Booking season is upon us, huh? So many brides are planning so far in advance, I guess that is how to do it these days. 2014 is always quickly filling up, and oh wait, some 2015 brides on the books? Oh ya. These past few weeks of summer have been madness and it is only going to get more exciting when I gear up for way too many weddings in definitely not enough weeks. I'm couldn't be more excited. While things get in order, I thought I'd share a few recent snapshots from Instagram. I'll be posting more photos of this soon, but last week I was showering one of my besties. Her wedding is a few short weeks away!

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I've been doing site visit after site visit and this time I was taking through amazing redwood trees. Can't beat California. Just saying.

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I had a weekend off, so I decided to throw a little dinner party of my own. Complete with wrapped breads and some amazing Linnea Carta napkins.

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I topped off the weekend picking up brass candle sticks from my favorite florist Floral Theory. I could just sit and stare at her collection all day. Luckily we narrowed down the 30 we are bringing to Italy to dot the tablescape.

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I hope you all are enjoying this weather more than I am. I just can't wait for some boots, fires in the fireplace, and to get all wrapped up in a blanket. I'm definitely ready for fall....or rather Indian Summer followed by the 50 degree days we like to call Winter.

{The Lab Event} Poetic Whimsy

PoeticWhimsy-8 This past January the fruits of our year-long planning labor came to life at The Lab Event, a totally awesome bridal experience unlike any other. Myself alongside Erin of Bustle Events and Yasmin of Floral Theory produced an event filled to the brim with inspiration for brides. 6 amazing teams of vendors put together mock weddings showcasing the very best of their work.

This team was assigned an inspiration board entitled "Poetic Whimsy" and boy did they hit the nail on the head with their amazing ideas. Shot by Volatile Photography and designed by A & B Creative, they didn't miss a beat when it came to the details. Twigss did a phenominal job on the florals, (I mean, look at that bouquet!) and Batter Bakery brought it as always with a dessert bar is way too good for our own waistlines.

The entire shoot was featured on Ruffled Blog. Make sure to check it out!

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Photographer: Volatile Photo / Event Design: A + B Creative / Event Producer: The Lab Event / Floral Design: Twigss / Event Venue: Cline Cellars / Desserts: Batter Bakery / Vintage Rentals: Milkglass Vintage Rentals / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Lighting: Creative Lighting Design / Paper Goods: Little Miss Press

{The Lab Event} Pop-Up Shop

meganclouse-9 Aside from running a blog, I am also the co-founder of The Lab Event, a totally awesome bridal event. Our last event was held last January in Sonoma at Cline Cellars!

This year we had a popup shop for the first time ever designed by the girls at Going Lovely. The popup shop had a selection of handmade wedding goods including tassels from EverlyLane, wood jewelry from Bird of Virtue, awesome bags from Hiip SF, bridal accessories from Lovely Ever After, tons of garlands from Le Petite Fest, and of course everything your man needs to look his best from Bonobos.

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Thanks to the girls at Going Lovely for designing such a fun space for attendees to shop! Photography by one of my favorite Sonoma photographers Megan Clouse!

Engaged & Inspired: A Wedding Planning Workshop

Things have been brewing over here at the Engaged & Inspired headquarters! And today I am excited to announce something that has been in the works for some time now, our first wedding planning workshop. This unique workshop was created with a focus on brides and how to best help you plan your perfect wedding. We realize not everyone has the budget to hire a full-service planner but that doesn't mean you should have to deal with all the stress of planning all by yourself.

AS-FINAL-BrochureDesignThis workshop has been specially designed using the process we take each of our full service clients though. We have thought about every piece of the wedding planning process and handcrafted an intensive workshop to plan your perfect wedding without so much stress.

We will provide you with a book of information you can refer to long after the workshop is over, unlimited correspondence with Engaged & Inspired for questions and recommendations, tons of design visuals, lunch & catering tastings, and of course a bag full of goodies to take home with you!

You will have the opportunity to ask questions, discuss the process with other brides and meet some top wedding vendors in the area, and plan your wedding with much support.

Topics Include:

Creating & balancing your budget Building your wedding vendor team Styling the wedding party Taking care of all wedding logistics Staying organized & getting it all done Creating the best experience for your guests Designing your perfect wedding Pulling all your ideas together and much, much more

Our first workshop is designed around the Carmel area (but not exclusive to it) and is best geared toward last 2013 and 2014 brides.

WHEN: Saturday July 13, 2013  |  TIME: 10 am – 4 pm  |  WHERE: Carmel, California INVESTMENT: $500  |  GET YOUR TICKET

A Warm Welcome {Baskets}

Since we are having a destination wedding many of our guests will be arriving Friday evening before the wedding to get settled. This is one of my favorite things about destinations weddings because everyone gets in the party mood and relaxes like a mini vacation. To get everyone acquainted with the town we are getting married in, I will be putting together welcome baskets with a few goodies. Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.26.22 PM

As much as I love each of these above, mine will probably a simpler and more cost effective because let's face it, there's not too much budget left for these kind of extras. I still love these simpler options too:

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But here's my question, what should I put in them? Right now I'm thinking a map of the town, a couple water bottles, some snacks, and maybe a few Advil. But I'd love your help to think of fun things to put in them. Share in the comments!

Survey Time :: Help Us + Win!

As some of you might know by now, Engaged & Inspired is getting a facelift. We aren't just making it over, we are rebuilding from the ground up to create the perfect place to find inspiration and vendors for your wedding day. And to make it the perfect place for you, we want to know a little bit about you! What makes you come back, how do you plan your wedding, and what do you want more of.

With a little bit of your help we could do big things! Afterall, the only reason Engaged & Inspired is here is to help you. And if I'm not doing that, it is time to change things up! (But hopefully I am!) Click here to fill out our survey!

And to make it even more worth your while, these fabulous prizes are up for grabs!

1 person will win a Le Petite Fest gold scalloped garland

1 person will win a Le Petite Fest pink triangle garland

5 people will win our Engaged & Inspired tote bag!

Go forth and fill out our survey!

{Alt Summit Recap} Some Snapshots

I guess I owe the world an Alt Summit recap, huh? If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that something was a little different. Photos hit my feed of cooler things that my computer and coffee (hate to break it to the world but the life of a blogger is basically computers + coffee). I wore cute outfits and I put on makeup every day for 5 whole days! I even wore heels most of the time. Oh ya, that  is definitely different.

Well, I was in Salt Lake City to attend a blogger conference, Alt Summit. I've been wanting to go every year but this is the first year that I for reals decided to go for it. After that decision came an unexpected surprise, I was asked to speak. Yep, speak. As in attempting to form sentences in front of a couple hundred people and hopefully impart some knowledge to these eager ears. Talk about feeling honored.

Prior to stepping on that plane I was both completely terrified and totally ready. I had been packed for a week, I printed out my schedule for the next few days, and I had a few meetings set up with sponsors. I was ready, let's do this. But, the other side of things.... Being a totally unsocial butterfly, I was dead scared. I don't do well in places where I am forced to talk to people. I know that sounds terrible, but it is the cold hard truth. I'm behind a computer all day for a reason BTW. How was I ever going to do this?

Just a few of the awesome business cards I collected.

First thing Thursday morning I went to a panel about collaborating with sponsors. Right off the bat Camille Styles absolutely killed it. 10 minutes in and I knew I made the right decision in coming to this conference. I knew it was going to be exactly what I needed.

Thursday's keynote speaker  Chris Anderson (editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine) was another major turning point for me. I felt my entire life change at that moment. No seriously. Life changed. As in, I. will. never. look. at. anything. the. same. I immediately delved into his book Makers, and again, Life. Changed. I love surrounding myself with big thinkers, and this guy definitely does that way too well.

Here is a shot of my Friday morning panel Social Media 101 : Following The Conversation Panel. Meg of, Kelly of Design Crush, myself, Erin of House of EarnestNatalie of Bing.

I'll leave you with possibly the most important thing I learned from Alt Summit:

Here is the first thing to know about Alt Summit. It isn’t a conference. It is a culture. A culture of creatives, of thinkers, of makers. What is known in the conference circuit as "networking" Alt attendees know as collaboration. It isn’t about meeting people, it is about cultivating relationships.

This industry is filled with feelings of competition and comparison. Here you have the chance to strip everything down and realize at the core of it all, we are all in this together. We are creative people who add beauty to this world  and together we are trying to build a new industry. We couldn't do it alone, and sometimes we just need to remind ourselves and each other of that. 

(I was hired by iBlog Magazine to blog about my experience at Alt Summit. This is an excerpt of the article I wrote. It'll be published soon, so stay tuned)


Making It

3 years ago this month I was getting ready to launch Engaged & Inspired. I had been engaged for a month and I was over the moon about starting this venture of mine. At that time my concept of "made it" was to be running this blog full time, doing what I love.

Fast forward 3 years. I'm in a place where I do this full time, yet I feel so far from "making it". Hence this little gem of a quote resounding so much with me I feel the urge to write an entire post about it. Truth be told, so many parts of Engaged & Inspired aren't what I want them to be. They were great at one time but as I continue to move forward and grow as a person and a brand, the only word I feel properly describes my felling is "stodgy". Which, yes, is the worst feeling to have about something you worked so hard to create. No one gets that as much as I.

I feel there will always be different levels of "making it" and that is what makes companies so great. There is always a new challenge, a new level and if your work is great, you will always look back on the earlier stuff cringing. And that is growth.

I haven't had very much time in this new year to reflect & set goals just yet. (Thanks to The Lab & speaking at Alt believe me, I'm not complaining!) Despite all the work and long hours I have been putting in this month, this quote and the future of Engaged & Inspired have taken up every free second I can possibly muster.

Since I am not one of those people that dwells in the woes of life, or writes posts to collect sympathy, I won't leave on such a note. The new site design is coming soon, and with that comes some major changes, additions, and of course work to be done. The fact that this place isn't exactly what I want it to be pushes me even harder and drives me even more every single day because it will become (very soon in fact) the most perfect place for me and the most perfect place to cultivate and grow this brand of mine.

Despite it all I have seen tremendous growth in the past year and I send out my sincerest thank you to each and every one of you.  Thanks for finding something to love and finding something to come back for.

I'm extremely excited for the future, the possibilities and for the opportunity to call myself a full-time blogger. Not many people have the luxury to do so, and even more people can't even begin to understand everything that a title like that means. I will say it with pride and never again think that such a title isn't good enough. It is.

The Lab iPhone App is Here!

I know we have unofficially announced this, but today, for real, our iPhone app is officially LIVE and up for grabs! Download it here.

For the past I don't know how many months I have been working on this little project of mine. And finally, it is time to share it with the world. As I said in my last post, I am oh so very serious about helping brides connect with the perfect vendors for them. Finding vendors doesn't have to take as much time and stress as it currently does. This app was created to eliminate this insanely time consuming process and make it easier than ever to find your perfect fit.

See something you like while at the event? Easily favorite the vendor who created it, or better yet, send them an email right then and there to ensure you don't forget to get in contact with them. We have it all, and we want to share it with you brides! Not going to be able to go to The Lab? No problem, you can still look through all the portfolios of our fabulous vendors! Download it here.

The Lab Event is just a handful of days away! Engaged or know someone who is?? This event is something you won't want to miss. Get inspired, find your vendors and have way too much fun. Get your tickets now.

The Lab || We're Expanding (To Your City!)

I co-founded a bridal event last year to help brides plan their wedding while being enveloped in inspiration, ideas and surrounded by some of the most creative minds in the industry. We call it "The Lab" and it will be taking place in Sonoma, CA on January 12 (Local? Get tickets!). While we finish up the final details for this event, we can't wait to share what is coming next. And it is awesome....

We have big dreams for this baby of ours, first and foremost, we are expanding! The Lab is no longer San Francisco specific, in fact we are on our way in putting together a 10 city tour of events. Yes, we will be traveling to 10 cities bringing all the goodness of our event to other areas. And hopefully will be headed to your city!

Want The Lab in your neck of the woods? Simply email us (with your city as the subject) letting us know where you want us to come. We will announce the final city lineup in January!

Vendors: Want to be a part of The Lab in your city? Email us letting us know where you want us to come and that you'd like to be involved! We are looking for the best of the best in the industry and would love to hear from you.