Pretty Things.. and another photo shoot

Wedding Photography Inspiration!  All pictures by Mandee Rae. Here is her website. Today I am hooked on the idea of a post-wedding photo shoot. And all things Mandee Rae, apparently.

The couple was wed at Canterwood (remember the brunch wedding write up I did in November?) But did a post-wedding photo shoot around our little town of Gig Harbor, Washington. Continue reading


Expecting the Unexpected

It’s raining cats and dogs at the office right now – the day started out promising, but the PNW weather gods have reared their predictably unpredictable heads.

As a wedding planner, I am frequently bombarded with “What If?”s.  What if my guests are late, what if the power goes out, what if it rains, what if it rains, what if it rains.  Of course we have a gameplan for all of that (yes, if it rains, rains, rains, I promise we have a plan) – and most event planners will have a rain game-plan as well.

But is there a plan in place for other weather phenomenons?  This summer we had one of those stuffy overcast days – where the air is so heavy you can hardly get a deep breath, your skin is sticky and it is uncomfortably hot.  It wasn’t exactly raining – but the air was so saturated with moisture, it felt like it was.

I don’t know how they managed to hold it together for these shots – I was in a short skirt and sleeveless blouse and was still horribly uncomfortable! Kudos to the couple!

Anastaisha Kris-571

My couple had planned a lovely outdoor ceremony (end of June),  but as the morning went on, we had a quick pow wow and decided to move under the tent.  This kept the sun that was poking through the clouds off of their elderly guests, and it allowed me to turn the fans on and get the air moving.  Instead of a sweltering, sticky ceremony, guests were cooled by the shade, and felt the cool breeze of our fans, while still enjoying a stunning view.

Anastaisha Kris-1340

When the sky FINALLY opened up to release the pressure and rain that had been building for three days, guests were able to watch a lovely thunderstorm, safe from under the tent with the sides pulled back.

I’ll tell you one thing – if the weather hadn’t been terrible, this photo in  front of a brick fireplace would not have been so epic!

Anastaisha Kris-1792

One more, how gorgeous is this girl!?!?

Anastaisha Kris-487

Thank you to AiP Photography for sharing these pictures. And thank you to Ana and Kris for making this event a breeze with their good-natured views on all things weather related.

Happy planning!




The Ceremony, Reception and After-Party All In One!

NYE was a hugely successful night here at the club. I designed the decor theme and wanted to give you a little peek.
This year I predict we will see the rise of couples planning the “after-party” aspect of their wedding to take place in the same venue as the reception and ceremony.  With a growing focus on social responsibility (goodbye drinking and driving), and couples looking to truly pamper their guests from start to finish (hello late night munchies), the “netflix-and-chill-lounge” and “gastropub-chic” aspects of wedding planning are gaining speed.
By including plans for your night-owl guests, your wedding takes on a whole new persona, once the greater mass of the crowd goes home.  Here is where the remaining guests will indulge in rich foods and pontificate the meaning of life, or which Justin is more crush-worthy.  A fire-pit or cigar lounge would be a great addition to this – as would a silent black and white loop of a favorite 90s sitcom – Netflix and Chill! Bring out the comfy furniture, dramatic lighting and handcrafted cocktails for your late night celebrants.
Because some of the pictures are hard to see (hello! I believe in mood lighting), I’ve added some shots with lighter filters so you can get a feel for all the elements in each area.
Late Night Desert Station:
bite sized munchies on the right, chocolate fondue station on the left, black linen, silver stars, lights under the bite sized munchie display.
With some light so you can see a bit better....
Long Conversation Tables:
I am a huge fan for having your dinner at tables like this. Too dramatic for your taste? Have a couple by the dance floor or outside.  Invest in some fancy linens that match your theme, but hare a little more over the top.  And don’t forget the mood lighting.  See the little conversation pockets that developed between the guests in this picture? Note the family-style shared bottles of wine and the relaxed, yet dressy feel this picture has. 
nightclub long table.png
Lounge Furniture:
Easy to find in white or black, lounge or “nightclub” furniture is perfect for conversation clusters and relieving sore-from-dancing feet.  A 30″ uplight is placed behind the couch, and the center ottoman is actually a flattened white futon.  A white carpet pulls the space together, similar to your living room.  Toss a couple throw pillows in the mix and you’re set.
This is where you would find me!
Sexy Cocktail Tables:
textured linen (like this white bubble taffeta), battery operated uplight underneath, cocktail height bar stools, shiny centerpiece.
cocktial table
Action Station:
dramatic sushi station where Chef Joe hand rolled sushi to order. Uplighting, black draping, black linens is all it took to create this look .
sushi station
How are you going to incorporate the after party into your wedding celebration?
Happy Planning

DIY Painted Bottles

Ooh! How I love these centerpieces from Cece & Ryan’s Wedding this past summer!! The fabulous bride spent a year gathering various bottles (wine bottles, liquor bottles, milk bottles, vinegar / olive oil bottles, even jars would work!) and painted them to match her vintage-romantic-bling wedding.

I love her use of ombre colors – easier to bring all your ideas together, rather then trying to match that EXACT shade of plum…

Wash & dry the bottles thoroughly, the simply paint your favorite colors on the outside.  You could also spray paint the bottles for a smoother finish, however, I simply adore the little brush strokes that you can see on these pieces.  Any paint will work, but a milk-paint or chalk-paint will give you that matte, boho (rustic) look.


Variations (I have tested all three techniques mentioned in the blog and they all have lovely results that fit an array of styles):

starbucks painted lattes

From Pinterest: Use glass milk containers and masking tape for a more intricate design like this DIY bride did (link to original pin here) in the picture above.  In this case, the crafter smoothed out the brush strokes, which fits the style better.  More latex in the paint should help with this.


Looking for that glassy-baby, candy glass look? Pour paint inside the bottles and swirl around until completely coated. Glassy baby picture from website, link to tutorial as shown in picture here.


Want faux mercury glass? Spray the inside of the bottle with a 50/50 vinegar/water mix, so the glass looks sweaty, spray paint Krylon’s “Looking Glass” mirror spray paint on the wet beads and allow to day. Good pinterest tutorial here

On paper, teal and gold might not seem like a good fit, however, in person? A new favorite – a stunning combination.


Congratulations to this happy couple and thank you, thank you, thank you for the DIY inspiration!


LMK: #RealWedding (Live!)

Hello and Happy Wedding Planning!

Hope & Tyler **just** got married at my venue this morning! I couldn’t resist sharing a few pictures with you.

Ceremony First: It was foggy and 36 degrees for this frosty 10am ceremony… How cute are these blankets from West Elm? And the sign… “to have and to hold, in case you get cold!” The bride’s grandmother walked her down the aisle.

On to Tray Passed Deviled Eggs (crab and avocado) & Fruit Skewers and a fun beverage station! An assortment of Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Bellinis and Greyhounds warmed all the guests up. Oh! And Tyler from Brewin’ Around Coffee Co. was on hand with a portable Espresso Cart.

The buffet brunch included a gourmet crepe station, crab eggs Benedict and other yummy items created in house by our catering team. How cute are these little easels showing the significance of each dish!?

I love how one of our chefs fashioned a little snowman on the cheese display!

Floral: Jen’s Blossoms

Rentals: Trendy Event Rentals

Other Decor: Various Etsy Shops

Venue, Food & Beverage: Canterwood Golf & Country Club

Author’s own pictures

What a lovely couple these two have been to work with! And, although we didn’t have the snowy day she had imagined, I’d say it all came together pretty nicely, don’t you?


LMK: #RealWedding Placesettings


We had some really pretty placesettings this wedding season that I would like to share with you on Tuesdays.  Just a quick picture of the setting from a bird’s eye view.  No long descriptions – just some eye candy for the wedding obsessed.  In most cases, the linens and chargers are rented from Trendy Event Rentals in Tacoma.  Sometimes augmented with the couple’s own decor.  These are actual, obtainable and fresh weddings – not stuffy, out of date, styled fake shots with $120 / set silverware.

These pictures are taken by me, and sometimes aren’t the best / straightest / professionally lit!! But this is about RealWeddings, so meh.