Featured: Style Me Pretty | Photography: Almond Leaf Studios | Coordination: MerryMe Events | Styling: Kelly Lenard | Floral Design: Kelly Lenard | Wedding Dress: Houghton Bride | Cake: Adam’s Cake Shop | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: Childhood Home – Private Residence | Reception Venue: Oscar-Morse Peonies | Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August | Catering: Matterhorn | Hair: Jennifer Lewallen | DJ: EA Pro Music | Groom’s Attire: J.Crew | Bridal Belt: xLittlebee | Bridal Boutique: Alice In Ivory | Bride’s Hair Piece: jennifer behr | Bride’s ring: Satomi Kawakita | Flower Girls: Zara | Rentals: Burns | Ring Bearer: Zara | Wildflower Seeds: Etsy
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From the Bride…
I met Alex through mutual friends about four years ago. We hit it off instantly and talked to each other for the majority of the night. His intellectual curiosity and sense of humor are what initially drew me in and I have been smitten ever since! He proposed to me in our apartment kitchen on a Friday night with my dream ring from Satomi Kawakita. The ring is extremely simple and not your typical engagement ring by any means, but it is exactly what I wanted. The beauty and meaning behind the simplicity of the ring is perfect. We had friends over for champagne and dreamed of things to come!
My parents have maintained a beautiful garden at my childhood home of about 22 years. Growing up, the garden was a place to hang out and nibble on berries, pick flowers, and just enjoy the outdoors. It is a place I hold dear and when Alex and I got engaged it was instantly my ideal venue for our ceremony. Aligning our reception venue with the lush, dreamy, and nostalgic vibe of my parents’ garden was key for me. Luckily, a generous family friend offered up her peony farm, Oscar-Morse Peonies, which was a dream come true. We visited the farm as the sun was setting and I knew it would be perfect. I let the venues essentially guide the rest of my decision-making.
For floral design, we were lucky enough to have peonies from both Oscar-Morse and my parents’ garden. Having watched my parents’ peonies bloom yearly as a child, it meant so much to see them in bouquets and arrangement on our big day. Beyond the sourcing of the flowers, Kelly Lenard was a genius with the design! I wanted lush, soft, muted colors along with some blush/pale yellow/ivories. My dress was a color called “Butter” so I wanted some yellows in my bouquet to complement that. I also wanted a bit of an edge to the all the softness, which is where we integrated smoke bush, Do-Tell peonies, and rex begonia leaves. She executed on the vision flawlessly.
I wanted my dress to be chic, not fussy, and I wanted it to be Houghton Bride. When I saw Alice in Ivory was holding a Houghton trunk show I instantly booked an appointment. I am entirely obsessed with what Houghton has been doing in the bridal industry, and while Katharine Polk’s designs can lean a bit more “City Bride,” I *loved* every dress I tried on and ultimately chose the Kate Dress. It was the perfect fit for me and the garden wedding. To make it a little more ethereal, I added the Jennifer Behr Coronet and a thin belt. For bridesmaids I wanted a more formal spin on the slip-dress and Joanna August’s Kimi dress was a perfect fit.
The day was absolutely perfect and I cannot thank our vendors enough for all that they did to make it run seamlessly! The day went by faster than I ever could imagine and Almond Leaf Studios did a great job at capturing the day and emotion. We’ll look back on these pictures for years to come and think of what a happy day it was!
Okay, let’s rewind…
I lived so much of my life focused on the things that I or the world perceived to be missing (money, jobs, relationships, etc.) that I’ve been programmed to make myself wrong before I ever give myself the grace to be right. From the days I was just a child striving to do everything right all the way to the days I started navigating entrepreneurship and parenthood, I’ve looked for the lack… for those things that are missing.
I’ve constantly told myself that, even when I’m incredibly proud of myself, that there’s some undercurrent of “I should have done that earlier” or “I missed the mark on that.” I spent years having an incredibly difficult time celebrating myself, and I spent even more years than that refusing to celebrate myself, too.
It took a big toll on me — and if you’re like me or a lot of my fellow entrepreneurs and students, it’s taken a big toll on you, too… even if you don’t realize it.
But, here’s the thing: our subconscious is the smartest thing about us, and it’s tuned in to each detail of our day. And, even though our subconscious is brilliant, we can trick it by constantly telling it that we are living the most beautiful, magical, wonderful lives in existence.
Where bragging fits into your daily self-care
I’d imagine that, even reading this, you’re feeling quite a bit of resistance around the word bragging — right? Most of us grew up in that pattern of lack and negativity by being told that bragging was selfish and that it was a practice we shouldn’t make a habit of.
But, I’ve gotta tell you… bragging isn’t selfish. In fact, it will, quite literally, change your life. And, of course, I don’t mean bragging to the world that your life is better than yours. I just mean bragging to yourself that your life is so much better than you could ever have imagined.
I mean bragging that you woke up and the sun was twinkling outside of your window.
I mean bragging that you managed to pick the absolute perfect playlist to work to today.
I mean bragging that you booked your biggest client yet.
I mean bragging that you feel good about yourself today.
I mean bragging that you don’t feel so good about yourself today, but that you showed up anyways.
I mean that, every single day — without fail — you speak out loud the things you can brag about, and that you stop making your life and your story and your experiences wrong. That you celebrate them.
So, here’s your bragging challenge…
For the next 30 days, I want you to vocalize the things you’re proud of, grateful of, and happy about — and I want you to brag about them. Even when you don’t want to, even when you’re exhausted, and even when you don’t feel particularly proud or grateful or happy, I want you to brag.
(Psst… when 30 days passes, you won’t want to stop.)
This is something I’ve been doing a lot on Voxer with my business besties, and it’s been so incredibly freeing to let people witness me in these moments of wild gratitude and thankfulness… even for the tiniest things, and even when I don’t want to speak them out loud at all. If you’re not comfortable bragging out loud to someone else (though I’d challenge you to ask yourself why), that’s okay! Voice note your brags, journal them, or simply meditate through them on a morning walk.
This intentional bragging breaks you out of the cycle of constantly noticing the negative. Bragging — out loud — shocks you out of the hyperawareness you’re likely feeling of all the things you’ve done “wrong,” and triggers you to jump straight into gratitude instead. And, here’s a reminder: these do not have to be huge, big, massive brags, either. There are some days where I brag that I didn’t work out today, and I was okay with it; that I got to snuggle with my 2 year-old at 3:00 AM; that the Japanese maple outside of my window is rustling in the wind; that I raised my rates and stuck to them, that I’m simply alive.
Because, my friend, that simple act of being alive is worth so much more than we give it credit for. It deserves a brag.
So brag that you’re alive today. And then brag tomorrow, too.