Saturday, December 15, 2012

Meet Me At The Altar Saturday - Hanging

Sometimes it's not what's on the sides of you, it is what's above.  This amazing concoction of hanging fabric is the perfect contrast to this otherwise simple space.  The Wow factor is a 10!
Would you consider having hanging altar decor?


Friday, December 14, 2012

The Show Will Go On

When I first heard of the news that Capella Court Gardens and Alexander Mansion closed ubruptly, leaving several couples without the venue they paid for, I was stunned, saddened, and then quite upset.

As a wedding vendor, I take my role in the most important time in a couples' life very seriously.  I truly cannot believe that anyone would have the heart to literally dissapear and the night without so much as a courtesy call to its clients. 

You can read about the details of the story here

What has brought me joy is to see all of the wedding vendors really stepping up to help these couples in their time of need.  We, here at An Adams Original have decided to offer free wedding planning services to all of the couples that had weddings scheduled at either Capella or Alexander Mansion between now and the end of January 2013.  We understand that now, more than ever, the stress has piled on, but we want to make sure couples can still find some peace and joy in their upcoming nuptials. 

We also want to give you a few tips on what to do if you are one of the couples impacted by this terrible situation:

1. File a police report with the City of Carrollton or the City of Garland, depending on the venue you selected.

2. Contact the Texas Attorney General's Office to file a complaint - they are currently investing, so make sure your story is documented.

3. If you paid by credit card, whether recently or months ago, submit a detailed written dispute to your credit card company.  Send it by certified mail.  If you paid recently it should be fairly easy for you to get a refund.  If you paid months ago, it may take longer, but under the "Truth in Lending Act" you should be able to recover your funds.

4. Check your wedding insurance to see what remedies are available to your for other vendor issues as a result of this fiasco.

5. Breathe. Rest in the comfort that the show will go on - you will marry the love of your life, and this will not stop you.

We wish you all the best!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Meet The Planner Mondays - Introduction

Over the next several weeks I want to shed a bit more light onto who I am as an event planner and designer. While I love beautiful things and well executed events, I also have many layers to what makes me, me.

For starters...Hi!  My name is Aretha and I've been planning and designing events for almost 10 years now.  I started young, so don't start thinking of me as an old woman.  I'm relishing in my early thirties and don't want to rush one day of this joyous ride.

In addition to starting in the planning world early, I also started my family at a young age with the birth of my daughter.  She is now 14 years old and navigating her first year of high school, quite sucessfully I might add. She is one of two lights of my life.  She keeps me on my toes with her sometimes teenager antics, but I love every second because she is an amazing person - smart, kind, athletic and beautiful.

The other light of my life and foundation to everything is my amazing husband.  He is strength everyday and his love continues to be awe inspiring.  It was him that inspired me to turn what was once a "side project" into An Adams Original.  Since the day we had the serious talk about me really diving head first into what I love so much, I haven't looked back and he's been supportive and encouraging every step of the way.

Knowing how much my husband and daughter mean to me, is to get a glimpse into who I am.  My family is the most important thing to me.  They are the most beautiful things in my life; more beautiful than the most georgously decorated wedding guest table (and, I have some georgous creations, lol).

More to come next week...


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Meet Me At The Altar Saturday - Love Story

As a book lover, this altar makes me smile.  While this is done very casually and quite laid back, there is beauty in this altar, and it fits perfectly with the simplicity of this couple's attire.

The same general idea could be excuted more upscale for a themed wedding that is focusing on the "story of your love."


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Empire State of Wedding

In case you haven't yet heard, the ever amazing Preston Bailey has teamed up with the Empire State Building to kick off the 19th Annual Empire State Building's Valentine's Day Wedding Contest.

The contest is appropriately named "Love is in the Air," and this is your chance to be apart of the few who can say their vows atop the iconic Empire State Building.

Head over to the Empire State Building's Facebook page and tell them your love story...that's all you have to do.  Make it good, so you can win!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Tis' The Season To Get Engaged

Engagement season has officially begun...let the planning and wedding brain begin!

For over a decade now, guys have decided to pop the question between Thanksgiving and Valentines Day.   I think it's sweet. After all the holiday season is all about love and family, so what better time to ask your love to become your family...forever!

Here is some finger candy for all those ladies anticipating the question over the next few months...

The Emerald Cut diamond has become more popular over the past few years.  While it doesn't give the sparkle of the more round cuts, it is nonetheless dramatic and stunning.  When added to an ornate band like this one, it is breathtaking.

This darling pear shaped beauty isn't reserved solely for Katherine Heigl or her celebrity friends; you could very well have this beauty on your finger after he pops the big question.  And, do I even need to mention the level of fabulous on this halo?!?!  I didn't think so.

Who says all engagement rings have to be diamonds??  Not me...I am in love with this pearl solitaire surrounding my just enough diamonds to satisfy the girl with the bling fetish. I absolutely see this ring standing the test of time. Say it with me - Classic!

Ok, before not I hadn't drooled.  I'm all for the platinum and white gold bands, but this yellow gold band encrusted with yellow diamonds is a pure beauty.  It is the perfect mix of old and new, and it gives the best feeling of vintage chic!  Too bad I'm in love with my ring and would never trade it in...But if I did, I'd love this!

Ok girls, pull yourselves together and get ready to put on your shock face when you see your equally beautiful engagment ring as the love of your life asks you to spend the rest of your days by his side.

And, don't forget contact me for all of your wedding planning needs!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Meet Me At The Altar - Architecture

Happy Saturday!  In honor of wedding day around the world, here is the latest installment of "Meet Me At The Altar."  A sure fire way to make sure you wow your guests (and even yourselves) is to choose a location with unique, bold, and breathtaking architecture!  This altar is everything right now!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

We've been busy bees around here lately, and we're excited for the wave that is to come!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were surrounded by the ones you love.

Here is a view from our table...I'm really happy we stuck with the blue, green and gold theme this year!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Meet Me At The Altar - Wall Of Lights

It's another Meet Me At The Altar Saturday! If you don't know, let me tell you that I am a super fan of lighting during a wedding ceremony.  I especially love lighting down the aisle and as a part of the alter.  Check out this wall of lights that provides the right balance of romance for this couple's wedding.

If you're in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and want the wall of lights for yourself, check out the wonderful people over at Rent My Dust vintage rentals.  I can almost promise you'll find some others things to love as well.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Politics of A Wedding - Theme Alert

By now you've been inundated with all the political recaps of last night's political debate. I must admit, I love politics and all the ups and downs that come with it.  However, I realize that not many others share my level of enthusiasm.  But, as a reader of this blog, I do know what ignites your enthusiam - beautiful events. 

I pulled together some original and cool political themed elements for any event.

My favorite is the Rehearsal Dinner invititation below - brilliant!

~ Ciao


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Adams Style Thanksgiving

I decided last month that this year Thanksgiving in the Adams house would consist of golds, blues, and greens.  Now I'm considering adding pops of deep violet.  Here are some beautiful elements that have inspired me.  I'm so inspired by the table linen swatch, that I'm on a mad dash to find some version of this....oh, and those pumpkin place card holders - Yes!  Those will definitely be assigning seats in our house at dinner time this year.

Have you started pulling together your Thanksgiving Palette?


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Inspiration From The Home

Event planning is my passion, but so is a lovely home.  I love the endless possiblities that come with designing living spaces.  I'm not a interior designer by any stretch, but I do find inspiration in sleek, fun, and well designed spaces.
Often times we tend to look at weddings and other events to find inspiration for our own, but the true beauty of a wedding or event is not just in the color scheme you choose, but in the design elements that show throughout the event.  Where better to be inspired than through home design?  It's in the home that you get to incorporate all sorts of textures, patterns, and palattes.
I had an initial consultation with a client a couple of weeks ago to plan and design her upcoming baby shower.  During the conversation, she told me that she had no idea what she wanted, nor does she identify with any particular style. All she knows is that she wants her event to be fun, comfortable and different than the typical baby shower.  After asking her a few questions to garner her "style preferences" (we all have them, they just have to be pulled out of some of us), I went off on a hunt to find some inspiration at pier one, world market, a few thrift stores and my favorite home design site -  Here are some of the things that are helping me and my client determine her linens, centerpieces, and other decor. 

1. During the conversation, my client was very quick to tell me that she wasn't a big fan of flowers.  She loves minimal floral elements that can make a big statement. While this is a big piece, the actual floral elements aren't the main attraction, it's the color.

2. She noted that she loves colors in their metallic form, and that she has a very feminine side. I found this metallic pink to be a combination of both those preferences.

3.  Throughout our conversation she kept using the words sophisticated and comfortable.  And, she told me that she loves the color and to eat chocolate.

4. When I asked her if she embraced vibrant colors she hesitated and then told me that she wants so badly to love vibrant colors, but she doesn't know how to work with them to make it look "sophisticated."  That's when we talked about color pops, and her excitement set in.

Don't be afraid to find inspiration everywhere.  Always look for that element that will set your event apart from the next.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Autumn - Aisle Style

Happy Autumn! Over the weekend, we officially left summer behind.  I surely wish someone had given the great state of Texas that information because we were still experiencing summer like temperatures here.

Despite that, the weather is breaking and I know that soon we'll have the chilled air that makes Autumn such a spectacular time of year.

Today I want to share some Autumn Aisle inpiration with you.  These beautiful aisles are true to the season while still hitting the mark on decor.

1. This is a brilliant use of tree stumps, mason jars, and sunflowers all in the same arrangement.  Nothing says Autumn like wild flowers and rustic elements.

2. While much of the country enjoys outdoor weddings in the spring and summer, here in Dallas we have to enjoy them in the Spring and Autumn.  How gorg is this.  The deep red reminds us of the transitional nature of Autumn, but the held on to a bit of the summer with the bright green elements.  Oh, and that aisle path of it!

3. This is my absolute favorite Autumn Aisle.  From the wood elements in the roof, to the changing trees, to the minimally lined aisle runner...everything about this makes me swoon.  I really hope the bride's dress added to the decor in a dramatic way. Even more, I love that they brought the outside indoors.

4. Muted tones of orange and green make me happy for more reasons than being my College Colors.  This palette screams fun in the fall.

5.  You know I had to throw in something super crafty.  The use of real pumpkins filled with small scale bouquets is sophisticated and fun.  It's so DIY without the DIY look. 

Well, I hope this Autumn Aisle Style inspired you on this Monday morning!  Enjoy the season!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lighted Beauty

I’ve always loved using unique lighting in décor, whether it be at home or for events.  With all the costs associated with weddings, the use of certain lighting, especially candles can offer a fabulous alternative to more expensive décor elements.
Here are some different areas in which candles and other types of lighting can be incorporated to add the perfect, yet affordable, ambience to your special day!

1.       Pathways – During weddings, many people typically focus their décor budget on the ceremony and reception spaces, but it’s a mistake to forget about the pathways that connect those spaces.  This photo shows a unique way to keep your guests wowed as they move about during your event. For all my DIY-ers this concept is easily replicated by having the base of old wine bottles removed. Then place them over a candle of  your choice and mix and match sizes and styles…presto…you have a fabulous wine inspired décor theme.

2.       The great outdoors – please, please, please don’t forget about the use of candle lighting outside. This picture reminds me of beautiful teardrops, joyful ones of course, perfect for hanging from a tree over the dance floor for the couple’s first dance.  This use of lighting simply exudes romance.  Oddly enough this can be easily and affordably replicated with water balloons and lighting sticks.

3.       Outdoors In – Just as hanging lights from the trees outdoors, it is just as beautiful to bring a tree inside and hang votive lights from it.  Here is a phenomenal example.  A simple manzanita tree with some hanging votives will get you on your way to this look.

4.       Candles Only – Most brides immediately begin to consider the flowers they’ll incorporate into their centerpieces.  Well, I’m here to tell you not to box yourself in just yet.  The image below shows how sophisticated and sleek bouquets of candles can look.  To top it off, try using the same color in slightly varying shades; it will give a wow factor that will leave you and your guests impressed.

5.       Aisle Style – A lighted aisle in my mind is an absolute must. I don’t care what time of the day or night it is...a bride’s path should be lit for her journey to her groom.  Typically, that lighted path moves down the floor, but what’s stopping you from lighting from above. Here is an example of doing it in rustic style.  Here in Texas, rustic  weddings are all the rage.  These mason jars connected by a string of lights look as if they are being lit by a school of fireflies.  It’s rustic, whimsy, and romantic…a great combination.

So, brides to be, whatever you do, don't discount the impact of beautiful lighting. Step outside of the box and add some Originality to your day!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Escort Your Guests With Originality

There are a plethora of beautiful escort card ideas circulating in craft stores and wedding magazines, but what about some originality.  This is an area where you can show your guests that you really paid attention to the details and wanted to make your wedding stand out.  I’ve compiled five ways to make your guests say wow as they seek their table number.


1.       Food – Guests typically find their escort cards at the end of cocktail hour prior to entering the reception.  By giving them a palette cleansing sorbet to enjoy prior to your reception, you’ll ensure they get the most enjoyment out of dinner.  You or your planner will have no trouble finding miniature spoons to place in the sorbet upon which to adorn the name and table assignment for each guest.


2.     The gift that gives (double duty) – A great  cost saving idea is to allow your escort card   to double as a wedding favor. What better favor than one that you can actually use time after time – a plant.  Your guests will be able to take a real memory from your wedding  and watch it grow over the years as your marriage does.  And, if you get something   like a spice or herb, they can enjoy it even more.

3.     Scent – The gift of smell goods will make any guest happy.  And, this is a triple duty item.  One, it is your escort card; Two, guests can take it home as a favor; Three, they will take  it into the reception space and create a bountiful fragrance sure to make everyone’s nose happy.  Make sure to get a complimentary scent that doesn’t compete with your flower arrangements.


4.       Sound – The first time you see your guests after being pronounced husband and wife will be at your grand entrance into the reception.  That is a moment deserving of much applause and fanfare.  So, give your guests some noisemakers to make your entrance spectacular.  Yep, another double duty item!


5.     Drink – Since I started with food, I’ll end in that similar category.  Provide your guests with escort card drinks as    the final round of your cocktail hour.  They’ll be able to take these into the reception, so they’ll have something to drink before dinner drinks are served.  This one of my favorite examples of an Original escort card idea.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to making your special day unique.  Make sure your planner knows your personality and finds something that makes you and your husband stand out. And, leaves your guests happy.

~ Ciao

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tablescape Construction

I love a fabulous tablescape. Call me crazy, but I think the more fabulous the table décor, the more fabulous the food tastes.  And, who doesn’t want great tasting food?
As Autumn rushes in, so do all the reasons to host dinner parties. I want to help ensure that when your friends and family sit down at the table they are mesmerized even before the food makes an appearance.  Here is a quick guide on how to build a fabulous tablescape.  I’ve even thrown in some of my favorite Autumn inspired designs.  Enjoy and Happy Hosting!
1.       Color Scheme – Before you get started you must figure out your color direction.  For some reason when it comes to Autumn dinner parties, many hosts stick to typical colors associated with fall – the reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do that. If you want a monochromatic scheme of gray hues, go for it.  If you want your Autumn party to be purple inspired, go for that too.  There is no color limit that one should place on themselves because of the season. 
2.       The Canvas – This is by far one of my most favorite elements of a tablescape.  I mean, come on…it’s the foundation upon which your brainchild design will be perched.  Typically I’m all about linens…textured and patterned linens add dimensions and depth to a tablescape that, I think, just makes everything pop.  However, I sing a different tune in Autumn. Because this particular season makes me feel rustic and natural, I’m open to a no linen tablescape during this time of the year.  I especially love when the canvas is a solid, distressed wood surface.  It makes me feel like the outdoors has come inside. 
3.     Floral or Non Floral Décor – I’m going to try and remain objective here, but I’m a flowers girl.  Thanks to technology and overnight shipping, you can get just about any flower you want in any season you want it.  So, I ask, why not use flowers on your tablescape?? And, flowers aren’t always as expensive as you think.  I typically wouldn’t recommend this, but it’s a secret of mine for holiday dinners – grocery store flowers.  Yep, you read it right. I go to the grocery store to decorate my holiday tablescapes. First of all, they are affordable and always in abundance. Many stores will sell a bouquet of the same variety so you can design your own arrangements.  If you don’t want to use flowers, try different gords that will go with your theme, or better yet...mix and match flowers with non floral decor.
4.      Lighting – Even if you want an intimate feel…you’ll need the proper lighting to pull it off. Candles are your friend. And, make them fun. Mix and match candle holders between colors, styles, and sizes.  If you decide to go LED, make sure to test at the proper time prior to your event to make sure the lighting isn’t too harsh or ineffective. 
5.     Dinnerware – Once you’ve gotten the color scheme, linen or no linen, décor elements, and lighting questions answered, you’ll be ready to pick out the dinnerware that will pull it all together.  Please, please, please…whatever you do, don’t go cheap on the dinnerware. You’ve put a lot of time and attention into building this fabulous tablescape, so why stop now.  If you don’t have the budget to purchase a new china set, no fear, you can contact wedding rental companies as an affordable alternative.  While you’re at it don’t forget to order Plate chargers. They really help to highlight table settings. 
6.       Food – Don’t be afraid to get creative with your food by making sure it too contributes to the décor.
Well, there you have it!  I hope you have a fabulous time building your Autumn table scape.  Make sure to take pictures before your guests start arriving. You’ll be so proud of yourself that you’ll want to look at your work again and again.
Check out these wonderful Autumn Inspired designs:
(photo source:
The simple purple table linen goes wondeful with the purple rimmed dinner plates. It's understated, but totally changes the typical color scheme of an Autumn dinner.
(photo source:
Who says you can't have pops of bright yellow on your autumn tablescape?  The layer of burplap on the table, provides the autumn canvas which balances out the more spring like flowers. It still feels like nature has come inside to join you for dinner.
(Photo Source:
I really have to start using tree trunks more often. I love this look. It's that perfect tablescape when Autumn is on it's way to greet the winter. I would have used taller candles and a tad bit more color to add flair, but overall this look is perfect for Autumn dinner!
~ Ciao

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Altar Preview

Hi there, and Happy Weekend!  I wanted to give you all a little something to drool over this weekend.  Check out this breathtaking Alter.  I'm working on a post with more of these goodies, so this is just a preview...stay tuned!

~ Ciao