image by paul lenehan, flickr

fun fact: in 2005, 2 years after graduating college, i moved to australia. solo. i had always wanted to go to australia but played lacrosse in college (club - don’t get too excited but we still traveled  all over the country and the season always interfered with study abroad programs), so i never had a chance to go. after planning weddings + events in newport, rhode island for a few years, i suddenly realized if i was ever going to pick up and move somewhere, it had to be then, before i settled down somewhere. so with the blessings of my former co-workers, friends and family, i packed up, obtained my australian work visa, and bought a one-way ticket to sydney, australia. i found a sweet little apartment right off the beach in coogee, one of the beach suburbs outside of sydney, and got a job in sydney coordinating events + marketing for a private school. i took the bus in from coogee to sydney every day. i traveled. i met new friends everywhere i met. when you travel alone, you have 2 choices - stay alone or meet new people. i chose option B and continue to keep in touch with so many of those wonderful friends to this day. long story short - it was probably the most amazing experience of my life. part of my heart stayed in sydney when the time came for me to come back to the states, and i have always been dying to go back there. and tomorrow night, pat and i are packing up and heading back to my old hometown. and i cannot wait. i can’t even sleep i’m so excited. if i could add another 20 exclamation points to this paragraph to express my excitement i would. but i think you get the picture :)

we’ll be meeting up with old friends, visiting some amazing wedding venues, and seeing as much as we possibly can in 2-weeks. oh and i’m also dying to pay a visit to the sydney flower mart, though i’m not sure pat would be as excited about that! hehe. and of course i’ll be sharing images whenever possible over on instagram so definitely make sure to pop by if you want to follow along. see you back here in a few weeks :)

(oh, and PS - also check in to Style Me Pretty on monday morning, jan 28 around 9am PT / 12pm ET. you might spy LLD!)

sequins, ruffles, glam and san francisco charm were all a huge part of e+t’s wedding this past october. it was my last wedding of the year and one of the most detailed ones, with custom ribbon curtains, amazing blooms by laura miller, vintage rentals from one true love, and the sweetest couple around. i’m so excited to see their smiling faces and all the details featured on ruffled today, so head on over to take a look and leave them some love :)


vendors: Wedding Planning, Styling, and Seating Chart Design: Lovely Little Details / Wedding Photographer: Delbarr Moradi / Wedding Venue, Caterer, and Cake: The Fairmont San Francisco / Wedding Flowers: Laura Miller Design / Favors and Wedding Invitation Design: Courtney Talbot / Wedding Dress: Judd Waddell “Aurelia” / Veil: Gracefully Girly / Sash: Eclu / Wedding Shoes: BHLDN / Jewelry: Nordstrom / Bride’s Hair and Makeup: The Glamourist / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Bridesmaids’ Hair and Makeup: Betten Chaston / Table Linens: La Tavola Linens / Vintage Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals / Chair and Charger Rentals: Kristina V Events / Chair Ruffle Linens: Wildflower Linens / Pipe and Drape Setup: Hartmann Rentals / Curtains: Lovely Little Details / Wedding Music: San Francisco Conservatory of Music / DJ: Spintronix Entertainment / Photobooth: Tomfoolery SF / Officiant: Cathy Tibbets / Videographer: Shakewell Studios

today is my 32nd birthday. i’ve decided i’d like to share it. want to join me?

at this past engage in december (2013 dates announced today!) i was fortunate to meet so many inspiring individuals, and it’s hard to pinpoint who stood out the most from the crowd. everyone had their own story, but my new friend and fellow wedding planning extraordinare paige chenault‘s labor of love, the birthday party project (which BTW isn’t even her full-time job!), really inspired me more than i can say. TBPP’s mission isto celebrate the lives of homeless children and youth by partnering with homeless shelters to provide birthday parties and gifts for all resident children between the ages of one and eighteen.

here, watch the video (grab a tissue).

last week i reached out to paige to see how i could help from afar. i asked her if it’d be ok to post about it today, in hopes that others will be as inspired as i am to get out and do something to help. and so today, on my birthday, i’m headed out to target and the party store to stock up on birthday party goodies to send to paige for the birthday party project. imagine if each of us did something similar on our own birthday? the newtown random acts of kindness movement didn’t end in december and i intend to continue in my own way - and spreading joy to a homeless child on their birthday is a great way to start.

so - who’s down to help? for information on the birthday party project and ways to get involved, please click here. for a birthday party wish list, click here. every bit counts :)

:: if you decide to make a donation or get out there and make a care package, share it with us by using the hashtags
#shareyourbirthday #givingisgood ::

last week i went to the flower mart, picked up some blooms {whatever stood out to me at the time} and went home to prep the flowers. these weren’t for a client, but they were to keep my creative energy going in the down season. i picked up some mini pineapples, ranunculus, narcissus, leafy eucalyptus, brunia, and some blush pink carnations. carnations get such a bad rap but when paired with other pretty, natural elements, i think they blend in quite well, don’t you?

even though this bouquet wasn’t for a client, it was a great way for me to get my hands dirty and start practicing again for the wedding season ahead. with the addition of floral design to just about every wedding i’m planning/styling this year {minus 2, and i can’t wait to work with my favorite floral designers on those!}, it’s important to me that i stay ahead of the game and always strive to learn more and do better. and that means beyond the finalization of timelines, tablescape mockups, vendor calls, site visits, and client meetings. it includes the florals as well, and to me, that is just as important. floral design is an art, and everyone has their own process. i always say that i spend hours creating the bouquets because i want them to be just right. i feel like at the end of the day, i’ve given my heart and soul in to every single arrangement and seeing my client’s reaction when i hand them the blooms is such a special moment for me, to validate the hard work, heart, and energy that went in to the final product. and so, even if this particular bouquet only ended up as a pretty centerpiece for our own dining room table, that’s fine with me - practice makes perfectly imperfect, and i’m happy to be able to keep the final product every once in a while :)

happy thursday everyone!

i have to tell you - especially after putting all the love and energy i can in to creating wedding bouquets and arrangements - when i see photos from weddings with the bouquet laying on its side on the cake table or near the bride’s place setting, it makes me cringe. so today’s tip is a quick one: make sure you ask your florist to drop off vases for your bouquet (and your bridesmaids’ bouquets) so you can repurpose them for decor throughout the reception! i always provide my brides with pretty vessels that match their overall wedding style, so they can easily be popped on a cocktail table or around the bar, or replace a centerpiece on one of the tables, or even around the cake. then, once bridal party photos and introductions are over, i collect the bouquets and put them in the empty vases, so everyone can enjoy their beauty (and they get some water to help them last longer after the big day!)

if you are debating on the number of centerpieces or accent florals throughout your venue, make sure to count in the bouquets - once in vases, they look just like a pretty arrangement and save you from paying for additional florals you just might not need. and, you and your girls will then have a vase/container to bring them home in at the end of the night :)      // image + floral design by lovely little details

:: image + design by lovely little details ::

{all images by stephen hughes photography unless specified}

happpppy new year!! are you as excited about the fresh start and blank notebook paper as i am? LLD is fully booked (!) for 2013 and i just cannot wait to get these parties started. i took some time away from the computer (didn’t open it once!) over the holidays and did some serious thinking, and we have some big time announcements (not the baby kind, sorry mom, not yet) for the new year that i will be sharing with all of you very soon. in the meantime, though, i wanted to share this beautiful backyard wedding with you from this past september. this couple decided that they didn’t want their wedding to be submitted to a wedding blog or publication (but gave the green light to go up on the LLD site), which i have to say, i really admire and respect. j+d’s wedding was a very intimate celebration that took place in the bride’s parents’ backyard and was created with the help of just about every neighbor, friend, and family member. after several site visits with the longest roll of measuring tape i’ve ever seen to make sure the yard would fit everyone, numerous floor plan mockups, and even a visit to the bride’s mother’s garden to pick flowers to be included in the bride’s bouquet and some of the centerpieces, this amazing couple’s wedding day arrived without a hitch. i was so honored to play a part in j+d’s big day through planning assistance, styling, and floral design, and together with her family + friends (and a HUGE thanks to my main girl christine representing with LLD for the day), we completely transformed this backyard in to an awesome party space. with an amazing menu from culinary eye catering, beats from pop fiction, and those long wooden tables that dreams are made of, this wedding was a bash not to be missed. here are some of my favorite shots, all from stephen hughes photography {with the addition of a few of my instagram shots, of course}.

we’ll start out with an instagram line-up that sums up some of my favorite details from the day. the groom’s family had numerous olive trees in their yard, so we incorporated olive branches everywhere, as you’ll see a recurring theme throughout from the heart wreath i created for the entranceway to the place settings.

j’s bouquet was one of my favorites, because she truly wanted something natural and organic (as i said, i literally clipped flowers from her mother’s garden to include!) and free-flowing. she trusted me to just do my thing, and that kind of trust is such a priceless gift.

and now for some of the professional shots:

the groom and his sister are both very artistic and the groom is a graphic designer, so all paper design was in their hands!

imagine sitting down to a family style meal in your backyard with your closest friends + family in a setup like this! say what you want about long wooden tables, but i’ll be rocking those babies for a long time to come. natural wooden tables = my happy place.

:: cheers ::

just before dusk, we transformed the “ceremony area” in to a lounge using blankets and cushioned chairs/benches.

and they danced til dawn (not kidding. we didn’t stay that long though!) i heard there was even an in-and-out burger run :)

vendor credits// styling, logistics + floral design: lovely little details, photography: stephen hughes photography,
catering: culinary eye cateringrentals: classic party rentals, band: pop fiction, paper design: groom,
centerpieces: lovely little details + friends/family, fun times: all

{all images via cape cod collegiate unless specified}

these past weeks have been a rollercoaster of the highest highs to the lowest lows. our family lost a beloved aunt at 67-years young, i attended engage and roomed with three of the most inspiring gals a girl could ever meet [hi kristin, cyn, and amber - you rule] and mixed and mingled with the best of the best in the industry while reflecting on my own business & making plans to implement my learnings for success in 2013, a hometown girl just a year younger than me lost her 5-year battle with cancer (she was an identical twin), and then the newtown elementary school shootings took place. all of these events seemed to be within just days of each other.

but yet - i feel this odd sense of change in the air. i’ve gotten more texts/emails/FB messages/tweets than i can count from people saying they’ve been “coffee elfing” and just yesterday i found out that one of the people i “elfed” was actually a friend of mine, who was grief stricken following the newtown events paired with the passing of the above-mentioned friend. she facebook messaged me and asked if i had coffee elfed at our town’s dunkin donuts that day, to which i answered - yes! (but it really could have been anyone which is even more exciting) she then sent me a private message and ended it with “When the man told me the coffee was paid for by a stranger my eyes literally filled with tears and I was speechless. You by your single act helped put a piece of me back together, I hope to do it to someone else. Hopefully we can all help put each other back together.” 

buying a coffee for the person behind you at the drive through isn’t going to change the course of events in the past and may seem like such a small thing but it’s these little things that are starting to stand out from the noise (vote for my blog! check out my outfit!), and are really making such a huge difference. the #26acts that ann curry started has really hit home for so many of us, and it seems that the good is starting to outshine the bad. robbie parker, father of one of the newtown victims, emilie alice parker, spoke out after the newtown shooting and said that he wasn’t mad at the gunman, and instead that his family’s love and support goes out to the gunman’s family as well. how amazing is that, in comparison to the messages that could be sent, to set the tone for positive change and thinking. i was overwhelmed with admiration, inspiration and hope when i saw that.

usually this time of year brings about my “year in review” but since i already did my “what i learned this year” post (find that one here), and will be updating my site/portfolio with pics from this year’s projects + events in the coming weeks, i’m going to sign off from the blog for the holidays, to continue this wave of doing good and spend precious time with friends + family. from my family to yours, i wish you all a very merry christmas and happy new year. i hope you are able to make and take the time to spend with your loved ones and do the things that matter most. my aunt’s last wishes to all of us were, “in lieu of flowers, spend time with those you never have the time to see. do something you always say you’ll do later.” my family is following her wishes and we are doing those things. eating dinner together. taking that trip we always said we’d do. going up to boston to visit my brother for the day, even if the to-do list is 10 pages long. i hope you can do the same over the holidays and bring this positive light out of such a dark world we’ve seen in the past week or so. even if that means buying coffee for a stranger :)

happy holidays, all, and i’ll see you back here in 2013! it’s going to be good.

{insert picture i can’t find to describe my thoughts/feelings here}

president obama asked us in his speech for Newtown families yesterday “Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose?” and as i scroll through twitter and facebook and blog posts about hot trends or gift guides or vote for my blog as the best [insert blog type here] or enter my contest, there are so many posts as if nothing happened, and i can’t help but think back to obamas words. we can’t dwell on the horrific actions that took place in newtown [or Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek, Columbine, or Blacksburg] but we can let it impact us. in a positive way.

i am from a small town in Connecticut. my mom is a teacher. Newtown could have been any town in America.

dear bloggers, readers, friends, family. it is truly up to US to make a positive change in this world. bloggers - think about the impact your words/posts/tweets have on those who live in this online world. we might not have all the answers at this point, but we do know that good things come out of working together for positive change. think about how we can work together to change these patterns. because together i know we can make some kind of a difference for good in this country, in this world. reflect on obama’s words and ask yourself today “Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose?” there is a lot of thinking to be done. and there are a lot of tears to be shed. but i know deep down there are good people out there who can change the future of our society. it goes deeper than gun control (though that’s a start - hello!), or coming down on the kids who play shooting/violent video games (or the companies who make them), or as my brother said, the kids who just don’t fit in and are a targeted as being a threat. guys, it’s deeper than that. and this is our generation and we are the ones who will be leading this country to the place we want it to be. my thoughts and prayers go out to all the families and friends who were impacted by this horrible tragedy. it is up to us to be the change we wish to see in the world, not starting tomorrow. starting now.

featured and seen in
100 Layer Cake Snippet & Ink See my work featured on Ruffled