Crowning & Cunning: Wendy Kromer's Cookie Decorating Class

Yesterday, my mom and I were in for a real treat - literally. We took Wendy Kromer's Cookie Decorating class. If you aren't familiar with Wendy, well she is a fabulously talented wedding cake designer, who aside from creating one-of-a-kind masterpieces for my clients, she also designs cakes for Martha Stewart Weddings. In fact, she was just in NYC creating wedding cake stories for the spring Weddings issue the week before our class.

The cookie class was a quick 3-hours that included her fabulous cookie and icing recipes for flooding techniques. I highly recommend this class to anyone of all skill levels. Wendy taught us some clever ways to make eye-popping designs. Check them out:

Wendy demonstrating the techniques:

Here's my try:

I am eager to get started on more cookies here at home! I even bought a crown cookie cutter to make a few CC inspired Christmas creations!
(Be sure to look for that post later this month.)

Thanks Wendy for a fun afternoon!


Crowning Celebration: Thank you for a great season!

Yesterday was our last wedding of the 2011 season ~ and oh, what a season it was! Yesterday's wedding was no exception to the remarkable and genuinely fabulous couples we got to work with this year. I learned new "tricks" and tools to making my business even better, pushed the envelope on some design ideas, created new looks and hopefully some new trends and I made new friends along the way.

One thing that has always remained the same (and continues to hold true next season) is that my work will always be about the QUALITY not the quantity of weddings. Budget big or small, the attention to detail, personalized service and unique design will always come first. For me, the year cannot be measured in the amount of weddings we produced, but rather the quality and tailored service we give our clients.

Thank you to all our 2011 couples and their families ~ Wishing you many happy memories from this fabulous year!!! 


Crowning Celebration: Tent Wedding

Ever wonder what goes into a large tent wedding like this?

Photo Credit Grand Lubell Photography

Look forward to more images from this event with
photography by Grand Lubell ~ coming soon!


Crowning & Fabulous: Bridal Black Friday!

If you are getting married (or think he's about to pop the question) then you'll love these bridal-savvy Black Friday deals!

For the DIY-er, check out craft stores like Hobby Lobby (50% off select items) or Michael’s (30% -50% off select items). {Click on those links for in store coupons!} Stock up on candy bags for your sweet table or ribbons for your ceremony program.

When it comes to the bridesmaid’s dress, brides catch themselves saying it all the time, “you can so wear it again!” This Black Friday think outside the box from your traditional bridal designers and look for dresses at Macy’s (20% off), Nordstrom (33% off evening wear) and other leading department stores for your maids and mothers. Every bridesmaid loves a dress that looks great and is great on the pocketbook. Don’t stop at the dress, also check out shoe sales and accessories like jewelry and purses to complete the look.

Take advantage of holiday sales and purchase gift cards to your salon for your wedding day hair, make-up and manicure. They make great gifts for the mother of the bride/groom, and any wedding attendants. Give them this holiday season or save them for the wedding.

Keeping in the spirit of giving, snag great prices on gifts for your bridal attendants and other key members of your wedding. Restaurant gift certificates are a great way to show appreciation to a religious member who performed your pre-marital counseling or married you.

If he hasn’t popped the question yet, or you are in the beginning stages of planning and not ready to take the Black Friday plunge, you can still be a savvy shopper and stock up on gift cards. Some retailers are offering buy one and get the second 50% off. Save now, buy later.

What’s even better than Black Friday? Small Business Saturday! Shop your local boutiques and stores for the best deals in Northwest Ohio. Photography studios Considering Lilies and JP Photography have Black Friday Specials. {See their great deals below.} Keep the savings coming with Cyber Monday and you can shop online for honeymoon airline and travel deals from great sites like Groupon.com.

Take a tip from Santa: make a list and check it twice. The savviest bride is the one with a game plan. List out items you need or wish to purchase. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. If you overbuy, you will not only overwhelm yourself, but you could risk breaking the bank and that’s no way to start a marriage.


Crowning Celebration: Amy & James

September 24th is a very special day for me. It marks my Wedding Anniversary with my wonderful husband! We just celebrated 6 years.

But September 24th is also the day that Amy & James said "I DO"! I couldn't have chosen a nicer couple to work with on my Anniversary than Amy and James! They are so in love and so appreciative to all their family and friends for joining them from near and afar in their celebration. Amy was so gracious and lovely. It was an honor to be by Amy's side and fluff her gown, straighten her veil and wish her all the best as she walked down the aisle to her groom - just as someone did for me 6 years ago.

Here are a few pictures from their beautiful day!

Flowers by Bartz Viviano, Ann Strickland, designer
Pictures taken by Crowning Celebrations - Please do not reproduce without permission. Wedding Day Professional photography provided by Grand Lubell
Menus, Escort cards and other printed materials designed by Crowning Celebrations
Ceremony: Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
Reception: The Toledo Club


Crowning & Fabulous: Colin Cowie Weddings!

As a fan of the fabulous Colin Cowie, I am excited to share that he is debuting a NEW wedding website
full of fabulously fun and creative ideas this October!!!!
Crowning Celebrations readers have a exclusive offer to view the new site. But before I reveal that, here are the juicy details:
The site will have three main channels: Confidentially Colin, MyCollection, and Inspire Me.

The My Collection channel keeps within Cowie’s tradition of exceeding expectations: new, fresh and innovative ideas. With this channel, brides will also be able to save, organize and share what inspires them privately and securely with their friends and family. 

The Inspire Me channel offers smart, in-depth articles for both the bride and groom covering every aspect of wedding planning from engagement parties to the honeymoon; fashion, beauty, travel and registry; how-to tips and tricks; trend reportage; inspirational ideas and more.

Confidentially, Colin: offers couples the chance to personally connect with Cowie and seek his advice on topics like proper wedding etiquette, planning logistics, and more. Here he shares thoughts, suggestions,
insider tips, advice and counsel from his 25 years of wedding planning around the world.

The website will feature ideas at all price points with new, trendsetting ideas from Colin's signature creations. It will be like having your favorite bridal magazine at your fingertips 24/7!

The website debuts in mid-October. But Crowning Celebrations readers can get a sneak peak NOW!!! Click on this link: colincowieweddings.com and get an insiders look at the new site!!!


Crowning & Chic: NewlyMAID

How many times have you heard, "You can soooo wear it again!" when it comes to a bridesmaid dress???

Well if you are cleaning out the closets this fall (like I am right now), you probably are coming across a bridesmaid dress or formal gown that doesn't fit, or is just not your style. Ever wish you could put that dress to good use???
Thanks to my fashionista friend, Vanessa Cooreman-Smith,
I've been introduced to NewlyMAID.

Send your gently used bridesmaid dress to NewlyMAID and they will give you credit for a LBD (little black dress)!!!! Your old bridesmaid dress will be either recycled and used to make a new dress, or resold with part of the proceeds going to charity.
For more details visit their website.

If you give this a try, be sure to let us know what you think!


Crowning & Fabulous: Flourish Boutique & Gallery

Yesterday I had the great joy and pleasure of visiting one of my best friends, Vanessa, in South Bend. Aside from a girl's lunch and gab session, I got to shop her fabulous store, Flourish Boutique and Gallery.

Flourish carries fashions from designers like Samuel Dong, Seven for All Mankind, Tulle, Treska, Judith March, Lisse, Tarina Tarantino, not to mention a fabulous jewelry line from Tangerine!

As you shop the clothes, you can shop the art. Vanessa boutique includes art for purchase, with even a few items created by Vanessa herself.

{Don't you just love this saying in the changing rooms??? My husband didn't call - but I still bought whatever I wanted!!!}

Vanessa and I were college roommates and art majors at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana. We shared a studio in the fibers department. Before portable DVD players, we would drag my TV and her DVD player down to the studio to watch old episodes of Sex in the City until the security guards kicked us out!
Vanessa has taken her love for fashion and textiles and opened a chic, fun boutique. I have taken my love for design and textiles and applied that to event design creating one of a kind events. Its fun to look back and think that we've each achieved our dream of putting our mark on art, fashion and design.

Flourish Boutique and Gallery is now offering ONLINE SHOPPING 24/7!
Shop in store merchandise on the website. Also be sure to check out all the new arrivals featured on facebook.

Check out the Tangerine Jewelry line. This fabulous designer can be found at upscale retail shops like Neiman Marcus. But something tells me Vanessa's prices are sweeter ;) You can view the Tangerine collection online and call Flourish for custom ordering. I picked up a piece myself for upcoming weddings. It sparkles!!!!


Crowning Celebration: Labor Day's Labor of Love Wedding

Its kinda fitting that today we are celebrating Labor Day because this weekend's wedding included a handful of talented vendors
that 'labored' their talents to produce a fabulous event.

Amongst our dream team of wedding professionals was the fabulously creative Wendy Kromer of Wendy Kromer Confections and the City Bake Shop. If you are not sure who Wendy is, just pick up a copy of Martha Stewart Weddings. As you marvel over the deliciously decorated cakes, read closely at the credits. Wendy is Martha Stewart's cake designer. And when Wendy is not designing for Martha, she calls Sandusky, Ohio her home.

When our bride originally planned her wedding cake, it was modeled after Donald and Melania Trump's five-tiered, 3,000 rose covered wedding cake. But after meeting with Wendy, the bride was so impressed by Kromer's creativity
that she wanted a one-of-a-kind creation.

Using details from one of the Bride's three wedding dresses, a Kenneth Pool duchess satin with silver thread embroidery, pearls and crystals, and the bride's Reem Acra flower embroidered veil and lace bolero, Kromer created a beautifully, detail-oriented cake. 
The cake tasted just a great as it looked! The flavors included:
Yellow Cake layers
filled with layers of Mango Buttercream, Orange Buttercream & Lemon Curd
Vanilla Pound Cake layers
filled with layers of Espresso Buttercream & Mocha Buttercream

You can follow Wendy's work on the City Bake Shop's facebook page.

Images of the cake taken by Wendy Kromer.
Chocolate Cake layers
filled with layers of Spice Buttercream & Cream Cheese Frosting


Crowning Celebration: Lisa & Andy ~ Engagement Shoot

Happy Friday! I love this photo from Everlasting Images and wanted to share it with you.

I am very excited for this October 2011 Crowning Celebrations couple!


Eventista - Toledo Free Press Bridal Guide Aug 2011

Hot off the presses, 'Here Comes the Guide'!
Pick up your FREE copy today at local Northwest Ohio stores and businesses.

Inside you will find Everlasting Images, Admiral's American Grill, Grand Lubell Photography, The Blarney Bullpen, Ahava Spa, Cake in a Cup, Nazareth Hall, Bartz Viviano, Crowning Celebrations and many, many more fabulous wedding vendors and resources! Also, be sure to check out the Eventista articles by yours truly on pages 13 and 24!


Crowning Celebration: Sarah & Phoevos ~ Sneak Peak

Here are a few sneak peaks from this weekends wedding. We had a lot of fun with the color washing and custom gobos for this event!


Crowning Inspiration: Save-the-Date "Tie the Knot"

I can't resist sharing this cute idea for a Save-the-Date!
When guests open the card they "Tie the Knot"


Crowning Inspiration: Wedding Planning Seminar at The University of Toledo

I am very excited to announce that I will be teaching
the Seminar In Recreation And Leisure - Wedding Planning at The University of Toledo!

Last semester I had 60 fabulous students. I am looking forward to another great semester. To register for this class, you must be a University of Toledo
Its Seminar In Recreation And Leisure - Wedding Planning - 54245 - RCRT 4900 - 002 under Health and Human Services, held every Tuesday night from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.


Crowning Celebration: Kathryn and Edward

I remember my first consultation with bride Katie. When I asked her to tell me about her fiance, Ed, she was just glowing! She smiled and laughed as she described her husband-to-be. She was most definitely in love
and very excited about her upcoming wedding - in less than 6 weeks!

 When Katie and I met, she only had the church and ceremony site and her photographer booked! Katie and Ed each have their own businesses and were very busy. I was happy to assist Katie in finding top-notch professionals for she and Ed's wedding day.

Katie's gown had a cathedral-length train, which was fitting for her ceremony at Rosary Cathedral. To complete the look, Katie had a 27 foot veil!
It was majestic as she walked down the aisle!!!

In addition to planning, I also designed Katie and Ed's wedding program, menu card, table number card, escort cards, and favor cards that went on boxes of truffles.

Photographs were taken by Marshall Photography and Crowning Celebrations. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Coordination and Design: Crowning Celebrations, Brittany, Marcy and Michelle
Ceremony: Holy Rosary Cathedral
Reception: Hilton Garden Inn, Perrysburg
Photography: Marshall Photography LLC, Dawn and Steve Marshall
Florist & Crystal Panels: Bartz Viviano, Ann Strickland
Videography: Showcase Video Productions, Aaron Baginski
DJ: Decorative Sound, Michael Baginski
Transportation: Limo Toledo
Cake: Eston's Gourmet Creations
Favors: The Chocolate Shoppe, Perrysburg
Wedding Dress: Atlas Bridal
Bridal Veils: Gallippo's Bridal
Bridal Jewelry: David Fairclough
Bridal Hair: Shamas Salon & Spa


Crowning Inspiration: Wedding Invitation Wording

The invitation can be one of the most difficult tasks a bride can do. So if you have already ordered yours, take a sigh of relief. But if its still on your to-do list, then this is for you.

The invitation sets the tone of the wedding. You don't have to break the bank on expensive letterpress or exquisite papers. But you don't want to go chipper-cheap (as I call it). Your paper shouldn't be anything less than 100lb. But my rule of thumb is 110lb at least. It should hold well in the hand, nice and firm. And if it doesn't, it will not hold up well in the mail and your guests will receive it with damaged edges or worse yet, creases.
I love the creations from Alicia Foehl of Sophie a Design Boutique.

The wording of your invitation is still very much rooted in etiquette. Its probably the most etiquette-binding formality left of the wedding.
Here are some proper ways to word your invite.

Mark and Mary McDonald & John and Judy Jones
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their children
Elizabeth Denise
George Michael ...

The families of
Elizabeth Denise McDonald
George Michael Jones
request honour of your presence ...

Elizabeth Denise McDonald
daughter of Mark and Mary McDonald
George Michael Jones
son of John and Judy Jones
request the honour of your presence ...

Elizabeth Denise McDonald
George Michael Jones
together with their families
request the honour of your presence ...
Mark and Mary McDonald
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Elizabeth Denise
George Michael Jones
son of John and Judy Jones ...

John and Judy Jones
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their son
George Michael
Elizabeth Denise McDonald
daughter of Mark and Mary McDonald ...
Together with their families
Elizabeth Denise McDonald
George Michael Jones
request the honour of your presence ...

These versions are taking into account that there are no divorces, deceased parents, etc. If that is the case, then a few more rules apply. Also notice that I spelled "honour" in the traditional old English, which is preferred for formal invitations.
For questions about your wedding invitations, feel free to email me!


Crowning Celebration: Marisa & Eddie

If there was ever a couple to define the term "sweethearts" Marisa and Eddie would be it. Not only were they each other's sweethearts from grade school (in which they dated on and off until college), they were sweethearts to work with! Marisa was super organized and on top of the details, which I loved! Not only were Marisa and Eddie great to work with, but so were their families! It truly was one of those weddings that united two cultures, two traditions, two families and two people.

Marisa's heritage is Mexican and Hungarian. Eddie's heritage is Italian and Greek. This was "My Big Fat Mexican-Hungarian-Italian-Greek Wedding"! The service at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral was packed with their closest friends and family. I am so impressed how many people came out to witness their vows. {Usually people skip ahead to the party}. During the service Father Ari welcomed Marisa's Mexican heritage as they not only performed the Greek Crowning Ceremony, but the Mexican Lasso Ceremony. The wedding crowns (stefana) are signs of the glory and honour with which God crowns the bride and groom during the sacrament. The crowns are joined by a ribbon which symbolizes unity, and the presence of Christ who blesses and joins the couple and establishes them as the king and queen of their home, which they will rule with wisdom, justice and integrity. The priest takes the two crowns and blesses the bride and the groom, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then places the crowns on them. The koumbaro or koumbara then steps behind the bride and the groom and interchanges the crowns three times as a witness to the sealing of the union.

The Lasso, which also affirms their union and commitment, was handmade and presented by the bride's cousin from California.
And at the end of the service, the groom's father presented the thirteen coins to the groom to give to his bride. The thirteen coins are a symbol of the groom's unquestionable trust and confidence placed in her as his beloved wife and gives the responsibility of all of his material to her. The acceptance on her part assures him back of her total love and dedication in looking after him, his possessions and her unconditional love.

I have to thank Father Ari and Pres at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral for allowing Marisa and Eddie to use biodegradable confetti! Guests had fun with it, as did Marisa and Eddie. Check out these great shots!!!
At the reception Marisa and Eddie continued with some touches to signify their heritage. We hung hand-cut paper banderas over the dance floor. They were gorgeous and very intricate! Marisa and Eddie surprised their guest with an authentic Mariachi band to serenade guests during dinner. They were fabulous!
Guests sipped on sangria and enjoyed Greek pastries.

Decorative Sound did an awesome job mixing traditional Greek and Salsa music with modern music.  Guests had so much fun - I have not seen a dance floor that packed all night in a LONG time!!! The party was going strong until the very end.

Thank you Mary Wyar Photography for these awesome pictures!!! Check out Mary's blog and facebook page. If you share these photos, please do not crop her logo.

Planning and Coordination: Crowning Celebrations, Brittany, Marcy & Anna
Photography: Mary Wyar Photography, Mary Wyar & Gregg Hart
Table Linens and Chair Covers: I Do Chair Covers
Mariachi Band: Mariachi Nuevo Zapopen
Wedding Cake: Cakes by Stephanie
Rentals: Special Events Rental
Catering: Catering by Scott
Bride's Dress: Casablanca
Bridesmaids Dresses: Waters Wtoo Collection