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Friday Feels

Hey folks! So I decided to start a new series on Fridays called "Friday Feels" that delves into my past week and looks forward toward the next one. I will be sharing what's on my heart, what I'm enjoying, what's inspiring me, and more. Most of my blog posts are geared toward weddings (you know - planning tips, real wedding features, vendor interviews, style inspiration, and the like) or the business. However, these "Weekly Musings" posts will be more about me the person instead of the business. I enjoy writing out my thoughts (I am a deep thinker after all) and this will give me a place to do just that! 

Being Thoughtful

I think as the only species with the ability to reason, we should place a high value on the practice of being mindful and thoughtful. I want to be a person that doesn't merely accept what is presented to me, but always strives to find the authentic truth at the heart of things. I want to think deeper into matters of faith, love, and life. I wrote this down last night before bed, "We should not merely be conduits of thought, but should ask ourselves in all things, 'Is this truth? Is there more? Is this the best for the common good?' If the answer is no, keep exploring. If the answer is yes, keep exploring." The point here is that in all things we should strive within the best of our abilities to be explorers and avid seekers of truth and justice. We are never too old to learn. And it is the act of learning that stretches our imaginations and thus our creativity. 

Rain

If you live anywhere in Richmond or the surrounding area then you know it's been raining for like, I dunno, 1,894,555 days in a row now. Okay so that might a bit of an exaggeration. But you get my drift. And as an avid gardener, I feel torn about the rain. On the one hand I find myself being entirely over it, ready to get out in my garden again and get dirty, and totally ready for some sunshine. And yet I see how much my tomatoes, basil, and peppers have shot up in just a little under two weeks. I see how green my oregano is and how lively my lavender is.  And then I realize that rain is life from Heaven for much of Earth.

I also think about places like Cambodia that are experiencing the worst droughts seen in decades. Read this article from the Guardian to learn more. This drought is affecting disease, agriculture, animal life, and education. According to the article, "In Ratanakiri province in the northeast, Unicef has found that 136 out 203 primary schools are facing water shortages, with “high absenteeism” of both students and teachers being reported." So each time I catch myself wanting to complain over the rain, I think of the people and animals that are desperate for it, and I remind myself to be thankful for this life from Heaven. 

The People Vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

Okay so I know I'm coming to the game a little late on this one, but I am ENTHRALLED by this show. Have you seen it? In the past when I have taken aptitude tests I typically get one of two answers as to my career type: Investigative or Artistic. And I can clearly see both of these traits in myself. There is something about a good puzzle or mystery that just gets me going. The test results said I would have been a good Forensic Scientist (until my first semester of Chemistry in college when I said, "Nope, not for me"). And even though I know how this particular case with OJ ends, I am gripped by all of the small details. I find myself thinking, "How in the world did he get away with this?" I still remember the Bronco chase when I was very little and my mom talking about it as it was happening on live T.V. But even past the evidence, the trial, and the courtroom shenanigans, I am appalled by the lack of justice for Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. The system failed them. To watch full episodes, visit FX

Property Virgins

My husband Don and I have begun the lengthy process toward being home owners! We are still at the very early stages, and it could be a year before we are ready, but we started this week by meeting with a mortgage guy. We have been renting since we were married and neither of us has owned a home before so this is a scary step. We have been so blessed by affordable rent at our house which has allowed us the opportunity to pay off some debt. And since the interest rates are so low, and since housing prices in Richmond are going up fast, we figured it was a good time to buy.

However, I find myself playing Jekyll and Hyde in my mind about it. I love the freedom renting provides and the lack of responsibility when something breaks or needs replacing. The downside to this though is having to rely on a landlord to make repairs, the lack of freedom to make changes to the property, and not building any equity for the money you spend each month. Sometimes, I think I just want to lease forever, and then other times I tell myself that responsibility is not always a bad thing! What do you guys think? Is it better to lease or buy?

Well that's it for this week! Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend!

~Maggie ♥

What I Love About Weddings | Diary of a Wedding Planner

A little over a year ago now I made the change from corporate event planner to wedding planner. It was one of the best decisions I have made thus far in my career. Not only do weddings excite and thrill me much more than corporate events, but I also thoroughly love being a business owner. Sure, weddings have their tough qualities like any other job (weddings days are lonnnnng days, you give up a lot of your weekends, and let's be honest - we've all had at least one "momzilla"). But...there are lots of things about weddings that make me happy and give me a sense of contentment and purpose. And in an effort for you to get to know me a little better today, I would like to share some of those things (in no particular order) with you!

1. Let's get creative. Weddings allow for far greater freedom of creativity than corporate events. Corporate events typically serve one of three purposes: to increase brand awareness, to increase sales, or to increase/maintain a customer base. Weddings, however, are much more emotional in nature and therefore a great deal more of creativity goes into them. Seeing that my brain is split between left and right brain (with a greater emphasis on the right/creative side) weddings provide an outlet for both: organization and detail mixed with creativity!

Photo 1: Nicki Metcalf Photography | Photo 2: Michelle Renee Photography 

2. First looks. As a bystander one of my absolute favorite parts of every wedding is when the groom sees his bride for the first time. Whether it's a "first look" or the moment his bride walks down the aisle, nothing else can match it. When you decide to marry you are making a commitment to another person that says "I choose you. For the long haul." This moment is that beginning.

 Photo by:  J&D Photography

Photo by: J&D Photography

3). Sweet anticipation. One of my gifts is empathy. I can feel what another person is feeling; sometimes fairly intensely. And as the months turn into weeks and then days leading up to a wedding, I can begin to feel my client's sweet anticipation and excitement for what is about to unfold. And that gets ME excited and jazzed. For lots of couples awaiting marriage greets them with the same fascination and anticipation as a young child anxiously awaiting Christmas morning. How exciting to be in an industry like that!  

4). Dancing the night away. I absolutely LOVE watching people dance at weddings; it never gets old! I love the good dancers and I especially love the bad ones. And to those not-so-great-but-trying-their-hardest-dancers I say, "Good for you for getting out there and shaking it! Own it!"

Weddings are a happy time for not only the bride and groom but for their friends and families as well. And considering that love is the single strongest force in all of creation, it is no wonder that weddings are such a joyous celebration.  

(And why yes. Yes this IS my husband and I dancing at our wedding!)

5). Set-up. Okay so I actually enjoy the set-up part at most weddings, even though it is physically taxing! I really enjoy watching a blank canvas come to life as I get to execute the bride's (or groom's) vision. Interior design and decorating is one of my all-time favorite past times and each wedding is like a little opportunity to exercise my skills again and again. I imagine that the sense of satisfaction I receive must be similar to the one an interior designer has when he/she finishes work on a house. Sometimes when the job is done it's like I let out a proverbial contented sigh in my mind's eye that says, "Yes. The work is done. It is good."

6). Let's do this thang! If you have been following along then you know that marriage is one of the core values I stress most here at Maggie's Misc. After all, that's what this is all about right? Well, weddings are the first step on this journey. It's at weddings where I get to witness a new chapter and new life unfold for two people. I feel honored that I get to be there. I feel excited for the couple. And I feel thankful that people are still choosing marriage - even when they could make another (and often easier) choice. 

7). Meeting needs. One of the things that gets me excited to get out of bed every morning is meeting the needs of my clients. One of the services that I offer is consulting. Clients can hire me by the hour to do everything from setting up a timeline, to budgeting help, to managing their Pinterest board. These services are included in some of my packages but can also be purchased a la carte for the bride or groom wanting to do most of the heavy lifting themselves. 

There is nothing quite so fulfilling as helping to guide people and providing them with useful information that makes their lives better. Weddings allow me to do just that. I can take the experience and expertise that I have gained and transfer some of that knowledge over to my clients and by doing so I get to love and serve them. Excellent customer service is one of the pillars on which I have built this business. And with each wedding I gain new experience thereby increasing my confidence and ultimately allowing me to provide even better service to my clients.

Well, there's a bit about me and why I love weddings. What do you love about weddings? Feel free to share in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!

Needing a little help with your wedding? Click the link below to fill out our questionnaire:

Happy Planning!

~Maggie ♥

2 Truths and a Lie - How Well Do You Know Me?

Photo by: Capture Photography

I was inspired by a recent Facebook post from my friend Christen in which she shared three statements about herself. Two of those statements were true and one was a lie. She then asked her friends to see if they could guess the lie. It was fun to see how many people got the answer right, *Ahem* like I did! And since I love to do fun posts here at Maggie's Misc on Fridays, today I am going to play a little round of 2 Truths and a Lie with you. Under each question below there are three statements given about me: two of the statements are true and one is a lie. See if you can guess the lie. Keep track and see how many you get right! (the answers will be given at the end). Enjoy!

Question 1) In high school I ....

a) graduated with honors
b) played volleyball
c) was on the color guard team

Question 2) In college I ....

a) got a tattoo
b) had blonde hair
c) had a nose ring

Question 3) In college I studied .... (hint part of this answer is on the website)

a) Marketing
b) English
c) Art History

Question 4) I have never been to ....

a) Mexico
b) Central America
c) Europe

Question 5) I can play the ....

a) flute
b) piano
c) violin

Question 6) I have lived in ....

a) North Carolina
b) Texas
c) Tennessee

Question 7) Growing up I saw ______ in concert.

a) 'NSync
b) New Kids on the Block
c) Boys II Men

Question 8) I am not a huge fan of ....

a) airplanes
b) roller coasters
c) boats

Question 9) In my free time I love to ....

a) cook
b) travel
c) garden

Question 10) I have volunteered with ...

a) Habitat for Humanity
b) Big Brothers Big Sisters
c) The American Cancer Society

Question 11) I do not eat ....

a) meat
b) dairy
c) gluten (wheat)

Question 12) In the past I ....

a) tried out for American Idol
b) tried out for a TV personality job
c) wrote part of a novel

Question 13 ) I have never seen ....

a) Top Gun
b) Goonies
c) Back to the future

Question 14) I have had animals named ....

a) Fizgig
b) Fat Belly
c) Kittypuss

Question 15) My Husband HAs Lived in .... 

a) London
b) Cambridge
c) Manchester

 

Okay that's it! Now for the answers (aka the lies)! Question 1) b - I didn't play any school sports past middle school. Question 2) a - believe it or not I did have bleach blonde hair in college! And it actually didn't look that bad! Question 3) b - I only took English classes in college but never majored in it. Question 4) c - I have never been to Europe but would love to go one day! Question 5) c - I played both the flute and piano growing up but never learned the violin. I can still play the piano fairly well. Question 6) a - I have never lived in North Carolina; only visited. I have lived in Tennessee, Missouri, Texas, and Virginia. Question 7) b - I never saw New Kids on the Block. They were slightly before my time. Question 8) c - I love boats! Airplanes and roller coasters make me sick at my stomach, but not boats. Go figure! Question 9) a - I can't stand cooking! Thank goodness for my husband! Question 10) b - Although I think they are a great organization, I have never worked with BBBS. Question 11) a - I love meat! I am completely gluten free and nearly dairy free. Question 12) a - I never tried out for American Idol although I did go with a friend once in St. Louis but chickened out and didn't go through with it. Question 13) c - I have never seen Top Gun or The Goonies but have seen Back to the Future (although I only saw it for the first time a few years back)! Question 14) This is a trick question; I have had animals named all three names - sorry! Question 15) c - He lived in London and Cambridge but not Manchester. Did you get any right?

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Friday!
~Maggie ♥