Friday, June 16, 2017

Why you NEED a Wedding Planner

Why you NEED a Wedding Planner
As told from an Outsider turned Insider of the Wedding Industry

I’ll be honest and say that I thought wedding planners were for ‘fancy’ people; people who were going to spend a lot of money on their wedding, didn’t have much vision themselves, were going to have a ton of attendants, or be at some snazzy venue. Being a design major, having coordinated small to large-scale events, and throwing my own extremely detailed parties, I figured I would not need or use a wedding planner when the day came. Let me tell you, ladies and gents, that all changed the first time I was the day of coordinator assistant for a wedding with The Darling Wedding Co. Now I know I will have a planner, and you should too. Let me tell you why.

Darling Wedding Co’s owner Jayme always says, being a wedding planner isn’t about designing fun stuff, you are the project manager for the wedding. Wedding planners are the crisis solvers, crisis preventers, the go-to’s, the liaison, the person who has to deal with all the stuff so that you don’t have to and can just enjoy your wedding.

These are examples of some of the things wedding planners handle on the day of your wedding:

-       They are the first to arrive at the venue to start setting things up, making sure all the vendors arrive, and everything goes where it needs to go

-       If the couple is taking pictures during hors d’oeurves or cocktail hour, as is typical, bringing them a plate of the snacks or making sure they get some so that they don’t go eight hours without eating and can enjoy the food they selected too

-       During the reception, make sure bride and groom have their drink of choice waiting for them at their table or brought to them so they don’t have to wait in the bar line, but can mingle with guests and stay hydrated

-       Moving the presents somewhere! This seems like a simple task, but depending on how many guests bring presents and cards to a wedding, this can be a big ordeal. We once filled a small horse trailer with presents and décor! And yes, we were the ones mainly hauling everything around so that your mom can stay dancing and not worry about it!

-       Clearing all the rental items, packing them up to be ready to be picked up by the rental company. Most venues and rental agencies want people out by a certain time and all the stuff gone too! With wedding planners, we take care of the tear down, or at least a lot of it depending on the venue, so that you, your bridal party, and parents can enjoy mingling and dancing through to that final song

-       Make sure the flowers are delivered on time

-       Bring flowers from the ceremony site back to the reception

-       Attach boutineers for the groomsmen

-       Arrange centerpieces and table numbers

-       Arrange place cards

-       Adjust table settings when your cousin shows up with that long-term on-again-off-again apparently on-again boyfriend after all so he has a place to sit

-       Keep the party moving on time

-       Give the band directions to the venue when they get lost

-       Coordinate where the bride and groom are at all times if they aren’t supposed to see each other before the ceremony to guarantee them not accidentally running into each other

-       Find a nursing area for your bridesmaid

-       Help bustle your gown if necessary

-       Make sure the DJ knows when to introduce what events ie. Special dances, speeches, cake cutting, how to pronounce your bridal party’s names, etc

-       Make sure the right tables get cleared to create a dance floor and guests from those tables are informed

-       Handle any issues that arise between vendors or at venue hopefully before they even become issues
The list goes on and on and this is mostly day of the event things.

Before the day, planners help with just that – planning! Helping execute your vision in the best way possible. They have that inside knowledge to help you choose between your two favorite caterers because chances are they’ve worked with them before. They can help you decide on what rentals you’ll need or want, how best to arrange tables to allow flow through the room, what size centerpiece arrangement will look fitting with which sized table. Their insider knowledge on costs and pricing will actually help you spend less by creating and keeping to a realistic budget. A planner will help make sure everything goes smoother for you.

For couples, your wedding should be about your marriage. Wedding planners take away or alleviate the burden of the details that often consume people and shift the focus away from marriage planning. The Darling Wedding Co planners have a range of planning packages so you can decide just how much help you think you’ll want or need. But between us, you need more help than you think! Big or small, urban or rural, ballroom or barn, go with a wedding planner, and enjoy your wedding that much more!

Ariel – the assistant

Ariel has worked in the wedding industry for the past 6 years as a bridal stylist, bridal shop owner, and now veil designer. She has assisted with day of wedding coordinating for The Darling Wedding Co occasionally for the past two years.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Michelle and Nick 02.06.16

Michelle and Nick’s Vintage Winter Wedding | February 6, 2016

Ceremony | Holy Wisdom
Reception | Lake Windsor Country Club
Photographer | Twig and OlivePhotography
Florist | Sweet Pea Floral
Bride’s Dress | Marah’s Elegant Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses | Vera’s House of Bridals
Groom’s Suit | Nedrebos
DJ Mueller DJ
Baker | Craig’s Cakes

Photographer’s blog post with this wedding:

We first met Michelle in 2014 when we hired her family’s company, Acker Builders of Waunakee.  From the moment we met the Acker family we knew we would make a great team!  (And boy did we on both Michelle and Nick’s wedding and on the gorgeous home they built for us!)

When we initially sat down with Michelle, her sister, and her mother it became clear that they were interested in a large wedding focused on family and friends.  To our further delight, the family includes a couple of adorable pups!

First challenge? Determine the location for a guest list that included just over 400 people!  Here in the Madison area or up north near where Nick’s family is from?  We went to work and were quickly able to find them numerous locations to meet their style, budget and the size of their wedding. After touring several places, Nick and Michelle decided keeping things close to home was the best for their families and ended up choosing Lake Windsor Country Club for their reception and Holy Wisdom for the ceremony.

Next item to tackle was photographer!  Michelle’s love of all things vintage made us immediately think of Bobbi at Twig and Olive Photography.  But, as any good planner we like to give our clients options.  Michelle and Nick met with Bobbi and immediately hit it off!  (And so those other options flew out the window!)  Bobbi has an innate calming effect on people that allows them to relax and allow her to guide you.  (Relaxing is not always easy for clients, as having a camera in your face for hours on end is not normal for most people!)

Because a big family wedding needs beautiful decor and amazing music, those were our next two items to tackle.  For flowers we stuck close to home with Sweet Pea Floral of Waunakee.  Cathy is a force of nature; she is all energy and ideas!  Meeting with her is so much fun! Within the first ten minutes of meeting with her we knew this was not going to be your average floral, this was going to be something special.

Selecting Scott from Mueller Mobile DJ’s was another no brainer for Nick and Michelle.  Our mandate for them with regards to what they wanted from a DJ was clear.  They wanted a DJ that did not act like an awful stereotype.  One who would simply keep the dance floor packed the entire night.  Scott, a former band geek with the UW marching band, just loves music and it shows in how he runs the tunes for the night.  We have been doing weddings with Scott since 2004, so we can happily attest to his skills!

When the wedding day arrived we had our plans, and like any good planners we had back up plans if those did not work.  It all went off without a hitch!  The weather, which was our main concern, and always out of our control, was PERFECT!  The guests were having so much fun that we literally had to kick people out at the end of the night!

We would plan this wedding and any other weddings for this family any day!  Since it is clear that Nick and Michelle are together for life, we may just have to settle for building another home with them……

(If you love Michelle's style as much as we do and are in the market for a new house, check out the Acker Builders parade house at the 2017 MBA Parade of Homes running from June 10-25th in Waunakee, WI.)

Jayme and Katie

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Vendor Spotlight: Ariel of Aeva Made

Aeva Made
Colorful Veils for the Modern Bride

For this week’s vendor spotlight, we’re highlighting our very own assistant, Ariel of Aeva Made! Ariel formerly owned a bridal shop for over four years and since closing her shop has started creating gorgeous custom veils. Read on to hear what Ariel has to say about the magical power of veils and see what she’s doing to make them extra special! 

There’s a special moment that occurs when a woman puts on the right veil with the right gown for the first time. As a former bridal shop owner and bridal stylist for the past several years, I had the joy and pleasure of witnessing and assisting with this process. The bride has found the dress, it’s gorgeous, maybe a little different than she expected but there’s something about it that just feels right and makes her happy and excited. And then, you bring out the veil and place it on her head, and the room often goes quiet, hushed by the magic of the moment. In this moment, this woman in a gown has been transformed into a bride, a future wife. The veil now embodies everything she is and has been and everything she is going to be. With origins and symbolism related to hiding from or scaring off evil demons, a first face reveal with the intended groom, and humility or morality, they have been a standing tradition for brides in most cultures around the world since ancient Roman times. The fact is they are beautiful, should make you feel like a goddess, and maybe need a bit of modernizing. So, I started creating hand dyed veils, incorporating colors and flowers onto them!

painted veil

By adding a pop of color to the veil, it breathes a new life into this historic custom. My main inspiration stems from an old painting of Titania and Oberon, the fairy king and queen, walking through the forest. Like floats of gossamer capturing petals from the wind, Garden Veils capture the ethereal nature of the earth, incorporating colors of the season, your flowers, or your wedding.

wisconsin bride, modern bride, aeva

wisconsin bride, real bride

I mostly use English net for my veils. It is a softer than tulle and has a less poufy drape than tulle. It’s the material Kate Middleton’s bridal veil was made from. I love using it because with its softer drape, it simultaneously has a nostalgic, ancient, mystical feel and modern, bohemian feel to the look.

painted veil

painted veil, dyed veil, veil trend, wisconsin bride

Have any questions about veils, or interested in ordering a dyed Garden Veil, contact me, Ariel, the designer of Aeva Made and assistant here at Darling Wedding Co, at and view my website for more information at
xo Ariel

Monday, April 24, 2017

Neutral Territory

Trend Tuesday

Bridal Guide Online perfectly captures our love for all things neutral - "From charcoal to blue-greys, or grey-browns, a neutral color palette is perfect for the bride who wants to achieve a classic, sophisticated feel that won’t seem dated or look too trendy in years to come." Neutral color schemes exude a sense of peace and tranquility. When blending whites, ivories, beiges, or any other neutraldon't be afraid of texture. Texture can play a large role against an otherwise mundane backdrop. Incorporate lace, linen, and cotton - mix textures together. Remember the old adage stating to never combine white and ivory? Well we say, do it!

photo credit:

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Getting To Know Us Part 3

Up next is our new Social Media Coordinator and Assistant...Ariel.  (She rounds out our red/auburn haired trio!)

Ariel Arnson
Assistant | Social Media Coordinator

Ariel met Katie while they were in sister programs within the Design Studies department  at the University of Wisconsin –Madison. Their complimentary styles and matching auburn hair made them instant friends. Ariel graduated with a BS in Textile and Apparel Design in 2011 with a focus on weddings and textiles. Following graduation, she moved down to Houston to help open and style brides at Antrhopologie’s first wedding store, BHLDN, and later moved to Chicago for their second store. Missing Wisconsin, Ariel moved back to her hometown area in Delafield, and opened her own bridal shop, Aeva. Even with running her bridal shop, Ariel would occasionally assist Katie with Day Of Coordinating for Darling Wedding Co. Due to some unforeseen issues, Ariel closed her shop in 2016 and is now focusing on creating custom veils and textile dye work – and helping us!

We couldn't be more excited to welcome Ariel to the team!

Fun Facts About Ariel:
Cat vs. Dog: Dog – Ariel have a huge Swiss Burnese Mountain dog, Fritzl, at home along with 12 hens!
Passion - Nature, if Ariel didn’t work in weddings or creating things, she says she would be a landscape photographer.
Design Aesthetic - As a stylist and designer, has the keen ability to transform or shift her aesthetics to capture and enhance the style of her clients. Therefore, Ariel’s personal style is often as transient, but would best fall under the category of nostalgic romantic, overarching a broad spectrum of boho-chic.

Most Embarrassing Moment - Let’s just say Ariel has learned how not to be too embarrassed by her sporadic clumsiness. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Oscar's Recap

Wow! What an Oscars! There’s so much to say, but we’re here to weigh in on some of our favorite fashion from the night.

Best Dressed: Emma Stone in Givenchy, Winner Best Actress for La La Land
Why We Love It: As fellow redheads, we already have a soft spot for this dynamic actress. The gold beads contrasted enough with her creamy skin, giving her a warmer skin tone and bringing out the accent tones in her hair. We love the blend of styles between a ‘20’s flapper gown with vampy ‘40’s waves and that classic red lip. Seems like that golden glow was a good luck charm for this Oscar winner! We could totally see this gown translated for a NYE style wedding.

Best Dressed: Viola Davis in Armani Prive, Winner Best Supporting Actress for Fences
Why We Love It: Red is such a beautiful, rich color against Viola’s gorgeous dark skin. The style lines are ultra flattering for her curvy figure, and we love the positive negative balance of the peek-a-boo shoulders and demure open back. Styling her hair in a short do combined with the style lines along her bust, shoulder angles, and halter neckline framed the focus onto her face and that gorgeous winning smile!

Sexiest Gowns: Jennifer Anniston and Halle Berry; Presenters; both wearing Versace
Why We Love It: Hot Hot Hot! These ladies know how to pull off a balance of covered and revealed, glam and casual with natural hair and blingy gowns. They both embodied ease, sophistication, and sex appeal. We were not surprised to find out that Versace designed both of their gowns.


Most Desired to be as a Wedding Gown: Auli’l Cravalho in Rubin Singer, Best Original Song Nominee Performer for Moana
Why We Love It: Love the balance of white and silver, matte and shiny, as it radiates texture in both fabric and dimension. It is a gorgeous play on a classic silhouette. We could easily see a bride walking down the aisle in this gorgeous gown! Also – wow, her voice!


Best Late Night Look: Vanessa Hudgens in Kristian Aadnevik at the Elton John AIDs Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party
Why We Love It: Vanessa Hudgens describes it best... “bridal lingerie, but like… what Aphrodite would wear.” Yes. That’s exactly it! We’d totally want this for our honeymoon!

Best Dressed for the Men: Tarell Alvin McCraney, Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay for Moonlight, and Dev Patel, Presenter
Why We Love It: Tarell Alvin McCraney looked radiant in his cream and ivory tuxedo. The tone on tone was sharp, sophisticated, and fresh! Paired with those sockless loafers, he looked chic and comfortable.

Dev Patel presented in a classic white tuxedo with a black bowtie and black slacks – this combination reminds us of the original ‘Sabrina' with his classic rich sophistication and confident manliness. Always a winner in our book! This can be easily replicated for a classic groom look as well!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fashion Friday

To Veil or Not to Veil

The tradition behind a bridal veil dates back to ancient Greek and Romans’ fear of evil spirits. The veil was a form of disguise, not only for the demons, but also for the bride’s partner. The tulle fabric would shield the bride’s face from her future spouse; as superstition believed, it was bad luck to see one another prior to the wedding ceremony.

Eventually, the meaning behind a veil began to take on a religious tradition. Veils symbolized modesty and chastity similar to that of a white gown. While veils can still serve a religious purpose today, veils are now seen as a bridal icon.

In many cases, trying on a veil for the first time is the moment that transforms you into a bride. It completes the transformation and acts as a personal style statement. From traditional cathedral veils for a royal feel, to caged veils for a more period feel, the most important part of a veil is how it makes you feel. It’s important not to compete with your dress, but compliment it. Don’t cover up the drama of a gown.

Consider reasons why a veil may not be the perfect fit for you. Is your wedding outdoors? Veils can be very unruly with wind, especially at beach weddings.  Beware of sticky lip-gloss – tulle is not necessarily its best friend. In that case, there are other alternatives to veils such as flower crowns, tiaras, jeweled barrettes, headbands, etc. Maybe you don’t want any hair accessories to take away from your gown? Whatever the reason, the question of whether to veil or not to veil is your decision and yours alone.

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco exchanging rings during their wedding in 1956 ( This picture shows the impact a veil can make.

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