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Waiting on Baby! Part II

Photos of our maternity session by the lovely and talented Laura Gordon, hair by Brianna Adams, makeup by Anna Breeding

Photos of our maternity session by the lovely and talented Laura Gordon, hair by Brianna Adams, makeup by Anna Breeding

Thank you for all your kind responses to my last post about the beginning of my pregnancy journey. Since we're still waiting on babe (Her due date is tomorrow! I keep wondering if she'll be late like I tend to be in life or if she'll be like her dad and arrive perfectly prompt), I thought I'd share more about the second and third trimester.

Thankfully, around week 17 or so, the nausea abated and I became a normal person again. I had a wonderful (Hi, Meg!!) wedding that weekend and I remember feeling great. I didn't think anything of it until I got home late that night and realized I'd felt great all day! Praises. What's also wonderful about the second trimester is that I finally felt the baby move around week 21. The cliches are all true - it's awesome, like nothing I've ever experienced. I think feeling her move inside my belly is the thing I'll miss most about being pregnant. We also found out the gender (a girl)!! I could NOT believe it! Definitely thought I was having a boy. And we made a cute, short video to the tune of Beyonce's "Who Run the World (GIRLS!)" to tell our family and friends, and if you follow my personal Instagram, you got to see it too. 

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Aside from some insomnia and joint pain, the second and third trimesters have been pretty smooth sailing. I'd say one of the biggest challenges has been deciding on her name (and we are still somewhat undecided)! Michael loves traditional, family names and I love unique, rare, even out-of-the-box names. The way we think about names is pretty representative of our personalities actually. We've had to learn how to hear each other. Now, I think we have almost settled on a name we both love that somehow fits all the criteria. We've kept it a secret between the two of us which has also been fun. So many people have told us that when she's born 'you'll just know' but I have a hard time buying that! Do some babies really just look like a Jane or a John? I'll let you know!

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Second and third trimester favorite things!

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- Prenatal yoga. We are so lucky here in Charlottesville in that we have Bend Yoga which is a studio that specializes in prenatal and children's yoga. If you're in Charlottesville, this is my top recommendation to you! Kelly, the instructor for Mamaste (the prenatal yoga class) and owner, is not only a skilled yogi but also a doula, so she knows her stuff. I love that every class begins with a 'check-in' where each woman gets to talk about what's been going on in her pregnancy that week. It's really nice to talk to other people who are going through the same things and are able to commiserate when, say, you really need to complain for the 100th time about your knee pain waking you up in the middle of the night for hours. Also, toward the end, you are just uncomfortable. Most of the time. Yoga helps. A lot. 

Storq basics. Mommas to be, listen up - get yourself to the Storq website right now and do yourself a favor and purchase the basics bundle. These clothes were hands down my favorite things to wear day in and day out throughout pregnancy. The bundle comes with a white tank, black leggings, black skirt, and black short-sleeved dress - all are super comfortable, extremely soft and great for layering. Seriously SO worth the price. I did not invest in a lot of maternity clothes (in my opinion, there is still a lot be desired in fresh, fashionable, affordable maternity clothing) but the few things I did buy, I I went for the quality stuff. Storq is it. Trust me. 

- New Balance sneakers. As previously mentioned, I had the worst knee pain from the middle of my second trimester until just a few weeks ago. I've had knee pain before when I was running a lot and apparently the extra weight of pregnancy plus the increased relaxin my body was producing meant my knees would kill me by the end of the day. The only thing that really helped was spending time each night with my legs up the wall and switching to sneakers. I had been wanting some cute ones anyway but I now wear these New Balances every single day and love them!

- Books. As I mentioned before, I'm one of those people who likes to know more than I need to know, so I ate up all the books people recommended me. My top favorites from the end of pregnancy were The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (this is a monster of a book and definitely is more of the La Leche League philosophy as opposed to Babywise but I found it really informative!), On Becoming Babywise (we are hoping to follow this book when it comes to sleeping and feeding), The Birth Partner (Michael actually read more of this than I did), Moms on Call.

- Eurospa Pure Eucalyptus Shower Mist. Earlier in my third trimester, we went to a spa and they had this in the showers. It is HEAVEN. I immediately ordered some on Amazon. During my second and third trimesters, the shower became my little haven. If my body was feeling achey or uncomfortable or my hormones were sending my emotions into overdrive, I would get in the shower with a few sprays of this stuff and just relax and breathe it all away. One of our natural labor techniques is to get in the shower and I thought this spray would be great for that too - we'll see!

- Carrots. So weird but I craved carrots like crazy toward the end. My taste for lemonade and sour candy never really dissipated but carrots were a new thing. Also weird - if I could eat leather, I would. The smell is so intoxicating to me! 

- Crushed ice. All during the last trimester, I craved crushed ice like crazy. I posted about this on Instagram and many of you chimed in that it could be a sign of anemia! Thankfully, my doc had already checked me out and ruled that I was only slightly iron deficient, so I've been taking a gentle iron supplement and eating crushed ice like it's my job. Also, if any of you pregos also crave crushed ice, there is a website dedicated to the best crushed ice at fast food places - no joke! Personally, I think Chick Fil A wins.

- Blogs. Lucie's List (a blog about pregnancy, childbirth, and child-raising with great product reviews, informative articles, and candid stories all with a healthy dose of humor), The MamaNotes (I loved the birth stories and I love Caitlin's style)

- BabyList. We used this site for our registry and it was so easy to set up - you can pull from any source and BabyList will even suggest other sources that people can find items (sometimes for cheaper). They also have suggestions and reviews of products which I found helpful. 

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That's it for now! I'd love to hear if you found any of this helpful or entertaining. And thank you again for all your support and prayers as we wait on this little one.

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Waiting on Baby! Part I

So so grateful for my incredible friend, Laura Gordon, for these maternity photos!

So so grateful for my incredible friend, Laura Gordon, for these maternity photos!

Well, friends, I am officially full term and waiting on Baby girl Joyce to make her debut any day now. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen a bit of my pregnancy journey. I thought I might share some of my frequently asked questions here. I love reading all of my friends' or would-be-friends' (as I call the bloggers whom I follow but don't actually know in real life) posts on pregnancy and thought perhaps a few of you might enjoy hearing about mine. If you're only reading this blog for the weddings and flowers, I completely understand, and you should just keep scrolling :) 

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1. How did you find out? We are incredibly grateful that we had only been trying for a couple of months when we found out we were expecting. Even though we were actively trying, it still felt like such a shock when those two pink lines showed up. I hadn't felt any different and thought that must mean it was going to be negative. Michael kept saying "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" It was one of my favorite moments - suddenly we were both changed; we were going to be parents. We got dressed up and headed to dinner downtown at a French restaurant that we had always said we'd go to whenever we found out we were pregnant. It was surreal and wonderful. 

2. First trimester symptoms: Y'all, morning sickness is no joke. Nausea hit me like a ton of bricks and lasted all day. I imagined morning sickness being like it is in the movies - beautiful, beaming pregnant woman wakes up, has bout of mild nausea, throws up a tiny bit, and then does yoga / finishes her perfect makeup / goes to work in her tiny pencil skirt and heels. You know, totally realistic and manageable. Ha! Unfortunately for me, I felt sick to my stomach pretty much all day - throwing up was often a relief! I remember having one of my first real 'Oh, okay, I'm officially pregnant, like reallll pregnant' moments when we were on vacation and visiting a pottery studio and I casually walked outside and upchucked into the bushes like it was a totally normal thing to do. I also had pretty much every pregnancy symptom in the book - metal mouth (awful sensation where you feel like your mouth is full of pennies, no matter what you eat/ drink), strong sensitivity to smells, heartburn, sore boobs, charlie horses, stuffy nose, headaches, having to pee every 5 minutes. I spent a lot of time googling 'is x a symptom of pregnancy' and 9 times out of 10, it always was.

3. How did you tell people? We really wanted to tell our families in person, but everyone is far away which made things a little tricky. We ended up video chatting Michael's parents before they headed to France with some of their best friends who had also just found out they were expecting their first grandbaby. We were heading to see my family on our annual vacation in Wisconsin a few weeks later so we made the tough decision to keep it a secret from them til then. After a very nauseas 16-hour car ride with my sister and brother-in-law (I still can't believe I didn't spill the beans during that trip), we made it to our lake house and I insisted everyone take a group family photo. Michael was behind the camera and instead of taking a photo, he was recording video. When he counted to 3 to 'take the photo,' we yelled "We're pregnant!" and everyone freaked out! It was so fun to have it all on video!

4. Favorite first trimester things?

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- I was crazy for salt & vinegar chips and lemonade. Also, sour skittles. I've actually loved sour / vinegar-y things the entire pregnancy, which I think is pretty common. 
- Sea sickness bands. I wore these from sunup to sundown. I was desperate for nausea relief and I think these may have helped (though, honestly, it was hard to tell - I think time was the only real thing that helped).
- I bought the BeBand by Ingrid & Isabelle early in pregnancy so when my regular jeans started to feel a little snug, I could still wear them comfortably. 
- The Sprout App.
- Books: I'm a huge reader, so I devoured tons of pregnancy literature. My favorites from early pregnancy were Expecting Better, Bringing Up Bebe, What to Expect When You're Expecting, and Ina May Gaskin's Natural Childbirth.
- Hello, Little One baby book. One of the first things I bought when we found out we were expecting was this sweet, simple baby book. I wanted something neutral and more clean in design, and this one fit the bill. It asks questions about the pregnancy and baby's first year and has places to put their ultrasound, footprint, etc. 
- Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. My skin became super dry when I got pregnant so I switched to this rich moisturizer and it's made all the difference!

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5. Are you going to keep working? Yes!! I absolutely love my job and feel incredibly lucky to do what I do. I can't imagine my life without flowers. Helping my clients think through what is important about their wedding day and how to translate that into a visual representation of themselves is a privilege I don't take lightly. I also love the idea of showing our daughter what it means to work hard and grow something you care about (while also being a mom!). Thankfully, I have a partner in Michael who is 100% supportive of my passions, and though we don't know exactly how the next few years will play out with balancing my business and growing our family, we are excited to work it out together (with lots of help)! I'm sure there are a lot of things I'm naive about in this whole work-life balance area, but I'm grateful for lots of women to whom I can look who are faithfully seeking both a productive, energizing work life and a rich, loving family life. This year, I've decided to pull back a bit and primarily focus on being a florist. I am actively booking 2018 full planning & design clients. And - as I'm sure some of y'all have seen on my Instagram stories - we are currently building a house with a separate studio for Mallory Joyce Design!

Thanks for reading! And thank you to all of my incredible friendors and clients who have been so overjoyed by our news. Your love and support mean so much to us. We know this little babe is going to take a village to raise and we are so thankful for ours!

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Elegant Spring Wedding Inspiration at Rust Manor in Leesburg, Virginia

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It's been so warm around here lately, and I'm anxious for spring to officially be here! Spring flowers are some of my favorites - huge ranunculus, pollen-tinged tulips, delicate sweet peas - there's so much to love. This wedding shoot drew its design inspiration from that first gust of fresh spring breeze - clean and crisp and hinting at the warmth to come. We played with pairing some traditional elements with clean lines and modern typography.  The Rust Manor in Leesburg, Virginia proved to be a beautiful location lush with boxwoods and historic details. 

It was originally featured on Style Me Pretty!

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Floral Design & Styling: Mallory Joyce Design| Photography: Elisa Bricker| Paper & Calligraphy: Plume Calligraphy| Cake: Maliha Creations| Venue: Rust Manor| Hair & Makeup: Anna Breeding| Wedding Dress: Lora Kelley| Groom's Suit: J. Crew| Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo|

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Door County, Wisconsin Wedding | Audrey and Jake

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This wedding ranks among my very favorites, and I'm totally biased because the bride is my little sister! Audrey and Jake got married in Door County, Wisconsin, where my family has spent summers on Lake Michigan for generations. This wedding was incredibly special for our family for that reason, and I was honored to not only act as Audrey and Jake's wedding planner and florist but also to stand up next to them as matron of honor (so I do make an appearance in a few of these photos ;). As if that were not enough, they also asked my husband Michael to officiate the wedding! I was a total teary mess by the end of the ceremony!

Obviously, I adore this wedding for very personal reasons, but I also just really loved the design that we created together. Audrey let me run wild with the florals - truly every florist's dream! - so I decided to go with a neutral palette offset with deep golden tones and touches of dark flowers and foliage. I really focused on layering and texture, and I love the result! I could go on and on about this one but I'll let the photos speak for themselves. It was so difficult to narrow these down! Our dear friends Eric and Lora Kelley flew all the way to Wisconsin to capture the day, and I had the hardest time choosing my favorites. Plus, my sister is a stunning bride! 

Their wedding was also featured in The Knot magazine!

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Planning, Design, and Flowers: Mallory Joyce Design | Photography: Eric Kelley | Venue and Catering: Wickman House in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin | Hair and Makeup: Lora Kelley | Calligraphy: Script Merchant | Jewelry: Goldie O

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Elegant Washington DC Wedding at Washington Golf and Country Club | Chessie and Simon

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Chessie and Simon's wedding was the epitome of understated elegance, which I feel like Chessie herself embodies on a daily basis. I loved planning and designing their wedding in DC. I especially loved pairing Chessie's looser, full, garden-inspired bouquet with her slim, modern gown. Also, her bridesmaids had such killer style! It was all tres chic and definitely one of my favorite fall weddings to date.

We kept the details very intentional and focused on a few key areas - fashion, paper, and a streamlined tablescape with lush flowers. Script Merchant took one of Chessie and Simon's family insignia and recreated it as a crest, and we paired her beautiful script calligraphy with handmade, deckled edge papers in a rich sepia tone that felt fresh yet historic.  Since the venue itself already had a lot of pattern going on, we chose a textured cream linen and blind-patterned china to add depth to the place settings without introducing more color. That allowed us to bring in a lot of interesting texture and some deeper tones to the table flowers. I truly loved the design of this wedding but I think what I cherished more was Chessie and her mother's sincere hospitality throughout the weekend. They treated me like family and it's something I'll never forget!

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Planning, Event Design, and Flowers: Mallory Joyce Design | Photography: Elisa Bricker | Venue: Washington Golf and Country Club | Paper: Script Merchant

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Spring Wedding Inspiration at Dover Hall

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This wedding inspiration photoshoot at Dover Hall Estate near Richmond, Virginia speaks to the soul of my brand - understated, elegant, with an intentional focus on a few key details that pull it all together. Any time I have the chance to collaborate with photographer Laura Gordon, I jump at the opportunity. The way she shoots film is the way I always want to see the world. And the way she captured this spring bouquet - one of my favorites from the year hands down. These images were also featured on Once Wed.

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Floral Design and Styling: Mallory Joyce Design | Photography: Laura Gordon | Venue: Dover Hall Estate | Hair and Makeup: Anna Breeding | Dress: Sarah Seven via Wren Bridal | Veil: Emily Riggs Bridal | Hairpiece: Myra Callan | Paper: September Letters/ Tara Spencer | Cake: Favorite Cakes

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Nina & Lawrence | California Coast Wedding

Last October, with suitcases full of candles and decor, I boarded a plane bound for the California coast to celebrate the marriage of Nina and Lawrence. When Nina contacted me about planning her wedding, she didn't have many requests or preferences; she simply wanted a laid back day without a lot of fuss so she and Lawrence could focus on each other and their family and friends. Oh and then she mentioned their venue - Cuffey's Cove Range in Elk, California - and I was sold. The views - well, there's no way to describe them, so I'm forever grateful to Lucy Cuneo for her breathtaking photography.

As a designer, I find that I'm most inspired by new experiences and this wedding offered so much of that. The west coast is brilliantly beautiful. We were in such a remote part of the country, (It was a challenge to find a gas station! And even then, it only took cash!) which provided a welcome breath of fresh air from my incredibly busy fall season on the east coast. There were so many moments where I just stood in awe of the light, the landscape, the sheer majesty of waves breaking against towering rock formations. I am anxious to get back and explore other ways to translate that experience into the artistic expression of a wedding. Calling all California brides!

Planning a destination wedding from afar had its challenges for all of us but the team we pulled together made this an incredible event. I had some flowers shipped in and was able to spend a glorious morning at the San Fransisco flower mart, perusing and pulling the rest of our product. Lucy and her husband Will (both of whom I love dearly!), my assistant and I all shared a sweet cottage right down the road from Cuffey's Cove, and it was the perfect little retreat for the week. 

This wedding (and their engagement session) was featured on Style Me Pretty!

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Event Planning & Design, Flowers: Mallory Joyce Design | Photography: Lucy Cuneo | Venue: Cuffey's Cove Ranch | Invitations & Calligraphy: Poppy and Scooter

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Cristina and Chris |Pretty Pastels in May

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Cristina and Chris |Pretty Pastels in May

Mallory Joyce Design wedding

Cristina and Chris were married last year on a clear, sunny summer day with the Blue Ridge Mountains as the backdrop to their vows. Whenever I met with these two, they seemed to always be talking about their amazing community of friends and that really informed a lot of our decisions about the day. We made sure Cristina had ample time on site at the truly stunning Blenheim Vineyards to hang with her girlfriends and get ready without feeling rushed. We kept the guest list pretty intimate and had just under 100 guests so it felt more like a gathering of close family. The cocktail hour was a roaming party of passed hors d'oeuvres inspired by their favorite local flavors that allowed guests to wander in the back gardens overlooking the vineyards. Once everyone made it to the tent, they were treated to a stationed dinner that encouraged guests to get up from their tables to mix and mingle. As the night progressed and the sun began to set (and boy, did we get an incredible sunset!), the DJ turned up the tunes and everyone (literally, everyone! this crowd could dance) packed the dancefloor. I loved this sweet wedding and what it represented for Cristina and Chris.  

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Photography: Gabe Aceves|Planning, Design, and Florals: Mallory Joyce Design|Venue: Blenheim Vineyards|Catering: Harvest Moon Catering|Rentals: Harvest Moon Catering|Flatware: Festive Fare|Paper Suite: Rock Paper Scissors|Hair and Makeup: Moxie Hair Lounge|Bridesmaid Gowns: Joanna August|Groom/ Groomsmen Suits: Banana Republic|Tenting and Lighting: Skyline Tents|DJ: John Garland|Cake: Sweethaus|Ceremony Music: Perfect Harmony|Transportation: A&A Limousine

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Jeff and Lucy | Asheville Wedding

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I just love these two! Jeff and Lucy were married in Asheville, North Carolina in January and I had the privilege of not only designing their wedding flowers but also reading in their wedding. Jeff is my brother-in-law, my husband Michael's older brother, and I have grown to love him as the brother I never had (all sisters over here!). What's even better is that I became friends with Lucy a couple of years before she started dating Jeff. Lucy is one of those rare people who possesses no arrogance, no self indulgence - she is one of the most genuine, self-sacrificing people I know. I loved giving the gift of flowers to two people I love. Lucy and Jeff had a sweet, low key wedding at Gaither Chapel (both families have long histories at Montreat which made the location so special!) followed by a reception at a local brewery where a bluegrass band provided mellow tunes as the night wore on. Lucy and Jeff were one of my most joyful couples - they were so happy just to be married, just to be celebrating with friends and family. You could tell that their marriage meant the most. Such a sweet, sweet day!

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Photography: Rachael McIntosh | Flowers: Mallory Joyce Design

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We're hiring! Associate planner needed!

Photo by Joey Kennedy

Photo by Joey Kennedy

I'm thrilled to announce that Mallory Joyce Design is hiring! I'm looking for an associate planner to provide assistance in client correspondence, vendor management, social media creation, floral prep, and office organization as well as hands-on assistance on wedding weekends. This is a part-time, paid, hourly position, requiring in-office work 1-2 days per week and wedding weekends.

Responsibilities:
- Manage event workflow by learning and implementing systems, keeping track of deadlines and upcoming meetings, and providing clear communication with clients and vendors
- Create a social media calendar, selecting and sometimes writing content in a way that is inspiring and on brand
- Help manage event details through timelines, layouts, budgets, contact forms, and calendars
- Perform pre-wedding and studio upkeep tasks such as purchasing supplies, cleaning flower buckets, processing flowers, prepping wedding documents and decor
- Assist in the setup, coordination, execution, and breakdown of wedding weekends including running rehearsal, managing on-site team, setting up flowers and decor, communicating with vendors, managing timeline of events, and cleaning up
- Provide upbeat and can-do attitude, rolling with the punches, anticipating the next task, and having fun while doing it

Skills Required:
Organization, Clear and Professional Communication (both verbal and written), Problem Solving, Social Media Management (knowledge and understanding of Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and blogging), Detail Management

Bonus Points:
Floral Design Experience, Knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop and Squarespace, Styling Experience

If you think you might be the right fit for this position, I would love to hear from you! We hope to create a loyal and tight-knit team as we grow and we are looking for people who understand our vision and are interested in joining to create beautiful and meaningful events with an eye toward inspiring others, building legacies, and making a difference through our business.

Email your resume, cover letter, and any other visuals/ documents of past work to mallory@malloryjoyce.com.

 

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Wedding Planning Advice with Once Wed: How to Wow Your Wedding Guests

Once Wed, one of my favorite sources for wedding inspiration, asked me to share some advice on creating a memorable guest experience, and I'm sharing my thoughts over on their blog here. One of my favorite parts of the design process is translating my clients' story into tangible, memorable experiences for guests - these details are what make your guests say, "That was beautiful and fun and so them!" Go check out Once Wed for more or see below.

Weddings are about creating lifelong memories. We put a lot of time and effort in to planning a wedding because it’s a day we’ll remember forever. But what about your guests? Ensuring you create a memorable guest experience for your friends and family is equally as important. Think about creating a wedding that speaks not only to who you are as a couple but also to how you want to make others feel

Who are you as a couple? 
One of the first questions I ask my clients is what kind of experience do you want your guests to have? Creating a memorable (and meaningful) guest experience begins with the reason they are at your wedding in the first place. Take some time to think about what the two of you love to do together, why other people like being around you, and what you want your marriage to be about.

What are you known for? 
Are you known for hosting laid back dinner parties with wine and conversation stretching into the late hours? Then serve a family-style meal at long tables with low floral arrangements so guests can speak easily. Or are you the couple who feeds off each other’s comedic personalities, always keeping a room lively? Focus your efforts on a rocking band and come up with small details that make your guests interact with each other in unique ways. Let your story dictate the feel of your wedding. If the thing you both enjoy most together is camping, then show your guests the beauty of the outdoors by planning a reception outside, with a heavy focus on greenery in your florals, and a late night campfire complete with s’mores!

Take care of your guests
This can come in many forms but try to picture yourself as a guest at your own wedding. Close your eyes and move through the day. Is it chilly outside? Provide guests with blankets for outdoor events. Do you know where to go? Signage can be hugely helpful. I often design a large ‘Welcome’ sign that lays out the plans for the evening. Something like”So glad you’re here! 6pm Cocktails 7pm Dinner 8:30pm Dancing!” goes a long way. Do you feel at ease? Especially at large weddings, something as simple as assigning guests to their seats with placecards can help your loved ones feel that they have been thought of and taken care of. Placecards are another place to get personal – if the two of you met wine-tasting, then perhaps your placecards have an aptly-placed wine bottle stain in the corner.

Surprise your guests! 
You want to create an experience that your guests will relive the next day. It could be something as simple as a surprise late-night serving of your favorite donuts or your groom getting up on stage to perform guitar solo, or as grand as a firework show. Planning some detail of the day that creates a memory for those that attend is always a good idea.

Photo 1: Gabe Aceves | Photos 2: Elisa Bricker

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Thanksgiving with Cottage Hill Magazine

Cottage Hill Magazine asked me to create some Thanksgiving inspiration for couples looking to entertain in their apartment or small space. We shot in my friends Maddy and Sam's (newlyweds!) apartment, my husband made cocktails, I set the table, and we cooked dinner together. I really loved the simplicity of this table design and the slightly unique-for-Thanksgiving color palette. Cottage Hill is a favorite of mine, not only because they feature beautiful images, but also because they focus on the stories and meaning behind those images. Thanksgiving is about the food and the tablescape (my favorite, of course) but it's mostly about family, friends, and reflecting on all we have to be grateful for. Thanks, Cottage Hill, for sharing that sentiment!

Creative Direction and Florals: Mallory Joyce | Photography: Ashley Cox | Tabletop, Apron, and Wall Hangings: Roxie Daisy | Paper: Amy Stone | Pie: Arley Cakes

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Elegant Charleston Wedding with Lucy Cuneo at RiverOaks

I'm so excited to share these images! Earlier this spring, I traveled to Charleston to collaborate with Lucy Cuneo. Lucy and her husband welcomed me into their home with the most sincere Southern hospitality I've ever experienced (I'm talking chocolates on the nightstand and sweet welcome notes telling me to make myself home!). We had such a wonderful few days, prepping for the shoot, having drinks at Zero George (a must!), styling images together, swapping stories and indulging in Charleston's amazing restaurants. We designed this wedding inspiration at RiverOaks, where owner Marianne, a talented designer and wonderful host, welcomed us and helped us really utilize her gorgeous property. Brides, if you're looking for a private, stunning venue with Southern charm, a coastal view, and European details, you really should contact RiverOaks (and then book me!).

Our concept was to show a bride's entire wedding day, from quiet moments as she dresses to seeing her groom for the first time to the end of the evening among flickering candles. I had such an amazing time designing the florals for this one - rich jewel tones and a loose, whimsical shape... It was a dream and all the better as I was able to design everything outside on the property. We had an amazing team (please see credits below!) and I am grateful for all their hard work and talents. I'm so lucky to call them friends. This shoot was also published on Magnolia Rouge.

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Photography LUCY CUNEO PHOTOGRAPHY | Styling, Concept, Florals MALLORY JOYCE | Venue RIVEROAKS | Creative assistant MARIANNE CALDWELL | Make-up DANNON K COLLARD | Hair RACHEL PITNER | Dresses CHAVIANO COUTURE and CAROL HANNAH | Film scans PHOTOVISION | Paper suite and calligraphy STEPHANIE FISHWICK

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Michelle and Matthew: Charlottesville Wedding with Nancy Ray Photography

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Part of the joy of doing what I do is getting to design for friends! Michelle and I were sorority sisters (Pi Phi for Life!) at UVA and then reconnected after college when we both were living in Charlottesville. Michelle is an avid gardener and foodie and she and Matthew were living in California. We made those things a priority when thinking about design inspirations. Fresh, local food was served family-style down long tables that made the large event feel intimate. I was booked for another wedding so one of my trusted assistants, Sarah Beasley, carried out the execution.  Jenn Pineau of Nature Composed totally knocked the flowers out of the park, including an amazing ceremony installation!

This wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty!

Photography: Callie Davis With Nancy Ray Photography | Videography: Tom Daly | Design: Mallory Joyce Design | Coordination: Sarah Beasley for Mallory Joyce Design | Florist: Nature Composed | Ceremony Venue: The Haven | Reception Venue: Verulam Farm | Catering: A Pimento | Ceremony Music: Plum Blossom String Quartet | Cake Artist: Bake Love Bakery | Film Processing: Indie Film Lab | Hair And Makeup Artist: Bella Boutique | Lighting & Draping: MS Events | Reception Band: C. Barnes Project | Rentals: Festive Fare

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Behind the Scenes with East West Productions

About a year ago, I had the amazing opportunity to collaborate with some of my best industry friends on a styled shoot - Eric Kelley Photography, Lora Kelley, Caleb and Josh from East West Production, Stephanie Fishwick, Karen from Roxie Daisy, Joey Kennedy, and Stepha O'Brien at Verulam Farm. The images that came out of these two days are still some of my very favorites. Besides creating, my favorite thing about my job is working with inspiring people. This team was the best.

I wanted to share this behind the scenes video by East West Productions (even though I look a bit disheveled... note to self, next time there are cameras around, do your hair and makeup and put on some proper clothes! But c'est la vie, life is not always glamorous) so you can see what goes into a shoot like this. Each frame is meticulously styled and detailed - in some of the shots you can see all of us looking, adjusting, tweaking, all trying to compose that perfect frame. Eric and Caleb are looking at light and posing, Lora and I are looking at the overall shapes and lines as well as the minute details like how ribbons are laying or if the model's hands are in the right position. It's a lot to think about and we try to do the same thing on a real wedding day. The timeline on a real wedding day is much shorter, of course, and that's, in part, why styled shoots are so helpful - you can train your eye, practice, and try out new things so you're more efficient on a real wedding day! The shoot was published on Once Wed and in Weddings Unveiled Magazine.

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2015 Books I've Read PArt one

I find books incredibly life-giving and therapeutic. I pretty much end every day with one. I studied literature in college because it just made sense - I spent so much time reading anyway, right?  And though my studies have perhaps helped me become a more educated and discerning reader, I still read across all genres. Occasionally (okay, rarely) historical classics and lengthy tomes and, often, whatever is close at hand, on my shelf, or recommended. I'd love to know what you're reading!

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Beautiful Ruins
- Why'd you read it? Gift from mom. Also, a Notable Book from the NYT Book Review. 
- How'd you like it? It took me a while to get into this one. I read it mainly on our front porch in short spurts after work or on Sunday mornings before church. But, in the end, I really enjoyed this story with its fascinating characters, spanning countries and decades. At times, it read like a dramatic Hollywood film, which makes sense since much of it takes place in Hollywood or is about Hollywood characters. There are some deeper moral elements at play but it's mostly just an entertaining read. 

 

Bel Canto
- Why'd you read it? This has been on my shelf for a while and I think it's because I may have borrowed it from my friend, Natalie. Natalie, is this true? If so, I have been holding your book hostage for at least a year. 
- How'd you like it? This was an unexpected top book for me. Patchett's writing is beautiful and effortless. The story begins with an act of terrorism and ends with a wedding. How you get from one to the other is a heartfelt, heartbreaking tale of what happens when people's identities and ideologies are stripped down and only their humanity remains. I cried.

 

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
- Why'd you read it? We were headed to the beach and I needed a good book (or three). This was on Barnes & Noble's buy 2 get one 50% table and it's a bestseller. 
- How'd you like it? I devoured this book. The author, Susannah Cahalan, is an investigative reporter and does an excellent job chronicling her own terrifying experience with an unexplained psychosis. It is thrilling, horrific, and completely enthralling. Stay away if you have hypochondriac tendencies.  

 

Station Eleven
- Why'd you read it? Again, we were headed to the beach! And I love apocalyptic books.
- How'd you like it? There's something about end of world fiction that gets me every time. I love imagining the scenario of a world in crisis and what people do with limited resources, lack of technology, and an unknown future.  (That being said, I really do not like zombie books/movies or the entire horror genre. This is neither.) What I really enjoyed about Mandel's approach is that this storyline is about more than the end of times; it's really about how a group of people are unexpectedly connected. In the end, their connection is perhaps a bit too convenient but it's still an interesting driver of the plot. It is a deeply human, moving story that I couldn't put down. 

 

The Namesake
- Why'd you read it? Hasn't everyone read The Namesake? Well, it seemed like it. And I hadn't. So I did.
- How'd you like it? I was underwhelmed. To be fair, I feel like there is a lot of hype around this book and that, perhaps, set my expectations too high. It's a coming of age story about an Indian boy in America, his family's struggles and triumphs as immigrants both trying to preserve their culture and pushing their children to take up all that America has to offer. The instances where those issues are brought to the forefront are where the book succeeds, in my opinion. I think I struggled with not feeling close to the main character, Gogol. Lahiri writes in the third person and I felt like she keeps us at arm's length by doing so (which is maybe the point? I'm not sure).

 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
- Why'd you read it? I hardly ever read nonfiction (I really should read it more often, note to self) but this was a gift from my sister who reads probably more than I do.
- How'd you like it? This is a fascinating and maddening book. It's as much a book about the history and origination of cell studies in culture (and how those studies revolutionized how we think about vaccines, cancer, and a host of other issues) as it is about our history with racial discrimination, educational disparity and systemic socioeconomic divides. Skloot does an excellent job at both relaying, in frank and moving detail, a family's very real and personal struggle with its own interpretation of events and examining the broader ethical and legal issues. 

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Amy Osaba Workshop: Floral Design for Weddings

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Earlier this year, I took some time for some professional and creative development and headed down to Atlanta for the Amy Osaba Workshop. I then headed to Charleston to partner with Lucy Cuneo (whom I now adore!!) on a styled shoot (more on that later - coming to Magnolia Rouge soon!). I've done a few other workshops (Joy Thigpen's styling workshop and Flowerwild's floral workshop) and it's been fascinating to see the behind-the-scenes of each artist. I greatly admire each of these women and though I think their styles are often along the same aesthetic vein, their processes are quite different! It's actually been comforting to me - to know that there is no formula, no set of rules that produces the same outcome. It means that the sole fact that I am an individual with individual sensitivities produces a wholly unique product. I am grateful for that. There is hardly anything I can bring to the table but myself. And that is somehow enough.

Amy and her team did an outstanding job on this workshop. The welcome dinner was so luxurious. As event and floral designers, we create beautiful tables all the time, but we rarely get to sit at them and enjoy the view! This was a rare and welcome experience for me. Everything was exquisite - Abany's papers, the lush (all foraged, of course!) greenery installation, the candlelight, and the food! The food was really very good. And beautiful. I had the best time connecting with other florists from around the world and with Amy, Mary, Brooke, and Meredith. And finally getting to meet Abany! She is a kindred spirit. I wish she was closer.

The next two days were full of flowers. Amy has a pretty laid-back style when it comes to teaching. We would chat for a bit about business, building a team, and then she'd give some instruction and demonstrate how she might do things. And then she released us to the bounty! While I can't say that any of the instruction was new to me, that was actually comforting - to know that, as a self-made florist, I've figured out how to make my design process work. I actually preferred some of my own techniques to Amy's, but I think she would be the first person to say that is what makes each florist unique. I did, however, pick up on some really helpful tricks (for instance, the use of zip ties. I mean, wow! I'm investing in the stuff) and just getting to see how someone who's been in the biz for 10+ years runs her books was very enlightening.

If you are interested in floral design, I highly recommend Amy's workshop! She is welcoming and wonderful! Now, onto the good stuff! All photos by M.K. Sadler. All flowers displayed (except for welcome dinner) are mine!

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Photography: M.K. Sadler | Flower Wholesalers: Cut FlowerMayeshRosestory Farms | Dinner + Lunch: Kenan Hill of Kitchen 1204 | Lighting: Unique Event Elements | Custom Gold Pedestals : Andy Flage of St. Udio  | Venue: Cator Woolford + AO Studio  | Paper Goods: Brown Linen Design | Linens: Nuage | Place Settings + Furniture: 12th Table | Ghost Stools and Work Tables: Goodwin Events  | Workshop Vessels: Accent Decor | Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic | Leather Tags: Paper Birch Designs |  Dress: Emily Riggs | Hair and Makeup:Claudia Mejerle Rogers | Model: Carlton of Factor Women | Velvet Books: Blue Sky Papers | Floral Print: Meredith Mejerle | Magazine : Flutter Magazine |

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Moody Bridal Portraits with Laura Gordon

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This winter I worked with Laura Gordon on a styled shoot for her 1 on 1 workshop. Laura is one of those people who is totally disarming and wonderful to be around. She's also just delightful to work with. For this shoot, we focused on intimate frames, taking great care to capture the fluid movements of our model in her lace robe. Dressed in an heirloom black gown, she then moved outdoors for some moody bridal portraits with a bouquet of juniper, tulips, hellebores and cosmos. 

It was also published on Wedding Sparrow!

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Photographer: Laura Gordon Photography | Film Lab: Photovision | Makeup: Liz Wegrzyn | Wardrobe:Gossamer Vintage | Model: Dorian Maris from Unite Unite | Styling & Florals: Mallory Joyce | Calligraphy & Paper Goods: Stephanie Fishwick | Venue: Verulam Farm

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Charlottesville Garden-Inspired Wedding with Elisa Bricker

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Collaborating with other creatives is one of the best parts of working in the wedding industry. When Val of Flower Afternoon told us she was coming through Charlottesville, Elisa Bricker and I were thrilled to create something fresh and summery with her. I remember when I first started Mallory Joyce Design (and more specifically, when I first started to incorporate floral design into my process), I was nervous about industry politics and whether or not I would be welcomed. There's so much wonderful talent out there and it can be tempting to see others as competition, especially in a creative field like this one. However, I've found that the opposite is most often true - that people are more than willing to share ideas, teach one another, and work together. I've had the pleasure of learning from some of the best florists and wedding designers, and they've always been honest, hospitable, and willing. As I grow, I hope I have the opportunity to teach and collaborate with others along the way with the same humility and generosity of spirit. 

Styling this shoot with Val designing the flowers was such a fun, creative process for me. Late summer berry tones, a juicy, inky paper suite, layered linens, and Val's freshly-plucked blooms. It was the best.

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See more on Style Me Pretty.

Photography: Elisa Bricker | Floral Design: Flower Afternoon | Wedding Gown: Bella Rosa Bridal | Jewelry: Goldie O | Hair And Makeup: Avenue 42 | Creative Direction And Styling: Mallory Joyce | Paper Suite & Calligraphy: Stephanie Fishwick | Rentals: Festive Fare | Cake: Maliha Creations | Venue: Glenmore Manor

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Ethereal Wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains with Elisa Bricker

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There's snow on the ground here, and I'm dreaming of spring. These photos feel so warm and verdant. I've loved looking back over them. Elisa Bricker worked her magic, as always. The day I scouted for this couple's wedding shoot in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a bobcat and a bear (separately) walked right in front of my car! It was crazy.

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Published on Grey Likes Weddings.

Photography: ELISA BRICKER | Creative Direction, Styling, and Floral Design: MALLORY JOYCE | Hair & Makeup: AVENUE 42 | Paper: JULIE SONG INK | Gowns: GOSSAMER VINTAGE | Jewelry:KIRA KIRA | Ribbon: FROU FROU CHIC

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