Solar Eclipse Wedding

Getting married in the dark creates gorgeous wedding photos and can make for a beautiful ceremony. However, not everyone is a fan of getting married at night. Getting married during a solar eclipse is one way to get married in the dark during the middle of the day. While the eclipse makes for a beautifully planned wedding, consider taking this special occasion to celebrate an engagement or even a great opportunity to elope! 

What is a Solar Eclipse and Why is it Special?

"A total solar eclipse is only visible from a small area on Earth. The people who see the total eclipse are in the center of the moon’s shadow when it hits Earth. The sky becomes very dark, as if it were night. For a total eclipse to take place, the sun, moon and Earth must be in a direct line."  - NASA

The last total solar eclipse that took place in the St. Louis area was July 7th, 1442!

On August 21st the moon will pass in front of the sun creating a total blackout for about two minutes. Be sure to check out NASA's website, link here, to see what time the eclipse is predicted to take place in your town! Below we have provided a map from NASA of the predicted times for Missouri. 

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-maps

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-maps

Safety First

If you are hosting or attending an event to watch the solar eclipse of 2017, it is important to ensure you are taking care of yourself and your guests. To be sure you're safe, purchase eclipse glasses to wear. Click the link provided here to view NASA's flyer on Eclipse Eyeglass Safety!

"Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality.  The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun."  - NASA

Once the moon has fully covered the sun and your area is in the "totality" phase, you can safely remove your glasses to view the beautiful eclipse.

"The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers."


Want to find out some other Eclipse events going on in Columbia, MO? We've got you covered!

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FoodStock

When:  August 21st | 11:00am-8:00pm

Where: Corporate Lake

Free Event!

Food Trucks, Local Artisans, Beer Garden, Games, Fireworks, Hot Air Balloon, Live Music, Contests, and Restaurants

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A Blufftop Eclipse & Moonshine Release

When: August 19th - August 21st

Where: Les Bourgeois A-Frame

Enjoy a weekend long event to celebrate the eclipse! A new moonshine, cocktail samples, live music, and extended menu options at the A-Frame. 

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Totality Music Fest

When: August 20th & 21st

Where: Cosmo park

Free Event!

Live Music, Beer Garden, Bicycle Stunt Show

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Total Solar Eclipse Golf Tournament

When: August 21st | 11:00am - 4:00pm

Where: Country Club of Missouri

"Tee off to benefit the Boy Scouts of America Great Rivers Council and experience the Total Solar Eclipse from the Country Club of Missouri."

When: August 20th & 21st | 12:00pm - 3:00pm

Where: Rocheport City Park

Free Event!

Live Music, Vendors, Craft Beer Garden, Historic Walking Tours

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Total Eclipse of the Heart Celebration

When: August 21st

Where: Logboat Brewing Co.

Special Beer Releases, Music, Food, and Much More

- Taylor Brickey | Marketing & Planning Assistant

We're Talking Burlap

Adding burlap to an event can give it a rustic "homey" feel. Today we're going to show you some ways to incorporate burlap into your next event!

In Missouri the trend of burlap is here to stay, we don't see it fading away time soon.  So embrace it, add it to your event and do it right!


Reasons why we love burlap:

  1. It is a beautiful rustic material that brings warmth to any occasion and scenery
  2. I's versatile and can be used in almost any situation (decorations, tables, backdrops etc.)
  3. Burlap is fairly easy to work with and transform. This means you might be able to save some money by taking advantage of DIY projects.

Here are some great examples!


Table Runners

Aisle Runners

Cake Decorations

Backdrops & More

Fashion Designs

Finishing Touches

- Taylor Brickey

Marketing & Planning Assistant


Today Show's Wedding Segments!

Summer Wedding Dress Code

When it comes to dress codes for a wedding, it can be hard to know what to wear. With new creative ways to describe the dress code, the Today Show had Keija Minor, edito-in-chief of Brides magazine and style expert George Kotsiopoulos on to help out!

Black-tie Optional

Keija Minor recommends keeping it classy with a floor length gown or a fancy cocktail dress. Better to be over dressed than under! For men, George Kotsiopoulos recommends they wear their best business suit. Finish the look with a crisp white shirt, pocket square, and a tie!

Festive Attire

Minor describes "festive attire" as basically fun cocktail. She recommends wearing a cocktail dress with metallic or sparkle. If you aren't a fan of sparkle dresses, try to bring sparkle to your outfit with your jewelry and accessories! For the men, George recommends adding a fun tie to the mix. He also suggests wearing a pair of plain sneakers to dress down the blazer a little.

Beach Chic

For a wedding on the beach, you want to ensure you're going to be comfortable. Always think about the temperature and the time of the wedding. Minor reccommends something long and flowy like a maxi dress for the ladies. George recommends lightening up the look with a linen or cotton suit for the gentlemen.

Like these looks? View Kathie Lee and Hoda's segment, link here, to purchase these exact looks online and watch the full video!

-Taylor Brickey | Marketing & Planning Assistant

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!

1. Image Mapping

With Image/Projection Mapping you can make a room come to life! This feature gives you the opportunity to create any design you want! Ultimately it gives you a blank canvas to be creative with.

Photo Credentials: Kudos AV


2. Unusual Entertainment

Want to take your event to the next level? Entertainment is an easy way to do this. Everything from aerial dancers to magicians are a possibility for your event. These will surely fascinate your guests and liven up the night.

  • A Live Event Artist will paint your event while its happening! This allows you to leave the event with a beautiful memory of an amazing night.

Photo Credentials: Olga Pankova

  • What better way to get your guests involved in your wedding than by adding a magician to it? Everyone wants to believe in magic, so why not spice up your party with it? A magician allows your guests to have fun and actively participate in your event.
Photo Credentials: Maximilian Close Up Magician 

Photo Credentials: Maximilian Close Up Magician 

  • Impress your guests with the skills of aerial dancers! This can be amazing entertainment for your guests while they watch in amazement. These dancers will provide your guests with an unique experience and one they won't be able to forget!

3. Furry Friends

Whether it's your family pet or an exotic animal, adding a furry friend always makes an event memorable.  Family pets are a great way to incorporate personality into your event. They make everyone smile and can be a great addition to the event party! More exotic animals will intrigue your guests with their unique beauty.

Photo Credentials: DailyMail.com and BridalGuide.com 


4. Food that Moves

Food Trucks can be a great way to feed your guests! A food truck allows your guests to have a full menu to pick from without being at a restaurant! You can pick from your favorite cuisines because there's a food truck for everything now! Not to mention, they can feed a large crowd very quickly!

Photo Credentials: kitchn and OffBeatBride

5. Naked Cakes

If a cake has no fondant and frosting, is it even still considered a cake? Naked cakes are the new "it" thing to do! A naked cake has no frosting or fondant on the outside, but is still a gorgeous addition to your event. You would be surprised with how much design options you still have! It is a great way to add natural beauty to your cake.

Photo Credentials: Daily Mail

- Taylor Brickey

Marketing and Planning Assistant


Behind the Shoot

We spent a day with Drew Piester and I was lucky enough to catch some behind the scenes footage of Anne Churchill's photo shoot. Watch the video below for a sneak-peak exclusive behind the scenes look!

Check out more of Drew's work on his website, link here.

- Taylor Brickey | Marketing & Planning Assistant

THE Ps & Qs OF YOUR 'I DO'S

Minding your manners during wedding season.

Originally published in COMO Living Magazine, link here

Spring has sprung and your wedding timelines are getting tighter. As you bounce from here to there, checking things off the to-do list, it's important to mind the Ps and Qs of you "I Do"s. Yes, I am talking about manners and etiquette. This will ensure you avoid heartaches, tense situations, and unnecessary nonsense -- This goes for the engaged couples and wedding guests.


Couple Etiquette

You've made your wedding guest list. If you must cut guests, be sure you haven't invited them to any pre-wedding celebrations. I know it's hard, but it's not fair to be invited to a shower and not the big day. Always make sure those on your pre-wedding celebration lists are guaranteed a place at your wedding.

And keep a lid on it! This goes for your workplace and social media. If you spend time pinning at work and getting chit-catty with the gals in the neighboring cubicles, they are going to anticipate an invite. So keep the chatter to a minimum unless that's a guarantee. 

For social media, I doubt all your Facebook friends and Instagram followers will have a seat at your reception, so don't overpost! No sharing your awesome wedding website or pictures of your invites. Keep your posting to shower thank-yous and a few photos.

And, always, give thanks! Even though it won't always feel this way, many people are involved in your wedding festivities. And while it may not stand out or be unsolicited, it's important to honor the people giving their time, talents, and love. Make it easy on yourself by picking up some cute thank you cards and stamps. You'll be ready at a moment's notice to express your gratitude.


Tips for Guests

Now for our wedding guests: The Ps and Qs extend to you too. I've got two quick pointers to ensure you are the best wedding guests ever. 

The invitation has arrived, and you may already know what you're wearing and who you're taking as a date. But not so fast. Double check the envelope. Who is it specifically addressed to? That envelope is the couple's way of telling you how many seats are reserved for you. It's not your place to bring more.

Now it's later on: You're at the ceremony, the lovely couple is about to enter, and ring, ring, ring! A phone goes off. Or, even worse, the guest posted in the aisle captures the kiss on their phone. We all know it happens. Here's what I need to say: Stop. Put your phone away. Turn it on silent. Having an unplugged ceremony makes it more intimate and meaningful. Do your part, be present, and be unplugged.

Anne, Owner & Event | Wedding Planner AnnaBelle Events

DODGING DAY-OF DISASTERS

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Preparing for the unexpected.

Originally published in COMO Living Magazine, link here

You've survived the planning process and coordinated every detail. Now come the day-of-disasters that may or may not make an appearance on your big day. The key is to be prepared, give thought to all these items, and then get back to the pretty and fun things about weddings. I generally see three types of emergencies that can threaten your wedding day: weather, wardrobe, and health.


Working with Weather

I find that Mother Nature will either bless you with a beautiful day or shake her angry fist at your wedding -- there is no in-between. Weather is always changing, so do not start making big decisions based on a 10-day forecast. Wait until five days out, then start considering all your plans. Plan A, of course, is that everything goes exactly how you've imagined. When it doesn't, have an alternative option that doesn't involve everyone getting soaked.

Having a tent wedding? Well, with rain comes lightning. Did you know it's unsafe to be under a tent if lightning is within five miles? That goes for your vendors too, so be prepared with an actual structure that can hold your guests.

Also with rain comes wet and soggy surfaces. While putting flooring down in your tent is extreme, consider plywood in main traffic areas -- walkways, bars, and under your head table.

Our other big weather villain is heat. If your wedding day forecast calls for high temps, no matter your venue, it's important to take care of your guests. Have water and fans available, and double check that the venue has the AC running. For large crowds, turn the air down to somewhere between 58 and 65 degrees.


A Tear, Stain, or Worse

Yes, accidents happen, so be ready. Put together a quick emergency kit with these essentials: sewing kit, double-sided tape, safety pins of all sizes, Tide stick, extra tie, blister Band-Aids and regular Band-Aids, Kleenex, bobby pins, hair ties, and floral pins.

These items will cover anything that comes your way. After making your emergency kit, put someone else in charge. You're the couple; it should not be in your hands!


Prepared Care

This last emergenvy is the most serious. The reality of weddings is that those closest to you, including your elderly family members, push themselves, doing everything they can to make the day perfect. While a health emergency is rare, it does happen, and you need to be ready.

Answer these quick questions: Does your venue have a defibrillator? Is there a guest you're particularly worried about? Let your venue manger know and consider things to help your guests, like easy seating or golf carts to move around. Also, have the nurses and doctors on your guest list in the back of your mind.

There you have it, the top day-of disasters to dodge. Happy wedding season!

Anne, Owner & Event | Wedding Planner AnnaBelle Events

Unique Wedding Registries

Household items have always been the go-to traditional wedding registry, but if you and your spouse already have a well stocked kitchen and a decent shower set, don't feel pressured to put these items on the wedding registry. There are tons of unconventional wedding registries that will allow guests to support from your honeymoon travel to your late night cravings. 

For couples out there who do not need another blender, we present you five unique wedding registry ideas:  

1. Domino's Pizza

Couples can disagree on many things, but pizza is highly unlikely one of them. Starting February 8th, Domino's is offering its own wedding registry so that pizza-loving couples can choose to receive their favorite Domino's pizza as a wedding gift. 

Image source: Domino's

Image source: Domino's

How it works: visit Domino's wedding registry page, put in the information, select image, message and gift items for your registry, and then share it with your family and friends using a URL made just for you. 

Things we like: Domino's offers various creative gift options ranging from $15-$100. We love how you can choose to have Domino's pizzas catered to your bachelor/ bachelorette party or enjoy a "Low-key Date Night" or a "Post-Honeymoon adjustment to real life" Domino's meal with your spouse after the wedding. After all, doing dishes is just the worst! 

 

2. IKEA

Hemne's bed frame or Storna extendable tables might not sound so romantic, but it might be the signal for you and your spouse to take the next big step in your modern relationship: assembling IKEA furniture together. 

How it works: Download the IKEA Gift Registry app (on iOS or Android or text “Registry” to 62345 to receive link to download), sign up online, or visit a kiosk in store.

Things we like: IKEA has lots of "grown-up" things worthy of your time and effort to put them together. You can choose from a great range of furniture and appliances. Guests can "chip in" with others for buying items more than $50, apply a purchase to a gift card instead of buying a physical item, and buy items in-store or online.

 

3. Beer Club

Easy to sign up and great for beer lovers!

The Best Beer of the Month Club offers different membership options based on the type of beer the couple is interested in: U.S. Microbrewed, The U.S. and International Variety, Hope-Heads, or the International Club. There is also multiple options for Hand Selected Rare Beer memberships. Don't like beer? That's not a problem either.  This wedding registry option offers monthly memberships for beer, wine, cheese, chocolate, cigars, and flowers. You can just stick with one or create your own unique combination.

How it works: Just visit the Beer Month Club website and you can sign up for yourself, or give it as a gift. The happy couple will receive the products you select on their front porch every month. YES! It's that easy.

Stuff we like: We love that they allow you to customize you own membership package! This can make it unique and personalized for each couple! Not to mention, they will be getting new products every month to try out!

 

4. I Do Foundation

Instead of registering for wedding gifts, JustGive allows your guests to donate their money to a charity of the couples choice. We can't think of a better way to celebrate your love than by spreading it to others. With this registry you can pick any charity you want and you can also post a goal for donors to see. You can also give the guests different options of charities that are important to you. This allows them to donate to one, a couple, or all of them. 

How it works: At JustGive.org you can easily sign up for a registry. From there, you just share the link of your registry and guests can donate right from their computer.

Stuff we like: We love the idea behind this registry. This is perfect for couples who don't know what they want and would rather put the money to something more meaningful to them.

Photography: Catherine Rhodes

Photography: Catherine Rhodes

 

5. Absolutely Anything Registry

This is the registry for the couple who wants absolutely anything. NewlyWish has over 10,000 products and experiences from over 200 brands.  This allows couples to put absolutely anything they want on their registry. Want to save up for your future child's college fund? They can do that. Want to travel to an exotic location for your honeymoon? They can do that too. Want a new house or toy for the furry member of your family? You can add that to your registry too.

How it works: NewlyWish makes it very convenient to create your customized registry. Creating an account on NewlyWish.com allows you to start creating your registry right away. They organize the gift options based on general categories with different subcategories as well. From there you can also filter based on price and color of products.

Stuff we like: This registry obviously offers anything you could imagine wanting. We love that you can completely customize exactly what you want. Your registry can be as unique as you want it to be. You can truly show your personality through your wedding registry.

 

There you have it! Whether you and your spouse prefer to bond over putting together IKEA furniture or indulge a pizza during a low-key date night, we hope this list help you with deciding what to put on your registry other than just household items. 

 

Jerry and Taylor

Event Assistant Team

Honeymoon Along the Coastline

Wedding planning can be stressful and exhausting. That’s why many newly-wedded couples are looking for honeymoon locations that provides not only romantic scenery but also relaxation and entertainment. And what could be more romantic and relaxing then spending time with each other by the ocean?

Yoga and Spa magazine provides great resources for couples about weddings, travel and relationships. Their travel spotlight featured two beach-side locations that I think are great for couples to spend their honeymoon at.

Wellness weekend at Puerto Vallarta – Mexico

Image source: Yoga and Spa magazine

Image source: Yoga and Spa magazine

Grand Velas, a five-diamond spa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico offers a luxurious all-inclusive package called Wellness Weekend, which I think is perfect for couples who are looking for to be pampered after their wedding. Guests are greeted at the door with fresh squeezed juice, followed by yoga by the beach, spinning bikes, deep tissue massage, swimming, and meditation sessions, all while enjoying the gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean.

Image source: Yoga and Spa magazine

Image source: Yoga and Spa magazine

The wellness suite, where the couples will be staying at, features a king-sized bed, a coffee bar, a spa shower, custom-made soaps, balcony with an ocean view. Couples also have the chance to try different cuisines at three on-site gourmet restaurants, or attend a cooking class with one of their famous chefs. This wellness treatment will be great for newly-wedded couples to enjoy each other’s company without a care in the world

Florida’s Emerald Coast – FL, USA

Image source: Travel Channel

Image source: Travel Channel

For couples who are looking to spend their honeymoon without leaving the country, Florida’s Emerald Coast is ready to serve. Emerald Coast offers a breath-taking ocean view, award-winning restaurants and multiple activities well-suited for newlyweds such as couple massages, sunset cruises, dolphin cruises, horseback riding, biking, live concerts, etc.

At Emerald Coast, fall and winter are the most romantic seasons. Couples will have the opportunity to enjoy their honeymoon without the stress of dealing with a crowded beach while still having the same access to what Emerald Coast has to offer. Accommodations include luxury hotels or rental homes to romantic beach cottages and townhouses, suitable for couples with different budgets.

Image Source: Travel Channel

Image Source: Travel Channel

I am in love with both of these locations and I hope this would help you pick out the perfect honeymoon location for you.

Jerry 

Event Assistant

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!

-Abby

Event Assistant Team

 

TOP FIVE BUDGET BUSTERS

The perfect wedding comes from a perfect budget.

Originally published in COMO Living Magazine, link here 

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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?! 

-Nicole

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 that....plus, 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! 

-Nicole

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 www.AnnaBelleEvents.com
                        
                        To learn more about the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®, please visit www.weddingwire.com/couples-choice-awards.
                        
                        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 Bodas.net, Casamentos.com.br, Matrimonio.com and more. The company employs more than 800 and maintains global headquarters in Washington, DC and international headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.  
                    

WEDDING TRENDS TO TRY (AND DITCH!)

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.

We've Got Something Brewing...

Working for an event planner sure has its perks. We get an abundance of free dessert samples in the office regularly, we have flexible hours, and no one event is ever the same. But one big perk I just had the opportunity of being a part of was a huge Style Shoot Collaboration. Let me tell you guys, it was awesome! 

A style shoot is a mock-event that we put together with various vendors in order to showcase what they can do, as well as ourselves.

Afterwards, a book or portfolio is usually made of the pictures from the event so our clients can see our work. Our last style shoot was a mock wedding so this time we decided to switch things up. We were fortunate enough to connect with Bur Oak Brewery and transform their unique space into a stunning reception area! As part of our well crafted celebration, we used this time to celebrate AnnaBelle Events reaching a landmark of 115 events! The other vendors that joined our team were: A-1 Party and Event Rental, Images Above, JKelley Photography, Bleu Events, Harold's Doughnuts, KBW Floral Design, TooRooster Artistry, and SW Productions

This style shoot was particularly exciting for me because my (really cool and talented) boss let us interns come up with the style and theme for the event! It was like planning my own wedding-literally every girls dream right?! Everything from the color scheme to the seating arrangement was part of the planning process and it was a lot more detailed then I thought. A shoot like this takes a ton of communication, organization, and trust in your vendors! Most importantly it takes hard work and patience, which all becomes worth it when you see the transformation you've created! 

We really wanted our well crafted celebration to stand out from other events our guests have attended. We chose to go with an industrial, vintage-chic style because we wanted to stray from the norm of this years wedding trends. This year we saw an abundance of light pink and navy blue color schemes, rustic-country inspired decor, and round-table top seating. Going in a whole new direction allowed our clients to see just how creative we can get and allowed our vendors to really branch out as well. One aspect of our event that we really stressed was the lighting since the venue space was so big. I think the pictures speak for themselves when I say lighting is a secret weapon clients often overlook! As it became darker outside, the lighting inside the brewery came to life and took the event to a whole other level! Not only did the lighting make the venue look more elegant, but it even helped the floral and rentals pop! 

I could go on and on about how amazing I think the shoot turned out, but why not take a look for yourselves! Can you even tell this is a brewery? ;) Thanks again to all our amazing collaborators for making this well crafted celebration one for the books! Also remember that details, no matter how big or how small, can make a difference when it comes to transforming a venue space!  

  • -Nicole
  • Lead Planning Assistant

7 Wedding Favors Your Guests Will Love

When you're planning a wedding, every little detail counts! You want your guests to remember the food you served, the shoes you wore, and what your flowers looked like. Well, why not give them something they can take home so they can remember your special day forever! These brides of ours got creative and thanked their guests with some pretty memorable (and delicious) goodies!  

1. Custom Cookies 

Cookies are a yummy way to let your guests know you appreciated them for celebrating with you. Your initials or monogram are an easy way to personalize the treat. You could also attach a little "Thank You" note to them and have your friends grab them on their way out! This can even be a fun DIY project for all you crafty brides out there! 

2. Koozies 

Whether you're serving water or beer, koozies are the perfect wedding favor. Personalize them to your liking, including your names, date, or even add a cute quote like "Love Lasts Forever". How ever you choose to design them, your guests will love a nice cold drink, even during the reception! 

3. Build Your Own S'mores

This idea was the sweetest one we've seen yet (pun intended)! This groom popped the question while they were camping and what goes hand-in-hand with camping? S'MORES!! This fun and savory to-go bag will have your guests mouths watering their whole ride home.

4. Coasters

This is another great DIY favor, that is super easy and won't break the bank! Choose your favorite pictures with your friends and family members or stick to pictures of just you and your partner and create the gift that all your guests can use for years to come.  

5. Party Horns

Cheers to a new couple and a new year! This New Years Eve couple gave party horns to their guests so they could start the year off right...this favor also helped make the count down to midnight even more exciting! 

6. Popcorn

Caramel corn, kettle corn, buttery- the flavors are endless! Need I go on? This favor will be one all your guests and their stomachs will surely remember! 

7. Mini Mason Jars

One of the top trends this year has been mason jar favors, but what you put in them is what counts! We've seen jelly beans, Hershey kisses, flower seeds, sand, and much more. The best part of these favors is that your guests get a two-in-one gift: the jar and whatever is inside!  

- Nicole

A Memorial Weekend Hitch-Off

When you first think of Memorial Day, what pops into your head? Flags, soldiers, and outdoor barbecues? Well, this year we spent our Memorial Day weekend at two memorable weddings, with two very unique couples. From a lavish, bohemian style wedding to a simple, country inspired couple, our two days that weekend couldn’t have been more different.