Bohemian Chic Wedding at Sydonie Mansion

Amanda + Jared’s Boho Chic Wedding | Sydonie Mansion | Mt. Dora, FL

Talk about the perfect couple with a style and vibe you can really get behind… Amanda and Jared were married in November and their boho chic, colorful and laid back wedding was one that absolutely made my heart sing. That bohemian chic wedding style is one we’ve seen for a few years but many couples are still looking for something more traditional when it comes to their own day. Amanda and Jared had such fun personalities and chose a wedding style that spoke to them and really reflected who they both are and what they like. 

The day started early with the bridal party having hair and makeup done by Makeover Station. (In well over a decade working with this company, we can attest that your wedding hair and makeup will be finished early, leaving plenty of time for pre-ceremony photos!). Bright, cheery Florida-inspired flowers from Little Wild Bloom were perfection and popped against the natural greenery all around at Sydonie Mansion.  RW Style provided farm tables for family-style seating and industrial metal chairs that amped up the style. Arthur’s Catering brought a taco bar and guacamole, which was such a hit we heard guests raving about it all night. Jared made his own ceremony arch which was a simple triangular structure that was adorned with bright floral and made a beautiful altar against the backdrop of the lake. Since they were married by a friend, we all got to hear the story of the bride and groom meeting at UCF and laugh along with some of their best memories. Amanda was STUNNING in her Haley Paige dress from Calvet Couture, and guests danced all night to a fun mix of music by Our DJ Rocks

And what’s a wedding without to-die-for photo and video anyway? This was our first wedding with Kaila from Kartsie Photography and we can’t wait to do another one together! She nailed the special moments and the whole vibe of the day in her imagery. The video I’m sharing today from Seltzer Films perfectly captures the feeling that we all had being a part of this whole day. Thank you, Amanda and Jared for trusting us all with your wedding day and we wish you a lifetime of love, laughter, and tacos!

Sunny Yellow Wedding Inspiration

Yellow Wedding Inspiration With Year-Round Style

Every once in awhile we put together a just-for-fun (and pictures!) styled shoot that makes our hearts sing. Working with a fabulous team of Orlando wedding vendors, Kristi helped bring together a yellow wedding inspiration shoot this spring.  Featuring a color palette of mustard, yellow, and gray we chose Cypress Grove Estate for the perfect backdrop with their outdoor setting and lakeside reception space. Casie Marie Photography captured this cheery yellow gathering that’s sunny enough for spring and summer, yet still muted enough for even a fall event.  Calligrapher Andi Mejia created the invitations with dove gray typography, and Bakers Cottage Cakes contributed a unique yellow buttercream cake with the most adorable edible flowers. Farm tables and rentals from RW Style were dressed up with gold flatware and elegant white china.  Flowers by Lesley outdid herself, per usual, with a gorgeous array of cascading flowers down the table. We just loved this shoot and are so happy to be able to share it with you! Thank you, also, to Elizabeth Anne Designs for featuring us on your site!

Is this not the dreamiest bridal robe by Girl and A Serious Dream
Wedding gown from Solutions Bridal in Orlando, FL
Dinnerware rentals by Treasury Rentals

The Juggle Is Real – My Top Tips for Mompreneurs Everywhere

Five Tips for Juggling It All and Thriving

You’ve heard the word: Mompreneur. For women who run businesses and manage families, this one’s for you. And for those of you who work for someone else and are moms, this one’s for you too. Stay at home moms? Every bit of it still rings true. 

I’ve been a mompreneur since I started my business back in 2009. I was pregnant with our first child (what a time to start a new business, right?) but felt compelled that the time was right to work for myself and off I went to start the darn thing. Three (sometimes four via fostering) kids later, I am only marginally closer to escaping mom-guilt and the crazy constant juggle but I have learned a thing or two along the way.

Here are my top 5 tips for Mompreneurs everywhere:

  • Get rid of “work-life balance” from your vocabulary. It’s usually not a true balance. You’ll have it for a brief time, and then it’s gone for awhile. But stop sweating it, you’ll figure it out and rebalance sometime soon, before it all starts over again. Some weeks will be work-heavy and others may be family-heavy. It is what it is.
  • Delegate. This looks different for everyone and I mean it both personally and professionally. I realize not everyone has family around or extra money to spend but here are a few ideas: take turns with a friend keeping each other’s kids once a week; hire a housekeeper to come twice a month for a deep clean; show your children how to do their laundry – even if you still have to fold it, by 7/8 years old they can likely put it in the washer, move to the dryer, and put their clothes into their drawers themselves. 
    • Professionally, realize that you may no longer be the best one for every single job in your company. It may be time to hire a VA, someone to write your blog posts and handle social media, an accountant, or even an intern to run those random errands and answer the phone. What do you do that makes the company money? How can you continue to do just that and let someone else handle the rest? 
  • Wake up early.  This is the only way I will ever work out or shower before taking the kids to school. If it doesn’t happen before the kids wake up, it’s not happening. Even if your gig isn’t exercise, waking up early gives you time to have a quiet moment, grab a cup of coffee and be ready for the house to wake up instead of the abrupt awakening of children asking for breakfast. For me, being woken by people asking for things NOW is the worst way to start my day. Even if you set your alarm early just to take 10 minutes to meditate or stretch, you’ll have a happier start to your day and feel more prepared once the house awakens.
  • Set priorities for each day. I am a fan of the to-do list, but I break it into one-day chunks. I use a basic notebook to keep my to-dos handy, and one page will have bullet points for what needs to get accomplished that day, plus probably a grocery list scribbled on the side. It helps clear my brain at night to write down the following day’s most pressing priorities. I keep track of what those are, and the less important things can take a couple extra days without me stressing much over them. You’ve heard it said before and it is still true: Focus on what matters.
  • Carve out some quiet time for yourself. This might mean a walk (for me, before the kids wake up!), it might mean a facial or massage once a month, it could be hiding in the sauna at the gym (done it), or it may be a 5-10 minute meditation at your desk. Whatever your quiet time looks like, don’t underestimate how important it is for your sanity. You’ll be a better mom and wife after getting some time to yourself, and even us adults need a break just to daydream, read a book, or run a couple errands alone (hello, Target by yourself, amiright?). When I run low on this area, I crave alone time and get a little frantic about it. I’m convinced that even extroverts who love having people around need a second to be with themselves, and for me it’s a proven way to make me a better wife/mom/business gal/human being.

What tips do you have to add to the list? I love talking #momlife with other women and the second I feel like I’m the only one struggling with something, it turns out we’re all in the same boat. This conversation has been had since before working moms were a thing, and our generation is finding all new ways to thrive as more and more women start businesses and work outside the home. 

Drop me a line to let me know what helps you with the juggle and any other tips or struggles you deal with!

P.S. – Five alternatives to a sparkler send-off, and How to obtain a Florida marriage license

Why You Want More Than “Day-of” Coordination

“Can I hire you for only day-of coordination?”

It’s one of our frequently asked questions and while we get asked quite a lot, the answer is always no. When I started working in the world of weddings more than a decade ago, most brides either hired a full service planner, or they didn’t hire one at all. Over the years the market has changed and brides became savvier. Information is now at their fingertips via Pinterest, blogs, The Knot, and other sites and apps. While we love full-service planning, we find that the average couple wants help from a professional but doesn’t plan to hire a full-service planner.

We’ve always offered Month-Of Coordination as a service for clients who are organized and comfortable planning a wedding on their own, but want us to step in about a month from the big day to wrap things up and coordinate all those big plans. It’s the bottom tier of our service levels yet we still get asked whether we can “just do day-of”. Let me tell you why we can’t.

Think of all the work that goes into planning a wedding, the various vendors running the show, your preferences and priorities for your wedding day. So much thought and effort (and money!) goes into this one important day. Now consider some of the potential little details that really matter on your big day:

  • Grandma is in a wheelchair and needs a space in the front row seating.
  • You’re surprising your fiance with a special gift and need the photographer available at the right moment.
  • You are planning on a sparkler exit but no one remembered to order sparklers!
  • Guest seating is very specific and you’ve planned on place cards that need to be picked up at the stationer and organized correctly.
  • A friend with Celiacs needs a safe meal served and the caterer needs to know exactly who that is, and in which seat at dinner.

These are just examples but as you can see, each wedding is unique and we celebrate the little things that matter to you! Most importantly, we want to make your wedding day go as close to your plan as we possibly can and we need more than a few days to prepare for that. Some of the things we do in our coordination packages that can’t be done in a real “day-of” service:

  • Confirming every one of your vendors.
  • Confirming the time hair and makeup starts and ends, and checking that it works with your photography schedule.
  • Ordering things like sparklers and bubble wands and bringing them to the event to make your life easier.
  • Confirming that the quantity of rental items is ordered correctly based on your final headcount, and then fixing the problem pronto if it’s not correct. Even if this means driving across town the morning of the wedding to make things right.
  • Walking through the venue with you the month before the wedding to be sure we’re on the same page and the logistics and seating plan make sense.
  • Talking to the florist to be sure they arrive after tablecloths are on to make set up most efficient and seamless.
  • Communicating dietary notes to your catering team to stay safe and help dinner run smoothly.

And the list goes on! 

Here’s a quick video by our lead planner, Kristi, explaining a little more about our month-of coordination package and why it’s not “just day-of”. We welcome inquiries to help with coordinating your event, and we hope you understand why our job is never just “day of”! xo

Where Are You Going on Your Honeymoon?

Photo by The Knot

What’s your ultimate honeymoon destination? As wedding planners, we get to hear of so many ideas for honeymoons – from road trips to international travel, to sit in the sand all-inclusive beach resorts. Croatia seems to be the honeymoon destination for a number of our couples in the last year and we hear nothing but amazing things! It’s definitely been added to our own travel bucket lists.

While it can be hard to decide where to go on a honeymoon, and what budget permits, keep in mind the activities once you arrive and that they’ll accommodate each of your goals for the trip. If one of you prefers lounging on the beach and the other wants some adventure, look for a locale that offers both. Do you have a travel bucket list? Honeymoons are a great time to cross a new location off your list! Just be sure to save room in your wedding budget if necessary to take that trip! Also, don’t wait to order passports. If you don’t already have them, I advise couples to start working on that process during the wedding planning in case international travel becomes an option.

Photo by Lonely Planet

Harper’s Bazaar has great ideas for international honeymoon destinations, including adventurous places like Zambia, Cambodia and Thailand. Add those all to my list! Iceland, Mexico, and St. Lucia all come highly recommended from our own couples, and if you’re in Florida, the Bahamas is only a quick flight away. So easy to plan and there’s beautiful weather year round.  One more idea based on personal experience is a road trip up (or down) the Pacific Coast Highway in California. We’ve done this trip a couple times because we love it so much – start in San Francisco, then head south through Monterrey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Big Sur, Cambria, and end the trip in Los Angeles. 

10 years ago, my husband and I boarded a plane the morning after our wedding for Rome. We spent seven days exploring the city and practicing a little Italian as we fumbled our way through eateries and cafes, got stuck at a train station, and had dinner in the tiniest little restaurant that we still think was actually an Italian grandmother’s home. I love travel and am always eager to hear about must-go places in the world! My travel bucket list is always growing and I’d love to hear about your choice for honeymoon destinations. Drop a line in the comments and let me know where you went or would love to go!