Weddings to Celebrate :: Sarah and Jonathan!

Sarah and Jonathan were married at The Terrace Club on July 18th. I worked with Sarah and Jonathan for about a year, and helped them with everything from selecting their venue, to choosing their vendors, to brainstorming decor, and to exposing them to the wide world of embossing. I loved working with Sarah and Jonathan, and adored their love of surprises! Jonathan surprised Sarah with an elaborate set-up when he proposed. Sarah surprised Jonathan with every detail of her wedding gown. Jonathan surprised Sarah by changing their first dance song to a song that really represented them but was previously vetoed by the groom for being "too country." And then he surprised her again when the recording played was of HIS voice! Sarah surprised Jonathan with a boudoir album. The surprises just kept coming! I have to admit that at more than one point I was scared I'd let a surprise slip! But I think they were all successfully pulled off before I spilled the beans. :)

Their wedding day was an awesome celebration, with some of the nicest folks to ever grace a guest list. The photobooth was a huge hit, as were the dance floor props. There were so many great details at this wedding! The mini-cupcakes were arranged to form a pixilated image of a goomba, which was perfectly accompanied by the Mario Bros. theme song for the announced entrance of the wedding party. The candlesticks on the bridal cake table also adorned the cake tables of the weddings of Sarah's mother and grandmother. The rich, vibrant colors of the fabrics and florals tied together a carnival theme with a sunset ambiance. Check out the pictures by Eric Von below - gorgeous.

I want to give a special shout-out to Merveille Flowers - This was my first time to work with Amy and I was over-the-moon impressed. She was always prompt to respond to emails, was pleasant to work with, brought plenty of staff for the flawless execution, and really got Sarah's vision. And, when the cake baker was incredibly late, Amy waited patiently those extra two hours to make sure the flowers were placed on the cake perfectly (I'm pretty sure she missed dinner because of it). And she did it all with a smile. :) I'm so happy to have discovered Amy, and thankful to Gina Whittington of clink for the recommendation.

Sarah and Jonathan, thank you so much for trusting me with the planning and execution of your wedding celebration. It was such a blast working with you, and I'm going to miss our long emails! :) Congratulations!

Happy Marriage!
Ceremony was downstairs inside The Terrace Club
The altar flowers were later repurposed to the bar for the cocktail hour and reception.
Did you see her gorgeous bouquet?
Sarah made the stationery herself (see the embossing?). Jonathan's mom did the calligraphy on the place cards.
Inserted in the napkins were menus and schedules.
Each table featured a different shot from their engagement session and was named after the carnival attraction that served as the picture's backdrop.
The favor boxes doubled as escort cards, with a carnival-style admission ticket guiding guests to their assigned tables.
Stunning flowers.
Seriously, check out these flowers!
Amber lighting = sunset
I love the movement of her dress in this shot.
Happy. Love.
Fun with props!
They did lots of smooching. As well they should.

Cast of Vendors:
The Terrace Club
Studio 563 - Eric Von
BTL Productions
Merveille Flowers
Booth 66
Pamela's Beauty Secrets
Maris Malone Calderon
Michelle's Patisserie
Cynthia's Manhattan Limousine
Groove Labs
Musical Discovery

Venues to Celebrate: The Terrace Club

This past Sunday I had the honor of executing Sarah and Jonathan's gorgeous wedding at one of my favorite Austin venues, The Terrace Club. Sarah and Jonathan wanted a venue that was fun, beautiful and flexible, so I knew I had to show them The Terrace Club. And it didn't take them long to fall in love with the venue. I can't wait to show you pictures from their amazing day!

The first wedding I coordinated at The Terrace Club was back in April 2005, and Hunter and her team have consistently delivered amazing service over the past five years and it is a sincere joy to work with them. They are detail-oriented and work with a discerning eye to ensure that the event is gorgeous and just exactly what the client wants. They make my job so much easier, allowing me to focus on the flow of the event while they excellently deliver their services.

Gorgeous and unique venue, unparalleled service, reasonable price...  If you haven't yet chosen your Austin wedding venue, be sure to visit The Terrace Club before you make your choice. Tell Hunter and Kristen I said "hi!"  :)

Happy planning!

Real Couples: Sarah + Jonathan

I've been working with Sarah and Jonathan since September 2009 and they're a hoot. They met while attending Rice (which happens to be my mom's alma mater as well) in a singing group - so fun! I haven't heard them sing but Sarah swears that Jonathan's the one with talent. A former choir geek myself, I guess it's no surprise that we've been known to pepper Glee references throughout some of our conversations.

Working with these two has been a blast and I'm so excited their day is almost here! Be sure to check back for wedding day pictures from their fabulous photographer - I'll post them as soon as he sends them my way.

Here's Sarah!

Wedding Website
We have a totally awesome website, but it's private to our guests.
You'll have to trust us on that.

Wedding Planning Blog
It was a dream of mine to have a wedding blog, but I figured that if I
didn't have time to fully plan the wedding myself, I probably didn't
have time to write a wedding planning blog myself.

Where's Home?
Sarah - Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Jonathan - New Orleans, Louisiana

Why an Austin Wedding?
Short Answer:
We live here.
Long Answer: I've been dreaming about planning my own wedding for a
loooong time, so I knew I wanted to be pretty involved in the process.
I didn't think I could participate as much if the wedding wasn't
close to where I live.

Length of engagement?
10 months, though I've been nagging Jonathan about getting married for
somewhere between 3 and 8 years.

How long until the wedding?
Exactly one month!

Who did you first tell you were engaged?
The official answer:
Our parents
The unofficial answer: Jonathan's brother, who had been hiding down
the hall. He had helped Jonathan set up the house for the proposal,
but I got home before he could escape.

If you had to start over in your wedding planning, what one
would you do differently?
I don't know...we haven't made many egregious errors yet. I guess I'd
have made a sample invitation first before constructing fifty with
faulty adhesives.
***Jessica's note: Sarah has an awesome SAT-worthy vocabulary. I, on
the other hand, had to look-up 'egregious' and for anyone else wondering,
here's what my good friend Webster says, "2 : conspicuous; especially :
conspicuously bad : flagrant "***

During the ceremony, who will be the first to cry?
My mom

What are your three favorite blogs/websites (besides STC's)?
Road to the Aisle - - I made my
aforementioned invitations based on the instructions I found here. I
am therefore forever indebted to this site, though we will never know
how else I (and my bridal party) could have spent those 100 hours...

Offbeat Bride - -- Sadly, I will never be
offbeat enough to belong here, but at least I could dream...

The Knot -

Why did you hire a wedding coordinator?
I was working in an elementary school, and as such it was very
difficult to make phone calls and organize meetings during business
hours. If nothing else, I needed someone to do all the vendor
scheduling for me, so that's why we initially sought a coordinator.

Since then, we've found it very useful to have Jessica guide us to
good prices and reliable vendors, and I'm so glad that someone besides
me will be keeping our wedding day on schedule. Annnnnd, even having
watched endless wedding shows over the past several years, I still
didn't know how much I didn't know about weddings. Having an expert
on hand at all times has been invaluable.

Engagement Photos by Eric Von with Studio563

Rebecca and Raymond

It's all about the details.

Rebecca and Raymond planned their Austin wedding from Houston. Being an art teacher, Rebecca was well prepared for several DIY projects, including creating the tower top of their cake. Such a beautiful and IMPRESSIVE wedding!

Photos courtesy of Heather Mabry, Eclectic Images.

"Lorena did a fantastic job the day of the rehearsal, especially since almost half of the bridal party was late or absent. On the day of the wedding, the girls did a wonderful job. It was great to have them there, especially since the bridesmaids walked out from downstairs and my dad and I walked out from upstairs. I definitely recommend them." -Rebecca


I hope you saw my review on the knot; Lorena did a fantastic job, especially since only 3/4 of the bridal party were at the rehearsal and my bridesmaid was in the motorcycle wreck. I wanted to send on this picture to you that I found the day after when I was going through the photobooth pictures. All of my vendors enjoyed the photobooth as much as I did!


Rachel and Steven

Jessica and Kenneth Moore gave us “Something to Celebrate” on our wedding day - peace of mind. Our wedding would not have been the success it was without them. Every time something came up, they were there to handle it. We trusted her with every aspect of our wedding. We hired her about a month before the wedding, but we wish that we had her as our coordinator the whole time we were planning! That has been our biggest regret, not having her from the beginning. From the minute we hired her, she made things instantly better. She was our source of calmness; we couldn’t have pulled off this wedding without her. My husband and I agree that she was the best thing that happened to our wedding!

The first time that I met Jessica was when I met with my church coordinators at Emmaus. She was a tremendous help by being my advocate. My church had a lot of rules to follow and Jessica seemed to ask questions I wouldn’t have even thought of like who would signal the congregation to stand when I was going to walk down the aisle since both my mother and father escorted me. We ran into some issues that evening regarding my fiancé not being Catholic. Jessica was there to calm me down when I was on the verge of tears. She was both comforting and reassuring.

At our next meeting, she sat my fiancé and me down to discuss the timeline. I was dreading doing the timeline, so I just ignored doing it, but it was the best thing to have down on paper by far. Without Jessica, I would have just kept on ignoring it! All of my vendors commented on how great it was to have the timeline already prepared before our final meetings.

At our final meeting, we discussed my vendor contracts and all of the things I still had opened. This is also great because it forced me to sit down and review all of my contracts and see which were still outstanding. Since she knew everything that was going on, she would know if something wasn’t going as planned on our wedding day. It really helps to have someone else who is informed to answer questions since you don’t want to have to deal with the details on your wedding day.

I am not a music person and luckily Jessica is! At our final meeting, she brought her laptop and ipod so that I could listen to music and decide what I wanted to play during our processional and recessional. She knew that if she left it to me, I’d just put it off! This was really helpful because it gave me a chance to talk to her about what I liked and didn’t like and from that she suggested more music.

Jessica took the day off of work to run our rehearsal! Our rehearsal was at 4 PM and since she teaches in Round Rock, she wouldn’t have been able to make it to the church in Lakeway until 4:30, so she took off the day! I respect the fact that she is a teacher and I was totally fine with her being late, but I didn’t expect her to take off of work. The rehearsal went smoothly; so much so that my fiancé’s father asked if we invited her to the rehearsal dinner since she was doing all of the work!

At the rehearsal, I told her that I had concerns about my florist since I found her difficult to contact, so Jessica got a hold of her that evening to get an update for the next day. The florist told Jessica that I still had a balance due, but I didn’t know how much. When I called Jessica that evening, she was right on it and told me how much was due.

I can’t remember everything Jessica and Kenneth did on the wedding day since they were everywhere and took care of everything, but I’ll try!

I got to the church a little more than an hour before the ceremony and the first person I looked for was Jessica. I needed help taking my dress into the church and Kenneth brought it in for me and hung it up. While I was changing, Jessica met with my junior groomsmen and bridesmaids to go over their part since they missed the rehearsal, she helped the pianist and singer practice since they hadn’t practiced at all, she met with the ushers that weren’t able to attend the rehearsal to go through their part, when we were short two ushers, she found other guys to help, she had archival pens when I couldn’t find the pens I wanted to use for the sign-in photo matte, she was just everywhere taking care of everything!

Jessica was also invaluable at the reception site. The Terrace Club already has an on-site coordinator, but having both of them working together really made our reception flow smoothly. The on-site coordinator knew everything about The Terrace Club and Jessica knew everything we wanted and working together lead to a wonderful reception. We really couldn’t have been happier with the way it all turned out.

The first issue we came upon that I was aware of was that our photo guestbook paper arrived an hour late (my fault!) and Jessica suggested going ahead and taking the pictures and letting guests fill out the pages at their tables. If she wasn’t there, we probably wouldn’t have done one at all; instead, we got to take some really good shots of our guests.

We also had a photographer timing issue. He thought that he was only supposed to stay until 10 PM, even though our contract was until 11 PM. Jessica was the go-between for us and the photographer; the photographer ended up agreeing to stay until 11 PM. Without her, we could have lost our photographer an hour early!

One of the best things about having a coordinator is that they bring new ideas with them. For example, we had fireworks at our wedding and I wanted to shoot them off after our cake cutting. Jessica had the great idea to cut the cake indoors, do the toasts outside and shoot off the fireworks immediately afterwards. The timing worked out perfectly and I think that we’ve been the only couple at The Terrace Club to do this; it made our wedding unique and memorable. During planning, there were certain issues that I was constantly dealing with that I had no idea how to solve such as how the recessional would work with two girls on his side (groomswomen) since the girls didn’t want to walk down the aisle with another girl. Another issue that I was dealing with was that I wanted to include my dogs in the wedding. Jessica came up with really great ideas, I ran out of time to actually do most of them, but she took me seriously and I really appreciated the research she did. She even offered to take care of the dogs while they served as greeters to the reception site!

Another great thing about Jessica is that she is so prepared for anything and everything. My bustle broke sometime between the ceremony and reception and there she was with safety pins to pin up my dress. I was also planning on changing into more comfortable shoes during the reception, but they got lost in transit and Jessica was there with a pair of house slippers! They saved my feet that night and she even pulled me aside to switch out my shoes before the garter toss! She even sewed a loose button back onto my husband’s tux jacket.

Throughout the last month of planning and on the wedding day, Jessica helped me tremendously. She comforted me on multiple occasions when I was way over my head in details and she was firm about setting deadlines for me, which I really needed. I had a tendency to ignore some wedding details (ceremony music and transportation), but when Jessica said that I had to have them determined by a certain date, I met those deadlines.

Jessica and Kenneth are truly professionals in what they do. All of my emails were answered within 24 hours. During the wedding day, they were always available, but never dominating. My other vendors have commented on what great coordinators they are. Overall, I am extremely pleased with their service and I highly recommend them.