Nubia and Ryan | Korie Lynn Photography

I have been so insanely blessed this year to have some really amazing clients. Nubia and Ryan are no exception and have been so fun to work with. Their wedding is coming up this fall and I can’t wait- we have some really amazing vendors on board, my friend Korie Lynn being one of them, who happened to snap these gorgeous engagements.

Nubia + Ryan | Korie Lynn PhotographyNubia + Ryan | Korie Lynn PhotographyNubia + Ryan | Korie Lynn PhotographyNubia + Ryan | Korie Lynn PhotographyNubia + Ryan | Korie Lynn PhotographyNubia + Ryan | Korie Lynn PhotographyNubia + Ryan | Korie Lynn Photography

I Love the effortlessness of these. Just so pretty and timeless! Hope you all are having a great week, happy Wednesday!

Photos by | Korie Lynn Photography

Equality

As a christian I believe in the bible wholeheartedly. As a christian I know what the bible says about sin. So I know that most christians feel a certain way about what happened last week in the supreme court. I have been struggling with how I feel because I know that I am “supposed” to feel a certain way. After struggling with my emotions over the past week, crying tears of frustration, and even wondering whether or not to share my opinion because I’m not sure it really matters, I decided that I want to share my opinion and I need to get this off my heart.

I can’t help but feel happiness, happy that so many of my friends now get the same rights and privileges that I do, happy to see all of the joy on people’s faces whose lives have truly been changed for the better by this decision. I know that living a gay lifestyle is a sin, but I also know that as a christian I sin everyday and I have peace in knowing that it will never be my job to place judgement. My job is to love. I hope that other christians can follow suit and just love. This place is not our home and I have faith in a GOD that is a much higher power than the supreme court. Have faith in him with me. Let’s love our brothers and sisters fiercely because that’s what we were put here to do.

Kia and Penny | Awake Photography | Jennifer Laura Design

And to the beautiful couple who can now be seen as a real marriage, congratulations Kia and Penny!!

photo credit: Awake Photography

transitioning

Hello there. Life has been quite different around here lately. Kris quit his job about a month ago. We had been talking about it a lot, and while we hadn’t really planned for it- mentally or financially it just sort of happened. It has been such a good thing and Phoenix and I are really enjoying having him home. Ultimately, we think Kris will work full time with me. It’s something he has always wanted and something I’ve been hesitant about. I don’t see myself as a boss. I have my comfort zone of what I have been doing for the last 3 and a half years, so to take things to the next level is frightening. It has also been head scratching…I am not sure what I want out of this business. I do know that I don’t want weddings every weekend. I know that seems silly and counter- productive to say, but I like only having a handful of really special clients. We are going to start doing some different things, but me offering a high-end full service only client experience…that’s not going to change. I have enjoyed that so much this year. Kris is sort of looking for another job. We have been open to the idea, something where he isn’t gone every weekend like he was at his last job. BUT we’re also staying open to the idea of him staying at home and working with me. We are kind of giving it to God and seeing where he takes us. So in that aspect everything really is in the most capable hands….even though sometimes I forget and put on my boss hat and try to run things…this always ends with me getting frustrated. God usually has a very gentle way of reminding me to take a step down. Take a chill pill. But anyways, say some prayers for us in this life transition we are taking on- just pray that God does his thing. In the meantime, Kris and I have been praying every night together for the first time in our marriage and it has been really special. We would love to pray for you or someone you know if you would let me know in the comments :) Happy Thursday! Jennifer Laura Design | Feather and Twine Photography

Vivian and Kevin | Feather and Twine Photography

I am really excited to share these engagements. Two of my good friends- Kelsey and Talon with Feather and Twine shot the images and will also be shooting the wedding come December. Vivian and Kevin are the kind of clients I dream about. They have a really strong vision and know what they want, they look to me for creativity and direction, but they also push me outside of my comfort zone to do better. That happens you know, I get nestled into this safe zone- design wise, vendor wise, and creativity wise- and sometimes I need a little shove to go beyond what I think we can do. And from there things only get better. Vivian and Kevin are getting married on New Year’s Eve which I am really excited about, something about the magic of NYE feels really special. I’m SO ready. In the meantime, here are their completely adorable engagements to tide us over. A phrase we have been using a lot in the design process with them is “child-like wonder” and I think these engagements sum that up pretty perfectly. Vivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine PhotographyVivian + Kevin | Feather and Twine Photography

The Kemah Boardwalk has never looked so good amirite? Happy Thursday!

Photo Credits: Feather and Twine Photography

designing a wedding with purpose

When I first started planning and designing weddings I was ALL about the wedding trends. A balloon wall, rustic elegance, ombre everything, string art. I’m pretty certain we did it all. I still love those weddings very much and from time to time a trendy item is just pretty freaking cool and I’m not going to swear it off just because it’s trendy. But…for the most part I’m over trying to stay with the latest and greatest. I’m over hanging rock candy as a backdrop (yes we did). This is not to say you won’t see original and fresh ideas from me anymore, but in the future my events will have more purpose and a direction. They will have more thought behind each design decision. Because hanging rock candy as a backdrop could be a cool idea…as long as it has purpose and makes sense.

I write all of this as a warning to brides because I think trendy weddings are very in right now (um…trendy weddings are trendy?), possibly more so than ever. I think Pinterest feeds on itself and wedding blogs share new content everyday. Compare this to ten years ago when we only saw a handful of weddings in magazines once a month. Now we see multiple weddings shared on multiple blogs everyday. By the time one trend has come out, we see the idea duplicated on 17 other wedding blogs and all over Pinterest that by the time we use the idea in our own wedding it’s beyond OLD NEWS and may already look dated. Chevron, sequined linens, stripes, chalkboard art (yes, I’m admitting my own hobby to be old and stale), one need only look at pinterest for five minutes to see these ideas executed at various degrees at a handful of weddings. I’m just starting to worry that in twenty years we are going to look back at our weddings and say what on earth were we thinking? Kind of like how gals that got married in the seventies laugh about their rainbow pastel dresses and colorful and ruffled menswear. But we’ve taken it to another level, because we aren’t just using these trends to dress people anymore. We’re using these trends in our ceremony, at our reception tables, and anywhere else we can think of and afford. Spaghetti jars and tin cans seem like a cool idea to use as a centerpiece- free vases! But at the end of the day you are still putting spaghetti jars and tin cans on your wedding tables. When you look back at that idea in twenty years you won’t remember that it was trendy to be thrifty, you will see it for what it is. Spaghetti jars and tin cans with flowers inside. It’s ok to be different and use things in different ways, but make sure there is purpose behind the decisions. Design your wedding with you and your fiancee in mind. Design your wedding with purpose and meaning. Choose things because they mean something to you or you truly truly love it. Not because it was the best idea that popped into your pinterest feed that day.

Korie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | The Weekend Type

Catye and Trey | Giddy and Gold

You guys, I am so excited about this wedding coming up in August. I seriously can’t wait to show you everything we have planned! But for now take a peek at the cute couple that will be tying the knot, Catye and Trey.
Fun Outdoorsy Engagements | Giggy and Gold Fun Outdoorsy Engagements | Giggy and Gold Fun Outdoorsy Engagements | Giggy and Gold Fun Outdoorsy Engagements | Giggy and Gold Fun Outdoorsy Engagements | Giggy and Gold  Fun Outdoorsy Engagements | Giggy and Gold Fun Outdoorsy Engagements | Giggy and Gold Fun Outdoorsy Engagements | Giggy and Gold
p.s. You can see some fun sneak peeks of wedding prep leading up to the big day by checking out #dunawaywithsinglelife on instagram

Photos by: Giddy and Gold 

Simple and Timeless with Korie Lynn

Korie Lynn and I did this shoot last October. I was knee deep in weddings, but I had never worked with Korie before (who also happens to be the amazingly talented The Weekend Type) and I just couldn’t say no. We agreed to do something small scale so my brain didn’t boggle and this shoot was born. You can see our inspiration and a sneak peek here. This is the first shoot that I did that felt like I was finally moving in the right direction. It was a really good feeling. Let’s get into it shall we?

Korie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin Station

I styled the paper two different ways- but the gold box from West Elm has my heart. It was all kinds of perfect for shooting the paper. I love trying out a few different things though because you just never know what will turn out better or what blogs/magazines will want to see. Plus…I could play with paper and style it all day long, so it’s not exactly difficult :)

Korie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin Station

Hair and makeup was by Erica of Hey Lovely. I don’t talk about her enough, but I’ve used Erica for almost every shoot I’ve ever done, obviously there are exceptions, but seriously her work is just so beautiful and she doesn’t overdo it or do too much, just lets the natural beauty shine through.

Korie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin Station

I found this marbled ribbon that Natalie Stopka makes. It was so pretty in every way, I want to find a million more reasons to use it, it was GORGEOUS.

Korie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin Station

We shot everything in the old train station at Olde Dobbin Station. It was such an insanely pretty spot and just filled with the perfect filtered light. Even my crappy Iphone photos were starting to look magical in there which is a very rare occurrence indeed.

Korie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin Station

This centerpiece likely weighed around thirty pounds, our model looks chilled out, but I promise you she was struggling not to drop it. I had built it on a 12″ cake pedestal and was planning to transplant it into a vase which was a rental and why I didn’t originally build it in there in the first place, but low and behold it looked pretty great on the cake stand…it just meant that it was enormous in a good way I think.

Korie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin StationKorie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin Station

I styled this cake a couple of different ways, but the simple clean lines of the pretty cake were my favorite and won out. This cake didn’t need a thing.

Korie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin Station

A close up shot of Korie’s amazing calligraphy and that insane ribbon.

Korie Lynn Photography | Jennifer Laura Design | Olde Dobbin Station

Happy Tuesday! What’s your favorite part? I think mine is that marbled ribbon!!

Vendor Credits:  Styling & Design and Flowers by Jennifer Laura Design | Photography by Korie Lynn Photography | Calligraphy by The Weekend Type | Hair and Makeup by Hey Lovely Makeup | Cake by Buttercup Bakery | Rentals by Bourbon & Bloom and Darryl and Co.  | Dress and Earrings from BHLDN | Venue, Olde Dobbin Station | Silk Ribbon by Frou Frou Chic | Marbled Ribbon by Natalie Stopka

5 ways to save money on your wedding…that WORK

After reading about all the ways to not save money, here are some ideas that will save you money and keep your guests from thinking they are at a DIY budget wedding.

5 ways to save money on your wedding that work | Jennifer Laura Design | Photo by Feather and Twine

1. “Our venue allows us to bring in our own alcohol”- This will save you a boat load if you have a venue that allows you to do this. You will need to provide TABC certified bartenders, and you can get glassware through your caterer (they may also be able to provide bartenders), or provide your own plastic cups. My recommendation here is to find a full service liquor company- there are some amazing ones that will deliver everything that you specify and even extra then come back at the end of the night and pick up what you didn’t use, then only charge you for what was used. Find someone who can provide this service for you. And if you can’t it still might be ok, enough alcohol to serve 100+ people is pretty cumbersome, this could possibly be a groom and groomsmen task, but then needing drunk groomsmen to remember to get leftovers at the end of the night could prove to be problematic, especially if you are at a venue that requires everything to be out at the end of the night.

2. “I want to have a small, intimate wedding with only the people who are closest to us”- I think everyone says this. I think almost everyone wants this. No one really wants their wedding to be full of people they don’t know or distant relatives they haven’t seen since they were born. But the truth is the lower you can keep your guest count the less you will have to spend, it’s just a fact- the food, the flowers, the rentals….will all be less when you keep your guest count in check. It’s easier said then done once you start factoring in who your parents want to invite, but if you can actually do it, KUDOS.

3. “I’m going to have a cocktail reception”- This is such a great way to save money. This basically means that you are going to have heavy passed appetizers all night, maybe some fun interactive stations, and no seated or buffet dinner. Guests love it because they get to chow down all night and I love it because it allows us to bring down your costs everywhere else. When we do a cocktail reception, we do a ton of cocktail tables, but we only seat about 30-40% of your guests. Therefore driving costs down in rentals, linens, florals, etc. This is a great idea for big weddings on a tight budget, and my favorite part about it is that it doesn’t have to feel cheap or like you are scrimping- find a creative caterer that can do some really fun stations- build your own stuffed avocados? a raw oyster bar? Meanwhile you have servers passing fun little one bites to people while they wait in line. It’s a pretty great/fun atmosphere and your guests aren’t going to notice that it cut your food/decor budget in half.

4. “I’m getting married on a Friday or Sunday”- This will save you money on your venue rental fee- sometimes 25-50% cheaper simply because you are not taking their coveted Saturday slot that everyone wants. Keep in mind that other vendors likely will not charge less due to the different day- photographers, planners, DJs, caterers- they are all providing the exact same service no matter the day of the week, so keep that in mind when you are budgeting. BUT that venue savings will likely be worth it.

5. “My uncle is going to be our officiant”- I have seen this work out well on so many occasions. It isn’t a huge savings, but it’s something and means that your ceremony will likely feel even more intimate and special. You will want to make sure  your officiant brushes up on some simple ceremony normalcies like “all rise”, “you may now be seated”, etc. You know so your guests don’t stay standing for the the entire ceremony. Oh Lord….yes, I’ve seen this happen and had to quietly walk around telling everyone they could sit down.

If you missed part one- ways NOT to save money, check here. Now get to planning and please tell me- do you have any money saving ideas that are amazing? Any money saving ideas that just didn’t work out? I want to know!

5 way to NOT save money on your wedding

I have had a lot of clients in the past who are looking for ways to cut corners or save money on their wedding and I get it, weddings are very expensive. But as someone who has managed quite a few events over the years I have some thoughts on some of these “budget saving” ideas that are simply not worth it.

Jennifer Laura Design | photo by Sugar and Cloth

1. “I’m going to purchase my own linens and then sell them after the event”– This is a bad idea for a lot of reasons. Have you seen what twenty-thirty 120″ round linens look like? It’s a lot of fabric, you have now put yourself in the position to store this before your wedding and then haul it to your wedding, but the biggest reason why this is a terrible idea is that you don’t realize quite how gross the linens are going to be after your wedding. They get very dirty, if you want them to look good enough to sell you are going to have to pay to get them dry cleaned and that bill right there will likely be about as much as you could have sold them for. Not to mention that after your wedding you (or some poor family member) has had to collect them (you don’t have a soiled linen bag because they don’t give you that when you buy) and try to bag them somehow, transport them home (warning- they will take up even MORE space when they are dirty), store them until you have them dry cleaned, then find someone who wants to purchase used linens. You may be able to sell them locally on craigslist if you are lucky. Now…don’t think you will save money by washing them at home and skipping the dry cleaners…because now you have horribly wrinkled linens that probably won’t ever quite look the same again. No one is going to want those.

2. “My aunt Silvia is going to be my wedding coordinator”– How did your poor aunt Silvia get stuck with this job? Who decided that she was so unimportant that she wouldn’t be able to enjoy your wedding day? Also, think about the people that will be helping aunt Silvia- her husband, her kids, her brothers or sisters (more aunts and uncles), by assigning one family member to “coordinate” your wedding day you are in actuality putting the stress and strain of all the set up, problems, dealing with vendors onto an entire segment of your family. Don’t do this. Even if they offer it up as a gift, chances are they just don’t know what they are getting themselves into.

3. “My friend took Photography classes in college and has offered to photograph my wedding for FREE!!”– I can understand why this might be appealing, good wedding photographers are expensive, but chances are your friend has never photographed a wedding before, do you want to be their guinea pig? You are likely going to be spending thousands on your wedding day and your photos are all that you will have left. You want your photos to be great. You don’t want someone that will forget to take photos of the rings or your dress…or someone that will not get endless angles of your centerpieces. Professionals take thousands of photos in the span of 6-7 hours on your wedding day, they typically have multiple cameras and gear worth THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS that will allow them to get that many shots. I liken it to being a sports photographer- they have to get moments that will never happen again, they have to be fast, and ALWAYS in the right place at the right time. Your friend may be a great photographer, but someone with experience will be able to capture all the little things that you are going to want to see when you reminisce about your wedding…details your inexperienced friend may not have thought to capture. They will likely also have a second shooter that allows them to essentially be in two places at once and get shots one person could never get.

4. I’m getting married at home so I don’t have spend thousands to rent a venue” This can work to save you money in some cases- if you are having a very small (and let me stress the word SMALL) guest list. I’m talking less than 50. There are a lot of factors that go into planning a wedding at home- parking, ceremony space, reception space- your parent’s backyard may be beautiful, but do you have a back up rain plan? If you don’t have a space to fit everyone indoors in case of rain you may find yourself not only having a rainy wedding day, but coming in thousands of dollars over budget to rent a tent and have it lit and draped (you know, so it’s not ugly). There are also a lot of things that come with a venue-  can your at home plumbing handle 150 people? You may need to rent a bathroom trailer. You will definitely have to rent tables and chairs, you may want a security officer if guests will be drinking, insurance is always a good idea to protect your home, a cleaning crew is a must, and then the inevitable stress that the wedding will put on the home owner, it’s unavoidable since they are essentially the hosts of the party, whether you have a planner/coordinator or not.

5. “I don’t need a DJ, I have an Ipod” I’ve been to a wedding with a crowd that didn’t know each other very well and in general wasn’t very lively. A DJ could have gotten people up and onto the dance floor and kept the party going, but because there wasn’t a DJ present and only an Ipod, it was a confusing mix of family members making announcements at random times, it felt pretty disorganized and the wedding ended about 2 hours early because everyone was leaving and the bride and groom wanted to leave before everyone else did. I also saw groomsmen awkwardly trying to queue up the first dance song and not sure exactly which one it was and having to check with the groom as he was waiting to start dancing. If you are having a SUPER low key affair and you don’t want specific dances or any announcements made then I think playing an Ipod is totally ok. If you want a party going late into the night, if you want a grand entrance with all of your bridal party, if you want a big cutting the cake moment where everyone is watching….then you need a DJ to orchestrate all of that, otherwise you will be so disappointed with how some of these important moments turn out.

Stay tuned for part two of some ways to save money that I do think are great ideas and ARE worth it!

unpause your life

This year I made a resolution to be content. Here we are in May and I have found two things that are really driving that home for me. The first was a quote I saw a couple of weeks ago that said “unpause your life”. Do you ever feel like you are living life in pause mode? Waiting for a promotion, waiting to move, waiting to graduate, waiting…for what? A few weeks ago I turned 28, I posted this photo on instagram and said

unpause your life

 

“It’s my birthday and today I turn 28! My 10 year high school reunion is this year so I’ve been thinking a lot about where I thought I would be now 10 years ago. I didn’t think I would be a wedding planner, I wanted to be an interior designer. I didn’t want kids…probably ever. And although I wanted my own business I thought I would start it when I was a “grown-up” which at the time in my head meant probably in my thirties. It’s amazing how you just wake up all of a sudden and your life has taken you on a path you never dreamed of. I’m still well on my way to where I want to be in a lot of ways, but the best surprises of my twenties have been my baby (now more of a miniature awesome human thing) and my business…which I never would have had the guts to start if I hadn’t been pregnant. I did some strange things when I was pregnant like chop all my hair off (we’re talking boy short) and start a business (thankfully the business worked out and my hair grew back). So now that I’m almost a “grown-up” it’s exciting that I started my life before I thought I could. Life always feels like we are waiting for something…never sure exactly what. So do something awesome while you are waiting.”

I saw the “unpause your life” quote a few weeks later and it felt like it kind of summed up what I was trying to say. Then Saturday morning as I was creating florals for my wedding I decided to play some Tenth Avenue North on my phone. I just flipped through youtube and played some songs I hadn’t heard before. The first one that played was “Empty my Hands”. The main chorus of the song says- “empty my hands and fill up my heart”. This, to me feels like something God was speaking directly to me, I am so busy chasing these wordly goals, chasing…waiting…and I just need to empty my hands. I do believe that God makes good things happen to people who serve him, but I am just so “busy”. Ugh, I hate that word. With a lot of things that don’t feel like they matter. I want to unpause my life and do things that actually matter.