The day is here! It's finally here! After months of brainstorming and planning, Lily & Oak is finally being unveiled to the world and we couldn't be more excited to share our vision with you.
Launching this brand has been an invaluable learning experience and I am sure that building this brand this year and into the future will continue to provide countless more lessons, but we're buckled in and ready for the ride. We wanted to bring you behind the scenes today and share how we've gotten to this point!
What's in a name?
Back in June 2015, Alex and I began floating around the idea of rebranding Whitney Elizabeth Events to incorporate this crazy idea we've had about a couples-centric approach to planning for marriage. We began day-dreaming about shifting my event planning business into our business and creating a new and exciting niche in the industry I've been involved in for the better part of a decade.
So, we started with the name. We knew we wanted to move away from having my name as part of the company name, as we want the option to scale in the future and hire talented professionals to work with us. We wanted the name to immediately point to our focus on couples and getting to know them. We went back and forth with idea after idea (and believe me, some were plain awful), and finally decided on Lily & Oak. For us, Lily & Oak holds multiple meanings.
1. Lilies are soft and romantic, while oak is strong and stable. Together, we feel that they provide the type of balance of attributes that are a great recipe for a strong relationship. It represents the many facets that makes each couple unique. Our name reflects us. It reflects the couples we work with and the couples we hope to work with in the future.
2. We love our home here in North Carolina and wanted to pay homage to the state where we've decided to put down roots. Our home city, Raleigh, is the 'City of Oaks' and we even drop an acorn instead of a ball on New Years Eve. The North Carolina state wildflower is the Carolina Lily. See what we did there? We added in secret meaning and brought it all back home!
After the name was decided upon, we created an LLC, purchased our domain name and began to focus on our branding. I had been following an amazing graphic designer on Instagram for ages and when it came time for us to create our logo and brand image, I reached out to her. Turns out, not only did this graphic designer create work I adored, she lived right here in Raleigh! We met up with Meredith of Jack + Mo back in September 2015 and got to work.
Defining our branding turned out to be a huge learning experience for Alex and me. We had so many ideas that we found it difficult to focus on streamlining and paring them down. Meredith did a great job of using our feedback to create revision after revision of our logo and her endless patience and guidance paid off. We learned that communication is key and that it can be difficult to define the vision in our heads and make it translate into imagery. It took 3 full months of hard work and during this time, we also fine-tuned our mission. All of this introspection and rounds of revision paid off. We couldn't be happier with the Lily & Oak logo and branding and we hope you like it too!
Video + Styled Shoot
The final piece of our branding journey fell into place when we met with Amber Beasley of Six Foot Photography about creating a video to help us launch our brand (which can be seen on our About page or here). We immediately hit it off with Amber and over the course of a coffee meeting, we were making plans for not only a promotional video, but a styled shoot to go along with it. From that point, we were in overdrive. We will be sharing the story behind our video and styled shoot in a later entry so we can go into detail but I can definitely count those two days as some of the most invigorating and exciting days in my life.
So... here we are. On the day of our brand launch. After six months of dreaming, scheming, and putting in a lot of hard work, we're so proud to introduce you to Lily & Oak Weddings and Events!