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Let your maids dance the night away...

Monday, August 30, 2010
dancing shoes: what an adorable part of a bridesmaid gift or just a little something extra for the day of the wedding. they can kick off the heels you made them wear and relax. how cute...and how simple! I like to tag everything with little rhymes, makes it that much cuter!

  • Muslin or Burlap Bags. Paper Bags or boxes work too!
  • Letter stamps & acryclic & ink color of your choice
  • flip flops. your fav designer or even check target, joanne fabrics, ebay for cheaper alternatives
  • an optional cute tag to explain.

Amazing honeymoon pics you can both be in!

Thursday, August 19, 2010
       I wanted to share some of our honeymoon pics for those engaged out there. I am not a professional photographer by any means, but I love love love photography and my dslr camera. Getting awesome artsy shots of you and your groom can be hard for some.  I know the typical, "stand in front of this and lets stand in front of this and smile" can be easy...but add some creativity for frame worthy  memories! Automatic timers on your camera, taking screen shots from video, ordering a remote shutter control, or even a "excuse me will you just take 15 pictures in a row while we dance around and act goofy (you'll never see them again, who cares!),"can create amazing photos. Let me visualize this for you...
Hawaiian Honeymoon on Makena Beach
I love these photos. They are by far my favorite. They are from Makena Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches on Maui. In fact, we were the only people on the beach. How did we get such an awesome photo? Now let me tell you no pictures were snapped in the making of these photos.

Impossible!? No! Get creative!! We took at least 50 videos on our camera during the trip for 2 reasons. One-awesome memories. Two-Awesome Screen Shots that can be used as pics! We were recording and these pictures to the left are screen shots from our video. Ta da!

Champage in the Honeymoon Suite overlooking Maui.
Notice Things! 
We were enjoying our honeymoon suite bottle of champagne on the balcony,
and in front of us was an amazing shot. You just have
to look for them.

Black Sand beach on the Road to Hana in Maui.
Automatic Timer!
Set up your camera, look through the lense to make
sure everything is lined up.  Set the timer, it usually it  gives you ten seconds, and  run on in! Some cameras  have timers that wait 10 seconds and take 10 or so pics so you have many to chose from!

Kayaking at Black Rock in Maui.
You may feel uncomfortable asking, but do it! The memories you capture are worth asking a stranger to take 30 seconds to take a pic.

In this picture I asked a snorkler, threw him my water camera, and caught it as he threw it back. Keep in mind this poor guy didn't have a life vest and was bobbing in and out of the water with the waves. But I asked, and what a picure!!! I would have saved him if he sunk...

6.4.10. the best event I will ever have planned

Thursday, August 12, 2010
 this is a long post but its because I

6.4.10. My Wedding. Jason Knauer Photography. elleDESIGNS. married!

handmade invitations with woodgrain cardstock and handmade graphics, map, etc by
elleDESIGNS.including a "Sticker your response" very unique response card.
June 4th 2010 my prince charming and I tied the knot. What kind of blog would this be if I didn't share my own wedding? Since I didn't have a blog at the time of planning, not to mention planning my own and my clients I wouldn't have had time to control it anyway...I thought I would share a little now.  

mmismatching centerpieces of baby's breath,
 peonies, and candles by elleDESIGNS
Photo by Jason Knauer
All the planning, stress, etc...the day is over! I can say that I always did my best to relate with the brides the best I could but never truly understood the feelings they must be having. Ok, ok...I get it! Wow, do I know get it. In fact, I don't think someone should be a wedding planner unless they have been married. I knew brides were nervous...I knew it was a huggge day...but no one can quite understand just how big the butterflies are. Now imagine those butterflies,... for an Wedding designer...that can't be there to set anything up...yep. Welcome to my shoes...well, heels.

Dinner menus & drink menus at each setting
 with babys breath that matched some of
 the centerpieces and bridesmaids bouquets.
photos by Jason Knauer Photography
 The best event I will ever plan was outside on the Chesapeake Bay under a beautiful big oak tree on the evening of June 4th. My style is known for non-traditional, so you may be saying sarcastically..."June outside wedding...oh how very unique that is..." Sure, an outside, June wedding in the evening on the water seems traditional ...but add tacky shoes & socks, waiters greeting guests with Sangria, an
 overdone welcome table , dancing shoes for the guests, tan linen suits, handmade boutonnieres, mike & dani's drinks of the day, walking down the aisle to Elvis, a surprise Michael Jackson dance, cake fight, rhyming menus and programs, props, and wardrobe changes...and it becomes throwned as 
Queen of anti-tradition

Non-Traditional wedding Details. elleDESIGNS

elleDESIGNS. I love labels and signs.
they were everywhere and usually are at
any event of mine.
 I think I have blushed a million times hearing people talk about our wedding. It brings me to tears, honestly. People that only saw pictures from the wedding, or heard word of mouth and of course guests from the wedding... STILL talking and going on and on. My parents were out to dinner and met a couple who were going on and on about this wedding on the water in June..."THAT WAS MY DAUGHTERS!!" 

 It was gorgeous. I wanted it to feel like an evening in Vintage Paris. I hired someone to put up allllll my
decor, decorate the tents and white mansion with everything I had worked so hard on for the past year. Not having myself, my "Martha Stewart, OCD, everything must be perfect"-self there to set everything up worried me more than the 30% chance of rain they called

Even when the limo dropped us off, I ran around like a crazy lady when I should have been getting dressed. I was ruining my freshly curled hair and intact make-up making sure it was being set up according to the pictures i gave her (yes i set it all up in my house, took pictures and taped them to the boxes so it could be exact. i told you, im OCD). She didn't set up everything perfect, there was alot of stuff she didn't give herself enough time to do, and lots of decor sat in her van for the wedding. Things like a soda pop bar, decor for the arches, and decor for the buffet tables. One of the drink pitchers broke in transit, instead of knowing when to nix the idea, she tried to make it better and used yucky plastic caterer pitchers instead...c'mon, you are suppose to be a wedding planner.  It made me upset, but no one noticed but me. I wish the guests could have seen what it was suppose to look like.  But from that moment on I promised to absolutely never miss a single detail from one of my brides, never, ever! Despite that, it was beautiful what she did get to. 

Boutineer handmade by elleDESIGNS. Groomsmen Tacky socks and boat shoes.
photos by Jason Knauer Photography.

Yes it was beautiful, but the reason I have so many people still talking about it and every other wedding compared to it, is because it was a BLAST! From my handmade menus that rhymed and my response cards that came with a smiley face sticker, to the programs with a "F.A.Q." section, the specialty drink board, the 2 hour extended reception, "Photo Op' " station with props, and one awesome dessert simply rocked!
Some of the DETAILS: I asked the groomsmen to wear tacky socks and boat shoes with their light tan linen suits with the boutonnieres i hand-made. The ladies were asked to wear tacky shoes with their pale pink and tan dresses with different printed ribbon around their waist.

'M&D specials of the day" Wedding drink board. elleDEISGNS
photos by Jason Knauer Photography.
 I bought the flower girl dresses and re-did them adding stripe ribbon and some fluff. The ring man sported a matching linen outfit with suspenders and sandals.
   There was a welcome table with pink lemonade in vintage pitchers, parasols that said "Shade Yourself," bug spray that said "don't let the bay bugs bite," fans to "stay breezy," awesome unique programs, and umbrellas with tags that read "I hear rain is good luck." Two insane bars (I asked my fiance to handle one thing...making the bar memorable, oh, he did) opened at 5pm (30 minutes before the ceremony) with specialty drinks that were named after us. For example, Cherry Garcia because we both love the Grateful Dead, Maui Crush because we to Maui for our honeymoon.

The casually-elegant ceremony started at 5:30. I didn't want a band or an opera singer, I wanted one single guitarist playing acoustic. I walked down the aisle to Elvis, " Wise men Say only fools Rush in". The moment I walked down  I think it hit me I was at my OWN wedding and not

My adorable groom.
photos by Jason Knauer Photography.
someone else's. As I got closer to my groom, i saw tears in his eyes which made me start to cry. I had a tissue in my bra which I did not hesitate to pull out for a laugh. Michael's Aunt Jo is a judge and married us on the water and made it so personal and beautiful. I firmly suggest, unless you are very religious, to have a friend of the family marry you. Or maybe somone very down to earth and personable. We had alot of our friends and family, especially MEN talking about how wonderful the ceremony was and how they were teary-eyed. Aunt Joe did an AMAZING job, but she has been there since Michael was a baby, and it showed...especially when she was trying to hold back tears.

We wrote our own vows which made everyone laugh and cry. A memorable part from Michael's "I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you, have babies, and have a backyard full of 35 animals."  Memorable part of mine was that after I told him how he made me believe in love at first sight and how wonderful he was, i closed with, "..and you are the sexiest thing I have ever seen in my entire life."

The ceremony ended in just enough time for the summer down pour. We walked back down the aisle and not even 2 minutes later a heavy summer storm poured down on our outside wedding.
Fortunately ,

bridesmaids in the puddles.  photo by Jason Knauer Photography.
it lasted only 20 minutes or so and puddles make for great pictures! I discussed with photographer the pictures I designed in my head beforehand. All the bridesmaids had umbrellas and sunglasses and we stood in front of big beautiful barn on the property.

Bridesmaids & parasols... elleDESIGNS
photo by Jason Knauer Photography.
We were introduced, danced our first dance, listened to beautiful and hilarious toasts, dinner was served and I snuck off to change into a little white dress. Jazz music was suddenly stopped as Michal Jackson's, "the Way You make me feel" came on. Michael pulled a chair into the middle of the dance floor, and I came out from the house and we performed a choreographed dance including a flip. We were sneaking lessons for the past 8 weeks and nerves made a few parts shaky, but all in all it was awesome and the guests went nuts, especially my college friends.

Our surprise Michael Jackson Dance at our Wedding. photos by Jason Knauer Photography.

6.4.10 Cupcake Fight. photos by Jason Knauer Photography.
I didn't have a traditional cake, I had lots of cupcakes with tags that read, "hey cupcake" and 3 pink striped and polka dotted individual cakes. Instead of cutting the cake, we peeled the cupcakes and, well...had quite the cupcake fight that the dry cleaners still can't get out of my Paloma Blanca dress. We threw the bouquet, did some Polish traditions for my Mom, and let the 2 hour extended reception take the night away. Alot of people told me that I was crazy having 2 hour extended reception, people would get bored. I looked at them and asked them if they realized who they were talking to. Of course, I was right. When the 2 hour extension was over, people were still wanting more. It was the best night of our lives.

dancing the night away. photo by Jason Knauer Photography.

Thanks for letting me relive the best event of my career and the best day of my life.
with sprinkles,