des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

2014: What a Year!


What a year indeed. As we reflect on the blessings and amazing clients we had this year, I am honestly overwhelmed. I have met so many fabulous, warm and loving people the past twelve months. I am incredibly humbled and grateful for each and every one of you. I can only look forward to continued growth in our relationships, new ones being forged and many blessings in the coming year and beyond.

When I started this passion project last year, I dreamed that it would grow to touch the lives of wonderful people and to help them experience the love and joy that is the center of a wedding and legacy. Looking back over everything, in my small way, I believe I have. As I’ve been compiling this post over the last few weeks, I truly am in awe of how the little things added up, genuinely elated about the big things and so very much looking forward to the many things already on the books for 2015. There are many dreams yet to be realized, brainstorming happening on a daily basis for how to love people more and much more that, I dare say, has yet to become a thought. This journey of business ownership is exhilarating and this mighty little HHE engine is going to travel amazing places with and for all of you this year! Before getting ahead of ourselves, here’s a glimpse at the blessed year we had.

We started the year with a feature of our very first Oh Deer styled shoot on Love and Lavender blog!

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{ Emily Crall Photography }

Then we got down to work on our website, Facebook page and marketing, as well as officially registering as an LLC. That all resulted in six amazing weddings this year that filled my heart to its brim.

In March, we shot our second styled shoot, Gilded Baroque meets Something Blue, which got featured on Swooned blog in May!


{ Carolyn Ann Photography }

In April, we shot this lovely session for the website with Carolyn, which I adore! This shoot came together so perfectly and is a true reflection of my personality, what I hope to impart to Harper Hadley couples and the peace I feel by the water.


HHE brand


She even snapped a few marriage session shots of AJP and I- these darlings will be in our home and my office for years to come. I mean seriously, I could stare at these all day, they make my heart sing!

Side note: if you are considering a marriage celebration session, I HIGHLY recommend it. If you are interested, send me an email and I can connect you with some wonderful photographers!!

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Then, the summer came and with it, the start to our fabulous first full season. Alexis and Brett were married at Brett’s family home on July 20, 2014, followed by a bright and joyous reception at Music Man Square in Mason City. I’ve known Alexis since high school and she is one of the sweetest and most wonderful people, so it’s fitting that Brett is just as much so. These two never shy away from fun and their day was a complete and true reflection of their personalities. I was brought into the process in February for month of coordination and I must say, Alexis did a marvelous job. Pulling this together was a joy and the day was absolutely perfect.

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Brett & Alexis Wedding-194

Brett & Alexis Wedding-661

{ Photos by Aaron Thomas }

Next, we enjoyed an intimate day with Yue and Yushi in Iowa City on July 22, 2014 for their vow renewal. Family and friends gathered from all corners of the globe to make this day truly magical and full of love. This was my first full planning and design couple and they were a pure joy to work with. We planned their day from start to finish, via emails and Skype from the West Coast. It went off without a hitch and all hearts were so full at the end of the day. Fun tidbit, their vows and speeches were in Chinese and the emotion that came through, even though I only know how to say ‘thank you’ in Chinese, made my heart swell and brought tears to my eyes. This group will always hold a special place in my heart and I am forever grateful for Yue and Yushi’s faith in me.

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{ Val Marlene Photography }

As summer came to a close, we moved into our new apartment the same weekend that Devin and Raul were wed at the Celebration Farm in Solon on August 8, 2014. Until the week of the wedding, I’d only communicated with Devin via Skype. She and Raul reside in Florida and when she reached out to me, I was so excited to be helping them with month of services so that they could truly focus on spending time with family and friends they rarely see. Devin is an organizational power house and even is doing some life coaching now. She is truly a remarkable human being and one of the most positive and loving women I’m blessed to know. Raul is a laid back, cool and fun due who absolutely adores his wife; I could see it in the way he looked at her from the first moment I met him (at the rehearsal, I might add). Someday, AJP and I might have to venture south for a visit with these two lovelies!




{ Click by Kate }

At this point, the year was over half way gone and we needed a little vacation. So we packed up and headed south to Augusta and Charleston for some R&R with family. That week filled my cup so much and we got to meet Miss “Evie-Belle” for the first time – so much fun with these munchkins. Followed by a visit to my childhood stomping grounds and visiting my MawMaw (sadly I didn’t snap photos). We may have gotten few snapshots, but we had a blast and unplugged time is definitely the best!


Upon our return, rested and ready to tackle the rest of the year, we geared up for Alicia and Josh’s big day on September 20, 2014. I have also known Alicia for many years and Josh is her perfect compliment. Though they came to me for month of help, we were in constant contact and they did a fabulous job pulling together a day that was truly them. Josh made the centerpiece boxes and there was so much family help and so many meaningful details. Also, I finally got to work a wedding with my sweet friend Carolyn!!


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{ Carolyn Ann Photography }

September is always a fun month for us and my favorite, since it’s our anniversary month and the start of my favorite season! AJP and I celebrated our anniversary a bit early since we had a wedding the week of our day. If you ever get the chance to camp out in your living room and have a movie marathon, I highly suggest you do it! We just kicked back, binge watched the Blacklist and ate donuts to our heart’s content.

Then, that following weekend, just as Fall gave way to chilly temperatures, Gillian and Izaak said “I Do” on October 4, 2014 at Shore’s Event Center. What can I say about Zeek and Gilli?! They are so sweet and precious together. They compliment each other, have servant’s hearts and are some of the most genuine people I know. Their day was attended by many from across the pond and here at home. Gillian is from Scotland and they definitely had some fun touches of home for her. These two are also going to make fabulous and loving parents this summer, YAY!




{ Robyn Photography }

At the end of October, we launched our new website after months and months of planning, tweaking and digging deep to find our core. Kyle Brumm did a fabulous job building the site and blog from scratch to my detailed specs and I love it! It feels like home now and I’m so excited to see how some new features we are adding in 2015 will help you, my darling couples!

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October was a crazy busy month, looking back! We also shot a styled shoot with Katharyne Dunn Photography and Aubrey from Bride Meets Wedding, dove deep into planning the Veils + Cocktails Experience, started the Conquer Summit AND were featured on Reverie Gallery!

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{ Robyn Photography }

Jessica and Kyle’s wedding was on October 25, 2014 at the Hotel Kirkwood to close out the month!! Jessica’s mom Diann reached out to me to help her plan their big day, as Jess and Kyle live in Chicago. We do a lot of long distance planning here at Harper Hadley and I love it! The fact that so many of our clients put their trust in me from a distance is so humbling and amazing. I actually didn’t meet Jessica until a month or so before and Kyle until a week before their wedding and they are such welcoming people. We clicked immediately and were all on the same page. These two have the biggest hearts and their love and respect for each other is unreal. They, like all of our other couples, have such a bright future ahead of them. We are still awaiting photos from their beautiful day, but I cannot wait to share them soon! Until then, here are a couple from my iPhone.



Phew, still with me? I cannot believe what all we’ve done this year and there is more! The last few months, we relaunched the new blog, did two more styled shoots with some fabulous creatives and lovely models, made more new friends, have welcomed some 2015 couples to our HHE family, attended the Weddings Enlightened Bridal Experience in Galena and were pleasantly surprised that our first year came full circle with Oh Deer being featured again. This time, the team at Dainty Obsessions reached out to feature our darling winter inspiration!

To wrap up the year, we sent out our first Harper Hadley holiday cards, designed by AC Designs, photography by Carolyn Ann. Of course, we also ordered darling personal ones from Shutterfly! We spent Christmas with my family in Dallas, which is always amazing. Tonight, we will be cozied up with mac and cheese and a movie, then I will be jetting off this weekend to my first conference- Creative @ Heart!


The common thread among all of these beginnings we helped with this year was enveloping love. Crazy, beautiful, awe-inspiring, true, lasting LOVE! That is all I ever want to impart to the world – beautiful and meaningful events that are a sweet beginning to a wonderful and Love filled legacy. That is my heart, HHE’s core and my wish for all of you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for each and every person that has made our first year in business a success! There are many things to come and dreams to be realized, but I could not do any of it without y’all!

Cheers to a fabulous 2015 full of love, laughter and adventures!

xoxo, Jenn

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