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Ashley & Gerad

The story of Ashley and Gerad’s wedding is a special one for me personally as they are friends of mine. I had gotten to know them through work and watch some of their love story unfold. Ashley and Gerad requested my assistance with coordinating some of the details leading up to and on the wedding day. They chose Feather Tick n’ Thyme as the venue where they would tie the knot. I worked with a creative friend to decorate the ceremony and reception spaces. We used some foraged greenery for the tablescapes and crossed our fingers that the predicted rain wouldn’t wash away our work on the ceremony arbor.

 

Gerad and Ashley’s day was filled with sweet, personal details. Ashley walked down the aisle to a song that she sang and recorded for that moment as a surprise to Gerad. They chose to include a foot washing ceremony as a symbol of their commitment to serve each other. On the more nerdy side, there were some superhero details that made it into the day as well.

I felt honored to be part of their day and celebrate their joy with them! Happy anniversary, Ashley & Gerad!
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Photos by Joe Hy Photography

Venue: Feather Tick n Thyme

Catering: Classic Cafe

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Keuka Lake Wedding

On the east side and near the tip of Keuka Lake’s bluff is a small stone chapel nestled among trees. Garrett Memorial Chapel serves as a local photo landmark of sorts with its lovely architecture and vantage point for lake views. Molly and Kyle chose to tie the knot at this location in honor of Molly’s parents who were also married at Garrett. Following the ceremony we made a short trip to Keuka Lake State Park on the west side of the bluff for the reception. This wedding was a very simply and elegantly styled, taking full advantage of the beauty of the individual ceremony and reception locations. The morning of the wedding we worked with the groom and a couple of the guys in the family to string some bistro lights in the pavilion, set the picnic tables, and place the finishing touches. At the end of the night, the sunset over the lake was a lovely finish to their day.

Happy Anniversary, Molly & Kyle!

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Photo Credits: Gary Ventura Photography

Catering: Dinosaur BBQ

Beverage: Celebrate Events

DJ: FLE Event Group

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A Catskills Mountains Wedding

One evening in the spring of 2017 I received a call from Breanna, a bride who was getting married within a few weeks. With a relatively short engagement of 6 months and some unexpected life events, the wedding planning had reached a point of overwhelming. An added factor was that Breanna and her fiance Patrick were planning from a distance while dealing with the rest of life’s busyness. We took some time to discuss the wedding plans that were in place and devising a strategy for organizing them to achieve a successful conclusion in a beautiful day. Patrick and Breanna had the advantage of many willing hands of friends and family working to help with all the details; the disadvantage being that organizing all the people and details became a spread of spreadsheets that wasn’t for the faint of heart. Over the next few weeks, we worked on prioritizing the to dos and crossing them off our lists.

The wedding took place at the beautiful Gilbertsville Farmhouse in the Catskills Mountains. Our plan was to hold the ceremony in a clearing in the woods. We held our breath a bit because rain was a high possibility, but only got a sprinkle right before the ceremony was to begin. Breanna is a girl who loves some glam so we played on a boho glam theme. With a little splurge on gold sequin tablecloths, the reception was a shining success. One concern was procuring the floral concept that Breanna envisioned. To achieve this, we ordered flowers in bulk from a local florist in Penn Yan, The Flower Cart & Gift Shoppe. Out of this selection of flowers we created loosely tied bouquets & boutonnieres, utilized a few in the bridal hairstyles, and used the remaining to assemble a flower bar that the guests used to create their own floral headbands and accessories.

My involvement was officially day of coordination with some added assistance preceding the day of coordination. Onsite time was Friday and Saturday, assisting with set up-break down. It was a pleasure working with Patrick, Breanna, and their friends and family to coordinate a day that was not only visually beautiful, but also filled with genuine joy and love.

Happy Anniversary, Patrick & Breanna!


Photos Courtesy of Larisa Shorina Photography

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Hill Top Inn-Wedding Venue Highlight

Atop Jerusalem Hill overlooking Elmira, NY is Hill Top Inn, a wedding and event space coupled with a local favorite restaurant. A few weeks ago I had a chance to tour the space and speak with Kaylee Morse, the event coordinator. As we drove up to Hill Top, my first impression was made with a giant landmark wreath that caught my eye. It’s covered in Christmas lights and, as I was told, is lit during the holiday season providing a festive reminder to the entire city of Elmira.

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The spaces that Hill Top offers are ample to accommodate an event of pretty much any size up to 350+ guests in the outdoor spaces or around 300 indoors. Directly accessible from the parking is a large patio area that is commonly used as a ceremony or reception space. With a tent covering this space you have the advantage of the outdoors with protection from rain or sun. Leading off the patio is an indoor dining room which then opens onto a spacious deck. The key view featured in every one of these areas is of Elmira below and the Pennsylvania hills beyond.

The packages that Hill Top offers include the option of buying out the entire space, or renting just the spaces that are needed to accommodate each event. Upstairs and away from the guest areas is a bridal suite where the bridal party can get ready and store their belongings during the festivities. Hill Top prides themselves on their tasty food with which they satisfy guests in a prompt and efficient manner, a priority which will make your wedding a guest favorite. Beyond the bites, they also offer bar packages from which you can pick the beverages that fit your taste and guest list.

In my conversation with Kaylee, I found out that she has been with Hill Top for two years and as event coordinator has a love for serving her bridal clients. She enjoys providing her clients with service that answers the inevitable laundry list of questions and thereby eases the stress that has a reputation of coming with weddings. Her calm demeanor is an invaluable asset to hosting an event with many details and emotions as a wedding. I’ve provided her contact information below for those who are interested in learning more.

My key takeaways from this venue:

-The view is breathtaking.

-The service is high quality.

-The pricing is very reasonable.

-The venue offers catering, bar service, and a selection of rentals = more inclusive service.

-The space accommodates larger events.

Contact info:

Kaylee Morse

kayleemorse@stny.rr.com

607-732-6728

Hill Top Inn Restaurant, Banquets, and Catering

Photo Credit: Joe Hy Photography

 

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Emma & Grey

June 24, 2017 dawned a lovely early summer day, with clear blue skies and a soft breeze. That morning is branded in my mind with all the nerves and anticipation of my first wedding day as an official wedding planner. After a stop at Savoia’s Pastry to pick up a few platters of delectable pastries for the dessert bar later that evening, I made my way to the church where there remained some last minute decorations to be set in place. Brighton Presbyterian Church was the site of both the ceremony and reception and not only is a beautiful, historic church; but also was Emma’s home church.

 

Although a brief cloudburst interrupted the outdoor cocktail hour, the day was relatively smooth. There were personal touches throughout the wedding with the father of the bride performing the ceremony, as well as the bouquets and centerpieces that were designed by the bridal party. I worked primarily with the mother of the bride, Kerry throughout the process of planning the wedding. With her experience of serving as coordinator for weddings at Brighton Presbyterian, she was super gracious and a pleasure to work with!

 

Photo credit:  Kala Wilkins Photography

Venue: Brighton Presbyterian Church

Florals: DIY

Photo Locations: Brighton Presbyterian Church & Shoen Place Pittsford, NY

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A Few Thoughts…

With winter melting away into spring, my thoughts are turning towards warmer weather and wedding season. Although the last several months have included a couple of winter weddings in all their snowy dreaminess, winter has mainly been a season of preparing for upcoming 2018 summer and fall weddings. This preparation is comprised of many meetings, vendor communications, and discussions about menus and design. Although winter brings a lull in the busyness of wedding weekends, I’m ready to bring those plans to fruition and see the results of months of planning.

 

There are many aspects to planning weddings that I really love. From hearing love stories and getting to know my clients and their families to employing every fiber of organization in my being, weddings present wonderful opportunities and challenges. I’ve been asked though what my favorite moment of a wedding is. The honest answer is that there are so many moments that merit special mention, the moment when the bride slips on her white dress and her closest ones get to see her as a bride for the first time, the moment when the boutonnieres and corsages are pinned successfully, the moment when the music begins and anticipation reaches climax, the moment when the couple is pronounced husband and wife, the first dance and parent dances, just to mention a few. However, the one moment that I love best is the moment when the bride and groom meet at the head of the aisle, the meeting for the moment that will join their lives forever.

 

I don’t know if there will ever come a day when these moments will become old for me. My greatest pleasure as a wedding planner is witnessing these special and life changing moments and setting the stage for a lifetime of precious memories.

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Budget Bliss

Whatever context the word budget is mentioned in, it usually doesn’t carry with it the connotation of bliss. However, weddings are supposed to be times of bliss when cares fall away and celebrating is what we do. The financial side of weddings gets a lot of bad rap these days with the climbing of the average wedding budget numbers. It can be genuinely stressful if you’re starting the planning process and you don’t have $35,000 dollars saved for the wedding of your dreams. There’s good news though, you are not bound by industry standard or cultural expectation to plunge yourself tens of thousands into debt to celebrate the most monumental moment of your life together!

 

Here you will find some tips for saving money and stress while planning your wedding.

  1. Take an honest look at how much you truly can afford.
  2. Make this number a guiding factor in the direction that you take with planning. Despite what your relatives/friends and culture say about how you do it, you get to make this call. (Unless they’re contributing financially.)
  3. Hire a wedding planner. (You knew this was coming!) Seriously though, a great wedding planner will not only cover the cost of their fees in savings but also save you a lot of time and stress.
  4. If you’re still DIY-research vendors. Find out industry standard pricing and compile information for all potential vendors.
  5. Decide what points are non-negotiable for you, as well as what you’re willing to do without. More flexibility=less stress & a chance for savings.
  6. Outline all elements as early as possible-design, decor, attire etc. Give yourself time to price shop and look for bargains. Strategic buying is your best friend.
  7. Stick to the budget! Don’t let those last minute Pinterest discoveries sink your best intentions.

How can we help?

  1. Vendor research is something that we work on continually. We take time to build strong working relationships to bring you the best in the industry for reliability and professionalism.
  2. We’re prepared with budget outlines, ideas, and strategies for cutting costs without being cheap.
  3. At Radiant Events, we pass along any discounts and promo pricing to you.
  4. We work as a liaison between you and your vendors during planning as well as at the wedding.
  5. We take the burden of “hosting” the wedding off you and your family by making sure that your guests are comfortable and attended to.
  6. We’re here for you! We get that there’s times when you’ll feel overwhelmed, and those are the moments when we are here especially for your venting.
  7. We’re here to take the blame for the detail that Aunt Betsy didn’t like. After all, we won’t be at your family reunions in the future, but you will be.

We have services that range from getting the planning off to a solid start to full wedding planning. Wherever you find yourself in the planning process, we would love to take some time to meet with you and bring the bliss back into the celebration! For more information email ria@radiantevents.net.

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Styled Shoot!

The rays of sun were slanting through the hops on one of our more beautiful days this spring in the Finger Lakes. A few local wedding creatives came together to set the stage for a scene to represent the businesses and talent that they are bringing to this region. It was a privilege to be a part of this project, I hope you enjoy the photos!

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Venue: Climbing Bines

Photography: Lyndsi Photography

Floral Design: Finger Lakes Floral

Cake: Club 86

Model: Dehlia Drennon

Planning: Radiant Events

More photos on our Projects page.

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Eeeek, Am I Too Late?

Wedding planning can be fairly smooth sailing for some, especially those who enjoy making many decisions and keeping track of timelines. However, there will likely come a point for nearly every bride and groom where eloping sounds like an attractive plan. Since it would be sad to throw away months of work and the dreams of your wedding day, it’s not time to scratch the celebration off the books! There are varying levels of wedding planning that are offered by most wedding planners. If you’re partway through the planning and feeling overwhelmed, you may want to research options for partial planning. This is the opportunity to have someone complete the plans that you’ve already made and assist you through the remainder of the process. If you’re days or weeks away from the wedding and you’re looking for someone to oversee the procedures of the wedding weekend, a day of coordinator should fit you perfectly.

Ideally, it’s best to form a plan for who you’re counting on to provide these services for you as early in your planning process as possible. The earlier you book planning or coordination services, the more time you allow yourself to establish a working relationship with your planner or coordinator. Before making a decision to hire someone, make sure that they provide the services that will meet your specific needs, for the smoothest and most stress free scenario possible.

You may be experiencing a freak out moment with little time to spare before the wedding, however, it is worth taking a little time to try to find a professional who may have a last minute availability for you. In the event that the companies you contact are not available, ask for a recommendation for another trusted professional in the area. Never assume that you’re too late to relax and enjoy your wedding day!

 

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Confession

I have a confession: A few years ago I thought that the idea of hiring a wedding planner was a really silly one. Why would you let a stranger plan the biggest day of your life? The problem is that I failed to understand at that time what a wedding planner really does as well as being inexperienced in regards to the amount of work that goes into a wedding.

In the years that followed, I was part of several weddings of family and friends. With each wedding I started realizing the effort that is required to make an event as detailed as a wedding progress smoothly. During the planning stage, there are many details to sort through-budget, menus, design, venues, vendors, guests, invitations etc. etc. Add to that the input coming from many different people in your life and it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.  By the time that the wedding day rolls around, there is an aspect of exhaustion that detracts from the actual celebration and that may have you wishing you had decided to elope.

In light of this, enter the idea of a wedding planner. Contrary to my belief that a wedding planner will take over the planning of the wedding making it less of your event and more of a “pre-formatted” event, a wedding planner brings organization to the myriad of details. You will be able to provide your vision and wishes and work with your planner to create a wedding that fits you. A wedding planner is there to protect your interests and make sure that vendors and others involved will serve you well. You can approach your wedding day with all the excitement and let the stress go. On your wedding day, you can be assured that someone is there with a back up plan for the incidentals that happen.

Of course, when you are considering the option of hiring a wedding planner or coordinator it is vitally important to find a company who you are comfortable with. Not only will this company be making the most important event of your life happen, but you will be spending a significant amount of time working with them. Take the time to talk with them, in person if possible, and ask them how they would approach the details that are most important to you as well as your concerns.

Give yourself the gift of the ability to enjoy to the fullest the process of planning your wedding and preparing for the most beautiful event of your life!

Interested in more information? We would love to talk with you!