Filtering by Tag: louisiana weddings

Allison & Christopher | April 21, 2018

Randi Fracassi

When you know, you know. When Allison and Chris met during college, it was instant. A sweet girl from Louisiana, a bright eyed and down-to-earth boy from New York, a combination that lead them to New Orleans to celebrate the start of forever with laughter, dancing, and donuts (that's right here kids...if there's a better duo than Allison and Chris, it's Krispy Kreme and New York City policemen!). 

Captured so beautifully by Kaylie Martin of Kaylie Nicole Photography, and with floral and styling by Diane over at Fat Cat Flowers, their day was absolutely perfect. Cheers to many years, Allison and Chris! #WidmerTiesTheKnox

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OUR AMAZING TEAM

Photography: Kaylie Nicole Photography

Coordination: Poppy Lane Events

Ceremony Location: St. Louis Cathedral

Reception Location: Marche

Prep Location: Chateau LeMoyne

Floral Designer: Fat Cat Flowers

Entertainment: Luv Sexy Band & Kinfolk Brass Band

Beauty Team: Flawless Bride

Cake: Haydel’s Bakery

Donut Tree: Krispy Kreme Bakery

Invitations: Zazzle

Bridal Apparel: Allure Bridal at Ashley Renee Bridal

Dancing in the Dark: A Styled Elopement

Randi Fracassi

Her smile was radiant. It lit up her eyes and brought a warmth to his soul, and he knew that he wanted that smile for the rest of his life. He had become her rock, her partner in all things, and without a shadow of a doubt understood that without him being by her side, her life would be meaningless and not nearly as full as it had been since they met. So hand in hand, excited and scared and nervous, they decided on forever.

And so they laughed. And they loved. And they cried and got angry and forgave. They worked together and didn’t give up on each other. They were partners, a team, the perfect match in every way. And they cared for each other in such a way that words cannot describe it.

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I hope ya’ll garnered some inspiration from this inspirational shoot that we did in collaboration with Hannah Herpin Creative, Madames and Mermaids Artistry, Pure Vintage Rentals, Banter and Charm and The Keeping Room, and Blush Formal and Bridal. It was such a joy to work on, and I know that the various elements of this shoot can be altered to fit your aesthetic and your vision.

Happy planning,

Randi 

Lindsey + Tim | May 19, 2017

Randi Fracassi

"To love is not to possess, to own or imprison, nor to lose one's self in another.

"Love is to join and separate, to walk alone and together, to find a laughing freedom that lonely isolation does not permit.

"It is finally to be able to be who we really are, no longer clinging in childish dependency nor docilely living separate lives in silence, it is to be perfectly one's self and perfectly joined in permanent commitment to another-- and to one's inner self.

"Love only endures when it moves like waves, receding and returning gently or passionately, or moving lovingly like the tide in the moon's own predictable harmony, because finally, despite a child's scars or an adult's deepest wounds, they are openly free to be who they really are--and always secretly were, in the very core of their being, where true and lasting love can alone abide."

-James Kavanaugh

Y'all, coordinating Tim and Lindsey's wedding was a dream. May 18 and 19, 2017 were the hottest days of the spring, but these folks and their family and friends had the biggest smiles on their faces the entire time. They were so incredibly sweet, their love and respect for each other evident with every glance they exchanged. 

The Lopez's were married at the James Grace House in Plaquemine, and the second I pulled up to the property my jaw dropped. Dr. Grace and his wife own the property, and in the 1970's actually moved the entire home across Iberville Parish cane fields to where it currently stands. Mrs. Grace was-- and still is -- a botanist, and her love for plants and floral can be seen in the garden where Tim and Lindsey had their Private Prayer Moment, as well as the most darling greenhouse near the Bridal Cottage. The house is fully restored to it's Antebellum roots, with antiques from the period mixed through pictures of the Grace family and modern amenities (God bless air conditioning!). 

Tim and Lindsey full embraced simplicity and adding personal touches for their wedding, from eucalyptus bouquets and crowns for the bridal party to Tim's father, their pastor, presiding over their ceremony, their favorite home-style food being served at the buffet, and the Matron of Honor's hand lettering used throughout in the signage. This wedding was full of laughter, smiles, and friends and family coming together to celebrate the beginnng of Tim and Lindsey's life together. 

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DIY for Your DAY: Things to Craft...and Not to Craft

Randi Fracassi

Y’all, at one point or another while planning your wedding, you will find yourself scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest, gazing blankly at Amazon, or attending a bridal show, and you’ll be struck with the idea to do something absolutely fantastic for your wedding, and then as you look for that piece that will complete the vision, you cannot find it. You check rental vendors, Etsy, even a craft fair (yes, they still exist, and they’re pretty fun!) for this item or this look, and you start to loose a little piece of your soul and the dream die a little with every email and phone call that says “Sorry, we don’t have anything like that”. It is at this time that you’ll find yourself pulling into Michael’s or Lowe’s or Hobby Lobby, and it’s at this point that you can cross another thing off the Unspoken Wedding Bucket List:

Craft for the Wedding.

And crafting for you wedding can go generally in one of two ways; it will either be a total success, come together with a few tweaks here and there to really make it yours, or it can be a total and utter failure. There’s no in-between, unfortunately, on this one.

So, I thought to share with y’all this week my favorite DIYs and crafts folks have done for their weddings, (with links to the creator’s instructions, if you’re so inclined as to make it your own for your wedding) as well as share with you some things I would recommend you leave to the pros and knowledgeable vendors.

Do Try to DIY: Ceremony Arch or Backdrop

Oftentimes when you’re getting married outside, you need or want a little something extra to ground the space and formerly say “This is where we’re exchanging vows”. I love how folks make crosses and arbors out of wood, like the two below, but also check out this macramé DIY from Chelsea Sadler on Youtube, as well as this PVC-pipe turned metal (with a the perfect touch of floral accents). I would make sure your decorator, whether they are a professional or a friend or family member, get comprehensive instructions on how to assemble Day-Of so you’re not worrying or stressing about it while you should be enjoying your day.

Do NOT Try to DIY: Wedding Invitations

With a wide array of vendors, both large (such as Minted or Basic Invite) and small (like The little Blue Chair, Invitobella, and The Keeping Room), it is rather unnecessary to create your own wedding stationary. Now, it might be less expensive initially to create your own, but factoring in your time and the money for the materials, it ends up being more expensive to do it yourself when you want something a little bit more elaborate than a digitally printed invitation.

Do Try to DIY: Centerpiece and Vases

One of the neatest trends that I’m seeing is using alternative compotes and vases as the base of wedding centerpieces, like wooden planter boxes (like this one from A Practical Wedding) or antique serving bowls like this one from Anita Widder. If antiques or going to rustic route aren’t your vibe, check out a school supplier for test tubes and a rack, spray paint it or use Rub-n-Buff for the desired color, and boom: an edgy centerpiece you can fill with stems, or use in table length garlands to add height! You can also check out my previous post on making your own mercury glass centerpieces and candle holders.

Do NOT Try to DIY: Floral Arrangements

There’s big difference between making the containers in which your centerpieces will be in, and then doing the floral for it. I say that DIYing your floral arrangements is something you shouldn’t do mostly because of the stress associated with them; making sure flowers get there on time, carving out the time between rehearsal and being with friends and family in order to do it, as well as making sure that the arrangements get to the venue on your wedding day. Trust me when I say that the stress is simply not worth it when you should be having a stress-free and relaxing day.

Do Try to DIY: Signage

Not only is it incredibly trendy to have various signage around your event space, but it’s also a practical way to inform guests of the timeline, menus, and where things are located. Whether you do a large, handlettered backdrop (like the one below we did for a styled shoot) or make up a sign in Photoshop or Publisher and have it printed at Fedex, signage is a quick and simple way to add a little lagniappe and personality to your wedding décor. With a variety of frames available at your favorite craft store or thrift shop (where you can use spray or chalk paint or Rub-n-Buff to change the look of it), or if you’d prefer to have Home Depot or Lowe’s trim some wood and stain it to your tastes, the possibilities and options are endless!

Do NOT Try to DIY: Setting Up and Decorating Your Wedding Yourself

Wanting to make sure all the blood, sweat, tears, and trips to and from Hobby Lobby were not done in vain is a feeling many can relate to. However, when you look back on your wedding day, would you rather be smiling because of happy memories shared that morning being with your bridesmaids getting ready, or lament on the stress of making sure all the tables are set before heading to your hair and makeup appointment? Whether you have a coordinator or planner, or delegate decorating to friends and family, making sure you enjoy your day and not worry or be pressed for time while setting up for your wedding should be the most important considerations when examining your wedding time timeline and how you want your wedding day to go. My strongest recommendation will always be to make sure that whoever is setting up and decorating know your vision and knows exactly what you want and how you want it.

Do you have any DIY’s or crafts you’ve been thinking about? Or maybe tried and loved before? Please share! I love learning new things, especially if I can in turn use it or share it with another bride!

Happy planning,

Randi

 

Plan with Me: How to Have a Successful Vendor Meeting

Randi Fracassi

Meeting your vendors can be stressful and overwhelming – generally, you don’t know what exactly to ask, contracts can be complicated, and pricing may not make any sense whatsoever. Creatives and wedding industry professionals who are used to the language and work flows of weddings and events can sometimes overwhelm potential brides and grooms, and sometimes you may have questions that arise throughout, but you don’t want to seem silly for asking (spoiler: never feel silly for asking a question regarding investments you’re making on your wedding day!).  So, while wedding and event planning season is kicking into full gear, I wanted to share some tips and tricks in order to have a successful vendor meeting.

First, before you even schedule with vendors, it’s best to know what kind of financial commitment you want to make for your wedding. Whether you decide that by looking at averages of wedding costs for your city or region, or by determining who is committing the funds to make your dream wedding come true, making a tentative budget or getting a ballpark amount for what you want to spend is key. Once you figure out your budget, start looking at the style you want to convey – light and air with lots of greenery, or something more formal with a sit down dinner at a hotel, will help guide you to vendors who have those kinds of experiences and tastes as well, ensuring that your wedding day is consistent in all things.  

So – you’ve found vendors that fit your style, but you’re noticing that there’s a push to meet with you first before disclosing pricing information. Which, as a vendor, I can totally agree with – you wouldn’t want to hand out pricing to everyone who came along, and be able to remain competitive. This also weeds out the serious inquiries versus the non; see if you can schedule a phone consult before you meet, or see if they can give you a ballpark amount. After all, you’re still wanting to remain in budget and keep a track on your expenses.

My biggest piece of advice however relating to pricing, even when you’re reeling from the sticker shock or pleasantly surprised with a vendor’s pricing: keep in mind you’re not just investing in a final product after a service, but you’re also investing in a client experience. I personally would rather spend more money on an excellent customer service experience and great time with a vendor and have fantastic product than a bland, impersonal relationship, and therefore have my final product be tainted by that client experience.

What about when you actually sit down with a vendor? Of course, ask about experience, style, what’s included as a service and what is the client experience with them. But, it is to my recommendation to always ask about whether or not a vendor has a full contract, and if they carry insurance. With more and more venues requiring insured vendors (particularly with caterers), it’s important that the contract protects everyone’s interest, and that should the worst happen, liabilities are able to be covered and taken care of.

When you get to the portion of the meeting regarding deposits and retainers, ask about the difference and what is refundable or nonrefundable, and if the difference can be spelled out within the contract if it’s not already. A deposit, more often than not, can legally be refunded if service is found unsatisfactory or the event is cancelled unless it is strictly outlined as nonrefundable. It is so important for you as a client to be knowledgeable going into a contractual agreement. Ask if you can have a copy reviewed, or if they contract has been reviewed before. As always, it’s better safe than sorry.

Besides looking at making sure that everyone’s interests are protected and ensuring everything is in budget, there are key questions you should ask during your meeting. When you’re spending money and investing in your wedding day, you want to make sure that the people you’re hiring work well together and with you. Ask if they’ve worked with your other hired vendors or at your venue(s), but also learn about them as a person and ask what got them into doing photography or baking or planning weddings, what they do when they’re not working, and their favorite spots around town. Getting to know your vendors as people will help you build a relationship with them, and you’ll find that you have a better experience working with them in the long run.

So, in summary: research and inquire about pricing and availability, even in ballpark amounts, always ask about reviewing a contract and insurance, and get to know your vendors beyond what they do for you. Doing this will lead to better working relationship and a more satisfactory experience on your wedding day.

Happy planning,

Randi

"Is this a good deal?" and Other Questions Relating to the Value of Vendors

Randi Fracassi

The question “Is this a good deal?”, the statement “I’m paying X dollars for a photographer and second shooter for eight hours, 1000-1500 edited images, and engagements, is this fair?”, and “I’m suffering sticker shock – the venue I just looked at just cost X. And that’s not including the food minimum!”. Most of these statements are followed by the comment “Well, when you attach ‘wedding’ to anything, the cost goes up”.

When you’re looking at venues and photographers and caterers and invitations, and you’re reaching out and getting quotes and suddenly there’s a lot more money involved and it’s surprising you, here are few things to keep in mind.

There’s a lot more than just the wedding day as far as working for your vendors. Leading up to a wedding I am coordinating, I spend roughly 50-75 hours speaking with vendors, clients, and everyone involved in a wedding. Broken down to regular work days, that’s about 6 to 10 days spent on the phone, coordinating site visits and final walk-throughs, rehearsals, and the day itself (which for a 5:00 pm wedding, starts at about 9:00 am for my staff and I). For a photographer, not only are they making sure their equipment is ready, but purchasing additional cards, straps, repairs, talking with vendors, and after the day itself (if they’re starting as early as I am for a 5:00 pm wedding), editing and culling thousands of photos to present you with the very best. On average, most photographers in the Baton Rouge area spend 4-9 weeks editing photos and galleries, and more so if they’re assembling prints and albums. 

The vendors that you're getting quotes and proposals from are full of knowledge, but everyone's knowledge is different, and that's a part of the cost. A caterer fresh out of culinary school, or even if they’re based in their home without formal training, is going to provide a menu and offerings than a caterer who has been in the field for 15 years, has a diverse staff, and gives advice or includes floor plans and food displays. With photography, live music, calligraphy, and other fine arts that are services, generally the more you’re paying should be reflected in the quality, service, and presentation. You will be hard pressed to find next to free photographers that have experience in the wedding industry, provide fully edited images, process culling, and best and most importantly of all, ensure that every shot you want on your wedding day is taken.

Fun fact: you’re paying for the experience of working with these vendors. That’s right – the way that they treat you is something you’re paying for. You’re investing into your vendors, you’re giving them a substantial amount of money to work with them, and how fast they respond to emails and phone calls, send back and forth contracts and edits to floor plans, menus, and timelines, how little stress you feel while working with these amazing and awesome folks…that’s a big part of what your money is going towards. You’re paying to work well with a vendor, and if there are bumps in the road or in your relationship, then you are most certainly not getting your value in with them.

But wait, what about when someone is offering a deal or discount? What does that even mean? Well, it can mean a variety of things. It could be just a celebratory discount to appeal to clients who normally couldn’t afford their services, or maybe they just want more bookings. It varies, and you can’t put a lot of stock into why a discount or deal is being offered other than it is. However, when this deal or discount is repetitive is when you need to be cautious about the vendor, and take a hard look at their portfolio and what others are saying about them (especially other vendors).

At the heart of it though, what does it mean when you’re getting a deal or there’s a lot of value? Value and deals are subjective to who is looking at the overall cost; for instance, the services of Poppy Lane Events may seem like too good of a deal to some, but other potential clients may see them as a great value for the cost. Keep it all relative to what your budget is, what you’re looking for as an experience, and what is all included in the overall cost (asking for an itemized and detailed quote is a great idea). With that in mind, what’s a good value and deal will be easily answered, and you’ll be well on your way to having the wedding of your dreams.

Happy planning,

Randi

How to Have a Child-free Wedding and Not Loose Friends (or Your Mind)

Randi Fracassi

“I love kids, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t see the point in paying $40 for a plate of food that they won’t even eat.”

“I just want my guests to enjoy themselves, and not be worried about their kids!”

“There’s going to be alcohol, and I’d rather not have children be in that environment. How to I ask for the kids to stay home?”

Asking about how to pull off a child-free wedding is one of the most common questions I get as a planner. If it’s fair to guests to ask that they keep the kids home, how to word it on an invitation, or what to do if so-and-so says they won’t come if their kid isn’t allowed. Because it’s such a grey area relating to wedding planning, I hope this little guide helps you make this part of planning clear-cut, and helps keep your sanity through the process!

One of the first things you need to do when you decide to have a child-free wedding is to make sure that those closest that have children to you are informed. They will assume one way or another, but it is always better to tell someone in person the correct information beforehand so that they can make arrangements rather than to spring it upon them last minute, and cause a headache for you. In the event that someone is upset (and is vocal) about the fact you’re not allowing children, stick to your guns and reasoning, but do not feel that you have to explain yourself beyond “We just don’t want children at the wedding”.

Once the important parties are informed, be conscious of how to word it on your invitations and all references guests will use (like websites). The best way to do is on a details card or at the bottom of your invitation, with the wording “Adult reception to follow the ceremony”. Be sure to word this based on the formality of your wedding as well to keep the style consistent (talk to your paper goods vendor about suggestions and recommendations as well). If you feel that it won't capture attention and inform guests enough, or even if attendees include their children on the RSVP, do not hesitate to call them and let them know of the situation.

Invitation by  Invitations by Ajalon

Invitation by Invitations by Ajalon

Now, what do you do if…

You have conflicts with parents who have a newborn or small children that they don’t feel comfortable leaving alone. To be honest, there’s not a whole lot you can do; you either stick to the rule no children allowed, or start making exceptions to that rule (and risk having children at your wedding). You must leave the decision up to them, regardless of how important they may mean to you and to have them there. If they feel the same way about your friendship, then I think they can compromise on having an adult night out to celebrate and leave the baby at home.

You experience issues from individuals who are paying for the wedding. This can be a delicate subject, as you want what you want, but you feel obligated to follow the rules or wants of those who are contributing financially to the wedding. These individuals would be the first I would talk to and bring up the idea of a child free wedding. I recommend telling them of costs associated, crying, and the risk associated with drinking adults. If they suggest hiring a sitter or two for the reception to take care of children, then the whole game plan has changed, and will be a totally separate scenario (and logistics regarding liability, insurance, background checks…).

People who are important to you and your fiancé, but aren’t contributing financially. I would say approach these folks the same way as you would with Parents of Newborns, as they both require the same stick-to-your reasons. If they are contributing to the guest list count though, ask bluntly if they would like to contribute towards anything else. I would tactfully remind them that you are managing a wedding, looking at it from all angles, and really would just like to enjoy the day without children.

The aforementioned advice may sound a little harsh, yes, even to myself as I write this out. But the fact of the matter is that children may be an additional cost you don’t want, potentially endanger them if parents over indulge at your wedding, and when you want everyone to be present and involved during the ceremony and reception otherwise occupy them. I love having family and friends together to celebrate and seeing children present at weddings, but more often than not, they do take the focus away from being present and enjoying the wedding day, and worrying about all the What If’s.

Now, if despite all of this, children do still end up at your wedding, my biggest piece of advice is to breathe and let it go. There is nothing you can do at that time to change it, except to make sure they are acknowledged as guests at your wedding.  They will (mostly) enjoy being there, hopefully won’t cause a scene, and the parents will know immediately the faux pas they made when they notice other children aren’t present. Overall, don’t stress over it. There are other more important things that should have your attention that day (like the look on your new spouse’s face when they see you for the first time, or the tears and laughter you’re sharing with your party).

Do you struggle with making these kinds of decisions, or maybe have a unique situation? Feel free to write about it in the comments below, I would love to help and offer advice on how to resolve them!

Happy planning,

Randi

A Personal Post: Why the Military Love

Randi Fracassi

Samuel (my best friend, soul mate, better half...) will officially be Active Duty for the US Air Force in April. He's my rock, my biggest supporter, and best sound board for anything and everything related to business (he, like many men, does not have a single care for anything aesthetic relating to weddings and events, which is ok!). He's my best friend, and I though I'm very supportive of his decision and dreams of joining the Air Force, a part of me is absolutely terrified (I'm sure I'll blog about it in the future, and link back to here). 

Though we've been keeping Samuel's journey relatively low-key, I've always been publicly supportive of the military. I get a lot of questions about why I'm so passionate about our armed forces, and though he's a big reason for it, my passion, love, and ultimate respect starts back into my childhood.

My father is a US Navy Veteran, and for the longest time when I would go the VA with him for his various appointments, I noticed that he was always the youngest guy in the waiting room. Sure, the doctors were about his age, but as far as patients go, we were infants in comparison to the Vietnam, Korean, and World War II folks in the waiting room. Now, Dad is a very sociable man when he wants to be, and when you're in a military hospital, everyone already has some shared characteristics and history to bond over. Though everyone would essentially sit by their battle buddies and others who were around their age, Dad never had an issue talking to other vets and listening. 

And I happened to be listening too. 

You build relationships with these people, and soon you come to recognize them in your comings and goings. You take notice when they haven't shown up in a while. And yeah, they may not always remember you, but there's a comfort in knowing they kinda-sort of think of and ask after you too. That someone with so many other issues will ask about your dolls and the drama of elementary school.  

I'm rambling, forgive me. But I have so many fond memories of Veterans at the VA and the doctors and staff who work so hard to make sure they were, and are, well. 

However, as I got older at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan "began" to end, I was aware that Dad was no longer the youngest patient. I think I was 15 or 16 when I first saw a younger patient, and to be honest, I thought he was lost looking for his parent. And then it occurred to me he was checking in to his appointment. This veteran couldn't have been five years older than me...and it shook me to the core. 

And to be honest, as I watched him go take a seat, and watched all the older guys and their groups watch him too, I knew that it disturbed the routine that had been created in our hospital. Things would not be the same, and now everyone knew it. 

After that, I got in contact with a group that sent care packages overseas to those deployed. I couldn't tell you how often I sent socks, deodorant, sanitary napkins, and soap over there. Basic things, but they were always on the list of needed items. I don't tend to lament on the contacts I made or where they were from, but after I received a letter back...I stopped sending packages. 

When I got to college though, I knew I wanted to help and give back in any way I could. I ended up joining the LSU Army Scotch Guard, an all-female auxiliary counterpart to the Army ROTC at LSU. As a Lassie, I was able to work with future officers, give back to the community, and build a sisterhood of likeminded women. It is an experience I do not regret. I still keep in contact with all of my cadets (now officers, they're so grown and doing amazing things for our country!). 

And then I met Samuel, who was not affiliated in any way, shape, or form to the military with the exception of several distant relatives. And when he first mentioned joining the Air Force two years ago, I was wary. I had watched friends and their relationships be tested and fail, and I did not want ours to join them. But, with knowing and loving each other the way that we do, I have no qualms and only a little bit of nervousness about this new chapter and career. 

So yes. This is a summed up, rather personal look, into why I have such a passion and soft spot for our military (and really, all of our folks in uniform). I tend to keep Samuel and my relationship private, but as our life together progresses, I will be sure to keep you updated (especially if and when there's wedding planning involved in our future ;) ). 

Happy planning,

Randi 

2017 Wedding Trends & Nifty Details

Randi Fracassi

2016 brought a lot of gorgeous and neat elements to the wedding table: hand lettered signs, wedding hashtags, Polaroid guest books just to name a few. But as we start planning and attending 2017 weddings, we can't help but share and inspire you with a few of our favorite up and coming trends weddings:

Copper & Rose Gold Accents

We love seeing more and more rose gold rings on our brides, so why not incorporate it into your wedding decor? The tricky part is having a coordinating color: check out below for a few that we think look perfect with these votives from Save On Crafts

Image courtesy of Save On Crafts. Colors are inspired from Pantone. 

Image courtesy of Save On Crafts. Colors are inspired from Pantone. 

How pretty would a rose gold cake look at your reception?! It'd be the perfect statement! If such a statement isn't your thing, use ribbon accents in your bouquet or fabric for table runners. 

Image: Ruffled 

Image: Ruffled 

Image:  Ruffled

Image: Ruffled

Natural Rustic Details

We understand: it's really easy to glass jars for you country, vintage wedding. But couples that love the rustic aesthetic are now beginning to pull in other natural elements into pulling together the look (maybe being inspired by a Mrs. Joanna Gaines?). Take a peek at the use of deer antlers with wooden planters captured by Brinton Studios below, and how this couple used simple garlands and candlelight to decorate their farmhouse tables. 

Bridal Party Proposals

It's nice to ask you closest friends to be in your bridal party in a fun and meaningful way, but with giving robes as a gift now loosing popularity, it's becoming more of a trend to give a gift box usually containing a small alcoholic beverage, a glass to drink said beverage, a piece of jewelry, and a cute note asking them to join the party.

Some alternatives to drinks and glasses would be sunglasses and croakies (perfect for a destination wedding), an agenda with all the important dates (we love giving a Lilly Pulitzer, Happy Planner, or Recollections in personal sizes), or even a clutch or bag that would coordinate with the look for your wedding (it would be sweet to fill it with tissues, mints or gum, and tinted lip balm). 

Image from  Style Me Pretty

Image from Style Me Pretty

As the year progresses, we'll be sure to continue to share our favorite things over on Instagram and of course on Pinterest! Want to learn how to incorporate any of these into your big day? Just let us know! 

Congratulations! You're Engaged! Now What?

Randi Fracassi

A couple of weeks ago we determined what it truly meant to be engaged (you can read about that here). But now that you're engaged, what are the next steps in planning your wedding? Here are five quick things to do now that you're engaged. 

Image by Rachel Erin Photography

Image by Rachel Erin Photography

Determine what's important to you at your wedding.

Talk with your future spouse about what are things that cannot be missed at your wedding, whether it's photos, the kind of food, or a certain date. Be sure to write it down, and use it to help out with your budget. 

Set your budget and where money is coming from.

Use an excel sheet (like the one we talked about here), write it down, but make sure that there is no mistake of your budget, and make it easy to stay on track of your spending.

Get a planner (or binder) and write everything down that pertains to your wedding.

Whether you get one of of Etsy, the Knot, Southern Weddings, or DIY it. If you've decided that you want to hire someone to keep track of the details, 1) go ahead and hire them, and 2) ensure that they have solid communication with you to keep you on track of when you need to purchase or secure contracts, when payments are due, etc. 

Educate yourself.

Learn the prices, averages, and things about the region you're getting married in and how it affects the wedding industry. Just because a barn venue in Kentwood, Louisiana is one price does not make it the same or reasonable price as a barn venue in Dallas, Texas. Know also the differences in major fabrics and paper goods to make sure that you're not being overcharge for cardstock versus pressed paper or simple tablecloths versus elaborate or finely textured fabric. You can never know too much! 

Don't ask for or listen to everyone's opinions on your wedding.

As soon as it comes out that you're engaged, everyone and their mother comes out of the woodwork to pry, offer advice, and give recommendations. Take it all in, but you do not have to follow it all. Value the thoughts and words of your closest circle, as well as your future spouse. Remember that generally if you ask for advice on one topic, you'll get advice on every topic. 

Hope this was helpful as so many are getting a kick start on their wedding planning! Don't forget to check out our Wedding Planning Timeline or our Budget Series. Happy wedding planning!