As an annual tradition, Robby and I vacation in Disney World. I vacationed there as a child with my family, and Robby and I were engaged, married, and now celebrate anniversaries there, surrounded in Disney magic! During our most recent October anniversary trip, we found out that we were expecting our future travel buddy! Now I have a real and more legitimate excuse to plan Disney vacations!Okay okay, being more serious: I’m so excited about this new adventure with Robby. We’ve been together for twelve years now and I look forward to finally experiencing parenthood with him!
As of today, I am now in my second trimester, and have been blessed with no morning sickness! I have, however, suffered the first trimester lazy-I-want-to-sleep-all-day haze and migraines, which was rather annoying being that I am normally very active at work and the gym… but the lazy part has disappeared now that I’m in week 14. It’s great timing that it’s off season during my first trimester – no weddings to design & deliver, just emails, calls and planning sessions. July is a great time for the baby’s arrival and my ‘maternity leave’, as normally we only have two the whole month!
I’m looking forward to this life-changing journey and have loved hearing all the new-mother stories (the good, the bad and the ugly) from friends and family as we’ve revealed the news! I’m scared of the challenge, but also very excited to experience the love of being a mom
Wishing everyone a love-filled and blessed Christmas!
Thank you Melissa Arlena for these portraits! (Melissa was also our destination wedding photographer – our wedding pics, here)
Amanda is the owner of Anthomanic
Image of Emily & David's Wedding by Katelyn James
A personal post today
This week I’ve spent quite a bit of time praying for guidance.
For the past few months I have been so busy with concentrating on the basics of running my wedding business, that I was caught up in the everyday go-go-go. Because I was so focused on doing everyday tasks (wake up, work/design/do beautiful things, come home, make dinner, go to bed) I was forgetting to focus on the future, and where I want to eventually end up. I’m sure we can all agree, unless you like things to always be the same for comfort, that we don’t want to do the same thing day in and day out. That next year, we’ll take over the world. I have huge dreams of one day being an inspiration to the underdog, helping the hungry and the poor (yes, this is my Miss America speech). I just have a burning desire to do great work for God and to be his worker here on earth. I know many can sympathize in my dream to be able to pay my bills, have just enough clean clothes on my back to be able to go out in the world and HELP other people. Help ANYONE. Do you feel you have some sort of purpose that you aren’t fulfilling? Doesn’t it drive you nuts?! I feel that God has given me the gift of business savvy, and the gift of great empathy – am I not yet realizing the potential of what He gave me those gifts for?
I saw a post that David Tutera made today about providing a dream wedding to a young lady with leukemia. I feel that one day, I’ll be doing things like that. But how do we get there? The bummer is that there’s no book on how to be great. Or is there? For Christian, all answers are in the Bible. I feel anytime I find myself hit my knees after a long absence of doing so, I find soon after the most amazing answers or inspirations. I feel that when I go days, weeks without prayer, I start to FEEL it. The fire goes away, and frustration settles in. Because of many many many past experiences, I am a very firm believer that if you don’t ask for God’s help, he’ll put you on your knees and make you BEG for it. At these moments, and very soon after, something magical happens that lifts me up – whether it’s a conversation with someone that I need to hear and they say all the right words that God knows I need. Or, that I read an article that is so random but so perfectly timed for me to read. Or, that thing I’d been cursing over just appears to work itself out in such a beautiful way that it MUST have been an answer. It might not always be the answer I want, but it’s always right on time. Isn’t God so good??
This week I’ve been praying for guidance, to be pointed in the right direction, SOMETHING. My begging is something like this: “I want to travel the world and do great work for you, show me how to get there!” HAHA! I often find that the answer is that it would take money to put my plans into action. But, God doesn’t like it when I pray for money or earthly possesions, or pray for exactly what ‘I’ think ‘I’ need. He knows my heart, ‘He’ knows what ‘He’ needs of me. So, I just have to have faith that the path will reveal itself to me and I’ll figure it out. Can I get an Amen??
Yesterday I got an email from a lady name Cathy Dyson, of the Free Lance Star. She wrote an article about me almost three years ago (found here) about my struggles as an athiest, suicidal teen. She wants to write another piece, sort of a ‘where are they know’ follow up article. The interesting thing about this situation is that as soon as my article was printed on the front page of the newspaper, I had quite a few local schools contact me and ask if I could come chat with their troubled teens. I did one speaking engagement, but I don’t think I was mature enough to handle the task, honestly. I never followed up with the other contacts. Is this new article going to be a way to maybe try to reach out again? I really hope so. I have such a passion for teens that have trouble finding their way, especially ones that feel so hopeless that they flirt with suicide. Is this God trying to push me to something that I missed on the first time around? I have faith that it was an answer, it’s guidance. No, I don’t think it means I should quit my job, don’t get that confused! But, I do think it’s something I need to pursue as that something that I can do to give back. Even if it’s not giving food or money, it is giving hope. So, I guess regardless of the platform or medium of helping others, it’s still achieving the goal of helping others. I have always dreamed of literally ‘giving’ food/water…. I’m hoping one day I get to that place of being able to, but for now I’m searching for whatever I can get my hands on.
I know this article may be a little bit of a rambling piece, but, please share your thoughts about anything you can relate to here!
Every year, as the current wedding season comes to a close in October, our inbox is abuzz to with excited newly engaged brides eager to plan the wedding flowers they’ve been Pinning (well, back in the day it was more like emailing images) and drooling over in magazines and blogs.
November thru February we usually don’t have but a few weddings and most of our ‘downtime’ is spent meeting with new brides and planning their gorgeous weddings! *I say brides, because most grooms tend to avoid the flower shop like the plague* We love getting to know what makes their wedding unique & different from all the rest, and helping them in planning the perfect flowers and décor that bring together the details to create the overall vision. It may sound corny, but it’s just what we do and we are soooo passionate about it! <3
A few images below from recent wedding of ours at Stevenson Ridge, shot by Katelyn James…
See the whole post here: http://katelynjamesblog.com/fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding/
If you are interested in our floral experience, and meeting with Amanda, please shoot us a message to the left or send us a message to anthomanic [at] gmail [dot] com.
Peace, love and flowers,
As I reflect on the amazing 2013 wedding season (a few more to go, but for the most part complete) totaling 52 weddings, I am at a point of needing to make a modification to the business and focus on driving the business in the direction of my future plans and dreams. I feel that by sharing my goals, I will encourage others to do the same…. holds us more accountable, right?!
In nineteen days, we had twelve weddings. The busiest bunch of weeks of the year for us. As I came up for air on Sunday, I realized that I need to make big changes so this ‘spreading thin’ thing doesn’t happen again next year. This year, business exploded so fast, I didn’t have a chance to really set a limit and modify pricing to meet the supply and demand factor. By the time it hit 52, I hit the brakes and didn’t allow any more bookings.
I am so very thankful that my little flower business has become the wedding design business it is today from what started as a general everyday ‘flower shop’. I’m also thankful that I have become immersed in the interesting lives of so many amazing and beautiful couples. Relationships are great for the soul!
Again, I am very grateful for the huge increase in business, but it’s getting a little choatic for quality…
I have come to a conclusion as to how to position the business to BECOME that. When you set a goal, you also lay out the path that you believe you should take to get there. As I battled with depression as a teen, the way I realized how to be positive about the future was to set goals for myself, and take the necessary steps in order to get there. Using that methodology, below is my list of goals.
1. DESIGN ELSEWHERE: particularly Richmond, Charlottesville, Charleston and Disney World (I can dream, right? … well we have done two weddings there, but I want to legit REGULARLY do weddings there so I can have a reason to go to WDW all the time). This means, I will have to figure out the logistics of designing ON LOCATION.
2. BLOG / WRITE TO INSPIRE: This may seem silly, but I want to make connections with people far and wide. I want to post twice per week, shouldn’t be a problem, right?! (I know you bloggers out there are laughing, because everyone battles with this!). I’ve been so busy with the overwhelming amount of weddings, that I haven’t had time to actually sit and do posts. I always have advice, thoughts and quotes I want to share with the world, and mainly blog posts about the weddings we’ve done and posting inspiration…. and I need to start doing it. I have a story to tell, and I just need to find the time to share it!
3. LIMIT BOOKINGS: Instead of 55 weddings, I’d like to maybe just do 30 max. I have raised our minimum order requirement to really help us not only to be better able to design for our clients and remain a small business, but to be better equipped to really give my all.…. otherwise if I continue to do this many weddings, we will sacrifice the quality of our design and attention. This also benefits #2.
4. RE-BRAND / REPOSITION THE BUSINESS: There’s going to be a new internet home for ‘Anthomanic’, and be prepared it may not be called Anthomanic anymore (yes, I might go ahead and shed a tear). I feel that my website and branding is not a perfect representation of ME and my business. While it is cute, and does the job, it was made on a very small budget with very little time. I have found the most amazing website designer/artist/person-that-can-translate-my-soul-into-digital-form, that I am now able to afford to invest in. The amazing Jennifer Olmstead of Deleted Space Creative. For anyone that knows her, you are aware that her designs are completely custom to the person/business she designs for and are exploding with personality — PERFECT FIT. This baby should arrive in the next few months. Be prepared to enter my crazy mind, me hearties!
This may not seem like a big list to some, but I really think these things will help position me for future growth and will each be challenging tasks, so to stay focused I need to stick to this main list.
peace, love & flowers,
The 2014 wedding floral planning is in full swing at Anthomanic! Although most bridal magazines and blogs might tell you 4-6 months for floral, our average booking is 7 months, with many couples booking as far as 10-12 months in advance.
Visit our Investment page to download our brochure to get started!
We look forward to helping you plan the flowers of your dreams!
- Amanda, Anthomanic
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