I've done my fair share of bridal shows, but The Big Fake Wedding takes the cake! This "bridal show" is really nothing like a bridal show. It truly is a "big fake wedding" in the form of a vow renewal for a real couple. I was lucky enough to be selected as the Day of Coordinator for the event. The lucky couple was Lauren and Sean, who were celebrating five years of marriage.
The Big Fake Wedding came to Philadelphia on July 25. This company tours the United Stares and showcases local wedding vendors. The vendors work together to pull off a wedding! The vendor team that I worked with was amazing. Engaged couples attend the wedding and get to see real vendors in action. After the vow renewal, guests get to talk one-on-one with the vendors in the "Tunnel of Love". They also get to eat, drink, and dance...just as if they were attending a real wedding. Some of the vendors also styled tables. I styled tables #1 and #2.
The vendors had a mood board to follow, which helped give direction for styling the tables. The theme of the event was "Edwardian England" as seen below.
Below are some of my favorite pictures!
To view more pictures, check out RuffledBlog, The Big Fake Wedding, Red Oak Weddings, and Modern Weddings
Team of Wedding Professionals:
Photography: Bee Dee Blue Photography, MLE Pictures, LLC, Haley Richter Photography
Alcohol and Cocktail Hour Sponsor: SOCIAL Sparkling Wine
Band: To the Max-EastCoast Entertainment
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Catering: Bon Appetit Management Company
Ceremony Musician: Miss Musique
Cigar Lounge: The Traveling Tobacconist
Chocolate Candy Bar: Crissy’s Crafty Candies
Chairs: Vision Furniture
Day-Of Coordination: Table 1 Events
Desserts: Marie Bee Cake Pops & Events
Favor Boxes: Two Pretzels
Floral and Event Design — Tables 1, 2: Table 1 Events
Floral and Event Design — Head Table + Tables 3, 4, 5: Alexandria Catherine Events
Floral and Event Design — Registration Area + Tables 6, 8, 12: stylWed
Floral and Event Design — Ceremony Backdrop + Tables 9, 10: Amy Champagne Events
Floral and Event Design — Dessert Design + Tables 7, 11: 7textures LLC
Floral and Event Design — Bouquets and Boutonnieres: Belovely Floral & Event Design | Hair: Beyond Bridal
Hotel: Hyatt at The Bellevue
Invitations: House of Catherine
Linens: South Jersey Party Rentals
Marquee Lights: Philly Marquee
Makeup: JazminRae Makeup
Photo App: Share Your Photos
Photo Booth: Instaglamour Photo Booth
Place Cards + Bridesmaid Cards: Side Street Designs
Signage: La Luna By Sierra
Transportation: Secrets Limousine Service
Venue: Perelman Quadrangle Special Events
Videography: Andrew Gormley Films
Wedding Cake: Heart of the Kitchen
Wedding Dress: La Belle Mariee Bridal
Wedding Vow Art: The Standard Canvas
White Chocolate Party Favors: Heavenly Sweet Chocolates
When bride-to-be Nicole initially contacted me about possibly coordinating her wedding, I did everything I could to win her over. I wanted to do this wedding because her fiancé Sean was a member of the United States Marine Corps and had served our country oversees. I wanted to do my part, no matter how small, to help this couple have the wedding of their dreams. Also, Nicole and Sean were two of the nicest people I had ever met and I immediately wanted to work with them!
Nicole and Sean were married on November 12 at the Historic Penn Farm in New Castle, Delaware. This wedding involved a lot of DIY projects, and the venue was a complete blank canvas. The good thing about the venue is that it allowed the couple to completely transform the barn into the vision of their rustic, Fall wedding.
Nicole wanted to get married at this venue because she grew up on a farm, and wanted her guests to experience the serenity and beauty of the Historic Penn Farm. The mix of the rustic barn, plus the beautiful November weather made for a gorgeous wedding. Guests danced the night away to country music, played with props in the photo booth, and took selfies with polaroid cameras!
I loved all of the little details that bride Nicole had thought of. From the marine-themed toasting flutes, to the cowboy boots, to the old truck that served as an amazing backdrop for photos. All of these details perfectly showed off the bride and grooms personality!
Guests took home adorable succulents for their wedding favors.
Nicole and Sean took time during their reception to play the "shoe game", which was a fun and interactive game for guests to enjoy. It also allowed guests to get to know the newlyweds a little better!
I think I am turning into a sap, because lately my favorite moments of weddings have been the ceremony. This wedding was no different. I teared up throughout Nicole and Sean's vows to each other. It was clear to everyone that this couple was madly in love with each other.
This naked cake fit in perfectly with the rest of the décor.
Flower girl Liberty was the hit of the wedding!
Nicole and Sean did a "first look" before their ceremony, which is always a beautiful, intimate moment. I love that this couple involved Sean's son Liam, who also served as the ring bearer.
Here are some more of my favorite moments of the day. I had a lot of trouble narrowing it down to just a few pictures!
Nicole + Sean's team of Wedding Professionals:
Ceremony & Reception location: Historic Penn Farm
Wedding Coordinator: Table 1 Events
Caterer: Lapps Catering
Photography & Videography: Mobile Video and Photography
DJ: The Pros
Officiant: Pastor Brett Walker
Violinist: Wilmington String Ensemble
Rentals: Action Events
Bartenders: Swig Events
Cake: Barb Martin
Florist: Brenna Davis
Hair: Desorrae Webb
Photobooth: Oh! Snap That Photo Booths
Sammy and Bernard were married on October 29th (Halloween weekend!) at World Cafe Live at the Queen, which is a music venue in Wilmington, Delaware. When I met this couple, I knew immediately that they wanted a unique and fun wedding. They had a music-themed wedding, sprinkled with a mix of Halloween. This couple worked very hard to make sure their wedding was anything but cookie-cutter!
The venue totally fit the Sammy and Bernard's style and could easily be transformed into an event space.
The couple used their favorite CD albums instead of traditional table numbers. Each table had a picture of an album cover so that guests could find their seats.
One of my favorite moments of the wedding was the ceremony. Sammy had kept all of the flower petals that Bernard has ever given her (swoon!) and the flower girls used these petals when they walked down the aisle. This was such a beautiful event to see.
Bernard has three nephews who are triplets and served as the ring bearers. Once of the triplets was not able to walk down the aisle, so Bernard, with the help of his family, built a remote controlled car to help him. Read more about that here.
Sammy and Bernard made a painting during their wedding ceremony, as a symbol of their love and commitment to each other.
During cocktail hour the couple took bridal party portraits, however these were anything but boring! Sammy and Bernard rented the "Ghostbusters" car to take pictures in front of. They were such a fun couple to work with!
The picture below is one of my favorites!
Sammy's bridesmaids each wore different fall-colored dress, which perfectly fit in with the season.
The groomsmen added some flair to their attire by wearing fun socks!
The Bachelor Boys Band played throughout the reception as guests danced the night away.
Instead of a traditional guestbook, guests signed records! This was perfect for the music-themed event.
Sammy & Bernard's team of wedding professionals:
Ceremony & Reception location: World Café Live at the Queen
Day of Coordinator: Table 1 Events
Photographer: JFS Photography Design
Music: Bachelor Boys Band
Florist: Jill's Flowers and Frills
Cake: Sweet Somethings Desserts
Transportation: Dave's Limousine
Heather and Mark were married on October 14th at the Aldie Mansion in Doylestown. This was such a fun wedding to be a part of--- everyone involved was so happy and excited! The couple met at a Physical Therapy conference in California, even though they were in the same PT program at Temple University. It was definitely fate that these two got together!
The pictures from Daniel Moyer Photography are amazing because they perfectly captured all of the emotions from the day. It's clear to see that this couple is head over heals in love with each other!
Heather's "something borrowed/something old" was her grandfather's purple heart from WW1 and her great grandmother’s handkerchief which she had wrapped around her bouquet.
Heather's mom also had her grandmother’s handkerchief tied around her bouquet from when she and Heather's dad got married.
The ceremony took place outside of the Aldie Mansion and was absolutely beautiful. Heather, escorted by her father, had a very long walk down the aisle. But I think it added a dramatic effect to the day!
I love looking at the groom's reaction when he sees his bride coming down the aisle. This couple did a 'first look' prior to the ceremony, but poor Mark couldn't contain himself when he saw Heather. She was one of the most beautiful brides so I don't blame him for getting a little choked up!
Look at their smiles! :)
The couple danced to a song called 'Never Stop' (wedding version) by SafetySuit for their first dance as Mr. & Mrs.
Another thing I loved about this wedding were the speeches. Both father's spoke and there was not a dry eye in the house. It's so nice to see a young couple have the love and support of their families as they enter this new chapter of their life.
The groom's family is Jewish so the couple incorporated some Jewish traditions into their wedding. One of the best moments was the couple being raised up on chairs, known as the "horah". The expression on their face says it all!
The couple's parents even got in on the fun!
Total Entertainment DJ is a close family friend of Heather, so they pulled out all the stops to make sure everyone was up and dancing!
Heather and Mark had guest sign pieces of fabric, that will be made into a quilt. They did this in lieu of a traditional guestbook. They also donated money to a charity in their guests name. These are just a few of the reasons I loved working with this couple!
Another favorite moment of mine was the couple's grand sparkler exit.
Heather & Mark's Team of Wedding Professionals:
Venue: Aldie Mansion
Caterer: Jeffrey Miller Catering
Day of Coordinator: Table 1 Events
Photographer: Daniel Moyer Photography
DJ: Total Entertainment DJ
Florist: Posey Hill Flowers
Video: Above & Beyond Wedding Studio
Dress and Formalwear: Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo Shop
Hair: RIAH Hair Studio
Makeup: All Dolled Up
Officiant: Justin Zadnik (groom's cousin)
Ever wonder what a Day of Coordinator does? Also called a Wedding Coordinator, this person is usually hired a few months prior to the wedding and is in charge of overseeing the weekend activities. Certified Wedding Planners will offer these 'day of services'.
The coordinator starts working with the engaged couple 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding, and will create and execute a detailed timeline. The coordinator works with all vendors involved with the wedding, and makes sure the couple and their families are taken care of. Throughout this blog we will cover some specifics of what a wedding coordinator can do for you!
Who are those people holding the umbrellas? They are wedding coordinators! Specifically, that is a picture of me and one of my assistants, waiting in the rain for a bridal party to arrive by trolley. Since it was raining, we made sure that the bridesmaids, bride, and mother of the bride would not get wet on their way into the church. This is one of the hundreds of small details a coordinator will cover on your wedding day.
Here's another one of us on a rainy wedding day in the city. Our job is to make sure those hours the bride just spent to get ready don't go to waste!
Those are my hands! Coordinators arrive to the church or ceremony location very early. We make sure all of the groomsmen look 'wedding ready'. Sometimes this means pinning on their boutineers or tying their bow ties. At ceremonies we can help hand out wedding programs, help escort guests, and get the bridal party lined up to walk down the aisle. We calm down brides before they make their trek down the aisle, we fluff gowns, fix veils, roll out aisle runners, and work with your officiant and musician to make sure the ceremony runs smoothly.
Me again! I swear this blog is not intended to have tons of pictures of myself. But I think it's important to see what a coordinator actually does, especially if you are on the fence about hiring one for your own wedding. Have you ever been to a wedding where it was clear the couple could have used more help? Maybe the ceremony did not start on time, you had to wait until 10:00 pm to eat your dinner, or the bride's mother was running around not enjoying herself? Most likely this couple did not have a wedding coordinator.
Not the most flattering picture of me, but did you ever think about who will get the door for the bride? Who is holding her stuff while she walks down the aisle to her fiance? These are the things a wedding coordinator will take care of.
One of the bigger challenges of a ceremony can be to get little ones down the aisle. It's a long day for a toddler, and sometimes they are just not in the mood to be in a wedding. The picture above is from Sammy + Bernard's wedding which got picked up by The Chive. We all worked very hard to get little Cooper down the aisle and he did not disapoint! If you are going to have flower girls and ring bearers in your wedding party you need to think about who will be in back helping them fullfill their job duties.
OK now the fun stuff-- the reception. Usually a wedding coordinator will head over to your reception site immediatley following the ceremony, or they may have been there hours earlier to set up. A wedding coordinator can set up your tables, chairs, and linens. We make sure your seating chart cooresponds to the number of tables and chairs set up (you wouldn't believe how often we find mistakes!) We set up all of your decor-- pictures, candles, gift card box, signs, lanterns, table numbers, escort cards, favors, etc. Once your reception get started we work with your vendors, specifically your DJ/Band and caterer, to make sure your timeline is followed.
Throughout your reception we make sure you, your family, and guests are all taken care of. This might mean helping Grandma to the bathroom, getting your drinks from the bar, getting Uncle Lou a new chair, and getting an Uber for your college roommate. After your reception has ended we help clean up and load up your gifts into someone's car. We can even return rentals the next day. Who is going to return all of your groomsmen's tuxedos the morning after your wedding?
We also bring a ton of "stuff" with us to your wedding. We bring 'Bridal Emergency Kits' that have items like hairspray and bobby pins, but we also bring items like hammers, hand steamers, bottle openers, and extension cords.
Wedding Coordinators can also drop off Welcome Bags to hotels, can drop off items at your venue days before your wedding, and can bring decor for couples to use. My couples have used my box for wedding cards, as well as signage. One bride used a spare garter I had brought to her wedding, and another couple used a spare cake cutting set since they forgot theirs. A coordinator makes sure nothing falls through the cracks on your wedding day.
Most coordinators do free consultations with a couple. I suggest taking advantage of this! Meet with a coordinator (or several!) to see what a wedding coordinator can do for you on your wedding.
Jess and Dennis were married on September 30th at Old Saint Mary's church in Philadelphia. The reception took place at the Ballroom at the Ben. This was one of the more upscale weddings I did this year and it did not dissapoint! This couple spared no expense to make their dream wedding come to life.
The bridal party stayed at the Hotel Monaco to prepare for the big day. One of my favorite parts of my job is seeing the excitement on everyone's faces the morning of a wedding. Everyone was very excited for the day to start. The bride and groom both seemed very calm even though they were in for one of the most exciting days of their lives.
This couple met on a blind date! They were set up by Dennis' brother-in-law Steve. Steve met Jessica at a work dinner. He later called Dennis and told him "I met your wife!"
The bridal party took trolleys to the church and the couple said their vows in front of 170 guests. One of my favorite parts of this ceremony was seeing the four ring bearers (yes--- four!) walk down the aisle. They looked super cute in their mini tuxedos.
I also love to see how the groom looks as the bride is walking down the aisle. Dennis looked very excited to see his soon-to-be-bride!
Once the ceremony ended, guests waited outside and did a big bubble exit for the newlyweds!
The bridal party then got in the trolley and made their way through the city, making stops at some of historic Philadelphia landmarks. Uusually I head over to the reception venue during this time, however the couple asked me to stay with them while they were getting photos. I made sure everyone stayed on track, and even held an umbrella for the bride, since there was a little bit of rain during this time. These are some of my favorite pictures!
Once pictures ended, it was time to party! Everyone headed over to the Ballroom at the Ben to dance the night away! The band "Paris" got everyone up and on the dancefloor! One of the fun surprises happened at the reception when Jess surprised Dennis with a Groom's Cake. However this was not an ordinary cake. This cake was made with twinkies, which was a nod to Denni's love of twinkies.
Jess + Dennis' team of Wedding Professionals:
Ceremony Venue: Old Saint Mary's Church
Reception Venue: Ballroom at the Ben
Catering: Finley Catering
Day of Coordinator: Table 1 Events
Photographer: Philip Gabriel Photography
Florist: Gina Conshetti
Invitations: Becca Hadley
Band: Paris (EBE Entertainment)
Lodging: Hotel Monaco
Transportation: Philadelphia Trolley Works
Wedding Dress: Bijou Bridal
Hair: Roxy Brennan
Makeup: C.E. Facial Artistry
Bridesmaid dresses: Bijou Bridal
Tuxedos: Jos A. Banks
If you follow me on social media, you know that I have been recapping all of Table 1 Events' weddings this past year. Up next is one of my favorite couples--Meghan and Jimmy! I have known the groom since I was little. We went to elementary school togther. We kind of lost touch, but I was thrilled when he contacted me asking if I was available to be his Wedding Planner for his September wedding! I always consider it such an honor when someone you know asks you to be a part of one of the biggest days of their life.
Through the planning process I got to know Meghan, and she compliments Jim so nicely. This couple was so sweet and fun to work with. Their wedding was a ton of fun-- here are the highlights! (P.S.-- These pictures are by FAR my favorite. So forgive me in advance for posting so many. I couldn't choose which ones I liked the best! Kudos to Olivia Rae Photography!)
Meghan and Jimmy were married on September 10 at the Philander Chase Knox Estate in Malvern. This was the hottest wedding day of the year-- however no one seemed to mind! Everyone was just happy to be there and celebrating the love of this couple.
One of my favorite things about this wedding was all of the personalized details. From the personalized jenga and baggo games, to the choreographed first dance, this couple thought of it all! As a wedding planner, I love when a couple puts in the effort to make their wedding unique and represents them as a couple.
Meghan and Jimmy did a First Look, as shown below. It was a beautiful, emotional moment for the soon to be newlyweds!
The entire bridal party looked gorgeous. The bridesmaids wore blush colored dresses which complimented the pastel floral arrangements.
During their ceremony, Meghan + Jim released butterflies. This was beautiful way to exit their ceremony as Mr. + Mrs.!
Over 200 guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the patio and in the estate, then moved back outside under a tent for the reception.
The crowd danced the night away to the sounds of Dels Groove!
Meghan + Jimmy's team of Wedding Professionals:
Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Philander Chase Knox Estate
Catering: Robert Ryan Catering
Wedding Planner: Table 1 Events
Photographer: Olivia Rae Photography
Band: Dels Groove
Photobooth: DAZ Entertainment
Officiant: Cindi Babiak
Florist: Sommerfield Designs + Jami Coppock
Cake: Master Baker
Videographer: Noah Petrie
Transportation: Krapf Coaches
Invitations & Stationary: Paper and Posh
Hair: Alaina DiRocco + Alyssa Gallen from Avante Salon
Makeup: Nadia Grier + Breanna Berk
Chalkboard signs: Stacie Lee Designs
Megan and Mark's wedding was one of my favorite weddings this year. They were married on July 15th at the Old Mill in Rose Valley. These college sweethearts selected the Old Mill because of its natural elegance, which I believe was a perfect fit for their personalities and character.
When recalling the details of her wedding day, Megan said her dress was much more elegant than she could have imagined. She purchased the dress for $250 from a used bridal store, then paid about $700 to have it altered. It was unique in that the bottom was very full and heavy with lots of layers of tulle, but otherwise it was simple in color and bodice shape.
One of her favorite memories of the day was the ceremony, as it served as a time to worship the Lord. The reception was filled with many words of love and gratitude to everyone who helped make the day possible, and finally lots of fun and dancing.
One of my favorite things about Megan and Mark's wedding was the beautiful little details. From the mismatched bridesmaids dresses, to their matching paisley robes, every detail had been well thought out.
The picture below is one of my absolute favorite pictures. The couple did not want to see each other before their ceremony, but wanted to get pictures taken 'together'. Their photographer did an amazing job staging this so they couldn't see each other!
Their bridal party was very sweet. I love when everyone cooperates for pictures, especially on hot days like this one!
The ceremony was held outside, on the grounds of the Old Mill. It was a truly beautiful ceremony that perfectly reflected the couple's commitment to God and to each other.
Megan created a DIY Photo Booth which everyone had fun with!
I love how Conner Catering put together their tablescapes. Everything was simple, understated, and elegant.
Their cake was from Master Baker and cake topper was purchased from Z Create Designs. I love the simple, classic look of this delicious cake!
These wedding guests were so much fun-- they didn't want to stop dancing!
Megan and Mark's team of Wedding Professionals:
Ceremony & Reception Location: The Old Mill at Rose Valley, PA
Catering: Conner Catering
Wedding Planner: Table 1 Events
Photography: Demi Mabry Photography
Videography: Giovanna Arguello
Hair & Makeup: Allison McAllister Onsite Hair and Makeup
Florist: Johnson's Gardens
Cake: Master Baker
Invitations: A Paper Wedding
Rings: Steven Singer
DJ: Jamie Grimble
Bridal Gown Designer: Justin Alexander
Bridal Store: Church Street Bridal
Bridesmaid dresses: Azazie
Grooms and Groomsmen attire: J. Ferrar
2016 was a wonderful year for us over at Table 1 Events! We worked with some beautiful couples and amazingly talented vendors! Click through the pictures below to see our favorite wedding moments from this year...sorry in advance that there are so many pictures, we had a lot of favorites!
Favorite Bridal Party Style
Best DIY Decor
Favorite Groom Moments
Favorite Expressions of Love
Favorite Wedding Guest
Best 'First Look' Moments
Favorite Little Ones
Best Dancefloor Moments
Best wishes to all of my couples as they bring in the new year as Mr. + Mrs.! Cheers to a happy and healthy 2017! -Lauren
Any wedding planner will tell you that need good entertainment, food, and photography. But there are some other key items to consider splurging on to make your wedding day beautiful. Throughout this blog I will explain what things to splurge on, and not splurge on, for your wedding.
If you have it in your budget, spend some money on additional floral arrangements, or larger floral arrangements. They really do make a difference. You should have florals at your ceremony location, on your tables at your reception venue, as well as scattered throughout your reception. Floral arrangements with a bold color, like red, really make your venue pop.
Hair and Makeup.
Please please please hire a professional to do your hair and makeup. Unless you are a hair or makeup professional, you should not be doing this yourself on your wedding day. You should look like the best possible version of yourself on your wedding day. A professional hair stylist will be able to give you the hairstyle you are looking for, while taking into account your veil or headpiece. A makeup artist will have expensive makeup and will transform you to look like the best version of yourself.
A Day of Coordinator.
Once you have your vendors booked, you need someone (not a guest of your wedding) to execute your timeline and oversee your event. A Day of Coordinator usually starts working with you 6-8 weeks before your event and costs a little less than a wedding planner. They take care of the little things you might not even think about. Who is going to bustle your dress? Who is going to load up your car with your gifts and decor at the end of the night?
A second shooter.
A second photographer is definitely worth the investment. Without one, you probably won't see pictures of the groom and groomsmen getting ready in the morning (something that is often forgotten about). A second shooter can get action shots of your guests, while the main photographer focuses on the couple.
Videography seems to be the first thing that gets cut from the wedding budget. But in a few years, you will be so happy that you have that video from your wedding! It's so fun to look back on your wedding to see how you looked, and to perhaps get another glimpse of a loved one who has since passed away.
Draping or lighting.
Depending on the set up of your reception venue, it might be a good idea to invest in draping or lighting. Some venues, like barns, really need some extra TLC. Drapery or string lights can really transform your room into an upscale event.
And here's a list of things to not spend your money on:
Here's the thing about your favors. No one will use them. And if you order 200 beer coozies for your guests, you're going to end up with 100 of them. No one remembers to bring them home at the end of the night. Instead, opt for a late night snack bar.
Wedding Signs and Decor.
While I believe you should have some decor, I see couples get really carried away here. I see brides spending hundreds of dollars on handmade Etsy products. While they are cute, they often go unnoticed. Try to DIY with the decor. Or, if you are not creative, purchase 1-2 items that will be displayed in an area where all of your guests can see.
I am not saying to not have cake! By all means- get a cake! It's one of my favorite parts of the wedding. But a 10-tier wedding cake will go to waste, unless you plan on having 500 guests at your wedding. A 2 or 3 tier cake will be more than enough. Only about half of your guests will actually eat your cake. And while I love tiny details, sometimes the cost of adding details to your cake isn't worth the cost. Instead, have your florist add a few flowers to your cake.
Expensive Bar Packages.
It's nice to provide alcohol for your guests. But the top-tier bar package is probably not worth it. You should provide beer, wine, and some liquor for your guests. You do not need to provide $100 bottle of wines. The standard bar package will be fine.