Hey Gorgeous, The Blog

Events

May 19

40 Before 40

Hi! My name is Rhi and I turn 30 today. Wait what?

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I’ve always wanted to do a 30 before 30 post but as I inched closer and closer to this milestone today it never happened. So instead I created a 40 before 40 post and I’m pretty excited about it! My 20s were really amazing and full of ups and downs, so it feels like the sky is the limit, my friends! Here’s to the next ten years of my life and making them count in a special way.

RHIANNON’S 40 BEFORE 40

1. Celebrate Lachlan’s first birthday in a special way.

2. Take a tropical family vacation somewhere in the US (Florida!)

3. Build our forever home.

4. Learn one new way to style my hair! Nancy Ray I need your help!

5. Be baptized at the same time as my son.

6. Run a fun 5k like the Color Run!

7. Learn how to make one amazing from-scratch recipe.

8. Celebrate our ten year anniversary with a vow renewal!

9. Read the entire bible.

10. Take a summer picnic with my boys and Zoe.

11. Surprise a friend by arriving at their home for a visit (preplan this with a spouse/friend!)

12. Visit Charleston.

13. Start five new Christmas traditions with our son.

14. Create an email address for Lachlan so I can send him letters until he’s old enough to login and read them.

15. Gift a Trouvaille scholarship to someone the Lord puts on my heart.

16. Go see a holiday play or ballet.

17. Fit back into my clothes from before Lachlan was born.

18. Create an intentional morning routine that I cherish and love.

19. Leave a birthday gift in the mailbox for the mail lady (we share a birthday so this should be easy!)

20. Finish Lachlan’s baby book!

21. Host a cheese and wine party with some of our closest friends.

22. Give a $30.00 Meijer gift card to a homeless person.

23. Cash in all of the coins in our closet and put the money into our savings account.

24. Book a wedding in North Carolina or another favorite southern city.

25. Reread Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey.

26. Try oysters with Andrew!

27. Find a grown up cocktail I can learn to love!

28. Treat my Dad to a fancy dinner and bottle of wine at The Reserve.

29. Send a care package to a new mom.

30. Be able to do a press handstand again post baby.

31. Learn how to perfectly marinate and cook steak.

32. Have a wedding featured on or in Martha Stewart Weddings.

33. Take a spontaneous weekend trip to Chicago.

34. Become more confident with my speaking skills.

35. Practice my calligraphy so I can address a letter in lovely writing.

36. Pack a lunch for Andrew and put a love note in the bag.

37. Create an outdoor patio or porch space to host dinner parties with friends.

38. Decorate the exterior of our home beautifully for the holidays (start in October!)

39. Teach a DIY floral class at church.

40. Learn how to successfully grow and keep my rose bushes alive.

Photo of the dude and me taken by my dear friend, Sam. I can’t believe he’ll be ten when I turn 40 :)

May 16

The Magic of Mock Ups

One of the biggest parts of my creative process includes orchestrating a floral and design mock up for clients.

A mock up is essentially an opportunity to set up a complete tablescape for my clients so they can see their flowers, stationery, rentals, linens, candles, and other miscellaneous details all together in advance of the wedding. I used to only offer mock ups to clients that requested them but over the past year have included them in the cost of my services so they are available to everyone. These personalized mock ups are such a tremendous asset to the way I serve my clients and below is a little more on why.

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Mock ups help me quote my clients more efficiently.

While some florists and designers are pretty great at knowing what to order based on each event’s needs, I find mock ups help to maximize profit and ensure I’m not over or under purchasing product. Creating a centerpiece to illustrate a design for a client allows me to better determine my recipe and ensure I purchase just what I need for the wedding plus a little extra for padding (something I do regardless). This helps me structure pricing in a way that is calculated and fair versus a way that feels like a guessing game that could potentially miss the mark.

Mock ups help ensure I am meeting a client’s expectations.

Because my team and I are so involved in the design of an entire wedding there are hundreds of details being proposed from our end to the client’s for consideration. While many can come across as straight forward (e.g. ‘an 8 foot table’ which is easy to picture), some require a bit more of a description and even, seeing in person to make sure every one involved is on the same page (e.g. ‘a garden compote created with blush floral varieties in a gold compote vessel’; What shade of blush? What size of container? Are we talking a brassy or a mercury glass gold?) I liken this to why gown shops offer alterations, caterers and bakers hold tastings, and stationers send virtual proofs. Our goal as designers and providers is to ensure we are delivering what our client will love in order to meet their expectations. And I’m going to do everything I can to set myself up for success!

Mock ups allow ample time for my clients and me to troubleshoot details ahead of the big day.

This reason is probably the biggest of all in favor of a mock up! Mock ups help me to work collaboratively with my clients and their team of vendors to troubleshoot potential problems before they can unfold on the day of. A few examples of some things that could come up at a mock up helping you to avoid disasters on the big day? A new vase you’re hoping to use for a wedding requires a liner because the material seeps water. Or a linen you’re dying to incorporate which looks beautiful online needs an underlay in real life so the table underneath doesn’t show. Or perhaps the centerpieces you’re creating are actually too big for your tables given that your client is having a family style dinner. A mock up in this circumstance would allow you to see if there is adequate room for platters of food on the tables or if you’ll need to consider a different table size or arrangement altogether.

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As my pricing has changed over the past years, I’ve learned to incorporate the average cost of a mock up into the investment for my services. One reason I’ve done this is to avoid clients feeling like they’re being nickel and dimed. The other is to further establish HGE as a high end, all inclusive boutique business. I WANT my clients to have the luxury of a mock up experience and the peace of mind knowing what they can expect on the big day.

Since the cost of a mock up can obviously add up very quickly when you consider the price of flowers, linens and napkins, rentals, candles and stationery, plus the time and effort you’ll give, below are a few tips and tricks to help you maximize your efforts IF and WHEN you too decide to offer this as an inclusion to your clients!

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ONE: Schedule a mock up around another milestone where you could utilize your florals or rentals a second time. Having a dinner party for a friend? Use the linens and napkins from the mock up! Did new neighbors just move into your neighborhood? Repurpose your mock up centerpieces into a welcome arrangement! In the past I’ve had mock ups where I’ve had to order more florals than needed for the tablescape so I’ve used the leftover blooms to make a bouquet for my bride or an arrangement she can bring home with her as a surprise. Or I’ve scheduled mock ups around a holiday and offered pop up shop arrangements using the flowers I would otherwise toss. If you think creatively about your mock ups you can make them worthwhile!

TWO: Communicate the benefits of a mock up to the other visual vendors playing a part in the wedding. Chances are they would be willing to cover the costs of their contributions in order to make sure the client is happy and the wedding will look as beautiful as possible. When I don’t host a mock up in the HGE studio, I instead bring everything to the rental company hired for the event, where I am graciously offered space in their showroom and complimentary access to the rentals for the mock up. This gives me a chance to show my clients everything to scale but also allows them a chance to see different rental options should they feel indecisive about their choices. Many times I myself have used the time at a mock up to play around with charger patterns, linens, or chairs and the final outcome has changed drastically from where my clients and I started design-wise!

THREE: Consider having your mock ups photographed (like I did here for Christine and Nick’s Chicago wedding in July!) Professional photographs allow you and your client to see how your designs will look from the eyes of your photographer who often captures things differently than you can on your iPhone. It also allows the photographer to get a feel for the wedding ahead of time. Finally, the professional pics from your mock up are an awesome way to share your work on social media, share the love with vendors, and add to your portfolio.

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If you’re a wedding vendor, I’d love to hear more about your thoughts on mock ups!

Also, a huge thank you to Sam of Bradley James Photography for coming to the studio to snap these photos for me! While Sam isn’t the one photographing the real wedding in July, having these photos was very helpful for me and my bride to see and make final decisions on things like the chargers, linens, napkin color, and centerpiece quantity per table! Plus, the photos (and that color palette!) are so pretty right?

Happy Monday, friends! Xoxo

May 9

Kristina + Josh {HGE Wedding with Marissa Maharaj}

Childhood sweethearts. Devoted Believers. Souls made of grace and gratitude. Kristina and Josh.

If you know these two well you’ll know they are a rare pair and a true gift to know and love. When I was first contacted to play a part in their late winter Seattle wedding celebration, I was very excited. Travelling to execute a wedding in a new place is a passion of mine, and the more places I get to serve my clients in the better. As Kristina told me about her fiance, Josh, their romance (which goes back all the way to grade school), their adorable bulldog, Henry, their loving families, and their faith in the Lord, I knew I would be incredibly grateful to be alongside these two every step of the way. And I was absolutely right.

What was supposed to be a January winter wedding, ended up becoming an early March wedding for these two, which allowed for a darker color palette infused with the hopefulness and newness of spring. Using mustard, cranberry, and navy tones paired together with ivory, blush, and lavender, we brought in so many beautiful colors, textures, and florals to play off the rustic and industrial space of Sodo Park. The venue felt like a fairytale from the minute people walked into the pre-ceremony until guests sent off the couple through a sparkler tunnel to their awaiting vintage car. The stars certainly aligned that night.

Kristina and Josh, and the Coates family especially; we love you! Thank you for your graciousness. Seattle will always hold a special place in my heart thanks to you. And to the vendors that all made this wedding happen, thank you too. There was an absolute dream team behind this event and I feel lucky to have been in great company working this event. More on everyone at the bottom of this post. And finally, Marissa Maharaj is responsible for the gorgeous imagery seen throughout both this post and the beautiful feature on BRIDES.

Enjoy some of my favorites from this special soiree!

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The ceremony space was one of my favorites from last year. We decorated a 5 by 5 foot circular hanging Edison bulb chandelier with greens and blooms to hang over where the couple would stand and say their vows. This then become the hanging focal point for over their cake and dessert table at the reception. I spent most of the set up that day up on a ladder but it was well worth it and really made quite the statement!

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Those flower girls! The sweetest.

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Jenny from Graceline Art created the stunning invitation suite which I designed and assembled into dove gray box mailers. We used laser cut wood medallions to adorn the ribbon wrapping everything together and of course, vintage stamps on the outside of the boxes. The paper was triple weight and included water color florals hand painted by Jenny plus gold foil and letterpress detailing. They were truly works of art!

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And the bouquets! So many delicious textures and colors.

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Like a real life fairytale, right?

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I also have to thank Steve and Jamie of Sinclair and Moore for letting Betsi, the team and me use their gorgeous studio space for the week. Without it, I’m not sure this would have been doable! And to the gals who freelanced that week (like Trouvaille alum Jen!) I had such fun working alongside you. Let’s do it all again soon shall we?

See you this summer, Kris and Josh! Xoxo

. . . . . . . . .

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Sodo Park /Photography: Marissa Maharaj / Planning, design, floral, coordination: Hey Gorgeous Events / Bride’s Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven / Hair & Makeup: Erin Skipley / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Zara / Groom’s Attire:Ralph Lauren / Groomsmen’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Flower Girl Attire: Tutus Chic / Invitations: Graceline Art / Music: Puget Sound Strings; Austin Beaver / Catering: Herban Feast / Cake: Honey Crumb Cake Studio / Rentals: ABC Rentals / Videographer: Good Times Productions / Floral tags: Layers of Loveliness / Linens: La Tavola Linens

May 8

My First Mothers Day with Lachlan Rue

Today is my first official Mother’s Day as a MAMA and guys, it’s still so unbelievable I have a little human of my own. Not a day goes by where I feel any less than overwhelmed with gratitude and joy for this season of life.

Ironically, last year when I found out I was pregnant it was just two days before Mother’s Day. That Sunday felt really special in a private and surreal way as I couldn’t believe I was growing this sweet life inside of me. But this year is even better now that we have a 16 pound bundle of love to love on in the flesh! Just shy of 16 weeks now, Lachlan is at a fun age where he is starting to become a bit more, dare I say, fun. He is starting to giggle, recognize faces, follow things with his eyes really well, sit up on his own, and show other hilarious parts of his fiery yet sweet demeanor. Andrew and I are still figuring out a lot of things as we go (our days have surely changed!) but have mastered the art of teamwork in a new and profound way. I can’t quite remember what life was like before being Lachlan’s mom and I’m totally content about that.

So today I want to send Mother’s Day wishes to all of the different kinds of mothers out there, and believe me there are MANY. My wish is that you are celebrated. My prayer is you know how loved and treasured you are.

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Photo above taken by Betsy Bee Photography for a Mother’s Day mini shoot I styled at Renew Mama.

We had such a blast! Xoxo

Apr 29

The HGE Newsletter!

I’ll make this short and sweet today! After months (maybe even years!) of putting off a monthly newsletter, I finally made it a priority since returning from my maternity leave to get one put together. This Sunday on the first day of May, my first newsletter will be heading out to inboxes everywhere and I’d love for you too, to be on that list. You can sign up below if you want all of the latest on blog content, new project launches, recent features, upcoming workshops, and of course, adventures with our little family.

You can sign up HERE. I’m looking forward to bringing a little joy to inboxes everywhere on Sunday!

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Have a beautiful weekend! Xoxo

Photo by Kelly Sweet Photography