Friday, January 29, 2010

Pearls Events Favorite | It Started With A Cottage

I have had the pleasure of working at one of my favorite Lake Michigan venues twice in the last 2.5 years. Ventura Pines Cottage was introduced to me in 2007 by Melissa & Kyle. They booked the cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan to host their lakeside wedding and the views from the bluff are absolutely spectacular! Although the rain did not let up the entire day, it was a beautiful wedding and Melissa & Kyle were an absolute pleasure to work with.

It has been two years since we were planning their casual, laid-back wedding. And in the past two years, I've seen more casual weddings than anything else pop up on my radar. Everyone seems to love a great, casual affair with close family and friends near. I featured Stephanie & Bryce's homegrown wedding late last fall and simply adored their wedding details.

It seems like just yesterday Melissa shared these images with me and I hope they might inspire you as you plan your casual celebration.

[all photos from Jordan Ferney]

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Eye Candy | Florida Wedding

In 2010, I decided to switch it up a bit and instead of weekly Eye Candy, I will be sharing my favorite posts from the archives each Friday. However, that doesn't mean I won't be sharing any beautiful weddings this year! Today, in fact, I have photos from this beautiful Florida wedding, sent to me by loyal blog reader, Teresa.

Meet Teresa Navarro and Alejandro Gonzalez, who were married on 12/26/09. They planned a winter wonderland wedding in Florida for the day after Christmas. Their wedding was at First Christian Church in Fort Lauderdale, and their reception was held at Jacaranda Country Club in Plantation, Florida. Hair by Oma Styles (954-296-7011).

And after the wedding they did a trash the dress session with their photographer, Crave Multimedia Studio. Check out these awesome shots of Teresa and Alejandro.

[all images copyright Crave Multimedia Studio]

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Valentine's Day Wedding Inspiration

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and February happens to be one of my favorite months for that reason (well, and I LOVE celebrating my birthday on the 4th with family and friends!). And although it's always gray and dreary in West Michigan this time of year, all of the stores are full of pink and red - two colors that I enjoy. Just seeing the bulk candy, greeting cards, small gifts and flowers displayed remind me that spring is on the horizon.

Red Envelope
is one of my weaknesses. Their catalog is filled with lovely gifts and I'm always memorized by the most perfect necklace or a unique gift like a year of seeds. If you're still shopping for your sweetie (and I'll be honest - I am!) check out their selection. Maybe you'll finally find that unique gift you've been looking for. And if not, there's always Etsy, another favorite of mine.

I wanted to share some wedding inspiration from Kathryn at Snippet & Ink, the ultimate inspiration board creator, in these colors today...

Row 1: calligraphy by Linea Carta via Brooklyn Bride, flower veil by Ellen Christine Millinery via Little Winter Bride, cake from Martha Stewart Weddings, getaway car photo by Drew B via The City Sage Row 2: yarn-wrapped vase from Sweet Paul, photo by Whitebox Weddings, red table setting from Martha Stewart Weddings via Once Wed Row 3: Lara Helene dress from Brides, milk and cookies favors from Martha Stewart Weddings, ring pillow by Twigs & Honey, boutonniere via Brooklyn Bride Row 4: flowers by Custom Event Group, stationery by Poppies for Grace, chihuahua and striped skirt, bouquet by Chelsea Fuss via Once Wed

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pearls Events Favorite | Wedding Splurges

When the Pearls Events Blog was a little less than a month old, I wrote a post about wedding day splurges. It was great to see what other people spent their budget on, and if it was worth it in the end.

For my wedding day, our biggest cost was the photography. After seeing a friend's wedding photos, I was set on hiring the photographer she used. And even though it was going to cost more than dinner, I was at peace with our investment. In the end, I am still completely smitten with our photos and wouldn't have done it any other way.

So - what did you splurge on? Letterpress invitations? That Monique Lhuillier lace gown? Or how about those custom chocolate-dipped strawberries you just had to have? What about the fancy filet for everyone?

And the big question -
was it worth it? Would you do it again?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Gifts to Give (& Receive!)

While you are busy planning your wedding, your bridesmaids will be busy pulling together a lovely bridal shower, getting in shape to don their bridesmaid dress, and getting ready to celebrate their friend's big day. A great way to thank them for all they have done for you is with a great gift. Recently, fabulous Michigan photographer, Nicole Haley asked for gift giving ideas via Twitter. I came up with a whole list of ideas - a list of things I'd love to receive as a gift myself.

As for my own bridesmaids - I wish I would have put more thought into thanking them, and if I had to do it all over again, I'd share at least one of my favorite gifts with them. Above are some items that all make perfect gifts for any friend - bridesmaid or not - these are just little goodies to say THANK YOU to anyone.

1. This beautiful spa robe from Restoration Hardware is lightweight, cozy and amazing. My mom gave me the chocolate brown one for Christmas and I've been living in it. ($95)

2. Reed diffuser from Pottery Barn. The pomegranate one is my absolute favorite. It seems to be discontinued online, however our local store still has them in stock. I see I may need to stock up on my favorite soon! ($20)

3. Scarves are THEE accessory for 2010. This beautiful one is from Anthropologie and would be perfect over a gray tee shirt and dark denim trousers. ($55)

4. Personalized invitations. These ones are gender neutral and beautiful. Linda & Harriett has amazing selections for anyone. ($490 for 50)

5. I love this dainty necklace with an aqua bead from Sundance, personalized with an initial makes it a perfect gift for anyone. And for under $50? You can't go wrong. ($48)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bridal Shower Inspiration | Vintage Tea Party

While brides are busy planning their weddings, families and friends are excited to be planning bridal showers for their favorite bride-to-be. A good ole' fashioned church basement bridal shower is perfectly acceptable, however adding a fun theme, color palette and a few unexpected details will transform any space into a well-appointed shower venue.

I saw these images on Jodi Bos' blog yesterday and was surprised to (finally!) see this beautifully executed vintage-inspired bridal shower she designed for her sister over two years ago. I knew Jodi had various collections of vintage tea cups, plates and milk glass, and I loved seeing how she incorporated her beloved collections into Kara's bridal tea.

[images copyright Ryan Prins Photography]

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pink & Yellow Inspiration Board via Lucky Designs

While scanning my Google Reader this afternoon, I came across this beautiful yellow and pink inspiration board from the fabulous Erin at Lucky Designs. Kate & I are in the midst of planning our unique space for the coolest bridal show in Grand Rapids, GRunveiled, and these images stopped me in my blog-reading tracks.

The Pearls Events blog doesn't design inspiration boards, and I know how time consuming they are, so every once in a while, I see one I love and need to share it. Thanks for brightening my day, Erin!

[photo credits Cake by Sarah Magid Cakes via The Knot; Chalkboard - Mindy Myers via The Knot; Bottles - Mi Belle Photography; Love - Just be Splendid; Bird cage veil - Pin Me Up Couture; Shoes - Jessica Feely Photography; Star - Martha Stewart Weddings; Tea cups - Martha Stewart Weddings; Bride - Elisabeth Millay via Brides; Burlap Banner - Funkyshique]

Dreaming of Spring

It's that time of year where I start dreaming of the tulips that will eventually make their way through the soil in my yard. I tweeted two weeks ago how my wardrobe was ready for spring. Bring on the coral, yellow, sky blue - I am ready to retire my black, gray and white until next November.

What brightens my day more than Crate and Barrel designs, and Target's most recent Merona Collection? Tulips!

Tulips happen to be my favorite flower, and every time I see a vase of these traditional blooms, with their modern, sleek shape, I cannot help but smile. And although it's only mid-January, I have eyed tulip bunches in Horrock's, my absolute favorite market in Grand Rapids - months before they are in-season in Michigan.

If you are planning on using fresh flowers at your wedding, it's wise to see what flowers are available from your florist. Many wholesalers can get almost anything, even if out of season, however guaranteeing a specific color and something that fits into your budget needs to be discussed with your florist's supplier during planning.

Here's to a little color boost for you on this January morning! Cheers!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pearls Events Favorite | What I Would Do Differently

In March 2008, I wrote about the things I would do differently for my own wedding. I got many great responses, and really loved hearing from former brides. I wanted to ask a new group of readers what they would do differently now that their wedding has come and gone, possibly helping out some current brides who are planning.

This time around, I also included the list of things I would do exactly the same - something I had not done previously.

What I Would NOT Change

1. The Guy - Greg is the only guy for me.

2. The Location - I absolutely fell in love with St. Cecilia's Music Society and I always wanted to get married in my church, which is conveniently located right next door to St. Cecilia's.

3. The Day - we were married on a Friday afternoon, and I loved having Saturday to relax, open gifts with our parents and pack before we headed to Bermuda for our honeymoon.

4. The Photographer - I still look at our wedding photos and cannot believe how much I love them. Jen is amazing and highly recommended in my book.

5. The Favors - I knew I wanted something edible, and something that added color to the tables. I got a steal on Jones Sodas from our local beverage distributor (88¢ a piece!) and had my sister create a custom thank you tag to hang around the bottle. We had a few extras, but enjoyed them the month following our wedding.

Okay, now for the things I'd tweak...

Same Budget

1. I would have chosen comfort over style in the shoe department. I decided to wear 3.25" Grace Bianca heels. They were gorgeous candlelight silk that matched my gown, and were tall enough so I didn't need to have my gown hemmed, but my feet were killing me. All night long.

2. I would have done a mixture of flowers, instead of an all-rose bouquet. The roses smelled great and all my life I thought I wanted to carry roses, but looking back at photos, I think mixed flowers would have been a better choice.

3. Even though we loved our cake centerpieces, looking back, I'm a bit bummed that I didn't do floral centerpieces. I am SO practical sometimes, and it was hard for me to spend all that money

4. I would have made more time for group photos. Our photographer did an amazing job with the time we had, but I wish I had more images of our gorgeous bridal party. I was adamant about our bridal party enjoying cocktail hour, and in hindsight, I wish we would have used that time for fun photos downtown Grand Rapids.

Dream Budget

1. I would have hired an amazing videographer. We had my cousin, a film student at the time, film a video for us, but if we would have had an extra $3000+, I would have hired professionals. Our video captured the day, but it does not look like a Hollywood production.

2. Gorgeous linens - I would have gone nuts with textures, colors and special touches. The all-white linens, with the brown runner were good in our venue, but I would have loved champagne, chocolate and ivory instead.

3. I would have added a Photobooth. I didn't even know this place existed when I was planning three years ago and our guests (and us!) would have had a blast!

4. Our honeymoon to Bermuda was relaxing and fun, but it would have been amazing to spend 4 times the amount of money and go to The Maldives or somewhere equally as exotic.

So, what would you do differently?
Please share with brides reading along. Maybe you will inspire them to tweak their plans.

[images copyright Jen Kroll Photography]

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Clover and Bee | A Vision for the Event

The first edition of my monthly column is live at Clover and Bee today, and I'm thrilled to be showing off a small part of a photo shoot Kate & I styled last September. It was a large group effort with some of my favorite West Michigan wedding vendors, and I'm thrilled everything went as planned. I wrote A Vision for the Event - More Decor than Venue for this month's topic, and I urge you to check out the entire post today.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Telltale Photography, Stems Event Design, Events by I. Candy, MiraBella Confections, and The B.O.B.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dooby Design Group | Custom Sweet Table

I could not resist showing off this custom University of Michigan-inspired sweet table for Rachael and Silas designed by Aisha of Dooby Design Group. If you and your fiance have any sort of candy cravings, this is a lovely little addition to make sure your guests keep coming up for more. I think my favorite sweet of them all is the rock candy - who doesn't love a little flavored sugar on a cute stick?!

For a few more sweet tables I've loved, check out Amy Atlas' work on the Pearls Events blog.

Fabulous Mothers of the Brides

There has been a shift in clientele for Pearls Events in the past year, and it started with Margie last summer for her daughter's wedding. The previous eighteen months, I worked primarily with the bride, however I've dubbed 2010 "The Year of the Pearls Events MOB."

This year I have the pleasure of working with seven fabulous mothers. I've been getting a few MOB questions over the past couple of months and since almost all of them are daily readers, I thought I would share some of my answers for any other moms who might be reading along.

What should I wear? This is the most often asked question, and rightfully so. A mom needs to look (and feel!) fantastic on her daughter's wedding day.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my brides called. She was out shopping with her mom and they found a great option for her to wear to her daughter's August wedding. The only problem? It was cranberry and they were worried it was too holiday-ish. The short answer? If it doesn't scream HAPPY HOLIDAYS, the formality is similar to the bride's gown choice, and mom feels comfortable in it, I see absolutely no problem with it. Finding a great gown after any holiday will most likely find you a great deal! Around Christmas, you will most likely find darker, formal frocks, and around Easter, there are great pastel options available.

Recently, I had another mom ask about the length of her gown. She was advised that because the bridesmaids are wearing long gowns, she should as well. The more I thought about the "rules", I say throw 'em out the window (and her daughter agreed!). She found a short frock that she loved, and I encouraged her to go for it. She feels fantastic in it and that is exactly what she should feel all day long.

What sort of flowers should I carry or wear? There are a few options, and it's all up to what you personally prefer.

I LOVE a traditional nosegay, however the practicality of carrying around a small bouquet of flowers at a wedding doesn't work well. You are hugging people. Then carrying around a glass of champagne. Where will it go at dinner. Then dancing begins; do you hold it?

The more practical option is a corsage - either a pin on, or wearing one around your wrist. There is no correct way to wear this, either works well. Some moms wear a more structured top, and prefer a pin on, while other moms will be wearing strapless or flimsy fabrics and do not want the flowers to interfere with their clothes. I've even had moms pin their flowers to their clutch, which was adorable.

There are so many options - I advise you all to do what works for you! Take the rules and make them your own. As I continue to answer Real Mom questions, I'll continue to share them here. Thank you to all the fabulous moms I work with - it's a treat to be part of your daughter's planning process.

[images copyright Alisha Hurt Photography]

Monday, January 11, 2010

Great Find | Elizabeth Dye

My design-obsessed sister, Victoria, sent over the link to Elizabeth Dye's fabulous website, English Dept last week, and my jaw dropped when I saw her designs. I popped on over to her blog, and was greeted with the beauties above. I explored more to find her website and Etsy storefront and am now jealous of anyone living in the Portland, Oregon area with a free afternoon on January 31st, 2010.

Why, you ask? Because they are hosting their Fifth Annual Bridal Fashion Show at The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel at noon. RSVP to or call the shop at 503.224.0724.

If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind gown full of details to wear on your wedding day, get in touch with Elizabeth Dye before it's too late - custom gowns take a lot of time!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pearls Events Favorite | The Ultimate Vintage Bride

Welcome to a brand new feature on the Pearls Events blog! After over two years of writing, I have some favorites buried in the archives that I will be sharing with you each Friday of 2010.

Another Vintage Bride is my favorite post from September 2008 and at the time, I only posted one image found via The Bride's Cafe. Today I share with you every photo I could dig up, plus direct you to the write up from the videographer. Megan married Randy in Spring 2008 and had some truly gorgeous photos taken by Alisha Hurt Photography. I absolutely love the little cap sleeve on her gown, her short and sassy veil, and ladylike gloves. Her getaway outfit is just as lovely and a detail I am glad Megan included.

I could not find any detail photos of the reception, but did find a couple of highlight videos from Vanessa McKellar Productions. The first video highlights the couple's first look, and the second video shows some of the stellar reception details. If you're looking for vintage wedding inspiration, don't miss them.

[images copyright Alisha Hurt Photography]

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