Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wedding Woes and Wisdom: The Brides Tell All, Kimberly Phillips Cunningham

It's advice time again! This "The Brides Tell All" comes from Mrs. Kimberly Phillips Cunningham, who married her handsome groom, Chase, on August 28th. The wedding ceremony took place at the sweet Chapel on the Creeks in Rogers and the rockin' reception was hosted at the Fayetteville Town Center. This bride loved pink, slate grey, and loads of bling & candle light for her wedding. The guests were treated to a cocktail hour with hand passed hors d'oeuvres, a multi-course seated dinner, and one heck of a party! We created the bride's lounge like setting using custom lighting, an LED dance floor, swanky lounge furniture, and crystal shimmering chandeliers. The U-shaped dinner table allowed all of the guests to be seated at one table with the dance floor as the centerpiece. To see more images (by the fab Benfield Photography team) visit our website and click on the Kimberly and Chase gallery! (Or see them on our Facebook page by clicking here!)

Take it away, Mrs.Cunningham...

From your own experience, what advice would you give other women for their wedding day?
Spend the extra money to have a great planner! Not a single thing went wrong on my wedding day! I'm not sure many brides can say that but I'm grateful because I can. My entire wedding party arrived at the chapel early and Jenessa arrived a few minutes later. She seemed like her morning had gone well and we made conversation as usual, but I had to ask about the reception. She told me that they were so ahead of schedule and that when she left Ki was vacuuming! I asked if all my vendors showed up and she told me everything had been set for a few hours! I was impressed! We were so ahead of schedule I had time to dance in the waiting area to my favorite song and grab lunch all before walking down the aisle!

Looking back, are there any details from your wedding you would have changed or excluded?
Looking back, I probably would not have included response cards in my invitations. I would have just included our wedding website and allowed guests to RSVP there. It would have saved me the additonal costs on my stationery and I ended up having to contact all my guests individually anyway.

In your opinion, what are some good ways to keep costs low when planning a wedding?
The best way to keep down costs it to shop around. I was engaged for two years and I spent most of my days of on the phone with vendors trying to get what I wanted at a price I needed. For the wedding I had and the experience we were able to give our guests, I feel like I had a dream on a bargain!

In what ways did you make your wedding and reception different from all the rest?
I keep my wedding ceremony decorated very simply. I had a few "wow" details such as my aisle runner and monogram intial wreaths, but I wanted my guests to focus on the commitment Chase and I were making to one another. For the reception, we wanted guests have great food and drinks! We made sure all the food tasted great and we had a well stocked bar!

What was your favorite detail about your wedding and reception?
I loved our "send off" from the ceremony. We were showered with pink rose petals and it made incredible photos. It was nice because the petals were soft unlike rice and they were so vibrant against the white of my wedding dress.

What was your favorite experience or memory from your wedding and reception?
My favorite experience was our "first meeting" at the chapel. Chase had been very apprehensive about my wedding dress because he was not involved in the process of choosing it and he had been particpating in every other aspect of the wedding. So I had been a nervous wreck for about the last month...even going as far as going back to the wedding salon and trying on more dresses! So when I walked down the aisle to meet him I was very excited but sooo nervous. When I turned around Chase immediately began to tear up and told me that I was so beautiful and that was exactly what I needed him to say on our wedding day. We talked about our day leading up to the wedding and how excited we were to be getting married after about 7 years. We whispered and cried for what seemed like an hour. It was so special and memorable because it was something shared between just us....even though my aunt begged to let me let her sit on the pew and watch. :)

What is the best way to keep your guests excited and involved at the reception, so they won’t leave early?
Keep things moving along! Just remember if you start to get bored or thinking what's coming next, then your guests have been bored for awhile because it's not their special day. Grab your wedding planner and let her know you're ready for the next event to get things moving or ask your DJ to play a song you know will get everyone on their feet.

What do you suggest as good wedding music? Is it best to use live music or a CD?
I love the idea of live music if you use a band that can vary the style that they play. However, we used a DJ that we have known our entire relationship. He was the DJ at the first party where we had our first dance, and our friends experienced college with him as well. He was a perfect fit for our family and friends!

What is something that stressed you out while planning, and how did you alleviate that stress and what solution did you find for the problem?
I really stressed about my guest count. We had a large venue but we also included a lot of elements like an ice sculpture and lounge furniture. This really limited the number of guests I could invite. Jenessa helped me plan for some additional seating arrangements if we needed it and once the wedding day arrived Ki made sure my guests stuck to their placecards! It worked out great and all the special people in my life were there.

What is something you did not expect about planning a wedding that you experienced?
I did not expect to be so relaxed!!! We were really ahead of schedule all day and it made things so peaceful! It gave me time to enjoy the people I was with and take in every moment. I had such a carefree wedding and that was thanks to my wedding planner, Jenessa! Thank you for everything!

Thank you Kimberly! Don't forget to pick up the January issue of Citiscapes magazine to see more of this fabulous wedding! Be sure to see their full gallery on our website! Click on 'Galleries' then 'Kimberly and Chase' at the top of the page. Thanks, Benfield Photography for the beautiful photos!

And now for some additional vendor love:
Florist (bouquets, monogram letters, petals): Jules Design
Catering and Bar: Catering Unlimited
DJ: DJ Derrick
Lighting, Dance Floor: Event Production Group
Rentals: Festivities, Eventures, Unforgettables
Cake: Shelby Lynn's
Transportation: Pinnacle Limo