In early June, my sisters threw a baby shower in my honor. For once I got to take a backseat and watch as someone else did the planning....
But of course, my sisters, knowing my love for planning EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL. allowed me to have quite a bit of input when it came to our baby shower for Baby Witts, as we affectionately named him or her.
My oldest sister offered to host the shower in her backyard among her lilac bushes (my favorite!) and apple trees. We used a few of the rentals that Witt & Co. offers as well as vases from Lauren at The Flower Mill, and tables and napkins from Oshkosh Event Rental.
No family celebration would be complete without some A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. food. I could eat breakfast any time of the day, especially while I was pregnant...so we had to have a brunch! We had the perfect selection -- Made-from-scratch chocolate fudge Belgian waffles, toppings galore, quiche, pastries and donuts, an extra special raspberry trifle, and of course mimosas and fruity MOM-osas.
As my husband pulled up, I was nearly in tears, to noone's surprise. (I blame the hormones!)
It was such a blessing to celebrate the anticipated arrival of our first baby with some of our closest friends and family! I am ever-grateful to my mom, sisters, sister-in-law, niece, and even my brother (who helped make some of the food) for truly putting on the best shower ever. It was so much better than I imagined.
I might focus on weddings when it comes to planning at Witt & Co., but it was so much fun designing a shower for a very special little man in my life. We're so happy to finally have James in our life!
Thanks to everyone involved for sharing in our very special day!
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The Flower Mill | Vase Rental
Witt & Co. Events | Candles and Decor Rentals
Oshkosh Event Rental | Chair Rentals
Etsy | Stationery
Witt & Co. Events | Linens
Witt & Co. Events | Event Planner
If you're getting married, we're sure you know the basics of a wedding shower. But for those who haven't been a part of a wedding for some time or are the first of many cousins to get hitched, a little refresher can't hurt!
(Oh, and pictured above are the lovely ladies from my wedding party that planned my special celebration! <3)
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So what is a bridal shower anyways, and what's the difference when it comes to a wedding shower?
Essentially they are the exact same event, it just depends on who is invited to celebrate with you! More traditionally, a bridal shower is hosted in honor of the bride, by her close female relatives (moms or sisters) or bridesmaids. While a wedding shower might be more of a co-ed event honoring the couple together. (Hey, some guys like to get in on the pre-wedding celebrations too, and why not!?)
During the late morning or early afternoon event, there are generally gifts, games, and food.
The building blocks of any great gathering!
Guests "shower" the bride or the couple with gifts as they prepare for their new life together. Even if the couple already has a home together, sometimes it's made up of some of "his stuff" and some of "her stuff", which don't always piece together well. This is an opportunity for them the combine their styles and create a new, fresh space to start their exciting chapter of married life.
Who's invited to the shower?
No matter who is hosting the shower (moms or bridesmaids for example), be sure there is communication between everyone who is taking part in the planning! Guests should not feel obligated to attend two showers, purchase additional gifts, or feel the need to "choose" which shower to attend.
Everyone invited to the shower, should also be invited to the wedding. Typically this guest list would consist of mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, bridesmaids, and close female friends. (If you are the bride, and your close-knit coworkers want to throw you their own shower, you likely would not invite them to one hosted by your family.)
Occasionally, showers are planned as a surprise, but more often than not, the bride is aware of the shower and can assist in creating the proper guest list.
The shower invitations should not be addressed from the bride or the couple, nor should guests RSVP to them. It's best to choose one person to collect and tally all the responses to avoid any confusion. Shower invitations will often include a line that says "Please join us in honoring [so-and-so] with a bridal shower, hosted by [the hostess(es) name(s)].
It can be considered poor etiquette to throw yourself a party, especially if gifts are involved. So it's best to leave any information regarding your registry to the invitation and word-of-mouth.
What else might the bride have a say in when it comes to the planning?
We've found that it's best to be open about this topic. Have you always dreamed of having your shower at a park on a sunny day, or does the location not matter? What about a theme? Should it hint at the wedding theme or colors? Do you have a favorite dessert? (Mine was cake pops at the time! YUM!)
If you have preferences about any of these, be sure to speak up! Your hostesses only want to create a special day for you, and would likely do whatever possible to make your dreams a reality within reason, of course. ;)
How about a specific theme to the shower, consider a unique location that fits right in with the theme.
Having a cute theme like a Nautical "Tying the Knot"? -- Try a lakefront restaurant.
Love the vino? - What about a winery or vineyard?
Want to go classy and have everyone wear white? -- Find a location with a ton of color that pops behind you!
What if the bride is uncomfortable opening gifts in front of everyone, or would prefer to skip the traditional shower games (We're looking at you, gift bingo!)
Why not opt for a fun activities, like a wine tasting, a board and brush or pottery class, or even just a casual tea party? There is no right or wrong way to celebrate!
One note of caution, as any good planner would recommend -- Always, always be sure there is a backup plan if you're event is going to be outside. My shower was planned at a winery, but the wind was so bad that day, my hostesses opted to move things from the outdoor patio to inside the winery. I'm thankful that they decided to do that and spare everyone from the chaos of blowing table coverings and of course to maintain presentable hair for photos! (Although it wasn't their ideal location, it was pretty neat to see the wine vats!)
When is the ideal time to hold the shower?
A great time to have the shower is between 1 and 3 months before the wedding. Be sure it's a date that works well for all the most important guests, the bride or couple, the wedding party, and immediate family. If the couple is from out of state and would require travelling, maybe consider having the shower and bachelorette/bachelor parties in the same weekend. Life can get a little hectic in the weeks before the wedding, so one less trip might be a great option!
In addition to making sure the date works for everyone involved, it's also a good idea to have some time built in for the couple to replenish their gift registry after the shower... and before wedding guests begin making their gift purchases. It may sound selfish at first, but more often than not, guests do not know the kind of decor that will be in the couples' home and appreciate the guidance a registry can provide when gift-buying. This way, they know the couple will be sure to love and appreciate their gift.
We hope you enjoy your shower and one of the first big event celebrations as you start counting down the days until your wedding!
This month is a big month for Witt & Co!
We celebrate 3 years in business! How did that happen!?
Have you ever heard about the percentage of small businesses that don't make it past the first two years. It's rather terrifying. Something like 2/3 of businesses don't make it past year two!
But here we are....YEAR 3 and thriving!
We live and work in the most wonderful area with the most supportive wedding industry professionals (and not to forget the most incredible couples!). So we want to send a huge thank you out to you all!
And if this March is a big month...2018 is a BIG year!
We have some of our most involved and largest wedding events this season. We're selling our little bungalow, eagerly expecting baby number one, and celebrating one last year in my twenties.
I've accomplished so much that I'm proud of in my three short decades, but this year... yeah, THIS IS THE YEAR.
We can't wait to see what else is in store!
Cheer to celebrating life's BIGGEST and LITTLEST moments!
Morgan and Adam met a number of years ago at a local hospital where Morgan worked as a nurse. Adam would frequent the hospital as a paramedic and their relationship blossomed from there!
This lovely couple chose the airy and modern Warch Campus Center at downtown Appleton's Lawrence University for their ceremony and reception, and transformed it into a garden straight out of Kate Spade's backyard, with lush flowers and topiaries.
Morgan redefined the term D-I-Y bride! With decor filling an entire box truck and cargo van, we set to work early in the morning to bring her vision to life!
Flower vines were hung from the rafters in the ceremony room to soften the ceiling and draw the attention to the front of the room...although with these two it was hard to look anywhere else! There was so much love filing the room. And Morgan's vows...I was seriously on the verge of tears for the entire thing! (Catch a few lines in their wedding film by A Way of Life Media at the bottom!)
Guests headed off to the campus bar, The Viking Room, for cocktail hour, while we transferred some of the ceremony items to the reception room and added the final touches.
Gold chiavari chairs from Oshkosh Event Rental sat at each table covered by elegant black table linens and accented by the perfect black and white striped runners.
Each table was impeccably created from Morgan's vision. All of their centerpieces were put together by Morgan herself with the most beautiful, and vibrant "artificial" (What!?) flowers. There may have been lots of hot glue and late nights, but this feat was more than just a crafty affair.
Beautiful topiary and flower balls sat on top of candle sticks and glass vessels while other tables were adorned with lanterns housing the cutest little topiary trees.
Their photobooth mimicked their ceremony backdrop and their escort card display, and was certainly another focal point not to be missed. Eight foot tall hedge walls were setup with an adorable "V" hung right in the center.
The cocktail area was transformed into a cozy lounge by the fireplace, with white sofas and side tables to match. And guests helped themselves to shelves of gourmet coffee to enjoy at home.
Morgan and Adam, congrats to you both, and may you have a lifetime of love and happiness together!
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Jenny Reh | Beauty
Tamara's The Cake Guru | Cake & Cupcakes
Bon Apetit (Lawrence University) | Catering
Spotlight Events | DJ Entertainment
This Very Crafty Bride | Florals & Decor
Oshkosh Event Rental | Chiavari Chairs
Koru Ceremony (Rev. Amy) | Officiant
Twig & Olive Photography | Photography
A Way of Life Media | Cinematography
Radisson Paper Valley Hotel | Guest Accommodations & Rehearsal Dinner
Lawrence University Warch Campus Center | Venue
Witt & Co. Events | Wedding Coordinator
Caryn and Katie shared part of their wedding week in Vail, CO, just before Labor Day - - At the very same place where they had their first official date! But this wasn't their original plan...
Within about a week during the middle of their planning, Caryn and Katie faced one of the bumpiest roads I've ever encountered during planning a wedding. They had booked a florist that was no longer available. They got news that their officiant might not make it back from the military. They were having trouble connecting with a caterer. AND They would have to start a new search to replace their beloved photography duo in Wisconsin.
So life happens, but these lovely ladies faced it with grace and understanding. We were so, SO glad that we could help smooth things over and we have to thank the unbelievable vendors that came to their rescue for making this one of the most memorable events in the history of weddings!
My husband and I packed up early on Saturday morning after a wedding the night before, and started our trek to the Northwoods.
It was hazy, and a little misty when the sun came up. Then it turned a little rainy on our northward travels. And then it down-poured. (Not like cats and dogs. Like elephants and whales, kind of down-poured!)
So what did we do even though Mother Nature had her own plans?
We rolled with it just like we did while planning the original celebration!
With the help of their A-MAZING friends, we started clearing out the mansion's furniture and hauling in tables and chairs and all sorts of rentals from the rain to create our indoor Plan B.
Turns out, it could not have been a more perfect setting for their tear-inducing vows and ring-warming ceremony, cozy cocktail hour, and candlelit dinner reception.
With strands of bistro lights and dinner tables lined with votive candles, Caryn and Katie walked together into the middle of their guests to exchange their vows on the loft overlooking the first floor. Their rings, tied to a horseshoe, were passed through the circle of guests that surrounded them. A few guests including their parents and most influential people in their lives were asked to help with their vows. This was by far one of the most unforgettable ceremonies I've ever been witness to.
After the ceremony, guests mingled back to the first floor for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, prepared by none-other-than the incredibly talented executive chef, Charles Behrmann. Caryn and Katie had been on the hunt for a caterer but things just weren't working out, when I knew exactly who to call!
Originally they had just talked about having someone other than family on-site to cook some burgers and create a relaxed outdoor dining experience for everyone. But Charlie worked his magic, and came up with the most beautiful spread of appetizers and "fancy" barbecue eats!
While guests enjoyed the bite-sized appetizers, cocktails, and a canoe full of beer downstairs, we busily reset the ceremony into a large community table for dinner. Guests were invited back upstairs with a personalized glass of champagne where they enjoyed a tasty dinner, followed by dessert, dancing, s'more's around the fire outside on the patio, air hockey, yard games, and a photo station in the mansion's private movie theater....this party had everything you could possibly want.
After all was said and done, the planning might not have taken the easiest route, but I truly believe their day turned out better than any of us ever thought possible. And I think they would both agree that sometimes the road less traveled leads to the most beautiful destination!
Caryn and Katie, the two of you have a lifetime of exciting travels and destinations ahead of you, and I for one am so happy that your paths led you to each other. I can't think of a better and more fun-loving couple to live out your grand adventure!
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Synergy Salon and Spa // Hair + Make-up
The Cake Lady // Cake
Charles Behrman, Executive Chef | Catering
Kevin Paris // Live Entertainment
Horants Garden Center | Florals
Oshkosh Event Rental | Rentals
TylerVisions Photography | Photography
Kyle Kadow | Cinematography
Wild Eagle Lodge | Guest Accommodations
Cranberry Castle | Venue
Witt & Co. Events | Wedding Planner
Hi there! I'm Johanna Wittmann, owner of Witt & Co. Events in Oshkosh, WI. (You can call me Jo!) I love nothing more than creating beautiful events! And of course, my wonderful husband Matt, our new son James, and our furry monsters, Charlie and Scarlett.