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

img_1324

Your Role as the MOH

How to Be the Best Maid of HonorFrom the moment your friend switches her Facebook status to “Engaged” you can bet her mind starts racing with wedding thoughts! One of the first things a girl considers when planning her wedding is who will be standing next to her. In fact, I think most girls would admit they have the girls picked out long before they know which guy they will be standing next to.

Not only have we interacted with many bridal parties while coordinating weddings, but each of us has also been the Maid of Honor (and bridesmaid) for multiple weddings, not to mention having our own weddings ourselves. Here are some tips we’ve learned, both firsthand and through observation, which we want to share so that you can rock out in your role as the Maid of Honor.

ONLY say YES if you truly mean it.

Most of you will probably gloss over this because, presumably if you’re reading this post, you’ve already committed to standing up in the wedding. However, this truly is the first step you must take before you can be a good MOH.

Most women don’t understand that being asked to stand up in a wedding is just that- it’s a REQUEST. Nobody is forcing you. When you accept, you’re accepting the responsibilities that come along with it. Too often we hear members of the bridal party complaining about being in the wedding when, in reality, you said yes. It’s an honor that someone wants you to be by their side on their wedding day so if you know you simply can’t fulfill the traditional role of the Maid of Honor, be honest with your friend.

Things to think through before saying yes:

Budget- Can you reasonably cover the costs that come with the responsibility? Most girls just plan on buying a dress, but additional costs may include throwing & attending a bridal shower, bachelorette party, shower and wedding gifts, hair/makeup for the wedding day, and shoes or other accessories the bride requests you have for the big day (ie matching shirts, anyone??)

Life Circumstances- Are you graduating from school the month of her wedding? Moving across the country? Are you engaged yourself? A wise man once said, “Life happens.” And that it does! While you aren’t expected to devote 100% of your attention on your friend’s wedding, be honest with yourself. If you know you won’t be able to balance it all, it may be necessary to politely decline; or, offer to help in a different low-key way.

Help her plan HER wedding day.

Help your friend plan the wedding SHE is dreaming of. Not you. The wedding that SHE is envisioning. Not the one you’re envisioning for her. HER wedding. Not yours.…..

Ladies, you’re the Maid of Honor. You’re her friend, confidant, advocate, wingman, secret-keeper- but you are not the bride. Enough said. 

Be the Maid of Honor she needs you to be

To be honest, most pieces of advice fall under this! Here’s the deal- you know your friend! To be honest, there are sides of her that you’ve seen that her fiancé may not have even been exposed to it. That’s the beauty of a true friend. Each bride has different strengths and weaknesses, different life situations, different time constraints, etc. Your role in Jackie’s wedding may not be the same as that time you were in Ashley’s. Jackie may be an independent, Type-A project manager who honestly doesn’t need you to call the photographer for her ; however, her parents just got divorced so your main job on the wedding day may simply be to keep them apart! Or, your job may literally just be to drink champagne with her on the wedding day and tell her how much you love the dress (Yes, of course youll shorten it and wear it again!)

Listen to your friend and ask her what SHE needs; be her advocate when she needs that extra voice in her corner. When a bride knows she has you in her corner to help her out wherever she needs it most it makes a world of a difference!

Let her cry over spilled milk

I cannot tell you what it will be, but I guarantee there will be at least one seemingly simple thing during the wedding planning process that will push her over the edge. And sorry chicas, but if you haven’t been engaged before, you can sympathize- but you won’t understand. But in this case, your job isn’t to understand, just listen.

When the rental company only has white linens instead of ivory, sympathize.

When the florist can’t get in spray buds like she thought they could, sympathize.

When her fiancé and her can’t agree on the cake topper, sympathize.

When she wants the string quartet version of her first dance and all the DJ can find is a piano version…

Sympathize.

​…. And one more thing. Make sure she’s told a RIDICULOUS amount of times on her wedding day just how stunning she is and that her fiance is THE luckiest guy in the whole world to have her. What more could a bride ask for??​

img_3084

Bridal Workshop

We are so excited about our bridal workshop coming up on April 21st. This workshop is the first of its kind in our area and we can’t wait to teach brides all the important aspects of planning their special day. 

Our vendors for this first class our some of our favorites.  It’s so great to work with not only true professionals but great friends. 

  
For registration information, please visit our EventBrite page. 

Here’s more information on this all-inclusive course:

  

Gown: Glam , Hair and Make up: Something Blue Stylists

2016 be Wed Bridal Expo

  A few pictures from our booth. Rentals from Maeve Vintage Boutique Rentals. Styling by My Simple Soirée 

It’s a wrap on our 2nd year organizing, planning and coordinating the be Wed Bridal Expo. 2016 was a fantastic year and we could be more pleased with the vendors and brides that participated this year. 
A run down of this years stats:

•Over 220 attendees

•Flash mob

•52 vendors 

•2 grand prize giveaways

•Over 50 door prizes 
   
 Photos by Megan Renee Photography. Decor by Warsaw Party Rental & Cottage Creations Florist

We can’t say thank you enough to everyone that helped make the be Wed Bridal Expo such a huge success. From volunteers to vendors, it takes a bridal village and ours here in Northern Indiana is pretty awesome! 

Special thanks to our 2016 Sponsors:

Cottage Creations Florist

Grace College

Ohh My! Cakes 

Southern Exposure Photography

Warsaw Party Rental

Runway Sponsors:

Deb Collier’s School of Dance

Glam Boutique

Male Fashions

Megan Renee Photography

Night to Remember

Perfect Sounds DJ

Something Blue Stylists

We’re already planning a bigger and better be Wed in 2017. Look for information in May for how you can be apart of the fun in 2017!