Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nature's Inspiration

Very, very simple things make me happy this time of year, and fresh flowers from the farmer's market are one of them.  Everything has come to life again and is fresh and new.  As an event planner, I am constantly inspired by color, texture, and shape, and the feeling those things give me.  

These are anemones from a local farm, Bluebird Meadows.  I cut them short and stuck them in a very contemporary, copper-colored vase that was a housewarming gift from a friend.  I always love to mix modern with vintage, rustic with elegant, soft edges with hard ones.  I'm inspired by the dichotomy of the two.

Be aware of your surroundings and be inspired!  Sometimes the simplest thing you do around the house will give you a brilliant idea for something bigger.  I keep fresh flowers around because they make me happy.  When I'm happy, I'm more creative.  Everything is connected in that way.  Find what makes you happy and in the meantime, allow yourself to be excited by the season - there is so much right outside your door from which you can draw inspiration.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Has Sprung!

I don't know about all of you, but I spent more weeks this winter sick than I ever have before.  There was some serious gunk going around!  I truly feel like I've been hibernating for three months and I am now incredibly grateful not only for my health (knock wood) but for the inevitable yet miraculous return of spring.

What better time of year is there than spring?  The buds on the trees, the fresh, new green grass popping up through the ground, the sunshine, the opportunity to spend more time outside with friends...it's heavenly.  A good friend of mine from New York used to tell me how excited he was about spring because the girls' hemlines would instantly rise.  I mean, can you blame him?  It's nice to finally see some bare legs rather than long underwear and winter hats but also, how fun is it to finally wear sundresses again?

Wedding season is in full swing and there are so many wonderful celebrations on the horizon.  My darling sister-in-law (who is a September bride) reminded me yesterday that I need to get off my butt and write some new entries here, to keep all you stylish brides informed and inspired.  She didn't use those words, but I got her drift.  Goodness knows that you brides are well informed, but you need encouragement!  Planning a wedding is a crazy time and it's easy to get lost in a sea of To Dos.

Here's my advice today: take a deep breath.  It will all get done.  Take time for yourself.  Take a yoga class, meet friends for dinner, go for a long walk, read a good book (that is not about wedding planning!).  Find ways to blow off steam and most importantly, have a mental chat with yourself about finding humor in the things that are frustrating during the planning, and that go wrong on the wedding day.  In my opinion, there is no wrong.  Each experience colors the picture that becomes your wedding day - and it is, above all, yours.  Your worst judge is you.  So go ahead and throw that quest for perfection out the window right now and enjoy what is going to be the best wedding ever - because it is naturally, organically, wonderfully, and truly yours.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lucky 2013!

Happy New Year!

It's been a few years since people very close to me (other than clients with whom I grew close over the months of getting to know them) have been getting engaged and planning their weddings.  I am so excited that at least two very special ladies in my life will be having weddings in 2013.  I'm filled with joy for them that they have found their soul mates, met their matches, and said YES!

Talking to them about their big days and helping them (in some small way) with their journeys also gives me a different perspective on wedding planning that is often easy to lose sight of when I am actually being paid to do the planning and am in the role of being the fearless leader, guiding the bride and her family through the trenches of budgets, contracts, linen swatches, and menu tastings.  It reminds me of the excitement, energy, and optimism that fills a new bride - and also of the vulnerability, emotion, and stress that a bride can often feel.

Planning a wedding can be daunting for even the most organized bride (or groom, or mother) with even the best binder filled with the most colored tabs, and heaps of knowledge gleaned from hours reading Style Me Pretty and watching reality wedding TV.  (Hopefully TV is not where the bulk of any one's information is coming from!)  All this to say, that it's important to ask for help.  Even if you don't have a big chunk of your budget set aside for a full service planner, or you really don't want one because you have the time and interest in planning your own wedding, the very best thing you can do is put some of your (or your parents') hard earned and saved funds for a wedding "Day Of" coordinator.

It is of the utmost importance that you and your family be guests at your own wedding.  You want to feel the magic and happiness of your wedding day.  The same magic and happiness that you felt on the day he proposed.  And the way to do that is to not be the one who is receiving last minute phone calls from vendors.

Call me if you need some advice - and happy planning to my sweet friends who this year will become brides and wives.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Beautiful Bridal Portraits by Nancy Ray

We had the pleasure of working for the first time last Saturday with Nancy Ray and her photography team on the wedding of a beautiful couple, English and Will, at Will's family home in Cary, NC.  Here's a link to English's bridal portraits by Nancy.


The Autumn is such a gorgeous time to get married in North Carolina.  The leaves are turning and there is a crispness in the air, but the sun is still shining (for the most part - it's been crazy rainy here lately!) and there is an amazing glow in the sky at the end of the day.  I can't wait to share the wedding day photos that Nancy took at English and Will's wedding that reflect this amazing October feeling.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Cake Pulls

Today I'm thinking a lot about my dear friend from New Orleans who recently left North Carolina to move back home.  Ironically, today I also came across this article from Southern Weddings about a "cake pull", a Southern tradition most popular in New Orleans and surrounding areas.  This is the first I've heard of it, but it sounds like so much fun and a special way to include your single friends in your reception and make them feel special.  Rani, can we work this into your wedding one day?  Is this remotely related to finding a baby in a King Cake?  I clearly need a lesson on New Orleans wedding culture!



Friday, August 10, 2012

Barbara and Douglass's Romantic Rainy Day

Here is a wonderful post from HeartLoveWeddings about Barbara and Douglass's rustic, rainy wedding day in April.

The fabulous Cindy of Cuppa Photography captured the jewel tones the warm feeling of the day (despite the cold rain) in only the way she can.  We were lucky that day to also work with Durham Catering Company, Classic Party Rentals, Inkspot Crow Films, Tre Bella, Miel Bon Bons, Eastcoast Entertainment (and the Shimmer band), Arioso Strings, Get Lit Special Event Lighting, McLaurin Parking, Leah Achey, Pam Hung of On Lokation Makeup Artistry and the Paperhand Puppet Intervention.

Enjoy and Happy Friday!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Are we there yet?

It seems like not matter where you live, you are probably suffering from heat stroke this summer.  We can't catch a break!  In the south, it's an unfortunate circumstance due to the humidity that we have to spend so much time in air conditioning.  Gone are my days in Colorado when at least we could keep the windows open and hope for a draft of hot, dry air.

All this heat has me thinking about the winter and that wonderful feeling of having on jeans and boots and big sweaters.  Or more importantly, having on a black dress, black tights, black heels and a wrap as I execute a winter wedding.  Those days will be here before we know it!  And to all of you winter brides: Brilliant planning on your part.  You won't have to blot your forehead one single time!

Here are a few photos from a gorgeous winter wonderland we did last December.  Hope they help cool you off.


*Thank you to Natalie Hyde of Aesthetic Images Photography for the beautiful photos!