Winter Styled Photoshoot

The morning after the Design Challenge presentations I woke up to a text from Abby saying, “Congrats!” I frantically clicked on my Facebook app and saw my own design board at the top of my cluttered News Feed. I had won. A feeling of excitement and satisfaction washed over me as I took in the moment. When I’d begun with AME I hadn’t imagined that my experience would culminate to this.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, the winner gets a prize. This award comes in the form of getting to plan and hold a styled photo shoot based on your design. This then leads to submitting it for publication in blogs and bridal magazines across the country. The honor and recognition that comes along with this is priceless and I couldn’t wait to begin.

A few days later, I met with Abby to discuss design options. We both agreed that since the design I’d made for Kaylee was classic AME, we could branch out and try something a bit different. Always one for a challenge, I was excited to be able to recreate and come up with a special design. A few days of Pinterest and a fresh inspiration board later, I had a new design..

INspa Board
Winter Styled Shoot Inspiration Board

A color scheme, place settings, linens, floral arrangements, and everything down to detailed guest favors were planned out.

The planning process, I found, was a great challenge and increasingly insightful. It came with its hiccups and tough moments but helped me learn some deep breathing techniques and how to problem solve. Organizing this shoot throughout the holiday season added a level of difficulty as many were taking time with their families and enjoying their perfectly-cooked turkeys, twinkling lights, the smell of pine trees, and the pop of champagne bottles. [I won’t even mention the nightmare that is hunting for cake stands or the call I got two days prior informing me that a bride had bought my model dress.] Just remember to keep a level head and remind yourself that it all works out in the end. Because it does, one way or another.

In the midst of family celebrations, I reached out to vendors that I knew could bring this look to life. I chose some that have become amazing friends in my time with AME along with some fresh faces. I received each one’s contact information, communicated by phone and email, coordinated a timeline for the day of the shoot, and explained my vision. Every single one was so accommodating and a pleasure to work with. They are all so incredibly talented and I could not have had a better team. They donated their time, effort, resources, and creative abilities to help make the day a success. And it was a huge success.

I’m already so blessed to have the job that I do. But my joy increases exponentially when we have so many individuals in this industry come together to create a masterpiece.

I woke up that morning ready to take on the day. I had all the rentals in the back of my car and headed to Springfield. Hair and make-up was first on the list and my model, Dani Jo, got to enjoy a few hours of being pampered at Honey & Hive Salon. A dress pick-up, a few impromptu dances, and a lot of baby Otto kisses later…it was set-up time at our beautiful venue The Old Glass Place. The rest of the day was spent laughing, collaborating, and enjoying the product of our labors. Charity from He Loves Me Flowers stuck around throughout the whole shoot just sharing the experience with us (she is the absolute best and so adorable!). Dani braved the brisk day in a beautiful strapless gown from Ella Weiss and participated so willingly and graciously. When it was all over and every image had been captured, we tore down (always the sad part), and loaded everything back in my car. Vendors departed with chocolates and champagne and not nearly enough “thank yous.” The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming.

The days passed on and life went back to normal. But the moment I saw an email from our talented photographer Kellie Michelle a few weeks ago, I could hardly contain my excitement. The photos captured exactly what I had envisioned and exceeded all of my expectations.

Below are a few of the many gorgeous shots that our brilliant photographer and her assistant got on that January day. To check out the published work and full photo shoot (just in time for Valentine’s Day!), head over to The Perfect Palette.

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Grace, beauty, and light.
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Look at this GORGEOUS floral centerpiece made by Charity B.
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My love for this floral crown increases every time I see it.


Credit for this amazing photoshoot belongs to:

Photography: Kellie Michelle Photography // Design & Coordination: Allyssa of Abby Mitchell Event Planning & Design // Bridal Gown: Ella Weiss // Cakes: Charity Fent Cake Designs// Florals: Charity of He Loves Me Flowers // Linens: SB Bon Events // Linens, Flatware, Glassware, Plates: Eventful Rentals // Chargers: Elegant Touch // Acrylic Chairs: Ellee’s Rental Boutique // Hair & Make-Up: Honey & Hive Salon // Venue: The Old Glass Place // Model: Dani Jo Stevenson

Check out their websites for your own event or wedding!

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So much love to all my vendors!




Intern Design Challenge: Part 2

As I mentioned in my last post, the Intern Design Challenge is the chance to show what you know and all you’ve learned with Abby Mitchell Events. After my summer session with Abby I decided to stay on throughout the fall and my last semester of school. We had a new AME family and our newest and adorable addition, baby Otto (Abby’s son born in July). It was a fall full of autumnul color schemes, crisp air, and ecstatic young couples. I knew though that it was all coming to an end when we met at Abby’s house one night… I knew what was coming.

Knowing this would be my second and also my last Intern Design Challenge, I stepped up my game and put all I had into it. With school in full swing and preparing to graduate, accomplishing this feat was easier said than done. I spent hours on my computer researching for my bride/partner Kayley Walker to create her dream wedding design. After a few weeks of planning and putting my creativity to the test….my computer crashed, taking all of my hard work and ideas with it. After streaming tears and raging anger in between trips to the computer repair shop, it was time to begin again. I now doubled my time staring at computer screens as I spent hours in the lab to make up for my lost time and work. A constant reminder intertwined with my thoughts saying, “Irritation won’t change it. Move on and make it work.” Frustrating? Yes. A test of patience? Definitely. Did I finish? Absolutely.

A few weeks after the challenge being assigned our little team gathered together again taking turns holding Otto and presenting our designs. Below are a few pages from my design for Kayley:

Inspa Board K&C
Inspiration Board
Gift and Guest
When the Bride’s maiden name is Walker, there is no other hashtag needed.


Again inspiration boards were posted to social media outlets and voted on by the judges and fellow AME interns. All of our designs were superbly unique and pleasing to the “brides.” However, we all know there is only one winner…

But I can’t give away all of my secrets in one post… So hang on to that cliff a little while longer. I promise it’ll be worth the wait.

Intern Design Challenge: Part 1

It’s 7 o’clock on a Tuesday. All of the summer interns have gathered waiting to hear what “big surprise” brought us there that evening. We’re sitting around Abby’s cozy living room snacking on sweet cookies, drinking spiced Chai tea, and discussing our latest bride’s gorgeous beaded dress. Then the moment we were waiting for arrived and the secret was revealed… We were told about the big finale to our internship….the design challenge.

Part of the Abby Mitchell Events experience is the Intern Design Challenge. This assignment is where you put your knowledge and experience to the test. Given a set of guidelines, you are to design, create, plan, and budget a wedding. The requirements include a full design and layouts, timeline, budget, and vendors. For this project, interns pair off or are assigned to one another. Each acts as both a planner and a bride; you plan your partner’s wedding and they plan yours. As daunting as it may sound (and it can be), I’ve gotten so much out of this experience. It’s given me practice with talking to vendors, knowing what questions to ask a bride, coordinating a timeline, and sticking to a budget. All of this invaluable information will help me as I plant my roots in the event planning industry.

I’ve done this assignment twice now. The first was for my summer session with AME. My partner was Olivia and after I’d read her detailed Bridal Questionnaire, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for her design. She explained her love for the movie “You’ve Got Mail” and that was my inspiration throughout the whole process. Below are a few of the pages from this particular wedding design and a link to the website I created just for her:

Inspa Page
Inspiration Board

“Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?” -Kathleen Kelly

For full design, timeline, and budget details: You’ve Got Me

In the weeks leading up to the presentation of the design each of us were working hard and Pinteresting like crazy. The process of designing and planning a wedding (even a fake one) is quite a task. Allocating money, getting quotes from vendors, and making sure you’re delivering your bride’s vision are only a part of it.

A few weeks later, we were together again at Abby’s house. Each of us took a turn presenting our designs, timelines, and budgets to our “bride” and fellow interns. At the end of the night, after more cookies and tea, inspiration boards were posted on social media and judges scores were tallied. Between the judges scores, your bride’s satisfaction, and the help of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook followers…a winner was chosen.

Every season, the winner of this design challenge gets a prize. But I’m keeping that a secret for now. Follow me and stay tuned for more!


Wedding Planners: What Do We Do?

Often the topic of conversation among us interns was how people perceive our job. In honor of that, I’ve put together a visual image to help out a bit.

Wedding Planner

These additional pictures were contenders for “What I Actually Do”

Now, don’t get me wrong… I love what I do. It is one of the most satisfying endeavors I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to have such a fun and creative job and could not be more grateful.

What we do is make the bride’s vision a reality. To make sure that her big day is just what she spent hours daydreaming about when she was a little girl. We’re there to help others make memories and keep sanity in check. We are there to support the bride, calm the groom, control the uncle that has had a little too much to drink, and make sure the DJ doesn’t play “Uptown Funk” too many times. We live in the background. We are prepared for any undertaking, unforeseen happenings, and those picture perfect moments. We are there to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that dreams come to life. We’re the visionaries, the go-to people, and the counselors; getting to share in every moment of a very special day in two people’s lives. It can get crazy and a bit hectic, no doubt.. but who said that chaos is always a bad thing?

Beginnings & True Love

“We all have a story to tell.”

As curious beings, we want to know the story. And with most couples, we inquire about theirs. We want to know where and how they met and how they created a love to last a lifetime. We want to find out how two individuals learned about their likes and dislikes, their habits and mistakes, their love for a certain color, and passion for a hobby. We want to see the ring and ask how he popped the question and if she cried when she said yes. How the two ultimately became a pair. We love stories; we love to jump into narratives and immerse ourselves in the happenings of another person’s life. Whether we do this to escape our own or to share in a loved one’s joy, we yearn for the story and eventually, the happy ending.

This is my story. The story of how I happened upon an internship and ended up finding my passion. How circumstances led me to this point in my life. How the past year has taught me how to cherish moments and given me experiences that I never would have imagined.

A student at Missouri State University, I wasn’t looking for an internship. I already had a hectic schedule with juggling a full time job and school. One day, out of curiosity I reached out to Abby Mitchell Event Planning & Design after having looked into a position with her the year before. The timing was perfect as she was accepting applicants for summer interns. I secured an interview with Abby and a few days later a position with her summer team.


Going into the first wedding of the season I didn’t know what to expect, but I went home that night having enjoyed myself more than at any other job I’d had. I knew that the word ‘flawless’ was created for a day like that one. Throughout the summer the AME team faced unbelievable humidity, countless vendors, two-page timelines, and bridal parties beyond compare. But regardless of the number of tables moved, chairs stacked, glasses refilled, or pools that we guarded…it was all so worth it.

AME Family – Summer 2015

When people think of wedding planners they inevitably imagine Jennifer Lopez’s portrayal in the 2001 movie. However, in my experience, it has been very different. Weddings are a blissful time, a celebration of two people committing to one another in the presence of family and friends. But behind the scenes, there are vendors and timelines and coordinators working together to make the day perfect. As many brides come to realize, weddings involve a lot more than saying yes to the dress and choosing flowers. They include number crunching, stationary, hashtags, and color scheme.

I’ve always been a behind-the-scenes type, preferring to organize the details and watch it all come together. In the past months I have come to realize that event planning is the perfect place for this skill and desire. I have the job of placing signs and cutting cake all the way to picking up the bridal gown and leading the groom to the first look. Every moment, every task that has been assigned to me has led me to fall even more in love with my job. My job that started as an internship. An internship that allowed me to realize that it’s not always about the money. I’ve been rewarded through my time with Abby Mitchell Events more splendidly than any paycheck. This season of my life has made me rich beyond measure. I’m so blessed to be a part of each event and every couple’s special day. It is such an honor to have a place in their lives, if even for a short time.

Fifteen weddings, numerous intern meetings, and a few bridal expos later I have gained experience and insight I could not have gotten elsewhere. What started as a coincidence led to opportunity and that opportunity has opened doors and forged relationships that will aide me in the coming years. Much like two people making eye contact across the room, going out on a few dates, and falling in love.. a single moment in my life led to me finding a passion. Never underestimate those moments.

AME Family – Fall 2015

So tell me, what’s your story?