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Weddings at The Mansion

Nicki Ann's Wedding Blog

In her blog, Nikki Ann shares with you her insights, thoughts, and feelings on all things women, wedding, marriage, and event-related.

“If you are always planning a wedding…

September 22nd, 2011

… Then you don’t have time to plan a divorce.” At least that is what Jackie, wife of former NBA player Doug Christie, says. This couple has had 16 weddings – one for every year of their marriage. We are not just talking vow renewal. We are talking dress, cake, wedding planners, the whole 9 yards. When I first heard about Doug and Jackie, I thought that it was a little over the top.  I thought that maybe they have too much money and don’t know what else to do with it. That or that she is crazy. I am not an avid watcher of Basketball Wives LA but when I heard that they were featuring the wedding, I had to watch a few episodes to see what it was all about.

I heard this quote by Jackie and it really got me thinking. I completely agree with her. Do I think you need to have a wedding every year? No, but that would be pretty fun, at least for dorks like me. But it’s not the wedding that really matters. It’s the reminder of why you love each other and why you made the commitment in the first place. Even after 16 years of marriage, Doug broke into tears when repeating his vows. Isn’t it so reassuring that there are some famous couples out there who can make it? You hear about the dream couples like J. Lo and Marc or Will and Jada who divorce and it breaks my heart. It makes me wonder if it is because of their fame or another reason.

I recently heard that the staggering “50% of all marriages end in divorce” is not actually true. What is true is that percentage increases significantly for  first time marriages. I also don’t think the people who marry five times for 6 months and divorce help these statistics. Most of the ones we hear about are celebrities, but that doesn’t mean they are to blame. They are just the ones we hear about.

The reason marriages succeed is because the people in them are willing to MAKE it work. It is not always easy. I know you have heard it from grandparents or the miracle couples who have lasted 30, 40 or even 60 years together. Those are the people to whom you should listen! They made it 60 years! Hello!!! I can’t claim to be an authority on how to make your marriage work since I have only been married for 2 months, but I do know that it will take work and there will always be trying times ahead. As long as you are willing to put in some effort, it is possible to make your marriage work. If it means renewing your vows every year, do it. Take a note from Doug and Jackie. If they can do it, so can you!

Because every post is better with a photo, here’s one of my absolute favorites from my photographer, Erica Hilliard.




Let’s talk about “what women do wrong”

September 1st, 2011

There is this YouTube video that was brought to my attention recently. If you are on facebook or go on YouTube often, you probably know the one I am talking about. Since Amy uses harsher language than I prefer to use on my blog, I am not going to link it. However, it isn’t hard to find. So let’s talk about “what these b*tches do wrong.”

In this video, Amy discusses why she thinks men become jerks once they get into a relationship. For those of you who have not watched the video, she basically says that men turn into jerks because of nagging, controlling women who should cook and do certain sexual acts for him (I will let your mind populate that!). She also goes on to say that you should appreciate him, learn to do the things he likes to do and remember to “do you” while he goes and does whatever he wants. Now there have been A LOT of responses from both men and women on this topic. Mostly the men say they agree with her, while the women bash her. I will say when I first watched this video, I didn’t really know what to think about it. Then I realized, I kind of agree with her.

WHAT?!?! Ok, pump the breaks. Don’t click out until you let me explain. Again, she was more vulgar than I might have been. But if she weren’t, we probably wouldn’t be talking about it. So think about it, really think about it. She makes a valid point.

First things first, this goes for MEN just as much as for women, so listen up fellas! I think this is one major point that Amy left out and partially why she has gotten bashed by so many women. Men are just as guilty of these things as women.

While not so eloquently put, Amy says that women should be respectful to their mates. They should appreciate them for who they are rather than who they want them to be. If you go back to my previous post “Tips from the married lady…” you can read how I feel about thinking you can change someone. In short, it just isn’t going to happen. You were an individual before you met him/her. Remember who that person was. Ultimately, that is who s/he fell in love with. I am not saying that you can’t change as time goes on, but as long as you remember the person you were when you met and do not completely abandon that you will remain happy together.

I agree that you should take interest in what the other enjoys. Does Joey love hearing about my incessant wedding talk? No, but he humors me and talks about it with me. Do I enjoy his video games? No, but I will sit there with him and watch him play NCAA football (I might pick on him if he does poorly, but that’s besides the point!). I also think there is a time for each of you to spend time without each other too. Go out with the girls. Get all dressed up, buy a new pair of shoes and go dancing! I may not agree with her easy-going attitude about the men going to strip clubs and flirting with other women. Let’s not push it. Remember mutual respect is key. Let him go out with his friends for the game and a beer (or three). Your life should not fall apart when he is not around.

As for the nagging and controlling part, well, that is pretty self-explanatory. Learn to talk to each other. It will go a long way. I don’t think that women are always to blame for men being jerks. But you should think about it. Maybe you DID do something to make him act like that. In other words, check yo’ self before you wreck yo’ self.

I am not touching the whole sex part. You know what you need to do to make each other happy in that department and if you don’t, again, talk about it. That’s it. Pure and simple. If you can’t talk about it spontaneously, watch Dr. Ruth together. I am sure that will bring up good conversation. She’s a hoot!

I may get some people who are upset by reading this, but it is what it is. I think Amy worded it poorly and possibly has a slightly warped sense of relationship, but she does make valid overall points. Just don’t take it literally, but think about the larger picture.


Exciting Changes

August 22nd, 2011

Well ladies and gents, I have exciting news. Some of you may know already, but some of you don’t. I have accepted a position with the Mansion at Maple Heights as the Wedding and Events General Manager. Those of you who know me personally know this is a dream job for me. And you may also know that my day job was not quite my cup of tea. I love the lovey-dovey, gooey-ness of weddings and now I get to do what I love everyday.

So you may wonder what effect that has on Nicki Ann Events… Well for those of you who hold contracts with me, it doesn’t mean a darn thing. I am still here and going to uphold those contracts. I will be there every step of the way and will help you to plan your event perfectly down to the very last dance of your big day. For those of you who have not booked Nicki Ann Events, you will have to hold on for a bit.

While I have put a lot of energy into building my own business in the last year, it has not grown enough to support me or my family. Don’t get me wrong. I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. So I was waking up and dragging myself out of bed every morning to go to a job that was just that. A job. It paid the bills. I worked with such wonderful people and thank goodness for them because there is no way I could have lasted 5 years there without them. Three of my co-workers even ended up being my bridesmaids and best friends. I am so excited to wake up in the morning and actually want to go to work. I know that when the time comes and I have gotten and given all I can from the Mansion, I can move on to my own thing. And the best part is that the rest of the staff at the Mansion believes the same thing.

Now for the really exciting news! You will still be able to get your fill of Tuesday Shoesday, Friday Finds, and the rest of the witty humor I bring to this blog. So rest assured I am not going anywhere… except to a new web address. You’ll be able to follow the adventures of Nicki Ann more frequently too since it will actually be part of my job. The address to be announced. But for now, I’d like to leave you with a little something to make you jealous and hopefully make you reach for your dreams like I did mine.

My “office” :)


Wedding of the Century

August 3rd, 2011

Ok, so it was the wedding of the century to me. I know every bride thinks that of her own wedding. And she should. I am not-so-patiently waiting for my photos from Erica Hilliard, I figured I would post a few teasers that were photographed by the fabulous staff at the Mansion at Maple Heights. I promise to get into a few more details later and talk about my vendors (who were amazing!), but for now here is a sneak peek!


It’s healthy to forget you are getting married.

June 14th, 2011

I did this past weekend. I had the weekend off. No plans, no responsibilities, no-thing. I had very fleeting thoughts of my wedding. I have been very diligent with entering the RSVPs into The Knot as they come in so that I don’t have to spend hours sitting there entering them all at once, so I entered the one RSVP I received and that was pretty much it.

Do you want to know what I did? I played in the dirt. Yep. I dug out rocks from the planting areas in the front yard along with these random patio stones the previous owners used as decorative pieces. I planted 5 flats of flowers (that’s a LOT of flowers!). I ruined my nicely manicured nails. I planted flowers in pots for the front porch and re-potted plants from the house. I spent some quality time in the good ol’ outdoors and soaked up some vitamin D. I barely saw my fiance even though he was actually home most of the weekend. I talked to my mom for 20 minutes about a bush.

I am by no means a great gardener, but I am trying. I learn new things each year. For example, did you know evergreen bushes and trees do better when planted in the fall? I didn’t either – until yesterday. I didn’t get half the things done I wanted to, but my front yard looks really pretty. It was therapeutic for me.

So a little advice for you while you are planning your weddings… Enjoy the time you have and take some time for yourself. Find that item on your to-do list that you really enjoy, but keeps getting pushed to the bottom because of other “more important” duties. Knock it off your list. Don’t let wedding planning take over your life. I am planning multiple weddings right now and I still found time to spend the ENTIRE weekend sitting in the grass (or driveway) playing in the dirt. Your “me” time may not include planting flowers and relocating displaced worms, but as long as you enjoy it that is all that matters.



May 24th, 2011

I truly have some inspiring friends. One of my best friends, biggest supporters and role models decided to take her photography business full-time. Leaving her day job to focus on the things she truly loves. Her business, her photography, and most importantly, her family.

Another of my friends leaves this Saturday for China where she will spend the next seven weeks in a language immersion program. She knows very little of the language, probably only enough to get her from the airport to her living quarters for the next two months. It is part of her graduate program, but through a different university so she doesn’t even know any of the other students meeting her there. Education is something she is truly passionate about and going to a foreign country when she doesn’t even know the language is amazingly brave.

It doesn’t stop there. I have friends who have moved to new cities for a career without fear of not knowing anyone. Friends who truly care more about their family and friends than themselves. Friends who juggle nursing school, a full-time job, and a 1-year-old daughter.

It is things like this that truly inspire me to move forward with my journey as a business owner. Someday, I too will be able to quit my day job and spend every waking moment building my own business, not someone else’s. Someday, I will go to a country where I don’t know the language, at least for a week’s vacation :) Someday, I will have a family to put first above any and all other things. But until that day, I continue to be inspired by my friends and know that someday I will be there too.


Yeah, yeah. I know.

May 24th, 2011

I know I never posted anything last week for Friday Finds. I was busy gearing up for the stylized shoot Saturday with Jen McKen (can’t wait to share photos by the way! It ended up being so cute!) and totally forgot to post something. So with that, I promise to post not one, but TWO Finds this week to make up for my slacking.

Here’s a fun picture of the crew at the shoot Saturday to make it up to you!

From left: Me, Jen McKen, Greg Bish, and Dmitriy Babichenko


Thank you, Jesus!

March 14th, 2011

As I mentioned in my late Friday Finds post, Joey and I had a jam-packed weekend which included our marriage class. Since our schedules are so packed, we decided that the best thing for us would be to pick one that was only one or two days and squeeze it in. We found a perfect one that was Friday evening and all day Saturday at Our Lady of Grace in Scott Township. I was nervous as heck going into this class. I had heard so many horror stories about them. The topics include faith, finances, parenthood, natural family planning, and sex. Yep, you heard it right. Sex. I was not extremely excited about the prospect of talking about sex with a priest. I mean, how awkward can it get?!

I was surprised when we got there on Friday night. There were about 25 engaged couples. It couldn’t be too invasive with that large of a group there. In reality, the weekend was really nice. We had beer and wine on Friday night, an awesome breakfast and lunch provided on Saturday and it wasn’t intrusive at all. We discussed generalized questions within each topic with our small table of people and the married couple serving as the leader of the discussion.

Just because I am converting to Catholicism, doesn’t mean I push it or any religion on anyone. I do however, think that Joey and I benefited a lot from this weekend. Let me tell you why. Joey and I were forced to talk about certain topics such as communication, adjustment to marriage/living together, finances, parenthood, faith and sex. As we went through the questions asked during the small group discussions, I realized the importance of each topic.

Finances can be the main source of stress and divorce in the first years of marriage. Sit down and discuss how you can combine your financial techniques to make both of you happy. Parenthood is another topic that is extremely important to discuss prior to marriage. Despite what you would think, there are way too many people out there who have not discussed whether or not they want children. I am well aware of Joey’s plans to sell any little girls we have so we can be sure to have only boys. Just kidding :)

I don’t think I really need to go into more depth on the sex topic and luckily they sent us to a private spot to discuss this one on one rather than having to do it as part of a group. But the key was to make sure you have similar ideas on sex. Discuss it when you are not about to hop into bed. You’ll both have clearer minds.

Many couples are now considered inter-faith. Does it mean that you shouldn’t be together? Definitely not. It just means that you need to discuss how each other feels about their faith (or lack thereof) and be supportive of each other no matter what the differences. If one of you is Jewish and the other is Christian, find a way to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas together. And if you don’t know much about the other’s religion, take time to learn about it. You’ll have a better understanding of where the other stands.

When I look back at the discussions during this two-day experience, I can see the one topic that was recurring through any discussion. Communication. That really is the key to any successful marriage. If you can’t communicate with each other, you will never be able to truly resolve your problems.

The whole point of this post was not to tell you that you should or need to take part in a marriage class. It was to simply tell you that these are important topics and whether you do it in a class or sitting on your couch at home, you should discuss them. Let’s get that divorce rate down!


Now THIS is how brides should be treated!

March 1st, 2011

Well, I officially have the greatest, most thoughtful bridesmaids ever. They all know how much stress I have been under lately. Now I am not trying to make all you other bridesmaids out there look bad, but when I walked into work today and found these, I was reminded of just how great they truly are.

And what better way to give a shout out to them than to post it on here :) Thanks Jenn, Steph, Jan, Jen, Nikki and Gina <3

Now, I want to hear if your bridesmaids can top that. Tell me your stories!!


What is in a name?

February 14th, 2011

Part of starting a business is building a name for yourself. I recently started working with Carole and Debbie from The Brand Wagon to create a logo. This is not as simple as it sounds. You have to find the perfect words to describe your yourself and your business. Let me just tell you that working with Carole and Debbie was a cinch. I originally spoke with Carole and gave her an idea of what I had envisioned. Within a few days, they had the first round of proofs back to me! This had to be one of the most exciting things. I mean, my business is really coming to life. During this time, I had created an inspiration board (because that’s what I do!) of colors, designs and other logos I liked. I also threw in a few pictures of the type of events I want to coordinate. I sent this along with input on the first round. After a few more rounds, they had created the perfect logo. Something I felt really described me as a person and how I want my business to be portrayed. Keep your eyes peeled for the reveal of Nicki Ann Events. Updates coming soon!

Watch out wedding world, I’ll be a household name soon :)