December 2012 Archive

Au Revoir 2012

2012. Where do I even start with you?

Just the other day I was telling a close friend that 2011 was simply put just a really happy year. You can read my recap from last December over here to see for yourself. But despite all of the happiness, new beginnings and fabulous trips, I felt like my head was a bit in the clouds. I think when you’re new to an industry, team, school or whatever, you really just want everything to be positive and problem free. You’re always eager to make new friends, make great first impressions and make it, whatever it is, bigger and better. I think 2011 was a crucial year to really establish the framework for my business and personally was really wonderful, but 2012 was a year I could have never prepared for.

When I used to write for print, I did a piece for a health magazine that focused on new year resolutions and how it’s hard for so many people to keep theirs. The people I interviewed for the article all had such interesting opinions on resolutions and why people can or cannot keep them. I personally have always hesitated making resolutions that are too lofty because I hate to feel disappointed when I fall short of my goals so I went into 2012 with a vague goal of having faith in whatever was thrown my way. I had an open heart, an open mind and an eagerness to be successful and fulfilled. But then it hit me. And it hit me hard. I totally blew my easy peasy resolution within just ten weeks of 2012.

I took a brief blogging break in March of 2012 to collect myself. To reassess what matters and what makes Rhi really happy. Because the fact was I wasn’t. 2012 was so different from 2011 in the sense that I really learned a lot about not only the industry and the people who are a part of it, but myself and how I fit it to it all. I learned so much about the kind of business owner and colleague I want to be and the kind of business owner and colleague I never want to be. I learned to be less naive. It wasn’t an easy year I’m so unbelievably thankful for every single day that was part of it.

When I was little I wanted to live in New York City. Actually I wasn’t little but in high school and had aspirations of becoming an attorney who’d wear too tight pencil skirts and kitten heels to work every day. I’d be powerful, fulfilled, and rich. I’d trade in my car for subway tokens, my suburban home for a small studio loft and I’d take yearly trips to exotic faraway places. Life so often plays out differently then we expect though doesn’t it? My New York dreams have changed but my heart has always remained the same. That’s the sweetest part. I’ve just always wanted to be happy.

So following my little hiatus from social media and blogging in March I decided to do something I wanted to do so long ago. I finally signed up for Making Brands Happen to take Hey Gorgeous to the next level. I started writing about it all here. And I slowly shared bits and pieces of the process with you like my branding inspiration board below. This is when I think my year really began and when I started listening to my gut. Life begins when you listen to that inner voice.

There were a few DIY projects and floralized posts in the mix this year too.

Then in May, I celebrated my 26th birthday by putting together far too many paper chain links and florals for this. We put together an incredible team of vendors to make this production come to live and we were thrilled to have the editorial featured over on Green Wedding Shoes. Make sure you watch the video there too because it’s so awesome.

I also spent a good chunk of time preparing for this gorgeous wedding in June. Ash and Dallas were my first 2012 bride and groom and I was seriously on pins and needles just waiting to kick start my season. I was able to work with Beth Kaye at this event and she’s always able to bring me an inner sense of peace. Since October of 2010 she’s been a constant source of inspiration to me and a rock steady friend who has done nothing but encourage and love me.

In July I had two events in the dead of summer heat. I never blogged either one of these events at the request of both couples, but I made some newlyweds (and parents!) really happy. My handsome husband even made an appearance at a gorgeous Detroit wedding I had on my roster to help me out. He’s the sweetest and I just love him and how much we’ve grown together in this adventure. We also decided to take the plunge and purchased the cutest little pup you ever did see. Go read this here to meet her. While getting used to a small puppy is quite the adjustment, we love Zoe to bits and are so happy with how she’s enriched our lives. Sometimes we think we’d be pretty awesome parents because of it.

Then August hit and it was all such a whirlwind. I had three back to back events up at Crooked Creek Ranch. I hired an assistant to help me with all three. Natalie was such a life saver and together with Michele, we not only rocked out some seriously amazing events but we had way too much fun. Seriously. I’m dying for some more CCR weddings!

First there was Jessy and Erik’s Anthropologie-inspired ranch wedding.

Then Kelly and Andrew’s big day (coming soon) and of course Mary Beth and Tom’s lovely fete.

September came around really fast and I was back up north again for Sarah and Bryan’s gorgeous wedding.

And in mid-September I was over in Chicago to coordinate Claire and Doug’s big day….

Before jetting off to Toronto for Megan and Eric’s celebration.

In October I had my finally had my final 2012 wedding and these two lovebirds below were hitched. This was one of my favorite events from the entire year as I took on all the planning, design and florals myself. Nicole was just a dream client with such a unique sense of style. I wish I could help her plan a wedding every year. It was truly that good.

And just two days after that I was back in Chicago with this girl, this one and this one here too. This is when things really started to click. At Making Things Happen my heart changed a whole lot. I became less consumed with any sort of negativity I had soaked up from earlier on in the year. I made lists of what fires me up, I made lists of what scares me, I made lists of people who are supportive and encouraging and those who are not. I said things I would have never admitted to myself if I hadn’t of been in that room. I decided that one day I too could become a Mom and that it would be special. I told a room of 40 people that only I need to be content with the addition of floral services to my business. And I felt so supported and loved about it. If that wasn’t enough, I then spent a few days roaming around Chicago with my new friends, soaking in this new sense of calm. I left Chicago feeling new again. Feeling restored and hopeful.

In November, I did some bouquet mock ups photographed by this lovely lady.

And had my photos taken by this talented chick here for the new website.

December was such a blur. Between getting hit with the flu more than once, prepping for the relaunch, planning the relaunch party, multiple client meetings and site visits, this chick here and I finally met in real life to collaborate on my favorite shoot yet. It’s taking me every little morsel of will power not to show more from this editorial but I’m so proud of how everything turned out. It was the perfect project to have under my belt with the new brand. Just gorgeous.

Speaking of which, the biggest and most exciting thing to happen in 2012 may have just been the relaunch of Hey Gorgeous. I feel like a broken record here in saying this but for as overwhelming as this process was for me it was as equally fulfilling of an endeavour to take on this past year. Not only did I walk away with a gorgeous new identity that really showcases what I do and what I’m all about but I was given a new sense of confidence that I feel I lost back in March of 2012. I learned to value real relationships, my family and my husband. To set office hours, to set time aside to play with Zoe. I walked away from a part time job that was hindering me from success and learned to embrace the gifts I’ve been given. I was given tools to be a better business woman. A smarter business woman. To. Focus. On. What. Matters. Only. The feedback I received on the new site was more than I could have ever hoped for. I feel so grateful.

Then just like that the holidays hit. We sent out our holiday cards just in time. Andrew and I made our traditional mac and cheese Christmas Day dinner and the two of us sat on the couch and did a whole lot of nothing. Much deserved nothing. As I type this I’m sitting at Starbucks watching everyone around me talk with family and friends over hot coffee and lattes. And my Mom just walked in since her and my Dad’s new home is just mere minutes away by foot. My heart lights up when I see her. Today my Nan would have been 83 years old. My Aunt is also celebrating a birthday and is turning 53 today. And since my Grandpa immigrated to Canada from the then Yugoslavia when he was only 23 with just the clothes on his back, we too have has always celebrated his birthday on this day. We only recently learned his actual birthday is in April. But nevertheless, we will all join him tonight at his favorite place, Red Lobster to celebrate the sweetest gift of all. Happiness, health and love. I feel so lucky to be ending 2012 in a place that matters.

To all of you out there, who have been supporters of my work, my dreams and my goals, I wish you too all of the best in 2013. Don’t let anything or anyone hold you back from what makes you happy. My heart is literally close to bursting with hope and intent for living life differently in 2013. And I hope yours is too. With love from my little space to you.

Rhiannon xoxo

Joy to the World!

Happiest of holidays to you, blogettes from the crew here at HGE! Like little kids, Andrew and  I were up nice and early this morning to exchange gifts with one another and open up the small stockings we gifted to Chenks and Zoe. I’m so happy that we have zero plans all day except to enjoy a homemade meal of mac and cheese later this evening between just the two of us; it’s becoming a tradition of sorts. I also can hardly wait to share my 2012 wrap up post soon because I’ve done so much reflecting over the past few weeks, but for now, Home Alone, Coke floats and my cozy couch are calling my name. Give your loved ones a big squeeze today and be merry and bright. It’s always a good time to be merry.

Photo by Studio 6.23. From the fun little power session we did for our holiday cards :) xoxo

Meg & Eric {HGE Wedding by Young Hearts Photography}

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for over a year and a half now. That’s a long time. See Meg (that babe of a bride below) emailed me early in 2011 to tell me she was newly engaged. Actually scratch that. Meg wrote me a mini novel, which included not only the beginning visions she had for her wedding, and the whole back story of her and Eric’s relationship, but photos from her engagement which her now husband had strategically planned with a photographer while they were away on vacation in San Francisco (I know, adorable right?) Between her infectious joy and love for not only Eric but life, her excitement to finally be planning their big day, and the fact that Meg is good friends with Ashley, another HGE bride, I knew I’d love working with her. While Meg focused on the big details and making sure her and Eric’s big wedding remained nothing short of intimate and special, I was here along the way to help with little details and the little stressors that are unavoidable when you’re planning such a remarkable celebration.

Meg and Eric you two are the kind of people that in working together, you allowed me to fall in love with both my job and my own husband all over again, after just seeing you two and the way you look at one another. You ooze love and happiness from every ounce of your being and that is above all else, inspiring to someone like me. You welcomed me into your lives and trusted me to orchestrate such meaningful moments for you, your family and friends. I’m so thrilled you’ve started your forever together. And I’m so thrilled your wedding was one of the most awesomeness parties of all.

I mean really, check out the lovely photos from Young Hearts Photography. Ah-mazing.

I must mention that Meg has a love for Tiffany’s. A serious obsession might I add. So naturally her wedding was a classic, modern affair infused with subtle touches of Tiffany blue. And on the day of Meg and Eric’s wedding I was totally wishing I was actually a bridesmaid instead of a wedding coordinator. Because these pretty blue bags were all lined up that morning just begging to be opened by a few lucky recipients. Meg is such a thoughtful friend isn’t she?

Then this happened.

And of course the bride herself got a little blue box to open from her soon to be hubby.

Isn’t she stunning?

The guys were meanwhile over at Mankind getting groomed up. Such a rad spot for dudes!

And such a handsome group of guys!

A few bridal party shots before the ceremony started….

And some of the most stunning ceremony shots I’ve ever seen. Love this series.

Post-ceremony was all about bridal party shots and portraits around Toronto.

Oh, you guys!

Then after the bridal party trekked around for photos downtown Toronto, everyone headed over to Arcadian Court for cocktail hour. And of course I was able to do the big reveal of the finished room with the newlyweds. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the room reveal with my clients is my absolute favorite thing on a wedding day. And hugs. I totally love hugs from clients. Thank you Alex for capturing this awesome moment with Meg and Eric. It means so much.

And here’s what they saw themselves.

Arcadian Court is such an amazing space for large events.

The amazing Lisa of Sweet Woodruff did all of the florals and Ashley, a former HGE bride, did the gorgeous stationery. The tablescapes were simple and streamlined with subtle pops of Tiffany blue brought in through the votives and hand-painted wood table numbers. White frames sat in the center of each table with black and white copies of the couple’s engagement photos in each. Each table had a different photo and it was tons of fun checking out all of the cute pics. Meg and Eric wanted their engagement photos to look like the CLub Monaco campaign from a few years back.

The key to your seat – key shaped bottle openers double dutied as escort cards and favors.

And the prettiest cake for the newlyweds to cut into together.

There was also a candy and sweets table for guests to enjoy…

And puzzle pieces for guests to sign in instead of a guestbook.

The wedding invitations.

Sigh. True love, folks. That is true love right there.

And one last little details to end this post on. Meg and Eric’s wedding happened to fall on the same evening as Nuit Blanche. Which makes parking downtown (an already tricky endeavor in my mind) even trickier when all of the roads and underground parking ramps are closed to the public. But, and this is a big but, it couldn’t have been a more perfect evening to get some seriously delicious sparkler shots outside with what seemed like the entire city surrounding you. Essentially, Nuit Blanche is an all night, downtown art show. And at midnight the streets were literally packed with hundreds and hundreds of people who may have thought that Meg and Eric themselves was an exhibit.

And they lived happily ever after. Really though :)

Also, I have to give a huge thank you to my brother who was my assistant for the day. From Windex-ing photo frames for me, finding a spot to park my car for me and opening the church door before the processional, you were a huge help, Josh. I love you and am so thankful we were able to spend the day together. Thanks for being there for me.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Photography: Alex Lee, Young Hearts Photography / Partial planning, styling and coordination: Hey Gorgeous Events / Flowers: Sweet Woodruff / Church: St. Mary’s Church / Venue: Arcadian Court / Catering: Oliver and Bonacini / Cake: The Sweet Co. / Cupcakes: I Do Wedding Cakes / Bride’s gown: Jenny Yoo, White Toronto / Bridesmaid’s gowns: Le Chateau / Earrings: The Bay / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Entertainment: Sole Power Productions / Videography: Wedit / Make up: Nikki Strachan / Bride’s sash: Amie Nicole Designs / Guy’s salon: Mankind Grooming Studio / Birdcage Veil and Gray Flower: Sussman’s Bridal Supplies (no website)

The BIG Relaunch Giveaway!

Guys, first of all thank you so much for yesterday. I am actually exhausted today from all of the love and support given through the blog, facebook, twitter and of course all of the cards, gifts, texts, calls, and emails. I had no idea the new look would be so well received and I am just thrilled to end 2012 on this positive note. I’m in the process of putting together my 2012 Wrap Up post (like I did last year here) and I can’t wait to add this week to it. But today I have even more good stuff to share and it’s that the huge giveaway I’ve been planning in celebration of the relaunch is OPEN.

Basically one lucky reader is going to win a Hey Gorgeous Events tote. And that tote bag as shown above is literally filled with incredible goodies from some of the best vendors and artists in the industry. Next week I’ll be blogging photos of the items going into the bag but let’s just say there’s something custom from Oatmeal and Lace, something cozy from Plum Pretty Sugar, something lovely for your iPhone from Emily Ley, something to send notes on from both Anastasia Marie Cards and Lemon and Lavender, something to dazzle in your ears from Vatne Designs and something to hold from Palomas Nest. There may be a few goodies in there from The Caramel Jar and Big Yellow Dog Designs too.

Yes. One person will win ALL OF THAT. I could do cartwheels about it!

So to enter it’s easy peasy. Go be a fan of the Hey Gorgeous Events facebook page. And leave a comment below letting me know what your most excited about for 2013. For extra entries you can tweet the giveaway but you have to include one of the above vendors in your tweet for it to count! You can also update your facebook status and include one of the above vendors in that status as well, for another extra entry. Next week I’ll be sure to share lots of gorgeous photos of all the stunning items sitting in that bag for one lovely lady to get her hands on. Talk about the perfect gift!

Happy giveaway day, blogettes! Let’s do this. Photo by Kelly Braman.

The New and Improved Hey Gorgeous Events!

I’ve started and restarted this post for months now. It’s so hard to express all I’m feeling in this moment. Could you imagine trying to write a speech to win an Oscar or an Emmy? I mean that’s a little more serious than this I’m sure but either way, I’m just sitting here completely speechless today after all that’s happened throughout this process. The support and encouragement and love from family, friends, followers, strangers, clients both past and present, has been remarkable. I feel like I’ve changed for the better. Hey Gorgeous has changed for the better. And I get to share it all here with you! So let’s start with this:

I have a logo. Oh lawdy it’s a lovely thing to have isn’t it? I owe serious props to the incredible Molly Jacques for drawing up both the hand lettering and Bevy after so many of my picky requests for revisions. I’ve been putting that logo everywhere from cell phone cases to client bags and buttons. It’s so wonderful and gorgeous. And the color palette and selected fonts infused into my brand board were put together (in combination with my gorgeous new collateral which you can read about over here!) by Emily Ley through Making Brands Happen. It’s so truly me. It’s just gorgeous and wonderful and lovely.

How about a little before and after shall we? Here’s my old BluDoman website. Let me mention that this site served its purpose for two years and really was quite functional, user-friendly and affordable when I first started out. But it lacked the little bit of spunk I was looking for and din’t properly portray who I am. And my clients need to know who I am because we spend an impressive amount of time together. So I told Lara and Emily, and of course Cathy Olson of Love Inspired to throw Kate Spade and Jose Villa in a blender and make me a Hey Gorg milkshake. Ha! No really though. That’s what I was craving.

And I got this.

Guys, I shrieked. This is just incredible. I have a place that’s all ME now. My heart, my passions, my quirky side, my genuine side, ALL sides. Isn’t she pretty?

I owe so much to so many people.

To Lara and Emily and Cathy and Molly. You have all been so honest and patient with me. You’ve been encouraging and supportive and have said the right things at the right time. I’ve been inspired and am hopeful and excited for what’s ahead of me and Hey Gorgeous. I read a quote through the Making Things Happen Tumblr last year, you know the one that says, ‘A year from now you will have wished you had started today?’ I never want to regret going after what fire me up in life. Life’s too short to play small. You’ve epitomized this little piece of logic for me. Thank you giving me so many valuable tools to succeed. For being friends. I love you guys.

To everyone who came to the relaunch party last night, I’m such a lucky girl. Your cards and words of encouragement are so special. I loved watching everyone mingle and laugh amongst one another. I loved still having people in my house at 11:45 pm when I was sure everyone would leave at 8:30 pm. I love how many bottles of wine you brought as gifts. No, really. Thank you.

To the friends I have made in the industry and through blogging, who have taken photos of me, my work, my home, my husband and I, to the friends who live in different time zones than me but still take my calls at 6:00 am because I need an opinion on something trivial. To Kelly, Beth, Paul and Vanessa, Leah, Naomi, Shalyn, Michaela, Nicole, Tonya, Kristen, Elise, Alex, Victoria, Cyn oh and the list goes on. I can’t even begin to describe how much you all mean to me. It can get lonely when all of your friends seemingly live so far away. But you’ve all managed to make me feel like you’re close by. I’m thankful for you and all you do for me.

To everyone who reads this blog, who sends me tweets no matter how irrelevant the ones I tweet are, who comments on my facebook posts and photos, who tuned in via Ustream last night and left notes, who have sent letters, emails, texts, presents, and the list goes on. I am so humbled. I’m not sure what I did to deserve this but I feel so lucky. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to let me know you care.

To my sweet Mom, my Mother in Law, Pat, my husband and family. I love you guys so stinkin’ much. Through this I’ve really understood the value of focusing on what truly matters. You guys matter. You don’t care what kind of desserts I served last night, you definitely thought the old website was good enough and you probably are still confused on what this rebrand really entailed. But that’s exactly what I needed from you. I just needed pure love and support of the unknown. Andrew you’ve been such a rock. You’ve been so loving to me regardless of my behaviour. Mom, I miss you so much and wish you could have been here last night. Your sweet emails have kept me going. They’ve kept me feeling proud. Pat, you’re like the energizer bunny. Thank you for driving me around yesterday with oversized mylar balloons stuffed in your SUV, and then cleaning up everything last night while I sat back and put my feet up. I don’t deserve such love from you all.

Have you ever had a happy cry? I totally just had one. Welcome to the new Hey Gorgeous.

Photo by the amazing Kelly Braman. Oh and go watch this little video of yours truly :) xoxo