TELL YOUR STORY
“Your guests are there to celebrate your love and your journey as a couple,” says Michelle Cousins, owner of Michelle Leo Events. “The best way to create a memorable wedding after party for your loved ones is to tell the story of your love.” For example, the groom, Wesley, is from Tennessee, so Cousins made sure to incorporate whiskey into the cocktail menu.
“A photo booth is the perfect way to make sure your guests have a personalized souvenir from your event,” Cousins says. Not only did Michelle and Wesley include a photo booth for their guests, but they also added personalized koozies that their friends and family still use. “I’m all about finding the little details that tell a couple’s story because that’s what guests will take away from the event,” Cousins explains. “The key is finding things your friends and family will really connect with, so instead of turning to Pinterest or Instagram to find inspiration, look inward. Consider who you are as a person and who you are as a couple, and then make those the key details.”
ADD SOME SPARKLE
“Whether you’re 5 or 55, sparklers bring out the kid in all of us,” says Cousins. “They’re such a fun addition to a send-off, and the guests absolutely love them. Michelle and Wesley got married on the Fourth of July, and the sparklers were such a fantastic way to keep the evening’s fireworks going all night long.”
KICK OFF YOUR HEELS
“You’ve planned this incredible party for your friends and family, and sometimes a wedding dress isn’t the most comfortable thing to dance the night away in,” Cousins says. After you’ve officially tied the knot, Cousins recommends kicking off your heels and changing into a second, more comfortable bridal look. The newlyweds added an extra special touch to Michelle’s reception look with personalized jean jackets for the bride and her bridesmaids. “Michelle and Wesley are such a fun, casual couple, so the jean jackets felt so true to them as a pair,” Cousins says.
KEEP THE PARTY MOVING
Work with your wedding planner to ensure smooth transitions from one wedding day event to the next. “Your cocktail hour should be just that—an hour—and should flow seamlessly into your reception, where there should be, at most, 30 minutes between courses,” Cousins explains.
OFFER AFTER-PARTY HORS D’OEUVRES
After the plated dinner, Cousins shined a light on Wesley’s Tennessee roots once again with a tasting menu that included fried chicken sandwich sliders. “Your guests have spent an evening working up their appetites on the dance floor,” says Cousins. “Take Wesley’s cue and offer them a personal favorite in the form of a late-night food station.”
Venue: River Bottoms Ranch
Planning: Michelle Leo Events
Rentals: Diamond Event & Tent
Catering: Culinary Crafts
Bar Services: Top Shelf
Floral: Five Penny Floral
Furniture: Eclectic Hive
Cake: The Dessert Studio
Photographer: Cameron Clark Photography
Videographer: Ryan Hinman Films
Ceremony Musician: New Soul Brigade
Makeup: Kristen Packard Artistry
Hair: Kali Chris
Transportation: Snow Country Limo
Paper Products: Twelve30 Creative
Photo Booth: The Photo booth Bus
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