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Tuesday Tip :How to be a GREAT Bridesmaid!!

As an event planner I get asked a lot what brides should do about the less than excited bridesmaid so after careful thought I have compiled a few thoughts and tips to share. Bridesmaids remember that it is not about the dress, the color, or style but about you playing an active role. You are responsible for taking weight off the brides shoulders,  helping a friend or family member, and helping keep stress at a minimum. Please do NOT cause the bride more stress! Here are a few tips;

1. If you live close by organize a monthly get together to keep everyone one the same page, craft, or have  a glass of wine. Maybe even do lunch or dinner on occasion.

2. Planning a shower if bride wants one whether it is a couple shower, females only, or both.

3. If you live far away call, email, PM regularly to stay in touch with what is going on. Ask what you can do to help by doing research, scanning through invitation ideas, etc.

4. **If you are the Maid of Honor then it is your responsibility to organize all bridesmaids, not the brides. Help her search for dresses that suit everyone and be proactive about meeting other bridesmaids especially if you have never meet!

5. Plan non wedding related activities to help the bride stay relaxed and not stressed out. She needs to relax and enjoy this process.

6. Most importantly remember that your job will vary so be open to anything, AVAILABLE, and willing to help! Even if all your bride needs is moral support!

BRIDES— Remember to pick wisely and happy planning :)

Jumping for Joy
Jumping for Joy

Wizard of Oz Wedding Part 1 and my UNIQUE Decoupaged Shoes

So many of you know that I got married at the Land of Oz last September!! It rained, and was magical! One of the best weddings ever if you ask me! I adore my husband and even more greatly appreciate that something that is so dear to my life, my family, and my children he has been able to enjoy with us. See, when we first started dating I asked him to be the Lion for us for Halloween. He thought I was crazy but I told him that people would love it and would even stop us for pictures. He was amazed but I was right and so the stories begins. I share with you this personal story because I handmade everything for our wedding and I wanted to be able to share my ideas as well as inspire you!!!



                                                    Our family trip to Disney for Halloween 2012


I knew once we were engaged where I wanted to get married and exactly what I wanted to do… being an event planner helped tremendously!! ( BUT I still hired a day of coordinator ;) )  I started on all my little details and I made everything from paper flowers out of pages of the Wizard of Oz books to hand sewing ruby red slippers and EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN so stay tuned for more!

I purchased a pair of slick cream colored shoes from Shoe Show.. they were ONLY $16. It is very important that the material be slick for the Mod Podge to adhere to trust me I made this mistake. Mod Podge can be found at local crafts stores and even Walmart. I began cutting out pictures, quotes, stickers, and even used teal tissue paper as it was our accent color. This was such a fun task that if you are in need of shoes and aren’t crafty I would love to help you! Give me your theme, colors, and send me your shoes :) 

1. Make sure area of shoes are very clean and I would highly suggest cutting out all pieces beforehand so that you can focus on gluing everything at one time.

2. Coat a small area of the shoe with Mod Podge then place your desired item on top and recoat same area with Mod Podge again. Continue this process until shoe is covered completely with both cut outs and Mod Podge. ( Don’t worry about cutting pieces into perfect shapes as the finished product looks better when pieces overlap each other) Be sure to let Mod Podge dry between coats as instructed on the bottle. Once it dries recoat the entire shoe. I suggest putting at least 3 coats and you do not have to wet sand as instructed on the bottle unless you prefer to.

Now you have amazing shoes that are ONE OF A KIND!!!!!!!!!! :)





Notice the yellow brick road has our wedding date. I also cut hearts out of tissue paper, and I especially loved our names and “I DO” on the back of the shoes. Stay tuned because there is more Wizard of Oz Wedding DIY to come….

The flower girl shoes, handmade bouquets and boutonnieres with paper flowers, hand sewn ruby red slippers, signs, lollipops, and more!!!  




Mommy & Me Session 2014

First came Kelly and her lovely mother and daughter. I was more than honored to capture this special moment of love. Kelly contacted me once I posted my Mommy & Me Sessions and asked if it was okay to do a 3 generation shoot… OF COURSE I said! The pleasure was all mine. :)

P3 IMG_4369
Caught off guard
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Mom said “Capture this fast!”
P3 IMG_4288
Models in training
P3 IMG_4263
3 Generations of love
P3 IMG_4250
What do we do now?
P3 IMG_4241
Love is a rose


Next came Carrie and Maya. I must tell you that I am so proud to call this lady my friend. She was not very excited about getting her picture taken and in fact asks for me to never post pictures on social media, but I am so happy for her!!! She overcame a fear and looked absolutely BEAUTIFUL doing it.

Mommy Love
Mommy Love
In the roses
In the roses
That cloud is a kite...
That cloud is a kite…
Once upon a time
Once upon a time
Kisses for you
Kisses for you



A moment that can not be edited … Capturing love <3

I write this blog because as I am sure you can guess my fees, process, and lack of editing are often questioned by others in my field…

When a client calls me up or asks for my services in photography my first response is ” I would be honored, and please know that my photos are raw, unedited, and as I see them through my lens!” Why? Because I believe that a moment can not be edited in but captured. For some clients they are immediately uninterested, which is fine, and for others their ears perk up. I have talked to other professionals that tell me I don’t value myself enough by offering cheaper prices, and some say I will never make it anywhere by undercutting them. Well, none of these are my intents!!!

As some of you may know from following my blog or meeting me I was a single mother of three until last September when I married my best friend. I could never afford to pay someone $500 to capture my baby being born, a family reunion, or my child’s first birthday. Thus started my own love for the art. I have always loved photography and capturing moments with my girls that can NEVER be replaced. If my house was on fire and I could only grab one possession it would be my photos. Why? Because pictures take you back much like a song. You have everyday moments that should be cherished just as much as the large events in our lives. Sometimes as parents we throw that amazing birthday party and forget to charge our cameras..oops. Well in today’s society we rely on our phones for our pictures, but you can not print those pictures in good resolution to hang on your wall in your home. 


I will give you a perfect example; I was hired to face paint for a birthday party and was finished early. As I was packing up I overheard the mother, as well as one of her guests, say their cameras weren’t working. I had my camera in the car from a previous job so I offered to finish my last hour by snapping a few shots. I captured some amazing moments that no doubt would never have been seen. I was able to do this because I wasn’t running around putting out food, making sure everyone was okay, getting the cake ready, and so much more! 

I have photographed births, babies two days old, weddings, bridals, events, festivals, Family gatherings,, and birthdays to name a few. My process is to watch the way people interact and click when they aren’t expecting it. I went to a business function not long ago and we all were to stand up and tell about ourselves and our business. After I stood up another gentlemen described his photography plan. He ended his announcement with “Don’t hire me for your kids birthday party because I am too expensive.” I must tell you that it took everything I had to not say… “But hire me because I am not and would be honored to capture those moments of love.”  In business we all have our own vision, and in that our own responsibility to our clients. My responsibility is to help a mother remember the water gun fight of ’09 at their family reunion, or how she accidentally forgot the candle on her son’s 5th birthday and how nobody cared. I have learned that life is short and every moment should be honored, captured, and cherished for we never know when God takes us home and all we have are the photos.


 noun \fə-ˈtä-grə-fē\

: the art, process, or job of taking pictures with a camera



What does this photo say to you? Stay tuned for opinions, thoughts, and I have a story to share that you won’t want to miss. :)

How to Plan ahead for Parties and SAVE MONEY!!!

This may seem like an impossible feat but I PROMISE you it is not!!!!

Let me start on this note;

You know when your daughter will turn 5, at least I hope you do ;)

You know when your son will graduate, praise God!

You know if you are a football fan you will have a Superbowl Party, unless your team doesn’t make it :/

You know your best friend is having a baby and wanting you to plan her shower or maybe a reveal party, so much FUN!!

I won’t give you all of my tricks because I am available for hire but I do have a few tips to share. You may be asking yourself the question of how? How do I buy when I don’t know what the theme will be, the colors, or how many people? All very valid questions thus I give you


1. If you KNOW your daughter loves Princesses and while you are in the store you see party favors that have princesses on them for ONLY $.20.. BUY THEM!!! 

2. If you KNOW (Or anticipate) your son will graduate the year before hand then be on the lookout for the clearance goodies. You can find tons of things without dates. For example plates, cups, napkins, tablecloths. These tiny things add up and I have purchased them for as little as $.10 a package!!

3. If you KNOW that you LOVE football after Superbowl buy your favors for next years party! I went to a store and purchased 2 tablecloths, 4 packs of napkins, 20 party favors (koozies in the shape of a referee shirts SO CUTE!!), hanging footballs, and 100 plates for $2.90!!!! Wow right??

4. For the baby shower look outside the box…just because it’s a baby shower doesn’t mean your plates have to have a baby on them. At every store check for colored items to match your party such as candle holders, ribbons, chargers, quirky containers for silverware, and even try consignment stores for something out of the box.

My philosophy as a single mother for years was always to do the most with the least, because I had no other choice. Please keep in mind that a party doesn’t have to break the bank it’s the originality that stands out most. So buy your clearance goodies and contact me for your Day of Services whether it’s Planning, face Painting, or Photography!! :)


*Please note those awesome dress notepads w/ pen were purchased on clearance at $.50 originally $3 a piece. Other items such as rings, stickers, and swords (for the knights) were purchased in bulk at the $1 store. Entire place setting for each guest ONLY $3.25!

Writing a large check…and being happy!!! Weird right?

I have to say that this was such a learning experience and so personally fulfilling that I almost feel selfish! Sounds crazy right!!??? I gained more than I ever imagined from planning this event and am so grateful to be able to work with Love is Bald and Pretty in Pink! After all costs and expenses were paid, I am happy to say, for this first time event I was able to raise $2800. I never really thought that writing two checks for $1400 would make me so happy!! Light up the Night 2014 was an amazing success despite the rain that deterred people from coming and some that left early. I started this project with a goal of raising $5,000.00 and I almost reached that goal! So next year I can not wait to see what happens! 

I need to give a shout out to all my vendors, sponsors, and volunteers that were involved;

Volunteers; Dr. Bradley Walter and his lovely wife Becky Walter, Joycelyn George, Amanda Murray, Chris Wright, Shawn Best, my lovely little sister Hannah, Maranda Lewis, Sarah Edwards, Shawn Winter, Megan Pratt, Laura Meade, Kat O’Sullivan, 

Bands & Music; Chasing Opal & Stoney Creek Music, Perculating Sounds was our DJ (Also all sponsors)

Sponsors/Vendors; Dr. Egg Pediatric Dentistry, Crystal Coast Photo Booth, Compassionate Fit, Linda’s Cuisine, Queensboro, Premier Designs with Lisa Clark, Bill Smith Caricatures, Pretty Little me Boutique, Paparazzi Jewelry, Celebrate Home, Pure Romance, Ocean Candle Company, Jilly lights, Sunny Soap, Enchanted Realm, Park Lane Jewelry, Elite Chiropractic, Pampered Chef, Origami Owl, Katiemade Crafts, Dress up that Door, Shelly’s Jellies, Stella & Dot, and Jewelry by Cindy

I can not thank you all enough for your support, help, and donations! A special shout out to Captn’ Bill’s for allowing me to throw this event at their facility. Not only did people purchase puzzle lights all across the U.S. but I also received raffle items and donations as far as California!  I am working on next year’s event so stay tuned for more details. I am thinking about how we can light up the night for a different cause! Please give me your suggestions of an amazing nonprofit that you know needs our help! Feel free to ask me how you can get involved as I need help in many different areas and I love to meet new friends. Because without YOU this event would not be possible!! :)

Here is the link with pictures from the event and more to come!! So stay tuned and like the facebook page to find out more



Light up the Night 2014

As the date is closely approaching I must say that I have gained more than I imagined from this experience. I have had those effected tell me heartwarming stories and meet some incredible people along the way. It makes you self reflect…..see this event is being held to raise money and honor anyone you have lost to cancer or that has survived. A night of celebration for those we love!!

I started this project because of my love, adoration and respect for both Love is Bald and Pretty in Pink. (These are the two non-for-profits that all monies are being raised to benefit) I have seen the organizations work first hand and KNOW the lives they touch, change, and heal. I was honored to work even closer and help in the best way possible..offering my services! In July of 2013 I sat down with both Organizations to pitch my vision, and my ideas. Initially this was to be a sky lantern lighting but through feedback from the community I was pushed to the test to come up with an original idea that would blow the previous one away…..and IN A HURRY!!!

Back in November I saw puzzle lights and fell in love with them and tracked down a vendor who was able to come to this event with their uniqueness. The puzzle lights started over on the West Coast and are slowly moving here. Together she and I created a custom design specifically for this event. Thank you Jill Turner!!! Now I am even more excited than before because guests get to take their light home with them as a keepsake. I even had someone tell me that they have been waiting for this event ever since the fashion show last September!

I have always loved planning events but again I will say that I have gained so much I feel like I am unworthy of it. However I know that God will use my knowledge and I can not wait to see where it takes me next….

If you are interested check out the Event page, invite your friends

Want to know how you can donate or purchase your light? $25 in advance and $30 at the door



Wedding Show ………. A….MA….ZING!!!!

As I am home reflecting and unpacking from  The Perfect Wedding Planner Magazine’s wedding show at Holiday Inn Resort I am feeling so blessed! Blessed for so many reasons…….


1. I love my job!!

2. I love my clients that have all become my close friends! I look forward to making new ones :)

3. I love to meet other like minded professionals.

As I unwind from the excitement I think about my two favorite days in the planning process. What days  you ask? The first day is the day I meet my clients and get to know everything I can about them.  My philosophy in planning the best wedding ever is to know in and out what my clients want. Because sometimes I have to make a rush decision and I need to KNOW what my client would choose if they were in my shoes.

The second day is the day of the wedding and it’s not because I get to see the vision come to life, and not because the job is done. Don’t get me wrong seeing the vision in full swing is amazing.  I love the wedding day because it is the day that I run around making sure everyone shows up, making sure all candles are lite, every flower is in place, the cake has arrived, and the food is set. However when I walk into the dressing room to make sure my bride is ready to go is when my favorite moment occurs. She (the bride) looks at me as I walk in and her face lights up. She hugs me with a sigh of relief because she knows that I have taken care of everything and all she has to do is enjoy!! :)

A few pictures from today!!! Looking forward to hearing from my new brides, grooms, mothers and mothers to be!


Favor Display '14
Favor Display ’14




St. Thomas '11
St. Thomas ’11

Reasons to hire a Planner….not your Aunt’s sister cousin….

I know many of you ask why? Why do I need to hire a planner when I can make everything myself or go to pinterest?  Why hire a planner when I can organize all vendors? Why hire a planner when I don’t need any recommendations for vendors or venues my grandmother knows everyone? Why hire a planner when my Aunt’s sister’s cousin is going to take care of it all?

Those all seem like valid questions right? As a professional planner I almost cringe especially when I hear the last question. Why? Because the last question tells me two things. First that you do not want to have to worry about anything the day of your wedding so you have asked someone else to help. And second that you may be in for a disaster…

I KNOW you love your Aunt’s sister cousin and I am SURE she has the best of intentions but there are so many things you need to think about outside of that. Does she know how to facilitate a timeline for the day of a wedding? What if she gets too sick? What if she is a little controlling and her vision is not your vision? And last but not least what happens if there is a family dispute ? Let’s face it sometimes there are :) and it helps to have a person there to help who’s ONLY interest is making her clients happy while professionally intervening.

Keep in mind that as an event planner there have several packages available so even if you don’t need a full wedding planner please consider hiring for at least your day of coordination.  As an event planner I am here to help you with your budget, bring your vision to life, help with fellow vendors/venues, vendor meetings, and much more. The most important job I am have is to help my clients be at ease and know that all they have to do is sit back, relax, and LOVE each other. Please don’t let your Aunt’s sister cousin ….well….you know! The best place for her to be is front row watching you get married and enjoying your beautiful day with you!


IMG_9005 final


FULL Invitations for $1….postage included!!!!!!

How you ask????

If you can recreat something from pinterest you can do this!! Bargain shopper even BETTER!!!!

Look for clearance items especially after season. I did this for wedding invitations but  you can use the same idea for any party or function you are having. I purchased a full set of 50 invitations with inserts, envelopes, reply cards and all for $1!!! (Since they were only $1 I bought several boxes!!) Break this down…that’s $.02 PER invitation! That in itself is awesome!! Right?



We had our wedding at the Land of Oz and I actually walked to my husband down the yellow brick road. It was a beautiful rainy day. I purchased the postage card inserts from for .18 a piece. So just to help you I will keep a running tab….that’s $.20 per invite now. I drew the yellow brick road on every single one of my invites, printed from my home computer verbage. The directional insert printed from home,  also came with original invites purchased. I purchased all of the Wizard of Oz books to make paper flowers then tore out a page  from a book to  glue inside of envelope to add style. Adding $.01 totaling $.21. I cut up yellow bricks and added a hot air balloon sticker to exterior of envelope for effect. My friends were finding yellow bricks for months after!! Adding another .01 totaling $.22.

Last but not least postage…to send out invitations it cost .46 and postage for Reply cards was .33. making my grand total $1.01 PER INVITE!!!!!!

As an experienced Event Planner I want to help you save money but remember if making invitations isn’t right for you, order them from a reputabable source. There are other ways you can save! Stay tuned for more tips, and feel free to ask Questions!!!!