Friday, November 30, 2007

Guest Blogger Friday

My name is Jennifer and I'm the blogger behind Earth Friendly Weddings. I have to say I'm very excited to have the honor of writing a guest post for Melissa today! It will be hard to match her fabulous energy that she infuses in all her posts, but I'm going to try! The goal of this post is to simply share with you five easy ways to add a little green to your wedding. Nothing too hard. Nothing too boring. And everything environmentally friendly! One: Choose Locally Grown, Organic Flowers Going with locally grown flowers reduces pollutants caused from transportation. Choosing organic flowers ensures no harmful pesticides were used. Just be mindful that your flowers will have to be available during the season of your wedding. Fortunately, many flowers are available year round, such as the ever popular calla Lilly. (Left Photo from Red Orchid Design, Right Photo: MS Weddings) Two: Purchase Used or Vintage Reuse resources by purchasing used or vintage items. has a classifieds section where brides can sell their used wedding items. You can also check out your local consignment shop, eBay, or online vintage/pre-owned stores to find a wedding dress or accessories. You'd be surprised at whats available. (Picture: from Posh Girl Vintage) Three: Choose Earth Friendly Paper From your invitations to your thank you cards, make sure to choose paper that's either recycled, certified FSC (which means it comes from a responsibly managed forest), handmade, or consists of alternative fibers. (left pictures: Of The Earth; Right Picture: Oblation Papers) Four: A Wise Favor Too many favors get thrown in the trash, so either forgo them, hand out something that is edible, or follow the growing trend to donate to your favorite charity or organization. In the picture on the left, local honey was packaged in jars by beekeeper friends of the bride and groom's family! (pictures from Five: Glow! Skip the fancy lighting, and create ambiance with candles. Preferably soy candles, which produce less soot, burn longer than regular candles, and don't suck up any energy. (photos from Red Orchid Design) Remember, making green choices is really just about making smarter choices. Be mindful of any potential waste created, reuse what you can, and be creative!

It's Official!

There is so much to talk about! We had our Grand Opening, I checked something off my life list, and what exactly happened with the Change of Plans! So here weeeeeeee go!

First, thanks to Caroline Johnson for some fantastical images that really truly tell a beautiful story!

Let's start with Change of Plans - I had an image for what I wanted my centerpieces to be for our opening - Basically I wanted Wheat grass in a silver dish with a candle in the middle - but when I couldn't find Rye Grass or Wheat grass in anything smaller than a 100 pound bag, this prompted me to search high and low, and cross and circle the aisles of Home Depot for hours - until I found some little teeny tiny lettuces that were less than 1 inch tall, and decided lettuce centerpieces would be neat, and different. The final product, not exactly what I had in mind, but came out even more beautiful than I could image!

Grand Opening:

It was amazing! Here are some images that Caroline took that really just show off our new studio.

Our Front Door:

Caroline's beautiful work on our wall:

Our wall of Praise:

Little Favors from the Party, I plucked large springs of Rosemary from my garden and put my favorite recipe on the cards, along with a shout out to the vendors that helped make this part-ah a success:

The Chocolate Fountain:

Now my life list - I have always wanted to stick my face into a chocolate fountain - so I did - Caroline was nice enough to not show the pictures of me with my entire face into the stream of chocolate, but it just looks like I took a gentle sip.... Nahhhhh!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Life List

There are certain things in life that you MUST do before your time ends. I have a list of things that I call my Life List - these are the things that I have to do... there are a bunch of things on there. Some involve traveling, some involve family, and others are just random acts of craziness that must ensue before I can no longer do them.

One of my closest friends Corrie is a tremendous inspiration to me. And I know that if I ever need advice or to be told that I am being ridiculous, she is the one I turn to.

With that said - our Grand Opening was last night, it was AMAZING, I mean simply incredible. I am totally overwhelmed with emotion as to how many people came to support me, how great the event looked and just well, how truly humbled I am with the support I received from the vendors I surround myself with, both near and far.

Okay, back to Life Lists for a second - have you ever wanted to do something and just said "Nahhhhh, that's crazy!" or "What would people think, if they ever knew!" I do that all of the time.

I got to check something off my life list last night that I thought I would NEVER do, because of both of those excuses!!! I am not going to tell you what it is until later, when I get the pictures back from Caroline. But it's A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!!

A special HUGE Thank You to these folks for going above and beyond!

Chocolate Fountain: Four Tiers Chocolate

And the photographers that are showcased in our new Studio:

Really, thank you all!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

How fun it must be!

It happens all of the time! How fun it must be to be a wedding planner! And it is, I love my job! It's the most rewarding thing I've ever done! I am a people person, I love to do what it takes to make people happy. I think that some people are a bit mislead as to what a Wedding Planner, Event Planner, Wedding Consultant, whatever name you go by does.

This photograph is of me at a wedding driving the most fantastic, luxurious vehicle with 4 wheels, E.V.E.R! It was really the only way to get from one end of the property to another in a quick amount of time. But it was something that had to be done. So you do it.

One of my favorite bloggers recently wrote a 3-part post on the day in a life of a wedding planner, and it is so true. It's a long day, but it's totally worth it!!! Every moment of making someone's dreams come true, trouble-shooting behind the scenes, making the impossible- possible it's a dream come true for me!

On another note, our open house is tomorrow (I hope a photographer brings their camera) I can't wait to reveal what we are doing for our centerpieces!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you and your family the most blessed Thanksgiving possible! There is just so much for all of us to be thankful for. Our families, our happiness, our love for one another. I just hope that you take a moment at sometime today and tell someone that you are thankful that they are apart of your life. I know that I am thankful for my health, my husband, my family, my nieces, I guess I could go on and on...
I wanted to share my turkey recipe (well really Martha's) I have made this for about 5 years now, and I promise it's totally a fool-proof turkey and it's amazing!!! I hope you enjoy your turkey (side dishes) and family and friends as much as we have!
Happy Gobble Gobble!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Registry, it's not just for Weddings anymore!

Okay, so by now I am sure you've heard about it, My Registry - and in case you haven't give me a moment to explain. Basically, for Christmas, Hanukkah, Birthday's, Holidays, or just everyday - you can register for gifts. Whatever you want. And this will allow your friends and family to know exactly what you want, instead of them guessing.

Let me know what you think- I think, that I think it's a terribly cheesy idea, but then there is that side of me that wants to like it, because my Grandmother is the Queen of Terrible Gifts...but then again, she doesn't know what an Internet is....

Let me know in the comments, cheesy or a wonderfully ingenious idea!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Save the Bridesmaids Gift, Save the World!

Okay so that's a little Heroes'ism...

Oprah and Macy's have teamed up and have these fantastically beautiful O Bracelets! Gorgeous gemstones and exclusive designs are just the beginning of the O Bracelets' appeal. Each is handmade in Rwanda by women whose lives—disrupted by poverty, HIV/AIDS and the 1994 genocide—are changing dramatically because of the income earned while making the bracelets.
Born out of a unique partnership between O, The Oprah Magazine, Fair Winds Trading and Macy's, the first O Bracelets were introduced in May of 2007 to an immediate, overwhelming response.

The new collection includes exquisite designs by jewelry designer Christine Brandt; artist and AIDS activist Mary Fisher (who designed the first O Bracelets); and artist and president of Fair Winds Trading, Inc., Dean Ericson. Fair Winds Trading—the same talented, compassionate bunch behind the Rwandan Path to Peace Baskets—are involved throughout the entire process, working directly with the beaders from training through production and beyond.

I think they are just beautiful! It would make a great gift, and you'd being doing some good - which is what it's all about right?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Change of Plans...

Don't you hate it when you have this image, this idea, this plan, and you start to execute this plan, this idea, this image and everything just falls apart.
Okay, well maybe I am being over dramatic. Just a little bit.

As an Event Planner, nothing ever just falls apart, it just shifts a little bit. So that is what needed to happen. A minor shift in thinking.

For our grand opening celebration on the 27th, I had this fantastic idea for the centerpieces.... but it would take 2 weeks to execute and since the Grand Opening is two weeks away that timing should have been perfect. But, well, it just wasn't meant to be exactly.

You'll have to wait to see the final product - heck I have wait to see the final product. But to give you a hint, Jennifer will be SO proud of me!

What I wanted to have as the centerpieces:

I think this post is leading me to talk about being open to ideas and understanding that although you might have an idea for something and you want that exact pink for that exact rose and that exact photograph or that exact pose.

Just because something worked out for "that bride" doesn't mean that, whatever "that" is- is going to be perfect for you. The time of year may not work out correctly for you to have that exact rose, it may come into your florist and look like crud - so they need to make some minor adjustments to the flower - for the best obviously.

Or that exact pose may have looked great for that size 0 model, but for us normal people who wear clothes that actually have numbers (numbers being plural) as the sizes just don't work for us.

Just keep in mind while going through the process of planning that everyone wants what's best for you, and sometimes you need to take a deep breath and know that this is your day, and your dream, and it will be amazing, no matter what!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thank You!

I wanted to take some time out today to thank our Veteran's and our current active military! I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and she had mentioned that her daughter, who is now 4 - has never lived in a time we weren't at war. This is an awfully sad reality.
There are so many things to be thankful for - the fact that I have a blog - free speech. Our freedoms we enjoy every day - the ability to own a business, drive a car, vote, and the many other things we absolutely take for granted each and every day. Most of which we have to thank our Military men and women!
There are so many of my family, friends and clients that fight for those freedoms each and every day, and I just wanted to say Thank YOU!
Thank you for your selfless giving! Thank you for all that your do for us!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday Funny!

Happy Friday, ya'll! For most people they say Happy Friday, but the day-in-a-life of a wedding planner, it's really like a Thursday, because we have rehearsals tonight and a big long day tomorrow. So Happy Faux Thursday to the rest of us.

I was reading The Top Five Post over at Our Wedding Plus and I read the funniest thing, New Rule Friday from The Wedding Planner's Blog, here's a snippet, in case you missed it.

"I’m a HUGE fan of Bill Maher’s Real Time. I especially love the segment at the end of his show where he does his “New Rules“, a very blunt, albeit hilarious take on random news items. I sat listening to it on my iPod on the way to the airport, and thought– “I should so do a version of ‘New Rules’” for the blog. So each Friday will be “New Rule” Friday.

New Rule: Stop thinking you can invite 300 of your closest family and friends to your wedding on a $10,000 budget. The only place that will fit your budget is the McDonald’s playroom, catered by the redheaded clown himself.

New Rule: Your bridesmaids love you, but had no intention on becoming indentured servants. They really don’t want to do all 248 tasks on your to do list, no matter what the bridal magazines tell you.

New Rule: Fondant is only good to people with burned off tastebuds. With all the different types of icings and buttercreams (Royal, French, American, Italian, Swiss, etc.), why wrap your cake in Play-Do?"

If you think that's funny, there's more you must check it out at The Wedding Planners' Blog.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Get on the Same Page....

It's difficult to discuss a book with someone if they've never read it - it's the same with your wedding. If you and fiance have different visions for your big day, then there will be more arguments then there needs to be.

Talk about your dreams and where your focus is. It's hard if one of the two of you really doesn't have much input. But even small discussions help.

If each of you write down 5 of the things that are most important to you for your wedding, or 3 adjectives describing what your expectations are - that might help.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What a Sweet Suprise!

After a long day of cleaning the new studio to have the new sign say "Now Open" I arrive to my desk to find an adorable box with the most beautiful hand-writing on the label to Moi!
I admittedly tore the box up trying to open it and it was the sweetest note and most adorably delicious white chocolate covered ghosts sugar cookies and gummy candy corns from Natalia and Jose! I just have the best clients, hands down!!!
Thanks you two, that was so sweet, I know the team will devour them!!! (and I am munching on a ghosts arm right now!)

Doesn't she have the prettiest hand-writing E.V.E.R!

Open for Business!

Our Studio is open as of today! I am so excited! Don't get me wrong there is still SO much to do, but it's coming along beautifully! Our open house will be on November 27th, invitations are going out this week! I feel like I've been stuck in an old Marshall's commercial with my face pressed up against the door for months with my hands on the doors saying "Open, Open, Open". My mantra is finally over - be looking for your invitation in the mail. I'd love to see you there!

And if you don't get an invitation, please still come! Our new studio is located in the Crowne Point Office Complex - the sign changes to Now Open, today! Hooray! Come by for a visit!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What Happens after the Honeymoon?

Hi everyone! I'm so glad my friend Melissa invited me to guest blog with her today! My name is Rhonda and I have my own wedding blog over at Our Wedding Plus.

Today, I'm not going to talk about weddings! I'm actually going to talk about something much more important than weddings...the rest of your life!

It may seem like it will never get here, but before long you’ll be coming back from your honeymoon ready to get on with your life. You’ll be settling in with your new husband, getting used to each others quirks and paying all the bills from your wedding. Then life will throw a few curve balls at you, stress levels will rise and you will look at your spouse one day and those cute little quirks aren’t so cute anymore! You’ll probably begin to argue about things that weren’t a problem while you were dating. You might even wonder, “why did we get married?” Yes, it’s true! It happens to the best of us! And, I believe to a certain extent, it’s normal. So, how do you avoid this inevitable sequence of events? I recommend you start preparing now!

Here’s how to prepare!

1. Face it – Know that things aren’t always going to be “perfect.” Talk it over with your fiancé. Make sure that you’re both of the realization that life isn’t a fairy tale and that you will be faced with stress and challenges. This you can not control. What you can control is how you respond to those stressors and challenges.

2. Learn how to fill your partner’s “love tank” - What the heck is that? Everyone has a “love tank.” When our love tank is full we feel loved, confident, and sure about our mate. Every time your fiancé / husband hurts your feelings, argues with you about money, or whatever else you will argue about, your love tank empties out a little until the point when your love tank is empty, that’s when you ask yourself, “why did we get married?” The interesting thing about love tanks is what it takes to fill your love tank is probably not the same as what it takes to fill your fiancé’s! I’ve been reading a great book called The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate that explains how to find out what fills your love tank and what it takes to fill it! I recommend you check it out!

3. Keep each other’s tank full to weather the storms – While the sky is sunny and everyone is happy; don’t get lazy, work on filling each other’s tank. It might be easy to not give your husband a backrub after you worked all day, watch a football game with your husband and act interested, or do what ever makes him feel loved. (Remember this goes both ways too) But even though it takes some extra effort it will pay dividends when those storm clouds roll in! It is always better weathering a storm with the security of a full love tank!

As you know, nobody goes into a marriage thinking it isn’t going to work. So if you want some extra insurance for your relationship take time now to sit down with your fiancé and prepare for those storms! If you’re interested in finding out more about these “love languages” you can check out my blog today.


I'd like to thank Brymo for the picture!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Green Friday!

Happy Friday! My friend Peggy at Erickson Design sent me what I think is the a great idea! time.

It's called TerraPass - because as Green as you want to be, sometimes it's hard to off set all of the Carbon Foot printing that's done at a wedding. I mean guests driving, vendors driving, guests flying in, food being cooked, electricity being used. It's an arduous task to determine where to stay Green if you don't know where to start, or where to end up.

TerraPass has 4 Steps:

Understanding that your wedding is responsible for a lot of greenhouse gas emissions from travel, lodging, and the event itself.

You buy a Wedding TerraPass.

3. TerraPass funds clean energy projects that reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Your TerraPass is third-party verified to reduce the equivalent of your wedding's carbon dioxide emissions.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday Funny!

So I thought we'd start today with a cute story -

A 4 Year Old was the ring bearer at this wedding, and he it was his turn to walk down the aisle - I asked him if he was ready and he said "uh-mmm" and nodded his head up and down. I opened the doors and sent him down the way. He took 4 steps and turned to the right and put his hands up in the air curled his little fingers and said "rowr" and then took 2 steps or so and turned to the left and put his hands above his head curled his fingers and said "rowr" the guests were stunned and laughing all at the same time and he continued to do it all of the way down the aisle. The guests were in stitches laughing so hard, and then he walked up to his place on the alter.

The bride then proceeded down the aisle and the ceremony was perfect! After the ceremony I asked the little ring bearer what he was doing, and he said "Miss Melissa, I was a Ring Bear"

Happy Thursday!

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