Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Dress Shopping

Being obsessed with weddings, I have seen my fair share of wedding dress shopping reality TV shows. The process, while most likely dramatized for the sake of entertainment, definitely seems to have its ups and downs. In order to make your experience low-stress and more pleasant for all parties involved, here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts for wedding dress shopping!

DO… make an appointment, preferably in the morning, so that your consultant is fresh and ready to go. If possible, make your appointment on a Sunday or a weekday, because Saturdays are typically busy and crowded.

DON’T… wait until the last minute to start looking for a dress. Rushing the process is a recipe for disaster—it may take a few tries to find your dress, and there needs to be time for alterations and fittings as well.

DO… look nice for your appointment. No need to go overboard (go with light makeup so that it won’t rub off on the dresses), but you should feel pretty going into the appointment so that you can feel pretty when you find your dress! This also includes undergarments, nothing like a ratty old bra strap to ruin the elegance of your wedding dress.

DON’T… bring everyone you know to the appointment. The more people you bring, the more people you must please. Ultimately, this is your wedding dress, so your opinion is the only one that matters. Bring a few trusted friends or family members, but in this case, less is more.

DO… know what silhouette looks best on your body and have a general idea of what you are looking for. That being said, come in with an open mind. Dresses look much different on the hanger than on a person, so there is no harm in trying something on—it may surprise you!

DON’T… try on a dress that is out of your budget! You will want it simply because you can’t have it. Proven fact.

DO… consider the occasion. You’re likely going to be wearing this dress for several hours, sitting, standing, dancing, walking, AND being photographed from all angles. Move around, sit down, and make sure that you will be comfortable in the dress all day. Also, have a friend photograph you in the dress to make sure you like how it looks in pictures.

DON’T… feel pressured to like a certain dress because your consultant or friends like it—remember, this is YOUR wedding dress for YOUR wedding day! And take your time; try on as many dresses as it takes (within reason) until you feel comfortable. Sometimes it is good to leave the appointment without a dress, and come back to buy it a week or so later to give yourself some time to make sure it’s the right one. Also, just because you don’t cry doesn’t mean it isn’t the one!

DO… try on a veil with the dress to help you decide. It may seem cheesy, just because that’s what they always do on the shows, but I’ve heard firsthand from many brides that seeing their dress with a veil was what made their decision.

Mostly, just remember that as important as the wedding dress is, it is still only a dress. Ten or fifteen years from now, you won’t be thinking about your dress but the memories you made while you were wearing it. So, have fun with the shopping experience and don’t overthink it.


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Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Lovin' Havin' A Blast

With summer just starting for most people, it is the perfect time to gather with friends, have some drinks, lounge by the pool, and enjoy a night out without the kids. Themed parties are an easy way to have your décor, appetizers, and drinks presented in a unique way! Remember: your party doesn’t have to have a theme, but it sure makes a fun night even better! Below are some theme ideas to get you started: 

1. Tacos and Tequila:
  • Have fun with color! Red & yellow, with pops of green & orange will add flair. Drink umbrellas are a cute touch, as well as a piñata, and fun music! 
  • Food & Drinks: You can’t go wrong with a taco bar. Allow guests to make burritos, bowls, wraps, etc. and provide options. For drinks, be sure to have tequila on hand. Besides the obvious margaritas, guests can also indulge in fun recipes that you get creative with! Try mixing tequila with lemonade and lime juice for a fun twist!
  • Have maracas, sombreros, candy, and fun lighting to really make the night go out with a bang! 

2. Sail Away:
  • This theme has endless possibilities. Your décor can range from red, white, and blue color combos with anchors and if you don’t want ten sailors dressed at your party, allow guests to wear fun bathing suits, leis, etc. 
  • Food & Drinks: Try to serve a variety of foods in super cute boats. Shrimp boats, veggie boats, etc. are all fun! Serve your drinks with flags and garnishes to keep the theme flowing. Jello shots in a fruit wedge with a flag would be a super fun way to showcase your yummies! We suggest a signature drink {always} and for a Sail Away theme, a Salty Dog with run and grapefruit juice is just perfect! 

3. Coney Island: 
  • This theme is pretty self-explanatory and probably the easiest theme to pull off. Any color combos will do, and as long as you have a grill at hand to cook your dogs, it’s a pretty easy night.
  • Food & Drinks: The obvious: coney dogs. Be sure to provide sides like salads, chips, fries, etc. Fruit is a sweet touch to the menu! Since this is a more casual theme, drinks should be basic with beers and maybe a tropical twist. Try Hawaiian punch and vodka, garnished with an orange slice.
  • This theme can have a Hawaiian touch to it if you would like. Allow guests to wear tropical clothing and straw hats. Be sure to use a tan linen on your table and some seashells as tabletop décor to keep the island theme.
4,  Light the Night
  • For a truly awesome and unique theme, make the party start a little later and use the moonlight to party under! Mason jars, glow sticks, and sparklers are sure-fire winners!
  • Food & Drinks: Keep food simple by firing up the grill with burgers and chicken kabobs. Have lots of snack foods and popcorn for late night munchies! For drinks, remember moonshine is great in mason jars and tonic water adds a little light to your cocktail!
So there you have it! Some fun cocktail party theme ideas to get your summer started right! Remember to drink responsibly, laugh a lot, and enjoy a good time!

XOXO –Kelly 

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

INTERN DIARIES: Olivia's First Wedding

Two weeks ago, I worked my first wedding (ahh!!). The wedding venue was the 20thCentury Theater, which is an Art Modern style theater in Oakley Square of Cincinnati. It has a stage with an exposed brick wall, a dance floor, and an upper level balcony with seating. Above the seating area, twinkle lights and paper lanterns add a romantic atmosphere. It was the perfect venue for Joy and Ryan’s vintage-inspired wedding.

We arrived at the theater at 10:00 am to begin setting up. Joy and Ryan gave us several boxes of books, vases, chalkboards, paper flowers, and other various knick knacks for us to use at our creative desire to decorate — so fun! The decor was unique, beautiful, and well thought out. The guest book was unconventional — an old-fashioned typewriter where guests were encouraged to type up a note for the newlyweds, accompanied by some fun stamps to adorn their note. The vintage typewriter was rented from One Fine Day which is a custom event rental company. Lindsay is amazing to work with and we absolutely love her entire custom rental collection! The table assignments were attached to a window with panes and the bridal party was written on a rustic door (revamped with chalkboard paint) with chalk. Most of the decor was purchased by the bride and groom at the Ohio Valley Antique Mall. Lead coordinators, Catie and Laura, accompanied Joy & Ryan on this shopping trip to assist with the design of the wedding.  The delicious cake was from Mariebelle Cakery

The flowers - a variety of pink and white roses, tulips, peonies, anemones, and eucalyptus, among some others - were arranged in clear, light blue, and brown vases of various styles and sizes. These flowers were used throughout the theater (we had a few more arrangements than we really needed, but we were determined to use them all somewhere!!) and for the centerpieces at each table. At each table, we arranged three vases with a stack of books— some old, some new, some painted— and a few small candles. Joy and her best gal-pals chose to do the DIY program at The Flowerman in Centerville, Ohio. I must say, for non-floral experts, they did an amazing job!

There was a tattoo station (fake tattoos, of course) set up in the corner of the theater with an antique sofa, chairs, and trunk where guests could put on fun and quirky tattoos for the celebration. The pink vintage chair and coffee table trunk were also rented from One Fine Day. A photo booth was also set up with crazy costumes and charming signs; the pictures were printed on the spot so the guests could walk away with memorabilia from the event. Probably my favorite part of the decorations was a backdrop with beautiful lyrics from ’Not With Haste’ by Mumford and Sons written on it. The backdrop was used during the ceremony and then was moved to the photo booth for the dinner and reception.


I have been to a few weddings in my life, but I have never really experienced all of the behind the scene details. It really is an all day production! I felt so official with my walkie-talkie headset, even though I don’t think I actually figured out how to effectively use it until the end of the night. After their hair and makeup appointments, the bridal party arrived around 3:30 pm (a little late, but that’s why we left some wiggle room in the timeline!) and pictures started soon after our first mini emergency. There was an issue with the dress so Kelly, another intern, and I ran down a couple blocks to CVS to get a sewing kit and double sided tape, I was stressed to say the least. But the dress was fixed and the day went on. The super awesome photographers from Fyrefly Photography (Sarah & Carly) began with shooting Joy getting ready and then “the first look” between Joy and Ryan. Then they took off with the rest of the bridal party, including the flower girl, Ryan’s adorable and perky daughter Aubrey, to take pictures in the photo studio. Soon after they all returned, guests began to arrive and it was time to start the ceremony.

Joy and Ryan have one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever heard. I was assigned to send Joy down from the balcony when it was time for her to walk down the aisle. So, I was able to witness her last moments before she became Mrs. Joy Heitkamp. The ceremony began with a ten-minute video explaining Joy and Ryan’s story. Ryan was previously married to a woman named Amanda. She got very sick, and Joy was there to help take care of her as she passed. After her death, Joy and Ryan got to know each other better, and eventually grew closer, and then fell in love. After the video, Ryan's Best Man (his brother) and few other good friends beautifully sang The Avett Brothers’ song, I and Love and You.

I cry… a lot. I cry when I’m happy, sad, mad, overwhelmed, I cry when I’m laughing, when I’m feeling sentimental— the point is, my tear ducts are a little bit overactive. Needless to say, the touching video and ceremony definitely got the waterworks going. Thankfully I had a moment to pull myself together as the ceremony proceeded. After the ceremony, we flipped the room as the guests had a cocktail hour. We moved a few of the tables from the back and rearranged the chairs for the reception. At this point, I began to really regret my shoe choice. My black flats were cute, but they were nowhere near broken in, and by hour nine on my feet, they were not feeling great. But hey, you live and you learn. The rest of the night flew by. Guests went through the dinner buffet, and after we sorted out some seating chart issues, we got to get a plate too (perks!!) and take a break as everyone ate and the reception unfolded.

The reception began to die down around 11:00 pm. As the last guests thinned out, we packed everything back up— extremely efficiently, I might add. WE DID IT!! The day was long and tiring, but it was even more fun and rewarding. During the reception, guests and members of the bridal party continually thanked and congratulated us on a job well done. I came home planning to immediately pass out, but ended up looking through pictures and excitedly telling my parents every detail before I finally got to sleep. I can’t wait to do it all again soon!

xoxo- Olivia

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Monday, May 18, 2015

"Wed" with Color

While the dress may be white or ivory, and the suit black or grey the rest of the wedding is in color. And while you may have a color in mind, finding the perfect wedding palette can sometimes be difficult. Color can help contribute to a wedding theme or even be theme. While working at David's Bridal I would work day in and day out helping brides try to find their palette. Below I have compiled a few palettes to help picking the colors of your wedding.

First things first: It's your wedding! You can have as many colors as you like and as few colors as you like! If you would like the entire RAINBOW of colors in your wedding, it can be accomplished. My rule of thumb though is normally no less than 2, no more than 4. 

Blue, Yellow, & Grey
This is one of my favorite color combinations, especially with brides who are wanting a rustic or outdoors wedding. You can use any shade of the colors although I prefer the pale versions of the colors.

Red & Black
Looking for a more classic combination? Red and Black is the way to go! Bridesmaid dresses can be black with red heels. You can wear red heels. Red roses could be in the bouquet. You have endless options and possibilities with this classic combination. 

Coral, Mint, & Gold
This is a new twist on an old favorite. Coral is one of the most popular colors and mint is becoming a very popular color. Thus putting them together and adding some gold you cannot go wrong! Plus if you do not like one of the three color, any two also work really well together.

Light Green, Cream, Light Pink, & Gold
Go neutral! This combination is all about nature. Keeping things neutral with little pops of color can really make a wedding stand out and compliment almost any theme!

Purple & Royal Blue
Wanting a more rich color scheme? Purple and royal blue will add some elegance and richness to the whole wedding. You can even add a more neutral color such as grey or white  if you feel a little over the top. However these colors really can complement each other well. 

While I have only given you five palettes of inspiration, the list really can go on and on. If you love the colors together then it is a workable palette. Need some help incorporating all the colors you want together? Hire a Wedding Planner! We can help you make sure your wedding is exactly as you want through every aspect including the design and color!

Happy Planning (And  Coloring)!

~ Jennifer O.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

4 Ways to Pop The Question {To Your Bridesmaids}

So, he popped the question. Now it's your turn! Asking your besties to be your bridesmaids is one of the items that should be early on your wedding planning timeline! Popping the question to your gal-pals should be fun and special. So, here are 4 ways for you to pop the question!

1. Personalized Hanger
Personalized hangers for your bridesmaids with a note saying "I need my best girls to hang with me on **date of your wedding**!! Will you be my bridesmaid?” is sure to be a hit. Your bridesmaids can use these to hang their dress for the big day and they can keep it for memorabilia! 

2. Fortune Cookie
Use a fake or real fortune cookie to propose to your bridesmaids. Bonus points if you fill them with confetti! 

3. Unravel Me Fabric
Your besties will love unraveling this fabric to find that you have asked them to join their bridal party! We suggest you write on the ribbon fabric with this saying: "I need you to make sure I don't unravel before the big day...will you be my bridesmaid?!"

4. Paper Chain
For long distance bridesmaid, or just for a nice surprise via snail mail, send your girls a paper chain! You will get deja vu from your childhood Christmas decorating by crafting these adorable chains together! 

How do you plan on popping the question?! 


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Thursday, April 9, 2015

4 Wedding Reception Send Off Ideas

So what happens when the last song of the night is over and your feet are throbbing from a night of dancing at the reception? You may think, Is this really it? It’s all over? As much as you may not want the party to end, there is one last thing that some newlyweds choose to have to cap of the night; an official send off! There are plenty of fun and unique ways to showcase your personality into the final experience of the night. Here are just 4 ideas!

  1. Confetti
    • Who doesn’t love to be a kid again and throw confetti? This is a colorful and easy approach to help celebrate. For a couple that may be eco-friendly, use recycled paper. For a crafty bride, choose to use punch-outs and make different shapes. Use many different colors or the colors of the wedding. Cupcake liners, poppers, balloons, etc. can all be used to hold the confetti until thrown. 
  2. Sparklers 
    • This trend seems to be more and more popular. For beautiful photos and a late night send off, the idea of sparklers seems to be a good fit for almost any type of wedding. Make sure your guests know to simultaneously light the sparklers so they all go off at the same time, or create a wave effect as the couple walks. Remember to check fire codes with your venue (in case of an emergency) and have a water bucket nearby to help ensure the sparklers are extinguished! 
  3. Bells
    • One of my favorite sounds is that of a ringing bell. I find it to be exciting and beautiful. Now, I do not mean to ring cow bells and make the newlyweds feel like they are at a cattle call. I mean the petite dainty bell that produces a sweet sounds. A harmonic and classy touch to any wedding will make the couple feel on cloud 9. Bells can also be adorned to match the theme of the night. 
  4. Bird Seed 
    • For an outdoor wedding, birdseed is a natural choice. It is similar to confetti or the traditional rice, but is an alternative that is good for the environment. I like the idea of birdseed as well because it is a variety of neutral colors that will look well against any wedding palette. Plus, you get the opportunity to incorporate a play on words (so much fun)! For instance, "For the Love Birds" would be an obvious phrase.
Other send off ideas: balloons, flowers petals, bubbles, ribbon wands, glow sticks, leaves, glitter, and sprinkles (yum!).

Regardless of what you choose, just remember that this simple touch will keep the wedding spirit alive and get everyone excited for the couple's new life ahead.

Are you planning on having an official send off at your wedding? Did you have one at your wedding? Tell us, we want to know!! 


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

5 Reasons To Attend the Lebanon BrewHAHa

As event planners, we do not just help people plan their perfect wedding. While we do that, we also work on so many other events. One of those events is a Craft Beer Festival called the Lebanon BrewHAHa. On April 25th, 2015 hundreds will gather at the Warren County Fair Grounds to taste craft beer, eat some great food, and enjoy some amazing entertainment. Still on the fence about whether or not to purchase a ticket? Well then you definitely need to read the reasons below as to why you should!

1. BEER, BEER, and more BEER. This is a craft beer festival and tasting featuring 12 different brewing companies. With all these breweries, everyone is bound to enjoy some great tasting beers. 

2. Did someone say food trucks? We cannot have everyone drinking and not provide some options for food. There will be grilled food, ice cream, grilled cheese and even waffles making food not a problem for those in attendance. 

3. The Entertainment: After all, it is a BrewHAHa. We would not be very good at our jobs if we did not supply impressive entertainment. There will be three different comedians and, of course, some great music from Vanguard.  

4.  Different Ticket Options: We know not everyone is the same so we have offered different packages for attendance. You may want VIP ($65) or General Admission ($45). You may be the Designated Driver ($15) or just want to come for the entertainment ($10). Even if you make up your mind last minute you can buy your ticket at the door ($55). Whatever you decide there is an option for you. PLUS, if you use the promo code: SIMPLY you will get $10 off your ticket (Only valid for VIP and General Admission tickets).

5. All for a good cause. This event is not all about beer tasting and entertainment. Rather by attending the event (purchasing your ticket) you are helping the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Youth Orchestra. Meaning while you are having fun, you are also supporting a great cause!

Still undecided? Check out for more information and to purchase your tickets!

Want to do more? Become a sponsor of the event! We would love to have you!!

So mark your calendars, find a babysitter, and purchase your ticket to attend the first annual Lebanon BrewHAHa.

Hope to see you there!!!

- Jennifer O. 

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