Top 5 Trends that are Guaranteed to Impress Your Guests!

Top 5 Trends that are Guaranteed to Impress Your Guests!

Have a crowd you really want to impress? These top trends will take your event far beyond you could even imagine! Your guests are sure to leave impressed!

And The Winner Is...

Earlier this year, Pantone announced their pick for Color of the Year 2017 as Greenery, a refreshing shade that symbolizes new beginnings. For those of you not familiar with Pantone's Color of the Year, each year they select a color that is "a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude". Click here to go to Pantone's website and read more about Greenery and watch the video put together by Pantone! 

If you're like me, you like to be up-to-date on current trends so you can tie them into your events! In this post, I will give a few pointers and ideas on how to incorporate the color of the year into your wedding or event.

Use Actual Greenery for Decoration

Get Creative With Place-Cards and Menus

Wear It

5 Tips to Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress

Everyone knows that finding the perfect dress for your special day can be stressful. Here's what they don't know: it doesn't have to be stressful at all! Wedding Wire recently released their 2017 Dress Shopping Guide (click here to view the guide in its entirety online) and it is filled with tips and tricks for easy, stress-free wedding dress shopping. Here are the top 5 tips that I pulled from the guide, and my thoughts on them!

1. Start Shopping 9 Months Before the Big Day

There is nothing more stressful than waiting for the last minute to start looking for the perfect wedding dress. It can take months for a dress to be created, if you decide to go that route and have a dress custom designed for you. Additionally, even if you do find the perfect dress and it has already been created, there is no guarantee it will fit you perfectly, and having a dress altered can be a long process. Trust me, you will be a lot less stressed if you start looking for your dress 9 months before your wedding date!

2. Know The Dress Style You Like

We all know that there are a million different styles of wedding dresses to choose from (okay, maybe not a million, but it sure seems like it). When it comes to picking a wedding dress style, there are two main factors to consider: the silhouette and the neckline. With so many silhouettes and necklines to choose from (A-Line, Strapless, Illusion, Ball Gown, etc.) it's easy to feel overwhelmed. If you walk into the bridal boutique or store without any idea of the style of dress you want, you'll be there for hours, trying on way too many dresses. However, if you walk in knowing you want a fit-n-flare gown with a sweetheart neckline, you'll try on fewer dresses, saving you time and a whole lot of stress!

3. Check Websites and Client Reviews

Before you can find the perfect dress for your big day, you want to make sure you are finding the salon or boutique that fits your needs! The best way to go about this is by conducting lots and lots of "research". First, you'll want to do some searching to find out what boutiques and salons are in your area. (If you're looking for a local suggestion, check out BELLE MARIÉE BRIDAL - she has tons of styles to choose from, well-suited to any bride!)  Once you have a short list of possible salons, you should peruse their websites. Make sure you're checking their dress inventory (if they have one on their website), so you can get a good idea of the types of dresses they sell. Then, you'll want to check prices to make sure you're choosing a place that is within your price range. After you've narrowed down your list during your website sleuthing, you need to read client reviews! You won't know for certain whether a boutique or salon is right for you, unless you hear first hand how they work with their clients. Trust me, if you follow these steps when choosing a wedding dress vendor, you'll be able to find the perfect fit, and ultimately, the perfect wedding dress!

4. Bring Along As Few People As Possible

This one is pretty self-explanatory. The majority of us have probably seen the movie "Bridesmaids" and as most of us know, the more people you have there, the more opinions there are being thrown out, the more drama can occur! You don't want the moment you choose the dress you're going to get married in ruined by unnecessary stress and drama because your entourage gets into an argument about which dress is "the one". Keep your entourage small, maybe only bringing along your best friend and a very close family member whose opinion you genuinely value. Believe me, you'll thank yourself later!

5. Be Your Own Advocate

Ultimately, the final decision is up to you! Don't settle on a dress that you're not in love with just because your mother, best friend, etc. is pressuring you to make a decision. Make sure you are communicating to your stylist what you like and don't like so they can do everything in their power to help you find the perfect dress. It comes down to this: your wedding day is about you and your fiancé. In the end, the only person's opinion who truly matters when it comes to picking your wedding dress, is your's. Be your own advocate and don't settle just to make someone else happy!


Event Assistant Team



The perfect wedding comes from a perfect budget.

Originally published in COMO Living Magazine, link here 

top 5 budget busters.jpeg

For AnnaBelle Events, it's inquiry season- all the couples who got engaged in the fall and over the holidays are ready to start planning. One of your first steps is building your budget. If you've made the wise choice of hiring a wedding planner (nudge, nudge) then a budget meeting will be one of their first to-dos. Include all contributors in these talks, because you'll need everyone on the same page about why flowers cost $4,000, or how a videographer is completely different than a photographer (and you need both!). 

Rather than go through all the things you should budget for, we are going to cover things you should avoid- the budget busters. 

1. Exclusive Venues

While recommended vendors are great, having exclusive vendors is much different. This will lock you into their prices, services, and policies. If you find a venue with exclusive agreements, make sure you have pricing from all those vendors before signing your venue contract. 

2. Venues without Amenities

Yes, I'm sticking to venues for two of these busters- it's the first thing you book and it determines nearly every other vendor you use. Our No. 2 budget buster is a venue that is just a building- maybe it has bathrooms (let's hope) and a "caterer kitchen" (meaning sink, water, and refrigeration). 

3. The Outdoors

The everlasting trend of Midwest weddings! You throw up a white tent and invite your closest 100 friends and family. It won't be more than a few grand, right? Wrong! You also need bathrooms, power generators, outdoor lighting, parking, parking lighting, transportation to and from parking, rain plan items, catering tent and equipment, ice and ice trailer, fans or A/C or heat, bug spray, landscaping- and that's just naming the essential items 

4. Unvoiced Parent Opinions

This is why you should include contributors in budget talks. At that meeting, encourage everyone to voice their full, specific opinions. Real-life story: A bride's dad said steak and decent wine were a must. We got it accounted and budgeted for. Fast-forward a few months to the catering tasting. Dad ended up wanting filets and table service for everyone. As you can imagine, the price of filet times 350 guests was much different than standard wedding steak. The budget was busted, and guess who it fell back on? The bride. And she ended up having to cut things she really wanted because of it. 

5. An Untracked Budget

Track every single thing that you and anyone else spends. If you don't, you will end up going crazy in one of two ways. The first is when you go crazy saying, "I'm spending like a crazy person!" and think you've overspent- because when else in your life are you dropping $1,000 deposit checks every other day? The second is when you go crazy saying, "Everything is going to be fine!" and start rattling off those $1,000 checks like nothing. Then you go to add everything up and realize you busted your budget. Then you have to cut things like gifts to your wedding party, alterations, and even hair and makeup.

There are your budget busters! Rip this page out and put it at the front of the budget section in your wedding binder. Leave the busting for the groomsmen's moves on the dance floor.


Anne, Owner & Event | Wedding Planner AnnaBelle Events

Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving

As much as we love working weddings, sometimes it's nice to switch things up and throw a big social occasion instead! We finished out this past year by throwing a huge surprise 30th birthday party at Bur Oak Brewery. When we were approached by the husband of the birthday girl, we knew we had to put something spectacular together for him-what a keeper am I right ladies?!  

*Disclaimer these photos are from our iPhones, no judgement!

This party was pretty unique since we didn't have any specific details or theme to brainstorm off of from the client herself, but it made it that much more fun! After learning that the birthday girl was super fun-loving and chic, we decided on an 80's theme because nothing beats the classic hits and neon color patterns. We planned to flood the entire brewery with pink lighting, gold accents, and sparkles! SW Productions transformed the entire venue and even created a gobo to help add to the party! The name of the event changed to "Jessie's Dirty 30" so you can only imagine how fun the party turned out to be! ;) 

Gold, shimmery linens covered the cocktail tables that were spread out across the brewery and were topped with gold candle votives. We were lucky that A1 Rentals had so many linen color options to choose from- it made sticking to our theme super easy! We wanted the atmosphere to be laid back so we decided against having any large tables where guests could sit down and eat. This worked well though since we incorporated a large photo booth from JKelley Photography and a game area where corn hole could be played.  

The party didn't just look good, but we made sure it tasted good too! All of Jessie's favorites were served buffet style; that included an array of meats and sides from Dickey's Barbecue, mac n' cheese, corn dogs, and mozzarella sticks. Also, let's not forget the popcorn machine we had running all night! To top off the evening, we had multiple different flavors of cupcakes from Small Cakes Cupcakery (which were delicious I might add)! To be honest, it was hard to tell if guests enjoyed the cupcakes or the open bar more! 

One other special touch we added to Jessie's party was a chalkboard welcome sign designed by Inkling that had all sorts of fun facts from the year she was born. I still can't get over the fact that gas was only $0.30 a gallon in 1986! Overall I'd say the party was a success, but again, can you really go wrong when you have friends, food, and booze together in one place?! 


Lead Planning Assistant

What's hot now?

It's the start of a new year and with that comes new trends! YAY! Wedding Wire made a huge list of new trends that we should watch out for in 2017 and I'm writing to share my thoughts. These are just a few of the trends I hope to see pop up more in the wedding industry this year because I'm ready to see change. After all, isn't that the point of starting a new year? So I hope you guys are ready because here we go! 

1. Less pinks, more rose golds

I love that rose gold is becoming popular! My mom is actually the one who first started wearing rose gold around me, and whether it is jewelry or clothes, she rocks it and so can you! Rose gold can be incorporated into your wedding color scheme, place settings, or in your bridesmaids dresses. It's a fun color that will pop, grab people's attention, but won't take the focus away from the bride. 

2. Two-piece bridesmaid dresses

2 piece bridesmaid dress.jpg

It may just be because this trend started a few years after my last prom and I missed out on the opportunity to wear something so unique and fun, but I really do like the look of a two-piece dress. It's flattering on almost everyone and can either be simple and modest or can give off a more elegant look when beading and embellishments are added.  

3. Sheer and sexy wedding dresses

sheer lace dress.jpg

Now ladies, when I say sheer and sexy I don't mean you're showing off everything you've got. I mean a illusion neckline, open back, or a laced dress with intricate patterns, allowing you to show off just enough to where you feel sexier than normal, but won't get yelled at by your grandmother. 

4. Brunch weddings

Is there really even any reason to explain this one? We all know you love brunch and so do your guests! Waffle bars, mimosas, and donuts-I'll just let you marinate on, think about how much money you could save without serving plated dinner meals. 

5. No more vows or toasts from phones

PUT DOWN YOUR PHONES!!! I can't stress enough how annoying it is to see people read vows and speeches off their phones. Like where has the thoughtfulness and elegance gone? Instead of using your phone, use a cute notebook or journal and write down what you want to say. Not only is it more presentable, but this way the couple can keep your kind words forever.  

6. Velvet Upholstery

This trend has already hit the market here in Missouri and hopefully it continues to get more popular. E. Clare Vintage style furnishings are a special touch that our brides like to add on their big day because they know that their guests will become mesmerized. It's a totally unique look you can't go wrong with! Especially you bo-ho chic, vintage brides out there-I know you're thrilled about that blue velvet couch being in fashion now! 

7. Parent's first look

In my opinion why wouldn't you do a first look with your parents? I am a huge daddy's girl, but that doesn't change the fact that your parents are the ones who helped you get to your big day. Through all the band recitals, bad-boys, and career moves they want to see you smiling and glowing on your wedding day just as much as your fiancé! 

8. Creative cake flavors

Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry...I bet you got bored just reading those flavors. Bananas Foster, tiramisu, salted caramel, and lemon berry...I bet you're mouth is watering now! Why not mix things up and go for a more decadent cake flavor, you won't be sorry! 

9. Colored envelopes

It's crazy to me how people want such elaborate invitations and stationary but then pick a nude or white envelope. You think your guests are going to be more excited when they see a gold envelope arrive in the mail or another ordinary white one that reminds them of bills? Yeah I think the gold one too! Take it from us here at AnnaBelle Events, the paper products we produce are anything but ordinary and really do make all the difference! 

10. The last-last song 

I immediately fell in love with this trend when I read about it! This happens after the last dance for the crowd and after everyone is cleared out of the room. The only people then allowed in the room are the couple, DJ, and photographer/videographer. How sweet and romantic right?! Quick, someone grab me a tissue the waterworks are coming! 

So there you have it guys! These are the top 10 trends I hope to see really impact the wedding industry this year. You may disagree with some of them, but I truly think we have some game-changers on our hands! 


Lead Planning Assistant

AnnaBelle Events Honored with Wedding Planning Award - 2017 WeddingWire Couples' Choice Recipient

AnnaBelle Events Honored For Excellence With 2017 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award®

                        Columbia, Missouri – January 10th, 2017 – WeddingWire, the leading global online marketplace for the wedding and event industry, announced AnnaBelle Events as a winner of the esteemed 2017 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® for Wedding Planning in Mid-Missouri!
                        The Couples’ Choice Awards recognize the top five percent of wedding professionals on WeddingWire who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism. The prestigious awards are given to the top local wedding professionals across more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year. 
                        The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with AnnaBelle Events. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.

                        “The Couples’ Choice Awards’ ninth year features one of the most impressive groups of dedicated and acclaimed wedding professionals yet,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “It is our honor to work with high-caliber merchants, such as {Enter Your Business Name}, who not only make a couple's big day possible, but also contribute to the more than 2.5 million U.S. reviews represented on WeddingWire.  We congratulate all of this year's winners on their achievements.”
                        As a Couples’ Choice Awards® winner, AnnaBelle Events is highlighted on WeddingWire, which is comprised of more than 200,000 wedding professionals in the U.S.
                        AnnaBelle Events is thrilled to be one of the top Wedding Planners in Mid-Missouri on WeddingWire. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We truly value all of our clients and appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn a 2017 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award.
                        For more information about AnnaBelle Events, please visit our website at
                        To learn more about the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®, please visit
                        About WeddingWire, Inc.
                        WeddingWire, Inc. is the leading global online marketplace connecting consumers with event and creative professionals. Operating within a $200 billion industry, WeddingWire, Inc. hosts 10 million monthly unique users across its mobile and web platforms. Consumers around the world are able to read over 3 million vendor reviews and search, compare and book from a database of over 400,000 businesses globally. It provides these businesses the technology they need to serve their clients through advertising, marketing and business management tools such as websites, payment processing, invoicing and contracts. Founded in 2007, the WeddingWire portfolio of sites serves couples and businesses across 15 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, making it the worldwide leader in weddings with brands including,, and more. The company employs more than 800 and maintains global headquarters in Washington, DC and international headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.  


Originally published in COMO Living magazine, link here.

Pickup the December/January issue to see the full printed editorial. 

Welcome to what is going to be a super fun column all about the ins and outs of weddings. I’m Anne Churchill, Columbia’s seasoned and locally grown event and wedding planner. I’ve been planning meaningful moments and special days for 10 years, and now it’s time to spill the beans: the good, the bad, and the ugly of planning weddings. I’ll share tips and tricks, plus (I’m sure) some giggles as I pull from real-life stories.

The first thing to tackle is wedding trends: what’s hot and what’s not. Here in the Midwest, we tend to be about three years behind what we see on the coasts. Some may see this as a negative — not I. There’s two great benefits to this. As long as you’re on top of it, you can be the first to do something in Columbia while still having dozens of examples from the coast to refer to. And we only do the tested and proven trends — forget the trends that come and go in six months or, even worse, backfire. (Literally. Flames on your wedding day. Think the fire breathers under a tent were a good idea? No, they weren’t.)

Here are the two trends that I think are tired, done, and over with . . . even for good ol’ CoMO:

Doors (or some other entrance) to outdoor wedding ceremonies.

Here’s the hard truth. You’ve chosen to get married on uneven ground with the elements of wind and rain. So the beautiful idea of doors swinging open upon your entrance isn’t so easy, and it’s something to avoid when you consider the hassle. Even if you get those babies perfect . . . you know your guests are going to see you walk (or ride an ATV) up to them, right? Boom. Surprise gone. Just embrace the land you’re getting married on!

The super short wedding ceremony.

I’m talking five minutes total. I think this comes from the stretched out ceremonies we grew up with. And trust me, I get it: I was raised Catholic. But just because you don’t want mass and communion doesn’t mean we need to make your ceremony shorter than a Hulu ad break (insert spinning loading wheel here). Really, why are we all coming together? For a wedding! So let’s have one! Readings, songs, and all. It all goes so fast — relish in the moment.

I won’t ever leave you on a negative note, so here are two newer trends I love for weddings. Fingers crossed they’re here to stay.

The alternative dessert.

I’m not just talking cupcake towers. Dessert is a great time to be nontraditional without making your grandmother gasp. Think small bites and a variety of tastes. It’s a great place to introduce the trend of food stations using a dessert spread, or even pies (if you’re considering pies, call the gals at Peggy Jean’s — they love weddings!). Take the opportunity to hit everyone’s taste buds and get funky with it. This is a fun time to play up the theme or season of your wedding.

Live everything.

Live painting, live cooking, live performances. Considering live options are great if the couple is looking to be less traditional or add in a spark. One of my favorite new vendors is TooRooster Artistry. Cindy Scott paints live, right there, and it’s amazing. Your wedding guests will crowd around her and the final product is a true piece of art, unique from any gift you’ll receive. Live catering stations or food trucks add energy to the meal. Let your guests pick exactly what they want to eat and enjoy the satisfaction of freshly prepared food.

At the end of the day, here is my biggest piece of advice when it comes to tackling trends: learn from others. As you attend weddings, take note of what works, what you love, and what makes you say “oh no!”

Consider what your guests might need when experimenting with a trend. For example, if you’re having food stations, create signage if your guests typically attend buffet dinners. Or, if all of your family weddings have been at the country club, go rogue and pitch a tent in a field. Make sure they get the vibe of your wedding from the invitation, so they’re ready for the fun night.

Being trendy can be successful, as long as you give it thought.