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Our first Podcast!
The joy and innocence of celebrating a 10 year old's birthday...friends and family, the balloons, games and fun, and don't forget the cake! Also, don't forget to use the hand sanitizer when you enter the room. You see Ed is anything but your average 10 year old. Ed is not just celebrating his birthday, but he's also celebrating 7 months since he was given the ultimate gift - a new heart.
Ed was diagnosed with a heart defect at birth. In his 10 shorts years he's endured more than most. Surgeries, hospitalizations, and extra precautions to protect Ed's fragile health were the norm for him. Then came the big one. Ed's heart wasn't keeping up, and he needed to go in to the hospital.
314 days. For 314 days Ed waited, hoping and praying for the perfect heart. 314 days spent in the hospital trying to be a normal kid...going to school online, doing the best he and his mom could to make a hospital room feel like home. Then it happened. Prayers were answered, the perfect donor heart was found! Just 16 days later, Ed was going home with a new heart!
With his new heart Ed was able to go back to school this spring, he was able for the first time to have this kind of a birthday party. He was able to run and play and just be a kid.
We were very honored to donate our photo booth for Ed's party. Watching him have a chance to be goofy with friends and family was pretty amazing. We also put together a memory book for Ed where people could paste their pictures (don't worry, everyone also got a copy they could take with them too!) and write a message for Ed. At 10 he may not appreciate those messages as much now, but with a new heart he'll be celebrating birthdays for years to come!
The forecast wasn't favorable. Rain was coming, could be an all day rain out. A gorgeous outdoor ceremony in a simply perfect location was threatened. We were all prepared to go with the back up plan. And then something amazing happened...it didn't rain. The weather cleared, the skies brightened and the perfect ceremony to begin the perfect day began.
The reception was packed, not an empty chair to be had. The beautiful barn at the Cummings Farm near Buffalo provided the perfect backdrop for this country wedding celebrating Jake and Jess. The food was amazing - catered by Von Hanson's Meat in Monticello, the toasts were heartfelt, the evening was well, perfect.
Jake and Jess' first dance was wonderful, watching them on the dance floor so in love was magical. Then it was time for their guests to hit the floor, they didn't disappoint. From beginning until end, the dance floor was packed. Music all across the genres that night, but Country and 80's seemed to be the favorites.
In fact they had so much fun dancing, when we reached the end of our scheduled time Jake came up to me and said - "No way - we're not done with the party yet"! Jake and Jess opted to pay for an hour of overtime, and everyone made the most of it. It's normal as we get later into the night for guests to head for home, but not this group. At 1am we had as many people on the floor as we had for the last 2 hours. What a fantastic and fun group they were!
The night truly was perfect...such a wonderful couple, awesome guests, beautiful venue, and a great team of vendors to work with. Pastor Brent Stromme led a thoughtful ceremony, Von Hanson's with the food, and one of my favorite photographers - KD Photography captured the memories.
We would love to help make your wedding amazing too - click here to get the process started.
Saturday April 21st began our 2018 Wedding Season! This season began in the same way that last season ended, providing production for both the ceremony and the reception. We were excited to celebrate with Chris and Liezl; they were a fun couple who had some great ideas for their day, and especially the music that they wanted to hear.
The day began as they transformed the very beautiful Dassel History Center and Ergo Museum into their perfect venue. I wasn't sure what to expect from the building when they booked their wedding, but I was blown away by the space. (Watch for another blog coming soon highlighting the building!)
The ceremony was held on the venue's 3rd floor. I was amazed by the natural wood tones, rustic support pillars, and the room's natural warmth. They (and when I say they I mean Liezl's friends and family) did a fantastic job with all the detail. We added some contrasting blue uplighting, and of course microphones and music for the actual ceremony.
The ceremony was relatively quick, but very personal and meaningful preformed by one of their friends. The beautiful petals from the aisle seemed to find their way throughout the building reminding all of us of the beauty and commitment that brought us all together that day.
After the completion of the ceremony guests moved downstairs to the first floor, and enjoyed drinks and appetizers. The decor was again intricate and hand crafted by Liezl's family; we added a touch of uplighting to their Sweetheart Table. Something that truly stood out, for me at least, was the food. The bride and groomed shared a home cooked meal full of traditional Filipino dishes with their guests - they were simply to die for! Chris and Leizl did not have a traditional bridal party, so Chris' best friend came up and gave a very heartfelt toast. After some thank you's and a little cake cutting it was time to welcome our newlyweds to the dance floor for their first dance!
In our previous conversations, there had been no talk of traditional Filipino customs or traditions, but during the first dance I was introduced to one. Chris and Liezl began as most all of my couples do, but then someone from the crowd came up to them. At first I was annoyed, I assumed they were going to straighten the dress,or even sneak in for an up close picture on her phone. Neither was the case. Instead she taped money to Liezl's dress. Then one by one guests came up and continued attaching money to both the bride and groom. By the end of the song both were covered. I learned after the fact that this is indeed a tradition in the Philippines for guests to pin money on the bride and groom, essentially their version of our "dollar dance".
The dance continued into the night with a good time had by all - the night ended with a very happy bride and groom ready to begin their lives as a married couple.
Thanks for taking the time to read - I'd love to chat with you about your event, just send us a message.
The wedding planning has begun! You've scoped out some amazing dresses, found a photographer whose work you've fallen in love with and found the perfect venue - your wedding day is coming together just like you planned. Nothing can derail you now right?
We've all heard about (and laughed at) crazy wedding day fail stories, and sworn that won't be me. What you maybe haven't heard about are those smaller fails...the ones that don't make for funny YouTube videos, but still add a major hiccup in your day. The culprit? Your time line.
Ten minutes seems like a pretty small thing...until your guests are all seated for dinner and your caterer says dinner is delayed by 10 minutes. These uncomfortable "pauses" can add stress, make guests anxious, and ultimately change the whole mood of your day.
Now of course you can't plan everything down to the minute; there is a certain amount of "go with the flow" with your wedding day. How you deal with them is what's key - below are some tips to help make your day flow smoothly.
DO coordinate your ceremony time and your reception time together. I see too often a ceremony starting in the early afternoon, and the dinner starting several hours later. An hour or so of social hour before dinner is just about perfect - the longer that your guests have nothing to do, the more likely they are to bail on your reception early.
DO have someone in place to coordinate with vendors like the caterer. This is something we do in our role as Master of Ceremonies - it's a pretty simple thing to check in with the caterer to make sure they're on schedule, but makes a big difference. If something has gone off track and there will be a big delay; coordinate with your entertainment to be prepared with some trivia, or an interactive game to keep guests engaged while you wait.
DO make sure your bridal party knows the time line. We will often make copies of the time line to leave at your table for each attendant, and send a picture of the schedule you can share in a text. If they know toasts are coming up right after dinner, or that they'll be asked to dance in the bridal party dance, they'll be more likely to be where they are needed.
DO make sure that all of your vendors are working from the same time line. If the photographer is planning sunset pictures the same time the DJ is planning the bouquet toss, or the MC confirmed dinner is at 6p when the caterer is planning on 7p it can make for a stressful moment for everyone involved. We make a point to coordinate with all the vendors we'll be working with to ensure everyone is working from the same plan.
DO make sure that your parents (and anyone who is in one of your special dances) knows there is a dance for them, and is in the wings waiting before you start. Nothing kills the vibe faster than having to search for the missing father of the bride or pulling in a bridesmaid from a smoke break outside.
If you find value in this blog, please share it with others - if you'd like to chat more about your day, and how we can help, contact us to get the fun started.
In honor of our new and improved website and blog, I'm dusting off one of my favorite blog posts. Not just because I like it, but rather that it's still very timely. I just chatted with a groom yesterday, an old DJ acquaintance of mine, who is planning a wedding with his fiance for this summer. I asked my a lot of my normal questions and got a lot of "I'm not sure yet" and "we haven't talked about that yet". Obviously weddings are a very exciting, and generally fairly expensive events. It's important to sit down and talk through what is important to each of you - before you start spending for it. Below are a couple thoughts from a seasoned pro - I hope you find it useful.
Planning your wedding can be so much fun...all the choices and options. Venues, photographers, DJs, caterers, dresses, photo booths - the options really are endless. Then there's the deciding...this venue offers draping, but this one let's you choose your own caterer. This one has lots of natural light, but this one has chandeliers. Before you know it you've spun yourself around in so many circles you're ready to hop a plane to Vegas and find some dude dressed like Elvis to help you tie the knot.
Stop and breathe. Here's some helpful advice to help before you go meet "The King".
Know Your Budget. Who's paying for the wedding? You and your partner? Your parents? Their parents? A combination of all of the above? Whoever it ends up being, you need to have a fairly firm number. Once you know if you're working with $5,000 or $50,000 you'll be able to make better informed decisions.
Prioritize. Look at the full scope of your day with your fiance and write down a list of the 5 most important things in your day. Is it the food? The venue? The music? Whatever it is, you'll find yourself being willing to spend more of your budget for those things. That may mean saying "no" to other things that are not as important to you if your budget doesn't allow for it.
Be Confident. With all the options out there it's easy to second guess yourself. When you make a decision based on your priorities and your budget stand by it. You will likely find that everyone has an opinion about your wedding plans, but really the only ones that matter are your's and your fiance's.
Hopefully this helps as you continue planning. Have more questions, or need a vendor that can help you make sense of the chaos? I'm happy to help, feel free to contact me.