Thursday, November 29, 2012

Little White Dress

Wardrobe change anyone? Yes, please!

The craze over having two wedding dresses has slowly evolved over the past three years and trickled down to even brides on a budget.  The first wave of two-gowned brides were those with unlimited budgets.  For the ceremony, they wanted lavish princess ballgowns adorned with ornate detailing and enough bling to last a lifetime.  Then once the formalities were finished, they opted to change into another wedding gown which was more fitted to the reception atmosphere.  However, these second dresses were just as pricey as the first.

As more and more brides caught wind of this trend, they knew they wanted a piece of this fashionable movement.  Over the past few years, even budget-brides have found a way to make their guests do a double look as they enter the reception!

Check out some of our top Little White Dresses ranging from under $100 to $5,000!

One Shoulder Dress just $76 from Dillard's
Blush Chiffon Dress only $168 from Dillard's
Satin-Faced Organza Dress with Tulle Overlay on sale for just $299 from David's Bridal

Ivy & Aster's Sweet Dreams flirty lace dress priced evenly at $1,000
Silk White Chantilly Lace Illusion Neckline Mini with Corset Bodice and Natural Waist 2" Lace Bow Belt from
Monique Lhuillier. Price legend indicates this stunning little white dress is between $3,500 - $5,000.

Tell us, did you change or are you going to change into a little white dress?!

We couldn't put all of our favorites on here, so make sure you check out our Little White Dress Pinterest board!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winter Wedding: Pros & Cons

Do you LOVE the idea of being a winter wedding bride?  There are so many beautiful elements and unique styling opportunities for the winter season. However, before you book that January celebration, make sure you understand all the pros and cons!

  • Cheaper Venues
    • Throughout your wedding venue search, you may have noticed that they have 'peak' season (April-October) pricing and 'off' season (November - March) pricing.  Winter months are not the most popular for weddings and often will result in you being able to get a venue for a less expensive fee. 
    • Whether it be a room rental fee or a food & beverages minimum requirement, the winter months will certainly be your best friend if you are a bride on a budget!
  • Less Competition for Vendors
    • Similar to wedding venues having peak and off seasons, so do wedding vendors.  For instance; in October, Simply Events had a wedding 3 out of the 4 weekends and the forth weekend, we had a wedding planning design session.  Talk about a busy month!
    • However, over the winter season, things tend to slow down and vendors are willing to lower their fees in order to book a gig! 
  • Church Decor is...well, finished! 
    • You probably wont have to spend much money, if any money at all, on church decor.  Many churches already have holiday decor set up.  If you communicate your colors, and your style with the church, they may even order flowers to match your vision! 
  • Weather
    • I know this is an obvious con, however, it is still one to mention.  Make sure you are aware of all the possible weather disasters that could occur.  For instance, snow storms, blizzards, ice, hail, bad rain, etc. 
    • Many people respond to this con with, "it can ran any month of the year and 'ruin' a wedding day.'  First off, a wedding day can never be ruined in my opinion!! Secondly, this is not just something to consider for your guests but also vendors that you hire to be part of your day. 
      • For instance, what if your cake deliver slips on ice while carrying the cake? Or what if your DJ/Band wreck because of the bad weather?  All of these scenarios and more, must be considered when choosing to go with a winter wedding. 
      • I'm not giving these instances to scare you away from winter weddings.  These are just some thoughts that come a wedding planners mind - after all, I'm always prepared for every situation and possible disaster! At Simply Events, we always have a Plan A, B, C, and D!!
  • All Indoor Photos -- unless you want to brave the cold!
    • This is not a huge deal really. But sometimes it is nice to have outdoor photos in your wedding attire!
  • Flowers
    •  Most flowers are available all year round, however, if the flower(s) you want are not blooming within a 250-300 mile radius, then you're going to have to pay for shipping, which could obstruct the budget.
Are you a winter wedding bride? Share with us why you choose the winter season! 

Stay tuned for Spring Wedding: Pros & Cons coming soon!
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Deals From Wedding Vendors!

Here are some GREAT deals from a few of Cincinnati's top wedding vendors!!

Wedding Planner:
Simply Events - Free 60 minute massage for the bride on the morning of her wedding with the booking of any package! Contact Catie for additional information! 

Party Pleasers DJ - $300 towards upgrades
DJ Butlers - $695 DJ package marked down to just $495. That's a $200 savings!

BRIDEface - 20% off FACEing classes

Are you a vendor? 
Feel free to message me or leave a comment promoting your #cybermonday deal! :)
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Be Thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving family & friends.  I am truly blessed and I have SO much to be thankful for this year.  Remember to enjoy the small things in life, love & cherish every single day, and most importantly give thanks!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Halloween Extravaganza

At the beginning of October, I received a phone call about an interested party thrower who needed a party planner's expertise for her Haunted Halloween Extravaganza! I was Immediately excited and had so many ideas running through my head.  Simply Events was hired to help with everything!  That means we participated in venue searching and selecting, menu development, budget management, invitations, vendor recommendations and management, and much much more!!

You may remember the spooktacular invitations I blogged about a month ago or even the funky Halloween food names we came up with.  Well, now it's time to see the whole party come together! Enjoy these spooktacular images from the party! 

Event Vendors:
Event Planning, Coordinating, Styling, & Design: Simply Events: Full Service Event Planning
Photography: Randy Bick Photography
Venue: Four Bridges Country Club
DJ: DJ Butlers
Entertainment: Cincinnati Circus
Cake & Desserts: The Little Baker, Cakes & Pastries by Marlo

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Patterns in Your Palette

In 2013, I predict to see a lot of patterns mixed in with the wedding color palette.  With the meteoric rise of chevron, bold stripes, and geometric shapes becoming a trend in house decorating and fashion, I expect for it to have a appearance in the wedding industry as well.  I mean, just take a look at my blog head background - I'm a lover of all things chevron! :)

If you like the idea of using patterns but are unsure of how, here are some inspiration images! Some from Simply Events events/weddings and some from Pinterest, of course!

Bold damask patterns on linens is a great way to add wow factor to your wedding decor! 
Purple is another trend that will saturate the 2013 wedding year.

This sequin chevron linen is amazing and would be such a great style element to any wedding.  If specialty linens do not fit into your budget, maybe splurge by getting something special for the sweetheart table or cake table!

If an entire table linen is too much pattern for you, you can always choose a table runner! Stylistically, runners look best on a banquet table versus a round table.

If you really want to be bold with patterns, you can incorporate them into your bridesmaids dresses.  If having all of your best girls wear a pattern is too much for you, then you may opt for just the maid of honor to wear a bold floral dress! Mixing and matching your bridesmaids is another trend that has been consistent in the wedding world for a couple of years now!

Another way to incorporate patterns in your wedding is with the cake. There are so many possibilities when it comes to the design of your cake. To make sure you are prepared for your cake tasting, make sure you brush up on our Know Before You Go blog! 

These are just a few of the ways you can add bold patterns to your big day.  
For more ideas, contact Catie!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pre-Wedding Day Skincare

Many brides ask me about pre-wedding day skincare and what habits they should be implementing.  So, I decided to reach out to Cincinnati's most sought after makeup artist, Nancy Dawson, owner & founder of BrideFACE. Here is what Nancy suggests for brides!
  • If you are at least six months out from your wedding:
    • DO start regular facials once a month.
    • DO NOT get your very first facial the week of your wedding!! 
  • Facials can bring a lot of impurities to the surface.  However, giving your skin 6 months is the perfect span of time to see real improvements in your skin.  
  • Nancy sends her clients to Cincinnati Plastic Facial Surgery. 
    • They do an amazing job with peels, which are great for controlling acne, diminishing sun damage, and helping the smoothness and clarity of your skin.  They also do fantastic regular facials.
Nancy emphasized, "If you don't already have good skin habits, now it the time to implement them.  It's never too late!" She also listed out these helpful tips!
  • NEVER go to bed with makeup on - it's like marinating in your makeup
  • Keep your hands OFF your face
  • ALWAYS wear sunscreen every time you leave the house! 
So, there you have it! Nancy's pre-wedding day skincare tips! Do you have more questions?! Leave a comment!

Catie's tip:
I always tell my brides they should get their eyebrows waxed at least 1 week before the big day! If you do it a couple of days before your wedding, then the make up that covers the waxed portion of your eyrebrow will have a slightly different coloring than the rest of your makeup.  So, make sure you get that appointment set ahead of time!  

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Claus for a Cause

I know we haven't had Thanksgiving yet, but if you're anything like me, then you have started thinking about the family photo that will go on your Christmas card! This year, I have teamed up The Dragonfly Foundation of Cincinnati and one of my best friends, Sarah Lane, to offer the tri-state area the opportunity to get your picture taken with Santa Claus!! 

Sarah and her family will be generously opening their home for you, your kids, and your family and friends on Tuesday, December 4th.  Trust me when I say, this is going to be much better than standing in line at the mall for hours!

A gift that will benefit The Dragonfly Foundation of Cincinnati and a camera! 

Santa Claus, cookies, and hot chocolate!!

RSVP is not required but it is very much appreciated!

Tuesday, December 4th
5:30p - 8:30p
3132 Boulder Drive, Burlington, KY 41005

The Dragonfly Foundation
“Bringing Comfort and Joy to Kids and Young Adults with Cancer or a Blood Disease”

Christmas Wish List 
*All items must be new and in their original wrapping*
Gift Cards to places like: Kroger, Target, Wal-Mart, national chain restaurants, iTunes, gas cards. Etc. 
Toys for Infants (nothing plush)
Toys/Games for Toddlers (nothing plush)
Toys/Games for Preschoolers
Toys/Games for School Age Children
Toys/Games for Teenagers & Young Adults
Children’s Books
Lego Sets
Night Lights
Thank You Note Packs
Ziploc Bags (Any Size)
Mesh Laundry Bags 
Unscented Laundry Detergent
Unscented Dryer Sheets
Accordion file folders
Magnetic dry-erase boards (8.5” x 11”)

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Friday, November 9, 2012

6 Things to Remember When Creating Your Playlist for Your Wedding Reception

If you haven't noticed yet, this week has been all about reception music.  On Monday, I wrote about "7 Things to Look For in a DJ" and on Wednesday I wrote about "3 Perks to Hiring a Live Band"

Both of these options require a paid vendor for your wedding or event and I realize that sometimes budgets do not allow for them.  So, what is the other option? An iPod, of course!

If you remember from last Friday's Facebook question, two people checked iPod as their form of wedding entertainment.

What we recommend for those who are wanting to venture into the world of creating a playlist for your big night, is to do some serious research! Believe it or not, playing the role of an emcee/DJ/band is much more difficult than it seems. 

Here are 6 things to remember when creating your play list:
  1. Before you can create the playlist, you must first map out the order of events for your reception. 
    1. If you're having a difficult time creating the order of events, contact me for some assistance.  I offer this as an a-la-carte option!
  2. Your first dance song will NOT be the first song on the list! Don't forget about those super fun and upbeat introduction songs!
  3. Make sure you plug in some slow dance songs to give your guests a break! But DO NOT do this too often or you will be breaking up the party too much! 
  4. Play a range of music towards the beginning of the reception to please all generations.
  5. Towards the middle of the reception and for the rest of the night, play music that will be well received by all the guests still there.  
  6. Image from Google Images
    • Typically towards the middle and end of the night, you're closest family and friends are the only ones left! So, this is the time to play music to that generation. 
    • In most cases, grandmas and grandpas do not like the bump & grind music - so save that for later! 
  7.  Assign someone to be the master of the iPod.  No matter how perfectly planned out the music list is, you will still need someone to 'man the station' to make sure guests are not coming over and choosing their own songs! 

Another form of entertainment that a Facebook friend wrote in was a magician.  This individual did not specify whether it was for their wedding or another type of event.  Either way, magician are loved by all ages.  At the Halloween party from October 26, we hired the Cincinnati Circus as the children's entertainment and a wondering magician was the talk of the night.  The kids loved it and the adults were amazed at his skills! 

 Did you have forms of entertainment that differ from a DJ, band, iPod, or magician? Please share! :)

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

3 Perks to Hiring a Live Band!

Having a live band at your wedding/event was the 2nd place winner of last Friday's Facebook poll.  It captured 21% of the votes and Mr. Jacobs (a Simply Events friend) commented about they type of band he and his wife hired.  He said, "We had a 2 or 3 piece classical group for the cocktail hour before the reception. Then, we had a big band/blues/jazz type band for the reception."

Some couples and event hosts are hesitant to hiring bands because they do not know their style/sound.  What we suggest is that if you find a band that has great reviews or that has been referred to you, make a point to attend one of their shows.  By seeing them in their performing element you will be able to tell if they are the right band for you!

The wedding of Stephanie & Ammon on October 13th, 2012 hired the Naked Karate Girls ( for their reception and they rocked the house! We are still waiting on the professional pictures from this wedding!

Here are a 3 perks to hiring a LIVE band for your wedding reception or next event!
  1. Visual entertainment - your guests will be able to get a show along with hearing great music for the night!  
  2. Quality of sound - bands have a lot of high tech equipment that allows them to properly 'fill the room' with music.  
  3. Instant atmosphere created - themes are a common thing when it comes to weddings and events. If you are going for a specific theme, you can find a band that has that same style, which in turn, will add to the overall experience for your guests.

Bobbie Strobhar
In addition to live music at your reception, you can also have live music at your ceremony versus playing music off a CD.  This is a great way to add an element of elegance to your wedding ceremony. My mom always wanted a harpist at her wedding but never got around actually hiring one.  So, of all the decisions to be made, I knew for sure that hiring a live harpist to play during my ceremony was not negotiable!  

If you're looking for trusted vendors recommendations, contact Catie today via the contact form on the Simply Events website!

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Monday, November 5, 2012

7 Things to Look For in a DJ!

In a effort to NOT make this blog extremely long, I am going to touch on DJ's only today.  Stay tuned for more information about bands on Wednesday's post. Then on Friday, I will get into more details about the option of an iPod and magician! 

Last Friday, we asked our Facebook friends:

"What type of entertainment did you have or are you having at your wedding or next event?"

The most common form of entertainment at weddings/events is a DJ.  Of the 38 votes, 71% hired or will be hiring a DJ service for their big night.  DJ's are extremely budget friendly and they allow you to hear the exact versions of your favorite songs.  

7 things to look for in a DJ!
  • Experience - how many weddings has your DJ emceed? 
  • Training - has the DJ learned by sole 'trial and error' or has he/she been trained by an experienced DJ service? 
  • Great reviews/referrals - check out the wedding websites to see what other brides/grooms are saying about that particular DJ service.
  • Playlists/Music Sheet - do they play from a Top 200 list, or will they customize a playlist based on your likes/dislikes. 
  • Equipment - make sure they have some type of backup system for the music. You never know when technology will fail you!
  • Personality - when you meet with a potential DJ, make sure he/she has a great personality and that meshes well with yours.  You want to ensure that he/she will make a good emcee for the entire night of the wedding.
  • Dress - my clients always look at me funny when I ask they DJ what he/she will be wearing. However, I have saved a DJ loads of discomfort from showing up in tux when the rest of the wedding party was simply going to be in casual suits! Make sure that you communicate what you want him/her to wear! 
If you're looking for a great DJ for your wedding or next event, contact Catie for vendor recommendations that suit your style and budget!

Group photo from Catie's wedding
DJ and lighting: Party Pleasers
Photo credit: Ron Wood Photography
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