With the craziness of wedding season and traveling, I realize that I have not been blogging as much as I should. There are some pretty great things that have happened to the Vision of Elegance brand that I can't wait to share with you all. We'll also have an exciting announcement to coming up in the next couple of weeks!Read More
Yesterday was a big day for me and my husband: our beautiful and amazing little daughter turned a year old! Reaching this milestone makes me look back and reflect on my first year with her. First observation – WOW did it fly by fast! I’m so thankful that was able to be there and be a part of all of her little milestones and to watch her grow and evolve. Those memories are something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Being my own ‘girlboss’ has allowed me to build my own business and also have a front row seat to my child’s life. That’s not to say that I haven’t had my challenges balancing raising my baby and growing my business but this is one of those times where the rewards definitely outweighed the costs. This reward was well worth it.
This past year has taught me a lot and helped me grow and become a better, smarter business owner. Before I had my daughter, I thought I would be doing all of the teaching – teaching her how to crawl, how to walk and all those other fun things that parents get to do. Little did I know that she would be teaching me more about life and my business then I could have ever learned otherwise.
So what did exactly my daughters first year of life teach me about my business:
1. I am no longer the boss, she is...hehe!
2. Learning to multi-task is a necessity.
3. Discipline, discipline, discipline. Setting a schedule and sticking to it is more important now then ever.
4. Setting aside time to “laser” focus on your business at least a few times a week to meet with clients, vendors or catch up on work is a must.
5. Laser focus works both ways. Having mommy/daughter time with no work distractions is refreshing and necessary!
6. Being a new mom & business owner is possible and you can excel at both!
7. Pre-planning and creating content for social media, blog posts and your website in advance when you have the time to do so saves heartaches in the future when you may be pulled 50 different ways.
8. A Babybjorn is not only a great convenient accessory but it also helps you get a lot of stuff done: phone calls, emails, and, in my case my, floral designs.
9. It’s ok to ask for help and delegate tasks to others, its still "my" business.
10. I’m not only a mom and a business owner, but a role model to my child. I have to become the person that I want my daughter to see me as.
Look forward to seeing what the next year of her life will be like and how she and Vision of Elegance will continue to grow.
Mother's Day is just around the corner! The wonderful ladies over at Smitten Boutique and I have partnered and planned a fun Mother's Day Pop Up Shop this Saturday, May 9th, 2015 from 10am - 4pm.
I will be there 10am - 2pm (unless I sell all of my stock early) and will be selling some beautiful one of a kind hand-tied bouquets with the option of purchasing a vase and the ladies at Smitten are going to have paper goods so the kiddos can make a special card for mom. They'll also have the option to make a cute bracelet as well which is such a cute way to tell mom how special she is.
I will be selling two different size bouquets: the small bouquet will be $35 and the large bouquet will be $50 with the option of adding on a vase for an additional $5. All of the arrangements will be crafted and designed by yours truly.
It is going to be a great Saturday so stop on by and get the mother in your life something special.
I will be accepting cash, check and credit card that day. You can also, if you prefer, order ahead of time by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling me at (248) 982-3757.
Quantities are limited so make sure you get there early. So excited to meet and see all of your lovely faces this Saturday! And Dads, make sure you bring the kiddos! It's going to be a great place for you and the kids to get mom something special.
Oh, I almost forgot: with the purchase of something from our pop up shop, Cone (the ice cream shop next door to Smitten Boutique) will be offering a FREE Kiddie Cone with the purchase of a regular menu item.
YUM!! Flowers, cards, bracelets and ice cream for the kids and dad! Sign me up!
Look forward to seeing you Saturday!
Happy Thursday Lovelies,
On the blog today is the sweet and lovely Elizabeth Nord from Elizabeth Nord Photography. Liz and I have had the pleasure of getting to know one another these past few months and have become fast friends. Today, she's sharing her story and some great tips for couples to think about when it comes to photography for their big day.
A little about Elizabeth
She met her sweet husband when she was 16 and has been with him ever since. They've been married for 6 years come this May. They have a "fur baby" named Charlie. Mexican food is her favorite food and she has a weakness for anything sour - especially sour patch straws. Her favorite animals are dogs and elephants. She absolutely love to travel and explore new places, especially Europe. Her favorite trips so far have been Italy, Paris, London, and Ireland. She like to cook, but only when she feels like it. She isn't good at sports. She used to play softball, tennis, and be a cheerleader, but didn’t really enjoy any of them. Her first couple of years in college, she was a Musical Education major concentrating in voice. After her continued stage fright, she realized that this was not going to be her profession. She played piano for many years but has not played in a long time. She hopes that one day she will have a house large enough for her to put a baby grand piano in the living room. Her family and friends are her world.
How did you get started?
I had been saving up for a "nice" camera and had about $500 saved up. This was a BIG deal for me at the time as I never saved for anything. I was so excited and was telling my husband how much I had saved. He apparently mentioned my savings goal to his mom who decided she wanted to buy me a Nikon D300s and kit lens for Christmas that year. I was so excited, but I was clearly overwhelmed. I didn't even get it out of the box until later that night when I finally got the guts to take it out of the box and play around with it. I fell in LOVE! I began photographing nature, my dogs, and any one that would let me take their photo. I took my sister on photo shoots around Nashville often and began to get a few random jobs here and there. I moved to Knoxville a year later and decided to take photography classes at night (on top of pursuing my economics degree during the day). One of my professors encouraged me to open my business, so a few months later, Elizabeth Nord Photography, LLC became a reality. From there, my business has continued to thrive, excite me, and push me to new limits! I've loved every moment! In September of 2014, I became a full time photographer.
What is something couples should think of when considering a photographer for their wedding?
Think about whether or not you want to do a first look or see one another for the first time as the bride is walking down the aisle. I’m surprised at the number of couples I talk to that haven’t even talked about this prior to meeting with me. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I’m just surprised! This determines the entire timeline for your wedding day, so knowing this definitely helps the photographer know about how many hours you’ll need coverage for. Another thing, I would ask to make sure they are going to be the ones shooting the wedding. It’s been popular lately for businesses to hire associate photographers and to hire other photography business owners to shoot their weddings for them. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I would just ask them to make sure you know who to expect on the wedding day. I would also make sure you see those individuals' work, too. It’d be so sad to expect the same results from each person, when in reality no photographer has the same shooting style/results. Better to be safe than sorry!
What is your style when it comes to photography?
I would say that my style is modern, clean, and classic. It is a cross between portrait and photojournalistic. I love the semi-posed portraits, but at the same time, photojournalistic shots are typically my favorite and most emotional photographs. My shooting style is very hands on. I won’t let you sit there with no idea what to do. I’ll direct you the entire time and give you actions to carry out to achieve the look and feel that I want to portray.
What is your favorite part of the wedding day?
Gosh, this is a hard one. I think my favorite part is the bride and groom portraits. This is the time (either after the first look or after the ceremony) where the bride and groom finally get some time to just be together, be themselves, and let the emotions flow. I just love when my brides and grooms relish in this moment, hug each other tighter, and whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ears. I feel like this is the time of the day that I get to photograph the sweetest moments between the two of them and this is also the photos that will most likely be framed in their home and take up the majority of their wedding album.
What are things couples can do to make a photographer’s job easier on the big day.
One thing that comes to mind is during the getting ready shots at the beginning of the wedding day. Ask your bridesmaids/groomsmen/parents to help clear the room of the “junk” before the photographer arrives. Otherwise, the “junk” (the trash, alcohol bottles, purses, jackets, etc) will be in the photos. I try to avoid these items as much as possible, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. If you clear the room of these things before I arrive, it makes the getting ready photos that much easier and beautiful! The other thing I would suggest, is telling all the family involved in the family portraits where to be and when for the portraits. It can take forever to find Uncle Bob for the family portrait after he’s already bolted to the cocktail hour area and is amongst 150+ other guests.
Happy Thursday Lovelies,
Today on the blog is Joanna B Artistry, Joanna is a #girlboss and an extremely talented make-up artist based in the Chicagoland area. She started her business three years ago and has focused on the bridal market. Recently, she's been given the opportunity to try different avenues outside of the wedding industry and has been apart of a few test shoots for modeling agencies as well as editorial features. Joanna is a wonderful make-up artist and knows how to make all of her clients look fantastic for their events!
Joanna shared with me her favorite go to make-up products as well as her advice and thoughts on the big day. Check out what she had to say.
What is your essential, go to make-up product?
My favorite make-up product definitely has to be mascara. I can't live without it. I honestly cannot walk out the door without it on, even when I head out for a run (as long as it's waterproof ;). Currently, I've been using the MAC In Extreme Dimension. It builds beautifully providing great volume, length and curl!
Any advice for brides on make-up looks?
When it comes to "your" wedding day, be sure your make-up look is something that you are comfortable with. It should represent your typical style, just bumped up a notch. You want to be sure everyone will recognize you and that you will be happy with the way you look in photos until the end of time. Try to achieve a more enhanced version of yourself; you will look and feel beautiful, guaranteed.
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
Working weddings is my most favorite part of my career! I absolutely love spending the morning with a group of fun and excited ladies. I love the energy that everyone gives off that morning and taking part in the getting ready process. As a young teenager, I always looked forward to high school dances and events, not for the main event, but for the prep. The pre-party beauty session was just so much fun! Having the chance to experience that moment with the bride and the bridal party is such a great feeling. My heart melts once everyone is dressed and the entire look comes together. And once the photographer shares the photos with me after the wedding, I just cannot contain my excitement. To see how everything turned out and to watch the entire day told through those photos is priceless.
Hello my lovelies,
Today is a such a special day for my dear friend and amazing artist and wedding stationary designer, Amanda Day Rose: her new website is LIVE!!! Amanda and I have never actually met in person but we´ve worked together on several projects and I always look forward to our weekly phone chats. I´ve had the pleasure of getting to know Amanda and she has become someone I can truly call a good friend in addition to being someone I love working with in the industry. I am happy to say though that we will be meeting for the first time this coming August, and we´ve had a lot of fun with an upcoming project in the works that we can´t wait to share with you all!
Amanda and the wonderful and talented Kathryn Duckett from Creme Brands have worked tirelessly to bring to life Amanda´s brand and her beautiful new website which launches today. I really think they nailed it! Every aspect of it reflects Amanda´s heart and soul. Which, I might add, is also evident in the work that she does for her clients!
Please go check it out: http://www.amandadayrose.com
In honor of Amanda´s big day I decided to ask her what couples out there need to know when it comes to wedding stationary. She had great tips to share!
What do you think is the biggest trend in wedding invitations?
Honestly, I try not to keep up with trends in wedding invitations! I want the couples I work with to feel comfortable sending out an invitation that is customized specifically to them, and I think all trends go out the window once we start discussing their dreams for their stationery. It's more important to me that their invitations be meaningful rather than trendy.
Can you share a couple of examples of your favorite work?
Oh, it's so hard to choose, I love everything I've ever worked on! These are a few of my favorites, mainly because I really enjoyed the unique aspect of them and how we incorporated elements that were important to the couple.
What are some tips you have for brides meeting with an invitation designer for the first time?
Be open and honest with your designer about what's important to you to include, your budget, and your style. It's important that you and your designer are a good fit for one another so the experience is fun and enjoyable for you! The more open you are with your designer, the more options your designer can recommend for you that you may not have initially thought of.
Aside from invitations, what other paper goods can help make a wedding unique, stylish and memorable?
I could go on and on about pretty little paper details for your wedding! For starters, a custom ceremony program is a wonderful investment. I'd say programs are the second-most important paper item after invitations. If you have additional room in your budget, it's also fun to have custom signage, place cards, menus, and table numbers. All of these items really give your wedding a very personalized feel. And don't forget your thank you cards for after the big day, too!
What are some issues that couples can avoid when selecting their invitations or paper goods? What tips do you have to avoid it?
I think the biggest issue is not allowing yourself enough time for the invitation design process, especially if you're ordering custom invitations. You'll want to have plenty of time to go through the design process, check (and recheck) for accurate information and spelling, show them to a close friend or family member to review, and then have your designer print them for you. The best way to avoid rushing the invitation process is to begin talking to your designer as soon as you have a venue booked. Even if you don't have all the details quite yet, you can at least begin discussing style and ideas.I also think going into the design process with an open mind is really important. Your designer will likely have plenty of ideas you've never even thought of to make your invitations and paper goods special and unique, so be open to hearing their suggestions rather than having your heart set on a very specific material or idea.
Happy Friday, loves! I thought this post would be fitting as we're in the thick of engagement season. I myself just said YES to my best friend when she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding this coming November. She had a very cute and personal way of asking me to be a part of her special day and I loved it.
The way my friend asked me to be a part of her wedding had me thinking so I reached out to Kirstin over at Smitten Boutique in Chicago and asked her what she's been seeing in her store and she came up with this GREAT list!
"At Smitten - We LOVE weddings and so nothing is more exciting than a new engagement!! Once the 'big' question has been answered - we all know that the next questions go out to those VIP ladies & gents in a couple's life and if you're going to do it - why not make it fun, personal and memorable for all involved. Below are our favorite new ideas and a few tried and true ones we can't get enough of (many of them are available at Smitten)!!" -Kirstin
1. A card is a given - but we are obsessed with the Paper Doll "Will You Be" cards we just received at Smitten (reminds us of the ones we used to make - although mine weren't this pretty).
2. What girl doesn't love a little bling of her own and the rhinestone bow earrings newly released from The Pink Orange fit the bill! They come in a perfectly pink box on a card that pops the question for you (in gold foil, of course).
3. For those ladies that can't seem to drag themselves away from social media - why not ask your ladies to stand-up at your wedding by creatively inviting them to Pin their fav bridesmaid gowns on your newly created Wedding Board!!
4. On a budget? Buy a copy of your favorite wedding magazine and some fun post-its and pen a note reminding her that her "opinion has always meant so much - I need it more now than ever"
5. Pick out a beautiful frame and have a calligrapher hand write a message to each girl that they'll always treasure. Add your favorite picture of the two of you behind the note. They can eventually move the picture to the front of the frame but they'll know that there's a special note secretly stashed in back.
6. No one wants cold feet at a wedding, including your wedding party! That's why we love the wedding party socks from Gumball Poodle - every time we order them, they seem to fly out the door!!
7. A little something for 'under' that special dress - no one does it better than Hanky Panky with their pretty pink Bridesmaid panties - something your ladies can use for long after they've hung up their Bridesmaid dress!!
8. For the bride that really wants to make a lasting memory with her chosen few, we LOVE the gold framed magnet boards from Mikey Lin - especially one with a special message like the "she leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes". Add your favorite picture of the two of you with one magnet and a "my day wouldn't be the same without you by my side" note with another and voila: something she's sure to hang in her house (and her heart) forever!!
9. We know it's been done but we still think you can't go wrong with a bottle of bubbly and a *ladies only* night in. I mean it's champagne - who doesn't love that!! Want to spice up an old favorite - add a custom label on the bottle!
10. One of the things we love the most about our BFFs is that they've always been there for us and what better time to let them know that means the world to you! We can't get enough of the Kate Spade "I've got your back" sew in labels. Give your gals one of them paired with a cozy scarf or a stylish wrap and she'll think of you every time she hits the town!!
Happy Monday Friends! Hope you all had a faboulus weekend. It is starting to warm up here in Chicago and spring is definitely in the air!!! It's a great Monday here in the VOE studio and I am so thankful to be featured on Midwest Bride's Blog today. Back in November I planned, designed and styled a styled shoot that I'm very proud of. Karina from Metts Photo took some great pictures of the finished product. It was a lot of fun and I could not have done it without the AMAZING group of vendors I got to work with on this shoot. A special thank you goes out to my girl Cristin at Redberry Floral: you definitely worked your magic on this one.
The wonderful ladies at Rent Vintage Chicago let us use their "Golden Girl" chairs for the shoot. Aren't they just stunning? The plates and silverware was also provided by them.
Hello everyone! Welcome to Vision of Elegance’s blog and we’re really excited to be kicking it off with this inaugural post!
For my first blog post, I wanted to introduce myself and give you a little background about Vision of Elegance. I’m Kristina Fossbakk Ferris and I first conceived of VoE after designing and planning my own wedding to my husband Ryan in June of 2013. I really enjoyed the process of styling and figuring out all of the little details and was blown away seeing how everything came together on my big day. I was hooked - I had found my passion and a few short months later, Vision of Elegance was born.
I quickly started growing my business and landed new clients when my husband and I learned that the pitter-patter of little feet was in our future. Ryan and I got the amazing news that we would be expecting our first child in June of 2014. Throughout my pregnancy, Vision of Elegance was never far from my mind and I continued to meet with clients, develop my craft and stayed up to date on the latest wedding trends.
On June 4th, 2014, my daughter, Layla Rose, was born weighing in at 6 lbs 13 oz. She’s such a beautiful little girl and brings light to my life everyday. So not only am I a business owner, but I’m also a new mom. Ryan and I are still in awe of Layla and I seriously doubt that will ever change :). It’s been a fulfilling challenge managing those different parts of my life and it’s been going great so far.
It’s been an amazing year and I’m extremely glad to be revealing my website and kicking off this blog! It’s been a lot of hard work and I could not have done it without the help of some very important people in my life. So, I would like to thank my amazing husband Ryan for his unwavering encouragement and support and for pushing me to be my best. I would also like to thank my wonderful parents & siblings for cheering me on my entire life and for believing that I could get Vision of Elegance off the ground and turn it into the real deal. Last but not least, I’d like to thank my daughter Layla for being a constant source of happiness and for bringing a smile to my face whenever I needed it most.
So, there it is - the first blog post is on the books! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my website and this blog. I’m really looking forward to sharing my thoughts here in the weeks, months and years to come. Stay tuned!