Category Archives: Real Wedding

a year gone by.

I cried when I realized it this morning.

I cried from exhaustion. Joy. Remorse. Excitement. Relief. Complete astonishment.

Today marks a year. 365 days ago today I said goodbye to the only career I had ever known. I spent 6 years in school to become a registered nurse and a year ago today I walked away. The decision has not been an easy one, and there isn’t a day that goes by when I’m not really scared and frightened by that decision. I left stability. Colleagues. Security. A routine. But for a really really long time I knew that nursing, although incredibly rewarding, was just not where I wanted to exist. Was I happy? Kind of. Was I satisfied on more days than not. Sure. Was I comfortable. Pretty much. But was I the real, true me? Absolutely not. And THAT didn’t sit well with me.

On the day I left nursing I honestly had no idea what the future held for me. I knew I needed something different, but I didn’t really know what that might look like. I knew that my creative ambitions were screaming from my insides but translating that into something successful and just as rewarding seemed like the impossible. 2 weeks after I made the decision to not settle until I found that certain something that fed my soul in an honest and truthful way I took a trip. I packed up a crazy large backpack, said goodbye to my husband and puppy dog and left for 7 weeks. At the time the decision felt really selfish, greedy…maybe even wrong. But my intention was simple: find me. Find what really makes me happy. Find out why for so many years I’d felt hopeless, sad and lost. I set out to open my ears and my eyes to all the things my heart had been saying for so long, to really listen. To really see. And this I felt was a selfless decision, because in my gut I knew it would make me a better person not only for myself but for those who loved me.

I slept in. I watched French music videos to the point of verbal and choreographic memorization. I ate an amazing amount of pastries. I stared at art. I walked and walked and walked. I teared up at the beauty that is Europe. I sang. I grocery shopped. I rode trains. I drank yummy wine. I explored. I laughed with friends and family who visited me. I spent money. I wrote a travel blog. I practiced my French. But mostly I took pictures and wrote. I used my camera to open my eyes to all the things that really inspired me. The things that made me feel alive. And I wrote to hear what my own voice had to say.

Writing and photography never were as important as they were during those 7 weeks. I honestly and miraculously found myself while looking through my camera lens and while writing til’ the wee hours of the morning. I had found the answer I’d always been searching for for so long, and although it scared the crap out of me, I came home and pursued that answer. I started my own business and leapt into the craziness of being an entrepreneur. For the first time in my ENTIRE life, I listened to what MY heart was telling me. Not what anyone or anything else was telling me. And today, I celebrate that. I celebrate being me and for the first time really living.

Thank you to everyone who has supported, pushed, and loved me during this past year. Thank you for not calling me crazy to my face, or telling me to run back to a career that seemed a lot more logical. Thank you for loving me enough to wish the very best for me and for my future. Thank you for cheering me on and for hugging me during those moments when I was really scared. Thank you for being proud of me – this life alteration would not have happened without your support. Thanks for celebrating with me today!

P.S. How crazy fitting is it to have Vanessa & Tony’s wedding featured on SMP today to mark the occasion?!?! So proud of where this past year has led me!

P.S.S. If you’re interested in following the travels the helped me find my way start by clicking here.

year gone by photo captions:

september: moonlighting with paper. realizing that i was suffocating without a creative outlet. jb papier was born.

october: my trip to europe began. i snapped pictures of everything i could. big ben was one of my fav shots.

november: being alive in paris.

december: when i really started carving out my new business. took the leap of faith and admitted that i was ready to start a new journey.

january: bow tie & bustle was born. participated in my very first styled shoot. bun in the oven concept.

february: gathered an amazing team of wedding creatives for montmartre shoot i dreamed up while in france.

march: very first big time feature for my lil’ business on green wedding shoes.

april: vanessa & tony’s wedding in cabo san lucas. my first BIG design and first international destination wedding all wrapped in one.

may: drove a farm table from denver to seattle. started thinking about launching a vintage rental company. scout. was officially launched on august 6th.

june: headed to beverly hills to get my learn on at coordinator confab.

july: felt like a full fledged blogger after attending blogshop in the bay area.

august: one of MANY projects in august: ann & jon’s wedding day.

photo cred: {personal pics and mo hines photography}

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Filed under Anniversary, Bow Tie & Bustle, Bride & Groom, Business, Cabo Surf Hotel, Cabo Wedding, Decor, Destination Wedding, Journey, Just Because, My Life, My Photography, Personalized, Photography, Prop Styling, Real Wedding, Scout Vintage Rental Company, Scout., Self Reflection, Travel

friday substitute.

Sooooo long story short it has been an intense week of work, work and more work, but I’ve loved every second of the design process for today’s wedding (Dinah’s staple gun is officially my new BFF!) and I’m so excited to share what I’ve been working on….!!!yipeeeee!!! BUT since this week has consisted of lots of work and no play I figured my usual “week in pins” post would be PUUUURITEEEE boring. AND although I have new vintage finds to share I have not had even a brief moment to snap a picture…so sadly no “friday find” either (I know…BAD BLOGGER!).

So instead I thought I’d leave you with a Friday substitute. And since I don’t remember substitutes being all that bad (nicer than usual teacher, fun, refreshing and usually let you leave class early for the weekend) I thought you wouldn’t mind a sub this week.

Kirstin and Jordan’s wedding last weekend on Orcas Island was epic. Absolutely stunning backdrops….an amazingly GORGEOUS chapel…lots of laughter…a dance floor full ALL night long and a happy bride and groom at the end of the night. What more could you ask for? Here’s a few snapshots of the beautiful Victorian Valley Chapel (ummmm if anyone is thinking of getting married in the San Juans THIS place should be it…S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G! Oh and Jordan’s parents run the chapel and are some of the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life…bonus!!!). Seriously, check this place out! Gorgeous right?!

Happy weekend friends!

*JB

photo cred: {moi iPhone}

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Filed under Bow Tie & Bustle, Bride & Groom, Just Because, Photography, Real Wedding, Victorian Valley Chapel, Weddings

real wedding: vanessa + tony in cabo san lucas.

Vanessa and Tony are truly some of my most favorite people in the world. They are genuine; loving; witty as hell; crazy intelligent (they are both doctors in Peoria, IL – Vanessa in obstetrics and Tony in emergency medicine); they are both admirably athletic; and when they tell me they love me and care about the success of my business I REALLY believe them.

Their wedding is one I will FOREVER hold near and dear to my heart. For starters it officially marked my very 1st international destination wedding. 2nd I was given full design liberties which felt increadibly refreshing and exciting, and 3rd I was able to support my best friend in walking down the aisle to the love of her life.

So it should come at no surprise that my responsibility to plan and design their destination wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico this past April came with just a wee bit of pressure as well…just a tad. I wanted their day to be perfect on all fronts…guests gettin’ down on the dance floor til the very last song; design elements that spoke to who they are as a couple and as individuals; a relaxing atmosphere full of fun in the sun; an overall crazy fun time and of course Vanessa and Tony grinning from ear to ear at the end of the night. Well I’m thrilled to say that all of my wishes came true!

Since Tony and Vanessa’s professions are a GIGANTIC part of their lives (we’re talking 100’s of hours a week at the hospital people!) and they met in medical school, I couldn’t resist incorporating multiple “medical” details into their day. I hung antique stethoscopes from their reception chairs, shredded an old medical book and placed the shreds in both their “message in a bottle” invitations, as well as in the base of the cake stand and on the reception table.

I incorporated an abundance of antique medicine bottles on their reception table adding florals to the vases the morning of the wedding. I accented the medicine bottles with flag bunting, buttons and twine. A 27 foot burlap runner ran across the entire length of the reception table providing an amazingly organic feel to the day. Each place setting was highlighted with a gorgeous calligraphied place card and wine cork (Vanessa loves wine), an individual menu tucked into a burlap colored napkin, and a teeny succulent on top.

Succulents were the one thing that were an absolute must for Vanessa and they were definitely the most beautiful floral detail of the day…just gorgeous!

Vanessa really liked the idea of getting married in a small intimate affair away from home and she and Tony couldn’t have done it in a better way! Cabo Surf Hotel was an absolutely amazing venue (staff, food, guest services…you name it – this resort has it going on!) and the destination wedding lends to a significantly relaxing experience for the bride and groom. There is WAYYYYY less pressure on the couple to entertain and mingle with 100’s of guests and I mean who doesn’t want to come home with a new husband AND a killer tan?!

I loved Tony and Vanessa’s guest book table which included square pieces of fabric for each guest to sign well wishes on. The pieces will be sewn together to create a lasting momento for the couple…love it!!!

Vanessa and Tony were super excited about the idea of having a dessert table and I’m so glad they did one! Whoopie pies, fruit tartlets, mini brownies, cheesecakes & key lime pies were the perfect addition to their tiny wedding cake. I accented the dessert table with hand marbled dessert card labels, more medicine bottles and antique platters & stands. Each mini dessert had a curly paper flag on top as a means of tying in the pretty color palette of the day. I added fabric flag bunting, a butterfly & a tiny mountain bike (Vanessa means “butterfly” and Tony is a crazy, mad talented mountain biker) to the cake itself. Butterfly accents were also included in the ribbon tied to the back of Vanessa’s chair.

Could she be any more beautiful?!??! Simple stunning.

The ceremony site was kept simple with an ivory satin covered canopy as the focal point, which was tied off on all 4 corners with burlap. The aisle was lined with various colored wine bottles and more curly paper details. The ocean was the most perfect backdrop! Stunning, stunning, stunning!

Tony and Vanessa, thank you so much for allowing me to play such a major role in crafting your wedding day. Thank you for trusting in me and for allowing me to create a day reminiscent of who you are. Thanks for a week full of laughter, love and friendship – I enjoyed every moment in Cabo with you! I wish you mountains of happiness and a lifetime of adventure together! Love you both!

event design, styling & coordination: {bow tie & bustle} venue: {cabo surf hotel} photographer: {mo hines photography} calligraphy: {letters by ellen} paper goods including invitations: {bow tie & bustle} floral design: {mazarte floral} bride’s hair: {mandi rhodes} floral concept & styling: {bow tie & bustle} bride’s dress: {jim hjelm}

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Filed under Bow Tie & Bustle, Bride & Groom, Centerpieces, Ceremony, Decor, Design, Florals, Invitations, Paper, Personalized, Real Wedding, Reception, Travel, Weddings

real wedding: v + t sneak peek

Okay, I know. It’s been over a month since Vanessa and Tony’s destination wedding in Cabo and still no pics up on the blog yet.

I should be ashamed of myself. I know. I KNOW.

But I promise they are on their way. I wanted to display all the visual goodness and behind the scenes shots of their big day in the best way possible. This means that I’m waiting to attend my upcoming summer school blogshop with bri where I should hopefully begin to master the beast that is: photoshop.

For many months I’ve been frustrated that I cannot display pics from my projects and weddings in a visually appealing way (i.e. not pages and pages of streaming pictures but in an actual cohesive side by side collag-ie type of way (okay collag-ie isn’t a word but I hope you get what I’m trying to say). And yes, what this ultimately means for those of you who know me best: my perfectionist tendencies are rearing their UGLY head.

So as a means to give you a little sneak peek of the day since my type-A self can’t bear it all just yet, here’s a few pics of the day shot by the fantabulous Mo of mo hines photography .

Hope this tides you over for another couple weeks…

photo cred: 1 {mo hines photography}

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Filed under Bow Tie & Bustle, Bride & Groom, Design, Real Wedding, Vintage Finds, Weddings