What the Trend – Top Wedding Trends for 2013 posted in: Events, Trends, Weddings

It’s out with the old and in with the new! If  there’s bling on your ring finger and wedding day designs on you mind, read on for the skinny on what’s hot in weddings for 2013. Here are some of the top trends for the coming wedding season.

Return to Elegance. We’re seeing a return to elegance this year in wedding trends. Inspiration will be drawn from old world glamour – think The Great Gatsby and the roaring 20s – decadence and romance. Weddings and receptions will return to more sophisticated affairs. Plated dinners and more elaborate place settings will be all the rage. Expect to see rich fabrics, gold flatware, elaborate jewelry, ornate detail and more formal receptions.

Local Yocal. You needn’t look too far past your wedding destination for fresh bounty from area farmers. We’ll see a continued increase of thoughtful, locally sourced menus showcasing the best of what’s to offer in the region. Imagine giving guests an incredibly unique experience using a local apple cider for a fun approach to a toasting beverage, or having your planner to work the chef to prepare root vegetables in an elevated presentation.

Flower Power. This season is all about opulent looks – lush, oversized blooms. Vintage is still popular, the look has moved away from the feel of countryside fields and more toward a just picked from an elegant English garden. Oh, and garlands are back – in a big way.

2013 Floral Trends

Tantalizing Textures. Being one who is totally into texture, I’m over the moon that it has hit its stride as a trend. The combination of fabrics, or even the same fabric used different ways to create pleats, ribs, or a confection of ruffles. And then there’s the use of delicate appliqués and beaded embellishments – swoon. There’s just something about seeing a look that at first glance seems ordinary, but upon closer appreciation has so much definition, dimension and detail that the fabrics alone are viewed as works of art.

Let Them Eat Cake. Tall and slender is the look du jour, made modern by using a mix of single and double-height tiers. Two different design styles are sharing the spotlight year – the first cake that dominates right now is clean and modern with just one amazing pop of embellishment such as a bow, monogram or flower; the second looks takes is on the opposite track, using eye-popping color or all-over appliqués or lace design that mimic the bride’s wedding gown. Having different flavors for each tier is still in style, but the cherry on top regarding cake style? Look to see something unexpected nestled among the flowers like fresh fruit or mini sculptures such as butterflies or hummingbirds for a personal touch.

She’ll have Him in Her Pockets. Cue applause all across the globe – finally, the wait is over!  Functional fashion is in. Designers are adding well placed pockets to traditional and modern bridal wear.  And word is, that we can expect to see some high-profile celeb brides donning dresses with pockets season. A design element that the fellas will appreciate.

Prints Charming. From stripes and chevron to delicate florals and bold graphics, prints reign supreme. Expect to see them used in everything from napkins and table runners to bridesmaid’s dresses and groomsmen’s ties, pocket squares and even shirts.

Music Mashup. If you would like a more customized and unique music experience, this hot new trend is for you.  A mashup is a blend of live musicians that play along with the DJ. Totally cool, and all the rage – period.

Picture Perfect. The trend of the photobooth is still going strong and the name of the game here is – be playful. Use fun props and have a customized backdrop, such as one using different patterned fabrics.

Lounge Out. More and more bridal couples are going with the planner’s recommendation to add lounge areas to the wedding layout.  Not only will we see more and more of the lounge as an essential element this year but expect to see the incorporation of more inventive furniture.  Think tree trunk accent tables, hammocks, swings, grass sofas.

It’s Eclectic. Combining juxtapositional elements to create a truly unique feel – glam elegance paired with organic outdoorsy elements, or modern elements expertly blended with antiques. Think sleek leather lounge furniture set off by the soft glow of simple candlelight in show-stopping vintage chandeliers.

2013 Wedding Trends Designing with juxtaposition - contrast in elements

As far as style in trends with taste and serious  staying power – the time to be married has never been more in fashion!


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Edible Escort Cards posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Events, Food and Beverage, Uncategorized, Weddings

As an event designer, I love to find unexpected ways to use everyday items, and even more am over the moon when I find ways for these items to pull double duty at an event. Lately, I have been crazy about the idea of having edible escort cards. Sure the tent card will suffice, but why not have a nice treat for your guests to enjoy as they arrive to the reception? Or select an item befitting you and your groom that could double as a favor.

Think custom labeled soda in vintage-looking glass bottles, cupcake bites, macaroons or lollipops accented with a personalized flag. Perhaps a jar of honey or a lavender sachet would make the perfect place card and favor combination for your guests. The possibilities are near endless.

My personal top pick – greeting guests with a refreshing beverage upon arrival that also includes the deets on seats for the reception. Not into soda? Opt for a specially blended lemonade for an afternoon outdoor reception luncheon or take this idea uptown using customized champagne minis for an evening dinner affair.

Here are a few other faves I’ve spyed for inspiration.

So, it’s to you Society – do you love this take on the escort card? What are some ideas that you have for items that would make a great presentation?


Photo Credits: 100 layer cake, style me pretty, southern fried paper, vintage confections

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A Year in the Life – 2011 posted in: Events, Society News, Weddings

As the year comes to a close, it is a time to take time to look back at all the projects we have been involved with over the past year. I am thankful for the wonderful clients I have had the opportunity to work with and help to mark milestone events or reach their event objective. If you have ever wondered how an event planner spends their time, here’s a peek into some of the events we produced and projects we were involved with in 2011.

  • Produced a golf tournament for 380 guests….one day tournament on three separate courses
  • Designed a graduation celebration to honor a very accomplished young lady and valedictorian of her class for over 100 guests
  • Coordinated transportation, accommodations and meeting space for corporate strategic session
  • Designed and planned a variety of weddings ranging from intimate gatherings in historic locations to grand affairs with hundreds of guests for some of the most wonderful couples
  • Served as keynote presenter on topic of etiquette
  • Coordinated a Tea for 80 guests
  • Coordinated travel, accommodations and excursions for weekend getaways to Las Vegas and stays at beautiful resorts such as The Greenbrier
  • Served as adjunct faculty at a University, teaching  two hospitality courses to culinary students

By designing decor and layout, managing logistics and handling event to-do lists of people who already have a full schedule, we are able to return to our clients the gift of time and give them confidence in knowing that their event will be a successful and outstanding one. We are passionate about the special events and hospitality industry, and look forward to being of service to our clients both current and new in the coming year!

Happy New Year!

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Prime Time for Popping the Big Q posted in: Etiquette, Weddings

Do you know that engagement season is in full swing? The time from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day has been dubbed “Engagement Season” by those of us in the industry because of all of the proposals that take place during this time of the year. Rushprnews.com reports in recent estimates that 1/3 of all engagements for the entire year will take place over the holiday season (with December historically topping the charts as the most popular month to “put a ring on it”)…which amounts to nearly a million couples! Perhaps it’s the warmth of the season, the family gatherings, the time of year when we reflect on what and who is truly important to us in life, but for whatever reason ‘this is the season! ”

The time when a couple becomes engaged to be married is generally a happy time. However for some, it can also be a stressful time. With engagement often comes pressure which can be overwhelming resulting in stress, especially when one isn’t well versed in matters of the etiquette surrounding an engagement and wedding. There can be a lot of questions such as, “Who do we tell first?”, “How do we announce the news to the world?” Here are our top tips to get your engagement started on the right (though truly left) finger.

  1. Announcing the big news! Proper etiquette says the news should first be shared with the parents of the bride, and the groom’s parents following soon after. If  there is concern that this arrangement may cause one set of parents to feel slighted, you can always tell both sets of parents together over a nice dinner. Next, share the news with close family and friends. This should be done either in person or by phone, avoid facebook and twitter when sharing the news with those closest to you. After this has been done, it’s time for the rest of the world to know. This announcement can be made by placing a wedding announcement in the local newspaper’s society page. Now is also the appropriate time for the parents of the bride and groom to call each other to offer congratulations.
  2. When should I announce the engagement? Any time after parents and close family have been informed. One word of caution, never impose on someone else’s celebration – wedding, anniversary, graduation, birthday party, etc– to make your announcement. Do not even consider asking the host and guest of honor for permission. If a host decides on their own that this announcement would add to the festivities – then OK, but you must be invited to make your announcement. However, a word of warning, if you’re attending a celebration for someone else and the host encourages you share your good news (or offers to make the announcement for you), make sure this is alright with the guest(s) of honor…as they may not share the same sentiment as the host. It is always appropriate and OK to decline a host’s invitation to make your announcement. Simply assure the host that while you appreciate the offer, you prefer to wait.
  3. Once the engagement has been announced, do I have to go dive into the details of planning? No, but in all honesty this depends on the length of the engagement and the scope of the wedding day you envision. We highly recommend spending time enjoying the engagement period  – savoring this special and exciting time before jumping into the “stress” of wedding fever. This is an optimal time to consider bringing a professional planner on board to help you  plan and handle some of the many details involved in preparing for the big day.
  4. When should an engagement party take place? While there is no time frame that is set in stone, generally speaking the engagement party should be hosted soon after the proposal to celebrate the occasion.  Three weeks to three months from the date of the proposal is appropriate.
  5. Who hosts the engagement party? Though traditionally the parents of the bride, an engagement party can be hosted by a family member, a close friend or the even the couple themselves.  While an engagement celebration is a wonderful celebration, it is not mandatory.
  6. Who should be invited an engagement party? The guest list should be limited to close family and friends.  Carefully consider sending out of town invitations to family and friends (to avoid any pressure on people who may feel obligated to attend), especially if the engagement will be a short one.
  7. Can I invite some guests to the engagement party and then others to the wedding? Everyone on the engagement invitation list must also be included on the wedding guest list.
  8. Are gifts given at an engagement party? This is one wedding function where gifts are not expected.  Should you receive a gift, wait until your guests have left before opening the package.
  9. How big should the engagement party be? This would be a great time to introduce family members from both sides of the bride and groom as well as close friends.  Keep the gathering small and save the larger event for the wedding ceremony and reception.
  10. Take time out. One the planning has begun, remember to spend quality time together as a couple on a regular enjoying your favorite pastimes or interests, and not talking about the wedding.

Are any of you wishing for a ring during Engagement Season?

Best wishes for love, laughter and happily ever after!

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The Official Color of 2012 posted in: Entertainment, Events, Fashion, Health & Beauty, Home, Trends, Weddings

The 2012 color of the year is Tangerine Tango (PANTONE 17 -1463), a spirited reddish orange. It’s a bit exotic, but in a very friendly, non-threatening way.


Offical Pantone Color of 2012

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®, describes the color as “Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.” I couldn’t agree more. My take, Tangerine Tango is an enchanting lady – she is beautiful, but also smart, a lot of fun, energizing, makes the people in her presence feel good all the while seemingly without thought, the ever sophisticated siren.

This haute hue is actually quite versatile. You can use it to create a vibrant and fun look, or dress it up glam for a sophisticated evening. Mix this tantalizing Tangerine with a sunny yellow such as Pantone Solar Power, a romantic purple like Bellflower or hot pink such as Cabaret for a bold and beautiful look. Pair Tango with a soft, warm neutral such as a natural neutral like Starfish or anchor it with Navy to show off its more sophisticated side. This Tangerine is just as comfortable at a formal evening affair as a casual afternoon luncheon – and in either setting its beauty commends attention

Expect to see provocative attention-getting Tangerine Tango as a hot hue in color stories for events and weddings in the coming year. It is high visibility, so use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design. You will also see the shade in women’s and men’s fashions, cosmetics, and home décor.

Just as comfortable at a formal evening affair as a casual afternoon luncheon, you can call on this color for most any occasion. For a vibrant and bold look, let this Tangerine tango with a sunny yellow such Solar Power, a romantic purple like Bellflower or hot pink such as Cabaret .Pair Tango with a soft, warm, natural neutral such Starfish to show off its more sophisticated side. In any setting this color commends attention.

Friends what do you think – Is this a color you will embrace in the New Year?

Have a colorful day!

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Wedding Inspiration Board – Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 posted in: Weddings

The cult series, The Twilight Saga, and specifically the ongoing passionate love story between characters Isabella Swan and Edward Cullen in the recent release Twilight, Breaking Dawn Part 1, was the muse for this inspiration board. This story of star-crossed lovers whom fate has destined to be together is played out in a dizzying and dangerous romance. Their love story is one of deep passion, determination and mystery.

I chose a color story of color story of crimson + smoky lavender + soft gold, to invoke passion, romance and success.

For this couple, not just any red will do. It had to be crimson – a color that symbolizes love, anger, danger, boldness, excitement, determination, desire, and courage. It is a sexy color.The deep hue draws me in like the deep passion shared between Edward and Bella.
The smoky lavender suggests refinement along with grace, elegance, and something extremely special (such as the connection between Edward and Bella). It invokes feelings of romance.
Gold symbolizes wealth and success, and is considered the highest prize. Edward and Bella are rich in their love for one another and in Daybreak, after overcoming much are finally now together.
The setting would be one for romance and classic elegance, but with a rustic charm. Think “the great indoors” (tall white-blossom trees lining the ceremony aisle, tall flowering branches draping to the reception tabletops, the entire setting washed in a warm glow of amber candlelight.

I hope you found this conept inspriring.


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Hot Hairstyles for 2012 posted in: Events, Fashion, Trends, Weddings

You’ve found the perfect gown for your big day or upcoming holiday fetes, now it’s time to pair it with your perfect hairstyle. Here are the hottest hairstyle trends that will be gracing both red and white carpets in 2012:

Braids. A look that has become very popular. Braids can be worn in a variety of ways that can easily become elegant for you’re a special event or even for your wedding day. Wear one braid to the side that falls over your shoulder, add one small, single accent or accessory, or go for the dramatic with a multiple-braid style.

Parade of Braids


 All Tied Up. This everyday style can be trés chic when done right. For a modern look try a sleek wrapped chignon or a glammed up pony with a knot or loop accent. Opt for a long, loose style with floral hair accessories to keep the look fresh and held together, if your vibe is more on the Bohemian side.

Chic Chignons

Long Locks. If you have healthy beautiful hair, consider showing it off. All-down and half-up hairstyles are back in a big way. Think loose, glamorous waves. If you have high cheek bones, consider showing them off by wearing your tresses half up.

Lady Lovely Locks


Glam Updos. Think thick ballerina buns (worn high on the head), large, French twists, or go with finger waves or pin curls for a retro vibe. Accent your look with the appropriate flowers or sparkle to personalize the style. Again if you’re going for a period or vintage look, opt for a chic small hat for an unexpected twist.

"Up"town Style

Accessorize. Hair accessories are very big this wedding season and can be incorporated into your wedding hairstyle in the form of flowers, hats, tiaras, vintage combs, bejeweled clips, and my personal fave—the fascinator.

Posh Pretties


Tips & Tricks. Among the best out there, Joe Whittaker, owner of Platinum Salon in Beckley and one of my favorite stylists, offers these tips for selecting your perfect wedding day hairstyle:

· “When it comes to trends, choose a style that is still authentic you. Don’t be too trendy or you’ll look back at the pictures and say, ‘What was I thinking?’ Try to keep it natural to show off how gorgeous you and your hair can be!”

· “Stay true to yourself—don’t let anyone else choose for you unless you totally trust them. It’s your day! Try the veil or accessory in multiple places and look at pictures of yourself at past events to see what hairstyles have worked best.”

· “Don’t go too stiff or stuffy, but make sure your look stays fresh and fab by packing extra bobby pins, some light hairspray, and a curling iron. And make sure your ‘maids stay on the lookout for any imperfections!”

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For the Love of the Game posted in: Weddings

 Among the many couples who have decided to forego the traditional and embrace what is truly authentic to them, we have the sport enthusiasts. Am I speaking to you? Perhaps your first date was a Pro Game or maybe you and your guy share an undying devotion to your alma mater. Want to include your love for the game into your wedding day, but not sure how to “tackle” this one? No worries! We’re playing safety and have got your six (guy speak for “got your back”).

Season Tickets

Here are some ideas that can make the play on game day:

Custom designed ticket invitations will set the tone for your sports-themed nuptials. These invites look and feel exactly like a game day ticket…right down to the perforated RSVP ticket stub! Official game day programs are also available to feature photos and stories you and your groom and your wedding team party.

Pro and college stadiums allow access for private events – PER-FECT and unique venues. Also check into local school football and baseball fields and basketball arenas as possible options.

For sports-chic aisle-style, imagine pulling out an Astroturf runner. At the altar what about saying “I do” on home plate! For the guest roster, have guests sign a customized football jersey or a guestbook with pages that look like basketball brackets. Add extra flair by having the groom and groomsmen don festive baseball or football boutonnieres, or hire a sports announcer to introduce the wedding party at the reception. 

A Home Run!

Present the dinner menu in a custom jacket that has the look and feel of a real basketball or football for a sophisticated touch. Keep with the fun of game day fare by serving appetizers during cocktails like mini soft pretzels and French fries in wax paper cones with assorted gourmet condiments (currently all the rage in the culinary world) such as Jack Daniels Maple Ketchup. And for a cake that will score big points with the groom – think, a replica of his fave team’s stadium or the Stanley cup.

Be sure to hire a first round draft pick photographer to capture memories and décor of game day. Think pre-wedding shots from the locker room, you and your wedding party warming up to the camera with fun props like helmets (customized in your wedding color with your monogram), penalty flags, etc., and you running out of the tunnel and onto the field with your wedding party! 

With this theme, there’s plenty of ways to create a day that your fans will remember for years to come.


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Falling in Love posted in: Weddings

Autumn weddings are a time to embrace nature’s true splendor. Here are some ideas for your harvest wedding in the great outdoors, or in a room with a view of beautiful fall foliage.


Fall-Themed Wedding Ideas


Color Palette
Hues of deep purples, browns and golden tones are always popular palette choices for fall, but consider pairing these classic colors with a jewel tone or vivid hue for a totally now twist to the traditional color scheme. Think sapphire paired with cream and rust, or chartreuse anchored in rich brown. Mix with gold, copper, or bronze metallics for a glam touch. Nature-inspired accents will give the look seasonal flair – think leaves, gourds, pumpkins, gold dipped pine cones and acorns, sprays of wheat, bales of hay, etc.

Invitations & Stationery
Keep the look simple. Add an acorn or leaf design to your stationery suite or consider using fine papers and inks in rich fall colors – deep reds, blackberry, or metallic brown. A creative alternative creative, use wooden save-the-dates and invites to set the tone for your town & country chic nuptials.

Set the stage for a rustic reception using long wooden tables topped with vibrant arrangements running the length of the table for a relaxed atmosphere. Go glam using lush fabrics in shades of the season to drape tables and accent mahogany chiavari chairs, highlighted with crystal candelabra. Send guests off with goodies like locally made jams presented in festive packaging displayed in wooden crates lined with straw by the exit, or fill mini burlap bags with coffee beans or flower bulbs tied with a ribbon at each guest’s place setting.

Seasonal blooms of chocolate-brown cosmos and burgundy dahlias, or sunflowers mixed with golden and sunset-hued roses are beautifully appropriate combinations.  Incorporate cranberries or sprays of wheat to add natural texture to arrangements. Display centerpieces and accent décor in creative containers like pumpkins or vintage-looking lanterns for a festive touch. For added ambiance, order a personalized aisle runner, or dust your aisle with fall foliage rather than flower petals.


For a fall reception, think comfort foods. Offer warm mulled wine, hot cider and mini gruyere grilled cheese during the cocktail hour.  For dinner, quail with honey glazed carrots, a cheese course with warm bread and in-season fruits and fresh berry cobbler for dessert are all ideas that’ll really play on the season. To keep it elegant, serve traditional fare in sophisticated, creative ways such as presenting soup in hollowed gourds.

Selecting a decadent chocolate cake with savory dark ganache filling spiked with a little sea salt topped with bold hues of fresh flowers, or total “foodie” seasonal flavors such as pumpkin with cream cheese frosting covered with spun sugar is the way to go this season.


I’ll leave you with a final thought- Fall weather can be unpredictable. What begins as a sunny warm day can turn quite brisk come evening.  Be prepared for both extremes.  Clearly communicate if the ceremony will be hosted outdoors. It is also wise to have portable heaters available along with the love of family and friends to keep everyone warm and happy on your wedding day. 



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Wedding Inspiration – City-Chic Smurf posted in: Entertainment, Events, Weddings

So it seems I got a little smurfed away with design this morning. Here’s my take on Smurfette’s wedding or super stylin’ party in the Big Apple.

For a city-chic, yet smurfin’ cool wedding or event, I see decor in white with smurftastic blue and red accents of course, individual smurfberry tarts topped with white cream caps of whipped cream, and a nod to the love of mushrooms.


Cast your vote Society…smurfin’ cool or no  smurfin’ way ?

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