12 days ago I embarked on a fabulous European journey with my husband in celebration of our 5th wedding anniversary this year. Yesterday, we returned to find our home safe, sound, and happy. We are truly grateful. Today is my first full day back into the office and it’s full of sending email updates, drafting timelines and floorplans, laundry and snail mail sorting. But one thing is for sure – I have never felt as invigorated, refreshed, clarified and joyful as I am on this day and moving forward.

This time away from the screen has done more for my heart and my business than I ever thought possible. I am super-charged and committed more ever than before to become the best version of myself for my family and my clients. To dive deep into the relationships that will influence me in the best of ways, while remaining focused enough to not become overwhelmed with concepts or emotions that don’t serve me and this life of mine well.

Here’s to this wonderful and amazing mind-shift that has unexpectedly taken place over these past several days. I’m so excited! I had planned to use today to share a recap of my journey and all of the travel tips and suggestions that I have gained throughout the trip, but there is SO MUCH, friends, that I’ve decided to share it in next week’s post! I’m going to take it in stride and commit myself to making it super intentional and helpful to those of you who are planning travel of your own and are interested in hearing my thoughts and take-a-ways as a novice traveler!

I will leave you with a quintessential Parisian shot of the Eiffel Tower that I was able to grab – because, well – this.

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It’s Wednesday – and we’re headed to Rome! We’re spending the morning exploring the last gems of Paris that we’d like to visit, and then catching a late flight to Rome and arriving in the late evening. Since we shared our itinerary for Paris – I thought I’d drop in and share our itinerary for Rome that we are super excited to dive into! Take a look and, if you’ve been to Rome before and have visited some of these places – let me know what you thought!

Next week, I’ll officially be back into the office and sharing #allthethings that need to get done before executing our very first wedding the season – yay! Off to enjoy these last few moments before hopping on a plane!

 

 


Day 1
8:00am – Breakfast at Giselda (Trastevere)
9:00am – Stroll/Explore Trastevere
12:00pm – Lunch at La Boccaccia (Pizzeria) OR The Fish Market (Fish…no surprise there)
7:30pm – Dinner at Pianostrada (Mediterranean)

Note: As you can see above, we reserved this day for lots of spontaneous exploring so that we can soak everything in for a bit before the real tourism begins!

Day 2
9:00am – Breakfast at Parenti La Vacca (Mediterranean)
10:00am – After-Breakfast Treats at NovecentoTredici
1
0:30am – Tour Vatican Museums + Sistine Chapel
1:00pm – Lunch at Pinsa ‘Mpo (Pizzeria)
2:00pm – Tour St. Peter’s Basilica
7:00pm – Dinner at La Zanzara (Mediterranean/International)

Day 3
9:00am – Breakfast at Pasticceria Regoli (Bakery/Coffee Shop)
10:00am – Tour the Colosseum
12:00pm – Lunch at La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali (Mediterranean)
1:30pm – After Lunch Dessert at Giolitti (Ice Cream)
2:00pm – Tour Palatine Hill & Roman Forum
8:00pm – Dinner at Osteria Bonelli

Day 4
9:00am – Breakfast at Coromandel (International Breakfast/Coffee House)
10:00am – Tour the Pantheon
1:00pm – Tour the Trevi Fountain
2:00pm – Lunch at Osteria da Fortunata (Mediterranean)
3:30pm – Tour Borghese Gallery
7:00pm – Dinner at Farinè La Pizza (Pizzeria)

Day 5
NOTE: We marked this day as a “free day”, meaning that we have no real itinerary, but did list some possible sights that we’d like to visit if we have time. Here they are:

Piazza Navona
Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Abbazia di San Paolo Fuori le Mura
Church of St. Louis of the French
Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martius
Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano
San Pietro in Vincoli
Fontana dei Quattro fiumi

Lunch at Trapizzino (We DO have a lunch spot, though!)


AH! Super excited to explore this city and soak more beauty and history in. Here we go! See you guys back in the office on next week – I’ll be kicking into high gear and sharing all of my goals to prepare for our first wedding of the season next month. Hugs!

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Ah! This time next week, I will be in Paris with my husband – with no kids! We’re both super excited to enjoy this time away together and soak in everything that this beautiful city has to offer. We decided to split our vacation into two amazing cities – Paris and Rome – simply because we wanted the opportunity to be able to explore some pretty iconic locations AND rest and relax all within the same vacation. Once we finalized our final destinations, of course, I went into planner-mode and began to search for an amazing trip planning app to help us create and organize the perfect itinerary – and I’m sharing it all here with you, today!

The app that we came across and ended up LOVING is TripHobo. This crazy amazing website allows you to map out your entire trip, complete with specific airfare, hotel and/or lodging, and sight-seeing information! Without further ado, come along with us on our trip to PARIS!

P.S. – Don’t worry. I’ll be sharing our Rome itinerary with y’all next week and then come back and share my dish on it ALL. You’re welcome.


Day 1
6:55am – Arrive at the Charles de Gaulle Airport (Paris, France)
8:00am – Pickup Paris Passes (Holy Moly – we’re going to see #allthethings)
8:30am – Angelina’s for Breakfast (Supposedly, they have the best hot chocolate!)
10:30am – Stroll through Le Marais (a trendy & hip neighborhood with great food and shopping!)
11:30am – Brunch at Le Loir Dans La Théière
3:00pm – Check into Hotel Augustin
6:00pm – Dinner at Boucherie les Provinces (Pick out your cut of meat & they prepare it for you!)

Note: We purposely did not put a lot on our first day just so that we can relax and recoup from an 8-hour flight!

Day 2
9:00am – Breakfast at The Hardware Société Paris (Brunch, Brunch, Brunch!!!)
10:30am – Stroll around Montmartre
11:30am – Stroll the Pont Alexandre III
12:00pm – Lunch at Restaurant Sapori Di Parma (so proud – no website to be found!)
1:30pm – Visit the Eiffel Tower
2:30pm – Paris Big Bus Tour
5:00pm – Seine River Cruise
7:00pm – Dinner at 

Day 3
9:00am – Breakfast at Holybelly
10:30am – Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral
12:00pm – Visit the Pantheon
12:30pm – Lunch at Au P’tit Grec
2:00pm – Visit Saint-Chapelle
3:00pm – Visit the Musee D’Louvre
5:30pm – Wine Tasting at Les Caves Du Louvre
7:00pm – Dinner at L’avant-Comptoir

Day 4
9:30am – Breakfast at Frenchie To Go
10:30am – Visit the Musee d’Orsay
1:00pm – Visit the Arc De Triomphe
12:30pm – Lunch at Las Du Fallafel or A La Biche Au Bois
3:00pm – Visit Champs-Elysees
7:00pm – Dinner at Lockwood

Day 5
9:30am – Breakfast at Vandermeersch
10:30am – Visit the Palace of Versailles
1:30pm – Lunch Du Pain Et Des Idées
2:30pm – Visit Palais Garnier
4:00pm – Visit Luxembourg Palace & Gardens
5:30pm – Dinner at Pedzouille

After dinner, we’re heading back to the airport to catch a late flight to Rome! Whoohoo!


Some additional notes tips for planning:

  • Be sure to check opening times for the attractions/restaurants/stores. Some are closed on random days throughout the week.
  • We wanted to leave the nighttimes open for absolute spontaneity, so this is why there’s never anything much past dinnertime. We may take this time to rest after walking, hitting up a nearby pub/bar, strolling into a fabulous dessert recommendation, etc. Who knows!
  • Download Google Translate! We do know a TINY bit of French (after about 20-25 Rosetta Stone lessons), but we’d like to at least know how to read and do our best to communicate in the native language while we are there. I have received advice from other travelers that the French will respect you more and be nicer if you try your best to be respectful to them – even if you sound terrible while doing so!
  • If you end up purchasing the Paris Pass, be aware that the museum pass only comes in intervals of 2, i.e. – if you purchased a 3-Day Paris Pass, then your Museum Pass is only valid for 2 days from the time you first enter a valid museum.

See you next week to give you the dish on our Rome itinerary! XO

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Some to come back 5 years from because we love them but have had enough of at this point and then others that just need to stay in the grave.  You know them – those elements that you see plastered all over Pinterest that look amazing and therefore encourages every bride alive to request them on her very own special day creating a sense of overwhelm & cringe to wedding planners & event designers everywhere. Last week, I shared a post that predicted the wedding trends for this year and this week, I thought I’d flip the script and go for highlighting those details that make us all *wince* when we hear them in fear of being too “pinteresty”, too overdone, out of style, or just plain wrong.

Disclaimer: If you are a bride or groom and come upon this blog post and are horrified to see some of your near-and-dear wedding elements listed, don’t hate me! This blog post is definitely not meant to bash anyone’s special day (I’m a wedding planner who LIVES for wedding days, trust me!) and meant more for humor and fun among the wedding industry more than anything else! As wedding planners who are immersed in a ton of wedding details throughout the year , we see a LOT of these elements over and over again and it becomes more repetitive than just zoning in on one day. Your day will be beautiful and amazing and we hope that it’s everything you hoped and dreamed of (and that’s all that matters!). Enjoy!

Marsala Palettes

Marsala was Pantone’s Color of the Year – in 2015. 2 years later and it’s still going strong. The deep, velvety romantic characteristics of this tone makes it a favorite for fall and winter weddings and allows for the flexibility of going with a heavier, more dramatic feel or an overall brighter scheme with pops of the color here and there. But after over 2 years of reigning supreme – we’d love a bit of break. Au revoire, sweet friend. May you rest in peace (please).

Wine Cork Everything

I literally laughed out loud when a wedding planner friend mentioned that she is so done with sticking escort cards inside of wine bottle corks. But let’s take a deeper look into this popular element.

Photo Credits:
Escort Cards / Wine Lovers Wedding Bar // Cork Sign: Matt Edge Photography
Table Numbers / Planner: Burkle Events / Photographer: Jessica Charles Photography

 

They are EVERYWHERE. While quite beautiful and, at a certain time past, unique – the season for these are over. Come back again, soon!

Drunken Sparkler Exits

While the resulting photos from sparkler send-offs are usually breathtaking, the general equation that we like to use in the planning world for this event is:

Alcohol + People + Party + Coordination + Fire = Doom. #prayersaregreatlyappreciated

While I have been graced to make it out alive from all of our beloved sparkler send-offs, I’m pretty positive that my liability insurance policy would decrease dramatically if sparkler exit coordination were removed from my list of offered services. But, alas, it’s here to stay!

Sequins

Photo Credits:
Left-Hand Photos / Photographer: Amy & Jordan // Planner: Imoni Events
Right-Hand Photo / Photographer: Amanda Megan Miller Photography

 

When this phenoma arrived on the scene in buckets around 2-3 years ago, we were SO. IN. LOVE. Such a glamorous touch. Such an elegant accent! Until it began to spiral out of control. All 15-20 guest tables dressed in sparkles. Sequined bridesmaids dresses (which aren’t super flattering on all body shapes). Sequined backdrops. Ah! Now, don’t get me wrong. I love sequins! But sequined everything may be a bit too much. Everything in moderation is our motto.

Photo Booths

So fun, but so done. I can only imagine what guests think when they’ve attended 5 weddings this year and all of them have the expected photo booth. Photo booths are super fun, don’t get us wrong, but there are SO many alternative options out there that are just as unique and interactive! Video booths are emerging as a super fun alternative (think Boomerang or insta-stories, or even voice-recordings, slo-mo – wedding style!)! Take a walk on the wild side and try something different!

“Pick a Seat, Not a Side”

…or any other overdone, cheesy phrase. There are plenty of ways to tell guests that there are no assigned seats for the ceremony – just think a bit. Is it really necessary that it rhymes? I dare say it’s not. Other classic phrases that need a rest are: “You can find your seat here, but your place is on the dance floor”, “live, laugh, love”, etc. etc. These are all catchy – but I encourage and charge all engaged couples to be intentional with every piece of the day (esp. if there’s money involved) and brainstorm ways to be fun AND original!

Photo Credits:
Left-Hand Photo / Designer: Mulberry Market Design
Right-Hand Photo / Photographer: Jenny Smith & Co. // Planner: Debby Baltas (No Link Available)

 

Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”

Can’t get any more traditional than this can it? I mean, it’s a beautiful melody, but I like to call this the “I just don’t have time to pick out a song selection” processional choice. Some stricter venues (i.e. churches, etc.) actually limit the options for processional music, so I totally understand in those situations – but if you’re getting married ANYWHERE else that allows the option to switch it up – please take the leap, friend – unless, of course, it actually means something to you. Then, by all means – go for it!

“Single Ladies”

+ Bouquet Toss. Enough said. No, actually not enough. There are OTHER SONGS to choose from!!!!!! I promiseeeeee! #sendhelp.

Bouquet + Garter Toss

I may lose some people here, but stop doing things just because you’re “supposed” to. Long gone are the times in which you have to do ANYTHING that doesn’t align with your vision or unique personalities. If you find tossing a feaux (or god forbid, the actual and risk cold cocking one of your guests) bouquet to a ton of women and witnessing the ensuing wrestling match old and tired – toss the entire thing! There are few requirements when it comes to what should/should not be done on YOUR wedding day. As I mentioned in the header of this post – it’s YOUR day. Make sure you find sentimental value in every piece of it and not simply including pieces because you feel as though you’re supposed to do it. That concept is dead and gone. Make this 24 hours 100% your own and don’t apologize to anyone about it!

Photo Credits:
Left-Hand Photo / Photographer: Lyndsi Espinel Photography
Right-Hand Photo / Photographer: A Bryan Photo

 

“Rustic”

Rustic chic. Rustic with modern touches. Rustic glam. What does any combination of this word even mean anymore???? Burlap with gold accents? Barns with chandeliers and loads of flowers? Cowboy/girl boots? Le sigh. This entire word should be retired from weddings for all eternity. I’m sure there are plenty others who would agree.


Well – I think that should just about do it for today (we want to have a few friends left after this is all over!). I hope that you all enjoyed the humor with us and didn’t get the blood pressure up TOO high while reading along! We love weddings – the good, the bad, the “not done enough” and the “STOP. ENOUGH” stuff, too. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Did we miss any dead-beaten horses? Share with us in the comments below! XO

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I have been loving reading all of the 2017 wedding trend predictions from wedding industry professionals and thought it a great time to jump in and share my very own thoughts on what we can expect to see more of in the coming months for wedding & event aesthetics! In addition to this week’s post, I’m super excited to also share what we would love to see LESS of after seeing it done over….and over…..and over again – NEXT WEEK. It would be great if I never saw ________ at another wedding again – am I right? Alright – here we go!



Geometric Themes
I am obsessed with the inclusion of all sorts of fun and funky geometric shapes that are popping up in beautiful wedding designs. From large, expansive floral chandeliers, to smaller, decorative bud vases, ring boxes, accent decor and everything else in between – these cost effective accents are really holding their own in the trending category for a while now and they aren’t making any plans to slow down now. Give me more!

PHOTO CREDITS:
1st Photo: Photographer: Amy & Jordan // Event Design: Roar Events // Event Coordinator: Sassy Soirees // Florals: Sarah’s Garden
2nd Photo: Photographer: Kayla Barker // Bakery: Layered Bake Shop // Event & Floral Design: The Southern Table

Over-the-Top Invitations
While the classic and traditional formal invite, RSVP & information cards are definitely not being put away altogether, couples are now brainstorming ways in which to add a little something extra to their guest’s initial invitation in their season of celebration. Hand-drawn illustrations of popular attractions and important sites in/around their wedding destination are popping up more and more along with other additional pieces of fun information. Also, more and more couples are stepping outside of the stationery suite route altogether and going for more elaborate acrylics or non-paper materials, etched woods, entire gift boxes and  other over-the-top alternatives. We are here for it all!

PHOTO CREDITS:
1st Photo: Photographer: Perry Vaile Photography // Hand-Illustrated Invitation: The Lettered Olive
2nd Photo: Photographer: Madmoiselle Fiona // Gown: Jenny Packham // Invitation & Calligraphy: Lovely Paper Things

Stationery, Signage, & Paper Goods
Wait, wait, wait! Just because clients are choosing non-traditional routes for their formal invitations doesn’t at all mean that paper goods are a dying breed. Clients LOVE creating more of an experience and sharing pieces of their story throughout their wedding day and there are a TON of ways to do this with meaningful, aesthetic-based, and intentional wedding day stationery. We’re bringing out the customized thank-you notes for each individual place setting, signature drink/bar menu signage with fun messages for their reference, fun escort card/seating chart displays – their personalities are able to come through so much through the many opportunities (but not overwhelming or tacky) to share messages with their guests throughout the evening!

Non-Traditional Dessert Hybrids
Gone are the days of one lone cake table. Couples are beginning to admit that not EVERYONE loves just cake. Some prefer pies, cookies, cotton candy, ice cream with all of the toppings too! And that’s perfectly okay! We are living for the dessert displays that offer guests a wide variety or dessert options. Maybe a less traditional pie buffet with 4-5 different flavors to keep a reign on the budget, or investing a bit more to include a dessert buffet with a range of individual delicacies for everyone’s varying palettes (candies, donuts, mini pies, cotton candy, cookies with milk, etc.).

PHOTO CREDITS:
1st Photo: Photographer: Carly Michelle // Planning & Design: Cristen & Co. // Florals: Nectar // Bakery: Sweet Indulgence
2nd Photo: Photographer: Curios Photography

Fluff<Florals
I am so ecstatic that brides and grooms are coming to realize how much of an impact florals can have on the overall aesthetic and decor of a wedding day. In the past (and still even now – but that tides are beginning to turn), so many couples have tried their best and even invested quite a bit of money into non-floral accents to “save” the budget. In their efforts, they have spent nearly the same amount (sometimes more) on antique containers, trays, photo-printing, frames, fruits & vegetables, bird seed, and so many other items to create a non-floral alternative effect. And where there are complaints that they’re gone after one day – on the flip side, now you have 1000 random items that you will more than likely never use again. You don’t have to spend your entire budget on flowers in order to create a beautiful floral design. Even smaller, traditional florals can transform a space. Sprigs, floral heads, and greenery can also be more cost-effective, yet still pack a punch in the decor department. Talk to experts prior to taking a leap in the other direction. It’s not ALWAYS the most intelligent or cost-effective choice!

Greenery vs. Blooms
Greenery is dominating these days – and I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would! Couples – esp. the ones veering towards the more organic, naturesque vibe and style – are coming to realize that floral design isn’t just limited to peonies, roses, and ranunculus. Floral designers are now breaking the mould with the inclusion of eucalyptus, ferns, ruscus, and monstera greenery into their wedding designs. Understandable because it’s all well……pretty gorgeous. Now, don’t automatically assume that you’ll be saving yourself a ton by going the greenery route – that’s not always necessarily true, but you can definitely brainstorm and discuss your heart’s desires with your floral design and come up with a way that wins – whether that ends up going with more greenery of somewhat of a greenery/bloom hybrid.

Unique Entertainment & Fun
Photobooths are beginning to lean towards the “overdone” department, dear friends. They were fun and unique and all the rave around….3-4 years ago. Now common guest responses when they step on the scene and discover the photobooth is, “Oh. A photobooth.” (i.e. – that I’ve also seen at the last 10 weddings). They were fun then. Now they’re just….expected. I love the couples who are ready for new and refreshing forms of entertainment and ways to capture guest experiences. Videobooths, DIY-guest recorders (e.g. Wedit), unique & custom Photo Backdrops and/or open-air booths, DIY Fujifilm Instax cameras, hiring a caricature artist – are all ways to still be able to capture recaps of your guests while veering away from the overdone closed, vintage photo booth concept.

PHOTO CREDITS:
1st Photo: Photographer: Laurel McConnell // Planning & Design: All the Flutter // Catering: Roche Harbor
2nd Photo: Photographer: Abby Jui // Planning & Design: Karson Butler Events // Signage: The Romance Between

Aside from photobooths, if you aren’t that caught up on photo-based guest entertainment – other fun and unique ideas to consider are cigar bars for the gentlemen, oyster bars, dancing lessons, dancing favors (shades, maracas, streamers, etc.), etc. There are tons of ideas to consider – take a minute to brainstorm something intentional and thoughtful that your guests will love and remember.

Social Media Connection
2017 is the year of social media connection – including on the wedding scene. Hashtags, Snapchat & geotag filters, online DIY guest photo galleries – all are ways in which to allow your guests to share all of the fun and great experience that they are having on your special day. Some of these will even allow you to store and keep the videos and photos so that you can have the fun of reflecting on them all days later as a fun activity and even store some of them for your own personal memories. Super fun and super easy!

Just make sure to let the guests know through website information, signage and word-of-mouth that these activities should begin AFTER the ceremony so that you can keep the actual ceremony private, respectful, and just for you and your guests – your photographer and other media team members will thank you (and so will you when you receive your photos back and don’t have tons of guests in the photos trying to grab the best shot of you walking down the aisle). Yikes!

Furbaby Inclusion

PHOTO CREDITS:
Photographer: Caroline Logan // Planning & Design: Weddings by JDK // Bridal Gown: Kleinfeld Bridal // Bridesmaids Gowns: J. Crew


Who says that wedding party members can’t include your furbaby besties? If you’d like to include your furry friends in your ceremony in some special way, brainstorm with your venue and wedding team on the best ways to go about doing that. There are most likely rules and restrictions on how exactly this can be done (if at all), but don’t count the possibility out altogether until you take the time to do the homework. Most outdoor venues are okay with it, as long as you have a plan on how the animals are going to participate, who is going to be responsible for taking care of them, who is going to be responsible for taking them off-site before the reception begins, etc. etc. Even with stricter venues who won’t allow any pets on the property, there are also some fun ways to include your furbesties in the experience – classy silhouette table numbers, a photo memorial table with family, friends, and furbaby momentos, etc. If your furbabies are a dear part of your heart and story – there’s always a way to bring them into the guest experience in some sort of way! Best of luck!


Ah – I loved writing this post! I would love to hear your thoughts – which do you agree with? Are there any that you don’t think will be as trendy as predicted? I can’t wait to refer back to this post at the end of the year and see which ones stuck and which not so much. I may actually decide to post a What’s NOT post as well on next week – who knows? What do you think – would you like to see my NOT predictions for this year, as well? Come back next week to see the verdict! XO!

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  • Melissa Klusek - This is so fun and I absolutely LOVE it! (considering I’m getting married in July!)

    If we had an unlimited budget I totally would have gone the acrylic invites in a custom box with gorgeous ribbon, but we don’t, so we’re incorporating acrylic signs throughout the day!

    Instead of doing the traditional cake we’re having a small cake to cut (that’s square!) and having a dessert bar featuring mini cupcakes, mini cookies, cake pops, and caramel corn!

    I’m SO excited about your post next week!!ReplyCancel

    • hellolove - Hey, Melissa!
      I am just sitting over here WAITING for you to get married so that I can stalk all of the beautiful details that I KNOW you are going to incorporate – you’re working with Rhi – so you really can’t go wrong. I’m a bit jelly that you didn’t send out Facebook invitations – can’t we just allllll come?! lol!

      Best of blessings to you and your fiance – enjoy the moments. They go by so fast! XOReplyCancel

  • 10 Wedding Trends that Need to Retire - […] creating a sense of overwhelm & cringe to wedding planners & event designers everywhere. Last week, I shared a post that predicted the wedding trends for this year and this week, I thought I’d flip the script […]ReplyCancel

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