Here's to 2015: A Year in Review

A year from now you will wish you had started today.
— Karen Lamb

There never was a truer quote than this one by Karen Lamb. As I wrote this blog post, I thought back to where I was sitting on New Years Eve 2014. I was in my cubicle at my former employer where I held a position as an Event Producer for one of New England's prestigious catering companies. The silence in the office was deafening, and the only reason that I was there that day was because I had preferred to use my precious vacation days to attend a wedding workshop earlier in the Spring (and then again in the Fall!), which would in return catapult me into the journey of becoming a girlboss in 2015. I sat in my gray cube counting down the hours until I could be home with Sean for our NYE dinner and celebration. Because after all, I had already resolved that 2015 was going to be MY year. It was going to be the year that I said "yes" to Always Yours Events.

Prior to this, I had spent the last two and a half years building my business but never believing in it enough to give it life. Fun fact -- did you know that I purchased the domain and website www.alwaysyoursevents.com (and the .net version too because I'm a bit paranoid) the week I graduated from Boston University in June 2012? All the while I held my former position, I couldn't help feeling as though I was cutting myself short. Want to know why? Because I WAS cutting myself short. So when those wedding workshops gave me the inspiration and momentum I needed to pursue the dream of owning and operating my business full time... I let it roll.

(from left: from Trouvaille Workshop 2.0, Trouvaille Workshop 1.0, at my former position running the Emirates Airline Gala in Boston)

In January I went into work on a dreary snowy day, and gave my notice to my boss, who was completely caught off guard. Was I nervous? Nope. I was terrified. I wasn't just saying "yes" to my business, I was also saying "au revior" to my steady income, my security, my peace of mind. Ask anyone who has done this before and they will tell you that their last day was one filled with anxious moments, your heart in your throat and sweaty palms. Even though I had two actual couples booked for 2015 who had learned about me through word of mouth and a free listing on the Knot, I still would need to fill the calendar with at least two more weddings to make it that year. But I had faith and grit. Faith gave me the hope, and grit gave me the results.

From January to March I feverishly began marketing through various wedding blogs and outlets, amping up my Instagram feed, had coffee or Google Hangout dates with least 25 vendors in the area, and I stayed up until almost 4am every day for a week trying to get my website in order. I had my fair share of shut doors during this time, including being excluded by other well-established professionals in the industry, being rejected from listing my business on a blog, not being taken seriously by a caterer. But I just kept plugging away tenaciously, understanding that these were my "dues" to pay. And guess what? That grit paid off. Because I booked not one, not two, but three more couples for 2015, and two more for 2016 in that timeframe. I couldn't believe it! All my efforts was WORKING.

Fast forward to May. In May, my first AYE couple, Brittany and Casey, were married at the Wequassett Resort in Harwichport, Cape Cod. A destination wedding with 55 guests overlooking the ocean was the perfect way to kick off my first season.

Photography by Tico and Red Photography

Then in July came Kristen and Justin's gorgeous nautical Lake Winnepesaukee wedding at the Inn at Mill Falls. When I see the photos from this wedding, I can't help but smile. Kristen and Justin will forever be one of my favorite couples, and they will always be near and dear to my heart. I have developed a friendship with them that has been such a light throughout this journey.

Photography by Pear Tree Studio

Photography by Pear Tree Studio

Later in July came Caroline and Dave's stunning navy, coral and blush private estate wedding. This wedding was straight out of a Cape Cod lifestyle magazine. And the entertainment? The Sultans of Swing were so incredible that all of the neighbors on a quaint little lane hosted parties in their backyards and enjoyed the free music. I am anxiously awaiting for this wedding to be featured on one of my favorite wedding blogs, so for now this is the only image I can share. Trust me, it will be worth the wait!

Photography by Ashley Stelzer

Photography by Ashley Stelzer

In August Allie and Dave's mustard, navy and olive green boho chic wedding took place at Wright-Locke Farm, a working farm complete with a white washed barn with weathered blue shutters. Their wedding was one for the books as dinner was served al fresco (unheard of in New England) in a bistro light strewn corral overlooking the rolling hills of Winchester. And it was incredible to see Allie and Dave's big day featured on Cottage Hill Magazine's online journal (see it here) just a few weeks ago! 

Photography by Briana Moore

In September Cate and Skip were married along the coast of Marion, MA, and hosted one of the most effortlessly chic white on white weddings in a field overlooking the beach and the ocean. Our hashtag was #whiteonwhitechicbeachbash, and that it was. 

Photography by Kelly Lorenz

And last but not least came Tori and Blake's nautical chic wedding, which took place at the gorgeous Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. This wedding holds a special place in my heart. It was so perfectly curated and incorporated beautiful blue mussel shells (just look at these gorgeous watercolor print envelope liners by the talented Kearsley Lloyd). And the couple? One of the sweetest and classiest couples you'll ever meet. I was completely honored when Style Me Pretty featured this stunning day on the SMP New England Blog (see it here) back in November. 

Photography by Ned Jackson Photography

In November I traveled to London, England to visit with family and refresh after a spectacular wedding season. Sean and I spent Thanksgiving together traveling from our families homes for festivities, eating whole lot of turkey, and enjoying a Christmas tree cutting! See photos from all these trips on my Instagram feed here.

Finally on December 10th I executed a fine art styled shoot at Hardy Farm in Fryeburg, ME that was so incredible and felt so much like "home." I worked with the most talented creatives and friendors on this labor of love, and it was one of the dreamiest days of my life. After a long day of driving (four hours each way) and shooting (six hours), I laid my head down on the pillow and cried tears of joy. This shoot felt like the biggest accomplishment to date because it encapsulated the essence and fine art signature style I had been striving to achieve since I opened AYE. In that day, I had refined my brand, aesthetic and style. When I see the photos from that shoot, I see Always Yours Events.

Christmas was a beautiful whirlwind, but still restful and joyous with Sean and our families. During Christmas we made room for family, friends, love and quality time, which are the things that truly matters. Oh and we also made room for cookies. We ate way too many cookies.

Go back and read the opening paragraph of this post. This time last year I was sitting in a gray cubicle, an Event Producer, non-business owner, counting down the hours until I got to go home. But tonight I'm here in my living room with Sean, with a glass of rose champagne in hand, a wedding planning business with all new clients for 2016 and 2017, two (almost three) published weddings, new friends, new relationships, a whole lot of insight and experience, and so much excitement for the year ahead.

To all the creatives out there reading this who think you don't have the grit and gumption to do the same, I challenge you to take on your dreams in 2016. Don't let another day go by where you don't work towards taking the leap. I'm here to tell you that you can make anything happen. Believe me, so much can happen in 365 days.

Happy New Year's Eve, friends. I'll see you in 2016.

 

xoxo,

Keri