Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Benny Awards: A Sneak Peek

A little inspiration for The Benny Awards...What do you think??

New Gallery on Website!

We have a new wedding gallery up on the website! Check out Kylie & Brett's gorgeous September wedding, photographed by Benfield Photography. Kylie has a great style, and her bright colors and fun prints were a perfect reflection of her spunky personality. Here's a sneak peek at the gallery:

Check our website throughout the day to see even more updates coming your way! Don't forget to leave cans for comments...we are closing in on wrapping it up! Let us know what you think of the new galleries & images and help out someone in need.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Groove Productions: New Site!

Some of the people who help me pull off seamless events are those behind the microphone, whether it be a DJ, the band leader, or a Master of Ceremonies. One of my favorite DJ teams in Northwest Arkansas is the Rudisill Brothers, aka Groove Productions! I just wanted everyone to check out their new site with info about how their process works when you hire them to DJ your wedding. One thing I know for sure...your friends & family will be talking about how much fun your DJ was when you hire these guys!

Click here to check it out!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Benny Awards: Go Vote!

Two of my favorite friends, Dale & Meredith, who you might know better by the name Benfield Photography have given me the honor of planning a very fun, special night for them and all of their wedding clients! Together, we are creating the first ever Benny Awards. All of their wedding clients from 2008 and 2009 are nominated in different categories, such as best kiss and best getaway (to name a couple), for you to vote in.

For all of you brides-to-be out there, check out their photos for some great inspiration and ideas for your own wedding. Go to to see the photos and VOTE! You can vote once each day, so keep coming back!

So many of my clients are on there, and even one of my family members! Here is a video clip Dale & Meredith made for their clients to Save the Date...

And, don't forget to post your comment here for "Cans for Comments!" Keep 'em coming in!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Fun Weekend & Kimberly Schlegel Whitman

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. My hubby & I made a quick weekend trip to Dallas to visit some friends and get some Christmas shopping finished up. We had a great time, and I kept telling Mark that I wanted to check out some work-related things while we were there, as Dallas has a great event market, and he kept reminding me that this was our weekend away.

So, while I missed out doing some research, I did run into an event professional whose work I truly admire! We were shopping in one of the large department stores in the North Park Center when I saw one of the employees holding a book I recognized. We walked past her, and then I grabbed Mark and told him to wait a second, so I walked back to the nice lady and asked her if I could see her book. It was one I had really wanted to pick up, and I wanted to know if it was available in the store. Well, "yes" she replied and the author was just around the corner {in the shoe department...fave!} to sign the book. I was just tickled and so excited!

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman is an entertaining expert! So, I turned the corner and walked right up to introduce myself. Her book, Tablescapes, is a gorgeous compilation of ideas on decor, etiquette, and great tips on entertaining. Page after page you will find gorgeous events she has been a part of. While I turned through the book we had a chance to visit about the industry and the type of work that we do. What a treat in my day of thousands of people in a mall just out to get their Christmas presents and head home! Of course, I made Mark snap our picture and I had my fix of "work" for the weekend. (Sorry for the exhausted had already been hours of shopping!)

Here is the book, and the inside which she signed for me. It looks great in my cabinet here in the office!

Be sure to check out Kimberly's website and her book Tablescapes. She even has a book on Dog Parties! Maybe I will throw one for Jack...

Don't forget to leave your comments for cans! Maybe share a time you met someone fun or a great entertaining tip you have.

Kimberly, it was a treat to meet you and I hope we continue to stay in touch!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Funny Friday: This One's for the Guys


I know you are out there searching for the perfect gift for your new wife, fiancee, girlfriend, or wife of many years. Here's a helpful video on what to avoid...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jamey and Mike are Married!

Hi friends! Yes, we are still here, and I apologize for the 2 week delay in blogging! It's been quite a hectic couple of weeks (when I expected things to be slowing down). Great news...Jamey and Mike are now Mr. and Mrs.! They were married on Saturday, November 22nd at the Blessings Golf Club in Johnson. It was a chilly day, but not too cold for this beautiful hillside outdoor wedding to take place. Thanks to all of the guests who braved the cold!

We had a fantastic group of vendors, including Flora for the flowers, Benfield Photography for the photos, Eventures for her chair rentals, Chuck's Cake Shoppe for the sweets, and the Chef at Blessings for the incredible food!

Enjoy these great pics by Dale & Meredith...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am also thankful for this recipe...

For all of you hostesses out there, here is my favorite easy recipe for Thanksgiving dessert. I am hoping to make it for my family this year!


29 ounce Can of Pumpkin
4 Eggs
13 ounce Canned Pet Milk
1 1/2 Cups of Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon of Ginger
1 Package of Yellow Cake Mix
1 Cup Melted Margarine
1 Cup Chopped Nuts (optional!)
Cool Whip

Beat the first 7 ingredients together. Pour into an over sized (9x13 works) pan. Sprinkle the cake mix on top. Pour the melted butter over the top and sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve this warm with some Cool Whip on top!

Enjoy! Here are some fun Thanksgiving Centerpieces that I love from Hostess with the Mostess...


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! In the spirit of this wonderful holiday, I wanted to take a moment to say THANKS to everyone for a great 2008! This is the perfect timing for a THANK YOU, as we concluded our year of weddings this past weekend with Jamey & Mike. It has been a great of growing, learning, changing, and having a great time! It is all because of those who I work with that I am thankful.

I am thankful for my 15 brides and 15 grooms this year. Each of you had such distinct days, all beautiful and so unique to each of you. You brought joy to my days and taught me so much! It is for you that I strive to do my best.

I am thankful for the parents who were alongside us in the planning process. You all allowed your children to dream big, and have the weddings they had always hoped for. The love you all show your children is that which I hope to show to my own some day.

I am thankful for my wonderful team of Kristen, Ki, and Haleigh. You all have just outdone yourselves and have contributed greatly to our successful year. You each bring such individualized talents to the team, and I am thankful for the hard work and care you put into each wedding.

I am thankful for the great vendor community we have here in Northwest Arkansas. What a great world to be a part of! Each vendor I have the chance to interact with is so helpful, encouraging, and wants to work together for the best interest of the client. You all make my job an enjoyable one!

I am thankful for my supportive hubby, family, and friends who have encouraged me to follow my dream in this business. I don't think anyone else could sit and listen to me talk about weddings constantly as much as they do. I love you all!

Thank you everyone for a wonderful year of weddings in 2008! I am so grateful! Don't forget to stop and let those you are thankful for know it this Thanksgiving! Enjoy your turkey & travel safely!

All my love,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Your Date is Booked? Call Anyway!

Don't forget that if your date is marked as booked on our calendar you can STILL work with us! Some of the dates listed are Wedding Weekend clients and some are full scale planning clients. Since we have such a great team of 4, we have the capability to work two weddings on the same day!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Funny Fridays

I hope your groom is as excited as this one...the caption on the original video is he "caught the Holy Spirit!" Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What a Great Team!

I am so proud of my Assistants, Ki & Kristen, who worked their first solo wedding in Fort Smith a couple of weeks ago. I was in NWA along with Haleigh at another wedding. I just wanted to brag on my girls and their talents in service, creativity, and organization. Here are notes from the bride & the mother of the bride from Ki & Kristen's solo wedding...the biggest compliment is that they felt our services were the best spent money for their wedding! Thanks Rachel & Cindy!

Jenessa, Ki and Kristen,
Thank you so very much for your guidance before the wedding and for EVERYTHING you did the weekend of Rachel and Brian's wedding. I can seriously say I could not have done it without you! Ki and Kristen were great. Everyone commented on how professional they were. I appreciate them taking charge and "handling" everything for the reception on the day of the wedding. It allowed me time to spend with Rachel and the girls, which meant alot to me. It was all great!
Thank you all so much!
Cindy McNally


Just wanted to tell you what an AMAZING job Ki and Kristen did last weekend. We could not have done it without them! They were so great! When Brian and I go to our hotel room Saturday night, the first thing Brian said was how great they were. He was very impressed that he didn't have a empty drink in his hand all night, and his drink was cold at all times! (That's a big deal to him!). haha But seriously, they are so great- you all were- and we were so glad to have you involved. Mom said having you guys was the best money we spent on the wedding, and I agree. Thank you so so much for everything! I hope the wedding you were at went as great as ours! To my knowledge, everything went off pretty much without a hitch (Ki and Kristen might know things I don't know!), but it was absolutely perfect. I appreciate everything that you, Ki, and Kristen did! Y'all are the best!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Book a Band & Make a Difference

Looking to book a band for your wedding or party? Here is a great opportunity for you!

The Peace at Home Family Shelter in Fayetteville is hosting its 2nd Top Chefs and Rock Stars on December 15th at the Fayetteville Town Center. This charity event includes tastings from locally renowned chefs as well as a live band auction. Local bands, including BigUns, Ultra Suede, Opal Fly, and many more will donate one performance to be auctioned off at the event. The performance can be used any time within the next year, excluding New Year's Eve. All of the proceeds go directly to support the Peace at Home Family Shelter!

You can purchase tickets to this event on Peace at Home's website, or by calling the Shelter at 479-444-8310.

Monday, November 17, 2008

We've Been Published!

Check out Lauren & Stuart's wedding feature in Weddings in Arkansas, published by AT HOME magazine. I love the article and how Lauren's choice of citrus colors stands out and draws you in to read more! Jason Hudson provided the photography for their wedding day. You can pick this magazine up at places around the state. I got my copy at Barnes & Noble while I was sipping a warm cup of Starbucks. Perfect for a cold day!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Funny Fridays

Along with my job come lots of emails from friends & family who come across really funny things they think I would like to see or check out. This one comes from Meredith, and while it is really funny, it is OH SO SMART at the same time...

Can you just imagine a wedding reception full of people with "finger food?" Hillarious! Thanks for sharing, Meredith!

Winter Brides

The air is getting colder, night time comes a little bit faster...winter is almost here! (Since I am not a cold weather fan, it seems to me like it has already arrived.)

One of the reasons I wanted a winter wedding for myself when I was a little girl was solely to have a "muff." You know, like the Disney princesses had, along with their beautiful white fur shrug or wrap. Well, I STILL love this look with all of my heart. It is so classic & beautiful, and I just love to see winter wedding photos where brides go for this style.

I love taking the traditional elements such as these, and finding new ways to twist them with a modern style. Here's a great example of the winter muff, with a fun twist....why not make it floral? I love this idea, which I found on Style Me Pretty. If any of you winter brides out there go for this look, please send pics!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We Did It!

The J.Bailey Occasions team has officially survived its first 2-wedding-weekend.

Haleigh and I were in Rogers for Jessica & Jason's super-sweet ceremony and crazy-fun reception, while Ki & Kristen were in Fort Smith at Rachel & Brian's wonderful wedding celebration.

I never doubted that this weekend would be a success, but it is great to have this notch on our belt. Now we can offer even more services on some of those high traffic wedding dates!

More than anything I am so proud of my team for a job well done while I was not around! Kristen & Ki pulled off a full wedding weekend without any assistance from me, and Haleigh single-handedly set up the final details of the reception in an hour after I had to buzz over to the Chapel. They are truly pros and I know you would be so pleased to work with any of them.

We will post pics soon! Thank you to everyone for your continued business & support of J.Bailey Occasions!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Every Party Needs a Great Cake...

This week's Funny Friday post is coming a day early, as tomorrow is going to be a super busy day for us. We're looking forward to Jessica and Jason's wedding on Saturday, along with Rachel & Brian's wedding in Fort Smith too!

A few weeks ago, my brilliant best friend who just happens to be a FABULOUS cake decorator brought to my attention something fantastic. Now I get to share with you...

Every great party should have some really great sweets, right? Yes, I agree as well. There are so many incredible things that you can do with cakes these days---they can really look like anything! But what about when your cake goes wrong? It can be disheartening to you, all the while providing the rest of us with some fun laughs (after the fact, of course).

For instance...

You take this as your inspiration for your fantastic Curious George Kids' Party...

Upon delivery, you get this...

Which looks more like this...but run over by a dump truck...

If you know me at all, you will know that I will laugh until I cry at things like this. But, of course, if this were to happen at one of my events I would quickly solve the problem and find a way NOT to scare the kiddos with a smashed teen wolf cake. And then laugh later...

For more laughs, check out Thanks Alexis for this funny link!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Morning News Bridal Fair

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our Brides for the Cure booth this Sunday at The Morning News Bridal Fair! We loved meeting everyone, and were thrilled with the response we had! We are super thankful for the vendors who stopped by and donated some fantastic prizes. It's off to a great start.

I also got the chance to stop by the Always and Forever Bridal Booth. Always and Forever is a new bridal gown shop in Fort Smith (which just happens to be my hometown). They had stunning gowns at the show, and even more gorgeous gowns in their books. I was shocked to find out that the dress on their manequin was only $800...looked more like a $2000 dress to me!

They are having a special sale in the month of November, so I thought I would let you all know about it. All of their markdown bridal gowns will be reduced to 1/2 of the original price! If you are dress hunting, stop by and you might just find yourself with the perfect gown for the perfect price. They are also offering all of their discontinued sample bridesmaids dresses for $50!

So, check out their website and tell them I sent you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wedding Websites

One of the most popular and helpful trends in weddings today is the wedding website. This can be the most cost-effective way to communicate information to your guests, especially those traveling from out of town. There are a few do's and don'ts to consider...

A wedding website is a great place to share your story as a couple. Including photos, the story of your proposal, and how you met is a great way to allow guests to get to know you more. For the guests who you don't know (the groom's mom's BFF from college), it is great for them to find a more personal connection with you.

However, the wedding website should be used to convey important information for guests as well. Don't forget that this should be a "one stop shop" of info.

Keep the design clean and easily readable, and be sure to use visible navigation cues. Remember that not every guest is your sorority sister who is computer savvy.

Let's talk about are the most important aspects you should include:

1. Wedding Date, Time, and Location

2. Travel Information, including your local airport code (XNA for Northwest Arkansas) as well as transportation to and from the airport

3. Hotel Choices & Rates, including the contact information and websites for each choice

3. Directions. Be sure to think of the directions everyone would need (Airport -> Hotel, Hotel -> Ceremony, Ceremony -> Reception)

4. A Wedding Weekend Itinerary, including what the weater will be and guidelines for the attire for each activity

5. Photos & Your Story, as mentioned above

6. Your local favorites (restaurants, shops, museums, attractions), as well as the fun things going on in town

7. Your wedding registries...Yes, it is acceptable to list these here since people are seeking out more information surrounding your wedding celebration.

8. Additional features, if available, can include an RSVP tool, an email sign up for email updates, and a guest book.

You should reserve your domain name and post your website as early as possible. Most wedding website hosts provide a year-long service for not much cash. Wed-O-Rama's fees are $70, or The Knot offers complimentary sites. Include your web address on your Save the Date announcements. Just make sure your site is ready and up to date when you put those beauties in the mail.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Save the Date & Visit Our Booth on Sunday!

That's right...Brides for the Cure is BACK! And we want you to Save the Date...April 25, 2009. The 2009 Race will be held in Rogers at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade. While the registration forms aren't available just yet, we want to get the word out now! Last year our team of 64 raised over $2500 for Komen and finished in the Top 10 Fundraising teams our rookie year! (Can you tell we're proud?) We know that this year we can do even more!

We will have a Brides for the Cure booth at this Sunday's Morning News Bridal Affair in Springdale. Stop by and sign up for ways you can get involved.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another Welcome & Fun Friday!

I had a really fun week this week! There was a lot of variety in my days, which is one of the best perks of my job! But, one of the greatest highlights was meeting with Maggie & her mom, Diana. We had a fun lunch and then got right to work. Maggie & Austin will be getting married August 8, 2009 at the Stone Chapel in Goshen. We've already got the Save the Dates in the works, and the location booked...all in 2 days. Welcome to the J.Bailey Family!! And congrats on that new bling on your finger!

Speaking of is my Fun Friday video of the week. While these proposals may be from the 80's and 90's (you'll see what I mean...mullets and all!) I just love the girls' reactions. My favorite part of the video is actually the second half where they just wrap their arms around their men and are so excited! My fave is the elephant... Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sorry for the Delay...

I have been experiencing "technical difficulties" in getting these pictures up and running. These are some photos I snapped at Sam & Chris' wedding. Some of them are snapshots with the iPhone from set-up during the morning and some are with a camera I got at the end of the evening. Either way, I can't wait to see Amy Carper's "real" wedding photos!

Here are my favorite details from the wedding...

Samantha's grandfather passed away during the course of her engagement. So, to honor him, we quickly threw out all other ideas we had for favors & Sam started baking his famous cookies. We displayed them on a variety of vintage cake stands and plates. Sam took on the DIY project of making cute labels for each cookie. She found patterned papers that she loved, a paper punch, and some metallic pens and got to work. Each label had a monogram, a cute saying, or 'MWAH!' which is Sam's favorite little saying. We also displayed family portraits alongside the cookies, including Sam & Chris' parents' wedding photos, grandparents' wedding photos, etc...

Sam's style was total vintage chic! It was carried through in every aspect of the wedding, from her cage veil to the Model A they left in! Here are some shots of the table decor & linens. She wanted swanky & classic. I think we did a great job! We used vintage brooches on each table, along with all cream & white flowers, and lots of sparkle & candlelight. You can see today's style in the printed linen, but in a very subtle way. The linens were a champagne & ivory, as well as a gorgeous wine colored crinkle taffeta. Thanks to Jules Design for the great florals!

We also brought in a vintage style by playing classic romance movies on the flat screen television. These included Breakfast at Tiffany's, Sabrina, and one other... Guests lounged on the fun couch right in front and enjoyed the twinkling candlelight along with the movies. The only shot I got of this area was taken with the wrong camera setting, so it is a big blur. Sorry!

We also incorporated a great outdoor lounge, complete with tufted leather furniture from Festivities. I snapped these iPhone shots during the morning, so it had a much swankier feel in the evening.

For a fun Late Night Snack, we pulled in "Chris' Hot Dog Stand". It was a super cute surprise, and the guests loved it!

More fun details...

The Bride's gorgeous bouquet, accented with the vintage pearl & crystal brooch.

Our floral arrangement for the buffet had floating orchids, as well as large drippy crystals hanging down.

We accented the small spots around the reception with these beautiful orchids.

A fun shot of some flowers...

We even decorated the restrooms!

The sweetest brother & sister team. These are Samantha's younger siblings, who served as the Maid of Honor and a groomsman. They also gave some super sweet toasts!

And, last but not least, just before they hit the honeymoon road, I got to snap this pic with the new Mr. and Mrs. Wood! We created this custom monogram lighting detail for the entrance to the poolside lounge.

Samantha, what a journey it's been! All of the changes were worth every second, and that was shown at your gorgeous wedding. Your family was such a delight in my days, and I know that our friendship will continue. I can't wait for our watch party when that Cineast video comes rolling in. MWAH!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sneak Peek

Check back later today for some great photos I snapped from Sam & Chris' Big Day on Saturday. And just to get you interested, here is a sneak peek of the bride, photographed by the fun, talented Amy Carper from Little Rock.

See you this afternoon!

Monday, October 20, 2008

They're Getting Married!

I am SO EXCITED to welcome (officially) Sara & Tyler to the business side of my family. This precious couple is a part of the personal side of my family. Tyler & Sara got engaged on Saturday while I was at Samantha & Chris' wedding. When I received the text message I just shrieked out loud! A little background for you...

Tyler, the groom, has been a part of my life since I was 7 years old when his family moved to Fort Smith and his father became a minister at my church. Our families quickly struck up a true friendship and we've been a part of each other's lives ever since. I remember the days of playing Atari at their house and his brother, Travis, calling me Denessa. Tyler's family is what I consider my extended family. His dad even performed part of my wedding ceremony for Mark and me. We may not technically related, but I certainly consider them amongst my nearest and dearest.

And, just a few years ago, this cute, bubbly girl came into his life...and now she just happens to be the bride. Sara has also quickly become a part of our family...she even takes care of my old cat Bella that I pawned off on my mother. Sara is the kind of girl that you hope for your friends to marry! Just 2 weeks ago Sara and I spent some time chatting about being patient in waiting for the big question...little did she know what Tyler had up his sleeve!

Sara & Tyler are giving me the honor of assisting them with their May 30th wedding as their coordinator. I couldn't be happier, and I am just bursting at the seams to get started. I can't wait for our first "wedding meeting" on Saturday! In the mean time, enjoy these cuties in this picture just after Tyler popped the question at Devil's Den. (courtesy of Sara's facebook)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Funny Fridays

Happy Friday!

I love finding funny little tidbits to end the work week on. I know you have probably seen this in the past, but it makes me laugh every time! Enjoy! Check back next week for photos from Samantha & Chris' BIG DAY this weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Day Off...Kind Of!

Today is October 16th. The day I was born. I am planning on a fun day "off" filled with meetings and a wedding rehearsal, but I thought I would let someone else do the blog work for me. So, here is a Wordle of all I have been up to lately.