Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pop Up Party...

Tom, the girls and I went to Otey's for dinner tonight and we watched a girl pull together a 30th b-day party in 3 minutes. It was like she had a party in a bag. Maddie looked over at me and said, "Neillie are you their party planner." I simply said, they don't need a planner!

When Maddie jumped out of her seat to get a close look at the chocolate cake, I quickly found myself in the middle of the girl's set up. I introduced myself and asked her where she got such a cute invitation, banner and cup cake toppers. She explained that she is a graphic designer who is starting her own company. I have so much respect for anyone who can work such magic on the computer...I don't have a lick of talent when it comes to creating anything worth hanging on a wall. My new friend's name is Laura Money and I am excited about talking with her more when her graphic design business gets going! Stay Tuned!

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Eve Sneak Peak....

I am working on a New Year's Eve party for one of my favorite clients. I had the privilege of planning a sweet sixteen party for her this summer, so I am super excited to be planning another fun gathering. I don't want to tell you to much and spoil the surprise, but I thought I might give you a little peak of what we are doing in case you were looking for something to add a little fun to your New Year's Eve House Party!!

(photo from

I thought it would be fun to have a fire pit going in the driveway for all the guests to enjoy. Picture hay bails around a fire, throw blankets and what else but a S'MORES station. There is nothing better than a graham cracker with chocolate and marshmallow!

Happy Planning!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Rehearsal Dinner at Matt Jones Gallery

I recently planned a rehearsal dinner at Matt Jones Gallery and wanted to share a few details with you.

One of the things I like most about Matt Jones' Gallery is the decor that is already in place before you bring in the first flower. The artwork and drapery are so beautiful, you could almost get away without doing one thing! When I began planning this event, my client and I decided we didn't want the dinner to be overdone. We wanted a simple, elegant look for her guests to enjoy.

I began brainstorming of what I wanted to do and I came across this photo.

I love winter rye grass more than anything! I don't know's just really cool! When I saw this photo, I decided it would be the inspiration for the night. I believe I posted a few weeks ago about "growing our own rye grass." Well, I got too busy and decided to order it from my wholesale florist to save my sanity! Besides, when I went to Home Depot to buy the was far more expensive to grow my own!

The event was a week before Christmas, but I wanted to stay away from the traditional reds and greens, so I decided gold with a little green would be appropriate.

If you do anything with rye grass, remember the you will need to cover up the roots with something. I chose brown satin ribbon, but you can use flowers or whatever you wish!

Instead of having a slide show, we decided to hang baby pictures of the bride and groom from branches over the place card table. Guests enjoyed looking at them as they arrived. I thought this was a great way to show where the bride and groom came from without having to play a 15 minute video that your guests won't think is as cool as you do!

One plus for booking an event at Matt Jones Gallery is that the venue comes with table linens. We opted for ivory linens to keep with our neutral tone. To add a little kick, we used gold chargers under the plates. It was a really nice touch!

The centerpieces were simple 12" fish bowl vases with 4 mini calla lilies, curly willow and a floating candle. Simple, yet elegant!

The groom's father writes for the newspaper in Dothan, AL. When his son got engaged, he wrote a sweet article about their family expanding by one. I really wanted to incorporate the article into the event someway, so we had it framed under the photo tree.

My favorite part of my job is exceeding my clients expectations. As this client stated:

"There is no way to tell you how wonderful the rehearsal dinner was! The compliments I have received from the beginning of the night have been overwhelming. At least four or five people told me that is was the best rehearsal dinner they had ever attended....quite the compliment! Others talked about the tables, the trees and the grass, the beautiful colors in the gallery, the bowls on the tables, on and on. What a compliment to you."

Many thanks to Kathy G. and Go Pro Events for all you did! It was a lovely evening enjoyed by all!

Happy Planning!

A Gather Christmas!

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope that is has been all that you dreamed it would be!

For some of you that may mean a little BLING, BLING! If you are newly engaged, please give me a call for your wedding planning or coordinating needs. The 2011 calendar is filling up fast, but we still have weekends open! We are offering a $100 visa gift card to the first 5 brides that sign up between now and the end of January!

(Photo from

For those of you having a Christmas gathering at your house tonight, it is not too late to whip together some last minute decor.

Gather's modern version of a Christmas Tree.....made with thing I found in my garage last night.

Items Need: Manzanita branches, curly willow, red berry branches (forgot the real name), fake green berry branches I bought 5 years ago (they had so much dust on them, I had to wash them before I could use them :)) and Christmas balls made by participants at The Exceptional Foundation.

Items Needed: A paper white (my all time favorite Christmas plant), a big serving bowl you have sitting around, raindeer moss and organic looking balls bought from At Home years ago and never used.

Don't get discouraged...I do have the advantage of having left over flowers, vases and trees from the dozen events I had in the last 10 days.

Happy Planning!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Not your normal recessional

When I first saw a couple dance up the aisle about a year ago when watching Good Morning America, I never really thought I would have a bride that would do it in Birmingham. I should have known right then and there that if someone was going to do it, it would be Mary Margaret Dorr and her three siblings!

The crowd loved it! The rest of the wedding was just as fabulous as this. More photos to come!

Happy Planning!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

As you know, Gather is as wedding and event planning group, but from time to time I am asked to pull together flower arrangements, decorate a table scape or decorate one's home for a party. I mentioned in my last post that I would be decorating two of my clients' homes for Christmas and you may be thinking..."wow, I didn't know she did that too." Well, the truth is I don't but I do have the resources to get things like this done.

When asked to decorate two homes for Christmas, I quickly called Buffy to see if she would come to work with Gather and help make this happen. Thankfully she said yes, and we immediately started planning the fabulous decor for the two houses. Given that Buffy has worked at Southern Living magazine for years, the magazine asked if they could shoot our trees for their Christmas Decor issue. My clients were originally responsible for getting their own trees and Gather would handle the rest. However, Southern Living was gracious enough to provide the trees for the clients in exchange for the photos.

Well......If you have been to Home Depot recently to scout out a tree for your home, than you will know what type of tree I had in mind for my clients. A pretty, full, normal sized tree that would be covered in beautiful ornaments, ribbon and much more. I still had that tree in mind when the trailer hauling the trees pulled up to my client's driveway today. One would say I should had known the massive size of the tree by the weight, but I assumed that everything would be fine. As we struggled up the stairs, into the front door and into the living room, we realized the tree was 4 feet too tall for the room. I quickly (it was not one of my brighter moments) decided to leave the tree on the floor and get the second 12ft tree off the trailer. We made it up the stairs, through the door and then into the den this time. We managed to get the tree into the tree stand and giggle with delight.

We told all children and dogs to back away as we cut the blue string that would release the branches in true Grizwall Family Christmas style. Thankfully, no glass was broken and the branches managed to fall without touching a thing (we had moved all the furniture aside and taken all the paintings off the wall just to be safe). I then decided that the tree needed to move back into the corner, so we all gave a little push. With that, the 300 lb, 12ft tree came crashing down!!! Thankfully the 4 other helpers were still standing by and were able to somewhat catch this mass of a tree. Three hours later and after an additional crew of 6 more people arrived, we were able to get the tree back in the stand and sturdy!

After the nightmare of the afternoon, we decided to carry the other 12ft tree (the one I originally left on in the living room floor) back out the front door and down the stairs. We exchanged it for a beautiful 8ft tree that is far more reasonable.
I tell you this, not to win your business, but for a good holiday laugh. I will be decorating the tree this weekend....more to come!

Happy Planning!