Goals for 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!!!  I'm still in total disbelief that 2016 is over and we've been gifted with a brand new year.  Time seems to be flying by faster and faster and it's just plain crazy.  2016 was a pretty great year for me {I shared lots of my favorite business moments here last week} and in some ways I'm sad to see it go.  But I'm also beyond pumped to make 2017 an even better year, both personally and professionally.

I've got big dreams for this little business of mine and also big goals to better myself.  I always like to share a few of my goals on here to help hold myself accountable.  So here goes nothin!

Book an Out-of-State Wedding
One of my goals in 2016 was to book a wedding outside of Hampton Roads.  And I did!  Thanks to my dear friends Julia and Justin, I coordinated my first wedding at King Family Vineyard in Crozet, VA.  It was an absolutely perfect day and I can't wait to share more of it later this month!  Now this year, I want to coordinate a wedding outside of Virginia.  I would love to take JDE to North Carolina or Maryland...but if I'm dreaming big and putting it all out there, I'd cry the happiest tears if I booked a wedding in Nashville or Charleston.

Take Better Care of Myself
2016 seemed to be the year of putting myself last and letting myself gooooo.  I'm not proud of the shape I'm in or the habits I've developed, and I'm ready to be a better me.  So my goal for this year is to wake up earlier, eat healthier, drink more water, and workout regularly.    Yes I know how cliche that sounds this time of year.  But I'm making a promise to myself to do better.

Begin Transitioning to Part Time in my Day Job
This is a huge one to admit ya'll.  HUGE.  March marks 6 years {!!!!!} of operating JDE while working a full time job.  It's been some of the hardest work I've ever done and I've loved just about every second of it.  But now it's about time I start making a few changes so that I can focus more and more on growing this business.  It's going to mean more hard work and some big changes, but I'm ready to embrace all of that 100%.

Get Outside More
If you know me at all, you know I love to be outside.  I love to play sports, go for long runs, go hunting with Wes, hike mountains, spend time on the beach with my puppy.  I tend to feel more like ME when I'm outside.  But over the last year or so, I've let work take over.  Between working 8-10 hours at my day job and then coming home to accomplish as much as I can before bedtime, I haven't been making much time at all to be outside.  About a month or so ago, I made myself a promise that I would start doing whatever I could to better balance work and life.  Right about that time, I was invited to be a part of a local group called Girls Who Hike, put together by a wedding friend of mine.  I'm so excited for my first hike with the group later this month!  I can't wait to be outside, meeting new people, and having some time to hit the reset button.

So there they are....my four big goals for the year.  I have a handful of smaller goals, simple things I want to accomplish.  But these are the ones that I'm putting the most effort into and marking as most important.

I'd love to hear what you are planning to accomplish this year.  How are you holding yourself accountable?  I'd love to cheer you on!

2016 Goals

How on earth are we down to the last few days of 2016?!  I guess what they say about how time flies when you’re having fun is true!  2015 has been such an incredible year for JDE, full of so much fun and so many accomplishments.

We coordinated some of my absolute favorite weddings of all time.  We participated in a few nationally recognized styled shoots {I can’t wait to share more from some of these}.  With the help of some amazing vendors, we handled our first ever hurricane wedding with flying colors.  I got to visit some gorgeous venues and meet some amazing new friends.  And I put together some really great workshops with some of our favorite vendors.  2015 is going to be tough to top.  But I’m definitely up for the challenge!

You know you’re a small business owner when, in the final days of the year, you find yourself making a list of goals for your company instead of resolutions for yourself.  Here are the things I’m going to push myself to accomplish in 2016.

Goal: End the year with at least 10 weddings
I know 10 weddings doesn’t sound like very many.  And in some ways, it’s not.  But I’m doing my best to grow JDE slow & steady.  That’s what makes things last.  I want to do this right and “becoming famous” overnight isn’t going to serve me or my clients in the way I dream of.  So for now, I’m aiming for 10 weddings and I’m so excited for that!

Goal: Coordinate a wedding outside of Hampton Roads
Charlottesville, Eastern Shore, Outer Banks.  I would be ecstatic to book a wedding in any of these gorgeous locations.  They all have so many incredible venues to offer!

Goal: To have a booth at a bridal show
This one was on my list last year and I didn’t accomplish it.  So….we’ll try again this year!  I’m dying to set up a booth and meet tons of new brides!

So do you have any exciting goals you’d like to accomplish in 2016?

Just Dandy Events' Venue Wishlist

I know most brides have a wishlist for their own wedding.  They know where they want to host it, what they want their dress to look like, and what signature cocktails they want to serve to their guests.  But you may be surprised to know that most wedding planners have a wishlist too!

I've got a list of venues that I'm hoping my brides will reserve for their big day.  These three places are so gorgeous, and so different from one another.  I can't wait to share them with you!

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards - Charlottesville, VA

via: Pinterest
 First up on my wish list is Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards.  I visited Pippin Hill back in November 2014 when some girlfriends and I went to have lunch and taste some of their amazing wines.  The staff was setting up for a wedding in the Granary and I was just in awe of the space.  I stood inside the room, mouth agape, dreaming of coordinating a wedding in such a gorgeous space.  The entire venue is stunning, the backdrop of the mountains is unbelievable, and that wine is delicious.  Future JDE Brides: Please please please, someone book this venue!!

BayVue Estate - Mathews County, VA

via: Shannon Moffit Photography, Tidewater and Tulle
  Back in the beginning of the year, I made the drive to Mathews County to check out BayVue Estate.  We had a pretty interesting winter, with lots and lots of snow...so when I arrived everything was white!  And boy was it gorgeous.  But it was also easy to see how incredible of a spot it is when everything is lush and green too.  The home has so much character and charm to it, and the property is absolutely breathtaking.  I've definitely got a soft spot for a waterfront location, and this one ticks all the boxes for the kind of setting I would love for one of my sweet couples' big day!

Hermitage Museum & Gardens

via: Jen + Ashley, Tidewater and Tulle
  Ohhhh how I love the Hermitage!  This gorgeous waterfront property in the heart of Norfolk is one of the more historical venues in the area, with crazy beautiful gardens and so much to offer to the wedding industry.  I recently coordinated a first anniversary styled shoot {keep an eye out for those images!} and I must have said "I wish a JDE bride would book her wedding here!" at least 10 times.  Seriously, this place is stunning.

Ok so there you have it.  The three venues on my wedding venue wishlist.  Now....JDE Brides....help a girl out!  <3

Accomplishing Goals

The past couple of weeks have been pretty incredible.  Lots has happened and I have tons of exciting things in the works.  To say I'm tired wouldn't quite cover it, but it's the best kind of tired.  My brain is being exercised in ways I didn't know were possible.  The feeling of not being able to turn my good ideas off at night is a new one and it's so great.  I'm happy.  And I'm excited to see what's next.

Every now and then, I write up a list of goals I'd like to accomplish for myself and for JDE.  I have a tendency to post them here, put them out into the universe, as a way to hold myself accountable and push me to make them happen.  So far, it's worked out pretty well.

I'm happy to report that we're only half way through 2015 and I'm continuously checking off some of those goals I set back in January.  So here's a little status report.

Goal: Book 5 More Weddings for the 2015 Season
As of January 1st, I had booked 2 weddings for 2015, and none for 2016.  I had accepted that it was going to be a slower year for JDE, but I was really hopeful that I could change that.  Well, those two initial weddings have come and gone, and both were huge successes.  Now I'm gearing up for the other four I booked for later in the year!

While I haven't quite hit the magic number of 5 that I hoped for, I got 4 more and a 2016 wedding.  So I'm calling that a goal accomplished.  Besides, it's only July.  I could still book a fifth for 2015!

Goal: Learn Calligraphy
 I don't like my handwriting.  I never have.  It's neat-ish.  It's readable.  But it's never been what I see as pretty.  I've always envied the girls with the really scrolly, feminine handwriting.  I've considered taking calligraphy classes, but they tend to be a bit on the pricey side.  Not to mention, they take up time that I just don't have right now.  Well, last week I saw a post on Instagram about Printable Wisdom's No Fuss Calligraphy Starter Kit.  So I checked it out.  Ya'll.  I got so excited looking at it!  It's affordable and simple and something I can work at in my spare time.

So I ordered it.  It should be delivered this week and I cannot wait to get started teaching myself.  I'm sure I'll be posting plenty of progress pictures on Instagram, so keep an eye out and don't laugh at me please.

Goal: Network More
When I posted this goal, I put it out there that this was an area that scared the crap out of me.  I'm naturally a shy person.  The idea of walking into a room of people I don't know and introducing myself and striking up conversation literally gives me a stomach ache.  Or at least it used to.  Over the past 6 months or so, I've really put myself out there a lot more.  Thank goodness for my #vendorsoulmate Liz.  She's definitely the one that has pushed me out of my comfort zone and shown me that it's worth it.  To say I'm thankful for her encouragement is a huge understatement.

So I've attended more events I've been invited to.  I've started going to Tuesdays Together gatherings.  I've even reached out directly to other creatives that I feel I could learn from and develop friendships with.  That's a really big deal for me and I'm quite proud of myself honestly.  I can't wait to see the new friendships and work relationships I gain.

Woo!  I'm so excited that I'm able to cross these goals off my list for 2015 and add some more to try to wipe out before the end of the year.  Keep an eye out for a new list of goals soon! 


As a matter of accountability, I've decided to start posting my goals for Just Dandy Events on here for all of you wonderful people to see.  I'm hoping the accountability will give me the extra push to do whatever I can to accomplish them.

If you've followed this blog before now, {and if you do, I feel like I should hug you, and buy you Starbucks, and tell you how much I appreciate you} you know that I haven't always been very diligent about posting.  I tend to feel like I don't have much to say.  I don't do "this event thing" full-time just yet...I still have a 40-hour a week job.  I don't always have an event to write about {no matter how much I wish I did}.  So finding a topic to ramble on about, something I feel like won't be a waste of my readers' time, is tough work!  BUT...I'm going to do better.

Last month, I read this post from Kat at Dear Sweetheart Events and what she said really hit home.  {THANK YOU KAT!}  She pointed out that "no blog is better than a dead blog".  She said that a blog without regular activity gives its readers the wrong idea.  I don't want to send that wrong idea to my readers.

After reading that, I realized just how right she is.  I realized that I need to devote more time and energy to this little blog.  So, that's my goal right now.  Fingers crossed I can make that happen.  :)