My Baby Shower Luau & Lei DIY!

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36.5 weeks pregnant at my shower!

My sister, Fiona, is the ‘Suzie home-maker’ of my three sisters and I – and she always manages to be the first to volunteer to coordinate any party or gathering and plan from top to bottom. I, on the other hand, am more of a ‘design’/aesthetics type of planner. I really like to focus on the visual aspects of a space/party. When she volunteered to plan my baby shower, I must admit, it was very hard to not try to coordinate linens, flowers, cake design, tablescapes, invites, etc.! She actually had to tell me to ‘stop it’. I even started a Pinterest board to try to convince her how it should be done. Because it’s customary for the mommy-to-be to not help plan the shower and to be surprised, I reluctantly talked myself into taking a backseat. It sorta went like “Just enjoy the surprise, self” – “But I want to help, and it will be fabulous”. :D haha.. Honestly, I was happy to not have to help once I got to the time of the shower, because of how exhausted I was from a ton of weddings the past month on top of my swollen legs/ankles! I volunteered our house, as we had completely overhauled our backyard in a massive mainly-DIY undertaking. So, any excuse to have a gathering at our house was totally awesome! We prayed for sunshine and good weather, and it ended up being PERFECT!

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Some iPhone pics from the shower… (don’t judge, I’m no photographer ;-)The shower was to be an evening, co-ed cocktail party luau. I know it’s not tradition, but honestly, I was a tomboy growing up and for most of the 12 years Robby and I have been together, so many of our friends are guys. Robby’s entire family lives in South Carolina, and half of mine is in England. So, for us, a mixed party of any and all friends was the perfect fit to celebrate the upcoming arrival of little baby Bane! I think planning a shower is like a wedding, you just have to do what’s right for the situation!2014-06-21_0008My sister was super sneaky and contacted a calligrapher I have worked with quite a few times on styled shoots, Meant To Be Calligraphy. As soon as I walked in the room and saw the cards, I knew whose gorgeous lettering they were!! The idea was that we wouldn’t open all the gifts at the party, and that the gifts would be on display in the nursery for everyone to see. Guests would place their name tag on their gift showing who it was from. I just loved being able to show everyone the nursery! I feel like that’s a part that is always missing from a shower — seeing the baby’s new digs! Of course, not necessary, but I think it’s so fun to see the nursery all decorated and cute!2014-06-21_0009I realized after the party that Bane is a Hawaiian name, and we had a luau for his shower — I guess it was meant to be! :D

On the left, my brother-in-law, Dustin, tending bar under the pergola I normally use for styled shoots and rentals! … yes, it was very hard to not completely deck that thing out in florals!… but, I had to not ‘work’ at my shower :/2014-06-21_0005The girls all wore cymbidium orchids in their hair — my momma on the right!

Thank you so much to everyone that came to the shower to celebrate baby Bane! He surely will be very loved when he’s here! :)

To create your very own fresh flower lei, it’s super simple to make….

DIY Fresh Floral Lei Tutorial

Supplies

- 30-40 large carnations (mini carnations and orchids work great too!)

- 1 2.5″+ sewing needle (just needs to be about 50% longer than the bloom so it doesn’t get stuck!) I bought a package of different lengths just in case

- 1 yard waxed cord (JoAnn, Michaels, any craft store! check the jewelry aisle)

2014-06-21_00011. Thread the needle, and break the stem off the carnation (they break easily, or you can cut it!)2014-06-21_00022. Fluff the carnation open/carnations can easily be forced open once they are a little older — newer ones can be tight!2014-06-21_00033. Push the needle through the bottom center of the carnation and pull through the top, this creates the end of your lei – so make sure you pull the cord through to the length the lei will be2014-06-21_00044. Continue adding carnations, tucking the next one into the center of the previous one, until you reach the desired length — simply knot the ends together making sure the carnations are all tightly tucked into each other

Citrus Watercolor Shoot – Katelyn James Workshop Experience

Every few months, Katelyn James hosts a photography workshop from her home. Part of the workshop involves a styled shoot for the photographers to practice their skills and have some images for their social media and websites. The past four, I’ve styled for her – and it’s always so fun just picking a random theme to play with!

Because my pregnancy cravings in the second trimester were anything citrus, I was clearly inspired to center the shoot around that kind of look for a summer faux-wedding inspiration! It’s so refreshing and like a breath of fresh air seeing all these pretty colors together! I’m a monochromatic gal myself, so I love doing shoots or weddings that are centered around variations of one color (or a few very close colors here, I should say!). Could you tell it was raining outside?! We had to do this shoot mostly on her porch, because it started to rain like thirty minutes into the shoot – buy you’d never know!

This beauty was also published over on Grey Likes Weddings if you want to see more!

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/april-workshop-2014View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/april-workshop-2014View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/april-workshop-2014View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/april-workshop-2014View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/april-workshop-2014View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/april-workshop-2014View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/april-workshop-2014View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/april-workshop-20142014-06-23_0009View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/april-workshop-2014

 

Vendors

Photography: Katelyn James

Florals & Design: Amanda, of Anthomanic

Cake: Fat Girl Cakes

MUA/Hair: Emily Hudspeth

Vintage Rentals: Paisley & Jade

Calligraphy: The Weekend Type

Gown: Bella Rosa Bridal, Richmond Virginia

Linens: JoAnn Fabrics

#theworkshopexperience

Rustic Glamour – Stevenson Ridge Wedding

Candace and Matthew had a gorgeous wedding at Stevenson Ridge this May! It was also featured on Southern Weddings this week! I absolutely adored Candace! She knew she liked fluffy, soft, peach, white and pale pink florals – but she was very trusting that I’d understand her style of the wedding and translate her inspiration images into something beautiful! Thank you for trusting me Candace!

2014-06-19_0001Thankfully May is prime peony season! I love when brides love the seasonal blooms for their wedding month! It makes for gorgeous fluffy flowers! Her bouquet had Peach ‘Juliet’ Garden Roses, Faith Roses, and Pink Sarah Peonies – wrapped in a piece from her grandmother’s wedding gown.2014-06-19_0002SO FLUFFY!!! I just love a fluffy bouquet! Doesn’t it just make your heart happy?! :)2014-06-19_0003To bring in the rustic vibe for the guys, the groom and groomsmen wore succulent boutonnieres (with seeded eucalyptus and silver dollar eucalyptus wrapped in bind wire)2014-06-19_0004Simple bouquets of babies breath and burlap down the aisle to fit the country-rustic vibe

….I just loved the design chosen for the pergola! Candace found an image on Pinterest of jewels intertwined with the florals, and I thought this would be super fun to have the glamour vibe brought in this way to contrast with the country-rustic look! Coral Charm and Pink Sarah Peonies, Faith and Osiana Roses, White Hydrangeas and silver dollar eucalytpus. I always recommend the bride provide some sheer curtain panels and a rod for hanging on any structure — it looks gorgeous and softens the space!2014-06-19_0005Er.mah.gersh. There are no words for this overload of cuteness!!

Candace had this adorable vintage cart that we made a sweet little garland for to jazz up this little princess’ entry ride!2014-06-19_00062014-06-19_00072014-06-19_0008Married!!2014-06-19_0009I just loved her centerpieces!! Soft, fluffy, pretty :)2014-06-19_0010You can’t see it fully here, but she had these adorable bird toppers she got on Etsy that said ‘I do’ and ‘Me too’ :D2014-06-19_00112014-06-19_00122014-06-19_0013

Congratulations you two!! :D

Vendors

Photographer: Rachel May Photography / Planner: Elizabeth Timms / Venue: Stevenson Ridge / Florist: Anthomanic / Dessert Baker: Colonial Cupcakes / Caterer: Country Lane Catering / DJ: Eric Herod / Bride’s Gown: David’s Bridal / Bride’s Accessories: David’s Bridal, Modcloth / Hair Stylist: Jackie Jekic / Makeup Artist: Go Go Gorgeous Makeup Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Modcloth / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: eShakti / Men’s Attire: Land’s End, J. Crew, Kohl’s

Equestrian Bridal Portraits in Virginia

Bridal portraits can be a fun way to express a part of the bride (or couple’s) personality that might not otherwise make its way into the wedding day. For example, including your furry friend! Sometimes it makes sense to include a pet in the walk down the aisle, or at least some portraits before or after the ceremony. But, sometimes the logistics just don’t work out getting a pet to cooperate for the day of – or he/she must be left at home with a pet sitter. Including them in bridal portraits (or some other shoot) is a super fun way to feel like they were involved and still get some shots with them!

2014-06-13_0010Obviously this beautiful horse wasn’t able to make a grand entrance to a wedding, so bridal portraits were a must for this horse-loving gal! This is my little sister, Samantha, and she trains horses for a living. I like to think of her as the horse whisperer. Whenever I’ve been around her when she’s with her horses I am quite intimidated by their size, but Samantha treats them like some sort of lap-animal. She’s comfortable with their movements and it’s like as if her and the horses are the same entity. It’s really bizarre, but quite beautiful. One time I was with her at this farm and I was trying to coax the horses to come near me at the fence… but they wouldn’t. As soon as they saw Samantha, they quickly headed towards her knowing who their mamma was! … well, they knew who puts out the food at least!

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This shoot was on what felt like the hottest day of the year, but you wouldn’t know it because Samantha is a modeling pro!

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The horse needed some sort of flowers, of course! So, I made this beautiful blue hydrangea garland for her!

2014-06-13_0007Simple, but funky bouquet of dahlias and hanging amaranthus2014-06-13_00082014-06-13_0009Aren’t these dahlias just amazing?!2014-06-13_0011

This shoot was also published on United With Love

Florals: Anthomanic

Photographer: Charlotte Tittle

Hair & MUA: GoGo Gorgeous

Venue: Southern Heritage Farm, Midland Virginia

Gown: David’s Bridal

A Keswick Vineyard Wedding, Charlottesville

I just adore these two! Their wedding day was absolutely gorgeous and full of custom and unique elements – from the traditional gowns that their mothers wore, to the violin performance by the groom. How amazing is that?! Every wedding is unique, and I’m so glad they really took advantage of not only their talents and personalities incorporated into the wedding, but also their heritage and traditions! Virginia is such a beautiful place to marry, and their backdrop for some of these images is just gorgeous!

2014-06-11_0001Look at that backdrop!!2014-06-11_00022014-06-11_00032014-06-11_0004Her GORGEOUS fluffy bouquet of peonies, garden roses, gardenias, jasmine vine, stock flowers, astilbe, dusty miller and hydrangeas! YUUUMM!!!2014-06-11_0005Her bouquet smelled absolutely amazing – gardenias are strong enough on their own (when we put just a few blooms in our cooler, you can actually smell them throughout the shop!), but combined with peonies, garden roses and all those other gorgeous blooms – it was like stepping into a magical garden the smell of that bouquet!! Smell away Elaine!2014-06-11_0006ohh man!!! I just love her bouquet! Can you tell?2014-06-11_00072014-06-11_0008The rain forced a backup location for her pergola, but it then got to double as her sweetheart table backdrop – so it worked out great for photos throughout the evening!2014-06-11_00092014-06-11_00102014-06-11_0011How cute is that?! I love that they incorporated their dog as part of the wedding party!2014-06-11_00122014-06-11_0013What a beautiful wedding!

Vendors

Venue: Keswick Vineyard, Charlottesville Virginia

Florals: Anthomanic

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Amore Events by Cody

Photography: Ken Pak

Caterer/Linens: Harvest Moon

 

Kat - stunning!!! LOVE her flowers, Amanda!!June 11, 2014 – 11:55 am

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