...what's in a name?...

The story behind our name! 

(Or, why I ignore the haters and stay true to me)

I started my wedding planning business just a few weeks after my own wedding. Post wedding, I was missing the whole planning process, and at the same time I knew it was time to make a career change. Voila: it clicked that I could start my own business!

After that initial lightbulb moment, I wanted to get started quickly. I had the energy and vision, and after some quick internet research, I saw that a wedding planning expo was coming up near me in just a few weeks. I got inspired to put myself out there, and get things up and going in time to attend this expo and start meeting people in the business.

First step for me: choosing a business name! As a kid, I Ioved naming things: my dolls, plants, random toys etc. I once filled an entire journal when I was 8 years old making up a town of people and whole families who lived there, mostly so I could name dozens and dozens of people. I don’t have kids yet, but as a name-aholic, but I have had lists of potential baby names for years.

So, choosing a business name could have been an impossible task. I knew it could become a block if I let it; as someone kinda obsessed with names, wouldn’t I have to choose the perfect name for my business? In order to be successful, wouldn’t the name have to be unique, amazing, definitive, trendy but classic, etc etc?

In fact, I only allowed myself two days to come with my business name. I knew I couldn’t move forward on any other of the big aspects (website, business email, biz cards, etc) until I had a name in place. I simply didn’t have the luxury to be indecisive! So I researched what other wedding planners called their businesses, and I played around with a few different combinations. In the end, I liked the idea of having a name that tied into aspects of my own wedding, to have the name grounded in something that mattered to me from the beginning.

For my wedding, I choose burlap as the accent for our farmhouse tables, and roses were the main florals, so Burlap & Rose came to me as a pretty name, rooted in things I liked enough to choose for my own wedding. I liked the idea that burlap is affordable and simple, and roses are classic and beautiful, and the juxtaposition of the two.

In the past few years, burlap, mason jars, baby’s breath, chalkboards (ie, anything rustic) has become popular and trendy to hate. The interwebz are overflowing with stories on how mason jars and the like are so last year. When asked “what are the most overdone wedding trends, industry and bride to be facebook groups alike usually put burlap and it’s rustic cousins near the top. Roses on the other hand don’t get singled out as much, though my own wedding floral accent baby’s breath is equally (if not more?) hated than burlap. I know these trends started because these items are affordable, and can make great wedding decor options that people can source themselves and not spend a ton of money on. After the recession, affordability became not a trend, but a necessity!

There have been times I’ve wanted to change my business name, because with so many people declaring the rustic theme dead, why keep it? Burlap and it’s economical friends have become easy targets for people to pick on… which is one big reason I ended up keeping the name.

Look, the reality is, there is a good chance that anything that seems unique and wonderful today will be overplayed before ya know it. This past year, I’ve had many, many clients into rose gold/terrariums/geometric shapes/tropical anything, and on and on. More people than I can count have been excited by their unique and clever decor idea, only to be disappointed to find it plastered all over Pinterest soon enough. Tiny gold spray painted dinosaurs? Three weddings in a row. Donut Walls? Ten this year alone!

And ya know what? Who cares? As Offbeat Bride reminds us often, someone, somewhere will find something about your wedding ideas tacky and I know the same is true for how wedding planners represent themselves.

I’ve thought about re-branding, but besides the amount of time and money that will take, for now I like keeping a name that’s “over”. It’s a reminder to me of who I am and where I started, and a nod to keeping things affordable and real.

Plus, in truth: I actually still really like burlap and rose. I think there are elegant and humble ways to bring these affordable options together and create something beautiful. I put together a simple dinner table setting for my hubby and I tonight, and felt inspired to recycle some decor elements from past weddings. Too much in the wedding industry ends up in the garbage, and I love finding ways to make things sustainable by recycling items that are still perfectly good.

Regardless of my business name, the ethics I have grounded my business in: a commitment to affordability, diversity + sustainability, I’ll keep forever.