Eric & Erin: When East Meets West

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Hey party people! I hope you're all enjoying fall in Seattle as much as I am so far. I just wrapped up a jam packed, super fun summer of weddings with some of my favorite couples yet. And lucky for you, I've got blogs coming to keep you warm all through the fall and winter!

First up: Erin and Eric! Erin is a hilarious, animated and sweet middle school teacher who met Eric, her soft-spoken, cordial, and considerate fiancé in New York. They are definitely a Yin and Yang team that are the most complimentary to one another. They got engaged while still living in New York, so we began planning their wedding long distance for a few months until they moved to Seattle, which is home for Erin, and a brand new city for Eric. 

Their goal was to have a very modern look and feel to their wedding, while still incorporating some very traditional Jewish elements. I think we succeeded on all accounts, but I’ll let you be the judge...

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I loved this pre-ceremony photo shoot. Erin looked just like a dang princess and I really enjoyed the industrial & Seattle-themed backdrops that photographer Stephanie Cristalli chose. Also I think the photo below is incredible— it not only highlights the rockstar team of bridesmaids Erin had to support her on her big day, but also the sweet relief every bride feels when removing those ungodly high and painful heels they’re expected to wear for hours on end. But lucky for Erin, she was able to dull the pain with some cocktails right after.

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Then it was off to Block 41 for the most romantic and gorgeous ceremony and reception. To create a very modern feel, we kept the design of the space and décor to grey, black, white. We used all acrylic signage from Mint Afternoon (I personally LOVED the escort board), marble elements on the tables from CORT, and geometric candle holders & vases from Juniper Flowers. If some of the elements look familiar, it’s because I’ve been Instagramming them like crazy— I was obsessed! Visually, this was one of my favorite weddings of the summer – I loved how it all came together.

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Juniper Flowers absolutely crushed it with the all white florals— from the bridal party bouquets, to the aisle and chuppah at the ceremony, and the gorgeous table elements at the reception, the flowers paired with candles everywhere made the whole day feel so romantic. Another element that I loved and have used at a few weddings this summer is varying the ink color on the escort cards to identify entrees. It’s so much prettier than having the word “beef” or a picture of a cow stamped on the card, and I just find the concept so clever!

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I absolutely love these photos documenting Erin’s reaction to this stunning marbled cake from BAKED. I totally get where she’s coming from— believe it or not it tastes even better than it looks!

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The reception was what I like to call “East Coast Style.” As in guests danced into the reception to “Space Jam,” followed by the horah, then sat down for the salad course to hear some speeches, then got back up and danced before the entrees were set, then ate while listening to more speeches… it was like stand up, sit down, fight fight fight! With 250 guests it was a lot of moving parts, but it worked out perfectly. It felt like non-stop action all night, and that is exactly what Erin & Eric wanted – no boredom or guests sitting too long was allowed!

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Not caught on camera was one of my favorite part of the night— a super fun after party downstairs in Block 41! The bridal party put on pajamas, there were games, more drinks, late night bites and edibles (even Kosher gummies!). These two were the BEST hosts!

I had a blast at this wedding and I’ll be sharing photos of it for years to come because it was so gosh darn pretty. I’m wishing these two nothing but the best as they embark on their new life as a married couple in the good ole PNW! And lucky for me, I get to see Erin’s family all over again in November when I help out at her mom’s wedding!! It will be my first ever, mother/daughter client combo!! :)

Thanks to all of the folks below who worked their magic to make this day come together so seamlessly and beautifully!

Venue- Block 41

Caterer- Tom Douglas Catering & Dalia (Kosher)

Photographer- Stephanie Cristalli Photography

Videographer- Green Attic Films

Florist- Juniper Flowers

Dessert- BAKED.

DJ- Seattle Wedding DJ

Trio- Puget Sound Strings

Rentals- Pedersen’s Event Rentals & CORT

Makeup- Allegra LaBella Makeup

Photo Booth- Sequin Photo Booth

Valet- Red Carpet Valet

 

Pat & Becky: From Seattle to San Diego

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Hello again friends! Happy Summer! Meet Pat & Becky and get ready to absolutely SWOON over their gorg La Jolla wedding...

Pat and I go WAY back. We met my junior year of college at the University of Montana and have been thick as thieves ever since! Short story short, I moved to Seattle with our mutual best friend Andrea in August of 2004 and he moved out the following month and lived with her boyfriend (now husband of over 10 years & Pat’s groomsman), Trevor. We’ve basically been like family ever since. He is loyal, smart, hilarious, and as my mom would say, a hunk! He is the type of guy that is so great to all of the people around him, that you want nothing but the best for him in return. And I’m very happy to say, he now has that, in his new wife Becky.

Becky moved to Seattle a few years ago and was invited to a happy hour at Hula Hula by my good friend Katie Parra. Who, yes, is the photographer of the wedding. Clearly we are a very tight-knit group! Becky was warm, beautiful, outgoing, hilarious, and open to an overzealous, large group of friends who would do things like take her hiking for the first time and then to an unplanned bar crawl immediately after. Pat and I are obviously the ringleaders of this friend group  :) 

Within a year after she moved here, Pat knew she was The One and was ready to pop the question. I helped him plan a rooftop proposal at Stoneburner, one of their favorite restaurants, and then he took her back to Hulu Hula, where they first met, and I had all of our friends (who didn’t know they were coming engaged!) waiting for them!  (Quick side note, Ferris and I sang Macklemore’s "Downtown" that night and CRUSHED it! You’re still welcome Hula Hula patrons!) 

When they set the date for a destination wedding in La Jolla, near Becky’s family, I could barely contain my excitement!!!

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Aren't they just absolutely stunning?!

So we planned this gorgeous oceanfront ceremony at the Cuvier Club in La Jolla and guess what? It rains. Not like, ‘oh it’s a little drizzle, we’ll wait a bit’… No, like it hadn’t rained in La Jolla in nearly four months and it was making up for lost time kind of rain. Now this will tell you how awesome Becky & Pat are, because they didn’t even care! They were cool as cucumbers to go to Plan B which was to rent a tent and have their ceremony where cocktail hour was supposed to be at the Cuvier Club. Amazing humans right there people!! Plus the rain made for some cool photo opportunities, and the tent combined with string lights and gorgeous florals made the backdrop to die for.

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I have to admit, I'm kind of obsessed with how the reception decor turned out. There were so many details from the colors to the florals to the paper elements to the lights that just all came together so beautifully. Check it out for yourself!

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Wanna know one of the best parts of having two of your favorite humans on the planet get married? They invite a ton of your other favorite humans!! You may recognize groomsmen Evan, Jake, and Trevor from previous blogs of mine. And that hot usher? That's Ferris, my husband! And those crazy cute kids leading the way down the aisle!? Elle & Carter are my god children!! I mean, our Seattle friend group alone rented a house that slept 24 of us… so not only was it a beautiful wedding, it was a PARTY!! Which you can definitely tell from the dance photos below...

Also, Pat’s last name is Hoven and Becky LOVES Jay-Z, so they walked into the reception as husband and wife to "H.O.V.A." and that is why they look like that… it was hilarious!

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This was truly one of my all time favorite weddings and I am beyond the moon excited for these two! What a send off into a lifetime of happiness!

And shout out to all of the vendors below for working their magic!

Ceremony + Reception Venue- The Cuvier Club

Photographer- Katie Parra Photography

Catering- The Abbey Catering & Event Design

Florals- Four Seasons Flowers

Cake- Kuba Kreations

DJ- Sleeping Giant Music

 

When in Rome!

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For the past seven years I have had the great fortune of planning the Leading Producer Conference for ACSIA Partners and, lucky for me, this year it was held in the Eternal City of Rome! It is no wonder why over 4 million people visit Rome each year! It seems there is history, wine, pasta & gelato on every corner. What’s not to love!?  

This past April, 75 guests of ACSIA Partners, a long-term care insurance agency, attended the annual four-day incentive trip and it was one of my all time favorite events to plan!

I contracted the Boscolo Exedra Roma Hotel back in December 2016 while on a site visit to the city. A year and a half later, it did not disappoint. It is located in the heart of Rome, next to the ancient Thermal Baths of Diocletian on Piazza Repubblica, just a short walk to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and more! The rooms were gorgeous and had a view of Michelangelo’s Basilica Santa Maria Angeli. With modern amenities and all marble bathrooms, this five-star property was perfect for the group! (Note to readers: The name of the hotel has since changed to Palazzo Naiadi)

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Guests were greeted in the hotel lobby by me (and my cute husband, Ferris!) with a goody bag filled with Roman treats! The items included local wine, biscotti, a Bialetti espresso maker (an Italian must have!), a commemorative wine bottle coaster & olive wood spaghetti spoon, plus pre-stamped post cards to send home. The bag also included an adapter which his super handy, but also just as ‘cute’ as the rest of the items!  :)  Pomp and Revel engraved the spoons, and also made acrylic laurels to go on the outside of all of the bags with each guest’s name. Red Sparrow did all of the custom graphics for the bag, welcome booklet, etc.

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That evening the welcome dinner was hosted on the beautiful rooftop of the hotel. I hired Marco Lori, an amazing master sommelier, from Off the Vine who chose some fantastic local wines for everyone to try and learn a bit about the Roman wine culture. The modern white on white decor setting for dinner was complimented by the ridiculously cute strolling quarter in red who crooned in Italian all night. They were so great!! Awards were given out to the top 10 agents that night and a bit of dancing closed the evening!

The next morning, we had our business meeting in the basement of the hotel. It sounds depressing, but the architecture is beautiful! The floor of the meeting space was glass showcasing the ruins of the Diocletian Roman baths. After the meeting guests ran around the city on a scavenger hunt for cash prizes – much better than sitting in front of a PowerPoint presentation all day!

Over the next few days guests enjoyed tours of the Colosseum, the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica, walking tours around the central squares & fountains of Rome, and food tours with the oh so fun, Katie Parla! I even took a small group to Florence for the day and got to revisit several locations that Ferris and I went to on our honeymoon! Aaaw!!

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Our final evening was spent at the Palazzo Brancaccio! This gorgeous palace served as the perfect setting for our farewell gala dinner! Each couple had their photo taken in the salon upon arrival and were then led to a glass hallway that served as our cocktail hour. It was a bit reminiscent of the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, on a much smaller level of course. Each room after that was just as stunning and unique from one another. I haven’t heard back from the palace about my rental application yet, but I hope to move in soon!  :)

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A delicious four-course dinner was served in their gorg ballroom, which we made glow a bit purple. I mean, that is the color of royalty after all! The wonderful Mint Afternoon created the escort cards for each guest. (Which, FYI, my new favorite thing is to have the color of ink be the entrée identifier instead of ruining a beautifully scripted card with the word ‘BEEF’ on it. Feel free to take that tip and run with it!)

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At the end of the meal each guest was given printed photos of their arrival in front of the fireplace as well as the group shot as a memento! Dancing and drinking continued until we had to depart back to the hotel. It was the perfect night to end a fantastic trip!!  

And it truly was phenomenal! When planning an overseas multi-day event, there are so many things that could go wrong. No one missed their flights or their ground transportation to the hotel, everyone had their luggage on time, there was no volcanic eruption that disrupted air travel, no one was pick pocketed or mugged, there wasn’t a single case of Zika reported, no one was in or near a terrorist attack, or needed to be rushed to the ER for various reasons. All of which have happened in the past that I have dealt with during these conferences! So yes, this trip was simply amazing in the most easy going sort of way!  :) 

Thank you for the memories ACSIA Partners! I love you guys and miss you all already!!

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Save the Date: Join Me at Beyond the Dress Collective on April 29, 2018!

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You guys!!! I was asked to be a speaker at the Beyond the Dress Collective wedding showcase at the Fairmont Olympic on April 29th and I am SO pumped!! This event is going to be super educational for all you engaged gals AND a super fun party for you and your guests!! So what is this event and what can you expect if you attend Beyond the Dress Collective?!

  • First of all, some drinks! You will be offered a Bloody Mary or a mimosa when you arrive at the oh so beautiful Georgian Room at the Fairmont! Supes swanky!! Then you'll be treated to the Fairmont’s famous tea service!
  • Awesome advice! Four planners, including myself, are going to cover common mistakes we see our clients (trying) to make during the planning process. And we are going to have an open Q&A forum to go over the questions you want answered!!
  • Wait, there’s more! Luly Yang is going to debut her 2018 Spring wedding collection via a live fashion show!!
  • Plus, there is music by Chris Graves and all sorts of gorgeous wedding stuff to be seen!
  • And, last, but definitely not least, something else super fun! Each planner is showcasing their own wedding gown and having their bouquet recreated by Aria Style! We'll also each have our own wedding album on display – so fun!! I know I went down memory lane looking at all of my own photos. I mean, how cute am I… WE, I mean how cute are WE!   :)
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So reserve Sunday, April 29th for yourself (and your maid of honor/mom/bridesmaid) and treat-yo-self to a stress free wedding afternoon at the Fairmont! It will be your favorite planning day during your engagement, I promise!!

RSVP via Brown Paper Tickets by April 25th!  Tickets are limited- only 100 available!- so reserve yours today! More information below  :)

Can't wait to see y'all there!

Cheers! Megan

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Katie & Doran: Fall in Love

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Happy April Friends! Spring has officially sprung and it's time to share yet another beautiful blog featuring another gorgeous couple on their big day. Meet Katie and Doran! They were married last fall, which created a perfect and scenic backdrop for all of their photos. They come from very large Irish families, which was a huge influence on their wedding. So many family members wanted to pitch in and contribute, which led to many truly special details that made this day so personal for them and their families. I loved all of the family touches they worked in throughout the day!

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Katie wore her mom's wedding dress, which was really special for the two of them to share. And can we talk about how freaking gorgeous it is!? I was obsessed. Also believe it or not, Doran's aunts did all of the floral arrangements, and they were on point.

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They had their wedding ceremony at Katie's family's church. I was in awe of the beautiful stained glass windows and the incredible archways. It was the ideal background for their fun first look and their classic and traditional ceremony. 

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After officially walking down the aisle and becoming Mr. and Mrs. it was off to Pioneer Square for an idyllic fall photo shoot. But first, shots! How else would we commemorate an Irish wedding?!

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Can we talk about how DREAMY these two are?! They looked at each other like this the whole damn day. They were so happy and in love! They attracted attention from everyone around... people... horses....

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Then it was off to party at 415 Westlake, a venue very near and dear to my heart because it is where I had my own wedding! I love working weddings there because it brings back so many special memories.

The couple opted for a donut table instead of a traditional cake, and they were LEGEN... wait for it... DARY (and not only because they came from Legendary Doughnuts). It was a fun twist for guests and balanced out a lot of the other traditional elements very nicely. Also, Doran's brothers made the gorgeous hanging names, as well as the signage for the donut table, the guest book, and the welcome sign!

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It was Katie's birthday also, so she had an extra reason to celebrate! All of the guests sang to her as she blew out a candle. Also, can't you just tell from the photos how fun these two are?! They make taking shots, among many other things, look so adorable.

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Post (a very yummy) dinner, these two hosted an EPIC dance party. The DJ kept the floor packed all night, and completely disregarded all of my requests for him to play more Cher. I could be mad about it because let's face it, Cher makes everything better, but everyone had a blast and that's all that really matters!

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At the end of the night, some not so sober family members insisted on helping me pack up the candles even though I told them they didn't have to. They just couldn't help themselves! I'm considering hiring them as Clutch Events associates for the upcoming wedding season!

Huge thanks to Katie and Doran (and your families) for letting me be a part of your big day! I had so much fun and it was the best way to close out my wedding season for 2017. And thank you to all of our vendors listed below (and all of the family members who pitched in to make this day so special)! 2018 has some very large shoes to fill!  #letsgo

 

Church- Holy Rosary (Officiant: Father Tim Clark)

Reception Venue- 415 Westlake

Caterer + Rentals- Ravishing Radish

Photographer- Kelly Mason Photo

DJ- Magnolia Rhapsody

Dessert- Legendary Doughnuts

Hair + Makeup- Emerald City Beauty (Erin Register)

Not-So-Common Wedding Planning

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When it comes to your wedding day, you want it to be the best day of your life. From the flowers, to the dress, to the food-- months and months of planning goes into this very memorable occasion. These tend to be the more obvious wedding prep ideas, however sometimes the smaller details for yourself can get lost in the shuffle. Ultimately, you want to put the happiness of you and your future spouse at the forefront of everything, so here is a list of some less talked about wedding prep ideas to ensure you are feeling and looking your best!

To Cut or Not To Cut

Hair is crucial to a woman's wedding day. A lot of time and energy goes into doing research on ways you want it to look and meeting with your stylist for trial runs. Something to consider months out from your wedding would be, on average, how fast your hair may grow. When thinking about your next cut you should consider that hair grows ¼ of an inch per month. Sugar Bear Hair Vitamins are gummies that help maintain your locks, while keeping your hair full and strong, which will help to maintain your desired styling. The groom may be battling a different type of issue. Two in three men begin to lose their hair by the age of 35. Hims offers Finasteride, which is a prescription to treat male pattern baldness at the crown and middle of the scalp. Within a few weeks, you will notice slower hair loss and thicker hair. You are able to talk to a doctor online, so there is no embarrassing in-office appointment needed and the product is shipped right to your house.

 

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

There is nothing better than having flawless skin. If you want to be able to have the perfect wedding day glow, switching up your diet is a great place to start. Many believe that healthy food can be the best medicine. Oranges for example are loaded with Vitamin C and it is proven that people who eat foods high in Vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin. Having trouble dealing with bags under your eyes? Broccoli is a vegetable that is packed with Vitamin K. This vitamin is crucial in speeding up the healing process of bruises. When you have dark discoloration under your eyes, this helps to lessen the presence of these and bring a more youthful appearance. Here are some recipes centered around broccoli if you want to get creative with your meals leading up to the special day.

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No Worries

Sometimes we get wrapped up in our physical self so much, that we forget how important our minds are. With all the stress that goes into planning a wedding, it can be really beneficial to take a few minutes out of the day to relax your mind and meditate. Headspace is a meditation app you can easily download for free on your phone or tablet. You can select a variety of different exercises depending on what you are feeling. It has been proven to lower stress levels and clear your mind. This is really important when making big wedding decisions that typically cost a lot of money. The last thing you want to do is stress yourself out leading up to the big day, so this is just a quick reminder to sit back and find enjoyment in the process.

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It is never too late to get started on making small changes to make sure you are the best you can be on your big day. Every little bit of planning can help and these are just a few ideas to consider when gearing up. Get ready to look and feel your best!

Andrea & Britt: #FromThisDayCorra

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Happy February! It's officially the most romantic month of the year, so I'm bringing the love to you all with this gorgeous couple- Andrea and Britt. Their wedding day was nothing short of spectacular! Perfect Seattle weather for a perfect Seattle couple.

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This oh so beautiful pair had met roughly 18 months earlier at a UW football tailgate party when Andrea’s cousin approached Britt with a line like, "Hey you’re hot. You should meet my hot cousin." And he agreed! The two connected over the phone that week, which led to their first date the next Sunday at a Seahawks game... with several of Andrea’s family members who were also there! Britt didn’t let the pressure get to him though and that first date was the beginning of a whirlwind romance! 

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Britt & Andrea wanted to treat their 250 guests to an elegant and fun affair! Per Andrea's family's tradition, the couple was married at the spectacular St. James’ Cathedral, and then they were picked up by Andrea’s father in his classic white Cadillac convertible! 

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Then it was off to probably the only venue in Seattle that could top the stunning ceremony- the Seattle Art Museum! One of my favorite spots in the city to host a truly fantastic reception. Guests were in awe of the venue as they entered and you could tell everyone was excited to party at the SAM!

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An extra special treat for guests as they entered the reception was that they were the first to celebrate under the new John Grady ‘Middle Fork’ tree instillation- a replica of a 140 year old western hemlock tree located in the Cascade Mountains.  It was a mouth dropping room reveal for sure!  To showcase the art, Crimson Haze worked their magic with uplights, spotlights & washes throughout the reception. And the soft chestnut color of the tree complimented the neutral tones Andrea & Britt’s wedding design perfectly! We rented gold chiavari chairs, ivory linens with champagne chiffon overlays, gold flatware, and glass gold rimmed chargers from Pedersen’s. The pops of emerald green found in the menus, table favors, and endless strands of garland kept the look sophisticated and classic. 

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Each guest was welcomed to their seat by an envelope that read ‘For Richer or Poorer’ with a penny attached. Inside the favor (made by the bride!) was a scratch off lottery ticket. You could hear guests' excitement as they won around the room! 

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To kick the party off, the couple made their grand entrance down the even grander staircase of the South Hall at the Seattle Art Museum into their cocktail hour where guests were enjoying signature cocktails and appetizers by TASTE. 

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After a delicious plated dinner and a dessert bar full of yummy bites by Street Treats, guests listened to thoughtful speeches and watched the first dances. Something super unique and fun to note, Britt and his mom Kathy are HUGE Tupac fans (they even have matching Tupac tattoos!) and their mother and son dance was to his song, ‘Dear Mamma'! Disclaimers were made about her excellent parenting before the song began – it was too funny!

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They ended the night with a truly epic dance party! Andrea hilariously danced around the reception with a silver platter full of Dick’s hamburgers- a Seattle wedding guest's dream! As guests danced to the fabulous Blue Wave Band, burgers were snatched up left and right. It was a perfect way to send everyone off! 

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It was an exceptional night for an exceptional couple! Andrea & Britt are as nice and kind as they are gorgeous, and as you can see from these images, they are ridiculously gorgeous! It was a wedding where you could tell that every guest in attendance was just glowing with happiness for them!! It was fun just to be in the room surrounded by the energy!! 

Thank you Andrea and Britt for letting me be a part of this perfect day! I had a blast! And huge thanks to our many vendors who made this day everything and more. You are all phenomenal!

Hotel- The Thompson

Ceremony- St. James Cathedral

Reception- Seattle Art Museum

Caterer- TASTE

Photographer- Wiley Putnam Photography

Florist- Creative Colours

Videographer- Green Attic Films

Music- Blue Wave Band

Dessert- Street Treats

Lighting- Crimson Haze Event Lighting

Rentals- Pedersen's Event Rentals

Draping- Prop Gallery

Hair + Makeup- OffWhite Makeup and Beauty

Transportation- Creative Bus

*As seen in the February issue of Seattle Met Bride & Groom Magazine!

Janna & Mikey: #Sewellmates

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Oh hey party people, I'm back!! Happy 2018! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and you're ready to make the most of this brand new year! To kick the year off right I wanted to share one of my favorite weddings of 2017: Janna and Mikey. I hope seeing these photos makes you all warm and cozy during this chilly winter we're having! 

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Where do I start with these two? The first time they met, Mikey was helping Janna move out of her apartment during college. He was a friend of a friend of a friend and it was all hands on deck, so they didn't know each other and there wasn't a ton of interaction, but they remembered each other.

Years later, they saw each other out one night and after Mikey worked up a bit of (liquid) courage, he walked up to her and delivered a perfectly crafted one liner, "You're pretty." And.... it worked! To all the guys out there who think something that simple won't work: hope is restored! 

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Janna is supes classy. She is very sweet and soft spoken with long, dark, silky, swooping hair. Literally every time we met, she was dressed to perfection. My first thought every time I saw her was, "Damn girl, could you be any cuter?!" Which is why I was not surprised at all by how phenomenal she looked on the big day. She is pretty much the opposite of me in many way. But I think she must be drawn to opposites because then there's Mikey...

Mikey is a down and dirty kind of guy. He was a wrestler in college and now he wears a lot of Carhartt and Filson and works with his hands. Though you wouldn't know all that from these photos because he looks incredibly suave and charming!

The whole "opposites attract" is clearly working in their favor, because well... look at them!

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These two wanted to have a very traditional and FUN wedding! They had been to about 10 weddings together in the year before they got engaged so they had a really good sense of what they did and didn't want at their own wedding. One of their main goals was awesome food, which is one of the many reasons we chose Sodo Park as their venue. Herban Feast served up an incredible family style feast of citrus rubbed wild pacific salmon and beef tenderloin.

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Pike's Place Press did the invitations and the menus, and Janna hand wrote every guest's name on a menu, which served as their seat assignment identifier. Then bash & bloom killed the floral centerpieces and added lush greenery all over the venue, including green sprigs on each of the napkins. Their white, blush & navy color palette really popped with all of the accents and florals.

Mikey painted this 6 foot tall board with chalk paint and then Chalk Boss wrote out table assignments for the 25 tables for their 215 guests. It was gorg!

Another of their main goals was to have Rainier Beer. CHECK! And when the venue ran out, your girl went out and picked up three more cases. Some call me a hero, some just say I make dreams come true... I'll take either.

Mikey's only request was to have a funfetti cake and Kara from The Sweetside definitely delivered! It was a beautiful centerpiece for this incredible dessert table.

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Their last goal was to have a truly EPIC dance party. Mission accomplished! It was honestly one of the best dance parties ever. Mikey's wrestling buddies from the east coast even did a ribbon dance routine to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" that was, as the kids say, "lit."

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These two were a serious highlight of last year for me, and they're leaving some seriously big shoes to fill for 2018. Congrats you two! I had a blast working with you!

And thank you to all of the amazing vendors who made this day everything Janna and Mikey wanted it to be:

Venue + Caterer- Sodo Park & Herban Feast Catering

Photographer- Carina Skrobecki Photography

Videographer- Denver Nathan Studio

Florist- bash & bloom

DJ- Kryspin Music

Dessert- The Sweetside + Whole Foods (Westlake)

Rentals- Pedersen's Rentals

Hair + Makeup- OffWhite Makeup + Beauty

Officiant- Jason Boss

Signage- Chalk Boss

Hotel- Kimpton Alexis Hotel

Tracy & Drew say, "I Do"

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Hey ladies and gents!! I'm back!! Wedding Season 2017 has come to a close and was as successful as ever. All of the Clutch Events brides and grooms killed it and now I get to have fun blogging all about them. Yay!

First up: Tracy and Drew! These two were seriously SO FUN to work with! Tracy is legit one of my funniest brides of all time. 99% of our communication while wedding planning was us texting memes back and forth to one another. I miss that and her so much! But I am so proud of what we put together for their big day through all of that laughter.

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Tracy and Drew chose the gorg Woodmark Hotel for their venue! They live in Kirkland and they eat at Le Grande (right across from the Woodmark) a few times a week, so it was fitting to choose a location where they felt at home for their wedding day. 

Tracy wanted their wedding to feel very traditional and classic. She wanted to incorporate a lot of white, navy, and yellow which was absolutely stunning – especially since they were on the waterfront. It felt like a perfect palette for their Lake Washington wedding!

And photographer Katie Parra did an amazing job of capturing the day beautifully in between the extreme winds and rain!

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A major highlight of the day was the live quartet that played as guests entered, as well as during the ceremony and cocktail hour. Afterward, Craig Lawrence provided the reception music and guests danced to all the classics throughout the rest of the evening.

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Eleanor from bash & bloom created the gorgeous centerpieces and ceremony arch. Tracy was the type of bride that said, “Just make it beautiful, I trust you”… And whenever I hear those words, my Grinch heart grows three times its size!! She only questioned me a tiny bit when I told her the centerpiece vessels were cement, but she let me stay the course and they turned out so cool!

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Having a delicious dinner and making sure there were top shelf beverage choices during the wedding was a priority for these two. They decided on a plated dinner and guests dined on their choice of protein duos of either Maine lobster with Kobe beef, or a prime filet with wild salmon – YES please! 

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The first time I met with Tracy & Drew, I had broached the subject of dessert and I think I got out, "What do you want for des"… before Tracy yelled, "A chocolate, chocolate cake!" So I made sure to make that happen! The chocolate, chocolate combo came from Deru Market and then we added a macaron tower from Lady Yum and some mini bites from The Woodmark. Delish! And so pretty!

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If this little guy is any indication of how the rest of the night went, I'd say it was a success!

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Big thanks to Tracy and Drew for putting your trust in me on your big day! I think we made an excellent team and I look forward to exchanging memes with you sometime again in the future!

* Just a quick note, Tracy is gorgeous and Drew is a sexy silver fox, they just prefer their pretty mugs not be on social media, so no personal images were shared:)

And I couldn't have pulled any of this off without the help of these amazing vendors! Y'all are the best and you make me look good!

Venue + Caterer- The Woodmark Hotel

Photographer- Katie Parra Photography

Florist- bash & bloom

Ceremony Music- Contrast Music

Reception Music + Ceremony Sound- Craig Lawrence Band

Dessert- Deru + Lady Yum + The Woodmark Hotel

Rentals- Vintage Ambiance + Pedersen's Rentals

Officiant- A Wedding With Heart

Hair- Melissa Titus

Makeup- Jessica Parks

An American Planner in Paris!

Each year I am #blessed to plan an annual international incentive event for an insurance agency based out of Kirkland, WA. I have been their event planner for over six years now and have gone all around the world with them. The destinations are always different, but the core program stays the same – I get to plan a four-day, four-night trip to a dreamy location filled with lavish welcome swag, fun dinners, tour options, and entertainment for their top sales team! I always contract a 5-star hotel or resort, and depending on the year I have between 80 – 120 guests as a part of the group. The event is one of my favorite weeks of every year!  In the past six years we have gone to Costa Rica (Guanacaste), Buenos Aires, Argentina, St. Kitts in the Caribbean, Dublin, Ireland and Lake Como in Italy. I am crazy lucky and super grateful for this gig! It allows me to plan events AND travel – two of my favorite things!!

You know what they say- Paris is always a good idea!- so this past spring, that is exactly where we went! And I have to say, I think it was my favorite event yet!! I contracted the Westin Paris Vendome Hotel, which, in my opinion, has the best location of any 5-star property in the city. It is across the street from the Louvre and Tuileries Garden in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. Within a few minutes walk in one direction you are at the Champs-Élysées & Arc de Triomphe, and if you walk a few minutes in the other direction, you are at the Notre Dame Cathedral, River Seine, and the Latin Quarter. Absolutely perfect for a group like mine who wants to explore the city!

Each couple was welcomed at the airport with a black Mercedes S550 waiting for them to take them to the Westin. Upon arriving at the hotel they checked in at the company welcome desk and received their swag bags and details regarding the event. Putting together the welcome bag of goodies is one of my favorite parts about the trip! I like to incorporate local items from wherever we go, plus some useful travel items. In this years bag I included a few Parisian essentials like a bottle of champagne, a box of macarons from Laduree, chocolates from La Mere di Famille, and a travel set from L’Occitane. Also included was a portable cell phone charger, an XY Findable set, two pre-stamped Paris-themed postcards and some paper goods like the welcome book, agenda, a city map, and their tour schedule.   

Amanda Fredericks of Red Sparrow Design created the design for all of the creatives. She incorporated Parisian landmarks for the welcome book, name badges, thank you cards and promotional materials. She used the same font for the ‘You Had Me at Bonjour’ welcome tote bags. So cute!!

On our first night we had a welcome cocktail in the atrium of the hotel with an accordion player and then moved into their Imperial Ballroom for our welcome reception. The ballroom is a historical site inside of the hotel and based on the photos I think you can see why! It was stunning!! The pillars, the chandeliers, the velvet walls – everything in the room was beyond gorgeous! We had a retro three-piece band and singer to entertain the group during dinner and then a handful of dancers joined the act. They pulled guests out of their seats and showed them some moves – it was super fun!!

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During the days I had scheduled optional tours around the city and surrounding area. We have quite a few art enthusiasts so private tours to the Louvre and Orsay Museum were big hits. A group also went to Claude Monet’s home to see his gardens and the quaint village of Giverny, which was so lovely! One day I took a group to the Palace of Versailles which was amazing! We went through the palace and throughout the gardens before having lunch at the restaurant along one of the many ponds. Other private tour options included a city tour to see the major sites and a walking tour through the neighborhood of Montmartre.   

On our farewell night I wanted to show the guests something special so I took them on a river cruise on the Seine. The boat was perfect for the occasion! The top deck was open air and the weather was ideal for cocktail hour! The boat’s captain drove us to the Statue of Liberty (the original!) and the Eiffel Tower for a photo op! Each couple had their picture taken as a fun keepsake! And as you can see, some had more fun with it than others!  

The lower deck of the boat where dinner was served was modern with white tablecloths and mirage chairs, so I added some red, white, and blue wool berets and some French flags along with some local red & white flowers in bud vases to play up the Parisian look. Guests were able to keep the berets as a take away gift and many wore them throughout the night.

During cocktail hour and dinner we rode up the Seine and saw all of the major sites along the river like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Orsay, the Grand & Petite Palais, the Conciergerie and Notre Dame in the daylight. By the time dinner was complete we were headed back and saw all of these sites lit up in the dark. It was perfect! Many guests went to the top of the boat and enjoyed the view while others danced along with the DJ. It was a fantastic way to end the trip!!

Next spring we are off to Rome! Paris will be a hard act to follow, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve and am ready for the challenge!!

Au Revoir!

Megan