Thursday, May 17, 2018

Pets and Weddings:

WP&G Photoshoot
For many people, us included, our pets are our babies. We put our fur babies in our family pictures.  We include them in holiday celebrations and birthdays. So, why would we not include them in one of the most important days of our lives?  

When we first started The Darling Wedding Co, Jayme had a picture of her and her husband from their wedding with their two doggies.  The picture with #thedarlingpups was such a huge hit with couples, DWC ended up planning weddings with dogs, cats, horses, a bird or two, and even a ferret!

Jayme & Dean '04
We have a few things for you to ponder when trying to incorporate your babies into your wedding:

1. Does he or she like people and crowds?  Some pets love people and are not at all intimidated by large crowds, while others like to hang out under the bed when you have people over. If your little one is the latter, maybe just a quick stop by your house or apartment with your photographer for a few pictures is the best route for you and your fur baby.

 #thedarling pups Photo by: Errin Hildtbrand Photography
2. Does your venue allow pets?  Most churches and many reception venues are not keen on having animals in their facility.  Discuss with your planner or site coordinators what their policies are regarding animals prior to the wedding day.  If they are not able to participate in the main events on the wedding day, pick a park to have a friend bring them to and get pictures with them there instead.

Photo by: Twig and Olive 
3. If you fur baby is great with people and the venue allows them to participate, you still have a few more things to do to insure your and their happiness.  First hire or assign someone to be responsible for you baby. You will not have time or the ability to take care of the little guy, so you WILL need someone to do it for you.  Next, make sure you have a plan for when they are coming and when they are leaving.  Depending on how long they are going to be there they may need, water, food, or potty breaks.  And, last, remember they are unpredictable so they will likely not do what you expect them to.  But, whatever they do will be totally adorable and make wonderful memories!

If you take these simple steps ahead of time, having your fur babies at your wedding can be a wonderful thing!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Michelle and Nick 02.06.16

Michelle and Nick’s Vintage Winter Wedding | February 6, 2016

Ceremony | Holy Wisdom
Reception | Lake Windsor Country Club
Photographer | Twig and OlivePhotography
Florist | Sweet Pea Floral
Bride’s Dress | Marah’s Elegant Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses | Vera’s House of Bridals
Groom’s Suit | Nedrebos
DJ Mueller DJ
Baker | Craig’s Cakes

Photographer’s blog post with this wedding:

We first met Michelle in 2014 when we hired her family’s company, Acker Builders of Waunakee.  From the moment we met the Acker family we knew we would make a great team!  (And boy did we on both Michelle and Nick’s wedding and on the gorgeous home they built for us!)

When we initially sat down with Michelle, her sister, and her mother it became clear that they were interested in a large wedding focused on family and friends.  To our further delight, the family includes a couple of adorable pups!

First challenge? Determine the location for a guest list that included just over 400 people!  Here in the Madison area or up north near where Nick’s family is from?  We went to work and were quickly able to find them numerous locations to meet their style, budget and the size of their wedding. After touring several places, Nick and Michelle decided keeping things close to home was the best for their families and ended up choosing Lake Windsor Country Club for their reception and Holy Wisdom for the ceremony.

Next item to tackle was photographer!  Michelle’s love of all things vintage made us immediately think of Bobbi at Twig and Olive Photography.  But, as any good planner we like to give our clients options.  Michelle and Nick met with Bobbi and immediately hit it off!  (And so those other options flew out the window!)  Bobbi has an innate calming effect on people that allows them to relax and allow her to guide you.  (Relaxing is not always easy for clients, as having a camera in your face for hours on end is not normal for most people!)

Because a big family wedding needs beautiful decor and amazing music, those were our next two items to tackle.  For flowers we stuck close to home with Sweet Pea Floral of Waunakee.  Cathy is a force of nature; she is all energy and ideas!  Meeting with her is so much fun! Within the first ten minutes of meeting with her we knew this was not going to be your average floral, this was going to be something special.

Selecting Scott from Mueller Mobile DJ’s was another no brainer for Nick and Michelle.  Our mandate for them with regards to what they wanted from a DJ was clear.  They wanted a DJ that did not act like an awful stereotype.  One who would simply keep the dance floor packed the entire night.  Scott, a former band geek with the UW marching band, just loves music and it shows in how he runs the tunes for the night.  We have been doing weddings with Scott since 2004, so we can happily attest to his skills!

When the wedding day arrived we had our plans, and like any good planners we had back up plans if those did not work.  It all went off without a hitch!  The weather, which was our main concern, and always out of our control, was PERFECT!  The guests were having so much fun that we literally had to kick people out at the end of the night!

We would plan this wedding and any other weddings for this family any day!  Since it is clear that Nick and Michelle are together for life, we may just have to settle for building another home with them……

(If you love Michelle's style as much as we do and are in the market for a new house, check out the Acker Builders parade house at the 2017 MBA Parade of Homes running from June 10-25th in Waunakee, WI.)

Jayme and Katie

Monday, April 24, 2017

Neutral Territory

Trend Tuesday

Bridal Guide Online perfectly captures our love for all things neutral - "From charcoal to blue-greys, or grey-browns, a neutral color palette is perfect for the bride who wants to achieve a classic, sophisticated feel that won’t seem dated or look too trendy in years to come." Neutral color schemes exude a sense of peace and tranquility. When blending whites, ivories, beiges, or any other neutraldon't be afraid of texture. Texture can play a large role against an otherwise mundane backdrop. Incorporate lace, linen, and cotton - mix textures together. Remember the old adage stating to never combine white and ivory? Well we say, do it!

photo credit:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Oscar's Recap

Wow! What an Oscars! There’s so much to say, but we’re here to weigh in on some of our favorite fashion from the night.

Best Dressed: Emma Stone in Givenchy, Winner Best Actress for La La Land
Why We Love It: As fellow redheads, we already have a soft spot for this dynamic actress. The gold beads contrasted enough with her creamy skin, giving her a warmer skin tone and bringing out the accent tones in her hair. We love the blend of styles between a ‘20’s flapper gown with vampy ‘40’s waves and that classic red lip. Seems like that golden glow was a good luck charm for this Oscar winner! We could totally see this gown translated for a NYE style wedding.

Best Dressed: Viola Davis in Armani Prive, Winner Best Supporting Actress for Fences
Why We Love It: Red is such a beautiful, rich color against Viola’s gorgeous dark skin. The style lines are ultra flattering for her curvy figure, and we love the positive negative balance of the peek-a-boo shoulders and demure open back. Styling her hair in a short do combined with the style lines along her bust, shoulder angles, and halter neckline framed the focus onto her face and that gorgeous winning smile!

Sexiest Gowns: Jennifer Anniston and Halle Berry; Presenters; both wearing Versace
Why We Love It: Hot Hot Hot! These ladies know how to pull off a balance of covered and revealed, glam and casual with natural hair and blingy gowns. They both embodied ease, sophistication, and sex appeal. We were not surprised to find out that Versace designed both of their gowns.


Most Desired to be as a Wedding Gown: Auli’l Cravalho in Rubin Singer, Best Original Song Nominee Performer for Moana
Why We Love It: Love the balance of white and silver, matte and shiny, as it radiates texture in both fabric and dimension. It is a gorgeous play on a classic silhouette. We could easily see a bride walking down the aisle in this gorgeous gown! Also – wow, her voice!


Best Late Night Look: Vanessa Hudgens in Kristian Aadnevik at the Elton John AIDs Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party
Why We Love It: Vanessa Hudgens describes it best... “bridal lingerie, but like… what Aphrodite would wear.” Yes. That’s exactly it! We’d totally want this for our honeymoon!

Best Dressed for the Men: Tarell Alvin McCraney, Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay for Moonlight, and Dev Patel, Presenter
Why We Love It: Tarell Alvin McCraney looked radiant in his cream and ivory tuxedo. The tone on tone was sharp, sophisticated, and fresh! Paired with those sockless loafers, he looked chic and comfortable.

Dev Patel presented in a classic white tuxedo with a black bowtie and black slacks – this combination reminds us of the original ‘Sabrina' with his classic rich sophistication and confident manliness. Always a winner in our book! This can be easily replicated for a classic groom look as well!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fashion Friday

To Veil or Not to Veil

The tradition behind a bridal veil dates back to ancient Greek and Romans’ fear of evil spirits. The veil was a form of disguise, not only for the demons, but also for the bride’s partner. The tulle fabric would shield the bride’s face from her future spouse; as superstition believed, it was bad luck to see one another prior to the wedding ceremony.

Eventually, the meaning behind a veil began to take on a religious tradition. Veils symbolized modesty and chastity similar to that of a white gown. While veils can still serve a religious purpose today, veils are now seen as a bridal icon.

In many cases, trying on a veil for the first time is the moment that transforms you into a bride. It completes the transformation and acts as a personal style statement. From traditional cathedral veils for a royal feel, to caged veils for a more period feel, the most important part of a veil is how it makes you feel. It’s important not to compete with your dress, but compliment it. Don’t cover up the drama of a gown.

Consider reasons why a veil may not be the perfect fit for you. Is your wedding outdoors? Veils can be very unruly with wind, especially at beach weddings.  Beware of sticky lip-gloss – tulle is not necessarily its best friend. In that case, there are other alternatives to veils such as flower crowns, tiaras, jeweled barrettes, headbands, etc. Maybe you don’t want any hair accessories to take away from your gown? Whatever the reason, the question of whether to veil or not to veil is your decision and yours alone.

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco exchanging rings during their wedding in 1956 ( This picture shows the impact a veil can make.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wisconsin Bride - Best of 2017

WI Bride Best of 2017

Wisconsin brides, Madison brides in particular, are tremendously fortunate to have access to so many wonderful wedding professionals. Over our thirteen years of planning, we have been honored to get to work with many talented wedding vendors. We wanted to recognize some of the professionals we have worked with over the last year or so. 

Please take a few minutes to cast your ballot for Wisconsin Bride’s Best of 2017!  (Voting closes March get your votes in while you still can.)


Jayme and Katie

FUN FACT:  We did our first wedding with Erin at Daffodil Parker WAY back in 2006! Tracy, our sweet bride, was also a labor and delivery nurse at the time and ended up being Erin's nurse while she was having her daughter!
FUN FACT: Jamae is one talented and BUSY woman! She has three beautiful kids, one of which is an infant whom she sometimes has strapped to her while creating some of the most gorgeous arrangements we’ve ever seen!
FUN FACT: Working with Cathy is a hoot! That girl is so talented, but also so fun to work with. We absolutely adore her and her beautiful creations.

FUN FACT: We may have shed a tear or two when Cheryl, the Events Manager, left Bishop's for a short period. We are thrilled she is back!
FUN FACT: Although we have not worked at this lovely venue as many times as the other Madison venues, it has quickly become a favorite of ours for many reasons.
FUN FACT: Emily, one of the banquet managers, could be a member of our family...gingers rule the world! She and Katie went to the same high school together!

FUN FACT: Geoffrey is our non-profit hero! That man donates so much time to working with various charities.
FUN FACT: We have known Scott since before we started doing weddings… he even did Jayme and Dean's wedding!

FUN FACT: Event Essentials was one of the first vendors we ever worked with WAY back in 2004!
FUN FACT: A La Crate is one of Katie's favorite places to go because antiques and vintage are her jam!

FUN FACT: Kathy recently adopted one of Katie’s dream dogs… a Bernese mountain dog!

FUN FACT: Lindsay, the lead baker at GiGi's, is one of the coolest people we get to work with! She is funny, sweet and talented all rolled into one.
FUN FACT: Jayme and the ladies from Craig's Cakes were on a TV show together in 2010! We absolutely loved their white chocolate shavings.
FUN FACT: Bloom Bake Shop is such a unique treasure in Madison. They truly create beautiful and delicious desserts!

Hair and Makeup
FUN FACT: Kendra, in addition to being an amazing hair and make-up artist, went to school with Jayme’s husband Dean!
FUN FACT: Mckenzie, is a true talent who also happened to school with Jayme’s brother Brad!
FUN FACT: Colie is a talented hair designer with the biggest heart. This is where Katie gets her hair done!

Wedding Planner
FUN FACT: We like to think that we are pretty organized, dedicated, detailed, crazy, and fun! J

FUN FACT: In all our years of doing tented weddings, we have by far used Upstairs Downstairs the most!
FUN FACT: The wonderful people at Underground helped us pull off two tented weddings in one day! We would have never have been able to do it without them.
FUN FACT: Katie’s family is best friends with Tim DiMenna and his family, co-owners of Blue Plate! Their staff is always friendly and very responsive.

Bridal Apparel and Accessories
FUN FACT:  Both of Katie’s sisters have found their dresses at Marah’s. Marah and her sister have such a wonderful selection of gowns!
FUN FACT: Jayme worked as a bridal consultant for Vera’s in both Madison and Janesville when she was 19!

FUN FACT: Bobbi, Doug and Courtney are the best… we have so much fun working in collaboration with them and their talented visions!
FUN FACT: Errin is from the same small town as our extended family… making her apart of our family!
FUN FACT: Michael and Heather are honestly a couple of dream photographers. We have shared so many memories with them over the past thirteen years!

                    VOTE HERE!

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