by: Lauren Grove

Hi friends! So I recently returned from attending and speaking at my favorite wedding industry conference/workshop/retreat, Cultivate Retreat, and it was absolutely what I needed- perfect timing in fact! The speakers and sessions at Cultivate are a combination of inspiration, creativity, and education- the perfect combination if you ask me! This was my third time attending (and speaking at) the workshop, and each time, I’ve taking something different away from it. This time around, my takeaways were more inspirational in nature… more specifically, success and how you define it, thanks to a talk by my friend Shay Cochrane.


First, let’s preface this with a little bit of history. Some of you may know that in addition to running Every Last Detail, I recently embarked upon the journey of business ownership with my husband in opening a chiropractic practice. While the medical (and “brick and mortar”) world is way different from the wedding and web world that I’m used to, I’ve luckily been able to apply some of my existing business knowledge to the business… but I’ve also been learning a lot that can apply to any business in general too. My last post here on ELD For Pros was sharing a few of those thoughts, and today (goodness- 4 months after that post) I want to talk more specifically about the term “success” and how we view it.

I will be the first to tell you that I don’t like to sugarcoat things… and on top of that, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m the worst lier ever. (Sidenote: I recently put together a surprise birthday dinner for my mom, and I’m still quite proud of myself for pulling it off without her knowing!) I don’t know about any of you, but not being able to hide things has proven to be one of my greatest challenges as a business owner. And so part of the way that I deal with this is sharing what’s on my heart- because if I didn’t, I would feel like I’m lying by omission in some way. I’ve been criticized by my peers for being too open in the past, but I decided a long time ago to be transparent in my business, and I’m not going back on that decision. I wear my heart on my sleeve (and my face- hence the lack of the ability to “hide” things) and I’m not going to apologize for it. So with that said…

I feel like I am a failure.

A failure in business, because I’ve had to revert back to working until 2am- something that took me 3 years to STOP doing in the first place. A failure in having a home life, because my husband and I are living with my parents- because we are building our business and haven’t made a penny yet. A failure as an adult because I’m still driving the car I had in high school. A failure as a friend because I have no free time- and even so much as finding time for a phone call during the day is difficult. A failure as a woman because I don’t have children yet- because we’d like to be making money and have a home before bringing a child into the world. I feel like a failure as a 27 year old woman in general. Essentially, if someone asked me if I thought I was successful after thinking about all of these things, I would tell them no.

These things I mentioned above have been running through my mind a lot lately, but thanks to Shay’s presentation last week, I realized that they are all measures of “success” that are incorrect- because they are based on other people’s lives. And you know what else I realized? These “failures” are mostly all THINGS. Not experiences, not memories, not skills- THINGS. The quote that is below is quite fitting, and came at the most perfect time (literally- showed up in an app this morning!) because it’s a reminder that achieving goals and success isn’t about the THINGS- it’s about the experience, and who you become because of that experience.


I think it’s all too common for success to be determined in relation to what you view as others’ successes. It could be someone having a profitable business, traveling all the time, buying a house, or maybe even just getting a gazillion followers on Instagram. The list could of course go on and on… especially with all of the social media outlets we have at our fingertips today. But the thing is… you’re only seeing what people put out there (mostly good things), and then it’s all on YOU in how you see it.

So the question I have is: WHY are we using other people’s lives to determine our own success?

The problem is, I’m basing all of my apparent “failure” on what others have or where they are at in life. But if I look at things and base my success on my OWN merit and my OWN life, maybe I wouldn’t feel like a failure.

So I think it’s about time that I defined what MY success is…

MY success is having a business and career that I can do at any time of the day from anywhere in the world. MY success is being able to start a business with my husband, and be there to help him. MY success is being blessed with parents who welcome my husband and I to stay with them while we get our business up and running and pay off debt. MY success is having an old car that is still running. MY success is having friends who understand that I’m busy, and who don’t miss a beat when we are able to see each other or talk. MY success is comfort that we don’t have children to feel guilty about not seeing during this busy season of our life. MY success is that I AM a successful 27 year old woman.

I think being able to define your own success requires that you specifically do NOT compare to others- which in today’s connected world, is SO hard to avoid. However, it’s also a matter of being aware of YOU. Where you are in your life, what your goals are, and what is best for YOU. You are not the person next door… and thank goodness for that, right?

You are YOU for a reason- and it’s time to embrace that

so you can embrace your own success.

 So friends, I would love to hear from you… what is YOUR definition of success for YOURSELF? Please share below! 🙂

by: Lauren Grove

Well, it’s official. My husband and I made it through our first two weeks of owning a chiropractic practice. And oh my goodness- the medical world is nothing like the wedding world that I’m used to! I have of course been trying to apply as much of my own business knowledge as I possibly can, but I’ve also had to go back to the basics too. And as I’m looking back on these wild and crazy (and confusing) weeks, the things that stand out to me are more or less lessons. Lessons that are applicable no matter what your business is, and lessons that can apply to life in general…


1) Never stop learning.

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about your field or craft, you can always learn more. Be open to new opportunities, new processes, and new insights. Knowledge is the best asset to have.

2) It’s okay to ask for help.

There are always going to be people out there who know more you than know, and who have more experience. You don’t have to figure out everything on your own. And you don’t have to DO everything on your own. I myself am facing the harsh reality that I REALLY need to hire someone to help with my own business. (I can’t keep staying up working until 2AM- I’m sure you all know this feeling too.)  There’s nothing wrong with having help!

3) People always want the easiest option.

Do whatever it takes to make things easy for them. Make it easy for them to say yes, easy for them to provide you with the information that you need, and easy to work with you. Heck, I know I myself always want the easiest option too! 🙂

4) A positive outlook helps.

In a world full of negativity, competition, and comparison, having a positive outlook on situations can give you a glimmer of hope. Seeing the silver lining to not-so-great situations can be your saving grace. Not only that, but it really and truly does have a substantial effect on your wellbeing.

5) Patience my dears, patience.

Rome wasn’t built overnight. You have to be patient when it comes to building a business- and even in everyday inner workings. We all get so wrapped up in wanting instant gratification that we can forget about the basics. If you find yourself starting to become impatient, stop, take a moment, and remind yourself where you are at in your business journey, and how far you’ve come.

6) Gratitude can go a long way. 

One of the things that I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I love receiving gratitude from others. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. People tend to remember gratitude for a long time- I know I do!

7) You don’t have to do things the way “everyone else” does them.

In a sea of competitors, you have to stand out… and if that means that you have to do something that is the total opposite of the “norm”, then you shouldn’t be afraid to do that! For some reason, my husband and I always choose the nontraditional ways of doing things. It’s not because we consciously choose it, but because it’s what feels right. And somewhere along making the decision to do the opposite of the norm, I myself experience SO much fear. Sometimes I even procrastinate in making that decision, because it ISN’T what other people typically do. How crazy is that?! I don’t even want to think about the amount of time I’ve wasted because I felt like I had to stick to the normal way of doing things! So don’t be afraid to forego the “norm” and do what feels right!

Clearly, these tidbits are really just pep talks to myself- and now, to you! 😉 And yes, I have definitely been repeating these things to myself over and over these past few weeks. But this is exactly why I created this space- to share my journey as a business owner with hopes that it could help, encourage, or support other business owners too.


If you saw the “first” post here on ELD For Pros, you may have noticed a little giveaway going on! Well, I was supposed to announce the winner last week, but clearly time flew by and that didn’t happen. But today- it is! Congrats to these 2 randomly chosen winners of a banner ad on Every Last Detail:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ladies, I will email you for your ad! Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway… and thank you for your excitement in this fun little journey of ELD For Pros! 🙂


Okay friends, now it’s time for YOU to share… do you have any of your own business lessons to share in addition to these? 

by: Lauren Grove

Hi friends! Welcome to Every Last Detail, Insight For Pros!

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Every Last Detail For Pros is our little corner of the internet to talk business, marketing, blogging, and all things weddings! I usually spend most of my time talking to and sharing with brides, but I felt it was high time that I started doing the same with wedding pros. Because if you’ve seen any of my personal Facebook posts, I have a few thoughts about weddings, marketing, and the like! 🙂

Posts here on ELD For Pros certainly won’t be as frequent as they are on ELD For Brides, but I will definitely post more often than not. For now, I’ve pulled over some of my more “business-y” posts from the main ELD site if you want to catch up with those, but I have more coming! 🙂 I would suggest signing up to receive updates when a new post goes live, and “liking” my new page on Facebook. I may have a few other things in the works too, so you can be the first to find out about those fun announcements too!

So with all that said, let’s get down to the celebration! Today actually marks the 3rd anniversary of when I went full time with ELD, and so I figured that launching ELD For Pros would be the perfect way to celebrate this little milestone! It feels like it was just yesterday, but at the same time, it feels like forever ago! Isn’t it crazy how time flies when you enjoy what you do?

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my 3 years of being “full time”, it’s that we’re all in this journey of owning a business together. This thought alone is a very large part of why I’ve decided to create this “space” just for Pros here on ELD. Because owning a business is hard, and not only that, but the wedding industry is even harder. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take whatever kind of help and support I can get! 🙂

Honestly, I wouldn’t even be here without all of you amazing wedding pros who have believe in me and supported me, and so I want to do something to thank you- something that will help you in your journey of owning a business.

So as part of this anniversary celebration and launch of ELD For Pros, I’m giving away a banner ad on Every Last Detail’s “main site”!


You can enter to win the banner ad in various ways via the box below, and I will be choosing a winner next Friday the 18th! Enter away friends! I’m only giving away 1 ad, but I may end up doing 2 if there are enough entries! 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I would really love to hear about your own journey in owning a business. What have you found to be helpful? Where do you want to improve? Comment away below! 🙂

by: Lauren Grove

All week there has been talk about love and hearts, and rightfully so, since today is Valentine’s Day! Between my rebrand, the new year, and moving soon, I’ve been doing A LOT of thinking- and so much of that thinking has come down to what is in my heart and soul. I’ve written a few “posts” as the result of this lately, but alas, haven’t posted any of them. So I figured what better day than Valentine’s Day to bare my heart and soul to you all…


Image By The Robinsons

As I close in on nearly 3 years of blogging full time, I’ve been doing tons of thinking, re-working, and reassuring. You see, not only have I been full time for 3 years supporting myself and my husband, but I’ve also chosen to take a different path than what the usual “wedding blog” path entails. Early on, I knew that I wanted my “audience” to be brides who were like me. Brides who wanted to know the facts, were working with professionals, and were spending over $20,000 on their wedding. Luckily, this was also the bride I worked with when I was planning weddings, so it really wasn’t difficult for me to pinpoint.

Since I have a personal connection to what I’m doing and why I do it, this also means that I have a lot of myself invested into my business. And while I’m trying to achieve something very specific, and so many say that that they appreciate it, there are still times that I just feel plain defeated and hopeless. I think it could be because I have so much of my heart and soul invested into what I’m doing, and all of the business books warn against doing so. But I know that I would have never have even started blogging if it weren’t for my heart being involved- and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So now I’m going to be super honest and open (if you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I’m all about being transparent). Being a full time wedding blogger is not easy. When I started full time, I thought I would get to look at pretty pictures all day, write awesome posts all the time, send a few emails, and it would be the absolute best. It’s still the absolute best, but it has not been an easy road. I joke that blogging full time is just glorified sales, but it’s not a joke- it really is all about sales. I make money from advertising and marketing, and while it’s something that I truly love doing, it’s also quite draining and nonstop. But at the same time, I still have to go through submissions, send tons of emails, and oh yeah- blog too. (The funny thing is that the least amount of my time is actually taken up by blogging.) I now understand why most wedding publications have sales people, although I myself don’t think I ever will. Needless to say, over the past 4 years- and lately more than ever- I’ve learned that a wedding website is not meant to be run by just one person.


Image By The Robinsons

And for some extreme honesty now… the past 2 months have been full of defeat and hopelessness for me. It could have something to do with some big changes coming up for my husband and I- next week we’re moving back to our hometown for him to (hopefully) start his career as a chiropractor. It could be because I’ve been comparing myself to others who DO have teams running their sites and who have a totally different audience than I do- which I know I just shouldn’t do. It could be because I’ve been doing lots of research, and have discovered the reason for why larger wedding sites have so much more traffic than I do. While it’s been good to know and reassure myself, it’s also a little defeating for me- bittersweet I suppose. Or it could be that the “new year” didn’t quite meet my expectations. I haven’t been able to pinpoint any single thing causing my feelings of defeat and hopelessness- perhaps it’s just the culmination of everything.

But this isn’t me giving up- this is just me sharing. Because honestly, when I don’t share, I feel like I’m hiding something and I can’t sleep at night. Of course I’ll keep pushing through, keep trying to make ends meet, and keep going (or “#justkeepswimming” as I put in so many of my Instagram posts). Next weekend will start a whole new chapter for my husband and I (sadly, including leaving my home office above), and while everything is still very up in the air, I’m hopeful that this new chapter will be exactly what I need.

So now that I’ve bared my heart and soul, I suppose I can proclaim that it’s my life goal to educate and inspire brides. I started Every Last Detail with the hopes that I could help other brides avoid the same mistakes that I made when planning my wedding. Somewhere along the way, this goal also evolved into helping wedding professionals. Luckily, it’s helping brides and wedding professionals that keeps me going. There are so many things that I want to do to achieve this goal of helping brides and wedding professionals, and I hope that one day I can actually do them all! For the time being, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, and keep pushing forward. 🙂

And so there you have it- my heart and soul on this lovely Valentine’s Day. 🙂 I’d love to hear from y’all… what is YOUR heart and soul? What keeps you going?

by: Lauren Grove

Hi friends!

So I figured it was about time to do a little behind-the-scenes update and let you all in on some of the things happening here at ELD!

As many of you know, it has been just me running the show for quite some time- almost four years in fact! I don’t have interns, my husband doesn’t help me (he hardly even understands what I do), and I consider my dog as my “assistant”. My ultimate goal is to continue to educate and inspire brides all over the world, and let me tell you- it’s hard to do that by yourself! So, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I can’t keep doing everything on my own. In fact, I think it’s a disservice to you all to just provide you with my own thoughts and experiences.

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And so, I’m quite excited to announce that ELD will now have… Tips & Advice Contributors!

For the past year or so I’ve had contributors who have done some of the Real Wedding posts here on ELD. But as I said before, you all deserve MORE information than just what I can provide you with. Which is why more contributors will be joining Every Last Detail to provide you all with their own tips, experiences, and advice. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be finalizing the details for the new Tips and Advice contributors, and once they are settled in, I’ll be introducing them all to you. (You can meet them here as they get added!) But keep an eye out too, because they’re starting to post soon- tomorrow in fact! 🙂

I do want you to know that ALL of the contributors here on Every Last Detail have experience in weddings and know what they’re talking about. Some are planners, some are photographers, and they have all been on the *other* side of weddings as brides too. The whole reason I started ELD was because I wanted to prevent brides from making the same mistakes that I made, and all of ELD’s contributors feel the exact same way. They all have had their own experiences that you can learn from- because after all, the more you know about weddings, the better your own planning experience will be. I want you to know that anything and everything you read on Every Last Detail is accurate and true. You can trust us- we all know what we’re talking about. 

As another little bit of fun, I’m also planning some fun new series for you all… think DETAILS! Oh, and I’ll be traveling to New York City this October to attend Bridal Fashion Week, so get ready for lots of pretty fashion goodness!

That’s about all the updates for now, but I’m certainly planning more fun surprises for the coming months! Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes photos and sneak peeks, and of course keep coming back to see all of the new content! 🙂




PS: Have you taken the Wedding Pricing Survey yet? It’s for brides AND vendors- I need your input!!   

by: Lauren Grove

Happy Thursday everyone!  I just got back from a fabulous business workshop that I spoke at, and my mind is buzzing with all kinds of inspiration, ideas, and excitement. Today’s post is something a little more inspirational and insightful as opposed to the usual tips I share, but I hope you will be able to gain some useful knowledge!

I came across this quote by Karl Lagerfeld (thanks to my friend Ashley), and it resonated with me in so many ways. It’s so incredibly true, and it can apply to so many different aspects of life…

Quote on personality _ Ashley Brooke Designs

Illustration by Ashley Brooke Designs

This quote has a focus on personality, but I want to talk about the other thing mentioned- comparison. Comparison can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. It can be a great tool to help you make decisions. But the trouble is when you start comparing things that really can’t be compared. I’ve talked about this when comparing vendors. Sure, you want to compare what one person offers against what the other person offers. But when it comes to vendors, everyone does things differently, has different styles, has different experience, and that is why it’s so difficult to compare one to another. You can only compare an apple to an orange in so many ways. To me, the amazing thing about wedding vendors is that they ARE different and unique. Not all brides are going to love and want the same thing, and I believe that one of the beautiful things about weddings.

So let’s move on to actual weddings. Between Pinterest, all of the amazing wedding blogs out there, Loverly, and magazines, brides today have access to TONS of inspiration. SO much more than I had back in 2008 when I was planning my own wedding- in fact, sometimes I’m jealous! But all of this inspiration has also caused brides to compare their weddings to others’ weddings. I compared my own wedding to others and ended up being pretty unsatisfied because of it, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like now!

I want to encourage you to stop comparing, and start letting your personality shine through for your wedding.

You don’t have to have mason jars just because 80% of the weddings on blogs have them. You don’t have to worry about the “right” way to do things. Heck, you don’t even have to have an actual wedding! Just do what works for you, what you and your partner want, and what will truly reflect your personalities!

And now I want to get a little more personal. I myself have the hardest time with comparison. In the wedding blog world, it’s really hard to NOT compare yourself to others. It’s also incredibly difficult when others do the comparing all the time too. I understand the comparison of numbers, because that is hard data. But the flip side is very similar to what I mentioned about vendors- everyone offers something different and does things differently. You can’t compare Walmart to your favorite local boutique, right? Beyond the hard data, there can more to a wedding blog. For me, I care about helping brides and vendors A LOT. Like the *sometimes-my-heart-feels-like-it’s-going-to-burst* kind of A LOT. And I’ve realized that everything I’m so incredibly passionate about all leads back to wanting to help everyone and anyone involved in the wedding world. Which is why, if you haven’t already been able to tell, ELD isn’t a “normal” wedding blog- because I share posts like this one and all of the other wedding planning tips. I’m sharing this because I don’t want you all to think that I’m just some elusive face on a website. I’m here to help, and I care more than you know. 🙂

So with all of this said, let’s end the comparisons and start looking at personality and uniqueness!

I’d love to hear from some of you about your thoughts on comparison… whether wedding-related or personal, what do you think?

by: Lauren Grove

Hi friends! So I just returned from a business trip to Las Vegas, during which I co-hosted a workshop for photographers about getting published, and then attended a photographer’s trade show. Of course I really know nothing about photography (except for what looks good), as I’m not a photographer, so it was hilarious when I was walking around, and people would ask if I used XYZ service for my images. I would then have to explain that I’m not a photographer, I’m a wedding blogger- and the majority of the time, the person I was talking to had NO clue what a wedding blog was.

Well, because of the above situation happening all too often, I wanted to take today to make a declaration about wedding blogs, what they are, and what is involved.

Desktop1Via The Love Collective

One of my friends recently wrote a little post on her blog about the word “blogger” and the negative connotion that it seemed to have. She mentioned that she doesn’t really tell people that she’s a “blogger”, because people either don’t know what it means, or they don’t think it’s a legitimate career. This got me thinking. In the 3+ years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve been the same exact way. But the truth is, I actually don’t even really see myself as a blogger, because blogging is such a small portion of what I actually spend my time doing. Back when I started this blog, and I started playing with the idea of doing it full time, I thought that my days would be spent blogging and looking at pretty photos. Well, now that I “blog” full time, I’ve realized that my-oh-my, I was SUPER wrong about that!

So now I’m saying it to the world: I am a professional wedding blogger. It’s taken me YEARS to be able to say that to people’s faces. To say that I run , own, and write a wedding blog. Because honestly, half the time people don’t even know what a blog is. And other times, people don’t quite understand how a blog could possibly be a business. Sure, I have a whole “thing” that I say to people- how a wedding blog is like a magazine that updates every day. And that my site is more of a “resource” for brides planning their weddings. But even after explaining it, I’m still faced with clueless looks.

You know what that says to me? That a wedding blog is *different*. From the things that are shared, to the services that are provided- it’s different. The pages of my blog equal my work. My business. My career. My income. And yes, my life. I’m not just a bride blogging through her wedding planning, or someone who is a “stay at home wife/mom” who really loves to swoon over weddings. My blog is more than just a blog to me. It’s a website. It’s a resource for brides. But it’s also my business. My career. Heck, even my LIFE at times. It pays my bills, puts food on my table, and it is 100% ME. I built it from the ground up, and it’s grown organically. I didn’t have existing connections in the wedding industry when I started off, and I don’t have a husband/best friend/cousin/in-law who is a web designer. Oh, and let’s not forget that I don’t have a team of worker bees helping me out either- as much as I need it! I thankfully do have contributors who do a few wedding posts per week, but all other posts, emails, submissions, etc- is all me. I’m still figuring out how exactly to get the help I need, because I’m pretty convinced that working 18 hour days can’t keep happening.

So back to the question of what a wedding blog is. In general, a blog is a platform. Some people use that platform to speak their mind. Some people use it to share information. In the wedding world, we use it to share inspiration, ideas, and information with brides. And yes, as a wedding blog, our readers are BRIDES. A wedding blog is a publication- an “online magazine” that updates every day if you want to look at it that way. It’s a place that was created so brides could have tons of beautiful wedding inspiration and ideas at their fingertips- and have it every single day. A wedding blog is something that *helps* brides.

One of the things that I’ve seen is that the title “wedding blog” is thrown around a bit too freely. So I’ve categorized wedding blogs in 3 different ways. Professional wedding blogs, wedding vendor blogs, and bride blogs. Every Last Detail is a PROFESSIONAL wedding blog.  A professional wedding blog is one that updates every day, derives an income from advertising and marketing, works hard to provide unique content, and has a business that IS the blog. A wedding vendor blog is a blog that a wedding professional uses to help marketing their own business. Their blog is FOR their business. And then a bride blog is a bride who is blogging about her own wedding planning experience. Perhaps sharing inspiration boards, dresses, etc. (Most of the time, these blogs stop after the bride gets married, or become family/baby oriented.)

So with those things said, I’m brought to another common question that I get- what does a wedding blogger do? I was going to go through a normal day for me, but let’s face it- no day is actually normal. When I started blogging full time, I had the notion that I was going to spend my days blogging pretty weddings, writing tons of posts, and doing photo shoots. HA. But I WILL actually just lay out the things that a wedding blogger (at least in my world) does:

– Blog. Duh. But there are lots of things that have to happen for this to happen. See everything below.

– Review submissions.

– Email photographers/brides for vendor info, confirmation and/or interviews

– Wait on email responses from above

– Respond to emails above

– Keep an editorial calendar up-to-date

– Cull images

– Lay out images

– Respond to and/or (in my case) DELETE meaningless PR emails

– Emails and phone calls with existing advertisers

– Monthly email blast to brides who have signed up

– Emails and phone calls with potential advertisers

– Twitter

– Facebook

– Submit blog post links to various outlets for increased publicity

– Pinterest


– Keep media kit updated

– Write posts with actual content

– Come up with new blog post series

– Photo shoots

– Website updates

– Website upkeep

– Input new advertisers

– Update existing advertisers

– Comment moderation

– Emails times a million

– Blog

I did actually write out what a somewhat typical day is like for me. But I’m not going to share it. Because it’s bad y’all. Real bad. You would judge me. Let’s just say it involves email pretty much all day, lots of social media, and blogging at night. But that’s the thing- as a professional wedding blogger,  blogging is probably the thing that I do the least. Like right now- I’m writing this at 11 PM. Because that’s when I write best. And as you can see from my list above, blogging is really not what I do all day. It takes a lot to be able to be a “blogger”. In fact, I don’t even describe myself as a blogger anymore- I describe myself as the owner of a website. However, the wedding blog world is WAY different from all other blog worlds out there- mostly because of the fact that we have a more visual focus for our blogs. If wish it was easy as just slapping a few photos in a blog post. However, there are several other things that are involved with posting weddings besides just the photos. And let’s not forget the fact that I don’t make money from just posting photos. So yes, that’s why email takes priority in my world, because emails lead to relationships, which for me, leads to me making money.

Yeah, I said it. It’s not a secret- I live off of this blog. I consider it my JOB to be a platform for vendors to share their work, and inspire brides. It’s not my job to look at pretty photos. It’s my job to tell you about how to get those pretty photos. 🙂

A big thing that has happened for me this past year was connecting with several other wedding bloggers. We’ve been able to support and encourage each other, bounce ideas around, and even help one another troubleshoot issues. We’ve all found so much benefit in having a community of professional wedding bloggers that we’ve decided to tell other people about it. So if you are a professional wedding blogger (or are striving to be), then come check out The Love Collective! 🙂

I know this is deviating from my usual Thursday posts, but I felt the need to share all of this information today. Because I don’t want to to be ashamed to tell people that I’m a wedding blogger anymore. I want people to understand what a wedding blog is. I want people to value me for my time, my content, and my website. And above all else, I want to help brides!! 🙂

by: Lauren Grove

Warning: Personal/Business post ahead! I’ve decided that I’m going to share more of ME here on ELD. Because after all- ELD is 100% me, and I shouldn’t be hiding that! Which leads me to the following information:

I have a revelation to share with you all: Today I decided that I’m done.

Before you start getting the wrong idea, I’ll tell you what I’m NOT done with. I’m not done with blogging. I’m not done sharing wedding professionals’ work. I’m not done educating brides. I’m not done with helping vendors market their business. All that? I’m just getting started with all of it!

I’m done with waiting around for people to find me. Done with not being confident about how far I’ve come, what I’ve done, and what I do. Done with trying to win over people who don’t believe in me and/or don’t support me. Done with hoping that local vendors will realize what I *actually* do (no offense to those that DO know). Done with hoping that people will somehow find out about ELD and spread the word. Done with being afraid. Done with being in the shadows of the wedding blog world. (Because HELLO there are more than 10 wedding blogs out here!) Yep, I’m done with all that. I don’t know why it’s taken me 3+ years to get to this point, but this morning, I just up and decided that I was DONE.


 I’m just done with waiting around. I’m done with hoping, thinking everyone hates me, and wondering “why”. I’m done with not being confident- or feeling like I’m conceited and stuck up when I AM confident. It’s time for me to take charge. Because I have something here with ELD. I have information to share, and a platform to share it on. I’m educating and inspiring brides. I’m helping brides find their perfect wedding vendors. I’m doing something that I’m passionate about, and I’m supporting my family at the same time. And I’m not going to feel bad or ashamed about it. I shouldn’t feel bad or ashamed about it. Because I’m doing what sets my heart ON FIRE.

And from now on, I’m going to tell the world about it!

[This is just a little something that I felt compelled to share today. There will be more about this next week too. This is just the beginning. :)] 

by: Lauren Grove

Hi friends! So today I’m going to take a little bit of a detour from the usual Thursday post. As I near the 3 year “anniversary/birthday” for ELD (which is in November), I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about things including new features and series being added to ELD 2.0 (yes, an updated site is in the works!), how far I’ve come in the past 3 years, and even how I got started. I’m also gearing up to start a series that could potentially “stir the pot” as they say, and that kind of scares me- a lot. And so today, this is my reminder- and your explanation- for why ELD exists… essentially a little story of the past 3.5 years of my life.

The other day, a new reader of Every Last Detail said something to me that reflected exactly what my intentions are- and always have been- for ELD. She said, “Your blog is different than all the others that are out there. You seem passionate and… like you know what you’re talking about!” I wanted to jump up and down, clap my hands, and kiss her. Because yes- THAT is precisely why I started ELD, and why I have been continuing it for nearly 3 years!

The truth is, I kind of just fell into blogging and the wedding industry. I started because I wanted to HELP others. I wanted to share my experiences, and share accurate and correct information with brides. As I was explaining this to the aforementioned reader, I mentioned that it was because of my own wedding planning experience that I started blogging in the first place. And then she said something else that served as a reminder to me- I hadn’t really shared my whole wedding planning experience here on ELD. Yes, I’ve shared tidbits here and there, and to be honest, I have started writing something a few different times, but it always ended up being ridiculously long and I would end up setting it aside to come back to. But now, I think it’s finally time to share my story with you all.

You see, I wasn’t one of those wedding bloggers who had an absolutely fabulous wedding full of details that was featured on a big blog or in a magazine. In fact, my wedding wasn’t featured anywhere (except for in the first pages of ELD, which back then wasn’t even ELD). I was just a bride. A bride who thought I was doing everything the way that you were “supposed” to. I bought the magazines, followed the timeline and the recommended budget percentages, hired all the vendors that I was supposed to hire. Blogs were hardly in existence yet, I cut photos of things I loved (but would later find out couldn’t afford) out of magazines, and I had no clue what an “inspiration board” was. I was absolutely clueless when it came to weddings. I had hardly even been in a wedding, and was the first of my friends to get married. My wedding planner was more my mom’s style than mine, and I hardly chose any of my vendors to fit my personality. The detail from my wedding that I was most proud of were my favors- because they were just about the only thing that truly reflected my husband and I. Everything that you see me talk about here on ELD- personal details, relationships with your vendors, etc- was just a distant dream when I was planning my own wedding.

But the other funny thing is that I didn’t even plan my own wedding. I know what you’re thinking- the wedding planner-turned-blogger didn’t plan her own wedding? The thing is, I wasn’t a wedding planner then. Remember- I was totally and completely clueless about weddings. The truth is, I was working full time and finishing school, so naturally, most of the duties fell to my wonderful mother. Sure, I gave my input and attended some meetings, but my mom and my planner worked together on most everything for my wedding. Don’t get me wrong- my wedding was still beautiful and fabulous, but if I could have known what I know now, it would have been completely different.

(Not my wedding… but one of the first inspiration shoots I did with the wonderful Kristin Weaver!)

I’ll get into the nitty gritty details of my whole entire wedding planning experience another day, but today I want to share my “story” and let you all know how ELD came to be…

A few months before my wedding, I discovered wedding blogs. Of course I thought it was too late to make any changes to my wedding (it really wasn’t), so I just held my tongue on all of the amazing things that I was seeing and loving. We got married, had an awesome wedding, and then while on my honeymoon, I started thinking of things that went wrong on the wedding day- things that shouldn’t have gone wrong. I started to realize that even though I did everything “by the book”, the things that had gone wrong could have been easily avoided if I had just known. If someone had told me about these common mishaps that can occur at a wedding or during your wedding planning, everything would have been so much better. But the thing is, I was the first of my friends to get married, so I didn’t really have anyone to give me tips or show me the ropes. And so, after realizing all of this, I set out on a mission to help other brides. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, or if I would even be able to, but I knew that I wanted to be there for other brides so that they could have a better wedding experience than what I had.

I started a random blog with absolutely no idea what I was doing, and I joined Twitter. On Twitter, I “met” a planner close to my hometown who was hosting a wedding planner certification course (love you M!). I talked my parents into paying for the registration as my birthday present (and so began the all-I-want-for-gifts-is-business-stuff-I-can’t-afford), and attended the course. I wanted to know how to plan a wedding, and how a wedding day should run. I wanted to actually know what I was talking about so I could achieve my goal of helping brides. I learned the ins and outs, the right and the wrong. And yes, I definitely confirmed that my wedding could have been SO much better. But the most beneficial part of that course was what happened afterwards. Part of the requirement for certification was to “apprentice” for a wedding-related company (aka work for free). I emailed a bunch of planners, and finally got a response from an event design company. I worked for free for a month or two, and soon after started working for them part-time, which quickly became full-time. I was planning and designing weddings, busting my butt working AT weddings, networking, gaining experience, and all the while, building Every Last Detail- which at the time, I thought would be my eventual planning business. I had no idea that ELD would develop into an actual professional wedding blog, and I would find my passion in being able to reach- and help- thousands of brides. Now that I think about it though, it makes total sense though, right? I mean, I wanted to help other brides, so what better way than with a national blog?! 🙂

After a little over a year and half of wedding industry experience AND blogging under my belt, I took the leap to grow ELD and started blogging full time. The hardest thing was- and still is- that in going full time, I took on the responsibility of being the sole provider for my husband and I (and our pup Penney!), as he is in chiropractor school. We didn’t have anything to fall back on “just in case”- everything was (and still is) riding on my shoulders… which let me tell you, at times can be SUPER stressful. But I’m also SO thankful that I took the leap, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here right now. 🙂

(My little family, taken in February by Caroline & Evan Photography)

I’m sharing this with all of you today because I want you to know that the posts I share are coming from a place of experience, truth, and passion. I’m not just pulling things out of thin air, or rehashing what is in magazines or on other sites (which in my opinion, is usually wrong). I’ve actually experienced planning a wedding from both sides- that of a (clueless) bride and a wedding planner. Some of the information that I share you may or may not agree with, and that is totally fine. Everyone has their own unique situation- everything would be so much easier if there weren’t family dynamics and limited budgets, right?!  I believe that great weddings happen when great wedding professionals are hired, great family and friends help out, and the love to two wonderful people is celebrated. I want each and every couple out there to have a great wedding by being educated about weddings and wedding professionals, and that is what I have set out to achieve.

So wow, I just summed up the last 3 years of my (business) life there. If you had told me 3.5 years ago that I would be a full time wedding blogger, I would have told you you were crazy. Seriously. [I still have trouble explaining that to people- I don’t even think my family or friends really even know what I do. ;)] But here I am today, owning my own business. Sure I’m working 16 hour days to support myself and my husband (counting down the days until he graduates!), all from my little corner of a teeny tiny room in our 700 square foot house. But you know what? I’m so very thankful that I have “fallen” into this career- and I’m thankful for all of you too! Thanks for coming along for the ride thus far, and I hope you’ll stick around for all that I have planned for the future! 🙂

Speaking of the future, I have this little survey that I would be so very grateful for you to respond to! As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m in the midst of planning lots of things for ELD and will soon be rolling out Version 2.0 of ELD, and I want to make sure you all are getting what you want! I would greatly appreciate your input! 🙂


THANK YOU THANK YOU for contributing your thoughts and opinions!!! 🙂

PS: I no longer plan weddings, and haven’t for almost a year. Honestly, planning weddings takes A LOT of time and patience, and I don’t know how on earth I would be able to blog and plan weddings! 😉

PPS: This whole post is perfect timing because this morning I got an email telling me that Every Last Detail is finally a REGISTERED TRADEMARK!! It’s been a little over a year, but it’s finally all mine! 🙂 YAY!