Tuesday, May 31, 2011


So you want some pretty flowers? Just ask Scoutmob! Looking at a grand gesture for a kid-friendly or Hollywood themed reception? Groupon's got you covered! This is one of the reasons I think one year to plan a wedding is just about perfect-- another post for another day, though!

On to business, though-- exactly why are these deals worth the money? Surely it's just a drop in the bucket of a wedding budget? That Scoutmob deal only offers a $35 max discount!

Think about it-- if you're ordering several small bouquets from Foxgloves and Ivy, you're likely to end up getting one for free with $35 off! Going with the Groupon deal will save you as much as you would have spent, AND if you wanted something extravagant but couldn't justify a nearly $500 expenditure, this gives you the opportunity to throw something extra in there that will really wow your guests!

FunFlicks on Groupon

There are hundreds of deals each day, and it takes a little bit of time to look through them all but you can really make this work for you. If you're heavily strapped, then go for the Scoutmob deals since all it requires is a subscription, and if you have an Android, Blackberry Torch, or iPhone you can get the application which will automatically save all the deals even if you don't remember to pick it up through e-mail or text!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Do you have a coop-un?

We all know that couponing is a big thing right now, and though I'm not the Extreme Couponing type I certainly enjoy a Groupon or two!

This week, we'll look at the many uses of these online coupon sites and ways to utilize local coupons in planning your wedding, putting together a rehearsal dinner or reception, purchasing gifts for your wedding party, and getting ready for your wedding!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

At Home Reception

A few weeks ago, when spring was just coming out and everyone was venturing outside, we invited some friends over for dinner! Given that we lucked out on the front porch department, we sat outside and had a wonderful relaxing night.

I sat there thinking about other parties we've had and how much fun it is to bring everyone in and enjoy each other's company! I know families who have done receptions at their homes, and while it's a bit stressful to pull the house together, you could spend all the venue rental money on food and drinks, the bride and groom can throw on a casual dress and suit, and if you have the back yard for it you could even just do a short ceremony and turn everyone loose!

Just think about it, you could do what we did this evening and make a ravioli bar (all you need is a little camp stove to keep the water boiling!), you could do a mac and cheese bar, you can use paper and plastic goods that will go straight in to your recycling bin, and you can throw some croquet sets, bean bag games, and horse shoes out and everyone can grab a beer and relax!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rehearsal Not-Dinner

Peter, Matthew and Derek at our Rehearsal Dinner-- Palate/McGowan's, Oakhurst

If you're planning a low-key wedding and trying to keep costs down, the Rehearsal Dinner is a definitely on the "what to do with it?" budget line! We got lucky and had some of our amazing rehearsal dinner gifted to us, but what if you don't?

Go to your favorite restaurant, you know you have one, the place where they all know you? Talk to the manager and let them know what's going on and that you really want to have an event there-- see what they can do about setting up a buffet like we had and let your friends and family know that you're not able to pay for alcohol (since that's usually the kicker!). I'm sure Miss Manners would have something to say about it, but our wedding party didn't bat an eye when we told them it was buy your own beer!

We also weren't shy about asking for gift cards to a couple of specific local restaurants and, contrary to wedding etiquette, we drew from some of the gift money that had been sent beforehand. These days, people realize that as a couple starting a new life together, whether you're established in your career or just starting out, a little bit of money towards the wedding is never a bad thing and folks who send money just want you to put it towards whatever you need the most!

Feel like dinner isn't your thing? Have a morning rehearsal and take everyone to your place for tea, or if there's a festival in the area (a la Decatur Arts Festival) then take your friends to enjoy the best your area has to offer. Frequently those events are free and offer plenty to do for friends of all ages!

So remember...

1) Don't be afraid to talk to the restaurant about your options
2) Be up front about your budget
3) Be grateful to the manager/owner (all the time, but ESPECIALLY if they're accommodating)
4) Don't be afraid to take advantage of your local events!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Destination Wedding!

(See, it works both ways-- our destination is a wedding and our wedding is at a destination!)

I was talking to a friend this morning and she said she'd decided that when she gets married, she's going destination wedding all the way! Many people think that a destination wedding has to be a big, expensive blowout but that's not true! If you're open to Mexico over Hawaii, you can save thousands and find all-inclusive resorts that make it easier on your guests-- all they have to do is pick up a plane ticket and a room, everything else is taken care of! There are plenty of sites like DestinationWeddings.com who will set everything up for you, and isn't that what we all want? I don't know a lot about them, but they require a $50 deposit-- I would suggest putting it on your major credit card so you have a little protection in case something doesn't work once you get in to things. The testimonials page suggests the whole shebang for under $2k, which for a destination wedding (heck, any wedding!) is fantastic!

Where would you go for a destination wedding?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ring Pop Jokes Galore

In a fit of exhaustion, I turned to my Facebook friends list for inspiration tonight-- I knew I could count on Krystal! I've seen in passing this new fad, Cake Pops, but hadn't paid much attention to it, but Krystal brought it up again so I've looked a little more in to it and I still don't know how I feel about it...

I haven't had one yet, but in theory they're pretty good and a lot of folks are starting up small businesses with them! I may not rush out to buy one, but since they're easily made (see Bakerella) I'll champion them as the perfect do it yourself treat for the cake table or the favors table! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Apocalypse Wow!

With Judgement Day nigh, I thought we should take a few minutes to think about the kind of party we should be throwing on Friday night! Clearly, since the world as we know it will be gone, you shouldn't worry too much about price, and it won't really matter how much you weigh or if you're going to have a hangover so I say celebrate Decatur style! 


For me, a party isn't a party without some amazing edible/drinkable fare, and that happens to be something we do very well in Atlanta! Sushi from Sushi Avenue and Park Tavern (who's sangria is second only to my own-- in my own humble opinion, of course!), pizza from Everybody's and Athens, beer from Ale Yeah!, wine from Sherlock's, burgers from George's, Indian food from Bhojanic (don't forget smoothies from Nectar while you're there!), a party platter or two from Chick-fil-A and I'm good to go! Sure, that's a lot of food, but who cares? It's the Apocalypse!


What's more, we're definitely scheduled for some beautiful pre-Judgement Day weather, so why not rent out The Solarium at Scottish Rite for your shindig? Need more outdoor space? Try going au naturale and impromptu at Glenlake Park or hit up the block party feel at Harmony Park in Oakhurst! If you're like me and got to The Solarium too late, perhaps the ballroom at the Old Decatur Courthouse is still open and you can fling open all the windows and feel supah fancy your last night on earth! Heck, go raid the World of Coke or the Aquarium-- we all know those dolphins love to par-tay!
Old Decatur Courthouse Ballroom

Georgia Aquarium Special Events Dining

Need decorations? Swing by Ace Hardware and see if they have any of those "old-fashioned" patio lights to string up, then hop by Taste for the tableware and Heliotrope for some party favors!


It's easy to surround yourself with your favorite things in life here in Atlanta, and whether it's Judgement Day or just any other day, I think living here is a great excuse to throw down and show yourself and your friends a good time!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Unseasonably Chilly!

Given the unseasonably cool weather this week, I'm thinking of everyone who planned for a beautiful May wedding outside! Don't panic! Grab a cute cardigan and ask your outside venue if you can bring in a few small fire pits-- you can pick up fireproof mats at Lowe's or Home Depot to protect the ground!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Birthday Bliss

I went and saw Thor last night for a friend's birthday and it got me thinking about all the amazing parties I had as a child, and the crazy parties I'll be throwing for my kids one day! My favorite party in memory was the Barbie party I had at around 7-- of course, it wasn't fancy shmancy like the inspiration board would suggest, but involved cardboard and foil Barbie tiaras and all of us wearing our very best dress up princess outfits! The inspiration board for this one is small because, honestly, whether you have girls or boys they will all create their own awesomeness when given their favorite characters! Plus, it's a fantastic use for those leftover Halloween costumes and thrift store dress up finds!

The best thing about the Barbie cakes is that now they have more affordable Barbies on the shelves and if you know someone who can cook a dome cake for you BAM! Instant, affordable, impressive to small children type birthday cake!

Baby, Baby, Baby, OH!

I just found out that a friend from HS is pregnant! I was so excited for her, and given that another friend from HS is due any day now I went in to baby shower mode!

The birth announcements could easily be turned in to an invitation, the banner is shabby chic, and I even found some modern-style animal accessories to match! This is obviously for a girl, but I went with pink and brown which can easily be replaced with robin's egg blue and brown for a boy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Inspiration Graduation!

I have sooooo many friends graduating this month that I'm overwhelmed! Several of my staff members and their significant others, girls I welcomed in to the AOII house my senior year of college, and just plain friends are all taking that big sigh of relief and holding on tight to that snazzy piece of paper! Graduation parties were all the rage in high school, so why not college? Probably, it's a little harder to coordinate, but if you have the time and a little spare change... why not celebrate a HUGE achievement?! So, here you have it, my inspiration board for the graduation party of the decade!

What's better for graduation than a great outdoor area (like Oak Alley at my Alma Mater), some festive paper lanterns, Sangria (you should really check out the recipe on that link!), BBQ and cupcakes, and unique invitations?! 

Monday, May 9, 2011


I have resisted Twitter for a looong time but I've finally caved and made an account for AEA! Check us out-- @AgapeEventsAtl on Twitter!



Agape is defined as a true and selfless love that one person has for another-- I named my company Agape Events because whenever you plan an event, you are keeping in mind the people who are nearest and dearest to you. Weddings, graduation parties, birthday parties, retirement parties, and any other event you can think of involves considering the needs of others as well as yourself. At the end of any well-planned event, you should feel closer to those around you and a sense of fulfillment that leaves you glowing from the inside out!

This week I'll be putting up inspiration boards for other events I love to plan and that have been inspired by the people I love!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Me, Mom, Kim, and Amelia Anne

Without my mother, I wouldn't be half the woman I am today-- and my wedding wouldn't have been nearly as spectacular! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Motherly advice

Today's post is a quick one and includes some words of wisdom from my dear friend Nicki, a mother of four-- she has some great thoughts on marriage in her local blog on the Patch network. The post is entitled, "Beware the Royal Wedding" and is fantastic! My favorite piece of advice?

"Feel pretty. Weddings are special. Barefoot on the beach? Cathedral length train? Backyard barbeque? Make it a special day for you."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mama mia!

Ever heard of a mother/daughter dance? I hadn't really thought about it until now; I started this post last night and the only thing that saved was the title, so with ABBA in my head I naturally thought of dancing! Looking around, I found this adorable picture from a Hawaiian wedding done by Nely Photography-- who wouldn't love a a beautiful moment like this? You could go with the soft and sweet song like many father/daughter dances, but if you're anything like my mother and I you'll pick something like Bonnie Raitt that's got a little sass to it!

Woah mama!

We've all heard about the overbearing mother who wants to run the wedding-- but what to do?! Having someone like myself around (aka, a wedding planner) can help a lot; frequently mothers feel like their daughter's wedding is something they should be helping to plan. Traditionally, it is; times have changed, however, and during my wedding my mother and I were both working more than full time, my mother-in-law to be and almost all my bridesmaids were in different states, and life was generally hectic. I would have killed, even on my limited budget, to have a wedding planner!

If your mother gets upset and you don't have someone to help sort the situation out, explain that you value her opinion and find something she's wonderful at that she can help with. Her feelings may be hurt in the short run, but when she's relaxed enough on your wedding day to enjoy herself she will see that it was all in love! Not to mention, it's not selfish or outrageous for everything to contribute something amazing to the wedding. My mother, who did more than what she got credit for, was given a break until the week of when I begged her to do the flowers. There was miscommunication on the design I wanted, but when I saw them I almost cried-- they were perfect!! I suspect that even if she only does one thing for recognition, your mother will be as thrilled as mine at the love you have for what she's done!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mother Dearest

I've decided to try the themes thing again this week since I can be a little ADD, which is great for event planning but not so much for blogging! Seeing as this week is leading up to mother's day, I thought I'd focus on moms this week...

Of course, on the tail of the Royal Wedding last week, we all know that Prince William did a lot to pay tribute to Diana's memory during the wedding-- Kate wore Diana's stunning engagement ring, they were married in the same cathedral as Diana's funeral, and the first hymn sung was the last hymn sung during Diana's funeral. I'm sure there are others that are equally as touching, and yet did little to dampen the spirit of the day, but I'll move on.

I have a few friends whose mothers have also passed before their times, and their wedding days have all been a little bittersweet. If you are in this boat, think of the things your mother would have wanted for your day-- did she have a favorite food you could serve at the reception? A favorite bakery for the cake? Do you have an old item of clothing you could fashion in to a piece of your dress or a handkerchief? Like William, you could pick a song significant to your mother, or to the two of you that could be played during the ceremony.

There are lots of beautiful ways to incorporate your mother in to your wedding celebration and still keep it just that-- a celebration. After all, she would want exactly that for you!

For my dear friend Anne-Minter, and in memory of her mother Mickey