Plan Your Perfect Tailgate! by Meredith Trent

Tailgates and How To’s...

Whether it’s in a movie, on Pinterest or from seeing the people enjoying game day around you; you see it’s possible to have the perfect tailgate experience. But how, because when you think about what goes into it, how can one not be overwhelmed?

Well here are just a few simple steps to make your tailgate one to remember!

  • Tents - they may take some time to set up but this is one item that will define the space of your tailgate. It may be a bit of an investment but it will surely pay for itself over and over again. Plus, what’s better than a tent to be under come rain, shine or even snow?
  • Seating - chances are, if you are putting on a great tailgate, people will want to stay awhile. But, people may not want to stand for five hours straight so bring some cool seating. Folding chairs, camping chairs, big bean bags, barstools, whatever you can get your hands on. Your guests will appreciate the relaxation and want to keep the party going a little longer!
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  • A wide-variety of food- hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and bratwursts are all great for game days. But, how many hot dogs can one eat in a day? Add some variety to the line-up! Tell your guests their welcome to bring some goodies, chances are they’d love to. It’s a great way to take some of the pressure and expense off you but also an even better way to spark conversation and hospitality. “Hey Michelle that dip is amazing, how’d you do it?,” moments like that are great for camaraderie and learning. So send out a fun text or quick email to your fellow tailgaters and get the party started with all sorts of yummy dishes!


  • Drink of the day - now this is really fun, you get to play bartender! Experiment with some different alcohols and juices at home before gameday. Come up with some new ones and then title them accordingly; The Linebacker, QB Sneak, etc. Have some fun while you entertain your guests with your skills!
The "Big Blue Martini!"

The "Big Blue Martini!"

  • Details, details, details - last but not least, pay attention to the little details of the tailgate! What is it about these dream tailgates that make them so great…the details! Add a little fun and flare to your setup. Put some decorative labels or magnets on the coolers, get your team’s line of paper products, find some lights to line the inside of your tent, get fun markers to write name’s on cups, get a small chalkboard stand to write the menu on, throw some outdoor rugs down, provide face tattoos, the options are endless! The key to finding these details is trying to personalize your tailgate to your style, you’ll be surprised what you can think of.

Now of course there are millions of things we could list to provide you with a kickbutt tailgate, but now that we put you in the game, get to playing!! Remember, the best part about tailgating; you have all season long to perfect it!

New Addition To Our Team - Meet Meredith by Meredith Trent

Hi y'all, I’m Meredith!

Here at Always Planned we are all about making things personal whether it’s a design you always imagined or having a hand in your wedding day; we’re here to make it all about you!

But in order for us to do that, you must know a little about us first.  So let me tell you a little about myself…

My name is Meredith Alexandra Trent and I am one of Always Planned’s newest interns.  Saying I am thrilled to be a part of this team of women would be the understatement of the year.  Ever since I came to college I knew I wanted to major in Integrated Strategic Communication, hoping to pursue a degree in Event Planning and Public Relations. I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (go Steelers, Pirates and Penguins), and am now starting my third year at the University of Kentucky.  Now some people always ask me, “how in the world did you end up at UK then,” and I tell them all the same thing. My two older sisters, Caitlyn and Cassandra, both went to UK and after coming down multiple times to visit them my heart slowly yet surely fell in love with the city of Lexington that I so proudly get to call home now. 

Although I am far from home, I am huge on family! My dad was so blessed to have been given four (yes, four), daughters and I couldn’t be happier to have the three sisters I do.  Now Lord help him when we are just a little too much to handle at time. Sometimes too much talk about fashion, coffee, weddings, sparkle and all the other crazy things that frequently come out of our mouths sway him to go golf for the day. As they say in the south, “bless his heart!”

Leaving the city I had always known to come to college seven hours from home had its bumps and bruises. But boy oh boy have I been blessed by the state and company of Kentucky.  I have met amazing people, who may drink way too much sweet tea and Ale-8, but have forever impacted my life. Kentucky gave me the opportunities to make life my own and a future that holds everything I ever thought I’d wanted. 

I could go on for days about everything I’m interested in, what I’ve done, what I hope to do and so on and so forth; but there’s a great big world out there waiting for us to explore it. So here’s a couple things that will clear up who I am and what makes me who I am:

~ My best friend’s name is Coffee
~ I can draw no more than a stick figure
~ Chipotle has changed my life more than once

~ I bleed blue and white, go CATS!
~ I was a dancer for 12 years
~ Burpees are my frenemy

~ I plan my wedding every time I get on Pinterest
~ My puppy looks like a cotton ball
~ The word “no” and I don’t get along

~ Organization and planning have always run my life
~ My heart has turned Southern
~ I am grateful for every opportunity I am given

Find out a little bit more about my life as I go through it, follow me on social media!

Instagram: @meredith_a_trent
Twitter: @meredithtrent

New Kid on the Block by Monika Witkowski

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Hey there! My name is Sarah Martin and I am one of the new interns for Always Planned. Let me introduce myself so y’all can learn a little bit about me!

I am currently finishing up my senior year at The University of Kentucky with a major in Hospitality Management and Tourism. As a native from Vail, Colorado growing up in a resort town sparked my desire to become a wedding planner/event coordinator. Being surrounded by a naturally beautiful back drop made it a popular destination for breath taking events and I always knew I wanted to have a part in them.

With that being said, I am so excited to be a part of this amazing team and cannot wait to learn and experience all that this internship has to offer! We are all getting excited for the big launch of She Takes Flight happening at the end of January, so keep your eyes out for some awesome events leading up to the big day!

Now Hiring!! by Rayna Wallen

Here at Always Planned we believe in getting things done, having fun, and planning some pretty awesome parties.  If you, or someone you know, would be interested in joining us we are now accepting applications to add to our outstanding team.  When applying, please note which position you are applying for.  

Corporate Event Sales Manager

While, Always Planned started with weddings, we have mastered corporate and social events.  Let's be real, we just know how to party!  But planning the party is actually the second step.  First, we need to find the clients.  The person filling this position must be a Rock star at sales, organized, ambitious and have the follow through that really wows the client.  Let's work together to make their competition envious.

Here are the requirements:

The hours are flexible for this position.  Can be part-time or full-time.

  • Experience in Direct Sales is a must, event sales is a major plus!
  • Great Personality with a Can Do Attitude is REQUIRED
  • Creative Initiative is a must
  • Organized
  • Ambitious
  • Must be able to lift 20 lbs.

*Commission based pay, Benefits package available.

2015 Fall/Winter Intern

Make no mistake about it, this is a real job, with real experience in real situations. You will be involved in every aspect of the event planning industry, running and operating a successful business as well as marketing and design. In this position, you will learn as much as you are willing to take in.  Must be a self starter!

Here are the requirements:

  • 20 Hours Per Week
  • Must be available to work 3 events during your internship; can be weddings, corporate and networking related events
  • Great Personality with a Can Do Attitude is REQUIRED.
  • Creative Initiative is a must
  • Being Organized is a Major Plus!
  • Must be able to lift 20 lbs.

*This is an unpaid internship. College credit given when applicable. We are accredited through UK internship program.


Email your resume to

Refreshing Cocktails by Sara Almes

Whew…now that the rain has stopped (hopefully) the weather has been making up for lost time. It is H.O.T. What better way to refresh than to drink fun cocktails by the pool? We’ve compiled a list of beverages that are sure to wet your whistle! Feel free to share with your friends, or not. We totally understand. ;)

Strawberry Beermosas

Meyer Lemon Citrus Sangria

Summer Berry Sangria

Tropical Strawberry Lemonade Party Punch

Mango Coconut Water Tropical Martini

Rum Runner

Tropical Peach Pineapple Slushy

Lightened-Up Raspberry Coconut Punch

Backyard Blackberry Sangria

Fourth of July Treats by Sara Almes

It’s hard to believe, but Fourth of July is just around the corner! Whether you’ve been planning your firecracker party since last Fourth of July or you’re still looking for inspiration – we’ve found easy, festive, and fun snacks that will blast your party to next year’s Fourth!

American Flag Cookie Cake

Festive Mini Pies

Patriotic Punch

Champagne Soaked Red, White, and Blue White Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Brownie and Fruit Kabobs

American Flag Fruit Kabobs

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Fourth of July Toast

Rice Krispy Treats

Firecracker Popcorn

Berry Lemon Cheesecake Cookie Cups

Triple Berry Trifle

American Flag Cake

Wedding Cake Ideas by Sara Almes

Whether you’re in the market for a wedding cake, or just hungry (like me), here are some fun and unique cakes that would be perfect for celebrating your special day! With a little inspiration pulled from nature, homemade cooking, and the wedding itself, these cakes will definitely steal the show! 

It's Nice to Meet You! by Sara Almes

Hey y’all! I’m Sara, and I’m the new intern for Always Planned. I thought now would be the perfect time to introduce myself to you.

As a senior at UK in the Arts Administration Program, I have been an intern for the Lexington Philharmonic and, most recently, an intern for the Disney College Program. I returned from Orlando on Saturday, where I enjoyed a wonderful five months basking in the sunshine.

During my internship with Disney, I discovered my love for weddings and all things planning. So, here I am! I am so excited to learn and experience more as this internship takes flight…get it? If not, you should definitely check out our She Takes Flight women’s leadership and empowerment retreat. Explore our website for more information!