Paige + Devin | Backyard Wedding

Paige + Devin were such a fun couple and we loved being a part of their wedding day! Lead planner Kellie enjoyed meeting with Paige and her mom, Joleen, prior to the wedding, to nail down all the details! The couple got married on the groom’s family property, which was S T U N N I N G. This was a 3-day event for the Rustic Elegance team! Lead planner Kellie was onsite for the set up on Thursday, Friday for the rehearsal/grooms dinner and then the main event on Saturday.

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On the big day, the couple prepped with their bridal party, while the Rustic Elegance team of Kellie, Kristin, Andrea and Olivia prepped all the decor. The ceremony took place lakeside on the family property. A giant arch was placed at the front, and ceremony doors at the back of the grassy field [both made by the talented groom!]. The wedding had a large guest count, with 450 people for the ceremony, and 200 more guests joined for the dance – W O W!

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When it was finally time for the ceremony, the wedding party walked elegantly down the aisle, followed by a grand entrance by the bride and her dad through the ceremony doors [and great accent Rustic Elegance wine barrels]. The couple did a tree planting for their unity symbol. After they were finally pronounced husband and wife, it was time to head to the barn for a big party.

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The reception took place in their huge pull barn. The barn was transformed by the Rustic Elegance team into a pretty amazing reception space! The groom made 2 bars, wine barrel cocktail tables and a wood pallet backdrop for behind the head table. The backdrop was also decorated with various candles, and a pop of floral. The florists decked the place out with hanging greens above the dance floor and head table – it looked so G O R G E O U S! Along with the floral touches, We’ve Got It Covered draped the entire barn, and hung sparkling chandeliers throughout. They also brought in pink linens, lace table runners, and napkins! The reception space housed lots of Rustic Elegance rental items as well, including wood farm tables for the head table, sofas for a sitting area, and the dessert table/stands.

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Instead of a traditional guest book, the couple decided to have everyone sign fabric squares, which would later be made into a quit for the happy couple. Their favors consisted of a seed packet that were displayed in the Rustic Elegance wheel barrel. After dinner, the couple took a little time to themselves around sunset, and embarked on a paddle boat ride – seriously was like a scene out of the N O T E B O O K + the photos from this are perfect! When the boat ride was over, the wedding party greeted them with a sparkler entrance back to the dance to get the party started! Dinner and dancing ensued, and were later followed by a fireworks display.
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This wedding was one for the books – no detail was left out! We are loving going through all of the their photos and reminiscing on this special day – shout out to Let Me Capture You Photography for sharing these images with us. Paige + Devin – we hope married life is all the best and thank you for having Rustic Elegance be a part of your vendor team!

VENDORS
Ceremony/Reception: Family Farm
Catering: Prime and Wine
Bartender: Geneva Bar and Grill
Rentals: Apres
Decor: We’ve Got It Covered
DJ: Silver Sound Entertainment
Florist: Bel Fiore
Photographer: Let Me Capture You Photography
Videography: Peterson Brothers Productions
Photobooth: Silver Sound Entertainment
Desserts: Muddy Paws Cheesecake
Hair/Makeup: SM Hair and Makeup
Coordination: Rustic Elegance

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The 6 L A YE R S [ingredients] of your Dessert Display

Image by: Asher Marie Photography

As wedding coordinators, we see a L O T of different dessert displays. In order to spark your creativity for your wedding, we’ve added some of our pointers below to get you started thinking about S W E E T treats for your special day!

Choose a sweet treat that best fits Y O U: Traditional wedding cake, cupcakes, bundt cakes, pies, donuts, cookies, bars, ice cream, macaroons… how could you possibly decide? We think lots of taste tasting will be sure to help! Decide on a dessert that best fits you and your partner. If you’re not a fan of cake, go for pie or a mix of dessert options! You can also get creative and mix + match dessert options. Whatever you choose, your guests will be sure to love the sweet treat you decide on!

Start from the bottom layer: Consider what these sweet treats are going to be displayed on – will they be set on a table with a fancy linen, a farm table, a vintage hutch, or maybe the ever so popular wine barrels, with a door across? There are so many F U N options to display your dessert of choice!

Image by: 99 Perspectives

S T A N D tall: Dessert stands can offer decorative flair and also be functional in utilizing space for as many desserts to be set out as possible. Decide on a type of stand that best fits the rest of your decor – are they black, silver, white, glass, wood, round, pedestals, trays, etc.? Consider adding D E P T H to your dessert display to create interest. Do this by including wooden boxes, crates, tree trunk slices or different heights of dessert stands.

Don’t forget the frosting: Including additional decor is a M U S T! Add signage to let your guests know their options. Chalkboards are an easy and efficient way to let guests know what they are getting into, especially if there are any dietary restrictions! Consider a “Love is Sweet” banner, extra florals or greenery, as well as candles, votives or even lanterns. Get V I N T A G E – add fun mismatched dessert plates to the buffet – they act as a fun decor piece and are also functional!

Personalize it: Consider adding a Mr. + Mrs. fork and personalized knife/server for the cake cutting photos. Personalized napkins are A D O R A B L E too!

Image by: Jeannine Marie Photography

Don’t underestimate: Most importantly don’t underestimate on the number of “pieces” of sweet treats you offer. If you are offering a variety of desserts or flavors, keep in mind guests may enjoy trying one of each. That being said, make sure you or your dessert vendor provides “to go” boxes, just in case there are a few left, in which case you can then enjoy for breakfast.

Hope these items help you perfect your wedding dessert display!

Love,

Kellie + the Rustic Elegance Team

Image by: Jeannine Marie Photography

Tips + Tricks | Different Types of Wedding Planners

In the world of weddings, there are many different types of planners that can be hired to assist with your special day! Not to mention many different types of planning packages. In order to better understand the world of planners, we decided to write a T I P S + T R I C K S article on the different types of options out there!

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FULL SERVICE WEDDING PLANNING
A full service wedding planner usually coordinates and plans all aspects of the day, down to the tiniest details. Communication during the planning process can begin as soon as you get engaged and normally will include unlimited communication. A Full Service Wedding Planner will help create the wedding concept and offer overall design assistance. They will book and communicate with all vendors (venue, caterer, officiant, photographer, videographer, DJ, florist, beauty, desserts, transportation etc.) and they may even attend these vendor meetings and help keep track of when payments are due. They will also offer assistance in keeping on point with the budget. This type of planner may assist in ordering invitations and keeping track of your RSVP’s. They also usually perform all the tasks listed under the Day of Coordinator as well (see below). Of course, A L L companies will vary in the services/packages that they offer, but normally this is a “fully loaded” package, which includes everything you can think of.
Who should  hire a Full Service Wedding Planner:
This might be a good option for someone who lives in a different state/location from where the wedding will be held. A Full Service Wedding Planner package could also be a good option for someone who wants a perfectly planned wedding, but doesn’t have the time, interest or know where to start with planning.
Cost Range: $5,000+

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DAY OF COORDINATOR/PACKAGE
There is actually no such thing as just a “Day Of Coordinator”. Although many planners use the title “Day of Coordinator” when describing their services, they are really more like “month-of planners”. Communication with a Day of Coordinator, will usually begin about 30 days before the wedding date. Most of the details will be planned out already and the planners main focus is on executing the details you have set in place. They will help create a timeline of the days events, and execute this timeline to ensure everything runs as planned. They will lead the rehearsal and help make sure the ceremony runs F L A W L E S S L Y. They will act as the point of contact on the wedding day for vendors, guests and the wedding party. They can also help with any last minute problems that arise, setting up decor, pinning on boutonnières and corsages, handing out gratuities and final payments etc. A Day of Coordinator may also help with clean-up at the end of the night (although this may incur an additional cost). Their main focus is making sure the day runs smoothly so that you and your family can enjoy every M I N U T E.
Who should hire a Day Of Coordinator:
To be C O M P L E T E L Y honest, we think everyone getting married should hire a Day Of Coordinator. There is S O much time and money is spent on the wedding day, and we believe that every couple + their family should be able to enjoy the day in low-stress. It is a huge help to have one contact person on site, who knows all the moving parts and can ensure everything goes according to the master plan. Most importantly, hiring a Day Of Coordinator lets the couple and family enjoy the entire wedding without getting bogged down with planning details and questions. Let the planner handle this so more time can be spent with guests.
Cost Range: $1,250-$2,500

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DECORATORS + STYLISTS
Not to be confused with wedding planners, but usually are, decorators and stylists are there to help you envision the space on your special day. They can offer in depth help with choosing the style, color pallette, decorations, and overall feel of the wedding day. This type of planner can often come in and set up the morning of your wedding, but isn’t a logistical planner that will execute the wedding timeline and details. They are more focused on making things P R E T T Y.
Who should hire a Decorator or Stylist:
Consider hiring a Decorator or Stylist if you are short on time, have no idea how to decorate your house let alone your entire wedding or if you would like to incorporate new, fresh and creative ideas into your day but are not sure how to do it. Also, you may want your wedding to look A M A Z I N G, but really have no interest in figuring out how to do this – these would be your people.
Cost Range:
Price varies on how involved you would like them to be. They can charge per hour or by one lump sum. $350-$2,000

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VENUE COORDINATORS
A venue coordinator is employed by the venue to assist in the big picture details of the ceremony/reception location. The Venue Coordinator will most likely be the main contact when booking the venue and will offer help with general questions about the layout, room flips, food and beverage menu, timing and decor restrictions, etc. Being the expert at this specific venue, most of their focus will be on venue related questions. They most likely do not help with decor ideas, set up, timeline, rehearsals, clean up etc. Venue Coordinators usually do not cost extra and for most “traditional” venues will be included in your price (we say “traditional venues”meaning hotels, golf course, country clubs etc. Most barn or rustic venues do not include a Venue Coordinator – even better reason to hire a Day of Coordinator).

As you can see, there are P L E N T Y of different types of wedding planners and packages out there. These are the most commonly used terms to describe planners, although we at Rustic Elegance don’t fit perfectly into just O N E of these categories. We like to think of ourselves as a crossover between Full Planning, Day of Planning and Decorator. We have picked the most helpful parts of each package and put them into one. If we had to label ourselves, we might be considered Logistical Coordinators. We help with everything listed in the Day of Planner Package, but can also start working with you right from the moment you get engaged and want to make sure the final outcome is decorated to fit you! We specialize in tent, barns and backyard weddings, digging deep into the logistical aspects for wedding day. We also act as the “host” on the day so you, your family and friends can enjoy every minute of your special day. Ask about our detailed price list for more info on how we can assist with the logistics of your day!

Since you have read this far, you must be considering hiring a planner, We recommend doing your research on what different companies include in their packages, as many packages can differ within the same planner type. We D E F I N I T E L Y know how stressful wedding planning can be, and hope this helps when debating on which type of wedding planner is right for you!

Special thanks to Jeannine Marie Photography for the photos used in this blog post!

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Tips + Tricks | Booking Your Photographer

In continuation of our vendor T I P S + T R I C K S blog from last month on booking your DJ, we wanted to touch on another I M P O R T A N T vendor – your photographer! Photography is a H U G E part of weddings in this day and age, mainly because pictures can last a lifetime. Although your special day is one that we G U A R A N T E E that you won’t ever forget, pictures can bring these memories back to life every time you look at them! In order to learn about the Tips + Tricks that photographers have on booking a photographer, we reached out to our F A V O R I T E photographers for their advice [bet you never would have guessed that!].

PORTFOLIOS // WEB SEARCH
For most couples in the beginning of their vendor search, the W E B is the place where the search begins. Many photographers will have their work shown throughout their site, or have a portfolio that you can review. As Joanna Carina from Carina Photographics notes in her blog, you should be drawn to the picture style of the photographer, including the posing, expressions, lighting, etc. Extra T I P: to take it one step further, ask to see a full wedding album from beginning to end, not just a few portfolio images on their website. That way, you can see if this photographer would capture E V E R Y T H I N G that you’d like them to. You can also use social media [all hail I N S T A G R A M] and search hashtags to find wedding photographers in your state // area. Last but not least in your search, ask friends + family. They can be a G R E A T resource when looking, especially if they were an actual client of the photographer! Also, consider the editing style of the photographer – do they just add a T R E N D Y filter to it and call it a masterpiece? You may notice when researching different photographers that their edit style may have a blue tint, or a warm overlay. If you’re a fan of this look, make sure you are confident you will L O V E it 10 years down the road!


The mood, lighting, and pose of this shot are P E R F E C T I O N – Carina Photographics knows what she’s doing when it comes to great wedding photography!

MEET IN PERSON
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potentials to a reasonable number, meet your options in person! You will want to feel comfortable around this person, as they will be spending a L O T of time with you throughout one of the most I M P O R T A N T days of your life! You will want to ask about their experience in photography, experience photographing weddings, etc. Make sure they they aren’t just a hobby photographer, but a professional one. You’ll want to feel an instant C L I C K with this person, and feel confident in their ability to capture your wedding day P E R F E C T L Y. A rule of thumb, as stated by Scott from Midwest LifeShots Photography, is “If you look at a photographer’s work and say “I love all of this!”, than great, book them right away and don’t look back. If you look at the work and only like about 70-80% of their work, go elsewhere. Better for your sanity to not have to worry all day if they are taking something you’ll be happy with” [and we totally agree!]. Before you meet in person, ask if they can bring with them a physical wedding album [if this is something you’re interested in purchasing] so that you can see their work.

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Midwest LifeShots catching Kellie behind the scenes – we L O V E this shot!

PACKAGES
Most photographers will have multiple package options. These packages can include different number of hours covered, more than one photographer, etc. Find out what the cost of the entire packages is, including tax and any other expected fees, and really focus on what is included in the package. Packages can have T O N S of different variables, including digital prints, regular prints, both, etc. You want a package that fits your needs on your wedding day, to make sure that you have the memories that will last you a lifetime. You’ll also want to figure out how their payment process works: is it all up front? Do you pay half to secure your date and half at the wedding? Do they take cash // check // credit? Extra T I P from the great Jeannine Marie Photography: Sometimes if you pay in full or by cash/check, it saves the photographer money on credit card processing fees, so they may offer a discount! Photography is one area of your budget that you will N O T want to skimp on. If you find a photographer that you absolutely L O V E, but the price just isn’t right – try to do some negotiating, and let them come back with an answer to if they can accommodate your price range.

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Booking Your Photographer_0947.jpgThis C U T E shot by Jeannine Marie Photography captured such a sweet moment – love it!!

TIMELINE // BOOKING
Photographers book quickly – potentially a full year [or even T W O] in advance. You’ll want to book your photographer as soon as you know that they are the right fit for you. If you are looking at a larger photography company, make sure you ask who the lead photographer is for your day before signing any papers, and ask to see their specific work. Also, as Bridget from Shots by Bridge states, “Let your photographer help with the timeline. They are going to know exactly how much time is needed to get all of the necessary coverage. And there is nothing worse than feeling rushed on your wedding day” [+ we agree!].

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Such a sweet photo of Angie + Brooks’ wedding by Shots by Bridge – such C U T I E S!

BLOGS
While we L O V E that you just read through our Tips + Tricks blog, we wanted to share these other A M A Z I N G blogs from our favorite photographers if you’re still looking for more tips on booking your photographer!

https://jeanninemarie-blog.com/?s=questions+to+ask+your+photographer

https://www.carinaphotographics.com/top-10-things-hiring-wedding-photographer/

REMEMBER…
On your wedding day, you are the M A I N event. All you should have to do is smile, be beautiful, get married, and have a blast with your family and friends. Hire someone who’s work consistently puts a smile on your face, and that you trust to cover your P E R F E C T day. Also, don’t forget that your mom, best friend, maid of honor, etc., want to enjoy the day too, so hiring a wedding coordinator to relieve the stress of all parties is H I G H L Y encouraged [hey – we do that!]. Special H U G E thank you to the below photographers who gave us their T I P S + T R I C K S on booking a photographer [who we also H I G H L Y recommend if you’re looking for G R E A T results!]!

Shots by Bridge
Midwest LifeShots Photography
Jeannine Marie Photography
Carina Photographics

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Face behind the camera: Shots by Bridge 

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Face[s] behind the camera: Midwest LifeShots Photography

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Booking Your Photographer_0945.jpgJeannine Marie Photography in action – doing what she does best [capturing G R E A T memories!]

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Face behind the camera: Carina Photographics 




Tips + Tricks – Bathroom Baskets

If you’re having your wedding at a tent, barn, or outdoor venue, you may want to think about providing a “bathroom basket” for your guests. Many of the bathrooms at these types of venues are plain and simple, and these baskets can decorate the space, while serving a functional purpose. This basket can include anything you feel necessary – but we wanted to throw a little TIPS & TRICKS article your way, including details of how to create the P E R F E C T bathroom basket for your guests.

MUST HAVES [& we know from experience]:
-Medicine: Aspirin, Tylenol, Aleve, Advil
-Hair [I] do’s: Get some hair spray, a brush, comb, bobby pins and ponytails to make sure that your hair is staying in place to dance the night A W A Y.
-Smell ya later: Although everyone was smelling great at the beginning of the night, all the dancing can lead to sweating, and sweating may lead to stink! Add some spray deodorant to your basket, [and maybe some body spray] to keep your night smelling fresh. Also, consider adding some good smelling hand soap!
-Y U M: How great was that dinner? We are sure it was amazing, but to be able to sing your heart on the dance floor, [and not smell it] consider adding breath mints or spray in your basket.
-Accidents [can and will] happen: In case of spillage, adding a Tide-to-Go pen can rid of stains immediately. Adding in wet wipes to help with sticky hands [or situations] is always a promising idea as well.
-Safety first: No wedding is complete without someone needing a Band-Aid. To make sure that you’re not running around looking for one, adding them into your basket can make your night stress-free [& hiring Rustic Elegance can help with this too]!
-U H – O H: Mother nature comes when it pleases, so women’s sanitary items are an absolute must. Nobody wants to spend the rest of their evening worrying about dress stains or being uncomfortable.
-Dry skin [go away!]: Adding in some lotion can ensure guest comfort and smooth skin.
-Got the sniffles? Make sure guests have access to some Kleenex in the bathroom for those battling colds or allergies [& to make sure they get back onto the dance floor]!

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NICE ADDITIONS [if you’re feeling extra F A N C Y]:
-In case of a manicure disaster: Who wants chipped nails at a wedding [hint: not us]? Clear nail polish, nail clippers, and file can help with this potential issue.
-Got lint, dust, or animals around your wedding? Think about adding a lint brush to the basket to keep everyone lint/pet hair [& care] free!
-First Aid Kit [don’t forget, safety first!]: Think about purchasing a mini-first aid kit, or making your own! This should include antiseptic wipes, Neosporin, burn cream, eye drops, antacid, antihistamines, Q-tips, cough drops, etc.
-C U T E [mirror] notes: This is a fun idea that we’ve seen a few of our couples do! Add a note to the mirror[s] in the bathroom with funny quotes. One of our favorites? “You look oh so pretty [or handsome for the fellas] – now get out and D A N C E!”

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PROBABLY DON’T NEED [but you never know]:
-Wardrobe malfunctions: Dancing too hard and your dress [or trousers for the gents – Y E S, we have seen this happen] rips? Having a mini-sewing kit in your bathroom basket could be a game changer! Don’t forget about safety pins – it’s always easy to just P I N it back together.
-Other miscellaneous items: Floss, baby powder, tweezers

DON’T FORGET THE DUDES [they need some pampering too]:
-Stay F R E S H: Consider adding cologne spray, breath mints, and men’s deodorant to keep the fresh smell all day [& night]!

While we are on the ever so exciting topic of B A T H R O O M S, we wanted to provide some tips to those couples who choose to have their wedding in their backyard and need to bring bathrooms onsite! Porta-Potties will most likely be used in these types of situations. Typically, we recommend at least one potty for every 60 guests. Handicap ones can be great for the ladies, along with those in need, [it provides a little more room for those big dresses & you can decorate the inside with cute décor, a table for your bathroom basket, or maybe even a full-length mirror!]. Don’t forget most of these do not come with lighting inside, so once the dinner is over and the dancing is underway, you will need too light these up. We recommend adding sticky lights or battery lanterns to the inside. Also, consider using a 10 x 10 pop up tent with a cocktail table underneath for guests to wait under [protects guests in case of rain and provides them a place to set their cocktail]. A handwashing station, with real running water and paper towels, can also be a nice addition [and pretty cheap]. Another option is to consider renting a luxury bathroom trailer from a company such as On-Site [p.s. these trailers can even come with AC – see some of their photos below!].

We hope this blog post can help you decide if you should add a bathroom basket to your list of “things to do” before your special day, and gave you a few ideas about bathroom options for your day.

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Tips + Tricks | Unity Symbols

Throughout our time as wedding coordinators, we have seen a variety of U N I T Y symbols at different weddings. Although they are not necessarily a part of every wedding, they provide something that the couple can take home with them, that signifies the unifying of both individuals. Here are a few I D E A S that we’ve seen throughout our time at Rustic Elegance:

COLORED SAND
Think about having two different colors of sand in small vases, and a big vase in the center. When ready, you can pour the two different colors of sand into the larger vase, each taking turns on layering the sand. This exemplifies balance and patience in day to day life, and can serve as a constant reminder to communicate. Tiffany + Derek used this unity symbol for their wedding + it turned out A M A Z I N G!

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PLANTING A TREE
As a symbol of new journeys and new life, we have had two couples [Kailee + Derek and Kelsey + Issac] plant a tree in a pot at their ceremony. We absolutely L O V E D that this tree would grow along with the couple as they begin this new journey of married life together.

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BOX OF WINE
If you and your partner are lovers of W I N E, a fun unity idea is to box up a bottle of wine for an anniversary to come! You could also add notes into the box, or get a bottle of wine that was bottled the same year as your wedding. On that anniversary down the road, you can open the box of wine, and reminisce on your W E D D I N G day. Abby + Casey opted for this unity symbol, and it was A D O R A B L E!

[BABY YOU’RE A] FIREWORK
A very unique unity symbol that we came across at Lisa + Robin’s wedding was a F I R E W O R K! Yes – that’s right – a big loud B O O M to celebrate the unity of these two lovebirds! Guests were definitely surprised + loved it!

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BALLOON RELEASE
A balloon release can be so B E A U T I F U L + simple! Chastity + Jake did a balloon release with their [A D O R A B L E] kids. Emily + Nick had their flower girls carry the balloons up the aisle while they were walking down. Upon the release, it was such a F U N way to celebrate the unity of these two couples.

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CANDLE
Another simple + E L E G A N T unity symbol is lighting a candle together. Melanie + Dan and Emily + Kyle did this at their wedding, and the presentation was so S W E E T. A note for those planning – if you are having an outdoor wedding, you’ll want to make sure to have your candle inside of a lantern or glass container to control the flame from blowing out. Also don’t forget a L I G H T E R.

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Unity Symbols_0565.jpgPhoto by: Shelley Kay Photography

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Unity Symbols_0564.jpgPhoto by: Shelley Kay Photography

SAND + SOIL [A LITTLE PIECE OF HOME]
Mel + Chris had the C U T E S T idea of a unity symbol – they brought sand + soil from their cabins and combined them into a beautiful jar to display in their home. Such a fun way to incorporate a little piece of their H O M E away from H O M E on their special day!

TYING OF STRANDS // BRAIDING CORDS
One of the more popular unity symbols that we have seen in three weddings [Rachel + Brad, Meghan + Kolten and Amy + Kevin] is the tying of strands or braiding of cords. We L O V E that this can be so symbolic for couples + also ties them in a spiritual way as well [P R O – T I P: make sure you practice this together before your big day, so you have a game plan of how to do].

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Unity Symbols_0563.jpgPhoto by: Narvold Photography

AN EXTRA P R O – T I P
Don’t forget to have a small table ordered/provided by your rental company or venue in order to place your unity symbol on if applicable [psst… you can rent these from Rustic Elegance!].

In conclusion, a unity symbol can truly be A N Y T H I N G that is meaningful to the couple. Anything that symbolizes two individuals, coming together as one in a new journey as a married couple. If nothing speaks to you as a couple to use as a unity symbol, you might not need one! There are plenty of weddings that we have helped coordinate that opt out of having a unity symbol at all. As you continue to plan + prep for your day, we wanted to provide you with some fun + unique options for unity symbols, and we hope that this B L O G helps you decide!




Kristina + Derek | Steele County Fairgrounds

Kristina + Derek were so F U N to plan with! From the first meeting with Rustic Elegance, lead planner Kellie knew that their day was going to be a P E R F E C T start to their forever!

The ladies had their hair and makeup done at the house with Amber Budd + Brittany Kinne prior to heading out to take some photos with Whitnei Abel Photography. Kristina and her bridesmaids had G O R G E O U S floral bouquets designed by her cousin, Sara, who works for Creative Concepts Floral. Post-pictures, the wedding party headed to Rice Lake Church for an intimate ceremony with close friends and family.

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Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0418.jpgKristina getting ready with the help of her L O V E L Y wedding party!

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Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0430.jpgNothin’ F A N C Y, just love.

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Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0429.jpgSuch fun + simple floral decor – we L O V E D it!

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Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0441.jpgWalking out of the church – finally M A R R I E D!

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Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0416.jpgSuch a F U N shot of all their friends + family post wedding ceremony. This will be a cherished memory for the couple for Y E A R S to come!

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The reception was at the Beer Garden barn on the Steele County fairgrounds and made for a G R E A T area for all their guests [they had about 350 total – wow!]! As far as decor, the picnic tables were lined with lace table runners, centerpieces including bundles of baby’s breath in copper vases, and an added vintage touch of old soda bottles. There were also high top cocktail tables set up throughout the space to account for standing room for their large guest count. The inside of the barn was draped with S T U N N I N G cafe lights from We’ve Got It Covered that gave an extra rustic element to the space. The couple rented wine barrels from Rustic Elegance which were used as decor outside of the reception venue [we added a cute sign provided by the couple and some extra florals to make it look super C U T E!]. For their guest book, the couple had wine bottles labeled with their significant anniversaries to come and asked guests to sign the wine bottles [adorable!]. The couple also brought in their own yard games to add to the Beer Garden’s terrace and it was the place to be for the kids that attended their reception!

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When the couple arrived at the reception site as newlyweds, they said a few words to their guests before dismissing everyone to head to the buffet. Torey’s Restaurant did the buffet style catering for their informal flow style dinner throughout the night, with a wide variety of food options, and also manned the bar for guests. Desserts were served from rented Rustic Elegance cupcake stands [on top of some more of our wine barrels] with the cupcakes being provided by Perfect Day Cakes [which were Y U M M Y!]. The couple also had their Photo Booth set up for guests to use [TC Photobooth] which was a H U G E hit. After dinner + speeches, it was time to D A N C E! The Fabulous Love Handles did a G R E A T job and were very fun and engaging with the crowd [especially the little kiddos!]. The kiddos also had a blast playing with the G I A N T balloons, board games, and glow bracelets that the couple provided! In front of the band stage on the dance floor, the couple added cute marquee letters spelling L O V E that lit up the dance floor [so fun!].

Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0424.jpg

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Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0422.jpg

Kristina + Derek – we A D O R E D being the day of coordinators for your wedding. The simple love that you two have is a reminder to us all that true love is so S P E C I A L. We hope that married life is treating you well!

Special shout-out to Whitnei Abel for sharing these photos from the couples day – they are P E R F E C T!

Vendors
Venue: Beer Garden at the Steele County Fairgrounds
Catering/Bar: Torey’s Restaurant
Desserts: Perfect Day Cakes
Decor: We’ve Got It Covered
Hair/Makeup: Brittany Kinne + Amber Budd
Band: Fabulous Love Handles
Florist: Creative Concepts
Photographer: Whitnei Abel
Photo Booth: TC Photo Booth
Rentals: Rustic Elegance
Coordination: Rustic Elegance




Carina Photographics Guest Blog | First Looks

As wedding coordinators, we get asked quite frequently about photographers – how long to hire them for, what types of photos to ask for, timeline etc. One of the M A I N questions we are asked about is whether or not to do a First Look.  So we turned to one of our favorite photographers, Joanna Carina from Carina Photographics for her thoughts about including this in your day and decided we would share her advice with our favorite people!

To Look or Not to Look? Having a First Look on Your Wedding Day

One issue I see a lot of couples struggle with is if they should do a First Look, or if they should wait to see each other when they first walk down the aisle. As a wedding photographer, I have worked with couples in both scenarios. While both ways can work well, there are a few distinct advantages to going with a First Look prior to your wedding ceremony.

The First Look begins with some private time for just the two of you…alone. Unlike your walk down the aisle in a public arena where all eyes are focused on you, these private moments, where you see each other separately from the more formal portraits, are often extremely special for you both. You are able to exchange meaningful gifts, relax, and think about the moments to come. This quiet, contemplative time also serves as a break to calm your nerves. This pre-ceremony atmosphere creates a smooth, steady flow through the day’s events.

Not only are you in top form, but hair and makeup are still fresh and you are still comfortable in your wedding attire. Often times, wedding days and wedding wardrobes can be hot, so people look less and less fresh as the day moves on. Seeing each other in top form will happen if you choose to do your First Look right away.

After the First Look time has finished, we take some posed photos of the two of you. While we still refer to these photos as “posed”, rest-assured that we use our expertise to create images of you that look relaxed, natural and intimate. These photos are the ones that most often end up on walls and in prints or albums. We also take these photos privately, away from bridal party and family members, if possible, to continue to capture candid emotions and moments together.

Once your portrait time is finished, you are able to regroup with bridal party and family members and complete as much of your posed, formal group portraits as possible prior to your wedding ceremony. Once your ceremony is complete, you are then able to spend as much time as possible mingling with your guests and not forced to break into posed photos afterward while wishing you could be somewhere else.

All-in-all, including a First Look into your wedding day is an amazing experience, and one I highly recommend!

Special shout out to Joanna Carina for her insight on to look or not to look, letting us feature her on our blog + showcasing some of her A M A Z I N G photos! To learn more about Carina Photographics, check out her website: http://carinaphotographics.com.




Emily + Nick, Rolling Ridge Wedding & Event Center

Emily + Nick’s wedding was so much fun! The ceremony and reception both took place at Rolling Ridge Wedding and Event Center in St. Joseph, MN. It was a beautful day and a beautiful wedding! Emily had her mom as the officiant, which gave the ceremony a special touch. They had Michael Shynes play the guitar and sing at the ceremony, the cocktail hour, and their first dance – it took people’s breath away – he was amazing! It was such a beautiful evening, they ended up moving the DJ outside and having music and dancing on the patio. It was so much fun to work with Emily + Nick, we couldn’t have asked for a better day!

We also got to work with amazing vendors for this wedding…we love working with this team!

Venue: Rolling Ridge Wedding and Event Center
Caterer: Short Stop Custom Catering
Desserts: Cold Spring Bakery
Photographer: Jeannine Marie Photography
Rentals: We’ve got it covered
DJ/Guitarist/Singer: Michael Shynes
Hair/Makeup: Hair by Heidi
Florist: St. Cloud Floral
Wedding Coordinator: Rustic Elegance
Video: acowsay
Chairs: Geyer

 

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The girls…
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The guys…
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What a fun wedding party!
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Such a special ceremony!
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Table set up – followed by amazing food from Short Stop!
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Time to party!
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Amy + Sas, Red Barn Farm Wedding

Rustic Elegance had the pleasure to work with this wonderful couple! Amy and Sas had their ceremony at Nerstrand Big Woods State park, which was right down the street from where they had the reception at the Red Barn Farm. The ceremony and the reception were absolutely stunning! Guests traveled from all over the world to attend their wedding. This HOT and sunny June day turned out to be absolutely perfect!

Ceremony: Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
Reception: Red Barn Farm
Caterer: Red Barn Farm
Day of Coordinator: Rustic Elegance
Bartending: With a Twist Bartending
Rentals: We’ve got it covered
Photographer: Marc Andreo Photography
Desserts: Wuollet Bakery

Getting ready for the day!Lyndsey + Derrick, backyard wedding_0027.jpg

The bride and groom!
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The girls! These shades of pink are perfection!
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Pretty good looking wedding party!
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Kellie (owner of Rustic Elegance) setting up for the big day!
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The ceremony site – gorgeous area at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
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Here comes the reception at Red Barn Farm! Such a cute venue!
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That cake though! It’s all in the details…
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The bride (Amy) painted this picture of Red Barn Farm for guests to sign. They also had a jenga set for guests to write wishes on for the couple! I love cute little personalized details like this.
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The reception! Beautiful entrance to the barn put together by We’ve Got it Covered
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Sparkler send off!
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Congrats Amy + Sas! We had SO much fun working with you on your special day!