chinese sky fly fire lanterns at your wedding

Update: Guess what kids? According to this site, Indiana has banned the use of sky lanterns. As of now, Kentucky still allows it.

Everyone loves the Chinese Sky Fly Fire lanterns at the end of their wedding. They are sweet, romantic and make for awesome photos! However, as planners, we are the ones behind-the-scenes making sure that this event (if incorporated in your wedding) goes off without a hitch.

Besides the obvious fact of having a lot of room in the sky for the lanterns to take flight in the air and understanding that you cannot, I repeat, cannot light these if winds that are over 10mph … we thought we’d give you some real tips on the Chinese lanterns.

hot tips on creating an awesome chinese lantern event at your wedding:

1. Buy lanterns that are already assembled. 

These thin paper products range in prices. You may be tempted to purchase the cheapest ones. Stop. Do not do it. You’ll deeply regret it and probably burn yourself. The cheap ones require you to assemble the burning mechanism in the lantern in advance. It’s time consuming and often will not stay in place. If you DO get it lit, sometimes the “on-fire” burning portion will fall out … while the lantern is in air. And that may land on you! So spend the extra money per lantern.

chinese sky fly fire lanterns 1

2. Buy disposable lighters that are “wind resistant”.

This is almost as important as the type of lanterns you purchase. Lighting the lanterns is the biggest headache of all. You’ll want to use lighters that you would use for the grill (I’m sure you already thought of that). But if there is any type of breeze, the lighters are hard to use. Especially with the child safety. Your thumb grows tired and it is frustrating. Opt to spend a little extra and purchase a wind resistant lighter. It is disposable but when lit, looks like a little butane flame. We like the Coleman brand.

chinese sky fly fire lanterns 2

3. Have sober people disperse the lanterns and manage the lighters.

If we are onsite, that is us! But if you haven’t opted to get a wedding professional to help you with your day, then designate someone that will be sober. The management of getting the lanterns distributed and actually lit will make the process safer. Trust this.

4. Trash cans.

Unless you unpack each individual lantern (from the packing cellophane in advance), you’ll need a trash receptical to collect a lot of packing material. Even then, sometimes you need to throw away ripped lanterns. Keep your reception looking neat.

chinese sky fly fire lanterns 3

5. Don’t forget music in the background.

This isn’t critical, but since we are always thinking about a great guest experience, don’t forget about having some background music as you watch the lanterns float away into the air. The last time we did this, we simply moved a boom box (it was a quality one) outside and played a few pre-designated songs. No need for moving out your DJ’s equipment, as this event usually happens at the end of the evening anyway.

Final words, there is an art to doing these, so practice in advance. But always be sure to do so in a safe area. Not in the middle of your subdivision with a lot of trees. Over water (with proper direction of the wind) is the best environment.

photo credit: photorexit photography

ps The photos above were “in real life” photos as we tried to get lanterns lit in too strong of winds. The photographers and us had a great time with it. And due to the winds, we had to cancel this event.

plan on!

different love movies (in time for valentine’s day)…

Big Valentine smooches to all you love birds out there! We wrote a blog post on the best movies (just the last 30 minutes) in 2010, it’s kinda awesome.

So this year, let’s talk about the best love movies of all times and not given enough credit. Thus sayeth, me. You’ll notice a theme when you read through them.

When in Rome Beside the fact that Kristen Bell is insanely adorable with a smoking body, she gets to kiss on screen Jeff Duhamel. *sigh* This movie is quirky, laugh out loud funny and makes you smile. The premise: you cannot fight fate.

The Proposal Are you surprised? Sandra Bullock is a fabulous actress (good call on dumping her real-life husband) and she co-stars with, Ryan Reynolds. Both have impeccable timing with comedy and when they actually kiss for real, it’s steamy. It’s a perfectly enjoyable love story that is filled with lies and sheer comedy (thank you Betty White for your cameo).

Sweet Home Alabama Reese Witherspoon and John Lucus. A combination that is pure heaven. Southern charm and accents, city slickers from New York, a small town in Alabama and love is everywhere. It physically makes me smile while watching it and tear up with sadness and happiness. Actually own this movie.

Say Anything If you are an 80’d child, then you KNOW this movie. There is something about John Cusack… you know he’s not the hottest man in the room, but he is, just so hot. And sincere. And quirky. The female lead, I could absolutely care less about Ione Skye, sorry, she just wasn’t what you would watch on TV. However there was definitely a spark. And the ending…. with him holding the boombox over his head, playing “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel …. epic.

Notting Hill Let’s face it, Julia Roberts will and always be on some “love movie” list. She’s is awesome at this. And humor, which is a good thing. Now English films are quirky, but I like a lot of them. And while I realize Hugh Grant is not attractive. Not. At all. He does have a sort of charisma and self-deprecating charm. The movie plot is interesting (although almost 99% unbelievable) and the characters are interesting…. the sound track is pretty good too.

Letters to Juliet Did not see this one coming on the list, accidentally caught it on cable. Amanda Seyfried is unbelievably gorgeous and witty. Seriously, you can’t stop looking at her and that full head of blond hair. Her love interest is Christopher Egan (didn’t know who he was) but it totally worked. And the sheer plot is genius, all about fate and love … in Italy. For pete’s sake….

Hope Floats Oh hello there, Sandra Bullock. She is a natural as well for love and humor. I must be in love with Southern folks … I love their casualness, realness and let’s face it … boots and cowboy hats are cool. Harry Connick Jr. bats his long eyelashes and shows how a man should treat a woman.

Dan in Real Life Are you surprised? You should be. This is a seriously, eye opening and gut wrenching moving starring funny guy, Steve Carell. He’s a widower (pause for tissues) and falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend, Juliette Binoche. Just rent it … totally worth it. Great cameo by Dane Cook (the brother).

watch on!



the special event 2012 recap video

Last week I attended The Special Event, a trade show/conference that is worldwide for event professionals, in beautiful Tampa, Florida. I have to admit, it was nice to wear sandals and see the sun shining!

Not only did I get to speak at one of the training sessions, I was able to attend some of the special events and walk the trade show floor for several days. Look out … I took lots of photos and came up with great ideas for our local weddings.

Now you have to imagine, any type of cocktail party or dinner produced BY event professionals, FOR event professionals is going to be off the hook crazy with decor and the experience. This week did not disappoint.

The best part of this week was reconnecting with industry friends and sharing ideas. Social media has truly bridged a gap that makes people living miles apart, obsolete. It was great to meet up with people who I have been talking with for years, but never actually met in person. Thank you twitter and facebook.

So, true to form, my posse, Kelly McWilliams with Weddings by Socialites and Kelly Spalding with Perfectly Placed (and many others….) documented our epic journey through the week … it’s all here, hope you enjoy!

ps NEW found respect for videographers. All these photos were shot by iPhones so some of them are grainer than others. But this took me all afternoon to edit. It’s all in the editing …. lots of time.

plan on!


what irritates me about christmas…

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post:  ten reasons why santa sucks. It merrily went viral throughout the blogosphere.

So today, I’d like to ressurect that blog post for your amusement and add a few more things about what down-right drives me crazy about the Christmas holiday. I write this blog post as my gingerbread cookies are baking in the oven and my beautiful tree is in the corner of my living room (lest you think I’m bah-hum-bug).

  • The craziness of buying presents. I’ll be the first to agree I have fallen for this. The pressure of giving a gift because someone else is giving you a gift. And take a look at all the retail crap that come out in the stores. Loads and loads of useless toys or gifts that make no absolutely no sense, but we grab them up. We’ve lost all sense of what is important.
  • My tree is bigger than your tree. Along the lines of the point above, I find it interesting to watch people’s photos of their trees on Facebook. Just this week I saw one photo taken from a corporate executive’s personal home that was huge and STUFFED full of gifts underneath. Meanwhile, just a few weeks ago, many were fired from said corporate executive’s company, due to downsizing and bad economy. I’m happy this executive will have a full and exciting holiday.
  • Bell ringers. Holy holly balls… seriously. The obnoxious Salvation Army bell ringers should be banned (they are discriminatory if you haven’t heard, towards community civil rights and the hiring of mentally challenged people). One bell ringer outside my favorite locally owned grocery store (take that WalMart), has a ringer that is unbelievable. He rings louder, faster and harder every time you walk by. As soon as I pass him he stops ringing. I may just start boycotting stores that allow the bell ringers. They don’t encourage me to give my extra change, instead I want to donkey kick them.
  • Christmas shoppers are psycho. What physical item could be so important, that another human being would pepper spray another human being in order to buy the item? Apparently that item would be a video game. Not food, because your family is starving. Nope. Half off a $60 video game. Really? REALLY?
  • Retail businesses are starting too early. Black Friday turned into a fiasco this year. It used to be you would get up before dawn and head out to your favorite Big Box stores for some great Christmas deals. It is the starting block for the Christmas buying season. If you knew anything about retail and the concept of “loss leaders” most of you would stay in bed. However this year proved to be, on the Richter scale of craziness, an 11.1. For starters, the stores started opening at midnight. It was a domino effect … one store decided to open super early and the others followed. The poor employees were not able to enjoy their own Thanksgiving with their families in order to open up the stores. It was a shame. So I boycotted them all that day.

Now I don’t want to ruin your holiday, just suggest a small reminder of what is important. Let’s remember what this holiday should be above. Gratefulness, love, compassion, generosity and the excitement of little children. (Take some asprin tomorrow morning, you’ll need it).

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone



in honor of labor day…

We’d like to send a huge shout out to all the wedding vendors who tirelessly work every weekend so our clients can have their special, special day. No matter what the weather, the circumstances, our own personal problems … we show up at the door with a smile and make sure the wedding happens smoothly.

Brides: Thank your vendors today!

And for your amusement, check out this video I captured with the wait staff at Evansville Country Club. Don’t worry all the guests have been fed and are happily dancing.

…. and so were we!

plan on!