Entries in real weddings (8)
I think a long time ago, when I blogged on a regular basis, I would put up single images from events that really spoke to me. I was doing a little cleaning in iPhoto and came across this shot and just knew I had to share it. Even after almost thre years is still one of my favorites! The look on John's face is exactly what every groom should feel during his ceremony, total and complete love and joy. In a bow tie.
Thanks to 1012 photo for this shot that still makes me smile.
So, my new thing is taking pictures via Instagram during the wedding day. Turns out, some of the shots are pretty good! I decided to compile all of my shots on to one "postcard" for the blog.
Katie and Nick, aka Lincoln Street Warriors, had such an amazing wedding yesterday. It was an honor to be there, Katie looked stunning and Nick, well... as handsome as Pitbull. Katie's attention to detail and impeccable taste could be seen everywhere, from the invitations she made with her mom to her dress and accessories, to everything!
Some of the great people who made it possible: The always beautiful Semple Mansion (doesn't get easier than working at my office), flowers by Rocket Science (Nancy you are the best!), catering by Russell's on the Lake, music by Rich Lewis Band and Bellagala (DJ Kris rocks the house), AV by AV For You, photography by Bellagala (can't wait to see the pro pics that Kim & Travis took!), and linens by Linen Effects.
Well, my only regret is that I didn't get to work with Kaela and Korey longer. They were such a fun, nice and cool couple (oh, and gorgeous!). I had the pleasure of helping them out with their day of coordination in July. Here are just a few of my favorite photos done by Andrew Vick of Vick Photography. Some of the other great vendors involved were:
VENUE: Semple Mansion
FLORIST: Eric of Floral Logic
DJ: Flow DJ
CATERER: Russell's on the Lake
MAKEUP: Brett Dorian
CAKE: Queen of Cakes
PHOTO BOOTH: The Traveling Photo Booth
LOVE this amazing dress shot! Beautiful!
Flawless makeup, flawless bride.
Gotta have some fun on your wedding day!
The bridal bouquet: roses, sweet pea, freesia, dusty miller
The tree ceremony instead of a unity candle.
On their way downstairs for the social hour.
Cheese, my favorite food. Great display done by Russell's on the Lake.
The little ring bearer tuckered out after the ceremony!
The family Model T, a wedding tradition.
The end! And the beginning. Congratulations you two!
I just did a talk on creating the ultimate lounge at Groom's Night, the Independent Wedding Association's latest amazing wedding fair. Thought the stuff I talked about may make for an interesting blog post, and this way I can show pictures!
Why do you want a lounge?
Lounges are a WOW factor. Something different and unique. Here in Minneapolis/St. Paul, lounges are not a common occurrence at weddings, but I am trying to change that. Not too long ago, one of the biggest prohibiters to having a lounge was cost and convenience. If you wanted to rent furniture the closest available stuff was in Chicago, and that was a hefty delivery fee. But now, there are many great local companies getting in to the rental furniture business, with exciting and unique pieces. This makes having a lounge way more attainable for your average wedding. For each picture I will list which companies are involved, but here are a few of my absolute favorites:
Apres Party & Tent Rental
Lime Canary Vintage Rental
When planning my events, I focus on the experience your guests are going to have. A lounge elevates their experience. And it gets them to stay longer and have more fun. You are helping to create memories they won't soon forget!
Here are three reasons why you would want a lounge:
1. Space for conversation. A lounge allows people to get away from the noise of the dance floor and sit and talk. Weddings are a time for families to come together, and many of your guests will want to connect with people they don’t see often. A lounge creates an inviting, intimate atmosphere perfect for catching up.
(photo courtesy of 1012 photo)
The rug really ties the room together. This small intimate setting is perfect for a few people to talk, and actually hear what the other is saying. Rentals by: Linen Effects
2. Space for fun. You can incorporate other activities in to the lounge area to create interest and entertainment. People who don’t want to dance have a space all their own, with fun stuff to do in it. Build your lounge around a photo booth (like The Traveling Photo Booth) or a martini ice luge.
(photo courtesy of 1012 photo)
Here The Traveling Photo Booth is the main attraction. Plenty of room around the booth for lines to form, and a table for people to sign the customized photo strip guest book. Rentals by: Festivities, Bungalow Six, AV for You.
Another fun lounge idea is to add board games. You can create small groupings of two chairs and an end/coffee table with a vintage chess, cribbage, backgammon or checkers board, or go for a group game on an ottoman/lounge square like Catchphrase or Monopoly.
3. Space for food. Want to show off your cake? Depending where the lounge is set up, this may be the perfect place to put your cake where your guests will see it. Many couples are opting for late night treats, so make the lounge area also your snack station. A candy/dessert table (like the brilliant ones done by Cocoa & Fig) is an idea that everyone will love. Perhaps you have pizzas or a popcorn machine, or a coffee station for guests needing to re-energize.
(photo courtesy of Bungalow Six)
That long skinny table in the back is perfect for snacks/food! This is obviously a large space with plenty of room for a lounge, but you get the idea. Also, don't discount the impact lighting has. Clearly this (mostly) white furniture takes on a new appearance in the pinkish glow.
So, how do you use a lounge?
Most important, you want your lounge to feel like a natural extension of your venue and event. Some venues and events aren’t suited for a lounge and that is fine. But most are. Here are the common ways/areas I see lounges used.
1. Social Hour. The goal of the social hour is to socialize, so here you want to create a lounge space that has a great flow, maximizes group seating and openness. Groupings of couches back-to-back, small tables with chairs, high tables with bar stools scattered throughout the room. Long couches or curved benches with low backs and stools/ottomans in front.
(photo courtesy of La Vie Photography)
This is a great example of a social hour lounge I did for a wedding last year at Calhoun Beach Club. This room was the first that guests entered and had a bar, food station, gift table and escort card table. Our goal was to make little vingettes of seating and encourage mingling.We used great couch/chaise lounges with end tables, a mix of high and low cocktail tables and round ottomans. Rentals by: Bungalow Six, Linen Effects, Connie Duglin Linens.
A social hour lounge works best if you have multiple rooms/spaces at your venue. (The social hour is in one room and the dinner and dance are in another). Calhoun Beach Club, Solera, most hotels and many golf/country clubs have multiple rooms or pre-function space.
Many times a subset of the Social Hour lounge is the Bar Area. Everyone likes to hang out at the bar, so why not give them the perfect lounge to do it in? A bar lounge has a few specific requirements:
1. Room around the actual bars for people to get drinks, lines form.
2. Small groupings. Small tables.
3. Lots of standing tables. Bars are very transitory, you don’t want a lot of seating to encourage all night hanging out.
I know, I said lots of standing tables, but they are in another picture I couldn't get for the blog (this is not a local wedding). What I like about this picture is it shows the type of seating that does work in a bar, and shows the amount of room needed in front of the bar for guests to get their drink. No one likes fighting tables on their way for booze!
Back of Ballroom. This is a multi-purpose area. Either intimate groupings for conversation, the fun activities or both. Use couches, larger coffee tables, bigger chairs and vintage pieces like a dresser. You can create your own space! You can divide rooms many ways. If you are in a ballroom or a large open space, you can use dividers, doors, shelving, pipe & drape, etc. to make a wall or room partition.
Even though this is also not a local event, I wanted to show the bookcase divider of space. There are several rental companies in town that have them, and I love the look! You can put picture frames of the two of you on the shelves. Or other decor, such as floral, trinkets, party favors, etc. Some caterers even use these shelves for different food displays!
(photo courtesy of 1012 photo)
You saw this lounge earlier, but I wanted to show you the acrylic light wall we created to section off the ballroom at Solera. This acrylic wall is completely customizable to whatever size space you are in. Rentals by: Festivities, Bungalow Six, AV for You. (Also, the lighting! So important!)
Dance Floor. If you want a club-like feel to your wedding, put lounge seating by your dance floor. For this you want more chairs than couches, low seating and tables to not obstruct the view of the dance floor. Cube seating is a great addition to this kind of space.
This is some fancy hotel in San Diego, but the W in Minneapolis is PERFECT for this. You can see the cube seating I am talking about as well. This type of stuff (including the rockin' chandeliers) is readily available in the Twin Cities.
Also, not local, but a great example of what I am talking about. How I wish we had the weather to support outdoor dance parties!
OK, I want a lounge, now what?
Obviously, I am going to recommend you hire a pro to help you create your lounge. You have noticed by now that the lounges I featured often use several different companies. A professional event designer or wedding planner is going to know what stuff is out there in the Twin Cities, and where to find it at the best price. They are also going to have ideas you have never thought of (or would think of) because they do this for a living. You are going to get the biggest bang from your buck by having professional help. An event designer is different than a event planner (a topic for another blog), and many rental companies are happy to help you design a lounge. The drawback of going with the rental company's salesperson/designer is that they are limited in using the inventory they own. But for creating a basic lounge space on a budget, this is a great resource.
That said, you can do it on your own! My biggest tip would be to have a vision for your space. Don't just throw a couch in the back of a room and call it a day. Find the lounge's purpose and go with it. Your event site coordinator should be able to help you with room measurements, delivery and load in information and general practices. And if you start doing it on your own and get overwhelmed, call in the pros.
Is it Thursday already?! Here we go. With paper bands, your possibilities are literally endless. I have just picked out a couple samples to show you today, but if you have paper, scissors (or a paper cutter is even better) and some double stick tape, you are ready to make this cylinder!
I have selected a heavier duty paper, almost card stock heavy, from Archivers. Side note, if you buy your paper from Archivers they will let you use their paper cutter for free. You may have to endure soccer moms putting together their scrapbooks, but it is worth it for a crisp, straight cut. (This paper actually has a pattern on both sides, which you will see in a few pictures.) I cut one thick band and wrapped it around. With 12x12 or 8.5x11 paper, you will have a little overlap so if you aren't good at lining seams up, cut most of it off (leaving a little overlap for the double sided tape). I didn't bother to trim this paper however.
I tried to line up the candle/water top with the top of the paper, but I didn't do a very good job. You don't want to fill the water to the top of the paper, leave about 1/2 inch to make room for the candle. Of course, you don't have to line the candle up with the paper, in fact, I think it would look cool at the top... so you can see the paper band under it...
The cool thing about this double sided paper is the versatility. Here is the other side of the paper on a smaller cylinder.
Float a candle in it, fill with colored water, put some flowers inside, put a pillar candle in... there are so many options! You will notice that you can't see any tape from the inside. I use one piece of double sided tape on one end of the band (going the entire length so there aren't any gaps or puckering), which will be the top and overlap the bottom end of the band, pulling tight. This makes for easier removal too and doesn't leave tape residue on the cylinder.
Finally, congratulations Emily and Tracy who just got married are on their Italian honeymoon as we speak. They made this paper band for their invitation wrap, and we used leftover ones to put on cylinders. Another great idea inspired by this cool couple.