Macie and Dashiell

July 21

Macie and Dashiell’s wedding was all about romance. From her color palette of dusty rose, rose gold, and gold, to the flowers, to the attire (her dress!!), everything had a dreamy romantic essence.

Throughout the planning process, Macie was a joy to work with. She was very hands on when it came to the decor. She wanted to personalize and do as much as possible herself because she thoroughly enjoyed it. She collected and painted all the bottles for her centerpieces, found all the decor items, and put together the coffee bean favors.

When it came to choosing and designing her flowers, I knew I had to play up the romance factor. I used large ruffly roses, whimsical lisianthus and sweetpeas, accented with lots of texture from astilbe and yarrow in shades of dusty blushes, peachy pinks, and moody mauves.

Being a part of their wedding day was so much fun and I was honored to help with it.

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Coordination | JS Weddings & Events
Rehearsal Dinner | San Chez
Hair + Makeup | Salon Re
Florist | JS Weddings & Events
Ceremony + Reception | The Waldron House
Catering | The Waldron House
Officiant | Mike Helsel, friend
Photographer | Jamie & Sarah Photography
Reception Entertainment | GR affordable DJ
Cake & Desserts | Kim Grover, Bride’s Aunt
Transportation | Affordable Limo

Nick and Paula

August 19

When I met with Paula, Nick and Paula’s parents, they were starting from ground zero. A few things that they did know were that they wanted an elegant wedding and they needed a wedding planner that would walk with them, and more importantly, guide them through the entire planning process.

Keeping the design aesthetic consistent in every detail was essential. What started as a simple burgundy and grey color scheme evolved into a romantic and dimensional color palette with shades of deep reds, blushes, and pops of mauve.

With both the ceremony and reception in ballrooms, it was important to embrace these elegant styles while incorporating some important traditions. With Nick being raised Catholic and Paula having a Jewish background, they wanted their entire wedding celebration to be special and meaningful for them but welcoming and inclusive for all. The beautiful chuppah they stood under had her Grandpa’s prayer shawl hanging above them and was adorned in hundreds of flowers by my team. They had more traditional Catholic vows and then ended with the Jewish stomping of the glass at the end of the ceremony.

With the tall ceilings at McKay Ballroom, we incorporated tall arrangements to really fill the space. The white dupioni linens set the stage for the tablescapes and all the small details like the burgundy velvet ribbons and white blooms that were placed at every place setting. The evening was filled with a memorable Father of the Bride speech, Paula surprising Nick with a soloist to serenade their first dance, and the hora. It was truly a wonderful celebration and I loved being a part of it. Congratulations to Paula and Nick!

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Ceremony Venue | St. Cecilia Music Center
Reception Venue | McKay Ballroom
Design, Planning & Coordination | JS Weddings & Events
Photographer | Karyn May Photography
Floral Designer | JS Weddings & Events
Hair + Makeup | Pomp & Artistry
Officiant | My West Michigan Wedding
Reception Vocalist | Sarah Brown Soprano
Catering | Martha’s Catering
Cake | Ryke’s Bakery
DJ | Music Host Entertainment
Transportation | Affordable Limousine
Linen Rentals | Special Occasions
Invitation Suite | Invitations By Dawn
Calligraphy | Lief Design
Dress | Bianka Bridal
Shoes | Jimmy Choo

Mike + Tanya

November 24

People always find it fun that I stay in touch with a lot of my past brides. But the truth is, these brides and I have spent countless hours together over many months, planning such an important day, that it only seems natural to stay in touch. And with every referral, birth announcement or impromptu coffee date that comes my way, it’s just a small reminder to me that what I do matters.

Cue Katherine, a past bride of mine and now a small business owner (x2). She and her husband live in the most beautiful home, on the east side of the state, that they are restoring and where she also runs her interior design business from.

When I received an email from Katherine wanting me to be the floral designer for one of her clients, I was immediately flattered and excited. The mood board she sent and the ideas she had put together were amazing. The overall aesthetic could be described as Old World Charm. Elegant antiques where accented by a rich color palette. Shades of reds and deep blue were accented with blush and gold. Velvet ribbon was wrapped around the bouquets, which consisted of peonies, ranunculus, and garden roses, and greenery was tucked behind the antique broaches the men wore. Entering the ballroom guests were greeted with sparkling chandeliers, beautiful crown molding, and glowing candles. Every centerpiece was a mini vignette, consisting of different vintage items that had all been gathered by Katherine.

Being a part of this gorgeous wedding was a dream and getting to work with a previous bride is always a plus. Congratulations Mike and Tanya and thank you for letting us be part of such a special day!

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Ceremony | Holy Family Detroit
Reception | The Colony Club
Design | B+B Design
Photographer | Shawn Cook
Floral Designer | JS Weddings & Events

DIY Holiday Gift Box

With Christmas being almost 10 days away (or as I like to say, 2 Saturday’s away), I hope you have started your shopping. With most of my family out of state and country, I find the names on my Christmas list getting shorter and shorter. While some of you might think that I’m super lucky that I don’t have a long list of people to buy for, believe it or not, I genuinely enjoy Christmas shopping. I like taking the time to pick out unique items for each specific person. And yes, I love wrapping presents!

But, if you are like me, no matter how prepared I am for holiday gift giving, there always seems to be a situation where I need a gift. Whether it’s a thank you gift, a hostess gift, or whatnot. Thankfully I’ve discovered the best way to be prepared for those moments is to have some small items, a box, and some crinkled paper on hand. Then I jut go to that stash of goodies, pick out some items, and create a customized gift box. I add a few fresh flowers (or a succulent) and a small greeting card and I’m good to go.

For those of you needing a little inspiration on designing a Holiday gift box, I’ve designed one for you to use as a guide. I made this for a couple of lemon enthusiasts. Most of the items in the gift box were purchased from World Market.

DIY Holiday Gift Box

What you’ll need:
• Gift Box
• Variety of Items
• Crinkled Paper

What I used:
Wooden crate
• Fresh Flowers + Mercury Glass Vase (similar here)
Honey Lemon Wafers
Lemon Poppyseed Scones
Lemon Drop Candies
Lemon Curd
Orange Blossom Honey (similar here)
Lavender Lemonade Tea
Tea Infuser

Notes:
Holiday gift boxes are great because you can create each one for the specific individual that will be receiving it. I find it easiest if you choose a theme for the box that is appropriate for the person receiving the gift. Whether that theme is a color, an occasion (ie: holiday – like what I’m doing) or interest (ie: tea, wine), having a theme helps you choose items and gives your gift a cohesive look and feel.

Be creative and think outside the box when it comes to the “box.” Crates, mixing bowls, strainers, trays and many other things can be used as your “box.”

I generally include some type of “living” item in each gift box. Depending on the person, you could give a succulent, potted herbs, a small bouquet, or even an air plant.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift Box
JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift Box

Instructions:
1. Lay out everything you want to include in the gift box – this will help you get an idea of what you have. Keep in mind you might not use everything you bought.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift Box

2. Place the crinkled paper in the bottom of the box.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift Box

3. Start playing around with where items should be placed. Generally, the taller items should go in the back, with smaller items placed on top/last.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift BoxJS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift BoxJS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift BoxJS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift BoxJS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift Box

Holiday Entertaining: The Cocktail Party

Hosting a cocktail party this holiday season? Here are some tips to make sure your event goes off without a hitch.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer DIY Holiday Entertaining Cocktail Party

Space
– Having a space dedicated for the bar is a must! If you are hosting a large party, it’s even a good idea to have two drink stations in different areas to avoid long waits and bottlenecks.
– Bar carts are an easy when it comes to creating a designated space for drinks.
– Don’t have a bar cart? You can create a bar on a buffet, media console, kitchen counter or even a desk.
– Make sure your bar isn’t too close to your buffet or dining table – don’t crowd all your spaces into one area, let things flow to prevent traffic jams.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer DIY Holiday Entertaining Cocktail Party

Build Your Bar
– Put the best booze on top: if you have a bar cart, put the most popular drinks on top for easiest access and stash the backups below.
– Ditch the full bar: there is no need to offer every kind of liquor, mixer and garnish. Instead, focus on one or two signature drinks, a red wine, a white wine, a beer, and definitely a sparkling wine.
– Signature Drinks: A signature drink can be a money saver and a time saver. Mix up a big batch, give it a fun name, and let guests serve themselves.
– Non-Alcohol: Don’t neglect the non-drinkers. A citrus punch of orange juice, cranberry juice and ginger ale is always a good option.
– Organize with trays and bowls: Use trays to compartmentalize glassware, booze, and garnishes. Use bowls to display the garnishes, bar tools, toothpicks, swizzle sticks, and stylish straws. Don’t be afraid to mix up the styles and sizes.
– Prep drinks + apps: Arrange your apps and prep your drinks prior to your guests’ arrival. Enlist in a friend to help plate the apps and get the drinks flowing.
– Make it festive: Give your bar a decorative layer (just like you would your mantle or dining table).

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer DIY Holiday Entertaining Cocktail Party

Simple Bar Checklist
– Alcohol: red + white wine, beer, champagne, two signature cocktails
– Mixers: club soda, fruit juice, soft drinks, water (sparking and still)
– Garnishes: ice, lemons, limes, maraschino cherries, olives
– Glassware: champagne flutes, old-fashioned glasses, wine glasses,
– Tools: bottle opener, corkscrew, cocktail shaker, cutting board, ice bucket, jigger, strainer, pairing knife
– Odds + Ends: coasters, toothpicks, drink stirrers, swizzle sticks, cocktail napkins
– Trays + Bowls

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer DIY Holiday Entertaining Cocktail Party

Full Bar Checklist
– Alcohol: beer, bourbon, brandy, champagne, gin, liqueurs, rum, scotch, sherry, tequila, vermouth, vodka, whiskey, wine (red + white)
– Mixers: club soda, fruit juice, ginger beer, soft drinks, tomato juice, tonic water, water (sparking and still)
– Garnishes: ice, lemons, limes, maraschino cherries, olives
– Glassware: champagne flutes, old-fashioned glasses, highball glasses, martini glasses, wine glasses (red + white)
– Tools: bottle opener, corkscrew, cocktail shaker, cutting board, ice bucket, jigger, strainer, pairing knife
– Odds + Ends: Coasters, toothpicks, drink stirrers, swizzle sticks, cocktail napkins
– Trays + Bowls

For a printable PDF, click here