{i love this shot stacey hedman captured onsite at erika + andrew’s wedding this past october in cape cod. i was taking in the sight of the bride and groom in their infinite level of happiness (while moving the ceremony florals to the reception!)}

2012 was an amazing year full of weddings, events, shoots, and personal trials and tribulations. LLD had 15 weddings (there are so many weddings you haven’t even seen yet, so i’m excited to get to submitting away and share with you soon), a graduation/birthday, several editorial shoots + features, and a new website launch. oh, and i took a pretty big leap and left my corporate job to take on LLD full time. i learned so much this year, and wanted to share my learnings with you today. i tried to narrow down to my top 10 11, if you will. here goes:

1. the internet is a great resource for all of us. without it, many of us (in the online world) likely wouldn’t have found each other. it is a great way for me to share everything i do via my blog, facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram. it’s a great way for me to promote my business through features. but the internet is also a place where you can find others who are similar to you. people you never knew existed. people who act and say and do so many of the very same things you do. this can be a hard thing to deal with, when you are told your entire life to “just be you/there’s only one you” and yet you come across so many others who are so very similar, it’s scary. it’s frustrating, it’s disheartening, and it’s even downright annoying sometimes. you see words put out by others that you would have said yourself, you see projects being put out by others you just recently completed as well. but rather than thinking “why is that person copying me”, you need to remember that a) those people might not even know you exist, and b) while there is only 1 you, the internet will surface those who are similar, and you just need to deal with it and move on. or call a fellow industry friend who understands, get it off your chest, but regardless, move. on. so what if someone else gives out bridal bags with their company logo? so what if someone else chose to spray paint their entire garden gold for events this year? i need to remember there are so many creative people out there, with similar ideas and just because i thought of it, doesn’t always mean it’s original and the more time i spend wasted on worrying about trivial things like that, the less time i have to focus on the important matters at hand.

2. saying no is a hard thing to do, but once you master the craft, your work/life balance improves immediately. 2011 and 2012 were my years of yes. 2013 is my year of no. my year of no means a saturday morning here and there at the farmers market with my husband vs. back to back to back to back weddings all summer. it means partnering with amazing vendors and awesome clients who totally appreciate and understand how i work and what i do, and a shared mutual respect from me to them and them to me. it means not jumping at the gun for every opportunity that comes my way and instead, weighing the pros and cons before responding for each and every one.

3. while i may be able to find a four leaf clover on command, i do not believe in luck. not one single bit. i believe in right place, right time, but when it comes to work and my business? there’s no luck involved. there’s a hell of a lot of hard work that goes in to producing “luck”, and when people make comments saying “lucky” it kind of drives me crazy because it feels like there’s a hint of bitterness associated with it. that, or i might just be hypersensitive :). i’ll keep finding the 4-leaf clovers but i won’t give up the work ethic that’s gotten me this far!

4. finding amazing vendors to partner with makes me so happy. i have a few of my absolute faves who i am blessed to be working with this year and next - people who understand me and my creative process, people who appreciate that, and people who’s work i just adore. as i’ve said time and time again, this is a craaaazy industry and unfortunately, not all people have the best of intentions. when you find the ones that are a fit for you, who you can pour your heart out to (and who can do the same to you), it is such a blessing. really. and discovering new vendors who i haven’t worked with yet, but who i click with immediately? that’s just the best. really, it’s my clients who benefit in the long run, with an A-team who gets along and works hard towards the ultimate goal of a flawless (and pretty) event.

5. remember the meaning behind every wedding. this is a commitment of love and honor and a sacred event not only to witness, but to plan, style + floralize (new word, ok?). i need to step back from the lovely little details once in a while and remember what this event means to each and every client. i need to take that feeling and apply it to my own marriage. this is the most important date in my couple’s lives, and though the pretty gold spray-painted pineapple will definitely add some flair, it’s about more than that. remember this.

6. allow time to breathe and be ok with doing so. simple as that.

7. fall in love with my job over and over again. take that rush i get from showing my couple the venue all set up for the first time, or delivering the bridal bouquet to my special recipient, and remember that feeling every time i feel a bit overwhelmed or disheartened. remember why i left my corporate job to blaze a trail on my own. these feelings and memories and thoughts will keep me on the right path even on the rainiest of days. oh, and working with a dog by your side can turn that frown upside down in a heartbeat. :)

8. aim to inspire and delight in everything i do. sometimes you have a bad day. we all do. but the world doesn’t need to know that. instead, inspire others by keeping your head high. always aim to evoke a feeling of delight from all of my clients, whether it’s through my LLD bride bag filled with planning surprises and favorite items from etsy vendors, or walking through a site visit and pointing out ideas of placement for decor, sending along a design plan for review filled with colors, ideas, and inspiration, or answering emails promptly with plenty of enthusiasm and exclamation marks :) treat each interaction with existing clients, potential clients, and vendors as a special opportunity to inspire and delight.

9. be grateful every day and don’t take a single thing for granted - health, happiness, and peace are things we should count as our blessings, not permanent fixtures in our daily life.

10. “i did it my way” - frank sinatra. my way might not be the right way for others, but it’s my way. use the resources all over the web and take them all with a grain of salt. attend the wedding conferences (if any) that make the most sense for me, and will offer me the most ROI. go in there like a sponge and take it all in, but allow myself time to digest all the information and do it my way. my clients aren’t paying me to do it like someone else. remember that.

11. make time for the people and things that count. shut down the computer when i say i will, and go watch the end of the baseball game i could care less about to be with my husband. make date nights happen, even if it’s just thai takeout eaten out of boxes on a blanket in our living room. leave the iphone at home when i go out with family + friends. they’re all there, i don’t need to be plugged in. and the world doesn’t have to see every single thing i do on instagram to prove i actually exist. actions prove that, not pressing a “like” heart :)

with only 1-2 openings left for new clients, 2013 is shaping up to be a busy and exciting year, one that i can hardly wait to start. and i can only imagine the things i will learn and take away in this next 12 months. anyone have anything to add that you took away from this year? are you as excited for the holidays as i am? bring it on 2013, we’re ready for you!

  • Anni says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    I love this, Jacin, and I agree 100% with everything you’ve posted. It’s so much better for our couples when we’re happy, fulfilled creatively, and a good match with other vendors and the couple themselves. I think you do an amazing job at showing so much of your personality through everything you do, and you have such a lovely style. Can’t wait to see what 2013 brings for you!

  • Erika says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    I adore this photo of you. And there is only one *you*, girlfriend. You are a rock star.

  • Daniele says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for sharing, Jacin - especially #1. I get that disheartened feeling all the time and I think that it’s really more of disappointment with myself for not being as genius and original as I thought I was. It’s much better to accept that others have similar ideas and see it as a community rather than a competition. I’m looking forward to what LLD has in store for 2013!

  • Mandy says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    So inspiring! I read this at my desk job but have dreams of something more. I will re-read this and perhaps 2013 will be my year. Congrats to you on much deserved success!

  • Jessica says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    You are fabulous! Hearing about next year is so bitter sweet! ;) Xo

  • Nic {@NicHance} says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    Great post! #1 is still MY favorite - it’s nice to hear it from someone else. Happy 2013!

  • e.b.friday says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    Jacin — I’m so impressed that you’re almost fully booked out for the year. You should be so proud! Congratulations to you.

  • Sofia says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    I should print this and have it on my wall… and read it e.v.e.r.y single day, so i don’t forget!!! What a great set of things to say, to actually do… i couldn’t agree more!!!!

  • Lisa says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    Absolutely loved reading this, Jacin! So many important lessons, many of which I know I’m still figuring out and working on. You are fantastic and such an inspiration, and I can’t wait to see what you have coming up in 2013!! :)

  • natalie x. says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    This is such an inspiring and well written post!

    Thanks for always having such a wonderfully positive outlook on life/career!


  • Lena says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    What an amazing year, and such a beautiful reflection. Here’s to finding even more fulfillment and joy in 2013!

  • Brit Tucker Stewart says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    So thrilled for your 2012 and even more excited for what 2013 has in store for you! xo

  • Abby says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    Couldn’t love this list more! You have so much to be proud of little lady! xoxo

  • Alicia {Giving The Good Life} says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    Love this! You’ve had an amazing year and I CAN NOT wait to see what happens in 2013 for you!!

  • Kimberly {petal pixie} says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    Thank you so much for writing this! Such a great reflection of your year and fantastic advice! You are so inspiring and I always enjoy reading your posts and following you on social media. I hope you have an amazing 2013!

  • Christina says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    ohhh jacin this is such a great list! i’m so happy 2012 was such a great and busy year for you and i know 2013 will be just as great for you - on YOUR terms. you’ll be able to take it in, enjoy your business and life more and really love how it goes. I loved your 2012 and can’t wait to see where 2013 brings you!! [and i hope we're able to meet up in the new year finally! lol either way, you've been an amazing friend to me and i'm truly blessed to have you in my life in whatever way i can get you!]


  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    I just LOVE this and I’m so so so so so so so so proud of you :) You have come so far with your business and I can’t wait to see where 2013 takes you!

  • Carrie // cue the confetti says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    This is great. So many things I can relate to!

  • lisa says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    Hear that? It’s the clapping of well manicured hands of designers and planners everywhere applauding your awesomeness. You are shining girl. SHINING.

  • Shannon says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    So wonderful. I adore Lovely Little Details, and so appreciate the time you took to write this post. So inspiring! Congratulations on all your successes. (:

  • mckay says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    you are awesome, inspiring and just plain lovely. thanks for always sharing so candidly. 2013 is going to be a spectacular year! xx

  • Jenna says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    It’s inspiring to read how you have turned your passion into success in your life! Your note to self has encouraged me to get in touch with what this year has taught me! One that didn’t make your list: never underestimate the power of the perfect playlist!

    • jacin says on December 4, 2012 Reply

      haha yes!! that’s number 12! ;)

  • Lindsay says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    Jacin, what a fantastic list - I feel like I need to print this out and tape it to my wall! It has been so fun to watch your business “bloom”, and I look forward to hearing and seeing much more! Cheers to a successful year!

  • Kristin @ Reverie(!) says on December 4, 2012 Reply

    So I came to your blog today not by chance, but because my husband Adam read your blog post and thought I could benefit from reading it, too. So happy I did! You have learned so much this year. And I’m learning right along with you. The more I read what you write, the more excited I am to meet you soon. A girl can never have enough shoes, glitter, or new friends.

  • Erin says on December 5, 2012 Reply

    LOVE this :) xoxo

  • Michelle says on December 10, 2012 Reply

    Love reading your blog and all your posts! Excited to see what 2013 has in store!

  • Alicia says on December 11, 2012 Reply

    This is one of my favorites posts ever. LOVE it! You are amazing and so is your work. 2013 is going to be great!

  • chandra ~ Oh Lovely Day says on December 13, 2012 Reply

    i so love this post. #1 is so me too (and you’re right, you can’t take it personally, especially when the other people might not even know you exist or that you were having the same thoughts and ideas) and it was so great to hear. And #9 and #11 are just soooo important and something I am working on everyday.

    I have to say, from when we first “met” when I was just coming back to twitter and blogging post-baby, you were such a giving, generous, sweet person to me. It was so appreciated at a time when I was so overwhelmed. And to have gotten to know you and watched you grow your business and see your talents get out-of-control good has been such a pleasure. One of my goals for 2013 as a wedding blogger is to work with and learn from more people like you. I’m in awe of what you do. if I were to get married again, (to the same fella, of course) I’d hire you before any other vendor. in a heartbeat. can’t wait to see what you do in 2013. xx

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