A Weekend at The Elms

A short drive from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, lies a sleepy, little town called Excelsior Springs. I recently traveled to Excelsior Springs for a weekend stay at The Elms Hotel and Spa.  The entire town has a 1920s, prohibition-era vibe, but it is accentuated in the hotel.

The Elms plays on the era in which it was built, with big band music playing in the background, lounges to be found in all corners of the hotel, and elegance in every detail.  Just walking on the hotel grounds can make you feel like you have stepped back in time.  

The only part of the hotel that does not feel like it’s from the 1920s, is their renowned spa.  With  The Grotto having options of a hot tub, steam shower, steam sauna, dry sauna, cold-plunge shower, and self-serve exfoliation bar, you’ll relish the modern amenities.  If paying for relaxation isn’t for you, The Elms offers gorgeous outdoor amenities, including a pool, hot tub, and several fire pits.  The included indoor amenities are equally as stunning, with the European lap pool, hot tub, cold tub, lounge space, and fitness facilities.  

With so much elegance and class, The Elms is an easy choice for romantic affairs.  While I was there, there were two weddings, and several couples celebrating their wedding anniversaries.  One couple, who was celebrating their anniversary, was married at The Elms ten years ago!  

With my love of weddings, you know I had to sneak a peak of their main reception hall, after set-up.  The bride chose her colors well to play on the room’s gold chandeliers and walls.  I also thought she did a great job with having alternating centerpieces to give the room even more dimension.  The tall gold floral arrangements were tall enough for guests to easily converse.  The short floral arrangements were tastefully done, and the tables with floating candles helped keep the party mood romantic once the lights went out.

The hotel also boasts a large outdoor gazebo for outdoor ceremonies, a small reception hall, several meeting spaces, and private lounges.  Both reception halls have easy access to the outdoor patio and pool deck for guests to enjoy.  The Elms offers ceremony and reception options, but will not offer a ceremony-only option.  Catering is offered on-site with their restaurant The 88.  

Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a relaxing getaway, or a wedding venue that is close to the Kansas City area, The Elms is an excellent choice.

Thanks for reading,


Pinpoint Event Planning, LLC

Bridal Shower Cookies

Forgive me for such a short blog post, but it is Thanksgiving and I just had to share these adorable cookies.  If you are looking for some adorable dessert options for a bridal shower, engagement or bachelorette party these would be perfect.  You could complement them with a cupcake wedding dress to keep with the theme and provide an option of cupcakes or cookies for your guests.

I will add more on this topic soon, but in the mean time, happy Thanksgiving from Pinpoint Event Planning, LLC.



What to Expect When Shopping for a Wedding Dress

Shopping for a wedding dress should be fun, right?  Absolutely!  But, there a few things that will help make it more enjoyable if you know in advance what to expect.  

Let’s start with the dress shops themselves.  Most bridal boutiques prefer, if not require, that all brides make an appointment.  Some stores allow you to browse dresses on your own, while others keep all the dresses in back and will only bring out the styles you ask for.  There are pros and cons to both methods.  Getting to browse dresses on your own can help give you an idea of what may be in your price range, but might also distract you from what you are looking for. Whether you are looking through the dresses, or they are being brought out to you, keep in mind how a dress looks on the hanger is no indication of how it will look when it is on.  

You might have found the perfect style in a magazine, or on a rack, but when you try it on, find that it doesn’t work for you.  If you are disappointed when trying on your dream style then listen to the bridal consultants.  Most consultants will push you to try a dress on that is totally out of your comfort zone or out-of-the-box.  This can seem annoying to the bride that knows what she wants, but bridal consultants are good at what they do.  If you are struggling to find the perfect dress, try dresses on you think you may never go for.  Too many brides have said they were dead-set on having a lace dress but ended up choosing satin instead, or wanted a mermaid style but went with a ball gown, and vice versa.  Sometimes it takes trying on several dresses before you find “the one.”

Trying on wedding dresses is different than trying on any other clothes.  A large percentage of stores will send a bridal consultant in the dressing room with you.  They prefer helping you try them on rather than your mom or a friend.  These dresses are often heavy, delicate, and expensive.  Be prepared to strip down in front of a stranger.  If you are shy, we suggest wearing undergarments that are full coverage.  If you’re not shy, consultants are used to brides being in their underwear or even sometime their birthday suits.  Though for sanitary reasons we prefer at least underwear.  But, let’s be honest, some dresses don’t allow any undergarments to be worn.  If you are completely against having anyone help you but your mom, some stores will be understanding if you explain your concerns in advance.

Trying on wedding dresses is also different from regular clothes because the dress you are trying on is most likely not the same dress you will walk out with.  That means the dress you try on is most likely a sample and not in your size.  This is a major drawback to designer dresses because, in some cases, you have to use your imagination on what a properly fitted dress will look like.  The bridal consultants have tricks they use (see above picture) to help it feel and look fitted, but you still have to use some imagination.  If you are the type of bride that plans to lose weight for your wedding, don’t worry about not hitting your fitness goals before shopping.  Hitting your fitness goals before shopping can be a major confidence boost and help you feel great in any dress, but it’s not necessary for shopping.  Again, the dresses are mostly sample dresses and not the correct size. 

Once you find the perfect dress for you, if it is a designer dress, it will need to be ordered.  Waiting for your dress to come in can take anywhere from three to seven months, so make sure you will have your dress far enough in advance of the wedding to allow for alterations.  Your bridal consultant will have the answers on how long a particular designer takes and the amount of time needed for alterations.  We have seen brides  have to scramble because they waited too long to go shopping and the dress couldn’t be ordered in time for their wedding date or came in too close to their date and they needed emergency alterations.  Emergency alterations will cost you a fortune compared to nonexpedited alterations.  Complete overhaul alterations are expensive as well, so listen to your consultant on what size of dress to order.  If you plan on losing weight, don’t order the smaller dress as motivation.  The risk of not fitting in your dress and/or not having enough fabric to make the dress fit is far too great.  Don’t put that stress on yourself and just order the correct size of dress.  If you do lose the weight it is easier to take the dress in, than to let it out. 

Last, but not least, who to take with you when shopping for your dress.  This is a very personal decision and no one should make this decision other than you, the bride.  Having your entire bridal party sounds like a fun idea, but most boutiques are not equipped to handle large groups and the more people you have the more opinions you will get whether wanted or not.  If you know you need them all there, than just be prepared for possibly unwanted opinions and tight spaces.  For the bride who tries to please everyone but herself, keep the audience to the bare minimum.  Finding your wedding dress should be your decision and your decision only.  Find the dress that makes you happy, not one that will please others.  Even if you think you can invite someone knowing they won’t insert an unwanted opinion, you will most likely be reading your audience and nonverbals can commmunicate volumes.  If this concerns you, keep the audience to a minimum until you find your dress, and then invite more people to a fitting appointment instead.  You can still include them without risking your mind on choosing your dress.

Keep this information in mind when you start your shopping experience and wedding dress shopping should be fun!  Let the champagne flow and enjoy your turn in the lights in front of the mirror. 

Happy shopping,


Engagement Season Tips

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Fall is soaring on by with Halloween already over and Thanksgiving fast approaching, the busy season is here.  Fall brings a myriad of things to the event planner’s world.  First, it brings the official end of the 2016 wedding season.  Second, it brings the start of holiday party planning.  And last, but not least, it brings the start of engagement season!

There is just something romantic about fall that makes it a great season for couples.  Whether it’s the chill in the air that makes you want to snuggle closer, or the array of activities to choose from.  I personally like the colorful leaves, hayrides, and a nicely spiked apple cider to sip on next to the fire.  No matter what fall brings to you, it also brings the official start of engagement season.  If you are expecting your significant other to propose this season, here are a few tips to remember.

  • Don’t stress:  I know far too many brides who have told me their engagement stories and the anxiety they felt before the proposal happened.  Don’t let this anxiety take over your enjoyment of the season that brings people together.  Try to enjoy the moments as they happen and to not worry about whether or not this moment is the moment when you will get engaged.  Trust me, you’ll know the moment when you get engaged when you see the ring so don’t waste your time wondering “is this it?”.


  • Don’t plan your own proposal: I know shutting your brain off is nearly impossible at times, but make sure to keep your thoughts in check.  Don’t plan out every possible engagement scenario in your head.  This leads down a dangerous road that could get your expectations too high and lead you to feel disappointed with the real proposal, letting you lose sight of the real reason to be excited (hint: you’re engaged!).  Remember, no matter how the proposal happens it will still be beautiful and a story you will love because it will be your story.


  • Be prepared:  If you are absolutely certain that you are going to get proposed to this season, then you need to be prepared.  First, be prepared to wait longer than you think.  Proposing is a scary thing for any party involved, and it might take some time for your significant other to work up the courage.  (I know this seems silly since you’ve probably already told them a thousand times you want to get married, and there is no chance of them getting turned down).  Proposing is a life changing event and even though they know they want to marry you, it can still take time to get ready for the adjustment.  Now that you are prepared to wait, it is okay to also be prepared for it to happen.  If you know having your nails done when the proposal happens is a priority, then make sure to keep your nails on-point!  Plus, it is the holiday season which means endless parties and social gatherings, so it serves two purposes to have your hands “ring ready.”

Getting engaged is an exciting time in your life and something to cherish.  However, the holiday season is also something to cherish because you are never guaranteed the same holiday season next year.  So remember to be present in the moment and to cherish all the special occasions that this season will bring and to not wish all those moments away hoping for a proposal.  Everything happens when it is supposed to, so relax and enjoy the Christmas music that is already playing before Thanksgiving.  It will go by faster than you think.