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We are just over a month away from our trip and I feel like it might be time to share more about this place I keep gabbing about and why I’m always so emotional about it.

I strongly believe everyone has a place that makes them get a little weepy. Whether it’s a memory of your Granny’s garden in the summer, full of veggies she’s tended carefully since they were fledgling blooms. Maybe it’s your high school baseball dugout after a big win your senior year. I don’t know what form this achingly beautiful feeling takes shape for you but mine is Villa Selvamica (and Italy in general).

Seven years and a different person ago I I set off on my own with a suitcase a passport, and my handful of precious belongings (mostly books and one beautiful planner that I still think started my attachment to paper planners. Those same books almost got me left behind in the Paris airport for a too heavy carry on, yes they weigh them.).

I won’t say that I was in a phase of life where I was making the best choices. The choice to study abroad may have been the one that changed my life, though who knows I may have smartened up eventually. But that’s not how the story goes. I was about to hop on a plane to a place where I knew no one and I definitely didn’t speak the language. I remember being a little teary landing and feeling SO small and so far away from everything I knew.

I’ll spare you most of the details to keep from boring you to death. It went probably like you think. Cheap wine, a group of artists/college kids in a foreign country. Learning how to manage money and lots of emotions as we adjusted to life in a new country that would likely be tattooed on our hearts just as deep as the tattoos we gave ourselves on the last night in our beloved Cortona. I told you…my decision making wasn’t great at 22. The crescent moon on my foot hasn’t faded at all, contrary to what I thought would happen…

Another quick fast forward and we come to the weekend that changes everything. My suite mate Sophie had two of the most beautiful grandparents who at the time owned a beautiful villa in Orvieto. On one of our weekends free of organized class trips five of us hoped on a train with a backpack each and the feeling of true freedom. The kind of freedom you feel at twenty two with no responsibility and an adventure on the horizon. We spent one of the most beautiful Saturdays at Selvamica. Dinner at a tiny restaurant where food was served family style. Gelato on the steps on the cathedral in Orvieto. A night spent talking all night until we all fell asleep in our day clothes in a full sized bed.

The next morning we were heading back to the real world, or at least our current reality of living in a beautiful old buidling on the top of a mountain. We had breakfast with Walter and Mary. Somehow it seemed magical. I remember looking out over the vineyards and thinking “this is what I want for my life.” They were so gracious and warm and welcoming. And they had this life in a beaufutl vila together in this beautiful country. I got to know them as much as one can in a 24 hour visit, but to me, it seemed like a dream. One I’ve been plotting since I left.

At the time Ben and I weren’t together. We had dated for a few years, called it quits but kept closely in touch both of us with the idea we’d be getting back together at some point…until we weren’t. Again, I’ll spare you most of the details here. If not for the feelings of my family and respect for my hubby’s version of the story that might not be as sugar coated and serendipitous as mine, at least not to go on forever. Basically I was a jerk who thought he’d wait on me until I got my act together.

What instead happened was this beautiful weekend, which did in fact get my act together. Just barely on the edge of being too late, this place brought us back together. And just like that Villa Selvamica would be etched into my heart forever, the starting point of a new adventure.

In 2017 Ben and I visited Italy, married and pregnant with our now bubbly, loving one year old. We had recently discovered we were pregnant for the third time after two heart breaking loses, the loss of my Granny, and a big move across the state. I was a bit nervous about all the travel and the walking but I was determined to make it work. Of course we were nervous. Ben and Mav’s first trip to my Italy.

Now, we are just a few weeks away from a trip I never could have imagined. We are heading back to Villa Selvamica in what feels like one of the most beautiful examples of how God works in ways I can’t fathom. I’m taking with me my mom, who visited while I was in school along with my Granny, Ben’s mom, and my dear friend Sophie is making a trip back to her Villa Selvamica with all of her memories I can’t even begin to imagine. We are also bringing along my aunt and a handful of sweet friends from our adventures here in Charleston. There will be LOTS of tears and laughs and wine and cheese and some really beautiful memories made!

Together we get to help tell the story of the next beautiful chapter for Selvamica! Honestly, I can’t think of a dreamier experience.

“Amid vineyards and olive groves, Selvamica seduces with centuries-old charm in its perched location near medieval Orvieto.

We invite you — and your family or group of good friends — to enjoy a relaxed stay in our classic Italian villa on the Umbrian-Tuscan border. Enjoy a glass of wine on the terrace as the sun sets over the vineyards. Discover local bakeries, wineries, trattorias and markets that we can personally recommend.

Set out for the day to such fabled destinations as Florence, Assisi, Rome, and other enchanting villages and cities. Or simply sit by the sparkling swimming pool, taking in the lulling hum of birdsong and cigali. Embrace the best of villa living in the Heart of Italia.

As beautiful and relaxing as the villa is, you are here to immerse yourself in Italian life, to connect with the heart of Italia. We don’t offer a cookie-cutter menu of packaged excursions. As locals ourselves who know the best people to share the local way of life, we sit with you to create a personalized itinerary that will make your stay unique and extraordinary.”

You can find more information about Heart of Italia here.

Or, feel free to reach out to us! We can’t wait to share more about our trip and this incredible new travel option for those who want an authentic Italian experience (FROM actual, real Italians!!!)

More soon!

xoxo,

Josie

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Just a hop across the water by ferry and you’ll arrive on Daufuskie just off the coast of Hilton Head. The most perfect little getaway for a wedding in the Low-Country (or a quiet vacation). Golf carts will be your main mode of transportation. You can stay in the most quaint little cabin on the marsh or the historic Mansion inside Haig Point. The perfect place to unplug!

Courtney and Chase tied the knot on this sweet little island on the first weekend in October. Some of their dearest friends and family made the trek by boat for a weekend getaway in the Lowcountry. And what a glorious weekend it was!!!

Their wedding film from the amazing Square City Productions

Creative Team:

Planning – Pam Elmore – Pampered Events

Venue – Haig Point Daufuskie Island, SC

Florals – Kato Florals

Videography – Square City Productions

Officiant – Don Hogan

Hair and Makeup – Bride’s Side Beauty

Violin/Cello – Rhett Meeks

DJ & PhotoBooth – Crush Entertainment

Bridesmaid Robes – Plum Pretty Sugar

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Let’s be honest, Charleston is the place to be if you’re in the mood to be wined and dined.

There are SO many places to choose from and most times you can’t go wrong. But, a favorite so far has been Felix. Possibly one of THE best brunch spots in all of Charleston. Whether you’re looking for creative (and delicious) cocktails (with branded pieces to top them off- all the heart eyes) or one of the most delicious burgers you’ve ever had!

You will absolutely want to add this to your list for your next visit or Sunday brunch!

www.chsblonde.com

https://felixchs.com

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One day I’ll be able to truly put into words how special this day really was. So for now, I’ll just say how eternally grateful I am for every single creative (and my sweet hubby, of course) who made this day possible.

views of cortona italy wedding invitations with calligraphy engagement ring with green mrs box


Photographer: Josie Derrick @josiephotographs
Film Lab: @ photovisionprints
Stylist / Planner: @nktevents
Floral Designer: @ jardindivers
Dress Designer (look 1): @sibodesigns
Dress Designer (looks 2 & 3): @ londonandlacebridal @barbarakavchok @landonroes
Rentals: @ preludiodivisionenoleggio
Accessories: @sibodesigns
Venue: @ villa_montanare
Cake Designer: @ tuscanweddingcakes
Hair & Make-up Artist: @ manola_spaziani_mua
Talent: @samuelefontetrosciani @daphne_eisblume
Jewelry: @susiesaltzman
Stationary / Calligraphy: @estherclarkco
Suit & Men’s Accessories: @stefanoricciofficial
Linens & Ribbons: @seidenband
Ring Box: @the_mrs_box
Shoes: @bellabelleshoes

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spring tulips

“To every thing there is a season” Ecclesiastes 3:1

This verse is the background on my phone, and has been for the past 6 months or so. It’s a reminder that there’s a time for planting, a time for harvesting, a time for drawing in, a time for reflection. To me, spring is a time of refinement, a time for planting good seeds and dreaming big for the seasons ahead…

First, thanks for stopping in! It means so much that you decided to spend a moment of your busy day here with me! I’ll keep it short and sweet for now.

The years leading up to today haven’t been a perfectly smooth path. They’ve been a little twisty with a few bumps in the road and lots of throwing things at the wall until something sticks. I’ve started over more than a few times (who doesn’t love new beginnings?). I’ve been in a season of waiting, in a winter that has felt a little too long for comfort. But spring is here!!! The first day to be exact!!!

So what better time for a fresh start than the first day of Spring? When deciding when to bring this new, refinished brand to life, I couldn’t think of a better time.

Here’s a little of what you can expect going forward…

More content, including helpful information and tips for planning the photography portion of your wedding day and engagement session! Be sure to sign up here for my favorite 4 Tips for a Stunning Engagement session!

More anniversary sessions on the blog as I continue to document the lives of sweet couples as their stories unfold.

A little note here and there for those of you who sign up to receive them (you definitely don’t want to miss this), including being the first to know about things like mini sessions and updates.

I can’t wait to share the journey with you!

A HUGE thank you to Bridie of The Little North Sea Studio for her beautiful talent and help to bring this new brand to life!

Be sure to follow along on Instagram for a giveaway later this week!! I can’t wait to enjoy this new season together! Thanks for stopping by my freshly updated little corner of the internet. And of course, happy first day of SPRING!!

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