Friday, May 31, 2013

Future DIY Projects

We have been severely slacking on our DIY Firdays, but have no fear - we have TONS of projects in our future. Other than building a venue - we do have a few side projects we are working on. Here are a few inspiration pics for ya!
This is a possible one for some sweet babies being born this year! 
Kick Off To Summer Travels: Car Caddy
Oh this would be awesome!
Sandwich Board.
Sandwich board for a few weddings
File folder chore chart - isn't that clever!
So need to do this!

DIY Drawstring bag

Hope to have a few to show you all soon. For now, enjoy the hot weather (finally!) and pool time :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Wedding!

Finally, our big day had arrived!  The venue was setup and decorated, food was being prepared, cakes had arrived, the wedding party was at the B&B, guests were trickling in.  After years of planning, we were ready to see the product of all that time and money and finally get married!  Sounds perfect right?  Well if anyone has been a part of a wedding or ever helped plan one, then you know it wouldn't be a wedding if something didn't go wrong.  Cupcakes were wrong, we were still waiting on reordered tux parts (we got them 15 MINUTES before the ceremony), my coordinator was way late (Unfortunately I had to use the venue's coordinator... Let's just say she was no C and D!!!), somehow we got down the aisle only a few minutes late only to have the sound mess up and exit to silence instead of the Wedding March.  Despite the things that did go wrong, I feel my wedding was perfect, because at the end of the day I was married to the most amazing man in the world (at least in my opinion)!!!  SO much goes into planning a wedding that often people lose sight of what the day is really about (I was guilty of this too, it is not easy being a wedding coordinator and putting your special day in the hands of other people), but at the end of the event it's not the flowers, cake, music, or food that really matter.  All that matters is YOU and your new husband/wife and all the friends and family that came to support your love for each other as you start the next chapter of your lives TOGETHER!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Engagement!

I've got to say, I thought my wedding day would NEVER get here. My husband and I were engaged for two and a half YEARS before tying the knot (We wanted to both finish up our degrees first). As annoying as it was, having that extra time to plan and design every little detail of our big day was very much appreciated when it started coming down to the wire, especially since we got married in Asheville, NC and we both lived in Raleigh. Something I've noticed with clients and friends who have gotten married or who are getting married is that people want to rush to the alter. Cherish the engagement! Believe me, I was so ready to get married by the time December 22nd, 2012 rolled around, but I have so many amazing memories with my husband during our engagement. Going antiquing in Asheville on the weekends for the items for our centerpieces, trying cakes together, dropping our save-the-dates and wedding invitations in the mail and eagerly waiting for the RSVPs. I loved it!! The day will get here, I promise! Instead of wishing the engagement away, cherish every single second of it. It's only the beginning of your forever! <3 

Monday, May 20, 2013

We are closed

I never really thought that the day we closed would be so anti-climactic. But it was. Courtney and I met that night to delve into our business plan for the bank to look at and we sat there just staring at each other. Not high fives, smiles of happiness, or even sighs of relief, just an overwhelming sense of "what's next?" It was a little sad to not be more excited to tell you the truth. What has brought us here?

We had the contractor drama earlier this year and had to switch contractors due to the initial one being way too shady and not following through on things promised. We felt good with the decision we made and went forward with our plans. We had numerous meetings crunching numbers, making decisions, and timelines. We felt good about our plan. It would be a lot of work, but one that we felt was reasonable and doable. All along we are waiting on final engineered plans. We had the first set that was about 500 square feet less in the main house and about 700 square feet less in the garage. We had informed our contractor of the changes, not specific numbers, but what we thought the changes would be.

Fast forward to Tuesday before we were first suppose to close that following Monday. Final engineered plans came in. We rushed the plans to our contractor so that we could apply for permits and get the ball rolling. Friday I get a call from my contractor and he told me to sit down. Immediately I knew this was bad news. Mind you we had 3 events Saturday and were up to our ears in flowers. Not good timing. Long story short, the new plans were larger than he had expected - like a lot more larger than he had estimated. So all our estimates, all our number crunching was pointless. We were in the range of 100,000 over budget.!?!? Seriously. It was like he punched me in the gut. Courtney freaked out, I mean on the verge of tears and we just stared at each other like how could this have happened.

My initial reaction was to drive to our architects house and give him a piece of my mind. Because if we had known this to begin with we have approached things very differently. Then I was mad that our contractor obviously did not reflect changes like I assumed he did. And then I was mad at us for not catching that. It was just not anywhere near what we had budgeted for. So, we pushed closing. Mostly because the appraisal was now incorrect and that had to get that changed. It took 2 weeks for the appraisal to come back and get all the necessary paper work signed.

Now, we are building only the main house and one ballroom with an apartment upstairs. We are approaching Wells Fargo for a business loan to finish the rest of the project. It all feels surreal, but also so ungodly frustrating. The whole process from the end of re-zoning on has been the hardest and most rocky road I have ever experienced. It has caused riffs in me and Sam, me and Court, Court and Mikhail, and any other combination you can think of. Everyone is on the line. And everyone is stressed to the max.

So, closing was just another day. We closed and we were back at it trying to put his ginormous puzzle that is The Bradford together. And as exciting as this should be, it is just at a point where it is stressful. Add Wedding season on top of it and I feel like we are barely hanging on. At least I am.

I will say that through it all, our focus has been on our brides and the weekends are a great getaway for us all. I don't even think about it when I am directing an event and I am happy to say that our events this year so far have rocked. Seriously, the design has been amazing, the clients so much fun, and the team we have is finally getting into a groove. C and D may just be the reason I am sane!

All this to say, we are starting, after a long, tiring process, that is still not over, we are starting to build, hopefully in the next week after we get all the permits. So, be excited for us! We will get there and I hope to be sharing some really great news that all the financing has worked out and that things are going smoothly. One can hope..right?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Meet Amber

         So before I delve into the blog world, I guess I should start by formally introducing myself!  First and foremost, I am Amber.  As some of you may know, I interned with Dana and Courtney last summer and let's just say I proved myself to them!  I have never worked so hard and so much in my life as I did that summer!  It was worth every second though!  So here we are a year later, all the sweat and tears paid off and I am now a coordinator with C and D Events!!

            Upon completing my internship last summer, I graduated from NC State with a degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management with a concentration in Program Management.  Long fancy name for event planning.  Yes, it is a real degree! I was shocked too.  What really got me into wedding planning was when I got engaged and started planning my own wedding.  It was a blast!!! I absolutely loved designing everything!  And of course Courtney and Dana were at my wedding just four short months ago. =)

            Some other tidbits about myself... I love my dog Delilah more than anything, I love cooking (especially making my own pasta!), I have an obsession with chips and salsa and shoes, and my nails are ALWAYS painted, often chipped since you can't really keep nice nails in this business, but always painted.  I guess you can say I'm the overly girly one in the group.  I feel I round us out quite nicely! =)

            I am new to this whole blogging thing, but I'm excited! I hope I don't bore any of you to tears and that I can inspire some creativity! 

Until next time,


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Venue Update...........Plans!!

I don't know what part of this project is going to be easy/go smoothly...we should have braced ourselves for all that could go wrong based on our experience with the YEAR LONG journey (almost) trying to get these plans! We started last August and were promised completed plans then in October, twice in November, once in December, Every weekend in January, twice in February, on Wednesdays and Fridays in March, and then finally received them in April. I am surprised that Dana has not had a coronary....I really thought she would at any point from December on . So this has really put us behind the eight-ball on many different levels...It caused our estimates to be off from our contractor, pushed Dana and Sam out of their lease, Definitely (obviously) delayed construction, caused us to get a re-appraisal and delayed the closing until today!

All this to say friends, you have to know when it is time to cut bait and run in a different direction...this is something we should have done last December! Yes it would have cost us more in the short run but I think in the long run it would have actually saved us time, money, heartache, added years to our life, etc....

While this is definitely one of those 20/20/hindsight situations...we at least have the plans now......and they are great!

(So I was going to post the plans....but they are PDF and I can't figure out how to make them into a picture...any suggestions blog world??)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Crystal and John: Country Chic Wedding

I look back on this weekend and I still can not believe that we pulled it off! This weekend and the following were the most exhausting C and D weekends ever. We had literally maybe 6 hours of sleep TOTAL for both weekends. It took me weeks to recuperate  But, looking back, all 4 events were monumental successes that it was all worth it.

Crystal called me up one day inquiring about our day of service and design service. We chatted on the phone for a few and she invited me over to check out her stash. Wedding stash that is. I told Court about the call and she was curious, as was I. We headed out to her house so that we could get a feel for her personal style. Then we headed to her future in-laws. There, we stepped into a shabby chic paradise. They had been collecting items upon items for this wedding. It was everywhere! Benches, chairs, pottery, milk glass, bird cages, mason jars, chandeliers, you name it, they had it. Her problem was that she needed someone to put it all together. We were pretty overwhelmed, but knew it would be fun to plan and such a great wedding for the portfolio. It didn't hurt that we found Crystal to be the cutest thing ever and her hubs to be was such a sweetheart. We were sold - and so were they!

We visited a few more times, made some plans, did table mock ups, and got ready! We had pictures for every table (every table was different) and a spreadsheet about 10 pages long of what flowers go where. We started on Thursday night..
It is an organized mess - I promise! 
We arrived Friday with 2 car loads of flowers! TWO!

All the flowers


Ceremony arrangement



It was a stunning dress!

Great shot!


Bride and Groom cups

The rings!

Drinks while the girls get ready

All the girls had monogrammed oxfords

The groom's cup

Getting dressed!

Something blue


Praying before the ceremony

Seriously - such a beautiful bride!

I loved this bouquet

She was so calm


The groom

So sweet

Love this pic

The ceremony site

Favors table

The barn

Cute signs

All the girls

All the guys

Sparkler exit!

The whole party..and they sure knew how to party!

bungalow seating with a firepit

They sure will!

Cocktail hour

Memory table

All the pics of them as babies 

Cute mini barrels

She was precious even as a kiddo!

Simple and perfect

Close up of the favors

Another one..

These mums were amazing..and heavy!

Bar sign

Runner for their table

one of the tables

my favorite

so cute!

Old coca-cola bottles

Mason jar candles

LOTS of baby's breath - I was kinda tired of arranging it by the end!

Love pole tents!

Seriously- the cutest wedding!

Love it 

perfect cake topper

Two love birds

The chandeliers

The venue

Gift "table"

crowd shot

Gotta love hay bale seating

Wine barrels!

Masons in the tree

so cute!

Blue grass band

Who knew you could reserve hay bales? :)

Hay ride that took the guests from ceremony to reception

Hold your horses and take a load off! 

Have a drink

Happy couple

The party heading over to party!

Love it 
Maybe my favorite shot..there are too many to choose from!

Red Hot and blue did not dissapoint

Dessert table

Mmmm Cake!

Love the old fashioned cars

Heading off to the honeymoon! 
It was a perfect event and one that we will never forget! Thank you Crystal and John for letting us be a part of your special day! 

Flowers and Coordinating: C and D Events
Photography: Mary Me