Illinois

Uncategorized

My Favorite Fashion Time of The Year

Golden Globes4

One of my favorite times of the year is the Award Shows ~ it allows me to look at all the fashion, hair, accessories and make-up on the red carpet.  Sunday was a "holiday" for me.  I sat down with a glass of wine, twitter and the television.  There are many ways that you can see the trends in fashion ~ a lot of black, a lot of color blocked dresses, and hair was mainly worn down looking very sleek. Below I have my top five dresses of the evening.  Critics may not agree, but I fell in love with each one of these!  Resse Witherspoon topped my list ~ LOVED the color of her dress!!

Golden Globes4

Golden Globes6

Golden Globes1

GoldenGlobes5

Golden Globes 3

And now we wait for the Academy Awards!

~ Best

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anniversaries

Reaffirming Wedding Vows

Senior Couple

Reaffirming wedding vows has become an increasingly popular way to celebrate a significant anniversary or to have the formal event that a civil ceremony did not provide. Couples may choose to repeat their original vows or they may wish to write new ones that express the way their love has grown over the years.

Generally invitations are not sent unless the ceremony is large and elaborate.

The ceremony options are varied.  Some couples choose to hold the ceremony and reception in their home or they my arrange for a church with a reception to follow in a restaurant.  Ceremony details are worked out with the officiant. If it is to be part of a regular religious service, the church will dictate the procedure.  If it is to be a separate ceremony with a large guest list, much of the procedure is likely to be similar to a second wedding.

Some reaffirmations are limited to family only and others include a wide circle of friends they have acquired over the years.  Either way, it is a nice touch to include children and even grandchildren in the ceremony.  With family members participating, it reaffirms the love of not just the parents but the entire family they have created.

Generally the attire they have chosen is dressy but not as formal as that of a wedding.  The bride may chose to carry a modest bouquet or wear a corsage.  For those couples that wish to reaffirm vows in an exotic location, a call to the resort or hotel where they plan to stay is important.  A resident consultant can help implement plans and suggest new ideas.

~ Best,

Laura

 

Brides, Grooms, Uncategorized, Weddings

Say Cheese!

picture

The Picture Dilemma

 
 The Problem: It’s the middle of July. You have been waiting for 45 minutes and now you are finishing the last of the roasted chicken and green beans. You sit in a hot, crowded room with 130 other wedding guests waiting for one of your best friends and her husband to finally finish the pictures and walk through the door. While this scenario is annoying, it can be avoided.
 
The Plan: Many engaged couples are planning their pictures before the ceremony; this cuts down on the wait time after the ceremony ends. Your guests have come to spend this special day with you; don’t make them wait forever to congratulate you.
 
If you are planning on having a meal at your wedding, this is an option you might want to consider. You have spent so much time and money preparing for this special day. Take time and enjoy it!

Corporate Events

i have a voice ~ 2nd Annual GiGi's Playhouse Gala

This blog post is near and dear to me.  As some of you know that I have grown up with individuals with disabilities.  My father ran Illinois Growth Enterprises for many many years and I was fortunate enough to learn from him about the importance of giving people chances that they wouldn't normally get in every day society.  I was amazed as a child that he had the patience at work that he also shared with us at home.  It is a gift!! Last year the first I have a Voice Gala for GiGi's Playhouse was held and Accent on Events was proud to be asked back to assist with this years event again.  Dr. Brian Skotko was the key note speaker and we were lucky to have Aaron Wilson emcee the evening for us.

GiGi’s Playhouse centers evolved into educational centers with a focus on national awareness for Down syndrome. All of our programs are free to our families and are therapeutic in nature.

In just 9 years, 12 Playhouses have opened and  there are more in the works! GiGi’s is committed to the important mission of spreading positive and accurate information about Down syndrome through education. We know that by helping individuals with Down syndrome reach their highest potential, we can change outdated perceptions that people may have. The end result is a world that is empowered with knowledge, compassion, and inspiration – what a better place for all of us!

Here is an inspiring video of how fun the Playhouse can be!

GiGi's Playhouse Rockford

Here are the photos from the evening.  It was so enjoyable and I was thrilled to be a part of it!

Uncategorized

Flowers.....Flowers.....Flowers

Choosing the flowers for your wedding can be a big decision.  Picking the style, color and budget allocations can be daunting.  But if you spend some time thinking about what you want, the selections of these important wedding accessories can give you the WOW factor you want for your wedding. Selecting a florist is an important first step.  Ask for suggestions.  View florists whose work you like.  Ask to see photos from actual weddings they have done.

Think about how you will fund the flowers you want.  As you establish your wedding budget, think about the role you expect flowers to play.  We generally suggest a three part budget allocation.  Flowers for the reception are an important consideration since this is where guests will see flowers first hand.  We recommend the largest allocation here.

Secondly are flowers for the wedding party and immediate family.  Remember that bridal party bouquets are the most heavily photographed so don't cut too many corners there.  Having bridesmaids carry a single rose for example, can be economical, but remember that single buds tend to look strange in photographs with stems sticking out in several directions.  Bridesmaids tend to carry them awkwardly.

Third and finally, consider ceremony flowers.  The church or venue will likely give you guidelines as to what is allowed.  If the space is huge, consider filling it with greenery.

Below are some flower ideas for your special day, including some our favorite bouquets!

Best ~ Laura

Photos Courtesy ~ Sprouthome.com

Weddings

Jon and Lauren ~ Real Wedding

"Jonathan and Lauren's story began a little over 11 years ago.  Details aside, their love for one another definitely forced the hands of fate.  They realized that life seemed perfect with the other in it, and their love for one another was unstoppable." I met this couple for the first time and knew that this wedding would be off the charts!  The ceremony and reception was held at The Prairie Street Brewhouse in Rockford, Illinois.   When planning the ceremony they wanted to do something non-traditional so they wrote their own vows which included a "Beer Ceremony" instead of a traditional unity candle.  They wanted the largest dance floor they could have and planned to be on it all night long.  With that said ~ that is what exactly happened!  What a transformation we made.  The original color palette started with a pale yellow and gray with a little bit of the vintage look.  Halfway through our meetings the colors came alive and below is what we ended up with.  Such a whimsical and fun look!  The day called for rain in the forecast but all that we ended up with were some pretty blustery winds!!

These two were such a fun couple!  Always having new ideas and incorporating them through the whole planning process.  I hope you enjoy the photos!

 

Wedding Planning and Coordination Services:  Accent on Events

Photography:  Heirlooms by Stephanie

Venue:  Prairie Street Brewhouse ~ Rockford, IL

DJ and Lighting Services:  Luxe Productions

Florist:  Event Floral

Specialty Linens:  Beautiful Day Linens

Cake:  Sweet Pans Shoppe

Officiant:   Ryan Krause ~ Elegant Wedding Services

Catering:  Famous Dave's

 

Best ~ Laura

Weddings

Wedding Themes and Trends

Chateau

While is is fun to get ideas from these themes, what matters most is that the bride and groom have a wedding which is true to their vision.  The theme that the couple selects should have some personal relevance and meaning to them as a couple.  Why bother with a theme?  It provides a sense of community to all decisions made about the wedding - from the gowns to the lowers to the reception venue and the foods chosen. Decisions are so much easier once the theme for the wedding is established.  Whether it is a color or a location or a time period or event, the focus is there to insure that this life changing celebration is memorable for participants and guests alike.

  • History lovers may wish to be married in the "Roaring Twenties" of F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Art Deco can be the design focus.  Jazz was king and flappers wore short gowns and bling was everywhere.

  • World travelers  - or - dreamers will find a wonderful theme in exotic locations.  Tropical isles, far Eastern spots or Scottish highlands all provide a structure for food, decor, dress or paper products.

  • Bright colors against neutral backgrounds can be very effective.  Instead of carrying out a color theme in the brides maids dresses, have them in a basic shade like platinum and carry out the color theme in the flowers and reception decor.

  • The ceremony and/or reception location can provide the theme for a wedding.  If a museum is chose as the venue, art and sculpture become the theme.  If a garden or beach or ranch is chosen as the site, the theme becomes clear.

  • Medieval accents combines with fairy tail touches work well in historic buildings or modern redos which retain the original stone walls and structures.

If you are confused about how to execute a themed wedding or want to avoid overdoing it ~ Contact us!!  We know weddings!!

 

Best ~ Laura

Uncategorized, Weddings

A Wedding Dream....Etsy

Etsy Veil

For day three ~ our blog post today is about our favorite finds on Etsy for Weddings.  There are so many that it took quite awhile to narrow it down and show just a few of our favorites.  If you are looking for something unique and fabulous you will be sure to find it on Etsy.  

Our favorite Item #1 ~ Chevron Clutch from This Lady Made it

This is perfect for Brides to give for Bridesmaids Gifts and keep one to use for themselves.

 

Our Favorite Item #2 ~ Guest Book Puzzle from Puzzled One

What a unique way to keep your guest book over the years.

 

Our Favorite Item #3 ~ Cuff Links for the Groom from The Pretty Peacock

These will be a keepsake for the Groom of their wedding day.

 

Our Favorite Item #4 ~ Personalized Hanger from Get Hung Up

A perfect keepsake for your wedding dress.

 

 Our Favorite Item #5 ~ Card Holder from Kelly Marie Collection

This is ideal to show your engagement Photos to your guests as they place the card in the holder on your wedding day.

 

Our Favorite Item #6 ~ Monogram Sign from Script and Style

This is definitely something to hang in your new home as husband and wife.

 

Our Favorite Item # 7 ~ Wedding Bandeau Veil from Fascinating Creations

A beautiful addition to your wedding dress!

 

Our Favorite Item #8 ~ Wedding Dress Pendant from Green Grass Gifts

Take a piece of your wedding with you everyday.

 

Our Favorite Item #9 ~ Wedding Ring Pillow from Paloma's Nest

A fabulous keepsake to put your rings in every night!

 

Our Favorite Item #10 ~ Thank you cards from That Pretty Invitation

An amazing idea to thank your guests as they sit down for your wedding reception!

Enjoy all these items and everything more that Etsy can bring you when looking for wedding inspiration!!

Best ~ Laura

Brides

Wedding Shoes......A Must!

One of my favorite items to pick out for weddings is the shoes...well any type of shoe is fun to pick out for me!  I am a shoe lover and today I wanted to bring you several of my favorite wedding shoes.  Make sure that you have comfortable shoes since you will be on your feet most of the day.  There are so many brands and styles to choose from.  You can even wear one type for the ceremony and one for the reception.  It is up to you!   Enjoy ~

Best ~Laura

Brides

Musts for the Bride-to-Be ~ It's Engagement Season!

Engagement Ring

 

 

 

 

As engagement season starts and weddings are starting to be planned at the expense of other aspects of your life, take the advice I give you and Practice Self Care. Do whatever you need to do to unwind, relax and sleep well.  Take your vitamins, get healthy exercise and find emotional outlets for the stress you are under.   You need to be strong, healthy and resilient.

Get and Stay Organized ~ start early and document every decision around your special day

Set a Budget and Stick To It ~ Sit down together with your fiance and agree on priorities

Remember to Be Grateful For All That You Have and All That Others Are Doing For You ~ Don't forget to thank everyone.   ~ This is your wedding - not a copy of someone else's.

Let Go of Bridal Guilt ~ No one can make everyone happy all the time.  Worrying about it takes up far more time and energy than is deserved

 

Best ~

Laura

Weddings

Tips from a Planner

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We know that is takes a happy combination of events and planning to produce a "perfect" wedding.  here are a few tips from Accent on Events ~ Certified Wedding Specialist. If you are concerned about a guest list that has gotten out of hand and is too long for your taste or budget, assemble an unedited list of names (potential guests) and ask everyone involved to rank the names from most to least important.  Count up the "most important" names and see what the list looks like.  If it is close to budget, thank everyone and settle the list.  If the numbers are still off, then ask people to cut a designated percentage from their lists.  Take stock of the new total and see if the process needs to be repeated.

Don't even consider sending invitations to an "A" list of guests, only to invite someone from a "B" list when someone from the first list declines.

To determine the size of the site you'll need for your reception, be sure to investigate the parking facilities and the rest rooms as well as the since of the reception room(s).  The rule of thumb for toilets is that there should be at least one for every 25 guests.  The parking lot should accommodate one parking space for every two guests.

Always have at least one attendant assigned to your gift table at your reception (this is something that we will do for you) even if you are not planning to open and display the gifts there.  Money and gifts should be kept in special receptacles and secured.  Many weddings hire special security for the reception to keep an eye on the gifts and to assist in their proper transport after the celebration is over.

If your parents and stepparents are contributing money for your reception, it is much better to pool the money in advance.  Then no contributor will demand to take control of how the money is spent.  If someone feels strongly about "sponsoring" a particular wedding expense, it is far better to know that up front and working with that person to accommodate preferences.

For more helpful advice, call or email us, as we have answers to the most perplexing situations.

Weddings

The Bride's Mother

Mother and Bride

The Mother of the bride has a very special place in the wedding planning process.  The special role is there whether or not she chooses to accept it.  For some, it is truly a "Mission Impossible".  For others it is the role of a lifetime.  But what is important is that she is included.

With families frequently separated by miles, jobs, schools or military service, the parental roles have changed but what has not changed is the importance of including mom in the planning process whenever possible.  Remember to include mothers who feel left out of the plans.

What can you do?  It's great to involve the groom in the plans but don't forget mom.  She can make wonderful suggestions - so ask her opinion and advice.  Chances are excellent that she has more experience in dealing with things like receptions, parties, caterers and florists than has the bride.

Most bridal fashion stores would counsel a bride to bring only one person with her to select her gown.  That person could/should be mom.  Today's tendency to bring the entire wedding party and solicit each of their opinions on THE GOWN, generally is not a productive event.  Who knows you and your tastes and dreams better than MOM?

She is also a good person to have along when you choose wedding accessories and gifts for your attendants.  After all, she has known you for a long time.

She is the perfect person to take charge of the master guest list.  She can eliminate duplicates, help make decisions on the final list and gather the addresses.

Seek advice on, or let her plan the seating arrangements for the reception.  She'll be the one who knows who should sit with whom and who shouldn't be at the same table.

Among all your friends, she'll be the best at helping you put things in perspective when you feel overwhelmed by it all.  That's what mom's do!

Weddings

Illinois Meets Texas

It was May 1, 2012 when I received a phone call from Penny saying that she needed assistance with planning her wedding.  After meeting with 3 different wedding planners, she explained her situation and what she needed.  I knew that I could meet her expectations and create wedding that she had always dreamed of. After my initial meeting with Penny we clicked!!  I knew that this would be more than just a client relationship ~ that we would actually form a friendship for years to come.  My first encounter with her Fiancé Drew was just as great ~ he has the same sense of humor that I do and enjoyed watching the two of them together.  We all had so many laughs together!

Now coming from the City Girl – I knew nothing about ranches and horses, but learning about everything was fascinating.  The wedding was August 4, 2012 on the Perks Ranch in Rockford, Illinois.  This was definitely a wedding that I couldn’t have done without the professional vendors that we used.  As always I was watching the weather the evening before all hours of the night.  The morning of the 4th the decision was made to move the entire reception into the arena.  We worked hard but we got it done.  This was a wise decision because we had a downpour with 70 mile per hour winds at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon just as the ceremony was about to begin.  The weather cleared up and it was a joyous evening for all who attended.

Here is a story that is so fitting for this perfect couple:

Where Illinois meets Texas ~ They were introduced while working horses in Texas and the rest is history

Photography: Ryan Davis Photography

Save the Dates: Printers Specialty Services, Inc.

Florist: Stems Floral and More

Lighting, Music and Sound:  Luxe Productions

Linens and Draping: Beautiful Day Linens

Aisle Runner:  Buttercup Runways

Catering:  Powerhouse BBQ of Oregon and Giovanni’s Restaurant Rockford

Cake: Patricia’s Patisserie

Bride’s Dress: Mahin’s of Monroe

Bridesmaids Dresses: Sara Grace and Co.

Hair and Make up:  Arch Apothecary

Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Sturtevant’s

Live Music:  Brandon Rhyder

Gift Registries

Gifts to Remember

Wine Glasses

 

 

Selecting locations for the gift registries for one's wedding is important and fun.  For your guest's sake, it is wise to select at least three different resources.  Your purpose is to give guests a variety of options and price ranges when it comes time to select your gift.  To that end, experts recommend that you choose at a minimum, one "high-end" store, one moderate/lower priced retailer and perhaps one "non traditional" resource like a charity.  Idofoundation.org is a good place to start as it can help you register for donations to a variety of charities.

As you peruse items for your gift choices, most consultants would remind you to expand your vision of gifts to include items beyond the "usual".  Many couples end up realizing that they have the best equipped kitchen in town, but have no bedroom furnishings.  Seek input and advice from family and friends before you sit down together to develop your list of preferences.  Their ideas may help you to include items that would be helpful that you would never have considered.

REAL SIMPLE magazine asked brides to identify items for the "Things I Wished I'd Registered For" list they were compiling.  Here are some items that made the list:

  • Extra Wine Glasses
  • Oven to table bake ware - one or two casseroles that can go to parties and events and look good.
  • Fine China - too many couples are selecting only something practical to use now.  Brides miss having some fine china to use for special occasions and to "pass on".
  • Bar B Q Grill
  • Art pieces for home decor (consider including an art gallery in your list of registry locations)
  • A cordless drill
  • Decorative pillows and throws for a living room - a quick and effective way to add dash
  • Christmas decorations - something special and classic that the couple could bring out each year
  • Outdoor gear and equipment like Coleman stoves, backyard hammocks or lawn chairs

For more help with your gift registry, please do not hesitate to contact us.  With our experience we can be sure to assist you.

Weddings

Alternate Sites

Outdoor Reception

When a bride asks about ideas for a non traditional wedding site, before we offer suggestions, we ask how flexible she is.  Planning a wedding at an outdoor site requires arranging two sites.  One is the prime location and the other is an alternate.  The weather has been known to ruin many original plans. Don't let that discourage you from having the wedding you want, but do have backup plans in place. An outdoor site can be a perfect spot for those of different religious faiths.  It is a perfect choice for couples who love the outdoors or have families with extensive gardens or grounds.  Often outdoor sites are less expensive than closed venues.

The intimate setting of a chapel, beach, park or backyard offers the freedom to add personal touches to the ceremony.  The location will set the theme for your wedding celebration and once selected make many subsequent choices easier.  Canopies, tents and gazebos may be rented and needed.

Once you have secured Plan A and Plan B. other plans and decisions will flow more easily.  Decorations, food, refreshments, entertainment and guest list will all be governed by the location decisions you have made.

It is good to have another viewpoint and advice on the unusual celebration that you have in mind.  Give me a call at 815-979-7214 or email at Laura@accentonevents.com