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!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's Baaa-aack!!!

Finally, at long last, the new fountain has been installed here in Aberdeen--just in time for winter! Weather permitting, it will run for the rest of October, of course, the way it's been going, it doesn't look like that might happen either. At any rate, we will be ready to fire it up in the spring for all of our 2010 weddings.

I am considering either concertina wire around it, or an armed guard with a BIIIIIIIG rifle to protect it. I really don't want to have to go through this again! Gees! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"She said; He said" Ethan's Side of the Story!

Here is the other side of the story! Funny, I never thought about the fact that guys might worry about getting all emotional in front of all those people. Hmmmm. Interesting!

From the Groom's Perspective:

Wow. Just the thought of the first look brings back all of those memories of feeling anxious, nervous and just an emotional ride. This advice is for the upcoming brides and grooms nearing the big day. I really do highly recommend a first look Before the wedding ceremony just so that you two can share that moment with each other in privacy, along with your photographers which will be hidden the entire time as to give the effect of being alone.
You have way too much to worry about the final days leading up to your marriage to worry about losing it down the aisle. A first look gives you the opportunity to calm each other down, releave some of the emotions that have been building up and to have some quality alone time just before the vows are exchanged. If you cry, no big deal. If anything, you want to cry that way you are with the person you love, and not in front of your entire family sobbing like a child. You have time to collect yourself, breathe and embrace with one another.
This is your day, you can do whatever you want. I know seeing each other goes against tradition, but who cares. Have fun, enjoy, and just hang on because it will be a ride, a loving emotional one.That was one of our best and easiest decisions to make on our day; because of the emotionality of the first look in the garden, anyone who would have been there would have cried - including our two photographers, myself, Audrey, and surprisingly Denna.
See each other before, you will never regret it after the fact.

Thanks Ethan for your comments, I really appreciate the view from the guy side!

Food Show Fun!

This happens every fall. The National Bridal Market in Chicago is followed immediately by the Gordon Food Show in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Whew!!! It's been a LOOOOONNNNG week!!!!!

On Tuesday I met with our kitchen staff to talk about menu issues. We had a wonderfully productive talk about what to add, what to take out, and what to rev up! We made some great changes to our menu that will be really positive. We also made our battle plan for the food show yesterday, and went to Grand Rapids armed with a list of things we wanted to research.

We spent most of the day talking, tasting, and brainstorming about food. The result was fun, new, and different appetizers, desserts, and new and exciting presentations for sorbet courses, dessert tables, passed hors d'oeuvres and even maybe some action stations!!

Many of our thoughts and findings will make their way to the Taste of Aberdeen on November 15th. I hope all of our clients will be as excited about these new items as we are!!

Market Report!

As mentioned in a previous post, Megan and I spent Sunday and Monday this week at the National Bridal Market in Chicago. The word of the day for bridal fashions this year?


Wow! Everywhere we looked there were sparkles and jewels and shiny things. The gowns are blinged up with metallic embroidery and jewels and crystals, the jewelry, tiaras, and veils are blinged up. Amazing! We had a great time choosing new and different jewelry, veils, and accessories for the shop.

We were both particularly excited about the cute things we found to bling up the hairdos. Cute combs, pins, headbands (HUGE on the coasts!!) and so many fun little fascinators, and retro items made with English net, horse hair, and FEATHERS!!! Feathers are HUGE! On the gowns, in the hair, on the accessories. So fun!

We were particularly excited to find a BEAUTIFUL line of handbags for our brides. All of the designs are available in white and ivory. These bags are SO elegant and pretty, some are very antique looking with scrolling metalwork at the openers (as you can see, I'm not up on my handbag nomenclature!) Check out the beautiful things available at Bel Aire. In a very short time we will have an even more fabulous selection of their wonderful line.

We also met with US Angels, the supplier of our adorable little flower girl gowns. I have always loved these little gowns for their sweet "little girl" styles, their wonderful little crinolines that poof the skirt out and at the same time protect the little miss from scratching with a built in liner, and their truly reasonable prices. We have a set of actual fabric samples coming shortly that will show all the sash colors they have available (and it is extensive!) Their entire line is online for you to see, and of course, we can order any of them for you. Their gowns run very true to size, so measuring your little flower girl for her gown is a breeze. Cute cute cute!!

New garters, veils too numerous to mention, jewelry, handbags (also for moms and bridesmaids some fabulous new styles) lots of new things will be coming to Affairs in the next few weeks! We'll try to keep you updated as our fun new items arrive!

Audrey's Take on the "First Look"

Huge thank yous to Audrey for commenting with HER side of having their pictures done before the ceremony and seeing each other in the "First Look" set up by her photographer. It is in the comments for that post, however I wanted to make sure that her beautifully written answer was seen so I am reposting it here for you:
From the Bride's Perspective:
I was so nervous the entire day. More nervous than I thought I would be. I mean I have been with Ethan for 7 years, so this day has been coming for a long time, but when you put so much time and effort into something you can't help but be terrified and hope that everything will fall into place. I had just spent the morning getting my hair and makeup done when I arrived at Aberdeen. I was in my dress just a few minutes when one of my photographers (Jane Clemons) came to get me for the "First Look" in the garden. She and I walked out together and she told me that she was just with Ethan and that "he is really nervous". That alone made me tear up, I felt bad that I could not be with him this morning to comfort him. Jane left me to get into position for the photographs and I waited. My heart was racing and I was breathing really heavily. I kept imaging his face coming around the corner, so I could prepare myself for the moment, but nothing could have prepared me for what happened. Finally after I think 5 or so minuets, I saw him. Through the trees in the garden he was looking for me and our eyes met. I saw that he had tears in his eyes and of course being a girl, I started to cry too. He came up to me and wrapped his arms around me and we both cried. We were both relieved at just the sight of each other, it was the most amazing part of our day. I will never forget how nervous I was to see him for the first time or how relieved I was when he came around the corner. If I could tell a bride only one bit of advice before her big day, I would say this...See the Groom before the ceremony. I know it's not traditional, but I can say from experience that it helped relieve a lot of nerves. On top of the intimate moment that was given to us by the amazing staff at Aberdeen and our wonderful photographers (Jane and Leroy Clemons), we had plenty of time between the wedding and reception for family photos. The whole day just seemed to flow nicely. Also, when it did come time to walk down the aisle, I was more relaxed and in control of my emotions. I still cried when I was walking towards Ethan, but it wasn't out of control. We are both completely happy with our decision to see each other before the ceremony and I would not change that for anything.
Sincerely,Audrey Plummer
P.S. My veil was made by Roberta Mead as a tribute to my mother. She always wanted me to get married in the same wedding dress Audrey Hepburn wore in "Funny Face", but since that dress is not really the style these days, I had Roberta make the veil, so I could have something similar to my mom's dream. I absolutely loved it!