• Eat, Drink, and Be Married

    Written and Photographed By: Kelly Ann Earls

    June 6th, I discovered the greatest part of being a wedding coordinator. It was Sara and Caleb’s special day and Ellanesque the wedding company I was working for had done it again; pulling off another spectacular wedding. There were no hiccups, no one and nothing was late, the food delicious, the music had joyous feet dancing, and the bride and groom looked so amazingly happy. My favorite moment of the wedding happened at the end however and not because it was over. Let me start at the beginning though...
    “Eat, Drink, and Be Married” were printed on mason jar styled mugs, given as wedding favors and placed at each setting of the tables set with black and white linen, and contained fruit chews, little packets of lemonade, and tea. The chairs were decorated with big and bright blue bows and the bay windows surrounding the reception area made the glasses twinkle and gave the guests spectacular views of Lake Conroe.

    The venue was Bentwater Yacht Club located in Conroe, TX. The weather was warm and slightly cloudy, with some rumors of rain. That however, didn’t stop Ellanesque’s LeighAnne, from preparing a wedding the bride and groom wouldn’t forget. I was lucky enough to be invited back to once again work for this outstanding wedding team and coordinator. As soon as I arrived, LeighAnne handed me the clipboard containing the timetable for the whole day. Ellanesque, I’ve discovered, is always on time, keeping everything organized to the minute. By the time the bride asks if this and this is done, LeighAnne and I had already taken care of it.

    We unpacked a bunch of goodies that Sara and Caleb had chosen for their day. To a wedding planner (or at least an aspiring one like me) every box I got to open was like opening a Christmas present. Some boxes held beautiful candlesticks for the guestbook table, black stands that were attached to mirrors to put as centerpieces and soon a beautiful white bouquet would sit at the top of those stands surrounded by candles. In another box there were signs that stated team bride or team groom and a blank slate that stated, “write us a message!” When I asked LeighAnne what these were for, she informed me that there was going to be a photo booth set up in the corner of the reception area. What a fun idea! Soon the signs would be joined by hilarious looking hats and wigs and the photo booth was set up. The guests would later be seen cracking up over one another’s looks and making funny faces for memorable pictures.

    Next we unpacked a box that held the menu cards for the dishes to be enjoyed that night. To start, the guests would delight in little treats of corn and crab fritters in a sweet chili pepper sauce; as well as mini pork tenderloin tacos with papaya-lime salsa. An appetizer of baked brie en croute with a raspberry sauce, which would be followed by a refreshing spinach salad with strawberries, candied walnuts, and a light and sweet balsamic dressing. The entree however, was the big show stopper in the wedding food department. Fresh thyme roasted chicken breast stuffed with spinach, goat cheese, and pine nuts with a red pepper sauce; as well as blackened redfish with jumbo lump crabmeat and crawfish sauce all served with a side of rosemary roasted potatoes and seasoned vegetables. For the kids, treasure map decorated menus were folded and held crayons for the children to use on their maps, as well as a large rainbow lollipop to enjoy after their meal of chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.
    The cakes arrived, where the three tiered bride’s cake rested on top of a silver cake stand and the groom’s cake, which was in the shape of a Texas sized steak, rested on a linen covered stand. The grooms cake was a dark chocolate, while the bride’s cake was a vanilla cake with chocolate chips and raspberry filling. The table holding the cakes held the sign, “Let them eat cake!” Later no one rebelled against this.

    After the reception area was set and glowing in hues of blue mood lighting; LeighAnne made sure the outside gazebo where the ceremony would be held, that looked over Lake Conroe, was being set up with chairs, an aisle runner, and hydrangeas that bursted with color. It started to sprinkle, but didn’t stay long and I was astonished to see that the darker clouds created a circle around the ceremony area, almost like a halo where only light shined through. No rain to ruin their ceremony, just a gesture of good luck to the bride and groom.

    LeighAnne would check on Sara and Caleb almost every fifteen minutes to make sure they were calm and having no trouble getting ready, stress free. Caleb was all smiles as he made jokes with his fellow groomsmen who were equally jolly. Sara was sweet natured and you could tell she truly and confidently put her faith in Ellanesque and LeighAnne to make her wedding dream come true. The bridesmaids went Audrey Hepburn style in little black dresses and Tiffany blue shoes. The bride was in her mermaid ivory wedding gown with a blue sash around the middle and pearls around her neck. Beautiful and elegant she made all southerners proud when instead of heels she asked her matron of honor if she would help her get her cowgirl boots on.

    Everyone in the wedding party was delightful and so kind and were truly respectful to LeighAnne and myself as we were to them. It felt more like we were helping family or friends rather than clients. LeighAnne even helped the bride and bridesmaids with their make-up sharing stories they could all share about sororities they were members of and dance teams. I also knew that we were prepared for anything should a drink spill on a dress, a rip occur, or well, anything! Earlier I was told to make a run to meet Lauren Peterson, the owner of Ellanesque to pick-up and learn about “The Bag”...this was a designer bag stuffed to the brim with anything and everything you could imagine that could help with a wedding. The supplies seemed endless and were genius! Like a boy scout, Ellanesque was always prepared.

    The guests began to arrive and take their seats outside and the wedding party lined up for their entrance. As they walked down the aisle a small orchestra played. Soon the father of the bride took his little girl’s arm and led her to her future husband; as their dearest friends and family smiled enjoying the romance of the event. Then as Caleb and Sara joined hands, LeighAnne and I moved to double check all was set for the reception. The DJ was set, the caterers were ready, and the servers were looking sharp with trays of drinks. LeighAnne made sure the photographers were set to take pictures of the bridal party right after the ceremony, while the bartender was prepared to settle the guests with specialty drinks.

    Everything was still running smoothly and on time. After the ceremony we directed the bridal party to their picture spot. Holding bouquets and organizing who was in what picture, LeighAnne kept control and everyone listened and followed instantly having full confidence in her to help them get through what needed to be done. Then after pictures, it was party time! The newlyweds made their entrance and began to mingle with their guests as the wedding supper was being served. LeighAnne gave them space to enjoy their guests, but still followed her time table and made sure the bride and groom had a chance to also enjoy the fabulous food they had chosen. Soon after, toasts were made by the best man, matron of honor, parents, and even Sara’s sorority sisters sang one of their songs to congratulate the couple as was tradition. Then the cakes were sliced and enjoyed by all.
    As the first dance took place, LeighAnne and I began to help prepare for the newlywed’s exit that would occur in a couple of hours. LeighAnne grabbed a bucket of sparklers that would be handed out to the guests and set them near the door, she then stepped outside and curious I followed. I was surprised and delighted with what awaited us. A horse drawn carriage. The white steed looked to us approaching and controlling the reigns was a uniformed driver with a huge smile. The carriage itself was white with black trim and had twinkling lights that made it look like it popped out of a fairytale and standing by it LeighAnne looked like a fairy godmother. We settled boxes with the bride and groom’s possessions to take with them and then started lining the guests outside for a sparkler salute.

    It was the end of the night and here is where my favorite part out of all this amazing and beautiful work comes in. The bride and groom came over and gave LeighAnne, and even me the assistant, tight hugs and thanked us for making their wedding day so spectacular and how much it meant to them. Just writing that part, I am touched all over again...there is no better feeling in the world than to see the happiness in their eyes and to know that you helped make that happen. Ellanesque makes that happen. As I watched the couple run through the sparklers and ride off into the night in their glowing carriage; I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. Ellanesque not only touched their lives, but also touched mine and I can’t wait to work with them again to bring more happiness into the world through beautiful and unforgettable weddings.

    Photos From The Wedding!










  • Just A Little Ol' Country Wedding

    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!