Honsberger Estates Barn Wedding, May 2014

Although it has almost been a year since these two tied the knot, I don’t think it’s ever too late to show off their beautiful day.  While you may not remember now, the weather last summer was quite unpredictable.  Lucky for these two love birds, mother nature was in their favour and they couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect day for their wedding on May 24, 2014. When I met with these two for the first time, they knew exactly what they wanted: a laid-back, elegant affair, with delicious food, even better music and an atmosphere full of love. Well, I think if you ask them today, they enjoyed all of that and more on their wedding day!

Eryn and Matt were married at the GORGEOUS Honsberger Estates in Jordan, ON. If you are looking for a barn style venue en-route to Niagara with a relaxed vibe, this is the place for you! The staff were accommodating, incredibly sweet and make you feel like family as soon as you step onto the property. The sun was out, the was humidity non-existent and guests enjoyed the most lovely breeze during the outdoor ceremony and into the evening.  It was truly magical! Eryn thought of every detail when it came to their wedding day and Matt was a master of DIY projects.  Take a glimpse into the #HappyHarts14 wedding day…

 

Eryn & Matt – I have said it before and I’ll say it again – it was truly an honour to be part of your special day. You two are the sweetest couple with a love and respect for one another that is admirable. The love, excitement and support at your wedding from all of your family and friends was obvious. Eryn, you are stunning inside and out and Matt, I look forward to my invitation for a glass of scotch ;)

xoxo

~ Jackie

P.S. Check out Eryn and Matt’s hashtag #HappyHarts14 on instagram. Too cute right?!


Day-of Coordination: Jackie Penner Events
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Honsberger Estates
Catering: Feastivites Events & Catering
Photography: Friend of the Bride, Kortney Boutcher
Flowers & Rental Props: Country Basket
DJ: Dancemaster DJ
Cupcakes: The Frosted Cupcake
Hair: Friend of the Bride
Makeup: Lana Rae Makeup
Wedding Day Signage: Jackie Penner Events
L
adder Golf & Bean Bag Games: Handmade by the Groom

Wives Tales _ Wedding Planning in London Ont.

We have a truly beautiful lady kicking off JPE’s new blog series, Wives Tales.

Introducing Cheryl Balding …

Stunning right? And check out her husband Ty … Handsome devil I tell ya!

We asked Cheryl to share a bit about her wedding planning experience and here is what she had to say …

How long was your engagement / wedding planning process?

I got engaged in May 2013 and our wedding wasn’t until the following October 2014. I always knew I wanted a fall wedding and due to the fact that I was in school for another year, the decision to wait to have our wedding until the following year was a very easy one. I enjoyed having over a year to plan for a few reasons:
1) I could take advantage of Fall sales/trends from the previous year.
2) It gave me time to really do my research and make good planning and budget decisions.
3) Our schedules at the time were far too busy to try to cram it all in, so I could go at my own pace all throughout, easing everyone’s stress.
Not to say that you can’t plan a wedding in a shorter time, it just was best for us to take more time.

What was the most challenging part of your wedding planning process?

The most challenging part of the process was definitely working with the “unknown”. I hadn’t been to many weddings and not many of my friends are married so I felt a little in the dark as to what to do, when to do it and all the details that no one really thinks about in planning such an event. That’s where my wedding planner really saved my sanity! Who else knows all the answers to how to plan a wedding than a professional wedding planner?! My good friend was also in the planning process at the same time as me, so we would always help each other out. It made it fun to have a few close friends to work things out with, and bounce ideas off of.

The other challenging part of planning was determining the guest list. We knew we wanted a small wedding and our venue was small which put a definitely cap on numbers. Distant friends and family, and plus one’s really made it difficult to make cuts. It should be understood that the whole world cannot be invited to your wedding. I hope more people respected this. It’s never personal, just a matter of circumstance.

How did you deal with conflicting views from friends / family?

Ty (my now husband) and I were really lucky with our families throughout the wedding process. I have heard some stories about unfortunate circumstances, but we got through ours pretty smoothly. He is from a split family that both re-married so it was a small challenge working with two full families from his side. I have a single mother and a small family so my side was quite simple. If there was any sort of friction, it was easy to talk it out, try to compromise and usually there was an understanding. 90% of our guest list lived at a distance, so the hardest part (perhaps in a good way), was having everyone coming into town at the same time and everyone wanting to spend time with us the few days before the wedding! It was a bit of an oversight in the scheduling which made it difficult and we had to spread ourselves thin visiting with friends and family that we hadn’t seen in a while. We solved this problem by hosting an open-house brunch after the wedding so we could all visit with each other.

A wedding is an expensive endeavor. How and where did you cut costs? Do you regret cutting in the areas you did?

According to popular advice, we discussed our priorities and where we wanted to splurge. We did that. Our splurges were: venue (including food and beverage), music and photography. Everything else we tried to do with a more frugal mindset. It seemed to work really well for us. We also over estimated our food and beverage costs so we wouldn’t get the dreaded surprise bar bill post wedding and worked that into our budget as well. I don’t regret anything about how we worked our budget. Our splurges paid off and no one could have guessed our cutbacks. Having time on our side helped us save money by being patient for sales and sourcing pre-used items (cue wedding planner who always have inside hook-ups), deciding what DIY projects were worth it, and most importantly, recruiting the help of friends and family that have helpful skills. Never feel bad for this – they understand and more than happy to help you do whatever it takes for your big day!

What was your reasoning for hiring a day-of wedding coordinator?

It was a natural occurrence of events to hire a wedding coordinator. At first, I knew I needed help, but I didn’t think I needed a wedding coordinator. To be honest, I thought there was a stigma in hiring a coordinator – there must be “affluent funds” going into this wedding and that was just not our style. Ironically, hiring a wedding coordinator saved us money, TONS of time and above all, STRESS and that is priceless. In hindsight, hiring a wedding coordinator paid off three-fold. It’s a tough sell at first, but take it from someone that has gone through it – there is nothing better than having someone to reach out to for an objective and expert opinion, guide you through all of the major decision making and the little tidbits that you don’t think of, and someone to run the show day of. Our guests were even commenting how amazing our coordinator was and how flawless our days’ events turned out.

What is one thing you wish you did differently for your wedding?

There is only one thing that I would have done differently, and that is the bill payments. I knew that all the vendors required their payments within a few weeks of the wedding date, but I didn’t really think about the large sums of money that together, were owing all at once. No one really talks about this either. I would have spaced out my payments to the vendors over a longer period of time leading up the wedding. Not having all of those large bills all at once would have saved some significant financial stress. Having said that, it’s a little nerve-wracking paying for services in full when they haven’t been completed yet, but if the vendor bills are due before the wedding day anyway, you might as well pay them off on your own schedule.

How did you feel AFTER the wedding and how did you adjust to NOT having to plan anymore?

Truthfully, I was in withdrawal. It took me about a week or two to come down from the high, but then I realized that it was all over. That year and a half of consistent planning, anticipation, excitement was all over! It was sad for sure. Now that some of my friends are engaged, I enjoy the moments when they come to me for advice and I can relive the feelings that they are currently going through.

What was your favourite part of wedding planning and what was your least favourite? 

All of it was my favourite. Browsing endlessly on all the different wedding blogs, Instagrams, Pinterests… Liking/disliking, dreaming. It was all wonderful for me. I am a pretty humble person so it was a little uncomfortable for me to be the primary decision maker, want everything my way and be the centre of attention. It was an adjustment, but there is no denying it. You’re the bride – it comes with the territory. I just added my twist to everything.

Finally, what was your favourite part of your wedding day, obviously other than the groom and marrying your best friend?

Without a doubt, seeing it all come together and seeing all of your guests having a great time! Our mission was to ensure that all of our guests were well fed and “hydrated”, felt loved and honoured with personalized details for them (we did hotel welcome bags with a little note), and that overall, they enjoyed their time with us. Everyone thinks a wedding is about the bride and groom, but your guests are the ones that make the party so make sure they’re happy too. I was so pumped when they commented that they felt so special with our little touches, and also had a blast!

Anything else you want to add? Tips / tricks / words of wifey wisdom for brides/couples currently planning their wedding?

Enjoy every moment along the way and cherish it. It goes fast and then it’s done. Don’t stress the small stuff either because it’s not worth it.

~ Cheryl Balding

 

… AND for all of your lovelies, here’s a glimpse into their day … more to come in a separate post!

** Thank you SO much to Cheryl for sharing her wedding planning experiences with us! You were a dream client and I am so thankful to have met both you and Ty! I cannot wait for the adventures to come! xoxo

 


JPE: Past. Present. Future

Hello Lovelies!

It’s been a little while since I last blogged, and after a heartwarming phone call with a previous client turned great friend, I knew I had to get on it! December and January were absolutely crazy months with very little down time, let alone time to sit down and put some heart on the screen. So here it goes!

First, I want to share with you a little recap from 2014 …

– JPE Weddings more than DOUBLED from year 1 to year 2! YAY! In 2014, we worked with incredible couples and had so much fun being a part of their big days. We kicked off the year on March 8th in Vaughan and closed the year on NYE here in Burlington. I am continually blown away by the people I have the privilege of working with in this adventure we call a ‘job’. To me, it is so much more than a job and I am truly thankful everyday I get to chat with current clients, meet with new clients, and collaborate with countless extremely talented individuals in the wedding industry. To each and every one of you, THANK YOU!

– Along side some of these extremely talented wedding vendors, JPE was honoured to be featured in …
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– JPE Corporate began to build some momentum. We took on a large guest favour project on short order for a 500 person gala (thank you to all of the helping hands that contributed to getting this done!).  We completed client appreciation packages for one of the VIP tents at Burlington’s Ribfest. We also organized and coordinated a week long of events for the Grand Opening for a local bistro. We always welcome the opportunity to take on something new, especially when it allows us to be creative and hands-on!

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– JPE participated in it’s first Wedding Show at the Ancaster Wedding Show at Night.
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– In October, I took enrolled in a Floristry 101 class with the lovely ladies at Living Fresh in Kitchener. With the hopes of offering added value to current and future clients, it was a great experience! I look forward to creating more pretty things with beautiful blooms!
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– Drum roll please…. I got engaged :) !!! Yes, the wedding planner will now become a bride. On October 17th, my sweetest supporter, ultimate teammate and incredibly handsome partner surprised the hell out of me with a proposal. Sit tight,  photos and details on the engagement to come in another post!

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So to sum up 2014 = amazing, encouraging, exciting, completely unforgettable!

And although 2014 was all of those things and more, I am REALLY looking forward to 2015. Here are a couple of reasons why and some teasers about what JPE has planned for 2015 …

– JPE is OFFICIALLY a full-time, can’t stop/won’t stop, event coordinating firm! We made some big moves at the end of 2014 which made this possible and now we can spend even more time focusing on client satisfaction, growth and development, and new adventures! Get ready lovelies, that means more blog posts too!

– New Blog Series … x 2!  Introducing Blog Series #1: Wives Tales.  If you currently cruise the web for tips and advice on wedding planning but are looking for more authenticity and inspiration from personal experiences, well we’ve got you. We’re interviewing 4 lovely woman who have been through all that and more in planning their wedding. They will share with us the ups and downs during their experience, the easy decisions and the hard ones, and more! Our hope is that this series gives you concrete and realistic views on what the wedding planning process is like and what you may feel like when it’s all over!
Blog Series #2: Planner Turned Bride. I mean if the title doesn’t give it away, I don’t know what will. Throughout the next year and a half I will bring you along on my own wedding planning journey. I’m so excited for this experience and can’t wait to share with you!

– Weddings, weddings and more weddings! Our wedding schedule is almost completely booked for 2015 and we are SO excited!  We are working with incredible couples, on new and exciting design concepts, and at some fantastic venues! Again, we will work with some very talented local vendors and we are thrilled!

– In the JPE Corporate scene, we kick started 2015 with an incredible client appreciation gala. This Oscar themed evening welcomed 480 guests to the Burlington Convention Centre for an evening of gratitude, fun and ridiculously generous prizes (I’m talking ipads, ipods, Visa giftcards and A CAR!!). It was such a great experience for us and we feel privileged to have been a part of it.

Well that’s about it for now! We are so excited for what 2015 will bring and appreciate all of your love and support along the way! Let us know what you’re most excited to see from JPE in 2015!!

xoxo

– Jackie

Mark Your Calendars!

It’s that time of year everyone… Wedding Show Season! Yay!!

Well, if you’re on social media, I can almost guarantee you know someone who got engaged over the holidays! As we close out ‘engagement-season’, it’s time to start getting inspired and begin to think about the planning.  Mark your calendars for the many wedding shows that are taking place in and around the GTA this month. Whether it’s you who is newly engaged (CONGRATS!) or perhaps one of your friends just said yes, kick start your year with a fun outing with your favourite ladies.

Below is a list of local wedding shows to check out throughout the month of January. Grab a girlfriend, a treat from Starbucks, and comfortable shoes and head to any one of these amazing shows. You will not be disappointed!Wedding Show Fun!

♥  The Rings Bridal Expo ~Saturday, January 3 – Sunday, January 4

♥  Canadas Bridal Show ~ Friday, January 9  – Sunday, January 11

♥  The WedLuxe Wedding Show ~ Sunday, January 11 (**Fun note: there was actually a section for groom’s at this show last year, so if you’re convincing your fiance to go with you, I’d suggest going to this one!)

♥  Hamilton/Halton Wedding Show ~ Saturday, January 10 & Sunday, January 11

♥  London Winter Bridal Show ~ Saturday, January 17 – Sunday, January 18

♥  the Total Wedding Show ~ Friday, January 16 – Sunday, January 18

♥  National Bridal Show ~ Friday, January 23 – Sunday, January 25

♥  Burlington/Oakville Bridal Show ~ Saturday, January 24 – Sunday, January 25

If you need some help figuring out which shows will be best for you, feel free to contact me at info@jackiepennerevents.ca. Being that I’ve been to all the shows in the past (yes you read correctly, but are you surprised?), I can give you a GREAT idea of what to expect at each and which would be a great fit for you.

Let me know which one(s) you attend and what you think!

Have fun lovelies!

~  JP

 

White, Winter Wedding at Cambridge Mill

As we approach the winter wedding season, I am excited to share some truly timeless images from a beautiful wedding which closed 2013 for JPE.  This wedding was very near and dear to my heart.  The last wedding of the 2013 wedding season, I had the privilege of helping one of my oldest friends marry her best friend. Lauren and I have known each other since as long as I can remember. Our mothers are best friends and we grew up living in houses behind one another.  It was a complete honour when she asked that I assist her during the planning stages of her wedding. Lauren is extremely smart, passionate, kind-hearted and loving. It was no surprise that she found a life-partner in Ben who compliments her so well. Ben is also extremely smart, laid-back, thoughtful with a great sense of humor. The two share a love of cats, an clean house (well maybe this is more Ben), and spending evenings at their Cambridge home enjoying homemade meals and each other.

Lauren and Ben were married at the beautiful Cambridge Mill on Saturday, December 21, 2013.  Although it was the heart of the Christmas season, Lauren and Ben wanted to ensure their wedding was more elegant and timeless rather than red and green. The sophisticated Christmas decor at the Cambridge Mill complimented Lauren’s vision perfectly. The Christmas tress were covered with silver ornaments and the fireplace mantel was beautifully decorated with candles and green garland.

I will let the photos captured by Bassem Photography do the rest of the talking….

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Lauren and Ben, thank you for allowing me to be a part in your special day! You two are incredibly generous and loving and I know there is only happiness and joy in your future together!

To see more of this lovely wedding which was featured on the amazing Canadian wedding inspiration blog, Wedding Obsession, click the link below. Thank you Melissa for showcasing what an elegant and timeless wedding this truly was!

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xoxo

~ JP


Venue: The Cambridge Mill
Photography: Bassem Photography
Band: Itchy Scratchy Band
Flowers: Friend of the Mother-of-the-Groom
Seating Chart: Oakville Paper
Money Box: Homemade by bride’s friend
Partial Planning & Day-of Coordination: JPE

An Unforgettable Tea Party for Ana

A couple months ago I had one of the most rewarding and honouring experiences of my event coordinating career thus far. While it is clear I have a passion for weddings, the emotions I felt for this event were overwhelming! It was a genuine and surreal experience, a true honour and privilege to be a part of.

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Back in May, I was approached by a beautiful woman, both inside and out, to help bring one of  her sisters’ dreams to reality. Though the family was going through quite a hardship, an ill sister wanted to celebrate her birthday.  Ana, turning a young 52 years old was in an extremely devastating battle with cancer.  Her birthday was only one month away and she wanted to celebrate by hosting a tea party with the closest women in her life.  As a successful and busy professional with 3 children, one of Ana’s younger sisters approached me to assist in bringing Ana’s wish to reality.

Although the tea party was for a small group, 12 women, we only had one month to plan.  I knew this celebration required only the best of the best to pull it off to perfection. This tea party was ALL about the details (a dream for me because I LOVE details!).  After getting to know a bit more about Ana through her sister, I put together an event decor and design proposal. Must haves included lots of wild flowers (Ana loved to garden!), soft colours (to ensure a relaxed atmosphere), dainty and delicious food, and the special women closest to Ana’s heart.

The Food

Holly and Jordan, owners of Tastes by Taylor Catering, were a dream to work with. Holly designed a menu beyond my imagination, suited absolutely perfect for the tea-party theme. Their endearing teamwork, professional service, and remarkable food presentation ensured guests were pleasantly full after each course. Thank you to Leslie for the beautiful design of the menu stationary!

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Doesn’t it sound delicious?!

 

The Decor

After falling in love with Special Event Rentals authentic barn wood harvest tables, I knew they would be perfect for this event. Paired with the matching walnut folding chairs, a custom made doily runner by yours truly, and stunning fresh florals by La Fiora, the final product was stunning! Added details included an ‘Art of Sewing’ antique book from 1988, small hand-made signage honouring Ana’s presence, white rocks featuring inspirational words, and an antique butter dish.  These elements fit the event design just perfect!

The dessert table was adorned with an antique white lace table cloth, glass jars with ‘sweet-tea’ and ice-water, and a variety of delightful treats. Gracing the dessert table was more fresh flowers, milk glass cake stands, and a custom framed sign remembering the amazing person Ana represents to all of these women. Beside the dessert table sat a small antique table. This table was for Ana. A chair with Ana’s photo, a hand-painted ‘A’ and a bouquet in her honour rested on this table.

Finally, we could not let the attendees leave empty handed. Each of the lovely ladies were gifted a unique tea-cup and saucer to remember the day, along with a delicious personalized cookie from The Baking Twins. As the celebration came to a close, we hand-tied all of the flowers into bouquets for each guest to take and lay rest with Ana. She was very much part of this event and it was only fitting to bring some of the event to her.

This was an extremely emotional experience and I cannot say enough how honoured I am to have been a part of it.  It was a heart-warming memorial for a woman who was obviously loved and cherished by her amazing family. I will forever treasure the privilege of planning this celebration for a family who is filled with so much love, support and kindness. Thank you Violet for asking me to be a part of this incredible celebration of life.

Head over to the JPE Facebook Page for ALL of the photos!

With love,

~ Jackie P.

 


Event Design: JPE
Flowers: La Fiora
Catering: Tastes by Taylor
Invitation & Menu Design: Leslie Babin
Harvest Tables & Walnut Chairs: Special Event Rentals
Custom Doily Runner: JPE
Personalized Guest Favour Cookies: The Baking Twins
Memorial Table: JPE
Additional Rentals: JPE