A Love That Nurtures - as seen in The Southeastern Bride

With every relationship comes wisdom. Wisdom of oneself, another, and the two together.  A friend once shared a "tripod theory of love" with me, and it's transformed how I perceive relationships - both of the romantic and platonic nature, but particularly in marriage.  In this "love tripod", one leg represents yourself, the second your partner, and the third your togetherness. For the tripod to stand strong, all three legs must be rooted firmly.  How do you keep your personal "leg" rooted? By asking yourself 3 things: What is my personal mission? What are my goals to accomplish this calling? How do I become the woman/man I wish to be? If each partner tends to these questions, their legs will be rooted. But what about the third "togetherness" leg, you ask? This is where the good stuff comes in. I believe that in order to keep a relationship strong, each partner must then ask the same questions to each other. How can I encourage your personal mission? How can I nurture your goals? How can I help you become the man/woman you wish to be? 

"Love is to reveal the beauty of another person to themselves." - Jean Vanier

Through this intentional questioning, a beautiful balance of self care, selfless nurturing, and enduring love is formed.  The intimate wedding below celebrates a love like this - both between Harlow + Theo and their dearest friends. An inspiring team of vendors worked together to create this beautiful imagery, and I give them all my gratitude and admiration. Wedding "friendors", thank you for all that you do to encourage the love we all dream of. (don't miss the credits listed at the bottom of this post!) A special thank you to Cheryl-Anne of Kast Events and AJ of AJ Dunlap Photography, and Casey Davis for publishing it in the beautiful pages of The Southeastern Bride.

January is beginning and our minds are turning forward to the year ahead. As we journey into this new year, may we remember to care for our own aspirations and also nurture those of others. 

 

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Publication: The Southeastern Bride  |  Venue: The Parlour at Manns Chapel  |  Photographer: A.J. Dunlap Photography  |  Planning & Design: Kast Events  |  Cake & Macaroons: The Cupcake Shoppe  |  Furniture & Decor: Greenhouse Picker Sisters  |  Florals: Serendipity Designs  |  Linens: Cottage Luxe  |  Paper Suite: Sage Paper Co.    |  Hair: Parlor North Raleigh  |  Makeup: Michelle Clark  |  Bridal Gown: Truvelle Bridal  |  Bridesmaids Gowns: Tre Bella  |  Bow Ties: High Cotton Ties  |  Cheese Display: Goat Lady Dairy  |  Ring: Trumpet & Horn  |  Ring Box: The Mrs. Box  |  Ribbon: Adorn Company  |  Monogrammed Plates: Sasha Nicholas 

Sugar Euphoria's Grand Opening Soirée

A few weeks ago I had the honor of working with Randi of Sugar Euphoria on her Grand Opening Soirée! Despite the light rain earlier that day, the only sprinkles that evening were found on petite cupcakes and hand-painted table runners. The light-filled bakery was brimming with Randi's closest friends, colleagues, and family. Stunning coral charm peonies topped tables and cakes. Delicious sweets & drinks were labeled with golden calligraphy and splashes of watercolor. It was a beautifully curated evening, celebrating an even more beautiful story. Congratulations on seeing your vision come true, Randi! If you find yourself in need of a dessert table at your event, or even an afternoon treat, I wholeheartedly recommend Sugar Euphoria.

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Sweets + Venue: Sugar Euphoria
Photography: Megan Kerns Photography
Event Planning + Styling: Stephanie Scholl Events
Paper Goods + Signage: Sage Paper Co.
Florals: Meristem Floral
Rentals: CE Rental

A Love Story for the Ages - As Seen On Glamour and Grace

Last December I was a part of a shoot that has become near and dear to my heart. I remember that day so clearly - the laughter and conversations between the team, the pouring rain outside, the table covered in olive branches, dahlias and chocolate cosmos, and mostly just the feeling of affirmation that  'yes, this is why I started working in this industry.' There is so much beauty & grace not only in the world of creatives, but of marriage. This shoot represents that deep-rooted, heritage-driven, timeless kind of love. From a time weathered book of family love letters, to her vintage engagement ring, to the poignant message behind e.e. cummings' poem "i carry your heart" - the love story of this couple is one for the ages. (and just to show how deep this love runs - TJ proposed to Shelby just a few days after the shoot!)

Stephanie of Stephanie Scholl Events is the planner & stylist behind everything you are about to see. I could write a zillion blog posts about my admiration for her as not only an industry professional, but as a woman of joy. Her heart, y'all. I'll keep it short and sweet by saying that if you ever need a compassionate friend to share in your ups & downs, a second eye to help you with design, or a professional who knows how to make things happen, reach out to Stephanie. She's your girl.

Amber of Amber Hatley Photography was the beauty behind the camera and the second member of the dream team that pieced this story together. (if you missed my last post about her, scroll back and read about the exciting season she's in!) 

The vintage 1887 Parlour Chapel served as the perfect backdrop for this occasion. The original stained glass windows and pine floor mixed with the new Carrara marble floors and delicate chandeliers created a timeless scene.

This print I lettered of e.e. cummings' poem "i carry your heart" has since become one of my favorite pieces. That, along with Jessica of Simply Jessica Marie's matching watercolor backdrop! 

The invitation suite was inspired by Nikelle of Wylde Flowers' floral choices for the day. Rich tones of plum and aubergine, paired with olive branches and berries. A whimsical taste of brush calligraphy and soft deckled edges.

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I will never tire of delicately hung chair signs, especially when draped with cascading eucalyptus. (If only we had some photos of me and Nikelle laughing as we tried to get the ribbons and branches to balance just right!)

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It was an honor and joy to have this romantic shoot featured on Glamour and Grace. To see more images and details from the day, be sure to click through to their article!  Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this day. As Stephanie said herself, "it takes a village to bring a vision to life, and every single person who was a part of this editorial was phenomenal!"

Photography: Amber Hatley | Planning + Design + Styling: Stephanie Scholl Events | Venue: The Parlour Chapel | Florals: Wylde Flowers | Paper Goods: Sage Paper Co. | Ceremony Backdrop: Simply Jessica Marie | Candlesticks: Greenhouse Picker Sisters | Hair + Makeup: LULA Hair + Makeup | Dress: Truvelle | Jewelry: Gemma Jewels Shop | Ribbons: Adorn Company | Ring: Trumpet + Horn | Jewelry Box: The Mrs Box | Cakes: Big Bundts Bakery | Model: Pretty in the Pines

Hatley Party of 3

In honor of this beautiful lady's birthday today, I'm sharing Amber's special announcement shoot by Forage and Film. Amber and I worked together last winter on a styled photoshoot (which I'll be sharing on here soon!) and have since become friends. The desk I'm sitting at now actually used to be hers! Amber's smile and sweet heart are such a joy to be around. On top of that, she's the incredibly talented photographer behind Amber Hatley Photography. If you're looking for a wedding or lifestyle photographer in the RDU area, she's your girl!!

So, fast forward to a sunny day in April. My heart skipped a beat as I opened my inbox and saw a message from her. She and Mitchell are expecting their first child!! Baby Hatley is due in November, and in true photographer fashion, they had planned a darling photoshoot with Forage and Film to make the big announcement. They asked me to letter a sign for the shoot, and of course I said yes! 

The shoot took place in NC State University's green and luscious JC Raulston Arboretum - the dreamiest setting for such a stunning couple.

Not only are they a gorgeous couple, but I can feel their genuine love radiate straight through the lens and into my studio. Does anyone else feel that as they scroll through these photos?

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Thank you to Nicole of Forage and Film for capturing these moments so beautifully, and thank you to Amber and Mitchell for allowing me to be a small part of your big announcement! 

To order a hand-painted announcement of your own, send me a note me here. I'd love to work with you!

With joy,
Alexa

 

 

Mother's Day Gift-Wrapping Tips & Giveaway with Cottage Hill

Hello friends!

I'm so excited to share with you a special Mother's Day partnership I've been working on with my friend Melinda, founder of the boutique gifting studio Memento & Muse! Melinda approached me a couple of months ago with a full heart, excitedly sharing her passion for elevated gift giving. With Mother's Day just around the corner, she thought it would be a perfect opportunity to share tips on how to elevate your gift through beautiful packaging. We teamed up with Lauren of Lauren Jolly Photography (who just launched her new site today!! Be sure to visit her side of the internet and show her some love!) to style a shoot that shares each step of her gift wrapping experience. If you're looking for a way to make your mom's present a little bit sweeter this year, Cottage Hill is sharing Melinda's tips today! As a bonus, Melinda and I worked together to create 2 pages of beautiful gift tags to add more love to your gift (for Mother's Day and other occasions, too!). They're available for FREE download on Cottage Hill's post - you don't want to miss this! 

Hoping to add these hand-painted tags to your gift? Click here to find your free download!

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Beautiful, right?! Head on over to Cottage Hill's blog to see the full feature and download your tags today! 

A special thanks to all of the vendors that worked together to make this shoot happen. And all my love to Melinda - the red-headed beauty who curated every little detail! 

With joy,
Alexa


Location: Mim's House
Photography: Lauren Jolly Photography
Farm Table: Greenhouse Picker Sisters
Fresh Florals: Serendipity Designs
Nail Services: PaintBar
Gift Tags: Memento & Muse + Sage Paper Co.
Silk Ribbons & Fabric Wrapping: Adorn Company
Gift Wrapping & Styling: Memento & Muse