Ann & Patrick's Romantic Wedding at Shaker Heights Country Club

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 3 comments

Ann and Patrick were guests at a Kirkbrides wedding and were referred to us by that lovely bride.  I had the pleasure of working with them for over 17 months to plan this romantic, beautiful and amazing wedding!  The plans were filled with love and family, as Ann's family drove in for every meeting all the way from Michigan and Patrick's family (even his uncle, who owns several awesome Cleveland restaurants: La Dolce Vita and La Strada) were also involved in many of our planning meetings!

We created a very classic, elegant and romantic atmosphere for our wedding at Shaker Country Club.  A first for Kirkbrides was our custom vinyl dance floor with the beautiful "Just Married" logo!  Our beautiful photography and video was taken care of by RAD.  (I love this video clip and song!)
Flowers by Grande Designs, Cake by Luna Bakery, Lighting and Draping by Rock the House, Music by Jerry Bruno Productions

Congratulations Ann and Patrick!  
I hope to see you both as guests at our future weddings 
and around Cleveland!  We love you both!!!

Dear Valarie & the Kirkbrides Team:

I cannot believe how quickly eighteen months flew by! It feels like just yesterday we were scouting locations and picking a band.  Looking back on the wedding planning process, I enjoyed every minute of it.

As you know, Patrick and I met with two wedding planners before we decided to go with Kirkbrides.  It was one of the best decisions we made regarding the wedding.  There was something about your calm, up-beat, positive demeanor that made Kirkbrides stand out.  Kirkbrides lived up to this standard every step of the way.

When we first set out to plan a wedding for 300 guests, I had no idea where to begin.  Kirkbrides broke the process down, step-by-step, starting with the big-ticket items and working our way down to the smallest detail.  

I lived in Cleveland for just three years when we started planning the wedding. I had no idea what florist or lighting vendor was “good,” and the sea of potential vendors was endless (just go to any bridal show).  Because Kirkbrides has operated in the Cleveland wedding market for years, it already had a list of vetted vendors that previously demonstrated their ability to provide exemplary work.  I cannot tell you how much easier it was for us to review five potential bands instead of researching every potential band in the greater Cleveland area. 

For example, originally we wanted to use a photographer who was very expensive.  But in order to stay with our budget, we needed to explore other options. After reviewing your list of approved vendors, we discovered RAD photography and fell in love with their unique style.  (We were literally in tears after watching RAD’s wedding videos of other couples).  Rob and his crew were an absolute joy to work with at the rehearsal dinner and on the wedding day.  If the wedding photos are anything like the engagement photos, they will be perfect.  We would never have found RAD on our own; this is just another example of how Kirkbrides adds value to planning a wedding.

One of the other major reasons we decided to hire a wedding planner was to take the stress off of our families during the week leading up to the wedding and on the wedding day.  And while I think it is typical for the bride’s mother to start out skeptical of the wedding planner, I can’t tell you how many times my Mom and I said, “I can’t imagine doing this without Valarie.”  Our Moms were able to focus on managing the families and friends; while Kirkbrides worried about executing the details.  This allowed everyone to relax and enjoy the wedding day, instead of worrying about the small details, such as whether or not the head-table is set up correctly. 

One of the best things you did for me during this process was to keep me grounded and calm.  Some of the best advice you gave me was, “There are going to be things that will happen during this process that will annoy, anger or otherwise upset you.  You must take a look at those things, say ‘that’s nice,” and move on.”  It is so easy to become overwhelmed, and I am so thankful that you were there to hold my hand through the stressful times.

Kirkbrides’ creativity is second to none.  An example of when we really had to trust your experience was when you suggested we start with a fifteen minute dance set after the cocktail hour and before dinner. When you suggested this for the first time, I’m sure I looked at you like you had two heads.  I had never seen this done before! But once you explained to us that this set the tone of the event and kept the guests engaged, we decided to go for it.  Thank goodness we did!  The dance floor was packed for the entire night!  I can’t tell you how many comments we heard that “so-and-so never dances, but they were dancing up a storm tonight!” 

A second example of Kirkbrdies’ creativity was the dance floor decal.  It started with a telephone conversation where I was telling you about this amazing dance floor decal I saw on David Tutera’s show “My Fair Wedding.”  I was telling you about it, never thinking that it could be a possibility for our Cleveland wedding.  You immediately jumped in with, “We can totally do that if you want to!”  Within a few days, you located the company that prepared the dance floor on the show, solicited a quote and checked to ensure the wedding venue would allow such a dance floor.  We used the dance floor decal (we are the first to do so in Cleveland, I believe?), and it accented the room beautifully.  David Tutera, himself. would be proud. 

In closing, we could not have pulled-off such a beautiful day without you and your team. Thank you.  We could write a novel outlining every single wonderful thing Kirkbrides did for us over the past eighteen months. Each and every one of your employees and vendors had such a positive “can-do” attitude, and it made planning a joy.  Furthermore, the execution on the day of the wedding was perfect.  One of our guests when leaving said, “I’ve never felt like I should write a thank you note for being invited to a wedding.  But after this wedding, I feel like I should.” This comment truly summarizes the abilities  of you and your team. 

Very truly yours,
 Dr. and Mrs. Patrick Hussey

Kirtland Country Club Classic Wedding: Cait & Spencer

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 4 comments

Photography by New Image Photography

What a memorable wedding!  I worked with Cait, Spencer and Cait's mom Liz on all of the planning for a year leading up to July 28, 2012.  I have to say that Cait's dad played a big role in the plans as well which is so nice to see.  I also have to mention that Spencer was the one who did all of the work on the wedding programs and hotel bags - which were absolutely impeccable!

Cait and Spencer wanted a classic wedding style that had a very welcoming family dinner style atmosphere.  They chose Kirtland Country Club for the reception which has been their family club for years.  Spencer is a triplet!  His family comes from New York so we had a lot of out of towners.  Our complete wedding style came together with flowers from Blooms by Plantscaping, lighting from Rock the House, entertainment by Redline, cake and special canoe sugar cookies (C&S met on a rowing trip in college) from Luna Bakery

There were numerous highlights from this special wedding day but the main ones to note include Spencer's serenade to Cait with his college acapella group (see video below), our custom menu that came from the Patterson's family favorite restaurant in Canada, the custom cutting boards the brides' groom made for the preset first course charcuterie plate, the bride and groom's favorite restaurants as table names, the gorgeous decor in every aspect of the wedding and last but not least, the pure love that existed between this couple.  

I absolutely loved being a part of this wedding and can only describe 7/28/12 as "magical".  Congratulations to Cait and Spencer!

Letter from parents of the bride:

August 2012
Dear Valarie –
We have yet to descend from the emotional clouds of our daughter’s incredible
wedding in July. We could not be more pleased. You captured our dreams and
shaped a reality for Cait and Spencer that will be remembered by everyone for its
attention to detail and palpable affection.
Throughout the evening, when asked by so many “how?”, given that we both
work full time and Cait lives in Boston, our response was a single word, ”Valarie”.
Your guidance through the process, scheduling sessions with amazingly creative
experts in the wedding business, shaping decisions to leverage our time, keeping
us on budget and producing an elegant reception are very much appreciated.
Your team that day was so good that we doubt anyone could identify those
steering the event. The timing was perfectly choreographed and the execution of
the entire evening was flawless. We could not have created such a special
wedding without your experience and professional counsel. On top of all of that,
we really did have fun throughout the planning process and the wedding day was
completely stress‐free and joyous – what a gift for us!
Deciding to work with you and your team was the best decision we made. Many
Liz and Brendan Patterson