As the year comes to a close, I have so much to be thankful for! This has been the most exciting, beautiful year, full of promise and opportunity and the best kind of change.
I actually rang in the New Year assisting with a wedding after-party -- such "the year of the wedding." :) And so began the (mild) winter, with me running full-force ahead working while planning our summer wedding. I forged ahead, occupying my time with handfuls of odds-and-end wedding jobs (florals and film and photo booths and magazine writing and getting my feet wet in as many places as possible) to pay off our own wedding deposits. I spent a chaotic and lovely Valentine's Day in my pink coat at Brocade, answering phones in awe of the beautiful florals.
With the spring came Brittany's and Doug's wedding (the first of 2012's Brittanys) -- a stunning April wedding with gorgeous weather and pretty pink & gray decor. Brittany and I got along famously -- she was actually my assistant for K&R's September nuptials! She said "I do" in an all-lace Jim Hjelm gown while trumpets blared beautifully.
The reception was held in Franklin and featured a cobbler a la mode bar (my favorite wedding dessert EVER!). Their wedding also marked the first opportunity for me to work with the ever-talented Nancy Ray Photography... major highlight of 2012!
Summer was split between assisting and planning weddings in the days leading up to Drew's and my big day. I worked as a floral assistant for the most epic destination wedding in Louisiana, directed a wedding that was featured on Munaluchi Bride, wrapped up plans for my best friend's wedding (and played Maid of Honor on the day-of), and then became Mrs. Andrew Dellinger!
Then, following a (not so far) move and transition to married life, August began a fall wedding season marathon. Brittany and Jeff were up first, with their modern-rustic affair in downtown Nashville.
Enter in a couple of "corporate" wedding coordination clients (featuring a Plexiglass-covered swimming pool dance floor and a Gangnam Style first dance, mind you!), a few more assisting jobs here and there, and the time came for me to take the biggest leap of faith to pursue change.
On a sunny Wednesday in October, I attended Making Things Happen in Atlanta. It was a hard but soul-reaching day filled with the most important questions in life, a good bit of distance from cell phone service and social media, a lot of encouragement and scary decision-making, and resulted in me driving out of the city that night telling my husband on the phone, "I'm going to start my own event-planning business. Like, for real." That was the catalyst for change. Lara Casey told me I needed to do it, Emily Ley told me I legitimately could (and successfully so!l), and Gina Zeidler told me to open up and take it. WHOA. I can tell you that having the Editor-in-Chief and CREATOR of Southern Weddings tell you that you know perfectly well that it's your time to start your own official business (and you're much too smart to be the only thing standing in your way)... is awful good incentive for doing just that.
And so, plans began to take way! Kelly Dellinger Events was born. I attended the all-day Making Brands Happen webinar in November, began working with some of my all-time favorite wedding vendors from all over the South to create my brand and company identity, and after a dedicated December of nonstop thought and effort, this is it! Always a work in progress, but there a few things that will never change:)
2012 has been so, SO good to me. I married the love of my life and started wholeheartedly pursuing the passion of my dreams. Thank you to all the sweet couples I've had the privilege of working with this year, and thank you to all of the amazing vendors who make my job so much easier and more enjoyable. Thank you to Mary Alice, who first gave me a foot in the door in this wonderful industry, and to everyone at StudioWed for being so accepting and supportive for the past three years (I'll miss you dearly). Thank you to Making Things Happen -- both creators and community. Without you, Lord only knows how long it'd take me to start doing instead of dreaming. Thank you to Drew for marrying me and being my number-one cheerleader and constant support system. Thank you to my dear parents, seester, and family for not even blinking an eye when I come up with the craziest of ambitions. Thank you dear friends near and far for challenging me, keeping my calendar filled, and celebrating all of the little things. And all of the thanks that could be mustered to my Lord from whom ALL blessings flow. I have far to go, much to learn, and many a pretty party to throw. :)
Happy New Year, dear readers! 2013 will be the best year yet!