For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have a wedding or event over the Memorial Day weekend. So with the weekend open, we headed out west to Colorado to unplug and spend time with my family. Of course, even while away, I couldn’t help thinking back to last year’s Memorial Day weekend and Melinda and Jared’s wedding at the Ballantyne Country Club.

Melinda works at the Ballantyne Hotel and it was some of her colleagues, who happen to be dear friends of mine as well, who connected us. Working with Melinda – and her sweet parents – was easy. Maybe it’s because she knows a thing or two about events thanks to her job, but I’d like to think it’s because she’s just all around awesome. And Jared, too!

These two wanted things to be simple but pretty and elegant, and definitely not too stuffy (which is something I feel like I hear most of my clients say!). The Ballantyne Country Club made for a great place to celebrate following their ceremony at St. Matthew Catholic Church.

Upon arrival at the club, guests headed down to the back terrace for cocktails and apps. After all the post-ceremony photos, the new Mr. and Mrs. actually opted to be introduced at cocktail hour which was a different – and fun – twist to the usual being introduced at the reception. It also enabled them to take a big group photo with all of their friends and family who had come to help celebrate.

Following cocktail hour, everyone made their way upstairs for a plated dinner and of course, wedding cake! Then it was time to party! Mike from Split Second Sound helped rally the crowd in the dining room and had the bride and groom usher everyone back down to the terrance where everyone danced the night away. (And I mean seriously danced the night away. I don’t think the dance floor was ever empty!)

One of the little details that I loved about their day was how we used the greenery detail and monogram Amanda with Viri Lovely Designs created for them throughout…from the wedding invitation, to all the day-of paper goods, and even to two large wooden monograms which we used above the sweetheart table and by the dance floor. Working in details like that is an easy way to create a consistent look and feel to the wedding day. Plus, we were all kind of in love with what Amanda created!

And some of my favorite moments…the bride’s sweet first look with dad, the smile that was constantly on both the bride and groom’s face throughout the day, the unplanned “Dirty Dancing” lift that happened toward the end of the night (!), and watching these two just be so happy.

Melinda and Jared, I know it’s been a year (and change!) since this happy day, but feels like just yesterday! Thanks for having me on board to help you with your wedding and for making me feel like a part of the family! (Maybe sometime we can coordinate our Colorado trips, ha!) Wishing you a love that only grows sweeter with time and all the happiness marriage can bring!

Sharing a few favorite photos below + a big thanks to everyone involved in this special day:
Griffin Hart Davis {Photography} | Carlisle Videography {Videography} | Ballantyne Country Club {Reception Venue} | St. Matthew Catholic Church {Ceremony} | What’s Up Buttercup {Florals} | Julie Wardley {Julie Page – HMU}
Party Reflections + Party Tables {Linens} | Mike Nania with Split Second Sound {DJ}
Amanda Bonaviri {Viri Lovely Designs – Stationery + Paper Goods}

I think I always start these posts with, I can’t believe a year has flown by! But it’s true, and exactly what I think every time I look back on a couple’s wedding day a year later. And here we are, celebrating Jessie and John in their own “wow, I can’t believe a year has flown by” post!

A few years in, I’m still flattered, honored, and humbled when a couple chooses me to help them with their wedding. And for whatever reason, those feelings are like times 10 when it’s someone I know who decides I need to be the one to help plan and pull together their special day.

Jessie and John came to Hart & Co. Events by way of John. He and I knew each other from my time in NASCAR. My husband has actually known John longer than I have, and once upon a time all three of us (my husband, me, and John) ended up on the same race team so we all got to know each other pretty well. (BTW, everyone in the NASCAR garage calls John, Marv. But his sweet bride always called him, John. So, I did too. And it was a tough transition for me, ha.)

Long story short, when John reached out and asked if we could all go to dinner to talk wedding planning, I was super excited for this old friend and excited to meet his bride-to-be. And of course, the second I met Jessie, I knew she was beyond perfect for him and it just made my heart happy. When they hired me to help pull all the pieces together, it was just the proverbial icing on the cake.

In my book, personal connections and details are what make a wedding day even more special than it already is, and this wedding was full of them. Jessie and John decided to marry on her family’s land in East Tennessee. Her family has the most beautiful land just outside of Johnson City, with a horse farm nestled among groves of trees and beautiful rolling hills. Jessie’s family was also in the process of turning the farm into an event venue so it was fun being a part of the venue’s first weddings and watching this couple pour extra work into things future couples could also enjoy.

The pair settled on vows under a giant beech tree just yards from Jessie’s parents home, the same tree where John proposed the year before. After the ceremony, guests were transported to the barn where they celebrated the new Mr. and Mrs. First with drinks in the roundpen, then a delicious family-style dinner set on the longest dinner table ever placed down the walkway of the stalls. Following dinner, everyone headed back to the dancefloor in the roundpen and partied the night away.

Some of my favorite details from the reception were definitely Jessie’s family’s horse show trophies we used for the centerpieces and the handmade pottery plates that John’s mom made specifically for the wedding. (I mean, who doesn’t love this??) And their exit? In the same mustang Jessie’s parents left their wedding in.

Jessie and John, thank you for bringing this old friend along to help with your wedding. I’ll always be grateful I got to spend that special time in your lives with you. Hoping this first year of marriage was wonderful, that the best is yet to come, and that your love continues to grow and only get better with time!

Special thanks to the team that made their day happen:
Blue Kite Photo {photography} Thomas Farm Events {venue} Springvine Design {florals} Hayden Olivia Bridal {gown} JK Sweet Cakes {wedding cake} Southern Knot Weddings and Floral Design {specialty rentals} Ashley Aesthetics {HMU} Atheneum Creative {stationery + graphic design details} Maria Graham with Graham Productions {DJ}

My first wedding of 2018 is in just a few days and I’m ready to get back into the swing of things! While I’m looking ahead to this weekend, can’t help but think back to my first wedding last year.

2017 was the year for destination weddings (almost half were out of town!) and it started from the get-go. Logan and Jess were my first wedding of the year last March and for it, we hit the road headed for Highlands, North Carolina.

This sweet pair are from the Charlotte area. They met in high school and both attended East Carolina University. They now call Chapel Hill home while Jess studies dentistry at UNC. When it came down to where to marry, Logan and Jess decided on a destination wedding and I wasn’t mad about it! And not just because they chose The Farm at Old Edwards Inn as their venue. (Personally, Old Edwards Inn is a favorite place of my husband and I. He vacationed there a few times as a child, and we’ve taken quick vacations there since we’ve been together. We just love it up there. Old Edwards had also been on my “dream wedding venue list” since I started Hart & Co. Events. I’m super thankful I had the opportunity to work there and sure hope I get to do it again – and soon!)

Logan and I hit it off right away, so naturally I loved everything she had in mind for her wedding day. Inspired by the beautiful rock fireplaces at The Farm, she wanted a cozy, super romantic but not stuffy wedding. The fireplaces came in handy by the way…there was still a little bit of snow on the ground when we rolled into town. The wedding day was sunny and beautiful with temperatures that warmed up nicely. Once that sun went down though, the roaring fires felt just right!

I think the team that came together to help make it all happen absolutely nailed it. We collaborated with some of my favorite vendors from the Charlotte area but also had the opportunity to work with some great folks out of the Raleigh area, Charleston, and Highlands. And I can’t forget the amazing team at Old Edwards Inn. They are some of the best! (Full vendor team shared below!)

I know it’s been a year since this happy day, but somehow still feels like it was yesterday! Logan and Jess, thank you for trusting me to help you pull all the pieces together and be alongside you during this exciting time. I hope this first year has been amazing, but I think it’s really only the beginning of an amazing life for you two!

xx

The Farm at Old Edwards Inn {Venue} Kayla Coleman Photography {Photographer} Brian Bunn Films {Videographer} Springvine Design {Florals} Old South Vintage Rentals {Vintage Furniture} Party Reflections {Linens} LULA Hair & Makeup {HMU} Dylan Skidmore {DJ} Creative Pastries by Sid {Sid Jackson – Wedding Cake} Fabulous Frocks – Charlotte {Bride’s Gown} A Signature Welcome {Guest Welcome Gifts} Wedding Invitation + Paper Goods chosen by bride via Etsy

 

 

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?

Read More “2017 Year in Review”

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”