Friday, November 14, 2008

Engagement Pictures

Who your photographer will be is one of the most important decisions you will make for your wedding. You should choose someone who fits your style as well as your personality. There are many wonderful photographers in Bryan/College Station. However, several of my brides have chosen to search outside of our area, and I have enjoyed meeting and working with them. Recently, Amy and Todd had their engagement pictures done, and I thought they were so cute and unusual, so I decided to post some of them on my blog. The name of the photographers are JD & Jessica Merritt with Snaptacular Photos:
To me, they look as if they are having a really great time, and that's the way it should be! The time you spend planning your wedding and the big day itself should be a wonderful and joyful occasion. Yet, another reason to hire a wedding coordinator so that she can make that happen for you! I hope you enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Joy of being a Wedding Planner in Bryan/College Station

Throughout the day, I wear many hats. I am a wife, a mother, a teacher, a worship leader, and in my free time, I am a wedding planner. I teach 7th and 8th grade at a wonderful private school in College Station. When my students found out that I am also a wedding planner, their eyes lit up and they were so interested in what I do. The funny thing is, almost everywhere I go, when I tell people that I am a wedding planner (especially women) they often get very excited and interested. I have sat at tables during several of the receptions and the whole conversation revolved around me and what I do as a wedding planner. The movie, The Wedding Planner, usually comes up as well, but I tell people now that I can relate better to Katherine Heigl's character, Jane, in 27 Dresses. The way Jane serves and ministers to her friends on their wedding day is much of what I do as a wedding planner. Of course, I'm not a bridesmaid in the weddings I plan, and I have already found my groom (oddly enough, my groom's name is Kevin, too.) I also do NOT own 27 bridesmaid's dresses!
Anyway, I find it interesting that so many people are fascinated by what I do for a living. I never captivate an audience when I tell them I'm a mother, or a wife or a teacher. They may ask me a few questions about my children, my school and my husband, but the questions never dominate a conversation like they do when I tell them I'm a wedding planner. I wonder why so many people (including me) are so enraptured by that one special day that almost every girl dreams about her entire life? It is a mystery, but whatever the reason, I enjoy doing a job that so many people find so interesting. And, it is a blessing to make my bride's special day as perfect as possible. That is why I find so much joy in being a wedding planner.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Christian and Christine

I usually know a lot more about the ceremony before the wedding day than I did for this one. The bride wanted to keep it very simple and pretty untraditional. I actually did not meet the bride until she walked out of a room with her father and was about to walk outside. Her mother and aunt had done most of the planning and my interactions had been with them. They hired me for "day of" services only and that's exactly what I had to work with when the ceremony plans were changed at the last minute! However, I am really good at problem-solving and improvising (see my post on "the day I saved the cake!") and everything turned out beautifully. I got at least 10 compliments from guests about how beautiful it was and how great everything turned out. I am always amazed that people are able to pick me out of the crowd as the wedding planner. I really try to stay in the background and be as inconspicuous as possible.
Maddins did the catering and they were amazing! The location was at the bride's aunt's house
which is located in Traditions. It is a beautiful house and was a great setting for a wedding. The bride reminded me of Jenna Bush on her wedding day. She was simply elegant. She walked out to music played by the Brazos Valley Stringed Quartet. Their music was lovely. Most guests stayed until the very end because Livewire does such an amazing job of throwing a great party. It was a wonderful evening!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jeff and Leanne

This wedding took place back in August, but I am just now getting around to blogging about it. I was only in charge of the reception which was at the Brazos Center. If you've ever been to the Brazos Center, you know that none of the rooms are very attractive when you first walk in. The rooms basically look like cafeterias. So, I had quite a job to do to get this room ready so that it would look like a wedding reception and not your neighborhood elementary school.
Leanne's grandmother brought all the decorations, and we got started setting up tables and chairs, putting on tablecloths, and putting everything where it belonged. Then, we had different types of candles, vases and mirrored tiles to use for centerpieces on each of the tables. The florist and cake lady came and the flowers and cake added to what we had already done. We had long stem roses in tall, thin glass vases, rose pedals on the tableclothes, and floating candles in some of the shorter vases. If you have to decorate a place that looks like a cafeteria and you can dim the lights, candles are the way to go. Softening the lighting with candles and dimmer lights makes the tiled floor and ceilings disappear, and brings a romantic and beautiful tone to the room. Candlelight really transforms an ordinary room into a beautiful reception hall. And the wonderful thing about candles is, they don't cost a lot of money, especially when you find them half-price at Hobby Lobby/Michaels or even the dollar store! So, after we lit all the candles and dimmed the lights, we had an absolutely beautiful room.
Another aspect of the reception that added some fun (as well as a delightful scent) was the chocolate fountain. If you've never tasted chocolate from a chocolate fountain, you are really missing out, especially if you are a chocolate lover. The chocolate covered fruit, pretzels and marshmallows are very delicious. Having the fountain at the reception also gives the guests something to eat while they are waiting for you. It also just smells so good! The man that owns the fountain is a delightful fellow from Germany named Klaus Elfeldt. I really enjoyed meeting him and smelling his delicious treats!
Livewire Productions provided the entertainment, and once again did an outstanding job. The bride and groom were always pretty reserved, quiet and shy when we met to talk about the wedding. However, Chance, the DJ, somehow managed to get them on the floor and dancing toward each other for the bouquet and garter tosses (Jeff had sunglasses on and Leanne had a rose between her teeth). They were really funny and it was such a joy watching them have so much fun. Chance has a way of bringing out a different side to everyone.
All in all, the reception turned out great, and I had a marvelous time. It is always a pleasure working with Tim Harris, the photographer, and this time I got to meet his wife, Kelli. They make a great team. The guests seemed to enjoy themselves as well. At least half of the guests stayed to the very end and some of them helped us clean up afterwards! Quite a blessing. This was a nice way to end my summer wedding season.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Marcus and Margaret

I had some concerns about this wedding because in our consultations, Margaret was wanting to do too many things the day of the wedding to make sure everything was exactly as she wanted them to be. I know every bride feels that way, but I counseled her to let things go, let the people she hired do the job she was paying them to do and enjoy her day. "Let me take care of the details." She listened to me, and the day of the wedding, she was so calm and relaxed and beautiful when I saw her! I heard her say several times, "It doesn't matter" "That's fine" and she was all smiles and giggles! I was so glad that she decided to let things go and because of that, she really enjoyed and remembered her special day.

One of my favorite things about coordinating weddings is getting to meet new people. When I met with Marcus and Margaret in our consultations, Margaret did all the talking and Marcus just sat there and smiled. When we asked his opinion, he really didn't say much. He was very sweet and obviously loves Margaret very much, but was very quiet. The day of the wedding, I found out why....
During the reception, I was grabbing a quick bite to eat, and Marcus' sisters invited me to join their family for dinner. So nice!!! So, I went over there, and was asking questions about their family. It turns out, Marcus is #7 in a family of 7 and he is the ONLY boy! No wonder he is so quiet! When would he have had any time to talk in that group???? Three of the sisters were actually at the wedding. One of them, Julie, has 7 children of her own and she doesn't look old enough to have that many! They were all a lot of fun to be around and I enjoyed the sisters and their husbands so much! This was probably my favorite family that I have met since becoming a wedding planner. If we lived in the same town, I would probably call them up to hang out.

I also really enjoyed her photographer, Brandi Tejeda. You ought to check out her website She's really good, and a delight to be around. I hope to work with her in the future.

This wedding and reception went off without a hitch. Everything turned out really nice. The most important thing to me is that the bride and groom were smiling the whole time, and I know they will remember this day fondly. That's why I love what I do.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Kevin and Charlotte

This wedding was held at The Greenbranch which is the most beautiful location for a garden wedding in town. I actually coordinated the very first wedding they ever had there. I wasn't "in the business" yet and neither were the Beards. We have all come a long way since then. Every detail was beautiful. The flowers (Nita's) were absolutely gorgeous. The weather was actually nice, even though it was June in Texas! The reception area was so pretty with candles everywhere and the water fountain in the fireplace. This crowd was not the liveliest you've ever met, but the DJ, Chance with Livewire. did an amazing job getting most of them out on the dance floor and having a good time. Christopher's did the catering and the meal was magnificant. I enjoyed sitting at the table with the photographer, Michael Kellet, and the videographer, Steven with Seaviews. The one glitch was when the bride and groom were getting ready to leave, I offered to pull the car around for them to drive away in. Well, the car was a VW bug and a stick shift, and I didn't know how to put it in reverse. There is a special trick to it and nobody told me! Oh well. Everything else went as planned. It was a wonderful evening!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Joseph and Jennifer

At my future mother-in-law's urging, we sought help for wedding day coordination. Immediately after meeting with Erin, I was convinced she would be a great asset to us. She made excellent recommendations for an officiant when we were at a loss for who to turn to. Even if you think you've got the planning under control, it helps to have a pro like Erin by your side to make sure no detail is overlooked. She did a fabulous job on our wedding day. From running the rehearsal in the morning, to "saving the day" by saving our cake, she maintained her poised, calm, and professional manner. I don't know how we would have handled the melting cake if she hadn't been there! If that isn't reason enough to have a planner, what is? Our perfect day was thanks to her. (Or as one guest put it, "You got hitched without a hitch.") Joseph and I highly recommend Erin for her expertise, practical nature, and also because she's such a pleasant person to work with! Thank you so much, Erin!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Day I Saved the Cake

Last Sunday I coordinated a wedding where the B&G bought their cake from a local store. The groom brought the cake at 3:00 and I told him I would take care of setting it up so that he could go get dressed and get his pictures made. He gave me a list of other responsibilities to take care of before leaving the reception hall. I opened the cake box to find that all the flowers (which were made from frosting and were supposed to be on the top of the cake) had melted and run to the bottom. The cake was a disaster! There was no time to get a replacement cake, so I decided to salvage it. The photographer didn't believe that I could do it, which made it even more of a challenge. So, I worked for about 15 minutes, and was not getting anywhere. The dye that had colored the flowers was running into the frosting. It didn't look any better than when I started. Then, the bride's mom came over and I told her what had happened. She suggested that I use the artificial rose petals that they had spread on the table. BINGO!!! I put those on top of the ruined frosting and pulled some artificial flowers from the various arrangements around the room. The only thing I needed was wire cutters to make the stems on the flowers shorter. We tried using a pocket knife- no good. So, I announced to the small crowd of family that had already gathered, "Does anyone have any wire cutters?" The groom's father did! I couldn't believe it! (I made a note to myself to bring a pair of wire cutters to every wedding from then on, because you NEVER know!) So, with a few clips of wire, and the strategic placing of flowers (I have watched many florists do this in the past) I made the cake look spectacular (at least from the front) The skeptical photographer was impressed and a guest who used to make cakes said that she would have never known that it had been ruined in the first place! It was one of my prouder moments and that's how I saved the cake!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jeff and Penny

Jeff & I knew that we wanted a simple wedding that was casually elegant. My mom suggested that I hire a wedding planner to help ease the load of planning a wedding since I am a graduate student who works part-time. I met with Erin and after telling her what we desired she explained how she could help. What a relief! She helped us choose vendors and get things done on time. What proved most helpful was having her at the rehearsal, ceremony and reception to handle the details and to be the “answer woman”. This allowed Jeff and I to thoroughly enjoy our wedding and to avoid feeling the stress of answering a bazillion questions. Erin’s expertise and kind manner helped make our day special. Thanks, Erin!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chris and Shawna

Erin Joyner was my Wedding Planner for my recent wedding. She is amazing! She knew who to call and when, she was able to help me plan my whole wedding just the way I wanted it in 2 months. She was able to save me a lot of money with her ideas and tips. Erin took care of every detail and was always ready to answer any questions I had. Having Erin take care of the details of my wedding took away the stress and hassle. I would 100 % recommend her to anyone! Thanks Erin!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

David and Candace

After spending months planning my own wedding, I realized that I had been obsessing about everything from the cake to the flowers to the guest list, but had completely neglected the actual ceremony. I had obviously never been married before, and I had only attended a few weddings in my life, so I was clueless about what would actually take place during the ceremony. That's where Erin came in. My fiance, David, and I met with Erin and she took care of all the details. She was very organized and completely open to specific details we wanted to include in our ceremony. Erin took charge of wedding rehearsal and the ceremony on our big day, and ultimately saved me from having a ton of stress on one of the happiest (and busiest) days of my life! I am truly grateful for her guidance and the attentiveness she showed towards our wedding ceremony

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why hire a wedding planner?

There are so many misconceptions about hiring a wedding planner. The main one being that you cannot afford one! Hiring a wedding planner is more affordable than you might think. It is an investment in the best day of your life! When you hire a wedding planner, you are saving time and money and eliminating stress. A wedding planner has many ideas on how to save money. She also know the vendors in town that fit your budget, taste and personality. You are getting her recommendation on which vendors are trustworthy and will give you the best service. And the best part is, your wedding planner will be with you on the day of your wedding to answer all the questions people would be asking you (if you don't hire one), taking care of all the last minute details and giving you the comfort and reassurance you need to make the best day of your life even better. Don't waste another day. Call me today 979-450-4329 to set up your FREE first time consultation. You can't afford not to.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Making your guest list

I had a bride ask me the other day, "We are on such a small budget. Do we have to allow our single friends to bring a date? What about out of town guests? We think many of them are not coming, but we're not sure." How do you decide on the "A-List" for your wedding? Who makes the cut? Well, for one thing, you are not obligated to allow your single friends to bring a date. It is nice for your wedding party, but not neccesary for all your guests. I feel it's okay to call out of town family and find out who is coming, if you don't already know. Of course, I like to be very straightforward and practical. Most people will tell you to plan for 70%, but in reality, more like 50% of your invited guests actually come. There are different ways to look at it, but ultimately you must look at your desires as well as your budget. If you really want an intimate, small wedding, keep it that way. If you want to invite everyone you've ever known, then do it. Make room for all sets of parents to invite their guests, though. Most of the time parents want to announce that their son or daughter is getting married. Most importantly, if your wedding is still months away, don't stress about the guest list, yet. You have plenty of time to work on it before the invitations have to be ordered and sent out.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bridal Association of the Brazos Valley Bridal Show

Last Sunday I had my first booth at the Bridal Show. It was fun to watch a lot of wide-eyed brides looking around and seeming to be more overwhelmed than ever. I talked to many of them letting them know that I will simplify their planning process, help them choose vendors that will fit their tastes as well as their budgets, and I will make their big day stress free!! I gave away a free massage! I could have used that massage at the end of the day! Many people stopped to look at the beautiful picture of one of my brides in the bluebonnets. I had several people ask if I was a photographer. I told them that they didn't want me to take their pictures. Overall, I thought the show went well. I had a lot of fun. I saw a lot of people I know, I met some new vendors, did some networking and got some business.

Monday, January 21, 2008

John and Sheena

I had 3 weeks to plan a wedding after a sudden phone call from my son serving in Iraq saying he would be home on leave in April and wanted to get married. Wanting it to be a memorable occasion, my husband and I tried to do it all alone, from the locations to flowers to food. My plans started to unravel about 3 days before the ceremony when someone asked me a question about music. Humbly, I called Erin and she managed to help us have a truly smooth ceremony thru reception. I genuinely appreciate her expertise in this field.
Darlene Hamiter (Mother of the Groom)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rudy and Sarah

I married my lifelong best friend, Rudy, 10 months ago in the freezing sleet out on a hill of bluebonnets. We decided we wanted to have a small family-only wedding and have a ceremony and reception a few months later with all of our friends.

Erin did a wonderful job coordinating everything at the reception. I didn't even have to think about where everyone would stand or even what to say -- Erin took care of all that!

In addition to Erin's help, her husband, Kevin, did the sound for us. I wanted a certain song played for our first dance, but didn't know which cd it was on or where to find it. He happened to pick the exact song I wanted and it turned out perfectly. I couldn't have asked for it to be better.

Erin is also the world's calmest person on earth, which is perfect for a bride because brides are the most stressed people on earth! Erin makes a wonderful wedding planner because she is friendly and energetic and works well with people. Both my family and my husband's have divorces, which can make a special day turn into a tense one very fast. On our busy and stressful day, Erin was happy and pleasant and peaceful. You can tell that wedding planning isn't just a job for her. It is a passion and a joy!