Real Wedding Inspiration Archive

Oh, Hello!

Hi friends! I hope you’ve been having a beautiful and eventful summer so far. I type this little blog post from the comfort of a king sized bed in the middle of Seattle, almost a dozen hotel ice buckets surrounding me, filled with fresh flowers. This summer has been an absolute whirlwind of busyness but it’s been a good busyness. A filled to the brim type of hustle that has enlightened me in more ways than I could ever imagine. The rest of my summer is filled with three more incredible events, some big editorial projects, a few speaking engagements, much needed time away with Andrew, and of course lots of fun little surprises tucked in a long the way. But first, I wanted to check in and say hello and let you know there are a few posts coming soon to the blog including a special giveaway in the next few weeks (and the full post from Ellen and Pat’s Grand Rapids downtown market wedding coming soon). Remember to make a little time for yourself this summer to just relax and be present in all that’s going on around you.

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I just adore this photo of Ellen and Pat from their May 2nd wedding captured perfectly by Bradley James Photography. Guys, I loved this wedding and the simplicity behind planning, designing and executing it all in less than 12 weeks. I think you’ll love it as much as I do when I share the entire event. Happy Friday, friends xoxo

Trouvaille Workshop Day One

Guys! Yay! I can’t believe I get to share these photos finally. Welcome to the first post in the Trouvaille recap series!

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The first ever Trouvaille Workshop started on the very top level of The Amway Grand Plaza in the Pinnacle Room; an amazing space that has nearly 360 degree views of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. After greeting each gal individually, all 25 of the amazing attendees were able to grab a drink and a few chocolate covered strawberries before sitting down to their opening session tables. I wanted the space to feel airy and bright; so the girls could be comfortable and welcomed to Trouvaille with open arms and open hearts. The workshop’s color palette was one with lots of purple, white, pink and peach so I tried to incorporate those hues into a lot of the details and swag (more on all of the remarkable vendors who were a part of this below!) I’m not a huge fan of overly ‘hotel’-ish spaces so I hoped to make the space feel more comfortable and unique with small special touches. Here are a few details:

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I kicked off opening session with a jam packed presentation on Five Things I Know For Sure. From outsourcing tasks I don’t love to do, being kind to others and having a strong, authentic brand regardless of your business experience, I shared as much knowledge as I could with the group in an effort to get their wheels turning. Sweaty palms were included yes. But I felt like personally introducing everyone and letting them know about the foundation behind the workshop would be the best way to start the three days of material. It was so great! The attendees asked insightful questions, were incredible listeners and best of all made me feel so comfortable and at ease.

I love this room shot Bradley James Photography snagged for me. What a beautiful experience!

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Jodi Bos with Gwyneth Paige Letterpress was our amazing second guest speaker. She spoke to the group about women relationships in our industry and did an incredible job getting to the core of what’s important when working with others and sharing kindness and respect with your peers. Jodi has become a dear friend of mine and I look forward to having her back in October to share more on this same topic in addition to a breakout session on paper etiquette and pricing.

After opening sessions, it was time for our black and white themed welcome dinner celebration at San Chez Bistro.

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From passed sangria (the bistro’s signature drink) and a fixed menu featured seven of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, us gals (and one guy! Hi Brad!) dined, shared stories and laughed until late into the evening together. I’m not the biggest fan of the color orange but I loved how this meal’s design and theme came together so nicely in the bistro’s space. I’ll remember that dinner for a long time, guys. To look around the room and see everyone in their adorable outfits, involved in meaningful conversations, comfortable in their surroundings was exactly what I was looking to promote and foster at Trouvaille. Oh and those are caramel jar favors from The Caramel Jar at each attendee’s placesetting. Yum!

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Oh and can I tell you something incredible?

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At the end of the evening as everyone was leaving I started to tear down the small centerpieces and what not from dinner. Alicia, Carrie, Brad and Sam started to help too. Then one by one a good chunk of the attendees came back upstairs to the private room and started to help gather dirty napkins, throw away trash and wrap up decor with us. It was amazing to see these dolled up ladies pitching in to clean up with me (despite my begging to just go back to the hotel and rest). Truly, these women are changing the wedding industry one by one; they are hard working, down to earth and simply full of goodness.

Next up is Day Two of the Trouvaille Workshop! Sit tight, my friends xoxo
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Photography: Bradley James Photography / Florals, host, design: Hey Gorgeous Events / Linens: Nuage Designs / Chair rentals: The Rental Company / Vase Rental: Events by I Candy / Paper: Lemon and Lavender / Calligraphy: Laura Hooper / Clipboards: Idieh Design / Notebooks: B is for Bonnie / Caramel sauce favors: The Caramel Jar / Side table: Fancy Fray / Trouvaille logo: Molly Jacques Calligraphy

Making Things Happen Recap Spring 2014

Last month I had the pleasure of travelling to North Carolina to be a part of my third Making Things Happen intensive (and my second as a guest speaker). Being a part of this amazing community for over a year and a half now, and having the chance to experience it all in different capacities has been life changing and good for my soul. Like really good for my heart. So often I’m asked what the intensive is really all about and what to expect. While it’s hard to fully comprehend the magic that happens in the group, I’m going to give it a go and simplify my thoughts below for you.

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Making Things Happen is about community. Community is defined as, ‘a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.’ How incredible and fitting is that for an endeavor like Making Things Happen? Considering the amount of ways we connect with one another in our digital age, and how easy it is to confuse acquaintances with friends, I know I’ve really struggled with identifying my true fiends from just those I ‘know’ over the years of my adulthood. And this isn’t meant to sound negative or mean. It’s a hard thing to just type out here to you. It’s an even harder thing to wrap my head around because most days thanks in part to social media it feels like I have friends by the thousands. By the tens of thousands! But a sense of community (and within that realm some even deeper and more remarkable friendships) is truly what I’ve been most grateful to get out of the intensive experience.

Making Things Happen is about perspective. And clarity. Clarity is the best word I can possibly come up with based on my latest trip to Chapel Hill. The previous two times I attended were no doubt amazing and wonderful and better than the last, but this most recent intensive silenced a lot of the noise I had happening around me. I was able to get shockingly honest with myself and go places within me that I had been avoiding. On the other side of fear is success. There’s also balance and joy. And facing some of my fears and the things I knew to be true those couple days I sat with close to 100 sweet souls, ultimately helped me realize how I was running myself into the ground, focused on more of this and more of _____ (followers, perfection, late nights, a better portfolio, insert whatever materialistic or trivial thing you’re chasing here). Having the ability to see everything in front of me and knowing in my soul what I can afford to remove or purge and what I can afford and want to actually pursue (like a family) was so incredibly freeing for me.

Making Things Happen is about the work. The hardest work you’ll ever do to make your best life happen. It amazes me how when you’re sitting in that room going through the intensive’s content, you’re absolutely digging into the first chunk of hard work you’re about to face. Being honest, getting to your core, writing our your fears, learning to say no to things and processing this all into actionable steps IS hard work. I leave Making Things Happen often feeling an odd sense of being hopefully exhausted. But as Gina always says, when you leave that room life will hit you right in the face. It’s inevitable. It’ll knock you on your ass too. Life is going to pick right back up where it left off and it’s up to you to put in the hard work to cultivate change and get whatever it is done, to reroute your habits, routine, life, whatever. Did you know 40% of our daily routine is done out of pure habit? (I’m reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg right now; brilliant!) If a good chunk of your habits could stand to change a little that’s a lot of hard work. But it’s encouraging, and I speak from experience here, to know how possible that hard work is when you leave such a powerful workshop, and how fulfilling it is to life a life with purpose when you have a community genuinely cheering you on.

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To everyone at all three intensives I’ve been to, thank you for sharing, encouraging, teaching, listening and loving on not just myself but the rest of the brave souls sitting in those three diferent spaces, yearning to change and be their best selves. To those of you who have wondered and thought about coming one of these days but have yet to purchase a seat, give yourself the gift of this experience. The gift of time. The gift of grace, discovery and enlightenment.

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You can purchase your seat here. Scroll down on that page to read more about the intensive and FAQs.

Have a beautiful Tuesday, friends and thank you to Robyn Van Dyke for the gorgeous photos. Xoxo

Instalove Friday

Happy Valentines Day, blogettes!

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I hope that whatever you choose to fill your heart with today is made of the good stuff. Andrew and I are celebrating tonight with a little take out, a surprise dessert from yours truly and a quick clean up of the house before we prep for our trip tomorrow. Since we have house sitters watching our place and our pets while we’re gone we decided a clean home would be a nice gesture, not to mention coming back home will be that much easier! Andrew spent most of last week sick, and naturally I caught his cold and spent this week feeling rotten, so decorations and all things fancy have been put on the back burner this year; with the exception of this adorable Lulu and Georgia doormat. The cutest right? You can snag your own here and use the code HEARTDAY20 to save 20% your purchase (valid until Sunday!)

Have a lovely day celebrating what matters. Catch you all at the end of the month xoxo

Katie + Bryan {E-Session by Jen and Jonah}

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Oh, Katie and Bryan. Bryan and Katie. Two souls truly made for one another. Katie, a sweet, quiet but incredibly loving (and downright stunning) gal. Seriously how lovely is she? And Bryan, a gentlemen and all around happy guy with eyes only for Katie. These two are like most of my couples in the sense that I often feel overwhelmingly appreciative of even just being a witness to their love. To see two people so completely head over heels in love with one another makes me realize how sacred and wonderful a marriage really is. And to be given the gift of helping these couples celebrate their love in such a special, involved and curated fashion is absolutely a blessing I don’t ever dare take for granted.

Katie and Bryan are married already. You may remember some of their wedding photos from my Instagram feed over the holidays. They became husband and wife on New Year’s Eve and rang in 2014 the best way possible. Together with their amazing photographers Jen and Jonah Otchy, we also had the pleasure of seeing their engagement session featured on Style Me Pretty; in the most serendipitous of ways the feature went up just as Katie was preparing the walk down the aisle that day. And since the film scans came back earlier this week from the wedding itself (oh my gosh!) I figured today was as wonderful as a day to share the photos and memories that marked the start of their happily ever after.

Katie and I worked together to style the session with minimal props and outfits that would compliment the feel she was after. The rest is thanks to the talent behind the lens, Jen and Jonah. What a treasure to work with such talent.

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The balloon photo was used on their dinner menus as a nod to the new year!

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That lovely mint color of Katie’s dress was used throughout the wedding too. Can’t wait to share more!

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Perfection.

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And this was the photo we used on the couple’s Save the Dates last spring.

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Happy Wednesday, friends. Make it a beautiful one xoxo