Jennifer and Kimberly both come to the event world from creative industries. Jennifer studied fashion in NYC at the Fashion Institute of NY, freelanced in Miami doing film and television and eventually returned to Michigan to join Kimberly in launching a company for someone else. When that didn’t quite pan out, the two sisters started their own event firm.
Kimberly studied technical theatre design and production. After college she toured for several seasons with the Big Apple Circus as well as Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey in various roles from electrician and spotlight operator to props master and rigger. After leaving the road she came back to Detroit and fell into the event industry.
She and Jennifer started their business in 2002 with a heavy focus on corporate events. They reinvented their business in 2004 and Something Fabulous was born as a Boutique Event Management & Design with Your Moment In Mind. They join us today to talk about all the events surrounding the wedding!
Consider what memory you want to make, what your wishes are for the events, what your timeline is and what your budget it is. All these are important factors in designing the experiences.
Rehearsal dinners don’t have to be in a restaurant. It’s more about the connection and the celebration of the couple. Big ideas that don’t get to make it into the wedding can be done in the rehearsal.
Keep the rehearsal simple, anyone involved in the wedding ceremony. The rehearsal dinner can have more people, but you definitely don’t have to invite every out of town guest. It’s a personal choice and a budget choice. Though an invitation is not required, you can send one. You can invite digitally! It’s a great way to save money.
Welcome drinks should be considered more of a happy hour and less of a party. There are options for how it’s paid for. Some couples choose to contribute a certain amount of money, or give an optional itinerary and have guests meet at a bar, or they sometimes to choose to pay for the whole thing. Really there is no right away to do the welcome drinks.
When it comes to brunch, determine, first, who is coming! Some people want to pack up and head straight home the next day, and some are staying. They are usually very casual, and relaxed. And can be a rolling event, like the food is out and the guests can pop in and out when they want to within the hours of the brunch.
Question: I do have a question about after-wedding brunch! We have set up 2 hotel wedding blocks, under a 10-minute drive from each other. One is a historic hotel downtown, and the other is a newer Marriott on the edge of town (we live in Roanoke, VA so traffic isn't really a concern). My family is staying in the historic hotel, and my fiancé’s family is staying at the Marriott. How do we decide where to have brunch the day after? The historic hotel has a nicer restaurant, but you have to pay for parking. Would it be better to arrange brunch at a third location that's more "neutral"? Plus, we're not even sure where my fiancé and I are staying yet. My parents have offered to pay for brunch and recommended we do whatever is simpler for us, but I'm really not sure what that is. I would love any advice you can give! Thanks for everything!!
Answer: This is a matter of personal preference, but we would ask - what do you hope to experience at this brunch? Is it for guest convenience and hospitality after the big day? Who will actually attend? You may find that one family will be leaving and only have a couple of guests actually show up at the brunch. This could help you determine which location is best.
We find that many times the after wedding brunch is a chance for the bride and groom to visit with guests in a way that the pre-wedding events don’t allow. Think about what the actual needs and requirements of the guest and couples experience are and then choose your final plans based on that. If you are thoughtful in going about making your plans you
can’t really go wrong.
Question: Because our wedding is a Friday night, we were planning on doing a winery day on Saturday for anyone and everyone. How would we go about inviting? On the wedding website? In a card in the invite? We already need to have people RSVP for the wedding, have select people RSVP for a separate reception we are holding in a different state a month later since a lot of family can't come across the country, and it seems insane to try to ask people to also RSVP for a winery day so we could reserve space. Do websites even do that many options for an RSVP? (We're using Zola bc duh)
Answer: You can have an rsvp designed to list the different events and have people select which ones they’ll attend. This isn’t uncommon as people often host multiple events over a weekend and need counts to make final arrangements. Websites can provide details
and further explanation around the reasons for the extra responses.
Question: We got a really great deal with our venue where they included a rehearsal dinner and day after brunch with our wedding! But, we have a lot of guests coming from out of state (my future hubby is from Missouri, and most of his family lives there, but the wedding is in NY where I am from) and we really want to show everyone a good time in the days leading up to the wedding! We live about an hour away from our wedding venue, but would like to host some wedding weekend activities in our home city. One thing that is confusing us a bit is where we should reserve hotel blocks/suggest our guests stay- in our city where we plan to host pre- wedding things and where we will be until the wedding, or an hour away in a hotel closer to the venue? What can we do to make this more convenient for everybody? Also, our wedding is on a Sunday, but what is the best way to communicate that we plan to have events with our guests on the Friday and Saturday before the wedding?
Answer: This one I tricky because you really need to think about the wedding memory you’re trying to make. The sight seeing and experience sharing is great, but people are coming for a wedding so they are probably expecting to spend time with family and reconnect. This can be counter to the sightseeing experience you’re envisioning. What does a good time look like to both of you? What types of things are available to do closer to your venue? What suggestions can your venue give you for entertaining guests? It’s important to get clear on the guest experience and your own memory making. You might find it’s best to design a weekend experience around the venue and local opportunities that will give guests a chance to relax, enjoy each other and your company. Your home city could be highlighted through details and story telling. And you could always welcome guests to come back for a visit and experience the places you love on a more individual scale. Shuttling back and forth can get tricky and moving hotels can be logistically difficult as well. The most important aspect of this weekend is your wedding and all of the details that go along with rehearsals, ceremony, reception and get-away brunch. You might find it best to keep your travel to a minimum and the logistics a little bit simpler for guests.
“We always start with the question, ‘what is the memory you want to make?’” - Kimberly
“People love when you take them to places that you love.” - Christy “Remember the wedding is the main event of the weekend.” - Christy
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