Friday, December 4, 2009

Catching up!

Sorry folks, it's been a busy couple of weeks and I have severely fallen off the blogging wagon!

We had our Taste of Aberdeen party and vendor fair on Sunday the 15th. About 160 people attended! it was a lot of fun seeing everyone and having a chance to talk about their plans. it seems like our couples have a great time talking with each other and comparing notes as well. We had a really nice group of vendors attend as well, and most of them donated some nice prizes for our raffle. All in all it was a delightful afternoon. I always look forward to our party.

So following the party (as in, we left for the airport from the party!) we hopped on a plane and scooted down to Florida for a little vacation time. It was nice to relax for a few days, play some golf, and visit with our friends there. The following weekend, Friday, November 2oth we had a wedding for a delightful couple, Janet and Rob. What a lovely event. They really spent a lot of time and effort to make everything special for their guests. Their meal was fantastic. It began with hors d'oeuvres in the North Room followed by dinner in the South Room. We placed the gift table in the middle of the partition to make a "window". It's really a nice effect. It looks spacious and you have the look of the windows on both ends of the room, but it downsizes the room for smaller groups. I have actually seen people go up to the gift table and try to touch the window to see if it was solid or not!

Janet and Rob used an autumn color theme. The copper bichon tablecloths looked awesome! here are some photos from their event:

The following evening, Saturday the 21st we had a wedding and reception for Leslie and Jon.

As you can see, they used a black and red color scheme. Very pretty, particularly with Leslie's white gown, which was so pretty! Very delicate and feminine. I also liked her hair in sort of a low "up-do" if that makes any sense! It worked beautifully with her veil.

Incidentally, we thought it was interesting that every single weekend in November was beautiful weather for a wedding! How often does THAT happen? While it was cool for most, it was clear and crisp, mostly 50's and 60's. What an unusual year. Particularly when you consider that October, which is normally a month where we have lots of beautiful days, was rainy and gloomy for the most part. Go figure!

It just goes to prove, that there really isn't a good or bad time for a wedding in Indiana! You take your chances no matter what. We can have torential rains in September, tornadoes in July, and 70 degree days in January! We just never know what's going to happen around here. So it's great to be prepared for any contingency.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kate and Michael 11-14-2009

Well, I must say, we have had a run of EXTRAORDINARY GOWNS this year! Katie's was no exception! SO elegant! It was made from a heavy duchess satin, in a lovely shade of ivory, almost antique ivory, but not yellowish, it was rich and deep ivory, if you're with me on this. Her bouquet of ivory roses matched it perfectly! When they arrived she was still wearing her veil, in a matching shade of illusion. Wow! It was a stunning combination! When they arrived she replaced her beautiful veil with a fresh orchid.

Their wedding was at "that other chapel "(the big one in town, haha!) Here are some photos of their reception:

This was the little ring bearer busting a move during the introductions. He was SO cute!
As you can see, they are one very happy couple! Congratulations you two!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bella Photography's Video--We'll try again!

Well for some reason (probably something I am doing, no doubt!) I can't get this video to embed. So I will connect a link to the website for Bella Photography. Go there and take a peek at the video of pictures from Jillian and Marc's wedding. Awesome!

Annual Conference 2009--Indianapolis

Wow, for once, I didn't have to fly to get to the Annual Conference of the Association of Bridal Consultants! I have attended past conferences in Orlando, New Orleans, San Antonio, San Diego, and a couple of other locations and it's always been a major trip. This was terrific to drive to Indy for the conference. The Indiana team did a fabulous job with it too!
Megan and I attended a number of educational sessions on a wide variety of topics. We were both very impressed with a session on"Branding" presented by Mark Kingsdorf from Phillidelphia. His company, "Queen of Hearts" does some amazing events in Philly, and Marc has taken the task of branding his company to a whole new level! Amazing!
We both really enjoyed the three keynote speakers--Frank Andonoplas from Chicago presented a very entertaining talk on how he went from being a banker to a wedding consultant, complete with slides of many of the weddings that inspired him to go in that direction, as well as slides of some of his work. Peggy Post presented a talk on wedding etiquette and how it has changed over the years, the things that confuse brides, and such. By the way, the website for the Emily Post Institute is a great place to find answers to just about any etiquette question you can think up!
The final keynote speaker was the Queen of Cakes, Sylvia Weinstock, live and in the flesh! What a spunky little thing she was! (I have a picture somewhere in my Blackberry of me with Sylvia, however I can't seem to bring it up in the Blackberry. If I find it, I will post it later.) For any of you gals who would like to order an authentic Sylvia Weinstock cake, I would be happy to obtain that for you. Her cakes START at $17 per serving. That doesn't include shipping and handling. Eek! She actually ships cakes all over the world. Each one has a little white chocolate disk on the base with her logo--the big black round glasses that she wears. Too cute. Her cakes have been an inspiration to bakers all over for many years. The gum paste flowers that her company creates are absolutely amazing. It was really a thrill to see her in person!

The breakfasts and luncheons that were presented were each an inspiration onto themselves. Different themes, decorations, and favors, menu cards, the whole nine yards. We had a great time checking out all the centerpieces and specialty linens.

Oh, I almost forgot! We attended a 2 hour session on Sunday presented by "Sandals"! What a beautiful group of properties they have in the Caribbean!! Megan and I are both ready to pack and go visit! We have the brochures and literature in the shop, and will be setting up an area shortly that will have all the Sandals information for our couples as well as phone numbers to call for the best deals. The all inclusive concept is such a great way to go. Sandals prefers to call it the "luxury included vacation". No muss no fuss, everything is already paid for, and you just go and have a fabulous time. (Kind of like Aberdeen Manor :) They also offer a line of properties under the "Beaches" name that are family friendly resorts. Those are some pretty amazing places as well! Stop in and see us, we'll tell you all about it!

It was a terrific experience, and we are both looking forward to the 2010 conference in Phoenix, Arizona!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jillian and Marc 11-7-09

Sometimes there are weekends where everything just goes SO smoothly that we wait for the other shoe to drop! Everybody is on their game, the servers, bartenders and kitchen staff are on top of every detail, and all I really have to do check to make sure everything is moving along, and punch the towels down in the bathroom wastebaskets every couple of hours. Some weekends are just so easy that I wonder why we ever worry. This has been one of those weekends. I love these weekends. I love it when we have couples that really appreciate how hard we work to make their day special and awesome, and as perfect as it possibly can be. I love it when they understand that we really, really care about them and their day. That this isn't just a job for us; it's something we eat, drink and breathe. That if something went wrong we would be just as upset as if it was our own daughter or son. I love these weekends. They validate us, they make us feel like what we do really matters, and we are able to move on with enthusiasm and purpose. This has been one of those weekends. We had two awesome couples and two awesome receptions. It was a wonderful weekend.

I already told you about last night with Jodi and Chris. Tonight we had another wonderful wedding, for Jillian and Marc. What a nice couple. Jillian had so much energy around the look of the room: the centerpieces, the favors; and she was thrilled when she walked in.

Their favors were caramel apples, made, I think, by a family member (maybe the groom's mom? I don't recall for sure). Their centerpieces were lots of different designs. Half were different types of glass containers filled with Granny Smith apples. The other half were done by their florist and were also in various containers and different types of flowers. Very interesting!

Jillian looked spectacular, and the gentlemen looked equally fab in beige suit/tuxes that were super with their chocolate, grass green, and beige/ivory color scheme. I just love the beige suits. They look so comfortable and classy. The ladies wore knee length chocolate brown dresses--so cute.
I had only seen Jillian with glasses and her hair down to her shoulders (and very cute by the way, her glasses are darling), so when she came in with her hair in a beautiful up do, no glasses, and stunning makeup, WOW! She looked terrific! Her gown was very fitted with a sparkling band of crystals or rhinestones at the waist (I'm not sure which they were, and I didn't think it would be appropo to get down and stare at her waistline!) I wish I could figure out how to get that sparkle in pictures! What a stunning gown!
It was a wonderful evening. Nice couple, lovely families (the bride's grandparents won the anniversary dance--56 years!) everyone, including our staff and the two of us, enjoyed it immensely!

Their photographers, Jodi and Rick Bella from Bella Photography (NOT Bella Pictures folks, that's a different company, national and very big) sent me a video montage from Jillian and Marc's evening with us. I have been trying to embed it here for you to see! Consequently, the delay in posting the above. I still haven't figured it out, however, if I do, I will just post it seperately, as it was VERY cool! I think it may be in the wrong file format for Blogger. Hmm.
Congratulations you two! It was a beautiful evening!

Megan and I are off to Indy for the Association of Bridal Consultants Annual Conference tomorrow. I'm excited to introduce Megan to all of my friends in the Association. I'm sure we
will come back with lots of exciting new ideas and products.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jodi and Chris 11-6-09

I just love winter weddings! I love when it's dark outside and the candles and fireplace are lit. I love the luminaries across the parking lot to the chapel, and I love sparklers. Our anniversary is in December, so I practiced what I preach! Winter weddings are cozy, warm, and have an intimate sense of closeness. It's kind of like the difference between Christmas Eve day and the actual evening of Christmas Eve--the magic comes out only after it's dark!
Last night was our first wedding and reception since the time change last week. It was wonderful to have that magic again! Having Jodi and Chris made it even more special! What a wonderful pair these two are! Jodi's smile could light up a room, and it was evident that it lit up Chris's life!
I knew from the first time I talked with them that they would have a really great party!
Their colors were chocolate, red and ivory (ok blog readers, who can tell me how many chocolate weddings we have had this fall? I think chocolate is the new black!) I LOVE red in our ballroom though, and it is so pretty with chocolate brown (who would've thought it!)
House of Fabian created two beautiful arrangements for the chapel that were in giant white pumpkins--so pretty. Their bouquets were stunning as well. Kind of a mixture of flowers in the dark fall hues with bright red accents, Jodi's had lots of ivory touches worked into the other colors.
Their placecard table was darling--little mini white pumpkins that were cut at an angle to hold the placecards. Too cute.
Following the ceremony, the couple went back and released guests themselves, and the attendants passed out sparklers to the guests. It was a little windy for the luminaries, but they managed to stay upright for the most part.
When Jodi and Chris had finished greeting all their guests they rang the bell and walked out through a pathway of sparklers over to their reception. (They had done their photos before the wedding, so they were free to go enjoy their cocktail hour after the wedding.)

The guests raved about their dinner! Crab stuffed mushrooms, antipasti trays, and artichoke crostini along with the wine upgrade at the bar (wine lists on the bar! at a wedding! can you imagine?!? The guests LOVE it!) What a great combination. Chicken piccata with sour cream and chive mashed potato and chef's medley (zucchini, yellow squash, green beans and red pepper strips) made a beautiful plate. Their yummy wedding cake topped it off.

What a fun evening. Their guests danced till the end, and partied the night away. It was a wedding where we enjoyed watching everyone have such a good time.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Early Christmas at Affairs!

Wow! It has been so much fun to see the big brown truck pull up at the shop the last couple weeks! We know every time he delivers that we will have more fun things to go through! It has been like Christmas! And the best part is that there is more to come. Actually, maybe it's more like Hanukah, since we get presents every day. Haha.

We now have a BEAUTIFUL selection of English netting "Fascinators" These are HUGE on the right and left coasts! As with most trends, they are working their way to the Midwest, so you can be the first bride on your block to be on the cutting edge! SOOOOOOO cute! The Fascinator is worn to the front, over the face: so retro, so very Vogue! We have them with or without little feather enhancements, bling bling enhancements, plain, and even one that is on a little horsehair hat. Audrey Hepburn would be DROOLING!

Many of you know the soft spot I have for handbags. Oh my! Did we find some beauties, and very reasonably priced too! Our bags are great for folks that are going to formal occasions as well as for the moms at weddings. Keep us in mind if you attend the Popcorn Ball!

This one, below, is my particular fave. I LOVE the clasp! It just doesn't sparkle and shine in the picture like it does in person. It's just the right amount of bling for the handbag. If you want this one you better hurry, because it may be going home with ME any day now! :) My inner raccoon is SCREAMING for it!

These beaded bags in the back row are awesome as well. Sooooooo cute! They have little tuck away shoulder chains, and the designs on them are strikingly pretty. By the way, most all of our bags are convertible to shoulder bags.

We also have a truckload of really awesome bags coming in ivory and white, perfect for the elegant bride to tuck a hankie and lipstick, cell phone and maybe a couple other items into. So pretty. I'll post them when they come.
And while I'm thinking about it, did you know that our gown preservation includes up to three accessories free with the preservation of your gown (that would be the one that is FREE if you purchase your invitations and tuxes at Affairs, a $189 value!) That means you can include your veil, handbag, shoes, whatever you need to have cleaned and preserved, at no additional charge.

And check out some of the awesome new jewelry sets that have arrived!

Chandelier earrings continue to be HOT for the bride, and even the bridesmaids with certain gowns. We have received some really beautiful sets, and they are SO reasonable!

This one, below, is my particular favorite. Every time I walk past the case it's in, it catches my eye! SOOOOO pretty! Bling but elegant. It would be perfect with a little black dress, as well as with just about any wedding gown. (And it would be awesome with that handbag I love up above! Hmmmmmmm! Down Rocky, down boy!)

We've also received a number of really beautiful hair pieces, combs, tiaras, and some absolutely awesome headbands. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to photograph the headbands, so that will be a later post, but check out this comb:

You just can't imagine from the picture how sparkly and beautiful this piece is. You just have to see it in person!
Brooches? Did someone ask for brooches? Well, this is the place ladies! We have two shelves full of them. The hardest part will be deciding which one, because one is prettier than the next!

By the way, did you notice the snowflake there in the front? Perfect for the winter bride who is using snowflakes as a theme for the wedding! I can't tell you how many times we have searched for snowflakes in the past, and here it is.
Below are two more of our new brooches, nestled in among the boards with "bustle pins" These are sets of 6 matching pins for pinning up the bustle on a gown, however some of our clever gals have used these on their bridesmaids' gowns, to give them a little glitz and glam. They are the perfect touch at the bodice, on the shoulder, or even at the center back, depending on the style of the gown. They are just the right size for a bridesmaid when used individually.

We also have some awesome new veils, which I will also post later, when I figure out how to photograph them! We have some really short ones, lace edged, long, waterfall, you name it. (And keep in mind that our veils are priced well below any bridal shop in the area!)

So that's some of the exciting new things we have to show you when you stop in at Affairs! Keep in mind that you are always welcome to bring your wedding gown, bridesmaid gown, or mom's gown to the shop. You can try the gown on and see what works with it. Much easier than trying to put it all together in your head. We also can loan pieces out, for you to take to your fitting and try with your gown if it is in for alterations. We do whatever we can to make it as convenient as possible for you.
Our open hours are Thursday 12 to 8, and Friday or Saturday 12 to 5. Feel free to stop by during these hours, or call us for an appointment other days or evenings. Sometimes it's nice to have the place to yourself if you are going to try your gown on and play dress up with us. :) Just let us know what works for you and we'll set something up.
Oh! The UPS truck is coming! Gotta run!!!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cake Wrecks Strikes Again!

I just must share with you the latest post from Cake Wrecks about wedding cakes! Really some funny stuff, as long as you don't think about the fact that somewhere there was a bride for each of these cakes that was expecting something beautiful that turned out to be a nightmare in frosting!
What's really sad is that we have seen our share of Cake Wrecks here at Aberdeen, we just keep quiet about them. But ask me sometime about the cake a few years ago that was covered with dog hair............. eeuuw!

Celebrating Halloween in Style!

Maryann and Kris showed their guests tonight that it is perfectly possible to do an elegant, classy affair on Halloween. What a nice reception! Just the right little touches. Their favors were Halloween lollipops, each laid on the napkin under the hors d'oeuvre plate at each place.
They named their tables after Halloween things--the Goblin Table, the Ghost Table, etc. However their table tents included numbers as well as the names for the ease of their guests finding their places. DJ Mike played Thriller and Monster Mash later in the evening. It was just the right amount of nod to Halloween--it couldn't really be ignored, but a black wedding gown and ghoulish attendants with bloody fangs, I don't think so. Although I'm sure they had a lot of fun joking around with their friends about all the crazy possibilities!

A sweetheart table for the bride and groom with one round on each side for their attendants, served as the head table.

Their cake was very pretty with chocolate ribbons decorating the top and each of the layers. Yummy!

What's a chocolate wedding without chocolate fountains? The kitchen staff set up all sorts of goodies for dipping in the dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate fountains. My particular favorite is potato chips dipped in dark chocolate! I know, it sounds awful at first, but it's kind of like pretzels dipped in chocolate--salty and sweet at the same time. Try it some time!

As you can see, Maryann and Kris had a wonderful time dancing the night away. I had a little fun playing with my camera.

So tomorrow we can have the day off and I won't have to feel guilty about not being up to date with our wedding blogs! Cool! Instead I can feel guilty about all the leaves that need to be raked in our yard. Sigh.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stacy and Mike 10-24-09

We had so much fun planning Mike and Stacy's day. Poor Mike always had to have his cell phone with him because he is with EMS. We kind of planned everything between calls from the ambulance barn, but that's ok, it all worked out. He must have found someone to take his calls for the wedding because I didn't see him on the phone even once! Haha.

Hidden Garden did some really pretty things with the front of the chapel. Megan and I liked the vines hanging from the back of the wood trim of the platform. There were also some potted trees off to each side. It made for kind of a woodsy, gardeny look. Very cool.
Following the ceremony, Mike and Stacy had a sparkler send off. Unfortunately, they purchased the BIG grey sparklers which made a LOT of smoke. So it was a little more difficult to get good photos through the cloud. They also threw off some major sparks and the bride and groom were a little freaked out about the gown getting burned.

Our experience with sparklers has been that the cheap, 10 to a box, little grey sparklers, like we all had on the fourth of July as kids, work the best for weddings. They don't throw sparks, they don't smoke excessively, and they last just long enough to get some good photos. (If you want to do something with sparklers for your wedding, stop by and see me, I have examples in my office of all the different kinds and I can show you exactly what sort of sparkler to get.)
Their colors were chocolate brown, and fall hues for the flowers and accents. They chose a lovely cake all in ivory with fall flowers for decoration on the top.

Brown poly toppers with an ivory napkin looked really pretty. Their brown favor boxes looked wonderful too.
Lots of candles, made for lots of ambiance.

Mike and Stacy chose a sweetheart table for their head table. Their attendants sat at rounds with their spouses and dates. I really like the idea of a sweetheart table. It gives the couple a few minutes to talk and be "alone in the moment, together" which is something you don't get a lot of on your wedding day!

Transaudio was here to take care of all the DJ duties. Mike and Stacy took advantage of the free dance lesson that Transaudio includes, and they spiced up their first dance with some "moves" to wow the crowd. It always makes for some great pictures when couples have some loops and turns and dips that they throw in.

It was a lovely wedding for a terrific couple. Nice crowd, wonderful folks. Great fun.

We were so happy that both of our weddings had decent weather this weekend! After all the rain we've had, we were hoping for some nicer skies. Saturday started out nasty, but through the day it improved and was actually very nice later in the afternoon. This has been a really weird weather year. So much rain and nastiness! We've really been happy that we have the chapel for our ceremonies when the garden doesn't work out! It's made life a lot easier here. We're getting into the time of year now where folks are planning their ceremonies for the chapel, and taking their chances on maybe getting a few photos in the garden if the weather permits. I'm hoping that the 2010 season will be a little less rainy and wet. At least if it's going to rain, it can do it on Tuesday or Wednesday! We'll all cross our fingers and hope for a sunnier summer in 2010!

Anne and Jamie

Anne and Jamie, what a cute couple they are! Anne is so bubbly and outgoing, Jamie seems very serious, and has a very dry sense of humor. He would say something really funny in our meetings, and never crack a smile. Sometimes I wasn't sure if he was serious or kidding, but Annie always seemed to know the difference. They were great fun to work with.

Chocolate brown and fuchsia, along with shades of pinks, were their colors. The brown bichon tablecloths looked really beautiful with the pinks.
Their favor bags were a big visual impact when the guests arrived. And the fuchsia menu cards were a pretty touch on the place settings.
Annie was VERY excited about her candy table! They had all sorts of candies in the wedding colors for guests to choose from. Everything from gummibears to sweeties! Obviously, if you use chocolate as one of your colors, there are LOTS of things to choose from!

The cake was highlighted with our fuchsia satin table cloth on the cake table. I really like a dark cloth on the cake table, because the dark color really highlights the cake and sets it off. We have a number of colored cloths at Aberdeen, and if by chance we don't have your color, you are welcome to bring your own 90 inch round for the cake table and we'll put it on and swag it for you. It really makes the cake an attention getter!

Following the ceremony Anne and Jamie rang the bell and went out the door to a sparkler send off. We weren't sure how dark it would be, but it worked out great. It was a cloudy day and just past sunset, so while it was still dusky, it was just dark enough that the sparklers were a perfect touch.

Anne surprised Jamie (a huge White Sox fan!) with a special visit from "Southpaw" the official mascot of the Chicago White Sox! Here's a shot of him with our bartender, Carol, who is a huge fan. As a longtime fan of the Sox myself (my 15 year old dachshund is named Ozzie you know!) I enjoyed having some hang time with Southpaw before his big entrance. So I have his info and pricing if anyone is interested in inviting him to their wedding. Southpaw particularly enjoys coming to receptions later in the evening when everyone is dancing and partying. He's quite the partier himself!
It was a really fun evening, with lots of special touches. and a great start for a wonderful couple.

Allison and Adam 10-17-09

Oh I am a bad blogger! I'm so far behind on telling you about our weddings, and we've had such great weddings the last couple of weeks! My bad. Ok, today I am going to catch up.

So, about Allison and Adam. What a fun pair these two were! Allison is really a live wire! She and Adam compliment each other well. They have been planning their wedding with us for nearly two years, so we have had an opportunity to really get to know them. It's been so much fun.

Allison's gown had some gorgeous trim on both the gown and veil, that was reproduced on the cake! It was beautifully done. (If you look closely you can see the trim on her veil that is reproduced on the cake.) As you can see in the photo, they used our newest cake plateau! Awesome!

Their color scheme was taupe, and chocolate, with fall leaves and fall colors. As you can see, the cake was surrounded by preserved oak leaves. Their flowers were gorgeous too, with small calla lilies, orchids, and hypericum berries in an orangey brown hue. It was all beautifully done. Fallish without screaming "FALL!" And still with the look of a wedding.

Lovely, Allison and Adam! Great job!

Friday, October 16, 2009

It Works!

What a thrill to see our beautiful fountain running again this morning when I drove to work! I'm so excited for our October brides! Hopefully the weather will be a little nicer, at least slightly warmer, and they will be able to leave it on till the end of the month as planned. The fountain is such a centerpiece of the community here. It's kind of like having an old friend return.
Such a happy day!