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!

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!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Matthew and Ashley

Becca and I met Ashley over coffee at Starbucks. There was an instant ease when we started chatting. She was extremely organized and I could tell right off the the bat that we were going to be a great fit. She was one of those clients that you don't mind meeting with, love the phone conferences because they are so productive, and a client that affirms you rock at your job. I loved every second of this wedding. She had hired us for a Day of Service plus Design, but it ended up being a little more planning as there were so many logistics to pulling this day off! 

Ashley and Matthew decided to get married in his parents front lawn. When she took me out to the property, I could see exactly why she wanted it there! It was beautiful! The house was a gorgeous back drop and the fields in the distance made this "southern elegance" wedding perfect. 

She was a no fuss bride and that translated into her design. She loved simplicity, white, and metals. Nothing too glitzy, a simple, understated, elegance with a hint of southern hospitality mixed in. I loved it! I loved her vision and the design came so naturally. 

We picked Mitchell's mostly because of their ability to handle a 200+ crowd and of course their awesome food! She wanted it to be more a cocktail party, so we had 4 different stations that guests could try. The plan was to have it spilling outside of the tent some, but this was the first Saturday in a string of Saturdays that fall that it just plain rained She took it in stride and we executed our very thought out rain plain beautifully. 

The night was perfect. The couple was gorgeous! Seriously Ashley should be a model! She was just glowing and so calm the entire night. Matthew was so sweet and you could tell that he just thought the world of Ashley. It was a sweet ceremony and I loved seeing the two of them just grin at each other the entire time.

The tent was gorgeous with a full liner and crystal chandeliers The linens were stunning, and the flowers were just the cherry on top. I loved the bouquet Courtney created and LOVED the centerpieces with our new mercury glass candlesticks. The band crushed it. Seriously. They were awesome! The bride requested some good 'ol classic late 90's early 2000 songs so they did a mashup of Backstreet, N'sync, Britney, and Spice Girls. It was so much fun! 

It was sad to put this folder in my "past brides" section! I am so thrilled to show you some of my favorite images from an amazing night! 


The Awesome Vendors:
Venue: Groom's Family Land
Ceremony Venue: First Baptist Church
Officiant: Pastor Colbert 
Ceremony arrangements at the church: Smithfield City Florist
Coordination and Planning: Dana with C and D Events
Photography: Jon Black Photography
Hair Stylist: Jenn Berkey
Catering: Mitchell's
Cake: Emily Strickland
Bathrooms: Royal Restrooms
Tent and Rentals: Grand Rental station
Linen Rental: CE Rental

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Top 16: C and D is in Southern Bride and Groom!

Continuing on our series of "Top 16" things we are excited about in 2016 - this year we had the privilege of advertising with Southern Bride and Groom for C and D Events! We have advertised with them for The Bradford for the past 2 years, but not for C&D because there was not a spot open. Last Fall, they called and asked if we wanted the spot that has just opened. After 2 years on the wait list, we jumped right on it! We love this community and love the exposure it has to local brides.

We decided to submit Sarah and Roger's Wedding from last May. It was seriously one of my favorites of all time. Not only were the couple ah-mazing - but the florals, design, and energy from that wedding was just perfect. Josh and Shelly with Hartman Outdoor Photography just blew us away with their images. When I was submitting some ideas to Donna with SBG, she saw this set and said- Yes! These are the best photos! And we couldn't agree more!

Here is our spread:

Here is our ad that I just loved designing! 

So far, we have been so pleased! The magazine is gorgeous and the bride leads keep pouring in. We are so grateful to be a part of this group of people and can't wait to see what this year has in store! 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Top 16 - Theres lots to do... but...

In the sprit of our Top 16 things we are excited about this year, I thought I'd share a few personal things. 

First, I'm getting married!!!! My best friend proposed to me this past October and made me the happiest person alive. We have been talking about it for a while and its almost here! In a few short months, we get the privilege of standing up in front of our closest family and friends and committing ourselves to each other for life.

Along with getting married, we both graduate this year! FINALLY! Four years seems like forever, but on top of that we graduate the day before we get married. I know, we are crazy having graduation and a wedding all in the same weekend. But it just happened to work out this way and the more I think about it the more I am happy with our decision, we get to share two of the best moments of 2016 with all our loved ones, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

On top of all that…. Sean will be attending grad school, which throws all our plans up in the air as we await to find our where we will end up.

So with graduation, a wedding, and maybe moving, my emotions are all over the place! But I’ve decided to use this burst of emotional energy and channel it into productivity. Because while we are all excited for next steps there is still a lot to do.

As I am knee deep in planning my own wedding, I have learned what its like to be “on the other side” of the process. Since joining the team I have only been introduced to planning a wedding for someone else, I am generally able to see things from a more objective stand point. Now planning my own, I understand at a much deeper level what our brides are going through and intend to use this new found knowledge as we go into the new work year. Especially in the area of communication. As a bride I want to know exactly what vendors can offer, exactly how much its going to cost and exactly what I need to do. But sometimes its hard for vendors to give us exactly what we want as there are always underlying factors we are unaware of.

So this year one of our goals as the C and D and Bradford teams is to be better at communication. So prepare to hear from us a lot more.  We are going to work o our presence on the blog and social media, as well as revamp our information packets so we can better serve you.

Now I know that’s a lot of stuff to look forward to but I really am excited for this year. So here’s to the new year and everything that comes with it

Here are some of our engagements photos thank to Brett Seay from Blest Studios!



Friday, January 15, 2016

Top 16 - Pre-Wedding Soiree at The Glass Box

I'm so excited to announce another Top 16 surprise today! One of my favorites in the series is this beautiful style shoot of the Glass Box venue - which was just recently published in Southern Bride and Groom magazine.  We are thrilled to be chosen to showcase our work in the magazine this year!  We are honored to be a part of such a wonderful group of Triangle wedding vendors.

The Glass Box is a new venue located in the Penthouse level of the popular historic venue, Stockroom at 230 in downtown Raleigh. Our shoot was created to show off the incredible features of this venue which is made of mostly tall, stately windows that overlook downtown Raleigh.  The views are amazing!

The venue is certainly one-of-a-kind.  We recommend this venue as a upscale getting ready space for a bride and her girls.  It would also be the most unique Raleigh spot for a dinner party!

Casey Rose Photography did an incredible job at capturing the southern chic style we were planning on featuring.  If you are looking for a photographer who has an eye for detail and natural beauty - she is your choice!

We love the delicate colors chosen in the floral designs completed by The English Garden.

Frill Clothing provided some pretty perfect bridesmaid dresses, and our very own in-house model, Dana's sweet daughter, modeled a precious flower girl dress from Bella Bridesmaids.

Of course, the most fabulous gold linens were from CE Rentals and (one of my favorites) the elegant peach-colored vintage chair was provided by GreenHouse Picker Sisters

I can't say enough wonderful things about Makeup For Your Day - they rocked the models hair and makeup for this shoot!

Other vendors included: Bridesmaid satin robes from ChezBlanc, macaroons from Luccettegrace, bronze tanning by BronzeLeChic, and jewelry from Kendra Scott of Southpoint.