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

 

 

Simple or elaborate, your wedding day is a production. There can be a lot of moving parts and pieces with a cast of vendors helping to make it all happen. Keeping everyone on the same page is so important. And as it is in life, timing is everything on a wedding day.

I am sure everyone organizes themselves differently, which they should, but I’ve been told that my timelines are some of the most detailed. (Feel like I’ve even had a vendor or two lovingly make fun of me for it, ha.) But I think they should be, and here’s why: there are a lot of factors that contribute to a smooth wedding day – like working with a trusted team of creative pros – but having a well thought out, thorough, and detailed timeline is probably at the top of the list.

You work hard for months, making decisions and putting all these plans in place, not to mention the financial piece of it all. Why risk it with no organized plan (and backup plans for that matter) come the actual wedding day?

When you have Hart & Co. Events on your team, the timeline is something I spearhead and manage. As I sit here working on final details and prepare for the start of the spring wedding season, thought I’d share a few tidbits of how I approach a timeline and why a good one is clutch to a smooth day…

Start Backwards: I’m sure every bride, planner, or wedding industry pro has their own way of going about this, but I typically start backwards. I’ll put to paper the key moments that I know right off the bat – ceremony start time (the invitation time, the actual start time may be 5-15 minutes later if necessary) and time the night will end – then I just work my way back to the beginning of the day. Sometimes I may jump around a bit as I go – I may focus on just the reception or just the front half of the day for a little bit – but I always go at it with a work backwards approach. After I get the key moments in, I start plugging in when your vendors, such as the photographer, florist, band or DJ, might arrive.

Double Check Contracts: After I kind of have a shell of a timeline and see how the day is shaping up, I’ll go back and double check the contracts with key vendors. Most of the time, it’s been a while since a vendor was booked. And if I’m being honest, I don’t always have everyone’s contracts all memorized! This is where folks may realize they’re short on time with a vendor, and typically that’s the photographer. For example, you may want the photographer to cover everything from getting ready to that grand exit. That may take eight hours but you only booked them for six hours. You can either adjust the timeline where you can, or consider adding more hours to your contract. Everyone is different, but most photographers – and most other vendors – have options to add time. (Throwing in a note here, this is one of those examples of where working together from the beginning, before you sign contracts with anyone, helps. I can better guide you through that process from the get-go, so we’re not adding time (ahem, spending more money) toward the end of the planning process.)

Photography: Speaking of photographers, I don’t know if this is just me, but when I start confirming details with vendors, I usually start with the photographer(s). To me, next to the commitment you’re making with your fiancé, your wedding photos are the most important thing. They’ll be what you look at and reflect on for years, maybe even generations to come. Because of that, I like to start with the photographer. I’ll shoot them the draft timeline, and then talk it all through. If they don’t have the time that they need to capture everything (within reason…can’t take photos alllll day long, ha), and we don’t communicate well, then the day can just be and feel chaotic.

Keeps Everyone On The Same Page: Whether I’ve been solely communicating with the vendor team or you’ve been in touch with some of them, at some point they will all start asking the same questions. So while it may seem really early, I’ll start thinking through the timing of your wedding day about two months out and start working with everyone on what they need about a month to go. I always have way more in my timelines than each vendor may need, but I always relay that they are welcome to take what they need out of it for them and their team. Come the wedding day though, the final timeline is what guides the day and I believe that helps keep everyone on the same page. (That and excellent communication!)

Know When – And How – To Adjust: Timelines and the times on them are there for a reason, to keep things on track, but you have to know when it’s time to adjust. Because sometimes, in the middle of the wedding day, something may throw all your hard work and perfect timing off kilter. I had a destination wedding last year where we ran into an unfortunate incident with the caterer. A very long story short, I realized early in the day that we were going to have a situation with the vendor, so I did the best I could adjusting as the day went on. It’s an epic story that I should probably tell one day because it’s definitely one of those examples of why a planner can be one of the best investments you make while planning a wedding. But for now, I’ll just say dinner was two hours late and thankfully it all worked out ok (the food was really good) and the bride, groom, and their guests had a great time.

I know it’s easy to think that our job as a planner is to make everything look pretty. But honestly, if the day isn’t managed well, a lot of other things may not go well either and how pretty it is may not be what you, your family and your guests remember. I want to tell you that I love love and all the pretty things that come with weddings, which I do. But call me a nerd, I absolutely love logistics and coming up with a well-organized plan for your wedding day, which includes those timelines!

What do you think? If you ever have questions or think you need help sorting out how to go about planning your wedding day, I’d really love to help you! Drop me a line!

xx

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!

xoxo

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

 

Not sure about you, but I can’t believe it’s already May! (Feel like I said that last month, too. And in March…I’m seeing a pattern here.) One of my goals before we hit the summer months is to get better about blogging, or at least come up with a better schedule than erratic sporadic once a month posts. Definitely have some fun updates to share along with details about what I’ve been up to and have planned.

In the meantime though, pulling another one out of the archives to share with you today…a little something bright and bold, perfect for a Cinco de Mayo or anytime de Mayo wedding or fiesta! Ole!

Read More “Cinco de Mayo!”

Not sure where March went, y’all?!? In like a lion, out like a lamb…isn’t that how the saying goes?

Anywho…just in the nick of time, excited to share this month’s fellow creative + business owner feature. I stumbled upon Estudio RoJo thanks to good ol’ Instagram sometime last year. Fast forward to the beginning of this year when owner Jasmin Black reached out wanting to send me some samples of her work. (Um, yes please!) And thanks to those samples, our IRL relationship began.

I had the pleasure of working with Jasmin a couple of weeks ago as she was a big part of a styled shoot Sarah Pascutti and I did at Loray Mill. (Can’t wait to share more about that later!) Not only is her work truly beautiful and awesome, the gal behind it all is as well…and passionate, kind, and darn interesting.

Read More “Get to Know…Jasmin Black Ortega”

Things have been hoppin’ over here at Hart & Co. HQ! I haven’t blogged much since last month lately…and that’s why I call it the sometimes blog! And I haven’t put together any design or color inspiration boards just fun here lately either. So figured today would be a good day to dust off the blog by pulling some color inspiration out of the archives…one that’s fitting for today.

Read More “Color Inspiration + Happy St. Pat’s!”

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this feature for days so am excited the day is finally here!

If special elements like a velvet settee, vintage chairs, or old church pews are something you’re looking to incorporate into your wedding day, look no further than Samantha Mason and Old South Vintage Rentals. This southern lady has built an awesome vintage and boutique rental company. The pieces Samantha has curated are amazing and she’s always adding new items to her inventory. She’s creative, has a great eye for design, and loves helping make your vision come to life. Samantha is based here in the Charlotte area, but loves to take her pieces to places like Highlands and Asheville and all over the southeast.

Read More “Get To Know…Samantha Mason”