Hey Gorgeous, The Blog


Apr 29

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.


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.


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.


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

Apr 21

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.


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


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


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.


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

JR9 JR10 JR6

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.

JR11 JR12 JR13 JR14

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?


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.


Stripes and Swiss dots. Is there anything better?


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


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.

JR20 JR21

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.


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!

. . . . . . . . . .

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

Mar 25

Alexandra + Josh {HGE Wedding with Mango Studios}


There’s not much I can say to really give this wedding the justice it deserves. I get goosebumps just looking over these gorgeous photos from Mango Studios, reliving this day, all these moments, over and over again. Alex and Josh exemplify true love, that selfless, knock you off your feet, I-want-that kinda love. I shared a bit more about these two and the process I went through getting to know them over on Ruffled where the entire wedding is featured. And I encourage you to go read what I shared so you too can catch a glimpse into the world of Alex and Josh. It’s a beautiful, musically inspired, incredibly raw, imperfectly perfect world that I was utterly and absolutely honored to have been a part of.


When a bride asks for a crown of bay leaves to pair with her Jenny Packham gown, you don’t argue.


Alex and Josh prepared for their wedding in their respective childhood homes, with their families and bridal party members surrounding them and helping them calm their nerves. The couple decided to see each other for the first time when they met at the alter. There’s magic in this folks. Magic I tell ya. The couple’s faith and belief in the Lord combined with their deep admiration and respect for their family’s culture was very inspiring to me.


Boxwood greens, white wax flower, bay leaves and brunia berries made up the boutonnieres.


The church was breathtaking. What a perfect place to start your married life in right?

AlexJosh7 AlexJosh8

In the next photo you’ll see Josh in the church, and beside him his father who also served as his best man. This photo was taken the second the church doors opened, revealing Alex and her Dad beginning the bride’s processional. Oh, and beside Josh’s dad is the bride’s brother. Don’t get me wrong, I love a gorgeous detail photo as much as the next person out there, but THIS is what weddings are about. The longer I’ve worked in this industry the more I find I’ve grown to focus on and appreciate what’s really important here like the emotion that’s undeniable in this photo.

AlexJosh9 AlexJosh10 AlexJosh11 AlexJosh12

Best ‘Just Married’ photo I’ve ever seen!

AlexJosh13 AlexJosh14

Between the ceremony send off and the traditional Italian cocktail hour starting back at the venue, the bridal party hiked out to the woods for some amazing photos and video footage. The natural surroundings and Canadian autumn weather were the perfect compliment to the wedding aesthetic and couple’s personal style, am I right?

AlexJosh16 AlexJosh17

Each girl’s bouquet was made up with a variety of different blooms including chocolate cosmos, white anemones, David Austin garden roses, pink astilbe, white veronica, privet berries, jasmine vine, bay leaves and two varieties of ferns. The bouquets were understated but romantic to compliment each bridesmaid’s style of dress. Aren’t these girls so stunning? They were  so sweet throughout the day, making me feel welcome while making sure Alex felt like a million bucks.



HandsAlexJosh19 AlexJosh20

Josh is in an amazingly rad band and music is a huge part of the couple’s lives. Naturally this happened.

AlexJosh21 AlexJosh22

It’s customary at Italian weddings for each guest to take a shot once they make their way through the receiving line. Not a bad tradition to follow through with right? Even better, after your choice of shot, you make your way to the dance floor, where an impressive display of Italian antipasti selections await. Towers of breads, meats, cheeses and seafood, chefs stations and platters of appetizers, followed by a four course meal, late night food display and dessert table all ensured each and every one of the 220 guests were satisfied and well taken care of.

AlexJosh23 AlexJosh24 AlexJosh25 AlexJosh26 AlexJosh27

It’s always such a pleasure to work with Jocelyn of Sugarbelle Cakes. She’s a true artist and joy to work with whenever I have the pleasure of working back home in Canada. Her trio of delectable cakes were surrounded by cake stands with authentic Italian cannolis made at a little bakery that Alex’s family frequently visits and homemade custard tarts.


Then after the couple cut their cake, we ushered everyone out to the lake front for a sparkler send off under the guise of it being a fun photo opportunity. Which it was. However, just as the couple exited out of the tunnel of guests the first firework shot off into the sky from the nearest lake pier off the property. Guests quickly gathered around the couple and took in the 12 minute surprise show, clapping and cheering with every firework that lit up the October sky.

I hate to be redundant here but this was magic. Absolute magic.


Oh and please watch this video. Like right now. It’s the most remarkable wedding production I’ve ever seen. Outside In Studio just gets it. Between being an absolute pleasure to work with (Ric and Vic I adore you guys), being true artists with their craft and giving people like Alex and Josh these hand crafted memories to treasure forever? Fine fine fine, I’ll shut up now. You probably get it. Watch the video. Love on this couple. You’re welcome :)

Alexandra & Joshua – Mountains are made molehills. from Outside In Studio on Vimeo.

. . . . .

Photography: Mango Studios / Partial planning, design, florals and coordination: Hey Gorgeous Events / Videographer: Outside In Studio / Venue: Liuna Gardens / Wedding dress: Jenny Packham / Groom’s suit: Harry Rosen / Wedding cake: Sugarbelle Cakes / Fireworks: Firemasters Productions / Vintage rentals: Fancy Fray / Linens: La Tavola and Luxe Event Linen / Stationery: done by the bride

Mar 18

Pep Talk Tuesday {Ignore the Rest}

So a friend sent me this article the other day. After a frazzled phone call from yours truly of course.

Mind blown. Life changed.

I’m not sure about you, but I often place too much value on other’s opinions concerning my decisions and actions. I feel validated when a friend tells me something is a good idea, or something looks good, because, hey! That must mean I’m doing something good. Which directly correlates with feeling validated because we all want to be seen as successful, talented people full of goodness. Our peers are so often huge players in our mindset of how we do things in this life, how we view the world and one another, and ultimately, the biggie here, how we feel about ourselves (oh and I’m sure this is a given to most of you who have been reading here for a while but I’m not a psychologist in any capacity).

Well, for me it’s gotta stop like yesterday. The above linked article really illustrated that for me. I’ve blogged about following your gut and listening to your intuition. As human beings with an infinite amount of feelings and thoughts, and the obvious fact that we are technically with ourselves every second of my existence, we know ourselves the BEST. We know what we want most days, we know what we like, we know what makes us comfortable, uncomfortable, happy, angry, we know when we don’t feel good or when something feels off, and we know when we’re due for a change, small or big. Advice from friends is one thing but weighing too heavily on their opinions is another.

So why do we question taking action? Why do we have the mindset that a friend or acquaintance’s opinion is the best for us when we usually already know it is? And maybe this is just how I feel sometimes, but how come we feel disappointment when we ask a friend for their opinion, with the understanding that we ourselves already like the prospect of whatever item we’re requesting feedback on, and they fire back with unfavourable responses? Maybe we’ve lost of sense of trusting our guts. Maybe we think our friends are smarter or more experienced. Maybe we need an article like the one above to knock some serious sense into ourselves.

Or maybe we just need to act and ignore the rest.


Ignore the rest today. Do something remarkable. And know you’ve got this.

Photo by the incredible Rylee Hitcher of a HGE floral creation. Xoxo

Mar 13

Kristen + Chris {HGE Wedding with Abby Rose}


Hearts. Hearts for days. Two hearts in love. Two hearts becoming one. Hearts on the ceremony alter, hearts on the invitations, hearts on the dance floor. Yup big lovely heart decals on the dance floor. That actually happened. Kristen and Chris, I really adore you two. From the minute we met over a year and a half before your big day, to the second I hugged you both into a big sweaty good bye hug at 1:00 am (after we begged the DJ to keep the dance floor packed for one more hour), I’ve saved a big piece of my heart just for you guys. Watching you create this incredible marriage together so full of what matters most has been such an amazing blessing for me. And a lesson in understanding the best stuff always comes from the same place. You guessed it; the heart. Where all good things come from.

A big thank you to the amazing Abby Rose for these gorgeous images. Below are a few of my favorites.

HeartWedding2 HeartWedding3KrisChrisPortrait

There’s nothing lovelier than a long veil caught in the wind. Am I right?

HeartWedding4 HeartWedding8

A little bit about those pins above: for the event’s escort cards we had large pins made, one per guest. Each pin had something written on it that was meaningful to the couple, whether it be the place they met, where they were engaged, where they love to hangout, what their pup’s name is, and the list goes on. With 300 guests and 29 tables to represent, there was an impressive list of meaningful places, names and items printed on all the pins. Once people went into the reception tent after cocktail hour, they found their pin name assigned to a specific table and then a description into what the pin name was all about. Big props to my girl Ashli for creating all of those gorgeous pins and making sure they all matched up to each name properly. I loved getting to know so much more about my couple by reading all of these sentiments. Speaking of receptions. Here’s a little peek into this one. I’m telling you, lounges are IT.

HeartWedding9 HeartWedding10

Since Kris and Chris were married on a very hot day in the middle of August, we decided to carry over that same summer warmth and brightness into the florals. Liz and her team at the Parsonage did such a beautiful job with the florals using a ton of Michigan grown dahlias, garden roses and hydrangeas in the mix. We also incorporated Romeo, Michigan peaches into the tablescapes as a nod to both the peach and butter wedding color palette and the place where the couple first met. At the end of the night, we put all those juicy peaches in baskets for guests to take home.

HeartWedding11 HeartWedding12  HeartWedding14

Heather and her team over at Sweet Heather Anne helped take the heart theme and color scheme with this wedding to a whole new level on the dessert table. I can’t wait to reveal the entire spread. It was such a labor of love and a huge hit for the guests. Oh, and one of the most delicious I’ve ever enjoyed at a wedding (it was just like the spread we served at the couple’s coed camping themed couple’s shower which you can view more of over here).

HeartWedding15 HeartWedding16 HeartWedding17 HeartWedding18

The backdrop behind the couple’s sweetheart table was covered in peach, yellow, gray and white cut out hearts as a nod to the overarching heart theme. A single ornate white IKEA frame hung a sign that read, “Today is the best day ever!” which was also carried over from an oversized framed signed that was placed at the entrance to the stunning Meadowbrook Hall. The same phrase was used on the menus, programs and other printed goods from Printech Group.


Look out for more from this wedding on Style Me Pretty soon! There’s so much goodness from this event and this is just a little sampling. Kristen and Chris, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this milestone in your lives. You and your family so graciously welcomed me with open arms into your families and treating me with so much respect and kindness. Sending you love always! Also, a big high five to the incredible team below who helped make this event possible. There’s nothing more wonderful that my east Michigan crew of vendors!

. . . . . . . . . .

Planning, design and styling: Hey Gorgeous Events / Photography: Abby Rose Photo / Florals: The Parsonage / Venue, catering: Meadowbrook Hall / Cake and desserts: Sweet Heather Anne / DJ: Mike Staff Productions / Rentals: Special Events Rental / Linens: La Tavola / Brides gown and accessories: The Gown Shop Ann Arbor / Bridesmaids: J. Crew / Candlebras and signage: Events by I Candy / Escort pins: Big Yellow Dog Designs / Heart straws and coasters: The Pink Orange