Saturday, April 30, 2011

Phillip and Julia 4-30-2011

Wow!  Black and white weddings have really returned to the forefront this year!  Black and white in combination with a color-pink, fuchsia, red, bright green, yellow, you name it!  Surprisingly, it isn't always in combination with black bridesmaid's gowns as in the past.  The gowns have been in the bright color many times, or at least with a bright colored sash or trim.  Really pretty combinations!

Phil and Julia used a beautiful shade of raspberry pink, soft but vibrant.  Really pretty.  They had originally planned on the garden for their ceremony, however with all the wet weather in the last couple of weeks, along with the high winds that were whipping through the garden, they decided that the chapel might be a better option. 
Here are some photos from their ceremony and reception:

 Their 2 year old twin daughters were flower girls.  They also were very interested in dancing with mom and dad for their first dance!

Lovely wedding you two!  All our best for a wonderful future together!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Royal Wedding Blues

Last week I read an article by a woman who had been married 2 weeks after the historic Charles and Di wedding. Here is what she had to say about it:

"I had the misfortune of getting married two weeks after the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. My wedding was always being compared to the fairytale wedding and beautiful bride. No one spoke of my dress as they couldn't stop talking about Lady Diana and how beautiful she was. If people only knew what a bummer that was to an already stressed out bride!
During my ceremony the preacher stated,
"We know this can't be as beautiful a site as the wedding of the royals, but the love is still there!"

Oh, isn't THAT special!
Gosh, they just became engaged a few months ago (I guess they don't have to worry too much about booking venues and availability!)  I wonder how many weddings were already booked for the 29th, as well as the 30th and the couple of weeks after.  I wonder how many brides found out that "their day" was going to be shared with William and Kate, long after they could do anything about it?
This all reminds me of when my oldest daughter was born, in a goofy kinda way.  I had always planned if I had daughters, to name them after the sisters in Little Women (I know, you probably don't even know what I'm talking about, right?  They were Jo, Amy, Meg and Beth.)  Incidentally, I managed to work in three of the four by naming my oldest daughter Amy ElizaBETH and my youngest Megan (although Meg in the book was actually a Margaret), but that's another post.  Anyway, Amy was born in April of 1976, just days before Jimmy Carter rocketed to the forefront of the 1976 presidential campaign--and what was his daughter's name?  You got it--Amy!
All of a sudden Amy became HUGELY popular!  EVERYBODY was naming their baby Amy, and worse than that, whenever anyone asked me her name and I told them, they would say "Oh, I'll bet you named her after Jimmy Carter's daughter!"  Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgh!!!!  Amy was probably the most popular girl's name of 1976 because of it, and all through school Amy had bunches of other Amys in her class at school. Bummer!
I suppose that brides for the next several months are going to have to endure a similar comparison.  While in a way it's exciting to be marrying at the same time as the Royals, it's also a little deflating to couples who thought that "their day" was going to be theirs alone. 
Here at Aberdeen, we make a special effort to make every bride feel that she is our ONLY bride.  We work hard at it ALL the time, and this week as well as in the weeks and months to come, I am going to make an extra special effort NOT to bring up a discussion of this affair on the other side of the world to any of our brides.  Their day is still going to be theirs alone at Aberdeen and THEIR wedding is always going to be the Wedding of the Year.
We all need to be sensitive about our enthusiasm for this royal wedding, and remember that some folks, particularly brides, might not share our excitement about it!
I hope that everyone will join me in making our brides, and ALL brides, a Princess for the day and insuring that their day is still theirs alone! 
(P.S. Of course, I will still be getting up at 3 a.m. to watch the coverage! :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 16, 2011 Michelle and Paul--The Window Debut!

After the window was installed last week, we were all anxious to see how it would look for a wedding!
I have to say, it looks like it's been there from the beginning!  We are all so pleased with the results.  It was worth every cent.
So Michelle and Paul were the lucky couple whose wedding was the inaugural run for the window.  What a great couple!  So nice.  I love having weddings with couples like them.

 Theirs was a small event, about 100 guests.  Their flower girl and ring bearer stole the show!  What darling kids!  Alexis, the little flower girl, was so sweet.  I asked her if she was ready to do her big job, and she told me "Well, actually, I'm a little bit nervous!"  So grown up for such a little girl!  Like most her size though, she was really into the whole thing, and took her petal dropping VERY seriously!

 I don't think the ring bearer was quite as into it, but he did a great job too.

Their colors were pewter grey and orange.  Gerbera Daisies made up the bouquets, the boutonnieres and the centerpieces, as well as decoration on their cake.
Because of the smaller number of guests, we were able to use the North Room for the cocktail hour, and then bring the guests around to the South Room for dinner.  Tres chic! We left our "window" in the wall to make it more cozy and inviting.  It also makes a nice backdrop for photos when the head table is in front of the garden doors.  The gift table in the wall, with twinkle lights, looked beautiful from both sides of the room.
All in all, a lovely evening for a lovely couple!  Congratulations Michelle and Paul!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

15 Days and Counting! William and Kate Updates!

So, are we all going to get up at 4 a.m. to watch the coverage of the Royal Wedding?  Hmmmm, I may have to think about that one!   I'm thinking that I can watch most of it live, and still make it to work at noon, depending on whether the time difference is 5 hours or 6.  I think it's 5 during daylight savings time.  So if the ceremony is at 11 a.m., and the guests will begin arriving between 8 and 10--wow, that makes it really early!
This morning I've been looking at all the information online about the wedding.  I found a VERY interesting itinerary of the day on the official website.  It has information on their wedding party, which will be Kate's sister Phillipa as Maid of Honor and William's brother Harry as Best Man.  The rest of the "wedding party" are children!  Interesting!  Four girls ages 7, 8, 3, and 3, and two boys 8, and 10.  They are officially called bridesmaids and page boys.  One adult attendant on each side and the rest children?  Hmmmmm, I think this makes me glad I'm not coordinating weddings in the UK!  I have enough trouble getting grown ups down the aisle sometimes!! :)
Here's a very informative link for information on wedding traditions in the UK.  I was surprised at how many differences there were! 
Kate and William came up with their guest list just like all of us commoners.  The couple made their list, each family made their lists, and then they put them all together.  Another little fact I found very interesting--they have invited 1900 guests to the ceremony, 650 guests to the lunch reception at Buckingham Palace (hosted by Her Royal Majesty!) and then dinner and dancing for 300 guests in the evening (hosted by Prince Charles).  Wow!  We could have had their reception at Aberdeen!  Ha! 
Most interesting though, was the information on their wedding cake!  They have hired Fiona Cairns, a well known cake designer in Lancastershire, England.   Fiona is apparently the UK's answer to Sylvia Weinstock, Colette Peters and Ron Ben Israel!  She has some beautiful pictures on her website of things that she has done.  The Royal wedding cake is going to be done in the Joseph Lambeth technique which is very popular in England as well as in Australia and New Zealand.  It is SO beautiful, and SO delicate!
The Lambeth technique involves delicate piping and intricate details.  Either in all white or colors.

I have a sneaking suspicion that after the 29th of April, our local cake people will need to brush up on the Lambeth technique!
The other interesting fact about the cake is that it will be made of fruitcake, which is the traditional wedding cake in England.  The tradition of putting a piece of wedding cake under your pillow to dream about who you would marry involved the fruitcake, rather than our traditional American wedding cake.  Much less messy I would think!  It's usually covered with marzipan which is made from almond paste, and applied similar to rolled fondant--but it is much more tasty!  (Incidentally, the one plus that fondant has over marzipan is that it can be white, whereas marzipan is a light beige color, with white royal icing on it though, it can be really beautiful!)
In the coming two weeks we'll talk more about the big wedding, and how it will affect our wedding traditions here. 
What aspect of the wedding are YOU most excited about?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Pretty in Pink" Erin and Bo -- April 2, 2011

I think if I had to choose only one color for every wedding, forever more, it would be pink.  There is just something so "weddingish" about pink!  It's feminine and frilly and of course it is the "girl" color!

Erin chose to use soft, pastel pink with ivory for their wedding colors.
Wedding programs gave the guests a run down on what was going to take place, as well as who the participants were. 
Pew bows with hydrangea and roses on every other row were repurposed across the head table for the reception after the wedding, along with the table arrangement which was placed in the center of the head table, and the two side arrangements that were positioned behind the head table.  The flowers were done by The Flower Cart in Chesterton.  As usual, an awesome job!
Aberdeen Manor provided the balloons for the balloon release.  They all stayed in the coat room until after the ceremony ended, when our servers took them over to the chapel and gave them to the attendants to pass out to the guests.
Three little flower girls took their job VERY seriously!  So cute!  Their petal gowns (from Affairs) were adorable, especially with the pink organza sashes.  One little flower girl was older than the other two.  She was able to lead the way and help get the little ones down the aisle.  It was a HUGE help. 
I know you are wondering--well, the groomsmen wore champagne vests and ties, and the groom wore ivory.  None of them were required to wear pink!  (although, we have some beautiful pink vests and ties, and personally, I think it's a very becoming color on most men!)
The balloons were passed out to the guests after the ceremony as they left the chapel, with instructions to wait to release them till the bride and groom stepped out and released theirs.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and the guests didn't mind waiting outside the chapel.
After greeting all the guests, the new Mr. and Mrs. Casey stepped out and released their balloons!
Absolutely beautiful!!  (And contrary to popular belief, the balloons freeze in the upper atmosphere and turn into dust.)
A beautiful placecard table awaited the guests' arrival after the ceremony. 
Their cake was simple and elegant, with pink spray roses decorating the tiers, a sparkly "C" on the top!

 Their tables were decorated with alternating centerpieces.  Half were tall, like on the placecard table, and the other half were low bowls with huge pink roses--the size of teacups!  Beautiful!
 Bo and Erin opted for the "Crystals and Candles" ceiling decor, as well as a gobo heart shining above the head table.  Magical!  And of course, it snowed over their first dance!  Mike the DJ commented afterward: "Well folks, let's hope that's the last snow we see for this season!"
A magical evening for a terrific couple!  If you want to see more photos of Bo and Erin's wedding you can go to Bella Photography's website.  They have a terrific montage set to music of their photos from the wedding.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011



 I can hardly wait to see it with candles and flowers and a wedding party! 
Oh, and by the way, for all of you folks that are OCD like me, the center jewel will be red, they just couldn't get it into the window for delivery, so they used a clear jewel and will replace it with the red one. It will be coming shortly.

So; opinions?  What do you think?  Do you like it? 



The carpenters were here on Monday making the window for it and installing the beautiful wood molding around it. (You can see the trim molding leaning against the wall to the left of the ceremony area.  It's amazing!  Wayne Wilson has done all the trim at both the Manor and the Chapel--we go back a long way!)
Here was the video camera shot of the moment when they cut the hole through the wall--
Without the stained glass, it's a pretty bright spot in the chapel!  Kind of like God is up there shining through!  Whew!!!  There is a window behind where the stained glass will go, and it looks like it is going to light the stained glass beautifully!
( This picture is off of the webcam, and the windows always look really bright during the day on the webcam.)
Here, again, is the picture of the window in progress.  The individual pieces of stained glass are cut out and then stuck to a large piece of clear glass that is in front of a window.  This is how they can actually see how the pieces are going to work together in the finished window.  It's amazing how different the stained glass looks without light coming through it!  It's very dull and flat, lifeless--and then you get light coming through it and all of a sudden it's alive and vibrant!  Stained glass is just the most amazing stuff!  The black dots are little balls of clay that hold the pieces on so that they can be moved, replaced or whatever needs to be done.  What is missing from this photo that will make a HUGE difference in the finished window is the leading.  Also, there will be over 30 deep red jewels all the way around, and a larger red jewel in the middle.  It's going to be really beautiful!  It's going to give the chapel a focal point in the front that will highlight the area, without being something that indicates any particular denomination.  Which, since we have had Buddhist, Jewish, civil, and Sikh ceremonies, as well as Christian; is a very important concern!

I am SOOOOOOO excited to see the final product in place!!  It's going to be awesome!  Once it is installed I'll post more photos of it.  So stay tuned!  The delivery is scheduled for this afternoon, around 2 pm.  I can hardly wait!!!!!

More to come!

Shelley and Rich 3-27-2011

What a great couple! We had such fun planning their big day! I don't think I ever saw Rich without Purdue logowear somewhere on him! Boiler Up!
Peacock blue was the color. Black bridesmaid's gowns with a teal sash.
The flowers were done by Lemster's in Valparaiso.  Beautiful!  I'm not normally a fan of dyed flowers, but there is something about the hot pink dendrobium orchids dyed blue that I just love!  They are so different and so pretty!  And of course, they go with the peacock color scheme perfectly!
Peacock feathers are what I would call a very "strong" theme.  It is easily overdone and can become garish if you go too crazy with them.  Shelley did a great job of "nodding" to the peacock without being consumed by it!  A few feathers, mixed with the flowers, kept the whole thing under control. 

Beautiful placecard table--simple, elegant, and welcoming!
Their cake was lovely!  Linda Monroe did an amazing job with it.  The peacock feather shapes were done white on white, traced onto the cake.  Again, a nod to the peacocks not a full on assault! :)
I've seen "peacock cakes" that were hideous!  Some with the actual bird in full color draping down the cake--argh!  This was lovely, and their sparkly "B" on the top was just the right touch.  Feathers around the topper were considered, but we decided that real bird feathers on something you were going to eat didn't sit really well.  Better to keep them off the cake.

 No, this wasn't a photo of the dinner!  This was the "salad course" that our staff made for the kids at the wedding.  Gummy Bears on the Beach!  Don't miss the little Sixlet beach ball!  Too cute!
We had the inaugural run of our snow machine!  Awesome!!  The crowd loved it!  There were so many ooo's and ahhhh's you would have thought it was REALLY snowing in the ballroom!
All in all a beautiful wedding for a wonderful couple!  Many good wishes Shelley and Rich! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

24 Days!!!!!!!

So, can you just imagine planning your wedding with the WHOLE WORLD WATCHING?!?!?!
On the one hand, the pressure would be intense!  On the other, how exciting to know that every little thing you do for your celebration is going to set trends for at least the next 10 years, maybe longer!
Kate's gown has been a subject of big speculation.  Her favorite designer is Issa in London, and many think they will be the chosen designers.  The gown is going to be copied by every gown company in the world.  They'll all do their take on it, but it will be the trendsetter. 

All this royal wedding hype takes me back to July 29, 1981 when Charles married Diana.  We all got up in the wee hours of the morning to watch the pre-wedding reports.  We didn't have a VCR yet, so it was watch it now, or miss it!  My, how things have changed!  My Megan was just a little over 4 weeks old!  We all waited breathlessly to see what Diana would be wearing.  The glass windowed carriage came out from Clarence House, followed by mounted horsemen.  It proceeded to St. Paul's Cathedral, the entire route lined with throngs of people, shoulder to shoulder, cheering and waving as the carriage passed.  Many waited through the night for just a quick glimpse of the beautiful Lady Diana, soon to be the Princess of Wales.  They were the fairy tale couple.  She was demure, shy, and heartbreakingly gorgeous, Charles, well; not so gorgeous, but despite his less than handsome looks he had a few things going for him too. :)
I will never forget when Diana stepped out of the carriage!  That train!  It went on for miles!!!!!  She started up the stairs of St. Paul's and that train just kept coming and coming and coming!!!  It was ginormous! Here is the official description of it:
"Diana's wedding dress was a puff ball meringue wedding dress, with huge puffed sleeves and a frilly neckline. The dress was made of silk taffeta, decorated with lace, hand embroidery, sequins, and 10,000 pearls. It was designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel, and had a 25-foot train."
Today we look at this gown and our reactions are a little different.  It's overdone, huge, and WAY too elaborate and big for today's standards, but in 1981, boy, that was some dress!  I have always felt that the gown was kind of a metaphor for her life at that point.  It engulfed her, consumed her, overwhelmed her, kind of like the monarchy, the notariety, and the whole business of marrying a prince.  Poor Diana, she was so young, only 20, so naive, so innocent.  A crystal ball would have done her a lot of good.
I watched a video of the wedding on YouTube last night,

I couldn't help noticing how Charles barely looked at her as she came down the aisle.  He looked down, he talked to one of his attendants, he was definitely not the smitten groom, mesmerized by his beautiful bride!  Of course, hindsite is always 20/20 but still, the signs were there, we just didn't choose to see them.  Years later we found out that he wore a pair of cufflinks that were a gift from Camilla at the wedding.  The ROGUE!!!  I guess he did it for England, but still, I don't know that I can ever forgive him for breaking her heart.
Despite the unhappy ending to their fairytale, it was an incredible wedding. I hope that Wills and Kate will have a much happier ending to their story. I think the fact that they were friends for a long time before they dated, and also that they have dated for so long (eight years as opposed to the six months that Charles and Diana dated) will serve them well. They are both much older than at least Diana was when she was married. This seems to be a general trend that we have seen for a number of years, and I think it's great. Waiting to marry till you are in your late 20's, early 30's, seems to be much more the norm now.
The hype then was many times what it has been for William and Kate, if you can imagine it! It will be exciting to see what new trends and traditions come from this royal wedding. Jewelry stores are already seeing a surge in engagement rings with colored stones other than diamonds.
I'm looking forward to seeing it all, and seeing all the fall out afterward! Are you going to get up early and watch the wedding live? Or are you going to record it and watch it later?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saturday Evening, Amanda and Jon, March 19, 2011

 Basic uplighting added an amazing pop to the Ballroom.
 A few spectacular arrangements, strategically placed had SO much impact!  
 Beautiful Amanda with her lovely mom, right before they went down the aisle.

 I love the way that the twinkling lights under the head table shine through a veil.  It's such a pretty shot!
Lovely couple, great wedding!  Congratulations you two!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Michelle Minzey and Earnest Smith 3/19/2011

 Pretty centerpieces!  Imaginative use of the containers we have here at Aberdeen
 I particularly liked this one!  The petals submerged in water filling the tall hurricane vase looked amazing!
 And then their was their awesome cake!!!  Done by Designer Desserts in Valpo.  Absolutely elegant!
 And what's even better than a beautiful cake?  A beautiful cake filled with butter pecan flavored cake!  Oh my gosh!  The scent was amazing!  The reports are that the taste was even better!
 Lots of children at this wedding enjoyed their colorful, playful candy table!
You can see by the looks on their faces that they are looking forward to that butter pecan cake!!
Beautiful wedding!  An afternoon that will be remembered for a long time by their guests.

Congratulations you two!!!