Hey Gorgeous, The Blog

Events

Dec 3

Hey Gorgeous Events Goes South {Part One}

A few weeks ago, I hopped on a 6:00 am flight from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Austin, Texas y’all. See, a lot of you thought I was headed to the Southern Weddings launch party. Which, admittedly, would have been so much fun! But instead I was off to Austin, where my sweet friend, Shay was meeting me for a weekend full of surprises, blooms, engagement photos and cake. If you know me well, you’ll know I have a thing or two for surprises. No surprise is too big or small to take on. I live for those sweet moments and will have photos of how this particular one unfolded soon.

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But for now I wanted to share a little bit more behind the days leading up to the surprise itself, namely the fun I had putting together the bouquet mock up for my bride. Sara and Austin are having an incredibly darling Southern glam soiree next September, full of bright hues, black and white stripes, a little bit of rustic and a lot of gold. I wanted to make sure now only did she see some florals in person but that she’d be able to see how her florals photographed professionally (by no other than my gal pal Shay who not only hosted me while I was in town, but who is also photographing the event next fall. Yay!) While I worked on the blooms the day before the session, Shay snapped some shots of me in action, which despite my hot mess appearance (come on, look at that hair), I will treasure forever.

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Prepping florals sometimes takes just as long, if not longer than the actual arranging and designing.

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Furlee, one of the Nelson’s sweet pups had to watch the whole ordeal go down; what a sweetie.

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And now for a few ingredients; garden roses, sweet peas, veronica, anemones, box wood, stock and callicarpa.

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That black and white striped ribbon is perfection for this event and color palette.

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My favorite moment is starting the bouquet; it’s like a blank canvas of goodness….

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Et voila! Be jealous of my socks. Actually they are Shay’s socks. Who knew floors could be so cold in Texas.

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Big thanks to my friend, Shalyn (and her sweet husband Drew) for not only taking these photos for me but for hosting me, chauffeuring me around, letting me eat six cinnamon buns for breakfast, treating me to Olive Garden and being very sweet and accommodating. Our friendship is a true testament to the power of social media and how wonderful friendships can be even from a far. Love you sweet, Shay! And Sara and Austin, I cannot wait to share your beautiful engagement photos with the world soon (oh and my adorable floral apron is from the amazing McKay of Oatmeal and Lace. You can contact her here to order your own). Happy Tuesday, friends. Make it count xoxo

Dec 2

December 2013

Whoa. It’s December already, guys! I cannot believe this and how quickly the past year has flown by. Normally, I use this month to relax, catch up on my rest and regroup for the new year ahead, but this year is a little different since my calendar is blessed with a New Year’s Eve wedding set downtown in Cincinnati, Ohio (oh goodness I’ve been counting down the days until this lovely fete is to unfold). The mere thought of literally pushing the very end of this incredible 2013 wedding season to the edge of the year and into a brand new one is pretty exciting. Truthfully, these past 11 months have been such a blessing of ups and downs, and I look forward to finding that perfect mix of business and pleasure in December to transition into 2014. A new year? Yes please. I’m a sucker for new beginnings and fresh starts.

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Below are my goals for December. I actually met close to 90% of November’s too. High fives, all around!

• Head back into the gym at least twice this month. I haven’t been since April.
• Purchase and prepare my 2014 planner with all key dates and appointments.
• Finish organizing and preparing to announce the Trouvaille guest speakers.
• Clean and organize the garage and the basement to make room for drywall.
• Research online shop platforms and prepare my inventory/photograph all.
• Make a batch of Christmas cookies from scratch for all of our neighbors :)

I’d love to hear your goals below too! Let’s finish off this year with a bang! Photo above by the gorgeous Shay xoxo

Nov 26

Pep Talk Tuesday {Trusting Your Gut}

Intuition. Gut. That feeling.

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If you’ve read Dave Ramsey’s Entreleader (highly recommended for anyone running their own business especially those who are looking to hire team members), you’ll know he talks about his wife getting a ‘feeeeeling’ when she felt a new potential hire wasn’t the right fit. I laughed a little when I read this part of the book because I know that, ‘feeeeeling’ all too well myself. I’m not sure if it’s a woman thing or just a characteristic I was born with but either way it’s a really good thing. My intuition and my gut instincts have for a long time now, allowed me to make calculated decisions and choices that for the most part have been beneficial in my business and life. Let me explain a bit more in depth.

One time I received an inquiry from someone who wanted to see my pricing. The first thing in her email was to do with cost. Right away when I read this first sentence of said email, I knew something felt off. Normally, the emails I get from brides are excited in tone, involve a fiance’s name, a date if already set, a place if applicable, and a few end sentences like, ‘We can’t wait to hear from you!’ or ‘We love your work!’. Now disclaimer; I get it. Not everyone is the kind of person to send sweet over the top and lengthy inquiries (as a lover of X’s and O’s this took me a while to get used to), and I know some brides work office jobs, have stressful positions or just overly busy schedules where a quick and dry message really is just their way of gathering information (pricing, availability, details) quickly and efficiently. I get it.

But I sent this potential client a very excited and kind email back, the same way I do with every potential client, and included my pricing. I told the client I would love to schedule a phone call at her convenience to discuss more about her wedding and what I could do for her and her fiance. Instead of a response back with potential dates to call, I received back an email with a request to send over my contract. It was important to the client to ‘make sure’ the contract was ‘a good fit’. After politely letting the client know that it’s against my policy to send contracts before a phone call or before a client is ready to review and sign the actual contract, I knew I wouldn’t ever hear back from her. And I didn’t.

This client could have been anyone trying to do a number of things and I’ll never know if she was actually a bride really trying to get to the bottom of how a vendor operates but the bottom line is this: I had a gut instinct right from the get go this person was not my ideal client. I wouldn’t have been able to meet her needs in multiple different capacities and we obviously operate in very different ways (assuming she was a real client looking for a planner). And this isn’t a bad thing! When you can be honest with yourself and the client about not being the right fit for the job I believe it shows your professionalism and allows the client to respect you and your decisions. Scenarios like the above happen quite often in every day life and sometimes acting on your ‘feeeeelings’ is a good thing (i.e., for me in the above scenario, refusing to send my contract was a good move because I could have been giving this valuable information to someone who may have wanted to compare my contracts with theirs or make a big decision like working with me as a planner based solely on my contracts; which to me made sense in both scenarios after never getting a response back).

I tell my consulting clients (love those gals) all the time, when you get a feeling about something it’s best to often act on it. Not just think about it and understand that, ‘Yup this feels wrong’ or ‘Yup this feels right’ but to actually avoid/say no/go for something because on impulse you know what’s best. My favorite example not involving myself, involved a consulting client who wanted to start a wedding planning business. Actually scratch that; she wanted to relaunch her wedding planning business which used to exist a few years back. She had simply walked away from her business then because she associated the less than impressive market response with total business failure.

While we chatted a bit and I got to know her story a bit better, I was shocked to find out that she actually executed more than 10 events when she was previously operating (she has an awesome portfolio/the ability to get these photos for her new site), she therefore had the experience and know how to run her business/operate her craft and she had the time to pick back up where she left off since at the time of our call she was working a part time job so she could stay home with her child. This client and our session together illustrates a situation where specific tools to launch/grow a person were not given but instead, I helped to give someone that little nudge towards following THEIR own gut feelings. This client just needed to hear it from someone else that, ‘YES this is a good move!’ For the record, this sweet client recently emailed me to let me know of all the great changes in her business and life as a result of our call and her being able to feel comfortable with listening to her own gut and ultimately, her heart. How cool right?

I could talk about this for hours and give you at least five other situations where my instinct pulled through like mentioned above. But I want hear from you! Have there been any times in your life professionally or personally where your instinct’s acted in your favor or maybe a time where you’ve listened to your instinct and it wasn’t the right thing to do? Let’s get an awesome conversation going again like we did on this post last week!

Have a happy Tuesday, friends! And big shout out to Bradley James Photography for the gorgeous photo above xoxo

Nov 18

FAQs: Studying To Become A Wedding Planner

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One of the questions I’ve been getting a lot over the past year, is from young women in college (and some in high school too!) who are curious as to what they should be focusing on in their studies to become a wedding planner. Or if said person asking the question is out of college, they are interested to know what I myself studied. I love this question because it’s an opportunity for me to give an unexpected answer! I have an undergraduate degree in broadcast and print journalism and a post-graduate diploma in new media journalism. For what then felt like a very long six years, I studied and interned and learned and dreamed of becoming a news reporter. I went back and forth between wanting to tell the news on television and wanting to write, style and photograph entertainment stories for any well known magazine. Funny enough, during my mandatory post graduate summer internship at Canadian Family Magazine, I knew my goals and interests had shifted enough towards the event industry and that Hey Gorgeous Events would sooner than later become a reality. My train rides into Toronto that summer went from commuter nap time to dreamer download time; notes, pricing brainstorms, package inclusions, business ideas, dreams and goals; so many of those hours spent on the Go Train were filled with hope and excitement, and for me were crucial in the beginning stages of HGE.

I still sometimes cringe or feel like I lose a little credibility when someone asks where I learned to ‘be a wedding planner’. It’s usually guests at events or new vendors I’m meeting for the first time, that ask this question. And it’s a reasonable question, really. I admittedly jumped — actually scratch that, I cannonballed — head first into not only business ownership but my craft; the actual planning, coordinating and designing of my client’s events, without much direction. I never even reached out to any other planners in the industry because I figured I would learn it all on my own and discover my way as I went (this part still boggles my mind because I know first hand how many people do the opposite and ask lots of questions first :) Mastering my craft came a little quicker than understanding the back end of my business but either way, I’m blessed to have had the journey I’ve had and wouldn’t change much about it all.

So what’s that mean for aspiring planners, designers and floral designers, either in school or out? Take a business centered degree, or in the very least, a few business classes to get a sense for the back end of your business, where 85% of your work will happen. I wish I would have studied the basics of business in college! A degree in interior design, graphic design or tourism and event management would all be appropriate fields to look into too. I’d also venture as far to say that while journalism didn’t exactly help build a skill-set I use on a day to day basis, it gave me the confidence I now use when it comes to communicating with vendors, expressing things in specific ways to my clients and investigating any given situation to get a sought-after answer (in both of my school programs, we did a fair share of class and field work on investigative journalism which truly heightened my research and critical thinking skills).

Even better, I also have a blog post scheduled for tomorrow that touches a bit on intuition and acting on gut instincts, which I feel so strongly about because it’s one of the things I feel I owe a lot of my success to. But rest assured for the calculated decision maker in all of us, there are a ton of resources, classes and programs out there to prepare you to become a well rounded and skilled wedding planner. You can take design courses and floral classes for the creative side of this craft, you can intern with any of the dozens of preexisting companies in your area (just give them a heads up you’re hoping to one day do your own thing out of respect!) and lastly, you can reach out to those who share similar values as you. And remember everyone’s journey and preferred method of learning is extremely personal and different from yours so try not to compare your current stance to anyone else’s. It truly takes away from the joy of the journey.

I’d love to know, whether you’re a veteran or a newcomer to the industry, where did you first begin learning to perfect your craft and business knowledge? Feel free to share below. I’d love to generate some good conversation here so others can feel encouraged and inspired! Have a happy Monday, friends. I’m off today catching up on things I missed while I was away in Texas with clients! Photo above by the amazing Kelly Braman from this little project here.

Oct 25

Trouvaille The Workshop

Whoa whoa whoa! This is happening. I could yell with excitement from the rooftops! I’m SO excited.

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As we all know, with growth comes change and with change comes growth. The two really go hand in hand don’t they? For me, the Trouvaille Workshop is a wonderful and refreshing change — or rather an addition since Hey Gorgeous isn’t going anywhere — in my business plan moving forward. I’m a big advocate of learning, teaching and community. I’m an even bigger advocate of safe and inspiring spaces where you can grow and interact with like minded people who will support and cheer you on in your personal and professional endeavors. For me, as a multi-faceted business owner here in the Midwest, I felt there was a need to provide an opportunity for people looking to run similar creative businesses as my own. Since last spring, I’ve been dreaming up the idea of spearheading a hands on and interactive workshop, bouncing the potential curriculum/my crazy ideas off of colleagues and friends for feedback. I’ve also been doing some serious soul searching into what this workshop experience could really mean for those who decide to attend.

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So we’re here. At last! And officially letting the cat out of the bag finally feels like the biggest relief after months of hard work behind the scenes. Official workshop registration will open next week but for now I will be sharing the news with everyone I can and getting official workshop speakers, sponsors and further details together for the site. Guys, there are some seriously amazing people who have agreed to be a part of this and I’m thanking the Lord three times over for it. I’m really just so amazed at again, what a community can create. You can view the workshop site here where you can sign up for updates and workshop newsletters. You can also check out the Event Brite page here where ticket sales will open on November 1st with a special early bird rate. Oh and because a few people have asked, Trouvaille is a French word loosely translated to, “something lovely discovered by chance.” How perfect.

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In the meantime, a big thank you goes out to Cathy Olson of Love Inspired for her amazing talent and hard work in helping me create the Trouvaille site so it seamlessly flows together with the Hey Gorgeous brand. Also a big thank you to Molly Jacques for the lovely logo. Molly created the HGE logo and I’ve loved having a bit of her heart as a part of now both brands. I also have to give a ginormous shout out to Sam and Brad of Bradley James Photography for their incredible photography skills and huge hearts. They shot those photos of me that you’ve been seeing everywhere and managed to make me look like a total babe. They are also the official workshop photographers and next April will be present as both speakers and official moment-capturers at Trouvaille. I’m so blessed.

So spread the word would ya? And if you’re thinking of coming, I cannot wait to meet you! It’s going to be a blast :)

Xoxo