The Times, They Are A Changin’

I promise there is good reason for my cliche blog post title. Well, maybe not good reason, but reason enough.  I have recently made the incredibly tough, but hopefully right, decision to take the leap from working full-time for someone else and only part-time for myself, to working full-time as a Wedding & Event Coordinator for Get-Christine! I have booked more than double the amount of couples I am working with this year compared to last year, and I’ve already started booking into next year.

Additionally, there have been some major changes at the office I work for in that, I was presented with the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and hours than I was already working. Though it would have been a great chance for me to grow and mature with the company, and get even more work experience, I did not feel that it would be fair to the brides and couples I am already working with to take on more responsibilities elsewhere that would keep me from giving my heart and soul to my business. And so, the time had come for me to make a decision that I had no idea would come so soon.  Instead of putting in more time for my day job, I am putting all my time in on me! I am having very mixed emotions about the journey I am about to embark on, but I know that there are great things to come in my future.

I am looking forward to what the future has in store for me and I am forever grateful for the opportunity that Talari Networks gave to me. I will never regret the two years I spent working there because I learned a whole lot about many different things, and I met lots of wonderful people and made incredible bonds that I don’t expect to lose anytime soon.

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In making this decision, I am opening up my schedule to have more time to blog, plan and schedule stylised photo-shoots, host DIY arts & crafts events for my brides, and meet with couples, brides and their vendors during the day and not just at night! I am more than excited to plan and execute more weddings and events and that I’ll have even more time to write about my journey along the way.

I still have a few open dates for 2016 and plenty in 2017! 🙂

Selecting A Venue

Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming and complicated process because of the many different details involved. You can, however, make the process easier on yourself by accomplishing certain tasks right away and checking them off your list. One of those things is selecting a venue.

Selecting a venue early on in the planning process is important because there are many factors to consider when choosing your venue. Before you even start looking at venues or putting down deposits, sit down with your significant other and discuss priorities. Make some lists (I love making lists), and call one “Must Have” and one “Can Live Without”. Be sure to keep this with you while visiting your venues.

After you’ve decided on priorities, be sure to really discuss what you and your husband or wife-to-be both envision. There are many venues out there, and more and more as time goes on. You don’t need to settle for anything, but you also don’t need to go into debt just because you fell in love with one particular location.  There will always be others!

Next, you should begin scheduling site visits to check out all the different venues you are interested in. Some venues will be so busy that they are unable to book private tours, in which case they typically host an open house. You can usually find this information on their website or on other bridal forums. Be sure to mark all of your appointments and important dates (bridal shows, open houses, tastings, etc.) on the calendar so as not to forget! If you have to add multiple reminders for yourself, do it. You will be glad you took the time to check out each place in person because pictures can be deceiving.RehearsalatGreystone

Visit your venue during the appropriate time of year. If you are getting married in the fall because you love foliage and want to feature it in your wedding photos, you should schedule your site visits during the fall a year or two before your wedding. This will help you to envision what your wedding would look like if you hosted it at that venue during that time of year. It will also allow you to note the most vibrant colors that surround the venue which will assist you in choosing your colors. Additionally, it will be easier to know what will match and what will clash your surroundings if you select your venue before you decide on your wedding colors.

Pick a place that really represents you as a couple and that brings your theme to life. By selecting a place that you love and dressing it up with your colors and decoration, you are creating a night that your attendees will always remember. Do you have a favorite place to watch the sunset, or maybe a specific mountain that you have hiked up together? If you’re not planning to get married in a church, there are tons of non-traditional options to choose from just by remembering intimate spots you’ve visited with your honey.

Don’t forget to compare prices and packages of all the venues you visit and be sure you select the one that gives the most value for what you are spending. This is where that list of priorities will help you out. If you know what specific details you are looking for in advance it will be easier to make a decision later when you are torn between two venues. Some venues have equipment on site and will include the use of things like tables, chairs, linens, and sometimes tents within their packages. Rental inclusions can make what seems like a more expensive venue a much more reasonable deal once you know total costs.

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Lastly, enjoy yourself. Looking at venues can be fun, but it can also be exhausting and disappointing. I know this first hand from experience. I recently visited some local venues and though they were beautiful, neither were exactly what I had expected. Pictures can be deceptive, as venues only display the best possible photos on their websites so as not to show any sort of minor flaws. Stand where your ceremony is going to be, look around and observe everything. These are the surroundings you will be seeing on your big day. If it seems too crowded or to have too much distracting or unattractive background, note that. Pay attention to whether there will be room for your photograph to move gracefully. If your camera man does not have access to you from many angles, you may miss out on tons of different shots you initially hoped for.

Don’t give up!! I know visiting venues is tiresome, especially when you’ve been to a bunch and still haven’t found what you were looking for.  But when you finally find the right one, you will be more than happy and ready to book it. And if you need any help, I’m here.

Have a Fabulous 4th!

Independence Day, commonly known as The Fourth of July, is a day of celebration. It is the celebration of Independence and Freedom. For many, it is celebrating that summer has finally arrived! Being a Federal holiday most businesses and places of employment are closed giving many the day off. But what to do with your day off, and how should you go about celebrating?

If you’re stumped and not sure where to go or what to do, I’ve thought of a few things that might help!

Host A Better Backyard Cookout

If you want to celebrate but don’t feel like going too far from home to have fun, throw a little get together at your place! There are tons of great things you can do to feel like you’ve thrown a huge party while still keeping within your limits of a small get together.

Pool

If you are not one of the lucky people who have a big beautiful in-ground pool in their backyard, spring for something cheaper but still fun! Tons of stores are selling pools this time of year and there seems to be many different sizes you can choose from. I recently picked one up for my back yard, and it’s great to sit in and sun bathe. It’s actually big enough that four adults can sit in it and enjoy the sun while still cooling off.

If it’s a really hot day and your friends don’t mind getting their outfits wet, you could even throw water balloons and squirt guns in the pool to make for a more interesting afternoon. You could even take your dedication to your 4th theme to the next level by only using red, white and blue balloons.

One small touch that will leave a lasting impression is supplying everyone with sparklers. It makes it feel more like the Fourth of July and less of just a summer cookout. You can find them for cheap at your local dollar store.

Holiday Themed Food

If you really want to impress your guests and have the time and money to make some food items, offer red, white and blue appetizers and desserts! You could bake a white cake/pound cake/angel food cake and top it with white icing, blueberries and strawberries.FOURTH-OF-JULY-DESSERTS-large300 (I know you’ve seen this on the cover of food magazines around this time of year.) For an appetizer you could serve blue corn chips with salsa and shredded white cheddar cheese. Or, if you’re just not really into the themed food items, you can stick with the basic beers, burgers and hotdogs. Either way, I’m sure your hungry guests will be happy.

If you want to have lots of food options but can’t afford to spend that much on food, go pot-luck! Ask each of your guests to bring one food item. If you want variety though, be sure to have your guests check in with you before hand to ensure that too many people don’t bring the same item, and encourages people to look forward to bringing their favorite dish. This can quickly turn a party into an annual event!

Check Your Local Listings

If you would rather go out to celebrate the Fourth but just aren’t sure what your options are, check your local listings. Most newspapers, or these days news websites, will have a list of free activities you and your family can do. Most cities and towns throw their own local celebrations and typically end the night with a small fireworks display.

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If you are in Raleigh and have the day off ABC11 is presenting “The Works; Fourth of July on Fayetteville Street” and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. There’s going to be street vendors, kids games and rides and all sorts of other fun things. Check out the website for more information.

Wedding Day- Nikki & James

After a year of planning and preparation, the big day has finally arrived! My good friends, and first set of clients, are getting married today. Their wedding will take place at St. Mary’s Chapel located at St. Mary’s School on Hillsborough, in downtown Raleigh, NC.

The church is absolutely beautiful with high ceilings, stained glass windows, and an absolutely breathtaking courtyard full of hydrangeas, roses and a water fountain; It’s the perfect spot for an early spring wedding in North Carolina.

We had the rehearsal last night at St. Mary’s and the dinner immediately following at the Double Tree down the road.

The wedding itself is tonight a 5:00 p.m. and the reception is being held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.