Krystyna + Paul

Krystyna + Paul

Photos by June Hallowell Photography

Krystyna + Paul

Krystyna and Paul had my dream winter wedding. Fur, snowflakes, sparkle, twinkle lights… Everything about it is comparable to Kenny Rogers singing “A few of my Favorite Things.”You all know my love for Kenny and Dolly so need to go there or talk about how often I listen to their Christmas album through out the year. Cue the flannel jams, hot cocoa and baking because truly those are some of the most joyful simple pleasures.

How cute are these sweatshirts + matching jams?

On our first phone call we spent the majority of the time talking about our dogs and then another hour after about photography, decor, and everything under the sun. Two days later I received a card in the mail that said they were so excited to meet me. It’s stuff like this that warms my heart. 

you know how much our planning crew loves fur babes… 

My favorite part about this wedding was the very thought out homemade items. Krystyna and Paul picked pine from their own backyard to make the garland that decorated the aisle. They made fake snow … If you knew how heavy fake snow in tubs was…. They raided after Christmas sales for twinkle lights and gathered as many tall green trees from tree lots so that their first dance was amongst the forest. 

How magical is a twinkle lit tree dance floor? 
Krystyna made these invites herself! 

All the children who played a role in the wedding were kids Krystyna had nannied. She had grown so close and loved this family so much like they were her own.

Obviously we opted for a snow princess in lieu of a flower girl.

Krystyna and Paul kept us involved for several decisions but one that sticks out in my mind was what shoes to wear with her wedding dress? After she sent me several options we decided the best one suited for her big day would be the blush ones covered in tiny crystals. Reminded us of cotton candy dreams and since then thats what we called them: the cotton candy dream shoes. We got so much joy throughout the planning process talking about those pretty pink shoes.

arent these the prettiest? 

It’s no secret when you start scrolling through these pictures that these two are a fan of penguins. Allow me to elaborate. Their very first date was to see March of the Penguins and from then on Paul called Krystyna his ducky and she called him her penguin. Their first dance song was titled You’re My Penguin by Christina Perry. I bet you haven’t heard that one. But it is great + listening to the words will give you goosebumps. Their engagement pictures were taken at The zoo so you guessed it, they could include the penguins. Every guest that came to the wedding received a porcelain penguin figurine. 

Their reception held at Ces and Judy’s Le Chateau was a beautiful and intimate affair with gorgeous linens from BBJ. Icy green centerpieces and fluffy white blooms by An Affair to Remember. 

Paul and Krystyna made the greenery on the mantle from the trees in their backyard! 

plus this screen shotCAPTION FOR CEREMONY – Paul and Krystyna made the greenery on the mantle from the trees in their backyard! 

Another very cool thing was that their photographer was June Hallowell. I worked my very first wedding with June and several after. She’s incredibly talented, super fun and I was so excited the minute Krystyna and Paul said we haven’t booked anything yet except our photographer because I just had to have her. That speaks volumes about somebody’s work.

Thank you to all who made this magical day happen:
Venue – La Chateau Village
Music – Complete Weddings + Events
Florals and Rentals – An Affair to Remember
Cake – Brookie Cakes
Bridesmaids Attire – Signature Bridal
Tux Rental – Savvi Formalwear
Photography – June Hallowell Photography
Hair – Sola Salon Studios
Makeup – Ambiance Salon

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Photos by Vasva and Co

Considering an at home wedding? 

Before you go any further, read this!

Hello friends! With the rise of intimate weddings comes the rise of at home weddings. 

Greet your guests with champagne upon arrival – They will love you for it! 

I have to tell you, we had my sister’s wedding (11 years ago …. holy cow time flies) in my parents back yard + it was not only dreamy but so so so sweet. I’ll admit I’m a sentimental sap but walking down an aisle where you used to play ring around the rosey as kids gives me all the feels. 

This gorgeous ceremony set was built on the family’s drive way!

We had family gather about an hour before the ceremony for cocktails + hors d’oeuvres. And when the time was right, we processed to an arbor my dad made followed by our family pug who sat promptly on my sister’s train. God bless him. The last person out the door didn’t latch it all the way, so he marched his nearly blind self right into the center of it all. It was all too fitting that he sat next to me during the rest of the ceremony, like a proud brother. 

Cheers to Forever!

So endearing. 

The ceremony was followed by more cocktails (what can I say, my family likes to celebrate) + photos in our orchard + then on the swing set of our grade school. The principal at that school (also one of our teachers) still has that photo in her office.

How sweet is it that Bri got dressed in her room that she grew up in. Where she + her friends (some bridesmaids) had slumber parties as little girls. 
Aren’t these gals stunning? Annette wore my fave mother of the bride gown thus far! 

The nostalgia of it all makes my eyes sweat, especially since we recently sold our family home. Those memories will live in my heart forever. 

At home weddings seem easy breezy but if you’ve ever hosted a big party at your home, you know it’s a lot of work… now imagine adding the details of a wedding. 

Walking to forever in the driveway you first learned how to back a car out of. 

A wedding which is a huge moment in your family’s life with lots of moving parts. A wedding that you want to be flawless + perfect + everything you imagined it to be because you only have one shot, one opportunity to get it right (Yes, we quote Eminem on occasion). 

We’ve chatted with a lot of couples lately about having backyard celebrations. There is a tiny (sometimes large) misconception that hosting a wedding at home is cheaper + less work. Your friendly neighborhood planners are here to tell you, that’s not always the case. 

Bri + Tyler took it to another level of homey by bringing in lounge furniture to give that cozy feel.
Our friends at An Affair to Remember rent + style this furniture amongst loads of other magical + eclectic pieces.

Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about bringing your wedding home.

  • Noise ordinances – make sure you research this in your city/county 
  • Permit – do you need one? 👆🏻 again get in contact with your local govt.
  • Approval from an HOA or running it by your neighbors? Even if you don’t need a permit or have an HOA, be courteous + let your neighbors know your plans 
  • Treating your yard for bugs/pests (no one likes those pesky mosquitos). 
  • Landscaping – some folks use at home weddings as an excuse for a Beyonce upgrade + listen we totally get it! 
  • Parking + transporting guests. Is there a nearby lot where you can shuttle guests to + from? Be sure to ask permission. Or perhaps valet might be a smarter plan. 
  • Additional restrooms + sanitation stations because you probably don’t want everyone going in + out of your house.
  • Rain plan – listen friends, I know it’s not gonna rain on your wedding day, but you have to have a back up plan. 
  • Rentals: a few things to consider are a tent or two (depending on set up, your caterer may need one), tables, chairs, linens, heating + cooling, place settings, etc.  
  • Guest flow: you will want greeters + signage directing your guests from parking to the actual location of the party on your property. 
  • Power. Do you have enough for the caterer, DJ or band, heating + cooling systems?
  • Have an on site point person/team for all the vendors (like us) so you can be a guest at your own wedding! 
  • Budget – be realistic. Write down your wish lists + get quotes. Decide what are your priorities. And again, you know we can totally help with that!
 If you have a pool onsite, add some punch with these floating globes + flower petals.

But don’t let this long list discourage you because like we said, we love at home weddings + we would love to guide you through the planning process to make sure you can enjoy every ounce of this magic. 

Nothing says family like being at home. Love this shot of our beautiful mother of the groom + her granddaughter. 

Holler atcha girls, we are ready to get this dream wedding at home planning party started! 

All of these gorgeous images are from a wedding we coordinated in about 10 days this past June. Huge props to An Affair to Remember + The Social Affair for working around the clock that week to create such an incredible celebration for Tyler + Bri!

Cheers to forever! And cheers to signature cocktails!
The crew at The Social Affair of course knocked it outta the park (as per usual) with these beauties!

Cheers to the wonderful vendors who made this all happen:
Bridal Attire – Town & Country Bridal
Cake + Desserts – Britt’s Bakehouse
Catering – The Social Affair
Florals + Decor – An Affair to Remember
Hair + Makeup – Hannah Rudin
Harpist – Colleen Stumbo
DJ – House DJ
Photography – Vasva and Co
Rentals – Amerevent + Premier Rentals

It’s All About You

It’s All About You

Photos by Elizabeth Lloyd Photography

It’s All About You 

How to make your wedding personal

Weddings don’t have to look the same! 

Sure there is always two people committing to one another (or 3 if you’ve seen the Tiger King) + someone to marry them. 

Usually refreshments of some sort + loads of happiness. 

But there is plenty of opportunity to make your day be a reflection of your love story!

What are your fave foods?

What is your cultural background?

What do you like to do for fun?

We loved that Elena + Patrick opted for a Sunday afternoon wedding followed by fancy mocktails + Puertorican themed appetizers (complete with appetizer flags)!  Elena’s father is Puertorican so representing their culture was something we knew we had to do! 23 City Blocks worked with us to create a mouthwatering menu to include tostones + empanadas.  

But it didn’t end there… 

There were countless things that made this wedding personal. 

Let’s start from the very beginning (a very good place to start). Elena got ready at home where she grew up surrounded by family heirlooms while mama + papa bear laughed with the bride squad. 

She had her first look with her dad there + read a beautiful letter from Patty that had us all in tears. 

The bride + groom opted for the traditional route of not seeing the bride till the minute she walks down the aisle which we love! 

Even the recessional song had meaning: You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall + Oates! Elena listened to this on her way home after hanging out with Patrick for the first time! 

Once you entered the doors of Lumen, this guest experience was wow from every angle.

Not only was the decor STUNNING!!! Hello look at those flowers! But the delicious food + presentation by 23 City Blocks blew us all away (per usual)!

Since bingo was one of Elena + Patrick’s favorite things to do in college, we had bingo cards at each seat with winning baskets full of their favorite hobbies like movie night, game night + baking!

After dinner, Carlos with Mambo Revolution taught salsa lessons to our guests! This was probably my favorite thing we have ever done at a wedding!

And this wouldn’t be a blog post without me telling you how much I adored my mama + papa bear! Michele + David were such a delight to work with + I loved that from the very beginning David said: whatever makes my girls happy. I am pretty sure his girls were happy! Look at that face!

At the end of the evening the Sobrino men shared cigars with the newest member of the family: Patrick!

Every minute of this wedding so thoughtful!

You know that is part of the SSD Events planning experience: helping our clients imagine events that standout because they represent the couple. We are all about the creativity + special nods to their love story. 

Our wedding pro team was of course stellar + I am so proud to work with such incredible folks 
Photography – Elizabeth Lloyd Photography
Videography – Jake Ellerbrake
Venue – Lumen Event Space
Entertainment – Jim’s Caricatures and More, Mambo Revolution, + Noji’s Wedding Entertainment Services
Florals – Sisters Floral Design Studio
Rental + Decor – An Affair to Remember
Cake – Nothing Bundt Cakes
Hair + Makeup – Garden Salon & Spa
Bridal Attire – The Ultimate Bride
Grooms Attire – Savvi Formalwear

Get Outside and Play!

Get Outside and Play!

Photos by Charis Rowland Photography

We Heart Outdoor Weddings!

Let’s Talk About the Facts…

Planning an elegant or rustic outdoor wedding can be incredible! One misconception is that a backyard wedding is a money saver. While that is most often untrue, it can be worth every penny if it’s what your heart desires!

Do you want to celebrate in the barn that you played in as a child that holds so many memories? How about on your favorite beach? Both offer a canvas for you, the artist, to design…

or with the help of your talented wedding planner (yeah that was on purpose).

Let’s chat about what goes into one of these beautiful events.

POTTY TIME Let’s just get this one out of the way. If you don’t have the facilities, you’ll need to look into renting portable potties for your guests to use after their frequent trips to the bar.

ELECTRIC Will you have power brought from a building or will you need to use generators to power things like lights and the DJ? Some thought, planning, and knowledge of wattage needs to go into this decision.

RENTALS If you’re creating a venue, just about everything will need to be rented. This may include tables, chairs, linens, china, flatware, even the dance floor.

BACK UP PLAN Yep, it’s the cold, wet truth about the Midwest. If you’re planning an outdoor event, you have to have a backup plan in place. Those anti-rain dances aren’t very reliable. This could be a second venue, having a tent on standby, or something else.

We could keep going, but it would be more fun to chat with you about your vision. Of course, we would love to help you bring all of this outdoor magic to life, so give us a call!

Thank you to all of the wonderful humans who made this outdoor magic happen:
Venue – Missouri Botanical Garden and Oak Knoll Park – St. Louis Community Foundation
Florals – An Affair To Remember
Rentals – Weinhardt Party Rentals and Premier Rentals
Hair and Make up – Metro Design Studio and Emily Miller Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist
Attire – Jos. A. Bank
Cake – Sugarbelle Cakery
Catering – Butler’s Pantry and Catering St. Louis
Stationary – Unique Moments and Service Bureau Fine Stationery & Gifts
Entertainment – Rosewood Ensemble and Millennium Productions
Favors – POPtions! Popcorn and 2 Chics and a Photobooth
Transportation – BEST Transportation
Photography & Cinema – Charis Rowland Photography

St. Louis Bride Shoot – Sheep!

St. Louis Bride Shoot – Sheep!

Photos by Shadow + Light Photography

St. Louis Bride Shoot

Sheep!

When the sweet Amy Meyerott of Shadow + Light called me the first week in March her first question was: do you like to travel?

Um duh.
Calgon take me away
I’m leaving on a jet plane …
And you know I have THE cutest luggage for such occasions.

“Amy, where are we going?”

“Silver Oaks Chateau if Nancy {Slade, the editor of St. Louis bride magazine} likes my idea for a French inspired cover shoot… and I want you to be my planner to pull it all together.”

Say whhhaaaaaa????

Legit I’m looking around the room (while I’m on the phone) to make sure she is talking about me. To me.

You see, one of my goals this year was to be published in a magazine so this felt a lil unbelievable. I mean did you see the last fairy tale inspired shoot in St. Louis Bride? That is some serious talent… I am still in awe of the ladies who pulled that together. #girlcrush

It turns out Amy was talking about me so once I got my bearings back she said so here’s my inspiration: French blue and peach ….

She said way more details after the announced color palate but I was already lost in my own thoughts…

You see as a child with an imagination that often got me in trouble, I dreamt up the most dreamy wedding (well in my 8 year old mind it was dreamy) with those exact colors. Peach bridesmaids dresses with puff sleeves, big white hats (like the one I wore to Easter Sunday because clearly fancy hats are for special occasions), light blue suits and a particular farm animal that will forever have my heart.

Coincidently my bedroom was shades of peach and light blue and also adorned with stenciled sheep on the wall, sheep sheets, a giant sheep that I stored my jammies inside (you know the animals with the pockets on their bellies from the 80’s???). So as a kid I wasn’t that clever but inspired by my surroundings!

Amy is probably still talking at this point about silk ribbon and floral arrangements when I blurt out: “We must have a sheep with a little bell around its neck! This is so meant to be it’s like a dream come true!”

“A sheep?”

“Yes a sheep. As in lamb. As in Mary had a little lamb, except our names aren’t Mary.”

It’s a sheep thing, you wouldn’t understand.

And most people didn’t, until you fast forward to the day that magazine hit newsstands and then there’s absolutely no question that the sheep didn’t belong. It was like a bride like Bo Peep graced the pages of that mag with her sheep, named Linn from Wildflower Farm in Ditmer, Missouri, and it seemed absolutely normal that 4 little flower girls in daisy floral crowns and tulle skirts played ring around the rosey with a fluffy black lamb!

After months of planning it was one of the most rewarding things to watch this shoot come to life and then to see it in print!!! Ahhh! I am still crying!!

Shout out to our main crew of ladies who humored the raspberry berets idea!

Enjoy these gorgeous images by my love Amy and the flipping best team we worked with that day…

I’m a pack rat, dumpster diver, save anything and everything sentimentalist at heart so I am proud and honored to say we pulled some of my most favorite things from storage to bring this table to life.

Special thank you to red lipstick Amanda (bc she’s always wearing it) from Ces and Judy’s for putting up with my daily sheep squeals for months and teaching me how to say crocumbouche!

Participating Vendors
Photography – Shadow + Light Photography
Location – Silver Oaks Chateau
Florals – Les Bouquets
Catering – Ces + Judy’s Catering 
Cake – La Patisserie Choquette 
Hair + Make Up – Beauty by Whitney
Calligraphy – RSVPeasCalligraphy 
Rentals – An Affair to Remember 
Classic Car – Best Transportation
Men’s Attire – Savile Row Custom Clothiers
Wedding Gowns – Town + Country Bridal, Clarice’s Bridal, Frew’s, Sincerely Yours, Fleur de Lis, The Ultimate Bride, Simply Elegant Bridal, Berrybridge 
Flower Girls TuTus – Birdee’s Closet at Local Lucy’s 
Models – West Model Management 
Jewelry – Genovese Jewelers + Timekeepers 
Sheep – Linn from Wild Flower Farm, Dittmer, MO