Friday, October 31, 2008

Surprise Wedding Update #2

I've probably had more interest and questions about our surprise wedding than anything I've ever posted about. So, while I don't yet have the professional photos back, I do want to share some about the wedding. It happened last month, and it was incredibly special. I'll share some taken-with-a-friend's-tiny-digital-camera photos (thanks Lori!) and tell you about it:

There was a ladies' luncheon on the day of the wedding at the Bonboneire tea room.

Kelly with mom and stepmom:

Men in suits! Right before the wedding at the home of dear friends:

Daddy with his adorable, sweet boys! We love these guys:

Our beautiful bride! Great hair by Sam Hills!

Below is during the small 30 person -- rained out :( -- ceremony. That's my Stevie presiding in the back-up plan living room wedding ceremony...always have a back up plan for outdoor weddings!

The small private dinner following the ceremony turned out great. Low and high arrangements on each table.
In the Hummer limo on the way to the big surprise reception...

And I guess that's all you're going to see for now! What WAS this 'surprise reception' all about? Who showed up for it? Were David and Kelly surprised yet again? Find out all this and more in the next installment of Surprise Wedding Update... with professional photos!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Paris by Night

Last month, my team and I produced the Health and Wellness Brand Building Awards for Procter & Gamble. I love working with the Health group! They're always up for something new and fun. The photos just came back and I was excited to share them...

The event was held at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati. Guests arrived to a stylish foyer designed in black, white and red to feel Paris Chic.

The Cocktail Hour was Themed "Streets of Paris." I wanted people to feel like they were outside at dusk walking around Paris.

Bistro tables lined the Paris streetscape, while bicycles were parked by the street benches and light posts. The bicycle baskets were filled with fresh flowers and baguettes, of course!

What's a Paris party without a guy in a red beret playing the accordion?!

Look at this amazing lighting on the ceiling!

The menu, developed by the head chef at the hotel, was to die for! Chicken Confit, Gnochi, Foie Gras Tenderloin... all perfectly Parisian!

From the cocktail hour, guests moved upstairs to a second ballroom for the Awards Show, where the past year's great marketing achievements were recognized.

The Awards Show entertainment featured Aerial Experience Productions. Fantastic!

The After Party was Themed "Nightlife in Paris." We wanted people to feel like they walked into a French nightclub! We replaced the bistro tables from the cocktail hour with black and white bench ottomans, brought in a black and white dance floor, a D.J and turned all the lighting to red.

One of the best parts about the After Party was performances by breakdancers!

But the truly best part about the After Party was the desserts... they were all fabulous, but one stood out among the rest: THE CREPES, freshly prepared on site! I may have had 1 or 2... okay, FIVE! :)

Other wonderful desserts included eclairs, Creme Brulee and raspberry tarts.

The event flowed so smoothly that I was able to enjoy it as it unfolded, which is not always something I have the opportunity to do. I'm usually running around behind the scenes, putting out the fires that come along with an event this complex. But thanks to a great team, including all of the wonderful vendor partners involved, the event was seamless and we all enjoyed some crepes, nodding along with the great French rap music!

Guests left the event with a bottle of French wine and a beautiful custom Eiffel Tower wine stopper. They then moved down the street (and a little south of the border) to the AFTER After Party at NADA, the mod, stylish Mexican restaurant and bar where the party continued until 2 a.m.!

Woo! What a night!

All images by tm Photography.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The New Wedding Snack Bar

If you've been to many weddings, (or are just collecting ideas as you plan your own!), you've probably seen the late night snack bars that get rolled out around 10:30 p.m. once the dancing is well underway.

Here are some of the "bars" that've been popular over the past few years:

1. The crowd-pleasing candy bar has been a big hit for a few years. Couples select their favorite candies to share with their guests. Guests grab a bag and fill it up! Couples choose candy whose colors match their wedding design... or not. Either way, it is always a hit.

2. Then there's the late-night Skyline chili bar for
us Cincinnatians who call pasta "chili"!

Who wouldn't want a "3-way" or a cheese coney to refuel you after you've been dancing for a couple of hours?

3. I've also seen the soft pretzel bar, Philly style. Hot pretzels are served up with a variety of toppings and dipping sauces like mustard or cheese.

4. You may have run across a cupcake bar or ice cream bar - yum! You can decorate your own with a variety of toppings!

And here comes my newest invention...

The Cereal Bar
I'm hereby proposing a new type of late night bar for weddings.... how about a cereal bar? My husband, Stevie, visited Chicago recently and found Cereality and told me about some of their wedding favor ideas. Seeing what they do reminded me of my own love of Fruity Pebbles or Cap'n Crunch right before bedtime. So I thought, "Why not take this goodness to weddings?" (Doesn't this sound fun!?)

Start with Cereality's "milk tight" serving bucket...

Add your favorite cereal...

And extra toppings (I can't say I want Reece in my Captain Crunch, but who knows??)

And with your choice of milk (whole, skim or soy), there you have it... the best new late night wedding snack bar! Get your cereal fix and then head back to the dance floor!
Okay, so, I'm hungry now. Who wants to sign up?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trash-y Results!

I wrote a few weeks back about the "Trash the Dress" trend, and that I was going to have my own personal "Trash the Dress" session with my 6+ years old wedding gown. Well, it did indeed happen! Some of you out there have told me you "just don't get it..." I even had one person say she thought 'trash the dress' was morbid! Well , you can see the results below, but my main reaction to the whole thing is just to say that it was SO FUN. I felt like a star for a day, and I was put in situations where, of course, I would never otherwise be. It was a blast. A messy, and eventually, drenched blast.

Forgive me if these photos are a bit of an overkill, but I want you to see the variety of creative and interesting situations that Simply Timeless Photography and Glass Eye Video put me into!

The amazingly talented Sam Hills created my 'faux bob' and the lovely Nancy with Brideface did my make up and put these fabulous fake lashes on me... oh, the lashes! Thanks to them both who I consider the beauty expert "dream team."

As you can see, I didn't trash "beyond return." I can still clean it and keep it, if I want to. My dress now has new memories!

Here's a record of the whole thing from Steve at Glass Eye Video:

Dora Trashes It from Steve Zugelter on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Frédéric Fekkai

I posted last month about the Best of Beauty Awards I put together for Procter & Gamble. It was such an exciting challenge, and I worked with such a great team! I mentioned in passing that a hair style maven named Frédéric Fekkai was a featured guest at the event, and spoke during the award show.

I thought I would give you all a little more info about this interesting French fellow. First of all, it was an honor to meet a self-made success of these proportions. As recently as the 80s, Frédéric was hand-mixing ingredients in his kitchen sink to make his own shampoo and conditioner. He now helms an incredibly successful product line (just sold it to P&G for who knows what) and is regularly in movies and on television as a hair/style guru (like Zoolander- he played Derek’s hairstylist, America’s Next Top Model and Shear Genius- he was a judge).

One of Frédéric’s claims to fame is that he was the first person to charge $200 for a haircut (that was in 1986- I guess he wasn’t mixing shampoo for long!), and when he was still doing hair in 1996, his cuts went for $500 a pop! WOW! He currently has a hair conditioning product on the market that retails for $195. (Seriously?)

Remember those ads that said “My name is Vidal Sassoon, and I LOVE Beautiful Hair”? We all used to laugh at those because Vidal obviously thought he knew something mystical about Beauty and Hair that the rest of us NEVER would. Well, Frederic came out with some pretty hair-raising statements of his own. I didn’t know whether to be amazed, stunned, or put off when he said,

“When I run my hands through a woman’s hair, I feel who she can be.” or

“Styling is not about hold… it’s about self expression”.

I’m not totally sure what that means (you can be the judge!), but my thought is that you better be a GQ type guy with a French accent to pull off comments like that! :)

Pictured above is me & Fekkai at the After Party. I think my hair actually looks better by just standing next to him!
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