Romance in Monet Vineyards: A Styled Shoot

Elegance can be defined in multiple ways and everyone will hold a different idea of what it means to them. It can be tulle dresses and high-end events. It can be the way a ballet is performed, or even how a set or piece of art is arranged. For us, this styled shoot captured the word and intertwined it with the dream-like state that a wedding brings on–a feeling that’s especially inevitable at Monet Vineyards, the charming backdrop for this shoot.

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While weddings are already intrinsically romantic, adding in those gossamer details and soft touches bring out the intimacy tenfold. Flowers and centerpieces created by Foraged Floral were the perfect addition to complement the shades of green around the venue while still standing out on their own. Savan Photography was the magic behind the lens and the combination of skills between Kiss and Makeup Artistry along with Swept Away Wedding Hair Design resulted in blushy, au natural looks for both the bride and groom. Alley & Co Calligraphy provided the finishing touches with delicately placed stationery.

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Monet Vineyards was drenched in stunning, slightly overcast sun and ivy was draped and wrapped around nearly every building, wall, and gate. The ombré of greens were present all throughout the property with dusty lavender shrubs, deep emerald deciduous trees, and the evergreen forests far back on the hills. Every person on set enjoyed exploring every corner of the vineyards and shooting or styling in the open spaces with the perfect lighting and in the cozy nooks hidden by ivy. View the rest of the photos in the grid below or in our Styled Shoots tab. 

Warmly,
Melissa

 

Stationery: Alley & Co Calligraphy 
Rentals: Something Borrowed
Dress: Elizabeth Mackenzie Bridal
Groom's attire: Stitch and Tie
Ring: Susie Saltzman
Models: Natalie Joublin + Bradley Emmens
 

Planning + design: Vanity Affair Events
Photography: Savan Photography
Hair: Swept Away Wedding Hair Design
Makeup: Kiss and Makeup Artistry
Venue: Monet Vineyards
Florals: Foraged Floral
 

Practice Doesn't Always Make Perfect

It can come close though. The popular saying “practice makes perfect” is pretty quickly undermined when you break into wedding planning. Weddings can be meticulously drafted out, every detail scrutinized once, twice, three times, and charted out by the half hour. But the unexpected and unpredictable are called those names for a reason. Despite the immense effort, attention to detail, and perfecting, something most likely always runs astray. While during your event you may never see the quick thinking that leads to a “perfect” façade, we believe in honesty and authenticity. No wedding planner is perfect, no matter how many years of experience are under his or her belt. One of the biggest mishaps that we had to troubleshoot was during a wedding this year.

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About 100 proofs had been looked over throughout the planning process. Once, twice, three times always checking for errors. Pieces as minor as an accent mark over a letter to as big as the actual menu listings. Multiple sets of eyes on these projects are necessary because of how easy it is to miss the details.

This may not seem like a huge deal to some, but in this industry–the details are precisely the most important part. We had worked nearly six months with the family curating an unbelievable menu that was heavily focused on the wine pairing. The members of this family could easily be considered wine connoisseurs and it was essential that the time and care put into these food and beverage pairings were reflected on the menus. They were so excited and marinating in anticipation to share laughs and smiles over wine and food that were featured on this perfectly curated list.

The paper goods were hand delivered on Friday, on site in Bend, Oregon, which we should’ve collectively as a team checked and rechecked that box upon arrival.

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Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. What had occurred with ours is the stationer sent the final proof and the wine that was being served strictly to the head table somehow got swapped to go to print, reflecting all guests would be enjoying this wine based on their menu. Kelsey had approved the final proof nearly 48 hours prior to delivery and it was an oversight on her end. In return, the wines got swapped on the stationery side unbeknownst to the designer as well. 

Come wedding day, Kelsey was down at the ceremony site while Alex and Danielle were at reception tending to different tasks. At 12:06 PM, Danielle came over the walkie talkies to inform Kelsey there was an issue. Not thinking much of it, Kelsey asked what kind of issue. Danielle and Alex proceeded to tell her that the menus were inaccurate.

A letter was off. A title was wrong. Maybe a design was bleeding off the edge. It could be anything. Kelsey wasn’t fazed or aware of the scale of the error until they explained to her that nearly 200 of the 220 menus printed were incorrect. Specifically reading the wrong wine the guests would be drinking.

Kelsey never panicked, but openly admits her heart sank to the bottom of her stomach. Feelings and blame had to be set aside in order to accurately and confidently go through the motions to pull this together at the last minute. She texted the stationer.  

“What are our solutions? Can we print? I have someone who will drive menus down in a heartbeat.”

“What time is dinner? Wait, ALL menus?”

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The team didn’t have cell reception on site and after the initial texts they were using the only single landline on the property to contact everyone.

The odds that the stationer was home at 12 PM on a Saturday, had ordered double the amount of specialty paper, and had the resources to print within 90 minutes were enough to give goosebumps at the synchronicity of it all.

Vince, Kelsey's boyfriend, drove down from Portland to Bend without a single road hiccup in sight.

The Vanity Affair Events team ended up stalling all guests for ten minutes at cocktail hour. It was a sweltering day and the heat was uncomfortable, but it was necessary until they knew every menu had been placed.

After the day had ended and a fresh week started, the incident was starting to fade to the back of everyone's minds. Just when you believe you were quick enough to cover up the evidence to tell the story at a later date over wine–you're greeted with a text from amazing people who we get to call clients. And yes, pictured below is the incorrectly printed menus the client found under the piano the next morning and sent a picture before departing. 

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This type of job is stressful. There are mistakes, accidents, and unexpected emergencies no matter how well you're prepared. Thankfully, you learn every time what you can do differently and what you would change. Anytime Kelsey is asked if this career is worth it, she thinks of this photo. 

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And a look like that explains it all.

Warmly,
Melissa

Photos by Tyler Branch

So You're the Anti-Planner, Eh?

Wedding planning is overwhelming, and when you have about 50-100 things being thrown your way on top of the opinions of parents and friends it can be hard to think straight and strategically plan a wedding you and your guests will enjoy.

It most likely doesn't help either when you despise planning. 

We previously wrote a post on how to make wedding planning fun for the planner and anti-planner, so now here's your guide to contributing when you want to do anything but contribute.

It's completely understandable to be that person. You can't be forced to like something or constantly fake a yes-honey-I-love-this-smile 24/7. But at the same time, it's also not fair to place all of the stress on your other half. While we're not saying to throw yourself headfirst into wedding planning abyss (please don't do that) there are several small acts you can do. 

1. Find what you like–or something close
What may seem like the most boring, time-consuming task to your fiancé/fiancée, you might actually enjoy. Is number-crunching something you could do in your sleep? Maybe you can figure out the best financial options for you both. Are you addicted to fashion and styling? Picking the colors for the décor, dresses, and tuxes for your wedding party might be more bearable. Is planning really the worst thing on planet earth to you? Go on that coffee run and grab their favorite latte for them.

Photo by Rachel Jacobson

2. Give your opinion
You don't need to make an executive decision on whether you should use royal blue or cerulean on the save the dates, but offering your opinion can help take the pressure down a notch, and make your partner feel like you put your two cents in. Last minute sleep-deprived decisions can also be deterred thanks to your opinion so don't hold back.

3. Be the timer/referee
Having your entire lives revolve around the wedding is a surefire way to cause arguments and lose sight of any fun that this was supposed to be. Blow that whistle when it all gets to be way too much. Enforce coffee breaks, power naps, and walks outside. Provide an impromptu comedy show for some much needed laughs. You may not have any idea how soul-sucking Pinterest can be, but your partner probably does. Make the lightheartedness of your relationship cushion the bumps of planning. 

4. Help with tedious or everyday tasks
Sticking stamps on envelopes is something you'd do any day of the week. The difference is these are your wedding invitations or save the dates. You can also offer to pick up more chores around the house or run typical errands. Do the dishes, grab groceries. Anything that might chip away at the stress on both of your shoulders. These small jobs feel a lot more meaningful when you're in the process of planning a wedding.

Photo by Tyler Rye

Photo by Tyler Rye

5. Remind him or her that you're on their side
When you're not heavily involved in the process it can feel a somewhat isolating for the other person. Simply sitting on the couch next to him or her while knee-deep in catering proposals or offering to give a neck massage after an overwhelming day are small gestures that will serve as a reminder that you're in this together.  

Photo by Colleen Amelia

 

 

It's Not All Confetti and Butterflies

I’ll be honest, when I first started with Vanity Affair I had no idea what to expect. I had written about weddings, helped plan a close friend’s wedding (sort of), and obsessed over them on Pinterest. I knew not to glamorize the industry, simply because the magazine industry I was a part of was often glamorized despite the inside dirty work. I learned pretty quickly that the wedding industry is a whole other beast–and the pictures only show the stunning results of a crazy, in-depth production.

Kelsey and I were headed back from a site visit outside of Corvallis when I asked her what the weirdest question she’s ever received from a client was. She didn’t have one, but rather she found that the public’s assumptions of what wedding planners do were the most puzzling.

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You can’t really blame someone for not knowing what goes on in an industry they’re not a part of. I’m clearly not equipped to recite the job qualifications and daily schedule of a surgeon or a construction worker–though I could guess. But sometimes the lack of seriousness or the expectations set by people can be far from realistic.

“No one really takes you seriously until you show up and they realize you actually know what you’re talking about,” Kelsey said.

Photo by Aubree Lynn

Photo by Aubree Lynn

Movies have seemed to butcher the occupation. Even the way planners are portrayed in the media reflect airheads obsessed with the frills and giggles of a wedding. I can guarantee you we’re not throwing glitter and confetti, styling dresses, or running around with ribbons during our work hours (or off hours).

It’s a little more nitty gritty than that. And a lot more emails and organization than one might think. Kelsey has given a foot massage to a bride-to-be, handpicked worms off a dance floor in the rain as vendors (male ones mind you- you had to be there, too funny!) watched, and had her kickass boyfriend drive three hours to help with a printing error on a client’s menu and made it back just as cocktail hour was ending. The planning process isn’t glamorous and it’s not perfect. Shit happens, and even if it happens day of the wedding, planners turn into the emergency cleanup crew, putting out fires and fixing messes before they happen or before it can domino into something worse.

Photo by Paulina

Photo by Paulina

Wedding planners are often behind the scenes and behind the screen. We’re taking calls and responding to emails, collecting proposal after proposal, and refining the details of timelines to the couple’s last step out of the venue. It’s tiring, but it becomes a wild, fun addiction after a while, one that we never want to give up.

Warmly,
Melissa

Tossing Tradition Out the Door

On a crisp Friday evening in September, Vanity Affair Events was in on a secret. A pretty large secret to be exact. Kelsey and myself, along with our two clients Kris and Ilona were the only four who knew what would be happening after the dinner plates were cleared. 

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The Friday dinner was hosted to celebrate the courthouse marriage of Kris and Ilona in an intimate setting. Close family and friends were gathered at 23Hoyt and shared stories, laughs, and lots of wine. When the night seemed to be coming to an end, Ilona was waiting upstairs in a wedding gown–a Monique Lhuillier to be exact. 

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The music was cued and she descended the stairs to meet Kris at their impromptu "altar" in front of all the tables. Giddy excitement and shock is an understatement of the guests reactions as they shared their vows. When planning their "wedding" the couple emphasized that the idea of a traditional wedding wasn't for them. Surprising their guests and hosting a small party, then a larger reception the following evening was authentically them and matched their personalities. We loved the idea, and we love that traditional weddings are being broken, modified, and reinterpreted. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a traditional ceremony and reception, the small (or large) details that give a couple the freedom to reflect themselves is incredibly satisfying. Whether you're throwing a surprise wedding or changing up a traditional detail as simple as a card box, any kind of individual touch is beautiful.

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The provocative and somewhat negative reputation that once surrounded elopements have been removed and couples are sneaking off to waterfalls with a photographer to capture their unity. Brides are straying from the typical white, tulle gowns and trading them in for pastels, jewel tones, and even black. First dances are being reinterpreted into sharp tangos and sultry foxtrots. Many couples are taking the famous (or infamous depending on your style) plated dinners and creating buffets, family style, and even bringing in food carts. There is no right or wrong way to break tradition, as long as you're having fun and feeling uniquely you in the process.

Warmly,
Melissa

Stationery by Tie That Binds

 

Stressed: A Table for Two

Wedding planning is exciting. It’s fun, and thrilling, and really like nothing you’ve ever experienced. We know this–we see it in movies, in magazines, on Instagram. But we know that stress might be a better synonym for wedding planning too. Sleepless nights, upset tummies, nitpicking, fights over small details (are we really fighting over which candle votive we want?).  As wedding planners, we see it all the time. We know that the process is far from perfect and we wanted to offer advice for destressing during an overwhelming time. Writing a one-size-fits-all guide is impossible; you and your fiancé undoubtedly handle stress in different ways. Your schedule and timing might be off or too packed, and with your money being funneled into a wedding an impromptu vacation isn’t really aligned in the stars. But there are a few things that you can fit around your relationship and personalities.  

Photo by Jenny Losee

Photo by Jenny Losee

The first piece of advice we can offer is finding something to do with just the two of you. Your best friends, parents, and coworkers aren’t invited–physically or electronically. Toss your phones in the glovebox of your car and spend a few hours focusing on just you two. In the Portland area, free yoga and fitness classes are offered in different spots all around the city. You can peruse delicious samples at Portland’s markets (and night market) or simply walk to the top of Council Crest with a picnic or bottle of champagne and revert back to your pre-engagement times. Don’t talk about the guest list or the food tasting, try to focus on being in the moment and maybe some inside jokes. When you take a break from the wedding it's easier to remember the excitement that had you planning it in the first place.

Photo by Catalina Jean

Photo by Catalina Jean

Finding alone time is also essential in combatting stress. You might bottle up your feelings, whereas your fiancé may want to discuss their emotions for hours. You’re most likely spending a lot of time together planning and discussing the wedding, so breathing space can be key in staying levelheaded and keeping your cool. A solo massage or even enjoying a book and a cup of tea on the back porch alone allows you to refresh and gain some quiet in your mind. This list also has some great ideas for activities you can do individually.

Photo by Sue Fox

Photo by Sue Fox

Lastly, reach out for help. This can be incredibly hard to do sometimes, especially if you’re not one to ask for support in any given situation. But your friends, family, and planners have your back. Even speaking with a counselor can give you a way of spilling everything confidentially. Putting all the stress and burden on the two of your backs will only make you feel worse. Your friends would probably love offering advice on those candle votives, your mom or dad wouldn't mind helping you narrow the guest list and your planners can give you advice and direction on anything from your floral design down to the processional order. We know that this process isn’t all diamonds and flowers, but there are ways to work past the stress and ensure that your wedding day is a positively unforgettable one.

Photo by Jenny Losee

Photo by Jenny Losee

 

 

Post-Wedding Blues

Weddings usually invoke images of their dazzling components. It’s enough to fill you with warm feelings and picture every detail from the way the tulle falls on the bride’s gown to how the cake melts in your mouth. Experiencing it, whether you’re the bride, groom, a member of the bridal party, or a guest, is a surefire way to understand the accompanying bliss. But when the day ends, the dresses are put away, and the cake has been eaten, many brides begin to transition into a phase of overwhelming sadness.

This isn’t the bittersweet wish of wanting to relive the day, but rather a deeper sadness that rarely gets recognition. A Vanity Affair bride who chose to remain anonymous shared her experience with us and we were grateful to hear a real-life account of a common feeling that is seldom mentioned, much less talked about.

“I wasn’t very attached to my wedding. I would just kind of pick things and call it good. I hated the process and it wasn’t something that I would consider ‘the best thing ever.’ I just wanted to get to the wedding day,” she said. When the day rolled around she loved it. She reveled in every emotion and moment, experiencing a high she’d hadn't felt before. Being the middle of winter, it's typically uncommon to be that ecstatic.

“I continued to ride that high wave through the honeymoon, and then I got home and found out that my mom was feeling really low, but I was still up on that wave. And since I’m a hair dresser I got to relive that experience for about a month and a half after. Then after my clients started coming back I couldn’t talk about it again and it was over. I hit this really intense low. I didn’t want to see anything bridal; I unfollowed all of the bridal stuff on Instagram. I didn’t want to look at my own wedding pictures or communicate with anyone about my wedding.” The complicated feelings she dealt with are common, but how do you confide in someone without sounding ungrateful or indifferent about such an important day? This guilt seems to be a main reason why post-wedding blues isn’t often talked about among brides and bride-to-bes. ABC News even reported on it, and speaking with a psychologist they found that post-wedding blues is very real. Similar to postpartum depression, when you crash after such an intense period of planning, stress, and excitement the aftermath can be emotionally draining.

“People don’t really talk about it. They ask you how life is as a newlywed, but I’m mourning this loss of planning a wedding and losing the identity of being a bride. No one really warned me of how I’d feel after,” she said. She also admits that she’s not quite sure what she’d tell other brides to help them conquer it. “Maybe that they should beware, and it’s okay if you don’t want to look at your pictures and it’s okay if you don’t want to write your thank you cards.”

She emphasized the importance of reaching out to your bridesmaids and other members of your wedding. If you continue to go out and plan things for after your big day it makes it easier to take your mind off the wedding. Refraining from hyperactivity on social media is helpful too. Bombarding yourself with pictures of weddings and even your own wedding can result in comparison, what-ifs, and negative thinking. Take a social media detox and spend time as a newlywed couple doing things that don’t require phones. 

Remember too that you have a support system, and the feelings will pass. “It’s real, it’s hard, but you're gonna make it through.” 

Warmly,
Melissa

A Mini Farewell to Danielle

Our lovely production director Danielle De Marco Smith is about to start an exciting new chapter in her life. She and her husband have a new baby on the way and she’ll be focused on lots of play time, sleep, and maneuvering the new mazes of parenthood. We’ll undoubtedly miss her while she is gone, so we discussed her work at Vanity Affair and her incoming bundle of joy before she’s off on maternity leave. 

What are you most excited about for the new baby?
To find out the gender (we didn't find out, so it will be a big surprise!), to hug it and squeeze it, and to put little baby clothes on it! 

What are you most excited about for maternity leave?
I am taking 3 months off–I’ve never had three months off of work in my entire life! That's pretty rad in itself. My husband works for Nike and he gets two months of leave. Having leave in general and having it with my husband so we can learn to be new parents together is the most amazing thing. In my head I picture us taking long fall walks, grabbing coffee, going wine tasting and having lots of family and friends, but I'm sure in reality it’s going to be us lying on our couch in sweats with dirty hair, hungry and tired. That will still be OK though!

What are you going to miss most about your time away from Vanity Affair?
There is no greater joy than expanding your family and watching a baby grow inside of you, but when you absolutely love your job it is so hard to step away. The biggest challenge has been planning our fall weddings and not being able to physically be there on the day of. As a wedding planner, you build personal relationships with clients and the best part of the planning is seeing it all come together for their big day. I am very sad to miss these weddings. 

What is one or two things you’ve learned while working as a production director that you didn’t expect?
Coming into this career I didn't think that what one client needs would differ so greatly from another. Every client is so different and their needs from their planner are as well. You have to cater to many different types of people and it’s our job to meet those needs (and even figure out what they are at times).  

What advice do you have for couples as more engagements occur and they start planning their weddings?
Don't wait until summer to get married! Summer is beautiful, but so is winter and spring. Those months get left out and guests love to attend weddings in the off season when they have little planned. You'll be surprised at how ready people are to party in May vs. September!!  

What is your favorite part of helping during the wedding day? Most complicated?
My favorite part is truly watching a couple and their guests enjoy the day. Nothing fills me with greater joy than seeing the love that surrounds a couple on their wedding day–the happiness and love is palpable. And of course seeing the design come together. The most complicated is managing all the requests (maybe this is good practice for being a mom!). People are coming at you from all angles and you are supposed to know the answer to everything from bridesmaids to guests to every single vendor on-site! 

What are you looking forward to most upon your return? 
I am just excited to get into our weddings for 2018! We have some incredible ones on the books and I'll be excited to meet those clients and start planning their day!

What are you most hesitant about returning to work after a baby?
Daycare is a huge stress. I’m sure all new parents feel this way, but it’s so scary to think about being away from your little one. You worry, you try to plan the best you can, but in the end it’s just going to be sad to leave this person to go to work. I think it makes it much more doable when you love your job though so I'm really grateful for that!  

We’ll miss you Danielle, but we can’t wait to see you and the new baby in a few short months!

Warmly,
Melissa

Introducing Laura Hooper & Our Portland Calligraphy Workshop

Calligraphy is no longer an antiquated art form. In fact, it’s coming back with full force and being delicately applied to everything from wedding invitations to coffeeshop signs. It’s a simple, yet stunning way to add detail, personality, and craftsmanship to anything in need of words or a title. 

This coming October 21st, talented calligrapher Laura Hooper will be gracing Portland with her presence in collaboration with Vanity Affair for a modern calligraphy workshop at Studio 1904. But before we grab our nibs and ink, we spoke with Laura about what we can expect from this creative Saturday event and how she got her start. Make sure you nab your tickets from this link or the one below before it’s sold out!

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How did you first get started with calligraphy? 
My mom taught me broad edge calligraphy when I was around 11 years old. I’ve always been artistic and had a weekend job personalizing caricatures with the broad edge calligraphy. Around age 21, my best friend was getting married, and I offered to address her envelopes. I wanted to do this in pointed pen calligraphy, so I just started experimenting on my way and went from there!

Why is this such an important art form in your opinion? What about calligraphy is special to you? 
Calligraphy is such a beautiful art. The rhythmic movements of the pen, the idea of writing with a dip pen and ink, it’s all pretty romantic and the outcome is just stunning once you get really comfortable with the art. There is something special about physical mail and the written word and calligraphy just brings it all together.

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What was your biggest mistake? What about your greatest victory?
While I appreciate the path I took because it helped me to develop very strong troubleshooting skills with the art, I’d say my biggest mistake was jumping straight into writing words. I didn’t take the time to really work on my skills - improving letter consistency, smoothing out my lines, learning about letter connections. I just skipped ahead to the fun part of addressing envelopes and because of that it took me longer to improve. That was over 15 years ago though! I think my greatest victory has been taking advantage of the opportunity to share the art through our workshops and at-home learning. Sharing the art with so many individuals through our in-person classes as well as starter kits that have shipped all around the world means so much to me. When I first started, there was very little interest in the art of calligraphy, so experiencing this resurgence has been really special.

What has been your favorite part about being a calligrapher, and why did you decide to focus strongly on the wedding industry?
I love being the very first impression that a guest has for a couple’s wedding. When someone receives a beautifully hand-addressed envelope for the save the date or wedding invitation, it really does set the tone for the whole celebration. I sort of fell into the wedding industry since that’s how I initially got started, but as the industry grew, my business and I evolved right along with it. If I could address envelopes all day long, I really would. There’s quite a bit more to running a business, though!

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What can students look forward to at the upcoming workshop in Portland?
In our beginner session we start by covering the tools themselves–the oblique pen holder, grid paper, nibs & ink–before getting started with practice strokes. Once we have a chance to get everyone semi-comfortable with the pen (it takes a bit of time to get really comfortable), we move into a beginner alphabet and cover the full alphabet, upper and lower case. During class we talk about tips for practicing, more recommended supplies, next steps and more, and once we wrap up the alphabet we will talk about cleaning and pen care. 

What is your biggest piece of advice for calligraphers who want to make something out of their work?
Don’t give up. Calligraphy is a skill that takes practice, dedication and repetition over time to develop. Having tools that work well together will make it a more enjoyable learning experience too. We share our top tips for new calligraphers here

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Laura Hooper’s workshops have been held across the states and many attendees have praised her for her and her sister’s patience, passion, and teaching skills. “I’ve been wanting to dive into calligraphy for so long, and your workshop helped me address some of the main issues I’ve had in my first attempts,” said Julie. And Melissa L. drove four hours to Toronto to get her fill of technique and application. Don’t miss out on the chance to learn or enhance your artistic abilities and be inspired. To buy your tickets follow this link. We look forward to seeing you there!

Warmly,
Melissa

Photos courtesy of Anne Kim

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Meet Melissa

I am so thrilled to be writing this post and to be coming on as the newest team member at Vanity Affair Events. My name is Melissa and I’m lucky enough to be working as the new Communications Manager. Talking about yourself is always an intimidating feat, so I’ve decided to break my story down into five pieces.

1. Where am I from? I was born on the East Coast in the tiny little state of Connecticut. For seven years I was able to experience the surreal autumn leaves, history-laden towns, snow-packed winters, and incredible Italian food. A cross-country move with my mom and sister brought me out to Oregon where I’ve now lived for 14 years.

2. What is my background? My seven-year old self would probably be disappointed to find out that I went to school not to become a paleontologist, but a writer. I attended the University of Oregon, and after three years graduated with a Bachelor of Science in journalism. I’ve written for several magazines and companies and I’m excited to transfer my words and ideas over to Vanity Affair.

3. Why do I write? I used to write wild fictional stories when I was little and realized later that writing wasn’t only fun, but with it you could move and entertain people. My stories worked their way from places brimming with unicorns to nonfiction pieces for publications. Creativity can take you so far no matter how you decide to use it. I believe my writing not only helps me express myself, but connect with others. 

4. What are my passions? Buying books and convincing myself I have time to read all of them, trying to read all of those books, eating my way around Portland, planning vacations years in advance, pinning on Pinterest, and occasionally doing Pilates or Zumba if it means an acaí bowl comes after.

5. Why weddings? While weddings always inspired me, it took me a while to realize what my role could be in them. I’m not a professional photographer or a florist, cooking certainly isn’t my forte, and I’ve never been a bride myself, but being part of someone’s special day, witnessing it, and helping them somehow capture it is important to me. When I was given the chance to write about weddings and interview couples I knew I found my place. The world can feel really chaotic and overwhelming, so sharing love, excitement, and all the wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) things that go into weddings can be so refreshing and help us all remember how important love is.

Warmly,
Melissa