Join the 2017 JDE Team!!!

Hey there!  Are you interested in getting into the wedding industry but you're not sure where to start?  Or do you just love pretty things and want to surround yourself with blushing brides as often as possible?  Well, we've got great news {I totally sound like an info-mercial here}!!  We're looking for 2 assistants to join the JDE Team for the 2017 wedding season!

The requirements are simple: We're looking for ladies with strong attention to detail, a professional and friendly demeanor, and the ability to take direction, but make creatively-led decisions on their own when necessary.  Bonus if you enjoy doing the Wobble and won't laugh at me when I cry through the speeches.

This is an intern-level position and is unpaid.  However you will ALWAYS be fed and there is room for growth throughout the season, which could lead to a paid position.

The assistants would be required to help with both weddings and styled shoots.  Wedding would require you to be available starting at 1pm and ending after cleanup at the end of the night.  These days are generally 10-12 hours long.  Styled shoots would require you to be available for the entire shoot and these days are generally 4-6 hours long.

If you're interested and think you'd be a great fit for the 2017 JDE Team, shoot me an email explaining what you would bring to the team!  We'll be accepting applications until March 5th!

A Kate Spade Inspired Thanksgiving Styled Shoot

Hey ya'll!  I'm so excited to share this shoot with you!  I tasked JDE Intern Lauren with putting together a styled shoot on her own as a sort of "senior project" before her internship wrapped up.  To say she made me proud would be a huge understatement.  She totally knocked it out of the park!  Read on to hear all about her process and to see the incredible pictures from Heather Papineau Photography.

"My very first event with Just Dandy Events was a styled shoot at the gorgeous Lee Hall Mansion, so it's only fitting that my last event with Holly was another styled shoot.  Only this time, it was my OWN!  I spent three-ish months planning and let me tell was something!  My planning process was a little confusing and a little stressful but a whole lot of fun.  It was certainly more difficult than I'd anticipated but one of the most rewarding learning experiences I've had!

From the very start, I knew what vision I wanted to bring to life - the holidays!  If you know me at all, you know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are my very favorite times of the year.  I wanted to bring to life all of the things I love about it - going to my parents' home for dinner, listening to Kenny G's Christmas CD with my mom, being surrounded by my favorite people in the world, and eating my little heart out.  Another detail that was important to me was the thought of tradition.  In my family, you can count on a few things: One, there will always be collard greens in my Nan Nan's ceramic turkey.  Two, we always put the rolls in a big ice cream bucket.  It's just what we do.  And three, there will always always always be pie!  Since my Nan Nan's passing two years ago, we've made sure to continue her tradition of homemade chocolate, coconut, and pumpkin pies.  Pie isn't my favorite dessert...but I just knew I had to incorporate it somehow!

The other thing I love most in this world is Kate Spade.  I've always said she is my spirit animal!  I wanted to put a modern twist on Thanksgiving - to bring together the feeling of "home" and tradition, but in a modern way.  I thought to myself, "If I was having a friendsgiving, what would I want it to look like?"  The answer?  Polka dots and pretty fall colors and flowers everywhere!  I wanted a metallic color - like copper - mized with cranberry and ivory.  A little neutral with a little sparkle.  And so my "modern Kate Spade inspired Thanksgiving" styled shoot was conceptualized.

From there, I had to decide on a venue, models {or no models}, vendors, and more.  Holly let me tag along on a site visit to Hollyfield Manor in Manquin, Virginia.  As soon as I saw the fireplace and chandeliers, I knew I had to have my shoot here.  It was pretty much the easiest decision I made the entire shoot!  I still wasn't sure about using Holly mentioned, it can make things complicated.  I decided to take her advice and plan a details-only shoot and I am SO glad I did!  I'm super detail oriented so I loved getting to make sure everything looked just right.  I think it made my first styled shoot a little simpler and was a good way to get experience with doing a shoot.

When it came to vendors, the decisions got more difficult.  I'm thankful that Holly had already lined up the lovely Heather Papineau to photograph the shoot.  I struggled, though, and felt stressed over getting vendors booked right this minute.  Holly helped me compile a list of potential vendors and I sent e-mail after e-mail in hopes they'd be on board.  I'd been following a few of them on Instagram, like Rachel of Rachel Bakes and Waterford Event Rentals and had already fallen in love with their work.  I'm glad I was able to use a few vendors I was already familiar with or had worked with via Holly before.  I had no clue about the paper products or flowers, so I went with Holly's suggestions {which were perfect}.  Rentals took a little longer to decide on, so I went and visited Sharon with Chic Unique Rentals & Events.  She showed me her dark wood farm table and it was love at first sight!  It was such a relief when I'd booked all of my vendors....all that was left were the little details!

Perhaps the most complicated part of the shoot was that I had to purchase some items myself.  I knew this happened sometimes, as it did with my first event with Holly.  I felt like a lot of the pressure was on me to not only make sure the color scheme and shoot looked good, but that the details fit in perfectly.  For a few weeks, I hunted for the perfect plates, wine glasses, and other items.  I spent an entire afternoon hunting down those darn mini pumpkins {seriously, why does no one carry those?!}.  My husband can tell you that I was stressed out.  Like, really stressed.  What would I do without the perfect silverware?  Why was the ribbon I bought so stiff?  These worries worried me for weeks on end until it finally came to be the day of the shoot....

By the time the shoot rolled around, I was feeling pretty anxious.  Everything was done, now just came the part where we had to put it all together!  Holly and I arrived at Hollyfield and were greeted by the sweetest little puppy, so I knew it was going to be a good day!  Holly and I started the day by getting stickers off wine glasses {which I completely forgot to do beforehand}, so that was a little nerve wracking.  I had to remind myself to breathe!  Thanks to Tracy at Hollyfiend, we got it done and got everything set up in under an hour.  After the last place setting was set, the candles lit, and the fireplace turned on, I stepped back to admire it.  It. Was. Perfect.  I was so impressed by how well everything came together.  I literally wanted to sit down at that table and have Thanksgiving dinner!  It was that moment that I knew my vision had come to life.

My styled shoot was absolutely perfect.  All of the time spent gathering items, booking vendors, and worrying {as I so often do} was worth it.  Heather gave us a sneak peak of some of the photos and all I could think was "We did that.  I did that!"  I am so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to experience planning a styled shoot with such an incredible group of ladies.  This process showed me that I need to have a little more faith in myself and learn to relinquish the control sometimes.  I also learned that relationships are incredibly important in the wedding industry; I'm blessed to have built relationships with each of the women I worked with.  Finally, the process reminded me how much I love doing this.  I am so excited to see where this new career path takes me!

As you look through these photos, I hope you'll feel the same warm and fuzzy feeling that I did.  I hope it'll bring a little bit of "home" into your office or wherever you are.  I hope that you have the happiest of Thanksgivings - thank you for following me on this journey with Just Dandy Events!"

Thank you to our incredible team of vendors!!
Photography: Heather Papineau Photography  //  Coordination: Lauren with Just Dandy Events  //  Venue: Hollyfield Manor  //  Linens: Waterford Event Rentals  //  Florals: C&J Floral Design  //  Sweets: Rachel Bakes  //  Paper Products: Paperdolls Design Inc  //  Rentals: Chic Unique Vintage Rentals

Lessons Learned from JDE Intern Lauren

These past two months, I’ve gotten to tag along with Holly and play “wedding coordinator assistant” at my very first #jdeweddings! It was definitely a whirlwind of different emotions- nervous, excited, anxious and completely in love! Here’s what I learned:

Holly has one of the most stressful jobs ever: I’m not kidding- google it! Seeing the way she handled her timeline, certain unexpected situations (like Hurricane Matthew requiring we use our rain plan!) and interacting with the couple and other wedding vendors really impressed me. Maybe I’m a little biased, but she works incredibly hard and is SO good at what she does. I admire her for that!

You’re more than just a planner: At each wedding, I was more than just the “assistant wedding coordinator.” I was the champagne-pourer, the oyster-shell-arranger, the milk-carton-finder (for some of the littlest wedding guests) and a voice for Holly whenever someone had a question or concern.

You will be out of your comfort zone: Had I ever popped champagne bottles before? Heck no! Both weddings were filled with “firsts” that caused me to be a little out of my comfort zone but that was okay! Despite being so nervous, I learned some new skills and gained experience that’ll help me as I continue in this industry.

You’ve got to be confident!: At my first wedding, I felt a little like a lost puppy while pouring champagne or answering questions. My response was often “Let me check with/find/get Holly!” By the second wedding, I felt more confident and comfortable. I tried my best to stay calm, get an answer to a question promptly (and write the requestor’s name down so I could find them later) and double check with Holly when I needed to. I learned that no matter the situation, you’ve got to show that you’re calm and confident.

You do you: Working alongside Holly on wedding days has taught me a lot about myself. Even though I felt nervous, anxious and overwhelmed, there was nothing I couldn’t handle (either by myself or with some help!). Also, it’s okay to be your (overly organized, helpful) self! For me, this meant writing literally every single question, comment or note I heard down so I would refer to it later and asking “Is there anything I can help with?” a million times over. These experiences have helped me develop my problem-solving skills, enhance my organization and multi-tasking and become more sure of myself.

I have loved every single nerve-wracking, exciting and “aww-” inducing moment of wedding coordination. I cannot wait to use all that I’ve learned during my time with Holly as I begin a new adventure!  I am so thrilled to be putting my social media skills to good use at an internship with Misty Prewitt of Misty Saves the Day.  I have also accepted my first job in the wedding industry as an assistant event manager at a local wedding venue!  I cannot wait to continue being a part of couples’ “best day ever!”

Elizabeth Henson Photos

Getting to Know Elizabeth Henson

Last week, JDE intern, Lauren tagged along on an anniversary shoot with Elizabeth Henson Photos.  After filling a bubble machine, running {literally running} to grab the bouquet and being on veil duty, she sat down with Liz to ask her a few questions!

Sharon Elizabeth Photography

From Lauren: My first impression of Liz is that she's absolutely, unapologetically herself, which I LOVE.  A former art teacher, she's creative, family-oriented and loves donuts.  When she told me Duck Donuts was her chain of choice, I knew she was my kind of person!  Working with her during the photo shoot {read: carrying the veil, running down a hill to get the bouquet, fluffing a ballgown; see also: gopher} taught me a lot in just a little bit of time.  Here's what I learned:

- Liz isn't afraid to be goofy in front of her couples - especially if it means getting smiles and laughs out of them!
- She makes sure to gets a LOT of shots.  She even references couples' Pinterest boards to make sure she gets their "must have" photos.
- Liz is up for literally anything.  At our shoot, she crawled through tall grass and hid behind cattails to get the perfect shot {did I mention there were bugs everywhere?}.
- Liz always knew she wanted to pursue photography.  Ten years after graduating college with a degree in fine arts, she decided to take her photography business full time.
- Her "signature" shot involves lots of snuggling!  Instead of a specific pose, Liz gives a few cues and lets the couple work it out.  She sees what poses they fall into naturally that are also flattering.  From there, she repeats the same cues at different angles.
- She loves photographing people in love.  Her favorite shots to take are romantic shots and details with a lot of negative space {like a bouquet against a wall}.
- Liz's business went full time in three years and continues to flourish.  Her work includes weddings and couples, lifestyle and portraits.
- Her favorite part of a wedding is when the bride is getting ready.  She loves the moment when the bride steps into her gown and her parents see her for the first time.
- In addition to being a photographer, Liz is a wife and mom of two.  How does she juggle it all? She says she tries to "do the best [I] can everyday."  She forgives herself for not accomplishing the world in one day. If an e-mail goes unanswered or the laundry doesn't get folded, it's okay!

Working with Liz {amidst hot temperatures and a "neighborhood" of grasshoppers that made a home in the bride's tulle gown!} showed me what it takes to be a true professional.  Liz is knowledgeable, passionate and incredibly talented at what she does.  I can't wait to work with her again soon!  Check out her stunning work on Instagram, @elizabeth.henson and

Here are just a few of the stunning pictures Liz took at the shoot!


Introducing the JDE Team: Intern Kaitlin

Hey ya'll!  Happy Friday!!  Time for another introduction of a member of the 2016 JDE Team!  Everyone meet Kaitlin!!  She may look familiar to you....she's been on this blog a couple times a JDE Bride!  And now I'm beyond excited to have her as a part of the team, helping to make our other couples happy on their wedding days.

Read on to learn more about Kaitlin and be sure to say hello to her!

  What made you want to work in the wedding industry?
After planning my own wedding, I fell in love with wedding planning.  Instead of the process being stressful for me, I found it to be so much fun and a creative outlet!

What's your favorite part of a wedding day?
It's a tie between the cutting of the cake and the moment the groom sees his bride walk down the aisle.  I love to watch the expressions on their faces.

What's your favorite nail polish color?
Pink Outside the Box by OPI

Dog or Cat?
Definitely dog :)

Favorite go-to snack/drink at the end of a long day?
This is a tough one since I'm currently pregnant and my cravings are so up and down.  It's hard to remember what I enjoyed before baby!  At the moment, Annie's White Cheddar Popcorn!

Beach or Pool?
Definitely a pool girl!

Favorite song to roll down the windows and jam out to?
Leather and Lace by Britney Spears

One random fact that people may not know about you:
I'm a HUGE Britney Spears fan....always have been and always will be!

Yayy Kaitlin!  I'm so excited to have you on the team!  It's such an awesome bonus when a bride becomes a friend and a coworker!

  And thanks to Elizabeth Henson Photos for the awesome team headshots!