{Featured} Real Soiree- Sarah + Laura's Garden Valley Wedding

Happy Tuesday! So excited to be able to finally share this intimate, sweet wedding with you. Featured on Wedding Chicks today, do head over to take a peek at the whole spread- and get some great ideas on how to really personalize your wedding. We'll be back tomorrow with more photos from this mountain destination wedding, so stay tuned!


Xo,

Brandi

On Copying Vs. Inspiration

I know what you're thinking- I get back on the blogging train after a few months hiatus and after a few lighthearted posts I go straight into a serious one. But in reality, it's been on my and some of my industry friends' minds lately. And when I saw an Instagram post from Kathryn at Creme Brands (@kathrynduckett) the other day, which lead me to the source of the conversation,  I decided I wanted to join in on the conversation too.

Let me preface all of this by saying that I believe it's extremely hard to define the fine line between copying and simply being influenced by someone else's work. After all, everywhere we turn there are beautiful pictures on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook...everyday someone is perfectly styling a table in the right light for the perfect 'sneak peek'. I think it's natural to want to hold yourself to a standard, or to admire what someone else is doing. I find this especially hard if you're a perfectionist, like me. I mentioned yesterday that I realized I only have four posts on Instagram in the month of October- and I completely realize it's because most of the photos never made it off my iphone because I just didn't think they were good enough.

But perfectionism aside, I do agree with these ladies that way too much gray area is being taken advantage of. It almost seems the days of "how can I create something different" are replaced with "how can I recreate that". I think being inspired by someone or something is a beautiful launching pad for something even better. I've come to realize over the years that everyone has to find their own way of doing things. Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details (@lovelydetails) even mentioned once that she never looks on Pinterest anymore because no matter what it seems everyone has already done "your great new idea".

So with that, I propose that we have a little tunnel vision. Put your head down and respect your strengths and weaknesses in business, social media, and how you find inspiration. Now I understand why almost all of the wedding designers I've had the opportunity to speak with almost always say they never read wedding blogs- they don't want to become swayed, even subconsciously. It's like the saying goes- be aware of what's going on (trends, competition, etc), but don't become obsessed. For me, I'm realizing that while I still read wedding blogs, I've also added in a copious amount of interior design and home reads....it still keeps me in the creative, and most of all it inspires me to find ways to incorporate those style elements into my work.

I'd love to hear...what have your experiences been with copying, or seeing so much of the same things in your industry on social media? How have you dealt with it? 

Xo,

Brandi


October Insta-Favorites

October was a big month for the Soirettes- we had a myriad of projects and weddings to tend to- who ever said wedding season ended in September?? Looking back through all of the photos, a few things became obvious to me: 1) I really need to be posting on Instagram more. Seriously, 4 posts in October? Not good. 2) Kim is much better at posting on Instagram than I am, and therefore most of these photos are from her account (good job Kimmy!) 3) October was a busy month, and no wonder I'm tired. Here are a few photos from our adventures in October-and now that I've admitted to the world that I'm not so great at publicly documenting things, please check my Instagram for what will be a crazy amount of posts this month!



We started this month off with the sweetest private ranch wedding, ever. Dubbed the "fancy farm wedding", our bride wore a gorgeous pink dress, and lots of gold and sparkle made way into the farm setting. It was also one of the most torrential wind storms ever, too- back up plan in the barn worked well in a split second change of weather!


Baby Hudson is a star. 



Our most favorite project to date- an amazing collaboration with so many great vendors. Our "Come Away With Me" photo shoot introduced a brand new venue in McCall and had so much fall and winter inspiration included- can't wait to share more of this one! And no, those were not Moscow Mules in our cups, but rather warm coffee as we were freezing!


The three musketeers at our last wedding in October


And bonus: this one is actually not on Instagram (surprise), but on my iphone, so I included it anyways. A snapshot of the fall-inspired table we designed for Paperie and Pen's grand opening at the Village at Meridian....it was actually quite a challenge to take the ideas of one design and change it up a bit. Fun nonetheless, and hope you've been able to stop by their amazing new store! 

Happy Wednesday! 

Xo,

Brandi





Office Inspiration

We've been in our office space for a little over a year now (same building since about 2011, but last September we moved into the basement level), and once the whirlwind of wedding season came to a close this year for us, we realized that we haven't done one thing with our office since our holiday party last December. As creatives, that's sad. When we moved downstairs, we were originally faced with two main problems: 1) the lime green and orange walls (thanks, Ampersand Girls! Muah!)  and 2) the added space and the fact that we had exactly one desk, 2 ottomans, and a conference table. The space we moved from was in the ballpark of about 200 sq ft (gotta start somewhere!), and our studio is now likely more in the 1000 sq ft range. We had a lot of ground to cover. So between September and early December of last year, we went on a buying spree to purchase as much as we realistically could (thank you, slow season) to at least make it look less like a 25,000 sq ft warehouse and more like a stylish wedding planning office.

Well fast forward to the end of October 2014 and I've decided it's time to start really personalizing this space. It was such a roller coaster season that styling the office was just the last thing on the list. In fact, I don't think it even made the list. So as I've gotten more in the office planning mood, I've already seen so many inspiring images that maybe one day our studio will grow into, and here are some favorites so far. Happy Monday!

xo,

Brandi




Loving the reclaimed or vintage doors hung barn-style. Would love to do something like this to our extra-wide doorway leading into the main room of our office. 




Via Domaine

Let's talk about all the beauty oozing out of Lauren Conrad's newest Paper Crown office make over. It's the perfect marriage of eclectic and sophistication- this is exactly what we are aiming for in our office. Bring on the personality and style! 




With our great room being so expansive, and well, great, we are doing a little space planning on how to lay it out better. Considering moving all of our work stations into the great room with shared desk spaces to make better use of the area. And the chalkboard from designer Erin Gate's studio? That was totally the inspiration for our giant gold-framed chalkboard. We need to use it now, though...it's so pretty we never want to mark it up! 



Definitely loving the mix of textures and patterns in this one! 

I'll be on a pinning spree over the next few months- feel free to check more inspiration out on our pinterest pages too! 


Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, lovelies!

I've been on a quest for more "me" in my life...and all of these things just spoke to me this week. Here are five of my favorites...what new finds or loves do you have this week? Happy weekend!

Xo,

Brandi


1. Julep Wedding Nails. Loving these shades for a big day | 2. Just feeling a little smitten with this gold pattern by Saffron Avenue | 3. These monogram cups are perfect for the cup of joe in the morning...Soirette Stephanie actually bought me one last year for my baby shower and it has become my favorite cup since | 4. Loving the newest patterns and palettes from Plum Pretty Sugar for BHLDN | These candles from Anthropologie are equal parts cheery and chic.

An August Soiree


{Sometimes, in the midst of planning weddings and parties, we find a spare moment to dream up our own perfect iconic wedding. Here is a look for an August bride I'd love to see....}


The August Soirette.....

  • Is elegant and cool in a form-fitting back-see gown perfect for the garden
  • Loves a succulent over a peony any day
  • Sips on a Watermelon Sangria
  • Isn't afraid to show her soft and daring side with a mix of gold and diamonds....and a little blue for hue
  • Knows that gold heels can be worn after the wedding, too
What are your current favorites for August? 




A Beauty Concierge Program By Soiree

In over 8 years of planning weddings, four of which have been primarily focused on full planning with our clients, a few things have popped up that either scream "it's working", or "this is not working". One of the areas in planning that has always seemed just off to me- both to the client and to us as planners- has been hair and makeup services. In fact, if I've ever seen a bride cry or become frustrated, it's over this- and looking back over the years, managing hair and makeup has been one of the more frustrating areas for us too. After analyzing wedding after wedding, I realized the process tends to breakdown at the point of communication and vision through the beauty team. Most hair and makeup artists are freelancers, so they each have their own process, rates, style and preferred ways of communication. Brides hiring their own beauty pros either rely on referrals or use someone they know- even if they are not necessarily experienced in the unique timeline of a wedding day or managing a large bridal party. On our end, we found we were sometimes working with someone new near every wedding, and it was often like reinventing the wheel every time. It was only when we were working with artists we know and love that the process became seamless and the experience was at its highest for the bride. So we decided we were on to something.



I met with Camilla from Deco Hair and Makeup Design to go over this new idea, and over our many cocktails and conversations, the idea evolved first into creating a network of hand-selected artists, then into an actual concierge program offering a full experience to be pampered as a bride. We wanted a bride to be able to trust immediately that she was in expert hands and most of all we wanted her to be pampered and to be able to create some really great memories on her wedding day. Part of making this happen was ensuring that the process would be painless..no more interviewing several artists, but rather being paired up with the artist that best fit their needs and look for the day. No more comparing rates because each bride would be offered a customized day-rate package that would include her beauty team, travel, and any additional services requested as an easy to understand bundle. And best of all, our brides could rest easy knowing they were working with the best of the best for their day.



So now that we have been talking about this new program, releasing little sneak peeks here and there (we even hinted about it all the way back at our holiday party in December!), we are finally ready (and so thrilled) to officially launch it and offer it to our brides. The artists have been interviewed and selected, and include some of Boise's best such as Deco Hair and Makeup Design, Jamie Verner (Blush By Jamie Rose), and Gabby Marcantonio for Bobbi Brown. As the program progresses we intend to offer other types of services to even further enhance the wedding day or weekend experience, such as spa and nail services.






Currently the beauty concierge program is offered exclusively to Soiree brides as an add-on to your services, and is included in our full planning levels. While these amazing artists are already on our referral list, the program offers an entire wedding day experience with next to no planning on your part (and if all goes well, we may begin offering it as a stand-alone service too..stay tuned!). And we can't wait to hear how you like it! So many thanks to Tana Photography for spending the day with us to snap photos of these beauty pros in action. For more information please contact Soiree at contact@weddingsbysoiree.com.

Xo,

Brandi

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