inspiration shoots Archive

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.


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!


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


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


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!


Can I keep these bows up all year round?


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!


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


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?


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


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.


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


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.


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!

Halloween Masquerade {HGE Shoot with Bradley James}


Sometimes things come together and you think, that’s it right there. That’s my HEART. This is one of those times.

This Halloween themed masquerade inspiration shoot was one of the largest I’ve ever headed and easily is the one I am most proud of. Back in January I thought it would be a creative challenge and exciting endeavor to created an editorial spread based around Halloween. I wanted to combine the darkness and mystery of such a visual ‘holiday’ with the softness and femininity of a romantic wedding and well, the pictures shown throughout this post do just that in my biased opinion. We had a team of eight wonderful models (real life couples and friends who generously offered up their time), an incredible castle as our backdrop, and some of the most talented vendors in the industry on board bringing this to life. This is what dreams are made of. At least what a few of mine are. Without further ado….


The first shout out goes to Alexandra Nicole who did the girls’ make up for the occasion. She is incredible (we literally found her the night before) and blew my expectations out of the water. All of our models looked absolutely stunning and had make up that perfectly illustrated the contrast between soft and dark that I was going for. We also had Jennifer Grace come on board again to style everyone’s hair and create looks applicable to the end goal. Jennifer is always a pleasure to have as a part of my team and can always work in any conditions. Then we had Stacy from The Gown Shop Ann Arbor who never fails to deliver. She worked hand in hand with Alex and Jennifer to prepare bridal looks to compliment not only the shoot’s aesthetic but the girl’s make up and hair. The gowns she brought were made up of textures, colors and shapes that were out of this world. Our four gals all looked like a million bucks the entire day.


Coco. Seriously? Stunning.


For the florals and the decor, I wanted to work with textures and movement, dark hues and soft neutrals. To do that I made the bridal bouquet up of David Austin garden roses, chocolate cosmos, Quicksand roses, white astilbe, black center anemone, viburnum berries, geranium leaves, sweet peas, spray rose blooms, jasmine vine and pheasant feathers. Then the bridesmaids carried simple bouquets of sword ferns. French silk ribbon from FrouFrou Chic (I adore this stuff) and gold embroidered trim finished off the bridal bouquet. It’s one of my favorites to date. Our mock ceremony was set amongst the grounds of The Henderson Castle in Kalamazoo Michigan. You can read more about the castle here, which is actually a bed and breakfast and wedding destination here in the Mitten. Absolutely a must see.


Up next is this tablescape. Get ready for photo overload!


All of the paper products were created by the mastermind behind Pitbulls and Posies. Amber is really in a league of her own and created an entire suite of goodies for paper and beyond. In the beginning of this post you can see the entire invitation suite she created to match the dinner menus shown above here. In lieu of escort cards she create name placecards, cut out of black acrylic that looked like marble. Blush suede was wrapped around each menu, with mini gold skull beads hanging from the ends. We wrapped some of the suede pieces with mini gold skulls around the guy’s boutonnieres. Amber simply brings the perfect touch of whimsy and radness to each project she’s a part of.

And this cake. Let’s talk about this cake for a second now too ok? Sweet Heather Anne in Ann Arbor is one of the best. I usually give her a few details I’m planning on for shoots and she just takes things to a whole new level. Her cakes are works of art and the one she built for this occasion was no exception. The sugar florals matched perfectly with the ones I designed for the centerepieces and bouquets. And that bottom tier of cake with the black design is absolutely breathtaking. The detail in her work is so evident. And her cakes are GOOD. Like mouth-watering good.


Sinem from Soffitta via Etsy creates these masks by hand in her Turkey studio. Each mask was entirely different from the next and the detail and craftsmanship is impeccable. For the purpose of staging them into the shoot, we placed them at each guest’s placesetting as a favor for the event. The intended goal would be to use these masks as not only party favors but as a costume to wear at a masquerade party. You can view more of Sinem’s work and her masks here.


The tablescape was actually the first thing I dreamt up last January when this shoot was just a tiny concept. I had visions of black, gold and blush coming together in an unexpected way. The swarming ravens overtop of the table was my absolute favorite detail. The literally swung in the wind during shooting and looked so magical. The gold candelabras worked perfectly with the gold flatware and gold chargers while the black flutes added nice contrast against the softness of the floral components. Sinem’s masks, Amber’s fabulous menus, and Nuage Design’s napkins and lounge pillows all came together in perfect harmony to create the tablescape you see. All of the rentals (placesettings, chairs, farmhouse table) were supplied by the always amazing Special Events Rental in Warren. They literally have everything you may need to host a flawlessly detailed event and hands down are my go to guys (and girls!) for my event needs.


And last but not least, Sam and Brad from Bradley James Photography deserve a huge kudos for their amazing photography skills. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know them both professionally and personally over the past year and they are such an amazing couple with untapped potential. You can view their blog and website via the link above where more of their work is shown. I’d also love to work a wedding with these guys sometime in the near future so if you’re interested in booking Sam and Brad, think of me too pretty please? But seriously :)

For more photos check out the feature we were blessed with over on 100 Layer Cake too. Thanks for having us, ladies!

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Concept, design, florals: Hey Gorgeous Events / Photography: Bradley James Photography / Venue: Henderson Castle, Kalamazoo, Michigan / Gowns, accessories, bridal styling: The Gown Shop Ann Arbor / Masks: Soffitta via Etsy / Event Rentals: Special Events Rental / Linens and pillows: Nuage Designs / Wedding cake: Sweet Heather Anne / Paper and acrylic: Pitbulls and Posies / Hair styling: Jennifer Grace Stylist / Make up artist: Alexandra Nicole

BHLDN Partnership with Hey Gorgeous Events


Back in April I grouped together with some amazing vendors to put together a little editorial shoot in a partnership with BHLDN. When the powerhouse bridal brand reached out to me last winter to pair together on something creative I nearly fell off my chair; I adore anything BHLDN touches and can relate so well to their aestheitc and style. The goal was to highlight a few of their spring and summer products so we went for this pastel-infused but vintage-eque tablescape complete with fresh berries, a picnic-style lunch buffet and sweet details strewn throughout. J’adore.

We had the pleasure of having this little production featured on Every Last Detail yesterday too. Head over to Lauren’s incredibly educational and inspirational site here to check everything out. So much love and care went into this project and as always, I feel so blessed to work with such gifted vendors who selflessly devote their time and talents and products to these sorts of endeavors. A big thank you goes out to everyone for being a part. Below is a list of who was involved; send everyone some love would ya? Have a great rest of the afternoon, friends, Make it count xoxo

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Florals, design and concept: Hey Gorgeous Events / Photography: Kelly Braman Photography / Cakes: A Piece O’ Cake / Linens, napkins and chair pads: La Tavola / Venue: St. Cecilia’s Music Center, Grand Rapids / Dessert plates, straws, vases, chair banners: BHLDN / Calligraphy and hand lettering: Lindsay Letters / Invitation colloboration: Fig 2 Design / Chairs: Cascade Rental / Cake stands: From BHLDN, rented through Events by I Candy / Flatware: Vintage

Crazy Awesome Michigan Wedding Design!

There’s a certain something I love about social media free weekends (some of you know what I mean here). Namely the extra time on my hands to brainstorm, think and just dream without any influences from anyone else and their doings around me. Since 2013 kicked off I’ve only had one weekend that involved any involvement with my social media accounts and I have to say I noticed a difference in how I felt come Monday morning, versus how I feel when I take a break for 48 hours. This past weekend was no exception as I spent a ton of time doing more necessary soul searching.

With that being said, I’m working on shifting my focus a little bit for the 2014 season. And here’s a big part of why. Last fall, in the midst of my big rebrand, I got a call from a sweet bride to be who needed wedding planning help. She was (and still is very closely with me) planning a summer 2013 wedding in Michigan from Chicago and although she had booked a venue already she was clueless as to what should come next. A few phone calls, many emails and a signed contract later, I found myself reviewing her client questionnaire only to be staring at my screen in disbelief. Next to the part that on the questionnaire where I ask clients what their designs inspirations are read the following list:

‘Shabby chic, fantastical, unicorn, rainbow, fairytale, hard contrast, soft transition.’ Uhm?

Without going into too much detail because I’d love to share that in a future post with photos from this fete, I can tell you this much. This bride and groom have done more for my love and appreciation of what I do then I could have ever imagined. I’ve fallen in love with my job all over again. Within 48 hours after reading that questionnaire, my complete shock for an out of the box design inspiration turned to absolute delight as I began to plan a wedding that will no doubt be an incredibly unique and one of a kind celebration. My clients have trusted me, welcomed my ideas and given me creative freedom to infuse their big day with the most remarkable details that represent all of the above design inspirations. My heart is on fire. And I’m just itching to bring fifteen pages of quirky, crazy ideas to life for two deserving people (check out #shabbychicglitterunicornrainbowwedding on Instagram for previews before June 2nd!)

I started my business in 2010 to do a few things. The first was to help brides and grooms plan remarkable weddings, the second was to help brides and grooms have gorgeous weddings, and the third above all else was to give brides and grooms an unforgettable client experience. It’s always been about giving an experience for me. It’s not so much about giving a tangible product but instead handing over something that has to be felt. And how can I do that? In telling my client’s stories from start to finish with killer details, organized and streamlined planning strategies, awesome and like minded vendors on board and colors, textures, florals and decor that are stupid good. Like so stupid good you could oh my GOD out loud. With a whole slew of amazing 2013 and 2014 weddings ahead of me, I’m setting out to do just that.

While nothing much is changing here and I’ll still be offering full service planning (and highly recommending this to any future clients interested in HGE’s design, decor or floral services) I want to start marketing myself as more of an event designer. Planning an event for my sweet Taiwanese and Southern bride and groom I described above has been like planning and designing a massive inspiration shoot; that’s the real deal with vows, and guests, and heart and soul. Bring me more events just like this please. Where couples have stories, and interests, and visions and a passion for something a little out of the box. I’m going to continue to create, and build, and do the unexpected. Come along would you?


Visit here to inquire about HGE’s 2014 creative event design, floral and full service planning offerings. I’m excited!

Photo by the amazing Kelly Braman Photography from this editorial seen here xoxo

Valentine’s Day Soiree {HGE Shoot with Kelly Braman Photography}

Happy Valentines, Day blogettes!


Back in January I got together with my sweet friend, Kelly Braman to make this little project come to life. And I’m so thrilled to share it with you today finally! I was thinking late last year how much my friends mean to me and just how rare it is to find truly meaningful relationships in life that fill your heart with joy. My close friends are very special to me and the relationships we have together are definitely worth holding on to. So the concept behind this shoot was born! Why not have a yearly Friendship Fete with your girlfriends around Valentines Day, single or not, to celebrate how much you love having them in your life? Because, you know us girls love a little confetti more than the typical dude out there. Enjoy the images and the cuteness overload thanks to our real life friends who served as models for the day!


The amount of drink options that come in pink and red hues is impressive. We used regular old pink lemonade here!


I love this shot. It reminds me of the remains of a successful girlfriend’s night in. The party invitation, the ‘I’m so glad we’re friends’ Valentine Day cards and the favor tags were lovingly created by Val Marie Paper. Molly Jacques did the calligraphy on the invitation envelopes. The macarons we used as favors and the delicious and super sweet cake were made by Kelly at A Piece o Cake. And all of that pretty confetti and the tassel garland were via The Flair Exchange.


And how adorable are these girls? Kelly actually shot the beauty in the red dress at her wedding last summer (her name is Kelly too) and knew her and her friends would be the perfect models for this project. I loved that the girls were able to use things from their own closet, do their own hair and make up and look like a million bucks. Aren’t they so sweet?


Cheers my lovelies!


And just to hopefully give you a little chuckle for the day, here’s a photo of me utilizing a little of my gymnastics background to get that perfect Instagram shot. Most of my close friends and colleagues like to make fun of me for my OCD tendencies with my IG feed and how I’m known to drag out bizarre items onto my front porch or make Zoe sit patiently for minutes while I get the shot I want. Hey, a girl’s gotta get that perfect angle sometimes doesn’t she?


Enjoy your day full of love, friends! And check out our feature over here! xoxo

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Photography: Kelly Braman Photography / Concept, design and florals: Hey Gorgeous Events / Paper products: Val Marie Paper / Envelope calligraphy: Molly Jacques / Cake and macarons: A Piece o’ Cake / Garland and confetti: The Flair Exchange / Linens, chairs and ties: Cascade Rentals / Ruffled plates: Anthropologie / Red heart straws: Etsy