A Year in Review: 2019

This past year has been absolutely incredible and we are beyond grateful for the clients and families we have the pleasure of serving. So much goodness happened over the last 365 days, we had to recap it with a play by play from each month. Read on to discover and relive some of our favorite moments from 2019!

January
Site visits to Dothan and Rockford, Alabama as well as Cashiers, North Carolina kicked off our first official work week of the year. While in North Carolina, we presented Devin + Ryan with their design detail ahead of their April wedding at Lonesome Valley. It was blustery and cold, but the perfect, cozy weather for visiting around a fire.

Julie traveled to Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina for an industry event with some of her creative friends from around the southeast. She had an absolute ball and this trip gave her the inspiration she needed for new destination client, Katie.

Photo: Clay Austin

Frannie + Ben then tied the knot at Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham on what was a very rainy day. As luck would have it, the skies cleared and a beautiful sunset welcomed guests as they arrived for the early evening ceremony. An incredible celebration followed at the Country Club of Birmingham with tons of romantic candlelight and florals from Kathleen Varner as well as a real life pizza cake (a nod to the groom’s role as a chef at Tortugas) from Barb’s Cakes.

We presented Lucy + Kevin with their design detail, too, ahead of their May café brunch wedding at The Thomas Jefferson Tower. Lucy loved it so much, we nearly tripled the amount of florals she initially dreamt of!

Bride Devin came into town for her hair & makeup trial with Irrelephant and we were able to visit one of our favorite lunch spots, Bottega Café, as well as knock out a myriad of planning tasks together. With Devin being based in Tampa and hosting a destination wedding in North Carolina, we made sure to always utilize her time wisely.

Before it was all said and done, Courtney was off to Jackson Hole with her husband for their annual winter ski vacation.

February
As soon as Courtney returned from Wyoming, Julie jetted off to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe for her very own winter wonderland with Dallas at two different Ritz Carlton properties. In fact, they were snowed in the very first day because of a full-blown blizzard and nearly 52” at their resort over 48 hours. Crazy! It was a great way to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary.

A quick day trip to Atlanta allowed us to kick off all things wedding with new bride, Ann and her mom, Lillian. It was a whirlwind, but we accomplished so much and really dug deep to understand their vision. It’s always a joy when a client invites us into their home, as that space reveals so much to us and this visit was no exception!

A design detail presentation was in full effect for May couple, Natalie + Alex that featured 3D renderings, sketches and mock ups. They were especially smitten with the custom fabrics we sourced with help from our linen partner, as well as the signature drinks and moments inspired by their pups, Chiptole and Lava. So cute!

The back half of the month was spent on the road and living out of a suitcase in Mobile, Alabama as we produced a 600+ person multiday healthcare conference during Mardi Gras for the Alabama HFMA. It was an incredible event that had Julie designing both the Past President’s Dinner and Gala while Courtney produced all of the main stage sessions and breakouts that featured more than 60 speakers. Did we mention she also coordinated all of their travel? A challenge, for sure, but one we’d gladly accept again!

Photos: Arden Photography

March
This month saw Kate + Stephen get married in Auburn.

We drove home from our Dixie conference in Mobile one day and turned right around and flew to Savannah for a site visit and kick off with new bride, Katie and her mom, Carol, the next. We were able to grab lunch with one of our favorite photographers, Donna Von Bruening, before heading out to Palmetto Bluff and being treated to the most wonderful two days by our friend, Shannan. Katie and her mom loved everything and it was a total grand slam experience that absolutely sealed the deal! Katie said it best when she sent us an e-mail the day we departed that read: “We both just wanted a say a huge thank you for the past two days. We are leaving with full hearts, lots of excitement, and tons of free stuff. Y’all really have a way of making people feel special and like they’re your only focus and priority (even though we know you wear many hats).”

We kicked off our year of education and speaking and presented at our friend Alisha Crossley Photography’s workshop with an in-depth discussion on how photographers can best grow their business and develop strategic relationships with high end planners. We had so much to share, our 90-minute slot turned into several hours. We had a blast and there were so many lightbulb moments for the attendees, too. A total win-win!

Alexa + Austin were married at Shoal Creek’s town hall in a stunning ceremony that included a beautiful rendition of “The Prayer.” A nonstop party with Creativity! followed with all sorts of pretty from HotHouse & PropHouse and a jaw dropping five tier bride’s cake from Magic Muffins (which, by the way was Courtney’s most liked Instagram of the entire year). Be sure to catch up with their full feature on the blog, here.

A fieldtrip to a local nursery with Kathleen Varner had Julie in major creative director mode as she selected the trees for May bride, Lucy’s, wedding.

Several nonstop days in the office had us meeting with the owners from Peachtree Tents & Events and Event Rentals Unlimited to discuss the state of the industry as well as current and future trends; catching up with good friend and photographer Kristin Sweeting about all the things; and putting the finishing touches on all of our April weddings.

April
This month was jam packed as we watched Laura + Keith, Catherine + Andrew, Meredith + Zachary and Devin + Ryan all marry.

Photos: Kat Braman

Our dedicated office days enabled the creative coaching side of our business to go into full swing with a handful of phone calls with planners, photographers and videographers; we interviewed and hired for our summer intensive & PR internship positions and also launched a webinar with our good friend and photographer, Kelly Berry, via her Vero Workshop community.

Julie followed along with spring bridal market and recapped her thoughts with stylist, Beth Chapman, on the blog, here.

We then wrapped by being hosted by one of our all-time favorites, Whitney, at The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island in Florida. The hospitality this gal and her entire team displayed were second to none and we loved our quick getaway as we learned more about this comfortable, casual and luxurious coastal property for future clients.

May
Another completely jam packed month as spring wedding season hit its peak and we saw Lucy + Kevin, Sarah + Jake, Natalie + Alex, Katie + Jackson, and Jennifer + Jackson tie the knot.

Photos: Kelli & Daniel Taylor Photography, Alisha Crossley Photography, Be Light Photography

Recent Auburn grads, Rileigh and Kaitlyn, began their summer internships with us and jumped in with both feet and eyes wide open. Congrats to Rileigh on her recent engagement and Kaitlyn on her job with The Sheraton!

Several final site visits, planning calls and logistics meetings were had as we worked to finalize one of our private residence June weddings. As you know, these are the most challenging, yet rewarding, events we produce.

A day trip to Nashville allowed us to record an episode of Kristin Sweeting’s podcast, “The Porchcast.” We had the best time chatting about branding, client experience, processes and all things luxury weddings. This kicked off a series of podcast interviews, as we also recorded an episode for The Wedding MBA that same week.

We officially revamped and brought back our blog – hooray! Check out our first new entry, here, titled “The Dog Days of Summer.” If you’re like us and love your furbaby, you’ll really enjoy this one.

Wrapping things up, Courtney and her husband spent a long weekend in New York City hitting all the hot spots – a Yankees game, a Broadway show, shopping, yummy eats, time in Central Park and a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden.

June
We rounded out our spring season this month by watching Margaret + Matthew as well as Brady + Ben marry.

Both Julie and Courtney headed to The Bahamas for the sold out Engage!19 Baha Mar where Julie presented a break out session about building a big brand in a small town. It was met with rave reviews and while the content was exclusive to attendees, she can’t wait to revamp and share on another platform.

Photos: Eric Kelley

We met with new client, Susan, of Susan Gordon Pottery, to kick off planning her new studio’s grand opening. We absolutely love her pieces – they’re a go to gift for us. Did you know, she offers a wedding registry now? Yep! One word: obsessed.

July
Courtney hit the road with her husband to 30A, where they enjoy a family July 4th trip every year. This down time even includes their golden doodle pup, Murphy.

Julie and Courtney then both headed to San Francisco for a week, for their yearly retreat to learn and grow with some of their closest industry friends. Shout out to Amy Nichols Special Events, Birds of a Feather Events, Rocket Science Events, and SQN Events! We then were on the road again to kick off new client, Anna’s, design and planning in LaGrange, Georgia. While Anna and her fiancé currently reside in South Carolina, she’s marrying in her home town and we loved being welcomed into their beautiful home.

Julie wrapped by spending time in Montana with our friend, Sarah, of Simply Sarah Photography to design and produce an event at The Ranch at Rock Creek celebrating Emma + Jacob. The property and experience were absolutely incredible and we can’t wait to return! See the full feature on Style Me Pretty, here.

Photos: Simply Sarah Photography

August
This month we got to see Rebecca and Forest marry at The Bibb Mill.

Julie and her husband took a quick trip to NYC and enjoyed a long weekend together. Thanks toJordan Kahn of Jordan Kahn Orchestra, they had a pretty sweet view of the Empire State Building, too!

Both Julie and Courtney then headed out to Sonoma to assist their good friend, Amy Nichols (of Amy Nichols Special Events) on a big destination wedding weekend at MacArthur Place and Annadel Estate Winery. We were all lucky enough to have another friend, Wendy Tylaska (of Birds of a Feather Events), join us to style everything to perfection. It was a quick trip, but completely wonderful! We’ll be repeating this experience again in March as we all team up with Amy for another destination wedding, this time at the Four Seasons Santa Barbara.

We returned from our travels and put the finishing touches on a massive design presentation for our November clients, Ann + Noah. It was chock full of thoughtful, custom finishes Julie sourced through a variety of our favorite partners. The bride and her Mom were crazy about it all and after working diligently on the aesthetics and fine-tuned details for several months, we officially entered production mode.

Before the month was up, we were back in the friendly skies traveling to Aspen for a week’s stay at the St. Regis. This FAM was hosted by the Aspen Chamber of Commerce and gave us the inside scoop on local favorites such as The Little Nell, Hotel Jerome and Chaparral Ranch, among others, for destination weddings. It was a great week spent with some of the best in the biz and a highlight was getting to know our new friend Julie Hill, of Elysium Weddings. We can’t wait for our own Aspen event!

September
Courtney and her husband took a week off and traveled to Maui to celebrate their 7th anniversary. By the time she was back in the office, Julie was out the door and headed to The Ritz Carlton Lake Oconee to enjoy a few days as part of another “Southern Sleepover.” Special thanks to our friends Carina and Donna for being such wonderful hostesses!

A special surprise: Kathleen + Henry’s fall mountain wedding captured by Kristin Sweeting was highlighted on Martha Stewart Weddings. Check out the entire feature, here.

Photos: Kristin Sweeting Photography

This month had us officially taking over the operations and management of the Avon Theater, a historic special events space located in the Lakeview district of downtown Birmingham. We’ll be hosting an open house for Avon Theater on Thursday, January 16th from 4-7PM with some of Birmingham’s best. Mark your calendars – we can’t wait to see you for an evening of live entertainment, good eats and exciting inspiration!

Julie spent time in overdrive putting together a special project for The Atlanta Braves, a post season party. Although the team didn’t clinch (that game 5 was tough) several exciting opportunities were presented, including the crew at Blue Delta Jeans custom fitting our team and officially being placed on the Braves preferred vendor list.

We wrapped the month by hosting a mega production meeting ahead of our clients’ November wedding at East Lake Golf Club.

October
Julie and her husband headed to Kentucky for the Keeneland race with her sisters and their significant others. The weather and rolling hills were absolutely gorgeous and they enjoyed attending the annual Garden & Gun party.

Our friend and photographer, Lance Nicoll, came into town and we grabbed a quick lunch with him in between a busy office day full of meetings, conference calls and e-mails.

Julie and Courtney headed out to Vegas to present at this year’s Wedding MBA. Their session was titled “The Color of Money” and showcased all the ways you can add margin to run and grow a sustainable business. It was a jam-packed room with nearly 300 attendees and we loved the opportunity to share valuable insight and impact others. A highlight of the trip was dinner at The Belagio’s Spago with new friend (and incredibly talented photographer) Allen Tsai.

A final pow wow with our October couple, Jenny + Rob, was held and then we were off again, this time to Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Colorado. The fabulous Amanda Slater of Table 6 Productions was behind this FAM and put together the industry guest list of a lifetime. We were honored to be included! Getting to experience this dreamy destination, amidst a beautiful snowstorm, was just what we didn’t know we needed. We’re excited to include this location in our destination portfolio for those couples looking for an immersive, mountain resort wedding experience.

Photos: Rachel Havel

To wrap the month, Julie continued her dedication to the Marcus Autism Center and raised over $30,000 as part of her 4th annual Monster Mash. Learn more about this event and get your tickets for next year, here.

November
This month was crazy, but in a really good way!

We spent two weeks on the road as we oversaw the production and load in for Ann + Noah’s November 16th wedding. While we were on site every day at East Lake, a fun highlight was getting to catch up with all of our Atlanta friends at night including The Willets, Victor Villatoro and Kelly Berry.

In between this schedule, Julie headed back to Birmingham for Susan Gordon Pottery’s new studio and retail grand opening. While the weather wasn’t playing friendly and ultimately, our rain plan had to be enacted, the evening couldn’t have been more beautiful.

Courtney did a Facebook Live with Meredith Rynzcar’s online community, The Restart Specialist, talking all about 2020 trends. It was a lot of fun and was met with rave reviews. She then headed to Auburn to speak to a Public Relations class about how to win in the workplace.

We also hosted our first event at Avon Theater – a winter formal for a Samford University sorority.

Then, to wrap the month ahead of Thanksgiving, we recorded two more podcast episodes – one for Weddings For Real hosted by Megan Gilikin and one for The Bokeh Podcast with Nathan Holrtiz.

December
Julie and Courtney hit the road to Mississippi to kick off the last month of the year. A site visit with new bride, Hannah, for her January 2021 at home tented wedding was officially in the works. Our friend Chae from Event Rentals Unlimited also joined us.

We finally got to reveal one of the biggest secrets we had been keeping – that our work was highlighted as one of only five real weddings in the Annual Planner print issue of Martha Stewart Weddings. A complete and total honor! The magazine is on newsstands now, so be sure and grab a copy and catch up on Maya + Trey’s Lonesome Valley celebration.

Lots of holiday activities followed – including lunch with Jeff Terry of Peacthree Tents & Events, lunch with our November clients back at our old stomping ground, East Lake Golf Club and a soiree hosted by Alisha Crossley.

Julie got a couple of proposals officially submitted – one for The Atlanta Braves and one for The Faith & Politics Institute.

We then wrapped up all of our to-dos and checklists before officially turning on our “out of office” as we closed down for the final two weeks of the year to spend dedicated time with our families.

All in all, it’s been a completely magical year and we can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store with you!

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