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The M&L Blog

Beautiful New Brand | The Big Reveal

Well, if you haven’t guessed, after reading all of our heavy undertones and seeing our obvious sneak peeks on social media, we recently went through a rebranding process! Ta-da!

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So here we are, unveiling our entire process from the humble beginnings to the, freshened-up present-day finish! The main purpose in sharing all of these details is to encourage others who are either considering or are in the middle of the re-branding process. We thought it would be a piece of cake. Boy, were we ever wrong. We are so proud of the work that “The Autumn Rabbit” has done for us and we can’t wait to show it off!

There are a few things worth mentioning as we reveal this new business facelift. Posting on social media makes this work seem effortless, consistent and pain-free. All of humanity knows that’s not the truth. We mess up. Every day. But in the end, each rung of the ladder that we climbed to get here was absolutely necessary, even if most of them broke under the pressure of our lingering, lagging indecision.

What you get to see, up front, is the completed, polished product. However, you should know that this process did not start smoothly. As mentioned in our previous blog “Re-Branding | A DIY Don’t” , we hit some roadblocks at the beginning. Michael and I both brought artistic experience to the table. If you know an artist, any artist, you know that their process is incredibly personal. We were each struggling to swallow our pride, put aside our differences and meet in the middle. So what did we do? With gritting teeth, we agreed to disagree, and decided that this mess needed to be in greater hands than ours. Thus, we hired an unbelievably talented designer from “across the pond” and gladly handed her our pile of potential.

Being able to unload the burden brought a major sigh of relief. But, of course, our designer needed to know a little about us before plunging ahead. She was so patient with us. Dear Lord, she provided a beautifully paved pathway only for us to inch along with intimidated, bashful baby steps. Honestly, the first bump in the road that we encountered was pretty humiliating. It came in the form of an incredibly simple question from our designer. So simple that I’ve gone back and forth in my decision to publicly announce that such a tiny, tip-toe of a step was so….darn….difficult for us.

Let me put this into perspective.

This question opened up a black hole in the universe that swallowed us up, spit us out and left us dumbfounded and on our knees, looking at each other with a few variations of total vacancy. I’m obviously being a little dramatic and making it sound pretty major but I’m telling you, it revealed exactly why we were struggling to get this thing off the ground. This was the epic question that cut our legs out from underneath us:

(Key word there……”*pending”. Yup, that was our answer.

(Key word there……”*pending”. Yup, that was our answer.

Here’s a lil’ recap of exactly what we were thinking when we looked to each other hoping the other person might have an answer.

How. Embarrassing.

It’s embarrassing to even tell you that it was embarrassing. When we received this question we just looked at each other with no clue how to answer. We’d never even considered conjuring up a “tag-line” for our business. The only things our target market needed to know were that WE were in love, we LOVED being in love and we providing a service for people who were falling in love. That sounds real professional, doesn’t it? “We’re in love, we love it, and we love your love.”

What??? Thank you, next…..

Coming up with an answer to this question took much longer than it should have. Our pesky perfectionism was creepin’ right on up again. We had to be intentional to devote time to digging deep beneath the surface of our profession to unearth our calling and purpose in this business. We knew we loved it but WHY did we love it? What was the unwavering foundation on which we stood?

After many conversations and even more neglect, this is what we finally came up with:

(Our groundbreaking, earth-shattering mission statement!)

Okay...now we were cookin’ with grease. Or at least we felt like it. Our mission statement gave us confidence and direction that filled a void whose presence we were aware of but whose emptiness we obviously had no idea how to fill. Who else loves the deep, belly breath and sigh that come with being able to check a box off your to-do list??

Onward and upward from here, right?!

Next on the list was to provide some kind of imagery or symbol that represented what we believed in. We were fully prepared for the leg-chopping this time, so not knowing which direction to go didn’t seem like such a harsh blow to the stomach. We played around with a few ideas but kept getting stuck on images that we felt were definitely “pretty” and would look great on our website but didn’t really represent our couples or our work. We finally decided to go with a concept we’d thought of, even though we knew we didn’t like how it “looked”. Can’t blame us for trying to be effortlessly classy, over here!

Even though it didn’t really fit within our vision and we couldn’t exactly figure out how to implement it, we decided on an image of a house. Not any particular kind of house….just a house. We loved the way it mirrored what we believed marriage should be. Something “in-process”, built by hand, with a strong foundation. A house is a place in which a family can grow and where love can dwell. But a house? Like I said, we weren’t crazy about slapping a picture of a house on our logo. We were ready to roll with the contextual aspect but really needed the help of our designer to perfect it. With her expert input, we landed on a classic Corinthian column as our brand image. Problem solved! Hallelujah!

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A Corinthian column is nice to look at, but it’s also sturdy and strong. It’s mammoth, so it takes time to build, just like a house, but its base upholds something elegant and decorative (it’s called the capital—thanks art history).

Your wedding, while immensely important, is really just the fluff of what lies underneath. Your promise is just like the foundation of a building. It’s the one thing that sits under all the pomp and planning of your wedding day. The promises you make to eternally honor the other person are what maintain the strength of your marriage. This column represents something beautiful and ornate supported by something solid and strong. Holy logo, Batman! We fell in love! The Autumn Rabbit hit the bullseye and lit a fire under our business bottoms!

One of the most fun elements of building a new brand was updating our headshots with an intimate engagement session. We feel it’s important to get in front of the camera at least once a year. This way, we can remind ourselves that our bride and groom practically jump through flaming hoops to orchestrate wardrobe, makeup and location changes without ripping each other’s heads off. It’s not easy to swoop into “snuggle mode” when you’ve just rushed out of work to get changed, your lashes are not staying on like they should and you haven’t even eaten dinner yet (dinner is important). We give MAD props to our couples for being such rockstars! Here are a few of our favorite shots from our post-wedding engagement session that we used to update our website.

Lastly, we needed to decide on a color scheme and preferable print/fonts. Most of our imagery is light and airy but every now and again, we like to throw a punch of drama into our portfolio and into our bridal galleries. The Autumn rabbit gave us a mood board to look over and boy did she nail it. To us, these colors represent the organic, femininity of a wedding day, paired with the depth and drama that accompany the weight of your committal vows. Go ahead…you’re allowed to drool over this gorgeous mood board! And look closely…the girl incorporated our house image! How DOES she do it??

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Yes, this was a long one. I tried to keep it as brief as possible. It’s full of details that you really don’t need to know about. However, we want anyone and everyone to know that what you see in our hypothetical “store-front” was not created in a split-second. Many decisions were made; many arguments were had. Keeping a business and a brand up-to-date is SO HARD in today’s ever-evolving online world. It’s incredibly easy to forget about your roots and get sucked into the game of just treading water to keep up with the masses. For us, it was also tempting to just put it on the back burner, thinking it wasn’t really THAT important. Not true, at all.

While photo-editing trends change and social media presence gets more competitive, we believe there are some things that will never change. People crave authenticity and integrity. We’re human, so we know we can’t be on point all the time, but we want our brand to represent what we believe about what we love. We’re so thrilled with our new look and want to encourage you to take the steps to be thrilled with yours, too!

Mike Curtis2 Comments