At lot can happen in just 365 days. Sometimes it hard to believe we’re even the same person that we were when the year began. From a business perspective, the growth I’ve seen has been unbelievable – both in clients and in personal strengths. I feel like this year was the year that I finally found my way. I’m feeling more confident than ever and excited to look back on the steps I took to get me there.
But it wasn’t just from a professional standpoint that I experienced change. There were lots of individual adjustments in life this year as well. I considered splitting my review up, posting from both a business and personal outlook, but there’s so much overlap and it’s hard to really figure out where each one really begins. Anyone who owns a business I’m sure can relate.
I began the year pregnant. I’m not one who enjoys pregnancy, so for me that wasn’t exactly a highlight. But of course then little Willa June was born and everything changed. It’s hard to even imagine what life was like before she came along. Gretta has adjusted well and it’s as though she’s always been a part of our family.
I was a little nervous about the start of wedding season. I had played with a few flowers for my maternity shoot back in January, but prior to that, my sister’s wedding in November had capped off my 2014 season and I was a bit apprehensive to get back into the swing of things. And then of course there was the additional pressure of having two children in tow.
I like to start the season with an inspiration shoot. It’s just seems to help get the creative juices flowing and if I’m a little rusty, my mistakes are made on my own accord and not at the expense of one of my brides. So Ashley and I headed to the beach – she was itching to create something pretty as well after a long winter. The shoot was moody and ethereal (and freezing – 39 degrees in May!), and the results were just as I had imagined it and I realized I just need to get out of my head create. I achieved another goal with this editorial, having it featured on Magnolia Rouge.
Photo Credits (left to right, top to bottom): Ashley Slater Photography | Ashley Slater Photography featured on Magnolia Rouge | Ashley Slater Photography, Design: Michaela Noelle featured on Inspired by This | Kelly Sweet Photography | Hetler Photography | Ashley Slater Photography, Dress: Spring Sweet featured on Magnolia Rouge | Ashley Slater Photography, Calligraphy: Kaitlin Parisho | Ashley Slater Photography, Invitation Suite: Wildfield Paper Co featured on Magnolia Rouge | Kelly Sweet Photography
I officially started the wedding season in May with 2 beautiful celebrations. Both brides had complete trust in me and gave me lots of creative freedom. I was able to choose blooms that I loved, worked with vessels they loved and had lots of local and foraged ingredients. Blush and pale pink color palettes were a reoccurring trend for me in 2015. I learned that while I am completely capable of doing multiple events in a weekend, it’s not a trend that I will continue. I’d much rather give each bride her own individual day and full attention.
Once again I was honored to be a part of Bloom the Workshop. I can’t say enough to really convey how lovely Ashley and Michaela are. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the very first Bloom they held over a year ago and in May I floralized their 3rd full day workshop to held in West Michigan. Michaela always dreams up a gorgeous tablescape and I love working with other creatives to help bring their visions to life.
A couple years ago, I had set a goal that I’d like to be featured at least 4 times a year on a major publication. The shoot with Bloom was featured on Inspired by This back in August, and was feature #4 for the year. While this isn’t my main focus of business by any means, it makes me feel pretty good to check this off my business goal list.
Photo Credits (left to right, top to bottom): Jamie & Sarah Photography | Bradley James Photography, Plates: Debby Does Dishes | Ashley Slater Photography | Clary Pfeiffer Photography featured on Style Me Pretty | Jamie & Sarah Photography | Jamie & Sarah Photography | Clary Pfeiffer Photography featured on Style Me Pretty| Clary Pfeiffer Photography featured on Style Me Pretty | Bradley James Photography, Invitation: Minted
In July, I received my very first order from Rose Story Farms. To some this might seem like a really strange item to highlight, however, if you’ve ever held one of these delicate little blossoms in your hands, you’ll understand their beauty. My love local blooms will always exist, but when they’re not Michigan made it doesn’t get much better than California grown. The chartreuse green of their little leaves just makes me so delightfully happy.
I worked out of a hotel room for the first time. Again, strange thing to highlight but it was an interesting experience, to say the least. It was at the same time that I experienced leaky containers, bouquets that were fastened with faulty tape, scorching heat and a whole wave of other obstacles. Give your florist a hug and tell your wedding planners thank you. They may have bled, drove across the state or stayed up all night making things happen that you’ll never be aware of because they’ll never tell you. My strength and endurance have been tested more than once this year and I’m stronger person and wedding planner because of it.
Thinking back, I remember the day that I longed to have one of my weddings or inspirations shoots featured on Style Me Pretty. It seemed like such a distance and lofty goal. In 2015, I was featured on their blog 3 times and I feel like someone should probably pinch me.
Also on my list of goals is to be see my work in print, in an actual magazine or a place that I can physically hold in my hand. Last month I received the news that not one, but 2 of my weddings will be featured in The Knot Michigan next spring. I am so honored to think that once upon a time I was just a college graduate with a little dream to be a wedding planner. And now here I am, living this dream and being recognized by some of the biggest names and publications in the industry. The icing on the cake – it was my bride’s fantasy to be featured on The Knot too, it’s so special that I could help make that a reality for her as well.
But it’s not just the recognition, I definitely don’t do what I do for fame or hoping someone will give me a huge pat on the back. The people I’ve meet along the way is the most rewarding piece of the journey. I love my brides, my vendor friends and some lifelong relationships have blossomed from working in the wedding industry.
Autumn brought with it more engagements, golden hues and many colorful celebrations full of love and the most amazing couples. And lots of dahlias. I truly hope to do more fall weddings next year as the scenery in Michigan is simply breathtaking that time of year. And I’d even like to add a couple of winter celebrations to my 2016/2017 calendar.
Photo Credits (left to right, top to bottom): Hetler Photography | Hetler Photography | Bradley James Photography featured on Ruffled Blog | Ashley Slater Photography | Weber Photography | Weber Photography | Weber Photography | Katie Grace Photography | Bradley James Photography, Cake: Pastry Chef Dana Lucas of Clifford Lake Inn featured on Ruffled Blog
2015 was The Day’s Design’s third full time wedding season, the year Gretta turned 3 and will be the last year in our current home. It was the year of designing flowers in my dining room, storing them in my garage and keeping the rest of the treasures in my basement. It was the year that we tested my Tahoe’s strength, air conditioning and storage capacity. Moving forward is a sign of progress and a little bittersweet.
There’s a part of me that thinks I should have kept a tally of how many times I bled, how many times I wanted to give up, the hours of sleep I lost, the times I wanted to do a happy dance and high five (only to realized I work most days alone), the number of times I witnessed “the moment”, the walks up and down the aisle, the steps I take on a wedding day, the trips to venues, caterers, flower markets, greenhouses and down the road foraging for treasures. I need to keep track of it all so I can remember. So when 2016 rolls around and I can’t hardly function because I’ve pulled an all nighter before one of my fabulous brides’ big day – all I’ll have to do is see the expression in her eyes as she sees her groom staring back at her so in love. I want to remember why I love this job so much and never forget. My mother has mentioned on several occasions that there must be an easier way to make a living. Of course she’s right, but they’re not my passion, my drive or what I want to be doing. This is right where I want to be.
Cheers friends! Have a happy 2016!!0