Friday, December 23, 2011

The End of the Vintage Wedding Trend

It seems that the wedding trend these days is for brides to have something at their wedding that none of the their guests have seen before. One of these latest trends is having a vintage wedding. According to the Huffington Post (not necessarily the experts on wedding trends ) this movement is now coming to an end. It seems as though it just begun! It just goes to show that it is difficult to completely follow what's fashionable in your wedding, especially when you plan a year or two in advance. What may be trendy when you begin the planning of your wedding, may be completely out of style by the time your big day arrives. Also, that one of a kind event that you plan, such as an ice cream sundae bar, may have become a trend by the time your day arrives and it may not be the first time your guests have experienced it. So, plan your nuptials according to your tastes and preferences. Don't let society dictate what transpires at your wedding. I think when you can let go of those expectations, then your wedding truly will be a one of a kind event.

Erin Joyner
Wedding planner and coordinator, College Station/Bryan, TX

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ginann and Kevin

I had the privilege of coordinating an extremely beautiful and sentimental vintage wedding. The ceremony and reception took place at 7F Lodge which is one of my favorite venues in the Bryan/College Station area. It is always beautiful and their managers and staff are so accommodating. I did about half of the set up of the amazing decorations. The bride and her mom spent hours creating areas to set up pictures, a chest of love, some hanging ribbons, antique family lace and doilies; all the decorations were either truly vintage or designed to have a classic appearance.
Their photographer was Tara Swain. This was my first time meeting and working with Tara. She has an gentle and easy temperament and her pictures are simply incredible. Sandee Moss with Cinderella Stories created the delectable cake. Chance with Livewire was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Post Oak Florist created the romantic ambiance of the evening with candles everywhere including hanging from the trees. One touch of detail that Post Oak thought of was to use electric candles in the holders hanging from the trees. Since Texas has been in a drought for virtually a year, trees are extremely flammable. The artificial lights were just as beautiful as real candles and it was nice to feel safe knowing that they were not a fire hazard. I met a new and fabulous videographer; a fellow Aggie named Jensen Yancey with EP Wedding Films. His highlight video from the wedding can be found posted on his blog. It is fabulous. The food was delicious and the caterer, Home's Haven was so fun and helpful. It's always nice to work with a group of people who will work together to make an event fabulous for the bride and groom. This league of wedding vendors was fantastic and it made for an incredible night.
Overall, the ceremony and reception ran seamlessly. I enjoyed getting to know this sweet couple and their family. I found out that Kevin and Ginann have been sweet hearts since the 8th grade. How often do you hear about couples that are so devoted to each other?

Erin Joyner, Wedding Planner, Bryan/College Station, TX

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coordination Success!

I haven't had time to blog about the wedding I coordinated last weekend for Kevin and Ginann, but their photgrapher has been busy editing photos and posted some pictures on her blog.

They are amazing! Consider hiring Tara Swain for your photographer. She is enjoyable and easy to work with and her pictures are fabulous.

And stay tuned for my viewpoint of this picture perfect day.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

More Weddings!

Last weekend, I had the privilege of participating in the wedding of a girl (uh hem) woman I've known since she was about 6 years old. Bethany has always been a beautiful person on the inside and out and was one of those children you just knew was destined for something truly special.
Bethany is now a professional dancer, and met her husband in the Netherlands while she was participating in a mission based dance program. Bethany is an amazing dancer and when she dances, she is communing with the Lord. So, we viewed numerous dance performances (including one that Bethany had filmed beforehand for her awaiting husband-to-be just before she walked down the aisle) All the performances were truly amazing and beautiful. We worshiped, we cried, we laughed. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever witnessed.
The photographer was Michelle B Photgraphee. I was searching through her blog right now and her pictures from the wedding are spectacular. The cakes were incredible creations by Fabulous Fare. As always, they were simply fabulous! The ceremony was held at Aldersgate United Methodist Church with the reception taking place at the S.O.S Ministries facility. The amazing food was provided by Casa Rodriguez. It was delicious. Words cannot describe the beauty of this very special day.
With such a tremendous beginning, I have no doubt this couple will sustain the marriage that the Lord intended for them to have. I wish you many blessings and wonderful years together, Patrick and Bethany!

Erin Joyner, Wedding Coordinator, College Station, Bryan, TX

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Keeping Wedding Guests Cool in Triple Digit Temperatures

I recently asked some of my friends who own outdoor venues what they recommend to brides to help them keep their guests cool in this excruciating hot Texas weather.

...Inform your guests.
In your printed invitation, state that you are having an "outdoor garden wedding". This is very important especially for older family members and guests. Overheating could pose a health risk to them.
...Adjust your wedding time.
In the movies outdoor weddings do look so beautiful, but remember they are filmed in cool California! During our Texas summers, 6:00 in the evening can be the hottest time of the day. Think about having your wedding either early or late. If your wedding venue has a shaded morning site, a 10:00 am wedding followed by a brunch could be a hit. When planning a summer evening wedding, adjust your time to as late as possible. Your guests will thank you and the bride will have a beautiful sunset glow.
...Keep family and guests cool.
Encourage your ushers to have family and guests wait inside the air conditioned spaces of your venue and reception area. When the wedding party is ready to lineup for the ceremony, have the ushers dismiss
the guests to seat themselves because the wedding is about to begin.
...Provide cool water.
Printed labels on water bottles with name/date on them can be iced and ready for the wedding ceremony. Try color coordinating several large plastic tubs; these will look great to hold your water bottles.
...A wedding favor that everyone will like.
Instead of using the old-fashioned paper fan with your wedding ceremony information printed on it, invest in a real fan! The paper ones really are just no help at all when it is hot. Go online and research and you will find grass woven fans from the islands or even wooden or cloth fans. This will be a gift they will use and keep.
If the budget won't allow this , then buy then, get them back from your guests, and then sell them on e-bay!

We suggest Fans as programs; White Sun Umbrellas as a favor to the guests given at the Outdoor Ceremony Site; or Personalized Bottle Water. We also have set-up Lemonade Stands at the Ceremony.

At Rock Lake Ranch, our best defense against the heat is the siting and design of our Waterfront Pavilion and ceremony site. We ensure that there is shading from large oak trees over the ceremony site and we keep sunscreens as well as regular canvas panels down on the west side of the Pavilion to shield the floors, tables and chairs from the sun during the day. We raise the panels in the evening, since we have a nice breeze off the pond from the south to make the area quite pleasant. We have an air conditioned service building with restrooms as well as a super-chilled room for the cake and hors d’oeuvre. Finally, we provide a place to set up a lemonade station as guests arrive.

Applying these tips from the experts will ensure that your guests remembering your wedding and NOT the hot temperature!

Erin Joyner, Wedding Planner, Bryan/College Station, TX

Friday, August 12, 2011

Triathlon Completed... Check!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run WITH ENDURANCE the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shames, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2

About 5 months after I began training, I completed my first Triathlon. Certainly my feat was nothing compared to Jesus' suffering on the cross, but I can definitely understand with more depth this verse and it's meaning. I've had a few people ask me how it went, and I respond by saying, "I finished!" It is quite a humorous tale which began at approximately 7:00 am last Sunday.

We (my friends Ashley, Sarah and I) had planned to leave the dwelling in which we were staying by 5:45 am last Sunday. I think we left closer to 6, but I didn't pay that close of attention to our departure time since I was certain we would be at the race location well before the 6:35 am cut-off for placing our belongings next to our bikes. (we left our bikes in the care of an on-site security officer the day before. I, however, invested in a $7 bike lock, which was pink, just in case.) My friend, Ashley, left the directions I had carefully printed out in her purse, so we were "feeling our way" to hwy 290. That didn't turn out very well since we got turned around and ended up arriving just around 6:30 am. I dropped off the other two girls closer to the bikes with directions to take my fanny pack to my bike, #1035.

I went to park the van and ran back to the bike transition area in hopes that they would show me mercy and allow me to place my shoes and shirt next to my bike, and where I assumed I would find my fanny pack. Ashley and Sarah forgot my number and decided to leave my fanny pack near Ashley's bike. So, I was literally running around, barefoot, looking for them because my fanny pack contained my lovely orange colored swim cap, my timing chip and goggles. I was literally fighting back tears since there were thousands of people milling around and I could not find my friends anywhere. I was finally directed towards a tent where a kind lady gave me another swim cap and timing chip. The 500 meter swim across the lake would have to be completed without goggles this time.

I was placed in the wave of other women ages 35-39. We all wore the lovely orange swim caps. Waves were sent off every 3 minutes. There were two waves behind me. All women. The next wave wore pink caps and the last wave wore red. I felt very confident about the swim section of the race, less confident in the bike and even less confident about the run. However, I kept joking that even if I had to walk the entire run, and crawl across the finish line, I would complete the race. So, I began the swim and was feeling pretty good. Then, I started to see pink caps pass me and eventually began to see red caps. Uh oh! However, I finished strong and felt ready to complete the bike portion.

Getting on my bike proceeded without incident until I heard my name. My friend Ashley had a flat tire. I pulled over to loan her my hand pump. I moved back into bike traffic fairly easily. I felt as though I was moving along rapidly, but kept hearing the phrase, "On your left!" which racers use to let you know they are passing you on your left. I probably heard this phrase 50 times during the bike ride. I uttered the words once.

I completed the bike portion and moved onto "running". I actually began the 3.65 mile trek with a slow jog. My legs felt strange from peddling for 13.5 miles straight. I passed about 50 runners this time, however they were running the other direction which meant they were almost finished with the running portion, and thus finishing the race. Several cheered me on. "You can do it, 1035!" "You're almost finished, Erin! Keep going!" (our names were written on our "bib" neatly pinned on our front) I grimaced at most of them because I was so envious that they were almost finished and I had just begun the run. The words I had stated to confidently over the last 5 months came back to haunt me. "If I have to, I will walk the entire run portion." It was funny that now, in the event, I felt myself wanting to win! I realized pretty quickly that would not happen this day. I would be doing well to not finish dead last.

However, I remembered the verse that I posted above. I wanted to finish well, not just for myself, but I knew that the Lord had some sort of lesson for me in this endurance challenge. I began to pray and worship while running, walking and sweating. I was passed over and over. I jogged with a woman for a short time who stated that she had raced in numerous triathlons. This was her last race, she said. I asked her how old she was, and she stated, "65" and then kept running while I went back to my walk. Ashley soon passed me. Her bike tire was saved by a kind man who knew how to salvage her tire, and she was determined to run the entire 3.65 miles. She is a much better runner than me. I had already seen our other friend, Sarah, twice. Both times she was going the other way which meant she was much further ahead than me.

In my struggle to swallow my pride, I had a thought. "This is how the spiritual walk is, isn't it, Lord? We will struggle and hurt even though we have trained for this moment. We will be passed in life by so many. It will appear that we will finish last, but it's really not about finishing first. It's about finishing well. It's about running with endurance. It's about moving forward when we want to stop and quit. It's about keeping our eyes focused on the finish line which is our eternal life with you, even in the midst of the largest challenges of our lives. It's about choosing to live, love, laugh even when we want to fall on our faces and die. You are the prize, Jesus. I get it."

I wish that thought could have propelled me forward in such a fashion that I did not finish last. But, I did. There were a few people behind me, but I think, literally three. The 65 year old woman finished before me. I ran across the finish line 3 hours and 1 minute after the first wave of bodies propelled through the water. Some of those in the front did the race twice and finished ahead of me the second time. I don't know my time, exactly, because the new chip I was given didn't record my time. I was not listed on the records that were e-mailed to me the next day. In their minds, I didn't even show up. I know I did, though. And Jesus knows. He's proud of me for finishing. And finishing well.

I so look forward to finishing the race of life and to be told, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." I pray that I am able to continue this race and run with endurance, praising and worshiping my maker the entire way. It truly is worth it to finish, even if it's not mapped out exactly as we envisioned when we began. It is worth it. HE is worth it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Together in Eternity...

"I will be yours, you will be mine... Together in eternity." Those were the opening lyrics of the song that I danced with my brand new husband for the first time 14 years ago. My sweet husband and I celebrated our life, love and marriage yesterday with a simple "date in" without children and distractions. It was a wonderful evening of good food, movies and reminiscing about our wedding and marriage. The very first memory that came to his mind was our pastor's jokes as he was speaking to our crowd of about 250 people. I remember so many aspects of our wedding as it was exactly as I always dreamed it would be, down to the very last detail. We both agreed that as wonderful as our wedding was, and as smoothly as it ran, we both love the place where our journey together has taken us. Little did we know what was ahead of us on that blissful day. No one could have ever articulated in words what our journey would look like and where it would take us. Not one person could have spoken to our hearts what the Lord knew our life together would bring. This path has taken us to the very heights of joy with our love, experiencing the birth and lives of four amazing children, friends, and experiencing just a taste of the joy that comes from knowing Jesus so intimately. This sojourn has also led us to the depths of sorrow and pain as we have experienced loss, death, and the darkness of our souls at our very lowest times. Through the highs and the lows, though, we have had our Lord in our midst, and we both consider it a privilege and a blessing to be able to experience it all together. We are so fortunate to have family and friends to cheer us on and walk with us through the good, the bad and the ugly of marriage, family and life. For that I am eternally grateful. We ended our date with prayers of Thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father who has been so faithful, good, patient and life-giving to us. Fourteen years ago, I would have never fathomed where my dreams and hopes would have taken me. However, there is no one in the world I would rather be walking this journey with than my husband.

Erin Joyner, Wedding Planner, College Station/Bryan, TX

Friday, July 29, 2011

Being the Photographer

I couldn't help myself at my parents' anniversary celebration. I had to take pictures. It's becoming an addictive hobby of mine... here are my favorites!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To Have and to Hold...

My parents celebrated 40 years of marriage this weekend. My Dad decided that they would renew their wedding vows. Anyone who knows my Dad knows that this in itself is a miraculous act of God, since my Dad has never been known to be the romeo of which every woman dreams. That being said, one certain aspect of my Dad's heart is that he truly loves my Mom.
I have been alive for most of these 40 years of marriage and have witnessed "for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, to have and to hold..." These two amazing people, of which I have the privilege to call my parents, have been through the ringer. They raised a special needs child during a time when there was no information on how to handle and deal with this child. My Dad climbed the corporate ladder and
went from being the Senior Vice President of a bank to "early retirement" at the ripe old age of 50. They have experienced several surgeries each, diabetes, breast cancer and children leaving the house. They have walked with friends who are grieving the loss of a child, spouse and the pain of divorce.
Now, my Dad coaches in a soccer league for adults with disabilities (he still calls them kids), they have learned to work together and trust the Lord to provide for their financial needs. Through the breast cancer scare, they learned to forgive, love and hold tight to Jesus and each other.
My little family was blessed to witness true love at it's best as these two beautiful people vowed once again, before God and friends, to love no matter what. God is gracious, merciful and true and the ceremony we viewed this weekend is all attributed to His Glory.

Erin Joyner, Wedding Consultant, College Station/Bryan, TX

Friday, July 8, 2011

Changing Wedding Dresses

I was flipping through news this morning and came across an article that sparked my brain as a topic for this blog entry. Kate Moss married rocker Jamie Hince today in England. I don't really follow celebrity gossip very often, (except while standing in line at the grocery store) but this particular article was interesting to me because Kate changed dresses four times throughout the celebration. (Also the groom wore a pale blue tuxedo)
This is not the first time I've heard of this trend. It seems to be becoming more popular among the rich and famous. However, for many modern brides, following these types of trends is extremely important and they desire to be like to stars that they adore. The interesting aspect of trends is that they tend to cycle around. (powder blue tuxedos were extremely popular in the 1970's) I began to think of how brides used to change before they left their reception for their honeymoon. The going away outfit was just as important as the wedding dress. Some brides still opt for changing wardrobes, while others feel as though this is the only day they will wear their wedding dress, so they want to keep it on for as long as possible. I personally feel that changing dresses four times is a bit elaborate, but if you have the money to do it, there is some logic to it. If you like to dance, you may be more comfortable in a shorter dress. Likewise, you could opt for a wedding dress with a removable train and remove your veil to make yourself more comfortable. If you plan a cocktail hour after the ceremony and before the reception, a nice cocktail dress would be spectacular. Also, if you have a long ride to the airport or hotel in which you are staying, changing before you leave the reception is a fabulous idea.
Overall, your wedding and reception should be a reflection of who you are everyday. So, if you are a follower of celebrity gossip, then planning on several dresses is the way to go.

Erin Joyner, Wedding Coordinator College Station/Bryan, TX

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wedding Photographer

I attended a wedding this weekend of a girl I've known since she was about 13. The bride was beautiful and the day was fabulous! I was a guest, so I decided to bring my camera and have some fun. Here are some of my favorite shots.

Erin Joyner, Wedding Planner, Bryan/College Station, TX

Monday, June 20, 2011

Choosing a Bridesmaid dress

I was thinking about one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies last night. From 27 Dresses... Bride: "Aren't these dresses great? And the best thing about them, is you can shorten them and wear them again!" Jane: "That is definitely so true!" As I'm watching this (for the 20th time. The opening scene has me in stitches every time I watch it) I'm thinking, "There is no way she will ever wear that again. Just like my bridesmaids probably never wore theirs again, nor did I ever wear my bridesmaids dresses again." And, we come to find out later, Jane's 27 bridesmaids dresses sit tucked away in her closet of her studio apartment, never worn again.
I have been married almost 14 years, and the trend of allowing your bridesmaids to pick their own dresses within certain color and style boundaries was just beginning when I got married. My mom tried to talk me into choosing that option, but I really wanted all my bridesmaids to wear the same dress. Why? I guess because it's tradition. Now that I'm older, my practical side is much stronger, and I actually prefer the look that so many brides are turning to which is allowing their wedding party to chose their own style of dress. When I was choosing my dress style, I DID chose a style that I knew would look fabulous on all my friends. My party consisted of women with several different heights and body types and I didn't want anyone to feel self conscience. But let's face it, bigger busted women don't look good or feel comfortable in strapless dresses, shorter girls look better in shorter skirts, skinny minis look good in just about every style, red heads look terrible in white, and there is a good chance that you will have a wide range of all body types, heights and color wheels in your wedding party.
So, I enjoy the trend of allowing your wedding party to wear a black dress, or a pink dress or whatever your color scheme may be. That way, your bridesmaids can choose a style they will love and feel confident about wearing. It also allows them to spend the amount of money they desire. Some are on tight budgets and are incredible bargain shoppers who could find a fabulous dress for much less money than the bridal shops will charge. There are some bridal lines that are catching on to this idea as well. They create a line of dresses that are the exact same color but
there are several different styles from which to chose. That way, each of your friends can choose the style they feel will look best with their body type and will feel the most comfortable. However, if you go with this option, try not to choose a color like lime green or lemon yellow. Certain skin tones look terribly washed out in these colors. Try to chose a universal color for your bridesmaids that will match your color scheme for your wedding. Or maybe chose a different shade of salmon, which is another color that not very many people can pull off and look great.
Remember, your friends are here for your big day and they want to please you. However, they, too, will be standing up in front of hundreds of people while you and your fiance say your "I do's". They will also appear in hundreds of pictures. You want them to look fabulous and feel comfortable in what they are wearing. Do you really want them to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress that is going to hang in their closet and never be worn again? Chances are, if they have some say in at least the style, they will not only wear it again, they will be grateful to you for your flexibility and generosity. And remember, someday you may be standing with them on their big day just like all the 27 brides lined up for Jane's big day. Hopefully, if you are considerate of them, they will remember that when choosing the bridesmaid dress you will wear while standing in front of hundreds of their friends and relatives....

Below, two of my favorite quotes from 27 Dresses concerning the bridesmaid dresses.

"What color is that? Vomit?"
"What was the wedding theme? Humiliation?" Kevin (Malcolm) Doyl

Erin Joyner, Wedding Coordinator, Bryan College Station, TX

Friday, June 10, 2011

Creating the Perfect Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings are incredibly beautiful! Marrying the love of your life encased in the backdrop of God's amazing creation can produce a memorable day for everyone. However, outdoor weddings can be complete disasters as well. Here are some tips for creating a spectacular outdoor wedding based on my experience.

1. Have a back up plan for poor weather. Many outdoor venues have options for holding the ceremony indoors in case nature does not cooperate. However, if yours does not have this, then consider renting a tent or having an alternative location for your site. I have a friend who told me she wished she had known me when she was planning her wedding. She had an outdoor ceremony arranged with no back-up plan in mind. It poured down rain all day on her wedding day. At the last minute, they had to move everything to a church and although it worked out(and they are still married!), she would have preferred to plan for rain instead of frantically relocating at the last minute.

2. If it is summertime, plan an early morning wedding or later evening ceremony. My friends, Jim and Darlynne Beard, own an outdoor venue, The Greenbranch, and they will not allow their clients to have their ceremonies before 7:00 pm because of their past experience with the heat and sun. One of my brides asked me to coordinate for weekend of services only. The date and time had already been set before they hired me, so I had no input for the time. It was a July wedding which began at 4:00 in the afternoon in Texas. If you've never been to Texas in July, then let me tell you. It was in the upper 90's that day. Gratefully, the venue in which this ceremony was held, 7-F Lodge, has an indoor area, so was I able to allow guests to stay in the air conditioning until right before the ceremony began. Also, the ceremony was short (another aspect to consider if you chose to get married outside) so the guests were not too uncomfortable for a long period of time. However, if would have much more comfortable for everyone had the ceremony been held several hours later when it was not so hot.

On the flip side, if you are having a fall or winter wedding, rent some heaters to keep guests comfortable.

3. If you get married in the summer, consider what heat does to your cake, flowers, hair, make-up and other aspects of your special day. I would highly recommend that you hire professionals to take care of these areas of your ceremony, because they are trained to keep everything looking fresh in the heat. See this previous post I wrote about what the heat can do to a store bought cake.

4. Have a plan for keeping away insects. Some brides and grooms place insect repellent at each table for guests to spray and keep the mosquitoes away. You can also utilize citronella candles for a more romantic atmosphere as well as the Tiki torches for a more tropical feel. No matter what you choose, it is something that is necessary so that your guests greatest memory of your wedding WON'T be getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

5. If there is no indoor or enclosed area (such as a pavilion or covered patio) at your venue, rent a tent for your cake and food. The wind can blow all sorts of critters and dirt and ruin your meal and cake. Having this extra protection can guarantee that your food does not get contaminated by the natural elements.

6. You will most likely need a sound system so you can mic your officiant. It's more difficult to hear him/her in an outside location.

7. Consider your decorations for your event. There are so many beautiful aspects of being outside that too many decorations can take away from the natural beauty of a location. Ask your florist to show you pictures of decor they have used at your particular venue before making decisions on enhancements you will use for your wedding.

8. Keep your guests hydrated. Whether the conditions are hot or cold, have plenty of liquids to keep your guests comfortable. If it is sweltering, then keep iced water and tea on hand. Alcohol dehydrates, so make sure you have plenty of other liquids to balance out this effect. If it is chilly, then serve hot chocolate and coffee to keep your guests toasty. Water is also a great asset in the wintertime. You want your wedding to be everything you dreamed it would be, but you also need to strongly consider your guests comfort level in all aspects of your ceremony.

9. Have a website for guests to view in order for them to know if the wedding has been moved if the weather is not cooperating. Websites are the newest way brides and grooms utilize technology to keep their guests informed of wedding plans and for RSVP's. Beware, though, older generations don't always embrace this type of communication and may or may not remember to RSVP!

10. Hire a wedding coordinator. He/she can help you think through aspects of hosting an outdoor wedding that you may not consider. He/she can also lead you to the very best venues in your area for having an outdoor ceremony. Plus, on your big day, you can relax, get your nails, hair and make-up done while he/she takes care of all the details for you!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Honeymoon Getaways

Next to your wedding plans, deciding on the honeymoon is definitely the most important decision you will make regarding your big day. My husband and I decided to keep ours simple. We had a wonderful time at some locations in Texas which are now very special to our hearts since we spent there the first several days as husband and wife.

I was curious about beaches, and found this Top 10 list. These venues are exotic and remote, but seem wonderfully romantic. You will have to travel far from home if you are a U.S. native, but to many, the trip would be well worth the time.

For those of you who would prefer to stay stateside, there are amazing beaches in California, Florida and Michigan. If you prefer the mountains, my personal favorites are the Rockies where there are many opportunities for white water rafting, skiing, hiking, or just sight-seeing in the mountains. There's always the entertainment locations like Las Vegas, Disneyland/World or New York. Sonoma, Arizona is breathtakingly beautiful as well as the Grand Canyon. Another hot spot is the New England area (for history buffs) and I hear the fall colors are awe-inspiring.

Whatever you fancy, make sure you plan well and set out to enjoy one another. Your first moments together as husband and wife are ones you will treasure for the rest of your lives!

Erin Joyner, Wedding Coordinator, Bryan/College Station, TX

Friday, June 3, 2011

Kate's Dress Spurs on New Wedding Gown Trends

It's ironic; I was thinking about my wedding dress just yesterday and wondering what I will ever do with it. I, like so many other women, had my dress specially cleaned and boxed to save for my future daughter in hopes that she would be honored to wear her mother's wedding dress.

Almost fourteen years later, I have four sons, and no candidate to wear my wedding gown, unless one of my future daughters-in-law might possibly want to wear it. It makes me sad, because my gown is absolutely beautiful, and I probably could have sold it 14 years ago. However, with today's trends in strapless dresses, mine is clearly outdated with beautiful, lacy, long sleeves. Then a thought occurred to me; my dress is a similar style to the new Duchess of Cambridge and I wondered if Kate's style of dress would start a new trend. While looking at facebook today, I found my answer in this blog.

Just because trends are moving back to more traditional with lace sleeves doesn't mean I'll be able to sell my wedding dress, I realize. I'm not even sure I would be able to part with it. However, since that is the style I chose, it's still my favorite, so I will enjoy watching my brides trend toward lacy sleeves and long trains again. Thank you so much, Kate!

Erin Joyner, Wedding Coordinator, Bryan/College Station, TX

Sunday, May 29, 2011


It's a very long word that I have truly learned how to spell over the last several days. This post really has nothing to do with weddings, but due to the last 5 days of my life, wedding trends are not at the very forefront of my mind. However, let me begin this tale by backing up almost two years ago...
In August of 2009, I was set to have the busiest week of my life. I had two weddings, two weekends in a row, and in between these two weddings, was the first week of school. I knew this would be a crazy week and a half, but with my awesome husband's help and God's grace, I knew I would survive. Later, a few events were added to the already busy schedule. First, the new portable of which I was supposed to move in for the first week of school, did not pass inspection, so I was stuck with 13 seventh graders in a tiny room, which was not my classroom, for four days. Secondly, my husband's cousin from Indiana was coming in to visit during the first two days of school. Thirdly, one of my new bride's mom was coming in from Pennsylvania and wanted me to schedule some appointments for her (to which I needed to attend) during this same, insanely busy week that I wasn't sure I would survive to begin with. On Sunday (after the first wedding and before the cousin arrived AND the first day of school) my husband began to complain of feeling a little achy and tired. By Monday, he thought he had a bad case of gas and was pretty miserable, but functional. On Tuesday (although I didn't know it at the time) he was laying on the floor at work from the discomfort. That evening, we talked to the on-call doctor, described his symptoms and the doctor said unless he had a fever, to just wait until the next day and come in. On Wednesday morning, he did have fever, so he went to the doctor to get some prescription anti-gas medicine, but our brilliant doctor figured out that he had appendicitis and he had an emergency appendectomy. Even during pre-op, he was laughing and joking with the hospital staff and everyone stated that it was a good thing we were taking care of this early. One and a half hours after he went into surgery, the surgeon came out to tell me that his appendix had ruptured and he had gangrene. It was close to a month before he began to feel semi-normal.
So fast forward to last Tuesday. My family went on our first vacation since November of 2009. My husband and I decided to purchase season passes to Schlitterbahn. My parents live in San Antonio, which is just about 20 minutes from the New Braunfels location, so we asked if we could stay with them to save money. My husband took the whole week off and we were just going to go to the park all week. On Tuesday, I woke up feeling fine and we went for our second day of fun in the sun. My 6 year old wanted to sit in my lap for one of the tube rides and we all rode on a river ride together and then my little guy and I got off. I started to feel as though I had gas and went to the bathroom to see if that would help. It didn't and I immediately thought of my husband's experience not even two years prior. However, I began to feel better, so we went on the same ride, again, with my youngest riding in my lap, putting pressure on my appendix. We rode around three times, and when I got up that time, in about 10 minutes I began to experience intense pain and went to the EMT office to lay down. I was literally breathing as though I was in labor to help alleviate the pain. After an hour or so, the pain (all throughout my lower abdomen) began to subside and so I began to press on my lower abdomen just out of curiosity and my pain level shot up again. In the meantime, my husband had put a call into my doctor, and about the time my pain subsided the third time (approximately three hours after my initial discomfort began) my doctor called back and told me to go to Urgent Care. He said that appendicitis pain can begin as more generalized before it localizes in your right side. He also knew what had happened with my husband and knew we couldn't mess around.
By the time the Urgent Care doctor examined me, my pain had once again subsided. He stated that he didn't think I had appendicitis, but rather an ovarian cyst since my pain level was pretty low at the time of his examination. He ordered an ultrasound at a local hospital, his staff made the arrangements with the technician and they sent me on my way. He stated that if the test came back negative, then I should have a CT scan to check my lower abdomen. During the sonogram, my pain level shot through the roof (since she was putting pressure on my RIGHT ovary, hence, my appendix) and I actually vomited from the intensity of the pain. Now, I have given birth four times and NEVER vomited from the pain. So, I would say that my pain level, on a scale from 1-10 with "ten" being the worst pain I ever experienced (labor), was a 12 at that point. After that excruciating test, we were sent back down to the lobby to wait for my Urgent Care doctor to call with the test results. (the lab technician had to call her doctor, who had to call my doctor who called his nurse who called my husband) The nurse told my husband that there were no cysts and that the doctor told me to go home, take ibuprofen and go see an OB the next day. What??? What happened to my CT scan? I was practically shouting as my husband is on the phone with this woman, "Can she tell the doctor that I THREW UP from the pain from the ultrasound?" After much debate amongst ourselves, and discussing some with the hospital receptionist, we decided to try to get a hold of our doctor from home. We called around looking for his number. (I had his cell number from two years ago after my husband's surgery. However, my old cell phone was stolen at Spring Break so I no longer had that number; of course!) We finally called the office and put in a request for the on-call doctor to call us. We explained the situation to him and he said to go immediately to the ER and get a CT scan. So, we head over to the ER and got in after about 45 minutes of painstaking episodes of "Deadliest Catch". The ER doctor examined me, and again, my pain level was pretty low because no one had pushed on my appendix in about 2 hours. He told me, "I don't think you have appendicitis, either, but we need to do a CT scan just to see what IS going on." So, I drank the oral contrast so they could get a good look at my insides, went through the extremely UNpainful scan, and waited for results. The ER doctor came back and stated, matter of factly, "You have appendicitis. I've already called the surgeon. She is great, you will love her. We need to admit you to the hospital and schedule your surgery." Wow. Within about 12 hours of feeling just a little discomfort in my gut, and then having a series of atypical symptoms for appendicitis that were strikingly similar to my husband's less than two years ago, I was being told I had the same infection. What are the odds?
Gratefully, we actually DID catch mine early, and I am recovering much more quickly than my sweet husband. I was able to leave the hospital less than 12 hours after my surgery. I went to my parents' house to rest while my husband took the kids to Schlitterbahn on Thursday and Friday.
The funny thing is, sometime during my hospital stay, one of my bride's sent me an e-mail asking me if I heard back from one of her vendors regarding a question she had. Of course, I took care of the situation in between hits of the pain meds. Hmm... I guess weddings really don't get put on hold due to appendicitis. It's happened to me twice now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happily Ever After

Today I attended the funeral for my sweet Aunt Carolyn. She had been sick for many years with Alzheimer's Disease and it was a blessing to know that she is finally out of her broken body and with her Saviour in heaven. I enjoyed celebrating her life although I will greatly miss her on this earth. I had the privilege of being one of the speakers to share some family memories. My aunt was such a mother, caretaker and a servant. She loved the Lord and loved and cared for His sheep. One of her cousins also shared about her life, and reminded all of us that my aunt and uncle were the first people to get married in the new building at the church in which her memorial service was held. She shared how beautiful Carolyn looked on her wedding day. I believe it because I have seen the pictures. Her dress was spectacular and I remember as a young woman wanting to wear her dress for my wedding. However, when the time came, the dress was starting to deteriorate since it had not been preserved. I am certain that there was a coordinator for the church that organized the ceremony. Weddings were much simpler back then; they probably just had a cake and punch reception at the church with a receiving line. They most definitely threw rice as they left for their honeymoon. My aunt and uncle changed clothes before leaving because no one wore their wedding clothes upon leaving their celebration. My grandparents never had much money, so there wouldn't have been thousands of dollars spent on flower arrangements and centerpieces; no DJ, videographer, band... However, I am confident that it was an amazing ceremony and one aspect stands out to me. My aunt and uncle stood before their pastor, bright eyed and joyous on their special day, which occurred on Thanksgiving day in 1959, and they recited the words that so many people have for generations before and after, "To have and hold, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others..." You see, I saw that lived out in their lives. They went through the wonderful times of having babies and raising their kids together. The pain and stress of taking care of her ailing mother in their house, watching friends suffer losses of spouses and children; unemployment. The uncertainty of tomorrow. Their marriage which began on that joyous day over 50 years ago withstood the test of time. While my aunt was still mentally alert, she loved on my uncle. They were always kind to one another, they had sweet nicknames for each other, they told each other they loved the other and they always hugged and kissed. My uncle loved his wife by taking care of her when she didn't even know who he was anymore. He served her until he just couldn't physically handle the care anymore. Then he lovingly made the most painful decision to give her to someone who could take care of her 24/7 in ways that he was no longer able. A couple of years later, he decided to move into the same facility where she lived, but in the assisted living section. He visited her daily and loved her still. "Until death do us part." On Saturday, they finally parted. I think my generation has lost the art of loving in that way. We go into relationships and marriage desiring to be loved and cherished, but not understanding the great lengths and challenges that commitment brings; the difficult choices that must be made. My generation thinks that love is supposed to be like the love we see portrayed in Fairy Tales or in movies. Hollywood has painted a false view of love and commitment. So many romantic films these days find love born out of infidelity and we call it romance. My aunt and uncle are from a rare breed of people who found a way to make it work, no matter what the circumstances. I am thankful for Carolyn's life and legacy, and for her and Ed's example of what true, selfless, unconditional love looks like. It is the kind of love the Jesus showed us by dying on the cross. Because of this love, this great, sacrificial love offering that both my aunt and uncle believed in and their lives reflected, this true fairy tale wedding and marriage does not end today. These two love birds will be united again in heaven, perfect and whole and with their Savior. This story ends with the purest form of "Happily Ever After."

Erin Joyner Wedding Coordinator Bryan College Station, TX

Monday, May 2, 2011

The "Hiring a Wedding Planner" Dilemma

My husband recently talked to one of his coworkers about her wedding which took place a couple of weeks ago. He asked her how her wedding went and she replied, "It was wonderful. One aspect that I would change, however, is that I would hire a wedding planner." When he inquired as to why, she said because she spent the entire pre-wedding, post-wedding and reception answering questions. At the reception, she had to tell people where to go and what was happening next. She said her vendors were wonderful (her photographer was Kathy Norwood- she IS fabulous!) but the bride was the one who had to connect all the pieces. Each vendor played his or her part, but the woman of the hour wasn't able to fully enjoy her most special day since she, in all essence was the wedding planner. Will you save money by not hiring a coordinator? Possibly. Coordinators have great money saving tips, know all the vendors in your area and can assist you in making the very best choices for your preferences and budget. Can you plan your own wedding without the assistance of a planner? Absolutely. However, you should at least consider hiring someone for "day of" or "weekend of" services. Otherwise, you will find yourself being the coordinator, as this bride did, and the wedding of your dreams may not be as enjoyable as you would like it to be. I know, I AM a coordinator, so of course I want you to hire one. However, I've been to weddings without a coordinator; I've lived it. (see this post) It's worth it.

A true story from Bryan/College Station, TX

Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Thoughts on The Royal Wedding

After all these years, I still remember watching Charles and Diana get married. My most vivid memory of that wedding was Diana's train. I was too young to understand the implications and pomp and circumstance behind the ceremony, but I definitely recall that Diana was truly beautiful and so was her train!
My first glimpse of the recent royal affair was later in the morning when the couple was out on the balcony for their first kiss as husband and wife. (sorry, I didn't wake up at 5 am to watch the celebration live!) I had several observations. First of all, Kate's dress was breathtakingly elegant. I was expecting the trendy strapless look since I was certain she would have her world class designer create something that is all the rave. However, her dress was divinely classical and simply beautiful. I absolutely loved her dress as well as her veil. When watching the ceremony later, I thoroughly enjoyed the live choir processional. The music was beautiful and the British accents were pleasing to my ear. I was especially excited, as a Christian, to hear the gospel spoken so exquisitely and the design of marriage articulated so well. The word of God was spoken boldly. Kate's brother reading from Romans 12 was wonderful and the Archbishop of Canterbury's sermon and prayer were heartfelt. The flower girls and ring bearers were charming and Kate's sister was lovely in her dress as well.
If you think I'm only going to gush over every aspect of the wedding, then you need to know that I do have a critical eye when it comes to these ceremonies. I did not care for Kate's bouquet. It was so, well, small. And, the "Thees, Thous and Willests" I could have done without. I know this is a Royal Wedding in England, but come on. Who says those words anymore in everyday language? I'm also really curious as to what Harry whispered to William as HE got to watch Kate walk down the aisle while William had to face forward. I missed getting to see the look on William's face when he first laid eyes on his bride. That is always one of my favorite aspects of a wedding. Another area of interest to me is the British royalty women's hats. I hope those styles never make it to America. They are unattractive, in my opinion, but extremely entertaining. Now I realize that the new Duchess is well known for her outlandish hats, but Kate just makes everything look adorable.
So these are my initial observations concerning the wedding. I'm sure as more pictures, posts and news is published, I'll have some more thoughts. Until then, "Cheers!"

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Since the big wedding is just days away, I thought I'd post this fun video to wet our appetites! Enjoy!

An Easter Tidbit

On the day of Jesus' resurrection, his disciples were told by Mary Magdalene that Jesus' tomb was empty. She believed that someone had taken him out of the tomb. So, Peter and John "were running together (towards the tomb) but the other disciple (John) outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simone Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself." John 20:4-7. What is the significance of the folded linen? According to numerous scholars, during a Jewish banquet, the master would wad up his napkin and put it on the plate when he was finished with his meal. This signified to his servants that he was finished and they could take his plate. If he was leaving, but coming back, he folded the napkin which signaled to his servant that he would be returning. So, when John and Peter saw the folded linen, they realized that Jesus, their master, was letting them know that he WOULD BE returning! What does Easter have to do with weddings? When Jesus does return, all those who have believed and called on his name will be participating in a wedding feast like never before seen. It's going to be the party of all parties! Revelation 19:6-8 "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns! Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure" I pray you will enjoy the most glorious celebration in history: the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chuck vs The Wedding Planner

My husband and I love to watch NBC's hit show Chuck. This week's episode was especially hilarious to us. Chuck and Sarah are conned by their "wedding planner" who promises the ceremony of their dreams, asks for their money ahead of time, and then disappears. Our favorite duo end up creating their own scam and decorate a reception hall for another wedding. Sarah cuts some Styrofoam into circles, stacks the pieces and decorates it with frosting and flowers to create the appearance of a beautiful and delectable cake. There are several funny hap-instances during the fake reception and all I can think about is, "What's going to happen when they cut that Styrofoam cake?" The life of a wedding coordinator never ceases....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Choosing Wedding Flowers

Spring: a word often equated with new growth. The trees are blooming, and here in Texas, we see Bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes and a wide assortment of colors from our renowned wildflowers. For me, it is the time of year that I get to plant a new garden. I have delightful memories with my children planting our beds each year. Last weekend, we went to Lowes and purchased plants with which to landscape. They were each allowed to chose a flower to plant in our garden. So, this year, we will have a bundle of purples to view. One of my sons spent his own money to purchase a hydrangea. I told him that it's my favorite flower for a wedding because it is created in such a way that it already has the same appearance as a bridal bouquet. It seems as though the Lord designed hydragneas for a bride's floral arrangements. They are so beautiful! Of course, they are not even remotely the only popular flower you will find at a wedding these days. The classic, roses, are as popular today as they were many moons ago. Gerbera Daisies are another crowd pleaser as well as orchids and tulips. If you are a person that just read this post and has no idea what is the appearance of any of these blooms, then here's a tip: SEARCH until you can't look at another flower. Tear out pages from a magazine, print pictures off of the internet. Find as many bouquets, centerpieces and boutonniers as you like and take them to your florist. If you have picked the right florist, he/she will be able to help you sort through your pictures and tailor your choices to fit your tastes and preferences. He/she might also be able to assist you in saving money by offering alternative styles of flowers that are similar to those you chose but may be easier on your budget. Either way, you are guaranteed to have as your final choice the floral combination of your dreams. How do you find the right florist? Ask your wedding coordinator for recommendations! And in the meantime, enjoy the spring and the beautiful array of flowers on display. It's an amazing time of year!

Erin Joyner, Wedding coordinator, College Station, TX

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Choosing Your Wedding Cake

A few years ago, one of my clients' number one topic for her wedding was the cake. The cake was more important than the venue, photographer, music or flowers. She said she attended a friend's wedding and the cake was so delicious, that is what she remembered above everything else. She wanted her wedding to be remembered for the fabulous cake.
When I planned my wedding (over 13 years ago), wedding cake cost around $3.50 per slice and you didn't have many options. We had a small budget, and cake was not at the top of the list for items to spend our money. I was not a huge cake fan, but I had never before tasted excellent cake. So, we ordered a cake from Albertson's, which turned out delicious and beautiful. I never had another thought about it until I became a coordinator and tasted fresh, made from scratch, astounding cake. And believe me, even in this small town, there are some phenomenal bakers. Several create these confections for close the $2.00 per slice, and they are well worth their price in gold. Who are these bakers? You'll have to ask me to find out, but I guarantee, you won't be disappointed!
If I had to do it all over again, I still don't think I would put the cake as high of a priority as Ricci and Jason , but I would definitely hire one of my favorite ladies to produce my wedding cake. My only dilemma now would be which one I would choose! It makes my mouth water just imagining it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Setting the Date for your Wedding

Selecting the perfect date for your wedding can be quite a headache! There are so many aspects to consider. The most important one is knowing if the venue you most adore is available during the time you desire to speak your nuptials. After that, you can choose your other favorite vendors and hope for the best! One way to almost guarantee that you can pick your preferred choices is to have several weekends available on your end to choose from. It may prove easier to line everyone up if there are diverse options from which to choose.
A recently engaged friend told his fiancée that they could get married any weekend in March EXCEPT the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. This may make some brides cringe, but considering your intended husbands feelings on the matter is a great beginning for your future as husband and wife. Some other sport related affairs to consider are home football games. That may sound strange to some, but we live in Aggieland, and if you try to plan your big event on a home game weekend, you will not be able to book hotel rooms for your out of town guests.
In spite of the many available options that can seem overwhelming, it is certain that you will be able to nail down a date that will work for the most important people in your life. Be open to ideas and suggestions just in case that perfect weekend isn't available at the perfect venue with the perfect photographer. Keep your eyes on the prize, which in this case, is saying, "I do" to the love of your life.

Erin Joyner Wedding Planner Bryan/College Station

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another Cake Rescue Story

When I attend a wedding that I did not coordinate, I struggle. It is difficult to sit and enjoy the ceremony without viewing it from an experienced and somewhat critical eye. Last night was one of those situations. I was looking forward to attending a wedding as a date night with my husband. It was at the Antique Rose Emporium (such a beautiful venue located between College Station and Brenham), there was going to be dancing, food and of course, my favorite; cake!
The ceremony started late, but ran fairly smoothly. The couple took pictures afterward and guests moved to the dining area for punch, cheese, fruit and crackers. Photos took a while as they often do, but eventually the bride and groom joined us. The minister prayed for our meal, and the DJ announced that the bridal party would be first in line. The first error I noticed was that the bride and groom never got in line. They were busy greeting guests and hugging everyone as the couple of the evening always do. However, one of my top priorities as a coordinator at the reception is to make sure that my bride and groom have time to sit and eat so that they can enjoy the meal they carefully selected for their guests. I don't want a fainting bride or groom!
After a long dining time (too drawn out, in my opinion) they cut the cake and immediately engaged in toasts. The toasts were emotional, extensive and touching. However, being the wedding planner that I am, my eyes and focus were on the cakes, which were NOT being carved by anyone. Once the toasts concluded, the cake table was still not being attended to, so my husband and I politely asked the maid of honor if anyone was supposed to cut the cake. She stated that there was no plan for this and the bride's mom had forgotten the cutting set. I kicked myself for not bringing my wedding emergency kit which contains a cake cutting set. But I was SUPPOSED to be a guest, right? I just couldn't help myself. I went to the caterer, got a plastic knife and serving spoon and began to cut and serve the cakes. I've become quite proficient at it; there really is a technique and skill to this age old tradition!
The rest of the reception, my husband and I danced, ate cake (of course) and enjoyed ourselves. We assisted the clean up crew which consisted of the family and close friends. For our efforts? Free cake, cheese cubes and ham. I've got four kids to feed: I'll take it!

You can read the story about my first "cake save" here: The Day I saved the cake!

Erin Joyner Wedding Coordinator Bryan/College Station

Friday, March 18, 2011

Who Toasts Whom?

Modern weddings and receptions often throw tradition out the window.However, many of my brides want to know what is conventionally done at particular parts of their ceremony. With that in mind, traditional toasts are as follows:

1) Father of the Bride greets the guests (since he traditionally is paying for this great party) and offers a toast to his daughter and new son-in-law
2) The Best Man toasts the bride and groom
3) The groom welcomes guests and thanks them for coming thus signaling that the party has begun after the feast has been partaken.

Personally, I like toasts to happen right before the cutting of the cake. Champaign glasses are often near the cake, and the cake-cutting is a big deal, so offering toasts at that time draws the attention of your guests to the confection table. Once you are there, you can kill two birds with one stone so to speak and avoid disrupting the guests' conversations more than necessary. [I have been to receptions where the DJ was on the microphone too many times and interrupted our dinner conversation.] So, I think the flow of toasting first, then cutting the cake is ideal to help your reception run smoothly.

So, what do I think of toasts which follow custom? Honestly, I desire to bring to fruition whatever the bride and groom want at their reception. So, if they want Dad, Best Man, Maid of Honor, brother, sister, etc. all to toast, then I think that's excellent. However, I will say, that too many toasts and opening up the microphone to any guest who wants to make a toast can lead to some awkward moments and long winded well wishes. In my opinion, it's better to stick with the traditional, possibly adding the Maid of Honor to the list and then move on to the cake. I prefer open-mic toasts and well wishes at a rehearsal dinner so that close friends and family of the Bride and Groom can feel free to speak from the heart and share old stories. It's simply a more intimate setting designed for speaking kind words to the guests of honor.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Outdoor Wedding near a Pond???

You'll want to watch this video if you are considering a ceremony which takes place near water...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Life's Firsts

This post contains nothing about weddings. However, today, I experienced two firsts in my life. Premier number one: I began training for a Sprint Triathlon. I will be racing with three other girl friends and we are shooting for a race in the latter part of the summer. I am extremely excited and nervous at the same time. Today's preparation included a mile of running and also, well, walking. We completed a mile, though, which means we have two more miles until we have completed the run part of the tri. My second first: my cell phone was stolen. I struggle with feeling guilty about that aspect. How crazy is that? Someone invaded my personal belongings, and I feel partly to blame. Regardless of how I feel about it, it IS the first time I've knowingly had something stolen from me, and the first time I have started something as monumental as training for a triathlon, so I thought they were worthy blog topics. Amazingly, I just didn't have time to think about weddings today.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

TOMS has Wedding Shoes!

The TOMS shoe idea is incredible. Buy a pair of shoes from them, and they will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. Of course, it's a marketing ploy, but I'm a big fan of Capitalism and this is the free market at it's best! So, I want to put a plug in for TOMS. They have a Wedding Collection. I've not bought a pair of TOMS yet, but everyone I know who owns them says they are extremely comfortable. So, why not take the money you would use to purchase a pair of uncomfortable high heeled shoes from a department store and buy some TOMS, which you really could wear later, and help a child in need receive a free pair of shoes? The line includes shoes for brides, bridesmaids, grooms, groomsmen and kids. You could just have a TOMS shoes themed wedding. That way, everyone's feet are adorned in adorable footwear, which don't hurt at the end of the night, and a child somewhere in the world won't have to walk incredible distances without adequate protection for their feet. Here's a link to their site:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Unique Wedding Reception Desserts

Spring Break is here, which means one of my favorite places, JJ's Snowcones, will be opening soon! So, why do I mention this in my wedding blog? One new trend I've noticed with my brides is the aspiration to have something unique in the way of desserts at their reception. Most brides desire a traditional wedding cake, but still want to have something for which their guests can clearly remember. Some examples: candy buffets, cheesecake, ice cream sundaes, chocolate fountains. My mouth is watering just thinking about all the options!
The owner of JJ's are personal friends of mine, and they recently purchased a new ice machine. The purpose of this acquisition was to take JJ's from the small hut on Villa Maria to anywhere in the city. Soon after this investment, they were hired to serve their snowcones at a wedding reception. Snowcones at your wedding reception; now THAT'S an anomalous idea! If you've never experienced the delectable, heavenly flavored ice at JJ's, give me a call. I'll set you up with some free cones and a sweet experience that will leave your taste buds screaming for more. As for your wedding guests; if you treat them to this savory indulgence, they'll fondly recall your reception as the day they were introduced to pure, dessert bliss.

Erin Joyner, Wedding Coordinator, Bryan/College Station, TX

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rumor has it...

The rumors are flying surrounding the wedding dress designer of Kate Middleton, the future Queen of England. Who has been selected for this treasured honor? We don't know for sure, but sources are saying that Alexander McQueen has been given the nod. McQueen is well know for using bold, intense color and feathers.

One of his better known designs was worn by First Lady, Michelle Obama at a recent state dinner. Feathers and color wouldn't be fitting for the Royal Wedding, but one fact is certain... Kate will look amazing in whatever model she chooses.

Erin Joyner, Wedding Planner, Bryan/College Station, TX

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Comments on the Beta Centerpieces

Some of my friends commented about this post on facebook, so I wanted to share their comments with you in case you are thinking about using Beta Fish or other types of fish as part of your decor...

From Christy: "My friend Lori did those years ago and I had my beta (Lola) for years! It was great! Highly recommend!"

From Sarah: "My friends Lara and Topher did it at their wedding 3 1/2 years ago. It looked so great! They had an aquarium together while they were dating and still have it, so it was really meaningful. The cake was decorated like a coral reef, too!"

Erin Joyner, Wedding Planner, Bryan/College Station, TX

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Royal Wedding

I have enjoyed following the details of this event simply because I love weddings and I'm curious about how the rich and famous will celebrate their special days. In researching the particulars of William and Kate's wedding, I came across this website which does such a great job analyzing it, I thought I'd just reference it. weddings
I wonder if they'll need a fabulous and professional wedding coordinator from Texas to help with this amazing affair. I think I could find the time and resources to fly over to England. I've handled numerous mothers of the bride and groom. The Queen of England should be no problem :)!

Erin Joyner, Wedding Planner, Bryan/College Station, TX

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Something seems a little fishy....

Recently, my 8 year old purchased a 29 gallon fish tank and we began the journey of becoming fish owners. If any of you has ever owned a fish tank, you know that the tank has to go through a cycle to get the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates balanced so that fish can thrive. In order to do this, you are counseled to begin your tank with certain types of fish which are sturdier than others and are better able to handle the increase in ammonia that inevitably happens in the beginning. So, we began with one Molly and one Platy which have survived and thrived. One of them had babies, and six of those has survived. Because of the success from these 8 fish, we felt that we were ready to add more fish. So, we bought a guppy (who can kill a guppy?) and three neon tetras. The guppy died in a day, so we replaced him with another who also died quickly. We had our water tested: too much ammonia. Yesterday, we were changing some of the water in order to help with the water stabilization process (we have lost 2 guppies and 2 neon tetras), and I was reminded of a wedding in which I attended a couple of years ago. Our friends had discussed some of the details of their wedding with me to glean from my expertise. The bride, Amy, told me about her centerpiece idea, using male Beta fish, and I thought it sounded fun and unique. The thought was that guests could take the fish home afterward and then they would have a party favor as well. A unique idea it turned out to be indeed... They had done a fabulous job decorating and the centerpieces were lovely. When we got to the reception, our kids were extremely excited about the fish in the middle of the table. However, upon further examination, we realized our fish was dead. Oops! We decided to just stay quiet about it so that our friends wouldn't be upset. Well, as the night went on, we started hearing other people state that the fish at their table was dead. An hour into the celebration, we realized ALL of the beautiful betas had kicked the bucket. We talked to our friends about it afterwards and all had a good laugh over it. Apparently, they didn't realize that you have to stabilize the temperature of the water when putting the fish into new water, so all the fish were basically shocked to death. It's a funny story now, but also a good lesson to learn when planning your wedding. Make sure you do your research before choosing a unique decoration or any other idea you plan to implement in your wedding!

Erin Joyner, Wedding coordinator, Bryan/College Station

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wardrobe Malfunction

If you and your future husband are planning to do a choreographed dance routine for your first dance together, you might want to practice in your dress to avoid a possible wardrobe malfunction like this bride experienced...

Erin Joyner, Wedding Coordinator, Bryan/College Station