Sunday, August 31, 2008

Surprise Wedding Update!

I wrote about our friends David and Kelly in a previous post--see “Ever Heard of a Gift Wedding?”

Their wedding is now fast approaching – just a few days away! Everyone who's participating in making this happen is full of excitement. There's so much to do to make a wedding happen right! So... the girls took Kelly dress shopping a couple of weeks ago--I thought I'd share photos.

Of course, we couldn't go straight there and shop immediately; we had to start with margaritas and nachos! Que divertido!

This is Kelly holding the custom-designed invitation that went out to the 38 invited guests (we changed the design from the original invitation presented to them, as Kelly wanted autumn colors featured in her wedding. What's that saying? "What a bride wants, a bride gets"? That will always be true, if I have anything to do with it! This was the first time Kelly saw the official invitation--she was delighted!

Kelly with her maid of honor, her sister Erin.

We had less than a month to buy a dress and get it altered, so... it had to be off the shelf. For what it's worth, you can get great dresses pre-made, and they're nothing to sneeze at. I know there can be a certain style cache to having custom-made dresses (and if there's room in your budget, great!), but what we did with Kelly is proof positive that if you're willing to look (and try on several maybes), you can find something affordable that still looks glamourous and fantastic.

I would just like to state here, for the record, that you definitely should NOT take photos of the "Please Don't Take Photos" sign. It's just... not right.

Here we are being silly with tiaras. I'd try on a tiara every day if I could get away with it!

David Russell, you had better not be looking at this post!! Top secret until you see her on September 5th!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jaclynn + Joey

Wow, I've had a busy several weeks (more on what's been occupying my time later, but I'll give you a hint... just 2 letters... P&G [events]).

I wanted to share a special event with everybody: it was a lot of fun for me, and a real joy to see two people so in love be united in marriage. On August 9th, I had the great pleasure of being a part of (beautiful!) Jaclynn and (sweet!) Joey's wedding (sorry, Joey, I just can't call you Joe!).

One of my favorite moments of the day was seeing how excited Jaclynn was to give her wedding gift to Joey. She sent it with one of her bridesmaids before the wedding. (J+J chose not to see each other before the wedding - it's a romantic tradition, I think! We can all be a bit dismissive of traditions these days, but if you want to do this, please don't let your photographer talk you about of it! It can be a fun anticipation-builder). She gave him tickets to see the Indianapolis Colts vs. the New England Patriots. How great is that? (Go Indy!)

He gave her diamond earrings (!), which she put on immediately and wore for the wedding. Very nice move, Joey.

Below are pictures of their beautiful day (the weather was amazing!) courtesy of Laura Leppert, a fantastic photographer (defined by me as not only a great shooter with an artistic eye, but also someone very easy to work with)!!

I loved the detail in Jaclynn's dress!

I also thought their cake was so refined and classic-looking, while still feeling modern.

Below are pictures of the beautiful and classic table settings with garden style flowers, ivory specialty linens and gold chiavari chairs.

Aren't they great-looking? Imagine getting to be part of beautiful events like this every week, and you get some idea of what it's like for me and my team. How great is this job?

Here is an amazing note I received from Jaclynn when she returned from her honeymoon:

"Thank you so much for everything. The wedding was perfect and even the hours before seemed effortless because you were there to take care of everything. Joey and I decided that you were the best wedding decision we made (other than to marry each other of course). Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Wow, I must say that hearing things like that make this job even more gratifying... It's so amazing to be able to have an impact in this way on such an important day in people's life! I love it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another Great Getaway

I've posted about how getting away is important for me and Stevie, and have gotten great feedback from my earlier recommendations. Which is great with me, because I love to tout great retreat spots.

Burlington's Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast Inn is one of my favorites: the decor says 1830s Federal charm (Log cabins! 4-Poster beds! Victorian appointments!), but the amenities are all modern and tasteful (Steam showers! 2-Person spa tubs! Wi-Fi everywhere!). I'm not a fan of mildewed doilies and tattered curtains, which can often be the case in B&Bs. We know--we've seen them! Graves has all the conveniences of a great hotel room with all the personality of a guest house.

Nancy (the one you'll see more of) and Bob Swartzel are barely-transplanted Cincinnatians (Burlington is just a 20-minute hop down I-75), and very friendly and accommodating. Nancy is also a terrific cook, and her Stuffed French Toast is my absolute favorite!

Basically, I'm telling you it's super-close to Cincinnati, super-luxurious when you get there, and super-lovely (Can I say "super-lovely"?) country. Stevie and I have not only had several romantic visits to Willis Grave B&B, but we've given nights as gifts to friends several times. We've never heard a complaint!
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