Friday, January 30, 2009

The Benny Pictures!

I hope everyone is staying warm and keeping their power on! We have been quite blessed with power for most of the week, with only a few hours of a dark house. It has been a fun adventure here with lots of friends ("refugees") and their pets staying at Hotel Bailey.

I have been anticipating writing this blog for quite some time! The Benny Awards were one week ago today, and Dale & Meredith have been blogging fun posts throughout the week all about how the night unfolded. I thought I would share some of the great detail shots and then some party shots that their team captured.

In case you are wondering what The Benny Awards was, it was an appreciation party for the 2008 & 2009 wedding clients of Benfield Photography. Dale created a website where anyone could go & vote for their favorite photos in many different categories, such as Best Kiss, Best Engagement Portrait, and even Best Dance Performance. After the votes were tallied, clients were invited to the party {created by our area's top notch vendors} and the awards were announced. Some of the prizes were gallery wrapped canvases of bridal portraits, couture wedding albums, and even a customize pack of Jones Soda! It was a treat to get to design the concept for the entire event, and bring it to life. I loved the end result! It was all so much fun...check out the photos below.

Our first step was to hang our custom ceiling treatment, made by yours truly and Meredith! We used silk orchids and lots of strands of "crystals" to create the look. It was a challenge keeping all of the strands from tangling, but well worth it in the end. It looked great and we've already had someone ask to rent it for their wedding!

I wanted to create a fun statement piece for our bar area, as it was a major focal point in the room. I utilized Eventures' swanky light-up bar as the base. The branches are manzanita branches I ordered online, and then they were spray painted white (thanks Ki!). We filled two large cylinder vases with water and tinted them with the blue food coloring found in the Neon food coloring pack. The light up bar then shone through and created this dramatic effect...

We also had a fun idea of creating a red carpet entrance for all of the guests. Even the paparazzi were there! Here are the girls setting up the backdrop, which included all of the participating vendors' logos.

And here is the result...everyone had A LOT of fun with this, like my past clients Lauren & Dusty Mayhall...

We had a color palette of a dark teal, royal blue, silver and white. We wanted a very clubby atmosphere with great lighting. Check out the details I pulled together to turn the concept into a reality.

Julie did a great job on the flowers!

Here you can see more of the room, complete with Dale's favorite Chivari chairs and some swanky lounge furniture in the back.

This shot was taken before the guests arrived and the lights weren't turned down yet.

We let guests know that this was a "dessert and drinks event" via the invitation. The Event Group knocked our socks off with the both delicious tasting and eye-catching creations they brought.

Here is a fun shot of my favorite NWA DJ's getting set up. Groove Productions kept the night pumping with great music, and also accompanied our lighting treatments with more swanky designs from their light bar.

Let the party is one of my 2009 couples checking out their options at the bar. I wonder if they got the signature drink of the night, The Benfield Breeze...

I had a great time visiting with some of my couples, both past and present. Here are Felicia (2009 client) and her friend Candice (since Casey wasn't in town for the weekend) enjoying the party, and also I found some time to chat with the Mayhall's from 2008!

And, finally, the wonderful hosts of the party! Dale & Meredith! What a treat you all gave to your clients. Everyone loved the party and felt so special, just as our clients should. Thank you for the opportunity to create this event from scratch and also for your friendship and support! Oh, and for that little surprise at the end of the night...

You can check out A LOT more at the Benfield Blog!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Benny Awards: The Work Began Today

Today, Meredith and I spent much longer (ha!) than we expected with our friends at the Fayetteville Town Center preparing for The Benny Awards tomorrow night. Luckily, we love them and that made the day really fun!

We spent the time working on our ceiling treatment of crystals and orchids! It looks gorgeous, and we have the pictures to show for our work. These shots were taken with my point & click, so they are not the best quality by any means and we had no lighting in the room besides the overheads 30 feet up. I just thought you might enjoy seeing the "before" photos...and shots of me doing my job rather than just the end product! *So sorry that the pictures are not rotated properly! I just noticed, but I am headed out the door for the night. Check back later if you want to see them fixed!*

Here is Meredith putting the finishing touches on our ceiling treatment. Helpful tip: Do not let fishing line get tangled!

We organized the strands on the floor before we had them lifted.

Up, up, and away! Ashton and I rode the SkyJack up to attach the poles to the ceiling beams, and then connected the pieces together.

So, I let Meredith take the final joy ride of the day. See, my clients have a great time!

We can't wait to continue working tomorrow morning and getting the room pulled together. Check back next week for the scoop on this fun event!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Devon & Michael are Married!

On January 10th, I had the privilege of coordinating Devon & Michael's wedding at the gorgeous Scarpino's in downtown Fayetteville. This funky, non-traditional couple treated their guests to a night of fun with great music, friends, and food! Michael is a Marine stationed in California. He and his groomsmen all wore their dress blues the entire night, and looked so handsome! Here are some fabulous photos from erikaliz photography.

Scarpino's was the perfect spot for this funky couple...

They even put your name on the billboard!

Here they are, officially a Mr. and Mrs. as they leave the ceremony...

The flowers had a loose, garden look but included the jewel tones of Scarpino's. Thanks to Alison at Flair for the beautiful flowers.

The groom's cake was quite a hit. Showing off the Marine seal and some mega bullets, modeled after the real deal, Rick's really showed off their talent!

We had a fun idea for the large amount of kiddos who were attending this reception. Rather than having them out for the bouquet and garter toss, the bride and groom tossed teddy bears to them...and it was a hit! Of course, we played some Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers while this was going on...

Rather than having a unity candle, this couple opted for a sand ceremony. Each guest added sand to the jar as they entered the ceremony, representing the role they have played in Devon & Mike's lives. During the ceremony the bride and groom added their sand on top and closed the jar. This is a keepsake they will have for their home!

The first dance...

One sexy shot before the night ends...yes, that is a Marine garter you see!

And off they go...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Fun Weekend

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth this weekend at the Bridal Showcase! Ki and I loved meeting each of you and hearing about your unique weddings. Congratulations to Crystal Lewis for winning our door prize giveaway!

We are also excited to announce the launch of our Brides for the Cure website. You can check it out at Enjoy and have a great weekend!

We will be out of the office on Monday and will return on Tuesday.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

NWA Bride Premier Showcase

It's Thursday already??? Where has this week gone? I hope you are cozy in your house, wrapped up in a blanket to withstand the cold weather! My iPhone is telling me it is 15 degrees outside. Brrr!

We are excited to be participating in the NWA Bride Showcase this Saturday, January 17th at the Holiday Inn Convention Center. The show is from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM, and you can purchase tickets at the door. We are making some fun modifications to our booth, so we hope you will stop by and check it out!

We will also have our Brides for the Cure booth set up just next to our own, so you will definitely want to come and get more information on "Doing Your Part" in 2009. Vendors, brides, and friends can all become a part of our team! Stop by and ask us how.

And, I am most excited about two new products/services that we will be unveiling at the Show! For all of you brides out there who aren't in need of a full scale coordinator, but would love to tap in on our knowledge, these services are for you! We will post a blog next week & add to our website, but if you want to be the first to know, you've gotta come to the show!

Monday, January 12, 2009

We Are Back!!

It was one of those time for blogging...too much fun going on making a wedding happen! Saturday evening Ki & I had a great time pulling Devon & Michael's wedding day at the super swanky & fun Scarpino's. Pictures to come soon... Devon has a wonderful mom, Mary, who was so much fun to work with and Michael {the groom} and his Marines looked super handsome in their dress blues.

The weekend also held a full team of brand new vendors for us, and everything turned out beautifully. Thank you to all of the great vendors who made this one happen!

This week we will be gearing up for the NWA Bridal Showcase, which is this Saturday, January 17th at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Springdale. The show is from 10-4, so come check out what NWA has to offer. We will be there, and we will have our Brides for the Cure booth, too, so stop by and visit with us. We LOVE meeting new couples! And we are going to be unveiling some new services at the show, so don't miss out.

We are also participating in Paint the Town Red on Friday night. We are auctioning off a Wedding Weekend Service Portfolio in the silent auction. The guys over at Groove Productions (DJ) have packaged our service with free DJ service for your wedding, too! Come bid on the items in the silent is a $1600 value!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Entertaining at Home: DIY Invitations

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a great time hosting a fun dinner party for 16 guests over New Year's Eve. We wanted to do something that was a treat for our friends, and somewhat low-key so that everyone could just relax and enjoy the company.

So, as I was party planning I was thinking of all of the tips I could share with you on entertaining at home. There are a lot of things to consider when planning a seated dinner party anywhere, but there are several challenges when doing it at home.

Let's start from the beginning...creating your guest list & sending invitations. When planning at home, you want to make sure that you can accommodate the number of guests you are expecting to come. (More details on this later, for instance, knowing how many place settings of dishes you have.) Once you've created your guest list, it's time for invitations.

I chose to give a DIY {Do-It-Yourself} a whirl for this party. I packed up and went to Target, where I found a pack of shimmery silver folded cards and envelopes! Perfect!

Next, I thought I would give using stamps a try. For this party, I knew I wanted to use "5-4-3-2-1" as a fun theme for the traditional new year's countdown. Also at Target I picked up some great swirly number stamps, along with a few swirly flourishes just in case.

Like this, but numbers...

My next stop took me to Wal-Mart where I headed straight for the Martha Stewart section on the party aisle. I knew that Martha had some great options for stamping, and knew exactly what I wanted. I picked up her glue stamp pad and an array of her great glitters, and headed home. {I already had the white cardstock that I needed and the pens for addressing the slick, shimmery envelopes.}

Time to make the invitations! After folding all of the silver cards I began the stamping project. I took each of the individual numbers, stamped them on the glue pad (which is clear), and then stamped them on the front of the folded card. I had already selected which colors of glitter I would use for each number, so I glittered each individual number as I stamped them on the card. A helpful hint is to start with the number/letter/image you need in the center and then work your way out. Once I had stamped & glittered all of the 3's, I shook off the glitter and worked on the other numbers.

After I had finished all of the stamping & glittering {and the cleaning!} I set them to dry and worked on the inside of the card, which held all of the important party information. It is important to communicate all of the W's in the invitation...

WHAT TO WEAR (okay, so this doesn't necessarily have to be in there, but I love to include it when I can)

Here is what mine looked like:

I thought I would be able to print the inside of the folded card, but realized {before stamping & glittering} that I would have to add a printed layer since my printer didn't like the slick paper. So, I printed several pages of the invitation on a white card stock, cut them out, and attached them to the folded card with double sided tape.

After this, the invites were ready to go & I popped them in the mail! Check out the finished product...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

We're Back! Check Us Out in Citiscapes!

We're back after a wonderful 2 weeks "off". Thank you to everyone for allowing us to enjoy the Christmas season with our family and friends. We hope you all had a very blessed holiday season as well!

A few exciting things happened over the break...

First, Citiscapes Magazine, a local staple for the hottest events, people, and NWA scoop, has featured J.Bailey Occasions in their annual January Wedding Issue! On page 56 of the issue, you will find the article "Planning for Perfection." Here, the oh-so-fun Becky Gosnell features a Q&A session we had one day at my favorite lunch spot. Check out the advice I give and some fun ideas for your wedding! You can pick Citiscapes up all over town, and best of's FREE! There are tons of great ideas & tips for planning a wedding in NWA, and some of my vendor friends answer Q&A for their areas of expertise.

Second, I had the pleasure of hosting a private dinner party for 16 over New Year's Eve! I will do a small series of posts on entertaining at home, but for now you can check out some pics from the dinner on the website. Click on Galleries, then More Occasions & wait for it...Here's a sneak peek...

We've got Devon & Michael's wedding this Saturday, and a few upcoming bridal events as well, so keep coming back for more great stuff!