Monday, January 31, 2011

Inspiration Photo...

I got a call a week ago from a client who needed help with an upcoming event. She wanted a fun theme and needed Gather's help. I am usually pretty good with coming up with ideas on the spot, but this was not the case last week. I was slammed all week getting ready for a FABULOUS surprise wedding (stay tuned..waiting on photos to come in. You will not want to miss this), so I had very little time to sit down and really put some thought into the request. Finally, late Friday night, I sat down in my office with my door closed and began thinking about this event....

minute by minute passed and there wasn't an idea anywhere close to my brain! I felt like I had writer's block, only this was slightly less stressful (I can not write to save my life. If I ever had to write anything other than this blog, I think I would die). For a little inspiration, I hit up the blog world for some fun ideas. First stop, Hostess With The Mostess. With one click, I knew what I wanted to do and was even able to pull two other ideas out of my hat.

When you are in need of an inspiration...check out the other blogs around and see what people are doing. You don't have to copy their ideas, just let it feed your imagination!

Try and figure out where this photo took me.....

I will let you know what I came up with when the party is over! Don't want to spoil the surprise for the guests.

Happy Planning!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Matt Jones Gallery Rehearsal Dinner

Last weekend was an amazing weekend for Gather! I had the pleasure of helping a couple that I have known for years. I think the world of both the bride and the groom and when I was asked to be a part of their special day, I was ecstatic! The mother of the bride and the mother of the groom could not be better planners themselves, so I jumped in the month before to help with logistics and making sure all of their hard work went off without a hitch!!!

I began hearing about how great the rehearsal dinner was going to be when Mary Chollet and I sat down to finalize the last minute details. She said she didn't know exactly what it would be like, but she felt certain Camper's dog Gus would play a role. We were both exited to see what Dolly had come up with!!

After we finished the rehearsal at the church I jumped in my car and headed to Matt Jones Gallery to get a quick peak before the guests arrived! I was blown away from the minute I walked in the door!

Mandy Majarik from Hot House Design Studio did an incredible job! There wasn't a detail left out!!

Mary Chollet and Camper in their seats and ready to enjoy the amazing meal prepared by Cafe Iz. I always love it when the bride and groom have a special something on the back of their chairs to distinguish them from the rest of the guests.

The placecard table was the first thing you saw when you walked in the door. The candelabra was covered in greenery, fern and feathers. Mandy did a great job of creating an elegant, yet masculine look!

The centerpieces all had the same look, but they were all a little different.

Instead of using table numbers, Dolly named each table after somewhere Camper and Mary Chollet had been. It was really fun for guests to get to know a little bit more about the bride and groom.

The placecards where ordered from I was thrilled to hear about this great resource!

When I first walked into Matt Jones Gallery, I was expecting to see more of Gus. However, when I looked closely, I found what I was looking for! Gus was displayed in such a classy, fun way!!!
There were menu cards, koozies, napkins and even..........

.....bathroom soap!

Happy Planning!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow White!

Birmingham has been covered with snow for almost a week, so I can not help but find myself being drawn towards the color white. I found it only fitting that a friend of mine sent me this photo from a wedding she attended in Lafayette, La. I thought it was a tribute to the white world we are living in and a good inspiration for doing something different.

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Creative Invitation Suite

Anna Skates is a bride who is getting married at Swann Lake Stables this May and she has been working extremely hard on her vintage look. No detail has been left out of this wedding, so I thought I would share her latest wedding creation. Given that Anna is studying to be a children’s librarian and the groom is totally obsessed with books, I think you will find this invitation suite totally appropriate!

The Save The Date looks like a library card.

This is her invitation along with other wedding information all bundled up and ready to be mailed.

This is the wedding invitation. Notice the three different layers and rounded edges.

This is a packet of information (driving directions, a map, hotel info and wedding website info) that is included in the "bundle" that the guests will receive.

For more information on Anna and her super creative business, click here!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Changing the look of a venue....

Looking for the perfect venue isn't always the easiest thing. If you live in a city like Birmingham, it can get a little tricky especially when you are competing for a popular spring or summer date.

I try to encourage clients to pick a venue that goes along with the look of their event, but that isn't always a possibility. From time to time you have to "create" the look you want.

For those of you living in Birmingham, you may or may not be familiar with the venue, Park Lane. It is a perfect venue for rehearsal dinners, receptions and other events. From time to time I have clients say, Park Lane is just too "dark" for them. Other comments include "the dark brown bar and hardwood floors isn't my style" or "I was hoping for a more modern look." I usually respond by trying to tell the bride that the venue can have any look you want with a little extra attention. I realize it is hard for some people to visualize, so I thought I would give you an example of how a venue can be completely transformed by adding lighting and drapery.

Park Lane day to day......

Park Lane set for the Alabama Wedding's Magazine 10th Anniversary party...

The room changed colors throughout the night. Great work by thanks to Andy Tolar, owner ofDesign Productions, LLC.

The force behind this awesome party was no other than Kathy Mezrano, owner of Kathy G. & Co. and Andy Hopper, designer KG Designs.

Don't get discouraged if you haven't found the venue of your dreams. Hire great people and have them transform the venue for you!

Happy Planning!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Salt Fine Catering

I recently worked with a caterer I have never worked with before and I was blown away with is food!

Robby Melvin with SALT Fine Catering

This event was a pre-dinner cocktail at a home who is used to entertaining. Robby prepared a few pick up appetizers that were OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Seared Tuna with Corriander Crust and Lemon-Caper Relish
Braised Harris Ranch Short Rib Croutes with Tangerine and Herb Salad
Wild Mushroom Tartlet with Truffle Butter
Fennel Marinated Feta and Olive Skewers
Red Onion Tatina with Thyme and Aged Balsamic

I wanted to get away from the holiday colors, but wanted to stay true to a dark color pallet for the flowers. I visited my friends at Davis Wholesale and pulled together two arrangements made of deep purples, fuchsias and green.

Happy Planning!

Ringing in the New Year With Cards and Chocolate!

One of my all time favorite clients called me the week before Christmas and asked if we had time to plan a New Year's Eve party for her daughter and friends. She said she was leaving town in the morning and wouldn't be back until New Year's Eve day. I of course, said "yes" and began the planning right away.

What better way to spend New Year's than at a black jack table, roasting s'mores and creating a gourmet cup of hot chocolate!

When you are rushed to get the word out about a party you usually decide on an electronic invitation, but since this party was for teenagers we opted to get a cute invitation printed so the mothers would know about about the party. I called my friends at the Scribbler and they designed and printed a super cute invitation that went perfectly with my "casino night" theme.

There was a hot fire surrounded by hay bails for seating. The rain had graced us with its presence right before the party and a little throughout the party, so the fire was made and quickly put out. Regardless, the guests enjoyed hanging out and lighting sparklers from the flames even if it was for only a little while.

If you are like the Butlers, we usually use old wire coat hangers for our s'more adventures, but the party planner in me didn't want a bunch of unattractive hangers for this party. I hit up Home Depot the day before and found some metal rods that worked perfectly. If you decide to do this, don't forget to have a way for the rods to stand up. You will not want the marshmallow end getting on anything!

Ingredients for the s'more and hot chocolate bar:
S'MORE....chocolate and regular graham crackers, Hersey bars, marshmallow (you could always add a little peanut butter...I had a peanut butter s'more for lunch yesterday and all I can say is YUMMY!)
HOT chocolate, whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, cinnamon and chocolate stir stick and marshmallows.

What is a New Year's Party without some nonalcoholic champagne......

.....and party hats!!!!

Saving the best detail for last..........
The CASINO tables!!

I hired Good Fella's Gaming to bring in 4 black jack tables. They have professional dealers that handed out $1,000 in fake money to get the night going. It was fun for the experienced players as well as the novices!

Many thanks to Aabco rents for the rentals, Scribbler for the invitations and Kyler at Good Fella's Gaming!!!

Happy Planning!

Happy Planning!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Gather Wedding: Mary Margaret and Kenny Bryd

There is something about this lovely marriage of two love "bryds" that embraces the cold winter in such a beautiful way! Was it the 10 flocked Christmas trees that the bride's family brought in for the wedding, the sparkling white lights that covered the walls or the beautiful fur cape the bride wore over her shoulders to keep her warm? It wasn't just one thing that made this such an amazing was the way everything came together that made it one of Gather's favorites!

Mary Margaret gave her bridesmaids a gray monogrammed pashmina as a gift. Not only did it look great with the dress, it also kept the girls warm during photos.

The wedding and ceremony took place at Rosewood Hall. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a 30 minute cocktail reception while we flipped the room from a sea of gold chavari chairs to a sparkling reception. Guests could not believe the transformation!

The tree cake stand was very important to Mary Margaret and I was thrilled to death when I found one that someone would let me borrow. I began calling the owner of the cake stand 10 days before the wedding and the owner was nowhere to be found. I remembered seeing a similar cake stand on Hot House Design Studio's blog a few weeks back and thankfully was able to rent it. Not to toot my own horn...but this is a good example of why having a wedding planner is so important. Having someone who knows people in the industry can fix hiccups without the bride knowing anything. This, of course, saves the bride unneeded stress and anxiety!

The ring bearer carried a beautiful nest down the aisle instead of a pillow.

Many thanks to the fabulous vendors that made it all happen!

Venue: Rosewood Hall
Decor: Andy Hopper with KG Design
Caterer: Kathy G. & Co.
Photographer: Will Dicky and Beth Hontzas
Cakes: Janet Allen
Entertainment: Brother To Brother and Ronnie Freeman
Wedding Dress: Ivory and White
Bridesmaid's Dress: Bella Bridesmaid

Congratulations Mary Margaret and Kenny!!! Thank you for letting Gather be a part of your Big Day!

Happy Planning!