Monday, September 26, 2011

Shout-out to Charlotte, NC!

I just did a beautiful wedding in Charlotte, North Carolina… and it was probably one of the best weddings of my career. The bride and groom were wonderful, of course. But I was simply amazed by the level of expertise, professionalism, and attention to detail I saw from the local vendors we hired. Everyone, from the delivery person and the wait staff to the lighting assistant and the MC, executed every last element with such care and perfection. And this is really saying a lot because the number of people that worked on this wedding was in the hundreds! It was obvious that each individual took their job seriously and really believed in the product or service they were providing.

As many of you know, I’ve worked in this business a long time, but seeing people put their hearts and souls into their work like this is something that still brings me a great deal of joy. I know I’m always talking about the smaller cities and towns… but the ones I’ve visited always seem to have the most genuinely kind and helpful people. So kudos to Charlotte, a city I look forward to visiting again… hopefully sooner rather than later!


Monday, September 19, 2011

The Joys of Small Town, USA

A couple weeks ago I headed to Tybee Island, an island on the easternmost point of Georgia, and then to the city of Victoria, on the coastal plains of Texas. Some people might think I prefer big cities like New York and LA—and they DO have their perks—but nothing beats the friendly, laidback vibe that so many small towns offer.

What I enjoy most is going to a place I might not typically visit, and then falling in love with the town and the people and the food. How fabulous is it that traveling around the U.S. can be just as culturally rewarding as traveling abroad? I’ve found that even in the most out-of-the-way places there’s always something new to discover and learn from the locals. Part of the fun is talking to people and finding out what the best places are for sightseeing, shopping, or grabbing a bite.

People who are used to a quieter, simpler way of life have a remarkable way of making you feel right at home—even when home for you is hundreds of miles away. For me, small-town life is comforting, relaxing, and truly a breath of fresh air.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Beauty Within

We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But sometimes we can’t help but make assumptions about things or people based solely on what we see on the outside. Take, for example, one of my very special brides on My Fair Wedding. She’s simply gorgeous. Anyone who saw her for the first time probably thought she had it all. But once I starting working with her on her wedding plans, I was able see that her beauty was much more than skin deep. From inside, this woman, a preacher’s daughter, radiated a genuine kindness, compassion, and generosity—traits you wished more people you met in your everyday life possessed.

Most surprising of all was learning that this bride grew up in a rough neighborhood in Detroit. For better or worse, we are all products of how we were raised. But my bride was proof that it’s up to us to decide how to live the next chapters of our lives. She chose to be a warm, caring individual instead of someone who was angry or bitter about her troubled past.

Always look beyond the exterior—whether that exterior is gorgeous or not so polished. If you or a friend has ever done online dating, you may have sorted your “compatible” mates by the profile pictures alone. But could you have been dismissing the guy with the funny-looking hair (or lack thereof), despite the fact that if you’d actually spent time with him you’d see what a perfect match you really were?

Take the time to get to know someone before rushing to judgments based on physical appearances. You might find that their inner beauty far surpasses anything you see on the outside.