Browsing Tag


Events, Photoshoots

Bright and Bohemian | Stone Oak Ranch


stoneoak-6Lavender, coral, red, blush, tangerine, gray and navy… this color palette is full and vibrant, and I love it!  Using layers of color in your florals can build richness and depth.  And who doesn’t want that?  La Bella Blooms took what was in my mind and ROCKED IT.  Photography by Gema captured it wonderfully, and without a doubt, Stone Oak Ranch’s new pond ceremony cite made this shoot complete.  Many of the elements that made this shoot so detailed and perfect are from Pursuing Eden Rentals.  Working with a talented team makes all the difference in the event industry!stoneoak-50













For the tables I made DIY concrete votives to add a natural yet modern element.  My conclusion… a messy but inexpensive project!  They took about 24 hours from the start until they were dry and ready to come out of their molds.  I used recycled water bottles and cups for an assortment of sizes and styles.









Venue: Stone Oak Ranch

Photographer: Photography by Gema

Florals: La Bella Blooms

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Models: Lauren and Nathan Nichols

Styling: me

Events, Photoshoots

The Truth About Why I Split

A question for the dreamers out there- How often do things go exactly the way you envisioned?  Never?  Then to you I say, Congratulations!  I’ve determined one sign of a successful small business is to stay flexible and leave room for growth and change.  Some aspects may be just as you predicted, but usually the areas that end up evolving can be one of your biggest strengths as a business.  In November of last year I launched Kristal Childs as a separate business and focus from Pursuing Eden.  With some direction from friends in the wedding industry, lots of prayer and deep thought I knew it was time.  But I’ve never really told you why… so now you’re about to be in on the truth.

First, you must know I love Pursuing Eden Rentals.  I enjoy meeting a need in my community for specialty rentals, and I enjoy providing a unique collection to inspire local brides and party throwers.  Notice my two key words here- community and local.  Rental companies are made to serve their area, and serve them well!  But after five years, I saw two holes in my business.

1.  I was personally being asked to design weddings, events and photoshoots in non-local areas.  I struggled with how to physically get a truck and trailer of rentals to an event many hours away without the delivery and labor charge getting terribly high.  Pursuing Eden is a very small business and we must charge for hotels for the tear down team, gas for the big rigs, labor expenses for the team’s drive time, wedding wait time, food, and the list goes on.  There is no way around the fact that the farther the PE team travels, the higher these expenses get.  So how do I personally serve interested clients with a local only rental business?

2.  Not every event needs Pursuing Eden Rentals.  I know, you’re thinking, “Wait, did she just admit that?”  But, it’s true!  Pursuing Eden is a SPECIALTY rental company.  We do not carry everything.  We do not want to carry everything.  I couldn’t figure out a way to serve clients who came to me for design help, but who didn’t need what Pursuing Eden carries.  Also, through Pursuing Eden, there wasn’t a logical way for me to schedule one-on-one consults with each client and help them compile a list of regular rental needs outside of Pursuing Eden, like tents, plastic tables, regular linens etc.  How do I personally help those who have needs outside of Pursuing Eden?

So my business, simply titled Kristal Childs, was created.  Now, when I am contacted by non-local clients I can easily use rental companies from their area in my design for their event.  No Pursuing Eden Rentals required.  Separating my event styling services from Pursuing Eden Rentals means I can travel anywhere in the US (and beyond!) to style an event.  All of my local brides who have hired me for my styling services are wanting to use Pursuing Eden Rentals, and that’s great!  But my goal is to use any vendors needed to create the absolute best event.  As a separate styling business, I can offer more suggestions and assistance with the design from beginning to end.

Also, when I am personally involved in photoshoots and events, I can now be tagged as a separate business on social media, so potential clients understand they have options.  We want everyone to know that renting with Pursuing Eden can be as simple as choosing whatever rentals they want, picking them up and returning them.  Or they can hire me for design direction, separately, if needed.

Another plus!  When I launched Kristal Childs, I was able to start offering interior styling as a separate service also.  [Edit: interior design services are now available through Abide Design + Home with interior design partner Kim Whyte.]

Now lets talk about this gorgeous shoot at The White Sparrow Barn with some of the best vendors out there, recently featured on Wedding Sparrow!  I’ll let the images speak for themselves…


Take a look at the list of amazing vendors below:

Photography: Brandi Smyth

Flowers: Mandy Cathey

Rental Props: Pursuing Eden

Cake: Social Bites

Rings: Lollars

MUAH: Meka Bennett

Stationary/Calligraphy: Paper Glaze


3 Reasons You Should Hire a Photoshoot Stylist

I know, you are a very creative and talented photographer, and you may be thinking, “I’d never hire a photoshoot stylist- I know how to design!”  This post may be for you.

Three reasons you really should hire a stylist:

1.  Two heads are better than one.  A good stylist will listen to your vision and merge them with their own creativity to produce an outstanding shoot.  Remember, a stylist’s job is to make the photographer look better!  Your ideas are great, I’m sure!  Why don’t you combine them with the ideas of other experienced professionals to create a shoot that sets your work apart?

2.  Wedding blogs and magazines want to feature photographers who connect with other vendors.  They see enough submitted posts by DIY photographers… I suggest you work with and credit a stylist to help you appear even more experienced and legit, and to make your submission stand out.

3.  On the photoshoot day, your job should just be taking pictures.  Leave setup and staging to a stylist!  After shoots I style, I repeatedly hear how stress-free and focused the photographer felt.  They were able to focus on the art of photography, imagine that!  On the other hand, I also hear many regrets when a stylist isn’t brought on board, including: I thought I had enough product but the scale was off, it looked good in my head but something was missing when I set it all up,  or I ran out of time to do all I had envisioned.

These photos are from a shoot I styled a couple years ago that were published in Smitten Magazine, Style Me Pretty and more.   Brandi Smyth, photographer,  and I worked together planning this,  and the results were loved by thousands!








You can find some some great stylists out there.  I urge you to connect with one for your next shoot.  Curious to see how I can help?  Shoot me an email- I’d love to work with you!


Photography: Brandi Smyth 

Gold Sheer Dress: Handmade by MDSewingAtelier

Grey Chiffon Dress: Paolo Sebastian from Nearly Newlywed

Hair Piece: Cristina Vine by Jannie Baltzer

Hair & Makeup: Bel Viso Makeup Artisty

Groom’s Attire: Tallia, courtesy of John Pickens

Cakes: Silver Palate Cakery 

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Floral Design: Mandy Cathey

Paper Goods: Chez Rivage

Styling: Me


Sandra Bianco Shoot | Dallas, Tx

The Caporin family is absolutely precious.  When I began working with Heather, the mom of this darling family, I knew this photoshoot was going to be one you would just love.  They flew in from Maryland for this session, and got to experience Texas for a bit while they were here!  I fell in love with their sweet children and can’t wait to work with them again.  And being able to style for Sandra Bianco… simply a dream.  The rain forced me to do some improvising with locations and backdrop details, but I think it all turned out wonderfully.  Of course no gypsy shoot is complete without a donkey, and our four-legged guest, Honey, couldn’t have been more perfect.

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Look for more images coming soon, friends!


Photographer: Sandra Bianco

Props: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Florals: La Bella Blooms

Hair and Makeup:  Meka Bennett

Styling: Me




Today is a very special day!  I am excited to share the newest part of my adventure with you.  Most importantly, I am dedicating this journey to my Savior.  I pray that I can serve others and share His love in every interaction and relationship I have.  Jesus is showing me so much of who He desires me to be as His child, and I am still learning and growing as I follow Him in this adventure.

Eight years ago, my husband of one year, Doug, and I moved out of our little apartment and bought our first home.  It was bad y’all… as in our dear, sweet realtor couldn’t hold back the heebie jeebies as she showed us the property.  I could describe just how bad it was, but then you would all know for sure we were absolutely crazy for buying it and even crazier for moving right on in.  If I had only considered starting a blog then of our adventures on that remodel journey… well, I feel sure that we would have been the perfect reality tv show.  It would have been called How To Live With Lawn Chairs As Your Only Furniture For Two Years.  But as months… ok years went on, we made it our home and I truly found so much joy in planning and designing every square inch.  Even the underside of every shelf in every closet had a fresh coat of paint, we widened some doorways and walled in others, installed new lighting, replaced hardwood flooring twice (thank you leaking water heater), tore out old cabinets,  salvaged other old cabinets, dug ditches and landscaped, and of course about a thousand other things.  Much of this was with the wonderful help of our families’ contributions of expertise, sweat and sacrifice.  We didn’t even have a TV… just seasons of The Office on DVD (hello, I could not have made it through without Jim and Pam by my side) which played on a laptop, balanced on a plastic table, with a bed sheet push-pinned to cover the window.  Welcome to our Friday date nights.  Anyways, when the projects were (mostly) done, enough to lay out some rugs and bring in the real furniture, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep!  I was finally able to unpack and design with what I had been collecting for over two years!  With no HGTV, Pinterest or Instagram, designing looked a lot less “organized and inspiring” and a lot more like “here are all the clippings I snuck out of the waiting room magazines and ok yes I did just take a picture of your bathroom for inspiration”.  My Idea Notebook was overflowing with tattered fabric swatches and wrinkled sketches.  My Sherwin Williams color swatch book traveled with me everywhere in my purse… pretty sure they finally gave up on me ever returning it.

About the time the house came together, Pursuing Eden started growing, and I’m talking about an all-in, have no life kind of busy, where people think you are either amazingly driven or dysfunctionally consumed.  By the way, both were at times true.  God has been teaching me a lot about balance.  Within five years, we were growing at Canton First Monday, renting to hundreds of clients a year, buying an actual storefront, designing and decorating interiors, and gaining some fantastic employees.  Then in 2014, God gave us our biggest blessing yet, our daughter, Arden Rose.

Through all of this, I have realized it’s time to branch out as a stylist to better serve you.  In many ways, I’m doing the same things I’ve already been doing through Pursuing Eden, but now it is clearer and more defined.


I will specifically focus on styling events, photoshoots and interiors.  Now, clients have more choices and options, and I am able to travel.  Not sure exactly what a stylist is?  Click on the website tabs to learn more!  Did you know?  A stylist is not an event planner or coordinator, but a stylist is a designer who works with props and decor to create a cohesive, unique space.


Happy you’re here!



Photography:  Brandi Smyth

Venue:  White Sparrow Barn

Florals: Mandy Cathey

Styling: Me