Kyle's Proposal!

It’s still crazy to think about our engagement + everything that happened that evening, August 17, yeah I’m a little late to the game. If you don’t know how it happened, I’ll fill you in!

Kyle had been asking if I had that weekend available for a while and asked that I keep that Friday night open for his parents anniversary dinner. He asked me to be ready by a certain time and “to dress nice” because his mom wanted to take pictures!


He picked me up and said his parents weren’t ready for everyone to come over yet so we drove around. He turned into the IL Vets Home and began driving towards the gardens and suggested we walk through them. The gardens were beautiful and he led me to the perfect spot. He continued being sweet and romantic and suddenly got down on one knee! I was shocked, so happy and in love! He opened the ring box and asked me to marry him! And obvi I said YES!!!

I turned around to find Courtney Dueppengiesser capturing the entire moment!

We headed towards his parents home and I began calling my lifelines to tell them the news and NO ONE answered! Ugh! My sister finally did! We arrived to his parents house to find that he had planned an entire evening with our parents, siblings and closest friends! He asked that my favorite foods be made and our parents went above and beyond to make the evening special for us! It was an amazing evening and one I’ll never forget!!



A styled Midwest tropical bridal shower for real-life bride Erin, whose family and friends came from across the country to help her celebrate in style.

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Inspiration for this styled shoot came from my love of mixing and matching color, texture and patterns.  Dick Brothers Brewery was a perfect setting for the look I was going for, with its industrial vibe of exposed brick and high beams. The brewery’s tall ceilings are any designers dream, and I wanted to emphasize the wood beams as a focal point to the table scape.  A DIY project I completed for this shoot consisted of creating a hanging element from repurposed windows, highlighting the industrial feel.  

The alter inspiration began with my love of gold foil and easily became another DIY project.  The smooth gold foil, and the coarse red brick were the perfect contrasting combination of texture and color with light subtlety reflecting from the canvas. The canvas was then embellished by the untraditional chandelier suspended from above. 

An amazing collaborative team brought my ideas to life and helped to emphasize each individual design aspect. Lavish Floral Design, created a stunning feminine pallet of floral arrangements, producing an atmosphere of elegance and layers of beauty and color. Invited by LamaWorks, assembled intricate stationery from the invitation to the menu and name card.  The abundance of design elements were rounded out with carefully crafted crème brûlées and a stunning cake made by HyVee, along with a breathtaking diamond engagement ring from Sturhahn Jewelers, which made the shoot complete. Every element was beautifully captured by McDonald Video & Photography and Stark’s Studios, they portrayed my vision perfectly. 

PSST! Don't miss the details in the place settings; soft blue tablecloths, black grated chargers, pink piped white linen napkins, differing blue and white salad plates at each place setting and glossy black sherbet cup layered with a deconstructed clementine and petite flora!

The biggest piece of advice I can give brides, planners and stylists is do not be afraid to get adventurous with your designs!
— Sara Elizabeth
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DESIGN/PLANNING/STYLING: Sara Elizabeth Weddings // PHOTOGRAPHER: McDonald Video & Photography // VIDEOGRAPHER: Starks Studios // FLORALS Lavish Floral Design // CAKE + DESSERT: HyVee, Broadway, Store #2 // RINGS Sturhahn Jewelers // HAIR + MAKEUP: Danielle Flesner & Lauren Dunn // GROOM'S WEAR: Schueckings Mens Wear // STATIONERY: Invited by LamaWorks // TABLECLOTH: Celebrations Party & Event Rental // VENUE: Dick Brothers Brewery // CHARGERS. PLATES, FLATWARE, NAPKINS: Amazon

Sara Elizabeth Weddings turns ONE!

The first birthday of my own company, Sara Elizabeth Weddings, was an exciting event to plan! I realized my dream of how to make my interests and strengths work together and haven't looked back since.  My first year had its highs and lows, learning experiences and building of friendships; it was amazing to see my dream come to life.

I wanted to say thank you to the people who've supported me through that time; family, friends, wedding vendors and of course my amazing clients. I wanted the birthday party to be a time of celebration while featuring elements of my brand!


When I picked the day of the party it came as a nice surprise that it fell on National Doughnut Day. It was only fitting that I served my favorite doughnuts from HyVee, everyone loved them!  


I LOVE flowers and it wouldn't have been a true Sara Elizabeth Weddings birthday party without them,, especially peonies! A local florist, Lavish Floral Design. designed beautiful floral crowns for myself and my dog Lemon, I cannot resist a good pup pic, and a bouquet. I knew I wanted a bouquet that was a little untraditional and asked for a floral hoop, it had my favorite flowers and full of bright colors, just gorgeous!  The balloons came as a sweet surprise from the owner of Lavish Floral Design, they were the perfect touch to the day!


I love custom photo walls and wanted to incorporate one into the party, I wanted it to be fun and colorful. I ended up with DIY project on my hands with one of my favorite art mediums, liquid and paper gold foil, and brightly colored paint-chips.  My guests loved the photo wall and were able to take home a memory with the popular Fuji Film pictures!


Courtney Dueppengiesser is an amazing photographer and captured the features that make me and Sara Elizabeth Weddings unique. The day was perfect and everything I had hoped for! 


I always tell my clients that their stationery sets the tone for the event so I had to follow my own advice when planning the party. I designed the invitations on Paperless Post and with the help of Invited by LamaWorks I made sure they represented my style; full of color!   


As a welcome gift to new clients I present them with a box of house-made macaroons from one of my favorite restaurants, Thyme Square Café, it only seemed right that they made an appearance at the birthday bash.


During my first year of business I launched PopUp Weddings in my local market, it was an exciting and important launch for Sara Elizabeth Weddings and I wanted to capture it in the first year’s highlights.


A fellow wedding vendor, stationer LOin London, sketched an illustration to depict me as an event planner and it included my essential and favorite items; clipboard, ribbon, pineapples, bouquet of flowers, red lipstick and my dog Lemon! 


The pineapple is a symbol for "welcome" and "hospitality", and that is how I want every friend, wedding vendor and couple to feel when they meet me; that is why it is a part of my logo. My first pineapple came from my grandmother as a Christmas gift, a small decorative pill box, and has always held a special place with me. The pineapple is a staple in the Sara Elizabeth Weddings brand, it was only fitting to be a part of the day!


Thank you for an amazing first year and many more to come! 

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Wedding Planning Is No Longer A Luxury, But A Necessity.

There is a misconception that working with a wedding planner is a luxury, but it is not! A wedding planner is an essential part to your wedding team, and can assist in multilple ways in bringing your wedding dreams to life. 

The idea of working with a wedding planner is still a new concept to the local wedding market, but the service of a wedding planner should not be underestimated!

You work with a photographer to capture your wedding day, all of the smiles and emotions, you work with a caterer to enjoy a meal with your guests, a florist to set the atmosphere and many other vendors to ensure your wedding is everything you dreamed.

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So why wouldn't you work with a wedding planner?

A wedding planner knows the market prices and can negotiate for you and save you money.  A wedding planner will keep you organized, will handle your vendor research, can handle sticky situations for you and create designs unique to you. 

A wedding planner will manage the weeks leading up to your wedding, some of the most stressful weeks of the planning process, and of course manage your wedding day!

These are only a few of the many benefits of working with a wedding planner, and as you can see, a wedding planner is just as an essential part to your wedding team as your other amazing vendors are!

I hope you take this information and re-evaluate the VALUE of a wedding planner, and how working with one can transform your wedding experience. 

My mission is to give you an amazing wedding experience.
— Sara Reddick

When you work with me I will do more than cross items off a checklist.

I will dive into your story and create a wedding design that is specific to you! One of my favorite aspects of planning weddings and events is the freedom of creativity. 

I will help lock-in quality products and partner you with vendors who fit your style and most importantly, your budget!

And execution: This could easily be the most important service of a wedding planner. You have spent your hard earned money and countless hours preparing your wedding day. There are so many moving segments involved, just think about how many vendors you are working with. When working with me your stress level will be minimized, you have someone you can trust and who has experience to handle the details and efficiently manage your wedding day.

While I am handling the details and any possible crisis that may arise, your vendors can concentrate on the job you hired them to do, and serve you at the highest level.

My focus is always on your experience.

I became a wedding planner out of passion and personal fulfillment, but also for the power to give and help.  I believe in the service I am providing, and to see a couple and their loved ones truly enjoying their wedding day without a care in the world is what makes my job so rewarding.  

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There Is Magic In All Of Us.

I am constantly looking for ways to improve and grow as a business owner and individual, but sometimes I get in my own way with thoughts and feelings that don't serve me in a positive manner.  When this happens I lose focus, control and go through daily actions with no intention.  Basically, I am stagnant.  Not at all where I want to be! 

I'll ask myself, how can I start the creative process again? How can I always be in motion? How do I turn these negative thoughts and fears into positive thinking and love?  Don't get me wrong, I do consider myself to be a very positive person -- glass half-full, optimistic, etc. But like many of us, I can let negative, irrational thoughts and fear creep in.  But there has to be a way to overcome these thoughts and feelings, right?

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My good friend Jennifer recently started her dream business, Jennifer Lee Coaching and I could not be happier for her! This pursuit fills her with joy, gratitude and the avenue she was searching for to help entrepreneurs, women and anyone seeking growth.

Jennifer has been a cheerleader of mine from the beginning and I wanted to show support in her new endeavor. We started with weekly calls, discussing my dreams, visions and what getting there would feel and look like. We talked about how I can serve my clients, how I value myself, my business and how to act fearlessly.  Many AHA moments!          

Jennifer announced she was starting a six week course, Taking the Leap, to support your leap in a life or biz you love. With her background of owning a successful photography business, endless hours of research, listening to podcasts, investing in a life and business coach of her own it was a no brainer to invest in her. 


Little did I know this support I was showing her would turn into an education I was not prepared for! We have only had two weeks of video meetings and the way I look at the world and my business has already changed.  For the greater.  I see the magic in my thoughts, feelings and actions. I see what it takes to be a level 10 individual and business owner.  Jennifer does not give the answers you may be seeking, but asks thought provoking questions for you to dig deep and find the path that is right for you.  

This journey has only just started but I wanted to share my experience and excitement with you!  I am also very excited for Jennifer, for finding her true career path. Her positive attitude is infectious and the energy and enthusiasm she exudes during our calls is contagious! 


I strongly encourage anyone looking to take the leap to grow your business, your life (you do not have to be a business owner), relationships or just do it! 

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
— Norman Vincent Peale

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I am so excited to be taking the leap with Jennifer Lee Coaching and cannot wait to see where this journey takes me!

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My Beautiful Lemon.

My beautiful Lemon turned two on Valentine's Day! 
About 1.5 years ago I had been on the fence about adopting a dog when my cousin Laura tagged me in a post by Western Illinois Veterinary Clinic here in Quincy, IL, it was about Lemon. She was in a kill shelter in central MO coming to Quincy + I knew right away she was the puppy for me. She is sweet, comforting + crazy as hell...but I love her! 
If you are thinking about adopting a dog, please do so! They bring so much joy + who knows what Lemon's life, or mine would be like if I hadn't made her mine.

#nothappytotakepictures #junieshat #puppylove #adoptadog #quincyil

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More Than Just "Branding" a Business.

When I took the leap to start Sara Elizabeth Weddings I knew it would take more than saying "Here I am" and expect everything to flow into place. As a new business owner I made a list (classic wedding planner move) of everything I needed to accomplish to get up and running –business plan, website, email, social media, budget, branding, etc.  I soon realized I couldn't move forward with a lot of the items on my list until my branding was complete. 



Branding: The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products . 


Like any business I wanted my brand to represent me and my services with a unique and distinctive image. While brainstorming and working with my designer, Miranda May - who did an amazing job by the way, I got wrapped up in colors, fonts and graphics, but there was one thing I knew I wanted, the pineapple!

I chose the pineapple as my symbol because it is the meaning of warmth, welcome, friendship and hospitality; this is exactly how I want clients, other wedding professionals and everyone I come into contact with to feel, welcomed. It soon became apparent that I wanted my brand to be more than just what someone will see -creativity, sophistication, elegance and fun, but how I can make them feel -happiness, trust, enthusiasm, loyalty and most importantly, credibility.

Credibility is the quality of being trusted and believed in.


It is a priority of mine to earn trust and strengthen my credibility by building a brand that aligns with my standards and story.

What does your brand say about you?

New Year. New Opportunities. New Accomplishments.

Anyone feeling those winter blues? I have a confession, I have been. The past few weeks have been a bit of a struggle to find inspiration and move forward fully charged. While watching Gossip Girl, only for the 6th time, I began thinking about 2017 and how the year evolved.  

I went out on my own to start my dream business and I am so grateful for my mentors who prepared me for this step.  I received an overwhelming amount of support from family and friends who encouraged me to make this move - THANK YOU for the push!

Just a few highlights of 2017!

I made my first Instagram post, I know, big accomplishment!

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The first Sara Elizabeth Weddings couple! 




Megan + Ben Klingner 

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My little helpers for Megan + Ben's big day :)


2nd year attending Wedding MBA.

First Styled Shoot : Bohemian Love

It was a blast designing this styled shoot and letting the creative juices flow.  

I think the greatest moment of 2017 was taking Grandpa Bob to a Chicago Cubs game!



2017 was a year of tremendous learning and firsts, I want that momentum to role into 2018! I began writing my intentions for 2018 and a spark ignited (still watching Gossip Girl by the way).  I may have gone a little crazy with my intentions, oops, but I am excited by the challenges I have set for myself.

Already accomplished one...check out my newly redesigned website!


Stay tuned for all the adventures 2018's going to be a fun ride!

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Defining Success, On Your Own Terms.

I recently had the pleasure of having headshots taken by Courtney Dueppengiesser, and let me say...I LOVE THEM!  

During the shoot, I started thinking about different variations of success and what that means to me. I had to examine my personal, professional, and financial objectives and design my goals from there. Also, I had to turn off the “comparing” button to other’s success and focus on my own path. It’s been a learning process. In that, I am working to cultivate my own path and staying true to passion. I am designing the vision I want for my business and loving every moment of it. I cannot wait to see where my vision takes me!

Back to the shoot!

Courtney loves to document life in every season, and she caught this season so perfectly that I didn't know which photo to pick so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites!


 I wanted my in-home shots to represent my creativity.  Courtney  did just that!

I wanted my in-home shots to represent my creativity. Courtney did just that!

 She got a little Christmas cheer in there too!

She got a little Christmas cheer in there too!

 I strive for my workspace to represent my personal style. Check out my office chair, it took me over a year to pick out the perfect fabric to reupholster my chairs and I love my choice! I also enjoy working with color, and try to embrace it in every design.

I strive for my workspace to represent my personal style. Check out my office chair, it took me over a year to pick out the perfect fabric to reupholster my chairs and I love my choice! I also enjoy working with color, and try to embrace it in every design.

  Courtney  even caught one of me with my love, Lemon!

Courtney even caught one of me with my love, Lemon!


How will you start defining your success?

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