2010 on Paper

January 10, 2011  |  Southern Fete News

What an incredible year! This week I took a few days off to reflect on 2010 and determine where we’re headed in 2011. I loved the idea of what Gina did to document her year but it’s usually tough for me to actually do. How would I remember things that happened 6 months ago? Well I did, and I soon realized it was an incredible journey. I strongly recommend everyone do something like this. It reminded me of successes and also reminded me of possible pitfalls in the new year to avoid. But before you read on, check out Gina’s.

And here goes:


After MTH, you discovered yourself. You realized the things that make you different should be embraced. It was simple but you tend to forget that and try to mold to what you think people want. You got to get creative with your brand as a company as you worked on your new site.

Never forget that first realization that being me was all I needed to do. Remember the confidence it gave you to be yourself unapologetically.


This month, you did big things, but you did too much. You put together your first two photoshoots, all shot in one day and followed it up with a photo shoot of the invitation collections the next day. Remember how you felt after the last photo of an invitation was snapped? You collapsed on two chairs in your office and fell asleep. And got sick. This year, plan and prepare better. Achieve your dreams but balance it over the year. Learn to say no if you need to. You will not regret it! You also tried P90X. Exactly 30 minutes of it. Fail. Some things won’t be for you. Move on and try something new. No one said you have to be good at everything. Just willing to try. Remember this when you try ballet class for the first time ever tonight.


You got engaged to the love of your life this month! : ) Making you a wedding planner planning your own wedding. You let creativity flow knowing you could put whatever you and Tyler wanted to into the day. You started to pass that on to your clients more too. You realized The Wedding Shoebox wasn’t headed where it should go. Instead of having it as a source of income, it became a better outlet to let locals know you. Good move. Priorities are important and yours was serving clients well. Always reavaluate why you do what you do. Spending hours on something that doesn’t contribute to your life’s purpose will drain you.


Three weddings in three weeks. Wedding season began! You worked one of the happiest, the hardest, and easiest weddings of your little career. You made mistakes by shrinking back and have grown so much since then. Don’t shrink back. Don’t let those voices pop up that tell you you’re too young or too inexperienced. You have 23 weddings and 23 happy brides that would beg to differ. Keep a list of those mistakes and never stop learning from them because though you are growing, you’re not finished yet!


Southern Fete Creative took off wildly this month. You did more invitations this month than the first four months of the year combined. You realized you love creativing invitations and hope to be doing more of it. Sever months later you are! It’s nearly half your business and has produced new opportunities like Southern Life and reaches brides all over the US. Always do what you love. When you are, you’re unstoppable, passionate, excited and contagious. When you’re not, you fight burnout and make mistakes. May was also the month you had your first wedding canceled for upsetting reasons just weeks before the big day. You’re heart broke and you realized how much you’ve grown to think of brides as friends rather than just clients.


It was a rough month. You let Satan creep in and tell you lies. You gave him control of your thoughts. And let him pick away at who you are. You cried out to God, and He answered. Never forget that thoughts and actions are all a choice. Remember there is someone who wants to destroy and make you powerless. Don’t let him win ever. You are so strong and powerful.


You took your first vacation since starting SF in 2008, a trip to Branson with your future-in-laws. Y’all went to a water park and you LOVED it. It reminded you of being a kid again. Sliding down a slide in a tube, you didn’t have a care in the world. The solitude as you flew down let you soak it in. Return to that carefree child-like feeling often. Dance in the rain, run as hard as you can, eat sour skittles. Just stay young at heart.


You moved in with your twin sister to enjoy one last month as roommates. You saw how much she loved you by every sacrifice she made for your wedding. She put together a shower that made you cry when you walked in the door and even made you question if you really were the “creative twin.”  Y’all also shared you’re 26th birthday this month. Do the same for her in every aspect of her life. Support her. This year is going to be big for her.


You struggled this month balancing work and the wedding and life. You’re birthday fell on a Saturday, with Tyler’s two weeks after , then the wedding two weeks after that. What were you thinking?!? Have babies in Spring. The wedding week came and you were calm as a cucumber though. You knew it had to be God. When you find yourself overwhelmed, turn to Him. You’ve seen His power in action. AND then it happened. Your wedding day was PERFECT! : )


You found bliss in coming home to your best friend everyday. You challenged each other and supported each other’s dreams in business even better than before. You were so glad to not be planning your wedding anymore. You much prefer planning your client’s weddings. : ) The experience of your own wedding gave you a much greater understanding of what brides go through. Never forget that feeling. It will make you a better wedding planner. Also, you booked four brides in one day! Very exciting! But be careful. Despite a busy calendar , 2011 will be balanced. Learn when to say no. Don’t overbook yourself. Remember time is precious and can’t be gotten back.


You hired someone to handle your accounting. Smart move. You kind of stink at it. It made you procrastinate and wasted your time trying to figure it out. Remember the relief you felt to know you don’t have to open quickbooks again. It’s freeing! More tasks may surface that you need to let go of. Don’t be afraid to. You also finally raised your prices after 2+ years. And guess what?  It didn’t hurt your business! You learned how valuable your product was. If you don’t, no one else will. Remember what you have to offer. Cat helped you see it. Don’t diminish it or shrink.


This month was big. You launched Southern Life and people liked it. You were worried that it was too simple. You had more meetings than ever before in one month and still managed to find yourself even more. You learned everyone is different. You may not approach things the same as everyone and that’s OK. It’s what makes us human and not robots. You decided your word for 2011 was balance. Although 2010 was an amazing year, a flourishing business was not without lots of sacrifices of time with friends and family, health and hobbies. 2011 will be different. No more wasting time. You want it all. Be adventurous. Be bold. Be successful. Be creative. Stay focused because it will take lots of focus but you can do it! Here’s to 2011!


  1. I must say reading what you wrote in May definitely brought a few tears to my eyes. I appreciate everything you did for me to prepare for my big day and appreciate the kind words. I hope one day we can start again from scratch and have a happy ending to the fairytale.

  2. Yeah you definitely made me cry too (especially reading June, August, and October)!! Val, I’m not sure how I could express enough how proud I am of you. YOUR (not you’re 😉 ) hard work and determination is truly inspiring! I’m so blessed to call you my best friend!!

  3. has it only been a year since all this happened?!? i so love that you’re living life to the fullest and finding happiness in all things. it makes me so happy to see someone i love so fulfilled in Lord and as a result your life, relationships, and work. 🙂

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