October 2012 Archive

Nicole + Chris {Wedding Teaser by Elizabeth in Love}

When you’re in the process of a rebrand, you’re continually looking for things, anything really, that speaks volumes about all you wish to epitomize with the new you. I had ten events in 2012 and just knew my final October 13th wedding would take the cake. From designing and assembling the florals and decor myself to the most incredible, out of the box bride and groom I was smitten with Nicole and Chris and everything about their intimate fall wedding. I also had the chance to end my season with photographer Beth Kaye (who I started the season with here, ironically!) and well, we all know how much I love that chick and her work. That above photo? Oh goodness it’s like everything I want the new and improved HGE to represent and more. How gorgeous is Nicole and her sister in law and sister on her big day? Those gowns, those expressions; I just love my job. xoxo

FAQs: Gaining An Instagram Audience

Let me start by fully admitting to the following: j’adore Instagram. Not only do I enjoy updating my photos and following others but I really rely on Instagram to help build my brand. I’ve recently been asked by a few colleagues how to effectively use Instagram to benefit building a better business and I thought it would make for a fun blog post. My followers over on this incredibly popular iPhone application far exceed the number of people who like my business facebook page or who follow me on Twitter, and on some days even outweigh the amount of hits I get here on this blog. Realistically a big chunk of why I have a faithful audience is because Instagrams allows me an easy and fun way to represent my brand. Let me explain this a little.

When it comes to maintaining my instagram feed, I strive to stay consistent, appealing and most of all in line with my personal and buisness brand, and the things I love. For example, if you check out my photos on instagram chances are you’ll find common threads throughout my photos. Like shots of my Starbucks cups, my trips every weekend, the florals I’ve designed, the weddings I’ve styled, snippets of my home, photos of the cutest pup ever and of course sneaks of projects I’m working on. My photos are posted with a decent amount of time in between to keep people excited for the next upload, and I never instagram an image unless it was taken in the right light, from the right angle. If I don’t dig the shot chances you won’t either.

Staying consistent when you’re trying to gain an audience on any form of social media is key. For example, Stace from anastasiamika on IG always has the cleanest and loveliest lit photos that detail simple items from gorgeous strands of ribbon, to her fave cup of tea and sweet little knick knacks. Similarily her brand is all about simple but sweet touches and the most gorgeous handmade stationery and cards. If you follow Lara Casey either on Tumblr or through MTH, you’ll know she has a passion for God and of course her sweet daughter, Grace. Her instagram feed is appropriately filled with photos illustrating her life as a Mom, as well as daily blessings she in constantly staying thankful for. With a simple photo upload these ladies stay true to their brands and allow readers to come to expect a pattern of activity that they love and look forward to.

If you’re looking for a way to gain an audience, try to start out listing your top three inspirations or people you love to follow. List out all of the reasons you can think of on why you enjoy staying up to date on their daily happenings. Start to brand yourself in all you do and find something that makes you unique. Maybe you love fashion so every morning you can upload a photo of yourself in your outfit of the day. Try taking a photo of your outfit from a unique angle and upload the photo at the same time every day. Perhaps you’re trying to juggle being a business owner with being a better cook. Upload an artfuly arranged shot of your cooked up creations before dinner each night, explaining what you made and how tough or easy it may have been. Whatever it is you like or do, find a fun and unique way to share this with the world via your Instagram feed.

So tell me are you a fan of Instagram? Tell me below who some of your faves are to follow and why! And in the meantime I’m off to a property assessment for a 2013 private residence Labor Day wedding. It’s going to be a nautical themed fete infused with Kate Spade charm. You can bet I squealed a little when I heard those words! Happy Monday, bloggies xoxo

Instalove Friday

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s been a wonderful week here in the HGE office as I get closer and closer to the official relaunch (set your calendars to December 18th if you haven’t already!). Between building the new site content, prepping for relaunch shoots and my fave of all, drafting up an incredible new client experience and pricing system that is just AMAZING I’ve been excitedly working away! Yesterday as you may have seen over on Instagram, I accompanied one of my 2013 brides to her gown appointment in Ann Arbor and she said yes to a gorgeous, sassy, perfect as can be dress. What an amazing thing to be a part of and yet again, another reminder that I am so blessed to do what I do! I’ll be wrapping up some loose ends in the office the afternoon before tackling this messy house of mine but I’m sure some of you have more exciting plans. So spill ‘em below!

Le sigh. To be married again in a different gown to the same guy :) Happy Weekend, blogettes xoxo

A Day at the Hamilton Dahlia Farm

When Andrew first proposed the idea of moving to Michigan I felt like the world was going to cave in on me.  After only three months in Chicago, I was annoyed at having to pack up again. Michigan wasn’t where I imagined our home being and Michigan certainly didn’t offer me any conveniences or perks pertaining to my job. So I thought. We don’t have a nationally recognized floral market like San Fran, we’re not in the heart of a bustling, eccentric big city like New York, and we don’t have picturesque tree lined driveways leading up to gorgeous restored mansions just dripping in Southern Charm. Michigan felt like such a shot in the dark and I remember sulking like a miserable toddler the entire drive to our new apartment when we moved.

But I like so many others who fail to give credit to The Mitten, was so very wrong. We have so much to be blessed about here. Us as wedding vendors included. We have vintage barns, chic art galleries, and really rad museums. We have the northern part of our state where the shore kisses turqiouse waters and the beaches could be mistaken for somewhere south. We have four distinct seasons, each bringing completely different environments to the table. We have vendors who produce some of the most gorgeous work you’d ever seen, and then we have the Hamilton Dahlia Farm. Guys, we hit the jackpot on this one. This little gem deep in the heart of western Michigan is absolutely a must see if you’re ever around. It’s a private owned dahlia farm with rows and rows of gorgeous dahlias open to the public on a daily basis so the lovely Kelly Sweet and I took a morning trip out one day to cut our own goodies. Here, let me show you around a little, guys. You’re going to just love this sweet little space.

Dahlias, dahlias everywhere! It’s actually pretty incredible.

I never realized first off how tall the dahlia plants can grow and secondly, how thick the stalk is coming out from the ground. If you’re new to the whole dahlia scene no worries because Janet, the lovely owner of the farm (or her sweet daughter) will be able to show you how to cut the perfect dahlia and how to tell if the dahlia is alive or not. Sometimes a gorgeous dahlia from the top can actually be starting to die and will expose brown petals if you check out the back where the petals first sprout out.

I was sort of a hot mess that day so I’m not sharing too many of the photos of me here. But this next one made me laugh and I couldn’t leave it out. All morning while searching for dahlias to cut, I kept finding a bloom that I thought I loved and then I’d yell to Kelly “Oh my gosh look at THIS one!” or “This one is GORGEOUS” and I think by the end of our morning I had said this about every single bloom at the farm. They were seriously all so lovely and delicious. These peach ones were especially yummy. I mean look at my face! If you know me well you’ll know this is classic happy/laughing/amused Rhi at her best.

Our bucket of gorgeousness.

And then it was time to get serious.

Using the blooms that we picked that morning, I threw together a little bouquet. With just the dahlias, a little floral tape and some satin ribbon, the finished product reminded me of a brightly-hued bowl of sweet sherbet. Those colors in the dahlias were so brilliant and bold. A few adorable elderly ladies who had also stopped by the farm that day were standing back watching me make the bouquet and couldn’t stop proclaiming how gorgeous the florals were. Those dahlias are seriously out of this world and just so lovely. Local florists, wedding planners and even brides with their family and bridal party, come out to the farm on a daily basis to cut all of the dahlias they need for weddings, parties, special events, retail locations and more.

And more shots of the bouquet; which my mother in law lovingly unwrapped to display in a vase on her kitchen counter.

A giant thanks goes out to Janet and her family for allowing Kelly and I to visit the farm and have a little fun for a morning. If you’re ever in Hamilton, Michigan or near grand Rapids or Holland you need to stop by. You can check out their farm’s website here where information on the varieties, seasonability, hours and pricing can be found. If you have any questions at all shoot Janet a message and tell her Rhi sent you. She is such a doll and will help you with just about anything. And just for fun, tell me what you love most about Michigan below, regardless of if you live here or not :) Happy Thursday, loves xoxo

Pep Talk Tuesday {Letting Go}

My parents have a Barbara Krueger painting (not an original) hanging in their home. My mom had an artist recreate the painting for her and all I remember is how badly she wanted that thing. To her it symbolizes an important part of living a fulfilling life that of which is letting go. I’ve always struggled with letting go myself. To a fault. It’s hard for me to forgive and forget and as an overly sensitive person I have a hard time accepting constructive criticisms. Earlier this year I hit a low point where I was refusing to filter out negativity in my life and as a result my work, my personal life and my sense of being was affected. I was so down, so angry and hurt and frazzled by it all that I was literally held back from being happy. I felt so weak.

See, a lot of your personal happiness has to do with making a choice. You can make a choice to be happy or make a choice to not be. It’s that simple. Last week when I was leaving the MTH intensive, Lara told me something that I’ve known all along but I think hearing it out loud from someone else who knows my story really had a monumental effect on me: “Rhi, you’re doing amazing things but just imagine what you’ll be able to do when you let go of that little bit of negativity.” Whoah. Just like that. Bam, knock me on my butt, it really hit me. Letting go doesn’t need to be fancy or overdone or broadcasted to the world. It can be as easy as it sounds. And as easy as making a choice. To just let go. Try it. Sit down and try and let go. Just a little bit. Just with 10% of your being start to just even think of letting go. Instantly better right? Lighter, happier and better.

Funny enough, I have a typography poster I made sitting on my bed side table that reads ‘Let Go’. I instagrammed it on Sunday and many of my followers commented on how much they love that print. I’ve been waking up every day, seeing that print, but not truly taking in what it means to let go. Until last week. I made a choice. To let go and just be. I feel happy. I feel blessed. I feel like a better version of me, ready for whatever comes my way. I feel refreshed and hopeful. I feel like letting go is something we can all do to live a better life and just be a better version of ourselves. So tell me, what can you let go of today?

Last week I spent some time in Chicago at the Making Things Happen intensive and I took a few personal days off in the city with Leah, Shay and Kris. I am so grateful for my time away and for the memories and friendships I made in such a short amount of time. I hope to blog more about my trip soon but for now the above photo should suffice. P.S. I’m totally on my tippy toes. Photo by Shalyn Nelson Photography. She’s awesome. Go see her here. Happy Tuesday, my bloggies xoxo