Hey Gorgeous, The Blog


Sep 2

Pep Talk Tuesday {Define Your Success}

‘Either your life exists for your business or your business exists for your life.” – Unknown


Running, running, running. This wedding season – actually, scratch that. This entire YEAR has felt like a marathon. A long, beautifully messy, tiresome, fulfilling, seemingly never ending marathon. I’ve been so tremendously lucky to travel to some amazing places for work and have met some incredible people are a result of those travels. I pinch myself from time to time just thinking that I’ve been able to build this business, this little empire of mine, that’s uniquely me, a sum of my dreams, hopes and talents all wrapped up in a pretty bow.

Last month I attended the Cultivate Retreat in beautiful Jekyll Island, Georgia where I was fortunate enough to be a speaker for the second year in a row. I kicked off the workshop with my presentation on Setting Boundaries and Finding Balance in Your Life, and realized more than anything I needed to hear the things I dished on more than anyone else in that room . It was borderline therapeutic standing up there saying out loud to a room of professional women (and one man!) the things I know I need to adhere to. But the things I so often don’t. Because it’s always go go go. And it’s impossible at times to stop and just collect myself. Am I right?

My world exploded when the amazing Shay Cochrane took the stage after me and began to talk about Defining Your Success. Whose business are you allowing to determine what success looks like for you? What measures are you currently using either intentionally or unintentionally to quantify your own success? What IS your definition of success anyway? I immediately perked up as Shay spoke. For YEARS now my own version of success has been something along these lines: the day I take home a paycheck that’s the equivalent or more of what a ‘boss’ or salaried job/position would pay me, will be the day I consider myself successful. Whoa.

A part of me has always felt guilty, lesser, incapable, and even sneaky for failing to land a job out of college like I was expected to. I had two degrees, more than eight fancy internships unde rmy belt and still couldn’t land an interview. When I couldn’t find a news director to hire me and just give me a chance, I started my business and made sure I was ABSOLUTELY sure it would not fail. I gave myself the opportunity of a dream since no one else would and rather than feel proud, successful, joyful, and intelligent for navigating what really has been a successful business journey so far (and I do feel those things often!) I’ve been defining my own success by some pretty whack standards. I’ve often felt like this journey of mine has been a race to parallel what I could have been stuck with in corporate America. But that probably wouldn’t have been for me anyway. I know this well.

So with that, with the new brand you see in front of you (which I am just still so smitten with; did you SEE this too?!) comes hand in hand with a new outlook on how I will be defining my success from here on out. My business needs to serve my life and not the other way around. From here on out my business is a success if:

• I am able to maintain a reasonable work life balance. My work cannot rule my life all day every day.

• It generates revenue that I can spend on my family, our home, our life, our hobbies, our future, etc.

• It keeps me fulfilled, happy and intrigued. My business is not a success when it becomes a chore.

These are obviously just a few touch points but they are really important ones. Along with these touch points, and probably what may be the most important for me to keep in mind as I wrap up the second half of the year and the end of our 2014 wedding season, I know my business IS currently a success for a boatload of reasons that make me smile. So often we become our biggest critics and we fail to take notice of the strides we’ve made and the hurdles we’ve overcome. Today, take some time to define your own version of success. You’re worth it.

Aug 28

Rustic Elegance


Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of partnering with some pretty spectacular vendors to bring this Rustic Elegance editorial vision to life. The backdrop was no other than the incredible Hidden Vineyard Wedding Barn in Berrien Springs, Michigan where believe me, the service is just about as remarkable as the property and venue (we love you Susan and Kaye!) Join me today as I soak up this gorgeous shoot captured to perfection by Bradley James Photography. There were so many details throughout this project that reflected a high end luxury vibe meets rustic charm aesthetic. It’s definitely one for the HGE books wouldn’t you agree? Enjoy!


Brit, our amazing model, is such a timeless beauty! Stace from The Gown Shop styled her to perfection.

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I had a ton of fun creating this very lush and jam-packed table runner centerpiece for our family style wood table. The goal was to have all sorts of purple shades throughout the entire piece but once I got started, a repetitive ombre vibe started to come to life. The romantic feel of the roses and clematis vine contrasted with the chunky artichokes and various succulents was totally yummy. If someone wants to hire me for their wedding and then have all of their tablescapes feature centerpieces like this, you know where to find me. Seriously.

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The gals at The Aerialist Press nailed the stationery for this project. Purple and plum letterpress, copper foil, the most beautiful fonts and embellishments, hand letterings on silk ribbon from Curlicue Designs; it was all too perfect for words and matched perfectly with the look I was after. Purple can be so lovely when done right!

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Purple never looked so good. A giant hug to all of the amazing people who made this happen (listed below!)

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Concept, design, and florals: Hey Gorgeous Events / Bridal gowns, accessories and styling: The Gown Shop Ann Arbor / Photography: Bradley James Photography / Calligraphy: Curlicue Designs / Cake and macarons: Sweet Heather Anne / Chandelier and end table: Fancy Fray / Rentals: The Rental Company / Venue: Hidden Vineyard Wedding Barn / Linens and pillows: Nuage Designs / Make up: Alexandra Nicole Make Up / Stationery: The Aerialist Press

Featured {Style Me Pretty}

Hooray! Not only was Monday an exciting day with the official reveal of the newly branded and totally gorgeous Hey Gorgeous Events look (you can read more about that over here) but our friends over at Style Me Pretty featured our Rustic Elegance editorial shoot from this past June. Various shades of rich purple, soft lavender, bronze and raw wood elements were some of my favorite details from this big project all tied together with loads and loads of pretty blooms. I can’t wait to share more of the details and photos with you all on Thursday morning along with a full list of the incredible people who poured their hearts into the endeavor. Check back then, and finally, a BIG thank you to everyone for your love and sweet words on Monday’s post!


Stay gorgeous, blogettes! Xoxo

Aug 25

The New Hey Gorgeous Events!

Today is a beautiful day, friends! I’m so thrilled to reveal the new and improved Hey Gorgeous Events brand. It’s been a little something that’s been in the works since last Christmas when I felt like my business (and I) had both grown up and out grown what my brand looked like before. Was anything wrong with my look before? No. But I knew that to attract and secure the clientele I so crave, the events I dream of and to be true to the HGE aesthetic and magic, the look, feel and online presence of this business I’ve built over the past five years, would need to change. And it would need to reflect the personable, unique, high end, magical, and boutique brand that I’m privileged to call my own. With that I have this:


I owe so much to Kathryn Duckett of Creme Brands who is the genius behind the new look. I contacted Kathryn in January to help me switch over my website to Squarespace (majorly in part to Squarespace’s functionality and great customer service) and remember clearly telling her I had a two week deadline. My goal was to whip out a new calligraphy logo, switch my content over to Squarespace and then quietly relaunch the new logo sometime in mid-February. Easy peasy. But then Kathryn encouraged me to do a ton of thinking and searching and digging into what my business is all about. The things I’ve worked hours for, the things I shed blood, sweat and tears over, the things I have dreamt and strived and hoped for. Kathryn was a cheerleader, an artist, and a friend when I needed it. She was kind, creative, patient and reassuring when I doubted my decisions. She was monumental in creating this new look that feels like home.


Some of you have asked or may be wondering; is Hey Gorgeous changing? The short answer is yes with a little bit of no. My goal with HGE from day one has been to be a small but powerful boutique business with a roster of weddings and clients that’s representative of quality over quantity. I’ve never wanted a staff of 10, a year with 20 plus weddings or the opportunity to plan events outside of weddings. My core has always been right where it is today; or right on track rather, with where it is I’m heading. That feels really good. I’ll continue to take a limited amount of contracts per year, offering only full service planning, design and florals. I’ll also continue to conceptualize and design a number of editorial productions each season, along with cultivating the growing sister brand to HGE, the Trouvaille Workshop (which also relaunched today with a gorgeous new look thanks to Kathryn. Check it out over here!)


Every decision I’ve made, good and bad, has gotten me where I am in this moment. And I’m as happy as I can be (see photo above by Jen Lynne). Thank you to EVERYONE for your love and support over the years.

You’re so loved xo

Aug 12

Ellen + Pat {HGE Wedding with Bradley James Photography}


Oh goodness. I’m so excited to share this wedding with you today, friends. Yesterday I shared our feature over on Snippet and Ink and today I’m diving into all of the details from Ellen and Pat’s Grand Rapids Downtown Market wedding. The couple hired me on the last day of January earlier this year to plan their May 2nd wedding. Yes, you read that right. May 2nd. In under just 12 weeks we put this incredible celebration together and I have to say it’s easily one of my favorites. Sometimes when there is less time to ponder over options during the wedding planning process, you have to act on your gut instinct and make decisions faster. Booking vendors and approving designs was a breeze with Ellen and Pat because everything circled back to their core values and their biggest goal; a beautiful day with meaningful details that didn’t outshine the love they wanted their guests to experience. And that’s just what they got.

Enjoy the gorgeous photos from Bradley James Photography. Ellen and Pat, we love you both!


All of the gorgeous paper was done by the talented Val Marie Paper. Ellen and Pat are minimalists through and through so the simple yet elegant design we chose for the invites was perfect. We did custom wrap labels instead of calligraphy and added in Michigan themed and neutral colored vintage stamps for a fun touch. The programs, menus and escort cards all carried through the simplistic aesthetic the couple so loves and embodies. Love that simple monogram, too!


This bouquet is hands down one of my favorites. Since the wedding happened at the very beginning of the spring season I had access to some pretty spectacular florals like snowberry, white peony, cream garden roses, white clematis, white anemones and some pretty lovely scabiosa. Tied together with fresh bay leaves and clematis vine foliage it was so lush and textural. A cream colored raw muslin ribbon was wrapped around the stems and a necklace belonging to the bride’s late Mother was the final piece to create this beauty. Giving it to her that morning was such an honor.


The greenhouse at the market is far too lovely for words. That climbing vine is spectacular.

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The ceremony was held outside in the market shed with very minimal decor. We used oversized bunches of bay and olive branch greens and clusters of white pillar candles tucked into industrial type lanterns of various sizes. At the alter where the couple said their vows we had a beautiful acrylic chandelier from Fancy Fray that I decorated with greens and fresh blooms like clematis. The chandelier was actually a small little surprise from yours truly and really was the finishing touch to the sleek and modern space that on it’s own is a pretty cool backdrop to say ‘I Do’ in front of.

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A table of mixed beverages awaited guests as they came upstairs for dinner post ceremony.

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This shot. Seriously.


And that wall! After grabbing a signature drink of choice, guests were able to find their escord card. The escort card was set up on the market space’s wall adorned with the same pieces of raw muslin fabric from around Ellen’s bouquet and escort cards fastened to them. The ribbon pooled at the bottom of the wall with a few pillar candles in the mix. An oversized floral arrangement sat in the corner of the display to soften things up a little and add a natural pop of green.


Farmhouse tables for the win!

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And why not have your first dance to Beyonce’s ‘Love On Top’?


Ellen and Pat, you two are a joy. Enjoy each other for the rest of your lives.

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Photography: Bradley James Photography / Planning, design, florals and execution: Hey Gorgeous Events / Venue: Grand Rapids Downtown Market / Officiant: Gust Bassianotis / Dress: Badgley Mischka via Renee Austin Wedding / Shoes: Stuart Weitzman via Zappos / Earrings: Kate Spade / Suits: Jos A Bank / Shirt: Kenneth Cole / Tie: Skinny Tie / Stationery: Val Marie Paper / Rentals: Cascade Rental Center, Refunction Junktion Vintage Rentals / Music: Adrian Butler / Catering and wedding cake: The Amway Grand / Linens: La Tavola Linens / Chandelier: Fancy Fray