Wedding reception

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

Uncategorized

Giovanni's Open House ~ Rockford, Illinois

Several months ago we were asked to participate in Giovanni's Open House in Rockford, Illinois.  They wanted to showcase their newly remodeled ballroom in all the different aspects of events.  Accent on Events focused on a budget friendly wedding reception, a head table and an Exquisite Wedding Reception.  Below are photographs from the event.  It was fun for us to showcase ourselves while working with a group of professional vendors to come up with a design for all areas that would be an option for couples to utilize.  

Head Table

Budget Friendly Reception

  Exquisite Wedding Reception

Participating Vendors ~

Planning and Design:    Accent on Events

Photography:  C. Tyson Photography    and    Ryan Davis Photography

Lighting:  Luxe Productions

Floral:  Stems Floral and More

Linens:  Beautiful Day Linens

Rentals:  Embellish Specialty Rentals

Head Table Backdrop:   SVL Productions

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

 

 

Uncategorized, Weddings

Oliver and Michaeleen on a Summer Day | Real Wedding

Last year I was contacted by one of my dear high school friends to assist in the planning of her daughters wedding.   I was so excited to be asked to do this as I have such great memories of the brides mom and dad and our high school years.  The first time that I met with Micha she was so sweet and knew that this was going to be a wedding that I would love to plan.  The colors were hot pink and yellow and she wanted a whimsical feel. As you view the photos below by Brian Milo Photography, I hope that you can see just how fun and loving this family is.  The hard work that went into this day made everything flawless and enjoyable.  We had some rain but eventually the sun came out and allowed for a beautiful night.

Oliver and Micha are such a sweet couple and I enjoyed every minute of their wedding day!!!

 

 

A very special thank you to all the vendors that assist Accent on Events on bringing the vision to reality.

Photography ~ Brian Milo Photography 

Hair and Makeup ~ Brichi Coiffure 

Florist ~ Balloons and Flowers by Haley 

Church ~ St. James of Belvidere

Reception Venue ~ Burpee Museum of Natural History 

Linens, Draping and Chairs ~ Beautiful Day Linens 

Lighting ~ Luxe Productions 

Entertainment ~ Men of Our Times 

Catering ~ Altamore's Restaurant

Invitations ~ Rock River Printers

Tent ~ Berg Industries 

 

~ Best,

L.

 

 

Brides, Weddings

iPhones/Galaxy at Your Wedding ~ Bridal Tips

iphone5

The proliferation of camera phones has raised a new point of discussion for brides and grooms hoping to capture the essence of their wedding through a professional photographer of some distinction.  How to handle wedding guests with cameras and their phones and preserve the privacy and security of the wedding events is a growing challenge.  Social media is changing the rules around the ceremony that was originally about the bride and groom.  As Kim Ode of the Star Tribune said, "On a day planned down to the mints, social media allow for random acts of mindlessness."

  • While some couples may embrace the technology, others wonder "how to keep their vows from going viral".  This concern has prompted wedding planners like me to formulate some guidelines covering social media at weddings.
  • Recognize that most couples make a distinction between the wedding ceremony and its more solemn aspects and the reception with its feel as a celebration.
  • If the bride doesn't want people to see her in her gown before she goes down the aisle, she needs to make sure that her bridesmaids understand that uploading photos of her in that special dress is forbidden.
  • I would suggest putting a notice in the program itself that this is an "unplugged" ceremony.  Reinforce this by asking the officiant to remind the guests to silence their electronics.  This will also assist the professional photographer that the couple has hired to be able to take the necessary photos the couple wants without Auntie in the aisle with her phone or ipad obstructing the view for the professional.  Some clients have had a sign placed at the spot where the guest book if placed as a reminder.

Social media at the reception is much more acceptable.  Photo sharing sites enable guests to download photos into a designated wedding album which makes it nice for the couple to see lots of action at their party.  We recommend the app WedSocial for guests to share photos.  It is easy to use and fun for the guests!

~ Best,

Laura

 

Weddings

Changing Times

Bride and her parents

Many of the traditions that we follow in weddings today have their origins in Elizabethan or Renaissance eras.  It is no wonder that some changes have occurred.

  • VOWS - the phrase "Honor and Obey" has been replaced with various alternatives that reflect equality in the relationship.

  • BRIDAL ESCORTS - More and more brides and couples are having both parents escort them down the aisle.  In some ceremonies, the groom comes down the aisle with both his mother and father, followed by the bride on the arms of both of her parents.  This honors both parents and recognizes each of their roles in preparing their sons/daughters for this day.  In fact, if the bride's father is not available or this is a second marriage, a bride may choose to walk down the aisle alone or she may choose anyone to escort her.  A sibling, her mother, her grandfather, , her son or a friend may do the honors.

  • PARENTAL ROLES - Parents are no longer limited to escort duty.  Many grooms are choosing their father to be the best man and brides are asking mom to be the matron of honor.
  • RECEIVING LINES - These may still be a part of a very formal wedding where the ceremony and reception are at different venues, but for smaller weddings with the same site for ceremony and reception, more and more couples are foregoing the receiving line and instead making it a point to acknowledge and thank each guest at his/her table throughout the evening.

We know how to help your wedding uniquely yours or tie it comfortably to tradition.

~ Best

Laura

Weddings

Gifts You Give

01280_02509

There are many special people who help make your wedding day a success.  It is a nice token to say thank you for their help or their presence.  Brides ask us for advice on what to give members of the bridal party to families and to guests.  Here are some of our guest gift favorites.

Some of the most popular wedding favors are edibles.  Wrapped chocolates or truffles in an attractive box that is imprinted with the couple's names and date are a big favorite.  Also popular are chocolate covered pretzels, nuts, fruits as well as chocolate hearts.  In many areas, couples choose to give cookies frosted in wedding colors and packaged in tulle or color matched gift boxes.  Some brides have chosen to give small wine bottles with personalized labels with or without wine charms that bear the wedding date and/or names of the couples.

Couples are also giving items that bloom and grow like your marriage.  Weddings with garden motifs, environmentally themed weddings and ceremo9nies in outdoor or rustic settings choose favors like potted plants, seedlings, flower seed packets and miniature bamboo shoot plants.

Other brides prefer a permanent keepsake that is both useful and attractive.  Some of the favorites are picture frames, candles and candleholders, glass bowls filled with colored sand or rocks, small books or albums, CD's with favorite songs, ornaments for Christmas weddings, coffee mugs with coffee or hot chocolate packets tucked inside.

Some couples are choosing to make a donation to a favorite charity rather than provide a gift item.   In that case, a printed card is included in each place setting which informs the guest of the donation.

Be sure that each item has a thank you note attached.  They are likely to be printed although hand written notes are lovely as well.

The placement of the favors depends on the space available.  Many brides have the favors arranged on a separate table near the exit for guests to make their own selections.  Or you can have your wedding consultant help with the distribution as guests leave the party.

~ Best,

Laura

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

Weddings

Tips from a Planner

012

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

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

 

Weddings

Centerpiece Choices

IMG_0100

Seen at current weddings - a variety of centerpiece options which complement the theme of the wedding and/or reflect the couple's search for "something unique"! For fans of the traditional floral arrangements, there is the assurance that given the right color combo and size, guests will feel right at home with the idea of flowers on the table that complete the look of elegant special occasions.  Flowers work beautifully as long as the arrangements are either low enough (under 12-14 inches) or high enough (at least 30 inches) so that guests can converse across the table - or at least see each other.  Formal arrangements in glass or silver containers send one message, while daisies or sunflowers in canning jars send another.

With the changing view of wedding cakes, many brides are opting to make dessert the centerpiece of guest tables.  Cupcake trees, lollipop cakes, cookie and dessert bar assortments and miniature versions of the bridal cake make perfect centerpiece options.

Guest favors artfully arranged on glass trays work well when accompanied by thank you notes from the bride and groom.

Candles of varying height and shape arranged on mirrors make a wonderful centerpiece for each table and their accumulated impact is wonderful.  However, be sure to check the reception venue's heating and cooling system.  If a lot of air is going to be blowing over the tables, your candles won't last long.  If your reception is in a tented area, think about LED tapers that look almost real.

Some brides have made the wine being served with dinner an integral part of the centerpiece.  With some greenery and/or wrapped cheese miniatures the different bottles make an intriguing focal point.

Collect a variety of glass serving pieces and fill them with beverages (or water) the theme color of the wedding.

Photos of the bride and groom as children framed and grouped in the center of the table, work well as centerpieces and conversation starters.

For more good ideas, give me a call at 815.979.7214 or email me at Laura@accentonevents.com

Brides

Questions for a Wedding Planner

engagement-ring

Should you hire a wedding planner or are you preparing to do it all yourself? Most busy working brides today need the help of a professional planner – for all or part of their weddings. A professional wedding planner’s advice and expertise can save time, money and sanity so don’t dismiss the idea out of hand. When you meet with a wedding planner to talk about how much or how little you need him/her to do for your wedding, here are six key questions you should ask to guide that informational meeting.

1. Here are the vendors and venues I am considering using. Do you know anything about them? Who are your favorites and why?

  • The planner can often give you some good feedback about a particular vendor and/or steer you away from potential trouble.

2. How many weddings of my size have you done?

  • If you are planning on a small intimate gathering and the planner specializes in huge society weddings, you two may not be a good match.

3. If I hire you for my wedding, what is your role and what is mine?

  • It is a good idea to have clarity around who is responsible for what and in a tight situation, who has the final say? Do you need to have the planner clear every little detail with you or can he/she make decisions based on early parameters you two have established?

4. How many weddings do you do each month? Do you have enough staff to cover all the weddings you book? You don’t want to be one of a multitude in June if the planner doesn’t have the staff to handle all of its commitments.

5. Ask for a client and vendor list and ask if you may call them for references.

6. Ask for an explanation of how he/she charges. Is there a flat rate, a sliding scale, extra charges for add ons?

7. Do you belong to any professional organizations or have any credentials for being a wedding planner?

The goal of all good wedding planners is to save you time and money….and most importantly for you to enjoy one perfect day!!!

Weddings

Contemporary Traditional

bigstock-four-pics-27455249

DO these two terms seem contradictory?  At one time they may have, but more and more couples are looking for ways to place their personal stamp on their wedding plans.  The term “unique” is heard more and more as brides search for ways to make their weddings memorable for them and their guests.

We have a lot of ideas on how to do just that so contact us about ways to personalize your wedding ceremony and reception.

  • Consider replacing the traditional bachelor or bachelorette party with a get together that combines both events.  Consider a hike, beach party, bike ride, cook-out, softball game or evening out at a skating rink or bowling alley.
  • Rather than hold the rehearsal dinner at a typical restaurant’s party room, book an art museum, a university facility, a park or a historical building to serve as a special setting for your event.
  • Supplement your florist’s handiwork and creative reception décor with native wild flowers, leaves, twigs, fruits and herbs from a local grower or farmer’s market.
  • Some brides have decided to let their bridesmaids select their own gowns based on a color scheme and degree of formality.  This works well when you admire their taste in clothes.  It is wise to get some guidelines – degree of coverage desired, tailored or fluffy, plain or elaborate, length, etc.  But within those parameters, maids, can choose their own wearable outfits.  Many bridal salons have several designers who can work to truly individualize a bridesmaid’s gown within the “look” of the wedding.
  • If you have a unique reception venue chosen consider hiring a local chef you admire or a culinary school to put a special spin on your reception menu.  Think about including family food traditions that may be important to both the bride and groom.  If you can’t afford a sit down dinner, there is nothing wrong with having a desert reception or a small plate limited cocktail reception and wedding cake.

Brides

Some Planning Tips

bigstock_Heart_Shaped_Book_169059

As one wedding planner put it, “Just because you have planned something, doesn’t mean it is going to happen.”  Here are some tips to help insure that everything works well at your wedding.

Getting Ready.  Of course you want to look your best on this big day.  You may have booked a hair stylist for yourself and your bridesmaids.  Maybe someone is doing makeup for all.  In order for everything to flow, treat this as a salon appointment and require everyone to be on time for the appointments.  Work with the stylists to establish a sensible timeline and insist that your wedding party be on time.  A lot goes on before you walk down the aisle, and you don’t need to add undue stress to the list.

Photographs.  Every couple wants the album of perfect pictures from the wedding.  Check out several photographers and insist on seeing their work.  Some specialize in formal shots and other are masters of creative vignettes.  Some do both.  Make sure that everything goes smoothly by giving the photographer a list of the people you want to make sure are included in your wedding album.  Your planner should make sure that each of those persons are available for photos.  The photographer should spend his/her time shooting pictures, not searching out the people you want in the photos.

If you are planning a cocktail reception, make sure the caterer has wait staff ready with trays of cocktails as the guests enter.  For the first five to ten minutes staff should focus on getting beverages into guests hands.  Once that has been done, then they can start passing the canapés.  Stress the importance of this to the caterer.  You don’t want lines at the bar if you are having an open bar.  Your planner can make sure that guests are not standing in lines waiting.

Order of Service.  Think of your guests.  If you have elderly relatives, make sure that they are served first.  Unless you feel strongly about it, consider having the head table served last.  That gives the couple a chance to chat with guests and socialize.

Be aware of “down time”.  Weddings can lose energy after the food course.  Guests are at different points in the meal.  This can be a good time to introduce one or two toasts.

For many other helpful ideas to keep your party flowing nicely, please contact us for assistance.