“where being different has always been stylish”

designer’s diary blog

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May, 2015

Tis the season for weddings, events, weddings, and more events! We are so excited to announce that we have partnered once again with Steven Starr Events for not one but two very special events over the next few weeks. Our creative event design team will be in charge of floral design and creative direction for both events.

Tonight, we will be on site at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts for a cocktail party for the Attendees of Democratic Municipal Officials. Starr Catering will be serving up their delicious fare and incredible service.

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts PAFA

On June 8th, Philly Mag will officially launch their new business and innovation channel, Biz Philly. This new platform will focus on daily digital content, print stories, and events featuring the most interesting characters in the business world. The launch party will be held at the beautiful Barnes Foundation. Who better to speak about business than Philadelphia’s top restaurateur, Stephen Starr?!

Philadelphia Magazine Biz Philly Logo

We are looking forward to sharing all of the wonderful details of both spring 2015 happenings with you!

Xoxo Melissa, FairyGodmotherBadass

If you live in or around Philadelphia chances are you have heard of La Colombe Coffee. Since 1994, La Colombe Torrefaction stickers have been popping up on the storefront windows of countless cafes, popular brunch spaces and fine dining establishments throughout Philadelphia and New York, showcasing to the world that these spaces serve the ever-popular beans!

coffee brewers at la colombe coffee philadelphia

Along with an expansion across the U.S, La Colombe Torrefaction recently opened a new Flagship cafe in September 2014 in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The massive café is home to offices, a tasting room, a bakery, roasting facilities, and a rum distillery. This converted warehouse is 11,000 square feet of jaw dropping beauty!

La Colombe Fishtown has a beautiful atmosphere and we’ve found it to be a great place to draw inspiration. We have our eyes set on this space for one of our (fingers crossed) near future events. The space looks deceiving from the outside, but you are quickly reminded of its grandeur upon entrance where you are greeted with an enormous marquee sign that reads, La Colombe.

man standing under la colombe coffee sign

The barista bar is clean and simple with a black splash of chalkboard menus and white tile. A big and beautiful brick oven holds its presence behind the barista station and adds to the industrial elements throughout the space. A large Stephen “ESPO” Powers mural blankets the longest wall in the cafe and is align with intimate booth seating. The cafe has plenty of cozy and communal spaces for socializing along with a stand up bar where guests can sip beverages and chat.

mural on la colombe coffee philadelphia walls
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I want to thank the Uncommon Events team for all that you did to make Alison’s and Erik’s wedding the most wonderful, amazing, beautiful day! It was perhaps the best day of my life since the day she was born. So many people had so many nice things to say. The flowers, the food, the décor, the band and all the things that were obvious to our guests drew raves. Only Margot and I could recognize all of the other things that you did that were less visible, but no less important, to making the event such a successful (and uncommon!) event. Coordination and attention to detail made it happen. Thank you not only for you efforts, but also for both your calmness and your excitement when each were needed or appropriate. It was great to work with you. Your professionalism was apparent throughout, but your personal empathy was even more appreciated. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

My very best regards,

Jim – Father of the Bride

You’ve pretty much crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s when it comes to planning your wedding. Where will you and your ‘soon-to-be’ choose to vacation for your honeymoon? Now is the time to try something new and exciting. So, where do you begin? We highly suggest hiring a travel consultant to help you get the most out of your time planning and adventuring.

Travel advisors have connections around the world that can help you get the best service and the most out of your stay. One of our favorite Philadelphia based travel advisors is Sarah Lee of TraveLee. Sarah’s passion for travel is contagious and she will be sure that you travel the way she travels! We had a chance to ask this frequent flyer a few questions about her business and trends of the honeymoon industry.

How did your business begin?

I’ve always loved traveling, especially for food. I would make itineraries to go to a country, always based on going to great restaurants – making wonderful contacts with hotels, guides, chefs, drivers, etc. along the way. When I would come back, my family and friends would just always copy my itineraries! I never realized I could make a career out of it as I was having fun in the finance world at that time. Plus it seemed way too risky to leave stability and start a company completely on my own. 

In the process of planning my wedding, my fiancée was very supportive of me. He knows how much I love planning. He told me I should do what makes me happy regardless of how risky it could be and encouraged me to make that leap. The rest is history! 

What is your background?

I went to MIT, worked in finance from a lowly intern to roles of Senior Manager, Vice-President and even CFO! So I’m very left brained and organized – which is great for planning. 

I’ve also traveled around the world quite a bit – The last three months before I quit, I logged 86,000 bum-in-seat miles (not including bonuses!) – so I know firsthand many places my clients want to talk about. If I haven’t personally been there, trust me that I’ll know someone who is an expert. 

What are your favorite parts about your business?

I love making dreams come true! 

It’s all about getting to know my clients and listening to what they are looking for in a trip. 

Then I get to make magic happen and put it all together for them!

Where are your favorite destinations?

Anywhere with great food – so many places! 

It might be easier to take a look at my own honeymoon trip – my husband and I skied in Japan, ate in Hong Kong, beach-bummed in the Maldives and explored Dubai/Abu Dhabi. 

What are the trendiest honeymoon spots this season or year?

I’ve been doing more and more Turkey this year. It’s a really cool destination with a great mix of exploration and relaxation. Turkish Airlines has also been running great promotions. 

People seem to love the mix of exploration and relaxation vs. just sitting on a beach somewhere for 2 weeks! I’m also doing a lot of mixed destinations – which makes it super fun. The only downside is the extra packing! 

In your opinion, where is the NUMBER 1 honeymoon destination and why?

Oh boy, it depends what you’re looking for which is why getting to know my clients is super important. My personal number 1 destination would be the Maldives – any time I hear the ocean temp is 86 degrees makes me super happy – I’m totally a cold water wimp. 

sarah lee travelee on glacierssarah lee travelee with parrotSarah Lee Travelee Driving Car

Sarah Lee Travelee on Tropical Beach

Whether your honeymoon plans are centered on a luxurious cruise, romantic road trip, or a foodie centered adventure our biggest advice would be to stay true to YOU and the things you enjoy together as a couple. And always remember…You Only Live Once!

xoxo Melissa, FairyGodmotherBadass


Bridal shops come in all shapes and sizes and it can be very overwhelming deciding where to invest your precious dress shopping time. Lucky for Philadelphia we have Lovely Bride to make sense of all of the dress shopping madness. Lovely Bride is a stylish bridal shop that carries well-known designers and indie collections with stores located in New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, and most importantly Philadelphia!

Lovely Bride Sign

We have had the pleasure of working with Ivy, Philly shop owner and fashion maven, on many occasions and we absolutely adore her and her boutique. Lovely Bride Philly is located on Market Street in the Old City section of Philadelphia and is a breath of fresh air in our books. We recently had the chance to get the scoop on what brought Ivy to Lovely Bride and where her love for the bridal industry came from.

Lovely Bride Owner Ivy


How did Lovely begin?

The original Lovely Bride was opened in NYC in 2010.  There was a lack of great bridal options for the more modern, indie bride, which led to the birth of Lovely. After it being such a great success, the brand decided to franchise to other cities.  Around that time, I was looking to open my own store.  I got connected with Lovely in NYC and we decided Philly would be the perfect city for a Lovely!

Tell us a little bit about yourself Ivy.

I grew up in the Philly suburbs in a retail family…so I always imagined growing up and having my own boutique.  After majoring in management at Georgetown University, I moved to NYC and worked for Macy’s.  I managed a sales floor in Herald Square and grew my love for retail.  From there, I ran a small fashion jewelry boutique in SoHo. But after five years in NYC, it was time for me to move home to Philly and do my own thing.I did a lot of research on the bridal market here in Philly, and quickly knew that Lovely would be a great fit.

What are your favorite parts about your business?

There is something so rewarding about helping a woman find the gown she is going to wear on her wedding day.  It can be an emotional experience…both stressful and exciting…so when a bride decides on “the dress” it is a very joyous moment.

Who are your favorite designers at the moment?

It’s so hard to pick a favorite designer, as I love different aspects of so many of our designers.  I love the originality and artistic inspiration show in Carol Hannah’s gowns. The soft femininity in Leanne Marshall’s gowns always makes me swoon. Theia does beading so well, really highlighting a woman’s body with the lines of the beadwork…and I’m definitely a girl who loves beading.

Which gowns are your current favorites?

Last month was bridal market.  All the designers showcased their newest designs for the Spring 2015 brides.  There were a lot of gowns that I quickly fell in love with!  We won’t be getting these into the store until the Fall…but I’m already very anxious for them to get here!  Some of my favorites were Paloma from Elizabeth Dye, Kai from Watters, Valy from Rosa Clara Soft, Buchanan from Sarah Seven, and Blooming Bouquet from Ivy & Aster.

Check out the gown photos below!

Paloma Wedding Dress by Elizabeth Dye

Paloma by Elizabeth Dye

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With spring comes warm weather, longer days, and bicycle season (for us fair-weather riders)! Luckily for Philadelphians, the City of Philadelphia has introduced Indego, the first ever bike share project. For those of you who have only seen this city on two feet or four wheels it is time to trade them in for two!

Indego officially rode onto the city scene in early May and in perfect timing! This newest public transportation system is sponsored by Independence Blue Cross and offers over 600 bikes and 60 docking stations throughout the city.

Philly Indego Bike

This weekend, I had the pleasure of giving Indego a spin and I was pleasantly surprised! The website describes the Indego experience perfectly, “Get a bike, go for a ride, give it back. It’s easy – just like riding a bike”. How clever and accurate?! I used the B-cycle app and it was extremely convenient. The app allows you to view the nearest station to your pick up and drop off destinations as well as bicycle availability.

Indego’s bikes are larger than a road bike and a bit heavy but very comfortable. They even come equipped with not one, but two baskets! Love that!

Indego Bike Share PhiladelphiaPhoto from Indego’s Instagram

The weather was perfect for a Saturday bike ride so we hit the streets early. Center City was bustling with what seemed like a different festival in each neighborhood so we headed north to Fishtown. Just north of Girard, Fishtown is home to galleries, bars, restaurants, music venues and most importantly, La Colombe’s flagship café! If you have yet to experience this beautiful space it is a must see.

La Colombe PhiladelphiaPhoto by drink philly

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It’s finally here! The question has been popped and you answered, YES! Now what? Your wedding day may be one of the most important days of your life and with the new role of fiancé comes another role, wedding planner.  This enormous responsibility is one that most brides will only have to face one time (fingers crossed) but is much harder faced alone.

Even the most organized, Type A bride can be unsuccessful when planning her wedding. In a Google centered world, you might think that wedding planning would be simple but in reality the plethora of choices make things even more difficult. The opportunities to DIY and Pinterest your wedding to death are out there and we’ve watched it happen!

So where do you begin? A wedding planner should be the first person you call after the engagement ring is on your finger. Building a relationship with the right person takes time and will allow you to trust that your most important day will be taken care of. The right planner will help organize and communicate all of your needs to each vendor throughout the planning process. This investment of hours, days, weeks, and months will build strong relationships that will help ensure that your wedding weekend is exactly what you wanted and paid for.

A good wedding planner has knowledge, experience, connections, and most importantly ANSWERS. Each aspect of the planning process unleashes a new stream of questions that lead to more questions. A few of the most frequently asked, ‘Should we send a save the date?’, ‘Where do we block rooms?’, ‘How do we get everyone there?’, the list goes on and on. A planner will have the answer to each question and will allow you to stop second-guessing your choices along the way.

Wedding planning is a full time job, especially if you want to do it right! The average wedding from beginning to end requires about 600 to 800 hours of work or about 20 weeks full time. It’s hard enough to manage a career and a personal life. Add fiancé, bride, and event planner to the list of ‘to-dos’ and you’ll likely go mad.Bride and Melissa Brannon Philadelphia Wedding Planner at Uncommon EventsWe like to look at ‘Wedding Planners’ as comparable to ‘General Contractors’; both professions are responsible for coordinating and managing a project from start to finish. You wouldn’t build a house without a General Contractor. So now you’re wondering, why plan a wedding without a planner? Our thoughts exactly.

Xoxo Melissa, FairyGodmotherBadass


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    Uncommon Events is a creative design studio and wedding planning firm. We have an unending passion for design and a desire to bring our clients ideas to life. Our blog is a place for us to share the cool things we see, do and create. Enjoy!

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