Happy New Year! Getting back into the work groove after some quality time away for the holidays with family and friends. I’m trying to use this ol’ blog a little more this year, so thought I’d kick it off by dusting off an oldie but goodie blog post: 5 tips for after you get engaged!

Did you know that from Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day it’s like the “official” engagement season? While I’d like to think the whole year is open season – I got engaged in the middle of July! – most engagements do happen to take place over the holidays.

Whether you saw it coming from miles away or the love of your life caught you completely by surprise, getting engaged is such an exciting time in life. Your head may spin from excitement for days after the question is popped…and let’s be honest, probably from the celebratory bubbly, too! But it might start to spin when it comes to sorting out what to do next. (So many options. And probably SO many opinions, too!)

I love helping couples navigate this exciting time, so here are five tips for what to do after that ring lands on your finger…

Share the Happy News: Whether you spread the word right away or opt to keep the excitement between just the two of you for a moment, either way those closest to you will want to hear the happy news. Pick up that phone and call family first. (And I know some family dynamics can be tricky, but I like to think it’s just not worth it for momma or Aunt Susie to find out via Facebook!) Then hit up those close friends. And get ready to celebrate!

Photo by Sarah Pascutti Photography
Photo by Sarah Pascutti Photography

Get That Sparkler Insured: This one may be a no-brainer, but be sure to get your ring insured as soon as possible after you get engaged. While dealing with or sorting out insurance of any kind might sound like a bore (hello, #adulting), you don’t want to risk not having this special piece of jewelry protected. An appraisal by a certified gemologist more than likely was provided by the jeweler where your ring was purchased. But if not, be sure to get one.

Celebrate!: Unless you need to hop on the wedding planning train stat due to some extenuating circumstances (i.e. moving abroad, military deployment, etc.), ENJOY this time. Take some time to just soak it in just the two of you and be sure to celebrate with friends and those who love you. Set a day aside or spend a weekend or shoot, even a month. But just relax and enjoy it. And don’t focus all that much on planning (yet). Life moves at a breakneck speed. Why not revel in this happy time for a bit?

Set a Date: Friends and family – and bless, even strangers when they see your new sparkly ring – will immediately ask if you have a date set. It’s a happy life moment, so their excitement and reaction is normal. Don’t sweat it if right away you don’t have a date set or even one in mind. Do set aside some time though early on to discuss setting a date – after you take some time to celebrate, of course! (And stay tuned…I’ve got tips coming on setting that all important wedding date!)

Go Pro: Bring in a professional to help you. I love working with couples at any stage in the planning process. But if I can work with clients from the beginning, even better. There is SO much information out there on where to start with wedding planning and what to do. Not to mention, your friends and family – and again, even strangers – will have all kinds of advice. Having someone working alongside you is an incredible benefit and might even save you from some unnecessary wedding planning headaches. Believe it or not, we might even save you money! I would love to help you start the planning process off on the right foot, from setting the budget to even helping you navigate setting that all important date.

Newly engaged and embarking on the wedding planning journey? I’d love to connect with you!

Congrats and Cheers!

Photo by Sarah Pascutti Photography
Photo by Sarah Pascutti Photography | Styling by Hart & Co. Events

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!


Several family members and friends have sent me links to articles about this year’s White House turkey pardoning. Not to be confused with fake news, the tradition of the President receiving a live turkey for Thanksgiving began with Truman in 1947. The “presidential pardoning” of the turkey though began with President George H. W. Bush back in 1989.

And if you’re asking yourself why would people send me links about this turkey tradition, here’s the scoop: when I worked at the White House, I had the cool opportunity to coordinate the official pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey. And one year, I thought I was going to get fired thanks to a turkey and a couple of dogs.

Read More “Pardon Me, Turkey”

I’ve lived on the east coast for over a decade now, but Texas will always be home and will always have my heart. It’s been tough watching from afar, the continued rains and aftermath of Harvey. My brother-in-law lives in Houston. Thankfully, he and his neighborhood seem to be ok. (His wife is traveling in South America for work…had to leave days early to beat Harvey.) I have a cousin who is a firefighter for the Houston Fire Department. So thankful for him, all the first responders, and those who have just shown up to help. And I have a host of friends who live in and around Houston. All seem to be ok, but some have certainly lost their homes.

Read More “Harvey Help”

Excited to share a few of my favorite photos from the last wedding we had in 2016. Elizabeth and Dave were married on November 12 at the Historic Train Depot in Salisbury. Working with these two, along with the groom’s sweet mom and the bride’s amazing matron-of-honor, was absolutely a pleasure so it was a little bittersweet when the wedding day came and went! (I think I say that with each one though!)

Read More “Fall Wedding: Elizabeth + Dave”

Hard to believe we’ve reached the final two days of 2016. (Technically, it’s more like the final 36 hours by the time I get this posted…but you get the point, ha.) In the midst of spending some quality time with family over the holidays, I’ve also tried to take a little time to reflect back on this year for Hart & Co. Events. Weddings, a special birthday party, rehearsal dinners, a second annual realtor event, and even some political events mixed in (twas the season, y’all)…all I’ve got to say is…whew!

Read More “Thanks for the Memories, 2016!”

Excited to share some of my favorite moments and snapshots from Katie and Steven’s October wedding. These two were married at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on a sunny fall day. After their ceremony, the new Mr. & Mrs. celebrated with good food, drinks, and plenty of dancing at the Mint Museum Uptown.

Katie and Steven were both born and raised in Danville, Virginia. When we started working together, Katie was still living in Danville with Steven already settled here in Charlotte. This bride needed and wanted help given she wasn’t a Queen City resident (yet) but also wanted help pulling together the overall design. Katie knew what she liked and knew what she didn’t want for her wedding day (which is half the battle sometimes, too), just wasn’t sure how to pull the ideas and images in her head all together. I love working with clients at any stage of their engagement, but hands down love it when we can collaborate from design to execution.

So, we dove in starting with the design and came up with a day that was truly reflective of this bride and groom. Katie and Steven’s weddFall Wedding Design Hart & Co. Eventsing was elegant and classy without being stuffy or over-the-top. We stuck with a neutral color scheme – white and ivory – accented with some greenery, silver, gold, a little rose gold (sequin bridesmaid dresses FTW!) and just a tiny pop of marsala.

Not only did I get to know Katie and Steven in the months leading into their wedding, but I was also lucky to spend time with Katie’s mom and younger sister. And I can’t forget her dad, too. (Dad surprised Katie with the addition of some extra draping and a chandelier…how great of a surprise is that?!) Certainly grateful to have had the chance to get to know this gal’s family…I kind of feel like I gained a family in Danville, ha!

To Katie and Steven, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your day. To her family and Steven’s family, thank you for being so loving and a blast to be around!

Wishing you two a lifetime of love and lots of happiness!


A big thanks to these wonderful people for making this day come together beautifully: 
Mint Museum Uptown {Reception Venue} Bow Tie Collaborative {Photographer} Ladies of Lineage {Bride’s Dress} Lindsey Regan Thorne + Be Pretty {HMU} Elisabeth Rose {Stationery + Paper Goods + Day-Of Items} Lily Greenthumbs {Florals} Party Reflections {Rentals + Linens} Something Classic {Catering} Suarez Bakery {Cake} Carolina DJ Pros {DJ}



And just like that, the fall wedding season is all said and done for Hart & Co. Events. Feels like just yesterday I was kicking off the busy fall with Amy Sue and Aaron. (You can check out some of my favorites from their September 10th wedding here.) This past weekend, Elizabeth and Dave’s fun wedding at the Historic Train Depot in Salisbury marked my last for year.

The last couple of months have been full of hard work, but full of good times, too. And it’s always fun and a wonderful feeling watching months of work and planning all come together. There’s also been some exciting features hit the interwebs just in the last few weeks.

I am working to get caught up on sharing all the wedding details with you from the past two months. In the meantime, here are some highlights from one of those features.

I teamed up with Sarah Pascutti earlier this year for a couple of inspiration photo shoots. One of the shoots took place at Childress Vineyards, a venue and place that I really love. We decided to go for a different approach than a typical wedding themed shoot, and opted for an anniversary al fresco dinner. I mean, who wouldn’t want to dine among the vines?!

I had a lot of fun with this shoot and was honored to see our work highlighted on Inspired By This last week. Here are a few of my faves from the day + a BIG thanks to those who helped make it happen:

Sarah Pascutti {Photography} Willow Floral Boutique {Flowers} The Whimsical Rose {Vintage China} Old South Vintage Rentals {Chairs + Table} Casey Elise Designs {Vows + Love Letter} Lovely by Lindsey {Hair & Makeup}

Well hello there, September!

Coming off a bit slower July and August, September marks the start to a busy season for Hart & Co. While not officially fall (no need to wave goodbye to summer just yet, you guys!), thought I’d take a sec to share a peek at what’s ahead here in the coming months…

  • Our fall wedding season kicks off next weekend. To keep up with the action, be sure to follow along via Insta (will admit, still trying to figure out the whole stories thing) and Snapchat (not sure that I have it figured out but I try! Username…hartandcoevents). And of course, you can always find us on Facebook and Twitter, too.

    Childress Sneak Peek - Hart & Co. Events
    iPhone sneak peek from a styled shoot at Childress Vineyards
  • Exact timing is still pending, but a shoot I did with Sarah Pascutti over the summer is going to be featured this month on a popular wedding and lifestyle blog. Beyond thankful for the opportunity and really excited to finally be able to share the photos! So, stay tuned!
  • I’ll log a few miles with a (non-wedding) client. While my primary focus with Hart & Co. is weddings, I welcome the change of pace and experience this particular client brings. I try not to pack my schedule too tight, as I’m a big believer in quality over quantity. So, with the travel and the weddings I have on tap, safe to say I’m booked till December!
  • Speaking of booked…we’ve already booked some spring 2017 weddings. Excited to dive into planning with these couples over the fall!
  • And not Hart & Co. related – can’t be all work and no play! – looking forward to some family time that we have on the calendar. We’ll head to Tennessee in October for a family wedding and I’m already looking forward to some quality time in Texas over Thanksgiving (mmmm, turkey).

Excited at what’s ahead! What about you?



Lisa and Jake were married one year ago today! This wedding will always be special in my mind for a lot of reasons. At the top of the list, I’ve known Lisa and Jake for several years. I was incredibly happy to watch these two say “I Do.” Their wedding was also the first officially under the Hart & Co. banner, something I’ll always be grateful for.

These two tied the knot at a private residence in Sherrill’s Ford, just north of Charlotte. Their ceremony was sweet and the party that followed…pretty epic. Here are a few of my favorite memories from the days leading into their wedding day and the day of…

  • We turned a helicopter landing pad into a reception space. We had to strategically place tables so that the landing lights were hidden…those things don’t exactly move!
  • Despite confirming two months in advance, there was an issue with the officiant that came to light…four days before the wedding. Have no fear, as we quickly sorted it out and had ESPN reporter Marty Smith, dear friend of the couple and wedding guest, ready to rock the ceremony. And it turned out beyond perfect. The ceremony was personal, sweet, and really touching. Funny how those things work out.
  • The Doerfels played at the reception and were awesome. I don’t know how the cops felt about it when they showed up (!). Good thing they let the party continue just a little bit longer…
  • Family…both Jake and Lisa’s parents were on hand the days leading into the wedding. I loved getting to know them, and loved watching things fall into place for these two while surrounded by their family and their friends who probably feel a lot more like family than friends.

Lisa and Jake, thank you again for allowing me to help you with your wedding. May today be the first of many, many happy anniversaries!


{Photography by Jason Mize. To see more from their special day, check out the gallery here.}