Danielle + James: A Classic Birmingham Celebration {Park Crest Event Facility}

Last September, Danielle and James were married in gorgeously classic Birmingham celebration at Park Crest Event Facility. It was one of the first weddings held in their newly completed Carriage House, and it did not disappoint!

From the first time I sat down with Danielle and James to talk about their day, I knew it was going to be amazing. They are both so kind and joyful, and the way they look at one another is nothing short of amazing.

I love that they come from different parts of the US (San Francisco for James and Cleveland, OH for Danielle), and met while in law school at Georgetown. It wasn't long after law school they made Birmingham home and invited all their friends and family to come celebrate their love in an epic celebration (Ryan with On Site Productions kept them on the dance floor all.night.long).

Danielle was an absolutely STUNNING bride. And her dress. My goodness, y'all. HER DRESS. 

Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography

Did I mention the dress? It is absolutely gorgeous, and this back. Y'ALL.

Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography

While all ceremonies are full of love and emotion, this one had us all up in our feels. From their beautifully heartfelt vows to James' father officiating, there wasn't a dry eye around!

Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography

One of my favorite details was their table names and the beautiful gold mirror with hand lettered seating that reflecting all of the places that hold so much meaning for them from Georgetown and in their new home of Birmingham.

Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Park Crest Event Facility | Bri McDaniel Photography

Venue: Park Crest Event Facility / Photography: Bri McDaniel Photography / Planning and Coordination: Christina Sloan Events / Florals: Ricky Whitley / Catering: Happy Catering Co. / Cakes: Bandit Baking Co. / DJ: On-Site Productions / Draping and Lighting: On-Site Productions

 

Danielle + James: A Classic Birmingham Celebration {Park Crest Event Facility} | Wedding Planners Birmingham, Alabama

Christina Sloan Events is a Wedding Planning and Design Studio, offering Full Service Wedding and Event Planning and Design, Event Management, and Day and Month Of Coordination | Serving Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery, Alabama, and the surrounding Southeast region | Destination Services Available Worldwide

Life Lately: Navigating and Embracing a New Season | Wedding Planner Birmingham AL

Remember last month when I mentioned that I’ll be bringing some personal content to the blog? Well, today’s the day, friends, and I’m blowing those doors wide open. Warning: This is going to be a long one, packed full of more vulnerability than I’m even a little bit comfortable with.

If we’re friends on Instagram (and if we aren’t, we definitely should be!), you know that four months ago, my world was rocked when we brought home our sweet baby girl. (I’m going to be sharing a lot more about her birth and our adoption story so soon! But you know I can't resist sharing at least one sweet picture today.)

Katie and Alec Photography

Katie and Alec Photography

The past four months have been so full and have gone by SO quickly. It’s been such a flood of bittersweet emotions to celebrate each little milestone, and to think of all the ones still to come. She is more alert and more responsive by the day, and I find myself craving more time to spend with her.

I also find myself longing to get back to the work that has fulfilled me for so long. Four months ago, my entire life changed…and quickly. In a lot of ways, I had years to prepare. But after 11 years of praying, wishing, and hoping for a baby, I began to truly wonder if it was meant to be. And so, even though we were continuing down the path of becoming a family of three, I began to comfortably settle into life as it was – just Cliff and me, living our life pretty much without time restrictions.

When I finally found out we were having a baby, I didn’t have nine months to prepare my home and mind. I had three. I didn’t have nine months for my body to prepare to care for and nurture a baby and to adjust to lack of sleep. I was thrust into mommyhood in what sometimes seems like overnight. And while I wouldn’t change it for the world, it definitely has not always been easy.

In this season I am working from home more than from the CSE studio. That means most days I am working with her by my side, needing me all day to meet her needs and demands. Even when she’s napping and it seems like I should be able to get some work done, there is a party of me always on high alert listening for her to wake up or making sure she’s breathing and safe.

It feels like I’m never truly present in any one area of life anymore. Some women go through postpartum depressing after having a baby, and while I know I don’t have those hormones involved, it has, at times, been an extremely difficult adjustment for me. It has been so hard to find the balance between work and life and being a Momma. But what I’ve come to realize is that I’m not really “balancing” it at all.

What I’ve been doing is trying to be the old version of myself who worked all the time and making the new Mommy version of myself fit into that mold. And, well, it just hasn’t been working. At all.

There’s the pre-baby side of me who worked all the time and ran a successful business. I really, really like to work. I feel energized and happy when I am working hard, setting goals and seeing results. I come alive and thrive in that kind of environment.

Katie and Alec Photography

Katie and Alec Photography

Then there’s the new Momma side of me, who isn’t sure about much of anything at all. There’s no constant, no structure or routine, and it doesn’t fit into a mold that makes my day run “smoothly and efficiently,” which is just how I like my days to run. But this baby girl is the best thing that has ever happened to me. When she smiles at me, my heart melts. When she falls asleep in my arms, I’m certain there’s never going to be a better feeling in the world.

It’s been a hard transition to go from working all the time to barely being able to find the time to fit it in, all while wanting nothing more than to spend every hour snuggling and soaking in these fleeting moments with her. I simultaneously feel like I need to give her more, be more for her, and struggle with feeling frustrated when I have to stop mid-email or project to tend to this tiny little human who needs me for literally everything.

Clear as mud, right? I’m working hard to figure out who I am in this new season, what that looks like, and how it works. It’s so confusing, but in so many ways, it also feels like coming home.

I struggle so much with finding myself in this new life. So much change has happened in such a short amount of time and, quite honestly, I’m not sure who I am in all of it sometimes.

My desire to work, my passion for what I do, it’s all still there. But it’s no longer what gets me out of bed in the morning. I was working ALL the time, and now when she needs me (which is pretty much all day long), I drop it all to meet those needs. Which leas to the struggle and worry that if I don’t “get back to business” and work the way I was before, that this business I’ve worked so hard to build over the years will start to collapse.  

I’m having to constantly remind myself that just because my priorities have changed doesn’t mean I’ve lost what I had – or who I was – before. It’s all just fallen into place behind the overwhelming love I have for my sweet little girl. It’s taken me four months to realize that this doesn’t mean things are collapsing; it simply means things are changing.

I haven’t lost myself. I haven’t forgotten how to set goals and hustle. That part of me is still very much there, it just isn’t the complete focus of my life anymore.

I’m having to change the way I think about and use my time. It’s not all about work anymore. Most of my time is now consumed with the sweetest little 13 pound chunk of love I have ever known. I want to be the very best Momma to her that I can be, but I also want to continue to build my business and serve my sweet couples with love, focus, and passion. I want to make life happen on purpose instead of letting life happen to me and letting the days go by leaving me feeling frustrated, unaccomplished, and run down.

The truth of it is, I am in a season of transition, of figuring out what life looks like now, and who I am in the midst of it all. My sweet brides have been so full of love, support, and grace during these past several months, and it has made me even more grateful for this industry and the relationships and friendships I have made in it.

Life is can be hard sometimes, friends, and we just aren’t meant to do it alone. And the truth of it is, I have felt so alone during this time. I’ve spent more time over the past several years stressing about curating an “on brand” image than I have in showing my personality, being vulnerable, and creating meaningful relationships (whether online or in person).

It's time for that to stop. 

As I’m navigating this new season in life and in business, I want to be more vulnerable and transparent than I have ever been. I’m ready to step into this new season and embrace it with open arms, whatever it may bring. Here’s to being open and vulnerable and to change, friends – the messy, hard, and beautiful change.

 

Life Lately: Navigating and Embracing a New Season | Wedding Planners Birmingham, Alabama

Christina Sloan Events is a Wedding Planning and Design Studio, offering Full Service Wedding and Event Planning and Design, Event Management, and Day and Month Of Coordination | Serving Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery, Alabama, and the surrounding Southeast region | Destination Services Available Worldwide

Marisa + Nathan: A Joyful Birmingham Celebration {The Barn at Shady Lane} | Wedding Planners Birmingham, Alabama

Last July we spent a Saturday at The Barn at Shady Lane celebrating Marisa and Nathan in a day that was nothing short of epic. From the always gorgeous palette of whites and blushes to the phenomenal band and full dance floor, we loved every second of celebrating their love story with them.

Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane

Y'all know how much we love a bridesmaids' first look, and this one definitely did not disappoint! Marisa was stunning in her Hayley Paige gown!

Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane

How cute is Marisa and Nathan's little boy, Declan?! We just couldn't get enough of that smile and those chubby cheeks!

Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane

Masterpiece brought the party and kept the dance floor full the entire night. I'm talking about some serious dance moves, y'all.

Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane

And is there a better way to end the night than with one of their best friends at the mic busting out some rap? When I tell you this was an awesome celebration, I don't say that lightly. It was definitely a night we won't be forgetting! 

Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane
Christina Sloan Events | Wedding Planners Birmingham AL | Once Upon a Click Photography | The Barn at Shady Lane

Venue: The Barn at Shady Lane / Photography: Once Upon a Click / Coordination: Christina Sloan Events / Catering: Jim N Nicks / Florals: Christina Sloan Events / Cake: Edgar's Bakery / Band: Masterpiece / Uplighting and Photobooth: Feel the Beat Entertainment

 

Marisa + Nathan: A Joyful Birmingham Celebration {The Barn at Shady Lane} | Wedding Planners Birmingham, Alabama

Christina Sloan Events is a Wedding Planning and Design Studio, offering Full Service Wedding and Event Planning and Design, Event Management, and Day and Month Of Coordination | Serving Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery, Alabama, and the surrounding Southeast region | Destination Services Available Worldwide