Tuesday, December 27, 2011


 Logo design by Cris of Kiss My Tulle

Where do I even begin? 2011 has been the year of wonderful surprises and I can't wait to see what next year has in store. I'm writing this from my in-laws' bedroom (more on that later) and couldn't be more thankful for everything that has happened, to get me to where I am now.

January 2011 started with the launch of my event planning and design company, Ruffles & Tweed, which also led to this blog. I've been assisting other planners since 2008, mostly at Island Farm on Elihu Island and other venues along the Connecticut shoreline, and knew that, eventually, I would love to do it all on my own. So when I was asked to be the exclusive planner/designer for Island Farm starting in 2011, I knew that was my chance. Island Farm is a family-owned venue that hosts 4 weekend weddings a year and might be the most magical place I've ever been. I still remember pulling up to the entrance of the best kept secret in Connecticut for the first time (picture below). It was a beautiful day in June 2008 and I was looking forward to assisting the very talented Lucinda Wesson at a weekend wedding. I stopped my car, got out, and stared at the teeny tiny causeway wondering if I was at the right place and if I would make it across to the other side alive. Well, I made it and the rest is history.

 Image by Adrienne O'Connor
Island Farm on Elihu Island - Stonington, CT

I had the pleasure of working with 2 amazing couples this year on their Island Farm weddings (sneak peek pictures below - look out for detailed wedding reviews soon) and am pumped for the 4 I have next year.

Nicole & Rob 6.18.11

Amy & Tim 9.17.11

Although I'm still struggling with all the pains of starting a new business, from taxes and expenses, to moments of doubt and learning how to actually attract and book clients, starting Ruffles & Tweed this year has led to some other pretty awesome perks. I went to Vegas in March for the Rockstar Wedding Planner Grace & Luxury event hosted by Ciara Daykin, and after some emotionally intense days, signed up to be a part of the Community of Wedding Innovators. We meet (virtually) once a month, learn how to push our business to the next level, and complete exercises to help us get there - without this amazing group of supporters and friends, I'm not sure how I would have gotten through this year. Speaking of supporters, until I was accepted into the TWIPS (Twiter Wedding Inspirational Pals) community (such a happy, happy day that was), I felt, like many other bloggers - like I was writing to no one. This online community, made up of people in different disciplines of the wedding industry, has been that extra piece of support and inspiration I needed.

Ok, now back to the part about my in-laws' bedroom - sometime in the beginning of this year my in-laws purchased a house across the street from their own. They were planning to rent it out, but asked my husband and I if we'd be interested in it instead. It is a 90 year old house that has never been renovated, and after MUCH discussion, we decided to go for it. So this year has consisted of renovating, stopping work because the right permits weren't in place, and starting again. And due to these unexpected delays, we are now living with my husband's parents until the house is ready, since we had to be out of our apartment. Oh, and I'm in their bedroom because they moved out of it for us and are sleeping in a guest room - my amazing mother-in-law even emptied out her closet and dressers so that I wouldn't have to live out of a suitcase - seriously? How sweet is that? 

 Image by Adrienne O'Connor
The new house, pre-renovation

And thank God for my father-in-law, who is a plumber and has more energy than anyone I've ever known. The only thing that is being salvaged from this house is the foundation and the hardwood floors - the walls and ceilings are being replaced, the plumbing and electrical are being redone, the windows, siding, and roof will be new, and we're adding a small extension and some extra bathrooms. Oh, and the most amazing part of all of this is that my in-laws are fronting the bill and rolling up the expenses into our mortgage once the house is complete and we purchase the house from them. Yes, my in-laws are angels. So, for all of you who are thinking I'm crazy to move across the street from my in-laws, think again - I completely lucked out when I married my husband - not only because he is the most gentle, laid-back, supportive, loving, and funny person in the entire world, but also because his parents and sisters are all exactly the same way.

And now for my very last (but best) surprise of 2011. I found out in July that I'm pregnant! Yes, we are expecting a baby girl next March and couldn't be more thrilled. This baby will be the first grandchild on both sides, so everyone is ecstatic, and my mom has already purchased enough clothes for her first 2 years of life - gotta love that. Let's just hope the house is ready in time!

 Image by Paul O'Connor

So here's to 2011, the year of wonderful surprises, and to the hope that 2012 is even better. For more "One Day in December" inspiration, check out this post from yesterday about gratitude by Orly of Intimate Wedding Photography, who is also the mastermind behind this project. And, tomorrow, be sure to head over to The White Library for Sandra's post.


  1. Awww what a great bump shot at the end. And that venue does look magical!

  2. Loved the story! Not all in-laws are bad. I'm truly happy for your accomplishments and look forward to seeing what 2012 has to offer and seeing your new addition!

  3. Congratulations Adrienne! wow I did not know, mine is 16 so I am way ahead of you. It was the only decision I made that know was 100% right!

  4. Wow! Congrats on the baby and the beautiful house!! What a wonderful year you have had. I'll have to keep in touch with you to see how baby life with wedding planning works out since I'll be in your boat hopefully. Happy New Years!

  5. What amazing things lie ahead for you Miss A!! I can't wait to meet little O'Connor!! You have made the Island very very happy with your kindness, heart and wonderful sense of humor!! Lots of Love!!

  6. Thanks everyone! Oh Lucinda, you are too sweet - I'm so lucky to have found you and the Island - you are the reason there is a Ruffles & Tweed and I'll be forever grateful for that :)

  7. Congratulations on so many things! What a wonderful year, and I am sure 2012 is going to be just as exciting for you! xp

  8. All the best to you, Adrienne!!! Enjoy your last couple months of pregnancy, make sure you take lots of quiet "you" time :)