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Holly and Dan’s Backyard Wedding | Indianapolis, IN | Day-of-Coordination

Here’s another throwback post for you – this couple will be celebrating their 2nd anniversary in just a few weeks!!

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Holly and Dan found us through A Practical Wedding. They were living in San Francisco and planning a wedding in Indianapolis, and wisely decided to get some help pulling everything together!

So, we harnessed the power of the internet for video chats and many emails, added a few phone calls for good measure, and then made the quick drive down to Indianapolis for their wedding weekend! (Yes – we travel!)

Speaking of details, there are so many from this wedding that I’d like to share with you…

When I pulled up to this beautiful home, I immediately felt I was in an era of old Hollywood glamour! Photo: Eric Rudd Photography

This is Holly’s grandmother’s house. It is unbelievably beautiful. Of course they leapt at the opportunity to use it at the backdrop for their wedding! Aside from its obvious charm, this house is a place where the two of them had spent many, many days together so it holds a special place in their hearts.

Don't you love this outdoor family photo wall? Photo: Eric Rudd Photography

They decided to fully embrace the era of the home, using vintage colored glass goblets at their place settings and retro cotton prints for the napkins and table linens. Each table had a different print, and Holly sewed all of the linens herself.

Vintage goblets and bowls gave the wedding a retro vibe. Photo: Eric Rudd Photography

And my favorite thing? The seating assignments! Holly made magnets using the same fabrics as the tablecloths and napkins and used them to hold up polaroids of each guest; they found their table by matching the magnet to the tablecloth. What fun!

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After a lovely ceremony in the side yard, everyone moved through the historic home for cocktail hour, and then into a tent in the backyard for the reception. Though they’d loaded an iPod with music for the night, it ended up mostly collecting dust – Holly’s Uncle and his band were expected to play for an hour or two, but they honored the crowd’s request to go all night long!

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Congratulations and Happy Anniversary, Holly & Dan!

VENDORS
Officiant: Dan’s Brother
Photography: Eric Rudd Photography
Catering & Cupcakes: Monon Food Company
Florist: Circle City Planners
Band: Holly’s Uncle Tim
Hair & Makeup: Spa French Pharmacie
Vintage Rentals: Violet Vintage
Tent & Other Rentals: A Classic Party Rental
Portable Restrooms: Hoosier Portable Restrooms
Transportation: Integrity Limo Service

All photos were taken by Eric Rudd Photography and are reposted here the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are not available for reproduction, redistribution, or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Crafty Broads is one of the Top 10 Wedding Planners in Chicago!

Chicago's Top 10 Wedding Planners according to Yelp includes Crafty Broads!

 

On Friday morning, we awoke to the very exciting news that we’d been named to Yelp‘s list of the Top 10 Wedding Planners in Chicago! We pride ourselves on excellent customer service, and we’re always happy to read reviews that tell us we are doing well, but it is amazing to be recognized like this in a city full of so many wonderful wedding vendors!!

This photo was from a recent wedding with a Pixar theme - so much fun! Julia got to be the remote control operator for WALL-E, the ring bearer!

This photo was from a recent wedding with a Pixar theme – so much fun! Julia got to be the remote control operator for WALL-E, the ring bearer, who rolled up the aisle and danced at the front!

We’d like to give a shout out to our clients – getting to know you and be a part of your big life moments is so amazing, and it’s why we do this job! We absolutely love meeting each of you, hearing all about your lives and your plans, and we sure like to think we are friends at the end of it! So THANK YOU!!

(And please keep spreading the word so we can stick around!)

And the Winners Are…

Thanks for joining us at the Finally Forever Wedding Expo!

Without further ado, we’d like  to announce the giveaway winners:

Congratulations to Samuel Green! He and his future spouse have won their choice of a Budget Strategy Session, registration for two to our Wedding Planning 101 Workshop, or having the design fee waived on a Custom Wedding Garment. They’ve also won free admission to The Planning Party on April 1st.

Three additional couples have won admission to The Planning Party – Congratulations to:
Angela & Nicole Bolding
Stephen Lutes
Maribel Arroyo

We had a wonderful time meeting all of you, and we hope you got some great ideas and resources to plan a fantastic wedding! Don’t forget about our Marriage Equality Discount, valid for all wedding planning services booked by March 31st for weddings taking place in 2014.

What is this Planning Party thing?

If you are stressed out with wedding planning and you need a little bit of expert help and/or a big glass of wine, then it might be just the party for you! The Planning Party is a casual get together where couples are invited to ask us absolutely anything about planning their weddings. We’ll be featuring a different vendor each month to talk about their specialty and answer questions as well. At our inaugural Party on Tuesday April 1st, our guest will be Emilia Schobeiri of Emilia Jane Photography. (You may remember her lovely photos of Sarah’s wedding dress and winter coat or James and Liz’s wedding.) And, of course, refreshments will be provided. Follow the link above to register or get more information.

Meghan + Stephan | Lakeside Inn | Lakeside, Michigan | Day-of-Coordination

Continuing with our recap of weddings and projects, today I’d like to take you on a short trip to Michigan for Meghan and Stephan’s cozy lakeside celebration!

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We met these two at the Indie Wed show waaaaay back in the winter of 2012, which makes sense because their wedding was in the fall of 2012, which means, yes, I’ve been holding onto their stories and photos for a year and a half without sharing. Sorry. I hope you’ll agree it was worth the wait.

Meghan and Stephan rented out the quaint Lakeside Inn for a weekend of celebration. (Note: if one of your priorities is spending quality time with all of your guests, hosting them all for a cozy long weekend is a sure way to make that happen!)

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They planned an outdoor ceremony on the grounds behind the Inn, with the reception following inside. Unfortunately mother nature had other plans, and after setting up the chairs, taking down the chairs, and setting them up again, we had to make the call to move the whole party indoors due to rain.

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BUT. It wasn’t so bad, because we ended up staging the ceremony in front of the Inn’s lovely stone fireplace. With candles lining the aisle and their lovingly handmade details featured behind them, it was one of the warmest and most romantic settings you could dream up for a wedding.

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One of my favorite parts of this wedding was the inclusion of a few traditions from Stephan’s Ukrainian heritage. During the ceremony, there was a part similar to a handfasting, during which the officiant wrapped their hands in a traditional cloth, beautifully embroidered by Stephan’s mother. They took a walk three times around the altar to signify that marriage is a never-ending journey. At the start of the reception, they had some private moments with each other and their immediate families, where they broke a traditional korovai bread and shared it together.

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Custom spilled over onto the dance floor with a few traditional Ukrainian songs and dances. These two had one of the most rockin’ dance parties I have ever seen! Virtually every guest was on the dance floor, and most of them stayed there all night long.

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I couldn’t have asked for a lovelier couple or nicer friends and family to spend a weekend in the woods with. Congratulations Meghan and Stephan!

VENDORS
Venue: Lakeside Inn
Catering: Cravings Catering
Officiant: Rev. Carol Munroe Mosley
Photographer: Amanda Megan Miller Photography (follow the link for more photos!)
Florist: Asrai Garden
Cake: Bit of Swiss Bakery
DJ: Rachel of Toast and Jam DJs

All photos were taken by Amanda Megan Miller Photography and are reposted here the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are not available for reproduction, redistribution, or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Two New Wedding Planning Services from Crafty Broads

Wedding season is upon us once again, and this year we are pleased to roll out some brand new services! Without further ado, here’s what we’ve cooked up for you:

Wedding Planning 101

Did you recently get engaged, and have no idea where to start when it comes to wedding planning? Stop stressing out, and come get the basics figured out with us. In this 2-hour workshop, we will help you determine your wedding priorities and create your wedding mission statement; establish an overall wedding budget and get a handle on typical wedding costs; and get started planning a celebration that truly reflects the two of you! Couples will take away their own planning binder, including Crafty Broads’ wedding to do list, sample wedding budgets and timelines, and our list of the best wedding vendors in town.

Day-of-Coordination (DOC) Bootcamp

No room in your budget for a professional day-of-coordinator? Get all your wedding ducks in a row with our DOC Bootcamp! At this session, we’ll go over your plans and contracts, and provide you with the organizational documents we personally use for each wedding we coordinate. We’ll make sure you’ve the right amount of time for each part of the big day, and identify places where you may need additional help. We’ll also train your volunteer day-of-coordinator on how to run your wedding smoothly, including dealing with the most common situations that arise at weddings. Bring all your questions, and we’ll give you our secrets!

Please see our website for details and current pricing.

Kinzie + Donnie’s Do-It-Together Wedding at The Art Theatre – Champaign, IL

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I first met Kinzie through A Practical Wedding and we became fast friends. I think I speak for both of us when I say I feel like we’ve been friends for decades already, even though that’s hardly the case. We have a lot in common, primarily a love of cooking and eating good food and belting show tunes at the top of our lungs in the car. When I met Donnie, it was easy to see they are a perfect match. I was truly honored to be part of their wedding day last May. (Yes, I am officially more than a year behind on blogging the work we have done…)

Kinzie and Donnie planned a wedding that was so very them: focused on their (delightful) families and friends, without neglecting artistic details. Let me show and tell some of my favorite parts!

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Since movies have played a key role in their relationship and they got married n a movie theater, they decided to embrace that theme – the ceremony began with a video they shot, starring themselves and their cats, which included the message to silence cell phones. They served popcorn in the lobby and made a movie poster for the feature film – their wedding – which was hung outside the entrance. The theater even announced their wedding with a custom marquee.

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They had one of the most touching ceremonies I’ve had the privilege to witness, officiated by a dear friend, with live music from another and a video reading of That Yucky Love Thing. The ceremony was slightly derailed when, overcome with emotion, Kinzie flung her arms around Donnie and kissed him before the prescribed time. In case you were wondering, this is the best kind of derailment a ceremony can take!

In what is a truly awesome feat, they fed nearly 200 people a delicious vegetarian meal prepared by… those delightful friends and family members I mentioned earlier. The crack catering team, headed by Kinzie’s Grandma Iris and Noo, a longtime friend and neighbor, put together salads, stews, and the most amazing guacamole I have ever tasted. Delicious soups were procured from their local Food Co-op. They easily rivaled the best caterers I have worked with, both on taste and teamwork. If only they were going into business, I would tell all my clients to hire them. =)

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They topped the dining tables with butcher paper, and left crayons and scissors so guests of all ages could create some artwork to leave behind for them. Simple centerpieces were made with farmers’ market flowers and empty wine bottles. The custom labels, designed by Donnie’s sister, feature an animated version of the two of them.

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For their cake, they served a homemade angel food cake – the same kind that Kinzie’s grandmother had at her wedding. The tablecloth beneath it was sewn by her great-grandmother. I really love it when couples choose to carry on traditions like this. Whether or not you adhere to the something-old-something-new thing, it is special to have bits of your family history with you as you mark the occasion.

Instead of a traditional guestbook, guests stamped a fingerprint and signed their names onto a tree (hand-painted by Kinzie!) to form leaves in shades of green. I have to say, this may be my favorite option in the current trend of not-your-parents’ guestbooks. I’m a big fan of something you can display prominently in your home to remind you of all the love and support your marriage has.

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They proved that a great iPod playlist can keep the dance floor rocking all night long – this crowd actually booed the last song, and did not want to leave!

And finally, they are just so in love with each other than you can’t help but be swept up in it when you’re around them.

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Kinzie, Donnie – I really mean it when I say I am so happy I was invited to your celebration, and I know you have many, many years of love and laughter ahead!!

VENDORS
Ceremony Venue: The Art Theater
Reception Venue: McKinley Foundation
Photography: Wasabi Photography
Soups: Common Ground Food Co-op
Everything else – food, decorations, flowers, music – was done by Kinzie, Donnie, and their incredible community of friends and family!

All photos were taken by Wasabi Photography and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crafty Broads goes to Europe!

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As you may be aware, we have been wanting to go on a real honeymoon since we got married almost three years ago, and we’ve had our eyes on Spain. And with airfare to Europe being so expensive, we didn’t to spend all that money (and time) on flights just to stay for the week or so we could afford to take off work. So we hatched a little plan to extend our honeymoon into a working vacation by coordinating some weddings in Europe while we were there. We put it out there on a couple blogs, crossed our fingers, and held out a vague hope that it might actually happen.

Well, we couldn’t possibly be more excited to announce that we will be coordinating Kim and Tomi’s wedding in Switzerland next summer!! The lovely house and breathtaking view pictured throughout this post is where the wedding will be held. And it will include a pig roast! Did we get lucky or what?

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We would love to stay and explore a bit longer, so if you are getting married anywhere in Europe* next year, we would be thrilled to come organize your wedding and celebrate with you! Without further ado, here are the specifics.

The Crafty Broads’ 2014 EUROPE TRAVEL SPECIAL:

  • No travel fee for airfare to Europe!*
  • Day-of-Coordination**, which seems to be known as Wedding Day Management in some parts of Europe. See below for full details.
  • Both Cindy and Julia to coordinate – in other words, two wedding planners for the price of one.
  • Unlimited hands-on help with last-minute details or anything else for the entire week leading up to the wedding, at no extra charge. We can help with arranging floral centerpieces, crafting decorations, minor clothing alterations, etc.
  • We are accepting bookings for August and September 2014 weddings, and will extend into July/October if we fill up those dates. Please book by September 30th, 2013 to take advantage of this offer.

Ok, sounds great, but how much will it really cost us?
We are giving you two options for pricing this deal:

Flat rate. $2500 (about $1875€) including all travel – to your city, around your city, lodging, and food.

Regular fee + local travel. $1250-$1500 (950€-1125€) coordination fee and you provide local transportation from the rail station and around your town, lodging, and food for us for the week. We are open to guest rooms and home cooking and whatever other low-cost travel options you can think of!

To get started, please email info AT craftybroads DOT com!

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*Europe is defined by us as the UK plus anywhere we can get on the Eurail Global pass: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (includes Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

**Day-of-Coordination (Wedding Day Management) includes:
Beginning when you book us, you will have unlimited access to us via phone, Skype, and email. About six weeks prior to the wedding, we will meet to discuss your celebration in extensive detail and create a wedding day timeline. After the meeting, we will become the main point of contact for each of your vendors (suppliers). We will review their contracts, confirm the details of their services, and ensure that they are up to speed on the wedding day timeline and all of your plans. We will also put together several handy organizational documents detailing the timeline, items needed for decor, contact information for pertinent parties, and an assortment of other things. We will be available for your rehearsal, if you have one, to guide you and your family members, wedding party, etc. through the ceremony. On your wedding day, we will take care of whatever needs to be done – typically this is setting out decorations, place cards, and the like; keeping everyone to the wedding day schedule, handing out final payments to your suppliers, assisting you and your guests with anything they might need, and cleaning everything up at the end of the night. We will come equipped with an emergency kit so we can handle any situation that may arise over the course of the day.

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Photos courtesy of http://trotte-iselisberg.ch

 

Ask Crafty Broads: Do We Need A Wedding Planner?

This post is part of our series ‘Ask Crafty Broads’. If you have a question we can answer or a topic you’d like to hear more about, what are you waiting for? Submit it! You can also view all the posts in this series here.

Today, I am going to talk about what I do, and why you might (or might not) want someone like me to be on your wedding planning team.

First, let me answer the title question: Do you need a wedding planner?
No! You absolutely do not NEED a wedding planner. But there are many reasons why you might want one:

  • If you have never planned a large event before. A wedding planner can help you figure out where to start, how to make the best use of your budget, source vendors, negotiate contracts, make a realistic wedding day timeline, and generally guide you on all the details and decisions that need to be made for a large event.
  • If you are too busy! The average couple spends about 100 hours planning their wedding. Hiring a wedding planner can drastically reduce the amount of time you have to sacrifice to planning. Many of our clients are simply too busy living their lives to find time for all the research and phone calls and emails and site visits that make a wedding happen.
  • If planning a wedding doesn’t interest you. Maybe you think planning a wedding sounds like a terrible way to spend 2-10 hours a week for the better part of a year. Totally understandable. Me? I think planning events is fun. I like researching caterers and reading fine print. (Seriously, I do.) I LOVE brainstorming decor ideas and looking at venues.
  • If you are stuck on a particular aspect of the wedding. A lot of our clients fall into the “partial planning” category – that is, they are doing most of the planning on their own, but need help with something specific, such as finding a caterer that can meet their budget, or visiting venues on their behalf because they live out-of-town.
  • If you want peace of mind. Day-of-Coordination, or wedding stage management as we like to call it, is the most popular thing we are hired for. Many couples enjoy planning their wedding festivities, but don’t want to worry about all the little details on their big day. Hiring a wedding planner to run the day can really ease your stress and ensure that you have a good plan going in, as well as that anything which might go wrong will be swiftly taken care of. This is also a great option for couples who can’t afford full-planning, but still want a bit of professional help.
Wrangling people for photos - definitely part of my job.

Wrangling people for photos – definitely part of my job.

 

And now, I’d like to answer a couple questions sent in by readers:
When Should You Call a Wedding Planner?
Short answer? Now. Even if you are only planning to hire us for day-of-coordination, we are super helpful to have on board all along. I can’t speak for other planner, but when you hire us, you get access to us via email and phone from the time you put down the deposit. We can offer vendor recommendations and general advice regardless of what specific service we’re providing to you. And perhaps most importantly, booking sooner rather than later makes it much more likely that we’ll be available on your wedding day!

Why Do Some Weddings Require an Assistant for Day-of-Coordination?
The most general answer is that there are some weddings which simply cannot be well-executed without a little more help. In that case, I bring an assistant with me to make sure that everything is set up on time and going as planned. The biggest reasons I usually need an assistant are:

  • Ceremony and Reception in separate locations – I can’t be in two places at once! If there is plenty of time for setup at both venues before the ceremony begins or a big gap of time between them, I may be able to do it on my own, but this is often not the case.
  • One venue, but everything needs to be reset between ceremony and reception – This doesn’t happen too often, but if your venue is small compared to your guest list, someone will have to rearrange chairs, adult tables, place centerpieces, and light candles between your ceremony and reception. Often catering staff will do the bulk of this work, but sometimes that’s my job, and I might need help!
  • Short setup time – Sometimes we don’t have access to the venue(s) early enough for one person to get everything set up before guests arrive.

I will always try to determine whether an assistant is needed at your initial consultation so there are no surprises down the road.

Got more planning questions? Fire away in the comments.

→ Need more help? We offer the full spectrum of wedding planning services, from hourly consultation to day-of-coorditnation to vendor sourcing all the way to full-on, start-to-finish planning. We are based in Chicago, but will happily travel anywhere! Schedule a consultation time here.

Where The Hell Have We Been?

Who knew that October was going to be a crazy busy chaotic month of madness? We sure didn’t. Julia was without a show to do, and our calendar held one wedding dress and one mother-of-the-bride dress (same wedding!) and I had two day-of-coordination gigs (one in Michigan, one in Chicago), plus my usual 45-hour/week nannying job. This seemed completely reasonable when I looked at the calendar in September.

It still seemed possible when we added two wedding dress alterations. And two more day-of-coordination spots in November (which yes, require work in October, because it’s really far more than just a day-of service.) October was even achievable when we booked two more alterations for bridesmaids. And when we added a corset (which is really cool – it’s for a man to do an impression of Cher, and the design is based on her costume from the Turn Back Time video – can’t wait to tell you about it… someday) that we donated as an auction prize to About Face Theatre’s annual fundraiser. As well as when Julia got a show, because that was just four nights a week, leaving her daytimes free.

But then, a fantastic and terrible thing happened. Julia got offered a job stage managing a month-long run of Route 66’s A Twist of Water. In New York City. Starting October 28th. With rehearsals the week prior in Chicago. And then? Then doable, booming-business awesomeness started to look a little bit impossible.

And I honestly don’t think I’m lying if I tell you that we will probably spend MORE time with each other while she’s in NYC than in the entire month of October, because I am going to visit, and I’m not going to work at all for five whole days while I’m there. For real, I am turning the auto-responder on my email and everything.

So, if you’ve missed this blog having any actual posts, or you’re still bummed that I cancelled my birthday party to sew things (true story), or you haven’t seen me around the twitters lately… I hope you understand that it’s just been impossible to do anything but work for the last month and a half. The next few weeks aren’t looking good either, but I tell you what – I am free on Thanksgiving (Day only, I have a wedding the day after), so if you are interested in hanging with a sleep-deprived crazy person who has no intention of getting out of her pajamas all day, you know where to find me.

Ryan and Michael’s Intimate Wedding – Olive Park and the Penthouse at Pearson on the Park – Chicago, IL

Well, I’m hopeful that I’ll start catching you up semi-regularly on all the weddings and projects we’ve been working on. If only because I feel guilty when I don’t. We’ll see, as usual.

Today’s post goes way, way back to almost a year ago. Julia knew Ryan through her work in theatre, and in catching up on each others’ lives since the last show, Julia found out Ryan was planning a wedding, and he found out that we’d just launched Crafty Broads. Ryan and his fiance, Michael, had most of the details worked out, but really needed some help making their reception happen.

Who know there were double-man bathroom signs nonchalantly hanging out in Chicago? Not me. More importantly, aren’t these two just adorable together?

Without further ado, let me tell you about it! First of all, you have to understand that Ryan and Michael are ridiculously in love with each other – and when I say that, I mean not only that they love each other a lot, but they have so much fun at it. I don’t think I caught a glance of either of them sans giant grin all night long.

Ryan and Michael held their reception on a crisp October evening in the penthouse party room of their downtown apartment building. They did a fantastic job transforming a somewhat bland space into a very special and personal room for their party – it really was amazing to see the before and after! Bold colors and gorgeous floral arrangements from Andrew’s Garden made the space come alive.

Instead of having traditional catering, Ryan and Michael decided to order all their favorite foods from various restaurants to serve their guests. The sweetest thing was that by each dish, they had a little card describing a special moment in their relationship when that particular food played a role. Stellar idea. And the food was delicious, especially the truffle mac and cheese.

They guests were treated to a nice surprise after dinner… fireworks! If you live in Chicago, you may know that Navy Pier has regular firework displays throughout the summer. Ryan and Michael smartly planned their reception timeline to include viewing these from the outdoor patio of the penthouse.

My favorite part, though, was the toasts. Their parents said some of the sweetest, most moving words I’ve ever heard directed towards a newly-married couple. I can’t speak for the guests, but I was definitely crying.

Congratulations, Ryan and Michael!

VENDORS
Ceremony Venue: Olive Park
Reception Venue: Pearson on the Park
Officiant: Friend of the couple
Photographer: Green Key Photography
Florist: Andrew’s Garden Floral Couture
Catering: The Southern Mac Truck, Fox & Obel, Lao Beijing, Garrett’s Popcorn
Cakes: Nonnie’s Sweets
 

All photos were taken by Green Key Photography and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.