Hard to believe there are only a few days left in 2017. Some days it feels like it was just yesterday that this year started. Other days, it’s like I can physically feel the past 12 months gone by…like a hard workout, with sore muscles, completely spent.

While the year was a bit of a roller coaster in many ways, it was a wonderful year for Hart & Co. Events. I don’t know that I could really sum up this year in just one post – or not be long winded about it, ha! – but here is my attempt to share a few highlights…

From the North Carolina Mountains, to the rolling hills of East Tennessee, and on to Austin, Texas, 2017 was the year of destination weddings for me – which I love and hope to do more of! The Charlotte area has many wonderful venues, but why not strike out and go somewhere different or that’s meaningful to you as a couple?

Photography by Kayla Coleman
Logan & Jess | Old Edwards Inn

Speaking of the traveling for weddings, I was able to scratch a dream wedding venue off my “someday” list with one of my destination clients. Logan & Jess, who are from Charlotte but based in Chapel Hill, married at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn in March. My husband and I have enjoyed mini-vacations at Old Edwards Inn over the years, and I just love it there. So when Logan told me where they wanted to get married, to say I was thrilled might have been an understatement! The Farm is a beautiful event space, and the Old Edwards event team is amazing. I’d do a wedding or an event there every month if I could, and can’t wait to go back! (Hint, hint future clients!)

I had the pleasure of spending a lot of time in the Ballantyne area this year with Melinda & Jared in May at the Ballantyne Country Club and Haley & Ernesto at The Lodge at the Ballantyne Hotel in the fall.

Another first this year was a Sunday wedding with the cutest couple, Amy & Adam. Their laid-back wedding took place at Camellia Gardens, a beautiful private residence turned venue just outside of Charlotte in Monroe. I usually don’t take on Sunday weddings or events, but couldn’t resist working with this fun pair. They passed their wedding bands around so each guest could bless or pray over them during the ceremony, a new-to-me tradition that I immediately loved. Also, Bleu Barn Bistro catered their dinner. If you haven’t had their food, you’re missing out!

I feel like each wedding this year allowed me to work with new vendors or vendors who I’d long been wanting to work with, which was super fun. With Elvira & Carson’s wedding in September at Vesuvius Vineyards, I finally had the chance to collaborate with Karisa and the Nectar team for a wedding. (Karisa and I have done a styled shoot together…more on that below!) And in October for Lindsay & Stephen’s special day, I had the pleasure of working with Raleigh based photographers Tatum and Will Thomas of Blue Barn Photography. (I have known Rachel Linder of Blue Barn for a couple of years, but was thrilled to finally work with part of her team!)

Ashley Louise Photography
Ashley Louise Photography

One in the new vendor category I was able to work with was Betty from Scribbles & Swirls out of Dallas, Texas. She created some amazing pieces for Elvira and Carson’s wedding, including a hand-drawn sketch of the main house at Vesuvius Vineyards which we featured on the save the dates and then on the envelope liner for the wedding invitation. This gal is so talented, you gotta check her out!

I let 2016 be a year of saying “yes.” For instance, I did a lot of styled shoots, six or seven to be exact! And it was so exciting last year, putting each one together, challenging myself to make them different, collaborating with amazing folks, and of course, seeing each one get published. But as much as I love creating work through styled shoots, I decided to scale back a little this year and I only did…one. And I loved it. And loved working with everyone on it. And loved seeing our work featured on Trendy Bride.

Photography by Josh Deaton
Photography by Josh Deaton | Florals by Karisa with Nectar

There were other events that filled dates on the 2017 calendar. A third annual realtor event in South Carolina for my client Terrata Homes and an 80’s themed 50th birthday bash at the Old North State Club just to name a few.

And in August, I had the chance to support Kaitlin Holland, my dear friend + founder of The School of Styling. This hands-on workshop is near and dear to me, having attended twice in the past. Heading to Richmond and being able to work alongside Kaitlin and all the wonderful creatives she brings together was so much fun. I can’t wait to see how TSOS continues to grow, and hopefully I can continue to lend a hand!

I feel like there was so much more that took place through the course of 2017, particularly behind the scenes. But again, it’d be hard to sum it all up in just one post or probably even find all the right words. I am unbelievably grateful for each couple who trusted me to plan their wedding, for each vendor who I had the chance to meet and work with, and for every client who brought me on board to execute events. Everything that took place this year, I know made me wiser…can’t beat that, right?

So as this year winds down, I take with me all that I gained in 2017 and with an open heart and mind, I look forward to another year!

With best wishes for a healthy, happy, and successful on your own terms 2018!