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Wedding Highlight – Moira and Randy

March 27th, 2018 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized No comments

The rich decadence of Moira and Randy’s wedding day was such a delight.  The entire professional team loved this beautiful family and wanted everything to be beyond their wildest expectations for them.  Randy wanted to get married in his childhood church, Sacred Heart, and Moira wanted their guests to indulge in a lush regal celebration.  Mission accomplished.

 

Moira and her ladies wore blush gowns that gave a hint to the impending spring season, but acknowledged the chill still in winter’s air.  The romantic florals the bridal party carried had the same aura, “is it winter, is it spring?” and it worked so beautifully with their gowns and the crisp day.

 

 

Following the Nuptial Mass family and friends gathered at the Columbia Club for a regal dinner.  The couple wanted the space to be filled with lush color reminiscent of a bygone era.  The dinner tables were laden with china, tableware and candles.  The centerpieces were fragrant bowls and garlands of fruit. The velvet linens and china chargers made guests sit and relish in a dining experience from another century.  “The Queen,” “Downton Abby,” “it looks like something from a Dutch Masters painting,” could all be heard whispered from guests’ lips.

 

 

 

 

The warmth of the space and the charm of the long tables, allowed guests to relish in conversation (and yes… eat some of the centerpieces) 😉

Moira and Randy and their family were such a wonderful couple to help design this day for.  Moira initially gave dark and moody colors for her wedding flower inspiration, and given the time of year for her wedding, and the evening she wanted to present her friends and family, this seemed like a natural translation.  It was so much fun helping her find her way here. When she and Randy walked into the space for the first time to see what her wedding team had created for her (our gift to her) it was such a thrill, these two truly have my heart.

 

Merci Beaucoup:  to Jennifer Driscoll Photography for the above images.  Also to: Antique Limo, BBJ Linen, Classic Cakes, Columbia Club, Evans Audio Visual, Empty Vase,  EventSource, Events by Design, IndyVisual, Jim Cerone, Marie Gabriel Couture, Sacred Heart, Salon 1|4 

 

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Wedding Highlight – Julie and Michael

March 20th, 2018 monamieevents Real Weddings No comments

On this first day of spring, and National Proposal Day, it seems only fitting to bring you the wedding of Julie and Michael.  Their spring wedding was just the kick off to wedding season all of us need.  After a cold winter, it was the perfect way to allow springs flowers to bloom and have a garden wedding – both outside and in.

The ceremony was held at Michael’s childhood home which allowed guests to mingle with some wonderful guests, including llamas, horses and feathery friends.  The beauty of the farm created the perfect and personal backdrop for the couple’s nuptials which were presided over by each of their brothers.

 

The reception at Newfields was a lush indoor garden filled with pink blooms, including protea in honor of Julie.   Michael’s mom, an artist, created a painting of a protea to serve an inspiration for the invitation suite.  The protea was chosen because of Julie’s South African heritage.  This artwork was used predominately throughout the entire weekend, and was a canvas for several pieces of paperie.  Because the reception celebration was at IMA, art in general served a special role throughout the event.  Guests were even given coloring books during the evening with fun facts about the couple which helped navigate the evening’s festivities.

Michael, among many other talents, is a restaurateur, so the menu they selected for the evening was impeccable.  Guests of course, were delighted when his restaurant was part of the evening’s late night snack.  They were also surprised when he joined the band and surprised Julie (and them) and played guitar for part of the set.

 

 

Planning and designing Julie and Michael’s wedding was a delight.  Their families are welcoming and so full of history and they wanted to share their stories with their guests. I love when people tell their story on their wedding day so intimately.  It’s so authentic and engaging for their guests.  Julie and Michael got it, and they got it soooo right.  From opening their home to their guests, to sharing their favorite foods, to telling the (best!) stories during toasts and in their coloring books, they showed their full and beautiful souls to their friends and families, it was an honor to be part of it all.

Merci Beaucoup:  to Jennifer Driscoll Photography for the above images.  Also to: BBJ Linen, Evans Audio Visual, EventSource, IMA Newfields, IndyVisual, Kahn’s Catering, McNamara Flowers, Pomp&Polish, the Woomblies

 

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Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

March 3rd, 2015 monamieevents Uncategorized 1 Comment

Each quarter the sleek issue of WeddingDay Magazine premiers with much anticipation.  Inside its pages the beautiful magazine includes some of the state’s prettiest weddings, most couture designs and always a behind the scenes look at the cover styled shoot.  This winter, once again, the editors asked me to create and plan their cover shoot.

cover Wedding Day Magazine

Nothing makes me more excited than planning an event where I can control the elements – all of the planning and decor elements – including the weather.  😉 For this shoot, if I was going to plan a winter wedding, I had to include snow.  I’m originally from Buffalo, New York – a city famous for its snow. I grew up with snow and beautiful icy winters, and I was ready to face this cover with all of the elements of winter included. Indoors.  So I brought mother nature indoors.

 

Working with a team of professionals gathered both by the magazine’s editorial team and me, we created a wintery mix that was sure to be a perfect storm.  Our snow ensured the white marble ballroom of the Columbia Club’s Crystal Terrace looked like a perfect snow globe.  Bride often picture outdoor summer wedding in all of their green magic – and I wanted to show the wonderful beauty of a wonderful white wintery wonderland.

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The inspiration of the snow globe included sparkling clear chairs, glittering candles and soft white florals to enhance the ice crystal gowns.  The paperie mimicked the snow globe feeling and even had snow-like confetti in clear envelopes and “make a wish” favors for guests to enjoy a snowball fight during the first dance.

CI_Winter15_spread1

The desert display was (almost) too pretty to each as fanciful petit fours and a dainty cake were created that was sprinkled with glittery sugar creating magical layer, like layers of snow.  The flowers were a textural delight!  Tonal shades of white, cream and alabaster created a snowy canvas for the bouquets and centerpieces.  A wintery mix of roses, proteas, ranunculus, live branches and berries were used to prove even in the winter, florals can be lush and stunning.

CI_Winter15_spread3CI_Winter15_spread2

It was a day full of amazing colleagues, great collaboration, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes…. and “a few of my favorite things” Thank you to all who made this cover, and this magazine, possible.

 

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Merci Beaucoup:  to Andrew Scalini for the above images (and WeddingDay Magazine for the opportunity to plan and design their winter cover shoot).  Also to:  A Classic Party Rentals, BBJ Linens, Bella’s Bridesmaids, Blue House Bridal, Columbia Club, Evans Audio Visual, Heavenly Sweets, Helen Wells Agency, LaDolce Salon, Meg Catherine Flowers, Pomp&Polish

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Forty Under 40

February 13th, 2015 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

I am entirely overwhelmed by outpouring and response from the Indianapolis Business Journal’s inclusion of me in their 2015 Class of Forty Under 40. For over 20 years the newspaper has put together a collection of our city’s business leaders and stars in a variety of fields from medicine and law, to politics and finance.  Typically there are a few sports figures or celebrities included as well.  Very rarely is someone from  the event industry included, and never before has someone from the wedding industry been included.  I am thrilled the IBJ now sees the value of weddings in the business world.  I’m just overwhelmed that it was me they included in this year’s class.  Thank you.

In 2015, our class is diverse and unique.  We include a sports team owner, a 2 time Indy 500 pole sitter, a NY Times best selling novelist, a craft brew master, attorneys, philanthropists, and financial annalists in every category and oh yeah, a really talented hometown guy from NBC’s The Voice 😉

40 Under 40

Many have asked how long I’ve known?  The answer – October. What we didn’t know, was the other members of our class.  It was actually quite fun to get the list along with the rest of the city, only to learn that I actually knew other people in my class.

During the few months I have known I was included in Forty Under 40, I wanted so much wanted to thank a few people including Lori Koch, Michael & Lauren Crosby, Amanda Cecil, Shu Cole, Liz Guthrie and Phil Ray all of whom took the time to write nominations and recommendation letters on my behalf. Also to Jamar Cobb-Dennard for your words of encouragement and advice.  Then, in early December, when the photos were taken, imagine my delight to walk in to find a former groom from early in my career was the photographer! Eric Learned, thank you for the photo, LaDolce Salon for hair and make up and The Empty Vase for my flowers at the photo shoot and Lou Harry for the kind article.

Though the plaque may have my name on it – it would not be possible without endless support from my family, enthusiastic students whom I adore sharing our industry with each semester, key mentors – of all ages  (from around the country) who willingly share their knowledge,  encouragement from colleagues and event professionals who provide their energy and commitment to each event, and to my clients who give their unwavering trust. Without you, none of this would be possible. I am forever grateful for the opportunities I have been given and this amazing and humbling honor.  Thank you all and thank you for the week long love-fest. It is something  really wasn’t prepared for.  I am really grateful to all of you.

To read the  article – click here:  http://www.ibj.com/articles/51553-forty-under-40-monica-richard

IBJ Forty Under 40 Event and Wedding Planner Indianapolis

Photo Credit – Eric Learned c/o Indianapolis Business Journal

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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 – Abby and Matt

October 15th, 2014 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Abby and Matt - veil

Abby and Matt, along with their families, are such warm and gracious people!  They wanted their day to be filled with beautiful flowers, family tradition and great food — they had it all! When Matt proposed Abby’s parents immediately took them to Meridian Hills Country Club for a glass of celebratory champagne.  The Club has long held a place of family tradition and celebration, so hosting the wedding reception there seemed natural.  It was the perfect location for their early fall wedding.

Central Library Wedding Ceremony

Their ceremony location was hosted in the stunning architectural jewel, the Simon Reading Room of the Central Library.  This magnificent marble space with sweeping ceiling was the perfect location to host their unique ceremony.  Abby and Matt needed to intertwine a Jewish and Christian ceremony and this space was the ideal setting for their service.  While Abby wanted to have a stately Chuppah for her ceremony, she didn’t want to stand on the traditional right side, while she did want to have a Ketuba signing before the ceremony, she also wanted to have both a Minister and a Rabbi preside over the ceremony.  Selecting these officiants was an enjoyable process, because both the Rabbi and Reverend were both very excited to weave the religions together to create a beautiful and blended service for the two families joining as one.

Library Wedding Ceremony

Following the early evening ceremony, the reception began at Meridian Hills with cocktails on the veranda as the bridal party enjoyed photos on the beautiful greens.  After the winter we had, there isn’t a bride, photographer or wedding planner this year that has complained about this year’s weather and Abby was no different.  The photos she and Matt were able to to capture on the course were delightful!  The way the breeze captured her veil was picture perfect!  (top photo)

Abby and Matt Meridian Hills Country ClubMeridian Hills Country Club

Once guests were inside the ballroom, Abby and her mother, Lorna, wanted them to have a sense of traditional luxury.  Tones of white, cream, champagne and gold surrounded family and friends.  Rich cappuccino linens and decadent gold china helped the candlelit ballroom have a warm and welcoming ambiance. Lush white floral, chosen by Matt, because of his horticulture background, almost stole the show.

 

Full White Ballroom

Each course of the divine menu was artfully served on elaborate gold china.  Admittedly, following their menu tasting, I was really looking forward to this wedding night – the day of, it was served to perfection!  Yum!

Reception details

Dancing included the traditional Horah to honor Abby’s family,  but every guest was in on the action!  Ultimately there were 3 circles of guests to ensure there was enough room for everyone to participate.  Abby had cutting of the Challah by her grandfather along with having Matt’s dad say a blessing at the start of the meal.  At the ceremony both families signed the traditional marriage contract, the Ketuba, and both the Rabbi and minister stood under the Chuppah, but she stood on the left vs standing on the right.  It was beautiful to see how she wove  both religions into the day.

Jewish Wedding Traditions

I looked at Abby’s classic and elegant gown and thought to myself how timeless and regal show looked.  The lace detailing was so stunning!  Even when she laughed, she was flawless  – and that back – WOW!

Lace detail wedding dress

 

Marriage is about a lifetime together and coming together as one family.  I think Abby and Matt, along with their families, have started that beautifully!  They were such a delight to work with and I really enjoyed seeing their gracious spirit, their warm generosity and their loving way.  Watching how they blending their religions for the ceremony really is a testament to the flexibility and compromise that is required in a marriage.  It was a beautiful celebration – and will be the start of a beautiful marriage!

Family Photo

 

Mazel Tov Abby and Matt!

 

Flutter Fetti Streamers

Meci Beaucoup:  to Jennifer Driscoll Photography for all of the above images.  Also to; A Classic Party Rental, Central Library, Evans AV, Events by Design Paperie,  Jim Cerone, LaDolce Salon, LGi Linens, Marie Gabriel Couture Salon, Meridian Hills Country Club, McNamara Flowers, TLW Entertainment (Cathy Morris) Rev Tod Iseminger & Rabbi Weiss

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Wedding Highlight – Kelsey and David

September 26th, 2014 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized No comments

2nd Pres Wedding

Kelsey and David had their priorities straight from the onset of their engagement –  the ceremony was the focal point of their grand affair. It was lovely to witness this as their wedding planner!  Kelsey was the third daughter to get married at Second Presbyterian Church, the iconic marble church located on Meridian Street.  To highlight this spectacular church and the beautiful architecture Kelsey, and her mom, Cindy, requested gorgeous pale pink and white flowers drip from the massive altar where Kelsey and David would say their vows. They were spectacular!  When Cindy first arrived to the church she gasped!  It was one of my favorite moments of the day!  To compliment the decor, Kelsey and David had a variety of music throughout the ceremony including a quartet, a children choir and her brother singing The Lord’s Prayer.  It was a joyous and family filled celebration.

2nd Pres Ceremony NEP

Seeing David’s face at both their first look and when Kelsey came down the aisle really says it all.  He had waited years for this moment and he could hardly contain himself – he smiled from ear to ear all day!

2nd Presbyterian

Their love was evident the entire day as they took photos in downtown and couldn’t have had more fun doing so. They laughed, smiled and relished in the entire day’s events!

Laughing Couple

Following the ceremony guests enjoyed dinner and dancing in one of Indy’s most renowned ballrooms – the Indiana Roof.   Located in the heart of bustling downtown Indy, on the same night as a major convention, and a home Colts game, Kelsey and David enjoyed the flurry of activity around their reception!

Indiana Roof Ballroom - Mon Amie Events Inc

The reception was filled with classic beauty.  Crisp white linens, robust florals in shades soft blush to cerise and every tone in between filled the candlelit ballroom.

Indiana Roof Ballroom Pale Pink Wedding

Centered in the space was the table for the new couple, a sweet and intimate dinner for two.  Kelsey’s main request was that she have some time alone with David during the day.  This romantic space allowed for the perfect retreat for the newlyweds to enjoy dinner, dancing and private conversation all evening.  It was adorable to witness their love as they held hands literally the entire night. Tiffany Stoner from Nathaniel Edmunds Photography stated that in her tenure she had never seen a groom more in love with this bride.

Sweetheart Table

 Throughout the planning process, the entire team of professionals could see the couple’s love for one another.  To select their wedding cake, the couple planned a date just for two at Classic Cakes. During the date, they selected a variety of indulgent flavors to surprise their family and friends. The cake was five layers and had delicate lace applique on the tiers that replicated the lace of her wedding gown. (Truth be told–in my entire career, it was the only cake meeting that I did not attend.  – What no cake tasting!  🙂 How could this be!?) A week before the wedding I actually had to call to see if the cake needed fresh flowers because I did not know anything about the details and had to relay that information to the florist. Instead the cake had beautiful gum paste sugar rose flowers which perfectly complimented her bridal bouquet.

Blush Bridal Bouqut, Elegant Cake, Lace Gown

Just like the cake, her dress epitomized classic elegance with a twist of surprise. Kelsey floated across the dance floor in her ethereal ball gown to first dance song, “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton. The twist of surprise here occurred later in the evening when David’s fraternity brothers and her father paraded the dance floor with the Sweetheart of Sigma Chi serenade. Once the gentlemen were on the dance floor singing, they stayed all night long!

Stunning Wedding Dress

Concluding the evening Kelsey and David exited the ballroom in grand style – to a sparkler exit and awaiting classic Rolls Royce for their getaway!

sparkler exit

I’ve known this family for over 10 years and had the pleasure of working with them for their 2nd daughter’s wedding.  Thank you for for allowing me to help you again, this time with Kelsey’s celebration.  It is such an honor!

What a wonderful family

Merci Beaucoup to Nathaniel Edmunds Photography for the above images and to:  A Classic Party Rentals, Antique Limo, AMS, Classic Cakes, Elite Management,  Enflora, Indiana Room Ballroom,  IndyVisual,  La Dolce Salon, Markey’s Audio Visual, Marie Gabriel Couture,  Second Presbyterian Church, Westwood Paper Company

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

September 4th, 2014 monamieevents Uncategorized 1 Comment

Wedding Planner Indianapolis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wedding Florist Iindianapolis

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

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

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

Makeup Artist Indianapolis

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

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

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

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

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

Indianapolis Wedding Planner with clients

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

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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

blue bridal party

 

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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farm wedding

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