Hey Gorgeous, The Blog

Events

Jan 5

Featured {Style Me Pretty}

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What a way to kick off 2015 my friends! The incredible Brogan and Doug are over on Style Me Pretty today and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll have the full post up soon of my favorite photos along with sweet stories behind the details but you can soak up the goodness over here first. It was a very rainy, very overcast, and very windy day last year on May 17th, 2014. I was quite sure we would have to resort to our not so glamourous rain back up plan that afternoon but right as we made the call to go ahead with our outdoor plan and prepared to get guests into place the clouds opened up and sweet sweet sunshine poured down. It was a really awesome day.

Have a beautiful Monday!

Xoxo

Dec 31

Au Revoir 2014

Friends, join me for a little recap of the most jam packed year of my life would ya? Here we go :)

In January, I took a trip down to Atlanta to attend a styling and floral workshop hosted by the one and only Joy Thigpen. Not only was I able to spend a few cozy and wintery days sharpening my floral and design skills but I was blessed to finally meet an industry colleague that has now become one of my sweetest real life friends. Kristin Polhemus and I happily roomed together for three nights at the workshop and together made prettiness amongst amongst the wintery magic of Serenbe. Rylee Hitchner was on hand to capture our arrangements for us and I came home in January with a tenacity to bring to life a new sense of art to my work and florals.

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February brought on a lot of behind the scene work, cake tastings, mock ups, office work and emails. We hustled behind the scenes. But we played a bit too. Apb and I headed to the Dominican Republic with my family for five days to escape the snow (and Andrew and I both battled the flu while we were there unfortunately). In between travelling and working, I also contacted the amazing Kathryn Duckett to start what ended up becoming a massive rebrand for Hey Gorgeous. Once I came home from Joy’s workshop, I realized I had grown and my brand had evolved and my clientele had changed and what was stirring in my heart needed to finally be brought to life. I wanted to serve my clients better. But I’m getting too ahead of myself right now!

This wedding was featured in March. And it was a beauty to relive!

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In March I took a lot of time aside for creative projects while preparing my heart for the busy whirlwind of a season that was about to unfold. Slowly but surely I brought to life a more refined and sophisticated style and aesthetic. Brad and Sam also grew alongside me as photographers and an even bigger of a blessing was Sam and I growing our friendship as women. We went on coffee dates and had many heart to hearts. It was refreshing.

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In April, Andrew turned 31. I gifted him with a fun Hotel Bosse experience and I must say, he truly loved every second. I had the complete pleasure of seeing my first national feature hit news stands. Jamie and Ryan’s Grand Haven private residence wedding was shown off in a five page spread via The Knot and it was definitely a highlight of my career; you can see their entire celebration over here. The first ever Trouvaille Workshop also unfolded and it was simply put, incredible. Women from all over Canada and the United States, flew into Grand Rapids for three days of learning, inspiration, community and so so much more. You can read more about the workshop over here. When the workshop came to a final close, I slept. For a long time.

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I also travelled to Chapel Hill again for another round of Making Things Happen. Mountains were moved.

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In May, I turned 28. Typing that out feels so surreal. I feel like just yesterday I was celebrating my 25th year. In that same month, I had the complete pleasure of being a part of two very beautiful weddings. Ellen and Pat said I Do on a chilly but nevertheless spring day in May and thanks to my amazing team, we set everything in a total of four hours. The bride was a complete vision. The flowers were some of my favorite ever. It was a lovely day.

And Brogan and Doug finally made their union official. More on this wedding next week though.

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In June, life got a bit crazy as we prepped for two big trips. We also teamed up with a group of really amazing artists and rocked out an editorial shoot at one of my favorite venues. The results landed us on Style Me Pretty. Who said purple can’t be done in a beautiful way, right? Even better, one of our incredible 2015 couples will be celebrating their wedding day at Hidden Vineyard over Labor Day weekend. I’m counting down the days!

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Andrew and I then packed our bags to head to Denver for a week. While we were there we soaked up the mountains, did a little zip lining, ate donuts from three different places, and watched a dear college friend get married to the love of her life. While Andrew flew back to Michigan after the event, I stayed back for a few days to collaborate with the talented and wonderful Sara Hasstedt. Together we created this gorgeous, sunshine-drenched editorial and celebrated our efforts with some of the best tacos and margaritas I’ve ever had.

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I also took a three week break from social media. It inspired a little challenge called #stopthescrollchallenge.

Read more here if you’re interested.

By the time summer was in full swing, July was upon us and I was off on another trip but this time to Seattle for some meetings and venue walkthroughs with the sweet Kristina and Josh. We ate too many donuts (naturally), visited the beautiful downtown BHLDN, and I made a complete mess out of my hotel room with florals for the couple’s engagement session. The weekend ended with the couple’s engagement session shot by Marissa Maharaj and my trip ended with a pizza and wine date together with Marissa. I can’t wait for March to see this event finally come to life. What a truly incredible God-centered bride and groom to be.

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At the very end of July, we did this.

I also flew down to North Carolina again, but this time to join the Southern Weddings ladies for a peachy editorial that landed on the cover of volume 7. It was a whirlwind three days of go, go, go, floral prep and assembly in Lara’s living room. There are also too many sweet moments to list out here in one post but it was a trip that cultivated gratitude and joy from within. Even better, my sweet friend Nancy Ray and her assistant Callie, ended up being the ones to shoot the behind the scenes; photos I will treasure forever. Hi friends!

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August was here before I knew it. And it brought this feature. Jen and Jonah and I high fived from afar!

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Then the girls and I loaded up the uHaul (literally we couldn’t have fit one more thing in that truck) and trekked up north four hours to Petoskey for what ended up being one of the most fun weddings we’ve ever been a part of. I can’t share much from that event quite yet because it’ll be in print next spring but it was a really beautiful day for a really special couple. We danced, laughed, sang, floralized and hustled more than ever that weekend. I fell more in love with my worker bee gals that weekend as we worked long into the night before the event, making sure each and every flower was fluffed to absolute perfection for our sweet clients.

Judging from this Harrison Studio photo, I think we got it right.

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August was also really bittersweet. We lost our sweet Chenks after 14 and a half years of kitty snuggles and so much love. We miss you sweet, sweet boy. Zoe misses you too! And in that same week, the new Hey Gorgeous Events brand was revealed. I cried both tears of sadness and tears of joy in a span of just days. You can read more here about the rebrand. You can read more about the Hey Gorgeous brand here. And you can see my new website over here. Kathryn, I am so so grateful for your friendship and guidance over the past year.

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By September, I was ready for that last massive push of events, travels and obligations. I headed off to Nashville for my dear friend Amber Housley’s workshop. Within ten hours of returning I was back on another plane, this time with Apb in tow to head down to Austin, Texas y’all for our final HGE event. For five days we rolled napkins, made centerpieces, ate more donuts (duh), made new friends, hung out with old ones and of course, celebrated another amazing couple becoming husband and wife. We created one of my most favorite floral creations of all time and pinched ourselves when the gals at Southern Weddings featured the event. I also got to hug this girl. More than once. And our Andrews finally got to hug it out. Month made.

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

We celebrated four years of marriage. Andrew, I love you so much!

Our Beloved Session with Sam was a treasure.

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Then came October and all hands were on deck for Trouvaille 2.0. Our welcome dinner was an absolute hit, set against the dreamy backdrop of the Grand Rapids downtown market. For three days I was humbled, inspired and encouraged by some of the most incredible women in our industry; those who served as speakers and those who came as attendees. In the new year I’ll be sure to share more reflections from the event.

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To celebrate, the Bosses and the Polhemus’ travelled up north to Mackinac Island and then out east to Canada for some much needed downtime and far too much consumption of deep fried food than you could care to know about. Getting to know long distance friends in a close up capacity was such a blessing. Then to round out the month, I found myself en route back to North Carolina (third time out of four this year!) for another round of Making Things Happen. And this time things felt lighter, more hopeful and sweeter than the last. I left feeling very much like a new person with new discoveries about myself and the path ahead of me.

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By November, this had hit news stands. I had a major punch me moment. Bucket list item checked off.

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I also travelled back to North Carolina (phew!) to surprise those sweet Southern Wedding gals at the volume 7 launch party. Some peachy and pink #hgeblooms made their appearance at the party. Big thanks to my gal pal and party planner extraordinaire Kristin Winchester for helping my keep my secret under wraps and for keeping me company while I picked rose thorns out of the host hotel carpet. I’m very confident I can call myself a professional hotel-room-floral-designer by now. Hi, Millie and thanks for the super cute capture!

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Right around Thanksgiving, Cottage Hill at long last released their first issue ever and I was beyond honored to have a really special feature gracing its pages. There’s a wonderful back story to our efforts and I can’t wait to share more but here’s two photos from the talented Jen Lynne. And yes, that’s me there in the taupe hued dress. Like I said, there’s a wonderful back story and I’m on the edge of my seating waiting to share it. Soon.

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Andrew and I closed out the season by taking a trip to the Bahamas at the end of November. And while we didn’t catch the flu this time around, we ran into a five day rainstorm. I mean beach-closed, palm-trees-horizontal, no-one-at-the-pool kind of rainstorm. We played a lot of Scrabble, ate a lot of pizza, and drank too many lattes instead. It was admittedly quite nice to disconnect, oversleep and spend some quality time away from the snow that hit the Midwest that week. We came home feeling much more rested than when we had left, and had a low key Thanksgiving at Andrew’s sisters home giving thanks for all of our blessings.

Finally in December, we decorated our home for the holidays, made serious progress on the basement studio (ah!), and sent a ton of festive holiday cards to friends and family worldwide. It was a joyful and celebratory month that flew by entirely too fast but nevertheless it was a breath of fresh air to just sit back and be still with my sweet little family for a change. I forgot what that was like which leads into my next thought…

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More importantly, and this might just take the cake for the entire year, I vowed to my sweet family to slow down and take more time away from work and noise in 2015. Truly. 2014 was full, full and I mean just packed full of goodness. I am entirely grateful to The Lord for His grace and love. And the abundance of blessings and opportunity. But I felt like I could hardly keep up at times over the past year and swore in those moments, I had learned my lesson; I am just one person! Nothing less. Nothing more. I’m not superwoman. I’m just an ordinary woman trying to do extra ordinary things. And while it’s possible to do just that, only I can be the best servant of my time and how I spend it. I yearn to do things with more intention. To being content with white space and spare time. I desire to be okay with being perceived as ‘not so busy.’ And I’m ready to just be.

May 2015 be your best year yet too. Whatever it is you’re dreaming, hoping, praying and yearning for; may it come to life and then some for you all, sweet friends! Happy new year and I’ll see you in January.

Love, Rhi xoxo

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Year in Review 2015
Year in Review 2013
Year in Review 2012
Year in Review 2011

Dec 19

Happy Holidays from Our Home To Yours!

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Happy Friday everyone! I’m signing off until the final week of December so I can be present with my family and enjoy the holiday season. For the next week and a half, you’ll be able to find Andrew and I snuggled up on the couch with Zoe watching holiday movie reruns, eating Christmas cookies and being thankful for all of the blessings in our lives. Whatever you celebrate this time of year, and whatever season of life you’re in, I wish you all peace, cheer and joy! My final post of 2014 will be my farewell to the year so check back after Christmas!

Bradley James Photography took our cherished Christmas card family photo this year :) Xoxo

Dec 17

Sara + Austin {HGE Wedding with Love, The Nelsons}

I hope you’re all sitting down for this blog post, my friends. Because it’s a complete visual overload of gorgeous details, sweet Southern traditions and some of the most beautiful photographs I’ve been lucky enough to add into my portfolio thus far in my career. But first a little back story. And stick with me because it’s good.

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Back in 2011 I received an email from one sweet Southern belle who was not yet engaged but interested in working with me to plan her wedding when the time came. I questioned her seriousness and found it a bit odd to be reaching out to a planner pre-engagement, but I loved this girl’s tenacity and sense of humor so we kept in touch for an entire year. In late 2012 when finally her beau popped the question and the duo became officially engaged, our working relationship became official and with that, Sara and I started to not only plan and design her perfect wedding day, but we built a really special bond and friendship with one another. We fell in stride so effortlessly and time after time again I was reminded why I do what I do. As a gal who has lived in as many places as I can count on almost both hands, Sara had her pick of planners and designers nationwide. And to know she picked me to help serve her and Austin; well it’s incredibly humbling and brings me tremendous joy.

Sara and Austin were married on September 20th, 2014 exactly three years from the original date that Sara first emailed me. Set against the magical backdrop of Vista West Ranch y’all, in the heart of Dripping Springs, Texas and decked out from ceremony to send off in Kate Spade girliness and a whole load of sparkle, this wedding even exceeded my expectations once the final taillight was lit and the final dahlia placed into that beauty of an arch. The whole day, actually the whole three-year journey with Sara and Austin, was the stuff dreams are made of and well, I just have to say thank you. To Sara and Austin. Thank you for letting me be a tiny part of the bigger picture which is now happily ever after for you two as a family.

The beautiful photographs were taken by our dear friends Shay and Drew of Love, The Nelsons. Simply put; they are one of a kind. Enjoy some of my absolute favorites from this special celebration! Oh! And you may have caught this wedding over on Southern Weddings where it was featured in November. It was very exciting to see such this wedding grace the pages of a publication both the bride and I so admire. Check it out here.

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Sara’s weakness is anything Kate Spade (my kind of girl) so naturally she wore these glittered peep toes.

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The florals! For a wedding with 80 people there were a TON of florals. I loved every second of it.

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Sara’s bridal bouquet took me a good two hours to make. Andrew was on hand with me that night working on some smaller arrangements while I tried to make it perfect and I was on a mission to do just that. To name a few blooms used: peach, blush, and magenta garden roses, white, blush and orange ranunculus, varieties of dahlias, pink veronica, white lysmachia, orange parrot tulips, pink spray roses, boxwood greens and my favorite, jasmine vine. It was all wrapped up with of course, a black and white striped grosgrain bow. I wish I could show you the video I took of Sara seeing her bouquet for the first time. It’s a mood lifter on bad days :)

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Did I mention the beautiful bride has really beautiful friends too?

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Remember how I mentioned a lot of my couple’s have bulldogs? Here’s Rumpy the ring bearer :)

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The portraits Shay and Drew captured are seriously stunning. It was hard to pick my faves for this post.

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And my favorite from the entire day is this:

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You can read more about Sara and Austin’s love story, their engagement, advice on wedding planning and many of the decisions behind their big day, over here. Just five seconds into reading Sara’s words and you’ll see why both I and her husband Austin love her so. And a big thank you to all of the amazing vendors who made this event possible. Planning and designing weddings cross country can be a bit tricky but time and time again I’m blown away by kind and gracious colleague and vendors. To happily ever after and beyond :)

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Photography: Love, The Nelsons / Planning, florals and design: Hey Gorgeous Events / Venue: Vista West Ranch / Wedding cake: Classic Cakes by Lori / Caterer: PoK-e-Jo’s / Rentals: Premiere Events, Loot Vintage Rentals, Whim Event Rentals / DJ: Complete / Paper Products: Lemon + Lavender / Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy / Bride’s Gown: ‘Sorento’ by Ines Di Santo / Bride’s Veil: Sara Gabriel / Bride’s Sash: Venust Bridal Design / Bride’s Bracelet and Shoes: Kate Spade /Bride’s Garter: Fallen Star Couture / Bride’s Earrings: Nicole Miller via Rent the Runway / Hair Stylist: Mindy Fuller / Makeup Artist: Makenzi Lane / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LulaKate / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse / Bridesmaids’ Monogrammed Shirts: Crystal Faye / Bouquet Ribbons: Oatmeal Lace Design / Linens: La Tavola Linen/ Flower Girl Tutu: Tutu Girl / Dog’s Bow Tie: Mia’s Closet / Wedding Cake: Classic Cakes by Lori

Dec 15

Kristina + Josh {E-Session Part Two by Marissa Maharaj}

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Happy Monday, friends! As promised, I present to you the sweet Kristina and Josh for part two of their Seattle summertime engagement session. Captured to perfection by Marissa Maharaj, these photos show how sweet and truly in love these high school sweethearts are. I just wrapped up the couple’s design and floral proposal and I must say, March is going to be really really lovely. You can catch part one of the session over here. Enjoy!

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Kristina’s wedding day bouquet (and the hand tied bouquets her eight gal deep bridal party will carry) will be a bit softer in saturation and color tone but will be just as textural and lush as the one I made her for the session. Think lots of garden roses, hell hellebores peonies if I can snag some early season varieties. Those deep crimson late summer dahlias certainly stole the show though. Why can’t dahlias be available year round?

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Kristina and Josh, the countdown is on, lovebirds. Let’s get you two married! Have a lovely day, friends!

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Photography: Marissa Maharaj / Florals and Styling: Hey Gorgeous Events /  Black tulle dress: Free People / Hair and makeup: Erin Skipley / Pink scarf: Anthropologie