get your wedding guests dancing …

We have the coolest clients who are willing to try something, a little different. Especially when it comes to getting your wedding guests dancing!

This fall we had a client, Rachel Adams Sansing, who implemented a brilliant idea on getting everyone on the dance floor. She also has a kick-ass blog, just in case you were wondering. Back to the story.

the formal dances were switched up

  1. First Dance as a Couple
  2. Mother of the Groom / Son Dance went first (as everyone knows this is the last dance)
  3. Father of the Bride / Bride Dance

This is when it got interesting. Shortly into the dance, the Rachel and her father stopped dancing and ran out to get new partners. The two couples danced for awhile.

Then they stopped and ran out and got new partners. And so on, and so on. Until the dance floor was completely filled!!

Then the DJ kicked off Open Dancing and everyone was up and moving immediately after the end of the formalities. It was so cool!

Would you consider doing this?

featured photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!

welcome your guests at your wedding reception…

I adore it when the Father of the Bride (who may be the host of the wedding) gives a welcome at the reception. After the wedding couple is announced, the Father will take center stage and “welcome” all the guests to the evening.

few things to keep in mind:

  1. This is not a toast. No need for holding a drink.
  2. Very important to remember to talk about both families, don’t leave anyone out.
  3. Recognize your special guests. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests it’s fun to call out …. “Welcome guests from California, Boston, Texas …”
  4. Keep it short and sweet.
  5. Be the host. Act as though you were in your own dining room. What would you say if you had guests and wanted to welcome them to your home?

Be sure to add this event to your wedding timeline!

featured photo credit: jordan barclay photography

plan on!

wedding gifts for parents

We are asked all the time, “What should I get my parents?”

yes, get your parents a thank you gift.

Of course everyone is different. If your parents are helping you pay for your wedding, it is appropriate to do SOMETHING for them as a thank you. Gift certificate, heart-felt thank you card/letter, small token … something!

keep this in mind:

It should be personal. So even if it is a gift certificate, it needs to be thoughtful and meaningful. And let’s face it, the best gifts are the ones that are well-thought out and planned.

Here’s a few ideas (and it won’t break your bank):


You know how HARD it is to buy for a man. Check out this super cute keychain for your Dad. Click here for the vendor: Personalized Keychain FATHER of the BRIDE by ThreeMineBlessings.



Hello brownie points! Don’t forget that Mother of the Groom, ladies. You can score this precious little charm right here: Gift for Mother in Law

son to his mother


Cue the tears … Get this item right now at: Mother of the Groom Handkerchief

mother of the bride


This is the sappy stuff that is made for weddings. This cute card and necklace can be ordered here: Mother of the Bride Card/Necklace

featured phone credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!


switching sides at the wedding ceremony

So here is something crazy to consider, because you KNOW we like to shake things up.

You know at the ceremony (if facing the altar), the Christian and non-religious tradition is to have the Bride’s family and friends on the left side and the Groom’s respective family and friends on the right side.

At one of our weddings at the beautiful West Baden hotel, something happen seconds before the families walked down the aisle. There was some confusion and gathering of a large processional. So when the mother of the bride and father of the groom were escorted, they accidently went to the “wrong sides”. The bride’s mother was sitting on the right side (front row) and the groom’s father was sitting on the left side (front row). However, like tradition, the bride stood at the “altar” on the left and the groom stood on the right.


Standing in the back, immediately I saw this and thought, DOH! I still had a ring dog and three wiggly flower girls and ring bearer to contain.

Oh well, that is how weddings go. No such thing as perfection … just roll with it.

But wait, as the ceremony began I realized, this mishap is kinda brilliant. You see, the bride’s mom can now watch her baby’s face during the ceremony instead of seeing the back of her head. The same for the groom’s dad.

west baden wedding parents

featured and images: amy shepherd photography 

There are many speculations as to how this tradition started with having the bride on the left and groom on the right. My feeling it really comes from the right side traditionally being reserved for men as it is considered a position of privilege and power, (think Jesus is “seated” at the right side of God”. ) Perhaps that is why in Jewish ceremonies it is opposite.

I suggest, for keeping the tradition, but for the families, switching it up. Who cares where the parent’s sit? For us, the most important part is being part of the ceremony, the emotion and enjoying it. And as a mother, I would rather watch my son’s face while he takes his vows (15 years from now) than watch his new wife. Call me crazy.

What do you think? Love for you to weigh in … if you’re getting married, will you consider this shake up of this tradition?

plan on!


father of the bride’s…are the best

I’ve been a wedding planner for 7 years and it’s so cool how we get to get a glimpse into people’s families and interact with them on such a highly emotional and personal day.

Some of my most memorable weddings comes from my interactions with the Father of the Bride. It’s a tough day for them. Watching their baby girl walk down the aisle and turning his most precious possession over to another man….yeah, if you know ANYTHING about men, it’s a really, tough day for them.

So today, for a very personal reason, I’d like to pay a little homage to past Father of the Brides (or affectionately called The FOB) who personally made a big impact with me. There are many more than just featured here…

photo credit: studio b

2007 FOB, Mark Burris

What I loved about Mark he was a total business man with a great attitude. He actually interviewed me while his daughter and Mom sat quietly. Steve would chuckle about the expense of “flour and water” for a wedding cake and roll his eyes at his wife’s obsession for the perfect floral or gown to wear. But secretly, he loves his family and would do anything for them. Our team worked extra hard to WOW him at his daughter’s wedding and we met his high standards.

photo credit: jordan barclay

2008 FOB, Doug Little

Sometimes Dad’s are chosen. That was Doug Little, technically a step dad but in every important way, a real dad to his daughter. He’s pretty quiet, but has a sense of humor and a great laugh. He was a little overwhelmed by all the wedding planning. Not sure what to make of all the decoration selections or the food tasting. He would of been happy with a beer and a burger, probably. But the way he looked at his (step) daughter; pure joy would shine through his face.  He couldn’t be more proud of his little girl. He even played along with the Jewish tradition of putting on the kippa for the ceremony (which he forgot to take off until WAY into the reception).

photo credit: jordan barclay

2009 FOB, Glen Sturm

Actually I met Glen for the first time the Friday before the wedding. You can see what an impression he made on me to make this short list on the blog. First, he’s a jokester and a prankster. I figured that out real quick. But he is also a planner. Actually all the Sturms meticulously plan out details. From taking dance lessons and practicing the day before with his daughter AT the reception hall for their Father/Daughter dance to writing his Welcome Speech about a year in advance, (which by the way, major props…that speech was awesome), to the high stool chairs that you brought from home so the bride and groom could sit while you made all the guests laugh.

photo credit: equinox photography

2010 FOB, Michael Espenlaub

Some Dads are rock solid, some are rockstars. Enter Michael Espenlaub. To begin with, his lovely daughter just wanted the planning…forever events team for design and decor for her wedding. But when Michael learned more about our Wedding Day Management service, he was sold and hired us. He came to EVERY planning meeting, even when we tried to “lose him” by going to sushi for a meeting (just kidding). He called me, “HIS wedding planner”. I won’t lie, a personal first. Favorite part of the day, we were walking his daughter outside to the front of the church minutes away from getting married, he hung back on the side watching her. He thought we didn’t notice, but we did. He loves his daughter very much and would do anything for her. And as a selfish bonus, has another daughter. Michael…….call me.

photo: my daddy and me in 1969

Why all this talk about Daddies today? Because this morning at 6:45am marked the one year anniversary when my own Dad, passed away. Instead of being sad, I want to remember good times and celebrate the living.

Being a Daddy’s Girl, I’ve always been acutely aware of the Father of the Bride and what he must be feeling on his daughter’s wedding day. But now since my Dad is gone, I seem to be drawn to watching them, watch their little girls.

So even though it is not “Father’s Day”, do me a favor. If your Dad is still living…..please call him, email him, text him or better, hug him and tell you that you love him.