What better way to kick off the first day of the illume retreat than with some thoughtfully curated gifts for our sweet attendees and speakers! It was such a joy to lay out each attendee’s place setting alongside my sweet friend, Kat Schmoyer of Dear Sweetheart Events, who so generously offered to fly down to help with all the behind-the-scenes day-of details! Guys, I would have been so lost without this little powerhouse of planning energy by my side. Kat spent the entire time ensuring that things ran smoothly, and served as my double when I couldn’t be available to handle deliveries and other details. Words can’t describe how amazing she is! But I digress.
On day one, each attendee was greeted with a branded acrylic tumbler, copper foil stamped notebook, and a beautiful laser cut wooden place card, lovingly created by Paper Birch Designs! Lovely linen tote bags hung on each chair, filled with goodies from a slew of sponsors who are just as intentional as they are generous. I focused on picking pieces that brought function, beauty or encouragement to the table, literally, in order to send each attendee home with products they will truly treasure.
That day, we heard from the darling Laura Joseph of Paper & Honey, the dynamic Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons (who also happened to be our incredible retreat photographer!), and yours truly. We chatted about battling fear, embracing your story, and branding straight from the heart. I was blown away by these women’s presentations, and loved getting to learn alongside every beautiful woman in this room!
I have to mention that Shay brought cookies to her presentation. In the shape of little hedgehogs! We just couldn’t get over all the cuteness!
After our delicious farm-to-table lunch had settled, we dove into our first hands-on creative session of the retreat: prop styling with Ellen Westcott of Westcott Weddings! In addition to seminar-style speaker sessions, the illume retreat includes several hands-on components designed to help you try a new creative skill, hone in on your design aesthetic, and just plain have fun! Ellen led us all in an informative, practical session on the basic components of styling a vignette, after which we got to play with all sorts of beautiful props lovingly supplied by a team of incredible vendors. Ellen and I collaborated on compiling the prop bar, and we have to give a big shoutout to our mothers and grandmothers, who so sweetly let us raid their china cabinets in search of the perfect lifestyle props!
After playing with silk ribbons and organic macarons to our hearts’ content, we broke for a little free time before our family style dinner. Check back tomorrow for all the beautiful images from our rustic dinner and a surprise campfire session!
P.S. Did you hear the news, friend? I am announcing our Spring illume retreat dates today at 10am CST! Our newsletter subscribers will be the first to know, so be sure to sign up for updates and details about this sweet, intimate event. You can rest assured that I’m making some big changes and fun additions to our retreat experience, and I can’t wait to share more!
We are so grateful for the generosity of our Day One sponsors!