Wedding Planning Checklist

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE DOWNLOAD

We have been working hard this fall to create a “How To” guide on working with Weekend Wedding Warrior. We truly see our relationships with our clients as partnerships. Our motto is, “You plan it, We make it Happen!” Without our clients’ excellent planning, we can’t make it happen perfectly. Therefore, we created a guide on how to plan your wedding and where we will fit in along the way. This extensive guide will be available to all our 2018 couples (and beyond!).

In the process, we partnered with Riley & Ko. to create this Wedding Planning Checklist to help get you started. We hope it’s helpful to know what you should expect to do when! We tried looking online for a guide that we thought was awesome, but they all fell short…so we made our own!

 

Voice Tribune Feature – Kaleighn and David LaBore

Kaleigh & David’s wedding was featured in the Voice Tribune! You can read the whole article here, https://voice-tribune.com/life-style-2/vows/kaleighn-david-labore/

Here is my favorite part 🙂

She thanks her wedding planner, Debbie Saag from Weekend Wedding Warriors, for having the day go off without a hitch. “She was absolutely 100 percent incredible, the lifesaver of the wedding,” Kaleighn says gratefully. “She’s somebody who is on the same wavelength as me, and she just made it happen.”

Eloped in Louisville

Alexis and I go way back. Like we went to camp together when we were in 7 years old in East Aurora, NY, way back. When we were in our 20’s we were on a professional dance team together (Go Buffalo Bandettes!). We always kept in touch, but kids and life (she lives in Buffalo, NY and I, of course, in Louisville, KY) definitely get in the way. So when she text me out of the blue on a Monday night in early January, I was surprised to hear from her! The conversation went like this (pardon the swearing!):

Reminder this is Monday night. That night they booked a flight to Louisville for Thursday night. Neither of them had been to Louisville, but they wanted to get married quickly and didn’t have the documents that were needed to get married in NY and in KY it is surprisingly easy to get married! So my mission was clear: pull off a wedding starting Tuesday morning that would happen Friday afternoon…and make Louisville lovers out of these two!

The abbreviated version of the story is that Louisville has such an amazing community of wedding/event vendors. I was amazed and delighted that everyone I reached out to was willing and able to help!

Natalia with Chocolate Box Photography jumped on as the photographer

The Embassy Suites Downtown Louisville gave a great room rate and indoor courtyard for the ceremony

In Bloom Again said “no problem” when not only did I want them to make a bouquet and boutonniere, but they had to include the couples favorite flower (which are totally out of season), peonies.

Brendan’s Catch 23 reserved a private dining space just for the couple, on a Friday night.

Modern Trousseau Louisville, not only found Alexis her dream dress, but somehow it fit perfectly (I drove Alexis to try it on 3 hours before the ceremony!). Wo, we were lucky!

Then Amelia Evans Makeup Artist jumped on board at 9:30am on Friday…and started Alexis’ makeup at 11:30am!

After a huge snow storm in Buffalo on Thursday the Couple didn’t think they would make their flight to Louisville, but they did with only a slight delay. The next morning they woke up, had breakfast at the Embassy Suites, walked to County Clerk’s office and got their marriage license. Then I picked up Alexis took her to get her wedding dress and then back to the Embassy Suites for hair/makeup. Natalia arrived to capture all the beautiful moments and the Couple was married around 1:30pm that afternoon in the indoor courtyard at the Embassy Suites. That afternoon they turned in their signed marriage license, went to the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience downtown, and then had an amazing private dinner at Brendan’s Catch 23. The next day they explored Louisville (brunch at Gralehaus, cocktails at Proof) and then flew back to Buffalo. On Monday, Reggie flew back to Japan where he is stationed in the Air Force. Alexis has a few loose ends to tie up, but plans to move to Japan with her husband soon!

How’s that for an adventure in wedding planning? Louisville as an elopement wedding destination?? My wheels are turning…stay tuned.

xoxo,

Maggie

 

Derby Breakfast / Bourbon & Biscuits

Derby 2016 is over and wedding season is official in full force in Kentucky. Event Warriors was honored to coordinated the 38th annual Derby Breakfast in conjunction with the 2nd annual Bourbon & Biscuits, hosted at Farmington Historic Home, benefiting the Historic Homes Foundation (HHF). HHF raises much needed funds for the preservation and education of 3 distinct Kentucky properties; Farmington, Whitehall, and the Thomas Edison House in Louisville, Kentucky.

Of course we are known for wedding coordination which is 95% of our business. However, we love events of all shapes and sizes! The Derby Breakfast / Bourbon & Biscuits took place from 9am-12pm under a perfectly blue sky (we ordered that!) under the Pavilion that is a permanent structure at Farmington along with 2 large tents by Reliable Rentals. Julep’s Catering took care of all the goodies; an extensive Southern Buffet and open bar in the $150 per person Derby Breakfast and a gorgeous variety of Kentucky’s finest biscuits with every topping and stuffing you could imagine at the $60 per person Bourbon & Biscuits event. Guests sipped, Southern Mary’s with Tito’s Vodka, Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon in many different forms (of course including the Mint Julep), and Mimosas with Wyatt Champagne.

Decor was provided by Pizzazzle Events (draping and Chandeliers) and Bittners and all floral design was provided by the talented Rose & Honey Florals. Gorgeous custom wood tables were donated by the brand new table rental company Table Matters (website coming soon! for more information contact Kristin with Don’t Forget the Flowers)

Our team took over all linen setup, volunteer training, check in responsibilities, along with vendor contact and confirmation, silent auction check out, and teardown. Our presence gives the Event Board more time to host their guests and donors so that everyone feels well taken care of while we worry about all the details of running the event.

Chapter 25 Photo truly impressed us with the way she captured this beautiful Derby Day. Here are a few for your FOMO pleasure:

Warrior Moves and Additions

Weekend Wedding Warrior could not be more excited about the shifts happening over here!

First off, we are honored and proud to welcome

Debbie Saag

to our Team. Debbie was the wedding sales and coordinator at the Historic Brown Hotel for a past few years. She is known for her infectious enthusiasm, upbeat personality, and keen logistics ability. You can read her full bio here. We are thrilled that her recent job change allows her to coordinate weddings with us!

 

Secondly, it is bittersweet to announce to our

Nikki Deese

has been accepted into Lipscomb University’s Graduate College of Education in Nashville, Tennessee. She starts classes in the Fall and is moving to Nashville in June. We are thankful that Nikki is so dedicated to Weekend Wedding Warrior and wedding day coordination that she will now be coordinating weddings in Nashville! That’s right, Nikki is bringing her talents to Tennessee and we can’t wait to watch her knock their socks off with her attention to detail and extreme dedication to hospitality. However, we are going to miss her desperately in Louisville.

 

Images by Crystal Ludwick Photo, LLC

Lindsey & Sean’s Wedding Film

Colburn Video completely hit it out of the park with Lindsey & Sean’s wedding video. I have said it before and I’m sure I will say it again, Videographers are soooo important! Without them we would not be able to relive the words from the ceremony (which as so perfect, by the way) or the wonderful toast Lindsey’s Step Father gave. Favorite memories from this wedding:

-Mickey: Lindsey & Sean’s loyal dog/baby that travels with them everywhere

-White Castle, complete with Balloons

-December weddings are gorgeous! This could be an advertisement for a Kentucky winter wedding!

-Lindsey: I want to be friends with this cool chic! She is the best and look how dang pretty she is!

xoxo,

Maggie

 

Photography: Todd Pellowe Photography | Floral Design: In Bloom Again | Videographer: Colburn Video | Hair: Rebecca with Le Bliss | Makeup: Morgan Whitworth | DJ and Lighting: Masters of Music | Ceremony: St. Boniface Catholic Church | Venue: The Olmstead I Catering: Mastersons | Wedding Day Coordination: Weekend Wedding Warrior | Cake: Stir Crazy Cakes

 

Jenny & Darren’s New Years Eve Wedding

 

Jenny & Darren’s wedding was so much fun to be a part of. For such an extravagant wedding, this couple was more laid back than you would ever imagine. Jenny’s mom, Bev, took the lead in planning all the magical details. Fleur de Lis transformed the space into a Winter Wonderland. Myself and my stellar assistant, Jessica, coordinated and executed the wedding to perfection. Snow machine on the dance floor, check, New Years Eve Countdown projected on the ceiling, check. The Mother of the Bride was anxious that things wouldn’t be done fully (they had a not-so-great experience with a different wedding coordinator for her other daughter’s wedding). However, everything she asked of us was done before she thought to ask. Check out this great text on the day-of (“You guys are killing me! Perfection!”):

IMG_9640

xoxo,

Maggie

 

Credits:

Videographer: Lifetime Films

Ceremony & Reception: The Brown Hotel

Photographer: Blue Martini Photography

Florist/Designer: Fleur de Lis Events

Cake: Mert’s Cakes

 

We HEART Wedding Vendors!

For the most part, we work alone in our home offices. Of course we are a team, but most of our communication happens over text and email. Therefore, when we have an excuse to get together, we’re going to make it happen! We recently hosted a Valentine’s Day inspired party for all of the Wedding and Event Vendors we worked with in the past year. We wanted to honor them for all of their love, support, and help. Truly, without other wedding vendors believing in us, we wouldn’t have a business and many Couples would never find us!

This reminds me not everyone knows about our Venue & Vendor Recommendation Add-On to our Wedding Coordination Service. It is completely different from anything else we’ve seen other companies offer and we want to make sure you know all about it!

Having knowledgeable, professional vendors (e.g. photographer, caterer, Band/DJ, etc.) is the best way to ensure you have a great team working for you on your wedding day. We know these local vendors; they are our Colleagues, our Weekend Warriors, & our Friends! We take pride in meeting with and learning about as many vendors as will have us. We keep detailed, shared notes on what it was like working with each vendor. Was their work great, but they were hard to get an email back from? Were they on time? Was the client happy with the product they received? We coordinated on average 50 weddings a year. Think 5-6 vendors per wedding. Maybe 1-2 overlap per wedding. That is still 200 different people we have come into contact and can answer questions about and speak to their work! AKA We know what’s up!

Our Recommendation Package includes an extensive meeting where we determine your taste and budget. Then we take that information and contact the most reputable vendors that are a good fit for you to check their availability. We never want to mention a fantastic vendor, have you fall in love with their work, and then have them NOT be available. Avoid the drama! You will receive a list of 2-3 vendors in each category (e.g. photographer, florist, etc) with their pricing information that are available and a great fit for you. Then you get to make the final decision! You can meet with everyone on the abbreviated list and make the final call on who is the best fit for you and your family. We don’t choose the vendors for you or give you a list with only one person to choose from because, well, it’s not our wedding. We want you to feel 100% about the vendors that YOU choose, but we also don’t want you to be totally overwhelmed with lack-luster options by googling “Wedding Photographer Louisville, KY”!

Wedding Coordination + Personalized Vendor Recommendation = Stress-free Wedding Day!

xoxo,

Maggie

PS A HUGE Thank You to Farm to Fork Catering to supplying lots of savory, healthy, fresh apps for the party!

{Balloon heart created by Witty’s Party Supply}

 

ABC MidWest Retreat at West Baden Springs Hotel

I was extremely honored to be asked by our local Kentucky chapter of the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) to be a speaker at the Midwest Retreat. This 2-day event took place at West Baden Springs Hotel in Indiana and included Wedding Planners/Coordinators (and other great wedding professionals too!) from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.

I had given a short presentation a year or so ago to our local chapter entitled, “Why are Wedding Planners so Mean?”. I discussed the high stress (did you know that in 2016 Forbes.com named Event Coordinator the 5th most stressful job?! Event Coordinator has been on the top 10 list for most stressful jobs for almost 5 years in a row!) nature of our jobs and how to keep calm in stressful situations. I was pretty surprised, when the President of the Kentucky Chapter nominated my presentation for the Midwest Retreat. I was even more surprised when they picked me!

I created a 75 minute presentation discussing how wedding planners get a negative reputation, why other vendors sometimes don’t like working with planners/coordinators, and what we can do to change that. I brought in a lot of scientific research about ego, aggression, and using mindfulness as tool to combat both ego and aggression (aggression, meaning passive types…not fighting!). In return for my presentation, I was delighted to be given admission to the whole educational conference (a day full of presentations by professionals from across the Region) along with 2 nights stay at West Baden Springs Hotel, a formal dinner upon arrival, and a luncheon midway through the educational portion.

All of the presenter’s did a wonderful job and I received great feedback on how unique and helpful my presentation was to all small business owners. I also, have the fun job of being Bethany Tiesman’s (Beauty by Bethany) model for her makeup demonstration:

IMG_6697

One of my very favorite parts was that I brought my little girl, Rori, and my Mama along to have fun while I was at the Conference. There was a Trolley that ran between West Baden Resort and French Lick Resort and Rori rode it at least 3 times:

IMG_9669

If anyone is looking for a not-so-far destination wedding that includes many different luxury offerings in house please let me know. I found some stunning images of West Baden Weddings from Mon Amie Events and Nathaniel Edmunds Photography:

Koch-0629-1024x682 Koch-Dancing1 Koch-06801-682x1024xoxo,

Maggie

Real Talk: Wedding Shows

Tis the season for everyone and their mother to host a Bridal Show (for the purpose of this post and equality I’m going to use the term “Wedding Show”). I can think of 5 off the top of my head that are happening in the next 2 weeks and I’m sure there are so many more I haven’t even heard of. So let’s get real and talk about the Pros & Cons of Wedding Shows for Engaged Couples and for Wedding Vendors.

Disclaimer: if you can’t tell by my tone already, I hate Wedding Shows. Like for reals, hates it. When I’m there I feel like a Homeless Beggar asking people on the side of the road to be my friend. The desperation and rejection hurts my Soul. So you may want to take me with a grain of salt 😉

homelessness-clipart-17097334-homeless-man

Engaged Couples:

Pros:

  • You get to meet a lot of different vendors at the exact same time.
  • You get to try a lot of different caterers food at one location. How convenient and delicious. Free food for everyone!
  • You get some real time inspiration for decor and design.

Cons:

  • Overwhelming. Wedding shows are totally overwhelming. There are 100s of other Couples there and many wedding vendor booths. Everyone is trying to do the same thing at the same time and it can be loud and obnoxious.
  • Surface Level. It’s hard to have a real conversation with any one vendor.
  • Distractions. Since Wedding Shows are typically so crowded and overwhelming it is very easy to miss an important booth or table. You may not have noticed Weekend Wedding Warrior over their in the corner and therefore never got to learn about wedding day coordination 😉
  • Inexperienced Vendors. You have no idea how good/experienced those wedding vendors truly are. I think this is a big one folks! Some Couples assume that if a vendor is at a Wedding Show they are vetted/recommended by the location/very seasoned, but that assumption is dead wrong! For the strong majority of Wedding Shows any and all vendors are allowed in as long as they pay the entrance fee. Let that sink in…any random person willing to pay $300-$500 (in the Louisville area, in Nashville they are $500-$1000) and call themselves a business is allowed to setup a booth. Do you really want to hire that person?! (side note: some Wedding Shows are selective on who they allow to participate in their show, but it can be hard to decipher which is which.)
  • They are a Business. People don’t typically host wedding shows because they are wanting to help you (though that can be a bonus). People start wedding shows because who do you think is pocketing that $500 per vendor fee?! $500 x 40 vendors – some tables = Mega Moola! I mean way more than what people make on 1 wedding. It’s a smart way to make a lot of $$ in one day. Sorry Lovies, it’s not about helping you…it’s all about the Benjamins Baby!
  • Scams. I hate that this is real, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes! I was at a Wedding Show in Nashville this past Fall and there was a photographer there that doubled his prices for the wedding show, but then said if you put a deposit down at the show you would get 50% off….ugh…say wha?! That’s so sketchy and yet he booked 8 weddings at that show alone!

Wedding Vendors:

Pros:

  • You get to meet many Couples at once and get your name out there.
  • If you are hurting for business or just starting out it’s a great way to book a few clients, especially if you are willing to drop your prices or put together some “deals” (see Scams above).
  • You get to network with other Wedding Vendors. This is my fav, personally. Other wedding vendors are the key to success…they support you, give you great feedback, and refer you business.

Cons:

  • $$$. They are expensive. We love so many different venues in Louisville. If we participated in all of their wedding shows at approx $500 a show a year (Henry Clay, Whitehall, Brown, Olmstead, Gillespie, etc etc etc) We would be broke! This isn’t a hobby, My Loves..this is my job, and I have mouths to feed!
  • Playing favorites. If you are anything like us we don’t like to play favorites. Of course, there are some venues and vendors that are easier to work with, but they all have good qualities in the end. Choosing which show to participate in feels like you are choosing favorites and that’s just a lose-lose situation.
  • Gambling. Let’s do some math. A Wedding Show costs approx $500. Well you can’t just go to a show with empty arms. So you pay $100 on pretty cards, and the graphic design of those cost you another $100 (min) and then you want a pretty table cloth which is $50 and then some nice flowers and/or candy to spruce up your booth. You’re at $800 investment. It’s also super important to note that we (Weekend Wedding Warrior) are a service business and therefore have by far the least amount of investment of any other type of wedding vendor. Florists and designers are spending another $300+ on florals and decor to decorate their tables. Caterers/Bakers are spending who-knows-how-much on samples to hand out.  We charge approx $2000 for our service. If we book one wedding from that show we are earning about $1200 for that wedding. Then take out taxes and than we’re broke again. I’d rather just charge $1200 then put myself through the depression of a Wedding Show. Also, there is no guarantee you will book a wedding from a Show. I have done many Shows and booked Zero weddings (e.g. GardenCourt, FEVA, & Enchanted in 2015 alone!) and then I have done others have booked 2 or 3 weddings (Thank you, Whitehall!). It’s a complete gamble! I’m a practical and logistical person, gambling makes me anxious!

So, what is the take away? I wish Louisville could come together and find a way to reduce the overall number of wedding shows in the city. Almost every venue has their own show which makes the quality of Vendors diluted and the number/quality of Couples diluted. However, this would be assuming that people are hosting shows solely for the benefit of Couples & Vendors. Please just think twice before you go to a Wedding Show, pay to be in a Wedding Show, or start another God Forsaken Wedding Show.

 

Comical ending: If you want to come see me at a Wedding Show, I’ll be the one on the Mezzanine hiding my tears at The Brown on Fri Jan 22nd 6-9pm. Please smile and say “Hi”, so that I don’t feel like such a Hobo.

xoxo,

Maggie