Okay, to start off this will likely be an entire series of blog posts, so check this one out, but know there will be more coming.
Next, I cannot thank all the guests who attended the Ball and went on this journey with me, it has been my absolute pleasure getting to plan, then execute this event. To all the guests who smiled, fan girled, and obsessed with me, thank you.
Thank you to everyone who liked, shared, and commented on all the social media I post, which let's be honest, is a lot. Thank you to the #BookTok and #Bookstagram community who lit this passion. This journey began for me when I was in a really low place and a friend gifted me the book, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and I found the escape I was desperate for.
And the biggest thank you goes out to the friends and family that have loved and supported me through this journey. For the family that I was terrified to tell that I wanted to do this, that I could do this. To the family that didn't just support me, but cheered me on, and poured their own blood, sweat and tears into this endeavor (and that isn't an exhaggaration!). In case you didn't know, almost everything I do is a true family matter. Matt, my younger brother, built the bars you saw at the event, and bleed while doing it, he also did all the heavy lifting throughout this entire process. Allison, my younger sister, she's also read the books and truly understood the vision I was trying to create. She knows me the asbolute best, can read me, and was able to run with the vision that I was trying to build and just did it. Naomi, my mother, who checked everyone in at the Guest Check-In Desk, the woman who supports me in my whims, and has always encouraged my creativty. My mom ultimatley set me down this path way back when I was a freshman at Texas A&M University and completely lost about what I should choose to study. She found my major for me, Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciecnes, and supported me in the decision to disappoint my Dad, by not studying a "more functional degree" like business. I immediately fell in love with my major and the community and opportunities that it presented, the professors who fostered relationships with me, and genuinely encouraged and supported me. I also want to say, that my Dad fully supports me as well, and while he doesn't 100% understand the events theme (I told him to imagine it being fantasy like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones in simplest of terms), he still cheers me on. He was working himself, but leading up to the event, helped Matt out with the heavy lifting of moving and loading vehicles and just listening to my rambles.
A thank you to Andre, sorority sister, roommate, friend, cheerleader, travel companion, partner. Andre has been on this adventure with me and fell in love with the world I wanted to create when I finally got her to start reading again after gifting her an annotated copy of one of my favorite books this past February. For trusting this new adventure and going on it with me. All the one of a kind signage was designed and made by Andre. And don't get me started on all the time she spent finding the perfect crowns to have at the event. Andre owns and manages The Blushing Rose, where she specializes in flower preservation through resin, she also makes one of a kind pieces of jewelry. P.s. yes, in the picture below the pieces on the matle were made by Andre (both the sign & the slowers!!) Personally, I'm obsessed with all the special pieces that include flowers, and if you are a bride and want to preserve your wedding florals (which I highly recommend!) reach out to Andre, her work is beautiful. We also can't forget one of the most important things Andre did during this process was be my sound board, the person that I ranted to, made decisions with, and just a friend through it all. Your second hostess for the night, pulling raffles, giving out gifts, working the sales table, solving problems, planning your after party and so much more. This is but a mere highlight of all that Andre did, and who she is as a person and friend, but I hope you're grateful for all that Andre did to help make this event possible. Also, hope you are invested enough to keep following her business and seeing what she continues to create and design.
All of these little details, are the elements that you didn't see, and I say this to let you know that the foundation of planning this event was built on the familial love and support that I receive, but to aslo let you know that this is not and could never be completed by just me.
I want to express that I had genuine fear of failure, that I wouldn't be able to pull off this event, that no one would be interested, that I was not enough and bit off more than I could chew. I want to express this honesty and tell you that when I walked out of the venue doors at 5:55 pm and saw the line of people it took everything for me to not burst into tears. It was my absolute pleasure getting to welcome everyone into the Ball, getting to put faces to names, seeing all the beautiful dresses and suits, the smiles and pure joy that was on everyones face - that moment solidified this entire experience for me. I loved getting to be the first person who personally greeted and welcomed you into the Ball. I also got the opportunity to test myself with names, I tried to memorize the guest list and pair names to faces from social media prior to the Ball. I'm going to be honest, memorization is a huge asset of mine, but I was beyond proud of the number of people I was able to truly recognize and welcome by name without any prompting. I also know I impressed a large number of you by saying your name before you told me, I counted each one as a little personal victory for the community that I was wanting to build that resulted in friendships.
This event would not have been possible without you, so thank you truly.
Okay, enough of the sap, enjoy this brief highlight of the event with my words thrown in to keep it entertaining of course.
All the Little Details - For me, it's the little things, the details that make the event. I hope all my details helped turn this night into an experience like no other, something you will cherish.
The Pianist, Kelsey Rossano - Hands down, every single person who filled out the post event survey gave Kelsey 5 stars and y'all arent wrong, she's got magic fingers!!
Sweet pictures ike these just made me smile, so share in my joy! Also these dresses, the ears, the crown - PERFECTION!!
Performance by Austin Giorgio and his Band - I heard you all announced him as the Shadowsinger, and no, I had nothing to do with the wings, that was all Austin.
The Dance Party - I have never been so impressed as I was when I walked into the ball room to TikTok by Kesha playing and immediatley broke out into scream singing it with all of you. The dance moves that I saw dropped on the dance floor were killer, and all the dance moves I heard from everyone else amazing. Best. Group. Of. People.
Again, thank you all for helping make this event what it was. Without you, it is nothing. To all the new friendships that were made, the laughs that we had, and everything in between - you all made this more than just an event. This is the start of something great, thank you.
P.s. this is NOT all the pictures - there are more - so stick around if you want to see more conten going forward!
Photogapher: Emily Wynns Photography
Video: Cade Chudy