Rockford Illinois

Rockford Illinois Wedding, Real Weddings

Champagne Brunch | Rockford Illinois Wedding

Cassie contacted me well over a year before her wedding for planning assistance.  We met many times to make her vision come to life.  She wanted a Sunday brunch which I loved because it was out of the norm.  It was a great idea!  Her wish was to provide a setting for family and friends that included their children and was still formal but yet fun and relaxing.  I think that we did just that!

Cassie and Nick had been together for a long time and have 3 beautiful children together.  It was so fun to get to know her as a person and as a mother.   Watching her with her children was something that I as a planner will always cherish.  She is such a patient and caring person.   As a couple she and Nick are a perfect match.  Their extended family was such a delight!

Below are the images that were captured from their wedding day.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

~ Best,

Laura

 

Creative Partners

Planning:  Accent on Events

Photography:  Ryan Davis Photography

Venue: Cliffbreakers Riverside Resort

Hair and Make-up:  Starr Styles - Mobile Wedding Stylist

Florist / Linens: Event Floral

DJ:  Luxe Productions

Photo Booth:  Facenook Fotobooths

Rentals:  Once Upon a Pedestal

Calligraphy:  SS Illustration and Design

 

Real Weddings, Rockford Illinois Wedding

A Fairytale Wedding

Bouquet

It is always a little nerve wracking ~ no lie, when another planner contacts me to assist with their daughter's wedding.  With this wedding the assistance was my pleasure.  Abbie contacted me to be their Month of Coordinator.  I was ecstatic.  Discussing all the possibilities and her vision of the day was so exciting. 

Abbie wanted a Fairytale wedding without too much pink with a Disney theme.  The pictures below prove that a Disney Themed Wedding can definitely be done with class.  There were several princess tables that showcased Disney Princess movies without any type of animation and everyone received a Golden Disney Book with a CD of photos of the couple inside each book as a favor.  This wedding had it all including a comedian/magician and a caricature artist. 

I hope that you enjoy these photos as much as I have. 

Best,

~ Laura

 

Photography:   Angie Adams Photography

Wedding Planner:   Accent on Events

Reception Venue:  Mauh Nah Tee See Country Club

Church Venue:   Grace Reformed Baptist Church

Florist:   Catherine Oake-Gasiorwski

Specialty Linens:   Beautiful Day Linens

Cake:   Cake Creations

DJ / Lighting:   Luxe Productions

Videography:  Jennifer Hartzog

 

 

Real Weddings

Alix and Collin ~ A Garden Wedding to Remember

Over a year ago - I was contacted by Alix to help her and Collin plan their wedding.  What a delightful couple!  The whole point of them hiring a planner was that they wanted to enjoy their wedding day.  As most of you know the motto of Accent on Events is to "sit back and be a guest at your own wedding." 

They were able to just do that!  We came in behind the scenes and worked with the couple to plan the day to their specifications.  We enjoyed working with them and their families.  Everyone was so accommodating and warm.  They were married by a family friend and their dogs even stole the show!  They enjoyed the party at Klehm and all guests parted on a bus back to the family property to enjoy a bon fire well into the night!

Please view the photos below of their wedding in the garden.

XOXO ~ Best,

Laura

Wedding Planner:                    Accent on Events

Photography:                           Catalyst Design and Photography

Venue:                                      Klehm Arboretum

Linens:                                       Beautiful Day Linens

DJ:                                             Luxe Productions

Cupcakes:                                 Halo Cupcake

Caterer:                                     Thunder Bay Grill

Florist:                                        Family Friend

Inspiration Boards

Innovative Inspiration | Friends

Friends

FriendsHello and welcome back to Innovative Inspiration. This is the last installment of my blog series, exploring various mediums which can be used for wedding day inspiration. The final week of this series will be dedicated to the long-running television series Friends. The series began in 1994 and became one of the longest running television shows, lasting until 2004. The series’ characters quickly captures the hearts of millions because of their ability to relate to a variety of viewers and their endless quirks. Enjoy the last post and check out the Pinterest board!

https://www.pinterest.com/Accentonevents/innovative-inspiration-friends/

Venue | With Friends being set in New York, I think it would be perfect to set the wedding in a big city. The venue should have a view of a skyline, as a nod to the series’ beginning theme. This setting would be conducive to almost any type of wedding imaginable.

I imagine this to be a winter wedding, as a nod to Phoebe and Mike’s wedding, in a place of great meaning to the couple. But, that’s not to say that this could not also be a spring, summer or autumn wedding. I also imagine this wedding ceremony to be adorned with Italian lights and minimal—yet bold—flowers.      

Photo via Offbeat BrideFloral | Throughout Friends, a simple and unstructured vibe is exuded. For this reason, I believe that a simple floral scheme is best. I chose one type of flower to represent each main character in the series, and—just as in the television series—when put together, they make a wonderful arrangement.

  1. Chandler can be compared to silver brunia. This unique plant is characterized by spherical growths and is often not considered for arrangements due to its misunderstood nature. Similarly, throughout the television series, Chandler is misunderstood or overlooked because of his unconventional sense of humor.
  2. Joey is very hard to describe. So, the flower that he is synonymous with is the flame lily. This gorgeous flower is hard to describe, yet still very beautiful. And, since Joey can make bras undo themselves by uttering those three small words (“How you doing?”), I believe that this flower described him perfectly.
  3. Monica’s floral counterpart is the geranium. So as the geranium has many small blooms per flower, Monica has many different facets to her personality. Time and time again, she shows that her caregiving, comedienne, hyper-organized and motherly traits truly bring the group together to make one unit, just as the geranium’s many blooms make up the whole flower.
  4. Phoebe is represented by the Gerbera daisy. A pop of brightness in a monotonous world can describe both the Gerbera daisy and Phoebe Buffay Hannigan.
  5. Rachel is represented by the red rose. Just as the red rose is classic and elegant, so is Rachel. Yet, both also prove their flexibility and versatility time and again.
  6. Ross is a relatively simple guy. He is also fiercely loyal and always sticks by his friends. Just as a flower would not be able to survive without its leaves, neither would our favorite group of friends. So, Ross is represented by the olive branch. Though understated, the olive branch adds an element of greenery to the flowers which is not only beautiful, but also necessary.

Florals

Table Settings | To complement the eclectic floral scheme, I think it would be fitting to use multiple sets of chinaware to set the tables with, making sure to mix the pieces up among the tables. I would also rent a variety of chair styles and colors. If set in this way, the eclecticism of the tables would perfectly pay homage to the dining room table in the iconic apartment that each character of Friends once occupied.   Table Setting

To get a visual picture of what I have described above, check out the Pinterest board I have created to complement this blog. And, if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my three previous posts in this series. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series as much as I have. Stay tuned for future inspiration!    

~ Best,

Emily

 

Coffee Shop Photo Credit:  Via Pinterest on Offbeat Bride

Bridesmaids Photo Credit: Greggo Photography

Tablesetting Photo Credit: Via Pinterest on Style Me Pretty

 

Brides, Weddings

Winter Wedding Ideas

Drinks

Hi there! My name is Emily Palmer and I am currently in the second semester of my senior year at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I am majoring in Recreation, Sport and Tourism with a focus on Tourism and Event Planning. I am beyond excited to be joining the Accent On Events team for the next few months as an intern. So, here is my first blog. I hope you like it! A couple’s wedding day is their chance to celebrate their personal love story with the people most important to them. And, with the recent snowfall I thought it the perfect time to blog about wintertime weddings!

Of course summer weddings are insanely popular, but I am here to tell you that winter weddings are equally as beautiful. While some couples know their date months—and sometimes even years—in advance, others do not. And that’s perfectly OK because every couple is different and unique. And while some couples are able to wait for a special date, sometimes love just can’t wait for the summer! Or, perhaps the season that many of us dread, winter, has a special significance to a couple.

But, what about the cold?

It is of course winter, so cold weather is—for the most part—inevitable. However, instead of trying to beat the cold, I recommend embracing it! This is the perfect opportunity for guests to be able to mingle with each other and catch up with old friends in a warm, cozy, indoor environment.DrinksThere are also other perks to winter weddings, one of which being the freedom to serve hot beverages. Think about it: hot chocolate, eggnog and coffee are beloved winter beverages and are easily made adult by adding yummy liqueurs such as Bailey’s Irish Crème, Kahlua, amaretto or even Grand Marnier.

But, not all beverages have to be hot to embrace the winter theme…I’m talking about peppermint. This holiday staple is a universal hit—it’s perfectly mixable in both kid-friendly and adult drinks. And hey, it would be pretty silly to serve peppermint flavored drinks at a summer wedding, right?

But, what about the snow?

Well, winter weddings provide gorgeous natural décor and multiple gateways to bring a wedding to life. The key to a successful winter wedding is identifying these things and using them to your advantage!Tablescape

There are many creative ways to embrace a winter theme across many traditional aspects of a wedding. Photos can be directed and styled to reflect the weather. Cakes, cupcakes or even cake pops can be beautifully embellished with snowflakes. Lighting displays can be assembled to create a reception environment reminiscent of the holidays or winter landscapes. And table settings can be customized to reflect winter in whatever way a couple desires.  

But, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, a couple’s wedding should reflect who they are as people and pay homage to their personal love story. A certain season coupled with wedding norms should not dissuade a couple from tying the knot during a particular time of the year because every wedding is beautiful and unique, just like each and every couple.        

~ Best,

Laura and Emily

Weddings

Real Wedding: Cara and Josh ~ Best Friends for Life

We are pleased to bring you Cara's and Josh's love story.  We were so happy to be a part of their wedding!! Cara Burks still laughs about the awkward first impression she had of her husband Josh. It was 2006, and Cara, then a ninth grader, had just finished playing in a basketball tournament at the small Christian school they both attended.

“I knew who he was, but I didn’t really know him that well,” she says. “He came up to me and said, ‘I did a pushup for every good thing you did out there on the court.’ Then, we talked about what I did, and watched some of the other games.”

It may have been an odd pickup line, but it caught Cara’s attention, and began a natural friendship. “It seems as though we’ve been best friends forever,” she says.

The two dated throughout high school, taking a brief break when Cara, who’s a year older, left for Maranatha Baptist University, in Wisconsin. After Josh went to West Coast Baptist College, in California, they picked up where they had left off.

Cara graduated in 2013 and moved home for a job with a local wedding planner. Josh was still in California, or so Cara thought on an evening in late November 2013, when her twin sister, Hallie, and brother-in-law, Justin, invited her out to dinner.

“While we’re there, my brother-in-law says he’s feeling sick and he goes to the bathroom,” Cara says. “It’s maybe 15 minutes later and he’s not back yet, and we’re starting to worry. So, my sister goes and checks on him.”

While they were gone, someone began playing Cara’s favorite song on the dining room piano. “I feel this tap on my shoulder, I turn around, and it’s Josh, with a ring,” she says.

Planning in just nine months was sometimes trying, says Cara, but she had a helping hand through every step.

Cara also credits a willing team of vendors, especially her boss, Laura Sanders Ahern, of Accent on Events. “It put me at ease, because I knew everything would be exactly as I wanted it,” says Cara. “Hiring people is worth it, if you can afford it. It was my magical day, and everybody helped it to feel that way.”

Enjoy the photos ~

Best ~

Laura

 

Vendors:

Photography ~ Mandy Blair Photography

Hair and Make up ~ Arch Apothecary

Ceremony Venue ~ Burpee Museum of Natural History

Reception Venue ~ Giovanni's

Florist ~ Event Floral

DJ/Lighting ~ Luxe Productions

Specialty Linens / Chargers ~ Beautiful Day Linens

Cake/Cupcakes  and Favors ~ sugarjones

Napkins ~ Rock River Printers

Photo Booth ~ Special Moments Photo Booth

Invitations ~ Jack Sprat

Wedding Planner ~ Accent on Events

 

 

Inspiration Boards

Patriotic Inspiration Shoot

We had so much fun collaborating with Bride Meets Wedding for this Patriotic 1940's Backyard Americana Wedding.  We decided on a 1940's theme that incorporates a modern day twist.  We hope that this brings you some inspiration in your wedding planning process.

Best ~

Laura

 

Photography: Robyn Photography

Design/Styling: Accent on Events and Bride Meets Wedding

Bridal Gown: Sara Grace Co.

Bridal Hairpiece: Sara Grace Co.

Bridal Jewelry and Women's Military Jacket: All Dressed Up

Hair and Makeup: Teresa Simonic

Floral Design: Wild Orchid Custom Floral Design

Linens and Clear Chivari Chairs: Beautiful Day Linens

China/Silverware, Army Jacket: Accent on Events

Paper Products: Iron Leaf Press

Vintage Sofa and Wine Barrels: Embellish Specialty Rentals

Vintage Military Cap: The Pickin Chicks

Red, White and Blue Vintage Hankie: Soaring Heart Vintage

Vintage Camera, Flag, Suitcase, Air Mail, Glass Pedestal: BellJar Vintage

Location: Private Residence in Calendonia, IL

Model: Sara

Corporate Events

GiGi's Playhouse ~ 3rd Annual I Have a Voice Gala

This was Accent on Events third year participating in the planning and production of the GiGi's Playhouse Annual Gala.   As most of you know this is a fabulous event for our community and each year it grows to more attendees. What is GiGi's you ask?   GiGi’s Playhouse is a one-of-a-kind achievement center for individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the community.  GiGi’s Playhouse offers more than 25 therapeutic and educational programs that advance literacy, math skills, motor skills and more; all of which are free of charge.

After planning last years Gala we jumped right into planning this years.  I was fortunate enough to have some connections to find the Guest Speaker ~ Heath White.  Heath White connected with the audience in such a profound way.  As I stood and watched not only him as a speaker, I watched the parents of individuals with down syndrome wipe the tears in their eyes connecting with every word that he spoke.

I encourage each of you to listen to the story of Heath that was featured on ESPN.  He sent a great message to our audience. Heath White - ESPN

The night also consisted of a performance by the Cheer Gems which is the newest program at GiGi's.  These Cheerleaders were fantastic.  We went on with silent auction, live auction, dinner and dancing.

I LOVE being a part of such a wonderful event in our community.  Below are the photos of this fabulous event.  We are already looking forward to next year!!

 

A heartfelt THANK YOU to all of the vendors that participated in assisting me with this evening's details:

Event Planning ~ Accent on Events

Photography ~ Ryan Davis Photography

Venue ~ Giovanni's Restaurant and Convention Center

Linens ~ Beautiful Day Linens

Dessert ~ sugarjones

Lighting ~ Luxe Productions

 

~Best,

Laura

 

Uncategorized, Weddings

Vendor Blog Series.....Questions and Answers from a DJ and Lighting Expert

luxe 2

The third part of our Vendor Blog Series are questions that we asked a DJ and Lighting expert.  Luxe Productions, located in Rockford, Illinois has been providing entertainment and uplighting for Chicago, Rockford, Quad Cities and surrounding areas for five years. As a wedding planner I can attest to the importance of finding a professional company to build a rapport with to meet your needs.  Jordan Chance and his staff have been a tremendous resource to myself and my clients and today I would like to share with you some of that knowledge.

luxe 4

What makes you different from your competition? 

Our approach is what sets us apart.  We have committed a full time staff to just focusing on your event.  On our staff we have trained professionals that specialize in each of our areas.  Those lead people seek out seminars, trainings, and information to make sure they stay on top both with technology but also concept and design.  This is what we do full time so we are able to spend the time and resources to create the best events and experiences.

Do I always get the person that I sign the contract with or meet at my consultation? 

Yes!  We believe that it is important to build a rapport with our clients.  You are welcome to meet with your DJ before signing the contract in order to ensure a good match.  We have DJ’s with a variety of personalities and styles to fit every event. You will know who your DJ is when you sign the contract and can communicate with them as much or little as you would like.

How would you define your style? 

The best way to describe our style is very professional.  We don’t have a specific way that we always do our weddings because that would not lend to the creativity or desires of our clients.  Instead, we have the tools and flexibility to listen and incorporate our clients’ wishes into their event.  The music, lighting, and timeline can always be changed up and we facilitate those changes so our client gets exactly what they want.

Luxe 3

What will you wear to a wedding or event?

We feel that our attire speaks to our professionalism.  We wear suits and ties to weddings.  For other events, we dress according to what will be expected of the attendees.  If we are unsure, we always look to the event planners to give us direction.

How do we pick songs that we want played?  Do you have a do not play list?  Can guests request songs? 

All of the song choices for both the special dances and the open dance can be picked through our online planning forms.  Upon booking, each couple is given a username and password so they can begin working on their song lists and timeline at their convenience. The online planning tool allows you to search a vast database of music and sort your selections into “Must Play,” “Play If Possible,” and “Do Not Play” lists.  If there happens to be something the couple would like played that is not included in the database, they can just let us know and we would be happy to get it for them.

luxe 2

Do you have backup equipment with you on that day?

We have carefully thought through the possible gear failures that could happen during an event and we carry an emergency bag of equipment to every event.  In addition to that we also have extra equipment that we keep in our  warehouse just in case and we always have someone on call who can run equipment out to events.

What ways do you keep up to date professionally with your business? 

Staying ahead of the trends, gear, and ideas is something that we love about this job.  We take the time to travel to the best national conferences to learn from the leading industry experts.  Also, with social media, forums, websites, and magazines we can gather ideas and inspiration that keeps us fresh!

Why would I include lighting at my reception? Is it just another expense? 

Lighting is one of the most important elements that you can add to your event.   Sometimes it helps to think of it as part of the décor of your reception.  It can set the mood in the room: romantic, elegant, festive, or fun.  Another important consideration is the effect it has on your photographs.  Lighting helps makes those photos come alive and exhibit the elegant or fun atmosphere.

luxe 1

How can lighting add the personalization I am looking for? 

The reason we love lighting so much is because it is so versatile.  With specific color and fixture choices we can create an intimate romantic setting that feels warm and elegant or we can create an upbeat, dance club atmosphere.  With our ‘Name in Lights’ we can project a monogram to truly customize your event.

Luxe 5

 

Will someone be onsite for the reception to monitor the lighting?

All of our DJ’s are trained on lighting and can monitor it throughout the evening.  Some of our packages include a lighting technician who can program the lights and provide more of a light show.

 

I hope this answers all of your questions ~ Contact Luxe today for more information.

~ Best,

Laura

Photography Credits:

White Shutter Photography

C Tyson Photography

Ryan Davis Photography

 

 

Brides

Vendor Blog Series....Questions and Answers from a Wedding Florist

EF1

At the beginning of the year - I developed a calendar for 52 weeks of wedding blogs.  One of my ideas was to ask the vendors that you work with locally to respond to some questions that as a vendor they are asked by clients seeking their services.  The first in our series is Event Floral.  The following questions and answers came from Erin Stoffregen.  I hope that you enjoy!! What makes Event Floral different from other florists?

Event Floral is an “event florist” meaning that we specialize in weddings and events. Our business and design team are built around the ebb and flow of event work, with the ability to execute multiple weddings in a weekend. Our dedicated team is available to fully service delivery, set up and decorating, and clean up of your wedding. Event Floral also offers limitless possibilities for coordinating accent décor including specialty linens, fabric draping, arches and custom ceremony settings, and rental items to create a complete and cohesive design aesthetic. As part of the planning process with Event Floral, we enjoy offering a complimentary “mock-up” sample of your centerpiece or tablescape as well as the opportunity to preview your wedding flowers the day before the wedding.

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Will you be doing my arrangements and bouquets or will it be another designer?

At Event Floral we have an extensive, experienced design team with each member specializing in an area or “department” of design work. Since the bridal bouquets are the most personal and widely photographed facets of your wedding flowers, I take great care crafting them myself. I then work closely with all members of our team on additional floral designs and event set up to ensure your vision and all its intricate details come to life on your wedding day.

EF1

What design styles do you work in?

The most refreshing part of what we do is that we are always creating something different, crossing lines between design styles and trends. The varied talents of our designers allows us great versatility to tackle a wide array of styles. Some current wedding style favorites we are loving include “Rustic Elegance” characterized by a more natural, relaxed feel while still embodying a timelessness and sophistication and “Modern Glam” which pairs luscious flowers, often in more structured designs, with luxurious accents of glass, rhinestone, or metallics.

If I provide you with a photograph can you recreate it?

Images are a wonderful, priceless tool in planning your wedding, and yes, we can certainly recreate a photograph. However, we always encourage couples to infuse their inspirations with personal touches. Maybe include a favorite flower, add an accent color, or select a different vessel for an arrangement to make your wedding flowers distinct and uniquely yours.

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Can we completely customize the flowers that we want?

All of work by nature is completely customized to fit your style, desires, and budget. We appreciate some flexibility to use our professional creativity within your color palette and style theme to include flowers or elements that may inspire us along the design process. We want your wedding flowers to reflect you, and we happily accommodate specific requests wherever possible.

How far in advance do you start to make the arrangements and bouquets? How are they stored?

We love when couples want to know more about the design process and floral care. Fresh flowers start to arrive early in the week, after which they are cut, placed in buckets of water, and stored in the cooler for proper hydration and longevity. The earliest we start designing with the flowers is three days out from an event. We keep bouquets and arrangements in vases of water or use floral foam as a water source. Everything is stored in our coolers with water replaced as necessary to ensure freshness.

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How do you keep up to date on the newest trends?

Keeping up on the newest trends is such a fun part of what we do. We enjoy scouting social media sites and keeping our eyes on popular wedding and floral design blogs. We try to share trends we’re spotting on our Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter pages as well as features on our blog. Additionally, we subscribe to many industry print magazines and online publications. We also attend industry expos, workshops, and inspirational events throughout the year.

What flowers are used in what season?

The floral industry is constantly introducing new varieties and expanding growing seasons so that many flowers are available virtually year-round. Flowers that are “in season” can offer cost savings and more beautiful, bountiful blooms for the price. Here are some favorites by season:

Spring: Tulips, Lilac, Hyacinth, Ranunculus, and Peonies

Summer: Peonies, Hydrangea, Garden Roses, Cradpedia (“Billy Balls”), Lisianthus, and Succulents

Fall: Sunflowers, Dahlias, Mums, Antique Hydrangeas, Amaranthus, and Berries

Winter: Fresh Evergreen, Winter Berries, Anemones, Roses

*For winter weddings, be sure to consider using more hearty blooms if you want to take outdoor pictures with your bouquets.

Michaela-Gino-Wedding-686-L

What is the most unique arrangement that you have made?

We love playing with different styles, shapes, and sizes of arrangements and thrive on the challenge of creating something new and innovative. Some of the most unique arrangements we’ve created include pink and white oversized fresh floral “balls” that hung from the ceiling for a local fundraising dinner, cascading bridal bouquets made of crystals (sometimes even lit with LED lights), and custom ceremony or archway settings dripping with fresh flowers and greenery.

What do you suggest regarding bouquet preservation?

There are instances where bouquet preservation works wonderfully and others where it either doesn’t work well initially or after a period of time it still fades or deteriorates.  Our biggest suggestion is to hire a fabulous photographer. It is well worth the investment; your wedding pictures will last forever and be the best memory of your special day.

 

Accent on Events can assist you with finding the right florist and asking the right questions!!  Stay tuned for next week.....Wedding Photography

 

~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!

Uncategorized, Wedding Vows, Weddings

I Vow...

Wedding Vows

~Traditional Vs. Modern~

Wedding Vows are a personal yet integral part of the wedding ceremony.  As you stare into the eyes of the person you love and promise to uphold them what do you want to say?

Many people think that the traditional route is the best because of the history.  While other people prefer to write their own personal vows.

There are advantages to both options…

Modern- You can say what comes to heart and personalize your message.  Many people write poems and/or make them into a song. Another way to look at it is you personalize every other detail of your wedding from the flowers to the cake why not your vows?

Traditional- Many couples think that every though these precious words have been said over and over there is a certain pledge that you promise one another.  A precedent set by all the wedding before and those to come after.

~Either way! Choose what feels right to you and make it special.

Brides, Uncategorized

Creative Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

BlogInvitation

Because the push to be unique is increasing important to our brides, here are some of the more creative ideas we have seen.

  • If yours is a smaller wedding, consider including a personal not with the invitation.
  • With the help from the US Postal Service you can create your own stamp.

  • Stats have shown that social invitations are opened more frequently on Saturdays.  Time your invitation mailings to arrive on Saturday if possible.  You'll receive more RSVP responses.

  • Pick a monogram and use it throughout the planning process.

  • Choose a unique start time for the ceremony.  For example use the date you met (5:23) or the date you got engaged (7:04) or other key dates in your lives.
  • Take lots of photos during your engagement and pre-wedding planning period and use them as table decorations at the reception.
  • Create an entrance at the wedding ~ something that says WOW and let's your guests know they have arrived.

  • Include your parents by having their wedding photos on display at the reception.  Include grandparents photos too if they are available.
  • To keep everything moving, plan a "surprise" for guests at the reception every 30 minutes.

~ Best,

Laura

Bridal Showers, Brides

Showers are Traditional

Bridal Shower 2

In fact, they date back to the 18th century according to Emily Post.  It seems that a father did not like his daughter's choice of husband and refused to give her dowry.  Friends of the groom's were insulted by the brides father.  In support of the groom, they collected "assets" among themselves, "showered" the bride with them and the marriage happened.  Today's showers have evolved over time. but there are still some "rules" or guidelines most brides follow. The bride's maid of honor is the usual hostess for a wedding shower, but any bridesmaid, friend of the bride's mother or groom's mother or distant relative can be hostess.  It is usual that no member of the bride's immediate family (nor the groom's for that matter) host a shower so that it doesn't look like they are soliciting gifts for the bride.  This also extends to the bride.  It is never OK for the bride to throw a shower for herself.

With all of the talk of 'themed" weddings, potential hostesses wonder if they need to plan a shower in keeping with the theme of the wedding.  The answer is no.  The shower simply celebrates the upcoming marriage.  The closest events come to a "theme" is kind of gifts guests bring to the shower, such as spa items, kitchen items, or lingerie.  Some showers are for couples.  Gift items for those should appeal to both genders like "stock the bar" parties, tools, outdoor equipment, etc.

Who should come?  Only guests invited to the wedding should be invited to the shower.  The only exception is for a workplace shower where not all work colleagues may be invited to the wedding.  Nor is it necessary or even feasible to invite to a shower, every female who is invited to the wedding.

Including gift registry information on the shower invitation is acceptable (but this is the only place).  Brides should open all shower gifts at the shower and thank each person as the gift is opened.  Each gift must be followed by a handwritten thank you note.  If multiple showers are given for the bride, guests attended more than one shower need only to give one gift.  If a guest cannot attend a shower, she should not feel obligated to send a gift.

 

~ Best,

Laura

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!

Brides, Gift Registries

Online Gift Registries

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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 theKnot.com and weddingchannel.com 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 depositagift.com and myregistry.com.

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!

 

Bridesmaids

Our Favorite ~ Gifts to Give

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There are many gifts to choose from to give your bridesmaids.  The main point that you need to remember is to keep their interests in mind.  There are so many things out there that you can choose from that will fit your bridesmaids personality and will be a gift that they will love.  I picked several of my favorites for you to see below: Gift #1 ~ Bridesmaids Tumblers from The Blue Dandelion

Gift # 2 ~ Enjoy Bouquet Token from Lisa Leonard Designs.  Attach this token to a beautiful bouquet of your bridesmaids favorite flowers.

Gift #3 ~ A manicure set in  a Jar with their favorite color of nail polish ~ Mine happens to be Linen by Essie.

Gift #4 ~ PHILOSOPHY perfumes - I love them so fresh and fun!

Gift #5 ~ Sterling Silver Bow Bracelet - can be worn every day of the week!

Gift #6 ~ Personalized I Phone Cases from Erin Condren - Truth be said I love EVERYTHING on her site!

 

Gift #7 ~ Personalized Bridesmaids Rings from Dreaming Tree Creations

Gift #8 ~ Tote Bags from Annikain Chautauqua on Etsy

Gift #9 ~ Michael Kors Watch

Michael Kors

Gift #10 ~ Cashmere Waterweave Wraps from Talbots - so many colors to choose from

 

Hope you enjoy these gifts! Start shopping!

Best ~ Laura