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Happy leap year day! YAYYYY!

I know we’ve been a wee bit MIA.

It’s just, well – we HAVE been working on something pretty awesome for today’s Utterly Engaged Leap Year Remix party. I won’t spoil the surprise, but stay tuned for photos of maybe the most challenging design challenge to date.

In the meantime….we owe you guys big time. We owe you a piece of our heart, and here it is. Warning! It’s a little bit long. A little bit raw. And a little bit, ALL of us.

YOUR FAVORITE PART LEADING UP TO THE WEDDING:

AMANDA | I LOVE the table trial. It’s honestly my favorite- simply because it takes all these visions and ideas we’ve been chatting through and shows them to the client. But more than that- it becomes obvious what works, what doesn’t and why. When you’re piecing together an event in your head, sometimes you can easily “see it”- but sometimes you can’t and you’re just relying on your intuition. Plus, there’s nothing better than seeing a client truly EXCITED about their wedding- the design, the love, the day. It’s an exceptional feeling.

RACHEL | The table trial HAS to be my favorite, because up until then, people think I’m crazy in the head – I know it’ll be amazing but they don’t really know, until they see it come together at the trial. (PS Rachel gave me – Carizza – her responses over the phone, so this is related via phone to the best of my abilities – if you know Rachel AT ALL – you know that the inflection in her answers are WAY more exciting than portrayed!)

KRISTEN | My fav is that moment when it hits that everything is coming together, which is typically in the wee hours of the morn when your hair’s pulled back, makeup’s half off, missing a shoe, and elbow deep in paint. The moment varies every time and sometimes happens every few seconds, but the reaction’s still the same –  “Dang.. that was a good one.” “Ahh that’s sooo. Freakin. Cute.” “Stop it, I can’t even handle it anymore I’m so good.” “I need some food.”

SHARON | My favorite part is the rehearsal… no one has seen it first hand, but they can all imagine it, and best part yet, their family is there and they are in the mix… it’s controlled chaos… Love it!!!

ALICIA | I love the times when the bride and groom have a moment to come in to preview their reception room before the guests come in. The looks of joy on their faces, when they see everything they’ve been imagining for months finally come to reality is utterly priceless.

YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE CEREMONY:

DAWN | My favorite moment at a wedding is right before the bride prepares to go walk down the aisle. All her love and excitement pulled together into one. Never has there been a bride who wasn’t smiling full of love.

AMANDA | It’s a toss up between fluffing the bride’s train [typically, this is a moment that the world fades away and although she’s distracted, she’s kind of only with you and her father. Giving those last moments of wisdom is the best feeling- just knowing they’re in good hands with you directing], and the kiss! The kiss is always so telling for me. I love watching couples- especially ones who have waited all day to see one another- finally reach for each other after [what seems like] the longest 20 minutes of their life! Nothing like a warm embrace from two people so genuinely filled with joy and love!

SHARON | When emotions are running from all ends and you send your bride down the aisle and the world stops for the 43 seconds it takes her to walk down the aisle… I’ve witnessed it… the whole world literately stops!!! I’ve googled it!!! I know! :D

ALICIA | The exchange of vows is always my favorite part. A well written exchange of love and affection gets me crying harder then most of the guests are, every time.

LISA | When the officiant pronounces the bride and groom as husband and wife for the first time. From that moment forward life is changed (!) and everyone who is there to witness has a smile on their face!!

YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE RECEPTION:

BRITTANY | The father daughter dance. I tear up every time STILL! And of course the end of the night hug from my couple. It’s like graduation day, and I’m the proud parent lol!

RACHEL | It’s a tie between the grand entrance and the grand exit. For the entrance, it’s like, HOORAY we’re married! For the grand exit, it’s like, HOORAY life together!

MIRIAM | When the bride & groom cut the cake. Their personalities really seem to come out during this process. It’s fun to watch.

NENA | All the love..love..love.. Love seeing the new husband and wife enjoying their new time together.

CARIZZA | There’s always an inevitable moment in the reception when the bride gets separated from the groom (whether its Aunt Mildred pulling him to the dance floor, or his buddies congratulating him). And while searching through the crowds of her friends and family, the bride asks, “Do you know where…my husband…is?” And she smiles softly, cuz she just called him her *husband* for possibly the first time ever.  She’s not used to saying it yet, of course, and it means the world! A small moment I know, but such a precious one.

AMANDA | Grand entrance is up there for me. Again, another moment when the world goes quiet and, as they wait for the DJ, our team gets a moment to banter, congratulate and prep the couple for the coming moments. They’re giddy and distracted and listening to the music and hearing their names announced together- it’s a flutter of excitement! Plus, I love walking couples through their cake cutting ceremony. :) You know honestly, I just kinda LOVE everything about weddings.

AND there you have it. We love everything about weddings. What’s your favorite part? We’d LOVE to hear. Cuz likely, it’s our favorite part too! ;) xoxo!

The first time you meet Amanda and her fabulous team of designers and planners, it’s an awkwardly glorious moment.

It’s likely that whether you’re a client or an industry professional, you’ve been admiring ITN from afar, via social media/web. So you feel like you know the team, before you’ve even introduced to everyone.

That’s exactly how I felt when I sat through my first Monday meeting as an intern. And now, six months later, I’m here to reveal all, and tell you, beloved blog readers, what ITN is really about.

The real dirt:

It’s true – the local Starbucks is frequented an average of 2.3 times daily, and ITN gals are indubitably into food. On a wedding day, the team is fueled by lunchables, 24Carrot Catering‘s creme brulee french toast, and in-n-out.

Tied bows are like fingerprints, Amanda just knows which one belongs to which Nowie.

Fictional words, like “da-dorable,” are used when no proper English word can describe how absolutely perfect a certain detail is.

The later it gets, the more inspired (and funny!) we get. We’re also quite practiced at the fake laugh.

But honest, we’re not just a diverse group of creatives who gather together and gush over the Royal Wedding. We’re a team, committed to designing, coordinating and producing quality event work, and smiling every minute of the way.

1. We care about our clients.

You know the warmth that exudes off the HTML webpages and makes you fall in love with ITN? That’s real. It’s not just friendly text, it’s tangible. The way Amanda types in her emails – that’s the way she speaks in real life, with smiles, exclamations, and the intermittent singy-songy voice. Here at ITN, we’re professionals, but we’re not corporate America. Because really,  you don’t want corporate America planning your wedding.

Each initial meeting, venue walkthrough, phone call and any interaction with prospective, current, or past clients, is filled with purposeful love. You’re not a file that we pull out when you call. We know your name. We know what makes you excited. And we know how to make your wedding day wonderful, and all the days leading up to it, nothing less.

2. Vendor relationships are nurtured.

Part of what makes our job so much fun are the wonderful people that surround us. They support us in areas that aren’t our strength, and nothing we do would be a success without such a partnership.

We can’t thank vendors enough for what they do. For the profound moments photographed. For the laughs captured on video. For the food and desserts that please everyone (even great Aunt Ernie with a bajillion allergies). For the faces made fresh, and the hair that flows perfectly. For the flowers that makes everyone want to take a centerpiece home. For the DJ that gets the crowd moving, and the technicians that make the lighting just right. For the calligraphers, designers and printers who allow us to personalize the crazy out of a wedding. For the rentals that make it come together. For the venue contact who made it all possible. For the bloggers that share it with the world. For everyone who makes love happen.

There’s just not enough space in the blogosphere for all the thank you’s to all of our loved vendors. So instead, we constantly keep those relationships well taken care of. We feed it, walk it, and occasionally, we drop them a reminder in the mail, just to say, hey – you’re appreciated. (Like this sneaky little number below – our Cinco De Mayo vendor gift).

3. Events are our love language.

We don’t settle for mediocrity. Your designer will never hand you something that they think is just “okay,” and cross their fingers in hopes that you’ll like it. Your planner will never hand you a schedule that they didn’t take time to formulate. No detail is too small, no guest count is too high.

We love what we do. We love love. We love your love. Forever and always.

With (even more!) love,

Spotlight On: Brittany!

POSTED BY Amanda

You may not have seen her yet, but if you haven’t- you’re missing out!

Brittany is my go-to gal in this business. She’s our most experienced and coveted coordinator and has a long standing reputation for taking care of her clients in the best way she knows how: with her heart! She’s been with me the longest of anyone on the team [a quick-paced 4 years now] and has seen me grow through so many circumstances, supporting each twist and turn along the way. We’ve seen so much together and I’m thankful that each year she branches out farther, stretches herself more, and roots herself into this industry in ways that gives me so much confidence and pride whenever I look at her beautiful face!

Things you may want to know about her:

She’s a vegetarian. Scratch that- pescatarian. Meaning, she doesn’t eat meat, but she’ll chomp on fish.

She started in the industry with a course in Wedding Planning at the ripe age of 19!

She’s got experience in lots of areas- previously working at a venue, as a server and as a planning assistant for years now!

She has killer style. It’s a little bit G.I. Jane meets rocker chic meets indie boho. And it all works for her.

She’s a natural blonde [though you wouldn’t know it when you look at those deep brunette locks!]

Why you’ll love working with her:

She’s on top of it. Seriously- we set up our packages to always be co-produced by a planner and a designer. There are times when I’m left in the DUST desperately in need of playing catch-up because her banter between clients is so timely. I love her passion for her clientele and the way she really wants the best for them. She’s aware of budget and not afraid to suggest lots of ways to make things work. She’s up front and totally not too prideful to go “above and beyond” on your wedding day [meaning, cutting the cake, steaming the dress, bussing the plates to help out the servers- anything, she’s there]! She’s kind and heart-felt… something I look at extremely closely when trusting people with my namesake in this industry. She wants the best for the clients, and the best for me. She’s a great team player, too!

Chances are, if you sit down with us for a meeting together, you’ll leave thinking she’s a super cool, super excited gal. And you’d be right! She smiles and laughs with you- she loves your love. She gets excited for your details and tries her best to think of ways to infuse your personality into your big day [like incense sticks as favors for our favorite yoga instructor client [brilliant!!]. She’s excitable, and that leaves me excited to introduce her to you! We’re thankful for the way she fits our clients like a glove. Thankful that they love her and can be honest with her- and that she’s always willing to push herself more and more to grow into the person they need her to be [all while still dabbling with her own degree!].

Brittany- you are truly more than words! I love that I can depend so much on you to make our clients truly feel at home with In The Now. Your heart has been so good for this company, and I’m thankful to no end for the growth you’ve put up with and seen through here. I love that you never take yourself too seriously, and you’re always so easy with a joke on hand. You know when and how to get down to business and I’m blessed you do it all with a smile on your face and a softness in your words [something I’m so passionate about]. Really, you’re the perfect fit for me, for us, and for our clients.

xoxo,

Spotlight On: Rachel!

POSTED BY Amanda

I figured this is the perfect time of year to really have all you readers meet the faces behind In The Now. And what better place to start than with Rachel, my cohort in design, my counterpart in style, my right hand woman to all things creative!

Rachel is the other designer on the team. Currently, there are two designers with In The Now. Me, and her. Style is something I find quite important and it’s also something I protect very fiercely. When Rachel joined us, it was an immediate fit. She understood the company aesthetic and understood how to create those “out of the box” ideas. She’s joined me on endless photo shoots and also brainstormed with me for quite a few real events. In the 1.5 years she’s been with us, I’ve watched her grow into a leader and an infectious personality that industry pros and clients alike have grown to truly LOVE. Her future in the industry is carved out- and the pathway is bright with glitter and gold.

Things you may want to know about her:

She’s German by heritage and Mexican by marriage.

She’s the brainchild behind half of the “graphics” we install at events and shoots [namely the vinyl and mixed media graphics]

She is tiny- standing at nearly 5’1″ [not yet there]

She loves high heels. Really, really high heels [her husband is a foot taller than her!]

She has a song for everything. Literally- almost every conversation can lead into her singing a few lines from a song.

Why you’ll love working with her:

She’s communicative. She’s creative. She’s passionate. She wants the RIGHT pieces to fit together for your wedding. She’s an ally and confidant. She’s a great mix of design whimsy and romantic passion. Plus, she’s fun to have around, too!

She has also had her hands in every single inspiration shoot this side of 2010. Although she doesn’t receive as much credit as she’s deserved for it… she’s worked diligently to build up our company’s specific vision and aesthetic over the past year. Meaning, whether you work with me, or work with her… you’ll get everything you’ve fallen in love with In The Now for!

Chances are, if you’re sitting down with us for a meeting, you’re sitting down with Rachel and I. We find it essential to connect with clients initially together- so that you feel completely confident in the hands you’ll be placed in. We also feel that the personality of the team lies in the designers, so we’re passionate to pair you with the right one off the bat. We like the conversation to begin with us, so that it can continue with us until you walk your aisle.

Rachel- I’m so thankful to the dynamic you add to the team. You’re infectious and brilliant with your styling. Your laugh brightens our days and your light-hearted “can do” attitude is the perfect mood changer at any event. The hard work you provide doesn’t go unnoticed. You’re truly a God send for me and for the team.

xoxo,

Retreat Recap!

POSTED BY Amanda

Well, here’s a quick snap of how our girls-only retreat weekend went:

Drive
Freeze
Play
Warm Up
Sleep
Wake Up
Eat
Watch
Shop
Eat
Freeze
Play
Sleep
Drive
Doll Up
Get Snapped
Eat
Leave!

It was such a whirlwind and I think we all hoped for just one day more of relaxing with one another. The reality is, we had a great time laughing together, cooking, goofing off and enjoying the peaceful surroundings that the mountains had to offer us. Here’s some photos of us biding our time- so that we always remember what a few days off looks like:

Our welcome-to-retreat dinner [down the mountain]

Laser eyes:

Crazy eyes:

Rachel and Sharon bundled at the cabin.

Dawn sitting by the coveted fireplace.

The best breakfast spot in town- worth the wait!!

Starbucks Run

Rachel buying mini donuts; Carizza wearing a scarf [both in the grocery store]- and there’s a reason I made them small. Makeup and hair wasn’t really a big part of this weekend’s experience. Deal with it! ;)

Cheesy Valentine’s Triple-Dates!


Sharon cooking for her crazy weird dinosaur diet, Brittany pouring wine

Sharon, Miri and Britt in the parking lot! My car back down the mountain:

A quick stop for a smoothie before all the FUN really went down!

At the end of the long weekend, we decided to pair our retreat with new headshots! You can see a quick preview of the mayhem here on the blog of the photographers Mathieu Photography [because they’re awesome and gave us a sneaky peeky only 3 days afterwards!]. Or you could visit the Flawless Faces blog to see our beauty all done up right [thanks Carina and team- you did FAB and we all felt gorgeous!!]. Until then, this post-shoot photo will have to do:

“Close friends are truly life’s treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide us and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that no matter what, we’re not alone.”

I’m so thankful for my support system of girls that have journeyed alongside of me up to this point. The future is bigger and brighter than I could have ever imagined.

xoxo,

Team Retreat!

POSTED BY Amanda

Expect to be inundated. And, well, a little left out. We’re off for a team retreat weekend to the mountains!

In case you, as a reader, haven’t heard me say it enough- here it is again…

I am in LOVE with my team. I know myself. I’m a communal person- and without a web of supporting, cheerleading, magic making people around me… I’d collapse into a pile of mushy Amanda yuck. Sounds terrible, right? Well it is. Hence why I try my best to make it known how indebted I am to my community here at In The Now. And thus, to the cabin we go! We’ll be baking and playing games and pampering ourselves and enjoying general merriment together. And yes, it’s as ideal as it sounds!

Once we return, we’ll share pictures and stories and memories from our time together. We’ll try to keep it brief [but we really like each other, so….]. And to give you a snippit, here’s some images of most of us [we’re missing two gals and a husband of mine] at the recent Utterly Engaged New Year’s Party. It was a good time, and we had a good time at it.

In case you can’t tell, the sign behind us in the booth reads “Pillow Fight” [thanks Jesi!!]. So, here we are…. fighting:

To having your own pillow fights over your weekend…

xoxo,

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