A Life Lately Update!

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted an update about the happenings here at Heirloom and for life in general, so I thought this rainy Friday afternoon might just be the perfect time to catch you up! I have a steaming cup of tea next to me in my office and multiple dogs sleeping by my feet.

So...a few big things have happened in the last few months:

A New Look for Heirloom
Heirloom is getting a new website that’s currently in the works and I did a really fun branding photoshoot with the very talented Jennifer Kathryn Photography. It was such a treat to get glammed up and create some tabletops and other details just for fun. I’m thinking about adding monthly creative days to my schedule where I let myself just design and style purely for the sake of fun. If anyone want to collaborate on one, please email me!

Heirloom Event Co. By Jennifer Kathryn Photograhy
Heirloom Event Co. by Jennifer Kathryn Photography

Two Years of Business
Tomorrow is Heirloom’s second Business-versary! Here’s a picture of me just about to sign the paperwork at the notary office two years ago. I dropped the papers in the mail and jumped on a plane to Europe that day for our adventure in Switzerland.  I wanted so badly to create a business that worked for our lives and allowed us to really live them to the fullest. It doesn’t feel like years, it feels like the blink of an eye. And, it looks so different from the inside than what I ever imagined it would look like from the outside. Some things that I thought would come easily have been the biggest struggles and things that I expected to struggle through have come very naturally. Hands down, it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’ve never worked so hard for anything and I feel fortunate for the couples, families, vendors and other business owners who choose to work with Heirloom.

Heirloom Event Co.
Heirloom Event Co.

Oh, and I Got MARRIED!!
Two weeks ago Mike and I exchanged vows in front of a small group of our friends and family and it was pretty magical. I didn’t talk a lot about our wedding planning here on the blog or on social media in general leading up to our wedding because, quite honestly, it was much harder than I expected to be both a wedding professional and a bride at the same time. So I chose to let myself just experience our engagement as the bride and not add additional pressure that our wedding had to fill my content calendar in that moment as well. Mike reminded me often that our wedding did not have to be planned perfectly for strangers on the internet, and it was just what I needed to hear (even though I love each and every one of you who visit here!). It was the right decision for us to keep our planning private and I tried to stay true to Heirloom’s mission throughout and take the advice I give to my couples. Now that we’re not in the thick of it, I’m really looking forward to sharing some perspective and recaps in the coming weeks.  

Here are a couple images from our day. You can see more of a recap over here on our amazing photographer’s blog.  Working with Maria Harte Photography was incredible! Mike HATES being photographed with a passion, but we both felt so comfortable with Maria that I was honestly sad when our portrait time ended. It was such as testament to finding a photographer that fits well with your style and personality (and why yes, that will be an upcoming blog post! Stay tuned). Oh, and that's my mom's gorgeous veil that I'm wearing! 

Heirloom Event Co. by Maria Harte Photograhy
Heirloom Event Co. by Maria Harte Photography

You’ll see my name change here on the website and on social media! I’ll be using Abby Giffin McKinney personally and will likely transition to Abby McKinney for Heirloom in the coming months. One of the things I was most excited about during the wedding weekend was getting to use the brand new LL Bean tote that I had monogramed for the occasion! I've carried one for years and if felt like a really fitting way to mark the occasion. I busted this out the following morning are carried it very proudly around the hotel. Thank you to my dear friend Nathalie for remembering to snap a picture with me holding it as we were packing up the cars to reunite with our pups

Heirloom Event Co.
Heirloom Event Co.

Mike and I hand crafted many of the details for our wedding. Mike made the decor, such as our table numbers and wooden herb and flower boxes. I did all of the floral for the wedding. I’ll have many more updates soon about some new service offerings for Heirloom, but here are a couple of photos of the creation process for our florals.

Heirloom Event Co. by Maria Harte Photography
Heirloom Event Co.
Heirloom Event Co.

We didn’t honeymoon and instead staycationed.  Also the best decision ever, because we were so exhausted that really all we wanted to do was watch Netflix with our dogs anyway.  Our staycation was short because we have jumped right into serious house hunting. Ya’ll I thought weddings were stressful….send ALL THE WINE and puppies to cuddle because I need them dearly to make it through this process.

We’re planning to honeymoon in the fall and I’m really excited about the destination that finally won out -- Tuscany!! I’d love any recommendations about things to do and see. Especially the vespa scootering to vineyard related things.  

More Content and Exciting Updates to Come!
I’m excited to get back to a regular schedule and blog content.  Monday is the return of the Hey Abby Series! If there are any etiquette or how-to questions that you’d like answered, I’d love to hear from you here.

Heirloom’s client wedding season officially kicks off next weekend with the SWEETEST couple on the planet. I am so excited to work with them and an amazing vendor team.  Stay tuned to my instagram for behind the scenes stories.  

A Huge thank you for all the love and support for Heirloom, our lives and our wedding!  

Abby Giffin McKinney

5 Tips to Create Beautifully Personalized Wedding Welcome Bags

Welcome bags are most certainly my love language! Creating a special welcome for your guests who have traveled for miles and carved a weekend out of their schedules is a lovely way to say thank you. But, it doesn't have to be complicated. A few creature comforts go a very long way. Today Molly from Flour & Fig is sharing some great tips on how to thoughtfully welcome your guests in a beautifully personalized way!  If you just can't add one more thing to your wedding to-do list, Molly can create these custom beauties for you! Be sure to also check out Flour & Fig's gorgeous collection of pre-designed curated boxes for all types of celebrations.  

5 Tips for Personalized Welcome Bags // Heirloom Event Co.

Everyone loves a unique, personalized & delicious gift, especially those guests that are traveling to a wedding.  Being greeted with a little something special is the cherry on top of what will be a beautiful weekend ahead.

A few tips on what to include in your wedding welcome bags:

1. Something to snack on.  Having a few goodies that guests can munch on throughout the weekend is ideal.  Try to include a good variety of salty & sweet & even adding a piece of fresh fruit can help brighten your bag right up! Including a few of your favorite treats is a great way to personalize each bag.

2. Something to help your guests relax.  Including a product that will make your guests feel more at home is such a lovely surprise.  Add a small container of bath salts or hand soap, a few packets of your favorite tea or a bag of coffee, or a bottle of your favorite wine, beer or cider.

3. Something fresh.  Including a small bouquet that matches those throughout the weekend is a nice way to brighten up the room accommodations. Or, adding a small succulent plant that can be kept & replanted is a sweet way for guests to remember your special day. 

4. Something to show guests around.  Adding a map of the of the city or town where the wedding will be held is a nice way to give your guests a self-guided tour of the area.  Add stars to your favorite local shops & restaurants &, for a little extra, you can even include a small gift card for a coffee or pastry, compliments of the bride & groom, to your favorite coffee shop. 

5. Something personal. Taking the time to write something special to your guests is memorable & thoughtful.  &, create a gift bag that will fit with your theme for the weekend by adding ribbon & a cute name tag that matches your colors. These small personalized touches will help your guests feel appreciated & loved.

Welcome bags are an invitation to your guests to relax & enjoy the weekend ahead. Adding some of these thoughtful gifts to your bags is a beautiful way to share with your guests a bit about yourself & a lovely way to say thank you for being a part of your special day. 

Molly Weener is the pastry chef behind Flour & Fig, a business that was created to help celebrate the largest & smallest celebrations because life should be simple & sweet. She believes that good butter makes everything taste better, sweet snacks are balanced best with a sprinkling of salt & fresh flowers make everything lovely. You can find her at:

Website:  www.flourandfig.com 
Instagram: @flourandfig
Email: hello@flourandfig.com

(All photos credited to Casey Harrison of Hello Love Photo. Logo design by Katherine Corden)

5 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Paper

Today is the first ever Guest Post on the Heirloom blog! I look forward to sharing more resources and advice from other wedding industry professionals! Cory Smith for Four Hats Press is sharing with us her favorite ways to make your paper goods tell your story! 

Bespoke wedding paper is a great way to incorporate some meaningful custom detail into your big day—uniquely highlighting your personalities and memories together. A beautiful invitation suite can also double as a frameable keepsake to adorn your walls long after the wedding.

If you're looking to create customized paper for your event, here are a few ideas for inspiration:

Highlight a landmark

Does the location of your event have special significance? Are you getting married under a 100 year-old oak tree? Will you say your vows in the same chapel in which your parents were married? Perhaps depicting an image for sentimental value could express the meaning of place to your guests.

Say it with a Song

Do you love the lyrics from an old Ella Fitzergerald ballad? Are your already busy concocting the perfect dance playlist to incorporate all your favorite love songs through the ages? Borrow phrases from some of your favorite songs as you compile the wording for your invitation or ask guests to request a song for your reception playlist on the reply card.

Tell Your Story

Did you meet your fiancée while on hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Do you both have a penchant for bird-watching? Are you hosting your wedding at a seaside inn? Consider incorporating an appropriate pattern or motif into your design. Envelope liners are a great way to add color and pattern to an otherwise classic design.

5 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Paper // Guest Post By Four Hats Press for Heirloom Event Co.

Do the Write Thing

Love the look of a simple hand-written invitation? Have you always loved your grandmother's penmanship or the way your mom writes her thank-you notes? Have someone you love write out the invitation (like below). Such and elegant and sweet way to connect your family to your wedding day.

5 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Paper // Guest Post By Four Hats Press for Heirloom Event Co.


Picking a sweet and specific theme for your postage stamps is another way to add some flair to your suite. Love wildlife? Use collages of bird, butterfly, and flora stamps. Are you big art gallery-goers? Find some old stamps depicting the works of painters and artists.

Adding thoughtful details to your paper can be a fun way to set the tone for your event, and give guests insight into who you are as a couple.

5 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Paper // Guest Post By Four Hats Press for Heirloom Event Co.

Photos courtesy of: Mandy Busby Photography, Morgan Trinker Photography, David Lai, Ragan House Lettering, Jennifer Claire Photography, Spindle Photography

To see more work from Four Hats Press, find Cory here: Website, Instagram, Pinterest 

Cory Smith is a Chicago-based hand-letterer and letterpress printer at Four Hats Press. When she’s not covered in ink, she can be found cozied up next to her fake fireplace or cooking up something delicious in the kitchen.


Tips for Hiring and Working with a Videographer

Are you looking to hire a videographer? This post is jammed packed with great insights from BOTH the client and vendor perspective!

But first, I’m so excited to share this video highlight from our 2016 wedding clients Dan + Jordan! You might remember their beautiful Garfield Park day from my blog post here. We worked with Chelsea Bliefernicht from White Quill Creative and she summed the day up more perfectly than I ever could:

“Jordan and Dan's Garfield Park Conservatory wedding perfectly wove their passions, histories, and families into one. Every single beautiful detail held significance to the couple, which made this wedding even more awe-inspiring.”

(Seriously! This right here is why I get up and work every day!!)

AM Prep: Intercontinental Hotel | Venue: Garfield Park Conservatory | Wedding Planner: Heirloom Event Co. | Photographer: Nancy Marie Photography | Strings: Artistrings | DJ: Toast and Jam | Floral: Hoot and Holler | Beauty: Kate Johnson Artistry | Catering: Limelight Catering | Transportation: Top Fleet

So, are you considering hiring a Videographer?  Here’s what Dan and Jordan had to say about their experience:

  • Why did you choose to add video in addition to photo?
    At the very least we knew we wanted to film the ceremony so we would always remember what was said. We figured a friend and a Gopro would do. But, after watching a lot of wedding videos online, we realized we really liked the ones that told a story of the whole day. At first we were worried it would be too expensive and might have to be one of those items that needed to be cut. However, Abby helped us find someone who not only fit into our budget, but who understood exactly what we were looking for. Now, having the short film is such a fun way to relive everything!
  • How do you think having a video of your wedding adds to your memories or experience of the day?
    Pictures are amazing, but there is something really special about getting a chance to hear the toasts, listen to the ceremony and watch all the dancing. As much as we tried to be present and take in every moment, the day went by in the blink of an eye. Having this video brings it all back to life and it is something we can share with our family and friends, and one day maybe even our children.

  • Any tips or feedback you'd give to other couples about working with a videographer?
    Definitely get a sense of what styles you prefer and find a videographer who you can work with. We wanted the video to have the same feeling as the event itself. We also had an amazing vendor (White Quill Creative!!) who really listened to our input when it came to music selection. Feeling like it was a partnership made all the difference in the world!

And also, some advice directly from the source! 

3 Things to Consider When Hiring A Wedding Videographer
From White Quill Creative

1) How long do you want your final wedding film to be?
There are two types of final wedding films - a 1-2 hour documentary edit, similar to the VHS tape sitting in your parents' house, and a "highlight" edit that condenses your entire wedding day into a 10-15 video. It's important to sit down and really think about what's more important to you - having a longer video that you won't watch often but contains more detail, or having a shorter video that you watch all the time that has only the best moments. Also note that it's not a black and white scenario - if you want a highlight film but also want to be able to re-live details, the majority of videographers will happily add full-length clips of your ceremony, toasts, and any other special moments to your package.

2) What shooting style are you attracted to?
Just like photography, your wedding videographer can use a fly-on-the-wall candid style, a more hands-on/directed approach, or a hybrid of the two. It's important you find a wedding videographer who's filming style is something you're comfortable with and compliments your wedding photographer. For example, if your photographer has a candid style, hiring a videographer that directs you will interfere with the photographer's style (and vice versa).

3) Has your photographer worked with the videographer before?
It's okay if the videographer you hire has never worked with your photographer, but asking your photographer for referrals is a great place to start your videographer search if you're overwhelmed. They'll suggest people they've successfully worked alongside before who they know has a complimentary style.

Heirloom Event Co. // Tips for Hiring a Wedding Videographer

City Vs. Country Wedding Inspiration

My life is a constant pull between city life and country fantasies. Having lived nearly my entire adult life in large cities, I'm so comfortable strolling down city blocks and hustling through train turnstiles. And yet, every free day I get, I find myself in the car driving out to the country to just feel like I can breathe again. The constant grass is always greener situation. 

Some of my clients know immediately which feeling they want for their wedding, and others are right there in the same struggle of city lights over country charm.  

So which one is more your style? City or Country? 

City Wedding Inspiration // Heirloom Event Co.


Country Wedding Inspiration // Heirloom Event Co.

Sources Clockwise from Left
City: 1 / 2 / 3/ 4 / 5 / 6
Country: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 

Fun and Elegant Wedding Inspiration

Where are my color lovers?!

If you feel like you're a neon lost in a sea of neutrals, today's inspiration board is for you.

Inspired by the work of Britt Bass Turner, this wedding inspiration is deeply elegant with a huge pop of fun! Temper those brights with healthy doses of cream and white and let your bright flag fly! 

Heirloom Event Co. // Elegant and Fun Wedding Inspiration

Image sources clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5