kelly dellinger lifestyle :: making the most of the holidays

2013 has been my year to slow down {somewhat} and try reeeeeally hard to get a grip on what's going on, day to day. The past two years in my life were so chaotic and crazy, between desperately wanting to get engaged (and looking for my Drew on bended knee at any possible opportunity) to GETTING engaged and planning the wedding of MY dreams, and then settling into married life and figuring out how to "do life" as a fully-fledged married adult with a home and two cats, and then planning the launch of this fabulous enterprise.

The past two Christmases flew by insanely fast. The last one, particularly, just went in a blur and was over like the blink of an eye. It snuck up on us. We didn't get our tree until mid-December, then almost as soon as we had hung up our ornaments and the stockings we recently ordered from etsy, we headed off to east Tennessee to spend the week of Christmas. Because married Christmases are crazy and now involve a whole lot of travel (since I have family in Savannah, Georgia, Drew has family in East Tennessee, and we're obviously in Nashville).

We decided this year that we were not going to let "busy" derail our enjoyment of the holiday season. Drew has to travel several weeks in November and December, so he'll be gone for a good chunk of the season. But we refused to let that put a damper on our holidays!!!! Instead, we decided to... Start early. Get organized. and Be Intentional.

One of our "Start Early" campaigns was buying a fake tree (sad day!) and decorating it the second weekend in November to maximize the time we get to enjoy it. Isn't it stunning?!

One of our "Start Early" campaigns was buying a fake tree (sad day!) and decorating it the second weekend in November to maximize the time we get to enjoy it. Isn't it stunning?!

Our first order of business was starting early. If we're gone for two solid weeks in November and December and Drew's traveling for work for 4 weeks additionally, that only leaves us with a couple of rushed weekends and not a whole lot of free time to sit around the house drinking hot cocoa and watching Rudolph. Instead of feeling pressured to keep the holidays segregated to not "cheat the system," we're bunking tradition and spreading out the season to span a longer period of time of enjoyment! Part of the joy of being married is getting to set your own NEW rules and traditions! We decorated our Christmas tree and set up everything in our apartment for December holidays last weekend. We watched Frosty the Snowman while Drew made homemade biscuits, listened to Duck the Halls, and started our Christmas shopping early. I've already got a handful of presents wrapped carefully underneath our tree, and it feels glorious. PLUS I got to visit Christmas Village with my wonderful mom last week and got a couple of fun things to make our home a little more festive, too:)

In order to get organized, one thing I've tried to implement this year is a Holiday Binder. It's not some fancy product I'm trying to sell (although that would be absolutely legit). It's really just a 1.5" pretty patterned binder I got from Target that I am slowing but surely procuring recipes, bucket lists, gift lists, addresses, and other goodies into in order to keep up with everything and not be all over the place.

Our last (and most important) holiday pillar was to be intentional with our time, attention, and efforts. Ain't nobody got time for "busy." We are paring down our holiday calendars to focus on what matters, planning out meals and presents in advance (to avoid last-minute unnecessary splurges or wasting hours trying to find a recipe for that party in two hours), and putting more emphasis on the MEANING of the season:  celebrating Christ's coming to earth for our incredible salvation.


Celebratorily yours,


featured:: 100 layer cake:: winter's end

Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Words cannot express how thrilled I was to have my work featured on one of my favorite wedding blogs (one I've followed for years and years!)... 100 Layer Cake! Working with W&E Photographie was an absolute joy and pleasure -- Emma's vision for a wintry, lovely, Northwest-inspired cabin wedding turned out just stunning when it came to fruition.


kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot
kelly dellinger events winter's end shoot

Photography: W & E Photographie / Event Designer: Kelly Dellinger Events / Hair Stylist: Joanna Ballentine / Floral Designer: Mandy Busby / Venue: Sweet Apple  Farms / Dress Store:Ivory & White / Dress Designer: Ivy & Aster / Suit: Olia Zavozina / Heirlooms: Feather Me This / Props: At Home Furnishings / Linens & Rentals:  Southern Events Party Rentals / Paper Props: Four Hats Press

featured:: borrowed & blue:: kde interview

I had the privilege of being interviewed for the fabulous new wedding vendor directory resource, Borrowed & Blue, last month! See a snippet below and read the whole thing here:

What do you love about the wedding industry & working with brides?

I love the gravity involved with weddings: they’re events, first and foremost, but they hold so much importance to people. It’s probably the most memorable party of a person’s life! With that in mind, wedding industry professionals take that very seriously. We understand it’s not just a dress, a bouquet is more than flowers, and why everything is such a big deal. It’s also amazing to be in the industry that celebrates love the most – literally every decision is made around a pivotal relationship between two people who love each other. As far as working with brides is concerned, I love helping bring their dreams to fruition, finding them the perfect vendors that fit their values and tastes, coming up with beautiful ideas and ways to incorporate their relationship into the day’s celebrations. I love how intimate the relationship between my clients and me can be: I see couples extensively for months (sometimes years!), help problem-solve and plan the most important party of their lives, and get to share in the experience of their wedding day. It’s such an honor and absolutely humbling to be chosen to walk with them through that period of their lives. It’s fulfilling and meaningful for me.

What is your advice for a couple on a strict budget?

The one thing I drill into my clients’ heads over and over, no matter their budget, is PRIORITIZE!!! Regardless of how much money you have to play with, you have to know exactly what you care about and want to invest in – even if you’re not shelling out a ton of money, you’re still limited by timelines and the boundaries of reality, so it is absolutely imperative that you and your fiancé prioritize what will be going into your wedding. I also strongly encourage my more limited budget clients to think outside of the traditional realms of what a wedding “should” be. You might want a huge blowout wedding with a full meal, 200 of your closest friends, and flowers for days, for example. If you can’t afford to feed everyone a four-course supper (food’s expensive, y’all!), why not have a brunch wedding? You can still have just as many people attend but fewer people are going to drink heavily in the morning (hello, mimosa or bloody mary bar!), and depending on what you serve, you can get away with serving less food (for less money). You can also provide less reception seating (and therefore fewer centerpieces, saving costs), you won’t need as much lighting, and you can limit the timeline from start to finish (saving on hourly expenses). Morning weddings are just as charming as evening affairs. PLUS, you get to spend a whole day with your new spouse… you can get dinner afterwards for the two of you, maybe massages, actually get to ENJOY your wedding night hotel suite… think of the opportunities!

Another surefire way to lower your wedding costs is to cut down that guest list. Do you REALLY need 300 people at your wedding? Would you seriously buy every person on your list dinner if you went out to eat with him or her? That’s essentially what you’re doing. Are you still going to be close friends with them six months after the wedding? Remember your time is limited on your wedding day. You only get to talk to people for a few minutes over the course of the whole day. If you invite substantially fewer guests, you get to spend more quality time with each of them. Food for thought!

You are happily married. Can you share one piece of marriage advice for our brides-to-be?

The most important thing is to love your spouse more than yourself. Our natural human tendency is to be selfish (I’m particularly guilty of this most of the time), but I guarantee your marriage will be a thousand times happier and more fulfilling when you bless your spouse by loving them first. Also, always be gracious. Both of you will make mistakes frequently (welcome to reality!), but have grace with one another. Be quick to forgive, slow to anger. Drew and I strive to have our relationship reflect that of Jesus and the Church – we may be far from perfect, but when your goals and hearts are in the right place, even if you fall short, it’s so much better than being unintentional.

Be sure to add Kelly Dellinger Events to your Borrowed & Blue WishList for your own wedding in Nashville!

Thanks to Borrowed & Blue for choosing me to be the spotlighted planner of April! Check out their website -- a valuable wedding planning tool -- here!

featured:: green wedding shoes:: lucky charm styled shoot

I cannot tell you how excited I was (and the dance party that ensued) when I got a text from esteemed photographer Morgan Trinker that our "You're My Lucky Charm" stylized shoot was going to be published by Green Wedding Shoes for St. Patrick's Day! Morgan and I have been swapping emails and scatterbrained phone calls since early January, making her gorgeous St. Paddy's Day dreams come true for this gorgeousness. Ob-sessed.

One weekend nearing the end of February, I loaded up my Yaris with table linens, gorgeous florals by Artisan Flowers, a LulaKate dress from The Bride Room, rental votives, glassware, and chargers from Liberty Party Rentals, a bunch of miscellaneous bits and pieces to fill in the blanks, and an adventuresome husband happy to "work" on a shoot at a brewery in the lovely Magic City of Birmingham, Alabama.

Kelly Dellinger Events irish wedding food

Joanna Ballentine and Molly Stilley made our gorgeous (real-life engaged couple) bride & groom models look dashing, as well as our team of lovely wedding partygoers!

Kelly Dellinger Events st. patrick's day wedding
Kelly Dellinger Events cheers shoot

The gorgeous cake (complete with beribboned cake pulls) was made by Birmingham's fabulous Uprising Cakes. Be True Designs (based out of Knoxville) created the lovely paper goods suite, and Kelly Cummings did calligraphy for signage and a few fun little projects scattered.

Kelly Dellinger Events - Kelly Cummings calligraphy
Kelly Dellinger Events emerald invitation suite

Artisan Flowers' florals were just stunning! Love her pops-of-color ranunculus bouquet and fun lotus centerpieces. Also -- don't you just adore the little charm necklace our bride wore? Morgan made it! She's so crafty!!

Kelly Dellinger Events charm necklace
Kelly Dellinger Events ranunculus bright bouquet

Southern Femme did an excellent job dressing our groom & bridal party models! Love Zack's tie and vest combination and the jewel-toned bridesmaid gowns.

Kelly Dellinger Events Southern Femme styling
Kelly Dellinger Events St. Patrick's Day shoot

Last but not least, the gorgeous tablescape! I had a BLAST styling this little satin number up with raspberry striped napkins, glittery placemats (can you BELIEVE they're just scrapbook paper pieces?!), and a host of gorgeously shaped glasses from Liberty Party Rental!

Kelly Dellinger Events styling
Beyond obsessed with these custom vinyl sticker bottle labels -- such a perfect touch for any wedding!

Beyond obsessed with these custom vinyl sticker bottle labels -- such a perfect touch for any wedding!

Kelly Dellinger Events styling

Being a part of such an amazing shoot was just an unbelievable experience! I still can't get over how gorgeous everything was and how much fun (albeit exhausting) the weekend played out to be. :) Here's a sneak peek below from behind-the-scenes! See film footage from the shoot on our feature at Green Wedding Shoes by Kinora Films -- and check out GWS or the KDE Facebook page to see even more beautiful images from the shoot!

behind the scenes kelly dellinger events styling

photography + concept: Morgan Trinker Photography // coordination + styling: Kelly Dellinger Events // venue: Avondale Brewery // florals: Artisan Flowers // cake: Uprising Cakes // hair: Joanna Ballentine // makeup: Molly Stilley of Morgan Ashley Salon // wardrobe styling: Megan LaRussa of Southern Femme // paper goods: Be True Designs // calligraphy:Kelly Cummings // cinematography: Kinora Films // dress shop: The Bride Room // dress designer: Lula Kate // bride’s charm Necklace: DIY // rentals: Liberty Party Rental

real wedding:: brittany & doug

Where to even begin with these two?! Brittany is a classic Southern belle. (I like to think this is why we have much in common!) When Doug proposed at a gorgeous Tennessee vineyard in the fall of 2011 (with a STUNNING emerald-cut diamond ring, might I add!), Brittany dove headfirst into planning after her dream Southern wedding. She dreamed up a gorgeous pink and grey affair, complete with fresh peonies, garden roses, and hydrangea, queenly attire (a darling Jim Hjelm lace dress with Badgley Mischka floral pumps), and a reception replete with details. The calligrapher for Southern Weddings magazine's logo, Kathryn Murray, drew up some beautiful verbiage and a custom monogram for the couple's striking geometrically-printed paper goods suite. Brittany had the monogram made into a gobo which was cast on a brick wall in the reception space (creating a beautiful, cohesive look!). String lights illuminated the pink and grey table linens, and mason jars with fresh flowers accented each and every table.

Following the traditional church ceremony, guests were greeted at the door of the Factory at Franklin with a spiked Arnold Palmer cocktail served in Mason jars (and iconic striped straws!). Live music, performed by the Nick Carver Band, serenaded the party for the duration of the night. Dinner was composed of Southern classics, such as a mashed potato bar, sautéed green beans, and stuffed chicken. Every last sweet tooth was satisfied with wedding cakes from Puffy Muffin and the groom's cobbler bar (the most SCRUMPTIOUS dessert ever!) served hot and a la mode.

Brittany and Doug, I wish the two of you a marriage full of love, happiness, and Southern charm!

Photography | Nancy Ray Photography 
Ceremony Venue | Baskin Chapel in Brentwood Baptist Church 
Reception Venue | The Factory
Planner | Kelly Dellinger Events
Florist | Susan Barnett
Officiant | Jay Strother
Cake Artist |The Puffy Muffin
Caterer | Stoveworks Restaurant
Reception Band | Nick Carver Band
Hair Stylist | Dion South
Rentals | Southern Events
Lighting | SpringTree Media
Wedding Gown | The Bride Room 
Calligraphy | Kathryn Murray
Hair Accessories | The Headband Shoppe
Favor Table Print | Sparkle & Rust