Wedding Registry Items: Party Style

I’ve recently had friends ask me items they should include on their wedding registries. And yes, I have some very practical answers: a good-quality knife set, a spare set of sheets, mailing labels, etc. But I also have some fun and oh-so-necessary ideas for entertaining. Plus, gifts are that much better when they aren’t something you would necessarily purchase yourself.

1. Mud Pie’s Salsa Spoon Set

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Because yes, tacos are always a good idea. My aunt got me and my sister a set of these adorable Mud Pie serving spoons. We love to get Mexican together when I am back in town visiting, so it was a fun and personal touch to have these for my own kitchen. Mud Pie has some adorable gifts, and you can find their seasonal products locally at Southern Rose.

2.  Personalized Barware


Well, I should warn you (in case you haven’t realized yet), I am a huge monogram girl, so when Ryan’s cousin had barware personalized for us, I was instantly in love. I unwrapped the gift to find a set of stemless wine glasses and a set of rocks glasses. It was a super sweet gift and perfect for us since I am a champagne girl and Ryan is a whiskey guy. But after we opened the boxes, we realized Jen had gone the extra mile and personalized them with an “R” etched on each of the wine glasses and an “R” and “Ruprecht” on each of the rocks glasses. So stinkin’ sweet! And they have by far been one of our most-used gifts (not sure what that says about us….)

3. Folding Chairs & Table

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I know, I know. I sound like your mom. But really, especially if you’re in an apartment or a small starter home, it’s nice to have the option of additional seating. Folding chairs might not be the cutest things, but they are completely practical and super important for hosting a house full of guests. Plus, you never know when an additional table will come in handy (garage sales, crafts, gift wrapping, etc.)

4. Kate Spade Food For Thought Placemats

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Very few of these designs go with my normal day-to-day kitchen decor, but I love having these animated placemats to pull out for special occasions. The “Eat Cake For Breakfast” mats are perfect for a brunch or friend’s birthday, and I somehow manage to keep the “Be Merry Be Bright” placemats out around the holidays, even though glitter and Ryan don’t get along very well. I tend to have the most luck finding Kate Spade houseware items at Dillard’s here in Columbia.

5. Liar’s Dice

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The possibilities are endless for registries! Think outside the box, especially if you already live with your future hubby. Games are a great addition and offer an affordable gift option as well. One game that our family has become particularly fond of is Liar’s Dice. It’s similar to the card game BS. It’s the perfect ice breaker for a party, and it gets even more fun when drinking and higher-stakes betting is involved!
Side note: Amazon offers wedding registries, which allows you to broaden your items a little bit more than sticking to department stores. 

6. A Drink Tub

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If you and your guests are outside enjoying the patio, it’s great to have a way to serve and chill your beverages without having to run inside to the fridge constantly. There’s tons of freestanding, table top and various metal drink caddies and tubs. I registered for a beautiful hammered metal tub like this one from Pottery Barn. True story: I had to leave the majority of my shower gifts from my Wisconsin shower at home with my mom until she drove down to visit me, but I was so excited about the drink caddy that i actually put it in my suitcase and packed my clothes inside and around it just so I could get it home to use it. Ultimate packing challenge accepted!

Free, Convenient and Totally-Worth-It Workouts

Well, let’s state the obvious: no, I am not a fitness coach. In fact, I have a hard time keeping myself motivated to workout and eat healthy. But I’ve recently become obsessed with some online workouts, and I wanted to share them with you!

popsugar-6When my husband and I were on our honeymoon, I grabbed an easy-read book at the airport titled “Power Your Happy.” It gives insight into Lisa Sugar’s life and how she created the online pop culture source PopSugar. If you’re a go-getter girl who is searching for success, life balance and the opportunity to have a family all at the same time, I definitely recommend the read.

Anyways, I dabbled a bit on PopSugar’s website, but I had never really considered it a go-to. That was until I discovered their workouts. They are amazing! First and foremost because they are free. I had recently contemplated paying for Beach Body workouts, but these online workouts kicked that idea to the curb.

Now you’re probably wondering why the heck I’m endorsing a workout website on an event planning blog. Well, let’s be honest. It doesn’t matter what event you’re attending, everyone wants to look their best! Whether you are the bride who is the center of attention, headed to a high school reunion where you haven’t seen people in years or just want to look back at the photos and be proud of your shape, working out is a necessity.

And if you’re anything like me, time and money are two of the things that get in the way of having a killer body. So, these are the reasons that I love PopSugar workouts:

1. They’re completely free!

Yup, you heard me. Zero dollars. All you need is a laptop (which i often hook up to my TV through an HDMI cord) and yourself. There are some workouts that require a small set of weights or a mat, but for the most part, they use your body weight for effective workouts. They even have some workouts that you can adapt or take to the gym to utilize while on an elliptical machine or treadmill. So if you already have a gym workout, you can still use them to mix it up and keep muscle memory guessing again.

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2. The workouts are quick yet effective.

Even if you just Google “PopSugar workouts,” before getting to the site you can click on the timeframe you’re looking for.

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When you have a hectic schedule or just not feeling the hour and a half commitment to get dressed, drive to the gym, workout and drive home, here is your answer. My favorites are the 30-minute workouts, or I like to mix a 20-minute strengthening workout with a 10-minute cardio blast.

3. The variety.

There’s a little bit of everything on this site. There’s high-intensity, fat-burning workouts that will leave you dripping in sweat. These are my favorite to do when I’ve eaten my energy-packed foods all day and work hasn’t completely drained me.

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There’s yoga and Pilates videos that are a little bit more low key. I love doing these workouts in the morning when I want to get some fitness in prior to work, but I don’t have the energy to jump around (did I mention I’m not a morning person?)

popsugar-4And lastly, there’s tons of celebrity trainers that know how to kick your booty while keeping the workouts exciting and different. My personal favorite is the workout with Selena Gomez’s personal trainer. No wonder that girl looks so good!

So if you find yourself saying you don’t have time to workout or you don’t have the money to spend on a gym membership or a subscription to a workout program, the PopSugar workouts are the answer to your prayers. No go knock ’em dead at your next event, and I hope you feel your absolute best!

Note: All photos in the blog post are images from the PopSugar website. 

The Seasons of Weddings

It was quite a busy year of weddings in 2016, and I had the pleasure of attending weddings all 12 months of the year. For today’s post, I pulled some of my favorite weddings from this past year’s archives. Using the seasons as a guide, I wanted to share with you some snapshots of these weddings that so beautifully fit into the seasons:

Spring
Bride & Groom: Jill Elder & Josh Smith
Wedding Date: June 4, 2016…Ok, so I stretched this “spring” wedding. It really was at the beginning of summer, but with all the beautiful colored blooms, I couldn’t help but include this in the spring section because it’s a great inspiration for spring brides.
Ceremony Location: Columbia Country Club Event Lawn
Reception Venue: Columbia Country Club
Photos compliments of Silverbox

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The Pre-Wedding:
Jill and her bridesmaids were dressed in beautiful matching robes during their wedding preparations and started the day off with floral accents from the beginning!

 

 

jill-josh-2The Color Scheme:
Everywhere you looked were bright, beautiful flowers. From the ceremony archway to the reception tables, pops of purples, pinks, yellows, greens and oranges were all complimented with gold accents. The bridal party wore greys, whites and blacks, which allowed the flower colors to shine.

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The Dessert:
A five-tier cake had the spotlight as guests entered the ballroom for the reception, which of course was also dripping in flowers. Edith Hall worked her cake magic once again!

 

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The Sweet Touch:
Josh proposed to Jill while the two were on a camping trip. So, guests were given “S’more Lovin'” as their favors, which were individually packaged s’mores supplies.

 

jill-josh-7A Unique Detail:
One of my favorite details was incorporated into this wedding. TooRooster Artistry was at the reception live painting each and every detail of the celebration. If you haven’t checked out Cindy Scott’s work, definitely do! It’s entertaining for the guests, and a great memory for the couple to take home with them.

 

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The Wow Factor:
I know I’ve talked A LOT about these flowers, but Kent’s Floral Gallery really outdid themselves. The show stopper? This gorgeous archway that the couple stood under as they said their “I dos.”

 

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The Seasonal Touch:
With warmer weather and a large guest list, the couple utilized the country club’s veranda for outdoor seating in addition to the indoor seating.

 

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The Perfect Ending: 
This reaction. Doesn’t every groom want a bride who is this happy?

 

 

Summer:
Bride & Groom: Alex Weishaar & Zachary Kluesner
Wedding Date: June 25, 2016
Ceremony Location: Church of St. Mary’s in Fulton, MO
Reception Venue: Sorenson Estates in Columbia, MO

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The Pre-Wedding:
Alex is a huge fan of monograms…ok, that’s an understatement. She LOVES monograms and was super excited to be able to change her monogram to her new last name. It did not surprise me one bit when the bridemaid’s gift were adorned with each girl’s monogram.

 

 

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The Color Scheme:
Keeping in tune with the naturalness of the outdoor reception, the wedding decor was full of ivories, creams, golds and forest greens.

 

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The Dessert:
A simple yet elegant three-tier white cake adorned with flowers coordinating with the bouquets and centerpieces. Plus, there was a nod to the groom with his own groom’s cake.

 

 

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The Sweet Touch:

Since the reception was outdoors and there was lots of dancing to be done, Alex and Zach offered their guests flip flops to be warn when the party got started.

 

 

13533086_10153833626035914_1982605932848900480_n 13537789_10153833625935914_4660732316999410563_nA Unique Detail:
If you live in Columbia, you are aware of the downtown staple: souvenir plastic cups. Because the couple met at Harpo’s where Alex used to work and manage, they served their guests drinks in personalized Harpo’s cups.

 

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The Wow Moment:
When Alex and her mom came down the aisle holding hands, I couldn’t help but tear up. it was evident how strong their relationship was and really represented them standing by each other’s sides through life’s endeavors.

 

 

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The Seasonal Touch:
It wouldn’t be a summer party without a game of bags! During cocktail hour, guests were able to socialize outdoors with a little friendly competition using this personalized game of bags.

 

 

 

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The Perfect Ending:
The bride and groom along with their guests danced the night way under the stars, moon and this gorgeous arrangement of Italian-style string lights designed by SW Productions.

 

 

Fall
Bride & Groom: Emily Milford & Tom Stevenson
Wedding Date: November 5, 2016
Ceremony Location: Mary Queen of Peace in Webster Groves, MO
Reception Venue: Forest Park Visitors Center in St. Louis, MO

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The Pre-Wedding:
The crisp, fall air and the early rising for the bridesmaids coupled so perfectly with the mismatched flannels worn during hair and makeup.

 

 

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The Color Scheme:
Red was the obvious bridesmaid dress choice for Emily’s love of the color, and rich dark and pastel florals created the perfect contrast for the fall festivities.

 

 

 

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The Dessert:
A classic beauty in white adorned with coordinating flowers, it was simple yet elegant just like this couple.

 

 

 

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The Sweet Touch:
Each of these bridesmaids and all of their mothers have been friends since these girls were in elementary school…talk about long-lasting friendships! The ceremony also took place at their elementary school.

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A Unique Detail:
Both Tom and Emily have a true love for beer. Tom works for Anheuser Busch, and Emily has an immense knowledge of craft beers. So instead of stuffy, posed photos, the couple decided to have the wedding party enjoy beers at Urban Chestnut Brewery during photo time for more candid photos.

 

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The Wow Moment:
Although my favorite moment of the night was when the groom swept Emily off her feet (literally) and spun her around during the first dance, we also were very appreciate of this firey sunset that was a gorgeous backdrop for the perfect day.

 

 

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The Seasonal Touch:
Guests were greeted by a table of small white pumpkins, which were not only great seasonal decor but also doubled as escort cards.

 

 

 

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The Perfect Ending:
Tom and Emily said goodbye to their guests as they exited through a (rather long) sparkler aisle lined with all of their guests. It was truly a magical part to the evening.

 

 

Winter
Bride & Groom: Carroline Kirtley & Michael Stoll
Wedding Date: December 17, 2016
Ceremony Location: Rocheport United Methodist Church in Rocheport, MO
Reception Venue: Columbia Country Club

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The Pre-Wedding:

A nasty ice storm the evening before made travel into Columbia a little crazy and changed the plans around for the rehearsal. But a little inclement weather cannot stop true friendship!

 

 

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The Color Scheme:
We saw lots of shades of red this year, and of course a winter wedding wouldn’t be complete without it! A mixture of burgundies and pinks popped from the flowers, and lots of wintry greenery was incorporated on the mantels, in the bouquets and as part of the centerpieces thanks to Addie Jane Originals.

 

 

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The Dessert:
A naked cake. Whimsical and perfectly fitting for this bride’s style.

 

 

 

 

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The Sweet Touch:
Although I wasn’t at the church to witness this precious moment, this photo of the bride and her flower girls is one of my favorites of the day!

 

 

 

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A Unique Detail:

Carroline enlisted the help of Courtney Canine with the rental company Pretty Little Things to add beautiful antiques to compliment the 1920s venue. My personal favorite was the pairing of a vintage table, an old window turned into a sign and and old mailbox used for the card box. Adorable!

 

 

15578487_1124212824358654_1220016279465755869_nThe Wow Moment: 
The best man’s speech was great! I wish I had a video of it, so I could share. I’ve seen lots and lots of speeches, and his was definitely up there as one of the best. He was witty, showed emotion but held it together and truly summed up the relationship between himself and the groom.

 

15542053_1124212697692000_828034969302906938_nA Seasonal Touch:
At each place setting was a thank you note from the bride and groom expressing their gratitude for all of their guests attending their big day. And laid right on top of that was a small piece of greenery. It was such a small detail but really tied everything in together.

 

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The Perfect Ending: 

Just after the bride and groom swayed to their first dance, a light sprinkling of fluffy snow began falling and made for one epic photo! Photography compliments of Catherine Rhodes Photography.

Wedding Show Must-Haves

It’s wedding show season, brides! Shortly after the start of engagement season (yes, that is a thing), is the start of wedding show season. Even with the crazy ice storm that’s threatening Columbia this weekend, we still have plans to be at the Super Wedding Show at the Holiday Inn Executive Center. Come visit me from noon to 4:00 PM if you’d like 🙂

With that, I wanted to share a few tips for attending a wedding show as a bride or groom:

1. Prepare Information Stickers
Almost every booth you visit will have some sort of drawing or giveaway. And in order to be entered into the drawing, the vendor will most likely ask for your information. Instead of having to rewrite the same information over and over, come prepared with a few sheets of address stickers. I suggest including the following information:

  • Bride’s Name
  • Groom’s Name
  • Anticipated or Scheduled Wedding Date (feel free to give a specific date or broad range, i.e. Summer 2017)
  • Phone Number
  • E-mail Address

Some vendors might ask for an address, but most likely vendors will want your e-mail address over your actual mailing address. If there’s any other information needed, then you can write it by hand. But having the labels ahead of time will save you LOTS of time and gives you an opportunity to make sure you get around to each booth.

2. Come Hungry
Even if the show takes place over a meal hour, don’t eat before you come. Between caterers, bakers and sweet treats to lure attendees in, booths will be offering tons of food. And if you come with a full stomach, chances are you’re going to feel stuffed when you leave. With that being said, I do recommend bringing a water bottle with you if you plan to stay for an extended period of time as lots of booths have food but not all have beverages.

3. Take It All In, But Don’t Commit Right Away
Lots of vendors will allow you to sign up for their services right there. As tempting as it can be to check needs off your list, wedding shows can be overwhelming. Definitely make appointments with people, take information and get copies of contracts, but I would not recommend signing anything on the spot. You want to make sure you check out all of the booths and options and take some time to think it over. Don’t give into the pressure of a vendor who says you are “going to miss out if you don’t sign up today!”

The Aftermath

The “I Do’s” have been said, the guests have left and there is a mountain of presents for you and your honey to open. Aside from maybe a little bit of sadness that the Big Day has now come and gone, there are still a few things you need to tie up. So today’s post is about all of those after-the-wedding details that often get missed. And if you and your spouse plan on jetting off on an adventurous honeymoon right after the knot is tied, it is usually family members or friends who get stuck with these tasks.

I have compiled a list of things you will want to think about BEFORE the wedding to prevent any headaches from happening AFTER the wedding.

1. Take the next work day off.

Even if you aren’t headed off on a vacation immediately, you will definitely want to have the next work day off (usually Monday for most brides and grooms). The day following the wedding is usually filled with lots of family members leaving, possibly a bridal brunch, a little haziness from the previous night’s festivities and let’s face it, some much needed R&R. The next business/work day is crucial to give you time for the following:

  • packing for your honeymoon or leaving for your honeymoon
  • returning rentals
  • organizing all of the decor and take-homes from the wedding
  • giving you time to get a head start on thank yous
  • feeling like you have a day to breathe

2. The clean up crew.

More often than not, this is the most dreaded part about the wedding celebration. As the honored guests, it should not be your responsibility to clean up after the celebration. You should be cruising off into newlywed bliss. But you will want to choose your clean up crew wisely. You don’t want to have to rely on the bridesmaid who is also the life of the party. Holding a glass of wine while cleaning up really just isn’t productive. You also might realize that those “reliable” people you asked the night of to stay behind and help clean disappear when it comes time for the bar and DJ to shut down.

My advice is to designate certain individuals: a wedding planner, a close family friend, extended family, etc. to be in charge of helping to tear down and clean up after the festivities end. That way, those individuals know ahead of time and can be relied on that evening or the morning after to be at the venue to help load up and clean up all of the wedding supplies. Remember the multiple trips you took to the wedding venue with all of your beautiful decor? Yeah, that’s not really something you want to  get stuck moving back by yourself the day after the wedding.

3. The fine print.

Whether it’s rentals, the venue or another vendor you’ve been working with, you want to make sure you read the guidelines and fine print on your contract. I am not talking necessarily for the day of the wedding but any miscellaneous leftover details that need to be tied up:

  • Do your rentals need to be cleaned or washed prior to returning? Whether it’s plates that need to be washed, chargers that need to be wiped down or votives and candlesticks that need to be soaked free of wax, most rental companies will have a fine for returning dirty rentals.
  • Does your venue have a specific time all guests need to be out by? If so, don’t schedule your party up to that very last minute. Give yourself enough time to make sure intoxicated guests can get cabs or take an Uber home. Make sure there is enough time for clean up to be done that evening or check to see if the venue lets you store your supplies there overnight.
  • Are there parking restrictions around your venue? With how easy it is these days to get transportation home, it’s silly for guests to even think about driving after they have had a few cocktails. But, you will want to make sure that if guests choose to leave their vehicles overnight around your venue that they will not get towed by the city, the venue, etc.
  • If you decide to extend your celebration because all of your guests are having the best time of your life, what fees are you going to incur that might seem “worth it” the night of but not so much when you have to write the check. This list can include: extending the bar timeframe, extending the time of your service staff, extending your DJ contract, extending your photographer, etc. Most vendors will offer options to extend the evening of, but some of them will cost you some steep hourly fees.

4. The gift that keeps on giving. 

I see it after every wedding. The bride or the mother of bride looks longingly at all of the gorgeous floral arrangements that helped set the mood and scene for the day. But now what? Aside from the bride’s bouquet that she might want to dry out and save, what on earth do you do with the rest of the flowers?

  • Give them as take-home gifts to guests who helped throughout the big day (your clean-up crew, whoever took your gifts and cards home, your vendors, etc.) Just make sure to bring.
  • Make arrangements prior to wedding day with a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility. There’s no better feeling than to brighten someone’s day with a beautiful arrangement!

Even though you might not think of EVERYTHING prior to the wedding day, arranging a few of these details will make the day following your wedding just that much sweeter!

#rupthereitis #mcruprecht

I wasn’t really sure if I was going to put together this blog or not. To me, I feel like I have talked A LOT about my own wedding this year, and I felt weird posting about it again on my blog. But after sharing some of our wedding pictures on Facebook, I had a number of people asking me when I would write a blog post about it, so here it is, folks! A little insight into my very own wedding day….

details_159It is a little weird when you look at all of our wedding photos. It really is a classic wedding: black suits, a white dress, classic lines and color scheme….The funny part is I really don’t consider my style to be classic. In fact, the lack of color at our wedding was a surprise to a number of guests. I’m the girl that used to wear neon colors before neon colors came back in style and who normally thinks black is boring.

There were a few things I wanted to make sure our wedding day reflected: a beautiful marriage and a timeless look. I feel like we did a pretty good job achieving that.

The Squad
Yes, I know. We had a huge bridal party. End of story.

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They do say it takes a village…..

The Reception Venue
I am actually kind of surprised that we ended up having our reception at the Millbottom. When we first started planning, my original idea was to have a church ceremony just as we did with a reception following at a vintage barn. As much as I love vintage barns, I am glad we ended up at the Millbottom. Part of me was afraid it was a fad that would come and go before our wedding took place (keep in mind we were engaged for 15 months) and the other part of me was stressed about the logistics of a barn wedding when I couldn’t be in charge. There, I admit it. Overall, we were super pleased with how everything turned out.

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The Church
When a Catholic boy meets a Catholic girl and you get married in Jefferson City, you have a traditional Catholic church ceremony!

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details_192The Food
Even though I would love to consider myself a foodie, I am not adventurous when it comes to this department. I am more of chicken fingers and cheese and crackers kind of girl than a sushi and sharing plates-type person. When we started planning our wedding, there were few things Ryan really had his mind set on. And food was one of them. He wanted to eat fried chicken at his wedding. You can’t argue with that! We enlisted the help of Argyle Catering, who cooks delicious homestyle food and instead of a fancy plated meal that matched the elegance of our wedding, I ate fried chicken and mashed potatoes in my wedding dress. No regrets there.

reception_036The Cake
One thing Ryan and I both agreed on is that we aren’t huge fans of cake. I’m not keen on frosting, and he’s not too keen on sweets. So, we opted for a small wedding cake to keep the tradition of the cake cutting as well as a spread of bite-sized desserts, which our guests devoured. Hats of Becky, the talent behind Sugartree Cupcakery and one of the reasons why guests left the reception uncomfortably full.

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The Bar
We had guests who traveled far and wide to help us celebrate our big day. In my eyes, when your guests are making that big of an effort to be at your special day, spending money on your event and traveling, you want to make sure they have a good time. And an open bar definitely helps.

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reception_253The Music
As much as I would have LOVED a live band, it really wasn’t in our budget. And I was sure I wanted to add as many details as possible when it came to the little things on our wedding day, and I wasn’t willing to give a lot of those things up for the price tag of a live band. So, we went with the DJ route and hired Complete Wedding + Events. I did have to put in a special request for Blaz’ Barton, one of my favorite Complete DJs. Although he is now focusing more on managing the operation-side of the business, I was able to strong arm him into DJing our wedding, and we could not have been more pleased with our decision. The dance floor was hopping the entire night!

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12391209_10153405880705914_1699672745575187282_nThe Photos
I met D. Squared while working on a wedding in September of 2014. Not only were they a joy to work with, but I instantly fell in love with their photography style and how they incorporate fun lighting techniques. We loved their idea for our holiday engagement session where we were able to incorporate engagement photos, Save the Dates and Christmas cards into one. And we adored having them be part of our wedding day. All I can say after we got our photos back is WOW.


The Flowers
I have to admit I had a pretty great connection when it came to the floral department. A family friend of the Ruprecht’s used to work for Busch’s Florist in Jefferson City, and he not only created all of the flower arrangements, but he also played the piano at our ceremony and helped coordinate the day. I know…talent. Mike Bruns was the brains behind our gorgeous florals, and I was absolutely in love. To be honest, I had little knowledge about flowers before starting this whole wedding planning process. I had seen hundreds of them at work, but with a brown thumb, I never paid much attention to the specifics. However, I had the coolest opportunity that I wish more brides were privied to. I was able to personally go to Baisch & Skinner, a flower wholesaler in St. Louis, and handpick all my flowers. It was amazing! And even though I didn’t see any of my flowers until I was getting out of the limo at the church, I was obsessed with them all.

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The Little Touches
As an event planner, there were a few little things that I knew I had to have at our wedding even from the very beginning. Calligraphy place cards was one of them. I am so mezmorized by the art of calligraphy (definitely wanting to check it off my bucket list and learn how to do calligraphy), and I think it’s such a beautiful element to add to an event. Thanks to Syd Stansberry from Inkling, I had some seriously gorgeous escort cards and menus.

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The Wow Factor
I wish I could take credit for this, but I really do have to hand it to Ryan. He was the brains behind the wow factor. As I mentioned earlier, I am not a huge fan of frosting, so cake just isn’t my thing. But I am, on the other had, obsessed with ice cream. So while at a festival where he ran into the Eagle Scoop ice cream truck, Ryan had the genius idea of hiring Jason Holbrook to come and serve our guests Central Dairy Ice Cream, a Jefferson City classic.

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There’s a million things I could say about our big day, my experience as a bride and how lucky we felt all day long. But I think everyone who was there celebrating with us could agree that the energy you felt in the room that evening is the energy that powers our relationship. It’s love, commitment, a support system, a little bit of fun and a whole lot of faith. I can’t wait to see what our future holds together.

 

bridegroom_028Vendor Shout Outs:
Hair & Makeup: Blanc Studio in Columbia, MO
Dress: Bliss Bridal in Brookfield, WI
Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson
Bride’s Jewelry: Express
Bridesmaid’s Jewelry: J. Crew Outlet
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Buchroeder’s Jewelers
Bridesmaid Dresses: Individually selected from a variety of stores
Groom & Groomsmen Suits: J. Crew Outlet
Church: St. Peter Catholic Church
Ceremony Music: Michael Bruns, Julia Cowley, Ashley Edelbrock & 3 String Players from the University of Missouri School of Music
Reception Venue: The Millbottom
Invitations: The Ink Cafe
DJ: Complete Wedding + Events
Caterer: Argyle Catering
Cake/Desserts: Sugartree Cupcakery
Calligraphy: Inkling
Photography: D-Squared Designs
Florist: Michael Bruns
Rentals: A-1 Part & Events
Lighting: Reinhardt Circle
Ice Cream Truck: Eagle Scoop

 

Tis The Season of Giving

We all know it’s that time of year for gifts wrapped in beautiful paper and adorned with practically perfect bows, that time of year when it feels especially good to sit fireside with a cup of coffee and when schedules start to get a little hectic balancing family time and Christmas parties. In my pre-holiday haste, I always try to stop and remind myself what the season is really about: giving.

This past weekend I was reminded of that as I helped to put on Pancakes With Princesses, a fundraiser for Columbia Jaycees and an initiative to raise money to send kids with disabilities to Camp Wonderland. And as adorable as it was to see giddy little girls dressed in princess gowns and see their eyes light up as they met Elsa and Anna while enjoying a plate piled high with pancakes, it was very special to see how many people came out on a Saturday morning to support a good cause.

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Through lots of the events I’ve helped coordinate, I have seen people get awfully creative with how they raise money. There is the ever-popular silent auction or live auction that I’ve seen at galas and high-end events, but I think some of my favorite ways that people have given back are by small, individual gestures.

Over the summer, I worked with a bride and groom who were getting married a little later in life and in lieu of household supplies they already had or personalized items that were a bit over-the-top for their modest style, the couple asked that each guest donate to a charity in their honor. It was a way for guests to still show the couple their appreciation but in a way that meant a little bit more than a beautiful cake plate.

Another idea that I love seeing is gifting a donation in someone’s honor. Similar to a donation in lieu of gifts, it can often be a sweet surprise to drop a card in a card box that explains you have made a donation to an organization in honor of so-and-so’s 50th birthday. I’ve even seen it spark annual donations with couples who were gifted a donation in their honor for their wedding, and it continues to be something they do each year on their anniversary.

So how can you get involved and give back this holiday season? Well, maybe start by reading this adorable story I saw on Facebook yesterday. Grab the tissues first because this heartwarming story will not only pull at your heart strings but also jumpstart your want to do something good this season.

Locally, there’s a great opportunity that is called COMO Gives. It has evolved and grown over the past few years to now include 92 nonprofits that you can donate to with just a click of a button. It really is amazing to see how much money our community can earn when we join together and create a little competition for each other.

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Personally, I’ve made my New Year’s Resolution around philanthropic involvement. Since 2016 was a year that I felt Ryan and I were particularly blessed and often times the center of attention, I decided I wanted to give back in 2017. Together, we are making it our resolution to participate in a philanthropic activity once a month for all 12 months of 2017. It might be volunteering at the food bank or cooking meals for Ronald McDonald House. And some months that are crazy busy might just be a clothing or monetary donation to a particular organization. But after the blessed year we’ve had this year, I know those donations will help others feel a little more blessed. So I challenge you to do something good too. Whether it’s donating time or money to an organization special to you this holiday season or joining Ryan and me for our 12 Months of Giving, let’s start to better our community because every little bit helps.