Real Wedding| Kari & Ryan

If you asked me what skills you need to possess as a good event designer and director, I would tell you that fluidity – the ability to change course on a dime – was in the top three.  Today, I did just that – I changed course quickly and left some heads {slightly} spinning.  We had prepared another blog post for today…. one showcasing smaller weddings…. one you will undoubtedly see later this week or maybe next.  But then, a Facebook memory popped into my personal page today that had me texting “Reschedule the blog post.”

You see, today is Kari & Ryan’s three year anniversary!  This past weekend I came across some of their wedding photos, perfectly shot by Chadwick Fowler of ModWed, and smile as I reminisced about this fun, untraditional wedding that was 100% a tribute to their story, their love, their life.  And this morning, when the memory popped up in my feed I just knew I had to share it with you.

Kari and Ryan met at a beer festival in Northern AZ (Flagstaff to be exact).  She was standing in line behind him and, as we all often do, he turned around and she said “Do you like my eyes?”. He was hooked.  Who wouldn’t be?  She has a bubbly personality, an infectious laugh and they both love life and live for today. They are a perfect match.

When it came to planning their wedding, they knew what they wanted.  The details were in their heads.  They were uber specific.  But they needed someone to pull everything together for them.  That’s where we come in.

When Kari and Ryan shared their vision for a beer garden themed wedding, I think I may have clapped like a giddy school girl.  I love everything weddings but this was so unconventional, so untraditional that I knew we had to be involved.  They had already found The IceHouse and most of their vendors but still needed help with floral elements, rentals, layout and overall day-of coordination.  Our job, should we choose to accept it, was simple: think beer garden, incorporate chamomile and hops, and design a party that isn’t truly a wedding with a short (and I mean short) ceremony sandwiched in between a hopping cocktail hour and an honest to beer-centric party.

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The Cathedral Room at the IceHouse is a popular ceremony location.  Ivory drape was used to conceal the gray steel door that connects this open-air patio to the Silver Room.  Edison bulbs, strung asymmetrically on the drape added an ambient light at the altar. Al fresco lighting, provided by the venue, lit up the night and the aisle decor, consisting of oil lamp illuminated wax vessels, lit a path for Kari and her dad.

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icehouse phoenix wedding planner

The bride and her maids carried bouquets of white roses, white ranunculus, bluplerum and chamomile.  Boutonnieres of simple white ranunculus accented with a small sprig of chamomile adorned the left lapel of stunningly simple grey suit jackets.

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The 8-minute ceremony (yes, 8-minutes) gave way to a party that highlighted everything Kari and Ryan love. Seven microbeers on tap, street food style fare and an amazing kettlecorn truck provided all-night nosh opportunities.

Hoping for a rustic picnic style affair, mahogany farm tables provided by Encore Creative provided a base for whimsical centerpieces that featured galvanized buckets filled with chamomile and bluplerum situated amongst glowing wax candles and pillar candles atop hops, malt and barley.

icehouse phoenix wedding planner The crowning jewel of this event has to be the cake.  Not a fan of sweet frostings, Kari and Ryan opted for a naked cake and what a treat it was.  Three flavors offered something for everyone’s sweet tooth. We may have sampled a bite, or twelve, because we are all about quality assurance.

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Kari and Ryan dreamt of a wedding that truly reflected their laid back personalities and love of everything beer.  We think we nailed it.  Don’t you agree?

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icehouse phoenix wedding planner

 

Classic Garden Wedding | Montelucia

We love brides that give us their vision and let us run with the design.  Hannah was just that bride.  We aren’t going to lie, her vision for a garden inspired elegant wedding at the Omni Montelucia in Paradise Valley, AZ, made us a little more than giddy.  From eucalyptus garlands adorning the ceremony chairs, to an elaborate floral treatment on the Valencia Lawn gazebo and a 42-foot (yes, foot) hydrangea runner down the bridal party table, we were in designer’s heaven.  We know you will love this wedding as much as we did!

Design & Coordination: Us! Stellar Event Management; Photography: Jennifer Bowen Photography

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Tips for Finding the Perfect Venue

No doubt about it, choosing a venue for your wedding is exciting.  After arriving at a date, it is one of the first decisions you will make on your wedding planning journey. But before you put down any deposits or form attachments to rustic-chic barns that don’t have electricity, there are a few things to consider. Here’s our best advice for choosing a wedding venue:

Estimate your guest list and budget. 

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Bowen Photography

You probably don’t have a firm grip on your guest list or budget just yet, but you’ll need to know roughly how many people you’re inviting and how much you can spend before you start drawing up your list of dream venues.  Both pieces of information are critical to keep you from wasting your time touring venues that are too small or outside of your budget.  Your guest list doesn’t need to be etched in stone at this point, but you should have a rough idea of how many people are on your list and how many are on your future spouses.  Be sure not to overlook parents….if they are chipping in part or all of the funds, they may have a handful of close friends they would like to include.

Consider the style of wedding you want to have. 

Whether it’s rustic, formal, boho, low-key, or a blow-out bash, the wedding style you and your partner envision will be a big factor in determining where you can host your celebration. Consider whether you want a traditional or non-traditional venue. There are plenty of venues that regularly play host to weddings — including barns and art galleries — but if you opt for a totally non-traditional venue that’s not equipped to host a party (say, an industrial warehouse space), you’ll be responsible for a lot more details. Wedding-ready venues often have tables, chairs, and linens available for your use and, quite often, a set-up and clean-up crew on hand. If you’re renting out a non-traditional space, remember to factor in all of those details and make sure they are in your budget.

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Bowen Photography

Slow down and consider the logistics. 

Once you have a list of possible wedding venues and begin to visit them, you may find yourself falling instantly in love with the aesthetics of a space. But be sure to slow down and consider the logistics of having a wedding at your dream wedding venue.  Don’t forget to think about available parking – is it on property? Is there a fee to park?  Does the venue have a liquor license? Is there a contingency plan in case of bad weather? Is there a required end time? All of these could adversely affect your budget if you aren’t prepared.

Think about how much control you’ll want to have over your wedding’s decor and details. 

Most venues are either full-service or not, meaning they either provide all tables, chairs, and linens…or they don’t. Find out what each venue provides, ask if the venue has any vendor restrictions, and decide whether or not you can be happy with those options.

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Photo Credit: Marry Jordan Photography

Consider your catering needs. 

Many of today’s couples are foodies and want to serve their guests a very specific menu. But not every venue will allow you to bring in your own caterer, and some may require you to choose from in-house catering menus. Discuss your catering needs before signing a contract to ensure that the venue matches your desires.  And be sure to schedule a tasting.

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Photo Credit: Foskett Creative

Visit your potential venue more than once.

Once you’ve whittled down your list of venue options to two or three frontrunners, go back and visit them again. Do they have the same charm? Do they fulfill all your logistical and stylistic requirements? Are they big enough, and will your party have a comfortable flow? If possible, visit the venue around the time of day you want to marry — if you originally saw the venue at 11 AM the first time you visited, you’ll want to see it again at the time you plan to start your wedding. Note whether or not the lighting and aesthetic of the space is the same. (This is also a good time to bring in your wedding planner if you’re working with one.)

Signing a contract.

Read the fine print!  Ask all of your questions before signing.  When you sign a contract, it is assumed that you read, and agreed to, every word.  It is also important to note that many vendors are not willing to modify their agreement so only ask if there is a clause that you simply can’t work with (i.e. the need for Kosher catering and there isn’t an option provided by the venue).

Once your contract is signed, you will undoubtedly want to show the venue to your family and wedding party.  An open house is the perfect opportunity for that. Remember that, while you have one wedding, your venue coordinator could potentially have over 50 events booked and several more pending so don’t just pop in!

Do you have questions regarding your venue contract?  We can help you sort out the details and let you know what you are signing before you sign.  Our hourly packages are designed for couples that need a little assistance with contracts. Email us for more info!

Now go celebrate and start your design board or call us and we will help you design one!

 

 

 

 

Scott & Bridget’s Rustic Chic Wedding

We are digging in the archives for this wedding.  To this day it remains one of our most favorite weddings as the entire day was infused with bits of the bride’s and groom’s personalities.

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Bridget and Scott met online in 2011 and were engaged within three months. You can tell by looking at these two that they were genuinely in love…. the kind of love that would last a lifetime.  Due to the nature of Scott’s job, the couple planned their wedding in 90 days which put their wedding date smack dab in the middle of June – one of Arizona’s hottest months.  Daytime temps easily soar to 115-120 degrees during the day so following the timeline would be critical.

We selected a secret garden on the campus of Arizona State University for the ceremony. This lush area is sequestered between four buildings near the center of campus and is a haven of lush flowering plants and tall shade trees that are home to many birds. The raised patio with outdoor fireplace was the perfect spot for this intimate ceremony.

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The bride and her sisters crafted each detail of this wedding, from the bouquets and boutonnieres, to the aisle decor, centerpieces, favors and directional signage.

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The reception was held at Old Main, ASU’s oldest building where guests danced the night away before sending the couple off with a sparkler exit.

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5 Aisle Decoration Ideas

Decorate your aisles with one of these great ideas to give your ceremony a personal touch.

Add a twist to your aisle with one of these very cool, and clever, ideas.

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Baby’s Breath Ceremony Decor

Galvanized buckets filled with baby’s breath lined the ceremony aisle creating a romantic feel to this rustic chic wedding.

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Ceremony Chair Greenery Bundles

Natural bundles of seeded or silver dollar eucalyptus, rosemary or lavender hung from the chairs along the aisle perfectly complimented this couples outdoor ceremony.

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Tissue Paper Decor

The bride added bursts of white and green to the wedding aisle with large tissue paper pompoms and mason jars filled with baby’s breath and bells of Ireland .

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Hanging Floral Decor

Small, delicate glass cones filled with a single peony hung from the chairs along the ceremony aisle.

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Photo Ceremony Decor

White and yellow frames with pictures of the bride and groom throughout the years hung from the pews which created a talking point among guests.

How are you decorating your aisle?

Style Inspiration: TV Theme Design

We are often invited to participate in designer challenges in which we design a 10’x10′ space or table any way we choose.  The event is usually combined with a monthly meeting of our local NACE chapter (National Association of Catering Executives). To say that we enjoy these events is an understatement.  There are no parameters or guidelines and we love seeing what other designers bring to the table (pun completely intended).

Because we are designing for an event attended by our peers, and we are designing against our peers, the bar always seem high for these events.  It is important to find a concept that is a little out-of-the-box that is buzz-worthy.  Sometimes finding the right idea takes weeks, sometimes you find one piece of decor that speaks to you and everything just falls into place.  Thankfully, this is what happened with this challenge!

We fell in love with this jail door that actually is part of a western jail facade.  Luckily the door is a separate piece and it became the main element in our “Orange is the New Black” design theme.  Brushed aluminum walls mimicked the concrete walls of the cell and created the perimeter of our space while a single edison lightbulb hung in the center of the cell.

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We added a tall brushed aluminum communal table that seated 8, brushed aluminum barstools and a plethora of orange floral pieces in concrete pots, silver urns and clear glass vessels, accented with silver mercury votives.   Our place settings remained in theme with cafeteria trays we painted silver for the inmates and fine china for the warden and prison officers.  Orange napkins were gathered inside one handcuff and placed neatly on the cafeteria tray.  Place cards and the table number designator were adorned with a handcuff design as well.

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We aren’t sure what was more rewarding – the positive feedback on the design, or the fact that many attendees used the jail door as a photo op.  We love it when our designs are multi-purpose!