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Blogger Bash 2019.. Behind-the-Scenes

Many of the events we attend have impressive backstories. I think these narratives are interesting and also important. To understand the myriad behind-the-scenes undertakings and moving parts that are involved in orchestrating a successful soiree heightens our enjoyment and appreciation.

Photo by Kinga Mnich


Conception

A few months back I was blessed with a complimentary table for eight at the Woodford County Humane Society Gala, held at the Keeneland Racetrack. The only request in exchange for the seats (priced at $150 each) was that I invite those inclined to promote the Society's noble mission.

@BluegrassBlog, @AishaDaobi, Wendy Harper, @Savannahandcompany, @SassintheBluegrass @PorshaLynette


Enter Aisha Daobi, founder of Kentucky Bloggers. During the party, filled with fun and frivolity (and possibly a cocktail or two), a light bulb sparked. Aisha proposed we throw an annual Awards Blogger Bash!


Wheels in Motion

I had tucked Aisha's suggestion away. But my enthusiasm was reignited when she asked me to showcase my newly launched mobile photo booth: The Big Events Photos. By that time she had Danielle Meadows of Octane Design primed for graphics, design and decor. I had recently met Danielle at the photo shoot and marketing campaign for Ranada's Bistro & Bar on Lexington's Old Vine Street and witnessed the exceptional quality of her work. I knew then I wanted to be a part of the budding Award Blogger Bash.

Photo by Marie Pullen


With a venue, catering and professional photography to be secured, I jumped in as one of the coordinators. Many years of event planning had honed my skills and I proceeded on task!


As “Kentucky” bloggers, we felt it was important to be geographically inclusive for bloggers outside our area. I immediately decided on the venue and catering I wanted to pursue. The Galerie reached out to me after my Woodford County Blogger function. Their Versailles location was a convenient destination for our patrons in the Louisville and surrounding area.

Photo by Muse Marketing


The Venue

Located on Court Street in the heart of downtown Versailles, Kentucky, The Galerie is a former church erected in 1922. The elegant metamorphosis of this historical building, realized by Jordon and Jessica Kite is simply phenomenal. To view the “before” and “after” photos is unbelievable! The first event held in this grand space was for Jordan and Jessica's lovely wedding. 

Photo by Kinga Mnich

Aisha of @KentuckyBloggers Photo by Kinga Mnich

Photo by Marie Pullen


The expanse is truly amazing and so much more is provided. An area overlooking the venue serves as a small cocktail lounge. But the pièce de résistance is situated downstairs. Beautifully appointed, photo worthy rooms have been designed for the bride and her guests. The groom's suite boasts a pool table! The bridal party accommodation is lined with large mirrors and comfortable seating, perfect for completing make up, hair and accessories. Upon renting this venue, the client receives use of the entire building. No other functions will take place that day.

The Three Kayla's- @kkaylaraee, @FashionwithKay_ and @PolishedPiggy

Photo by Kinga Mnich


Food & Drink

I’ve worked with Sweet LiLu's in the past on my Visit Woodford County blog and was blown away by the delectable hors d'oeuvres, not to mention their striking culinary presentations. Located just a couple doors down from the The Galerie, they were a no-brainer! Sweet Lilu's menu is creative and extensive. We opted for easy finger foods. Our offerings consisted of a scrumptious, caramelized onion and goat cheese tart; a tempting Kentucky Hot Brown tart; tasty, buffalo chicken dip and chips; an appetizing charcuterie board and skewered kielbasa with juicy, pineapple slices. For dessert we chose traditional Kentucky bourbon balls; acreamy, raspberry tart and mini salted caramel cheesecake.

Photo by Kinga Mnich

Photo by Kinga Mnich


We felt is was crucial to include as much local influence as possible. When Sweet LiLu’s suggested using Wildside Winery, I was totally on-board. I am a longtime fan of Neil and Rachel's delicious wines. I met Neil at the Lexington Farmer’s Market and have blogged about their thriving business, event space and exquisite wine tastings. I didn’t realize until after the affair that our bartender, Logan is actually a wine maker at Wildside. You can find him @bluegrassbusinessman.

Photo by Kinga Mnich

Photo by Octane Designs


While Aisha toiled away on nomination surveys and announcements, Danielle’s artistic juices were flowing on color scheme, floor plans and award design.


Photography

The only item missing from my side was photography. When I organize a blogger event, I try to secure a professional photographer. This allows the attendees to enjoy themselves without the worry of taking pictures. High quality, professional photos are provided for participants' posts and blogs following the party.

@LoveYours31 @JoelleRiding @BlessedCurls_ @AishaDaobi

Photo by Kinga Mnich


Over the years, I’ve met quite a few gifted photographers in the area. I attended a get-together for Old School Coffee a few months prior, coordinated by Space Place and Southern Grace Photography (with whom I was lucky to engage for the Corto Lima Blogger Brunch earlier in the year). Among the attendees was Kinga Mnich a local photographer, leader of Lexington_Girls_Tribe and fem powerhouse. She indicated an interest in digitally commemorating one of our blogger occasions. So... ding, ding, ding! I contacted Kinga and she agreed to professionally memorialize our inaugural event!


@AveryWalts, @ItsKesleyDiane @FabulousinFayette, @SassintheBluegrass and @Bluegrassblog Photo by Kinga Mnich

Candy of @WhereI'veBeenTravel Photo by Kinga Mnich

Sydney of @SouthernCharmPrep Photo by Marie Pullen

Photo by Jessica Kite


Photo Booth Fun

I arranged my welcoming The Big Events Photos booth near the entrance. I’ve recently purchased some terrific backdrops and we chose the "gold disco" for this gathering.

@MaceyMarie and @TruefullyCharlie Photo by Marie Pullen

Photos by The Big Event Photos


Guests perused a table full of high quality props including bedazzled masks, feathery boas, various hats and mustaches, fuzzy cat or bunny ears, goofy glasses, fun unicorn and headbands sprouting devil horns. Attendees struck humorous poses and expressed their silly side in tons of great photo opts. Each was provided with their own pictures, printed aside stunning gala images designed by, you guessed it, Octane Designs. Check out Octane Design's Blog for the inspiration behind her graphics and decor.

Photo by The Big Event Photos


The assorted pieces finally fell into place and after what must have been 1000 texts and hundreds of emails, the dynamic trio of Aisha, Marie and Danielle, together with The Galerie, Sweet LiLu’s, The Big Event Photos, and Kinga Mnich successfully launched the first annual Blogger Awards Bash of 2019!


I'm proud and honored to be among the nominees and winners.

Designed by Octane Design Studio


Many thanks to Aisha for the long hours spent developing categories, surveys and compiling hundreds of results. Following are the talented winners. Be sure to give them a follow and check out their outstanding content!


Beauty Blogger of the Year Priyanka Patel (@Glamourandgiggles)

Travel Blogger of the Year Marie Pullen (@BluegrassBlog)

Lifestyle Blogger of the Year Kayla Pigg (@PolishedPiggy)

Mommy Blogger of the Year Angel Isabel (@TheBluegrassMom) Food Blogger of the Year Alex Allamon (@lexfoodguide)

Most Inspiring Blogger of the Year Kayla Weber Nord (@kaylaweberart) Most Innovative Blogger of the Year Sarah Weedman (@ClassandContrast)

Rising Star of the Year Miranda Stewart (@SassintheBluegrass) Photographer of the Year Michelle Franzetti (@m_franzetti Best Collaborator with Local Businesses Sarah Caton (@Spaceplaceandgrace)

Fashion Blogger of the Year Porscha Lynette (@Porschalynette) Local Business of the Year The Nail Shop (@thenailshoplex)

Blogger of the Year Leela Atchison (@LexEats)


About Me

Born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, I'm a die hard fan of this fantastic state. I'm amazed at the incredible variety of awesome things this area has to offer... I just have to share!

 

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