So excited to welcome Ariana and Jeff to the studio family! While we started their process a few weeks back, I wanted to give them a warm welcome this today!
Ariana and Jeff met four years ago through mutual friends, he was always shy and Ariana is very outgoing. Ariana is a hairstylist and, when first meeting, Jeff asked her if she did "in home" haircuts LOL. She passed along her business card to him with the wrong phone number! LMAO!!
Well one night, after a couple drinks and some liquid courage he called her from a friends phone and they went on a date two days later! THE REST IS HISTORY!
"It makes things easy when you become best friends with the one you are in love with"--Could not agree more Ariana!!
Jeff and Ariana's proposal story is incredibly romantic! Jeff surprised Ariana at her aunt and uncles home in Beaverton, MI. Imagine the beautiful lakefront view and a red carpet covered in a trail of rose petals and candles lit. Can you guess what it lead to!? YUP Jeff on one knee with a banner saying " Ariana will you marry me". HOW SWEEETTT!
" He's an outdoorsy kind of guy and I'm the girly girl. Opposites definitely attract."
I am more than looking forward to working with these two. Only after speaking with Ariana a few times as we start this process, I could tell that she and Jeff are going to be a blast to work with!
Welcome you two! Cheers! Slainte! Salud!
It is no secret the world is upside down right now. With the COVID-19 changing our everyday lives, and moving faster than we can keep up with, priorities are shifting. The powers at hand are doing everything they can to prevent this virus from spreading at a rate that would be detrimental to our world. While most of us are very understanding and are following each rule placed by the CDC and our governments, it does not take away the stress if you are planning ANY type of event within the near future.
As an event specialist, and as a 2020 Bride myself, my own emotions are a bit all over the place. If you are anything like me, you find comfort in planning as much in advanced as possible. With our current climate this is practically impossible.
I know, I haven't said ANYTHING comforting yet. Here is the bottom line, the rules and restrictions placed upon us are necessary. I am not one to watch the news, or keep up with the latest topics on the regular, but this situation undeniably affects EVERYONE.
So after thinking about what my next steps are for my clients, my myself and Jesus, and for my business I have decided to just take it day by day.
So.... You can find many resources ( and I am sure they will continue to grow as time passes) on how to handle postponing your event., What I am going to provide in this small blog is a document I created for myself and I am calling the BRIDAL BACKUP.
What are the steps that I recommend taking? They are different depending on when your event is. These steps focus on if your event is within the next 8 WEEKS. If you have a wedding planner get them involved in your process ASAP.
1. Talk to your partner
I would hope that many would see this as step one. Maybe some of you put being angry and sad first and THAT IS OKAY! Who could blame you. Here is the thing though, we have to pick up our shit and get to work figuring out our next steps. So, talk to your partner, how do you both feel about the options: Postponing, Adjusting the guest count ( which could be different depending on timing or maybe even not allowed depending on timing ), or...and I don't even want to say it but cancel. Here is the thing, I am not a believer in cancelling I am a believer in postponing. That is just me. While maybe in other situations this would be tough to do, being that our WHOLE WORLD is in the same boat vendors will do whatever they can to help you. One, because anyone who works in the wedding industry cares about their clients ( the mass majority at least) and two, at the end of the day we are EXCITED to have your business for whatever date you choose.. Whether now or later.
2. Make the Decision
Once you have talked with your partner make the choice and stick to it. Nothing makes planning harder than indecisiveness. Having a final choice about what route you will take will make the conversations ahead of you much easier. DO NOT SECOND GUESS yourself. Hey if by the OG date of your wedding things have changed and the world is a little brighter but you have already changed your date...Do not talk yourself into going backwards. Think of the positive things about the changed date ( longer to save money, less stress because planing was spread out, maybe a honeymoon is an option now due to having more time ) It is tough right? We do not know what is going to happen in the next however many months. So make the choice on what your next step is and stick to it. Again, we are all in the same boat so if the world is still chaotic by the time your potential NEW date comes around..well..we have bigger problems.
3. Call your VENUE FIRST-Set the new date
If you have decided to postpone ( which I am hoping is everyone's solution) get in touch with your venue FIRST! This will be one of the toughest things to change. BE OPEN MINDED! Maybe you have a longer timeline, maybe its a Friday or Sunday option your presented with..Work with them to find the best solution. Please keep in mind that this is NONE of your vendors fault, and we ALL want to be your teammates in this situation.
4. Reach out to your guests
Your wedding will be on your wedding guests minds as soon as they realize when your date falls. If you have a WEDDING WEBSITE UPDATE that immediately. Even if the message is just " We are currently making the plans to postpone our wedding, please be patient as we ....". Update this site like a live feed and encourage your guests to check it. This is very important if the majority of your guests are TRAVELING. If your guests have hotel bookings and need to change those arrangements. The earlier you can let your guests know the better their chances are at making the adjustments to their travel plans and schedule. If you do not let your guests know the less chance they will be able to make the adjustments in time.
5. Call your Vendors: What are your options
Alright now start the process of reaching out to your vendors. My suggestion is to email and to follow up with a phone call. Keep in mind that vendors are going to become more and more overwhelmed with how to re-schedule and plan all events postponed in conjunction with events already planned for later dates. Take a deep breath and remind yourslef that they are part of your team in this process.
Ask them the hard questions:
1. Are you available these potential new dates?
2. If so ( YAY!) can you draw up a new contract with the updated information?
3. What are my new due dates for payments?
4. If NOT, what is the refund policy ( honestly, I am offering a full refund to my brides for 2020 if needed).
5. Can you provide me with a written cancelled contract ( I know this sounds crazy but I always say get everything in writing)
6. Ask if they have any recommendations of other professionals that may have availability.
6. Adjust your financial commitment due dates and scheduling
After speaking to your vendors, and getting an idea of who you will be working moving forward and what new vendors you need to obtain, re-evaluate your position with both your financial commitment due dates and your scheduling. The good thing is, that postponing SHOULD ease some of the timeline pressure of payments due. This does not take into account for any circumstances that the COVID-19 put on job statuses, but in general more time can help with the money saved for the new date.
7. BREATHE! Pick up where you left off
Okay, so..we have a new date, our vendors lined up, and we can pick up where we left off. Now, these steps do not cover all the small details but this will get you to a point where you will feel like the big things are covered.
Alright, one of the things I am coming across is what about if...So here are a few that I have heard already and I will commit to updating these as I get more questions.
What if..I already sent my save the date?: Well the first thing I will ask you is if you have sent your invites. Guests will already be aware ( because you made them ) that your date is changing. So keep in mind that they are already prepared for your invite to not match your save the date.
If you have sometime before your sending your invites, but want to let your guests know that you have already changed the date...Re-create your save the date with the new date and send it digitally! Create a group on Facebook! Send an email or text with the updated " We've Changed the Date" message!
What if.. I already ordered my invites and they have the old date? Mhmm for me, again, guests are going to understand that the date has changed so you can do a few things. If you have the time call/ contact your vendor for your prints. See if they would give you a new set or a discount for re-prints. However, most of us do not have the luxury both financially and or based on timeline (STILL DOESN'T HURT TO ASK). So my suggestion is still send them! Add a small note in each invite explaining your NEW date and your understanding if their schedule will not be able to accommodate this change. I see nothing wrong with putting in a separate card into the envelope that compliments yours invitation. AGAIN if you have a wedding website make sure the accurate information is there so you can reference your guests to that.
What if...I already ordered items with our date on it? Favors/ personalized elements/ Programs exc?: Out of everything I see this as the least of anyones concerns that day. I would say if you ordered adorable tags with your wedding date and that has changed? Still use them, no one is going to ask why, question, or judge you for it. Do not waste your time and energy on discarding items that are already paid for. Again this is my opinion. However, as mentioned above, if you are really worried about it reach out to the company you ordered from and see if they would be willing to create you a new set or give you a discount on a second order.
What if..One of my vendors cannot accommodate my new date?: UGH this is the worst BUT again keep in mind imagine if roles were reversed. So if one of your vendors cannot accommodate your new date do not panic. I would hope ( because anyone I have worked with would) that they would fully refund you and give you suggestions others in their industry. If they do not have any recommendations for you reach out to other event planners, organizations, and resources for their suggestions. We are all willing to help and give suggestions out to couples whether your a client of our own or not.
As I am asked more questions I will post my suggestions here!!
While we work our way through this very uncertain time it is important to appreciate everything we do still have. Remember, an wedding or an event can always be postponed to better times. What you cannot get back is time with your loved ones. So, as long as you and your partner commit to showing up for whatever date you have to change to...Then you've beat this.
Photo Cred: The Focused Soul Photography
Here are some other links for suggestions if your big day is going to be changed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic:
When preparing for the big day we hire and work with vendors of all sorts. Most of these vendors are hired to help us get the space, the food, the music, and the booze ready. However, when I really think about my own thinking process one of the BIGGEST things that I worry about is honestly....How I will look in that DRESS!
I am sure you have seen the T-shirts that say Sweating for the Wedding....Well this month still being early in the year I really wanted to shed some light on another type of professional that can help you hit those health and weight loss goals that you have set for yourself.
While health and fitness are important ALL THE TIME.. Do not get me wrong here, you shouldn't just care about these things during the wedding planning process, but if you do not already have a routine that is best suited for your physical AND mental health...WHY NOT START one while leading up to one of the BEST DAYS EVER!
P.S. It is not just about the physical health practices leading up to that day, but also the mental health practices. Both our body's and our minds react to stress and sometimes we just need the right support to help us stay balanced.
I MEAN AM I RIGHT??
Now, if your anything like me...Knowing and understanding the best way to go about developing a health and wellness routine is not in my wheelhouse. So, just as I encourage all my design clients.... work with a professional!!! These are the type of people that are PASSIONATE about these categories and would love to work with you on developing the right routine that is unique to you.
Honestly, one thing that I have learned from my own journey is that NO ONE PERSONS health and wellness routine is the same. These individuals can work with you on finding yours.
Hey everyone! My name is Brandie, and I am a Michigander, born and raised. I love to be adventurous and explore our beautiful state, and others, whenever I get the chance. Outdoor activities such as, hiking, kayaking, and bicycling are just a couple things I enjoy when I am not working. I also love to read; I'm a podcast junkie, I enjoy spending time with my dogs, I find peace in writing, and I love me some coffee! I am also now registered to become a certified YOGA instructor!
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals." -Zig Ziglar
My pre-workout is my favorite. It tastes like fruit punch, depending on my morning I am able to take 2 scoops instead of one if I need the extra umph, and it is packed with nutrients and vitamins to keep my body balanced and ready for any workout!
PiYo (Pilates and yoga mix): is one of my most favorite workouts to do. It's relaxing yet intense at the same time. In just 30 minutes I am able to work my entire body, while also improving my flexibility and focus.
Yoga: is my go to work out. It is relaxing, helps with flexibility, focus and breathing, and it can be practiced almost anywhere with little to no equipment necessary. Many people underestimate the power and the intensity of yoga; It is both a mind and body experience. It is a well rounded practice.
What is your biggest struggle?
Oh man, my biggest struggle?! If I am going to be honest, it is sleep; the snooze is my nemesis. I am one of those people that take my sleep seriously. I find it hard making sure I get to sleep between 9-10pm, so that I can get enough sleep to wake up at 4:30am to get my morning routine in. But my first step to fixing this was determining a bedtime for myself (9-10pm). I did that by deciding how many hours of sleep I want and need, which in my case, I prefer 7 1/2 - 8, if I can. The next step was forcing myself out of bed at the sound of my alarm. How do I do that? Put my phone (my alarm is on my phone) across the room! Not only does that keep me from scrolling through pinterest at 11 o'clock at night, but it forces my body to move in order to make the noise stop. Now as long as I follow those two things, I am good to go at 4:30am. Am I a saint? No. Life happens, we all know that. You just have to have the ability to adapt to the changes as they come about, while keeping your mind focused on your goals. If you hit snooze and miss your morning workout, find a way to increase your activity level throughout the day, or plan your workout to be in the evening instead. It's all about adaptation, focus, and mindset.
"One of the most memorable moments in one's life is their wedding day.
While working towards your big day, it is important for both to remember why you're waking up at 4am to workout, or why you're spending your entire afternoon grocery shopping and meal prepping, it is important to remember who you're doing it for, and why. First, you need to choose this change for yourself, no one else. Once you've done that, you need to talk with your soon to be spouse about each others goals and how you can support one another throughout their health and fitness journey. Then, plan, plan, plan! Choose a fitness program that suits your needs, and focus on your nutrition and water intake. Reach out to friends, family, coach, or community to share your journey, for accountability and record. Finally, crush your goals TOGETHER
With the start of my new journey, I also started a motivational wellness podcast called “Lattes with Ale.” In my podcast, I talk about how to balance life and stay motivated. Mindset is everything! Each episode is between 10-15 min.
If you want to join me, grab your latté and let’s get started!
Click here to check out her podcast:
podcast at “Lattes with Ale.” in
What is your advice for couples getting ready for their big day??
My biggest advice is to plan together! I bought a dry erase board and placed it in my kitchen. Each week we would write down our workouts, meals, wedding deadlines such as payments due, menus due, or meetings. This helps us get a snapshot of our week/month was looking.
Stress levels would stay low because we scheduled time to do everything that had to get done! Doing this also kept my fiancé in the loop and it didn’t feel as if I was planning everything on my own.
“Do the things today that will help the future you!”
I absolutely love drinking Shakeology. It’s a superfoods packed meal replacement shake. It helps with cravings, lean muscle, gut health, system support, and stress. I’ve been drinking it for almost 10 years now and love it!! It helps me stay on track when it can be tough and is delicious. I mix mine with coconut milk, spinach, 1/2 a banana, collagen and ice. It’s usually my breakfast every single day. Cafe Latte is my favorite flavor.
2B Mindset (a nutritional and wellness program) because it focuses on our relationship with food, not just a black and white diet.
Transform :20 (a home fitness program) because it supports a busy schedule while still getting in one of the most effective workouts I've ever had...in just 20 minutes.
One of the first ways that you can include your lovable four legged family members is by including them in your engagement photos.
Creating cute signs, and accessories to give them a voice makes the most adorable Save the Date.
"I loved her first"
"Mom said Yes!"
"My mom and dad are getting Married"
Are just a few.
So excited to celebrate one of our favorite sweet treat creators this month! Everyone... this is Amanda from Frost & Layer Bakery!
I have known Amanda for a handful of years now meeting through our 9-5. In fact, we have been known as " The Amanda's" and I think we both get a kick out of that.
I have asked Amanda to answer some questions for me and I am very excited to feature her as we end the holiday season on a sweet note.
As a personal taste tester of her product I can tell you she does not disappoint!!!
4. What have been some of your favorite weddings and why?
A: "All weddings are fun because each one is different from the last, but this summer I was the maid of honor for my best friend’s wedding in Marquette, MI. I planned it, I decorated it, I was in it, and I catered for it! Because we were so far away from home, I was baking and decorating 200+ cupcakes in a random AirBnB kitchen, so I really had to be on my game. It was a challenge, but totally worth it. Plus, she gave me complete creative freedom, which are always the best events to bake for."
5. What do you encourage clients to stay away from when planning their wedding/or when working with you and your craft?
A: "I always encourage trying not to worry to about every little detail – to trust in and leave all the minor pieces to the professionals who really own their craft. Too many options and too many ideas can create a really chaotic environment for the client. People who are passionate about what they do, will never deliver less than their best for their client."
One of the best things about this display is that it directly involved Jamie's clients. Throughout our time getting the display together Jamie held a Instagram contest encouraging her followers, and four legged customers, to submit their photo and a reason why they wanted to be a City Bark model! We took the submissions and randomly selected 6 dogs! These 6 dogs had their letter to Santa and photo featured in the display!
We had so many pups submit that I decided to address an envelope for each submission. This way when walking past the store her customers would see their name getting ready to be sent to Santa. This was one of the best parts. While setting up the display I would see customers looking for their pets name.
We had the featured dog owners send us their pet's letters to Santa and these became the driving factor for what product featured in the window for the holiday.
Check out OUR chapters as a growing business! We will be posting where we have been, what we have been doing and what our world is like.
Interior Design-Event Design-Merchandising