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The Business of Weddings & Events

Guys, 2017 marks 10 years since I launched Always Planned.  It has absolutely been a roller coaster.  A fun, wild, exciting ride that has taken me places I never thought I'd go, and introduced me to so many amazing people and opportunities.  I'm blessed beyond my wildest dreams! 

But let me tell you, it's not always easy to own your own business, be your own marketing/PR firm, and planning/designing 12-15 large scale weddings and events each year.  It's hard work, and incredibly stressful. In the ten years I've been doing this, I won the SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, have had my work published in print and on several national wedding sites, plus I've successfully launched three additional brands and "not so successfully" tried a few others - HA!  Needless to say I don't stop.  So this year–2017–I've decided to simplify my life.  Those of you who know me, are probably giggling a little right now.  Because, you know how hard this is for me to even admit, let alone take action and focus on the bigger picture. 

What does SIMPLIFY mean to me?  Well, in this instance it means I've taken a step back, written out my life goals, and adjusted my course.  What it means to Always Planned, is that we're getting a new name, going a new direction, and making some bold moves.  We've always loved to think outside the box, but this time - we've shattered the box and stepped over the rubble. 

Yeah, it's slightly dramatic.  But, honestly, I feel like it's a little dramatic.  At least it is to me - because in my year of Simplify, I'm facing my fears and forgetting the past, getting lost in the future and diving in to what really motivates me.  I kind-of feel like to simply may be my best year yet.

What's your word for this year? 

xo, Rayna

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Destination Ireland – Rayna + Joe

If you're like us, then you've discussed your wedding day long before the proposal even happens.  I've been planning amazing weddings for 10 years now (YES! AP Is officially 10 years old!!), and I've seen, and created, some of the most beautiful weddings in the United States and the Caribbean.  So what does a wedding planner/designer do for her own wedding?  Well, that's a good question!  Ha!  We, almost instantly, knew that we wanted a destination wedding.  Other than that, we were kind of lost.

So we treated ourselves like any other AP client.  We asked ourselves the same questions we ask you, and we both answered in our own way. 

Rayna: give my guests an insane experience, with a a glimpse into our world–and how much we love and adore each other.  Inviting, and beautiful surroundings, music that sets the tone, champagne flowing and carefully designed with "us" in mind.

Joe: something similar, but, with a wonderful meal and exquisite wines– of course.  Music is always a priority and having friends there is the main goal.

We both LOVE to travel and experience new places and things, so we wanted to give our closest a taste of that, and to encourage them to get out of their comfort zone, or try new places and things. 

After much discussion, and brainstorming sessions, we came up with a crazy adventure, where we travel the world professing our love for each other in gorgeous places, inviting our friends and family to join along. Somewhere in the middle of our trip, we have a bigger ceremony in Ireland. 

Ireland makes sense.  Not only is my family originally from Ireland, but they speak English, and it's much like the US, so it's honestly easier to plan a wedding there than, say, Morocco, which is where Joe's grandfather is from. 

We wanted a celebration that was memorable, and because we love to travel, we wanted to create incredible experiences with our friends and family, and we wanted memories that lasted more than just the life of one party.  So, off to Ireland we go, with 40+ of our friends and family!  Yeah, I said FORTY.  Crazy, right?? It truly will be magical!

Here's a glimpse into our venue, the stunning Mount Juliet Estate, in Kilkenny, Ireland. 

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OK.  I know this post is already pretty long.  So I'll do a series on the music, decor, cake and photography, but until then if you're looking for some additional info into our crazy plan, head over to our website www.StaidAndBrazen.com.  EEK! 

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What we're crushing on lately: Bridal Gown Edition

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What we're crushing on lately: Bridal Gown Edition

We are seriously crushing on some Bridal Gowns for the 2017 year. Scroll below to see what we are loving. Better yet, are you interested in where to shop these gorgeous gowns? Well, you just might have to connect with us to find out.

And... commence...

The sweet simplicity of this dress never gets old. Beautiful cut/fit up top with a loose cascade down low. This combo is always a winner.

Dresses with pockets. Because who doesn't love pockets. Need I say more?

Pretty much everything about this image. You can never go wrong with an all lace, especially when it includes a gorgeous train.

I'm a huge lover of the backs of wedding gowns for some reason. I'm not really sure why. But this one had me dying.

I'm all for the boho look. When you compliment this killer sweetheart with loose cap sleeves. All the applause.

Keeping it fun with the two piece. I'm not mad these came into style. You shouldn't be either.

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Loose flowy gowns, perfect for destination weddings. Cough Cough. I'm ready to be your personal wedding coordinator and travel companion.

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The sleeves. The beading. The detail. YES.

Out of all of them, this one has my heart the most. Loose fitting, bohemian style, incredible sleeves, enchanted scalloped detail in the back. What more could you want?

This timeless number. You can't go wrong, ever.

AND, that's a wrap.

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Pantone Inspired

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Pantone Inspired

We are jumping on the bandwagon when we say- We are obsessed with this years Pantone color, greenery!

As we began to concept our ideas for the 2017 calendar, we thought it would only be fitting to kick the year off with a Pantone inspired Bridal Booth set up. If you have spent any time with us, however, you would know we couldn't just stick with the "trend."

So, here it is. Our Pantone inspired backdrop courtesy of the cold, or possibly our desire to travel right now. If you know of anybody that is interested in planning a destination wedding, we promise we are your girls.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Stephenson

Photo Credit: Rebecca Stephenson

Big green botanical leaves were the first thing to catch our eyes as we began envisioning the year. I think Jamaica might be calling our names.

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Photo Credits: Rebecca Stephenson

Photo Credits: Rebecca Stephenson

Each small addition brought our team's passions to life. Rayna's design vision for travel and adventure, mixed with a little bit of romantic and hand written touches from Lauren made this one of our favorite bridal booths yet.

2017, we can't wait to see the incredible designs that fill our couples' celebrations. 

Also, a big shout out to each of the lovely couples we met and talked with this past weekend. We are thrilled to add you to our 2017 and 2018 calendar years.

Comment below and let us know what you think of our bridal booth!

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Engaged!!! It's about time.

Lately, I've been really getting personal with my blog posts, and well, this one is no different.  If you follow me personally, or our AP Instagram, you probably already know that... I'm engaged!  And I–we–are super excited! 

Our proposal story is random, and perfect, and absolutely us.  We've had some awesome experiences during our relationship, (think fairy-tale stuff; hot air balloon over Napa, private sailboat UNDER the Golden Gate Bridge and countless romantic walks through San Francisco), so I had no expectations for the big moment,  In fact, I helped pick out the ring and even discussed how I'd prefer he propose.  We tend to do our own thing, and would prefer to share in the experiences than follow what tradition tells us to do.  So on November 14, in the middle of a normal evening, during a super moon, after adoring the night sky, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was utterly romantic, and the most special moment we've had.  It was completely perfect!  We even bought a small token to remember that moment–a Christmas Mouse ornament we named Henry Pierre.  (We can be a bit quirky.)

 

So there you go!  I'm, WE, are officially engaged!  This year I'm joining all of the other fabulous Always Planned couples and I'm planning a wedding.  This one, though, is in Ireland. 

Oh, and Henry Pierre is coming along! Stay tuned.

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Kentucky's Newest Luxury Wedding Venue & Bourbon Distillery - Castle & Key

We're not going to bore you with how awesome this collaboration was, we'll just show you and let you decide for yourself.  We're pretty confident you're going to love it – almost as must as we do.  Enjoy!

Venue:  Castle & Key – Frankfort, Kentucky|  Photographer:  The Malicotes   |   Design/Flowers:   Always Planned

Calligraphy by Kelsey Marie

Calligraphy by Kelsey Marie

Flowers & Design by Always Planned

Flowers & Design by Always Planned

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Furniture provided by Market on National

Furniture provided by Market on National

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Who We Are, What We Do & Why?

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Who We Are, What We Do & Why?

I recently wrote a very personal blog post, where I proclaim my love for the wedding industry and come clean about some real feelings I've had in the past few years. 

With this new fresh outlook on my business, I've decided to dive in to who we really are, and what Always Planned stands for.  We've always had a mission statement and core values as a business, but we recently re-evaluated who we are and who our ideal client is.  With this change, comes a few changes in how we work.  It's a lot of exciting things happening all at once, and just in time for engagement season! :)

In our quest to find our ideal client – we discovered our ideal company.  Here's a few of our answers to some key questions.  We believe in transparency so we're excited to share with you!

What does Always Planned do?

We create elegant, sophisticated experiences. Whether for weddings or corporate events, we curate each unique event to the very last detail.

What emotional benefits do we deliver to our clients?

We remove stress, offer a peace of mind, and act as a sounding board for our clients. We are their true support system while planning their event. We act as a mediator between stressful family situations and even combat vendor situations that arise. Our end goal is to make the biggest celebration of their lives one they will never forget.

What sets us apart from our competitors?

Always Planned is full service. With both event management and design direction, we encompass all planning that can fall into your event. We also provide in-house florals, invitation design, and travel bookings.

What's the primary message we want to convey to our clients?

Always Planned has their back!  We want their wedding/event to stand out as much as they do, and we take pride in creating a one-of-a-kind experience from start to finish. There's nothing more rewarding to us than bring our designs, and our clients dreams, to life.  

So there you go!  A little snippet into who we are and what we love. 

Next topic?  Community.  Stay tuned.

 

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Vendor Spotlight - Reel Special Productions

Well, hello there!  Yeah, I'm talking to you.  We're starting a new series and it's all about the phenomenal group of people and companies it takes to pull off every event.  This is some hard work, and we love to surround ourselves with like minded individuals, who understand that it takes some serious organization and team effort to create the best parties. 

We're not saving the best for last – we can't help ourselves but to go straight to the top.  That's how we roll.

We've said it a thousand times and it never tires - Kentucky has some super talented people, who are proud to call Lexington home.  First up, is the crazy fun and energetic husband/wife team of Reel Special Productions.  They also happen to be the cutest couple, and have an honest passion for love and life. 

Here's what Ryan had to say about their company.  

Who is Reel Special Productions? 

Kentucky's premier wedding video provider. We pour our hearts into every wedding video we produce so you and your loved ones will treasure it forever. Every wedding is unique and special so we offer wedding video services that are tailored to meet all your needs.

Interested in meeting up with this great husband/wife team? We don't blame you!

Reel Special Productions would love to meet with you and discuss the possibility of capturing your wedding day. 

Here's how to find them. 

  (859) 221-3885    |   Facebook  |   Instagram   |   Twitter   |   Inquiries@reelspecial.com

Plus, did I mention that we love working with these guys?  We absolutely do! 

XO, Rayna

 

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