Photography by Stephanie Drenka and Holden Hostetler
Event design and styling by Brooke du jour, Stephanie Drenka, Courtney Bier & Mary Liz Tuttle
Venue: Bistro 31 | Invitations: Mooseberry Paper Co. | Cali balloons: Lovely Party Studio | Flower crowns: R Love Floral | Succulent arrangement: Brooke du jour and Mary Liz Tuttle | Place cards and thank you tags: Carrie and Seash | Party favors: Compartes | California drink stirrers: Jenna and Jules Designs
My outfit: Anthropologie dress, Joie jacket, Vintage scarf, Halogen booties, An Old Soul jewelry
Find your tribe, love them hard.
This post is basically a huge giant thank you to my Dallas family for throwing the most beautiful brunch to send me off to California! So many people and so much love went into making this incredible day but there are several big thank yous in order. When I told my best friends/work wives/soul sisters Stephanie and Courtney that I was planning to move to LA at the end of the year, they right away offered to throw me a going away brunch. Of course they knew it couldn’t be just any other brunch. It had to be a Brooke du jour brunch. The planning process ensued and they acted like they weren’t annoyed when I sent them Excel spreadsheets full of ridiculous ideas about California-shaped pink drink stirrers in the middle of a perfectly good night’s sleep. I memorized Stephanie’s address from the amount of boxes I had shipped to her house for the party. I woke up the morning of my “California Love” brunch and it was 19 degrees in Dallas. Only in Dallas can it go from like 70 degrees one day to 19 degrees the next day. I was in the middle of a complete panic wondering how we could change the theme at the literal last minute to “Frozen” when I arrived at the venue and saw that Courtney, Stephanie and Stephanie’s husband Holden had already taken care of everything and it was perfect. Heaters were placed on the patio, Courtney was straddling a bench to set up the Cali balloons, Stephanie was taking test shots. Everything was perfect. Find your tribe, love them hard.
I also need to majorly thank my succulent arrangement master and partner in crime, Mary Liz. When she moved back to Dallas over the summer, I threw her a fabulous pineapple-themed welcome home party. As soon as Mary Liz heard I was having this brunch, she immediately offered to help out, which is exactly who she is. Mary Liz has helped and shaped my life in so many ways since we were roommates our freshman year of college. She has incredibly thoughtful and wonderful parents so I’m sure that’s where she gets it from. Anyways I told Mary Liz I wanted a colorful succulent arrangement as the centerpiece for this brunch and showed her some inspiration on Pinterest and she just totally went for it with her creative, crafty mind. A friend who will spend her entire Saturday separating teeny tiny pink rocks from a giant mixed bag of pink and purple rocks to keep with your brunch’s color scheme is a true friend. Find your tribe, love them hard.
I also of course need to thank my boyfriend, Michael. This was not his first Brooke du jour brunch. The man knows how to prep a party favor like a seasoned event pro by now, lol! I decided fairly early into our relationship that I was moving to LA. If we’re being totally honest here, if the situation had been reversed and Michael had told me he was going to move across the country to follow his dreams, I probably would have told him to F off. But Michael has been so incredibly supportive and calm and steady about my move and my blog and it makes me love him and value him so much. I know a long-distance relationship is not exactly ideal. When we told our friends our plans, some of them had this concerned expression on their faces like, “Oh shit. They have no idea what they are getting themselves into.” We didn’t know what we were initially going to do but the turning point for me was Michael’s birthday dinner at the end of October. I asked him what he wanted to accomplish this year and he started listing all these things like get into grad school, travel to Europe, etc. and I suddenly felt this massive realization that I didn’t want him to do any of these things without me. So here we are. Find your tribe, love them hard.
Two days after this brunch, I landed at LAX. I had done a really great job of holding everything together until the flight attendant said, “Welcome to LAX!” and I just burst into tears. I couldn’t stop crying all throughout the plane taxiing and while I waited at baggage claim for the insane amount of luggage I brought. I’m sure the other travelers thought I was having some kind of mental breakdown or something. I think all of that was because I had experienced so much support, connection and fierce love in Dallas – especially my last few weeks there—and I’m just hoping and praying to be lucky enough to find a similar feeling in LA. Of course I have my family’s love, which I am so grateful for, but there’s something different about meeting friends who become your family. The kind of friends who hold you when you ugly-cry over your first big breakup. The kind of friends who bring you pink champagne and Oreos when you quit your job. The kind of friends who are such smart, kind and beautiful human beings that you are just in complete awe of them and their fabulousness. My magic makers. My girl gang. My warriors.
Find your tribe, love them hard.
Hurray!! This post was worth the wait! So fun reliving it again (minus the cold) through pictures. I’m glad that if we had to say goodbye to you, we were able to do it in true Brooke du jour fashion– and even fit in one last photoshoot together in Dallas. It still hasn’t hit me that we’re not both on an extended vacation and we won’t just walk into the rS office and see each other soon. I’m so glad we have these photos, so when I’m lonely I can just close my eyes and imagine the three of us huddling in the freezing cold together. Miss you, Brooke!
Remember when I took off my jacket?! THAT WAS A BAD IDEA, lol!
No goodbyes allowed, only see you soons!!!
Miss you and love you, Steph <3
Love this, lady! So excited for you and all that is to come!!!
Thank you so much, Jenn! So excited to follow along with your 2017 “wall charades!” xoxoxo
This is the cutest thing ever! 🙂
Katie | WillowAndWhiteBlog.com
Thank you!! We had so much fun!
Tears in eyes reading this!! Love and miss you tons. What a fun filled day this was. So incredibly thankful for you!
Friends are the best. They’re irreplaceable. Love the idea of a California themed party. Never thought of that before (I live in California though haha). :]
// ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲