Oct 20, 2009


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Five things you would not have caught me dead doing while finalizing the last print edition: sleeping, working out, laughing, eating well (ok, truth: I’ve been swiping candy off Katharine‘s desk occasionally), or … blogging.  Heavens, no!   But, after last time, I swore this would be different.  I was plum-tuckered-out after the last issue hit stands.  I’m over-worked and overwhelmed, but happy this time.  I’m fighting my natural instinct to run myself into the ground. Granted, we’re 4 days off schedule, but it’s just 4 days.  Something Wynn and Encore design guru Todd-Avery Lenahan said at Engage09Encore that really stuck with me: “I wasn’t confined by budget or time.  I just had to focus on getting the job done perfectly.” Although I am confined by budget and time, I’ve been trying to focus on the task at hand as if I’m not.  It’s working.  I’m focused and feeling like my creative reserves aren’t tapped yet.  Granted, I have a slew of flagged emails to get to after this issue launches and lots of clients that need my attention.   I get new consulting inquiries every day.  I finally put an auto-reply on my account tonight explaining that I can’t take new clients for another month.  I have a busy office to run, bills, brides, lawyers (ps- wrote my publication lawyer a 2 sentence email yesterday that cost me $156! Note to self: Google it.), family, friends, laundry, and more random challenges every day than a TV mini series could handle.  People often ask me how I do it all.   I don’t.  First of all, I have a great team.  #understatement.  Second, when I need to focus on something, there is a balance that occurs.  I have to put some things on hold to –sorry to overuse this but these are the best words for what’s occurring– make things happen.

One of my favorite clients, and a dear new friend, Caroline, from Paloma’s Nest sent me this special keepsake above last week. I was in such a rush to get to the airport to go to Vegas that I brought my mail with me.  Opening this was such perfect timing and exactly what I needed.

In all transparency, going to Vegas for Engage was horrible timing for me.  I knew I should be here in my office working.  Emily was supposed to come with me, but we decided at the last minute she should stay here with Katharine and Whit to hold down the fort.  I wasn’t going to miss Engage for the world though and I’m so glad I didn’t. I met some incredible people that I can’t wait to connect with after this print rush is over. You can read my mini-recap here.

Back to reality, I stepped off the five hour return flight from Vegas and immediately called Ari.  At midnight: “Hi, just letting you know I won’t see you for a few days.  I’m locking myself in my office.  Love you.”   That’s not an easy call to make after already having been away from each other for two weeks (he went to LA then I went to Vegas).  Learning to deal with these intense time periods has made us stronger and made me so appreciative of him for his patience.  So, I locked myself in my office all weekend and cranked out as much layout as possible.   (Yes, I publish this magazine and lay it out too. We’re small y’all. It’s me, two fabulous full-time genius women, one part-time fabulous assistant and two sometimes interns.)

I’ve got 48 hours left. 48 hours to be wildly proud of a huge investment. After showing Ari, Kath, and Em the whole thing today –missing a few bits here and there– I’m very proud. Finishing touches are next and then off to the printer. This is the hard part…

I love when people say “Oh, how great, you’re sending it to the printer, so now you can relax!” Not so fast, y’all. “Off to the printer” means linking thousands of high res files, getting them uploaded to their FTP, a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo that would bore you to tears, then we get draft proofs, press proofs, FEDEX them back, more press proofs, FEDEX them back, revisions, FEDEX them back, color check once, color check twice, and that’s just the beginning.

Yes, this is fun. It’s hard, fun, exciting, scary, powerful, crazy, exhilarating, and just plain awesome all rolled into one.

Thanks to all of my friends and family for so much support and sweet words this week.  Thank you photographers who have submitted your incredibly inspiring work to us.  Thank you brides for sharing your love stories that make this all worth it.  Thank you Katharine, Emily, and Whitney for being you… brilliant, beautiful, and the engine that keeps me going.  We’re in the home stretch and can’t wait for our big launch party in Atlanta on November 6th! (details to come)

You can follow the next steps in this crazy process with me on Twitter, if you dare.

Making things happen (with a whole lotta prayer, love support and laughter),


PS- want a sneak peek at our cover?


  1. juilanne smith on October 22, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    oh my – this is so inspiring….hang in there and keep at it. can’t wait to see the final product. it will be so worth it!

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