April Showers bring May Flowers and May Flowers bring a June Recap!

I’ve been a little AWOL for the last couple of weeks (months).  Whoops. Here’s what (&where) I’ve been up to during this time.

APRIL 2016

Macon, GA – April 9th

Fort Myers, FL – April 16th

Palm Coast, FL – April 23rd

Lawton, OK – April 30th

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Other things I did in April:

  • Went to a Checkers game with Drew!
  • Went on some beautiful walks in Freedom Park

     

  • Went to some baseball games (obviously)

     

  • Got upgraded from friend to Bridesmaid

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May 2016

Loveland, CO – May 14th

Sarasota, FL – May 21st

Charleston, SC (round 2) – May 28th

Other things I did in May:

  • Went home for Mother’s Day weekend and spent time with my family & friends
  • Went to (more) baseball games & free concerts in Uptown

  • My parents came to visit & you guessed it, we went to a baseball game!!IMG_1369IMG_1370
  • Drew happened to have a Monday off from work, when I was home as well, so we took the opportunity to go hiking at Crowder’s Mountain

 

  • Drew and I got to go to the Coca-Cola 500 Race in Charlotte and thanks to some of his nice co-workers we were able to use hot passes during the race and go behind pit row!

June 2016

Knoxville, TN – June 4th

 

Cape May, NJ – June 11th-16th

As always, I literally have the best week ever with my family in Cape May! It was a smaller group this year, but hopefully next year, they’ll be able to join us again! ❤

 

Lincoln, NE – June 18th

Evansville, IN – June 25th

Other things I’ve done this month:

  • Saw my puppy and my friends before going to the beach

     

  • Drew grew a mustache because he lost a bet…technically this isn’t something “I” did this month, but it definitely had an impact on me 😂

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  • Drew and I went on a day-date to see Finding Dory, buy a new pillow and then ended the day with a walk at Freedom Park
  • Drew and I went to see a friend of mine from High School play in a baseball game for the Columbia Fireflies
  • My company had our half-year outing at a Charlotte Knights game.  It ended up getting rained out, but we still had a really great time!

 

So that’s my recap, hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with it better in the future 🙂

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Jersey Shore Fist Pumping!

Saturday night I worked yet another wedding.  This time I was able to follow the banquet manager the entire time, so I was able to see what to do from start to finish of an event.  When I got there I helped Daniella, the event coordinator, set up the bridal room. Before every event, we stock the mini fridge with bottles of water for the bridal party and put out chilled champagne and champagne glasses.  We also have to put out chilled water bottles in the lobby or study for the groom and groomsmen.  After I set all that stuff up, I had to organize the place cards.  Usually we request that the bride give us the place cards already in alphabetical order, but this time they weren’t.  Therefore, I had to go through the whole stack of place cards and put them in alphabetical order.  Seems like an easy task, but they were done in calligraphy so I couldn’t even figure out what some of the letters were, so I had to use the printed guest lists to figure out their names and put them in order.  Then I placed them all in One Atlantic’s sand boxes for display.  There were no favors to set up for this wedding, instead the couple decided to make a donation to the American Heart Association in honor of the bride’s father and the groom’s grandmother.  During the ceremony, the bride had her father’s fedora with a red rose placed on what would’ve been his seat.  She also honored him with a charm on her bouquet and had part of one of his shirts sewn into her dress.  After I was finished with all of the set up, I was able to follow Paul for the remainder of the night.  I shadowed him during the server meeting.  This meeting is held at the beginning of their shift.  During it, Paul goes over the timeline of the event, the menu, guests with allergies or special needs, and any new changes One Atlantic may have.  Specifically this week there were two new items to be discussed.  The first one is that anybody under the age of 21 is not allowed to drink from glass.  This helps everyone know who is and is not of drinking age, as well as stop any hazards associated with glass wear.  The second new thing was that we were going to try to stop people from taking drinks onto the dance floor with them during the night, because glasses are often dropped or drinks spilled, which also causes hazards.  Later in the night we realized that its impossible to stop everyone, so we just supervised and made sure nobody was dancing out of control with drinks.  Daniella, Paul, and I were placing bets on which girl was going to drop her drink first.  The bride and groom wanted their reception to be like HQ and they were pretty close.  There was a lot of crazy dancing and fist pumping!  This couple had hired a Photo Booth for their wedding.  The guy operating it asked Kelsey, the other intern, and I if we wanted to be his test strip before the party started using it so we got to go in the Photo Booth and get a photo strip to take with us! For the rest of the night, I followed Paul, and saw how he managed the timeline and the food.  The toasts went much longer than anticipated so it messed up the rest of the timeline, so we had to move things around and arrange them so that we could get back on track.  The timeline is very important for the DJ, the banquet manager, and the kitchen, and they all need to make sure they are on the same page.  Another thing that the banquet manager does is make sure the bride and groom actually sit down and eat.  You would not believe how much you have to hound the couple to eat.  They are usually so busy talking to people and making their rounds that often they don’t get to eat their own wedding food!  Its really important that they get to eat, especially when they’ve been drinking all night like this couple.  This bridal party was a rowdy one! They LOVED the open bar, but I thought they were great! They were all really nice and fun.  The bride was so beautiful and not just because she had her hair and makeup done for her day, but you could tell how truly happy she was and that made her that much more beautiful.

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On a side note, before introductions the groom’s grandmother walked up to me and asked, “Is it true that Snooki got married here or is getting married here?”  I thought this was the funniest thing I’ve heard.  Not only did the grandmother know who Snooki was but the fact that this rumor was floating around was hilarious.  So I just kinda laughed it off and was like “No, not to my knowledge”.  Later on I tell Daniella about this hilarious exchange, and she informed me that Snooki and JWoww filmed an episode for season 3 at One Atlantic.  It was Daniella’s 2nd day at work and they were there filming an episode like they were venue shopping! Daniella said since it was her 2nd day, she barely knew anything about the company yet and was so nervous during the filming. So obviously I had to come home and search for the episode and watch that part. After finding this all out, it made a lot more sense that the grandmother was asking me that question. Here’s the link if you want to check it out! (Minute 2:00)

 

 

Minimal Words

Thursday I had a visitor! Ms. Dani Rieland came to spend the night.  A ton of our Bloomsburg friends were coming to Atlantic City to see a friend of ours DJ at Harrah’s so we booked a room for Friday night with our friends Drew & Frank and their friends.  We had a great time with #friends and made lots of #memories. #sports.

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After a great night out with friends, I worked a wedding Saturday night.  On three hours of sleep (not my best decision) the wedding was a bit of a struggle.  There’s not a whole lot to say about the wedding, because due to my lack of sleep and wild children, I don’t really remember much about the wedding in general. But I thought I would share some pictures with you all.

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Today I was back in the office with the banquet manager.  I sat in on a “Final Detail” Meeting and listened to another one on the phone.  I was able to follow along with the Banquet Event Order and take notes.  I also created the server/bartender schedule for the beginning of August.  I had to look at when the events were, what time they started, and figure out what time the employees needed to arrive.  I looked at how many of each I needed for each event based off of the guest count and sent a mass text to the servers and bartenders.  They told me their availability then I added it to the schedule.  It was also important to make sure that the first people to text back got their events while making sure the “core” servers got the events they wanted.  After the this, I helped Daniella enter some menus into Reserve for upcoming weddings and tastings.  My last task of the day was to create a reception layout.  This couple wanted square tables instead of our usual circle tables, so I had to make the room diagram by hand.  This was actually my favorite part of the day, because it required logic and creativity.

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After today I am technically at 121 hours out of my needed 120 hours.  Although I’m finished with my required hours, I’m going to continue to go to office hours and events to take the most from this internship that I can.

A June Bride

I have gotten a little behind on my event updates due to my other job, but on Saturday I worked another wedding.  Every wedding I work is just a little different than the last.  Some couples choose to get married on-site, others prefer a church.  Some couples decided to do a first-look, others decide their first moment seeing each other should be walking down the aisle.  Some have large bridal parties, some small.  Every aspect of the wedding has to be perfectly catered to the couple and then translated to the timeline of the event. Saturday was the wedding of Dr. and Mrs. Bonner.  I arrived at 2:30 and was promptly put to work on the tables.  I had to put all the table numbers on the tables while following the floor layout.  The difficult part of that task was the fact that the ball room was not set up yet.  When a couple chooses to get married on site, approximately 1/3 of the ballroom is used for a ceremony space, then that space is flipped during cocktail hour.  For the wedding on Saturday, they had over 300 guests so it was necessary to use 1/2 of the ballroom for the ceremony.  Therefore, while setting up table numbers, I had 33 tables in half of the actual ballroom.  I had to imagine which tables would move once the partition opened and which would stay, and try to get the numbers as close to the floor layout as possible so they didn’t have to move a ton of tables during the flip.  After I was finished putting all the numbers and menu cards on the tables, the florist guys from Beautiful Blooms were able to put the centerpieces on the tables.

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2/3 of the ballroom used for the ceremony

1/2 of the ballroom used for the ceremony

After I finished the table numbers, it was time to set up the couple’s accessories brought.  This couple provided a birdcage for their cards.  The birdcages have been a big trend seen lately at weddings.  This couple didn’t have a ton of accessories, but they did have some photos of family members at their weddings. photo 1 (3) Once it was time for the ceremony to start, I was positioned at the top of the elevator to check in any guests that used the elevators and turn away any unwanted crashers.  Most of the guests use the escalators located at the front of our venue, so a lot of the elevator person’s position is telling girl scout troops and tourists that One Atlantic is a private venue that isn’t open to the public and they have to ride the elevator back down. When a couple gets married on-site, its important to hold any late guests at the door of the venue until after the bride walks down the aisle.  A lot of guests get really angry with us because they want to see the start of the ceremony and the bride, but the reason we do this is to not ruin the bride’s special moment.  After the bride enters and the guests’ eyes follow her down the aisle and continue facing forward, we slip the late guests in in the back.  While the ceremony is happening, I put out the posters that were used in replacement to placecards. photo 2 (2) photo 3 (1) All the planners were so shocked with the number of presents the couple received.  They informed me that it is against wedding etiquette to bring a gift to the wedding.  If a guest wants to give a gift, they are supposed to send it to the couple’s home so that the couple doesn’t have to deal with it at the end of the wedding.  This was something I never realized before but it makes a lot of sense.  These are the types of things that wedding planners think of that others do not. After the ceremony, there was the usual 1 hour cocktail hour.  Then it was time for the reception to start.  By this time, the planner is less involved other than timings of the blessing, toasts, and special dances.  When the reception begins, that’s when the banquet manager goes into high speed. For the rest of the night, the greeters and interns rotated from sitting near the elevator or in the study by the cigar bar.  At the cigar bar we had to make sure the lighters and cutters didn’t leave the table and remind people that they could only smoke outside. photo 2 (4) At the end of the event we have to make sure that all guests leave with their shoes on and without any alcoholic beverage or glass.  Some guests completely understand this policy and then there are others who will argue with you over their free beer for 5 minutes.  This is always a really interesting part of the night.  Overall, this wedding ran very smoothly and it was enjoyable.  As guests left we received tons of compliments from guests stating everyone did a great job and they had a really good time at the wedding.

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This was the first wedding of June, which is the most popular wedding month of the entire year!

Photography by: Marie Labbancz Photography

More than a Wedding

Last night I worked at a wedding that was the celebration of Ricky and Robin’s love, but for their family it was much more than that.  Ricky and Robin were childhood friends and grew up around each other.  Ricky was that older boy that picked on the younger girls like Robin and her sisters, but eventually their relationship blossomed into something more.  When Robin was graduating from college, Ricky dragged his brother along to attend.  At this time family members were beginning to suspect that they were dating.  Shortly after graduation their relationship was official.  Then just a short time into their relationship, Robin was diagnosed with cancer.  Ricky stood by her for all her chemo and treatments.  While going through chemo, Robin also got her M.B.S., graduated from law school from the top of her class, and passed the Bar Exam.  I don’t even know her but after hearing the touching maid of honor speech, I consider this girl one of my heroes.  Last night their wedding wasn’t just a celebration of two people loving each other and pledging themselves to each other but it was also a celebration of life.  After the diagnosis, Robin’s family didn’t know if she would see another day, let alone see her wedding day.

This wedding was on the larger size in comparison to other One Atlantic events.  There were just under 300 guests.  The color themes were mint, champagne, and gold.  The centerpieces were made by the bride’s family.  Their wedding favors were little burlap bags containing chocolate poker chips to go with the Atlantic City theme.  The chocolates contained their names and their anniversary.

This was such a great wedding to work at.  As an intern, I take a little bit from everything I do, and I definitely took some good things away from the #RockyWedding2014

Photography by: Gary Nevitt

And So It Begins…

This past semester I took a class called Online Journalism in which we blogged about various topics related to journalism and the media (you can check out that blog here).  I took an interest in blogging and decided I would keep with it during the summer.  So if you would like to follow along with what I’m doing, this blog would be a perfect way to do so! I’m hoping to blog once or twice a week, but we’ll see how it goes once I get invested in my internship and part-time job.  I’m hoping to post lots of pictures and stories about my summer spent in New Jersey!

On Saturday, I will be taking off on the adventure of a lifetime as I move to New Jersey for an internship.  I will be interning at a premier wedding and event venue located over the Atlantic Ocean, called One Atlantic.  One Atlantic hosts a variety of events including weddings, Bat and Bar Mitzvahs,  and corporate events.  Over 12 weeks I will learn all the aspects of planning and executing an exclusive event.  I will be spending 3 weeks working with the departments of human resources, marketing & sales and 3 weeks with catering, 3 weeks with event coordination and 3 weeks with event planning.    I’ve known for quite a few years I wanted to pursue a career in event planning and fortunately I was given this fantastic opportunity this summer.  I’m extremely excited to see what happens during the course of 12 weeks, but it is also slightly scary as I move to a new state and spend my first summer away from Dillsburg, my family, and all my friends.  It is frightening and thrilling all at the same time.

You can follow all the happenings at One Atlantic on Facebook here.

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