fab friday finds - Fun Wedding Gifts from Uncommon Goods| Cincinnati + Dayton Wedding Planners

Yes, yes, I know most brides + grooms have a registry and for good reason. But sometimes the only thing left on the registry is a wooden spoon or a gift out of your price range. Or maybe you are pretty close to the couple and want to buy something a little more memorable + personable than a gravy boat. Insert Uncommon Goods. It's one of my favorite online shops for fun + funky gifts. Here are a few gifts I found on the site that would be great gifts - at several price points. Make sure you take a look at the site though - there are TONS of great items and not just for brides + grooms.

If you are a bride and like what you see, check out their wedding registry. Some of my favorite gifts came from our Uncommon Goods registry.

from left to right, top to bottom:

Three Wine Men (wine carriers) I love these - especially for a couple that loves wine. Each one is made of steel + resin and sell for $75.00 each.

Custom Brick Memory Vase This is just such a cool idea. You send in personalized photos and they create a custom vase for the couple. Pricier than the other options at $250 but definitely a gift the newlyweds will treasure for a long time.

Table Topic Cards This set of three retails for $27.00. A great idea if you are hosting a shower or the bachelorette party. The custom topics include questions to get to know the bride + groom and the honeymoon set includes topics for the bride + groom to take along with them. Cute, fun + entertaining.

Bride + Groom Family Tree Album Not sure if you are a fan of Who Do You Think You Are (the ancestry show where celebs track down their heritage) like I am, but this is a great economical (only $19!) + thoughtful gift for a newly established family and something to pass on to future generations.

Mr + Mrs Hand Towels Is it just me or do you love stick figures too? Perfect for the newlyweds new place. $40


Meg + Kevin = Married

I am so excited to share a few sneak peaks from Meg and Kevin's amazing North Carolina wedding. I think fate brought Meg and I together. We met at a friends wedding in Key West a year ago and she jumped at the opportunity to have someone help put her wedding together.

What an amazing wedding weekend in Pinehurst, NC it turned out to be. We couldn't have asked for better weather, 70's and sunny, for a weekend packed with outdoor events. The festivities started with a Croquet/Bocce Welcome Dinner with guests wearing the traditional white attire. Friday the men enjoyed playing golf while many of the ladies caught up at a luncheon on the spa lawn. Friday ended with am amazing Wine/Old World Italian themed Rehearsal Dinner at the Fairbarn. Complete with a surprise Chinese Balloon Lantern release planned by the bride's brother (SO romantic).

Guests began their wedding day festivities mingling at a champagne reception. Then making their way to the sun filled West Lawn where Meg and Kevin exchanged vows under a gazebo filled with beautiful balls of pink and white flowers. The couple entered the cocktail hour, complete with a cigar roller, lead by a bagpiper. Guest moved inside to find their escort cards on a bed of moss and were treated to a 4 course meal that would make any mouth water. After carts full of cheese and desserts made their way around the room, guest where then lead across the hall for a fun filled night of dancing. The Atlanta Party Band welcomed guest who sat on lounge chairs, enjoyed the Martini Luge, Cappuccino bar and candy buffet.

I do not know a more deserving couple of such a lavish, classy, and beautiful wedding weekend.

Can't wait for professional photos from Lacey Gadwill and the video from 28:20 Films. Both such fun to work with!

A special thank you also goes out to Meghan from Pinehurst, Ashley from Camargo Rental, and Allison from Poeme for her amazing talent and hard work!

Be on the lookout for professional photos soon. In the meantime here are some highlights I took with my personal camera.

Tools + Tips Thursday - The Unity Candle | Cincinnati + Dayton Wedding and Event Planners

photo courtesy of the knot

A few quick + simple tips for your unity candle.

*Have someone (like your wedding planner) prelight the candle wicks and blow them out prior to the ceremony. Occasionally the wicks can be difficult to light for the first time. Burning off the excess wax covering helps the wicks light easier during the ceremony itself.

*Keep a small tealight lit discreetly behind the main pillar candle or in another hidden location on the altar/table. We often use a lit tealight instead of lighters, matches or candlelighters. The mothers (or designated persons) take the taper from either side of the main candle and light from the tealight. Simple, easy and no worries about getting the lighter to work. There are certain denominations that require lighting from a specific candle at the altar but the overall idea is the same.

*If you are having an outdoor ceremony, be sure to put hurricanes over your unity candles. Ideally the hurricane should be 2-3" taller than the wick of the candle to help prevent wind from blowing out the candle or preventing it from being lit in the first place. Even so, realize that some locations are so windy that it makes it nearly impossible to keep the candles lit. If you are getting married outside and want something to symbolize the union but don't want to worry about candles lighting or staying lit - consider a sand ceremony.

*Anyone can light the unity candle - mothers are the most common, but I've seen both sets of parents light candles as well. Another popular option for couples with children is to have the children light the candles - very little ones can be escorted by another family member to help.


What to Wear Wednesday | Cincinnati Wedding Planners

Today's feature event? The day-after brunch. We've selected a beautiful silk chiffon dress in a bright + fun color from JCrew. Each accessory adds a little shine + a hint of the same orange hue. This would be a perfect outfit to take with you on your honeymoon as well.

The total cost? $144.79.

Dress - JCrew
Shoes - Via Spiga via 6pm
Hair Pins - Forever 21
Locket - Forever 21
Clutch - Forever 21


Patrice + James = Engaged! | Cincinnati + Dayton Wedding + Event Planners

Patrice + James are just about as adorable of a couple as you can get... proof is in their amazing engagement photos in downtown Cincinnati by the fab Tine @ tmphotography. We are looking forward to their September wedding @ the Taft Museum with some of our favorite vendors including Tine, Brideface, Jen Nally, Giddy Ink , Tres Belle + Katie Elfers!

pretty sure this next one is my favorite!


Inspiration: Country Club Chic | Cincinnati Wedding + Event Planners

This board started out as a golf inspired inspiration board (mainly because Lindsey + Christy were in Pinehurst N.C. for an amazing destination wedding this weekend)... but then it morphed into a country club inspired, preppy chic board. I've always been a fan of the plaid, the stripes and pink + green combination - so why not put it all together in a fun yet classic board?

{Plate, Invitation, Gown, Drinks, Cake, Refreshment Table, Escort Cards, Bouquet}


fab friday finds - Vera Bradley Sale = Gift ideas for your Bridal Party | Cincinnati + Dayton Wedding Planners

Vera Bradley is having a sale on a ton of patterns + styles. There are a ton of options for bridesmaids, flower girl and even hostess gifts (or pick up something for yourself!).

You can check out the entire sale selection here. Use code save20sale to save an additional 20% off sale prices. We've listed a few of our favorites below. Happy shopping!

This medium cosmetic bag (shown in Carnaby) is priced between $14.00-$15.75 on sale - take the additional 20% off and the price drops to $11.20-$12.60 depending on the pattern choice - and there are a ton of options.

The large cosmetic bag (shown in Raspberry Fizz) is priced between $16.00-$18.00 on sale - take the additional 20% off and the price drops to $12.80-$14.40 depending on the pattern choice - and again there are a ton of options.

Or how about an adorable mini bowler bag for your flower girl or jr. bridesmaid. I love this cute little bag! This one, Audrey, (shown in Cupcakes Pink) is priced from $11-21 - with the code you can pick up this mini bag for $8.80 - $16.80
Or maybe you'd love a cute overnight bag, gym bag or new carry-on for your honeymoon! This large duffel is priced at $55.00 on sale (Pinwheel Pink is shown) after the discount the price is $44.00 nearly half of the original $80 price tag.


CEP vendor spotlight: Fyrefly Photography

A week or so ago, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Nathan Peel of Fyrefly Photography. We have very similiar thoughts on our couples and our business philosophy. And other than being a UK fan (try not to hold that against him).... he's really a great guy and wonderful photographer. He happily answered our vendor spotlight questions and sent us 5 of his favorite photos. We had to include one of him as well - be sure to check out his site + blog for more eye candy.

Now onto our q + a.....
[1] Tell us how you came up with the name Fyrefly Photography
I wish I had an amazing story about a great, great grandmother whose middle name was Fyrefly but I don't. It's just an intentionally misspelled name that had a simple domain name available. Obviously the misspelling is designed to catch people's attention but other than that it's just a name. Maybe I should just make up a cool backstory about Louise "Fyrefly" Peel:)

[2] In five words or less, describe your business philosophy
Be nice. Nobody wants to work with or even be around someone who's mean. You will go a lot of places in life just by treating people well.

[3] In three words or less describe your personality

[4] What inspires you
In a word: love. It's inspiring to see people demonstrate authentic love for each other. It doesn't necessarily have to be romantic or intimate...some of the most inspiring stories for me happen when a complete stranger takes time out to help someone just because it's the right thing to do. I aspire to be that stranger.

[5] Favorite three places to shoot
I don't know if I could pick three specific places. I feel like I am inspired to take pictures wherever I am but...I tend to gravitate to old and/or broken down places the most. I love the aesthetic of an abandoned factory or historic buildings. If I'm shooting for myself I usually drive around in old parts of the city until I see something that catches my eye.

[6] What do you love most about what you do
Friendships. One of my goals with every couple is for them to think of me as a friend before their wedding day even starts. So I make it a point to get to know every couple in authentic ways so I'm not just another wedding vendor but someone they might want to grab coffee with long after they are done with my services.

[7] If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be
The sky's the limit on this one but I'll keep it photography related. I really dig the style and philosophy of Jose Villa right now so I would probably chose him. His ability to capture moments that are both authentic and look amazing are unparalleled...and he does it all on film, in the camera!

[8] If you had three wishes what would they be
1. To know that my wife and kids would always be taken care of no matter what.2. To never grow tired of chasing dreams.3. This is a little "pageant-y" but...I have been dreaming about a way to use photography/art to set up a non-profit that supports AIDS orphans in Africa. I'm not sure how it would work but I am passionate about both so I think it could.

[9] If you had to pick a theme song, what would it be
It would be a toss up between "All You Need is Love" by the Beatles or "Head Full of Doubt" by the Avett Brothers. Both have incredible messages.

[10]Skyline Chili or Gold Star Chili
Are there people out there who would choose Gold Star over Skyline? I don't eat it too much, but if I was choosing it would be Skyline 1000 times out of 1000.

the photographer

the photos

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What to Wear Wednesday | Cincinnati Wedding Planners

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to wear a veil, wear a shirt stuck with lifesavers or any other crazy piece of decorated clothing to your bachelorette party. A bachelorette party is the perfect time to just have a fabulous night with your girlfriends while looking pretty hot yourself. Today's outfit is simple + sexy + fun and the total price is $125.55. The best part is you can wear all of these again (unlike the condom covered veil).

Top - Forever 21
Jeans - Old Navy
Clutch - Forever 21
Earrings - Forever 21
Shoe - Bandolino via DSW


photo of the week - Fyrefly Photography | Cincinnati Wedding + Event Planners

I love the nostalgic feel of this photo of Fountain Square in Cincinnati by Nathan @ Fyrefly Photography. Images like this are why I still love film photography. Check out more images from this shoot on his blog here.


Inspiration: the Cabbage Flower | Cincinnati Wedding + Event Planners

I've wanted to do an inspiration board featuring the gorgeous cabbage flower for a long time. Downtown Cincinnati had these in planters all along the sidewalks last year and I just fell in love with the colors + texture. Today the board finally comes to life - featuring a gorgeous bouquet by Katie Elfers and stunning pieces from a few very talented sellers on Etsy.

Necklace, Bouquet, Cake, Bridesmaid Dresses, Ring Bearer Pillow, Cabbage Flower, Ring, Tie, Invitation