Hey Gorgeous, The Blog

Events

Aug 11

Hey Gorgeous Events Design, Decor & Floral Services

If you missed our July newsletter then you missed the exciting news!

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Starting next season we’ll be offering standalone floral and design services here at Hey Gorgeous Events.

While our focus will continue to be predominantly on full service event planning, execution and design, we’ve been working hard to intentionally make room in our calendar to accommodate a handful of floral and design only weddings. For me personally, floral design and conceptualizing my client’s wishes and dreams on an aesthetic level is where my heart is. That’s the stuff that lights me up, friends! It’s where we get to do things differently and make magic happen. While this addition to our offerings doesn’t change much in the way of how we already serve our clients, we really look forward to working with clients exclusively on the aesthetics of their big day. We’re scheduled to travel across Michigan, to Pennsylvania and back to Tuscany, Italy next year. It’s an honor and privilege to look forward to adding more exciting destinations to the calendar.

I’m in the process of getting the website updated to showcase these offerings and new additions to our portfolio after a few past events finally go to press. I plan to launch that this fall when we officially wrap up our wedding season and switch gears to more in-studio work. Keep an eye out for the launch date and more details on how we will continue to spread beauty and love to weddings everywhere.

The above photo was taken by Heather Payne at Floret’s workshop in June. What a fun adventure! Xoxo

Aug 8

How to Maximize Floral Prep in 5 Easy Steps

I remember just four years ago deciding to officially add floral design as a service to my existing planning offerings. I was a few years into my business at the time and felt like I was ready to expand and better serve my clients on a design scale. The aesthetics of a wedding is where I felt like I could best utilize my talents and be the most fulfilled so I worked really hard for about a year learning everything I could about floral prep, the cost of being a florist, proper care, finding my style, and more. I wanted to feel confident and have proof of my work before I offered those services to a client. I’m happy to report those 12 plus months of hard work did just that.

The time and financial investment to learn the ins and outs of everything was for me, very much a turning point with Hey Gorgeous Events and one of the business decisions I feel has been my best yet.

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In a little over four years I’ve learned so much about flowers, floral design, and all the ins and outs of the industry. On Tuesday last week after I posted a behind the scenes image of a centerpiece on instagram, someone asked if I always tackled centerpieces that far in advance (for a Saturday wedding). I thought that was a great question and it inspired this post on how to further maximize your floral preparations as a floral designer. The week leading up to a wedding is a race against the clock and usually a pretty exhausting one so here are some things we do to ensure we can stay the course at a consistent pace!

ONE

{Have Foolproof Timing & Scheduling}

Timing and scheduling is paramount when working with fresh flowers because they are obviously perishable. We typically start processing flowers on Tuesdays. Because we have access to a cooler we know our florals will be fresh until game day on Saturday. This in turn gives us the time we need to design everything Tuesday through Thursday, with time to tie up other wedding planning loose ends on Friday. If we run into any snags during the week or get behind for whatever reason, we like to leave Friday as a buffer day if we need it. Tuesdays are when we process everything and start greening out centerpieces. We also pull all the personal flowers to make sure those gets the most pristine blooms. Wednesday is when we tackle centerpieces and bigger statement pieces. Thursday is when I design personal florals and the girls take on smaller items. And you get the idea!

Basically we have a schedule during the week leading up to each wedding and it’s pretty consistent from event to event. This schedule allows us to maximize the small window of time we have between the flowers coming into the wholesaler and the early morning day of when we load up to get everything to the final destination. It also allows us to work from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on those floral days (for the most part) which in turn gives us a good part of our afternoons and evenings free to do other prep as needed.

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TWO

{Depend on Teamwork & Invest in Helping Hands}

I could not take on the scale of weddings we do at HGE without the help of my team. It would be impossible. The first two events I did flowers for were really big learning lessons in this department. And they were really humbling experiences for me. As soon as I admitted to myself that I wouldn’t be able to confidently offer floral services to clients without a team, I made it a priority to find really great people to work alongside.

As soon as I found Betsi and Jess and they came on board with HGE I was able to really flourish as a designer because I was able to relax and trust that we would be getting things done according to schedule versus a 3:00 am mad dash to finish up arrangements the night before a wedding. I have to also add that learning to staff weddings appropriately (based on the size of the event, timeline, location etc) is a serious asset and something to really consider. For example, a wedding with more day of installations and a shorter window of time for set up allowed by the venue is obviously a case where MORE helping hands will ensure we stay on track. And helping hands can be anyone who is reliable, trustworthy, and hardworking like a friend or family member.

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THREE

{Create Processes & Play to Everyone’s Strengths}

Processes are everything at HGE. We have a set way of working as a team and for the most part it stays that way from event to event. While I outlined above the typical things we do the week leading up to a wedding, there are also specific jobs assigned to each of us throughout those days. These jobs play on our individual strengths and help keep our productivity as a group as consistent as possible.

For example, I always design the bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, and the first arrangement for anything that needs to be duplicated like centerpieces. Betsi is a master corsage and boutonniere designer. She’s also really wonderful at making darling flower crowns and shaving floral foam like a boss. While I tend to bounce around from project to project, she is the steady force. Jess is killer at greening out anything from centerpieces to installations. She’s also our go-to for efficient packing, loading, and transportation. We could not pack a delivery van better than Jess and she has alleviated my load in anxiety almost entirely! When we have freelancers join us for larger events, they fill in the holes where we need them and it always works out perfectly. Processes that work for YOU and your business will help streamline your efforts while maximizing your preparations.

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FOUR

{Use Mock Ups to Help Maximize Time} 

I wrote this post HERE on mock ups and why I believe in (and depend on) them. I can’t tell you how helpful mock ups are to help us stay on track during those time crunched days leading up to a wedding. There is less guesswork, less wondering how big arrangements should be, less worry if we’ll have enough product, and overall less stress surrounding our prep because the groundwork has been done to ensure we’re set up for success. I know mock ups aren’t the right process or decision for many designers, but as a full service planning, design, and floral company, it absolutely it is for us, and it’s helped our week of preparations tremendously.

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FIVE

{Tackle Non Perishable Tasks in Advance}

The actual flower design process is such a small fraction of the big picture. The big picture is far less glamorous and includes many things that have to be done like pulling inventory and supplies, ensuring my order is confirmed with my wholesaler, finding substitutes for things if they don’t arrive as expected, prepping the team on what is being done for each event with meetings and hand outs, prepping containers and labelling them, setting up our workspace for efficiency, gridding out or adding foam to containers, filing buckets, processing flowers, and the list goes on. To make sure we can maximize our design time in those crucial days leading up to the wedding, we try to make sure all of the non perishable tasks are done well in advance of our design days. As a result design days are usually fun because we have time to actually design and work at a steady and not a frantic pace. I believe that my efforts to always be over prepared ensure we are right on track.

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As always, the gorgeous photos in this post are from Samantha James Photography and the graphic was created by Becky of Salty Anchor Designs. I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for staying productive with your work flow so leave your comments below. Happy Monday, friends! Xo

Jul 22

Trouvaille Workshop 2016 Top Ten Highlights

It’s been a whirlwind of a week recapping the entire past #workshopwithaheart. I’ve been reliving memories, seeing some moments for the first time through the Nancy Ray Photography team’s eyes, and counting my blessings that this is what I get to call my work. To wrap up the week I wanted to share ten of the moments from our recent experience that stand out to me the most. And today is our special gift away with Jamie of Marigold & Grey! Be sure to head over to Instagram and let us know who you would love to send a lovely curated gift to.

Rhiannon’s Top Ten Trouvaille Workshop 2016 moments!

10. This farewell gift everyone parted with. The gals at Thanks A Latte and Mrs. Freund & Co contributed to this gift and everyone went home with a delicious chocolate bar and a set of blush pink sequin pillow cases. Also included in the gift was a set of Thank You note cards for the attendees to use upon returning home. Jamie was so wonderful in making EACH part of Trouvaille so special with her beautiful vision and presentation.

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9. The fact that magnolias were JUST at their peak of blooming. #yesweforaged

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8. The friendship I have with this girl. Nancy, I’m grateful for you!

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7. These breakfast treats. Fruit in a waffle cone?! Belle’s Catering, we adore you!

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6. The conversations shared in this circle. The best.

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5. These gals who unintentionally color coordinated their outfits (even if it was on our ‘pink day‘ :)

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4. Spending a week with my crew.

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Betsi and Jess, I love you both so much. If anyone has ever worked with Betsi and Jess either at Trouvaille or at a HGE wedding you know exactly what I mean when I say these two are the hardest working, most reliable, and kind hearted women out there. I hit the jackpot in a big way when these two came into my life. They hustle hard, always anticipate the next need, keep me laughing, and treat everyone with love and respect. Trouvaille and Hey Gorgeous Events would not be the same without either one of them.

3. These send off mason jar salads. I’d like these for lunch every single day please and thank you.

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2. My heartbeat. My entire world. If we could just photoshop Zoe into this photo…

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And finally, THIS incredible video by 314 Productions. Nicole and Ty, we love you.

Trouvaille | Holly Springs, North Carolina from 314 Productions on Vimeo.

Stay tuned for our date release for Trouvaille 5.0 coming in the next month. And BIG news; we are headed back to North Carolina to The Leslie Alford Mims House! I cannot wait to share more on our next and fifth retreat which will be a celebration in and of itself. Have a beautiful weekend, everyone! Xoxo

Trouvaille Day One recap over here.
Trouvaille Day Two recap over here.
Trouvaille Day Three recap over here.
Trouvaille Day Four recap over here.

Jul 21

The Trouvaille Workshop, Holly Springs {Day Four}

Today I am going to switch up our recap series a little bit. And share with you what I like to call:

The Faces of Trouvaille

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I get emotional when I look at these photos of everyone from Trouvaille. I see such joy and passion and life in everyone. And to think all of these people came out to be a part of something I believe so passionately in is humbling. Day four of our retreat was one of everyone’s favorites. We had a casual start to the morning with a biscuit bar for breakfast while Sam of LULA Hair + Make Up touched up our attendees for their headshots. While Nancy photographed everyone around the Mims House, we all mingled and had conversations with one another. Then for an hour we sat in a circle and shared stories, asked questions, and hugged one another as each guest departed one by one. Nancy wrote a bit about this in her post here; I couldn’t have said it better myself!

The faces of Trouvaille are the heartbeat of the experience. I’m so grateful!

Join us tomorrow for a top ten highlights post from yours truly xoxo

Trouvaille Day One recap over here.
Trouvaille Day Two recap over here.
Trouvaille Day Three recap over here.
Trouvaille Highlights recap over here.

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Venue: The Leslie Alford Mims House / Photography: Nancy Ray Photography / Planning, florals and host: Hey Gorgeous Events / Linens: Nuage Designs / Rentals: American Party Rentals / Vintage rentals: Paisley & Jade / Select accessories: Gemma Jewel Shop / Videography: 314 Productions / Film processing: Indie Film Lab / Make up services: Sam Ray of LULA Hair + Make Up

 

Jul 20

The Trouvaille Workshop, Holly Springs {Day Three}

Welcome to the recap of day three from The Trouvaille Workshop, Holly Springs! This day was a good one.

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Our day started out with another delicious breakfast from Belle’s and the most amazing muffins as a treat to have during the sessions. Since Wednesday was our longest day as a group and one full of sit down education sessions, I wanted to make sure no one went hungry! It was also what I liked to call our ‘pink day’ so you can see many people took that pretty seriously when selecting their outfits. Wednesday was a really really fun day.

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To get relaxed and start off on a high note we had a fun little cupcake decorating class from Randi of Sugar Euphoria! Have you ever thought what it would be like to have a different job in the industry? I have and thought why not tackle something we don’t normally do as creatives. Some of the attendees were REALLY good at decorating too, which isn’t surprising! Thanks for the fun morning, Randi.

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Up next, we had Michelle Loretta of Sage Wedding Pros. Michelle has been a four time Trouvaille speaker now and for good reason. Her discussions on money, pricing strategies, hiring, and more always resonate so well with others and me even after seven years of business. I love being a part of the discussions that arise from her presentations because the questions that come from attendees are GOOD.

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For lunch we enjoyed a fresh and delicious boxed picnic lunch outside under the portico and it was another home run by Belle’s. The bonus was sharing Cheerwine with all of my Midwest friends who had never heard of it! And here’s a fun story: I had bought some blankets from Home Goods a few weeks before Trouvaille. The blankets caught my eye at the store because they were covered in pineapples and I knew pineapples are a symbol of Southern hospitality. I grabbed them as quick as I could and knew they would be perfect for attendees to use during the picnic part of the retreat.

Belle’s rebranded their company around the same time I found the blankets and imagine my excited surprise to see their new logo centered around a pineapple! Seeing Brooke’s vision come to life with her catering company is such an honor and I can speak on behalf of everyone at Trouvaille when I say that the food was simply out of this world. Oh! And the blankets were a BIG hit too.

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After lunch we had a very special guest join us; the amazing Lara Casey Isaacson.

I can tell you her hour spent with everyone was special, impactful, and one of those had-t0-be-there experiences. And the fun part is at the end of her discussion I had the honor of handing out copies of her book and Powersheets to each and every person in the room. It was a really fun way to come back from lunch outside and dive back into working on the business side and goal end of our brands and businesses.

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Hi Heather! If you don’t know Heather Crabtree then you need to.

This lady sure knows her stuff. Having her wisdom and huge heart with us for four days was a blessing.

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And before we sent everyone home to freshen up for dinner, we had a little cake and champagne party in the women’s lounge. Randi brought my cake tasting bar dream to life! With four different cake flavors and frostings, everyone was able to grab some sugar and bubbly, and mingle with their friends before our dinner together.

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And finally! Our finale dinner.

This was one of my favorite parts of the entire workshop. Our dinner was a really intimate, beautiful and delicious celebration of new friendships, business successes, and hope for the future. There were many special details including the stunning cake from Sugar Euphoria, a cocktail hour full of delicacies, and my favorite detail of all, that giant bay leaf garland heart on the wall to celebrate #workshopwithaheart.

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To everyone who sat around those two tables that night, I love you!

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Trouvaille Day One recap over here.
Trouvaille Day Two recap over here.
Trouvaille Day Four recap over here.
Trouvaille Highlights recap over here.

. . . . . . . . . .

Venue: The Leslie Alford Mims House / Photography: Nancy and Callie of Nancy Ray Photography / Planning, florals and host: Hey Gorgeous Events / Catering and drinks: Belle’s Catering / Stationery and calligraphy: Moya Minns of MM Ink / Curated welcome gifts: Marigold & Grey / Linens: Nuage Designs / Rentals: American Party Rentals / Vintage rentals: Paisley & Jade / Rhiannon’s earrings: Gemma Jewel Shop / Silk ribbon: Tono & Co / Videography:314 Productions / Film processing: Indie Film Lab / Cake and sample bar: Sugar Euphoria / Powersheets and Make It Happen book: Lara Casey Shop / Cosmetic pouches: Parris Chic Boutique / Eye masks: Plum Pretty Sugar