celebrity wedding recap of 2014

There were some great celebrity weddings this year. Here are a few of our favorites and some that just needed to be commented on.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie


Source: Hello!

The Brangelina brand tied the knot! After a dozen or so kids and almost nine years, they made it legal. Look at her dress.

(Can you see my raised eyebrow?) I love a good doodle and couples that include children in their ceremony. But on the dress? Seriously, the dress? We couldn’t doodle on shoes, bouquet holder, a ceremony stand? *sigh*

I believe that they are both non-traditionalists and would not have gotten married if their children had not asked them to. So this doodle dress was kind a snub to the ceremonial wedding dress that bride’s usually gush over.

(FYI I heard that there was a strict prenuptial adultery clause. *hmph*

Solange Knowles and Alan Ferguson

Photographed by Rog Walker

Anyone else want to admit that Solange was not even on your radar before this now, infamous photo, was taken of her wedding party? Just saying. This photograph did go crazy viral, for sure. Love they all wore white, hoping this is a trend that will catch on here locally. I guess the objective is to find a run down building and not smile at the camera. Or stand close to your wedding party.

If you’re thinking of copying this style, be aware. Social media fans might backlash on you.

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin


Source: People

George is off the market? This was definitely the shock of the year. She must have magic powers. Haters wrote about how this relationship was a “step down” for Amal. If waking up next to Clooney every morning is a step down, then please give me directions to the gutter.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

kardashian west

Source: Instagram user kimkardashian

Look at the custom rose backdrop! It’s breathtaking. Kim looked incredible in her dress that accentuated her der·ri·ère perfectly. This couple though…. *oy veh*. But let’s face it, they are social media attention whores. Well Kim is, Kanye is along for the ride.

Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy



Credit: Brian Babineau/ via Getty Images (4)

I was secretly excited about this wedding. They are so darn cute together and I wish them years of happiness! I personally adore Jenny, she is a fabulous mother and a creative person. And she protected her son appropriately when dating (not bringing in a man too early to meet her son). Well done!

Lauren Conrad and William Tell



Source: Elizabeth Messina / Getty

A little stretch on the celebrity part, but I have liked her clothing line at Kohl’s and love her hair. Everyone should have natural beautiful hair on their wedding day.

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka


Source: Twitter user ActuallyNPH

Neil Patrick made it official with his long-time partner this year!! This was the social activist wedding of the year as well. Neil and David have been engaged for five years and refused to make it official until the Supreme Court overturned same sex marriages.

Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald


Source: Instagram user jessaseewald

I’m confused why this couple even made the “celebrity list”. It’s  a total stretch, for sure. People are curious about couples that can completely abstain before marriage. They didn’t even kiss before their wedding. I believe they are still locked in their honeymoon suite.

They had 1,000 of their closest family and friends attend their wedding. 950 of them were siblings, I’m guessing.


Sooooo, which one was your favorite of the year?

plan on!


perfect is a four-letter word for your wedding

There are a few words that I really can’t stand hearing or using. Mucus, moist and perfect. I hate the word “perfect” when it comes to describing events and well, life in general. (Don’t quit reading, I won’t say the first two gross words again. Promise).

let’s explore the definition of the word “perfect”

Merriam-Webster says the definition of:

: having no mistakes or flaws
: completely correct or accurate

Well, there starts the problem. Anyone who expects their wedding to be flawless or perfect are certainly setting themselves up for a huge let down.

Truth: every care should be taken in the planning of your wedding day, utilizing professional vendors with experience to troubleshoot, adapt and correct any problems.

So instead of worrying that you won’t have the perfect wedding (can we agree to eliminate that word all together?). Let’s focus your energy and mind set that no matter what happens, you will enjoy your wedding. You will trust your vendors to fix any mishaps that may occur.

houston, we have a problem

Something is going to go wrong. There is never a perfect event. Or a perfect day. Or even a perfect marriage. You get the drift. We cannot control everything. Just our own attitudes and how you will deal with them. So carry on, and have a wonderful wedding day!

feature photo credit: jesse and gena weddings

plan on!


how to save money when planning your wedding …

… and other erroneous advice brought to you by ABC News Good Morning America’s Ginger Zee (ABC meteorologist).

Let me preface this blog post before I begin that I absolutely adore ABC Good Morning America and all their anchors and professionals. NBC Today show can suck it as long as they have Matt (Narcissistic) Lauer as their anchor. Also I am proud to be on TV with a local ABC affiliate. So it saddened me deeply to see this segment they did about “saving money when planning your wedding”. Because the “expert” Francesco Bilotto and the information he passed on was a huge pile of  … well, you’ll see.

Here’s the online link to the segment, I highly recommend you click over and watch the video before reading my rebuttal. And in case you can’t watch the video right now, please read on.

I’ve printed out their 7 ways to save a buck at your wedding … my rebuttal is underneath each point.

1. Keep it simple. Don’t reinvent the color wheel with add-ons such as special plates and linens; try to work with the natural beauty of the venue.

Keeping it simple is certainly your choice. I do agree, don’t fight the venue. i.e. Don’t pick a rustic space if you want an elegant type of wedding. Highlight the natural beauty of the venue and don’t fight it. Agreed. However if you are not a flower person, then bringing in colored or textured linens is the least expensive way to make a powerful statement in your wedding decor. Ask an interior designer (not Francesco, apparently), what is the least expensive option to making a bold statement in a room? The answer: paint it.

2. Use a florist that is not on your venue’s preferred list. You could save at least $2,500 that way.

 You should know as a consumer that often venue’s “preferred vendor’s list” is a paid list. Which is not a big deal, but the venue should be transparent about it. They are not necessarily the best vendors around, just vendors that plunked down advertising money. Back to Francesco’s pearls of wisdom: While a vendor may have to pay a venue to be selected as a client’s choice, the average fee would be 15%, typically, not more than that. Perhaps in NYC it is more. Going with what bride Ginger was first quoted for her wedding flowers, $10,000, then that would only be a savings of $1,500 (at 15%).

3. Rethink vases. Adding vases to floral centerpieces could get add at least $100 to the cost of each table.

{Scratching my head} So, walk me through this  …. we are supposed to put green, wet, oasis full of flowers directly on the white poly table-cloth provided by the venue? What the hell is that suppose to look like? When it starts to fall apart and melt everywhere? And where are they getting small vases (shown in the video) that are worth $100 TO RENT? (I know NYC is more expensive than the Midwest, but not THAT crazy. I just got back from Manhattan two days ago and their gas price was only $.15 more a gallon than what we pay locally). Most small, round vases to rent would be anywhere from $4 – $10 a vase.

4. Rethink the flowers you choose, and how you use them. Francesco Bilotto, who is planning Zee’s wedding, is using carnations for her big day. He called it “the forgotten, abused flower.” He also said that not every table needs to have flowers. “Every other one, maybe do an arrangement and sporadic ones in between and some candles,” Bilotto said.

Okay, this I’m on board with. I love carnations, they are a less expensive flower. However you need to use A LOT of them to make an impact. Or you’ll end up with prom centerpieces back in the day (one carnation, one fern and one sprig of baby’s breath). *barf*

And IT IS okay to have tables with no flowers … lots of candles and water in vases. Oh gosh, yes, we’ll have to use vases for this as most venues do not allow open flame. Sorry Point #3, we’re now backtracking …

5. Rethink your wedding photographer. “The best thing to do is contact your local school – find somebody that wants to build a career with their skills,” Bilotto said. “Nine out of 10 you’ll save $8,000 just paying for the cost of their camera, their developing and their time. You’ve made a college kid happy and you’ve got some great photos.”

I am resisting the urge to start cussing like a sailor. In a few instances for our events, we have used second shooters or college students (think a photo booth or montage). Those are set-up shots with easy retakes.

I strongly urge you to use your money that you saved from not having vases on your tables (snicker) to put towards the best professional wedding photographer that you can afford. Please. It will be worth it.

SIDE NOTE: Bride’s do not care if they are making some “college kid happy” on their special, special day. Any experienced planner would know that.

6. Rethink having a formal, sit-down dinner. “I actually prefer you do not do that formal sit-down dinner. No one wants to sit next to your Aunt Sally with horrible cologne all night long,” Bilotto said. “Think about doing a few buffet stations or grazing stations, as the caterers’ call it, and a few hors d’oeuvres. Be careful with that because staff adds in the price again. At the end of the day, it’s about the people you are with.”

Listen lovelies, an hors d’oeuvres dinner will cost you more than a buffet dinner. A sit-down dinner will cost you more than a buffet, because the caterer has to have additional staff to serve. At the end of the day, it IS about the people you are with. But if your guests are leaving to go home to eat because they are hangry, then it will end up being just about you. Side note: go ahead and google “grazing stations” for weddings. Will. Not. Save. You. Money.

(Holy Smokes, we are almost done …)

7. Rethink the cake. (Yes, the cake!) Nowadays, many couples are opting for a smaller cake for cutting at the ceremony and feeding the guests a sheet cake. Or they’re having a “fake cake” made – an elaborately designed cake with several fake layers and just one layer for the couple to eat. And, yes, guests are fed from a sheet cake. Guests don’t need to know!

Late Breaking News: Use a fake cake for your wedding to save you money. {insert the eye roll} Here’s the skinny on this subject. One of the most expensive and luxurious resorts locally, West Baden Hotel, use fake cakes for their weddings. Always. One tier has real cake and that is what the couple cuts into in front of everyone. However, this is not to save you money. Oh, no. They still have to decorate an “elaborately designed cake” which takes time and artistry. And that charge is passed along to you.

The real reason they use a fake, ahem, excuse me … faux cake is so their guest service is not compromised. Couple cuts the cake on the dance floor, it is wheeled away … minutes later, the wait staff is serving cake table side to guests. This is of course from sheet cakes that were cut and plated earlier. Guests think the wait staff service is awesome, there are no delays and the meal service is completed quickly for dancing and other festivities.

THAT is why, Francesco, the fake wedding cake is a good idea. Wrap that up and stuff it in your pocket square.

I’m exhausted. My own final thoughts to this debacle of a segment:

  1. I bet Ginger is getting free wedding planning services from Francesco for media promotion. Can’t wait to see photos of her wedding from her university student photographer and loose carnation centerpieces.
  2. ABC should look into hiring university students to forecast the weather. I’m sure they could get them for $1,000 a month, a savings of ….
  3. Why show photos OF LAVISH and beautiful weddings while talking about cutting back on flowers and having no vases? (yeah, okay, I’m stuck on the vase thing, because it’s weird). It doesn’t make sense. Show photos of pretty budget weddings.
  4. Finally, we advocate and help our clients save money on their wedding day. This rant blog post was NOT about spending more money on your wedding, instead, knowing realistically and more importantly, accurately where you can save a dime.

ps I know you have opinions on this, so let’s do it. Come on’ …. post a comment.

plan on!



wedding guests going broke attending destination wedding?

Today on the Good Morning America show they talked about the costs associated with destination weddings for your guests.

On average, $490 per person ($980-$1,000) is spent by guests attending a wedding out-of-state, potentially more at higher-end resort destination locations. Many guests are admitting to going into debt trying to attend these weddings. They simply can’t afford to attend your destination wedding.

Personally, I have had people complain to me about their family or friends planning weddings that require them to spend a lot of money to attend.


The couple’s reasoning: “It will be a like a vacation for you”.

The guest’s reasoning: “I’ll go on a vacation when and where I want, your wedding isn’t a good time for me to spend all this money”.


#realtalk alert

They won’t complain to you. They will complain behind your back.

tips for couples planning a destination wedding

1. Don’t be upset when guests or family cannot attend. It’s not their fault you are planning a wedding far away and they may not have the funds at this moment. If they are that important to you for them to be there, then offer to pay for them.

2. Talk to your family. If everyone is on board with attending your destination wedding, then talk to them about the timing and location. Perhaps plan well in advance so that they know the general costs and can save for it appropriately.

3. Just the two of you. Consider going to a gorgeous resort, just the two of you. Have a beautiful, intimate wedding and a fabulous honeymoon. Then come home with great photos and a video and throw a reception for all your friends and family. You get the best of both worlds.

what do you say?

Are you planning a destination wedding and having pushback from your family and friends?

Do you feel it’s fair to expect everyone to attend your destination wedding?

plan on!



indiana residents, pay attention to HJR-6 or HJR3

update: now called HJR3

Have you heard of HJR6? If you think it sounds like a virus you wouldn’t want to contract, you’d be close. It’s the acronym for House Joint Resolution 6 for the State of Indiana. And here it is:

House Joint Resolution 6 is a proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution which states: “Only marriage between one(1) man and one(1) woman will be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

At first glance, people may think this is just about same-sex marriages, but it’s not  (although that is an important issue). It is on the path for the first time in Indiana’s history, when our state’s constitution is amended to take away rights, rather than to grant them.

Note: HJR-6 must pass through the House and Senate again in 2013. If it passes, unaltered, it will be on the ballot in 2014. This means that Hoosiers will cast their vote either for or against HJR-6 as it is written today. *More info here

Here are my points of this resolution that should make us all quiver a little:

  1. It will be an “constitutional amendment” in the Bill of Rights. Not just a state law.
  2. This amendment takes away the rights of future generations to decide for themselves about marriage equality.
  3. Notice the wording, “marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized”. This means if a couple who is recognized as a common law marriage in another state (Indiana does not recognize common law since 1958) will no longer be recognized as such, if they move to Indiana. They will have to file Indiana taxes separately instead of jointly. What does that mean? We may see a decline for new people moving to this state for employment thus impacting potential state tax revenue and economic growth. Although Rep. Ron Bacon says it will not impact current domestic partner benefits that are offered to couples. I don’t see how it cannot. Get ready for lawsuits.

Indiana already has a law that prohibits same-sex marriage, however recent polling shows that 45% are in favor of same sex marriages.

Whatever your personal beliefs, passing almost any amendment as a part of the state’s constitution should be meant with opposition. Make a law, not a permanent amendment. This stops our future generations to change their minds. Don’t we have enough government in our social affairs? Luckily our Mayor Winnecke along with many other mayors, businesses and universities have opposed HJR6. Our own Evansville City Council wants to formally file a resolution opposing and is in fact meeting tonight at 5:30pm for a meeting.

Don’t just sit there. Please send an email if you too oppose HJR6. But do it fast … the 2014 legislative session is drawing near.

For local peeps, here are quick links to your Representative. Or find your Indiana State Representative quickly here.

Senator Vaneta Becker

State Representative Gail Riecken (also happens to be one of our previous Mother of the Bride’s … shhh!)

State Representative Suzanne Crouch

State Representative Wendy McNamara

State Representative Ron Bacon

plan on!