Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What's in a name

Hello Friends,
  Just wanted to fill you in on the first of many changes.  My new Twitter username is theLaurenKelly.  If you are already following me, you will still be following me, you will just see my tweets under a new name.  If you aren't following me -- hop to it.  (I have a neat little sidebar to the right that makes it super simple or click on the link above)
   To clear up any confusion:  I do not feel as though I need a "the" in front of my name because I am special.  I just plan to offer much more than events to you in 2010 and wanted you to be able to associate my name with everything I do.  Plus, some inactive squatter has my name on twitter and until they get up off it we are stuck with the "the."
   Please direct all emails calling me rude, crazy or weird for changing my name to: Lara Casey (this was all her idea).

(yea, i'm not used to it either.)

Monday, December 28, 2009


Today my mind is spinning and reeling with a fantastic view of what reality can become.  I am still fired up from the Making Things Happen Intensive that I was blessed to attend a week ago today.  Below is what I wrote on my plane ride home:

What an experience.  I am sitting on the plane ride back from Making Things Happen 2010 and am blown away to say the very least.

The capability of the incredible wedding professionals at the conference absolutely rocked my world.  It was life changing.  There is something so meaningful about transparency.  The good, the bad, and the ugly are able to come out -- you are honest about it all -- and grow just from the challenge of embracing what you put out there.  It is inspiring, truly. 

I am walking away with an unbelievable grasp on where my place is in the wedding world now and where it can be six months from now and even where it will be a year from now.  And guys, I am excited.

I am driven, I am absolutely fired up (although not quite as fired up as Jeff Holt, who actually caught on fire), and I am beyond ready to Make Things Happen.

This feeling still overwhelms me today.  I twittered earlier: "I'm embracing that big things WILL happen. No if's allowed today. It's high time to show negativity and doubt the door."  This statement sums it all up -- this is how I am approaching 2010.  I choose.  I choose that things will come to fruition.  I choose what things to give emphasis to in my life and in my business.  I choose to not let others get the best of me.  And I choose to be more than great. 

"Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith" Margaret Shepherd

Sunday, December 20, 2009


 A little reading material, 2 plane rides and some liquid heaven later...

I'm here!

In beautiful Watercolor, FL

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Thank each of you so very much for making 2009 such an amazing adventure!  I will be taking some time away from the office to be with my family through the new year.

I will be coming back to you in 2010 refreshed and ready to Make Things Happen with fresh color-stories, inspiration and exciting things I have in store for Lauren Kelly Events that I cannot wait to share with you!

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Friday, December 18, 2009

{fashionably friday} Top 50 design blogs

The Design world was a flutter this week after the London Times printed their 50 of the world's best design blogs on Wednesday.  Design blogs are an incredible place to get unusual inspiration so I highly suggest that you check a few out.

Below are a few of my daily reads and where they ranked on the list:

6. Decor8

To see the complete list, check it out here.
Happy Friday!

Question 2

Today, we are going to hit another question so grab your coffee and let's get to it.

Growing up, my parents always told me: You are who you hang around with.  I took that with a grain of salt.  It wasn't until college that I realized how true that statement was.  I had many different living situations throughout my college experience and looking back now, I can tell you exactly how each roommate affected my moods, my behavior, my drive and my overall outlook on life.   So this next question hit home with me:

Who are the people you spend your days with and how do they make you feel?  

I suggest you do this privately as I have done.  But please actually do it and use it as a tool.  It helped me see who I come in contact with on a regular basis that makes me act like a version of myself that I do not want to be. It also helped me to see those that I have been able to rely on time and time again.  But what really shocked me is how much it showed me that I don't fully let many people into my life.  

I am a compartmentalizer, always have been, but I never realized that I compartmentalized my friendships - I have a group of friends that I talk to about work, a group of friends that I talk to about marriage, one I talk to only on a surface level and a shocking two that I actually talk to about it all - (one of those being my husband).  No wonder I feel zapped so often -- it's not because I let others feed off of my energy it is because I am selfish with it, don't share it, and let it overwhelm me. 

It is time I sought counsel.  I wouldn't dare make a big business move or chop my hair off without speaking to people I trust to tell me the truth - so why do I go through the daily things without it? 

We need counsel, we need people to go through the journey with us -- the good and the bad.

Hmm.. something to think about on a Friday.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Question 1

First part of "feeling your fear" is recognizing it, calling it out for what it is.  And that is exactly what I challenge myself (and you) to do today.

The formula is simple:  I am afraid of _______ because _______. And I plan to do __________ to overcome it.

Here are a few of mine:

I am afraid my ideas will be ridiculed and I will be laughed at because I am young.  I plan to approach my colleagues with confidence, present my ideas proudly, and make sure I have thought through all the facets so I am as prepared as possible for questions and challenges.  My age has nothing to do with how creative my ideas are. 

I am afraid I will be limited in the small town that I live in because people's expectations of service and price point have been determined by hobbyist planners up until this point.  I need to realize that the only thing that can "limit" me is myself.  I can expand my territory beyond the current confines and it is up to me to re-educate the people in the area.

I am afraid that my lack of money management skills is going to get the best of me, I plan to get over my fear of talking about money and enlist the help of someone trustworthy and knowledgeable, realizing I cannot do it all on my own -- it is okay to admit that I am not as strong in a certain area.

I am afraid that my competitive nature will make me more interested in outdoing others rather than offering comradery.  I plan to take the first steps in building relationships with others in my area that enjoy the same career as I do, and know that the responsibility is solely my own to keep this relationship positive and consistent.

and the biggie....

I am afraid that my friendship with my clients and creativity will be taken advantage of again, as it was this year.  I will take complete fault for not standing up for myself sooner, being a businesswoman before I was a friend, and communicating, explicitly, my role.  I plan to be more upfront with each client about my job and their expectations and always hold to my contract.  I charge what I am worth.

No better time than the present, ladies.  Don't be crippled by your fear.  Dig it out. Work through it. And come out a better person.

Christmas Time! :: Obsessions, Thoughts & Giggles

Obsessions: I am beyond mildly obsessed with the Pampered Chef "Festive Holiday Desserts" Cookbook we got as a wedding present.  I mean how can you go wrong with recipes that tell you how to make things such as:
Creamy Eggnog Parfaits

Frosty Snowman Cake
Marshmallow Treat Ornaments, and

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Cake.

It also gives you tips and tricks along the way so that your dessert looks exactly like the ones in the pictures.  I definitely suggest it for those of you that have a sweet tooth and like to do some holiday cooking!  Contact my favorite Pampered Chef Consultant by clicking here and check out all the other goodies she has here (Pampered Chef offers Wedding Registries too!! don't miss out on the fun).

Thoughts: We get to spend the Christmas holidays with my side of the family this year.  As a newlywed, I wasn't sure how working out the holidays would be but it has shaped up to be fairly easy to make the decision and have both sides of the family be on board with it.  I love Christmas with my family!  All the ladies spend the days leading up to Christmas in the kitchen cooking some amazing homemade goodies that we have had in the family for years (fudge, divinity, sitting on a ritz, tortilla rolls, etc.).  Christmas day is spent around the fire opening presents, just enjoying each others company, and scarfing down a huge Christmas lunch.  The guys usually find a football game to watch (read: turn on and fall asleep to in the lay-z-boys) and us girls make our way back to my grandmother's sewing room to take a look at all the goodies she has been working on or head out to hit the after Christmas sales!

Giggles:  One Christmas a few years ago my baby sister ( I guess I shouldn't call her a baby anymore, she is turning 15, 5 days after Christmas) wanted to try out a recipe that required us to make chocolate bowls.  We had a genius idea that we would just blow up some balloons and dip them in the melted chocolate, set them on wax paper, and let them cool and voila! bowls.  Things were going very well, the balloons were working perfectly until all of a sudden, POP! and then another POP! and before we knew it, the entire kitchen was covered in chocolate, popped balloons, and mountains of laughter.  We still find chocolate in granny's kitchen every time we are there!

A side note: As some of you may know, I am seriously allergic to cinnamon -- mostly the scent and fake flavoring (think candles and red hots) -- but it will get me in almost any form it comes in so walking into stores at Christmas time is always a gamble.  I tend to end the season with a half empty bottle of Benadryl and some "plumped" lips.  So if you happen to see me out and about and I look a bit fuller-than-normal in the lip department just give me a hug anyway.

Share your Christmas Obsessions, Thoughts and Giggles!

I was not compensated by anyone for any of the endorsements given in this post.  They are all simply my opinion that I chose to share.
All photos are from the Pampered Chef "Festive Holiday Desserts" Cookbook and were taken by me. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Feeling the Fear"

The savvy soul who is putting on the Making Things Happen Intensive I am attending next week wrote a post a few weeks ago that really sparked something inside of me.

You see, I have been sitting on an absolutely crazy and intricate yet passionate idea for almost a year now.  I have no doubt that it could be the exact thing that many people need as they go through the process of planning an event that leads to a major change in their lives.  Weddings, Babies, Company openings, etc.  Problem is, I AM TERRIFIED.  There, I said it.  Whew.  I'm scared, people.  It takes some guts to put something out there that you have been dreaming up for so long.  I have no clue if anyone else will think it is a good idea.  It fits nicely in the box that I have hid it in for so long.  It could fail miserably.  But regardless, I feel that I should follow some instructions that have been given lately:

Pull the trigger, make the leap, feel the fear and do it anyway! Fear exists to make you think. Don't let it paralyze you. -Lara Casey
Over the next few months, I will be feeling my fears, feeding my faith, sharing my ideas with those that mean the most to me both personally and professionally, presenting you with my idea, and asking for lots of feedback.

Feed your fears, and your faith will starve.
Feed your faith, and your fears will. – Max Lucado

This week - in addition to the usual visual yumminess that I will have posted on the blog, I will be posting some of the hard questions I will be asking myself, my answers, and my notes as I prepare for the intensive next week.  I challenge you - as I lay it all out and become vulnerable (the single most terrifying thing for me), that you do the same with something/someone that has been burdening your heart.  As always, the comments on all posts will be open. Or if you desire a more private way to share, contact me: lauren at laurenkellyevents dot com.
Been waiting for the "right moment" to embrace and conquer the hard parts of life, the scary things you sweep under the rug, the uncomfortable topics?  The time is now.  Don't let this year end without taking some time to renew and regroup for a successful 2010.  You deserve it.

                                                                                                 Here's to enjoying the journey!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Words Cannot Express..

How excited and honored I am to have been chosen as a Making Things Happen™Scholarship Recipient.

     I will be attending this intensive in Watercolor, Florida on December 21st.  There, I will have an opportunity to really analyze my business and work through a plan of action for 2010 with the guidance of Lara Casey, editor in chief of Southern Weddings Magazine and owner of Lara Casey Reps, and in the presence of other Wedding Industry colleagues.  I must say, when I heard Lara say my name on her announcement video, (don't worry... I have watched it 8 times and even made my husband watch it to make sure she really said my name) I was immediately engulfed in a world of emotions:  I am so excited it is truly beyond words.  I am incredibly nervous because I know I will be asked some hard questions.  I am honored that Lara read my entry and thought enough of me to encourage me (through this scholarship) to be a part of her intensive. What on earth am I going to wear? But more than anything, I am bursting with anticipation for the opportunity to share my experience with each of you. 

     To be completely honest, my ambition and drive has been running a little low lately.  The ideas and creativity are there but it feels like, at this point, they are trying to get to their destination with a couple of flat tires and an empty gas tank.  I will be taking the time at this intensive to re-fuel and get things back in working order so that I can be of the best service to each of my clients and have a successful 2010.

 Wish me luck on my journey!  I promise to fill you in every step of the way!

Happy Holidays,

Friday, December 4, 2009

{fashionably friday} tis the season

I am officially ready for the holidays!  As I perused through my usual inspiration places as well as I few new ones I came across some wonderful color stories to share with you as you prepare your home for the holidays!

Our first one is mostly silver with some hints of blues, reds, and muted pinks.

{all pictures sans the purse courtesy of: Martha Stewart.  purse: Polyvore}

If your home is full of richer, deeper colors, gold would be the better metallic option for you.

But the kid in me is still in love with the traditional color palate of red & green and can't help but love winter berries.

Here's to hoping your holiday season is merry & bright.  And if you need any last minute help planning your holiday party, don't hesitate to contact us!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Real Wedding: Melissa & John

Meet Melissa & John
Both grads of my dear ole' Baylor University, These two tied the knot on August 1st in Ft. Worth Texas.

The guys were a blast  to work with seeing as how I attended school with about 80% of them.  And a couple of them were repeat offenders in the groomsmen category in weddings that I have coordinated so that made it even more fun.  They definitely brought the party.

But the girls were definitely not there to be outdone.  Add a little sass to a purple dress and you've got it made.
Melissa and her delightful mother really had an incredible eye for details.  You could see it throughout the entire occasion.  From the legacy table to the display of the wedding dresses worn by Melissa's grandmothers and mother, it would be a lie to say that refined taste didn't run in the family.

Remember what I said about bringing the party? The band, Pardi Gras, out of Ft. Worth really got the crowd going!  I don't think there was ever a lull in the dancing.

And their incredible photographer, Rebecca Cash, never missed a beat.

Congratulations, Melissa & John! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!


Monday, November 30, 2009

not your (insert name of overinvolved person here)'s wedding.

Planning a wedding is an emotional undertaking.  One that involves many people, lots of time, intense feelings and uncharted waters.  In my personal experience, I have found that during the event planning process, people migrate to one of these patterns when it comes to dealing with opinions - both their own and their peers.

1. Those who want everyone's opinion (including the strangers in the dress shop) and tend to still be indecisive no matter how much input they have received.

2. Those who cherish the opinion of those close to them and mingle those suggestions with their own, letting the other outsider's interjections be taken with a grain of salt.

3.  Those who know what they want and how they want it.

4.  Those who have no opinion and would rather someone else make the decisions for them.

5.  Those who may have an opinion but because of an outspoken family member, friend or significant other, they succumb to the preferences of others - knowing it is not what they really want.

My position on event planning is this:  Your event is an expression of your life and the special person you have found to share it with.  Your life does involve your friends and family but it by no means is consumed or determined by them.  Nor should your event be.  Keep your opinions, share ideas with a select few people that will be honest but supportive and if there is one (or a few) people that tend to put in more than their fair share, keep in mind that your job is not to please them.

I realize a lot of parents pay for the event.  And for that, I promise, your children are grateful.  This does not, however, give you the right to make all the decisions, make your child feel guilty or moronic because of their choices, or go behind their back to change things.  It does give you the invitation to be a part of an exciting process for an important event in your child's life.  Share your opinions tastefully and support their endeavors.  Add your seasoned wisdom to their ideas but make sure their love story is really being told in a way that the guests can't help but see the couple's personality in.

If you have hired a professional coordinator (I strongly suggest you do) he or she will be able to present springboards for your thoughts and creative ways to express your ideas through your event.  Use them -- and let your coordinator help you to fuse your ideas into a cohesive event.  Don't turn your consultations into a counseling session.  Keep perspective amidst the emotions and take a breath before you let anything (or anyone) get the best of you.  Think before you speak and remember that this is your daughter/mother/son/friend that is going through a very important time in their life- and if you intend to keep that relationship healthy after the event, you must act accordingly now.

Monday, November 23, 2009

{perfect pair} rusty red + fall foliage

I'm not quite ready to jump into Christmas yet - despite Target's premature holiday display and overabundance of Cinnamon candles.  So let's stick to fall foliage for a bit longer.

  {source: Brides Autumnal Event}

   {source: Brides Autumnal Event}
  {source: Brides Autumnal Event}

{source: Fall Flowers}

Nothing like the richness that fall offers.  And yes, those are acorns in the last bouquet.  love.

Friday, November 20, 2009

{fashionably friday} color me kate

dear kate,
why must you tease me so....

what with your bows, ruffles, and fabulous green...

Not to mention, how you play on my affinity for purple.

So keep your buttons to yourself.

and tell your model I'm stealing her shoes.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jewel Tones

I have found my design tendencies leaning towards the jewel tones as of late.  You obviously all know that I am indeed in love with anything plum colored -- and some of the most wonderful color pairings to go with plum include burgundy, rusty orange, marine blue, mustard yellow, and emerald green.  These colors are richly saturated and would add great amounts of warmth to dinner parties, wedding receptions, or your holiday tablescape!

Inspiration below:

{source: InStyle Weddings}

{source: Sasha Souza for Brides}

 {source: Sasha Souza for Brides}

Planning purple nuptials, dinner party, shower, or holiday soiree?  Give us a call, we would love to be involved!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In case you missed it... Cinematic Lifestlyes

To those of you that made it to the party on Friday, thank you so much for coming out and celebrating with us!  We are so excited you were there to share in the premiere of this video.  If you weren't able to make it, I have some good news:  I have embedded the video below for you to see! 

Cinematic Lifestyles from Fleeting Moments Videography on Vimeo.

The best part about this video is that it is a jump-start to a wonderful product that is being offered to you by Fleeting Moments Studio.  You can have your very own Cinematic Lifestyle shoot!  If you act fast and book before December 15th, you get 15% off.  Email Sarah at fleetingmomentsphotography dot com to book!

Thanks again for your continued support.  Enjoy the video!


Monday, November 16, 2009

{perfect pair} seafoam+manzanita

While thumbing through the most recent Real Simple magazine, I ran across this spread put together by Michelle Rago.  This is her take on a decorated Thanksgiving table for under $50.  I love the uncommon color palate illustrated here for the fall season.  But, for a more traditional look, you could always make your tissue flowers out of a bronze or cinnamon colored paper.

Read on below for her how-to and shopping list and make sure to visit her site for the full story.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hope to see you there!

If you are in the Waco area tomorrow evening, or can be, I hope you make it to our Cinematic Lifestyle Featurette party! 

We will have great food, drinks, art, giveaways, and - of course - the premiere of the Featurette.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 2, 2009

bombshell bridesmaids

Ever since Carrie Bradshaw graced the silver screen with her couture bridesmaids, I have been a huge fan of fashion coming down the aisle as it does down the runways at fashion week.  Long gone are the days of taffeta monstrosities, with such talented designers out there focusing their attention on ready-to- wear gowns, we have many options that allow our bridesmaids to stride in style!

Think outside the box for bridemaid's dresses - look in unexpected places - and don't think just because you want something that gives the feel of couture it means that you have to spend what you would for couture.

Did you do something different for your bridesmaids?  Send it to us to be featured!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Product Review: Solemates

Every girl knows that when you are wearing heels, especially stilettos, walking in grass is a chore.  You sink in, get your heels all muddy, and can fall over or twist your ankle very easily.

Seeing as the aisle we were all going to walk down at our wedding was solid grass, I began searching early on for something that would keep all my gorgeous bridesmaids from feeling nervous about their walk!

Enter SoleMates -


For $9.95 a pair, it was one of the least expensive but best things that we bought for the bridesmaids.

We opted for the clear (as you can see on my shoes below).

And for the affordable price tag, we made sure to outfit our mothers and grandmothers as well!


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