Spencer & Alicia Sekiller

Hair and makeup: Design 1
Bride and groom portrait location: Fredrick Meijer Gardens
Getting ready location: Marriott in Grand Rapids

Brides name: Alicia
Grooms name: Spencer
Wedding date: 06/02/2018
Getting ready venue: Courtyard Marriot
Ceremony venue: Riverside Park
Reception venue: The Waldron
Where did you purchase your dress: preownedweddingdresses.com {best idea}
Where did you purchase the bridesmaid dresses? Fantastic Finds
Where did you purchase the grooms attire? President Tuxedo
Where did you purchase the groomsmen attire? president tuxedo
Who was your florist? Wildwood Blooms
Who was your baker and caterer? Dreamscapes for cake and cupcakes, the Waldron for other food.
Who was your DJ? Diamon productions
Who was your videographer and photographer? Optimal focus for Video and Snap Studio for photography
Who was your hair and makeup artist? Design 1 salon

How did you two meet? We met through mutual friends
How did you/he/she propose? I {alicia} proposed at river side park with a candle lit path down memory lane! 
Where did you go on your honeymoon? Los Angeles lol
What would you tell future brides who are planning their weddings? Don’t worry about the little details. you spend so much time on making little decorations for around your venue and down the isle and you see none of them! the day goes so fast. DO A FIRST LOOK ALONE. and have a sweetheart table you want all the alone time you can get! 

Meet your officiant!

Meet Do! She will officiate your wedding <3

I’m Theodora Walschots, please call me Do (pronounced doe). I am the seventh child of a wonderful big family who immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands, where I grew up. I moved to the United States when I was 20 eventually landing in East Grand Rapids. I have traveled quite a bit, circling the earth 5 times, living in Japan twice, Canada, Chicago, Detroit, but I still think of the Netherlands as my home and love to visit. I have a degree from Oakland University in Psychology, with a one year masters and a minor in Communications. I’ve also studied world religions and have a keen interest in all people. My work has been in the creative field of advertising and film, both as talent and a stylist/hair and makeup artist. I have 2 of the greatest children, a son 16, and a daughter 21. I decided to become an officiant due to my belief that all loving committed couples should be able to marry under circumstances aside of any theological boundaries. My experience in public speaking, and genuine caring of loving people has led me to officiate many worthy loving couples who have chosen to marry.

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Real marriage advice

What are your names?  Doug and Nicole LaCroix

Wedding December 29, 1993


How did you two meet?  Doug and Nicole met through mutual friends after college


Who made the first move?  After four months of dating, Nicole said she wanted to tell Doug something but she didn’t want him to respond.  She then told him she loved him and keeping with his promise, he said nothing.


What was your wedding day like?  Doug and Nicole actually Eloped to the Bahamas.  The wedding took place at 10:00 am on Xanadu Beach  Dec 29, 1993.  They  were married by the Reverend Reno Smith.


Did you go on a honeymoon? Where to?  Doug and Nicole stayed on Grand Bahama Island.  Rented a single Moped and cruised the island.


How long have you been married?  25 years last December


What was the toughest year of marriage?  We wouldn’t say that we had a difficult year, but we did go through seasons of difficulty.  As we look back, we would say the time our oldest child went off to college was the most difficult.  We didn’t know how to transition from being our own family to something that was about to be very different.


What was the best year of your marriage?  Absolutely in the best season of our life right now.  We are learning about humility and selflessness and what that looks like in our marriage.


What is one major thing you learned to make your relationship work?  Both people ABSOLUTELY have to be committed to “working it out” in their marriage.  For us, that looked like us coming together on the couch to work out our hurts, frustrations, and disappointments as well as our dreams, desires, and victories. 


What would you say to your past newlywed self?  Strap yourself in, you are in for an AMAZING adventure!!  You will feel your deepest pains and most exhilarating mountaintop experiences.


What advice would you give to newly married couples?  DROP your expectations of each other.  Expectations can only lead to disappointment. 

April 4, 2019 on Spring break in Florida

  • For example:  Nicole makes coffee for both her and Doug every morning.  For nine days in a row, Nicole makes the coffee, but on the tenth day she doesn’t.  If Doug EXPECTS Nicole to make the coffee, those nine days she meets the minimum requirement and on the tenth day he is disappointed.  If Doug does NOT expect Nicole to make the coffee, on those nine days he is grateful for her and on the tenth day he has grace and it is a non- issue.  This example can be used for anything in your marriage!! 

Sign up for our YEAR of F R E E date night ideas and deals here! Make your relationship a top priority and enjoy each others time together <3

Kevin & Nhi

Brides name: Nhi 
Grooms name: Kevin
Wedding date: 8/25/18
Ceremony venue: St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church
Reception venue: Our Lady of La Vang
Where did you purchase your dress: Bianka Bridal 
Where did you purchase the bridesmaid dresses? David’s Bridal 
Where did you purchase the grooms attire? JC Pennys
Where did you purchase the groomsmen attire? JC Pennys
Who was your florist? Arthuy 
Who was your baker and caterer? Caterer: Happy Valley Seafood in Atlanta Georgia 
Who was your DJ? Randy from Snap studio 
Who was your videographer and photographer? Snap Studio 
Who was your hair and makeup artist? Makeup artist: Lash out Makeup Artistry, Hair: Brooke Schell and Stephanie Saenebouttarath
Are there any vendors you used that we are missing? Arthuy was my wedding planner. She literally did EVERYTHING for me. J & A Decorating for helping to decorate the reception venue. 

How did you two meet? At a mutual friends open house 
How did you/he/she propose? I was pregnant at the time, and he suggested we did a maternity shoot and then he surprised me then.
Where did you go on your honeymoon? Will be going to Hawaii in May 
What would you tell future brides who are planning their weddings? Think about what is most important to you to help prioritize your planning!

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Nicolle and Brian Hadraba Wedding Inspiration!

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Brides name: Nicolle Hadraba

Grooms name: Brian Hadraba

Official Big Day/Vow Renewal:  August 24th 2018

Getting ready venue: Rivers Edge Bed and Breakfast

Ceremony venue: Rivers Edge Bed and Breakfast

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Reception venue: Polish Falcon Club

Where did you purchase your dress: Davids Bridal

Where did you purchase the bridesmaid dresses? Dillards

Where did you purchase the grooms attire? Express and Polo

Who was your florist? The bouquets were made by me, Nicolle!

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Who was your baker and caterer? My sisters

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Who was your DJ? Deb Kalsbeek and Brian Hadraba

Who was your videographer and photographer? The one and only, Deb Kalsbeek :)

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Who was your hair and makeup artist? Megan Herman did my hair and I did my own makeup.

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How did you two meet? We met at Buffalo Wild Wings with the help of a friend and a Dare :)

How did you/he/she propose? There never was a proposal...we always joked about asking each other and then we faced a deployment and wanted to be married before he left so we eloped. We finally got "our big day" this year when we renewed our vows in August.

Where did you go on your honeymoon? We went to Mackinac Island

What would you tell future brides who are planning their weddings? Keep an open mind to what the other person wants and let them have a voice in things too, After all its their big day too!

8 ways to get more engagement on social media

Earlier this Summer I asked the #GRBossBabes Group and a few friends what it is they wish they knew about social media. With it constantly changing, how can we all keep up! I have answered that a bit in this article and hope you’ll find it helpful. If you still have questions at the end, please feel free to ask away!

Ready or not, here we go, lets jump right in!

1. Do you still need a website, even with social media? A resounding YES!!!! You must have a quality website where your ideal client can find all of your information! Make sure to have a eye catcher within the first 3 seconds of someone going on your website.
I personally hired Justin from 616 Media to go through my entire website and ensure it was up to optimal use.

2. What social media platforms should I be using? Figure out what platform is best for you! In order to know this one, you will have to know who your ideal client is. Personally Twitter does nothing for me. I think I still have a account somewhere out there in the Twitterverse. My clients are on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Those are the platforms I am going to use because I know that is where my client hangs out. It won’t be the same for everyone.

3. How often should I be posting to Instagram? Honestly you should be posting to Instagram twice a day. Look up peak engagement times for each social media platform. Schedule your content within those times. Don’t live your life watching the clock. Schedule your content at the peak times, then go enjoy life!
Check out places like Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule content.

4. Stop selling to your friends 24/7! We get it Jan you sell bottoms that are softer than butter and prettier than Toddlers in tiaras. Your friends don't like being sold to. Use the 80/20 rule. 80% tips, tricks, behind the scenes, who you are, what problem you solve. Then 20% "hey, I sell this thing, come buy from me!" When was the last time you did a introduction? When was the last time you purchased something from your friend on Facebook? Support your friends, be genuine, stop just trying to sell to them five times a day.

5. How should I be using highlights on Instagram? Instagram is all about engagement. What is a good way to get your following to spend more time on your page and become mega fans? Use your highlights to feature your BEST content and information about who you are, what you have to offer, and what problem you solve! Once your highlights are set up you can create a call to action. Example: Check out my top five 6 second, 2 calorie meals in my highlights." It gets your followers to go on your page and browse around again. They probably haven’t even been on there since they hit the glorious “follow” button.

6. True or false? It is TRUE, Instagram favors pages that use all of the features and have quick engagement after they post something new. Start experimenting and watch your engagement GROW!

7. Does it change engagement if you have a personal vs. business IG? As of right now thats a no, it doesn’t. However business profiles do offer more perks.

8. Four tips that weren’t questions!!
-Never, ever post to your Facebook business page from Instagram. Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook and Instagram to be two different things. Facebook is for friends. If you are posting to FB from IG, your post will get super low views. Post different content for each platform.

-Business pages with 10k+ followers get the nifty swipe up feature on their stories.

-Schedule your content. Be consistent! Engage! Ask questions! Be real!

-Yes Instagram is owned by Facebook. Yes, they want you to pay for ADs...sad face.

-Do I personally do all of these things? Nope! I pick and choose what I want to utilize. Could I be better at it? Heck yes! There is always room to grow :) Social media is one of those ever changing platforms. I honestly prefer email, snail mail, networking groups, giveaways and so on.

Still have questions? Ask away!! I am eager to answer! I also want to hear what it is YOU wish you knew about social media!

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CHIC Travel Boutique

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Just like hiring Snap Studio there’s an easy way to keep your wedding experience on the path of being stress free and under budget. We sat down with Nicole, owner of Chic Travel Boutique to get insider tips on how to plan and book an amazing honeymoon!

 

“Luxury Travel” doesn’t refer to a specific budget range or hotel category, but rather “the absence of worry” — the peace of mind that your trip will be smooth, seamless, and perfectly matched to your specific interests & preferences. Whether it’s the bachelor/bachelorette trip, the honeymoon, or destination wedding, working with a Travel Advisor allows you to relax and focus on what matters most, quality time with your friends & loved ones.

 

Nicole is an experienced Travel Advisor that has first-hand experience in over 26 countries around the world. She has deep vendor connects that can ensure your trip with be nothing short of amazing. The best part is, all her services are FREE. Yes, FREE!

 

Some people think, “Why use a Travel Advisor when I can just go on Expedia and book everything myself?” Today’s travel agent is highly trained, well-traveled and has an extensive list of industry contacts, just in case they need to call in a favor. You’d have to spend half your free time online and the other half on the road to come close to that level of expertise.

 

01. What does Chic Travel Boutique do?

Chic Travel Boutique provides travel planning & booking services for modern travelers. We specialize in planning and booking honeymoons, destination weddings, romantic getaways, special occasion trips and group travel.

 

02. What is the benefit of using a Travel Advisor?

Researching trips online is easy and fun, but when it comes to booking your trip, there are tons of advantages to working with a Travel Advisor. We can offer you the benefit of experiences, insider access to discounts not widely advertised, package deals and a range of itinerary options, one-stop shopping for air, car, and accommodation reservations, and last but not least, peace of mind. Also, we’re saviors and advocates when travel plans go awry.

 

03. What is the cost to use your services?

The best part about using Chic Travel Boutique is all our services are 100% free to our clients!

 

04. What are your top places you book honeymoons to?

I book a lot of trips to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Greece and the French Polynesia Islands. I also book a lot of Hawaii vacations as well. I am dying to book a honeymoon to Maldives, a tropical lover’s paradise. Maldives is an unspoiled, romantic place to relax and enjoy the perfect start to your union.

 

05. What tips do you have for brides wanting to book their honeymoon?

Even before you start consulting with a Travel Advisor, you’ll want to have a discussion with your partner about what kind of trip you want to take as a newly married couple. Do you want to go to an all-inclusive resort, or do you want to take a cruise or do you want to do something more adventurous like island hopping? You’ll also want to look at the geography and decide on what type of scenery you want most. Are you hoping for some place tropical? Mountainous? Historic? These factors will help you narrow down the location itself. Picking a honeymoon destination should be a true reflection of who you are as a couple. Your honeymoon should be a ‘trip of a lifetime’, so make sure to choose a destination you’ll never forget and dream about returning to on future anniversaries.

 

Partner with a Travel Advisor, we have insider knowledge on deals and discounts and cultivate personal relationships with suppliers, which can sometimes mean a room is suddenly available in a booked-solid resort. We can also save you endless research and can offer first-hand destination knowledge. We help you choose the perfect destination with the right fit for you as a couple, we do all the planning, researching, booking, and we are available 24/7 while you are on your trip. My job is not finished until my client returns home.

Don’t wait until the very last minute to plan and book your trip, it is super important to partner with a Travel Advisor about 8 months out. The best time to book a trip is typically 6-8 months prior to travel, especially if you are planning on going to a specialized resort, premium room’s book up early.

 

Make sure you consider the time of year you are planning on taking your trip and how that might affect your trip location, prices, weather etc. For example if you are planning on going to St. Lucia for your honeymoon in October, know that there is a greater chance of rain due to hurricane season and rainy season in the Caribbean is from September-mid November. Consider picking another destination that isn’t affected by hurricane season, like the Hawaiian Islands, or consider pushing your honeymoon back until early December (before prices skyrocket before the holidays).

 

06. Can a couple still take a honeymoon with a small budget?

Of course! There are so many affordable ways to still totally relax and enjoy your honeymoon. All-inclusive resorts and cruises are a great place to start, since there are fewer expenses beyond what you pay when we book your trip- meaning you’ll know roughly how much the trip will cost before you get there. I am also a huge supporter of honeymoon funds. If you’re comfortable with it, set up part of your registry to encourage guests to skip the gift in favor of contributing to your trip, which will help ease the cost on your end.

 

Get started planning your getaway by visiting Chic Travel Boutique. Let’s get social! Check out their Instagram and Facebook pages for more travel tips and ideas for your getaway.

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Rebecca and Flynt Wedding Inspiration

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Brides name: Rebecca Jeanne Johnson (Newland)

Grooms name: Flynt Michael Johnson

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Wedding date: May 12, 2018

Getting ready venue: AmericInn Hotels - Greenville, Michigan

Ceremony venue: Montcalm County Fairgrounds Ash Building East Wing - Greenville, Michigan

Reception venue: Montcalm County Fairgrounds Ash Building - Greenville, Michigan

Where did you purchase your dress: Beckers Bridal - Fowlerville, Michigan

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Where did you purchase the bridesmaid dresses? David’s Bridal

Where did you purchase the grooms attire? JC Penny’s

Where did you purchase the groomsmen attire? Men’s Warehouse

Who was your florist? Self

Who was your baker and caterer? Pat Heartman

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Who was your DJ? John Davis Entertainment

Who was your videographer and photographer? Snap Studios!

Who was your hair and makeup artist? Thomas and Company Hair Salon - Greenville, Michigan

Are there any vendors you used that we are missing? No most items were owned or purchased by the bride including centerpieces, chair covers, chair sashes, and lantern holders

How did you two meet? Tinder

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How did you/he/she propose? He asked just after midnight on New Year’s Eve! We spent the night celebrating with most of our closest friends and family!

Where did you go on your honeymoon? We decided to do a one year anniversary trip in lieu of a traditional honeymoon!

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What would you tell future brides who are planning their weddings? Start early!  

What was your favorite part about wedding planning? Picking every little detail out and making our wedding entirely customized!

What was your favorite part of the day on your wedding day? My favorite part of the entire day was right before the reception. I got my dress bustled and I had about a full two minutes with my groom! Those two minutes were so surreal... I realized I married the man of my dreams and that the rest of the night was going to be a celebration for the both of us! Remember to give yourself a little time on your day to be with your groom!

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