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Happy Momma’s Day

9 May

Isn’t it true that no matter how old you are, you sometimes just want your mom?

Cater-495-X2I find myself needing and wanting my mom. When something AWESOME happens, I have to call her first because I know she’ll celebrate with me. When something TERRIBLE happens, I need her to tell me it will be okay. I want to crawl into her bed and have her rub my head. If I have a big, important dinner…. I need my mom to tell me I look nice and that she likes my makeup. Of course, I wish it was always like that. But sadly, it’s not.

My mom is the only one who is ever brutally honest.  Sure, she may try to be polite, but we all know what she means when she says, “that top you have on is quite interesting.” ….ok, Mom, I’ll go change.

The teenage years were fun (NOT!). I’m sure they were a blast for her as well. To be sharing a house with a hormonal boy-crazy, shoe-obsessed, teenage girl. There were years where she wasn’t my friend, but she was always my Mom. I didn’t know if I would surviv0446 c&b 10.13 lge those years. I don’t know how I did. I guess my mom has much more patience than I thought.

Even still … when we were fighting and screaming, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that she loved me more than anyone on this planet… she told me so every single day of my life. Over and over she reminded us just how important being a Mom was to her, and for that I am so grateful. I grew up knowing that not only was I wanted …. I was prayed for, loved and cherished. As I got older, my Mom became my friend …. my best friend.

My Mom is the reason I am doing Merrymaking Events. Every since I can remember, my mom introduced me as her “Creative child”… before I knew it, that was my identity and I felt comfortable being creative. I was always doing crafts, coloring contests, and using glitter and my Mom was with me every step of the way to encourage, believe and inspire me. She is much more creative than me, but she always let me have my spotlight. For example, I know that she could have done a better 3rd grade project for me….. but since she encouraged me to do it… I was able to go on to bigger and more fun ideas! She never thought my ideas were silly, or stupid and she always helped me figure out how to make it work. I know, if not for her,I wouldn’t have had the courage… to step out on my own and put myself, my talents, and my creativity out there for all too see.

0476 c&b 10.13 lgActually, one of my favorite parts of a wedding is when the Mom sees their child all ready to get married and gets tears in her eyes (it’s a mom thing). To see her watch her child, all grown up, and starting a life of their own, She is so proud. She is so sad to let go. I can almost see the film reel playing in her head.. riding the bike for the first time or throwing a baseball. Their first scrapped knee or their first steps. The first day of school, first dates,  first love and first kiss.   It gets me…. every. single. time. I’m a mush.

What I want to tell her is that there are so many moments when they will need you. Their first “real” fight as husband and wife. When they become a parent and suddenly need you to teach them how to be just like you were to them. There are so many joys of being a Mom, and this weekend I am blessed for my Mom and feel lucky to be called Mom by the most amazing kids…. I am truly blessed.

“Everything I am, or hope to be, is because of my Mom.” Thank you Mom!

My Mom and I on my Wedding Day....

My Mom and I on my Wedding Day….




Hand Addressed Invitations

14 Sep

calligraphyIn a world full of thank you texts and e-vites…. a personally addressed, US Postal Stamped invitation sitting in your mailbox is a rarity and one that I love!

You know that feeling you get when you get a big, thick envelope in the mail with your beautifully scrolled name in calligraphy across the front. I always think, “Wow, I don’t remember my name looking that pretty.” Especially when you address it to my formal entire name, Mrs. Kathryn Mendenhall.  I get goosebumps every single time. It really sets the tone for such an elegant and personal event… I just can’t wait to gently tear into the envelope to see the beautiful invitation!

I don’t know if it’s a Southern Thing, but in the world of technology, I certainly feel like the South is hanging on to the hand-address tradition for wedding invitations, even when others don’t. We Southerns also have our Thank You cards ready to go short after we become a “Mrs.” … it’s just a part of being a true Southern Lady.

I have brides ask me if it is necessary to hand-address their wedding invitations. They want to know what I think about simply printing labels and calling it a day.

Labels would be less time-consuming, but the reason most invites are addressed by hand isn’t just that it’s more formal — it’s also more personal. It shows your guests that you so want them to be at your wedding that you took the time to hand write (or have a calligrapher hand-letter) their name and address on the envelope.

It’s true that it can be a hassle and expense to address so many envelopes yourself. Think about getting your wedding party to help you out (make it a party!) and it’ll go much faster.

If you’re mind is made up on labels — especially if you have a huge number of invites (200 or more) — go with a computer font that looks like script (Pinterest has great ideas), and use clear labels so your invitations will have some semblance of being hand-addressed.

THE WAIT IS OVER! Ultimate Cocktail Hour: The Photo Shoot!

14 Jul

_MG_9989Have I told you lately that I LOVE my job? It is the thing that fills me with joy and makes me feel like I am accomplishing something great in my life. I help couples start their life together with a happy memory! It’s a bonus when I get to share my passion with the readers of a beautiful magazine.

One of the aspects of the wedding day that I enjoy planning for is the cocktail hour. It’s that awkward hour between the ceremony and the reception where your guests are left to wait. It’s also an opportunity to do something fun and different!

_MG_0151SMI was honored to be able to share my planning tips for an AWESOME cocktail hour with the readers of the newly released issue of TriadWedding’s Magazine. And just for the fun if of it, I planned a photo shoot to go along with the article to show some of the tips.
Read the Article from an earlier post on our BLOG HERE!

I must say that the photos turned out GORGEOUS, thanks to all of the brilliant vendors that helped contribute to this shoot. It was the most fun 8 hours I have ever had and I know it’s because it wasn’t work – it’s what my passion is.

Thank you to all of the fun vendors for their time, talents and attitude… it was such a blast! Seriously- if you want some of the best of the best, you have to check out these vendors, they are STELLAR!


Planning and décor: Merrymaking Events
** Thank you Ashley for pitching in and having fun! It wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without you!

The Stunning Venue (and we didn’t even use the inside!): Adaumont Farm, Trinity, North Carolina
** Thank you Billy for all your hard work, wrangling the horses and making sure everything looked beautiful!

The delicious food (It was even more delish than it looks!): Sweet Basils Catering

**Thank you Renee for your calm creativeness, your amazingly brilliant ideas and for letting us snack on your yummy roasted grapes and cheese (& sharing your recipes).

Flowers and Décor: Flowers by Candlelight
** Thank you Lisa for your positive attitude, your genius set design and blooms and for always being there to help, no matter what the task!

Captured on Film by: Human Graphics Photography
** Wow, Stephen! Not only did you continue shooting long after it was pitch black, but your photos are amazing and I feel so lucky to have been able to see your passion in these photos.

A special thank you to the amazing women at The Mill at Gibsonville for letting us use their furniture and décor. You must check out their shop!  To the fun ladies at Zeto Wine in Greensboro for letting us “borrow” the Champagne and sparking wine for the Champagne bar! If you’re going out downtown, stop by this fun shop for a glass of wine first!

The Ultimate Cocktail Hour

14 Jul

Fall13 Cover Final Revised lr-page-001 (2)Fall 2013 TriadWeddings Magazine
By Kat Mendenhall, Owner of Merrymaking Events

See the Magazine Layout Here

When you think of your big day, chances are you think about the feeling you want to create for your family and friends. Fun, personal, intimate, etc. This will also be the feeling you are left with when you think back on your wedding day. I hear couples say time and time again, “I want it to be so much fun!” But how do you start the planning!

After you say “I DO” and seal it with a kiss, the celebration is kicked off by your cocktail hour. After your ceremony, but before you are introduced into your reception, lies an hour where your guests are left waiting while you get photos taken, touch up your makeup and change into your comfortable shoes.

Your cocktail hour is so important because it sets the tone for the rest of the evening and that feeling you’re striving for. WOW your guests while welcoming them to your celebration! Think if it as a full-blown cocktail party squeezed into an hour, a quick and fun entrance to the rest of your fun-filled evening. With some planning, creativity and these fabulous ideas, you can pull off the ultimate cocktail hour.

Classy Cocktails: Having a cash bar is considered a major faux pas when you’re hosting an event. To be budget friendly, you can stick to beer and wine, with a special twist. Offer local brews or invite guests to make their own cocktails with a champagne bar! Chilled champagnes and fruit juice (like orange juice or pomegranate) with frozen fruit like raspberries and strawberries. Very classy, affordable and fun! For non-alcoholic receptions, try an Italian soda bar or an iced tea bar! Planners Tip: Make sure you have a bar setup for each 100 guests, so if you have 300 guests, you need 3 bars, with 2 bartenders and a bar back (assistant) at each bar. Continue reading

“Armani Doesn’t Make a Navy Tuxedo”

20 Jun

fob3“I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. Boy and girl meet, they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say I do. I was wrong. That’s getting married. A wedding is an entirely different proposition. I know. I’ve just been through one. Not my own, my daughter’s. Annie Banks Mackenzie.”

Any girl from my generation grew up watching Father of The Bride (part I and part II).  Not the original, with Elizabeth Taylor, but the remake from 1991. Filled with cake tasting, menu selection, an eccentric wedding planner (Franck), engagement parties, and everything wedding!

I, of course, adored it. Not just because I am quite the Daddy’s Girl and was touched by the relationship Annie Banks (played by Kimberly Williams-Paisley) had with her Dad, George Banks (played by Steve Martin). But I fell in love with the idea of hosting a private home wedding reception! It’s a romantic idea. Luckily, Hollywood made sure that Annie had that quirky wedding planner to help her ….. but as a real-life wedding planner there were things in the movie that I would NEVER allow to happen at one of my events.fob2

1.)   George Banks (FOB) seemed shocked that all of his furniture had to be taken out of his house so that they might host that many guests. Clients should always be warned of the time, energy and expense it takes to host this kind of event in a private home. While venues offer the space, designed and laid out for special events, homes are designed to live in. If you choose to host a large event in your private home, there will be expenses (tenting, rental furniture, chairs, tables, linens, lighting,  ect.) It may be worth the extra expense in the end to have your dreams come true, but it’s always best to know what you’re getting into at the beginning of the process instead of the FOB left wondering where it all went, after the fact. Continue reading

The 6 Traits to Look For in Your Wedding Planner

29 Mar
Swank Photography

Swank Photo Studio, Raleigh

Okay, so you have decided that you will definitely need a wedding planner to help you with the process of planning your big day. You know that you are going to need someone there to handle the kinks and coordinate all of the logistics. Now you just have to find the right wedding planner for you. It’s kind of like picking the right sorority, you have to find the perfect group of girls who share your vision, your goals and your likes. To help you find the perfect planner for you, here are the 6 key traits to look for.

1. CONFIDENCE       

It is a big day and it is an honor when someone puts their trust in me. I know just how important this day is and work very hard to make sure it is perfect, as if it were my own wedding.  With experience and know how, comes confidence. If you get the feeling that a planner is a little overconfident, she probably is, and that could be something to watch out for because they will have a hard time asking others for help. In this business, a planner’s job is to bring all the details, and people together for a successful event.


2&3 Photography

2&3 Photography

This is a no-brainer, but true creativity is very hard to find. For a truly spectacular event, find a planner who can not only coordinate all of your concepts, but also offer ideas to enhance and make them your own! The perfect planner offers a little left-side of the brain analytics for the logistics and details and a whole lot of right-side of the brain creativity for improvising and uniqueness.

3. PASSIONATE       

Why would anyone be in the wedding industry if they weren’t passionate about it? It’s enough to drive anyone insane. But, when you love it… there isn’t any other option. The reason I get up in the morning, write blogs about wedding stuff, have subscriptions to all the wedding magazines and keep a smile on my face after a 14-hour day is that I was born to do this. When hiring your wedding planner, make sure you find someone who is passionate about it and that love and passion will shine through to your day. Continue reading

How Come Linens Are So Confusing?

30 Sep

Courtney Dox PhotographyI hate when brides spend so much time thinking about the details of their wedding… and forget to do something with linens on the tables. It is such a small investment for such a big impression on your event.

What I hate even more is when short linens are used and all you seem to see are the ugly metal table legs. But, anyone who has looked at linens knows how utterly confusing it is to try to figure out the size linen you need for a 32″, 60″ or 72″. I thought I would make it easy for you to find the perfect size linen for your table. Note that the sizing I give allows the linen to touch the ground and hide those ugly table legs.

Here goes:

  • 60″ round table {8ppl} – 120″ round
  • 72″ round table {10ppl} – 132″ round
  • 6 foot rectangular table – 90″x132″
  • 8 foot rectangular table – 90″x156″
  • 4 person low top or cafe table – 96″ round
  • high top or high boy (also known as a cocktail table) – 120″ round to touch the ground or 132″ round to puddle {if you want a chair tie around the middle of the table, rent a 132″ round}

Good luck picking those linens out. Remember, go bold!