Monday, May 21, 2018

Our Royal Wedding Celebration!

We put a Design Muse spin on our Royal Wedding celebration and unsurprisingly things got real over the top real quick.  Enjoy these highlights from our terribly fun day!

Instead of sending plain 'ol invitations we decided to up the ante and mail tiaras to each of our guests.  While we usually have a the-more-the-merrier take on party invites, we limited the guest list to family only for this particular occasion.  Granted, our family is huge so there were no shortage of invitations to send out, but the cap allowed us to include a lot of personalized touches for each guest.  Instead of just including local family, we sent invitations across the United States and I'm thrilled to say a handful of gals hopped on a plane and joined us!  

My favorite part of the event itself was the table decor.  We raided our event styling inventory for our favorite ornate pieces and put together a few beautiful flower arrangements using peonies, brightly colored poppies, a variety of roses and a few other beautiful blooms.  We couldn't fit all 16 guests at the dining table, so in an effort to avoid the feel of a "kids table", we got creative and came up with an inclusive T shaped layout.  We bought a beautiful gold fabric to create custom tablecloths and red velvet to fabricate the runners.  Each place setting included one of Hester and Cook's Gilded Frame Die Cut Paper Placemats and a personalized Table Accent Place Card...the perfect finishing touches!  

I used our Cricut (a purchase which- for the record- pretty much changed my life) to create a few embellished monogrammed seals that we placed on the runners.  I also used it to create some precision cuts on the Instrument of Consent we displayed that gave Harry and Meghan permission to marry.  

We rolled out the red carpet (quite literally, as you can see) and guests were greeted by a friendly member of the paparazzi (alias: Paul Wharton of Paul Wharton Photography).   When my Mom came up with the idea to order a red carpet I cracked up, but it was such a fabulous addition to the day and really added to the VIP experience we were trying to create. 

We kept the menu fairly simple, and decided against making it too British (because let's be honest...the Brits do a lot of things well, but food isn't one of them).  I ordered an assortment of Tea Forte blends, and a special Harney & Sons Royal Wedding Tea for the occasion.  We also set up a Mimosa bar and station for coffee.  Since our celebration was taking place mid-morning, the menu consisted of fresh fruit, macarons, tea sandwiches (peach/honey/ricotta and avocado/cucumber), shortbread cookies, charcuterie, quiche, yogurt parfaits, breakfast meats, a light salad and my Mom's famous homemade scones.  I also whipped up what turned out to be a delicious replica of Harry and Meghan's Lemon Elderflower cake and topped it with fresh flowers. 

One of the most memorable moments of the day was when my cousin, Natalie, made a quick costume change and re-entered the party wearing her mom's wedding dress.  It was hilarious and sweet all at the same time.  

Another special moment came when I received a few picture texts from my mother-in-law.  She and my beautiful niece Ava weren't able to make the trip from Virginia to join us, so they threw on their tiaras, invited over a few special guests of their own and had a lovely satellite party.  


We watched the guests arrive while we ate (with much commentary, as you can imagine) and then moved to the sofas to watch the wedding itself.  Royal Wedding fan or not, if you haven't watched the ceremony yet you should put it on your to do list!  It was beautiful from start to finish but, as many have said, Bishop Michael Curry stole the show with his impassioned message on the power of love.  

I teared up on a few occasions, but cried very real tears when The Kingdom Choir performed Stand By Me.  While many moments of the Royal Wedding made me think of my own marriage and how lucky I am to have such a wonderful husband in Davey, this particular song made me grateful for the community of women that surrounded me in that moment.  The last few years have been challenging for our family, but the women in that room and the ones who couldn't attend but celebrated with us from a distance have consistently poured so much life into me.  I looked around and saw strength, love and the main characters from most of the best stories I have.  The gift of a life crowned with family is unlike any other.  Makes me feel luckier than a princess. :)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Jessica Simpson x Dillard's

We had the great privilege of partnering with Dillard's for a few amazing projects last week, one of which allowed us to style an event for Jessica Simpson!  I thought it might be fun to share a few behind the scenes shots of our team in action.  I'm always grateful to work alongside such a talented group of creatives but truth be told, the Design Muse Styling team really blew me away last week.  I'm so proud of the beautiful work we accomplished!

One of the items Jessica's team specifically asked for was for her logo to be created out of spring florals.  We employed some old technology to pull this off and broke out our old overhead projector.  I had to create a transparency and was a real blast from the past!

Once we cut out Jessica's logo, we hot glued the living daylights out of it.  We used a lot of moss and florals to get full coverage.  Legibility was a very real concern, so we spent a good chunk of time outlining and trimming to get the best possible results.

Another thing Jessica's team requested was a bright, wildflower inspired floral palette.  As always, we made a quick trip to Metro Wholesale in downtown Nashville and picked up several bunches of beautiful blooms.  Alex did an incredible job creating whimsical arrangements, which we then stored in our commercial fridge until delivery.

The backdrops we created needed to be large, but we also wanted to cover them in fabric.  In order to avoid seams, we ordered a very wide fabric and assembled them on site (as 8' x 10' solid pieces don't travel terribly well).  Morgan and Jordan masterminded the design and construction of our backdrops and executed each one to perfection.

The first piece we created was a floral backdrop for the Nashville Smile Bar photo booth.  We strung length after length of artificial floral stems (or "permanent florals" as we call them in the biz), then tweaked each bloom to face forward.  The effect was gorgeous!

The next two pieces we assembled were the green room step and repeat and the custom logo table Jessica used to sign autographs.  Both came together exactly as I envisioned them (which is just the best feeling).  

Lastly, we assembled the backdrop that was used on the main stage and- after measuring what felt like 100 times- attached the floral logo.  Seeing the fruits of all our hard work was so gratifying!  

Sweet Jessica Simpson was gracious enough to let us snag a picture with her during the event...and seeing our work on her Instagram page was awesome (check it out for yourself here and here...or just enjoy the screen shots below)!  We got a ton of favorable feedback about all our designs which was thrilling.

A million thanks to Jessica's team and Dillard's for allowing us to contribute to such a sensational event...we had an absolute blast!