Yesterday was one of those perfect spring days that we spend all winter dreaming about. It was 70 degrees with a nice breeze, sunny and not a single cloud in the sky. So naturally I spent the day soaking up the sun, enjoying beautiful scenery and surrounded by lots of great people. I wasn't at the beach or at a friend's barbecue, but working a twelve hour day. And all I have to say is, man, I love my job!
The best part of being an event planner is hands down the people I have the opportunity to meet along the way. I not only get to be a part of some of the most special and intimate moments of people's lives, but I also develop relationships that go way beyond the conclusion of an event. Usually when I talk about these bonds and friendships that are formed I am referring to my extraordinary clients (and trust me, I have the BEST clients!), but today I am taking about all those people who are behind the scenes who truly make or break an event: the vendors.
I first met Megan and Garrett of Megapixels Media Photography a few months back and we instantly hit it off. They shared their vision of a romantic, rustic chic stylized photo shoot and we worked together to conceptualize this Pinterest perfect photo shoot. As soon as we visited Caboose Farm, we were hooked. Mind you, we visited the venue about a week after the historic Maryland blizzard this January that dumped over 3' of snow on the grounds, and we trudged through the remains of it (still easily over a foot and a half) to discover "The Glade". The Glade is this fairy tale-esque clearing on the property where the woods and the stream converge and even in the height of winter, there was no denying that this was a photographer's dream.
Over the next couple of months, I collaborated with Megan and Garrett and we created a photo shoot's dream team for a gathering that is pretty unusual for an event planner: eleven of the most talented vendors, zero guests and not a single client. We were an army of twelve individual businesses, who banded together under one vision to achieve a perfect photo shoot.
Pictured (left to right): Eileen Dempsey of Forever Blossoms Floral Designs, Brenda Dalton of Rose Brooke Studio, Megan and Garrett Pitts of Megapixels Media Photography, Katie and Kurt Price of Memorable Events and Rentals, Marisa Mysko of Upskill Artistry, and our models, the future Mrs. and Mr. Joanna and Wil Van Auken
I was reminded of several key takeaways from this event (many of which will be the subjects of future posts) including: 1) the importance and value of working with qualified and experienced professionals who you trust, 2) always (hire someone who will) expect and prepare for the unexpected, and 3) Pinterest dream weddings really can happen, especially in a meticulously planned, rain date ready, completely staged environment, but...(the most important takeaway is to follow)
Things do come up- life comes up. When planning your own event, dream big. You want what you want and your loved ones, your event planner and your vendor team will do everything they can to make it happen. But, something will come up, it always does. For us (even in our fishbowl environment) there were a couple small issues and then a big issue: two hours from the start time of the shoot, we were informed that the suit we had booked for our groom would not be arriving. Fortunately, we were able to work with Men's Wearhouse in Frederick to find a last minute replacement- they were phenomenal!
We were so thrilled that it had come together that we didn't even realize that we left the perfectly coordinated bow tie and suspenders sitting on the counter until the moment when our groom went to get dressed. I raced back to the store to pick up the missing pieces (35 minutes each way) and missed the first half of the photo shoot, which I had been planning play by play for months. But that tie made it (phew)! But you know what? It would have made absolutely no difference. (Really, would you have noticed?)
The moral is, as you can see (though please ignore my amateur photos from my Iphone) the shoot turned out better than we had even imagined! And in the bigger picture, your event will also be better than you could've imagined, but it will not be "perfect". But at your event, ESPECIALLY if it is your wedding, are you really going to notice the bow tie? Do you want to look back on that day and remember that you stressed over something so small? I promise, you won't notice and it won't matter. Dream big (and let a professional planner worry about the small stuff.)
And if you don't believe me about not sweating the small stuff...remember that aforementioned January blizzard? Check out the most go with the flow, glass half-full, stunning and butt-kicking blizzard bride. That three and a half feet of snow didn't slow her down. Check out her wedding, which was featured in Offbeat Bride, Zooey Deschanel's blog, Capitol Romance and the bride's own blog Gretchen In-Between (all photos by the very talented Jon Fleming Photography.) Again...how important is a bowtie?
Now, enjoy this sneak preview of the shoot and thank you to all the vendors who shared our vision and made it a reality and of course to Joanna and Wil (and their dog Tucker) for making modeling look so easy! Stay tuned for the professional photos by Megapixels Media Photography.
Models: Joanna McIntire & Wil Van Auken
Venue: Caboose Farm
Photographer: Megapixels Media Photography
Decor: Memorable Events and Rentals
Flowers: Forever Blossoms Floral Designs
Hair: Rose Brooke Studio
Makeup: Upskill Artistry
Invitations and programs: Hadley Designs
Limousine: Krazy Eight Limousine
Cake: Niqua's Baking Addiction
Suit: Men's Wearhouse
Planner: Classic Occasions by Caitlin