ABC Member Planner: Laura Sanders Ahern, CWS, Accent on Events,,

Photographer:  Nels Akerlund Photography, a world-renowned photographer whose work has been published in National Geographic, The New York Times, and Architectural Record.

Non-member business involved:  Event Floral, Forest Hills Country Club, Patricia’s Patisserie, Lindsay Letters.

The Couple:  Nik Maffioli, the groom, and Meredith Carlson, the bride, met in Rockford, Ill.  They chose to have their wedding in that area so it would be close for friends and family.  Personalization was important to Nik and Meredith. They had guests sign wine bottles that they will open on their 5th, 10th, 15th, and 25th wedding anniversaries. Another special touch was their choice to have pictures taken at Rockford’s exquisite Coronado Theater. The theater opened in 1927 and, about 11 years ago, went through an $18.5 million dollar renovation.

Wedding Date:  Oct. 20, 2012.

Inspiration: Classic style was the inspiration for this wedding.  The couple sought elegance and classic timelessness rather than the popular shabby-chic look. Lanterns, calla lilies, and monkey tails were placed throughout the ceremony and reception space.

Color Palette:  The colors of fall were used, including purple, gold, shades of orange, and ivory.

Budget:  $50,000.

Guest Count:  250.

Most Unique Design Element: Floral centerpieces on tall iron stands created a dramatic impression.  The bride wanted a particular look, which required us to make sure each stand was the same height, yet with varying design.

Biggest Challenge:  The biggest challenge was to make sure that all floral arrangements from the church made it to the reception in time.  This involved two carloads of flowers that had to be transported carefully to ensure nothing fell apart.

Hindsight: One thing I learned from this was to allow enough time between the various locations the couple chose. It was difficult to keep to the itinerary when there were so many variations involved between vendors, guests, and the couple.  I needed to make sure everything went as planned, even though we were a little behind on the start of the reception.  Cocktail hour ran 15 minutes longer than planned while the couple was out taking pictures.

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