Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rachel & Kevin

Ceremony Location: St. Patrick's Parish, Brighton

Reception Location: Laurel Manor, Livonia

Wedding Colors: Black & White, with touches of Red

# Guests: 250

Emergency Kit Items Used: Sharpie, Stick Lighter, Scissors

Bride Rachel's (I say this of course because my name is also Rachel!) day began at her home for hair & makeup. The ladies in the bridal party took care of their own hair and makeup, but Rachel's was done by her cousin Heather who was also a bridesmaid and is a former bride of mine. Heather has done my makeup in the past and is fabulous! Rachel looked beautiful!

My day for Kevin & Rachel's wedding started at Laurel Manor where I got to work getting all of the wedding items together and placed. Lots of red rose petals and votives! I also chopped the stems off of quite a few dozen red roses and poked them in to the existing Laurel Manor centerpieces to add a bit of color, and placed the escort cards, lottery ticket favors on each of the approximately 250 place settings, and a few other items.

Laurel Manor provided virtually everything else as part of their package (including cake, centerpieces, lighting, GOBO, and linens), so very few outside vendors were used. The room was ready for all of the final touches when I arrived. Red up-lights and lots of floating and votive candles illuminated the room.

Guests arrived at 6:00 pm to enjoy cocktails and vegetable snacks. A special surprise speech was prepared for the couple by both of the fathers, and then guests were served a plated dinner with cake for dessert.

Kevin & Rachel's first dance as husband and wife was also made further special as it was sung and performed by their best man, Kevin, who did an excellent job. After the father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, and a special dance with the couple and Kevin's grandparents, tunes were further spun by DJ Lawton Lunce of Sweet Sounds. The couple ditched the traditional garter/bouquet events in favor of getting the party started and keeping it going. The guests at this wedding really knew how to party!

Photographer Michelle Binge of Studio Blue (888-556-7510) was also on top of capturing everything that day ~ Looking forward to seeing the finished product!

Thanks so much, Rachel & Kevin! I've said it before and I'll say it again: You rock!!

Table settings with favors:

Unique V-shaped head table:

GOBO monogram on wall:

Yummy cake!

Floating candle centerpieces:

Whole room:

The other centerpiece:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Camille & Lee

Ceremony & Reception Location: Cobblestone Farm, Ann Arbor

Wedding Colors: Royal Blue, Chocolate Brown, Ivory

Number of Guests: 145

Emergency Kit Items Used: Straight pins, scissors, ribbon, flower cutters, Uncle David's hammer

September 11, 2010 was a very rainy day, an important day to Americans, and rain seems only appropriate. Unfortunately, Camille and Lee's plans for an outdoor wedding forced us to have to use Plan B and rain is the last thing most couples want to see on their wedding day. It is imperative that one has a Plan B when planning an outdoor wedding knowing how nutty Michigan weather can be!

The couple's original plan was to have their ceremony on the grounds of Cobblestone, dinner inside the barn, and drinks & festivities beneath the tent they had rented back outside on the grounds. With the rain, we moved all of the chairs and ceremony decor underneath the tent, and instead held the ceremony there.

We arrived to Cobblestone Farm where Camille's parents were busy unloading items. (For those not familiar with the location, Cobblestone is a venue in which the barn and surrounding grounds are rented, and most everything else must be contracted out. It is a lot of work, but the location is unique and the photos turn out beautifully, especially in the fall.) Camille's uncle was at work under the tent hanging strands of lights and lanterns. The band members (Kendal Strachan Band) were arriving and setting up under the tent, and all personal flowers had been delivered by Thrifty Florist. We got to work sorting through many boxes of wedding items and getting them to which areas they needed to go.

While Camille and her ladies were busy with hair and makeup, my assistant and I laid the linens (provided by the caterer) and skirted the cake, gift, registration and head tables. We then assembled the centerpieces, which were lanterns sitting on top of a round oasis to be filled with water, then surrounded by Spanish moss and flowers. Among many other items, wreaths were hung on the doors, escort cards were placed and garland hung. For the ceremony space, Mason jars filled with white hydrangea were hung from shepherd's hooks. The Mason jars were later repositioned and holding candles to illuminate the outdoor area a bit (when the rain finally stopped!).

The theme for this wedding had a touch of wine and travel - Specifically, Paris. I must note that Lee proposed to Camille IN Paris. Yes, the Paris in France! (Super romantic, wow! Try topping that one, gentlemen!) This lead to some personal touches such as Eiffel Tower table number holders and garland made of post cards (these were actually the guest RSVP cards from their passport-themed wedding invitations). Camille clearly put a lot of time and thought in to her many DIY items!

I also must note that Lee is a chef who attended Schoolcraft College, so he had some sweet hook-ups for catering and server staff. Aaron Cook of Cook's Catering (810-516-8629) headed the food and service, and they all did an impressive job. The couple's cake was also provided as a wedding gift from another fellow Schoolcraft student and friend.

Pastor David Martin arrived to officiate the ceremony, with Chelsea Brown and her assistant of Chelsea Brown Photography and also Tom Santilli of Complete Video Solutions ready to capture everything. Having moved to the tent, the ceremony was actually made very intimate so it was absolutely not so bad, after all!

After the ceremony, many of the ceremony chairs were removed from the tent and a few round tables were moved in. Guests enjoyed some snacks and cocktails, including two types of homemade Sangria that looked delicious. The rain was still coming down a bit, so some guests used this time to find their seating assignments inside the barn, and sign the thumb-print tree (see below).

At dinner time, Camille, Lee, and their bridal party made their grand entrance and cut their cake. Toasts and speeches were made as bridesmaids and groomsmen toasted in monogrammed beer mugs and wine glasses. Guests were then served a buffet-style dinner and cake for dessert.

Later, everyone was moved back outside where dancing and wedding events ensued - including their first dance together, and parent dances. My assistant and I used this time to clear up and pack up everything inside in the barn.

Despite the rain, everything was still pulled off nicely. (Yay for Plan B!)

Camille and Lee, thank you so much for sharing your day with us! And, I fell in love with ALL of your grandparents! They were cute, hilarious, and wonderful to talk to. Congratulations and best wishes!

The thumb-print station and tree mounted on canvas and an easel. Guests were to dab a finger or thumb in ink, then place it on the tree as a "leaf" and sign their name. By the end of the evening, the tree had many "leaves"!

Their ADORABLE cake topper bought on Etsy, and a sugar Eiffel Tower for the cake:

A view of the room and head table once most setup was complete:

The centerpiece lanterns with Spanish moss and flowers, and the cute Eiffel Tower table numbers:

Instead of pitchers of water, the water was served on tables in these wine bottles:

View from the loft in the barn:

The barn, pre-decor:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy September Anniversaries!

Wishing very happy anniversary months to our September 2009 couples!

Austin & Lisa married September 19, 2009....photograph courtesy of Daryl Akers.

And Melissa & Bode married September 13, 2009....photograph courtesty of Kate Lees - KBL Photography.

Best wishes and congratulations on your first year! Wishing you many more happy ones!