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June 9th

Can you really say you’re coming back to blogging if you never really started? Well, here goes!

My focus word for this year is ‘renew’, which means a lot to me on many fronts. With business means I’m restructuring and reprioritizing the way I spend my time, energy, and efforts, and letting God get the glory for all the amazing things He’s been up to over here. Why? Because, over the past 3.5 years, I’ve done:

  • 37 events in 5 states
  • bought a house
  • gone through 3 renovations on said house
  • had three amazing children (Warner, Jake, and one baby in heaven)

But also, I’ve battled really intense chronic hip pain with little relief, mourned the loss of a baby, supported my husband through 5 job title changes, and accepted ‘failure’ by closing shop on a business that I made tons of sacrifices for and poured a lot of time and effort into starting.

Somewhere along the way, a combination of ‘busyness’ and the refusal to let myself feel joy over milestones (and sorrow in the sufferings) that deserved to be not only acknowledged but celebrated  got in the way of documenting this business journey. On one hand, I get so stuck in accomplishing goals that I forget to love the process because I’m already so focused on the next task to complete; on the other, I over analyze the best ‘strategy’ for things like blogging for business that I never actually start out of fear that I’ll look back on it and be disappointed in the way I did it. Ironic because I spend so much time trying to help my clients enjoy the process.

All that to say, within a week, I had my dear friend Annamarie Akins over for a picnic and then was at a coffee shop with my dear friend Nikki Santerre  and started talking to both of them about where to start with blogging. Through great conversations, there was a resounding ‘get out of your own way’ and ‘enjoy what you’ve done’, and they’re right! Who says I can’t talk about my business and the things going on in my personal life in one place? Probably a really great marketing expert, but I guess it doesn’t really matter to me anymore. You see, when your passion and purpose behind what you do dictates how you decide to do things, you can’t really ‘regret’ the decisions that you make, because they came from a pure heart. My definition of success  isn’t in what anyone thinks about how I run this business, but in how I love and serve my client’s  and vendors I work with– so I’m going to ‘get out of my own way’ and start blogging consistently!

 

So, here’s to a ‘new start’, and I hope you’ll follow along. Here’s to looking back over some of my favorite events, sharing a little more of my heart behind the business, documenting the joys of being a mom and a business owner (hard work, people!!) , and all the laughs along the way. Seriously, I work with the greatest people that bring me so much joy and laughter– can you tell?

Thanks for these pictures, Photobooth of Charlottesville. My crew knows how to have fun!

 

Here is a little sneak peak for what you’ll see next week 🙂 Can’t wait!

Photos by Annamarie Akins Photography

ATE Brides

Feature on Style Me Pretty | Richmond VA Wedding | Jessica + Stephen

March 14th

Pinching myself today as I think about the JOY of serving clients such as Jessica and Stephen, and checking off a business ‘goal’ of being featured on the FRONT PAGE of Style Me Pretty! When Jessica and Stephen came to me and shared that they wanted to have the reception at Stephen’s parents house, I was elated. We wanted to tell their story in every detail- Stephen was from Virginia, Jessica California with family in VA. Their paths crossed at a VA wedding, and the rest was history. We made sure that we were able to incorporate Jessica’s ‘“West Coast style” with plenty of Stephen’s “East Coast tradition”. This wedding was such a testament to how making all the details come together requires an amazing team that can execute well. So thankful for Nikki Santerre and Heart Stone Films for capturing all of the emotions and beauty of the day in ways that far exceeded anyone’s expectations. For the full list of vendors involved, scroll down to the bottom! Enjoy 🙂

 

 

A Romantic Virginia Wedding Film by Heart Stone Films I Jessica + Stephen .

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What a treat to share a ‘first look’ of the space we designed with the bride and groom. My favorite moment (besides the look of pure joy with Jess, was Stephen saying ‘wow, I can’t believe this is MY wedding, it looks like a dream!’). Made me feel like our team did something right 🙂

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A memorial table for Jessica’s late father, beautiful bar display including His and Hers signature cocktails, a mix of both modern and classic chandeliers, and lovely lounge furniture all made the tent come alive with elegance and joy.

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The couple also met at a wedding, and chose their reception band because they were playing at the event where they met. How sweet to get down on the dance floor to the same band that brought your love together!!

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Photography: Nikki Santerre Photography | Event Design: Alyson Taylor Events | Floral Design: The Proper Petal | Wedding Dress: Watters | Desserts: Sweet Fix RVA | Invitations: Sue Corral Ink | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August | Catering: A Sharper Palate Catering & Events | Hair and Makeup: Avenue 42 | Calligraphy for Mirrors and Signs: Capital Calligraphy | Calligraphy for Invitations: Sincerely Amy Designs | Lighting and Draping: Blue Steel Lighting | Band: Soul Expressions |  Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Linens: Party Tables | Rentals: Rent Equip | Rentals: Paisley & Jade | Silk Ribbon: Silk & Willow | Specialty Chairs: Perfect Settings | Video: Heart Stone Films