26
Aug

Brides and Grooms in Bloom :: Daniel + Rickie

Posted by Rebecca Beeman in category Brides and Grooms in Bloom, LGBT Weddings, Modern Union, Real Life Weddings

Are you ready to find out the scoop on weddings and marriage from a rad couple who knows from experience?!  Oh good!  Up next in our series Brides and Grooms in Bloom is a super fun couple, Daniel + Rickie.  They are kind and caring and awesome and they love a good brunch!  They are both amazing fathers and just down right wonderful people.  So let’s get to know them, shall we?!

Daniel + Rickie     Photo taken by a friend

Rickie + Daniel 9.10.11 ::  Photograph taken by a friend

Couple Names :: Daniel + Rickie

Children’s Names and Ages :: Caleb (1 year old)

Date Married :: 09/10/11

Years Married :: 4

Ceremony Location :: Brattleboro, VT

Reception Location :: Phoenix, AZ – Focaccia Fiorentina

Total amount of Guests :: 150

 

Q :: How did you two meet?

A :: We met online at Chemistry.com

 

Q :: What do your remember most about when your spouse proposed?

A :: From Daniel’s perspective, it was very spur of the moment without any planning.  It was Christmas Eve in Knoxville, TN in a less than desirable bar location.  Silver lining, we got a free round of drinks from the patrons at the bar and it snowed the next day!

 

Q :: What was your favorite part of planning the wedding?

A :: Looking at all the color swatches and deciding the centerpieces.  Figuring out the little touches that make the event personal.

Love those bright colors!  Photograph by a friend

Love those bright colors!  ::  Photograph taken by a friend

 

Q :: What was your least favorite part of the planning?

A :: Paying for it all.

 

Q :: What was the most memorable piece of your wedding?

A :: We had to make a trip to Vermont to get married (Arizona didn’t recognize our relationship at the time), so that whole process was probably the most memorable.  We also go to spend our first weekend as a married couple touring around Boston, MA.

 

Such an exciting day!  Photograph taken by a friend

Such an exciting day!  ::  Photograph taken by a friend

Q :: If you could change one thing from your wedding experience, what would it be?

A :: Well, we would have loved to stay and have it in Arizona but we had no control over that aspect.  In hindsight though, I would have liked to have had a more professional photographer at our ceremony.

 

Q :: What do you like best about being married?

A :: Knowing that we will always have each other by our sides to tackle every day issues, etc as one unit.  We’re each other’s best friend and having that constant companionship is an amazing feeling.

 

Q :: To newly engaged couples, what is one piece of advice you would give to them?

A :: Take it one step at a time.  Planning a wedding is a journey that should be enjoyed.  Don’t let the stress get the better of you or your partner.

 

Q :: What’s your one piece of advice to newlyweds?

A :: Remember that it is a partnership.  The excitement of dating should not be lost and you should make time to appreciate one another.  Continue to go on dates and have special outings with one another.

 

Daniel, Caleb, and Rickie  Photograph by Picture People

Daniel, Rickie, and Caleb  ::  Photograph by Picture People

Awww, look at that sweet little family!  A bunch of thanks to Daniel + Rickie for sharing their story with us!

If you are interested in showcasing your wedding day or know someone else that might, please feel free to email us for the questionnaire. We would love to hear your stories.

With all that Life has to offer,

Rebecca

Life Design Event Planning // Wedding Planner // Phoenix

 


by Rebecca Beeman
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5
Aug

Coming to Phoenix :: The Gay Wedding Institute Certification Course

Posted by Molly in category Event Professionals, Gay and Lesbian Weddings, In the Spotlight, LGBT Weddings, Marriage Legislation, Modern Union, MRSter Approved, Networks, Opportunities, Same Sex Wedding Business Symposium

Are you unsure if you’re ready to work within the ever growing LGBT wedding market? I get it. It can be daunting to reach out and cater to a clientele that often has wedding vendors slamming doors in their faces. How do you get them to trust you? How do you let them know that you are inclusive to all couples? Start by evaluating your business. Do you think your wedding business is LGBT friendly?

Take this quick quiz to see where you are at:

  1. Do you believe that planning a gay wedding is the same as planning a straight wedding?
  2. Do you pre-screen the vendors you recommend to ensure that they are also gay friendly?
  3. In your correspondence with clients, do you use gender neutral language? (contracts, forms etc.)
  4. Do you incorporate images from LGBT and straight weddings in your marketing?
  5. Do you have an anti-discrimination policy for you and your staff to follow?

If you answered NO to ANY of the above questions, it’s okay. But don’t worry, because help is on the way!!

The Gay Wedding Institute certification course by 14 Stories is coming to Phoenix on August 26! 

What is the Gay Wedding Institute certification course, you ask? GWI is the world’s only wedding certificate program that focuses on the LGBT market. The course covers topics such as laws and policies affecting same-sex couples, LGBT wedding data, trends, traditions and more. Basically, it’s awesome! And…founded by MRSter advisory board member, Bernadette Smith.

For more info, go to: http://gayweddinginstitute.com/gay-wedding-certification.htm

Registration is now open at www.GayWeddingInstitute.com/Phoenix

BONUS!! Since the certification course in Phoenix is being done in partnership with MRSter, attendees get a free FABuLIST listing for one year along with their 14 Stories Gay Wedding Institute certificate badge!

Check it out! We can’t wait to see you there!!


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22
Jul

Brides and Grooms in Bloom :: Melissa + Tyler

Posted by Rebecca Beeman in category Brides and Grooms in Bloom, Inspiration, Real Life Clients, Real Life Weddings, Reflecting, Things We Love

“You’re engaged?! How did your fiance propose?! Tell me all about your wedding!” Pretty typical questions for engaged couples right?  Well, let’s put a twist on that and ask couples that are already happily married! Getting to know couples and hearing their love stories is my favorite part of wedding planning, so I’m bringing back a series we did on the blog years ago.

Presenting Brides and Grooms in Bloom!! Find out the scoop on weddings and marriage from rad couples who know from experience.

I couldn’t think of anyone better to start this new series with than the lovely, wonderful, powerhouse couple that is Melissa + Tyler.  Seriously, these people are the most genuine, caring, fun people you could know.  Melissa and Tyler are part of the Life Design family (we helped plan their wedding!), but I am also lucky enough to call them friends.  Their awesomeness is never ending!

Melissa + Tyler 4.25.09  ::  Photograph by Moments Found Photography

Melissa + Tyler 4.25.09 :: Photograph by Moments Found Photography

Couple Names :: Melissa and Tyler

Children’s Names and Ages :: Bailey (2) and Dempsey (6 months)

Date Married :: 04/25/09

Years Married :: 6

Ceremony & Reception Location :: Private residence in PV

Total amount of Guests :: 230

 

Q :: How did you two meet?

M :: In college! Tyler and I had a class together and he noticed me long before I noticed him. One day, he got up the courage and asked me to brunch. Brunch happens to be my favorite meal. If he had asked me to coffee, or dinner, or a drink, I’m not sure that we’d be here today. But brunch!?! I was all in!

 

Q :: What do your remember most about when your spouse proposed?

M :: He botched it! Oh it was so cute. It was on Christmas morning, and we were sitting on the floor of our little house opening presents. I was in my PJs, hair all askew, no makeup… After all the gifts were open, he quietly snuck away to the bedroom and then came to rejoin me on the floor. As he was sitting down, this red ring box popped out from behind him and rolled across the floor! I guess his pajamas didn’t have any pockets, so he had stuck the box in the waistband of his pants. As he sat down, it popped out and rolled (in what seemed like slow motion) across the floor. I asked him what it was. He turned all red and flustered and essentially shoved the box in my direction and stammered, “Will you marry me?” He said later that he had a whole romantic thing planned, but it all fell apart for the lack of pockets! I, of course, said YES!

 

Q :: What was your favorite part of planning the wedding?

M :: Oh man! This is hard. I think my favorite part was figuring out all of the fun experiences and treasures that we could give our guests. I wanted the wedding to be a shower of excitement and neat stuff to take home for those who attended. So, I loved putting together the candy table and all of the favors, and finding ways to provide novel, fun experiences like a caricature artist, s’mores pit, and sundae station.

Photography by Moments Found Photography

Super fun candy table!  ::  Photograph by Moments Found Photography

 

Q :: What was your least favorite part of the planning?

M :: Making sure that both sets of parents were happy and on board. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE our parents and completely respect their opinions. But it was a hard line sometimes between “It’s our wedding!” and “I’m paying for it!” We learned to pick our battles, and eventually found some middle ground so that everyone was happy. Our wedding was very non-traditional, so there was a bunch of compromises to be made.

 

Q :: What was the most memorable piece of your wedding?

M :: So, for Ty and me, our wedding went by in a flash! My memory is a jumble of colors and hugs and music and love. So, I’m going to let my husband answer this one:

T :: I feel like I remember everything important. Getting ready with my closest friends and family, standing on that stage with my beautiful wife. I remember the feeling that, even though over two hundred pairs of eyes were watching us, I felt like we were the only two people there. While I might not remember every specific thing, I remember the whirlwind that was pictures, food and dancing. It was a phenomenal night because of the fact that, even though it was my party, I didn’t have to do any work.

M :: How cute is that! I also polled some guests who were there 6 years ago. Most mentioned the band, The Groove Merchants. They were great! Most people remembered the black and white checkered dance floor, the bags of loot that they took home, and the wild and crazy colors. Most also remember the penguins. You heard that correctly- the penguins. So many penguins.

Melissa + Tyler's first dance  Photograph by Moments Found Photography

Melissa + Tyler’s first dance  ::  Photograph by Moments Found Photography

 

Q :: If you could change one thing from your wedding experience, what would it be?

T :: OK, this is going to sound awful. I think we would have done away with the extended family photos that were taken during the reception. We took 90% of our photos before the ceremony, but we still had to take those others during the reception. It took a bunch of time, and we wish that we could have spent that time enjoying our party and guests. We have never used those photos for anything, and would have rather had action shots and candids of our family having fun rather than posed family photos.

 

Q :: What do you like best about being married?

M :: Let me start by saying that marriage ROCKS. I love being married. I love having someone to laugh with, to share burdens, to work together as a cohesive team. I love the idea of “sharing my life,” first with my husband and then with our children. Yes, it’s work. But the best, most rewarding, amazing work. And I don’t want to live a day without it.

 

Q :: To newly engaged couples, what is one piece of advice you would give to them?

M :: The most important part of your wedding day is your wedding. Your spouse. At the end of the day, you get to marry your love and spend the rest of your lives together. Everything else is just frosting and glitter. Fun things and fun memories.  Plan your amazing wedding. Get that perfect dress. Taste all the cakes and choose the perfect songs. But if something doesn’t go perfectly, don’t stress. This day should be fun and a celebration of the two of you! And it’s really about the love that you share with that one, special person. No one will remember that you served shrimp instead of scallops, or that you lost your hairpiece, or that you had a zit.  Relax and focus on the beginning of something AMAZING! We got married outside in April. I was asked many, many times, “What will you do if it rains?” My answer was always the same. “I will marry that man in the rain. And I will be the happiest, luckiest girl.”

 

Q :: What’s your one piece of advice to newlyweds?

M :: Remember that even though the wedding is over, this is just the beginning.  Enjoy every crazy minute, and don’t forget to communicate like crazy! Talk, talk, talk!

T:: Never get so comfortable that you become complacent. Complacency is where little things fall apart. If I feel like I’m slipping, I watch the movie “The Break Up” with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. It scares the crap out of me and gets my butt back in gear.

What a gorgeous family!  Photograph by Rachel Curry Photography

What a gorgeous family!  ::  Photograph by Rachel Curry Photography

 

See?  I told you they were full of awesomeness!  A thousand thank yous to Melissa + Tyler for letting me share the memories of their special day.

If you are interested in showcasing your wedding day or know someone else that might, please feel free to email us for the questionnaire. We would love to hear your stories.

With all that Life has to offer,

Rebecca

Life Design Event Planning // Wedding Planner // Phoenix


by Rebecca Beeman
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9
Jul

Donkey Wedding Trend!

Posted by Molly in category Event Ideas and Tips, Fun and Laughs, Inspiration

I’m not sure if this is just an Arizona thing, but having a donkey at your wedding has somehow recently become a trend. Now don’t get me wrong…here is a lovely picture of Mija the donkey serving up ice cold beers at a wedding rehearsal we produced at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

Photo courtesy of Kym Ventola

Photo courtesy of Kym Ventola

The rehearsal dinner was casual and had a fun, fiesta theme. The donkey was super sweet and a huge hit with guests! I’m all for adding a fun and quirky element like this at a casual party, but I’m not sure that a wedding is the best place for livestock. Then again, Mija did have impeccable manners so she might fit right in! And how could you not love her tiny sombrero?

With all Life has to offer,

Molly


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17
Jun

Welcome to the Desert

Posted by Rebecca Beeman in category Locations, MRSter Approved, Phoenix Venues, Uncategorized, Venues

Thinking about getting married outside? Love Arizona’s desert landscape? Then get yourself to the Desert Botanical Gardens pronto! Seriously people, this place is awesome for weddings and parties! I mean who wouldn’t want to tie the knot with a mountain as their backdrop? Hello gorgeous photos!!

Check out this picture I snapped on my visit a few days ago!

Check out this picture I snapped on my visit a few days ago!

What a fun experience for your guests, especially those out-of-towners, to be celebrating surrounded by towering cacti and those Arizona sunsets we all love so much!  There are multiple outdoor areas available for events throughout the gardens.

Photograph by Laura Segall Photography

Photograph by Laura Segall Photography

Photograph by Laura Segall Photography

Photograph by Laura Segall Photography

Don’t want to be outside the whole time?  They have inside space available too.  The event staff and coordinators are awesome and will help you to find the perfect spot for your desert festivities.

So, what are you waiting for?!  Go check it out!!

With all that Life has to offer,

Rebecca

Life Design Event Planning // Wedding Planner // Phoenix


by Rebecca Beeman
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20
May

Make your child’s next birthday one to remember!

Posted by Kirsten Heiland in category Birthday, Cakes and Sweets, Color, Design, Event Ideas and Tips

Birthdays come but once a year. Since it is my birthday week (yeah, I claim a whole week) I wanted to feature some awesome children birthday party ideas. Nothing is more memorable growing up than your birthday and the people you spent them with. So here are a few ideas to incorporate when throwing the next birthday bash for your little ones!

Make a grand entrance!

 2015-05-20 08.05.35 am

Photography :: Christine Johnson

Kids and parents alike love balloons. Lots and lots of balloons. Why not make your guests feel amazing the moment they walk up the driveway? Plus… A great way to stay off the cellphone giving directions. No one can miss a good balloon arch.

 

Games on games on games

2015-05-20 08.06.03 am

Photography :: Christine Johnson

A simple solution to the question “How are we going to keep that many kids entertained?” A simple solution that lets the kids have fun and the parents hang back and be able to enjoy the party too. Something as simple as a few games out on the lawn can keep the kids entertained for hours! Try an outdoor carnival with prizes to step the day up to the next level!

 

Bright and crazy color schemes

2015-05-20 07.16.33 am

 Photography :: Sergio Photographer

Throwing a party for a child is a great excuse to go with a bright and bold color scheme not fit for the causal everyday backyard barbeque. Go crazy with your child’s favorite color and make it the highlight of the party! Simple color coordination such as the plates, silverware, cups, and tablecloths matching make a big difference between a normal party and a well thought out party that friends and family can remember for a long time.

 

A killer candy bar

2015-05-20 07.36.32 am

Photography :: Christine Johnson

The best party favor because everyone gets to choose what they take home! It is really simple and easy to set up. Also a great way to add more color to the party, which means less decorations! Try custom bags or even custom candy with the birthday boy or girls name on them for an even more memorable touch!


by Kirsten Heiland
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13
May

Now THAT is an amazing proposal!

Posted by Rebecca Beeman in category Inspiration, Popping The Question, Things We Love

Who doesn’t love a good proposal story?! This guy absolutely takes the cake with this amazingly thoughtful, well planned out declaration of his love for his girlfriend. I can’t even imagine the planning and sneaking around that went into this year long masterminded plan.  Kudos to you sir!!

If you’ve seen this video, the second watch will warm your heart all over again. If you haven’t seen it, then grab a box of tissues cause you are going to need them!!

 

Pretty rad, right?!!

With all that Life has to offer,

Rebecca

Life Design Event Planning // Wedding Planner // Phoenix


by Rebecca Beeman
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6
May

The First Look :: A non-traditional “look” at this special moment

Posted by Sara Garcia in category New Tradition, Real Life Weddings, Uncategorized

This past December I married the most amazing Man and had the wedding of my dreams at Thornagers in Flagstaff! In more ways than one I would consider myself a traditional Bride in the bouquet tossing, cake cutting, Father-Daughter dance sort of way, this doesn’t mean I don’t love a great out of the box idea and I am definitely never short on coming up with them either, the opportunity to be creative is just one of the many reasons I love what I do!

When it came time to “first look” or not to “first look”, I opted to go with a twist on the tradition. The original idea of a first look is so that the happy couple can see each other before the actual ceremony without any distractions and have that moment captured! This moment can happen several different ways, sometimes it’s done with the Wedding Party standing a far watching and sometimes it’s just an intimate moment between the couple with a photographer standing close by snapping away

For me, I knew I wanted my Handsome Groom to have to wait patiently to see me walk down the aisle, I wanted that to be our moment. I have always had a great and special bond with my Dad, so I thought why not have our “first look” captured! The results and images were perfect. I did not realize how many emotions were going to come flooding through at once, so to have them all on film was phenomenal! Monica Saaty, of Saaty Photography did an AMAZING job and made sure to capture every smile, tear and impromptu moment my Dad and I had. This I think is my favorite part of a first look, there is no right or wrong way to react, and you have no idea up until that minute what series of feelings will just take over!

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Overall a first look can be any special moment captured before the ceremony between you and a loved one on your big day! There is no right or wrong way to do this and who ever you want to share this time with is completely up to you, however I encourage you to think outside the lines and have some fun with it, and I promise the results will be nothing short of perfect for you too!

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With all that Life has to offer,

Sara


by Sara Garcia
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4
May

May the 4th Be With You!

Posted by Molly in category Uncategorized

In honor of Star Wars Day, I thought it would be fitting to share this awesome video! Geek chic weddings are a hot topic right now, and this couple’s epic light saber duel is one for the ages. Check it-

P.S. Bonus points for one of the best songs ever on a wedding video. I would expect nothing less from the Batman.

With all that Life has to offer,

Molly

Life Design Event Planning


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15
Apr

Hi from the New Girl!

Posted by Kirsten Heiland in category Adventures, Event Professionals, Fun and Laughs, Minneapolis

Hello! I am Kirsten :: one of the newest members to join the Life Design team!

I am located in Minneapolis, Minnesota holding down the northern part of the country. We are super excited to be expanding in such an amazing wedding market! We may not have warm sunshine year round like our Arizona friends, but Minnesota really allows any type of wedding you want to have! With 4 incredibly different seasons, the possibilities are endless. Weather permitting, of course!

 2015-04-15 09.38.55 am

What a difference a month can make in the land of 10,000 lakes!

picture by me. yep. my feet.

Living out my dream of being an Event Planner has been AWESOME! Everything I have expected and more! Actually … a lot more. Here are a few things I have discovered thus far that I was not expecting ::

 

1. Anyone involved in the wedding industry has way too much fun

Seriously, this industry could not be any more fun if it tried. Everyone I have met are super happy, awesome to talk to, and ready to help! Just the kind of people you want involved in for your big day!

 

2. Being organized is literally the best thing that can ever happen to you

My new file cabinet is currently my best friend. With big events comes a lot of pre-party paperwork. Keeping it all in one place and organized is a MUST in this line of fun (I mean work).

 

3. But really, there is a lot more paperwork than I would have ever imagined

Just throwing it out there, So much paperwork is involved in planning. From contracts, to e-signatures, not to mention the fine print :: It can be overwhelming! Everyday can’t be a trip to the florist, and we are okay with that!

 

4. This is not your normal 9-5 job

Okay, maybe that I WAS expecting. I guess I didn’t realize how awesome this industry really was! I get to spend my days exploring, researching, and connecting with awesome professionals. What more could a girl ask for, really?

 

5. We are not just putting an event together, we are Life Designing

Designing a moment in time for our clients that they will remember for the rest of their lives is what we do best. And we don’t take that lightly. We also don’t really take it that seriously either. We aren’t really the serious type. And that, is to be expected!

 

With all that Life has to offer,

Kirsten

Life Design Event Planning // Event + Wedding Planner // Minneapolis


by Kirsten Heiland
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