Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ask Ady: Can I bring my kids?

Dear Ady,

I recently received an invitation to a close friend's wedding (I am not in it) and it was addressed to just my husband and me.  I would really prefer to bring my kids since it's an out-of-town wedding, but I am not sure that that is appropriate.  However, I have heard that if a couple really wants no kids at the wedding, the invitation would read "Adults Only."  What are your thoughts?


Carrie G., Columbus, OH

Dear C.G.,

"Adults Only" is verbiage frowned upon by most etiquette experts (myself included) and is not widely used.  I encourage my clients to steer guests away from bringing children by simply not inviting them. SOOOO, let's assume for assuming sake that if your friend addressed the invitation to just you and your husband, she would prefer that just the two of you attend. 

Your best bet here is to book a babysitter for the night, kick your heels up, and have fun at your friend's wedding SANS kiddos.  . 

On that note, it is important to remember that their choice to not invite children has nothing to do SPECIFICALLY with your kids.  Children at weddings (when the couple is not prepared to host them) can pose several stressors on the planning - What will they eat?  Do they need a booster seat or high-chair?  How does this affect seating arrangements?  What will they play with?  And the list goes on...

If traveling without your children to the wedding is not possible, perhaps call the hotel and inquire about a babysitting service on-site.  This may be the best of both worlds for you.  The kids are close to you, but you and hubby will also be (mostly) free to enjoy an adult evening.  Hotel-recommended sitters are most often insured and CPR-trained and come with the *good faith* of the hotel, so they are a very safe option.  

However, as a last last LAST resort, and only if you are EXTREMELY close with this bride, you may want to have a simple conversation with her.  It is best to call your friend (rather than e-mail) and let her know your predicament and ask her gently if she would be amenable to allowing your kids to attend her wedding.  It would also be kind to allow her time to think on this before answering.  Be sure to let her know (and 110% follow through) that you will be entirely responsible for the comfort of your children.  Meaning - you will provide their dinner, share your two seats with them, make sure that they are entertained and well-behaved and that she WILL NOT have to worry about or incur cost for them. If she does allow your children to attend, it would be gracious to give the couple an additional gift just from the kids.   However do be prepared, she may choose to stand-firm on "no children," and you must accept her choice good-naturedly.

My vote?  Option 1 or 2. 

- Ady

Wedding Wednesday: Looking back on 2011

2011 has been such a blessed year for AE!  This year, our clients took us all around the country from NYC to Florida to Vegas to Napa Valley (and beyond!) and all along the way, we worked with the BEST!  We love what we do and are so grateful for all of the support.  Happy Holidays to YOU and cheers to what we know will be a FABULOUS 2012!  xoxo

 Pool Tradeshow in Vegas with Badcock Apparel .  Also got to spend some swanky Vegas time with the lovely ladies from Rowe
Photo credit Jacqueline Nicole

Hawaii and Napa Honeymoon planning for newlyweds, Scott and Cindy Hennigan AND site inspection with Candice White Nowinski.  Lucky us, we were able to spend a few minutes with Scott and Cindy on the Napa leg of their  honeymoon!  Here we are at Del Dotto Winery. 


Jen P. Baby Shower at Lindey's

SPRING SOIREE WITH ROWE & Smocks.  This was such a fun event!  Spring party tips from AE at Rowe and featuring the FABULOUS aprons designed by Kelly from Smocks. 

Andrea and Jason's Fun Florida Wedding at Carlouel Yacht and Country Club

Photo Credits:  Life's Highlights

52nd Annual German Village Haus und Garten Tour and PreTour Event.  So happy to have been the event planner for the second year.  Looking forward to a stellar 2012 event!
Getting ready for the BIG PreTour night!  Record attendance and it was FAB!

Candice and RJ Nowinski's spectacular Napa Valley Wedding weekend. 

Photo Credit:  Red Gallery

Candice and RJ Nowinki's Back-Home reception at New Albany Country Club
Photo Credits:  Red Gallery


Photo Credit:  Novia Distinctive Photography
TEA 43206...Tea for 2, 200 for Tea.  We were a sponsor of this fun inaugural event at the German Village Guest House.  Had SO much fun in our hats and loved having our besties David and Dallas in for a visit.  Can't wait for next year!   

Photo Credit:  German Village Guest House
The very dear-to-our-hearts wedding of Leslie and
Brett Gordon at Bryn Du Mansion in Granville, OH
Photo Credit:  Lotz Studios

PAWS: Inspiring Tails of Dedication event at the Hilton/Columbus Polaris.   Fabulous Pup Fashion Show styled by Moochie and Co. and our fave friends, Rowe.  One of the models was particularly handsome!  ;)

Photo Credits:  John Clark

The very special wedding of Katie and Justin Brannon at Taylor Mansion.  It was fun to find subtle Parisian touches to add to this wedding.  The couple moved to Paris right after their honeymoon!  C'est la vie! 

Photo Credit:  Amanda Julca

Our second year chairing the event. 
We raised the most funds, had the most attendees, and the MOST FUN ever! 

Real Simple Pop Up Shop in Bryant Park. So amazing to be back with our old colleagues and such a honor to have been asked.  This event was truly a spectacular end to a rewarding year.

And a big huge TREMENDOUS thank you to our
FABULOUS and ADORABLE and VERY TALENTED intern, Brittany.  

Photo Credit:  Red Gallery

SEE Y'ALL in 2012!!!  xoxo

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Real Simple Pop Up Shop DAY 1

What a day!  What an invigorating glorious (albeit quite warm) DAY! 

Day 1 of Real Simple Pop Shop has been amazing.  Had a lovely early flight (no delays!  magic!), a venti misto, and a feeling in my tummy like going to sleep before Christmas! 

Got to New York and hit the ground running.  First stop, HBO office, where we have set up our satellite planning office (I can see Bryant Park AND the shop from the window)! 

Then a tour of the shop and it looking AWESOME.   Most of the install is done, the pretty touches are going in and we are eagerly anticipating the finished product.  Which will (and always has) exceeded wildest expectations!   A few shots from today and more to come tomorrow!  
A HUGE HUGE Real Simple!  Amazing gift guide this year. 
If you can't visit us in NY, pick up a copy - such good ideas for all the
people on your holiday list!

THE MAIN STAGE!  Todd English, Gail Simmons, Mario Batali and Dylan Lauren
are some of the celebs who will be gracing our stage.  Can't wait!

Red Lip!  Here I come.  I will learn this year how to perfect this. 

Too cute!  Great gift idea (and reusable) from Container Store

I must have one of these to organize my ornaments. 
Only from the geniuses at Real Simple,of course!

Follow the fun at on Twitter at #rspopup
Come visit us at Citi Pond in Bryant Park in the greatest city in the world. 
Dec. 8-13. 
 Click Here for all of the happenings!

SO happy to be here with my favorite Real Simple gals. 

xx, Ady

Wednesday, November 23, 2011



Faux Pumpkins!
Today, we are sending you a little decor inspiration which is a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table or fall-themed wedding.  Inspired by our old days at Real Simple and perfected by our friend, Colleen Kelley, we bring you:  DIY METALLIC PUMPKINS! 

So, grab a can of spray paint and get ready.  This is SO easy and actually quite fun.  Your guests will think you cleaned out Pottery Barn of their very best decor! 

Believe it or not, spray-painting a pumpkin (or gourd or garland of fall leaves or branches or anything you want really) is fast and practically fool proof!  And the result is stunning! 

We recommend using a metallic spray paint, it makes the finish that much more interesting and luxe, but a non-metallic paint can work just fine,too.  Krylon has a metallic collection with an array of colors and can be found Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Hobby Lobby and many other retailers. 

Real Pumpkins! 
Lay down a newspaper, set out your goods, grab your can of spray paint and go crazy!  It dries in about 30-45 minutes and is ready to go.  Here is a snapshot of the little cuties that will adorn our table tomorrow. 

TIP: If you can't find pumpkins or gourds, any squash will work. 

TIP FOR NEXT YEAR:  Get your pumpkins and gourds early.  The tend to sell out quite quickly after Halloween (both real and faux).  Real ones will last spray-painted for about 3-4 weeks. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Hour with AE: Spiced Wine

This recipe comes courtesy of our dear friend, Steven Gonzalez.  It's so yummy, but be careful, it is very easy to forget that it is wine and not cider.  It is the perfect accompaniment to a Thanksgiving feast, dessert party, or simply a night by the fire.   ENJOY!  And, thanks, Steven!  xx, AE

image from
 Steven's Spiced Wine (also known as Gluhwein; prounounced GLUE-VINE)


One cup sugar

Three cups water

The peel of one orange cut into strips with a veggie or potato peeler and the juice of half the orange

The peel of one lemon cut the same way and the juice of half the lemon

A few cinnamon sticks (about 4 small sticks)

One half gallon of merlot (Steven says the less expensive the better!)
Small handful of whole cloves.


In a medium sauce pan boil the sugar, water, lemon and orange peels, juices, cinnamon sticks and cloves for 10 minutes stirring regularly. Strain out all solid pieces but reserve the cinnamon sticks.

In a large stock pot add the wine, the boiled liquid and cinnamon sticks. Heat until scalding but do not allow it to boil (you will boil off that delicious alcohol!) 

Serve warm with the reserved cinnamon sticks and Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaid Fashion NOW!

Pic From Wedding Blurb
 We are seeing a decline in the same dress, same shoe, same hair, same jewelry, same same same bridesmaid looks. 

Brides are beginning to get very creative with the options they give their maids and we just love the creativity and visual interest it provides. 

There are lots of fabulous combos and options out there which still provide an element of unity:
Pic from

- Same dress with personalized jewelry

- Each bridesmaid can wear a unique fascinator (yep - we are still loving them and would love to see more of them)

- Each can wear a different style of dress in the same color and texture of fabric

- Each bridesmaid can simply wear purple (or pink or yellow or coral or whatever you like).

- Each can wear a totally different dresses with one common element (like length,lace detail, or one-shouldered). 

One of favorite favorite favorite bridal party ensembles EVER was all 9 maids in completely different sequined party dresses.   Adorable (and fun!).

This trend (we hope it stays for a long time) is so refreshing.  Remember, your bridesmaids are individuals first, your maids second.  Matching their dresses to your sash exactly and providing a PMS color for shoes and jewelry is a thing of the past.   Your gals will appreciate it, too.  But remember to be specific and send ideas, especially to your maids who may be less fashion-forward or interested in baubles, fabrics, feathers and all things girly. 

Tip:  Instead of giving your maids jewelry as their gift, change it up and give them a vintage brooch affixed to their bouquets.  They can then remove the brooch and wear it during the reception for a little added party flair!  

Haute Bride has a great collection of brooches (available locally at two of our fave bridal shops Big Rock Little Rooster and La Jeune Mariee) if you don't have time to comb the vintage shops.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: "Green" Wedding Ideas

"Going green" is a well-used term that most everyone embraces in one way or another.   Whether you are an avid green-living philosopher or simply someone who does their best to recycle, conserve water and not litter, one thing we all have in common is a love for our earth and the want to protect it. 

"Going green" for your wedding day is easier than it sounds.   Here are some ideas and suggestions to help get started which are surprisingly easy, interesting and sometimes can even save you a dollar or two.

Many venues are supporting green initiatives by minimizing plastic bottle use, using energy conserving lighting, and recycling.  They do the work!  You don't have to.   When searching for a venue, ask about their green initiatives.   A great venue in Columbus is the Grange Insurance Audubon Center.  It's a new facility with a fantastic aesthetic and because they are in the business of wildlife conservation, earth preservation is important to them. 

Bonus!  At facilities like the Audubon Center, your rental fee goes to support their mission.  It's as good as making a donation. 

Often times, when people think of green weddings, they worry that they won't be able to have the flowers they want, will have to use fake flowers, or none at all.   This is not the case.   Think outside the box (or in it if we are being technical) - using plants or planted flowers as centerpieces is VERY chic and sustainable.  Guests can even take them home, plant them and watch them grow (much like your marriage).  BHLDN (Anthropologie's bridal line) has amazing planters and vases for just this very thing. 

A local company with a great national presence, The Ritzy Rose, takes green bouquets to a whole new stunning level.  They create bouquets out of vintage brooches (something old! something new! something borrowed! something blue!  You can have it all in one).   These bouquets are so special and different and will be certain not to wilt. They stay as beautiful as it was on your wedding day FOREVER.  These also make lovely bridesmaid gifts for your girls to keep. 

Nothing is more green than an electronic invitation (or inexpensive for that matter).  Paperless Post has some really beautiful designs and great features for tracking invites and keeping on top of your guest list.  

If an evite is a little too non-traditional for you, think about using eco-friendly papers or even taking it once notch further and sending your invites on plantable paper.   Plantable papers have beautiful texture and color and once your wedding has come and gone, your guests are able to plant them and grow something wonderful.  Check out Botanical Paperworks.  Not only is the paper amazing, they have really great invitation designs, as well. 

Similar to venues, many caterers are doing their part for the environment by practicing green initiatives.  Using locally grown produce, growing their own herbs, reducing their use of plastic, and a myriad of other ways.  Some caterers definitely do this better than others, so ask about their eco-initiatives when meeting with them.  One of the best in the business not only for their green practices, but also for their delicious menus is Two Caterer's here in Columbus. 

Surprisingly some wedding dress materials are not good for earth or were produced in less than earth friendly conditions.   To really combat this, you can find dresses made with fair-trade/organic/sustainable materials.  Olivia Luca is one company who is leading the charge on this. 

You can also consider buying a pre-loved dress.  If you haven't already, you must visit Luxe Redux in Worthington, sister to our friend La Jeune Mariee.  Their dress selection (some are even BRAND NEW) comes from all over the country and not only are you reducing your footprint, but you are also in for a fabulous steal on a gorgeous dress.  Sell it back!  Or donate it!  Now you have done double-time on your earth saving initiatives. 

A final thought on the dress front, if mom or granny will allow it, consider remaking one of their dresses (or even combining them!)  There are fabulous seamstresses who specialize in modernizing vintage dresses for current brides.  Your dress will be green, one of a kind, and sentimental.   Betsy at Elizabeth Ashleigh in the Short North is BRILLIANT in this realm. 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!  You can do it!  And it can be SO uber chic!   

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cocktails, Couture and Vera Wang

We are finally posting the LONG OVERDUE Cocktails and Couture party pics.  We had so much fun co-hosting this event!   The fun surrounded the Vera Wang Trunk Show in town just for the weekend and exclusive to Big Rock Little Rooster.  The Friday evening party kicked off with fab makeup by Lindsay Remley of Cheek By Lindsay and hair by the talented Josie Schweitzer.   David Thielebeule, Accessories Director at Allure magazine was in town giving our lucky brides and fashionistas expert fashion advice.  We were on hand as the featured wedding planner and enjoyed chatting with brides and making new friends!  Take a peak at the fun!   And big thanks to very talented photog Stephanie Lehnert of Novia Distinctive Photography for sharing these FABULOUS pics with us!   We had such a hard time choosing which to feature!   xo

 There she is!  The fabulous and adorable Lindsay making beautiful faces even prettier!  
Creative and fun Josie!  We sure do love a good tease and she knows what she is doing! 

Bridal look inspired by KE$HA??  You like??   
Getting close to showtime!

We also featured the amazing millinery creations by Granville's own Amy Hamilton.  
 We DIE for her hats both for brides and for tea time!  Amy is a delight to know, as well! 

Romantic and pretty in Vera. 

 Yes, it did taste as good as it looks!
 The detail!   The pretty!  Oh how we love white dresses!
 Our good friend and very talented interior designer, Andrea Freeman of Arrange LTD. stopped by to take a look and perhaps garner inspiration.  Perhaps a room draped in silk organza?

Architectural and romantic.  Two more great designs by Vera.   And of course the hat just tops it off!

We absolutely LOVE this look for a Fall wedding! 

That chandelier!  J'adore.

Good party!  Fun guests. 

Adrianne with David from Allure (left) and dear friend Dallas (right).  We had so much fun!

This just delights our eye!   Love love love black and white.  Such a chic and timeless combo. 

The chick in charge!   Our good friend, Kristin - great party sister! 

If that is not a show-stopping window, what is? 
OH-IO!!  We prefer the tomahawk chop, but hey...when in Rome!!  :)