Posts Tagged ‘wedding planner


official opinions: relax, you’ve got a wedding planner!

Although it can be really fun, planning your wedding day can quickly turn into a challenging project. Not only are brides and grooms trying to create the perfect vision for their event (a tiring task in itself), but they’re trying to do it with limited knowledge on how to put together a wedding.

Most brides are first timers and this means they have a lot to figure out.  From catering menus to invitations to booking a rocking band for the reception, it’s all new.  And unless you happen to have a ton of free hours every week to pour over details, it can get really stressful really fast.

These days the question of whether or not to hire a professional wedding planner is often up in the air.  The experience of someone who has worked in the field for years can be incredibly useful of course, but hiring a pro doesn’t always fit into every couple’s budget.  Brides-to-be may write off the idea of hiring a planner, thinking that they “know how to throw a party” or “it can’t take that long.”  But what a lot of people don’t realize is that the help of a professional can really be invaluable in letting you enjoy your day and the months leading up to it.

Perks of the Planner:  There are some wedding details that practically demand a planner. If you are planning on having a large wedding (100+ people) things can get complicated quickly.  A professional has dealt with large guest lists in the past, and she can help you prioritize your tasks and help you make choices that will satisfy yourself, as well as your family and friends.  Even if you have a smaller crowd, it can be a good idea to hire a wedding planner if you are holding your ceremony or reception in a location that is atypical.  For example, a wedding held in a museum, park or historic home can be a beautiful and unique choice, but that also means there could be less wedding-specific assistance and a lot of unknown factors.  This is a time when hiring someone who has spent years planning events comes in handy.

  • By the way….a professional planner can actually save you money through their established connections with local wedding vendors!
Not for everyone:  If you are holding your wedding in a full service location (ie-banquet hall) you may be able to take advantage of an in-house planner who can assist with the catering, seating, and music set-up.  Couples who plan to have a small, intimate wedding may also be able to handle the details themselves, though that depends on the wedding location.  (No matter the size, it’s always good to have help planning a destination wedding).
A happy medium:  Brides who like the idea of having a professional on their team but don’t have the budget for it do have some options.  Consider hiring a “day of” coordinator.  These wedding planners will learn your wedding details a few weeks beforehand and manage the day from start to finish.  They confirm all booked vendors and arrive on the day of, clipboard in hand, to make sure that everything runs smoothly (whew!) And when it comes down to it- which do you want to remember; the stress of planning or the day itself?

Guest Star: A fresh look at weddings with Kelly Cavanaugh

Stitely Entertainment recently got a chance to catch up with one of our favorite wedding vendors, Kelly Cavanaugh.  After 9 successful years working in event planning, Kelly is now a Certified Wedding Planner and owner of her own planning firm, Clementine Custom Events.  She was nice enough to tell us her back story, her favorite things about the business, and even shared a few photos from weddings she planned in the past!

Stitely Entertainment:  How did you get started in event planning? 

Kelly Cavanaugh:  I did an internship with American Lung Association in their Special Events Department in 2001.  The internship turned into a job and I knew after that experience that Event Planning was the perfect fit for me.  Since I only worked on fundraising events that didn’t allow a lot of creativity I decided I wanted to work on weddings.  Fortunately, I got a job at a large catering company where I planned and produced an average of 50 weddings a year for 8 years!!  In 2009 I decided to move forward with my dream of owning an Event Planning Company where I could focus on all the details, floor plans, time lines, creative touches etc.

SE:  What part of your job do you find the most satisfying and most challenging? 

KC:  The most satisfying part of my job is seeing my clients so happy on their wedding day.  When they come running up to me to thank me for being able to deliver their vision and allowing them to have fun, it is just the best!  The most challenging aspect of the job is how busy I am!  I feel like I’m constantly running around, my office is my car but having said that, I love the adrenaline and I love feeling like a accomplished a lot in one day.

SE:  How does your company differ from its competitors? 

KC:  I have a fresh approach to planning weddings and I’m pretty laid back so my clients really enjoy the process.  I trust my vendors and I love working together as a team.  Having so much hands-on experience allows me to rely on myself instead of my vendors. I’m able to do the producing as well as the execution of any event.  I’m not afraid to do whatever it takes to get the job done and I think fast on my feet.

SE:  What is the key to a successful event? 

KC:  A relaxed and confident client.  If I did my job correctly, they walk into the event feeling calm and excited.

SE: What is the craziest event story you can share? 

KC:  I’d say my craziest moment was when I had an outdoor, tent wedding and the wind was pretty strong.  The wind was knocking everything off the tables and the linens flew into a flame from a candle and set on fire!  The linen was on fire!!  Thank goodness we caught it quick and had extra linens so we could re-set the entire table before anyone even knew!

SE: Any tips you can give to our engaged clients about their big day? 

KC:  Trust your vendors!  They are professionals and they have your best interest at heart.  Try not to micromanage the event and just relax and have fun!  You deserve to let the details go and have the best night of your life.

SE: If you were stuck on a desert island, which three albums would you want with you? 

KC:  Depeche Mode-Violator, Tom Petty and the Heartbreaks-Into the Great Wide Open and the soundtrack to Amelie (random I know, but the songs just put me in such a great mood)


Official Opinions: My Fair Wedding

Recently I took a trip up to northern Wisconsin in an attempt to have a relaxing weekend out on a lake, soaking up some sun and working on my tan. Unfortunately, the weather did not share my goals for the weekend, so instead I found myself sitting inside on the coach watching TV while the rain poured outside. Throughout the marathon of television I watched that weekend, one particular show caught my attention. The show was called My Fair Wedding with David Tutera. If you haven’t had a chance to catch this program yet, the premise is that a bride, 3 weeks before her wedding, calls in the expertise of celebrity wedding planner David Tutera. The twist is that once he arrives he has the final say on every decision regarding the wedding. I mean EVERY decision, from the dress, to the venue, to the food and music at the reception. He foots the bill of course, which is a luring incentive, but the bride gives up all control over her big day, and doesn’t get to see what David has decided until the day of the wedding.

Aside from being thoroughly entertained by the absurd premise of the show, I was actually really surprised by the results and think brides could really learn a lot from watching Tutera work his wedding magic.

The first lesson to be learned from My Fair Wedding is that any theme can be elegant if done the right way, and there were some pretty crazy ideas on the episodes I watched. For instance, one of the brides was dead set on having a swamp-themed wedding, frogs and all, and David granted her wish. To his credit the event was actually very chic. I bet you never thought you’d hear the words chic and swamp used to describe the same wedding. Unable to use any flowers because the bride was allergic, lots of pretty greens and ivy were used as decorations with water-lily pads used as placeholders at the tables. So, don’t be afraid to bring your own unique personality into planning the theme of your wedding. If a Texas barbecue can be turned into a refined affair as one episode showed, there is no theme to far-out to be elegant.

The next important lesson that can be found in this show is the importance of getting a second opinion. As a bride it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning a wedding and begin to get slightly swept away with all your ideas. One episode showcased a bride whose theme included Lady GaGa, Beyonce, Princess, Mardi Gras, and Cajun influences. Tutera centered her wedding around a diva theme, holding the ceremony and reception at a beautiful old theater. Sometimes it’s helpful to talk things out with a wedding planner or good friend to help focus your ideas. The person you choose to confide in might not even need to say anything, just talking out your vision might help you narrow down what you really want the direction of your special day to be.

The thing that surprised me most about this show, aside from the fact that my boyfriend sat through four hours of it, was that the brides were always happy with the outcome. Even though every bride had made the difficult decision to give up all control in regards to her wedding, there wasn’t an unhappy bride in the bunch. Whatever David decided on always ended up being ok because while the dress and flowers are important, what really matters is that you’re getting married. When you’re getting to spend the rest of your life with the person you love, how could everything not turn out perfectly?

Laura, Marketing Intern

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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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