Thursday, March 2, 2017

Abracadabra...turning unique spaces into venue

the before....

Would you think an oil covered floor of a garage filled with tools, tires, boats and motorcycles would be an ideal placed to host a wedding reception? I love a challenge, and this was one I couldn’t wait to be a part of!  Note, this type of transformation takes a healthy budget.  Remember an event like this like a destination event, you are bringing in everything: walls, lighting, restrooms, dance floor, tables, chairs, linens and all of the vendors to pull it off.  You should have a full-service planner or a partial planner working on the logistics of this scale of an event. 

With a little magic...

We first met at the venue to talk about all of the possibilities, needs and wants.  We created a floorplan to assist vendors understand the vision.  We booked rentals and lighting to create the space and the décor just took it to another level. 

Getting married in their church was very important to their day and hosting the reception in their “shop” was very personal to them.  Being able to create this magic for a couple that is close to our family was a huge personal goal of mine…while we treat each of our couples like’s a little harder with our dads work together.  I know every detail has to be phenomenal and amazing.  The closer home to us the more pressure we put on our day… and I can say this one went pretty smooth!  It was a blessing to be a part of this amazing magical transformation.  They were so much fun to work with and the day of...was like a family reunion for us all day! 

They really knew how to give it all to us and have fun~


Hawfields Church-ceremony

Billy Ezzell- DJ

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Taking Care of the What If's

We met this sweet bride from doing one of her dear friend’s wedding so she had seen us in action and knew that her day couldn’t be complete without our team creating that full guest experience for her friends and family.  We were rocking out the planning…everything seemed to be going pretty smooth.  She booked her dream location, our services way in advance, got a great recommendation for catering who would do the cake too, locked down her favorite band, had an all-star décor and lighting team and phenomenal memory team to take photos and create a mini-movie from the day’s memories.  You would take this as a fairytale right… while it was and will end as one…the in-between is a little less magical no couple should experience.

Over 6 months had passed in the planning process and we were set up for success until we received a call no client/vendor wants to get…”we apologize to inform you that we accidently double booked your wedding date at our venue and you are the second contract which makes it a voided contract.”  The venue did everything it could on its behalf by offering an almost free date on any other date available, add extra hours to rental if date available for their mistake (that has never happened prior)…but it was a learning moment and they had to refund all of their money.  Luckily we found another beautiful garden bed and breakfast that just happen to have a tent out back for events.  

We quickly changed gears a little bit changing our logistical planning because our new venue only came with that one tent.  We would need more tents and all of the tables and chairs.  Once the new layout was established we created a lighting design of the tents.  Looking back, I wish I would have toured the venue at night because lack of lighting to park made for some trouble at the very beginning but luckily our lighting team stayed onsite all night and lit up the paths making it safe for all guests.  Then came the most fun: floral design.  With this new venue the options were endless in what we could do.  Since the gardens are so lush we only had to add accent florals for the guest tables with a little bit of accents throughout the venue. 

I typically joke that I should wear a cape and hold a magic wand…this wedding required both.  It was our first time working this venue so we already had our guard up and brought a team of four KYAE staff members and six students throughout the day.  Little did we know the 90+ heat on a mid-September day, along with the issues with the venue would lead to the day that unfolded among us.

Here are a few high lights:

·         Our team quickly went into action setting up tables & chairs from a rental company we had never used before (required by venue) and unlabeled linens from the catering & a mix from the rental company that we had never used before. Remember free linens are not always the best linens (some of these had burn holes in them). A few hours later we were ready for an event… we pulled off a huge logistical set up without carts to carry equipment from one side of the large yard to the other and brought a team of incredible vendors together to create a magical day.
·   In 15 years the catering company had never had a cake fall…but between that 90+ humid temperatures under the tent, the fillings of the cake and the travel all lead up to a cake quickly leaning during the ceremony.  The Baker and myself jumped into action saving the top two layers to give them a beautiful smaller cake to cut later.  We removed the larger layers and set them in the back until it was time to serve cake (we saved enough that everyone got cake!)


(photos from the videographer we brought in that day)
·         As dinner was being set out, one of the catering staff tripped and fell over the
uneven ground and had to be taken home which made us short staffed from the catering side.  However, because we had packed a full team with us that day, we jumped in bartending while the bartender moved from cocktail area, getting beverages for tables and clearing plates.  We believe team work makes the dream work!

·         As the night went on, we noticed a group of family members in the bathroom upstairs to quickly find out the mother of the bride had an allegoric reaction to something and quote “would have rather hide in here all night than have everyone make a fuss and take the attention off of her daughter.”  This mother was willing to do whatever it took to make sure her daughter’s day was the best day ever.  Her hands swelling went down after missing at least an hour of the reception and she is 100% fine, she still is clueless as to what the reaction came from.

·         As we were wrapping up the night, our staff was going over the exit procedures and a car comes out of nowhere missing a reception table by a foot landing in the woods by at least 2 feet.  Remember we are completely in the backyard of this venue which has lush gardens surrounding it.  The guest was not drunk and had gotten turned around when leaving…accidently hitting the gas instead of the break while trying to come and pick up a guest closer to the reception area.  Our staff assisted with their exit.

Now if you see the photos or spoke to the family or friends…you would have never known that any of the above happened and that is just another reason to have a partial or full-service planner to assist in the planning of your wedding.  We were able to step in and assist as quickly as possible to create one of the most magical days in their lives.  Although our story sounds as though everything that could go wrong did…we know every event something will go wrong…it’s how we react that shows the professional level of services.  Plus, because we were proactive in several other situations made for a much smoother day. 

We can’t wait to see this family at future events!  And we look forward to working with all of the vendors again, this time we know how to better prepare ourselves when working with this team and at this venue.  Many thanks to all of the staff who assisted and volunteered to make this day magical.  This only proves you can never have enough staff for an event.  Never question your vendors when they say how many staff members they need to provide the quality of service you're expecting.  Just remember... WHAT IF?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

1st Birthday Wishes

While we absolutely adore doing weddings and corporate events…last year we had sooooo much fun assisting in the one of the biggest milestones in any family’s life… the first birthday!  We met Ashley through our membership with the Alamance Chamber at a breakfast before hours meeting.  We quickly begin searching locations that wouldn’t break the bank because we know their house would host the number of guests attending. 

After securing the Coleman Barn for the festivities we started looking into catering companies, entertainment and of course decorations.  Creating a “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” themed birthday parties for Natalie was a personal highlight of my summer.  Seeing this bundle of joy (super happy baby) attend our monthly planning meetings brightened my day.  We got to watch her grow up throughout her first year.

Traditionally the first birthday party is really for the parents who survive saying “we
did it… we made it through the first year and she survived….lol” wasn’t really the case for this little angel.  But that didn’t mean the parents didn’t celebrate.  We had a fabulous catered meal by Dickie Do’s and an open bar to cheers to all of the great memories thus far.  They shared stories, laughed, opened gifts and spent time with out of town family.

One of the memories that stood out to us that day…was when her dad carried down the walkway to go and look at the water that we’ve sent several brides down on their wedding day…I paused and said “wouldn’t it be amazing if this place was still open and we can hold her wedding here in 30 years when they let her start dating….”


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Letters Creating Memories

We’ve had some really great inspirations when it comes to “themes” for weddings.  Our September 10th couple loved playing board games and Scrabble happen to be their favorite.  So why not have that as a theme for a wedding.  This bride’s eye for detail and clever ways to incorporate the Scrabble idea amazed us!  Sometimes with “themes” it can get cheesy super-fast in a blink of an eye so being creative has to come with limitations. 

Some of our personal favorites were the small tiles in the boutonnieres, larger letters used for table numbers for escort cards, customized cupcake holders in the shape of the letter holders from the game, mini game boards showing food buffet items and tiles spelling our bar menu and dessert flavors.  Here’s a few photos of these little details that made a huge impact…


However, our very favorite highlight of the day and night were the creative gifts our couple presented to us…including scrabble cheese-its, our favorite snacks and a traveling scrabble game…our staff had a blast playing with it once we returned to the office that night!


Special Thanks to our Creative Partners:

Western Steakhouse

Centerpieces- Flowers by Gary

Wedding Party Flowers- With Love and Petals (Etsy Shop)

Linens & China- Alamance Party Rentals

Officiant- Personal Weddings

Video, Lanterns, & Fabric Draping- Dream Builder Productions

Photo Booth-Flashbacks by Red

Invites- Tidbit Designs (on Etsy)

Make-up- Clinique @ Dillards in Triangle Town Center

Hair- Dolce Vita Salon LLC

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cops & Doughnuts

We love a good themed wedding… and we were honored when one of our best friend’s little sisters requested our assistance in taking over the stress of planning a wedding.  See a little over a year ago we were decorating and setting up for my BBF’s baby shower.  I knew her little sister was getting married the following year and just happened to extend our services to the family.  She politely declined saying they had it handled and that they were going to DIY everything to save money….as the months passed by I ran into them from time to time at other family get togethers, never hearing anything further. 

Then out of the blue, I received a message via Facebook asking if we could still help
and that all of the DIY plans were falling apart and/or becoming more stressful than ever anticipating.  During the first meeting I learned that the communication with their original DJ had been sparse and very unprofessional.  We quickly created a list of professional vendors to jump in and take over the décor, design, and entertainment. 

The details of this wedding is what made it so memorable to us.   The groom is a cop for our community and our bride wanted to have a little fun plus make sure he had several areas that reflected his personality too.  So although they had a small cake to cut for photos, the real treat was the tower of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.  They were a huge hit!  Our bride was reflected in several aspects from all of the smaller DIY projects her and her mom completed to the soft pale pink roses and baby’s breath.  This wedding truly showcased their personalities. 

During the planning we had long talks about past weddings amongst the family and that most ended early due to no dancing or alcohol.  I told her many times, it all depends on the day, the mood, the right recipe of vendors and guests as to how the day will progress.  At one point we even had the grandparents dancing, who didn’t even dance at their wedding reception.  There were so many opportunities for the photographer to capture memories I think we honestly could have gone another hour or two with this crowd…and that’s without any alcohol! 

This group is why we do what we do.  We were able to handle all of the behind the scenes so that the family could be guests.  And waking up to reviews and text messages letting us know what we had done for them really speaks volumes why you should choose a partial planner over a day of coordinator every time!  Or else you could be “handcuffed” to your planning every second of every day prior to getting married. 

Vendors aka "magic makers":
City BBQ
Treasures by Theresa
                                                  Platinum Salon
                                                  Pastor Robbie Owens

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Knot Your Average Events... Finding My Passion


In Fall 2015, I transferred to The University Of North Carolina Greensboro from North Carolina Central University still in search for a career path I wanted to pursue. I became a student of the Community Recreation and Event Planning program unsure of my commitment to this department until I was enrolled in a class that gave me a vision of my career. I was enrolled and quickly engaged in Jennifer Ball’s (Event Planning/Event Management CTR 423) course. In this course I found that helping others plan and coordinate special events was my niche. I once was told “Build your own dreams, then someone else will hire you to build theirs.” Discovering what ignites my passion instantly drives me to find a way to share it with others.

Photo by: Kayla Jean Photography

As I begin my last semester at The University Of North Carolina Greensboro. I have been awarded the opportunity to Intern for Jennifer Ball and her (Knot Your Average Events) company. I look to use this professional guidance to learn the day by day steps it takes in becoming a successful event planner.

 Student Learning Outcomes
By the end of the Internship, I will be able to:

 ● Plan/Design a Special Event
● Implement a Special Event
● Conduct a Program or Special Event with Limited Budget
● Manage KYAE Website
● Promote KYAE and Special Events
● Communicate Professionally with Vendors and Agencies
● Manage Staff and Lead to Event Setup ● Provide Quality Customer Service to Participants of KYAE 
To Be Continued:

 ~Riddim Hackett (KYAE  Intern)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Trends Heading Our Way

We had so much fun attending the WeddingMBA in Vegas this fall.  If you already follow us on social media you received several sneak peeks at what’s heading our way.  The craziest part is everything we learn last week truly won’t hit NC for another few years.  So if you want to be a trend-setter keep reading…

The color green is going to be HUGE!!! This includes lush greenery in your floral, centerpieces, ceremony décor, and wedding party flowers.  Linens will showcase this color and add pops of accents throughout your event space.

BOLD colors will be the other options…think 80’s without the neon tints.  Fun patterns and textures will be embraced more than ever before. 


Flower walls as backdrops to ceremony alters, escort card displays, photo booth areas, cake tables and even your sweetheart space makes for a great spot to add this amazing show piece to bring in your event colors.

Floral crowns will embrace not only bride’s heads but their entire wedding party including the cute flower girls and even moms.  How amazing would it be to have your florist stay onsite and create floral crowns for guests as a party favor.  The experience alone will have your guests talking for years to come…

Gold isn’t going anywhere…if anything it’s going to take over!  The more sparkly the better!  (super excited about this!)

Customized bars and drink stations are going to be a great way to add design elements and your personality to your party.  Bars are going to be moving away from the plain boring 2 8-foot banquet tables and black linens.  We’ve got several local builders that will custom make a bar for your event and rental companies that supply fun bars your guests will talk about way after the dance party has ended.

Speaking of bars….create a lounge vibe for your event.  Guests leave events because they are bored.  Create areas for them to people watch, engage with the action by just sitting on a couch by the dance floor, or satellite areas they can sneak off for conversation with family they haven’t seen in a while.

Seating is another huge game changer! This is one area I think I’m most excited about because I’ve been trying to talk couples into out of the box seating further than a 5-round table with 6-10 guests.  Mix up you tables by having some tables be smaller and intimate with 4-6 seats and then have others be family tables with larger groupings.  Think of different types/styles of tables.  Ask if your venue has larger rounds,  different size of banquet tables, serpentine tables.   We’re currently looking to showcase these ideas during our next few designing meetings with upcoming events.

Menus are another area you can put a spin on your event by adding creativity.  If your budget allows do more than just chicken, a starch and vegetable.  Do action stations or even consider bringing in food trucks to showcase your favorite meal.

I know we are currently shifting to more of a design partial planning service for our clients.  Don’t worry we’ll still offer the other packages but we are ready to bring your wedding into the future.   Be a game changer…trust us!  Your guests will think you were a genius planning your event from all of the details and before this area’s time for the latest trends….

(Thanks to Pinterest for the photos)