my DREAM JOB!! planning a wedding!

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i have always wanted to be a wedding planner! ever since i was a little girl, i think that the magic and love that surround that amazing day has always had such a draw for me! i love everything about weddings, from the beautiful invitations that you get in the mail… to the floral arrangements and special touches that makes every wedding unique and special for that couple starting their life together!

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for now… i will settle for being able to help out from time to time! today i am kicking off a 3-day blog series that will highlight Taylor and Doug’s wedding! i will be sharing some of my favorite ideas for making ANY event unforgettable!

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i was honored to be asked to help with a wedding happening last August 6th: an outdoor summer wedding reception! Taylor and her mom asked me to help a few months before and immediately i had ideas floating around in my mind… as i sat down with the bride, we talked about what her vision was, and i tried to get a feel for her taste and her ideas.

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weddings are as unique and personal as each and every bride. i think that sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into the “tradition” of it all and feel obligated to do things a certain way. my advice to Taylor was that she could really do whatever she wanted! there really are NO RULES, and you can create an event that will work for your family, your circumstance and your dreams! and that is just what we did! in this case, the wedding ceremony would be early in the day at a sacred and beautiful ceremony for close friends and family held in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.

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because only certain people could attend the actual wedding, a large and FUN reception would be held where all their neighbors, family, and friends would be invited to attend. the venue would be a gorgeous, lush backyard with a huge grassy open area and a big white tent for dancing!

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we created over 300 invitations customized using the Minc foil applicator machine and a beautiful photo taken by her photographer… you can read all about how I made the invites, along with a few tricks here.

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i knew that the backyard was pretty enough that the decorations should add to the landscape, and not “take over”. i wanted it to look classy, sophisticated and personal! Let me share what i did to transform the backyard into an unforgettable wedding reception!

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because the event was being held in the backyard, i knew it would be helpful to have a sign toward the front that would direct people to the correct house, and to the backyard. my husband helped me make this ‘sandwich board’ style chalk board months before, and i have used it for several different events. it stands about 6 feet tall, and is about 4 feet wide. it’s hinged at the top, and stands on it’s own. the 8” wide gold border surrounds an open chalk area, and is outlined with light bulbs giving it the coolest marquee vibe!

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to personalize… i used a chalk marker to add some hand lettering,  a “welcome” Hello Heidi Wall Word, greenery and a hanging photo of the bride and groom.

the entrance to any event is the FIRST IMPRESSION and i wanted it to be WOW!

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the home owners had this fantastic wrought iron arch that i was able to attach 12″ marquee letters to that spelled out their names: “Douglas and Taylor”. i hung a few mini banners as well. to add to that entrance i hung beautiful photos in the trees with my glittered Hello Heidi’ wood words layered over the top. all of the lovely layers spoke to the peace and love of this couple, and made that place ALL about them!

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café lights were strung over the entire yard and created a dreamy place where people could greet the bride and groom and their families!

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i used some “tall boy” tables, and some 8’ round tables set around where guests could gather to chat and eat! on those tables were very simple glass jar centerpieces filled with live succulent plants and adorned with mini lights! some of the jars had little instant photos of the bride and groom printed with the INSTAX share printer clipped to wooden stakes inside.

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the bride and groom love tacos and snowcones! so we hired a taco truck and Bahama Bucks,  and both were absolutely perfect summer eats for this wedding celebration!

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i created large marquee signs that were hung from the tent and showcased the place to grab a TACO and a SNOWCONE! this was such a unqiue and fun way to feed a crowd, and make it casual and delightful!

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the signs were hung just inside the tent which allowed them to really glow!

we pre-made several strands of mini 3” banners in blush, cream and gold. we carefully strung them on the fence and through the trees. Taylor’s uncle made the cake, and it was so fun to see how family members came together in celebration of Taylor and Doug.

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the behind the scenes for any wedding or special event is a little stressful… and with two huge down pours in the midst of our set up time, we were a bit frazzled!

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but once it was time… everything was in it’s place and it looked beautiful! i was so happy that i could be a part of this special memory! as i kinda stood back and watched the family and friends of the bride and groom all come together surrounding this beautiful couple, the LOVE for everyone was just amazing! this celebration could not be a more perfect way for these two to start out their life together!

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HUGE thanks to my dear friend Elizabeth Lawlor for coming up from Mesa, Az to help me capture every detail and document this process! i love working with her. her website is ElizabethLawlorPhotography and she does an amazing job of telling a story with her photography. i am so thankful for her!

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come back tomorrow as i share more details for using LIGHTS to create WOW factor for special events!  thank you for stopping by!

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Category: heidi, Inspiration

About the Author : Heidi Swapp

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