Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fun Cake Display for Christina and Phillip

When bride Christina and I met to plan her wedding day, I knew this would be something very special.  Not only because Christina is a precious girl, but because she was wanting to do things for her wedding that were not seen at every wedding.   We were thinking way "outside the box" in every way possible, from food to flowers, design to cake and even how the entire day flowed.  I knew instantly this was going to be a wedding remembered for years to come and was so excited to play a part in the planning process.

We started by forming the best team of wedding professional possible.  A team I knew would be the right fit for Christina's overall look and style and as her wedding planner, I worked off of my experience with these professionals and knowing just who to bring her to and not waste any time with the footwork and interviews.

Elements most important to Christina were the decor, style and overall "feel" of her wedding day.  She wanted several "WOW" factors, things that other girls have not yet done but have only been seen by a few in magazines and online.  Christina began showing me pictures of her ideas and colors and it was my job to figure out how to make this all work and who would be best suited to pull this off.  We focused most of her budget on decor, design and emotion.

The genesis of the design was from pictures Christina consistently showed me of purples and lavenders, some tall and some low centerpieces, silvers used for vessels and vases and the lighting elements she was attracted to.  With the help of an outstanding design team led by Andy Hopper of KG Designs and under the parent company of Kathy G & Company and owner Kathy Mezrano, we pulled ideas together and let the creativity emerge.  We chose linens of a champagne and ivory twist and mixed both square estate tables with round tables to give the room more interest.  Mahogany chiavari chairs were brought in to enhance elegance and even the cushions on the chairs had a damask ivory design.

Candles were abundant around the entire ballroom and with all the house lights off, we brought in our wonderful lighting designer Andy Tolar with Design Productions LLC to spotlight every guest table creating a very romantic and elegant look.  We also had purple toned uplights around the room, abstract lighting on the walls and of course a spot light on our fabulous cake.

In the image above, you can see more of the detail from one of our two linens and also the lighting design in the backdrop.  The entire dancefloor was draped with a white sheer and very soft fabric from floor to ceiling reaching 26 feet high

Of course the "show stopper" was this magnificent cake created by Jan O'Donnell of Cakes by Jan in Birmingham AL covered with buttercream icing, beautiful appliques over a white wedding and strawberry cake.  Christina's vision for her cake was from an image she showed me of a cake displayed on a swing hung from the ceiling.  With our ballroom having a 30 foot ceiling and a few rules from the resort we had to respect, Andy Hopper of KG Designs came up with the idea of building a pergola around the cake and having the cake suspend from the top which was about 12 feet high.  The pergola was made of iron and after several hours of worry (on my part) that the swing would not hold the weight of the cake, we decided to use 4 chains instead of 3 to hang the cake.  The icing on the cake for each layer weigh approximately 40 lbs and with a six layer cake, I was a little concerned.  Not to worry with the team we had working on this wedding however.  Andy tested the swing with several men sitting on the stand and we were certain all would work.  It did!

This cake swing was hanging from a 12 foot pergola with chains wrapped with a soft white fabric.  The base is glass and is surrounded by the most beautiful flowers to not only make this display gorgeous but to also hide the mechanics of the swing.  The actual cake sits atop a silver cake stand and was the subject of much debate as well,  deciding which would look better, either the silver or a glass stand.  The silver won in the end and looked fantastic!  Guests gasped at the first sight of the cake and the swing and gasped some more at the beautiful florals, design and dance floor.

There will be another whole blog post on this wedding when I have all the images released but one more element very important to Christina was the emotion of the day.  Most of my brides have a videographer in addition to their photographer to capture both still images and a video of the entire wedding day.  Christina, again thinking outside the box and wanting to do something different, had the idea of showing the video captured from the beginning of the day right up to the first dance after they were introduced into their reception.  She really wanted to surprise her groom and show him all the preparation that had happened during the early part of the day leading up to the climactic moment when they saw each other for the first time and also walked down the aisle.  It was also a complete surprise and delight to her guests who don't normally get to see all that happens earlier in the day either.  There was not a dry eye in the house and I would say our mission was accomplished.  Please take a look at this fantastic 4 minute video clip that was actually shown at the reception that night.  As a wedding planner and one who has planned weddings for 14 years from very small and intimate weddings to very large scale celebrity weddings, this was one of the most rewarding experiences.  To see this event grow from conception and ideas to drawings and sketches to watching the labor of love from all the professional vendors who worked through the night pulling this entire event together (I left them at about midnight to get some sleep) and to see my good friends John and Angela Deaver of Main Street Productions shoot their footage, then literally run to edit and see this amazing result proves to me over and over again why I absolutely love my job and why I have such a passion for my brides and their day.  My team of vendors and their talents is what you see in the end, but I know what it takes to put this together and how many meetings we had to meticulously plan the time line to allow for the editing and the set up and make sure everything was timed perfectly.  This team was perfection and I could not have brought it to completion without them.  I can not wait to blog the rest of the images from a fabulous photographer and friend Frank Carnaggio and Nicole Muro.  Enjoy this video and more to come soon!



Christina & Phillip Same Day Edit from Main Street Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Amy and Derrick's Chinese Wedding Traditions

Amy and Derrick's wedding day was full of tradition, many transitions and a lot of wardrobe changes for bride Amy!  One thing that remained the same throughout the day were these fabulous Jimmy Choo shoes

Amy's wedding day began with this beautiful red Chinese gown.  

Following Chinese traditions throughout the day, we began with a tea ceremony.  The bride and groom served tea to the elders of the family and in exchange, received gifts of jewels and money.

Bride Amy changes into her first wedding gown as she is ready to begin her ceremony

Gown #2 hangs in the window at Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa

Amy looks on with her girls as guests arrive at the resort

Guests enjoyed these individual boxes of teas as their favors and also their place card settings

A beautiful bridal bouquet created by Carol Riley of Lillies

A tender moment with dad before walking down the aisle

Excited and ready to be married, Amy holds tight to her daddy's arm

Beautiful Bridesmaids in blue holding Spring bouquets of all white

Beautiful combinations of silver, cherry blossoms and candles 

Our gorgeous bride's cake was done in pinks and whites and strawberry cake on the inside, created by Shannon Pardo of Sweet Spot Confections

Bride Amy adds accessories to her third gown for the evening

A third gown for Amy and a second tux Derrick.  Now this couple is ready for their seated formal dinner in the ballroom

A cultural tradition (even with the Italians);  guests "cling" their glasses as a call for the groom to kiss his bride

Another traditions for the Chinese culture is for the bride and groom to visit each guest table and toast with the guests

A romantic evening for Amy and Derrick

Bridesmaids assist Amy with her fourth and final gown for the evening

Cutting their gorgeous wedding cake before getting the party started

A dance with her Daddy

And finally a first dance for the bride and groom

Bride Amy is having so much fun at her reception and is ready to throw her bridal bouquet

I love this image..... a moment to take it all in as they get ready to make their get-a-way

Guests have fun with the sparklers as they say farewell to Amy and Derrick

A stroll outside the resort

Amy and Derrick had such a beautiful wedding at Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa with a fabulous team of wedding professionals.  Special thank you to John and Angela Deaver of Main Street ProductionsSweet Spot Confections, Carol Riley of LilliesMr. Burch Formalwear and especially to David Shirk of Unplugged Photography for all of these beautiful images and for allowing me to share with all of you!



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Amanda and Matt's Romance Wedding Story

Bride Amanda had a romantic wedding day full of details and personal touches.  Her wedding gown was a beautiful and elegant gown of lace by my good friends Cathy and Carolyn at The White Room

Amanda wore her beautiful new bridal gown from The White Room but wanted to keep family traditions and also wore her Mother's floor length veil, which complimented her gown beautifully

Vintage details surrounded Amanda on her wedding day with her Grandmother's pearl clutch and her Mother's pearl braclet

Dad had a private moment with his daughter when he sees her as a bride for the first time

Mom places her pearl braclet on her daughter's wrist as a finishing touch

Mom has a special moment with her daughter and gives her a favorite bible to carry

So many tender moments on a wedding day!

Amanda's bridal bouquet was tied with lockets and wrapped with lace from her Mother's wedding gown

Amanda's gorgeous bridal bouquets of soft pinks and creams was created by Carol Sullivan of Lagniappe Designs located in Crestline Alabama

So excited on her walk to see her groom for the first time!

Groom Matt anxiously awaits his for look at his bride holding her bridal bouquet

So sweet and so emotional

Taking a moment and a stroll through Shoal Creek Country Club

A beautiful bouquet and a beautiful couple on their wedding day

Amanda having a blast on her wedding day

This is such a pretty image of one of the bridesmaids holding her bouquet of soft pinks, creams and pale greens similar to the bride's bouquet.  Thank you so much to Mandy Busby of Mandy Busby Photography

Beautiful bridesmaids in soft flowing dresses of cream 

One of the ring bearers holds a pillow of Cream and Ivory color linen tied with a pretty ribbon

One of our Flower Girls hold a small bible decorated with small florals belonging to the bride as a little girl

Ready to walk down the aisle to see her groom

Holding tight to daddy's arm as Amanda walks down the aisle to her groom

Amanda walks down the aisle with her Mom's beautiful full length veil flowing

The gorgeous chapel at Shoal Creek Country Club as the ceremony begins

The rain came just as the ceremony ended but under a clear umbrella, Amanda and Matt enjoyed the rain

Married!  Happy!  And ready to celebrate!!

So excited!

The children walk through the country club with banners to let guests know of events to come


A romantic and fun first dance for Amanda and Matt

We had a fabulous 8 piece band, draping all around the dance floor area and high top bar tables with high bar chiavari chairs surround the entire room making this country club space a night club and festive feel for a wedding.  Amanda and Matt turn their first dance a little more upbeat and fun!

Our entire bridal party are ready to celebrate!

Guest book and a tower of small favor bags filled with truffles for the guests

Beautiful bride's cake with whipped buttercreme icing and trimmed in pearls.  This beautiful cake was served with a delicious raspberry sauce and created by Evelyn Criswell.  The cake sits atop a beautiful handmade table linen lovingly called "Gina" from two wonderful ladies who own a business called "Gatherings" in Mountain Brook Alabama. 

Having fun cutting into their cake

One of my favorite details.  Guests were invited to take these coasters to put on top of their glasses while  they were on the dance floor so staff did not throw away their drinks!

One of our centerpiece designs created by Carol Sullivan of Lagniappe Designs

This venue was separated into several parlors and rooms and made it quite interesting for all the guests as we had stations of food in each room.  This room was overlooking the golf course and we made a comfy window seat with throw pillows embroidered with the initials of our bride and groom.

Such a wonder and fabulously fun couple!

A fabulous send off for our bride and groom with very long burning sparklers.  The guests loved them too!

Such a fabulous wedding for Amanda and Matt and I absolutely enjoyed and loved every minute working with this wonderful and loving family.  Our very talented team of vendors really made this whole day come to life and I appreciate working with each every one of them.  Thank you so much to Shoal Creek Country Club, AG Lighting Design, Carol Sullivan with Lagniappe Designs, The White Room, McKenzie Miller Films, Main Street Productions, Evelyn Criswell , and of course Mandy Busby of Mandy Busby Photography for all of these beautiful images.