Staff Highlight: Julia

  • January 26, 2015

“…In the short time I have been working here, I have realized the necessity of empathy and understanding. It makes the world go round, especially when you’re dealing with small businesses and wanting lasting marriages. I have become a better friend, mother and wife because of my job and the people that I am surrounded by now.” If you know Julia DeBruler at all — and we like to think that we do — you know how meaningful this is coming from her. Not necessarily one to have “all the feelings,” today Julia gives us a rare peek into what goes on inside her busy mind and big heart — and it kind of makes our day month life. Julia is our Director of Administration, which means that she is basically the headquarters of The Big Fake Wedding. Think of Julia as the gears that make our business function — she does all the behind-the-scenes work that none of us could even dream of handling, and kicks major butt doing it. When she’s not working, Julia spends her time loving on her precious family, providing endless support/humor to her friends, and sitting pretty as the *real* #1 Harry Styles fan. We don’t know where we’d be without this little ball of sass!

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In your opinion, what does The Big Fake Wedding bring to the wedding industry?
I think we bring a group of women that are relatable and extra invested. Most of us have held non-wedding jobs but are now immersed in the industry and loving it. I noticed early on that this was something we have in common with our vendors, as many of them had job experience outside of the industry but are now throwing their souls and time into their craft. I also think this group is just way more invested than your average company. We want people to succeed and have been known to take all things Big Fake Wedding really seriously (as seriously as you should take fake weddings, of course). It’s common for our staff to develop friendships with our vendors outside of working environments and there is a strong sense of community within our events that I believe is unique to the i.

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The heart of The Big Fake Wedding is to inspire brides and grooms, support small businesses, and encourage committed marriages. Tell us about your heart.
Ah, this is an interesting question for me. When I was younger I would have jumped at the chance to answer and would’ve felt like I had the perfect answer. But now I feel like I am still trying to figure it out because my heart changes a lot. I can tell you that I will always have a heart for college-age girls and discipleship within that specific age group. It’s just a weird, incredible, confusing, amazing time of your life. And if you don’t have people there to help you navigate it, it can be the actual worst. I also have really strong feelings about supporting new mothers. I had some postpartum depression when my daughter, Lilah, was born and found that no one really talks about it. I felt isolated and didn’t know how to tell people that while I really loved my kid, I also really needed time to adjust to being a mom. So, I will always advocate for talking about and supporting how dang hard it is to have a new baby. Does that even answer the question? That probably wasn’t what you were expecting but it’s what I have, hah.

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What is the number one item on your bucket list?
Meeting Harry Styles. I am almost embarrassed at how quickly I was able to answer that. Almost. I saw him in a bar in Chicago but was too nervous to talk to him. I am pretty sure we’d become best friends if we ever actually met, though. And by “pretty sure,” I mean “absolutely positive.”

What is your favorite quote and why?
As an English major I have a great affinity for words and writing (so I have claimed several quotes as my favorite over the years); one quote that always stands out is from my favorite short story, “The Scarlet Ibis.” There’s a line in the middle of the story that says, “I did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life & death.” It’s a favorite because I hear relevance in it year after year. Obviously, there’s a difference between being proud of yourself and of the good in the people around you. If I’m honest, I struggle to find that difference. For example, trying to navigate the difference between being a proud parent in the good sense and being a brat cause I am convinced my husband is better than yours.

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What has been a highlight of working for The Big Fake Wedding?
The girls that make up our staff care about their work, their families and everyone who The Big Fake Wedding touches. I’m not the most naturally compassionate person and in the short time I have been working here I have realized the necessity of empathy and understanding. It makes the world go round, especially when you’re dealing with small businesses and wanting lasting marriages. I have become a better friend, mother and wife because of my job and the people that I am surrounded by now.

Photo Credits:
Personal

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More from Julia:
Instagram

Vendor Highlight: Blue Fern Designs

  • January 23, 2015

Inspired by the colors, textures and seasons of nature, Jennifer of Blue Fern Designs has a vision for floral design that she can bring to life effortlessly. Her designs are creative and one-of-a-kind, and the passion and love she puts into them adds a little something extra. At the first Portland NotWedding, Jennifer’s creations were unique, exquisite, and left the whole room breathless. We are thrilled to feature Blue Fern Designs in our Vendor Highlight today!

“Jennifer was the first in the door, the first to have all of her tables designed and one of the last to leave. She has a passion for what she does and it shows through her sourcing of nearly all local florals and products. She has a beautiful effortless vision that she easily brought to life at the event.”
The Portland NotWedding Team

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Describe Blue Fern Designs in five words or less.
I would describe Blue Fern Designs as creative and uniquely tailored floral-craft studio.

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Who or what inspires you?
I am most inspired by the colors, textures and seasons of nature. I am fortunate to live in the beautiful state of Maine where I can draw from the forests and mountains, as well as the coast.

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Describe a highlight or pivotal moment in your career.
One of the greatest moments was booking my very first wedding client.

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What is the best part of your day?
I would say the best part of my day is delivering wedding flowers to my clients. Knowing that together, we have created the designs that are so meaningful and personal to everyone.

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What is your favorite part of The NotWedding experience?
My favorite part of The Not Wedding experience was connecting with so many people — I was always speaking with someone! Great, talented vendors, wonderful clients and a truly unique show.

Photo Credits:
Kate Crabtree Photography | Personal (2 + 4) | Kenny Kim Photography (3 + 5)

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More from Blue Fern Designs:
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Vendor Highlight: Canvas Weddings

  • January 23, 2015

“One thing that I am certain played a huge role in the early successes I had in my business was the fact that I spent a lot of time seeking out and getting to know other wedding vendors. Not only have those relationships developed into some of my most treasured friendships…but a vast majority of my referrals come from vendors I work well with. You never know what friends and potential clients will come your way through other vendors.” Corinne of Canvas Weddings shares with us a valuable piece of advice for small business owners, and we could not agree more. We think that connections and relationships are a big deal, and Corinne runs her incredible business with this same mentality. She believes that working hard to perfect a couple’s big day is just as important as her relationship with them, and we so appreciate that! Corinne knows exactly how to make your wedding look and feel wonderful, and it was an honor working with her at the first Chicago NotWedding.

“Corinne is on top of it! She knew just what needed to get done and I never even had a chance to remind her of something because it was already taken care of. She is so fun and full of life and an incredibly hard worker. You can’t even tell how hard she is working with her effortless smile and poise!”
The Chicago NotWedding Team

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Describe Canvas Weddings in five words or less.
Committed. Artisan. Joyful. Soothing. Chic.

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What is the best part of your job?
The cake. Just kidding! Although I do love cake.

It’s so hard to pick just one part of my job — I love so many things about planning weddings. But hands down, my favorite part of planning weddings is building relationships with my couples. I think I must be simply lucky, because these deeply cool and sweet people somehow find me and invite me to be a part of their major life milestones. I love hearing about how they met, what they love to do, and how they want to share their love with their family and friends. I love laughing and DIY-ing with them over mixed drinks and setting them up with vendors I know they’ll love. I love reminding them that outside of saying vows before a qualified witness, they get to do whatever they want with their special day. I love that I get to be the one to say to the bride, “go when you’re ready,” just before she walks down the aisle. I could go on and on, but what it really boils down to is just that I love getting to be a part of my couples’ lives during such a special season.

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Describe the ultimate bride to work with.
My “ideal” bride is someone who gets more excited about the wedding ceremony than any other part of the day. She wants to express herself, the beauty of her relationship and her gratitude to her guests with her wedding, and wants people to leave her wedding with a greater understanding of who she is. She appreciates and enjoys beautiful and unique things, but when she makes a wedding choice, it comes from her vision of how the wedding should feel, rather than how it should look. She is someone who can treat me like a teammate during the planning process, but then relax and let me handle it all on the wedding day. In short, she is someone who simply can’t wait to be married in the most honest, beautiful and joyous way possible.

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What advice would you give to aspiring small business owners?
There’s a lot I could say here, but there are two things I’d share without anyone about to start a small wedding business. One I feel I did well in when I was get started, and the other I didn’t.

First, buddy up! One thing that I am certain played a huge role in the early successes I had in my business was the fact that I spent a lot of time seeking out and getting to know other wedding vendors. Not only have those relationships developed into some of my most treasured friendships (wedding people are some of the best people there are), but a vast majority of my referrals come from vendors I work well with. So, get out there and network! You never know what friends and potential clients will come your way through other vendors.

Second, get help when you’re getting started. There are so many great (and sometimes free) resources out there for small business owners, from classes on business plans and marketing, accounting, legal issues and so much more. As a creative who runs a business, I struggled early on with the financial end of my business, and was too intimidated to take my questions to people who how how businesses should run. I wish I had checked my pride at the door earlier and let other professionals help and guide me.

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What is your favorite part of The NotWedding experience?
The whole experience was great, but meeting so many like-minded and fun vendors was my favorite part. Like I said before, networking and buddying up has been a major contributor to my businesses’ success, so it was fun spending time with so many new faces that I could see myself working with for years to come.

Photo Credits:

Woodnote Photography (1 + 2) | Willow & Stone Photography | Paper Antler | Emily Johnston

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More from Canvas Weddings:
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Tuesday’s 10: Ceremony Dresses

  • January 20, 2015

So you’ve set a date, picked a venue, and sent out your Save the Dates — now it’s time to start thinking about that little white dress. Perhaps one of the biggest decisions of the wedding planning process (and in life?!), we understand that saying yes to a dress is a big deal! There are endless styles, shapes, and silhouettes — so how will you ever decide? Before you venture out to boutiques to start trying on dresses, we encourage you to take a look at our favorite ceremony dresses from our events. Whether you’re looking for a classic and simple gown or a one-of-a-kind show stopper, we’ve got you covered. Eat your heart out, Pinterest!

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Maude Couture | The 2nd Charleston NotWedding

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a & bé bridal shop | The 1st Denver NotWedding

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Rent the Runway | The 1st Portland NotWedding

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Ivory & White | The 2nd Birmingham NotWedding

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made by anatomy | The 3rd NYC NotWedding

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Dame Couture | The 1st Chicago NotWedding

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Ivory + Beau | The 1st Savannah NotWedding

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The Bride Room | The 2nd Nashville NotWedding

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Adore Bridal Boutique | The 8th Atlanta NotWedding

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made by anatomy | The 1st Philadelphia NotWedding

Photo Credits:
Clay Austin Photography | Our Love is Loud | Kivalo Photography | Magen Davis Photography | Modern Wedding Photography | Booth Photographics | Stephie Hicks Photography | Hannah Elaine Photography | Katey Penton Photography | Peach Plum Pear Photography

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Need some inspiration to plan the rest of your wedding? You’ve come to the right place! Visit our event page to find out when The Big Fake Wedding is coming to your city — you’ll get a chance to see all your local wedding vendors in action, as well as get some ideas for your big day. See you there!