Steam Punk Wedding Video and Photo Shoot

Several months ago, Heather Kanillopoolos of Heather Kanillopoolos Photography approached W.E.D, Inc. about doing a photo shoot. A THEMED photo shoot. An out-of-the-box, nerd-lovin’, unique photo shoot.

We were so excited, and jumped in with both ray guns blazing!

After months of getting some of the absolute BEST vendors involved and sourcing for décor items at seemingly every thrift shop, antique store, and garage sale within a 50-mile radius, we all gathered together on a cold April day to create a steam-filled, copper-gilded, gear-driven dream of a Steam Punk Wedding.

And below are the results of all of our crazy machinations.

Thank you to all of these amazing people and businesses who contributed to the photo shoot:

Photos: Heather Kanilopoolos Photography

Video: Andy Owen of Owen Video

Venue: Old Town Marquee

Steampunk Cake: Tasty Layers

Decor and Planning: W.E.D, Inc.

Hair & makeup: Tammy Kosnik & Katie Eccleton of Nicole’s Salon and Day Spa

“Bride” and “Groom” modeling: Andrea Kerbuski & Travis Boak

Cameo Appearances (“wedding guests”): Capitol Steam members Jason R. Heinrich & Amy Dawson

Our amazing models were the perfect symbols of the weddings of yore. A traditional headpiece wouldn’t do – goggles were the must-have accessory for this wedding. Even the groom was accessorized with custom goggles and a gear-copper-chain boutonniere, all created by Matt Schultheiss with W.E.D, Inc.


Those smiles are pure vintage charm!


The amazing hair and makeup transformations of these two are thanks to the amazing team from Nicole’s Salon and Day Spa.Image


The “wedding” took place at the gorgeous Old Town Marquee in historic Old Town Lansing. Old Town Marquee has a wonderful staff, beautiful brick walls, and multiple spaces for staging different functions within an event.


Rhonda with Tasty Layers created the sugar-glossed, corseted, dirigible-driven fantasy of a cake. Truly the most beautiful cake I have personally ever seen!


W.E.D, Inc. created several custom pieces, including this truly original escort card device dubbed “The Contraption.” The escort cards are attached to the chains via magnets, and the name of the guest is printed very small within the outline of the table number – so small that the guests must view the escort cards through a magnifying glass in order to see their names! A hand crank on the side allows the guests to turn the gears to line up escort cards within the borders of the lens. Thanks so much to Jason and Amy with Capitol Steam for providing an authentic Steam Punk feel with their very presence and amazing costumes!




The Head Table featured a backdrop of clocks, vintage mirrors, and chains draped like architectural jewelry. The table was adorned with clocks, a pistol, vintage books, flowers, candles, and a custom linen with leather straps drawn up as if to reveal the petticoats underneath.




The guest table featured a custom centerpiece sculpture of mirror, brass, a pocketwatch, clocks, gears, candles, a compass, and a steaming teapot. A vintage post office box drawer front served as a table number.




You can’t have just any old Sweets Table for a Steam Punk Wedding! We created an original “Victorian Vices Table” – complete with absinthe and other spirits in beautiful cut glass containers, tasty nibbles, Steam Punk playing cards, and cigars.




If you’re going to push the boundaries, why not push them all the way into the street?



So if you are looking to do a Steam Punk, Sci-Fi, Game of Thrones, Halloween, or any sort of Themed Wedding or Event, be sure to contact any of the vendors listed here – we would all love to be part of your Unique Day!



Bannie (Ben + Annie) Forever

Photo Courtesy of K. Holly Photography

Photo Courtesy of K. Holly Photography

We are skipping ahead a few months this week, to share an absolutely gorgeous farm wedding with you. We have a few pictures taken with our camera phone, but the photographer’s pictures are vastly superior.

Fortunately, we just saw today that the prestigious Style Me Pretty blog did a write up of this beautiful day, and you can see the photos here:

Ben and Annie (a.k.a. “Bannie”) were such a fantastic couple, and W.E.D was so honored to have been able to assist them with their plans for their Big Day. Discussion of the details ran the gamut from the mundane (the structural integrity of the barn, relief stations, etc.) to the gorgeous (centerpieces, music, etc.). With the couple living so far away, Annie and Ben truly needed the extra help and guidance W.E.D was able to provide.

The bride took time to write a review of our services, which read: “My wedding would not have been possible without Lynn.  I mean that very sincerely. Not only did I work full time at a demanding job, my wedding venue was located three hours away from the closest family member on our centennial family farm, I was a five hour flight away, there was a three hour time difference between us, everything needed to be brought to the venue (excluding the barn and dinner bell) and the nearest vendor we could find was an hour away.  Talk about a tall order!  Lynn was incredibly helpful and didn’t blink an eye.  We scheduled several hour long phone meetings and just as I thought I had thought of everything, she’d come up with twenty things I hadn’t even thought about.  E-mail and text responses were always timely and she was always friendly and professional.  She came to our rehearsal dinner, had an agenda for each bridal party member and I could sit back and take it all in.  The day of also went incredibly smoothly.  We were so on schedule I even snuck in a 20 min nap!  Unreal!  Lynn greeted every vendor, updated them on any changes, she had copies of all my contracts and knew what was expected of each of them, and she warned me about a potential additional photographer charge if we went beyond our scheduled time, which I had completely forgotten about.  At the end of the night I had at least twenty people tell me that was the best wedding they had ever been to.  I owe it to Lynn.  She’s far underpaid for what she delivers.  You won’t be disappointed!! Thank you again Lynn!”

That pretty much says it all. And thank you, Annie and Ben, for being so great to work with! Many blessings to you both!

Lia and Sam April 2013

Lia contacted W.E.D for planning help with only five months left until her wedding. With little other than her venues selected, Lia needed a full event planner to help pull together all of her details.

Lia had some extra challenges due to the fact that her wonderful groom was British and living in London at the time, so coordinating all of the details started to become a bit overwhelming for her. I was thrilled to be able to step in and offer all the support I could.

Lia and Sam’s wedding turned out to be absolutely beautiful, and it was so obvious how much love was in the room. Lia and Sam’s friends and family were glowing with happiness for them. Lia’s neighbor even supplied the rocking DJ services, and her guests danced the night away.

In addition to providing full event planning services, W.E.D provided décor services as well. Lia’s vision for her wedding included an upscale vintage theme that consisted of a hundred plus vintage white candleholders of all different shapes and sizes, lush hydrangeas in milkglass, and a multitude of candles embellished with sparkling diamond ribbon that bathed the room in a soft glow.

The tables were dressed in beautiful lilac lamour linens, and soft purple uplighting accented the walls. The cocktail hour tables were simply adorned with infinity bowls with floating candles. Her ceremony aisle was lit with glowing lanterns that accented the architecturally rich sanctuary.

The reception was held at the former Lexington Lansing Hotel (now the Crowne Plaza Lansing West). While the ballrooms there are stunning, with gorgeous sparkling Italian chandeliers, it’s the staff that really shine. They really go above and beyond to make an amazing event.

Lia and Sam’s entire day was just beautiful, and we were so honored to have been a part of it all. Lia sent us a note after the event, saying, “Thanks again for everything. It was such a great day and wouldn’t have been without you!

Thanks, Lia and Sam, for letting us be part of your Big Day. As they say in England, “Cheers, mates!”

WED Design Board Lia and Sam April 2013 copy

Venues in the Lansing Area

Happy Sunday Everyone!

One of the questions I get asked most often is, “What is a good place for a reception in the Lansing area?”

Of course, I always have to ask a series of questions in order to accurately answer the first question. How many people do you plan to invite? What style of wedding do you want? What is most important to you – budget, style, food, drink, other? Answers to these queries help me to pick the right venue for the right client.

There are pros and cons to every venue in the Lansing area – and I would dare say, everywhere. It’s really a matter of picking the one that has the best features for you and the least disadvantages for your event.

Of course, there are venues in the area that I prefer. Either for style, budget or service. There are also venues that I actively steer clients away from – almost always because of a service issue. I cannot over-emphasize how critical good service is. You can have the most beautiful venue, but later on find that due to a regimented adherence to certain irrelevant restrictions (irrelevant because they truly don’t impact the venue greatly, neither through safety, money nor time), you are unable to execute a key vision for your day. You can find that the people who run the facility are very nice, but as soon as that contract is signed, you become an afterthought. There are other venues of course where the management is pretty upfront about the fact that they care little for your event. Believe me, it does NOT get better from there. The unbelievably gorgeous budget-friendly venue can quickly become the choice you regret the most if it is run by people who really don’t care about what a special day your wedding is.

I, of course, won’t go into naming names in a public blog. All I can say is, if you are shopping for a venue on your own, go with your gut. If you get a bad feeling from the salesperson who is showing you the venue, run. Consider other options. Non-traditional. Do research. Investigate. Making the right choices in reception site and ceremony site are the two biggest decisions you are going to make about the wedding (other than your spouse). These  choices will set the tone, and either help to keep your stress at a minimum or make you wish you had eloped.

On a positive note, I would love to give a shout out to a venue that I feel exemplifies excellent customer service. I have a client who is having a rather high-end wedding this summer at the University Club in East Lansing. The bride and I have been working very closely with Janice out there, and she is so on top of her game. She really understands that this day is a big day in the life of the bride, and not just another Saturday for the U Club. They are a joy to work with.

But have no fear, you can find great customer service at other venues that fit all economic needs (future blogs to come!). If you’re interested in more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (989) 906-4332.

Happy Planning!

Addicted to bridal shows?

I admit it – I’m a bridal show addict. I watch them nonstop. I rationalize it to my friends by saying it’s research, but for the most part, it’s just a guilty pleasure. In addition to all the fun they provide, occasionally I get some really great inspiration from the work I see.

Of course, I am often a bit shocked by what I see also. For example, on the most recent episode of “Rich Bride, Poor Bride,” the two planners on there were not very respectful in my opinion. I understand that for most weddings, the bride is the VIP, but that doesn’t mean that the groom should be disrespected. I’ve dealt with some penny-pinching grooms as well, but rolling eyes and mocking tones aren’t the best way to mediate. I understand it was probably over-acted for the camera, but I can’t imagine talking to a client in that manner, and being filmed while doing it no less! Surprising…

I also love to see the different features incorporated into all of these weddings. For example, in this vineyard-themed wedding, they did a “cake” assembled out of wheels of cheese. Fantastic idea. But of course I don’t see anyone mention the logistical details behind this (but I can’t help thinking about the ten steps behind any design choice). For example, #1) when was the cheese served? Was it served during the cocktail hour, when most North Americans (they had to be Canadians, based on accent) are used to eating cheese? And if so, was it a complete waste of money, because the display would have been torn down so early? Or was it served in its traditional course, after dinner? At which point, did most of it go to waste, given that traditionally we prefer sweet things at the end of the night? #2) Who was responsible for slicing it up? How was it served? #3) What happened to all that leftover cheese? Because I can’t imagine that much cheese was consumed by their guests – that’s an incredible amount of cheese. These are the details that I find myself inadvertently thinking about when driving down the street or waiting in line. I want to know.

So how about you? Did you see the episode? What did you think? Canadian or American? Planners – rude or just catering to the bride? Cheese wheel – worth the investment, or could there have been a more cost-effective but equally cool (and perhaps more logistically-friendly) presentation? I look forward to your thoughts!