Vendor Spotlight – D’Elia Family Solutions Counseling & Coaching

From time to time I really enjoy writing vendor spotlight posts. I think it’s important to highlight local vendors that I work with, so my audience knows who they are. I want you as my blog reader, and customer, to know my preferred vendors as well as I know them. I feel that the more comfortable you are with my network of professionals, the more comfortable you will be with me!

I recently had the opportunity to meet Lori D’Elia’s husband, William. He told me all about how he and Lori were married up in New York and moved to Raleigh, NC to pursue their entrepreneurial skills and build a life for their family here in Raleigh. Being that Lori offers Premarital coaching, I felt that my audience of brides and couples would benefit from hearing about Lori’s business.

D’Elia Family Solutions Counseling & Coaching

Name of Business Owner: Lori D’Elia

Business Web Addresswww.deliafamilysolutions.com

Business Category: Counseling and Coaching including Premarital Coaching

How long have you been in business?: I have been practicing since 2008, current business in Raleigh, NC since March of 2017

What is your mission statement?: “Taking the anxiety out of ‘honey, we need to talk.'”

What got you started in this business?: I am a licensed marriage and family therapist and am currently discouraged with couples coming in ready to divorce. I truly feel so much work can be done in premarital coaching. Couples are more receptive to listening when they aren’t in criss. It’s truly not as scary as it sounds. I promise.

What’s the best tip you have for a couple planning a wedding? Be on the same page with your partner. Don’t be afraid to talk about “hard” stuff. Not every conversation leads to conflict and we should learn how to effectively communicate with our partners, because this life stuff doesn’t get easier 😉

What don’t couples know about your business category that they should know?: How important it is!!!!! Premarital counseling is not a negative thing, it’s positive. Most men are opposed to it because 1. they don’t understand it and 2. they hate “talking”! It’s not scary, it’s easy and can actually be fun.

Are there any questions your non-wedding clients should be asking that they don’t know to ask?: Can we come for a session when things are “ok”? YES!!!! That is what premarital couples do. They aren’t in crisis. They come in to talk about topics that are prevalent in their lives, like adults. Not when they are screaming and yelling at one another and can’t “hear” what their partner/spouse is saying.

About Lori D’Elia

Lori D’Elia is a licensed marriage and family therapist in addition to a certified professional coach. She started practicing in 2008 working with individual, couples and families. She has since moved to Raleigh, NC with her husband and two children. After working for so long with couples on the brink of divorce she has decided to put her efforts into pre marital work in order to take a preventive approach when working with couples. Lori believes in pre marital work and feels it can help a couple better communicate once they are married and experiencing a marital argument (which is inevitable!) ;-). She is hoping to take the anxiety out of “Honey we need to talk” and express to engaged couples that they should talk before they walk.

If you are interested in Premarital Counseling Services, I urge you to reach out to D’Elia Family Solutions. Contact information can be found here.

Outdoor Weddings: What Type of Tent is Right for Your Event?

Guest Post- Outdoor Weddings: What Type of Tent is Right for Your Event?

You’ve decided that an outdoor wedding and reception is perfect for your big day. What remains to be decided is what style of tent would work best. A lot depends on the kind of wedding you plan on holding. Here are some examples of what to look for in a tent based on the type of ceremony and reception you have in mind. 

Casual and Intimate

Perhaps you are thinking along the lines of a casual wedding and reception. The guest list is limited to a few close friends and relatives. With this type of affair, you may be thinking of having the ceremony under a grove of trees and following with a covered space for the reception. 
You’ll find that a smaller clear span tent works well for your casual reception. Since you want an open feel while creating a comfortable place for people to sit and dine on the foods you’ve chosen, consider going with an open tent design. This option does not include tent walls. Instead, you have curtains that can be slid open as much or as little as you like. That makes it easy to close the area behind the serving tables while letting in plenty of natural light and fresh air in the areas where you’ve set up the guest tables. 

When choosing a tent for your casual reception, it never hurts to allow for a little extra space. Should the weather decide not to cooperate, it won’t take a lot to move the ceremony under the tent, exchange your vows, and then start the reception. You and your guests will remain dry while looking through the open spaces and enjoying the sounds and scents of the falling rain. 

This flower arrangement was taken at a wedding of a friend and looked stunning in the large, white tent.

Formal Outdoor Affairs

Perhaps you want a formal outdoor wedding with a greater number of loved ones on hand. The nice thing about clear span tents is that they come in many different sizes. It’s easy to choose one that will provide space for several hundred people. 

Since you are going for a more formal look, an open tent may not be to your liking. Consider a design that includes side walls that slide easily in place on the side poles and framework. These can be weighted down at ground level so they stay in position with ease. 

The side panels can include fiberglass windows that allow plenty of natural light into the space. Since this tent design does not include any support poles in the middle, you will find it easy to arrange the covered space any way that you like. It’s even possible to bring in dividers or use curtains to section off one end of the tent for the reception and reserve the other end for the ceremony. 

As long as there is space to set up the tent, you can have all the room you want. That means if you want a formal sit-down style reception but also like the idea of having a dance floor and space set aside for a live band, there’s a clear span tent large enough to do the job. 

Whatever you have in mind for your wedding day, finding the right tent design will not be difficult. Talk with a professional who supplies tent rentals for all sorts of events and ask about the designs commonly used for weddings and receptions. With a little discussion about the number of guests and the theme for your special day, it will be easy to come up with the perfect solution.

2017 Floral Trends by Intern, Lauren W.

It’s that time of year again when all of the upcoming trends are being released and discovered. I asked Lauren to write on her favorite topic for me, because I knew she’d be eager. I hope you enjoy her take on the 2017 Floral trends, and maybe you will learn something too! 

Mrs. Christine gave me the fabulous opportunity to go on and on about one of my favorite things, FLOWERS!! I absolutely adore flowers and I hope that I can write more blogs about flowers in the future.  Now let me talk about the real subject at hand,

The 2017 Floral Trends:

Many different plants make up floral families that are not necessarily flowers.  All of these plants can be incorporated into any wedding, party theme, or bouquet.  Some of these might sound a little crazy or odd to y’all, such as fruits or vegetables, but trust me, they work just fine. First are the plants that are not necessarily known for flowering. These categories are Pods, Berries, Fruits, Vegetables, Succulents, and Greenery.  

  • The Pod for 2017 is super cute, it is a green Poppy pod and is the same color as Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year.
  • The Brunia berry is an extremely versatile plant. Since the berry is a nice neutral grey or silver, it can be paired with any color, season, or theme.
  • The fruit for 2017 might seem a little crazy (at least, that’s what I thought), but it is the pineapple. Obviously it is not a full size, they are miniature pineapples and they are also pink or yellow. The pink or yellow pineapple would be great in a spring or summer wedding and paired with other bright colors.  
  • The 2017 Vegetable is the artichoke. The artichoke pairs well with any colors because it is green. Also, it looks like a succulent and could be incorporated into a cute summer succulent bouquet.
  • The echeveria is 2017’s succulent. I think that it is a classic succulent and looks very rose-like in its appearance. It can be found green or a soft lavender.
    The Greenery family has chosen my favorite piece of greenery to represent it for 2017, Eucalyptus. I love eucalyptus, especially baby euc. ! It is so versatile and can be paired in any season and goes well with any color since Eucalyptus is a nice frosted green. Also, as an added bonus, it smells amazing.

Flowering Plants:

The 2017 Flowering plants are many different colors and different varieties. What I have noticed about the 2017 flowers is that they are the same family, but different colors. For instance, the Garden Rose is favored for 2017 in five different colors/variations. Also, the Peony and Dahlia is preferred for 2017 in a few different colors. The next flowers are mentioned in order by color from white to purple, respectively.

  • The white flower is the Alabaster Garden Rose.This variation of the Garden Rose is only found in white and is very full. It has many petals and they turn over on the ends causing them to look pointed.
  • The cream flower is the Caramel Antike Garden Rose. This Garden Rose is also very full and is a very light caramel color or ivory.
  • The Dahlia is liked in a very rich red.  The dahlia is also a very full flower with pointed petals. Actually, Christine and I worked a wedding last fall with rich red dahlias.

    Image by Kasaundra Felder Photography

     

  • Fuchsia is the beautiful Peony. This Peony is a deep pink and pairs marvelously in spring and summer weddings and with other bright colors.
  • Pink is the Prince Charles Garden Rose. This Garden Rose is very round and is similar to the Peony.
  • The David Austin Juliet rose.  This rose is unlike any rose I have ever seen. It is spherical and does not open very much and looks as if it has over 100 petals.
  • The Sunset Garden Rose is the Peach flower of 2017. It is an ombre mix of pink and orange.  
  • Yellow is the Pom Pom Garden Rose. The center of this Garden Rose contains so many petals that it looks as if it is ruffled.
  • The green “flower” is not really a flower but it is a variation of a flower, it is the trick Dianthus.
  • The Trick Dianthus is adorable. It is a little, fuzzy, green ball and is very whimsical looking.
  • The blue flower of 2017 is my favorite flower, the blue Hydrangea. It is a large sphere with of many small flowers. The Hydrangea is perfect in a spring wedding when paired with whites or pinks. 
  • The Lilac is the lavender flower for 2017.  It is a nice light purple and is wonderful in the spring.
  • Finally, the purple flower is Hydrangea.  Like the blue Hydrangea it goes well with white flowers, but could be incorporated in the late summer and fall weddings.

    Beautiful blue hydrangeas

These are just a handful of flowers that are trending in 2017. How are you planning on using these flowers this year? If you have any questions or are seeking advice on how to use these flowers, do not hesitate to contact the Get-Christine team.

Vendor Spotlight Post – Triple T Entertainment

The year of 2016 was a major year of growth for Get Christine. I joined societies, more than doubled my amount of bookings, brought on interns, and met a lot of new and talented event vendors. Meeting new vendors has been great for my business. I have had tons of opportunities to work with so many great new people this year, and for that I am extremely grateful. Now I also have a whole bunch of new vendors I can refer my brides to. Today I am covering a Photo Booth provider.

At a WeddingWire educational event earlier in the year, I met Bianca of Triple T Entertainment. If you follow my blog you may remember her from my Pamper Party back in July. I knew instantly as I met her that we would be working together for a long time. She had a great smile and was very friendly, and I immediately wanted to know more about her and her business.

Since she’s fairly new to the industry, I wanted to shine a light on her business. Please allow me to introduce to you, Bianca Taylor and her business partner Ben Sandefur of Triple T Entertainment:

Bianca and Ben show off their fun photo booth

Business Name: Triple T Entertainment

Vendor Name: Bianca Taylor & Ben Sandefur

Web Address: www.tripletentertainment.com

Business Category: Photo booth

How long have you been in business?: 7 months

What got you started in this business?: Spending time in a photo booth at my nephew’s wedding in Charleston, SC and having the best time ever! I couldn’t stop thinking or talking about the wonderful time we had. The fun, smiles, and laughter was so amazing and we want to provide that same experience to others.

A Group of friends at a Halloween party cram into the shot of the Triple T Photo Booth.

A Group of friends at a Halloween party cram into the shot of the Triple T Photo Booth.

What’s the best tip you have for a couple planning a wedding?: Although it has nothing to do with a photo booth, the best tip I can tell a couple planning their wedding is to hire a wedding planner. The stress of that day can be overwhelming and hiring a planner lets you enjoy the day instead of sweating all the small stuff. When my son got married last year, it went so smoothly because of the wedding planner. Top give a photo booth tip, hire a photo booth, even if it is just for an hour. The memories, fun, and laughter are priceless for both you and your guests. The budget seems to be the concern for most so it is one of the last items on the list, however, photo booths actually are one of the top highlights of most weddings!

What don’t couples know about your business category that they should know?: Most couples are looking for enclosed photo booths, however, in my opinion, an open air photo booth brings joy and laughter to ALL your guests, not just the ones in the photos. Guests love watching others taking their pics and most will then decide they want to join in the fun as well. Also, with our open air photo booth, we try to match the theme of your event so it blends in.

A newly married bride and groom have some fun in the Triple T Photo Booth.

Are there any questions your non-wedding clients should be asking that they don’t know to ask?: Since we cater to all clients, wedding and non-wedding, they all pretty much ask the same questions, however, they need to think about the length of time they want photo booth services as most booths are not utilized during the eating part of the event, If you are having a 4 hour event, yet an hour of it will be eating, ask the photo booth company if they have an idle hourly rate (most are much lower than the hourly rate) and you may get the photo booth cheaper than a full 4 hour request.

What’s the most unique/different wedding or event you ever did and why?: I cannot say just one was different because all of them are unique. Each wedding has been beautiful and unique, because each bride is beautiful and unique. They all bring their special twists.

Triple T Photo Booth customers having blast in the booth!

What was the most memorable wedding you ever worked, and why?: They all have been memorable, because we have been in business seven months, I have been in awe with each one of them.

I hope you will consider using Triple T Entertainment for your next party, wedding, or other event. Bianca has an incredible positive energy that anyone would want to have running a photo booth at their event.

Carl & Cherihan’s Beautiful Haywood Hall Fall Wedding Downtown Raleigh, NC

I met Carl & Cherihan in the Springtime of this year. We met through another bride I am working with next Spring, and was one of many in a series of referrals from this group of friends.

Planning

Though we met many months prior to their wedding, I did not hear from Carl and Cherihan as much as some of my other brides and couples. I did however receive an email from Cherihan just a little over one month prior to her Sister’s wedding asking if I was available to help her sister, Dalhya.

Deana, Mother of the Bride, helping daughter Cherihan get into her wedding gown.

Deana, Mother of the Bride, helping daughter Cherihan get into her wedding gown.

Luckily, I was available. Getting to know Dalhya & Cherihan’s family while coordinating both of their weddings, was an absolute treat! Everyone in the family was extremely warm and welcoming. It is always a pleasure when I get to work with large, loving families. Seeing a family come together for a wedding is definitely one of life’s purest treasures.

Wedding Month

The front of beautiful Haywood Hall home in Downtown Raleigh, NC.

The front of beautiful Haywood Hall home in Downtown Raleigh, NC.

I may not have spoken with Carl and Cherihan every day of every month leading up to their wedding day, but when the month of the wedding rolled around we really got down to business. The last few weeks leading up to their wedding day was when we spent the most time ironing out nitty gritty details. We finalized rentals, menus, and layouts. While Cherihan and Carl finished up on last minute details, I confirmed arrival times and drop offs with vendors, while also planning out the timeline for the day-of the wedding.

Planning Paid Off

The day of Carl & Cherihan’s wedding, we were blessed with sunny clear blue skies, a chilly fall breeze, and leaves falling from the trees with every gust of wind. With chairs setup on the front lawn of

Clear ceiling reception tent covering fall decorated tables

Clear ceiling reception tent covering fall decorated tables

Haywood Hall, and the iron railings decorated with simple greenery by Dalhya with flowers from the farmer’s market, the ceremony site was the perfect setting for a Fall wedding. Uniquely, Carl and Cherihan’s reception site boasted a huge tent with a clear roof. It gave the feeling of being inside together with the fall beauty of being outside.

 

Decoration

Fall Wedding Centerpieces

White and Gold painted pumpkins adorned the table tops at this Fall Wedding. The Fall Wedding themed centerpieces consisted of jars full of acorns, slabs of wood, pumpkins, and fresh flowers from the Raleigh Farmer’s Market

One of the many services I offer to the brides that need it, is helping decorate and setup the overall look of the reception site. Over the years that I have been coordinating, I have worked with brides who had a very specific look in mind and want their reception hall decorated in a very certain way. I have also been fortunate enough to work with brides who give me decor items for centerpieces, a few guidelines, and artistic freedom to decorate as I please. Cherihan was one of most laid back brides I have ever worked with, and one of the ways she showed this was by giving me free reign to decorate her tables. My intern, Lauren, and I really enjoyed decorating the entire reception space.

Adorable Details

Giant H hung up on the front of Haywood Hall

Giant H hung up on the front of Haywood Hall

In addition to their well lit tent with a clear ceiling that gave the feeling of being outside and inside all at once, Carl and Cherihan supplied their guests with a few other fun items that made the night a total success. Carl and his guys hung up a large H on the front of Haywood Hall to add a fun and creative decorative detail and highlighting Carl’s last name, Hance. It wasn’t just the decorations that made this wedding so special though. Monogramed beer koozies, a pallet of folded up blankets to keep guests warm during the chilly fall evening, a table decked out with desserts and, a late night snack table covered in pimento sliders, set this wedding apart from the rest and made for a unique experience.

Happily Ever After

Now that I’ve talked about all my favorite details, here’s the part I know the rest of you are waiting for. The picture collage of the images from the day of the wedding. Cherihan and Carl hired the same photographer Dalhya also hired for her wedding day; Kelley Deal Photography. I loved working with Kelley on both weddings and only hope I get many more chances to work with her again in the future. She takes beautiful images with a dreamy and romantic style that I absolutely adore. Please enjoy Kelley’s photos from Carl & Cherihan’s October Wedding Day!

Vendors

Venue: Haywood Hall
Photographer: Kelley Deal Photography
Caterer: Beau Catering 
Rentals: CE Rental 
Officiant: Ann McKenzie
DJ: DJ Cyrax

Cary & North Raleigh Florist – Vendor Spotlight

Beautiful Bridal Party Bouquets

While I’m waiting for images from the Fall weddings I’ve worked since the beginning of September, I thought I’d add a little more fresh reading to the blog!
This post is about one of my newest preferred vendors; Cary Florist and North Raleigh Florist. Both Cary Florist and Raleigh Florist are owned by the same person, Janice Cutler. Learning about how Janice became a florist, and reading her tips, has been very helpful to me and especially to my wedding coordination clients.

 

 

The Initial Meeting

I met a rep from The North Raleigh Florist back in April at a networking event. I decided to stop by an ILEA educational meeting, formerly ISES, to see speaker Dan Berger from Social Tables. The event proved to be not only educational, but also very beneficial to me. There was socializing and networking for the first hour of the meeting, as well as some drinking and snacking of course, and during that time is when I was lucky enough to meet the girl from North Raleigh Florist. We chatted a bit, learned of each others occupations, and exchanged cards. What I didn’t know then was how handy it would be to me later, to have that business card in my possession.

 

Pink and white flowers circle around lantern centerpiece Business Transaction

In the planning of my Bridal Pamper Party this Summer, I knew I wanted to have an educational workshop to offer my brides in attendance. Having recently coordinated plenty of DIY weddings, I knew that one of the many things brides all over are trying to do on their own is flowers. Knowing this, I decided to reach out to that contact I met in April from The North Raleigh Florist. By doing a quick online search, I learned that their sister store, Cary Florist frequently hosted floral educational classes. Luckily, I was able to get in touch with the owner of both stores who said she’d be happy to send someone to my place after hours to host a floral workshop.

The party ended up being a real hit with my brides, I even ended up booking a wedding from hosting the event so I’d say that it was definitely a success. Since that has come and gone, I have been referring a lot of my brides to this florist because Janice made it clear during her workshop that she knows what she’s doing. I asked her to answer a few questions for my blog audience and below you’ll see her responses.

Vendor Spotlight – Janice Cutler

Business Name: North Raleigh Florist/ Cary Florist

Your Name: Janice Cutler

Web Address: www.northraleighflorist.com & www.caryflorist.com

Business Category: Florist

How long have you been in business?: 9 years as North Raleigh Florist; 6 years as Montgomery’s Florist in the 1990’s

What got you started in this business?: Career change to Horticulture in 1995. Found my passion when I moved to NC from NY in 1991 and learned all I could about plants and flowers until I returned to school in 1994 at NC State. I worked at a local nursery and then the florist. I never looked back.

What’s the best tip you have for a couple planning a wedding?: Do your research about knowing when you MUST hire a professional. Be careful not to overbook your time the last 2 weeks before with DIY projects for the wedding.

Simple Sunflower and Summer Centerpiece What don’t couples know about your business category that they should know?: Flowers do not have to cost a fortune. A professional florist can guide you on the best items for your budget—even the best DIY floral projects to take on, as well as the ones to stay away from. Having a budget range for florals will actually help you pinpoint with your florist what is best for your event. Don’t be afraid to throw out a number. Florists shooting in the dark will often overestimate what you may be looking for if there is a lack of information, thereby wasting your time and theirs. Be upfront and you will get the info you are needing to make an educated decision. A good florist will be honest and work with the money you actually have to spend. A good florist knows how to make the most of your budget and make it look beautiful and professionally-done.

Are there any questions your non-wedding clients should be asking that they don’t know to ask?: Can I rent the containers? Can I save money by purchasing my own containers?

What’s the most unique/different wedding or event you ever did and why?: A backyard wedding where we were asked to hang swags of flowers in the porta potties

What was the most memorable wedding you ever worked, and why?: The wedding I delivered 2 days after Hurricane Fran in 1996. The Raleigh area was in a shambles, streets were closed, trees were on houses and no one had power and bottled water was scarce. It was incredibly hot and humid—even for Raleigh. It was September. We worked on the wedding by candlelightIron Handrail Floral Decoration all night the day after the hurricane came through. We had to chain-saw our way out of our house in Youngsville and finally made it in to Raleigh some time that afternoon to get started on the wedding. We worked through the night to get it done, using a generator hooked up to our small display cooler to keep the flowers cool. My husband walked at least ¼ mile with some of the flowers to the house where they were getting ready, since there were so many trees down, his car couldn’t drive up to the house. We made it to the church about 30 minutes before the bride walked down the aisle and handed her bouquet to her and placed the flowers on the altar. Streets were closed and we couldn
’t seem to figure out the best route to go. We made it there, but she was less than pleased about the timing. We did the best we could. She received everything she ordered, but I will never forget how stressful it was and how many obstacles there were, not even mentioned here. I hope we never have to endure that again.

 

Thank You, Janice

I just wanted to say Thank You again to Janice for participating in my Bridal Pamper Party! I am so glad I went to that networking event in the Spring and to have had the opportunity to hire Cary Florist. My brides loved getting to see Janice create beautiful bridal bouquets. Janice was so helpful in answering their questions following her demonstration and I look forward to hiring Janice and her team to come lead more hands on floral demos in the future!

Janice Cutler, the owner of North Raleigh Florist, ran a DIY Floral bouquet workshop for the brides and other ladies who attended the Bridal Pamper Party. She also led a Q&A session with the ladies after she finished her demo.

Janice Cutler, the owner of North Raleigh Florist, ran a DIY Floral bouquet workshop for the brides and other ladies who attended the Bridal Pamper Party. She also led a Q&A session with the ladies after she finished her demo.

Carla & Chris’s Matthew’s House Wedding Cary, NC

Carla and Chris met with me in January of this year. Carla found me through mutual friends named Jean & Buckley. And if you follow my blog, you probably remember that I coordinated Jean & Buckley’s February 2015 wedding at The Stockroom 230.  Carla and I became immediate friends and went to work on planning her wedding right away. We met every few months or so to discuss details and vendor recommendations, and she even attended my Bridal Pamper Party in July! After much anticipation and even more planning the big day finally arrived. I couldn’t be more excited to share the details and images from it with you today.

Venue

The Matthew’s House

The Matthew's House in Cary, NC

The Matthew’s House in Cary, NC

Carla and Chris’s ceremony took place under the great oak trees towering over the beautiful brick enclosed gardens of The Matthew’s House in Cary, NC. It was a sunny day without a cloud in the sky, but being September, 24th in the Carolinas, it was still a hot, humid day. The aisle was lined with shepherd hooks I rented to the couple, which were then decorated with mini white lanterns that had been even more decorated by the florist. Jo Lynn of Victorian Seasons provided the florals for this wedding, and they were all gorgeous.

Beautiful Bouquet from Victorian Seasons

Beautiful Bouquet from Victorian Seasons

 

The cocktail hour took place all over the outside grounds of The Matthew’s House, and included personal touches from the couple everywhere. Chris and Carla provided their guests with a photo booth that stayed in the courtyard for the whole night, corn-hole boards to play some games, and delicious combination of displayed and passed apps from Rocky Top Hospitality.

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Ceremony in the Matthew’s House Garden

 

Vendors

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Jewel, Founder of Canvas the Makeup Studio

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Randy Taylor Officiating The Ceremony

In addition to Rocky Top who catered the event, and Victorian Seasons who provided the gorgeous florals for the wedding, there were a few other fabulous vendors that should be mentioned. Ceremony music was provided by live musicians, David Wilson and Palma Rajki. All these beautiful images you see in this post were taken by Niki of Three Seventeen Photography. Niki was great to work with and meet with Carla and I during the planning process to help ensure we put together a timeline that also worked for her. Through the years of event planning, I’ve learned that working together with vendors in advance of an event makes for the best kind collaboration. Being one half of a husband and wife Photography team myself though, does make me a bit biased toward the photographer.  Regardless, I really enjoyed working with Niki and would definitely recommend her over and over again. The bride’s lush and lovely hair was styled by Kelly of Twisted River Hair Studio, and her beautifully airbrushed face was done up by Jewel of Canvas The Makeup Studio. The tear jerking and eloquently read ceremony was given by Randy of Randy Taylor Weddings. This wedding allowed me to work with so many of my favorite local vendors, and that includes Randy! Last but certainly not least, the entertainment for the evening was provided by the one and only JD of Anything Music DJs. I love working with JD because he knows how to keep a party going!

A Few of My Favorites

After the wedding, Niki was able to provide me with the images from Carla and Chris’s wedding almost immediately. I had so many favorites I couldn’t keep it to a reasonable number of photos. Really, I loved ALL the photos. But since I couldn’t share them all, here are just a few of my favorites from that day in a gallery for your viewing pleasure.

Ring Bear

I almost forgot to mention! My favorite of all the adorable details in Carla and Chris’s wedding was that they had their fur baby aka their dog, Manny, escorted down the aisle with the flower girl. Using Manny was in their plans from the beginning. The first night we met they said Manny the dog would be their “Ring Bear” which they got the idea from popular TV show How I Met Your Mother.

Happy Ending

Carla and Chris enjoyed a wonderful week long honeymoon in Rome and came back with fun stories of all the places they visited. I am also happy to say that Carla and I have become close friends throughout the process of planning her wedding and we’ll be seeing each other for many more years and events to come. Maybe some day I will help her family plan and coordinate a baby shower!

Follow Up to Finding the perfect dress

In my previous post I touched on the topic of finding the right wedding dress. I want to follow that up with a post today about the process of trying dresses on. If you have never experienced this process, it can be a little overwhelming.

First of all, before you go anywhere to try anything on, get an idea of what style dresses you like. If you have an idea in your head of what you want to look like on your big day, picking a dress is going to be that much easier for you. It’s super easy to go online and simply browse any selection of dresses from any website. But finding the right site, might be tricky. Depending on your budgeting options, finding a dress shop in your town that carries the exact dress you want could be cheaper and easier than perhaps finding something online and ordering it. Some small wedding boutiques, however, only link to the designers of the dresses they carry, rather than showing you their selection of dresses.  When it comes right down to it, finding your dress is something you are probably going to spend a lot of time doing. This is why I suggest starting as early as possible.

As soon as my brother proposed to my soon to be sister-in-law Jess, she asked me to take her dress shopping. She already knew she wanted to go over to David’s Bridal, and she had also already started looking through a magazine of theirs. Jess is a perfect example of a woman who knew she was excited about trying on dresses, but had no clue where to start or what to try on. I told her that she should ear mark the dresses that she liked in the magazine and set us up with an appointment for her to try on dresses.

You should know, if you want to go anywhere to try dresses on, you have to make an appointment. This will guarantee you get the allotted amount of time with a consultant to assist you, rather than wandering in somewhere and maybe OR maybe not getting a chance to try on dresses. Especially if you live in a big city.

When we went in for the appointment, the place was swamped. There were women everywhere. We waited quite a bit before we were finally helped, but this did give us a chance to browse around a bit and let Jess pick some dresses out.

Finally, the time had come! She tried on 3 dresses, and the last one was the winner! THREE DRESSES!! How easy was that? How many women can say they found their dress that quickly?  The consultant definitely helped this along though, by painting this beautiful picture of Jess walking down the aisle in her dress, and even put a beautifully delicate veil on her head while doing so.

Here are a few shots of some that she tried on. I’m going to try not to show too much, just in case my brother wanders onto this site.

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Isn’t that a beautiful train?? I love the lace for the straps!!

 

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I just love the detail on this one!! She did a great job picking out dresses!!

Okay, I do not want to reveal too much, so this will have to be it! Don’t forget to schedule your appointments in advance, and check out

Bridal Pamper Party hosted by Christine

Wedding Season

It’s been a little quiet on the blog this month, because I’ve been busy with Fall Weddings! If you’ve followed me for a while, you’re probably aware of my obsession with the Fall. Like most women my age, I love all things Fall, the beautiful colors of the leaves, the smells, and the flavors. I was of course married in the Fall, and our one year anniversary is next Monday!

Anyways, this post isn’t about the Fall, or Fall weddings, sadly. I’m writing this post to tell you all about that Pamper Party I hosted back in July. It was a crazy fast Summer, but we had tons of fun at my Pamper Party.

The Idea – Pamper Party

With my Summer not being as fully booked with events as my Fall, I had some time to fill. I knew I wanted to host some kind of Summer event this year, but was too late to do anything for the 4th. In addition to having some free time I needed to fill, over the course of this past year I’ve met and worked with several vendors that I wanted to introduce to my brides. After getting a much needed mani/pedi with my friend, Lauren, I rolled a few ideas around. I decided to host a type of client appreciation event for my brides and their friends. In addition to asking my brides to come get pampered for the night, I hired a variety of vendors to provide some education, and of course entertainment for the event!

Local Vendors

Florist

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Janice leading the floral workshop

To start the night out with something educational for my brides, I asked Janice the owner and operator of North Raleigh Florist & Cary Florist, to lead a floral workshop. Janice taught my attendees how to make their own wedding bouquets! Her 45 minute tutorial, followed by a 15 minute Q&A session for my attendees, was VERY well received. Overall, I believe it probably encouraged the ladies to reach out to a florist when I came time to make their own bouquets. Janice did a great job both teaching the ladies, as well as answering their questions. One of my brides did end up hiring Cary Florist for her April wedding next year, and I can’t wait to work with them!

 

Rodan + Fields Rep

In addition to learning about floral bouquets, my brides got to meet a very dear friend of mine named, Lauren. Lauren taught the ladies a little about skincare and walked them through a DIY facial with Rodan + Fields products. While I am personally not a sales person, I always encourage my friends, family, and clients to use products that I love. I absolutely love the way R+F products make my skin look and feel, so I wanted to share this with my brides and their friends too.

Musicians

I love nothing more (besides Coordinating) then coming up with playlists of music. I’ve done it for office holiday parties, parties hosted at my place, CDs for car trips, and of course any other time I get the opportunity. For my Pamper Party though, I decided to do something a little different. Since one of the reasons I was hosting this event was to showcase local vendors that I love, I decided to hire live musicians to come in and provide musical entertainment to my guests.

Paul & Frank Performing

Paul & Frank Performing

When my family moved to Clayton, NC in 2006 they moved next door to some really nice people. They met pretty quick and become friends fast. When I came to stay with my parents during the Summer of 2006, I met those neighbors and also befriended them. Shortly after, I learned that one of those neighbors named Paul was a Jazz Guitarist. Being someone who LOVES Jazz music, I started following Paul on Facebook and attempted to get out to see him perform. While looking for someone to hire for this event, Paul reached out to me and expressed interest. He was able to help me book a pianist too, Frank, who with Paul’s help created beautiful music for my attendees. The live Jazz was a great touch!

Photo Booth

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Photo Booth Setup

For entertainment, I wanted to provide more then just live music to my guests. I have done a lot of networking this year, which has helped me to meet tons of wonderful and talented local vendors. Some time this Spring, one of my favorite Raleigh Wedding Officiant’s, Randy Taylor, introduced me to another local vendor named Bianca. Bianca owns and operates Triple T Entertainment, a photo booth company. In addition to one of my brides booking with Janice from Cary Florist, but I also had one of my other brides book with Bianca of Triple T Entertainment.

Massage Therapists to Pamper

Finally, I hosted the Pamper Party to give back to my clients. My goals for this event were for my attendees to learn something, network with brides and vendors, eat some snacks and sip on some summery beverages, enjoy live music, and just relax. To provide total relaxation to all my guests in attendance I hired two very good friends of mine that also happen to be massage therapists. They brought their chairs for chair massages, and one of them was even able to provide cards with future discounts for my guests.

Caprese Sliders

Next Pamper Party?

If time permits, I will more than likely be hosting another one of these events again in the Spring. If I do, what type of vendors would you like to see there? Would you want to participate in a more hands on floral workshop or try something different? Please let me know in the comments section below. Or, if you are a local vendor who would like to participate in upcoming Get Christine Pamper Parties, please send me a message!

All images featured in this post taken by Ryan Steffes of Mister Guy Photography.

Vendor Spotlight – All Around Raleigh DJ

A few weeks ago, I let my intern write a vendor spotlight post about The Chocolate Boutique. I have been meaning to write more of these types of blog posts, so this week here’s one from me! I have been working in this industry long enough to have worked with some really excellent vendors. Here’s a post about one of the best DJ vendors in Raleigh, or at least he’s one of my favorites.

All Around Raleigh DJ; Eric Hodgedenallaroundraleighdj-logo

I met Eric, the owner of All Around Raleigh DJ, at the Market Hall Spring Showcase. I arrived fairly early, while it was still mostly just vendors and Market Hall employees in attendance. Being punctual, as I always am, benefited me yet again. This time I benefited because I was able to walk around and introduce myself to a few local vendors I have never met. (Another benefit to being early, I was able to get a glass of wine without waiting in line. )

Eric was one of the first vendors I met that night, and he left a great impression on me. We ended up meeting for coffee at a later date and time, where I learned a little more about him and why he got into the events industry.  I really enjoyed his take on why he decided to be a DJ and I hope you do too!

Background Information

Joe Payne Photography

Joe Payne Photography

Eric stumbled on his love of being a DJ like many others do. He went to school and got a degree in Engineering and made the realization that his heart was somewhere else. During the same year Eric enrolled at NC State, he also formed his company All Around Raleigh DJ. When I asked him about his first event as a DJ, he said “I had a typical 19 year old guy’s stereo with huge ridiculous speakers“. This made me really chuckle because, we’ve all known people like that. The first event he worked was for a friend’s Mother. Her DJ had backed out last minute, leaving her with little time to find a replacement. Eric offered his services and quickly realized that he was pretty good and had a blast doing it. After that, Eric bought some professional DJ equipment and began working weddings and events as often as possible. He was eventually able to leave his full-time cubicle job to run All Around Raleigh DJ in 2011. Of course, he also told me it’s the most rewarding job he’s ever had.

 

Q&A

I asked Eric a few other questions and here are his responses:

What advice would you offer to couples looking for a DJ?:

“Whoever you hire must be someone you can trust – and someone you feel a connection with, they will be a guest at the wedding so they should fit what you have in mind.”  “You should also trust them to be organized and take care of things.”

How far out from the wedding should couples hire a DJ?:

In general terms somewhere between 4-8 months before the wedding. For popular months at least one year in advance. August tends to be more flexible. But, if you want a specific person, you should book at least one year prior.”

What is the coolest event you have ever worked?

“Very personalized events, people who incorporate their personalities into their events make them the most memorable. In particular one Wedding I worked at Shady Wagon Farm – barely had any dancing. This wedding’s bride was not able to stand for long periods of time, but she danced for at least one song. It was memorable because the people were really awesome.” There was a little less dancing then Eric was used to, but even still this wedding was not lacking in fun. There were a bunch of lawn games for the guests to enjoy, and Eric entertained the guests by playing the shoe game, and hosting table trivia for dinner. “The best part of the night was when the groom surprised his bride by singing to her during the reception while she sat on the dance floor.” 

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Caroline Lima Photography

Would you like to pass on your business to your children?

This question was clearly something Eric had not been asked before, but something I personally consider all the time. I of course want to pass on a legacy to my children, but I don’t know how frequently other people also have that desire and if so, how much thought they have really put into it. Eric’s response was “I only have a daughter and female DJs are definitely more rare, but if that was something she wanted to do then heck yes!”

Do you see yourself running the DJ business until you retire?

“Yes absolutely, in some form or fashion. I can’t see a reason to get stuck in a rut and stop, and there’s really nothing else I enjoy doing as much.”

I am very grateful Eric had time to grab coffee with me. I really enjoyed sharing fun industry stories, and getting to know him better. It’s not often that you get to hear about the vendor and their personal life.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Eric and hearing about how he formed his company!! If you are in need of a DJ for your next wedding or event, consider reaching out to him for a quote, you won’t be disappointed. And, if you need more evidence of that, check out his reviews on Wedding Wire.

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