It’s My Anniversary!

It’s My Anniversary!

 A stroll down memory lane

 

Almost nine years ago I found myself a fresh-faced college graduate on my way to HOTlanta with plans of igniting my design career. Meeting boys was the last thing on my mind, but when my cousin told me about this really cute, charming guy with a “good job” I had to see what the hype was all about. A couple days into my new residency I got a call from this guy named Mike. We engaged in a bit of small talk in which at some point he inquired if I was bald-headed (That’s a whole other story for a later date). Anyhoo, despite the odd inquiry I said yes when he invited me to dinner. I guess he thought “Let me do this favor for my friend” and I thought “What the hell, I have nothing better to do.”

The date was set for a Friday night. I constructed an outfit consisting of a colorful flowy tube top (it was 2004) and a pair of white pants that hugged me in all the right places. Ladies, you know what white pants can do for a figure ;) The doorbell rang. My heart raced with anticipation as a made my way to the front door. What will he look like? Will he be as charming as I was sold told? Or will this date be a complete flop? I looked through the peephole and caught a glimpse of a bulging chocolaty bicep. “Mmm-kay, so far so good”, I thought. As I opened the door I could hear my heartbeat in my ears. Needless to say that my nerves were an absolute mess! The door opened and smiling at me on the other side was a 6 foot 4 inch-ish, dark chocolate, clean-cut chunk of fine Oooo-Wee! HELLO! Although I was already completely enamored with his smile I had to keep my composure. I couldn’t let him know that he “had me at hello”. We went on to have a really fun evening filled with smiles, laughs, and eye-lash batting (on my part). By the time I returned home I knew something special was brewing. Nine years later here we are, married with our first baby on the way. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would meet the man I would spend the rest of my life with that way. I used to be the kind of person who needed to be “in the know”. Not knowing who was on the other side of that door was a bit stressful but exciting. Saying yes to that date turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made.

Last year June 23, 2012 Mike and I tied the knot…got hitched…jumped the broom (literally). It was an unforgettable weekend filled with love, family, line dancing, and food galore. The setting for the weekend’s festivities was my hometown Lafayette, LA. The nuptials took place at the beautifully restored historic ABACUS located at the heart of the city. The exposed brick walls, wooden plank ceilings, and industrial styled bar provided the perfect backdrop for our country vintage inspired wedding.

Designing for others comes easy to me. It’s what I do. Designing for myself, however, is a little tricky because I have so many ideas and I love each and every one of them. It becomes difficult to focus those ideas into one cohesive design. And let’s face it, while some facets of interior design and event planning run parallel, many others do not. To help me focus my creative energy and efforts appropriately, I enlisted the help of my dear friend, bridesmaid, and event planner extraordinaire Shari Green of Food Passion Catering and events. I knew that with our two brains, a little patience and some elbow grease, we could pull off the event of the year! Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic but we could definitely create one hell of a beautiful bash! Read on to learn about the Who, Where, and What of our country vintage wedding and to see never before posted photos of the nuptials.

Who Circleme&mikie  

Well Us! Duh!

090        IMG_2901

 

 But more specifically:

 

Olivia Nezey & Michael Westbrooks Jr.

 

The day started with an early rise. My anxiousness kept me awake all night. I slept at my dad’s house, in my old bedroom, while Mike shacked up in a hotel across town with his groomsmen. Although we had been in a relationship for some time, I still wanted us to feel the anticipation of seeing each other for the first, all dressed up on our wedding day. My sister came over with her daughters, the most adorable flower girls you’ve EVER seen. My cousin Margeaux and my good friend and make-up artist Brandi joined soon after. The festivities were quickly under way.

All professional photo credits to Erin & Geoffrey Photography. They did an Awesome job! Hire them…NOW!

52Olivia Michael

51Olivia Michael 48Olivia Michael    44Olivia Michael  39Olivia Michael 

(Peep the purple & gold. Geaux TIGERS!)

67Olivia Michael

  66Olivia Michael 72Olivia Michael 81Olivia Michael

77Olivia Michael

 

Meanwhile…at the Bat Cave…the groomsmen and groom prepared for the big day.

11Olivia Michael 27Olivia Michael 16Olivia Michael

1Olivia Michael 8Olivia Michael

33Olivia Michael

Ain’t he cute!

Where Circle 648Olivia Michael

The ABACUS located in Lafayette, Louisiana provided the perfect backdrop for our country vintage inspired wedding. We enlisted the talented Shari Green of Food Passion Catering & Events to help us pull our ideas together. From my stylish arrival in a throwback Caddi to the crystals that sparkled in the nuptial arbor, no detail was missed. The day was magical and every detail perfect.

 82Olivia Michael 83Olivia Michael

86Olivia Michael

92Olivia Michael

This gorgeous galley is where the I Do’s took place. The exposed brick walls and wood paneled ceilings were EVERYTHING!

94Olivia Michael  95Olivia Michael

The gorgeous arbor was the masterpiece of Flowers By Rodney. The structure was made of reclaimed columns which blended beautifully with the historic interiors. The top and sides of the arbor was draped with grape vines, hydrangeas and crystals. Bringing the arbor to life were a series of floating candles that twinkled as the ceremony took place. Be still my heart.

Adjacent to the ceremony room, which would later be broken down for the par-tay, were the rooms where dinner was served. The decor was inspired by the Sunday’s I would spend as a child in the sleepy town of Grand Coteau (my mom’s hometown) coupled with my love for all things collected and feminine. Natural elements like burlap, twine, and branches were softened by the delicate details of the flowers, crystals and linens. Vintage touches were intermixed with the use of collected mason jars and bottles that I sourced from various antique markets & thrift stores. They were used as vases for the tablescapes.

402Olivia Michael 420Olivia Michael Reclaimed shutters found while rummaging through Scott’s Antique Market were given new life as they served as the display for the place cards that directed guests to their tables.

99Olivia Michael

113Olivia Michael

415Olivia Michael 200Olivia Michael 371Olivia Michael  

119Olivia Michael

 379Olivia Michael

Instead of the traditional multi-tiered cake, we opted for a two-layer cake laced with buttercream ruffles and adorned with large peony blooms. Don’t fret, there was plenty of cake to go around for the guests. There were cupcakes galore for our party-goers to snack on. I found the cupcake cups on Amazon.com. Half were turquoise glitter cups with scalloped edges and the other half ivory laser-cut butterfly cups. The presence of butterflies throughout the decor was to honor my mom who was with us in spirit. I handmade the toppers which was so much more economical than purchasing them from Etsy.. Both the cake and cupcakes were beautifully crafted by my Aunt Pauline of P&D’s Cake Cottage located in Grand Coteau, LA. 

367Olivia Michael  202Olivia Michael

118Olivia Michael

For those who’s sweet tooth need further satisfying, Shari Green designed a retro candy table that brought many of us back to a carefree place and time. The pom-poms hanging from the center piece not only add a playful touch but saved us on some dough! It’s a great way to add whimsy without breaking the bank. Needless to say that the candy table was a huge hit!

110Olivia Michael 194Olivia Michael

   196Olivia Michael 112Olivia Michael 105Olivia Michael 191Olivia Michael  

Gumballs, Pop Rocks and Pixie Stix, oh my!    

What Circle  375Olivia Michael

The celebration of our love!

205Olivia Michael197Olivia Michael 

Ah, yes! The reason for the shindig…to celebrate our love for and commitment to each other with our family and friends. The preparations were done. The scene was set. It was finally time to walk down the isle. One more thing had to happen before I mad my entrance. I had to see my groom. We opted to take photos before the ceremony so that we could enjoy the rest of our day once the ceremony was over. We did a series of “First Look” photos where we got to see each other for the first time since the rehearsal dinner. I couldn’t run up the stairs fast enough…literally. My six inch heels wouldn’t let me. But once I got up those stairs and opened that door, my heart stopped racing and started melting for the man that stood before me. It went a little something like this…

 121Olivia Michael 122Olivia Michael

He’s waiting…                                                                                  I open the door…

123Olivia Michael 127Olivia Michael     

I sneak up behind him and tap his arm… We get our first glimpse of each other and have the not so expected reaction, we laugh hysterically at each other.

131Olivia Michael Then we embrace…the expected reaction.

136Olivia Michael 161Olivia Michael

He shows me a little surprise…His socks :) But I couldn’t let him steal the show.

159Olivia Michael  I had the shoes to match… 

160Olivia Michael

With bling. POW!

Then we have a few tender moments before heading downstairs to the ceremony.

   141Olivia Michael 153Olivia Michael 

140Olivia Michael

167Olivia Michael

I know this post is getting super long and frankly I’m getting a little winded, metaphorically speaking. I’ll try my best to summarize the rest in photos. There are just so many details to share! Ok, here we go.

208Olivia Michael  The guests arrive.

  264Olivia Michael  263Olivia Michael

The flower girls and ring bearer make their entrance. Notice the butterflies perched on the ends of the banner :) There was a long line of gorgeous bridesmaids and handsome groomsmen that preceded them, but I’m trying to condense here.

 268Olivia Michael

 273Olivia Michael  275Olivia Michael

Here Comes The Bride! You can’t see it in this photo but the stems of my bouquet were wrapped in satin ribbon and finished with a purple butterfly broach.

276Olivia Michael 282Olivia Michael  

My dad gives his baby girl away to his future son-in-law.

  285Olivia Michael  293Olivia Michael

300Olivia Michael

The Vows. Mine were on my iPad that I had forgotten upstairs. I had to freestyle it.

322Olivia Michael 326Olivia Michael

The exchanging of the rings. “I got him!”, I said with a thumbs up. 

360Olivia Michael 357Olivia Michael 

The KISS!

363Olivia Michael

 Mr. & Mrs. Michael Westbrooks Jr. everybody!

174Olivia Michael 

And then we lived Happily Ever After!

 

 

But not before we PAR-TAYed first! 

366Olivia Michael

They were so serious about their job.

There was dinner then cake, and of course the proverbial cake-in-face moment.

439Olivia Michael 450Olivia Michael 459Olivia Michael 435Olivia Michael

Once dinner and dessert was done it was time to cut a rug! Up first, the newly wedded couple. We took ballroom dance lessons for five weeks! 

471Olivia Michael You didn’t think I’d wear the same dress did you??? I needed to be free to do my THANG!

475Olivia Michael 476Olivia Michael 

                                                                                                              “A dance? Why indeed I shall.”

478Olivia Michael 486Olivia Michael

Slow…quick, quick, slow…

490Olivia Michael 499Olivia Michael

                                                      And twirl…

501Olivia Michael 503Olivia Michael

And pose…                                                                                    And bow. Not too shabby right?

 

Click below to see our take on the Rumba in full motion!

 

 

Then my dad showed us how it’s really done. He kinda stole the show.

514Olivia Michael 516Olivia Michael 607Olivia Michael 518Olivia Michael

And then the whole room broke loose! Cupid Shuffle anyone?525Olivia Michael 529Olivia Michael 

A little Soul Train line action…

615Olivia Michael 612Olivia Michael 616Olivia Michael

After that, any move was fair game…

595Olivia Michael 600Olivia Michael   628Olivia Michael 578Olivia Michael 586Olivia Michael670Olivia Michael 526Olivia Michael 638Olivia Michael 672Olivia Michael

602Olivia Michael 677Olivia Michael

Then this happened…not sure why…691Olivia Michael

Alas, it was time for the party to end. It was indeed a magical night filled with new memories and lots of love. If I could go back in time a relive any day in my life it would be this one. We were surrounded by everyone we loved and their presence and support meant the world to us. Now Mike and I are on to stage two of our life together…parenting. I can’t wait to share stories of our journey with Mya Michelle with you. I’m sure they’ll be plenty of interesting ones. Thanks for reading my incredibly long post. I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane as much as I did.

PEACE!

692Olivia Michael

signature

A huge thank you to our wonderful photographers Erin & Geoffrey for capturing our special day so beautifully. Also, a huge thanks to Shari Green of Food Passion Catering & Events, our day of coordinator Janie Varisco of J. Varisco Events, and our vendors. We could not have pulled this off with out you.

 

 

FLOWERS BY RODNEY 

bg-1-130460 J. Varisco Events

You’re invited to the Room Service Atlanta Wrap Party!

You’re invited to the Room Service Atlanta Wrap Party!

Hey YOU! Yes, YOU!

YOU are cordially invited to join the founders of Room Service Atlanta, participating designers (including yours truly) , vendors and donors on Thursday, June 6th for this year’s Room Service Atlanta wrap party at the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showroom in Buckhead! Come and see what the buzz is all about and preview the awesome spaces designed by some of Atlanta’s most talented designers (again, including yours truly ;) ) for the United Methodist Children’s Home. Read all about Room Service Atlanta and last year’s design in my previous post Room Service Atlanta. I hope to see your face in the place!

And remember, to GIVE is the only way to LIVe!

signatureRSA_2013_Wrap_Party_MGBW

Room Service Atlanta

Room Service Atlanta
Room Service Atlanta

Room Service Atlanta: Giving back never felt so good (but I still wouldn’t mind a foot rub)

Thank you for stopping by and reading my inaugural post on my new blog!!! I am so happy and grateful to share with you glimpses into my design life. I am in the process of adding much more content and I encourage you to visit again soon as updates are being made frequently.

I felt no project more appropriate for my inaugural post than the one that I recently completed. It combined everything that I love: designing a young woman’s room, thrifting, and DIY projects to name a few. Oh, and did I mention the best part? It was all for a deserving cause! You can’t get much better than that. While this project was one of the most challenging ones of my career, due mainly to the little inhabitant in my belly occupying my energy reserves, it was by far one of the most rewarding. But before I reveal this project, I have to show you last year’s room transformation for a deserving young man. I’m a big tease, I know (my poor husband can attest to that). See below for the who, what, where, and why of my amazing journey with Room Service Atlanta.

 

WHO: Room Service Atlanta

Room Service Atlanta is a non-profit organization created by my friends and fellow designers Erika Ward and Dayka Robinson. Between the two, the genius idea of pairing designers with local shelters to create spaces that inspire and invigorate their residents as they work to get back on their feet was born. What a fabulous idea- making the world a more beautiful (and functional) place while helping our fellow brothers and sisters in their time of need. Click the logo below for more information about Room Service Atlanta and their mission.

roomservice_header_final6

 

 

WHERE: The United Methodist Children’s Home- Decatur, GA

Set on sprawling acres sprinkled with charming little cottages erected in decades past (some from the turn of the century) The United Methodist Children’s Home is a place that many call home. Their mission is to “provide redemptive, healing services that bring meaningful change to the lives of children and families.” They assist families in staying together or reuniting and encourage youth to create healthy and successful lives through the use of  holistic and theruputic programs. Learn more about The United Children’s Methodist Home and how you can help by clicking on thier logo below.

UMCH_Vert_RGB1

 

WHAT: Redesign a lounge space for a deserving young man

Ok, so here’s the fun part! I was invited to participate in this wonderful event for the first time last fall. Our mission was to transform the Sam Bell Cottage which is where the young men partaking in the independent living program reside. The cottage consisted of private bed rooms, private lounge rooms, a communal lounge room, a study/work area and a communal kitchen. Each participating designer got to scope out the spaces and decide on the that they would call their baby. I chose this beauty:

IMG_1605

Sexy right?!? NOT!!! But what great potential! Check out the substantial moldings and that gorgeous transom window! They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

Here’s the view of the window wall in a different room with the same layout.

IMG_1527

I jumped for joy when I saw those vanilla linoleum floors…said NO ONE in this decade!

This lounge room was not fit for the deserving young man who would soon inhabit it. It was my job as his fairy-designer-mother to create a space that would provide an escape for him, a place to kick his feet up and unwind after a hard day of studying or working. I wanted this room to intrigue him and challenge his creativity. To achieve that, I opted to design a space that was influenced by world travel. I wanted the space to feel as though it had been filled with trinkets and memories from trips beyond and to it the young man could add trinkets of his own and they would not look out of place. This theme also worked for me as a designer because I really did have to collect things from here and there to complete this transformation. Many of the items were either reused, donated, purchased from Craigslist or found in one of my favorite thrifting places, my design BFF’s garage. So after scouring the city (and Craigslist) for the perfect pieces and after much blood, sweat, and tears- My BFF Daniel & I did all of the work ourselves including painting those lovely wood paneled walls- my vision became reality.

THE BIG REVEAL

::::::::::::::Drum roll please::::::::::::::

 

TA-DAAAA!!! Let’s hear it for my $30 wood trunk cocktail table Craigslist purchase! And thanks to Mitchel Gold + Bob Williams for donating the ceiling pendant and to West Elm Atlanta for that beautiful chevron rug that added just the right amount of luxury and softness to the room.

This chocolate wonder was collecting pollen on a friend’s balcony until I brought it back to life with newly upholstered seat and back cushions. Thanks to Award Fabrics for so graciously donating the fabric! Check out the drapery hardware. Now that’s a real “Pipe Dream”. (Yes I embrace my corniness)

I thought that this space not only looked great but functioned perfectly. This young man not only had a place to lounge, he also had a private place to get work done. The closet doors were given new life with a coat of chalkboard paint. This design feature gives him a place to write his to do lists or just his personal expressions while adding a touch of whimsy.

Aren’t you just en”transom”ed by this transformation??? Ok, I quit…maybe ;)

 

Check out this photo gallery to see more design details from this project.

All Photo credits to Kendrick Dean Photography

 

OH WAIT! I forgot the WHY!

WHY: Because to GIVE is the only way to LIVe!

So never forget to pay it forward. Stay tuned to see this year’s Room Service Atlanta Transformation that was completed recently. Here’s a sneak peek…

Photo May 21, 7 42 35 PM

PEACE & MUCH ♥

Happy Designing!

signature

SPECIAL THANKS:

I would like to send a special thank you to the following vendors for their generosity. Also a huge THANK YOU goes out to my design BFF Danny Tovar of Danto Designs. Without y’all, this transformation would not have been possible.

Blog Logo copy

logo

 

logo_med_crm

 

logo_we

 

pineapple_house_name2

 O’Rourke Art Group

Kendrick Dean Photography

Award Fabrics