Although Lilac & Lace Co.'s main focus has been rentals, it seemed only natural to add planning and coordination into the mix because that is where it all started. I have had event coordinator as part of my duties for my "other" job for over 20 years and started getting asked to help with weddings. I had never even heard of a day-of-coordinator two years ago when planning my daughter's wedding. If you have read my blog, my daughter had a whirlwind romance - we were asked for her hand in marriage about 5 weeks after they became official - (when they changed their relationship status on facebook-haha). We held him off for a bit; they got engaged about two months later at Christmas and were married 5 months later in Indianapolis. Neither of them lived in Indy- they were both in Georgia. I had no friends in Indianapolis - and although all the planning was an amazing time spent on the phone with my daughter, thinking about the logistics for the day of the wedding kinda made me sick to my stomach. The ceremony was about 30 minutes from the place we were staying, and about 20 minutes from the venue - my biggest issue was I didn't want to crawl back to the church at 11:30 at night and pack up after the wedding. I also needed someone to line up the wedding party, make sure that they came in at the right time (because no-one really pays attention at rehearsal, right?) and fluff Tessa's dress before she came down the aisle. I looked at all the local wedding planner websites, and didn't see anything like that service offered - I was literally looking for a day-of-coordinator without knowing it.. I was to the point where I didn't care what it cost, I needed someone to help me. And then I asked the sweet church secretary. (We had a hard time finding a gorgeous church - there are so many contemporary ones now - but my daughter wanted an old church that was beautiful. When I initially called the church and told the secretary my plight, she was so gracious and took pictures of the sanctuary and told me how gorgeous it was-she was right.) Her daughter had just gotten married and she felt sorry for me - and so I asked her if she would be willing to help at rehearsal and the day of the wedding. and she and her daughter took a big load off of me.
With the help of Pinterest and all those wedding blogs out there,, many brides are designing gorgeous weddings all by themselves - but a day-of-coordinator will take all the stress off the bride, her mother, or the family and let them sit back and enjoy the best day ever.
(Below left - me and my son - don't I look all relaxed like I'm enjoying myself? Below right - my daughter with her dressed properly fluffed::)
When getting together my daughter's wedding, the venue said they could not do appetizers - we were their very first wedding ever, and it was too much for them.. So what to do while the bridal party was getting their pictures taken and the guests were waiting? I became obsessed with the popcorn bar (pictured below). I thought it was super cute and doable. My daughter wasn't as fixated with it, but I told her it was my thing, and just to let me try to do it. Super fun to put together - even made custom little brown bags with the bride & grooms names and a heart wreath stamped on each bag. About 6 weeks before the wedding, my daughter had a dream - and instead of having a popcorn bar, she dreamt about a POP BAR. What a great idea!!! So we added the bride's favorite soda - root beer & the groom's - cream soda, of course in glass bottles, added a vintage wash tub filled with ice, and then we ordered pop rocks and then the wedding week, my daughters and I made lemon cake pops dipped in white chocolate with little red hearts. They were adorable - we ate all the ones that fell apart and literally swore that we would never eat another lemon cake pop again. To me the Pop Bar (next two pictures below) was the best part of the wedding planning. I'm a former Home Ec. teacher - so it just combined my love of food with my love of weddings.
Recently, Lilac & Lace Co. was asked to do a hot cocoa bar and provide the rentals for a large cookie swap party. I offered chocolate peppermint stirrers that melted in the cocoa, and made mason jar dispensers for salted caramel and raspberry syrups. What I could not find were gourmet marshmallows from the local candy stores. Starbucks carried a pre-packaged star marshmallow, but it just wasn't gourmet enough. So I decided to make them - and they were delicious! I made a vanilla and then a mocha one and cut them in big chunks to float in the cocoa. And again it was so much fun to come up with ideas and the decor and make the food. (and completely forgot to snap a picture - BUT the Coke Bar & Apple Cider Bar are ones that I designed below)
I really think these little special thoughtful homemade touches really add a special touch to weddings. These sweet bars tells the friends and family something about the bride and groom - a coffee bar with a drink named after the bride and groom, a cereal bar that comes out after the dinner for those who have stayed until the end to party with the happy couple, a salsa bar with tortilla chips and the best salsa ever (I have that recipe), or a cookie bar with your grandma's famous cookie recipe.. The possibilities are endless!
I just finished my first two weddings of 2018, and thought it would be a great time to look back at 2017. Lilac & Lace Co. began at the Power House Antique Flea Market. While there I saw a suitcase that, when opened, was the perfect shade of lilac. We had used a suitcase for my daughter's wedding cards, but I would have no use for this suitcase unless I was going to actually start a wedding rental business, an idea I had been toying with for about a year. I paused and walked around a bit to think about, and then I bought the suitcase. That was the easy part - the rest of 2017 involved the creation of a logo, a Fbook page, professional pictures, a website, and the purchase of things to actually rent (gotta admit, that part was really fun). Although it was just me and the suitcase :) that Sunday afternoon, there were so many others involved in the creation of Lilac & Lace Co.
A special thank you to my first bride, Renee, who was so excited about what I was doing that she took my insecurities away immediately; to Kendra, whose wedding of 350 guests under a tent with a lot of logistics always makes me feel I can handle any wedding that comes my way, to Nicole of Nicole Kilian Photography, who squeezed me in on a stormy afternoon to take a few gorgeous pictures for my website; to Anna Joyce, who quickly came over when I realized all the lilacs in front of my house were in bloom and would be a great photo opportunity; to some sweet friendors that have answered my many questions, to Jessica Patton of Brian and Jessica Photography, who messaged me on Facebook and is my go-to person for beautiful pictures., and to Wendy & Kailey who made a rustic camp wedding one of my favorites. A bigger thank you to my family - my husband who gave up most of his garage space for me, who can fit any couch into the back of my SUV, and takes me on pickups late at night stopping at Sonic for root beer floats; my son who always gives me the business analytics of Lilac & Lace Co. (whatever that means), and many suggestions on how to run a business; to my daughter who loves this business as much as I do and provides me with graphics and wood signs and is always happy to listen to my ideas and dreams of the business; to my sweet son-in-law who builds me things willingly, and I wonder if he sometimes thinks I'm a little crazy, and lastly to my youngest who is also great at marketing, but always is happy to be co-coordinator and assistant, and do whatever is needed to help out. 2017 was good, but as 2018 begins I am super excited about the many brides that have already contacted me and I look forward to meeting each one and dreaming about their wedding right along with them!
Kailey came to visit me with her mom in August - she was just a few weeks away from going back to college in South Carolina to get her Master's - and her wedding had just been moved up from the following year to that November due to her fiancé's brothers' deployments. Kailey and Matt had met while both working at a local camp, and so they had decided that they wanted their wedding at the same camp. I had done a wedding there under a tent in the field of the camp, however, was excited because, well, I am always excited about weddings and a camp wedding sounded unique and special. We had to facetime quite a few times to go over details - but Kailey and her mom were very detailed oriented, so it was a breeze. They had already chosen the food, officiant, photographer, and had the dj/music all figured out - along with her gown, and the bridesmaids dresses -so we just needed to worry about décor and flowers - two of my favorite things. What I found sweet was the way Kailey incorporated the family into the wedding - Matt's dad married them, both sets of parents gathered around Matt & Kailey during the ceremony to pray over them, Kailey's two brothers were ushers, and her other two brothers played their guitars while she walked down the aisle.
The weather in November can be a bit tricky - it can be like winter or very warm. Kailey and Matt had wanted games outside in the yard between the chapel and the reception, along with a polaroid guestbook - which is a really cute idea, and we also did an apple cider bar with ginger snaps for the guests to enjoy while they waited for dinner. At the beginning of the week the weather wasn't looking too promising, but I have learned never to fret because the weather changes throughout the week - and I didn't need to worry whatsoever. They managed to have the most perfect fall day of the entire year - and somehow the leaves were late with turning and it seemed as if all the trees at camp decided to wait for that day to turn. And so Kailey, looking so beautiful, in the most gorgeous dress and veil, and Matt were married that magical fall day.
It is not often that I get to work with both of my daughters - but when we get together it is a lot of fun, and we can do some really pretty stuff. So when my daughter from Georgia came into town, we made time to do a quick photo shoot with a few of my new products. I had recently picked up two spool tables ($20/rental each), sanded them down and wanted to style it as a cake table. This turned out so beautiful (the picture doesn't even do it justice) and it was super simple - if you are thinking of doing something like this for your special event with not a ton of money to spend - this would definitely give you the WOW factor (I've gotten more likes on this table than any other product), and you can style it with some things that you have around your house to make it more affordable. We used our burlap and lace runner ($2/rental) but it looks beautiful with a lace round tablecloth, too. The table needed height so we placed our vintage shutter as a backdrop ($5 rental) but you could use a large fresh bouquet stacked on a crate, an old window, birdcages, or something on a easel behind the table - just something to add height. We then added our wooden candles ($10/rental) and our galvanized cake stand ($15/rental) and our Bride & Groom sign ($7/rental). I know this has nothing to do with this post, but I made that naked cake - I am not a professional baker - but I thought I would try - it took two boxes of white cake mix and one vanilla icing - I'm not saying it was super tasty or anything, but it was really pretty. We picked some roses off our rose bush - and there is my first naked cake! Back on subject - I have seen pictures of flowers put at the base of the spool table and it looks really pretty, too but we used our medium "&" sign ($5/rental) along with our silver vintage lantern ($10/rental) - and that is how you style a cake table! Check out the pictures below- I'll give you ideas on how to style it a few other ways.
- Kendra is my daughter's childhood friend. In fact, her parents graduated college with my husband and me. Kendra's dad used to bring me home from college in Ohio because he lived closeby in Pennsylvania. Kendra was the fattest cutest redhead in the church nursery (also the fussiest-LOL). She was in my daughter's wedding a year ago I had blogged about my daughter's wedding being in Indiana - and as exciting as that was being in a different state, when Kendra arrived at the wedding (she was a bridesmaid), she brought a bit of hometown Collegeville with her and it was refreshing and felt right. When she got engaged about 6 months later, I casually approached her and her mom and said if they needed any help, I'd be willing to help out. I was now an empty nester and didn't quite know what to do with myself. Kendra stated that she wanted her wedding to be just like my daughter's wedding - which made it super easy - plus I had a lot of the stuff still from the wedding.
Kendra's dad is an associate pastor at our large church - so the entire church was invited; we were expecting between 300-400 people to attend which ruled out a lot of venues. Kendra was adamant that she didn't want it to feel like a graduation picnic, and she did not want it in our church gym - so began the long process of looking. Just when we thought we found a place and pavilion that was super pretty, we were told that we could not put up an additional tent - so we began looking again. Kendra's parents found the most beautiful place at a campground - Camp Sankanac - surrounded by large pine trees.
Kendra and her mom and dad were so easy to work with - I did say her dad - as her dad was involved in the planning of the wedding too. He secured the campground, the caterer, the electricity and some of the décor for her wedding. We met monthly, then every two weeks, and finally every week to make sure everything was ready for this large event. I will have to say, I was looking forward to my daughter, Tessa, coming in to help as she was in the wedding. Tessa loves to decorate - and wants to be a wedding planner and is especially good with a drill and hammer - so I knew she would be a great help.
We decorated the church Wednesday night with stumps and lights, burlap and lavender; Thursday it was tent set-up and lighting and chandeliers, and Friday was the actual décor. One of the things that I enjoyed the most was when the flowers came in. I had to talk Kendra into using real flowers - I got to admit - there are some really good silk ones out there - but there's something about real. We ordered all the décor flowers from Sam's Club and my other daughter, Jenna (who loves all things green), and I put most of the flower arrangements together - this is something I found super relaxing and fun. We had so many flowers, we did not know what to do with them. Sam's a few months ago carried lavender, but when we went to order, they no longer carried it, but they had the prettiest lavender colored baby's breath -so we ordered that instead.
Saturday morning Jenna and I checked on the reception area and put the flowers on all the tables - then back to the church to light the candles. I ran into the changing area to catch a glimpse of the bride - she was so calm and happy - and just sooo beautiful. The wedding included an emotional charge from the bride's dad with lots of tears from everyone, a sweet surprise song from the groom and then a joyous time celebrating at the gorgeous reception with a really cute Coke bar (the bride's idea) and some lawn games and great food. Couldn't have been a better day!