Hi there! Thanks so much for stopping by! I am Emilie, owner of Emilie Duncan Event Planning and author of this blog. That's me over there with one of my wonderful brides, Kristin - she's the gorgeous one on the left! I thought the best way to introduce myself was to share a few random things about me. I am:
Happily married to and madly in love with my husband, Randy.
Mom to Ellie and Abby, the most beautiful little girls in the world.
Mom to Hazel, the cutest mutt with the best ears ever.
A Spartan Alum living in Buckeye land.
Obsessed with details and a HUGE fan of lists.
A huge fan of great photographers, beautiful flowers and pretty dresses.
Kris and Ed's only child.
A voracious reader.
Left-handed and right brained.
Still in possession of my favorite childhood stuffed animal, a dog named Cinnamon.
A bit of a social media addict - FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest to name a few.
Emotional - I still cry at least a little bit at each and every wedding.
A hugger - when we meet, expect a hug or feel free to request one!
TRULY honored to be a part of each and every wedding I plan and coordinate!
What’s my New Year’s resolution? I actually don’t make those but let me explain why!
A loooong time ago (hello 2005!), I stumbled upon the Day Zero Project. It challenged people to create lists of 101 things that they would like to accomplish in the next 1001 days. Not a bucket list really…not a list of resolutions…something with a lot more meat and a lot more time to complete. The things had to be definable, realistic but still a stretch.
Fast forward 12 years and I have completed 4 rounds of 101 Things, checking off more items each time. Round 1, I completed 34 items. Round 2 and round 3, I completed 50 items each. Round 4 just wrapped up in September and I completed 53 items.
So, here goes Round 5 of 101 Things in 1001 Days. My goal this time around is to finish even more – fairly certain I won’t get all of them checked off simply because I always include lots and lots of travel in my lists but I will certainly try!
So what’s on my list? Lots of new items, some old items, items I completed last time around and items I didn’t finish. Click over to see them all but here are a few of my favorites:
2. Be a guest on a podcast
4. Participate in a bar trivia night
11. Do a DNA test to learn more about my ancestry
13. Learn to say ‘thank you’ and ‘I love you’ in 10 different languages (0/10)
19. See the Grand Canyon again
21. Visit Walt Disney World again
37. Take the girls to a Broadway show in NYC
47. Walk/Run an average of one 5K per month for a year
51. See a Broadway show I have never seen – either on Broadway or the traveling version.
58. Take the girls to read to the dogs at the shelter
62. Volunteer at least 1 time a month for a year (0/12)
My poor, poor blog. I have neglected you so…here’s to hoping 2017 is a better year for my blogging habit at the very least! I will try to do a better job of updating on the regular and sharing all the amazing couples we get to work with more often than just in my year end recap – no promises but I will do my best to try!
We had a slow year this year – by design – fewer weddings and more personal time. I wanted more time over the summer with my kids, I wanted to see my daughter’s first dance recital and to have birthdays off – so I took a little breather after 12 years in business. I turned down weddings, I took the summer off and it was pretty great! We were busy but not overloaded and as a result, I am refreshed and ready for a fantastic 2017 season that kicks off in March! So, now onto the recap!
*We kicked off the season on April 30 with Lucy and Kyle’s wedding at The Athletic Club of Columbus – one of our favorite venues! DePauw University grads and very obviously best friends – these two had a perfectly preppy wedding complete with tons of dancing and even a tribute to Marvin’s (apparently DePauw folks will get that one right away!).
*Lilian and Nick were married at Brookside Farms in NE Ohio on May 13 under an arbor that was draped with prayer flags their friends and family had decorated for them. From their sweet ceremony, the vegan meal and rocking swing band, everything about this wedding was completely and totally them! Junebug Weddings published this wedding and has tons more pictures over there if you want to take a peek!
*June 18 found us at Camp Mary Orton with Jenna and Joe for their rustic wedding. It was a lovely day for an outside ceremony for this couple who met in the Army while on deployment. This wedding party and their friends and families knew how to party – who needs a champagne toast when you have multiple liters of Fireball?
*After a wonderful summer ‘off,’ we picked right back up with Christine and Dana’s sweet backyard wedding at Dana’s families house on September 3. Another military couple (this time Air Force) who met while on active duty out west. Two brides, two gowns, two dinosaur figures on top of the cake and a ton of love made for one beautiful wedding!
*September 10 was Jean and Doug’s wedding at Scioto Country Club. Jean is from Columbus but met Doug in NYC where they live. We were all extremely grateful they chose a church ceremony and not the outdoor one originally planned as a huge storm rolled in just as the guests were arriving at the club. I will say the incoming rain and wind made for killer pictures!
*Erin and Drew were married on October 8 at High Line Car House. I loved that they wrote their own vows but only shared them with each other in letters – they did different vows at the ceremony. Another NYC couple (although they met in Ohio and moved there together), we did a New York style reception with dancing before dinner and between courses – that dance floor was never empty! It was so much fun to watch!
*October 22 found us celebrating Caroline and John’s wedding at the Columbus Art Museum. They were married in front of a backdrop of hanging flowers (ask me about the fishing line someday) and then danced the night away. World travelers (seriously – they did an around the world trip together!), they named their tables after airports, and their favors – Ghirardelli chocolate from their current town, Pocky Sticks from their honeymoon – were a nod to their love of travel as well.
*We wrapped up the year with Kellie and Jeff on October 29 at Copious. This wedding was an especially special one as I have known these families since I planned Kellie’s brother’s wedding way back in 2009. It was wonderful to work with her family again and catch up with many former couples. Kellie and Jeff’s wedding was a huge party and kicked off with one of my favorite toasts of the year from his twin sister, Abby. It was a wonderful way to end a great wedding season!
*On the personal side, I’ll use instagram as my guide once again and give a one paragraph recap of a really busy year: Ellie got her retainer, we saw some plays, the girls started swim lessons, I ran away to Inn at Honey Run for a weekend, we had tea at the American Girl Doll store, Ellie made it to the top of the rock wall and we took a cooking class together, boozey cereal is wonderful, Abby turned 6, I performed the marriage ceremony of two friends in my backyard, we spent spring break at the Biltmore in Asheville and drinking moonshine in Gatlinburg, we visited Nora the polar bear a bunch of times, Ellie had her first ballet recital, I held a baby kangaroo, we slayed our summer bucket list including hitting all 10 Jeni’s Ice Cream locations in Columbus, the girls were in The Lorax at the Columbus Arts Fest, we watched fireworks from LaVeque Tower, went to Zoombezi Bay, I did my first 5K, saw Adele in Chicago for my birthday, we adopted Hazel the dog (she’s awesome), Ellie turned 9 and we went to the Wizard’s Gathering, painted the house, I did a few more 5Ks, a 50’s Girl and Hermoine Granger came for Halloween, we spent Thanksgiving in NYC going full tourist, we did some good in December, celebrated Christmas with lots of American Girl doll things and wrapped up the year with our traditional visit to Jeni’s and watching the game.
A HUGE thank you to everyone who passed along our name, sent their friends and family our way and generally showed us a lot of love! If you or anyone you know is looking for a wedding planner, drop us a line!
Excited to introduce a brand new semi-regular series that I am calling #FieldTripFriday! It likely won’t appear every Friday but since we get to visit some pretty wonderful places and meet lots of great people along the way, I thought I would highlight some of our adventures and new friends every once in a while. If you can think of someplace we should visit or someone we should meet, feel free to drop me a line!
A friend called not long ago and let me know he was working with a local company called Glenn Avenue Soap Company. All natural products that are actually good for your skin with nature inspired and derived scents? I was intrigued to say the least! My mom always says that foaming soap is one of the tiny little pleasures in life that should be enjoyed and I am always on the hunt for a yummy foaming soap!
So last week, I spent a delightful hour chatting with Phillip, one half of the couple who owns Glenn Avenue Soap Company. We talked about the soap making process, different ideas for wedding and event related items and potential events and I even got a tour of their operation. I also found out that the last time I was at High Line Car House, I used Glenn Avenue Soap – same thing with Wolf’s Ridge Brewing and a few other places around town!
My brain seems to always be trying to find ways that places and items can fit into weddings and I found some really cute stuff at Glenn Ave – they’ve got your groomsmen, bridesmaids, guests and even shower hostesses covered!
This display caught my eye immediately! Cap City Suds is their line of bar soaps made from beer (the refined water is replaced with beer in these soaps) from local breweries like Seventh Son, Four String, Wolf’s Ridge and Zaubers. They don’t smell like beer (although I am sure that would have been a selling point to some people) but the beer itself gives the soap their color – they scent each one differently. Grab a few beer soaps plus a growler and gift certificate for a fill or two from the Ohio Tap Room. Groomsmen gifts – done!
We are always on the hunt for fun, local items to include in the hotel welcome bags. These mini soap foamers caught my eye – I happen to have unnatural hatred for hotel bar soap, it always just feels awful to me and dries my skin out completely so foaming soap would be a welcome surprise in that little bag! You can pick your scents and they’ll fill them for you but I am pretty sure if you asked really nicely, they might let you help a little too. Welcome bags – done!
Glenn Avenue does more than soap – they’ve launched a skin care line as well. The Herbal Mist Foaming Face Wash smells absolutely wonderful! The line also includes Exfoliating Grains, the Balancing Toner and Facial Serum + Moisturizer. Put the together in a basket with some bath bombs and body lotion for a super cute, pampering and delightfully useful gift! Bridesmaids gifts – done!
I mentioned my love for foaming soap so this was my favorite spot in the shop! Lavender Pine, Lemon Basil, Berry Lemonade and Bandit’s Oil were a few of my favorite scents – I currently have Bandit’s Oil next to my kitchen sink right now which is especially great since the flu is going around my neighborhood right now.
Their bar soaps also smell super yummy! I am not a bar soap kind of girl but there is a pomegranate exfoliating version that even I might be talked into trying. A few bottles of foaming hand soap, some bars of soap and maybe a bottle of lotion. Hostess gifts – done!
I had a great time visiting with Phillip and poking around Glenn Avenue Soap Company on my field trip – hope this gave you some ideas and maybe will inspire you to go visit as well! They have lots of fun things in the works and the sign on their door is totally right – it DOES smell amazing inside!
Natalie and Brian are both from Columbus but had to go all the way to NYC to meet! They met at a party, talked for 2 minutes at the most but to hear Brian’s best friend tell it (which you can in the video at the bottom of the post) Brian was pretty much head over heels from the get go.
Natalie and her bridesmaids got ready at her parent’s home before heading to the church to get dressed. We loved her dress and the sheer capelet she wore for the ceremony – the whole effect was so classic and elegant…very fitting for this amazing bride in particular.
When I first met with Natalie and her mom, she showed me a picture of an amazing floral installation that she was determined to recreate – inverted tulips hanging from the ceiling. Natalie’s father created the structure that would hang from the ceiling. She hired Rose Bredl to take on the challenge and they killed it! This piece was absolutely jaw dropping and exactly what Natalie had envisioned. It also took a really long time to create – I think the designer was on the ladder for something like 3 hours to get it perfect! #worthit
The rest of the tables were a mix of longs with garlands and candles and rounds with beautiful green and white centerpieces. Each place setting had a sprig of rosemary on it as well. We also loved the naked cake from The Cake Studio which is perfectly on trend and was gorgeous.
Mojo Flo packed the dance floor but it could be said they had a few ringers since Natalie is a former professional dancer and many of her friends from part companies were also in attendance! The always delicious Sweet Carrot Truck stopped by later in the evening, much to the guest’s delight.
It was a wonderful evening and we were honored to have been part of it! Thanks to Rosey Red for the gorgeous pictures!
Adrienne and Ken wanted to get married at their new home – their very new home! The first time I met with them at the house, everything was still very much under construction. Thankfully, by the time August 1st rolled around, everything was gorgeous and ready to go!
We held the ceremony on the driveway in front of a beautiful arch of flowers. Adrienne and Ken had their children as their bridal party but one of Adrienne’s sons was deployed for training in ROTC. Brian from True Video saved the day and was able to basically live broadcast the ceremony to him. He was able to see and hear the whole thing from a thousand miles away and able to talk to the couple right after the ceremony – something that made the bride very, very happy!
As a side note, I hear a lot of vows and witness a lot of ceremonies but rarely do they move me as much as Ken’s vows to Adrienne. Full on ugly cry from this wedding planner!
After the ceremony, guests walked through a portico to the cocktail and reception area on the other side of the driveway. The guests were seated for dinner in a big white tent with the dance floor in front of the main garage. The rest of the night was food, cigars, drinks, lots of dancing, and a gorgeous moon glowing down on a happy couple and their friends and family. It was a beautiful day and evening!
Thanks to Adrienne and Ken for letting us be a part of the day and thanks to Kimberly Potterf for sharing the beautiful pictures!
Amy and Jon met after they had both established themselves in their careers, physician and lawyer, respectively, but meeting them it seems like they’ve been together much longer. They’re just really well suited to each other and have the kind of communication I love to see – where so much goes unspoken but nothing ever goes unsaid.
They decided to have an intimate wedding and with their numbers were able to do both the ceremony and reception at the High Line Car House. Ceremony was in the front half of the building – separated from the reception by the floor to ceiling curtains. Amy had a very specific design in mind for the ceremony backdrop – flowy white curtains and swags of lights that were reminiscent of the lights that hung in their backyard when Jon proposed. The same swags of lights were also on their invitations.
Jon’s mother is a piano teacher here in Columbus and was able to have a beautiful baby grand piano delivered for the ceremony. One of her friends played for the ceremony and the cocktail hour and it was lovely!
Amy and Jon wanted to dance so it wasn’t surprising when they hired Conspiracy. Another no-brainer that they kept the dance floor packed all night – everyone had a great time and we had to kick people out at the end of the night!
As you can see from the pictures, Amy has a phenomenal smile – she does it often and well under normal circumstances so you can imagine how she lit up the room that night!
This was a great way to spend my birthday and it was an honor to be part of this beautiful day! Huge thanks to the always amazing Little Tree Studios for the pictures!
Caroline and Kenley are high school sweethearts and grew up in Powell. They wanted to be married close to home at her mother’s country club – it was fun to plan a wedding just up the road from my house!
Carolyn was a bride with very classic taste – from the jaw dropping train on her gown to the pink and white palette to the roses and hydrangeas throughout the arrangements. Carolyn knew what she liked and I’d say she nailed the classic style she loves!
June was crazy rainy in Central Ohio and Carolyn and Kenley’s wedding day was no different. We had planned for it with lots of tents over the wedding garden at Wedgewood Country Club. Unfortunately, tents overhead do nothing to keep guests dry when it is raining sideways into the tent! We made the call to move into the ballroom and have a California style reception. We created an aisle and set up chairs on the dance floor for the families while the rest of the guests sat at the (unset) tables. It was a lovely ceremony and the bride actually said she thought it might have been even better than the original plan.
After the ceremony, the rain actually tapered off enough for outdoor pictures with the bridal party. We flipped the ballroom while the guests enjoyed the cocktail hour. The reception was a huge party that went until the very late hours of the night with the guests enjoying the band and food and drinks and generally having a fantastic time!
This was the first wedding we have done in the newly remodeled ballroom which is absolutely beautiful! The wedding garden is another great addition to the property.
It was a pleasure to plan with Carolyn and her mom, Barb – we had a great time planning the wedding. I know they are all super excited to meet Carolyn and Kenley’s little guy who is due in May of this year!
Huge thank you to Nicole Dixon for the beautiful pictures!
Hallie’s parents found me organically – online through a search for wedding planners in Columbus. At the same time, I was recommended to Fred’s mom by a former client, Elisabeth who works with her. Columbus is a tiny place!
Hallie and Fred met at summer camp when they were in high school and now live in Colorado. Her sister lives in North Carolina and owns a flower shop there – Chelsea did all the gorgeous flowers and design for the wedding and you could tell she was designing for a very special client.
Hallie and Fred were supposed to have been married down by a lovely pond on the grounds of Rocky Fork Hunt and Country Club where his family are members. But…this is Ohio and this was last June! It actually looked like we were in the clear and then about an hour before the ceremony, the rain moved in. Again.
Rather than let the guests get soaked, we moved the ceremony location to under the clear top tent over the pool patio. Wouldn’t you know that right when Hallie stepped outside to go down the aisle, the sun came out!
Guests had cocktails on the patio and then headed inside for dinner before going back outside for dancing and the very popular s’mores bar!
We have a lot of wedding venues with pools or ponds and a lot of couples say that someone will probably end up going in – this time, they were right. Hallie changed into a reception dress and not too long after that, everyone – bride, groom, bridal party, various guests and even the mother of the groom – wound up in the pool! It was entertaining to say the least and I don’t think this wedding could have ended any other way!
If you look at no other pictures, make sure you check out the amazing flower chandelier by Fiore Fina and the expressions in the last picture!
Thank you to Hallie and Fred and their families for allowing us to be a part of it and huge thanks to Two Maries for the gorgeous pictures!
Our friends over at LuxeRedux sent over a little note about their upcoming Sample Sale and asked us to share. If you are still in the market for a gown, this is a great way to get a gorgeous gown at a really pretty price! It is first come, first serve so I would suggest heading down to Worthington early to get in line and bring a Yeti of coffee or hot chocolate with you!
Where: 689 High Street, Worthington, OH
When: January 31, 12 pm to 4 pm
Elena and Greg were another one my referrals this year that came from a past client – Elena used to work with Christy, one of my 2010 clients and now friends! It was great to catch up with Christy and see her and Bryce!
Typically, when a wedding season is really rainy or very cold, we get reprieve for at least one wedding. Elena and Greg’s was that wedding this year! June 6 was an absolutely beautiful day – clear and sunny with just enough breeze to keep things comfortable! Perfect conditions for an outdoor ceremony and open air reception.
Greg and his groomsmen started the day at the Old Familiar Barbershop for hot shaves and trims – a very cool way to start the day for sure! Elena and her bridesmaids had the Hawthorne Bed and Breakfast to themselves for breakfast, hair and makeup before a first look on the steps of the B&B.
After pictures, everyone headed to Jorgensen Farm for a ceremony performed by Elena’s brother in law in the field beneath a huge tree which gave us just enough shade for everyone to be comfortable. We had cocktail hour in front of the old barn before inviting the guests to the riding arena for dinner and dancing with Conspiracy.
As a surprise to everyone, Greg had the pep band from TBDBITL at OSU led by the Drum Major swing by! We snuck them onto the grounds and they came marching in right after the Mother/Son dance. The guests loved it – even the ones from Wisconsin! TBDBITL, of course, ended their performance with a beautiful rendition of Carmen Ohio .
I have to share one last thing about this wedding – occasionally we make the comment that “wedding planning isn’t brain surgery” – that’s especially relevant with Elena since she’s an actual brain surgeon. Like a “cut-open-heads-and-fix-them” brain surgeon. See? Really smart people hire wedding planners.
It was a gorgeous day and we were honored to have been a part of it! Thanks to Kimberly Potterf for the beautiful pictures!!!