Ridiculously talented & cool people that deserve to be recognized for their hard work and sheer awesome-ness.

Introducing Molly Middleton :: NYC Wedding Planner

Molly Middleton, Founder of Molly Middleton Events

A little while back I took a business trip to my former home, New York City. I waited for Molly in the W in Union Square, and as soon as she walked in the door I knew we would be fast friends. We sat and chatted (work and non-work related) for an hour as people stared at our ‘out of character for a New Yorker’ attire of bright orange pants and a sunshine yellow dress. We had so much fun that Molly & I plan on collaborating on a few personal projects for her daughter, and with her kick a$$ personality, I needed to share a few fun things about her.

Me: Why did you become a planner?
MM: Actually, I really just fell into it. I was an art history major in college and then went to graduate school for contemporary art.  When I moved to Atlanta after grad school, I wanted to work at the High Museum of Art in the curatorial department.  They didn’t have an opening in that department at the time, but they did have something available in special events.  I took the job as a foot in the door and never thought about curating again.  I think it was in my blood from the beginning.  My grandmother was a florist and helped with all of the big events in her town in South Georgia.  My mother has always loved to entertain, as well. You should have seen the “Sip ‘n See” she threw for my daughter when we went home to visit her for the first time!  And on top of all of that, I am a control freak and totally OCD, so I am incredibly organized, which is the most important part of planning an event.

Me: What is your biggest piece of advice when planning an event?
MM: Keep calm and carry on – IT’S ONLY A WEDDING! I have this mantra framed on my desk.  Truly, as much time and effort as we put into our events, it is important that everything goes off without a hitch.  However, you can’t stress yourself out to the point that it becomes more work than fun.  Planning your big day should be enjoyable!  You want to create GOOD memories that last a lifetime. Its funny, as a planner, I often find myself playing therapist between bride and mother of the bride, or worse, bride and groom.  A wedding is about the celebration of love. In my opinion, arguing over the napkin fold seems a bit trivial in comparison.

Me: Any exciting projects coming up that we should look out for?
MM: I am doing a wedding this spring at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York for a bride from Brazil.  Her fiancé is American, so we will be melding the two cultures at the party. Think caipirinhas and apple pie!  The bride doesn’t want an “end time” for the reception.  You can imagine how those negotiations went down with the vendors in New York City!

Me: What is the most RAD thing you a) own, b) have done,  c) want to do?
a) My Robert August custom surfboard – a gift from my husband.
b) A cattle drive in Montana with over 80 bovine
c) Climb the Grand Teton in Wyoming

Me: What is the coolest beach/ocean destination you’ve been to?
MM: Well, I do love Bermuda.  I recently took a trip there with three generations of Middleton women – my mother, my 9-month old daughter and me.  It was incredible!  The blues and greens of the water there are truly amazing.  But, I have to say that my FAVORITE beach spot is one that I will probably never get to again, which is Bali.  My husband and I went there for our honeymoon and we traveled around the entire island.  The water is of course beautiful there, as well.  The flowers are INSANE!  I remember relaxing by the pool and reading my book under the most beautiful pergola covered in bougainvillea. There was something so peaceful about that.

Me: What would you pack for a beach/ocean getaway?
MM: Aside from the obvious – bathing suit, sunglasses, flip flops and sunscreen?  Hmmm, well since I can’t ever read any of the magazines that I subscribe to because I don’t have time between work and baby, I would probably bring my most recent issue of each of those – Vanity Fair, Vogue, Town & Country, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Real Simple, and Garden & Gun.  Of course, I don’t go anywhere without my computer (sad) and my iPhone for taking pics (and answering a few emails here and there).  Water – because I never drink enough compared to the amount of time I spend in the sun. BIG, FLUFFY TOWELS!  I can’t stand thin towels that end up leaving you wetter than you were before you dried off.

*Check out my finds inspired by Molly’s things!  robert august board | stay hydrated | essential iphone cover | bright beach towel

Introducing Laura Ritchie :: Events In The City Planner

Laura Ritchie, Co-founder & Designer at Events In The City DC

I was just in DC for a business trip and had the great pleasure of sharing an inspiring coffee break with Laura Ritchie of Events In The City. As we talked, I realized that ideas & creativity were spewing out of our mouths as our personalities really seemed to play off of each other well. I’m certainly hoping that I get the pleasure of working with Laura in the future, but until then, I wanted to share a few of the fun things I learned about her.

Me: Why did you become a planner?
LR: Well at heart I have always been a planner, a bossy pants, in charge type of chick. My mom used to tell me I was telling the other kids what to do and play with in Gymboree class. So if you know me, this really is my perfect job. Aside from the playground though, I became involved in this industry immediately after college and worked in hotels and off premise catering for over five years. This experience was invaluable and truly makes me so proud to have the knowledge base to execute quality events. From there, Megan Pollard and I started our own company four and a half years ago and have really enjoyed being entrepreneurs and having the ability to be as creative as we want to be.

Me: What is your biggest piece of advice when planning an event?
LR: Its all about headcount. It truly dictates everything from the type of venue you can fit into, to the quanitity of centerpieces you’ll need for each table, to how many staff will be onsite to service your event. If you are concered with budget, then cut some people off the list. Its hard to do that sometimes, and you are always more popular than you think when it comes to hosting a wedding….cousins will fly out of the woodwork asking about their invitation. We suggest keeping your lips sealed on the verbal promises until actual invites get sent out and keep it to quality over quanitiy.

Me: Any exciting projects coming up that we should look out for?
LR: Oh man, we always have something up our sleeves! We have an exciting photoshoot that is about to be showcased on Ruffled Blog, we are working on a facelift and redesign of our website again in the next couple of months, we’ll be starting some workshops in our studio space and of course lots of gorgeous events from baby showers, birthday parties to of course weddings!

Me: What is the most RAD thing you a) own, b) have done,  c) want to do?
a) My great grandmothers engagement ring from 1920, I wear it everyday (see picture below!)
b) Been to Australia four times and toured the outback
c) Travel across the country in an RV with my family.

Me: What is the coolest beach/ocean destination you’ve been to?
LR: I’m pretty well traveled since my husband is Australian and a good amount of my family lives in Europe. But if I had to say one that was just really different, it would be Brighton, England. I went on a trip with my best friend, Tyler, to London, Paris & Geneva this past Spring and we went to my aunts flat in Brighton for a weekend. It was like Charleston/Jersey Shore/1920s/Modern City all mixed together. The beach is all round stones but the atmosphere of the piers and lapping cold waves was just pure heaven.

Me: What would you pack for a beach/ocean getaway?
LR: A bagillion magazines, one piece bathing suits (Kate Spade ones rocked my world this summer),  my vintage caftan, a big floppy hat, great wedges (Im a shorty!), a jean jacket, a long flowy dress, a bucket for collecting seashells, some margaritas and guacamole (mexican is my absolute favorite).

*Check out some of my finds inspired by Laura’s stuff!  grey & yellow room | floppy hat | denim jacket | flowy dress | a killer wedge | margs! | for seashells

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