Tips for Nearlyweds Attending A Bridal Expo

Hey guys! We’ve put together this helpful guide of tips to refer to when attending a bridal expo! Take a look so you know what to expect (and what to prepare for) during the event.

Wear Comfortable Shoes!

Be you and make sure to dress it. But make sure your shoes are made for walkin’, ‘cuz that’s just what you’ll do… All-day long. Nobody wants blisters when planning their perfect day!

Samples aren’t lunch…Eat first! 

SAMPLES ARE *NOT*  LUNCH⁠

Ever been to Costco or Sam’s Club on a date?  I have. Twice. And you know what? I was still hungry. Eat before you Expo… Really. Please? And pack a lunch. 5 hours of walking will not be sustained on bite-size samples. Trust me, I’ve made that mistake…

Organize! 

Bring colored stickies or a few folders to help separate vendor information.⁠

It will save you from a major headache later when you’re trying to sift through all the handouts you gather. Consider having a “favorites” section for the vendors you KNOW you want to talk to again.⁠

Avoid a hand cramp– Bring stickers with your contact info! You meet lots of vendors and get to participate in awesome drawings for cool prizes at a wedding expo. It’s why you’re there! The downside is each of those drawings and vendors want your contact information which can add up to a lot of time and energy writing your name and number down. Save some time and avoid a hand cramp! Print some sticker labels with your name, address, email, and phone number on them. Then instead of writing it all out every time, you can simply slap your sticker on the sheet. Voilà! Problem solved. 

Be an Early bird. Vendors speak to hundreds of potential clients at a wedding expo. That means they don’t have a lot of time to talk to each person. If you want them to remember you or want to get a better feel for which vendors you connect with, Get there right on time! Don’t wait til half way through the event when you have to compete with other clients just to say “Hi, My name is…” So set your alarm and get in line just before the expo starts. Then you can get to the best booths first and make sure you get your questions heard!

Make a friend- Want to work with someone who really gets you? Then get to know them!  Don’t be afraid to chat up the vendors and ask questions. The great part about a wedding expo is that you can meet vendors in person and find someone you really click with. Make the most of that opportunity!

Bring a Friend-

You can’t get married alone, so don’t plan your wedding alone! Bring your fiance, friends, or family and make a day out of planning your big day! Just make sure whoever you bring is someone that won’t cause stress. Bridal show day is a day for friends and fun!

Bring a Checklist-

Do you know you really want a photo booth and aren’t willing to compromise on a good photographer? Make a list! Bridal shows are full of amazing opportunities to meet vendors, but with so many in one place, it can be easy to forget what you came for! Make a checklist of everything you still need for your wedding day and prioritize which vendors you visit. That way you don’t find yourself leaving with one too many free samples, and short of a wedding cake or florist.

Don’t Wait, Communicate! 

Did you just love the florist at the bridal show? Did you really connect with the sweet lady selling desserts? Don’t wait to reach out! Don’t collect vendor information just to let it gather dust. Pick up the phone and call while your memory- and theirs- is still fresh! Remind them who you are and get on their schedule before they book out! 

Bring cash and card

Many vendors offer day-of deals if you register at a bridal show while others may offer goods for sale. Don’t miss out! Bring cash and a credit card to make sure all your bases are covered and you’re prepared to get the best deals!

Ask about discounts-

“It never hurts to ask” is an often-used phrase that couldn’t be more true than when trying to get a deal at a wedding expo. Vendors come to bridal fairs to gain clients and many are willing to make deals to do it! If a vendor seems a little out of your desired price range, or even if you’re just looking to save a few dollars, ask for a discount! The worst they can do is say “no” and give you the same great deal they are offering to everyone else!

Bring a bag…you’re going to need it. Bridal shows are known for swag. Some even offer little “swag bags”. But what if they run out? Or if the bag is too small, because let’s get real, there are a LOT of vendors in a tiny place all wanting to give you information sheets and freebies. And, if you’re human like me, you may need things like a water bottle, jacket, and snacks… Things you WON’T want to be lugging around all day while trying to plan your special day. So grab an oversized tote, or even a backpack to stuff it all in. Your arms will thank you later.

Know your budget. Vendors charge an array of fees for various services, so before you head to the wedding expo, make a budget! Know at minimum your overall number and your list of “must-haves” that way when you talk to vendors they can give you a more accurate estimate of what they can do for you and if it’s going to be a good fit or not.

Check the vendor list ahead of time.

One of the best parts of a wedding expo is that it’s sort of a “one-stop-shop” for planning your wedding. But that also means there are a LOT of vendors to meet in just a few hours. You may be surprised at how long you can spend waiting in lines to talk to one or how many steps you get in walking between them. A little forethought can go a long way. Many bridal shows publish a list of vendors and sometimes even a map for attendees. So take a look, star your favorites, and plot your course! That way at the end of the day you know you accomplished what you came for.

Have FUN with it! 

Sure, you need to talk about budgets and get vendor contacts. But folks- it’s for one of the BEST DAYS of your lives!!! You’re planning because you’re getting married! Smile! Take silly pictures in a photo booth! Dance to the music the DJ is Playing! Strut your stuff down the aisles as the models are showing off the wedding attire on the runway. Grab your posse and make a day out of it. Weddings can get stressful, but your expo day doesn’t need to be.

Blessinger Entertainment, Where Music Creates Memories in Bloomington, Indiana

Welcome to another vendor spotlight post! This month, we are featuring Cole Blessinger with Blessinger Entertainment. Man, I can’t even remember how long we’ve been working together now, probably around two or three years. Cole is one of my go-to DJ’s when I’m recommending and planning! Read on to learn about this awesome dude and his business!

Ha ha! There’s Cole! I swear you can’t even tell he’s working sometimes because he truly loves what he does. A little bit about Cole; he started DJ’ing at the Frank Southern Ice Arena in the 5th Grade (whoa!) and Dj’d his cousin’s wedding the summer after his 8th Grade year! When he was in high school, Wedding Wire reached out to him and he’s slowly but surly built his business from there, and says he’s so blessed to have continued to grow.

Cole has officially been in business since July of 2013, and he was born and raised right here in Bloomington, Indiana. He has always enjoyed technology, music, and people, so it’s no wonder he has a passion for DJ’ing!

As you probably know from reading our blog, small businesses are really important to us and a huge passion (well, we are one after all!) So, when asked what owning a small business means to you and why do you love it, Cole responded with this:

My business has been my dream in the making for years. I love it because of the room for growth and the ability to work with so many amazing couples and vendors and bring their dreams to reality.

Cole Blessinger, Blessinger Entertainment

Cole’s day usually starts between 9 and 10 a.m. if time allows. He gets set up early in case there’s anything that needs to be taken care of, any troubleshooting, etcetera. Then he’ll go get some grub and make sure he’s back in time to get ready for the ceremony or reception. That’s one reason I absolutely LOVE working with Cole. He comes in so prepared for the day, making sure he’s set up well in advance and then gets back with his playing shoes on and he’s fired up and ready to go!

Cole’s business is set apart by his love for people and a desire to say “Yes!” if at all possible. He loves working with couples and clients and helping them create a night full of memories. He says he loves working with happy couples and also vendors who are passionate about exceeding their couples expectations. Now that’s a great DJ! Another reason I enjoy working with Cole so much is that you can truly see his care for people and the interest he has in what he does. Cole is almost always chatting with people, helping them feel comfortable in the space and making sure they are having a great time! He’s so personable and you can really just tell he’s having the time of his life on wedding nights!

When asked who or what inspires him, Cole said:

Jason Jani of SCE Event Group, an Entertainment Company Owner out of New Jersey, that is constantly pushing the limits of the industry.

Cole Blessinger, Blessinger Entertainment

If Cole wasn’t a DJ, he says he would definitely be a business owner or a consultant. I’d say he definitely created his perfect dream job! On his day off, he loves the lake or the slopes, or getting on a plane and going somewhere! (Could you imagine just hitting the airport and picking a plane?) His favorite place to eat is Asuka in Bloomington, and he says he loves the Apple Store as far as shopping goes (don’t even get me started on the many conversations we’ve had about Apple versus Android!)

Don’t forget to check Cole out on social, and if you’re in need of an exceptional DJ for your wedding, party, or event, reach out! You will not be disappointed 🙂

Give Me Some of Those Farmhouse Cakes!

I don’t even know where to begin on writing this blog. Not because I don’t have anything to say, but because I have SO MUCH to say about this AMAZING cake artist!! So, here goes, I’ll just start! Meet Alison…

Alison is such a beautiful soul that I had the pleasure of meeting and now working with! Her creations are so amazing and the passion behind what she does is even more incredible. And get this, her business started with a 1st Birthday cake! Her daughters to be exact. She wanted to make a new tradition of making all of her birthday cakes so she stacked and designed her first smash cake, and today it’s one of her signature cakes!

Before becoming a cake master, Alison attended Indiana University where she studied Therapeutic Recreation. She fell in love with helping the psychiatric population! For ten years, she worked in an acute psychiatric unit in a local hospital, facilitating psycho-educational coping skills.

Alison even remembers the exact date her cake business came to mind. On the evening of July 20th, 2018 she looked over at her husband and said, “I’m going to create social media pages to display my cakes and see what happens.” His response was, “Choose a name and let’s make a website!” That following week, Alison booked her first customer and everything took off after that!

We asked Alison what owning a small business meant to her and she said,

“Owning a small business to me means that I can have professional aspirations as well as being a stay at home mom. I’ve built my business around my kids, so that I don’t have to miss anything. I am truly having my cake and eating it too!”

We wanted to get a little more insight on a typical work day for Alison and any rituals she takes part in! She said taking the kids to daycare and answering emails while the oven preheats is pretty much it!

Farmhouse Cakes is different from other businesses because it is the first home-based bakery in Monroe County to be approved by the county and state. Alison feels proud to have paved the way for her community and loves seeing all the home-based bakeries grow!

Alison describes her work as “Artistic, rustic, unique, delicious, and bohemian.” – Yes, Alison, we totally agree with it all, but especially the DELICIOUS!

Alison’s favorite part about what she does is that her profession is a creative outlet, and she is very much a creative at heart! As I mentioned before, I have had the blessing of getting to work with Alison, so I was eager to hear what her favorite part was about weddings! She said, the décor and inspirations behind it. She loves seeing the bride and groom’s personalities come out in their wedding décor choices. Each wedding is such a unique experience!

Now, aside from being a professional cake baker, we wanted to get to know Alison a little bit more! Remember when we said her signature cake was actually the very first cake she made for her daughter’s first birthday? How cool is it that Alison’s little girls are the muse to her cake decorating and her inspiration behind her small business! Who knew creating cakes for your little ones could lead to an amazing career!

If Alison wasn’t a cake baker, she’d probably revert back to working in Recreational Therapy again, since it still holds a special place in her heart!

On an off day, Alison is your average stay at home mom. Staying home with her kiddos is the ultimate goal right now! I definitely feel you on that one! You gotta soak up time with them while they’re young. Along with spending time with her kids, who doesn’t love going shopping or out to eat on their off day! One of Alison’s favorite places to shop is Simply Primitive; she loves the owner and everything they have to offer! With food, Bloomington has so many diverse restaurants with such yummy food, it’s impossible for her to just pick one!

For Alison, two little girls just wasn’t enough! She’s looking forward to her upcoming maternity leave and bringing another sweet baby into this world!

” I would have a dozen kids if I could and I’m so incredibly lucky to have this business while raising tiny babies. It’s truly a dream come true for me!”

Check out the links above for all the ways to get in touch with Alison and request your next beautiful cake!! We can’t wait to see what she’ll be designing next, so go like and follow all of her pages to stay in touch! ❤

The Bride Guider – A Life Coach With a Bride Focus

Hey guys, thanks for stopping by! So, as I’m totally getting into the swing of this blogging stuff, I wanted to write a little bit about my new adventure that I’m starting!

Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on Pexels.com

If you know me, you know I’ve been in the wedding planning industry for about four years now. As the business grows and I take control of around 30 weddings a year (whew!), I love it more and more. I have to pull myself back and remember that there’s more to life than working sometimes. I think it’s because I’m having so much fun and I get so much joy out of working with all my amazing couples every day that I never feel like I’m working!

I’m also a huge motivational, mindset, and everything positive soul and so I like to listen to things like “The Mindset Mentor” and read books like “You Are A Badass”. Well, I bought the aforementioned book for a friend that was going through a tough time for Christmas, but then of course I got curious and had to read it for myself first. After reading the book, I decided to see if there was a related podcast and I stumbled across Ashley Gordon’s “Badass Manifester” podcast. I listened to a few episodes and I was hooked. I looked up her website and booked my discovery call. I found out on the call that there was a class getting ready to start the next week (destiny!), a coaching academy. I have always felt a pull to helping people, and my bride’s always seem to tell me that I calmed them or made them feel more at ease. So, this was the perfect opportunity!

Photo by Jasmine Carter on Pexels.com

Me and Ashley had talked a little bit about how I could use the coaching in my already established business, but I couldn’t see the big picture just yet. Well, here we are, two weeks into the academy and it just hit me like an “AHA!” moment. I’m meant to coach bride’s through this journey of wedding planning. I already sort of do that in my planning packages, but I wanted a way to have more one-on-one time with them, to have sessions to just chat about anything and everything that is stressing them out during the process! And so, The Bride Guider was born! Here I am, ready to coach you through this crazy thing called a wedding. But I want these sessions to stick with you even beyond the wedding. And that’s why I say life coach with a bride focus. Because I don’t want it to end or be limited to a bride. If we’re on the other end of your wedding (you made it!) but you still find value in my coaching, then HECK YES! Let’s continue our journey.

I’m here for you, to teach you what I’ve learned, to take you on a journey just like I’m on a journey, to guide you to that place of peace and splendor that you’ve been longing for. Let’s take this journey that we call life together and make it PHENOMENAL! ❤

Check out my new pages below for The Bride Guider and let me know how I can help you in this life, this journey, this magical experience!

2nd Gen. Florist from Bloomington, IN

Here we are, back at it again with our monthly “Vendor Spotlight” series, this time featuring a one-of-a-kind florist!

This month we are focusing on Cathy Teeters Beautiful Weddings. I have been working with Cathy for about four years now back when I moved to Bloomington! Cathy is a master of her craft and the Queen of the most amazing floral designs!

Cathy Teeters Beautiful Weddings is a Full Service Wedding and Event Florist. They have extensive knowledge of floral décor and all things weddings and larger events. From the initial consultation, they give their couples the special attention their wedding day deserves. They customize every wedding as well and have done just about everything, from Classic to Modern, Contemporary to Bohemian, Funky, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s… the list goes on but experience counts! Cathy and her team create custom designs using only the best quality flowers, greeneries, and natural or botanical elements. They also have a studio full of rentals, from rustic to classic to modern. Glassware, candelabras, tableabras, arches/arbors, gold, silver, iron, vintage, a variety of votive cup styles, chargers, and much, much more. They are known for their full service weddings, however they can arrange smaller, simpler weddings to either be picked up or done with a simple delivery. All budgets and styles are worked with!!

Check out some of her work below:

Cathy started her own business back in 2000. She is a 2nd generation florist, as her father was also a florist. Cathy says, “I literally grew up in a flower shop!” Previously, she worked with Jay Ellis in the late 70’s in Bloomington and it was in the mid-90’s when she had her first interaction with a wedding planner who inspired her and knew that is where she wanted to shift her work! After many thought she couldn’t be a Wedding Planner and a Florist at the same time, she has successfully done both for 20 years now!

Growing up, other than playing in her dad’s display window, she really was not interested in the floral business. She played in the shop, but could make more money at our local brickyard! After attending IU for a year she decided to join her dad’s business and attended a Floral Design School in Denver, Colorado. From there, her burning passion to create the most unique and breathtaking arrangements took off! Her dad passed away and her mom sold the business, which is when Cathy went to work for Jay Ellis. As Jay grew his business into a larger rental and event company, they began doing large events; not only in Bloomington but all over the state and into Kentucky. This is where Cathy gained her experience with larger events and her passion for weddings!

Future Florist in the making

Cathy is now a certified Wedding Planner with The Association of Bridal Consultants, which was included in her plan to depart from the retail side of business.

What sets her business apart from the rest? Her dedication to serve her couples and clients with integrity and quality service! We asked Cathy what her favorite part of her job is and this is what she had to say:

“I always thought it was about the people. Working with our couples and clients. I have always loved working with and teaching my interns, several continued to work with me for a while before moving on. I am now doing their weddings. I realized when we turned off our coolers last spring, when our events came to a halt for a couple of months, I missed working with the flowers tremendously! Creating and working with the flowers is on the list!”

A typical work week for Cathy and her assistants seems a bit hectic! On Monday’s, they travel to Indy to pick up flowers and supplies. This includes cutting and processing the flowers. Depending on their work load, they may bring back up to 15-20 boxes of flowers, demanding hours of process work!

Tuesday’s are prep days! Along with a ton of other preparations some of this work may look like gathering all their supplies, cleaning vases, cleaning roses, etc.

Here’s where the fun comes in! Wednesday’s, Thursday’s, and Friday’s are design days! This is where the clients dreams and ideas collide with Cathy’s imagination, creating the most beautiful floral arrangements!

Saturday’s are busy days! They start early packing and loading the van. The day is usually spent delivering, setting up, and sometimes full service décor which may include transfers and tear down.

And of course, throughout these weeks there are meetings, proposals, and paperwork squeezed in between all the hard work her business has to offer!

Five key words that describe your work?: Quality product, creative, dependable, knowledgeable, passionate.  

Just like many other wedding professionals and well, people like you and I, Cathy’s ritual before starting her days is simply:

“Coffee.”

After reading about Cathy’s transition from being a Florist to being a Wedding Planner and a Florist, we were curious to figure out what her favorite part about weddings are specifically! She claimed, “All the JOY from the wedding day!” In further description, the final product as all the planning and hard work comes together. Often times this is a team of wedding vendors and the collaboration of all of us working together!

Who doesn’t love a puppy flower crown

As mentioned before, Cathy didn’t always want to be a Florist. When she attended IU at the age of 18 her plan was to become a Physical Therapist, until she volunteered in the local PT department. She realized anything in the medical field was not for her! ( Me too Cathy, me too.) If she weren’t a florist, she would be doing something that involves working with young women, mentoring, which is what she loves to do.

When asked where she finds her inspirations, she claimed she finds a lot of inspiration and peace in nature! She has always gone to the woods to find peace and getting to travel the beautiful country on the back of a motorcycle has been inspiring to her. Not only the beauty of our country, but it gives her a lot of time to be lost in thought and plan for the future. What’s really awesome is that Cathy and her husband never travel the interstates, so riding through small towns and admiring their beautiful courthouses inspires her! She also added that, “Strong women inspire me.”

Cathy’s life isn’t all flowers though! Sunday’s are her off days put aside for her family and closest friends! Her and her husband are either on their pontoon boat on Lake Lemon, hiking, or on the motorcycle! That’s right! Your local Florist is also a Harley Davidson gal!

We asked Cathy what owning a small business means to her and why she loves it, because of course, we LOVE supporting small businesses!

“I used to say I got out of retail because I was tired of working 80 hour weeks at holidays. I laugh, because now I work many 80-hour weeks! However, owning my own business has allowed me the flexibility to schedule family time and trips. My husband is now retired since 2014 and we have taken several 5-week road trips on his Harley each summer. We block that time off each year in my calendar.”

Overall, most of her 2020 has been spent with her husband and dog on the boat with a fishing pole and a good book!

Of note, Cathy’s favorite place to eat in her community is DeAngelo’s or the Porthole on Lake Lemon!

We are sad that in 2021, Cathy Teeters Beautiful Weddings has two coordination/planning jobs on the calendar and then they are retiring that side of the business. The good news is that they will be going full-on to concentrating on the floral side of the business. Cathy does a ton of work for IU and Ivy Tech events, and during the pandemic she has been very successful with a pivot to “porch deliveries.” Go Cathy!!

Cathy’s free spirit and adventurous lifestyle has given Bloomington some life and excitement through flowers! I could go on and on about the pleasures and success I have had with working with Cathy and gaining a lifelong friend! If you’re looking for some of the most eye catching flower arrangements, be sure to reach out to Cathy! You will not regret it!

Of course, Cathy’s studio is on Lake Lemon, and she loves to have couples come out to the studio by appointment! Be sure to call or text: 812.327.9794, or email cateeters@yahoo.com to schedule your meeting with Cathy!

Here's how to get in touch with Cathy Teeters Beautiful Weddings and Events!
www.cathyteetersbeautifulweddings.com
www.facebook.com/cathyteetersbeautifulweddings
www.instagram.com/cathyteetersbeautifulweddings

How Can A Wedding and Event Planner Save You Money?

Well, if your here, then you’re all about learning how to save money while planning your wedding or event, and we’re so excited to share with you the good news… it’s totally possible to have your cake and eat it, too!

In this DIY era we’re living in, it’s no surprise that many weddings and even more events don’t have actual planners or coordinators. But what you don’t know is it goes so far beyond just a little help here and there. So, let’s dive right in to the top ways we, as professionals, can save you money when you hire us!

So, we’re talking about saving money here, right? That means that there’s most likely a budget your needing to stick to. Well, that’s a major part of our job right there…

#1

Realistic Budget Planning

So, maybe you have a budget, and you probably have BIG expectations for what you want your special day to look like. Well, those two don’t always add up and even out. We’re here to recommend the vendors we work with that will fit within your budget, and to let you know when you might have a champagne taste on a beer budget. But lucky for you, we’re pretty darn thrifty and as planners, we’re also decorators with an inventory. Now, this might not always be the case with every planner you come in contact with, but if they don’t have an on-hand inventory, I guarantee they know how to DIY the heck out of some stuff while staying in budget or recommend vendors that can do something really similar without breaking the bank!

#2

Contract & Negotiation Skills

When you book with us, from the very beginning we ask to see all the contracts you already have, if any. We do that because we want to make sure we’re aware of EVERYTHING in them that is required, and what they detail for the client-vendor relationship. This is especially important now in the midst of a pandemic when the future of gatherings is so uncertain. You definitely want to know what you’re getting into before you sign! We know what to look for and where to look because we’re used to seeing all of this stuff. So, in the long run, a wedding and event planner can save you money by making sure you’re not signing a contract that will tie up your money or include extra fees, and that you’re getting a fair deal!

#3

Vendor Help

We work with vendors everyday! Not only do we know who is reliable, we know what different vendors offer and how much they charge. This will definitely save you money but it will also save you countless hours of researching and contacting multiple vendors to find the one that works best for your event. Planners know what other services or items different vendors have. Some of those unique rentals can come from a vendor you wouldn’t normally consider as an option for that item. We work with vendors around the state and know exactly who will be able to deliver your dream visions.

#4

Special Elements

Everyone has a unique vision for their event but you don’t need to go out and buy every little detail. We as planners not only provide décor, but offer all of our clients use of our vast rental inventory. We have everything from table numbers and signs to lighting and draping. We also provide custom elements, like our champagne wall that was built for a specific bride. We work with many local vendors who can deliver your needs with a more personal touch, and often cheaper, than if you were to just go online. There is no need to drive yourself crazy searching around when we know exactly where you can find what you need, or help you acquire it. The best part is we handle everything! From gathering the items, to setting them up and tearing them down. Trust us, you wont have time and your friends and family don’t want the responsibility.

#5

Save You Time

The biggest thing a planner can do for you is save you time! We take on every detail so you don’t have to! You get to have the event of your dreams without spending weeks or months stressing over everything that goes into planning a wedding or event. Believe us when we say more than half of our job is spent chatting back and forth with vendors via email or phone about our clients details, and that can take up A LOT of time! And well, time is money. $$

#6

Avoid Last Minute Costs

If your not used to planning large events, you don’t know all the small things to consider. That’s where we come in! We do this every day and we know all the little details to consider. For example, we have had clients who took care of their own catering. On event day when the food was delivered all of a sudden there was a panic about plates, silverware and napkins. They assumed these things were included, which they weren’t. When we take on something like catering, we consider every detail down to salt and pepper shakers from day one. You aren’t left running around trying to acquire last minute items the day of your event! The best part is if a last minute need or want comes up, we take on the responsibility of making it happen. Once again leaving you stress free.

#7

Set Up + Tear Down

The service that our clients seem to love most of all on event day is Set Up & Tear Down. On event day, or even before, we are in the venue setting up everything from linens and tableware to décor and lighting. We also work with any other vendors who may need to set up like the florist or DJ. You are free to be relaxed and prepare for your event instead of setting tables. What’s even better, at the end of the night you get to leave and enjoy your guests, whether it be an after party or enjoying your first night with your new spouse. We stay and remove everything, down to the garbage! Most venues don’t allow you to leave anything overnight, so it can sometimes take hours to tear down tables & chairs, flowers, and any décor you may have. Consider this: if you don’t have a planner and you have to set up yourself, you could end up spending extra money to get the venue a day or so earlier. Building that extra cost into your planner and letting them do the dirty work saves your wallet AND your sanity!

#8

Assist With Quantities

This is something that most all clients need help with. It comes in to play the most when considering food and beverages. Most people don’t know the right amount of beer and wine needed for an event of 150 people, or how many appetizers they should order for an intimate gathering of 25. Whether it’s regarding your catering, bar service, rental glassware, or desserts we can work with you to make sure you have enough of what you need for your event and aren’t left paying for large amounts of unused food or items.

#9

Take Care of Permits

Something most people don’t consider when planning a wedding or event, is the permits that may be needed. There are all kinds of permits that can be required for holding an event, whether it be at a venue, a public area, or even a private residence. Alcohol is something you will always need a permit for and there are different permits for hard liquor versus beer and wine. Permits and licensing are things you have to consider when it comes to your bartender and food. You may also need permits if you want to put up a tent or have a live band. These are things we deal with all the time and can easily make sure you have everything necessary for your event to go off without a hitch.

#10

Stress Free Planning

The best part of hiring a planner is that it makes the experience stress free for you! By saving you time and money, you are able to have the event of your dreams while also enjoying it! We do this from the moment we take on your event until the event is over. We make sure to take care of any issues that may come up that day so you can soak up the love! Nothing makes us happier than hearing how we saved a bride, groom, and even their family and friends from a headache on wedding weekend or even throughout the planning process!

Don’t forget to follow us in our multitude of places to keep up with the latest tips, tricks, and trends! We can’t wait to hear how we can serve you best! ❤

Southern Indiana Wedding Couples Network

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Southern Indiana Wedding Professionals

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Southern Indiana Wedding & Prom Expo

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The Planning Prerogative

Whether you are finding yourself with more time in your hands that you’d have wanted or time is never to be found, we have a plan for you.

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Sincerely Yours Weddings

We like finding excellence in simple things and bring the best of simple, easy to find ingredients by working with their best combinations.

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Premier Events

You will not only learn new skills but you will also be able to share and impress you loved ones with your creations.

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Bridal Show History In The Making

Late last year, we teamed up with WestGate Academy in Odon, Indiana, to begin planning the first ever Southern Indiana Wedding and Prom Expo at their location. Previously, Michele (our Event Planning Specialist) had conducted a popular bridal show in Bloomington and grew it exponentially over three years. Now, we are redefining the traditional bridal show and hoping to gain couples from all over Southern Indiana!

Your wedding day is arguably one of the most special days of your life, where you can be the center of attention without being perceived as conceited, dress as fancy and elegantly as you like, and laugh and dance all night long! Well, you should feel special at your wedding expo as well, and that’s exactly what we hope to do!

We’re excited to incorporate elements such as an amazing fashion show featuring the latest wedding dress trends, menswear, and even those gorgeous prom dresses for all you prom ladies — a speaker panel featuring knowledgeable vendors to chat about some important things to consider while planning — and even a gentlemen’s lounge upstairs to entertain them while us ladies go around and look at everything pretty!!

Our show was originally planned for February 27th, but with the COVID-19 Pandemic still looming, we have decided to postpone to May 1st, 2021. We hope that it will be an even safer environment to gather at that point, but of course we will have all safety precautions in place as well! Stay tuned and keep checking our blog for some attending vendor features! We can’t wait to celebrate with you!!

Be sure to grab your tickets here to participate as a vendor:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/127732335855

Bride tickets will go on sale soon! stay tuned…

Photography Spotlight in Bloomington, Indiana!

So, guys! We’ve started a new monthly activity where we feature a vendor on our blog for our “Vendor Spotlight” series! How exciting is that, getting to know the most amazing wedding professionals and why they do what they do?!

First up, we have Blue Lace Wedding Photography, LLC. We had the pleasure of working with this amazing bunch back in September of this year (2020) and even watched them edit some wedding photos and work their magic. Their creativity and eye for detail made these photos outstanding! Check a few out below:

Established in July of 2017, starting Blue Lace Wedding Photography came from a discovery of the need to shift focus to wedding photography from their individual photography journeys. Danielle and Kristin both realized how fulfilling it is to photograph meaningful moments and were drawn to the expression of love shared between each couple at weddings. Hence, Blue Lace was born!

Both Danielle and Kristin have a deep internal need to be artistically expressive and have had a fascination with photographs since they held their first cameras! Their passion for photography grew exponentially as their nuclear family expanded. Many years were spent providing family, lifestyle, and newborn photography until eventually transitioning to weddings.

What sets this dynamic duo apart from the rest? Their core values motivate each decision they make.

“We Couldn’t rest at night knowing we didn’t put our full hearts into each experience, gallery, and product. At times it doesn’t seem realistic to give our clients as much attention as we want; this is where the dynamics of our team become indispensable. Separately, what we offer is incredible, but together what we provide is unprecedented. We fill in the gaps of each other’s weaknesses and support each other’s strengths. Our teamwork and connection with one another sets us apart from the industry standard of hiring various subcontractors to second shoot wedding days.”

A typical work day for Danielle and Kristin consists of shooting in the field or many hours in front of a computer (the behind-the-scenes that is often forgotten!). With 6 kids collectively, ranging from 1 to 14 in age (whew!), I’m sure you can imagine the hand they play in keeping local coffee shops open! Owning a small business allows them to forgo depleting careers for a fulfilling work life. They love satisfying their inner artists and creating meaningful connections with their community.

Five key words that describe your work?: Moody, emotive, unexpected, refreshing, crisp.

And in case you didn’t know, many wedding industry professionals have “rituals” before starting their work day! Here’s the gal’s:

“Our wedding day rituals begin approximately 24 hours before an event. We have a long drawn-out process we follow each time to ensure we are mentally and physically prepared. From drinking water to printing lists, collecting snacks to charging batteries, these rituals allow us to expect the best but prepare for the worst!”

We found out that Danielle and Kristin’s favorite part about what they do is walking away from so many events feeling like their families just grew. Nothing is more rewarding than the connections they experience. When asked about their favorite part of weddings specifically, they said “The cake! What else are we there for?!” Okay, just kidding. Their favorite part about weddings is witnessing the full scope of someone’s story. As photographers, they get to be present for moments so special that guests, wedding parties, best friends, and even family members don’t always see. “There’s something truly indescribable about that privilege.”

Danielle and Kristin had lives that were pulling them to office jobs, but their hearts have always meandered. If they weren’t photographers, they would be pursuing something to satisfy their artist souls and wanderlust! Their biggest inspiration is always the present moment. “Watching a love story unfold in front of us is moving.”

On their days off, they like to spend time with friends and family eating tacos or wings and sitting around bonfires. They love eating and shopping locally as well! Boutiques, mom and pop shops, locally owned restaurants. That’s their favorite part about visiting a new town!

This nerdy pair is full of compassion and talent, reading each other’s minds and getting mixed up all the time because they look alike!

“Wedding photography has given us a true purpose beyond our families, and we could not be more grateful for each of our couples.”

Ya’ll, we can’t say enough amazing things about this team! If you’re looking for a truly memorable experience with fantabulous photos to look at for a lifetime, reach out to Danielle and Kristin! You won’t be disappointed! ❤

Here's how to get in touch with Blue Lace Wedding Photography!
www.bluelaceweddingphotography.com
www.instagram.com/bluelaceweddingphoto
www.facebook.com/bluelaceweddingphotography

F.A.R. From Ordinary

Ellyn first reached out to Sincerely Yours about halfway through her planning process. Being in Boston and in the midst of a pandemic, getting wedding stuff done was becoming an issue. We were so happy to jump in and be Ellyn’s ground force in Bloomington and get things moving.

Image by Katie Bottorff Photography, Flowers by Cathy Teeters Beautiful Weddings

At first, Ellyn and Grant had a wedding of a little over a hundred planned. As we started going through things, the pandemic got worse and restrictions were put in place. They decided to take their guest count down to about 50, which is what it was at the time. As things progressed, restrictions got even tougher and we ended up with about 26 of their closest family celebrating with them! The day turned out gorgeous and it was a perfect celebration for this amazing couple.

The day started with the ladies getting ready at The Graduate Bloomington, Stephanie Bennett doing makeup and Jodie in charge of hair. Katie Bottorff arrived to snap these priceless photos of Ellyn putting on the finishing touches.

After the ladies were all glammed up, Ellyn and Grant chose to read their vows to each other right before seeing one another for the first time! The terrace at The Graduate Bloomington ended up being the perfect backdrop for them and it was such a sweet, intimate moment. First looks can be conflicting for some couples because they want to see one another for the first time walking down the aisle, but a first look does allow you to get all the jitters out and really have that special, private moment together.

With all the jitters of seeing one another out of the way, the bridal party headed to Dunn Meadow to take some absolutely stunning fall wedding pictures! It’s so hard to pick just a few to share with you! The backdrop of Dunn Meadow, Sample Gates, and Rose Well House coupled with the gorgeous colors of the guys navy suits and burgundy ties, the ladies stunning burgundy dresses and gold shimmering shawls made this a truly mesmerizing wedding. Take a look at a few of our favorite below! Beware, this group can get silly! ❤

And then, of course, you have the lovely things that COVID has brought us in this crazy year. But hey, we have to stay safe and you can’t stop love!

In case anyone wanted to see the SY team in action… I really couldn’t even tell you what I was doing in that last picture!

With the decorations provided by our sister company, Premier Events, the gorgeous flowers that Cathy Teeters dreamed up, that delicious meal that One World Catering provided and that AMAZING lemon cake that Two Sticks made for Ellyn and Grant, the day just turned out beautiful. I know I’ve said that a few 20 times in this post, but man the details are to die for!

Ellyn and Grant are such a special couple and even though their wedding didn’t pan out quite like they had envisioned it when we first started working together, you could see the joy and excitement on their faces throughout the day and that’s when you know that love isn’t cancelled and 2020 can’t stop us! Check out the slideshow below for more of our reception favorites!

Venue: The F.A.R. Center for Contemporary Arts
Cake: Two Sticks Bakery
Catering: One World Catering
Flowers: Cathy Teeters Beautiful Weddings
Photography: Katie Bottorff Photography
Rehearsal Dinner and Accommodations: The Graduate Bloomington
Rentals and Décor: Premier Events
Transportation: Antique Limousine of Indianapolis
Wedding Planner: Sincerely Yours Weddings

A Walk In The Wilds

One Happily Married Couple, Brooke and Justin, at The Wilds Wedding Venue in Bloomington, Indiana

It has been such a blessing having Brooke and Justin in the Sincerely Yours Family! Like so many in 2020, their day was postponed and they were faced with the challenge of moving their celebration to later on in the year. COVID-19 has put such a huge wrench in the wedding industry in just a few short months, but rest assured, love isn’t cancelled!

Justin proposed on August 24, 2018. We were sitting outside on our back patio talking about life and enjoying a fire in our fire pit. He rushed in at one point, rushed back out, and the next thing I knew he was on his knee asking me to marry him. It was not an over-the-top proposal, but it was oh so perfect for us! We spend many nights on our back patio talking about all sorts of things in life, so that felt so perfect for him to ask during one of those nights.

Brooke (Bride)

Their original date being May 2nd, 2020, Brooke and Justin’s color pallet consisted of navy and white with pops of yellow and light blue throughout. Once they found out they would have to choose a later date, we re-booked at The Wilds and they got hitched officially at the courthouse on June 8th. Then began the re-planning process, keeping with the clean, timeless look that the couple wanted for their wedding.

When asked what moment Brooke was most looking forward to on her wedding day, she said:

“I was most looking forward to actually saying ‘I do’ since we didn’t get that experience at the courthouse. Professing my love for my husband in front of our closest family and friends meant the world to me!”

Finally, the [new] day came when Brooke and Justin got to say “I do” with those most important to them by their side! September 25th was a magical day with perfect weather and an amazing celebration! From the amazing dinner provided by First Class Catering, to the beautiful flowers throughout from Cathy Teeters Beautiful Weddings and Design Studio, Brooke and Justin and those celebrating with them danced (and yes, karaoke’ d) the night away!

I’m looking forward to the continued love and laughter that Justin brings to my life. We have so much fun together and usually in the most random of circumstances. we are all about experiences together, so we look forward to having each other to continue to experience new life adventures by one another’s side.

Brooke (Bride)

50 Years From Now…

Justin will be getting “the look” from me while I’m secretly dying of laughter inside. I know it’s very early in our marriage, but we truly feel like we have found our persons. Our relationship is so easy and so comfortable, I know we will have our bumps along the way, but we truly believe we will last a lifetime. So, at the end of the day, 50 years from now, Justin and I will still be loving and supporting each other like we have from day one, hopefully in a forever home we have built together!

Brooke (Bride)

It’s couples like Brooke and Justin, moment’s like these, that I live for in this world. Nothing gives me more feels than seeing the joy and happiness on the couples face, the family, and the friends that celebrate with them! I continue to learn in this industry, and hope I never stop learning and growing, so that I can be the best rock, listener, stress reliever and shoulder to lean on for my couples during this huge milestone in their lives!

Brooke says: “The biggest piece of advice I can give you is two things: Go with what feels right to you and don’t worry about what everyone else will think and lean on your planner to help make those tough calls (they have seen it all). The day of my wedding was the absolute best day of my life because I knew I could relax and enjoy the day, and could lean on Christina to take on the details (she did absolutely fantastic by the way). If you can let yourself not worry about the things that might not go right and just enjoy your day, it will be such a fantastic and memorable experience!”

And here’s what she had to say about Sincerely Yours (Thank you so much, Brooke, for your kind, loving words!): “I reached out to a few different wedding planners when I began thinking about the planning process. Christina (Sincerely Yours) was the only response I received. All of the others I had to follow up with. When I met Christina for the first time, she made me feel so at ease and something just clicked with her. I walked away knowing she would be planning my wedding. I felt after just a few meetings that I had gained a new friend, not just a wedding planner. She truly cared about me/my husband, and making our wedding the best day possible for us.”

Brooke and Justin incorporated elements into their wedding that were so important to them. Justin’s father and stepfather have both passed away, and so they shared photos of both of them because they played such important roles in his life. Brooke doesn’t have any living grandparents, but she tied her grandma’s and great grandma’s handkerchiefs to her bouquet which felt really special! They also used the champagne flutes that her parents used at their wedding 41 years ago!

And of course the cake (and cupcakes) that Icing on the Cake by Kristina crafted just for Justin and Brooke was nothing short of amazing! I may have eaten two (or six) that night!

I’ll never forget Brooke coming up to me at the wedding and exclaiming that she was having the time of her life! That is the greatest gift a planner can ask for, knowing that your bride and groom are making a night of beautiful memories that they will be able to share forever. And we can’t forget the amazing Abra with A Gift Of Today Photography, who captured all of these memories for us to look back on!

  • The Wilds Wedding Venue
  • Cathy Teeters Beautiful Weddings and Design Studio
  • Icing on the Cake by Kristina
  • First Class Catering
  • Creative In Bloom
  • Upland Brewing Co.
  • Gift of Today Photography
  • Modish Hair Co.
  • Sincerely Yours Weddings and Events