Bey Bey Shower

Hello, everyone! I have been a bit MIA the past few weeks on the blog because we welcomed our little one into the world on Thursday, November 16th! It has been the biggest blessing as well as most challenging aspect of our lives, but we have enjoyed every minute of it. Hopefully you can understand why there hasn’t been a post in a while.

But on Sunday, I attended a baby shower that is so worth blogging about! My friend Nancy is due in February and as a Queen B lover, her sisters threw her a Beyonce themed baby shower. Yes, you read that right. Nancy was the Queen B for the day, and this “Bey Bey Shower” was nothing short of insanely creative. Take a look!

First of all, here is the invitation I received in the mail. Needless to say, I was dying when
I opened it up because I loved the theme so much. Not only have I never seen it before, but Nancy loves Beyonce, so it was the perfect fit. Hats off to the lovely hostesses for the creativity!

Upon arriving, we were greeted with customized glasses to drink out of at the shower all labeled with different song lyrics. I choose a line from “Run the World.”

Most of the decor was centered around B’s “Lemonade” album including vases filled with lemons that adorned the table and lemon-infused water.

Nancy also rocked a crown made out of lemons, and only she could look adorable wearing it. Plus, she conveniently matched the color scheme without even knowing.

We played a game where guests had to guess the song based on a short snippet that included the word “baby.” You would be surprised how much Beyonce uses it in her lyrics! From there, we celebrated and showered the mama-to-be and her little one with gifts, laughs and well wishes!

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Romantic Winery Wedding

Above photograph compliments of Kristel McCoy Photography

Clearly, it’s been a while since I have written a post. I have been extremely busy with all of the celebrations happening in my family. And one of the most important events my family has recently celebrated was my sister, Alyssa’s, marriage to her long-time boyfriend, Tony.

Initially, I wasn’t quite sure what to think about when my sister told me she would be getting married in Temecula. Of course I had heard of it since Tony had spent two of his six-month rotations for his current job in Southern California. But I had no idea where to begin with a destination. Because quite honestly, I had never attended nor been involved in planning a destination planning.

aly wedding 1But as I stood next on a step next to her during their intimate winery ceremony, it all made sense. That place was not only breathtaking but it represented such a powerful time in their relationship. It was a time that the two of them were living halfway across the country from each other and yet their dedication to each other allowed them to get past the distance and built a stronger foundation for love….and marriage on July 15, 2016.

And of course the day was as picturesque as I could have ever imagined from start to finish.

manorIt all started in the bridal suite of the Wilson Creek Manor (thanks for the pictures, Alex!)…

And let me tell you, it felt as if we were on the set of “The Bachelor,” and I was continually waiting for Chris Harrison to come around the corner clinking a champagne glass. The accommodations were incredible, and not only was it the perfect space to get dolled up for the big day, but it also served as a mingling venue for the wedding party and guests throughout the weekend.

The Dress
I had seen it before in person and in pictures, but there’s nothing quite like seeing your sister in her dress on her wedding day. Not to mention Amanda did a beautiful job of creating the perfect balance of glamour and classiness for Alyssa’s look. And ladies,  can we talk about that train? Shout out to Gina for killing it in the MOH department.

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IMG_4336The Venue
Right after seeing the winery, my initial was why this one? (Side note: I thought wine country was in Northern California, but Temecula has 45+ wineries!) Her answer was simple: Wilson Creek is based on family values. And not only do they have family values covered, but the owner even hand-delivered a wedding present to Alyssa and Tony during their reception.

The ceremony took place in front of a gazebo in the courtyard of the winery, and cocktail hour and the reception followed in the breezeway and the winery’s barrel room. The room glowed with a romantic ambiance thanks to candlelight uplighting, and the room was filled with whimsical flower arrangements from Sweet Petals Floral Design Studio.

IMG_0039My favorite part of the intimate reception was the table layout. Bride, groom, Maid of Honor and Best Man sat at the head of the table, and the rest of the guests were seated perpendicular to the honored guests. It made for easy conversation and created a family-style atmosphere even in such an elegant setting. Different shades of purple and gold accents adorned the table covered with beautiful calligraphy place cards and menus made by Blue Poppy Lettering.

The Party
The only part of the celebration Alyssa was worried about was feeling awkward during the dancing portion of the evening. But there was no need to worry! The DJ from Pacific Entertainment kept Beyonce, JT and ’90s hits bumping all night long. I did have the best dance partner if I do say so myself 🙂 The DJ basically had to stop the music from playing for guests to go and enjoy the cake. But oh, was the break necessary!

The Cake
Almond champagne cake. Enough said.

Well, Cakes To Celebrate really does deserve a little bit more attention than that. It was effing delicious for lack of a better weird. Wilson Creek Winery is known for its almond champagne, so it was only appropriate to incorporate it in the cake flavor.

cake

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And now that I’m back home and back to my normal routines, I can’t help but be missing that gorgeous California weather, the simple celebration of life and more importantly, seeing the love that Alyssa and Tony had for each other on that day and I know they will have every day. Lucky for us, there’s a Milwaukee reception in a few weeks! Until then….

Are Traditions Really Here To Stay?

So many MOB’s sit in my office with their daughters explaining they aren’t quite sure how to approach wedding planning. Back in their day, “a wedding reception was just cake a punch in the church basement.” And many who have long cherished years of marriage can attest that was how it used to be. Not so much anymore.

As the wedding industry has grown and exploded to so much more than a small celebration of man and wife, the traditions seem to be doing the exact opposite. In fact, I have notice a smaller and smaller amount of traditions still incorporated into today’s weddings and receptions.


CoreyKellyWedding06201. The Bouquet Toss

Yes, it’s the moment all the single girls make their way to the dance floor as Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” bumps in the background. It’s that ceremonial moment that the photographer captures of girls flying through the air trying to grasp hold of the toss bouquet. So far this year, I have helped coordinate eight weddings, and of those eight weddings only three of them have done a bouquet toss.

Recently, I was meeting with a future bride and she explained that she didn’t have all that many single friends and the bouquet toss simply made them stand out as “the single girls,” which isn’t something people like to boast if the rest of the room has a dance partner for the evening. Is this the reason why the bouquet toss is so frequently skipped, or is just the changing times of wedding traditions?

2. The Receiving Line

I whole-heartedly still believe that the bride and groom should take the time to speak with each of their guests. Some of these people traveled long and far to be there to celebrate with them on their special day. However, it has not become more popular to visit with your guests as they are finishing up their meal instead of making each of them wait in a lengthy line following the ceremony.

It’s a change in tradition, but I think for the better. Who likes to spend 20 minutes waiting in a line to have a one minute conversation? And plus, if a guest brings a date that may not know many people, it’s especially awkward for that individual if the whole bridal party is part of the receiving line. Talk about small talk…

3. First Dances

The bride and groom’s first dance is a moment that is very special for most couples. It’s not only their first dance as husband and wife, but it’s a song that will bring back memories for countless years to come. And this tradition is never skipped over. However, I have noticed more and more that Father/Daughter or Mother/Son dances are not done. Sometimes it’s because of divorced parents or family dynamics.

I’ve also seen brides and grooms lean more toward the anniversary dance where guests who are married are asked to join the bride and groom on the dance floor, and the emcee for the evening calls out different lengths of time and as the number of years a couple has been married comes and goes, they sit down. The last couple if left to celebrate their long-lasting marriage. Or, I’ve seen a couple of brides and grooms who have had all parents, both step and biological, as well as grandparents all share in a dance together on the dance floor.

4. Keeping the Bride and Groom Hidden From Each Other Until Ceremony Time

first look

Photograph compliments of J. Kelley Photography.

I can’t decide which way I stand on this one. For people who have an earlier ceremony with a gap in between the ceremony and reception, it makes perfect sense to wait. But if your ceremony and reception happen at the same venue, it’s almost more of a hassle than a sweet gesture. With such a large emphasis on photography on wedding days, that plays a large role in if people decide to follow this tradition. It’s no fun to have to rush through pictures and potential miss a few of those golden shots you were hoping for just because your guests are anxiously awaiting dinner inside.

5. The “Cake” Cutting

The cake cutting is still a tradition that holds tried and true. I have yet to see a wedding where the couple didn’t cut into a sweet treat together and then have their guests gasp as they decide to play nice or smash it on the other’s face. However, it’s not always cake anymore.

Sometimes, brides and grooms still have a small cake for the ceremonial cutting during the reception even if they aren’t serving their guests cake. But I have also seen the “cake cutting” being done with pie and doughnuts. This is a slight twist on an old tradition.

I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way to incorporate tradition. I think it depends on the bride and groom and what’s important to them. Although some of the older ones involved in the process might not approve or agree, the day is about the love and celebration of the couple. And just as trends and styles change over the years, we have to embrace the old and the new.