The Simply Elegant Planners' Real Weddings and Real Advice - Pt. 2


Time to share more photos and advice from The Simply Elegant girls' real weddings! 

Check out last week's Real Weddings Part 1 post with Nicole, Maggie and Jenny!

Ashley & Nathan

Photo by Kendra Oxendale Photography

January 4, 2014 - Minneapolis, MN

Venue: The Van Dusen Mansion
Photographer: Kendra Oxendale Photography 
Videographer: Sunset Blue Productions
Calligrapher: Calligraphy With Style
Wedding Coordinator: Blush & Whim
Floral & Rentals: Mani Mela
Garments & Alterations: JenMar Creations
Music: Dan Glenn Music
DJ: Adagio DJay Entertainment
Food: Mintahoe Catering
Officiant: Pastor Amy Orstad
Photo Booth: Mobile Photo Booth

Photo by Kendra Oxendale Photography

Photo by Kendra Oxendale Photography

Photo by Kendra Oxendale Photography

Photo by Kendra Oxendale Photography

Ashley's Advice

  • HIRE A PLANNER! It's the FIRST thing that I did -- mind you, I was a wedding planner in the industry with over 100 weddings under my belt! Watching all of my brides go down the aisle I knew that when it was my turn, I needed to be sure I was present and could truly take it all in. If Jennae from Blush & Whim wouldn't have been there to help, I KNOW I wouldn't have been able to enjoy my day.
  • Have a connection with your officiant. Amy Orstad was our officiant and long time friend. Knowing her from the wedding industry and seeing how she treats her couples, it was SO important to me to have a friendly face making our marriage official.
  • KNOW you will get nervous - Hey, I am at weddings EVERY weekend and know the hustle and bustle of the day. I still got extremely nervous before I walked down the aisle. I leaned into my dad and said "Dad, I think I'm gonna pass out!" Having the attention all on me vs. my clients was definitely a new experience! 

Nadia & Jeff

Photo by Jamie Stoia Photography

September 19th, 2009 - Saint Paul, MN

Venue: Harriet Island 
Photographer: Jamie Stoia Photography
Floral Design: Jen Frisbee, Grace Klein Design
Music: Orange Whip
Catering: My father (a chef), executed by Prom Catering
Rentals: Linen Effects
Invitations: JGlynn Studio (my husband!)

Photo by Jamie Stoia Photography

Nadia's Advice & Regrets

I really have no regrets except ONE... I didn't have a Day-Of Coordinator! Ironically enough, it was my own wedding that made me realize I wanted to become a wedding planner because planning my own wedding and all of the details was EASY and stress-free. But it was the DAY of the wedding that I realized, "Oh wait.... who's going to tell people when it's time to eat, give speeches, dance, etc." Plus, my dad told me (after the wedding) that one of my centerpieces caught fire -- without anyone getting hurt (or me knowing about it)!

It was an amazing day, truly! The advice I always tell my brides and REALLY believe in: Pick 3 of the most important things to you and your fiance and make THOSE your focus. For us, it was the music, food and photos. Everything after that will be beautiful and just fine! All that mattered was that I was going to be married to the love of my life at the end of the day :)

And now... here we are -- 6 years later, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2nd home, living the life!

Jamie & Vince

October 18th, 2014 - Menomonee Falls, WI

Ceremony: St. Mary's Catholic Church
Reception & Catering: Davians Banquet Center
Photographer: Kade Photography (Adrienne)
Hotel: Hyatt Place Milwaukee - West
Transportation: Milwaukee Prime Limousine
Wedding Coordinator: Me!

Jamie's Advice & Regrets

Overall, the entire planning process of our special day was so much fun! I have always loved seeing how all of the details come together which is exactly why being a wedding planner is right up my alley!  My wedding day regrets: 

  • Not taking more photos at the ceremony with the bridal party.
  • Not hiring a videographer. I was so jealous when I saw my best friend's wedding video. One of our family friends took video of our ceremony/speeches/first dance, but having the music and story that the videographer puts together is absolutely beautiful - totally worth the money!
  • Not having a company print our invitations - we invited 313 guests, so after addressing 150 invitations, my hand was ready to fall off!
  • No having our photographer take more photos of Vince and I with our guests at the reception. She did an amazing job taking photos of the guests at each table but Vince and I weren't in very many.

Caitlin & Dustin

Photo by Crystal Liepa Photography

October 18th, 2014 - Saint Paul, MN

Venue: Summit Manor House
Photographer: Crystal Liepa Photography
Floral Design: La Petite Fleur
Desserts: Cocoa & Fig
Rentals: On Solid Ground 
Beauty: Root Salon 
Music: Gary LaRue, Ratpack Entertainment
Invitations: myself via The Curly Quill Calligraphy
Dress: Vintage (my grandmother's circa 1954)
Tuxedos: Heimie's Haberdashery  
Wedding Coordinator: Me!

I wore my grandmother Patricia's dress from her wedding in June 1954. She passed away 10 months before our wedding day. It was an honor and a beautiful tribute to her and my grandfather's marriage of nearly 60 years. Photo by Crystal Liepa Photography

Photo by Crystal Liepa Photography

Photo by Crystal Liepa Photography

Photo by Crystal Liepa Photography

Caitlin's Advice & Regrets

  • My wedding day was INCREDIBLE. I wish I could wake up and relive the entire day again and again. Having all of your favorite people in the world all together in one room to celebrate you is so amazing - don't forget to sit back and take it all in! The day will go by in a FLASH. 
  • Great advice I got: plan a date night on the same day you have your hair and makeup trial. You'll feel so beautiful already - make a reservation and get dressed up. DON'T talk about the wedding; instead, discuss the days, months and years AFTER your wedding (the days that really matter) and reconnect without the wedding craziness in mind, or at least get it out of the way in the car ride there. Wedding weekend will be hectic and crazy, it will be nice to have some time to yourselves to celebrate! I timed out my trials with our 2nd dating anniversary - we went out for a fabulous dinner and stayed the night in downtown Stillwater. Such beautiful memories :)
  • Great advice I got: If any of your vendors offer deliver and.or pickup, TAKE THEM UP ON IT. Save yourself the worry and allow your friends and family to relax and enjoy the festivities instead of running around town. It will be SO worth the money. You can also ask your wedding planner to help out with these tasks. Having a professional handle important details will do wonders for reducing your stress.
  • Plan out your day-of timeline carefully - especially the details PRIOR to the ceremony. The more destinations you need to hit before getting to the ceremony, the greater chance of a delayed timeline (your wedding's worst nightmare). Between hotel, hair, makeup, lunch and ceremony locations, you'll be busy! Try to keep destinations within walking distance of each other or combine functions (i.e. bring hair and makeup artists to your hotel suite and have lunch delivered). Keeping all of your ladies happy and relaxed is the key to low stress! 
  • Assign someone (like your personal attendant or wedding planner) to bring you hours d'ourves and drinks. The great thing about getting married is that EVERYONE wants to talk to you, but makes it difficult to get across the room quickly! 
  • My husband said a few nice words to kick off our toasts, but I still regret not saying something. I especially wish I would have shouted out a few guests that traveled great distances to be with us (including Alaska and New Zealand)!