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Art of the Table – Canvas

April 30th, 2015 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

Every year, one of the premiere events in the event community is the Association of Bridal Consultants’ Annual Art of the Table. Now celebrating 11 years, this event is a collection of great design, decor ideas and distinctive tablescapes put together by Indiana’s preeminent planners, designers, florists and event professionals. I’m often quoted as saying, this celebration of beautiful tablescapes  is “My Favorite Day of the Year” because of the stunning tables and the sense of collaboration between the designers.

Art of the Table White Wedding Design

Art of the Table is a weekend filled with beautifully appointed table displays.  The event was conceived to raise money for education and scholarships for wedding professionals in the state of Indiana. It is also a fundraiser for the the American Cancer Society in memory of one of ABC’s member’s  Betty Jackson.  Betty was an ABC member and to whom this event honors.  Each year there is a table in her memory. Betty was a mentor and friend, and actually helped inspire my company name.  (The story of her daughter’s wedding is highlighted here:  Susan and Eric.)

Art of the Table White Tablescape

Each year my table has a creative theme.  For 2015,  I am proud to present “Canvas”

 ~ Canvas ~

Couples often have a hard time visualizing their own wedding palette, but using white as the canvas, this design gives anyone the option of seeing how transformative lighting and color is to any design.  The soft fabric serves as an invitation into the indulgent, yet modern, space. Using specialty lighting techniques, this area shows couples that the art of lighting can be used to transform and redesign any setting. Each color alters the look, mood and ambiance of the space.

Art of the Table Details

Every year I love all of the details each designer adds to their individual tables and the unique themes and inspirations. The minutia in the favors, menus cards, beautiful floral and china and of course – those linens!   One table was inspired by an engagement party, another a lovely Southern picnic (their menu sign left ft everyone hungry) 😉  Gatsby? It was the year for Gatsby! One was a stunning winter wedding while another  table was a rich a decadent Thanksgiving feast. Other tables played tribute to charities close to their heart.

Mon Amie Events, Inc table was honored to receive the award for “Best Table Designed by an ABC Designer”.  It’s a true honor, esp in a room filled with such talent and creativity.  Here are some of those intimate  details of the table that won the award.

Art DetailsArt of the Table Details

Cake Details

Special thanks also to the professionals who made my vision a reality:  BBJ Linen, Evans Audio Visual, LGi Linen, McNamara Florist – Carmel Location, Pomp & Polish & West Baden Springs Hotel Pastry Chef and to Jennifer Driscoll Photography for being the event Photographer and taking such great care in shooting “Canvas”

Monica Richard Mon Amie Events, Inc headshot

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“Why We Didn’t Hire a Wedding Planner … but Wish We Had” – she’s smart – NOW!

September 4th, 2014 monamieevents Uncategorized 1 Comment

Wedding Planner Indianapolis

Recently Huffington Post had a wedding blog titled  “Why We Didn’t Hire a Wedding Planner… but Wish We Had” which I posted on my facebook page.  It was brilliantly written.  It had several great points.  It was smart.  It was insightful.  It was perfect.

At an industry luncheon a videographer joked “You’ve been published lately, did you ghost write it?”  I replied – “If I am going to something that’s going to be picked up by Huntington Post, I want the byline.” 😉

Because this bride was so smart, so insightful, so perfect – I want to touch on a few of her points from a planner’s perspective. (The points I selected from her blog are in blue)

“Wedding planning takes time. Until you really get into the preparations for your big day, it is impossible to fathom how much work is involved and how many details need to be taken care of. I know brides who have taken leave from work in order to have more time to prepare their weddings. If you work long hours, have lots of hobbies or have children to look after, and don’t want to be completely drowning in to-do lists during your engagement, a wedding planner handling some of those tasks for you could be a real lifesaver. Also, you really don’t want to get in trouble at the office by getting caught doing wedding planning on company time!”

Most of your wedding professionals work normal business hours because on weekends they’re working – guess what – other weddings! Your planner will take the burden off you during work / school / life   to field phone calls, emails etc to these professionals during the day so that you can continue to have a job / function in society and be a good friend and fiance.  We all know “that girl.”  The one that only talks about her wedding allllll the time.  What’s she going to talk about after the wedding because she’s ONLY thought about the wedding, planned the wedding,  dreamt about the wedding,  planned the wedding,  and obsessed about the wedding for a year?  No one actually likes her anymore – because for the last year every.single.conversation. is about the wedding.  Having a planner will allow a couple to enjoy the wedding process and take things at a nice pace.

Wedding planning is stressful. Wedding planning is not the romantic experience one expects it to be. There are many details to take care of, meddling family and friends might drive you crazy and vendors can be a source of drama. During our engagement, several recently married friends told me that in the final month before the wedding they had been so exhausted that they just wanted the day to be over. This ended up being true for me: in the final week I lost five pounds from stress, burst into tears a few times and my groom and I were snapping at each other. This is not how anyone’s planning should be. Bringing on board a professional planner to help and take some of the workload off our hands definitely would have made sense (and they probably could have given advice on managing family drama).

Because of my years of event experience I also serve as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University in Event Management and The Bridal Industry.  One semester my course was taught in the Psychology Building.  I found it to be oddly fitting.  In our industry we encounter everything from beautiful designs to tough conversations about budgets.  Topics that I’ve had with couples vary from religion to how to best navigate family issues and meddling bridesmaids.  All of these things come up in any wedding planning process.  There is nothing we don’t discuss.  Having a wedding planner as a intermediary can be enormously helpful.  After  fifteen years I’ve seen, heard and witnessed many things.  I could write book — don’t worry — I wouldn’t.  Instead I use my experiences to help guide each client individually.

We weren’t that great at choosing vendors after all. Despite thinking that researching vendors ourselves was the only way to ensure we could make the best supplier decisions, this didn’t work out so swimmingly. Out of 15 or so wedding day vendors, there were only three that we were actually totally happy with… and some others we were extremely unhappy with. When we started out planning, we had organized less than one wedding… why did we think our judgment would be better than that of a professional, who has seen these vendors in action at more than one (and perhaps several, and perhaps many!) weddings? Why did I think a planner would force us into choosing a vendor we weren’t completely happy with?

To be candid, this was my favorite of her points. It was refreshing to see a bride so honest.

People ask me daily in fact, “Who is your favorite __(fill in the blank: florist, venue, photographer, etc)_.”  While it’s not a matter of being PC or a matter of playing nice in the sandbox, I don’t have a “favorite.” I really don’t.  I have a favorite for EACH client.  It’s entirely based on 3 things – product. price. personality.  The best photographer for 1 couple is not and never will be the best for another.  They might be perfect because they’re wonderful with natural light,  their personalities just click, their religions match, the budgets work out, and everything is just zen.  That’s my “favorite” for that client.  An entirely different  photographer may be my “favorite” for another family because they shoot clean crisp imagery and their style is energetic and bold.  The budget may be very different and the dates work out and …for this client it’s the best fit.  For any particular facet of the wedding, I build a team of professionals that I think works for that client, that family.  Those are my “favorites”  for that wedding.  It’s based on a group of factors.  Going at it alone would be nauseating.  Planning a wedding shouldn’t make anyone sick. 🙁

Wedding Florist Iindianapolis

We didn’t know what to look for in a vendor. Other than a little Google research before interrogating potential vendors via email, we really had no idea what to ask. For example, after contacting 20 different hairdressers for quotes, I realized I had to specify if I was planning an up- or down-do to get accurate pricing… so had to email them all over again. We asked cake makers for price quotes for a three-tier cake, but it didn’t occur to us to ask about the height of the tiers… until two months before the wedding, when we found out the “magnificent” wedding cake we were paying hundreds of dollars for was only nine inches tall, and we’d now have to shell out twice as much money to get it to the grandeur that we wanted.

I’ve been a planner for over 15 years.  I attend every meeting with my clients and in that time, I’ve learned the questions to ask and how to get these answered correctly the first time.  A good planner will save a couple time, stress and ultimately money.

This week a bride asked me about hiring a makeup artist.  I found out before we started the process for  hiring her artist several questions including: the number of people she wanted done, did she want her beautiful freckles to show, did she want air-brush, and from her photographer I confirmed what time she needed to be ready.  Most brides don’t know these are all things that need to be confirmed before you start the vetting process on something like a makeup artist.  Because I knew all of these answers as I made the calls for availability, it made her selection process much more smooth.

Makeup Artist Indianapolis

Things do go wrong at the last minute. The day before the wedding, the baker for our cake buffet claimed they never received our order, and our dance floor provider phoned halfway through our bridal party lunch claiming they hadn’t been paid. That night while setting up the reception room, we realized one table setting was missing, so had to frantically call the decorator for extra chair decorations, and re-confirm guest numbers with the kitchen. Tiny things, but they were unnecessary and brought a general feeling of stress on a day my groom and I had planned to be lovely and relaxing. Someone to handle those details for us would have been amazing. We were lucky nothing went wrong on the wedding day itself, but — yikes! — what if something had?

Something goes wrong at every wedding.  It does – I’m sorry to let couples in on this secret. 99.9% of the time – they never know this because planners do everything, and I mean everything, in their power to ensure brides never know.  If this bride had a planner, she NEVER would have gotten the call about the cake, or the table missing, or to make the call about the catering count.  A planner ensures these things never happen to the family.  I’ve had the mother of the groom get into an automobile accident on the day of the wedding and we never told the groom until after his Mother-Son dance because she called me first.  I’ve had cake catastrophes and linen mix ups all be fixed before guest arrival with time to spare.  I’ve had very sick brides and the guests never knew.  Having a planner makes the rest of the wedding pull off flawlessly.

A wedding planner can help with costs. The imagined price for a wedding planner was a reason we decided against hiring one. However, here are two things that I realized in hindsight: 1) Planners know what different services cost, and can better spot when a vendor price is exorbitantly high or too good to be true. They know most local wedding vendors, and can help you get the best value for your budget. 2) As with any other wedding vendor, you will agree in advance what services you want from your planner and how much that will cost. It is not in their interest to hand you a bill at the end of the wedding that you can’t afford to pay. Wish we’d realized all that earlier!

She is absolutely dead on in both of her points – a good planner will help you stay on track with your budget, be mindful of your budget and be an advocate for your budget.

I have always believed there is a professional wedding planner for every bride and every bride should find hers.  There is planner within every bride’s budget.  I preach this.  As the Indiana State Manager for the Association of Bridal Consultants and a member of International Special Events Society, I implore families out there to hire someone who is a member of ABC.  These planners are professionals, educated and abide by the ABC Code of Ethics.  Equally, hiring someone who a professional to serve as a planner means that your mom, your aunt, your next-door-neighbor can truly be a guest on your wedding day.  As you would want them to be – a guest.  Allow your wedding planner to serve you and your family as they’re professionally trained to do and not let the Huffington Post bride be you as well.  Wedding Planners want you to enjoy your day and to relish in the moments – not thinking about all of the final details.  Allow us to do that for you.  This moment of Jessie and her Maid of Honor Megan (who a few months later became a client) really exemplifies taking it all in moments before the ceremony. Enjoy your day and your planning process – you most certainly deserve it!

Indianapolis Wedding Planner with clients

Special Thanks to Jessica Strickland Photography and Jennifer Driscoll Photography for capturing these moments with Mon Amie Events, Inc and Alan Thompson, AIFD from McNamara Florist with our brides over the years.  (Jessica captured the first image, Jennifer captured the others)

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Art of the Table – inTENsity

March 20th, 2014 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

Every year, one of the first signs of spring is the Association of Bridal Consultants Annual Art of the Table.  Now celebrating its 10th Anniversary, this event is a culmination of design, decor and distinctive tablescapes put together by Indiana’s elite planners, designers, florists and event professionals. I’ve long called this celebration of beautiful tablescapes “My Favorite Day of the Year” because of the amazing over-the-top tables and the sense of collaboration between the designers.  This year, it was actually my “Two favorite days of the year” because the event was a weekend long celebration for the 10th Anniversary.

Art of the Table - Mon Amie Events Inc luxury wedding planner

Art of the Table is a delightful afternoon of artfully appointed table displays by the state’s best event designers and florists.  The day was conceived to raise money for education and scholarships for wedding professionals in the state of Indiana. It is also a fundraiser for the the American Cancer Society in memory of one of ABC’s member’s  Betty Jackson.  Betty was an ABC member who died too early in her career and to whom this event honors.  Betty was a mentor and friend, and actually helped inspire my company name.  (The story of her daughter’s wedding is highlighted here:  Susan and Eric. ) It was lovely to see Susan attend the event again this year!

This year, each table for Art of the Table had to include the #10 into their table in honor of the 10th Anniversary.  My table was a rich infusion of chocolate and red, all including the number 10 in a unique way.

Table XVI

– InTENsity –

This wedding design is inspired by the bride who longs for the traditional look of rich, lush floral with deep hues and opulent color, yet loves the clean modern look of today’s most popular pattern – the quatrefoil.  She loves the inTENsity of the deep claret flowers against the fresh and fun space created by bringing in the warmth of the rug from her home. The colors, patterns and furniture pieces chosen by this bride of deeps reds, claret and crimson paired with chocolate, bark and mink captivate the guest and are reminiscent of a chocolate dipped strawberry. What a delicious way to start off a marriage!   InTENsity is all tied together for Art of the Table’s 10th Anniversary Celebration with the use of the Roman Numeral X.  This wedding celebration takes place on the tenth day of the tenth month with a specialty toast at the tenth hour ~ what a deliciously inTENse and indulgent treat!  

Mon Amie Events Inc luxry Indianaolis Event Planner

Each year I love all of the details each designer adds to their individual tables and the individual themes and inspirations. Everything from the linens and chairs, to the floral and china.  Some tables include fantastic menu cards, pillows, favors and the intimate details creating a special and unique experience for the attendees of this annual event.  One table was inspired by a bachelor party, another an afternoon picnic, one was nautiful and rustic, another a rich a decadent holiday party (yet had NO Christmas Red anywhere on it – stunning!) Three tables used nearly the same color palette, and it was simply beautiful to see each of their interpretations on this popular color story – each were different and unique and truly special.

Mon Amie Events, Inc table was honored to receive two awards this year – The People’s Choice Award and the Best Use of Branding (Best use of Theme and Stationery) I’m thrilled the attendees were so pleased with the end result of the tablescape and voted it the 2014 People’s Choice.  Especially in a room full of such talent and creativity.  The judges honored the table for branding  – for the use of theme and stationery.  Here are some of those intimate paperie details.

Detail Branding Mon Amie Events Inc

Devilish desserts didn’t go unnoticed either!  😉  Sinful sections of sweets filled the table, the dessert display and the bar created as part of the table scape.  The bar even included specialty drinks (in the color story of course) and beverages with the Roman Numeral X matching the theme of the celebration!

yummy photos Art of the Table Mon Amie Events Inc Product Placement Mon Amie Events Inc

Of course none of these were to be outdone by the magnificence of the floral!  Hues of tone on tone red in a long low floral brought rave reviews. I’m so honored guests of the event and professionals alike raved about the bold color choice – which proved to be a decadent and handsome palette.

View More: http://jessicastrickland.pass.us/table-16

View More: http://jessicastrickland.pass.us/table-16

collage Art of the Table

intensity - Art of the Table 2014 winner Mon Amie Events

Special Thanks for the collaborative effort by my friends who make inTENsity possible – without them, this dream table, would be well, a dream.  Thank you for bringing my vision to life:

BBj Linen Rentals, Classic Cakes, LGi Linens, Alan Thompson, AIFD from McNamara Florist Carmel , pomp&polish,llc event branding, Sage’s Simple Syrups, Wow Factors

Images from Art of the Table captured by Jessica Strickland Photography – merci beaucoup!

 

art table red

 

I am honored to serve as the Indiana Chapter’s State Manager of the Association of Bridal Consultants.  For more information about Art of the Table click www.artofthetable.info – the 10th Anniversary video can be seen here: Art of the Table 2014

Video by Bob Ridge, IndyVisual.  Thank you for all you do!

Special thanks also to Girl Scout Troop 540 and Students of Indiana University Bloomington and IUPUI for volunteering throughout the weekend – without you, Art of the Table would not be possible.

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 Mon Amie Events Inc is a luxury event planner and wedding planner based in Indianapolis, Indiana

 

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Art of the Table – Captiva Blue

March 21st, 2013 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

Each spring Indy’s best Wedding and Event Planners come together for the Association of Bridal Consultants Annual Art of the Table.  I’ve long called this celebration of beautiful tablescapes “My Favorite Day of the Year” because of the amazing over-the-top tables and the sense of collaboration between the designers.

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Mon Amie Events, Inc table was honored to receive the “Best Table ABC Member Designed Table” – and I’m thrilled and humbled with this award.

Art of the Table is a delightful afternoon of artfully appointed table displays by the city’s best event designers and florists.  The day was conceived to raise money for education and scholarships for wedding professionals in the state of Indiana. It is also a fundraiser for the the American Cancer Society in memory of member Betty Jackson.  Betty was an ABC member who died too early in her career and to whom this event honors.  Betty was a mentor and friend, and actually helped inspire my company name.  (The story of her daughter’s wedding is highlighted here:  Susan and Eric. )

This year I was inspired by two amazing brides for my table for Art of the Table:  Captiva Blue

Captiva Blue
Inspired by two of the planner and designer’s most memorable, yet
very different weddings, this table threads together elements from each
of these celebrations.  One wedding took place on Captiva Island,
Florida last spring and included crisp white florals and balmy ocean
breezes. The other nuptials took place in the bride’s childhood estate
and used eclectic furniture creating lush seating arrangements and chic
dining vignettes to create a warm, homey atmosphere. Each of these
bridal couples were surrounded by family, friends and opulence at their
first dinner as husband and wife!

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I love all of the details each designer adds to their individual tables.  Everything from the linens and chairs, to the floral and china.  Some tables include fantastic menu cards, pillows, favors and the intimate details creating a special and unique experience for the attendees of this annual event.

 

Special Thanks for the collaborative effort by:

Alan Thompson, AIFD from McNamara Florist, Nikki Pulfer from pomp&polish,llc, and LGi Linens

Images from Art of the Table captured by Jessica Strickland Photography

Finally – special thanks to Becky and Jenny for your inspiration.

 

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To learn more about the Association of Bridal Consultants see  www.bridalassn.com. I am honored to serve as the Indiana Chapter’s State Coordinator.  For more information about Art of the Table click www.artofthetable.info – the 10th Anniversary Art of the Table Celebration’s plans are already underway.

 

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Images from Art of the Table captured by Jessica Strickland Photography

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