In this week’s installment of Stitely Vendor Spotlights, we had a chance to catch up with Lindsay Parrott of Parrott Party Productions. Not only is she a planner that we often work with, but was also a recent client of ours! Her December wedding was a show-stopper to say the least. Read below to hear about what she does and her tips for couples looking for a planner.

PPP

[Photo by Jai Girard]

How and why did you get started in the wedding planning business?

P3 was started in 2011 after Lindsay wanted to move away from only doing birthdays and corporate events. Our first wedding (partnered with I DO!) was in Napa, California at Auberge Du Soleil and was featured in Town & Country’s Spring 2011 issue.

What are some of the main services you offer and how do they set you apart from other competitors?

Our main service is Event Design! We take great pride in being able to transform any room and love seeing the face of a stunned bride, groom and guests! We love planning and being able to see all of the small details fall in place. The biggest thing that sets us apart from our competition is our pricing! We set realistic planning and design prices in order to allow more couples to enjoy the awesomeness of using a planner!

What are some things couples should consider when creating a design/style for their wedding?

When creating your design scheme/theme always remember, “less is more and more is in the details”! You don’t need the biggest centerpieces or a complex lighting plan to have a beautiful event. Find examples of what you like, get the images priced out, and go from there. Scale down in places where you don’t feel as strongly and go big in the places that mean the most.

How do you go about interpreting a couple’s vision and designing a unique look or style for an event?

I always ask couples to bring in as many images, fabrics and examples of their design style. We then go over their favorite images and what about them makes them their favorite. I learn about their favorite colors, vacations spots and the things they enjoy doing together. All of this information helps me go back and create a Design Board that communicates the couples’ uniqueness and their wedding vision.

What key qualities should couples look for when choosing a planner?

When looking for a Wedding or Event Planner and/or Designer, you should always pick someone who you feel comfortable with. Find a planner who has a great communication mode. If you prefer text, make sure your planner offers that as an option and their rules and response times. If you prefer to only be contacted at a certain time, make sure your planner understands. Notice how quickly the planners you reach out to when searching, the ones who respond instantly-should move to the top of your list immediately. Whether it was their Production Assistant, Secretary or Intern, it means someone will always be readily available to answer your questions. There should also ALWAYS be an emergency number provided to you by your planner, whether it be their personal cell phone or direct line in. Sometimes there are questions you will need answers to immediately, your planner should be available to those types of questions always.

What part of your job do you find the most satisfying and the most challenging?

I love planning events that have 400-600+ guests! Our favorite part being able to see so many peoples’ reaction to the décor, lighting, floral and entertainment is exhilarating. We always work with such amazing vendors, we never worry that feedback will be anything other than amazing but it’s always lovely to be reminded.

The not so stellar part of planning Weddings and Events would have to be “crushing dreams” as we call it. We can do anything and everything when it comes to planning and designing BUT we cannot make your budget bigger! Our vendors extend enormous discounts and sometimes will throw an item in there every once in a while, but it is always difficult to tell couples’ they cannot have a 12 piece band, 5 course meal and open bar throughout their entire wedding and only hope to spend $15,000.00. We make magic happen, not miracles!

What is the craziest event story you can share?

We had an outdoor event last summer. The venue was a gorgeous house in the backyard. The house itself was beautiful; the backyard was lush and had beautiful landscaping. The only thing I saw as being a huge problem was the guest-count and of course, the weather! The day of the wedding was beautiful, great weather and all vendors arrived more than early! Set up went superb and the couple was on time with pictures. Minutes before the event starts—DOWNPOUR. The ceremony had to be moved inside, and the reception had to be delayed about an hour while appetizers were passed inside. That is not the craziest part…while the ceremony was going on, the P3 Staff and Catering crew were in the tent outside, standing on the dance floor so it would not wash it away. We had to make bridge-like walkways for the guests to get from the house to the tent without sinking into the ground and help the caterers set up the food stations. It was beyond stressful but at the end of the night, the owner of the house had nothing but nice things to say and the newlywed couple were over the moon.

As a recent bride, how has your own wedding experience change the way you plan for others?

As a recent bride I wanted to simplify the planning and designing process even more! We recently upgraded our A La Carte Menu to include more offerings from our Luminous Suite. We also have added Event Design Suites, for clients only seeking Event Design assistance. I think being a bride has made me more sensitive to the fact that my clients have lives and other things to worry about and do. Yes, their wedding is important and they understand that but life gets in the way. I want to be able to take the reins as much as allowed, allowing the couple time to enjoy their engagement.

For more information about Parrott Party Productions, check out her website here, or on Facebook here.

Chicago wedding band leader Derrick ProcellChicago Groove Collective’s dynamic and multi-talented bandleader, Derrick Procell, will be performing from Noon to 1pm at the Summer Courtyard Concert in Waukegan on  July 11, 2014.  Sponsored by the Waukegan Public Library, Derrick will entertain the lunchtime crowd with his unique blend of Country, R&B and Rock & Roll.  You can check out more about Derrick by visiting his web site at http://www.derrickanamerican.com/

wedding band song

I am generally not a fan of new bands and when I say new, I mean bands that were formed after the year 2000.  One Republic is an exception to that rule, as are the Black Keys, but that is a post for another day.

One Republic got it’s start in 2003 according to Wikipedia, but they didn’t hit my radar until my daughter hit her teen years.The band’s recent hit “Counting Stars” has become a highly requested song at the weddings where the Stitely Orchestra performs.  I heard their latest single from their 2013 album Native called Love Runs Out.  That title doesn’t scream “wedding song”, but there is just something about it that makes me think it will be requested by more than one couple.

Dancing to a Chicago wedding band

Stitely Orchestra, Chicago Groove Collective and 312 Chicago all get a kick out of learning fun new songs for our clients.  What do you think?  Will Love Runs Out be the next big wedding hit?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE5WscjdNZs

I’ll bet when this bride was planning her beach wedding, she didn’t see this coming…

sea turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s actually pretty cool. Check out the full story here

 

This song has been everywhere since its release in October 2013. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams has been super successful, topping the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and charts in 23 other countries. It started as the background music for the On Demand trailer of Despicable Me 2, and in 2014, the song was covered in the 100th episode of Glee. 

To coincide with the single release, 24hoursofhappy.com was launched to broadcast “the world’s first 24 hour music video.” The four-minute song is repeated with people dancing around Los Angeles and miming along.

Williams himself appears 24 times on the hour, and there are a number of celebrity cameos including Kelly Osbourne, Magic Johnson, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Carell, Jamie Foxx, Ana Ortiz, and JoJo, along with the minions from Despicable Me 2.

The original video spawned many cover videos on YouTube in which people from different cities throughout the world dance along with the song, like this one from Paris.

I’m thinking we’re going to be getting a good amount of requests for this song at weddings. I hope so! What an amazing message for one of the happiest days of a person’s life.

Check out the official music video below, and clap along!

We are totally loving this song!

Pompeii

Bastille are an English rock band formed in 2010 in London.  The four-piece consists of members; Dan Smith, Chris Wood, William Farquarson and Kyle Simmons. The name of the band comes from Bastille Day, which occurs on the same day as Smith’s birthday, July 14th.

In December 2010, Bastille signed a record contract with Virgin Records, and started gaining steam. Their debut single, “Overjoyed” was  released in April 2012. Their second single followed in August 2012, and shares the name as the band’s first studio album: “Bad Blood.” That song gained moderate success in the UK, charting at ninety. “Flaws,” the third song from Bad Blood, debuted at number twenty-one.

That brings us to this killer song, “Pompeii.” This jam was released to huge demand in February 2013.  It charted at number two in the UK and number five in the US.  The band has been nominated for four Brit Awards in 2014, including for British Breakthrough Act, British Group, British Single of the Year and won British Album of the Year. As of February 2014, Bastille have sold over 2.07 million records in the UK alone.

I first noticed them when they performed on Saturday Night Live on January 25, 2014. Kill City.

Check out the official video:

Not into sports? Really into sports? Either way, this sounds like fun.

For the third year in a row, Billboard.com is asking pop fans to vote for their favorite songs on a bracket that looks pretty familiar…

march-madness-2014-990

Visit the website HERE to get started. Let the games begin!

As if I needed another reason to crush on Robert Downey Jr., turns out he has a killer singing voice too?

Back in October of 2011 Sting celebrated his 60th birthday with a concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. He was joined on his favorite tunes by fellow superstars Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, and Bruce Springsteen… and Robert Downey Jr.

Turns out Sting and RDJ have been pals for awhile now. Back in 2006, both appeared on Ellen to promote the film “A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints,” with Sting as executive producer, and starring RDJ. It was there that RDJ expressed his thanks to Sting for helping through his experience in prison. RDJ said, “Your album, Brand New Day, came out and it was just so strange because it was never really a brand new day (for me); it was the same day all over again. But that helped me so much because it was such a beautiful and hopeful album.”

RDJ joined Sting and his band at his birthday concert on a killer cover of The Police song “Driven To Tears.” Footage of this performance was recently discovered and has gone viral. It’s hot. Check out the vid below, then go listen to Robert Downey Jr’s 2004 album “The Futurist.”

This week’s Music Monday shall be known as “Tunes Tuesday.” Because it’s Tuesday. Sometimes you gotta shake things up a bit, keep ‘em guessing. Yeah, that’s why it’s a day late… on purpose.

This week’s pick comes to us courtesy of Jeff Stitely himself: it’s the jazz trio The Bad Plus.

He saw them in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase 3-4 weeks ago, after his interest was piqued through his 11 year old daughter. Jeff’s daughter is in a billion dance classes, and is currently doing a modern dance choreographed to the CD version of the song “Flim.”

The Bad Plus consists of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer Dave King. Their music combines elements of modern avant-garde jazz with rock and pop influences. They have recorded killer versions of songs by Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Rush, Neil Young, David Bowie, Queen, Radiohead, and Tears For Fears.

Check out their version of “Everybody Wants To Rule the World.” This was recorded live at The Basement Night Club in Sydney, Australia.

And here is the song that started it all: “Flim.”

If you feel like road-tripping, the trio will be back in Illinois in March at The University of Illinois Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, in  Champaign-Urbana, IL. Watch them combine forces with the Mark Morris Dance Group.

 

There were so many classic and beautiful weddings that took place this past year – too many to recap. So, let’s focus on the wonderfully weird and unique ones!

This one is our favorite due to its musical theme: a bride and groom played a guitar duet when the bride walked down the aisle.

The groom is a guitar teacher, so of course he pulled out an electric guitar during the processional and started playing Pachelbel’s Canon in D. To add to the surprise, the bride joined in having just learned how to play.

Check out the video, it’s adorable.

See the other 9 wedding stories HERE

Call us sentimental. Call us nostalgic. Call us to book one of our bands for your wedding. It’s January after all, and we know you just got engaged over the holidays! Congratulations!