"so, like, why would I need a planner?"

If you are here, and you are anything like me, I’m certain that you’ve made the mistake of assuming or may currently be assuming that you do not need a wedding planner. & I’m not even talking full service planning (cause I don’t offer that), no no. I’m only talking those crucial Day of Coordination (which is actually a tad bit more than a month of coordination gig for me). Am I right? Maybe? Admit it, you’ve thought about doing it all yourself. So, a year ago, I said the same thing… & then I woke up! Might I add: I only had a small, intimate wedding of 48 people, and I needed a Day of Coordinator.

Truly, I could go on about this for hours, but I assure you if you’re here and you are uncertain - keep reading! I don’t bring this up as a blog topic just because it’s in my wheelhouse, or just to secure business - but because I think it’s important to learn what I almost had to learn the hard way, and what I’ve watched other people learn the hard way. YOU NEED A WEDDING COORDINATOR!

Common question I get: "So, what exactly are you going to do if you coordinate our wedding? I mean, we already have all of our vendors booked…”

At the risk of sounding arrogant: “what DON’T we do?!” & not to toot my own horn, but there is literally nothing I won’t do for one of my couple’s (within reason, or the realm of the law, haha!) including but not limited to things that could or will happen that you haven’t thought of… because you’re not a professional in this field. It’s totally understandable! But, keep going…

So, where to start? There are many things that a Wedding Coordinator (or at least I) take care of for you a month+ before your wedding. As a married gal, I can tell you - these are things that you are not going to want to worry about 5 weeks prior to your wedding; especially the day of your wedding! TRUST ME! I can tell you that as an Event Planner and as prior bride. I insisted (before I was even engaged) that I did not need a Day of Coordinator because I had all my vendors booked within 2 weeks, I planned my wedding in less than 5 months, and I am an organizational freak - so why did I need someone to do what I had already done?! BECAUSE there were things I HADN’T already done or that I hadn’t even thought of could happen or go wrong. There were things I knew that the night before (other than decorating) and the day of I was NOT going to want to get a call or text about or even do myself. You name it, it could happen, from family and friends to the dress, venue, or Officiant. You never know! Personally, there were things I was not going to want to deal with while I was trying to spend time with my girlfriends, get my makeup done, and avoid the chaos behind the scenes. What I did know was that I wanted to relax and enjoy my day. That alone is PRICELESS! CHOOSE. PEACE. OF. MIND.

So what do we do and why do we “cost so much”? Before I start, I’d like to make a disclaimer that this is what I do - but that doesn’t mean every planner or coordinator you come across will also do these things, so do your research + interview.

Part A) In a nutshell, you are basically taking what is most commonly seen as the most important day of your life and you’re saying “here, take care of this for me, don’t let anything go wrong, and make sure everything is perfect.” OK, sure thing, no pressure - right?! RIGHT! Just one example of why our service is not a luxury, it’s a necessity for enjoyment and execution. Also, this is why we are valued at what we are. Typically, what we are charging is within the average of what an Event Planner charges in the area he/she is located. Also, remember, like anything else - you get what you pay for. If you’re doubting a price and why it is what it is - don’t hesitate to inquire and educate yourself about it. It’s your money! I understand that people DON’T understand why we are “so expensive” to ordinary folks, so I’m more than happy to explain all that my work entails. Hence this blog… :)

Part B) What you receive from me in a Month of Coordinator package is truly priceless, but includes my attention to detail that you will not want to think about 5 weeks prior to the wedding other than last minute touches. Five weeks prior to the big day, I cannonball in to your life! I then begin working consistently via e-mail and phone to contact all of your vendors and remain in contact with them up until the big day is completely wrapped up. I ensure that everyone is on the same page, there are no questions or missing pieces, and all systems are go! Simultaneously, I am behind the scenes editing and tweaking your timeline repeatedly until you are satisfied while providing practical and realistic advice (things you may not think of not being in the bizz) up until the day before your event! Should something happen, I’ll be there to edit the timeline and adjust all parties last minute - you won’t have to worry about that! I’m skirting around the venue, providing direction and order, assigning tasks, putting final touches on your decor, and checking in with the bride/groom carries on with loved ones preparing for the big day. I then ensure that the ceremony carries on seamlessly, everyone has their places, someone doesn’t have a hole in their shirt (got an emergency kit for that!), and everyone is seated, relaxed, and ready for the couple to exchange vows. I orchestrate the transition from ceremony, to cocktail hour, to dinner, to dancing, photo ops throughout the night, from grand entrances to grand exits, first toasts, first dance to last dance: I AM HERE and orchestrating all of it. Of course, depending on the package you purchase, this is bound to vary - but do you get a glimpse of why a wedding coordinator is SO valuable and SO necessary? Trust me when I tell you, you do not want to go this alone. We are valuable and we are worth every penny..

My advice to you? Do your research before you hire! Google “Wedding Coordinators” or “Event Planners” in your area, follow their social media accounts to see if you really like their style, and check their sites and other wedding vendor sites (the Knot, Wedding Wire, etc.) to see reviews. Had a friend that recently got married? Ask them who they hired. Find someone who clicks with you! My couples are priceless to me, and I know consider them all friends. I promise to always provide the same service and effort to someone I hire as I granted myself for my own wedding. You deserve it!

Thanks for following along with me. I hope this paints a better picture for you as to why we are so valuable in this line of work and helps you make a decision for your big day!

Love + Light,

Sarah

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Rainy Day Re-Do featured on Bustld!

Here we go again! All the feels every time we get featured for our styling + planning! We were so busy in the swing of the season, we forget to mention that we were featured again! With an exceptional creative team, we were able to pull off this couple's (Jan + Jeff) dream wedding day which sadly was rained on at the time of their original date. 

During this Styled Re-do, we reached for natural, earthy feels with touches of lavender and greenery, vintage furniture, and a woodland feel that was second to none during the golden hour! Jan and Jeff were exceptional and the setting of their own little farm was even more quaint and romantic. 

Hey, don't take my word for it, click the link and see for your self! 

https://bustld.com/raleigh-durham/weddings/backyard-woodland-fairytale-wedding-day-redo

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what's all this "niche" talk?

Happy Sunday, y'all.

As promised, I wanted to jump on and update the blog regarding what all this talk and delegation of "niche" service in the wedding planning/design realm is really all about. I'm going to cover what it means to me, what it means in the industry, and why it's legit a "it's not you, it's me" thing. 

So what is a "niche" service? Based on the info I scooped up from the Design Trust Co. a niche service means: "A niche is a focused, targetable part of the market. You are a specialist providing a product or service that focuses on specific client group's needs, which cannot or are not addressed in such detail by mainstream providers." AND I couldn't have said it better myself. A "niche" service is not uncommon - think about it. Various small businesses provide a "niche" whether it be a specific style of clothing, type of food/beverage, etc. I think we're all entitled to offer specific services. With over 400 certified Wedding Planners in the Wake County area in North Carolina, I felt the need to get specific and narrow my scope for a few reasons as follows: 

"It's not you, it's me." - If you've heard this before, I'm sorry. Don't worry, it's been told to me before (haha!) BUT, it truly isn't. I think all engaged couples are lovely people - but I have a PASSION. That's what caused me to focus on my "niche". I'm not discriminating, but I have a forte and a passion. I have a passion for all things eclectic, bohemian, woodland, and a little more unique and ethereal. If you know me on a personal level - then you know this is "so me" and if you don't know me - you can likely tell from my work + my inspo bored that I have a style. I am an artist really, before anything else. Like most artists, we are not fluent in all mediums or styles. That means our styles may just not mesh - and I want you to be serviced by someone who is equally as enthusiastic for your event as you are! I feel that if I have a particular style and skill to execute a specific vision - then why not do just that? I'm just here to stay in my lane and let all other wedding planners/designers do what they do best as well. In a nutshell, I was hoping to monopolize a corner of the marketplace in the wedding planning + design world that would allow people to flock to me when they have a specific desire for the wild side! 

Have I been given feedback from other wedding professionals about what I'm doing and their negative thoughts? Absolutely, but this is my career. I believe that "your vibe attracts your tribe" and I'm okay with that. Does that mean I'm discriminating? No. I just may not be your best bet for your vision or your first choice. There is a TON of talented wedding planners and designers in the Triangle Area all offering exceptional services that bring life to elegant affairs and flowery frills on the regular. They do a WONDERFUL job at executing beautiful events. Simply put: I felt that my time would be best used making a name for myself doing, creating, and planning in a habitat that I truly enjoy AND feel that I excel at and can REALLY flex my creative muscles. I'm always happy to refer to other local planners if I feel that I can not assist you, and I have no shame in doing so. While we may think the concept of "Wedding Planning" is fairly ubiquitous - we all have our fortes in this industry and I would NEVER take on an event that I did not feel comfortable in executing. That's why I network hard. Give me all the vintage, woodland, bohemian, 80's punk rock, ethereal, celestial, carnival, circus, and dreamy visions - that's my jam and that's what I'm comfortable with from an artistic stance. Truly, we all have a niche whether we own it or not. I'm just more vocal about mine. 

Anyway, I could go on forever! But, I hope that better helps to spell out why I'm a "niche" service, why I choose to operate my business this way, and why this is my stance and my path. I hope this gives you better insight as to why it truly is not you, it's me - and I hope you can respect that and we can share this creative space together. 

Love + Light,

Sarah 

 

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FIRST feature on Bustld!

SAY WHAT?! What a better way to start a Monday! I arrived to my desk with an e-mail from Bustld saying that our sweet photographer, Rose Trail Images, had submitted for publishing and we were PUBLISHED (actually, two e-mails, Bustld + Two Bright Lights).

We are clearly over the moon because we were featured on Bustld + Bustld Triangle! Now, I won't elaborate too much because they did a beautiful job of telling the story with Rose Trail Images on the website. AND, I may be a little biased because it was my own personal wedding - BUT, the attention to details that I gave myself are the same that I would give all my couples and clients! I had an AWESOME team, and this is something I strive to help all my couples and event hosts find! 

So much of my heart and soul went into this wedding as did the heart and soul of the rest of my "Dream Team". Check out the article below to catch a glimpse of "unearthed" at work and to see who our dream team was comprised of! 

http://bustld.com/raleigh-durham/weddings/woodland-fairytale-wedding-with-st-patricks-day-touches

 

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