We were mentioned in an article on Martha Stewart Weddings!

We have been blessed, again, to have been mentioned in an article on Martha Stewart Weddings.com!  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich!!


What to Do If You (or One of Your Wedding VIPs) Are Sick the Week of the Wedding

Don’t let illness ruin the fun.

Contributing Writer

Photography by: Westend61

Ever become overwhelmed with worry when you think about all of the big and little things about your wedding day that you need to go right? It’s totally normal to freak out—you’re planning a huge event and a day that will hold immense meaning for you, your fiancé and your families. Of course, like anything in life, nothing is perfect and your wedding won’t be either. But that’s okay! Even illness is inevitable, especially during cold and flu season, so it’s smart to be prepared for anything and have more than one person that you can go to for support.


What happens if you, the bride or groom, or one of your wedding VIPS becomes ill during the week of your nuptials? It’s a tough dilemma that can totally happen. Of course, if your symptoms are treatable you can get on medications, but what happens if you get sick the day of the wedding? Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance tries to be prepared for any situation—even the bride and groom turning green on their big day. “I have an emergency kit that contains over-the-counter medications like aspirin and ibuprofen, antacid tablets, various topical creams, a small first aid kit and personal products,” she says. “Being trained in general first aid, CPR and how to use an AED is a good idea for all event professionals.”


If you’re worried about getting sick—or someone important getting sick—before or at your wedding, here are some doable lines of defense.




Hire a wedding planner at the beginning of your planning journey.

“A planner will be able to step in and take care of any last-minute crisis, whether it’s a few weeks before or on the ‘day of’ to ensure you have a special and memorable day you feeling like your day was ruined,” says Deborah L. Erb, owner and event planner at Simply Events Inc. “Planners also carry emergency kits with them in case someone needs pain reliever, something for an upset stomach or first aid kit.” They can also run out to get you anything else you need from a local pharmacy to help you and your loved ones get through the day!


Take care of yourself in the best way possible.

Planning a wedding is a stressful time—not only for the bride and groom, but also for those participating in the planning process, such as your parents, siblings, and wedding party. A month or so before the wedding, email or call as many of those important people as you can and remind them to take preventative steps to stay healthy in the weeks leading up to your wedding. “Eat well, stay hydrated, get your rest (eight hours each night!) and allow yourself some time to relax,” says Erb.


Recognize symptoms.

“Heading into wedding week, your body and mind will feel so many emotions—excitement, anxiety, stress, and nervousness,” says Lindsey Sachs, a wedding planner and owner of COLLECTIVE/by Sachs in Boulder, Colorado, and Minneapolis. “Take a moment early in the week to do a self-health check to monitor possible symptoms that could grow into sickness.” Remember: The sooner you can recognize these symptoms, the sooner you can begin to treat them.


Get checked out by your doctor.

Even if you’re feeling slightly under the weather, it’s important to listen to what your body is trying to tell you and seek out medical assistance. “Explain that you have a big day coming up and you need to be able to get through it and hopefully feeling well,” says Erb.




Keep your family and friends informed on your progress.

If you are not feeling well—or a wedding VIP is not feeling well—let the other important members of the wedding party know. “Everyone will pitch in to assist as much as possible, to make sure the wedding day goes smoothly or to rearrange and reschedule plans as needed,” says Lehman. “Delegate duties and errands to your wedding party and family members.” If you’ve hired a wedding planner or coordinator, they can also assist in contacting vendors, wedding party members and guests and updating important information regarding the wedding. “We are here to help you,” Lehman adds.


Stay positive.

Sachs urges not to let your mind focus on the negative outcomes of being sick the week of the wedding. “The sickness of a wedding VIP can create unnecessary focus and attention away from the wedding as a result,” she says. “The marriage is what you want to remember and not who was sick.” Use the power of positive thinking to your benefit and breathe, think optimistically and hope for the best!


Have a “plan B” in place.

If a parent is sick, think of other people in advance that could step in for them last-minute if necessary, suggests Erb. Otherwise, come up with options to make it easier for them to “carry out their duties,” and rest in between or always have a chair to sit on. “Seek out someone that you trust to care for the one who is ill, so everyone can get through the day,” Erb says.


We have been mentioned on WeddingWire!

We have been blessed, to have been featured in an article on WeddingWire.com!!  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich!!


7 Signs You’re Being a Good Bridesmaid

Written by Jenn Sinrich  Photo: Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography

Being asked to be someone’s bridesmaid is a big deal. It’s an honor that this person deems you important enough to stand by their side on the most important day of their life. But that’s not the only responsibility that comes along with the bridesmaid title. Standing witness to the actual marriage is just one small, but important, task in a laundry list of responsibilities required of the modern day bridesmaid. Helping the bride with her day-to-day planning (which can go on for months and even years!), coordinating events like the shower and bachelorette party, selecting and purchasing bridesmaid dresses and being the bride’s right-hand gal on your big day are just some of the things you’re signing up for as a member of #teambride.

Here are some signs that you’re rockin’ it when it comes to your bridesmaid responsibilities.

You’re saving money.

Your love might not cost a thing, but being a bridesmaid surely will. That’s why it’s smart to consider whether or not you have the funds to manage all the expenses that come along with being a bridesmaid. “The cost of a bridesmaid gown, any alterations, undergarments, shoes and accessories and hair styling and makeup application are just some of the things you’ll have to shell out money for,” says Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio. “If you need to travel any distance for the wedding, you will need to account for airfare or train tickets, a rental car or taxi service and lodging.” Additionally, don’t forget that you’ll also be expected to purchase a wedding gift for the couple, as well as a bridal shower gift should they have one.

You’re generous when it comes to sharing your time and effort.

Not only is being a bridesmaid an investment, but it also requires a great deal of you physically and emotionally. “You will be contributing considerable amounts of time and effort in making the planning process go smoothly and ensuring that the bride happy,” says Lehman. If she’s not a type A personality, she might not feel so comfortable delegating tasks. In this case, ask her how you can help during the planning process. “Offer to go on appointments or put together favors or décor for the wedding day,” suggests Deb Erb of Simply Events Inc. in Lititz, Pennsylvania. “Always keep the planning and wedding day about the bride and what she desires for her day.”

You’re a great listener.

Not every part of your job as bridesmaid will have to do with wedding planning. In fact, much of it will have to do with whatever the bride has going on in her busy life that’s 10x busier now that her nuptials are on the horizon. “When the to-dos start piling up or she simply needs an opinion, be there to listen,” says Lindsey Sachs of COLLECTIVE/by Sachs in Boulder, Colorado and Minneapolis. “She may just need to vent, to run an idea by you or to have a safe space to share her inner feelings.”

bridesmaid wearing pink labeled robe

Photo: Olli Studio

You’re reminding the bride what’s REALLY important.

With so much going on and so many people piping in to share their opinions, it’s no surprise if the bride becomes overwhelmed and loses sight of what’s important and what really matters in regards to her big day. “Given your relationship with her and knowing her authentic personality, you have the leeway to remind her what is important (a.k.a. don’t sweat the small stuff) and also ensure that she’s making decisions that are authentic to her and her partner,” says Sachs.

You go with the flow.

It can be frustrating to have to be so flexible and attentive to someone else’s needs over the course of months or years, but that’s the commitment you made when you said yes to being a bridesmaid. That’s why Lehman says a willingness to go with the flow is crucial if you’re to be successful in this role. “Being able to adapt as situations, locations and emotions change in the blink of an eye is invaluable,” she says. “Sometimes a difference of opinions may arise between bridal party members or there might be a small problem with one of the wedding vendors that needs to be attended to right away. Try to remain calm, and offer solutions that will help the wedding day go smoothly for everyone.”

You’re having fun with the bride.

Depending on the circumstance and whatever you’ve got going on in your own life, you might not be mood to party—and that’s okay. But experts agree that it’s important to remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the bride-to-be who deserves to be celebrated by smiling and admiring bridesmaids. “Help be her eyes and ears throughout the process, ensuring that she’s able to be present and in the moment to soak in the experiences of her wedding journey,” says Sachs. “Once it’s over, you’ll only have the memories. As a bridesmaid, you can to ensure she has no regrets!”

You’re nailing your day-of duties.

On the day of the wedding is when your job as bridesmaid really kicks into high gear. “Bridesmaids may help the bride put on her wedding gown, veil and shoes, help manage the bride’s bouquet, or to hold or bustle the train on her wedding gown,” says Lehman. “Bridesmaids may also act as a legal witness to the signing of the marriage license before or after the ceremony.” Whatever your role on the big day, make sure to give it your all because it’s a whirlwind of a weekend the bride will never forget!

We have been featured on the Southern Celebrations Magazine Blog!

We have been blessed to have been featured on the Southern Celebrations Magazine Blog!  This is in addition to having been featured in the latest edition of Southern Celebrations Magazine (vol. 6).  We are very grateful to have worked with the publisher, Virginia Conaway Buckner, to share our styled bridal photo shoot from July of 2016, with readers nationwide.  Thank you so much, Virginia!

We want to also thank our incredible team of vendors and models.  We could not have done all of this without your hard work, talent and vision!  Y’all Rock!!



We have been mentioned in Martha Stewart Weddings!

We have been blessed, again, to have been mentioned in an article on Martha Stewart Weddings!  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich!!

These Are the Wedding Trends Planners Expect to See in 2018

The pros are very excited about these ideas.

Contributing Writer
Fern Wedding Bouquet with Peonies, Roses, and Zinnias

Photography by: She Takes Pictures He Makes Film

Trends of all kinds can last for just one season or stick around for decades. This is true of wedding trends, too. While the white gowns, loving vows, and festive celebrations will likely remain unchanged, there are plenty of new ideas we can expect to see in future celebrations. To get a look at the wedding trends to come, we asked planners to share the ones they’re gearing up for in 2018.




Next-Level Food and Beverages

Wedding food and drinks have been getting more and more unique each year, but Brandi Hamerstone, a wedding planner at All Events Planned, expects to see couples really go for it in 2018. “This trend is happening mostly by a push from the groom!” she adds. “Having a bar with several versions of bourbon (or whisky and tequila), special glassware, and a knowledgeable bartender is a fun concept for everyone. It’s best to have something like this only available through cocktail houror later in the evening as it becomes a focal point and will definitely pull people around and keep them engaged.”


Suspended Florals

“In the past few years, floral design has taken a completely different turn. Where we primarily saw arrangements on tables, we’re now seeing flowers suspended from the ceiling,” explains Alison Laesser-Keck, event planner and designer at Alison and Bryan. “This creates an ethereal ambience that’s unexpected and multi-sensory. It just transports people and has a huge impact.” If you love the idea of a hanging floral installation, Laesser-Keck says to make sure you hire an experienced floral designer since there are a lot of logistics and liability to think about. “Find someone who will help you visualize the right location in your venue for maximum impact,” she adds. “Installations can be very expensive, so choose a few key places to do them in and make sure it’s where you’ll be spending the most time.”


Fashion Risks

Gone are the days of all-white, strapless wedding dresses, says Laesser-Keck. “Brides today are forgoing tradition and choosing a dress they love. Some go classic for the ceremony then change into something super fun for the party,” she explains. “Either way, we are definitely going in a direction where brides feel like they can showcase their personalities through their outfit choices.” So if you fall in love a patterned dress or one in an unexpected color, wear it.


Resurgence of ’80s and ’90s Style

“If the runways at New York Fashion Week were any indication, we’re going to be seeing a major comeback of ’80s and ’90s fashion inspiration in weddings next year,” explains Leah Weinberg, wedding planner, owner, and executive planner at Color Pop Events. “From colors like turquoise and hot pink and patterns like splatter paint and geometrics, those decades will inspire bold ideas that will pop up in a variety of ways—on invites, table runners, day-of signage, and much more.”




An Infusion of Metallics

Expect to see some glam events in 2018. According to Larissa Banting, President of Weddings Costa Rica and founder of The Lazy Bride, metallic color palettes will rule the 2018 wedding scene. “We’re seeing a return to luxe, with sparkling sequins overlays, chargers in every shade of metallics, and chairs in varying shades of gold,” she explains. “We’re seeing gold foil on invitations, menus, seating cards, wine glasses—everywhere!”


Majestic Marble

Stately, elegant marble will play a big role in upcoming weddings. If your venue already featrues walls or columns in the material, you’re in luck: Use these areas as a ready-made photo booth backgroup. If not, says Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance, find other ways to bring the cool stone into your day. “Use marble patterns in smaller, more decorative ways, like on your invitations or wedding cake,” she suggests. “Marble drink coasters could double as place cards and favors, with names scripted in gold on each one.”


Incorporating Your Hobbies and Interests

“Keeping guests entertained and engaged is still popular, and things like open-air photo booths and lawn games are a great way to do that,” says Myriam Michel, owner and creative director of M&M Elite Events. “Couples can make this trend their own by incorporating their hobbies into the reception. For example, this past summer, our couple was big into hookah so we created a custom hookah bar lounge that was a huge hit with all her guests.”


Bold Floral Statements

Hanging installations of blooms aren’t the only floral statement couples will make in 2018. Lehman expects to see bouquet upgrades, too. “We’ve seen lush floral bouquets with large blooms and trailing greenery. This will continue into 2018,” she says. “The colors will be bold, and eclectic, rather than the soft pastels so often used. Oversized bouquets and table arrangements will take center stage, with smaller, more subtle accents of candles and ribbons. We will see more patterned floral gowns for brides and attendants, as well as blooms used creatively in hairstyles.”


Colored, Custom Tuxedos

Good news for the guys: You also have a trend to look forward to. Michel says that more grooms are making bolder fashion choices and will continue to do so next year. “Men’s fashion is stepping out big. They are making bold tuxedo and suit choices, choosing colors like burgundy, plum, and indigo and wearing slim fit cuts,” she says. “We also see grooms wearing custom bow ties and suspenders.”


Audrey Hepburn – Funny Face movie inspired bridal photo shoot – The Video!!

On Saturday, November 25th, 2017, my fantastic team of vendors and models descended upon the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Canton, Ohio, for a styled bridal photo shoot.  I have been planning this event for some time.  One of my favorite movies stars Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire – Funny Face.  It’s the only movie they ever made together.  My video partner, Joseph Testa Productions, filmed the whole day, and put together a great video!  We would like to share it with you! Just click the link and enjoy!

Audrey Hepburn – Funny Face Movie Inspired


Planning/Styling:  Kimberly Lehman, Love, Laughter & Elegance: Wedding & Event Planning

Venue:  Courtyard Marriott Hotel – Canton, Ohio

Photographer:  Stephanie Uptmor, Imagine It Photography

Video:  Joseph Testa, Joseph Testa Productions

Floral/Decor:  Linda Boardman, Dietz Falls Florist

Lighting/Backdrop Stand:  Larry Thompson, Thompson Entertainment

Linens/Charger Plates:  L’Nique Linens

Original Artwork:  Michal Elaine Johnston

Stationery Suite:  Angela Marie Giaco, A Pink Sunset

Cakes:  Lana Geiling-Poe, For All O”cake”sions

              Molly Gearhart, Gearhart Custom Cakes 

Jewelry/Brooch Bouquets/Accessories:  Susan Wember Kurtz, Susie Kays Design 

Bridal Fashion:  Madeleine Fig, Madeleine Fig Designs

Bridal Shoes:  Erina, Bella Belle Shoes

Cake Topper:  Lexi Eveleth, Ever Laser

Makeup Artist:  Jessica Laura Hawkins, Exclusively Airbrushed Makeup by Jess

Models:  Lauren Simpson, Brandon Klaehn

Image may contain: 1 person


We have been published in Southern Celebrations Magazine!!

It is with great excitement, that I am finally able to announce that the very first styled bridal photo shoot I produced in July of 2016, has been published nationally, in Southern Celebrations Magazine!! We are currently featured in volume 6, on pages 72 -75. 

Thank you to Virginia Conaway Buckner for sharing this project with your readers! It’s Gorgeous, Y’all!!!

I would like to thank my wonderful vendor team, who worked so hard to bring my vision to life! I love you all!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

Image may contain: flower and plant

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing

Image may contain: 1 person, wedding

Image may contain: one or more people and flower

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and wedding



We have been mentioned on Martha Stewart Weddings!

We have been blessed again, to have been mentioned in an article on Martha Stewart Weddings!  Thank you, Jenn Sinrich!!


Is a Destination Wedding Right for You?

A vacation and a wedding all wrapped in one sure sounds great—at least at first.

Contributing Writer
getaway car

Photography by: Abby Jiu Photography

One of the first big decisions you’ll have to make after putting that shiny new ringon your finger is choosing where you want to have your wedding. For many couples, the choice is simple, but for others it can involve a long, drawn-out decision-making process that can months. If you’re not tying the knot in your hometown, your partner’s hometown, or the city you both call home, you’re likely having a destination wedding. Although they’re not for everyone, a destination wedding can provide a sense of excitement (it’s basically a vacation where all of your favorite people are invited) and relief (your second cousins once removed likely won’t make it to Aruba).


To help you decide if you’re the type of couple who should tie the knot away from home, wedding planners took us through the questions they ask clients who are considering a far-flung celebraiton.




Do you want to get married far from?

Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio, points out that, by definition, a destination wedding is one that takes place at least 100 miles away from where you currently live. That’s about the distance between New York City and Hartford, Connecticut. You don’t have to feel any pressure to have your nuptials in a tourist attraction, though they are popular choices for couples planning destination weddings. “You could get married at a somewhat local bed and breakfast or a charming winery,” adds Lehman. “The most important thing is to consider a destination that appeals to your personalities, dreams, and interests.”


Who do you want to be there?

Destination weddings are usually smaller than a hometown wedding would be, as guests have to travel farther for the event. If you’re okay with this, great! If you’re in a situation where you feel obligated to invite several relatives or family friends but don’t really care if they show up, then even better. But it is important to remember that some of your close relatives and friends might not be able to physically travel or afford a plane ticket and hotel stay. Before you book anything, make a list of guests you want by your side, and then see if that core group of people can make it.


Can you afford a wedding planner?

Having a wedding planner is extremely helpful in ensuring your destination eventgoes smoothly. “Hiring someone that has the expertise and experience will greatly help when making decisions on quality and trusted vendors,” says Cristen Faherty, wedding and event planner at Cristen & Co Event Coordination & Design in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. “This person could either be a destination planner in your area or a local planner in your destination. Which ever you choose, you have to be willing to give up a little control and trust their recommendations.” Remember, you likely won’t have the luxury of meeting face-to-face with the majority of your vendors, so an on-site planner can represent you from afar.


How flexible are you when it comes to dress code?

Enforcing a black-tie dress code—a tux for men and a formal gown for women—is tough when you’re asking loved ones to pack their wedding attire in a suitcase and travel to what might be a totally different climate. That’s not to say it’s not allowed, but you should be comfortable with the fact that some of your guests might not follow suit (literally). If you’re okay with bare feet and flip flops on the dance floor (or sand), then go for it.


Are you willing to host more than one event?

When all of your wedding guests are traveling far and wide to be there for your big day, they expect that you’ll be hosting more than the ceremony and reception. Many destinations include welcome parties and daytime activities, like scuba diving or horseback riding, for their guests to enjoy more face time with the bride and groom.

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