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Sensational 2015

Happy Wednesday! Can you believe 2016 will be here in just 2 days? I don't know about you, but today I feel like celebrating! 2015 has been a sensational and game-changing year for us, and likewise our clients and colleagues. As I reflect on all the weddings, soirees, accomplishments and lessons learned this year, I used the 2015 Best Nine app to recap our year...or at least our year on my favorite social media app, Instagram!

In looking at our top 9 pictures from Instagram, there is a theme that I'm proud ran consistent...work/life balance! As an entrepreneur, wife, mom, friend, daughter, lover of weddings and soirees, supporter of my clients,  and much more, maintaining balance is key in achieving success and happiness. While every year brings its own set of achievements and challenges, I've learned both are needed for our growth and betterment. Sensational Soirees has had an amazing year, and some key things 2015 brought were:

  1. Focus on Education - Talk about taking learning up a notch this year! Apart of any new or seasoned professional's growth and journey is education. Therefore, I took the time this year to not only expand on my current skillsets, but also explore new interests. As a wedding and event planner, I have a natural love for beautiful floral arrangements. Through some amazing workshops this year, I have also developed a love for floral design thanks to the instruction of Petals Edge, Intrigue Design and Decor, and Love Blooms DC. I also took part in entrepreneurial courses, Introduction to Calligraphy and more! I'm excited for even more learning opportunities, workshops and conferences next year, and encourage you to maintain a commitment to expanding your knowledge.
  2. Getting Personal - I started off this year with a renewed focus on the Sensational Soirees brand, what it represents and why I started this journey in the first place. In an industry and area saturated with tons of event planners, it's important to get your unique message across and share about the person(s) behind the brand. So I did just that, this year! For so long, I hid behind a logo not realizing that sharing "me" was important for my business, our brand and our clients. Sharing more of me, my favorites, and inspirations, while maintaining professionalism and business interests, has been key in getting my messaging out there and building relationships with potential and existing clients and colleagues.
  3. Community Over Competition - I truly love supporting and celebrating others not just in my personal life, but also in business. It was instilled in me as a child that what's for me is for me and to do unto others as I would want them to do to me. Likewise, as a business owner I love hearing of others successes, and hitting that "like" button or commenting on others good news and posts, just like I appreciate when support is given to me. In addition to spreading love, it is a joy to receive and share advice and expertise with others. I value groups like the Rising Tide Society who encourage creatives and entrepreneurs to thrive in the spirit of community over competition. This year, I have connected with some pretty amazing and supportive folks through communities like Refine, Savvy Business Owners, #ontheroadtofulltime, and more...so thankful for my new online and local friends and "friendors".
  4. New Website and Systems - I am still over the moon about our website redesign!! Where would we be if it wasn't for Britney Jeanine and Go Live HQ, who made our site sensational! As I said before, properly conveying my brand this year was a must, and this new website has definitely sealed the deal. In addition to the website, we also streamlined our business processes thanks to Aisle Planner, 17Hats and Canva. I could truly go on and on about how amazing these tools have been for us and our clients, but I promise to share more about these great systems in a future post for all my fellow event planners and business owners! #communityovercompetition ;-)
  5. Sensational Weddings + Soirees - Of course, this year has been filled with absolutely sensational events! The planning and design process and seeing each client's happy face means everything to me. I'm so grateful to do what I love, and be apart of making beautiful memories for the amazing folks who trust us to do a sensational job. I invite you to look through our galleries, Instagram page and blog for highlights from this year's weddings and soirees. We are currently booking for 2016, and encourage you to get on our calendar soon. I would love to be apart of your 2016 celebrations!

I hope your 2015 has been amazing, and encourage you to finish this year out strong! Tell me one of your 2016 goals in the comments section. For our last blog post of the year, I leave you with the profound words of Maya Angelou below.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Fall Fashion for Wedding Guests...Under $99!

Happy first day of Fall! I don't know about you, but I've been anxious for this season and the fashion fun it brings. I'm all too thrilled to pull out my jackets, boots, scarves and more. In addition, the beautiful autumn weather and foliage makes Fall a very popular wedding season! By now, most brides, grooms and their bridal party have their Fall wedding fashion set. However, guests of these Fall weddings are likely to still be in limbo about their looks. For all the ladies out there who are still on the hunt for that perfect dress to wear to your friends or relative's big day, we are here to help! When it comes to fashion, I'm big on 3 things: style, savings and online shopping. So naturally, I love Neiman Marcus Last Call because they have so many luxe looks for less. When I was recently shopping on their website, I ran across an abundance of looks that would be perfect for wedding guests. Not to mention, they are currently having an extra 30% off  promotion which ends today. Needless to say I got excited, and I had to share the sensational savings info with all of you.

In case you get overwhelmed with all the fabulous fashion at Last Call, I've narrowed my favorites down to a top 10 list below, each currently under $99. My fashion list covers both daytime and evening weddings, and my picks are perfect darker hues to tie into Fall.

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We hope you enjoy this wedding season! Don't forget to pair your wedding fashion with the perfect accessories, heels and jacket to complete your fabulous Fall look. Tell us about your Fall fashion must haves in the discussion section of this post. Happy Shopping!

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

 

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Interview with Highway to Hill Flowers

Happy Tuesday! Today, we are especially happy to share our recent interview with Highway to Hill Flowers, as a part of our May Flowers blog theme. I've seen Highway to Hill's expertise and beautiful arrangements first-hand, as I’ve had the pleasure of attending a floral arranging class instructed by Jennifer Oliver, the owner of this Washington, D.C. floral design studio. If you are in the market for flowers for your wedding, events or special occasions, read on to view our interview and a few photos of Highway to Hill Flowers work below: hwy2hill_1

Sensational Soirees: What attracted you to the floral industry? Highway to Hill Flowers: I have a background in fine arts, and I’ve always loved working with flowers. I’ve worked in Graphic Design for many years, but missed the hands-on connection that I found in art, and flowers has helped create a bridge between art and design.

Sensational Soirees: How and when did you start Highway to Hill Flowers? Highway to Hill Flowers: I started Highway to Hill Flowers about five years ago, doing wedding flowers for friends. I was fortunate to have a number of (very trusting!) friends who allowed me to work on flowers for their event. It means so much to be part of a couple’s special day, and even more so when you know them as friends first!

Sensational Soirees: What sets you apart from other florists in the Washington, D.C. area? Highway to Hill Flowers: I think my background in art and design informs my approach to flowers. Beyond providing a foundation in composition and color, this training emphasizes the benefits of a structured creative process.

Sensational Soirees: How would you describe your signature style? Highway to Hill Flowers: Lush, romantic and very garden-inspired. I love working with Roses, Peonies, soft silvery-greens and anything with great texture.

Sensational Soirees: Where do you get inspiration for your floral designs? Highway to Hill Flowers: I really enjoy working closely with clients to create pieces that speak to them and to the vision for their event—so a lot of direction starts with that conversation. Beyond that, I think the flowers also help dictate how the arrangements should feel, and I’m usually drawn to the types of colors and textures that work well with garden-inspired designs.

Sensational Soirees: What are your favorite flowers to work with? Highway to Hill Flowers: I love Roses, Peonies, Stock, Hydrangea and lots of greenery. In the summer, Dahlias and Garden Roses are so much fun to work with, and the Fall brings some great color and foliage options.

Sensational Soirees: Do you primarily provide flowers for weddings? Highway to Hill Flowers: We mostly do weddings and events, but I also love to work with local businesses on weekly deliveries. We’ve really enjoyed working with businesses on the Hill like Biker Barre, Elle Lash Bar and Skin Beauty Lounge, and it’s so nice to get feedback from the owners and patrons about our flowers.

Sensational Soirees: What should a client know before meeting with you? Highway to Hill Flowers: I love when our clients bring ideas and inspiration to meetings (pictures, boards, colors, etc), but I’m also happy to help brainstorm ideas based on some of the other details of the event. I realize not everyone thinks about flowers all of the time, and I try to help ease some of the pressure of making these decisions. There are so many options for event flowers, but I think it’s most important for our clients to choose something that really speaks to them.

Sensational Soirees: How can DIY brides and floral design novices find out about your classes? Highway to Hill Flowers: We post our classes on our web store (shop.hwy2hill.com), and advertise through Facebook and Twitter.

Sensational Soirees: What floral trends do you predict for this summer? Highway to Hill Flowers: I think we’ll continue to see a lot of natural, garden-inspired work this Summer. Plenty of Roses, Dahlias and greens—maybe mixed with things like fruit and unusual containers.

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We hope you have enjoyed today's floral feature. To see more of Highway to Hill's work, visit their website and connect with them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. They can be contacted for floral consultations via email at howdy@hwy2hill.com.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Sensational Savings: Fall Bridal Events

At Sensational Soirees, we appreciate and value good savings, and we are always looking to pass them along to our clients and friends because we know you love a good deal, too. In today's "Sensational Savings", we're giving you info on upcoming bridal sale events!

BRIDAL TRUNK SHOWS & SAMPLE SALES

Victor Harper Bridal Trunk Show | Baltimore, MD | September 27 – 29 | Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection

Hitched Bridal Salon Two Day Sample Sale | Washington, DC | October 1 – 2 | www.hitchedsalon.com/samplesale

Jenny Packham Bridal Trunk Show | Washington, DC | October 17 – 20 | Rizik’s

David Tutera for Mon Cheri Fall Trunk Show | Gaithersburg, MD | November 8 – 9 | I Do I Do Wedding Gowns

Jim Hjelm Bridal Trunk Show | Washington, DC | November 8 – 9 | Rizik’s

Carine’s Bridal Atelier Events (by appointment only)| Washington, DCkleinfeld

  • Carolina Herrera Trunk Show | October  3 – 5
  • Badgley Mischka Trunk Show | October 31 – November 2
  • Bridal Sample Sale | November 12 – 14

http://www.carinesbridal.com/events.htm

Kleinfeld Bridal Events | New York, NY

  • Bliss by Monique Lluillier | October 4 – 6
  • Sample Sale | October 8
  • Pnina Tornai | October 8 – 20
  • Lazaro |  November 8 – 10
  • Romona Keveza Collection | November 22 – 24

www.kleinfeldbridal.com

Photo Credit: Kleinfeld

In addition to these amazing sale events, if you are currently in the market for a wedding planner, contact Sensational Soirees today to learn more about our wedding planning services and promotions we are currently offering.

Have you recently run across any deals that you think a bride, event host or partygoer would love? Is your company currently offering a promotion? If so, shoot us an email with the details. Also, if you take advantage of any of these deals please let us know in the discussion section below.

Happy Shopping and Wedding Planning!

Sensationally Yours,

Shalyce

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Hello Fall Wedding Season

I’m sure we have all noticed the change in the weather, as Fall is upon us! Many couples enjoy getting married in the beautiful, not too hot, and not too cold Fall season. In addition, many venues offer more affordable pricing starting in mid to late Fall…and lets be honest, we all love a good deal! As you prepare to enjoy the upcoming pre-wedding and wedding festivities, enjoy some photos that inspired us for this wedding season.

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Photo Credit: Style Unveiled

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Photo Credits:  Sortrature| Huffington Post

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Photo Credits: Whimsy Decor | Martha Stewart Weddings

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Photo Credits: The Knot

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Photo Credits: The Examiner | Style Me Pretty

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Photo Credit: Style Me Pretty

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Photo Credit: The Knot

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Photo Credit: The Knot

Are you planning a wedding this fall, but haven't secured a wedding coordinator, as of yet? If so, contact us today to learn about our "day of wedding coordinator" service at sensationalsoirees@ymail.com.

Sensationally Yours,

Shalyce

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