Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sneak Peak: Becca

Hello readers!

I’m Becca, the newest of the crew.  I am so excited to be a part of such an incredibly hard working and creative staff team at C and D Events.  I have been with the C and D team for 3 years now.  I am loving working with a company who has a passion for seeing marriages off to a healthy start and lasting a lifetime!  Here’s a little sneak into my life:

photo by Dana Laymon Photography

How did you join the C and D team?
While I knew Dana in college, it was during our teaching years that I really began to get to know her.  She and a group of sweet young teacher gals invited me to be a part of their weekly bible study.  We all cherished that time growing and sharing life together.  During my first year teaching, I also got engaged (seriously crazy year).  C and D Events was just beginning and my wedding became one of their first events, and most likely the hottest wedding they’ve ever directed (it was 80+ degrees on that gorgeous August day!)  Soon after, I began working with Courtney and Dana on events they needed extras on, and with my interior design background I began falling in love with the design details of a wedding day.  Eventually, that led to my current position with C and D.  I’m truly honored to be a part of a team that values family, faith, and excellence in everything they do.

What’s your love story?
My parents always told me that God was growing up a good man for me and always encouraged me to pray for my future husband.  Knowing this, I went into college wondering if I’d meet my Mr. Right.  I had my list of a million little things I wanted in a man.  It’s safe to say that God totally blew that list out of the water when He gave me Jake.  Jake and I met our freshman year of college - he was a long haired, skinny-jean wearing band boy and I was that girl with a boyfriend already.  Since I didn’t think he was “my type” I wasn’t attracted to him at first, but as time went on and I got to know him better, I recognized so many “marriage-material” qualities in him that I loved.  I was soon smitten with him.  After being friends and dating others for our first 3 years of college, he confessed to me that he had always wanted to be mine (and even told his suitemates on the first day we met that he had met his future wife!)  We dated through our senior year of college and onto his graduate school years.  We got married on a hot day in August in front of a private home on a lake in Youngsville, NC. Now we enjoy our life in Raleigh and are currently in the process of adopting a little girl from India.

What do you love about marriage?
I love the constant companionship and adventure of marriage!  As we all know, life definitely throws curve balls constantly. I love that my marriage can be a rock for me.  Jake constantly reminds me of the love that God has for me - constant, forgiving, and always is going to be there.

What’s the hardest thing about marriage?
Learning how to handle conflict and communicate effectively with one another.  We all carry expectations and habits into a marriage.  I find that it is so tough, but so worth it, to be willing to express what you need and desire in marriage/life together and to compromise when necessary.  Jake and I had to learn early on (and are still learning) what fights are really worth it, and what things really matter in our relationship.  I’d also say that protecting your time together as a married couple is equally as difficult (but worth it!) in this “busy-crazed” culture that we live in.  Time together matters! Dating each other, even after you have been married for years is SO important.  I believe that your marriage is only what you put into it!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Kryssi and Kendall: Grand Marquis Ballroom

Today, I am so stoked to share our event from last summer (yes, we have LOTS of weddings to catch you up on). This sweet couple booked us in February and wanted their event in June. Yes, 4 months people! The other tricky part was that they were wide world travelers and the bride was gone the entire month of March in Dubai and then Pittsburgh. Oddly enough, it all worked out perfectly. They were super chill and really trusted our opinions so they just rolled with us on almost everything. One thing I love about this couple was their heart, they truly wanted their guests to have a wonderful time and wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable. 

They also wanted to be sure that God's love was shown through their wedding. Boy, did they achieve that. She walked down the aisle to "Baba Yetu" in Swahili. I am not gonna lie, when she came in on the crescendo, I lost it - straight up tears streaming down my face. The ceremony was equally as impactful. They had a time for everyone to come up and pray for them - out of the 180 people, 6 were sitting. Seriously giving me chills typing this! IT was amazing and has gone down as one of my favorite ceremonies ever. Enjoy the pics - all thanks to Bethany and Dan Photography

The Details

Program Designed by yours truly
Front of Programs - my instructions were formal and girly

Monogrammed Dance floor - a standard with GMB

Their tables were all the places they had been together - each with a little explanation

Centerpiece one

The Bouquet - made by the oh so talented Courtney
Another great shot

Centerpiece 2

Of course the Mr. and Mrs. Sign is a must

Menu card - the menu was food from all 7 continents 

The ceremony space all set-up - GORGEOUS!
Close up of the aisle runner

Cake topper

The Dress

centerpiece 3
A dozen packs of a dozen roses from the sweet groom to his lovely bride

The Party

Walking down the aisle

Just getting married - no big deal :)
The Kiss!

Post ceremony cheesing

Immediately after Bethany and Dan caught this sweet moment

waiting for pictures to be taken

They were so happy

Gorgeous flowers

Kissing his bride

So sweet

The first dance

They were so excited for the fog machine!

Having a blast

Slowing it down

These guys knew how to get down!

Dancing their hearts out

What a great group of guests!

Cutting the Cake

Tossing the bouquet

getting ready to leave

Congrats Kendall and Kryssi  - we were so blessed to plan your special day!


Videographer - Twenty one films
Hair and Make-up - Elaine Harrison
Centerpieces - Flowers on Broad Street
All other florals  - C and D Events
Coordination/Planning - C and D Events

~ Dana

New Year - New Resolve

Good Bye 2013! What a year it has been...and I can not say that I am sad to see it go! So many exciting things and new beginnings and so many trials and tests as well! One thing I can say in looking back over the year is that we had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into! I really did have lofty goals surrounding the building of the Bradford and chronicling the progress on this blog and it turns out that venue building is lots of work....time consuming work....couple that with kids, a cottage, and a business and it turns out you only have time to live your life....not write about it!

I was looking back at the posts for the past 3 months and I think we posted all of 5 times. So we will officially remove "blogger" from our list of titles for 2013... We do have a plan, I think it's doable, to be able to add that title back in the mix. It should also mean more original, inspired content as we will all only be blogging 3 (ish) times a month. I personally think I can handle that!

Looking over those last few blog posts - it would seem that only negative things happened in 2013...this is actually not the case when I look back over the year. It is hard to see the positive at times when you are stuck in the trenches! So in true David Letterman Fashion, I am going to list the 10 best things that happened in 2013!

10. Dana Sold her house! (This seems so long ago...)
  9. I sold my house!! (3 days later...)
  8. We closed on the Bradford Loan for phase one (this seemed Dicey at times)
  7. We FINALLY got the engineered plans!
  6. Had a great couples get away for a friend's wedding - we got a souvenir that lasts forever!

  5. Really worked on my marriage - that has paid dividends over this crazy year- we were both really     committed to it and we are closer than ever!
   4. Got to spend over a week with my parents and kiddos in Florida for a much needed break from the crazy!
   3. Found a great team mate that actually makes life easier!
   2. Finished Dana's cottage - mostly :)
   1. Made and had a new family member- I can't tell you what's blessing Liam has been and there is nothing like a new baby to give you perspective on life!

There you have it - the great things that happened in 2013! I'm not gonna lie, it has been one of the most stressful years of my life - I shed more tears in the past 12 months than in the past 12 years combined! But when I look back I see God's hand in it all and see all of the transitions my family went through and I really think we are a better family for it - and for that I am grateful!

~ Courtney

Monday, January 13, 2014


Hello Blog world! I am happy to say that we are back on the blogging wagon! Ignore Courtney's LACK of posting last week - I mean she does have a good excuse..

Mr. Liam was born only a few weeks ago
But anyways- we are trying to be better and have a good system to make sure we are more present on the blog. That means more weddings and more building pics! Wahoo - I know you are excited.

But on to the post. Encouragement. I struggle with this. It is kind of awkward to be encouraged, it makes me feel kind of narcissistic and like I am throwing a pity party. I have never been good at accepting it. I have been part of this women's group over the past year and that is basically the purpose of the group - to encourage, uplift, and love your fellow sister. 

Very similar to how we interact with each other

We had our last meeting last night and we exchanged "love notes." Really just notes about each person in the group - our thoughts, how they have impacted us, etc. It was so encouraging to hear these women express what I have been praying I come across as. I feel like through this all a lot of me has gotten lost. I have always been the person organizing meals for friends who have babies or stocking their freezers. I love giving gifts, helping out a friend, and just being present. I haven't been that person. I have been a taker - not a giver, which is truly not in my nature, but it was what I needed to survive.

This has been a tough year - a year of struggle, doubt, highs, and so many lows. So many people say " I know you are soo excited!" and I am - I truly am so beyond blessed that I get to walk down this path, that I get to see my dreams unfold. However, in the middle, it is not easy. It is truly the hardest thing I have ever done. And truth be told - I need encouragement. I crave it. I found myself feeling lighter after these meetings and ready to take on the next day. I think as women we tend to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. If we work too much, we feel like we abandoned our kids. If we work too little, we feel like we aren't contributing to the household. You feel like you yell too much or don't discipline enough. You don't understand how the mom at pre-school looks like she stepped out of a magazine and you look like you just ran a marathon in your pajamas. You envy the mom that has time to post pretty pictures of the craft project they did with their kids or the Pinterest perfect birthday cake they made. You struggle with the fact that you spent too much time on the computer and not enough time playing princesses - yet at the end of the night the pile of work is exhausting. It feels like you just can't win. But the truth is that we aren't meant to win. Life is not a race. It is not a competition. There are times that we are stuck in the mud and we need that hand, that hand to help pull us out and encourage us that, yes, we can get out of this! That is what life is about - not the comparison, but the encouragement. And that is what this group has been for me this past year. I am taking this attitude into the office. We could all use some encouragement and I have made it my resolution to be more encouraging and to accept encouragement with out brushing it off.

I am so grateful for the new C and D. I say new because our whole outlook and attitudes are different. We have a new team member that keeps us accountable and truly takes a load off of us so we are able to be the business owners we want to be. We are on the verge of a year that could change everything. We have an amazing team and I am so grateful that I get to work with these ladies and be encouraged by them.

~ Dana