Celebrate: Megan & Tommy in Historic Franklin

The second I met sweet, adorable Megan, I knew we would be instant friends!  This girl radiates love and enthusiasm, I just couldn’t wait to meet her fiancé, Tommy, and hear more about their love story.

They chose the beautiful Historic Franklin to share their vows.  The quaint church ceremony followed by a fabulous, high energy reception at The McConnell House, was the perfect recipe to start off their marriage.  And even the little bit of rain during their first look was bound to bring good luck to these two, because the day couldn’t have been any more perfect! Oh, and did I mention that Jeni’s Ice Cream Truck was there?!  We’ll just say it was a delish 🙂

Ceremony Venue: St. Paul’s Presbyterian
Reception Venue: The McConnell House
Wedding Coordinator: Christina Logan Design
Photographer: Leslie & Dusty Photography
Flowers: Lauren Marie Atkinson Designs
Cake: Whole Foods
Ice Cream: Jeni’s Ice Cream

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Know: Have Fun!

So, maybe it’s the heat of summer (or the rain in Oregon–it was pouring during a recent CLD trip up there!)… but it seems like everyone I am meeting right now in the wedding business is stressed. Hitting their limits. And I am so sad that I have even seen a few brides about to hit their insanity stage.

We get it, we seriously do. Wedding planning is HARD (which is why you have hopefully hired an amazing wedding planner to make it easier). But we also know that even if you have a wedding planner, there are times you are going to stress and totally freak-out: you have a lot of decisions to make, you might not always get every little thing that you want, that bridesmaid might be getting on your last nerve, and oh-my-goodness can you just be married already!!! Yup, we have had that conversations with our brides and in our own minds (because we were once brides too!).

This might sound totally lame, but it bears repeating: this process is pretty fun. We can’t promise it will be fun 100% of the time (floorplans are just the worst) but the really great parts will always outweigh those moments of panic (you had the perfect excuse to stuff your face with cake at the 3 tastings your scheduled).

When in doubt or in a moment of panic, we suggest you try remembering these moments:

– When you first received your engagement ring (or you had just received an acceptance of your amazing proposal), how excited you were?

– How diving into the wedding planning process was thrilling?

– How you felt when you found THE dress??  Or THE venue? Or picked THE date??

Let those happy moments flow through you, giving you awesome energy. Just keep breathing, keep smiling and power your way through. You are bound to hit something fun soon 🙂

Meet: Malibu West Beach Club

We can’t lie–even though we have offices in Nashville and Los Angeles, we here at CLD are beach girls at heart. Lucky for us, we frequently get to work near one of the most nostalgic, historic, and beautiful beaches in the world: the 27 scenic miles of Malibu.

But we also can’t lie about the fact that with those 27 miles comes a wide variety of options and choices when it comes to getting married. There are historical inns, hotels, private estates, oceanside restaurants, and quite a few beautiful chapels, just to give you an idea. So why not check out one venue that brings so many of those options right to you?

Meet Malibu West Beach Club.

MWBC

Photo Courtesy of Malibu West Beach Club

Situated at the northern end of Zuma Beach, MWBC was made for beautiful weddings. Ceremonies take place on the patio looking straight into glorious waves and perfect sunsets, without your guests having to tackle the sand. The adjoining ballroom feels like the classic hotel ballroom, with ample space for nearly 200 guests, but without the feel of actually being in a hotel!

Under events manager Jacqui Spiros, Malibu West has made a few awesome upgrades in the last year.  The bathrooms have undergone a complete remodel, along with new kitchen updates. The kitchen allows caterers to prepare onsite, and there is also an enormous bridal suite for your bridal party to relax and primp in perfect lighting.

But the best changes have occurred in the reception area. The room features new rustic hardwood floors (no need to bring in a dance floor!), and the elimination of a few walls for even more space and light to shine through.  Unlike hotel ballrooms, which typically have a set décor theme, this blank canvas allows any wedding color scheme to work perfectly or can transform for the more eclectic tastes (we have seen a goth-themed wedding pulled off here to perfection!).

But it gets better. Malibu West is also unique in that you are allowed to bring in your own caterer and you own alcohol (all subject to licensing and insurance, of course!). So after maybe saving some cash by hitting up Costco or BevMo for libations, you can splurge in other areas from fancier food, extra flowers or whatever your heart desires!

Historic location? Check. Privacy? Check. Fine dining? Check. Ability to be transformed to the most unique of tastes? Check! Malibu West just might have it all…

 

Entrance

Photo Courtesy of Malibu West Beach Club

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Ample space and beautiful views from the Patio!

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Panoramic shot of the entire ballroom!

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Views of the main entrance and dancing areas.

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Awesome hardwood floors!

Just an idea of what a wedding could look like on the beautiful deck!

Just an idea of what a wedding could look like on the beautiful deck!

Stay tuned in the next few weeks for even more photos from a recent CLD wedding hosted at Malibu West!!

Halloween Creepy Cocktails!

DSC_0164So lately we’ve brought some great ideas for Halloween, from table scapes and decorations to some yummy treats. The only missing piece? Cocktails! Cap off your spooky Halloween 2013 with one of these delicious, yet devilish, drinks:

Caramel Apple Punch

Serves 6

 6 oz Spiced Rum

6 oz Caramel Flavored Vodka

1 bottle Sparkling Cider (refrigerated)

1 apple, thinly sliced

In a pitcher, combine the rum and vodka and stir. Put in the fridge until ready to serve. When guests arrive, add the entire bottle of cider, and very gently stir.

Divide punch between six, ice-filled glasses. Wedge a few apple slices along the side of the glass or on top and serve.

Black Magic

Serves 1

 1.5 oz Patron XO Café Liquor

1.5 oz Vanilla Flavored Vodka

1.5 oz heavy cream or half and half

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously to make the cream nice and frothy. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

We hope these drinks add (safe) some fun to your Halloween party this week!

Happy Halloween from Christina Logan Design!

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A Toast to Tastings!

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This week at Christina Logan Design we had the awesome opportunity to attend a tasting with a potential caterer with one of our lovely brides! Food is a critical component of any successful wedding or event, which makes a tasting just as crucial. When checking out your potential caterers, we thought we would give you a few pointers, tips, and good questions to ask:

Get the details. Is the tasting complementary? How many people can attend? How many different selections will you be allowed to try? Attempt to get as many details aligned and set before you head off to your appointment. This also allows you to set a good precedent with your potential vendor!

Bring the right people. Obviously you and your fiancé are the most important people in attendance, but are there other opinions that are important to you? If a family member is helping with the wedding bill, it might be a good idea to invite them so they understand how much you value them. Finally, bring your planner! They have been through this routine before and can further assist with a successful tasting. However, don’t bring the whole wedding party. Keep the tasting party limited to those whose opinions will make a difference.

Bring the right documents. If you have an agreed upon menu, bring it along to ensure you are tasting the right things. Further, also bring any bids or contracts that a potential caterer has prepared for you. This is important as caterers usually provide more than just food—chairs, linens, beverages, and much more. Having the bid right in front of you can help you make any necessary changes, compare pricing, and ensure that you have everything covered.

Take notes. The menus and bids are also good places to take some notes on. Was that crab cake a little salty? Or was that sauce for the steak just not quite right? Do you think you should maybe only do 3 appetizers instead of 4? How much will it cost to upgrade your barware? Take those notes to keep your thoughts and preferences straights.

Speak up! If your notes feel a little critical, that’s OK! You need to tell your potential caterer what you like and what you don’t. Chefs will usually be able to provide alternatives and suggestions that will make your tastebuds happy.

Tastings can be a fun adventure! If you prepare yourself with the right people, documents and mind-set, you are well on your way to finding fabulous food!

Coordinator vs. Planner and Why You Need One!

What is the difference between a Coordinator and a Planner?  The word is often used interchangeably even though the roles are different.  So which do you need?  Well if you missed the last post on why you need a Coordinator, take a look here.

If you’re up to speed as to why you need at minimum, a Coordinator, then let’s break down the differences for you.  It can get tricky, and with all the vendors you’re working with and all the new terms they’re throwing at you (a gobo and a posy anyone?!), I wanted to make it simple for everyone.

A Planner helps you actually plan elements of your wedding by going through options with you and lending their expert advise and opinions and then helping you book the best options.  Depending on the extent of your agreement with them (partial or full planning servies), they can help with a lot or a little.  And they typically will help you review contracts , read the fine print and ask those uncomfortable questions that you really don’t want to ask out loud.

A Coordinator puts together all the elements you’ve already planned and makes sure they go off accordingly and that the vendors fulfill their contracts.  They are also the go to person in case anything does not go smoothly.  I prefer to drop the term “day-of”, because I have never met a Coordinator who just works the “day of” the wedding.  They are so much more and are so important.  When you are referring to anything short of planning, they are then a Coordinator.  Please take major note of the fact that the Coordinator does not actually plan any element of the wedding for you, but the Planner will also coordinate the wedding for you – it is included in their services.  It’s that whole ‘a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not a square’, phenomena.

So why do you need a planner?  And I’m not talking about the bride or groom that is totally clueless or is overworked and can barely make time for their dog.  We know why they need Planners.  But why does the average Annie need a Planner?  Isn’t a Planner a “luxury item” that isn’t really necessary?

Look, when you break it down, the whole wedding process is a luxury item!  I mean we don’t need bountiful arrangements of flowers on every table in site, but they sure as hell make us feel special and beautiful and unique for that one amazing day!  So why when you’re breaking the bank everywhere else should you also invest in a Planner?  Because they will be the only person there from start to finish to help you make the right, un-emotional, educated decisions in each department on the wedding process.  Their service is not always tangible, but it sure is worth it’s weight when you have someone guiding you through the process.  They will save you countless hours of research, back and forths and even straight up money by reviewing contracts for you and going to bat with vendors on your behalf when they’re being wishy-washy.

They are like an interior designer.  Not “needed” but so darn worth the money that they will make every moment happier and more memorable.  The time spent on your behalf doing research and putting everything together is priceless.

Wedding stress?

I hate peer pressure. *side note, when I was little I always thought it was pure pressure.  like the strong stuff. yeah.*  It is something that takes most of us years to finally overcome post teens.  So I don’t know why in wedding planning so many peeps get taken back to that horrible place!  Whether it’s family requesting a specific wedding day, mother-in-laws strongly “suggesting” a good idea, or the baker at the cake-shop saying they don’t “do” what you’re requesting and you should settle for something else.

Why must we settle?!  Well, yes, there is that whole budget thing, but budgets aside, this is about two people.  That’s it.  And as long as you two are happy, give up the rest!  You will never please everyone, even your fiance at times.  It is time to start being strong about your preferences.  Notice I said strong, not rude.  You can still be classy and polite with everyone (yes, even your to be sister-in-law) without crossing the line.  Then listen to what they say, genuinely consider their POV, and make a choice.  If you decide you don’t care, then awesome.  But move on, don’t let it dwell.

And if your cake-vendor won’t do a lace pattern that you like because someone else down the street does it already as their signature and they can’t handle being same-same, then great.  Go to that other person.  Because there are tons of bakers out there who will give you what you want.  It is about what you want, not about their pride in not giving you something similar to the competition.  They clearly don’t need the business, so don’t feel bad and cave in and say you don’t “need” that lace.  Go GET it.  Say “thank you so much, we’ll be in touch” and leave.  *sidenote: classy peeps do follow-up and email that they are going in another direction.  make your planner do it *
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The last bit of overcoming peer-pressure and not agreeing with what mom/sis/vendor tells you, is that budget cannot rule every decision.  I don’t want you to throw it out the window, but you have to be realistic.  Good service comes at a price.  Just like with everything.  So yes, you may get that amaze-balls bargain that defies all odds…but that saying “you get what you paid for” is around for a reason.

In the end, you’re MARRIED!  So that’s pretty great.  Don’t let all the little things get under your skin, because it should be so much fun.  If not, call me for a pep-talk.