Summer Update: Yes, I’m Still Alive :)

Hi Blog friends!!

Yes…if you were wondering, I’m still alive!!! Just been very busy and Soirées took vacation the first week of July so I am sorry for lack of any posts the past few weeks!

I am, however, going to the beach tomorrow so- I promise that in 1 week I will be back and posting all of the time!!  We have lots of new Marry Me material, new brides, and busy working on our magazine- so we will have lots to share with you!

Until then- just a few exciting announcements:

1. Walters Barn OPEN HOUSE!!

Saturday, July 27 from 2-4pm!!

Come see us out at the brand new, beautiful facility!!  Events by Dezine will be catering the event and decorating!!

photo-16

2. We are working on our Fall/Winter publications of Soirées Southern Events magazine!! If you have a business that you think could benefit, please contact us about advertising with us!  We cover Atlanta all the way up to Highlands, NC.  We would love to work with you!!

photo-17

3.We are starting to book up for 2014, so if you are newly engaged and looking for a venue, please give us a call!! 770.538.2825

Image-214

What we’ve been up to in our absence…

Image-208

Weddings, Kathryn’s wedding, and Anna’s baby shower

Image-209

Open House at Sanctuary Plantation, family mountain outing, playing dress up in the store :)

photo-18

Britt and friends in Athens; my niece, Ansley’s, 2nd birthday; Sam’s birthday; VBS; Lake Oconee for the 4th; Brittany at Tybee Island; Sam, Lindsay, and I at our favorite spot- Recess; Brittany cheering on the Braves from the Chop House

Hope you all are having a great summer as well!!

xoxo

How to Give the BEST Shower or Wedding Gift

Happy Monday!

Sorry it has been a few days.  I have talked a lot about my friend Kathryn’s wedding on here, and this past weekend her and Brady tied the knot!  Congrats! So- that is why I have been MIA the past few days :)

As Sam and I were helping take gifts to the car afterward, I got to thinking I wonder what all they got?!  Who doesn’t love a good gift, right?!  That lead me to start thinking, “what makes a great wedding gift?”

photo-14

Obviously, every gift is appreciate, but what if you want to get something that really sticks out to the couple or something they will use all the time?  Or maybe you want to give something that they can treasure for a lifetime :)

Here are some options for all of the above…

1. Get creative with the registry list.

Some people prefer not to buy off registry, but for some of us it just makes the job a lot easier :) Especially if you aren’t super close to the couple and might not have a great idea of what they want.

Image-207

So for registry items, put yourself in their shoes?  What would you want??

Obviously, the couple wouldn’t have registered for it if they didn’t want it, but you know that there are some items on there that they are going to want more than others those of you married know that when you register, you get a little “registry gun” happy and start beeping everything you see :)

Another good way to go with this, is get them something you know they will use everyday! A place setting of silverware, toaster, towels, pots and pans, etc.  Just think of the things you use daily in your household.

2. Swaying from the registry list.

Like I said before, some people might not want to buy off the registry list or they may not have access to the store(s) the bride and groom are registered.

In this case, don’t just buy something completely random.  Try to find something that you know will be useful and something you know they aren’t going to get a million of.

Remember: the key is to buy something that you would want/use yourself.

Image-206

Both of these gift ideas are local to the area. L: Perennials cookbook is perfect Southern recipes from the Gainesville/Hall County Junior League. R: A bottle of wine from Wolf Mountain Vineyards in Dahlonega, Ga

Maybe it’s a favorite cookbook, a set of Tumblers, or something unique from one of your local gift shops- this is one of my personal favorites.  Say that you are from a different town/state from the couple and you want to give them something that you love, but can only find where you live- always a fun idea!

3. Honeymoon Gifts

If you know the couple is having a honeymoon, why not get them a little something for their trip?  It’s different and fun!
Maybe it’s a monogrammed beach towel, sun hat, or beach bag?  Or maybe you give them a gift basket filled with vacation essentials?

Image-205

These nautical beach bags were actually a bridesmaids gift from Kathryn- would work great as a wedding gift too!

Image-213

Another cute idea for this and definitely out of the box-  find out where they are planning on going.  If it is some sort of resort or hotel,  call and have the staff do something special for them.  Maybe a bottle of champagne in their room or take care of their dinner one night?  Maybe a nice couple’s massage?!

4. Anything monogrammed.

I know you all know I am a fan of monogrammed, but trust me, as a new bride you become obsessed with your new monogram!  I mean, if we’re all honest here, all girls start writing their new last names after the first date :)

May not be a favorite for the guy, but if you are close with the bride, can’t go wrong with anything with her new initials.

Image-212

Pottery Barn does a great job and if you are local to the Gainesville area, Martha Buxton of One Stitch Further does a FANTASTIC job!  She monograms all of my things :)

5. Can never go wrong with the $, honey!

Who doesn’t like to pick out what they like?!

I remember as a child, I HATED getting money.  I wanted a big present to open, not a card with a check- boring!  Ha!! NOT anymore!  As adults and especially newlyweds starting out, we LOVE getting money to spend however we like!

Image-211

Same goes for giftcards!!  Gift cards to places the couple has registered or to the couple’s favorite restaurant is always a good idea.  Also, the VISA or MasterCard gift cards are another great idea!!

6. Kitchen Utensil Galore

One of the most popular rooms in your house for bridal gifts is, of course, the kitchen.  Sometimes, I like to go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and get lots of different kitchen utensils.  You can buy lots for $50 or less!  Then you can make a “kitchen essentials” basket for the bride  and groom.

Image-210

This is a great idea, that would be good for anyone!

7. Anything personalized or with special meaning to the happy couple.

One of my favorite gifts was from my mother-in-law.  She had ordered a burlap “picture” on Etsy with a sweet Bible verse, our names, and our wedding date.  I just love and adore it.  It sits in the front of my house.  I liked it so much I ordered a similar one for Kathryn and Brady.

IMG_0532

8. Something hand-made only if you’re crafty please

Want to give them something near and dear to their heart?  What about something hand-made by yours truly?!

If you have a talent of a knack for something, I think it is the perfect idea.  It shows the couple that you really put a lot of thought into it and took time out of your own day to create something special for them.

Lucky you, I have the PERFECT example.

Many of you have seen Kaylan, owner of Happy Everything Co., on my blog.  Not only is she an Ah-mazing photographer, but she is also an extremely talented artist. She also happens to be Kathryn’s sister-in-law.  At Kat’s bridesmaids shower, Kaylan gave her a gift that I am absolutely obsessed with.  Here is the picture:

photo-5

Let me explain the meaning.  As you see there is a picture of two states- Georgia and Mississippi.  Kathryn is from Georgia and her new husband, Brady is from Mississippi.  The heart on Georgia is right over Gainesville and the heart on Mississippi is on Oxford- where they now call home together.  LOVE this!

She also made them one of the burlap pictures I talked about in the gift idea above :)

…………………………………………..

Hope these ideas help in your gift buying adventures!

xoxo

So You Think You Have What It Takes To Be A Wedding Planner?

Interesting title for today, huh?!

No, I’m not trying to recruit wedding planners, but wanted to address something we get asked a lot.

Brittany and I are often asked what our job entitles and some say they wish they could have such a “chill” job.

I have to tell you- I absolutely LOVE my job.  As most of you know, I’m new to the profession and have only been doing this for about 6 months, and I have fallen in love with it.   I was not what you would call “qualified” for the job.  I have a degree in Early Childhood and Special Education and had been teaching 3rd grade – not exactly event planning…but I am learning the ropes!

Image-204

However, I would not call it a “chill” job and I know Sherri and Brittany, both of whom have been doing this way longer than myself, would agree.  There are many aspects to this job that you wouldn’t think about and it isn’t always as glamorous as in Jennifer Lopez’s movie The Wedding Planner.

Image-202

There is so much hard work that goes on behind the scenes and things that you wouldn’t even really think about like…pinning on boutonnieres, setting up hundreds of chairs, breaking down tables, bustling dresses, cutting wedding cakes, and ready to become a florist/interior decorator on spot if needed.

So- if you are dreaming of being a wedding coordinator, planner, director, venue property manager,etc.  here are some traits that I would recommend you have :)

1. Patience- you needs lots of patience dealing with people.  At some point you are going to clash with someone or not agree on something.  Or you will have a vendor show up late or even yourself might make a mistake.  It takes patience, many calming breaths, and more patience.

2. Flexibility- You have to be able to be flexible with your schedule and also your duties.  Remember that brides and grooms work too, so you may have to meet them after hours or on the weekend for appointments.  As far as with your duties, you have got to be able to do something you don’t necessarily want to do- but sometimes you just have to suck it up.

3. Willing to give up a lot of your weekends- It is not very typical that you have a weekday wedding.  Working weekends especially in the peek wedding months are a must. Be ready to say goodbye to weekends in April, May, June, September, and October :)

4. Ready to get your hands dirty- Day of wedding is not always the cleanest thing-esp. in the hot summer months.  Moving chairs and tables, taking out trash, taking off dirty linens, etc. are usually going to be part of your job- especially if it is your venue or you manage the property.

5. Organization- it is a MUST that you must be organized.  There is so much going on during the event day and so many people coming and going- you need to have a system  so you know what is going on at all times.  It is also important to be organized days and weeks prior to the event- creating a timeline for the day, a CAD drawing of the set up, and communicating with vendors.

6. Work well with all types of people- You see a little bit of everyone in this business- as you do in most businesses.  You need to be an excellent communicator via in person, phone, email, etc.

7. Work well under pressure: The day of the event can be very stressful for everyone- you’re trying to make everything run perfect, vendors are too, and all persons involved in the wedding party on preparing for one of the biggest days of their life.  Everyone wants perfection, which causes everyone to be on pins and needles.  You need to be able to “keep calm and carry on” for lack of a better phrase :)

8.  Tough Skin- this is one I constantly have to work on.  I am a perfectionist + sensitive so I take things personally sometimes.  You’ve got to be able to develop tough skin because being under pressure will cause someone to “go off” on you at some point whether it’s your fault or not.  Again, you have to “keep calm and carry on”.

9. Attention to detail- SO important.  Remembering little details and spotting small things that are wrong, whether or not anyone else is going to notice them, is part of your job.  When you do spot something wrong, you need to be able to fix it or find someone who can quickly :)

10. Ability to learn quickly and to think on your toes: There was sooooo much I didn’t know coming into this job.  Things you would never even think about.  I have literally learned at least a dozen new things at EVERY SINGLE wedding.  It is your job to remember these things, so that the next wedding, it won’t be a problem at all.

……………………………….

image-63

The last and most important advice that I am going to give- and this goes for all careers- it is so important to LOVE your job.  From personal experience, it is not worth it to be miserable somewhere that doesn’t make you happy.  I truly believe in the saying “Find something you love, find a way to make money doing it, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

xoxo

Image-203

Day 8: A Song and Photo to Match Your Mood

Happy FRIDAY!!!

Well- I think you will see a bit of a trend in our moods- they all have to do with water!

It is summertime and who doesn’t want to be at the lake, pool, or beach 24/7???

Our other Lauren in working today, so she will be joining us on this blog challenge as well.

Brittany is off today and is living out her mood having a fun lake day so jeal!

So, on this hot June day- these are the perfect songs and pictures to match our mood!

Enjoy!

As always, xoxo

Lauren W.

Lauren would like to be nowhere but paradise today.  Any beach will do for her- she is even ordering swimsuit online she want to be there so bad :)

Song to match Lauren’s mood…

“Paradise” by Coldplay 

“When she was just a girl

She expected the world

But it flew away from her reach

And the bullets catch in her teeth

Life goes on, it gets so heavy

The wheel breaks the butterfly

Every tear a waterfall

In the night the stormy night she’ll close her eyes

In the night the stormy night away she’d fly

 

And dreams of

Para-para-paradise

Para-para-paradise

Para-para-paradise

Oh oh oh oh oh oh-oh-oh

She’d dream of

Para-para-paradise

Para-para-paradise

Para-para-paradise

Oh oh oh oh oh oh-oh-oh-oh “

Picture to match Lauren’s mood

SONY DSC

Brittany

Brittany is living up her day on the lake today!  So jealous, but this little busy bee needs a day to relax and have fun!  Hope you’re having a blast Britt!

Song to Match Brittany’s mood…

“Pontoon” by Little Big Town

Back this hitch up into the water

Untie all the cables and rope

Step onto the astro turf

Get yourself a coozie

Let’s go

 Who said anything about skiin’?

Floatin’ is all I wanna do

You can climb the ladder

Just don’t rock the boat while I barbeque

On the pontoon

Makin’ waves and catchin’ rays up on the roof

Jumpin’ out the back, don’t act like you don’t want to

Party in slow motion

Out here in the open

Mmmmmmm…motorboatin’ “

Picture to match Brittany’s mood…

Image-201

Lauryn

Well, being the little Facebooker that I am- my need to be somewhere tropical has skyrocketed while I have been looking at some of our brides and grooms on their honeymoon!  The song I chose is one of my all time favorite songs- I remember laying out on the beach on one of my college spring breaks and listening to it thinking “I don’t think I’ve ever been so relaxed in my life”.

Song to match Lauryn’s mood…

“Crush” by Dave Matthews Band

“Let’s go, drive till, the morning comes.

And watch the, sunrise, and fill our souls up.

Well drink some, wine til, we get drunk, yes…

 

It’s crazy, I’m thinking, just knowing that the world is round.

I’m here I’m dancing on the ground.

Am I right side up or upside down, and is this real, or am I dreaming?

 

Lovely lady, let me drink you, please, I won’t spill a, drop no, I promise you.

Lying under this spell you cast on me.

Each moment the more, I, love, you. crush me, come on. oh, yes.”

Picture to match Lauryn’s mood…

Image-200

Both of these images are from some of our recent newlyweds!  The top photo is from Lauren & Brian’s honeymoon- they just got married this past Saturday at Robson!  The bottom picture I snagged from Ava & Garrett who got married over Memorial Day weekend- also at Robson!  Be looking out for their weddings on the blog!

Day 7: Our Dream Wedding

Dream wedding…ahhh…so many possibilities.

Seeing weddings almost every weekend, Brittany and I could go on and on about ideas we have seen and loved- our brides have really good taste :)

As most of you know, I am already married, so I will be sharing some images from my wedding.  It truly was my dream wedding- perfect weather, perfect venue, perfect people, perfect fun, perfect man.  There was no unexpected crisis or no change of events- everything ran so efficiently and smoothly- thanks to Soireés (and this was before I worked here so I’m not just saying that!).  Everything was so me from every little bit of decor.  I wanted everything to be tasteful, classic, and Southern chic.  The images below are some of my most favorite from the wedding and I chose these because they will give you a great idea of a dream wedding through my eyes.

All photographs are from the wonderful Anna K. Photography

image-62

Anna K. Photography

image-61

Anna K. Photography

image-60

Anna K. Photography

Now on to Brittany.  Brittany has not yet tied the knot, however, after coordinating over 80 weddings she knows what she likes.  Most of you probably don’t know that Brittany was actually born in California- so her dreams of a perfect wedding lie in Napa Valley, California.  The gorgeous images you will see below give you a little insight to Brittany’s dream wedding.  All she needs now is the dream guy- can’t wait for her to meet her Prince Charming so maybe she will let me help with this perfect little wedding.

Images from the one and only, wonderful Pinterest :)

image-59

image-58

xoxo

Dream Big.

 

 

Day 6 Blog Challenge: A Photo Of An Animal You’d Love to Keep As A Pet

A photo of an animal we would like to keep as a pet?

Here goes.

Brittany would like a….

Dolphin.

Brittany would like a dolphin so she could swim in the pool with it and teach it fun tricks!

Image-197

177923_10101487703477150_981984638_o

As you can see in the above picture, she has already been practicing! :)

…………………………………………………………

Lauryn would like a…

Monkey.

Lauryn would like a monkey so she could carry it around and feed it with a bottle, just like a little baby. Ha.  That would be a sight. Does she know it has to wear a diaper??

Image-198

But, of course, she would never trade her baby for anything in the whole world.

Image-199

Hope this served as a tiny touch of comic relief.

xoxo

Marry Me Thursday: Brittany & Jared

Happy Marry Me THURSDAY!

Excited to share this beautiful wedding with you today.

I was out of town the weekend that this sweet couple exchanged vows, but thankfully Brittany was able to fill me in with pictures and details.

Meet Brittany and Jared.

578554_3049475512063_806601265_n

I remember seeing Brittany’s name on our calendar and thinking “Oh, I know her!”.  Brittany was a coming in as a freshman in high school when I was graduating, but my younger brother graduated with her- so I was excited to have a little bit of connection with one of our brides!

980086_4936805294128_95913301_o

Brittany was another Walters orignial- she is the last one you will see that had to move her venue.  After lots of thought and consideration, Brittany and Jared ended up deciding that Jared’s family farm would be the perfect place for them to say “I do”.

644268_4936807294178_1779058293_n Image-192

So, on May 18, 2013- Brittany- looking absolutely stunning- walked down the lush, green aisle to the man of her dreams.  The scenery was breathtaking with rolling green hills of pasture on a sweet late spring evening.  The decor was all antique/vintage inspired and was nothing short of perfection.

922838_4936810574260_828427754_n

484485_4936810414256_330726969_n

Some of our most favorite things of the night…

-the hand made wooden doors she made her grand entrance through- created by her sweet father

Image-196

-mix and matched china

-their unique exit- the couple left on a tractor!

Image-195

960158_4936808494208_1563284014_n

-the china cabinet with various pieces of china

Image-193

-chandeliers in the tent gave a wonderful glow and ambiance

Image-194

316275_4936807774190_1986118112_n

Thank you to Brittany, Jared and both of your families for being so incredibly great to work with!  Ya’ll were so much fun and we hope that your big day was everything you have dreamed of!

970173_4936806174150_1018941021_n

971363_4936809454232_1362874927_n

Brittany & Jared- you two are the cutest!  We wish ya’ll a lifetime of love, happiness, and memories!!  Very best wishes! xoxo

575652_4935864990621_1834555093_n

Venue: Roberts family farm/ Caterer, Cake, Decor: GG Events/ Additional Decor: Bride’s mother, Patti Evans/Event Coordinators: Soireés Southern Events/Photography: SR Photography/Music: DJ Nilla

Keep Some $ In You Pocket…Only ‘Til Saturday!

Hey blog friends!  Happy Thursday- keep pushing- almost the weekend!!

Just wanted to let ya’ll in on a little exciting news…

At Soireés- we will be having a SALE until this Saturday

25% off all RYU dresses, in stock OLIVE dresses, Vince Camuto, and Top It Off!  These would make perfect dresses for anyone going to a wedding, shower, or rehearsal dinner + we are the only one in Gainesville area that carries most of these brands so you won’t have to worry about showing up in the same thing as someone else one of my secret anxieties :)

20% off Bill Levkoff bridesmaid dresses!

Our hours for the the next few days…

Today 11-5

Friday- 11-5

Saturday 11-4

Come see us and save some $ on some great fashionista items!

Image-191

xoxo

Back And Better Than Ever: Walters Barn

As some of you may have heard, our beautiful Walters Barn is back up!  Yes, I feel like it was just yesterday I was blogging the sad news that it had burned to the ground, but thanks to lots of hard work from a great crew- it’s back!

We are currently taking appointments to come out and see the property- call and let us know a time that works well for you and we will be more than happy to meet you!

Image-190

Some new additions we have added:

-catering kitchen

-more restrooms- men & women’s :)

-amazing wrought iron chandeliers and light fixtures that were made specially for the barn

-not just one bar area, but 2!

-staircase going up to a balcony that looks over the barn and leads out to a deck

-stoned columns in the barn

+ lots more!

Call us today to set up an appointment!

office 770.538.2825

You can also email any of these:

Lauryn@SoireesSouthernEvents.com

Brittany@SoireesSouthernEvents.com

Sales@SoireesSouthernEvents.com

xoxo

Day 5 Blog Challenge: Picture of Yourself from 2 Years Ago

ahh…having fun in these picutes, I have to say!

Brittany was choppin’ at the Braves game-

IMG_4945

Here is a picture of my friends and I at a Brave’s game 2 years ago TODAY! I love going to games and tomahawk chopping from the Chop House! Excited to have a reunion with everyone for an upcoming game!

And Lauryn, was cruising away to the Bahamas…

Image-189

Ahh…how I wish I was here! The top picture we were at Carlos ‘n Charlies having fun and the bottom picture was the perfect little beach day. I am going to pretend I am there now.

xoxo