June 2012 Archive

The Wedding Chicks {Free Printables}

Who doesn’t love the Wedding Chicks, right? So if you’ve yet to learn that they have the most adorable and FREE printable wedding stationery available then you need to move your little butt over there pronto. For all you paper lovers out there who can’t afford to spend a bundle on paper products this is the place for you! And if you just happen to love pretty paper then chances are you’ll find something here to obsess over, too. Above are gorgeous hand drawn Bride and Groom signs by Loft Life Press and to the right, the newest customized monogram to hit the site, adorned with paper airplanes. So sweet and fresh!

In addition to signage, monograms and favor labels the Wedding Chicks also offer Save the Dates and invitation suites you can customize, download for free and then print as you please. Talk about an incredible way to save hundreds of dollars in the invitation department! Above are my top two faves; that sweet “We Smell The Same” fox save the date from Shh My Darling to the left and the antlers inspired invitation, which I’m thinking could lend to a new trend, on the right. Remember the mustache trend from last two years? I’m telling you, antlers are it for next.

So tell me, how rad is it that you can score free goodies over at the Wedding Chicks? Are you a fan? xoxo

Pep Talk Tuesday {Shake Off That Pinterest Panic, Brides!}

I love Pinterest just as much as the next person. Seriously, I’ve even overheard middle aged women in the grocery store dishing about the latest recipes they’ve found on Pinterest. It’s a fantastically addicting resource on so many fronts and really has added a new dimension to the industry for vendors, and brides and grooms alike. Except here comes the tricky part. If you dig wedding-related stuff on Pinterest you’re likely to run into really rad ideas sort of like these ones here. And this here. Oh this is a good one. And I can only imagine how you brides out there must feel about this one here. Talk about PRESSURE.

Here’s what I want to tell you though. Before Pinterest lots of people got married. And before Pinterest lots of people had really beautiful, memorable, personalized, special and dare I even say, trendy weddings. Pinterest is a double edged sword. Never before have so many ideas been at our fingertips. But never before has the bar been raised so high making it increasingly difficult for many brides to feel like their wedding too, will be wonderful in all of its single day glory. So for all of you brides out there and even you grooms who may happen to feel overwhelmed or frustrated by the detail-frenzy on Pinterest, read this.

It’s OK if you don’t send off your guests into the night with customized bottles of Merlot or embroidered Pashminas. It’s OK if your bouquet isn’t made up of blush pink peonies, big garden roses, and ranunculus bigger than your fiance’s fist. It’s OK if the soles of your shoes aren’t red, the tag in you gown doesn’t read Vera and your ring didn’t come in a pretty little blue box. It’s OK not to be able to afford a dessert bar, a photo booth, a videographer and a late night snack taco and fajita food truck. It’s absolutely OK to shy away from any and all DIY projects. Some things are just not worth the effort or the time (and cost). It’s OK to skip the first look, to skip the long wavy hair extensions, and to skip the stripey straws at the bar.

And it’s absolutely OK to forget about all of those details on the big day. Chances are you’ll be this happy, anyway.

Photo by the amazing Jen Lynne Photography. This wedding was planned pre-Pinterest and turned out just as darling as ever. To see more from Kelli and Brandon’s big day head over here and here. And I’d love to hear from any of you brides who are in the midst of planning your wedding day. Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the pressure of having to make your big day Pinterest worthy? Or have you found a healthy way to use Pinterest to your advantage? I’d love to hear your thoughts below :)

Happy Tuesday, bloggies xoxo

Published {Mag Rouge}

Happy Monday, bloggies! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and soaked up the sunshine. In case you missed it last week the fabulous Mag Rouge launched their latest issue, with a gorgeous cover shot by the one and only Elizabeth Messina. If you thought the last two issues were stunning then you’ll have to dedicate a good chunk of your day to poring over this one. Each and every page is just jammed with beautiful eye candy. And if you happen to make a little time in your schedule for some Mag Rouge goodness, be sure to check out the second article in my column, Confessions of a Wedding Planner :)

I took inspiration from this post here and compiled a list of items that helped establish my business and give me a good start in the industry. I hope any aspiring planners, stylists and coordinators will read this article and feel inspired that they too can succeed and flourish in the incredible wedding industry I feel so fortunate to be a part of. My piece starts on page 280. If you happen to read it all the way through, I’d love to hear what you think! Enjoy your Monday and make it a good one xo

Hey Gorgeous in SMP’s Little Black Book!

If you read my blog pretty frequently, you’ll know that I share my goals every month. Working out more, spending less, being more present; a lot of the monthly goals I post are easy to accomplish and most often are doable if I just get off my butt and put a little effort into things (aka choose the elliptical over the two Krispy Kremes, Rhi). But what I don’t happen to share with you all because it can be a bit scary is that I have another goal list. Chock-full of things I want to do over the next one, five, and ten years. Some are little goals like ‘Make enough money to send Andrew on a surprise trip to Bora Bora’ (ok, maybe that’s a big goal now that I typed it out) and some are even bigger, like ‘Get a real wedding feature in MSW,’ my fave publication. But there’s a ton of in-between goals on that list too. And one of them can get crossed off of the list today. Pop the bubbly? :)

A year and a half ago my very own wedding was up on Style Me Pretty, my business not even yet a year old. I had a limited portfolio, an office that existed on my living room couch but a tenacity to work my butt off and one day, just maybe, I’d be lucky enough to display that badge of honor that comes with being a part of Style Me Pretty’s incredibly awesome Little Black Book. Looks like that day is today! And come to think of it, maybe I can splurge and get that Krispy Kreme to celebrate.

To check out my new shiny listing over on SMP, I’m sitting pretty in Western Michigan’s region right here!

And a giant thank you must go out to the amazing Elizabeth Kaye and Saturday’s sweet bride, Ashley for sending me and giving me permission to use the gorgeous bouquet shot which is currently my listing photo on SMP. Also, can we just make note of how amazingly perfect that bride and groom shot is above? I’m telling you I am just dying to see the rest of the photos from this incredibly sweet celebration! Have a fantastic, Thursday blogettes. Hope you’re able to enjoy that sunshine xoxo

FAQs: Online Consults

Happy Monday, blogettes. Today I have a little secret to swear with you: I have a crush on Skype.

I swear by that application. Mainly because 98% of my clients live far enough away that regular in person meetings are really not feasible, but honestly guys, I can’t believe Skype is still a free service. Knock on wood I hope it stays that way. It’s such an incredible tool to help me successfully communicate with my clients. A couple weeks ago I tweeted about becoming a professional Skyper (total joke there) because in one week alone I had five consults all with different clients. And someone tweeted back that they were curious to hear more about how I handle online consultations and how I find them to be beneficial.

In my opinion a virtual appointment is the closest thing to meeting with someone in person without having to leave your office. You can put a face to a name and a name to a voice, and you can get a good feel for a person’s personality. I often find that my Skype consults whether they’re with a potential client (to get to know me better) or a client I’ve been working with for months (to go in depth over the specifics on something) lets both parties feel more comfortable and relaxed with one another. I also feel like I can build a stronger, more tight knit relationship with my clients when I can periodically check in with them face to face. In addition to being free as I mentioned above, it’s also an incredibly user-friendly application. It’s truly a win-win for all.

Some basic tips to get the most of your online appointments? Make sure you Skype from a location that’s lit with natural light (remember windows behind you give off a solar eclipse vibe) and away from any distractions. Pets, kids, television, the washing machine, open windows with the lawn mower on outside, and a cell phone ringer on high are all things to avoid once that video chat is rolling. Schedule Skype dates when you’re not hungry, have a glass of water nearby and prepare to take notes if needed. Oh, and remember to dress accordingly! Treating an online consultation like an in person consultation allows the session to run as smoothly as possible and allows both parties to truly get the most out of the time being spent together.

This photo above from my most fave photographer Elizabeth Kaye makes me so totally happy to share. Ashley and Dallas were married over the weekend (I shared a teaser over here!) and their big day was such a beautiful celebration. Ashley hired me in January of 2011 and for SEVENTEEN months we planned and dished on details over email, virtual dates and the phone. It wasn’t until the day before the wedding that we were finally able to meet in person; and hug it out :) I think their wedding was the perfect example that online consults when done right can be the perfect way to bring wedding day dreams to life.

Ash, you were absolutely breathtaking as a bride. It was a pleasure to be a part of your gorgeous day xoxo