Friday, May 19, 2017

Raving about Rave

Hey! My name is Raven but call me Rave for short. I am originally from Charleston, South Carolina. I moved to Charlotte, NC, in 2006, and I currently reside in Greensboro, NC. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) brought me to the triad region where I have begun to develop an amazing network of friends and colleagues. This spring was my last semester of intense coursework in which I also gave birth to my baby girl Rhea. It was definitely a challenge finishing school and having my first child. But I am so proud of her and she is truly my testimony that proves I can do anything I put my heart into.

 I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work alongside Jenn and the entire KYAE staff. I believe the best way to elevate yourself in any field, profession, hobby, or personal goal is to learn from those before you. What better way than to gain from someone who is already successful in the exact thing it is that you want to do? I want to learn as much as my brain’s storage capacity can allow (LOL). Most importantly for me is learning how to adapt to various situations and a diversity of people. The technical part of event planning (booking vendors, design, schedules i.e.) can be mastered but customer service will always present a new challenge. I am excited about becoming culturally competent; becoming aware of different people and different interest. This is my hope for my future in event planning. Right now I am taking in all of the knowledge, gaining the experience and just keeping an open mind; so that one day I’ll have you RAVING about my events!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Unity Ceremonies

Knot Your Average Events... Uniting Love Forever

Unity ceremonies have been around in various ways for years. It all began with Unity Sand and Candle Ceremonies hundreds or even thousands of years ago. By use of Sand it’s a way for couples to display the joining of the flow of two lives into a single stream, or a meaningful ceremony that joins existing families into a single bond of love. The flowing sand and blending of the colors in the Unity Sand Ceremony symbolizes the bringing together of two lives into one. The two sands represent everything that the bride and groom have been or will become in the future. Candle lighting unity ceremonies give representation for a bride and groom as together you light this candle of unity. You symbolize the flame of your own individual selves joining to ignite the partnership of marriage. You also bring the warmth, strength and wisdom of your family’s fire as kindling for your own. As bride and groom, your flames are separate, yet they feed the same fire. These traditional ceremonies have been popular among couples symbolizing the public joining of love during wedding ceremonies.

Unity Ceremonies: not just sand and candles anymore

The great thing about a Unity ceremony is you can make it whatever you want it to be! It doesn't have to be traditional, or it can be traditional but with your own added spin. Make it something that’s personal and representative of you both and your relationship. To help spark your creatively-custom wedding ideas for unity ceremonies I've scoured the internet and included some of the unity ceremonies I've found to be unique and great ideas for a bride and grooms special day.
  • Ring Warming Ceremony
Photo Cred: Google
Include guests in the ceremony by having each person bless your bands.Send one ring down one side of the aisle and the other down the opposite, with every guest having a chance to hold the rings and bestow their blessings and positive thoughts toward the marriage.

Paint A Picture

Photo Cred: Google
Express your emotions during your union with a collaborative piece of art. This couple's officiant led them pair through a painting.

photo credit: Google

  • Blending White Wine and Red Wine
Photo Cred: Google

Mixing together two different wines symbolizes the importance of hard work and nurturement your new marriage will need, symbol to how good wine needs years of hard work before producing a finished bottle.

  • Sealing Away Love Box

Custom-design a treasure box to lock up on your wedding day. It can hold anything from special photos, to love letters or a couple bottles of wine that will be opened on a designated anniversary. Seal them in a special box that can be opened during a milestone anniversary.

Photo credit: Christian Shoffner

  • Tree Planting Ceremony

The bride and groom plant a tree together with dirt from each of their childhood homes. The parents can add water to symbolize their influence in the couple's lives. After the ceremony, the couple will plant the tree at their new home, symbolizing putting down roots, longevity and strength in their marriage.

(KYAE photo)

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Bitter Sweet Ending!

As my event planning internship ends, I wanted to extend a sincere thank you to Jennifer Ball and “Knot Your Average Events” for providing me with such a great experience this semester. It was exciting to be able to apply educational and developing lessons learned in real life action plans. I am grateful for the expertise Jennifer added in aiding my development as a future event planner in the recreation sector. This Spring internship has been the best experience for me as I conclude my undergraduate degree.

Working in the event planning industry has grown to be my personal interest and passion. With the help of Jennifer Ball both as a professor and mentor throughout this internship, I have learned positive and productive use of talent and education to creating a career path. One important piece of my internship that I have taken away and will carry in my future is the importance of networking. Networking is critical to your professional growth and development. Being connected with others who share your interests will keep you from becoming outdated and behind the times also collaborating to share ideas. During this semester I have had the pleasure to attend many networking and social events meeting other in my career field.

Although I previously worked as an employee for “Knot Your Average Events”. As I took on the internship role it opened doors for me to view the business side of the company from a different perspective of learning. Jennifer has demonstrated with many of hours in the office and prep work that loving what you do for a living makes the late nights worth it. As I assisted this semester dealing with a lot of weddings, I have learned so much of the behind the scenes legwork that goes unnoticed to the public eye. It is important to be a leader and very strong with communication to succeed in planning large events. Always be prepared for the unexpected and always have trust in yourself. I admire Jennifer as this semester shadowing her, I don't recall a time I have ever seen her down or out of character. Dealing with wedding planning and the stress of not one but multiple brides at once can become overwhelming. While some days were worse than other, Jennifer would always have solutions and always smile no matter the weight of a situation. In my eyes, this is what makes her a successful business owner.

With my undergraduate studies coming to an end. I will always remember Spring 2017 as an intern for “Knot Your Average Events” and the lessons learned to apply in my future career.

Again, Thank you Jennifer for a great semester!

-Riddim Hackett

Spring 2017 Intern

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Setting Your Ambiance

Knot Your Average Events...Importance Of Lighting
Lighting in an event determines how your guests see the room, and it improves and enhances the overall appearance of the ambiance. Have you ever walked into an event and didn’t catch the mood or tone of the event? If you answered yes, was it because the dull lighting or no lighting at all? I personally have been to many events with no or poor lighting. First impressions are what stick and set your mood for the event you’re entering.
Event lighting will set the tone for the event. It is one of the most important mediums to bring the atmosphere to life. Not just up lights and ceiling lights but by having special concepts of lighting can be used to transform any empty space into a visually appealing event space. Lighting is one area you shouldn’t overlook when planning. In fact, it’s one of the most important aspects when hosting an event!  Having a direct ambiance will create the WOW as guest enter your event. Having a healthy budget when it comes to lighting and fabric draping is worth all cost when hosting an event. You should use lighting to bring to life center pieces, buffets, floral arrangements, walls, stages, dance-floors, etc...

Photo by: Dreambuilder  Productions
Photo by: Dreambuilder  Productions

Photo by: Dreambuilder  Productions

Lighting can transform any empty space from an uninspired, lusterless room, into a magical place that was never there prior to lighting. When considering a lighting company for your event, it is important to make sure you or your event planner use a reliable and experienced company that has an eye of your event to make sure to help you reach each and every one of your goals for the event. You should always ask to see pictures of previous events they have worked on, comparing how they turned the emptiness into magic. Working with lighting companies to customize and tailor to your needs and the welcome of your guest will always be remembered in photos and the forever ambiance they remember from your event. 

~Riddim Hackett (KYAE Intern)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

wine and a hurrincane

We love working with the staff out at Autumn Creek Vineyards.  They really have become a second home for us and our couples.  We had the opportunity to start working with Kaitlyn and Janine pretty soon after they booked with Jodi and the Vineyard. 

During our first meeting we quickly discovered that Jodi was the only vendor they had booked and were going to need a little guidance in the planning portion.  We quickly created a budget and started researching for a great group of team players for their wedding day.  Once we had the team in place it was time to work on the details.  For us, this is our favorite part!

From the moment of their rehearsal started you could tell this was a couple that was surrounded by love and support.  We were so touched and honored to be a part of their special day and be welcomed into their family with open arms as if we had known them for years.

Unfortunately, all of hard planning went out the window with an unexpected guest RSVP’d the week prior to the wedding.  Hurricane Matthew had a direct path to NC and we knew our plans were forever going to change day to day.  We moved all of the beautiful design and ideas inside, created ways for them to possibly still get married outside on the wrap around porch and worked with flexible vendors to be prepared for anything the day might throw at us.  We were ready!

However, when it rains it pours but our team reacted like champs.  Even when the rented van was parked in a muddy area the night of the rehearsal and ended up getting stuck and not able to pick up guests back at the hotel, our team members took their personal vehicles to go and pick up friends and family stranded back at the hotel.  Once everyone was there…the party didn’t stop until closing time. 
The winds and rain moved the wedding from the porch to inside but if was as if it was always planned that way.  The wine flowed, the food was excellent and the entertainment had the dance floor rocking all night long.  Sometimes the best situations are created from obstacles that require us to think quick on our feet, showcase our team proactive and reactive plans and allow us to appreciate that we are all there for one reason…to watch two beautiful people say I do and to celebrate their love.  Everything else falls out of focus when you only have the couple to focus on. 

Creative Magic Makers:

DIY for Décor & Homemade Salsa party favors

love through the eye of a hurricane

I think it’s pretty safe to say everyone remembers where they were the weekend of October 8, 2016.  Our weekend started several days out as we were attending Wedding conference in Vegas while keeping up what was going on with the weather back in NC.  We begin prepping our couples (yes we had two weddings that weekend).  Every morning for a couple hours prior to attending that day’s conference sessions we would spend time checking weather reports, check in with our couples and touch base with vendors making sure everyone understood our game plan.  Still completely unsure what Hurricane Matthew was going to do we planned for the worst, hoped for the best and expected the unexpected.

Our first couple had hired us after they had booked majority of their vendors but still looking for guidance in planning, a few additional vendors and truly handling the closer to the BIG day details.  Our couple was incredible to work with.  She had phenomenal questions, she was great to finish “homework” projects and showed up on wedding day with everything labeled and ready to go.  We were ready for our one wedding crasher called Hurricane Matthew.  The father of the bride was so much calmer by lighting the mood during the rehearsal saying… “my name is Matthew, but I’m a lot calmer and much more fun than that one off our shore right now.”  Everyone laughed and at that moment I think everyone focused on what was important not that it was raining a monsoon and we were in a fully outdoor venue with a tent. 

The day of the wedding arrived just as planned and all of the vendors came together to create one of the most intimate and beautiful ceremonies.  The guests were so understanding and flexible.  We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people (vendors and guests) to handle all of the circumstances that we overcame.  The venue staff went above and beyond working on pumps on the patio to try and keep the water flow to a minimum.  As things came up we as a team created magic.  They say it takes a village to raise a family, well it takes a team to pull
off a hurricane wedding.  Moments like this wedding is the number one reason I can’t stress enough to couples why it’s important to hire professional vendors and a professional coordinating team.  Our couple didn’t worry about a thing!  They enjoyed getting pampered all day, created amazing memories during pictures and the family enjoyed each other’s company all while the production teams created magic behind the scenes. 

The florist created a beautiful backdrop for their ceremony, the catering team worked fast to make sure everything was in place before the first guest arrived and the entertainment quickly provided music in the background to lighten the mood during set up.  Our KYAE team assisted in the venue prep, helped vendors load in the rain, assisted with set up, all while making sure the family didn’t need anything.  Here are a few amazing photos from this beautiful couple not letting anyone rain on their day…


The Magic Makers:

Hair I Do (hair & Make-up)

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