Since 1999, Chanda Monique Daniels, and A Monique Affair have been creating weddings with style and imagination. Skilled at helping clients define their vision and then executing it perfectly, the team at A Monique Affair create events that are personal and warm. Want some insight into planning like Chanda? We’re happy that she’s shared her thoughts with us here.
What’s one of the most favorite weddings you’ve planned?
When a couple has children from a previous relationship, and they decide to get married, it can be a sensitive situation. My favorite wedding involves a couple that blended their families and chose to incorporate the blending into their marriage ceremony.
The couple in this case each had children from previous relationships. During the ceremony each member of the newly formed family joined in on the sand ceremony to create a beautiful pattern of colors.
However, the best part was when the bride and the children surprised the groom with a flash mob dance at the reception, this couple had pizzazz. I will never forget how fun they were and I’m sure the guests will always remember their wedding.
Photos: Natarsha Wright Photography
What fun trends are you seeing for 2016?
In 2016, I think we’ll see a bigger presence of food trucks, or food-truck-type experiences from caterers. I am also finding that a lot of couples are choosing to host unplugged weddings. This means couples are asking guests to leave their cell phones behind and offering unique ways of doing so by creating charge stations or a cell phone check in (like a coat check) to offer safe keeping for phones until the end of the celebration. We’ll also probably see more “party” type receptions making good use of the late night snack option. It’s fun and delicious.
How can a couple really personalize their reception and make it their own?
I always tell couples struggling to find their wedding style to stay true to who they are and that’s as simple as sticking to what they like. I find that when couples are confused about their wedding style, they immediately think they want to go the vintage route because it’s pretty and popular on Pinterest. To couples in that predicament, I advise they look around their house and see whether they have vintage items lying around, if the answer is no, then why try to force it? I really loved how one particular couple I worked with chose to plan a wedding around their love for picnics. For their wedding we created a picnic reception complete with food trucks, photo bus, blankets, baskets and even lawn games, but it wasn’t your plain old picnic, we added a whole lot of glam. It was gorgeous.
Photos: Melanie Duerkopp Photography
What’s your best advice for saving on wedding expenses….without looking like you did?
Budgeting is the most common concern when it comes to weddings. However the most tasteful way to work with a sensitive budget is to focus on one item to splurge on. Be it exotic flowers, really good catering or top shelf decorations, then look for creative ways to supplement in the other areas where it doesn’t appear so obvious. There are a lot of options on the internet that can help with this situation. I keep thinking about one bride I worked with that loved bacon and really wanted to spring for a bacon bar at the reception. It was very unique and memorable.