Wedding Planner Blog
A Simply Beautiful Wedding
- Created: 22 October 2014
Written and Photographed By: Kelly Ann Earls
Simple and sweet was the wedding of Mary Nichole Candela and Timothy Richard England on October 4th at The Woodland’s Resort. The ceremony was set outside and the Texas weather was on its best behavior. The couple would meet under a gazebo overlooking the pond and the white carpet awaited the bride with ivory petals scattered like confetti.
LeighAnne, the leading coordinator, answered questions for the orchestra trio as they gathered their music together; while I set up a table holding the programs for the ceremony and some fans that were supposed to keep the guests cool, but since the weather was so nice, they just made cute souvenirs.
Everything seemed to flow together and on time. LeighAnne helped the girls get ready in their suite at the resort. The bride glowing and smiling ear to ear just happy to be around friends and family and excited to meet her Fiancé at the end of that beautiful aisle.
At the same time I was making sure the men folk were relaxed, pinned with boutonnieres, and having their own photos taken once dressed. I had nothing to worry about though, because like the bride and bridesmaids, the groom and groomsmen were cool as cucumbers. From then on I knew it would be a very laid back wedding and everyone could just focus on the happiness of the day.
The guests arrived and took their seats as the pastor and Timothy took their places at the gazebo. LeighAnne took care of final preparations with the groomsmen and bridesmaids, checking to make sure they looked their best before they started the procession. Then the bride appeared and she took everyone’s breath away with her gorgeous traditional gown of ivory with lace over the shoulders, a corset bodice leading down to a small train where white roses popped all over for a beautiful intricate design, all topped off with a sheer veil that went to her shoulders.
The couple and family’s smiles were as bright as the sun rays streaming down on them as the couple made their promises to love one another through sickness and health. When the ceremony was underway, the Ellanesque team went up a couple of flights to check on the reception area.
The room was intimate and tables were covered with pure white linens with small centerpieces of sparkling cubed vases holding flowers glowing of pinks and greens. The wedding cake made conversation with the champagne glasses, as they waited eagerly for the wedding party to arrive. Menus were tucked cozy in napkins at each place. The meal including a delectable looking squash soup in a pastry dish followed by a meal of Filet Mignon that made you want to cry because of how perfectly tender it was, garlic jumbo shrimp, mushroom risotto, and delectable seasonal vegetables.
After the newlyweds were welcomed with a loud cheer, everyone settled down to enjoy the meal. The Woodlands Resort staff having been fantastic from the beginning was a triumph during the dinner service with a fantastic meal as well as classy service. No glass remained empty long and empty plates were soon replaced with another course with such ease it worked like a dance.
The photographer had a natural talent to move amongst the crowd and catch perfect moments of delight and love amongst our starry-eyed couple or dearly beloved. The toasts were made with laughter and tears and then the cake, which was white with french butter-cream frosting and a delightful strawberry filling, was shared between Mary and Timothy before the guests got a try.
After the sweet tooth was satisfied the special dances started and then the bouquet toss.
This toss was extra special because Mary decided to share her special day with a friend of hers. She started to toss the bouquet, but then stopped and the DJ called up one of her friends who was to receive the bouquet in congratulations of her upcoming marriage in New Orleans in November. The two laughed, smiled, and cried a bit as they exchanged the flower baton as “When The Saints Go Marching In” played over the speakers. A very sweet and generous moment.
The rest of the reception was simple…DANCE DANCE DANCE!
The Ellanesque team throughout the whole process made sure to keep their eyes peeled for any hint from the wedding party or guests that they needed something. However, everything just ran so smoothly, that we weren’t needed so much thanks to the wonderful preparation between LeighAnne, the wedding party, and the resort before hand.
It’s always wonderful when everyone works as a team to make a wedding day flawless. It was easy to see. The vendors were diligent and respectful, the guests appreciative, the venue was so accommodating, and most importantly the bride, the groom, and family were delightful and so happy just to celebrate love and two families becoming one.
No, it wasn’t the most extravagant wedding I’ve worked this year, but sometimes…simplicity is best and this certainly was the best.
Pictures from the wedding!
A Grand Nigerian Wedding
- Created: 02 September 2014
Written and Photographed By: Kelly Ann Earls
Passing my car key to the valet, I walked into the lovely Hyatt hotel in Houston to help the Ellanesque team with preparations for Taiwo and Tomiwa’s wedding. This would be my first opportunity to experience a Nigerian wedding. Amazing doesn’t begin to describe it.
First things first, the preparations. I went up the escalators to where the reception would be held in a large ballroom area of the hotel. Lauren, LeighAnne as well as their husbands Erik and Lowell were already there. There were many details to put this wedding together and we needed the whole team. Tables were covered with ivory white linens and cylinder vases filled with water where orchids went for a dip, and candles floated on top to add ambiance once the reception began. There were two tables set on a stage in front of the dance floor. One held a beautiful four tiered ivory cake and the champagne flutes for the toasts later and the other would be the seat of honor for the bride and groom.
Since the reception area preparations were going well, LeighAnne and I went upstairs to check on the bride. Taiwo, was an absolute vision in her wedding dress, she reminded me of the elegant Hollywood glamor actresses from the 30’s and 40’s. The bridesmaids were just as lovely in their violet dresses. They smiled and laughed as they helped one another get ready. We then went to check on the groom and groomsmen. They were right on schedule and looking sharp! After the men had departed for the church LeighAnne and I went to escort the bride’s contingent to the lobby, where they were scheduled for photos and to wait for the limo. When we reached the lobby, guests smiled as Taiwo passed by and they admired the bride who was smiling ear to ear when she saw some family members, who took a moment to take pictures and give her well wishes before she was shepherded to the church.
LeighAnne and Lauren would oversee the ceremony, while Erik, Lowell, and I finished the reception room. With the help of the Hyatt staff we set the tables with cutlery and china, then the napkins were folded a certain way to hold the menus. We gathered and set out the favors, a booklet that told Taiwo and Tomiwa’s story, along with a CD of a few of the couple’s favorite songs, that the bride and groom’s family had made for the guests. Two hours later, everything was going smoothly when the guests arrived to start enjoying complimentary wine and appetizers as they waited to enter the ballroom for the festivities. As the doors opened, guests were greeted by dimly lit, enticing chandeliers and the gorgeous centerpieces on the ivory tables. Many smiled as they examined the favors, appreciating this personal touch by the bride and groom. Near the stage a screen displayed a slideshow of the couple looking as glam as ever in engagement photos. This screen would later be used as a live feed of the reception so everyone could see what was going on. Yes, the bride and groom had not only their own photographer, but also a video crew. Outside a man set up a photo booth for the guests, which was a big hit with its fun props and suggestions for poses.
Soon the guests were seated and the MC started getting everyone excited to congratulate the newlyweds. The DJ put on some fun Nigerian music and as the MC introduced them the family of the bride entered in traditional garb dancing with joy. They shimmied and shook through the guests to their seats. The groom’s family not to be outdone followed, their smiles just as big as they paraded through as well. Then it was the bridal party’s turn and their dancing was a bit more modern, but just as much fun.
Then the couple every one had gathered together for was introduced and they danced their heart out in becoming husband and wife and sharing these wonderful moments with friends and family. They all enjoyed a dinner of spicy chicken, spicy rice, and moi moi. The toasts were gracious, the MC was hilarious, and the first dances were sweet. The bride and groom sparkled, just having the best time.
As a surprise for the guests, the bridal party was escorted out to separate rooms to change into their own traditional Nigerian garb to dance the rest of the night away. It was incredible to see the transformation as the girls laughed and helped one another get into the outfits. Professionals were on hand to help with the headdress and skirts. No one could outshine the bride though, she looked fantastic and we all gathered to take a million pictures of the girl. Then when Tomiwa came in with his own outfit we all went crazy again. So perfect!
They were introduced into the reception hall to great applause and the rest of the night was just dancing, dancing, dancing! Such a love for life and they were a blur of vibrant colors along the dance floor. Such an honor to witness and be a part of such a fun group. We at Ellanesque wish Taiwo and Tomiwa the best.
Here are some fun moments from the wedding!
- Created: 07 August 2014
Written and Photographed By: Kelly Ann Earls
LeighAnne was in the car ahead of me and I watched as she drove up to a gate for the venue we would work that day for Stephanie and Brice’s wedding. She punched in a code and the gates slowly began to open, when I got the chance to drive through I was astonished at the sight. Chateau Polonez, was the most beautiful venue I have worked yet. As soon as you enter the gates you are met by a drive that leads to a French Chateau. A fountain stands in front just in case the view wasn’t classy enough. When LeighAnne and I walked into the entrance unpacking our supplies and the Bride’s luggage for the getaway car, I was just as pleased with the inside. A double grand staircase greeted us leading to the rooms the bridal party would be in and also where we would have the guests enjoy cocktails along a balcony which looked down into the ceremony area.
The first thing the Ellanesque team did was check the rooms for the bride and groom to make sure they would be comfortable. Bride first, we opened the door to reveal a lovely room that included a couch, vanity, full length mirror and a table which had champagne and OJ ready for the girls when they arrived. LeighAnne nodded approving the space and started to free the wedding dress from it’s container to hang on the mirror. The light from the windows made the ivory luminescent, I couldn’t wait to see how Stephanie would make it glow even more! We set up the rest of Stephanie’s accessories on the vanity ready for her and then moved across the way to the groom’s room. Inside was certainly manly, leather couch, a table which held glasses for Blue Moon beer and some orange slices. Everything seemed in order there as well and so it was time to check out the ceremony area.
I didn’t think this venue could amaze me further, but it certainly did. They were still setting up chairs, but a giant chandelier hung over a glorious ballroom where a stage stood in front overlooking a veranda with huge bay windows letting light peek through. The florist was setting up stands with bunches of flowers on top which looked like halos of pink, green, and white. So beautiful. A unity candle was set to the side for the families to symbolize becoming one and in the aisle, antique lanterns were set surrounded by flowers. Certainly the most elegant wedding I have worked yet. LeighAnne explained to me that this wedding would be a bit different than the previous ones I had worked. The room where the ceremony was being held was also going to be where the reception would be held. She pointed to curtains on the side of the ceremony area and explained that there were tables already set behind; so when the ceremony ended and the guests went up for cocktails, we would flip the room for dinner and the dance floor. I looked behind the curtain and smiled at the tables which were just as formal and blushing pink ready to surprise the guests when they returned. I couldn’t wait to help LeighAnne transform the room.
The florist set a huge floral display on a table in the foyer which LeighAnne and I then surrounded with programs and set the guest book in front. We then moved upstairs to start folding the escort cards which had been hand printed in beautiful calligraphy by a friend of the family. That’s when the bride, the mother of the bride, and her bridesmaids all arrived and I was happy to see I wasn’t the only one impressed and in awe of the location. Stephanie was extremely pleased and LeighAnne escorted her to the room to start getting ready and to relax. After we were sure the girls were starting to get make-up and hair done and had refreshments we went back to double checking with vendors, making sure no one had questions and were following the plan LeighAnne had discussed with the bride and groom.
We were on time (as usual) and the groom and his gang had arrived to start getting ready in their own room. LeighAnne helped the men get ready and with her talent for taking care of details big and small she made sure no pocket kerchiefs were out of place, bow ties were straight, and buds were pinned to lapels perfectly. The ceremony time was getting closer and while guests began to enter, the photographers arrived to take “before” pics. Before the ceremony and when the layout was set, LeighAnne told the MOB (mother of the bride) that she could come look at it. She didn’t want to see it till it was all set up. When she saw it, she immediately started to cry, from happiness, so pleased by how beautiful everything looked for her daughter’s special day. It was wonderful to see her so moved and to really appreciate everyone’s hard work. She went back to the bridal room where she, the bride, and the MOG (mother of the groom) all shared a nice moment together on how well it was all going. Probably one of my favorite shots, with the bride between her mother and her soon to be mother in-law.
Time had caught up to us and LeighAnne started getting the bridesmaids and groomsmen in place as I gently asked guests to please take their seats. When the coast was clear the bridal party started lining up down the stairs to be equal to the one they’d walk down the aisle with. LeighAnne looked to me and I was surprised when she asked me to go get Stephanie and her father, whom I had left upstairs to have a private moment alone before the special walk down the aisle. It would be my job to escort them outside and around for Stephanie’s grand entrance. This was a big deal, at least for me, and I was pleased and honored to get the chance. I moved upstairs and knocking quietly peeked in and let them know that it was time and that I would help them down and out. Stephanie and her father were a bit teary and held each other’s hand as I lead them to an elevator that would lead to a side behind the curtains so no guests would see the bride just yet.
As we were heading down the elevator I noticed Stephanie looked a bit nervous and was squeezing her dad’s hand tight. I remembered LeighAnne telling me it was our job as wedding planners to make sure our brides were calm and happy every step of the way and if they weren’t to just tell them to take a nice breath in and out and encourage them. I was nervous, but I pushed that aside, smiled to Stephanie, and told her, “Stephanie, you look absolutely beautiful and everything is going so well!”
She looked to me and smiling back asked, “Really?”
I nodded and looked to her and her father (who also looked a bit nervous) and I had them take a breath in and out like LeighAnne suggested and immediately they looked so much more relaxed and it was a wonderful feeling to have helped with that. Now Stephanie could just enjoy! We exited the elevator and I moved ahead a bit to close a curtain that tried to give the guests an early preview of Stephanie. Then we went through a side door and holding the back of her dress up a bit we walked around till we were back at the grand door leading into the Chateau. LeighAnne was there to meet us and was beaming as she also made sure Stephanie was alright and gave last minute instructions in a calm and reassuring voice. Then the ushers opened the door and with a smile to her dad, Stephanie started to walk with him to her fiancé.
The ceremony was wonderful just as we promised Stephanie it would be and as soon as it was over the guests were escorted upstairs. The new husband and wife took pictures with family and bridal party and then Stephanie and Brice were escorted upstairs to have some private time till their entrance into the reception. While guests mingled upstairs, the flip of the ceremony room began! The curtains were pulled back and tables moved to the center where the bridal party would sit and a section of the dance floor was left open for well, dancing. The cakes were set up on the stage. The bride’s cake was a traditional white layered cake, and for the groom, a golf course with a special shout out to A&M. Everything was set up and the DJ started some foot tapping music as the bridal party was introduced in pairs each entering with their signature dance moves and finally Stephanie and Brice entered also dancing it up as husband and wife and taking their seats. Everyone said grace and then were served dinner made by Chef Adam of the venue with tender chicken, pesto pasta, and rosemary potatoes. The toasts were made, the cake was cut, and then there were the special dances among the bridal party. Then it was time, TO PARTY! The DJ turned up the dancing music and the guests and bridal party were ready for it. They danced for hours with no lack of energy and were just having the best time. A fun section was when people gave money for a honeymoon fund to dance with either the bride or groom. It was certainly a night to remember and towards the end of the party guests were given adorable little Whataburger bags with midnight snacks of replicated honey biscuit chicken sandwiches actually prepared by chef Adam. The white and orange Whataburger bags actually said What-A-Night and had the couple’s initials and the date of the wedding. The guests loved it and some were taken home to enjoy later.
So it was time for a sparkler exit and the couple took off in an Audi all smiles and so in love. The guests waved them off till they were out of the gates on the way to their new life and then still smiling made their way home themselves.The MOB and the FOB came up to LeighAnne and myself and the MOB stated that we had made a believer out of her husband! Confused, we looked to the father who smiled sheepishly and the mother went on to explain that at first he didn’t see the need for a wedding planner, but after today and after all we had done, he admitted to his wife that she was right in pushing to hire us. Such a wonderful thing to hear and we were so pleased that we made him a believer in Ellanesque Weddings and Events. They both gave us big hugs and thanked us once again as they headed out together, a lovely couple themselves. LeighAnne and I congratulated each other on a great night and after cleaning and loading up any supplies that were ours, we too headed home.
When I got home I looked through all the special moments I had captured at that wedding and thought over the previous ones I had the chance to work. What a wonderful job it is to be a wedding coordinator and to be able to witness these special events because of Ellanesque.
Pictures from the wedding!
Walk Into A Dream With Ellanesque
- Created: 07 August 2014
Written and Photographed by: Kelly Ann Earls
Note: This was my first wedding experience with Ellanesque and I just had to share! Post was originally May 10th.
One of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced happened because of Ellanesque Weddings & Events. I witnessed a small portion of the hard work that went into the final preparations of Ashley and Freddy's wedding. Ellanesque owners, Lauren and Erik, were kind enough to allow me to observe their work in order to gain knowledge in event planning. In addition, it allowed me to experience firsthand what it's like to walk into a bride's dream for a few hours.
It was a beautiful, sunny day when I arrived at Ashley's parents' home where the wedding was to be held. I was told to head to the back where Lauren and her coordinator LeighAnne were setting up for the outside ceremony. As I moved around the side of the house, I witnessed a flurry of activity as vendors rushed to set up chairs, drink stations, flowers, etc. I introduced myself to Lauren and LeighAnne and was informed that LeighAnne would be in charge of this particular wedding, so I would follow her lead.
I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped as I was lead into the tent set up for the reception. Wow! It was just breathtaking how they transformed the space into an elegant getaway. This was just the skeleton I was told, they weren't even done setting up yet! An abundance of peonies, hydrangeas and roses overflowed in various places until the florist could arrange them into centerpieces.
Lauren and LeighAnne consulted their clipboards which included sheets and sheets of tasks to complete. They gave me small jobs to help them get through their timetable, which was broken into 30 minute increments from early morning until the final clean up well past midnight. Using a seating chart, I helped to set up the table markers, folded and placed escort cards, and distributed fun AdLib cards allowing the guests to give the happy couple words of wisdom.
As we moved along with our tasks, I watched in amazement as the dream continued to unfold and the beauty intensified. There seemed to be no detail that Ellanesque didn't consider, from the lighting effects to the specific fold of the golden linens on the tables.
After an hour of assisting with a variety of small tasks, and observing Lauren and LeighAnne complete a multitude of others, I realized I was in the calm before the storm. Soon everyone began to arrive at once. This included the bakers with the cakes, the caterers, the bartenders for the cocktail table, the DJ, the servers, musicians for the ceremony, the band for the reception, and even some early guests. Consummate organizers, Lauren and LeighAnne oversaw it all with grace and professionalism. If a vendor of guest had any questions or issues, they only had to ask and the two women in black were on it.
However, being a wedding planner is not always a piece of wedding cake. Not only do they have to oversee the needs of vendors, they also cope with unexpected situations that even the most organized wedding planner can't control. Their first priority is to calmly deal with any inevitable hiccups, with the proverbial spoonful of sugar, so that the bridal party doesn't have to. Situation like delayed shuttle service resulting in restless and impatient guests, the DJ missing music cues, and guests going exploring where they shouldn't, are all handled as promptly and efficiently as possible. Clients are left calm and happy and free to enjoy the special day.
Finally, everything was ready to make this a wedding to remember for Ashley, Freddy, and all their family and friends. We took one last look at all Ellanesque and the vendors had accomplished and just...wow!
The dream started to come to life...
Guests took their seats, the bridesmaids and groomsmen gathered to start the procession, and I saw the bride for the first time. You know how they say brides glow? Well, Ashley was luminous as she took her cheery father's arm and flashed me a smile. All the choices and plans she had been making for months had finally come together, and all she had to do now was enjoy it. Lauren and LeighAnne did last minute inspections before the bride walked down the aisle. All that was needed was to fluff the veil and extend the train of the dress, and Ashley stepped into Freddy's view for the first time. AS the ceremony began, Lauren and LeighAnne became visibly emotional. Sharing a moment of joy with the bride's family who had become more than clients.
The ceremony was perfection. Classical music played as the couple said their vows and with a kiss...IT WAS BACK TO WORK for the Ellanesque team!
While the guests enjoyed cocktails, the women of Ellanesque were already onto phase two: the reception. I swear the theme song for Mission Impossible was playing in my head as once again I observed them ensuring all the details were in place. The food was set, the band was prepped, the lighting was right, and the air conditioning on (thank God!). They opened the doors to the guests who marveled at the elegant and sophisticated setting. The music began, the food was served, and there was laughter and smiles from the oldest guest to the youngest.
The caterers provided a feast fit for a king with a beautiful presentation of roasted pig, empanadas, cerviche, lamb chops, grilled veggies, and steak with chimichurri sauce. Delicious.
With the guests settled, it was time to announce the new husband and wife. Lauren waited outside the tent with the bride and groom and their attendants, preparing for the grand entrance (right on schedule!), Ashley and Freddy lingered outside the door taking little peeks into the tent, smiling and laughing at how amazing everything looked. Following the announcement, Lauren slipped into the tent to connect with LeighAnne keeping a watchful eye on everything.
The festivities began and the Ellanesque women, though polite to the guests and thankful for compliments on their work, still focused on their number one priority, the bridal party. I noticed that they really do treat their clients like royalty. They made sure the bride and groom had their special plates, gave Ashley a tissue every time she cried from happiness, and checked to see when they were ready to cut the cakes and listen to toasts. They only stepped in if the bride or groom gave them a nod, so that they wouldn't intrude or distract from the festivities. It was easy to see how comfortable Ashley was with Lauren and LeighAnne, no Bridezilla in sight! Ashley was the calmest bride I'd ever met and just so kind, even to me, a stranger just helping out here and there.
Time flies when you're having fun and soon it was time to wish the couple farewell for their honeymoon! They left to a raised sparkler salute, evincing the wishes from their guests for many years of happiness. A beautiful couple and a truly romantic wedding thanks to Ellanesque.
The wedding gift Ellanesque gives each bride and groom is turning a dream into reality. It is one of the most precious gifts a person can give. I hope to witness another wedding by Ellanesque sometime soon because I love watching dreams come true!
Pictures of Ellanesque team at work and the wedding!
Eat, Drink, and Be Married
- Created: 06 August 2014
Written and Photographed By: Kelly Ann Earls
June 6th, I discovered the greatest part of being a wedding coordinator. It was Sara and Caleb’s special day and Ellanesque the wedding company I was working for had done it again; pulling off another spectacular wedding. There were no hiccups, no one and nothing was late, the food delicious, the music had joyous feet dancing, and the bride and groom looked so amazingly happy. My favorite moment of the wedding happened at the end however and not because it was over. Let me start at the beginning though...
“Eat, Drink, and Be Married” were printed on mason jar styled mugs, given as wedding favors and placed at each setting of the tables set with black and white linen, and contained fruit chews, little packets of lemonade, and tea. The chairs were decorated with big and bright blue bows and the bay windows surrounding the reception area made the glasses twinkle and gave the guests spectacular views of Lake Conroe.
The venue was Bentwater Yacht Club located in Conroe, TX. The weather was warm and slightly cloudy, with some rumors of rain. That however, didn’t stop Ellanesque’s LeighAnne, from preparing a wedding the bride and groom wouldn’t forget. I was lucky enough to be invited back to once again work for this outstanding wedding team and coordinator. As soon as I arrived, LeighAnne handed me the clipboard containing the timetable for the whole day. Ellanesque, I’ve discovered, is always on time, keeping everything organized to the minute. By the time the bride asks if this and this is done, LeighAnne and I had already taken care of it.
We unpacked a bunch of goodies that Sara and Caleb had chosen for their day. To a wedding planner (or at least an aspiring one like me) every box I got to open was like opening a Christmas present. Some boxes held beautiful candlesticks for the guestbook table, black stands that were attached to mirrors to put as centerpieces and soon a beautiful white bouquet would sit at the top of those stands surrounded by candles. In another box there were signs that stated team bride or team groom and a blank slate that stated, “write us a message!” When I asked LeighAnne what these were for, she informed me that there was going to be a photo booth set up in the corner of the reception area. What a fun idea! Soon the signs would be joined by hilarious looking hats and wigs and the photo booth was set up. The guests would later be seen cracking up over one another’s looks and making funny faces for memorable pictures.
Next we unpacked a box that held the menu cards for the dishes to be enjoyed that night. To start, the guests would delight in little treats of corn and crab fritters in a sweet chili pepper sauce; as well as mini pork tenderloin tacos with papaya-lime salsa. An appetizer of baked brie en croute with a raspberry sauce, which would be followed by a refreshing spinach salad with strawberries, candied walnuts, and a light and sweet balsamic dressing. The entree however, was the big show stopper in the wedding food department. Fresh thyme roasted chicken breast stuffed with spinach, goat cheese, and pine nuts with a red pepper sauce; as well as blackened redfish with jumbo lump crabmeat and crawfish sauce all served with a side of rosemary roasted potatoes and seasoned vegetables. For the kids, treasure map decorated menus were folded and held crayons for the children to use on their maps, as well as a large rainbow lollipop to enjoy after their meal of chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.
The cakes arrived, where the three tiered bride’s cake rested on top of a silver cake stand and the groom’s cake, which was in the shape of a Texas sized steak, rested on a linen covered stand. The grooms cake was a dark chocolate, while the bride’s cake was a vanilla cake with chocolate chips and raspberry filling. The table holding the cakes held the sign, “Let them eat cake!” Later no one rebelled against this.
After the reception area was set and glowing in hues of blue mood lighting; LeighAnne made sure the outside gazebo where the ceremony would be held, that looked over Lake Conroe, was being set up with chairs, an aisle runner, and hydrangeas that bursted with color. It started to sprinkle, but didn’t stay long and I was astonished to see that the darker clouds created a circle around the ceremony area, almost like a halo where only light shined through. No rain to ruin their ceremony, just a gesture of good luck to the bride and groom.
LeighAnne would check on Sara and Caleb almost every fifteen minutes to make sure they were calm and having no trouble getting ready, stress free. Caleb was all smiles as he made jokes with his fellow groomsmen who were equally jolly. Sara was sweet natured and you could tell she truly and confidently put her faith in Ellanesque and LeighAnne to make her wedding dream come true. The bridesmaids went Audrey Hepburn style in little black dresses and Tiffany blue shoes. The bride was in her mermaid ivory wedding gown with a blue sash around the middle and pearls around her neck. Beautiful and elegant she made all southerners proud when instead of heels she asked her matron of honor if she would help her get her cowgirl boots on.
Everyone in the wedding party was delightful and so kind and were truly respectful to LeighAnne and myself as we were to them. It felt more like we were helping family or friends rather than clients. LeighAnne even helped the bride and bridesmaids with their make-up sharing stories they could all share about sororities they were members of and dance teams. I also knew that we were prepared for anything should a drink spill on a dress, a rip occur, or well, anything! Earlier I was told to make a run to meet Lauren Peterson, the owner of Ellanesque to pick-up and learn about “The Bag”...this was a designer bag stuffed to the brim with anything and everything you could imagine that could help with a wedding. The supplies seemed endless and were genius! Like a boy scout, Ellanesque was always prepared.
The guests began to arrive and take their seats outside and the wedding party lined up for their entrance. As they walked down the aisle a small orchestra played. Soon the father of the bride took his little girl’s arm and led her to her future husband; as their dearest friends and family smiled enjoying the romance of the event. Then as Caleb and Sara joined hands, LeighAnne and I moved to double check all was set for the reception. The DJ was set, the caterers were ready, and the servers were looking sharp with trays of drinks. LeighAnne made sure the photographers were set to take pictures of the bridal party right after the ceremony, while the bartender was prepared to settle the guests with specialty drinks.
Everything was still running smoothly and on time. After the ceremony we directed the bridal party to their picture spot. Holding bouquets and organizing who was in what picture, LeighAnne kept control and everyone listened and followed instantly having full confidence in her to help them get through what needed to be done. Then after pictures, it was party time! The newlyweds made their entrance and began to mingle with their guests as the wedding supper was being served. LeighAnne gave them space to enjoy their guests, but still followed her time table and made sure the bride and groom had a chance to also enjoy the fabulous food they had chosen. Soon after, toasts were made by the best man, matron of honor, parents, and even Sara’s sorority sisters sang one of their songs to congratulate the couple as was tradition. Then the cakes were sliced and enjoyed by all.
As the first dance took place, LeighAnne and I began to help prepare for the newlywed’s exit that would occur in a couple of hours. LeighAnne grabbed a bucket of sparklers that would be handed out to the guests and set them near the door, she then stepped outside and curious I followed. I was surprised and delighted with what awaited us. A horse drawn carriage. The white steed looked to us approaching and controlling the reigns was a uniformed driver with a huge smile. The carriage itself was white with black trim and had twinkling lights that made it look like it popped out of a fairytale and standing by it LeighAnne looked like a fairy godmother. We settled boxes with the bride and groom’s possessions to take with them and then started lining the guests outside for a sparkler salute.
It was the end of the night and here is where my favorite part out of all this amazing and beautiful work comes in. The bride and groom came over and gave LeighAnne, and even me the assistant, tight hugs and thanked us for making their wedding day so spectacular and how much it meant to them. Just writing that part, I am touched all over again...there is no better feeling in the world than to see the happiness in their eyes and to know that you helped make that happen. Ellanesque makes that happen. As I watched the couple run through the sparklers and ride off into the night in their glowing carriage; I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. Ellanesque not only touched their lives, but also touched mine and I can’t wait to work with them again to bring more happiness into the world through beautiful and unforgettable weddings.
Photos From The Wedding!