Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Wedding Story: Picking the Right Spot

Happy Tuesday ya'll!  It's been a while since I've last updated you on where our wedding planning stands, but I wanted to make sure I had some information to make it worth your wile to read the post... and I can say I now have some good news!  In the past couple of weeks I've checked a couple of BIG items off my wedding planning to-do list!  For those of you who follow Cammi Lee Events on Facebook you'll already know this - we FINALLY set our date!  August 17, 2013 will be a great day!

A wedding at our venue {source}

As you may have read in past posts, finding a venue was a becoming very stressful.  I had many variables that I had to work with:

- Our guest list.  We originally started with around 450 people, which is A.LOT.  It was a struggle finding a venue that would fit our large group that wasn't going to cost us our unborn children and maybe some organs to cover all the costs.

- Location, Location, Location.  A lot of my extended family comes from Wisconsin.  A lot of his family comes for Iowa.  Most of our friends are from the west side of town.  Although our venue is on the east side of town, it's still less than an hour drive back home... or a 10-minute shuttle ride to the hotel! (we DON'T support drinking and driving!)

- Venue characteristics.  I had a vision for my wedding and trying to find a venue that had most of the items on my checklist was quite the task.  I knew I wanted an outdoor ceremony... but with the Minnesota weather being so crazy, I knew I needed a back-up plan.  I wanted an outdoor space to play lawn games.  I wanted a big party that would at least last until midnight.  I wanted hard alcohol.  I NEEDED cheaper menu options.  My venue meets all these wants.

- - - - - - - - - -

So, what made me choose our venue site besides what I've listed above?  I love it.  This golf course (yep, never did I think I would get married at a golf course) did a GREAT job of thinking about what a venue needs in Minnesota.  It has an event center that's separate from the main clubhouse which is comforting to know that we're not going to get a bunch of strangers attending our big day.  The event center has two areas: an indoor space and an outdoor tented area.  We'll be hosting both the ceremony and the reception underneath the tent and having our cocktail hour in the indoor space (allowing for the space to be flipped).  The indoor space is also where the bar will be set up, in addition to where we'll have the cupcakes, photo booth (and possible caricature drawings!).   Lastly, it has an outdoor space right next to the tent for us to play yard games...  Can I get an AMEN!?!

So, what were your MUST-HAVES when looking for your wedding venue(s)?  Was your venue one of your biggest concerns or were you more relaxed on where you had your wedding because you wanted other items more?

Be sure to come back later this week!  I've got more to talk about when it comes to venues!  AND I bought my dress!  Want to hear about it?  Again, be sure to sneak back!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Wedding Wednesday - Your Guest List is HOW Big?!?

Happy Wednesday!  Once upon a time, long, long, long, ago, I used to have a series of Wedding Wednesday Posts.  This Wednesday I get to talk about my own wedding process... and boy is it nothing like I thought it would be!

I have been engaged about a month and a half now and I don't have much to show for it on the wedding planning front.  I've picked out my wedding colors, we've assembled a loose guest list (ugh, big problem!), and I've got a whole lot of pins on Pinterest.  I THINK I have nailed down two dates to go between - mid- to late-June, but as most of you know, that could all change on the venue.  Why don't I have that all tied up yet - well, let me tell you, it's not as easy as it sounds!  Here's what I'm dealing with:

1. A guest list that is at 480 people (yes, I know this is insane... I'm trying to trim it up but it's proving to be a difficult task).

2. My finance's family is from Iowa.  A lot of my extended family is from Wisconsin.  The Twin Cities is the perfect middle point... which brings me to my next point...

3. Budget.  I'm not disclosing how much it is, but let me tell you that I'm playing Hudini for the next year.  This girl needs to get crafty!

4.   I'm picky.  I'm a bride-to-be who has a vision and Minnesota's venues just don't measure up.

What my dream ceremony site would look like  {Source}

So, what do you get when you add up all these variables?  An unhappy, super stressed bride-to-be who's having trouble saying "yes" to a venue.  Here's what I have found:

1.  Venues that are within our price range but further for our guests to travel (and a further drive for me if I need to head over to get some quick measurements or meet with some vendors).

2.  Venues that are AMAZING but have too high of food prices to fit our budget.

3.  Venues that are so-so for the budget but don't include everything I want (it's like buying a house, there's just some things I don't really want to compromise on)

4. Does anyone have a large piece of land with ample parking that will let me rent their space?!?! (seriously.)

Did anyone else have the problem with venue choices that I am having?  Were you a "too picky" bride?  Did you have too large of a guest list that you had to pull something out of your hat to get everyone to fit?  Were you more concerned with accommodating your guests than finding your perfect venue?  I want to hear all about it!

I'll be posting soon with some more wedding updates - I'd like to document my experience from start to finish.  Hopefully you'll join me for the ride!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Some Exciting News!

First, I want to start by apologizing for how neglectful I have been on keeping up with the blog!  I can't even believe that it has been 8 months since my last post - that's just not acceptable!  Well, with my exciting news, I hope to start up with the blog again - and to have some more exciting content.  So, what's the news I'm talking about?  Well, on May 12th I got ENGAGED!  Yep, after 5+ years of dating, my then boyfriend popped the question on a Gondola ride on the St. Croix River in downtown Stillwater, MN.  And yep, it was truly romantic!  To be quite honest, I had no idea he had it in him - he proved to be not only a romantic, but quite the planner as well!

So, the past couple of weeks have been spent getting my initial planning done - you know, talking budgets, guest list and what we want our wedding to look and feel like!  I have since started PINNING a bunch of ideas - so for those of you who follow us on Pinterest, this announcement may not come as a surprise to you, but we hope you've enjoyed our pins so far!

I hope you stick with me on this exciting journey and offer up any advice you may have in the process!  I look forward to sharing with you all my ups and downs of planning this wedding!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DIY Halloween Craft Idea

I'm not much of a seasonal decorator. I find that although we moved into a house, we just don't have the space {and honestly, the funds} to change up our decor based on the holiday or season... however, that doesn't mean that I don't like to spruce things up a bit if I can find easy-DIY tutorials for craft projects that are either cheap enough to toss when the season/holiday ends... or it's small enough and easy to store.

I came across these three simple BOO-tastic DIY projects via Better Homes and Gardens and thought I would share with you all, just in case your mentality is like mine when it comes to seasonal decorating.

This craft is quite easy, only needing a foam cone, black and pink {or any color of your choice} silk flowers, and a piece of cardboard for the brim.  For full instructions, head over to Better Homes and Gardens.

Another super easy DIY craft.  You'll need a couple of picture frames, black card stock, the free printables found on Better Homes and Gardens, a printer and some sharp scissors.

This one might be the easiest of the three.  Pick up some standard pillar candles and hot glue beads, pearls, rhinestones or beans into the shapes of the letters, then stack on candlesticks of varying heights. Voila - you've got yourself some BOO-rific candles!

Do you have some fun DIY fall or Halloween projects that you do each year?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

5 Fall Soup Recipes

I know, I know - it has seriously been AGES since I've blogged anything.  Let me give you a brief rundown of what's been going on in my life {and I mean brief... who wants to read about my life when there's parties, recipes, fall design and many other more fun things to capacitate your brain with?!}.  So, the day after Labor Day I started a new full-time job with an advertising/marketing agency that's based her in Minneapolis {previously I was working for the fuel industry doing market analysis and data input}.  With this new job, my regular hours have changed and I'm still getting adjusted with all of this extra training that's consuming my brain!  But don't you worry - fall and winter are coming and I'm more than ready to jump back on the blogging-train... as well as get all the ducks in a row to fully get Cammi Lee Events up and running.  I'm hoping to launch my new blog and web site before the end of the year... and roll out a new brand, too!  I've got a couple of 2012 weddings on the books.  So that's an update!

So... on to the good stuff!  The official start of fall was last Friday, and besides yesterday and today, the weather has been less than stellar!  And when the weather gets chilly... I like to make soup!  So here are my top 5 soups to try for fall {side note: I haven't tried all of these recipes... but they're on my radar!}  Click on the name of the soup below the photo to get the recipe!

Chicken Tortilla Soup via Pillsbury.com

Baked Potato Soup via Foodies @ Home

Bobby's Lasagna Soup via Paula Deen

Slow Cooker Chili via BettyCrocker.com

Chicken Noodle Soup via In the Kitchen with Kath

So there you have it - we have the classic fall/winter recipes like chili and chicken noodle, but then I've thrown in a couple of others that I'm dying to try {especially that chicken tortilla... mmmm!}

What are you favorite fall/winnter soup recipes?  I always love adding a new recipe to the box! :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Sweet Summer Love

Today's Wedding Wednesday post comes from the talented lauren b photography, whose work you may remember from a couple of weeks ago with the Merry'd Session.  

When Laurie sent over this wedding, we were instantly in love with all the little details that came together for a perfect summer wedding.  We love the choice of flowers, the colors, the ice cream bar, the outdoor ceremony, the decor - it just all meshed well for an awesome wedding full of gorgeous summerness!

The couple, Matt and Brier, began dating in high school and continued their relationship through their college careers at different universities.  Their wedding was held in Wisconsin at the Mystical Rose Gardens, on a hot and sunny Saturday afternoon.  The bright summer colors and DIY decor (mostly by the brides mother) totally tied together this gorgeous outdoor wedding.


Wasn't this one of the cutest summer weddings you've seen?  We adore all the DIY details and bright colors used throughout the space!  Just beautiful!

If you're in need of a photographer for your upcoming wedding or event, or just interested in viewing more of lauren b photography's work, head over to their blog or Facebook page!

Thanks, Laurie, for sharing this awesome wedding with us!