10.12.12 – Part One

March 4, 2013  |  In Her Shoes, Personal  |  No Comments

It’s no surprise that as soon as we got engaged (and after we called everyone), we were looking at the calendar trying to pick a date — there was planning to do.

I have to admit that we did things a little backward…knowing that we had to have Krossfyre at our reception, we starting by checking their October availability. Then we matched it with our church’s availability. We decided on October 12, 2012, which for a couple who has a thing about even numbers, it worked perfectly.

And so the planning began, and the rest is history. It’s so true what everyone says…it goes by so fast.

The Details:

10.12.12 was indeed a happy day. I didn’t see this picture until after the wedding, but BC’s mom wrote “Oh Happy Day” on her chalkboard outside of their house where the groomsmen and ushers got ready.

Oh Happy Day, Chalkboard sign

My mom’s thing is flowers, so she knew for sure that Rodney with Flowers by Rodney would be the best for the wedding. Knowing how particular my mom and I are, he worked closely with us to make sure that every detail was exactly as we wanted it – down to letting me look at all of the flowers the day before to wedding to make sure every shade of every flower was what I wanted.

bridal bouquet, rosary

wedding bouquets, bridesmaids bouquets

BC and I wanted to do something special for my parents and decided to send them an arrangement for the house. Rodney couldn’t have made a more perfect arrangement – one that made my mom cry.

dailey thibeaux, bridesmaid gift

It was important that I gave my bridesmaids a gift they could keep and would remember they day by. I commissioned BC’s brother, Dailey Thibeaux, to paint these canvases with an abstract version of what their wedding bouquets would look like. I’m lucky to have such a talented brother-in-law!

golf balls, wedding rings

I saw this idea on Pinterest and knew it had to happen for our wedding. Our photographer, Catherine Guidry, and my MOH were patient enough to make this shot come to life. Thanks to Golfballs.com for customizing these balls for us. I love this shot.

William Arthur, Gold Damask, Wedding Invitation

One of my favorite wedding details was our invitations. It was certainly one of the hardest choices I had to make … I never knew how many invitations existed and how intimidating those huge books are. The ladies at The Keeping Room were so helpful in making our William Arthur invitations look perfect! We got so many compliments on the invitations, and it made me so happy to realize people pay as much attention to invitations as I do!

Navy bridesmaid dress, dupioni silk, alfred sung

I picked the bridesmaids dresses before even getting my own dress. I knew this was the dress when I saw it on a hanger in a bridal boutique. Everything about it was beautiful, and I knew all of my girls would look perfect in it. I still love this dress so much and wish I would have bought one for myself!

grey tuxedo, green tie, orchid bout

grey tuxedo, bowtie, orchid bout

While both BC and I are traditional, we like to put a twist on things. I knew BC would stray from the traditional black tuxedo and was so excited when we finalized on this grey one. We picked a green tie with navy and white accents for the groomsmen and ushers (our gift to them), and they complimented the bridesmaids dresses perfectly. Instead of this tie, BC decided to go with a navy dot bowtie. It was so him, and I loved it!

The vendors you pick are so important when it comes to being able to trust and let go.

Below are the some of the vendors that helped to make our day perfect!

Officiants: Fr. Peter Rogers (BC’s great uncle) and Brother Basil Valente (My Uncle)
Ceremony: St. Mary Mother of the Church
Catering + Reception: Abacus
Florals: Flowers by Rodney
Wedding Cake: Kathleen Short
Groom’s Cake: Crystal Weddings
Wedding Dress & Veil: A-Nets
Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid’s Dress: Alfred Sung, Bella Bridesmaid
Bride’s Hair + Makeup: Heather Veillon, Bleu Coiffeur
Reception Music: Krossfyre
Live Ceremony Artist: Christopher Turner

More coming soon…



August 28, 2012  |  Personal, Southern Fete News  |  3 Comments

The last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions! I’ve spent many long days and nights and pretty much every weekend this past month working on the Val Marie Paper launch next week! And have been so excited for this week to get here!

This week is a CRAZY one for my family. Today is me and my twin sister’s birthday, Wednesday is my brother’s 21 birthday, Thursday is our launch party, Saturday is my mom’s 50th birthday and party and Sunday is my favorite newborn Judah’s dedication. And did I mention Val Marie Paper launch next week?

I threw myself the biggest pity party yesterday at the though that another hurricane would ruin this week. I even told my husband to let me have my pity party because it’d be the only party I’d have that week. Ummm…kind of dramatic! ; ) After all that hard work, I was just soo ready to celebrate with all those people who have helped me along this way. I was ready to slow down and ENJOY this moment instead of constantly looking for the next milestone. In business it’s hard to not be focused on the thing ahead instead of exactly where you are. To top it off, my car wouldn’t start yesterday and is currently being towed to get fixed.

I made up my mind this morning that I could still do that, storm or no storm. This morning I couldn’t sleep and read some great truth that God knew I needed to hear today!

1. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3

It’s simple; listen for God’s leading, and the results will be great. Those results may not look like what I’m expecting but God’s vision is always better than mine.

2. “When you know who you are in Christ, worldly obstacles won’t matter anymore. When you know that He loves you and He died for you, you’ll just get up every day and do your best to love God.” – Joyce Meyers

This truth helped me decide a few things. I wanted to get up today and do my best to love God, no matter the worldly obstacles. I know one way to do that is to love people. How can I help you today? What can I pray for?

3. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  – Proverbs 16:9

God’s plan is so much bigger than mine. I can’t let myself get derailed when things don’t seem to go according to plan!

So though this isn’t how I imagined it, today I still turn 28, and it’s my GOLDEN BIRTHDAY!! : ) When I was in middle school and high school this was a big deal. For all my friends out there with birthdays on the 14, 15 or 16, I was so jealous you got to celebrate your golden birthday those years. All I remember thinking was I would be SOOOO OLD when mine finally came! But here we are! To celebrate, I wanted to share one of our full wedding suites! It is actually the first I designed of the entire new designs. Photos by the lovely and talented Catherine Guidry!

If you live in the Lafayette area, I’d love to have you join us at our launch party Thursday to see the rest of the collection, help us pick favorites, snap a few silly photos in the photo booth, eat some delicious apps by one of the best chefs in Lafayette and simply CELEBRATE! See details here and let us know you’ll be coming! If for any reason, the weather is worse than expected, the party will be rescheduled for next week and I’ll let everyone know on this event page.

Also, in honor of celebrating and honoring all the hard work, I will be taking Labor Day (Monday) off and will debut the collection on Tuesday!

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all the support and encouragement you’ve shared. It has meant the world to me!

The Art of Leaping

April 16, 2012  |  Personal, Southern Fete News  |  1 Comment

Tap tap. Is this thing on? I know it’s been pretty quiet here on the blog this month. What a wild 6 weeks it’s been! I’ve had so much writer’s block lately and honestly wasn’t sure what to say in the middle of so much going on. Personal posts are hard to write on a blog for my business. Here goes.

The last two months have been a roller coaster of emotions and decisions. Tyler and I made big decisions and I had two big transitions. God placed me with a man that shared my drive to do things we wanted to do, no matter how crazy they seemed. Sounds simple enough.

We made decisions and plans to set ourselves up for a successful future. And we are going to make sacrifices to make it happen. Like Dave Ramsey says “Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else.”

So we decided to downsize our already downsized apartment to save money. We said goodbye to our lake walks, personal washer and dryer and gate code. Did we HAVE to? No. Was it a tough decision? Yes. But we knew what we wanted. And honestly, we feel more comfortable and feel more at home at our new apartment. Maybe it’s sheer joy from knowing we are doing something for our future. Like the joy of sweat or sore muscles after a workout knowing you’re growing stronger.

About a week before we moved out of our apartment, we found out my office had found new tenants to fill our lease. This was a decision we had made but we were not expecting anything quickly. We had three weeks to be out.

My new office a bit prematurely scheduled was to be our dining room. It’s only been a few days. It hasn’t been easy but I know it’s worth it.

Why am I telling y’all this?

Planning is so incredibly important but so is making steps towards things we want.  If there is something you want, GO FOR IT! Some things will be hard and you will have to make sacrifices. It was true for starting my own business. It was true for spending a month in Philly. And it is true for this next phase that I can’t wait to share with y’all.

I’ll be sharing later today some big news that has played a factor into our big plans. No, I’m not pregnant! Stay tuned! : )

Celebrating Books!

February 12, 2012  |  Color Me Inspired, Inspiration, Personal  |  No Comments

I’ve got a special treat this week!

This month I launched a personal project called Val&Words here! A little intro to the site:

I have a big love for words. In high school I wrote poems and songs on my guitar daily. I dreamed of being Poet Laureate or a songwriter. In college, my life revolved around the college newspaper. Post grad, I worked for my local paper designing pages until the wee hours of the day. My passion for words has crept up again, this time in the form of a fun and inspiring hobby. This site consists of three parts:

BOOK NOTES – I LOVE to read books that can change my life. I strive to be the best Valerie I can be and I have found so much wisdom in the books I’ve read lately. The hard part is making it stick. My book notes are all things I’ve highlighted straight from the goodness of each book! I’ve found myself reading over the notes simply to edit and make sure there were not any major errors. The truth is, I found myself deciding I wanted to reread these notes weekly until they were ingrained in me. My hope is that you will find these notes beneficial as well! : ) Find thosehere.

BLOG POSTS – Columns were one of my favorite aspects of working at a paper. Here’s my outlet to share things I’ve learned. This life is a journey and I look forward to sharing it with you!

PRINTS – As a designer, I couldn’t help but design something that will continue to inspire long after you’ve read the book notes. Here, you will find my favorite quotes from each book designed for you to purchase. Full proceeds will go to a few of my favorite charities. Prints and charity specifics COMING SOON! : )

Each month or so I plan to post four more reviews. I’ve got them divided into categories, everything from business to creative and health and spirituality, finance and marriage.

I’m excited to start this personal project. We are capable of so much!! We simply need to learn it! I truly hope these notes will help you grow to be your best self. Unused energy is a waste. I don’t want to look back on my life and think I could have been more. May you be inspired! : )

To celebrate, I decided to do inspiration boards every day all inspired by book covers! Check back later today for our first inspiration board!!

A New Year

A New Year

January 1, 2012  |  Personal, Southern Fete News  |  No Comments

I just love recapping the year. I think it does something for my soul to remember everything I’ve experienced in the past 365 but sometimes it seems like so much to sum up in one little post! This year instead of recapping what happened, I’ll attempt to share with you the big things I’ve learned this year and how it will shape 2012.

1. A TEACHABLE SPIRIT IS NECESSARY TO GROWING – I’m reminded of this one every time I make a mistake. I’m human. I will make mistakes, but if I don’t take the time to learn from them, I will KEEP making those mistakes. What a torturous never ending circle! Make a point to have an open heart to loving critique (not criticism) and the world will be your oyster.

2012 is the year I keep my mind open to critique and even seek it out from mentors.

2. SOUTHERN FETE IS A BOUTIQUE STUDIO – I’m not a 10-person team with a 10,000 foot office space and a warehouse of rentals. And Southern Fete has no plans to be that. Sometimes growth can happen so quickly. Southern Fete was booked for all of 2012 for event planning three months before this year even started. Business 101 might try to convince me to hire a wedding planner or two. But the thing is I like small. I like being the one my brides interact with when they contact me. I LOVE what Jason Fried says in his book Rework “Small is not just a stepping-stone. Small is a great destination in itself.”

2012 is the year I realize my potential as a boutique studio and stick to my limits and focus on quality service for my brides.

3. IT’S  ABOUT THE MARRIAGE – I’m in this business because I think marriage is one of the most incredible blessings you can experience and being a part of the start of that is a great honor. But sometimes it can feel like my job is just about the “stuff” involved in a wedding day. Reminding myself of the bigger purpose of why I do what I do keeps me refreshed and motivated.

2012 is the year I invest more in my bride’s relationships and ask more about why they love their fiance instead of just why they love their favorite color.

4. BRIDES AND VENDORS NEED TO WORK TOGETHER – When people find out I’m a wedding planner, one of the first things I hear are tragic wedding-related stories. It’s CRAZY the things that happen! I fortunately get to hear from both brides and vendors to get a balanced perspective. Florists don’t make a couple’s vision about themself. Remember you are working for a client. Do your best job and show how much you care and that they aren’t just a number. Brides don’t make ridiculous demands. Show your vendors you appreciate what they do. Just because you hand them money doesn’t allow you to treat them poorly. When brides and vendors love working together, the wedding day goes sooo much SMOOTHER!

2012 is the year I make it my mission to bridge the gap between vendors and brides. How can that start? Communicate with each other in a timely manner. Many times it’s as simple as that.

5. YOU HAVE TO PREPARE FOR GREATNESS – This past week, Tyler and I spent all day working on our dreams and goals for 2012. It was incredibly inspiring to have that solid of a time to plan the future! (Thank you to my lovely brides for being so patient during then!) On the last day of planning, I was sort of gripped with a fear that I had made such awesome goals but what if I never achieved them. Putting a plan into action is the hard part. That day I thought of the obstacles that normally stop me and put a plan into action of how to combat it. I wrote a ton while there too. Getting thoughts out of my head and onto paper helped me see things I didn’t even realize were holding me back.

2012 is the year I set myself up in the best position possible to actually achieve my goals. 

6. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE – This year I reached what I thought was an impossible goal. I’ve doubled my gross each year the past three years I’ve been in business. This may mean nothing to most people but when I think of the statistic that most businesses fail in the first three years of business or even when I picture that brand new planner working three side jobs to make Southern Fete happen, I am so incredibly thankful for where God has taken me. He’s done this. Not me.

2012 is the year I make God-sized goals not limited by my own imagination.

7. WHAT I PUT INTO MY BODY AFFECTS ME – Tyler and I have studied so much this year about health and nutrition. It’s amazing the things you realize that can be cure/avoided with simple changes to your diet. Need a place to start? Read Clean by Alejandro Junger.

2012 is the year I put that knowledge into practice and cook clean meals and exercise often.

8. READING IS LIKE MAGIC – I’ll go into more detail about this very soon, but lately I have been amazed at how close we are to knowledge we don’t have. If you don’t know how to do something, take the time to read about it and then POOF!, now you know about it! Magic! ; )

2012 is the year I read at night instead of playing on facebook or watching TV.

9. TIME OFF MAKES ME A BETTER (INSERT JOB HERE) – In 2011, I learned a lot about balance and got pretty good at it. I rarely look at my email after hours and on weekends. At first, it was REALLY hard. I felt like I was not catering to my clients needs enough. Now I see it as my duty to protect that balance if I want to stay my best invitation designer or best wedding planner.

2012 is the year I continue to find balance.

10. I’M BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING – I don’t quite understand why God has blessed me the way He has. Sometimes I’m scared it’s too much. I’ve learned that blessings grow out exponentially. What I do with what I’ve been given can have major repercussions if I’m willing to get out of my safe little comfort zone and make a difference. And those people can bless others, and those people can bless others…

2012 is the year I take the blessings given to make and MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Today is not just another day. How will 2012 look for you?


June 6, 2011  |  Personal, Southern Fete News  |  3 Comments

Five years ago, I spent a summer in Philly interning at Philadelphia STYLE Magazine.

It was my first big adventure. Besides working at the magazine, I learned to love baseball watching the Phillies play, ate apples we picked about an hour beforehand. I took a train to NYC for my first visit to the big city and visited friends in DC. I was lucky enough to have family in suburbs to stay with. I left with a heavy heart knowing I wouldn’t ever live there again.

My sweet husband and I share so many dreams together. One of those dreams was to spend a month each year in a different city. We’re blessed to both own businesses where working remotely is possible. I’m so excited for OUR first big adventure together.

So for the entire month of August, we will be living in downtown Philadelphia!

Everything fell right into place as my spring and fall weekends began to pile high, while July-September I was able to keep free. This trip will be the perfect end to an already amazing spring wedding season and refreshing beginning to a crazy fall!

We’ve got a few things planned for our trip:

1. Working with our clients and on our businesses till about 2 each weekday. (I’ll still be working with my brides on wedding plans and taking invitation orders. And will also have a new team member starting soon to take care of things at the office.)

2. Exploring the city and finding inspiration for creative projects in the afternoon. (This is so essential for creatives to stay inspired and keep producing work they’re proud off.)

3. Taking trips on weekends to NYC, DC and Boston. (If you know me well, you know I can’t fly because of bad ears. : ( This will be an amazing opportunity for me to visit places I wouldn’t get to visit.) Edit: Will also be visiting two current brides who conveniently live in DC and Boston! YAY)

4. Meet and receive mentoring from event planners and stylists and florists. (So excited about this!) Philly vendors, email me if you’d like to meet a chat paper or wedding day war stories!

Our apartment is about 1/2 a mile from my favorite view of the city! Ben Franklin Parkway…

and the Philadelphia Museum of Art! These were the only three photos I took all summer, can you believe? This girl’s got a new grown up camera this time, so expect plenty of inspiring pictures!