Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Party

The perfect way to kick off summer is a Memorial Day Party.  I have a closet (storage unit really) with tons of props and accessories for my client parties, but I am more relaxed at home.  I shop my house for things I can use outside and pull together a table with things I have collected over the years. 

 I made Strawberry Lemonade for my non-alcoholic beverage.

My herbs were the perfect decoration for the table

I just love my mason jars.  Fun straws with flags add
a special touch.

Cookies are a great topper for cupcakes.
These are homemade and my kids decorated them.

I pulled out an antique quilt for a tablecloth

The main course!  Chicken wings, smoked sausage and
steak kabobs.

Fresh corn from the farmer's market.

I just love my hamburger and hot dog
salt and pepper shakers! Don't you?

Fun cupcakes with toppers I made for my daughter
to handout to her friends.

I also made homemade ice cream and we used an old fashioned hand crank freezer.  Those pictures are coming soon.  Hope everyone had a great weekend.  Leave a comment and tell me how you celebrated the holiday.

Happy Summer!

I am linking to the following parties.

Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Design Process

When I meet with a new client I am always so excited to discover their style and find out their vision for their wedding.  Sometimes the bride has a plan and design already thought out and is just not sure where to go from there.  Other times they have pictures from wedding magazines that they like but no clear vision in mind.  My job is to take the information they give me and help them see the possibilities without overwhelming them.

There is a design process (at least for me there is) and I like to take things step by step.  Pictures are great but sometimes you have to dig deeper.  What about the picture do you like?  If you have a picture of a spring wedding and your wedding is in the winter, the element you like in the picture might not work.  The same would apply if you are having a day wedding and you love the candles that were in the evening reception picture.  It doesn't mean you can't get a similar look but you will have to go about it in another way.

A big component of how I style a wedding is based on the bride's DRESS!  It is my inspiration and a good indication of the bride's taste and personality.  Everyone else's attire is based on that decision. 

A theme is an easy way to coordinate all aspects of the wedding from the Save the Date all the way through the favor at the reception.  I always brand my events by using the same elements of design, color and style in every decision I make.

Colors are hard to decide on sometimes but that is an important part of the entire design.  I like to have the color palette picked out before to many other decisions are made.  Things to take into consideration when choosing colors are the style of wedding (formal, casual, whimsical) where the wedding is taking place (inside, garden, beach) and what season (fall, winter, spring or summer). 

With these decisions made I can come up with a couple of design directions that I think the couple will like. I concentrate on putting the couples personality in every aspect of the design and alway have a couple of wow factors to surprise and delight the guests.  That is what makes a wedding unique and special.

You can apply these steps to any event or celebration and the design process will be much easier.  It is your wedding so don't copy anything exactly, use the picture as an inspiration and make it your own.

Here are some of my latest insirations....

Love these colors for a spring or summer wedding

This is very boho chic don't ya think?

Design on,

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kentucky Derby Party: Part 1 of Party Ideas for May

Party time!  Need a reason to have a party?  May has several opportunities to throw a party and I will have a series of party posts to give you some fun ideas.

The Kentucky Derby is next weekend. I just love a Derby party. Make sure to wear a big fabulous hat and pick a long shot to root for!  Here is my Mint Julep recipe.  Now I am a Kentucky girl so it just isn't a Mint Julep unless you use good ole Kentucky Bourbon.  This is a must.

4 fresh mint sprigs
2 ½ oz of Makers Mark bourbon
1 tsp powdered sugar
2 tsp water

Muddle mint leaves, powdered sugar and water in a Collins glass. Fill the glass with shaved or crushed ice and add bourbon. Top with more ice and garnish with a mint sprig. Serve with a straw.  Enjoy!
My dad has been collecting Derby glasses for as long as I can remember so I have great glasses to serve them in.

Decorate with fun accessories like horse shoes and of course it is the run for the roses so red roses are a must.

Increase the fun at your Derby party by taking bets on the race.
Cut the current Derby odds out of the newspaper and display for everyone to look at when they arrive.  Then pass out Derby tickets and have everyone choose their favorite horse or horses. Charge two dollars for each ticket turned in.  Close the betting a half hour before race time and then divide the money for every person who picked the winner, or simplify things and have each guest pay $5 to pull a horse’s name out of a cup. The winner takes all.  This makes the race so much more exciting to watch!

                Have fun!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Before the I Dos, some don'ts!

Everyone wants to give advice to the Bride and Groom to be and I am no different.  But I am a professional....or at least I play one on the internet. Here are just a few of the blunders I have witnessed.

Don't go cheap.  Cut costs not quality or style.  There is nothing worse than a tacky wedding and I mean nothing.  You want to be proud of your special day so think carefully about where you spend your money.   Plan within your budget. Don't expect your vendors to come down on their price because you want a bigger wedding than you can afford.  Treat your guests well.


Don't be a ugly (sourthern talk for bridezilla).  Pretty is is pretty does....that's what my Mama always said.  It is your day but it wouldn't be happening if you didn't have your family and friends to support you.  Be nice to your vendors, they are vital to your wedding and will bend over backwards to help you if you treat them well.  No one likes the temper tantrums and you will mess up your make-up.


Don't stuff the wedding cake into each other's face....it is just gross!

Don't get drunk.  It's just trashy.  You can have a great time and a few glasses of champagne during the evening but doing shots of tequila during the reception is really a bad idea.  No one likes to see the bride fall down on the dance floor....except maybe the older bitter single sister of the bride and in some cases the mother in law but that is a whole other blog post!


These aren't photos you want in your wedding album....so mind you manners!

Party on,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Planning an outdoor wedding

I get nervous when a bride wants to plan an outside wedding.  I have a love/hate relationship with outdoor events.  I love to throw an event outside but don't like it when Mother Nature decides to show off.  I always have a rain plan....always. If you don't have a plan....trust me it will rain for sure.

Outdoor weddings are the hardest to plan.  There are so many things to consider.....tents, chairs, sound system (if needed) tables, etc. etc.  It can be overwhelming but it is so worth it for a fabulous garden wedding. 

Here are some tips.....

Who will officiate? Some officiants won't perform a service outside, so you’ll need to check with yours in advance before planning your ceremony outside.

What’s The Backup Plan? – obviously you’ll need a plan in case of inclement weather. If your location doesn’t have indoor facilities to accommodate your event should the skies open, you’ll need to rent a tent.

What about the rental fees? – keep in mind that you’ll have to rent everything – from tables and chairs to dance floor and sound systems. These rental fees can increase your budget quite a bit.

What are the details? – attention to detail is very important for an outdoor wedding. Coordinating the permits, rentals, backup plans – not to mention the normal wedding details, can be overwheming. Seriously consider hiring a professional coordinator to keep things together. You will be thankful you did!

I just love the big tree at Carnton Plantation (Franklin, TN)

Chairs are a must!

Lighting is important as well.

Did you have an outdoor wedding?  Would love to hear about it!
plan on! Kelly

Monday, March 1, 2010

Building Hope for the Future Celebration

I love a great party!  My latest event was a fundraiser for a local non-profit Hard Bargain Mount Hope Redevelopment .  It was held at Building 8 in The Factory and the venue was perfect for our theme of Building Hope for the Future.   My budget was very small so I had to be creative.  I used old bricks from the Hard Bargain area through out the decor (heavy but free) and of course lots of candles.

Thank you to Kristen Steele Photography for taking pictures of the event.

another perfectly planned event~Kelly

Monday, February 22, 2010

Introducing #615wed and a chance to win a fabulous wedding

I am so proud to be a part of this great group of wedding vendors.  As an engaged couple, there are so many choices and decisions to be made and it can get overwhelming very quickly.  #615wed can make those decisions much easier.

#615wed is a group of some of Nashville's finest wedding vendors that have teamed together to help make planning your wedding absolutely stress free! Our list of recommended vendors continues to grow and it includes wedding planners and coordinators, photographers, wedding cake designers, catering companies and bridal stores... just to name a few. We are all very excited about this new venture and hope you are too.

All #615wed vendors are highly endorsed and promoted by #615wed, and must maintain an excellent history of incredible customer service and provide a spectacular service or product! This should make every bride and groom confident that they are meeting very highly qualified vendors to handle their wedding day needs. When all of your wedding vendors work together it is a very cohesive and organized event.

So here is the exciting part!  In celebration of our #615wed launch we are offering a very special chance to win a fabulous wedding.  Want to know how to win the wedding of your dreams?  Honey hush, I know you do!  I can't keep a secret to save my life and I hope you can't either! 

Go to #615wed and enter to win.   All you have to do is share your story with us.  We want to hear all about you as a couple. How did you meet? How did he propose? Tell us all the sweet details and you could win an incredible wedding! Isn't that PERFECT! 

Can't wait to hear your story! 



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So Sweet

Okay I like candy as much as the next person but the overwhelming popularity of the candy bar for weddings is amazing.  Such a hot trend and why not?  Candy makes people happy!  So how about some inspiration?

Sweet Cece's in downtown Franklin

I took my children to Sweet Cece's in downtown Franklin and was inspired by the candy displays.    My kids (15, 13 & 8) can all agree on this choice, which is a very rare occurance! and I do mean RARE

The children in your wedding party will really be thrilled with gift certificates from this adorable store.  They will think they have gone straight to dessert heaven with all of the goodies to choose from.

First you choose the flavor of frozen yogurt and help yourself.  Honey hush...you can mix two together?  Yes please!

Then you can pick any ol' topping you want!  My kids tend to get a little light-headed at this point.

Here is where I go a little crazy brownie bits and stawberries on top of cheesecake frozen yogurt makes me really happy....really really happy!

Now just move along to the cashier and they will weigh your cup.  Our family record is $4.45 and I am not going to tell y'all who holds that record!  (That would just be tacky!)  I am thinking I can use this sweet concept at a wedding rehearsal dinner or reception.  How much fun would the guests have making their own dessert? 
It would be Perfect.....don't y'all think so?

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Flower Guy

Every girl needs a flower guy....you know a go to florist that can deliver great centerpieces, wedding florals and anything in between.  Garden Delights is just that....a delightful store in Grassland with my flower guy Steve.

I stopped by the other day to talk "flowers" for a wedding I am planning and did a little shopping too.  Here are a few of my finds.

This is a great one for Spring, I just love the eggs in the nest! 

Moss covered wheelbarrows! I already have my Easter tablescape planned with these!

I really like these containers and think they would be great for any time of year but I am thinking they will be perfect for a front porch arrangement this summer.

My new favorite thing is this moss covered wire. 

How sweet, this is what I saw when I was checking out!

Spring is coming...I promise!

Stop in and tell my flower guy Kelly sent y'all!

Garden Delights Floral & Garden
2179 Hillsboro Road
Franklin, TN 37069
(615) 599-9950

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Let's put some south in your mouth

Brides....here is some good ol' southern advice that might help you while you are planning your wedding. 

You get more flies with honey than vinegar.  Seriously, you are going to need help all along the way and the nicer you are, the more people will want to help you.  I have encountered brides that think since this is their day they can throw one conniption fit after another and everyone will just have to deal with it.  Well some won't stick around and you will be busier than a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest if you don't have any help!

Well, sure it is your day, but it is also an important day for your parents, your future in-laws, your groom and all of your friends that are participating.  Don't get your feathers ruffled and remember that these are the most important people in your life and you want to show them your appreciation for sharing your special day with you.  Be thankful to everyone who agrees to participate in your wedding and make sure you shower them with thoughtfulness.  It will come back to you tenfold.

Be nice to your vendors, they are professionals and they will provide you with the best solutions to make your vision a reality. Have open, honest communication with them and they will understand exactly what you want. Be nice and they will bend over backwards to make you happy. People want to help others who are respectful and appreciative of their work.  So don't fly off the handle when something doesn't turn out exactly the way you thought it would.

So before you go off half cocked and let your mouth overload your butt, take a deep breath and put a big smile on your face and say "I do declare, I am a lucky bride!"

Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!

because every bride deserves a Perfectly Planned wedding....kelly

Do you have a favorite saying? 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Truthful Tuesday.....it's all about the money

Money...yes money. That should be one of the first things you discuss when you start planning a wedding. You need a budget, a realistic budget that everyone agrees on. Now this is a touchy subject sometimes, trust me I have been in some uncomfortable situations with clients that could have been avoided had there been a discussion before the planning process started. Honey, talking about money can be uncomfortable but put your big girl panties on and talk about it. Talk about it with your parents, with your sweetie and with your attendants.

Now that you know how much money you have....let's figure out how to spend it. This is the fun part!

An average wedding has about 150 guests, with 3 to 5 bridesmaids and groomsmen and let’s say $15,000 to $25,000 to spend. The budget breakdown looks like this:

Your biggest expense will be the reception. The site rental, food, cake and bar will take up to 45% of your budget, (less if you have a morning or early afternoon wedding) The second biggest expense can be photography and videographer, about 15% of your budget. You can find photographers for cheaper but just make sure you know exactly what you are getting. There are few things in my house (besides my children and pets) that I would run into a burning building for and my wedding pictures are one of them. You will be heart- broken if they aren't what you hope for.

Your wedding dress and other attire is next on the list at about 10%. Flowers, invitations and other printed material, attendant's gifts, transportation, hair and makeup, favors, groom's formalwear and other miscellaneous items will take up the rest.

Sit down and figure out what you have to spend on each category and go from there. Nothing is written in stone so you can take from one area that isn't that important to you and put it towards something you want to splurge on. Be smart and compare prices. Keep track of what you spend and make sure everyone is on the same page with purchases. Communication will be very important here. A wedding planner can be very helpful in this stage of the planning.
Here is a helpful hint from me to you.....don't ask someone's opinion unless you really want to hear it. The less people who are involved in the decision making, the better. Not everyone needs to weigh in on the color of your flowers or the centerpieces at the reception. We all have some dysfunction so recognize it and work with it! If your mom criticizes you on your weight, don't take her with you dress shopping. If one of your bridesmaids happens to be a negative person (God love her) don't put her in charge of the bridesmaid dress selection. That being said, be thoughtful and involve them in other areas of the wedding planning.

This is your day. Enjoy the process. There will be bumps along the way and it won't be perfect, nothing ever is. But with careful planning and wise spending you will look back on your wedding and know is was "perfect" for you!

and that's the truth.....kelly

Monday, February 1, 2010

Add Southern Charm to Your Wedding

Girls....first of all, keep it simple, be creative and fill it with your personality.  Welcome your guests and make them feel special for sharing your wedding day.  Have fun...seriously if you are stressed out and worried about the details your won't be able to enjoy the moment.

With a little imagination you can put your signature on the ceremony and reception and make it a day neither you, nor your guests will ever forget.  What is your style?  Elegant, whimsical, traditional, or modern?  What are your favorite colors?  What foods do you love?  Now go on girl...put your stamp on it and make it yours.

Now as with all things here in the south, food is the main event. My mouth starts watering just thinking about the possibilities.  The hot trend in reception food service is food stations.  My favorites right now are the mashed potato bar with an abundance of toppings to choose from, and honey hush....shrimp and grits served in a martini glass!    I just love it.  I think it is great when the bride and groom incorporate their favorites too.  I have planned weddings where we have mac and cheese, bite size hamburgers, and even pancakes. I have served moon pies with RC cola and bbq sandwiches on silver platters.  You can make anything fancy when you put it on a nice serving dish!

Now how about a drink?  I love having a signature drink for my events.  I usually have two, one non-alcoholic and one with a punch!  (Flavoring as my Grandmother would say)  Does the groom have a favorite beer?  Well by all means serve it! 

Now all you need is some music and we have ourselves a party!  This can be a tricky one.  Bands are expensive and can be a budget buster but the right one can elevate your wedding to an event for sure!  I have some favorite DJs and trust me get a recommendation.  Your cousin Ricky Bobby with his Ipod can be very dangerous.  You don't want just anybody to have control of that microphone.  A good DJ will make sure the dance floor is full at all times and encourage guests to join in the celebration.  You can control what songs are played and more importantly what songs aren't!  Now get your groove on!

As every good southern hostess knows, send your guests home with something special to say thank you for coming.  Pick something that reflects the theme of the ceremony and you as a couple.  The options are endless, so have fun.

  Well now there is just one thing left....no not that for heaven's sake!  Time to hug your mama and daddy and tell them how much you love them.  Toss the flowers and throw the garter and let your guests send you off in a cloud of bubbles or if it is a night wedding, honey how about sparklers!  Fabulous! 

My wish for you is this....I hope you look back on your wedding day and realize that it was just what you dreamed it would be and more.

love and weddings,