Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vinny & Sheril

This was a marathon planning experience to say the least.  Vinny & Sheril contacted me 6 weeks before the formal wedding date and said "we have the Canfield Casino booked and we are talking to the caterer but we need everything else".  Now, I'm up for a challenge but this was a first.  No invites had been sent out, no other vendors booked for a wedding falling the day after Thanksgiving....eeiikk.  Vinny, Sheril and their families were so enthusiastic how could I say no.  

I started by calling in all of my vendor favors.  Within 2 weeks everything was planned, details were confirmed and all we had left to do was create the itinerary and see how this day was going to unfold.

Then in a flash wedding day was here.  I walked in the hotel room to a beautiful site...Alayne from MMF putting the final touches on our stunning bride and everyone smiling. 

Amy Elizabeth was also touching up makeup on the bridesmaids.  Amy Elizabeth does phenomenal job and has always been great to work with....she's one of my "go to vendors'.

After we made sure that the bridal party, of 25, was dressed, the brides' mom started to help her get into her gown... major emotions going on.

Needless to say, the bride had many admirers.  These little ones were too cute!

My assistant made sure the groom and groomsmen found there way to the church,
where I was waiting to welcome them.  
Then the bride and her ladies were loaded into the trolley and off to the church they went.
The couple decided to have a little hint of floral at the church.  Sometimes that's really all you need with a large bridal party and elaborate gowns.

As we lined the bridal party up for the processional, my little bearer got right into his spot.  I think Tracey Buyce did an amazing job with the light in this one.

Behind the scenes shot: Then is was time for the runner to be pulled, cue the music and get our bride into place.  My assistant Meredith was able to grab a few shots of me in action.

The veil should always gather right over the shoulders...and then we breath before opening the doors.
a little fluff as I whispered..."ok you can start walking your daughter down now"
I always watch from the back of the aisle to make sure all is running smooth.  In all my years of coordinating, I've only gotten 1 mid-ceremony 'shout out' from a priest.  At Kim Gardner-Cadin's wedding.  But the 70yr old priest said something to the effect of "you know I've never worked with a planner before....Christine, how am I doing?", in the middle of the homily. 
I nearly melted into the back pew.

Loved this shot....she's excited about that ring
One of my favorite things about weddings are the traditions I get to learn about.  
It's an amazing thing to know that these rituals had been done years, decades and centuries
and now you are taking part in.

Right after the recessional we scooped up our bridal party and family members and ran the church photo-shoot.  Then everyone loaded into the trolley and headed up to Congress Park for an out door photo-shoot. This bridal party had a really good time on the trolley.  A bottle of JW Black label was on the way up and nothing came off when they got to the park.
The Canfield Casino has beautiful architecture for bride and groom shots.
During the cocktail hour, the bride and groom mingled with their guests and Meredith and I checked our "to do list" off for the reception.  Mer' went around and did our perfection test.

Behind the scenes in the ballroom before we had our reveal.

Just about time to dim out the last picture on my iPad.

Towards the end of cocktail hour I gathered up the DJ and catering manger, from Mazzone, for one last run through of details.  You can never be too careful, especially with the fast planning process for this couple.  I have to say I LOVE using my iPad at much more efficient.
The couple had brought in lighting to the casino stage for the mundup.  We tried out a few different color combos until they were happy with the outcome.
The couple sat on the stage within the mundup for the reception, as tradition would have it.

 A little cake for ya.
The casino is such a beautiful place.  This couple decided to do a combination of high and low centerpieces with hanging candles and a sweet dance floor monogram.

Time for the reveal...

After we got the sign of approval, we gathered up the bridal party and got set up for formalities, introductions, first dance, toasting, etc...

For the first time, can I introduce to you "Mr & Mrs"

The roasts were very funny and personal... I mean toasts.
Cue the dancing.
I loved all of the beautiful guest outfits.  They dressed up big time for this traditional wedding
and then danced all night.

I love coming back into the room after tending to end-of-the-night details and seeing the bride and groom going crazy on the dance floor.
It was such a pleasure working with Vinny & Sheril.  I hope you continue to be surrounded and supported by your friends and family and have many years of happiness!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Danaea & Mike

I think the title of this wedding should be "Freezing Fun"!  
It was bitter cold out on January 14, 2012 (we're talking below 0') But Danaea & Mike and their family and friends were determined to have an amazing day at the Hall of Springs.

We had been contracted to work with them on "day of coordination" and help make the day, 
and all of it's fun little surprises, happen.

Meredith and I started out at the hotel to drop off the bridal party lunches.

The ladies had brought a fun beverage tub monogrammed with the bride "to be's" new name.  
I love to see champagne in the bridal suite.  It always helps take the edge off.

I was happy to see the bridal beauty boutique in full swing....champagne in hand and bride looking calmer than ever.  Of course when you have the Make Me Fabulous' team onsite...there's no other way to do it.

Dresses and gowns were hung with care in.  Brides love to surprise their maids with little gifts.  
Danaea surprised them with "special hangers" for each of their dresses. 
So cute! ...I think she picked them up from

After we had our first check in with the bride, I was off to say hi to my groom.  He was so excited to give me a little something for his bride.  So back to the brides room we went.
(Danaea had sent him a little something too)

The bridesmaids watched from the door as the bride opened each box.

Then my fun floral team from, Fleurtacious Designs, dropped by with the personals.

Al Woodard shot a few fun video clips of the bridal prep with Joe Elario.  Brides, Al is an amazing videographer. He is very much a behind the scenes don't even realize he's there until you get this amazing video after the wedding.

This picture became famous on my FB that day....brides love this video/photo combo.

Next on the itinerary...groom and groomsmen get dressed.  
My groom provided bow tie instructions. so cute! 

Our maids were all ready to help the bride get into her gown.  I love this image...such a special moment on the wedding day...everything is ahead of you...and only exciting moments to happen.

Dad didn't want to let go the first time he saw his daughter.

My bridal assistant Meredith brought the bride down to the trolley and 
got the girls ready for the "first look".

I am in love with these dresses and accessories. 
They looked amazing and were accented with gorgeous bouquets.

Behind the scenes, Meredith held onto the brides boots and helped cue the driver
 to open the door, moments before the first look.  
JP told me "walk her up to here and then drop the dress".

Amazing moments...these guys have some serious love going on.

One of the sweetest moments of the groom with tears after seeing his bride-to-be.

After the first look the Elario's had the bridal party photo shoot.  My poor maids were frozen.  Thank goodness my bride had a beautiful stole.  I highly recommend to any bride, if you are doing any outside photoshoots consider the season and plan for the weather 
(sunny - parasols, rainy - boots and umbrella's, freezing - wraps and gloves)

JP and Joe setting up the perfect arrangements...."uhh boys hustle my bridesmaids are frozen".

After the bridal photo shoot the guys and girls went inside to get warm and the bride and groom had to tough it out for a few more amazing shots. 
One of my most favorite shots of all time is a veil in the it!

Family photo shoot was next.  The bride and her grandmother looks stunning.


And then it was time to triple check ceremony set up before guests started to arrive.  My assistant brought the bridal party to the suite to touch up before we got started.

I love a ceremony set up in the 'round'.  It's more intimate and everyone feels involved. 
Even rounding chairs into an amphitheatre will help.  
Fleurtacious had set up floating candles and arrangements at the start of each aisle.

ok, here we go.  Music is cued up, groomsmen are lined up, maids are down the aisle, and then it's time for my bride and her father.  The smile on her face says "ok dad, I'm ready".  

Peaking out from the back is one of my favorite vendors ....Kevin Sykes from the Hall of Springs.  He always loves to come down and watch the ceremony kick off.

Behind the scenes during the ceremony.  One of the cool parts about this ceremony was that the father of the groom officiated it.  If possible having an officiant that you know is the best.



After the ceremony the bridal party and I bustled the bride and sent the party off to their own private cocktail area, while guests went into Formal Cocktails.

BTW this is Maryann, she looks funny here, but she is my girl at the HOS.  She and I had our little pow-wow during cocktail hour and confirmed one last time what was about to take place.

The seating cards were very creative.  The couple decided to take mini Polaroid pictures throughout the year and write the name and table # on the bottom.  The guests LOVED this special touch.


Towards the end of cocktail hour we gathered up the bridal party for introductions.  This is always a funny time for me. It never fails that they all start coordinating their big move when they enter. 

Behind the scenes look of the bride and groom before they get announced.  They can hear the band revving up the crowd...guests yelling with excitement. One of my favorite moments of the night.

Cue the sparklers

The first dance was great. doesn't matter if you put Usher to shame or not....
you have to twirl your bride during the first dance.

Guests were delighted to see all white elegant arrangements on each table with silver and blue accents.

For any couples in the midst of planning, if you can squeeze in lighting...DO IT!  
It will change your room and make it magical.

This is a new trend I've started to see...bride and groom forks.

The band was hot and kept that dance floor packed for.... count 'em....7 hours!


After all of our formalities were done and dinner had concluded, the bride and groom had planned for a sweet dessert treat.  Gourmet flavored popcorn in lieu of a cake.

I was lovin' the buffalo flavor.  But they also had pickle (brides fav'), wedding cake flavor and regular. YUMMO

The Elario's crazy photo booth party.  The photo booth has become an activity un-to-its-own.  People swarm to it.... and Hayden was holding it down at this wedding. (LOVE Hayden!!)

One of my fav' shots of the whole day.  Love, fun, party, poofy dress....what's left to say.

A huge thank you to Danaea and Mike for including us.  It was so much fun getting to know you and your families.  I hope you smile when you remember your wedding day! 

Thank you of the Elario's for amazing images!

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