a few reasons i love weddings | part one

To get to know me a little better, I'm sharing a multi-part series on how on earth I stumbled upon this marvelous career and found my calling. Stay tuned every day this week for the remaining installments!

I love weddings. I always have. Besides that one time I ran into a glass door (curse you, Windex!) and smacked myself silly at a cousin's reception (I was 10) -- almost all my experiences with weddings growing up were been beautiful, lovely, and absolutely dreamy. 

The first time I REALLY thought about wedding plans was at a band banquet my freshman year of high school. One of my best friends, redheaded Katie, wore this pretty salmon-pink and black cocktail dress. It had a high-low hemline, wrapped delicately at the bodice (with a little black rose where the waist met the skirt), and the color was really dimensional (black illusion over the lycra-blend pink). I just LOVED that dress (I even made her wear it to apply to be in the running for Miss Tennessee Teen USA!) -- and thus my wedding-mindedness began to take hold. I imagined that it would look absolutely lovely as a bridesmaid's dress. Four girls, clad in salmon (ha!), standing by my side... I could just see it! Black tuxedos, coral bouquets... My scope of all the things that went into weddings was limited to what I knew about Prom, but still the formality, the dancing, the dressing-up, the elaborate party-throwing was divine!

The next year color scheme I dreamed up was aubergine and champagne. One of my older sister's friends had worn this amazing vintage dress to prom that was the most AMAZING shade of richer-than-eggplant. When I complimented her there and demanded to know what the color exactly WAS, she informed me that it was aubergine (she was very well-read). Aubergine, I thought... what a delightful wedding color! I still maintain that an amazing aubergine and duck blue (is that a real color? it is in my head!), with maybe a touch of taupey-grey, would be a breathtaking winter color scheme. But back then, I was all about that pretty purple and "champagne" (which was really more like a fancy way of saying gold -- I'd never even SEEN a glass of champagne then!) -- so regal, rich, a little vintage... totally dreamy.

And then as a college freshman, I stumbled upon some blog post recapping a Nashville bridal show that had been held in the Hermitage Hotel. I didn't know a thing about bridal shows, venues in Nashville, what on earth a "vendor" was (besides a street vendor selling hotdogs or pretzels), or even really anything about wedding gown designers... but the second I flipped to a gallery picture depicting a one-shouldered Vera Wang gown, I was gung-ho wed-obsessed. The mermaid skirt, gold leaf detailing on the shoulder, all of it just completely enamored me! I decided that my favorite colors of buttercream yellow and dark chocolate brown would be a perfect palette for some J Crew bridesmaid frocks and started making ridiculous Microsoft Paint inspiration boards filled with my wedding dreams:  beaucoups of chandeliers, elaborate draping, vintage details (like antique clip-on earring place cards), and marabou-trimmed mules.

That led to a massively large "Favorites" folder of bookmarked weddings I'd found and wanted to remember things from -- the only issue was, pretty much all of the links were (self-)entitled "CRAZY GORGEOUS WEDDING" or "OH MY GOSH REMEMBER THIS!" or "PRETTY PRETTINESS!". Annoying when you're trying to reference something later on, isn't it? (IMAGINE my delight when Kelly Cummings introduced me to Pinterest years later!)

...stay tuned tomorrow for installment #2!

featured:: i love farm weddings:: simple lovely ideas article

This week I had the pleasure of contributing to the I Love Farm Weddings blog! As a former "barn bride," this was totally up my alley! 

Here's an excerpt! You can read the article in full here:) 

Farms all over the world, especially within the Southern United States, have been popping up as fully-functioning event venues and couples are booking them like crazy! There is something so classic, homegrown, and relaxed about saying “I do” and dancing ’til dawn in a barn or open field. It evokes memories from childhood for many and gives a well-deserved nod to one’s heritage.
What’s even lovelier is the openness of possibility in planning and styling a wedding of this sort! At first, a lot of people think immediately of mason jars and shabby chic — vintage furniture, mismatched place settings, and quilts; an overload of burlap and lace. While that has been the trend for a few years now, there is so much more you can do in a farm atmosphere!! Instead of regurgitating the same-old typical “farm wedding” you see countless times on Pinterest, why not go for something polished and fresh with that same laid-back feel? Use rich colors and textures — quality over quantity! — to simplify your wedding vision and bring the focus back to the gorgeous natural features of your wedding venue (and the whole reason why the farm feel appeals to you!). A beautiful, sumptuous table linen with simple but richly colored floral centerpieces will make much more of an impact than a cluttered table topped with a thousand antique knickknacks and burlap-covered votives that really mean nothing to you personally. Perhaps you could incorporate beautiful herbs and produce (maybe even from the farm itself?!) in with the florals! I’ve seen stunning arrangements mixing farmer’s market-fresh peaches and garden roses galore. And the colors cabbage comes in are divine!

Much thanks to Emily for letting me contribute! :)


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!