The Big Fake Wedding NYC

I was so excited when I heard I was going to be a vendor at The Big Fake Wedding in NYC. The whole aspect of the wedding expo is what drew me to it; it is not your average expo! The "bride and groom" are a couple that are actually renewing their vows. The “wedding guests” are those who buy a ticket to the event. They get to see all the vendors in action. As a planner, I designed three reception tables along with the entrance area.

We were given an inspiration board, which was titled European Sky.  This was a very feminine theme, with blush pink and champagne colors, beautiful flowers, and all things girly. 

european sky

Table 5. I wanted to do a table that had completely no flowers. Not everyone wants flowers as main centerpieces so I decided to do a whole table runner with pillar candles and blue tulle. The menu's were designed by the awesome ladies at Engaging Papers

Photographer: Laura Lee Photography

Photographer: Laura Lee Photography

Table 7. I used a lot of brown and copper tones for this table and had one big centerpiece with roses, eucalyptus, and branches. A lace table runner added a feminine touch with tea lights and candle sticks. The calligraphy was done by Cariad Lane Calligraphy who is extremely talented!

Photographer: Laura Lee Photography

Photographer: Laura Lee Photography

I swear I was having more fun than this picture says :) Photographer: Samantha Lauren Photographie

I swear I was having more fun than this picture says :) Photographer: Samantha Lauren Photographie

Table 9. I always love seeing hanging floral installations and I figured why not try and do it. Hanging it was a challenge and pretty hysterical but with the help from the ladies from East Coast Entertainment it was successful! I wanted this table to have a lot of greenery and flowers. All white flowers in bud vases and green leaves covered the table. 

Photographer: Laura Lee Photography

Photographer: Laura Lee Photography

Overall, this was an amazing experience. I met with awesome couples and made connections with amazing and talented vendors! Check out the video from First Take Filmworks by clicking here!

Also check out the features on Ruffled and Yahoo!

Fall Apple Cider Mimosas

I have decided to start a series of #APcocktails, so be on the lookout for a new cocktail to try, as if you didn’t need a reason to drink..

I am a big fan of champagne.  And mimosas with brunch make my heart sing. September is the start of my favorite season, Fall! And although it doesn’t feel like it yet, we just hit a record high heat in NYC!, we are getting into apple picking, pumpkin spiced lattes, football games and tailgating, and my new favorite mimosa, Apple Cider Mimosa. This recipe is really a no brainer, you mix champagne and apple cider. But, this twist on the classic really will make you look like a genius at your next brunch gathering.



Apple Cider

Cinnamon & Sugar mixture for rim (optional)

Apple wedges for garnish


Wet the rim of the champagne glass and dip in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar

Pour champagne glass ½ full of apple cider

Top it off with champagne

Add an apple wedge for garnish to look fancy


Can't wait to hear if you like it as much as I do!

The Struggle is Real

I feel as though when you launch a business, all you think of is the rainbows and butterflies. No one really lets you in on the ugly side. There have been days when I feel like I have hit a wall and everything I try to do, I simply can’t break it down. It’s sometimes hard to take a step back and realize that all this hard work that you are putting in, will pay off. All the sleepless nights, all the anxiety, worries, dead ends will all miraculously form into something beautiful.  These are little things that I do to stop myself before I ugly cry and hit a breakdown.


Write your thoughts down! Being able to get everything out on paper or a computer can feel like a rush of relief. You can write down your thoughts, fears and dreams, completely judgment free. Afterwards you can go back and reflect, which will help you to see things more clearly.

Get out and move

I have always said that I think best when I’m out walking. Especially when living in New York City where you walk everywhere, I get a lot of things hashed out. Just taking a break from what you are doing and get out to breathe in some fresh air will help more than you realize. I also love squeezing in a yoga session when possible. Letting yourself focus on you and your breath for an hour can really reset your mind.

Talk it out

In this post I talked about how networking is key to a successful business. These are also the people that will understand when you are struggling and help you through it. They will help you at your lowest and praise you at your highest, truly the best support system.

What things do you do when you feel like you are hitting a wall that has helped you to reset and think more clearly? 

Something Blue Photo Shoot

Back in April, (yes this post is a tad bit delayed) I planned a styled shoot with some incredibly talented ladies. The theme I had in mind was a very soft and romantic shoot with subtle masculine touches. After I had my design aspect down, I set out to find the perfect vendors to pull off this vision.


I reached out to Ingrid from Tin Can Studios after stalking her instagram and becoming instantly obsessed. Her arrangements are breathtaking and she has such an incredible design eye. She created a jaw dropping bouquet and table scape that fit my vision perfectly. I am so honored to have been able to work for Ingrid, she is extremely talented and took a chance on me that I am still so humbled by. 


I met Twah of Twah Doughtery over coffee one Sunday morning to chat. After 10 minutes of chatting, she truly helped me to have a more clear vision and direction of where exactly I wanted my business to move. I expressed to her my idea of the styled shoot and she was totally on board! Her style is really romantic and airy which was exactly how I wanted to photos to look. She did an unbelievable job and is someone that believed in me for which I am forever grateful!


Jillian from Bella Carta Boutique designed the wedding suite. She used wood for the envelope liner, her talent is unreal!


To add to the vintage aspect, vintage china is a must. Lauren from Borrowed has the most beautiful inventory! 

The stunning yet simple cake was done by Erica O'Brien Cake Design


I secured two wedding gowns, and seriously I can't decide which one is more stunning! The floral gown from Elizabeth Fillmore, or the blue tulle gown from Johanna Johnson

Seriously the dream team on this shoot was unreal, and to blow my mind even more it got featured on 100 Layer Cake! I can now die happy. Hope you are swooning over these pictures as much as I did! 

Design & Styling: Ashley Peraino | Photographer: Twah Dougherty | Florist: Tin Can Studios | Stationary: Bella Carta Boutique | Vintage China Rentals: Borrowed | Cake: Erica O'Brien | Decor Rentals: Rent Patina | Model: Sydney Bakich | Bridal Gowns: Gabriella New York Bridal Salon, Elizabeth Fillmore & Johanna Johnson | Venue: Gran Electrica 

Launching A New Business

When starting my own business and being a girl BOSS, I had a crazy whirlwind of emotions. Some days I was crying because I am so overwhelmed to other days feeling like I am on cloud nine dancing around with champagne. And I came to realize that this is totally normal. This crazy mix of emotions that changes every week to every day is something that everyone who is following their dreams and launching a business is feeling.

There will never be the perfect time to launch your business. You will never have enough money, enough time, enough resources; you just have to do it. You can’t wait for everything to line up flawlessly because it won’t, and this is not something to be stressed about! If you know what you want to do, have done your research, then go for it. If you feel that strongly about your business, you will do everything in your power to make it a success. And that feeling of success is absolutely truly without a doubt the most amazing feeling you will ever experience.  Here are some tips that were crucial for launching my business! 


After I had my dream in mind of starting my wedding planning business, the first thing I did was network. I still believe that this is the most important aspect of starting a business. Some of these connections end up turning into friendships! These are the friends that will understand your true feelings and struggles because they have been there and gone through it before or they are going through it now. They are going to be an amazing support system for you. The Rising Tide Society that sparked the “community over competition” campaign speaks to my soul. This group of amazing small business owners that have rallied together to help others out makes me speechless. This is what the world needs, more women helping each other out in making their dreams a reality. 


You really need to have a clear-cut idea of what your dream client is. This will help you in so many ways from your branding design to marketing and advertising. Do you want to focus on just weddings or events as well? Do you want to do wedding suite but also do brand designs for small businesses? Not to say that this can't change down the road, but in the beginning it's important to have a focus on what your business is going to be about! My ideal client is a couple who is more on the non traditional side, who love life and having a fun and want their wedding to celebrate their love and their friends and family while leaving them all is awe. Words that I use to describe them are whimsical, creative, non traditional and airy. Visualizing your dream client will help to make it happen! 

Invest in yourself!

I truly believe in the saying “you can’t make money, if you don’t spend money”.  There are so many classes and conferences out there that can help you improve your skills, learn different aspects of business, and overall learn new things! Although my business is about planning and design, I recently got a DSLR camera and took a photography class. This is something I enjoy and also will help improve my business aesthetic. I also took the Laura Hopper Calligraphy beginners class and LOVED it! Do some research; even if you have to travel it will be worth your time! I am headed to the Creative At Heart Conference in Charlotte that I am beyond excited for! 

These are just a few tips that I have found extremely helpful, but you have to remember that every business is different and one thing that works for one, won’t for another. But I believe in you and your dreams to make your business a success story!