Valentine’s Day ~ Up Your Game <3

So today is Valentine’s Day…whether you will be celebrating alone or with a special someone we put together some fun ideas to up your game  that we think you will love

Herb, flower and fruit enhanced ice cubes – can make any drink super pretty.

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Beautiful ice cubes – so sexy and fun!

 

Perfect for the little kids in your life, these thumb print heart mason jars are sure to put a smile on your Valentine’s face….and so easy to make.

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Show the love with these Thumbprint Mason Jars

 

Celebrating with a group?  Why not have a mimosa bar?  This is super easy and a great way to Up Your Game. Super easy what you’ll need:

Champagne, Variety of juices, Fruit, Glasses and Jars/Carafes

And don’t forget some cute decor….like this one from TomKatStudio.com

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If baking is your thing, try these amazing Red Velvet Brownies, pretty, festive and yummy from AverieCooks.com

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Another kid-friendly idea from b-inspiredmama.com Heart-Shaped Pizza!  We love this idea, many of us have kids and with Valentine’s Day falling in the middle of the week it’s hard to get out and celebrate.  So your kids (and you) will love this simple and easy dinner.

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Celebrating your last Valentine’s Day as an engaged couple? Love coffee?  These mugs are perfect!  From Etsy.

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Whether you are celebrating alone, with your kids, with your significant other or however you celebrate we want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day.  We hope that everyone gets some yummy chocolate, coffee or whatever your little heart desires.

Until next time

Heidi, Meg, Grace, and Dee Dee

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Wedding Planning is it for you?

So you just finished planning your wedding, you are coming off that huge high!  Everything was so pretty and perfect.  Down to the most intricate detail, everyone raved about the food, the decor and your beautiful DRESS!!  You did all of your centerpieces by yourself, you are so talented (well Aunt Bettie said so)!  Your mom agrees, she tells everyone that day that you should be an event planner you’ve already planned one wedding  – YOURS….so you know what to do, right?

wedding-forward

WRONG

So yes, you’ve planned one wedding, yours and that’s great.  Kudos!  Great job!  It takes approximately 250 hours to plan a wedding. That’s a lot of work. All of your evening and weekends are gone.  Being a wedding planner means you don’t have a 9-5 schedule.  Your schedule needs to be flexible, because your clients, most likely are working 9-5 so you will be meeting with them after hours. Plus 95% of weddings happen on the weekends.

Working on the wedding day is HARD work. Spending 10-15 hours on your feet and being mentally “on” is exhausting no matter how good of shape you are in. And it gets harder the older you get.

THE WEDDING HANGOVER – how you feel the day after a wedding. It’s like you ran a race then went out drinking all night. In reality, you are dehydrated, sore, and tired from working a wedding.

Working with clients means making THEIR dream and vision come true. This can be a challenge for some event planners who want to keep recreating their own wedding or imposing their vision on clients. You will end up planning a wedding that doesn’t fit your style or taste and you have to be okay with that.

It is NOT GLAMOUROUS.  I’ve been on my hands and knees, sweating. I sometimes have to count the napkins and linens before they go back to the rental company. One wedding a guest had a little too much to drink and threw up all over the most gorgeous silk table linen.  We had to wash them out into the sink…the stench, alone was enough to make us want to puke! Talk about gross!  And do you know how many port-o-potties we’ve had to unclog….way too many.

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You wear a lot of hats!  Therapist, bouncer, friend, tough guy, parent, an artist, mediator etc.  With so many family dynamics you will have to be on your toes, always!  But remember who your client is, the couple. You have to be tough, thorough, organized and so many more traits. A wedding planned needs to be adaptable and often wear several hats at a time.

It is very different from planning your own wedding and moving to making it a career. Not every wedding is the same and it will become your job to personalize the event for your clients. This requires a lot of research and education. Taking some business management and marketing courses. Also hospitality courses will prove to be very valuable. In addition to understanding the details of planning the actual wedding, the many elements of starting and running your own business also require consideration. Aside from having the correct licenses and insurance, you’ll also need to market your business, determine pricing, invoice and bill clients, attend networking events, balance your books, advertise, hire staff and much, much more.

Regardless of whether you decide a career in wedding planning is for you, reach out to area wedding planners like Always and Forever to learn more about our internship and training programs.  Remember everyone has to start somewhere, even we did!

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Until next time,

Heidi, Meg, Grace & Dee Dee

 

Images: Wedding ForwardEtsyEtsyHi Miss Puff

Donut Worry, Be Happy!

Calling all donut lovers!!

Chocolate, Vanilla, Funfetti, whatever your pleasure we’ve got them! Well your wedding could have them!! The latest and greatest craze which we can’t get enough of, Donut Walls!! This just brings the desert bar idea to a whole new level!! Take a look please at a few of our favorite ways to do up your donut wall!

Donuts on Shelves!

Donut Wall Shelves
Photo by Troy Grover via The Knot 

Treat yourself with some of these!!

Treat yourself
Via The Bored Panda

This just melts our hearts!

Wedding donuts
Via The Bored Panda

Donuts for Days!

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Via The Bored Panda

We just can’t get enough of these new treats! There are endless ways to bring that extra little bit of sweet into your special day! Keep it unique. Keep it you. Keep it fun! Enjoy every  second of the planning process! As always we are here to help and help you make your wedding day a day never to forget!

Until next time,

Heidi, Meg, Taylor & Grace

 

Top Tips for a Backyard Wedding!

When it comes to getting married in your  backyard, do you want romance, do you want laid back, do you want comfortable, but just aren’t sure where to start?? Look no further than these great ideas for a beautiful relaxed backdrop for your special day!

Use what you’ve got! Say “I Do” beneath a beautiful big tree!

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Photo: Pie Shoppe Photography
Use a window pane for an alternative seating chart!

Window Pane
Photo: Flavio D Photography

Loving how this bright colorful backdrop sets a fun tone for the wedding!!

Streamers
Photo: Joe and Marianne of Marianne Wilson Photography
Mason jars can be used for a ton of things to keep things simple and sweet!

Flower Vases
Photo: Katie Kaizer Photography
Keep your guests warm with some cozy blankets!!

Blankets
Photo: Michelle March
DIY a wood pallet for your menu!

Bbq
Photo: Josh Snyder Photography
Guest book? Why not Jenga?!

Jenga
Photo: Josh Snyder Photography
Share a sweet treat as a favor to remember the night!

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Photo: Vitalic Photo
Do these ideas look great to you? Have some ideas of your own for a backyard wedding? Whatever your wedding needs may be we are always here to help! We would love to be a part of your special day!

Til next time!

Your Team at A&F

Heidi, Dee dee, & Meg

Pictures also found at HuffPostWeddings

 

Beautifully Boho!

I just flipped when I found out that Free People has released a beautiful new line of wedding gowns, beautifully boho! Wow these dresses are unreal, full of unique details, romantic styles, and right on trend! These dresses can be the perfect addition to your backyard, garden, or rustic wedding! Take a peek below to see some favorites!!

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The lace back and bell sleeves make this dress!
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Separates? Yes please!!

All dresses found at the FP Ever After City Bride Collection from Free People. Photos used from GreenWeddingShoes.com

These dresses also make us want to jump into this beautiful rustic wedding that has also given us Boho fever! Check out some of the photos below! Via GreenWeddingShoes.com

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Do you love these looks as much as we do? Let us make it happen for you! Will you be a boho bride? Let us know what you think!

As always we are here to help!

Your team at A&F

Heidi, Dee Dee, & Meg

Thirst Quenching!

Want a little extra special touch to add to your wedding? Why not come up with your own signature cocktail or cocktails for your wedding? Maybe you have given this some thought or maybe you have no ideas, and have need some help deciding! Take a look at some of our favorite drinks of the season!

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Via Etsy

First Up…Blackberry Thyme Champagne Cocktail                                                                Ingredients                                                                                                                                                                For the Blackberry Syrup                                                                                                                                                               1/3 cup blackberries, plus 8 more for garnish                                                                                          1/3 cup water                                                                                                                                                    1/3 cup sugar

For the Cocktail                                                                                                                                                      1 Bottle Prosecco or champagne

For the Garnish                                                                                                                                                   4 sprigs of thyme

Instructions                                                                                                                                                         In a small saucepan, bring the blackberries, water, and sugar to a boil. Turn to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain blackberries and let syrup cool.

Add 2 tbsp of syrup to the bottom of each glass. Top with champagne and add in a spring of thyme and 2 blackberries!

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Lark and Linen via Style Me Pretty

Next Up…Pear Ginger Fizz Cocktail

Ingredients                                                                                                                                                          4 oz Pear Juice                                                                                                                                                        6 oz Vodka                                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup sugar                                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup water                                                                                                                                                      7 oz Ginger Ale                                                                                                                                                   Fresh Rosemary

Instructions                                                                                                                                                        In a small saucepan, mix the water with the sugar. Smash the leaves of 1-2 rosemary stems and sprinkle in the pan. Bring to a boil, cook until the sugar is fully dissolved in the water. Remove from the heat and strain out the rosemary leaves, set aside your rosemary-infused simple syrup.

Mix the pear juice, 4 oz of the simple syrup, and vodka in a pitcher. Add in the Ginger Ale and pour into cocktail glasses. Garnish with a stem of rosemary.

 

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Photography: White Loft Studio Via Style Me Pretty

Why not a Blueberry Moscow Mule?

Ingredients                                                                                                                                                                   Blueberry Syrup (Prepare in advance)                                                                                                         1 1/2 cups of blueberries                                                                                                                                   1/2 cup of sugar                                                                                                                                                              1 1/2 cup of water                                                                                                                                                            Combine blueberries, sugar, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, allow to boil for 8 minutes, lower heart and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain syrup and allow to completely cool

Vodka                                                                                                                                                                          Ginger Beer                                                                                                                                                              Lime Juice

In a cocktail shaker combine:                                                                                                                          2-3 jiggers of vodka                                                                                                                                               2 jiggers of blueberry simple syrup                                                                                                                  12-14 ounces ginger beer                                                                                                                                  Dash of lime juice

Shake and serve over ice!

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Lip Gloss and Crayons Blog

Have fun with creating your own cocktail! Think about what you love, what your crowd will enjoy and top it off with a fun name and you’ve got your own drink that will be remembered!

Happy Planning, and as always we are happy to help!

Until next time!

Your Team at A&F

Heidi, Dee dee, & Meg

Affordable Wedding Gowns | Always and Forever Wedding Planning & Coordination

Getting married, but don’t have $3000, $5,000 or even $10,000 for that Vera Wang you are in love with that you’ve dreamed about since you were a little girl?  No need to worry.  There are plenty of affordable and BEAUTIFUL options out there ladies.  These gowns are sure to make him (or her) love you just as much and make you feel super glamorous as that Maggie Sottero.

We start with a brand new collection the the 2016 Conscious Exclusive from H and M.  Click on each photo to see pricing and a little bit more info 🙂

 

We are loving these simple, but stunning and affordable options from JCrew.

Regardless of where you get your dress, be sure that you try enough on to be sure that you found the one that you are absolutely in LOVE with!

As always we are here to help, styling you is another service that we offer.  We love shopping and helping you pick out the best gown for you is one of the more fun things we get to do!

Until next time,

xoxo

Your team at A&F

Heidi, Dee Dee and Meg