Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Wedding, Part 4 | North Carolina Wedding Planner

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! This is my favorite day of the year and I am so excited to share a portion of it with you!

Today is the last installment of our Halloween series. I hope that you have found great inspiration for your upcoming wedding and found ways to tie in your Halloween theme in the perfect way. I'll share a few more ideas with you and then check back in December for our Christmas wedding series. (Don't worry there will be other posts in between!)

These monogrammed pumpkins are so beautiful and what a great way to tie in your new last name to your ceremony or reception.

These custom stamps from Zazzle would be the perfect additon to your save the dates or inviations.

Who needs escort cards when you have these adorable pumpkins?

These skeletons would be great favors!

Beautiful table design!

Love this picture of the groom & his guys. What a great way to capture the spirit and the theme of the day.


Happy Halloween!!! | North Carolina Wedding Planner

Happy Halloween from all of your friends at

I hope you have a SPOOKTACULAR day!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bride Interview with Alina Thompson of AWYWI Events | North Carolina Wedding Planner

Please take a moment to read this interview before you hire Alina and Any Way You Want It Weddings & Events.
How long have you been doing this? Why did you start?
I started AWYWI Events in 2010. While planning my own wedding in 2008, I learned about all of the pitfalls and frankly, the disasters of wedding planning. I basically learned everything not to do and how important it is to hire a professional to help you plan and coordinate your big day. I used my time from 2008 until I started AWYWI Events in 2010 to learn where I went wrong, how to fix those issues, and how to be a fabulous wedding planner.

This sounds fantastic, but what sets you apart?
One of the most unique things about me is that many of my friends call me the queen of DIY. Now this doesn’t mean that you should skip hiring professional vendors, just hire me and I’ll pull together a fabulous DIY affair. What it does mean is that I can help you with those fun projects you’ve found on Pinterest! Most brides today are creating pin boards to save DIY ideas to make their wedding unique before they’re even engaged. I love those types of projects and I would be more than happy to help you pull them together.

This seems expensive. How can I afford it?
Our job is to take your budget and to fit their fee into your budget. This is not an additional expense. You are paying AWYWI Events to help you watch your budget, find cost-effective solutions, and quality vendors at a price that you can afford.

Who do you work best with?
I love working with professional vendors and fabulous brides. I have been very lucky to have such wonderful brides, who are so kind, humble, and appreciative of my work. I believe very firmly in service with a smile, so even the most difficult bride should receive the same quality service as the most easy-going bride.

Who would not benefit from your help?
The great thing about AWYWI Events is that we can cater to any budget. We offer several different packages and a la carte options that can help a bride with a budget that can only afford a consultation to discuss wedding etiquette or a bride with a much larger budget who is looking for help with every aspect of their wedding with our Deluxe Planning Package.

Will I lose control of my wedding if you’re planning it?
This was my biggest fear when I was planning my wedding and ultimately was the reason why I decided not to hire a planner. This was my biggest mistake. A planner is hired to plan with you. It’s rare that you find a bride who doesn’t want any part of planning their wedding. Each bride has their own ideas and plans for their wedding. AWYWI Events sits down with you to discuss those ideas and comes up with ways for us to work together to achieve your wedding day goals. You’re not handing your wedding over to a stranger who will take over. You are hiring an advisor, a friend, a consultant to help you create the wedding of your dreams on a budget that you can afford.

Will you work with vendors that I’ve already hired?
Yes! Absolutely! While we refer quality vendors, we are always ready and excited to expand our network and have the opportunity to work with vendors we haven’t met yet.

What kind of payments plans do you offer?
Typically all of our payments plans require a 50% deposit and the remaining balance due at least 2 weeks prior to your wedding. If you need a different payment plan, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate.

Do you take on more than one wedding per day?
No. Never. We don’t even take on more than one wedding per weekend.

Do you take on destination weddings?
Absolutely! We operate out of Greensboro, NC but are willing to travel anywhere! Beach weddings are our favorite!

This looks like what we’re looking for. What’s next?
I want to hear about your wedding and your needs. Give us a call at 336.549.7829 or email us at to set up your complementary consultation. We’ll discuss your wedding, what we can do for you, what package would best fit your needs, and answer any additional questions you may have.

Can we contact your former clients?
Check out our testimonials page to see what our clients have to say about our services. References are available upon request.

We have more questions, can we call you?
Absolutely! Give us a call at 336.549.7829 or email us at to set up your complementary consultation.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Weddings, Part 3 | North Carolina Wedding Planner

This week we are continuing our series on Halloween weddings!! I am so excited that Halloween is just around the corner and am drooling because today we are talking about some delicious Halloween treats to serve at your spooktacular affair!

Chocolate covered apples, caramel apples, and spooky truffles!! Yum, yum, yum!

These pumpkin cupcakes are too cute! They would look great on a cupcake stand with a pumpkin shaped top tier.

There are those adorable mashed boo-tatoes again!

Pumpkins make excellent and beautiful coolers!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Choosing Your First Dance Song | North Carolina Wedding Planner

Earlier this year we shared this post:

"For me the first dance is second only to that first married kiss. Everyone looks forward to this monumental event for the newlyweds. It’s beautiful and leaves most of your guests at least a little misty.
Your first dance should say something about you as a couple. Do you have a song? Listen to the lyrics and make sure they’re appropriate. Ever been to a wedding where the couple chose a song with lyrics that weren’t so great for a wedding? Not a great moment."

We shared a few of our favorite suggestions,  but I feel like this is worth sharing again with clips of each song to save you from having to track them down and maybe even a few more song ideas.
“All My Life” – KCi & JoJo

“Me & You” – Kenny Chesney

“To Make You Feel My Love” – Garth Brooks (Check out this version by Adele too!)

“Heaven” – Brian Adams (or for the country girl, Jason Aldean & Brian Adams have a duet of this song that is incredible!)

“I Wanna Be Your Everything” – Keith Urban

“Lost In The Moment” – Big & Rich

“Then” – Brad Paisley
“Here and Now” – Luther Vandross
“Johnny & June” – Heidi Newfield
“Making Memories of Us” – Keith Urban

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Featured Wedding: Erin & Justin | Nags Head, North Carolina Wedding Planner

Erin and Justin are an absolutely amazing couple!! They are so easy-going and so much fun to work with.

They tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on the beach in Nags Head, NC with a relaxed reception at their beach house. Their beautiful day was accented with gorgeous hydrangeas, tiny anchors, navy and splashes of yellow, and lots of dancing.

Enjoy some of our favorite snapshots from the wedding and be sure to check back when we feature some of Dragon Studio's fabulous images from Erin & Justin's big day!

Many thanks to our wonderful vendors:

Planning/Coordination Services: Any Way You Want It Weddings & Events

Photography: Dragon Studios

Caterer: Ocean Boulevard Bistro & Martini Bar

Bakery: Just Desserts

Ceremony Musicians: Club Violin

DJ: Lone Wolf Productions

Officiant: Rev Ralph Kidd

Florist {Boutonnieres & Corsages}: Sugar Snap Events

Rentals: Ocean Atlantic Event Rentals

Ceremony Decor, Sand Raking, & Pool Lighting: Renee Landry Style, LLC

Monday, October 22, 2012

7 Tips to Save Money While Planning Your Wedding | North Carolina Wedding Planner

Let's get right to the point, weddings are expensive!! There are several ways to tighten the reins of your budget and still have a fabulous wedding.

1. Cut the guest list. This sounds brutal, but when you break it down it's easy to see how this simple trick may save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Every guest you invite requires an additional meal, invitation or even an additional welcome basket. After 8-10 people, you'll even have to add another table which requires extra linens and centerpieces.

One great way to limit your guest list without leaving out anyone important to you is to simply avoid putting "and guest" on every invitation sent to your unmarried friends. If you have many unmarried friends attending the wedding, think how much you'll save just by not having to pay for all of their dates (who you probably don't even know.) If you have unmarried friends with boyfriends or girlfriends that you know, add their name to invitation instead of simply saying "and guest."

Many couples even go so far as to ask that no kids attend. This may be a little extreme for some couples, but may be the perfect solution for others. If you choose to do this, be clear ahead of time. Don't make exceptions for some people and not for others. You're just asking for a problem if you do. Also beware that if you ask people not to bring their kids, some of those people may not come. They may be unable to find a babysitter or may not be comfortable having someone watch their kids late at night. Other parents may be relieved for a kid-free evening.

2. Rent! It always amazes me how many brides don't even know that this is an option. Many rental facilities offer ceremony chairs, linens, or even centerpieces and other decor. Most of these items can be rented for much cheaper than purchasing them on your own. Not to mention that if you do decide to purchase all of these items, what are you going to do with them after the wedding?

3. Avoid overtime. Create a wedding timeline and add in buffer time in case your event falls behind schedule. Another great way to avoid overtime is to hire a coordinator for your wedding day. This person can help you and your vendors stay on schedule which will help you avoid those costly overtime charges.

4. Limit the liquor. This doesn't mean that you have to have a cash bar, even though this could help you save a pretty penny. If you know you want to have an open bar, make sure your servers know that you would like them to offer refills to your guests but not to run around refilling drinks willy-nilly.

Also be sure that you purchase beer and wine from a place like Total Wine. Did you know that they allow you to return unopened bottles to the store after your event?! If you plan to do this, only ice the necessary bottles. Labels can come off and you don't want every bottle you purchased sitting on ice all night long.

If neither of these suggestions work for you, try serving a signature drink that your guests will love. This way you can control what type of liquor you want to serve. You can choose a simple beverage that uses a cheaper type of liquor so the cost won't add up so quickly. The upside to this, you can come up with a cute name for your drink that ties into your wedding or maybe is a play on your new last name.

5. Choose a venue with natural decor. A huge portion of wedding budgets goes into decorating a venue. Not big on paying for a bunch of decorations you'll never use again? Find a venue that requires minimal decorations. Outdoor sites full of foliage and flowers, create a perfect atmosphere and adding your own decorations can actually take away from the site. Other sites like Revolution Mill Studios are so beautiful that you can get away with simple centerpieces and some beautiful uplighting.

6. Choose a wedding date that is not during peak season. Avoid holidays or the typical wedding season. May-October is typically the most popular time to get married. By avoiding these months you may save yourself a small fortune. Also consider getting married on a Friday evening or a Sunday afternoon. These days/times are also great money savers.

7. Hire a wedding planner. Most brides (or mothers of the bride) hear this and think "I don't need a wedding planner, I can do everything myself" or "a wedding planner is too expensive." Did you know that hiring a wedding planner should not be an additional cost? A wedding planner should be able to work their fee into their budget and help you save money in other areas. It's actually possible to hire a wedding planner and end up spending less than you had planned in the long run (as long as you have reasonable expectations, that is). A wedding planner can help rein you in when necessary or help you find cheaper solutions to help you create your dream wedding in a realistic way.

It's up to you to determine if any of these solutions work for you, but if you'd like to learn more about saving money while you're planning your wedding give Any Way You Want It Weddings & Events a call or shoot us an email to set up a complementary consultation. We'd love to help!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Creative Photo Booth Ideas | North Carolina Wedding Planner

Having a photo booth at your wedding is always a fantastic and fun way to capture your guests truly enjoying your wedding. Everyone loves the old-school photo booths, but photo booths have become so popular that there are new ideas popping up everywhere. Many couples are even incorporating their photo booths into their guestbooks, but having guests sign and add their photos to a blank book.

If you are planning to have a photo booth at your event, be sure to discuss your ideas with your photographer or hire a professional photo booth company, like If It’s Digital.

Be sure to have an area dedicated to the photo booth. Make it easy for guests to get to, but will not be overrun with traffic. Have a photographer standing by or a camera on a tripod with clear instructions. If you’re planning to use props, have them in clear view and make sure guests know that they are welcome to use them. You’re bound to end up with some fabulous pictures!!

Check out some of our favorite photo booth ideas!

Do you have more photo booth ideas? We'd love to see them!! Share them in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or email them to us!

Happy Planning!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October Email Special | North Carolina Wedding Planner

Don't forget that this month only we are offering a terrific FREEBIE if you book your wedding with us before October 31, 2012!!! Want to find out more? Email us for all of the details!! You won't want to miss out on this deal!


Real Party: Emma's Fairytale 2nd Birthday! | Greensboro, North Carolina Party Planner

This was the most fun party I've ever planned. The birthday girl was very clear that she loved Tinker Bell and Shrek, so I got to work trying to figure out how to combine the two. It all started with the invitation.

The "Shrek" font and the Tinker Bell watermark was the perfect way to pull the theme together.

Guests entered the party at the gates to The Swamp (the pool) and dropped their gifts before getting their character costumes. Check out the KEEP OUT OF THE SWAMP sign below.

Each child searched Emma's Enchanted Garden for the coins dropped by the Tooth Fairy the night before. I purchased the frames from the Dollar Store, spray painted them and added the flowers and coins to tie in the theme to the frame. The Tooth Fairy's coins were scattered under the hanging flowers. The kids used hula hoops to play Fairy Ring Toss with the pinwheel flowers.

They used their Tooth Fairy coins to "purchase" their costumes. Each girl received fairy wings and a tutu custom made for them by Emma Joy's Boutique.

Each boy was given Shrek ears, for his very own Ogre costume. I found the ears on and they were adorable!
After finding their Tooth Fairy coins and putting on their costumes, they ventured over to Tinker's Nook. At Tinker's Nook, the fairies and ogres got a chance to make their very own fairy dust. They had 12 different kinds of dust to choose from, including Giggledust, Dream Dust, Ogre Toe Jam, and Wing Washing Dust. They were each given their own pixie dust bottle and the girls even got a their very own fairy, more on those later.

When the fairytale creatures finished making their pixie dust, they took a tour of Lilypad Pond to find lost things (party favors). They were able to keep whatever they found and used the favor bags that were custom made for each child. See more on the favor bags below.

One of my favorites parts of the party was the fairytale themed food. I had a blast putting together the fairy fruit wands, the deep fried earwax, swamp pudding, and all of the other treats! Everything was so delicious and all of the fairytale creatures loved it all.

A wonderful friend of mine created the gorgeous cupcake tree and the logs to display all of the kabobs. He did such a great job!! The cupcakes were delicous and I found the Shrek and Tinker Bell themed ring toppers on Ebay. My aunt made the delicious chocolate pound cake for all of the adults.

Check out some of the great pictures of the adorable fairytale creatures from this adorable party.

Up first, the birthday girl, Emma Joy. Emma's costume was themed after Tinker Bell. Her "Team Tink" shirt was so adorable with her custom wings and tutu.

These pretty pink fairies were themed after garden fairy, Rosetta, from Disney's Tinker Bell. Check out the cute flower fairies that were given to each little girl. These were so simple to make but were such an adorable addition to the party.

These precious purple fairies were themed after fast flying fairy, Vidia, from Disney's Tinker Bell. Check out the pixie dust jars that each girl received. I found these adorable bottles at Hobby Lobby. I added stickers that matched each girl's fairy, created a name tag, and added some cute ribbon.

These beautiful blue fairies were themed after water fairy, Silvermist, from Disney's Tinker Bell. The favor bags given to each guest turned out much better than I expected. They were simply made from paper bags and I created labels for each kid. They were all packed full of lost things by the time the kids left.

These adorable yellow fairies were themed after light fairy, Iridessa, from Disney's Tinker Bell. The fairy wings were one of my favorite parts of this party. I loved them so much that I'm seriously considering adding them to our website soon.

These outstanding orange fairies were themed after animal fairy, Fawn, from Disney's Tinker Bell. All of these little fairies were so adorable!

What a beautiful group of fairytale creatures!!

I had such a great time planning this party and I can't wait to see what this little cutie wants to do for her next party!

All photos are property of Any Way You Want It Weddings & Events.