AKD Anniversary Month:: If I Could Do It All Over... PART TWO

In the spirit of reminiscing over our wedding (ONE YEAR AGO on the 21st! Anniversary month!!!!) and writing about what we would have done DIFFERENTLY if we got to get married all over again, I wanted to write today about what we are SO GLAD we did and wouldn't dream of changing!

Sitting on the steps of my parents' home for our family formals. (PS: Aren't my nephews in their little seersucker suits the CUTEST?!)

Sitting on the steps of my parents' home for our family formals. (PS: Aren't my nephews in their little seersucker suits the CUTEST?!)

Getting ready for the day at my childhood home. There's nothing quite like being in your own stomping grounds, having everything at your disposal that you could possibly need, and immortalizing that precious place in your wedding photos and video. I'm so happy to have footage of our home, photos of our bridal party in our backyard, and to have had the opportunity to get wedding-ready at home. Mom made cinnamon muffins that morning, the dogs were running around terrified (particularly my sweet Zuzu, who didn't make it anywhere on the film or photos since she was hiding all day), and our whole house was a ZOO with people coming in and out and doing all kinds of things. Kind of reminds me of Father of the Bride, which is one of my all-time favorite movies. I tried to convince my wedding fairy godmother to let me change our venue from the stable we got married in to my parents' house a month before the wedding day, but she wouldn't let me (and for good reason -- it was late July, mosquitos were insanely rampant, invitations were already out, and I kept trying to change EVERYTHING last-minute). Even so, I'm still so glad we had the better part of the day to spend at home!

One of the film stills from our wedding video -- love all the emotion caught!

One of the film stills from our wedding video -- love all the emotion caught!

Hiring a kick-A videographer. Oh goodness. We ended up getting the best of all wedding videography worlds, having FocalPoint Cinematic film our wedding day and McNeal Wedding Films edit the final product. It was an unfortunate situation that provided the opportunity, but ended up being such a tremendous blessing, getting to reap the benefits of two awe-inspiringly talented companies. As a very video-centric person (I was the annoying middle schooler who carried her little blue cam-corder EVERYWHERE and created stop-motion animation American Girl Doll dance music videos growing up), I cannot say how happy I am to have the moments of our entire day captured forever for posterity. I love love love our photos, but seeing the moments unfold in their entirety (and remembering exactly WHAT triggered the emotions captured in said photos) is just standalone awesome.

Flowers upon flowers upon flowers -- they were everywhere! And made such an impact! 

Flowers upon flowers upon flowers -- they were everywhere! And made such an impact! 

Spending so much on flowers. Originally, when planning our wedding budget, I told Drew that I wanted to spend the most money on the things that would be tangible after the wedding day: our attire, photos, video, etc. I wanted to save on the things that would die or be consumed and gone forever (so, flowers, food, cake, beverages, all that). But then I talked to Hillary. And told her my far-off wedding dreams. And she told me what my wedding COULD be. And all those initial budgetary plans went out the window. Drew and I got into a bit of a scuffle on the way to the mountains one weekend in January after I tried to convince him that we really did need to spend the largest portion of our wedding budget on flowers… But guess who won?! ME! Dahlias, garden roses, astilbe, orchids, and peonies, oh my!!!! Nothing "made" the decor or wedding day aesthetics quite like those stunning florals. The floral arch we stood in front of for the ceremony, and sat below at our sweetheart table…. the brightly colored bridesmaid bouquets…. the centerpieces in pink and green glassware Mom collected the months before our wedding…. Oh, every last detail Hillary put together was pure magic and romance. BEST DECISION EVER.

The only slice of cake we got to try all night... boo hoo! (At least it was SCRUMPTIOUS!)

The only slice of cake we got to try all night... boo hoo! (At least it was SCRUMPTIOUS!)

Prioritizing the cake. As much as I still weep inside at the thought of not getting to try two of the three flavors of wedding cake we served (boo hoo, pistachio cake with chocolate truffle ganache! sob sob sob, european butter cake with raspberry buttercream and lemon curd!), our whole cake was DAMN good. Dulce is the best, hands down. I know I'm opinionated. But seriously. It was gorgeous (simple design but stunning execution), and it was gooooooood. Exhibit A:  NOT A SINGLE SLICE WAS LEFT OVER. If there had been, I'd have murdered for it.

Opting for a cake-and-coffee reception rather than a full meal. Originally, we planned to serve a full dinner of chicken & waffles, mini sliders, all kinds of little delicious bites, fancy passed cherry sprites during cocktails and more. It was a lovely idea, but our horrible venue owner/in-house caterer was the world's worst business owner, and we didn't get an initial estimate until A MONTH before the wedding (despite begging for it for six months). Needless to say, we opted to NOT go with that caterer in the end. Instead, wedding fairy godmother Hillary saved the day by suggesting a coffee/espresso bar & dessert option, which ended up being fabulous and delicious and so perfectly "us." We had miniature pies, an ice cream bar, a salty & sweet bar with pretzels and nuts and chips, and, of course, our wedding cake and groom's cheesecakes. Beve Mobile Coffee provided iced and hot coffees and espressos (including a scrumptious raspberry shortbread cappuccino that I consumed copiously) and we even had coffee liqueurs for spiking them. It was such a lovely alternative. If we'd gone with a different venue we might have changed our mind about providing a meal (since we ourselves were starving after the wedding was over), but for the route we went, it was perfect.

Those raspberry shortbread cappuccinos were divine. I had, like, three throughout our reception! Thank God for a brand new husband who keeps me caffeinated!

Those raspberry shortbread cappuccinos were divine. I had, like, three throughout our reception! Thank God for a brand new husband who keeps me caffeinated!

Going to hot yoga for the final "fit in the dress" pre-wedding week! Hot yoga has always been a favorite of mine, and it was the perfect solution for my fears of not fitting into the gown. Stress relief + calorie burning + chill time… amazing. I did Fahrenheit Yoga Studio's $10 for 10 days unlimited deal (conveniently started the ten days prior to the wedding), and it was an awesome choice. My dress fit phenomenally, I was zen (if only for a little bit), and totally limber for maximum Wobbling on the dance floor.


I'm also glad we had so many seersucker details (so Southern, so lovely), made sure to incorporate a lot of family mementos (I wore Drew's mom's engagement ring, I had a getaway dress to change into (since my gown got super hot dancing -- and would've been hard to transport home once we got to the hotel),  a family bible was our guest book, we followed a lot of family traditions, etc), my parents made so much for the wedding (from cheesecakes to ring boxes and getting-ready robes, they were craftaholics), we had a sparkler exit (conveniently purchased from post-Fourth of July sales), that Drew's fraternity brothers serenaded me with the "Dream Girl" song, that I had THIRTY-something sorority sisters present…. oh, so many things I'm so happy with! Some favorite family members came from across the country (despite health issues and all kinds of things). All of it meant we were surrounded by love from every angle… such a special thing.

Serenaded by the men of Phi Kappa Tau. Swoon.

Serenaded by the men of Phi Kappa Tau. Swoon.

It's hard to believe that last year we were less than two weeks away from getting married! So much happens over the course of a year, and everybody tells you it flies by. Especially in comparison to how engagement drones on (Did anyone else feel like that was the second-longest year of their life, second only to the year WAITING to get engaged? Or is that just me?)... marriage flies by. I had been so tunnel-visioned throughout planning our wedding that I missed holidays and seasons and everything else just thinking about July 21st. This year we got to enjoy all those little moments, but they went by at record speed. I can only imagine the same will be said for Year Two. What will happen? Where will we be planning to live come next July? Will we have a new car? Will any of my friends have more babies (!!!!!) ?  Will we go on any more trips? Where will we travel to? By our next anniversary, Drew's brother will be married. How will that change (or not change) the dynamics of our family life? It's exciting to think about!

xoxo, KD

my favorite wedding film of all time

I am such a proponent for hiring a wedding videographer! Nothing compares to video when it comes to reliving your wedding day. I have stunning photos scattered around my apartment (and one day will be living in an album to flip through), but there's no way I would ever be able to hear the conversations I had on our wedding day, listen to our spoken wedding vows, or see the ridiculous dancing that brought me so much joy the day we got married. Everyone says your wedding day will be a blur, and they're right. Taken from someone who's seen pretty much every angle of a wedding -- when you're the bride or groom, you miss things. We didn't get to enjoy our cocktail hour (since we opted to go upstairs for a moment to chill together instead), so we missed our friend playing violin and cups of champagne dished out from my mother's vintage Fostoria punch bowl. In the moments I spent dressing and waiting for our first look, I missed my husband cutting up with his dearest friends, making jokes (and screaming inappropriate words), and having his bowtie tied [by the one groomsmen who knew how...]. But through film, we got to see all of our incredible wedding photos COME TO LIFE. We saw more than just a split-second of emotion felt -- the tears, the laughter, the little jokes shared. And with FocalPoint's phenomenal movie-quality filming, our video clips (expertly crafted by Lynette McNeal) were/are ABSOLUTELY as realistic and high-quality as our photos taken by Kristine Neeley. Oh, it gives me chills. Here's just a tiny snippet, a hilarious little token from our wedding film. Thank you to Kelsey and Jon for stepping in and capturing our precious day. And thank you, Lynette, for pouring your heart and talents into this!!!!

adieu, twenty-twelve!

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. 

Hillary 's florals are the prettiest!

Hillary's florals are the prettiest!

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.

Glessner Photography

Glessner Photography

Then came Kristin & Read, a long-awaited elegant event at the Cathedral of Incarnation and Hermitage Hotel. They looked just like royalty, y'all!

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.

That's me in the front wearing red! :) And spot the yellow-scarfed blonde on the far right? That would be Brittany, my April bride!

That's me in the front wearing red! :) And spot the yellow-scarfed blonde on the far right? That would be Brittany, my April bride!

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. :)

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Happy New Year, dear readers! 2013 will be the best year yet!