Personal: That's A Wrap!

Y'all. The 2014 wedding season is officially over as of this past Saturday. I cannot believe I just said those words! This year, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of 22 celebrations, 5 styled shoots, & 3 bridal portrait sessions, and I've attended 3 educational workshops in Charleston, Dallas, & Serenbe, Ga. It's been the most amazing year ever - a journey of a lifetime! In all honesty, when I took over The Graceful Host 2 years ago, I could never ever have imagined where this business would end up. I had never owned a business - I mean, how do I do this for real?! Of course I learned a lot after my first year of business being truly on my own, and I started to write down some goals and dreams for my next year of weddings - the 2014 season. But I think the most important step I took after 2013 ended was to begin to refine the brand of The Graceful Host. Who is The Graceful Host? What does she do for fun? What are her favorite things? What is she like? I asked myself pages and pages of questions and spent hours reflecting on what this business really means and why I even want to be a wedding planner. What's my "why"? Why do I do this? How do brides benefit from my services? What can I offer my brides? I had the opportunity to attend a few workshops this past year that have really helped me focus my direction of The Graceful Host. These workshops have been some of the most beneficial learning lessons of my entire year!

As I look back on the past 10 months, I'm in serious shock and awe. I can't even believe that I have had the chance to work with 22 truly amazing & special brides over this past year!! Just one word comes to mind.... THANK YOU! Thank you to each of my beautiful brides, dapper grooms, & their sweet families for putting your trust in me to plan and execute your wedding just as you've always dreamed. Thank you for giving me the chance to be creative and create an experience, not just a wedding day. Thank you for putting confidence in me to source a vendor team that would give you the best day ever. Thank you for letting me handle all the little details so that you can enjoy not only your wedding day, but the planning of your wedding day. Thank you for your kindness, respect, and love as you allowed me to be a part of your family for that important weekend. And most of all, thank you for choosing me to be a part of the biggest day of your life. My heart is seriously just bursting thinking all of this through. I know that hiring a wedding planner is an investment for couples and many don't want to take that money away from their budget. I totally get it! But to those of you who have invested in me - thank you for seeing the value of my services; for seeing my passion for this job; and for putting your wedding my hands.

2014 couples 1
2014 couples 2
2014 couples 3

I have to extend another heartfelt thank you to each of the vendors I've had the chance of working with over this past year! From old friends to new, it was such a pleasure to work with such talented professionals! I am grateful for all the support and kind words I've received.... It means so much to me to have people who understand exactly what I am going through as a creative entrepreneur, and to listen to all my questions and concerns. I'm a huge fan of creating a network and I believe in building others up because in doing so, you create a better environment for not only yourself but for everyone around you! Within such a supportive group, I've been able to bounce around crazy ideas, collaborate with incredibly talented people, and really challenge myself both creatively and personally. I'm so thankful to everyone who has believed in my dream and has helped me in my path to achieve all of my goals. It means the absolute world to me!

I am looking forward to 2015 and all the amazing couples that I have the pleasure of working with. I cannot wait to see where the next few months will take me! Cheers to the journey, friends! :)

XO,
A.