Amber Housley

A Tribute To Oscar De La Renta

Two days ago, the fashion and wedding industry as well as females all over the world lost one of the greatest men, one of the greatest designers. Oscar De La Renta was the most amazing designer for the female body. His designs exuded beauty and made women feel their most wonderful while wearing them. Each gown he designed was swoon worthy and made us stop in our tracks.

So, today, we are paying tribute to Oscar De La Renta by posting about our favorite gowns he has designed, along with some of our favorite inspirational phrases he has said. Here’s to you Oscar.

Oscar De La Renta Tribute by Amber Housley Weddings


“My role as a designer is to make a woman feel her very best” – Oscar De La Renta

Who wouldn’t want to wear an Oscar De La Renta gown on her wedding day when the man has an outlook on designing that is intended to make women feel their very best? We adore the gown that he designed for the now Mrs. Clooney. The texture is dreamy, the flowing silhouette is oh so figure flattering, and we just love the delicate sleeves.

Oscar De La Renta Tribute by Amber Housley Weddings


“The qualities I most admire in women are confidence and kindness” – Oscar De La Renta

In our opinion, this gown is the ultimate perfect princess gown. A flattering strapless bodice with a full skirt and light lace details makes it such a classic and timeless gown. It is perfect for any Southern belle!

Oscar De La Renta Tribute by Amber Housley Weddings


“Elegance is a discipline of life” – Oscar De La Renta

Y’all know how much we adore pink and bows, so the fact that this gown combines both in a subtle blush tone has us completely smitten. The oversized bow is dramatic and elegant, perfectly fit for a woman in love!

Oscar De La Renta Tribute by Amber Housley Weddings


“Fashion is a trend. Style is within a person” – Oscar De La Renta

This ball gown is flirty feminine at it’s finest. The cascading ruffles running down the skirt make this dress perfect for dancing the night away!

Oscar De La Renta Tribute by Amber Housley Weddings


“Luxury to me is not about buying expensive things; it’s about living in a way where you can appreciate things” – Oscar De La Renta

The combination of this dress and veil is beyond stunning. The sweet floral details provide a youthful touch to the slender silhouette of the dress. We love that it is simple yet full of character all at the same time!

What are your favorite Oscar De La Renta gowns? We would love for you to share more in honor of this great man and designer.

Now Hiring: Associate Wedding Planner

We have some very exciting news! Not only did we just hire our lovely intern Rachel, but we are continuing to expand and are now hiring an Associate Wedding Planner!

Now Hiring an Associate Wedding Planner | Amber Housley Weddings


We cannot wait to add another wedding-loving smiling face to our team! To apply, please fill out our application here by October 27, 2014.

Our Ideal Associate Wedding Planner will have the following qualities:

Live in the Nashville metro area
Have reliable transportation
Have an appreciation of Southern culture
Be kind, thoughtful and gracious
Be willing to work long hours, weekends and do whatever it takes to get the job done!
Be motivated, hard-working and okay with working independently
Enjoys problem solving and learning new things
Must have positive attitude and enjoy meeting and connecting with people!
Desire to be a wedding planner without the pressure of owning your own business

Does this sound like you or someone you know? If so, we would love for you to apply today or send your friend the link to our application. We know that our wonderful new Associate Wedding Planner is out there, and we cannot wait to meet you!

Meet Rachel!

I’m so excited to welcome Rachel as our Fall intern for the Amber Housley Weddings team! Rachel impressed me not only with her can-do attitude, but also her knowledge and experience working in weddings through her college career. We’re thrilled for her to join us and you will see her smiling face at our local events this Fall.

I’ll let Rachel tell you a little bit about herself:


Hometown: Though I was born in Wisconsin,  I have called Fort Wayne, Indiana home for the past 20 years.

Birthday: October 26, 1991. (The third October birthday to join Amber Housley!)

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Before landing at Amber Housley: For the past four years I have been attending college at Valparaiso University, which is located in NW Indiana near Chicago. I graduated in May with my degree in Marketing and Graphic Design. While at school, I grabbed every opportunity I could to be involved in the wedding industry. I had two wonderful opportunities to work with Mercy Turner Events as an Assistant Wedding Coordinator and with Abbey Grim photography as an Assistant Photographer. I had so much fun working with Mercy and I had the chance to be in a photo shoot that she styled. Abbey Grim, formerly Abbey Meyer, is my sister-in-law and I have loved working side by side with family. I learned so much from such amazing, talented women and I am so ever grateful. (If anyone is ever looking for someone in the Valparaiso/Chicago area, you should definitely contact them because they are AMAZING!)

My favorite thing about Nashville (so far): Well considering I have only been officially living in Nashville for a few weeks, I haven’t experienced all the wonderful things Nashville has to offer and I strongly encourage any suggestions y’all might have. However, as a Midwest girl who has experienced some very cold weather, I am really going to love having actual seasons and not a 6 month long winter!

Favorite Dessert: Ice Cream (must include chocolate)!! Who doesn’t love a delightful ice cream cone on a hot summer day?!

You’ll often find me reading: The book I am currently carrying with me is Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Her book Gone Girl is next on my list.

My closet is full of: From girly to edgy to classy, my closet is full of various styles. I love exploring new styles and often find myself inspired by fashion icons such as Lauren Conrad and Audrey Hepburn. Mixing modern pieces with vintage inspiration is my absolute favorite thing to do.

Last vacation: While growing up my family and I have gone camping every summer since I could remember. And I am not talking about luxury camping in large air conditioned RV’s. Camping can’t be camping without tents! This past summer we visited one of my favorite spots for the third time, Warren Dunes State Park in Michigan. Lake Michigan + sand dunes + sunsets + family = summer bliss.

In my spare time: You can often find me reading my next favorite book and drinking a hot cup of coffee or tea. I love getting lost in books and reading them from cover to cover. If I don’t have my nose deep in a book, I love spending time trying out new design tricks, since I am a creative designer at heart. The possibilities of design are endless!

My motto: Authentic Inspiration. Modern Interpretation.

A few of my favorite things:






DIY furniture makeovers, braids, sweaters, gold glitter, decorative straws

My dream wedding includes:


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Most of all, I want a wedding full of God, family and friends. Although I love all the pretty details of weddings, having loved ones surround me on my wedding day is what I will cherish most.

I have imagined what my wedding day would be like since I was a little girl and I continue loving to plan out little details. Having gorgeous flowers is an essential for my wedding and I imagine myself having a garden inspiration wedding with touches of gold. As a graphic designer, I love everything printed so pretty invitations and signage are a must as well!

Since I have been a photographer at weddings, I know how awesome it is to capture such unique, beautiful moments and precious details at each wedding. Thus, having an amazing photographer will be on my list.

Lastly, I love being outdoors and having a reception under a star lit sky with hanging lights and making wonderful memories with loved ones would be a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Cranberry & Sage Wedding Inspiration

Cranberry and sage make such a gorgeous and rich Fall wedding palette! The combination of the two colors is elegant, and can add beautiful shades to your special day. So, we’ve dreamed up a perfect cranberry and sage wedding inspiration board!

We adore the rich colors of this bouquet balanced with the soft pops of pink and the luscious greenery. It would be perfect for a Fall wedding! Have your bridesmaids carry similar bouquets that contain more greenery and neutral toned flowers to balance out the look when all of you are standing together.

During your cocktail hour, invite guests to sip on a festive Fall signature cocktail like this delectable cranberry cocktail. Serving them in mason jars adds that always adorable Southern touch. When it comes time for dinner, seat guests at a table that is a beautiful mixture of glam with the gold flatware and beautiful florals, and rustic with the burlap napkin. Once guests have finished dinner and have danced their way through the night, let them take a sweet break by serving them a slice of this elegantly simple wedding cake.

Are you planning a cranberry and sage Fall wedding? If so, we would love to hear your design ideas and inspiration! Feel free to leave a comment below.

Your Dream Job Does Not Exist, You Must Create It…or, Maybe Not…

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I sat in my chair quietly observing the group I had walked in late to. There were about a dozen of us creatives. I even recall one of the bloggers being an American Idol finalist.

I think we were all a little unsettled about what we were going to talk about.

It was Alt Summit 2013 and I had signed up for a breakout session “Things I’m Afraid To Tell You.” The premise being, what things are you afraid to tell your blogging audience or how can you go about sharing the more real and not-so-perfect side to your audience?

When my turn came to share, I explained to a group of strangers how I felt torn. For years, I had successfully grown my creative business. I had wonderful clients, my work was being published nationally, and I was reaching goals right and left. Yet, at the end of the day I still didn’t feel like it was enough.

You see, I still had a full-time job.

And of course, I was afraid to tell the world about it.

Partly out of respect for my employer…

(a really big marketing firm where I worked on programs for many products you see on store shelves, hotels you vacation at, and stores you shop in)

…and partly because I held onto the now widely-spread belief that you hadn’t made it until you ‘went full-time’ with your business.


(photo from Making Things Happen 2011 after which I spent years dedicated to the pursuit of quitting my day job.)

“Your dream job doesn’t exist! You must create it!” the Pinterest boards all scream.

Yesterday, I posted an Instagram of the view of the building containing the work I’ve done for 8+ years, and people were giving high-fives and cheers.


“You did it!” everyone seemed to yell in the comments.

I’m happy to report that yes, I did.

In a whirlwind of the last few weeks I did put in my notice…

…and then I happily accepted a job offer with an amazing creative company, Studio Calico.

::Insert Record Player Screech::

Let’s rewind to a little over a week ago…

I sat in the kitchen of a dear friend’s home sipping on coffee. I shared my fears about making this change and decision and what it meant to my family and frankly, my ego and heart.

I recalled the years of proclaiming this was the year I was leaving! The tears in frustration in how far I’d come and how far I still had to go on some goal line that never seemed quite concrete.

She looked at me and simply stated, “Maybe you’ve defined this version of success in metrics that maybe don’t fit anymore. Maybe you need to redefine your version of success.”

That was it. I had held my standard to what the creative world deemed as successful. The idea that you had to make some exciting cinematic story giving notice to leave the big bad corporate world behind.

For years, friends would ask me when I was going to quit my ‘day-job.’ I always had a half-dozen responses on timing, on money, on anything else that troubled me at the moment. In time, I even helped others in finding peace by making the best where they could in the situation (i.e. day-job) they were in.

But the reality is, I could have quit by now. I simply chose to ignore it.

The even further truth is there is a whole lot of me who still finds fulfillment in the marketing world outside of my own business. One that contributes significantly to my family and to a part of my heart.

Marrying my marketing skills with a growing creative company? The opportunity for this position was something I simply could not pass up.


(photo of Samantha by Nancy Ray Photography at Inspired 2014)

The 48 women in attendance at Inspired 2014 had the treat of getting to know (my new boss!) Samantha Shepard and the Studio Calico company. You can read her blog post recap here. Studio Calico is the industry leader in worldwide delivery of paper crafting kits to over 79 countries. They have an incredible and enthusiastic customer base and doing really BIG things in the creative and craft industries.

In my new role, I’ll be leading up the digital marketing programs and managing marketing operations for the main SC brand. In addition, I have the amazing opportunity to work with some super talented creatives and designers like Ali Edwards and the gals at A Beautiful Mess.

As a girl who created her first scrapbook in 1995, was published in the some of the very first scrapbooking magazines, who even had her own product line for a short while, and then ‘retired’ from the hobby in 2007….


(scrapbook page from 2005)

Quite simply, this is a dream job.

If you had told my 13 year-old self that one day I’d work at a major scrapbooking company, I would have squealed. Scrapbooking has been part of a lot of my life for decades. It’s what led me to the suburb we live in now (when my husband’s job moved us to Nashville, I hopped on the Two Peas In A Bucket message board to ask what neighborhood we should move to), and friendships with other creatives that I still keep to this day. Scrapbooking was even one of my first dabbles in entrepreneurship – I had a digital scrapbooking site called Citrus Blossoms where I designed downloaded scrapbooking products.

After we were married, and I devoted more time to growing Sweet Life Designs/Amber Housley, scrapbooking fell to the wayside. I’ve really missed it.

It’s amazing to come full circle!

So, you’re wondering, can I have my cake and eat it, too? Can I have the dream job and run the Amber Housley brand?


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(photo by Nancy Ray Photography at Inspired 2014)

Well, for years I’ve lived double-if-not-triple lives. I’ve put on my hat as a wife, mom, career-woman, friend and entrepreneur daily. (My husband is amazing by the way to have such patience and encouragement!)

Most days, I do pretty good, but there are some days when I want to hide under the covers.

I sometimes proclaim, “I just want to be a normal mom!”

But, I’m not normal. I’m somehow programmed to work at this higher level and I’m embracing it with care.

As I mentioned earlier this week and alluded on social media, I’ve realized in order to be successful, I need to edit. In the pursuit of my empire-expansion (seriously, I’ve referred to it as an empire at times) I had a gut-check these last couple of weeks. Slow and steady has been my mantra, but this last year we’ve been more fast and furious as I’ve rolled out a mile-long implementation plan of projects that were entirely unreasonable.

This was also after I gave birth to our second child. One of the biggest blessings with her joining our family is her ability to make me realize how short this time we all have is. That we can spend it doing something we’re just okay with…or we can spend it really fired up and making what matters happen (that last part is something Making Things Happen really dives into – so grateful to be a part of it again in a few weeks!).

So, for the time being, at AH we are going to be focusing on two things that we do really well around here and bring me joy: Weddings & Inspired. I’m excited about expanding the small but mighty team very soon (stay tuned this week!) and for the most part, it will be business as usual around here. We’re thrilled about our 2015 wedding clients and already firming up details for a fabulous Inspired 2015.

This next chapter feels like a fresh new canvas to me. To work on a dream job daily and continue with my own dream work in my business seems like the best possible scenario.

Of course, it also feels really, really freeing in sharing this part of my life with you.

I hope this long-winded story brings encouragement to some of you. You could say I’m leading the charge in a new breed of entrepreneurs who find their passions lie in more than one pretty little creative bucket.