Hello Kitty Golden Birthday Party

Well, my daughter turns 3 in July (and there’s no time like the present to start planning) and she’s asked for a Hello Kitty theme.  Our efforts to keep her from buying into the merchandise just didn’t work, though I’m convinced if it was Hello Puppy she wouldn’t care (she loves kitties only).  Anyway, this birthday is also her Golden Birthday and I’m determined to make it utterly wonderful.

So, while we plan a lot of weddings, we also plan parties, showers, birthdays, corporate affairs, and charity galas.  I’m going to take you on the journey of how I plan a birthday party, starting from Square One.

Here’s how it starts – my trusty notebook that holds the past plans for all my children’s parties.  It begins with an idea…more to come each week!

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Why It’s Been Few & Far Between

Sigh…you know us ladies…one of us is always having a baby!  Between all the Golden Chic girls, since starting Golden Chic in 2006, we’ve had 10 babies between us all.  Meet the latest addition, which is why I’ve been absentee over the past few months.  And Baby #11 (Cara’s!) should arrive in August sometime.  This is Jack (my third).  He’s 17 weeks as of today, on the 17th.  And he was a hefty 10lbs 2oz and 22.5in long when he arrived.  A lot of us call him “Squishy.”  And he’s awesome!


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Elizabeth & John {August 2 2014}

It’s been a while since we’ve posted here!  So many exciting things have been happening with Golden Chic Events!  New babies, new job arrangements, and lots of new weddings!  We wanted to post a refeshing wedding back from August 2014 which has never been shown here – Elizabeth and John, besides being sweet and wonderful, had a fresh and gorgeous outdoor wedding moments with lots of natural elements.  The perfect thing to get us all thinking about spring again!

Ceremony: Holy Communion Episcopal Church

Reception: Big Foot Country Club

Photography: Chic Wedding Photography

Linen: BBJ

Rentals: Lakes Area Rental

Photobooth: Shutterbooth

Floral: Lilypots Floral

Cake: Milwaukee Cupcake Company

Lighting: TFL Lighting

Band: Eddie Butts

Stationer: All That’s Lovely

Rehearsal Dinner: Lake Geneva Boat Cruise

Salon Services: Calladora Spa – Lake Lawn Resort

Transportation: Luxus Limos and Churchill Limousine


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Lauren & Derek {October 11 2014}

Young love.  Forever love.  These two childhood sweethearts truly were, in complete honesty, so sweet themselves.  They were so excited to get married and so in love – I was nearby when they walked down the aisle in complete euphoria, and as I ushered them into the private back room of church, Derek whooped out: “Babe, we’re MARRIED!” and Lauren responded, rather overawed, “I KNOW!”  The total happy abandon was wonderful and a privilege to hear.  It’s part of what makes this job so amazing.

Lauren had a very traditional view of this wedding – lace, pearls, taupe, ivory and black with a touch of red.  It was elegant, timeless and refined and I felt so lucky to get to know the entire family in the planning process.  Plus, they had a gorgeous day of photography, a packed ballroom, and an evening of dancing after a delicious meal.  Lauren and Derek deserved every minute of it and I know they’ll be happily married 60 years from now.  And that’s the sweetest thing of all!

Gorgeous photography by Spottswood Photography

Church: Gesu

Venue: Hilton Milwaukee City Center

Linens: BBJ

Chair Rentals:  Sound by Design

DJ/Music: Sound by Design

Photobooth: Sound by Design

Lighting: ACME

Videography: David Schulta Videography

Cocktail and Dinner Music: Joe Hite

Floral: Alfa Flowers

Cake: The Cake Lady

Stationary: Paper Envy

Late Night Snacks: The Gouda Girls

Coffee Bar: The Java House

Transportation: Go Riteway and Badger Bus

Friday Rehearsal Dinner: The Best Place at Pabst

Saturday Wedding Party Lunch: SWIG

Chargers: The Elegant Touch


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Golden Chic’s New Digs

Well, we at Golden Chic Events have officially opened a new posh and cozy consultation and meeting office!

It was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait.  Now we can meet with brides, grooms and their families in a luxurious office featuring soft seating, chandeliers, open surfaces and is ideal for concept planning and meetings.

While we are open by appointment only, we are also now offering a new service – Hourly Consultations.  This is for the couple who may not want our packages, but could really use an hour or two or four to sit down and hash out any issues they have with planning or any logistical or design questions they’d like to iron out with a planner.  It’s much more economical for budgets and has been working splendidly!

We look forward to hearing from you – and any couple, company or charity – and seeing you in our new offices at 115 N. Franklin Street in Port Washington, Wisconsin!

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Annie & Chris: An Elegant Garden Affair

by Katie Carlson

So, I know I’m appallingly late on this- between another baby, moving, job changes and just crazy life in general, my wedding posts have gone sadly by the wayside.  Well, no more- I am attempting to catch up now before my busy season really hits!

It’s almost been a year since Annie and Chris’s beautiful September wedding at Boerner Botanical Gardens, and the weather today reminds me of that day- sunny, not too breezy, and not too warm or cold- perfect in every way.  Annie was the second Lauer daughter that I had the privilege of working with in a year’s time- a very busy period for the Lauer family!

Annie and Chris were so sweet and calm and joyous about their big day throughout the whole process, and you could feel their joy in getting to marry each other permeate every part of the day.  After a heartfelt and lovely mass at St. Mary’s Visitation Parish, the party moved over to Boerner with the fabulous Bartolotta’s team, where a festive late summer evening took hold.  Special touches abounded, from garden games for the guests to play, to wedding pictures of the B&G’s parents, to personalized table numbers with stories about the couple’s relationship together.

The gorgeous colorful flowers from Bloom Floral & Event Design, the simply elegant cake from Delicately Delicious, and the warm up-lighting from A Personal Touch, LLC helped to create a romantic evening, much like love on a late-summer evening.  A special thank-you to Ren Davis from Studio 29 Photography for the gorgeous photos you see below!

Annie and Chris made for a beautiful couple that day- and of course, Annie made for a gorgeous bride- and their wedding was a perfect example of simple elegance and family togetherness.

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Videographer Costs – De-Mystified!

You cry.  You laugh.  You shake you head in embarrassment.  And you are so happy you went ahead and booked a videographer for your wedding day!

Photography is divine, and is definitely one of those things that’s worth the extra splurge on excellent professionalism and a preserved album, but video is something even more – it captures the essence of the atmosphere.  From the music, to the teary vows, to the hearty speeches – video puts a whole new dimension to your wedding day memories.

With the advent of flip cameras and cell phones, snippets of wedding days are easily grabbed by guests or a “budding friend” videographer.  What makes videographers so special (and, rightly so, a bit on the pricey side) are the hours and  hours and HOURS of editing time they spend after your wedding day.  Not only are they using highly professional equipment, and usually come with teams to make sure they capture many angles, they are finding angles and views that only come from experience.  Top that off with the ridiculous amount of time spent with their computer and your raw footage, and you’ve been given what is essentially a mini movie.

Sometimes hours long, but more often cut to less than an hour, or sometimes little “trailers” of a story, your wedding video is a custom-made, artisan created movie.  If you even think about the millions put into production of big budget films, you’ll get an appreciation for the few paltry hundreds you pay your videographer to basically recreate your day.

So, what does it all boil down to?  The cost of a videographer comes, at first, from equipment.  Whether they own or have to rent extra cameras, there’s the basic equipment coverage, as well as insurance and staff and editing software back home.  Back when it was all film, there was the cost of film, but thankfully now it’s digital (unless you pay for that vintage film look) so there’s not as much bulk for big equipment but even the newest gadgets are pretty pricey.  Then there is the prep time of testing the equipment, and the travel to the venue.  The time of the videographer that day is just as precious as a photographers, as are their assistants.  And usually a videographer is there longer than your photographer.

And then it comes down to the hours spent in the edit room.  Mixing music, and finding the right tracks, blending images and audio, and basically making a professional, personal tearjerker, all come with a price tag – or, if you did this on your own with countless video snippets from facebook, the cost of your sanity!

So, when you look at your budget, and think about your desire for a videographer weighed by the number, realize you’re not just paying for a product, or even a memory – your pay for something that’s worth it, and you’re probably even getting a steal as it is.

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Karen & Robert {June 21 2014}

Karen and Robert are a classic love story in the best of ways.  They’ve known each other for over 25 years, lived a few states apart, and built a friendship that finally blossomed into love.  This was a first wedding for both of them, which made every piece of planning that much sweeter and more special, and to be honest, this wedding was an absolute dream.  I was completely honored they chose me to help guide them through the process, and I felt so lucky to be part of their big day, to get to know them, and to have such wonderful, thoughtful, and gracious clients (though I count them as more than clients!).  They deserved everything and then some, all the well wishes, all the memories, all the beauty and all the happiness that their wedding day held and I hope (and I’d bet!) it just continues onward for the rest of their lives.

With a big chunk of guests in from London, Germany and all over the United States, it was a day full of blue (Karen’s favorite color) and sun (and fog!) and fun.  Guests enjoyed brewery or museum tours between the ceremony and reception, and it was something beautiful to see Karen dance with her 90 year old father.  The dance floor was packed and Robert’s friends gave lots of colorful stories from their exploits abroad and scuba diving.  Every hour had something wonderful happen – and, I can’t say it enough – it was everything these two deserved!

Photographer: Craig John

Church: Christ King

Luncheon: The Knick

Reception: Bartolotta’s at Discovery World Aquarium & Pilothouse

Floral: La Tulipe

Linen: BBJ

Cake: Simma’s Bakery

Rentals: Canopies

DJ & Lighting: Sound by Design

Paper Products: Centennial Press + Design

Favors: Gourmet Gift Wrapping (the bride’s niece’s company!)

Wedding Bus: Go Riteway

Guest Buses: Badger Coach

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Heather & Josh {June 7 2014}

When you plan a wedding for a long time, you really get to know a couple.  It was about 25 months of planning for me and Heather and Josh, but it was worth it to culminate in a gorgeous, color splashed June wedding day!  I’d had the pleasure of coordinating Heather’s sister’s wedding back in 2010, at which wedding happened to be the first meet (and love at first sight I think!) of Heather and Josh!  So, having been there the day it happened, this wedding definitely had an extra personal touch for me.

Heather and Josh spent much of the wedding planning in different cities and states, and Heather had a very stressful work and school environment to manage at the same time.  But we managed to pull this all off and it was absolutely lovely – colorful, a bit modern, and full of flowers, which is all Heather.  The pair are so giddily in love, so thrilled to be married, that it was a huge pleasure to watch them finally walk down the aisle (no more being apart).  Plus, I got to spend time with Heather’s whole family, which is also awesome, having done several of the family’s weddings.

I should note that my son, William, played the role of the ring bearer for this too – we give everything we have to our brides!  He loved it and I’m so touched my own little family was able to be actively a part of this new union.

Here’s to the rest of your lives, Heather and Josh!

Photographer: Front Room Photography

Videographer: Richard Mangan Productions

Church: St John the Evangelist

Reception: The Pfister

Floral: Belle Fiori

Linen: BBJ

Baker: The Cake Lady

DJ & Lighting: Accent Events

Paper Products: Centennial Press + Design

Favors: DIY S’more boxes

Wedding Bus: Go Riteway

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Jenna & Spencer {May 31 2014}

Jenna has always been a lover of all things pink, so it was no surprise to me that my cousin used some pink in her wedding day.  But it was an elegant pink, mixed with lots of ivory, mercury glass, gold and vintage flavor.  It was a gorgeous day in Madison, and it all went over absolutely perfect, even though there were so many details to coordinate (and they all were awesome).

With gorgeous lighting, a multi-day experience for many guests, wonderful help from the Monona Terrace catering and staff, and beautiful floral, linens, and paper products, and all the personal touches from the special cookie favors to Bucky the Badger arriving for an hour of dancing, Jenna and Spencer’s day was full of surprises for everyone and lovely delights throughout the evening.  One of my favorites was the utterly scrumptious and totally gorgeous cake!

The dance floor was packed all night, the room full of laughter and people, the décor stunning and Jenna and Spencer so thrilled and happy (so so so many happy tears were shed!), it was truly a wonderful day that I know they’ll cherish for always, and I am so thrilled I was able to be part of the whole bit of planning – it was a wonderful time for me, and hopefully for them!  Love you two!

Photographer: Front Room Photography

Videographer: David Schulta Videography

Church: Grace Episcopal

Reception: Monona Terrace

Floral: La Tulipe

Linen: BBJ

Baker: The Cake Lady

Lighting: Monona Terrace

Cocktail, Dinner and Reception Band: Northcoast Orchestra via ACA Entertainment

Paper Products: Paper Pleasers

Favors: One Baked Broad

Wedding Limo: Abracadabra Limo

Furniture Rentals: A La Crate

Chargers: The Elegant Touch

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