TINY TIPS | DRESS SHOPPING

It's been a hot minute since I last blogged and figured I better add some love to this space so you know I am still here! I've had a couple of brides say, "Yes!" to the dress recently and thought some wedding planning tips on dress shopping could be a great topic. As a little something extra for my local readers, I am including a list of a few of my favorite wedding dress boutiques in Phoenix at the very end! 

Why rush? Unless you are in a serious time crunch to find your dress, I highly recommend taking your time shopping and limit the amount of places you go in one day. I suggest choosing two boutiques max to visit in one day and take your time enjoying the process in order to avoid becoming seriously overwhelmed. This is one of the most fun parts of wedding planning, so why not spread it out over a few weekends?! (Side note - Call ahead to see if places you're visiting allow you to bring along some champagne. Cheers!)

Things to bring besides your besties. It's a good idea to bring the correct type of undergarments (such as a strapless bra), shoes in a height you are comfortable with, and any jewelry or accessories you know you will wear on wedding day. A lot of times you will select your jewelry and accessories after you have found your dress, but if you're committed to incorporating your grandmother's pearls in your attire you may as well wear them while you try on potential dresses.  I also suggest styling your hair how you think you may want to wear it on your wedding day to see how it compliments the dresses (no need to go get a blow out, just play with it the best you can). 

Alterations. Unfortunately, the tag does not reflect the final price you will pay as most dresses require some form of alterations in order to fit perfectly (and perfectly it should!). Ask your consultant to give you an estimate for alterations, including any big changes you are thinking about making to the dress. The beautify of alterations is that almost anything can be done to a gown, but it of course comes at a price. Be sure to factor that in to your budget for attire, along with shoes and accessories.

Some of my favorite Phoenix wedding dress boutiques. This is not an exhaustive list of every dress shop in the greater Phoenix area - we have so many amazing resources here! I am only mentioning some of those that I've personally had a great experience at or recent clients have raved about.

In Scottsdale there is Destiny's Bride, which is a chic boutique with a great selection. Scottsdale is also home to Lovely Bride who caterers to more of the creative and fashion forward bride. In my opinion Lovely Bride Phoenix carries some great designers and one of my personal favorites, Sarah Seven. In the East Valley there is Uptown Bridal and Boutique which has recently restructured their consultation process to offer the ultimate client experience. And even though this post is all about the wedding dress, I feel like I have to mention my favorite local boutique for bridesmaid dresses as well - Bella Bridesmaids. You can't go wrong with any of these suggestions. xoxo

Photo: Amy and Jordan Photography

TINY TIPS | ORGANIZATION

Welcome to our new blogging series geared towards providing planning advice in small doses! I decided to begin this series because I wanted to spread useful wedding-related information in a way that does not overwhelm the reader. Our "Tiny Tips" will offer three tidbits of knowledge that all focus around one aspect of planning. Hope you enjoy this first round of advice on staying organized. 

Create a wedding-specific email account. Planning a wedding (regardless of whether or not you have hired a professional planner to help) takes up a lot of time and space in your inbox. Rather than digging through your personal and work (and junk) emails each time you need to find that link from your florist, do yourself a solid and just have one account to keep it all together. As an added bonus, when you have officially tied the knot you can use it as a joint email account for your utilities, banking correspondence, and anything else you two will be sharing. 

Delegate. You will be asked countless times throughout your engagement if there is anything you need help with, but sometimes even the nicest of gestures can be overwhelming when you have so.much.to.do. My advice is to be one step ahead of the game and keep a running list of small tasks or jobs you know are impending but you don't have any problem handing off to someone else. That way when your aunt asks what she can do to help, you can kindly respond with something other than, "Um, I'm not sure, but thank you!" 

Keeping track of gifts received. You will undoubtedly receive plenty of gifts throughout your engagement. In order to avoid forgetting the details of a gift and its giver I suggest using Google docs to log gifts when they are received. Recording the following information will ensure that you don't misplace anything: the date a gift is received, a specific description of the gift, the store the gift was from, the name of the gift-giver, their mailing address, the date you sent off your thank you note. Thoroughly keeping track of all of this will make sure you don't wake up in the middle of the night in a panic. 

Cheers & happy planning! 

THE MARRY MART RECAP

We had the pleasure of being included as one of the vendors for The Marry Mart last month out at the beautiful Paseo.  The market was a fun experience and truly a breath of fresh air when it comes to bridal expos. The gals behind The Marry Mart were kind enough to feature Wild One Events on their blog back in January in their "Meet The Vendors" series. You can read my interview below, or click here to see it live on their website. 

Wild One Events creates whimsical events with a strong attention to details! You can be worry free on your wedding day with this team by your side! You can get to know them at our upcoming market in February at The Paseo!

About Wild One Events - "Wild One Events is a boutique event planning and design company. While I offer everything from month-of wedding coordination to stand-alone design work, the heart of the business is in full-service planning where I can work with clients to blend both the logistical planning and design of their wedding into one service. Going into 2017 we are also beginning to offer in-house floral design as well, which is an art I have been practicing over the last year! 

I feel like I have found a true purpose in event planning and design, and being able to make others happy by using a skill I have is why I love being in this industry. Not everyone is naturally inclined to meticulously plan out each detail of an event over the course of 6, 10, or even 12 plus months, and that is perfectly fine! But for me it is a labor of love, and getting to see clients happy and relaxed on their wedding day is a reward I am very grateful for." 

How to book? "I like to make myself and my contact information readily available to anyone who needs to reach out. You will see my email address on my instagram, Facebook, and each page of my website. I also include my phone number in a lot of those areas as well because I think it should be easy for anyone to get ahold of me! Aside from shooting an email or calling, there is the "Let's Get In Touch" page on my website that will kick-start the inquiry process for a potential client. "

How long has Wild One Events been in business? Wild One Events is heading into year 2! 

What to know about Wild One Events? "I want potential clients to know that Wild One Events really takes a collaborative approach to planning, designing, and executing an event. There is a huge amount of trust that is placed in a wedding planner, especially when hiring that person to help execute the creative details of a wedding, so for me it is important for potential clients to know that I want my creativity to work in line with their vision and budget to help craft their dream day."

XO, Steph + Amelia

FRIDAY FINDS

1.) Green Wedding Shoes called this Grand Canyon elopement "legendary," and for good reason too.  

2.) I obsess over everything A Fabulous Fete designs, and these letterpress save the dates for a Montana wedding are no different. 

3.) This awesome dessert table backdrop is from a baby shower, but I think it would work great for the right bridal shower as well. 

4.) I really enjoyed everything about this guide to entertaining on a budget. Hello engagement party idea.

5.) This last find has nothing to do with weddings or events, but if you're about to start your gift registry then check out what Lauren Conrad's favorite kitchen items are. I had no idea I needed an ice crusher, but now I do. 

Amanda & Tyler Gilbert Engagement Session

If you don't think these two are the cutest couple ever then I just don't know what to say. We are exactly one month away from Amanda & Tyler's wedding at Webster Farm and I could not be more excited for them! Amanda has been working hard to bring her dream wedding to life, and I am so honored to be playing a small role in what will be the sweetest of backyard celebrations. Enjoy these beautiful engagement photos from Leah Breeze Photography as a sneak peak into what she'll capture on their big day!   

FRIDAY FINDS

1.) There isn't much I'm not loving about this Washington wedding. First, the bridesmaids are wearing jumpsuits, white jumpsuits. Love at first sight. Second, the talented planning and design team who brought it together is one of my personal favorites to follow, Sinclair & Moore. And third, it's absolutely everything a backyard wedding should be - simple, chic, and beautiful (have I mentioned I am a sucker for backyard weddings before? Because I am).

2.) I first obsessed over this Montana styled shoot and workshop welcome dinner a few months back when I saw it on instagram. I was happy to come across it on Once Wed and fall in love all over again.  

3.) After spending last weekend in Nashville for a bachelorette party, I wanted to include this native's guide to all the best places to eat, drink, play, shop and sleep in her hometown. The guide features my favorite spot from our trip, Pinewood Social. Not only does Nashville make a great destination for bachelor/bachelorette parties, but I think it would be an awesome state-side honeymoon as well. 

4.)  This practical article from the Huffington Post is a good read for couples getting ready to move in together. 

5.) Last, but not least, I though this two-week skin cleanse would be a great way to prep leading up to your big day.  

Jen & Brad's Paradise Valley Country Club Engagement Session

Since we had our final meeting with the venue last night for these two, it felt like today was the perfect time to share some of their gorgeous engagement photos by Amy & Jordan Photography. Jen & Brad hold a very special place in my heart, so to say I am excited for their quickly-approaching wedding day would be a huge understatement! I cannot wait to see everything the three of us have been collaborating on over the last fourteen months come together...and watch as they begin their happily ever after! xoxo

New Year's Eve Wedding at The Paseo

There really was nothing else I would have rather done on my New Year's Eve than help these two throw one heck of a party! Jade and Josh are an extremely fun-loving couple whose personalities were seen in every detail of their day. While there were so many beautiful physical aspects of their wedding, one of the most touching was watching their friend (who also happened to be a  groomsman) perform their ceremony!

Jade and Josh, I appreciate you both more than any amount of words can express! Thank you so much for letting me play a small role in bringing your wedding vision to life. Cheers to many more NYEs as husband and wife!

 Photographer: Denise Karis Photography  // Venue: The Paseo // Getting Ready Location: Gold Canyon Golf Resort & Spa // Wedding Planning: Wild One Events // Floral: J Barry Designs // DJ: Downtown Browne Productions // Caterer: Straight to the Plate Catering // Bakery: Piece of Cake Desserts // Food Truck: Mustache Pretzels // Photo Booth: Posharazzi Photo Lounge // Bride's Dress: Brilliant Bridal // Bridesmaid Dresses: Show Me Your MuMu

Star & Kyle's Amado Wedding

I was excited to work with Star and Kyle for so many reasons. They are such a sweet couple to begin with, I loved their overall wedding vision, they wanted to incorporate a food truck (always making things fun), and they were getting married at an extremely unique venue called Agua Linda Farm. It was a winning combination from the get go!

Not too long after we started working together Star ended up needing an new florist. Although I had minimal experience executing both coordination and florals for a wedding, I offered my services and we went from there. Their day turned out beautifully and was full of personal touches. The guest list may have been intimate, but that didn't stop everyone from dancing the night away! This was one of the most energetic weddings I have worked on to date, and I wish Star and Kyle nothing but a lifetime of happiness together! Keep scrolling to see all the beautiful images by Melissa Holland Photography

Venue & Vintage Rentals: Agua Linda Farm // Photographer: Melissa Holland Photography  // Videography: In Bloom Images // Wedding Coordination: Wild One Events // Floral: Wild One Events // Makeup: Kensington Makeup & Hair Artists // Caterer: Las Vigas Steak Ranch & Food Truck // Bakery: Ambrosia Cakes // Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo

New Year, New Services!

2017 signifies Wild One Events heading into its second year of business! In the past twelve(isn) months of helping clients bring their dream day to life I have learned so much and look forward to another year of doing just the same. 2016 taught me a lot of the basics of entrepreneurship, showed me how much I truly love serving the couples who have put their trust in me, and also exposed areas I need to focus on in the coming year.

Now that a lot of the growing pains of year one have subsided, the first item on my to-do list is announcing the services Wild One Events will provide in the 2017-2018 season. While some of these are the same as before, I felt like I needed to better define my offerings as a whole in order to create continuity for potential clients and my work flow. So without much further introduction, below is an outline of the four main services for the new year and a brief explanation each:

  • Wedding Coordination Services: This service is staying the same as we head into the New Year. Our coordination services are what many people associate with "day-of planning," but with plenty added benefits and more than just a day of working together!  
  • Wedding Consultant Services: This is a brand new offering from Wild One Events and is our take on partial planning. In addition to everything our coordination service provides, clients will receive additional communication and custom monthly to-do lists. These customized documents will outline what clients should be focusing on in that specific month of planning and highlight any necessary vendor referrals, keeping in line with the overall budget. 
  • Wedding Planning & Design Services: Nothing changing here! The heart of Wild One Events is in full service planning and design, making this our favorite option for clients to bring their vision to reality. With the introduction of our Consultant Services, those who hire us for Planning & Design will have our complete attention as full-service clients. 
  • Creative Wedding Services: This is somewhat of an umbrella service to cover any of the various design and styling work we may be hired to execute for an event. These projects typically require a more customized process but result in a completely unique touch on your wedding day. There really are no limits to what Wild One Events can create for you, but perhaps the most exciting part of this offering includes floral design! Our in-house floral services will be offered to clients who have hired us for logistical planning, as well those who are interested in just working with Wild One Events on florals! 

Cheers to another year of learning and creating! If you are interested in any of these services, head here!

TIPS FOR CREATING A USEFUL (AND STYLISH) WEDDING WEBSITE

Your wedding website is an essential aspect of communicating to your guests prior to your big day. It is not only a great way to show off some of your favorite engagement photos, but when constructed correctly should let guests know exactly what to expect for your wedding. Here are some of my top tips for putting together a website that not only looks good for viewers but will be useful to them as well (which is exactly why we spend so much time on these things anyways).  

Photo from Minted

Photo from Minted

  • Timing. When you're first engaged there are so many exciting things you want to do right away, but starting your website should not be one of them. Wait until you have key logistical information in place, such as your venue, hotel blocks, and gift registries, before hitting "publish." 
  • Let guests know what to expect. Your website is the place to elaborate on anything that requires a bit more of an explanation. Aside from the traditional timing, location, accommodations, and registries information, let guests know if there is anything out of the ordinary they should be prepared for, if they should consider wearing a certain type of shoe due to the terrain, if there will be transportation provided, etc. They will be grateful that you properly informed them beforehand and show up ready to have a good time. 
  • Keep it simple. There is nothing wrong with writing your love story, introducing your bridal party, or showing off your awesome engagement photos, but do it in a way that is not overwhelming for viewers. Most people will gladly glance through it, but keep in mind why they're there - to look for hotel information and where to buy you a gift. 
  • Budgeting tool. If you are looking for a way to spend less on your invitation suite consider utilizing your website to collect RSVPs. You will save by ditching the response card and the postage that goes along with it. Just be sure to include clear instructions on your invitation when the time comes. 
  • First impressions. While you may not be spending as much time thinking about your website as say your wedding dress, it is worth it to put some effort into creating one that looks good. Two of my personal favorite platforms are Squarespace and Minted for their simple designs that are polished and user friendly. 

I hope you found these tips helpful and, as always, if you need help constructing a wedding website or have questions about the process feel free to reach out! Oddly enough putting together a well-informed website is a task I truly enjoy (I'm a big fan of communication), and something I include in my services. 

ETSY BRIDESMAID GIFT ROUNDUP

I love a good Etsy find, but the amount of things you come across on there while planning your wedding can be overwhelming at times. Today I am sharing some ideas for bridesmaid gifts that have been lingering on my "Favorites" page for far too long...

ARIZONA FARM WEDDING + TIPS FOR PLANNING A WEDDING IN A NON-TRADITIONAL VENUE

My sister-in-law got married this past May on her fiancé's family farm, and she asked me early on in their engagement if I would help plan it. Seeing as I had hosted my own wedding in the middle of a field I definitely had some tips for planning a wedding in a non-traditional venue space (my absolute favorite!).  While her and her fiancé came up with the overall design concept and aesthetic for the event, I helped with a lot of the logistics, troubleshooting, and day-off coordination. Being in the wedding party as well ensured that our organization had to be on-point in order to execute each aspect of the day. 

Venue: Private family farm // Floral: Blume Events // Photographer: Kimberly Jarman // Bride & Bridesmaid Dresses: Allure from Wedding Belles Bridal Boutique // Caterer: Robert's Catering // Bakery: Robert's Catering // Rentals: PRO EM // DJ: Got You Covered 

So what exactly is a non-traditional venue? While there are plenty of ways to define the term, simply put it is a space that is not typically marketed towards weddings and often times will require you to bring in everything yourself. A good place to start when considering hosting your wedding in this type of environment is to begin thinking of locations that are meaningful to you, places you love, or simply a spot that inspires you - then go from there. While the sky really is the limit, some ideas can include schools, backyards, fields, private estates, galleries, lofts, museums, anywhere in nature, public parks, and so on. 

To someone who lacks experience throwing parties in a non-traditional setting, there can be a lot of hidden costs and a lot of additional planning involved. But what you will end up with is a completely unique event! Below are some of my top tips to help you begin the process:

  • Ask a lot of questions, then ask some more. When walking through potential wedding locations ask as many questions that you need to in order to understand what will be required of you to host your event there. Some non-traditional spaces have held weddings on their property before and should be able to give you the run-down. But in situations where you will be the first, be sure to reach out to as many people as you can. You do not want to select a venue without knowing exactly what you will need to bring in. 
  • Do your research. Permits, noise ordinances, and parking are good places to start. Look in to the possible city or county permits you may need for items such as food, alcohol, structures, and other general party or wedding permits. Just as important is being knowledgable of the local noise ordinance so you are able to stay within the limits (no ones wants a party to unexpetedly end early). And lastly, be sure to understand the logistics behind parking and transportation for guests.  
  • Know the additional costs involved. Often times couples are initially drawn to the concept of a non-traditional wedding because of the low up front costs, only to be met by unexpected expenses along the way. The key is to be aware of these potential expenses and how they align with your overall budget prior to selecting your venue. Depending on what your venue does or does not supply for you, things your may need to acquire can include event insurance, rentals, a generator, lighting, additional space for your caterer, a tent for weather purposes, and restrooms. Keep in mind this is only a general list and does not take in account specialty rentals items that will help bring your event design together.  
  • Pretend you are a guest. Once you understand the layout of your potential wedding venue, put yourself in your guests' shoes and mentally walk through your wedding day. From arrival to departure what will your guests be doing? How will they get from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception? What should they be wearing? What will they see? How will the leave at the end of the evening? Doing this type of visual exercise will not only give you a better understanding of the flow of your event, but it will also help you troubleshoot any potential problems. 
  • Hire a wedding planner. You saw this one coming from a mile away. But in all seriousness hiring an experienced professional will help you navigate everything mentioned above, and in doing so allow you to enjoy the process rather than get burnt out from it. Hosting a wedding in a non-traditional space is a ton of FUN, but there is also plenty of confusion that comes along with it. A wedding planner is sure to help you in the process! 

I hope these tips are useful to you as you begin planning for your non-traditional event space! Weddings that pose logistical challenges are what my planning and designing dreams are made of, so if you find yourself in need of help or simply have questions about hosting your wedding in a non-traditional venue feel free to reach out! 

DESTINATION WEDDING WELCOME PARTY

My friends officially get married in some of the coolest places, and that was definitely the case for Kelly and Shane. The two of them are a couple of adventure seekers, so it came as no surprise when they announced they would be tying the knot in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Seeing as they were planning a destination wedding they decided to add some other activities to the weekend as well, giving guests multiple opportunities to enjoy their time in Wyoming. Kelly knew I was starting up my event planning company and asked if I would be interested in helping her and Shane coordinate their welcome party. Um, YES PLEASE! 

The welcome party was held at the sweetest venue called The Old Wilson School House Community Center, which was perfect for an event like this. While Kelly herself did all of the upfront planning, once I arrived in Jackson Hole I arranged the flowers for her, managed vendor arrivals, got everything set up prior to the party, and made sure the the evening went according to plan. 

There was a selfie station, games, live music, local brews, and some of the best food from the Cafe Genevieve Food Truck.  (And cute puppy appearances too.)   

The evening was filled with a whole lot of love and smiling faces everywhere. Guests definitely left having had a good time! This party was a perfect match to Kelly and Shane's fun loving and energetic personalities. I was extremely honored to help out and make the weekend all the more memorable for the two of them. If you are in need of help planning a smaller event like a wedding welcome party, feel free to reach out

JADE & JOSH SAGUARO LAKE ENGAGEMENT SESSION

Not everyone feels like a natural in front of the camera, (although you wouldn't think that of these two with one look at their photos) which is why I always encourage couples to have an engagement session with their photographer prior to their big day. You get a chance to get those nerves out, you receive beautiful images to celebrate this exciting time, and ultimately you're giving yourself the opportunity to become comfortable with the one person you will be spending A LOT of time with on your wedding day. It's a win-win all around!

The photographs below are of one of my couples, Jade and Josh, who are getting married this New Year's Eve. I could not be more excited to work along side these two and help bring their vision to life. Their photographer, Denise Karis, captured the most beautiful engagement photos of them at Saguaro Lake during their session together, and I'm proudly showing off a few of them as I countdown to NYE. 

Towards the end of their session a few wild horses passed through the area making for some amazing photos with them in the background. Jade and Josh, you guys look incredibly happy and I cannot wait for your wedding to get here! 

THE FARM AT SOUTH MOUNTAIN WEDDING

Last fall I had the pleasure of helping Anne and Mark plan their wedding at The Farm at South Mountain. The two of them moved to Utah during their engagement causing them to finish up their planning from afar. I worked closely with Anne and her mother to bring everything together in the last few months leading up to their big day.  

When it came time for the ceremony, Anne and Mark enjoyed their moment despite the uncooperative weather and rain. Anne was prepared with the cutest clear umbrella; I think the photo of her and her father walking down the aisle with it is so endearing! 

Of course the rain did eventually stop and a rainbow appeared shortly after the ceremony. Their photographer was able to capture a picture of the two of them with it in the background - awesome, right! This wedding was exciting to work on in so many different ways and such a pleasure to watch how genuinely happy Anne and Mark were throughout the evening. 

Venue: The Farm At South Mountain // Floral: Petals and Lucy // Photographer: Photographic Passion // Caterer: Santa Barbara Catering Company // Bakery: Honeymoon Sweets // Band: Topkat Music 

INTRODUCTION PART II

As mentioned in my previous post, this second part to my introduction will focus on our wedding (which you can see even more of here) and the planning that went into it. Looking back on that time I can say with certainty that everything I learned (both good and bad) was the foundation to starting a career in wedding planning and design. After all, my experience will certainly benefit anyone who hires me!

Eric proposed two days before Christmas in 2011 and it was a surprise in every sense of the word. Despite my discovery of Pinterest at that point I really did not have too many ideas for a wedding. The only thing we knew we wanted was to be married outdoors and in a nontraditional location. So after a couple months of simply just soaking in the moment, he and I asked permission from his grandparents to host our wedding in the middle of a field on their dairy farm. We decided to give ourselves a comfortable amount of time to plan the wedding and enjoy our engagement, so we committed to the following spring. Once we had the date and location picked I got to work carefully selecting vendors and honing in on our vision.

It was often difficult to explain my ideas to potential vendors – some immediately understood what I was going for, others probably thought I was crazy. While we were getting married on a farm I did not want guests to feel like they were on a farm. I was hesitant to use the word “rustic” to describe anything, but I did want some rustic touches here and there. Confusing, right? My goal was to keep things simple and elegant while still paying homage to the farm’s aesthetic and our location.

I quickly learned the logistical challenges of getting married in the middle of a field. I also learned the importance of prioritizing your desires while staying in line with your budget. Aside from things looking nice and people having a memorable time, our main priorities were hiring our dream photographer, our invitation suite, and our reception table design.

We wanted our memories to last with awesome photographs, and they surely did not disappoint thanks to Kimberly Jarman and her team. We wanted our invitations to give guests a good first impression of our event and communicate that while this wedding was to be held on a farm, it was not going to be overly casual. So we opted for simple yet classic letterpress save the dates and invitations that I LOVED (but still kick myself for forgetting to bring day-of to get some detailed shots of). And lastly, we wanted our reception tables to have elegant linens, place settings, and chairs juxtaposed against the more casual dinner we were serving.  In our minds it was part of the fun of bringing two different worlds together.

I really wanted to work with a full-service wedding planner from the start but never ended up hiring one – something I regret to this day. Between balancing my first year of teaching to ultimately not wanting to give up control I just didn’t make it happen. Towards the end of planning I became extremely burnt out trying to manage everything myself, and many things which were once important to me were left out or simply forgotten. I did hire a coordinator to help me in the last month leading up to our wedding, but there were so many details I lost sight of towards the end that my vision did not come together 100%. To top it off there were let-downs from a few of our vendors. Some design plans did not coming through how I had imagined and a handful of contracts were not fulfilled correctly; there were plenty of issues I didn't have the time to troubleshoot day-of or the foresight to be prepared for in the first place. While I have a lot of fond memories of our wedding day, I still look back with some regret because of how difficult it was to manage everything on my own.

Overall, our day was amazing, the weather working in our favor, everyone had a blast and we still have people complement us to this day (something I am extremely grateful for), but in the back of my mind I know things were not executed the way I had envisioned and I really have no one to blame but myself. However, I do know that while I still wish I had hired a planner from the very beginning, I now have so much knowledge and experience from our wedding that I can apply to any event I work on…especially ones with some, um, challenges.

INTRODUCTION PART I

Hello! My name is Jackie and I want to help you put together an awesome event.  Regardless of size or circumstance, there are so many special details that can be incorporated into your day and the thought of helping you bring them all together gets my creative juices flowing. While my business is truly all about you, the happy couple, it may not be a bad idea for you to get to know your potential planner/designer/go-to gal a little bit better. So for my first blog post I wanted to introduce myself in a less than formal way and walk you through my nontraditional journey to becoming an event planner and designer.  Therefore, my timeline…

Early 90s: Great-grandma teaches me how to grow sweet peas and my love of flowers is born. 

Mid 90s: Hosts picnics for stuffed animals in forts and tree house. Solidifies venue-scouting skills.

Late 90s: Borrows Martha Stewart books from Grandma’s house. Life-long love affair with crafting and entertaining ensues.

2001: Watches The Wedding Planner for the first time and the idea of planning events is officially planted in my head.

2002-2006: Plays a lot of sports and plans most prom and winter formal arrangements for my group of friends.

May 2006: Decides to become a class agent for graduating class because the idea of planning reunions sounds like fun. (Still dealing with repercussions of that decision to this day.) 

Fall 2006: Heads to college at the University of Arizona. The “Things I Want to be When I Grow Up” list continues to grow. Decides to focus on making friends instead.

2007: Wonders why Arts & Crafts isn't a degree option. 

2008: Creates banners for sorority’s social events – becomes really good at painting on sheets for said banners. 

2009-2010: Coordinates tons of fun, thematic social outings for friends. 

Fall 2009: Meets future husband while karaoking. 

2010: Wins award for most creative costumes in her sorority.

May 2010: Graduates from college yet still unsure of potential career options.  

January 2011: Decides to go back to school to become an elementary school teacher. Obsession with glitter, books, and organizing classrooms begins.

2011: Discovers Pinterest. Wonders how teachers ever survived without it. 

December 2011: Tells serious boyfriend she doesn’t want to get engaged for another year. Gets engaged one week later. Wedding planning ensues.

Spring 2012: Selects wedding venue location – an isolated field on fiancé’s family farm. Sounds easy enough, right?

2012-2013: Plans and designs entire wedding because, #controlfreak

April 12, 2013: Wedding day. Married. Success.

Summer 2013: Husband’s company wants to relocate us to Texas. Throws giant going-away party.

July 2013: Moves to tiny, rural town and knows no one. Time to make more friends.

Fall 2013: Continues teaching, but dreams of being an entrepreneur slowly start creeping in.

Spring 2014: Wedding featured on Style Me Pretty. Idea of being a wedding planner sounds intriguing. 

Fall 2014: Starts researching how to build a small business. 

Spring 2015: Loves Texas, but begins discussing the thought of moving home with husband. 

April 2015: Surprise! Find out we are pregnant. Moving home idea is officially validated. 

May 2015: Last month in the classroom. Next stop, motherhood and becoming a wedding planner/designer.

Summer 2015: Wants to book a booth at the Phoenix Bridal show in January. Mom and husband politely tell me I am crazy with a baby due in late December. I don’t believe them, but decide to wait anyways.

July 2015: Makes the trek back to Arizona.

October 2015: Coordinates first wedding at 6 months pregnant. 

December 12, 2015: Goes into labor two weeks early while getting ready for a friend's wedding. Ironic?

December 13, 2015: Has baby - It’s a boy! 

June 2016: Attends June bridal show instead of January. (Good thing I listened to my mom and husband.)

Present day: Learning to be a work from home mom. Hustle, feed baby, play with baby, pray baby takes long nap, repeat. Hasn't looked back since. 

And there you have it, a somewhat simple version of how I got here. In my next post I am going to take more time to elaborate on my own wedding and what I learned in our 16-month planning period. Stay tuned!