the centre is now called …

In case you missed it near the holidays, a local venue has changed their name! SMG’s The Centre is now:

The Centre in Evansville will now be known as the Old National Events Plaza, a name change made to recognize the bank’s $14 million investment in the new Downtown convention hotel project. More info read here …

We are hoping for a ballroom in the new downtown convention hotel project. Pretty sure that won’t happen. However we have always loved planning corporate and wedding events with the great folks at The Centre. Oops! Old National Events Plaza!

Keep this news in mind if you are planning a wedding there and need to update your wedding invitations.

featured photo credit:

plan on!


a look back in the past 10 years in wedding planning …

Happy end of 2013 everyone! This year marked our “celebrating ten years of producing fabulous events” for our little event planning business.

It’s been a wild ride … forging relationships with clients (we still keep in touch with so many of you), vendors and the nitty-gritty of producing weddings. So as I look back, I thought it would be interesting to post some of the “almost catastrophes” that we have dealt with and fixed over the past ten years. I know I am leaving out some good stories, I should have been keeping a list along the way. There are no names mentioned to protect the innocent, and the guilty.

Our crazy list of REAL wedding “almost catastrophe” stories & other juicy stuff:

  • Flower girl choked on a piece of candy during the ceremony. Paramedics were called and she was okay. Bride wasn’t told until the reception.
  • Ten minutes before the bride walked down the aisle, the wedding cake fell apart and on to the floor. Cleaned it up and didn’t tell the bride until just before she walked into the reception.
  • Flowers didn’t come in the day before the wedding and the florist drove all over the place that evening and morning to find replacement flowers.
  • Groomsman passed out during the ceremony. You really do fall like a tree when your knees lock up.
  • Ring Bearer passed out during the ceremony. See above.
  • Minutes before the processional started, the bride’s veil that had hand sewn pearls on the edges, unraveled. Ping – ping – ping as they fell on the floor. We sewed it to stop the unraveling and went on with the ceremony.
  • Grandmother had a heart attack the morning of the wedding. Re-arranged the timeline with all the vendors so the bride could visit her in the hospital for a brief moment.
  • Torrential rain came down one hour before the outside ceremony was to start. Mother of Bride finally agreed to Plan B. We moved to location B (off-site), designers flipped decor and started 30 minutes behind schedule. Moving 400 people took a few minutes.
  • One of our brides had a panic attack before walking down the aisle, we and family calmed her down.
  • Groomsman disappeared at the end of the evening. Stole a golf cart and drove it two miles before abandoning it. (Okay we didn’t have anything to fix with this, but it’s still a funny story).
  • A stomach virus swept through the wedding party starting the evening before and then moving to the Mother of the Bride the day of the wedding. Some well-meaning, yet ill-advised, family member gave her Benadryl and she slept through her only daughter’s wedding reception.
  • Truck carrying the cake broke down in 100 degree weather. Cake ended up on time, just a little more icing than normal. No one ever knew.
  • Stage collapsed during setup for the band. Drummer/emcee hurt his arm, almost didn’t get to play but he pushed through.
  • High winds and rain came down hard during the church ceremony and almost toppled the 5 tier, coconut wedding cake. Two caterers and one of our team members held the table as coconut flakes blew … it looked like it was snowing.
  • While the wedding party was being formally announced into the reception, a bridesmaid slipped, fell and twisted her knee so bad it was dislocated. Like pointing the wrong direction and she laid there screaming in pain! Luckily a guest was a doctor and popped it back in. She was sitting with ice on her knee for the rest of the evening. The next day she found out it was broken in several places.
  • Gorgeous outdoor, classy private residence wedding reception — first wave of storms brought quarter-inch hail, sky to ground lightning and a heavy downpour just after the salads were served. Band cords were submerged in water, however the sound tech stayed to play music from iPod. Food was salvaged and served buffet. Double rainbow appeared (and during the couple’s honeymoon in South Africa, they saw another double rainbow). Still a GREAT wedding reception.
  • The Rabbi’s flight was delayed on the day of the wedding in St. Louis. The couple only wanted HER to marry them, not a local one (because you know we already contacted one in case). We called in a car service to pick her up and drive her to the door. Since we were having cocktail hour before the wedding, she rolled in just in time and all was good!
  • A car hit the back of the limo carrying the wedding party from the church to the private reception. Then it started a chain reaction on a two lane, country highway. Ended up with two totaled cars, 2 ambulances, one fire truck, two sheriffs and thank God everyone was okay.
  • Divided bridesmaids and family members ended up in a brawl. Nothing really bad, thank goodness …
  • Too many times to count dealing with heavy rain and tornado watches and warnings. It’s a wonder we are still alive.
  • Numerous guests caught in the coat room, bathroom and bushes … being, um, intimate.
  • Bride twisted her ankle wearing high heel shoes at the rehearsal dinner. Same Mother of Bride slipped and fell at the hotel, tore ligaments in her knee and attended the wedding in a wheel chair and highly medicated.
  • Night before the wedding, the DJ commercial building burnt down. We had another DJ lined up to loan equipment in one hour, however, luckily all the equipment was in the trailer and everyone was okay. DJ performed as usual, bride found out at the end of the wedding reception.
  • Bridesmaid dress zipper came completely apart. We worked on it and were prepared to sew it, luckily the teeth of the zipper connected again and it zipped right up! Bride didn’t find out until the next day.
  • We’ve redirected anger and frustration from numerous family members throughout the past ten years, sometimes taking direct hits from their pinned up emotions. Weddings and funerals just bring out some raw emotions.
  • Caterers did not have the correct number of staff and serious unforeseen problems in the kitchen to get the food out. We pitched in as we could and moved the timeline around so the guests and our mutual clients would not notice. (We all know stuff happens, it’s how you deal with it and keep moving on as a team is what counts).
  • We’ve sobered up more than twenty groomsmen, at least.
  • Countless times that items, flowers, rentals did not come in on time and we made last-minute design changes to keep our brides happy. Most of them never noticed, nor cared at that point.
  • Sewing kit, goo gone, zip ties, safety pins, binder clips and more has saved thousands of mishaps throughout the years.
  • Bride could not find her special purple wedding shoes. Planner drove back to the hotel to find an empty hotel room, then dumpster dived to see if housekeeping had thrown them away. Only to find out they were misplaced in someone’s trunk.
  • Saved personal written vows from being thrown away in the nick of time, by housekeeping.
  • After having TWO face-to-face meetings with restaurant for rehearsal dinner, formal written proposals, numerous phone calls solidifying all the details … I call on the day before the wedding, Friday at 3pm just to see how everything was progressing for setup and the owner tells me, “Yes, we’ll see you tomorrow.” Um, no, you’ll see me and 50 other people in 3 hours. He had the day of the week wrong. I said fix it, he did and I haven’t patronized that restaurant since. 
  • Due to a light last minute rain, we delayed the start of the outdoor ceremony. DJ reset his equipment and it failed due to technical difficulties. WE had the entire playlist on our phone for the ceremony music, so we plugged in and the wedding music happened off our iPhone.
  • The groom and groom’s parents were in charge of the rehearsal dinner. After numerous times checking up with the family and me calling/visiting the restaurant to verify it was scheduled, my spidey sense told me to call the restaurant ONE more time three days before the wedding. I was informed the groom’s parents never sent in a payment and there was no rehearsal scheduled. (insert sigh) We fixed it with the groom, it involved a little bit of yelling on my part to numerous parties and the bride was never told.
  • We ALWAYS have problems with hotel reservations for guests, we just know it in advance.
  • We are told LOTS of secrets by our clients and family members. Including,
    • “I’m pregnant, don’t tell my mother.”
    • “I’m not sure if I want to get married”
    • At the reception, “We should of eloped, this is overwhelming”
    • “My future father and mother-in-law are ruining my life”
  • Secret: We can tell which marriages are not going to last.
  • Secret: We had two weddings two days after my father died. None of the clients knew it happened.
  • A bridesmaid got so drunk she passed out (dead weight). Only to wake up throwing up all over the guest table, down the hall, in the elevator, on her husband. (luckily it was at the very end of the evening)
  • A groomsman got so drunk that he urinated in the ice behind the bar. IN THE ICE.

That was a fun list to remember, especially that last one.

It’s just a reminder that we have been our client’s advocate … through the good times and the bad, shielding them from problems so that they can enjoy their special day. That’s what we do. Tireless hours on your feet and under high stress, but in the end it’s all worth it.

featured image credit: pfe iPhone

Happy 2014 everyone!  

indiana residents, pay attention to HJR-6 or HJR3

update: now called HJR3

Have you heard of HJR6? If you think it sounds like a virus you wouldn’t want to contract, you’d be close. It’s the acronym for House Joint Resolution 6 for the State of Indiana. And here it is:

House Joint Resolution 6 is a proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution which states: “Only marriage between one(1) man and one(1) woman will be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

At first glance, people may think this is just about same-sex marriages, but it’s not  (although that is an important issue). It is on the path for the first time in Indiana’s history, when our state’s constitution is amended to take away rights, rather than to grant them.

Note: HJR-6 must pass through the House and Senate again in 2013. If it passes, unaltered, it will be on the ballot in 2014. This means that Hoosiers will cast their vote either for or against HJR-6 as it is written today. *More info here

Here are my points of this resolution that should make us all quiver a little:

  1. It will be an “constitutional amendment” in the Bill of Rights. Not just a state law.
  2. This amendment takes away the rights of future generations to decide for themselves about marriage equality.
  3. Notice the wording, “marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized”. This means if a couple who is recognized as a common law marriage in another state (Indiana does not recognize common law since 1958) will no longer be recognized as such, if they move to Indiana. They will have to file Indiana taxes separately instead of jointly. What does that mean? We may see a decline for new people moving to this state for employment thus impacting potential state tax revenue and economic growth. Although Rep. Ron Bacon says it will not impact current domestic partner benefits that are offered to couples. I don’t see how it cannot. Get ready for lawsuits.

Indiana already has a law that prohibits same-sex marriage, however recent polling shows that 45% are in favor of same sex marriages.

Whatever your personal beliefs, passing almost any amendment as a part of the state’s constitution should be meant with opposition. Make a law, not a permanent amendment. This stops our future generations to change their minds. Don’t we have enough government in our social affairs? Luckily our Mayor Winnecke along with many other mayors, businesses and universities have opposed HJR6. Our own Evansville City Council wants to formally file a resolution opposing and is in fact meeting tonight at 5:30pm for a meeting.

Don’t just sit there. Please send an email if you too oppose HJR6. But do it fast … the 2014 legislative session is drawing near.

For local peeps, here are quick links to your Representative. Or find your Indiana State Representative quickly here.

Senator Vaneta Becker

State Representative Gail Riecken (also happens to be one of our previous Mother of the Bride’s … shhh!)

State Representative Suzanne Crouch

State Representative Wendy McNamara

State Representative Ron Bacon

plan on! 



happy 7 birthday, pfe blog

Today is the SEVEN year anniversary of planning…forever event’s blog. That’s right! Seven long years ago we began blogging. As far as I know, we were on of the first wedding bloggers in this area. I believe there was another photographer that started in 2006, but the business name escapes me. Having a background in advertising and media, I realized early on the importance of having a blog to openly give information, teach and also convey who “we” are. And the deep desire to be ahead of the curve, drove me to blogging.

how to blog

It took a long time to find my voice. I look back at some of the old posts and I was so stiff. I wrote what a “proper wedding planner” would say. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Snooze Fest. The key to having anything be successful (blog, business, career, personal relationships, et al) is to BE yourself and be TRUE to yourself. I have a little sarcasm to me. I know, I know … you’re shocked, dear reader. Well if you read this blog, you’re probably not. I like to poke fun (at myself first and then others). And I love to teach. This is why this blog doesn’t have 1,328 style boards for you to review. Others do that so much better. We like to use (for the most part) our real clients at their real weddings for eye candy in a blog post. But more importantly, we like to give real, straight-up, walk out of the room and use immediately, useful tips.

highlights over the past years

We’ve had a lot of “series” on this blog. Some have been very successful at going viral.

seeing each other before the ceremony

what wedding traditions should you keep?

love your wedding vendor

on the job with a wedding planner (this one was SUPER fun)

don’t box your wedding vendors in   (personal favorite, blog posts are STILL picked up by other vendors and promoted from this 2009 series)

how to choose a wedding vendor series

the behind-the-scenes story to my most VIRAL post

Hands down, my absolute FAVORITE blog post of all time was the open letter to wedding church coordinators . This post was truly from the heart (with a little humor) because it was so personal. You see my father died on a Thursday and we had TWO weddings on that Saturday. I had to be at the wedding, no question. There was a local church (which I will not name) whose church coordinator was so mean and downright ugly to me that everyone noticed. The vendors, the wedding party, the family … they were all shocked at her actions. My team went above and beyond and no matter what we did she sat there with a scrunched up face in the back corner and would murmur ugly things. Even though I took the time to meet with her TWICE before the wedding to assure her everything would be great. Hmph. After the wedding, I was done and was full of her bad behavior. I approached her and her husband to let them know that this was unacceptable, I nor my team did not do any actions to warrant this type of treatment and shame on them for acting like that in a House of God. I’ve never publically told this story, but enough years have passed that I’m going to. I honored my Dad that day, by respectfully telling this person that her bad behavior would not be tolerated.

This blog post was also LOVED by many wedding planners because we often do have inter-personal issues with church coordinators. I see both sides to it, I really do and addressed it, I think, with humor and truth in the blog post. The wedding industry liked it SO MUCH that a little florist/coordinator in Texas copied my blog post (in its entirety) and posted it on a national newspaper website as the author. In other words, she stole it (and many other well-known blogger posts). Consequently, she was fired from that newspaper job. I still giggle about this. I mean, I felt NeNe Leakes, “I’ve arrived, hoooney, and the spotlight’s on ME!”

thank you, dear reader

More importantly on this birthday, we’d like to thank you for reading. Now one of the reasons this blog had some dust bunnies last year is because sometimes, we kinda get a block on what to write about. Between blogging and coming up with creative ideas for the Local 7 Lifestyles TV Segment, it can sometimes stump you. That’s why this year we started the Wedding Sayings Worth Pinning every Friday. Cute little phrases that may make you go Aha! and share with someone (or pin).

So .. is there something that you would like to have addressed or answered? What struggles are you having with your wedding that we could blog about to help you and others? If you don’t want to ask here openly, please email us at staff {at}

plan on!


is the wedding industry ripping you off?

This may be a potential controversial blog post, yet hopefully a teaching one. Then we’ll get back to other wedding goodness.

Why is there a perception that the wedding industry is there to rip you off? Are we?

I get it. It’s one day. And to invest that kind of money, for just one day, to some, may seem unreasonable. Then there are others that have dreamed of this day and either have or will find the financial means to make sure it is a day for them to remember.

It’s all relative.

What is expensive to me, may be inexpensive to you. What I find what is important to me to spend my money on, may not be what you feel is important.

Remember Mrs. Field’s cookies when they first came out? Seriously, that was one expensive chocolate chip cookie. Flour, sugar, chocolate chips and an oven. But they flew off their counters because consumers deemed them to be something they wanted, needed and enjoyed.

Have you considered that your wedding is actually assisting with stimulating the economy? Mostly stimulating local businesses that EMPLOY people in your area.

Listen, whatever the budget amount you spend on your wedding is absolutely at your discretion. Just please don’t buy into that hype that wedding vendors are all here to “rip you off”. We serve a purpose for those that wish to purchase from us and we’re just like you. We have families, bills and a passion for weddings.

featured image credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!