Charlotte wedding planner

Engaged: Jacquelyn + Daniel

It's been a while since I've gotten a new post up because we've been busy, busy, busy with end of summer weddings and prepping for an amazing fall full of beautiful weddings! One of our lovely Fall couples is this sweet pair - Meet Jacquelyn and Daniel. I love these two! Every time we get together for planning, it's all laughs and all fun... This wedding is going to be one epic party, y'all! (Here is a little peek into their design inspiration.) Jacquelyn is one of the sweetest brides I've had the pleasure of knowing, and Daniel is absolutely hysterical - like really, he's a blast! You can see every single bit of their personalities peeking through this engagement session from the incredibly talented duo behind Smitten & Hooked. I seriously cannot get enough of this couple and their uptown Charlotte engagement session! But more than anything, I can't wait for Jacquelyn and Daniel's August wedding at Foundation For The Carolinas - it's going to be one amazing celebration!

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How dashing are they?! Jacquelyn is absolutely stunning and Daniel looks so handsome in his white jacket! Just wait until you see their wedding day attire! Just a few more weeks until they say, "I do"!

XO,
A.

Wedding Inspiration: The Colors of Sunset

I'm so excited to share a little inspiration for Lindsay & Ben's October wedding at Vesuvius Vineyards with y'all today! This adorable couple fell in love with the natural Southern charm of Vesuvius Vineyards and knew immediately that this was the place where they'd exchange I Do's. We are putting the final touches on some really amazing plans for this sweet couple's wedding - I can't wait to see everything come together! When we first sat down to talk about design, Lindsay mentioned being inspired by the colors of sunset. What could be better inspiration?! Drawing from the colors of a gorgeous cotton candy sky, we've created a vibrant organic inspired wedding incorporating elements like birch wood, natural wood, full color textured floral arrangements, pumpkins, and kale. Take a peek!

Design Inspiration - Bachner Lehman Wedding

It's going to be a gorgeous fall wedding, that is for sure! I can't wait to celebrate this sweet couple!

XO,
A.

Pursuing Your Passion

Back in April of this year, I had the chance to attended an incredible workshop called Pursue: The Workshop in gorgeous Dallas, Texas. I had stumbled upon this wonderful two-day conference in gorgeous Dallas, Texas through the power to social media. (Thanks, Instagram! Y'all should really check out @PursueWorkshop!) After learning more about the amazing speakers and the philosophy behind the workshop, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of it! It was everything that I was looking for and each session spoke to me. And what an experience it was! The oh-so talented Lindsey with Lindsey Lenae Photography created this adorable video from our short little slice of heaven - and what a joy it is to relive this experience and be reminded of all the talented ladies that attended! Thanks for sharing, Lindsey, and for lending us your talents!


Attending workshops and retreats like Pursue and Bliss & Bespoke are important to me on many levels. I place a great deal of emphasis on education. I believe that we never stop learning and growing throughout our lives, regardless of our careers & aspirations.  As a classical singer by trade, I know first hand that it takes practice and patience to perfect your craft... and even after all that hard work, you're still never finished learning. For me, with my performance background, I am always striving to perfect my passion for design and styling.  I want to continue to learn new tricks, stay ahead of trends, and to develop best practices for my little business! When you have the chance to learn from & network with the best in the business, the educational investment is well-worth it.

Such cute reminders from all the incredible speakers and vendors who helped make Pursue come to life for all the attendees. I LOVE walking into my office each day to look at these!

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This sweet print was given to me by a dear friend that I met at Bliss and Bespoke. I'm telling y'all.... as a small business owner, it means the world to me to have a network of friends that know exactly what I'm going through and who know my passions - because we share the same dreams! I absolutely love this beautiful reminder. (And, it was so perfect for this blog post!)

I'm also grateful to have the opportunity to have had these head shots taken by the lovely and talented film photographer Amanda Watson - thank you so, so much!! Your work is so breathtaking, Amanda. I'm glad I could be a tiny part of your gorgeous portfolio.

The Graceful Host - Headshots By Amanda Watson - April 2014

Always keep reaching, y'all! Whatever you dreams may be - you can make it happen!

XO,
A.

Anniversary: Stephanie + Bryce

I'll never forget the first time I met Steph and Bryce - I loved them from the moment we met. What an amazing couple these two are! Planning for their June 2013 wedding at St. Peter's Catholic Church and the Mint Museum Uptown was so much fun! The cherry on top was that half way through planning, as we're getting to know each other, Steph and I find out that we were both part of the same sorority. It is such a small world! I'm honored to have helped these two sweethearts plan a simply gorgeous wedding! Happy Anniversary you two! Time flies when you're having fun, right?!

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XO,
A.

It's All in the Little Details

I'll admit that I have a special appreciation and love of the little details.  After all, it's the little details that make life special, and the special moments in life personal.  With each new wedding design, my goal (always) is to make those little details, that are so important to brides and grooms, come to life! I've had the opportunity to create a lot of things over the years for brides and grooms. And, after finishing some watercolor creations for a wedding at Daniel Stowe, a Chuppah for two spring weddings, and lots and lots of escort cards, programs, and favor tags, I thought "I really need to gather up all these little projects and share them!" So, without further adieu - here are some of the things I've created for weddings so far in 2014 that I wanted to share! A few have been complete surprises, and revealing those surprises to my sweet clients brings me so much joy!  Just a warning: the photo quality is not that great - actually it's down right awful! - and is courtesy of my trusty iPhone. (Thank God for real photographers!) So, please excuse my photos... I'll just stick with wedding planning and leave the photography to the pro's! 

Custom table runners for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Prop pillows and ring bearer pillows for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Sashes for the draping to match the runners and pillows for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Floating frame display for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Watercolor table numbers for Mia & Alex's Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden wedding

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Watercolor seating chart for Mia & Alex's Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden wedding

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Chuppah and organza draping for Mindy & Brett's Biltmore wedding (Okay, confession: I can't take all the credit for this one. My amazing husband actually built this chuppah for two weddings this year, and has come to both weddings to help me assemble it on-site. So grateful to have such a supportive and super crafty husband!!) 

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Ceremony programs for Mindy & Brett's Biltmore wedding

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Calligraphy favor tags for Mindy & Brett's Biltmore wedding

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Acrylic table numbers for Whitley & Darian's Brakefield at Riverwalk wedding

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"Here Comes The Bride" sign for Veronica & Chip's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Travel-themed escort card display for Veronica & Chip's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Travel-themed table numbers for Veronica & Chip's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Citrus-themed escort cards for Taylor & Kyle's Byron's South End wedding

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I hate to even share all of these terrible iPhone quality photos, but I'm really proud of the little details that leave my office each weekend to make their way to the amazing brides and grooms wedding days. I'm honored to have the opportunity to be creative and give priority to the special touches of a wedding day!  And believe me when I say that each has been an absolute labor of love.  But it makes me so happy to see my brides and grooms smile with excitement over these details they never expected!

XO,
A.

Just Married: Whitley + Darian

I hope y'all are ready to see a stunning bride and handsome groom! Whitley and Darian were married this past March at Brakefield at Riverwalk on a gorgeous spring day that wedding planners only dream of.  In a beautiful setting with the Catawba River rushing by in the background, this lovely couple said "I Do" among family and friends.  Our sweet bride originally didn't want to look at outdoor venues because the weather in March in the Carolinas can be so unpredictable, but then she saw Brakefield .... and that view changed her mind completely! Since Whitley lived in Missouri at the time,  we worked extra closely together to design each detail with one word in mind: Glam!  I love a girl who knows what she wants - and Whitley, was that girl. We clicked instantly and working with this bride was such a dream come true. She's just as sweet and lovely as she is beautiful! With a soft, monochromatic color palette of ivory and greys (and with some pops of pink!), we designed her dream wedding. I absolutely love the way everything came together, and how Whitley's vision of elegant glamour came to life with the help of an AMAZING vendor team:

Event Design and Wedding Planning: The Graceful Host | Photography: Lauren Rosenau Photography | Floral Design: New Creations Flower Company | Videography: Brian Bunn Films | Venue: Brakefield at Riverwalk | Catering: Something Classic Cafe & Catering | Cake: Wow Factor Cakes | Ceremony Musicians: Charlotte Strings For Events | DJ: Split Second Sound | Paper Goods: Olive Paper | Linens: Party Tables | Draping and uplighting: Sterling Events Group | Transportation: The Royal Rides | Wedding Dress: Nitsa's Apparel of Charlotte

See the full feature on Style Me Pretty here!

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This wedding was so much fun - like, on every single level! The bride and groom danced all night along with friends and family. Y'all, this dance floor was jam packed... and I loved every single second of it! That to me is a sign of a great night. (Thanks, Split Second Sound!) Whitley and Darian, thank you for trusting me to design and produce your dream wedding! You two are absolutely amazing! Big hugs to you! XOXO

XO,
A.

Featured: Southern Simplicity Wedding Ideas

Oh my goodness! I am SO excited and honored to see my "beauty in simplicity" wedding inspired design was featured on the amazing Ruffled Blog! Y'all, I had way too much fun designing this wedding inspiration. And, the incredible photographer capturing all the details was the oh so talented Crystal Stokes of Crystal Stokes Photography  - what an eye this gal has!  For a long time now, I wanted to plan a shoot that celebrated simplicity because I am a firm believer that less is more.  It's easy to get caught up in the tiny details when planning for a wedding, and often times brides get lost along the way, loosing the bigger picture and feeling like they need to keep adding and piling on detail. But, there is so much beauty in simplicity, and I think this is an idea that is often forgotten and overlooked. So, we wanted to take a chance to really celebrate simplicity and show brides how beautiful, sophisticated and elegant simplicity can be. Ruffled Blog - Simplicity - Screen Shot

 

I am so excited to share with you some of my favorite detail shots. But, hop on over to Ruffled Blog to see more of the feature!

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Absolutely LOVE colored glassware! And how perfect are these ruffled plates?! I want to steal them so badly! View More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beauty

 

Have you ever seen a more perfect cake?! I am in love with naked cakes, y'all. This is so stunning! And, how adorable are the little tarts? Sweets tables are my favorite.

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The bridal bouquet was out of this world gorgeous! I love the "wild flower" look and the gorgeous jewel tone colors that popped perfectly against the natural decor and landscape.  Such a beauty - I absolutely LOVE this look! View More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beautyView More: http://crystalstokes.pass.us/beauty

 

You guys - this is an actual a real couple!  Our models were such troopers… and, talk about good lookin'!! Ow! Ow! Gorgeous hair and makeup by Erin Ashley Makeup and Mirror Bomb Studios - perfectly captures the look and feel of the design.

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The paper goods were out of this world beautiful! I love the addition of lavender - such a treat for the senses and it works perfectly for our natural and simplistic design. Even the response card envelope was made of seeds and could potentially be replanted! How cool is that?!

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This ceremony arch made of garland and driftwood is one of my favorite details! SpringVine Design did an incredible job crafting this on-site for the photo shoot. I wish I could have one of these at every wedding! It's really stunning!

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One of my favorite photos from the day. Oh … be still my heart! So gorgeous!

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Oh man, I could go on and on and on! I'm a total sucker for these details, y'all. And, our entire vendor team was absolutely incredible - I'm so honored to have had the opportunity to work with each of these talented wedding pros: Crystal Stokes Photography, SpringVine Design, Elisabeth Rose, Sky's The Limit Custom Cakes and More, Erin Ashley Makeup, Mirror Bomb Studio, Party Reflections, J Majors Bridal Boutique, & The Laboratory Mill. A big, big thank you for donating your time and talent to this shoot! And a huge thanks to RuffledBlog for featuring my design!

 

XO, A.

 

Engaged: Keely + Hill

No words could describe the beauty that is this engagement session from the amazing Lauren Friday Photography.  I mean, seriously, how stunning is this bride and how handsome is her groom?!  I absolutely adore these two.  Keely is such a sweetheart and every time we get together, it feels like meeting with a long-lost friend rather than a client meeting.  This engagement session is perfectly them - genuine, romantic, sweet, and full of L.O.V.E.!  Take a peek at a few of my favorites. 2014-04-11_00012014-04-11_00022014-04-11_00042014-04-11_00032014-04-11_00102014-04-11_00152014-04-11_00092014-04-11_00082014-04-11_00122014-04-11_00112014-04-11_00062014-04-11_00052014-04-11_00072014-04-11_0014 I'm pretty much obsessed with every single photo. Lauren you outdid yourself… These images are simply stunning! A big, big, big thanks to the talented Lindsey Regan Thorne of Be Pretty for Keely's hair and makeup. I can't wait for Keely and Hill's May 31 wedding at the gorgeous Boxwood Estate in Mocksville, NC! XO, A.

Engaged: Lauren + Chris

Meet Lauren and Chris. Two of the sweetest people you'll ever have the pleasure of knowing!  These two fitness enthusiast met at… yup, you guessed it… the gym!  And, even though Chris had to introduce himself to Lauren a few times and their paths happen to cross every now and then, they eventually got to spend time together outside of the gym at a charity event.  The rest is obviously history!  And, when the groom to be proposes to his love at Amelie's, where they ended their first date … you know their love is truly as sweet as can be!  We have been busy, busy planning for their beautiful August wedding at Founders Hall - and having so much fun pulling together all the lovely details.  I'm so excited to share Lauren and Chris's engagement photos from the amazing Love Shutter Photography.  I LOVE that they incorporated their first meeting into the photos!  All of these photos are just so amazing - isn't this couple way too adorable for words?! Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding, Engagement Photo, Love Shutter Photography, The Graceful Host, Engaged, Charlotte NC Wedding, Wedding,

XO, A.

Anniversary: Heather + Sean

It's no secret that I absolutely LOVE celebrations and I will find a reason to celebrate pretty much anything.  And, one year wedding anniversaries are so incredibly special and a major reason to celebrate!!  I want to wish a very, very happy one year anniversary to Heather & Sean!  Your wedding will always hold a special place in my heart.  I absolutely loved being a part of such a memorable day for your family and witness such genuine love.  I hope you two had an amazing first year of wedded bliss and enjoy many, many more to come! Lots of love to you and your adorable family! And, I love every single photo from Lauren Rosenau Photography!

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Inspiration: Neutral Tones

There is something so peaceful and beautiful about a neutral color palette.  And, lately, I've been so inspired by these neutral colors and the elegance that they can bring to almost any wedding style!  I love the effortless feeling of this inspiration board - lush greens, soft peaches, beautiful ivories and earthy beige.  A perfect palette for an outdoor Southern wedding under the oak trees!  This inspiration board incorporates the one of the Pantone 2014 trending colors - sand.  What do you think of neutral tones for wedding colors?  

Sand and Green Wedding Inspiration

XO,
A.

Wedding Inspiration: Vivid Love

Y'all know how much I love a bright color palette. Well, can you image how excited I am for Taylor and Kyle's sunny, citrus-inspired wedding full of beautiful yellows, oranges, pinks, mints and greys?!  The vivid colors fit Taylor to a tee - this girl is about a sweet as honey and can light up any room. We've been having so much fun planning for her May wedding at Byron's South End, and I want to share a bit of our inspiration with you!  Our bride's style is clean and classic, but with a funky twist.  So, we're pulling in some unique and fun details to mimic their lighthearted personalities. I just love these two, and cannot wait to see everything come together in a few short months!

Taylor and Kyle - inspiration

XO,
A.

You're Engaged! Now what?

Congratulations on your engagement! I hope you've celebrated with friends and family, and you have popped more champagne than you could have ever imagined. It's important to soak in every single minute. After all, this is a huge milestone in your lives, as well as an exciting time for both your families. Your time as an engaged couple will fly by, so I encourage couples to do everything they possibly can to savor this special time in their relationship and to really enjoy planning for their special day.

It's no secret among anyone who's been there that engagements are full of emotion. Like, I'm talking a roller coaster ride full of emotions. Of course, the experience is different for everyone, but the basic emotions tend to be the same. First (and most importantly!), there's the extreme happiness knowing that you'll be spending the rest of your life with your best friend, experiencing all that life has to offer side-by-side. But, then once things settle down a bit you then start to think about actually planning for the wedding day, and you feel overwhelmed with where to even begin. Which can bring on the worry and fear that you want everything to be perfect, and for all of your guests to have fun at your reception, eating delicious food and partying all night long with a great band - but, how on Earth do you make this happen? There's the unique feeling of pure joy and anticipation when you finally find THE dress. There's the butterflies you feel as your wedding day get's closer and you arrive at your rehearsal realizing, "O-M-G. I'm actually getting married tomorrow!" And, of course all of the smiles and tears along the way. Regardless, it's a once in a lifetime experience that should be cherished and fun!

You're Engaged! Now What?

Pretty much every bride I come in contact with tells me the same thing - I have no idea where to begin with wedding planning. My response is, well why would you? I mean you've never planned a wedding before. So take some of that pressure off yourself and know that you're in the majority with that one - and, that's okay! Just like with anything else that is brand new to you, where you have no experience or information, research is key. You would do research before you buy a car, so why not do your research while planning for your wedding? It's pretty difficult to make a decision if you're not properly informed, so I encourage couples to do some reading - be a good consumer! - and look at real weddings so they have some sort of idea around the many, many, many options and decisions they're about to face.

So, you're engaged! Now what? Today, I'm sharing my top 3 recommendations to couples who are ready to start planning for their big day.

1. Determine your wedding planning budget. This is the biggest and most important step to getting started. I seriously cannot stress this enough, y'all. It can be a hard conversation to start, but it needs to happen before you can move forward with planning. If you don't outline a budget beforehand and know what you can spend, then how will you know how to make decisions? Once you have an overall budget set, a wedding planner can help you allocate your money so that you spend your budget in a smart and efficient way. Or your wedding planner can help you create a planning budget. Budget recommendations and tools from websites like The Knot can be helpful for some individuals, but it's not most. Each wedding is unique and each bride has her own set of priorities, so there is no such thing as a one size fits all wedding budget. That's where a wedding planner, someone who has an idea of what things actually cost, can help you budget your money efficiently so that all your needs are met. It's the first thing I do with my couples before moving on to step number 2.

2. Choose a few wedding dates. This can be tricky for busy couples, but it's important to have an idea of when you'd like to get married. Think of the time of year you'd like to get married and take into account things like national holidays, vacation time, family schedules, and yes, even things like sporting events/seasons and big conventions that can affect travel and/or accommodations. Once you've determined the time of year you'd like to tie the knot, then choose 2 to 3 dates - 1 date that is your first choice, but then 2 to 3 back-up dates incase the first date doesn't work out. Some venues can book up a year or two in advance! So, having those back-up dates outlined are good to have in your tool box, just in case. Then, you can tackle step number 3.

3. Get started on that guest list. Another difficult item on the checklists for brides and grooms, but one that will have a very big financial impact is the guest list. Long story short: the more people you invite, the more budget you will need to cover the cost of your guests. This is why setting a budget is an all too important first step. The number one way to cut costs when planning for your wedding is to cut your guest list. Obviously that can be difficult for couples with large families, but it's an important tip to remember when putting together a list of guests to invite to witness your marriage. If you need to be more budget conscious, consider inviting fewer guests to help keep costs low. There are a number of cost saving ways wedding planners can help couples who might want it all, but don't have the budget it afford it all.

Once you've checked off those three items from your list, then you can go on to look at venues and book wedding your vendors. If you're considering hiring a wedding planner, that should be the very first vendor you meet with after knocking out the steps above. Hiring a planner will give you the tools you need to have a stress-free, fun and organized experience planning for your wedding. A wedding planner is an important and valuable part of your wedding vendor team. The list of things a wedding planner handles for brides and grooms is not something a friend, mom, aunt or cousin can handle. For more information about getting started with planning your wedding and making some big decisions, I recommend starting here. Every wedding planner offers different services, and be sure to pay close attention to the wording being used - a wedding planner differs from a wedding coordinator. And not every wedding planner offers wedding design services. So if you're looking to hire a wedding planner, be sure to recognize the difference between the various types and choose the one that will serve you and your needs the best. You can read more about the various roles of wedding planners and coordinators: here and here and here.

The biggest tip I can give couples who are just starting to plan for their wedding is a simple concept at heart, but it can be hard to apply: "don't sweat the small stuff." Not everything will go as planned, not every dream will be realized, and it won't always be a fairy tale journey to the altar. But, who cares about any of that! The reason you're planning a wedding is to get married to the love of your life! As long as you two get married at the end of the day, then what else matters? So take it in stride if it rains on your wedding day and your outdoor ceremony is moved indoors. Don't stress out about the color of the napkins not being the same shade of pink as the flowers on the table. Let it roll off your back when family and/or friends give you grief over some of your decisions - it's your day, remember? And, look the other way when you realize that you don't have the budget for your favorite band AND a photo booth. None of that matters in the grand scheme of things.

You're engaged! Now start planning for your future together as Mr. and Mrs.! The Graceful Host offers full service wedding planning and design services - if you decide you need a little help. :) I'd love to talk to you about your wedding and see how I can help you plan for the best day ever. Come say hello!

XO,
A.

A Year in Review: 2013

2013 can only be described a whirlwind year.  From tons of gorgeous brides to beautiful details to magazine inspiration shoots, this year was one for the books! I am so incredibly humbled and in awe over 2013. In 2012, I took a leap. A big leap. Prior to owning TGH, I was actually an employee of TGH. I met the amazingly talented Heather Gear in 2010, who hired me part time to help with the execution of weddings. Meanwhile, I was working in corporate communications for a healthcare company in Charlotte, and I was planning for my own wedding in New Orleans!  Juggling two jobs and working 7 days a week isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I was so in love with producing weddings with Heather that it didn’t feel like a job – it was so much fun! Eventually, we started to collaborate on design concepts, and I was began to get a better picture for the Charlotte wedding industry through various networking events.  But, in 2012, Heather had something big to tell me – a total game changer that I would’ve never seen coming – she told me that she was no longer accepting brides for 2013 because she was planning to “retire”, and that she’d like to give TGH to me.  If I remember correctly, I think it took a few minutes for me to pick up my jaw and process what she had just said. And, as they say, the rest is history. On December 31, 2012, the day of our last wedding together– a fabulous New Years Eve wedding at the Ballantyne Hotel – I officially took over ownership of The Graceful Host.  Which I now realize was the dream job I never even imagined.

You know the saying “If you want to see God laugh, tell him your plans”?  Well, I bet he had a giant laugh over my life plans.  If you would’ve asked me 10 years ago where I’d be at this point in my life, I would’ve said something insane like living in New York City and singing professionally, touring all around the world.    Let’s just say I’ve never lived in NYC for longer than two months, I’ve only been involved with two opera productions professionally within Charlotte, I’m happily married to my college sweetheart, and I live in the suburbs with two insane cats.  Just a little different than touring the world, right? Never in a million years did I think I’d be so lucky as to own this business, and experience pure love and joy every weekend of the year.  And, I could not be happier! I know now that this is the life I’ve always wanted, and it does make me laugh thinking about my former plans.

In 2013, I took that leap I mentioned earlier and quit my real job in communications to go full-time with weddings and run The Graceful Host to its fullest potential.  It was scary - but a good scary. I am excited to wake up every day and do something that I’m so incredibly passionate about. But, enough about all of that - let's get to the pretty stuff!

Would you take a look at all the beautiful brides and handsome grooms we've worked with over the past year. I love them all so dearly! It's been such an honor to be a part of your wedding planning!

2013 Couples

In between weddings, I got a call from Charlotte Wedding Magazine asking if I’d like to participate in an inspiration shoot for the Summer 2013 issue by designing a fiesta-inspired wedding.  I was floored to have received the call and was (still am!) so incredibly honored by the opportunity.  This was an absolute dream come true for me!  I had about three weeks to pull together the design and secure a vendor team for the shoot. It’s challenges like this that are so exhilarating! I had a blast working with the Charlotte Wedding Magazine team and all the vendors involved with the shoot.  My design and inspiration was brought to life before my eyes and captured by some incredibly talented photographers. It felt so great to come up with concepts that are different from the traditional wedding ideas, and I loved the opportunity to show brides how to use color – especially bold colors. (See the full blog post!)

2013 Inspiration Shoot Feature

I still get so excited to see my couples grace the pages of magazine and wedding blogs! And, we had a quite a few features and published weddings this year - from Southern Weddings to Style Me Pretty to The Knot: North Carolina.

2013 The Knot Magazine Feature
2013 Online and In Print Features

I have to thank each of the amazing couples I've had the opportunity to work with for putting your faith and trust in me to produce your dream wedding. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I am so honored to know you and to call you a friend.  And to each of the incredibly talented vendors that I've had the pleasure of working with over the past year - THANK YOU!  Thank you for your hard work, dedication, passion and amazing service to each of these brides and grooms.  It truly does take a village to create a flawless event, and I am so grateful for you!  Over the past year, I've had the chance to get to know more individuals in the Charlotte Wedding Industry - and, ya'll, there are A LOT of amazingly talented vendors in our little city.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from each of you, and to get to know you better.

All in all, 2013 was a year I'll never forget.  It was a year full of growth - both professionally and personally. I cannot wait for 2014 and all the excitement that is sure to follow! I am 110% along for the ride - and I am just loving the journey!

XO,
A.

Inspiration: A Touch of Modern + Vintage Glamour

With so many gorgeous weddings to look forward to in 2014, we've been busy, busy, busy creating a lot of beauty.  And, this wedding design is definitely one of my favorites! I met Whitley over the summer, and although she lives in St. Louis with her fiancé, we managed to nail down all her wedding details  and vendors within 4 months! This bride was determined to be done with wedding planning by the holidays. Well, mission accomplished!  I've had so much fun working with Whitley - I can't believe the big day will be here in 3 short months!

For her March wedding at Brakefield at Riverwalk, we're mixing elements of modern and vintage glamour.  Crystal adorned centerpieces, lush ivory floral, bold silver and charcoal textures will give our bride and groom the luxe and romantic wedding they've been dreaming of.  Oh, and her wedding dress - holy moly!!  I cannot wait to see this gorgeous wedding unfold!  Until then, I want to share some of our inspiration photos. Enjoy all the pretty!

Glamorous Silver, Grey and Ivory Wedding Inspiration
Glamorous Silver, Grey and Ivory Wedding Inspiration

XO, A.