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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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Woof said the Flower Girl

November 5th, 2013 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

Flower Girl Dog

 

Our pets are our family. Our pets are people too.  So why not when planning your wedding include them in your celebration?

Whether your pet is honored by being part of the ceremony itself, or honored in the favors, it’s important you remember your furry friend on the wedding day.

Jezebel (above) and Lillie below were both flower girls for their parents and (nearly) stole the show.  However, with these two stunning couples – NEARLY – is the important word here.  When having your pet be in the wedding, it’s important to remember a few things.

Loveable Flower Girl

First make sure the location you are hosting your wedding in is ok with animals coming in for your wedding.  If they don’t permit pets, consider talking with your photographer about including your pet as part of the engagement session. Then include those photos in your wedding day.

Secondly. don’t try to babysit your own pet on the wedding day.  There’s a LOT going on at your wedding, have someone else take charge your four-legged friend.  My advice, it shouldn’t be a bridal party member or immediate family member. They are just as busy as you. Get hired help.  Talk to the professionals.

If you’re leaving your pup at home, consider making your favors in their honor.  The Humane Society has gotten many donations in lieu of favors in honor of my clients’ cats and dogs Crosley,  Bentley and Princess.  Their photos were placed on the table along with a note honoring the gift.

I’ve done this post in honor of my wedding gift.  Tuppie.  Our family is lost without him after 14 years with him sleeping our our feet.  While he may not have been in our wedding, we think of him as part of our wedding because he was a wedding gift – to each other.  He was our first child.  Life without him is not the same.  No more do we hear the jingle of his collar as he says goodnight to the kids before jumping up to our bed.  No more does he beg for dinner (and lunch… and breakfast – who am I kidding!?) 😉  right next to my chair. He was a stray we adopted from the Humane Society and our vet said, we’ll he’s used to table scraps from the people who were feeding him, so it would be ok to give him a bite since clearly that’s his diet.  So, along with love, (real cat food) and the one bite of our meals, he grew in our family to a huge 20 pound diva.  He was funny, and snotty, and very much the cat of an event planner.  He liked ribbons, and flutter fetti, and life under the Christmas tree.  He actually loved the dog next door, and learned to tolerate the two smelly things Paul and I brought home from the hospital that screamed and cried and pulled his looooong tail.  He more than tolerated them.  He checked their bedrooms every night and cuddled with them if they were sick and loved to eatch movies and baseball with them.  He loved salmon (and adored it when Sabrina cooked it!) He loved the afternoon sunshine and made himself 6 feet long to take up every inch of it. We miss him. I miss his paws asking to sit on my lap.  It’s my first blog post without him…  typing just isn’t the same.   However, the next time a client asks for help with their pet in the wedding, I will do everything in my power to ensure it happens.  I always have, but now, I do it honor of Tuppie.

 

Wedding Gift

Thank you Nathaniel Edmunds Photography for capturing Jezebel with her parents (decor by L.Gene Huddleson – Detail+Design), Jessica Strickland for capturing Lillie with her parents and Jennifer Driscoll for capturing Tuppie for our family after he was diagnosed with cancer.  All of these photos mean so much.

 Monica Richard – Mon Amie Events, Inc is an Indianapolis Indiana based event and wedding planner

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The One Who Loved You First

June 10th, 2013 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

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

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

 

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

 

Kiss Goodbye

 

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

 

Father of the Bride stollen kiss

 

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

 

 First Dance - NEP

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Honoring Mom and Dad!

May 6th, 2013 monamieevents Uncategorized 1 Comment

A Toast to Mothers!

Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom

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

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

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

 

Allow her to put on your jewelry. 

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

Mother of the Bride and Bride

 

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

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

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

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

Father of the Bride stollen kiss

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

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

Bridal Processional

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

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

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

Mother son dance

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

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

Happy Dance!

Happy Mother’s Day Mom, I love you.

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

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

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

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It’s All About Touch! Texture at Events.

March 27th, 2013 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

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

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

Texture in an event

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

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

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

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

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

pashminas and flipflops

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

Metal

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

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

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

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

 

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Pace Awards ~ The Envelope Please

March 13th, 2013 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

 

The Indiana Chapter of  International Special Events Society (ISES)  held its annual award celebration last weekend.  The PACE awards (Professional Achievement in Creative Events) mission is to provide a prestigious event that honors and shares the work of industry professionals. The PACE awards aim to recognize professionals in the special event industry for all of the events they create, plan, manage, and execute during the year.

View More: http://brianmcguckin.passgallery.com/event/dL8C1139321

The awards honor industry professionals in categories ranging from videography and photography to corporate events and social events.  For many years we’ve been honored with nominations and awards  for our work and in 2013 we once again received this flattering accolade.  Jessie and Stefan’s wedding was a beautiful celebration and we are thrilled for them to have won the ISES Pace Awards for Best Wedding for their budget range.

View More: http://brianmcguckin.pass.us/2013paceawards

Stefan said all along the planning process he wanted to win the Best Wedding Award for his bride.  It was very exciting to accept this award honoring the couple.  They wanted to create something to unique and poignant for their guests.  To see the wedding film (from Northernlight Filmworks) from their day, please click here:

http://www.northernlightfilmworks.com/2013/02/stefan-and-jessie/

Details from their day included Jessie’s stunning altar, her two wedding gowns, a unique bouquet created entirely from sugar and the couple’s touching tribute to her late father.  Thank you to the entire wedding team for creating such a special day for such a special couple – Merci Beaucoup:  A Classic Party Rental , Cake Zen , Conrad Indianapolis , Evans Audio Visual, Jennifer Driscoll Photography, Jim Cerone DJ Entertainment, JW Salon,  Makeup by Sparkle , McNamara Florist , Northernlight Filmworks

 

Merci Beaucoup for the photographs used in this blog entry:

To photographers Brian McGuckin and Jennifer Driscoll

 

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Have Yourself a “Married” Little Christmas

December 24th, 2012 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

To all of my clients, family and friends, whether this is your first “Married” Christmas – your 10th, 40th, or more — Joyeux Noel! Take a few minutes to enjoy the best gift of all, one another!

 

 

According to  “The New York” times a whopping 15% of all engagements take place this week, and based on a survey by “The Knot” 39% of couples propose between November and February!  To couples who will remember Christmas 2012 for their engagement forever ~ Congratulations and enjoy that glass of champagne with your fiance, your family and friends!

 

May you all be surrounded with peace, love and joy this holiday season!

 

 

 

 

 

Merci Beaucoup to Carpenter Photography and Design for creating the Noel logo for me!

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She Said Yes!

November 21st, 2012 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

For over ten years I’ve loved hearing couples tell the story about how they met, their first date and eventually, the proposal.  It’s fun to hear how the groom-to-be often nervously asked permission of the bride’s father (sometimes with her mom present, other times without her there) and then planned the perfect time to finally ask the most important question of his life.

I’ve heard some wonderful stories lately – I’ve had some pretty lucky clients!  Two clients lately have had Parisian proposals.  Not 1, but 2!  One bride, Sabrina, I knew was happening even before she did!  (I was actually hired to plan the wedding by her groom, Danny and her mom before he’d even popped the question) So imagine my excitement when I, along with their parents, received giddy texts from across the pond when Sabrina said yes, with pictures of the sparkling ring? 🙂  The other bride was standing  in the Lourve and in a state of complete shock when her betrothed asked for her hand … only to then see their entire families walking up to them moments later to celebrate!

College campuses are another sweet and sentimental place to propose.  It was really fun to hear the engagement story of Notre Dame’s famed grotto playing host to recent alumns for a fall 2013 couple returning to campus for a football game this fall with both sets of parents.

Pets often play an important role.  Whether they are used as a decoy, or hold a “Will you Marry Me?” sign, or have the ring tied around their neck, I always think it’s a sweet way to have four-legged children be involved in creating something so intimate and special.  Whenever the pet is part of the proposal, if possible, I also try to include the pet in the wedding as well.

Recently I met a bride with a very sweet and special proposal.  It really resonated with me.  Her fiancé Brian asked her to marry him in front of the courthouse in the county of his parent’s hometown.  In actuality, since they are to be married in that same county, they’ll actually get their marriage license at that same location.  I found this location sweet and pure. I find the fact they’ll have to return here in a year and a half even more compelling – for years to come, they’ll be able to share their engagement story, from that very spot.  🙂

 

Some grooms propose back at the location of their first date – or at an important restaurant.  Others choose a famous landmark.  Regardless of where he asks – and in what arena – what makes this important is – how he asks.  Not how many people witnessed this auspicious occasion, or whether it was on film, or part of a flashmob, or part of a grand gesture, but rather did he fully graciously tell the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with that he pictured every morning, with her.  The good times and the bad.  In sickness and in health… and that no matter what – he would be honored to have her have his last name.  How else could she not say Yes?

Merci Beaucoup to the photographers who have captured the stunning heirloom rings my clients have been given by their grooms over the years.  (In Order of appearance) Carpenter Photography and Design, Nathaniel Edmunds Photography, Meyer Photography, Jessica Strickland Photography

 

 

 

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

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

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Bon Appetit

September 24th, 2012 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

Think about it – we talk about food from the moment a person is born.  “How is the baby eating?”  “What was their first food?”  We ask children, “what is your favorite food?”  (often to the answer of ice cream or pizza)  and as we begin dating that question  “where do you want to go for dinner?” is an important one – so when planning your wedding menu it’s a critical point.

Here are a few tips to help navigate the wedding meal:

  • Keep it in season.  Don’t serve heavy Braised Short Ribs for an outdoor summer wedding.  Instead have your protein topped with a fresh fruit salsa.  For a fall wedding, instead of a salad, consider offering your guests a soup course.
  • Keep it fun.  Many couples infuse personal touches in their menu including a specialty cocktail or hors d’oeuvre to make their wedding have a unique touch.  Whether it be a special color (or named) cocktail during the cocktail hour or themed hors d’oeuvres or specialty dessert, ask the chef to “play” and you’ll get great results.  On the beach?  Offer sangria as your cocktail.

 

I had a couple who had a Parisian proposal to the entire menu was French inspired.  From the French wines, to the Cornish Game Hen to the trio of petit French desserts, guests stepped right onto the streets of Paris while they dined. (below)   I also had a couple who had gotten engaged in Key West so infused the flavors of that city into their cocktail hour, bar and entrée.  Simple key lime and coconut hints to the menu really made for a memorable event.

  • Walk down memory lane.  Last fall when the groom was a chef how could he not become incredibly involved with the entire wedding menu?! J  He created stations of food infusing the names of the family however; it was the brides’ family recipe for peach cobbler that had the guests really smacking their lips. (menu is pictured below)

Another groom loved the salad the bride had made for him early in their relationship.  He literally said “She made it once and I was hooked”  – so when the menu cards were printed with her creation that quote was printed as well, guests loved it!

  • Surprise them.  If your family always serves the traditional Jordan Almonds at weddings – don’t forgo this.  Your aunt who makes these for every.single.wedding. will be broken hearted you didn’t use them at your gala … but there has to be a way of presenting them without placing them on the table at each place setting.  I had a couple who faced this so when the cake was served the groom was also to give a speech.  His aunt was also the resident and queen nut maker – so he thanked her for making these for the umpteenth time and as the cake was served, the servers also presented the almonds to the guests.  In fact, we thought guests were actually more likely to take them, than leave them on the table.  It worked.

Instead of the candy station in themed colors that people have seen at many weddings now – perhaps consider offering a popcorn bar, a nut bar or late in the evening a cereal bar.

I also, if the favor is food, typically don’t present any wedding favor until guests are departing the wedding – guests like to be surprised with this one last culinary treat!

Food and drink is often one of the largest parts of a wedding budget, but making things personal, fun and special doesn’t have to cost more.  Ask your caterer how they can help you.  They’re the experts.  If you’re going to Mexico on your honeymoon, serve Mexican beer.  If you have Italian heritage in your family, ask about serving Italian wines with your dinner – these may not cost you more, but will keep your event personalized and special!  Have fun, enjoy the celebration and remember most importantly “bon appetit!”

 

 

 

Merci Beaucoup to the photographers and caterers who each event bring these delicious meals to life!  (in order of images) Hether Miles Photography – Hoaglin Catereing, Megelaine Images – South Seas Island Resort Catering, Carpenter Photography and Design – Flik Catering,   Scalini Photography, Nathaniel Edmunds Photography – Hoaglin Catering.

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

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

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It’s What’s Inside that Counts – Guest Welcome Bags

August 30th, 2012 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

I had a client about a year ago use a wonderful term for guests’ needs – temperature / restroom facilities / parking / proximity to food / guestroom accommodations – “their creature comforts”  Thank you Anne – I love that term and I’ve adopted fully!  I find myself referring to it often and thinking of you with fondness, smiling to myself as I tell other people about “creature comforts.”

One way creature comforts factor into a wedding is the moment they arrive the wedding weekend – often before they’ve even seen the bridal couple – at hotel check in.  Many bridal couples welcome their guests with Welcome Bags.  These treats can be filled with a myriad of things, but here’s a few tips to make sure your first impression to your family and friends make your guests fell welcome, excited and most importantly right at home!

  • Welcome your guests – a quick note welcoming them to your celebration goes a long way!
  • Include directions and a timeline for your guests – a city map and some timeline. This may be timing for the rehearsal dinner, ceremony and post reception brunch.  If you are providing transportation – tell them the time and location to meet.

After a trip to Sam’s Club with a client this week to help her shop I was inspired to write this post because she had no idea what to include in her bag, so here is a list of things to make sure are in your shopping cart:

Noshes and treats for their home away from home for the weekend ~ It’s What’s Inside that Counts:

  • Water
  • Another Drink – if you’re going to Jamaica on your honeymoon – include Red Stripe Beer, if you met at IU, include Oliver Winery wine.  I had a couple that works for a fitness company their beverages certainly were included.  Make it personal!
  • Salty Snack – chips, crackers or nuts etc.
  • Candy bars – 2 – your favorite and his favorite!
  • Mints –  kissable breath is important on a wedding weekend 🙂
  • Breakfast items – just something to curb them over – juice and perhaps a breakfast pastry
  • Fruit – an apple or banana.  (If the bride or groom is a Doctor or Teacher they will appreciate the Apple!)
  • Cookies
  • Deck of cards
  • The drugstore – sample packs of Advil / Tylenol / Aspirin / Tums / hand sanitizer / the like – your guests will thank you for it!

 

One Splurge – by this I mean something fun as a special thank you for the guests!  They have sacrificed their time and money to be with you for the wedding weekend, give them something special for doing so.  Perhaps it’s the bag itself like a Thirty-One bag or a reusable grocery bag.   It could be something in the bag that represents the city of your wedding.  No trip to South Florida would be complete without a box of Norman Love chocolates.  The mother of the bride described them as jewelry – clearly you can see why! (below)  Kentucky weddings “have to” include Maker’s Mark and Ale 8, while Brides from Indy often include “Just Pop In” popcorn.

 

 

Regardless of what you include, make it fun and make it personal!  The guests will notice these personal treats.  I’ve had clients include over-sized hand painted cookies of their event logo which guests thought were too pretty to eat … until they took the first bite.

 

If you include toothbrushes in honor of your dental practice or pencils with your names on it because you’re both teachers – they’ll notice!  If you are never seen without a Diet Coke in your hand, and it’s included in your bag, the guests will surely pick up on this as well.  I had a couple that owns a spice company – you betcha everyone loves their new signature spices included in the bag! (ymmmm – I need a filet mignon and some Marion Kay Spice right now just thinking about it – to celebrate their anniversary I certainly will have to do so!) 😉

Your guests are exactly that, they are your guests ~ your family and friends ~ they’re thrilled to celebrate with you – so welcome them to their “’home away from home” for the weekend just as you would to your home, then get ready for a wonderful weekend of family, fun and your wedding!

 

 

Have a great wedding weekend and remember when you check into your honeymoon suite one of these bags will be waiting for you and your husband too ~ so enjoy those snacks and treats!

 

 

 

 

 

Merci Beaucoup to the photographers who likely had a few nibbles as they took some photos 🙂  well deserved nibbles!  In order of appearance:  Jennifer Driscoll Photography (2 images), Megelaine Images, Nathaniel Edmunds Photography, Carpenter Photography and Design

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

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

 

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