Blog

Clarion Inn & Mike Anderson’s
Sunday, September 24, 2017
1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m.
1500 La Highway 30 W, Gonzales


Forrest Grove Plantation
Sunday, October 8, 2017
1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m.
8743 Stephenson Dr, Denham Springs

 

2017 BATON ROUGE BRIDAL SHOWS

The Independent's
Annual Bridal Show 2017
Sunday March 12
12 pm to 4 pm

$12

theind.com
A Wedding Affaire
Weddings With Style
Sunday March 26
2 pm to 4 pm

$5

weddingswithstyle.net
A Wedding Soiree 
By N-joY Weddings & Events
Tuesday, May 2
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

$10 until March 28

$15 after

n-joyeventsbr.com/
Champagne, Roses,
and a Touch of Gold
Weddings With Style
Sunday July 9
1 pm to 4 pm

$5

weddingswithstyle.net
Baton Rouge Bridal Show 
By N-joY Weddings & Events
Sunday, August 6
1 pm - 4 pm

$10 until June 30th

$15 after

n-joyeventsbr.com
"Brides on the Bayou"
Bridal Extravaganza
Weddings With Style
Sunday September 17
1 pm to 4 pm

$5

weddingswithstyle.net

Event Magazine's
Ascension Parish
Special Event &
Wedding Expo

Sunday September 24
1 pm to 4 pm

$10 until Sept 23rd

$15 after

 eventbrite.com
 Event Magazine's
Livingston Parish
Special Event &
Wedding Expo
 Sunday October 8
1 pm to 4 pm

$5 until October 7th

$10 after

 eventbrite.com 
Ultimate Bridal Show
Weddings With Style
and Weddings by Allie
Sunday October 15
1 pm to 4 pm

$10

weddingswithstyle.net
A Wedding Soiree 
By N-joY Weddings & Events
Tuesday, Nov 14
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
 

$10 until Nov 13

$15 after

 n-joyeventsbr.com

Let's Face it, I have been doing wedding a long, long time. Believe it or not, I started my wedding planning business before cell phones, yes you read that correctly! In my twenty years of planning and coordinating weddings and events I have seen trends come and go and even come back around again.

Originally, weddings were a bit simpler. Now they've evolved into major productions, but I love that! I love incorporating live artists, choreographed bridal party dances, chocolate and cordials stations, and serving the bride and groom's favorite late night snacks, like fried pickles or cafe 'au last and beignets at the end of the reception. I love when the bride and groom add in a flair of personality into their wedding.

For example, one wedding I coordinated, the bride and groom were both athletes and they had the band announce the bridal party into the reception to sound like a sporting event. Even though weddings have progressed to a point that I never thought they would, some things remain the same.

Here are the three things that have not changed in the twenty years I have been a wedding planner.

1) The bride will be stressed no matter what type of personality she has. She could be a type A, really laid back, or even OCD, all brides have moments where they get overwhelmed and stressed out.

In my experience, it's not the big choices concerning the wedding, such as the venue, church, or even vendors. Stress comes with the hundreds of little decisions such as the color of the napkins. Should they be white or ivory? Should those napkins be fabric or paper? These little demon decisions, as I like to call them, have a massive meltdown in the making.

In my upcoming book, "Secret Confessions of a Wedding Planner," I write about some of these collapses in full detail, some of which are quite entertaining to say the least. A few ways a bride can stay stress free would be to make these little demon decisions as early in the process as possible. This ensured things don't snowball closer to the wedding and start an avalanche of problems. Another way is to hire a wedding planner. (See what I did there?) A professional wedding planner can help you avoid pitfalls before they even happen, thus eliminating future stress from erupting. Many of my past brides, and mother of the brides, say the best decision they made was hiring me!

2) Money will be spent. No matter how much or how little (yea, right), money will be spent. Wedding costs have doubled since the 90's now with an average cost of $27,000. However, even if you elope, you'll still pay the clerk of court for the marriage license and your officiant. You can't get around spending money on your wedding but you can be extremely strategic. When preparing a budget, I always ask my brides, "what is the most important thing to you for your wedding?" Some say the wedding gown, others say it's the food at the reception. Some say its the flowers and so on. I even had one bride say the most important thing for her wedding was to have top shelf alcohol!

My advice is to splurge on what's most important to you and then adjust the rest of your budget. If having Grey Goose and Crown Royal at the bar is your top priority, then by all means do it! You may have to forgo favors, which are optional anyway, and get less expensive invitations, but your will never know while enjoying that top shelf martini.

3) The wedding day will go by in a flash. My typical time frame to work a wedding is usually about twelve hours. That's a long day! And for the bride it can be even longer. Hair and makeup can start as early as 8:00 am, pre-pictures at 4:00 pm, the ceremony at 7:00 pm and the reception lasting until midnight. This may sound like a long day, but for the bride and groom it will go by in lightning speed. So much will be happening. Pictures, Visiting with friends and family, The vows and "I dos." Spotlight dances and on and on. The bride and groom do not stop the entire day.

The best piece of advice I can give couples is to stop, breathe, and be present and in the moment. Say to yourself, "This is my wedding day!" and take it all in. Another great thing is to take time to have a private dining moment. A mere fifteen minutes right when you arrive at the reception is all you need. Have a cocktail, enjoy some delicious food your caterer prepared, and share a precious moment with your new spouse. Take a moment to absorb what just happened. It might just be the only time you get alone throughout the entire reception. I promise it will be fifteen minutes well spent.

Considering the future, I'm sure weddings will evolve and progress even more, but you can count on this, brides will continue being stressed, money will be spent, and the wedding day will fly by. But now you know what to do! Hire a wedding planner, be strategic in your spending, and take a moment to enjoy your day and all will go well.

April 13th, 2014, Kelli Hutchinson sat in a hotel room with friends watching a “Say Yes to the Dress” Marathon on TLC. Pregnant and angry, because she wasn’t even engaged, Kelli was unaware her boyfriend had already nudged fate into motion. Her soon to be fiancé, Adam Chappuis was nervously waiting by the LSU Lakes with a banner reading "Who Loves Kelli? Adam Does! Who wants to spend the rest of his life showing her? Adam Does!" Her friends convinced her to take a walk to the pier where he was staged. Then there, in front of a large group of family and friends, Adam asked Kelli Hutchinson, "Will You Marry Me?”
 
Little did Kelli know that answering “YES", at that very moment, was about to bring her a on journey of both beautiful and catastrophic situations where she'd ultimately be faced again and again with the question, "Should I say YES?"

 

Kelli and Adam’s 3-year engagement saw its share of challenges and postponements. First, they waited for the birth of Rhyan, now two years old. Kelli’s new business, which was barely a year old, The Hair Show by Kelli, began taking off and required more focus. Then along came Ava, now one year old. While all these challenges were beautiful, they played a toll on the engagement, pushing it back each time. “Will I ever get to say Yes?” Kelli would continue to ask herself.

 

Finally, a real Wedding Date was set and within reach. September 16th, 2016! The planning was in full swing, Kelli’s 15-year-old daughter Anjolie was helping keep the details in check, and everything seemed perfect. The family was growing, the business thriving, and a dream wedding was just months away. On August 1st, 2016, they moved into their new home and started focusing on their up and coming wedding which was now just weeks away. However, all suddenly seemed lost when The Great Flood of 2016 tragically hit South Louisiana, along with her and Adam’s new home; all she could do was watch. 

 

On August 12th, 2016, the rain started and didn’t stop until their new home was in ruins. Not only was Kelli worried about her family, she also had no idea how her business was doing in the Acadian-Perkins Plaza.  She had been sent pictures of S. Acadian Thruway closed off and flooded, and with this road being so close to her building she started to feel hopeless. Kelli had now lost her new home and had no answers regarding her business. Kelli and her family, now homeless, with nothing more than the clothes on their back and a diaper bag, set out to find a place to stay. Her wedding plans seemed to just fade away; her “YES” faded into a “probably not”, then a resounding “NO!” 

 

Even though times were hard, she made it work by trying to get back into a “normal” way of life for her children. She went back to work, but her wedding plans still looked too far away to reach. Until one day everything changed. Kelli found out that someone had nominated her and her fiancé to be on the national TLC hit television show, “Say Yes to the Dress.”  What’s even more exciting was, they were chosen for an interview!

 

After video conferencing with Randy Fenoli, the host of “Say Yes to the Dress,” she found out that Mr. Fenoli had spent most of his childhood in Louisiana, and sadly went through a similar situation with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He felt personally affected and wanted to help someone like Kelli and her family.
 
Production started for the hit show “Say Yes to the Dress” and soon Kelli and her family were telling their story of the journey that begun August 13th, 2014. Not only has Kelli made wonderful memories with her family, she is truly honored and blessed to be able to put Baton Rouge back in a national spotlight to show what amazing treasures this city has to offer. So many local and national businesses came together to donate their time, talents and products toward her special day; giving flowers, food, music and her beautiful cake. Even when everyone was hurting from the flood, they still came together. For that, Kelli is forever grateful!

 

Kelli will proudly appear on TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” in the Spring of 2017 and we can’t wait to see what happens. Does Kelli Hutchinson get to Say Yes to the Dress?

 

We do know Kelli was officially able to say “Yes, I do” to Adam on November 20th, 2016 at the Burden Museum and Gardens in Baton Rouge. With over 120 guests in attendance, and a handful of the TLC crew, Kelli was walked down the aisle and given away by her uncle, Patrick Chenevert, while daughter Anjolie sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. Even though Kelli forgot her personally written vows, it wasn’t keeping her from her well-deserved “Yes” and they managed through the ceremony without a pause. Their custom written words of love and devotion were read during the cake cutting.

 

Guests watched as award winning country star, Clay Walker, sang “Witness” to them live during their First Dance, then a heartfelt set of love songs for the wedding party. Louisiana celebrity and Nashville Star, David St. Romain, kept the party going late into the night before Kelli and Adam finally left for a romantic honeymoon to Playa Del Carmen.

 

Kelli is still riding high in the clouds. Though not yet completely repaired, they have moved back into their once, new home. The buzz from TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” continues as she’s been invited to tell their story on some unnamed (sorry, no spoilers) upcoming national talk shows and radio shows in California and New York, and the local media continues to seek her attention.

 

Kelli says that her tenacity and drive will continue as she explores all the new opportunities that the once seemed tragic flood has presented her. Her ultimate “Yes?” as she explains, is to one day answer the call from Lorne Michaels and say “Yes, I’ll host Saturday Night Live!” But until that day, she promises to love Adam and their beautiful family of girls and continue to share her story of “YES!”