What’s Happening at Front Paige Events

The World is Changing and this is how Front Paige Events is keeping up.

Since March, a lot has happened all of our lives. Or, if you’ve been in quarantine since March, maybe not a lot has gone on in your life. (And that is ok.)


Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Trainings and Webinars – personally I am a student in the sense that I am always willing and wanting to learn. Any webinar or educational material that presents itself, I hop at the chance if time allows. And with the social distancing order, time allowed! A few of the webinars I attended were HoneyBook’s COVID preparedness calls, WIPA’s planning during pandemics sessions, HoneyBooks Diversity training, a business course through Stanford online, and two personal growth books…ok and one book that was just for fun.

Business Administration – then there’s the not so fun part of running the business. Inputting receipts that I may or may not have set aside. Created more blogs! WOOT WOOT! I have not made any new videos, although I know I should have. Honestly, I am awkward and really I need a better camera. Reorganized my desk, multiple times. Cleared out clutter. Digitalized a few things, which should have been the case from the start.

Current Client Events – with all the new training and education, I had to put my skills to work! I’ve incorporated Zoom calls into my meeting options and got very creative with client gifting. Let’s just say, you’d look forward to my ding dong ditches. Started doing Micro Weddings with Zoom Conference options for the guests that can not attend. And use social distancing with masks when virtual gatherings just don’t work.

Front Paige Events projects

Got Creative – this was my favorite part of quarantine life. I got to make stuff and didn’t second guess the time spent. Macramé’d something to hold my curtains from getting stuck in the door and items for a client wedding. Build a bench with my husband, a cactus sign stand, and still working on the upright piano turned bar. Building a repertoire of wedding items for client convenience. And always exploring creative new styles to keep wedding designs FRESH.

Front Paige Events styled shoot
Photography by Myrtle Creative
Front Paige Events AZ Wedding Planner
We were featured in Green Living Magazine for our Eco Friendly concept

One thing is certain, I am excited to get back to weddings and seeing people IRL.

When the world opens again, Front Paige Events is ready!

Cost Saving Tips for Wedding Planning

Weddings are expensive.

Want to hear more facts that you already know? How about some information on ways to make that fact a bit less daunting?

I’ve got you.

Weddings are manageable!

How? Well, allow me to enlighten you.

7 Ways to Save Money While Planning Your Wedding

1. Alcohol. When a dry wedding is not an option, there are ways to save while still offering alcohol to your guests.

a. Signature drinks: His/Her cocktails and that’s it.

b. Champagne Toast: Only buy enough champagne for the toast.

c. Limit drinks: “Host” the bar up to a certain amount, then they cover their own drinks beyond that amount.

2. Cake. Two Cakes are cheaper than One.

a. You read that right. Two CAKES! YAAAAAAAAAAAAS! How you ask? One sheet cake and one “Top Tier” for cutting pictures. Boom.

b. Or No Cake. That’s always an option.

3. Guest Count. Yes, the number of people who attend effects the cost of your wedding.

a. Adult only wedding; these days its more challenging and you feel insensitive, but it’s not. With notice babysitters can be arranged for those with children. You don’t worry that adults aren’t being the best examples in front of the kids. And the list goes on…

b. Plus Ones. Not every guest gets a plus one. If they are engaged or serious, yes. If they are just arm candy, no. That’s all.

4. Decor.

a. Decorate guest table settings with their favors. Two birds one stone. They get a favor and also know where to sit.

b. Repurpose bridal party bouquets to adorn dessert table and other tables; welcome table, gift table, and in the centerpieces.

c. Rent to save money so you don’t get stuck trying to resell or repurpose 10 lanterns into your home.

5. Florals. And no, I am not going to say use fake flowers.

a. Buy local. Use what’s native to where you’re getting married.

b. Purchase florals that are in season. These days we don’t have to stick to the season for most things to do with weddings; color schemes, dress styles, and hair colors, but flowers by season make a difference! If it’s not growing naturally and more effort is made to acquire, that effort costs more money.

c. Use fake flowers. JK! Use less flowers. Mix in candles and fruit on the tables, add berry bunches and greenery to your bouquet, and get creative with boutonnières.

6. Venues.

a. Use All-Inclusive venues for a truly simplified process as well as wonder-free pricing.

b. Or in the other direction, utilize a venue that does not have many limitations and bring your own vendors, friends, or ‘friendors’.

7. Food Options. Food and entertainment are usually the things that make or break an event, but you don’t have to break your bank providing either.

a. Buffet vs. Full-service. Buffet is less expensive.

b. Work with caterers who source local food (like mentioned for florals).

c. Brunch. Mimosas are fun! Then you save on food and alcohol. Bam! Money in the bank!

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

And there you have it, 7 ways (with options!) to save money on the items you want and need for your special day!

Want a list of venues that will help you save money on your wedding? Send me an email – paige@frontpaigeevents.com

With Love Always,

5 Ways to Find Joy NOW

We can talk all day about COVID-19; how its ruined work, how it changed routines, and how it has effected, well, everything…but what we should talk about or rather do is learn and discuss how to work and live within this “new weird”, as I’ve been calling it.

Of course, we cannot do everything exactly as it was before we were sent into quarantine. Not preaching that you shouldn’t change. In fact, we have to whether we like it or not. I’m writing this not because I am an authority or an expert on how to change. I write this as a fellow human navigating through change right along side you. These are just some of my realizations, understandings, and well…advice I suppose.

And because most people (myself included) scroll through articles to pick out the information, I am going to number my points.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

  1. Keep a routine Wait, what?! How? This pandemic blew my schedule into smithereens! Same way the first routine was created, do that again. And yes, it is weird because it’s not like you can go many places. [Although, things are reopening.] Create your schedule – wake up at a certain time everyday, eat, schedule a call with someone different daily (different times too), spend time outside – vitamin D is important for your mood health, schedule time for work if you’re still able, and add in time to be creative.
  2. Be Creative This is a muscle we all have. Some have a bigger flex, but don’t let that discourage you. You are home for who knows how long; maybe you have to work from home now or you are not working, creating something opens your mind from logical and linear thought to the ‘right brain’ which is rhythm and imagination which can build on your problem solving skills. See? Wouldn’t that be beneficial in a time like this? So, cook something new, draw a picture, solve a sudoku, sew something, rearrange furniture..these are all considered right brain activities.
  3. Learn Something Much like being creative, learning new things makes our brains happy. I learned how to make medical face masks. I didn’t learn a new language, although some may. I also learned how to sustain a vegetable garden, and signed up for some free courses to build on my Wedding Planning skills. Now could be the time to finish or pursue a higher education or just learn a new skill that can take your career to another level, different direction, etc. “Skies the limit!” Haha, but really. When your brain gets complacent, you develop a negative mindset. Learning new things keeps your mind regenerative.
  4. Workout That’s a given. Doctors prescribe it, personal trainers encourage it, entrepreneurs partake in it, and schools teach it. We have heard a gazillion times that it is a mood booster with the endorphins, that hasn’t changed, but did you know regular exercise increases your energy? How? Well…if you workout it will reduce the physical feelings that emotions carry; jitters from anxiety (this is what I feel), in turn you sleep better, better sleep gives you more energy. BOOM! Working out gives you more energy. Also, it improves your heart and vascular health making sure your body gets more oxygen around. Life shows if you can breathe you are more active 😉
  5. Keep Planning Continue planning your wedding, plan a vacation, or a trip, or what you are going to do first when we are allowed back in the world. Making plans or planning for the future gives you something to look forward to and boosts anticipation. A study showed that in just planning a vacation boosted peoples happiness. There may be a few that are wondering how to continue planning a wedding (especially) when businesses are closed. This is where the internet, Instagram, and Facebook all come into great use. Rather than looking for ‘brick and mortar’ buildings. The small business services that work from home or have an online presence will be your greatest resource. We are all open online. (support local – shameless plug).

In the words of Dory – “Just keep swimming!” (Finding Nemo) We are all in this together. And from what I am reading and what’s being broadcasted, the world is reopening. And what I look forward to the most, is getting together with new people whom I’ve made plans to meet. That’s pretty cool to me. Come out of quarantine with new friends…that’s a win in my book!

So, who else wants to meet me for a coffee, lunch, or margaritas? Let’s GO!

Love Always,

How Do I COVID Without You…?!

It was March 15th, around 6pm. I was setting up a styled shoot I had been planning with my friend Yohanna for a few months. It was big deal; well, it was a big deal to us.

The styled shoot was at a venue I had been to and loved, but hadn’t hosted an event there before this time. Hidden Lakes. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.

The weeks leading up to the styled shoot, I met with Yohanna on several occasions. Went to multiple stores and conversed with numerous people in passing. Never did I think that it would all quickly and drastically change.

Did you know your last get together would be the LAST?

The weekend after the quarantine went into effect, there was to be a wedding. With the mounting concern, it became the best recourse to postpone the wedding.

And like that everything changed and it became REAL.

Automatically, I reached out to all of my clients letting them know I was still there for them. Regardless of where or how, I was still going to keep planning. Had to move a couple dates to later months, but we did so knowing we weren’t the only ones having to sacrifice.

After connecting with clients, I threw myself into projects and crafts. Building and making things; challenging my skills. “Showed up” on social media. Offering support and cheer. Typically I cope with humor.

Then… it all started sinking in…

Cabin fever, restlessness, agitation, frustration. I wanted to go ANYWHERE. Found out a friend of mine who was kind beyond measure, passed away. Then my best friend had her son. Then my soon to be sister-in-law had her daughter. And where was I? Stuck in my house. Could not go mourn the loss of my friend. Could not seek comfort in closure. Could not celebrate life with my best friend. Could not hold these sweet new babies and welcome them into the world. I was angry and bitter. Felt as if I was running a race that turned into a marathon that I wasn’t prepared for and then became abruptly aware it was.

It was painful. Emotionally. What if we just have a couple people over at a time? I will spray everything. I already mopped with bleach. Bought a lifetime supply of Lysol. Maybe I will schedule a zoom call weekly. Nothing seemed to change my mood. I felt like I was giving up. Like I had to accept “isolation” as I referred to it as, as the new normal. Suddenly I was wallowing; I took my social life for granted. And now it’s gone. Wah, wah, wah.

This took hold for what felt like a month, but was more than likely only a week, because my husband and kids don’t let me sulk. So I went inward…

A while back I read a book by one of my favorite authors, Deepak Chopra, called Super Brain. In the book he discusses the brain, of course. However, he explains that there is a difference between the mind and the brain. Your mind is the conscious and your brain is the subconscious. One of the points made in the book that has resounded, is that if you become complacent or fall into a routine you are allowing the subconscious to take over. According to Deepak Chopra’s research, that is the more primal reaction than the conscious mind. You are more likely to be irritable or feel negative when you allow the brain to take the drivers seat.

Remembering that, I wrote out a schedule for myself and for my kids. I rearranged the cabinets, reorganized the garage, and finished the day with some wine. Maybe it was the wine, but I felt great the next day. Things felt fresh again. Made a point to go outside. Started training my fear-stricken dog to walk with a leash. Side note, he’d never been on a walk and now loves to explore the neighborhood and runs well on the leash.

I joked that I mourned the death of my social life and after speaking with another friend of mine, Pearl, it was affirmed that she too experienced this grief. Holy cow! I really was mourning. What died though? Nothing, per-say, but we did feel grief towards this drastic change in our lives. My thought is that it was because it was so abrupt and serious with the fear that surrounded the virus, that we all quickly gave into the urges to stay home.

Regardless of why it happened, I was comforted in realizing what was causing my emotions to fluctuate.

If you are feeling in any way similar to how I felt or felt similarly, just know it’s natural. Obviously. Also know, you aren’t alone. Well maybe physically because that’s what is being enforced, but not emotionally. Emotionally I am here for you. And one day soon (fingers crossed and mask on) I will be there for you in-person, as well.

Until then, community over COVID. Stay healthy, my friends.


Salute,

Engaged? Congratulations! Now what ?

Your boyfriend calls you, odd. Normally he just texts. He has planned an evening out doing all of your favorite things. You don’t think much about it, you just had a conversation about how you think he’s been distant and you haven’t seen him lately. A planned evening is his effort to shut you up. You get dressed up, he picks you up and is rushing you. From place to place, you’re hardly getting a chance to settle into the evening. What in the heck is going on?! You’re annoyed and just as you turn around to point out that you’re tired and just want to go home, he’s gone. Except he’s not gone, you just missed that he’s on his knee, kneeling behind you. You’re terrified and excited. Startled too. You realize he is proposing to you. You begin to ugly cry and simultaneously trying to pull him off the ground, you whimper – “yes!” He hasn’t even gotten to ask anything yet.

Everything you ever planned for this moment is out the window. Who cares though, you’re engaged. You love him. That explains the distance and odd behavior. Suddenly you feel bad for being mean, all is forgotten in this moment of joy though.

YAY! Now what?PMA Brand Photography; The Emerald

PMA Brand Photography

This is unchartered territory! These thoughts of “What do I do now?” are running through your mind. “What’s the next step?” “Do I call family? Text them? Did he ask my parents? Do they know?” “Should we go back out to celebrate?” And suddenly you’re standing in the courtyard of the park of where he proposed stunned, not knowing what to do next.

For optimal engagement bliss and some peace of mind, follow these 10 steps:

1. Call both families. You may hear “I’ve have been waiting ever since he talked to your dad!” It’s ok. Let the excitement flow. Do not post on social media until all important family members are given a call first. They WILL be offended if they find out from a status update. Pump the brakes on any questions about dates or other details. You get to bask in the excitement of being newly engaged. Calls are courtesy.

Ashley Blake Photography; Mesa Arizona; The LandmarkAshley Blake Photography

2. Now you can take a selfie. Of course, do what is necessary for yourself to make that selfie fantastic; ie. manicure, lotion, hand model, whatever. Get the shot, post it, and watch the world share in your excitement! “I didn’t have a mountain, I had a news room!” Prepare for the influx of comments and people throwing themselves at you with advice, assistance, and products. Don’t buy into anything just yet. That time will come.

3. Soak it in. Seriously, take a break and just enjoy being engaged. Subscribe to wedding magazines for inspiration and fun reads, subscribe to bridal boxes, enjoy being fiancés. Once wedding planning starts, you will be too busy to enjoy the excitement of the commitment and momentous step you’re relationship just took.Beyond the Mask; Outdoor Wedding; Champagne

Beyond the Mask Photography

4. Get your ring fitted (if necessary) and insured. As wonderful and amazing as your [new] fiancé is, they may not have known your ring size because they wanted to surprise you. That’s ok, just take it back to the jeweler and they can set it right for you. Once it is perfectly fit to you, insure it to make certain its protected. It’s an investment, not just financially, but also into your future. Your jeweler may have recommendations, but more conveniently the insurance provider you use for homeowners, renters, or vehicle more than likely will have coverage.

5. Celebrate! How’s the time to get into wedding mode. Start with an engagement party of dinner and invite the people you intend to invite to your wedding or just invite a few close friends and family to a dinner in honor of your engagement. At the dinner or party, this is where you’d announce or propose to your wedding party and thank those who made the engagement a possibility.

6. Pick a date. After the engagement announcement and celebration, real planning begins. Decide on a date based on style, significance of day, season, and guests. Don’t necessarily need to pick a fall date because you want to use burgundy, but season is significant to cost and availability of certain flowers.

February wedding; calendar; wedding date7. Who’s invited? Determining the guest list moves the planning process in a realistic direction. Without a head count size of venue can’t be determined, Catering will be undetermined, and so much more will be undetermined. Plus you can start informing your guests (especially out of town guests) of your date so they can work out travel arrangements.

8. How much? Once you have a guest list, you can determine your budget. However, the budget may also dictate how big of a wedding you can have. You may need to have a conversation with both sets of parents, if they haven’t offered already.

9. Location. Where do you want to get married? When taking budget into consideration, where CAN you get married? If you are on a strict budget, consider a venue that has the style you are wanting that way you don’t have to use a lot of florals or decor to express the theme.wedding sign; the labyrinth; NOAH’s; wedding venue; Morgan Lee Pearson Photography

Morgan Lee Pearson Photography

10. And…Hire a planner! I know you’re thinking, ‘of course you’d say that!’ To which my reply is “Yes”, but not because I’m selling myself. I am a wedding planner because I believe couples should enjoy their day. Heck there are 9 steps of to-do’s just for getting engaged! With so many details, so much time, and a lot of effort going into planning and putting on a wedding, don’t you want to ENJOY as much of it as possible? I will say, there are those that like to plan (that’s me too), my only recommendation is at least hire a day of coordinator. The wedding day is a culmination of everything you’ve put together. Hand off the reins, sit back, drink mimosas with your girls, hang out with your family, and say “I Do”. You nor family should have to run the event and be in it too. It’s just too much. Look back on your wedding day with happiness it happened, not happiness you got through it.

Congratulations on your engagement! Getting engaged is so exciting and such a wonderful step into a future full of love. However you want to and are able to spend your engagement, is as unique as your wedding. Couples are not cookie-cutters and neither is anything else involved.

For other recommendations of questions, please reach out or leave a comment! Love connecting with others.

Cheers to love!

Gone Fishing…

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler

Dating can be a very daunting challenge and especially so when you are not the “dating type”. You want love, but you don’t have the patience, time, energy, or maybe nerve to go out and find ‘your one true love’.

That’s one of the significant benefits of a dating website. And as detailed as the profiles are, the odds of you finding the ‘one whom your soul loves’ goes from slim to BOOM!

Lisa and her soulmate, Mike, met through Plenty of Fish, a dating app that offers a free service with the only risk being a few frogs in between, much like life. They were both coaxed into creating a profile by other members of their families. Thank God for that, otherwise this meeting would have had to happen some other way and probably not as soon as it had. After signing up and exploring, the magic started working. Mike messaged Lisa and so began their fairytale. It started as a friendship that spread from POF to FaceBook, to phone calls. Talking, supporting, flirting, and getting to know each other, they decided to take the next step. Finally after a year they decided they were ready to go on a date.

Lisa and Mike agreed to meet somewhere local, so they could then venture off together. As Lisa pulled up and parked she spotted Mike “chillin'” in his car waiting for her. Without hesitation or a second thought she took the opportunity to sneak up on him. Her words “…it felt so familiar. We went to lunch and talked for hours about everything. As we were leaving, he held out his hand for me. Everything just slowed down and in that exact moment I knew without a doubt that he was my soulmate. It was as if time had stopped. It was an extremely profound moment, I saw my future flash before my eyes. He was offering me his hand, his love, his forever. I felt safe, I found my home and then I purposefully placed my hand and my heart in his, never letting go. That moment has forever been ingrained in my mind and in my heart.”

Swoon!

Photo by Pixaby

A couple months after their first date they celebrated their birthday’s, as they are a day apart. Without verbalizing they both gave each other thoughtful gifts; a poem for Mike and a song for Lisa. Two years later they were married and the song he wrote for her, “Sunday Morning”, he played on his guitar as she walked down the aisle. Such a thoughtful gift paving their path of their relationship turned into the wedding song paving the path for the rest of their lives together.

Not every story from Plenty of Fish or other dating applications have such sweet endings like theirs, but with risk comes the chance for reward. I believe we all have our other halves in the world and if we pay attention and take those risks we feel in our hearts, we will be led to what we are meant to achieve, in love and in life.

Lisa and Mike have been married six years now and have an adorable four year old beauty. “True love is a gift. I am grateful that we found each other in this great big world we live in.” – Lisa

So, what are you willing to do for love?

Found the One Whom my Soul Loves

It’s a given, I believe in love. Of course, I started event planning because I like to throw parties and I am organized, but deep down to the depths of my soul, I love LOVE! And that’s why I do WEDDING planning specifically.

I am a believer in soulmates and second chances at love and happily ever-afters and romance. I am cheesy and gushy and love ALL the details.

When I requested love stories to share on my blog, I hoped to find there were other people in the world that felt the same about love. True love is serendipitous. Regardless of the path taken, when you find it, it’s like the lights have been turned on and where you’re standing is no longer a wide open space, but a clear path of where you were meant to walk.

The people who have loved and lost and been told the adage “there are plenty of fish in the sea” probably dislike that saying. In the moment when being given this line just after a breakup I imagine the feeling is that you don’t want to find another fish; you already had a fish; fishing takes a lot of effort; and who likes fish anyway!? In my opinion, and mostly because I was never fed that line, I can appreciate the advice. Not that I never had my heart broken. Oh, I have. A few time… Although, in the moment it’s not the most comforting thing to hear, it does open your mind and your heart to the endless potential. With that same sentiment, Garth Brooks sings that some of the greatest gifts are “the unanswered prayers”.

Considering the thought, each love lost is an opportunity to grow and learn and best of all, reposition you to find the right one. I believe everything happens for a reason and love does hurt at times, but we all know when it’s right and when it’s time to move on with your life.

So to start the love story series. Heres mine.

Photographer: Tot Marie Photography

When I met my now husband, we were both involved with other people. Involved in the overly complicated, can’t get out clean, strings attached forever, sort of complicated. But when I laid eyes on him for the first time as he walked into the office, I lost my breath. The feeling was squashed as I was a working professional and we were both involved. We continued to work alongside each other neither knowing the others curiosity.

Photographer: Yohanna Wendt Photography

After a series of unfortunate events; family moved across the country, my grandfather passed, and my own love life crumbled leaving me a single mother without a family for help. A drastic change was forced on my life. At the same time, unbeknownst to me, my now-husband was undergoing a drastic life change of his own will. Because of my life changes, I was feeling more vulnerable and exposed and with that, I tried to hide in my apartment and avoided outings more and more.

It wasn’t until the pressure of a friend and coaxing of my would-be soulmate that I caved in and went out with ‘the group’ one memorable evening. Drinks arrived and walls were down, that night lead us to future days and lunches and dinners and Dexter marathons and now a marriage. In the moment it was choppy and rocky and weird, but something about it felt so right. All the other moments lead to this meeting. And the other relationships felt like I was in the wrong place, never felt right. It never was right, until we found each other.

Photographer: Tot Marie Photography

Do’s and Don’t for Wedding Planning

Wedding planner from Arizona introducing wedding planning service and experience.
Hi, I’m Paige!

Photo credit: Anna Marisol

Hi, my name is Paige Robertson. I am a wedding planner with Front Paige Events. On top of the 13 years of experience planning and running events, I am also certified. Wedding planning is not my job, it is my passion. Over the years I have come across what works, what doesn’t work, and some tricks of the trade.

Below are just a few of those Do’s and Don’ts so that at least you can save yourself some struggles and enjoy wedding planning a bit more!

10 Do’s and Don’ts in Wedding Planning:

1. DO: Choose the right people for your wedding party. Your wedding party should include people you trust, that are reliable, supportive of you and your relationship, and of course helpful!

2. DON’T: Take on a ton of DIY projects. If you want to use the DIY tasks you take on to showcase your creativity or it makes that aspect of the wedding more special, then it’s the right thing to do, but if it’s to save on cost – just say no! Additional DIY on top of the wedding process adds unnecessary stress. There are professionals for a reason. Ok to make guest favors. Not ok to take services as favors from guests, unless they are professionals.

Budget, budgeting, budget planning meeting. Wedding planner helping set up and review wedding planning budget for couples.
Need help with how to sort out your budget? Email me!
Photo credit: PMA Brand Photography

3. DO: Track your budget. Front Paige Events has a very detailed and involved budget tracker to help couples stay on track. It allows you to input what you want to spend, what is being spent, and what would have actually been spent, and the savings. Since almost all of the vendors I work with offer discounts to my clients for working with them through me (vendor to vendor discounts) they are able to save money and receive excellent service, as well.

to do list

4. DON’T: Procrastinate. What is put off to the last minute will not just stress you out until it is checked off the list of “To-Do’s”, but it will also leave you with a smaller pool of fish to choose. And if it’s an item that you’re putting off, you run the risk of it being sold out, receiving the wrong item, or its more expensive due to “rush” services.

5. DO: sandpaper the bottom of your shoes so you don’t slip walking down the aisle, the stairs, the hallway, or on the dance floor or really, in general. For my couples that haven’t done this ahead of time, I have ‘grip tape’ to put on the bottom of their shoes to avoid any potential mishaps.

Budget
But first, budget. Well, coffee first, then budget.

6. DON’T: book anything without first setting a budget. Guess why…you’ll end up spending more. If you have no target you don’t know what you’re aiming for or you won’t have a cap for that particular item/service.

7. DO: pack stain removal remedies, wipes, tide pens, and/or spare clothing if possible. Accidents happen, but they don’t have to ruin pictures or the day or future discussions (once those pictures come back).

Food

8. DON’T: forget to eat in the morning! So much to do, to remember, so much time from ‘get ready’ to I Do, don’t let eating wait. Hanger is a real thing, low blood sugar is a real thing, passing out at the alter IS A REAL THING! Just eat…

9. DO: film the final dress fitting. Helps with day-of bustling, overall look, and it makes for a great memory.

And lastly…

10. DON’T: forget to enjoy the process and the wedding day.

Happy Planning!

Wedding couple smiling because they had a great time planning their wedding with Front Paige Events
Yohanna Wendt Photography

Valentine’s Day with Your Little Love

Why you should Take Your Child on a Valentines Date.

5 Reasons Why:

Valentines Day has some believing it to be a Hallmark holiday. Created and commercialized to sell candy and cards, making those without Valentine dates bitter. However, there are some that believe in the true romance or sentiment behind the celebration. In my research, I found there are two stories historians are trying to clarify behind the Valentine’s Day tradition. What they do know almost certainly is that the ancient Romans celebrated romance more during the month of February. And it was within the more modern times that we nailed a date to the celebration. As for Valentine being elected as the Saint du jour, that is where history gets washy. One scenario in particular that I found appealing was that Saint Valentine, the Priest, kept marrying couples-in-love secretly after the Romans had banned marriage to keep men single so they could send them off to war. Single men were more apt to go into battle, then men with wives and families.

These days, we do not have to fear our rights, to love and marriage, to be taken away. There are more freedoms to marry who we want, how we want, and where we want. Heck, there are drive-through venues! How much easier does it get? We don’t have to worry about that much anymore. With all of the changes and opportunities for love, it’s how often we “fall in love”. Love can be mistaken for it’s lesser more short term guises; infatuation, lust, etc. As parents and/or guardians to children, we need to show them how to identify the real thing! Below are 5 reasons why it is important to “date” your child, especially on Valentine’s Day!

As a wedding planner, I like to believe there was someone out there who believed in love and marriage so much, they would find a way to keep love alive!

1. You’re the love of their life. For now. You remember the day your child entered your life; by birth, by marriage, by a miracle in whatever form. You were the first person they looked to for love and protection. Until they are moved out and married, you’re the most important individual in their life. They look to us for approval, advice, guidance, and love. We may be married or involved with another, but they are not. Until they couple up, they are alone. Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, in my opinion. Does not have to be romantic love. Adults with significant others have our anniversaries to spend romantic evenings with our partners. Valentine’s Day is a great day to share love with our just as significant little loves.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

2. Show them how they should be treated. I know you hear it time and time again, ‘they grow up so fast.’ ‘Don’t wait to spend the time, its gone before you know it‘. There is truth in it. If you keep waiting for tomorrow, you’ll run out of time. Everyday you get older, so do they. The best advice I’ve ever gotten for raising kids, is never let go of the hug first. A child especially, with so much activity and wonder around them will hold an embrace as long as they need and want. If we, as their parents don’t give them the affection they need, where will they get it? Snuggle them so they know they can be and deserve to be loved.

Photo by Krista Hawryluk Photography

3. Show them how to treat their future dates. Parenting is not easy. I am not an expert. Everyday is a challenge, because everyday my child is different. They learn all the time. Like little recorders, listening to EV.ER.Y.THING! How we treat ourselves, how we treat others, and how we treat them shows them how to treat people in their future lives.

Story time: I was outwardly critical of my body. Go figure. I’m a woman. I would say things like, “I’m so fat!” And would refuse to eat. My son, not thinking I was fat, thought to himself, ‘well if my mom is fat, then I must be fat’. He developed a complex and wouldn’t eat what he needed and called himself fat. After discovering through conversation that that was what he deducted, I had to explain myself and in turn change my ways.

Photo by Nicholas Githiri

If we are deliberate with our actions and remain present, which as parents is so difficult because almost all of what we do is to ready them for a future of success. However, we get so future focused that we don’t notice the meals we skipped or the hug or the thank you. And they notice. And they mimic. So be Gandhi. And Mother Theresa. 😉 Just kidding. But slow down sometimes. Or at least for a day. And show them how wonderful you are and rejoice in their magnificence.

4. It’s FUN! Just like any other special occasion with your child you can make it memorable. It can be simple as giving them a special card, calling them your valentine, and buying them sweets. Or it can be as grand as getting dressed up, taking them to a fancy dinner, and buying flowers. My kids laugh that my husband still rings the doorbell and “picks me up” for our date nights. I know my kids will love it just the same when we do that for them.

Photo by Krista Hawryluk Photography

5. It’s not about Romance. Taking your child on a date is a lesson for all involved. If you haven’t noticed already. This is a lesson I am still learning. Treat my children the way I want them to be treated by other people. Treat my children the way I want Vthem to treat me. Make them feel special. Show them they are significant not just on their birthdays. It’s a start, and it is something they will surely treasure forever.

Happily Ever After the Military

Story of love for our military couples; a styled shoot.

They met just as he was about to leave for boot camp in the fall. She was making plans for her year after high school and he wasn’t sure what he wanted, but he knew he wanted to serve. He wanted to serve ever since hearing the stories of his dad and his grandfather. Now it was his time, but he met her.

This was the first time he ever got nervous talking to anyone. Even knowing he was going away to a new place to endure intense training, he wasn’t nervous until meeting the girl in the blue dress. After enchanting glances and little smiles, he was ready to go say hello. They talked the rest of the night. He talked about his ambitions for the military and beyond; and she spoke of wanting to join the corporate world, but needed a break from school for a year to find her direction. The party dissipated and they still stayed to be in each other’s company for just a little bit longer, knowing the next day meant they were one day closer to saying ‘good-bye’.

In just five fleeting days he would leave for nine weeks. And beyond that, they didn’t know what would happen. Every day after the party they found a way to get together, library for travel books for her year off; health store to look into preparations for his training; the coffee shop to delay going home from work, and so on.

The night came when he would have to leave the next day. Again they stayed up as late as possible, this time just viewing the stars and sitting in silence not knowing if this would be the last time they’d see each other. Were these five days as exciting to him as they were for her? Will she forget about him on her travels? What are they going to do?

Like any love story, they wrote back and forth to share every moment and mishap. She laughed about his nickname he acquired during training and he followed her recaps of her trips.

She missed his graduation from boot camp although she wasn’t exactly sure if she would go if she were in town. He arrived back home for a week and spent time with his friends and family. As they feared they did not see each other again. Still they wrote to each other. By now they weren’t sure if it was habit or they were still interested, but the letters didn’t stop.

Four years passed after he graduated and was deployed, he was home again. This time, she was too. Serendipitously, they crossed paths again at the coffee shop they met at so long ago. Briefly they caught up, but made arrangements to go out to dinner that night.

At dinner they talked and reminisced. It was a reunion of old friends. They spoke as if no time had passed, laughing about things they shared, consoling about things that had changed, and planning to not miss out on each other again. Since he did not plan to go back right away, they spent every other day together. Until finally he asked to never spend another day without her.

She said YES!

It was a short engagement, as neither had many friends or family. She bought a beautiful white dress made by AZ Wedding Affair and he wore his dress blues. She had her best friend there to help her get ready and coach her through the jitters of the day. Their wedding was at SoHo63 in Chandler in a room with a beautiful barn wood backdrop featuring her favorite colors, blush and now navy blue. The aisle she would walk down traced with rows of chairs wrapped in bouncy bows. Shrouding the backdrop were green garland and globes of beautiful flowers on pedestals of varying sizes as if the flowers themselves were trying to catch a glimpse of the loving couple about to get married.

After the “I Do’s” the room roared with excitement and the couple rejoiced in their commitment to each other. It was obvious they both were waiting for that moment from the day they first met at that party.

A wonderful wedding and a happily ever after – the military.

*This is not a true story (that I know of). However, this was a real styled shoot and actual military couple. The location and companies involved are real and actual contributors to the shoot.

Also – God Bless our Military and Thank You for Your Service!