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!

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 

april life updates

Well, I absolutely fell off the face of the planet these past few months, as I'm sure you are well aware! Spring weddings + preparing for maternity leave + growing a human have been all-consuming -- not to mention some work/personal travel scattered in and the execution of one absolutely gorgeous March wedding!

Life? Insanity. Faster than ever. How is it past the halfway mark of April? Two years ago at this time I was gearing up to go out of the country for a spontaneous early-anniversary vacation. One year ago I'd just wrapped up Lauren & David's beautiful 30s-inspired wedding. This year, I'm finishing childbirthing classes and attending showers and anxiously awaiting the arrival of my future daughter who seems to be coming sooner than later (regardless, she'll be here by the end of the month! Gasp!).

Packing baby's hospital bag!

Packing baby's hospital bag!

Trial run / childbirth education at 37.5 weeks preggo!

Trial run / childbirth education at 37.5 weeks preggo!

We have three stunning weddings coming up next month at a gorgeous luxury barn, a 1920s train station-turned-upscale-hotel, and botanical gardens. My hands have been FULL in preparation for these lovely events, and my calendar brimming with planning appointments. All three of our May couples are planning from out-of-state, which poses its own set of challenges in scheduling around travel opportunities (February was quite the debacle, with all of Nashville's snowstorms and subsequent flight delays/cancellations!). We've done a good deal of Skype here lately!

Nashville Photography Group

Nashville Photography Group

Last month we wrapped up Nicole & Nick's gorgeous, glamorous Country Music Hall of Fame wedding and traveled to South Carolina to execute the editorial shoot of my dreams. It's hard to wrap my mind around all that's been going on here in the past few months!!!

Springtime has gloriously been celebrated. Warm weather and (mostly) sunny skies were much welcomed (I have potted flowers and plants ALL OVER our house right now) and outdoor entertaining has resumed its place in my heart and everyday life. Praise the LORD! I can't believe Easter's already come and gone. (And still I managed to not accumulate even one bunny decoration. My Easter holiday decorations are tragically minimal.)


Prepare everything to an optimal level of organization to ensure smoothest transition to maternity leave for May weddings. My ever-capable planner Katie will be taking over my role for the months of May & June; just got to get everything transitioned over to her first!

Prepare life for the impending arrival of Miss Lillian Elizabeth. Detail car, restock pantry/household goods, prep a couple of freezer meals, organize the nursery, rewire the ceiling fan/light to a dimmer switch, attend final baby shower, send off thank-you notes in a timely manner, prep birth announcements, sew a hospital gown (maybe), and get adequate sleep. Doesn't that sound like an oxymoron?

Deliver a healthy, happy baby. 'Nuff said.

Figure out what life looks like. So many cha-cha-cha-changes in these parts!

Here's to spring with its new beginnings!

october life updates

For whatever reason, I skipped over my August & September life updates. (Life is crazy, y'all.) I promise they were all over the place, I was definitely lamenting the end of summer and how fast time flies (as per usual), and they were great but I'm glad it's now and not then anymore. 25 has proven to be one of my favorite years thus far. Lots of learning hard lessons (yes, already - just two to three months in), but finding lots of joy and surprise and dealing as best as possible with transition. Isn't change hard for everyone? Even those of us who love it. Who crave it. Drew and I were having Coronas on an outdoor patio overlooking the Atlantic and the ridiculously gorgeous dolphin-filled Shem Creek area the afternoon before my birthday, discussing how we felt like life was about to take some crazy turn. Like God had been preparing us for whatever was coming next - the process of ascending a roller coaster's incline... steady, slow, anticipatory, even terrifying, but definitely exciting. And then, sure enough, fall hit us like a ton of bricks.

I had never really ridden a roller coaster before our vacation in August, but now that I can say I've been to Six Flags and gone on several of them (including the massive one called Goliath - the biggest in the park in ATL), I definitely see the parallels in real life. Even my reactions. The first one we rode (the Batman), I was so nervous I could throw up, waiting in line. And then throughout the whole thing I clenched my eyes shut and prayed that it would be over as soon as possible (thirty more seconds, thirty more seconds and it's over...), practicing my Pranayama breathing as my body got tossed about and slammed against the sides of my seat. I was just about sure I'd pass out once it finally stopped - felt pale as a ghost and all kinds of lightheaded. But then Drew really wanted to ride the Superman, so I decided to be a good sport and deal with it. And it turned out to be really fun, I kept my eyes open, and trusted that if God's plan was for me to die on a dumb rollercoaster in Georgia (and it probably wasn't), then so be it.

My much-improved roller coaster attitude after riding Goliath!

My much-improved roller coaster attitude after riding Goliath!

There's not much control you can personally have when you're physically riding on a roller coaster. You have to rely on the engineers that created the machine, the sturdiness of the vessels holding you in, the people operating the ride and how well they strap you in, and that's pretty much it. When you're being flown across acres of theme park, dangling from a padded chair, you can't do anything to save yourself. You can close your eyes, you can hold your breath, you can grip as tightly as humanly possible onto the handles, and pray, but considering the POWER of the machines you're dealing with, you're really out of your own control. Why people thrive on that kind of thing? I still don't get it. But maybe it's a little freeing. I even threw my hands up and laughed out loud for my husband's sake - he wanted me to enjoy roller coasters so much. He'd dreamt about that experience and wanted to share something he loved so much with me. So I gave it a go. And it was fine. I obviously didn't die. I walked out in one piece, richer with life experience. And then I got to enjoy the rest of our vacation in my favorite coastal spots, relaxing in MY own particular way.

All this is to say, this fall has been a lot like riding a roller coaster. Scary, exciting, eventful, new, adventurous, and a lot out of my control. Sometimes I react well to the changes, throwing up my hands and getting over myself, giving in to the experience at hand. And sometimes I react horribly. Stressed, anxious, feeling powerless and helpless, quick to anger or blame or a host of other negative emotions. I am continuing to learn how to be a good wife, good business owner, good adult, productive citizen of the world I live in. And it is a PROCESS. But that makes me feel like I'm on track. We knew something was coming that fateful afternoon, toasting to a new year of life, up for the challenges ahead. And indeed, so much has come. Is coming. Will come.

The fab KDE team at our biggest wedding of the year, this September!

The fab KDE team at our biggest wedding of the year, this September!

I am begrudgingly still throwing up my hands, giving up control to the Lord. Even when things aren't how I expect. (When are they ever???) Even when I want to just grip as tightly as possible to my handlebars and wish away the difficulty of the present moment. We are living in Tennessee for a while longer. There are changes coming to my business structure and the KDE team. Life is increasingly DIFFERENT. All growth. All transition. All for a better good in the future. All in God's plan, and not Kelly's. And praise Him for that - He's much better of a planner than I am.

But maybe the question is - ummm, how long is this roller coaster going to last? At least I knew on Batman that it was only a 45-second ride. I'm going to usurp my inner control freak and deal with the fact that I don't know. And just trust. And breathe. October. Ohhhh, October.

One of my favorite moments this past month: going to the fall festival with family, as per tradition. Poppy (our niece) was cracking us up with her bluegrass music dancing!

One of my favorite moments this past month: going to the fall festival with family, as per tradition. Poppy (our niece) was cracking us up with her bluegrass music dancing!

So, anyhoo -- since October has finally reached its decline, let's talk about vision for November.

November, my favorite month. Perhaps a period of at least pumping the brakes on this crazy roller coaster of a fall. My final fall wedding. My final voyage of the year (YAY for a travel-filled year! It makes my heart so happy). A full week of family and feasting and decompressing as we breathe in salty ocean air. (I can smell it now!) I'm seeking more life-giving consumption and practices. More church. More breathing deeply. Courage to let go. Beginnings and continuing of planning for the future, as the future is rapidly upon us. Less survival mode, more thriving. More organized schedule. More physical activity. More celebrating the little things. More bubble baths in my new garden tub. More walks around the neighborhood. More making this house our home. Hanging things on the walls. Decorating for Christmas early. More intentional relationships. More self-care. More patience, more Bible. More Jesus.

life updates | july 2014

July has certainly been an exciting month, hasn't it? Hannah & Brad's gorgeous Cannery One wedding, boating with friends, Drew's CPA exam, styled shoot planning, networking events aplenty, marathon planning sessions with out-of-town clients, many a new client consultation... Good month. Full month. Not many pool days have happened these past weeks -- too many phone calls, emails, and meetings to take a backseat here recently.

The second half of summer 2014 has kicked off with a bang that I'm sure will continue far into fall. Can you believe that by the end of this month, PSLs will be rapidly approaching, fall wedding season will rear its head, and before we know it the holidays will be upon us?!

super sneak peek!

super sneak peek!

Here are a few things I'm particularly excited about!

- A styled shoot with Ian Riley that happened last Friday! Can't wait to disclose all the juicy details behind our inspiration and the unbelievably beautiful execution!

- Sunday Supper Club. A sorority sister friend of mine and I are spearheading a campaign to bring back the gentle art of domestic entertaining! We're hosting a once-monthly dinner party club here in Nashville. Interested in joining our group? Shoot me an email for more details & how to get involved!

- Yet another trip to the deep Southeast. Drew & I are celebrating our birthdays in our two favorite cities this week - so excited to be finally dining at Hyman's Seafood and catching some final glimpses at summer 2014 near the Atlantic. August is the last "slow" month before fall wedding chaos and Drew's constant stream of exams, so we're taking advantage!

- 2015 wedding bookings! I've been meeting with several fabulous brides to discuss their spring & summer 2015 weddings. If you're looking for a planner for your upcoming nuptials, holler at me! Dates are booking fast!

- Welcoming a certain someone to our KDE team! We've chosen our fall 2014 intern for the season and can't wait to introduce her to our readers!!

There are still plenty of things I've wanted to do but haven't had the chance yet. Perhaps we'll finally have that open house at the office we've been meaning to host?!

Can't wait to see what lies in store for August 2014! I have a lovely milestone birthday coming up in just a couple days, Drew & I will celebrate 7 years of being college sweethearts, and we might just have a Labor Day weekend wedding pop up last-minute:)

Vision:  August will be serious but still lighthearted. Seeing our favorite city, loving on our sweet family, preparing for an incredible wedding season to come. I envision quick-stepping while still being methodical about everything. Some planning for the future but not TOO much forward-thinking. Yoga to center my mind, maybe a barre workout or two sandwiched in. Healthy eating, salads and soups. Less sugar. Less wine. More water. An ice cream sandwich birthday cake. With sprinkles. (Pink sprinkles!) Collaborating a bit more with my favorite industry city.

life updates | june 2014

June was fast. They always are. It's the saddest for me, I think, when they're summer months. I looooove summer. Warm (hot) weather. Sunshine. Green trees. Staying by the water. Eating avocados and drinking lemonade. Why do you have to leave, summertime? Why can't it be eternal summer? My heart hurts.

This Saturday marks the last of the summer weddings for KDE! I'm excited to kick this one off with a bang (fourth of July weekend, y'all!).

Then it's a little bit of a lull until September ... aka, lots of planning for all these fabulous fall weddings! We're also starting to work on some gorgeous and exciting 2015 events!! Our calendar is starting to book up, so if you're interested in planning assistance for your 2015 wedding, HOLLA.

Sneak peek from Paul Wharton of Erin & Alfred's June wedding! Isn't that T-bird to die for?!

Sneak peek from Paul Wharton of Erin & Alfred's June wedding! Isn't that T-bird to die for?!

One exciting thing about July is that it's Drew's and my ANNIVERSARY MONTH! YAY!!! We'll be celebrating our second wedding anniversary in a little less than three weeks:) I'm looking forward to ordering some Dulce cake to celebrate, as well as rewatching our wedding film, which I have kept myself from viewing for a whole YEAR! (Whoever says people don't watch their wedding films after the day are absolutely wrong in my case. That thing has been watched at least 10+ times since we got it a little over a year ago!)

Vision for July:

I'm praying for clarity this month, as we continue to plan out the fall and winter and next year. I want to focus on living in the present rather than being completely future-focused (as I tend to be). I want to enjoy the little things -- going outside when it's hot, soaking up sunshine, laughing, losing track of time. I want to enjoy my meals, cook delicious food, eat to live. I want to be extremely well-hydrated and exfoliate my skin more (thanks for the tips, Brenna). I pray that Drew will thrive as he takes his CPA exam on July 13 -- that he will be focused and well-rested and confident and knowledgable and retain everything he's studied for the past several months. I also pray that he will take off from here -- plowing through the rest of his exams, finding a wind to sail with and accomplishing this longtime goal he's worked so hard to achieve. I pray that if this isn't God's timing for him to pass it, that God give him the motivation and encouragement to keep trying and fulfill this dream through His timing. I want to continue simplifying our life, preparing for what's next to come, refining how we live and focusing on things that matter. I want to start our third year of marriage off on a strong foot, excited and hopeful and happy and on the same page. May God bless the marriage beginning this Saturday (woo hoo Hannah + Brad!) and grant patience to my sweet fall couples who I know are just DYING to say "I do"!

In other news, I'm SUPER EXCITED to be working with my dear photografriend Kelly Cummings this Saturday!!!! Can't wait.

oh, hey there june! {also known as life updates | may 2014}

Haiii there June!

June is a month of potential. Of clarity. Of continued progress. It's awesome.

I won't tell you how busy May was because you can figure that on your own. 

However, I will say this happened:

And this.

And a lot of this!

As well as a few of days of this:


And some peeking around at this.

And a whooooole lotta eating this.

And it was glor-i-ous! Wedding chaos, a spontaneous trip to the beach (and serpentarium and strawberry field and five islands and my sister's house), beaucoups of shrimp & grits / lowcountry boil / pico de gallo & guacamole, and overall Southern splendor. Dreamy May. 

Now it's June!

I'm attempting to start blogging more frequently. I tragically have a zillion weddings I haven't blogged. I always said I wouldn't be "those planners" who waited a year plus to blog the weddings they just got finished executing, but here I am, eating my words.

I'll get caught up, promise!!


June Goals:

1 | Catch up on blogging KDE weddings from 2013 & 2014.

2 | Meet my best friend's baby! (He still hasn't actually come yet, but he'll be coming at LEAST by tomorrow!)

3 | Make some more progress on summer/fall weddings. More marathon planning sessions, summer-style?

4 | Work out some details for a fun shoot coming up this summer! Woo hoo!

Vision for June: Calm. Peace. A little hustle but not too much bustle. Some yoga, some learning. A really lovely wedding. Some step-ups for next year planning. A new client or two? Finally finishing up some office things and perhaps a little shoot to celebrate? Keeping our home clean. Finding some clarity in life plans and God's plan for us. Following grace. Staying in the present moment rather than only living for tomorrow. Give me a couple of outdoor dinners under the string lights and a few waterfront afternoons and I'm an exceptionally happy girl.