Weddings, Alchemy Chatter, Eventologists, Reichman Photography, Rebecca Read Photography, Alchemy Event Studio, The St. Regis Atlanta, Four Seasons Atlanta, Picture This! Photography, Steel Magnolias, Life on Film Photography, Scobey Photography, Derek Shane Fotos, Elvis Presley

Elvis Has Left the Building

April 5, 2017

“Elvis has left the building,” is that fantastic, now famous phrase used at the end of Elvis shows to alert concertgoers that The King had departed the premises and they shouldn’t be far behind. It’s also what we jokingly say when a wedding reception is over and the bride and groom have made their exit. These days the newlywed getaway can certainly be as unique and creative as the couple.

Many venues lend themselves to dramatic exits down beautiful staircases with petals tossed and friends lining the walkway. You’d be hard pressed to find a more spectacular shot than one taken of Four Seasons Atlanta’s grand staircase. The St. Regis Atlanta is another wonderful option for the photogenic staircase petal toss. We Alchemists are natural born fallers – sad, but true – so we passed on this type of exit for our own weddings. We do, however, love the look of it for those more graceful than ourselves!

In recent years, the confetti exit has become a fun way to send a couple off into their brave new married world. The photographs convey a real sense of energy and excitement and if your wedding has a particular color palette – say, blush and bashful – you can now even choose confetti in only your favored shades. We happen to love the fun whimsy of a real multi-color burst after a night of cream and bridal white, but it’s not up to us. Either way, do check with your venue first to see if they will allow a confetti exit. Confetti clean up can be a bit drastic!

Photography: Scobey Photography

A few years ago we participated in a wedding where the groom was an avid sportsman and hunter. At the couple’s send-off, beribboned duck calls were distributed to the guests. The bride and groom were not met with confetti as they departed, but instead they were met with cacophony. Duck calls are not inexpensive things – look at what they’ve done for the folks from “Duck Dynasty” – and this was an investment by the bride’s family to celebrate their new son-in-law. That evening we also learned that duck calls are things that take practice. The sound created was nothing that would attract a curious bird, but it did attract an unhappy visit and chat from hotel security. Live and learn!

Once out the door, the last step in a bride and groom’s picturesque departure is their choice of getaway vehicle. Some couples choose vintage Rolls Royces or Bentleys, some choose to get into adorable balloon dressed pedicabs, and still others may opt for more Elvis-like vehicles in which to make their departure. Either way, when it’s time for Elvis to leave the building, brides and grooms should always do it in their own style. Duh!

Photography: Derek Shane Fotos

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On-site Style

March 22, 2017

It’s a glamorous job, this event planning and event designing. Every day is different and every day is nothing like what we thought it would be! It involves hanging out alongside nasty reeking dumpsters and grease pits on venue loading docks. It involves crawling on all fours in ballrooms, backyards, and boardrooms. Sometimes it even involves scraping dirty dishes in hastily rigged prep tents and then frantically searching the scrap bins for lost client jewelry. That being said, we also have to speak with clients and potential clients while looking like professional women and smile as gorgeous brides float down aisles. It’s yin and yang. So, what to wear for such dichotomous duties that often times mix the sacred and the profane all in the same day? Well, it can be a conundrum.

We Alchemists have a few “uniforms” but our on-site style is still evolving. All black is the gold standard, but we wanted to mix it up a bit. We took the advice of our clever friend and fashionista Sanders Hulsey with Party Tables when he suggested we get shirts with our “Class Of” on the back. People often ask what the numbers on the back of our shirts mean, and here’s the scoop – each Alchemist’s number is the year she first got into this business. Now you know. High numbers mean old knowing event hands at work. Low numbers mean youthful energy!

Alchemy Jerseys

Now, those in the biz know that nothing can cramp your style on event day quite like when your dogs are barking. We don’t mean when Stella and Samson are barking like they do at the FedEx driver, but when your feet really hurt. Working a party you can easily log 10,000 steps before lunch. Smart and comfortable footwear is a must. We love our teal colored Converse. We love simple black Yosi Samra flats. We even love our black Frye boots in winter and a super sassy pair of Birkenstocks with a good pedicure in summer. Variety is the spice of life, but comfort is our watchword and everyone’s feet are different. Kate would also remind everyone about arch support. She has arch issues…

Once the body and the feet are covered, the remaining details for our on-site dressing are really all about semi-stylish task efficiency. We Alchemists used to carry a bag with many MANY pockets for all we thought we might need on-site. The bags looked OK, but we were forever misplacing things inside the bags. You might be shocked at how many times you can you lose your phone while actually having your phone. Our new on-site tool belt – a small black Baggallini – seems to have helped a bit with that issue. The bag is very lightweight and can carry our pins, laser measurers, gaff tape, etc., but is it our last stop? Will this change again? Very possibly. Probably. If you have ideas for something else, the suggestion box is open!

So, are there any other Alchemist demands for on-site preparedness? In the end, it all comes down to the honest and cheesy truth that the best thing to wear on event day is a smile and an air of confidence from knowing that you’re prepared for whatever might come your way. The only way to get those things, however, is to do all the work beforehand and behind the scenes. You have to walk the nasty crusty loading dock before you get to welcome the client into the gorgeous atmosphere you created for them. If you do it right your feet won’t hurt in the process.

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What Happens When Things Happen

March 7, 2017

We Alchemists love our job for all the wonderful moments. You really can’t beat watching a bride’s father as he sees his daughter in her wedding gown for the first time or that moment when a groom sees his bride for the first time. It’s great stuff. But what about when things just don’t go as planned? That’s what separates committed and experienced teams – the real Planners – from what the great Marcy Blum calls “The Planettes”.

We can recall a wedding weekend with relentless rain. Really. It was a non-stop, canoes in the streets, Noah-like, deluge. Thank goodness there was a well thought out rain plan in place. That forethought provided the bride and groom with one of the most romantic ceremonies we have ever seen. We can also recall – still with a shudder – a ceiling treatment that seemingly didn’t want to be raised to the ceiling at all. It was just stubborn (and heavy). A ladder here and a hoist there, just a few more muscles, and we got it done. We were simply not going to be denied and experience taught us how to troubleshoot the challenge. Tablecloths on fire? It has happened. Medical emergencies? Check. A guest arriving with a large cooler of breast milk that needed to be stored? That too… Seen it, done it, waiting to resolve the next one!

First Image – Planner: Ashley Baber Weddings, Photography: The Scobeys, Gallery: Intimate in Autumn

Prospective clients often ask us to explain our pricing and many of them ask if they need a professional planning and event décor team at all. We always want to answer those questions with our own question, “What happens when things don’t go as planned?” It’s how those unanticipated issues are actually anticipated and fixed that earns event teams their stripes and that’s why the best teams may cost a bit more up front. We can save the day. What’s that worth to you?

Photography: NJM Photography, Gallery: Rise Up

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Belly Up To The Bar

February 7, 2017

All respect to those teetotalers out there, we Alchemists like a cocktail. Accordingly, we love when clients embrace upgraded bar designs, interesting beverage packages, and clever bar accents and garnishes.

At a recent event, we were excited to debut the new oversized bar created by our friends and event partners at Collection Event Furniture Rentals. The bar made a serious statement – it’s more than 16 feet in diameter – and we knew that no one would ever have to wait for a cocktail. You may consider it Event Planning Rule #1, “Guests Shall Not Wait For Their Libations.” To that end we have used rustic carts, barrels, and even old doors to create fun and functional bar experiences for guests.

So, what to serve from these sassy bars? We have to say that the “signature beverage” at weddings and galas often tends to be too sweet for us, but that certainly doesn’t have to be the case. One bar-venturous couple with whom we had the pleasure to work had a beer brewed specifically for their big day. A heart on the bottle’s label marked the spot where the two tied the knot. Another client had their venue’s mixologist create something tasty with a boutique whiskey, which was decidedly delish and not at all cloying. Add a cute straw or garnish and who wouldn’t have a great time?!

1st Image – Photography: Rebecca Read Photography | 2nd Image – Photography: Robin Nathan Photography, Whiskey: American Spirit Whiskey | 3rd Image – 100 Layer Cake

For liability reasons and things our lawyers tell us, we have to go on record as saying that happiness can’t be found in a bottle (blah blah blah) but a great cocktail hour or a great cocktail party certainly can go a long way to creating a lively atmosphere. Take the edge off, put the edge on, relax from your work – whatever the case – at Alchemy Event Studio we fully embrace bellying up to the bar! Cheers!