Tag Archives: omaha

eric + mike’s swanky chicago dinner party.

Eric + Mike were married at Public Chicago in Chicago in October.  Full disclosure: Eric and Mike live in Omaha and own an amazing hair salon there.  Eric has been my hair stylist since I was 15 years old.  He loves to tell the story of me running into the salon after a soccer game with a towel twisting up my still wet hair an hour before the Homecoming dance.  So obviously this man can work miracles.  Which obviously this means I love him.
When they told me they were getting married in Chicago I insisted I would coordinate, mostly because I wanted to attend.  I regret nothing.  They flew 20 of their closest family and friends to Chicago and spent the weekend enjoying their company before getting hitched on Sunday.  It was an exquisite event to say the least.  Take a peek.

My buddy!  I love how Pen/Carlson snapped this photo of me seeing Eric for the first time.  It was both odd and so amazing to see him outside of the salon.  Now if I can just convince them to hurry up and move to Chicago (at least part-time!?)


Eric’s vows made Mike cry and Eric was so proud of himself.  Love it!  Since they had just 20 guests at the wedding, they threw a dinner party to end all dinner parties.  Seriously.  It was at least six courses and the Dom was flowing nonstop.  Everyone sat at one amazing table and after dinner they enjoyed the terrace, more drinks and a second helping of dessert.  There’s something to be said for a small and intimate wedding, and this one was quite lovely.

*all photos courtesy of the kind and talented Kiri & Brett of Pen/Carlson

Eric + Mike’s Vendors
Ceremony + Reception: Public Chicago
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Catering + Dessert Table: Public Chicago
Florist: Botanicals Chicago
Officiant: Chicago Wedding Judge

sarah + jacob: family matters.

This is my sister. Pretty little darlin’ isn’t she?  She married her true love in August in Omaha at St. Barnabas Parish and the reception was held at Joslyn Art Museum.  I don’t want to wax on too much about it just because she is my sister, but let me tell you how interesting it was to be the day-of coordinator and maid-of-honor.  At most weddings when I am working, I tend to get to sit down and take a break for the first time all day during the wedding toasts.  Usually I shove some food down and chug a few waters but not this time, this time I was on deck to toast the heck out of the happy couple. (#nailedit)  Usually when the guests get dancing, I pack everything up and get it ready for the family.  This time Jacob’s cousin was teaching me “the pretzel” as I tore up that dance floor.  Usually, I only know the bride & groom and maybe their parents.  This time, I knew over half of the crowd, many of whom I hadn’t seen in years.  It was an exhausting weekend but totally worth it, though I do recommend choosing one or the other, except on the most special of occasions. 

Wedding planner fail: I obviously was not specific enough about when the darling ring bearer Corbin was supposed to stop pulling the wagon.  He just tried to truck that thing (Liam and all) right up the steps and onto the alter.  Luckily Jacob and I both have quick reflexes.
This is the best we could do in terms of trying to get a good photo of all of us at once.  We tried.

Like I mentioned here, my sister is obsessed with candy but she didn’t want to do a candy table.  She asked for elegant candy and this is what I came up with.  I think it worked.  I found these spice jars at IKEA and we filled them up with M&M’s in her color scheme.  There were three meal choices and three M&M colors so it was a subtle and easy way to help the waitstaff figure out what each person ordered but a little more visual than a tiny dot on the corner of a place card that no one can see.  Then I just typed up everyone’s name and table number and my mom punched them all out with a circle punch.  Free labor is the best labor!  I love the picture of the boys toasting with them.  Bartender, I’ll have a shot of M&M please and thank you.

I love you little family, thanks for including me in your big day!

*all photos by the effusive Matt of Iwen Exposures

Sarah + Jacob’s Vendors
Ceremony: St. Barnabas Parish
Reception: Joslyn Art Museum
Day-of Coordination: Anticipation Events
Catering: Hap Abraham Catering
Photography: Iwen Exposures
Florist: Flowers for Special Occasions
Videography: The Silver Screen
Hair + Make-up: Bungalow 8
Cake: Cupcake Island
Transportation: Royal Limousine
Rentals: AAA Rentals

kardashian kollection.

There are times in life when things line up.  When what’s meant to be is.  When magic happens.  My sisters’ bachelorette party was one of these times.  There were times during her planning where I had to put a lot of thought into things: writing a toast for the reception, how was I going to be a maid-of-honor AND wedding coordinator, if I should get chicken or fish, but choosing a theme for her bachelorette party was not one of those times.  Hence, Saradashian’s Last Stand was born.

I designed and printed the invites (front to back) complete with photshopping my sister in with the Kardashians, tied them up with ribbon and stuffed each envelope with feathers and sequins.  The liners were custom made because really, when other time am I going to get to do something like this?  When you’re talking about the Kardashian’s, it’s got to be over the top.  Bible.

I didn’t tell her anything about the party other than what the invitation gave away which was to meet at a hotel downtown at 5:30.  At 4:30 I had an SUV (just like Kim Kardashian gets driven around in) pick Sarah and her bridesmaid Shannon up at her house and when they got in the car Shannon gave her a card I had had my parents write her (likely ending with, “be safe!”)  Then they stopped to pick up two more bridesmaids and she got a card that I had my brother write (surprisingly sentimental).  One final stop to pick up the last bridesmaid Molly, and Molly gave her a card I had written her (recounting some of our drunken escapades together to ger her in the mood to party!)  I was so happy Shannon send me these pictures as a play-by-play!

So in this case, I had the party in a hotel room.  This makes things difficult for a myriad of reasons: no access to your dishes, kitchen utensils or dishwasher, having just a tiny fridge and a microwave etc.  Even though we used a lot of things that could be thrown away at the end of the party, I still wanted to make it special.  Everyone got two glasses, one for champagne and one for kahlua and creams (my sister’s favorite) adorned with the Kardashian of their choice.


I made the kahlua and creams by freezing the cream in ice cube trays and pouring kahlua over them.  A bathtub full of beer, and the party was on!  As for food, choose lots of things that are easy to eat on your lap and don’t take a lot of prep.  I did sushi, chips and dips, fruit and dip in individual cups and individual popcorn boxes.  Mini cheesecakes and cupcakes for desserts, topped with engagement rings, perfect for taking to the bar afterwards to fend off any unwanted advances.  Oh and candy.  I just filled a bunch of patterened cupcake liners with all of Sarah’s favorite candy.  She is ridiculous and eats it for nearly every meal yet still somehow manages to be as thin as a rail and never has any cavities.


You know I splurged and bought a life-size cardboard cutout of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe to greet guests.  Much to her fiance’s chagrin, the girls are living in their basement, watching over the laundry pile, naturally.

Goody bags for the girls were in little felt buckets I found at Target and I created tags for each using a heart-shaped punch and ribbon.  Easy-peasy.  Included in each was a mini can of Sophia champagne (mini, pink straw included!), a mini-bottle of Kim Kardashian’s perfume, individual packs of Advil, a couple of blow-pops and a ring pop, a pack of Starburst and a pack of Skittles (see: candy obsession above) and then a few things to take to the bar: a stick on mustache, glow-stick jewelry, pixie sticks and mardi-gras beads.  Sarah got a homemade veil and light up diamond to ensure everyone knew who the star of the party was.  Classy, simple and accentuated her outfit.  Seriously, how long did your sister/best friend/future-in-law spend picking out an outfit for her bachelorette party?  Don’t ruin it!

Timeline wise, for a shower or bachelorette party I like to welcome guests with a drink as they are arriving, let them eat and chat for a bit, play a game, open gifts and call it a day.  At a shower, people can stay and mingle, at the bachelorette party we keep drinking and told some hilarious Sarah stories.  I really hate forced bachelorette party games, but think they can be a good ice-breaker when people don’t know each other well.  I created a “Kardashian Kuiz” full of questions about the infamous family (which my sister promptly won) and then took a bag full of props out to the bar with us. And obviously the penis straws and Scott Disick.  Did you think he was going to let us go without him?  Not a chance, doll.

sugar + spice bridal shower.

Last weekend I headed out on the road again to put together a bridal shower for one of my dear friends, Melissa.  We hosted it at Amy’s house and ran with a sugar and spice theme.  Melissa’s wedding colors are red and pink so we used those along with some teal to create a lot of sweetness.  I made the invites and it’s sort of where the theme began. I drew three kitchen canisters labeled sugar, spice and nice so when you opened the envelope, this is what you saw:

A red envelope lined with pink and white striped vintage wallpaper (which I bought at a thrift store at least a year ago and just KNEW it would come in handy some day. I was right. Also, Melissa hates thrift stores and I love them so HA my friend.)

I printed the details in “empty” canisters on a separate sheet of paper and cut it down to size.  I sewed a blank sheet to the canisters and stuck the info. in the pocket.  So you see this….

…and you pull the lids off the canisters…



…and viola!  All the necessary info. is tucked inside the canisters for safe keeping.


I even rigged up my sewing machine using a popsicle stick so I would get straight lines, genius!  My OCD would not have handled that well otherwise.


I was pretty proud that I got all the lines to line up perfectly — small victories my friends.

At the shower we served sweet and spicy foods and I made signage with our little logo on it with teal card stock and more wallpaper.

It was a brunch shower and I just could not resist the cereal bar pun.  I cut them into heart shapes and dipped them in white chocolate with pink sprinkles.  Why the heck not, I say.  I used light pink, dark pink and red ribbon to make a super simple table runner down the middle of the table…



…and I found some great floral print napkins at Crate and Barrel in her colors (and gives a little hint to some of her wedding day decor I’ve been privy to!)  We mixed in some red and white polka dot napkins 1) because Amy and I were both paranoid about running out of anything and 2) I can’t resist bold patterns all mixed together–like, oh no you didn’t!!!  Oh yes, I certainly did.

Inspiration comes from my clients all the time!  I had recently done a wedding where we hung up paper lanterns in the tent and it inspired me to create a red and teal and pink filly lantern for this shower.  Cheap paper lanterns, tissue paper, a circle punch and my trusty glue gun was all it took!
Every shower needs a fabulous cocktail so for brunch drinks I made a “Bride to be-llini” which was a pomegranate bellini garnished with fresh blueberries and watermelon cubes and a “Mis-mosa” (her nickname is Missy and you wouldn’t have been able to resist that either.)


I haven’t done a candy bar in a long time and realize they are sometimes overdone, but when you have a sweet and spicy theme, it just works.  I gocco’ed these little bags for guests to fill up on their way out…  
…and hung signs above it.  The one on the left reads: “You were so sweet to come! Fill up a bag of sweet and spicy candy to go!”

I stuck to teal, red and pink candy and included blue raspberry jelly beans, Twizzlers, Hot Tamales, Starburst, Swedish Fish, Sour Patch watermelons and cookies and cream Hershey Kisses.  Teal candy isn’t so easy to come by in case you were wondering.  I also really wanted to use the mustache mold that did not arrive in time for Tony’s baby shower so I melted down cinnamon candies and made some spicy ‘staches.


The bride got some candy to go for herself and the Mr.!


Amy made an awesome game of the “spice” variety and Melissa even got a few gifts to boot!

Three weeks until the big day and all they have to do is move into a new house in the meantime!

mr. mustachio arrives.

Meet Mr. Mustachio:

Remember Amy of previous blogger fame?  Well, she had another baby and this time it was a boy! Anthony Thomas came to greet this great big world in March and I got to help plan a surprise baby shower for the little man.  The “sprinkle” (as I found out mini-showers are called in the mommy world) was mustache-themed and once we found out he was a little boy we sent out invites to get everyone excited:


I used wrap-around teal blue labels for the addresses and cut mustaches out of felt to adorn the top.  The sprinkle was held at a local Mexican restaurant so I chose a font to complement the venue.

I used a vellum envelope so when guests received them they looked fairly inconspicuous from the outside but once you opened them—-mustaches abound on the envelope liner!  I believe in setting the mood.


Wax mustaches anchored white balloons that I adhered felt mustaches to.  Why not? 
“It’s a boy!” balloons coupled with our Mr. Mustachio balloons were a perfect centerpiece for a restaurant “sprinkle”–quick, easy and good bang for your buck.


Our faithful friends all dressed up for the party, greeted our guests. 

Mustache place cards and individual mustaches that guests wore when yelling SURPRISE! were set at each place setting.


 Mini-staches were cut front felt and attached to straws for margarita sipping…


More ‘staches topped delicious cupcakes for dessert..

And did you actually think I could resist a favor?  Especially one as perfect as a popcorn ball adorned with a ‘stache?  After all, she did pop.