The Wilds interviews Wedding Planner, Morgan, of Ashley Weddings and Events about choosing your best vendor team and planning your dream wedding day.
One of our all-time favorite weddings here at The Wilds is Alex and Connor’s August wedding. The day was full of incredible design and so much joy! Making sure that it all came together was trusted and preferred vendor, Morgan, of Ashley Weddings and Events. We sat down for a Wedding Planner Q&A to gain insights on what makes such an incredible wedding day come together. If you are wondering whether you should hire a wedding planner for your big day, Morgan has all of your answers here!
Alex and Connor’s wedding was truly a stunner, and they looked so at ease all day! What elements of the day did you take care of for them in particular? Also, what details did you determine early in their planning process with them?
My number one goal when working with an engaged couple and their families is to make the wedding day stress free and relaxed! In order to achieve this, I work a lot with my couples in the wedding planning process.
We have several meetings to chat about the vendors they have hired and the exact roles they expect them to play on wedding day. We talk through the timeline of the whole weekend, not just the wedding day. Those conversations touch base on a lot of details that my couples maybe would have never thought about. For example, how are you getting to your final destination after the wedding or what will we be feeding the wedding party throughout the day? Couples naturally gravitate to the big stuff like what the flowers or cake will look like, or what their first dance song will be. I cover every big, medium, and minute detail with them to be sure all of our bases are covered. Having a solid plan going into the wedding day is priceless.
I also create detailed, specific timelines for all hired vendors, the wedding party and family to follow. Those timelines are shared with everyone before the wedding. As a result, everyone can reach out to me before the wedding day to ask questions and get answers. Then, I take the reins on the wedding day as the point person for all the vendors, bride, groom, wedding party and family. My team not only oversees and helps with all of the set up of the wedding, but we also check in with the wedding party to be sure they are following the timeline and everyone’s needs are met.
This gorgeous wedding took place in the middle of Summer. Naturally, this brings weather considerations to mind. Are there particular elements that make or break a summer wedding experience in your mind?
If my couple has chosen a summer wedding, there are definitely many advantages that often factor into wedding day. Although, they also have to be prepared for the possibility of rain or extreme heat. No matter the season, there will always be ‘plan b’s’ that need to be planned out.
You just have to be okay with those secondary plans in case they need to be implemented. If a secondary plan is unacceptable to a couple, I typically steer them to an alternate venue that allows for a ‘plan b’ they would be happy with.
We love having those potential weather concerns covered for our couples with the variety of entertaining spaces that we provide! Beyond the venue, how do you advise couples when choosing which season is the right one for their event?
When my couples have not yet chosen a wedding date and would like advice on when to get married, there are several ways that I can point them in the right direction.
First, I ask them to share with me several photos of wedding flowers or wedding reception set ups with centerpieces that they like. If there are particular flowers that they absolutely must have, I can guide them to the season of availability.
Second, if they have their hearts set on an option which their guests will be in the elements all day (e.g. Al Fresco dining), I’d suggest steering clear of July or August. Last, but not least, if a couple has chosen a color palette they love or a bride has already purchased a wedding dress, there may be ideal temperatures and settings to pair.
I ask many questions that can help lead my couple to the perfect wedding date. All of which factor into what venue I think would be a good fit for them.
With so much mixed advice on wedding planning out there, it can be hard for couples to determine essential vendors. How would you recommend couples determine whether a wedding planner is right for them and their event?
When considering hiring a wedding planner or coordinator, I suggest that couples write out the top reasons that they are considering hiring a professional.
There are many tasks that a wedding planner and coordinator can do for you. Some are quite obvious while others may be overlooked. Thus, reaching out to just chat with a wedding planner can be very beneficial in truly understanding what their role would be at your wedding. During an initial consultation, I always ask my potential clients what they are looking for in a wedding planner. Most always they say that they are looking for someone to take charge on the wedding day. They aim to make sure everything runs smoothly and on time so they and everyone involved in the wedding can enjoy themselves. For me, that is the bare minimum that I do for my clients.
I can offer as much wedding planning help as needed, including vendor recommendations, attending meetings with other vendors, attending dress fittings, proof reading of print materials, design assistance, floor plan assistance, timeline creation, vendor communication, and so much more.
Once couples consult with a wedding planner and hear all the roles they can take on for them, they will have a better understanding of what their needs and wants would be from a planner or coordinator. Another important factor is to make sure your personalities mesh well together. You will likely be spending a lot of time together planning your perfect day. So you want someone you connect with and enjoy being around.
We love working with you because we know we have the same goal of caring for our couples and their loved ones. What type of experience do you ultimately hope to create for every one of your couples?
It’s no secret that wedding planning can be stressful and there probably isn’t a couple out there that has planned a completely stress free wedding! However, hiring a wedding planner or coordinator can definitely ease so much angst and stress that could potentially pop up. My number one goal is to not only make the wedding day pleasant and enjoyable, but the planning process as well. I’ve planned and coordinated a lot of weddings. Respectfully, most of my couples have not. Bringing my experience and expertise to the table can really create a pleasant planning process and magical wedding day!
Pomp & Bloom and Creative In Bloom really knocked the design out of the park for Alex and Connor! We love to see magical vendor collaborations like this! We know that connecting clients to the right vendors is crucial. How do you help to guide your clients to the perfect team for their day?
I agree 100%! Vendor referrals and recommendations are so important when it comes to planning the perfect wedding for my clients. I always encourage my couples to pick my brain as a wedding planner on who would be an ideal fit.
There are a few factors that come into play when I suggest vendors to my clients. For instance, if we are looking for a florist and my couple knows exactly what they want their flowers to look like, I will suggest to them a florist that has a similar style to that. Another approach I take is sharing three to four florists with them that all have different styles. Then, they can let me know which ones they like and which ones they don’t. Same with photographers, sharing three to four photographers with varying styles with my couple and seeing which ones they like really helps me narrow down their style of photography that would be best for them on the wedding day.
Personalities also play a huge role when recommending vendors to my clients. If I feel like my clients will really connect with a certain vendor because their personalities will match well together, that could be a great recommendation, too. So, of course, it is very case specific, but those are just a few considerations I take when sharing vendor recommendations with my couples.
Wedding planning is hard work and involves wearing a lot of different hats! What keeps you motivated and loving the work that you do?
Truer words have never been spoken!
As a wedding planner there will always be challenges you will have to face, you have to know how to work with a large variety of personalities, you have to be a quick thinker, and you have to work well under pressure.
I think a lot of enjoying my work as a wedding planner has to do with the rewarding feeling that comes at the end of the wedding. When you are with a client for months on end, planning their wedding then making it happen for them, seeing the joy in their faces at the end of the wedding and knowing that you pulled it off for them is the biggest reward of all. As with any job, you have to have a natural passion and knack for wedding planning. It is not for everyone, but if you get bit with the bug, it can be highly rewarding! It is definitely a learned skill, so the more experience you have, the easier the job gets but it’s never boring.
To close out our Wedding Planner Q&A and reflecting on Alex and Connor’s wedding day, what details about this experience stand out to you still?
Alex and Connor’s wedding day was so colorful and full of love!
I truly enjoyed working with both of their families and The Wilds made their wedding day relaxed and enjoyable for all the vendors. Style-wise, it was breathtaking! The abundance of gorgeous florals created by Pomp & Bloom and all the custom details from Creative in Bloom kept our jaws dropping all day. Every vendor that was hired was experienced and professional and delivered a high class service to Alex and Connor. I was truly honored to be a part of such a magical wedding day!
The Vendor Team
|Wedding Venue||—||The Wilds Venue|
|Bar||—||Upland Brewing Co.|
|Caterer||—||Cynthia Moriarty Catering|
|Wedding Cake||—||Cynthia Moriarty Catering|
|Planning||—||Ashley Weddings & Events|
|Florist||—||Pomp & Bloom|
|Hair & Makeup||—||Something Blue Stylist|
|Stationery, Signage + Details||—||Creative in Bloom|
|Wedding Dress + Suit Shop||—||The Black Tux|
|Wedding Dress||—||Lovely Bride|
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