How Many Weddings Do You Take a Year?

We get asked this question SO much. It’s not a simple answer either.

In late 2012, we decided to come together and start an event planning company. Ally and I were fairly new to events at the time, while Jeri had been in the industry for many years.

On top of owning our own event planning company, Ally and I worked full time, while Jeri worked at home, raising 4 of the cutest girls ever. in 2015, Ally welcomed her first adorable daughter, and will be welcoming a second daughter this summer! I had my first son in June of 2016. Our answer has been different each year because of all the personal changes in our lives from year to year.

Our families have been, and always will be our priorities. Because of that, and because we want to be able to meet and exceed our clients expectations, we limit the amount of weddings we take per year. We will not take more than 4 full service weddings a year, so that we are able to devote the amount of time necessary for each wedding. With our 2 month coordination package, we have yet to reach a limit – because those require less time, they are easier to accommodate.

While we love what we do, we also want to keep in mind that the reason we celebrate weddings, is because we celebrate marriage.

So the complicated answer is that we take as many weddings as we are able to, without missing out on precious, fleeting time with our families!

jeri-and-familyally172_evans_9-7-16_r-2

Thank you for reading,

Erin

God’s Timing or Coincidence

Sometimes there are times in your life when you step back and think “WOW”. The past 15 or so months of mine have been like that, making me realize that God is always in control. This probably is of no interest to anyone but me, but I’m going to share it anyway 🙂

In late October 2015, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child. We had planned on waiting until the following summer to start trying for a family, but surprise, we would actually be welcoming our first child instead. Rewind several months, and in late April of 2015, my company changed our maternity leave policy from 6 weeks to an extra 8 weeks, for a total of 14 fully paid weeks for a natural birth (awesome, right?).

In November of 2015, when I was around 9 weeks pregnant, my company also changed their dress code policy to allowing jeans. Ironically, I had said to my husband the night before we received the policy change that my work dress pants were too tight and uncomfortable, but that I didn’t really want to purchase new maternity ones. I was able to wear my regular jeans to almost the halfway point, and then maternity jeans the rest of the pregnancy. It wasn’t a huge “coincidence” thing, but being able to not buy two sets of clothing (one work, one “play”) was really nice considering you only wear maternity clothes for 5-6 months.

In December of 2015 we told our families we’d be adding a baby to our family. On Christmas Day, we told my grandparents, and I even recorded telling them the news. Less than a month later, my grandpa died unexpectedly. He meant a lot to me growing up, and I was so happy I was able to share with him that he was having a great grandchild. For Christmas I gave them a card and wrote in it “Time is the best gift we can give, so we’d like to take you out for breakfast”. I’ve never done that before for them, and it was a last minute idea for the grandparents who never want anything! The following day, we went out to breakfast. The last conversation we had while walking out of the restaurant, he had asked what the baby would call him: “Bestefar?” (Norwegian for great grandfather). Had we followed our original timeline, he wouldn’t have known.

Kyle and I decided early on in our marriage that when we had kids, I would more than likely leave my job. It just wasn’t feasible for me to work full time for various reasons. With the way the maternity leave policy was, and the time of year Bennett was born, I was able to take 10 weeks of work off, and then spread out my remaining 4 weeks, only working 3 days a week through the end of the year (thanks to my predecessor Ally having that great idea!). Once my maternity leave ran out, I put in my resignation at work – everyone was extremely supportive, including my bosses. Even as much as I disliked my job, deciding to leave what you’ve known the past 5 years, the extra income, and good benefits is scary! I enjoy working with people, and know I’m going to miss the daily adult interaction, especially with a traveling husband.

The week after I put my resignation in, my company laid off a portion of my department, which also included my job. If I had struggled with leaving before, there was no looking back now. Again, had we followed our original “family” timeline, I would have missed out on a lot of benefits provided by my company during the maternity period.

This year, we’ve had a record number of wedding requests, and are able to accommodate more since I will not be working full-time, providing a small supplemental income for us.

I am thankful for an omniscient God.

When have there been times in your life where the timing makes you take a step back?

Thanks for reading,

Erin

 

New Year, New Normal

January is a great month, at least I feel that way. While I may strongly dislike the weather this time of year, the fresh start that a new year brings is what I love. A new planner (you can find mine here by Emily Ley) color coded with birthdays, appointments, travel, and to-do’s is probably my favorite part of a new year – does that make me a total nerd?

This year though, brings one of the bigger changes to my life. I had my son in June of 2016, and my husband and I have decided that me staying at home to raise him is the best decision for our family. Various factors play into this decision, and when it was made I felt a huge sense of peace – that’s when you know you’ve made the right choice! My last day with my current company is a week from tomorrow, and it’s going to be bittersweet since I have worked there for 5 years.

for-blog

I’m looking forward to more time with this cutie!

So what does this mean? Well for starters, I won’t be driving an hour to and from work. Getting that time back and being able to do things like work on Bennett’s baby book, organize my closet, cook dinner (what??) is huge! Since weekends are so precious while working full time and we leave at 7 am and don’t get home until close to 6pm, those extras just fall to the side. I’m a huge lover of organization, so I’m very much looking forward to getting our house back on track while my son naps like a champ.

The even bigger thing this means is that I’ll be able to spend more time growing My Simple Soiree. Coming up with larger business objectives, new marketing materials, an improved business structure and everything that owning a small business entails are all on my plate for the this year! Expect blog posts from me as well – although I can’t say they will all be event focused as I’d like for this blog to be relatable to a larger audience 🙂

If you have any tips on how to stay productive and/or how to spend your time while being a stay at home mom & owning a small business at the same time, I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading,

Erin

Trendy Bride Magazine Feature

We are so thrilled to announce our feature in Trendy Bride Magazine !

In August, MSS planned and coordinated an amazing team of vendors at a local blueberry farm for this unique shoot. 


Click the Trendy Bride link to see more about this gorgeous shoot. 

Photography Arielle Peters Photography 

Planning & Coordination My Simple Soirée  

Rentals A Party Apart   

Table Helm Woodcraft

Hair & Makeup Something Blue Stylists

Hairpiece & Jewelry Hair Comes the Bride 

Suit Male Fashions

Rings Trumpet & Horn

Ring Box The Mrs. Box     

Florals Rose’s Bouquets: A Weddings-Only Florist    

Cake SassieCakes Sassie Cakes

Ribbon & Gauze Table Runner Adorn Company

Stationary Kelsey Malie Calligraphy

Models Eric and Amanda Carpenter

Venue Blue Barn Berry Farm

Styling Abbitt Collective

Our Magnolia Trip

To say this post is overdue is pretty much the understatement of the year. Earlier in the year Erin and Jeri made a trip to Waco, TX to embrace all things Magnolia and maybe catch a glimpse of Chipper and JoJo. Unfortunately, Chipper and JoJo were out of town putting the finishing touches on their book. 


Waco is a wonderful town and the downtown is going through a major revitalization thanks impart to the Gaines family. 

Here are a few suggestions for a Waco Weekend:

1.  Go to Magnolia on a Thursday or Friday and get there right when the doors open. Saturday’s are a bit crazy. 


(This was Saturday 20 minutes after opening)

2. Arrive 30 minutes before the store opens to get a good parking spot in the lot directly behind the store. 

3. Start in the back of the store in the discount room and work forward. 



4. Stay for lunch! They have some amazing food trucks and a huge yard that you could bring your kiddos and let them play with all the games available. Or walk through  Joanna’s garden and pose for some photo ops.  Now the bakery is open so you can also grab a delicious Gaines’ family favorite dessert. 


5. Visit Harp Design Company. They have such a cute little shop that you can see where Clint and JoJo bring their talents to life. 


6. Find a local and ask about the other wonderful places in Waco. Wacians are some of the friendliest around and love telling you about the great BBQ, coffee, college, and hidden gems of Waco. 


Jeri’s favorite coffee was at Common Grounds. She still orders coffee from them and has it shipped to her house. 

Last but not least be prepared for the drive from Dallas. It’s almost 2 hours but worth every minute. Erin and Jeri stayed at the Hampton Inn in Waco. It was a wonderful stay with a great southern breakfast every morning and friendly staff. Ask for Corey and he will be glad to direct you to the best BBQ in town. 

Welcome to the World Nursery

Remember Erin’s travel themed baby shower? Well this theme didn’t stop there! Erin decoded the perfect travel baby nursery.

The large wall map took 4 people to hang! 

 


Kyle and Erin love to travel and want Bennett to be prepared when they start filling up his first passport.

These cute plane string art came from Target

This large map was bought off Amazon – it gets hung like wallpaper!

This was a neat find by Ally

TJ Maxx for the win!

Target – are we surprised?

Changing table complete with Emily Ley’s sweet baby book.


Some fun facts about B’s nursery:

•The dresser was Erin’s mom’s growing up.

•The crib was used with all of Jeri’s girls and is now living a new life in the Warner family.

•The map of OH is a tribute to Erin’s home state.


The Warners are adjusting well as a new family of 3! Below is a current picture of Bennett who is 2 months old now. 

Nursery Pictures | Arielle Peters Photography 

Travel Theme Baby Shower

We started our summer celebrating with one of our own {Erin & Kyle Warner} on their new little one. 


Ally and Jeri (with the help of Terri the soon-to-be grandma and mother-in-law of Erin) planned a travel themed shower to celebrate the littlest Warner arriving into the world. 


It was just a fun day helping Erin prepare for her little one. 

We’re happy to report Bennet Lincoln Warner made his arrival on 

June 30,2016 

8lbs 13oz 

22″


Welcome to the MSS family Bennett!

Venue | Winona Heritage Room 

Event Stylist & Planner | My Simole Soiree

Vintage June Wedding

We started our wedding season off with a bang. 

R + T picked a gorgeous venue in Goshen, IN called Bread and Chocolate in the Old Bag Factory. 

We were happy to be the designers of this gorgeous wedding. The bride was a fellow Type A personality like us and just needed our help for florals and pull together her design vision.

We were able to one of our amazing preferred vendors Maeve Vintage Boutique and Rentals. The ladies of Maeve are always a joy to work with and our styling guru gals!  


No day is complete without a photographer to capture all the details that make your day unique. Bekah Taylor Photography was able to tell the beautiful story of R + T through her gift of photography. Click her link to see more of this lovely vintage, warehouse wedding. 


Thank R + T for letting us be apart of story!

Design & Florals | My Simple Soiree

Venue, Catering & Cake | Bread and Chocolate

Vintage Rentals & Styling | Maeve Vintage Boutique & Rentals

Photography | Bekah Taylor Photography

Welcome Lauren!

We are SO excited to welcome Lauren to the MSS team! From the moment we met Lauren, we knew she was the perfect fit. MSS is not only a business but a group of best friends and really a mini family. So bringing someone new into the fold was a bit nerve racking but Lauren fell right into sync. It felt like she had been there from the beginning. 

Lauren also brings a wealth of small business knowledge. We are excited to utilize her skills for Warsaw Vendor Network, Non Profit and Corporate clients. AND to help us grow the MSS brand!

Read on to hear from Lauren more about her story and excitement about serving the clients of My Simple Soirée…

Throughout my life as a descendent of a family of entrepreneurs, I have developed an intense love for business and its continual growth and development. I love finding new ways that allow me to grow and learn in a new and exciting way while bringing my skills, experience, and expertise to the environment that I am in. There is nothing that I enjoy more than sinking my teeth into an objective and investing my time and effort in to seeing it grow successfully.  
I graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology Pre-med and after working in a hospital for a few months realized that the business and organization behind the science of Medicine is what I was more interested in. That experience led me to get by MBA. Since that time I have worked for family businesses helping grow and develop their strategy, organization, and development.

Utilizing these talents and gifts guide me through this new and exciting adventure I have embarked on with My Simple Soiree. I am so excited and honored to take part in this organization and begin to learn and grow with the incredible ladies that make it all happen.

-Lauren Martzall