chelsea & cameron’s romantic plantation wedding

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It’s not uncommon for relatives to pitch in and plan a family wedding, but it rarely comes off so elegantly as in this wedding. Chelsea and Cameron had a stunning July wedding at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina, which dates back to the 1670s and is the oldest public gardens in America. The wedding is full of romantic details, especially the dusky pink color palette and the soft lace. Chelsea’s family played a large role: her father built the lovely white gate, the vintage furniture actually belonged to the family, and Chelsea’s grandmother arranged the flowers. To top it off, the bride’s sister planned the wedding through Duvall Catering & Events. Enjoy!

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pinning it all: martini cake pops, book stirrers & popcorn favors

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I haven’t done a Pinning It All feature in a few months, but it’s time to get back in the habit. Enjoy this week’s favorite pins!

What a stunning centerpiece for a tea party! This would be perfect for a bridal tea! {Decoholic}

I love these book stirrers – they look like a ton of work to make, but they are adorable! {Michelle Edgemont}

“He Popped The Question” bridal shower favor – a clever and affordable favor idea! {Etsy}

I’m a big fan of unique menu cards, so I love this round menu that fits neatly in the charger. {100 Layer Cake}

Shaken or stirred? It doesn’t matter, because the olive in this martini is a cake pop! So cute! {Designs By Loralee}

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!

kiawah island rehearsal dinner

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I love this charming lowcountry rehearsal dinner right on the water of Cricket Creek in Kiawah Island. The decor matches the low-key vibe, with mismatched vases and wildflowers. Guests dined on barbecue and collard greens, plus fried gator tail! And who wouldn’t want to relax in one of those rocking chairs? Enjoy this rehearsal dinner, submitted and photographed by Reese Moore Weddings.

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book review: heads in beds

Heads in Beds

So most books are reviewed right around the time of publication, but I never intended to read Heads in Beds, just as the author, Jacob Tomsky, claims he never intended to work in the hospitality industry. And just as Tomsky finds that he can’t seem to shake the career path, I couldn’t shake his book and ended up reading the entire thing.

The reason I decided to review it for this blog is because it’s a book that anyone who works around hospitality should be aware of. As a professional event and meeting planner, my path crosses the hospitality world quite frequently. I spend a fair amount of time in hotels, working with hotels, and relying on hotel staff to help make my events a success. I had been vaguely aware of Tomsky’s book – the full title of which is Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality when it was published in June 2013 but didn’t seem too interested. Only when my library offered it as a “Book You Might Enjoy” that was also conveniently available for instant download when I was in need of a new audiobook for my commute, did I decide to take the plunge along with Tomsky.

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courtney & eddie’s romantic winter wedding

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In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow I wanted to share a beautiful, touching love story. Courtney never intended to have a winter wedding – she and Eddie had planned a summer wedding. But then Courtney was diagnosed with leukemia and had to go through treatment; a large wedding was out of the question. So Courtney and Eddie put their plans on hold. But thankfully, Courtney made a full recovery. Rather than waiting for the summer, they had a beautiful winter wedding, with gorgeous red and white details. Thanks to Andie Freeman Photography for submitting this beautiful story and photographs. Enjoy!

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coral & gold art museum bridal shower

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When the bride is a professional art auctioneer at Sotheby’s, what could be a better venue for a bridal shower than an art museum? This intimate bridal luncheon for just 12 guests is simply stunning. I love the coral color palette with gold accents. The Toledo Museum of Art is a fantastic venue – I love the private room with floor to ceiling windows. The shower was designed by Crowning Celebrations and photographed by Mary Wyar Photography. Enjoy!

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choosing a date for your event

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The alternate title for this post could be – “Would YOU want to attend an event on Valentine’s Day?” I was inspired because of an event coming up on Valentine’s Day next weekend. There is a large conference that takes place over Valentine’s Day weekend and the evening on Valentine’s Day itself is a large networking event. In trying to figure out who was going to cover the event, a conversation began around why the hosts would decide to schedule the event (and the conference) over Valentine’s Day.

Of course, Valentine’s Day isn’t the most major holiday, and people who are single may prefer to have an event to attend rather than sitting home watching Lifetime movies. And not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day anyway – it’s not like the event is scheduled over Christmas. But it did make me wonder if the event planners thought it through.

Which gave me the idea to repost this oldie but goodie – how to select a date for your event. Thinking about holidays and other commitments your guests may have (or their preferences for spending certain days with friends and family instead of at your event – I’m looking at you, Valentine’s Day wedding choosers!) and the other items to think through before committing to a date. Enjoy!

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the special event show tabletop inspiration

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So this post is long overdue, but I did want to write about The Special Event show in Anaheim last month. It’s a conference for the events industry – primarily special events, weddings and caterers. One of my favorite parts is the tabletop competition, where event designers from around the country showcase their fabulous ideas. Here are some of my favorites!

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ross & lauren’s rustic chic georgia wedding

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Before I introduce this week’s wedding, I wanted to get on my soapbox (it comes included with the blog!) and say something about “the industry.” The industry is the event industry, the wedding industry, the tastemakers – the ones who decide what’s “in” and what’s “out.” So many of these people have been lamenting the continued popularity of rustic weddings, saying “rustic chic” is so over. But while they make their decrees from high above, the average American woman, who is so far disconnected from these tastemakers, deserves to have the wedding she wants. And if that happens to be rustic chic, so be it! Yes, we’ve all seen countless “Pinterest Weddings” and the burlap industry must be so happy, but seriously, can we stop complaining about rustic chic? Especially when you see a wedding as beautiful as this one.

Ok. [Steps off soap box]

Ross and Lauren were married at a private residence in Georgia, right alongside a beautiful lake. The wedding, designed by Jessie Patton of Southern Sophistication Designs, is full of beautiful rustic chic details. The bride, in honor of her new surname – Crane, handmade paper cranes to decorate the cake table. And the event was catered by a food truck – Mac the Cheese! Enjoy!

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so i spent 6 nights at the hilton anaheim…

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Ok I have to be honest. I didn’t really intend to write a full site report on the Hilton Anaheim, mostly because I didn’t look at ANY of the meeting space. Seriously, didn’t step foot in it. Usually I make it a priority to sneak in and take a peek, even when I’m not attending or managing a meeting. But for whatever reason I didn’t this time.

However, I did spend 6 nights (not consecutively) at this hotel and so to spend almost a week somewhere and NOT write about it seemed to just go against my soul. So here we are.

First off, why 6 nights? Well technically it was 3 nights one week and 3 nights the next week. The first stay was for my trip to The Special Event conference, which was at the neighboring Marriott (which I’ve already written about). But since I’m a Hilton loyalist and the hotels are right next to each other, I chose to stay at the Hilton.

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