Monday, December 28, 2009

TC and Jocelyn: 5.8.2010

A note from Tonya: As part of our blog, we thought we would share our couples we have the priviledge of working with here at Circle City Planners. I wanted you to read about how they met, their upcoming plans for the BIG day, and share a few cute pictures too. Enjoy! Here is Jocelyn and TC....they are so cute.
I have been helping them and their family plan for their wedding coming up in May at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

The Story of Us

Tom (TC as I call him) and I have been together for almost 2 years! In fact, we’ll be celebrating the 2 years the night before we head to Vegas with friends as our last vacation prior to the wedding madness! How did we meet? Not one of the greatest stories—nor will it be one we’re proud to tell our children until they’re of legal age-- but nonetheless, it’s OUR story!

TC’s best friend went to Indiana State in Terre Haute, as did I. (Jocelyn is writing this story). His best friend had been invited back to town to a basketball game and was allowed to bring two guests. TC being one of them. As for me, I still lived in the Haute and was throwing a baby shower for one of my best friends. A couple sorority sisters came to the Haute as well for a night out at the most popular watering hole in town, the Ballyhoo. Normally, I spent my weekends in Indy and rarely went out in Terre Haute, but, as fate would have it, I went out that night in Terre Haute.

TC is a Michigan State Spartan from head to toe. VERY rarely does he not wear his State hat. Michigan State had lost that day, I had had a couple drinks, so the second I saw him with his hat on, I started giving him grief about the loss. Not going to lie though, I did think he was cute? The night went on, and we talked quite a bit. When it was time to go, he searched for a business card to give me (in hindsight, only a person with a couple drinks searches for a business card), but didn’t have one. Have no fear though, I pulled my card out and handed it over! The rest, as they say…is history!

The BIG moment! I’m hardly one for surprises or keeping fun secrets. Last February, TC and I went to a jeweler in Indy to design my ring! The jeweler happens to be in the building I work in, but he did a very good job keeping information from me. We did the basic design together but TC picked out the diamond and decided all pertinent information (that I CLEARLY thought I needed to know) from me. I knew the ring was coming, I just didn’t know when. So, in the meantime, my mom and I met with Tonya. The next night, she had an event at the Crowne Plaza and she invited us. We walked in to Grand Hall and were sold.

We booked the wedding that night (it was March 5), nevermind that I didn’t have my ring! He got my parents permission and did all the right things. But then, I waited. And waited. And waited a little more, all the while driving TC crazy trying to figure out when my ring was coming. TC’s birthday is April 6. Nada. My birthday is April 8, but he swore he wasn’t going to do it on my birthday. However, I happened to stay in Indy most of that week since it was both of our birthdays. I woke up on my birthday and he’d left me something that said…Present #1. (He’s a personal trainer, so he leaves VERY early for work—waaaay before I’m out of bed). He told me there was more to come and to leave my bag for him to bring down later in the day. We had dinner reservations downtown and we were staying there. So, he came to get me from work, envelope sticking out of his pocket. (It turned out to be my ring appraisal—I’m awful!)

He told me we were staying at the Crowne and we were going to go drop my stuff off there before dinner, but wanted to take a detour. SO, we went through the ballroom entrance and there it was, where we’ll be introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Owen, that he proposed. People ask what he said and I tell them…I have NO idea. I don’t remember a thing.

When is THE REAL Big Day? As you already know, reception is at Crowne Plaza, but the date is May 8! Our ceremony will take place at the Meridian Street Methodist Church—though neither of us are Methodist, I’ve always loved that church. They’ve been so accommodating too! We have a huge wedding party—I still am VERY close to both friends I grew up with and college friends so there will be 10 girls standing up with me! I would’ve had 20 if that was acceptable. Tonya has been SO helpful guiding us along this path. I had NO idea what went in to planning a wedding and I think my mom and I have survived this adventure thanks to Tonya :)

What’s next?…I thought when I wrote this, I’d make a short list of the 5 things I love the most about TC. But then I started the list. And it got longer and longer, and there was no narrowing it down. As we grow together, the list will tweak itself during our adventures through life. But for now, we have a house in Carmel we recently purchased where TC lives. Our golden retriever, Braxtyn, and I will be moving in after the wedding.

And our life together begins…

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fall in LOVE with INDY

This year the Association of Bridal Consultants annual conference was held right here in Indy! This is a highlight video from the offical videographer and our fabulous friend Bob Ridge! Be sure to pay close attention to the Enchanted Woods Luncheon, it was planned by the one and only Tonya!!!
Happy viewing!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

FREE Tickets

Happy Holidays to Everyone!!!! Bridal shows are coming up and we would love to see you.

January 9 & 10, 2010 11am-4pm
Scottish Rite

Friday, December 11, 2009

How to Avoid Wedding Remorse.....

The B word…..

Yes, Budget is on everyone’s minds especially this time of year. We set a budget, but sticking to it is another topic. After a relaxing time in New York last week, I had an “AH!” moment regarding the B word.

Here I was, in the midst of the holiday shopping extravaganza, thousands of tourists came to NYC for the Christmas cheer and SHOPPING. The long lines gave me time to take in all of the excitement as people were buying, buying, and buying! I got caught up in the moment too! But I stopped and thought to myself, “Will they have buyer’s remorse after the excitement is gone?” I know I did!

So will you have WEDDING REMORSE when your big day has passed? As you are planning your wedding and discussing the B word with your family, I thought this would be an excellent time to give you a few tips on how you can prevent WEDDING REMORSE and stay within your BUDGET (forward this article to your father, he will love it). I don’t want you to regret your past like I did. YIKES the credit card bill is coming soon!


1. Know your limits. Once you and your family agree on the budget, it’s important to respect the bottom line. You think it’s important at the time, but later you will look back on the money spent and realize that you didn’t have to have that custom made ice sculpture. Don’t go into debt to impress!

2. Make a list and check it TWICE! Find out what’s the most important part of the wedding for you and your groom. Is it the food? The photographer? The ceremony or reception site? The planner (YES)?! Spend the majority of your budget on what will enhance your overall vision and what takes top priority. The other details can be minimized without losing the IMPACT. PS. A good wedding planner will actually give you the look for less!

3. Cut the guest list. Yes, I said cut the list. I have found over the last year the most memorable weddings were the smaller intimate ones with less than 200 people. It gives you a chance to really visit with the guests. Not to mention it saves you almost $100 per person when it comes to your catering bill

4. Say NO to impulse purchases. When you are in the moment, we tend to JUST DO IT (as Nike reminds us) only later to regret our impulse purchase. Weddings are based on emotions, as our purchases. If you fall in love with something (like a great linen) think about it for a day or so before you say YES and make sure it fits within the budget.

5. Revisit the budget monthly. It’s important to respect the money that has been allotted for the wedding. Therefore, setting up a separate checking account and having a financial meeting monthly for the wedding is very important. Get everyone involved and discuss the money allotted for each vendor/item.

The most important tip is to say THANK YOU! Your parents have saved for years for this day. Probably the money originally allotted for your wedding, had to change when the market burned BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful event. It’s time to be appreciative for the things you have and the money they can give you. Going into debt for one day, isn’t worth it.

Don’t have WEDDING REMORSE! At the end of the day it’s about the two of you getting married, not what kind of cake you had.

Wedding Love and Hugs,


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Dentists are Smiling

Jenny and Brant
November 28,2009
Renaissance Hotel

Jenny and Brant are married!!! The event happened at the Renaissance Hotel on November 28th! It was a FABULOUS day!! The weather was spectacular for the end of November and the Bride and Groom were the perfect couple. The plans started with Jenny's mom idea of using a dutch tradition of a wishing tree. Where guests write well wishes for the couple on a paper leaf and then hang the wish on the tree. I proposed to have the ceremony in the lobby of the Renaissance Hotel and then the reception in the ballroom. Everyone loved the idea so we went with it!! The wedding day was entirely too smooth the hardest part was keeping the bride and groom from not seeing each other before the ceremony. Jenny snuck a peek as we were setting up and was loving everything. Which made me VERY happy! Robbie and Lauren of Openfield photography took some fabulous shots of the bridal party before the ceremony and Karen from Artful Blooms brought our vision to life. The ceremony began at sundown (Jewish tradition). Shermie their officiant performed a beautiful ceremony and brought in many personal aspects into the wedding ceremony. After the ceremony guests mingled while the staff moved the ceremony chairs into the ballroom. Once guests sat down for dinner Jenny and Brant danced their first dance as husband and wife. Dinner was excellent. Brian Whitis was our DJ for the evening and he had the dance floor packed the entire night! Along with the traditional bouquet and garter toss Jenny and Brant also dance the horah another Jewish tradition where they are lifted in chairs and everyone else circles around them. At the end of the evening, I went up to the happy couple to tell them good bye. Jenny and Brant both gave me a big hug and said that this was the best day of their lives which made everything worthwhile!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Purple, Guitars, and Snow Oh MY!

Abbie and Gabe
November 27, 2009
Indiana State House
Crowne Plaza Union Station

Hi Tonya,
The wedding was fabulous!!!!! Everything turned out wonderful. Abbie and Gabe were beautiful and had the time of their lives. I think everyone had a good time.
Thank you for making the day perfect!! You do know how to throw a grand celebration.
It was fun working with you.

Jill Parker (Mother of the Bride) 12-01- 09

So two months ago Abbie and Gabe came into my office and had the desire to get married over Thanksgiving weekend. They asked me if I could plan the wedding so quickly? Well most of your know my favorite motto is: "I can plan a wedding in one week if you let me!". Needless to say, the planning had to begin from scratch. Finding the perfect venue and the dream team were our first priority.

Then the fun details followed with the florals, linens, stationary elements, lighting, and cookies put the final touches to the overall vision. Abbie and Gabe loved all the little details (which everyone knows I love) and boy did the little details make a huge impact (see pictures).

As a designer it is critical to get input from the bride and the groom, so as I was designing and planning we captured the most important details from both.

Gabe wanted: guitars everywhere
chocolate covered strawberries
great music and acoustics
awesome lighting
golf's groom's cake

Abbie wanted: purple everthing
diamonds and crystals
huge wedding cake
something unique and different

I have to tell you that my dream team did an awesome job pulling this together. First compliments go to Tiffany from Circle City Designers and her team for an amazing delicious floral designs. Kate B from KB Designs for her extra effort and awesome little touches that pulled the entire event together. Scott and his team from Evans Audio Visual for the transformation of lighting and audio. Nathaniel Edmunds and Tiffany Stoner for their creative photos. Bob from Indy Visual for his video production. The Flying Toasters for keeping the dance floor packed. Everyone at the Crowne Plaza for their extra hands and "yes" attitude and great food. Classic Cakes for their delicious flavors (pumpkin/carmel). And the jazz band for the smooth, classical music that set the tone for dinner. WOW! I know this one has to be a PACE best TEAM effort WINNER! The pictures are worth a thousand words (remember these are taken off my iphone, so the real ones will be posted as I get them). The most amazing transformations happened right in front of my eyes. You will see phases of the event unfold and then the finished vision come to life. This is my absolute FAVORITE part of any event. We had only 2 hours for set up at the State House and then had to load out everything within 45 minutes, WOW WOW WOW! Thank goodnesses we were able to set up on Wednesday at the Crowne. The Parker family is such a joy to be around, thank you for sharing your special day with me. It was one I will never forget. Definitely one of my favorite weddings in my career.

Wedding Love and Hugs,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Attracting Brides for YOUR Wedding Planning Business!

In order to attract new brides for your Wedding Planner business, you need to be pro-active and positive 100% of the time. “Impossible!” you say? Well I’m here to tell you that it may take work, but it’s not impossible. I’m living proof. I run a successful Wedding Planning Business, teach, spend time with my wonderful family and, just recently, added a D├ęcor Division. I’ve had to learn, over the last eight years, how to create and keep my energy. I’d like to share a little about how I’ve done that with you right now.

What’s the secret to staying positive and attracting new brides? It’s finding your spirit, keeping your energy, and staying focused. Brides want someone who is happy and excited about “their” wedding, so unless you FEEL all those feelings, they’ll leave and find someone else. The key is not letting all the time and energy stealers steal YOUR energy. This means being able to distance yourself from those around you who are stuck in a negative place.

People who are well-meaning, but never have a positive thing to say are the very people to avoid. This is easier said than done, because they may be very close to you and you don’t even see it. Try this, the next time someone comes to you with a problem, evaluate how you feel once you’ve helped them. If you notice that you feel worn out, a little depressed, lacking in motivation, etc. then you’ve just let an energy stealer have some of yours.

It takes a lot of self-motivation to be in business for yourself, and you have to keep talking yourself up, you don’t have the TIME to let others bring you down. Believe me; once you’ve given your time/energy to someone, your brides will know it and they will lose their enthusiasm for utilizing your business. They are PAYING you to make their wedding the most memorable day in their lives. They won’t want to do business with someone who isn’t as enthusiastic as they are.

So, take a tip from a VERY successful Wedding Planner, be positive, happy, interested, and excited to be part of every bride’s very special day. It works; you’ll attract brides like bees to honey.

One more thing, never, ever give up! There are going to be days that you don’t think you can face one more smiling, giddy bride. Shake it off; fake it, if you have to! Put on your best smile, concentrate on “sparkling” and pretty soon, you’ll feel it.

It’s when you are in a funk yourself, that the naysayers prey upon you the most. Don’t let them. Your dream is valuable, not only to you, but to those that you can help by starting their married life with the best wedding possible, planned by you. When you start feeling like it’s not working and wondering why you ever wanted to do this in the first place, close your eyes, take a deep breath and remember all those great ideas you have and how much you want to share your talent.

Center yourself by thanking your Higher Power for all the gifts you’ve gotten. Remind yourself why you pushed so hard to get here. Then put on that “glowing” face and get out there and be the best Wedding Planner you can. YOU CAN DO IT! I am, and loving every minute of it!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Remember When???

This is a highlight video from John and Jennie's wedding. I came across it the other day and just had to post. This wedding was many hours of hard work but watching this video makes it all worth it. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Canjun King marries Irish Queen

Molly & Brandon
November 7, 2009
St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Molly and Brandon could not have picked a more beautiful fall day to celebrate their love for each other. As the Indianapolis Marathon was being run all around the city the day started for Molly and her gals at Meridian Design Group downtown for hair and make-up. Melody from Carpenter Photography & Design met the girls there to start capturing every moment. As I waited for the girls at the Courtyard by Marriot, I sent the boys to the church to have pictures taken with Melody’s other half Jeremy. The marathon caused quite a backup around the city, so the girls trickled into the room and waited for Molly to get into her dress. As she cooled off and stepped into her dress everyone had giant smiles on their face! Then we were off to St. Mary’s.

It was my duty to make sure Molly and Brandon did not get a sneak peak of each other before the ceremony. So as we arrived at the church I made sure Brandon was in his hiding place as Molly and the ladies took some pictures. Then they went upstairs to freshen up. The guests packed St. Mary’s and the moment the doors opened for Molly to walk down the aisle with her father was breathtaking! Brandon’s face just smiled and stared at his beautiful bride. The ceremony was a full mass as both Molly and Brandon’s families have a Catholic upbringing with might I say gorgeous music. After mass, the guests exited and the church bells rang as Molly and Brandon made their appearance as husband and wife. Everyone then headed over to the Rathskeller and the bridal party went to the War Memorial to take some pictures together. Let me just say I was with some of the biggest LSU and NOTRE DAME fans! In between every picture the men managed to have their I-phones set to the games. So funny! They even took a picture watching the games. Brandon said he wouldn’t miss a beat of his Tigers.

The reception at the Rathskeller was set to bring in many of the Irish and Cajun traditions of the bride and groom. Bryan Bishop, from the band The Bishops, did the emcee duties as the bridal party was introduced to the guests. Thanks Bryan! Bishop Houck said a lovely prayer and Molly’s dad John gave a touching speech and then dinner was served. The newlyweds cut their delicious almond and spice cake from Heavenly Sweets and shared a toast by the maid of honor Molly. Let me add the groom’s cake was amazing…as Tonya said, “Watch out cake boss!” The Bishops cranked up the music and the partying began. Two family traditions were celebrated later in the evening after the bouquet and garter toss. The first was the money dance. This is something from the south from Brandon’s family. I have seen this before but this time the money was pinned all over the groom and the bride’s veil. The next tradition was also from New Orleans. I was very interested to see this because it had been hiding in my car since rehearsal the night before. It was a stuffed woman (handmade) on a broom and Brandon got to pass her on to all of his single friends since he was now taken. Each friend took a turn dancing with her as the crowd circled around clapping. They were having such a good time! The night was nearing the end and the Bishops still had the crowd dancing.

Molly and Brandon, I hope your day was magical and you live a long happy life together! Enjoy your honeymoon in San Diego and up the west coast to Seattle!


P.S. Thanks Tonya for doing all the set-up. Couldn’t have done it without you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Michelle's day to shine

Michelle & Kevin
November 7,2009
Castleton United Methodist Church and Skyline Club
I first met Michelle way back, when I was planning her sister's Abbie's wedding. Everyone knew that Kevin would pop the question soon but didn't know when. So after Christmas, I got the phone the call that it was time to start planning for another Brammer wedding. Michelle and Kevin were quite different from Abbie and Chris. But that's what makes my job FUN! No two weddings are same. Although there were somethings were similar, these two weddings were definitely different from another.
At the rehearsal, the bridal party was all decked out in football jerseys. On Saturday morning, everything was going smooth. The ladies were getting their hair done while the men were trying to catch up on sleep. Once the girls arrived at the church, my team and I helped them get dressed. Then Jennifer Driscoll took over and snapped some fun outside pictures of all them. Oh I think I forgot to mention how beautiful the day was. It was sunny, almost 70 degrees and it was November!! Gotta love Indiana weather. After the ladies pictures it was time for the fellas. They looked great in their grey suits! The ceremony went beautifully. After all the guests blew bubbles at them for their send off. They got into an antique Cadillac and drove away for more pictures. When I arrived at the Skyline Club for the reception, the cocktail hour was already in full swing. My great assistant Jen, had everything under control. Everyone was enjoying drinks and catching up with friends and family. One of my favorite DJ's, Brian Whitis, was emceeing the event. After the announcement of the newly weds, they cut the cake. And boy did they ever! Both Kevin and Michelle smashed it into each other faces. It was sweet but a little messy! Dinner was FANTASTIC! Afterwards, guests talked,mingled and danced with one another. The event was a success! Everyone had a great time especially Michelle and Kevin. Congratulations to you both!!!