Chic Couture Dresses for any Wedding

I am so excited to be sharing this Wedding Dress Editorial with you! Nestled in West Linn, O.R the historic McLean House was a perfect location for these not exactly traditional, yet chic couture gowns. Featuring Designs by Stephanie Mai, video clips with Forest & Ivory and a great team that helped pull this look together. I hope this inspires you in finding the wedding dress of your dreams.


 
 
 
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“A wedding dress is both an intimate and personal for a woman - it must reflect the personality and style of the bride.”

Carolina Herrera

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TEAM

Creative Direction + Photography: Nuñez Photography + Creative  • Videography: Forest & Ivory Films • Location: McLean House • Dress Designer: Stephanie Mai • Florals: Maddison August Events + Design • Paper Installments: Spruce & Steel • Hair + Makeup: Angela Foster • Jewelry: VK Designs   •  Stylist: Cristina Villarreal • Models: Sara Sigvarsen + Lyubov Vladimirovna • 

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More Than Just Llamas

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I was so excited when I got a chance to visit these sweet animals at their home and see what goes into caring for such beautiful creatures. They are handled by a one family farm specializing in two different kinds of services. One aspect of what they do is to share their llamas & alpacas in a therapeutic and educational environment, being able to bring joy to nursing homes & special-need schools. The community took so much joy with the company of Rojo and his friends they started to offer celebration services with couples for weddings and families for birthdays. Either way, bringing happiness into the world and help sharie the beauty of llamas & alpacas wherever they go.

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It all began in 2006, when the family validated how exceptionally friendly and well behaved llama, Rojo was during an interaction with a child that had some disabilities while visiting the county fair. In 2007, they had Rojo certified in animal-assisted therapy and began growing the therapy herd in 2008. By 2011, these llamas were invited to their first wedding and several birthday parties. Because of how addicting llama love is, their reputation has been doubling or even tripling each year since.

 
 
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“Our core ideals is that, as a faith-based non-profit, we feel we have been given a gift from God in our exceptionally friendly animals to share as a gift with our community. Through our animals we can offer genuine human interactions with those ‘untouched’ in the elderly and special-need community. It is through spreading even more joy at weddings and birthdays that we can continue to reach as many people as possible in therapeutic and educational ways.”

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Soon this family hopes to offer farm visits and on-site one-on-one therapy interactions to reach even more people. As well as to offer certification courses allowing more therapy llamas and alpacas across the country to do what they do.

Helping others understand the low risks involved in inviting llamas and alpacas to their celebrations has been a major goal. When first sharing Rojo for therapy, they took a photo album to all the local nursing homes showing how wonderful their animals were, because no one was too keen on having a 400lb farm animal inside the facility.

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“I love hearing people's minds change about how they perceive llamas and alpacas. So many people assume llamas are just dingy farm animals that spit when encountered. In fact, many llama owners view their llamas as their pets just as you view your dog. Pet llamas, seen in parades and at fairs, when treated with respect, will be very sweet and gentle animals”

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As for future plans they would love to have more community-support through fundraisers and private donations. Right now they are primarily supported through entertainment-type events. The goal is to have less entertainment based events, allowing for even more therapy and educational ones.

There is always something to do in their industry, either working on animal outfits or organizing the farm to prepare for the public. When there is any free time, If not spending (a minimum of) 4 hours a day off the farm with an animal or catching up on emails, Shannon enjoys spending evenings off the farm playing board games or having a beer with friends to decompress.

 

“I would love to only share our animals Monday-Friday with nursing homes and schools with limited special events each year. It's financially unavailable to do that at this time, but that's where we are focusing to get to someday. But what we do is so truly incredible for the lives we get to touch that it's more than we expected when we started 10+ years ago that I couldn't ask for more.”

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It was so great to see the tremendous work it takes to care for such animals and to see a family that cares so much for them! If you want to learn more about Shannon Joy, and the family farm, you can check them out online and please follow their adventures through Social Media.

Keep your eyes peeled for the many news and wedding features that are continuously coming out!!

linktr.ee/weddingllamas rojothellama.com classycamelids.com instagram.com/weddingllamas

5 Ways I Keep My Business & Life Organized

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This past month I have been all about cleaning up current systems and keeping my organization skills fresh. Right around this time of year I need bit of a reminder to step back, breath and keep on task, not allowing the rest of the clutter to take me out.  As the year rolls by I have my goals scheduled but other tasks, ideas and jobs get added into the mix, creating chaos which can become too much without a proper structure behind it.

Keeping your life and business organized can be a huge task all on it's own, but once you have your own systems in place it gets much easier. We are almost half way through the year and this is when some of us have started to drop the ball. To help get back on track I am sharing 5 ways I keep my life together, mind you this should be called "Top 5 ways to make sure I don't loose my sh*t!".

 

1) PRIORITIZE

At the beginning of the year, you should have had some goals laid out, but things get tweaked, changed and added as the year progresses. So before putting the next month's calendar together, I make a basic list of what I have planned for the month along with my other daily tasks. Once you have your list identify your "Big Rocks", which are your major tasks for the month.  Place those deadlines in first as they become the hardest and sometimes most daunting, which often end in some procrastination. But being most important we want to make sure those are placed on our calendars first. From there I bulk my similar tasks into groups and place as in need of importance. During each day of the week, I also have my daily tasks set and that way I can focus on a specific task for the day, instead of a bunch of random ones. Let us not forget to take a personal day, I like to take at least one day a week to do what I need to do for myself and my home.  


2) KEEP YOUR WORKSPACE TIDY

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As basic as it sounds keeping your area organized will help you keep on task. It will cut down on your feelings of anxiety and stress, while improving your productivity. Clutter keeps our minds stimulated and draws our eyes away from work, creating those feelings of frustration and guilt. I know for me trying to focus while in filth and clutter can be a completely overwhelming feeling. It just feels so great after everything is clean and put away properly, I love that satisfying feeling of sitting down in an organized and clutter free space, it's amazing!

So go through your creative space, get rid of anything that is not needed and organize your files. Consider the help of electronic apps to organize your receipts and other bookkeeping needs, all this will help with de-cluttering.


3) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ORGANIZING TOOLS

There are many tools out there to keep your weeks flowing! I use an array of apps to stay organized and help me keep things moving while at home or on the move. Dubsado is a great CRM system to keep workflow with your clients on time, help from automated emails, questionnaires, invoicing, bookkeeping and more, it's a life saver. It can take some time to set up your program but once set, you are ready to flow. I also use Buffer to plan my Social Media calendar and Evernote is a great tool to put my thoughts on photoshoots and group events together. Evernote also allows me to keep all the visuals, timelines and collaborator information  in one area, as well as being able to share it with others. But my number one go to is just an old-fashion planner, I do use my google calendar for some appointments but I am old school. Writing out my thoughts and placing them into my calendar is almost cathartic for me. I love the Franklin Covey planner system it works so well for me from my yearly goals down to my daily tasks, they also have books that help your productivity.


4) DELEGATE

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This is always a hard one for me, but it's ok to let go and pass the task along. I am a controlling person, I will just flat out admit that, so when starting my own business I was just consumed with many small and large things that needed to be done. I would do everything myself, which is a never ending list of tweaking and perfecting, but once I was able to put a little more money into my business I started hiring people to do the things I did not want to do. It makes sense right? Hiring others do what they are skilled in, instead of somewhat doing it correctly myself or having it take twice as long because I am figuring it out as I go. I put in money on the tasks that are my least favorite to do allowing me to focus on the important tasks that I enjoy.


5) TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

It is so important to take care of yourself, mentally, physically and spiritually. Many people do not realize how much your health can effect your business and life. It is very simply connected, if you are not at your best how can you give your best? Take time for yourself, meditate or take a nature walk, make sure to eat healthy and get physical, often. I know that it can sound impossible with a full plate but its more important to say no to one thing and to keep your health in mind. Do what you can when you can, get creative because a little activity and movement is better than nothing.  Feeling great will bring you more focus and a clearer thought process when coming to work. Besides that who doesn't like feeling good?


We all deal with chaos in some aspect of our lives and nothing will ever be perfect, but having some systems in place with good organizational skills, it will be much easier to handle it all. As you tweak your systems to meet your needs don't over do it, as I said things will never be perfect but it will get a heck of a lot easier.  

Any tips or tricks of your own? I would love to hear about them!

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