Catye and Trey | Mustard Seed Photography

I don’t know if photographs will ever justify this wedding. It was a dream job. And today I am going to relive it with you. YEEESSSS. For Catye and Trey’s wedding I worked very closely with Catye and her mom Tracye, and can I just say that after a wedding it’s ALWAYS an adjustment to go from talking to my brides multiple times a day to them no longer needing me. It’s certainly one of the hardest/strangest parts of my job. I mean…Catye can you just get married again so we can plan another wedding? We could do one a year ;-) Kat with Mustard Seed Photography shot this day for us and she did a wonderful job as usual, her photos are so ethereal and perfect.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

All of the paper and graphic design work was done by Allie Ruth and she is SO talented. Her little succulent illustrations, I MEAN come ON. She also dip dyed every letterpressed piece, and hand water colored the illustrations on the envelope. Each one was essentially a work of art.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

I hired Without Wax Katy to do the flowers. Catye originally wanted me to do the flowers and I would have LOVED to, but for a 280 person wedding I just wasn’t quite there with my business just yet (I am NOW which is exciting and terrifying! Picture Kris looking around in bewilderment saying- “Did you not think wedding days were hard enough?”). I did know that Katy would blow us all away though and I loved so much that Catye and Tracye didn’t even bat an eye when I told them I chose their florist, they didn’t want to see options or look into anyone else. They knew that whoever I chose would be perfect, that kind of trust really helped the entire planning process go like clockwork.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

Allie Ruth designed this sign and I painted it onto an easel that Kris built.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

The Carriage House housed the reception, it’s a newer venue in Conroe and I can’t say enough about the owner Kenni, this woman may be the hardest working person I’ve ever met. She was really wonderful with all of our requests. We asked her to move just about everything out- all of her tables and chairs, all of her furniture pieces, EVERYTHING. She was really wonderful about it.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

The Ceremony took place at The Woodlands United Methodist Church, it was really beautiful with some of the best ceremony music my ears have ever heard. If you have any interest in having angels sing at your wedding- give The Homestead a call, they are an extremely talented band. Catye walked down the aisle to Beloved by Tenth Avenue North (one of my favorite bands) and it was completely breathtaking.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

I love that Catye brought her dog to take photos with, especially because I did the exact same thing at my own wedding :)

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

This escort card wall was something that I designed very early on. I knew I wanted it to be a total show stopper. It turned out even better than I imagined and was a complete and total group effort. Catye’s dad constructed it and stained it the prettiest shade of grey, Allie Ruth dip dyed and hand wrote ALL of those gorgeous escort cards, and then Katy came and added an especially large dose of pretty with all of those flowers.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

As for the reception space, The Carriage House is already completely beautiful, but we knew we were going to be bringing in farmhouse tables and cross back chairs and it was going to be A LOT of wood, so I wanted to soften up the ceiling with this beautiful draping and lights. The Carriage House already has chandeliers hanging so the draping was so perfect in making it look like the chandeliers were just floating in these big fluffy, very pretty clouds. We also softened up the space a bit more by mixing in some rounds with a pretty soft white linen.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

Allie Ruth once again worked her magic and made us these beautiful table numbers, then we nestled them into a big pile of succulents.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

It’s hard to see in photos, but these linens had little metallic threads of silver running through them and were so elegant, subtle, and pretty.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

Each place setting consisted of these gorgeous Arte Italica chargers that we brought in from Dallas- please Houston GIVE US MORE PLACE SETTING OPTIONS! I had originally proposed bringing in full place setting rentals from Casa De Perrin from California, but then after a bit of searching Catye was able to find them at a great rental place called Posh in Dallas. We also did these little succulent favors, a place card, and a dip dyed stamped menu napkin, you can read all about the process of creating those here.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

Posh also curated a collection of 280 blush pink goblets just for us, it was a beautiful mix of glassware on the tables with the pink goblets, vintage mint votives, and touches of silver mercury glass in the vases and favors.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

Oh and that gold flatware that Posh also provided. I am here to tell you that you can mix gold and silver on the same table, as long as it is intentional and you have both metallics in multiple places it will work.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

Our dessert table was masterminded by Kristina from Buttercup Bakery. Her desserts are completely delicious and beautiful.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

Allie Ruth of course provided our dessert labels for us. She also designed a couple different napkins for us and we had them printed up in gold foil at For Your Party.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

Catye and her dad did THE BEST father daughter dance I’ve ever seen. It started out as a slow dance and then turned into a montage of dance/rap songs.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

At the end of the night Rosemary’s Catering served up these nitrogen creamsicle pops. You picked your flavor of ice cream and a topping and they would make it and freeze it with nitrogen right there. It was definitely winning ALL the awards for coolest late night snack.

Catye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed PhotographyCatye and Trey | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

And then we sent the happy couple off with sparklers, which is a pretty popular way to do a send off these days, but still my very favorite. It lights up the night and is SO pretty in photos.

Thank you to all the hardworking vendors that kicked it on this wedding, it was a total dream to work with everyone. Also, thank you to Southern Weddings for featuring our wedding on their blog last week. Such a lovely surprise, you can see more over on their site, including the perspective from the bride Catye, which lets face it, is way more important than mine :)

Vendors:  Photographer: Mustard Seed Photography | Planner: Jennifer Laura Design |Videographer: 31 Films | Ceremony Venue: The Woodlands United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: The Carriage House | Florist: Without Wax Katy | Cake and Dessert Baker: Buttercup Bakery | Caterer: Rosemary’s Catering | Rentals: POSH Couture Rentals | Band: Royal Dukes Band | Paper Products: Allie Ruth Design | Bride’s Gowns: Jim Hjelm and “Santina” by Watters | Bride’s Hair Accessories: Twigs and Honey | Hair Stylist: Salon Bugatti | Makeup Artist: Jennifer Aronson Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo | Menswear: Jos A. Bank and The Tie Bar | Napkins: Sea meets the Sky | Draping: AJ’s Urban Petals | Favors: Cactus Limon | Guest Book: Bleu De Toi

Classic is the New Black | Korie Lynn Photography

Welcome to my favorite styled shoot. I’m sure I’ve said that before at some point, I’ll probably say it again too, buuut this one is really really good. I absolutely love working with Korie, she cares about the little details just as much as I do and has a really wonderful eye. Plus the fact that she whipped up all the paper because she is a calligraphy wizard is also kind of perfect.

Classic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn Photography

Korie collaborated with Fox Hollow Design who did the beautiful watercolor. Styling all of their beautiful hard work was such a treat.

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The bouquet was a mix of garden roses, ranunculus, anemones, dark hypericum berries, foraged greenery, and carnations. I usually leave carnations out of a description, but they are a flower I’ve started using more and more, they are quite perfect for installations or filler when you need A LOT of something, they are obviously inexpensive and when mixed in with really high end arrangements they don’t typically end up looking like carnations.

Classic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn Photography

Our makeup artist Erica (Hey Lovely) typically rounds up our models for us and she did not disappoint, quite easily the most beautiful models we’ve ever had. Made even more beautiful by the wonderful hair and makeup- Erica always seems to completely knock it out of the park.

Classic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn Photography

That black ribbon is just so dreamy, I recently used it at a real wedding as well and it’s just really inky and dramatic, I actually purchased it on Etsy too and it was much more inexpensive than a lot of the ribbon I have bought in the last year.

Classic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn Photography

I love this table. We had a Silk and Willow runner and topped it with those black taper candles for days, I have a love hate relationship with taper candles. I LOVE them so much, but I HATE that they are not allowed at most venues. Most flames have to be contained, BUT wedding venues- they are SO pretty, start allowing these please!

Classic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn PhotographyClassic is the New Black | Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn Photography

The day we shot this was so exciting seeing everything come together. Sadly, I won’t be creating any styled shoots this year, so this one will have to tide us all over for awhile, but I’m sure I’ll be back at it again next year because I can only contain myself for so long :)

If you want/need to see more head over to Grey Likes Weddings today for the feature!

Vendors | Photography- Korie Lynn Photography, Styling and Florals- Jennifer Laura Design, Hair and Makeup- Hey Lovely Makeup, Cake- Buttercup Bakery, Calligraphy- The Weekend Type, Invitation & Paper Goods | Collaboration between The Weekend Type and Fox Hollow Design Co., Dress | BHLDN, Table Runner | Silk & Willow, Ring Box | The Mrs. Box, Models | Holley Turner and Conor Patrick Kearns, Male Model Wardrobe and Styling | David Rochez

Vivian and Kevin NYE Wedding | Feather and Twine Photography

This wedding was a good one. Vivian and Kevin hired me in December of 2014 at a point in my career when I wasn’t sure if I could continue at the pace I had been keeping up. I wrote this super weird post. I’m pretty sure they read it too because when I met with them they both wanted to make sure that I was indeed still taking weddings. I was taking weddings, but with a bit more thought and care than I had in the past. I was no longer taking any bride who needed any level of service, I wasn’t interested into fitting into everyone’s box of what they needed their planner to be and instead wanted to take on weddings that I could really take a lot of ownership in. I’ve written about how I only offer full service planning, and now after doing this for a year, it was the best decision I’ve made for my business. I couldn’t have asked for better clients to come and find me. Before we get too far into this, you can go check out their engagements here– which also happened to be featured in The Knot Texas magazine which was pretty special leading up to their big day.

So now that you are all caught up, let’s start at the beginning. So Vivian is an artist (and geologist) and her and Kevin were both very interested in creating a wedding day that really felt like them as a couple. They are children at heart and the words child-like wonder, fantasy, celestial, kept popping up when we talked about the look and feel of their wedding day. The wedding day was also extremely small, a gathering of 56 of their closest friends and family. From planning a wedding myself and talking to brides pretty much everyday, I know that most people want a small intimate wedding, wanting a small wedding and actually pulling one off are SO different. Once everyone tallies up all the people they are actually going to invite PLUS the parent’s lists, PLUS the in-laws list…they have kissed their small and intimate wedding goodbye. But here Vivian and Kevin were actually able to do it and it made their wedding extremely special. They were able to do things like take photos with ALL of their guests during the cocktail hour and actually dance and enjoy their wedding instead of spending all night circling guest tables.

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

We worked with Color Quarry on the invitations and Amanda is very good at what she does. She creates these completely custom illustrations that are quite magical, then has them letterpressed, they are gorgeous. Vivian really wanted the invitations to feel like the guests were opening a little treasure chest. I think we certainly accomplished that- and can I just say wax stamping something makes a world of difference. It really takes things to another level, and it’s not difficult or expensive, they make wax stamp hot glue guns so it really is impossible to screw up.

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

Vivian’s dress was a dress I had been trying to get BHDLN to send me for at least 3 styled shoots last year, it was one of their new pieces and I am low man on the totem pole over there so I could never get my hands on it. When Vivian sent me an image of her dress I almost died and went to heaven. I  finally get images of this insanely gorgeous dress and on one of my brides, not a model. BETTER. I love how Kelsey shot it here too, so beautiful.

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography
Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

Vivian’s head piece was something she had custom made in Spain, it was truly beautiful.

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

In the last few months I’ve started a new business called Houston Chalkboard Art, I have received so many requests that it seemed like a natural thing to do, signage is something I’m really passionate about and I have loved taking on. It adds a lot to an event, Vivian designed the graphics for this sign for us and then I hand painted everything in a mix of gold and champagne metallic paint.

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

We did all of the florals for this event and we had a really wonderful team to help us! We could never have done it without Abby, Dana, and Maddy! They really were so integral in bringing all of these large floral installations to life. You’ll see even more of their hard work when we get to the reception.

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

So I’ve mentioned it on social media, but this wedding happened to take place at Red Corral Ranch, which was the same ranch that Kris and I got married at. It was such a joy to be back on that property, it’s insanely beautiful and really not a thing had changed. Vivian and Kevin utilized the property in a completely different way than we did- we got married outdoors on the labyrinth structure and had our reception underneath the trees, they got married in the indoor celebration hall, it was quite cold on their NYE wedding so it was a good thing they did, and then they had their reception in the barn, filled with twinkle lights it was the perfect setting for a celestial and magical time. I showed my mom images of this wedding and she didn’t even recognize that it was the same property, I love that the property just kind of becomes whatever it needs to be for the couple and not the other way around. Kris and I are already planning our imaginary 10 year anniversary here and we’ve dreamed up entirely new places to have things.

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

Covering these beams easily took our team a couple of hours, but it was so worth it. I really wanted to transform this barn into a lush garden.

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

These menus were my little brain child, Vivian and Kevin wanted the place settings to feel like there was a sense of discovery happening so we combined the place cards and menus into an elegant diamond origami shape, they were one of my favorite design elements.

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

After the grand exit, we all headed over to the after party to ring in the new year, Kris and my intern Maddy worked hard to get this set up during the reception.

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

Nothing too elaborate, just some snacks and games.

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

Oh and a balloon drop to ring in the new year!

Vivian + Kevin | Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

Thank you to Brides of Austin for featuring Vivian and Kevin’s wedding, and on your cover no less. That was such a surprise, honor, blessing, too many words to even describe how exciting it was to not only see my clients on the cover, but my florals as well. That bouquet was kind of a dream to create, it was so perfectly different and unique, the exact kind of thing you want a client to ask for. And that blue ribbon…I can’t even. You can go here to see the entire 4 page spread. If that isn’t enough you can also see more of this wedding along with a beautiful write up by our very favorite photography duo Feather and Twine here.

Vendors | Photography- Feather and Twine Photography, Planning, Design, and Florals- Jennifer Laura Design, Venue- Red Corral Ranch, DJ- Spacecraft Entertainment, Catering- The Peached Tortilla, Videographer- Honey Gem Creative, Video Music- Drew Barefoot, Cake + Desserts- Green Lily bakery, Rentals- Hill Country Event Rentals, Ribbon- Silk and Willow, Officiant- family friend Michael Lin, Paper- Color Quarry Letterpress

Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

We took these photos last year for Phoenix’s third birthday party. None of us were thrilled to be out shooting a lifestyle session in the middle of a Houston July, but all in the name of some cute (and sweaty) photos.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Phoenix had requested a Petey party so it was pretty crucial to get photos of him with his dogs. I am really hoping to get him his own puppy this year, to be honest our dogs have never been particularly thrilled with his existence, so I would love to get him a little friend who has just as much energy and love as he does. Phoenix LOVES animals, he even loves bugs, he calls them all his friends and really would never hurt a fly. We even befriended a caterpillar the other day as we were walking out of our apartment, Phoenix would have stayed and chatted with him forever. I don’t know if it’s biological or learned to be an animal lover, but by goodness I am so glad he loves animals. It is true what they say about animals and children though, they do somewhat take a back seat once you have a baby to care for, and I don’t think Petey has ever really forgiven us for it. I will say that he tolerates Phoenix. Phoenix is smitten with him and Charlie though. Again, having an animal friend around that would love him back would be pretty awesome, I am trying so hard to be patient and wait until he is an age where he will have some really strong memories of getting his very own dog.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Phoenix wore a white shirt so we could photoshop his age on (as you can see in the first photo above), we’ve done this every year and it’s become a fun little tradition. He’s a boy so he likely won’t care, but my aunt always had yearly photos of her boys that hung in her hallway and it’s so fun to see all the little changes that happen in a  year, I wanted to do that for Phoenix.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love PhotographyHarrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

ToLiveToLove0059

Towards the end, Phoenix got the grumpy bug. I actually love that face so much, I see it a couple of times a week and although he really is a happy kid 90% of the time, this face is also a perfect representation of that part of his personality.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

And a few of our fur babies, because it’s been a long time since we took photos with these guys! Petey is a rescue, a volunteer from the shelter found him in a dumpster wrapped up in a trash bag with a broken leg. It really breaks my heart to know that there are people in this world that could even fathom doing something like that. I call him my dumpster baby, even though he just turned 7, so technically not much of a baby anymore.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Charlie is our beautiful Pomeranian pup, we also got him at the shelter and the label on his cage said Pomeranian, but neither myself nor Kris believed it, he was completely shaven and was pretty big (about 15 pounds). We figured he was a mixed breed, but he was still completely adorable so he came home with us. We don’t know how old he is, we’ve had him about 7 and a half years, so it’s possible he is getting close to 10, but he is still super energetic.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

After having Charlie for about a couple of months his hair just kept growing and growing, until he turned into this beautiful dog. He was (and sometimes still is) scared of noises and sudden movements, so we think there may have been some abuse in his past, but we’re no dog experts so we really don’t know. He is much like a cat- and loves to lay underneath our bed, coming out for meal times and whenever he hears the crinkling of wrappers. He has taken to Phoenix pretty well (much better than Petey) and is very quick to catch any food casualties from P’s plate. He usually beats Petey to them.

Harrup Family Photos | To Live To Love Photography

Meanwhile, Phoenix is changing daily and I am constantly hoping that time will slow down. Right now Phoenix loves playing with tiny legos, he loves super heroes- spiderman, ironman, and hulk seem to be his favorites most days, but batman, and superman cycle in there too. He has a wonderful vocabulary and is constantly surprising me by the things he says. He loves playing at the park and meeting new people, everyone he meets are his new friends (I wish I had that quality). He loves doing new things and gets bored pretty easily, he also never met a Disney movie he didn’t like, Wreck-it-Ralph, Big Hero Six, and Zootopia are a few of his current favorites. Kris and I are really enjoying this stage of his life, we’ve both dove head first into soaking up childhood again- we’ve become Disney-a-holics, we are well versed in all super heroes, and are constantly on the hunt for activities that will make us all feel like kids again. So far the only thing we’ve found we’re not fans of is ChuckECheese. We’re past the terrible twos, and the first couple months of three we had some pretty sticky moments, but those have become few and far between, so we seem to be in this sweet stage of life where our biggest problem is just giving him as much time as we have and answering all of those “why” and “how” questions. We love you Phoenix and are so happy we get to do life with you.

Photo Credits | To Live To Love Photography

The Living Room | Awake Photography

The saga of the living room may be the slowest moving blog series I’ve ever done. Strangely enough, I actually “finished” this room about 10 months ago, and I think we shot it about 8-9 months ago. Why I’ve been sitting on these photos is a mystery…I could blame my real job of planning weddings, but that sounds like an annoying thing to do, so I’ll just show you a before picture so we can dive right in.

beforeTechnically, this is not a before picture, because the room was about 50-75% done here, but it’s the worst picture I could find of the room. Gross before pictures are ALWAYS good…poor photography helps all the more. To go back in time a bit I first shared this room in this post here. A few months later I shared a small update when we switched out the boob light for a hanging pendant. I’m not really sure if you are allowed to switch light fixtures in an apartment, but I really could care less. I don’t think you are supposed to paint either, and we all know that’s out the window.

The living room is the one room in the house I didn’t make a mood board for, I never had a super clear direction. I will say that I was majorly inspired by Emily Henderson in this room, but no concrete plans were ever formed. This room has just evolved over time, it looks SO dark in that before photo and the truth is that other than at night, this room never feels dark. It’s a very happy and bright space, it’s where a lot of life happens.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyThis room is SO bright and cheerful, it may be veering on too much color, but I think that’s just my personality coming out. In my office– we did such small amounts of color, I knew it was going to explode somewhere.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyI painted the walls Super White by Benjamin Moore. The artwork in the collage is a combination of purchased and DIY. Anything that looks like a 5 year old could have splattered it onto a canvas is the stuff that I have done.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyWe ended up purchasing a new slip cover for the sofa since a white sofa on a bright white wall wasn’t gelling too well. This one hides Phoenix fingerprints great, but if our dog Petey so much looks at this sofa, it becomes covered in a million little white hairs.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyJennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyIf only I had fresh peonies to sprinkle around my house all the time.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyLook at those plants outside! They were leftovers from this wedding and I’ve sufficiently killed them all at this point, but I sure do miss them.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyHere’s the first glimpse at the accent wall. I’m certainly not an advocate for accent walls, but I do believe that they can occasionally work and this was a giant white wall that needed something. We painted it an inky blue and it’s a really pretty color (Benjamin Moore downpour blue). In the daytime it looks super bright and inky and at night it turns into navy.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyJennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyI added some hooks right by the front door so we can throw our purses and coats on them when we get home. I mean we live in Houston so let’s be honest about the use of coats here…we may use one 2-3 times per year. We have also found that we very rarely watch TV during the day, but much prefer vegging out at night in the bedroom, so the TV got moved in there. Instead, I opted for a mirror and some extra seating- extra seating is always a good thing. It’s nice to have my mom’s big family over and feel like there is actually a seat for everyone should they want one. I so badly want to turn this light off in the photo below so you can see the moody black shade…I have no idea why all the lights were on in these photos, what was I thinking?

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyJennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyJennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

On the other side of the room we have our little dining nook, since the last time I’ve shared this space we did switch out the industrial chairs for these white bentwoods.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyJennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Next to the dining table we have the big shelving units (2 Ikea Vittsjos placed side by side), to this day I think this was the best decision I made for this room. It makes what could feel like a huge empty space really have a lot of energy and personality. I still keep the bottom two shelves child proofed (nothing breakable) although Phoenix can now reach the third shelf, he is pretty good about not messing with stuff, but when I rearrange sometimes things start to look new and interesting. For example, at Christmas I had all these little white bottlebrush trees I placed all over and he thought those were just the best things ever.

Awake1034Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyJennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyJennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Little vignettes are my favorite. I believe this is the start of a shoe collection of sorts.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyJennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

In the corner we have Kris’ desk. It gets really pretty light over here by the window, I take many an instagram photo in this corner.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyJennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Over here you can kind of start to see into the kitchen.I really love open kitchens, but this kitchen is so ugly (and there’s only so much you can do to a rental kitchen) that I’m kind of grateful it’s closed off and out of view. We did finally find the perfect pair of stools to place under the counter here. I love the mix of wood and metal and they tuck right in and don’t interfere with the back door. Amazingly enough I also have not painted over these DIY swirly paintings yet either. I do like the colors, so for now they can stay.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

All the plants on these shelves are also making me majorly happy…I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 90% of these have bit the dust. My fiddle leaf fig is barely hanging on, but I don’t think he will make it through the winter. I need some serious green thumb intervention.

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

And that’s it! My favorite parts of this room are my green rug- it hides Petey hair and stains like a dream. My plants- the living room is feeling SO lifeless without them. And my pendant light my dad got me for my birthday a few years back and then installed for me. Thanks for looking and thank you to my very selfless friend Paige for coming over and photograping whatever my heart fancies, she is pretty much the best.

Sources | White Paint- Benjamin Moore Super White, Blue Paint- , Benjamin Moore Downpour Blue, Sofa- Ikea Karlstad, Coffee Table- vintage Milo Baughman, console table- vintage painted white, fur stools- target reupholstered in sheepskins, blue chair, West Elm Book Nook, Bench- target, hooks- Ikea, Pair of glass lamps- World Market, gold shades- target, lamp on console- vintage, black shade- target, round mirror- Ikea, Green Rug- RugsUSA, Pendant light- Shades of Light, Corner Desk- vintage, corner desk chair- vintage, white bentwood- Crate and Barrel, bar stools- vintage, shelving units- Ikea vittsjo

a review of 2015

2015 was a great year for me. It was a year I made the decision to focus on quality over quantity which could not have been a better choice for me. I fully planned and produced 4 events in 2015, which doesn’t sound like much, but man- each event was so amazing and special. There wasn’t one that I wouldn’t be really proud to share here (and likely won’t be able to share here for awhile since we will be waiting on features for all of them). Although, you did already see one here. I thought I would give a rundown of some of the hi-lights of 2015, serving to hopefully keep me motivated and pushing to make 2016 just as good.

In January I helped design this boho shoot with my friend Paige and styled the heck out of it. It was a trendy shoot, which would be the last time I veered into trendy last year. While I spent a lot of time trying to veer myself and my clients away from trendy decisions last year I do still love trends and sometimes just can’t help myself.

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

January was also the  month I was busy finishing my home office and booking all of my 2015 brides.

In February Paige and I shot my office– well she shot and I styled. My very talented friend Erica came over and did my hair and makeup. This may have been one of the better days I’ve had- getting all fixed up and then taking pretty photos of a pretty space. I could do that ALL the time.

Jennifer Laura Design office | Awake Photography

I also worked a lot with my new clients that month, we wouldn’t have any actual events until May, but there is SO much that goes on behind the scenes getting ready for a wedding and I had four brand new clients- so it was on. Venue tours in Austin, catering tastings, shipping out save the dates, ordering invitations…were just a few of the things going on that month….and pretty much every single other month of this year too.

In March my family and I took our very first family vacation to Disney World. Little did I know that this would spark a Disney obsession. The only cure seems to be planning more Disney World trips, but I am certainly open to other remedies for this problem if anyone has any suggestions :)

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In April, things were pretty quiet over on the blog, but we actually designed and shot three styled shoots this month. I don’t think I meant for them to all pile together like that. Those were the only shoots we did this year- each one of them is really special to me and I can’t wait to show you the third one which hasn’t even been featured yet. Being in the wedding industry has taught me PATIENCE…that’s for sure.

Rose Gold Modern | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

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Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn Photography

We also shot my apartment this month, which I have yet to share over here. What am I waiting for?? These are coming soon I promise!

Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

In May Alison and Scott’s wedding kicked off the month. This was also our first wedding of the year, this was also the month that Kris came home to work for JLD full time which is still in full swing. Some month it feels like we are right on track and others Kris is itching to further his own career- he has a serious passion for wine and has been taking certification classes to become a sommelier. As much as I love him working with me at home, I have a feeling God may have other plans for us in 2016.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

In June, things were pretty quiet on the blog (other than sharing a handful of client engagements). We did have our very first floral only wedding this month with Taylor and Tim. We do offer this, although I don’t think it’s widely known.

Jennifer Laura Design Florals

Jennifer Laura Design Florals

In July We were gearing up for a big wedding at the carriage house in August. We also managed to plan and design the Heirloom Family gathering towards the end of July which was so special and a reminder to get out of the house more often.

Heirloom Mag Houston Family Gathering | Awake Photography

The weekend after that was Phoenix’s third birthday…I’m not quite sure where the time went, but somehow this happened.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Kris and I also purchased Schlitterbahn season passes and we took every chance we could to head down to Galveston with Phoenix in tow last summer.

In August, Catye and Trey got married at what I dare say IS one of the prettiest weddings we’ve ever done.

Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

Man, I can’t wait to share all of that one. We also did another floral only wedding at Butler’s Courtyard (which was a serious contender for our wedding venue) for Kelsea and Rob and man…it was a pretty one.

Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

September, which brought us Nubia and Ryan’s wedding.

Jennifer Laura Design | Korie Lynn Photography

Another wedding that had more than a few stunning details. September was also the month my relationship with God took a large turn and I learned a lot about surrendering and furthering my personal relationship with him. Sometimes I still feel that closeness and other days I feel SO far away…here’s to getting back to that place. September was also the month that my dad decided to whisk me off to Disney World. Kris and Phoenix were going out of town for a week to spend time with his mom, and I was going to be getting some major work done while they were gone. Instead, I hopped on a plane and showed my dad around the magic kingdom.

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In October, we strangely had no weddings. After having four back-to-back fall weddings in 2014 this was a strange but welcome fall for us. Kris’ uncle also got married this month and we were able to do their flowers- which was really just a fun no stress project…plus we got to kick up our heels at the wedding afterwards which was a nice change.

Jill Hubbert Photography

Kris and I also spent a weekend at Red Corral Ranch for our fourth anniversary.

Jennifer Laura Design

In November, Kris and I took Phoenix back to Disney World for a very early Christmas. We just had this idea in our heads of getting to do all of the Christmas things before the big crowds set in.

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This was a pretty magical trip, despite my husband forgetting ALL of his shirts- he literally only had the shirt that he wore for the car trip and one button up for a nice dinner out for the entire week we were gone. A quick trip to the outlet stores remedied the problem, but I will forever make fun of him for this and he will forever blame me for not packing his shirts. We also helped my mom out with Thanksgiving which she hosted at her house this year.

Thanksgiving | Jennifer Laura Design

In December, I finished all of my Christmas shopping as early as I could because we had a NYE wedding going down one week post Christmas. We arrived in Wimberley on December 29th and stayed in a really great Airbnb (I would love to go back there on vacation) and for the next three days we installed, installed installed- this wedding was ALL about the floral installations- we also spent an inordinate amount of time in the freezing cold, from which I am still recovering. Pass the vitamin C please.

Jennifer Laura Design

We kind of transformed that barn into a forest-y garden. I can’t wait to see the real photos from Feather and Twine.

It was a really good year…God blessed my little family unmeasurably this year. Looking forward to 2016- I just want to focus on my family and my business. I have this internal struggle, sometimes daily, of wanting to grow the business, but still wanting to have plenty of time to spend with my family. It feels like a balancing act that I can never get quite right. So my prayer for this year is for the guilt to lessen on both sides. I think having kids does this to you…I guess that guilt will probably never disappear, but I can pray right? I would also still like to continue to focus my energy onto others and less towards myself, I would give myself a C- on that goal for this year. I certainly didn’t fail, but I see A LOT of room for improvement! Here’s looking forward to a great year!

Alison + Scott | Kendall Hanna Photography

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

Alison and Scott’s wedding was awesome. This wedding made me happy on so many levels…the red white and blue color palette, the simple industrial vibes, I could go on and on. I only worked with Alison and Scott for about four months leading up to their wedding, they hired me in January and got married May 2. We crammed a lot into those four months and believe it or not I’ve planned a wedding in a shorter amount of time (try 2 weeks). They were so easy to work with- they had a design direction, but were open to ideas, and were extremely decisive. Nothing makes my job easier than a client who can make a decision and stick to it. I think in the first two weeks of working together we had nailed down their caterer, the late night snack truck, and their photographer. All pretty huge decisions which can sometimes take MONTHS. So let’s get into their photos- I am sort of weirdly proud of this wedding for one singular reason, which I’ll get into down below.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

Alison’s flowers were done by yours truly. This wedding was a learning experience, I knew what I was doing and it was a generally small wedding so I knew I could handle the flowers, but there is certainly a difference in being a florist only and being a florist and a planner. Having to stay up until 2am crafting centerpieces is one thing, but when I have to coordinate an entire wedding the next day…it was after this wedding that I started freelancing for a few bigger name florists in Texas to see how they handled everything. That has been a wonderfully eye opening experience and I have learned SO much in how these larger events get produced. Hiring floral freelancers is so important and learning that I can’t do everything is very good. This wedding was a good one to learn on because I certainly was not in over my head, a little tired sure, but I also have a three year old so I’m no stranger to that ;-)

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

Alison and Scott have this adorable house in the heights, I am turning green with envy just typing that. This house is SO my speed and I would love a little bungalow like this.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

Their ceremony was at All Saints Catholic Church in the heights, it’s certainly unusual looking, but I am just really obsessed with it. The stars on the ceiling just make me so happy, how cool is that?

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

The reception was at the Houston heights fire station, this venue is GORGEOUS, but unfortunately I wouldn’t really recommend it to my future clients… or anyone else for that matter. This place is so stinking pretty, but they don’t let you bring in your own rentals. This wouldn’t be a huge problem if they provided nice chairs, but the ones that they offer are folding metal. Most people use these floppy satin chair covers, but I actually hate those more than the metal. I have never used chair covers in my career and I wasn’t about to start now. We tried all sorts of things to try and get better looking chairs into this place, but it just wasn’t happening. Thus brings me to why I am strangely proud of this wedding- after installation was all said and done, I didn’t hate the metal chairs at all. Sure, things could have looked better, but it certainly wasn’t a deal breaker for me. They kind of (KIND OF) went with the cool industrial vibe we had going on.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

The seating chart was a huge roll of craft paper and attached to wood, it was one of those things that looked perfectly cool in the space, but since the most natural place to put it happened to be at the top of the staircase it was understandably really difficult to photograph.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

The centerpieces were wild and we alternated herbs in copper pots. We were originally going to use concrete, but Alison suggested copper, this was a great little change I was super happy with. I ended up buying small glass cylinder vases, but I didn’t want them to look like painted glass, so I painted them with plaster first to give them a cool texture, and then mixed a couple of copper and rose gold paints to get a shade I was happy with to paint over the plaster.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

We did pies, pies, and more pies. The guests were all geeking out over the fact that they got pie at a wedding. Several guests came through (some more than once) and got a slice of each flavor. It was a huge hit and just goes to show that if you want pie at your wedding- have pie. If you want a pretzel bar…have a pretzel bar. Nobody said you have to have cake at a wedding! p.s. ice cream was on hand nearby to pile on top of the pie as well. Perfect, now I’m drooling.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

These craft paper placemats doubled as our menu. They were hiding underneath the napkin at each place setting.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

Alison and Scott chose several different types of beer to honor the different places they have lived in their lives. I think they had six different kinds, it was a great touch that all the dudes really appreciated.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

Such a pretty space right? The reception was on the second floor of the fire station and it has these gorgeous windows that gets this super pretty light. BUT downstairs was where it was at. That’s where one of the best bands I’ve ever heard were housed. They were a 90’s cover band, which didn’t really register with me when Alison and Scott talked about them while we were planning. I was like, hmm..I’m not a huge fan of 90’s music. Well, that’s what I thought, until they played my entire childhood all night- cut to me and Topher singing along to. every. single. song.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

At the end of the night The Golden Grill rolled up and served everyone some very delicious grilled cheese sandwiches.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna PhotographyAlison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

This was one of those weddings we wanted to be a guest at. It was laid back, fun, and with a ton of awesomeness going on- pie, 90’s music, grilled cheeses. It was a perfect example of a couple chucking tradition and making their wedding suit them. I always want my brides to do this and as much as hiring a planner to help you (and as much as I try), sometimes they can’t climb into your brain to figure out what would be those cool personal touches to your wedding as much as you can. The couples that take the time to add those extra special ideas and touches…it always shows. And that’s when I think it’s cool to have a planner- you can just dump those ideas in their lap so we can sort them out and do the hard work of pricing and logistics. Can we afford a food truck? Do we need a special permit to bring one to our venue? None of those things are fun to think about when planning your wedding.

Alison + Scott | Jennifer Laura Design | Kendall Hanna Photography

Thanks to Alison and Scott for letting me plan their wedding, it was truly a pleasure.

Head over to 100 Layer Cake today to see more!

Vendors | photography: Kendall Hanna Photography | Planning, Design, and Floral: Jennifer Laura Design | Linens: Any Occasion Party Rentals | dessert table rental: Swift and Co | Catering:
Goode Company | Bartending: Bartending 2 U | Cake: Decapo’s Pastry Cafe | Ceremony Venue: All Saints Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Houston Heights Fire Station | Trolley: The Original Trolley Company | DJ:  The Wedding Show | Band: My So Called Band | Food Truck: The Golden Grill

Thanksgiving 2015 + some table setting tips

Every year my mom and her sisters switch off who has the holidays at their houses. This year happened to be the year my mom had thanksgiving. You can see two years ago when she had Christmas here. I always look forward to when my mom has a holiday- we pretty much have this deal that I can do whatever I want with little to no input from her. My mom has good taste, but we’re usually both so busy leading up to the holidays that it’s easier for me to come up with something that I know she will like. She is a very good sport about it and really does trust me to pull it all together. I do the decor and Kris cooks, which he loves to do, so it’s a win-win. Factor in the fact that there’s not a client involved which means no stress, we have a lot of fun with it.

Thanksgiving | Jennifer Laura Design

Thanksgiving | Jennifer Laura Design

We did a hot cider bar with lemon, rosemary, caramel, peppermints, and cinnamon. I don’t actually like cider, but from what I heard it all tasted great.

Thanksgiving | Jennifer Laura Design

I took the photos this year on our new camera…they aren’t great, but they’re also not disgusting so I’ll take it.

Thanksgiving | Jennifer Laura Design

Thanksgiving | Jennifer Laura Design

Thanksgiving | Jennifer Laura Design

Thanksgiving | Jennifer Laura Design

Thanksgiving | Jennifer Laura Design

 

The fireplace was a fun place for me to go a little wild. I did a lot of foraging to create this, which means I basically walked around in the woods and cut down branches. My mom asked me if I was going to finish the other side, to which I just laughed. I think this asymmetrical installation business had her twitching from lack of symmetry. To me it feels perfectly balanced :)

Thanksgiving | Jennifer Laura Design

Thanksgiving | Jennifer Laura Design

Now for a few table setting tips that I think could easily carry into a Christmas tablescape:

– create your table in layers- the linen, the plates (or chargers), the napkin and flatware, and the centerpiece. Think about which items you want to be the focus and choose those things first, then choose items that support that main focus- let those items be a bit calmer and not as busy.

– let your tablecloth be a neutral backdrop- If you have a busy pattern going on underneath everything, anything you set on top of that is going to get lost.

– candles are an easy and cheap way to take things up a notch- I buy all of my votive candles from quickcandles.com and taper candles also pack a lot of punch- I have slowly collected my brass candlesticks from thrift stores over the course of a year or so, they weren’t expensive at all.

– the dollar tree is your friend. I’m not a fan of plastic and when you have 15-20 people over for a meal sometimes it seems like it’s the only option, but we bought all of our glasses at the dollar tree for less than $20.

– you can rent. We rented all of our plates and flatware from an event rental company, typically plates are a dollar or so and the flatware is around 50 cents a piece. So not only can  you get some great things that would have cost you a fortune to purchase- you aren’t locked into the same plates and flatware each year, AND you don’t have to wash the dishes. You just throw them back in the crates to take back to the rental company. That’s a win in my book when you can spend more time with your family and less time in your kitchen doing clean up.

– forage in your backyard- large branches in vases are possibly some of the prettiest centerpieces I’ve seen, smaller clippings look good in small bud vases. Luckily, here in Texas our plants aren’t dead just yet.

So that was our thanksgiving- how was your thanksgiving?

Liberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine Photography

When I meet with a potential client and they tell me that they have already booked their photographer…it’s always a a bit stressful. Photos from my bride’s weddings are so important on many levels. First, (the selfish reasons) if the photos are bad I can’t use them in my portfolio, I can’t share them on instagram, etc. Secondly, after spending a small fortune on a wedding, I feel like my brides deserve to have some amazing photos to remember their day? After the wedding it’s all they have left! So when Liberty told me they had already booked someone I sort of held my breath….this conversation always goes one of two ways- either they booked someone fantastic and I get excited or they booked a dud and my interest in even working with this bride starts to fade. When Liberty told me that they had booked Feather and Twine…I was ecstatic! Not only are they amazingly talented, but over the years they have become good friends of mine. We have done several shoots together at this point and love to refer our clients back and forth to each other. Talk about a sigh of relief and excitement. I came onto the wedding pretty late and they had already taken their engagements so I can take absolutely NO credit for how fantastic they are, but dude…San Francisco, you are looking mighty good. My brother has lived in San Francisco for about 5 years now and I have yet to go out to visit him…looking at these photos I’m not sure what I am waiting for!

Liberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine PhotographyLiberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine Photography

Liberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine PhotographyLiberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine PhotographyLiberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine PhotographyLiberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine PhotographyLiberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine PhotographyLiberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine PhotographyLiberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine PhotographyLiberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine PhotographyLiberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine PhotographyLiberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine PhotographyLiberty + Stephen | Feather and Twine Photography

 Thanks for letting me share Liberty and Stephen, I can’t wait for March ’16!

Image Credits: Feather and Twine Photography

Phoenix’s third birthday | Kristen Curette Photography

This summer Phoenix celebrated his third birthday. This year, I was very particular about letting Phoenix choose the theme. It was the first year he had a very strong opinion about the subject and the first year I feel like he really understood what choosing a theme actually meant. About a month and a half before his party he started asking for a Petey theme (Petey is our dog pictured below). I thought he would surely change his mind and ask for an Octonauts party, spiderman, or avengers theme…but for the next few weeks he continued to ask for a “Petey feme”. I was happy to oblige. Here is my little three year old and our favorite white dog that sheds like no other.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Once again we wanted people to have no trouble finding our apartment so we did balloons and directional signs into our complex.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Now the paper is pretty special to me. My cousin Audrey actually drew this illustration of Petey for the invitations. How she captured his sad little look is beyond me. These invites were super simple- once Audrey drew Petey I just scanned it in and added some text. This is the first year I designed them myself and ordered them from Catprint.com. We lined and printed the envelopes ourselves as well.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Once people arrived inside we had Phoenix’s three year old photo blown up (by Tinyprints). We also used small porcelain dogs in several places…Kris actually suggested this and I loved the idea, but I did have a problem with the fact that this is a toddler party and I’m putting small breakable items all over the place. In the end the fact that they are cute won out and I wasn’t emotionally attached to any of them should there have been an accident (there wasn’t).

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

These stools always live here, but I call them my Petey hair stools. Just pretend I made these from the amount of hair my white Petey dog sheds in one week. #notkidding

Phoenixs 3rd Bday 7.18.15_ Kristen Curette Photography

Phoenixs 3rd Bday 7.18.15_ Kristen Curette Photography 0062

I used fun green fern-like plants everywhere. To be honest I am running out of ideas. For his first birthday we did cactuses, last year we did air plants…what other manly plant options are there? I suppose I haven’t gone crazy with succulents yet.

Phoenixs 3rd Bday 7.18.15_ Kristen Curette Photography 0062

I realize I have yet to share the final photos of our living and dining room yet. I need to, the areas are technically all finished and photographed. Silly me wants to tweak everything and re-shoot it, but I promise to share those photos soon whether I change things or not.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Tinyprints provided these pillows for us. The one with the photo of Phoenix and “his” dogs just makes me melt on so many levels. All three of my kiddos in one adorable little pillow. This pillow now lives in Phoenix’s room and he really gets a kick out of seeing his face on a pillow.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

We did the hot dog bar outside and painted the interior of our fence white just so these photos would look good. Yes, I realize we are completely insane. I also realize we are insane for putting any type of food outdoors in the middle of July in Houston. We kept everything refrigerated until right before serving and it seemed to work out well. At least the hot dogs stayed nice and warm.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

I made this hot dog bar sign with my printing transfer method. I have been using this method A LOT lately on things other than chalkboard and it works awesomely well.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

We provided every kind of topping we could think of and put them all in dog bowls. These were brand new UNUSED dog bowls mind you. I think we have about 20 different toppings in all. You could quite literally make any kind of hot dog your little heart desired.

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I kept the dessert table simple this year. No crazy backdrop. Rise Cupcakes made the cake and pupcakes for me and Brittany did an amazing job, I searched the heck out of Ebay to find porcelain likenesses of our dogs.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

For the favors Kris made this little grass area with a doghouse on our back porch. Little ones could choose whichever dog their heart so desired, name them, and take them home.

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

Look at those sad puppy faces- they need a home! Oh and don’t think I wouldn’t have loved to have real puppies out here. If parents wouldn’t have murdered me for sending their children home with real puppies I would have been happy to take that route ;) (rescue pups of course!)

Phoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette PhotographyPhoenix Third Birthday | Jennifer Laura Design | Kristen Curette Photography

And I’ll end this post with a photo of Phoenix with my dad- only his bestest friend in the whole wide world. These guys are two peas in a pod.

And if you need more cute kid parties in your life or you are new here, you can see Phoenix’s first birthday party right here, his second birthday party here, or you can see more of this shindig over on 100 Layer Cakelet. ALSO, I’m super curious which party is your favorite. I believe his first birthday will always be mine.

Design: Jennifer Laura Design / Photography: Kristen Curette Photography / Invitation Illustration:Seriously Sketch / Custom pillows, canvas print, napkins, and custom wrapping paper: Tinyprints / Cake and pupcakes: Rise Cupcakes / Signage + graphics: Jennifer Laura Design / Bamboo flatware, hot dog sleeves, and cardboard containers: Shop Sweet Lulu / Balloons: Party City