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

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