A few weeks ago, at Crate & Barrel's private registry event, I had flashbacks of my OWN wedding registry experience.

Tip #1: Put your registry in the right place!

This is going to surprise you. Ready? Proper wedding etiquette says that the ONLY invitation that should have your registry information on it is the bridal shower invitation. Not on your bachelorette invites and definitely not on your wedding day invitation!

If one of my couples strongly requests it, I will do an insert (just a little card) with the registry info to go inside the formal invitation suite. Otherwise, your registry details go on your shower invitation and on your wedding website. NEVER ever put your registry info on social media! It is, to be blunt with you (because I care about you!), tacky.

Tip #2: Be Thoughtful About What You Choose!

Creating a wedding registry is like writing your Christmas list. It's easy to add, add, add, add ALL kinds of things just because they're cute or seem handy. Plus, Crate and Barrel has this awesome feature now where you don’t need the barcode gun to scan, you do it right on your phone. Dangerous, right?

On the other side of that, if you've already been building a home together, you may already HAVE a lot of the usual registry gadgets (towels, kitchen goodies, decor, etc.). Here are a few ideas inspired by some of the wedding gifts I still cherish 11 years later:

Really Great Sheets -- It may seem like a strange thing to register for, but there is something so luxurious about high thread count sheets!

Cookbooks -- Try to cook together once a month from a recipe you’ve not tried before. Joe and I registered for the Newlywed Cookbook!

Photo Frames -- Nice heirloom frames that will match your home's style. Document your years together and tell your story in your home. I got nine 14x18” frames to fill that will go on our upstairs landing with a sign that says “Every family has a story, this is ours.” I love picking the photos that we'll update the frames with!

Pyrex -- Honestly, you cannot have too many of these. They're glass, so you don't have to worry about the weird plastic chemicals we keep hearing about online getting on your leftovers or meal planning dishes!

Tip #3: Keep Your Decor in Mind

I'm sure it's super tempting right now to register for everything that Chip & Joanna are selling at Target. I have that problem every time I walk in myself! But, all the gorgeous neutrals aside, it's important to keep your decor style in mind as you register for things like towels, china, serving trays, bar cart knick knacks, etc.

While you're using your phone or the fun scanner gun to add away, keep at least a color palate in mind for your future home! You won't want a red KitchenAid, gold bar cart accessories, and that cute pink Keurig! If you're not sure about a color scheme yet, stick with the tried and true stainless steel and white that will match anything.

Of course, the most important tip to creating a great, thoughtful, practical wedding registry is to enjoy the process. You know that scene in 27 Dresses where Katherine Heigel is explaining to the journalist that she isn't just registering her sister for a vase . . . she's registering her for the vase that will hold the flowers that her husband will bring her on a random week day just because.

It may be a cheesy movie, but it's a sweet thought. You aren't just registering for "stuff." You're choosing the little bits and pieces that will be part of your new life together. It's real and it's FUN and it's important!

With love and light,

Chloe x

Photos credit: Marie Violet Photography

#weddingregistry #tipsforregistering #thingstoregisterfor


My line of work is completely centered on love. I get to design invitations to the first day of a couple's new life together. It's incredibly romantic. What's NOT incredibly romantic though? Not being able to pick a new date night activity.

Joe and I are lucky to live near our capital city where there's a lot of different things to do, but that doesn't always mean it's easy to actually to plan a date night! Sometimes it's difficult to get inspired to do something new. But even when it's hard to plan and schedule, we do try to do one date night a month without our daughter, Emma. The majority of my couples haven't started families yet, but even if it means taking a night away from friends or family that you usually hang out with, always plan one date a month that is JUST the two of you. It's so, so important.

So, in honor of Valentine's Day coming up, I created a little list of some things Joe & I love to do or WANT to do so you can get inspired to plan your next night out.

Note: The specific spots and links here are helpful for Richmonders and central Virginians, but if you're not a Virginian or even an East Coaster, Google is your friend! Most cities have places like these for you to discover.

See a Show at Altria Theater

Honestly, we don't take advantage of Altria enough, but we're so lucky to live near a Broadway stage. From Harry Potter symphonies and Broadway musicals to comedy shows and concerts there's something for everyone! Plus, the theater itself is gorgeous.

Check out their schedule here to see if anything catches your eye.

In London, we have a site called lastminute.com where you can find cheap, spontaneous tickets to great shows and experiences. It's how I got to see Julia Stiles and Aaron Eckhart in Oleanna! I also booked a spontaneous trip to Spain one time using the site!

Here in the US, it looks like you can use TodayTix if you leave near a big city!

Photo from Google Images

Try an Escape Room

This is such a fun activity, especially for a group date! It's also a great way to test how you work together as a team. I can be a little competitive, so this idea is super fun for me. You get to tear a room apart knowing you don't have to be the one to clean it up later on! ;)

Look into Escape Room RVA, River City Escape Room, or Breakout Richmond -- they all have different themes!

A Luxe Movie Experience

I love the idea of up-leveling your regular old movie watching date. CineBistro in Stony Point Fashion Park is so luxurious with their lounge, bar, and yummy dinner menu. It is 100% NOT your average dinner & a movie night!

Sipping Wine with a View

I feel like Pippin Hill & Cooper's Hawk should be paying me for the amount of times I've talked about them on the blog, but these are Joe & I's two favorite spots to have some alone time together. Pippin Hill has a gorgeous view, so we always go in the summer so we can drink wine and have a cheeseboard out on the patio.

Of course, there are a ton of great breweries, cideries (is that a word?!), and vineyards in our area. Tell me some of your favorites in the comments!

** BONUS Valentine's Reminder!! **

Take some time this weekend to write some snail mail to your Galentines! Everyone loves getting mail, so grab some pretty stationery and tell your BFFs, moms, mom-in-laws, sisters, etc. why they're so great. Drop 'em in the mail on MONDAY!

You can buy these gorgeous stamps here!

Now that you have some inspiration, grab your planners and make a date night happen this month! Remember, nothing happens if you don't write it in the calendar and make a plan! ;)

Cheers,

Chloe x

#datenightideas #tipsforcouples


Hello, blog friends! I missed you last week, but a break was necessary. Last week, we lost Joe's uncle all too soon. The family and I headed to New Jersey to surround ourselves with the people we love most and to say goodbye.

There are a lot of things that are hard about being self-employed, but the best part is being able to take the time you need when you need it. This week, I'm back in the office, painting away. It's healing. But do you know what else is oddly soothing? Assembling invites. There's something therapeutic about sealing envelopes and making sure all the stamps are straight.

And speaking of therapeutic, I'm continuing my Kon Mari journey to a more real, calm, simplified life. It started during a Bible study that I'm doing with the director of music at my church. (This may not seem like it's going to relate, but it will, stay with me!) We were studying the six ways that we all justify our sin. You might downplay it or blame others for it or hide it. But as I read this description, I felt like I was reading my own heart:

Faking

I strive to keep up appearances and maintain a respectable image. My behavior, to some degree, is driven by what I think others think of me . . . As a result, not many people know the real me. (I may not even know the real me.)

As I thought about this idea, that we're always faking this perfect image of ourselves, I started to look around my office at home. How many things in here did I buy just because I thought it would look good in a photoshoot? On Instagram? If a client came over? How much of this stuff that surrounds me actually inspires me?

(Emma's watercolor "roses" and thank you cards from clients will always inspire me)

So, another decluttering began. Instead of just thinking, "Do I need this" or "Do I use this" I started evaluating if I, Chloe, actually like this item. I even looked at the rug at my feet and thought, "You know what? I don't even like this! It's kind of odd and it's not very practical to keep clean with a kid and cats!" So, out it goes. And so do some mugs with sayings that were just trendy and nail polish colors I never wear!

Now that I've gotten rid of the excess, I can see more clearly the things that inspire me. Like my insanely old copy of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette. Or the wooden birdhouse that sits on my bookshelf, that looks a little too much like my own house. I smile so hard each time I pass it. I feel like I've shed a little more light (my word of the year!!) on who I am as a person instead of the person I try to portray on Instagram.

So, since this was so therapeutic to me, I'm ending this Tea with Chloe with a challenge. GO right now and find an empty box. (I know you have an empty Amazon box somewhere!) Walk through a room in your house that has been feeling a little claustrophobic to you lately and fill that box. Fill it with things that don't fuel you or feel like you. Seriously! Pick them up, give it a moment's thought, and if you don't feel connected, toss it in the box.

BONUS CHALLENGE: Take that box to a donation center ASAP. Don't let it clutter up your counter or your car! Get the clutter clear, and get it gone! Because life is far too short to feel stressed by things.

Cheers,

Chloe x

Photo Cred: Shalese Danielle Photography


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