Bold, bright and colorful reception

As much as I love soft, beautiful and romantic vibes of receptions, this styled shoot was bold, bright and super fun! I was so grateful to be a mentor to Margaret Oberkrom form the Millbottom on this shoot (especially since I hadn’t been there since our own wedding reception) and to work with the talented Kelsi Kliethermes Photography again.

For all your brides out there planning summer weddings next year, you might want to take a look at some of these fun ideas.

I loved how The Ink Cafe incorporated a sketch of The Millbottom on the back of the invitation suite! It was the perfect combination of historical and modern elements.

Make sure to keep an eye out throughout the photos to see all the ways The Ink Cafe uses laser cut lettering to make personalizations. So cute!

This beauty is a combo of Chez Monet and Busch’s Florist…perfection!

Using the Millbottom’s vast space, we were able to use a fun diamond-shape layout for guest tables.

Loving the pops of florals paired with fun fruit place cards! 

The groom’s look was created by bold pieces provided by Samuel’s Tuxedos in Jefferson City, Missouri, and florals by Busch’s. Who says only the birde can have fun with her look?

The bride’s  ensamble was put together by the power team of Ana Marie’s Bridal and Inspired Salon and Spa and paired with a luscious ribbon bouquet by Busch

The combo of these whimsical paper flowers with the industrial vibe of the garage door was one of my favorite elements of the shoot. Thanks to PK Paper Art for the gorgeous designs!

And you really can’t have a reception in Jefferson City without a little cameo from the capitol!

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Product Pick: Loopy Case

First things first, I am not a pop socket kind of girl. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I just have never liked them. But then, my friend and co-worker came to work one day with a Loopy case. She raved about how cute the patterns were and how convenient it was for her when she was chasing after two little kids, and I was intrigued.

Then, I kept seeing them pop up more and more on blogs I followed or I would notice random strangers having them.

I kept debating if I should make the plunge and purchase the $35 phone case. It seemed a bit excessive, and with my 9-month old who loves to toss my phone, I was insistent on keeping my Otter Box.

But then my sweet friend bought me the case as a going away present, and y’all…this phone case is a game changer! I have had it all of three days, and I’m obsessed! You can still hang onto it even with full hands, it’s super comfortable to hold, and you won’t drop it on your pour child’s face when taking a selfie (I hate to admit it, but yes I did that with my old phone case…worst Mom EVER!)

Check out all the fun case options they have here, and thanks to blogger Lauren McBride, you can get a 10% discount with coupon code LAUREN10.

A Breath of Fresh Air

I popped out of bed this morning, fed the baby and loaded her up for a morning walk. It was a beautiful 70 degrees, the birds were chirping, I had a coffee with me, and I was going to carpe the heck out of that diem. “So this is it,” I thought. That moment, regardless of how small it was, completely solidified my decision I had made the day before.

After four years at my current job, I had finally made the leap to take a new opportunity. It was something I had been rolling around in my head since the days of my maternity leave were dwindling. I knew going back to work full time was going to be difficult. It is for every mom, regardless of her profession. I knew it would be extra hard for me as an event coordinator since I often worked nights and weekends. It was so much easier when I wasn’t a mom. The six-day-a-week work weeks weren’t as bad because my husband was working Saturdays too. And staying late or popping in early required very little prep or planning. Now, that simply wasn’t the case.

But I LOVED what I did, and I still do. I love the event industry. I love celebrating milestones with clients, and I love the event community here in Columbia. It truly isn’t about competition but a community of wonderful individuals, entrepreneurs and celebrators.

This simple “aha moment” I had on my morning walk was the result of an event that had to rescheduled due to unfortunate circumstances. But I almost feel like that free morning that I didn’t have originally was also God’s way of telling me I made the right decision. There were so many reasons why I almost didn’t take the job. I thought about what everyone else would think. I thought about my clients I was supposed to still work with this year. I thought about all my co-workers and amazing vendors and people who I wouldn’t see on a day-t0-day basis anymore.

But it wasn’t until after all of those thoughts entered my mind did I think about myself–my needs and wants. It was continually getting harder and harder to leave my daughter with Gigi and Papa or a baby-sitter after I had already dropped her off at daycare five days that week. I felt like I wasn’t giving my marriage its full attention when my husband and I were like passing ships on Saturdays. And that was only when we could make our schedules work so that he worked the morning and I worked the evening. It made me so sad to miss out on family events or leave early from personal celebrations to coordinate celebrations of others.

As much as I adored what I did and loved the work I was doing, it wasn’t as fulfilling as it used to be. My heart was constantly telling me to do something about it when my mouth was telling people I was fine. It was this decision I made when I finally allowed myself to admit that I had needed a change now for a while.

I finally admitted that I was in a new season of life and a new job is exactly what I needed to balance my changing world. Will I miss events? Absolutely. Will I come back to doing them full-time? Who knows. All I know is that on that beautiful Saturday morning, I had a pep in my step I had been missing for a while. I felt I had finally found the balance of motherhood and work, times of busy successes and enjoyable stillness. I had found something else that was fueling my professional fire. For the first time in a long time, I felt completely happy.

High Speed Low Drag

I was sitting in my hairstylist’s chair this past Friday catching up on the last eight weeks of each others’ lives since we had last seen each other, and she mentioned the term “High Speed Low Drag.” This is a military term meaning very efficient.

This term resonated with me because I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection on my work habits, how I interact with other colleagues, how I manage staff, etc. It’s funny how others perceive you, and this sounds bizarre, but my entire life people have commented on the way I walk. Not only is it loud (those of you who work with me can attest to how it sounds on the hardwood floors), but it’s always with a purpose. And I believe my walk reflects the way I work (actually, I used this as a way to describe myself today). I’ve always told people “I have one speed,” which meant that I walk at the speed that I work, think, do, etc.

Sometimes this high-speed mentality can work against me because I cruise through life’s little moments and, often, I have to remind myself to enjoy not only the destination but the process that gets you there. This mentality circles back to my 2018 Word of the Year, which is Presence. I continually find myself thinking three steps ahead. I mean, you kind of have to as a planner and a mama.  But some of the most beautiful moments are in the slow times or the quiet atmospheres.

So, I have decided that for the rest of the year, I am going to focus on a healthy balance of two things: presence in my personal life and high speed low drag in my professional life. Outside work, I am going to cherish the time spent with friends and family, enjoy the scenery a little bit more and say no things that make me constantly utter the word “busy.” And during work, I am going to keep a kicking butt and taking names with a full speed ahead attitude. What are you goals to being your best self? I’d love to hear them from you!

 

Five Podcasts To Listen To Right Now

I do love music, but usually the radio suffices for me when I’m on a road trip or need some background music. And audiobooks never really were my jam because I’m old school, and I really appreciate holding an actual book. Plus, I love the smell of Barnes & Noble (anyone else….or am I just weird?) So podcasts have quickly become a favorite of mine. In fact, a little giddy excitement rushes over me when I see that one of my favorite podcasts have added a new episode.

So, I thought I would share with you five of my favorite podcasts that I highly recommend listening to now!

For the Girl Boss: The Goal Digger Podcast

I started listening to this podcast far before Jenna Kutcher and “Mr. Six Pack” went viral. In fact, I feel like I have gotten a fair share of my friends listening to her show. Maybe it’s because Jenna is a wedding photographer lived (until recently) in the same town that my mom grew up in and some of my family still lives in. Talk about a girl after my own heart. And on top of it, she has grown her business from a small wedding photographer into a million-dollar business coaching empire. If you need your weekly dose of girl boss inspiration, Jenna and her guests are definitely worth the listen!

For Anyone: How I Built This
This is a podcast I have talked about with a countless number of people. It really appeals to all types, both young and old, male or female, podcast lover or not. I think it’s because this show unfolds the details behind some of our most beloved brands and businesses. Plus, everyone enjoys a good behind-the-scenes look at some of America’s most successful businesses.

For the Mama: Nursing & Cursing
Five mamas get on the mic each week to entertain me to the point where I am crying laughing. I even listen to this podcast while I’m working out because it has me so entertained that I can crush a 30-minute workout without even realizing it. Regardless of the type of parent you are or how many children you have, any mom can relate with these women. And I’m not going to lie that it makes me feel slightly better about the decisions I make because some of their confessions are pretty outrageous. “Put down your coffee, and grab a glass of wine” as they say and get ready for some side-splitting laughter.

For the CoMo Resident: ProFresh Podcast
Anyone could listen to this podcast, regardless of his or her location, but this one has a little “hometown” pride connected to it. I say “hometown” because although I an not originally from Columbia, it has become my home away from home, and I am beginning to rival the amount of years I spent in Wisconsin with the number of years I’ve lived here. Kristen, owner of Hoot Design Co., and Sydney,  a copywriter at Hoot Design Co. tackle topics in the workplace, chat with female professionals and give a fresh look at societal norms when it comes to a professional setting.

For the Event Planner: #EventIcons
You know you love the industry you’re working in when you continue to get jazzed about the topic event in non-work settings. I’m going to be totally honest that I struggle with good event planning podcasts. This is the best one I’ve discovered thus far. The podcast has great information, but I wouldn’t say it’s the most entertaining podcast. So if you have any suggestions, I would love them!

An neutral, organic styled shoot highlighting the senses

As Kelsi Kliethermes and I sat down for coffee what is now months ago, she described in vivid detail, a vision she had. The description that stuck out the most to me was, “I want to design a shoot that really embodies the senses.”

That line really resonated with me because events are far more than pretty floral arrangements and a good time. They are the foundation of beautiful memories and those experiences are remembered through the senses. Plus, I thought it was so refreshing to hear a photographer say that since photography uses one sense to evoke emotion.

After seeing these gorgeous images, I was immediately overcome by a few things. First, I was ecstatic about how one vision could so seamlessly come together with the right team. Second, I was blown away by how much raw emotion was created with a staged wedding and how much I could feel the experience of the day through the sensual elements.

As the shoot coordinator, my main goal was to make Kelsi’s vision come to life, and I must say I think we nailed it! The images she wanted were supposed to be soft, white and neutral, organic, natural and have a Tuscan flair. Oh, and did I mention that Kelsi shoots with film? Yes, real, old school film photography! Take a look…

The styled shoot took place at a beautiful new venue about an hour north of Columbia called Emerson Fields. The couple who owns it, Steve and Amelia Holder, are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. And from all the behind the scenes Amelia posts on Instagram as well as seeing the venue in person, it’s obvious their whole family has poured their hearts into the final product.

And when our rock star team of vendors brought all their masterpieces into this dreamy venue, the end result was nothing short of perfection. Everything stayed within the neutral and organic theme that Kelsi had envisioned yet each element stood out — whether it was the dainty ranunculus nestled into the centerpieces created by Tiger Garden, the beautiful Victorian feeling chairs from A-1 Party and Event Rental or the light reflecting charger mirrors that were adorned with calligraphy by The ink Cafe. And all of the food and beverage elements were tied together using very natural and herb-inspired details. The Good Food Co., a bakery that creates made-from-scratch, locally sourced products, created an elegant, textured cake. Columbia favorite Peggy Jean’s Pies added to the multi-dimensional array of sweets offering guests fruit tarts, traditional peach pie, jar pies and more. bleu Events pulled out all the stops for a delicious surf and turf main course and amped up cocktail hour with herb-infused cocktails. To round out the food, miniature olive oils and vinegars were provided by Boone County Olive Oil that really emphasized the Tuscan inspiration.

The styling for the bride, groom and bridesmaid, while still natural, was a bit more glamorous, which was a nice contrast to the neutrality everywhere else. The bride’s elegantly beaded dress by Maggie Sottero paired well with a traditional cut suit for the groom from Bingham’s Clothing. Both the bride and bridesmaid’s look, styled by Jessica Jane at Once Upon a Bride, was soft and swept back, and the bridesmaid’s monogram necklace from The Southern Rose  was a sweet detail.

But my favorite part of the whole day had to be the way the couple looked at each other. No, it wasn’t actually their wedding day and yes, they had been together for seven years already, but they looked at each other with such love and admiration. The bride shared with me that at their wedding, their photographer was also a bridesmaid that stood up in the ceremony with them, so it was fun to be able for them to have a day recreated with Kelsi’s photographic eye and full attention. Plus, I love how Amelia and Steve stepped in as the bride’s parents and although they are not in anyway related, these photos make them look like they are!

I wanted to give a huge thank you to everyone who made this shoot possible. It truly was a team effort! A full list of vendors is below. For more photos, visit the journal on Kelsi Kliethermes Photography’s website.

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Photographer: Kelsi Kliethermes Photography LLC | Film Lab: The FIND Lab | Venue: Emerson Fields | Coordination and Design: Kristi Ruprecht| Floral Design: Tiger Garden | HAMU: Jessica Jane at Once Upon A Bride | Rentals and Tableware: A1 Party & Event Rental | Gourmet Catering and Signature Drinks: Bleu Events | Calligraphy, Invitation Suite, Menus, Bar Signage, and Laser Cut Design: The Ink Cafe LLC | Laser Cut Printer: Fab Station | Bridal Gown: Cleo Bridal | Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero Designs | Headpiece: J-Picone | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes | Bridal Ring Set: Kas A Designs | Bridesmaid Gown: Morning Lavender | Bridesmaid Necklace: The Southern Rose | Groom’s Suit: Binghams Clothing: Columbia, MO Men’s Store | Signature Pies: Peggy Jean’s Pies | All Natural Wedding Cake: Good Food Co. | Olive Oil and Gourmet Vinegar Favors: Boone Olive Oil Co. | Table Runner: Silk & Willow | Styling Ribbons: @waltandlo | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Organic Seed Paper Confetti: Swoon Party Shop | Models: Dustin and Alycia Hale Maasen and MacKenzie Knierim

Careful Consideration

Photo compliments of Love Tree Studios

It’s been a while since I talked about an event-specific topic and since I’ve stumbled upon this a few times with clients lately, I thought I would put together a post. When you’re planning an event, you want the day to be about you: your wedding day, your milestone birthday, your retirement, etc. But in order to properly do so, you want to take into consideration outside factors. Let me explain.

In Columbia, it’s not uncommon for brides and grooms to wait to book their fall wedding until after the Mizzou football schedule comes out. To some people who aren’t from Columbia, this sounds crazy. But Columbia is the kind of town that completely revolves around the game on football Saturdays. Plus now that we have joined the SEC, you also have to think about hotel room availability, especially if you have a lot of out of town guests.

Or how about traffic and road closures. The country club I work at happens to be very close to the location where Roots ‘N Blues ‘N BBQ takes place. And each year, the roads are re-routed to improve the flow of traffic to the festival. But that means the normal route to the country club is closed off and routed a different way. You need to think about that in order to give your guests the best set of directions or at least a heads up, so they aren’t late to your celebration. Other examples of events that might re-route or cause traffic issues are races, concerts and parades.

Photo compliments of Silverbox Photography.

Parades tend to coincide with holidays, which is something else you want to take into consideration when choosing a date. Some people think it’s best to host an event on a holiday weekend because that usually means there’s an additional day off from work and gives people time to travel. Although this is true, in my experience, attendance is always down on holiday weekends. There’s usually multiple commitments on these weekends, family activities are a high priority and travel is more expensive.

Speaking of money, you also want to consider prices on holiday weekends. A lot of venues will have higher rental prices on holidays, or you might have to pay extra for additional staffing. Or how about floral prices that skyrocket around Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc? There might be some additional costs that will really break the bank when it comes to adhering to your budget.

These are just some simple reminders of things you might want to consider when picking a date. It’s easy to put blinders on and only focus on specific details when you really want the whole experience for your guests from travel to event to home to be positive!