flowers Archive

Jamie + Ryan {HGE Wedding with Harrison Studio}

Goodness gracious. I’m not sure where to start with this one, my friends.

Jamie and Ryan had one of the loveliest (and most labor intensive) weddings last Labor Day weekend on the shores of Lake Michigan. Set against the bride’s parent’s beachfront property, complete with miles of white sand, blue water and soft green dune grass, this event was the stuff wedding dreams are made of. I’m thrilled to announce this event in all its splendor is featured in a five page spread via the national issue of The Knot out on new stands now. Pinch me, guys. And I’m even more overjoyed to finally be able to share this labor of love with you all. From the gorgeous bride’s killer gown, that amazing tent set up directly on the beach thanks to Fairytale Tents, all of the understated but lovely coral and peach florals my staff and I created, the driftwood arch made by the bride’s family, the dreamy images captured by my colleagues and friends, Ben and Laura of Harrison Studio, the soft seating lounge areas set in the sand; oh I could go on and on. But I’ll quit typing now and let the stunning imagery do the talking from here on out, deal?

Did I mention there was a 60% chance of thunderstorms all day the day of the event? Not one drop fell from the sky.

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The day started out with the sweetest first look between the beautiful bride and dapper groom.

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Halfway en route to the beach, was a pit stop station to ensure guest’s comfort during the event.

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The bouquets were made up entirely of huge, oversized, and fluffy looking florals with no greens as per the bride’s request. A selection of orange Free Spirit roses, David Austin garden roses in ivories and peaches and Michigan grown dahlias, made up the oversized bouquets. Paired together with the girl’s navy and polka dot Jenny Yoo gowns, the colors were downright delicious. Jamie has a love of monograms so we hired on McKay from Oatmeal Lace Design to embroider some grosgrain ribbon with every girl’s monogram to fasten around the stems of the bouquets.

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The most perfect wedding ceremony; everyone’s toes in the sand just like the bride has always dreamed of.

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My dear friend, Laura Hooper was the creative genius behind the stationery and calligraphy. From the custom box mailer invitations, custom wedding map, gorgeous white ink calligraphy, custom flag stir sticks, menus, table numbers and programs, she went above and beyond to make sure her work tied together the Kate Spade meets nautical meets preppy vibe and design aesthetic we were after. The couple’s custom monogram (with nautical flags!) was a detail used throughout the event from the cocktail napkins to the Thank You cards the couple sent after the wedding.

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The simple but textural compote centerpieces were arranged in gold mercury glass stemmed bowls. We had to keep the centerpieces fairly small to allow room on the King’s Drape tables for the four course, family style tapas meal (which was absolutely amazing thanks to Hearthstone Catering). I also put a small touch of geranium leaf in each arrangement to soften them up a little and help lend to the preppy vibe Ryan really loves. And those dahlias! Can we talk about those dahlias for a second? Grown in Holland, Michigan they were literally picked off the stalk two days before the wedding for ultimate freshness. They stole the floral show that day would you agree?

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Some other fun details incorporated into the event? Mini Tabasco sauces at each guest’s placesetting in honor of the bride’s love for spice. Also at each table was a bell to ring for those who wanted to toast to the couple or for those who wanted the bride and groom to embrace. I love an alternative to the tradition of clinking glasses, especially when it ties in with a wedding theme. The tablescape rentals from Special Events Rental were just perfect and so lovely.

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Stripes and Swiss dots. Is there anything better?

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Remember the rain forecast I mentioned above? Yeah this happened instead.

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The couple actually had seven wedding cakes made by a family friend who owns Grand Finale Pastry and Cakes. Once the sunset and the lights came on in the tent, the couple cut their main wedding cake before letting guests decide which flavor of the seven they most wanted. You had to see this tent in person that night. Fairytale Tents did a stellar job with the draping and lights and you could see the lit up structure from miles down the beachstrip that evening.

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My team and I also placed hurricane vases and pillar candles in the sand randomly around the beach for am ambient glow post sunset. You can see this a bit in the above photo off to the left. Tied together with the bistro lights over the cocktail area lounges, the string lights in the tent and then of course the sparkler send off at midnight, I have to say this wedding ended with quite the bang. Happy bride and groom? Happy Rhi indeed.

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Jamie and Ryan, it was such a pleasure being a part of your celebration. Thank you for trusting my team and I to pull off what I hope was your absolute dream big day. I wish you a lifetime of happiness, summer days on the water and more oyster than you can imagine. Below is an extensive e list of the vendors who helped pull this wedding off. I owe so much to everyone for their talents, hard work and dedication. This wedding was a logistical challenge, one that everyone handled so gracefully. You can also view more over on The Knot’s home page. Happy Monday, friends!

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Photography: Harrison Studio / Full planning, design, florals and direction: Hey Gorgeous Events / Paper and calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy / Hair and make up: Renue Salon / Bridesmaid’s gowns: Jenny Yoo Collection / Bride’s gown: Ever After / Lounge furniture: AFR Event Furnishings / Catering: The Hearthstone Bistro, Bar and Grill / Rentals: Special Events Rentals / Tent, lighting, flooring and draping: Fairytale Tents /Wood tables, mason jars and misc rentals: The Rental Co / Monogrammed ribbons: Oatmeal Lace Design / Cakes: Grand Finale Desserts and Pastries / Linens: I Do Linens and La Tavola Fine Linen Rentals / Videography: Wedit / Band: The Empty Pockets

Au Revoir 2013

2013. You were lovely. Truly. I loved you so much. See?

View More: http://lovethenelsons.pass.us/rhi-rhi-gorgeous-pants

You were the first full year I was able to get used to the new HGE brand. To truly define what the HGE experience is all about. To fall in love with every ounce of my career and business. And that I sure did. You brought a full year of floral design my way, ten incredible events and couples, four amazing editorial shoots, a massive print feature in The Knot, a tough fork in the road between moving the studio outside our home or finally settling on renovating our basement (it’s all insulated as of last weekend!), two speaking engagements, a trip to Florida, a trip to Texas, a trip to Engage in Arizona, and the decision to create a workshop that has completely lit my heart on fire. You were non-stop and full of movement, life and adventure. Let’s walk through it all again together shall we, friend? Fasten those seat belts.

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In January my friend Leah and I trekked out in the snow for some bouquet goodness. Just to keep inspired and on top of our game. January was cold, cold, cold and did I mention cold? A lot of time was spent in the office praying for sunshine but also working behind the scenes to get ready for what would be a bustling year. At the end of the month, I teamed up with my amazing gal pal Kelly Braman and a team of other fantastic vendors to make a little feature possible for The Everygirl. It was full of girly Valentines Day goodness more of which you can see here and here.

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March was spent making a partnership with BHLDN come to life, again with Kelly. More here and here.

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In April, Andrew turned 30. In May I turned 27. We celebrated with dinner at a favorite restaurant downtown. Andrew and I also celebrated with a photo shoot together (naturally). We loved the results from our friends at Studio 623. And no we did not plan our outfits to coordinate so wonderfully with this striped wall. But how fun is it that we actually matched? We’re fun like that. And we’re hoping to get this photo made into a canvas sometime this year for our home.

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And then just like that, my official 2013 wedding season began. With the ever so anticipated unicorn inspired wedding. The sweet Janet and Jon finally said I do in front of 80 of their closest friends and family in Western Michigan. It was a freezing cold day here in Michigan despite it being the start of summer and everything still came together so wonderfully. You can see more here on Green Wedding Shoes. And more here too. It was a pleasure working with Kelly who brought it all to life so wonderfully in her images. This wedding was creatively a turning point with my brand. It taught me so much. It humbled me. It opened up a whole new can of possibility and creativity. I’m so thankful for that.

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June also brought the amazing wedding of Elise and Kenny in Grand Haven. Love this Southern Belle like you wouldn’t believe. As she told me in one of our meetings, ‘The bigger the hair, the closer to God!’ From endless phone calls and emails between Michigan and Texas she and I curated the prettiest of blooms and lovelites of details for the big day. She also had one of the biggest bridal parties I’ve ever worked with. 10 maids in a row. Photo by Bryan and Mae.

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And we were also out to the East side of the state for a camping themed couple’s shower for Kris and Chris. This one was pretty fun let me tell you! A bonfire, a camping inspired treats table, red gingham everywhere. There’s something to be said about co-ed showers; I’m hoping there’s a shift this year towards these kinds of events. You can check out more here and here over on Inspired By This. The gorgeous photos were actually taken by a former bride of mine, Sarah.

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Then in July, my sweet Maggie finally got hitched. It was my final coordination only wedding. And it sure was one heck of a party to end with! I was able to work with one of my favorite photographer friends, the one and only Jen Lynne. We had a blast working together for one of our industry pals (Maggie owns the wonderful Renee Austin Wedding, Grand Rapids premier wedding gown destination). Fun story? Maggie and her husband JF are expecting their first child, a son this summer! I couldn’t be more thrilled for them both and wish them all the best as the enter parenthood.

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We headed way up to The Homestead later that month for Leigh and John’s fabulous wedding. These two New Yorkers were such a joy, right Ames? Most notably, we strung foot after foot after foot of ribbon over the ceiling beams of the homestead to create a pretty cool ceiling installation that day. It was fun. And Leigh was such a laid back bride with a fret-free attitude. I mean how fierce are her maids and man of honor below? Exactly.

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And before I knew it August was here. I started to realize how nutty things were getting with a full load of weddings. We decided this month to start renovations on our basement so the entire studio could move down to one larger space. I also had the pleasure of finally executing and being a part of a truly special event for Kris and Chris at Meadowbrook Hall. I cannot wait to share more photos from their big day. Months and months of heart and soul went into this lovely celebration! And it was my first event with the amazing Abby Rose Photography to boot. I hope it’s not the last.

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And this little shoot happened. You can see more here and here. Bradley James Photography is simply incredible.

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Over Labor Day weekend, the biggest event I have ever planned, designed and floralized came to life. Ben and Laura from Harrison Studio were there that weekend to capture it all. I’m so thankful. My team and I literally worked for five days prior to this private residence wedding, to ensure set up went according to plan. It was such a big learning experience executing this sort of event. When you see all of the photos you’ll understand why there was such an intense set up schedule. You’ll also see more in April in the national issue of The Knot where we will have the pleasure of having this endeavor featured. Kate Spade meets Lake Michigan meets classic nautical. Oh my heart. Having it all come together without a hitch so beautifully, may just be one of the highlights of all of 2013. Thank you, Lord.

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Then just days after our Lake Michigan wedding, it was back to the East side of the state again for this big day. Rebecca and Dave are some of the most humble people I’ve ever met. It literally rained inches and inches and inches that day leaving Rebecca’s fairytale backyard wedding soaked to the nines. But the show goes on. It always does. And in this case these two finally said I Do after years and years of dating. It was incredibly sweet and beyond a pleasure being a part of their day. I also just loved working with the lovely LinneaLiz Photography for the first time.

View More: http://linnealiz.pass.us/davidrebecca

I nearly fell over when I crossed off a small bucket list item from my list that month too. Two words: Martha Stewart. And HGE! And my girl, Beth who captured it all so beautifully of course. We waited a year for this feature. And it was well worth it. Check out the incredible love between Nicole and Chris and all of the very simple but very sweet details from their day. I want to put these two in my back pocket and keep them there forever that’s how fabulous they are.

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In October, it was home to Canada for Alex and Josh’s big day in Hamilton, Ontario. It was a flat out rad celebration of music and love. These two are just so cool, I mean check out this photo below from Mango Studios. Shouldn’t every groom have that look of happiness on his face post-ceremony? I can’t wait to share the rest of this wedding because this big day was really special (and the videographers did the best job with their wedding trailer). More coming soon!

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October was here before I knew it. Off I flew to Chapel Hill for my second speaking engagement of the year. It was life changing being a part of the Making Things Happen intensive again but this time as a speaker. I shared my story with close to 100 people, some old faces and some new. I left feeling hopeful and inspired for change, as I always do. I left with some new friendships too. And an invitation to return this spring to do it all over again. The Lord is so good for giving me these moments and experiences to better not only my heart but others who are just as open to change as well. Photo below from Anna Paschal Photography of all us speakers before the first day of the intensive.

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And in November, I was back at the airport this time to fly to Austin, Texas for a little thing I like to call a surprise.

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More on this soon, I promise! I stayed with my lovely friend Shay. We actually met in 2012 when we sat beside one another at Making Things Happen in Chicago. We’ve become so close since then and my heart is so more than grateful for our friendship. Not only did she host me while I was in town, but she kept me fed and happy (all is takes is a few Pillsbury Cinnamon Buns to be honest). She also took photos of me, I played flowers, I executed a surprise, she captured this below. Oh Sara and Austin! Let me count the ways I so love you two. September 20th is just so close!

View More: http://lovethenelsons.pass.us/sara-and-austin

And once I got home that month, I made this, shot by these guys and then launched this. We sold out in 8 hours. I cried.

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That same week Sam, Brad and I made this collaboration between West Elm, Style Me Pretty and some other incredible vendors come to life. It was very Merry and very Bright and it makes me want to throw a party for Christmas next December. You can see more here and here. It was one of my favorite non-wedding features ever. The bow wall was one of my favorite simple installations to date. And who knew our front living room could be such a great and neutral backdrops for fun little projects like this? I’m saying yes to more of these in the future please and thank you.

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In December, my friends Ben and Laura came over to shoot my Girl Cave. I love them. More here if you’d like a peak!

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And in December we also celebrated Christmas together at home, just the four of us. Andrew and I, and Chenks and Zoe. Imperfectly perfect home of ours included (check out that pet hair on my leggings, oy)! Brad and Sam shot a few photos for our holiday cards, including this one here which we ended up not using, and I’m so thankful for the obsessive amount of photos I have from different points in our live, milestones or not. One day, I’ll sit here and show these to our kids. How special is that? Oh and it looks like Zoe may be smiling in this photo. That makes me quite happy.

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At the end of December, I faced my craziest planning roadblock yet. My California floral truck for our NYE event, carrying all my client’s garden roses, anemones, greens and more, was 24 hours behind schedule. After finally getting our product, leaving 12 hours late, driving through the night (thank you Andrew!), cleaning 300 hydrangea stems in an Ohio hotel room until 5:30 am, bringing together an onsite team of six for pre-wedding set up, staying up until 1:00 am the night before the event to make sure every little detail was perfect for Katie and Bryan, we did it. It truly takes a village. We pulled off the perfect end to a jam-packed and very blessed year. Oh! And Style Me Pretty featured the now married couple’s engagement session that same day. Go see how lovely they are. It was a sweet day celebrating two special individual’s love, doing what I love, with the one I love. What could be better? The amazing and ever so sweet Jen and Jonah captured all of the details. We’re all on the edge of my seat waiting for film scans to come back.

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2013 I really liked you. I wanted you to be purposeful. And you were. That was actually my word for last year. And it fit well. I feel like so many of my business methods and the things my business stood and still currently stands for were established. I felt less like I owed people an explanation for why I do what I do. And that in and of itself was very liberating. I overcame obstacles, I learned so much more than I could ever fit into a blog post here, and I really had the absolute pleasure and honor of working with amazing clients, their families and vendors. What more could a girl ask for?

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Well, for starters, time with her hubby! It hurts my heart to say it, but there wasn’t much time spent dating, enjoying and falling in love all over again with my husband like I so love to do from time to time (ok, scratch that all the time). I’d also love to take more puppy walks, make home cooked meals, visit the gym more frequently to get strong and fit, feel content with more time away from my phone and social media, spend more purposeful time on projects that matter and less time on things that don’t. More road trips home to see my family. More visits to Andrew’s family down the road. More dinner parties just because. More movies, more books, more risk, more balance, more prayer. More thought on starting a family. 2013 wasn’t bad. But 2014 is going to be better. Much much better.

Happy New Year, friends. May it be made up of all the things that matter the most. Sending you ALL so much love xoxo

(p.s. you can see 2011 in review here, and 2012 in review here)

Happy Holidays!

From the Hey Gorgeous Events’ office to your home, I wish you all nothing less than a holiday season filled with love and what matters most. I’m signing off until Thursday when I am back in for a couple days before Saturday’s departure to Cincinnati for a New Year’s Eve wedding. Until then stay safe and be merry. We all have so much to be thankful for.

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Photo above taken by my good friends, Brad and Sam of Bradley James Photography.

West Elm and Style Me Pretty with Hey Gorgeous Events

A couple months ago I received an email from Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty inviting me to be a part of this special project. With West Elm. What?! I love me some West Elm. And I’ve been a fan of Abby’s since the day SMP launched. So I jumped right in along with the likes of Abby herself and her team, Megan from MaeMae Paperie and Kendra Scott. The four of us were given free reign to create a holiday party based around the new Party in a Box with the ability to choose other West Elm products that brought our vision to life. I was given the party set full of bright hues, which at first I was stumped on; where’s all the blush and gold?! But let’s be honest; a little color lights this girl’s life up! Enjoy the beautiful photos below from my sweet friends, Sam and Brad at the one and only Bradley James Photography.

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Our signature drink was appropriately called ‘The Merry & Bright.’ Head over to SMP Living where all day long they are sharing recipes and tips like how to make your own signature cocktail! Ours was festively colored and oh so delicious!

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My absolute favorite details was the traditional present bow wall installation. So easy and way fun!

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The mercury glass votive holders doubled as mini vases for a few small floral arrangements.

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Tinsel filled ornaments from West Elm doubled as favors and escort cards for our party. That amazing ruffled linen and the beautiful double layer napkins were provided by Nuage Designs. The ruffle added the perfect touch of femininity to the shoot to make it Hey Gorg worthy! All of the beautiful metallic rimmed plates, geometric foil glassware and flatware, also came from West Elm. They really do have almost everything to make your party a hit!

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Can I keep these bows up all year round?

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The cluster of honeycomb poms and silver foil fans worked perfectly as a backdrop behind of tray of drinks. I love that you can hang the cluster of decorations from nearly anywhere like a dining room chandelier or a window frame. And if that’s not possible, you can open the honeycombs only halfway and secure to any wall with tape for a fun backdrop. You can also purchase more honeycombs poms online if you want a really full and impressive display!

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The lime dress I wore for the occassion was a $20.00 steal from Marshalls.

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I have a few West Elm trays in our home already, but I love that the Party in a Box comes with one. Their trays are oh so fabulous for a number of things like serving drinks, dessert, coffee, snacks, and other edibles on to guests. They are even wonderful for breakfast in bed if you’re into that sort of thing. And I mean who isn’t right?

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Fun party tip: a few fresh blooms can dress up any serving platter or tray.

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The paper goods and stir sticks were all done by The Pink Orange. And lucky for you, Rebecca was kind enough to create a few free downloadable templates so you too can print out the drink tags and escort cards. Keep your eyes peeled for that portion of the feature going up on SMP Living. Oh and those menus? Were on silver paper that had a slight mirror effect to it, with no other than magenta foil printed on top. The complimented the tablescape so nicely.

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Easy, delicious and minature desserts were on the menu for the evening!

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And of course, no party is a party without some #hgeblooms :) I used a ton of garden roses, some stock, ranunculus, a few different types of foilage, silver brunia and some purple seeded eucalyptus. This arrangement was one of my favorites to date (I say that a lot though) and I had a ton of fun arranging something without Oasis for a change. The colors went perfectly with the palette of the Color in a Box I was assigned and the textures in the arrangement worked really well together with the textured ruffle linen from Nuage Designs.

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Are any of you lovely readers throwing any festive holiday parties this holiday season? I’d love to hear it all below!

The SMP Living feature is here and the West Elm feature here.

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Party in a Box and all table top items: West Elm / Florals, styling, concept: Hey Gorgeous Events / Photography: Bradley James Photography /Paper products, foil coasters and foil stir sticks: The Pink Orange / Linens and napkins: Nuage Designs / Chairvari chairs: Cascade Rentals / Dress: Marshalls / Food: made by Mr. Hey Gorgeous himself!

Hey Gorgeous Events Goes South {Part One}

A few weeks ago, I hopped on a 6:00 am flight from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Austin, Texas y’all. See, a lot of you thought I was headed to the Southern Weddings launch party. Which, admittedly, would have been so much fun! But instead I was off to Austin, where my sweet friend, Shay was meeting me for a weekend full of surprises, blooms, engagement photos and cake. If you know me well, you’ll know I have a thing or two for surprises. No surprise is too big or small to take on. I live for those sweet moments and will have photos of how this particular one unfolded soon.

View More: http://lovethenelsons.pass.us/rhi-rhi-gorgeous-pants

But for now I wanted to share a little bit more behind the days leading up to the surprise itself, namely the fun I had putting together the bouquet mock up for my bride. Sara and Austin are having an incredibly darling Southern glam soiree next September, full of bright hues, black and white stripes, a little bit of rustic and a lot of gold. I wanted to make sure now only did she see some florals in person but that she’d be able to see how her florals photographed professionally (by no other than my gal pal Shay who not only hosted me while I was in town, but who is also photographing the event next fall. Yay!) While I worked on the blooms the day before the session, Shay snapped some shots of me in action, which despite my hot mess appearance (come on, look at that hair), I will treasure forever.

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Prepping florals sometimes takes just as long, if not longer than the actual arranging and designing.

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Furlee, one of the Nelson’s sweet pups had to watch the whole ordeal go down; what a sweetie.

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And now for a few ingredients; garden roses, sweet peas, veronica, anemones, box wood, stock and callicarpa.

View More: http://lovethenelsons.pass.us/rhi-rhi-gorgeous-pants

That black and white striped ribbon is perfection for this event and color palette.

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My favorite moment is starting the bouquet; it’s like a blank canvas of goodness….

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Et voila! Be jealous of my socks. Actually they are Shay’s socks. Who knew floors could be so cold in Texas.

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Big thanks to my friend, Shalyn (and her sweet husband Drew) for not only taking these photos for me but for hosting me, chauffeuring me around, letting me eat six cinnamon buns for breakfast, treating me to Olive Garden and being very sweet and accommodating. Our friendship is a true testament to the power of social media and how wonderful friendships can be even from a far. Love you sweet, Shay! And Sara and Austin, I cannot wait to share your beautiful engagement photos with the world soon (oh and my adorable floral apron is from the amazing McKay of Oatmeal and Lace. You can contact her here to order your own). Happy Tuesday, friends. Make it count xoxo