Hey Gorgeous, The Blog

Events

May 12

Pep Talk Tuesday {Make Room for the Good Stuff}

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Hi friend!

How are you feeling today? Are you feeling busy, tired, overwhelmed, bogged down or spent today? Phew. I get it. Take a big breath. Give yourself a minute of silence. I’ll wait here while you do that.

Welcome back. Please know I’m here walking beside you in the busy. I think a big part of our societal obsession with busyness exists out of our innate desire to be approved of and well liked by others. But I also think it’s much, much deeper than that. I believe we live in a competitive world, a world where the bar knows no limits, where often it feels like a rat race trying to keep up not just with everyone else around you but some days, even with yourself. I’ve been guilty of the rush, the busy, the spread-too-thin, the not-today-but-maybe-one-day. I’ve been exhausted and robbed of joy because sometimes my focus in on all the wrong things and in all the places my heart and mind should never dare go. But there’s been a shift in the universe lately. Thank goodness.

This year has marked a personal journey to find joy and contentment. It’s been five months thus far of ups and downs but mostly a lot of ups. My thought process in this journey has been much like what I would assume training for a marathon is like. Just a little bit of work each day towards my end goal, is adding up to a lot of progress. One of the biggest takeaways has been making room for the good stuff. Margin. White space. Free time. Being bored. Can you remember the last time you felt bored? I can. It was awkward and left me panic stricken. I think I’ve become accustomed to going a mile a minute every hour of the day. No thank you.

Making room for the good stuff has allowed me to heartfully hone in on my craft and the thing that brings me the most joy; creating with florals. There’s been more ‘just because’ design days in the studio this year than ever. I’ve been able to work (with much willpower might I add) according to my office hours and save time outside those parameters for family, friends, travel and well, time to just get bored as mentioned above. I’m still getting used to that. I’ve been able to pour love and attention into each of my clients to ensure their special days are as perfect as can be. Life isn’t perfect – and it never will be – but it’s a life full of joy and contentment.

I also wanted to add in here (because I’ve been MIA lately!) I’ll be taking on a limited number of summer and fall weddings next year and have room for two more events in my calendar. I would so love to meet and cater to some new couples who share an approach to celebrating, marriage and the good stuff like my team and I do.

Photo above by Bradley James Photography of a Hey Gorgeous Events floral creation dreamt up on a recent free time, design day. I sure do love a blush and butter color palette, don’t you? Happy Tuesday, my friends.

You’re so worth it today. Xoxo

Apr 27

Kristine + Brett {HGE Wedding with Harrison Studio}

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When a couple have been together for more than ten years and come to you to plan their big day, there’s admittedly a bit more pressure than normal to create something really spectacular. I still remember the day Kris and I skyped together for our initial meeting (with her sweet Mom by her side) and I felt an overwhelming amount of respect for not only the love and care that she and Brett had for one another but how that same love and care would be instrumental in guiding their wedding planning decisions. As soon as we started planning it was clear every desire and wish was very intentional, and each decision was treated with extreme but timely care. To say Kristine and I grew together during the planning process would be an understatement. Watching her walk down the aisle with her incredible father that day still gives me goosebumps nearly a year later.

Kristine and Brett, we love you guys so much! I could go on for days about you both. And to my team, I have to give you ladies a huge shout out for your hard work that week. We took the truck up to Petoskey that week to prep all of the florals (over 500 stems of white hydrangea!) and worked day and night to make it all come together. I can’t say enough about the kindness of the hotel staff (who brought us food and drinks during our prep days), the families and friends who travelled near and far to come out and celebrate the couple that weekend (and to pop into our work room periodically to compliment our work), and the talented vendors who made that weekend feel like a blessing instead of work. Because it was truly a beautiful melange of both.

Happy Monday, friends. Enjoy this sweet celebration!

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Northern Michigan is fascinating. It’s such a gorgeous place to say I do!

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And the cutest ring bearer and flower girl award goes to . . .

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It was honestly a perfect and picturesque Northern Michigan day for a wedding. The day before, the forecast called for rain all day (fun fact: 100% of my 2014 weddings called for rain) but that day when we woke up, the forecast had miraculously changed to only a 10% chance of showers! We took full advantage of the beautiful weather and went ahead with the planned outdoor ceremony while the landscape and exterior of Stafford’s Perry Hotel was the perfect backdrop for portraits of the couple prior to their cocktail hour.

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Kristine’s bouquet was one of my favorites I’ve ever made. Kris told me to make whatever I wanted and well, truthfully I think that put the pressure on me a bit more than normal. Half of her bouquet was made up of roses sent from a farm in California, some really gorgeous blush anemones, white peiris, sweet peas, garden roses, spray roses, blushing bride protea, and some jasmine vine. It smelled absolutely incredible! I also created a custom beaded wrap that matched the custom sleeves on her Reem Acra gown and this wrap went around the handle of her bouquet. You can tell the blush nail color she wore was pretty spot on too!

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The tent! I wish you could have seen it in person, guys!

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Sleek, elegant, grown up, glam, sophisticated. These were all cue words Kris and I talked about when we worked on the design of her wedding. We took a lot of inspiration from her and Brett’s home, the colors they are most drawn to, and the addition of texture; and lots of it! The coolest part was even though the design was so bold, contrasted with the environment and the intimate guest list of 100 people, it was a really cozy space.

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The first dance was to Coldplay’s Magic. Awesome right?

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Kristine and Brett, working with you two was a pleasure and an honor. You welcomed the team and I into not only your world on your special day but into your family’s lives. We are so grateful for your hearts, trust and kindness. While last August was one of the best days of your entire lives, the best part for me now is calling you dear friends. Let’s do tacos and margaritas again in Grand Rapids sometime soon pretty please! Xoxo

You can catch more of this incredible event via The Knot here or in the spring 2015 issue of The Knot Michigan which hits newsstands next month. Big thanks to Ben and Laura of Harrison Studio for the gorgeous photos and always fun day of work! And make sure you watch the most beautiful wedding film over here, made lovingly by the team at Zara Creative. It’s incredibly beautiful.

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Photography: Harrison Studio / Planning, Design and Florals: Hey Gorgeous Events / Videography: Zara Creative / Venue: Stafford’s Perry Hotel / Linens: Nuage Designs / Gown: Reem Acra via Belle Vie Bridal Couture / Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka / Invitations: Smitten on Paper / Menus: Aerialist Press / Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy / Cake: Bella e Dolce / String Trio: Bayshore Strings / Entertainment: Pluister Entertainment / Hair: Billy Dixon, 6 Salon / Rentals: Special Events Rental

Apr 25

The Year of Content Week 14 + 15

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Happy weekend, friends! If you’re just joining us in this series you can go here first and here second.

First of all, I so love the end of April. It’s a month that’s always so full of anticipation and hope. I’ve lived my entire life in places where if we’re lucky, spring starts to show its face right around the end of April, and that for me is one of the most renewed times of the year. This April has been no exception as we spent last weekend (when we had a high of 75 degrees here in Michigan!) finally out in our yard in the sweet sweet sunshine spreading wood chips, cleaning up leaves, and getting ready for our yard to burst into bloom in the next few weeks. Like my friend Lara talks about so frequently, there’s something tremendously fulfilling about watching tiny seeds grow into something big and beautiful thanks to your love and care. Not to mention doing all that hard work with your husband by your side. It’s been a nice start to spring, my friends. Onto my debrief!

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What has not been working: March is always a hard time of the year for me personally because I struggle with the tail end of winter and often start to feel a bit restless and defeated. Remember those new year resolutions you purposefully set in January? Mine always go out the window this time of year. After returning home from our Seattle wedding at the beginning of March (which might I add, spring had started to bloom in Seattle that week) I really felt a sense of discontent with a lot of areas of my life. When we find ourselves sitting in discontent or ungratefulness, one of the areas that I think can usually take a back seat to our love and care is our marriages and relationships. And I’ve been guilty of that. March just felt icky in a lot of ways and now that I can look back, I feel like since I wasn’t myself, I couldn’t be the best version of me for others.

What has been working: As I mentioned in my last The Year of Content blogpost, Andrew and I decided to tackle the #contentmentchallenge again together at the beginning of April. It’s been admittedly tough to be super intentional with our money lately especially in moments of boredom together or times when we feel too lazy to cook our own food, but there’s been a big silver lining to this. We’ve been taking Zoe on more walks, having more heartfelt conversations, eating more meals at our kitchen table, spending time in the kitchen and the list goes on. While we took on the challenge again to be better managers of our finances, the ironic part is we have truly grown a lot in our marriage because we’ve been using our time much differently and efficiently.

Short term goal: Continue to find contentment in this time of growth in our marriage.

Long term goal: Celebrate our five year wedding anniversary in Tuscany with the Nelsons this fall.

Feel free to leave your experiences below and to share them with the hashtag #theyearofcontent

Happy Weekend friends xoxo

Apr 20

Why A Full Service Wedding Planner Is An Investment

Happy Monday, friends!

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I’ve been promising a post on this subject for a while and can finally share a bit more on why wedding planners cost what they do. I’ve been reading so much on the subject as of late, I thought I’d share my own thoughts here!

When you’re a newly engaged bride and groom in the process of potentially hiring a wedding planner, the pink elephant in the room can come down to cost. I’m acutely aware of my own past struggles with confidently sharing my pricing with potential clients, almost as if the number coming out of my mouth was a foreign word I had trouble pronouncing! But as with anything, over time the pricing talk became a bit easier as my work improved and my experience and skills set grew. For me personally, I had to really practice the art of verbally discussing my company culture because only then could I confidently say my price out loud and feel like I had tangible back up to go hand in hand with that seemingly big number. For that reason, I call my pricing an INVESTMENT. And well, because it truly is more than just an exchange of money! Any client who hires me is making an investment in me just like my team and I are making an investment in the client’s lives.

Below are a few thoughts from yours truly on why a full service wedding planner can cost a pretty penny!

As full service wedding planners, we do more than just plan your wedding. Seriously! We do more than work through a list of to do’s and wear headsets on your wedding day while bossing around your DJ! It usually takes only a week of working with a client before that crystal clear moment of clarity surfaces but it’s common to hear things from clients like, “THIS is why people get a wedding planner!” It’s music to my ears! Recommending vendors, answering questions, attending meetings, serving as the liaison between the couple and other vendors; these are a few of the services my team and I handle for our clients. But the full scope of what we do is so rich in detail that I sometimes truly feel the value of a planner is vastly underestimated and even more so, unknown to many as weddings have become so intricately involved over the past 5 plus years. Wedding planning certainly isn’t rocket science but it requires a lot of patience, hard work, organization, creative thinking, leadership, and passion. A truly experienced and passionate wedding planner will give you all of these things and so much more.

Our time helps you make the most and best of yours. Time is our most treasured commodity because it’s one of the few, if not only, resources you can never get more of. With the process we have at Hey Gorgeous Events, we put in an average of 400 to 500 hours from the initial consultation phase with a client to the time it takes to send thank you cards to your vendors on our behalf and clean out buckets and vases post-event. While a good chunk of the work we do involves our clients physical or verbal inclusion and requires their approval or direction, there’s am impressive amount of work also done behind the scenes to ensure we are meeting and usually exceeding our client’s expectations. Because I so love metaphors I love this one: our services are a lot like icebergs; stick with me here! There’s the exposed part of the frozen structure everyone can see on the surface of the ocean (which would be the wedding day guests get to experience) but there’s the part below the surface that’s bigger and very much the reason the top part even exists (that’s the behind the scenes we handle and manage for sometimes up to 18 months before the wedding weekend itself). Which leads me to my next point. . .

Three words! Peace of mind. Beyond the time it takes for a full service planner to spearhead the planning process of your wedding, is a long list of other valuable attributes and services (both tangible and intangible) they can and should offer. Some of those include knowing where to find the best professionals who can cater to your needs and wants, experience with things that would be new to a first time bride and groom like timeline-centered checklists, mediation with other parties, and wedding day execution, and being able to be both a professional who will WORK for you and a sensitive human being with empathy for the types of emotions that inevitably boil to the surface in the process of planning a milestone like a wedding.

I often try to put myself in my client’s shoes when I approach them with ideas or try to manage a tricky situation on their behalf. While the vendor recommendations, big ideas and checklists we provide are nice to have and honestly, part of the reason we are still in business, the peace of mind and reassurance from another person who cares as much as the bride and groom does, is most definitely the best part of the investment and value in our brand (again, this is what I feel time and time again when I reflect on the planning process from my client’s perspective and also, when I think of the things I wish I would have had as a bride to be.) People want to be heard and understood, and I believe this is even more true when they are planning their wedding. To have someone you can trust and depend on to do that full time for you leading up to and on your wedding day is a luxury and most certainly an investment.

I could absolutely share more about this topic but I’d love to link over to my friend Lauren Grove who authors and runs the blog Every Last Detail. She has some tremendous tips and posts that go beyond inspiring images and visual loveliness. This post called Seven Things Wedding Planners Do is one of my favorites. Happy Monday, friends! Photos above from this wedding shot by Bradley James Photography.

Apr 13

Timeless Elegance

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I think a lot about wedding trends and how they come and go much like fashion trends do. For example, I remember in high school feeling a strong dismay over most of the shirts hanging in the popular clothing stores because they were very short in the midriff area. My sporty boyish figure did not compliment that style well and shopping always felt impossible. A few years after that when longer tanks and shirts became they rage, I jumped for joy and probably begged my mom to buy me every one I could get my hands on. Even to this day, most of the tops I wear are longer, very flowy in fabric and a bit on the ethereal and romantic side.

But! If you’re aware of things in other creative industries (fashion, interior design, etc) you’ll know crop tops, even extreme crop tops are sort of the ‘it’ outfit right now. The red carpet is graced with two piece gowns and the shorter the top the better. A quick scroll online shows the same thing on most of my go to shopping sources sites. And just like that, my dreaded high school fashion nightmare is coming back to haunt me because I honestly still don’t have the abs or gusto to wear something like a crop top. But hey to each their own right?

My point is this; my team and I work really hard to not only plan wonderful events, but to create an event aesthetic that will remain timeless for years to come. I went through some blog post drafts this weekend to plan for today and realized I never blogged the photos from an editorial project back in 2012. I had just started to officially add floral design into my offerings that summer and was fearful of what others would think. I was fearful of a lot actually. But when I looked through the photos I realized the values and virtues in the Hey Gorgeous brand were pretty spot on back then with what they are now. How cool right?

Enjoy these stunning images from my dear friend, Cyn Kain. And a big thank you to the amazing team who braved a nasty Michigan winter to make this all possible. Today’s lesson is sometimes we need to give ourselves a bit more credit. Darling, you’re doing better than you think! I’ll be reminding myself of this all day, I’m sure.

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The cake was my favorite detail! How stunning right?

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Happy Monday, blogettes! Xoxo

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Photography: Cyn Kain Photography / Planning, design and florals: Hey Gorgeous Events / Gowns, accessories and bridal styling: The Gown Shop Ann Arbor / Cake and favors: Sweet Heather Anne / Hair Styling: Jennifer Grace / Make Up: Posh Studio / Rentals: Special Events Rental / Linen: La Tavola Linen / Calligraphy and paper: Molly Jacques / Venue: Loft 310