sarah & terry’s fall barn wedding

Fall Barn Wedding Bridesmaids by Andie Freeman Photography

This fall wedding is full of amazing details. It’s rustic chic in an adorable barn, The Barn on Belmont, which is one of the newer wedding venues in Athens, Georgia. The 75 year old barn was completely refurbished last year after the owner’s daughter wished to be married there. Now it is available for rentals for picture perfect rustic barn weddings. As one reviewer put it, “the venue is perfectly Pinterest-worthy.”

The wedding was planned by Hydrangea House Events and photographed by Andie Freeman Photography so of course, the photos are stunning. I love the flowers and the colors – quintessential fall! There’s mason jars and wheat stalks, fun signage, and keep an eye out for the cutest dog I’ve seen at a wedding. Enjoy!

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[guest post] you are your surprise’s worst enemy

Surprise Events 2

Have you ever had to plan a surprise party? Or tried to keep a surprise from someone? I’ve personally never planned a surprise in my professional event planning, but there have been times where I’ve tried to keep certain aspects of an event a secret from the guests in an effort to surprise and delight them. But boy, is that hard to do!

So I’m excited to introduce a blog post on the very subject of surprises from the expert on all things surprise, Rebecca Aftergood, owner of Surprise Me! Events, a boutique event planning company based in Vancouver. Surprise Me! specializes in events that are spectacular and unexpected, from surprise parties to date nights and even engagements. Enjoy!

A surprise event can be difficult to pull off, depending on the extent of the surprise. If you’ve got a few unexpected touches up your sleeve it’s easier to execute than if your entire event is hush hush. Seems obvious right? It’s much easier to hold back something small then to hold back everything. It becomes even harder to spring a successful surprise when you live with the person you are trying to keep in the dark. The person that (presumably) you share everything with and spend most of your off-work hours with.

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thanksgiving table & decor ideas

Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas

Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays I don’t host. In fact, I’ve never even cooked my own turkey. But while we will be at my in-laws home for Thanksgiving as is tradition, I can’t help by collect lots of great ideas for Thanksgiving decor. Just filing these away for the future! Enjoy!

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pinning it all: holiday ice buckets, repurposed kitchen decor & cozy sweater chair covers

Pinning It All Favs

Welcome back to Pinning It All, where I feature my favorite pins from the past week!

Aisle runners have been around forever and flower petal aisle runners have been popular lately, but for a bohemian chic look, what about lining the aisle with oriental rugs? Definitely a fun, different look! {One Fine Day Wedding Fair}

I’m a big fan of signature drinks, and what’s more perfect for Thanksgiving or other fall dinner parties, than this spiced apple pie cocktail! The drink itself looks yummy, but I love the idea of dipping the rims in apple juice and then cinnamon sugar! It’s winter’s answer to the salted rim! {Celebrations at Home}

I love the unexpected, taking things and twisting them to make something new. So naturally, I love the idea of taking vintage kitchen tools and making them into holiday decor. This would be such a fun centerpiece for a Christmas party or cookie swap! {Anastasia Vintage}

For another unexpected idea, I like the concept of taking cozy, cable knit blankets and draping on chairs as chair treatments. {Wedding Chicks}

If you’re going to serve champagne at a holiday party or event, why not make your own festive ice bucket? Out of ice, berries and greens! {Zsa Zsa Bellagio}

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest to see more fabulous event and entertaining pins! Leave your Pinterest handle in the comments and I’ll follow you back!

vintage library bridal shower

Vintage Library Bridal Shower Centerpiece Photography by Jae Studios

I love books and I love libraries. I worked in a library for years in high school and college, and seriously toyed with the idea of becoming a librarian. So it’s no surprise that when I received this submission from Jae Studios, I was immediately in love and knew I had to feature!

The shower was held at the Wheeler Library in North Stonington, Connecticut, which was originally a school but now a public library. The architecture is stunning and perfect for a shower or other intimate event! The bridal party utilized the library theme throughout the details and decor, including using books in the centerpieces, and as part of the buffet and dessert display.  I’m really excited about the way they used the card catalog – so creative. Enjoy!

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on coordinating with vendors

Coordinating With Event Vendors

I like to think that events (of any kind) are about bringing people together. Even the process of planning an event usually brings people together – even if someone is planning an event on her own, she’s probably relying on at least one outside vendor or resource. Most of the events that I plan have multiple vendors. One of the main roles of the event planner is not just to decide which ones you will work with (which venue, which caterer, which band or entertainer), but then coordinate between them up to and during the event.

It’s helpful for all of the parties involved to have all of the relevant information. Logistics like arrival times and rental drop off need to be coordinated, but even less obvious things like seemingly small details should be shared. For example, if you have a color palette for your event, it’s helpful for many (if not all) of your vendors to know so they can coordinate their piece of the event appropriately. If your whole event color scheme relies on a pop of yellow, let your caterer know so they can find ways to include that pop of yellow in their serving pieces or trays. Or say you are hosting a plated dinner and are renting elegant square chargers – better make sure the caterer knows to use square plates for the courses, otherwise that standard round plate won’t sit on the square charger!

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pinning it all: thanksgiving placemats, cupcake palettes & a cork guest book


Welcome back to Pinning It All, where I feature my favorite pins from the past week!

This dress form covered in flowers and foliage is perfect for a bridal shower or even a fashion-themed mitzvah! {The Brides of Oklahoma}

I love this idea for individual cupcake decorating at a children’s party – put each cupcake and toppings on a paint palette! Genuis! {Make Bake Celebrate}

I love this Thanksgiving placemat – it’s the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table and did I mention this links to a FREE printable? {Ella Claire}

So I love wine corks. Okay, I actually love wine, but corks are great too and I love crafting with them. So I love this guest book idea with guests writing their names and short messages on corks and putting them in a shadowbox. If only I thought of these for our wedding a few years ago…{Emmaline Bride}

This installation is the perfect example of an inexpensive flower (carnations) making a big impact. People like to hate on carnations but I actually like them most of the time (see my post on why carnations aren’t that bad). I also love this color! {The Blog of JAC}

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest to see more fabulous event and entertaining pins! Leave your Pinterest handle in the comments and I’ll follow you back!

abbey & derek’s rustic maine picnic wedding

Picnic Maine Wedding by Samantha Marie Photography

One of my favorite parts of weddings are the personal details that matter to the bride and groom. I’m excited to share another real wedding – one with a ceremony venue that had significance for the couple: both of their sets of parents were married there! Even more exciting, the pastor who married Abbey and Derek also married their parents! What a lovely idea!

Abbey and Derek were married in Presque Isle, Maine. The location was not only significant to both families, but provided for excellent outdoor photos! The couple’s wedding is full of rustic details with a fun, picnic vibe. The caterer was a local diner whose food both the bride and groom loved. I love all the gingham – it’s the perfect way to create a picnic feel indoors. Anyone who loves rustic will find a lot of charming details in this wedding, which was captured by Samantha Marie Photography. Enjoy!

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seriously, it’s time to start planning your holiday parties

start planning your holiday parties now

I originally posted this last October, but I thought it was worthwhile to update since (like this time last year), I am in the midst of planning the office holiday party for the nonprofit where I work.

For those of you who gripe about seeing holiday decorations in the mall earlier and earlier, I understand that sentiment, but you seriously need to start planning holiday parties yesterday. Well, at least if you live in a market like DC.

This time last year, I was just starting to work on the annual holiday party. This time of year, venues are booking up fast, caterers are as well. But more importantly, so are people’s calendars – which is the one part of planning holiday parties that is trickiest to work around. This year, I booked the venue back in August, finalizing the contract in September. So I felt WAY ahead of the game. But then September and October got REALLY busy and even though I had the venue locked up, I wasn’t really doing much of anything else. Time to play catch up!

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wedding & event inspiration at historic manor ruins

Beautiful wedding inspiration

I’ve already established that I’m a sucker for historic houses and museums. But historic house RUINS! What can be more romantic? There’s something absolutely stunning about a home that’s been abandoned and reclaimed by nature (usually in an intentional, manicured way).

So naturally, I was drawn to this styled shoot at Barnsley Resort. The Resort is the original site of Woodlands, an estate built in the 1840s in the north Georgia foothills. The home was directly in the path of General Sherman and was devastated by the Civil War, never returning to its former glory. In 1906 a tornado ripped off the roof of the  manor house, which was sold in the 1940s by descendants of the original owners.  In 1988 Prince Hubertes Fugger of Bavaria purchased the estate and revived it. Today it’s a glamorous resort, part of the Southern Living Hotel Collection. What a story!

So naturally, this is the ideal setting for a gorgeous inspiration shoot, designed by Edge Designs and Crush Event Rentals, photographed by Andie Freeman Photography. I love the stunning lounge furniture situated among the manor ruins, the beautiful drapes and dramatic florals. Enjoy!

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