Friday, October 29, 2010

Baby Willoughby's Shower

My sister Laura is having a precious little boy on or around Christmas Day. The entire Kirk/Butler/Willoughby clan is thrilled to death to finally have a little boy. While Laura has definitely "girled up" over the last several years, her athletic ability and brains will be perfect for her little man!

Laura had been wanting silver letters from Anthropology for the nursery, so we decided to use them for the shower before giving them to her as a gift.

Clusters of babies breath have become very popular in the event world (stay tuned for a beautiful wedding full of babies breath). The mint julep cups added a sweet little touch!

What is shower without a cake from Edger's.

We covered the mantel with grapevine garland, babies breath, blue hydrangea and floating candles. We also pinned baby pictures of Laura and Andrew on the grapevine with clothes pins. Guests enjoyed looking at the photos and talking about who baby Mac will look like!

Happy Planning!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Real Wedding: Lauren and Anderson

I don't know where to being when writing you about this wedding. I have had the photos back for three weeks and every time I sit down to tell you about this wedding, I get overwhelmed and I hang it up. If you haven't figured it out by now, I will work 100 plus hours on a wedding, but get frustrated in the first 10 minutes of writing about it. This is why I have been so terrible about updating lately. Well, the wait is over.....I hope you enjoy reading through this post half as much as I enjoyed planning this wedding!

I have known Anderson all of my life, and have been lucky enough to have Lauren as a dear friend for the last few years. Many people ask, how can you plan a friend's wedding? Is it weird? The answer in this situation is NO! With the right care and attention, your friends can be your best client!

Lauren was not a bride who had already planned her wedding before getting engaged. So, when we sat down to plan her day, she was open to ideas and suggestions. She quickly figured out what she wanted and we ran with it.

First Step: Venue
Fist Baptist is the church Lauren grew up in, so it was only fitting for her ceremony to take place there. It was also special that her parents married in the same church years ago.

We visited just about every venue in Montgomery before making our last stop by a new venue called Alley Station. The minute we walked in, we knew it was the right place. Lauren had asked for a sleek, modern look and Alley Station screamed modern elegance!

There were two sitting areas in the ballroom like the one above. Considering the wedding color was gray, and we were planning on bringing in lounge furniture for the roof top garden (yes, I said roof top garden :)), this was an added bonus!

This photo was taken of the roof top before construction was complete, so unfortunately I can not show you how beautiful it is now.

Second Step: Vendor Selection
We talked to various talented vendors, but we finally narrowed it down to who we thought would be the best fit for what we were looking for.

Jennie Weller Catering out of Montgomery knocked it out of the park. The food was fabulous! I can not tell you how much I enjoyed working with Ann and Jennie. I think Ann and I talked every day the few months leading up the wedding. There wasn't anything they wouldn't do for us!!

We chose to have the more formal foods in the ballroom and serve fun casual foods on the roof. To recognize Lauren and Anderson's love for mexican food, we had a self serve taco bar that was a huge hit. We also had a panini and pizza station. The panini and pizzas were a huge hit during the game and as the party continued into the night.

We hired Ashley Rice with Rice Designs to create the save the date, invitation, hotel information, program, huggie, cups, labels, you name it! I am going to do a separate post on this. To get you excited...the invitation made me cry when it came in. I was so happy with the way it turned out!

Andy Hopper from KG Design (Birmingham) worked his magic with flowers, furniture and lighting. There wasn't a detail left out.

Andy and I before Lauren walked down the aisle.....
Oh and yes, that is Lauren's bouquet made of 21 large calla lilies and orchids. By the looks of it, you would think it weighed 2 tons, but it was light as feather!

Curly willow lined the aisle and baptismal in front of the church. 500 orchids were used in the church alone!


I will give you one guess as to who we used....I guess the logo in all of these photos gave it away. Arden did a wonderful job capturing all the details of the weekend without being in the way. As Lauren says it best, "I didn't even know she was there."

Peggy McKenny created the perfect cake for Lauren. We also had Peggy make a few sheet cakes to send home with each guest as the wedding favor.

"Have your cake and eat it too!"

The band was a very important aspect to the wedding, so I hired SOUL STATION out of Memphis. They are a good wedding band who kept the guests dancing even a hour after the reception was supposed to be over. The bride was so inspired by their tunes that she sang a solo of "Baby Got Back". . . Priceless!

If you are a big football fan, it is usually a good idea to stay clear from a fall wedding. However, you may not have a choice if your church gives you one or two dates to choose from. September 18th just happened to be the Auburn vs. Clemson game, so I arranged for a AV company to set up the game on a big screen. We created a football lounge on the roof top and embraced the fact that guests would be glued to the TV the first hour of the reception. While I make this sound like it was no big deal, it was almost a complete disaster! (stay tuned for a post on "why you need a wedding planner" for more on this story).

Third Step: Details

I can honestly say that the details of this wedding were what made it. Two of my favorite touches
were the logo that we carried throughout the entire wedding, and the throw pillows for sofas on the roof were purple with a "W" monogramed in gray.

The nine months it took to plan this wedding was a blast! I loved every single second of it and could not have been happier with the way it all came together!

Happy Planning!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Carnival Candy Bar!

My step-daughter turned 8 a few weeks ago and we celebrated by throwing a carnival bash at The Exceptional Foundation. The birthday girl requested a candy bar like I had done for the Sweet Sixteen a few months ago, so I made a Costco run and loaded up on the sweet treats!

Thankfully I have hundreds of glass containers that were perfect for the different types of candy. You need to pay attention to presentation when you are making a candy a bar. Bowls of candy on a flat table is not going to give you the look you are wanting. Add some height with different size containers and shelving. I used some red confetti under the shelving and some white pumpkins to add a little spice to the look. You can use anything! I just so happened to have the pumpkins in the car for an event I am doing Tuesday and the confetti was left over from another other event. Don't forget to make some labels or bring some cute string to tie off the candy bags. The little twisty ties that come with the cellophane bags were a real disappointment (I am sure the 8 year-old children could care less about the twisty ties, but this detail nut did!)

Making a candy bar is simple if you plan a few days ahead. Ordering candy online is the way to go!! Places like Sam's and Costco may sell candy in bulk, but your options are limited! Go to for the best selections. You can even sort by color, style or brand!!

Happy Planning!