January 21st, 2014

Bride Inspired - The Waterhouse

I couldnt be more excited to see a "new" venue come to the Peoria area.  The Waterhouse has moved locations and it is FABULOUS!  This first room is the Warehouse Room and it is very similar in look and feel, just like the original space down on Water Street.  But this isnt the only space...there is another room called The Ballroom...and yet another down on the main level.. The Broadway Lounge.  Stay tuned, you will see beautiful pictures of those spaces very soon.

I could not be happier for Andrew and the entire Waterhouse staff. It is an amazing building and I can not wait for our first wedding there in June.

And what an honor to be the first to play around and shoot this amazing space.  Enjoy the beautiful images by Pam Cooley and if you are looking for a fabulous venue with great character...look no further.

VENUE - The Waterhouse - FLORAL/LINENS/CHAIRS - Heaven on Earth - GOWNS/SHOES/ACCESSORIES - Cloud Nine Boutique - PLANNING/DESIGN - HEA Weddings



Comments add a comment (0)
January 2nd, 2014

Shaina & Dan - Married November 2nd 2013

Oh where to begin!!  This couple, this family, this day....I will forever hold dear.  I always say each wedding and each client are so different from one another...but this one, couldn't be truer. 

Shaina's mom contacted me out of desperation...her daughter had been home visiting and they were out looking at Venues, searching websites, meeting with vendors...but by the time Shaina went home, she was depressed and not seeing anything she had dreamt of for her wedding day.  After a couple chats and a meeting with Mom and Dad, I knew exactly what Shaina & Dan were wanting...but it wasn’t going to be easy, they had to put a lot of trust in me regarding location and vendors. 

The Pere Marquette was closed and under construction, but I knew it was the perfect venue for their wedding and reception.  But they had never seen it first hand and had to put complete trust in me that it would be perfect.  AND OOOOOO....it was!!!!

In came the fabulous vendors to pull it all together.  There would be nothing typical about the design and details.  We needed trees, LARGE trees...moss...and the important task of making sure the "Lord of the Rings" theme would be carried through...but not necessarily obvious.  Shaina and Dan knew what they wanted and once shown all the possibilities....they were so excited but still not so sure we would pull it off.   Beth Maxwell and her team nailed with not only the ceremony but the amazing reception.  Trees that were 14 feet tall once placed on the tables...each built by hand.  Amazing fresh Spanish moss was hung to create the “enchanted look” the couple was wanting.

The finishing touch...the lighting.  It totally transformed the room...from the ceiling being covered with a leaf design, custom gobos....it truly was magical.  That night when the reception doors opened, a couple of guests walked in the room in AWE and said...”This is SO Shaina & Dan!”  Best compliment I could hear!

Jewish weddings are some of the most beautiful, so meaningful...from the Ketubah signing, the ceremony, the prayers, the Horah...I was just in awe of the whole day.  And spending it with this couple and their families...such an experience. 

At the end of the night...I cried...this is not normal for me. But saying goodbye to Bobbie, Shaina's mom really got to me.  She held my hand and gave words of thanks in a way that I had never experienced.  She left a handprint on my heart that I will always be with me.

Enjoy these beautiful photos by Cathy & David Photography.  It's a long post...but the pictures are just too good to not share. Plus, you needed to get the full effect of the day.  LOVE THIS COUPLE!!!!

Wishing Shaina & Dan all the best life can bring!!  xoxo

Love when my clients see their reception room for the first time...always a magical moment.

FAVORITE picture ever!!!

Comments add a comment (0)
October 16th, 2013

Jenny & Jeffrey- Country Glam

I will apologize now, because this is the largest post I have ever blogged.  But I couldn't do it any other way.  I love these families, this couple, and every detail of this wedding. 

Meeting Jenny and her parents was beyond an honor, they laugh, joke with one another, tease like mad...but the love between them....like nothing I had seen.  Jenny had a vision; she knew what she wanted...a beautiful country glam wedding.  Farming families...we have to bring that into the design aspect...yet knock it out of the park GLAM STYLE for Jenny. 

So in came an amazing group of vendors that I knew could bring this vision to life.  Beth Maxwell with McKinley Park Events, there are not enough words to express my appreciation and admiration in everything you do.  Nothing seems out of your limits, you and your team brought everything to life that day, THANK YOU!     From tractors, to wagons, to suspended old windows, to stalks of corn - you turned the Paradice Hotel/Conference Center into something I had never seen!  Then you walked into the Ballroom and it was just magical.  Seeing Jenny & Jeffrey's reaction was priceless.  Such a great moment!

Sounds & Light Creations came in with the beautiful lighting, chandeliers, draping - truly the finishing touches. It takes a team to create something so special and unique, and this was a top notch team all the way around!  (All the vendors’ will be listed at the bottom of this post.)

I know I say this all the time, but it truly was an honor to meet and work with Jenny and her family. I felt like I was part of their family, and I still do.  I miss our meetings full of laughter and sarcasm, but I think of you often and wish nothing more but an amazing future for you and Jeffrey!!

Thank you for allowing me to share in the planning journey, but most importantly for allowing me to be by your side on your wedding day...one I will never forget!!  (HUGS) to you all!!!  God Bless!

~Beautiful photos by the lovely Kelly McCormick Photography, I cannot get enough of these!!!~

Yep - the Party Bus got stuck in the field.  Most would panic in this situation - but not these boys, they couldn't wait to get a tractor out and start pulling.  Priceless moment!

I adore this photo because I remember the exact conversation that was taking place.  Dad just finished with his Welcome Speech, telling all of us how aunry Jenny was a teenager, he even had props - this is Jenny trying to justify her actions to Ingird and I. Dad wasnt buying it.  (And this might be the ONLY photo of me with crutches - SHEW) :)

The Vendors.....

Kelly McCormick Photography ~ Beth Maxwell/McKinley Park Events ~ Sound & Light Creations ~ Patrick & Swayze/Band ~ White Lily Production/Videography ~ Paradice Hotel & Conference Center ~ Wedding Cake Connection ~ Sara E Designs/Stationary ~ Adore Bridal Boutique/Gown

Comments add a comment (0)
September 24th, 2013

On a Personal Note.....

The evening of a wedding, in the wee hours of the morning, I always sit and reflect on the day….how fortunate I am to have a job that I truly love.  Dreams come true, memories are made, and it’s a day that the couple and their family and friends will never forget.  And me….well I am a small part of making all of that happen….pretty flippin’ fabulous!

Clients often ask me…”How do you deal with all of this…how does your Husband deal with all of this?”

Thankfully, I have a husband that supports my love for weddings, my independence, and my high energy/stress levels.  He is a saint, truly!  I am not sure most men could handle the crazy hours and being gone most weekends.  We do not get to travel like most couples…I choose to give that up in order to do a job that I love.  Do I regret it?  Not a chance!

What we as coordinators endure on a wedding weekend can vary from weekend to weekend….but I can guarantee that we put out many fires, handle 100’s of questions, and so many other details that I do not share with anyone…not even my clients.  It is not worth upsetting them or calling their family and friends out on little mishaps and craziness.  It’s my job to fix any issues and make everything perfect…and if that means keeping secrets…then by all means, that’s what I do.  But in the back of my head, it’s those little memories that make me giggle, shake my head, and keeps me going.

And in the end…no matter the work, the stress, the logistical elements….I love this job…I love my clients…I love this industry…and I love my family and friends that give me constant support.  I couldn’t do this without them.  XOXO

Comments add a comment (0)
Kristen & Nate....Married August 31st

Kristen and Nate were married at Peoria Heights Congregational Church with a beautiful vintage style reception at The Peoria Zoo.  It was a beautiful day for this sweet couple, truly perfection from beginning to end.

I met Kirsten and her Mom about four months prior to the wedding.  When you have a wedding reception or event at The Peoria Zoo, there is very limited access time for set-up.  They needed Wedding Day Directing in order to save their sanity.  Access time to the Zoo and the Ceremony time were the exact same...so there was no way they could do this themselves....so HEA Weddings to the rescue! 

My staff was fabulous....getting everything ready while I was at the Church taking care of the ceremony.  When I arrived at The Zoo, everything was perfect!!! 

A fabulous meal was catered by Cracked Pepper Catering and great entertainment by Midnight Special, these guests were well taken care of and had a fabulous time. 

Kristen looked beautiful in her lace gown, hair loosely pulled back, and this sweet smile that never left her face.  The beautiful flowers were made by Heaven on Earth, and exactly what the bride envisioned.

A perfect day for a fabulous couple...I cannot thank them enough for allowing us to be a part of their day!  Wishing you both a lifetime of love, happiness, and good health!  CHEERS!!  XOXO 

Beautiful images by Seth Morris Photography.

Comments add a comment (0)
September 15th, 2013

A Beautiful Day at the Mackinaw Winery - Jenna & Kyle

Fall finally arrived and just in time for Jenna & Kyle's wedding at the beautiful Mackinaw Valley Winery.  These are just a few pictures that I took, which rarely happens.  But since it did...I had to share! 

I will do the full post on this wedding when I get the professional photos from Adam & Eve Photography....they are going to be stunning!!  Stay tuned and Happy Planning!

Comments add a comment (0)
September 2nd, 2013

Morgan & Tim - Peoria Riverfront - Married April 20th

Comments add a comment (1)
August 21st, 2013

Ali & Patrick - Married June 22nd 2013

Comments add a comment (0)
August 1st, 2013


 The day is finally here…..I can scream to the world that Happily Ever After Weddings will be the in-house wedding coordinator at Cloud Nine Bridal Boutique & Fine Paper!!  My relationship with Rachel Kress and her amazing team has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few months, and I couldn’t be happier.  I knew from the moment I met Rachel that we just “clicked”……our style, our love for weddings and fashion, and our passion to make sure every bride is treated like they are the only client we have. 

When Rachel approached me about this opportunity, I was beyond excited.  Her boutique is the perfect fit for myself, and my clients.  Such a gorgeous location to meet with brides, not to mention….I fall in love with her beautiful gowns, dresses, and stationery every time I walk through the door. 

 So many wonderful things are going to transpire as this journey begins.  We will have special offers for our clients, private events, and so much more!!  Stay tuned for more information and details.

I am honored beyond words and look forward to what the future holds for both Cloud Nine and Happily Ever After Weddings!     Happy Planning!! xoxo

Comments add a comment (0)
July 10th, 2013

FINALLY~~~ Nicole & Matt - Married November 12th 2012

I decided to write this blog post the day after Nicole & Matt’s wedding for a couple reasons…..1. I am still on a “wedding high” from the fabulousness and 2. If I don’t write it now, I might forget some very key details!

I adored Nicole, Matt, and Nicole’s mother Diane from the moment I first met them.  Nicole has a heart of gold and one of the funniest people I have ever worked with.  She also has the same “fancy” taste that I do…so we clicked right away.  Nicole and her mother Diane moved here to the Midwest from Detroit, MI and Nicole swore it was only temporary…no way was that city girl going to stay in the country.  Well......then she met Matt and everything changed.  She is now a Big City Girl adapting to small town country living. 

Her wedding however, was as far from small town country as it gets!!!  The details…oh the details!!!   From custom letterpress stationary from Bella Figura, to her Monique Lhuillier gown,  gold rimmed china brought in, an amazing surprise firework display, martini luge, chocolate display that was out of this world, and the custom décor & design by Beth Maxwell…..words can not say enough about how amazing everything was.

Matt & Nicole were married at the beautiful Sacred Heart Catholic Church, dowtown Peoria.  It was a beautiful ceremony and the groom even gave the Homily...it brought everyone to tears.  Such a memorable moment for everyone.  

The reception took place at Coyote Creek Golf Club and as the guests entered the foyer, a custom tree with over 100 hanging glass globes & candles made quite a statement, it truly was a masterpiece!!!

The cocktail hour room was filled with large custom prints of the couple, mounted IN the windows and up-lit…it was like a fabulous art gallery designated to the bride & groom.  When the guests entered the ballroom, it was up-lit in champagnes and soft pinks, amazing floral centerpieces….from massive vases of baby’s breath, to hydrangeas, peonies, ranunculus, and more.  Custom glitter monogram hanging behind the head table, and one gorgeous five tiered wedding cake with massive amounts of floral at the base.  The gold rimmed china was brought in from Springfield to add that additional elegant touch to the tables....who does love a little gold rimmed china?? 

The DJ’s were brought in from Chicago, they had the dance floor packed and some of the best tunes I have heard in quite some time.  Nicole, being from Detroit, music was very important to her, she wanted a club feel…and she got just that.  And just when you thought it couldnt get any more fabulous, the bride's mother surprised the couple with an amazing fireworks dislay.  It was like watching a finale for 6 minutes...LOVE!  And did I mention that I was the one that got to call the pyrotechnics guy out on the field and say "FIRE!"??  Talk about power!!! 

It truly was a special day for a very special couple, I say let’s RE-DO!!  It truly was an honor to work with this couple, and the best part...I gained a wonderful friend.  Nicole is one of those girls you just dont want to let out of your life...EVER!! 

Wishing you both a lifetime of love, laughter, happiness, and good health!!!  XOXO

The Vendors...

Nellie Photography ~ McKinley Park Events (Flowers, Design, & Decore) ~ Sound & Light Creations (Lighting) ~ Cage & Aquarium (DJ) ~ Signature Rentals (China) ~ Central States Fireworks ~ Wedding Cake Connection ~ Forward Motion (Videography) ~ B.Loved.Stylists & Loft Bridal (Hair & Make-up) ~  Bella Figura (Stationary) ~ Coyote Creek Golf Club

Comments add a comment (0)