Squarespace for Meredith Flanagan Events

Am I going to get in trouble for posting on WordPress about building a Squarespace site?

My cousin, Meredith Flanagan, freelances as a wedding and special event planner in the Washington, DC, area and asked me to build a website for her business. She just needed some online real estate—a place for people to learn about her services and get in touch.

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I originally built the site on Weebly but found the templates and style to be a dated and inflexible. For photo-heavy sites, I really like superscrollorama formats and found that Squarespace had such templates in a variety of styles.

My first step in this project was to look at other wedding planners’ sites to see what kind of content they included and how it was displayed. Based on my comparison of these sites, I decided what text to include in Meredith’s site and wrote it. Next, I uploaded high-resolution photos of weddings Meredith has planned.

One challenge was deciding which voice to use. In my comparison of other wedding planners’ sites, I came across a Menu of Services and Contact Me form in first person and found them very inviting. If I did that too, though, I though it would be incongruous to have Meredith’s bio and business statement in third person. So, I made all of the text first person. Since Meredith Flanagan Events is a one-woman show, I think it works well.

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Squarespace for business comes with one Google Suite domain and Meredith is pleased to have a business email address and separate place to store her professional documents. Her new email address is hello@meredithflanaganevents.com. So cute!

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River Whyless Embraces the Role of Musicians in Times Like These

River Whyless recently released a recording of their take on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Fortunate Son and have been playing it (in pussy hats) on tour. I’ll admit that it strikes me as a bit contrived, but I do love the song. The visuals in the YouTube video are scenes from the Women’s March on Washington, which they attended.

 

On Repeat: Dream in Blue by The Stray Birds

I think I can thank the great folks algorithms at Spotify for introducing me to this song.

From their website:

All originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, The Stray Birds started as a duo of acoustic buskers in early 2010 when Maya de Vitry and Oliver Craven met with their instruments, their voices, and their songs. It didn’t take much convincing to get bassist Charlie Muench on board, and with the addition of a third unique and powerful voice, the group began to define its captivating sound. Seven years, three original records, and some six hundred performances later, the band is best known today for its songwriting, its tight and forthcoming vocal harmony blend and its commitment to an impassioned delivery of original material, both on stage and in the studio.

Lowland Hum answers that nagging question “but, what does it mean?”

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My parents were in town for a Lowland Hum show at my Washington, D.C. group house several years also. They made conversation with my friends before the music started and paged through Lowland Hum’s signature handmade lyric books song by song. My love of music comes from my dad, so I assumed they’d like it enough. After the show I asked for their impressions. “I liked it,” my mom said, “but what does it mean?”

Have you ever posed this question to an artist? I did once, and, because of their unwelcome response, still regret it. Often, they don’t even know. It meant one thing, then something else later. Or maybe the true meaning is too personal to share. I still find myself pondering it as I listen to music, though. I think this mystery is part of music’s magnetism.

Along with the release of their new album, Thin, Lowland Hum shared a track-by-track explanation of the stories and meaning behind the songs. The folk duo from Charlottesville, Virginia has been an open book since day one, often leaving time and space for audience questions during their live shows. Perhaps this lifestyle of authenticity and self-reflection is what allows them to shed light on the meaning behind the result of their creative process. In the article, Lauren Goans says: “A big part of what we hope to do with music is to create vulnerable spaces. There is such a pressure to come across composed and if you can’t pull that off, then there is pressure to put forth a sort of mussy nonchalance. I wouldn’t describe us as very cool people and I would definitely not call us composed and so we feel we have an opportunity to share in a way that doesn’t result in us coming out on top of things.”

I have to admit that knowing the “why” makes me appreciate Thin all the more. And the album’s simplicity, just guitar and percussion accompanying two voices,  leaves room for the listener to observe the honest and thoughtful songwriting that Lowland Hum is known for; to sit down for a meal with this couple that is very transparently working out how to be people in this world abounding with both beauty and ugliness. They’re asking “but what does it mean?” too.