August 2012 Archive

Sarah + Bryan {E-Session by Tec Petaja}

Sarah and Bryan. Le sigh. What a sweet and down to earth couple. Sarah first contacted me at the end of last summer looking for someone to help with the planning and design of her dreamy big day. From the second she started telling me all about her big day visions, I knew we’d be the perfect fit. As we wrap up loose ends for her and Bryan’s September 8th Northern Michigan wedding (lots of navy, payapa, blushes, taupes and the most incredible gown you ever did see!) it seemed perfectly fitting to share their gorgeous engagement images from no other than Tec Petaja himself. Here are some of my faves from the session; isn’t Sarah such a natural beauty? Can’t wait for next weekend guys, and thanks for sharing these gorg photos, Tec!

So sweet and so natural. I love that about Tec’s work. And love that about these two.

The most perfect engagement session tree you ever did see.

This one below is my fave. Wouldn’t this be the sweetest canvas of all time?

Goodness I love Northern Michigan. So often Michigan is scoffed at for not having much to offer but I mean, look how gorgeous it is. Tec is actually (correct me if I am wrong, Tec!) from Northern Michigan himself so I love that he was able to snap these beautiful photos where he hails from. Bryan’s family has a cottage up north too, right on the water where their tented rehearsal dinner will be held. There couldn’t be a more perfect spot to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter for these two. Enjoy this last week of your engagement Sarah and Bryan. It’s been such an adventure being on this journey together.

And happy Friday, bloggies! I am off to Canada again this weekend for a venue visit with another September bride and I’m secretly having a hard time believing summer is almost over. Where does the time go? Enjoy your long weekend and stay well. I’ll see you back here next week with some September Goals and evidence of how fun pinyatas are at weddings xoxo

LBD Bridal Shower {HGE Shoot with Amy Carroll Photography}

Bridal Showers; these are the things girl’s dreams are made of. One of the most anticipated events aside from the wedding itself, bridal showers epitomize all things feminine, sweet and dare I even say sassy? That was the inspiration behind our LBD inspired bridal shower. Searching for chic, fabulous and fresh bridal shower ideas we threw all rustic and vintage notions to the wind. And in lieu of the traditional Sunday morning, English tea party themed get together we spiced things up a bit. Bright and fresh florals, a flirty LBD dress code and a pick your own hairpiece “Babe Bar” put a fresh new spin on celebrating the lucky bride to be. I could go on and on but for now let’s soak in some seriously gorgeous photos from Amy Carroll.

The entire production took place outside on the property of downtown’s Grand Rapids Art Musuem. If you’re looking for a rad, modern and hip place to get married at in Grand Rapids, this is the spot my friends! The clean lines of the architecture, the simple landscaping that compliments the structure of the building and the proximity to everything fun downtown makes this place a winner in my books. Oh and that waterfall backdrop where ceremonies are frequently done, doesn’t hurt either :)

Amy, myself and Daisy Rizzo from Pixel and Hank came up with the idea over wine in January to put together this shoot so of course we needed a fab way to show off all of Daisy’s darling hair pieces. The “Babe Bar” also used for mimosas did just that as it was the perfect way for guests to pretty up their locks and take home a token of thanks. Daisy created ten hairpieces for every girl to wear in colours and embellishments that would compliment the shoot decor, making sure to create a special black and white piece for the guest of honor to be presented with. Daisy’s your girl if you need something gorgeous for your locks!

I had the pleasure of doing the florals myself and couldn’t have thought up a better way to spend my birthday this past May :) The goal was to create overly lush and gorgeous centerpieces with lots of colour, texture and spunk. I used many stems of peonies, various shades of both garden roses and regular roses, ranunculus and mums in the mix to provide the bulk of the pieces. Then smaller details like various types of succulents, astilbe, bupleurm and even a few lemons brought in some unique touches. I could nearly burst just waiting to share more floral goodness with you when Hey Gorgeous relaunches this winter!

Those gold sparkle chargers and Lucite candlebras were hands down my fave details of the entire shoot. I want to eat my eggos off of those glittery babies. And have at least one candleabra on every surface in my home. Both items were rented from the ladies at Events by I Candy (along with the vases, Lucite chairs, faux boxwood trees, gold tray and cake stand). The orange geometric linen and pink napkins were rented through La Tavola. I’d also like to drape any one of their products across my bed at night. Love. And the paper and chain back drop was made out of a labor of love by myself and my sweet friend Michaela. If I ever produce offspring they’ll never know the pleasure of paper chain making :) That’s all I have to say about that, friends.

The cake was a masterpiece made no other than by Kelly at A Piece o’ Cake. I gave her a few ideas and she ran with it, making this cake look like nothing else I’ve ever seen. The cake pedestal and cocktail table height stand made the cake shine all on it’s own and was simply put, stunning (plus, Kelly brought some cupcakes and macarons to the shoot, which were devoured in no less than 10 minutes). The dresses on all of the girls, and all of the accessories (minus the hair pieces) were generously provided by Spring Sweet in Holland, Michigan. If you haven’t been to her cute little store you’re missing out. Spring has some absolutely adorable items from flirty frocks to vintage settees and fresh cut flowers to delicately packaged candles.

Hair styling was done by Jennifer Grace of Tonic Salon. And she did a killer job making each girl’s hair different from the next without losing sight of the hip, sassy and playful look I was after. I’m smitten with Jennifer’s hair (the bride) and kind of wish Jen could come do my locks like this every morning. Magen Dye from I Dun Salon did an absolutely gorgeous job on all of the girl’s make up. The girls who modeled so graciously for us are gorgeous to begin with but Magen really complimented the work Jennifer did on everyone’s hair and made the girls look like they were ready for a night out on the town.

Last but not least, all of the paper products were done by Ashley of Lemon and Lavender. From all the way in Africa, she worked tirelessly to create a paper look that reflected the remainder of the shoot, and I’m ever so thankful to not only have her as a colleague but as a friend. This girl does some amazing stuff and has untapped potential. The idea to incorporate the paper into a way for the bride to ask her girlfriends to be bridesmaids really came to life when we thought of stuffing sweet little notes wrapped in ribbon into confetti filled balloons. You’ll have to watch the video below to see this in action!

Spekaing of which here it is! Paul and Vanessa Filan of Future Focus Media are simply put; the sweetest most hard working vendors I know in the state. If you need a videographer for something, for anything, they are it. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with them multiple times before and it’s been such a pleasure getting to know them over the past year and beyond. Thank you two for being a part! Enjoy this fun little video full of the rad memories we all made that day. My heart is so full xoxo

P.S. Check out the feature Green Wedding Shoes did on this shoot. Thanks so much, Jen! xoxo

. . . . .

Photography: Amy Carroll Photography / Venue: The Grand Rapids Art Museum / Floral design and styling: Hey Gorgeous Events / Videographer: Future Focus Media / Hair styling: Jennifer Grace of Tonic Salon / Make-up: Magen Dye of I Dun Salon / Dresses and jewelry: Spring Sweet, Holland, Michigan / Hair accessories: Pixel and Hank / Cake: A Piece o’ Cake / Rentals: Events by I Candy / Paper goods: Lemon and Lavender / Linens + napkins: La Tavola Linen / Models: (real life babes!) Jennifer Doornbos, Spring Sweet, Emily Newhof, Lydia Newhof, Karri Whitney and Kalee Verstrate

The HGE Drink Diaries: Marry Me Mimosa

Happy Monday, blogettes! I’m so totally excited to be putting together this new monthly feature with the sweet Kelly Braman. I spend a lot of time brainstorming fun and clever signature drink concoctions and names for my clients so I figured why not bring a little of that creativity to the blog. Whether or not you’re searching for the perfect wedding sip or a fun drink recipe to enjoy at your next dinner party I hope this new series will knock your socks off. Not literally though. You don’t want to drink that much :) So without further ado, I introduce to you drink recipe numero one, in celebration of summer’s end, the yummy…

Marry Me Mimosa

one scoop of mango sorbet
• three to four raspberries
• half parts pineapple juice
• half parts white champagne

To start you’ll drop one huge scoop of sorbet into a champagne flute. If your sorbet is rock hard like mine was, let it sit out for 10 to 15 minutes to let it thaw a bit before scooping. You’ll also probably get some extra on the rim of the glass when you’re scooping it in but that’s good because it’s a bonus for later. While you’re at it, drop in three to four fresh raspberries. Like so.

Fill the flute with equal parts pineapple juice and sparkling wine/champagne. Something a little dry could be nice here too because the sorbet and pineapple juice is pretty sweet. You could also throw in a little coconut milk to really enhance the tropical taste but as is it’s pretty tasty. If you plan on serving this it would need to be made to order versus a drink that can be made in batches ahead of time (the sorbet would obviously melt and the sparkling wine would be flat which is sort of lame).

Clean off the excess sorbet from rim of the glass. With yo finga of course. And a look of total determination.

And this photo is here strictly because Kelly said I looked cute. This is for you, Kel!

Not to insult anyone’s intelligence but next you’ll pop in a straw for sipping pleasure and just like that you’re all finished. All in all, this drink was super yummy, and really stayed cold thanks to the sorbet. I could see it being perfect at a summer bridal shower or a spa day retreat with your best girlfriends. It was sort of like an ice cream float mixed with a mimosa mixed with a tropical beverage and come on now, I totally just combined three awesome things into one so what could be better?

So who’s with me! Are we excited about more drink recipes? Oh and for those sweet readers of mine who I know will ask my earrings and my dress are both from Francescas. My flutes are from IKEA, my bowls from Anthropologie and my countertops are from a local business here that specializes in laminate that doesn’t look like laminate (no way can this girl can’t afford marble). I’ll share more on the colour of our walls in an upcoming post. The big painting on our kitchen wall is from Home Sense in Canada and yes I do colour my hair :) I have a fab hairdresser. Any other questions feel free to ask! xoxo

Mary Beth + Tom {Wedding Teaser by Harrison Studio}

Oh Mary Beth and Tom. I could never eloquently describe how big of an honour it was to have been a part of your incredible wedding day. From the minute I first met you both early last summer, I knew you’d quickly become friends. You were continuously so trusting, co-operative and grateful, entirely grateful to my time, and ideas throughout this entire journey. When you slipped into your gorgeous dress on Saturday, Mary Beth, and I watched from the porch of the bridal suite, I could see your eyes filling with happy tears, your little frame full of jitters as you tried to take in deep breaths and wrap your head and heart around everything that was happening. And I had to turn away because I too was welling with tears just thinking of how much you and Tom deserved such a perfect day. This was finally it! Tom, I still remember seeing you walk out of the barn en route to see your bride for the first time, a little pep in your step, your bow tie perfectly placed around your neck and a smile on your face that probably resembled the one you had on your face that day you first met MB years ago. I adore you guys. Your wedding is the stuff wedding dreams are made out. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me be a part.

I haven’t shared much on the blog about these two here but I had the privilege of planning, designing and coordinating MB and Tom’s wedding at Crooked Creek Ranch this past weekend. I was fortunate to have had such a talented group of vendors behind the scenes making the day everything it was. Ben and Laura Harrison from Harrison Studio were on hand to capture the entire day and were such a pleasure to work with. Knowing what their work looks like (stunning) and just seeing a sample of shots from the day (again, stunning) has my heart doing cartwheels out of pure joy. They are one talented duo. Go see here. And enjoy this little sneak peek above. Happy Wednesday all you gorgeous people! Catch you later this week xoxo

Happy Anniversary, Shalini and Arjun!

One of the things I love most about my job is becoming friends with my clients long after their big day has come and gone. From dinner dates with former clients and surprise visits from brides who live local to me, to sweet little comments on my blog posts from time to time, these little perks to me are the small joys that make my job so rewarding. Shalini and Arjun were married a year ago today in Aurora, Ontario and I can hardly believe it’s already been that long. It seems like just yesterday Shal and I were dreaming up little details via Skype to make her and Arjun’s Indian-Canadian wedding not only beautiful but incredibly meaningful and culturally rich. Shal and Arjun, I know how much you two have gone through and I’ve been so blessed to see your relationship evolve into what it is today. It was an absolute honour to be a part of your wedding day celebration. Here’s to many more years together filled with happiness and love! And West Elm capiz chandeliers, Shal :)

For more of Shal and Arjun’s wedding you can go here and here. Photo by Peter McKinnon. Happy Monday, loves xoxo