It was such a privilege to work with these two on planning and designing their nuptials at The Homestead Resort. They wanted a venue that was really able to show off the beauty of Glen Arbor (those views!), that their guests would feel comfortable at, and most importantly- felt like the perfect place for them to say "I do!". Be sure to check out the custom calligraphy pieces created by the bride, and check her out on Instagram @wildflourish! Now onto the images by Curtis Wiklund!
Get ready for some serious eye candy. This day in June at Ciccone Vineyards was full of romantic details that set the stage for a perfect Northern Michigan wedding. From the invitation suite to the surprise sunset at the end of the day, you won't want to miss these images by Cory Weber!
I was completely one of those twelve year old girls who cut up magazines and created collages of cell phones, lipstick, ballerinas with perfect form, and the word "sexy" and glued it all together, stuck it on my wall. Back then it was for fun, but I can see now how creating those collages helped me refine what I loved and wished for. As an adult, I've been creating vision boards on Pinterest for several years now. You can see 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and now... 2017!
It's fun to see how my dreams and tastes have changed. The constants: family first, inspiring work, energetic social life, travel, healthy living. This year, in my quest to rise, my hope is that these other dreams will naturally follow. For the first year EVER, I started out January 1st without anything I wanted to change about myself.
I woke up on January 1st with no weight I "needed" to lose, no credit card debt, no goal to buy a home (ZING), no resolving to create a healthy boundary for work, no urge to have another baby, or to plan a specific trip, or to grow my hair out or, or, or.
Accept yourself, and expect more from yourself. -- Gretchen Rubin
How freeing is that! I'm excited to rise to the next level this year. To find more flow in my creative work, to get to the next level in with my fitness goals, to put my phone down more often. I don't know about you but I see zero social media in that vision board!
So, CHEERS! To squeezing more life out of everyday.
Good Morning! Reporting here from my dining room table at 7:00 am. How is your new year going? For me, I definitely feel the renewing energy that comes with January 1st. In the past, I've done every right of passage for the new year. Resolutions, vision boards, letters to my future self, extremely intense goal setting with tracking, a word of the year, and simply defining the values I want to operate from. Clearly, I am big on self development and genuinely find joy in this process.
Some may say that resolving to make a change or set a goal arbitrarily on January 1st is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure, but I disagree. My personal view is that the tradition of starting a new year is a gift. For a clean slate, fresh start, new page. I don't know about you, but I am always interested in an extra chance to extend grace to myself.
I usually start thinking about my goals for the new year at my birthday (November 20th). It gives me a trial period for my new goals and gives me a jumpstart on the year. :) A few weeks ago a friend asked if I had any specific goals for the year. For once in my life, I said, "I actually only have one goal! To wake up earlier than my kids every day". If this strikes you as funny, take a look at the below quote.
"Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become" ---Jim Rohn
Let's look at that again. Success is something you attract by the person you become. I realized this year more than ever that taking care of myself and devoting TIME to my personal development was the key to the improvement of my business. As a mom of two little guys, time is hard to carve out. A few years ago I resolved to wake up earlier and I loved it. But then, I was pregnant, and tired, and then wedding season, and then, and then... you get the picture.
My word for 2017 is rise. I want to literally rise, earlier everyday. Figuratively, I want to rise to the person I want to be in every area of my life. What better time that 6:00 am to spend 90 minutes doing things that will directly improve my well being? For the past two weeks I've been rolling out of bed around 6:00, brushing my teeth and heading straight to the coffee grinder. You may remember me posting about The Miracle Morning. More than just a book, it's a program with a simply designed morning routine (the SAVERS). I do not follow this exclusively, but most days I incorporate all six activities.
Here's what my morning looks like currently. But unlike my prior, my rigid self, I am open to changing this as the morning unfolds.
1. Brush teeth, get warm clothes on and brew coffee. Drink a giant glass of water. Turn on a playlist on spotify. I can't stand a silent house!
2. Fill out the Five Minute Journal. I write the best things that happened the day before, 3 things I'm grateful for, what would "make the day great", and my personal affirmations. This knocks out "scribing & affirmations" for the Miracle Morning Routine. (p.s. I used to use the 5 minute journal app, but I have a strong preference for the physical journal!)
3. After I do my affirmations, I pour the coffee and get seated for a guided meditation. I currently am using aaptiv, but there are a million guided meditation apps. I only meditate for about 10 minutes. Currently, I suck at this but that clearly means I need to do it! When I put music on, I connect to my bose speaker. When it's time for the meditation I simply switch the app. The simplicity of it makes this much less of a hurdle!
4. Visualization. Admittedly, this is something I am still getting comfortable with. Visualizing yourself achieving your most coveted goals is scary, actually! Remember this quote? BYE. It's perfect and I am obsessed with it.
it is our light not our darkness that most frightens usOur deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?Actually, who are you not to be?You are a child of God.Your playing small does not serve the world.There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that otherpeople won't feel insecure around you.We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.—Marianne Williamson
5. I read for as long as I want to, or can from a non-fiction book. I love non-fiction so this is so fun for me! Here is what I've been reading lately. :)
Then, the kids wake up and chaos ensues! No, really. Remy just woke up so I'm going to hit publish and change a diaper. Love and peace to all!
The first rule of blogging is never to say, "oh my goodness it has been so long since I've written on this blog!". But hey, it's true. Hi everyone! I've felt a subtle tug to return to writing, to return to sharing more of the behind the scenes of my life and entrepreneurial journey with you all. In the last few months I have had several new friends (clients, team members and acquaintances) comment on how they first discovered my work and story through this blog. It's been about two years (!) since I've posted anything personal on this site but I'm really looking forward to finding my footing again.
If you're new to this space, welcome! My name is Rachel, I am a wedding planner, designer, mom, wife, red wine drinker, people-pleasing introvert, aspiring morning person, vegan, dancer, self-development junkie, and hopefully your BFF. I founded Sincerely, Ginger back in 2011, with not much else than a dream. A dream to spend my days serving engaged couples, sharing what little I knew about weddings and design. A dream to have more time with my soon-to-be-born son, Rowan. A dream to build a legacy for myself that was focused and driven by the things that matter to me.
I thought it would be fun to start this new series by reflecting on 2015 and 2016, looking at past goals telling you about my new ones. A little preview... it's been so much more of a wild ride than I ever could have imagined. Amazing clients, financial success, recognition in my field, a new baby, but also there has been tragedy, illness, client relationships that haven't been what I expected, nights of working where I didn't see my kids or husband, and a serious bout of anxiety. It hasn't all been perfect, but it's been joyful. Thank you for your encouragement. I am 100% positive I couldn't do it without you.
Thanks again, Alyssa! Can't wait to see what magic happens June 27th. :)
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This week I'm spending some time with my in-laws, taking naps, drinking wine, and of course baking my favorite dinner rolls (seriously, so good. from here.) Wanted to pop over to the blog to let you all know about my first television appearance!
Last week I celebrated my birthday and the next day was invited to share tips and tricks for hosting Thanksgiving. It was so much fun to put together seven affordable projects using natural elements and things you likely already have around the house. Live TV isn't my strong suit, please be gracious.
Hope you have a wonderful holiday. Grateful for each of you!
What a treat to have Heather & Reb's wedding featured on Style Me Pretty! They had a picture-perfect day on Arbutus Lake, complete with a rowboat exit and hand made details by the bride infused every where you looked. Was delighted to have Cory & Megan from Weber Photography by my side! See below for more photos from the day and here for the feature on Style Me Pretty.
Hi, friends! Wanted to pop over the blog today to let you know that this editorial shoot is being featured over on Wedding Sparrow today! You all know I have a deep love for film photography and beautiful flowers, this shoot was a dream to work on with Weber Photography, Bloom Floral Design and Tableau Events. And that dress from Kendal Leonard Designs? Simply perfect.
Run and chase your dreams, friends. Don't look back. Life and love are abundant.
Last week, I carved out an evening to officially welcome my summer interns! We celebrated and got to know one another better over dinner at 9 Bean Rows in Suttons Bay (definitely one of my favorites!). Even with only two events behind me this year, my interns are indispensable.
At our dinner I went over the history of SGW, our brand story, my goals and a huge piece of my heart. It's huge for me that these girls know that they are valued and appreciated.
More than anything, I wanted these girls to know that their primary "duty" this summer was to learn and ask questions. I can already tell that they will follow through. I'm sure you will see these lovely faces throughout the season!
My internship with an event planner in college was transformative in my journey. How amazing that I might play a tiny part in someone's path to a meaningful career?
We definitely had some amazing food and wine. Organic Cabernet? Rabit Ragu? Warm olives marinated in citrus olive oil? Earl Grey Panna Cotta? Oh yes we did.
I'll end this post with dessert, like most good things, and a huge thank you to my friend Courtney from The Compass Points Here for joining us for dinner! It was amazing having you there to document and share your expertise. We are grateful!
Oh Happy Day! These past few weeks have been a blur: so many flowers, bottles of wine, crazy dance moves and late nights. The wedding industry is a blast but truly emotional, one of a kind in my opinion. This past weekend I had the pleasure of designing flowers and coordination for dear Amanda. Both Amanda and Justin, and their families, are just a joy to be around. So blessed to have one another. Here's a few sneak peeks from Instagram!
On Tuesday I celebrated the beginning of wedding season with four incredible interns and my friend Courtney who took some amazing images. I can't wait to introduce you to each of these ladies and tell you more about the dinner we had at 9 Bean Rows. But for now, a little preview of some of my favorite things: wine, cheese, flowers, and community.
Oh my goodness. This weekend was so much fun celebrating Heather & Reb in the woods. Perfect weather, nice people and some seriously smooth dance moves. Here are few sneaks of the day from Instagram. To see more, come on over to #heatherandrebsittinginatree. :)
Happy Memorial Day! This week will be busy for us here at SGW prepping to welcome our 2014 summer interns in style on Tuesday, style a spring shoot on Wednesday, and prep for another amazing celebration of love next weekend!
To two of the kindest and most in love people I've ever met, Happy Anniversary! I can hardly believe it was one year ago Amy and Jon were married in the most picturesque setting in Elk Rapids. The rain cleared for the most beautiful ceremony and friends and family danced the night away. Thank you for letting me be a small part of your love story, here's to forever!
Back from our East Coast vacation and feeling just enough refreshed to make it to wedding season. I've come back to little stacks of paperwork and the opportunity to do my best work for my brides. With wedding season coming at full speed, I'm finding the need more than ever for balance and boundaries. Yesterday, while browsing Pinterest, I came across this blog, and fell in love with this set of images. Natural but refined. Old but bright. Calm but still encouraging.
Happy Spring, all of you. I hope your season is filled to top with fresh flowers and coffee dates in the rain.
Kalin was one of my brides that was an instant bestie. I remember our first coffee date at Morsels and feeling like I had known her for a lifetime. Kalin and Matt live in a sweet farmhouse and wanted their engagement photos to show the natural beauty of the area, even in winter! These two are so special to me. Be on the lookout for their amazing wedding this summer on Walloon Lake! A big hug to Tom from Two Twisted Trees for allowing me to share his amazing work. Can't wait to work alongside you in August, Tom!
Kalin, you are a babe and seeing you on the journey marrying the love of your life is such a joy. Matt, you know I love you! Honestly you guys, we're all going on a double yoga date on Friday. That's much we love each other. :) (or maybe it really just shows how much Isaiah and Matt love Kalin and I!)
Anyone else around here feeling the winter blues? Feeling stressed or like you're working so hard and "nothing is happening"? This winter I have been dealing with a lot of that, and while it's tough to be candid about it sometimes I think it's good to be honest. Recently I was also told by my doctor after extensive blood work that I have a sluggish thyroid, low vitamin D levels, low iron, and too much stress. It was a reality check to hear from my doctor that if I didn't manage my stress level on a daily basis, no nutrition based solutions would help my tiredness and anxiety. The current Rx is a blend of micronutrients, rest, and things that make me happy.
I've been doing my best to "activate my parasympathetic" as she calls it. :) To me this means boundaries with work, time to laugh with Rowan hands free, dates with my handsome husband, deep breaths and flowers. Lots and lots of flowers. :) It will be a process to figure out my balance between working hard (because I love it so much), and taking breaks to breathe and unplug a bit. Here are some things I've been doing so far, if you're interested! I think that no matter your situation, we all need to spend more time focusing on self care. Self care is not selfish, as so many of my closest tell me. :) You can follow along on Instagram at #rachelshappyplan to see the things I'm (trying) to do each day.
1. Rising early. I purchased the e-book, Early to Rise to help me with this goal! I think a major roadblock I was having was feeling pressure to exercise first thing in the morning, when I really do much better exercising in the afternoon. I've been rising around 6:30 (a far cry from 8:30) and giving Rowan his morning bottle, then heading back to bed with my coffee and a book. No work, just play.
2. Letting go of goals. It's hard for me to do, as you know I'm a big goal setter. Recently I let go of my goal to run a half marathon in June, and just let others fall away. It's okay to let go of goals when they no longer serve you.
3. Expressing Gratitude. As part of my rising early habit, I fill out my gratitude journal! I use an app (The 5 Minute Journal). It's a transformative practice to write out what you're grateful for and what will make this day go well before anything is in my way. Before bed, I write what good things happened with a photo. It's great for a visual person like me.
4. Powering down. I am slowly reading Hands Free Mama and experiencing the power of being more unplugged when playing with Rowan, cooking, or working. Less scrolling on my phone and more stacking blocks with my little one. Less Netflix, more talks with my husband. Sign me up.
5. Exercising only for fun. Part of the reason I gave up my goal to run a half marathon in June was because I was feeling so much pressure to run long distances that I wouldn't exercise at all! How silly is that. On Saturday we went on a family fun run and I've been enjoying daily yoga.
6. Asking for help. SO hard for me. But when I know there are things that I have to do and I'm just straight up overwhelmed, I'm getting better at asking for help. On Saturday I had a trillion meetings and I asked my friend to watch Rowan for a few hours, she happily did, just like I would have! My in-laws are always willing to help if we ask and know we wouldn't take advantage of that. Rowan's starting daycare and it was uncomfortable for me to admit to Isaiah that it was something I needed.
7. Planning a vacation. I won't be able to do this all the time, but right now we are excited about our trip out East! Isaiah and I are planning surprise activities for our mini trip to Boston.
8. Not pushing my limits. Giving clients realistic deadlines is helpful in so many ways. I would stay up all night designing floor plans and reorganizing spreadsheets, but I don't have to. They don't expect that and it's not a balanced way to work.
9. Prioritizing and writing it down. Most nights I tend my to-do list by migrating unfinished tasks to the next day and prioritizing. I sleep better knowing exactly what I have to do the next day.
10. Spending time with friends. Simple and easy, yet so easy not to do. Yesterday I called up my best mama friends for a spur of the minute brunch and they said YES! I was so pumped. We're all so busy that it's easy to forget how nice it is to have some girl time. Grateful.
Maintaining happiness is a work in progress but it's the most rewarding work. Guess what? Since I've set more boundaries and let go a bit, my business hasn't started to fail, I haven't gained 10 pounds, I'm not spending thousands of dollars. I've noticed in a short time my clients starting to respect me even more, my family rising to the occasion, my spirit more open and generous, and my metabolism getting back to normal. I've been working on a routine that works instead of holding myself to old expectations of "perfect".
It's Sunday night and I've organized my week in my planner, drafted 40 e-mails, written out my to-do list, and blogged this post. It took me about an hour (or the time we would've spent watching Netflix and eating gelato a month ago). When I reflect on the harder weeks, they were the weeks that I wasted time feeling overwhelmed instead of doing something proactive.
Hope you all have the happiest week ever! Fill it with things you love, and nothing else.
Hooray, it's April! You may have noticed that I skipped my March goals, and in fact I'm a day late for April, but I say progress not perfection. Am I right? How was your March? Mine was busy and honestly filled with sickness and not a lot of fun. It's astounding to me, as always, that we are already through with the first quarter of 2014. Rowan is almost 10 months old. Wedding season is on it's way. This year has been fruitful in more ways than one. Counting my blessings and trusting that our hard work and dedication is paying off each day.
In April, my focus will primarily be on work for SGW. We are headed to the East Coast for what I'm calling my "Sincerely Ginger Spring Break" for the first 10 days of May and I want to be able to enjoy that much needed break but still exceed my client's expectations. For that to happen, it will take some planning! Rowan is going to continue with daycare 1 day per week, and Isaiah will have 1 or 2 days per week off, which will give me 2-3 focused work days each week.
- Continue to work on perfecting my morning routine by rising early (6:30), reading and pouring into myself before my day starts.
- Start each weekday by emptying my inbox, logging into client management software and identifying my most important things by writing them down in my Simplified Planner.
- Donate and sell a bunch of clothes and things to lighten up my closet for spring.
- Launch my new monthly client newsletter to keep in touch about behind the scenes happenings even further.
- Finish reading Early to Rise, Hands Free Mama, and Worth Every Penny.
- Launch a new little personal project Mid-April (coming soon!)
- Plan Rowan's Birthday Party and send out invitations! (AHH!)
- Shoot my office for the blog with Courtney (hooray!)
It will be a full and fulfilling month ahead. So excited to head downstate for the weekend with one of my brides, enjoy countless cappuccinos at Morsels and prepare for my first few weddings and a spring editorial shoot in May. Desperately hoping for some warmer weather so I can take Rowan out for walks with friends. Oh that's another thing, more friend time in April! Do you set monthly goals? Tell me about them below or send me a link to your blog! Would love to encourage you this month.
Last night I was at a family friend's house, Mary, with her and my mother in law. Cultivating relationships with women in other generations is so important to me, and these ladies make it so easy with their openness. I am always amazed at their generosity and how easily they give heartfelt advice. Over my third glass of red wine, I started to talk about the reality of my day to day life, the stress, my business, being a mom, and just how challenging the balancing act was. Diane (my mother in law, who is honestly the most supportive woman I've ever been blessed to have in my life), reminded me, for not the first time, to recognize the gravity and the intensity of everything I'm doing right now. Caring for Rowan, running a blossoming business from home, balancing self care, friendships, and a household. It's true. It's intense, but it's everything I've hoped for.
Last year I wrote out my business goals for 2013. Reading those back today I was really excited and surprised at the transformation this little venture has gone through in the past year. My father in law said to me that he was skeptical about the viability of this business at first, and I'm sure he wasn't alone. He then followed up with such a nice compliment about how he can't believe how much progress I've made in a year. I don't say any of this to toot my own horn, please know that! I do believe in recognizing a job well done and boosting my confidence when things feel hard. It's easy to forget all the good things happening.
So, let's review the goals, shall we?
1. Create an amazing wedding experience for Amy & Jonathon in May. On the water, incredible florals and some of the nicest people I've met to this day. I can't wait for their celebration. Yes! This wedding was amazing. I was super pregnant, but it was such a great accomplishment. I can't believe we're coming up to their anniversary already! Did you see the post?
2. Write my business plan. I've been working on it for a while because I want it to work for me, and not be homework. It'll be very detailed and outline every aspect of the business ranging from finances to client experiences and marketing. I want to outline my packages once and for all and write meaningful and thorough content for the website. Hooray! I don't exactly have a business plan, but I have streamlined things SO MUCH and have a clear understanding of my brand and finances. I outlined my offerings clearly, designed a website and it's all full of content. :)
3. Book two more weddings for this fall. There are a few leads I've been working with and trying to figure if they'll be the right fit. If it's meant to be, it will be! This is an amazing testament to setting goals and knocking them out of the park. When I set this goal I was so scared. So so so scared. I did work another wedding in 2013 and am fully booked for 2014 (12 weddings). The best part is, I feel deeply connected to all of my couples and truly like we are a good fit. So blessed by this.
4. Quit my day job, once and for all. This is a big one because my time is so valuable. The more time I can put into my work the better quality it is. Without the 9-5, I won't be as mentally exhausted to work hard when I'm home. I am open to working at a part time job that is more fulfilling. This might be the most amazing of all. Quit my job at the bank May 31st, and never looked back. All sorts of craziness happened with a PT job, but I am so happy to say that I'm working from home full time. Spending Rowan's first 9 months with him was so meaningful to me.
5. Host two editorial/ inspirational shoots. This is multi-purpose. I envision these events as a way to connect with other vendors in my area and also to showcase my work and build my portfolio so that I have some solid content on my website. I want to show future clients that I am good at what I do! Check! These were crucial to getting my website up. You can see the first one here (featured on Wedding Chicks), from August, and the next over here, which was recently featured on Style Me Pretty! Hosted a third early this year and am planning a spring shoot that will make you fall on the floor for this May. Yay!
6. Build a website. I don't know at all how this will play out without a web designer, because I'm not one at all. But I did invest in a logo designed by Chelsea (oh my deer), and will hopefully have some good content by the time this transpires. With my business name change, I got a new logo designed which I adore, by Juliet Lapham! I spend this fall designing my website with Squarepace and am so very pleased with it.
7. Practice floral design so I am comfortable offering full service florals by the time of my official launch. I've partnered with a local farm and florist who is amazing to work with. So excited about this! Oh goodness yes. I've become more and more in love with flowers as time has passed. I am currently only offering floral design to my clients who are also planning/coordination clients. Flowers are so life-giving. More of this please.
8. Connect with local vendors. Making it a goal to sit down and meet with the primary vendors in the area and put together a resource guide for myself and future clients. Luckily we have some of the nicest people around, so this hopefully won't be too tough if I get over my fear of putting myself out there. Cue the happy tears. I was so scared about this. I was hanging on to so much fear about putting myself out there but I am so glad I set this goal. The relationships I've made in this industry are some of my most cherished.
9. Finish my office. On our tight budget this will be tough, but I live with a handy husband who's pretty good with his tool box. This space is so important to me. Our house is small and we are sacrificing a guest room and a TV room for a nursery and an office, which I am grateful for. I want to make this space functional and beautiful! I love my office!! Isaiah built me some amazing furniture, I bought a new computer and this space is so me. Planning to shoot the space soon as a little time capsule. :) Here's a little peak, if you're curious!
10. Launch Occasions Event Design... officially! Can't contain my excitement on this one. December 1st, 2013 is my launch date. It's a really long ways a way, but good things take time and patience. I'm giving myself lots of time to finish goals 1-9 (and have a baby too) so I don't get too stressed. More details to follow, but it will be amazing. Hooray! As you know, I changed my business name to Sincerely, Ginger Weddings, in my grandmother's namesake and it feels so right. I launched in September and never looked back. Praises.
This was a good reminder for me that goals are helpful, they give me a vision for the future! I am planning to do a "part 2" post on my business goals for the rest of 2014. I am so proud of this businesses! Are you a goal setter? Leave your link below! xoxo