It’s no secret that we’re pretty fond of planning genius Laurie Arons Special Events and constantly in awe her incredible ability to turn any event into a truly beautiful gathering. Not to mention, her care goes beyond attention to detail and touches every person she meets with an unparalleled kindness. So when Laurie launched her first Masterclass last year alongside a handful of creatives at The Ranch At Rock Creek, we knew the result would be a complete planning experience at it’s finest. Take a peek at Part I of all the beauty captured by Jose Villa, and get the scoop for the 2016 Masterclass below!
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From Laurie Arons Special Events… I’ve heard from so many up and coming wedding planners over the years seeking advice on starting and growing their businesses. After having the pleasure of working with Jose Villa on his invaluable photography workshops, I was inspired to do something similar for the planning world. I wanted this experience to be extremely special – a chance for planners to be inspired creatively and motivated professionally.
The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana provided just the right venue for the first Wedding Planner Masterclass. This five-star resort was luxurious, beautiful and an escape from the daily lives of planners around the country. The team of outstanding industry professionals that helped me produce the Masterclass are truly the best of the best. These guest speakers hosted seminars, lectures and styling workshops to students on best practices in wedding planning. They also helped design and execute our special dinners, welcome gifts, and wedding photo shoots. Select speakers also met with attendees in one-on-one sessions, to provide additional customized help to each student.
Attendees were greeted upon arrival with bespoke welcome gifts – personalized leather tags from Glaser Designs, a laser-cut wood agenda for the week, and Aigle rain boots complete with equestrian-style stirrups. A fresh bunch of wildflowers from Mindy Rice Design helped make the rooms feel inviting.
Working with Mindy Rice Design and Amber Moon of Pitbulls & Posies, the outdoor welcome dinner focused on a rustic design. Mindy found vintage wood chairs, beautiful red candelabras, wool placemats and tin chargers for the table top. Amber Moon created spectacular leather table menus, which tied in with the Western leather bracelets, used as napkin rings at each place setting.
The styled wedding ceremony and dinner table brought out the feminine side of the west. Casa de Perrin’s lace china, pewter flatware & cut crystal were dreamy on the smocked table linen sourced by Mindy Rice. Mindy also foraged for abandoned bird nests on property, and filled them with speckled quail eggs. Amber Moon Design created beautiful printed materials, which featured flourished calligraphy by Samantha Martin at Curlicue Design. We wrapped the table menu in textured paper, and tied on a blush leather tag with twine and fly-fishing flies. We couldn’t resist that little nod to the Montana countryside.
Our photo shoots with our bride and groom model are some of my favorite images from the week. Geraldine Magazine editor Daniel Tran styled our models, with Kenney Duy of Fellini Salon providing the hair and makeup. Jose Villa shot them in the horse pasture, along the creek and in the ceremony location that Mindy Rice built from salvaged wood found in the Ranch’s ‘bone yard’. Jose Villa’s photos of the Masterclass and styled photoshoots can be found in print in Issue no. 3 of Geraldine Magazine.
I’m so grateful to the Ranch and all the industry professionals who helped produce the first Masterclass. But I’m also eternally grateful to the attendees, who brought incredible questions, fresh perspectives and endless enthusiasm to this special week. Meeting each of them and watching their businesses develop over the last year is exactly the reason I created the Masterclass. I look forward to 2016’s Masterclass to be held on February 28th – March 3rd at the Ranch at Rock Creek!
Dates: February 28th–March 3rd, 2016
Location: The Ranch at Rock Creek
Click here for more details and to apply!
Event Design + Planning: Laurie Arons Special Events | Photography: Jose Villa | Floral + Design: Mindy Rice | Venue: The Ranch At Rock Creek | Farewell Dinner Tabletop: Casa De Perrin | Event Rentals: Elan Event Rentals | Films + Photographs: Joel Serrato | Graphic Design: Amber Moon | Laurie Arons Special Events Team: Katie Colosi, Hayley Kupec | Event Rentals: Barn Relic | Event Rentals: Montana Party Rentals | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Shoes: Azzedine Alaia | Hair + Makeup: Kenney Duy Of Fellini Salon | Calligraphy: Curlicue Designs | Groom’s Attire: Miller’s Oath | Candles: Creative Candles | Catering Expertise: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Flower Girl Attire: Flora Henri | Leather Attendee Gifts + Class Materials: Glaser Designs | Media Partner + Wedding Blog Expert: Melissa Baran | Models: Stars Model Management | Photo Shoot Styling: Geraldine Magazine | Welcome Gifts + Models Boots: Aigle