Tag Archives: wedding planner

Abbie + Kasey : Moore Springs Manor in Westfield, NC

12 Oct

AKWedding_201501122When you meet Abby & Kasey, you instantly like them. They are gracious, kindhearted and so in love. You imagine them with very social lives, having friends over all the time, because they are just so jubilant to be around, of course they would have thousands of friends. It makes you want to hang out with them and “chill”. They are the “chill” kind.

For their wedding day, of course they picked the laid-back Moore Springs Manor, an amazingly gorgeous piece of NC Heaven in Westfield, NC. A hop-skip-jump from the Triad, it is so worth the 45-minute drive from Greensboro. You start to wonder where these curvy country roads are taking you and then WHAM! The impressive view of Pilot Mountain slaps you in the face. You can’t help but exhale and relax just being there. Let me kick up my boots and drink something out of a mason jar and I’m happy.

The Manor, the fields, the gardens, the barns and the newly added event space are the perfect setting for an intimate North Carolina event! The personal touches are what made this day so special, and the beautiful bridesmaids dresses! Homemade table numbers made from old address numbers, pallet photos, and so much more! Check out Abby & Kasey’s wedding, it was an honor to be a part of their “Chill” Day … and as their sign says, it was the Best. Day. Ever. (Thank you to A Photo By Ashley for these awesome photos!)AKWedding_201500778AKWedding_201500975

The Awesome Vendors:
Planner: Merrymaking Events
Venue: Moore Springs Manor
Cake: Sweet Megs
Catering: Above and Beyond
Music: Anything Music
Photography: A Photo By Ashley
Florals: Hawk’s Florist
Ceremony Music: Evan and Dana


Drew + Amanda: Summerfield Wedding Planner

19 Nov

I got a call from the Mother of the Groom some months back. Her only son, Drew, was getting married to Amanda and she thought they may need some help. They lived a little out of town, getting married back home, so having someone here to help coordinate last minute details was important.

After a delightful conversation with the MOG, it was a go! I was so excited to get to working with them as I could tell right off the bat that they were a family I wanted to help celebrate.

A month before the ceremony I got a call from the MOG. There had been a terrible accident. At a pre-wedding Bachelor celebration, two groomsman were hit by a drunk driver as they were walking on the sidewalk. One didn’t make it, and one was still seriously injured. My heart fell to a million piece as I felt for them. They were planning a huge celebration, and the guy that was to be standing beside Drew wouldn’t be there…… it was tough.

Bullock_Sykes_Kelly_Rae_Stewart_Photography_i5Kz85rSThe day came and the bridal party all had him with them throughout the day. A huge Boston Red Sox fan, the lost friend was remembered and there in spirit through Red Sox pins on all the groomsman and as part of every bridesmaid’s lantern. The day was beautiful, and there was an extra angel singing from the heavens as part of this joyful union.

The love. The passion. The excitement. The joy. This day was filled with all the ingrediants to a perfect day.  The other groomsman, still on crutches, reminded everyone there just how precious life is and when you find Love…. you must not only grab hold — but ENJOY and thrive in every second of it…. that’s what sharing your life with someone is all about!

I am so blessed to have been a part of Drew and Amanda’s magical wedding day at The Gardens of Gray Gables. The artsy details and unique touches truly personalized this event. I wish them nothing but love, joy and only tears of happiness in their future together!

Thank you to a truly spectacular team of vendors, including the talented Kelly Rae Stewart Photography for allowing us to share these beautiful photos!


Wedding Coordinator: Kat, Merrymaking Events
Officiant: Buck Cochran
Venue: The Garden at Gray Gables, Summerfield
Band: Skate Rink Jukebox
Catering: Above and Beyond Catering, High Point
Cake: Delicious Bakery, Greensboro
Flowers: The Farmer’s Wife, Greensboro
Photography: Kelly Rae Stewart Photography
Videography: BG Studios
Ceremony Music: Drakes DJ Service





Why I Believe in Love …

16 Jul

Why I Believe in Love …

Do You  Believe in Love? Maybe you have been broken. Maybe you have been crushed, betrayed or hurt. Your heart feels fragile and delicate all of the sudden. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Everyone has a journey they must walk and a story that needs to be told, so what’s yours?                 

For me, I have always been a believer of love… in love with the idea of love. I craved relationships, being needed and having my ‘person’.  I think I was so in need of someone that I clung onto the wrong guy because it was the right time, so I thought. Does that make sense? Fresh out of college, I was ready to get my life started. Full of energy and optimism, I was ready to get going and he just so happened to want to get going with me. We were married in December of 2005 and I was thrilled to get my story started. What I didn’t know is that my story had begun long before I met him.

6 month later I was crushed. It felt like a boulder had landed on my heart and wouldn’t let up. This hole I was buried in was unforgiving and dark and I finally knew where the term HEART-BROKEN came from.

Then one day—I remembered that my story began long before I met him. There was someone who had always loved me. Always stayed with me and never betrayed me.

With a fresh perspective and strength from my faith… I slowly began to climb out of that pit and WHAM! BAM! BOOM! It happened. HE happened!  24396_379713546751_4671522_n

I had interviewed and gotten a job working for the National MS Society. Jimmy, found me online and emailed me asking if I liked the job. Evidently, he had also interviewed & was curious about who beat him out for the job. I still don’t know how it happened that from that first email of 1 sentence, we built what we have today. We also figured out that it wasn’t the MS Society, but Muscular Dystrophy that he interviewed for. I don’t know if it was fate, or God that lead him to me …. but I’ll tell you this, I fall to my knees and pray every night that it did.24396_379713561751_2206874_n

I now believe in love not because I need it, but because I have been loved. I have felt it… experienced it…. treasured it. Patient and strong.  Steady and unrelenting. UNCONDITIONAL. For me. I KNOW that love can heal all wounds, and he loved the scars that were left on my heart until those scars disappeared … replaced by pure joy! He loved me when I didn’t think I needed it…. when I certainly didn’t deserve it … and when I didn’t love myself. He took my hand, and led me where I was always meant to be.


As we celebrate 6 years together, and our 3rd wedding anniversary this month, I feel lucky. My journey was a bumpy one. My story, not easy to recall. But here I am, way down the road…. And I am humbled by the blessings in our lives. Those blessings call us Mom and Dad.


I am so happy that he sent me that email.


I know now that I was given a bumpy start so that when I am in the presence of a bride, smiling at her Groom, I can truly appreciate what they have and I remember that my job, is the best one, because I get to be part of countless happy journeys!

39221_416698476751_1430351_nWe love because he first loved us….”

I love you Jimmy.

That is my story … what’s yours?

“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

{Crystal + Chad}

7 Jan

Real Wedding: September 5, 2010

{The Details}

{Ceremony & Reception} Graylyn Estate & Conference Center
{Wedding Planner} Merrymaking Events
Flowers by Candlelight
{Lights, Lanterns, Wall Drape}
K2 Productions
{Photographer} Aaron Kohns, Gain Composure Photography
{Live Ceremony Artist} Wedding Brushes
{Cake} Cakes by Manfred
{Harpist} Taylor Anne
{Photo Booth} Neil from Shutterbooth
{Band} The Dickens


Crystal is so lively and full of energy, a real a “Spitfire”, as my Mom would call it! Her drop-dead gorgeous looks are only a part of her, she is a real kind and wonderful person. It’s a perfect balance to the laid back and quiet groom. We were honored to be a part of this amazing event with such a fabulous group of people and team of vendors!

Held at the second largest private residence in the country (2nd to The Biltmore), Graylyn Estate and Conference Center in Winston-Salem, NC was a perfect location for this lively crowd. The grounds span for many acres, and the serene lawn seems to reach all the way to the horizon!

This event had many unique touches! It started with a beautiful ceremony on the lawn to music from 13-year-old harpist Taylor Anne. It was all captured by the live artist, Shannon, who presented the finished canvas to the couple at the end of the evening. The ceremony was followed by cocktails and dinner in the main house and then a party in the room that used to house the indoor pool.

The group rocked out to The Dickens, with the bride even singing a song to her groom…. and wow! She had a voice! It was a wonderful evening that everyone involved will remember forever, even us! It makes it even better when you receive an email from the Father of The Bride after the wedding: “Thanks so much for making my daughter’s day so special.  We have received so may great responses from family and friends that attended.  You and you staff truly made this a truly great experience and one we will cherish for the rest of our lives. ”

Thank you to Aaron from Gain Composure Photography who stepped up and took AMAZING photos of our gorgeous bride. Lisa, with Flowers by Candlelight, did some beautiful centerpieces.  Kenneth from K2 Productions did a great job covering the walls with beautiful fabric and getting the space ready to groove in.

We had a STELLER team of vendors and the even ran perfectly ….. Thank you!

Getting Engaged?

7 Dec

This is the most popular time of the year to get engaged and Merrymaking Events will soon start to be flooded with calls from giddy brides-to-be that are excited to get to planning their big day. For those guys planning on popping the question this time of year, we wanted to re-post a blog we wrote some time ago to help with some creative proposal ideas. If you need some pulling it all off, the planning and scheming, Merrymaking Events can do that too! Just drop us a note to info@merrymakingevents.com and we can sneakily get back to you!


Recently engaged? Check out the first 10 things you should do!