June 2011 Archive

Rustic Elegance {HGE Shoot with Tonya Peterson Photography}


I am so thrilled today to let you all know that we’ve been featured on 100 Layer Cake! The fabulous ladies over there put the sweetest piece together for my team and I and, I know I am speaking on behalf of everyone else when I say how honoured we all are. You can check it out over here but of course I had to share all of the yummy eye candy over here too. The primary inspiration for this shoot was based off a board created by the fabulous Kathryn over at Snippet and Ink. I loved the neutral colour palette and juxtaposition between rustic and elegant, and wanted to create a shoot that would be easy for brides to duplicate on a larger scale. It was also important that I created something simple, natural and organic with a touch of softness and femininity.

Naturally, picking Crooked Creek Ranch was the best decision I could have made for this to happen. This Wine Country Wedding’s venue is beyond beautiful and absolutely perfect for couples looking to treat their guests to a unique wedding reception that really showcases the beauty of Northern Michigan. Even better, the staff like Michele, the venue coordinator at CCR, are extremely accommodating, welcoming and in tune to making each and every event special and unique.

For the cake structure I combined an aesthetically beautiful and feminine cake with a masculine rugged structure created solely out of vintage crates and boxes. The idea was to give the structure different dimensions, heights and textures. Kelly, went above and beyond with the cake design combining delicate ruffles and a large sugar peony with intricate gray embroidery designs.

The guest book was a life size version of a traditional wish tree. I strung pieces of fabric, lace and ribbon from a tree on the ranch and then using a vintage vanity from the venue, set up a simple guest book station. There was a sign letting ‘guests’ know to adorn shipping tags with well wishes to the newlyweds before clipping them to the fabric and lace.

Liz from The Parsonage really outdid herself with the incredibly gorgeous floral design. I gave her a colour palette and then requested “full, fluffy, textured florals and any quirky blooms and greenery you can think of.” And she did just that exactly and more. The garden, spray rose, and peony centerpieces gave the tablescape substance and warmth. Against the red barn, the little springs of astilbe and ranunculus loosely tied into the arrangements also allowed the shoot to feel more organic and less structured. The bride’s bouquet was totally fabulous too; two peonies slightly out of out place in the hand tied bouquet allowed for a whimsical look that complimented our model perfectly.

Michelle from Papertalk, as usual, did an amazing job with the paper products. Kraft envelopes and signs complimented the rustic vision, while elegant flourishes and fonts allowed the menus, thank you tags, signage, and invitations to feel more formal. The muted blush colour included through the stationary added that hint of femininity. And the menus, which doubled as each guest’s table number card were completely brilliant.

The favors were handmade salted caramels from Nicole over at The Caramel Jar, which I wrapped in kraft paper bags, and adorned with tags made by Michelle. If there’s a caramel heaven I know now it exists that’s how delicious these treats were. I hands down will refer every one of my clients to Nicole for unique and tasty favor ideas. Lydia was on hand to do our models hair and make up and I’m always impressed with her ability to transform a person’s look. And the sweet Maggie from Renee Austin Weddings in Grand Rapids lent us the most perfect gown for the shoot which as you can tell, it absolutely to die for.

Lastly I cannot say enough great things about the three that captured the day so wonderfully. Tonya (who flew in all the way from New Mexico!) allowed the pretty Northern Michigan light to bring the images to life and really captured the softness I was going for. She was an absolute pleasure to work with. And well the video? It speaks for itself. Let’s just say I love Paul and Vanessa from Future Focus Media, so much that I’ve booked them for my own anniversary shoot this fall. They are one talented duo.

Oh and our models; are newlyweds, Jen and Nick. Who I’ve come to learn never got their own wedding photos or video. I am so thrilled they now have wedding-esque photos and a video to showcase their, undeniable love for one another!


Oh and check this out. I am obsessed with this :)

Hey Gorgeous | Style Shoot from Paul Filan on Vimeo.

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Photography: Tonya Peterson Photography / Styling and Design: Rhiannon Nicole, Hey Gorgeous Events / Venue: Crooked Creek Ranch / Florals: Liz Andre-Stotz, The Parsonage Events / Cake: Kelly Kobus, A Piece o’ Cake / Paper Products: Michelle Ellen Lee, Papertalk Press / Favors: Nicole Ebbitt,The Caramel Jar / Dress: Maggie Torongo, Renee Austin Weddings / Hair and Make Up: Lydia Terpstra / Wood links: West Elm / Videography: Paul and Vanessa Filan, Future Focus Media / Models: Real life married couple, Nick and Jen Doornbos

Friday Wrap Up
Happy Friday everyone! Did you guys catch this beautiful and playful bridal ballerina shoot over on the Wedding Chicks today? Like I’ve said before, I just love seeing balloons used in unique new ways and this shoot was no exception. Is there not something about the photo above that makes you wanna jump into the frame to toss around some balloons? And today, well today marks the end of another fabulous week. I don’t know about you but this week sort if whizzed by and I can only imagine the weekend will feel the same. Tomorrow I am assisting with the florals at an event and my Sunday will be spent relaxing and staying away from my computer. I mean, trying my best to do the aforementioned. This girl needs to start setting office hours.
In other news, next week I am hoping to have the new WordPress site up and running. Eeeek! I know I know I keep teasing you guys with this but I promise it’s happening so very soon because I am officially done with blogger. I’ve just been having so many problems with uploading photos and having portions of my posts just disappear that it will be refreshing to have a much more dependable back end and blogging platform. I can’t wait to show you guys the new site and I can only hope you’ll love it as much as I do. Until then, here’s all the fun that happened here this week. It was a short week thanks to a venue scouting trip in Detroit on Monday but believe me; the rest of the week was fun-overload. Catch you all on Monday, beauties!

{Monday} The sweet Jen from Made by Girl featured my finished Girl Cave!
{Tuesday} It’s official; this is one of the most popular posts ever on Hey Gorg.
{Wednesday} Big hugs to the Wedding Chicks for featuring my best work yet!
{Friday} How does it feel to be married? Come join in the discussion over here.

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Lovely Links Around the Web

{Baked} How have I never tried this brilliant twist on an old classic?
{Pillows} I’m thinking a few of these will look just lovely on our bed.
{Starbucks} Was the inspiration for this totally rad surprise proposal.
{Minnie} This artist gives a whole new meaning to itsy bitsy kitchen.
{Quote} I’m not a huge wall decal person, but this changed my mind.

FAQ Friday; When You Don’t Feel "Married"
Last month I posted a little cry for help in the FAQ department and I was overly thrilled with the response I got back from you guys. It’s official that one of the things I love most about my little blog here is how many of you feel the same as I do about the endless situations I write about. It’s nice not to feel so alone sometimes. But anyway here is a little dilemma I received from a reader that I think I totally love. She got married in February and says she doesn’t feel “married.” She doesn’t feel like she’s a part of her husband’s family and she doesn’t feel like a wife. She gets that these types of things are going to feel different to different people but perhaps myself and all of you guys can help her with her newly-wedded woe, no? I think so. Let’s do this!

This little problemo first of all, reminds me of the post I did here on what it really means to be a wife. You guys seriously loved that post and I myself, still scroll through and read all of your thoughtful comments (like I said, the more people rowing along in this little boat of mine, the better). In that post I explain how to me, becoming Apb’s wife didn’t mean my feelings, my role or my expectations changed; but instead the difference (and really the only different in my opinion) was that now, legally we were husband and wife. Should I feel different as we became husband and wife? Maybe. Maybe not. All I know is that at first it felt totally weird to become a wife but still have the same feelings and ultimately the same relationship with Andrew.
There are so many days I wake up now, nearly ten months after our wedding and I too, don’t feel married. I think to myself “Whoa whoa whoa, you are married, girlfriend” and I know I am married, I love who I am married to, and I love that we share this union, journey and relationship together it’s just that I don’t feel it; or is that or this rather, what’s it’s suppose to feel like? I feel young, and hip and think it’s so cool I get to have permasleepovers with this guy I love. I feel happy and I know I am happy. But then the title ‘married’ and ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ sort of slap me wide awake and I think to myself, “Well that’s weird Rhi, that you don’t feel married cause you are. And if you don’t feel like marriage is different then girl, you are cah-razy!” 
You know how when you’re young, you’d turn another year older and it never failed that one of your relatives would ask “How does it feel to be another year older?” I remember one year after my birthday party I laid in bed that night, totally bummed my birthday was over and I had to wait a.whole.other.year.till.the.next.partay, but thinking super hard about that question and how it really did feel, like physically, emotionally and mentally, to be nine years old versus only eight. And I got really frustrated super fast because I felt nothing, except too much birthday cake in my stomach. Ask me the same question now at age 25 and maybe I could tell you what it felt like to be eight then but you catch my drift. Hind sight is 20/20 isn’t it?
So my thoughts are this; when you don’t feel married is that normal? Do some of you out there feel married and if so can you explain what that means? Does feeling married become something you feel with time or is it something that select people feel and others don’t? Do you brides to be out there have expectations that after your wedding you will feel something uniquely different? I (and one of my readers here!) would love to hear your thoughts. Photo by Amanda Wilcher.
Lindsey + Ryan {HGE Wedding by Julie Harmsen Photography}


One of the things I first told myself when I started my business, was never to forget how important it is to maintain solid relationships with my clients, long after fulfilling my role as their wedding planner. I tell my clients, that as much as they are making a financial investment in me and instilling an enormous amount of faith in my services, I too make an extremely large emotional investment in them; and do my best to find that tricky balance between wedding professional and wow-that-girl-with-the-clip-board-really-does-super-duper-care-about-us-as-people-and-not-just-clients. I want to be there for them physically, and mentally, and the bottom line is, I love my clients. More than anything, I want them to shine on their big day.

Lindsey and Ryan came into my life not too long ago when I was asked to help with their wedding. I told Linds in our first few emails that she’d be getting married the day after my birthday; and she wrote back “Awesome! I’m getting married on my birthday.” And just like that I knew there was something about Linds, something that I knew I was going to love long after the last guest would go home the night of her wedding. I knew it then and I really know it now but Lindsey and Ryan, you both make me feel so incredibly lucky to do what I do. Your wedding was absolutely magical, the most perfect reflection of your love and it was an honour being a part of it. Thank you for believing in me, for being so kind and most of all, for being you.

To check out Lindsey and Ryan’s big day, head over the the Wedding Chicks blog where the sweet Amy and Jocey are showing off all of the eye candy today (thank you so much, girls!) And I must add none of this would have been possible without the talent and hard work of Julie from Julie Harmsen Photography. I’m not sure if you remember my little shriek fest via Twitter when I found out I’d be working with Julie, but the good news is she’s like 32074x as sweet in real life as she is in my imagination. Thanks Julie for the fabulous evening and stunning images. I can’t wait to see you in just a few short weeks!

Shall we start the day off with some fabulously “something blue” Badgley Mischka heels? Why, of course!

Lindsey’s Dad, Buck (who may I add is such a sweet Dad and totally told Linds to just relax and let me do my job :) was a pilot back in the day. The stickers, and buttons in the vintage suitcase below actually belonged to him during his career. And the vintage suitcases that were used to house the newlywed’s cards belonged to Lindsey’s Mom when she first went off to college (uhm I think I needed a uHaul to get myself off to college in one piece.) All of the postcards in the top suitcase were ones that Ryan had sent to Linds over the years of their long distance relationship. I know, major cuteness right here.

The prettiest bridesmaid’s bouquet made with coral spray roses, white ranunculus, Lily of the Valley (the bride’s fave), white hydrangeas, white lisianthus, ivory roses and variegated pitt greens. And then below the ever so clever signature drink: Haterade. Recipe: Equal parts lemonade, vodka, and sprite. Garnished with a candy lemon slice. Guests absolutely loved this!

Ray Ray Cliff above (inside joke) and the prettiest bouquets I’ve ever seen (below). Like I said, awesome wedding :)

Linds really wanted the cake set up to feel much like a console table of family photos that you’d find in someones home. Wedding photos of parents, siblings and great grandparents from both Lindsey and Ryan’s sides of the family, sat on either side of the three-tiered, vegetarian (you’d never even know!) spice cake that sat atop an old vintage table. Did I tell you all how tasty that cake was? Oh no? Well it was tasty my friends. I can never ever resist a piece of wedding cake. Ever.

Gail from GVL Floral did all the stunning arrangements and various centerpieces; as always she was a complete pleasure to work with. Guests also got to take home the pussy willow, ranunculus, and rose adorned arrangements at the end of the night which was a huge hit. Believe me. I was there and I saw people’s faces light up when I said they were ready for a new home!

Lindsey and Ryan’s wedding day was also Lindsey’s birthday which obviously called for a surprise cake :)

I also owe a big thank you to Kara, my assistant who helped orchestrate such an incredibly smooth event. She was on top of everything and anything when I needed her and really made the day such a big success. Head over here and here today to check out the rest of the photos and a complete vendor list from Lindsey and Ryan’s big day! Make today fabulous xoxo

The Girl Cave

Eeeek! Guys, I am so totally happy to finally share all of these photos with you :) I know some of you have seen the amazing feature that the sweet Jen put together over at Made By Girl. But I too wanted to share the beautiful photos Jenna McKenzie took because I have loved ‘em to pieces since the moment I got them back. Looking back on all of my Girl Cave progress posts from the past few months (which you can find here, here and here) it seems like I’ve really talked this space up; so I am hoping that these photos fill your expectations and more. And I hope all you chicks out there find the inspiration to morph a space in your home, into the perfect cave for you. Thank you so much, Jen! Big hugs. And Jenna, you’re a rockstar. Xo

Like I mentioned over at Made By Girl, I’ve since traded out the blue nailhead chair for two purple-gray armless versions (which are pretty rad), and flip flopped the furniture in my office to better accommodate clients and guests. But I have to say I just love that blue chair and thought it was an awesome purchase for $299 (HomeGoods). It currently sits in our bedroom. The silver lamp base is from Ikea and the white lampshade is from Target. The zebra carpet which has quickly become one of my most favorite details in the room, is from Overstock and was a deal at $180. And remember those white acrylic chairs I told you all that I hated? Well I bought the carpet once I returned the chairs. The white waste basket was $9 from HomeGoods and is used to house my wrapping paper and ribbon. It’s a fun little detail that adds a little colour to the room.


My desk is the Josephine desk from World Market, and was on sale for $170 when I bought it back in February. It has a few chips and scratches on it now from bumping it into things during our move, but I adore it because it looks like a cross between West Elm’s Parsons Desk (which I wanted so badly but couldn’t justify buying) and a desk I loved over at Crate and Barrel. The drawer doesn’t open nearly far enough but I love my desk and hope to use it for at least the new few years. My silver cake stands are from Target and my gold rimmed blue tumblers are from a vintage shop downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. The white book case is from Ikea (and is such a versatile piece). The white rhino head was a birthday present from my husband for my 25th birthday; remember how badly I wanted this guy? He’s from Z Gallerie, and my turquoise geometric print dress is from Lulus. The silver gymnast statue was a birthday gift from my sweet Mum, when I was growing up.


I just love having that pink wall. It’s totally my fave thing in our apartment (I don’t remember the colour but it’s a Martha hue). My gray desk chair is from World Market and is actually a dining room chair. It was on sale for $100. The pink cake stands are from Marshalls. The white bowl is vintage, as are the sea foam green wall hooks. The Mrs hanger is from LilaFrances on etsy and is from our wedding. The green floral print and pink Greek key pillows were hand sewn by me and the white pillow is a ring bearer pillow from Hobby Lobby. The pink flower stud earrings are from Forever 21 (Christina, I know you asked :) and the milk glass vases are vintage etsy. My curtains are from Target and are clipped back to the wall because they are too long. And I’m too lazy to sew ‘em. And they’re clipped to the wall with thumbtacks. That’s how I roll, people.

Be jealous of my peonies. Sometimes I find myself staring intently at them for long periods of time. And you can be a little jealous of my vintage teal tea cart too. I love that it doesn’t really match anything in the entire room; except my blue tumblers. One day I’ll use the cart and the tumblers to start a really cool mini bar but until then it houses my craft supplies. And it’s pretty to look at.

Keep Calm and Hey Gorg On, blogettes. I don’t care what everyone seems to say these days about these posters becoming cliche. I love my custom Keep Calm print; it was custom framed at Hobby Lobby. The silver frame on the white shelf is a vintage find and the canvas of the bouquet is from my first Inspiration Shoot and the one that Style Me Pretty featured on Valentines Day. My floral dress is from Forever 21 and the wire letter “R” is Anthropologie. Gray cardigan from Express.
And because everyone loves a good Before and After…


One more just for kicks:

And proof that Girl Cave’s make you really happy. See?

Oh and because this little guy works overtime to keep me company all day and night, I had to include some him in here too!

Hugs, everyone!