August 20, 2019

What MEN really want.

Alright ladies, we get presented with the bling, we immediately start taking over the wedding plans, and then we get showered with all the exciting bridal fluff. Let's admit it, we basically think the extent of male concern for the big day is that he meets you at the altar and the wedding night goes down. Truth is, NOT TRUE!More and more we are finding that men, our beloved grooms, dream about their weddings— how they'll propose, what their suit will look like, and how they want to throw the "party of the year". And this... THIS is a very important thing to remember when you head into your plans for "I do".SO, what does he really want? We asked a few beloved grooms what they are most looking forward to about the wedding plans, and this is what we are able to report back...The Dress. We always want to look good for our men, don't we? Of course, the dress is your pick, and you will certainly choose the dress that makes your heart race and your eyes bulge... but how about asking him a couple of small details that he'd like to see in your wedding look? Heck, maybe he is in fact more interested in what's underneath that gorgeous dress you'll choose, but at least you'll quickly know which direction to head if says "just no fluffy ball gown".

The Reception. The intros, the first dance and THE DANCE FLOOR! We found that guys want their wedding reception to be a really good time! This is one area we think most grooms would appreciate a little more say. Ask your fiancé if he would like to pick out the alcohol selections and choose the music. Chances are he will jump at the opportunity to help out, especially if he has his mind set on certain expectations for this part of the day.

The Experience. What does this mean? We've concluded that he simply wants to be included— to pick out some items for the wedding registry, to help choose the dinner menu, to have a killer bachelor party, and to even enjoy being pampered so he can feel as equally handsome for that wedding day glow! Make it a point to create the wedding just as much of an experience for him, as it will be for you!

Not every bride-to-be struggles with making the wedding day all about her... so taking some time to consider what is just as important to your future husband on your wedding day will make for a perfectly planned, perfect I Do. Cheers!

July 29, 2019

A Small Wedding with BIG Details: 4 Reasons to Cut Back on the Guest List

{Photo: Todd James Photography}Are the BIG fat, 3-day wedding celebrations where you invite every Tom, Dick and Harry, and have 15 bridesmaids and 15 groomsmen completely over?! What do we think the answer is?... YES!Here at The Pavilion, we are finding the average wedding size to be considerably smaller than previous years. We are finding that less is more. Money is better spent on a small{er} group of close-knit people whom you want to WOW with one heck of a wedding! Not having to skimp out on the little details means your wedding may turn out exactly like the Pinterest board you've been obsessing over!Aside from the obvious advantages of saving money, here are four other reasons to consider a small{er} wedding.

  1. You can focus on the details. Ok, let's get back to your Pinterest board! We know you want personalized place cards, epic welcome bags, and an individual thank you photo of each guest sent after the wedding. Well, you can have it! It can be MUCH easier to bring your vision to life when it's on a smaller scale.
  2. You can WOW your wedding guests. Having a larger wedding with a high guest count could mean you'll need to cut back on some things because of that darn budget. WOW your {fewer} guests with a signature drink as they arrive, and send them away with the late night taco and Churro bar you've been dreaming of!
  3. You can enjoy a smoother planning process. If a demanding job, a career transition or a house move are going to hold you back a smidge the year of your wedding, then a small{er} wedding could be a much less stressful option. A small guest list will also ease the headache of organizing air travel, transportation, hotels, and itineraries for a large group of people, giving you more time to truly enjoy your engagement and wedding planning.
  4. You can avoid an overwhelming wedding crowd. Close your eyes and imagine walking the crowded reception room. You and your husband are greeting guests, but all at once you have to stop as you approach table number 32... realizing that in all the wedding excitement, you've completely forgot your in-laws family friend's name! AVOID THIS! Inviting only a small{er} list of thought out invitees will get you quality time and meaningful moments you’ll treasure forever!
March 28, 2019

4 Things to Know Before Booking Your WEDDING!

Hello Beloved Readers!Oh, and Happy Spring! This time of the year is hands down our favorite. The weather is growing warm, the property is turning green, the orchard is beginning to bud, and wedding season has commenced! For many of you though, wedding PLANNING has just commenced. We're certain it will be a busy and very exciting year for you!

If you've just got engaged and your plans for a wedding are in full force, we thought there were a few things you might want to know before signing with a venue on a ... dotted line.ONE <RESEARCH> Save yourself precious time, money, and potential dream crushing! Before you go hay wire, booking site visits galore, remember to do your homework first. Research and set up phone conversations to determine if the venue is right for you. There is one very important factor to consider in these initial calls - Does the venue and catering fit within your budget?If you've googled the venue, it fits within your budget, you've read the reviews, received all important details pertaining to rental, and even made a connection with a coordinator... then there is absolutely no reason why you couldn't VISIT and BOOK your date all in one trip!TWO <AVAILABILITY> We totally get it, 10.10.20 sounds fabulous! Here's what we really mean - don't rule out an incredible venue when they say your dream date is not available. Often times brides get wrapped up in what they've always imagined for a wedding and they forget to consider other (sometimes better) options. Above all, does the date fit within your allotted budget? Is your church available on this particular date? Can you really even have an outside ceremony in March? Your fiance loves winter, so do you consider a snowy day instead?... What we're saying is weigh. your. options when it comes to the date!THREE<AMENITIES> If the venue proposal DOESN'T have a line item of a million extras, please, grab the pen and SIGN! There is nothing worse than seeing what you thought the price would be, but then multiplied after you receive a break down of the numbers. Some important amenities to look for as "includes" would be tables, chairs, linens, china, cake cutting/ serving, champagne toast, and a COORDINATOR! {hint, hint: The Pavilion includes all of this!}Any add-on's that you do not need to spend extra time or money worrying over when planning is absolutely priceless. Be sure you know exactly what is included prior to booking your venue, and be sure it's in writing too!FOUR <VENDOR CONNECTIONS> If a venue works with a vendor that seems to have horrible reviews, don't waste time calling their bluff... just walk away. The type of vendors a venue works with should reflect how they manage and operate their own property. If they have placed high standards on who is servicing their wedding couples, chances are, your wedding day is going to go off without a hitch!Seriously, easy breezy... are we right? Venue shopping is fool-proof if you've done your research, are open minded to your date, the venue has exactly what you are looking for {with all those right amenities}, and has incredible vendor relationships as the icing on your cake!Cheers to you, Future Mr. and Mrs.!

February 16, 2019

My Big Winter Wedding

I've taken this past month to regroup with my newhusband... but now I'm back, refreshed as ever, and MARRIED to tell all!The day was calm and simple, the room was breathtaking, the food was phenomenal, the vendors were incredible, and the guests were a blast... It was truly everything I dreamed it would be, which really is a HUGE thank you to those who committed time and creative mind into our day. I could go on and on about the personal's of my big day, but I won't. Instead, I am going to cut to the chase and tell you about the folks that acted smooth as butter. A little hint here, too... these are people you definitely need to know about if you're planning a wedding!{The Pavilion} Let me first put credit where credit is due. The Pavilion. The place is show stopper. I have been with The Pavilion for almost 8 years, and I promise you that every single time I walk into the room, it only becomes more beautiful. Not only that, but the amount of love and happiness I've witnessed in that room throughout the years makes it even more special to me. Each couple has a beautiful story, and the first page of their new chapter begins right there in that very room.

{Henrici's Catering}

"The food was incredible and the steak was cooked to perfection, but it was too big!", says a happy Vandiver wedding guest. Never have I ever heard this feedback before, but I certainly had on a proud smirk when I did!I talk about Henrici's food day in and day out. I know the menu like the back of my hand, yet somehow the Henrici's team still manged to blow me away. From the "over-sized" New York strips, to the impeccable service, down to the requested supper club-style cheese and crackers at each place setting!... It was all perfection.Sharing a meal and a glass of wine is one of life's greatest pleasures - it creates an intimate sense of bond. Henrici's Catering, you are to thank for the outstanding dinner vibes.

{Julie Michelle Cakes}

Julie is a pastry genius! Her cake's are out of this world. Listen to me, if you can wow people that don't even like cake, you're the real deal!From my very first email to our final phone call, communication with Julie was nothing short of wonderful. Our tasting was even better, though - I was able to experience the delicious flavors, in the EXACT same kitchen where she carefully crafts her signature Julie Michelle Cakes. Finally, seeing our cake look identical to my imagination was the oh-so-sweet "icing"!

{Back Country Roads}Music is a mood setter and keeps the vibe alive. Music in general was absolutely high on our list of wedding must-have's when planning. We booked Back Country Roads, a local favorite.Back Country Roads played mostly country, some classics, and a few songs from different genres. They kept our dance floor packed, and even let my husband belt out a couple tunes! Communication was a breeze during planning, their energy was high all night, and they genuinely had a blast right along with us!

{Event Floral}Let's just admit it, the room would have stood alone beautifully, but that's just not how I roll - I like a WOW factor. I met with Event Floral many months prior to the wedding, and brought along loads of ideas (which I slowly began to learn were very expensive ones). After some back and forth, Event Floral brought me back to budget reality... but they never forgot to keep my wedding dreams in mind.To stick to a budget, I added plenty of my own little touches. I rented statement water goblets for our head table from Forever Birdy. I wasn't in the market for rental furniture, but if I was they would be my go-to! Forever Birdy has so many unique pieces, and I would encourage anybody planning a wedding to check them out!On the wedding day I waited until the very moment of being introduced into the reception to see the room. I was blown away... tears of complete happiness blown away. My mom said to me, "I watched Jason smile when he looked at all your people in the room, but your face lit up as you looked around the room at everything!" She was right. I was in complete awe.

{Luxe Productions}Alright, Luxe - you are the real MVP. A party is nothing without good vibes and a full dance floor. They made it happen. Prior to the wedding, I had explained to Dom, our dj, that we didn't have any real song requests. I described the vibe we wanted, and I just trusted him to make it happen. He pulled through, BIG-TIME.From all the right lighting (even pin-spotting important pieces in the room, like the guest book below), to amp-ed up intros, to the text-to-guests photo booth, down to him just completely reading our crowd perfectly... everything was right on point. If you don't consider Luxe, sorry.

{Annetta Michelle Makeup}I am the kind of girl that hardly remembers to put on mascara before heading out the door (thank goodness for lash extensions). The thought of getting my makeup done gives me pure anxiety - not knowing if my brows will turn out to be outrageously awkward, or if I just won't feel like me when I look in the mirror. Obviously though, I knew I needed makeup done for my wedding, so I chose Annetta Michelle - she is great friend of my husband and has a very strong reputation for being the best.I trusted her completely. She did an incredible job of sticking with a natural look, while still giving me the life I needed for a camera! Annetta genuinely cares that her clients will look their absolute best. I really just wish I could hire her to do my makeup every day!

{Salon Marcon and Mane Expressions}With the chilly January temperatures, it was important to me that the girls stayed comfortable and relaxed when getting ready. The bridesmaids had their hair done, in my home, by Lindsay Graceffa and Rachel Moore with Mane Expressions. They were awesome. Aside from being super timely, organized, and fun - all of the girls loved their hair!For me, I decided to stick with my own stylist. Of course, she knows my hair best - the way it lays, how it handles product, etc. I headed to the salon, which was the best wedding day decision - this gave me a chance to scoot away from the all the wedding hustle and helped relax and clear my mind for a bit!... I certainly had a mimosa to-go and my girls did check in on me!

{C. Tyson Photography}Basically I can share all of these amazing detailed wedding memories with you because of a man with a camera (and an incredible second shooter, too!). It's funny, I have known Chris for quite some time, but never did I dream he would be standing by my side on my wedding day, capturing some incredibly personal moments. Looking back, I couldn't have imagined it another way.Chris and I have worked together in this industry for just about 8 years. I can almost assure you that he has an abundance of embarrassing and awkward photos of me. I've always told Chris that I hate the camera and that the camera hates me. So, needless to say, he had his work cut out for him.I never thought about photos being high on my list importance. I am definitely a go-with-the flow, live in the moment kind of girl. I do have to admit now though... when the email, "The wait is over! - your photos are ready", popped up, I was like a giddy kid on Christmas morning! It is re-living all of those precious moments. Each photo gave me a certain feeling. I cried at plenty, laughed hard at a ton, and just sat staring at the computer with my heart bursting out of my chest.Photos document this chapter of your story. You will be forever grateful for your photographer, and you will cherish every single photo - yes, even those raw and un-posed moments! Chris, thank you.

So that's it. All of that planning for a beautiful 12 hours, that I never wanted to end. This experience was more than I could ask for. I may have annoyed some people with my bridezilla-moments along the way, I may have cried at amount of "things" I had left to do, I may have wished a couple time (ok, maybe several times) that we went to the court house instead... but at the end of the night when I was so wedding-high to even sleep, all of that stuff faded away. It was an experience. It was my best day ever.Your turn next?... ask me questions! Ask me for advice, ask me for vendor suggestions (although you should already know after reading this blog!), ask me what I wish I had done differently, ask me anything you want. I am here for you!Happily ever after,Mrs. Vandiver

Baker {Julie Michelle Cakes}Band {Back Country Roads}Dj {Luxe Productions}Florist {Event Floral}Hair and Makeup {Annetta Michelle Makeup and Beauty, Salon Marcon and Mane Expressions}Photographer {C. Tyson Photography}Rental Company {Forever Birdy Rentals}Venue {The Pavilion and Henrici's Catering}


Orchard Ridge Farms

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| Spring Teaser |
January 21, 2020

The holidays have passed, the pretty decorations have all been packed away, and it's down right COLD! As we sip our hot coffee and watch this gorgeous wedding film to warm our wintry souls, we are reminded that SPRING really is only a couple months away! Oh how we love spring, the budding orchard... the fresh country air... and the warm sunshine! Here are 4 reasons why we revel in spring weddings. The bouquet, of course! SO many beautiful flowers are full and in season. A rebirth is all around. There is no better time for your own new beginning than the season of sprouting blossoms... incredibly meaningful. Pretty palettes. Fresh colors wake us up from our winter slumber. Comfortable temps. Not too hot, but not too cold! ::hint hint:: The kind of temperatures that your guests will thank you for if you're planning an outdoor ceremony. [embed][/embed]

The (Pavilion) Fire is Burning for YOU!
November 22, 2019

What a cozy night - A chill in the air and the warmth of wrapping up in our favorite flannel... nothing sounds better than sitting fireside with a hot cocoa! ... Oh, and speaking of fireside, since the weather has turned brisk, we can not stop thinking about The Pavilion's fireplace. It is a built-in decorative piece that is great for event design. The massive, 40' stone, masonry fireplace is just right for enhancing any design style that we positively consider a statement piece! We thought we'd share a few of our favorite fireplace designs for stirring your creative minds. Check them out! Mirrors. Not only does a piece like this fill the space, but once the sun sets, the reflection from The Pavilion's chandeliers shines into the mirror and casts an amazing glow - creating a romantic and cozy ambiance. Plush Floral. We can not get enough of this classic look. Cover the mantle in wild greenery and soft white blooms, and maybe even add eucalyptus leaves for a strong woody and sweet scent that your guests will love! Candles Galore. Nothing says romance more than a dim glow of candle light. Create an ambiance of soft lighting and loads of candles. Fill up the mantle space with lanterns, candles, and hi-lo floral arrangements to create a whimsical, fun backdrop. Name in Lights.  If there's one touch that wows guests, it's a brightly lit monogram projection. Wedding guests are always in awe when they walk into the room and see the bride and grooms name shining in light! An oversized wreath.  an eye-catching element that will add heaps of beauty to your wedding photos.  Whether bursting with blooms or just simple greenery, these can truly be made into works of art!  The perfect blend of urban and rustic-chic. Use over-sized metal lettering to spell out... well, whatever you'd like! Rustic North Woods. A statement elk mount paired with lush greenery and up lighting is beautiful for the holidays, or any wintry style celebration.  So there you have it, those are some of our favorites! Whatever your style, be sure to incorporate The Pavilion's fireplace into your design. Create a scheme that stands out, as this is the first thing that your guests will see when they enter the room. Make it the statement piece that your guests will stare at in awe! And, don't forget... we'd love to offer our input. Ask us for suggestions or ideas any time! (815) 629.2220 &nbsp;

A Midwest Marvel
October 21, 2019

Couples travel from all over to host their weddings here in the historic and quaint town of Rockton, IL - some traveling an upwards of two hours to host their magical days with The Pavilion and Copperstone Inn . So why do these couple's fall completely head over heels in love with Orchard Ridge Farms ? Well, here's the answer... One | A Timeless Venue, exclusively set upon 130 acres .  The city's hustle and bustle can surely be fun and exciting!... but your wedding day should be full of relaxation and tranquility as you promise yourselves to one another. From the charming ceremony held beneath the shady oak trees, to the grand entrance guests walk as they enter The Pavilion's stately brick hallway, to the countryside view they experience throughout the evening, we ensure that each guest feels as though they are on a get-a-way destination: a Midwest destination. Two | Modern, Farm Fresh Catering .   Henrici's chef's are devoted to creating a customizable menu, unique to each individual's taste and style. As founder Philip Henrici once said, "We cater to your every desire and provide the exceptional." Three | A Committed Team.  No detail is overlooked and we mean that. Our small team of dedicated event professionals are on site from the moment you arrive until you are wished well on your way. As we work together during the planning for months, sometimes years with our couples, it is very rewarding to be present on their wedding day so we can ensure that all details are executed seamlessly. We are truly passionate about what we do. Four | The Award winning, Copperstone Inn.  Copperstone Inn creates a relaxing experience for your wedding weekend. Our team is there there to deliver a stay so enjoyable that you will not want to leave! So there it is - four simple reasons you could not possibly visit Orchard Ridge Farms without falling head over heels. Don't believe us?... Come see for yourself. Connect with our Wedding Team to schedule a tour of The Pavilion and Copperstone Inn. (815) 629.2220 &nbsp;

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