The Five Don’ts of Wedding Planning


Getting engaged is so exciting most people feel very overwhelmed with all of the to do’s before your I do’s.  But these five don’ts will make sure you start your planning off right.

  • Don’t go dress shopping until you have set your date and your venue, your dress style, length and material should match the whole feel of your wedding.
  • Don’t start planning without first setting a comfortable budget. Are you and your fiancée paying for everything yourself or will you have help from your parents? Knowing what your budget is will make planning less stressful.
  • Don’t make everything a priority.  Sit down with your fiancée and put together a list of 1-2 priorities for your wedding, is it farm to table food, a fab band, or beautiful flowers? Once you know what you really want it makes divvying up your budget much easier.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff (especially early on) details come together once you have the big picture in place.  This is not the time to worry about color schemes or what fonts to use on your invitation.  First, set your date, venue and time, then put together your guest list, set your budget and priorities. Once these are done details will find their place in your grand plan.
  • Don’t go it alone.  Hire a wedding a planner or at least a day of coordinator. A planner has done many weddings, you will only do one, use their expertise to maintain your budget and make sure you are on track for the best day of your life!

Not sure what a wedding planner does or how we can help you? Red Letter Event Planning offers complimentary consultations give us a call at 208-244-0601 or contact us.  We still have select dates available in 2015 and it is the perfect time to start planning for 2016!

Till Next Time I hope your next special event is a Red Letter Day!

You are Engaged! Now What?


Your Enga

You have found the perfect partner, the ring is gorgeous and now you can start planning the most amazing wedding-yours!  While certainly excited you are also probably feeling overwhelmed with all the to do’s you have before your I do’s.  Here are the top five things you should do now to kick off your wedding planning adventure!

Tip #1: Set your budget:This is the most important first step in wedding planning.  Your budget will guide everything.  Budget should include all costs. Also this is a great time to discuss if parents will be contributing and how much.

Tip #2: Prioritize: Now that you have a budget start dividing it up among your costs.  Rule of thumb is that 50% of your budget will go toward your reception costs (venue, food and beverage) How the remaining 50% is spent is your decision, do you want a band or a DJ, do you care if there are live flowers or just candles on the table?  These are the decisions that should be made before you email or call the first vendor.

Tip #3: Find your ceremony and reception location:  Although it sounds fun to go dress shopping right away, you first should have your venue and date set before doing anything else.  The date and location set the tone for the rest of the wedding.

Tip #4: Search out and collect ideas: whether it is a manila folder, an I-Pad or pinterest  start collecting ideas you like/want for your wedding. Share these with your vendors so they understand your style.  Don’t worry about whether they are in your budget-the job of your vendors is to figure out how to incorporate these concepts into your price point.  You may not get everything you want but you should be able to get the look and feel you love.

Tip #5: Get organized. Buy a binder/planner. I recommend a basic three ring binder from Staples or Office Max that you can customize with tabs and pockets.  Keep all of your vendor proposals, contracts, handouts from wedding shows etc in it. Bring it to your vendor appointments and go through it once a month to purge unneeded items.

Bonus Tip #1:  Hire a wedding planner: A planner can make sure that the budget you set is being used effectively, provide creative solutions to issues and also take the wedding stress off of your shoulders. A good wedding planner will let you be as involved as you want to be.  If you cannot afford a full service planner then PLEASE have a wedding day manager more commonly known as a day of coordinator, let an expert worry about the details of the day so you can have fun and enjoy the wedding you have spent so much time perfecting and planning.We have some prime dates available for your Spokane/CdA wedding. Contact us to chat about your wedding planning needs!


Congratulations on your engagement and till next time I hope your wedding planning results in a fabulous “Red Letter Day”

Makeup Must Haves


What should be in your wedding makeup bag?

All brides want everything to be perfect on their big day, but that doesn’t always happen. Wedding makeup, however, can remain perfect through the entire day if you have the right tools at your disposal. With a few extras, you can insure your face stays flawless even until that very last sparkler goes out.

  • Prep/Finishing Spray
    Urban Decay’s All Nighter Finishing Spray is the best. Spray it on your face before you start any makeup, and after you finishand you’re sure to stay put. This stuff is like hairspray for your face—only better.

Prep Finishing Spray


  • Translucent Powder
    Makeup Forever makes a great version, but so does ELF, for a fraction of the price. Use this after foundation and concealer, in place of regular powder. It sets everything without changing the shade of your foundation, and a tiny bit is all you need. One jar will last months! A compact version is also great for on-the-go touch ups. Make sure you blend, blend, blend though, because this powder can appear invisible to the naked eye, but show up in HD photographs if not properly blended. Let your photographer know to give you a heads up for any makeup mishaps ahead of time.

Translucent Powder

Waterproof liner, mascara, etc
While you may not be a crier, you should still reach for the waterproof version of your favorites for your big day. Waterproof means water, sweat, rubbing— it withstands it all. Not sure there’s a waterproof version of your favorite mascara? Anastasia Beverly Hills makes a mascara top coat, which transforms any normal mascara into waterproof. Additionally, ELF makes a Makeup Lock & Seal which coats any liner, shadow or lip color with a sealed topcoat, of sorts.


Waterproof Mascara

Primer, and not just for your skin
Nowadays there’s a primer for everything, and while it may not be necessary for your day to day life, going above and beyond your standard face primer could mean the difference between smudging and staying. Smashbox or ELF both make great versions for your face, and MAC’s lip primer is awesome for ensuring your color stays where you put it. Lancome and ELF also make mascara primers that make your lashes long, lush and not dripping down your face.

Facial Primer

All it takes is a few extra steps, and products, to ensure that you look great all night long, and can focus on more important things. Like enjoying your special day!


Till next time I hope your next special event is a Red Letter Day!

The Red Letter Event Planning Team

Get to know the Red Letter Event Planning Team!


Rosie Michaelis, Day of Event Assistant

What is your favorite color palette? I love anything that represents beach and ocean – different hues of blue, brown, white and yellow.

Why do you love event planning?
I’ve always loved to put on a good party! Even as a little girl, I used to love planning little get togethers with my friends and create fun themes to keep everyone entertained. It’s something that comes very natural to me.

What is your favorite TV show?
My husband and I are HUGE Walking Dead fans! I know it sounds gory, but it really is a brilliant show with great writing.

Why do you love the Inland Northwest? For me, it’s the little things I didn’t get growing up in a big city. I love the fact that I can always find parking, even during the Christmas rush! I love all the beautiful lakes and rivers. I love encountering deer, geese and quail on a walk with my dog. I love nature – even though it doesn’t love me, I have horrible allergies – I find it all very peaceful and simply, beautiful.

Favorite Sports team? San Diego Chargers!

Who is your celebrity crush? I know this sounds weird but, Martha Stewart – because I hope to become the latina version of her one day.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I would live on a boat and sail around the world. With all the awesome places in this world, how can I choose just one? Maybe I was a pirate in a past life..


Reagan Van Gelder, Intern

Why do you love event planning? I love being able to make peoples visions come to life

What is your favorite TV show? Game of Thrones

Why do you love the Inland Northwest? I love the lake and the seasons

Favorite Sports team? New England Patriots

Who is your celebrity crush? Channing Tatum

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Tuscany Italy

 Till next time I hope your next special event is a Red Letter Day!

The Red Letter Event Planning Team

Get to know the Red Letter Event Planning Team!


Robyn Bruns, Owner and Principal Event Planner

What is your favorite color palette? Black and White it can be paired with almost any other color for a dramatic pop or a subtle accent.

Why do you love event planning? I love the organization and working with awesome clients taking their ideas and  bringing their weddings and events to life.

What is your favorite TV show? I love singing and cooking competition shows and I am actively hooked on Revenge.

Why do you love the Inland Northwest? What’s not to love the beautiful scenery, the friendly people and the awesome weather (especially in the summer) I am so glad we moved here.

Favorite Sports team? I am a die hard Cubs fan, and I know someday “This will be the year”

Who is your celebrity crush? Mark Wahlberg, from the Marky Mark days and beyond. I am even going to see my first Transformers movie this summer because he is in it!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I love that we chose to live in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho but New Zealand will always hold a special place in my heart.



Jessica English, Assistant Event Planner

What is your favorite color palette? I love a neutral palette with a
metallic accent, or a really rich bordeaux thrown in.

Why do you love event planning? I love seeing an event evolve from
initial conceptualization to day of logistics. It’s a labor of love!

What is your favorite TV show? That’s a toss up between The Big Bang
Theory and The Walking Dead. I’m avidly obsessed.

Why do you love the Inland Northwest? It’s a hidden gem– there are so
many advantages to living in this area that not everyone sees!

Favorite Sports team? The Bears first and foremost, followed by the
Seahawks, and the Blackhawks. Also, the Cubs, of course.

Who is your celebrity crush? Mark Wahlberg. Marky Mark forever!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I’d like
the opportunity to live in Chicago as a young professional, or Santorini.

Tomorrow, meet day of Assistant Rosie and Intern Reagan!

Till next time I hope your next special event is a Red Letter Day


Wedding Registry and Table Styling Event-THIS SUNDAY


The Dinner Party Store and Red Letter Event Planning will be hosting a wedding registry open house featuring professionally styled tables.Picture1

Come to 3520 N Government Way  Coeur d’Alene, ID this Sunday, March 30 from 1:00-4:00 pm for a unique registry event.

There will be four tables with a specific theme that are designed so you can easily recreate them in your newlywed home

  • Chic cocktail party
  • Girls Brunch
  • Casual BBQ
  • Formal dinner party

Every table will be created with Dinner Party items that you can add to your wedding registry right on site.

Signing up for  a dinner party registry is easy and free, the items you choose will be listed on their website, very convenient for your guests to make purchases.

Your wedding is unique your registry should be as well.  A Dinner Party registry ensures your newlywed table will be chic and stylish.

We hope to see you there!

Till next time I hope you have a Red Letter Day!

Why you need a wedding planner that works for YOU not the venue

Barn wedding at Trezzi Farm

Looking for the perfect venue is one of the first things a newly engaged couple does.

We have some amazing wedding venues in Coeur d’Alene, Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington. When you interview a venue they may tell you they have on site wedding coordination and you may think you are all set for the wedding, and there is no need to hire a full service wedding planner or day of coordinator.

There are some important differences between a coordinator that works for a venue and one that you hire independently. Venue coordinators have a very important role and I love working with them just as I enjoy the partnership I have with all the vendors that are hired by my client but we provide very different services.

  •  As your wedding planner we refine your vision, contribute to your Pinterest board and help you pick out the venue, and all of your other vendors. Your venue coordinator will often provide you with a list of referrals, sometimes these vendors have paid to be on this list, sometimes not. Either way your time will be more efficiently spent with referrals of 1-2 vendors in each category versus a list of 10 given to you from the venue.
  • As your wedding planner we manage all the little items that go into planning your wedding, including vendor communication, rehearsal direction and just being available when you have that sticky etiquette question. We provide you a checklist, negotiate with vendors (including the venue), give budget advice and make sure your DIY projects have the necessary resources.
  • As your wedding planner we are focused on your wedding and will be your advocate throughout the planning process. A venue may do 20+ weddings/events in a summer, we limit our weddings to one per weekend per consultant. That means you have our undivided attention from the day you hire us until the last guest leaves the reception. We are available to meet when it is most convenient for you- weeknights, weekend days and over Skype if you are planning a destination wedding.
  • As your wedding coordinator we have confirmed all of your vendors a week before your wedding. They have been provided a timeline for the day, we have their emergency contact information and they know if there are any questions we are the people to ask, not you or your groom. A venue coordinator will not do this pre-wedding coordination work nor will they look for any issues that may need to be refined to make the day run smoothly such as adjusting the photography timeline or hair and make up schedule.
  • As your wedding coordinator our focus is on your vision for the day. If there are problems in the kitchen, the venue coordinator will be focused on that and not on setting up your DIY photobooth correctly. Your wedding day is about attention to detail and planning and sometimes we even have to point out issues to the venue coordinator such as a place-setting missing or cold appetizers. We are there to ensure your day is as close to perfect as possible for every aspect of your wedding.

If you are in the process of looking at venues we want to help! Fill out the form below to get a free list of questions you can bring to your venue appointment. Red Letter Event Planning still has 2014 dates available, contact us or call us at 208-244-0601 to set up your complimentary consultation.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Till next time I hope your next special event is a Red Letter Day!



Red Letter Event Planning Empire State Building Picks


The Empire State Building’s Valentine’s Day Contest gives three lucky couples, along with 24 of their nearest and dearest family and friends the experience of a lifetime by giving away a wedding or vow renewal on top of this romantic icon.

One of the main sponsors of the event, Red Envelope  asked Red Letter Event Planning (lots of red synergy there) to choose our five favorite gifts from their wedding gifts collection to inspire their designers to put together a unique gifting suite. We couldn’t resist once we saw the gift list! To find out more about the contest go here deadline is December 5th!

The five gifts we chose were picked as they can be incorporated into the wedding day itself and used to entertain in your newlywed home.  Celebrating after the wedding with reminders of your special day is a great way to keep the warm memories of your wedding day alive year after year.

Red Letter Event Planning Empire State Buildiing Wedding Picks

  • The first pick are the twist candlesticks which will look gorgeous on any sweetheart table and is a lovely addition to any formal dining room.
  • Our second pick, a craft cocktail book is a great place to get ideas for a signature cocktail and it will allow you to hone your bartender skills for future parties.
  • The third and fourth picks, a personalized wine or champagne bucket and lovebirds champagne glasses would be fabulous for your champagne toast on your wedding day and used again and again at future anniversary celebrations.
  • Our fifth pick personalized couples key dates wall art, is a great decor piece for your gift table and then can hang in your future home as a reminder of all the great times you have had in your relationship (it also doubles as a cheat sheet so you don’t forget your anniversary).

We hope you liked our picks which item would you most like to have?

Till Next Time I hope your next special event is a Red Letter Day!


Let Fall inspire the design of your engagement ring

As engagement season approaches, you may be starting to research ring styles, definitely check out, Brilliant Earth’s brand new Wisteria Collection. This collection was inspired by Autumn one of the prettiest time of the year.  The four rings in the collection feature curving, overlapping and intertwined designs, that evoke the graceful beauty of vines and branches. A perfect design if you love the outdoors or if you are having winery wedding.

Engagement rings from Brilliant Earth

In addition to engagement rings, the Wisteria collection also includes earrings for a bride that loves sparkle or is more rustic.


Brilliant Earth doesn’t just make beautiful jewelry it also has a gorgeous mission.  To put beyond conflict free diamonds on your ring finger.  Brillant Earth mandates their diamonds are

  • Free of human rights abuses        
  • Traceable to origin                         
  • Environmentally responsible                       
  • Fair labor practices                        
  • Promote Community development

They donate 5% of their profits to diamond mining communities for efforts in education, environmental restoration, and economic development.

When choosing an engagement ring you are right to remember the four C’s Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat but Brillant Earth also allows you to consider the 5th one, (Guaranteed) Conflict Free.

Till next time I hope your next special event is a Red Letter Day! 

Get cooking it is almost Engagement Season!


A Repost from last year with a few updates,  Engagement Chicken is now on Pinterest!

In the wedding planning world, the time between Thanksgiving and New Years is known as engagement season-more people get engaged in this time frame than any other time of year. So if you are anticipating a sparkly bauble on your finger soon, I highly recommend learning how to make “Engagement Chicken”. Learn more about the legend here: in a nutshell serving this roast chicken to your boyfriend will cause him to propose. This recipe was developed by an editor from Glamour magazine. She passed it around and many of the women who served it got proposals.

My best friend and I took on the challenge when we thought we had found “the one” and sure enough she just celebrated her 11th wedding anniversary in September and it will be 9 years this December for my husband and I! Be careful who you serve this delicious dish to; you may be signing up for more than dinner!

Engagement chicken


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 medium lemons
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher or Sea Salt and Ground black pepper
  • Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat 400 degrees. Wash chicken inside and out with cold water, remove giblets, then let the chicken drain, cavity down in a colander until it reaches room temperature (15 minutes or so).
  • Pat dry with paper towels. Pour lemon juice all over chicken, inside and outside.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Prick the whole lemons three times with a fork and place deep inside the cavity. (Tip: If the lemons are hard, roll on countertop with palm to get juices flowing)
  • Place the bird breast-side down on a rack in a roasting pan. Lower heat to 350 degrees and bake uncovered 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and turn breast side up (use wooden spoons!); return to oven for 35 minutes more.
  • Test for doneness-insert meat thermometer in the thigh-temperature should read 180 degrees or juices should run clear when chicken is pricked with a fork. Continue baking if necessary. Let chicken stand for a few minutes before carving.
  • Serve with juices on top.

If you REALLY want to wow your future fiancé to be I highly recommend watching this video on how to properly carve a roast chicken.

Enjoy, and let us know if Engagement Chicken worked for you.  Also if there are other “fall in love forever” recipes you want to share please do so in the comments.