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Tag Archives: Weddings

Look at Us in Lowveld Living Magazine!

28 Jun

As a small town girl from Murray, Kentucky (population = tiny) marrying a mid-western boy – I never dreamed that my wedding might one day be featured in a South African magazine.  But “Lowveld” and behold…here we are!

Below is a link to the entire magazine, although you can only view a few pages for free.  We are on page 87.

Morgan & Brett in Lowveld Magazine Winter 2012

Lowveld Magazine Cover Winter 2012

Lowveld Living | Winter 2012 | Inside | Zinio Digital Magazines

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Circus of Love: Family, Friends & Festive Features!

30 Dec

My dear Auntie Lorna reminded me this week via email (during an apparent moment of insomnia…it was 4AM Beijing time) that I never finished uploading the rest of the photos from The Circus of Love.  This was a complete oversight on my part.  With the Chinese wedding, the trip to South Africa, the burn incident, the Hutchinson visit (those pics to come soon), Brett’s birthday, and then the holidays…it totally slipped my mind!

I think I have actually saved the best for last though – the pictures of our family, friends, and the festive atmosphere (created with the amazing help of my mom and Aunt Lorna) are so much fun.  Enjoy!

**If you missed the other entries about the Circus of Love – here they are: Calling All Circus of Love Guests, An Upstaged Bride, Southern Ladies and Their Lipstick, Silly Schafers…Tricks are for kids, Happy Couple at the Circus of Love, The Classy Bride.

Tates, Raglands, Hites, Bolins, Lehnings, Neelley's, and newly wed Hutchinsons!

The Hutchinson Klan

Greeting our Guests!

Besides being greeted by us, our guests were also welcomed with the sounds of a vintage carnival themed horn section, cotton candy, and circus themed cocktails like Mint Julep Snow Cones and Spiked Pink Lemonade.

It's a Mo-Mo! My wonderful mom. I don't what was causing her to look so serious...maybe it was the power outage issues. The venue wasn't used to having so many "carnival" food stations. In fact...every time the cotton candy machine started going - the band lost power! In the end, we opted for dancing over spun sugar.

With my Dad and Becky

My sweet Alabama ladies. Brandace Burnham, Morgan Hutchinson, Christa Crow and Jessica Solon.

We really wanted to have fun with the decorations.  Hence, the Morgan and Brett flying trapeze artists in the background of the picture above.  You can get your own custom set at www.cardboardpeople.com!  We also used hundreds of yards of awning striped fabric in circus bright colors, striped table clothes, giant 36″ helium balloons, and any other circus inspired trinkets we could find to play up the theme.

Brett chatting with the Alabama gents. I have to assume the topic of conversation was SEC football.

Part of the NYC Crew. Shana Spavin and Jill Hacker.

With one of Brett's childhood friends, Kelly Campbell.

With mom and two of her best friends from college. These lovely ladies (plus 5 more) have been getting together every summer for over 30 years! Love it.

With cousin Lizzie and Aunt Cindy.

Friends since the first grade. Ellen Carpenter and Morgan Hutchinson

Columbus ladies taking advantage of the candy cigarettes!

Tate Family Dance Number. We had to at least "try" to keep up with the Schafers!

Mom and I with great family friends - Ruth and Anne Bligh.

With the Amazing Hutchinson sisters - Emmy and Jess! Looks like all of us had just made a trip to the Pabst Blue Ribbon bucket!

With my Auntie Lorna. Thank you so much for your help and creativity. The Circus of Love would not have been the same without you!

With my fantastic mother-in-law!

Pretty in Pink with Fiona!

A big thanks to the lady who introduced us in the first place! With Miss Shana Spavin.

With Leigh and Damir. Love Leigh's self-made feather accessory!

In addition to the rides and games, we also hired a stilt walker, a flame thrower, and a unicyclist to keep the guests entertained.  Truth be told though – it was the silly stuff on the prize table that kept them happy all night!  Who knew that wax lips and bangle bracelets would be so popular?

Newlyweds - Brett and Morgan Hutchinson with Andy and Jess Schemick

With Christina and George Karolis...and their little one that was still a bun-in-the-oven at the time!

Dancing with my dad

We danced to the lovely sounds of Mr. and Mrs. Todd Hill and the Todd Hill Band. Here is the lovely Kala Hill.

Todd Hill singing and playing one of the classic tunes they are known for.

Dancing with Aunt Lorna and Nannie.

With my two gorgeous grand-mothers: Jean Blankenship and Bettie Tate

One of my favorite pictures of the night. The lovely Mrs. Amy Barto getting her groove on!

Of course, Brett and I also wanted to be sure that our “outfits” were Circus of Love appropriate.  So, we added special details whenever we could – like the pink lining of Brett’s dinner jacket with M+B monogrammed on the inside and our special shoes!

Thank you to our wonderful family and friends for celebrating with us!  Sharing our Circus of Love with each of you was such a blessing.  Thank you to our parents for countless hours of help, for storing loads of “Circus” paraphernalia in your homes, and specifically to the Hutchinsons for a fantastic golf tournament, Friday Night BBQ, and Sunday Brunch at the Club.

We would also like to send big thank yous to A Catered Event – the catering company who helped create the perfect “carnie” menu, Laura at White Star Farm – our venue, Sterling Funways for the rides and entertainments, and Abigail at Eden Ink Photography for capturing every moment so perfectly.

Images courtesy of Eden Ink Photography.

Today = 2 Years in China!

28 Dec

Two years ago today, Brett and I (along with 700 pounds of my clothing) boarded a plane in Newark bound for Beijing.  To celebrate this exciting anniversary, I would like to share photos from our Chinese Wedding party from this past August.  I think you will see that I went all out to play the part of a Chinese bride (short of dying my hair of course!)

Brett and Morgan Hutchinson

Brett and I knew that we didn’t want to host our Beijing wedding celebration in a Western style (for those of you not living in Asia – that means that we didn’t want an American or European style venue…it does not mean that Brett and I were considering a Wild-West Hoedown).  When in China, right?   So when we stumbled upon Gui Gong Fu, a restaurant famous for its history, as well as its imperial cuisine, we were sold.  Housed in the former residence of the Empress Dowager’s little brother, Gui Gong Fu set the perfect backdrop to our Chinese wedding party.  Although we didn’t hold a actual ceremony (we saved that for just he two of us in South Africa – see Chitwa Chitwa: Part 3 for more details) we did host a traditional Chinese, family style dinner for 150 of our dear friends and colleagues here in Beijing.  It was quite a feast! Luckily, Brett and I went for a tasting before hand as I don’t remember us sitting down long enough to eat any of the meal on the actual night of the party.  Between visiting each table to drink a shot of Mou Tai (Chinese liquor) with our Chinese guests and being toasted with Champagne by our Western guests…there was little time to do anything but “Cheers!”  Thankfully, I do remember being giving a bowl of rice by the lovely Connolly sisters to coat my tummy with something.

Here is the evening in pictures.  It really was such a memorable night.

Cocktail Hour. Explaining this concept to a very traditional Chinese restaurant was no easy chore. Passed hors d'oeuvres is just not the local way of doing things at a Chinese Wedding. In the end - they got it! Brett and Morgan Hutchinson

Costume change! While it is actually a Chinese custom for the bride to change from her red dress into white...I didn't need an excuse for a second dress!

Notice the size of Brett's Mou Tai glass. We are no fools! The smaller the glass...the less you have to drink! By the way...I am holding my wine glass, NOT my Mao Tai glass.

These little Chinese women can drink! Look how she is showing off her empty glass. Bottoms up!

Thank you to all of our friends in China for celebrating such a special time with us.  Thank you to Michael and Natia Davitiashvili for joining us, two great friends from New York who just happened to be in town and gave their only Saturday night in Beijing to us!

While I am in “thank you” mode…Thank you Beijing for 2 very exciting years.  We have had our moments…and let’s be honest, I have certainly “hated” you from time to time – but overall it has been loads of fun.  You have brought me dozens of amazing new friends and countless once-in-a-lifetime moments.  Most importantly though, you have given Brett at I the opportunity to share a life-changing experience together, and for that I will be forever grateful.  Xie Xie!

All images courtesy of www.sweetvision.com.  The same amazing photographers who did our engagement photo shoot.  Click here to have a peek.

Chitwa Chitwa Part 3 – A Bride in the Bush

21 Dec

Brett and I decided to say our vows to each other at sunset in the wide open bush of the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve in South Africa.  Countless emails were exchanged between our travel consultant, myself, and the amazing team at Chitwa Chitwa to create the perfect setting for our special moment.  Bags upon bags of rose petals were ordered for the aisle.  An unusual duo of musicians (a classical violinist and an African drummer ) were hired to create the perfect background melody. Pink roses were selected for bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces. Pink Champagne was ordered for celebratory toasting.  A perfect spot was chosen and decorated with lanterns and candles galore.  And of course, a minister was hired to bless the vows and the marriage.  For how many guests you might ask?  Well…for two!  It was just Brett and myself (and our new friends at Chitwa Chitwa). That is all you really need though, right?  A Bride and a Groom.

Very little about the day could be considered traditional.  I mean our guest list consisted of a herd of giant Water Bucks…  Also, the fact that the Bride and Groom got ready together.  I did wait to put on my dress until after they had taken Brett to the ceremony spot…but for the make-up and hair roller portion of the primping process – we were together!  The day was lovely – perfect really,except for one little, itsy bitsy glitch – but I will save that for later!

Here is the our day summed up in pictures photographed by the wonderful Stefan du Plessis.  Warning!!  Lots of photos!

Brett sees me like this every day...I figure he must like it or he wouldn't have proposed in the first place! (Although, I am not sure why I am posting it for all of you to see!)

My good-looking groom tying his wedding tie.

Oops! I guess I should have waited to apply my lipstick until after I kissed him goodbye. The groom is not supposed to have ruby-red lips, right? Brett & Morgan Hutchinson

The Dress! I designed and had this made here in Beijing. It was my something new and my something blue!

Brett on his way to the ceremony site. Just about a 5-10 minute drive through the bush.

The elegantly rustic archway that God and the team of Chitwa Chitwa created. (God because the tree became an archway when it was struck by lightning). Tristan, our ranger even made the rails on either side of the arch with fallen branches and covered them with lanterns.

Here comes the bride! (In her open-top ride...) Hair and veil be damned!

The groom - what a jack of all trades. He escorted me down the aisle as well.

The lovely sounds of Anneke Coetzer. In fact, I think their unique beat would be perfect for Hotel Costes soundtrack!

Of course I already knew that I loved this man...what I did not know is what a poet he is. Truth be told...his vows put mine to shame 🙂 Morgan Hutchinson

My turn now! I did get a big laugh from our guests (Water Buck excluded) when I pulled them from my cleavage...I mean - it's not like my wedding dress had pockets!

The prayer and blessing after our vows.

Now you may kiss the bride!

Signing our marriage certificate. This one is just for show...the real one was done back in Beijing. That said - if you are planning to wed in South Africa, they can take care of everything for you so that your marriage is also legal in the USA (or other countries for that matter).

Our first dance as Mr. and Mrs. Brett Hutchinson! (Okay...to be fair - it was our third. First at the Circus of Love and second at our Chinese Wedding celebration). Third time is a charm, right? Brett and Morgan Hutchinson

Popping some pink bubbly!

This might be my favorite. You can see the Water Buck in the background! Brett and Morgan Hutchinson

Just look how perfectly Stefan captured the sunset in our hands

I actually requested the photos on this termite mound. Why you ask?? Because termites are incredible. Not the "eat your deck" kind of termites. They are terrible. South African termites; however, are the bee's knees. The queen can live to be 20 years old and she can lay 300,000 eggs a day. Can you believe that? A 20-year-old insect. Plus they make their own food - it is a fungus, but still. I mean - I love mushrooms so who I am I to judge. Seriously - I heart nature.

Our get-away car! Chitwa Chitwa...you left no stone unturned. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Tristan let me use his Ranger's Rifle as a prop for a few photos. Don't get any ideas - the problem I mentioned at the beginning of this blog entry did not involve me shooting myself or anyone else for that matter!

Just before taking off for our night-time game drive. That's right...we went to see the lions eat before we ate our own wedding meal - in full wedding garb and all. Surreal to say the least!

Since this entry is already quite long…and very photo heavy, I am going to write about the wedding dinner and party portion of the evening separately.  This way I can keep you in suspense as to what went WRONG on our wedding day.  Believe me… it was pretty terrible.   But when looking back, it does make for a great story.  Stay tuned!

All images courtesy of Stefan du Plessis Photography

Classy Bride?

25 Sep

I don’t know if it was the carnival theme itself that made me forget that I was the “bride” or just the nature of being a Kentucky girl at heart that brought out my “trashy” side…but after looking through the photos, I realized that I may have had a few questionable moments at the Circus of Love.  I mean – there was a point when my mother’s amazing friend, Jeannetta, told me to put down “one” of my drinks.  Seriously…a double-fisting bride?  Who did I think my groom was? Edward Forty-Hands?

Taking a shot of Blanton's with my friend, Ellen. Clearly, she is also a Kentuckian!

 

Big Top Bourbon Tasting

 

Ouch! Caught "pink" handed with 2 drinks!

 

Cracking open a Pabst Blue Ribbon!

 

Why toast with champagne when you have PBR?

Images courtesy of Eden Ink Photography

The Happy Couple at The Circus of Love!

24 Sep

We are so excited to be able to share some pictures!  Abigail at Eden Ink Photography did such an amazing job capturing our big top day!

 

More images from The Circus of Love by Eden Ink Photography to come!

 

 

 

Silly Schafers – “Tricks” are for Kids!

23 Sep

Technically, I am now a Hutchinson – but the real truth is that when it comes to Brett’s family, the Schafers pretty much dominate.  The sheer volume of them alone is quite phenomenal (Donna – Brett’s mother is 1 of 14)!  Then, when you add in their entertaining personalities and their uncanny ability to coordinate routines that would put the Partridge Family to shame…they become an unstoppable force.

It should come as no surprise to you (since you are reading this) that I not only like, but prefer over-the-top things.  So when my new family welcomed me into their crew by writing a song and singing it for us, staging a FLASH dance in the middle of the Circus of Love, and performing the famous Schafer Magic Show – I could not have felt more at home.

Here are a few pictures from “The Schafer Shows!”  Another big thank you to all of you.  You made our big day under the BIG TOP even more “Carnie”!

Settling in our seats for The Schafer Song!

                               Brett and Morgan Song

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schafer FLASH MOB

 

Gary Schafer...The Ring Leader!

 

The guests get involved!

 

I Heart Donna Schafer Hutchinson!

 

Let the Magic Begin!

Susie the Clown

Schafer sisters stomping and clapping to notify the crowd that the show is about to begin...

I "magically" reappear with a flying trapeze inspired costume change....

Brett Approves!

Let the Show Begin!

Toasting Before the Show

Amazing 1st Trick!

Clearly, we were impressed...

This is a good one...light bulb lit by cleavage!

We like it!

Saved the Best for Last!

Officially becoming part of the family...

Images courtesy of Eden Ink Photography

 

 

 

Southern Ladies and Their Lipstick

24 Aug

Stereotypes would have us believe that women raised below the Mason Dixon Line and women raised above it are polar opposites.  Perhaps in the days of Scarlet and her beloved Tara – Belles and Yankees didn’t often see life in the same way – but in today’s world (sans plantations and bonnets) when comparing my mother and her southern friends to my mother-in-law Donna and her north of  the line friends – the main difference is as small as lipstick.  I am not suggesting in any way that Donna or her friends are not big fans of lipstick.  It is simply a difference in the number of applications per day. For example – our sweet southern friend Gay Haverstock (who does happen to own a clothing store with a full Estée Lauder counter) is a real stickler.  When playing doubles tennis – she will call out the ladies who need to reapply theirs “lips”.  In my 100% honest opinion…this is her way of saying, “I care about you, and I want you to be (look) your best.”  Now – after playing golf with Donna, as well as several of her close (and wonderful) friends, I can assure you that they are not reminding each other to reapply.  Which might lead one to believe that they are a more competitive group – perhaps more focused on the game.  Well…I believe that the dance off at the “Circus of Love” proves a very equal amount of competitive nature between the two groups of ladies (who I might add…also became fast friends)!

The pictures set the stage better than my words possibly can.  But for a short and sweet clarification – the final round for the southern ladies included a “how low can you go” move all the while perfectly applying their lovely lip-sticked lips!  Full disclosure – Donna and her friends took the top award.  Coincidently – it involved lips as well…big “carnie” wax lips.

My mother starting to lead the pack of Murray women in the lipstick challenge. Love that this group includes both of my 80-year-old grandmothers!

Going as low as we can go while perfectly applying our ruby reds! The tallest blonde to the right is Gay...the instigator of our lipstick talent show.

Back up and doing a celebration shimmy! I love how Ruth (2nd from left) is raising her tube of lipstick like she is toasting with a glass of champagne!

The Columbus Crew with their answer to the lipstick dance...big wax lips and a lollipop routine!

The Columbus Crew with their answer to the lipstick dance...big wax lips and a lollipop routine!

And then came the wax mustaches...

I absolutely love all these ladies and I sincerely want to thank them for stepping up the game on the dance floor!  It was tough for the younger crowd to keep up!  Obviously – I give them 5 blondes out of 5.

Teaching the craft to the beautiful Fiona York!

Schafer Welcome Song and Magic Show Up Next….

An Upstaged Bride

19 Aug

A Bride and Groom might assume that at their own Circus of Love Celebration – they would be the main attraction…but in our case –  Mr. Sean Platt, caricature artist extraordinaire, stole the show.   And…we couldn’t be happier about it!

Morgan and Brett Hutchinson's Circus of Love Caricature by Sean Platt

Originally, we hired Sean for two hours – but after being told numerous times that our guests were waiting in line for almost an hour for his services, we asked him to stay for the entire six hours.  He had a line out of the barn for the rest of the night!  I am not even sure if the poor guy got up to use the men’s room!  Thankfully, I do know that my Aunt Lorna and my mother were providing him with water.  Well – I assume it was water and not bourbon…although Brett and I were the last to get our caricature drawn, and I look a bit more like Kelly Ripa than Morgan Hutchinson and he looks a little more like John Travolta.  That said – Mr. Platt was wonderful and we highly recommend him!

Now I would like to call on all of you who had your caricature drawn at the party!! Please email them to me at morganbhutch@hotmail.com and I will add them to this post!  I already have a few…  Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you will receive a notification when I upload a new caricature drawing.

If you live in the Central Ohio area and you are looking for a caricature artist for your next party or event – Mr. Sean Platt is the guy for you! http://www.seanplatt.com/

Mona (Mother of the Bride) and Joe Bolin. Mom - how is he supposed to draw you while you are cackling like a hyena? By the way, Joe - he nailed you!

Mom and Joe. The Finished Product!

Two of our favorite New Yorkers... Michael Zorich and Greg Reed!

Greg....I totally recognize this facial expression! It is so you!

Dione and Greg Schwartz. D...I loved your sparkly toes that night! It's a shame they can't be seen in the drawing! If only you were a circus acrobat...

Craig and Lisa Lomonico. The first two Ohio friends I met of B's. LOVE them!

Christa (my beautiful friend from college...although you really can't tell from this caricature!) and Michael Ketchum.

Please send me more!

Paris in the Springtime Part Deux

8 Jul

Okay…so I realize that it is officially summer.   I also realize that we have officially been back from Paris for over a month – but between planning The Circus of Love in Columbus, Ohio and our Safari Wedding in South Africa (all the way from Beijing) I am a little bit behind on my blonde blogging.  That said, I would like to quickly sum up the rest of our wonderful trip to Paris.  Then…I will get back to stories of our life here in China!

Saint Germain L'Auxerrois Church

Isn’t it such a pity that Jennifer and Jean-Marc were married in such a boring cathedral in the center of Paris?  I really feel for them.  Just wait until you see the reception venue.  Complete white trash.  It is so clear that she is a fellow Kentuckian.  Oh wait…I think I might be mixing their wedding reception up with the “Circus of Love” (i.e. carnival freak show) that Brett and I are having next month.  That’s right, it’s all coming back to me now – Jennifer and Jean-Marc’s reception was held at Château d’Ermenonville – a breathtaking castle just outside of Paris.  Classic mix-up.

Admiring the Beautiful Bride's Beautiful Bouquet

Old KY Friends Reunite in Paris! FASHION: Gold One-Shoulder Herver Leger Bandage Dress with Leopard Print Louboutin Peep-Toes

It took less than an hour to get to the château from city center – which flew by as everyone in the last few rows of the bus came equipped with a bottle of champagne. Why is it that the misfits always sit in the back?

Jenny and JM timed everything perfectly.  We were able to check in to our room (which was inside one of the château’s turrets by the way – so cool!) make a quick costume change, and then head down to a cocktail hour in the courtyard area just as the bride and groom were finishing up their wedding photos.

Inside Saint Germain L'Auxerrois

Brett in front of Château d'Ermenonville

Cocktail Hour! FASHION: Late 70's Vintage Gold Lame Halter Dress

We spent the cocktail hour (although we should probably add an ‘s’) enjoying the perfect spring weather while catching up with old friends and chatting up new ones from every corner of the world!

A few quick pics before the dinner began.  The meal was a culinary treat!  Lucky for us…we got to enjoy the five-star cuisine from the Château more than once – since we overslept and missed the bus the next morning!  I still cannot believe that we were the only two guests who missed the bus after a wedding reception that lasted until 5AM!  They certainly do know how to keep a party going in Paris.  That said, I had the best steak tartare of my life the next day for lunch.  I would miss the bus all over again for that.

To Jennifer, Jean-Marc, and both of their families – Thank you so much for including us in your special celebration. We had the best time!  I also have to send a thank you to Alex Leeper for reminding me (and Brett) just how cool kids can be. Alex – you are one cool kid!

The beautiful views from our room!

Rosé at Roland Garros

The next day we were able to go to the French Open – and as luck would have it we got to see Federer  and Djokovic play.  Not each other, obviously, it was only the first round – but it was such fun.  I love how the French do sports.  What better way to take in a match than with foie gras, champagne, and macaroons?

Lunch at the French Open

Brett...are you positive that China's car market is larger than Paris's? Maybe we should move here and find out?

We spent our last night in Paris with Leigh (a childhood friend of mine from Murray) and her husband Damir.  They met us at our hotel bar – which was darling.  We stayed at Le Hotel Burgundy (www.leburgundy.com) for the last few nights – a boutique hotel in the 1st arr.  The rooms are fantastic and it smells like I imagine heaven will smell.

When the hotel bar closed – we all decided to head upstairs, raid the mini bar, and enjoy a night-cap on the balcony. Naturally, Leigh and I could not stop pinching ourselves.  Are we really in Paris together?  The same two little girls who used to play in the mud back in Kentucky?  The ones whose mother’s made them call when they crossed Chestnut Street to go from the Cheri Theater to Pizza Hut?   Mom!  Gay!  We survived!

Parisian Flea Market - Marché Vernaison

We did manage to sneak a little shopping in before we left the next day, but there is not enough time in one’s life to explore all of the treasures that Parisian shops and flea markets have to offer.  I do have one recommendation in particular though – Antiquitiés Bijoux in the Marché Vernaison is a treasure trove of vintage Chanel and YSL.  They carry only the most unusual and well-preserved pieces.  It is not to be missed.  (Allée 1, Stand 3, 93400 St.Ouen.  Tel: 06 03 47 76 11).

Au Revoir, Paris!  Until we meet again….

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