Events by Reagan

From the Desk of Reagan

5 Reasons To Hire a Wedding Planner

December 15, 2017

The question has been popped, you have a sparkly new addition on your left hand, and your mind is a flurry of excitement and decisions yet to be made.  Being the go-getter that you are, you create a planning notebook, get vendor recommendations from recently married friends, and start making your first few inquiries.  You’ve got this, right?!  And then the swarm of questions start hitting you from every angle, you have another full time job that is not wedding planning to stay on top of, and things start piling up.  Slowly but surely, stress starts to slip into the flirty fun process of planning your wedding and suddenly this endeavor doesn’t seem so easy anymore.  That’s where I can help!  If you find yourself in this position or are contemplating whether or not you need a wedding planner, here are my top reasons to hire one (now).

1. Streamline your ideas

While ideas are not something you’re short on (have you seen your Pinterest page?!), making sense of them and turning them into reality can be a challenge.  One of the greatest things a wedding planner can do is help you sift through your thoughts, identify priorities, and establish order that will lead to the cohesive look you’re after.  It is the job of a wedding planner to listen, decipher, and assist you design.  Not only do we hear your wishes and desires, your thoughts are often incredible springboards for greater ideas better than you ever imagined…and who doesn’t want that?

Rose Garden Romance

2. Keep you on track

Now that you have a direction, who is helping you stay on track?  You have decisions to make, deadlines to meet, and a budget to stick to.  So you decided to splurge and add some brass to your band (always a great choice!), that means some shifting needs to take place within the budget so you don’t go over.  I always tell my clients that I am their greatest advocate for sticking to their budget and will be the first to point out any time we are faced with a decision to stretch the limits.  I weigh pros and cons and advise on what decisions are worth it and which will go unnoticed if you don’t go the extra mile.  Your decisions need to be impactful (and timely) so that you achieve the greatest bang for your buck and don’t waste unnecessary funds on rush fees or late penalties.

Al Fresco by the Sea

3. Eliminate the pressure

Weddings and the pressure that inevitable comes along with them tend to bring out the best, and sadly sometimes the worst, in those involved.  Maybe you never knew that your fiancé has this thing about sweating and refuses to have any aspect of the wedding outside, or your future in-laws insist on inviting every third cousin and their children, or better yet, your mother tells you this is her day and you can plan your wedding when you have a daughter?  Ahh!  So much emotion swirling about the biggest day of your life and suddenly you feel like everything is teetering on thin ice.  In steps your wedding planner…  Let your wedding planner serve as a mediator to ensure that everyone’s wishes are heard and a solution is found that makes everyone happy.  Remove yourself from the equation and any potential stress.  Enjoying your engagement and not losing site of why you are planning your wedding is my number one goal – that and allowing you and your family to feel like guests at your own occasion.  No one has time for stress.  Save yourself the headache, protect your relationships, and hire a wedding planner!  (Read my post “Enjoying your Engagement” for more encouragement!)

Al Fresco by the Sea

4. Vendor connections

You have tons of friends who will hook you up with all the vendors you need, right?  Wrong!  This is quite possibly one of the most undervalued reasons to hire a wedding planner!  Maybe your friends had very different budgets than you, had other priorities, and opposite tastes?  While vendors can be versatile to meet everyone’s needs, wedding planners can place you with vendors who are a perfect fit and not someone who is adjusting their usual practices to make it work for you.  You wouldn’t see a plastic surgeon who specializes in facelifts to get a nose job, would you?  So why go with a wedding vendor who does not specialize in the style of photography or floral design that you are after?  A wedding planner will help identify which vendors make the most sense for your vision and your budget.  Utilize our well-established, veteran vendor relationships to your advantage!

Rose Garden Romance

5. They make it happen!

There’s paperwork, confirmations, invitation assembly, welcome gift delivery, set up, breakdown, orchestration of vendors, troubleshooting, execution, and much much more behind the scenes activity.  At the end of the day, do you want to be the one juggling the 50+ hats that a wedding planner wears throughout your engagement but, most importantly, on your wedding day?  When you are reading a heartfelt note from your groom, do you really want to be the point of contact for the band that’s calling to let you know they’ve broken down on the side of the road or for the hair stylist who is trying to call in sick?  Leave the interruptions and problem solving up to your wedding planner.  If there’s a glitch, it can be handled without ever having to worry you.  A wedding planner makes your life easier as well as those of all vendors involved.  If you had to identify one reason to hire a wedding planner, this is it!

Floral Island Romance

While I could go on and on with more reasons to enlist the professional help of a wedding planner, I leave you with this: this is a once-in-a-lifetime event and you deserve the best.  A wedding planner will ensure that you have the wedding experience you’ve always dreamt of and leave you with memories to cherish for the rest of your life.

Recently engaged or know someone who is?  Pass this post along and send them my way!  My team and I are ready to assist near and far, where ever your dream wedding may be.

…let’s keep in touch, subscribe to my e-letter.

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3 Ho-Ho-Hostess Gifts she’s sure to love

December 4, 2017

It’s the season of giving and who is more giving than the serial hostess in your life?  We all have someone who comes to mind.  Beyond hosting the annual parties, it’s the person who always invites you and the children over to make Christmas cookies, trim the tree, or just share each other’s company over an expertly crafted charcuterie board and wine.

One of the most fun parts of entertaining is getting creative with your serviceware.  Maybe it’s a signature cocktail glass or an interesting plate choice that bring your hostessing game to the next level.  So if you want to give your favorite hostess a gift that is sure to make her smile, consider some of these pretties!

La Double J. Plates, 6 for $250

1. Patterned dessert plates

Color, color, color!  Everywhere you turn, color and pattern are trending and people are not afraid to use it – finally!  These Italian imports are making me green with envy.

Vietri Regalia Glassware, 4 for $260

2. Statement glassware

In keeping with the current love of color and pattern, how great are these Vietri glasses?  I’m all about the vibrant, mid-century modern look these convey.  It’s like instant decor in the hands of your guests!

Side note: I have been finding tons of mid-century modern glassware in vintage antique stores for a tiny fraction of the cost.  If you like treasure hunting, hit up your nearest vintage store and stock up!  I have more than I know what to do with…

3. Gilded dishware

Metallic accents are everywhere and I’m loving it.  They add a touch of glam to an otherwise blah piece.  These four gilded pieces particularly caught my eye.  Oh how I’d love to add these to my table!

Muriel Grateau Brazilia Porcelain Tableware

Anna by Rablabs Dual Bowl, $85

Ripple Bowl by Me Speak Design, $65

Tom Dixon bowls, 5 for $100

Consider yourself inspired!  Now go treat that special hostess in your life to a gift that’s particularly thoughtful and one she’s sure to love.

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5 Entertaining Trends this Holiday Season

December 1, 2017

‘Tis the season!  May the whirlwind of holiday parties and cocktail chatter begin.  As the anticipation builds for some of the best annual parties in town, today I’m sharing some of this season’s entertaining must-knows along with every day simple tips so that your holiday party can be a seamless success.

The overall theme of what I’m seeing in entertaining these days is a no fuss approach.  It’s less about formality than it is about presenting a comfortable environment that’s conducive to a good time….which brings me to trend #1.

1. Bring out the bar carts

As a hostess, the first thing you should ask your guests after welcoming them and taking their coats is if they would like a drink.  In a perfect world, you would be able to ask and serve every person however the realist in you knows that unless you have ten clones of yourself, this is not possible.  If you can’t attend to everyone, ensure that a drink is within reach anywhere they may go.

Position a bar cart or designate a table in each room with easy access to select wines, beers, and spirits.  Since space is limited on bar carts, consider designating those as a build-it-yourself specialty cocktail stations with cute finishing instructions to accompany your perfectly planned glassware and garnishes.

Just remember, the ability to grab a drink easily is a quick way to put your guests at ease and start any party off on the right foot.

2. Eclectic for the win

Nothing says laid back, relaxed like an eclectic mix of serving pieces…which surely works in your favor because chances are you don’t have enough matching plates and glassware for everyone.  So embrace the imperfect and settle on a theme such as color palette or metallics rather than getting caught up on having the same Christmas tree china pattern throughout (besides, that’s boring!).

Lately I’ve been inspired by a San Francisco champagne bar that has a vast collection of vintage champagne buckets collected over time, many found at flea markets. The bar tailors which bucket is served to guests based on what their perceived style may be. Such a personal touch, don’t you think? Dust off that old champagne bucket you never use and bring it to life! Add some personality to your party.

3. Embrace color

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean that everything must be red and green or silver and blue.  Color is alive everywhere you look in decor, so embrace it this holiday season!  Are you a hot pink personality?  Well then tie your wreath with a stretch of fuchsia velvet ribbon to make things merry and bright.  Think brights are better left for the summer but still want to branch out from the classics?  I love how Monika Hibbs styled the second mantle with various shades of blush pink and ivory.  So fresh!

4. Moscato and sardines…

Excuse me?  Dear Food & Wine, I love you and look forward to my issue every month but I think we may be missing the mark here.

According to Food & Wine, the hottest trend in holiday hors d’oeuvres is canned seafood – sardines, smelt, octopus, you name it. The magazine claims this salty shelf item will be your new secret weapon. Hmmm…I have yet to be convinced.

The magazine is also backing moscato, an endorsement I was surprised to see considering the varietal’s perpetual bad rap. If I had to guess, it may have to do more with the fact that there is now an American version of the wine created by a handful of LA restaurateurs and not so much its “complex” character. 😉

5. Ginger, apple, bourbon cocktail

While this may not be trending, when is bourbon at holiday parties ever out of style?  Nothing quite warms me up on a cold winter’s day than a nice bourbon cocktail.  Add this ginger, apple, bourbon cocktail to your build-it-yourself specialty bar cart drink and consider yourself done.  It is composed of fresh cider, ginger beer, and bourbon in a 2-2-1 ratio.  It is sure to be a crowd pleaser and will have people coming back for more.

For more holiday cocktail ideas, here’s a link to more!

Want to stay in the know on the latest trends in entertaining and receive monthly tips and updates from me?  Join my “Monthly Musings” mailing list – click here!

Happy holidays, y’all!

xoxo,

Reagan

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Pass the Leftovers!

November 23, 2017

As I sit here waiting on the dressing to come out of the oven so I can pop in the pumpkin pie, I thought I’d share with you what I’m really looking forward to this Thanksgiving: tomorrow’s leftovers!

I’m talking about a turkey sandwich on white bread with cranberry sauce, lettuce, mayo, and just maybe some of the dressing that’s in the over right now…yum!

This year thanks to Bon Appétit I have a new twist to try: Gravy Mayo. Mayo + leftover gravy + a few fresh herbs, miso, and lemon juice…are you drooling yet?

Here’s a link to the must-see recipe.  You can THANK me later. 😉

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

xoxo,

Reagan

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Colored Candle Crush

November 8, 2017

Photo credit: Ester & Erik

For the last several months, I have been crushing hard on taper candles.  Tapers started off as the candle I loved to hate…just the wrong positioning too close to the path of an air vent and the entire candle would be gone in no time, leaving a waxy mess behind and a ruined tabletop.  For those who know me, you know I can be stubborn…so I stubbornly gave tapers the cold shoulder until I couldn’t any longer.  Now it’s a full on taper love affair.

Oh, the colors!  The widths!  The textures!  I love them all!

The thing I love the most about tapers is that they are a quick and easy way to make a statement on a table without going overboard with much else.  Simple dinner party for four?  Whip out a new box of colored tapers to send your everyday dining table over the top.  No time to pick up flowers?  Cluster an array of bright tapers on your table and voila! an instant centerpiece.

The other great thing about tapers is that they are not as pricey as the pillar candles I have loved for years.  With shorter lifespans, you can treat tapers like accessories and change it up with the season or even just your mood (why not?!).

I just used these rust tapers from Williams-Sonoma for a styled shoot at The Swan House in Atlanta.  These thin, delicate beauties looked like dynamite in the small iron candlesticks we placed them in.  This would be a great color to spruce up your Thanksgiving table! (Images from that shoot coming soon…)

Recently I planned an incredible 60th birthday celebration for one heck of a woman.  We used sleek black table candles with colorful florals on top of this dramatic table at R24 Studios.  To me, black candles were were the only way to go in this space!

These mercury taper candles from World Market may be on my short list for holiday decor.  I have a zinc dining room table and love mixed metals.  Imagine how these tapers will glisten with their reflective surfaces!

Looking for a great hostess gift as we go into this holiday season?  Who wouldn’t love these thin 12″ beeswax taper candles?  Such a chic gift, eight for just $30.

Now what excuse can I find to use these dramatic and sexy Ester and Erik tapers?  Talk about a show stopper!  …and if you haven’t heard of Ester and Erik, follow them on instagram…you’ll get lost in the colors and styles they offer!

So much eye candy, so many reasons to host a gathering!  Below are more inspiration photos I pulled from Pinterest that have my mind reeling with ideas.

I hope these inspire you as well.  Happy decorating!

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Glamorous Kansas City Wedding

November 1, 2017

Kansas City Wedding Videography – Brooke and Sean – Sneak Peek Wedding Trailer from creative films on Vimeo.

One of the best parts of concluding a wedding is receiving the film from the videographer!  You can often find me curled up by my desk with the goofiest smile on my face, usually crying happy tears…who am I kidding, this happens every time!

This one is no exception!  Creative Films delivered and boy-oh-boy I cannot wait to see what she has in store for their full length film.

If anyone in KC (or beyond!) looking for a fabulous videographer, this is your gal!

Want to see more beautiful images from Brooke and Sean’s big day?  Click here!

Enjoy!

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Sean + Brooke’s Elegant Theatre Wedding

October 27, 2017

Last weekend Brooke and Sean were married in downtown Kansas City and celebrated with pomp and circumstance fit for royalty!  57 caterers, 12 bartenders, 20 florists, 3 lighting technicians, 4 photographers, 2 videographers, 4 event planners, 5 band members, 1 cake designer, 6 hair and make up artists, 8 bridesmaids, 9 groomsmen, 7 ushers, 6 flower girls, 3 ring bearers, and 440 guests.  To say “it took an army” couldn’t have been more true.

Kansas City Wedding Videography – Brooke and Sean – Sneak Peek Wedding Trailer from creative films on Vimeo.

Thank you to the incredible vendors who helped make this day happen:
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Wedding Chicks Feature: Moody Modern Fall Wedding

October 25, 2017

The air is crisp, leaves are turning, and it finally feels like fall!  So what better way to welcome the season than with a feature in Wedding Chicks?

They’re calling it “How to have a Moody Modern + Rustic Fall Wedding Day.”  This shoot was a ton of fun to design and I had the best time spearheading it with dear friend and talented photographer, Leigh Miller.  This is for the texture-loving, color-loving bride.  Go bold or go home!

Link to the full feature here – and more images here.

Excerpts from the article below.  Enjoy!

So Fall is upon us, and what better reason to get your moody modern vibe on is there? Deep maroons and burgundy color palettes and mixing minimalist style with cozy textures just makes us want to curl up near a roaring fire as we clutch our coveted seasonal PSL. 

This gorgeous shoot took that rustic barn style and classed it up to a level we weren’t even aware of! To see more just keep scrolling and don’t miss out on a single detail, we have a full gallery that is packed with stunning fall decor thanks to the talents of Leigh Miller Photography and Events by Reagan

Venue + Candles

This boho barn shoot is full of inspiration for the bride who is not afraid of deep, rich colors and one that had the cattle rancher doing a double take. Our setting was the most unassuming of locations: a historic 1879 barn on an operating cattle ranch in. The barn’s interior was filled with unbelievable textures of exposed stones and weathered wide plank floors, expansive barn doors, cathedral heigh ceilings, and towering windows that let sunbeams shine through. Once inside, you felt as though you had discovered a hidden treasure, a portal back in time. It was the perfect setting for our shoot. 

Ceremony + Barn

We focused on color and textures to create a moody and romantic setting, mixing custom elements with easily accessible store bought items. The wine colored velvet linen, plum feathered pillows (Target purchase!), mixed metals, and lush florals really popped against the natural textures of the old, worn barn. Toss in lots and lots of candles and (voila!), a dramatic ceremony setting. 

Good Earth Floral knocked the florals out of the park and must have jumped inside my mind when I said we wanted a moody, dripping candle ceremony setting. Ashley truly brought my vision to life…and if you only knew the fear that coursed through our veins as we lit all of those little candles on wobbly 137 year old barn planks.

 

Table + Pillow

The dinner table was set under a low lying branch of an old oak tree. Wooden benches with pillows tied in the formal table to the more rustic barn setting. Marble tiles (from Home Depot!) with gold calligraphy atop a patterned napkin served as place cards for each guest and colorful jewel toned and pink pastel votives littered the center of the table. 

Flowers + Calligraphy

Florals of deep burgundy and peach with trailing greenery loosely draped over their brass containers created a bohemian yet sophisticated setting. 

Loveletter Studio’s dramatic modern calligraphy was striking in wine colored ink against our sultry florals and velvet table linen. 

Bride + Groom

The bride was dressed in a form fitting gown with a free flowing skirt from Altar Bridal. She was accessorized with a fur shrug and striking burgundy velvet heels. Her real life groom wore a gray plaid suit with plum accents and their chemistry was off the charts! 

It takes passion and (sometimes) guts to get the job done! After sharing a toast of sparkling rosé in gold etched champagne chalice and a piece naked wedding cake, the couple was sent off under a shower of gold confetti! This shoot was the marriage of many unexpected design elements, resulting in a bunch of sexy inspiration!

Much love to all of these lovely vendors!

Photography: Leigh Miller Photography
Venue: The Historic Taylor Barn 
Florals: Good Earth Floral Design Studio
Bridal Gown: Altar Bridal 
Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic 
Hair & Make Up: Magdalena Styles 
Calligraphy: Loveletter Studio
Cake: McLain’s Bakery 
Rentals: UltraPom 
Linen: La Tavola Fine Linen 
Glassware: West ElmAnthropologiePottery Barn 

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Featured on Inside Weddings

October 17, 2017

Events by Reagan couple, Melissa and Tom, are featured on InsideWeddings!

Excerpts from their write up below.  See the full feature {here!}.

Though Melissa Cooper works in catering at a luxury hotel in Chicago, she and her fiancé, Tom Funk, decided to host their wedding in her hometown: Kiawah Island, South Carolina. As both the bride and the groom are in the hospitality industry, food and beverage were important aspects of the celebration. “I viewed the day through the eyes of the guests,” shares Melissa. To start, those traveling from out of town were greeted with a welcome bag. 

Instead of a full bridal party, the couple elected to have one attendant each: the bride’s sister and a cousin of the groom. His other cousin officiated over the vow exchange. “We wanted the day to be intimate and personal,” affirms Melissa. “We asked all family to wear blue since we did not have a formal bridal party.” The bride wore a designer gown from Dimitra’s Bridal Couture, a salon in her current home of Chicago. While it was strapless with a sweetheart neckline during the “first look,” she had an illusion neckline and sleeves added for the ceremony to match the lower sheer portion of the skirt. 

To complement the beauty of Kiawah Island, the sweethearts wanted to bring the outside in, incorporating natural and organic elements into the décor. Guests sat on wooden benches during the ceremony, and the reception featured a variety of nature-inspired centerpieces: traditional flower arrangements, tall trees, and bowls of floating candles and blossoms. Rose gold was used as a metallic accent to match the bride’s wedding and engagement rings.

The newlyweds had their first dance to the modern classic “All of Me” by John Legend, while the father-daughter dance had a particularly personal touch. The bride and her father swayed to “Sweet Melissa” by the Allman Brothers, which the bride was named after. She and Tom made sure to carve out time for themselves during the celebration, eating separately from their guests. 

Afterward, they were sure to party with everyone to tunes played by a live band flown out from New York City. Though the entertainment went over wonderfully, it did lead to the one thing Melissa would change from the big day. “I would have extended the reception by 30 minutes to have more time to dance,” she admits. However, once their time was up, the newlyweds had a wonderful send-off as they were showered with pink rose petals before getting into a vintage convertible for their getaway. 

Many thanks to the talented team of vendors who helped make this day possible:

Tim Will Photography, Charleston Stems, Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal, Kiawah Island Club, Lifestage Films, TEC, Ooh! Events, EventHaus, EventWorks, Latavola, Bliss & Bone, Laura Hooper Calligraphy, Braxton Crim, OtherBrother Entertainment, Sam Hill Entertainment, Charleston Style Limo, Cacky’s Bride Aid

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International Destination Weddings – Italy Part II: Villa Medicea di Lilliano

October 6, 2017

Image from Villa Medicea di Lilliano

After breaking through the dreamy haze of what was our Tuscan vow renewal, the following day we departed the quaint Val d’Orcia region of Italy and headed north towards Florence for Villa Medicea di Lilliano.  It was shoot day!

This was a shoot that Sansaara Photography and I had been tossing around for months – actually from our very first phone conversation – and after our first home run collaboration together in Atlanta, we decided to pull the trigger over the summer to make this international shoot become a reality.

Assembling our vendor team was a thrill.  When Villa Medicea di Lilliano accepted our request with open arms, we were ecstatic.  The villa is an exclusive event venue but first and foremost a private home to the Malenchini family, who has owned the estate for over two centuries.  Before the Malenchinis, the estate belonged to the famous Medici family and was visited by top aristocracy and royalty including King Frederick IV of Denmark.  Stepping onto these pristine grounds and strolling the property thinking of its long history literally took my breath away.

After securing the location, I was fortunate enough to be connected with the talented Ilaria of Artemisia Fioristi in Florence.  I loved her philosophy of design, rooted in her background of art history.  She chose the name Artemisia for two reasons: Firstly, Artemisia Gentileschi was a Caravaggio school painter in the 1600s who was one of the first to acquire fame as a courageous woman who broke the rules of the times.  Love that.  Secondly, artemisia is also the name of a plant with many varieties…and voila, the combination of history and flowers.  This plus one glance at her work and her incredible studio space in the heart of Florence and I knew we had to have her!  She was such a gift!

 

Me with Ilaria at Artemisia in Florence

When it came for design, our goal was to stand out.  So much of what you see in Italy involves beautiful neutrals or soft pastels with olive branches – all incredibly lovely!  But we wanted to be cutting edge and introduce design that has not already oversaturated the market.

We sought to combine organic elements with modern, high fashion touches.  I am crazy about juxtapositions and combining the unexpected – and we were outside of Florence after all, the Italian center for fashion and design!

For floral design, we loved the idea of fruit bearing branches.  I wanted to keep things very organic as though the arrangements were just clipped from the garden and orchard and plopped loosely in a vase.  I wanted the design to feel very refined and high end, yet relaxed and natural.  Ilaria ran with this freedom, introduced us to flower types we’re not used to seeing in the states.  She created the most delicious arrangements…literally…the bouquet may or may not have been completely composed of edible plants.  I cannot wait to share!

As for the rest of the shoot, you’re just going to have to wait!  It was a day that had me pinching myself from beginning until end, watching the sunset and the lights of Florence come alive from on top of the hill.  For me, it was truly a dream come true and hopefully the beginning of a fruitful relationship with the wonderfully kind Italian professionals I had the privilege of working with.

Thank you also to Veronica Couture, Lindsay Marie Design, and Elizabeth Porcher Jones for donating your incredible talent and trusting me to take it with me abroad.

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