Since moving to Indy, driving back and forth has kind of become therapeutic to me.  Don’t get me wrong…it’s a lot of driving.  But I’ve been seriously into this podcast that is rocking my entrepreneur brain so it’s like I hit the road and all the sudden I am there!  It’s the best time for long phone conversations which no one ever has time for.  But on 65…all I have is time.  I get to drink unlimited Starbucks…and gas station snacks.  I love me some sour skittles.  And every few weeks (about to be every week) I get to see all my friends which makes my heart happy.  This last weekend was no different.  I hit the road and got in FOUR episodes of my podcast (girlboss radio is my everything).  I added in enough time to see some friends and then I was off to get my wedding on.  Anyone who was in the midwest last weekend knows it was HOT!  Like kind of insane hot.  I’ve been to hot weddings before…and maybe I was just having a particularly sweaty day but man oh man that was sticky.  But it didn’t stop us from having an insanely fun wedding day and making a little photo magic if I don’t say so myself.

 

At the end of the night a crazy storm hit.  Like massive downpour…thunder every few seconds kind of storm.  As I left, exhausted and still soaked from our hot day prior…I decided to get a hotel.  The idea of cozying up in a comfy bed with some mindless TV sounded glorious.  So I went a few blocks…parked my car and paradise was in sight.  It was still down pouring so I grabbed my umbrella and attempted to unload everything out of my car.  Seeing as my laptop was recently stolen out of my car I never leave anything in there…ever.  Lesson learned.  So there I am.  Two suitcases.  One camera bag.  Two regular bags.  And my umbrella.  Attempting to cross the street to my soon to be resting place.  I was waiting for the traffic to clear and it happened.  Three cars passing by right in row.  It almost felt like slow motion.  One after the other driving through the same puddle and completely soaking me and all my belongings from head to toe.  I mean like nasty Chicago rain water…in the face.  All over me. Drenched.  Three times in a row.  I stood there stunned for a minute and then I walked across the street.  Checked into my room.  Went back out in the rain, sans umbrella…purchased a bottle of Champagne while looking like a wet dog and spent the rest of my evening cozied up in bed with Prosecco, HGTV and soaking wet hair.  Needless to say, my new life motto…when life gives you lemons…drink champagne.

 

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I’m the type of person who gets an idea in her head and doesn’t wait one second to run with it.  I can’t stand that stagnant waiting for the perfect time or perfect way to do something.  If it’s made it’s way into my brain…it’s happening.  Remember the whole marble incident??  In a matter of 15 minutes I decided I was going to build a marble coffee table…went to buy marble…broke the marble…and it’s still sitting on my parent’s garage floor.  While Gary adamantly disagrees….I WILL finish that coffee table!  Dammit.  It’s like I see the potential in something and I don’t even think about what it will take to get there.  I just go.  Take Healing Heels for example…I decided ‘hey..let’s start a shoe company‘ and started it.  I had no freaking clue how to manufacture shoes.  Or how to run a shoe company.  Or how to do anything really that has to do with any of it but that didn’t matter.  I saw the potential and did it.  Same with my wedding photography business…I saw a life I wanted and a career that made me excited so I shot my first wedding.  Terrified and making a million mistakes but I did it because that’s what I had to do to get where I wanted to go.

 

I’ve spent a lot of my professional life feeling like this was a bad thing.  Like maybe if I slowed down and made a four point plan and learned how to be a baller at Excel I would be more successful.  I’ve always felt like my go-get-em attitude is something that ultimately backfires and becomes a fault instead of something that sets me apart.  But I’ve gotten to a point where I think that is wrong.  I mess up SO much.  I mean I could write a novel on all the mistakes I’ve made and ways in which I am not where I ultimately want to be.  But for six years now I’ve been failing and I keep going.  I may have started a shoe company (technically still starting it) on somewhat of a whim but I work my butt off every day trying to learn how to make it better.  Literally 90% of the time I feel lost and defeated…but I keep going because I want it to work so badly.  My photography business is everything to me but if I’m being completely honest it’s still not where I want it to be.  The worry and struggle is still always there but it’s worth it because I love it so incredibly much.  I may dive in head first but I never stop swimming.  And you shouldn’t either.  It’s so easy to look around at what feels like the world zooming past you.  But it takes guts and hustle and a hell of a lot of struggle to really go after what you want in life.  To take the tiniest step forward and pop the champagne because at least you’re not standing still.  It’s exhilarating and terrifying and it’s in your blood so don’t ever let anyone tell you that is a weakness.  Because I will be the first to tell you it is and always be the strongest part of who you are.

 

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I always try to start my week off with my best foot forward.  I’m as guilty as the next person about having the Sunday night/impending Monday doom.  Like…oh no the weekend is over but I love my job and work for myself so why do I care?  I still don’t quite understand it.  I think since Gary works a “normal” job, Mondays feel a lot more Monday around here.  I love our Sundays together when nothing is going on.  They always involve Starbucks runs…mimosas…and an embarrassing amount of bacon.  Which is why come Monday I try to get it together.  I always plan to get a good work out in…eat healthy…cook dinner…skip my glass of wine that night.   I know…who am I??  Somehow it makes me feel like if Monday goes the well…the rest of the week will follow.

 

Last Monday kicked off just as planned.  Woke up at 7…made coffee…got some much needed work done…headed to the gym.  I had a lovely dinner planned full of salmon and vegetables and lots of other boring things.  Then my sister in law asked if I wanted to go on a walk.  A walk sounded perfect so we took a nice little 3 mile stroll (and by stroll I had to basically jog to keep up)…and as we rounded the home stretch we both causally mentioned how good a glass of wine sounded.  Which was quickly followed by how good a glass of wine with a cheese plate sounded.  Which then turned into going out for wine and said cheese plate (which was the bomb).  And ended with more wine, a random sample of some apple pie moonshine and an entire viewing of the bachelorette.  So it’s safe to say my Monday quickly derailed but if I’m being honest…it’s one of the best Mondays I’ve had in a while.  It was fun, unexpected, a little spontaneous….and so far my week is right on track.  I even made my boring salmon last night…but still had that glass of wine.  :/  baby steps…

 

Life lesson: Never say no to cheese plates, no matter what day of the week.

 

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If you’ve been around here for a while you know my feelings on the facade that is social media.  I can’t stand the curated lives that people put out there to try and prove that life is somehow this perfect package when that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I know my life is by no means perfect.  90% of the time I’m not wearing makeup.  Half my house is empty because we didn’t have enough furniture and don’t have enough money to furnish it.  There’s at least 10 socks behind my dryer I’m too lazy to get out.  The struggle is real people!  But…here comes the but.  🙂  I’m also a business owner who takes pretty photos for a living.  So how do I balance that?  Instagram has grown tremendously as a business tool and more and more brides are finding potential photographers via Instagram.  So for a while I found myself holding back when I wanted to post something because what if a bride came to my feed…I don’t want this to be the first thing she sees.  Or I don’t want too many dog pictures or niece pictures or you get the idea.  So I struggled for a while with how to balance that and ultimately landed on starting a new photo only Instagram account (can I get an amen for the toggle feature!!!).  Best of both worlds!  My crazy, messy, unfiltered life will still be going on over at @lwakephoto.  And I’ve started @laurenwakefieldphoto as a home for all things photography.

 

So choose your poison…or if you really love me you can follow both!  I recommend the latter.  🙂

 

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It’s the morning of your best friend’s wedding day.  The champagne has been popped.  The playlist that you so specifically put together is a major hit.  Everything is flowing smoothly.  Hair is being curled.  Lipgloss is being dabbed on.  There’s nervous excitement everywhere.  Her day is going to be perfect…because you won’t have it any other way.

 

This post has been brewing in my brain for some time now.  In my opinion, being a bridesmaid is such an insane honor.  It just says so much about how that bride feels about your friendship and that she thinks enough of you to want you by her side on the biggest day of her life.  I’ve only been a bridesmaid a handful of times but each time I said yes I knew my only job was to be there and make sure her day was as amazing as it could possibly be.  While I’ve only been a bridesmaid a few times…I’m part of a “bridal party” almost every single weekend.  I may not have on the matching dress but I am in it with all those girls and after countless weddings I have learned a few things about being a bridesmaid.  One rouge bridesmaid can really make or break that whole day so I’ve put together a little bridesmaid’s guide to the wedding day.

 

The bride is all that matters

This sounds harsh.  Obviously in the real world we all matter and there are way bigger issues in this world than one wedding day but on that day…the bride is all there is.  If she needs something, you get it.  If she is feeling nervous and thinks her hair looks funny, you tell her just how stunning she looks.  Unless, of course, her hair does look funny and it can be fixed…then help a girl out.  The most important thing…and I’m just going to say it…you don’t matter (as much).  I know, I feel mean just saying it.  But if you don’t like your makeup…keep it to yourself.  If you feel fat or hate your dress or are already sweating…try not to say it out loud.  More often than not, brides care so much about everyone else’s happiness that if she hears that you are unhappy with something…she will feel some sort of blame.  After all…she picked the hairdresser and makeup artist and dress you are wearing.  So just pretend you love it all.

 

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Girl time is your time

In the morning, when everyone is getting ready…it’s like the adult version of a slumber party.  You are all in matching robes…getting your makeup done.  Mimosas are flowing and those few hours are so precious to a bride.  Like the calm before a crazy awesome day where she gets to be with her favorite ladies on the planet.  This is your time.  Turn the music up.  Open another bottle of champagne.  Be excited because not only do those make for the best photos…but it helps the bride calm her nerves and enjoy some time with her ladies.

 

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The timeline is your bible

Learn it.  Love it.  Live it!  When it’s time for bridal party pictures or to leave for the ceremony…one missing person can throw off the whole day.  Most of the time the bride will have sent you the timeline ahead of time…so you know where to be and when.  And it’s so important that you do whatever you can to stick to that schedule.  If it’s time for the bride to get dressed and she wants her bridesmaids in the pictures with her…but they are all getting dressed or missing…that pushes everything back right from the start.  Or if we’re leaving the church for photos and one person is missing…there is no choice but to wait for them and then that cuts into the amount of time for photos.  Unpredictable things happen but as much as possible…try to be mindful of the timeline.

 

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Have a blast!

Weddings are fun.  A lot of fun.  You get to spend the day with your closest friends/family on the happiest day of her life.  Live it up!  Dance.  Drink too much (not waaaay too much though 😉 …or do, whatever).  And have the time of your life.  You’re making memories that you’ll have forever so make them count!  Weddings are fun.  Being a bridesmaid is fun.  You did an amazing job keeping your best friend happy all day and keeping everything on schedule so let loose!

 

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