Friday, February 5, 2016

Top 16: Clients!


Welcome back to our series "Top 16 in 2016"! Today I want to speak about our clients! We LOVE our clients over here! For many of them, by the end of the planning process, we have become quite good friends. This year is no exception! We have some pretty awesome clients that are throwing some spectacular events this year! Let me list the top 3 reasons we love them!

1. They are so creative - Our brides have such great style! I am digging all the looks we have going on this year from clean and crisp to moody and bohemian. I love it when you first start talking design with a clients and you hone in on their vision and you can see it in their eyes when you have nailed it! You know at that point you are speaking the same language and the end product is going to be incredible but most of all you know they are going to love it on the day!

2. Quality over quantity - We have been seeing this great shift over here both at the Bradford and with C and D clients toward smaller weddings. Let me tell you how much I LOVE this trend. Not only does it make clients think about who is really important to them and who they really want to witness their wedding but it allows for so much room in the budget for amazing food and over the top details. As a planner of details this makes me so excited!

3. Guest focused - Our clients this year are super focused on their guests! While the day IS about the Bride and Groom - we have noticed how grateful our clients are for their friends and families making the trip to celebrate with them on their wedding day. This translates into great welcome bags, shuttles to and from hotels, creative favors, and personal Thank you speeches that make guests feel special and honored at the wedding. We love a thoughtful client!

While there are many more reasons we love our clients - we thought we would just share the top 3 with you and maybe give a few ideas for your own events! Have a great weekend, Courtney

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Top 16: Office Organization




This year we have implemented a few things to help keep the office organized, so we can keep a little bit of our sanity as we spring forward into the new year.

Here are the three things I believe that have helped us along:

1) Blank Slate - Before we started anything this year we decided to purge the office. We got rid of everything we don't use, or that has been sitting around forever. We cleaned, but most importantly we changed. We move the desks around for a better working environment. This has allowed us to start the new year with literally a fresh perspective. This fresh perspective has given us the energy to keep it cleaned and organized.

2) Team Meetings - Every Wednesday the four of us get together at 9 a.m. to talk about the goals for coming week and make lists. At first it seemed to be a little redundant saying the same things over and over again. But we've found that once we verbalize lists outloud and write them down together, they become real. It becomes a "thing" that has to be done because well the rest of the team is counting on you to get it done. Holding each other accountable not only helps with the getting things done, but simply allows us to be on the same page.

3) Synced Calendars - We are all officially synced on each other calendars this year. It has been amazing what knowing where each other will be during the workday does for us! We go to a lot of client meetings, and give lots of tours, and not all four of us are in the office at the same time (except at 9a.m. on Wednesdays). It has helped and increased our communication as now we know when to best reach each other.

4) Communication - The calendars and team meetings are really all about communication, which I believe to be the key to offie organization. If we know what each other needs and wants, we can works best with each other and have an organized system. Communication is great, but it must be effective too. And so the circle of organization makes effective communication and effective communication makes for great organization begins. And when we are organized and communicating we can give our clients the best experience!

So theres my two cents, and I look forward to a happy organized communicating office this year!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ruth and Matt

Hello again! Hope everyone is enjoying this Tuesday - today I want to share with you one of my favorite weddings from 2015! First of all Ruth was GREAT to work with - she is funny, smart, and has realistic expectations! A planner could not ask for more - Secondly she made the sound decisions of booking the Bradford, Hiring C and D to coordinate, and Bushel and Peck to design - I mean clearly the girl has taste:) All that aside - the day was dreamy - one of those days where you love what you do and everything goes perfectly! She was so happy all day (As you can see in the pictures) and her family and friends were the sweetest people! I loved her romantic blush and grey color scheme with vintage overtones - it complimented the venue perfectly! My favorite part of the day was the ceremony! Ruth's Dad, who is a local pastor, officiated and it was the sweetest ceremony I have ever witnessed (and I have seen a lot!) You could tell how much he loved her and how much prayer and nurturing went into making Ruth the gorgeous woman that she is today! Enjoy the pics to follow - they were captured by Cole with Blest studios and he was the icing on a beautiful cake of a day!

Do they make happier brides??

Handsome groom!

Seriously my favorite picture taken at a wedding EVER!

The day was filled with prayer and celebration - you left there feeling blessed to be a part of it!

Sweetest ceremony in our back garden area!


Gorgeous Bridal Party 

SO much fun!

Adventuring in our woods...

Appetizers!

So good....
Loved all the gold details sprinkled about

Seriously a fairytale on our terrace!
My Favorite Rose featured here!


Sweetheart table centered on the door

Happy Couple!

Is this not the prettiest sky?!

Beautiful ending to a perfect day!

Vendors

Venue: the Bradford
Coordinator: C and D Events
Flowers: Bushel and Peck Designs
Photographer: Blest Studio
Caterer: Green Planet Catering

Monday, February 1, 2016

Best 16 in 2016! Courtney's Personal and Business goals!

Hello all! We are continuing with our blog series on what we are most excited about in 2016 and today I get to talk about what I am most excited about personally and professionally.

Personal:

This year - not to sound narcissistic, I am most excited about me! Bare with me friends...I have declared 2016 to be the year of Courtney (By declared I mean I told my husband and sister) I know that sounds like I am taking the Birthday week idea a little too far but really it is a healthy step for me. I realized while doing A LOT of self evaluation and work on myself, my relationships, general outlook last year that I am only going to be as good as I treat my self. I am only going to be treated by others as well as I treat my self. I can only give to others when I have already given to myself! It is really hard as mothers, partners, wives, business owners, and ___________ (fill in the blank) to remember you in that list of descriptors. We so often take for granted what we need in an effort to make sure everybody else has what they need - and the end result is an unhealthy you! You can take that many different ways - actual health, energy, spirituality, happiness, contentment, etc...either way something is off!

This does not mean that I am going to go on constant spending sprees or stop doing chores around the house or train my toddler to fetch mommy's drink. It also doesn't mean that I am going to unload all "non fun" things in my life onto someone else. It really means that when it comes to making a choice between what is best for me and what someone else wants - I am going to choose me! So I have already started - as we are in February now - and I have successfully completed the Whole 30 Challenge this past January! I cut out carbs, sugar, legumes, dairy, and alcohol for a full 30 days. Why you ask (In the middle of it all I was asking myself that too....) because I really wanted to cleanse my body and regain some energy in the process - and can I just tell you - it totally worked! I have never had so much energy in my life and the amount I accomplished in January was staggering and I didn't even feel tired while doing it!

That is an example of a me decision - I bought separate groceries - made 2 versions of everything - made sure that I had everything I needed to be successful and went for it! I am looking so forward to what the rest of this year has to offer and seeing how much positive change I see in my person and those around me!

Business:

I have a couple of things I am excited about concerning business this year - the first and not the least is a new computer! I know it sounds so simple - but I have been dealing with the left overs over here as I don't do too much beyond email and Microsoft office - but let me tell you how wonderful it is to not have to wait 20! minutes for something to boot up and then another 10! while it updates only to have it crash when I try to go two places on the internet at the same time! I can not even tell you how thankful I am for my new Asus touch screen  - we became instant besties when she took less than 30 seconds to boot!

The second thing I am most excited about this year is expanding the team - I know you have met Leah already and we have also hired someone for the Bradford (Andrea) - adding on both girls is super exciting and means that we are growing exponentially!  It really lessened the blow of seeing how much we spent in advertising last year...**Hint more than the mortgage!!** maybe it was all worth it :0

We are in a great place - this wonderful place where you feel like you are doing what you were meant to do and not waiting or biding time for a dream to be realized. I can not tell you how thankful I am to find myself here - how much love I have for the life God has given me and all the people, clients, vendor friends, and family that are in it! 2016 is going to be amazing!

~Courtney


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Top 16: Weddings Magazine

We are continuing our series of Top 16 today! Wahoo- I know you are excited! Today, we are thrilled to be chatting about Weddings Magazine. We have been advertising with them since 2014 and we just love these ladies! They are so warm, welcoming, and I love the community they build. Courtney jokes that we have been hooked in for life.

 I feel like they give us a ton of exposure in the magazine (I will be blogging a little more about the super fun styled shoot we did for them later on this week) and we just think it turned out so beautiful this year! We are more than happy with the end result. Check out our Real Wedding Spread!



You may have noticed that we used Carolyn and Aaron's wedding for the magazine. They were gracious enough to fill out all the info, and agree to have their wedding featured. I know I've said it before, but I just LOVE these two! I also love these pictures even more in print - so gorgeous. Three Little Birds just knocked it out of the park! 

I also decided to design a new ad spread because why not? I love the soft colors and the fact that my other favorite couple is front and center 


We are excited to be apart of the Weddings Magazine Family again this year. Stay tuned for the super fun shoot we did - it is seriously the cutest ever. 



Monday, January 25, 2016

Top 16 - What I am excited about!

Hello blog world! We are continuing our series of the Top 16 things we are most excited for in 2016. I, Dana, am going to chat today about what I am looking forward to professionally and personally in 2016! I know you are so stoked. You should be, it's going to be a good one.

Let's start with what I am personally excited for. This year I will turn 32. 32!! I wasn't sure how I would feel when I turned 30. It was slightly uneventful and nothing too earth shattering. But what surprised me was turning 31. I was officially IN my thirties. It was an odd feeling. I am looking forward to 32 with a whole new approach. I have never felt more sure, confident, and happy as I do right now. I love that I know who I am, what I want to be, and what friendship truly looks like. I don't do the drama, I don't feel the need to belittle someone else to make myself feel better. In a world that is the wedding industry - that is worth its weight in gold. I am genuinely happy for colleagues who pull off an amazing wedding or shoot. I don't need to be competitive, I want to be supportive. It is a whole new realization that just hit me some time last year as I was working nose to the grind stone and forgetting to look up. There is a genuine happiness that comes from just being grateful. It is liberating.

We are *thinking* of expanding our own personal house. Crazy?!?! Yes it is. When we started the project, all along we wanted our little cottages to be a place that could be rented out to brides and their families. We are seeing that it is just not what they want (right now anyways). Our cottages are too big, and would take years and years to make it financially worth renting out. So, Plan 13,532 since we started this thing: Expand our houses (pending the county approval, septic expansion, power line moving, and plumbing abilities) and try to purchase land next door to build much smaller and eco-friendly cottages when we feel like it is necessary. Personally - this is exciting. I have already spent hours drafting up a new floor plan - just to get us started with an architect.

The black lines are the existing house - red lines are the new plans
As you can see - we are adding on about 1200 square feet. It would leave us with about 2100 square feet in the end. I really love the plan and am so excited to get this bad boy started! 2016 is the year of getting our s**t together. Meaning, we are going to go and get all the approvals, septic changes, power line moved, consults with contractors and if all that checks out, drawings and permits. Good thing I am a pro at navigating the county! 

The other personal thing I am excited about is our 10 year anniversary. 

Here is us almost 15 years ago!! We had been dating for 3 weeks :) 

I convinced Sam that we needed to go somewhere big for our 10 yr. We hadn't really had a big trip since our honeymoon -so we have been planning for a ~ 2 week trip to Hawaii! I've never been and I know it sounds super cliche - but I am so excited. We have been planning and almost have it all nailed down. We signed up for a high mileage rewards card last fall and have racked up enough (with the help of my parents lending us some points) to get there and back on points! We are using our Amex SPG points and Air BnB for the rest of the trip. We like to have a kitchen and what not when we travel so we don't spend all our money on eating out.  Here is what we are planning: Fly out to Portland, Oregon and stay one day (in downtown), Fly to Honolulu for a day trip then get to Big Island that evening around 6pm. Stay at Big Island for 5 days, fly to Maui for 3 days, and then Kauai for 3 days until we fly back home. The kiddos are going to Florida to have their own adventure with my parents while we are basking in the sun and exploring all the islands. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT!

Professionally- Oh my - where to start?!? First off - I am so excited for our growing team! We started set-up crew last fall and I am so in love with the idea. It makes events go so much smoother that I don't even know how we ever did it with out them. We have hired a few new ladies that I am just so freaking excited about! I worked with Leah a few weekends ago and at one point I just said "I am going to stop micro managing you." She doesn't need it. And if you know me - you know how excited that makes me! Our team is just getting bigger and stronger and I can not wait to see what the end of the year looks like.

I love my clients. I love the designs, the visions, and the friendships that have come out of working together. I genuinely get excited about seeing them and talking details. I love the trust they have for me and I can't wait to execute their amazing days.

I love the organization that is slowly creeping its way into our day to day at C&D. For two years we have just been surviving. We barely have kept our heads above water and it shows at the end of the year when we have a mess to contend with before taxes are due. Nothing makes me more excited than to have some sort of a system to get through the accounting, invoicing, payments, and all the other stuff that owning a business entails.

I think when 2015 started, I was just so tired for 2014, that I couldn't even consider what I was excited about. This past year, has been hard, but in a different way that 2014. It was more stable, less scary, and it made me realize that we could actually do this thing of owning a venue and running a planning company. It made me start dreaming again, organizing, and seeing what can be better. I am so excited for this year.I think I have said "excited" 100 times in this post - but it is true! It is going to be an amazing year for sure!


Friday, January 22, 2016

Top 16 in 2016: Bradford Improvements!

Hello Blog world! We are continuing on with our series - Top 16 in 2016 and today I am sharing something super exciting to me and that is Bradford improvements! While I am sure we will never stop improving just like Home Depot, I am particularly excited about the improvements made this winter!

1. PARKING LOT
We paved paradise and put one up! Although paradise is a bit of a stretch...with all the rain we really paved soupy mess and put up a less soupy gravel paring lot! I was really worried about how it would look and losing the green space - but I worried for nothing as it looks amazing and so much more manicured than before!

Even in winter it is a vast improvement!




2. Covered pergola from the house to the ballroom
We have a continual path now from the house to ballroom and back again that will be covered in the event of rain (Which that never happens here) It looks so good!

Stain coming soon to a pergola near you!
3. Lights in the parking area
We are in the process of finishing this project up  - we have the brick columns erected and are getting ready to put lanterns on top of them to light up our parking area - this is such a stressor for me at each even as it gets so dark out here - I love how pastoral and remote we feel (While still being close to a highway) but all that comes with a lot of darkness and no ambient light! Great for star gazing - bad for parking!
All ready for a light!


4. Drainage!
I know that doesn't sound exciting but when you move the same mulch 2 - 3 times a week believe me it is! We have a new French drain and culverts all over the place in an effort to divert water where it needs to go!

I know this picture is exciting!


5. Storage Building!
We are in the process of designing a storage building to replace our existing 10 x 10. We book multiple wedding s a weekend and this is always an issue! We are installing 4 times the amount of storage and to say we are excited is an understatement!

The Old.....


Those are the top 5 new things this year - we have  small things we are doing (touch up paint, decking the concourses, new plants (always), and Mulch (how I love/loathe you!) but those are the majors!