Nicole & Rob's The Pavilion at Pepper Plantation by The Smiths
Grey and Yellow Pepper Plantation wedding in Charleston, SC with rustic details by Virgil Bunao, Loluma, Wildflowers Inc., and Sweetgrass Social Event & Design
This week we've shared some serious inspiration from some of our favorite Charleston wedding vendors for your big Lowcountry Wedding! We had Magnus + Rachel's Charleston wedding engagement at Marion Square, Meghann + Jordan's stunning wedding at The Sanctuary and Christine + Garrett's College of Charleston e-session! To wrap up this week we're welcoming Charleston wedding planner Ashley, of Ashley Nicole Events, to give us some much needed guidance on just why you need to hire a wedding planner. She addresses many common questions and even shares a few personal experiences that will have you running to hire a planner! So, ladies, let's welcome Ashley Nicole Events...
The Importance of a planner
Who will tell me when to walk down the aisle? Who will help decorate while I’m getting dressed? Who will make sure all of my gifts are gathered when the reception is over?
These are some of the questions I get all the time from brides, moms, dads, and friends of the family. At the end of a reception I get these questions followed by “without you this would have never gotten done”. A planner has many roles the day of the wedding and throughout the planning process. From being the “go between” with the couple and vendors to being the DJ announcer because the “Friend” that you decided to use didn’t want to DJ anymore. There is always something that is going to arise that a planner will assist with and make sure everything still runs smoothly.
Here are a few stories and how I remedied the situation:
Just recently, while handling a “day of’ wedding, there was a cake crisis. The room was a little on the stuffy side and not to mention about 200 bodies were in this room. The 4 tiered cake had begun to slip, thus cracking the entire bottom layer. With the help of the catering manager and my assistant we moved that baby out from the center of the room as fast as we could. The top three layers had to be taken off, then placed back on the cake stand, and the bottom layer re-iced to make it look presentable. The bride and groom had no idea this was even happening until a few days after the wedding. I received a phone call from the bride thanking me for saving her cake!
I received a phone call from a couple that was getting ready to wed that very weekend. They needed help with the ceremony coordination and a few other things. Normally I don’t just do ceremony coordination, but I certainly didn’t want to leave them high and dry to do it on their own. So I agreed. We went for our final walk though and the bride asked the venue manager about placement of the candles. He told her they did not handle those things and recommended hiring a planner for the “little things that are always forgotten”. Enter planner. This poor bride just needed help with a placement of a few items, so I agreed to help. I wanted to make sure her day was just the way she envisioned it in her mind. And so it was.
These are just some of the stories from my personal experience and trust me there are many, many more. Having a friend designated to handle certain things throughout your wedding day is not the best plan for any couple getting married. Often times that friend may get tired or bored doing what you have asked them to do and completely quit on you. Then what? What if your limo is a half hour late? Who will handle getting another limo or even a refund while you are on your honeymoon?
Here are a few questions and answers that I hope will clear up the misconception of having a planner vs. someone else.
I can’t afford a planner; it’s just not in the budget!
Everyone is budget savvy these days and quite frankly I can see why. To put on a wedding is very expensive. That is why hiring a planner is a key element. A true planner (and I’ll get to that below) has relationships with many wedding professionals in the area. They will help negotiate with your dj, catering company, photographer, etc to stay within your budget. But you say, I still can’t afford one. Well think about it this way. If a planner costs $2500, and she has helped save you $700 from the photographer’s package, $400 from the rental company, $800 off the venue, and $600 off the dj service, then you have just paid for your planner!! Plus I’m sure there will be more savings throughout the remainder of the planning process.
Why can’t the catering manager/venue manager handle it?
He or she already has plenty on his/her plate. From making sure the cocktail hour food is out and ready for those hungry guests, to making sure the servers are clearing tables and replenishing the food as needed. A venue manager is there to make sure the music isn’t too loud and the staff is doing as told. They don’t want to have to worry about 105 candles being lit before the guests arrive or making sure all other vendors are there at the time they are supposed to be. A planner will do all of those things for you. Check in vendors and make sure they are on time and have everything they need and were supposed to bring. FYI – a lot of catering and venue managers say they help out with all of this stuff, but remember, they will make sure all of their duties are completed before getting to your list of to do’s.
True Planners vs. hobby planners
I mentioned it briefly above, but having a true planner that plans weddings on an everyday basis is key. Anyone can call themselves a planner, but someone that is a professional will have special connections with well known wedding vendors. Plus, planners are familiar with venues and their special requirements. A person who does it for a hobby might not know the particular requirements and might be the cause of you not receiving your deposit back or even worse. Stick with a professional!
I have a plenty of blogs bookmarked and my Pinterest board is overflowing with great ideas, I can handle this myself.
Who doesn’t love Pinterest? I certainly do. It is full of amazing ideas from previous weddings and styled photo shoots. But wouldn’t it be nice to get fresh new ideas from someone who knows whether or not that centerpiece will go with the theme or ideas you have chosen? A planner not only is there the day of, but we are available throughout the whole planning process. We want to make your vision come to life. You see something in your mind and want it a certain way, we will make that happen. Planners also bring fresh new ideas to the table. New color schemes that you would never have thought to put together. Layout processes, centerpieces, rentals, how big of a tent do I need, I need my dress steamed, so on and so forth. These are all things a planner will do to make sure everything runs smoothly. This is a season in your life that you should enjoy and a wedding planner will help take the stress out of planning
So all in all, it is a great idea to have a planner. Be it a full wedding planner/designer, or a day of coordinator. It will make things much easier on you, your family, all the wedding vendors involved, and help you enjoy this special time in your life! It is well worth the ease of mind to have someone taking care of all those little things you forgot or to help sort through all those pins you have been working on over the past year.
“Designing an event is more than just the planning; it’s turning your dreams into reality!”
Call me a sucker, but send me a Charleston wedding at a beautiful Lowcountry venue with a gorgeous, Southern bride, adorable Southern details, and a man in a kilt and you better believe I will post it for all the world to see! Jessica + Elliotte selected The Pavilion at Pepper Plantation to host their outdoor ceremony and, later, their happening celebration! With the help of Ashley from An Event to Remember, the bride was able to incorporate her groom's Scottish heritage into an irresistible, rustic evening. They included burlap throughout, bales of hay at the ceremony, boiled peanuts, charming bouquets and centerpieces from Country & Lace and, my personal favorite, a S'mores Bar! Thanks to the crew at Richard Bell Photography for capturing yet another perfect Charleston wedding!
Charleston Wedding Vendors
Reception and Ceremony Venue: Pavillion at Pepper Plantation / Photographer: Richard Bell Photography / Event Design/Coordinator: An Event to Remember / Cake: Family Friend / Dress Shop: Bridals by Jodi / Hair & Makeup: Vanity Salon SC / Bridesmaids dresses: Davids Bridal / Floral Design: Country and Lace Florist / Entertainment: Complete Music / Stationery: DIY / Rentals: Group Dynamics / Favors: DIY Candy Bar / Bar Services: Synder Bar
I'm excited to welcome back our good friend Brittani of Britt Croft Photography. Brittani is constantly working with brides as she captures their wedding day but this year she finally gets to be a bride herself! We've followed her journey as she decided on her gorgeous Lowcountry venue and picked her perfect photographer and today we get to hear all about the dress... .
Hey ALW! I’m so excited to be back and sharing one of my favorite parts so far in the wedding planning process! Yes, I found my DRESS!
I’ll be honest; I was dreading this part of the process. I’m not the girl who had known all along what I wanted to walk down the aisle to my future husband in. I am short and petite with an athletic build, so I was convinced every dress was going to swallow me up and make me look like a big round cotton ball. We southerners love cotton, but we don’t want to look like cotton.
Since my family is still back in Maryland and it was so important to me that my mom and grandmother were a part of the process, I flew home for a weekend solely dedicated to wedding dress shopping. Something I was excited about was having two of the most important ladies to me there for support and honest opinions. It was really special and something I’ll never forget.
I had made an appointment at Ellie’s Bridal Boutique in charming Alexandria, Virginia, and we were off bright and early that morning. I brought in a couple pages torn from a magazine and printed off my computer, and what I handed my consultant looked a little something like this…
I truly felt like my taste was ALL over the place and I had no idea what would work for my body. I also had a very modest budget, because although this is an important dress, on the practical side of things, I’ll wear it once or twice (bridals and wedding day), and that will be that.
My consultant, Crystal, was fabulous and super understanding of my overall confusion and modest budget. She told me to literally just walk around the floor and start pulling things that interested me, so that’s what my Mom and I did, and soon it was time to step into the dresses.
The first dress I put on was a gorgeous strapless Casablanca with rouching and a form fitting shape. I was in love. I could not believe how good I felt. We were all so excited and if the first one went so well, I couldn’t wait to try on a few more! So after a few minutes of oohing and ahhing, I jumped into my second dress. It just didn’t give me the same feeling. Nor did the third. Or the fourth. Or the fifth. Each dress I tried on, I’d compare to the first. I’d say, “It’s nice, but I like the first one better” or “It’s okay, but it doesn’t make me feel like the first dress did.” We were definitely seeing a pattern, so I put the first dress back on and that was all there was to it. That was it! I truly didn’t want to take it off. Crystal put a veil on me and handed me a little bouquet and I literally looked like a bride. I really loved what I saw in the mirror and I was elated with how simple and stress-free the process was!
I can’t spoil the fun and share an image of the dress, but I will say I am in love with Casablanca and for what I wanted (something relatively simple, still elegant, but within a reasonable price), I feel like Casablanca is a home run.
What was the dress shopping process like for you when it was your turn? Or if you’re in the planning stages, re you dreading it like I was, or you know exactly what you want? It truly is a unique experience for everyone but since I was so uptight about it being stressful and “impossible,” I’m so happy that it all came together like it did. I cannot wait to get back into my dress in the next few months for my first fitting!
So our friend Brittani, a Charleston Bride, of Britt Croft Photography, is planning her big Charleston wedding this coming September. I asked her if she'd take us on the journey as she blogs her way through all things wedding planning, right up until her fabulous Lowcountry Wedding! Today, it's all about her photographer. Take it away, Britt...
So what happened next? Well, we booked our caterer, DJ, AND I just recently found my dress!!! I thought the latter would be a stressful and exhausting experience, but it was anything but. I can't wait to share about those next two steps with y'all in the next few weeks! :)