Thursday, August 25, 2011

getting back our Groove

One of my favorite movies of all time is Emperor's New Groove.  I love the opening number where the old man throws off the Emperor's "groove," the music does that record-scratching stop, and then the old man gets tossed over the (very high) palace wall (to what - in any other world but Disney - would have been sure death).

Over the past nine months of unemployment, I have had a lot of time to think about the human "groove" and wonderfully complex things, like the meaning of life.  Of course two months of that time frame was really spent enjoying the holidays after moving home, and our new-found unemployment, three months was spent dwelling on my wedding, and then two months after my wedding were spent in that transitional stage of realizing I WAS married.  Then there was a month I look back on as the "we have to find a house now or die" period.  Once we found one there was about a month of "Wow.  We have a house..." time.  Then we hit July rent & expenses and ever since then we have been in the "We have to have jobs or we're going to be homeless" phase.  That brings us up to speed.  It was really this last month and a half that I have been convinced, in a way that nothing else but complete and utter unemployment can convince you, that human beings were meant to work.  We were meant to toil and revel in our productivity.  We were meant to enjoy the fruits of our labors.  We were meant to set goals and attempt to achieve them.

I will be the first to say that I love a good lazy day.  The extra 10 lbs I walk around with, which is really looking less and less like extra and more and more like here-to-stay, is probably the first thing which screams: I LOVE TO BE LAZY.  I do.  I like me a day full of marathon TV shows, or zipping through a good book in bed for 24 hours.  I have always been that type of person.  I have slept for a full 21 hours before.  No lie.  However, I am very very very very very very unhappy not having a job.

Tonight I celebrated what the Honey & I have, rather than all the things we don't.  He now has a job.  A job he likes, where he feels appreciated, where he's interested in staying and growing, and that pays him real live money.  Not the fake stuff.  I'm happy in my internship, learning about my career and industry, interacting with really wonderfully creative and business savvy women... and I'll figure the rest out later, and I'm totally okay with that.  We have a great old house in a lovely neighborhood in a terrific location in Austin.  We have a super amazing dog, who is SO much more than a dog.  We have each other. 

We never thought our transition back to our home state would be so challenging.  We thought we would be moving back home to friendly territory, a bountiful land of many opportunities.  Ironically, it was by far THE hardest move I have ever lived through.  It took almost a year to get the baby steps accomplished, but now we feel very much that we are right where we should be.  We have found our groove.

But I'm still pissed that Washington, DC waited until we moved to have a freaking EARTHQUAKE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

NEW News!!!

some explanations are due.  and i'm too tired to use capitalization, so bear with me.  


wait.  that was all caps.  

let me explain:

i created an awesome new business website using wordpress.  that site has a blog built in to it.  that built in blog will now be my "all things wedding business" blog.  

except i just deactivated my website.  
 why, you ask?

let me explain:

i'm doing an internship with a FABULOUS event planning company called CLINK Events, here in ATX.  really, i'm having way too much fun going to a job where i'm not getting paid, it's ridiculous.  waaaaay too much fun.  primarily what i'm doing there is planning weddings, and so my having my own business where i'm making money doing the same thing is a conflict of interest.  out of consideration to their company and my internship with them, i have deactivated my business website and my facebook page until i complete my internship and move forward with marketing my own business.  really this works out fine, because with the internship and looking for other employment on my plate, i neither have a whole lot of time to handle much else, nor to blog about wedding trends.  you can rest assured i'm still keeping UP with wedding trends, you're just not getting to read about them.  however, i still plan on keeping this blog. 

let me explain:

this blog will now be mostly a personal blog.  that means, for those of you who were all along just reading this because we are friends, well now you'll hear more about my life, my house, my plants, my boys, and what i had to eat on any given day.  and you won't have to wade through the yards of wedding to get to the personal artifacts.  for those of you who were following this for more of a professional relationship, well, you are more than welcome to keep reading, just know i won't be incessantly promoting my business or talking about how to pick out the perfect invitations or a theme for your wedding day.  i think all parties are much relieved.  

and really... i'm looking forward to just being a random blogger.  i happen to like writing, it clears my head, and so i just can't wait to dump all that garbage out here and make you eat read it.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

FULL PAGE SPREAD in San Antonio Weddings Magazine

We are so excited our "Day After Wedding" session was used for this full page advertisement spread.  This feature is in San Antonio Weddings magazine, which just released a new issue in July.  Maggie Green Carrillo of Greenleaf Images used the best photos from the session for her full paged spread.  It's on page 19 - so get out there an get yourself a copy!

And here's Maggie with her copy of the magazine spread....


Laurel White Design featured on The Perfect Wedding Blog

This exciting feature was a little funny to receive in my inbox.  It's on The Perfect Wedding Blog over in the Netherlands, and while you probably can't read any of the text, anyone who's seen our wedding photos can guess which picture taken by Tyler Metcalfe was featured here.  From what I gather, it was a post about using photographs at weddings... but I could be way off and I'll never know.  Here's the post or you can follow this link to see it on their website:

Betrek overleden dierbaren bij je bruiloft

July 8, 2011 | Naomi
Je gaat trouwen! Je voelt intens geluk, maar ergens ook verdriet. Een overleden dierbaar persoon kan er namelijk niet meer bij zijn. Je neemt je voor diegene op je grote dag een speciaal plekje te geven..

Er toch een beetje bij

Marieke reageerde op de post Decoreren met lijstjes dat zij op haar trouwdag als tafeldecoratie lijstjes had staan met aan de ene kant haar ouders en aan de andere kant haar overgrootouders erin. Wij vonden dat een goed idee. Daardoor in deze post wat andere manieren waarop je (overleden) geliefden een eervol plekje geeft op je bruiloft.
Fotocredit: Mango Studios
foto's in een boom
Fotocredit: Tyler Metcalfe Photography & Greenleaf Images
foto's in een boom
Fotocredit: James Moes

Engagement Feature on San Antonio Weddings blog!

San Antonio Weddings magazine runs a blog called The Wedding Lady Blog.  Late in June they used a montage of our "Just Married/never-got-engagement-pictures" shoot that Maggie Green Carrillo of  Greenleaf Images did for us.  Every Friday they feature "Favorite Photos Friday" and ours were selected for June 24, 2011.  Here's the link to the feature, or you can see the inlaid post below.

24 June

Favorite Photos Friday

Picks of the Week

Has this week been extremely long or is it just me? We've been swamped here, but the magazine is finally at the printers. We should see something from them in a few weeks. Can't wait to share it with you. Anyway, since it is Friday and I have a few spare moments to look at websites again, Favorite Photos Friday is back. Here are this week's picks. Enjoy!

Greenleaf Images 

Parish Photography

Zagga Photography

Article: 8 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner

This seems lazy, but I've read this article about 6 times in the last week, and in lieu of writing my own post, I thought I would just share it with you. This is reposted from If you google the topic header, you'll find a multitude of articles with practically the same focus. I have read many of them, and so far this is the best and most concisely written. This one happens to touch on really the 8 most important reasons, without only stating the obvious. So if you are at all curious as to why I believe my career choice is a necessity in the wedding industry - read on.

* * *

Eight Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner 
An etiquette and protocol expert explains why hiring a wedding planner will help you avoid some dreadful mishaps…

Article [EXCERPT] by Luxurious Wedding Etiquette & Protocol Expert, Claudia Lutman

If you are having more than 25 guests, the idea of working with a wedding planner should appeal to you. As the creative director for the most important day of your life, your wedding planner will help you avoid some dreadful mishaps that could ruin your day.

Reason # 1: A Theme is More Than a Hodgepodge of Great Ideas
Your ideas are fabulous. But they are only the foundation of your theme. Remember: They are only ideas and pictures ripped out of magazines. Brides have ended up blowing their budget on one item to the detriment of the whole wedding. This is where your wedding planner becomes your magician. Knowing all the tricks and resources, your wedding planner can create a theme that runs through the whole event. They see the whole picture. If budget is a constraint, they will advise you how to economize and still achieve a similar look.

Reason #2: Is your Budget a Guideline or a Blueprint for Bankruptcy? 

A budget is an essential part of your wedding planning. Even a million-dollar wedding has a budget. A budget will give you perspective and it will center you. It will be a great comfort to you when you want to know where you stand financially. Expenses tend to mount up quickly, and your budget will always give your a realistic assessment. I have witnessed brides being so out of control that they end up randomly buying items that have no rhyme or reason. That money could have been spent elsewhere to make the wedding a better experience for the guests. Being realistic about your budget is essential. Don’t fool yourself with a figure knowing you can go over it. You will only be hurting your chances of selecting the best possible vendors. Your wedding planner is your accountant and will believe the budget you give them. They honestly try to work within your parameters. Therefore, decide on a realistic figure so your wedding planner can recommend the vendors who will deliver the best work within your budget.

Reason #3: The Venue Event Manager
When the event manager from your venue tells you she can do your wedding planning, she is not lying. She will do everything under the sun to oversee everything she is responsible for; however, she is not responsible for 90 percent of the details that go into your wedding. Some brides are shocked when things go wrong. They thought their venue person would be on top of things. Not necessarily. If they have several events that day, they can’t be held responsible for letting you know your flowers haven’t arrived or your best man is held up in traffic. Imagine walking into a bald room instead of the floral intensive ballroom you paid for. Your wedding planner is your overseer. Her job is to make sure everything arrives on time and complete. If you have 15 tables, 13 centerpieces just won’t do. She will get the florist to fix it. If the videographer does not show up, she should be able to find a replacement for you. Things happen, but it is your wedding planner’s job to see that things are fixed and end up perfect. Your wedding planner is your fairy godmother.

Reason #4: Timelines and Other Annoying Details
Checklists. Do we know anyone who likes them? And timelines. “Who has time to think of these boring things? I’m getting married!” I recall one bride saying. Actually, you might not be getting married after all if the minister does not show up. Timelines are critical. Timelines are necessary. And timelines keep your wedding planner sane. She thrives on them. You, however, should never be subjected to them. These are the things a bubbling bride should be kept far away from. They will certainly kill the excitement.

Reason #5: Synergy Applies to Vendors, Too
There are vendors who work so well together you almost get double your money’s worth. Having a vendor with an attitude can affect everyone. Your wedding planner knows these things and will steer you in the right direction. By involving your wedding planner in the selection of vendors from the invitations on, you will be guided down the path of success. After all, synergy is what we are striving for!

Reason #6: What are the Rules?
Brides need a go-to person for etiquette, wedding-related questions, and to keep the planning timeline moving forward. All brides need a liaison to help keep emotions and relationships from straining during planning. Your wedding planner is a combination of Martha Stewart and Emily Post. Do you really have the time and inclination to research, answer, and solve the problem yourself?

Reason #7: Overtime Charges Accrue Faster Than Champagne Pours
One hour of overtime with a location site or photographer can cost you plenty! Everyone is on the clock, and so is your wedding planner. The difference is your wedding planner is on your clock. She keeps everything in motion so extra costs are avoided. In the end, your wedding planner is the most cost-effective choice you can make.

Reason #8: Frazzled is not Fabulous
Wedding planning and the events that lead up to your day will be stressful. You should have one job only. Keeping yourself relaxed and living in the moment. You need time to take in and enjoy this special day. Be with your loved ones. Be happy. Be kind. And mostly, be assured that your wedding is going to be the most fabulous day of your life.

Yes, all weddings have glitches. And yours will, too. But your wedding planner will make sure you never have to deal with or see them. You may never even know anything out of the ordinary happened. And that is the sign that you are a genius at wedding planning. You started out with great ideas, hired a wedding planner to bring them to life, and sat back like a pampered princess on your wedding day accepting all the accolades that you deserve.

* * *

Honestly, I'm not posting this to get people to contract me (that probably wouldn't work anyway, seeing as how practically everyone who reads this is a relative in some sense or another, and you all would hire me out of obligation). But, I have been a guest at weddings that seemed disorganized, and it made me uncomfortable for the bride and groom. The vendors I know personally have many times complained to me about working weddings where there is no coordinator and they don't know who is their point of contact for scheduling and problems. And then there's the simple fact that when you get married, usually you've never been through that process before, so how WOULD you know or be able to anticipate all of the problems that could arise?
The more I think about it, the more I don't understand how I kept it together even just planning our wedding for 50 guests with a very small bridal party. I really worked and shouted instructions right up until we walked down the aisle. In fact, I remember shout-whispering to the groomsmen to "Look like you're having fun!" as they set off down the path. And then afterwards I realized some things I had worked months to create or planned for were never set out, or were laid out incorrectly, and I discovered that little details were overlooked. How badly I would love to go back in time and have had someone who was solely dedicated to making sure all my plans happened exactly as I planned them.

{this is not - in ANY WAY - meant to discount the parents/cousins/friends/special people who DID a ton of work and DID pay attention to my plans . . . but had there been ONE person in charge of all of that, it would have been so much simpler and then those family members would have gotten to enjoy themselves more}

Earlier this summer I coordinated a wedding for a friend's son. She is one of the most organized and creative individuals I know, but wanted to be able to also enjoy herself on her son's wedding day. She could easily have done every thing I did for her, but by having me there, she was able to visit with guests, sit through the ceremony without making sure the food was staying warm, not worry about busing tables, or refilling the margarita machine. She wasn't having to tell her son and new daughter-in-law when it was time to have their first dance, or to toss the bouquet and cut the cake. She didn't have to pack them a meal and gather up all the gifts. She didn't have to worry about paying the service providers or making sure they arrived to set up on time.
In this era of budget weddings, the first thing that gets cut is the planner. Brides think they can do it on their own or will enlist a friend. And sure, some can... especially those who have really great friends, or one friend in particular who is going to sacrifice their presence as a "guest" and be there only as "the planner."

So just make sure that if you ask a friend or a family member to coordinate your wedding, they are really up for the job. There is no down time. There is no pause. They can't also be a guest. And make sure they are really OKAY with you robbing them of the delight of being a guest at your wedding, and sticking them with all the millions of details... because a lot of people don't realize that's what it means, and that's the sacrifice they will need to make.
Plus you just don't want a disaster like this . . . 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Love Songs

So while I've heard of them previously and heard some of their songs, I'd never - until two days ago - really paid attention to The Civil Wars.  Well, I'm now in love.  That's right.  IN LOVE.  This couple is SO CUTE.

I know Brides are always on the lookout for the perfect music to play at their weddings.  These two write some very sweet and unique love songs.  Many of the songs are melancholy but a few would be perfect for a bridal processional or special part of the ceremony.  Here are two of my favorites that I think could be so cute sung as a duet at your wedding!  I've included lyrics and videos... and due to their adorable performances, you should watch both from start to finish.

*  *  *

Tip of My Tongue

You're a red string tied to my finger
A little love letter I carry with me
You're sunlight
Smoke rings and cigarettes
Outlines and kisses for silverscreens

Oh Well you own me with whispers like poetry
Your mouth is a melody I memorize
So sweet
I hear it echo everywhere I go
Day and night
Dear never saw you coming
Oh My
Look what you have done
You're my favourite song
Always on the tip of my tongue
The tip of my tongue

Oh Dear
I never saw you coming
Oh My
Look what you have done
You're my favourite song
Always on the tip of my tongue

*  *  *

Forget Me Not

I've been awaiting for you
And you've been awaiting for me
Tell me that you'll always be true
And you'll be the only one for me
Forget me not my dear, my darling
Forget me not my love
I just wanna hold your hand
Hang on every word you say
Let's write a song for us
And sing until we're old and grey
Forget me not my dear, my darling
Forget me not my love
I'm coming home real soon
Please leave a light on for me
Tell me that you'll always be true
And you'll be the only one for me
Yes, you'll be the only one for me

What do you think?  Are you, too, now in love?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Now Pronounce . . .

 . . . these the most beautiful gowns in the world.

Some of you probably saw this first dress posted on my Facebook wall yesterday. It inspired me to share a few of the beautiful gowns I've found both while I was planning my own wedding and ever since. Don't get me wrong... I am so thankful we were able to make my mother/grandmother's dress work for me and I have no regrets in wearing in and all the memories it now holds... however, this one, my friends... this is what I was looking for in my dreams....

elegant, classy, vintage - perfect for a casual woodsy wedding, destination wedding, or the beach even.

Details I love: 
simplicity, sheerness, 3/4 length sleeves, a bit of delicate embellishment around a nice neckline, able to accessorize with a beautiful vintage belt or other item. sigh...

{PERFECTION. Here are three more that make my heart thump! Tell me you don't agree!}

Source: None via Laurel on Pinterest

would be appropriate for a bohemian style bride, holding ceremony in an open field or rose garden.

Details I love: 
the asymmetrical draping, the lace panels, the options for accessorizing with a belt, the nude color.

perfect for the rustic wedding trend, with the venue an old barn or farm house strung with lights.

Details I love: 
 the detail! the sleeve, that this is a true 1900's piece, that lace overlay.... drool.

Source: via Kelsey on Pinterest

whoa... can we say red carpet glam?!  This is so old Hollywood, glamorous movie star, fancy schmancy pants.  Perfect for a bride keeping towards a more traditional black tie affair held in a ballroom or cathedral.

Details I love: 
those little cap sleeves, the fabric twist in on the bodice, and the tasteful way it takes average to endowed!

Trendspotter: Tree {Hugging} Decor

Happy Tuesday, folks! I'm currently designing a wedding for early in November.  It's outdoors and on a patio with lots of huge oak trees.  The Bride and I have been having so much fun styling her garden party style brunch wedding, and we're trying to incorporate some beautiful items hanging from these wonderful old trees.  On my search for inspiration we found these photos.  I love this trend of hanging globes and chandeliers and streamers ... it draws the eye up, giving sort of a majestic feeling to your wedding venue.  And from a design point of view, really makes a guest feel like no detail was left out!

Source: via Audra on Pinterest


Source: via Laurel on Pinterest


twig globes strung with lights.


paper lanterns and lights.

balls of baby's breath.

flowers in hanging jars.

Source: via KayKay on Pinterest




Basically... if you're hosting an outdoor wedding, and you've got trees to work with... please use them!   There's no shortage to what you can hang . . .

. . . as long as you've got some man power and a good ladder.