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2014 Top Memories

December 31st, 2014 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized No comments

2014 was an amazing year full of families who openly welcomed Mon Amie Events, Inc into their lives  to plan their weddings and events.  Some of these couples actually were siblings of others I’ve assisted in the past and it was wonderful to help another family member down the same aisle. Others were new families who were warm and hospitable from the moment we first met.  Regardless of how long I have known them, each of these families are forever part of my family – because they have made me part of theirs.

As I look back on this incredibly memorable year I wanted to reflect on a few event images that really resonated with me.  In the wedding industry certain photographs become iconic.  There are some over the last 15 years that just “stick” – clients, professionals and fellow industry colleagues know “that wedding” from a particular photograph, but in actuality another image may be the moment that most resonates in my memory and my mind’s eye from the day.  They are the quiet moments, the memories and the emotional parts of the day that I most remember as the couple’s planner, the family’s advocate and the observer on the day.

Here now are my 14 favorite “unsung” images of 2014.

 

(I’ve placed them in the order of the wedding day as they would have taken place – rehearsal –> wedding morning –> reception)

no one is looking

“No One’s Looking” – During the rehearsal Lauren and Michael clearly thought no one was looking and couldn’t help but steal a quick and intimate kiss. I love the look, the passion and love this image projects.  (…and that it was captured from across the room!)

 

The staircase

“The Staircase” — I love this quiet moment as Curtis and his bride Sara head out to take photos the morning of their wedding.

Conversation

“Deep Conversation” — Only Shelby and her beautiful niece know what they were conversing about while the girls were getting ready, but his moment is one of my favorites from this May wedding.

Love Letters

“Love Letters” – Many couples exchange letters before seeing one another – and I do everything possible to ensure this moment is captured on film.  If nothing more so to have THIS moment on film so Graham’s wife, Grace, can see it.  I think he looks so handsome as he is reading her words and she deserves to see how happy she is clearly making him.  I think the mood is beautifully captured here in black and white.

waiting

“Anticipation” — Matt can not contain his smile as we’re walking to go see his bride, Abby, for their first look.  What absolute joy is expressed everywhere  – it’s a magical part of the day!

Final Prep

“Final Prep” – In the overall room decor and awe inspiring room shots that we all admire in the event industry, I fear too often people fail to notice the dozens of hands it took to make the amazing details happen.  I love this image of one of the staff piping butter before a wedding onto the bread plates.  Every member of the team taking such pride in their work for the happy couple.

Here Comes the Bride

“Here Comes Our Friend!” – I love this sweet moment during the bridal processional as one Grace’s bridesmaids quickly looks at the other bridesmaids as if to say “look there’s our friend … getting married!”  You can see the other bridesmaids behind her beaming at Grace coming down the aisle, but I love this quick glance as if to say “is this real?!” She looks so happy, giddy and proud!

Grandparents in love

“Mimi and Papa” – This June Mimi and Papa hosted their granddaughter, Lauren’s wedding on their farm in Southern Indiana.  They were gracious, hospitable, warm and so in love with Lauren, and one another.  I love this moment taken during the ceremony as Lauren and her husband Tom said their vows on the family farm.

 

First Dance Connection

“Connection”  – Tom and Lauren didn’t tell anyone what their first dance song was, except the band. So when they came out and lit up the dance floor – it was amazing!  I love the way Tom’s looking at Lauren.  They’re clearly having fun, making a connection and about to have a great night – which is what a wedding is all about!

We Did It

“We’re Married!”  – If you think this smile on David’s face during their first dance was a quickly stolen moment, or a laugh perfectly captured, you’d be wrong.  He laughed, smiled and looked into Kelesey’s eyes all.night.long!  It was fantastic!  Tiffany Stoner, one of the photographers commented in her career she had never seen a groom so in love.  They were so easy to photograph together because they radiated joy.

Candlelit Dance

“Candlelight” – In her father’s memory Lauren’s traditional father – daughter dance consisted of several influential men in her life dancing with Lauren to the classic “In My Life” while all of the guests encircled the dance floor holding candles which remained lit the remainder of the evening. The last person to dance with her was her brother (pictured) and as the song ended, the guests spontaneously raised their candles to the sky above.  How this photo was taken with the tears flowing behind the camera were possible is still beyond compression.

Mom's Pride

“Momma is So Proud”  – I love Sheila.  Everyone who meets her does.  How can you look at this woman and not?  She’s clearly beaming with pride at her son during a stolen moment on the dancefloor!

Taking it all in

“Taking it all in.”  – Brian enjoying his Scotch. Brian just savored the day, and his Scotch.  He relished in the entire experience of being a groom.  He loved hosting the wedding in his family’s beautiful lodge, looking at his stunning bride, greeting his guests and just being the groom.  Brian really is the prefect gentlemen and this photo captured the mood, and his spirit perfectly!

opening presents

 

“Opening Presents” – There is nothing like the magic of opening gifts – the anticipation and joy!  Just like the gift of a new year.  Thank you for this gift of 2014.  Here’s to the gift of 2015 –  Cheers!

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Special Thanks to: Conforti Photography, Jennifer Driscoll Photography, Nathaniel Edmunds Photography and Jessica Strickland Photography for capturing a year full of intimate memories!  I have loved seeing 2014 through your camera. 

(of note, all of 2014 weddings weren’t yet available for consideration for this blog.)

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12 Days of Christmas

December 12th, 2014 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized No comments

The 12 Days of Christmas – Mon Amie Events, Inc Style:

 

2014 has been an amazing year, so as I reflect back on this year during this time of great Thanksgiving and joy, I thought I would share with you a 12 Days of Christmas style list of a few fun facts from 2014:

Mon Amie Events Christmas Tree

 

 

12 – Different Cake Flavors were used by couples. (If you’re asking me to reveal a favorite  — ohh SUCH a hard choice — lemon / orange / almond OR almond pound with truffle filling.  tie. it’s a tie.)

Cake Flavors

11 – Flower Girls walked down the aisle over the course of the year in front of their sisters, aunts, cousins and friends.  … well some crawled or were carried — but all made it (eventually) 😉

 

flower girls

10 – The length (in minutes) of the surprise fireworks show at the conclusion of a June reception.

barn wedding fireworks

9 – The  song actually says “9 Ladies Dancing” – and this is true!  9 is the largest number of bridesmaids this season.  (they were stunning, graceful, intelligent and kind – every single one of them.  No wonder she had 9 of them!)

9 ladies dancing

8 – Times the Mail Lady (yep, my “mailman” is a lady) came to my door saying I have the prettiest mail on the block as the rsvps rolled in all year — or glitter rolled all over her.  (Little did she know what we would look like after the glitter dance floor!)

(8 was actually the clients who had their RSVPs return to me – to the delight of my mail lady – and me.  It’s actually one of my favorite parts of the planning process!)

glitter wedding invitations

7 – Colors of lighting gels for an October wedding.  This lighting design actually made a set up member at the JW ask for a “Ruby Linen like that one over there.” I then had to explain all of the linens were the same color – it was just the magic of lighting!

Reception Long Table

6 – The number of times Monique Lhuillier made an appearance.  🙂  She was the most popular designer selected by Mon Amie Events, Inc brides.  (not counting bridesmaids or even the time I wore one of her dresses)

Bridal Couple Standing

5 – Couples who said their vows in a non-secular location.  Whether it was in a museum, resort or a private estate – brides this year didn’t always say “I Do!” in traditional locations!

ceremony locations - barn

4 – Number of hours it took the installers to place one of the most intricate decor pieces of the year.  I.do.not.know.how.they.managed.it.  Thank you will never be enough.

 Dancing West Baden Spring Hotel Atrium Wedding

3 – Siblings of another client!  It’s amazing that families invite me into their lives so openly and warmly and it’s even more humbling when years later (*though once this year it was only a few months later) we get to do it all over again!!!!  I’ve known one of my families this year for over a decade – it’s amazing to see their family grow, just as they’ve seen mine.  Thank you so much for welcoming me into your lives.

parents of the bride

2 – Mothers of the bride this year with the same birthday as me!  Amazing huh?  These two women are amazing, strong and were wonderful to work with all year.  So are their daughters!  Most be something about the birthday 😉

birthday moms

1 – One Amazing year.  Thank you to all of my staff, interns and the event professionals who created special memories that will last a lifetime, the clients and their families who continue to welcome me into their lives so warmly and to my own family who has tasted more than their fair share of 12 flavors of cake over the year to help make all of this possible.  Happy Holidays!

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Special Thanks to: Conforti Photography, Jennifer Driscoll Photography, Nathaniel Edmunds Photography and Jessica Strickland Photography for capturing a year full of laughs, tears and memories!  I have loved seeing my Saturday nights through your lenses. 

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Wedding Highlight – Lauren and Michael

September 29th, 2014 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized 2 Comments

Lauren and Michael West Baden Dancing

Anyone who knows me outside the event world knows I call the West Baden Springs Hotel in the French Lick Resort “Mecca” – many who know me inside the wedding world know it too.  I love the rolling countryside of the Southern Indiana hills as you approach.  I love the iconic yellow brick beacon that appears like a mirage out of the countryside.  I love the stunning architecture that sweeps stories into the sky.  I love the attention to detail in each space from the library, to the dining room, to the spa, to each guestroom.  Above all, I love the guest service.  I love West Baden.  I make no secret about it.

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When Lauren first called and told me she was getting married in Mecca I knew we were destined to work together.  She and my son share a birthday, she adores roller coasters, she’s a Florida State Seminole (I think I was one in another life – because although I am an IU Hoosier, I – due to many family ties, cheer for the ‘Noles during football season – much to my Notre Dame loving husband’s dismay) and, Lauren always knew she would get married at West Baden.  So when we first met on a fireworks cruise at Walt Disney World, we instantly clicked.

West Baden Details

In fact, Lauren first wanted a black, white and gold wedding.  Just after we began working together, I designed a cover shoot for a magazine at West Baden, and inspired by the touches of deep crimson throughout the hotel, I used gold and red in the photo shoot.  Suddenly, Lauren wanted to change her colors to gold, garnet and black for the reception and for the ceremony we would maintain white and gold palette.

West Baden Ceremony and Reception

Knowing West Baden’s gardens and enchanted spaces as well as she does, I was not the least bit surprised Lauren requested photos outside of this idyllic location on their stunning summer day.  It was perfect outside – a lovely breeze, perfect shade and look what Mother Nature gave them for these perfect photos!

Vera Wang West Baden Wedding

The look of the wedding began with the paperie all created by pomp&polish.  Nikki Pulfer from pomp&polish designed the save the date and invitations after being inspired by the medallion in the atrium’s grand dome. She then created a suite to highlight West Baden’s architecture, even including intricate details from the tiles of the floors, all of which were later used on the wedding day paper suite.  The main medallion would hold the largest surprise for the guests –  it would be used as the design for the 36ft dance floor. To complete the look she used a beautiful foil stamping technique and gold calligraphy that gave the invitations a sheen and regal elegance.

West Baden Wedding Invitation Suite

Lauren and Michael may have hosted their wedding in a grand and opulent hotel, but don’t let the size of their wedding allow you to think it was anything less than an intimate occasion. It was definitely a family affair  filled with love, laughter and plenty of family stories to tell.  Lauren and Michael wanted their guests to enjoy a wedding weekend to retreat, relax and indulge in celebration in one of Lauren’ favorite childhood destinations.  During her wedding trailer video, she talked about how she had long envisioned her wedding taking place at West Baden, and it was a joy to see her guests revel in seeing her dream become a reality.

West Baden Springs Hotel Grand Atrium

The ethereal ceremony took place in the grand lobby surrounded in cream, snowy white and soft dewy flowers.  Dainty flower girls floated down the aisle with adorable crowns, ring bearers – dressed as “security guards” complete with ear pieces and sun glasses arrived just before the ring itself and the service started with an atmosphere of sheer joy!   As Lauren, escorted by her mom and brother came down the aisle, the mood was light and celebratory! Lauren walked into the ceremony through an crystal and organza curtain (a surprise to her!) and glided up the aisle in her Vera Wang gown.  The ceremony, led by their hometown pastor, included prayers from her parents’ ceremony and ended with steamers of flutter fetti as the couple was announced husband and wife!

Flower Girls and Ceremony Aisle West Baden Wedding Ceremony

Personal touches in the ceremony were everywhere.  From the prayers and songs selected during the vows, to the heart sewn into Lauren’s gown in honor of her late father ~ this truly was an intimate family wedding.

Vera Wang Wedding Gown

Family and friends enjoyed cocktails  along the porte cochere where carriages have brought hotel guests for over 100 years.  Finally, dripping with anticipation,  the guests were allowed to see  main 200′ diameter atrium for the first time.  The sun-drenched dome radiated with sunlight as guests were seated for dinner. Before them hung a ring  of monogrammed banners and a custom dance floor stretched the expanse of the ceiling’s medallion.  Soft gold linens and deep crimson florals perfectly suited Lauren and Michael’s subtle nod to Florida State and West Baden’s color palette.

West Baden Wedding Atrium

The details were everywhere! Gold chargers and gold rimmed china set off the garnet and gold foil stamped menu cards.  Children even had their own coloring page of the ceiling’s medallion to occupy them during the evening. A cake (almost) too beautiful to eat stood stately in front of the grand fireplace that once burned 14′ logs. Hand painted table numbers which were so detailed one guest even asked to take it home – (an unexpected requested from an elderly man, I must admit)  😉 and robust red flowers in low containers, so guests could converse easily and marvel at the banners overhead. West Baden Wedding Details

As Lauren and Michael entered the room, the atrium filled with joy and happy.  SO MUCH HAPPY!  Lauren and Michael stepped onto their dance floor as she looked like a living cartoon princess and it was truly magical! (look how she even holds her dress in this photo below!! JUST like Cinderella – it really was breathtaking!) One of my favorite moments was watching their first dance and noticing the flower girls all seated along the side of the floor watching with such wishful expressions as the sun began to set in the Southern Indiana sky.  😉

 Dancing West Baden Spring Hotel Atrium Wedding

Lauren and Michael wanted every detail to be preserved so they even had a painter capture the day for them during the event.  In the ballroom he quietly painted the entire event as it unfolded. Guests could be seen going over throughout the night checking in on the work in progress.

Interactive wedding painter

Two of the highlights of the day were actually surprises to Lauren and happened during the reception. Lauren’s traditional father – daughter dance consisted of several influential men in her life dancing with Lauren to the classic “In My Life” while all of the guests encircled the dance floor holding candles which remained lit the remainder of the evening.

Father Daughter Dance Candlelight West Baden Springs Hotel Atrium

Later, to the couple’s surprise,  Lauren’s siblings serenaded them followed by a second “first dance” by their (incredibly talented) friend at midnight to start the second dance set.  From here guests danced until the wee hours of the morning with a new array of treats including childhood favorites reminiscent of ones from amusement parks and state fairs – yum! (I mean who doesn’t want funnel cakes, french fries and burgers after midnight?!?) 😉

West Baden 2nd Dance Set

The dance floor was FULL the entire night due to an incredible band, fun atmosphere and a great group of people!  They were dancers!  It was really refreshing and fun to see the West Baden Springs Hotel Atrium, normally so known for it’s opulent charm and quiet serenity, be so full of life and vivacious spirit!

Dancing West Baden Atrium

I adored working with the entire family!  They are so warm and welcoming and have always treated my entire family as if we’ve known them forever. Above all, they always respected every professional on the team’s ideas with an open mind, and because of that, I think got a wedding beyond their wildest imagination!  I love when couples do that – when they know any planner and any professional will only put forward ideas to help make their wedding vision grow and expand. Lauren and Michael trusted their entire team and because of that, their entire team pushed the creative envelope.

Lauren and Michel – On behalf of your team, thank you for letting us be part of that team.  It was an honor to “cook” something up for you 😉  The love you showed during this moment of the rehearsal really shows the compassion and love you share for one another.  It was beautiful to witness this throughout the planning process and the weekend of your wedding.  (I’m glad Nate caught on film what we all saw throughout the planning.)

Mon Amie Events, Inc rehearsal

After telling her dad years earlier at Thanksgiving Dinner that she would be married at West Baden, Lauren always knew this day would come.  It was a privilege to help make her vision become a reality.  I hope this is everything she imagined and more.  It really was a labor of love for me as a planner to help this beautiful couple in one of my favorite locations – Mecca.  Now Lauren and Michael have a reason to call West Baden Mecca too.

West Baden Springs Hotel Wedding Atrium Custom Dancefloor

 

Meci Beaucoup:  to Nathaniel Edmunds Photography for all of the above images and to Nothernlight Filmwork for the trailer video used in the blog above.  Also to; BMG, Calligraphy with TLC, Chicago Catz, French Lick Resort Floral Design, JW Salon, LGi, Makeup by Sparkle, pomp&polish, llc, TLW Entertainment, West Baden Springs Hotel

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West Baden Springs Hotel Driveway

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Wedding Rewind

May 1st, 2014 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized No comments

I’m lucky.  I get it.  I get to help couples and families plan an incredible celebration and share in special, intimate moments.  I get to see private, quiet moments with wonderful people.  I get to see things few people get to see, and I get to share in these quiet prayers, whispered conversations and silly conversations just before a bride walks down the aisle with her father and I am humbled to be present in the moment.  I’m not immune to my surroundings.  I’m keenly aware of where I am and what I’m experiencing.  I also get to see funny, witty toasts.  I get to see romantic, opulent shows of affection during a first dance.  I get to couples show each other, and their closest several hundred friends and family (lots) of public displays of affection all day long.  I love it.  I love the stories.  I love the romance.  I love the “best day of their lives.”  — I am also reminded, it’s only the best of their lives – until that point.

Beck Chapel Indiana University

The best day of your life is yet to come. 

It’s the day your child is born.

When they learn to say Mom. or Dad.

It’s the day you learn a loved one has a clean bill of health.

It’s the night you watch a child graduate.

It’s when you see someone you love accomplish something – whether it be hitting a home run, selling 1,000 Girl Scout Cookies, opening  a business or learning to ride a bike.

The day you realize you have financial freedom.

It’s the day you see a loved one return from deployment.

The best day of your life is your child’s wedding day.

Air National Guard - deployment image

(One of the best and most celebratory events I ever planned was Major Tim Stoner’s return home from the war zone.  This image of his deployment, taken by his brother-in-law, Nathan Rowe, from Nathaniel Edmunds Photography, always gripped me.  His return was definitely the best day of their life.)

The best day of your life isn’t necessarily your wedding day, it’s just the very, very best day of your life – so far.  I LOVE helping families with that day.

 As Paul and I neared our 15th Anniversary we realized we wanted to celebrate our wedding – again.  We enjoyed the moments and those who shared in it with us.  We talk about it often with our kids.  They ask us about it all the time.  We wanted our 15th Anniversary to be the best day of our lives because our children and their grandparents could be part of the day and celebrate with us.

Navy Blue Invitation

Because of my career, I am often asked “If you were to do your wedding over, would you do it differently or the same?”  I often reply. “Yes. Both. Exactly the same, yet entirely different.”  With this in mind, Paul decided to recreate our wedding, as a ceremony for 4, and a party for 8.  (including only our children, then for the reception our parents.)  It was, exactly the same, yet, entirely different at my request.  It.was.perfect.

Paul and Sabrina did much of the work admittedly. They had an amazing template – our wedding 15 years ago was lovely.  We could have played Prince and partied like it was 1999 – because Sabrina and Paul worked very hard to recreate the day!

Just as we had 15 years ago, the ceremony was at Beck Chapel at Indiana University in Bloomington followed by the intimate dinner at the Omni Severin Hotel in Indianapolis.

Beck Chapel Ceremony Indiana University Flutter Fetti

Sabrina requested I wear my original wedding gown for the ceremony.  It was wonderful to see her enthusiasm as she zipped me into the dress!    Seeing the day through the kids’ eyes was what Paul and I enjoyed the most throughout the day.  Kyle walked me down the aisle.  I hope he and Sabrina noticed Paul’s face at this moment. I also hope they saw our faces throughout the day.  It’s important children see their parents in love.   The kids read us speeches at the church. Seeing their joy in the church when we exited was contagious!

Moments in Love

(If the kids didn’t see the church moment they certainly did on the video from Bob Ridge  – IndyVisual)  That moment, I literally was in a time warp to 4/17/1999 he looked exactly the same to me!  The video nails it.  (If this isn’t PROOF as to why everyone needs a filmmaker on their wedding day, nothing else is!) (My favorite portions of the video happen at the church — because of the song — and Paul’s expression – so I’m inserting the video clip here which is VERY out of the box for my normal blog post) Paul and Monica 15th Anniversary Video (by IndyVisual)

Beck Chapel Indiana University - Inside

Following the ceremony, we took the kids on campus for photos – just as we had done 15 years prior. This time though, the weather was 20 degrees warmer!

Navy and Yellow Wedding Indiana University Showwalter Fountain

Echoing 1999 was navy and yellow palette.  Sabrina didn’t stray from that at all.  She looked very grown up meeting with Alan Thompson, AIFD from McNamara Flowers to go over the details of bouquets, centerpieces and decor.  She couldn’t have loved her bouquet more! (Thank you Alan for that gift!)

Yellow and Navy Wedding Yellow Bouquet

The 15th Anniversary is actually the “Crystal Anniversary” so elements of crystal and glass were used in bounty.

Crystal Chandelier

When we returned to the Omni we were joined by our parents.  The ballroom was stunning!  Paul and I were able to enter the room first and I was literally in tears when I went into the space. My wish is that each of my clients feels that as they enter their space on their wedding night.  Sabrina and Kyle entered next and their reactions were just as exciting.  I loved seeing their faces and reactions to it all.  As a parent it was exactly what Paul and I wanted for the day.

Surprise reaction to Ballroom - Navy and Yellow Wedding

 

It was perfect.  Navy sparkle linens. Crystal chiavari chairs with custom chair embroidered caps.  Stunning, sunny, opulent yellow floral in the most luscious shades of honey, saffron and marigold.  Crystal listening in the spectacular lighting.  Butter draping perfectly beckoning you into the ballroom. It was a dream.  Sabrina and Alan used a few old photographs and swatch samples of my favorite linens and knocked it out of the park.  How do you begin to say thank you for this type of a gift?  (I wish Alan and Scott from Evans AV were there to see my reaction)

Yellow and Navy Wedding

The paperie from Nikki from Pomp&Polish was perfect. She even tied our place cards to crystal rock candy so the kids could stir their tea with it. (yes, we’re all hot tea drinkers – what a lovely personal touch!)

Navy Stationery and Paper Details Navy and Yellow Wedding

Dinner was also a twist on the original.  The Omni was given our original menu – they merely updated a few sauces and presentations to modernize the meal.  It was wonderful to recreate the entire evening.

Wedding Menu

To our delight, Vincent was our server once again 15 years later!  Just as he helped us cut the cake then, he did so this year.  The cake was a perfectly updated version of what we had 15 years earlier.

Classic Cake

During dinner, Jessica Strickland, our photographer asked me to stand up for our dance.  (Boy was I confused!?)  Just then to my SHOCK Bryan England and Nick Lemmo III surprised us with an acoustic version of our original first dance.  Bob had completely pulled this off for us, and later that night, both Paul and I had said it was our favorite moment of the day.  (if there’s ANY question to my reaction, the fact I had cried off all of my makeup left no doubt) 🙂

15 years of love

Everyone worked to make the day full of memories from 15 years ago and full of new memories.  Everyone pulled out all the stops.  It was magical for Paul and me.  It was magical for our parents.  (again)  😉 Most importantly it was magical for the kids.  Because we’ve had someone we love get that clean bill of health(thank God!), because we’ve given birth, because we’ve sold 1,000 Girl Scout Cookies and because we are so thrilled those people could be with us for our 15th anniversary – it was the best day of our lives – so far.

Grandparents Family Photos

Thank you for allowing me to share our “best day” with you – and for the personal reasons as to why we chose to celebrate rather publicly.  This entire day would simply not have been possible without great friends and colleagues who helped create it.  Each kept secrets, each pulled off surprises and each helped create an amazing day for our family.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love.  ~  a very special Merci Beaucoup to Jessica Strickland Photography for the above images and to: A Classic Party Rental, Antique Limo, BBJ Linen, Classic Cakes, Endless Summer Band (Bryan England and Nick Lemmo III) Evans Audio Visual / Wow Factors,  IndyVisual, JW Salon, LaTavola Linens,  Makeup by Sparkle, Marie Gabriel Couture Bridal Salon, McNamara Florist ~ Carmel, Omni Severin Hotel,  pomp&polish llc, TLW Entertainment – from the entire Richard Family. 

Navy Family Wedding

 

Mon Amie Events, Inc is a Indianapolis, In based event and wedding planner.

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Wedding Highlight – Andrea & Patrick

August 1st, 2013 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Perfect Dance

Every once in a while a couple just touches your soul.  In 14 years of planning weddings I’ve been lucky enough to have this happen to me several times throughout the year.  It’s one of the reasons I am so discerning about the number of clients I take a year, and one of the reasons I interview each client so thoroughly as much as they interview me.  My only regret with Andrea and Patrick — time.  Patrick proposed to Andrea May 18th. Yes, this year on May 18th.  The entire wedding was planned in 8 weeks.  Therefore my only regret isn’t the lack of time we had to plan the wedding, because we had enough, but rather my lack of time I got to spend with such extraordinary people.

Andrea and Patrick travel quite a bit for their career, often oversees, and due to this hectic schedule, they no longer wanted to wait to be married.  The time was now, so, the wedding was now.  By no means does this mean that our relationships, our conversations, nor our friendship will be over.  (A WISE former client once told me on her wedding day “your work here may be done, but our friendship has just begun.” with Andrea, I feel the same way.)  She and Patrick are warm, engaging, welcoming, witty and smart.  Entirely my kind of people!

 

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Originally from Colombia, Andrea is funny, stylish and full of just the right amount of spice and flair one would expect from any South American woman.  Patrick, the debonair Frenchman, is sophisticated, welcoming, warm and charming.  I met them two days after Patrick proposed and we began working on their wedding which would infuse their experiences and cultures into an amazing sensory experience for the guests.  Finding the perfect venue took less than a week (the Market Table restaurant) located in The Alexander.

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The ceremony would take place outside in their garden while guests sipped on specialty cocktails (made with Indiana’s own Sage’s Simple Syrups) and found shade in deep red parasols.  The backdrop of the ceremony included their monogram, symbolic of their 2 worlds coming together.  Andrea carried a (stunning!!!) bouquet of peony, roses and callas which smelled divine, and I kept thinking to myself – HOW did Alan (from McNamara Florist) find such amazing peony in JULY!?!?  The bridesmaids bouquets were lovely hues of reds which looked amazing against their very very pale blue dresses.  At the end of the service  guests showered the couple in red petals which were lovingly presented in clear packages on each chair at the service.

Ceremony Recessional

The reception allowed guests to tempt their taste buds!  The tapas style menu allowed guests to sample options for several hours pursued the options as hors d’oeuvres, entrees, desserts and late night snacks were all presented in “small plate” style servings.  The menu ranged in cuisine from around the globe allowing guests to travel from country to country tasting the heritage and culture of this amazing couple.  If you’ve ever been to Epcot’s Food and Wine festival, that is a sampling of what this wedding menu was like.  Sinful, indulgent, delicious.. and it just kept coming… fur hours and hours and hours….and it was amazing! just when you thought it stopped, out came the late night snacks with the amazing truffle oil steak fries and sliders (and oh – but wait, I need to try another flavor of gelato!)  (how do you say food coma in French and Spanish!?!) 🙂

(The flower girl’s expression says it all!  priceless!)

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Wedding Menu Small Plates

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Even the  wedding cakes (both American and the traditional French pièce montée) reflected their cultural influence.  Patrick was so excited about this confection!  Due to humidity (and BOY was it HOT on this July night!) it was very very difficult to  find any bakery in Indiana willing to make this special request for him.  Thank you to Ilene from Classic Cakes for finding a way to create it.  (after striking out at over 1/2 a dozen other pastry shops unwilling to tackle the task.)  Patrick was so grateful he even spoke about it during his speech.  Merci Ilene!

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Naturally, no French wedding would be complete without a champagne toast, but this wedding included a Champagne Bar allowing guests to sample champagne vintages and infuse their beverage with juices, syrups and floral.

Simple Syrup

Throughout the night guests could be seen perusing the menu options while reading their program.  This program book (24 PAGE book!) lovingly translated in French and Spanish the ceremony’s vows and menus so guests who had traveled from France or Columbia never felt left out of the evening’s celebration.  It also included background behind some of Andrea and Patrick’s favorite pieces of The Alexander’s amazing art collection as curated by the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the significance of the A+P circle monogram.

Menu

The toasts were warm and charming!  Andrea actually surprised Patrick by saying a large portion of her speech in French for his family.  Everyone, from around the globe understands the language of love, and there is no doubt these two are meant for each other, and their families are elated for their happiness!

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Music played a major role in the celebration. The ceremony included a live trio, but during the reception, the salsa and Latin flair kicked in when Cathy Morris put together an ensemble for the dinner portion of the evening.  The DJ kept the crowd happy by infusing a European club sound while playing just enough Latin style to make sure both continents were on the dance floor all evening long!  When Andrea surprised her guests with her reception dress, the Shakira song was the perfect choice!  Guests enjoyed dancing under the chandeliers of Edison bulbs creating a starry and romantic glow to the entire evening!

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This sweet and tender moment was captured during their “second first dance” when Andrea came out in her reception dress.

Andrea and Patrick dancing

Among my favorite moments of the day include their first viewing — it was in the lobby of the hotel.  Exactly in the spot where Patrick first said to me “this is my style. This type of space.”  I knew right then The Alexander was the right location for them.  I’m thrilled with the service they received, the convenience for their guests and the flow of the entire process.  I’m also thrilled it was where he saw Andrea on their wedding day for the first time.  Perfect! They deserved that!

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Just as the invitation was printed in 3 languages, (BOY were those rsvps amazing fun to get back in the mail — an incredibly fun perk for me since they travel so often!)  all other paperie pieces had been throughout the day.  As guests departed they once again were surprised with a multinational gift.  The favors were a collection of sweets from around the globe. (I still don’t have the heart to nibble mine — but ohhh, it’s calling… though the amazing – and I mean AMAZING basket Andrea and Patrick created for me with treats from around the globe was devoured! – merci, gracias, thank you doesn’t say it enough!)

Favors

The entire evening had the perfect blend of food, family and fun,  Félicitations! ¡Felicitaciones! Congratulations Andrea and Patrick, it was an honor working with you and a pleasure getting to know you.   Wherever your travels take you, I know our friendship indeed has just begun!

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I love reading the photo comments from guests around the globe – including this one from a guest “qu’ils sont beaux 😉 plein de bonheur a tous les deux!”  – when looking at this image, I agree!

mejores deseos, te amo tanto! meilleurs voeux, aiment tous les deux! Best wishes, love you both!

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Merci Beaucoup:

Alexander, Blue House Bridal, Cathy Morris and Kristi Lee (TLW Entertainment), Classic Cakes, Evan’s Audio Visual,  IndyVisual, McNamara Florist , pomp&polish llc , Sage’s Simple Syrups , Splendor, Tyler Mason, Vrai Photography

 

visit http://monamieeventsinc.com/andreapatrick/ for more images and more details of Andrea and Patrick’s wedding day

UPDATE —

 

Enjoy their wedding video trailer!  Andrea+Patrick Video

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Mon Amie Events, Inc is a high end  Indianapolis  based event planner, luxury wedding planner, bridal consultant bar mitzvah planner, bat mitvah planner, event designer and wedding designer. Monica Richard, MBC

6915 Bretton Circle, Indianapolis, IN

 

 

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The One Who Loved You First

June 10th, 2013 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

Father’s Day is this Sunday and in the day’s honor, I wanted to have brides reflect on their first love ~ their Daddy.  During the wedding weekend, the entire day seems to go very quickly.  I wanted to give a few points in the day to honor the man who stood by your side until you met the new love of your life.  Having these moments with your Dad will be among the best memories of your wedding.  Both you, and your family, will appreciate these highlights for years to come.

Here are a few moments to think about before the weekend arrives:

 

Wait to see your father on your wedding day until you’re in your gown and schedule a “First Look” with your father. 

 

Kiss Goodbye

 

Give your dad, and yourself, all the time in the world before you open the doors for your processional …  to get one last kiss goodbye! 

 

Father of the Bride stollen kiss

 

During your bridal Processional, remember to take your time.  Walk Slowly. This is your big moment.  Enjoy your walk with your dad.

 

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Pick a song that is really special to the two of you for your Father / Daughter Dance (whether he sang to you as a child, you sang it in a school concert, you  played it on road trips, etc.)   Then keep the song a surprise.  You (and your guests) will LOVE the reaction when the song begins.  Even if the song seems childish to you  – using that song – even if it is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – or too fast – if it sentimental, the reaction worth it. 

At some point in the night – don’t forget to dance with your new Father-in-law!

As Always – Merci Beaucoup to the Photographers who so Magically Capture my clients with their loved ones.  This time – these precious moments with their dads. In Order of Appearance –  Baby Grace Photography, Carpenter Photography and Design, Turtlepond Photography, Nathaniel Edmunds Photography.

And most importantly – Happy Father’s Day Padre, I Love You – Monica.

 

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

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Honoring Mom and Dad!

May 6th, 2013 monamieevents Uncategorized 1 Comment

A Toast to Mothers!

Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom

As we enter Mother’s Day week I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the importance of family in a wedding.  The wedding ceremony is the blending of two families into one and while some portions of the ceremony ritual dictate how this happens, I want each of my planning clients to also take a few moments to relax, enjoy and take a deep breath.  I also want their families to do the same.  Savoir the moment.  Enjoy the spectacle.  Relish one another.

For this reason, here are a few moments I hope every bride will do with their parents because moments like this should be treasured.  Enjoy them.  They’re not only for the bride, but for the parent – and admittedly, for anyone lucky enough to witness.

HavBridal Dress e your mom help you get dressed.  You’ll reminisce. You’ll laugh. And yes, you’ll cry.

 

Allow her to put on your jewelry. 

It will remind you both of the times she did so for dances, Prom and likely, your first date.

Mother of the Bride and Bride

 

If you’re lucky enough to have your Grandmother present, have her put in your veil. 

We should all be so lucky to have something so delicate placed by such loving hands.

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I don’t want to forget about Father’s too – this post is about Dads as well.

Allow Dad his moment as you walk down the aisle…  to get one last kiss goodbye! 

Father of the Bride stollen kiss

I always tell my brides for their processional to take it slow.  We’re in no hurry.  I loved this moment.  She and her father actually carried on a conversation!  It was so endearing and sweet!  I’ ve always wondered what wonderful and thoughful (and no doubt funny) 🙂 things were said to one another as she made her way to the altar.

Take your time.  This is your big moment.  Enjoy your walk with your parent.

Bridal Processional

If you want to see me tear up during a wedding, it will be during a Mother / Son dance or a Father / Daughter Dance.  Seeing the relationship with a parent gets me every time.

Pick a song that is really special and whenever possible, keep the song a surprise. 

I love seeing the parent’s reaction!  So will your guests.

Mother son dance

I love this photo – is this a big amazing happy family or what?!  🙂  Both sets of parents, the bridal couple and the sister-in-law!  They are taking the last piece of advice perfectly:

At some point in the night – dance with your new parents! 

Happy Dance!

Happy Mother’s Day Mom, I love you.

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Merci Beaucoup to the Photographers I have been lucky enough to work with over the years who captured these amazing moments of my bridal couples with their parents.  (In order of appearance):  Jennifer Driscoll Photography,   Scalini Photographer, Megelaine Images,  Square Mouth Studios (formerly known as Carignan Gallery), Turtlepond, Jennifer Driscoll Photography (two images) Megelaine Images.

Mon Amie Events, Inc is an Indianapolis Indiana event planner, luxury wedding planner, bridal consultant bar mitzvah planner, bat mitvah planner, event designer and wedding designer. Monica Richard, MBC

6915 Bretton Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46268 317-460-3726

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It’s All About Touch! Texture at Events.

March 27th, 2013 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

We all know entering any special event an experience for the entire mind, body and soul.   It’s something for each of the 5 senses and one of my favorites for my clients to think about is the sense of touch!  Every client thinks about sight and sound, and quite obviously taste – but touch is of equal importance.  In many cases, it relates to the other senses.  If you touch something – it’s because the sense of sight made you wish to do so.  It’s about giving guests a full experience and a tactile experience is part of it.   Planning an event with the sense of touch is fun and easy!

Every element of the event adds texture – from the linens, to the chairs, to the paperie, to the floral!

Texture in an event

Texture adds interest to your guests’ experience.  It allows them to feel comfortable and relaxed.  Remember, any event is in actuality, for a brief moment in time, an extension of the host’s home.   That said, guests should feel relaxed, comfortable and at ease.  They shouldn’t feel like they’re in a china shop and afraid to touch things.

Here are a few ways you can easily add another layer of texture to your event.  Whether it be a luxurious wedding, a fun playful bar mitzvah, a sleek corporate event, or even a children’s birthday party – each event needs layers of texture.

Wedding guests are your family and friends and they should have the comforts of home.  Simple things like pillows and throws on lounge furniture go a long way to make guests want to cozy up in these intimate spaces.

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Menu cards, escort cards, programs and other paper pieces the day of the event add layers of texture to any event.  The type of paper, printing style and how they’re displayed all add texture to your special occasion.  Whether these pieces are whimsically displayed with the dessert station, or placed with precision at each place setting, each piece of paper adds a later of texture to the event in a personalized and unique way. These menu cards were printed paper adhered to thin pieces of wood and placed on heirloom linen napkins adding another dimension of texture as guests sat at the dinner table.

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Flip flops and rustic woven baskets of pashmina wraps for outdoor events ensure your guests are comfortable during dancing and cool or windy weather. These are a great idea as your guest favors  – so can easily serve dual purpose.

pashminas and flipflops

No one ever claimed all texture needs to be soft.  Metal also makes a great addition to any event, especially when going for a sleek club feeling.  Here these chic sculptures were around the room and the young attendees definitely didn’t have a “hands off approach” because the glistening metal sparkle attracted the kids to each unique sculpture.

Metal

The easiest way to add texture is the host’s attire.

This amazing wedding gown is a perfect example of texture being added to the event quietly and discreetly to the wedding.  Her floral (by L. Gene Huddleson – Detail+Design)  also adds another layer.

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Texture and the sense of touch are fun elements to add to an event.  Have fun talking with your wedding planning and event professionals about how you can add texture into your event.

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Merci Beaucoup to the photographers who have captured these photographs from Mon Amie Events, Inc events that have infused elements of texture over the years: (in order of appearance) Jennifer Driscoll Photographer, Megelaine Images, Hether Miles Photography (Menu Card by KB Design), Megelaine Images, Hosteler Photograhy (Decor by L. Gene Huddleson, Detail+Design), Amanda Wilcher Photography (bouquet by L. Gene Huddleson, Detail+Design)

 

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Those Cute Little Faces Can Almost Steal the Show ~ Almost. Kids + Your Wedding.

August 21st, 2012 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

 

Children across the country are heading back to school; as a wedding planner I am often asked about children and their role in a couple’s wedding.  Whether it be the nieces and nephews of the bride and groom, a dear family friend or even their own child, a bride and groom often have wee ones they want to include into their wedding day.

Many brides first began dreaming of their own wedding when they were a flower girl themselves. While the role of the flower girl and ring bearer are most traditional, they are also most type-cast by age and relationships.  While most people would think a flower girl and ring bearer are the “only” ways a child could be included in the wedding, there are some things to consider.  This role is often cast by the child of the bride and groom or a niece / nephew.  If a couple has other children in their lives they want to include there are several other roles that can be filled for children of other ages and relationships.

Before proceeding with any children in a wedding consider this:

  •  Does the location of your ceremony permit children in the ceremony (and at what age?)
  •  Does the reception your envisioning encourage a child friendly environment (or will you make provisions for them?)
  • Ask the parent of the child first, then tell the parents you want to ask the child and in person.  Just as you would you adult attendants.  (unless this is geographically impossible.)
  • Consider the parents budget.  (If the child is going to be a flower girl / ring bearer or junior bridesmaid / usher) you have some say in attire therefore you as the bride now need to consider the parents budget.  In other roles, attire is not directly dictated by you as the couple, but asking anyone to be involved in your wedding can be a budgetary concern to anyone.

If you want to include children in a different capacity than the most common roles, here are a few ideas for you:

  • Older children often serve as junior attendants or ushers.
  • Children who are a bit older may be a great option as a reader.  I’ve had couples actually choose song lyrics or poems as their readings, there’s really no reason a child couldn’t perform this duty.  It’s refreshing to have a child, particularly of about age 9 and older do this duty.  This role can be someone to whom the couple is very close, but may not fall in the traditional age of a flower girl or ring bearer.
  • Infant / toddler children can be included in the ceremony in wagons or carried down the aisle.  (Recently a bride’s daughter wore a blue dress and was her mom’s “something blue” – below)

  • Children also make perfect attendants for the guestbook, programs and gifts.  This role often falls to cousins and friend’s children or even actors.  The most creative use of this role was a wedding I planned where the entire wedding was inspired by turn of the century time period and the bride’s programs were customized newspapers.  The program attendants were “newsies” shouting “Extra, Extra read all about it, wedding today.” The guests loved the staging and even offered to buy the “3 cent” newspapers. (below)

  • Have kids pass out the favors.  These can be either at the church (as in the case fans or ribbon wands) or at the reception.  Last year one of my clients had Girl Scout cookies and milk as her favor distributed at the end of the night to the guests.  The cookies were given out by the Brownie who had sold her all of the cookies. (below)

  • Include music as a special way to honor children.  Whether it be “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies,” “Sweet Child of Mine,” or “You are my Sunshine” any of these make a magical and innovative way to have youth members come down the aisle at the ceremony.
  • Families are honored when you include their children in unexpected ways throughout the evening as well.  Not every ceremony (or church) has a proper and appropriate place for the children to be included.  One of my favorite inclusions for children for in the reception was by a couple who included their infant son in a unique way.  Instead of a bouquet and garter dance, they had all of the children on the floor and the bride and groom each tossed a teddy bear (dressed as a bride and groom) to the children.  What a wonderful and special way to include their little guests!  Even more special, they had made the teddy bears with their son the week prior at Build-a-bear!

Weddings are about the blending of families and creating a new family.  This often means children will be included.  Embrace the wonderful ways this can be done and know that this can be engaging, funny, special and unique, just like the children themselves!

 

 

 

 

 

Merci Beaucoup to the photographers who so beautifully captured these funny, witty and enthusiastic children over my career ~ each lovingly as if they were their own children!  (in order of photos) Turtlepond Photography, Megelaine Images, Scalini Photography (2 photos), Nathaniel Edmunds Photography, Carpenter Photography & Design

I am an Indianapolis event planner, wedding planner, bridal consultant bar mitzvah planner, bat mitvah planner, event designer and wedding designer. Monica Richard, MBC

6915 Bretton Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46268 317-460-3726

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