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Wedding Highlight – Ashley and Brett

July 25th, 2017 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized No comments

It’s Christmas in July, and working with this family it felt like I am the one lucky enough to be opening the gifts.  Ashley and Brett’s love story is best told through their wedding Christmas Carol (video) from Eyenamics Wedding Video Story Ashley and Brett.  This video  is undoubtedly the most emotional I’ve had for a wedding…. and so was their weekend.  Emotional, loving and entirely full of happy tears.

 

Ashley had been a bridesmaid of mine in previous weddings, so it was delightful to reconnect this time for her own celebration.  She wanted her wedding to center on family, family, family (and Christmas!)  We made sure it did.

The ceremony included involving Brett’s sons and was very emotional.  It took place at the base of the West Baden Springs Hotel’s enormous tree, and Ashley got ready for her wedding day while carolers strolled through the grand atrium.  The serenity of their voices calmed any nerves a would-be bride might have.

Each balcony of this historical property is adorned with garland and holiday decor, so Ashley (wisely) took full advantage of the grandeur of the space. Her only request:  that she have gardenias included in her bouquet and centerpieces. It’s Christmas, ask and ye shall receive 🙂  (the true present was the fragrance — it was sooo luxurious!)

Little details of Ashley and Brett’s day included personalized ornaments and a children’s area that made Santa’s workshop seem like child’s play, (the kids even got to make their own stuffed animals while decorating cookies!) Ashley and Brett thought of everything and wanted their wedding celebration to truly be a relaxing retreat before the holiday weekend.  They wanted their new family to celebrate with family from around the country in one of nation’s most beautiful locations and enjoy all the Christmas magic it offered. (…and let’s be honest, the West Baden Springs Hotel is stunning anytime, but there’s just a little something extraordinary about it during the holidays.) It was truly an honor to help create this for the new family.

 

Following the ceremony Ashley and Brett wanted time alone as a family with their sons.  Tears flowed and there was just so much happy…. just as Christmas, and weddings, and love stories should ALL have.  This one has it in spades.  Thank you for allowing me to experience it all with you.  (and to help watch your kids grow up… being at the same school as mine is an extra bonus! xoxo)

 

 

Merci Beaucoup:  to Baby Grace Photography for the above images and Eyenamics for the wedding video that you seriously NEED to watch (and don’t say I didn’t warn you about needing tissues).  Also to: BBJ Linen, LaDolce Salon, French Lick Resort / West Baden Springs Hotel

 

( to Jennifer from Baby Grace Photography.  This is not the first wedding these women have been in of mine, nor the first Jennifer’s shot together of them with me.  Each time she somehow captures “the walk” right before the ceremony.  It’s always a very special time during the weekend, and this quick snap of the camera means so much.  It’s like a Christmas present from Jennifer to me, Thank you.)

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Wedding Highlight – Katelyn & Paul

August 17th, 2016 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized No comments

Katelyn and Paul Summer Wedding

Color me happy when a bride says, “I want pinks, corals and summer flowers and oh, I totally trust you.”

Katelyn, Paul and her mom, Marcia, were a total delight to work with throughout their engagement process.  I loved their urban chic wedding vision, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled than to help their families plan this weekend for them and to create their vision of a downtown garden.  Katelyn and Paul were finishing boards and schooling in Chicago while trying to navigate the planning process in Indy.  Through 1, yes, only 1 trip home, we worked through photos, phone calls and (a very pretty) design meeting to create a splendid celebration filled with color, fragrant flowers and so many smiles! (Regardless of what Mother Nature tried to throw at us.)

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The ceremony was intimate and filled with candlelight and lush gardens of floral.  The bouquets were dripping with greenery and fragrant flowers in every color of the rainbow.  Each bouquet was truly a showstopper.

Paul_Katelyn_058Bridesmaids bouquets Summer Wedding

 

The reception space continued to evoke the urban chic atmosphere Katelyn envisioned.  Sleek chairs and metal chargers paired with the soft and refined gardens which created an eclectic celebration.  Color, color everywhere color!  Shades of pink, fuchsia, tangerine and lavender on soft lemon linens captivated guests as they entered the room. Chandeliers of floral and candles dropped from the ceiling allowing guests to be entirely immersed into the garden.

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Mother Nature may have had her own plans for a summer day, but with the lush gardens inside the ceremony and reception space, Katelyn and Paul truly never showed anything but radiant sunshine.  (and absolutely captured adorable photos regardless of the rain — one of my favorite bridal couple images ever!) 🙂

Umbrella bride photo

Eventually the skies did part — just in time for a gorgeous pink sunset and photos on the canal (and some quiet time for the Katelyn and Paul to reflect) — I mean LOOK at these smiles 🙂  wowza!!!! They are very very good to each other.  I like that.

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Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your day, it was truly an honor.  Your families are so welcoming, warm and I adore you Marcia — anyone who invites me to a 4th of July BBQ, well be still my heart.  😉  Katelyn good luck on your move.  You’ll love your new city!

 

Canal 337 Staircase

 

Continue to be good to each other — this photo says it all  — I find it so sweet Paul.  xoxorainy day couples stay together

Merci to Carpenter Photography and Design for capturing these moments for us to enjoy! Also to:  Canal 337 / Thomas Caterers of Distinction, BBJ, Classic Cakes, Jan Aldridge Clark, Events By Design, LaDolce Salon, Jim Cerone, McNamara Flowers Carmel, Tod Iseminger

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Wedding Highlight – Christine & Ryan

July 14th, 2016 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

Christine and Ryan Library Ceremony Black and White

Every once in a while as a planner you hit the client jackpot. So let me just say, JACKPOT!!! I cannot even begin to describe the amount of love I have for Christine,  Ryan and both of their families. There is something them, that when you instantly feel welcomed as a member of the family the moment you meet. From the moment I met Terri, Christine’s mom, (in a thunder storm of Biblical proportions) I thought “This woman is so full of radiant sunshine, if I am not selected as their wedding planner, I’m going to have total facebook envy stalking their planner the night of their wedding.” Thank God they selected me as their planner, because Christine and Ryan are the definition of the perfect client. They are as beautiful on the inside as the outside and they entirely trusted every.single.member of their professional team implicitly.  Jackpot!

Christine and Ryan Header Image

Lets talk about the dress – AHHMAZING! It was stunning in every way and the way it fit her body was like a glove. The simplicity of the dress was jaw dropping – literally. Ryan’s, mine – the guests’…

Christine and Ryan Wedding Dress

Christine Dress Details

Christine and Ryan were so trusting when it came to the decision making process. This allowed for the professional team to really all work together to create such an amazingly gorgeous event! When Christine came to me she already knew that she wanted to use cream and white as her main décor colors.   When she tossed in an inspiration  incorporating palms (which — shhhhh 😉 — Ryan was not initially crazy about), my heart skipped a beat! Using the inspiration of Old Hollywood and the classic hues of whites, golds, and blacks with the vibrant pop of the palm leaves created the perfect touch of whimsy! Placing a palm leaf on each place setting was a fun way for each guest to be able to take home a piece of the event and it also added a fun aspect of depth to the tablescape.

Central Library Old Hollywood

Christine and Ryan Details

Christine and Ryan, Table Decor

The flowers were hundreds of bouquets of white clustered flowers.  Peony, tulips, roses, hydrangea and orchids filled the tables with fragrance and romance.  Antique trays were layered with the monstera leaves to create little vignettes on the table tops for the cream and sugar reminiscent of a bygone era.  Christine and Ryan’s kindness showed not only the their reception guests, but also to the staff at Riley Hospital for Children.  These stunning florals were donated following the celebration to hospital.

Central Library full ballroom

The bridesmaids were all tasked with finding their own dress for the wedding. No glittery gold dress was off limits, which made for such a fun and beautiful outcome! These golden goddesses looked timeless, elegant and spectacular in the ceremony space which was built in 1912.  2016-07-14_0001

Christine and Ryan Ceremony

Since Christine and Ryan live in Arizona currently they wanted to incorporate it in to their special day but they were not sure how. After some brainstorming we decided that the best way to be able to bring in an Arizonian feel would be through the cuisine, more specifically the entrée. Working closely with the wonderful Ritz Charles they created a juicy chicken breast topped with a colorful fruit salsa and paired with a creamy spicy mashed potato side. Another fun way to incorporate their personalities into the menu was a surprise “buckeye” flavored wedding cake.  Decadent chocolate cake filled with peanut butter mousse.

Christine and Ryan are a great couple but they do disagree on one thing – Who’s mother makes the better cookie? So what better way to end this fight then to have a so-called, cookie bake off! Each mother made their secret recipe cookie and decorated them with Christine and Ryan’s alma maters. We then handed guests one of each cookie to try as their favors. Christine’s mother, Terri, made sugar cookies iced with the Ohio State logo (ps… Christine is the 17th family member to attend The Ohio State, WOW!!!). Ryan’s mother, Norma, made her “Monster Cookies” packaged with a Bowling Green logo. I have a bit of experience in food competitions 😉 and I don’t dare say who won this battle – because everyone won, especially the guests who took home both yummy treats.  BOTH were delicious!  Each family can easily claim the win.

Custom Ohio State Cookies

 

I am beyond thankful that Christine and Ryan and both of their families allowed me to be a part of their love filled day. You are both so amazing and I know that you will both achieve greatness in every way. It was an honor to be part of your wedding, and more importantly, now part of your families.  Thank you for allowing me to be included in your day.  Terri, thank you for being the ray of sunshine the first time I met you and every single day since!

 

Mother of the Bride moment

To see their video trailer by Nortnernlight Filmworks click – Video Trailer of Christine and Ryan

Merci to this team who made a dream night possible! A Classic Party Rental,  Central Library, ESB, Events By Design, Evans AV, Faces by KLM, Jessica Strickland Photography (all of the images you see here are hers), Marie Gabriel Couture,  Northernlight Filmworks , Ritz Charles Catering, Royal Creations, TLW Entertainment

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Wedding Highlight – Kate & Brad

November 23rd, 2015 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized No comments

Wedding Ceremony

The wedding of Kate and Brad was stylish, uptown and chic — just like the couple themselves.  Somehow this wedding – bursting at nearly 400 guests felt like a small dinner party because Kate and Brad took the time to ensure each intimate detail was carefully crafted and cultivated.  It was an honor to help them create this splendid occasion!!

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Kate and Brad were married and the breathtaking Sacred Heart Catholic Church just south of downtown Indy.  The architecture of this church lends itself to fairy-tale weddings and idyllic photographs. Kate and Brad with their nearly dozen flower girl carrying lanterns and ring bearers parading down the aisle didn’t disappoint.

flower girls and ring bearers

The ceremony was presided over by the priest from Brad’s school, and included both moms helping to prepare the altar by unfolding the prayer cloth.  I loved this personal touch before the moms lit the unity candle. Lush greens decorated the aisle and altar and gave guests a hint to the garden cocktail hour and reception that was in store for them the remainder of the evening.

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The reception, hosted at the Central Library, began in the library’s garden.  Here the guests reveled in the perfect weather and enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oevures outside.  Kate’s mom surprised the newlyweds with bagpipers to ensure Irish eyes would always be smilin’.  Guests then followed the pipers and proceeded through boxwood lattice gates to the reception celebration for the remainder of the evening.

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The celebration decor was upscale and uptown.  Kate loved stripes and thrilled to share them with her guests in fun and unexpected ways.

Wedding Stripes

Though the whimsy of the stripes was fun and playful, Kate could not have been more chic, elegant and timeless. Classic bride

The reception truly gave guests a bit of both.  Kate wanted to have a beautiful English Garden with lush sophistication, and yet the modern fun of a cosmopolitan evening.  Kate and Brad accomplished this with a truly edited design.  By incorporating lush foliage and romantic floral, the couple allowed guests to feel as though they were dining in a garden under the stars.  This was  accomplished through the use of lighting by having the guests dine under specialty Edison lights which gave a special al fresco ambiance to the indoor space.  The focal point of the atrium was a floral monogram created with boxwood and roses custom created for the family.

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The guests adored they “English Garden” warmth of the wedding as they entered the ballroom. It as lush, welcoming and intimate.  It was exactly as Kate, Brad and their families has hoped it would be!  It was a night full of great joy, laughter, family and so much love! I am so honored I could help this amazing family create this weekend for their guests.  Kate’s radiant and graceful smile NEVER left the entire process.  Thank you for allowing me to be part of your wedding. Cheers!

Cheers

To see more of their wedding – click Film Trailer from NorthernLight Filmworks

Wedding Couple

Merci to this team who made a dream night possible! A Classic Party Rental, BBJ Linen, Bella Bridesmaid, Central Library,  Evans AV,  Jennifer Driscoll Photography (all of the images you see here are hers)  La Dolce Salon, Marie Gabriel Cotour Bridal, Pomp & Polish, Ritz Charles Catering, Sacred Heart, The Empty Vase

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Wedding Highlight – Brittney & Conor

October 13th, 2015 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Fire and Ice Wedding

As wedding season begins to wind down, and I reflect on my 2015 weddings, the wedding of Brittney and Conor resonates with me not only as a highlight of the year, but likely of my career.  Brittney, Conor and their families are kind, outgoing, warm and entirely trusting — and oooohhh – they know how to celebrate!  After dating since middle school, these life-long lovers tied the knot in bold style – and shared their weekend with vibrant color, whimsical touches and total joy!  Planning this occasion was a treat because I had complete rein to create and design the entire celebration as long as it worked with their vision – “Fire and Ice.”

Throughout their lives their families had joked Brittney and Conor were actually opposites, like Fire and Ice, so Brittney requested her wedding include this “inspiration” in her weekend and the inclusion of the bold (and sexy) color palette of red and turquoise.  (As a designer, I didn’t NOT have to be asked twice! I loved the concept of trying something different than most weddings)

Fire and Ice Wedding Ceremony

Fittingly, on Valentine’s Day 2013, we toured several locations and Brittney and Conor selected the hotel I thought would meet all of their needs for the wedding ceremony and reception, the Alexander.  I knew here I could create exactly the design and entertainment portions of the night that would leave a lasting impression on their guests.  The Alexander has several blown glass chandeliers and I liked the idea of including the glass throughout the event.  Brittney did too.  The ceremony was the Fire portion of the event.  Red dominated the wedding ceremony, which we hosted outside in the courtyard.  For entertainment a glass blower was present during the cocktail hour before and after the service.  During the ceremony, a glass ceremony replaced a “sand ceremony” as small particles of glass were poured together which the artist then created into one large sculpture for Brittney and Conor.

Fire and Ice Wedding Glass Blower

He also created custom glass pieces for the bridal party to carry as their bouquets.

Fire and Ice Wedding Bouuets - Glass Bouquets

As guests first entered the ballroom for the reception, it was all lit in red and had a “fire” wall, but once guests were seated, they were cooled down for the Ice portion of the evening.  Cool air and blasts of coolant filled the space as the bridal party entered the room! The reception decor was created in tones of turquoise using muli-tonal lighting effects, clear chairs, silver and blue linens and again the use of glass.  Turquoise glass chargers and custom glass sculptures enhanced the tablescapes.  The table numbers mimicked the invitation which were both clear acrylic. The final touch was the liquid dance floor which looked like cracked ice and looked exactly like the invitation suite and all of the paperie created for the wedding weekend. White flowers dotted with crystals and centerpieces of crystal chandeliers completed the celebration.

Fire and Ice Wedding Red Colors

Fire and Ice Wedding Blue Colors

Even the menu selections reflected both fire and ice whether it be the chilled iceberg salad, the fire roasted entree courses (both a fish course and beef course were served) or the cryogenic ice cream sundae station during dancing to cool guests down helped continue the theme.

Ice Cream Station Fire and Ice Wedding

Brittney and Conor’s wedding was a delight to create in part because they were so willing to push the envelope and in part because they were so.much.fun!  They were always smiling – ALWAYS – and they truly relished in the entire process.  Every step of the way they trusted the professional team and just showed how truly excited they were for the wedding night to come.  It showed.  They are an amazing couple and I’m truly honored I could help them create their celebration!  Fire and Ice Couple

 Merci to this team who made a dream night possible! A Classic Party Rental, Alexander Hotel, BBJ Linen, Classic Cakes of Carmel, Evans AV, IndyVisual , The Impalas & TLW Entertainment,Rev. Iseminger, Jessica Strickland Photography (all of the images you see here are hers)  La Dolce Salon, McNamara Flowers – Carmel, Matt Kenyon, Pomp & Polish, Splendor

Fire and Ice Room Set Up and Couple

Name logo#FireAndIceWeddingWeekend — for more on this wedding, including their video, visit – IndyVisual Official Trailer of Brittney & Conor

or visit – Highlight Film of Fire and Ice Reception

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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.

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“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 – Grace and Graham

October 16th, 2014 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized No comments

Fall Bridal Couple

Few people can say they met their future spouse at Indiana University’s Little 500 week long festivities.  I can say that.  Add Grace and Graham to the list.  The minute I met them and they told me that, I knew we were destined to work together on their upscale Hoosier Homecoming wedding celebration!

Our similarities didn’t stop there!  Grace’s mom, Debbie, and I share a birthday – what’s not to love about us Leos right 😉 , as a child Grace worked as a youth interpreter at Conner Prairie *(if you know me outside the event world, you know I adore those kids from 1836!) 😉 and Grace and Graham wanted to infuse a bit of IU Hoosier Hospitality into their wedding day.  This bride was meant to be mine!

Ensuring the wedding held the upscale, formal feeling their parents wanted, but give the whimsical, fresh and youthful touch this alumni couple deserved, needed a creative touch and constant level of mediation.  On her wedding day, Grace gave me the sweetest note, including the sentiment that she and her mom would not still be best friends if it weren’t for me keeping things in check during the planning process.  Grace, I’d do anything for you two – I really, really love your family!

Grace and Graham initially wanted a “red and white with poppy” wedding, and while  “candy cane stripes” might be appealing for a certain team’s basketball pants, a wedding palette admittedly needs more dimension.  The other interesting caveat, Grace.does.not.like.red.roses.  Helping her navigate a “red and white” wedding without this staple bloom, allowed additional colors to come into the palette and a very elegant wedding color story emerged.  Red, poppy, cinnamon, brick, garnet, fuchsia, merlot, terra cotta, and of course, “cream and crimson” 😉

Bridal Party

Grace and Graham selected the stately Indiana Landmarks Center for the ceremony and the grand JW Marriott for the reception celebration.  The juxtaposition between these two locations allowed for this warm fall palette to shine beautifully.  The Landmarks Center has a warm autumnal feeling, and Grace and Graham’s wedding seemed to be written for this space perfectly.

Indiana Landmarks Center

The ceremony highlighted a sunburst of fall color, robust organ music and readings from family – including Graham’s mom and Grace’s grandmother.  Before the ceremony Graham asked me the “protocol” on a “church kiss” – Graham — I approve – this one was perfect –  show the world you love her!  😉

Indiana Landmarks Center Ceremony

The day started in the JW’s presidential suite.  Grace and “her Goddesses” – as they were nicknamed at some point during the day (because of their stunning Grecian inspired gowns) got ready.  Grace, you are your namesake!  Elegant, calm, kind, thoughtful – and so are all of your friends. It was delightful to witness your bridal party all day.  The first hint of the wedding’s Indiana University infusion was actually in the guests’ welcome bags – a crimson pashmina wrap for the chilly October weekend.  The second Grace and Graham’s big request – “the cups.”  Anyone who attends IU knows of the cups that every bar and a certain (delicious!!) breadstiX location has and their famous shaped cup.  Grace included these cups on the bar once the late night snack emerged.  However, the bridal party was given a sneak preview to them while they got ready – in IU Red of course!

Wedding Favors

Grace and Graham spent the morning writing letters to one another.  I love when couples do this, they are always so emotional, heartfelt and real. Wedding Day Love Letter

Grace then spent time with her girls and dressed in her beautiful shoes and elegant Monique Lhuillier gown.  The details of this gown perfectly matched her skin tone, hair and stunning engagement ring.

Bridal Details

The bridal party was then ready to depart for an afternoon around the Circle City for photographs.  They joyfully spent the day taking pictures, sharing stories and catching up.  It had been just over a year since graduation, so Grace and Graham’s wedding was truly a Hoosier Homecoming!

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The details for this wedding were in the color palette.  The flowers were magnificent.  At the ceremony, through the altar piece, and the bridal party flowers, the guests got a hint of what was to come at the reception.  Not only were the colors vibrant and rich, but the choice of flowers daring and unique. (remember, no red roses for this bride — apparently, Grace isn’t a friend of the TV show “The Bachelor” — or so I’ve been told….)  Instead, Grace received a cornucopia of floral including dahlia, orchids, anemones, berries, roses, coxcomb and even kale in her flowers.  They were rich, opulent and textural!

Fall Bridal Party Flowers

This shows the depth of color in JUST Grace’s bouquet!  Wow – what a lucky girl — no red roses for this bride!

Fall Bridal Bouquet Close Up

The ballroom for the JW was lit in a golden almost haunting glow.  Specialty lighting effects created an amber and pink aura that immediately drew the guests deep into the large ballroom. Shadows across the linens in various shades of orange, reds and pink created a warm autumn sunset for the guests as the entered the room for dinner.

JW Marriott Indianapolis

 

Guests took several minutes to be seated as they meandered the space taking in the details that lay before them.  Long royal tables flanked the  dancefloor, while intimate square and round tables mixed together in the space to create smaller eating groupings.  The large tables had massive centerpieces dripping with candles, creating height and impact in the large ballroom, while the round tables had lush, low centerpieces perfect for conversation.

Large fall centerpieces

 Fall Wedding Detail FlowersFall Wedding Details

The room was very warm, rich and welcoming.  It was more than Debbie and Grace could have imagined. It was a homecoming!

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The ballroom was filled with family, friends and alumni and the Indiana traditions didn’t end with the color palette. Grace and Graham surprised their guests with a late night snack of Mother Bear’s Pizza, a groom’s cake (red velvet of course!) along with premiering the red cups at this time.  The bar tenders also changed into IU T-shirts for the rest of the evening.  This, along with the band, Rod Tuffcurls and the Benchpress, (a huge Bloomington staple) were perfect for this crowd. Following the band, they had a DJ to ensure the party went late into the evening!  There was no stopping this fun dancing crowd!  The dance floor was just as packed at midnight as it was at 9:30.

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It was an evening that was the perfect mix of formality and frivolity. In one evening we heard every genre of music from Pachebel’s Canon to Disney Frozen’s “Let it Go”!

first dance and toast

Grace and Graham wanted a wedding celebration that was truly a youthful, fun and energetic “party” while her parents wanted the formality and regal feeling befitting of a wedding.  Together this was achieved.  It was truly a “homecoming” – and isn’t that what the fall is all about?

I thoroughly adored my time with these families.  They are gracious, kind and welcoming,  I was honored to work with them, and more honored to call them now, my lifelong friends.

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For Grace and Graham I wish a lifetime of happiness and love – and remember on behalf of your & family,  “we’re all for you” 😉

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Merci Beaucoup:  to Conforti Photography for the above images (and IndyVisual for the wide room shot).  Also to: A Classic Party Rental, Bella’s Bridesmaids, Classic Cakes, Empty Vase, Indiana Landmarks Center, JW Marriott, LGi Linens, Markey’s AV, Mike Donaldson, Pink Poppy Ink, Rod Tuffcurls and the Benchpress

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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 Highlight – Lauren and Tom

July 10th, 2014 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized 2 Comments

Lauren and Tom wanted their summer wedding to have a French provincial warmth to their farm wedding, and undoubtedly they achieved this. They have impeccable taste and it shows in every detail; whether it be the clothes they wear, the stores where they shop, or the vacations they take – naturally their wedding was going to be rich in detail, charm and beauty. Just like the two of them.

Lauren and Tom

After meeting at Yale during a freshmen picnic for athletes, the two friends really began dating after graduation in New York when they were on the same co-ed volleyball team. Tall, athletic, gorgeous and brilliant, this dynamic duo has everything going for them in the most energizing city in the world – so when a country wedding in Indiana was on their radar, I’m sure many of their friends questioned the tiny town of Franklin, Indiana for their impending nuptials. Until they saw photos of the picturesque Rockwell-like farm.

Lauren and Tom Photos

Lauren’s maternal grandparents played hosts to this stunning affair at their home, Fisher Farm. Cultivating their 60 acre farm over the course of the last 8 months became a full-time job for Barbara and Claude lovingly known as Mimi and Papa by the bridal couple, (and by the end of the night, every guest.) Whether it include putting up a fence around a small pond to ensure guest safety, or planting hundreds of annual beds to make sure everything the eye could see was in impeccable shape, Mimi, Papa, and the bride’s mom, Cindi worked tirelessly. The 150 year old farm has seen many changes in the 6 generations who have hosted family events there, but none quite as spectacular as the wedding for 250 guests Lauren and Tom hosted.

Fisher Farm overhead Photo

Guests arrived to the farm and were greeted immediately by Mimi and Papa with a refreshing glass of Mimi’s lemonade. The lemonade was displayed on a restored John Deere tractor style wagon filled with floral buckets. Guests helped themselves to the refreshing drink commenting on the “secret” recipe.

Lemonade Stand

Lauren envisioned her ceremony in the tree grove surrounded by walnut trees allowing shade from the summer sun. Having a meandering aisle gave the slender bride an angelic walk as she and her 9 bridesmaids in variegated shades of blue cascaded toward the altar. The altar space was created with white organza and lace fabric flowing from a branch to the ground creating a steeple-like setting. This ethereal space was perfect for the magical ceremony.

Bridemaids Blue Tones

The ceremony, officiated by Lauren’s brother-in-law, told the history of the farm and the couple to the guests. This 150 year journey allowed guests to relax in the summer breeze while sipping glasses of Mimi’s lemonade and savor in the sweet tenderness of the moment. The ceremony included acoustic guitar music which ranged from Broadway classics to pop favorites which engaged the guests. To their delight, the programs for the ceremony were parchment bags containing pink and blush rose petals to be tossed at the newlyweds as they recessed back down the meandering aisle.

ceremony  space

Following the ceremony the guests were able to see their first glimpse of the farmhouse and 100 year old red barn. Surrounded by beautifully cultivated gardens, the home seemed to relish in its role as the focal point of the wedding festivities. Crisp navy linens served as a stunning neutral canvas for the blush, pink and ivory florals which overflowed throughout the cocktail hour. Rustic touches included reclaimed barn wood painted with directional arrows to destinations the couple had traveled to over the years. During the cocktail hour guests reconnected (and recharged courtesy of phone charging stations) before heading into the large pasture which hosted the large dining tent.

Navy wedding cocktail hour

The dining tent filled the large pasture and welcomed guests to the 60 acre back area of the property. The focal point of the back yard is a 100 year old red barn along with 2 smaller red barns, one of which was the original blacksmith shop for the town. Guests gasped at the sheer beauty and Americana feel. Surrounding the tent were vignettes of seating areas, family photos on chicken-wire screens and historic wagons filled with quilts, flower buckets and watering cans. A postcard station was even set up as their guestbook. (The postcard was of an original painting commissioned of the barn)

Fern wedding tent

 

Inside the large sweeping tent guests marveled at the beauty and grandeur of the space. The florist ensured the line between indoors and out was lost. Large birch trees and ferns filled the space. The use of ferns dominated the overall tablescape in large part because of Lauren’s wedding dress. The Monique Lhuillier wedding gown included intricate embroidery on the bodice of ferns so Lauren wanted to include the use of fern throughout the wedding planning. (She did on the invitation stamps, ceremony aisle treatment and dining tent) In the tent the oversized ferns looked spectacular because of their large scale. The ferns were placed on tall stands to bring height to the tables and individual stems were tied lovingly with twine into the menus. The back of the navy menus contained the history of Fisher Farm (written by Mimi) so guests would know more about the 6 generations that had passed through the beautiful landscape where they were about to dine. Flowers were abundant throughout the space. Whether they poured from small wooden crates, baskets or mercury glass vases, they looked soft, refined and had a very French Provincial warmth. The interesting mix of containers, ferns and French ticking stripped napkins completed this look.

French Ticking Wedding

Dinner infused a bit of the French inspiration as well. One of Lauren and Tom’s favorite dates was a picnic at Versailles. Here they enjoyed cheeses, meats and olives together as a couple. When guests first entered the tent, we wanted to emulate that magical date and serve that same antipasto charcuterie course the dinner menu. Additional courses included a classic “Michigan Salad” to honor the bride’s home state. Dinner was a braised short rib with mascarpone polenta and the dessert was a beautiful and show topping 5 tier cake. The cake was a stunning confection of ruffles, gum paste flowers and lace detail in tones of blush, pinks and ivory.

Ivory and Blush Wedding Cake

Sunset fell over the countryside and the 12 piece band swelled allowing guests to dance the night away. Additional desserts and snacks were brought out throughout the evening including a make your own sundaes with a “nitro” station used to make the ice cream. Guests loved the fun interactive display while sitting on the swing or on lounge furniture surrounding the tent. Many guests took this time to explore the blacksmith shop, the barn and peruse the vignettes of historic quilts, carriages and photographs Lauren and her mom had placed around the grounds.

Farm Wedding DetailsTented wedding Farm Tented Wedding Sunset

The family did have one last surprise in store for their guests though,  Lauren’s brother always wanted a fireworks show on the farm — she made sure he got one – to the delight of the guests (and the neighbors!)

barn wedding fireworks

Congratulations Lauren and Tom – #TommyLolo!  It was such an honor helping you plan your wedding!  Thank you for allowing me to be part of your families over the last several months!  You are all stunning, inside and out! xoxo

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Merci Beaucoup to Jennifer Driscoll Photography for the above images and to:  A Classic Party Rentals, Antique Limo, Circle City Pyro, Classic Cakes, Elite Management,  Empty Vase,  Evans Audio Visual / Wow Factors,  IndyVisual (below image),  JW Salon, Makeup by Sparkle,   Pink Poppy Ink, Stephanie Carignan, Sunny Lawns Farms, Thomas Caterers of Distinction

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