Happy 2018 gang! We made it, phew!
2017 was such a whirlwind, and a tough year for me and my family but we made it through! And it wasn’t all bad! We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, got back in the kayaks for a few trips, spent some time on the Cape, and went white water rafting! Instead of leaving the year with expectations and blind hope for a brighter next one, I lept out of this year with the biggest sigh of release, jumped whole heart and ran wildly into what is sure to be an amazing new 365.
This past year taught me so much about the value of this life that we live. It’s showed me the blessings that come from living thoughtfully, not taking anything for granted and really choosing to live a life I’m proud of. It has reinforced for me that life is short in the grand scheme of things and it’s never too late to follow a different path.
There were a lot of transitions. My first year of trying to live less “kinda zero” waste (I’ll leave that discussion for a whole other time but feel free to follow my journey on Instagram). I let go of The Nice Paper Co. greeting card portion of my business to focus exclusively on weddings. And as of a few months ago, we’re making our way closer to owning a home.
The most profound thing this year taught me is that it’s okay to be seen. I used to look at other people who were doing amazing, powerful things in their lives, through their work and their generosity towards others, and I felt intimidated. But what came loud and clear last year is that I CAN do amazing things. I CAN work from a place of gratitude instead of one of sacrifice. There were lots of “me too” moments, meeting people who were doing all of the things I wanted to do. When I saw that they could do it, it worked like a mirror for me to see that in myself.
Being seen is not about pride or vanity but far deeper than that. It’s validation from yourself. It means that somewhere in the world someone feels the same as you do. It means that we’re connected. I think giving yourself permission to be seen frees you up to literally live into the visions you have for your life.
Visibility permeates itself into all areas of life both literally and metaphorically. I thought I’d take a bit of time to break it out into all the ways it has affected mine. Maybe this will resonate with you too.
Being Seen | AS A WOMAN
Dealing with some adult stuff last year really made me feel like one. I had to step it up and take care of my family emotionally in a way I didn’t know I was prepared to do until I did it. I realized that I can be strong when it really matters.
I also realized that I have a voice. I can speak about the things that are important to me with compassion and empathy without sounding boastful or prejudice. Professionally I can talk about the things I’m doing and my opinions without feeling like they are making anyone feel less than.
Being Seen | AS A BRIDE
Literally having lots of attention on you as a bride can be stifling. Especially if you are not the type of person that loves being the center of attention. Trying to please everyone during the wedding process can also make you want to run and hide. It can be so overwhelming to feel like you’re doing all the “right” things that you take energy away from the things that really matter to you. You aren’t clearing the windshield so that you can see properly.
I’ve now come to see that how you plan your wedding day can show your friends and family what is really important to you. It can be a vehicle for having your voices heard and a platform for you to make big changes in your life by how you choose to design your day. I want to help brides get through these big changes gracefully.
Being Seen | AS A BOSS
Not being seen has been a huge detriment to my life financially. Putting time and energy into too many things wore me thin and gave me watered down results. Without focus and a clear vision for what I wanted I was easily pushing myself into things that were stopping me from real growth.
Being seen in an entrepreneurial context is about physically putting work into the eyes of couples, the community, and fellow professionals in the wedding industry. I wasn’t giving myself permission and space to really create in the way I need to. I call it structured creation. With intentions, timeframes, and an awesome support system. Telling people about what I am creating brings them in on my journey and has given people the opportunity to help in every way possible. Being seen by others for what I am doing, designing, writing, creating has only been positive.
WHAT DOES THIS VISION MEAN FOR WHOLE WEDDINGS?
I prayed, reflected and manifested to the universe that 2018 was going to be a revolutionary year for eco-friendly weddings. Green weddings are more than a fad, they are embracing a future that is more meaningful, mindful, and choice driven. They are not only about looking out for the environment but about a shift in our consciousness towards our priorities, what enriches and fulfills our lives. Like I’ve talked about before, getting started with plantable paper, led me to zero waste, which has now become my end goal with sustainable weddings. Creating a day that is beautiful, wholeheartedly genuine, divined in love, with consideration and respect for THE SPACE we’ve been endowed as humans of this earth. As soon as we take the mentality that we are active participants in the ecosystem of life, we can then align our actions with those that nature intended. I LOVE the line, if we want things to be different, we have to do things differently. I believe now is the time to get back to simplicity, our core values as loving people, and acceptance of what we can change.
Visibility means SO MUCH for the progression of Whole Weddings! And it’s already happening! 2018 IS THE YEAR FOR GREEN WEDDINGS!
Starting our Zero Waste Facebook Group last year was a big leap of faith for me and it felt like a long shot for New England but seeing this recent feature in the Hartford Magazine has given me hope.
It was a beautiful surprise when my dear colleague, mentor, and friend Corey Lynn Tucker sent me this article to which I was mentioned. I can’t thank her enough for graciously mentioning me and my work. Beyond being a wonderful shock, this is confirmation that this is what our area is in search of, consciously mindful of, and working towards. Her stunning photos bring a literal vision of what a sustainable wedding can be. I’ve talked about before about how easy it is to sink your teeth into the theories of eco-friendly weddings but until we actually see them, it will have a hard time taking root. I have her to thank for being a part of this movement, as I know it is one she is passionate about as well, and for keeping me towards the light in times where my path towards green weddings felt dim.
This year we are working together to challenge green wedding stereotypes. Slowly building a tribe of like-minded wild spirits, and building a future for the wedding industry that is future-focused, heart-centered and open minded.
Thank you to all the Connecticut businesses mentioned here for your contributions to this shift in weddings. It is magical and beautiful to see it coming to fruition.
Thank you for helping to keep this vision in focus. I look forward to sharing more of this awesome journey 2018 has in store for us.