Let it go

Sorry for all you Frozen fans, this post will not be about the beloved movie, but I do have it on my list of films to watch. Letting things go can make you a happier person. It seems pretty simple, but we all tend to harbor a little resentment about something, maybe hold a grudge over something that happened years ago, or can’t shake that angry feeling after being cut off in traffic. Unfortunately, even though you may be right in your feelings at the time, it doesn’t impact the other person the way it does you.

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My husband says I will die on my principles. He also says that sometimes I spend too much energy trying to prove a point. Anyone else do this? When I know I’m right, I want to make sure that others do, too. In fact, I rarely shout out answers unless I am 150% sure that I’m correct. But when I’m not listened to, not given credit, or someone argues (when I KNOW I am right), I tend to get ready for battle on the subject and continue trying to prove the point. I am also a sharer. Over the weekend, I shared a terrible experience with a local Charlotte Photographer. This photographer asked me to model some poses for her so she could practice them, and in exchange she would give me free headshots. Felt like a good trade-off at the time. I spent almost two hours in her home studio on February 23, 2014. I waited until March 3rd to ask her when I might get the photos and she responded that I would have them by the weekend (3/7). Without going through all the details and multiple times I attempted to contact her after that without response, I decided to share the story on social media. Upon doing so, I found others who had similar experiences with this photographer and also found reviews online of her poor communication and terrible customer service. The social media got her attention (as it often does). Within an hour, I had 9 shares of one tweet to almost 2500 followers. How’s that for a PR nightmare for a small business? My goal was not to cause the nightmare for her, it was to bring attention to how she was treating me (and other customers), and to get her attention on the subject. She responded (threatening legal action for my libelous truthful comments) and told me that she had lost my images and wouldn’t be able to provide them. She did offer a new session and that I could sit there while she edited the photos and get them then and there. A) I don’t have time for that B) I don’t care to work with her and C) I don’t think her work could be that good based on the rest of her business practices. The point is not about the photographer here, the point is about how much time and energy I wasted on this person. Time, reviews and word of mouth will sink her business, and I didn’t need to spend part of my weekend putting forth the effort I did. My husband told me to let it go and if I still wanted headshots, go to someone who is a little more professional and just pay fo them (great idea!).

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It’s not just with the photographer that I do this. If I have a bad day, I tend to think (and over think) what happened, who was involved and who should be responsible. I think we’re all a little guilty of this on some level. In order to be happy, we have to let go of those moments that steal our happiness. Let go of bad days, angry phone calls with your cable company, that driver who swerved in front of you, the TSA agent who slowed you down, and be more forgiving overall. Try to understand where others are coming from before you get worked up or upset. A lot of times we interpret things differently than the person speaking to us meant them. Maybe that text that said “fine” actually meant “that’s a good plan. I’m fine with it!” and not that they hated the idea. Trying not to jump to conclusions can help with our attitude and level of happiness. Try to assume that people always have the best intentions (without being completely naive), and see how that effects your outlook. Try to let go of any grudges you may be holding onto. Forgive people, especially for those things that really no longer matter. The longer you hold onto something, the more important it seems, but in reality, it’s just a tiny blip on your map of life. Just has happiness trumps money, happiness wins in the attitude arena. Take a deep breath, stop proving points until you’re short of breath, forgive, spend your energy doing something you love instead, and let it go.

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First Look

After freaking myself out yesterday that we only booked the venue for 4 hours and the photographer for 4 hours (neither of which is true)…. I began emailing back and forth with my photographer regarding ideas for photos. We have been pinning some ideas, and I’ve been saving some others that I plan to present her with before the wedding.

But she brought up the first look question last night and my answer was “I don’t know.” Part of me would love to have a few quiet minutes with just LW and to enjoy each other and all the love of our wedding day – but another part of me wants to see his face when I walk down the aisle. Don’t all girls dream about that moment? I know I certainly have…

I stumbled across these gorgeous First Look photos (also – she is kind of making me want to do bridal portraits!). And found these on Pinterest:

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I absolutely love the raw emotion in the pictures. I kind of like the idea of a “door” picture where we don’t really see each other but we can at least exchange gifts and hold hands for a moment and quietly enjoy some “us” time.

What are your thoughts on first looks? Should we stick with tradition and wait until that magical moment on the aisle?

 

*All photos taken from Pinterest.

Bluesday Tuesday!

I’ve been racking my brain for what my “something blue” will be at my wedding. Initially, I thought I wanted monogrammed Jack Rogers but I decided against those. Then I thought maybe my husband-to-be would surprise me with one of the sapphire rings I’ve been pining over – but I think I’ve changed my mind on that as well. So last night… I found the MOST PERFECT “something blue” (and something monogrammed!) to incorporate into our wedding and remember forever. I can’t share now but I promise there will be lots of pictures and that you will ADORE it as much as I do!

Now… on this rainy Tuesday, I think we could all use some cheer. Happy to share the story of Pat & Stacy (with no E) – two of our dearest friends, and the most genuine and sweetest people on earth.

Pat & Stacy met on their birthday, yep, same birthday. Stacy & Pat actually got married a year before they had their wedding celebration, but sure enough, on their birthday, they had a beautiful ceremony at a neighborhood park shared with family and friends (and their adorable son, Gray). Stacy kindly shared her thoughts with me:

If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same time of year and venue?
Yes, absolutely.

What was the best thing about your venue?
The park was beautiful with a stone gazebo and reflecting pond, and having the reception at our house was awesome because it was a comfortable space, easy for everyone to get to, and close to hotels for out of town guestsPS2
What did you splurge on for your wedding that you just “had to have?”
A red carpet and velvet ropes/stanchions guiding people up the driveway to the reception.

What vendor was the best to work with, and why?
Our caterer (J&K Barbeque).  Very nice locally based fella who provides full service event catering.  Everything arrived on time and was delicious.

In 3 words or less, what was running through your head on your wedding day?
This is happening!

What was the best part of your wedding day?
Riding through the Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood neighborhoods on the back of scooter in my wedding dress.
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How did you deal with stressors on/glitches in your big day?
My husband dealt with them.  I did get away with my brother for a little to have a beer at the Mexican restaurant by the house.

Tell us about your dress:
It was a Galina Tea Length Gown from David’s Bridal. I already had a different dress picked out online that I thought was no doubt ‘the one’ but when I tried it on at the store it looked like a bad Halloween costume. I knew I had to have a short dress to showcase my red shoes, and there aren’t too many options in that style, and the one I got looked too frilly on the rack, but I tried it on anyway. It was definitely not what I’d had in mind, but the second I looked in the mirror I knew it was PERFECT!
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Favorite part of the ceremony?
Not falling down the stairs. Or maybe when my veil fell off as my dad was walking me down the aisle. Nope, it was getting to kiss my husband and proclaim our love in front of all our friends and family.

Favorite part of the reception?
Finding out what our first dance song was. My husband was in charge of picking it, and all the music at our reception, so it was a surprise to me! Also, enjoyed taking my heels off and putting my Chuck Taylors back on.
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Did you incorporate any personal details into your big day?
From our 6 month old son as a tiny Groomsman dressed in a tiny tuxedo, to the scooter we drove away on, to the red and white checked tablecloths at the reception, almost everything was a personal detail with some sort of meaning to us.

Bar choices?
1 keg of Old Mecklenburg Brewery Copper, 1 keg of Yuengling and a few large jugs of red & white table wine, all served in black and red party cups. We also had washtubs full of Sundrop and Cheerwine, because it was mid-July in the South.

What was your first dance song?
Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts by Gaslight Anthem

Do you recommend having a videographer at the wedding?
We didn’t have one, I actually didn’t even think about it, but I suppose it would be fun to have seen a video later and to watch it all from another point of view.
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Do you recommend having a planner/coordinator to future brides?
Yes, if you are not familiar with planning large events. I worked as an event/party planner, so it was second nature to me.

Did you have children at your wedding? Why or why not?
Yes, our son was 6 months old at the time and he was a Groomsman! Not everyone brought their kids (if they had some), but they were certainly welcome to! I can’t imagine having any of our family or friends miss out just because they are kids or have kids.

I love the genuine smiles and happiness radiating from these two in their pictures. Such a fun day they planned that definitely shows their personalities! They are truly a picture-perfect couple and I’m so glad I could share their beautiful day with you.

 

(Vendors// Food: J & K Barbeque // Photography: Meredith Jones Photography)

Gee, I really love you…

I didn’t do a Thanksgiving post because I was passed out after eating a plate full of southern deliciousness (turkey, sweet potato pie, mashed potatoes, green been casserole, stuffing… and of course, pumpkin and chocolate chess pie).

But, while we were celebrating Thanksgiving with my fiance’s sweet, sweet family (that I am SO lucky to be able to call MY family now), we had a little engagement shoot at Fearrington Village.



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And our shoot wouldn’t have been complete without a few “fun” photos…

YAY! We’re getting married!

 

“Make sure you marry someone who laughs at the same things you do.” – J.D. Sallinger

Hope y’all had a nice Thanksgiving. I’m very thankful for both of my families, my supportive and oh-so-sweet fiance, my best friends – who are also my bridesmaids, my sweet pups that can brighten any day, and being so blessed in life. I’m one lucky gal!