Written and Photographed by: Kelly Ann Earls

Note: This was my first wedding experience with Ellanesque and I just had to share! Post was originally May 10th.

One of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced happened because of Ellanesque Weddings & Events.  I witnessed a small portion of the hard work that went into the final preparations of Ashley and Freddy's wedding.  Ellanesque owners, Lauren and Erik, were kind enough to allow me to observe their work in order to gain knowledge in event planning.  In addition, it allowed me to experience firsthand what it's like to walk into a bride's dream for a few hours.

It was a beautiful, sunny day when I arrived at Ashley's parents' home where the wedding was to be held.  I was told to head to the back where Lauren and her coordinator LeighAnne were setting up for the outside ceremony.  As I moved around the side of the house, I witnessed a flurry of activity as vendors rushed to set up chairs, drink stations, flowers, etc.  I introduced myself to Lauren and LeighAnne and was informed that LeighAnne would be in charge of this particular wedding, so I would follow her lead.
I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped as I was lead into the tent set up for the reception.  Wow!  It was just breathtaking how they transformed the space into an elegant getaway.  This was just the skeleton I was told, they weren't even done setting up yet!  An abundance of peonies, hydrangeas and roses overflowed in various places until the florist could arrange them into centerpieces.

Lauren and LeighAnne consulted their clipboards which included sheets and sheets of tasks to complete.  They gave me small jobs to help them get through their timetable, which was broken into 30 minute increments from early morning until the final clean up well past midnight.  Using a seating chart, I helped to set up the table markers, folded and placed escort cards, and distributed fun AdLib cards allowing the guests to give the happy couple words of wisdom.
As we moved along with our tasks, I watched in amazement as the dream continued to unfold and the beauty intensified.  There seemed to be no detail that Ellanesque didn't consider, from the lighting effects to the specific fold of the golden linens on the tables.

After an hour of assisting with a variety of small tasks, and observing Lauren and LeighAnne complete a multitude of others, I realized I was in the calm before the storm.  Soon everyone began to arrive at once. This included the bakers with the cakes, the caterers, the bartenders for the cocktail table, the DJ, the servers, musicians for the ceremony, the band for the reception, and even some early guests.  Consummate organizers, Lauren and LeighAnne oversaw it all with grace and professionalism.  If a vendor of guest had any questions or issues, they only had to ask and the two women in black were on it.

However, being a wedding planner is not always a piece of wedding cake.  Not only do they have to oversee the needs of vendors, they also cope with unexpected situations that even the most organized wedding planner can't control.  Their first priority is to calmly deal with any inevitable hiccups, with the proverbial spoonful of sugar, so that the bridal party doesn't have to.  Situation like delayed shuttle service resulting in restless and impatient guests, the DJ missing music cues, and guests going exploring where they shouldn't, are all handled as promptly and efficiently as possible. Clients are left calm and happy and free to enjoy the special day.

Finally, everything was ready to make this a wedding to remember for Ashley, Freddy, and all their family and friends.  We took one last look at all Ellanesque and the vendors had accomplished and just...wow!

The dream started to come to life...

Guests took their seats, the bridesmaids and groomsmen gathered to start the procession, and I saw the bride for the first time.  You know how they say brides glow?  Well, Ashley was luminous as she took her cheery father's arm and flashed me a smile.  All the choices and plans she had been making for months had finally come together, and all she had to do now was enjoy it. Lauren and LeighAnne did last minute inspections before the bride walked down the aisle.  All that was needed was to fluff the veil and extend the train of the dress, and Ashley stepped into Freddy's view for the first time.  AS the ceremony began, Lauren and LeighAnne became visibly emotional.  Sharing a moment of joy with the bride's family who had become more than clients.

The ceremony was perfection.  Classical music played as the couple said their vows and with a kiss...IT WAS BACK TO WORK for the Ellanesque team!
While the guests enjoyed cocktails, the women of Ellanesque were already onto phase two: the reception.  I swear the theme song for Mission Impossible was playing in my head as once again I observed them ensuring all the details were in place.  The food was set, the band was prepped, the lighting was right, and the air conditioning on (thank God!).  They opened the doors to the guests who marveled at the elegant and sophisticated setting.  The music began, the food was served, and there was laughter and smiles from the oldest guest to the youngest.

The caterers provided a feast fit for a king with a beautiful presentation of roasted pig, empanadas, cerviche, lamb chops, grilled veggies, and steak with chimichurri sauce. Delicious.
With the guests settled, it was time to announce the new husband and wife.  Lauren waited outside the tent with the bride and groom and their attendants, preparing for the grand entrance (right on schedule!), Ashley and Freddy lingered outside the door taking little peeks into the tent, smiling and laughing at how amazing everything looked.  Following the announcement, Lauren slipped into the tent to connect with LeighAnne keeping a watchful eye on everything.

The festivities began and the Ellanesque women, though polite to the guests and thankful for compliments on their work, still focused on their number one priority, the bridal party.  I noticed that they really do treat their clients like royalty.  They made sure the bride and groom had their special plates, gave Ashley a tissue every time she cried from happiness, and checked to see when they were ready to cut the cakes and listen to toasts.  They only stepped in if the bride or groom gave them a nod, so that they wouldn't intrude or distract from the festivities.  It was easy to see how comfortable Ashley was with Lauren and LeighAnne, no Bridezilla in sight! Ashley was the calmest bride I'd ever met and just so kind, even to me, a stranger just helping out here and there.

Time flies when you're having fun and soon it was time to wish the couple farewell for their honeymoon!  They left to a raised sparkler salute, evincing the wishes from their guests for many years of happiness.  A beautiful couple and a truly romantic wedding thanks to Ellanesque.

The wedding gift Ellanesque gives each bride and groom is turning a dream into reality.  It is one of the most precious gifts a person can give.  I hope to witness another wedding by Ellanesque sometime soon because I love watching dreams come true!

Pictures of Ellanesque team at work and the wedding!