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 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 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.


We have an article featured in Nanny Magazine!

We have been blessed with the opportunity to have an article featured in the October Celebrations Issue of Nanny Magazine!!  Our topic was “Organized & Stress-Free Wedding Planning” on page 33.  The layout is gorgeous! Thank you!

Be sure to check out the website:  Nanny Magazine


nanny magazine 2


We have been featured in an article on WeddingWire!!

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


The Worst Wedding Advice Ever, According to Real Women

Written by Jenn Sinrich  Photo: Ellys Photography


You don’t have to be newly engaged or planning your big day to know that people love giving wedding advice of all kinds. Whether it’s suggestions on color scheme or recommendations on vendors, friends, family and, well, strangers you meet truly enjoy sharing their insight and personal preferences with you to help you with all sorts of decisions you’ll have to make. But before you cling onto their words of wisdom, know this: Their advice might be well-meant, but that doesn’t mean it’s well deserved.

“The uniqueness of a wedding stems from the individuality of the couple, therefore taking advice from just anyone may not work,” explains Tessa Brand of Tessa Lyn Events in Santa Monica, California. “Every couple has a different vision, budget and priority list so outside advice may be harmful rather than helpful.”

Here are some of the worst pieces of wedding advice people have received—and why you should be wary of following this “wedding wisdom.”

“Stick with tradition or you’ll regret it”

“I’m not a very religious or by-the-book person, but so many people warned me to keep my wedding as traditional as possible. They weren’t just talking about the white dress and vows—they were talking about everything, from the ‘something blue’ to the feeding each other wedding cake. I’m all for keeping certain traditions, especially ones I hold dear, alive, but this just felt too stiff and scripted for me.”—Kaleigh R.

The expert says: Do what feels right.

“Many old customs, traditions, and wedding advice are no longer relevant, or interesting to the current generation of brides and grooms,” explains Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio. In other words, these days it’s more accepted for couples to make their own, unique decisions when it comes to planning their big day.

“Use all my vendors—it will make planning easier”

“I was the maid of honor for my best friend and I enjoyed her wedding, but when it came time for me to plan my wedding, she was all over me about using her vendors—from her venue to her DJ. It was just she wanted me to do a repeat of her wedding. While I appreciate her suggestions and I do know that she had the best intentions, I wanted to do things my way. Many of the people who attended her wedding would also be attending mine, so I wanted to make sure that they, too, had a different experience and I didn’t want them comparing the two occasions.”—Rebecca O.

The expert says: Do your research to find the right wedding vendors for you.

Your friend may have planned her big day, but that doesn’t mean she did so for two events—both yours and hers. “Recommendations for vendors are great and are a valuable resource for anyone planning an event, but her vendors may not fit your needs for your wedding,” says Lehman.

“You don’t have to meet all vendors in person—it’s a waste of time.”

“When a co-worker told me this, it took so much energy for me to not say something. What the heck do they even mean? I knew from being a bridesmaid for my friends that it’s important that you know who is running your wedding—from the florist to the lighting tech. I was happy that my fiance agreed with me, especially because getting to know our vendors was the fun part!”—Ginny V.

The expert says: In-person meetings are essential.

Be sure to talk to actual wedding professionals, those who have been in their field of expertise for several years, and have references of satisfied customers that you can confirm with, Lehman suggests. So many important topics you’ll want to touch upon with these vendors, including their prefered structure and workflow and the personal touches that will make your day special, are best discussed in person so no details are left out.

“Wedding planners are a waste of money.”

“I foolishly took this wedding advice when planning my own nuptials and it’s something that I regret. Sure, wedding planners might not be for everyone, but I seriously could have used one. My fiance and I are both incredibly busy and live in a tiny apartment in a bustling city. It was so hard to travel to meet our vendors and communicate with our parents who didn’t live in the city parameters. I wish we had someone who was a professional at handling everything overall—someone who would communicate on our behalf to our vendors and our family. It would have taken a serious load off.”—Jen R.

The expert says: Wedding planners can be absolute life-savers.

At the very least, have a consultation with a wedding planner. “They can suggest several choices of vendors that will match your needs and budget and can also give you ideas and wedding advice to get started in your planning, such as color combinations, flowers in each season or a checklist of planning tasks,” says Lehman.


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!


How to Choose the Perfect Rehearsal Dinner Venue

Plus, other planning tips.

Contributing Writer
natalie jamey rehearsal dinner tables

Photography by: KT Merry

The second most important event of your wedding weekend will undoubtedly be your rehearsal dinner. Typically, this is a less-formal event during which close friends and family come together (generally following some form of wedding rehearsal) in celebration of the big event. It’s especially beneficial if many of your guests are coming from out of town, as it’s a nice excuse to spend more time together.


“The rehearsal dinner is one of the most anticipated and cherished traditions of a wedding celebration,” says Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance. “For many couples, this will be the first opportunity that their friends and family members will have to meet each other.” To make the most of this treasured evening, we asked twp wedding planners to explain how you should go about selecting the right venue for this important pre-wedding event.




Step 1: Determine your budget.

First and foremost, figure out how much money you have to spend on the rehearsal dinner. This will help you figure out what kind of event you’re able to have, and how many guests you can invite. Setting your budget also means figuring out who will be shouldering the cost. “Traditionally, the groom’s parentsare the hosts of the rehearsal dinner,” says Lehman. “Today, however, as more couples are paying for the expenses of the wedding themselves, the cost of the rehearsal dinner is often included in the overall budget.” Be sure to allow enough time to scout out the perfect venue, taking into consideration the overall cost of enough food and drinks for guests.


Step 2: Settle on a theme.

This is the fun part! Just as you likely chose a theme for your wedding, be it nautical, vintage-traditional, or rustic, you can have fun with the vision you choose for your rehearsal dinner. The food you choose can play a role in this effect as well. Are you big on Italian food? A lover of guac and chips? Don’t feel the need to go fancy just because your wedding day is upscale. “A rehearsal dinner can also be as casual as a pizza party or barbecue in the backyard of the couple’s home, or a local park,” says Lehman. “Generally, whoever hosts the dinner has creative control, taking into account their budget, and the tastes of the couple, aesthetically and gastronomically.”


Step 3: Find the right venue.

The rehearsal dinner is often held at a local restaurant or country club, but Lehman points out that any location will do. “A rooftop with a great view in the city, a nostalgic bowling alley, a private home, or a clambake or a bonfire on the beach are all great ideas,” she says. Though she does warn that it’s wise to choose a venue that’s close enough to the wedding ceremony that it provides guests the convenience of not having to travel too far. “Visit several venues to see if there are enough areas for seating and standing, clean restroom facilities, and friendly, well-trained wait staff,” she adds. Will the venue allow the wedding party to bring in decorations, entertainment, and catering as needed?  Will the venue be able to accommodate special dietary needs of guests? Will there be a dress code? These are all things she suggests considering when finding the right venue.




Step 4: Finalize your invite list.

Just as your guest list for the big day is important (and likely involved some cutting), you can expect the same when it comes to your rehearsal dinner. “If you’re having a traditional rehearsal dinner, your guests are your VIPs: your immediate family, bridal party, and their dates,” says Tessa Brand, wedding and event planner and owner of Tessa Lyn Events. “A party this size should be able to fit in a private room in a restaurant.” However, if you are extending the invite to all guests, she says this is more of a “welcome party,” which means you will need a larger space. Knowing your approximate guest count will help you determine the price per guest. “Keep in mind, that even if you invite all your wedding guests, the acceptance for a welcome dinner will be lower than your wedding, as people arrive from out of town at different times.”


Step 5: Pick your ideal menu.

“The menu is probably the single most influential factor when debating where to have a rehearsal dinner,” says Lehman. “Many couples choose to host their rehearsal dinner in the location they met or where they had their first date.” This is cute and all, but remember that your rehearsal dinner can hold as much or as little meaning as you want. After all, you have a whole wedding dedicated to your love for each other the following day. Have fun and be adventurous! “Sharing the experience with those closest to the couple is what it’s all about,” Lehman adds.


Step 6: Plan your décor.

Once you’ve locked down your rehearsal dinner venue and selected from the menu options, your next to-do is décor. Brand suggests going with a completely different color scheme for your flowers, and switching up the décor from what you’ll have at your wedding. “While the idea of having one cohesive wedding weekend may sound ideal, it is much more fun to switch it up and will show you put thought into each event,” she says. “Plus, this leaves an element of surprise for your guests to see on your wedding day.” Floral additions are great, too, as they will easily last a few days and can be repurposed for a farewell brunch at the end of the weekend.


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