Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ummmm, Hi.

Almost a year ago to the date was my last post on here!?  Unacceptable, Danica, unacceptable!  ((sigh))  I love to write, I always have. It amazes me that I can never keep up with a blog.  Not to mention a blog that encompasses wedding planning, one of the most fun things to talk about if you're me!  So, here I go again.  A post with no promise of when the next post will come.

It has been a busy summer with some insanely amazing weddings. A few weekends ago I had the privilege (that's right, the actual privilege!) of coordinating a truly rustic wedding for Britni.  If you've been following wedding trends for the past couple years, surely you have seen how rustic weddings have been all that and then some.  However, not everyone does them the "right" way.  Britni, though?  Britni nailed it.  I wish I had pictures, but sadly I was too busy running around to take any.  I am patiently waiting for some from the photographer and I promise to post some when I get them.  The wedding ceremony and reception were held at Trimborn Farms in Greenfield, Wisconsin.  Click the link to learn more about this unique venue's rich history and then imagine yourself planning a rustic wedding there.  Britni is crafty by nature and actually operates her own Etsy store too, but she truly took it to the next level with her decor without it being over done.  The tent was filled with a mixture of round and rectangular tables clothed in white linen and her own burlap table runners with natural wooden folding chairs.  Centerpieces were freshly cut slabs of tree trunks with wildflowers placed in wine bottles atop them.  Did I mention the wine bottles had personalized labels that doubled as the table numbers?  Oh yes, my friends, genius.  This couple also utilized some old windows and used them as a seating chart - each guest's name and table number were written on the glass.  The creativity just didn't end.  Burlap bunting hung in the barn, an old time menu board featured the evening's buffet items, and homemade pies were showcased on DIY wooden stands.  Oh, and did I mention that during cocktail hour there were also yard games scattered around to be played?  This bride and groom wanted to have fun and wanted their guests to feel relaxed on their special day.  Mission accomplished and hats off to them! 

Pictures coming soon.  I hope. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011


How is it already August? I am in pure denial of how quickly this season is flying by. Summer is always my busy time - between my "real job" being in the hospitality industry and continuing to coordinate weddings, it just always happens that June - September go so quickly that I'm left wondering HOW that happened!

I had decided that for 2011 I was not going to take on any weddings for May. Our calendars were already pretty full with other commitments so I took the plunge and regretfully turned away numerous brides for that month. But I think I managed to make up for it in June, July and August. Busy, busy, busy! So many neat weddings this summer too. I really do have a bunch of creative gals on my client list this year. In fact, one bride is such a creative and amazingly talented graphic designer, that I can't wait to connect with her and use her as a vendor. It's true - you just never know who you are going to meet doing this job. I love that part!

The summer has been full of a lot of variety. Outdoor weddings, cocktail hour cruises, backyard ceremonies, traditional and non-traditional elements, black and white classic elegance and over the top color! I really do like when it gets mixed up like this - it's so much more fun to see new things every weekend. I remember a few years ago when brown and pink were THE color scheme for weddings and I literally had SIX brown and pink weddings in a row. I never wanted to see another brown dress or pink sash for as long as I lived. :) However, now that I've had a break from it, I'd love to see it come back. Just once.

Three more weddings this month and then a slight break in September with only two. I took another break from weddings in October because I have so much going on. That will be a tough one, because October is one of my favorite wedding months. But I will be busy watching one of my best friends get married along with a whole slew of other fun things.

I will also be busy with planning two weddings for 2012 and I can't wait! Although I tell myself I never want to do full planning full time, I often times get so wrapped up into it that I think "well, maybe..." So, we'll see what the next year brings for these weddings. Both brides (and their moms!) are just such great people and very eager for someone else to take over the planning process.

I guess this has turned into the one post of the Summer. I'll see if I can get another one up before August is over. :) For now though, I am off to the races to button up details for an August 27 wedding. I see an afternoon and evening full of timeline creating, vendor confirming, and too many emails to count.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring is in the Air

No, the Wisconsin weather is certainly not forecasting Spring of any sort this year (it snowed yesterday!), but weddings are in full swing and my desk is swimming with folders of summer weddings that are coming up in just a few short months.

Today was that day that I can practically predict every year. A light bulb moment occurs that there are ONLY 60 days until the summer weddings officially begin and oh my gosh, I have so much to do, and oh my gosh, I haven't emailed my June brides yet, and oh my gosh, where is that July bride's folder and so forth. So, I took that annual walk into my office, sat down at my desk, looked at the mess, and promptly walked away. :) It will be there tomorrow too.

I did a wedding recently that may have been one of the boldest and brightest that I have ever done. I'm typically the wedding planner that loooooves subdued colors, black & white classic elegance, an array of tans/ecru/khaki with a punch of color and not usually the one that loves big bright colors that much. But...this bride did BRIGHT SO RIGHT! I have to upload pictures yet, but when I do you'll most likely agree that the only way to bring together mango, pink, golden/orange tones and an accent of charcoal is the way she did it. It screamed Spring which is what I liked about it, but it also was just so full of fun and had a "let's party" vibe to it.

I opted to not take on any weddings this May, which is unfortunate since it's such a great month to do weddings in. However, May has become a busy month now with very few weekends available to fill with weddings. Last year, I managed to still take on two weddings during May - I promptly came home from that last May wedding and marked my calendar as "busy" for May 2011. I'm good at balancing, but not that good.

Congrats to the Spring Brides!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's All in the Details

Event planners have a lot of pet peeves. A LOT. We're perfectionists to a certain degree so when we walk into a venue we are automatically "on" and evaluating everything. Even when it's not our event. So, when you are setting up your own event or helping out a friend or relative, keep in mind that you are bringing their vision to life and every little detail matters.

1. Table numbers should face the entrance of the room. If one is to the left of the centerpiece, then they all should be.

2. Favors should not just be thrown on a table in a heap. Take the time to arrange them nicely. Or if they are at each place setting, be sure they are all placed the same way.

3. Chair covers and ties only look nice when they are put on the right way, hugging the chair with no metal legs showing and with the ties all tied nicely. There is no room for sloppy in this area as often times these details *make* the room.

4. Escort Cards (place cards) - It's amazing how many people don't alphabetize these. Be sure the table that these are placed on is in an area that is suitable to the number of people that will be gathered around it looking for their name. There is nothing worse than a cramped place card table 10 minutes before dinner is supposed to start.

5. Lighting of candles. If a wedding is using a lot of the small votive candles, do not light them too early. These candles do not last very long and often times they are lit so early that they are extinguishing themselves just as salads are placed in front of guests. There went that vision!

6. Coat closet. It's something that everyone forgets about and while it's not typically a coordinator's job to oversee it, I always make sure that I take a peek in there during the winter months to ensure that there are enough hangers and no trip hazards. It is amazing how often a coat closet will have a couple dozen hangers for a group of 150. Notify someone at the venue and they'll be sure to thank you for bringing this to their attention!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A wedding photography giveaway

Vendors in the industry are always letting us wedding planners know about their latest & greatest things they have going on. This one is too good to pass up for all you bride-to-be's out there!

Andy Stenz Photography and Jamie M Swanson Photography, both Wisconsin photographers, have teamed up once again for their spirited annual contest. You can check out the details here to enter! I'd be tickled if a reader of my blog won it. Good luck!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What Makes a Great Wedding?

Someone asked me this question over the weekend and I must have really raised an eyebrow or something, because the person went on to say she really just wanted to have the BEST wedding possible and how do you go about getting it?

I'm honest with my clients. Probably a little too honest sometimes. Those former clients reading this are most likely nodding their heads up and down feverishly. :)

A great wedding is what YOU make it. It's not about how much money you spend, it's not about your location, it's not about having 400 of your "closest" friends in attendance. It's simply about designing your wedding to be a reflection of who both of you individually, and together as a couple, are.

Don't try to copy someone's dream wedding you witnessed. Take the pieces from it that you liked and make them your own.

I also always try to really dig deep with my clients - are we talking about the actual wedding or the reception? More often than not the wedding part of the day gets lost in all the planning. Why not put just as much effort into making that part of your day just as beautiful, just as meaningful, just as dreamy as the reception part? After all, it's the wedding ceremony part of your day that is the reason behind the big party anyway.

So, yes. When my clients drag out their five inch wedding binder that they've been putting together since high school, I gently close it and say "Let's talk about YOU before we even open up this book."

I'm excited right along with them, but I just want to try to draw out some other elements that may not have been considered yet.

So, what makes a great wedding? Every single thing that you, the couple, has put into it. It's as simple as that.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New website!

It's time to unveil the fresh new design of the Dreams & Designs website. Since there's no sound on this blog, go ahead and do your own drumroll...I'll wait. {{{{drumroll, please!!}}}}

I present you with . All of the same information you expect from Dreams & Designs, but with a new and improved look. It is tailored much better to my own personal self and what I believe the company represents. The old website was soooo 2005. :)

A huge thank you to Keara Harris Designs who put it together. I highly recommend their work - quick, efficient, works well through email and needs minimal direction. Which, when you're technologically and website challenged as I am, is so important.

Thank you all!