anniversary time:: another list of do-over's!

Every year as I approach my husband's and my wedding anniversary, we get a little older and wiser and look back with retrospect at how we did our wedding, and what we might do differently had we gotten married later. Of course, I would've killed Drew had he not proposed until we'd been dating 8 or 9 years, but this is hypothetical anyways. And also I totally understand that this is coming from a place of having had our wedding exactly as it was (so maybe if we HAD eloped and only had 20 guests, I'd be sitting here writing about the huge Southern wedding we wished we could've had... the grass is always greener on the other side).

{See what we would've done differently one year out here!}

Without further ado, here are the things I think four years out, we might have done differently:

Pay more attention in writing invitations. Include everyone's names on envelopes. Cut down the guest list but communicate clearly to avoid hurt feelings later on.

Smaller bridal party and guest list, probably. As you get older you pare down those you're closest to!

Keep up with thank you notes!!! Better system for tracking, follow up where needed. (I'm still getting flack about screwing these up. Brides, take heed and get organized in this arena!)

Try the pistachio cake!!! Juanita doesn't make it anymore. :(

Pay for a bigger cake.

Opt for a smaller bachelorette party group, and go on a little weekend excursion to a beach city away (like NOLA or Charleston or Savannah).

Hot glue the cake topper to its base, since Ken kept falling off. 

More classic bridesmaid shoes and accessories. I wanted to go whimsical and I did, but I now look back and think what?? Some pretty pink teardrop earrings would've gone with my emerald ones and looked lovely. And an almond-toed leather shoe in a similar hue would have looked a little more timeless than the rounded suede pink pumps I had them wear. But it was just the style then!

Wear Clean Feel bug spray (non-greasy! unscented! my favorite!) to avoid those millions of mosquito bites.

Start the wedding a hour earlier, add on extra hour of dancing. Attend cocktails and serve a simple dinner. I did love our cake and coffee reception but we were starving and I'm sure guests were too!

Not feel bad asserting boundaries and cutting off people who chatted us up too long.

Maybe nix the ice cream bar, since it melted anyways in the 95-degree heat!

Ante up the cash to provide ample champagne for guests. We didn't need to serve a full bar (that's not really our style), but we needed way more champ than we had.

Provide hair stylist for bridesmaids. We did fine without it, but it would've been nice to pamper everyone.

More classic song selections. I've mentioned this before, but I was really trying to be clever with Pour Some Sugar On Me for our cake cutting...

Walk slower down the aisle. I dragged my dad at lightspeed... 

Cut my dad's jacket stays.

Not set an alarm the morning after the wedding. We had all day to sleep in and catch up on rest, but instead we woke up too early and were bored out of our minds all day.

Put more thought into the letters we wrote one another.

Store a nice bottle of champ that ages well in our wine box. 

Opt for a looser style updo and darker lips. Maybe do a lighter nail color. 

Thank my vendor team in my speech.

Do different favors and nicer escort cards and table numbers.

Finalize seating chart the week of/before the wedding and tell people no when they tried to RSVP late.

Pare down our photo list so the things that were most important got captured. Like the punch bowl.

Label items better, have fewer knickknacks for planner to keep up with.

Opt for nicer champagne. Get a bottle of Veuve for me & Drew.

Maybe buy the more expensive wedding dress. I still think about it.

Put more thought into comprising our ceremony script. Change the verses to more meaningful ones.

Dance with my dad to the song he actually requested.

Do a post-wedding brunch to see everyone before they departed.

Cut our honeymoon down to 6 days, 5 nights in Riviera Maya, and not go to Cozumel afterwards.

In all honesty, if we redid our wedding older and wiser, we'd probably elope to some destination beach, only invite absolute closest friends and family, and spoil the heck out of them. We were so concerned with trying to include everyone that we didn't even get to see 1/3 of the guests that came. We didn't have any semblance of an unlimited budget so this would've allowed us to "do right" for a few guests rather than scrape by for everyone (and still piss people off because that's inevitable). We could've sent announcements after the fact so no one felt pressured to give us a gift but could still be in the loop. That would've saved the headache of keeping up with so many table assignments / thank you cards / last-minute RSVPs / getting to talk to everyone. We probably would've been a little sad to not include everyone but I think it would've been worth it. Ah well!!!

Photo credits: Kelsey & Jon Bufkin and Kristine Neeley.

while we were away

Much happens in the span of two months in the wedding world, especially in peak wedding season of May & June! I've been taking some much-needed time away, learning how to parent a brand-new baby, keeping up with doctors visits and health concerns, spending time with family, and finding a new normal in daily life. We definitely don't have a perfect routine set up yet and business most certainly got pushed to the backburner (although I learned it's near impossible to completely step away when you own your own). However, my goal of Lilly & I surviving the months of May & June has been accomplished (HOORAY!), and we are easing back into more normal biz operations at last! Thank you all for your understanding and patience in my sloooooow response times (or lack thereof, for any new inquiring clients!)... I know it can be frustrating, but this time has been so necessary and is so appreciated! :)

We are resuming scheduling meetings and taking on new clients starting today -- Monday, July 6. This leave period has allowed us to see what works and what doesn't. Trying new things always entails some growing pains and lotsssss of learning, so there will likely be some structural changes that go into action in the coming months as we transition back into a new modus operandi! 

In the meantime, here are some pictures from our two gorgeous May weddings!

Melissa & Dustin 5.16.15, courtesy of Jen & Chris Creed

a bride and her dog
scarritt bennett wedding
union station wedding kelly dellinger events
peonies wedding centerpiece kelly dellinger events
timeless wedding reception kelly dellinger events
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nashville wedding cake cutting kelly dellinger events

Carrie & Mike 5.24.15, courtesy of Spindle Photography

cheekwood wedding kelly dellinger events

We look forward to a blissful summer and fall wedding season and wish all you engaged folks happy planning!

real wedding:: classic gilded elegance

Erin and Alfred had the loveliest classic Southern wedding at Second Presbyterian Church and Houston Station in Nashville, Tennessee. With monograms galore (be still my heart!) and traditions honored throughout the day, the Stewart wedding was resplendent with love and gorgeousness.

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Erin honored her late best friend, Emily, with several nods to her being with them in spirit.

Erin honored her late best friend, Emily, with several nods to her being with them in spirit.

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Got to love sorority traditions! Erin fastened her Kappa Delta sisters' pins to her bouquet. 

Got to love sorority traditions! Erin fastened her Kappa Delta sisters' pins to her bouquet. 

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Aren't they the most adorable couple you've ever seen?!

Aren't they the most adorable couple you've ever seen?!

Pure Hollywood.

Pure Hollywood.

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I absolutely ADORED the couple's alternative to the guest book. They had an illustrator paint a gorgeous depiction of their wedding chapel, which was matted and framed for guests to sign, to be hung in the couple's home after the wedding.

I absolutely ADORED the couple's alternative to the guest book. They had an illustrator paint a gorgeous depiction of their wedding chapel, which was matted and framed for guests to sign, to be hung in the couple's home after the wedding.

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Loved all the monogrammed details Erin interspersed throughout the day!

Loved all the monogrammed details Erin interspersed throughout the day!

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Beautiful couple, beautiful day.

Beautiful couple, beautiful day.

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We brought in Clayton's donuts, a Lebanon delicacy, to hand out as late-night favors for the guests!

We brought in Clayton's donuts, a Lebanon delicacy, to hand out as late-night favors for the guests!

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The getaway car, a convertible vintage Thunderbird, was absolutely spectacular. Adored.

The getaway car, a convertible vintage Thunderbird, was absolutely spectacular. Adored.

Photography | Paul Wharton
Planning | Kelly Dellinger Events
Church | Second Presbyterian
Reception Space | Houston Station
Catering | Wildberry Catering
Rentals | Party Providers
Cake | Southern Magnolia
Makeup | Bobbi Brown Stylist
Hair | Trim Salon
DJ | Matt Mercer
Photo Booth | Flashtastic Photo Booth
Lighting | Southern Sky
Florals | Flowers by Mike
Honeymoon Travel Planning | 2 Travel Anywhere
Transportation | Grand Avenue

 

real wedding:: bright & colorful plantation wedding

Oh, Stephen and Jenn. I occasionally cry at the weddings I work, but this one was a particular tearjerker/emotionally-attached wedding:  the wedding of my brother-in-law and his high school sweetheart.

Despite the tears (in fact - the reason behind them), it was absolutely the happiest day. We were all beaming from morning until midnight that night. So much love came together to make everything absolutely perfect for the sweet couple and their Carnton Plantation wedding Memorial Day weekend.

Jessica McIntosh did a PHENOMENAL job photographing the intricacies of the day. We are all blown away by the portraits of these two -- aren't they just to die for? Jessica risked limb and life by creeping down in fields of flowers and greenery to get these shots -- and that was before we found the snake hanging out in the garden before the ceremony!

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yellow bridal bouquet

Jenn's bridal bouquet was absolutely gorgeous -- Cheryl's Flowers composed a beautiful arrangement of ivory hydrangea, calla lilies, roses, and peonies with a few pops of yellow.

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Can anything really beat the natural beauty of this stately Southern plantation home? So lovely, especially at the "golden hour."

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I seriously die over all these portraits. That garden is just to die for!

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The Southern-style spread for dinner was out-of-this-world insanely good. Bacon & Caviar for the win!

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Once the party got started, OH how we wobbled...

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Planner | Kelly Dellinger Events
Photographer | Jessica McIntosh Photography
Venue | Carnton Plantation
Caterer | Bacon & Caviar
Hair & Makeup | Brenna Mader
Personal Flowers | Cheryl's Flowers
Lighting | Bright Event Productions
Audio | Stager Audio
Rentals | Music City Tents & Events
Cake | The Bekahry Bake Shoppe
 
Honeymoon Planning | 2 Travel Anywhere - Excellence Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

real wedding:: intimate & sweet springtime wedding

Simple, lovely, absolutely heartfelt:  words that immediately come to mind when I think of Houston & Farrah's May 2014 wedding. Houston brought everyone to tears at the reception when he spoke about feeling like he'd never find love again when he was widowed several years ago. The couple (who met at church) was absolutely meant to be. Surrounded by their families and loved ones from all walks of life, their wedding day was filled with love from beginning to end.

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Farrah's two beautiful daughters helped her step into her gown and get dressed. They stood beside her in the ceremony as her bridesmaids.

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Houston and his two groomsmen looked absolutely dashing in their charcoal gray suits and peachy-toned hypericum berry boutonnieres.

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Farrah's bouquet was composed of loosely arranged florals in pale peach and sunny hues. Garden roses, hydrangea, and tulips were featured in all three bouquets.

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bridal processional
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heartfelt toast
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handsome groom
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real wedding:: rustic and relaxed winter wedding

Laura and Michael's January wedding was held at one of my favorite venues - Loveless Barn: a classic Nashville location with legendary biscuits (a must-have with their peach or blackberry preserves!). L & M were high school friends who reconnected a few years after graduation and fell madly in love.

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real wedding:: organic-modern chic affair

Oh my stars! This wedding, y'all. One of my all-time favorite weddings has been that of Hayley and Braxton: college sweethearts with impeccable style and hearts of gold. Hayley was such a joy to meet with over the course of her engagement -- we spent many a chai tea latte and laugh together going over the intricacies of her nuptial Kate Spade-meets-J Crew-meets-California-gorgeousness.

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Transient
Transient
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mylar balloons gold wedding

The gold mylar balloons we added in to incorporate their accent color and initials gave a special extra little something to their overall look. 

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hollywood bride garden roses

Their first look/portrait session before the wedding ceremony was just incredible - I'm obsessed with that rustic earthy background at the Factory. Don't they look perfectly juxtaposed in their formalwear?

Lauren Atkinson of LMA Designs knocked the ball out of the park with these bouquets and the reception florals. I'm a sucker for loosely arranged pieces with garden roses, astilbe, and greenery!

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modern wedding ceremony program
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elegant hors d'ouevres

The reception was held indoors, lit with twinkling string lights and a few pops of mint green. Centerpieces were varying heights of gold boxed florals, lots of greenery, and pretty calligraphied table numbers. Fruitwood chiavaris flanked the head table, set in front of the roughly frosted scrumptious wedding cake. Favors for wedding guests were individually bagged cake truffle pops, also made by Wolfe Gourmet Cakes.

organic modern centerpieces
textured buttercream succulent cake
modern mint and gold wedding reception
modern organic tablescapes
modern organic wedding reception string lights
happy bride and groom grand entrance

Planning | Kelly Dellinger Events
Florals | Lauren Atkinson Design
Makeup & Hair | Brenna Mader
Rentals | Southern Events Party Rentals
Catering | A Dream Come True
Ceremony Trio | Kenneth Coca Trio
Reception DJ | Jose Rose of Cosmo Creations
Wedding Cake & Favors | Wolfe Gourmet Cakes
Venue | Factory at Franklin
Photography | Q Avenue Photo
Lighting | Springtree Media
Honeymoon Planning | 2 Travel Anywhere, Sandals Jamaica