life updates | march 2014

March came and went. What a lovely month it has been! Fun-packed weekends, a trip to my favorite cities, a good deal of husband time, celebrating my best friend's baby-to-be, power sessions with clients, talking over RIDICULOUSLY gorgeous wedding design schemes in the '14-15 season... March has been good. The least anxious month of the year. I have eaten beaucoups of seafood and sweets and party fare (whoops), but SPRING IS HERE and despite the gray skies and snow that fell earlier this week, I know the warm weather will be here to stay shortly.

Hello, sunny days and boating excursions and al fresco parties to come!

I've got a hot chocolate in my hand and a pile of tax forms to my right. While I will not actually be filing my own stuff (thanks, Valerie!), it's still quite the effort to prep everything.

Gorgeous cake by  Crumb de la Crumb  at their delicious Open House last night!

Gorgeous cake by Crumb de la Crumb at their delicious Open House last night!

Here's the standard:

self care  |  I've successfully been drinking less coffee. However, I still need to cut back. I need more water, more yoga, and more vegetables, but besides that, I'm good on sleep and taking adequate breaks.

home environment  |  Work in progress. Working currently on streamlining even more to have less clutter and more room to move eventually:)

relationship  |   Drew is my favorite.

friends & fam  |   It's been so nice to see friends several times (yay spring break for teacher-friends!) and spend a lot of time with family. Good progress here.

career  |  I LOVE MY JOB AND I LOVE MY COUPLES! April wedding, here we come!

fun & rec  |  I got my fill of fun this month, for sure! My cup runneth over:)

cause or purpose  |   Working on financial peace-building to tithe more. I want to be a better steward of His resources!

Newest updates to the KDE HQ!

Newest updates to the KDE HQ!

April is going to be a big month, as it starts the spring/summer season for KDE weddings, wraps up our time with our much-adored intern Rachel, and kickstarts the "meat" of event production. Lots to look forward to, to see and do and get accomplished and plan for!

We're interviewing candidates for our summer internship in the next couple of weeks! While the application is officially closed, we're still open to receiving inquiries for particularly awesome applicants (I'm looking for really good answers to the "What sets you apart?" question!). You can send your resume to kelly@kellydellingerevents.com! But time is limited!

Goals for April:

1. Select perfect summer intern
2. Finish taxes. Pray for a return!
3. Wrap up Rachel's internship with a big, pretty bow and awesome experience
4. Get Lauren & David married successfully without a hitch!!
5. Reincorporate yoga into daily life (2x/week minimum!)
6. Eat less cookies & cake (exceptions will be made for client tastings, obvs)
7. Get a pretty pot and mini table for my office palm tree (!!!)
8. Plan next trip to Charleston - continue planning expansion (!!!)
9. Finalize business plan to make everything SOLID
10. Finalize plans for May weddings
11. Plan staff photo shoot! (Any photogs up for grabs here?)
12. Consider planning a fun party to showcase the KDE HQ! Mini Open House, anyone?

march:: the wedding planning marathon month

HI Y'ALL!

I'm officially back from my much-needed and glorious vacation and ready to tackle some intense wedding planning marathon sessions with my fab 2014 brides! Many of my brides work in school systems around the country (everywhere from Nashville to every corner of Tennessee, all the way to NYC!) and subsequently have to cram-pack their spring wedding planning time into their spring breaks. I love working in intense power-sessions for these clients; it's so rewarding to check off numerous categories off the planning list and give them peace of mind at rapid speed.

On board (thus far!) for March 15 - 31:  Three catering tastings. Two cake tastings. One floral appointment. Two wedding site visits. Three rental appointments. One invitation appointment. Beaucoups of planning power sessions in my office. At least one new client initial intake. Planning and executing one fabulous baby shower (for a past client!). Assisting with/attending a bridal shower for a client/family member-to-be! Whew! Lots to cram pack in these final two weeks of the month!

2014-03-08 15.34.21.jpg

Check back tomorrow to see a full recap of my vacation to Charleston & Savannah!

Until then....
xoxo, KD

slow down

Slow down.

I keep hearing it over and over and over again.

Slow down.

2014 has been a whirlwind. Already. It's January 20th and I've been in over my head since this year started.

I have to remind myself to breathe most of these days.

Literally. Like, "Kelly - BREATHE!" In through your nose, out through your mouth.

I'll be driving and will forget. My body will stop doing it automatically for me. It'll occur to me, "Hey, I haven't breathed in like forty-five seconds." Or a minute. Or a couple of minutes. And I'll have to take a forced inhalation, exhalation. Do some mini pranayama breathing, hot yoga-style. The breath is audible... as you listen to it, you're more likely to focus on it and remain present. Resist the urge to allow your mind to wander out of these four walls.

Ever since that ball dropped and Drew kissed me at the stroke of midnight, I've been running a marathon of life and work. Laura's wedding. EB show. TSE. Teach yoga. Secure an office. Mollify new clients. Meet new clients. Offer and start an internship over the course of one week.

Would you like to know how many days I have had in 2014 to not think about work, do something work related, or actually work? Zero.

That's not exactly setting boundaries.
That's not exactly doing my job well.
That's not actually serving my clients well.
That's certainly not serving God or my husband well.

I am stressed. I am anxious. Whenever I get in these stressful situations I always have trouble breathing. My body goes into fight-or-flight mode and stops doing normal things like breathing subconsciously. It's so focused on preparing to fight the cheetah or swim hundreds of feet against a strong water current (because I obviously need to, since duh, why else would I be sending all those stress signals to my brain?) that it can't do normal things anymore. It makes me incapable of taking deep breaths (just short and shallow forced ones). I get absolutely single-sighted and 1,000% focused on "just get through this and this and this and this and this."

I haven't said no to the things that don't matter this year.

Even to things or people or opportunities that aren't a great fit. Or don't really work with my schedule.

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES I WILL DO EVERYTHING AND THEN SOME, THANK YOU PLEASE GIVE ME MORE!

I know better. I know that in order to be the best wedding planner, the best wife, the best friend, the best person I can be, I have to give my time wisely to what I can, and not to what I can't.

So I am going to intentionally slow down. It's January 20th. 11 more days left of the first month of the year. I have a couple of hard deadlines to hit and inevitable scheduling blocks in the way, but I am going to take a little more time to breathe. To rest. To be a wife. To decompress. To distance myself from electronics and time-consuming projects. To start going back to yoga.

today earlier in the brand new KDE HQ!

today earlier in the brand new KDE HQ!

There are so many exciting things coming up in the world of KDE. For example, that aforementioned office. Yeah, did you get that? I HAVE AN OFFICE! THERE IS A KELLY DELLINGER EVENTS HEADQUARTERS! A physical space of everything KDE loveliness!!!!!! I have been stressing myself out night and day over every last detail of that place without ever appreciating the fact that I HAVE it, so I'm finally going to take a step back and acknowledge the amazing reality that it exists. PRAISE GOD!!!!


 

God is so good. So, so good. His blessings abound. He's been so good to put the right people in my life lately to give me hugs, encouragement, and reality checks. I'm so grateful to have an amazing intern, a supportive family, and so many insanely awesome opportunities.

Stay tuned for more fabulousness in the weeks to come! And a little more quiet time, too. 

Ain't in no hurry 
I'd be a fool now to worry 
About all those things I can't change 
And the time that I borrow 
Can wait till tomorrow 
Cause I ain't in no hurry today

(Brown, Durrette, and Otto)

love, light, and calm,

KD

welcome, rachel!

Rachel Harmon spring intern

I am thrilled to introduce my spring intern, Rachel, to the Kelly Dellinger Events team! Rachel is a senior at Belmont and will be helping us with all of our 2014 wedding plans. We are so happy to have her join us and share her talents!


Here's a little about her:

Rachel Harmon is a senior Entrepreneurship major at Belmont University from Brentwood, Tennessee. More than anything, Rachel loves bringing people together. Whether for a cause or just to enjoy one another’s company, she has constantly planned events throughout her life that build community. Rachel has planned fellowship events for on-campus ministries in both high school and college and loves bringing the body of Christ together from different churches and denominations. She served as a Spiritual Life Assistant for freshman at Belmont during her sophomore year and hosted events and parties for the girls in her assigned dorm to build community with one another. During her junior year at Belmont, Rachel served as the Vice President of Administration for the Panhellenic Executive Board, and was able to work with local vendors for many Panhellenic events. Rachel also served as the Event Programming Director for an on-campus representative program for Rent the Runway during her junior year, creating opportunities for women to rent fairytale dresses for upcoming semi-formal and formal events.  Rachel has also coordinated constant sisterhood and philanthropic opportunities for her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta out in the Nashville community including trips to Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches, Christmas parties, and volunteering at the Legacy Ball for Davis House Child Advocacy Center throughout her time at Belmont. When Rachel is not planning an event for an organization she’s involved in, she’s having her girlfriends over for a party celebrating the nearest holiday, or just to have a movie night. Rachel has always loved event planning for fun, and is excited to learn from and work with Kelly Dellinger Events this semester to see the professional side of Event Planning. She feels so blessed and honored to have this opportunity!

celebrating one year in business!

Oh my stars -- how could I almost forget?! Today is a very, very special day in the history of Kelly Dellinger Events. One year ago, at the strike of midnight, Kelly Dellinger Events came to life. I kissed my husband, tossed back some Prosecco, clicked "Publish" on the KDE Facebook page, took away the privacy protection hiding this beauty of a website, and opened for business.

When we first hit 100 likes!

When we first hit 100 likes!

I got five or six inquiries the very first week I opened shop. I got over 200 Facebook "likes" by January 2. I met with brides, I set up a bridal show booth, and designed advertisements. Of course, the initial steam that arose simmered down by that second or third month, leaving me to feel disheartened and confused. Why would God call me to open a business that doesn't have any BUSINESS?! By April, I had still only booked the two weddings I'd secured in 2012 for my 2013 season. Every inquiry was a dud.

 

W&E Photographie  -- lovely photography, even lovelier couple

W&E Photographie -- lovely photography, even lovelier couple

But then in May we needed money for a personal endeavor, something I'd also felt called to do. I needed at least $2500 to fund it. I'd been praying for God's timing and His provision. It seemed like the timing was right, so all we needed was the provision.

And the inquiries started pouring in. I met with brides. Somehow, miraculously, they wanted to BOOK me! It happened again. And again. And again. Until, once again miraculously, the booking deposits matched my $2500 perfectly. 

There is no question in my mind about God's involvement in this business. He is all over it. He planted the seed that made it become something, He has brought every dollar of business in, and He has implemented His will over and over again. I can guarantee you that I am not in control of Kelly Dellinger Events. (Nor would I want to be!) I may be Kelly Dellinger, I may hold the bank account and business license and operate all of the functions in it, but I am not in control.

 

Sneak peek of my ultra-gorgeous shoot with the fabulous  Amy Nicole Photography . Isn't  Lisa Wolfe  stunning?

Sneak peek of my ultra-gorgeous shoot with the fabulous Amy Nicole Photography. Isn't Lisa Wolfe stunning?

This is my ministry. To honor and celebrate Godly marriages. To shift brides' and grooms' focus from the party to the covenant. To eliminate unnecessary stress so that what matters can be the central focus. To showcase good old Southern hospitality and community through the events I plan and direct. To create a party as beautiful as the relationships it honors.

I won't lie to you -- I thought that owning my own business, especially having God's blessing, was going to be easy. I thought everything would be handed to me. Because I'm smart. Because I'm capable. Because I'm experienced. I'd put in my time! I worked for free for nine months before I even started getting paid a small amount to assist with weddings, and I'd been in this industry for over three years. I'd planned weddings on my own. I had raving reviews! I had been successful working under the table for three years. I'd worked with every wedding vendor imaginable. How could I NOT just blow up overnight?

Alyssa Joy Photography , one of my first encouragers!

Alyssa Joy Photography, one of my first encouragers!

But that wasn't God's plan. Every small business owner I talked to had warned me that it's hard at first. I thought I was different. While I may be different in a lot of ways, the road to success is not paved. It's not a straight shot. It does take all of those things I had, I have. But I wasn't done. It's not that simple.

There were many, many times this past year that I questioned why the HELL I was even bothering. I asked God, "Are you SURE you want me to keep doing this? Because I'm more than happy to throw in the towel -- just say the word!" over and over again. That was my prayer. Tell me when to quit. Tell me if this isn't what you want for me. Tell me what I should be doing. I applied for other jobs, interviewed for other jobs. Explored the whole market. Refreshed my resume, learned how to write a cover letter. Offered to move across the South without my husband (don't worry -- just for a little bit; he would move there, too). 

But doors closed. And closed. And closed. And doors for this business opened. And opened. And opened.

gorgeousness by  Spindle Photography , my favorite Kelly

gorgeousness by Spindle Photography, my favorite Kelly

It is January 1st, and I have doubled my weddings for next year. I've quadrupled the amount of weddings I had booked at this time last year, for the year ahead. At this time last year, I'd only ever done two styled shoots, and both were with and for the wedding studio I had been working for, with only limited input on the design choices. In 2013, I designed and executed 5 styled editorial shoots. As the sole stylist. I sewed a capelet! I baked a cake! I modeled bridesmaid dresses and lugged essentially a tiny full-scale wedding three hours down the road in my little red car. Three times. I almost single-handedly consumed an entire 8" strawberry and European butter cake. (It was damn good. Thanks, Juanita!)

As far as my weddings were concerned, I planned and executed weddings for complete strangers. I made friends. I crisis-managed. I consoled. I cheered brides on. I helped clients deal with family dilemmas. I managed a staff. I hired an intern. I learned how to do and how NOT to do an internship, from the management side. I laughed and I cried with mothers and fathers of the bride. I was moved by string trio arrangements and powerful wedding vows. I climbed so many stairs at the Schermerhorn I wanted to cut my feet off. I nursed blisters. I slept in after long wedding nights. I drove back late at night, sometimes for hours. I packed cake truffles in glassine bags. I decorated a hotel room for a sweet groom who wanted to surprise his new bride. I met one of my wedding planner idols. I made really good friends with wedding planner colleagues here, and became pen pals with a planner in Birmingham.

This has been a BIG year.

2014's going to be bigger.

Happy one-year anniversary of Kelly Dellinger Events, y'all! Thank you for reading, for cheering me on, for encouraging me and giving good advice, for employing me and entrusting to me the biggest celebration of your life. Thank you to past and present KDE brides and grooms, to Nashville wedding vendors, to Birmingham wedding vendors (gah, I love you all so!), to all of the friends and family that have been my biggest cheerleaders, to my darling parents, and to my darling Drew.

 

When that clock strikes midnight tonight, I'm going to kiss that gorgeous man and toast a glass to one helluva 2014. CHEERS!

props to  Morgan Trinker , my favorite redheaded photographer

props to Morgan Trinker, my favorite redheaded photographer