Hearts on Fire

Well hello, strangers! I am so excited to get back to blogging, I’ve missed y’all! There have been so many projects and moving parts going on in the HHE office lately, but it is time to get back to regularly scheduled posting.

Here’s a little sneak peek at one of the project that will be debuting early this summer! AJP and I spent the morning on Saturday with the lovely Carolyn Ann Photography and I am just bursting at the seams to share everything with you. We all know I love surprises, but have a terrible time keeping things a secret that fire me up. So here’s the first teaser, since I will definitely be releasing a few more along the way.

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{Print via Emily Ley}

This photo is my absolute favorite!!! AJP is unquestionably at the top of my “what matters most” list and this image just makes me swoon, smile, cry happy tears, dance, and so much more!

Happy Monday lovelies! Make today amazing, do at least one thing that fires you up and sets your heart ablaze — life is too short not to!

xoxo- Jenn

Au Revoir for Now

Oh distance, you fickle thing, you. This week, my best friend is moving across the country. This is not a sad thing, well mostly. I’m BEYOND EXCITED for her and her husband. They have been talking about California for a long time. Though they have lived four and half hours away for the last three years, this is going to be much different. No more weekend trips to visit each other without shelling out for a plane ticket. This is going to be their greatest adventure and there is nothing better than that, right?

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{Dust Jacket Attic}

Before saying ‘au revoir’, I put together a little bestie package for her and thought it might be something others would enjoy. Anytime that a loved one will be away for a long period or moves, this is a great way to consistently let them know you care and add a little ‘vintage’ handwritten thought to it. Without further ado…

I researched the area they are moving to and made a list of things that I know she’d find interesting or that we would typically do together. Next, I wrote on the envelopes what feeling might accompany going to a certain area or just a pick me up. She has no idea what is inside each envelope, nor will she until she opens it. Now, for another fun twist, there is a 48 hour rule on each note. She and whomever is noted inside, must complete what is on the card within 48 hours of opening it.

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{iphone photo of a few bits}

Now, since she will read this, I can’t share much more. However, I also threw in a few “just because” and “homesick” notes for days that a little encouragement is in order! Of course, Skype and Face-time will be in regular use, but this is just another little touch to make someone feel special and missed. Lastly, we got a bottle of Champagne and a bottle of her favorite wine. With the Champagne, we toasted this exciting next chapter- Celebration is in order!! The other will remain unopened until AJP and I make it out to the West Coast for all four of us to enjoy together on the beach.

Cheers to your next adventure Jilli! Enjoy every moment!

What are some special going away gifts you have either given or received?

xoxo- Jenn

Why Hire a Wedding Planner?

As promised last week, here are a few reasons to hire a wedding planner. First of all, why not? Doesn’t every bride DESERVE to fully enjoy her engagement and wedding day to its fullest? YES, YOU DO!!

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{All Things Elegant}

So many people think they can’t afford a planner and if they can, “my family and I can pull this off, we are crafty”. I was in that boat too. While you might have an army of helpers around you, there are things that Designer/Planners can offer that your family cannot. Not to mention, don’t you want them to be able to enjoy the day and not get stressed either? Why not hire someone to take all of that off your plates so you can enjoy each other’s company?

From a design perspective, planners can help you take an idea to a level you never thought of and stay within budget. They often save you money even. They can present to you something creative and out of the box, incorporate what you know you want and do it all with an elegant cohesion. The wedding industry is very much about networking. Though you might do a lot of research online, a planner likely has connections and knows someone who won’t be in your top five search results, but would fit your budget and be perfect for your event.

Even if you have a vision and know exactly what you want, that doesn’t mean you don’t DESERVE a wedding planner. You are still going to be an integral part of the planning process, but primarily in the fun parts, guiding the design and details that matter to you. Not in the phone calls, timeline creation, follow-ups, reservations, research, execution, etc.

The biggest thing a planner offers- TIME!! That was my biggest enemy as a bride. I enjoyed the fun things, but I certainly didn’t have the extra time in the evenings or over my weekends to get it all done. Enter my mother and many breakdowns. All of the moving parts and stress- I would have gladly paid someone to do that. Also, you don’t want your family and friends missing you getting ready or not being entirely present in the festivities because they are setting things up. I missed that with my mom and it’s one of my only regrets. Planners take care of all of that for you, so you can focus on the joy, not the work. 

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In addition to everything above, which is NOT a comprehensive list, by any means, your wedding planner will be an addition to you support system. They will hold your bouquet, fix your stray hair before you walk down the aisle, execute to perfection the standard you have set for your day, act as a mediator when needed and be there as a friend through the whole process. With that in mind, it is important to ‘click’ with your planner. In my book, a bride and groom that become friends long after the wedding are the best kind!

Taking all of that into account, I truly believe that your wedding is not just a party. It is the beginning of the rest of your life. That life includes both of your families and your wedding is often times the first time you all meet and get together. That is something not to take for granted. Let a planner help you, in whatever capacity you are comfortable with, to allow your attention to be given fully to building your family and getting to know everyone in it. They are what matters, not the trivial things. That’s a planner’s job.

Consider letting them give you that, it’s kind of why we love our jobs! I promise it will be the best investment you make in the whole process.

xoxo- Jenn

 

Lessons from a Bride

I have learned so much since I was a bride in 2012. Even though that’s not a lot of time in the big picture, the lessons are exponential the further I get into building HHE. So many people ask me what a planner can offer them, but before I delve into that (it’s another post), I thought I’d start with sharing what I’ve learned as a bride.

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{KT Merry}

A venue planner is NOT an event planner!  A lot of brides say, “My Venue has a planner”- that’s what I thought too. Though they seemed helpful throughout, it really was only concerning the venue. This is not to sound ungrateful, that is all they should be concerned with. Venue planners are there to facilitate their staff and organize the day from their perspective. It is unfair to fault them for that. That being said – please don’t put all of your eggs in that basket.

I had no help with calling around to other vendors, set up (which my mom had to check as she rushed over after our ceremony) and it wasn’t even what I envisioned, because they didn’t follow my notes and no one was there to ensure it was all done right. This is where even a month of coordinator would have been a Godsend! I say month of, because that’s how long that coordinator should be working on getting up to speed and putting things in order. No one can just show up that morning and get it all done right.

Doing your research can get you 90% or more of what you really want. I did research on my big budget pieces, but didn’t take the time up front to truly plan it all out. By that I mean, there were so many details I wanted and when it came down to it, I either didn’t have the budget or didn’t plan far enough in advance. A wedding planner could have been so helpful there for resource and brainstorm help. There are so many more rental options that I’m aware of now and just more local vendors, in general, that were there at the time. I just didn’t know. If I had done more deep research, that could have been part of our reality.

Don’t Stress! Yeah, I know, that’s impossible, but hear me out. I spent so much time being worried about when things would get done and what people would think, giving my guests the best experience, spending money we didn’t have just to out do something I’d seen online. WHOA! This was where AJP and parents came in (almost daily). Even the simplest of weddings requires attention to things you’d not even thought of before, like what if someone has an allergy (to food or a building!), which china do you want- so many options for decor and registry, favors or no favors, cocktail hour or snack table, what to do about lunch, the best undergarments and so, so, so much more.  I was so wrapped up and stressed about all of that, that I allowed myself to miss enjoying the trips my Mom made to visit and the daily joy there was to be had.

There is really no end to the trivial things. But that’s just it, they are truly trivial. At the end of the day, the ONLY thing that matters is that you are married to your best friend and that your nearest and dearest are able to be there to celebrate with you. The rest of the details are just icing on the cake. (Insert plug for a planner here- they do all of this trivial stuff for you!)

In addition to all of that, there are also so many more avenues, just in the past year and a half, for brides. So much, that it can sometimes  be more overwhelming than not having many options. Wading through all of the wedding content, blogs, pins and such can be downright mind boggling. Focus on your love story and make your day yours. It’s all in the details that let your personalities and relationship shine, trust me. That’s what your guests want to see- not a Pinterest board. For more post-wedding thoughts, head over here.

What are some lessons you learned from either your wedding or a friend’s? Things you’ve noticed as a guest that you would or wouldn’t do at your wedding?

xoxo- Jenn