Monday, November 23, 2009

Behind the Scenes: Wedding Venue Walk-through

Another fun detail in a wedding planner's life is actually going to the wedding venue with the client, and doing a "walk and talk", a site visit, a walk through. During this meeting, we walk around, make sketches about layout, note electrical outlets, water supply sources, parking areas, overhead view, style, color, feel and atmosphere. We close our eyes and imagine what the space will be when it is all aglow with candles and everything is all set up. I feel the inspiration the space offers. No, I am not the " Venue Whisperer", but places do speak to you, if you listen! From there I take comprehensive notes on my clients' wants, does not wants, concerns, vision, dreams and thoughts. I make note of a myriad of logistical considerations, questions for myself to create answers to later... These meetings usually happen in the rainy, dark autumn, or the dead of winter, with a snow and mud covered ground. With so many of my events being tented weddings, don't be surprised if you see me dressed professionally from the knees up, and in rubber boots from the knees down on your walk throughs! "Does it feel right?" the bride asked her fiance as they tested the dance area in what will be their wedding reception barn. Guess what he replied?!? "It does!" So sweet. A multi layered meaning, for sure, the venue, the fiance, the plan. It does feel right. This couple really enjoyed the walk through, the process, and didn't hurry or worry through it-smart cookies! This barn was recently renovated for the owner's daughter's wedding, and now it is available for lease to others-great idea!
The property at Walnut Hill has a house with the barn and grounds, perfect for the bridal party headquarters in the days leading up to the wedding.
Ample field and yard space for an on site wedding ceremony... and the barn is the perfect weather back up for both the ceremony and social hour, if saving the reception tent for the big reveal is in the plan!
I don't like to pick favorites, but barn weddings are one of my top picks!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Timeless Flowers for a Photographer Friend

I was recently asked to create a floral arrangement for a photographer friend's table at a wedding show. I always love to do these small, creative jobs, but also always feel nervous! I want to be sure the flowers represent the vendor well, that they speak to their brand and accentuate, not compete with, the other materials and work on display. Melissa's brand colors are pale pink and light charcoal-y gray...I wanted to incorporate a "timeless" feel...a word Melissa used in a recent meeting with me that resonated and stuck with me. Who knew that one word would inspire her arrangement?!? I also wanted texture, something vintage feeling and well, timeless. This pepper berry really made me swoon when I saw it at the flower market-and I always love a little wild, unstructured element in flower arrangements... I used Majolika roses... Hydrangea that I hand painted a light pink-yes it can be done!
Star of Bethlehem-again, hand tinted to be softer, not so white...
Queen Anne's Lace (or Cow parsley, depending on where in Maine you are from!), seeded eucalyptus and even a few carnations for a vintage feel...I love ordinary things used in unexpected ways... I have a collection of props from my travels, weddings, scavengings, garage and estate sales, flea market raids and such-any of you who know me, know about THE garage...I rustled out a vintage silver leaf pedestal vase from the prop stash, but it needed something more...
Something that felt old, that had a story, a little accessory if you will!
I have been saving this little Cameo pin for a long time. I might have actually worn it about a decade ago, and I knew it would have another chance in the spot light...a little quilt binding, gros-grain pink ribbon and a black and white Cameo brooch? Just the timeless thing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Style Me Pretty Inspiration Board Winner!

Okay, here it is, drum roll....
Here is the winning inspiration board from Style Me Pretty's inspiration to reality challenge #4!
I am so excited and anxious to translate this reader's vision into reality...the shoot is in 8 days, so the heat is on! Wish me good creativity and stamina!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Style Me Pretty Inspiration Challenge!

Style Me Pretty posted the announcement challenge to readers to create a wedding inspiration board to be brought to life by little old me and my style team-what an adventure! The concept is called Inspiration to Reality, the winning inspiration will be chosen tomorrow and I will then have about 72 hours to translate that inspiration into reality, with a photo shoot capturing the real life elements of a wedding. Wow, do I feel the pressure...and this is all happening in the week of Thanksgiving! This photo is not THE board, but A board, created by a stylish reader of the Style Me Pretty blog. Fortunately I have a hand picked team at the ready for this project, here are the talented, creative, wonderous and delightful components of this style team: Brea McDonald- Brea McDonald Photography Sara Fitzgerald O'Brien-Griffin-Vites, custom watercolor stationery Dawn Kelly-Soiree Floral , floral design and creation Meg Simone- Meg Simone videography Oh yeah, and me- design, coordinating, styling and likely prop providing! Two of these fine people are near and dear, two are soon to be-can't wait to meet and work with all of you! Thank you to each of you in advance, for your contribution of talent, time and self-I am so excited to see what we create together.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Expert Advice Article Feature

Isn't it interesting to be called an expert?!? I guess I should be honored, but I am humbled...
I recently wrote a little article offering some ideas when considering wedding guests' comfort, and it was featured today on the My Kate Parker Wedding blog- a morsel of press, what fun!
All photos in this post are from one of my recent weddings, photographed by Bethany & Tigue of Cunningham Photography-a fabulous photography (and human!) duo, who I love more, every time I work with them.
Anyone out there married, or about to be? What did you do, or will you do to ensure your guests are comfortable at your wedding?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Farewell to Fall

Oh, how does my favorite season pass by so quickly? I think I say that every year. I have been so busy thinking about and planning weddings for next summer, that I have missed a bit of autumn, while thinking about June, July and August.
Before it slips by again, here are some of the things that we have been doing...
Taking sunset ocean side walks...
Knitting by the campfire during Ava's nap...
Exploring new places...
Looking out... And looking back...
Growing pumpkins in various sizes and colors...
Making Rice Krispie Treats...
Making things out of those pumpkins...
Reaching new heights...
Remembering our foundation...
It has been a whirlwind, and I have a lot to be thankful for.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Is it Too Late to post Halloween!?!

I know, I am running a bit behind, but it is for good reason, really! I have been very occupied with wedding planning for next year, and starting the creation station for this years' holiday make-athon.
Here are some photos, however belated, of my owl on Halloween. That is the pumpkin we planted from seed last February-she is so proud of that giant thing, I can't bear to compost it yet! And yes, I did make the costume, out of found material and buttons from my stash and a $4 furry fabric scrap from Joanne's. With a snap applied by my darling husband, and a little left over elastic from another project, the wing-tail feather-scarf apparatus stayed on perfectly.
She "flew" around all night, saying, "Who? Who cooks for you?" Think we use the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website too much!?! Really, if you are into birds, or learning about them, this is a great web site to see and hear each bird. Especially if you have little ones, who may umm, lack the patience and silence to actually do much bird watching in the wild!
Thank you to my wildlife biologist sister and beloved Auntie for teaching us about the web site!
We walked in our little downtown Halloween parade, both Chris and I in costume too, don't worry friends, we haven't given it up yet! But I do think it is safe to say that my days of wearing leggings are far behind me! I'm a blue jay, couldn't you tell?!?
Hope everyone had a happy Hallowed evening!

Friday, November 6, 2009

"Honest to God, the Best Oatmeal Cookies, I Swear!"

No really, that is what the recipe is called! I have had several requests for this recipe, so here it is, from my friend Emily's cookbook for picky eaters. Hmmm, that would include me! This recipe is versatile, you can add dried cranberries, cherries, raisins, chocolate or peanut butter chips...Scrumptious, crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, any way you make them.
Honest to God, the Best Oatmeal Cookies, I Swear!
Oven 350 degrees, Yield about 4 dozen
Line Cookie Sheets with Parchment Paper, or grease
1 C. (2 Sticks) unsalted Butter, soft
1 C. Sugar
1 C. Light Brown Sugar, packed
2 Lg. eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 C. Flour
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 C. Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 C. dried Cranberries, cherries, chocolate chips, or the accessory of your heart's desire!
Beat Butter & Sugar together in large bowl with electric mixer
Add Eggs & Vanilla, beat well
Add Flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, beat thoroughly
Add Oats and cranberries, chocolate chips, etc. Beat Slowly by hand until well mixed
With Wet hands, roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheets, 2 inches apart
(measure this, it really is a small amount, no wonder I always don't get the yield, but always get huge cookies that stick together!)
Bake for 10-12 mins.
Let stand for 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet
Place on wire rack
Try, really hard, not to eat about 14 of these before you even clean up your baking mess!