The Year of Content Week 14 + 15
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!
Week Fourteen & Fifteen
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
Why A Full Service Wedding Planner Is An Investment
Happy Monday, friends!
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.
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.
The cake was my favorite detail! How stunning right?
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
The Year of Content Year 10, 11, 12 + 13
Happy Weekend, friends! If you’re just joining us in this series you can go here first and here second.
I realize my last contentment post was a month ago. Wow! That feels so long ago and I have to say a lot of life has happened in four weeks. More notably was a trip to North Carolina last week for the spring Making Things Happen intensive and it was as always, a much needed experience in this season of life. I’ll be writing more next week about my week long trip and the awesome surprise I got when I was there but if you’re interested in learning more about the conference and what it’s all about, you can read my personal recaps from the last two conferences here and here. You can also sign up for the fall experience here! I can guarantee it’s going to be really incredible life changing two days. Also, if you have questions about what to expect or if you’re on the fence about coming and joining us, I encourage you to email me. I’m happy to help with anything!
As for my journey to contentment this year, the past four months have felt a little bit like a roller coaster. One reason pertains to a post I put out there on instagram this week, involving a bit about our struggles to start our family. It was a bittersweet week getting medical news we didn’t want to hear but at least there’s a rough plan and next steps in place to make this dream of ours a reality. Paired together with a recent meeting with our financial advisor and some really big lessons as a result of that pertaining to money, I wanted to chat today about financial contentment and how there’s been money on my mind (catch the Sam Smith reference there? Awesome). I also have to say in light of MTH last week, I think Nancy and Will Ray are rubbing off on The Bosses and I can’t say that’s a bad thing! As usual, onto my debrief.
Week Ten, Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen
What has not been working: One of the things I find hardest to manage financially as a business owner, is drawing the line between a business need and a business want. Anyone else get caught in that trap? I need to advertise here or the right brides won’t find me, I need to attend that workshop or I won’t network with the right people, I need to have upgraded branding or I won’t be perceived as talented, I need insert item you really don’t need here. Since I don’t often fall into this trap with personal purchases like clothing, hand bags, house stuff or vacations, I never really realized it was a problem of mine professionally, until the numbers were staring me in the face at our recent meeting. The recent mindset of spending money to make money hasn’t been working for me with my business. And the small amount of spending that is happening in personal areas of our lives (eating out days after we grocery shopped, another tee shirt from Target, wasting groceries and sundries) has been pretty irresponsible especially when we could be saving some of the money to help us make our dream of a family come to life. I wrote about this before here but being financially irresponsible hasn’t been working.
What has been working: Meeting with our financial advisor and committing to a plan for our future (which means saving and investing in purposeful ways for the rest of our working lives; we’re such adults) has been a really great way to stay accountable. It feels good to put money away that I know later I’ll be grateful for! Also, Andrew was a part of the second day of Making Things Happen when the Rays talk about financial peace and it’s totally amazing, and it really encouraged him and I to have a heart to heart about how we can view money differently together as a team. I know how important it is to keep the lines of verbal communication open in a marriage and I think it’s just as important if not more, to do so when it comes to money in a marriage. So hey, baby steps right! We’re working better as a team with this big part of our life together and that feels good.
Short term goal: Continue the #contentmentchallenge with Andrew until July. I’ll need to blog about this sometime soon because it’ll give me much needed clarity and I’ve also had some people ask me about the challenge. I’d recommend you read Nancy Ray’s post here or Lara Casey’s here. It’s an awesome challenge and really gives you perspective on how you spend and view your personal and professional wants and needs.
Long term goal: To end the year with a specific sum of money in my business savings while continuing to pay myself each month. I’m not sure what the specific sum is right now but that’s why this goes in the long term goal category. Does anyone else struggle with paying themselves each month? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences below. Feel free to share them with the hashtag #theyearofcontent too.
Happy Friday friends xoxo
Hey Gorgeous Events Floral Artistry
Happy Monday all of you beautiful people!
Last spring I had the pleasure of bringing on some of my favorite creative industry people for a fun floral project I had been dreaming up. I’ll share more about the project and how sometimes we fall short of our goals but for today, this post is full of floral inspiration and bridal beauty for you to soak up. It’s one of my favorite posts to date and offers four different ways to do fashion and florals! Enjoy the gorgeous captured by Brad and Sam.
Our first bouquet was ORGANIC and NATURAL. Whites and ivories will never go out of style am I right? Our lovely model had the perfect simplistic aesthetic to compliment both the gowns and florals used with this look. Sometimes less is best and we went with it with this bouquet. Also, I have a crush on green center anemones this season and hope to see them more in bouquets moving forward.
Our second bouquet was COLORFUL and WHIMSICAL. All of those bright colors and the texture of the geranium leaves made for a fun, breath of fresh air in this bouquet. A fun white velvet pom pom trim strand was fastened to the stems. I love the pop of color against the white gown! And Bri’s feisty spirit and fun sense of style (her hair!) went perfectly with this bunch of blooms.
Our third bouquet was admittedly my favorite (shocker right?) and was FEMININE and ROMANTIC. It was made up of blush and pink peonies, garden roses, sweetheart roses, ranunculus and jasmine vine. Paired together with that sweet topknot on our gorgeous model and that flirty ombre gown, I was pretty smitten!
And last but not least we had this gorgeous beauty holding our TEXTURAL and UNEXPECTED bouquet. I wasn’t sure how this one would turn out but it almost took the cake as my favorite! That thick black satin bow, the pops of plum from the peonies and that giant King protea really made it one show stopper of a bouquet.
You can see more over on the Southern Weddings Magazine blog! And a big thank you to everyone who came out for the day to help make this possible. I am forever grateful for your help, vision and kindness.
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Concept, Styling and Florals: Hey Gorgeous Events / Photography: Bradley James Photography / Bridal Styling, Gowns and Accessories: The Gown Shop Ann Arbor / Make Up: Alexandra Nicole Make Up Artist / Hair Styling: Jillian’s Salon / Models: Jaclyn Hood, Brianne Huizenga, Kyla Renn, Brittany Rogers