Winter Glamour Photo Shoot {Christine Gosch Photography}

I wanted to pop in today and share this shoot that has never been seen before! I shot this with Christine Gosch Photography (remember, I designed her vow renewals here) and a few other awesome vendors last January. LAST January. So yah, this shoot is kinda old. It was never picked up to be featured anywhere and by the time we found that out, it was extremely unseasonable, which may be one of the reasons it was never picked up. By the time we were sending it out for submission, it was late February, and I’m sure by then blogs are looking for content for spring. Just bad time planning on our end. But since it happens to be very seasonal right now, I thought it would be fun to share it. You may have seen a bit of it here in my DIY agate charger post.

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Not that it’s cold in Houston or anything. I’m pretty sure we cut down our Christmas tree last week to the tune of kids in shorts and tank tops, but hey- we can dream it might chilly up before Christmas! Happy Monday!

{Vendor Credits: Photography: Christine Gosch, Design- Jennifer Laura Design, Florals- Maxit Floral Design, Hair and Makeup- Hey Lovely Makeup, Linens- Over the Top Linen, Rentals- Bourbon and Bloom, Invitations + Calligraphy- Mariel Sawicki}

Laura Hooper Calligraphy Workshop

The Laura Hooper Calligraphy workshop was something I have wanted to be a part of for awhile. I am a pretty big fan of her work, follow her on instagram and the sort (have you seen her new laser cut place cards? Must. use them. somewhere.) So when I found out she was coming to Houston I immediately stalked around the internet for all the details I could find. I finally found out that Ashley from Sugar and Cloth blog would be hosting the workshop and therefore in charge of all design details including the flowers. By the way, if you haven’t checked out her blog do so now. It’s completely adorable and I love her style! I am hoping to work with her again in the future too. Fingers crossed on that front. So I e-mailed Ashley and  begged asked her if I could be a part. I was more than a little excited when she e-mailed me back saying yes! She sent this inspiration photo and told me she wanted the arrangements to be mainly greenery.

lhcalligraphy workshop floral inspirationVery fall, but in a fun way. I immediately knew it would be a good idea to do arrangements that lent themselves to fall elements- greenery and loads of texture, but with fun and happy colors- no burnt orange, no brown. Can those colors just die already? Next, I sourced some vases- I gave Ashley a couple of choices, but was secretly hoping she would pick these.

white birch vaseWhich she did (!). I loved them because they were wintery without being themey or annoying, yet still white and clean. These photos don’t even do them justice, when I saw them in person and saw the real birch bark and the crazy texture and peeling nature of these…they were just so so pretty/awesome. Next came the day to drop them off, which also happened to be a wedding day. I feel very fortunate because if it had been any other wedding day it probably wouldn’t have worked for a myriad of reasons- we were out of town, we had to be on location too early, our car would have been full, etc. etc. BUT this wedding day we weren’t actually allowed into the venue until 2:30, so after an 8am drop off of these bad boys- I actually headed home to wake up Kris and Phoenix and do a few chores/normal Saturday things (what are those?) before heading off to our wedding. Couldn’t have been more perfect. I was just so excited to take part, and I enjoyed watching my instagram blow up for a few days afterwards too :) A hundred likes….a hundred! Seriously though, I’m trying to care less about that stuff…really I am. #itsnotworking

Um, anyways- on to the goods. Oh man, did I luck out at the wholesalers or what? The prettiest coral charm peonies I ever did see and that waxflower, I don’t know the correct name of this color, but it was awesome with those tiny pink petals and bright orange centers. I was only wishing I had bought more of it.

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

And let’s just talk about how cute this workshop was, I’m a sucker for a white bright space with pretty details and that pretty much sums up Ashley’s style/her studio. I want to live/work/eat/breathe in here.

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

Also lucked out getting pomegranates on a stem. They were a really fun autumnal/textural element to work in there.

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

Thank you so much to Ashley and Laura for letting me be involved- such a treat to be associated with those two, if only for a moment :) And go check out Ashley’s blog to see more of this event right here!

{Vendor Credits: Laura Hooper Calligraphy Workshop, Hosted by- Sugar and Cloth, Photography- Jared Smith Photography, Florals- Jennifer Laura Design}

DIY Chalkboard Art

It has been a little over a year ago that I shared about my experiences with chalkboard art and had a little list of tipsy tips. Not to be confused with drunken tips. Those are what my husband brings home after a successful night of working at the restaurant. Kidding. Sort of, actually not really. Anyways, I thought it might be time to write up a bit more on chalkboard art since I now have a completely different way of doing things that is much easier and pretty much foolproof. Crooked lines are a thing of the past and free-handing it is for fools. Before you get started, go back and read the first post I wrote about chalkboard art (over a year ago!) so you can see what my first attempts at chalkboard art looked like. They weren’t terrible, but I think these next photos will mean a lot more to you after looking at those. These are some photos of my most recent work and as you can see things have gotten worlds better.

All thanks to this new method of mine.

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

 

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

Now let me start by saying that this method in no way is meant to replace hiring an actual chalkboard artist. The difference there is that those people are artists and worth every penny because they are extremely talented and will produce something that cannot be replicated, using their own handwriting/artwork to create something versus using fonts and purchased graphics. The effect is similar and not a bad option at all if you need a lot of signage and are trying to save money. Just know that if you have large pieces it does take some time. Expect to spend an hour or two mocking up graphics and then another hour or two to transfer the graphics and then go over them with chalk (or chalk marker). Although smaller signs will take way less time and effort.

Step One

Measure your chalkboard. Or buy a chalkboard if you don’t have one and then measure it. Then get into a program that will allow you to put together some graphics. I use powerpoint 90% of the time, but photoshop would work too if you are fancy like that. Size your file the exact size of your chalkboard. Now you can start mocking up graphics the exact size they will be on your chalkboard. Hop on pinterest for some ideas and inspiration and even googling “chalkboard art graphics” will pull up some great tutorials on good fonts to use and places you can get free clip art graphics. Once you have a composition you are happy with you can print. Make sure you print it out the exact size you created it (not scaled to fit paper or anything like that).

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Step Two

Gather your supplies. You will need:

- chalkboard

- scissors

- chalk marker, you can use regular chalk, but I am addicted to the perfect clean lines of chalk marker

- regular pen in a weird color like blue or red

- tape

- white graphite paper- this is the most important supply! You can find it in the drafting section at Hobby Lobby- which is around the art supplies, near the canvases I believe. *Apologies for the terrible photos to follow.

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Step Three

Tape your white graphite paper onto the chalkboard- glossy side down. This is the side that will transfer (it’s basically white tracing paper). I like to cut my graphite paper to size so I can see the chalkboard underneath which makes lining up my graphics easier. Tape it down so there is no sliding. Then, cut out the excess paper around your graphics- again, this just makes it easier to see exactly where you are lining things up so you can keep things even, straight, etc. When you are happy with their placement tape that down too. Make sure not to press too hard on the surface once your graphite paper is down, because you will end up with little stray white marks.

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Step Four

Next comes the tracing! Trace very carefully over all of your graphics, this is why I like to use a colored pen so I can keep track of what I have gone over and what still needs to be traced. You know, in case I get interrupted by a two year old wanting me to read him a book. Feel free to use a black pen if you like to live dangerously ;-)

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Step Five

Once you are finished tracing- take off both layers of your paper and behold very faint white lines of perfect graphics!! I’m kicking myself for not getting a photo of this part because it really is satisfying. But this will show you exactly where you need to go over with your chalk marker. No guess work, no worries.

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Then behold your handiwork! If you do end up with any stray white marks you can take a q-tip and some chalkboard paint to touch them up. This smaller sign probably only took me about 30 minutes to transfer and trace.

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Now for a few tips about this method to help you even further:

#1- Chalkboard paint is your best friend. I have found that chalk marker doesn’t really ever fully erase properly. I would love to know if anyone has ever had any success fully erasing it because I haven’t. A lot of times people actually don’t want to erase them and like to keep the chalkboards as keepsakes so it works out, but if you do want to reuse it (as I often do with my inventory of chalkboards), what I do is use a glass or surface cleaner to get most of it off and then just repaint over the entire board with chalkboard paint- boom. perfectly fresh chalkboard surface with no haze or shadows. I’ve purchased a quart of chalkboard paint and it’s lasted a looong time and I do these more frequently than I imagine an average person would :)

#2- Engineer prints at Staples are CHEAP. To create larger chalkboards I recommend having a black and white engineer print made and then taping it down on top of your chalkboard. Your tracing paper won’t be large enough but you can move it around underneath as you go to trace all of it.

#3- Take your time on the graphics portion- find some interesting fonts (I like carolyna pro and bombshell) and graphics and make them really special. Even a perfectly transferred chalkboard won’t look great if it’s not an interesting composition.

#4- Hobby Lobby has some really reasonable smaller chalkboards in cute wooden frames. If you wait until they are having their half off sale you can really stock up too.

Happy Chalkboarding!!

Happy and Bright {To Live To Love Photography}

I have to start out by saying that this is not a shoot I designed. I pulled together the vendor team and provided the florals, but other than that this was completely designed and pulled together by my fabulous spring intern Heather Darr of Darrling Design. Heather and I started working together last spring and she was just such a blessing to have in my life! She became not only a wonderful intern, but a good friend- she didn’t live too far away and we ended up having about 2-3 crafting days at my apartment every week during my busiest season. Since then she has gotten a real job and moved on (waaah!!), but we a good run and she sure made my life easier there for awhile. During our many crafting sessions she mentioned a styled shoot that she had been planning and some of the details had kind of fallen through- they lost their photographer/model, etc. Then she showed me the mood board for the project and I said “Heather, we have to make this happen!” It was too good not to bring it to life.

Darrling Design Mood Board

It wasn’t until a few months later that we actually had the time to start pulling vendors together and solidifying all the details, but I was really excited to make this happen. I started with our photographer- Ashley with To Live To Love Photography had reached out to me a long time ago when her sister was getting married and they thought she might enlist the help of a planner. She didn’t end up hiring anyone, but I bookmarked her because I was just so darn impressed with her. I still am actually- she designed and photographed this UNDERWATER shoot for crying out loud. How does this woman not have 5 million followers on instagram??! So needless to say I had been itching to work with her for awhile and just needed a project to come along. Fact: I’m still itching to work with her and have a big fun idea in the works with her coming up hopefully soon- amateur photogs and stylists stay tuned!! Then I pulled my favorite makeup girl Erica with Hey Lovely and then our lovely model Kaite is actually an old friend from high school. She reached out to me about providing florals for her wedding and I was unfortunately unavailable so I thought this might be a fun way to do something together anyway, plus her and her fiancee are completely adorable and pretty perfect for the happy colorful vibe we were going for.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

We shot everything at Brazos Bend State Park which was my second time out there and significantly less rainy than the first time. If you are looking for a magical outdoorsy shoot location in Houston then this is the place you want to go. Chances are it will be a bit of a drive, but it’s worth it, I promise.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

It was a lot of fun working with paper flowers.  It was really easy and I really liked mixing in the real and the paper, to where you almost can’t even tell whats what anymore.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

These hand painted signs by Paper and Posies were GORGEOUS. I loved them so much I immediately commissioned her to make one for my surprise proposal I had coming up. We e-mailed back and forth and it finally came down to it that we were on too tight of a timeline and we didn’t have time to get it shipped, so I had to DIY one of these. You can see my sad sad imitation of this from Monday’s post here.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

No comparison really, but hey- you do what you gotta do! We planned that surprise proposal in a week after all…

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

This backdrop was a labor of love created by Heather and her sister. It’s so crazy how you (when I say you I mean I) see things like this on Pinterest or get an idea for something that seems so simple…and then fast forward to hours upon hours of cutting and tying crepe paper strips individually by hand. I get into these situations all the time- oh, hand stamp, stuff, hole punch, and ribbon tie 300 feather and glitter bags- piece of cake….4 days and a claw hand later I’m re-thinking everything I thought I knew about my life. This was one of those projects. We shot this in the middle of a Houston summer and these girls were at this for hours- still tying pieces just minutes before this shot was taken. I think it was worth it though- it’s gorgeous. and would be so perfect for a ceremony or a dessert table backdrop.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Next we have our little sweetheart table. You see what I mean about this park being magical? There are a million spots nestled here like this, seriously no shortage of perfect spots to shoot.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Heather made every single one of these paper flowers. I believe she did so with her cricut explore. Which I still am in desperate need of one of those- I’m sure you have heard all over blogland how they are the best things since sliced bread…er paper.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

These were leftover confetti poppers Heather had from one of my spring weddings that I still haven’t shared yet (magazine feature coming soon!), Heather gave them an adorable little makeover and they were perfect for this shoot. And if you are wanting an awesome wedding exit (and are allowed to make a mess) consider confetti poppers- these were SO much fun.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Thanks so much to everyone involved and an especially big thanks to my intern Heather for not disappointing! Want to see more? Check out our feature over on 100 Layer Cake.

{Vendor Credits- Photographer: To Live To Love Photography,  Styling & Design: Darrling Design, Florals: Jennifer Laura Design, Hair & Makeup: Hey Lovely Makeup, Paper: Paper & Posies, Models: Kaite Dittman & Austen Baldridge}

{A JLD Proposal} Ron and Tiffany

You know what’s funny is that after a couple of weeks off working starts to feel fun again. I start dreaming about projects I want to work on and clients I want to take on. I actually met with really awesome potential clients last week that made me remember exactly why I love my job. Hearing about their ideas, getting visions of gorgeous locations…just spending an hour with them brought back a million and one reasons why I love working in this industry. They might book their date with me, they might not. I’m putting that in God’s hands and letting him lead me wherever he wants to take in 2015. I’m not going to let the little stuff get to me :)

Anyways, I have A TON to get you all caught up on. But I wanted to start in a logical place with this surprise proposal featured on Wedding Chicks now over a month ago (where has the time gone??). I try to keep up with these and feature them on the blog the same day or shortly after the features go up, but October and the first half of November got completely away from me. We were traveling all across Texas and did four weddings in six weeks so this proposal got a mention on facebook and that was about it.

This proposal kind of looked like a styled shoot/advertorial when it went up on Wedding Chicks, but I assure you it wasn’t. Wedding Chicks decided to take it that route by titling the shoot “Using a Coordinator to Help Plan a Proposal”. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of them presenting it that way because a) it makes it look like an advertisement and b) I like the title “coordinator” about as much as I like poop in Phoenix’s diaper. ie. not at all. I consider myself a lot of things, but a coordinator isn’t one of them. Do I coordinate? Yes, but it is probably the part I enjoy the absolute least and it sounds so generic. Not to complain, I’m still stoked to be featured on Wedding Chicks any day of the week, I just wanted to clear that up since it kind of irked me. And no, I didn’t pay for this feature. And yes, I liken this to a problem one might have about his wallet being too small for his hundreds. And yes, I’m whining. End rant.

If you want to catch yourself up, here is the post and mood board from last summer. That seems so long ago and yet, 5 minutes ago all at the same time. I love Kristen’s photography style so much, I just want her to follow me around and capture me eating cheeseburgers and doing really unglamorous things like scratching my nose. It seems like she would make it look so elegant and beautiful somehow. But anyway…let’s start with some of the detail shots that Kristen grabbed before Ron and Tiffany showed up. We had planned to do the entire proposal at the Japanese Zen Garden at Hermann Park, which is in fact where we originally set up. Just imagine us dragging this desk, wing chair, and cake through half of the park to get to the center where the zen gardens are. #workout

Jennifer Laura Design | Surprise Proposal | Kristen Curette Photography

We were originally rushing to get everything set up on time and then rushing to get these detail shots before they showed up. But after about 15 minutes there were detail shots galore and no word from Ron (our proposer). We waited around for about 30 more minutes and started to get worried because the zen gardens were slated to close soon. At one point, Kristen even suggested we move everything, but afraid they could show up at any moment it seemed too risky.

Ron  Tiffany Proposal 0031 _ Kristen Curette -Edit

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About ten minutes later, Kristen gets a call from Ron who is hopelessly lost. After all the e-mails back and forth and planning out every detail, Ron had forgot to mention that he had no idea where the zen gardens were! Kristen did her best to explain how to get there and then we waited some more. At this point, we had about 15 minutes before the gardens were going to close. Ron calls back and tries to get her to explain again how to get there. I furiously start texting him some landmarks that I can think of that I saw on my way in. Kristen finally agrees to meet the couple over by a nearby museum so she can walk him into the park. I walk part of the way with her and stand at the entrance to the zen gardens to make sure they don’t close the gate on us before they can make it back. A few minutes later, I see Kristen come around the museum followed by a smiling Ron and a not-so-smiling Tiffany. Both Kristen nor myself had ever met her before so I can only imagine how she felt getting dragged all over with no idea of what was going on (with her boyfriend on the phone with some girl she doesn’t know!). Meanwhile, I’m just praying we don’t get kicked out of the zen garden. Finally, we all make it back into the garden and to our set up, and although I think Kristen and I had originally wanted to be invisible we now know that Tiffany has seen us and is probably wondering who on earth we are. I still tuck behind a tree as they walk into the set up while Kristen tries to hide a bit too while snapping photos. I love these next few pictures so much because you can see the look of exasperation turn into complete joy once she realizes what is happening.

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And then they lived happily ever after….totally kidding. Then we got kicked out of the park. I even went up to the officer who was yelling at us to get out to let him know what had happened and if they could have a few moments to enjoy themselves, but apparently stuff like this happens there all the time and he really couldn’t have cared less about their engagement. So we decide to pack up and move so we can get a few more shots. Now imagine us hauling all of this stuff- desk,  wing chair, cake, once again out of the zen garden and to another pretty spot Kristen scouts out quickly. Set up again- and snapped the rest, these are all from our second location.

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We didn’t get too many different shots here, but since this was a real engagement I was just happy that Ron and Tiffany got to spend some time and actually enjoy the moment without some police officer yelling at them. It was a perfectly imperfect day that I know they will always treasure. Thanks for letting me be a part of it!

{Vendor Credits: Photography: Design and Florals- Jennifer Laura Design, Photography- Kristen Curette Photography, Cake- Dream Slice Cakes, Prop/furniture rentals- Recollection Vintage Rentals Bourbon and Bloom, Macarons- Macaron by Patisse}

I’m back.

I have missed blogging SO much. The past two months have been a total and complete blur and I am so happy that I made it through to the other side. I’m officially calling 2014 a wrap and am currently taking some very significant time off. I’m anticipating this time off will mean getting caught up with blogging because there has obviously been A LOT happening and I’ve had no time to talk about any of it. Talking about everything here is my most favorite part of this job of mine believe it or not, so when I say I’ve missed it…I really mean that. I’m also hoping that this time off will give me some clarity. I’ve been really struggling the past year with deciding if this is the right path for me. I am constantly feeling like I may want to try other things and some days I just want to be a stay at home mom so I can spend as much time with Phoenix as possible. I’ve also made a really big step this year by getting baptized.. I’ve been a “christian” my entire life and was baptized in 5th grade, but it has really only been in the last year and a half that I have truly embraced that title and started putting God and Jesus Christ first in my life. Or at least trying to, I’m obviously a work in progress and I definitely need a whole heck of a lot of work. So with that being said, that has been another thought on my mind… how does this business glorify God? Would God rather me be doing something more impactful or meaningful directly for him? I don’t even have any idea what that is or what that would look like, but these are the things I have been thinking about.

Regardless of what direction God leads me in the future, I know that I want to slow down. I don’t enjoy life when I don’t have time to vacuum the ever-accumulating piles of dog hair in my house. I know that sounds really simple minded and it is. I grew up in the country on a really pretty piece of property with my parents, brother, and dog Sparky in Arkansas. I used to ride my bike around on the dirt roads, go play on top of rocks, and jump into our creek from a rope swing. Lately, a simpler, slower existence like that has really appealed to me. I don’t really know how to get there, but saying it out loud might be a good start. I also know that I will probably never be content not doing something creative and creating things…or experiences. So there’s that as well.

I may never get it all figured out…I think that’s pretty normal (I hope). This past year has been such a learning experience. It was my third year of being in business and the first year that I felt like it really hit me…this doesn’t stop.  It was a very messy, imperfect, exciting, and rewarding year. And let me just say that working in the wedding industry is very stressful indeed. On any given wedding day there are a bevy of problems to solve, hundreds of people to make happy (a select few obviously more important than others), and curve balls thrown left and right. When I first started I used to stress out on wedding days because I was new and didn’t really know what I was doing. Now I stress out on wedding days because I know there are going to be things that go wrong, things that are out of my control, and problems that I will have to solve immediately. It’s really a very odd feeling. Most wedding days I wake up feeling nauseous, I drive to the wedding feeling nauseous where I will then be too busy to notice that I am probably about to puke at any moment from the stress. My husband has to stop me around 3 or 4pm to make sure that I eat something. There have been days where I couldn’t even get my mouth to swallow food. It’s like my body didn’t recognize it. I just keep going until all of the major events have taken place and then somehow towards the end of the night I can breathe again, I can maybe swallow a couple of bites of food. It’s so very strange and every wedding morning I vow that I never want to plan another wedding again…and then somehow that evening when my bride hugs me with tears in her eyes, or sends me a late night text telling me that she just had the best night of her entire life and she could have never dreamed of doing it without me…I think- oh that wasn’t so bad. I can do more of these! It’s beyond the strangest thing. I’ve never even really vocalized these feelings and I think my husband is really the only person aware of how wedding days actually affect me. I’m really good at hiding the stress, hiding the panic, I once called myself a duck because I’m completely calm and in control on the top, but beneath the surface my little feet are paddling to stay afloat, to stay ahead of the next possible catastrophe. I realize I’m making it sound so dramatic…and maybe it isn’t so bad- I’m definitely not saving lives here, but it sure does feel quite monumental in the moment. Anyways, this post is messy, unorganized, and has zero pretty pictures…and for that I apologize. But I’m going to hit publish nonetheless. Thanks for listening and coming back after I’ve been so neglectful. Good things to come I promise :)

Natural Beauty Styled Shoot {Jen Wojcik Photography}

Phew! The last month has been building up to what was the biggest wedding of my career so far. I feel like I keep saying that, but the truth is my weddings are getting bigger, more detailed, more awesome, and 100% more complicated. This one was a doozy and I can’t wait to share as much as I possibly can. But for now, let’s talk about this shoot that was featured over on Wedding Sparrow last week. I first talked about this shoot here, so go read that first.

I’ll wait :)

Ok, so now that you are all caught up let’s get into the details. There actually weren’t a ton of details. Which I kind of regret. At the time I had neither the time nor the budget to do a full blown table, cake table, etc, but looking back I love this style so much that I just want to see more. NOW in my defense, nothing went like clockwork this day so maybe it was for the best that we hadn’t planned more. We arrived to Brazos Bend State Park (which is the most beautiful place possibly ever) and started scouting a location- we found an awesome spot with lots of trees and lots of moss and got hair and makeup rolling. The weather looked iffy, but it wasn’t raining- it was actually the perfect amount of overcast. The second our gorg model Kylie was ready and stepped into her dress, the clouds opened up and all hell broke loose. Thank goodness we had umbrellas to get her and all of the florals to the car. Everything that wasn’t a model or flowers got soaked including my husband and child, who had tagged along to play at the park :-/, needless to say that didn’t happen. We then drove around for awhile and our photographer Jen got out and wandered around in the downpour looking for a covered area that wasn’t covered in picnic benches. We lucked out and found a pretty wooden structure right on the water.

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

 

You can quite literally see rain all over the wooden floor. And you can’t tell, but it was still pouring all around us.

 

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

This dress was perfection. Designed by Chloe Dao who I very much remember from season 2 of project runway. She has the cutest little shop in rice village and is oh so talented.

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

One of my old friends from high school did the makeup, she just started her own business (Kylee Nicole Makeup) and she is crazy talented- future brides- go HIRE HER :) We also might have gotten a chuckle out of the fact that our entire team was made up of two Jens (myself and photography) and two Kylees (model and makeup).

http://www.kyleenicole.com/Blog/

http://www.kyleenicole.com/Blog/

http://www.kyleenicole.com/Blog/

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

We were finally able to venture out when it stopped raining about an hour later.

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

You can even see the raindrops here on the plate. By this time we were all soaked and no one even cared anymore.

Jen_Wojcik_Photography-79-580x788

I love the way I styled this paper, but Jen’s lens kept fogging up so she took these later where the Twinkle and Toast’s amazing paper looks about 100% better.

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

Jennifer Laura Design | Jen Wojcik Photography

If I was really clever, I would photoshop the good paper images into the styled photo, but ain’t nobody got time for that. At least not today :) Thanks to everyone involved- it was a really fun day despite the crazy weather. And I just got an entire weekend’s worth of perfect temperature and weather for my wedding, so this girl isn’t complaining.

Photographer: Jen Wojcik Photography | Floral Design: Jennifer Laura Design | Hair and make up: Kylee Nicole |  Dress: Chloe Dao | Paper: Twinkle and Toast | Model: Kylie Day at Neal Hamil Modeling Agency 

Christine and Donnie {Tessa J Photography}

Christine and Donnie. This was a such a fun event. If you are new here here are a few posts to get you caught up- Christine and Donnie sneak peek, Christine and Donnie instagrammed, and Christine and Donnie bridals and engagements.

No worries, I’ll wait :)

So by now you know that this was not a wedding. Christine and Donnie were celebrating their five year anniversary and in doing so decided to celebrate the wedding they weren’t able to have five years ago. It was such a magical day and I can’t wait to break it down for you. Let’s get into it!

So this was definitely a DIY affair. I would say Christine and Donnie did about 50% themselves and they were so fun to brainstorm with. The renewals took place at Christine’s parent’s property which is a magical little property out in Pearland. It is the kind of place I would want to live someday, it felt isolated and in the country, but it wasn’t very far away from anything. It was actually about a 10 minute drive from my parent’s house in Friendswood, which was an extremely nice change of pace since 90% of our weddings have been over an hour away.

gosch_reception_tessaj_121

Christine worked with her friend to design her invitation suite and they were very cool. The RSVPs even included a little sketch her daughter Harley did.

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Special little bouts wrapped in gold wire. Which is my new favorite way to wrap things by the way.

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Here are a couple of the signs that Christine and Donnie made. I love a nice, big, schedule to welcome your guests! And the property was pretty expansive so the direction sign to give people the lay of the land was crucial.

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Guests exited their cars at the entrance and then chalk arrows led them to the back of the property where we had this little ribbon moment to lead them to the ceremony. Ribbon is such an easy and inexpensive way to get a “wow” moment. I will never get tired of a good ribbon installation.

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

This drink station was just beyond the ribbon arch and in front of the most darling chicken coop I’ve ever seen. Behold.

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Chickens make the perfect wedding accessory, I highly recommend them ;-)

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Christine and Donnie walked down the aisle together which I loved. It was the perfect way to change up the ceremony just a bit to make it a renewal and not a wedding.

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Best moment of the ceremony had to be when their little boy Jude dumped his sister’s flowers out of her basket. I can totally see Phoenix doing something like that. It doesn’t get any cuter than that people.

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

One of my favorite backdrop ideas thus far. Golden wood planks strung up and swagged from the trees made for a pretty big impact.

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

This was the first event that I did 100% of the florals. It made for a very busy pre-wedding week, but it gave me so much joy! I hate to say that I have been disappointed on more than one occasion when the flowers show up at my weddings- either too plain, too grandma, too this, too that. It was such a good feeling to have complete control over the biggest design element. Flowers really do make or break an event.

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

I got these little votive cups from Topher for my birthday over two years ago. They have just been sitting in my storage closet waiting to have a moment. They are BHLDN and I love them so much.

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography 

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

What’s a first dance without your little girl twirling in the background?

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

These color dipped s’mores were COOL. We used giant ones and followed this tutorial. It was beyond easy and made the s’mores bar just that much more special.

http://www.thekitchn.com/try-this-dip-dyed-marshmallows-idlewife-184658

http://www.thekitchn.com/try-this-dip-dyed-marshmallows-idlewife-184658

Gosch Vows | Jennifer Laura Design | Tessa J Photography

And it wouldn’t be a proper send off without loads and loads of confetti. It’s messy, but probably my favorite type of exit ever. psh. birdseed, I’m over you ;-)

And if you need to see more, head over to 100 Layer Cake today for the full feature and more info from Christine!

{Vendor Credits: Photographer: Tessa J. / Venue: Private Residence (bride’s parent’s property) / Design, Coordination, & Florals: Jennifer Laura Design / Hair & Makeup Artist: Hey Lovely Makeup / Invitation designer:Samantha Aguilera / Cake: Dream Slice Cakes / Catering: Ladybird / Rentals: One Stop Tents and Events / Gold Linen: Aztec Events and Tents / Drink Canister: Bourbon and Bloom / B&G chair signs, head table place cards, and confetti: Darrling Design / Dress: Jenny Yoo from BHLDN / Shoes: Corral Boots}

We’re Hiring!

Hello friends! It’s that time of year again, we are heading into our fall wedding season over here at JLD and things are getting biz-zay. It’s chaotic and wonderful all at the same time. I am tres’ excited to announce that we are hiring again! Last spring I couldn’t have been more blessed with some amazing interns and am hoping to have the same luck this time around.

we're hiring | Jennifer Laura Design

Day of Event Assistants

This is a Houston local position, meaning that you need to live in Houston or be available to travel to Houston for several weekends this fall (we do have a few out of town events in which travel may be necessary). This is going to be a great position if you are looking to get a lot of hands-on event experience. We will be working together on weekends (don’t worry, not every weekend!), Typically only Saturday, possibly some Fridays if needed- setting up events, overseeing installations, and assisting with coordination details. I’m looking for someone who is interested in learning more about the wedding industry and is driven to work her tush off!  I will be hiring 2-3 event assistants and availability on certain weekends will be key. This is a paid part-time position.

Design and Styling Intern

This is a Houston local position, meaning that you need to live in Houston or be available to travel to Houston for several weekends this fall (we do have a few out of town events in which travel may be necessary). I am looking for an intern that wants to gain some event experience. My intern will work with me a bit more closely leading up to the wedding and delve into crafting and prop building. Attention to detail and perfectionism is key! My intern would also ideally accompany me to at least 2-3 events this fall and handle set up details, installations, and timeline management. There will also be plenty of opportunities to get an insight into what all goes into pulling an event together from start to finish. I’m looking for someone who is interested in learning more about the wedding industry and is driven to work her tush off! Knowledge about popular wedding blogs, trends, etc. is a plus. This is an unpaid internship, but can totally be used for college credit in related fields of study.

If you are interested please send a brief e-mail with an attached resume to jennifer@jenniferlauradesign.com. We will be interviewing in the coming weeks and the deadline to apply is September 15th.

I am so hoping to find a few perfect people to join our small team! I can’t wait to hear from you!

Sneak Peek: Kia and Penny

I’m excited to share this sneak peek today! Kia and Penny are two brides that hired me way back when to design and coordinate their wedding. They were pretty loose on what they wanted, jewel tones and glamour were the only big direction they gave me. From there the ball was in my court which was a lot of fun. I feel like they weren’t necessarily my typical client- I get a lot of DIY and crafty girls (which I also love), but this was definitely a nice change of pace. We’re also kind of bucking trends here and going for…let’s call it timeless glamour.
Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 1.34.22 PM

This is really just the tip of the iceberg as far the design goes…there will be A LOT going on. More is more kind of vibe. Then a couple of weeks ago they also hired me to design and style their bridal portraits. Have I mentioned I love doing small projects like this? I really really do and if you are already a JLD client I’ll discount the heck out of any other sessions you want me to style…just because I really want to make it happen. No one said I was the smartest business person in the world :)

Kia and Penny | Jewel Tone Glam Mood Board | Jennifer Laura Design

For their bridal portraits we wanted to pull elements from the wedding- so the bouquets will be their mock-ups for the wedding day, the furniture is a close cousin to the lounge seating we have going at the reception and gold and jewel toned accents to finish it off. One of the best parts about the whole thing is their photographer- they hired Awake Photography, who I recommended and is none other than my good friend Paige, we have done a handful of styled shoots together as well as her shooting Phoenix’s first birthday and his bedroom. I can’t wait to team up with her again!

Happy Thursday!

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