nearing the end of 2016

Happy holidays, y'all! We are somehow staring down the end of the year with less than three weeks until Christmas -- which also means our final wedding of the 2016 season. We are closing out 2016 with a big ole' wedding bang:  Lauren & Chris' downtown Nashville New Year's Eve wedding!!! You can expect to see many sparkles, confetti flakes, balloons, and candles galore shared as we close out the year and enter into one of our most exciting wedding years yet. 2017 is shaping up to be busy, beautiful, and a new pace for Kelly Dellinger Events. 

Personally, I'll be giving birth to our second child (another girl - Julianna Cate!) in late winter. For this reason, we have not taken on any weddings for production in January - April. We will also be halting in-person consultations for the month of March (as we adjust to live as a family of four and I recover physically -- not to mention soak in all those newborn snuggles! Swoon!). Then we'll be back in the saddle and ready to take on our whirlwind of 2017 weddings!!!! *heart eyes*

We're SO excited for our roster of 2017 clients -- couples from Arizona, Chicago, Atlanta, and our own backyard of Nashville will be getting married at stunning venues like Ruby, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Richland Country Club, Belle Meade Plantation, and a private estate in Owensboro, Kentucky! 

2016 was a great year -- full of challenges, new lessons learned, some incredible people met, really amazing travels, and obviously the growing of our family. I'm looking forward to recapping our eventful 2016 wedding season here on the blog in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that! 

I'll leave you with these family photos my dear friend Amy Cherry did for us in September. Wishing you & yours the merriest of Christmases and a very happy close to your year!

 

 

last-minute Mother's Day gifting

Oh haiiiii -- totally been MIA over here in 2016. We've been buried deep in planning beautiful weddings, putting together the cutest welcome boxes, setting up elaborate installations for parties, fulfilling a couple bridesmaid/MOH duties (#2016yearofthewedding), attending many a cake tasting, and making some dreams come to life. No big deal, right? ;) Oh, and also spending ample time with my ONE YEAR OLD (!!!). Yep, just like that, it happened. One year. One year down in the parenting track. Can't handle. Won't handle.

Anyways, now that I'm a mom, I understand the importance of celebrating the mothers in your life even more than ever before. These women birthed you, reared you, cheered you on, prayed for you, stayed up with you when you wouldn't sleep, took care of you when you were sick, probably got bitten by you, gave up their previous lives for you... you get the picture. Even if she's not your biological mother, I pray we all have someone (s) who serve in this capacity.

So even if you're a procrastinator (Mother's Day is Sunday, May 8, y'all!), here are a few suggestions for something lovely to express a token of your gratitude for that person who answers to "Mommmmmmmmm!!!!" (Or you know, just answers your late-night sobbing phone call when you can't take college anymore / feel homesick / have a sick newborn baby of your own / fill-in-the-blank.)

FLOWERS.

smells divine, will always make her smile! peony bouquet by  Amanda Jerkins ,  captured by  Spindle Photography

smells divine, will always make her smile! peony bouquet by Amanda Jerkins,  captured by Spindle Photography

Okay, yes, this is maybe the most generic of all mother's day gifts, but even as someone who sees a lot of flowers in my day, I still appreciate their beauty and love getting a bouquet that was specifically picked out for me. (As opposed to taking home a centerpiece or two after an event.) Tulips, dahlias, peonies, garden roses, big pink lilies... can't go wrong unless she's allergic.

SPA/SALON GIFT CARD.

This is another one-size-fits-most gift. Pedicures were a way I took time for myself a couple weeks before I had Lilly, and the first thing I did when I got a couple hours alone the month after she was born. Massages are also an A+! Pampering = good idea.

EVERYDAY JEWELRY.

Kendra Scott Elisa  -- classic, dainty, sparkly, not gaudy. perfect for everyday!

Kendra Scott Elisa -- classic, dainty, sparkly, not gaudy. perfect for everyday!

You obviously have to know your audience, but I feel like a beautiful piece of everyday jewelry is a great idea. Doesn't have to be anything insane (I'm not saying you should go out and buy that wedding band topper ring unless you really want to), but a pretty pair of freshwater pearl stud earrings (make sure you get the right size -- some of us are PICKY), a gorgeous druzy pendant necklace (I haven't met a woman yet that didn't like SOMETHING at Kendra Scott. Am I crazy? Or is her stuff that crowd-pleasing?), something sterling silver or gold engraved with her baby's birthday or initials, a nice twisted cuff bracelet, or even just a pretty monogrammed right-hand ring would be so lovely. Bonus points for engraving / personalizing / tying in her children or grandchildren into the design. But maybe not the little square picture bracelets that were popular in the early 2000s. Think legitimately wearable. Less is more!

FUN JEWELRY

pinch pinch

On the other hand, maybe she'd appreciate something fun that she wouldn't otherwise buy herself (but still fits her style / is legitimately wearable). A statement necklace, a pretty set of stackable beaded bracelets, a lovely pair of earrings, maybe a fun watch. J Crew Factory is a goldmine for gorgeous statement jewelry that doesn't break the bank and even Charming Charlie's has some fun pieces (that are also excellent and inexpensive for buying in bulk for your matching bridesmaids -- brides take note!).

CHAMPAGNE

An excellent addition to anything else (champagne & peonies go GREAT together, don't they?!), you could also opt for a stand-alone bubbly like Veuve Cliquot orange label. YUM!

THE GIFT OF SHOES

melissa wedges

Maybe she resigned herself to wearing sensible shoes after the birth of her baby. A gift card to DSW would help her find her shoe mojo again, right? Or at least replace that nasty pair of wedges she's worn and loved since the pre-baby years?

MOMENTS CAPTURED

If it's been since her wedding that she's had a professional take photos of her, wouldn't it be nice to gift her a photography session of her & her little (or big) ones? It doesn't matter if her children are adults, it's always nice to have moments in time captured beautifully. OR, alternatively, if she has all the images but never takes the time to print them, it would mean so much to have beautiful prints or an album or photo book to look back rather than scrolling through years of instagram feeds. With companies like Chatbooks (that literally print your instagram) and even high-quality Apple photo books, it's so easy to make these! I love Mpix for prints, too.

A TROPICAL VACATION

this hat  would be a definite plus to commemorate the occasion!

this hat would be a definite plus to commemorate the occasion!

Perhaps the best idea of them all, what mom wouldn't like to get away with a fruity cocktail in a coconut with no responsibilities?! Call up my good friend Carlie and find yourself thousands of miles away with just the ocean breeze. But maybe avoid the Zyka virus areas if she wants more kids soon... (Yikes.)

Other Ideas:

You don't have to spend any actual money. It's the THOUGHT, the APPRECIATION, and the effort that makes a difference. Saying Happy Mother's Day, going a little out of your way to do something nice for her (change all the diapers that day? let her get away with no laundry or cooking? wash her car?), or writing a super sweet note to express your gratitude for who she is and what she's done can mean the world to a mom. Maybe she wants a day to just chill at home, no plans. Maybe she wants to go out to brunch at a cute restaurant and get some bottomless mimosas. Maybe she wants a hot shower, a nap, and a meditative yoga class. (Doesn't that sound nice?!) Know the mom you're honoring. What would she love? What would she delight in? Do that.

For me, I'm hoping for some baby snuggles (I'm in luck -- snuggliest baby ever over here), taking a lot of posed photos with nobody complaining (ahem, Drew), and a sweet card. Last Mother's Day was a hormonal blur -- we had a two-week-old and were traveling to three different family members' houses, it was the official last day of Drew's paternity leave, and anxiety was high.

Here's to a beyond-survival-mode Mother's Day, and honoring all those incredible women who made us who we are today!

simple successful salads

This may be a little odd for a wedding planning blog, but today I bring you the simplest formula for a successful salad. Behold, the ultimate delicious-maker combo: fruit + nut + cheese. Plus salad, obviously. Mix and match your favorite leafy greens and vegetables of choice. 

Watermelon + Feta + Arugula --  Cru Catering 's masterpiece at our Charleston shoot, photographed by  Amy Cherry

Watermelon + Feta + Arugula -- Cru Catering's masterpiece at our Charleston shoot, photographed by Amy Cherry

Some favorite combinations: 

- Romaine + pistachios + bleu cheese + blueberries
- Spinach + strawberries + pine nuts + goat cheese
- Butter lettuce + avocado + pecans + bleu cheese
- Butter lettuce + peanuts + carrot sticks + mandarin oranges (not sure what cheese would complement this one but I'm sure there is one!)
- Romaine + shaved parmesan + avocado + pepitas
- Spring greens + raspberries + feta + almonds
- Spring greens + sliced almonds + cranberries + goat cheese

Whatever you've got on hand, toss and serve! Delicious!

Side note:  I'm very picky, and our favorite store-bought salad dressings come from the Simply Dressed line (we get ours at Publix but I'm sure they're everywhere). Loooove their Caesar and Bleu Cheese dressings.

honing

Oh haiiii!! 

Kelly here. Still planning gorgeous weddings. Still loving collaborating with fabulous vendors and darling brides. Chugging along on the quiet but steady train. Learning a new pace. 

As could be anticipated, my life has been completely flipped on its side following Lilly's entrance into the world. Everything is different. My marriage, my time, my body, the way I think, the way I make decisions, the way I eat... so many aspects of who I am have changed.

It seems across the board in all avenues of life right now that there's an ushering in a season of transition. People taking new and leaving old jobs. People moving. New births, new deaths. Engagements, marriages, divorces. Weather changing. Physical relocations. New construction. Nashville itself is ENTIRELY different than it was five years ago, one year ago. It's incredible witnessing it all. Life changing before me! The world changing before me.

I haven't always been very adept at adjusting with change. Sometimes I'm in denial -- I brush off the inevitable and just assume "it'll take care of itself." And time always DOES take care of itself, but at the same time, if you just start aimlessly wandering somewhere you may end up somewhere you don't want to be. Intentionality is very important.

One of my favorite speakers talked about holding on loosely to things of this world, of this life. (I've mentioned it here before.) It always makes me think of that Anthology song even though the subject matter really isn't that related. I will give myself credit that I have been MUCH better about opening my fists and going along with transition as it comes as of late. (God, please don't test this assertion, k?)

One of those areas has been my business.

As this year has progressed, I have had to face the fact that my business is not the same as it was one year ago, nine months ago, or even three months ago. I've tried to keep a VERY open mind about how I operate. I have to! I don't know what every month will hold, and I have to take it little by little. Things that worked for me a year ago, two years ago, don't necessarily work for me now. I've been HONING my business. I'm picky about the clients I work with. (And I L-O-V-E that. My clients are amazing!!!) I know better what types of jobs I work the best on. I know better what workload works for me. And I know that things will continue to change, especially in the years to come. So I'm working on changing with it all.

I literally have to ask myself regularly, "Who am I now?" As life goes on, it becomes more limited (in a good way). With limitations, you have to make choices and prioritize. INTENTIONALITY. What relationships do I want to continue to pursue? What direction do I want to go with my business? How do I want to spend the time I have every day, every weekend, every evening? 

Everything is a choice. It's that way with wedding planning too. You have a limited time period (i.e. your engagement) to plan your perfect event. You have a million decisions to make. You must prioritize what you want in every avenue of the planning process.

So I'm here! Honing away. Making decisions, right or wrong, learning from mistakes, living life, planning weddings. I do love this career. I love my business, I love my clients, I love the life it enables me to live.

Thank you for the part you play.

september life updates

I swear I keep blinking and suddenly another month has passed, or a season has gone by. As I was driving yesterday morning to a Nashville Wedding Planners Group meeting, I rolled the windows and sunroof down and turned on some Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffet. Wind tousled my hair, the warm sun shone down on me, and I breathed it all in -- "This is summer bliss, right here!" Thoughts of coconut water and crystal seas came to my mind. And then I remembered... it was the last day of summer. WHAT?

who says tennessee porches can't be beachy?

who says tennessee porches can't be beachy?

I kept complaining that I wasn't doing enough summery things the past couple of months. I wanted to go to the pool more often, make a batch of homemade ice cream, get outside and catch fireflies or something. Sit on the front porch more, anything! It irritated Drew whenever I'd say that, since he felt that we had a perfectly great summer and did plenty of fun things and I wasn't giving it enough credit. And perhaps we did. We did go on a wonderful vacation, see the ocean, go to the pool (once), made lots of key lime pies, and took a few walks. But it was REALLY hot. Too hot to go on walks most days. Too hot to sit out on the back deck or front porch for longer than a few minutes. Too hot to go to the zoo. You know, Tennessee really sucks that it gets so hot and humid (WITH NO OCEAN BREEZE) in the summers. You really have to be out on a body of water (read: boating) to fully enjoy it, I feel like.

At least fall means the weather is nice! It's still a little unbearably warm today, but there were a few morning hours of blissful 72 degrees. And more is coming. The evening temps are going to be dropping, daytime hours will be more comfortable. And hopefully it won't rain too much.

I'm going to be in denial that winter will soon follow. That's literally the worst part of fall.

For whatever reason, my summer got cram-packed-full with weddings and my fall ended up light and slow and peaceful work-wise. I am 100% happy with that, too. For the first time in 5 years, I'm getting to enjoy weekends in September and October! I am loving every minute with little Lilly Beth and she gets more fun with every passing month. She is such a giggly, sweet girl. She's super talkative, blows the funniest raspberries (especially when conversing with her father), and loves songs and even sings along with me on occasion. I am so grateful for this slower work season for ample family time.

LB at four months - such a sweet girl!

LB at four months - such a sweet girl!

I remember last year (in the midst of one of my most demanding Septembers ever) seeing houses near Cheekwood with haybales and pumpkins on their stately front porches. I thought to myself, "Huh! Must be fall soon, I guess." Now I am having the opportunity to buy mums and keep them alive and decorate my mantle with polka-dotted glittered gourds. To plan a zoo date with the little girl whose eyes light up when she sees new things. To bake an apple pie. To throw a baby shower for a close friend, for pleasure. To take barre classes and mama-baby yoga, and learn what it is to practice self care as a new mom. To actually go to church, and take walks and go on little day hikes enjoying the foliage.

There's a new season on its way! I can't drink a pumpkin spice latte like I'd like to (#diabeticprobs), but I'm taking advantage of this fall. Fall free of sorority recruitment, free of work-packed weekends, free of CPA studying and test dates. Free fall for me!

some fall-y inspiration for you -- via  amy nicole  &  le parfait

some fall-y inspiration for you -- via amy nicole & le parfait

If you need me, I'll be wearing ankle boots and orange scarves, cheering on Tennessee college football (from a distance -- I don't actually care about it enough to watch a game in person), lighting harvest-scented candles, dressing my baby in ridiculously cute Halloween outfits, and wrapping up 2015 wedding season in a beautiful slow-paced (but still efficient) manner. PS -- We already have several 2016 dates booked up and plans underway, so don't waste too much time if you need some assistance for your next-year wedding. :)

Happy fall, y'all!

nursery

I'm late to the game in posting these images of my daughter Lillian's sweetly Southern nursery, but better late than never!

One of the very first discussions my husband and I had upon finding out we were expecting was how to outfit the baby's nursery (#priorities). We tend to have very complementary interior design tastes -- we're typically drawn to a more neutral palette, natural-finished wood, lighter colors, and anything subtly evocative of the sea. (Although sometimes we do go overboard -- there are actual seashells lining the surface of our garden tub at the present moment, but I'll forgive that.) As much as we both love the whitewashed ultra-neutral nurseries of Restoration Hardware lore, we knew we could take some liberties to go bright and whimsical for our little one's room. (It is a child's space, after all!)

Initial ideas of the "theme" were Adventure (too "Pinteresty", IMO), Maps (also overdone), Sea Creatures (love them but don't love the premade cutest "sets" they sell at baby gear outfitters), Lilly Pulitzer (obviously a big influence but didn't want it to be identical to my office and I can never pick just ONE favorite print), and Flamingos (also love but there is such a thing as too much pink).

Drew was really pulling for the Maps/Adventure thing (esp when we were both convinced Baby Dellinger would be a boy) and I could get into it a little -- I've seen gorgeous antique watercolor maps in Savannah bookstores of the SC/GA coastline that are to die for. However, a $400 framed vintage map wasn't really in the budget and I didn't want to get too too themey. (Too many maps and you look like a Subway station, amirite?) 

Then we moved into our new house and found out we were having a Lilly. Drew was even more insistent upon painting the nursery a girly hue (which was a bit of a sallow pale green upon move-in) than I was. We found the perfect color, Beach Trail by Behr, and decided to subtly decorate the room with things influenced by our favorite city, Charleston. The color palette is reminiscent of Rainbow Row (and a project is in the works for a legitimate Rainbow Row-shaped bookshelf Drew's going to make!) -- bright pastels and beachy shades. We framed a couple of watercolor maps of the city and Isle of Palms, my maternity shoot was taken downtown so there are images of baby & me in her nursery city, and the room is replete with all the fixings of a sweet little Southern belle -- monogrammed wares, seersucker, Lilly Pulitzer baby shifts, bonnets and bows for days. 

It's certainly been a work in progress, one we're not completely through with. Things have evolved even since this photoshoot, taken when Lilly was a mere 2 weeks old. There's now a capiz shell chandelier mobile hanging above her crib, the seahorse painting has been hung above the glider, and one day we'll actually decide what to adorn the largest wall space which is currently still empty. But for now, a glimpse at a lovely little girl's room. :)

All images by the incomparable Amy Cherry.

Some of my favorite elements in her room are all of the handmade pieces gifted to us by our ultra-creative families. The below seahorse watercolor was painted by my sister-in-law, Jennifer, the day after Lilly was born (in between visiting us that morning and evening - can you believe it?!). My own sister, Dani, painted the narwhal and jellyfish canvas. My father made the gorgeous wooden stands that display my mother's handiwork: the going-home dress and bonnet Lilly wore out of the hospital.

LillyBeth_Newborn-73.jpg
LillyBeth_Newborn-8.jpg

Crib, Nightstand, & Dresser | Dolce Babi via USA Baby
Glider & Ottoman | Best Home Furnishings via USA Baby
Paint | Beach Trail by Behr
Flamingo Wall Organizer | Three Sprouts
Crib Sheet | Pottery Barn Kids
Whale Organizer | PBK
Narwhal Canvas | Dani Boudreau
Seahorse Watercolor |  Jennifer Dellinger
Sailboat | World Market
Swiss Dot Balloon Shade | Target
Hairbows | Julia's Boutique
Monogrammed Receiving Blanket | Vera Bradley

july life updates

Oh hey July!

July = bountiful coffee drinks. 3rd wedding anniversary. A million catch-up meetings. My first wedding back since birthing a baby. Learning how to be a working mom. Keeping my head above water.

Coffee & lists. So many lists.

Coffee & lists. So many lists.

And so much coffee.

And so much coffee.

You already know it goes fast. It's halfway through July already! 2015 is already halfway done. I met with my late-October bride & her mom this afternoon and we all shook our heads at the craziness that soon it will be her wedding day. We'll blink and the leaves will have all fallen off. It makes me feel like I've swallowed my own heart to think I'll have a SIX MONTH OLD by then. I'm not rushing anything -- au contraire, I'm trying to take advantage of each and every day, each and every season, and hold tight to it while it lasts. Hold on loosely enough to find peace with change as it comes, but not neglect the present either.

God's doing big things. When is He not? This is a new season. I don't know what it looks like, exactly, nor what it will, but I know His presence. And this is it! It's a really lovely thing to have Him there steering, isn't it? I'm closing my eyes and letting Him propel me where I need to go.

Business goals? Blog more. Wrap up Melissa & Kenny's wedding with a big sparkly bow and help make Saturday be the day of a lifetime. Serve fall couples well. Navigate the waters.

Personal goals? Celebrate Drew's & my anniversary in some legitimate fashion. Make healthier choices. Continue to work on being a better friend, sister, mother, wife, daughter. Design a life that has some semblance of normalcy -- some routine but lots of flexibility. Make our house a home, little by little. Do some summery things before it's gone. (Make homemade ice cream? Go to the zoo? Host an outdoors party? Go to a pool?)

Coupla sneak peeks of my favorite professional project -- a styled shoot in Charleston with  Amy Nicole  &  Karis Floral Design . Gorg gown by  Modern Trousseau , rentals by  EventHaus , hair & makeup by  Studio M Salon , all at  Legare Waring House .

Coupla sneak peeks of my favorite professional project -- a styled shoot in Charleston with Amy Nicole & Karis Floral Design. Gorg gown by Modern Trousseau, rentals by EventHaus, hair & makeup by Studio M Salon, all at Legare Waring House.

PS -- happy news: Drew passed his CPA exam. :D