Hi friends!

Running a business is hard work. If you’re a business owner, you probably understand how difficult it can be to avoid business burnout. There are so many things to manage: operations, marketing, accounting, social media, human resources—not to mention, home and family duties. So how do you manage it all without going completely insane?


Set boundaries. Learn when to say yes and when to say no—without feeling guilty. Setting boundaries is healthy and so important in self-care. It limits the distractions that come your way and help keeps you focused on the goals in front of you. Setting office hours is a great way to set limits.


Take breaks. This is one of my favorite tricks. I LOVE to find a couple of minutes to do something for myself. Something as simple as leaving the office for an hour for a manicure can recharge my day. I can accomplish so much when I return from this short hiatus. Remember almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.


Delegate or automate. Handing off tasks and giving up that control in your business is hard to do, but it’s okay to get help. Having the assistance of my team this year has impacted business growth and customer satisfaction.


Automation systems have been a huge lifesaver as well. I started using HoneyBook recently for all of my proposals and contracts. It helps me with my bookkeeping, too. Before HoneyBook we were manually creating proposal and contracts and using traditional filing systems. Basecamp is another system I LOVE using to communicate with my teams and vendors. We were using emails which would get lost in the hundreds of messages I receive daily. In Basecamp the communication never gets lost and saves me the frustration of looking for important emails.


Keep going and don’t give up. Take breaks, regroup, delegate, but remember why you started your business in the first place.





Hi friends!


Wedding season is here which means you’re in the home in the home stretch of your planning. With the million things to do before the Big Day, two or three or even 12 tasks are bound to fall through the cracks.


So all you future brides and grooms, here are a few details that are typically overlooked that I want to be sure you keep in mind.


Decorations (beyond flowers) Tablecloths and centerpieces fit into your rental and florist budgets, respectively, but couples typically overlook small décor items, like candles, signage, and the ceremony backdrop.


Gifts for parents You may have budgeted for a gift for your wedding party to say “thanks,” but what about your parents? Along the wedding planning journey, you may want to pick up a few gifts for all of the wonderful people who went above and beyond to show their support and shower you with love.


Transportation Transportation faux pas can ruin your entire day. Plan to hire your car company six months before your wedding and consider things like your date, ceremony and reception sites, and the size of your wedding. If you’re getting married in April, May or June, near prom and graduation season, formal vehicles will be in high demand, so you’ll need to book your transportation even earlier. The same goes for special rides like vintage cars, which are in shorter supply than your typical limousine.


Additional and special diet meals Most vendors will request a vendor meal in their contract; however, as a rule of thumb, any vendor that is working over five hours and is present during the reception should be treated to a meal.


Also, be sure to make note of all the guests who have food allergies or are vegetarian or vegan. Provide a list for your caterer noting where each of these guests is sitting. Your caterer will love you!


Wedding Day meals You may be nervous and not feel like eating, but remember you’re in for a long day and night. A little protein will steady your nerves and provide stamina.


Gratuities Lastly, do not forget to tip your vendors. Tips are never obligatory. They are meant to be expressions of appreciation for especially good service. However, it is customary to show your gratitude by tipping the people involved in making your special day a success.






Father's Day Gift Guide (1)

Did you forget to shop for Father’s Day again. You’re in luck, we got 9 great Father’s Day gifts your dad will love, and if you order NOW they will make it here on time.

  1. Gold Cocktail Shaker, $31 at WestElm.com
  2. Valentino Uomo Fragrance, $70 at Nordstrom.com
  3. Ray Ban Classic Aviator Sunglasses, $165 at RayBan.com
  4. Movado Bold Chronograph Watch, $795 at Saks Fifth Avenue
  5. Harry’s Father and Son Set, $30 at Nordstom.com
  6. Adidas Turbo360 Boost, $200 at AdidasGolf.com
  7. Kiehl’s 1851 Men’s Starter Kit, $39 at Nordstrom.com
  8. Flying Experience, $224 at Cloud 9 Living 
  9. Cuisinart Single Serve Brewer, $99.95 at Crate & Barrel

Anniversary Photo


Hi loves,


So thrilled to be featured on one of our all-time favorite wedding magazines–a go-to source for weddings in Baltimore! Head on over to Baltimore Bride to see photographer Terri Baskin’s breath-taking photos from our anniversary shoot on Federal Hill and get my how-to tips for planning your special day. Check out all the goodness here.









Hi friends,


I meet brides all the time that want to DIY (Do It Yourself) some aspect of their wedding. No longer are the brides nudged to complete long nights filled with floral projects for their Big Day because of necessity or lack of funds. Modern day brides are inspired by Martha Stewart, YouTube, and Pinterest regardless of their budget.


So if a craft night with your girls, a bottle or two of wine, and lots of girl talk sounds like the perfect Saturday night, this blog post is for you. Keep reading to get my expert advice on what to DIY for your wedding and what to splurge on. Oh, you’ll thank me later!


Boutonnieres Leave the bouquets and centerpieces to the professionals, but if you want to get your hands on some flowers, try making the groom’s boutonniere.This is the perfect DIY project: it’s small, easy to assemble, and doesn’t command as much attention as some of the other florals.


Table number and escort cards This could be one of the most fun projects you can do for the wedding. There’s no limit to how simple or extravagant these two important items can be. If you want to up the fun factor, register your girls for a local calligraphy class.


Something Blue Tradition challenges the bride to wear something old, something new; something borrowed, and something blue. Here’s where you can get those creative juices flowing and luckily Pinterest is chocked full of “something blue” inspiration. From painting the soles of your wedding shoes in the sky hue or hand crafting a blue ribbon onto your garter, the options are endless.


Now that we’re given you a few DIY crafts that are safe for the wedding and fun, here are some things you should splurge on for your I do’s.


Photography Trust me when I tell you that you will never regret splurging on high-quality photography. Memories of the special day and all the little moments sometimes leave us, but the photos can last for generations to come.


Catering  Pulling off a hot, 4-course meal for 150 people is an amazing fete and should be left to the pros. The bride, the groom, any parents or relatives, should not attempt to take on this task. All of you, even Aunt Betty, should be enjoying this special day in a relaxed state.


Planning Now, this one should not be a surprise. The help of a planner is insurmountable if you want your wedding executed flawlessly. Enjoy the role of a bride (or groom), all of the celebrations and pampering and let us handle the budgets, timelines, and vendors. This investment is a game changer.


Looking a planner for your nuptials? Let us help. Schedule a FREE consultation today!



Hi, loves!


There’s only one way to impress your guests and set the tone for your Big Day: Stylish Invitations!


Before the bride makes her way down the aisle, before the caterers place the linen, before the ceremony begins – it’s the invitation that sets the tone for your wedding. Through fonts and calligraphy and color and size, the invitation is the first look into all the lovely your lucky guests are in for when they walk into your wedding.


That gorgeous piece of stationery can speak volumes through its design. So to bring you the latest and greatest in wedding stationery, we went to New York for the National Stationery Show. For 70 years, the show has been North America’s most comprehensive source for all things paper, including wedding stationery, custom invitations, and lifestyle gifts. It features nearly 800 exhibiting companies and attracts over 10,000 buyers and industry professionals from all over the world. If ever there were a perfect place to find your wedding stationery, this is it.


[Related Post: Ivori on the Move: 4 States in 4Weeks]


So, what are the trends for 2017? Read on….


New Neutrals Move over ivory and ecru there are new neutrals in town. We saw blush and mint as an addition to the neutral family for next year. Rose Quartz was Pantone’s color of the year, so there’s no surprise that this color trend made its way to the stationery market.

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest


Rose Gold Foil I must admit, we’re happy to see this pretty metallic hue in wedding stationery. The rose tone made waves in jewelry with engagement rings and watches and even technology with the rose gold iPhone debut last year. We hope it’s here to stay.


Photo Courtesy of Pinterest


Menswear Inspiration We saw a nod to menswear with geometric pattern and shirt textiles. Whites with blue pinstripes, chambray, and patterns typical found on ties were big at the show for a boy-meets-girl feel.




Beautiful Liners The often overlooked liner is now the place to add your flair for style. We love the idea of marrying a traditional invitation with an unexpected, fierce liner. Lots of the stationery designers choose patterns with punch and wow for this stepchild portion of the paper suite.

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest


There are so many great options in wedding stationery. Choose the style that best fits the two of you and sets the tone for your wedding!






It’s worked for us for over 15 years!






Our marriage has been filled with highs (we purchased our home, adopted fur babies, launched a business and nonprofit organization, and travelled to some of the world’s most romantic destinations) and lows (we were both diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2012), but I’m proud to say that we’re still happily married 15 years after our wedding day. How did we get here? We’ve followed some of the best marriage advice (…ever) from happily married couples in our circle of family, parents, grandparents, and friends. Here’s some of the advice that helped us along the way:


  1.  Communicate consistently.
  2. Practice patience and understanding.
  3. Support each other’s passions, dreams, and goals.
  4. Acknowledge each other’s individuality.
  5. Forgive one another.
  6. Know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and respect them. 
  7. Establish roles when it comes to household finances, parenting, chores, business and anything in between.
  8. Challenge each other.
  9. Have a sense of humor. This one is a must!
  10. Don’t forget to date! 







Hello loves,
I can’t believe it’s my birthday already! It seems like we were celebrating my last birthday just yesterday. First, let me say, I am so grateful for this new year of life and excited for the next 365 days – the last year of my 30s (they came and went so fast). I have so many goals and things I want to accomplish, like getting my Ph.D. (woohoo!).


On the same token, I am appreciative of the past year, and all the lessons learned as I reflect back. I am confident that the lessons I’ve learned–and telling you in this blog post–will make this coming year even better. So as I compile this list, I hope my experiences and all the lessons learned to help you on your path.


  1. It’s OK to say no. “It’s only by saying ‘no’ that you can concentrate on the things that are really important,” says Steve Jobs. With juggling multiple hats, each just as important as the other, I have to say no to the things that take me out of focus and off my goals.


  1. Show appreciation for the people in your life. Oprah Winfrey says, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” I’m so honored to have a supportive, husband and family and an amazing team. They are the driving force behind Ivori Nicole Events and help make our events a work of art. 


  1. Invest in yourself.  “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life; it will improve the lives of all those around you,” said Robin S. Sharma. And, I can’t agree more. This year, I’ve invested in my education, seminars and tradeshows for myself and my team to make sure we bring the best and most innovative ideas in events to you. The return on investment is immeasurable.


  1. Single tasking trumps multitasking. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have all attributed their success to one factor: Focus. I must agree.  Every time I’ve tried to juggle more than one thing and multitask, it failed. Multitasking is the one thing I teach when speaking on work/life balance.


  1. Life is worth celebrating. Life is short, have a party! There are so many wonderful things to celebrate. So plan an event, and don’t forget to call us to help.





What are you celebrating this summer? Let us help you plan your next major event. Summer and fall dates are still available. Contact us here.



Ivori on the go


The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of all things wedding related. I’ve travelled to four states for a variety of activities: a destination wedding venue visit, an exclusive new venue preview, a bridesmaids brunch, and the National Stationery Show. Read on to get wedding inspiration from the new trends in stationery and learn about two breathtaking venues.



Melady Plantation House, Alexandria, LA

Built in 1870, the Melady Plantation House is a gem in the heart of Alexandria, Louisiana, just outside of New Orleans. The beautiful 4,000-square-foot home was renovated in 2008 and sits on 4 acres of land filled with majestic oak trees. The home holds 280 guests for indoor receptions.


Last week, we had the pleasure of touring this opulent facility with clients who will marry here this summer. Making this wedding our first destination wedding of the season. We are so thrilled to work with this space and can’t wait to design this gorgeous canvas.

Melady Plantation House



Observatory at America’s Square, Washington, D.C.

In June 2015, Jamestown LP debuted its new rooftop event space, the Observatory at America’s Square. The 1,758-square-foot rooftop offers prime views of the U.S. Capitol building and the D.C. skyline. The space holds 240 guests for receptions or seats 120 guests.


We were excited to attend Bridal Bellhop’s spring wedding preview at the Observatory. The event was a faux wedding and cocktail reception. Yet, there was nothing faux about the amazing bites from Heirloom Catering or the exquisite spring floral arrangements from Uncloudy Studio.





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Image via Uncloudy Studio




Winnie’s LeBus, Philadelphia, PA

An original landmark in Philly’s Manayunk neighborhood, Winnie’s offers freshly made, preservative free meals and catering. Set in a refurbished mill, the bar and restaurant are infamous for their brunch menu. Huevos Rancheros and chocolate chip pancakes are a few of the items you can get at Winnie’s


The brick walls housing local art made the perfect backdrop for our bride’s brunch. Yes, she invited me! And, treated me to a box of spa goodies to take home. I just love our Ivori Nicole Events brides!





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National Stationery Show, New York City

For 70 years, the National Stationery Show has been the place for all things paper – from greeting cards, custom invitations, gift wrap and journals, to lifestyle gifts – and everything in between. The show is held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Midtown Manhattan and attracts over 10,000 buyers and industry professionals from all over the world. An event planner’s dream!


Some of my favorite designers did not disappoint with their 2017 collections. We saw exciting new items from Sugar Paper, Soho Paper and Claire Magnolia.  I cannot wait for these cool lines hit the market.


While in the Big Apple, I had a few must-see stops for the day trip. First on my list was Venus Et Fleur. The bespoke rose atelier specializes in lush, customizable precision arrangements,but the draw for me was Eternity DE Venus – which are everlasting roses that maintain freshness for over a year.


Before ending the day, we stopped at Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer in NYC’s Meatpacking District for their infamous burger and over-the-top milkshakes. The food and shakes were amazing, but the music took the experience to another level. We sipped on our shakes to the old school hip-hop beats of Erik B and Rakim, Rob Base, NWA and EMPD. What a treat?


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Photo May 16, 12 43 34 PM


Photo May 16, 12 42 12 PM


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Mr & Mrs Dubose-24The dress that is! With all the swirling opinions and options galore, how do you know which one is THEE one? The dress you’ve dreamed of and the one that gives you that authentic feeling of a bride. In this post, I’ll share my expert tips for picking the perfect dress, the same tips I’ve shared with many happy brides for over 14 years.


But, before we dive into how to know when you’ve found the one–the right dress, let’s explore when you need to say “no” to the wrong dress. Let’s face it; every dress is not for everyone. Here are the revealing signs that you should walk away from a wedding dress.


  1. You feel pressure to say yes from your entourage.
  2. The dress would be perfect if you made just five or 10 changes.
  3. The gown is severely over budget.
  4. The dress’ perfection depends on a drastic pre-wedding weight loss plan.
  5. The gown is beautiful but doesn’t fit your venue or theme.
  6. The dress doesn’t look as beautiful in person as it did in the magazine.

In a nutshell, you need to pick a dress that fits your style and budget and makes you happy.  I can share all kinds of tips on necklines and silhouettes (+ probably will in due time!), but these are the biggest clues to know without a doubt that you’ve found the right dress:



You are convinced that you’ve never looked better, and you finally feel like a bride. 

If you feel beautiful, you will inevitably look beautiful. The satisfaction you will have for your total look on your wedding day will come out in your smile and pictures. So, your opinion is the most important.

The engagement has seemed surreal until this point. Once you slip on the right dress, it will hit you. OMG!! I’m getting married!!


Mr & Mrs Dubose-52



You have the this is ‘it’ feeling. There’s no need to try on another gown. You’ve found it! 


There’s no way you can try on another after seeing yourself in the one. In fact, you will have a hard time parting with your prized possession.

If you still feel the urge to try on more gowns, that may not necessarily indicate that you haven’t found it. You may have anxiety and missed your owns cues. Keep reading and remember these signs.



Even if it’s not you (though often it is), someone in the group sheds a tear. 

Ok, not every bride tears up. Don’t stress if the water works aren’t happening for you. Some people are just not criers.

Maybe your mom or sister sheds a few when you slip on your dream dress. Evoking emotion before the Big Day is a good sign. Remember this is the first day of your life together. Gold star for you if you can get the sentiment started sooner.



Shoes. Veils. Jewelry. Him at the end of the aisle. You can see it all so clearly now. 

The entire look is coming together now. You can envision the shoes, your bouquet, and hairstyle–everything around the dress you’ve been searching for all along.

And, most importantly, you can imagine walking down the aisle to your hubby-to-be.

Mr & Mrs Dubose-10



Suddenly your entourage’s criticisms fall on deaf ear.

You have to trust yourself and listen to your gut. Consider winging your first appointment alone. This single mission is the best way to hear your instincts loud and clear–without the opinions of your crew. If their votes still count, bring them along to the next appointment. Only if you have an idea of what YOU truly want.

Select people whose input you value. Maybe the entire bridal party or grandma shouldn’t tag along on this trip. It’s ok just to bring that one friend that will give you get style advice and know when to keep their opinions to themselves.



This look is perfect for the beach. Just right for the estate. Makes total sense for the chapel. 

If the dress doesn’t fit your venue or theme you could look out of place, throwing off the entire wedding. Consider the venue and theme of your Big Day.

Think about things like the locale and weather, too. Fabrics can play a huge part in working with your venue. Think about light fabrics for the beach versus heavy satins or taffeta for the church wedding.


Happy shopping!

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