Tuesday, April 30, 2013

CSW: Tradition - How to Plan a Cultural Wedding

Incorporating some of your cultural traditions into your ceremony and reception TRULY makes for  a signature wedding day and a wonderful experience for your family and invited guests.  Chicago Style Weddings invited me to give some advice on how to make your wedding unique and meaningful by celebrating your cultural heritage.  Take a look:

"There are things that are going to happen at every wedding, but if there's a cultural component to the event then you've got something special," says Desiree' Moore Dent of Dejanae Events. "Everyone will have rings, vows and cake. But it's your cultural traditions that make it special."

"Start by talking to your family," says Dent.  "Because there is going to be someone who has experienced those cultural aspects and can give you an idea of what to do." "Talk to them about what they've done in the past with incorporating cultural traditions into a ceremony."  "It's the idea of seeing the traditions and rituals they [parents] did in their ceremony passed on," says Dent.  "They would like to see their son or daughter experience the same thing."

The phrase "tying the note" comes from "an African wedding custom. At some point during the ceremony, the bride and groom would be joined together with plaited grass and their union blessed," says Dent. "Today, this custom can be seen in almost every ceremony through the bride and groom joining hands during the ceremony and holding hands as they exit as husband and wife."

"Whatever traditions you choose to integrate unto your ceremony, be sure to offer information to guide your guests through these customs."

"At receptions, traditions usually come into play with food," says Dent, who points out that your culinary heritage will help add to the signature of your event.  "It will linger on their minds a little longer than the standard fare."

You can view the entire article and others in Chicago Style Weddings eMagazine at http://www.chicagostyleweddings.com/emagazine.aspx.

Until next time...WEDologize!

Monday, April 29, 2013

CSW: Planning 101

Happy to have been included in one of Chicago Style Weddings print magazine articles called, "Planning 101".  The very information article gives insight on how to make most of your wedding day from setting your guest list and budget to selecting the right vendors.  Check out our quotes and read the entire article online or pick up a copy of the CSW latest issue.

If you give yourself time to plan, says Desiree' Moore Dent of Dejanae Events, "that will alleviate stress in itself."

Dent sums it up best: "The wedding day is only one day, and the marriage is a lifetime. Nothing is perfect, and, yes, you will become stressed during some part of the planning, so remember to take breaks from the planning portion to enjoy the actual engagement."

You can view the entire article and others in Chicago Style Weddings eMagazine at http://www.chicagostyleweddings.com/emagazine.aspx.

Until next time...WEDologize!

Friday, April 26, 2013

...I Found It, You Pin It...Friday!

I'm always floored how women transfer into the most beautiful, spirited, excited, sexy, playful, stunning and gracious people on the planet when they slip into their wedding gown! It's the moment they have thought about all their lives and the mental transformation begins...into MRS.  What a STUNNING bride captured as she looks at her brooch bouquet and prepares for her walk to her MR.  Oh and her gown is AHHHHHHmazing!

Until next time...PIN IT and WEDologize!

(photo credit - Hannah Goering for George Street Photo and Video)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Real Wedding: Sumhr and Justin

March 9, 2013 wasn't unseasonably cold day for Chicago, but the sun did shine on our 1st wedding of the new year...the wedding of Sumhr and Justin held at The Hotel Palomar Chicago.  This Atlanta couple had a ball with their 150 family and friends that traveled near and far to celebrate their first day as husband and wife.

Thank you again, Mr. and Mrs. Giboney, for allowing the Dejanae Events team to be apart of your wonderful wedding weekend!!! xo

The vendors to make this wonderful day happen for this gorgeous couple include: Venue - The Hotel Palomar Chicago; Videography - Video Wedding;  Photography - George Street Photo and Video; Wedding Cake - Alliance Bakery; Lighting - Posh Productions; Ceremony Musician - Allen Jones; Reception DJ - DJ Bonsu.

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credits - Hannah Goering for George Street Photo and Video)

***Dedicated to my Accountability Partner and good friend, Christy Toney of CT Designs Inc.

Lucky #13 for Dejanae Events!

Today I'm so excited to celebrate 13 years as a wedding & event planing company...7 of them which have been full time in this entrepreneurial arena!!!  There have been plenty of ups and downs but certainly more smiles than tears.  And as I reflect, I wouldn't change a single, solitary thing because each experience has given me the armor needed to sustain in this industry.

Dejanae Events is my baby...literally...a company I created on April 23, 2000 and named it after my only child a couple years later.  My story is unique because I started this business with less than $500 and a huge dream of convincing my peers that they needed someone to help with their upcoming weddings.  I didn't know what the name of this "person" was, but I felt it in my heart that their was a need.  It was almost a force that pushed me into this business.  So I researched, trained myself and made plenty of mistakes financially, professionally and personally along my journey.  And when I left Corporate American on June 22, 2006 to grow Dejanae Events full time...I have never looked back!  Not even once.  Today, I smile as a certified, award-winning wedding and event planner, author and educator with over 200 weddings and events under my belt.  Thank you God for my journey!

I also would like to thank each and everyone of my family members; friends; FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest followers; and each of my blog readers for your love, kind words and support over the years.  13 years down and plenty more to go!!!  This is just the beginning :)  Blessings!

"The ones who chase their dreams are the ones who accomplish them!  Never give up"

Until next time...WEDologize!

Friday, April 19, 2013

...I Found It, You Pin It...Friday!

My mouth fell to the floor when I found today's Pin It Pic!  I love an artistically created sugar flower, but when I saw stunning 4-tired wedding cake with a lace texture fondant on each tier accompanied by BLING and BLING initials, I was drawn to the LUSH and delicate fresh flowers in soft ivory and blush tones.  OMG!!!  What an amazing centerpiece for the wedding reception...and I bet that cake tastes delish!!! ENJOY!

Until next time...PIN IT and WEDologize!

(photo credit - http://cakestudiola.com/wedding-cakes)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Components of Wedding Stationery

I thought today would be a good time to share the components of wedding stationery.  You might not necessarily include all of the elements within your wedding planning due to the budget constructions, but where you can include paper...do so.  It truly finishes off a wedding design.

Save The Date Card:  Sent AT LEAST 6 months before the wedding to alert guests of your wedding date. It's also useful to put your wedding website link on this card.
Invitation:  The official formal announcement of your wedding including the date, time and location of the ceremony.
RSVP Card:  The card that accompanies the wedding invitation that guest will return to you stating if they can or cannot attend the ceremony and reception.  It is proper to add postage to the RSVP/return envelope.
Reception Card:  Alerts guest where the reception is located and the start time. If the reception is located in the same location as the ceremony, it is proper to add "Reception immediately following ceremony" at the bottom of the wedding invitation.
Direction Card:  A wonderful gesture to give your wedding guests directions to the ceremony location and to the reception location.
Accommodations Card:  The card used to let guests know of your room block(s). This information can easily be added to your wedding website and the card omitted.
Schedule of Activities:  Wonderful paper item if you are having pre-wedding activities during the wedding weekend or if you are having a destination wedding.
Ceremony Program:  Gives the sequence of events during the actual wedding ceremony.
Escort Card/Place Card:  The escort card is given to the wedding guest when they arrive to the reception venue and will let guests know what table they are seated.  A place card is a card that is on the table and lets the guest know which chair they are seated.
Table Number:  Have the design from your wedding invitation transferred to the table numbers to tie the stationery design all together.
Menu Card:  Adds another design element to the tablescape and let's the wedding guest know the food courses.
Favor Tags:  These can be an added detail to anything you may be giving to your wedding guests during or at the end of the night.
Thank You Cards:  Suggest you order them when you order your invitation suite so that you can send out a thank you card as you receive wedding gifts.

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit - http://www.dejanaeevents.cceasy.com and Invitations by Colette)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wedding Lighting Basics

Specialty lighting and draping during your reception can truly transform a space, but you MUST include it in the wedding budget.  I had the opportunity to attend a lecture at the Association of Bridal Consultants - Illinois monthly meeting last week and Jay Sims, owner of Elegant Event Lighting, truly gave the attendees some useful information we can pass along to clients.

Stunning draping, hanging crystals and up lighting by Elegant Event Lighting
When it comes to lighting, if you are dealing with a limited budget, add up lights to the focal point within the venue which tends to be the head table or sweetheart table.  Then consider adding some lush draping behind the area to really enhance the space.  Then when your guests enter into to the room, their eye is not only drawn to the tablescapes, but to the focal point you have now created.

Then as your budget "climbs" consider adding some up lights around the perimeter of the space or use pin spots (beans of light that shine directly on an object) on the table centerpieces or wedding cake.  Then if you really want that WOW FACTOR, bring in some lounge furniture, drape the entryway, create a white dance floor and/or add some patterned lighting or draping to the ceiling.  And last, when it comes to wanting that candlelite glow throughout the room, select amber-colored lighting.

Showcasing up lighting and pin spots by Elegant Event Lighting

Also check our our other blog posts RE: lighting, draping and adding that WOW FACTOR to your wedding reception at:
Light Up My Night
From Top To Bottom

Until next time...WEDologize!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

...I Found It, You Pin It...Friday!

Now that spring has finally arrived, my love for tulips is manifested!!!  And this tablescape of LUSH all-white tulips centerpieces, satellite arrangements of hydrangea and calla lilies and tons of candlelight speaks volumes when it comes to setting the tone for a STUNNING wedding reception.  WOW FACTOR APPROVED! Enjoy!

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credits - Bridal Guide | KT Merry Photography)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Real Wedding Feature: Hareder and Michael

I'm so excited to share the pages of our first Real Wedding feature in Pretty Pear Bride, the world's only magazine for plus size women!  I met Hareder and Mike in June of 2011 and immediately started working with them to plan their amazing wedding ceremony and reception that was held at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort on July 20, 2012.

A brief synopsis of their fabulous nuptials include: 12 bridesmaids, 12 groomsmen, 2 flower girls and the couple's beloved dog, Tater, as the ring bearer in his custom tuxedo; the groom entered the ceremony with his best men in a Porshe; the wedding party entered the ceremony in 2 limos, one for the ladies and the other for the men; the arrived in an horse drawn carriage and was escorted down the aisle by her father and grandfather. Cocktail hour was on the Pavilion Deck overlooking a beautiful fountain and the reception was held in the Pavilion all white tent. The tablescapes not only featured ivory linens with gold overlays, but gold vases of pink Gladiolas which is the bride's favorite flowers. The couple, bridal party and their mother's made a spoof of The Hangover, created  by Rush Photography and Videography, and it was played for all the guests during dinner.  All 200 guests partied and enjoyed the photo booth until almost midnight and then departed to the hotel lobby bar for the after-party that lasted past 2:00am.

Thanks again to Shafonne, Owner and Editor of Pretty Pear Bride, for featuring our beautiful couple in their "Birthday" issue!  And thanks to Mr. and Mrs. McDowell for allowing the Dejanae Events team to be apart of their awesome wedding!!!

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photographer of Hareder and Mike's wedding - Concept One Studio)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I Made It To Your Wedding! Thanks for the Map!

I truly believe it's always a nice addition to provide your guests with directions to the ceremony and from the ceremony to the reception. This information can be placed on your wedding website along with hotel accommodation information. Or should you make welcome bags or baskets for out-of-town guests, consider adding a map along with things to do in the city over the weekend. The map can also be an enclosure with your invitation ensemble or given to guests as they are departing the wedding ceremony.

When creating this type of information, you have to decide do you want an actual map showing a compass, highways and landmarks, or do you want to only use text on the map. I'm actually very fond of using both. I think a drawn map looks so lovely mixed in with the wedding invitation attachments. Then I love the idea of the guests receiving a map after the ceremony by a hostess or usher.

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credits: CT Designs; Paper Charm Designs)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

...I Found It, You Pin It...Friday!

All I can say when I see this photograph is AMAZING-NESS!!!  Can you imagine the gorgeous bride walking down that black aisle runner flanked by red rose petals?!?!  OMG and her groom is standing their watching his beautiful wife-to-be until she makes it to stand right next to him under that JAW-DROPPING and BEAUTIFUL canopy!!!  My heart just skipped a beat!

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit - WedLuxe)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pretty Little Ice Cubes

When I stumbled upon this idea, I smiled from head-to-toe thinking about the guests when you place this refreshing drink idea in front of them showcasing flowers and/or fruit.  Not only could you see ice glistening in a drink glass during the cocktail hour, but they would certainly add a punch of color to the water glasses on the reception tables.  Or better yet, save the ice cubes for your speciality and signature drinks.  Either way, it's always those smaller details that get noticed and discussed by the guests...so now you can add ice cubes to that list!

***side note - when adding flowers to your ice cubes, make sure they are edible flowers and that they have not been treated with chemicals or pesticides.

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credits: www.culinarytribune.com, www.weheartit.com, www.luxefinds.com)

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Toast to the Happy Couple

At some point during the wedding reception, toasts are going to happen.  The greatest piece of advice I could offer is keep them short, sweet and do not open the floor up for all your guests to start extending their well-wishes.  And this happens to be the perfect opportunity for the happy couple to say a few words of thanks to family and friends for celebrating the day with them.  But before the guests of honor take the mic, the Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor should be the ones to welcome the guests and say a few sentimental words of remembrance, encouragement and love to the newlyweds.

I have witnessed on numerous occasions a Best Man or Maid of Honor unprepared to speak to the crowd and an awkward pause always occurs when they say "I thought I was going to have a little more time" or "I didn't write anything down" or "I'm unsure what to say".  Have a skillfully planned wedding toast, in my opinion, is the only way to go when planning out your reception timeline. So below I've given a few suggestions on how to make this memorable moment happen as stress-free as possible:

  • First, before you take the mic, always have your glass of champagne or wine in hand before speaking.  It is a toast, remember.  And end the toast with, "Please raise your glass..."
  • The Best Man should lead the toasts with the Maid/Matron of Honor following.
  • Have a toast prepared in advance.  You have known for months that you were going to be asked to give a toast when you accepted the position.
  • Speak from the heart and know that it's okay if your toast is written on paper or a note card so you don't forget.
  • Remember, it's not a speech and please keep it tactful.  Speaking about negative past events and ex's is a total no-no.  
  • Last, keep the toast less than 2 minutes.  Toasts are typically going to happen after the bridal party has been announced in or before the entree, so keep it short and sweet so that guests can eat!
Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit - Bridal Banter)


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