Inspiration From Crafts, Lara Casey + Emily Ley, and Wedding Rehearsals


Oh my goodness. Let me tell you, today was one of the most inspirational and encouraging days I've had in a while. I feel as though so many sparks went off in my head throughout the day. I also feel as though I learned many invaluable business lessons. Why, might you be wondering? Take a look at how my day went to better understand: I arrived at the office to a pile of goodies that Becca left me from her trip to the craft store last night.

Aren't the colors fantastic? They're so joyful and summery, which is perfect since today is the official start of summer thanks to the Summer Solstice! You'll see more of what I prepared with these in tomorrows post :)

Becca also asked me to open and assemble these plastic frames that she bought from Ikea.

The combination of the frames, paper, and ribbon got my creative juices flowing. I have so many events to plan in the fall in my position as VP of Philanthropic Service for Sigma Kappa. After being under the wing of an event designer for the past month, I realized that I should truly be treating these events with the same level of creativity that the RRE team treats weddings.

Although I have a limited budget, I know that there are ways I can work within my budget to really make my events pop. For instance, one of our most popular philanthropic events is our Sigma Kappa Cupcake Bar. Sisters bake tons of cupcakes, and we set up tables in a DIY manner so that students can pay for an un-iced cupcake, and then add whichever frosting flavors and toppings they desire.

Typically at events such as this one, we have just printed signs to explain the details of our event on computer paper and have taped them throughout the event space. The thought of that is literally making me cringe as I reminisce. For just a few dollars more, why not go the extra mile to get some pretty cardstock and place them in these plastic frames? They'll look a thousand times cleaner and stand out more than a simple piece of paper lying flat on a table or wall. I was so inspired to design my events more creatively that I even made a Pinterest board to collect my ideas! Here's one of my favorite looks for a cupcake bar-

I'd obviously have to tweak some of the details since this was for a Sweet Sixteen party. But, I do love the idea of using mason jars to hold the toppings!

After I finished multitasking between crafting for tomorrow's wedding and brainstorming event design ideas, Becca came into the office and prepared to interact in a webinar. It was called Powerful Branding by Lara Casey and Emily Ley, the ladies of Making Brands Happen.

If you're not familiar with the wedding industry, Lara Casey is one of THE most inspirational women to know. She is the Editor and Chief and Publisher of Southern Weddings, founded the Making Things Happen movement, and does consulting through her two companies, Making Brands Happen and Lara Casey Reps. And even though she does all of that, she is the proud mama of a baby girl and seems to be a woman who is full of spunk and a love of life.

Emily Ley, of Emily Ley Paper, is another Southern woman who is incredibly talented at what she does. Not only does she have her personal company, but she is also a business partner with Lara in Making Things Happen and Making Brands Happen and the proud mama of a baby boy! I would be so thrilled to get to meet the two of them sometime.

However, today I got to experience just about the next-best thing. Although it was Becca who was  listening to and interacting in the webinar, I could hear snippets of what was being said from my desk. These two women truly understand what it means to be a brand. I clearly cannot and will not disclose any of the little bits of information I was lucky enough to overhear today, but I will say that they inspired me to really, deeply think about who I am and what I would want my business/brand to look and feel like. If I can start doing that now, as a 20 year old rising senior in college, that will help give me such an edge and advantage as I enter the events business upon graduation.

And as if that wasn't enough inspiration for one day, I ended the day by going to the rehearsal for our wedding tomorrow at WinMock at Kinderton. Isn't the venue awesome? This is just a quick shot I got to take on my way out of the rehearsal, so I apologize for the poor lighting.

I love going to rehearsals because they are typically the first time I get to really see the two families join together. I think the rehearsal truly sets the stage for how the wedding day will go. Luckily, these families are just phenomenal. They all seem to love each other, they're funny, and they are comfortable around one another.

And of course, that got me to thinking about how I want my wedding to be. One of the things that I value most is being surrounded by the people I love who I feel most comfortable around. Why would you want it any other way on your wedding day? This helped me to realize that I probably want a medium-sized wedding, consisting of my closest friends and family.

I don't want to have a wedding that seems like a huge production that I feel pressured to be perfect at. No. I want a wedding where I am so excited to walk into a room full of people I know and care about dearly. I want to be able to let loose and be my goofy self in my fancy dress. Obbvviously I want the design of my wedding to be fantastic, but I want to focus more on celebrating the day with friends than the details of the desert table.

So, the quote that I have chosen from the "Love Life" book is dedicating to loving today. It reads,

Here I am, where I ought to be. -Louise Erdrich

As simple as that is, it really resonates with me for today. If I hadn't gotten the chance to be Becca's intern, I would have never experienced the three inspirational things that I did today. I was absolutely where I was supposed to be, and I'm beyond grateful for it. Night all.