Friday, August 22, 2014

How To WOW Your Guests: Five The Tablescape Golden Rules

The tables are the center of the room . Here's how to wow guests when they walk in.

1. Follow the rule of three Every element of the decor must be repeated at least three times in order for it to "sink in." Stick to just a few elements to repeat throughout the decor, so guest will actually notice your hard work.

2. Dress up your escort cards People love to see their names(seriously- they never get sick of it!). So hiring a calligrapher to write guest's names on the escort cards will make them feel truly welcome.

3.  Do a test- drive If you put down a deposit, any reputable florist will make  you a sample centerpiece. Then have your planner borrow or rent a table setting and linens so you can see how everything looks together.

4. Talk to your caterer Ask what they'll be putting on the tables. For example, if there will be four glasses at each setting, guests won't see a low centerpiece. To avoid crowding the tables, ask the caterer to bring new ( and clear the old) utensils before each course.

5. Update your centerpiece You can totally change the look of flowers by placing them in a colored or uniquely shaped vessels. Surround centerpieces with votives candles for a inexpensive way to add extra light, which makes everything look better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Real Love: For the Love of the Green Card

Last week I read a very interesting article on Huffington Post about a couple who married for a green card and for love as the post declared. What struck me most about what I was reading was the honesty that the writer wrote with. It also made me think of a close acquaintance that recently went through the same situation. My initial thoughts after reading the article were "are you crazy?" This is can't be true love, it just can't. But then again who am I to judge on how authentic this couples love is? Then I even thought about my own personal situation with my close friend, was I as supportive as I could’ve been or was I quick to jump up and judge what I thought their love should look like? I will admit working in the wedding industry in some ways taints your views of what love should be. You see so many storybook couples that you sometimes forget that love comes in many different ways and sometimes it’s fast and hard and other times it’s slow and steady. Whatever kind of love we receive we should really embrace it because in a world filled with so much uncertainty love always remains constant. So have you ever been in a situation such as this? If so please feel free to share, I would love to hear your thoughts on it!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Popular Wedding Faux Pas: What Not To Say To Brides

Last week we shared with you a few wedding myths that we wanted to debunk! This week we wanted to visit a few wedding faux pas that seemingly happen in the ways we least expect it. Through our words! Sometimes when we're not going through the actual wedding planning process or we have never been married ourselves we can be a little insensitive to all hidden stress that comes with planning a wedding! This stress which usually falls on the shoulders of the bride and groom can make planning a wedding seem unbearable at times!! So below we have cultivated  a few things you shouldn't say to a bride or groom planning a wedding!

1. How much is your budget?
2. Do you have a rain site?
3. Did you lose that baby weight yet?
4. I have seen that idea done before, maybe you should do something else.
5. I'm in the wedding party why can't my plus one come to the rehearsal dinner?
6. I hate this bridesmaid dress, can we pick something else?
7. Why are you having your wedding  at that venue?
8. Why did you invite___________ to the wedding?
9. What size is you ring? It looks pretty small.
10. Your marrying him?

So we think you get the point there are just some questions that are best left unanswered! So leave them at the door.  Remember your job is to support the bride and groom!

Brides or Brides to be what's the most wackiest thing someone has said to you? Share in the comment section below!

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Wedding Taboo's Debunked

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We totally get it, there are just some things that shouldn't be done at weddings but then there are a lot, we repeat A LOT of rules that are just plain ol' out of day and circa 1900 of never!  While we are somewhat traditional here we also understand the importance of creating new traditions that are important to both you and your groom! With that said we have come up with a few wedding taboos that are  just OK to break!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Inspiration Wednesdays: Wedding Backdrops

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If there's one thing we love it's an interesting backdrop for weddings! Whether it's a beautiful floral wall or a modern wall of wonders, backdrops are a great way to incorporate more of your personality into your wedding. Below are some of our favorite creative wedding backdrops for your viewing pleasure!

Purple Vineyard Wedding
Why not use paper flowers as a lovely backdrop for your wedding? We love the mix of purple, yellow and gold against this venue venue!

Style Me Pretty

Love photo booths? So do we ! Why not use a wooden screen for you and your guests to make wonderful photo ops!

Style Me Pretty
Using the outdoors as your backdrop is great but you can do even more by using flowers hanging from a nearby tree to add spice to your outdoor wedding!

We love balloons so why not add them as a backdrop for your first dance!

Paper Scroll

Write your favorite lyrics or your vows or a paper scroll!


Monday, August 4, 2014

The Morning After: How to have the Ultimate Bachelorette Party

Morning After

In addition to wearing a less-than-flattering chartreuse bridesmaid’s gown, you’ve been given the thankless task of throwing a bachelorette party (aka the stagette to you Canadian gals). Make it a memorable one with our must-have tips for planning the ultimate stagette.

Friday, August 1, 2014

We're Looking For Interns!

We have so much going on in our Richmond Studio! So much so that we are looking for new energy and support for our work! Interns play a key role in helping us further what we do as a company and in expanding our ability to fulfill our mission: to invest in marriages by throwing kick-ass events!

We have a need for three interns. The internships are all very different so please read through them and see if your skills and interests match our needs feel free to apply! We are accepting applications through August 15. Please title the subject of your emails with :Internship name -Your Name

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Statement Dress: Wearing A NonTraditional Wedding Dress

I spy a new wedding trend for 2014! The nontraditional wedding dress! Who says brides have to wear white anyway? The tradition of white dresses started in the early 1800's when Queen Victoria wore a white gown to her wedding. Since the Queen was the epitome of a trendsetter at that time white became the standard for weddings at that time and just well, stuck. Today the white dress means so much more. Some consider it a sign of purity while others see it as a presentation of the brides joy on her wedding day.
But why do you want to look like every other bride on your wedding day? Why not show more of your personality and wear a nontraditional dress? More and more we have began to see brides inserting more of their own personal style into not only their wedding but their dresses as well. So with that being said we have come up with a few tips on how you can integrate a nontraditional dress into your special day!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Finding the Right Photographer

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When we started our tips and tricks series last week we forgot one very important component to planning your wedding! The photos! Everyone knows that your wedding photos tell you and your grooms story. They represent the beginning of a new union and are a snapshot of the happiest day of your life. But how do you choose the right photographer?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sound Off: Would You Propose to Your Man?

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Every once in a while I am prompted, well moved to write something that really lights a fire in me. Lucky for you all today is on of those days. I recently saw a post on Instagram posing the question "ladies would you propose to you man?" Likewise for men would you want your girlfriend to really get down on one knee and ask for your hand? I have seen if done many times of reality tv, take Chrissy from the Jim Jones Show or even Joseline from Love and Hip Hop. But maybe reality tv references are a little extreme right?  So I thought who better to ask then you!

Though I do believe in traditional gender roles, I do believe there is room for flexibility but is there really room in this area? This seems to be a really hot tot in the wedding industry and I would love to hear your opinions on this! Be sure to leave a comment below and share your thoughts!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

We Been Featured: Rustic Wedding Inspiration

Here at Zahara Events and Design we love mixing modern details with rustic accents. Something special is created when you mix contemporary backdrops with wooden accents. When we planned this styled shoot we knew we had a gem on our hands and we are so glad Megan and her team at Glamour and Grace thought the same thing too!

In case your don't follow us on Facebook and missed Monday's feature make sure you head over to Glamor and Grace and get a little rustic romance inspiration! We are very excited about being featured for a second time on Glamour and Grace and hope all of the brides to be out there enjoy this!

 Also a special thanks to Candice from Candice Patrice Photography for capturing these amazing images for us!

Photography | Candice Patrice Photography | Design and Florals | Zahara’s Events & Design | Rentals | Paisley and Jade| Venue | New Kent Winery


Monday, July 21, 2014

Tips and Tricks for Choosing the Right Wedding Professional for You: Eight Very Important Questions

 Continuing with our mini series "Tips and Tricks for Choosing the Right Wedding Professional for You." We have come up with another great post about essential questions you should ask every wedding professional before you hire them.

In today's post we'll dig deep into why these questions are so important and how they will assist you in picking the right professional who will be both a joy to work with as well as create the wedding of your dreams! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tips and Tricks for Choosing the Right Wedding Professional for You!!

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Hiring the right team is critical to planning your dream wedding and it can also be quite stressful.
How do you find the right match for you?  How do you know who to trust?  Where do you go for advice? This is not an easy task and it’s totally normal for couples to feel overwhelmed, frustrated or confused. It’s not like you plan a wedding every day!  This is all probably brand new to you, so be patient with yourself. No worries we have come up with some tips to help you find the right  wedding professional for you!

A few tips to finding the right wedding professional for you

  • Do Your Homework.  You’ll get much more out of a meeting or conversation with a wedding professional if you do a little background homework first. 
Spend some time on the internet or talking to friends who’ve recently been married.  Find out the average prices in your area and what services are available.  Get an idea of what you like and don’t like.  Wedding websites and chat rooms can be a great resource.  This way when you meet with a wedding professional you’ll be able to ask better questions and have an idea of what to look out for.

  • Meet With Them.  An in person meeting is the best way to interview a potential wedding vendor. It lets you get the full experience of their personality, style and professionalism.  If that’s not possible, have a phone conversation.    

  • Ask Questions.  There are no stupid questions!  Make sure you get clear, specific answers to your questions. If you aren't sure what something means, ask them to clarify. Keep asking questions until you completely understand.
If a wedding vendor has a problem with you asking questions, they probably aren’t the one for you. The best wedding professionals are patient, understanding and take the time to help you make the best choices for your wedding.

  • Listen.  Don’t just hear the words they say, really listen.  Watch the vendor’s body language.  Are they confident and comfortable with their response?  Do they look and sound nervous?  Do you get a “funny feeling” about them?  Take all the sights, sounds and feelings into account along with their responses; if your gut tells you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.

  • Check References.  Portfolios are hand-picked to show off the best work, but they may not represent the “average” wedding performance.  Videos are edited for the optimum presentation.  But real referrals from satisfied clients are hard to fake.
Call up both client and professional references. Ask questions and use those listening skills.  Even if they give a rave review, you’ll often be able to “read between the lines” if there were any issues or problems.

Ask around and search the net for reviews.  Check the Better Business Bureau for any outstanding complaints against the business.  Weigh all of this information into your choices.

Share with us your tips in finding the right planner! Be sure to leave a comment below!

Still need more help? Want more ideas? We've got em! Contact us and we'll be happy to sit down and talk about some ideas with you! Have some ideas of your own? We'd LOVE to hear them! Share some of your inspiration with us.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

5 Common Mistakes Brides Make When Starting to Plan Their Wedding

Full disclosure, this post was and is inspired by real events and people but of course the names will be changed to protect the innocent!  Just kidding ! But seriously I have a very good friend who is in the process of planning a very quick wedding. When I say quick I mean two weeks quick so you can understand all of her and my frustrations. Me being the good friend that I am assisting her every step of the way but with my background and new found knowledge on planning and wedding design I can't help but to nit-pick a bit in helping her.  There are so many things that go into planning a quick wedding, which is a whole other blog post in itself (which I will made into a series in the next coming weeks) but got me to thinking. There are a lot of mistakes that occur at the beginning of your planning that affect your whole wedding! These critical decisions can make or break your wedding so it's imperative that you take some time after you get that ring and really ....  Wait for it .... Think!

But don't worry we did the hard work for you and came up with five common mistakes brides encounter when in the initial planning stages.

1.Not considering a professional wedding planner - Even if you hire an experienced pro for a few hours, it will always pay off. Whether you need help finding the perfect venue or need realistic estimates to create an accurate budget, a seasoned pro can share their expertise.

2. Meeting with vendors before you have a wedding date and venue booked – Your vendors already have weddings on the books for at least the next year. While you may be super excited to book your favorite florist, wait until you have a confirmed date and venue so they can actually book your date and know they are available.

3. Not having a rough budget estimate from the start - If your overall wedding budget is $30k but you want the venue that is $20k, you are really going to skimp on every other vendor category to stay close to your budget.

4. Randomly finding vendors – Ask your venue for a preferred vendor list, hire an experienced planner or use a resource such as Richmond Weddings to find reputable professional vendors who have a great reputation and at least two years of experience. Also, read reviews for potential vendors on websites such as the, MyWedding and Wedding Wire.

5. Not having a general style before you look at venues - Rustic mountain cabin, historic mansion, grand hotel ballroom, private home, country club, organic farm…all of these offer a very different types of atmosphere for a wedding. What is the feeling and type of atmosphere you want to create? Romantic, elegant, luxury, casual, chic, modern, artsy, vintage, simple and eclectic are just a few common adjectives to help you get started.

We hopes this helps for all the new brides out there! But as always if you need more help don't hesitate to contact us! We're here for you.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Explaining the Difference Between Planners & Designers

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I empathize with most clients who aren’t sure about the difference between what wedding planners do and what wedding designers do.
These two services have become so interchangeable that most of the time, it’s difficult to tell them apart.

Not to mention the local banquet managers from hotels and venues who do not hesitate to tell clients they don’t need a planner. It’s no wonder clients are confused about who does what.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Creating an Amazingly Styled Wedding

Styling is something Zahara's Events & Design is known for and sometimes I have brides ask me what styling is. Yes, we can do styling for our brides and bridal party, which means we are there for them every step of the way from picking the perfect dress and shoes, up to the right hair clip.

But that’s not what our styling services typically entail.
Most of our couples want help pulling together the look of their day.  We assist with all of the details that will impact the feel and look of the space.  This includes everything from programs to lighting, linens, and centerpieces.

The process is different for each bride, sometimes they need help finding their theme and picking colors. Other times they have a very clear idea or vision but want our help adding personal touches and making sure they have a cohesive look.

Since styling is such a huge passion of ours and a major part of what we do, it will now become a featured section of the blog.  So check back for styling tips, trends, and ideas.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Wedding Details: Squares

There's  nothing we adore more than seeing how creative folks get by taking seemingly ordinary objects and turning them into something spectacular! Today we wanted to help get your creative juices flowing and share with you a very typical wedding detail that people often overlook. Squares! Be forewarned although squares are common we found some pretty exciting was to incorporate this shape into you event! We know, thank us later!

Images| Cakepops | Cage |Game| Stationary|


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wedding Wednesday

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On our Facebook page we what's called Wedding Wednesday's, where we give our followers time to ask us any burning wedding questions. Well today we thought it would be a good time to flip the script a little and ask you all some questions!

Earlier this week I saw the gorgeous photo of R&B songstress Ciara on the  August/September issue of Brides magazine. On the cover Ciara glows in a long-sleeve lace Reem Acra gown accessorized with her own bracelet and other blinded out jewels. In the article Ciara talks about her engagement to rapper Future, new baby and her personal style. She describes her everyday style as "tomboy chic," but also says on her wedding she is "going to do elegance with a little edge." This last comment got me thinking, what kind of brides are our readers? Are you rustic elegance, modern, eccentric, tomboy chic, or something else completely? We want to know!

Leave a comment below and tell us what kind of Bride you are!


Monday, June 30, 2014

We've Been Featured!: Old World Elegance styled shoot

In case you don't follow us on  Facebook, last Friday was a grand day for us in studio! We have been fighting back from sharing these amazing photos for the longest time. And finally the day has come when I get to share it with you all. We have been so excited to share, that we were featured on the lovely blog of Glamour and Grace! Ekkk! We are so grateful to be featured and a special thanks goes to David Abel for taking these amazing photos!  In case you missed it be sure to check out all the prettiness on Glamour and Grace here. Special thanks to all the awesome vendors who helped in making this shoot a success! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Creative Ways To Use Florals At Your Wedding

Here in the studio we love florals! We especially love seeing them displayed in unexpected and creative ways! Below we put together some inspirational images for your perusal!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wedding Planning 101: Cutting Costs

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When I stumbled upon this article on Huffington Post about what brides would have done differently for their wedding, it got me thinking. Thinking about wedding budgets. With weddings averaging upwards to 30-50 thousand dollars the burning question that comes to mind is "whose paying for all of this?" Yes on your big day you want to feel like royalty but at what costs? Keeping up with the Joneses is not smart if your going to be broke after having the "wedding no one could forget." Considering your budget and what you can afford is the beginning of the conversation but hang on with us and we'll show you how to make a budget and keep it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Choosing The Right Dress

Planning a weddings takes much patience and plenty of vision. But when you ask a bride what was the most difficult part of planning the wedding, along with seating charts, picking her dress is usually up at the top.

Finding the right dress, like picking the right venue is the cornerstone of many other decisions you make for your big day. Making sure your dress presents your personality and your style is vital in choosing a dress that will make you feel like the belle of the ball! We asked wedding designer Keitha Thomas to give us some of her top tips on choosing the right dress!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Choosing The Right Wedding Venue

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Picking your venue is one of the most important decisions you can make in your wedding planning process. Once you answered all the basics like agreeing on your budget and picking a theme for you big day the next step in the process is finding the right venue. From the decor, to the timings of the day a majority of your decisions will be based on picking the right venue. 

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What Kind of Venue Do You Want?
Deciding your priorities for your venue will ultimately help you answer the question "what kind of venue do I want?" There are plenty of traditional venues that saturate the market like churches, hotels and beach houses. These venues come with a lot of perks like set packages and priority vendors that help make planning an ease. 

There are also plenty of non-traditional veunes like private beaches, an museums, boats and warehouses. Non traditional venues afford you the luxury more flexibility in your decor and your choice of  vendors galore! But it is important to remember that sometimes these non-traditional weddings are really blank canvases so creativity and  an open mind are a must. Things like tables, lighting and even food will have to be hired in. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Someone Please Call 911- Essentials For Every Bride on Her Big Day

Picture this. It's your big day and the unthinkable happens. You spill something on your dress. In disbelief you scramble to find something to clean off your dress. Little mishaps like this can either make or break your big day. The key thing to remember is to always be prepared. This ensures your event goes off without a hitch!

With all the planning and preparation that goes into a wedding, you want to be sure to have a prevention plan too. When working with a reputable event planner/designer  you'll never need to worry about what could happen, or could I say "almost happened."

 But if your flying solo for you big day let me introduce you to what I call the Bridal Emergency Kit. Packed with wedding day essentials like tooth brushes, hairpins, breath mints, tampons and scissors this kit will have you covered! Having these necessities helps prevents small problems from becoming HUGE problems. Keep in mind the word essential is objective so take some time out to think about what you really need. For instance, if your getting your nails done you probably won't need nail polish but another item to invest in would be a nail clipper just in case you  break a nail. Small items like this really go a long way! So while you busy bee brides are planning away don't forget to pack your essentials kits for those "just in case moments."

If you need even more help there are plenty of  emergency checklists that you can print out. I love this one! If you need even more advice we are here to assist you! Contact us at our!

Until next time!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Do It Your Way!

I am a strong believer in making your wedding all about you as a couple, down to the smallest detail. So, you may have guessed that I do not believe in following traditions that don't mean anything to you. Make your wedding unique. Make it about your love and the things that are important to you. Follow those traditions that are important to you and nix the ones that are not. As Carrie Bradshaw said in Sex and the City II, "Take tradition and decorate it your own way." So make your wedding tell the story of you.  

Weddings are full of traditions from "something old, new, borrowed, and blue" to caring a new bride over the threshold. Almost every aspect of a wedding is a tradition from somewhere, and yet we don't ever really think about these traditions. Most wedding guests couldn't tell you why the bride wears white. Most brides don't know what it means for their dad to give them away. It would also be a safe bet that the majority of grooms don't know why they are cutting the cake as a couple, or why the wedding has cake at all...other than that it is a tasty dessert. So why do we continue to carry on these traditions?  

Marriage, or the pairing of woman and man as a couple, goes back to ancient times when men used to steal their wives. Can you imagine? A man with a club steals you and then you are his wife! Creepy! Then came the days of bartering, when the husband received goats and other goods in exchange for marrying his wife. I wonder how many goats Kes (the hubby) would have received to marry me! Luckily, those marriage traditions have long since fallen by the wayside and love has become the deciding factor for marriage.  

The ceremony and reception were created to celebrate the new couple and the love they have for each other. I doubt the village had a party when a woman was captured by her husband-to-be or when two goats and a chicken were exchanged, but now that marriage is an act of love and commitment between two people, there is a reason to party!  

We blindly follow traditions throughout the entire wedding process. I am not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing. It is lovely to say the same vows that your ancestors have said for generations. It is sweet to carry your great grandmother's handkerchief on your wedding day. But, the traditions mean a lot more if you understand why you are doing them. The wedding day rituals are more meaningful when you are deciding to include them in your day for a reason. Understanding the significance of these traditions also helps you make those tough decisions.

Many times, as brides, we feel like we have to follow the traditions. We feel like guests will miss the cake cutting or the bouquet toss. But once you understand the meaning behind the action, it is easier to let that tradition go if it is outdated or doesn't hold value with what you believe. It can also reaffirm that you do want to practice the tradition if it resonates with you and your beliefs. Redecorate tradition and your wedding will tell the story of your love and lives together.

Want more ideas? We've got em! Contact us and we'll be happy to sit down and talk about some ideas with you! Have some ideas of your own? We'd LOVE to hear them! Share some of your inspiration with us.

Don't Forget to be social and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and Pinterest!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Popping The Question: Creative Ways To Ask Your Bestie to Be Your Bridesmaid

If you follow us on Facebook, you have probably seen us pose this question before. How do you ask  your friends to be your bridesmaid? How do you convince   ask them to spend their money and their time to support your big day? 

It's your opportunity to pop the question to them, to send them a sweet gesture and thank them in advance for helping you have a wonderful experience as a bride! Below are some memorable ways to pop the question with a little wit, surprise and most importantly be a memorable moment for you and your  future to be bridesmaid.

1. Send A Heartfelt Gift In The Mail- We all know it's something special about getting mail(besides bills) that's why your maid will appreciate it even more when she see's that you took the time out to send her your question in the mail. (Image and Instructions Here)

2.Shhh It's a Secret- We all love surprises so why not get her with an element of surprise by letting her think it's something in the can when littles does she know your popping the big question! (Image and Instructions Here)

3.Hair Pins.. Yess Please- We all need bobby pins so why not gift her with a purse essential and ask her to join the party....the party that is your wedding we mean! (Image and DIY Here )

4.Doll Will You..- Take her on a stroll down memory lane with heart felt, handmade paper dolls! She will appreciate your hard work and creativity with this one! ( Image and DIY Here)

5.Humor Her- If she loves to laugh a little card like this will keep her laughing and will swoon her over to say yes! (Image Here)

Remember no matter how you ask her be genuine and use your wit to show her how you want her to be apart of your journey to your wedding.  And don't forget to share with us how you plan on doing it! Leave a comment below and let us know! We love to hear it!


Friday, June 6, 2014

Over In The Office: We Been Featured in Rustic Elegant Styled Shoot

This month we have so many great things to share with you all we are busting out of the seams to share, but alas we can't just yet! But until then we will share with you some exciting news to kick off the month of June! If you follow us on Facebook you have already heard the good news but if not we have been featured on Burnetts Boards!

Eekk were the sounds of joy and sheer awesomeness of finding out we were featured on Burnetts Boards! If you haven't already please head over to Burnett Boards and check out our feature! We promise it won't disappoint!