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sweet pea events


Gap + Styld.By + Rue Collaboration


Last week I attended the Rue Magazine launch party for their Texas issue at Wisteria. Wisteria is an amazing home decor store, full of great inspiration pieces. This week, Rue Magazine, the Gap, and are hosting a collaborative event at Northpark Mall, and I’m so proud that my friends will be helping make the event a success – Sweet Pea Events, Sara & Rocky Photography, Sweet Honey Films, Posh Floral, as well as the always fun photo booth from Picture Dust.

Gap Rue Collaboration Event Dallas Texas

If you want to attend, be sure to RSVP to!


Advice from a Wedding Planner


Spring is in the air and wedding season is in full swing! And on top of that, I have FOUR friends who were recently asked the big question. They’re engaged! Something must be in the air. Besides the pollen.

Well a few of my friends who are currently in the trenches of wedding planning have asked me for advice on the actual day, since I’ve done the whole wedding thing. However, since I’m not a wedding planner and I can only speak from my own experience as a bride when it comes to the wedding day, so I asked my good friend and Dallas wedding planner, Kelly Simants of Sweet Pea Events, for some wedding day tips.

Dallas Wedding Planner Kelly Simants Sweet Pea Events Catie Ronquillo

From Kelly:

  • Relax – Let the Sweet Pea Team handle all of the details! You have planned SO much and now it’s your time to sit back, relax, and let us do the work! Our goal is that you have so much fun with your friends and family while we make your event seamless!
  • Pause – Every hour or so, just remind yourself to “pause” and soak everything in. Look around you and pay attention to the details that are all coming together – what you feel like in your dress (amazing!), what your cake design looks like, what your flowers look like, and soak in the fact that you are getting married!
  • Remember the Reason – Keep in mind that not only is this about your wedding day, it is about your marriage and you are entering a wonderful new adventure and season in your life! The day goes by so fast that it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of the real reason you are celebrating!
  • Eat Food & Drink Water – The Sweet Pea team will help remind you that you need to drink lots of water and eat on your wedding day. Even if it’s something light like a bagel, cheese and crackers, etc. Many times brides say they don’t want to eat on the day-of, but it’s critical to ensure you don’t pass out, and that you have lots of energy to enjoy your special day!
  • Go With the Flow – There may be things that come up which are unexpected (rain being one example!) We know that it’s a possibility it could rain, so if that happens – instead of being disappointed, try to go with the flow and not let that bring you down. After all, we always have a Plan B for rain, so you are as prepared as you can be!

Thanks Kelly for the awesome advice!

Are you in need of a wedding planner in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area?
Contact Kelly:
Website: Sweet Pea Events
Blog: Sweet Pea Events Blog
Phone: 214.901.8900


what next?

  1. Share this with brides you know!
  2. Subscribe to our new monthly e-zine: tips from the best in the industry on creating a stress-free wedding that honors your relationship and, most importantly, building a lasting wonderful marriage.  Leave a comment below or click here to sign up.
  3. See more inside scoop with other posts on wedding advice for brides & grooms here.


Sharing is Caring: Get your Business in order with The Simple Plan


I started this whole “Sharing is Caring” series a few weeks ago, simply as a way to share information, and it’s received so much great response, that I’ve decided to make it a regular thang on the blog! Yay!

Earlier this week I attended The Simple Plan hosted by the wonderful and talented Michelle Loretta and Kelly Simants, the brains behind Sage Wedding Pros. I’ve been following the Sage Wedding Pros blog since last summer when a Twitter friend tweeted their link. I hopped on over and saw that they were sharing loads of useful information, targeted at wedding professionals. Perfect! I really got glued when Michelle started stepping through writing a Business Plan.

The Simple Plan Dallas Sage Wedding Pros by Catie Ronquillo

You know, when I think “business plan” I think “corporate”, “scary”, “overwhelming”.  Things that don’t get me excited. However, through the series of posts about how to write a business plan, I saw that it wasn’t such a monster. And yet, even though I downloaded  the 13 Step Writing a Business Plan, I couldn’t get myself to do it.

The Simple Plan Dallas Sage Wedding Pros by Catie Ronquillo
The Simple Plan San Francisco Sage Wedding Pros by Catie Ronquillo
The Simple Plan Dallas Sage Wedding Pros by Catie Ronquillo

So when Kelly told me that they’d be bringing The Simple Plan to Dallas after their first round in Seattle, I knew it was something I’d have to attend. I knew the value of a business plan, and I needed to write one, so why not (in the spirit of living in Texas) Git’er done?!

The Simple Plan Dallas Sage Wedding Pros by Catie Ronquillo

After the first day of activities, Kelly and Michelle asked me for their thoughts. I told them, “It’s a sneaky way of getting us to write a business plan. It didn’t even feel like we were writing one!” Truly, Kelly, Michelle, and their guest speakers, and in Dallas it was Blair deLaubenfels, co-owner of Junebug Weddings and Shannon Streater, CEO of Texas Wedding Guide, know what they are talking about and share their passion for helping others create sustainable business. Because if you are starting a business, don’t you want it to last beyond 2 years? And it’s a fact that most small business doesn’t last past five years.

The Simple Plan Atlanta Sage Wedding Pros by Catie Ronquillo
The Simple Plan Atlanta Sage Wedding Pros by Catie Ronquillo

Take it from me. Kelly and Michelle make writing a business plan in two days not only possible, they make it fun and painless. Seriously. And it’s also a wonderful opportunity to meet other like-minded professionals, investing in their business, to get their business on track.

The Simple Plan Dallas Sage Wedding Pros by Catie Ronquillo

Sage Wedding Pros is a consultancy with a mission to create sustainable business in the wedding industry. This February 22-23 (the 23rd is my birthday!) they will be in Atlanta with their business planning workshop, The Simple Plan.  It is an all-encompassing business strategy session where business owners will:

  • Write a mission statement and define a company vision
  • Set short and long term goals
  • Refine their target market and niche
  • Find the pricing sweet-spot
  • Determine how many weddings is needed to be profitable; write a sales plan
  • Examine branding and determine whether their branding projects their vision and values
  • Create a marketing plan, operational plan, and financial plan

It is open to all professionals who do business in the wedding industry: new and experienced, in all segments (photo, video, flowers, planners, etc.)  YOU WILL WALK OUT WITH A BUSINESS PLAN IN HAND, WRITTEN BY YOU.

Michelle Loretta & Kelly Simants, owners of Sage Wedding Pros, strongly believe that a business plan is at the core of business sustainability.  It is the one competitive advantage that successful businesses have over others in their industry.

Their next stops are Washington DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco! If you have a chance, and want to build a roadmap for your business, be sure to check them out!

The Simple Plan Washington DC Sage Wedding Pros by Catie Ronquillo

Thanks to Jason Huang of Table4Weddings for taking this!

I don’t just believe in what Michelle and Kelly are doing, I whole-heartedly believe in them. One city at a time, they are helping raise the bar of our industry, by helping build sustainabale businesses in the wedding industry..

Stationery and paper goods by Carrie Foiles, owner of The Event Messenger

Florals by Debby Jewesson, owner of Branching Out Events


what next?

  1. Share this post on Facebook and Twitter!
  2. Like me on Facebook here or follow me on Twitter here
  3. Subscribe to the new monthly e-newsletter Slice of Photo Cake containing exclusive tips and resources for photographers, from hobbyists to full-timers.  Click here to sign up or leave a comment below.


Dreaming Out Loud


It was meant to happen. I don’t know why. But it was meant to happen.

Never did I think in a million years, or even just a year ago, that I would be sitting in a room with a group of people, some friends, some new friends, sharing my passion. I’ve always been a reserved person. Like, I’ve always dreamed big. I’ve always dreamed big on paper. But there’s just something magical about dreaming big OUT LOUD. In front of people who have only known me for a short time. It’s crazy. It’s fun. It’s scary as all get out. But most of all it’s empowering.

The dream starts to materialize. Right then, right there.

Okay, before you start to click away thinking I’ve gone nuts, I have good reason.

Yesterday, I attended Lara Casey’s Making Things Happen Intensive here in Dallas. And it blew my mind. Quite literally. I drove home fired up, invigorated, and my mind flying at a million miles a second. Faster than I could ever run. Like it was even happening in my sleep. My head just wouldn’t shut up. But, it was okay. It was all in the name of good things.

It was so refreshing to be in a room, surrounded by like-minded folks, sharing and being real. Being honest. Being genuine. Being our most authentic selves. Taking transparency to a whole other level. I think it takes a lot of guts to be that honest. To be open to the idea of sharing your heart. To be open to the idea of soaring higher than you could ever, ever imagine. What does that look like?

I am blessed and fortunate to have been a partial scholarship recipient for Making Things Happen. I didn’t even know that I would be attending until Tuesday. I actually didn’t blog or tweet about it because I didn’t want to jinx the opportunity. With the amazing generosity of Lara Casey and her team, we made it happen. I was able to attend. And I’m a firm believer it was because I was genuine and real about it. And it was meant to happen.

I was totally blown away by Lara’s right-side man at the intensive, Jeff Holt. Like holy whoa. Seriously. The moment he began speaking about his experience, it resonated with me. I could see myself in his shoes. And listening to his story, how far he has come, and how far he is going to go is amazing. Knock your socks of amazing.

Now, I feel like the wheels are in motion. Forward motion. I was beginning to feel like they were just spinning, but after this intensive, I’m going to make things happen in 2010.

Have you dreamed your biggest dream? Out loud?

Try it some time. It’ll turn your world upside down.

If you need to re-ignite the fire in what you love, run don’t walk to the nearest Making Things Happen location. You’ll be so happy you did.

Happy Friday!

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Sweet Pea Events: The Sweet Success Workshop | The Colony | Texas


Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Simants, owner of Sweet Pea Events and partner of the fabulous resource Sage Wedding Pros.  She had so kindly asked me if I’d be interested in photographing the event and meeting the participants – new, up and coming, wedding planners in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Being totally new to this town jumped on the opportunity.

The events was held at the Cascades Event Center, at the newly built Fairfield Inn. While the event was intended for wedding planners, or those interested in pursuing a career as a wedding planner, I walked away with a wealth of information that I could apply to my own business. It was a great learning experience!

The beautiful stationery was designed by Carrie Foiles, owner and designer of The Event Messenger.




THE emergency kit. It’s serious. You’ll be in good hands when you hire Sweet Pea Events for your big day!


The tablescapes: lemon and lime!



Aren’t these ADORABLE favors?


I loved this simple, but sweet table number.



Kelly sharing her knowledge of all things wedding.


The attendees: (from left to right) Kelly Simants, Evie Howard, Stephanie Midkiff (Kelly and Lime),  Michelle Holland (Fret Knot Events), and Stephanie Torres (Stephanie Michele Events).


Thank you so much Kelly for your warm welcome! And it was great meeting all the attendees!

Event Design: Sweet Pea Events
Stationery: The Event Messenger
Wedding Planners: Kelly and Lime, Fret Knot Events, Stephanie Michele Events, Evie Howard

To get in touch with me, CLICK HERE.

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