves, the staff and vendors were busy moving chairs and air walls and tables to transform this entire ballroom from ceremony/worship space to an elegant and enchanting reception.  Mandy Majerik and her team with Hot House Design Studio began moving our tall arrangements and candles first used as pew markers that framed our aisle to elegant table centerpieces.  This is an excellent use of all the floral design used throughout the entire event.

                        What was once our alter area for the ceremony now becomes a gorgeous frame around                                                                 the brides beautiful cake

                                                            Sweet treats for all the guests

                                                     A first dance for our happy couple

Daddy's little girl

Mama dances with her son

                             Sparklers and a festive send off for this happy bride and groom!

Thank you so much to The Hyatt- Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham Alabama for hosting this gorgeous wedding ceremony and reception, Mandy Majerik and all the staff from Hot House Design Studio, Andy Tolar and his staff with Design Productions LLC, Geoff Carlisle with Jamm Entertainment for providing wonderful music and endless entertainment for all the guests, Sweet Spot Confections for this gorgeous wedding cake, Jerrod Brown of Jerrod Brown Studios for all of these absolutely stunning images and John and Angela Deaver of Main Street Productions for a fabulous film including a "same day edit" where the shot footage throughout the entire day, edited and featured the finished product to guests during the reception!   In addition to the "same day edit", Main Street provided a Live Stream of the entire ceremony over the internet so guests not able to attend could see the ceremony live and on air...  A wonderful compliment to this extraordinary day!  Thank you to this fabulous team of wedding professionals!!