Laura & Taylor’s Natural Wedding

Laura and Taylor are one of those couples that I’m going to miss and hope I see out and about often. Luckily, Taylor works at Whole Foods in Louisville where I frequent! Their day is forever sealed in my memory because we waited until the last possible minute to make the “tent or no tent” call for the Ceremony due to rain. It was really mesmerizing to see these two work as a team and know their strengths in decision making. Laura ended up letting Taylor make the final decision so that she didn’t have to worry about it (smart Lady!). They set a Tent on one side of Gheen’s Lodge and then prayed for no rain on the other. They truly wanted to be married on the lawn with nothing but the sky above them. Fifty Chairs came to setup just 2.5 hours before the ceremony (the latest we could possibly push it after lots of texting throughout the week!). They either needed to setup under the tent or outside on the lawn. We watched the radar and it was 60% chance of rain. Taylor made the brave decision to put the ceremony on the lawn where they both had hoped to be and pictured themselves getting married. However, sans seat cushions (they were moving the same chairs inside for the reception. Did you know Fifty Chairs will bring a crew to move them for $1 a chair? So easy and cost-saving!). Well he made the right call. It rained an hour before the ceremony and I quickly wiped down all the chairs before the guests arrived…just in time for the sun to come out for the ceremony. Good call Taylor!


Photography: Stewart Hunter Photography | Floral Design: Bostons Floral Couture | Wedding Dress: Blush by Hayley Paige | Bride’s Shoes: Qupid | Hair And Makeup: Kristie Hicks | Band: HAY DJ | Groom’s Attire: Stephen Geoffrey from Rebecca’s Black Tie | Venue: Gheen’s Lodge I Catering: Mastersons | Wedding Day Coordination: Weekend Wedding Warrior |

What does Warrior mean to me?! It’s about being REAL!

Let’s face it, Weekend Wedding Warrior is an odd name for a wedding company. Most companies use the owners name or make up something soft and pretty using the word “elegant” in their company title. I named this company to explain exactly what we do. We are Wedding Warriors that work your Wedding Weekend! It has nothing to do with myself (owner, Maggie Heely) or my ego and it has everything to do with the service we provide families.

Once at a bridal show, a groom said to me “why warrior? what does that mean?” I froze for a second. I had been giving the same schpeel for 3 hours to newly engaged couples and his question caught me off guard!

Well, Mr. Groom, here’s my answer: Being a Weekend Wedding Warrior means going to battle for every single one of the couples and families that we work for. It’s doing the dirty, behind-the-scenes work that the average person doesn’t want to do (let alone recognize that it’s needed to be done). It has nothing to do with being pretty, though we will make sure your wedding is pretty, and it has everything to do with being REAL.
In real life, DJ’s don’t download the correct version of the first dance song and we are finding it on YouTube to connect to the speaker system.
In real life, those beautifully crafted boutonnieres fall apart after the 4th hug and we are super-gluing the stem back on.
In real life, a gown’s train gets stepped on and your bustle breaks and we are on our knees pinning/sewing it so you can dance the night away.
In real life, that perfectly white dress will get something spilled on it and we will have the Tide stick and the white fabric chalk to cover it up.
In real life, you will forget the wedding rings in your room because you are so excited about getting married, but don’t worry, we’ve made sure the Best Man already has them.
In real life, your mash potato bar collapses and we rebuild it!
In real life, there are terrible storms, even on wedding days, and the power goes out so we light every candle we can find and you get married by candle-light!

Life happens and it is not always pretty. We are the SHIELD (the Warrior Shield) that protects you from all of those unexpected, but inevitable moments on your wedding day.

I love beautiful photos and staged wedding photo shoots and creative-minds with pretty and delicate ideas on fancy blogs, but those aren’t real. Being a Weekend Wedding Warrior means making sure every detail is handled so that you can focus on what is really REAL…getting married and committing yourself to the love of your life.

Check out the stunning pictures of Colleen & Chris’s Wedding by R.T. Photography! The Bride got ready at The Brown Hotel and their wedding reception was at the Louisville Country Club with flowers by Colonial Designs.

Stunning photographic Collage by Amy Shepherd Photography of Shellee & Brandon’s Wedding at Whitehall.

Wedding Planner Vs. Wedding Coordinator

Warrior Alicia and I (Maggie) had the pleasure of spending the night with our husbands at West Baden Spring Hotel last night. The wedding director at the hotel invited a group of wedding planners & coordinators from Indy, Northern KY, Louisville, & Lexington to show off the property and educate us on their meeting spaces. Not only did we get to tour the stunning properties of West Baden Springs and French Lick Resorts, eat the wonderful food, and stay in the lush accommodations…we also were able to bond and discuss with the leading wedding planners in the surrounding cities. The one topic that was consistently discussed was the role of a wedding planner vs a wedding coordinator. No matter what we call ourselves we all agree that brides, grooms, and vendors need more education in this department. So if you see a problem, fix it!

Wedding Coordinator – First think of the word “coordinate

transitive verb

1: to put in the same order or rank
2: to bring into a common action, movement, or condition : harmonize <we need to coordinate our schedules>
intransitive verb
1: to be or become coordinate especially so as to act together in a smooth concerted way

A Coordinator puts the pieces of a wedding together so that the event will be harmonious and smooth. Generally, coordinators are gathering information from the Couple and advocating for them through out the wedding. The Couple is planning the wedding, but the Coordinator is making it happen in a clean and structured way. Successful Coordinators can be hired as far out as 1.5 years before a wedding or as soon as 1 month before a wedding!

Wedding Planner – If a person calls themselves a Wedding Planner that means that they are planning the wedding. They are their throughout the entire decision making process to help the Couple make good choices. They have their hands in every step and they are generally helping with every element including design. A colleague was recently telling me that they were insulted to be called a wedding coordinator when they work their butts off for months and months not just putting all the pieces together, but helping to create the pieces as well. Wedding Planners generally like to be hired well in advance of the wedding so that they can be their from the beginning to the end.

So, which Couples need a Wedding Coordinator? – Wedding Coordinators are for Couples who want to plan their own wedding. They want to do the majority of the steps themselves, but they want a professional at the wedding to pull all the pieces together so that the Couple can enjoy their wedding.

Which Couples need a Planner? – A Planner is a great option for Couples who want someone to help them with every step of the wedding planning process. They want someone helping them choose their design, their vendors, menu, etc.

Weekend Wedding Warrior, LLC is very confident in saying that we are Wedding Coordinators NOT Planners. We respect and love Wedding Planners! Often we refer Couples to Wedding Planners if they are looking for more than we offer. However, we are not nor do we want to be Wedding Planners. We just want everyone to play to their strengths and be respectful of others strengths. There are more than enough weddings to go around and there is plenty of room for both Coordinators & Planners in the wedding industry! We feel lucky that we were able to spend time at West Baden Springs with respectful and like-minded Planners who support us as Coordinators. They don’t want to do what we do and we don’t want to do what they do 🙂


I found this great article from 2010 on Every Last Detail Wedding Blog by Lauren Grove:

I’ve heard it several times- “Oh the venue coordinator will handle everything, I don’t need a wedding planner/coordinator.” What most brides don’t know is that the venue coordinator is just there for the VENUE, not you. (Nothing against venue coordinators- I love them and they’ve helped me out a lot!) And so, since I’m kind of the person who says things about planning weddings that not many other bloggers will….

– A venue coordinator is looking out for the best interest of the venue. A wedding coordinator looks out for the best interest of YOU, the bride. The venue coordinator deals with everything having to do with the venue- food, setup, etc. A wedding coordinator will deal with aspects of the venue, such as setup, and will make sure everything is to your specifications.

– If your ceremony is at a location other than the venue, your wedding coordinator will be there with you. A venue coordinator will not be at that offsite ceremony. If the ceremony is at the venue, the venue coordinator will be there to help with the coordination of the ceremony.

– A wedding coordinator stays by your side throughout the day and night. They are there to tell you when things will be occurring throughout the night, such as the cake cutting, bouquet toss, toasts, etc. I personally stay until the very end of the wedding, until all of the guests are gone. A venue coordinator stays until the meal is served, and the majority of the time, leaves after. Some may stay until the cake is cut and served. He or she will not be by your side throughout the day or night. Although the venue coordinator will do their best to keep you happy, he or she likely will not be involved if the best man hates your cousin and they are sitting near each other or if your bustle breaks.

– A wedding coordinator contacts your venues before your wedding to make sure everyone is confirmed and knows what time they will be arriving. A venue coordinator may only contact vendors that have to do with setup of the reception, not others, like your photographer or hair/makeup.

– Venues are known to have a high turnover rate among the coordinator/sales positions. The person that you book your wedding with may or may not still be there when it comes time for your wedding a year, year and a half later. Your wedding coordinator is hired by YOU, hand selected by YOU, and won’t be going anywhere (unless, God forbid, something horrible happens!).