Written and photographed By: Kelly Ann Earls

It was a hot day, but also a wedding day, and Ellanesque’s LeighAnne and myself were preparing for an outside ceremony. The venue was Town Hall Texas, a charming rustic themed spot where our couple wanted casual for the ceremony and elegant for the reception. A gazebo overlooking the lake on the property was decorated with sheer white curtains, stringed lights, and ceiling fans twirled away to keep guests cool.

The wooden building that would hold the reception looked like it could be the front cover for a Texas postcard, with its vintage signs nailed to the sides. LeighAnne, was immediately ready to work as soon as she stepped out of her car. We greeted one of the venue owners and took a look inside the reception building since the gazebo was all ready to go.

Inside, tables were connected down the room and already covered with a neutral colored tablecloth. A bar was nestled to the back right hand side of the room, so guests could quench their thirst before and after the ceremony. There was also a small stage for dancing at the back of the room as well, where LeighAnne and I would later join the guests for The Cupid Shuffle and The Wobble.

The place was nice and casual, so how would Ellanesque make it romantic and a bit more elegant for after the ceremony? LeighAnne, had us start by adding the linens and silverware to the table to create a more formal atmosphere. As you know from my last post Ellanesque loves paying special attention to the smaller details as they impact the layout in a big way. She then showed me how she wanted the linen to be placed and how the silverware would be set for each seat. The napkins had to be the same length as their neighbor going down and also even with their opposite partner and same with the silverware; to the point that they mirrored one another perfectly. Next LeighAnne and I set up trays with cheeses, crackers, and fruit for the guests to munch on before the ceremony. They were set up on tables outside along with lemonade and the classic Southern sweet tea.

The florist arrived with vases of different sizes with the flower of choice for the wedding, the hydrangea (my favorite flower), and she began to place them at certain points for center pieces on the tables. Also set around these square vases were painted wine bottles with purple orchids and baby’s breath. So beautiful, but I learned an interesting fact about my favorite flower.

Interesting Wedding Fact: Hydrangeas wilt quickly in heat, so it’s important, especially for a wedding to keep them cool as long as possible before the event. The florist was already on it, making sure they didn’t wilt and they stayed gorgeous all night long.

The bridal party and the guests started to arrive and so we made sure everyone was comfortable and everything for the ceremony was in place such as coloring pages and crayons for the kids with their own drink bucket of ice cold sodas in a special space outside. We made sure the food trays stayed full for the guests before the ceremony, checked on our bride to make sure she wasn't nervous and was treated like a queen by the make-up/hair stylist, and then checked on the groom. We had nothing to worry about though, as everyone in the bridal party was all smiles and sharing jokes. The guests seemed content as well, just mingling until we gently directed them to the gazebo for the ceremony. LeighAnne, did one last check to make sure everything was set and then the bride made her way down the aisle to "A Thousand Years," by Christina Perri. As soon as we saw the ceremony was underway and all seemed well, we rushed into the reception area to add the last details.

Now that the flowers were set up on the table, we needed to add one more idea to set the mood. LeighAnne, had spoken to the bride who loves DIY projects, to put candles at the top of wine bottles and let those work as the lighting for the evening meal. Instead of letting the bride worry about the craft, Ellanesque and the florist worked together to set the candles on top of the bottles and melted to stay in place. They were then set between the floral arrangements with some small candles surrounding the flowers themselves. We would not light them till all the guests were at the ceremony. When they did come in from the ceremony, the guests gasped and their eyes lit up at the change of the room. The bride was ecstatic that Ellanesque had pulled it off. Everyone sat down for grace to bless the new marriage and the wonderful food they were about to receive from Los Cucos, who catered.

For after dinner, next to the bar, a dessert table was set up with mini strawberry, vanilla, red velvet and chocolate cupcakes, as well as heart shaped cookies. This little table only added to the new elegance of the room and many guests took pictures of the little treats before eating them. The baker had set it up perfectly to look both appealing and delicious.

With their bellies now full, it was time…TO DANCE! While most guests mingled and caught up with old friends and left their thumbprint for the guestbook tree; there were some dancing to country and classic rock tunes (especially the children) and as I mentioned before LeighAnne helped get those guests on the dance floor with the bride to dance The Wobble and The Cupid Shuffle. I also joined in and it was so much fun, just being able to spend some time to relax and celebrate with the bridal party and guests who were so kind, hilarious, and welcoming to our team. Such a casual and fun group and I wish the new couple all the best and it was a delight to help make their day memorable.

Pictures From The Wedding!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  This blog was written by our newest coordinator, Kelly Ann Earls, and can be read in its' entirety with photos here.

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 on May 10th of this year.  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 for Ellanesque.

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

Ever wonder about the woman behind Ellanesque?! Our very own Lauren Peterson (owner of Ellanesque) was given the opportunity to be interviewed by a wonderful fellow event planner and blogger, Brittany Ray. During the interview Brittany was able to ask Lauren all about her journey to the road of wedding and event planning and also all about her personal interests. Here Lauren goes into depth as to why she decided to be an event planner, how Ellanesque was born, and even what her typical day may look like. Thank you Brittany Ryan for letting us be a part of your blog!

Please go check out Brittany Ryan's blog Beaux and Belles and read all about Lauren Peterson! 

Most grooms typically do not sit for hours on end thinking about their wedding and all the little details. Mainly, they are just worried about having fun and having all their friends along side of them. The friends and more importantly the groomsmen help put your groom at ease knowing that he has all that support standing next to him as you walk towards him in matrimony. But trying to get your groom to think about any the wedding details can be a heavy task. I have found a few ways to help your groom get in the spirit by being creative when 'popping the question' to his future groomsmen. Below are unique and fun ways that your groom can get into the fun of wedding planning without even knowing it!

One of the best parts about your wedding is being able to share it with you friends and family and having your best girlfriends there makes it even more special. On the wedding checklist, bridesmaid are probably the second thing most thought item by brides, whether it be who will be the bridesmaids? what will they wear? How will they stand? What should I get them as gifts? Having the love and support of all your bridesmaids up at the alter with you, makes you feel invincible. And what better way to reciprocate that love than by popping the questions to your bridesmaids in a fun and special way!

Here a few unique way to pop the question to your bridesmaids that will set the tone for your wedding!

1. Can't tie the knot without you!

This is such a sweet way to show how much each bridesmaids means to you and to give them a little gift as well. This ring can be worn throughout the wedding process, especially on wedding day and will make such amazing pictures! This little keepsake for each bridesmaids will always remind them of the wonderful joy they experienced when being a part of your special day.

 

2. Pop the question!

Now it is your turn to pop the question to your bridesmaids and what better way than to play on words. This is a fun and inexpensive way to ask your bridesmaids to be a part of your wedding. Everyone will wear their ring proudly...until it is eaten that is!

 

3. If I promise...!

This little box, with such a funny note, is a great way to play-off the older 'staples' of a bridesmaids dress. You and your bridesmaids will laugh for days about this poem and will most likely hold you to all those promises in the future!

These are just a few examples of different ways to make your girlfriends feel even more special and excited about being a part of your wedding. Now go home and get busy on all these great ideas on how to Pop the Question!