Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Rand-Bryan House


The joys of wedding planning...  you think I'm kidding but it really can be fun!  Yes, budgets and disjointed opinions can make things seem to stumble a bit but if you focus on what the event is for, your love and start of your family, it can help keep things in check/on the brighter side and all that.

Today's post is hopefully going to help with that.  It is a continuation of the previous two posts, Mims and The Barn, in highlighting local vendors/venues in hopes that it might give you some insight into what your needs are and if they fit the bill!



The Rand-Bryan House is located pretty centrally for an estate.  In Garner it allows a pretty quick commute from Raleigh or the surrounding area.  This wedding venue is great for a smaller wedding looking for a natural feel.  It has more of a standard take on rentals so if you are looking to have convenience and don't want a full weekend this might be a good fit.



The complete renovation of the interior allows for the historic feel with modern convenience.  There is a kitchen in place that could allow for finishing touches but depending on the extent of need it may not fill all that you might need, having only one stove.

The land outside the main building is the selling point at this venue.  Its wide open fields allow for beautiful views and a great place to capture your first moments.


Breakdown:
Great for Smaller wedding looking for convenient location near Raleigh proper but with a more "spacious" feel then downtown options.

But as I always I don't suggest you only take my word on it jump on over and see if it fits your needs.

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Reception Games

You don't go through all the busy, stress, crazy of planning a wedding just cause you want to get married but instead that you want an experience.  You want that moment.  That feeling.  That party.  You want everyone to enjoy.  You want to have a blast and you want to have it all!

One of the things that I have found that make a huge difference to the "Feeling" of a wedding/reception is the guests attitude.  Which makes sense but how to get that "feeling" ??  There are many different great ways to make sure your guests have a blast as well as yourself!



My favorite way is games!  Perfect fillers during a cocktail hour or the lull between dinner and toasts, and great for guests who are reluctant to dance.

There are loads of different options.  Lists upon lists but here are my favorites:


  • I spy
    • Think of a list of things people can spot at a reception.  Have it written up to fit your theme and have it on each wedding table
  • Guest book (have them do it at reception, like mad lip etc)
    • Take a look at a previous post about interesting takes on Guest books: many of these options happen at the reception and great filler for the cocktail hour!!
  • Scavenger Hunt
    • Write up a list of possible things guest can go and find around a reception and take a picture of them with it and then share the pictures on your wedding webstie or Facebook page!
  • Cute questions
    • Have a few questions at each table for the table to answer individually or discuss as a group.  Sample question: "What are great date ideas?" 
  •  Messages for anniversaries
    • Bottles, boxes, any number of things can hold these notes and add a bit of flair to your wedding theme.  Leave out notes on tables, or have a station during cocktail hour, where your guests can leave you notes, words of encouragement, funny statements, or inside jokes/you name it.  They write the note sign it and pick the anniversary year (the bottles/boxes/etc would be labeled) for you to read them!
  • Board games
    • If you are short of budget this can add a bit of flair to a centerpiece!  It could be Jenga, it could be bingo, it could be word searches, it could be mad libs... your options are seemingly endless!
  • Yard games
    • Having a wedding with a reception location that has some outdoor space: this is a great option!  Giant Jenga, Corn hole, Washer toss... so many options to have people mingle or keep to their own groups.
  • Giant word Search
    • A great way to get your guests to interact with each other!  Have a big board out for people to walk up and work on together.  It can be personalized word choices (many free websites can help you create a board) or you can just get one that fits your theme... 
  • He said she said
    • List of statements where your guest have to choose if "he said it" or "she said it" Example: Who was the first to say I love you?
  • Shoe game
    • The bride and groom sit in chairs backs to each other.  Each has the bride shoe in one hand and the groom shoe in the other.  Then a series of questions is asked, like "who is the better driver?" and they have to hold up the shoe to answer.  You get the picture.  The questions are written before hand so there doesn't have to be any surprises.
  • Karaoke
    • Self explanatory.  Much like a photo booth station you can have a karaoke station. 


Unrelated to games but also a really neat way to get a relaxed and hang out feel for your reception is putting up different areas in your reception.  Have your dance floor but also think about having a lounge area for reception.  The variance allows for each personality to enjoy their time!

What are your favorite things to have at wedding as a guest?  What do your wedding day pinterest pages look like?

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Egg-ing on the Season

The lights twinkle in the window in my silly new homemade decoration.  The chill from outside steals through the glass leaving a slight fog of condensation from the contrasting warm indoors.  My feet up, sipping a water that I wish was Egg Nog but knowing that my waistline could do with less frivolity of the seasons treats, I can't help but bask in the season.



Some years I struggle with getting into the Christmas spirit.  I know a deep breath was needed for that shocking news.  But seriously I love Christmas but even despite that love I do struggle some years.  I think I let the hustle and bustle of all the never ending list of to dos that are always lingering in adult life distract me from what is a perfect time of year to bask in all your/my blessings.

Why is adult life so filled with busy and boring? I miss the ideals of childhood filled with a fervor for fun, yet when I get a moment to play with my daughter I can't help but catch myself thinking of all the things I need to get done, lists of groceries, reminders to call or write some business associates, you name it.  How terrible is that?

Even with my knowledge of joy and envy of the splendor and innocence of childhood, all I seem to do is focus on work.  I think that is why adults can't pretend or they get themselves overwhelmed is we can't seem to disconnect.  There is always things to be done, no matter how much we do there is more that drops down on our laps.  If we keep our nose to the grindstone all we have is a ground nose.

I'm tired of my ground nose.  I would rather it be ruby from long walks with my family in the cold as we take in the beautifully festive lights or wet from what I hope will be the result of a snowball fight!  This year I made a determination that when I stop to play with my daughter that I will not allow my mind to wander, when I catch myself making my lists that I have to stop.  There are days and times when lists need to be checked off and productivity is key but there are moments to enjoy the silly antics of being  childlike with your child or if you don't have a child then childlike in your appreciation of the season.

When you pass a homeless person, hold back your questions of why or how and instead say a silent prayer, offer them a granola bar or toothbrush.  When you see a person with their hands full, open the door.  When you see a person at their whits end offer them your place in line.  Buy a stranger a coffee.  Share the joy, love and blessings you have been given!  And if you feel like you haven't any blessings then I hope that you receive some blessings from others this season or look me up that I might try and bless you!


Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Mad Dash-ingly Awesome!

It is never a shock that when Brooke and Priscilla get involved that it will be not only a brilliant idea but it will be delivered in a wonderfully smashing way.  So it was no shock to me that when the brought up their new business venture I couldn't help but fall in love instantly and want to share it with all of you!



Many of you wonderful couples out there getting married don't have the budget of the national average wedding: which is now $30,000.  So their plan was how to help all of you have beautiful and amazing weddings with a much more limited budget.  So they came up with Mad Dash.

It is brilliant.  It allows you to have ... well let's just let Priscilla's words give you a short gist of the idea: " You can have the intimate wedding of your dreams at a beautiful venue (Leslie-Alford-Mims House), with all the bells and whistles and for a fraction of the cost." 

To say that I wish this was around when I was planning my own tight budget wedding is a colossal understatement.  Talk about taking away the stress!  You get to have a wedding that is beautiful without the overwhelming price tag!


They have streamlined the process of planning your wedding to a make it as least stressful as possible.  They have a breakdown of all their packages what they include and a price tag clearly available on their website...  Their goal is LITERALLY to allow you to be stress free, have a beautiful wedding and amazing memories!  

Brooke and Priscilla are my spirit animals... Have you ever met people that are just brilliant, beautiful and amazingly nice too.  Well, jump over and call them up cause you can now!

Did I say I was over the moon with this idea?  Cause if I didn't my eager writing might be blowing my cover ;)

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fa La LA LA Goals...

The whirling leaves dance to the ground in a splatter of color.  Cinnamon and nutmeg do a dance in my mouth eating yet another baked good I probably shouldn't but with a shrug I think "it's the holidays".



I still have childlike wonder when it comes to the holidays.  I force my husband to walk through the Christmas sections at the store more then once each holiday season.  No, I don't plan to get anything but it is such fun to see all the festive decorations!  We will drive around a few neighborhoods to see their lights while we sip our lattes.

My only issue with the holidays are they seem to go by with such speed.  I want to capture a moment and trap it in a snow globe.  I want to have that frozen in time feeling as I take in each moment of the holiday.  Even if you are a humbug usually take this season to enjoy your one and only Holiday season this 2015!

Things to admit from last month:
Personal

  • Get active minimum 3 times a week for 30 min
  • Take a personal day to relax and revamp
  • Make sure to take time with family
  • Be careful of pies...



Professional

  • Post on Instagram 4 times
  • Post weekly on Twitter
  • Post Bi-weekly on Facebook
  • Officially book Bridal Show
  • Go to a Wedding professionals meet up


December Goals

Personal
Maintain steady weekly activity
Take time to enjoy the holidays
Get all gifts before the week of Christmas!


Professional
Get all products ready for bridal show
Follow up with Wedding Planner about giveaway
Follow up about the Stylized shoot
Keep up consistency on social media


Live. Love. Loud.



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my mother's favorite holiday and due to that has a dear place in my heart.  Though it doesn't have the tinsel and bows (literally) of Christmas it does have this nostalgic and almost comfy air about it.  It make me want to pull on a comfy sweater and pajama pants and curl up for a sleepy book or some terrible Christmas movie (cause it is the holidays starting today and why not enjoy the silly of yet another made for TV movie)!  Though my does fit with a comatose that hits after you've engorged yourself on too much food but much like that terrible Christmas movie I'm going to chalk it up to whatever I want it to be and smile as if it is adorable ;)



So here is a GREAT Big Merry and fEsTiVe  Thanksgiving to you and all of yours.  May it be blessed with joy and an excessively good time!

Live. Love. Loud.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Silly Confessions...

I  have always loved the smell of coffee.  I mean it smells amazing.  It wasn't until a few years ago that drinking it was something I was willing to even contemplate.  I feel like coffee is like pop corn.  It tastes ok but the smell is misleading to your expectations.  It is a let

down.  The smell to taste ratio just isn't correct.  That said I now drink coffee... or can it really be called coffee?  I mean... there is coffee in the sugar and creamer but...  You get the idea.

Photo brought to you by Quotes


I'm a pretty active person, mentally any way so I don't usually do caffeine cause I'm already amped: so I usually get decaf (I know all you coffee loves out there just wept silently to yourself, I both ruin great coffee with too much cream and sugar but I also bane to make it decaf!!  I'm horrible... I'm sorry).  Point to this long winded intro:  I had a meeting today in a coffee shop, as I often do... it's kind of my thing, and I made the MISTAKE of ordering a large latte.  It was delicious, amazing, I enjoyed every drop of the awesome and best price for the money coffee-ish beverage  The mistake is I forgot to order it decaf... Did you know that you can get kind of drunk off of coffee??  

I didn't.  I finished the meeting and soon there after finished what was basically a fish bowl of latte (again: AMAZING).  And I was left sitting at the table with my head buzz wondering how I was going to drive home feeling as tipsy as I ever have on alcohol.  It was crazy! I mean light headed, amped a little dizzy...I really had no idea that could happen.  Took like an hour and a half to wear off.  Lesson learned:  when ordering fish bowl sized coffee beverage make sure to say decaf like twelve times to myself so I am sure to order it that way or bring some glow sticks and have a personal rave moment!

This story was brought to you by poor decisions with Rachel.  I hope you enjoyed learning from my errors. :D

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Happy Engage-ma-holidays!

I love fall.  With all the cliche I can muster I love it.  PSL included.  It has a list of wonderful things that is not limited do colder weather, changing leaves, exorbitant amounts of Pumpkin flavored items, boots and sweaters!  It also moves into the holiday seasons.

The only thing I love more then weddings are the holidays... and that's saying something cause I love weddings!


In celebration of all this love and all coming holidays I decided to do a first time ever Engagement special!

For all of you couples newly engaged, soon to be engaged or just now planning your wedding I'm running a special just for you.

From today till January 31st 2016 if you book a wedding package with me for the 2016-2018 wedding seasons then you get $200 off the package of your choosing!

EEEK!  We will see how this goes but I just couldn't keep in my holiday spirit!  So yes I am still enjoying Halloween candy as I eye the pumpkin pie and think deeply on all things peppermint... I may have a sugar issue...

Live. Love. Loud.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Perfection for a Small Wedding!

Light jazz floated through the crisp autumn air as I rolled into my parking spot at Barn at Valhalla's open house Sunday night.  Though many changing trees as long since relinquished their leaves some few still held up the beauty of fall in place.  Taking at vantage of the crisp afternoon and the beautiful property I took a small stroll about looking at the beautiful lake that abuts the barn before heading to the open house.

The vaulted ceilings allowed the music to circle about the room as the guests enjoyed the horderves and wine.  The wide open Barn with its dark wood floors and true rustic cabin walls fit the wooded land surrounding this wedding venue.

I'm not sure how I missed the Barn at Valhalla but I am thankful to Amy from Knots N' Such for inviting me to the open house and for the wonderful job she did with the decor and floral arrangements that night!

I while back I said I was going to start a series on wedding vendors in NC, well here is another feature.

The Barn and House at Valhalla



I fell in love with this venue for a smaller wedding, maxing out near 150 people.  The owners have put their heart into this labor of love.  After a hard year of renovations they have both the Barn and House ready for your wedding weekend.

The wonderful staff there will tell you all about all the amazing features of this wedding venue but I wanted to highlight a few that I loved while I was there.

I love that they rent the property for the weekend.  You don't just get it for a few hours on Saturday or even just the whole day.  They do a full weekend rental.  It is perfect for allowing you to have a low stress wedding.  No having to rush here or there to get things in place.  No feeling of stress to get out of your venue same day as your wedding!

Ingenious: they have multiple rooms included.  Whether you rent just the Barn or the House and Barn there are rooms built into both for whomever works for you.  It screams PERFECTION for if you have a lot of out of town guests coming in for your wedding.  Above the Barn in the loft there are a few rooms with bed and in the house there are a few rooms with beds allowing most wedding parties to be able to be accommodated onsite!  (And if you have need for more the staff will point you in the direction of some lovely bungalows near by that can help keep everyone close to the weekend of celebration!)

I ADORE the Bride and Groom suite in the House!  It is perfection. Between the amazing king tempurpedic bed, the walk in shower and hot tub there is no lack of luxury for the newly wed couple!

Wonderful:  They have the Groom Room/Man Cave downstairs in the House.  It is perfect for the groomsmen to chill out on site while the details are getting in place on the lovely ladies, cause lets be serious hair can take a while.  It is setup for hours of fun between the poker table, putting greens, Large TV and plush couch, and there is even Foosball!

Point being: this venue is literally PERFECTION for a small wedding with out of town family/guest/bridal party.  It takes all the stress away and makes for a weekend long celebration of your amazing wedding!!

But don't take my word for it jump over to their site and schedule a tour for yourself.

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

With a deep breath...

Sweatband in place as I movie montage my way to victory with some jumping rope, running up hill and downing some water, I am determined not to let myself get defeated.

Sickness came into my home and wrecked us.  A month of the sickly cloud hovering over us... I started to feel a bit like Pigpen from Peanuts only instead of dirt it was snot... I'm sorry for the visual but I'm begging for some sympathy! :D



Defeated I am a bit.  I have failed miserably at my normal business practices.  I still got all products out to clients under the promised time but social media?  blogging?  to say failure would imply some effort or action that could fail.  Abandoned. That's a fitting word.

And for that abandonment, I'm sorry to you few souls who read my silly thoughts; I should not have left you in the lurch.

This month despite still having sickness leering about I decided I needed to get back to my "guns" of sorts and get a move on!  How to start back you ask?  With my list of goals for this month of course (thanks for lofting the question in, I wasn't sure how to segway :)

Personal

  • Get active minimum 3 times a week for 30 min
  • Take a personal day to relax and revamp
  • Make sure to take time with family
  • Be careful of pies...



Professional

  • Post on Instagram 4 times
  • Post weekly on Twitter
  • Post Bi-weekly on Facebook
  • Officially book Bridal Show
  • Go to a Wedding professionals meet up


Deep breath.  These are my goals... What are you doing to push you towards your dream?  Even small steps are important!!

Live. Love. Loud.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Getting back into the swing...

I feel a bit in a fog.  We went on a vacation.  A lovely vacation.  When we arrived home my daughter came down with something and joyfully shared it with me and we have been down for the count for three weeks.  I'm ready for it be over.  I feel a bit like a cross between the hunch back and Wesley from Princess Bride after the water torcher.

(Image compliments of Quotivee)

Can you tell I'm over dramatic?

Well other than the seemingly never going to end sickness life is good... just slow.  That's why I have abandoned you for these weeks.  I can't believe I let it go this long but when you are wiped out from sickness I guess it happens.  But I am ready.  I getting back to business.  This sickness won't take me down any long!!!  I'm willing myself to get better.

So here is to the rest of this beautiful fall being healthier for us all!

Live. Love. Loud.

Friday, October 9, 2015

And the Hunt is ON!

We are house hunting.  It sounds like some elusive sport... Like I'm in the tall grass rifle in hand foraging my way to find the elusive "home"... Not sure it would be more fun but I would feel a bit more productive in my "hunting".



You have all these ideals.  It is like when you are dreaming about that person you will date... your list starts small... just a good guy... and builds to this three page thesis that no one could ever live up to?  I feel like that is house hunting.

Why is it that we think we are so simple?  I mean darn skimpy I'm not.  I'm deeply awesome... which means I'm particular and specific in my needs (that definitely means I'm awesome!  Right?!? :D)

I mean It would be nice to tell a building all the things I want exactly how I want them... only thing is I also want to him/her the price point too... That's my real downfall.  I really like things the way I want them but I also don't like seeing the money disappear.

I swear I'm a psycho.  How can I know so clearly what it is I desire and yet have physical angst over just imagining paying for it?  Yes, sadly I have expensive tastes.  My husband tested me on this. He didn't believe me...  Showed me three pieces of similar clothes.  I wasn't allowed to see the price tags.  In the end one I chose THE most expensive.  Not  "Oh well it's still not too bad" but the "DAMN... never going to get your money out it kind".

Point: I kind of want to have an intervention with myself.

Do you ever have those days?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Swapzies!

If you're anything like me you love photos.  (Shocking that a photographer would love photos I know :D)  There is so much debate around about disconnected or unplugged weddings which don't get me wrong I'm totally for, but only if it fits the couples needs.  If you don't want to have an Unplugged wedding then I have a #weddingwebsite just for you! Wedding Photo Swap: it is this awesome site that allows basically every guest at your wedding be an additional shooter at your wedding.  They take all their photos and share them there so that you and all the other guests can have the joys and memories in all their shaky and true to life glory!

The site also has other neat features where you can select out your favorite and make a digital album to share or print.  They also allow you to order custom cards with the prints and much much more!


If you can't get enough of your engagement photos and you're thinking over your wedding this might be a sight to use cause with every guest uploading their photos you'll have a doozy of a time cycling through them all!


Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lost but not forgotten

 I lack inspiration.  The last few months I have been trying to revamp my business plan for marketing but find myself lost in the process.  I mean there are lots of right answers but I get bogged down and find myself being... lifeless.



I once had blogs about other aspects of my life, it seemed strange to post all about my husband and I renovating our house or my cooking adventures here so I had other blogs.  They were filled with vampid rantings but they had life.

Even in the midst of blogging, let's face it, too much I found the time to tell stories the eager and joy of a much more rested soul then I am now.  I would write of my trip to the store in all it's woes of every day but shared in the light of the humor.  It is like when you read comic or see a stand up comedian; it isn't that their life is any more hilarious then ours but they have the view of life that lets them see the beautiful hilarity of the day to day.

I lost my view.  I'd like to get it back.

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Chic Wedding Inspiration

When you are looking for wedding inspiration there seems to be many different options!  You have your pinterest options and then the endless sources of wedding blogs.  In the midst of those seemingly endless blogs is a neat site that was started by a luxury hotel chain.  It focuses it efforts on real weddings that happen in their hallowed halls.  Though the spectrum is limited as to what they feature they do have a fun selection of options of those weddings with a desire towards the fashion forward and chic it is a fun source of inspiration!




On top of offering weddings from all across the Globe, Four Seasons Weddings also offers unique wedding ideas for luxurious romantic honeymoons!  But don't take my word for it jump on over and take a look!

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The moments

It seems silly to type right now.  My mind blanks when I come to this blogging screen.  It like a mental cotton mouth.  I have this deep desire to post some mind blowing topic that will just change lives and bring people to my door knocking for my services cause I'm just that great of a person... YES I am a crazy person... well I have my moments at least.

Have you ever seen the show Ally McBeal?   When I was younger  I saw it and Ally's crazy visualizations made me connect so fully with her character.  I do have a little mini-drama playing in my mind and of course I'm the protagonist.  I mean if I wasn't I'd need some extreme self esteem classes, to not be the leading lady in my own head!



Me, as the protagonist, doesn't live a sedentary life but one of adventure and intrigue... then I realize how even if you dramatize the valor of being  a part time stay at home mom it isn't like sailing the ocean of adventure or something.  So when it comes time to write I my thoughts I scoff at myself: "like you have something to share".  How often are we rude to ourselves!?!  Or maybe I'm just the one that struggles here.  I often find myself questioning who I am, what I have to offer or how I should be offering it.   

No, my life isn't one for the record books.  No, there are no truly "new ideas" but I come to you with my ramblings and fumblings and if I only make one other person out there feel less alone then this endeavor would be worth my time.  So next time you are questioning who you are, what you have to offer or degrading yourself:

Remember: There is only one you!  God made you one of a kind and you get to shine brightly who that is... quirks and all!



Live. Love. Loud.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mixed up and ready for Fall

As each month comes to a close there is always so much "feelings".  I'm a lot more conscious of how quickly time passes with the visual aid of watching my daughter grow.  I can't help but feel the close of a month with mixed feelings.  The desire to have done more, been more... and the overwhelming joy to have enjoyed my family and friends over the previous month.


This month is no different only I am overjoyed thinking over what comes ahead.  Both for plans and dreams but also for the beauty that is fall!  I'm a sucker for boots, hot coffee and all things sweater so to say that fall and winter are my spirit animal... well, it's pretty accurate.

So here is to pumpkin, falling leaves, lattes and so much more that lay ahead for the taking!

Last months Goals

Personal

  • Celebrate our 7th Anniversary!
  • Eat less and better (eeek :D)
  • Spend some time thinking over goals to do before 30


Professional

  • Post in Instagram at least three times
  • Look over bags options and make a list 
  • Continue the monthly tradition of meeting with a Wedding professional
  • Work on different/unique marketing


September Goals
Personal
  • Get active: at least 3 times a week!
  • Take pictures on Vacation
  • Stay on BUDGET

Professional
  • Meet up with wedding professional :Keep the trend going!
  • Price out Custom Stationary
  • Get all things set for Wedding Show
  • Keep consistent on Social Media
What are you doing this month?  Any adventures?  Any Challenges??


Live. Love. Loud.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Start of Something Beautiful

There are always seemingly endless options for your wedding.  Choices upon choices lay out in front of you when you start your journey to planning your dream wedding.  Or maybe it's just me who struggled with all the options?!?



But if you are a like minded soul then feel free to keep reading cause I have decided to throw out some love to some local wedding vendors.  You get to know a bit about them and hopefully makes the process seem a bit less daunting.

Today I'm going to showcase a lovely new wedding venue that has popped up in the Raleigh area.  I had the joy of being invited to it's opening night and got to see this historic home in all it's glory.  Priscilla and Brooke are the proud owners of the Leslie-Aflord Mims House.  It is in the midst of the cute downtown of Holly Springs.

They did a wonderful job with the restoration and have afforded their clients with a wide range in options.  The vintage wood floors and light decor allows for you to make this location fit to any theme or allow you a clean crisp modern look without much effort!

Because of how the house has different large rooms broken into a natural flow it is a perfect venue of a large or small wedding!  For a smaller wedding you never feel overwhelmed by empty space because you can keep your party as centralized as you would like.  And if you're more of a "Party ot end all others" kind of couple then the flow from one room the next is great to allow for stationed rooms.  Your guests don't have to worry about being overwhelmed with all the people and can constantly be surprised by what else they can discover in this treasure!

On top of the the great space they have for your actual wedding or reception Priscilla and Brooke made sure to keep two rooms set aside for bridal party prep.  Both perfect, one for fitting the needs of a hoard of girls and the other for a the needs of a relaxing groom and his men as they chill before the big "I Do".  In their own words this venue is "A Refreshing Chic Approach to Southern".  But for you to get the full feel of the location jump on over to their site and schedule a tour.


And if you still haven't found the perfect planner or coordinator they can help with those needs as well!

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Angsty Teenager once again.

I am stubborn.  Shocking I know to admit the blatant truth but it is there, so gasp if you must :D.  I find myself arguing with books I read, non-fiction to be clear... not having a tete a tete with a character from a Jane Austen novel.  But when I read something that hits home to me and I see myself in I sit there and I'm all "they don't get me".



I'm back to being 16 again where NO ONE understands your angst.  I might as well have dyed my hair, along with all of my clothing, black as a visual representation of all my hurt and pain.  I mean really.  I am that silly at moments.  I've been reading the same Timothy Keller book I mentioned before (yes, it is slow going, leave me alone I have a baby #don'tjudge) and it talks about self-centerness being an issue in relationships.  How when you look out for yourself you only embitter your relational partner.

It isn't rocket science here.  If you are serving yourself and focused on yourself everything that your relational counter part does that isn't serving you will kind of erk you and then it just piles on and on (since they are doing the exact same thing on the other end).  Yet this being told to my face that I'm selfish isn't a life ending realization... I knew it but I'm all "Don't judge me"  "My life is just so hard"  "you just don't understand" Despite be knowing the truth of the statement.

Why is that?  Why is my natural reaction to be all angst-y?  Why not just shake my head and say "Darn if it weren't true"?

I have a theory: it is because I'm selfish.  I know I'm selfish but that doesn't mean I like others pointing out this simple truth.  It is like when I had acne... I knew it, you sure as darn toot-in knew it but no one really addressed it...

But unlike acne (which can't always be helped), pointing out my selfishness only betters me... reminds me of how I should be making efforts to be selfless to those around me.  I mean God was selfless with me... how can I not share that?

So I guess... for today #judgeaway.

Live. Love. Loud.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Luna a Year in the making...

It is well past Luna's year marker but I can't help but find that I am behind in sharing her pictures.

But to your utter joy I will share them now :D


She turned one as all our crape myrtles were in bloom... it was pretty adorable though hard to get her from not just squatting to play in the fallen blossoms. 


Just after her first birthday one of my amazing brides sent Luna a gift in the mail!!  It was one of Brandi's beautiful custom Bows from her amazing Etsy Shop.


A year has passed and my life forever altered... and I couldn't be more joyful!



Live. Love. Loud.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Big, NO Buts: Brighter Side

I feel like each month passes with a hustle of silly.  How often do I find myself struggling to do the day to day things?  I mean you'd think at a certain point there wouldn't be laundry right?



When I was a kid I had lots of chores but one of them was cleaning the bathrooms... I HATED when people would go in just after I finished cleaning.  I knew they would be used again.  I mean let's hope that my family would continue to shower and brush their teeth but to watch them go in and mess it up just after I finished was the ultimate defeat.

I still get that feeling.  Not over the bathroom being used but that moment when you have finished all your emails and then a new one pops up but your email time as passed... I struggle I want to just get it done but I know as soon as I do another will be there and if I keep addressing them I'll never get the everything done.  So there are those days that instead of facing with victory all the emails I conquered I focus instead on the one... the measly one that came in just as I finished.

Why do we do this?  Why must we be defeatist.  So this month... at least for today I say Stand with pride and look at all you have done/accomplished/completed and ignore anything/everything else just for a moment of victory!

July's Goals
Personal
  • Get active
  • Make sure to spend sometime with family
  • Plan out some of trip to ICELAND (more on that later)
  • Shoot Luna's 12 month pictures

Professional
  • Shoot intentionally
  • Socialize with a wedding professional
  • Keep up to date on editing
  • Decide on Show products

August's Goals


Personal

  • Celebrate our 7th Anniversary!
  • Eat less and better (eeek :D)
  • Spend some time thinking over goals to do before 30


Professional

  • Post in Instagram at least three times
  • Look over bags options and make a list 
  • Continue the monthly tradition of meeting with a Wedding professional
  • Work on different/unique marketing
A smirk bemused across my face as I go to face this month... Determined it will be amazing!


Live. Love. Loud.




Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bare Naked Truth

I've been reading this book by Timothy Keller.  And it had a quote in the second chapter that hit home to me in many different ways.  The quote is from CS Lewis:

Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art no man who bothers about originality will ever be original; whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before), you will, nine times out of ten, become original without having noticed it.  The principle runs through life from top to bottom  



This hit home with me.  Often I sit in front of a blank screen to write these posts.  I started writing because it helped me in my process of growth to confess where I was, what I was dealing with and allowed me to rave about all my amazing clients.  But something happened I started caring... Which in a lot of ways can be great.  

When you care for people great things can happen, lives can change.  But when you are altering your behavior because of your fear of how you will be perceived... not as much.  I want to be charming, witty and come across like I have things put together.  I want to be real... but just enough that you identify but not enough that you doubt me and won't hire me...

How can you have partial honesty?  I have never gotten this.  I am an extremist, as anyone who knows me well tell you clearly, I struggle with finding middle ground.  I don't eat a serving of ice cream (but really who does? If you do please teach me your ways!!) instead I struggle with a desire to eat the entire container.  

But it is a bit terrifying to put yourself out there... fully...  Isn't it unprofessional?  Do my potential clients really want to know my doubts and fears about myself?  Do you all want to read about my struggles?  Instead I found myself more often then not feeling the need to pile on inspiration: we all have enough downers in our lives?  I mean just watch three seconds of the news and it can be enough to take a chip off a perfectly awesome day!

But is that fair to say that I'm honest but be... only half way there?  Do you want to have only my inspirational post?  Do you want to know the down and dirty?  It seems a little untoward... but is it needed?

We all struggle.  The real question is do you like bare honesty... do you desire it?

Live. Love. Loud.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Carats and Cake

For those of you in the midst of your planning and looking for inspiration and getting the look you really love to become a reality, I found a site that might be just what you're looking for.  It is a site powered by couples.  You know when you see something on Pinterest and then you can't figure out where it came from and you dive into the depths of the internet and to no avail do you find where you can reduplicate it or order another...



Well, Carats and Cake is a site where newly married couple upload pictures of their wedding along with a list of vendors so that if you like what you see you can get connected directly to a local vendor.  How is this different then any other wedding blog?  Well, first it is powered only through real weddings.  It is also able to be filtered in many different ways.  First you can filter it based on your location, making it more specific to your area and helping you not fall in love with a venue that is three states away.  Another super unique and fun filter is it allows you to see only the results of your friends or friends of friends.  It allows you to get all the nitty gritty on that wedding you attended not that long ago that had that to die for cake!

I think it is a really neat take on not just your standard wedding inspiration site but take a look and see if you agree!


Live. Love. Loud.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Adventures in Spending money

I'm not a relaxed person.  Don't get me wrong.  I can chill out.  I can unplug but I'm not the "chill" type.  I pretty much always have something brewing inside.  I have been shooting weddings as a business going on four years and I still get nervous before every shoot.  I double and triple check my equipment.  I study my timelines and emails for any and all information.  I don't walk into any client meeting without at least one pep talk.  That's me.

(photo of an amazing book of pictures of Iceland: Looking for inspiration!)


I share that to say I don't make brash decisions.  I think thing through.  Don't get me wrong I can make a quick decision in a situation that calls for it but I'm not the chick that walks in to look at furniture and then ends up buying something.

A dear friend of mine was telling me about her up coming trip/adventure.  She was going to Iceland, a place she has dreamed of going to for a long time yet is just now getting the chance to go and see.  She was showing me pictures of the places she had on her check list.  The equipment they would need since they are going in winter (I mean if you're not hard core...). When she stopped and said, "Why do you keep offering your stuff up: You're coming with me right?"

I laughed and said, "Oh yes of course I am?"  Yet somehow two days later I had bought tickets on her same flight.  The past 7 years of our marriage my husband has asked me to buy all the number of trips I looked up and considered yet I never have.  Excuses about timing, family or anything I could think of but basically it would come down to the money.  I don't like spending money.  It makes me nervous.  Too many years of living without previously just hits this "MUST SAVE ALL THE MONEY" button and it's hard to let that go.

But I did.  At least this one time.  I clicked the "buy now" and we are set and excited.  Come February we are taking our winter trek to Iceland.  So any of you adventures who have advice lay it on me!

Also if you know of someone getting married in early February in Iceland let a girl know :D