Building Successful Non-Profit Events

Committing time and efforts to a charitable organization to plan the event of the year can be a daunting task. However, when built correctly from the ground up, it is a well oiled machine year after year. It all begins with a good cause and ends with the ability to give.

Let’s talk about the keys of success when building non-profit events. 

Be passionate about your cause.
First of all, know what you stand for! Whatever your charity may be, know it and own it. Be passionate about it and share that passion with others. Use your cause to pull at the heartstrings of your guests. Incorporate a speaker, video, testimonial, or guest that will allow your guests to feel the passion of the organization. We live in an unbelievably giving society. The fact that so many have the means to be on multiple sides of organizations and lend a helping hand is a beautiful thing.

Build your team.
Build your committee and vendor team. If you are producing the same, or similar events each year, don’t reinvent the wheel. Find your vendors who fight for you and jive with you and they are your ride or die. An all star vendor team should take your event to the next level, while keeping your numbers in check.

Be goal oriented.
Set real numbers. Whether it be people, money, phone calls, or total donation, know your goal. This will help to keep track of the overall progress. Most people are competitive by nature, giving your committee members something to strive for, making the end result even better.

The end result should be to give back. Don’t lose site of the goal.

Know your budget and limitations.
Every successful event needs a budget as a foundation. This helps keep areas itemized to know what should be raised, as well as, allows your committee members to have professional meetings with vendors to set expectations. This way your vendors know if it is within their realm to produce what your event needs are, and everything is black and white. If you are asking for a higher budget item remember, something must even out on the other end for a compromise.

Assign committees with dedicated members and leaders.
Break up tasks among committees with driven members who all have the same goals. Make sure everyone has their own strengths but is equally driven to be involved, and be clear with their tasks.  This allows for event committee meetings and sub committee meetings to optimize the work. The committee chairs should report back during event meetings with updates.

Committees may include
Entertainment
Decor
Food & Beverage
Ticket Sales & Seating
Sponsorship
VIP

Think outside the box.
What is your draw? That unique element sets your event apart from the others in the area and makes the tickets sell like hot cakes. This can be the location, auction items, entertainment, food, decor or sold out guest attendance each year, but having that special something will keep the event hot year after year.

Wow your guests.
Create the experience that will leave your guests asking for dates for the next event and asking how they can get more involved. If you can create instant buzz post event, it makes marketing for the next that much easier. Make sure your guests feel like VIP’s from the entrance on and know that they are attending a well produced event. This will make them comfortable and willing to donate more throughout the night, creating more success in the end donation.

Stay on your path.
Last, when you think you are done, think again. Upon the completion of your event, calculate the result of what was raised, will be donated, and give everyone a congratulatory pat on the back. Assess the planning and overall event with a SWOT analysis.

Strengths
Weaknesses
Opportunities
Threats

This will give you a good grip on where the direction needs to be placed for the next function. Now, set the next date to start the planning all over again!

At Ashley & Co. , working with non-profit organizations drives our passion. We look forward to watching the production of each event go above and beyond the last.

xoxo

Catherine + Collin || Fredericksburg, TX Wedding

Catherine and Collin first came to us and met with Kelly, newly engaged, excited for the future, and knowing that they wanted to keep what was important to them in the forefront. With six months to plan, they decided on a Texas destination wedding in Fredericksburg.

Ceremony Foundation
Having a church ceremony was incredibly high on their list, however, couldn’t find a church in the Bryan-College Station area that was a good fit for them. To Catherine and Collin, the ceremony was truly the foundation of everything. They put the emphasis on this for their marriage and their wedding day location. The idea of a romantic chapel was what they really leaned toward for their ceremony, so that was what was created for them using a wooden cross, provided by the venue, church pew, and cathedral shaped windows that hung at the altar.

Their promise to God as they took each other to be man and wife was incredibly important. They made sure to include the wedding party by not only standing by their side. The best man gave a homily, one of the groomsmen was the guitarist during the feet washing ceremony, and the full wedding party assisted in the giving of Holy communion.

Hill Country Cuisine
Catherine and Colin wanted to treat their guests to true “Texas Hill Country” cuisine, so they opted for stations around the room that focused on local flavors. The big hits included Street Corn Skewers, which payed homage to Collin’s border-town upbringing, Mini Venison Sliders, Avocado Station with a variety of toppings including a Grilled Peach Pico, Hill Country Antipasto Sausage and Cheese Display, that included Broken Arrow Venison and Wild Boar Smoked Sausage.

 Sharing their Roots
Coffee was often their drink of choice, and they frequented coffee one certain coffee shop when they were dating. To share this flavor with their guests they opted for an ice coffee bar and scented candles made by a family friend as favors. A lavender scented candle was also a choice, complimenting the wedding colors.

Collin serves in the National Guard and wanted to honor his fellow service men and women during the wedding. The couple added a missing man table, featured at the entrance of the venue.

Catherine and her mom enjoyed planning together, and loved the details to be personalized. It was important that the wedding was a symbol of Catherine and Collin both individually and as a couple. It was a fairy tale from start to finish.

Catherine’s personal books used in the centerpieces. 


Vendor Team:

Venue + Bar | The Lodge at Country Inn Cottages | Fredericksburg, Texas
Planner + Design | Ashley & Co.   | Kelly Nail Markwood
Photographer | Allison Jeffers Photography
Catering | Feast & Merriment
Floral Design | Whim Hospitality
Cake | Sophie’s Bakery
Hair and Makeup | Lola Beauty ATX
Video | Squinted Cinema
Dress Boutique | Brickhouse Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses | Azazie
Suits | Joseph A Bank
Band | Koncrete Kings
DJ | Look Entertainment
Rentals | Bee LavishIllusions Rentals , Ashley and Co. 
Transportation | Austin Prestige Limo 
Invitations | Minted and Aggieland Printing
Rehearsal Dinner | Crossroads Steakhouse

xoxo

Read more about hiring a wedding planner.

 

Why hire a wedding planner?

Enlisting the engagement of a wedding planner is not an uncommon practice now. Having a wedding planner during your wedding planning and on your wedding day can allow you, and those involved, breathe a sigh of relief and truly enjoy the process. If you’re recently engaged and pondering over the age old question of wedding planner or no wedding planner, allow us to let you in on a few of the deciding factors for our brides.

Pick Your Package
You should be able to select the package that fits best for your planning needs; brides are not a one size fits all. Whether you fall into the category of the bride who has everything crossed off months prior and simply needs a production crew to see the day through, or you are the bride planning from states away and will only be in the week of her wedding, you should be able to sit with your coordinator and talk about your options prior to booking. Make sure when interviewing potential wedding planners you ask specifically what each of their packages entail and get details of the months planning and the day of the wedding to know how that company works.
{See wedding planning packages for Ashley & Co. Here }

Stay on Track with your Budget
Unless you’re naturally a numbers person, budgeting is hard. And when it comes to your wedding, or anything that you are emotionally attached it, it is even harder! If you need help with your budget, make sure you select a package that allows your wedding planning to assist you with that. They should track deposits, keep copies of all contracts and deposit schedules, remind you of when payments are due, and lead you into the wedding week with a clear mind of all payments. It is also nice to talk about different payment schedules if that fits better for you, instead of waiting until the month of the wedding for the bulk of the payments to be made. Your wedding planner can help you with that as well.

Eliminate Overall Stress During your Planning
If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t know where to start, or are feeling a tad bit frustrated with the process already, take a step back. All of those emotions are more normal than you realize. There is a lot that goes into wedding planning, and you get asked a million questions by those who surround you, so it is easy to find yourself feeling overwhelmed when you put this into your regular life schedule. When you hire a professional who handles this every single day and can lay out each step for you, take out the emotions, and pour their heart and soul into making your wedding day the best day of your life thus far, it allows you to enjoy the process and not feel the stress. If during the process you are feeling stressed, that is the point you should pick up the phone and call your wedding planner to discuss the things that are on your mind. Your wedding planner should be able to read your personality and know whether weekly in-person, phone, or email tracking meetings work best to handle your wedding anxiety.

Get your Timing Right
There is a method to your planning, as well as the day of the wedding that each need to be timed out. Your wedding planner should assist in making sure you are on track with each. The wedding planning will consist of (but not be limited to) booking your location, your vendors, addressing and mailing stationery, accepting RSVP’s, overnight and travel accommodations, engagements and bridal portraits, hair and make-up trials, final numbers and confirmation deadlines, and final payments. The wedding weekend time line should involve (but not be limited to) venue set up, rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, complete line up of family and wedding party with music selections, vendor arrivals, complete wedding reception timing, breakdown instructions, and notes for the clients.

Bringing Your Vision Together
There are generally three types of brides in the design field. One, you know exactly what you want, you have your Pinterest board categorized and complete and simply want someone to execute your vision. Two, you have an idea of what you like, but really need someone to go through your Pinterest board and tell you what your style actually is, then bring you a cohesive board and execute that vision. Three, you have no idea what your style is, but you can say yes and no to pictures when presented ideas. No matter what type of category you fall in, your wedding planner should identify with you, identify your style, design, and decor needs, and execute your vision on your wedding day perfectly.
{Read more about designing your wedding Wedding Design Your Way }

Handle Logistics
The wedding logistics can be as simple as the inter-workings of the time line with hair and make-up, travel, music, food, and bride and groom first looks, or get more in depth when you get into details of a ceremony flip when experiencing increment weather or when utilizing the same room for ceremony and reception. The timeline logistics will be discussed and confirmed during your time line meeting, but your wedding planner will handle all of that without you seeing anything other than everything running smoothly from start to finish. If your wedding day does require a room flip, this should also be discussed, diagrammed, included in the time line, and then handed over to your wedding planner to take from there. Room flips require additional labor, impeccable communication with assigned duties to each member of the team, a plan for where the guests will go during, quick movement, and good leadership. Your wedding planner should go over the main details and then take the reins on the flip to handle everything with their crew, catering, and venue management so that you and your guests are disrupted as little as possible.

Enjoy Your Day
One of the main reasons to hire a wedding planner is so that you, your fiance, both families, and all friends can enjoy your wedding day from start to finish. This is your wedding day, none of you need to work a single minute! From making sure you have food and drinks all day, to having copies of time lines in each room for wedding party, to packing gifts in the allocated vehicle, and simply being with you from the moment you arrive in the morning and being the last person to leave the venue to make sure the cleanup is completely taken care of, you should have nothing to worry about that day. Your wedding planner is like a ninja on your wedding day, always watching you, anticipating your next need, tidying up, bustling your dress, removing your veil, saving family heirlooms, packing your overnight bags and to go boxes in the limo, staying one step ahead of you so that you never have to ask for anything. Your wedding planner’s mission on your wedding is to see your enjoyment and love as you celebrate!

xoxo

Read more about steps after your engagement Next Steps

Contributing photographers: Ryan Price + Rachel Driskell

Live Up Your Date – Cinco De Mayo Wedding Day

Having a themed wedding?!

We LOVED working with Emily and Conner to celebrate their special “Cinco de Mayo” Wedding Day! They were married at A&M United Methodist Church and held the reception at the Celeste Ballroom in The Stella. When they chose their wedding date, they were eager to embrace the date and celebrate in full Fiesta style fashion!

We really appreciated how these two chose to be bold with their colors yet maintained a natural balance throughout. The Gold Chivari chairs brought in by Ashley & Co. paired well with the pop of color and floral centerpieces displayed around the Ballroom.  The Stella provided custom margaritas hand-selected by the couple themselves featuring a Grapefruit and Regular on the rocks along with traditional Cinco de Mayo food which included chips, queso and fajitas. Conner’s non-traditional groom’s cake rendered a fabulous milk and cookies bar and Emily’s love for Conner really came through in the over-sized Conner heads floating around the room! Sombreros, floral crowns and neon tambourines filled up The Stella and their guests never left the dance floor – partly due to the fact that Connor himself prepped a Dance Enthused playlist during the live band’s sets helping to drive the already vibrant energy in the room. Their departing gift for guests showed appreciation to their fellow Aggies with 12th Man Towels with a printed stamp of their wedding date.

What we loved most is this couple had FUN. From the very beginning to the end, you can see through these pictures that this day was completely about the love they had for each other and enjoying this moment with their guests. They embraced the Cinco de Mayo style while still keeping their desire for traditions present throughout the evening with select pieces and moments. Unique, creative and traditional all wrapped up in one! What more can a bride ask for?

Congratulations to you both Emily & Conner and we wish you a lifetime full of love, happiness and more themed parties! – Love & Hugs, The Ashley & Co. Team

{coordination + rentals} Stephanie Martinez || Ashley & Co. http://ashleyandcompany.com
{ceremony} A&M United Methodist  https://am-umc.org/en/
{reception/catering/bar} The Stella Hotel https://www.thestellahotel.com/
{photographer} Ashley Monogue http://www.ashleymonogue.com/
{baker} Sandee’s Sweets http://www.sandeessweets.com/
{florist} Post Oak Florist  http://www.postoakflorist.com/
{band} Royal Dukes Band https://www.royaldukesband.com/
{photo booth} KornerBooth  https://kornerbooth.com/
{beauty} Blush & Glow Co. https://www.blushglowco.com/
{transportation} Aggieland Limousines http://aggielandlimousines.com/

 

Engagement to Planning Tips

You’re engaged, congratulations! This is what we refer to in the wedding industry, as engagement season. It’s a wonderful time of year when couples have just finished celebrating the holidays and many have found themselves freshly engaged between the time of Thanksgiving and the first of the year.

This is the moment you’ve waited for, you can’t wait to shout it out, get things started, hit the ground running, and start the whirlwind of wedding planning NOW. Before you get ahead of yourself, take a step back and make sure you remember a few high points, and don’t get too overwhelmed in the entire process.

Personally tell those who are important to you, then make your social media post.
Don’t hurt feelings by acting too quickly and posting first, then telling. There will be a family member or close friend who finds out with the masses of social media who will really need that phone call. Make that phone call, send out that group text, start the communication chain. THEN post that ring selfie!

Insure the ring. 
Talk about making a fast move on adulting! Yes, it’s worth it. This is a very inexpensive policy that will make sure you have coverage in case anything happens to your very expensive new addition. We’ve all seen the horror videos of the ring being dropped in the water. Guys, if you’re proposing in a “dramatic” way, go ahead and have that insured prior to the engagement. Just in case.

Talk about the important things.
If you are a date person, decide on your date, but understand that that is your thing and check venue and vendor availability before falling in love with one and not having flexibility. Have a conversation about what is important to each of you throughout the planning and on the wedding day so that you will know what to focus on as you look and make your budget and selections. Discuss food, bar, music, flowers, guest count, each element that will go into the day.

Prepare for the questions, and don’t be afraid to answer directly.
You will get very pointed questions from people about the date, plans, when to expect their invitation in the mail, that can put you in an awkward position during a conversation. Don’t feel rushed to make the decisions of what date, what location, what vendors you will hire. But also don’t feel obliged to share all of the details if you don’t want. If you like your wedding details to be more discreet, that is your decision. Don’t up your guest list because someone has included their family automatically, make sure you understand what works for you, your budget, your venue and your wedding.

Start drafting guest list and budget.
Get your numbers going! Ask both sides of parents for a guest list and start compiling one together so that you know what your number will look like and what locations will accommodate you. Then you will be able to start looking at the items that are a per person charge more carefully and get a realistic budget that works for you narrowed down. That will help as you start meeting with vendors so that you know you aren’t meeting with someone outside of your price range.

Determine your inspiration. Or hire someone who will inspire you.
Start looking at pictures, at pin boards, at magazines and get inspiration. Decide what your style is, what colors you like, what themes you want to incorporate and pull it all together. You don’t have to like everything out of one picture, it might be a certain flower, or color, or dress, but you can pull that picture and make notes of what you love about that. Then have a cohesive look to create YOUR look. Don’t copy someone else’s, make it you. If you feel lost in the process, seek out someone you connect with on the planning and design process. With about a ten minute conversation they should be able to help you with your styling.

Select your squad.
Select those who will stand with you on the wedding day, plan with you to get to that day, and celebrate the last days before you are wed, and tell them you want them to be there. Don’t wait and and make them guess, tell them early so that they know what they mean to you and they can start helping you along the way. They can be your sounding board, your errand runners, your story tellers as this process progresses.

Enjoy the wedding planning.
This can be a stressful time, so make sure you take some time to enjoy the process. If you feel like you need a break, take it. If you feel like you need some help, start to interview some professionals. Each person deals with planning differently and you don’t want to get to the end and wish you would have changed something. Take time to enjoy one another. This is the beginning of your life together.

Smile, relax, enjoy, and stare at that ring as often as you can. This is a beautiful time and will go by so quickly.

Ciao 2017, and Thank You

As we welcome 2018, I can’t help but be grateful for all that 2017 was for us. We had the privilege to work with so many incredible clients and work on so many incredible events. It seems that each year the creativity of those we work with gets greater, the events get more interesting, the weddings get more personal, and the fact that we are chosen to bring all of this to life gets more and more exciting.

These are a few of our favorite moments, whether they were sweet, in general memorable, or laughable in one way or another. During each event we learn and grow, but more importantly, we takeaway an experience which is much deeper than the surface.

  • An unbelievably gorgeous wedding during the coldest Texas weather we experienced in years. So cold that the restroom trailers had to be switched out during the ceremony because they had frozen earlier in the day. Plans were changed and adjusted, clients and guests were flexible and all went off beautifully.
  • A successful product launch with CForce Bottling Company. CForce Water was introduced January 2017 and has taken over markets by storm. A strong brand, company and family that brings a lot to the community with their new company.
  • A celebration of Rio Carnival for OPAS Gala 2017.
  • A few weddings on the road. One in Spring Branch with a precious family that we’ve gotten to work during the wedding process of three daughters. We got to work in a new church, new wedding venue, which was spectacular, and were able to work with one of the most organized moms again during the planning. one in Sonora for a girl who will always be family for so many reasons. And who is responsible for the introduction of Kelly and Matt. Being there with Meredith and Bill was special on so many different levels.
  • The ability to work with several clients on projects outside of the normal scope, and instead on weddings for their children or friends.
  • A successful recruitment season with our friends of Texas A&M Panhellenic Council, which ended with a well orchestrated early breakdown and exit strategy because of Hurricane Harvey.
  • Maroon dirt for the Music Activity Center ground breaking.
  • A new engine in a truck. Followed by a lot of other “new items”, which will make it a very good back up truck in 2018.
  • We got to push creative boundaries with clients we know and love so well during events that we get to work on year after year. Champions Council Weekend, Legacy Weekend, tailgate upon tailgate, Zachry progression, Aggie 100, Burgess, Aggie Football, witnessing Robert Earl Keen’s Christmas stage production, Holiday Parties that were jaw dropping, intimate dinners at homes, large scale Gala events in exhibit halls, we got to push the limits.
  • Rhinestone Rodeo for Brazos County Cattle Barron’s Ball 2017.
  • The opportunity to work with one of another one of our clients on their third family wedding to transform the Walker County Fair Grounds for 900 of their closest friends.
  • A Tuesday wedding with a stunning Asian inspired red and gold theme that fit the couple perfectly.
  • Precious coordination clients that we’ve grown to love more and more each day as we plan with them, cherish each moment of the wedding day, and gush over each picture when we get the galleries back. Seeing the personalities come out on each day is the absolute best.
  • The opportunity to collaborate throughout the year with vendors on styled shoots to challenge creativity, keep the cutting edge fierce, and make sure the eye for detail never dies.
  • Behind the scenes with Lyle Lovett during a December Gala. He was generous, kind, gracious and put on one hell of a show.
  • Clear top tent with rain and wind. We’ll revisit that subject on another date. Learning experience and favorite client are two phrases that carried us through.
  • We got a new roof. Which created a cause for new siding. Which makes our building nicely updated with our new porch from last year! As the temperatures warm, we’ll complete our landscaping.
  • Kelly got engaged. Which means, a wedding in 2018.
  • Stephanie graduated and joined us full time, taking on even more weddings as assignments of her own.
  • Ted sported a fancy glitter beard on NYE 2017, which meant the beginning of the new year he has greeted with a clean shave face (almost), and the first few days is wearing PANTS! For those of you who know Ted, you know the rarity of both of these events, which keep us all entertained.

For 2018, we welcome the new challenges, opportunities and possibilities that await. We look forward to creating more moments with clients, each other, and you. Thank you for believing with us.

 

 

Bridal Show Vendor View

Fall is on the horizon, which brings many great vibes (and events, naturally) in our industry. One of these is the Fall Bridal Show and Benefit, hosted by the Brazos Valley Bridal Association http://www.babv.org/. The Bridal Show for us is more than just meeting potential clients and expanding our current business. Yes, we are excited about reaching out to all the brides that are coming and talking about each amazing wedding, but we’ll blog about that another day.

Everyone knows one of our true passions is design. During each Bridal Show we are able to go back to our roots and work on that design front, not for ourselves, but for the vendors that pour their hearts and souls into their businesses who we want to see shine! This is their time to “speed date” these potential brides and catch their attention in those first few moments that these brides set eyes on their booth.

There are a few key elements that we always try to bring up in our meetings that some may or may not have thought about:

  • Who are you. Okay, yes, most know this answer, but you would be surprised at how many vendors don’t have appropriate signage, or don’t know how to display the signage at the show. Make sure you have your signage displayed in a way that is easily seen in your booth and is consistent with your branding.
  • What do you do. This goes into the service category. What do you provide, and how can you best portray that to the shopping customer? Going further into that, what inside of your category do you do best. This is where we try to talk a little more with our clients and dig deeper. It’s hard to talk about yourself sometimes, so as a third party, we can give the “you are best at this” or “you are known for this” advice, and really try to focus on that.
  • What is your brand. Stay within your brand as much as possible so that it keeps you identifiable. This is your color, your feel, your logo, your font, your mission statement. Don’t try to change things up too much where people forget who you are, keep yourself strong.
  • Bring your big guns. There is always someone on your team who is the easy talker, the identifier, the seller. Make sure they are available for bridal show and prep together in what the game plan is for the show. It’s okay to plan your outfits, but don’t overthink it too much. You want to look coordinated, not like twins.
  • Have a WOW. Make sure as you plan your booth you have in mind what your WOW factor is to draw guests in. Is it your display, is it your colors, is it additional lights, is it a new product or design you’re showcasing, is a new addition to your venue, is it a signature drink or the delicious food you serve?

We are passionate about design in the aspects of our clients and vendors so much, that each year we want make sure our vendors are showcasing themselves in an improved way than even the year before. We love adding that little element of surprise, that makes our vendors feel proud of their booths and makes the excitement rise for them and the brides. In order to make sure that everyone gets “booth experience” that they deserve, since we opened, we have always offered $10 ANY linen, NO design fees, 1/2 price or LESS on decor/bulk items, and INCREDIBLY low delivery and full set up in booths for all vendors. This allows vendors to talk through their booths, give us their ideas, go through a sketch of what they want, hand things over to us, and show up on the Bridal Show day to a booth that is ready to go. Not to mention, walk away at the end of the show for us to take down and take away the items!

For a “vendor brag”, here are some of our amazing friends and what they’ve done over the years, and what to look for this year.

7D Ranch http://www.7dranchtexas.com/  Check out this ranch venue that offers so much more than just event space!

7F Lodge http://www.7flodge.com/ 7F Lodge is one who took booth design to the next level last year with a to scale replica of their wedding chapel! We can’t wait to see it in action again.

Admiral Catering http://www.admiralcatering.com/ Admiral Catering offers a variety of menu and bar options, and can even host private parties inside their private banquet room at Amico Nave.

D’Vine Cuisine http://www.dvinecuisine.com/#cateringandeventspace Billy and Kantessa Castillo, a husband and wife team, have brought a new meaning to a culinary experience. With Billy working as the Chef and Kantessa maintaining the details, they have every situation covered from their 300 person plated dinner to their intimate supper clubs in their Downtown Bryan location.

Fancy Flushes https://www.fancyflushes.com/ When planning an event outdoors, or at a venue with limited restroom facilities, Fancy Flushes is where you need to turn! These air conditioned, outfitted restroom trailers will have all of our guests comfortable.

Hilton College Station http://www.guestreservations.com/hilton-college-station-conference-center/booking The Hilton College Station has so much to offer, and is currently undergoing renovations that are amazing. The lobby has been completed and is like walking into a resort! They have guest room accommodations, ballroom and banquet spaces for up to 500, and full catering bar for on and offsite services.

Inn at Quarry Ridge http://innatquarryridge.com/ An event gem who has big things in the works. This is the perfect location to house your bridal party, relax over the weekend and walk straight out into your ceremony and reception, all on the same grounds. You are close enough for all of the conveniences located within Bryan, College Station, but get to enjoy the tranquility of the country.

Luke’s Bartending http://bcsbartenders.com/ Luke’s Bartending can handle all of the alcohol needs for your event no matter what the size. Delivering alcohol and mixers, cups or glasses, ice and garnishes, making sure you have the correct servings, and sending your bartending staff for the evening. They specialize in all alcohol needs!

Royalty Pecan Farms https://royaltypecans.com/ Royalty Pecan Farms is a true working Pecan Farm that can also be host to your rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony and/or reception. With a view of the orchard and aromas of flavored pecans, your guests are in for added treats!

San Angel Photography & Videography http://www.sanangelphoto.com/ Working with Maryann and Miguel is like working with life long friends. Not only is their work fresh and vibrant, but their personalities make you feel like you’ve known them forever. If you’ve ever taken photos with someone who makes you naturally laugh, you know how important that is!

Sandee’s Sweets http://www.sandeessweets.com/ Cream Cheese Frosting. Do I need to say more? Okay, of course you need to try for yourself, but Sandee finishes her cakes with cream cheese frosting, which makes them not only gorgeous and perfectly decorated, but heavenly to eat.

Susan’s Ballroom Dance http://www.susansballroomdance.com/ If you’ve ever dreamed of having the prefect first dance, Susan is your woman to see. I often think she and her students are walking on air because they have perfected the art of dance in such a manner!

Wonderfully Wed https://www.wonderfullywed.com/ Erin Joyner has been a coordinator in the area for 13 years, and knows what works logistically, style-wise, and in what venues. Her sweet demeanor is comforting from the very first meeting!

Postoak Florist http://www.postoakflorist.com/?srccode=PS_OSM&_vsrefdom=p.4546 Fresh flowers, vibrant colors, and the look that fits your style are all points that cover Postoak Florist. During your consultation Debbie will make sure that she gets a feel for your style, location, time, colors, and full wedding needs before jumping into costs.

If you’re a bride, get your tickets. If you’re a vendor still deciding what to do for your booth, come see us. We are still meeting with several this week and we can’t wait to see everything come together! See everyone Sunday, September 17th at the Brazos County Expo from 12pm-4pm.

xoxo

 

Ashley & Co.

Stephanie Martinez || Wedding Planner

Today is the day that our Stephanie walks the stage and becomes an official graduate of Texas A&M University. Whoop! We couldn’t be more proud of her. We are proud of what she has accomplished, proud to have shared the last two years of this journey with her, and proud to say that she is now a full time part of our team.

Stephanie started her tenure with Ashley & Co. in May of 2015 as an intern. It was only a few short weeks into her time working with us that we saw great potential in this small fire-ball. She came from a background in retail, which gave her the confidence to quickly pick up design meetings with clients, be comfortable working the long hours that are required on event days, and understand the importance of “professional but functional attire”. It wasn’t long before she was moved into an office assistant position, which gave her more flexibility to learn our computer systems, see more event time and truly learn our operating processes front and back.

When we as a team were faced with filling a coordination position in the summer of 2016, we looked outside of the office with a few interviews and then realized our answer was truly staring us in the face. Stephanie Martinez had been grooming and preparing for the position, and was the perfect fit. We are a very close team, we spend more time together than your average team, and are often faced with high stress situations for periods of time that truly just bring us closer together. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Or at least gives you some good laughs! We’ve covered that pretty clearly. Stephanie is our cheerleader. She is the ray of sunshine every single day in the office that makes everyone laugh, brings new perspective to each situation, and shines bright on our lives.

To welcome Stephanie, we would like to share ten things about her that make her unique, make us love her, and that you may not know about her.

  • She has an obsession with elephants! At one point she wanted to redecorate her entire room using elephants as her main focus.
  • She could eat Raising Cane’s Chicken every single day. In fact, we are pretty sure there was one week this summer that she had it four times (that we know of!).
  • Her alcoholic beverage of choice is a Long Island Ice Tea.
  • Her non-alcoholic beverage of choice is Sweet Tea.
  • She got a new car in July, and her favorite thing about it is that is has working A/C! She really loves more than that about it, but she drove her last car for almost a year with a broken air conditioner, so she really appreciates the cool air in her face!
  • She keeps more snacks on hand than a toddler. Her desk drawers seriously look like the shelves of HEB.
  • She has a strong love for the sport of soccer. If there is a soccer game on a TV in a restaurant, she will make sure that you find a table where she has good visual contact with the game.
  • She once walked into the office and announced proudly that “there was a Salem, Massachusetts.” She thought that the Salem Witch Trials had taken place in Salem, Oregon.
  • She cracked her IPhone screen terribly and was able to function with it like that for close to a year, keeping all pieces in tact.
  • She always puts others before herself. She is absolutely the most compassionate, selfless person on our team.

Stephanie, enjoy this day and soak up every moment. Take in your family and friends. Look around you and remember those with you. Be proud of yourself and all of your hard work.

xoxo

 

 

Work Portfolios || style check

As coordinators we often get the request from clients to view a portfolio of previous work so that they can see our style. This has sparked the same conversation with several clients recently, as well as brought up the matter of dividing our work into different folders under the coordinator who was on the job. Having our work divided by coordinator does allow our diversity to show; by venue, by client, by style, by color, by every little detail that creates the overall feel. However, when we are planning and designing with a client the design process and end product that is created is not about us a coordinator or a team, not about our style, not about what we like; it is about the client.

It is our job, to create the vision that someone brings to us. It is a process of starting with a conversation of style and colors. Then proceeds to a sharing of the wedding Pinterest board, which leads to picking through the Pinterest board, only to create a final design board to encompass the key elements to be used to make the event come to life. There is such a feeling of joy when you walk into a room with a client to and they are overwhelmed with the product. When it exceeds all expectations. When they are in awe of the details. When they realize, this was exactly what they had in their head, and whether they really knew how to verbalize it or not, it became a reality.

Each one of us on our team has a very distinct personal style, which I have always felt is important not only to design events, but to be a coordinator as well. I often referred to coordinators being similar to personal stylists. You wouldn’t let someone dress and style you who couldn’t dress and style themselves, right? When a client begins a search for a coordinator and or designer for an event of any type, they should be searching for someone who listens, who can put together the details that they are given, who can pull out interesting facts and spotlight them during the event, who has a calming aura, who can prove that they understand and can execute the given style, and works directly for the client to make their event day enjoyable throughout.

Here are our coordinators, their personal style, and a “mini portfolio”, if you will, to help demonstrate how passionate they are about creating a vision for the clients that they love.

 

Kelly Nail.  “I’m a bit of a hodgepodge (don’t ask me how to spell that word) when it comes to my personal design style. I love western accents (fringe, leather, cowhide, antique bronze accents) paired with just a touch of modern flare. I love taking something that’s a bit more rugged and tossing in a few really structured/tailored pieces that really stand out.”

 

 

 

 

 

 Stephanie Martinez. “My personal design style is definitely boho! I love Aztec and tribal prints along with fun colors such as turquoise, lime green, orange and yellow. You will most likely find me wearing a dress, cardigan and wedges of some sort!”

 

 

 

 

Ashley Sanders. “Old world Spanish meets Mexico beaches would probably be the best combination of my personal space design style. I’m drawn to large statement pieces, mirrors, silver, rock, crystal, dark woods and anything that has interest. I am not a symmetrical person, but I am a person who creates patterns.” 

 

 

 

 

Lauren & Ricky || july 30, 2016

Lauren and Ricky…possibly full of the most wonderful energy ever. These two knew what they wanted from the very beginning and went for it, every step of the way. They planned as a team and on the wedding day you could tell that what was most important to them was that they got to marry their best friend and share their energy with a room full of their best friends!

They had a set wedding date, and being aware of the Texas heat they both knew it was important to protect themselves and their guests from that by providing indoor options for both ceremony and reception. After viewing venues and weighing out the options, the decided what worked best for them was ceremony and reception both in the same room at Pebble Creek Country Club with a fully experienced flip crew to transform the room while their guests enjoyed cocktails in the Empire Room.

Lauren had a very soft, romantic style and wanted to add a touch of draping behind them in the ceremony that would transfer to the cake tables after the ceremony. Their colors were ivory, pinks and a touch of burgundy to pay tribute to their Aggie roots, naturally. The majority of their night was spent on the dance floor with the rest of their guests celebrating, laughing and partying. It was everything they had planned for.

Looking back through your pictures makes us so happy! You both are pure happiness and in exactly one month, it will be ONE YEAR for you! Love and hugs to you always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

xoxo

{coordination + rentals} Kelly Nail || Ashley & Co. http://ashleyandcompany.com/
{venue} Pebble Creek Country Club http://www.pebblecreek.cc/
{photographer} Crystal Littrell Photography http://www.crystallittrell.com/
{catering + bar} Pebble Creek Country Club http://www.pebblecreek.cc/
{baker} Cakes by Blondie https://www.facebook.com/Cakes-by-Blondie-118078168342433/
{florist} Postoak Florist http://www.postoakflorist.com
{ceremony + reception music} Travis Rollins || Downtown Event Services http://www.downtowneventservicesllc.com/
{beauty} Holly Hodges || North Salon http://northhairdesign.com/