Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks....

As I sit here on Thanksgiving morning drinking my coffee (and fighting my cat off my laptop), I catch myself reflecting on everything I am thankful for.
Thankful that myself and my family are healthy, thankful for all the friendships I have gained, relationships made. Thankful for my amazing husband that supports me in everything that this wedding business entails. My family who helps me at midnight when asked...and they don't even gripe or complain..:) My three little nieces and my new nephew (in picture above)who bring joy and laughter to my heart and soul. For my past clients, thank you for the amazing memories. And to my present clients, how wonderful you all are, and how very blessed I am to be on this amazing journey with you as we plan your wedding.
To my employees for all your hard work and constant enthusiasm. Thankful for the wonderful vendors whose passion in what they do brings so much happiness to myself and my clients.
This year I am so thankful, my heart is full!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Something to share....

Feeling the love..and giving thanks to Shane for this fabulous write up!!! For more on the write up he did click here.

"To be honest with you, when I started playing weddings a few years ago I didn't know why people would spend money on a Wedding planner. Wow, was I ignorant. A wedding without a wedding planner is like having a wedding without a cake. It just doesn't make sense. The difference that it makes is a blessing for any bride who wants to be certain that their big day runs smoothly. You can find out more about "why you need a wedding planner" on Lisa's site...but now onto my rant. I had the pleasure of playing a ceremony and reception a year ago yesterday with Lisa of Happily Ever After Weddings as the wedding planner. This was the 2nd time I had played a wedding with someone to boss me around all day (just kidding), and let me say that I have never been to a wedding that was so thought out, planned, organized, and a pleasure to be at than this one was. Lisa is a pure charm to work with and can bring light to any situation even though there wasn't a bad situation all day because that is what good planners do. In my business classes they used to call is risk-management I think. I didn't get to see all the pre-planning that goes on beforehand but I heard from the Bride that there was nothing to worry about there either. I wouldn't expect anything less after what I saw on the day of the wedding. It was one of those weddings where I played the ceremony and the reception so anyone who can keep me in line for almost 12 hours has to be awesome at what they do. To that I say, Lisa with Happily Ever After Weddings is a must have for any wedding. Keep rocking Lisa!!"

-Shane McSimov

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ava & Reese..The Tea Party models

HEA Weddings & Pam Cooley Photography present "The Tea Party"

This was a fun opportunity for me, so I couldn't pass it up. Many of you know Pam Cooley for her beautiful wedding photography, but what you may not know is how fabulous she is at Children's photography. She spent most of the summer so concentrated on weddings that she put children's photography on the back burner till a few weeks ago when she remembered why she loved it...the kids!!!

So Pam contacted me to see if I would assist her in a little girls shoot and I said - UH YEA, if you let me create a tea party table-scape for them, and she jumped on it. So off I went to Hobby Lobby and that was all she wrote folks, let the fun begin!!

I had so much fun with this, everything from helping Jessica pick outfits for the little girls, to setting up, to chasing them around the park trying to get them to go back to the tea party. Note to self...Tea Party props can be very distracting to a 2 & 3 year old! But that was part of the fun, watching them look over everything and then go for what excited them the most....the gerber daisies!! :) And did I mention I had cookies and apple juice ready for bribery??? It came in very handy! :)

So not only does HEA Weddings organize and plan weddings and special events, we will gladly style a photo shoot for you, your children, family, etc. We love creating moments that turn into beautiful memories.

Happy Planning!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Behind Every Bride...

I couldn't be more excited to tell everyone about a new publication coming to the Peoria and surrounding areas called Behind Every Bride, or BEB for short. Sara O'Shea, the founder of BEB has been working so hard getting as many fabulous vendors to be a part of BEB as possible and I know she has had a great response for the first publication. I knew the moment I got the info in the mail, that this was the magazine for me! And I know so many other wedding vendors in the area felt the same way.
BEB is going to be an amazing resource for area bride's and groom's as they search for their perfect venue, florist, photographer, planner, etc. This wont be your standard wedding guide full of advertising, it will include fabulous articles written by the local vendors themselves. Not to mention Bridal Shows and one very informative website.

If you would like to receive a copy, please email me and I will send you one as soon as they are ready. Trust me, you wont be has a style all of its own (which I love) and I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of it!!

Happy Planning!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Regan & Quinn - October 10th 2009

Where to begin....this beautiful couple charmed me right from the beginning! Both working so hard to get their law degrees that they waited 3 years to get I knew how important this day was to both of them and their families! Regan is one of the kindest souls I have even had the pleasure of meeting...and you talk about ORGANIZED - wowzas! When I picked up her items the day before the wedding, she gave ME a about role reversal!!

Regan had the most stunning dress that fit her like a glove and Quinn was in a classic tux...they looked like they stepped out of a classic movie. They were so excited to see each other for their "private moment" that I thought Regan was going to tackle him!

We had fabulous photographers that made the day so fun..Cathy & David came to town to save the day...the original photographer left town months ago and is no where to be found. But we managed to find Cathy & David from Bloomington, IN and they were FABULOUS!! I cant wait to see the great images!!

Great vendors made for a beautiful reception room at The Waterhouse (love that place). Regan and her mom both screamed with delight when they saw the room. All that imagining finally comes to life, and it was perfect, exactly as Regan dreamt it would be.

Heaven on Earth did the flowers and centerpieces
I Do Events did the linens and chair covers
Don Baker DJ'd the event
The Wedding Cake Connection did the yummy cake

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CF Gala

This past Saturday night was the First Annual CF Gala held at the Holiday Inn City Center. I had the honor of being their event manager and creative designer for the event. My dear friend Melinda Iund approached me over a year ago to help, and I jumped on board. I got several of my vendor friends to donate items in order to make sure this event was perfect for Melinda and the CF Foundation. Heaven on Earth donated centerpieces, I Do Events donated runners, chair covers & sashes, That's a Cake donated her yummy cake for dessert, and Sound & Light Creations donated their DJing services for the evening.

It was such an amazing experience and every volunteer worked so hard and did an amazing job, and I have to say that the silent auction was phenomenal!! And I even won one of the items..A Marigold cap that I adore!!!!

It was a "feel good" evening for sure and then to top it all off, I receive this amazing email that I had to share......................

To the BOL Committee and Volunteers-
To you all, I cannot thank you enough for lending us your time and talent for the last year or so, and for the volunteers that came to help us at the event. You all contributed to this event, and I am truly grateful that as a result of all of the hard work, that we were able to raise $35,000 for Cystic Fibrosis and Care. This event would not have been the success it was, had it not been for Melinda Iund and her determination to get this event off of the ground. I am thankful to her for so much, but specifically today, for introducing me to the best team of volunteers ever! Each of you played a special role to her and I and to the Foundation. Jacqui ,Shawn and Melissa- simply put, your organization and execution of the auction was priceless. It was a beautiful display, perfect record keeping, and wonderful redemption. The silent auction raised $4631 and the live auction raised $3700. That amount is spectacular and would not have happened without all of your hard work. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. To Lisa Ragan, I cannot tell you how much your donation of time and talent meant to this are truly amazing at what you do and there will not be a day that goes by that I dont recommend you to someone. You are brilliant, and you made the Breath of Life Gala come alive Saturday thank you so much for that! To all of the committee members who by attending the event, helping with invitations, securing donations, donating items, recruiting tables, selling tickets, spreading the word...Thank have helped to create a stepping stone for the future Breath of Life event and raise $35,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Research and Care. Melinda, thank you for all you have were the perfect person to lift this off the ground and now we have a great basis for the future!
Now, .....I hope everyone has recovered from a long night, and I will be in touch as I wrap up this 2009 event and start the planning for 2010!
My sincere Thanks,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pictures of Annie & Andres's Wedding....

Pictures of Ali & Anthony's reception...

A Two Wedding Weekend!

Wow, what an amazing weekend HEA Weddings had this past weekend. I, along with my staff are still reliving the weekend, it was just that fantastic!! I rarely take two weddings in one weekend, but on the rare occasion that I do, the logistics have to be perfect, and the venues ones that we work with on a constant basis. So this past weekend was one of those rarities and it was so much fun! Both weddings and clients get the utmost attention, right down to dog sitting and babysitting services, we do it all for our clients to ensure they have the perfect day.
A special thanks to all my girls..Melissa (best Event Manager ever, she is my right arm and calming soul!) to Sherry, Amber, Lisa T, Heather...and always to my husband who helps with tear down and deals with my crazy schedule, and my parents for coming to take pictures for me.

So let's recap the weekend shall we.....

Ali & Anthony were married at Sacred Heart Church, downtown Peoria. The church was full, and Ali was just bursting to get down the aisle, she and her father locked arm in arm. She was radiant and stunning right down to her blue shoes. It was a beautiful ceremony, and when Ali & Tony exited the church to beautiful custom made wedding wands swirling in the air, there waited the red carpet and the Roles Royce...the perfect exit, fit for royalty! Then came the party, something Ali and her mom really wanted to be perfect..Ali wanted a nightclub feel to her reception and that is exactly what she received. When I entered the room, I was blown away and that was before all the lighting was finished. I work with my clients to achieve their dream wedding and when that dream becomes a reality, its just breathtaking!! To back track a bit...when I arrived at the church to see Ali, one of the first things she asked me was "how does the room look?" And my face and body language must have said it I might have been jumping up and down. Its hard to hide that kind of excitement! She couldn't wait to see it!
Three different centerpieces by Heaven on Earth.....Custom lighting that included up lighting, pin spotting, and custom gobo's all by the amazing Sound & Light Creations team. One of the most amazing and TALLEST wedding cakes I had ever seen by That's a Cake? And square top tables, bar stools, and linens by Save the Date. All the details down to the Suckers that served as place cards were carefully thought out...nothing less than perfection would do. I cant wait to see the pictures that Bruer Photography captured, I know they will be stunning.


Annie & Andres were married at St. Mary's Cathedral downtown Peoria. A classic beauty Annie was in her lace gown, and it fit her like perfection! She was beaming from the first moment I saw her to the last moment when we said goodbye late in the evening. The three of us had a great time planning their day, and yes, 3 of us..Andres was very much a part of all the planning and it was so refreshing. I just adore these two!!!
Their reception was at the Hotel Pere Marquette downtown Peoria, beautiful white wooden chairs, black & white linens, candles, and custom menu's all by Save the Date. Beautiful chic floral arrangements by Gregg's Florist. The wedding cake by Trefzgers and the groom's cake (which was a total surprise to him) by That's a Cake? I have to say that the groom's cake was a huge hit, with the bride and groom being Chicagoans and many of their guests as well, the Wrigley Field cake was all the talk...really made it hard to cut! The band Final Say had the dance floor packed in 45 seconds and it never stopped. Their energy was contagious and I would highly recommend them for any wedding or event, they are out of Chicago, but do lots of traveling.
I also had the pleasure of working with Nellie for the first time, she was an absolute doll, great to work with and looking forward to more in the future. And of course I can not wait to see the pictures and get some on the blog and site.

As I come to a close, I have to admit two wonderful couples and two fabulous events in one day is a lot to take in, but thanks to blogging and facebook, I can keep reliving them both for a very long time!! Myself and my staff couldn't have been more honored to be a part of these two very special weddings.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's the difference??

I often get asked "What is the difference between a Wedding Coordinator and an Event Designer? Are they not the same thing?"
The answer to that question is "No".
An Event designer creates the visual aspects of your event, like a florist does. However most Event Designers also have many other items to offer clients such as beautiful linens, chavri chairs, furniture, lighting elements, and so much more..think of it as a one stop shop in many cases. Most event designers also do flowers, from bouquets and corsages to centerpieces.

Wedding Coordinators work with their clients to create the perfect day from start to finish, making sure you have the best vendors for your needs and budget. Working with your florist or event designer to ensure every detail discussed is perfect and as planned. Your wedding coordinator also works with your photographer, your DJ, your church and reception venue, all vendors to ensure everything is planned accordingly and happens flawlessly. Wedding coordinators are by your side on your wedding day, from getting you down the aisle to running your reception, ensuring a fabulous time for your guests. The best part about a good coordinator is they take the work, the worry, and the unknown away from the bride, groom, family and friends so that everyone can enjoy the day together. At HEA Weddings we like to say "You show up, exchange vows, party, and go home...the rest is up to us!"

Happy Planning!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Reception Pics from Sarah & Daniel's Wedding

Sarah & Daniel

Sarah and Daniel were married on August 15th at a private residence on Grandview Drive in Peoria. Has to be the most beautiful setting for a wedding that I have seen in a long time! The weather was great, and that's a first since most of our 0utdoor weddings this year have been "weather challenged". My staff worked their tails off that day, setting up the reception which took place at The Gateway, setting up all the chairs for the ceremony, and then all the clean-up and tear down that takes place so late in the night. My girls are fabulous and I couldn't do it without them! Just the fact that they show up at midnight with smiles on their faces is wonderful!

Special thanks to Pam Cooley who came and took some details shots for me! It was her anniversary and she still took the time to shoot, she is truly an amazing friend and photographer!

Sarah & Daniel's vendors were great..Johnson Floral did the flowers (bride used all her own containers/vases/candle sticks that she collected over the course of the year. It made for a very modern eclectic look, and I loved it! Trefzger's made the beautiful cake, Sound & Light did the up lighting, I Do Events did the linens, and River City String Quartet made beautiful music for the ceremony...truly was a great day!

Sarah and Daniel were off to Colorado for their honeymoon, I hope they had a great time and look forward to talking to them soon!!
Another great wedding, thanks to everyone involved!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Erin & Tommy

The first dance....

The darling couple...One georgeous bride!!

Postcards were used as Table #'s...a way to personalize their reception from all their worldly travels

The centerpieces...from Heaven on Earth..

Erin and Tommy were married on July 25th at Sacred Heart Cathedral with a beautiful reception at Mt. Hawley Country Club in Peoria, IL. They even enjoyed a small intimate party at the Bride's father's home for immediate family and bridal party before the reception started.

Talk about a darling couple...I only wish I could have gotten to know them even better. Erin and I communicated via email while she was in Turkey teaching. Her mother and I worked closely on the details till Erin could get home one month before the big day! These two have traveled the world and they incorporated that into their reception by using Postcards they both have collected over the years from all their travels.

I unfortunately wasn't by Erin and Tommy's side on their wedding day, but my wonderful assistant Melissa was there every minute to execute the day. She did an amazing job along with Sherry who assisted Melissa throughout the day and night. I have to say that is the hardest part of this job, I get attached to the Bride and her family through the planning stage and to not be there truly breaks my heart. I get to live it through pictures though, thanks to Deidre Lynn's beautifully pictures. I posted one above and will post more when available.

Congratulations Erin and Tommy, hope you had a great honeymoon!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lisa & Tony

Lisa, the beautiful bride...yes her dress had a pink sheer material from the waist down...all hand made
Tony sporting is shades..chilling with the guys..

The beautiful couple.....

The Heaven on Earth

Pink Hydrangeas and Pink Parasols....

On Saturday July 25th, Lisa & Tony became husband and wife at Luthy Botanical Gardens in Peoria IL. It was one of the most beautiful summer days we have had here in Illinois...FINALLY! :) The ceremony site, located in the Rose Garden was stakes & glass cones filled with pink hydrangeas lined the aisle. Pink parasols for their guests and River City String Quartet was playing beautifully and everything was set and ready.

It was a beautiful ceremony with the most stunning bridal party, white tuxes, pink vests and ties and the girls in knee length pink dresses and silver heals.

Then off to the reception at Stoney Creek, pink lighting, crystal accented centerpieces....But the best part of this reception was the dancing..Lisa & Tony are both hip hop dancers and they put on quite a show for their first dance. IT WAS AWESOME!! Plus some of their groomsmen are dancers as well...and let me tell ya ladies...nothing better than a man that can dance!!! My assistants and I could have stayed all night and watched them. Josh, one of their groomsmen reenacted "Billy Jean" by Michael Jackson...sang and danced it...he glided across that dance floor like nothing I had ever seen, the crowd went wild! I believe Pam Cooley was standing on the head table trying to get that's a devoted photographer risking her life for great pics!

Lisa, Tony, and Rita (Tony's mom) are some of the kindest people I have met, truly was an honor to be a part of their wedding day and the journey leading up to it. Funnest reception in HEA Wedding history!! THANKS SO SO SO MUCH!!! Best wishes to you both, hope you had a great time in Hawaii!