The Creative Process

Last weekend I participated in a bridal show in Elizabethtown. This was the first bridal show Galej Events has done, and I had so much fun meeting new brides, talking with vendors, and surrounding myself with everything wedding! The week leading up to the event was fun, too, as I designed and prepared my booth decor! So, I wanted to share my creative process – where I get my design ideas, how I develop and create a project, and the outcome of the final product! This is essentially a scaled-down version of the process I use to design my events – finding inspiration in industry materials, creating decor, and putting it all together!

The bridal show booth was an empty 8’x 8′ space. My awesome husband suggested I map out the space with chalk on our garage floor. So, I invaded the garage, and it became my workspace for the next week.


I started with a table. A very old drop-leaf table has been in my family for as long I can remember, and as this table currently resides in my office, it was the initial inspiration for my shabby chic decor. I decided to use the table as both visual display and product placement. From there, I needed decor.


I found this idea in one of my FAVORITE magazines – Celebrate (by Phyllis Hoffman). So, I collected all the bottles I could find and purchased spray paint in the colors of Galej Events’s branding. Then the painting began. About ten coats later, I had 20 beautifully colored bottles.

I realized the drop-leaf table was too small to fill the space, so I needed a couple smaller tables to create dimension and interest. I sent my husband (did I mention that he’s AWESOME?) to pick out burlap linens (burlap being inexpensive and in-line with my theme), and I went out and purchased a side table.


I sewed the linens to fit the small tables. Then it was time to pack everything up, purchase flowers, and head to the bridal show.

With my background in floral design, I could have probably done a more elaborate floral-scape, but I wanted to keep everything simple.

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The bridal show was held at Lu Mil Vineyard, and my booth reflected one way of interpreting the serene natural surroundings. Simplicity was key in this design. And, I think it turned out beautifully!Image

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He Proposed!…Now It’s Your Turn!

If you’ve recently gotten engaged, you’ll soon choose who you want to share in this special day with you (besides your honey, of course). We’re talking about bridesmaids…and though calling them up and telling them they’ve got to buy a new dress, attend pre-wedding functions, and wait on you hand and foot is one way to do it, it may be more prudent to wine and dine them a bit. You want them to be an important part of your special day; why not make your proposal to them special?

The bridesmaid proposal is your turn to make the girls in your life feel like the gems they are. Provide them with they’re very own rings or pieces of jewelry.


Or, treat them to something sweet with personalized bridesmaid cookies!


Take them out to lunch and have the chef prepare something special for them.


Pretty much any engagement proposal idea can be converted into a bridesmaid proposal idea…


Have fun with it, and start the celebration off right by encouraging your bridesmaids to get as excited as you are about the fun everyone will have on your big day!

Handmade New Year’s Eve

I love New Year’s Eve. It’s got that possibility of new beginnings, it’s an extension of the holiday season, and it’s a great excuse to have a classy, glitzy party! But, right after the holidays, it can be stressful to plan and spend money on another party. So, this year, utilize the skills of the crafty people on, and host a classy, glitzy, handmade New Year’s Eve bash!

Begin by stepping up the sparkle with some glitzy décor in gold or silver. String clear lights and whimsical garland around the room.



Create a drink menu that is simple but fun. Have recipes on hand so guests can serve themselves (unless you plan to spring for a bartender or play one yourself). And, highlight the menu in a glistening frame!


Help guests designate their drinks by providing cute swizzle stick cocktail tags!


Set up your own photo booth by hanging up a white sheet and draping clear Christmas lights lengthwise like you’re creating lighted stripes. Provide a box with fun props, and set up a tripod with a timer-ready camera on top.


Then post the photos on your Facebook event page, create fun New Year’s gifts for your guests with their photos, or just send the photos out in an email. People LOVE pictures of themselves!!

Don’t forget dessert! End the evening with a sweet treat – bake cupcakes at home, or place an order at your local bakery. Then adorn them with festive New Year’s wrappers!


You’re on your way to a fabulous 2013!

He Proposed!

December is proposal season. More people get engaged in December than any other month.

Galej Events plans proposals (we hire a photographer, confirm dinner reservations, make sure the ring is sized, etc.), and proposals always make for the best stories when they are personalized for the couple…perhaps the lovebirds go back to the place they first met…perhaps the guy places the ring inside of some object that has significance to the couple….

My husband proposed by making a dream I had had early in our relationship come to life. I had dreamt that we were riding on a horse-drawn carriage and he mentioned something about me being his wife. As my then boyfriend asked me to recall this dream to him one May afternoon while we were stading on a street corner, I realized that he had something up his sleeve. He then got down on one knee and said, “I want to make all of your dreams come true. Will you marry me?”, and three minutes later we were engaged and riding on a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Denver!

It’s a short blog this week, folks…because we want to hear from you! How did he propose? Were you surprised? Was it simple or elaborate?

If you’re not yet engaged, do you have hopes or ideas for a future proposal?

Share your stories in the comments section! Just click the “speech bubble” next to the title of this blog!

Winter Weddings

With the holidays around the corner, we are inundated with Christmas colors and flowers – red, green, poinsettas, holly. If you are getting married around the holidays, it can be quite cost-effective to incorporate into your wedding the holiday décor that is already in place at the church or reception venue. However, there are some beautiful ways to break out of the holiday humdrum and make your wedding especially memorable!

Gold glitter:

Gold always reminds me of warmth, light, and magic. Celebrating during the holiday season makes it even more appropriate to elicit these feelings at your wedding!


Rich pinks and purples:

Deep hues evoke warmth, as well. Rich fushias and purples are a striking but warm contrast to the blustery, dull colors of the wintery outdoors.


Cream colors:

Where rich colors are a warm contrast to winter white, cream colors are a beautiful compliment to the snowy outdoors. Cream colors are clean and soft and create a beautiful holiday wedding backdrop.


Burlap, cotton, and baby’s breath:

Here in the South, we see plenty of cotton and burlap used for décor in the winter. What better way to put these textures to use than in your winter wedding décor!

Wedding Traditions

I recently received a request to write a blog about wedding traditions…what they are, where they come from, etc. Given that we just celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday fraught with all kinds of beautiful and wacky traditions, I figured this was the perfect time of year to look at why we keep certain traditions alive.

Let’s start with one of the more common traditions seen in weddings today. Many brides still choose to walk on aisle runners. Tradition states that this runner should not be unrolled until the bridal party is ready to walk down the aisle (i.e. the guests should not walk on the runner). The runner then protects the bride’s feet from touching the ground so that evil spirits are unable to get to her. It also provides a spotless path to the alter, representing purity and keeping the bride’s gown clean.

There’s also the tradition (in Catholic/Christian and some other ceremonies) for the father to walk his daughter down the aisle. The father always walks on his daughter’s right side. This tradition began because the father’s right hand was supposed to be free to draw his sword and defend his daughter from anyone in the groom’s party looking to harm her. Therefore, the daughter would grasp her father’s left arm rather than his right.

Many African American brides and grooms continue to uphold the tradition of Jumping the Broom. Though there are numerous claims as to where this tradition originated, it is known that during the period when the United States allowed slavery, slaves were not allowed to marry in a legally binding manner. So, they would perform a ceremony in a public setting where the two wishing to marry would jump over a broom, and this would serve as their official declaration of union as husband and wife.

The reception tradition of the Money Dance began in the early 1900s in Eastern Europe. The Best Man, Father of the Bride, or Father of the Groom initiate the dance by pinning money onto the bride’s dress or apron, symbolizing their “purchase” of a dance with her. Though some have argued that this practice is uncouth, many families enjoy it because it allows the bride and groom a chance to spend time with each of their guests during the busy and crowded wedding day. A dance with a guest whom the bride might not normally say more than a “hello” to can make the day so much more memorable for everyone. This tradition has grown through the ages – today it is common for female guests to pin money onto the groom in order to purchase a dance with him. It is also common for the person (bride or groom) who has the most money pinned to them to be the one to have cake smushed into their face after the cake cutting!

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Every culture and country has its own wedding traditions, and some of them seem louder, wilder, or sillier than others. But, the best part about them is the unity they bring not only to the couple, but to everyone who has celebrated with these traditions in the past.

What traditions did you keep or are you planning to keep at your wedding? Let us know! We’re always interested in learning about and incorporating traditions!

Reach Out and Touch It


I’ve discovered a newfound love of texture. My husband and I just designed our master bathroom in creams and whites, but the texture on every element of the room makes it SO dynamic. 

I would LOVE to pull more texture into my next event designs. I’d love to stock my shelves and my portfolio with glitter, feathers, pillows, rugs, crystals, and vintage ceiling tiles.
We’ve used textured tablecloths in the past, and they make the whole dining experience more “hands-on”…literally! 
Even invitations can be textured with raised text, charms, and ribbons.
Plus, texture makes the event feel so much more personal. Anyone can head to a Party Warehouse and pick up flat, monochromatic tablecloths, napkins, and forks, but using a feathered tablecloth, silk napkins in wooden napkin rings, or scroll-engraved flatware lets your guests know you put thought into the experience you are creating for them!