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Wedding Menus inspired a New Generation

October 13th, 2015 monamieevents Uncategorized No comments

Sabrina - www.MasteringTheArtofKidsCooking.com

I admit, I’ve lacked in the blogging department this summer. It’s not for not trying – it’s just things here at Mon Amie Events, Inc have been a wee bit busy and very exciting in the Richard family. Our daughter Sabrina, who is 11, fulfilled her life-long ambition of competing on Food Network’s Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off. Once she was named to the show, it was very secretive.   Sabrina and I left for NY, filmed the entire series and Food Network announced her participation in the show all within a few months, but it was right in the heart of wedding season!  Admittedly, I had to turn down a wedding that fell right over the filming of the show (at one of my favorite destination locations) and I’m really thankful that my couple immediately after the filming were SO understanding given I couldn’t tell them anything other than “Sabrina and I are going to NY.”

The entire summer and fall has been a wonderful whirlwind of activity and exciting media attention, interviews and of course, cooking. Often Sabrina is recognized in the most unexpected places by fans of all ages and she always stops to talk. The entire experience has been a beautiful time for our entire family and we are all so grateful. In some interviews Sabrina is asked where her love of cooking first began, and she mentions that she first fell in love “fancy menus” because of my weddings. Allow me to elaborate…

Menu Cards

As I would prepare for a wedding, the final details would be checked off and naturally the personal touches that make a wedding beautiful, unique and special would be picked up by me. These might include favors, place cards, table numbers and of course menu cards. After the wedding I would keep a sample menu card for my records. From time-to-time if there was an extra during clean up I would give a couple to Sabrina so she could “set the table” at home and make it pretty for Sunday dinner. This began at a very very early age. Food Network was always on in our home. It was the white noise in our house. I wanted to know great menu ideas or the latest trends in the culinary world. Clearly both of these stirred up something in Sabrina. Little by little I noticed Sabrina started asking about menu items as she would read the cards. “How do I make beurre blanc sauce?” “Can I try osso busso sometime?” “Tell me about sou vide.” She wanted to know where a menu item originated from, why the couple picked it, who was catering the wedding, and the preparation process. I also noticed her recipe book was getting fatter and fatter. She was keeping each of the menu cards (from years and years of weddings!) I asked her why once and Sabrina replied, because now I’m a good enough cook to make most of these and if I’m not, I know I’ll get there. It was impressive to me to see what was little “gift” from a Saturday night to make Sunday’s dinner table prettier, was now something serving as part of her culinary inspiration!

Food Photos

I have no doubt Julia Child changed Sabrina’s life. (anyone who’s watched Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off knows how much Sabrina loves Julia — and how she considers Julia her “alter-ego.” Sabrina’s impression of her is one even Meryl Streep would admire.) However, I have little doubt that the wedding industry also inspired my little Julia. I am so appreciative to my clients and my colleagues. Without your stunning weddings, your (delicious!) menus, your pretty menu cards and your gracious support of Sabrina in helping her prepare for this incredible journey none of this would have been possible. The event industry and clients have been enormously supportive throughout Sabrina’s desire to be on Food Network (years in the making) and during the filming and now airing of the show, I couldn’t ask for a kinder, nicer and more supportive group. Whether you snapped a photo of her, her food the bride’s food (and made sure you texted it to Sabrina during the wedding) or sent a pile of menu cards to Sabrina after other client’s weddings (I’ve had other planners and stationery professionals do that too!) It hasn’t gone unnoticed – it all means so much! Merci – and of course,  Bon Appetit!

MasteringTheArtofKidsCooking.com

For more information about Sabrina and her adventure on Food Network (and life after the show) please visit her at:

www.MasteringTheArtOfKidsCooking.Com

Facebook — www.facebook.com/cookwithsabrina
Twitter – @CookwithSabrina
IG – @CookwithSabrina

Menu Card
As always my heartfelt gratitude goes to the professionals who beautifully photographed some of the menus cards and food photos that captured Sabrina’s imagination over the years along with Sabrina for her audition photo shoot / video and head shots. Conforti Photography, Jennifer Driscoll Photography, Nathaniel Edmunds Photography, Erin Hession Photography, IndyVisual, InspireMedia, Jessica Strickland Photography, Vrai Photography

 (and now back to your regularly scheduled blogging…) 😉

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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!

Indianapolis Wedding Bridal Party 2014-10-16_0011 BridalParty_GG-71

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.

Rod Tuffcurls2014-10-16_0015

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 – 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 – 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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Wedding Highlight – Sara and Curtis

June 19th, 2014 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Sara and Curtis have known one another forever!  It’s impossible to see a photo of one without the other.   They actually went to the  same elementary school!  A mere 2 weeks before their wedding, they were finally in the same city as each other having survived a 4 year  long-distance relationship because of attending different colleges.   As often as possible one would travel to the other school for football games or mini-vacations.  One semester they even both traveled  to England to study together.  This wedding celebration was a culmination of graduations and the wedding.  It was such a joyous time for the couple!

Sara and Curtis Modern Indy Wedding

Sara is a gem!  Her smile is contagious and she radiates happiness!

Curtis is kind, sweet and adores Sara.  I mean just look at this image taken as they were heading out to take photos on the morning of the wedding.  It speaks to his kindness.  (And, frankly, his upbringing — I am huge fans of his parents Sheila and John.)

Sara and Curtis Black and White - sweet private moment

 

Sara and Curtis were married in their childhood church of St. Barnabas Catholic Church.  Both Sara and Curtis had received all of their Sacraments (Baptism, First Communion, Reconciliation and Confirmation) at St. Barnabas. They were the first couple in the church’s history to receive every Sacrament at the church. Having the final Sacrament there as well carried special meaning.

View More: http://jessicastrickland.pass.us/saracurtis

Sara and Curtis got married just a few months after Curtis’s sister, Kristen, was married.  Many of the same professionals helped with his sister’s wedding, and Sara and Curtis wanted their wedding to have an entirely different feel, because, obviously, they’re entirely different people.  Sara and Curtis wanted a clean, sleek and modern feeling for their spring nuptials.

To capture this mood, Sara chose black and white as her color story for the wedding and had a few touches of silver sparkle to capture her fresh modern approach.

It was fun to help her design an entirely different type of wedding than Kristen and Tim had selected.  While the two couples had some similar tastes (like a great taste in wedding planners, photographers and videographers 😉 ) they wanted their events to feel very different from one another.  Sara knew the reception location would have to be key in this step.  She picked D’Amore high atop the Indianapolis Skyline to set the scene for night’s festivities.

D'Amore Black and White Modern Wedding White Florals

Sara allowed us to play!  I love that in design! When a bride trusts her professionals, there is truly nothing better.   She wanted only pure white flowers.  David from the Empty Vase created magic and together we worked to pair his florals with sensational linens which made the room a delight for all of the senses.

white flowers black linens charger plates

The flowers were spectacular.  Crisp snowy phalaenopsis orchids, dreamy peonies, fragrant roses and hydrangea created stunning tablescapes.  Chandeliers were created with votive candles and orchids to add more sparkle to the space which glistened because of the silver charger plates and beaded linens.  The linens begged to be touched because of the intricate beading and tulle skirts.

Black Linens, White Flowers Black and White Wedding

Special accents included the beautiful cake which had the intricate detail from Sara’s wedding gown on its 5 layers and glittered chocolate truffles (which were a surprise for Sara) to match her show-stopping glittered dance floor!

Black White and Silver wedding details silver truffles Black and White Wedding, Classic Cake, Silver Glitter Dance Floor

One of my favorite parts of the evening was actually seeing guests reaction to the cocktail and vip lounge space.  This area reminded me of a cool Miami club.  It was filled with fun chandeliers, white furniture, sparkling sequined pillows and linens. The focal point of the room were over-sized monograms on bookshelves of the couple’s adventures.

VIP lounge black and white wedding

Their toasts looked majestic with the sky behind them and a cascade of chandeliers created with votive candles along the windows.

Black and White Toasts

As night fell over the celebration, guests loved watching the sunset over the Circle City.  As the lights began to flicker on over the skyline, Curtis pulled Sara to the south side of the space to reveal this spectacular surprise — the IPL building illuminating an over-sized heart in her honor!

Indianapolis Circle City IPL Heart

 

Curtis’s childhood dreams came true though when his “lifelong” wish was fulfilled.  His childhood soccer team had long joked they wanted a “cheese fountain” at his wedding.  Well… they got it!  The inner 10 year old boy in each one of them came out when it was revealed during dancing complete with corn dogs, burgers, fries and other late night munchies!

Cheese Fountain

This couple is amazing!  They are sweet, kind, generous and never – I mean NEVER stopped smiling the entire wedding.  (The entire wedding planning process would actually be more accurate.)  I have really relished in my time with both of their families and loved helping them create this special celebration.  I’m so thrilled they’re finally in the same city (and now in MY city!) so I can keep in touch with these wonderful people and their parents.  Thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives during such a special time.  It was truly an honor.  Congratulations Sara and Curtis!  May you always have blessings you deserve and all the nacho cheese a guy could ever want!

Black and White Wedding White Wedding Bouquet

Sara (and Curtis) in the Sky with Diamonds 🙂

silver sparkling wedding ring

Merci Beaucoup to Jessica Strickland Photography for the above images and to:  Antique Limo, BBJ Linen, Classic Cakes, D’Amore, Empty Vase,  Evans Audio Visual / Wow Factors,  Indy Photo Booth, IndyVisual, Jim Cerone,  JW Salon, LaTavola Linens, Makeup by Sparkle,  M.H Pomander’s, pomp&polish llc, St. Barnabas Catholic Church,  Thomas Caterers of Distinction 

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Mon Amie Events, Inc is a full service event planner based in Indianapolis, IN

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Wedding Rewind

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

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

Beck Chapel Indiana University

The best day of your life is yet to come. 

It’s the day your child is born.

When they learn to say Mom. or Dad.

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

It’s the night you watch a child graduate.

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

The day you realize you have financial freedom.

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

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

Air National Guard - deployment image

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

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

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

Navy Blue Invitation

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

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

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

Beck Chapel Ceremony Indiana University Flutter Fetti

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

Moments in Love

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

Beck Chapel Indiana University - Inside

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

Navy and Yellow Wedding Indiana University Showwalter Fountain

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

Yellow and Navy Wedding Yellow Bouquet

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

Crystal Chandelier

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

Surprise reaction to Ballroom - Navy and Yellow Wedding

 

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

Yellow and Navy Wedding

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

Navy Stationery and Paper Details Navy and Yellow Wedding

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

Wedding Menu

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

Classic Cake

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

15 years of love

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

Grandparents Family Photos

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

Navy Family Wedding

 

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

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Wedding Highlight – Margo & Bob

August 23rd, 2013 monamieevents Real Weddings, Uncategorized No comments

Wedding Ceremony

From the moment I met Margo and Bob, I was welcomed into their home and their lives with open arms and I knew it was going to an amazing weekend full of celebration, laughter and of course, fantastic Italian food!

Their engagement party was only a few days after we first met, and I was asked to attend so I could meet each of their children.  What a stunning family.  The kids (and by this I mean – wonderful, smart, capable young adults) were just coming home for the summer from college and looked right out of the pages of any Anthropologie or J. Crew catalog for the party.  Margo and Bob’s kids were to be their eventual bridal attendants, just as they were  present in Paris when Bob proposed earlier last spring.

His side Her Side

The wedding itself was a beautiful and classic setting with fun and unexpected touches, frankly not unlike the couple themselves.  Bob and Margo are elegant, graceful and regal – yet very funny and entirely engaging.  The first true sign of this was their amazing save the date – which paid homage to their Parisian proposal – a box of truffles each flavor chosen for its French influence including champagne and chambord.

The ceremony was clean, crisp and airy.  Guests were greeted by the boys, then asked to be seated for the service with the entire city of Indianapolis as the background while the prelude played.  The altar was billowing drape with dramatic floral in all shades of white, ivory and cream to allow the magnitude of the ceremony to set in.  Just as Margo and her sons came down the aisle, the lighting dimmed, the screens closed and it was a dramatic moment.  Margo and Bob had waited 8 years for this moment to arrive ~ I loved how beautifully it played out in real time.  They lovingly incorporated their children into the service by having the kids also partake in the sand ceremony.  Their true humor shined through, when “Signed, Sealed and Delivered” played as they were pronounced husband and wife!

Wedding Ceremony

As guests entered the reception space, they were immediately greeted with ice blue cocktails and mutli-tonal shades of aqua all creating a stunning monochromatic palette matching the Indianapolis skyline.  Whether it be Margo’s  fantastic (oh, I wish they were my size!) shoes, creative touches to the hors d’oeuvres or dainty candles in the cocktail reception, several shades of blue began to welcome guests in those  first minutes of the celebration.

Blue details

Following the cocktail hour, guests were taken with the stunning beauty and spectacular views again as they entered the dinner area.  No detail was overlooked.  Flowing ribbon embroidered linens with organza overlays topped the tables.  Sparkling aqua charger plates complimented the pale blue mercury glass candles and antique vases overflowing with petite floral centerpieces topped the stunning tables.  Large opulent centerpieces cascaded on aqua stands all creating a beautiful sea glass and aqua palette as guests entered the reception.

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Bob and Margo’s Italian warmth, and Italian honeymoon immediately became evident to the guests when the dinner reception began.  As they were seated, guests were served a bountiful antipasto platter and Italian wines.  The first course included a perfect summer salad of watermelon, feta, mint and fennel.  The bright pink incorporated Margo’s favorite color and came presented in whimsical jars sealed with custom labels.

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Italian wines were perfectly paired with each course as guests dined on artfully displayed Italian cuisine.  Each course thoughtfully presented and created to honor Bob’s heritage and the impending honeymoon.  As guests departed at the end of the night, Italian bottles of wine were given as a final toast to the guests – Salud!

The dancing held several surprises and great fun for the guests. Once nightfall set over the city, Bob and Margo showed  their love by expressing it 6 stories tall on the IPL building for the guests (and entire city) to see.

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When guests came back onto the dancefloor, they were surprised with a over-the-top display of sweets in the same color palette as the wedding and dozens of Italian pastries.  Later in the night savory sliders  offered a quick bite for guests to enjoy while the danced in the club-like atmosphere Margo had created for her guests.  She had envisioned a party for her college aged children, and she got it!  Dozens of glow and light up items were handed out making what started out as a regal, serene bridal ceremony, become the fun, electric celebration they wanted the end of the night to be.  It was the perfect joining of two families and two events!

dance Party

Congratulations Margo and Bob, may every year be as celebratory and fun as you had on this night.  Salud!

Merci Beaucoup to Nathaniel Edmunds Photography for the above images and to:  Antique Limo, BBJ Linen, Classic Cakes, D’Amore Events, Goldstar Management,  Indy Photo Booth, Jim Cerone, LGI Linen, Pink Poppy Ink, Thomas Caterers of Distincton, Tod Isminger, Royal Creations

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Mon Amie Events, Inc is a full service event planning and luxury wedding planning firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

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Wedding Highlight – Andrea & Patrick

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

Perfect Dance

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

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

 

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

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

Ceremony Recessional

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

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

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Wedding Menu Small Plates

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

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

Simple Syrup

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

Menu

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

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

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

Andrea and Patrick dancing

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

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

Favors

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

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

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

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Merci Beaucoup:

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

 

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

UPDATE —

 

Enjoy their wedding video trailer!  Andrea+Patrick Video

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

6915 Bretton Circle, Indianapolis, IN

 

 

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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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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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