As an experienced wedding planner we sample all types of cakes, see lots of centerpieces and wedding decorations and create unique wedding day schedules, plus we get to witness the most diverse groups of families come together to celebrate two people. With all these experience we want our clients to trust us as professionals, like Paul and Kirsten did in allowing us to guide them through all the changes and in turn they were able to believe we had their best interest in mind.
Paul and Kirsten have been our client for almost 2 years!! They came to us through the Tacoma Wedding Show and then had a quick phone call and a couple of emails, as they hadn’t found a venue for their wedding in 2018. I have this crazy way of listening to my clients and can point them to the perfect venue, so I suggested a venue on the military base at JBLM and before they even signed with Blue Wings Events, they went out to the venue and booked it, then came back and signed, as they were so impressed that with a little bit of contact I could figure out their venue. These two are like so many of our couples, besides being the sweetest and genuine couple you will ever meet, they are established in their careers, and do not want to have a career as a planner, rather hire an experienced wedding planner to help them through the process. But, what made things even more difficult was Kirsten was finishing up her masters and had absolutely no time to plan a wedding with a full time job, school and family pulling on her time.
Not long into planning I got a call…
They had to move the wedding to Indianapolis, Paul’s hometown, where his aging father was, as he couldn’t travel out to Washington State and could Blue Wings Events still continue to plan for them? Having been a corporate planner, where planning events in different states and so many times the first visit to a venue was the day of the event, I could do this wedding from Washington with no problem. In our planning we found a seasoned photographer, Marty at Bello Romance Photographer and the venue Rick’s Cafe Boatyard was on the lake giving them the water feature they would have had here in Washington. Next up was getting blocks of hotel rooms, which Stacy our logistics coordinator worked hard to do despite the national fireman’s convention in town the same weekend. Then Kirsten and I got to planning and trying to figure out what she really wanted for décor and flowers.
Pinterest is a crazy thing and it can seem so busy, but I was able to really focus on what Kirsten kept pinning and realized she just wanted tulips in clear jars on the tables with pink, green, lace and lady bug painted rocks.
Sometimes peeling back all the layers helps a bride and couple realize what they really are wanting for their special day. So we ordered vases and had them shipped to family and ordered the tulips from FiftyFlowers.com for delivery the Thursday before. Our team worked closely with the staff at the venue in getting the linens and floor plan set along with the menu. (Lesson learned, always ask about access for handicap, we did not realize the room was on the second floor and only accessible via stairs.)
We planned this wedding just like Blue Wings Events staff would be onsite.
Even though Paul and Kirsten didn’t think they could afford to have us travel out there for 3 nights, I blocked the day. I had them assign me two cousins and I planned to send them my rehearsal and day-of timelines filled out and then walk them through all of it. Paul gave me the names of his cousins and Kirsten was meeting with me and wishing I could come out with them. 6 days before the wedding I get a phone call asking if I can fly out on Thursday. Paul was way too worried about details and Kirsten just said bring Angela and you won’t have to be doing that. He picked up the phone and called.
I’m so glad they did!! While I did have to use his cousins to help with the outdoor ceremony by the lake, there were so many things I was able to do as an experienced wedding planner, that allowed the family to just enjoy each other and not worry about flowers, making a boutonniere for Paul, setting up the décor, managing the catering and timeline, or packing up everything at the end of the evening. They just enjoyed each other, as some of them hadn’t seen each other in years. And WOW…they know how to line dance, from the grandchildren all doing a flash dance with the bride/groom to Paul’s dad out there with 4 generations all dancing, absolutely this family loved to dance.
One of the special moments of this ceremony was the processional.
I love the look on a couples face when they ask if they can do something different for their ceremony and I say of course, lets do it! I always remind couples that this is ‘their’ wedding day and the ceremony should be customized specifically around them. For this special day the bride and groom actually walked down the aisle first and together!! Then, each of their children, with their families, walk down and each grandchildren handed Kirsten a white tulip. This then created the brides bouquet, which was tied with ribbon that had charms of two family members that had passed recently. This symbolized the future, present and past and was very touching. Another thing they did was during first look, I encouraged them to read their vows to each other if they wanted, but to make the decision after they have met, I love this alone time where they read their vows, it feels so personal and intimate, then during the ceremony they are so much more comfortable reading their vows without breaking down into tears.
We hired great vendors that knew the venue and with our detailed agenda and trust in them as professionals they did an amazing job. I also learned that family is not to be relied upon for clean-up. I didn’t have a car, but there was a large amount of items that needed to be packed and taken back to the house being rented by the couple. Family was to stay and help, but they went out to do the couple send off and that was the end of them. I packed it all up and ordered an Uber back. This is why you hire professionals, they are getting paid to do a job and they do it, we don’t pack up early or never pack up, we for sure don’t leave until the job is done. (This is my next blog for sure!!)
In the end…
This was an amazing wedding that ends with the groom taking his bride on a 3 week trip through Paris, Lisbon and Portugal. So many couples say they can’t afford a planner, I get that, planners don’t offer photos afterwards or have you dancing to your favorite song. But what an experienced wedding planner does offer is allowing you and your family to be in the moment of your day and during the planning portion we work on all those twist and turns and sometimes major changes to plans. We are the professional experienced weddings planners, so you don’t have to be.