What Rhymes with June? SWOON!

SWOON.  That's right.  First, y'all - I can't wait till I learn to better generate blog titles.  You're welcome for my creative attempts for now. 

Grogg Wedding-Ceremony-0120.jpg

 

So why am I swooning? Well I'm starting to get some albums back from weddings we did in April & May and I am so pumped to share them with you.  However....I can't....yet.... "BUT WHY JESSICA WHY?" Well guys I want to get them featured if I can and that's because it's exciting for Brides to see their weddings shared and it's exciting for me to play a part in helping plan or organize their day and be able to share it under my business name as well. 

One of our favorites and it's timely to share because today is their 2 year wedding anniversary is Danny and Megan's wedding day!  Happy Anniversary to these two love birds.  Their wedding was one of my 3rd to be featured and was featured with The Knot and you can see a snapshot of that beautiful wedding day above, here you can see more.

That being said, I wanted to share a few of my features for you all to check out.  First, let's start by congratulating Anna - IYD Team Lead for her first feature.  I had nothing to do with style, design, or shoot management on this one, I offered advice if asked and supported Anna in every way possible, so we are happy to share her first shoot that was featured this week on Borrowed and Blue.  

Wine-Hued Wedding - Styled Shoot by Team Lead Anna Mills (YAY ANNA! HER FIRST FEATURE!) alongside with Samia's Photography. 

Here are some additional features on Borrowed and Blue that we love and that Jessica (Lead Planner and Owner of IYD) helped bring to life or planned from start to finish. 

Italian Romance in the Valley at the Columns at Six Penny Farm in McGhayesville, VA  or as Borrowed and Blue unfortunately named (and won't rename) it as....Marsala Styled Shoot 

Brittany and Joe's December Wedding in Luray, VA - Talk about SOMETHING BLUE! Check this one out ya'll. 

Courtney & Daniel's Rustic Wedding in Crozet, Virginia -  We loved all the natural and organic personal touches by the bride and groom. 

Derrick and Joanna's Big Spring Farm Wedding in Lexington, VA - THERE WERE beautiful succulents and crystals galore.  Loved this pretty pink and white day! 

It is truly an honor to be featured and it's so exciting to continue to see our hard work and our vision come to life and be recognized and ultimately help influence and assist other brides with their wedding day vision(s).  If you need help with your wedding day vision, consider our Event Planning package, we can help bring all your dreams to life! 

Thank you to all our brides featured or not, we love helping you and celebrating with you! 

XOXO

Jessica

P.S. LUNCH was 4 pieces of rolled up deli meat and a string cheese, hahaha so delicious! :)

 

Set the Record Straight

Have you ever wondered what that means? Setting the record straight? I was trying to think of a way to explain how the last few weeks/months of my business life has NOT gone as planned, and this is the best phrase to do so.  I want to set the record straight that being your own boss and owning your own business is NOT easy.  Small business ownership is hard. Really hard. And anyone that tells you otherwise - they may have a lot of money and can afford to pay people to not have to deal with problems when they happen.  Because issues/challenges/problems whatever you may, they happen. It's also very lonely, or can be, when you're out there doing your thing and something happens to YOUR business and it affects you personally.  A business is like a relationship, and unfortunately, I'm left feeling both heartbroken and lonely on an island of "HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?" or "WHY OH WHY?" with my head in my hands crying.  David encourages me by saying these situations have been learning opportunities and to move past it.  If you know me, you know I'm more prone to lean on the positive side of things, so he doesn't have to encourage me with that but in these cases he does, and he needs to do it often. He's probably sick of reminding me they are "learning opportunities" to be very transparent, but he does, because I need to hear it.  And yes if you're wondering what happened, too bad.  This is also a quick chapter of #vaguestoriesbyLail because while I want to share how business can be hard, I can't really share why this particular season of my business is so difficult.  So in a nutshell... this Summer, I'm working (really I'm not working) to find my footing again and bring some peace and passion back to my heart for this business.  

IMG_0711.JPG

Since I don't linger in the negative for very long, I keep reminding myself of the phrase "if it won't matter in 5 years, don't spend more than 5 minutes on it." is probably one of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten.  The thing is some of these challenges I've faced could affect me 5 years from now but I didn't want it to, so I resolved them best I could so I could move on.  Sometimes the best choice is to do nothing but in these cases, I couldn't do that.  I am one of those who choose to DO THE RIGHT THING, and I like to believe I generally know what the right thing is in most situations, but I will always add, NOBODY IS PERFECT(!!!).  

I'm still hurt and upset and angry and working through it.  I know these challenges won't define me or my business as they are just bumps in the road.  However this week for the first time I did question my choice to continue moving forward with everything.  I was quickly reminded deep from within that I have very supportive family and friends and my amazing team that keeps me steamrolling through this "season" of my business.  As my friend keeps telling me, "you're a force to be reckoned with," so I will thrive and I will continue through this season of my business, because that's what strong boss ladies do. 

XOXO

Jess

P.S. What's for lunch today? I'm having a vanille premier protein shake, woot! 

Where in the BLOG have you been?

I know.  I know, I know, I know.  I said I'd blog Tuesdays and Fridays.  Guess what? I didn't.  It's OKAY.  No one noticed anyways, right? 

When I have more time to schedule blog posts (JUNE, YAY!) this won't be as big of a deal but for now, the last two weeks have been too much and I'm okay re-prioritizing my blogs down further on the list of to-do.  So let me catch you up... 

We knocked out 4 wedding weekends in a row. 

  • Stover Hall in Luray, VA - County Fair Themed Wedding for Jen and Bobby (yes like with games and a kissing booth!) 
  • Klines Mill Barn in Linville, VA - A Lily Pulitzer inspired wedding day for David and Sydney 
  • King Family Vineyard in Crozet, VA - All the blush pink and Navy your heart could desire with Colin and Ashley
  • On Sunny Slope Farm in Harrisonburg, VA - How do I describe this one? LOVE AND LAUGHTER for sure when it came to Matthew and Sarah's wedding day. 

I DID IT! I survived 4 wedding weekends in a row; while working full time.  I wanted to be able to come out on top and I did.  I did over 10 Miles each Saturday.  (That's 25,000+ steps for you step counters there-I'm short and my Apple watch knows it.)  I had an awesome team at each wedding and worked with exceptional families - you all know who you are!!

I hugged a lot of people, I smiled, I laughed along at the jokes and the speeches, watched the crazy fun dancing, and above all else I served others with my full passion and wedding planner fairydust heart.  

Now it's time for a long needed break - I know that's not typical, especially during the summer but I'm going to finally start sharing and writing about why here soon over the next few weeks. Stay tuned and keep reading! <3 

XOXO
Jessica

Lead Planner & Owner of It's Your Day

List Maker at Heart

Hey ya'll, happy Friday!  This #lunchwithLail will be shorter today.  For the sake of time and for the sheer fact that I'm exhausted.  My first week back to work has been filled with phone calls, learning new things, re-learning old things, and wishing I lived in Spain where they took daily Siesta's from work.   This is seriously one of my favorite videos EVER in the internet world.  I feel like this girl more often than not because I run myself down until I seriously can't do anything but cry and nap. haha Work hard play hard is my life motto.  

Even though it's Friday, I don't get a weekend like everyone else might.  I have my 3rd out of 4 weddings for this month this weekend tomorrow.  I'm pumped because it's at a venue I've worked with before with vendors I've worked with before which makes for a much more efficient and flawless day.  I have like 50% less contingencies typically and a lot more confidence in how the day goes, because honestly, I can control a lot, but I can NOT control everything.   All that being said, I'm a list maker at heart.  Bottom line, without lists, I probably wouldn't survive life.  Have you heard of Trello? It's like an internet version of a list-makers dream.  However, that's not the only thing that helps me survive a wedding day/weekend/season.  

Here are some of my personal bottom-line MUST HAVE's in order to properly execute my wedding days.  

  • Online Tools: Trello, 17 Hats, Squarespace, Social Media 
  • My Team: They Rock and Roll and together we survive on water and free wedding cupcakes
  • My Virtual Assistant (LIFESAVER!)
  • Awesome Clients (and their families) who respect me and appreciate me and most importantly trust me and my team to handle everything for them.
  • Vendor Friends and Partnerships
  • Apple Watch (what did I do before this amazing tool existed in my life?)
  • iPhone (SERIOUSLY!  Camera, Timeline Backup, Phone, etc....it's a lifeline!) 
  • WEDDING DAY TIMELINE (THIS IS GOLD, PAPER GOLD).  This is where my brain and the client(s) brains collide and form a baby called the Wedding Day timeline.
  • Bottled Water and String Cheese 
  • Pizza and Wine and a foot bath or my compression socks upon arriving home from a wedding day
  • Comfortable Shoes (Vionics, Bjorns, Sketchers Memory Foam, Birkenstocks, Brooks Tennis Shoes) and I change my shoes like 2-4 times on wedding days, because being active with my body isn't always ideal for foot comfort. 

That's pretty much #allthethings in a nutshell that I need in order to execute my job properly. There are so many unmentioned names and resources but these are the "bottom line" items. Since I'm a list maker, I could go on....forever, but these are the most important ones.  Are these close to what you thought they would be?? Do you think I forgot something? 

XOXO, Jessica 

P.S. Today's Lunch was steamed shrimp with old bay seasoning and some cheese.  What did you eat??

Chicago Has My Heart

Y'all.  Last week I traveled to Chicago for my full time job.  I kicked it back into gear with a week full of meetings and training. I wanted to check Chicago off my bucket list but other than a hotdog, I wasn't really sure I would love the city.  I fell in love with this city though.  Chicago is beautiful(for a city).  A green landscaped city with tulips everywhere.  Tall beautiful buildings and architecture for miles and city life without the smog and rude people.  It has baseball, culture, good food and entertainment, and is pretty diverse too.  I am a HUGE FAN of clean cities, baseball, and friendly people which to me = Chicago!!! 

That IPhone 7+ depth effect with the portrait mode though? On point! Thanks and shoutout to my full time job co-worker Justine for taking this shot of me at "The Bean" and nearby the Bean on this side street.   Check out some other fun photos from my trip, I really had a great time, you can see it in my face! 

I jam packed everything critical for my Chicago visit into 4 days. Here's what I did and what I recommend every Chicago traveler put on their must-do list:

  • Visited the Skydeck At the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) at 104 floors high! 
  • Visited the Bean sculpture aka Cloud Gate  
  • Ate at Gibson's Steak House (YUM!) - I had scallops!  
  • I had a Chicago Dog at Portillos  (ok not really I ate like a bite of the actual hot dog itself but none of the toppings or bread...but I ordered a Chicago dog IN CHICAGO.) 
  • Road the "L" which is the Chicago city train 
  • Tried Deep Dish Pizza at Giordano's Pizza  (ate some cheese and sauce mostly) 
  • Enjoyed and admired the artwork at the Art Institute of Chicago (holy cow y'all I saw some Picasso in person, so awesome!) also saw some by one of my favorites, Georgia O'Keefe.  
  • Last but not least?! I WENT TO A CUBS GAME!! Go Cubbies! I'm a fan of all baseball, but that was so cool being at a Cubs game the year after they won the World Series.  What is not to love about baseball? Loud music, cheering, men in tight pants(wait,what?), green grass, mostly sunshine, cold beer, and so much more! 

Those were some of my favorite memories with some amazing people (too many to be named) and they sure do know how to make work fun.  They are like family to me.  I know I was there for my full time job, but seriously y'all it was worth sharing about. Meanwhile the question coming next is obvious, who wants to get married in Chicago? I'll do 50% off if you pay my travel and fees! It could be really awesome and fun!! 

This is a CHICAGO DOG.  See the LIME green relish? I only had half the hotdog meat, didn't eat the toppings sadly.

This is a CHICAGO DOG.  See the LIME green relish? I only had half the hotdog meat, didn't eat the toppings sadly.

Tulips everywhere in the city!

Tulips everywhere in the city!

I was over 100 Floors above the ground AND standing on a glass floor.  My blood pressure was through the roof.

I was over 100 Floors above the ground AND standing on a glass floor.  My blood pressure was through the roof.

The Cubs WON! I got a new hat too. 

The Cubs WON! I got a new hat too. 

XOXO,

Jessica 

P.S. Sweeties I ate Buffalo Chicken Meatballs for lunch today. Only 2.  Then I finished it off later with a protein shake....getting curious about why? I'll share soon! 

That iPhone 7+ Depth Effect though?? It looks like almost DSLR quality, Cray.

That iPhone 7+ Depth Effect though?? It looks like almost DSLR quality, Cray.

I felt like a model the way my co-worker was taking my photo, so of course I was laughing about it.

I felt like a model the way my co-worker was taking my photo, so of course I was laughing about it.