Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rob and Gina 3/18/2011

Here are some pictures from one of our recent weddings.

Gina and Rob 3/18/2011

Gina and Rob, they got engaged at Mackinac Island.  Rob proposed with a Cracker Jack box that he had carefully snuck the ring into!  They wanted to bring some of these elements into their celebration.  So they used postcards for the hydroboats that take you to Mackinac as their guestbook.  A pretty, vintage box held pens and invited guests to give them their good wishes on the postcards.  They then would deposit them in the little mail box.

Their favors were boxes of Cracker Jacks, with a prominent sign "Ring not included!" 

Their ceremony, in the chapel, was designed to incorporate their children and recognize their place in the marriage.  Each child was presented with a medallion commemorating the event.

They chose to have a head table which was a round, with all of their children and the two of them.  Their best man and matron of honor sat close by at rounds with their spouses.  They opted for the basic uplighting--ten uplights around the room in pale green.  The effect was amazing!
Their colors were pale green and chocolate.  Favors were boxes of Mackinac Island fudge.  I always like to see couples that feed each other the wedding cake and do it respectfully and gently.  I think it says something about their relationship as a whole. 
They did an awesome first dance, starting out with a traditional slow song and then busting into a rap that had the crowd howling!
All in all it was a really special wedding!  Lots of thought and preparation paid off in a celebration that was personal to the couple, and very special to their guests.

Congrats you two!  Many happy years together!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wedding Themes

There are many different avenues that can be explored when planning your wedding. Are you going to incorporate how you were engaged, where you met, your hobbies and interests? You don't have to have a theme, but having one can create a cohesive feel from your invitations to your wedding favors.

A "theme" does not have to be "fishing" or "Chicago." It can be a monogram that starts on your invitations and then is replicated on your wedding cake and personalized gobo. It can be a color or flower that your guests see repeated on all of your wedding stationary from the save the dates to the thank you cards as well as the cake and centerpieces.

I thought that this was an ADORABLE wedding theme for two people who met in elementary school. It could also be used for two teachers getting married. It's elegant, classy yet personal and so very much the couple.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Song Ideas

If you need help deciding on a song for your wedding, look no further than Be it your first dance, recessional, processional, father-daughter, Wedding Channel has an entire section devoted to helping you select that perfect song. One of my favorites has to be "Make You Feel My Love," although I've always been partial to the Garth Brooks version...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Our New Window Takes Shape!

Thought you might be interested to see the progress on the new stained glass window that is being made to go over the table in the front of the chapel.  It's going to be awesome!  The glass, at this point, is mounted to a piece of clear glass in front of a window, and the pieces are all stuck on with little wads of clay, so consequently it looks like the window has the Pox!  No worries, those are temporary.  The other thing that doesn't show in this picture is all of the red jewels that will be in it, similar to the ones in our present windows.  The jewels are really going to dress it up! (It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that bling do-wa, do-wa, do-wa!)
I think there are about 30 of the jewels in this window, as well as one large jewel in the very center. The leading will make a huge difference too.  The window is 48 inches across, and wouldn't fit on the light board entirely because it's so big!  There will be an 8 inch trim all around it as well, which will give it a total size of 64".  The wood trim will match the rest of the wood in the chapel of course.
It's going to be beautiful!  And it's really going to make the front of the chapel a spectacular backdrop for our chapel ceremonies. 
Stay tuned for more updates as they become available! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Reading through my emails this morning, I received Colin Cowie's most recent "Wedding Notes" and I wanted to share it with you because it is so near and dear to my heart.
Colin is so dead on with this article!  Timing is SOOOOO important!  I love what he says about how we have all been to weddings where the ceremony starts 25 minutes late, the cocktail hour drags on and on (usually because the photographer has delayed the couple with pictures) dinner is delayed or takes FOREVER to serve.  We have folks come in on a regular basis, expecting that this is just the "norm" for a wedding.  Not so at Aberdeen.  We work really hard to keep things on track, make sure that everything starts when it is supposed to start and ends when it's supposed to end.  This is what makes for an enjoyable wedding and reception!  The flow of the party is so important, and as Colin says, you don't want your guests to start looking at their watches!  That's the kiss of death for a party, because usually, as soon as they start looking at their watches, their next move is to look for their car keys! 
I'm always surprised by the people that come in 10, 15, even 20 minutes late for a ceremony!  They always seem to look at me with this puzzled expression on their faces that says "Gosh, they started on time?  Amazing!"  I guess that they are so used to ceremonies being late that these folks just add 15 minutes to the time on the invitation automatically!
My feeling on this is that if you say 5 o'clock, you should start at 5 o'clock.  It's not fair to your guests who ARE on time to make them sit and wait.  More important, if your ceremony runs late, it's going to make everything else start to run late because it will short you on time for your pictures etc.  It's a domino effect, and it's really hard to recover, once that first domino--the ceremony time--is tipped!
Good timing is something that Aberdeen Manor has become known for.  You have myself or my daughter Megan, there to make sure that everyone is on track and on schedule.  We keep the party moving, we serve your dinner in a timely manner, and if your photographer is dragging out the photos and delaying you, we aren't afraid to tell the photographer, nicely but firmly, that they need to wrap it up so that we can move along.  Incidentally, this is another reason why using a photographer from our Favorites List is so helpful, to you and us as well.  The photographers on our list KNOW that we keep things on time, and they are great at making everything fit together, getting the photos taken, and keeping everything on time.  One of our photographers, plus Transaudio as your DJ and you have a golden combination that is going to help to keep your special day running smoothly, and your guests happy and excited about your day.
Remember, the day may be about the two of you, but it is also about your guests.  The thoughtful couple wants their guests to have the time of their lives, as well as themselves.  There is nothing better after your wedding, than having one of your guests tell you, even years later, that YOUR wedding was the BEST wedding they ever attended! 
Timing IS everything!
Happy Weddings!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

QR Codes, What the Heck!

Those little one inch square black and white boxes, they look kinda like a teeny tiny little crossword puzzle, and they have started showing up, particularly in magazine ads.  Those are called QR codes, which from what I understand, is short for Quick Read Code.  They function basically the same as a bar code.
I remember back when they first started using the bar codes on things and everyone thought they were just an unnecessary little annoyance!  I really believe that these QR codes are something that is going to open up some huge possibilities for linking information, particularly in magazine advertising.  They just haven't hit their "tipping point" yet. 
So those of you who read this blog, have you ever used this new technology with your smart phone?  What do YOU think about it?  Is this something you think you would use in the future?  Are you as excited about the possibilities as I am?  I am really interested to know what our clients and customers think about these!  You can comment here, or email me directly at if you're shy! :)
Thanks in advance for your help.
Oh and by the way, THANK YOU to everyone that replied to our Survey Monkey survey about the Taste!
We got some really great suggestions and ideas to help us to make the next one even better!
As ever, happy weddings!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Peacocks, Plumes and Plenty of Colors!

Have you ever really looked at a peacock feather? There are SO many colors to work with! Eggplant purple, teal, green, chocolate brown; they are SO beautiful!
Peacock feathers do have their disadvantages though. The peacocks drag those long, long tails around behind them, all folded up, and then when they get really ticked at another peacock, or they see their lady love peahen, they fan it out ala NBC. Consequently they are one sided, because the peacock doesn't really care what the view from the side or back is, he is only concerned about his tail being visible to whomever he is facing.
This makes for some unique problems when it comes to using these gorgeous jewel like feathers in floral arrangements and bouquets.
We have used them flat on the placecard table, under a fitted glass, with wonderful results. We have also done this on the cake table, and it looked amazing. It just doesn't work though to put a few feathers in a vase. It takes some special talent to make them work.
Our wedding this evening really showed what you could do with peacock feathers to use them to best advantage.
Not all of the tables had tall arrangements, there were roughly 5 per side of the room, and then the remaining tables had our tall hurricanes with a pillar candle, and votives around them.  The black aquarium rock in the vases was also used in the hurricanes which helped to tie the two designs together.  Personally, I'm not fond of tall arrangements on ALL of the tables, it can be really overwhelming!  This was the perfect number--visual impact, interest, and not at all "too much".  I also liked the use of the pampas grass plumes in the arrangements.  This grass grows wild all over Northwest Indiana, and many times you can pick it along the side of the road.  It's a beautiful filler with the peacock feathers and gives the arrangements a lot of volume and substance without the cost of additional fresh flowers. 
The bridesmaids wore black gowns with teal sashes, and the groomsmen wore black tuxes with teal ties and vests. It was a very elegant look.
The bouquets and boutonnieres had fresh flowers with peacock eye feathers and sword feathers mixed in. Just enough to nod to the peacock theme ( you don't want to SCREAM it! Peacock feathers can easily be overdone :)

All in all, Ryan and Jessica did a terrific job designing their wedding! It was done with style, elegance, and just the right amount of pizzazz!  And, it never hurts to have a stunning and elegant bride as the centerpiece!

Congratulations you two! It was a beautiful evening for a delightful couple!

Save Big Bucks On Your Honeymoon!

Last Sunday at our "Taste of Aberdeen" party, Nicole, our new travel agent, was talking with a couple who attended. They told her they were going on a 12 day cruise and that they had a deposit down on it. Nicole told them she might be able to save them some money, so they gave her the particulars and she looked it up. They had booked the cruise directly with the cruise line, so Nicole was able to transfer the booking without any penalty to them, AND SHE SAVED THEM ABOUT 3000 DOLLARS!!! In looking at their reservation she found a number of things they didn't need, got them better travel insurance at a lower price, and saved them a bunch on the booking fees. She even got them a free upgrade and a $200 shipboard credit that they could use on their cruise!
So why am I telling you all this? Because A TRAVEL AGENT CAN SAVE YOU A BUNCH OF MONEY!!! There is a misconception that you can book a trip online and save yourself money. There is also a misconception that a travel agent will cost you more. Obviously, from the true story above, neither of these misconceptions hold up!
Not only can Nicole save you money, she can tell you about where you are going, usually from firsthand experience. So stop in and talk with her, she is here during our walk in hours on Thursdays 12 to 8, Fridays and Saturdays 12 to 5. You can call her for an appointment, or take your chances. Either way, doesn't it make sense to save some money on that honeymoon?
Happy Weddings!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fabulous Travel Contest!!!!!!

Sunday, at our Taste of Aberdeen, we announced that Nicole Scott, our in house travel agent, was offering a contest to win 3 nights at the new Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, and the airfare to get there! We stayed next door to the Aria, and actually attended the Elvis Cirque du Soleis there, and I can tell you from personal experience that this is an AWESOME hotel!!
This is the wall of water that surrounds the entrance to the Aria, it's just beautiful! Inside is fabulous. We were amazed by all the unique and innovative surface treatments! Who thinks these things up?!?!
ANYWAY, if you would like to enter the drawing for this wonderful 3 days in Vegas with airfare for two deal, you need to stop in and see Nicole, and fill out your entry. We will be drawing the winners on April 30th!
Stop by during our "walk in" hours--Thursday from 12 to 8, Friday or Saturday from 12 to 5.

Oh, and by the way, your odds of winning this trip are MUCH better than your odds in Vegas! But that's another story!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Time To Say Goodbye"

Ahhhhh, Viva Las Vegas!!
Megan and Trey, Jim and I spent four days in "Sin City" this week at the Catersource Conference. Awesome! The conference gave us an amazing rate at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, which just opened December 15th. It's the first time in my life that I wanted to just stay in my hotel room with a glass of wine and not leave! This was the view from the balcony:
Is that spectacular or what? The Bellagio Fountains are my absolute favorite thing in Vegas. I have watched them in 35 degree weather for HOURS (ask Jim, he'll tell you, haha) and here they were, from our balcony!
The hotel was magnificent, so many fabulous ideas. Our favorite was the "Chandelier Bar" It's breathtaking! A three story high Empire style chandelier, and the actual bars (three of them, one on each floor) are INSIDE it! Awesome.

The first time we saw it, Trey said "why couldn't we do something like that behind the head table?" (See, we really WERE working! :) Wow!! Would that be a spectacular look! We are on it! More news on that to come. Of course, the Chandelier Bar was made from over 2 million Swarovski crystals, so let's not expect it to be an EXACT replica! We're going to do something cool though, for sure!
It actually reminds me of the first time we saw the fountains at Bellagio and I told Jim that I wanted to put something like that in front of the building. His comment? "Well, I can go out and wiggle the landscaping sprinklers and hum!" I guess until we get slot machines in the lobby of the Manor we will need to scale it back a bit, however we ARE going to do some cool new stuff!
All four of us brought back a ton of ideas from the show, the hotels, and the sessions we attended. More to come in the next couple days, but I need to get to the Manor for our Taste of Aberdeen this afternoon!
More to come! Happy Weddings!