behind the bow
I’m not sure where to start,
so I suppose I will start at the beginning.
My name is Joelle Duff, and I am a creative.
I launched my first blog, Where We Love is Home, back in 2010, in the months before I married my high school sweetheart. Like many brides before, I decided that I loved wedding planning enough to make it career. A Charming Occasion, the first iteration of my wedding planning brand, launched in 2011. I quit my “day” job in the winter of 2012, and haven’t looked back.
Since then, I’ve been pulled in a thousand different directions. I’ve published a novel, had my work featured on some of the biggest blogs in the industry, and worked with some incredible brands, including Pier 1, Target, and Anthropologie’s wedding line, BHLDN. I made a name for myself as a luxury wedding planner in the Santa Barbara area, and had SO much fun doing it.
joelle charming is my space to be inspired
In the summer of 2014, my husband and I moved to San Diego so that he could finish up his final year in the clinical psychology doctoral program that he was a part of. I had always suffered from anxiety and depression, but something about 2014 put me over the edge.
I was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts that August, and my life changed forever. I now have an official mental illness. I’m not ashamed of this story, because it made me who I am today. I liken it to breaking a bone that didn’t heal properly. In order to fix it, you have to rebreak the bone and set it the right way. I needed to be shattered in every way, in order to heal.
The next month, I was invited into Taylor Swift’s home, to listen to her new album with her. It was the most magical moment of my life.
The next few years were both heartbreaking and incredible. I experienced a miscarriage in April of 2015, which nearly broke me again. But I wasn’t ready to give up. My husband graduated with his PhD that June, and the next week we found out we were pregnant again. Remi Duff was born on February 21, 2016. Two years later, our little Leo was born, on January 24, 2018, and our family became complete.
If you’re interested in seeing more about my story, check out the hashtag #joellescharminglife on Instagram.
i want you to be inspired here too
I love LOVE. I love watching new relationships blossom. I love romance novels. My favorite pastime is daydreaming about walking down the aisle so that I can say “I do” to my high school sweetheart…again. I LOVE love.
I adore pretty things. The details. The china and the linens and peonies in the spring. Handlettered signs. Meaningful tattoos. Embroidered handkerchiefs. Floral crowns and anything white marble. It’s taken me twenty-nine years to admit that my favorite color is purple, but not any purple. That hue somewhere in between lilac and lavender, with just enough dusty grey so that it’s sophisticated and not childish.
Being a mother has proven to be the most natural thing in the world for me. Every smile is tucked back into my heart, to be pulled out when the cries outnumber the laughs. My babies haven’t stolen my heart from anyone. They’ve only made it bigger.
i am an intersectional feminist
I believe that Black Lives Matter. My purpose isn’t to change the world. It’s to change myself so that I can be a power for those who can. If you ever see me do or say something that is problematic and you have the emotional capacity to do so, please call me out.
That being a woman isn’t defined by one experience.
That love is love.
That trans women are women.
That nobody has the right to tell me what to do with my body.
That immigrants make this country great.
That science is real.
That the Constitution is a living document.
I believe that Black Lives Matter.
My purpose isn’t to change the world.
It’s to change myself so that I can be a power for those who can.
If you ever see me do or say something that is problematic and you have the emotional capacity to do so, please call me out.