First 3 Things To Do After You’re Engaged

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Yay! You’ve got something sparkly on your hand, the person you love by your side, and exactly no clue where to go from here. HELP. Well, lady, rest easy. This blog contains the first three things to do after you’ve promised to say “I do.” These three steps will help lay the foundation for your wedding day, and get the ball rolling on that planning process! And, if it turns out you need some help along the way, you know where to find us!   1. Guest List Yep. Sorry, your future mother-in-law was right. You need a list from each side of the family that includes who to invite, their address, and if they should be extended a “plus one” invite as well. Because so much is dependent on your guest list, we recommend starting off with a “List A” and a “List B.” As people on your A…

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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

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Tra-di-tion (n): The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way. Why do we follow the tradition of having something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue on our wedding day? Is it to provide the bride with good luck or guarantee fertility and prosperity? Some brides still partake in this tradition for these reasons or simply because their mom said it was part of getting married. I personally never really sat down to think of the meaning behind each aspect until now, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with all of you love birds out there! Here at Grand Occasions we believe in the power that tradition can have on every love story. We believe in past traditions and in the absolutely amazing ability to create new ones, and that is why I want to…

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An Extroverted Type A Girl Boss

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Hi there! I’m Monica, and I’m not sure exactly who I’m writing to, but I’m here to introduce myself to the G.O. Family and give you a glimpse into what it is I do for this beautiful business: Grand Occasions. Here’s the very first thing you should know about me: I’m intense. *Insert dad joke about tents here* I’ve always been a very passionate, competitive, intentional and persistent person. The best way to truly describe who I am: Monica Geller (Friends) ← this will explain literally my whole life. From a young age, my parents got me involved in my church, my school, and athletics and I loved every minute of it. The human interaction quickly became something I loved and thrived on. Sports is where I decided to land throughout much of my childhood, and folks let me tell you: I tried it all. (“Tried” being the key word…

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3 Tips for Creating Your Wedding Budget

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One of the most daunting tasks during the wedding process can be budgeting. It’s not as exciting as finding your dress, or as glamorous as designing your centerpieces, but it is an absolute necessity. When Sarah and I set our budget for 2017, I’ll be honest: It wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it. Being upfront and honest about what you can accomplish with the resources you have is a very important part of any project, especially for us with Grand Occasions. After wrestling with the numbers for what seemed like an entire day, we walked away feeling knowledgeable, accomplished, and ultimately motivated for the next year. So ready or not, here are my 3 tips for getting down to the nitty gritty and creating a wedding budget: 1 – Set up a time to have the conversation. Unless you and your fiance are both SUPER into budgeting, Excel spreadsheets,…

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Bridal Nails: Everything You Need to Know About Your Wedding Manicure

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Intern Intro: What better Friday surprise than to have a guest blogger on our site?! Yes, that’s right, our very own Bethany Garcia is here to give you the 4-1-1 on getting your nails wedding-day-ready. Hailing from East Michigan and representing GVSU, Bethany has embraced the off-season and given SO much love to our social media platforms (check out our new and improved Pinterest)! She’s given 115% to each project she takes on and we count our blessings each day that we get to work with her.  Let’s give a warm welcome to our Christmas-Tree-Angel-Intern: Bethany! Here’s all her nail wisdom, from Bethany to you…     Bridal Nails: Everything You Need to Know About Your Wedding Manicure Perhaps you’ve found the venue that only dreams are made of (Lizzie McGuire fans you know what I’m talking about) and maybe your skin is glowing from your recent facial, but look…

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Year Three, So Ready

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Grand Occasions has officially begun it’s 3rd year of business! And what better way to celebrate than with a swanky new website?! With 18 weddings under our belt, and 5 (featured!) styled shoots, we sit here in our coffee shop “office” feeling incredibly grateful. This adventure started with two girls, one Starbucks, and all the dreams of creating something we could someday look back on and be proud of. I vividly remember trying to come up with a name for our new business, checking to see if “Grand Events” was already taken, and being devastated when it was. Now, we can’t imagine calling ourselves anything else but Grand Occasions. We don’t just plan events, we create occasions. It just seems right.   To say this gig of ours has been harder than we thought would be the understatement of about our entire lives. This past year, we planned our first…

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The Importance of Retreating (Part 2)

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There isn’t much in this world that will stress me out more than a crazy busy schedule. When I say crazy busy, I don’t just mean there is something going on every day. No, I mean crazy busy schedule to the point that if you are more than 5 minutes off schedule the entire week may go awry. Sarah and I had a moment in November when trying to schedule a flood of meetings that had recently arrived in our inbox. As we were talking through the last of 12 meetings, we realized we were scheduling them more than 2 months in advance! I don’t know about you, but that was a wake up call for me: we were TOO busy.  Being busy is so much a part of not only my personality, but American culture, that it is almost impossible to avoid. So how do we fight it? Retreat,…

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The Importance of Retreating (Part 1)

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A couple weekends ago the Grand Occasions ladies went on our second annual “Grand Retreat” and let us just say, it was exactly what these two wedding planners needed. Today we’re sharing a little bit of what we did and what we recommend for your own time of focus and reflection.     On Friday, December 2nd-5th the GO gals resided near the water in Spring Lake, Michigan and ventured into the perfect little Stars-Hollow-Like town of Grand Haven. (Seriously, for you Gilmore Girls fans, we swear we were served by April’s twin at one of the local coffee shops!). Monica had devised a very intentional itinerary for us full of opportunities for work, pampering, and really good food.   What We Did Here is a list of everything we accomplished over the weekend:   – Our individual 2016 mileage – A list of vendors we want to get to know…

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Small Business Saturday

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Happy Small Business Saturday! It has been so long since we blogged (don’t worry, we do have a few we are working on to post soon!), but I had to take a moment to pop in and share just a little something today. Throughout GO’s existence, Monica and I have had the opportunity to meet so many small business owners, and get to know them on a personal level – some we even consider family. There are many things we have found to be true about these individuals who have dedicated their life to create something, although small in size, mighty in impact. Whether it’s our favorite florist, rental company vendor, or coffee shop owner, these are the people who are burning that midnight oil right alongside us. They know that if something needs to be done, it’s up to them to do it. Every single detail must be developed…

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The 5 Must-Do’s For A Successful Sparkler Exit

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Us “GO Girls” (as we are fondly referred to by some of our favorite vendors) sure have organized our fair share of sparkler exits. I must admit that we get a little persnickety in the execution, because achieving that picture-perfect moment is really not as “organic” as one might expect.   So here’s our very best advice on the subject…The 5 Must-Do’s For A Successful Sparkler Exit:   1. Talk to your photographer.  Your photographer will of course want the day-of events, and the pre-approved shot list, but for a sparkler exit, a simple bullet point on paper is not enough. Take a moment to discuss where in the venue would be best to form the lines of guests, and what he/she recommends as far as how long the line of people should be. Will the get-away car be at the end of this sparkly tunnel? Do you want a kissing picture at…

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