Howdy, friends! Come on in, take off your shoes (we often do), and stay awhile! It’s been so fun to share the progress with y’all on Instagram as the Southern Weddings office renovation was underway, and now it’s time to share our finished space!
A little history: We moved into our current location in 2011. Over the years, we squeezed three, then four, then five desks into one big room. We shared an office tour back in 2013, right after Lisa arrived and before Morgan joined our team. As we added more inventory to the shops (here and here) and as Lara’s time transitioned to tasks that required more quiet (consults and book writing), a larger, reworked space moved to the top of our priority list. In 2014, we seriously considered moving to an entirely new space – we went and looked at it multiple times, etc. In the end, though, we decided to expand what we had, and through #theofficereno, ended up doubling our space (by pushing into the attic) and making it all work smarter and harder.
Let’s take a look around, shall we? Huge hugs to our friend and Blue Ribbon Vendor Robyn Van Dyke for these photos! When you walk up the stairs to our space, the first thing you’ll see are French doors leading into Lara’s office. It’s open, filled with light, and quiet, perfect for the good and hard work she’s been doing of writing a book (and another one!), consulting with small business owners, and leading our mission-focused team. Sometimes we like to come visit :)
How long I’ve been at SW: Since it was just an idea in my head, somewhere around 2007. You can read the whole story of how Southern Weddings came to be in my book, Make it Happen.
What I do: I drive momentum for the company and keep our focus on the big picture. I’m deeply invested in WHY we do what we do and seek to help us do it well through a solid back-end and managing finances, cultivating meaningful relationships, helping to hone the vision of our content, and I delight in seeing our team soar. Practically speaking, this means I do a lot of email, writing, and am on the phone often.
Why I do what I do: I am grateful to work alongside women who share a heart for what matters in marriage and in life. Our heartbeat in all we do through Southern Weddings, the Lara Casey Shop, the Making Things Happen Conference, and in every handshake and hug is to help women live on purpose. I am so passionate about this because of my own journey, having lived by accident for way too long. God changed everything and my goal is to help others know that same freedom!
My favorite thing about our new office: The women inside of it. It’s a joy to come to work each day and share in this work with them! I am also grateful that each woman has her own space that inspires her to make what matters happen. Our office is full of memories, photographs, and reminders of why we do what we do. I love that our space holds much meaning. I love the plants in my office, too!
My favorite part of my work day: Making a genuine connection with someone, whether through consulting with a small business owner, writing, an email, or a conversation had inside these walls. I also love the first minutes of my day when I read scripture and pray, and also when Gracie visits me :)
Typical work day lunch: I am a frequent eater, and not just because I’m eight months pregnant. I eat every couple hours, so “lunch” for me is relative. My typical mid-day meal is eggs, butternut squash, and broccoli.
What I always have on my desk: My Bible, my PowerSheets, and a glass of ice water. I have lots of natural light in my office and that comes with an increase in temperature, hence the ice! We joke that stepping into my office is like going from North Carolina to Florida.
Current desktop background: It’s a simple black and white graphic of my life verses: Exodus 14:14, Psalm 56:3, and Philippians 4:13.
Where I keep my to dos: I have used Things since I started in business and I love it! I keep my PowerSheets out to remind me where to focus each day and my action items go in Things, which also syncs with my phone so I can easily add to-do’s when I’m away from my desk. You can read more about how I use Things here.
Let’s continue the tour! After saying goodbye to Lara, we’ll cross the hallway to the main HQ.
Up until a week or so ago (and when these photos were taken!), Morgan’s desk was on the left. Morgan, our Shop Manager and Junior Art Director, recently left us to take a new job at a graphic design firm. We already miss her (and her fabulous watercolor skills!), but are excited for her new opportunity! Here’s a peek at her space anyway:
Moving around the perimeter from Morgan’s desk, you’ll see more shelving, as well as a whole closet devoted to packing supplies and collateral!
Nicole’s colorful desk is up next.
How long I’ve been at SW: 5 years ago this month, I started my internship with SW and have been here ever since!
What I do: I oversee and create all of our visual communication with our readers, from blog graphics, to social media imagery, to the magazine! Making sure all of our visual components are consistent helps us build trust with those who see it.
Why I do what I do: I do what I do because relationships are so much more than love stories. Having seen my fair share of bad relationships and the ways they create ripples of doubt, I know that great relationships (whether they’re with your beau, your friends, or your coworkers) can create ripples of hope and love that are much farther reaching. Great relationships inspire positive change, little by little.
My favorite thing about our new office: Emily and Lisa’s cozy editorial wing — I often find excuses to sit on their couch and discuss projects with them instead of talking to them from my desk.
My favorite part of my work day: Any time we have a team meeting. I love seeing all (or most) of the gals in one spot and bouncing ideas around! Plus, it is usually a great excuse to bounce on our exercise balls.
Typical work day lunch: I am so bad at lunch. It’s usually a combination of random snacks from home, like fruit, trail mix, cereal, and sometimes dinner leftovers.
What I always have on my desk: Gifts from Gracie. Currently, it’s a plant in a little orange painted pot.
Current desktop background: These strawberries from last summer’s office outing are on my desktop. This orange painted background is on my laptop.
Where I keep my to dos: I keep major to-dos on my Tending List for the month, and write down daily tasks in my Make it Happen sketchbook. They’re both always within reach to keep me on track. Projects for the season that need to be broken down and distributed from person to person live on a whiteboard behind my desk.
My best guess here is that Grace is asking Nicole for a cookie – they are stored in her nook :)
Last but not least, welcome to the editorial wing, y’all!
How long I’ve been at SW: Almost two years
What I do: Along with Emily, I handle lots of the writing and copy editing for the blog and magazine, and we work together to plan and execute editorial shoots across the South! I also manage the SW Instagram.
Why I do what I do: I believe that a wedding–a marriage–means the beginning of a family, and that there is nothing more important, dignified, or beautiful than that. There’s no sweeter start to newlywed life than a celebration where you can share what you believe about marriage, faith, and family with your loved ones, and then soak up their support and joy! I’m grateful that at Southern Weddings, I have the opportunity to encourage brides to plan meaningful weddings, but more importantly, to work toward marriages that will last forever.
My favorite thing about our new office: The wall of inspiration in the editorial wing! Along with mine and Emily’s individual boards, we also have a bulletin board for our editorial inspiration boards and pictures from weddings we’ve accepted for the upcoming issue. It’s so exciting to see the elements of V8 come together, one by one!
My favorite part of my work day: I love reading real wedding interviews–our sweet brides are so thoughtful, creative, and inspiring!
Typical work day lunch: Blueberries as a snack around 10:30, leftovers from dinner the night before around 12:30. Lately, Dave and I can’t get enough of burrito bowl-inspired dishes.
What I always have on my desk: A water bottle, my to do lists, a copy of V7, and my monogrammed tissue box (for wedding video and proposal story-induced tears!).
Current desktop background: A sweet picture my aunt snapped of Dave and I in our vintage car after our ceremony–one of my favorite moments of our wedding day!
Where I keep my to dos: I have one list for real wedding posts to edit and one list for everything else, both on notepads from the Lara Casey Shop.
How long I’ve been at SW: Almost six years.
What I do: Along with Lisa, I conceptualize, plan, and execute editorials for our print edition. I also field all submissions and determine the content and schedule for the blog and print editions. I also am lucky enough to work on many of SW’s special projects, like the Planner.
Why I do what I do: For as long as I can remember, I’ve thought wedding days were magical. My own wedding day was one of the best days of my life, and I know it was so fulfilling and, well, magical in part because I put all of my years of inside wedding knowledge to use. I want everyone to have that same great info throughout their engagement so that they are freed up to focus on the joy of celebrating and their marriage to come.
My favorite thing about our new office: I really love coming in every day and seeing our “we make the magic” chalkboard. It’s a great reminder of the beauty, mystery, and out-of-body joy of a wedding day.
My favorite part of my work day: I love any project where I get to collaborate with another SW gal! Whether it’s chatting through dress options for a shoot with Marissa, confirming layout with Nicole, or reviewing Blue Ribbon Vendor applications with Kristin, I always leave happy and inspired. They’re not part of my regular work day, but I of course love road trips for shoots with my main squeeze Lisa!
Typical work day lunch: Always leftovers from dinner the night before, as John and I are very particular about making sure we have the correct amount of “leftover makers” in the meal plan for the week. On the rare day I’m somehow stranded without, I’ll usually bring in my favorite comfort food concoction – Annie’s mac and cheese with mustard and peas added :)
What I always have on my desk: My Mason Bar Company water bottle, my Emily Ley planner, my phone, my to do list, and two photos: one from our wedding day, and one of my favorite view in the world.
Current desktop background: Lisa thinks this is hilarious. My background is and always has been one of the standard Mac galaxy images. I have this theory that if I were to instead use a photo of my loved ones or a favorite place, I would subconsciously wish I were there/with them every time I opened my computer instead of where I am. I don’t want to wish my life away, so I keep it simple. However, seeing as I DO keep a photo of just those things on my desk anyway, my theory might be flawed. Anyway, the galaxy works for me :)
Where I keep my to dos: I love the gold foil notepads from the LC Shop, as well!
We also have two beloved gals who work remotely for Southern Weddings – Marissa and Kristin! Though you don’t see their smiling faces in these photos, rest assured they are an integral part of our office!
How long I’ve been at SW: Five years (!) and one month
What I do: I work with our sponsor family to create powerful and successful campaigns that not only drive revenue to our business in order to allow us to continue to share our mission with readers, but also connects those dear readers to the right vendor.
Why I do what I do: I truly believe that love never fails, what matters most should not be at the mercy at what matters least, and in happily ever after (whatever that may be or even if it involves hard work!).
My favorite thing about our new office: Wish I could say I have a favorite part, but since I haven’t seen it post-office reno, I would have to say the bright pink exercise balls. There is something so fun about sitting in a meeting, and watching as every now and then one of the girls in the office will bob up and down ;)
My favorite part of my work day: Whenever I can share our mission with a potential client it always brightens my day. Also, since I’m normally a numbers and negations gal, when I get to help Emily and Lisa choose and pull gorgeous gowns for editorials I might get a bit (too) excited!
Typical work day lunch: I love leftovers! While most people snub their nose at them, most days I re-heat last night’s dinner for lunch.
What I always have on my desk: Water! I’m embarrassed to admit that most of the time it’s a collection of half-drunk bottles.
Current desktop background: A pink, black, and white graphic that reads “It’s going to be o.k.” :)
Where I keep my to dos: I’m an old fashioned pen and paper kind of gal. I keep all my to dos in a good ol’ wire bound notebook.
How long I’ve been at SW: 3 years in July!
What I do: I get to love on our sweet Blue Ribbon Vendors and help connect our darling readers with just the right vendors to help bring their big day to life. I help Marissa with our fantastic sponsor family, driving our business so that we can continue to share our mission with the world! I also proudly consider myself our office cheerleader – woo! :)
Why I do what I do: A lot of life happens after you say “I do” and the idea of having a marriage more beautiful that your wedding is one that makes my heart sing. I love being able to give brides access to practical wedding advice, beautiful inspiration, and heartfelt marriage encouragement all at once. Throw in some biscuits, sweet tea, and a few farm animals, and I’m all in.
My favorite thing about our new office: I got a peek at the offices mid-reno and I am not sure I can pick a favorite, although EAT + LJK’s editorial nook is quite cozy! I definitely plan to camp out on the coach during my next visit!
My favorite part of my work day: Video chatting with any of the SW gals. Working remotely means I spend most of my day talking to myself. I love getting the chance to collaborate on a project with any of the gals, start a quick Google Hangout and have all their sweet faces pop up on my computer screen in a flash. It makes it feel like we’re sitting in the same room!
Typical work day lunch: Having recently relocated to Florida, it means I have access to tons of fresh fruits and veggies (+1 for FL), so most days lunch is leftovers and some fresh fruit or a salad. However, my favorite meal of the day is breakfast, and I’ll regularly whip up eggs (two, over easy) for lunch if I didn’t have them to start my day!
What I always have on my desk: A big ol’ glass of water, my to-do list(s), some scratch paper, and chapstick.
Current desktop background: My most favorite photo of KPW + me during a shoot with sweet Julia Wade.
Where I keep my to dos: A combination of my tending list and a daily and ongoing to do list. It’s no secret that I love my lists.
Well, there you have it – the South’s longest tour of one small office! We’re grateful for our space, but so much more grateful for what it allows us to do. I hope y’all loved this peek!
Photography: Robyn Van Dyke | Desks and Shelving: Ikea | Chairs and Exercise Balls: Amazon | Chair Monograms: Dixieland Monogram | Lara’s Side Chairs: World Market | Storage Boxes: Emily Ley | Prints, Notepads, Desk Cards, PowerSheets, Planners, and Journals: Southern Weddings Shop and Lara Casey Shop | Gold Laser-cut Logo: Southern Fried Paper