Thursday, February 16, 2012

Great Find | Monica's Gourmet Cookies

Oh my goodness, I have a new favorite (and local!) treat. Yesterday while doing my grocery shopping at my favorite market, I noticed a new display in the bakery where I usually pick up fresh bread for dinner. A display of delicious cookies in big glass containers caught my eye!

The cookies, I quickly learned, were Monica's Gourmet Cookies, based out of Grand Rapids. I picked up two signature chocolate chip, one iced almond and an iced lemon. I enjoyed one of the chocolate chip cookies yesterday as a pre-dinner treat, and then held out as long as I could after dinner to devour the iced lemon. And as of 5pm today, the other two are gone. My willpower is quite terrible these days!

I've seen photos of cookies displayed at weddings before, however, I'm not sure I've ever blogged about them because, quite frankly, I don't consider myself a cookie lover. I'm normally a traditional wedding cake lover, but these cookies have me changing my mind. Actually, I'd love to see a display of these in addition to a wedding cake!

If you're planning a West Michigan wedding and are looking for delicious, homemade cookies to serve your guests - either displayed in a dessert buffet, or possibly as favors - I suggest you pick up some of Monica's Gourmet Cookies at Horrocks where you can pick and choose which flavors you want to try. They are $1.65 each, and well worth it, especially for those, like me, who don't bake at all.

And just in case you're considering adding cookies to your reception, here are two cute set ups...
[image one: The Knot; image two: Martha Stewart Weddings]

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Real Wedding 2010 | Sarah & Trevor

Couple | Sarah & Trevor, 12.31.10
Ceremony | Third Christian Reformed Church
Reception | Kalamazoo Country Club
Photographer + Photobooth | Holly Henderson Photography
Videography | Inspiration Video
DJ & Jazz Band | Music Host Entertainment
Flowers | Cindy Mein
Pearls Events Service | Event Planning, Design & Coordination

I'm embarrassed this wedding was over a year ago and I'm just sharing it now. But, as they say - better late than never - and this is one I couldn't be more excited to share!

To say the least, I love this couple. As a matter of fact, I ran into them today at Target, and realized I needed to sit down and put their images together because this was an insanely beautiful wedding celebration.

I cannot say enough kind words about their family and I loved planning this wedding with Sarah, and her mom, Debbie. Sarah is the sister of one of my 2008 brides, Kristina. After Kristina's wedding, I received the sweetest thank you note from Debbie, with a post script saying she would call me when it was time for the next daughter's wedding.

So when Debbie's email about Sarah's wedding arrived, I couldn't stop smiling for a week.

And that began our year-long journey of planning an elegant, black-ivory-gold-plum, New Year's Eve wedding together. If you are going to get married on any holiday, I would highly advise considering New Year's Eve. All of your friends & family in one spot to ring in the new year? A perfect way to celebrate your new marriage! And every single guest will most likely stay until midnight!

Sarah decided on her gorgeous gown with beautiful black belt, which set the tone for the overall event design. We landed on luxurious black crinkle taffeta linens and ivory ribbon taffeta on the guest, family & head tables after looking at various samples. They both looked stunning with gold chargers, black satin napkins folded like a bow tie accented with the gold, beaded napkin ring, It was perfect and one of my favorite designs to date.

Besides the gorgeous set up at Kalamazoo Country Club, the couple also had a memorable ceremony at the church Sarah grew up in, Third Christian Reformed Church in Kalamazoo. My favorite part was the candlelit portion near the end. Each guest lit a candle they held, very much like a Christmas eve service. The church was aglow and absolutely breathtaking!

After dinner, guests were invited to the dance floor and the photobooth before cake & coffee was served. The couple opted for individual cakes for each guests, which was perfect! And because Kalamazoo Country Club recently added an outdoor fireplace, we put together a hot cocoa bar and a smores station outside. Both were huge hits because of the mild temperatures we had that year.

And how did we ring in 2011, you ask? Mary, Stephanie & I passed out festive hats & kazoos around 11:57 and at midnight, hundreds of white balloons dropped onto the dance floor for quite the celebration.

It was an unforgettable evening for the Pearls Events team and one I will soon not forget. And I am sure their guests will remember the night for years to come, especially on New Year's Eve each year when they are at another party, most likely thinking "Gosh, do you remember Sarah & Trevor's wedding? That was one fun New Year's Eve!"

Sarah & Trevor - Thank you so, so much for working with me. It was honestly an amazing day from start to finish, and one I will not soon forget. I loved watching your day unfold and all of your guests have an amazing time. Best wishes to you both in the year ahead!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Real Event | GRunveiled 2012 Recap

The third annual GRunveiled was a month ago already, and I wanted to share all of the unique spaces that made up the show. Just like both previous years, the spaces this year were unique and gorgeous! I love this Grand Rapids bridal show like no other and it works because of the amazing venue. If you were to put these spaces into any normal convention center, they wouldn't be nearly as awesome. A HUGE THANK YOU to St. Cecilia Music Center for hosting us for the third year in a row. We couldn't put on a show like this without them!

You've already seen the Pearls Events space I pulled together, but here are the rest of the spaces in their full glory! For even more photos, check out the official Facebook album here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Real Wedding 2011 | Nadene & Trevor

Couple | Nadene & Trevor, 7.15.11
Ceremony | Grand Haven City Park

Reception | Harbourfront Grand Hall
Photographer + Photobooth | Studio 6.23
Florist | Gumina's Flowers
Band | Josh & the Empty Pockets
Pearls Events Service | Event Coordination

After chatting with Nadene on the phone during our initial consultation, I knew we'd get along swimmingly. Nadene is an event planner in Key West, having planned hundreds of events over the years, and now she was planning her own big day with Trevor.

She wanted my team there to hand the reigns over and not end up walking down the aisle with her planning binder (which her staff back in Key West told her she might do - occupational hazard, I suppose!)

She went down the aisle without a binder, I promise you that.

It was a gorgeous day in July. HOT, but gorgeous! The weather was to be expected, but I guarantee their guests were thankful for all the shade in the park during their outdoor ceremony. After the marriage was official, guests showered the couple & wedding party with rose petals during the exit & headed on over to the Harbourfront Grand Hall to get the party started.

A fabulous station-style meal began after cocktail & toasts, and there was Seriously, I cannot believe how many amazing options there were - Nadene & Trevor knew their guests would love variety, and they got it!

Their photographers, Studio 6.23, set up a photobooth after the party was going, and wow - did their guests have fun in that! I cannot even imagine the outtakes. Seriously fun guests at this one! Almost every guest was in from out of town, so the party went until Josh & the Empty Pockets were complete out of songs, and I have a sneaky feeling there was definitely an after party somewhere near.

Nadene & Trevor - thank you both so much for trusting Pearls Events with your big day! All of your hard work paid off - it was an amazing weekend full of fun, family & vows, and I was honored to be a small part of it. Wishing you two nothing but the best!

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