If my dream office were in a barn, this would be it. It was such a joy to put this part of the shoot together. Sometimes my favorite projects are the one’s that had no plan and naturally come together. The Vanderveen Farm’s walls was the perfect backdrop for this office scene.

Immediately upon visioning the location I knew the exact furniture I wanted involved. Just one month prior, my mom and I went picking in a barn associated with this venue and found this sweet little lack table. It has so much unique character and was a true antique, so when it came to a piece to showcase, I knew just the one.

For the smaller details of the office, I wanted elements of Rustic, Charm and Elegance. My process usually starts with gathering all the details that I love and piling them all together. Once I’ve built my dream pile with more than enough of decor items, the designing begins. Sometimes I get writer's blocked on the spot when piecing designs together and other times the process flows. My personal solution to this is prayer and instrumental music and it usually comes together seamlessly.  

I tried to keep the design pretty simple and use many fillers. For fillers I usually have Greenery, Potted Plants, and Wood Boxes.  

Venue: Vanderveen Farm 

Photographers: Jeff & Rebecca Photography 

Jeff and Rebecca, Husband and Wife and the dynamic photography duo. These two have such a passion for photography and a thrill to capture some of the biggest moments of people’s lives.

They established their company in January of 2016. Jeff and Rebecca are members of the Snohomish Wedding Guild and Skagit Wedding Society. Constantly finding a way to be active in their community. They photograph anything from Portraits, Engagements, Branding Shoots and Weddings. The two of them put so much love into everything that they do for each couple. From their crafted together welcome and engagement gifts to the stylized mini shoot sessions.

I met Jeff & Rebecca late Spring of 2016. At the time Eastwood Events was still a goal and hadn’t been established yet. I had seen so much of their name on social media and their pictures were always popping up on my news feed. They had reached out to me saying they would love to meet and work together with me one day. Months later I was holding the Skagit Valley Wedding Rentals open house and I was looking for a photographer to photograph the event. The two of them were a perfect fit. From there our working relationship grew, and we have done many more styled shoots together.

Just this last month they photographed my branding shoot. I love everything a branding shoot has to convey and loved the idea of planning the details of the shoot. For me, I’m used to being behind the scenes, so getting in front of the camera was something I’m not all that used to. I worried about my double chin, looking dorky, feeling uncomfortable and all those normal things. From the start I was open with them at my concerns and they tended to them. They fluently told me to move my hand this way, or now lets try this. It was super helpful to not only have someone to direct me, but to have TWO people photographing me from different angles at the same time. Through the process they would give me sneak peeks of what they just captured, and I was amazed. They didn’t make me do any poses that were uncomfortable or weren’t me. They said this is your branding shoot and we want to capture who you are. It made me realize that shoots like this are best with photographers that fit you. There were moments I was laughing so much I forgot they were taking pictures.

Now, here we are a year later and I’m blessed to call them not only my work friends but good friends in general. When you meet the two of them you’ll see what I mean. Their cheerful spirits and knowledge for photography and the business is so encouraging to be around. Stay tuned for a wedding that we’ll be working together on this summer!

Jeff & Rebecca would love to hear from you!

Check them out at:

http://www.jeffandrebeccaphotography.com/

https://www.instagram.com/jeff_and_rebecca_photography/

https://www.facebook.com/JeffandRebeccaPhotography/

RSVP’s, the phrase that often goes hand and hand with weddings, but does anyone really even know what it means? But really. Well. Fun Fact. It is french and stands for répondez, s'il vous plaît, in english simply please reply. Nowadays, there are so many fun and unique ways to send RSVP cards out.

In the era where we spend a majority of our days glued to our cell phones or on the web. “The Knot’s” wedding website is so easy for everyone and cost effective. The couple just adds a couple cute pics, some helpful info and it’s as simple as that you have a site for people to reply on, it’s really that easy. For those good ole old fashioned people you can send out a reply card with your save the date, or if you’re like me and your grandparents don’t even know how to properly use there cell phone this is just as effective.

RSVP’s aren’t what they used to be. I get all the time “ why do I have to reply you know I’ll be there”. I look at each guest as a dollar sign, and as odd is that is to say and hear that it’s true. The cost of food per person, each table setting, the rental items decor etc. If 8 people said they couldn't come to your wedding, that right there could be knocking off one table. How much could one table really save you? You’ll be surprised. The average, just average cost of food per plate is around $18. Then you have silverware, dinner plate, cake plate, napkin, tablecloth, centerpiece which if it’s floral could easily be $50. So let’s say each thing that is apart of each table setting spot is fifty cents each. That’s 2 dollars, plus the meal for $18 and multiply that by 8. That’s $160. But what about that the $14 tablecloth and centerpiece and those are just the basic items. Making it a total of $224. Now just imagine if I couple tables worth of people couldn’t make it!

If you were ever questioning about sending out a RSVP I hope I’ve persuaded you that the time it takes to make the wedding website, or the couple bucks it takes for the Reply cards is well worth it!

Photographer: Laura Nichols Photography 

Rentals: Rustic Events Rentals

Venue: Vanderveen Farm

Stationery: Impress Ink Design

Styled shoots were one of those things that wedding professionals often talked about but I never personally knew how to get there. Even just the sound of a styled shoot sounds daunting and only for the “elite”. When talked through the process with my amazing team leader (Taryn), my thought was “that’s it”. What am I missing? It’s like this light bulb went off. It’s a wedding without the guests?

As I did my daily work at Skagit Valley Wedding Rentals how could you not dream of all these possibilities and themes that could be someone’s wedding. The Skagit Valley Wedding Tour was happening in about a week. As I tell her about my visions to one day have a styled shoot, merely how all our great ideas together unfold (last minute, and amazingly) she threw the idea of, why not have your first styled shoot the day after the wedding tour.

Now, first off, this weekend felt like we had four good sized weddings going on with all our linens out at the tour, nonetheless actually having a couple large weddings out that weekend. I stumbled around on the idea, coming to the conclusion of, well if we have so many rental items out already what could a few more hurt, right?

 

My first styled shoot was last minute, truly last minute. Taryn came up with the grand idea of using the talented Shamay’s floral design that we were going to be using the day before, providing me with floral that somehow matched perfectly with my not one, but two themes I had dreamt up. Days later at the Skagit Valley Wedding Society meeting, Taryn flags over Leilani, (Owner of Leilani Photography). Taryn tells her about how we’re trying to throw a styled shoot together within a matter of days. Bless her heart, Leilani saves the day! In a cheerful voice she agrees to help us out.

Wedding Planner, Check.

Wedding Rentals, Check.

Floral, Check.

Wedding Photographer, Check.

At this point I’m realizing we’re missing one huge factor….a wedding venue!? Taryn (having the great ties in the wedding industry she does) makes a call to Kendra. Owner of the beautiful Stepping Stones Gardens. Where she has no problem with us using the venue. In that moment, somehow all the moving pieces were working together. Days later. The styled shoot was taking place. Since I hadn’t done a styled shoot before, I had so many questions. How early do I setup? Did I pack enough of everything? What if when I get there things don’t look the same as they did back in the showroom?

I planned to show up at the venue four-five hours before Leilani would arrive. Thinking that was more than enough time to set up four small tables, and grab some lunch. As I start to set up the first head table, I start to come to the realization maybe I should have given myself more time? An hour in and I have a two person head table to show for it. I thought It’d be different to try to set up these four tables in unrealistic yet really cool spots. What I didn’t realize is that entails carrying the tables, chairs, table setting ware, linens, floral, decor and any other odd ends to these different locations spread out across the venue. I get to setting up the second themed “guest” table. In my mind this was the table I was least worried about, done the demo table for it, it was supposed to be easy peasy. Of course, this was the table that I really had to work with and learned how important it was to bring spare linens in a variety of colors, just in case. A little tweaking of the table and things fell into place.

Time was one of those things that surely slipped away. I was working on the second themes “guest” table, realizing I was down eight or so napkins. How could that happen? I honestly can’t say. After lists and lists of the exact numbers of things and thinking it thoroughly through. It just shows you that you can plan all you want and there will still be slip ups. Taryn brings the rest of the napkins over when she heads our way.

 

Around this time, it’s t-minus thirty minutes. Leilani arrives, preparing and checking out the locations. As I make mad dashes across the venue (which felt like constantly), do to my decor being at different locations. I realize, I’m starving. Lunch? It was a nice thought, but how was I supposed to know four tables could take five hours!

The thing that I struggled with most and I think what really took so long was this wasn’t someone’s wedding and their vision. This was my chance to be portray my vision and show. As Leilani starts to photograph the tables that are done at this point, I’m perfecting those little details that only I would notice. The last head table gets thrown together.

For a good fifteen minutes to a half hour, I sit there, eating my Pb&J, and for the first time I get to step back and see what was in my mind be put to life. Only for me to have to break it all down. That’s something no one told me about. At a wedding with guests, they get to enjoy it. For a mere thirty minutes I got to stare at my and these other wedding professionals work to have to immediately break it down. For the moment of sadness and that quick thought of do I even like doing styled shoots. Here I am, dreaming up my next styled shoot and looking/laughing at the lessons learned from my first one.

Venue: Stepping Sotnes Garden Photographer: Leilani Photography Rentals: Skagit Valley Wedding Rentals Floral: Flowers by Shamay Planner: Eastwood Events 

With Mother’s day just around the corner, it has me reminiscing on all the shoots and adventures my mother has came along and helped me with. Often when talking about the business and what inspired me as an entrepreneur, I bring up how my father was a business owner, and my business name is an ohm after his business name. Commonly, I overlook and forget to talk about the impact my mother has had on me and how it’s made my work the way it is today.  

Growing up, my mother was a stay at home mom. She has always had a love for finding antiques, crafting and creating. She was always embroidering, sewing, crocheting, building something out of clay, you name it and she’s practically done it, literally. Every Birthday, Christmas, or just whenever, my siblings and I received elaborate hand drawn cards. When I was younger it was just common to know most of your gifts were going to be hand made. Here I am, grown up, and realizing the impact of seeing this all my life has on me. My niche in my market are handmade details (as well as theme weddings, but that’s another story), vintage finds and anything I can recreate. I’ve always explained my mindset as “I don’t see things as how they are, but how they could be.” That potential of making something out of nothing in a sense and that inspiration came from watching my mother.

Nowadays, you can find my mom as my right hand gal at styled shoots. Many items in styled shoots are her antiques or a family heirloom, hidden somewhere. As well as a great bonding time it is,  it’s wonderful to have someone by your side to help with quick last minute thoughtful touches. I often joke with her that she’s better then me at picking things apart. “That glass needs to be aligned with this” “This looks this way, but this one doesn’t” I have someone trained her eyes to pay attention to major details that mine didn’t even notice the first time.

So as this post comes to a close and many memories have been made. I’m looking forward to all the fun and exciting memories to come. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

I’m sure you’ve been hearing lots of buzz about the upcoming Wedding Tour and are seeing their beautiful fliers around at the Wedding Expos. But, I’m sure you’re asking yourselves. “Just what is the Wedding Tour and why should I go?”

The Annual Skagit Valley Wedding Tour is held by the Skagit Wedding Society. The Skagit Wedding Society is a group of Wedding Professionals that are all working towards the same goal, to promote and grow the wedding industry in Skagit County by networking with one another. The Tour has a total of eight Wedding Venues in Skagit County that are put on full display. Each venue is set-up as if a real wedding was taking place. These venue’s also have a team of Skagit Wedding Society Professionals at each location. If you are just stepping out on the wedding scene, this is a perfect chance to dip your feet into the water by getting some inspiration and starting the planning process. Already have your venue? This is the perfect chance to see the Wedding Trends first hand and get inspired.

The Tour has two options. The first is the “Guided Tour”. The Guided Tour is where you pick which or all venues and drive to them yourselves. The second option is the “VIP Bus”. I know first hand from personally going on the tour, that the VIP Bus is the way to go, especially if the goal is to stop by every venue. On the VIP Bus you truly get to sit back and relax. It’s so nice to use the time between stops chatting about the venues you’ve seen and not having to worry about finding them. This year, they are also doing something new. You get a lunch with the VIP Bus ticket, if everything I’ve said up until now hadn’t sold you on the VIP bus I’m sure the lunch just did.

I hope to be able to chat with each of you at the tour and I hope you make a fun day of it.

Happy Wedding Planning!

When Jeff and Rebecca came to me with the concept of a branding shoot I was ecstatic! Branding is something I’m very passionate about and think it’s truly important to have a cohesive style that fits your business.

The first thing we figured out was location. Which locations fit my identity best. Easy enough for me Christianson’s Nursery Schoolhouse has always been the backbone of my branding, so Christianson’s Nursery it was for the first location! Still inspired by Vanderveen Farm’s white washed wood walls from the last shoot I did. I decided to add that to my list of locations and design my dream office there.

When it came to Christianson’s Nursery I had two outfit changes. One style was more business-like with a Navy Pencil Skirt a White Ruffled Blouse and Tan Flats. I felt this outfit would be best fit around the nursery areas with the white windows and soft greenery elements.

The second outfit, was a comfortable and cute outfit. When putting outfits and locations together, it’s was very important for me to feel comfortable and “like me” since this shoot’s purpose is to show my identity as a brand. I went with a White Button up that tied at the top, a light pair of Jeans and some Blue sparkly Coach shoes. In every shoot I like to add a family element somehow. In this shoot the white button up was a vintage shirt of my Grandma's. 

The third outfit was my most casual and comfy outfit. I wore a Jeans Shirt (my go to shirt) with an Evergreen Blazer, Light Blue Jeans rolled up and Black Ballet Flats.

I find that things as simple as the location and your attire can really set the tone for a shoot.  

Weddings are such a joyous, happy occasion. This is as much of the Bride’s wedding day as it is the Groom’s. Sometime’s though through the planning process other people’s opinions come into play, and the couple’s wishes can get over shadowed.

Here’s a couple helpful tips to regain your vision.

1. If you have a vision stick with it. This is YOUR day. Listen to other people and take their advice into consideration but at the end of the day this is about you two, for you two.

2. Feelings can easily get hurt throughout this process. Just by changing the way you phrase things can help prevent conflict. Instead of phrasing something in a way that might make someone feel attacked or take it too person start off with “I feel”, that way shifts the blame.

3. Consider if someone is giving you a lot of input and wants to have some control, use them! Delegate and give them a task that you need help with.

These are just a couple of simple ways to keep everyone calm, cool and collected.

Starting the planning process or just looking for that last vendor on your checklist till you’re off to the altar? If only there was one place, locally, that you could find all the wedding professionals you need...hmmm. There are two great options that I love.

The first are wedding shows and wedding tours. Both are the same idea. Wedding shows is one space with tons of booths where you can meet all the wedding vendors you need in person and see what they offer. Wedding tours is a tour where you get to travel from venue to venue. Did I mention that at each of these venues they have vendors there staged as if it were a real wedding, cool huh!

 

The first two options are great if you’re starting the planning process at the beginning of the year or aren’t already busy that day but I’m sure you’re thinking there has to be another option, and there is. Society Pages! This is becoming more and more popular as the industry grows. Currently we have the Skagit Wedding Society, Snohomish Wedding Guild and Whatcom Wedding Professionals. These websites are full of members in the wedding community all in one site.

www.wedinskagit.com

www.mysnohomishwedding.com

www.whatcomweddingprofessionals.com

 

With every new year, comes new wedding trends. In the blog today, we’ll be covering what our favorite trends that you’ll be seeing more of this year are.

Greenery! We love the different ways you can use greenery and for all sorts of weddings. There’s a reason Pantone named it the color of the year. A popular thing we’re seeing more of is hanging greenery. From greenery floral chandeliers to hanging greenery backdrops. A timeless trend that we favor, is a simplistic greenery garland down a Farm Table. Can’t seem to go wrong with that.

The second trend that has us inspired is Floral for men. Commonly, most trends are based around the women of the wedding party, so it’s fun when they come up with something new for the guys as well. They have options ranging from floral print bow ties and ties to coordinate with the women of the bridal party to Floral Pocket Squares. Yes, you heard me right, floral pocket squares. This was a trend I saw back in October in Vegas at the Wedding MBA. It’s a fun twist off tradition the tradition pocket square and you can really make them unique!

The last trend that has us swooning over for the year, is anything but cake. Doughnuts, Pies, Macaroons, Cinnamon rolls, and that’s just to name a few. I’m still a cake lover though. But I favor when couples go out of the box when it comes to the cake design and then add other dessert treats for the guests as well, so there’s a variety.