I don’t know how the idea came about, but I do know that it was Kevin who suggested hosting a dinner party for my past clients. I was admittedly reluctant about it because I knew it would happen right in the middle of my busy season (as would the planning beforehand), but I also loved the idea of being able to see past clients again as well as give them my thanks.
It does not go unnoticed how much trust they have given to me over the years, especially at the beginning when I was just starting out. Each weekend when I walk into a wedding, I am reminded of how blessed I am to be able to be part of the first day of these marriages. For their trust, their friendship, and their graciousness, I’m so thankful. And I hoped this dinner would show just a small portion of my gratefulness.
There were many people who helped pull this whole thing off and I must properly thank them. I was so grateful that Little Lights Event was available for us! I fell in love with the space several months ago when I was there and they made it so easy! Shelly Sarver was one of the first people I contacted because I have always loved her floral design and she did not disappoint! Jacky Mills makes the most amazing cookies so I sent her my logo and branding and she created gorgeous, edible pieces of art. Zephyr Weddings took my ideas and put them all into the most beautiful invitation paper suite I’ve ever seen. The day before the dinner, I realized I didn’t have anything to put the cupcakes (from Molly’s Cupcakes) on, so Brenda came to my rescue, giving me free reign of her warehouse and providing me with candles and platters. Hy-Vee on Dodge Street was amazing to work with and the food was so delicious (and we’re still eating leftovers!). Lastly, Kevin flew my older sister, Carla, in (hers was one of the first weddings I photographed!) and she used her previous experience working in event planning as well as her big-sister status to help get everything set up while I ran around like a crazy person trying to photograph it all before guests started coming. And my younger brother Payton gave us his Friday night schedule and helped keep the serving trays full and cleaning up afterwards.
Right before dinner, I made everyone step outside for a group photo. I’m so grateful for these people. This group of people. They range from many years, and being able to catch up with each of them brought such happiness to my heart. There were over 180 people invited (over half of those now live out of state), and I was so excited for each RSVP that came back with a yes.
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Photography: Emily Crall Photography
Florals: Shelly Sarver Designs
Design Elements: Town or Country Event Design
Cupcakes: Molly’s Cupcakes
Cookies: Jacky Mills
Catering: Hy-Vee Dodge Street
Paper Suite: Zephyr Weddings
Venue: Little Lights Events