Inspiration Boards

Innovative Inspiration: The Kiss

Welcome back to the Innovative Inspiration. In this blog series, we  explore unconventional media which can be used to inspire your wedding. In week 1, we saw Viktor & Rolf’s “Flowerbomb” fragrance inspire a beautiful wedding. Meanwhile, last week, we saw a wedding inspired by the Pixar hit Finding Nemo. For this week’s inspiration, I have chosen a piece of art by Gustav Klimt called “The Kiss.” This work of art very appropriately pictures a male giving his female lover a kiss on the cheek. Shown in gold, these lovers are enjoying a date in a field of flowers. Be sure to check out the Pinterest board and enjoy!

Venue | Because this painting encompasses a very rich color palette, I picture this to be an autumn wedding. So, I would imagine this wedding’s ceremony to be held in a long-standing church with stained glass windows. The reception would be held at a country club in a room with a view of the color-changing landscape.

The ceremony space for this wedding needs little modifying; it will be complete with a simple aisle arrangement, placed at the edge of each pew to bring in not only the autumn colors, but also the easily usable autumn-esque items such as pumpkins and other gourds, cinnamon sticks and multi-colored leaves.     

The reception space for this wedding, unlike the ceremony space, has more room for extravagance. An open country club space calls for plentiful autumn decorations and rich golds and greens from the painting. I picture the space to be dripping with gold, cinnamon and roses to pay homage to Klimt’s piece.

Floral | Although this painting is simple, with a minimalist color palette, that doesn’t mean that the floral arrangements will suffer. One of the first things to consider when putting together a wedding’s floral scheme is the season, which in this case is autumn. So, for this wedding, I would use red roses, baby’s breath, chinaberry, red alstroemeria and rowan berry. This warmly colored floral scheme will pair perfectly with autumn items such as pumpkins, gourds, cinnamon sticks and multi-colored leaves, as mentioned above.

 So, for the actual arranging of these flowers I would choose tall centerpieces in gilded gold vases. In these arrangements, I would place cinnamon sticks among the flowers and scatter miniature pumpkins and various other gourds around the table. This arrangement would perfectly complement the table settings, as discussed in the next section.

Table Settings | Thus far, the planning choices of this wedding favor a complex tablescape; with rich colors such as gold and cranberry, this wedding’s warm and inviting colors will give birth to some of the most pleasant and fond feelings and memories for your guests.  

I would use gold table cloths with a cranberry-colored tulle overlay to foster a warm, autumn environment. Atop this linen scheme, I would set a beautiful table-setting complete with crystal drinkware and utensils. I would use gold opera chairs and weave cranberry-colored tulle through the slats in the backs of these chairs.  

As I can’t discuss every piece of inspiration in depth, I have created a Pinterest board, as mentioned earlier, with both ideas discussed in this blog and new ideas. I hope you have enjoyed this post and seen some new ideas. And keep in mind, this is just one idea way to inspire your wedding day! Stay tuned for more!    

~ Best



Vendor Blog Series.....Questions and Answers From a Wedding Photographer

robyn photo 5

Part 2 of our vendor blog series includes questions that we asked Robyn Aaron from Robyn Photography.  I met Robyn last year at a seminar for wedding professionals and fell in LOVE with her work.  She is a wonderful peer to have in the industry to bounce ideas off of when needing assistance.  She and I worked together on a photo shoot last summer which took place on the beach along Lake Michigan.  It was there that I really noticed the passion and energy  that she has for her talent.  So, I hope we asked the questions that you would want to ask a wedding photographer. How would you describe your photography style?

Modern, but timeless. It’s always my goal to get to know a couple and help showcase the moments of their day in a natural way – in a way that feels like them.  Of all the times you should look happy, relaxed, and lovely in photos; it’s your wedding day!

robyn photo1

How would you describe your working style?

I love making sure my couples have a great wedding photography experience! So, as far as photographers go, I’m probably a little more hands-on than most.  By that, I mean that we’re always glad to be a resource to the couple throughout the planning process.  We love working with the couple, as well as the planner or coordinator, to ensure that their moments are captured in a natural, relaxed way.  In addition, I’m always glad to make recommendations of other really great vendors with whom I’ve worked.  In fact, I have an entire back end of my website dedicated to my couples with tips for their wedding plans, as well as a preferred vendor list.  When all is said and done, my working style is one that is rooted in an attention to detail, a love of what I do, and a care for this couple who has begun an incredible journey together!

What do you think distinguishes your work from other photographers?

Every photographer brings their own unique style and knowledge to a situation – so, that’s such a great question, but it’s so hard not to sound cliché! What distinguishes me from other photographers is… well, me! I’m careful and conscientious of my craft by always continuing my education.  There are so many photographers out there, that this experience and knowledge most certainly sets me apart.  Because I only photograph weddings and engagements and have a great deal of experience with both – I bring an intuitiveness to each lighting situation and couple, and I’m very good at tackling wedding day hiccups or updates in schedules with ease and professionalism.  Plus, we just have SO much fun! Professional doesn’t always have to mean completely serious, but I do believe in a great deal of balance and a great deal of smiling on a wedding day.  Many brides tell me that I’ve been a calming force in their otherwise hectic day and they appreciated me for that.  That is always such an incredible compliment! I’ve worked very hard to make my business feel like an extension of my whole self and reflect my crazy ideals of high quality.  I split my time between the Chicago area and eastern Iowa, but love to travel for weddings.  I enjoy fashion mags, cozy things (read: sweatpants!), the crackle of leaves under my feet in the fall, the smell of lavender, beautiful rustic elements, and Essie Chinchilly nail polish. I enjoy the juxtaposition of my modern, high-end Chicago weddings to my backyard Iowa weddings and everything in-between, and – most importantly – I just adore that I get to photograph love.

robyn photo 4

How can I make sure that I look good in my photos?

Smile! Have fun! Your smile and that giggle you make when he whispers something silly in your ear… those are always the very best accessories! I always recommend that my brides invest in professional hair and makeup, too.  It’s an extra expense, but the pros always know the best way to highlight your best features in a way that also allows the camera to see them.  For example, you should wear about 40% more makeup than you usually wear when you’re being photographed.  Otherwise, you can run the risk of looking pale or tired instead of fresh and happy!  In fact, you might want to even have a trial run on the day of the engagement session to test someone out! You won’t do the exact same makeup/hair that day, of course, but you’ll be able to see how that person works and you’ll have photographic evidence of their work soon afterward.

What sort of touch ups do you do?

You’ll never see images from us that haven’t already been checked for color, quality, and crop.  However, our first goal is to always take the image spot-on with the camera so that those touch-ups are minimal.  While we know how to use the software necessary to make sure you look beautiful, you won’t see any major special effects, vintage overlays, or over-plasticized, Barbie-smooth skin from us. You’ll see modern, timeless, and beautiful.  Natural, but refined. Classic and lovely.  About 25% of the final images we provide will be turned to black and white.  Then, we always double-check an image for any additional edits before it is enlarged for print or the final wedding album. If a couple requests further edits be made – like a distracting element removed from the background – we work with a highly specialized editing firm to ensure it is edited to our high expectations and the quality of the image remains completely intact.  I’m kind of a perfectionist, so you’ll find that we balance our clean, timeless editing style with turnaround times that are appropriate, realistic, and  always above and beyond.

robyn photo 5

What inspired you to become a photographer?

I grew up in a family that placed a high value on moments, as well as marriage. In fact, one of my grandmothers has always had a hallway showcasing multiple generations of the family’s lineage through wedding photos.  I have a copy of one of those images - my great-grandparents’ wedding day in 1926 - framed on my office desk to remind me of how important wedding day memories can be.  It’s a powerful thing to be inspired by love and lineage.  Being a photographer of both, I am always so humbled.  It’s a trust from my clients that I do not take lightly.

On average how many photos are taken during a wedding day?

Oh, I just love the wedding day! Since each couple’s day is different, the final image count varies – especially if it’s an extended wedding weekend or there are many unique details they have incorporated to tell their story!  From an average 8-hour wedding day, my wedding couples average around five hundred final digital images after we cull their day’s images to the best of the best.  It’s always been important for me to offer that service to my couples.  Since there are two of us – myself and an assistant – on the day, it’s important to curate the final images to include multiple perspectives and cut out any potential duplicates or photos where someone’s eyes are closed.  That’s still a lot of photos, but it won’t feel like you’re seeing the same thing over and over again.  It’ll be a fun recap of an incredible day!!!

robyn photo 6

Do you have back up equipment with you for the wedding?

Oh, heck yes! If I can help it, nothing is left to chance.  Insurance. Backup equipment. Stand-ins and my professional photography organization on call, in case of emergency.

How do I pick a good photographer with the many that there are available?

Let’s be real… there are A LOT OF US! If photography is a priority to you (and I’d imagine it is since it helps capture so many important moments as well as all the other stuff you’re spending your hard-earned cash on…and you’ve read this far into the blog post), you’ll want to make sure your photography investment is one you feel gets you the quality you want. It’s a fine balance. So, start with asking yourself whether or not it’s a priority.  If yes, then find a photographer who also makes YOU a priority.  You’ll want to connect with their personality, as you spend a lot of time with them leading up to and especially on your wedding day.  And, of course, you want to enjoy their style.  Make sure that the style is consistent by asking to see full wedding galleries or albums. Then, you’ll want to see what services they offer that fit your needs and tastes. In addition to that, their overall professionalism during meetings, phone and email conversations, as well as reviews from past clients will help give a peek into the experience you’ll have with them throughout the process.  An ideal wedding photographer will have a great deal of knowledge and experience with their equipment in addition to the flow of a wedding day.  It’s that ‘sixth sense’, so to speak, that allows us to capture beautiful, candid moments and make the split decisions with our camera to ensure those moments are captured correctly.  The photographer is one vendor you work with whose hire you do not want to regret.  It’s the investment that gives back for years and years! So, whether it’s me or another incredible photographer, I truly hope you have an ideal experience! You certainly deserve to have your wedding day moments captured in a beautiful way.

robyn photo 3

Should couples do a first look?

I always want to listen to a couple’s thoughts on this first and foremost.  Since I’m available to chat about your wedding timeline well in advance of the day, I can make suggestions on how to fit it all together with your preferences, while allowing you plenty of time for the moments.  However, if you’re unsure about whether or not you want to see each other, I really do recommend first looks because I have seen the many benefits of having one; particularly, a real the ease that the couple feels afterward, and the flow it allows in a wedding day’s schedule! I was married last year and loved how much extra time I got to spend with my husband on our wedding day because we had a first look.  Plus, our wedding schedule felt so much more natural and relaxed!  I still cried happy tears the entire way down the aisle and one of my favorite images is the way he looked at me when I did.  However, each couple sees their wedding day in a different and unique way - which is half the beauty of it! If you do nothing else, I would strongly recommend trusting your professional photographer and wedding coordinator/planner’s knowledge with regards to the schedule.  A well designed wedding schedule can make all the difference on your day, and we’ll ensure your preferences come first.

robyn photo 2


I hope you enjoyed!!!





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


Golden Globes 3

And now we wait for the Academy Awards!

~ Best











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,



Brides, Grooms, Uncategorized, Weddings

Say Cheese!


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!

Brides, Gift Registries

Online Gift Registries


While the bulk of wedding gift registries is still run through big box stores, department and specialty stores, there is a growing segment of that industry that is utilizing the reach and specificity of on line communications.  At one time considered somehow "tacky", on line gift registries have come into their own and have proven to be a real advantage to couples and their guests. It's easy to build an on-line registry.  Your guests can shop from their homes (or phones), which is a huge convenience if they are out of town.  You can select the items you want in stores and then list them on your e-registry.  You can also list your registry on national sites like and if your chosen retailer has a partnership with those sites.

Once registered, you can log on to your site anytime to add, delete, or change preferences.  You can also see what has already been purchased.  Some sites will include the information about who ordered what.  This will prove helpful when writing thank you notes.  Gift enclosure cards do not always remain attached to the box containing the gift.

There are also new sites that specialize in "non-traditional" registry offerings.  While there is still discomfort about "registering for money", some couples have been utilizing these sites.  For couples who prefer to accumulate cash for a major purchase, there are and

Whichever method you choose for your gift registries, remember that under no circumstances should those sites be included anywhere in your invitations.  Depend on members of the wedding party and family to spread the word about your gift registry preferences.  It is fine to place the information on the couples wedding website if they have created one for guests.

Don't forget that although gift registries now include non-traditional items, gifts for a lifetime are remembered most!




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 ~


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


Wedding Themes and Trends


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


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


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 ~



Tips from a Planner


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.


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!


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. 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.


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