Industrial Cleveland Styled Shoot

I am thrilled to FINALLY share our beautiful industrial Cleveland styled shoot from the beginning of May! This shoot was a big dream of mine, and I couldn’t believe when I finally saw it all come together at Red Space! It turned out even more amazing than I could possible imagine. I got to work with the BEST vendors, at the coolest venue, with the most lovely couple ever. Seriously how beautiful are they?!

I hope you enjoy! 

All pictures courtesy of mann and wife- visual storytellers 

Evie from The Pine Needle Calligraphy did an incredible job on the acrylic invite, and menu! one of my favorite pieces from the shoot! 

I loved the copper of these mugs, and who doesn’t love a good Moscow Mule?

Sara- owner of The Dress in Medina- was there with us that day and she brought 3 different tops for this amazing full skirt! We decided the change Gabriella into this beautiful top half way through our shoot! 

Red Space Industrial Styled Shoot-Red Space Industrial Styled Shoot-0148.jpg

this shoot would not have been have been possible without these incredible vendors!

mann and wife- mannandwifephotography.com 

Red Space- redspaceevents.com 

Dietz falls florist- dietzfallsflorist.com 

The Pine Needle Calligraphy 

The Dress Bridal Boutique- thedressbridalboutique.com 

Event Source- eventsource.net 

Beauty Therapy- beautytherapyinc.com 

Bittersweets- bittersweetsstow.com 

 

Ally and Jordan

Ally and Jordan - The Toolshed at Breitenbach Wine Cellars 

Maddie Widder Photography 

Maddie Widder Photography 

I couldn’t believe when I was actually driving up the beautiful vineyard-lined gravel driveway to the Toolshed at Breitenbach Winery for Ally and Jordan's wedding day! I feel like we were planning for so long! I met Ally in April of 2016 so we were working together for more than a year to bring Ally’s vision to life. At our very first meeting at Starbucks she told me how she wanted Rose Gold sequins table clothes, flowers everywhere and delicious food. I knew right then and there that we were a perfect match! I’m so thrilled she too felt I was the right planner for her.  

Ally looked absolutely stunning in her wedding dress with that beautiful cascading bouquet, and that perfect cathedral veil. 

Maddie Widder Photography

Maddie Widder Photography

The whole day was magical, but something that really stood out was the first look between Ally and her father. They had a very sweet moment together, and I know Maddie was also crying behind the camera. Ally just looked around at the transformed venue, and thanked her dad for all he did to bring her fairytale wedding to life. 

Maddie Widder Photography

Maddie Widder Photography

The day before the wedding Ally and I met at the venue and she was so calm and excited. I told her she hired the absolute best vendors, and the wedding day was going to go as smoothly as the planning did- and I was very right about that. It called all week for thunderstorms, and as you can see from this amazing pictures, the weather was absolutely in our favor. I’m truly going to miss planning this wedding with one of the sweetest brides I’ve ever met. 

Maddie Widder Photography 

Maddie Widder Photography 

Maddie Widder Photography

Maddie Widder Photography

Maddie Widder Photography

Maddie Widder Photography

Maddie Widder Photography

Maddie Widder Photography

This day would not have been possible without these amazing vendors!

Jessyka and Nick- The Piggery at Anna Dean Farms

On June 17th we spent our day at the Piggery in Barberton! It was a VERY hot day, but it was such a beautiful day! 

I met with Jessyka and her super sweet mother Susan almost a year before the wedding. Planning with them was an absolute dream! They are what we call the “ideal client." 

This Saturday wedding started for me on Friday with the set up of all the tables, chairs, and linens. It's always one of my favorite parts of weddings- seeing a blank space like the Piggery completely transform! 

The day went absolutely flawless- besides the heat of course! A moment that stuck out was the first look we did with the bride, and her father. It was an emotional moment and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. 

The bride and groom didnt see each other before the ceremony, so Nick seeing his soon to be wife walking down the aisle, was another very special moment 

The Ceremony look place in the beautiful Church at Stoney Hill in Medina. 

Pell Photography LLC

Pell Photography LLC

Pell Photography LLC

Pell Photography LLC

we worked with AMAZING vendors at this wedding!

Venue: The Piggery at Anna Dean Farms

Photography: Pell Photography LLC

Catering: Old Carolina BBQ

Bar: Sweet Water Caravan 

DJ: Brooks 

Linens: Sitting Pretty Linens

Floral: Chris’ Floral 

Ellie and Matt

Ellie and Matt’s wedding weekend started off with a chilly, and rainy wedding rehearsal at French Creek Nature Center in Sheffield, Ohio. It’s not your typical wedding venue, but it was EXACTLY what Ellie imagined for her wedding day. Saturday May 20th called for rain too, but we somehow hit the jackpot with perfect weather! This wonderful couple graduated college in Chicago, and got married all in the same month- talk about stressful! Planning a wedding from a different state, while finishing college is exactly why this sweet couple hired me. I am so thrilled they chose me to be their planner. I absolutely loved getting to know them, and help them plan their perfect wedding in the woods.

All pictures courtesy of Grace E. Jones Photography graceejones.com  

Grace E. Jones Photography 

Grace E. Jones Photography 

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Oh did i mention that one of their bridesmaids was their sweet dog? 

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

The reception took place at Avon Isle in Avon Ohio. It was great venue, with a beautiful outdoor area that guest really enjoyed! We strung bistro lights on the patio, and set up a fire pit for s’mores! It was honestly a perfect reception.  

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

Grace E. Jones Photography

The day would not have been possible without these absolutely amazing vendors!

Catering:  www.italiancreation.com 

Photography: graceejones.com

Floral: www.ashleysfloral.net 

DJ: www.brooksdjservice.com 

Why You Need a DJ For Your Wedding

Hi Everyone!

Today I am talking about why having a DJ at your wedding is crucial! There are exceptions however. If you're having a small wedding without dancing, speeches, or an order of events, then having an iPod hooked up with background music is absolutely fine.  

I think some people look at the DJ as just someone who just plays music. So why would you pay someone $1,000 to just play music? A DJ does so much more than just play music! They are also an emcee and will make or break your reception!

Your DJ is going to announce the bridal party into the reception, handle timing, and getting the microphone to the best man, maid of honor, and anyone else making speeches at the beginning of the reception. They will also keep guests informed on what’s happening during the reception i.e. when dinner will be served, if the bar will be closed for dinner, and when dessert will be served. They will also take charge of the cake cutting, first dance, garter/bouquet toss, anniversary dances, etc.  Once main dancing begins your DJ is going to be the one getting the party started! 

There are things that can be skipped at your reception, but a DJ should not be one of those things. 

xo, Val

What Time Should Your Ceremony Start?

Hi Everyone!

Today I am talking about what time your wedding ceremony should start!

I've been asked by a few of my brides recently if they should put down a half hour earlier on their invitations just to make sure everyone gets there on time. My short and [not so] sweet answer is this: if adults can’t respectfully arrive at least 10 minutes early to your wedding, that is not your problem, nor your responsibility to accommodate them on their tardiness.

Here’s a scenario for you: you receive an invitation in the mail with a ceremony start time of 4:00. You arrive to the church at 3:30 just to be safe. 4:00 comes and goes, and still no bridal party walking down the aisle. 4:30 comes and the ceremony finally starts. You’re annoyed and wondering what could possibly have delayed everyone a half hour. 

When I coordinate a wedding, we start at the time on the invitation. When I make the master timeline for the day that is what I follow, and give to all the vendors. If the ceremony is late, it delays everything else for the rest of the day. 

If your an engaged couple, plan to start at the time you put on your wedding invitations, and if you're a wedding guest, plan ahead and get to the ceremony at least 10 minutes before the start time. 

What’s your opinion?

xo, Val

2017 Wedding Trends

Hi Everyone!

Today I am talking all about the wedding trends I am predicting for 2017 wedding season! 

Greenery, greenery and more greenery! No longer is greenery just a filler! So many couples are wanting greenery like eucalyptus to be the star of the show in their bouquets and centerpieces! It’s goes perfectly with the bohemian, woodsy trend that seems to be replacing the oh so popular rustic theme we’ve been seeing for the last few years. 

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Rose gold and copper! This is probably one of my favorite trends! Gold is still popular, but more couples are opting for copper and rose gold!

Bands are making a come back! Of course DJ’s aren’t going anywhere, but we’re seeing more couples opt for a band rather than a DJ!

Big weddings cakes! cupcakes, and different desserts like pies and ice cream were very in last year (and still are!) but big beautiful wedding cakes are definitely back! 

Photo Booths are back! DIY photo booths, with fijifilm instant camera’s were popular in 2016, but 2017 is proving that couples still want a fun experience for their guests by bringing in a photo booth company. 

Red Arrow Photography 

Red Arrow Photography 

What trend are you most excited to see this year?

xo, Val 

Jewel Toned Styled Wedding

Hi Everyone!

Today I am sharing our gorgeous styled shoot from the beginning of February! When I started planning this shoot I knew I wanted  jewel tones. I feel like lately soft colors like soft pink and pale blues have been part of every wedding, and I was so ready for rich colors! Rachel of 'Austin & Rachel Photographers' and I went back and forth for weeks with different ideas, and soon this beautiful shoot was born! I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out. 

This shoot would have all just been ideas and multiple inspiration boards without all the talented vendors we worked with! All of the amazing vendors are listed below!

ENJOY! :)

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EDITEDSTYLEDSHOOT(139of400).jpg
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EDITEDSTYLEDSHOOT(70of400).jpg

I really hope you enjoyed!

xo, Val 

FAQ About Wedding Planners

Hi Everyone!

Today I’m going to answering some Frequently Asked Questions about wedding planners!

1. What does a wedding planner do before the wedding?

When you hire a wedding planner, they are with you through your entire planning process. They help execute your wedding vision. They are extremely familiar with venues and vendors that will match your style and budget, they know the answers to all unknown questions, and ultimately keep you calm and excited to plan the most important day of your life. 

2. What does the wedding planner do on the wedding day?

Your wedding planner will be the first vendor at your venue, and the last one to leave. They will make sure all vendors are there, and where they are suppose to be. They will be there for any quesitons from the bridal party, vendors, the venue staff, and guests. They will help keep the couple on time through the entire day, and so much more.

3. What is the difference between a venue coordinator and a wedding planner?

The simple answer is: A venue coordinator works for the venue, and a wedding planner works for the couple. A venue coordinator will be dealing with all the aspects of the venue such as set up, the staff, food, etc. A wedding planner is there to oversee the set up from all vendors, answer any questions, take care of any problems, and to make sure everything is exactly as the couple wants it.

Red Arrow Photography

Red Arrow Photography

4. I don’t need a wedding planner, I have a friend who said she would help at my wedding. That's the same right? 

As helpful as your friends and family will be during your planning, they shouldn't have to work on your wedding day. It can go both ways: either they will have so much to do that day they won’t even be able to enjoy your wedding day. On the other hand, they may not take the job seriously, and the day might end up being a disaster. 

5. I want it to be my wedding, won’t the wedding planner just do what she wants?

I think this is one of the biggest misconception about wedding planners. It's absolutely your wedding, your vision, your ideas, your planner is just holding your hand though the entire process, with help and advice. They also do all the ugly work of finding, contacting and negotiation with your vendors. Doesn’t wedding planning sound like so much more fun that way? Yes planners have a signature look to their weddings, but chances are their clients pick them because they share a wedding style. 


What other questions do you have about wedding planners? Let me know in the comments! 

xo, Val

First Look

Hi Everyone!

Today I am going to be talking about “First Looks”.  If you're not sure what a First Look is, it’s when the couple sees each other before the ceremony. It’s actually a very special moment with just you, your soon to be spouse, and your wedding photographer.  It gives you that special moment of seeing each other before things get so hectic, and you don’t have another moment alone for the rest of the day. At this point about 75% of my couples are opting to do first looks. 

As a wedding planner, and recent bride, I’m 100% for First Looks. The picture during the first look are always some of my favorites. Another great thing about them is you are able to do all your pictures before the ceremony so you don’t feel rushed trying to get them all done in an hour between ceremony and reception. 

When I was planning my own wedding, I knew I wanted to do a First Look, and my husband was totally fine with it.  But, I had to step back, turn off my wedding planner mind, and think about it as a bride. We had to have a 6:00 ceremony due to the venue we picked, so having even an hour cocktail hour wasn’t an option. We ended up doing our first look at 2:00, and had almost 4 hours to do pictures. it was THE BEST. I also absolutely hate having attention on myself, so knowing my husband already saw me was amazing. 

My husband seeing me for the first time. Red Arrow Photography.

My husband seeing me for the first time. Red Arrow Photography.

As far as it being “bad luck” to see each other before hand… you can make anything lucky or unlucky when it comes to your wedding. This tradition stems from the time of arranged marriages, and not being able to see each other before the ceremony. The brides family would want their daughter to marry into a good, rich family, but they were too afraid that if he saw her before the ceremony, and didn't find her attractive, he would back out- romantic, huh? 

Talk to your photographer, and talk to your future spouse, and figure out if having a first look is right for the two of you. You won’t be disappointed! 

xo, Val

The DIY Venue

Hi Everyone!

Today I am talking about the difference between a “day of coordinator”, and a team that comes in to do the set-up and clean up.  I think there’s been a misunderstanding about what hiring a “day of coordinator” means.  If you pick a venue that doesn’t have staff to do the set up and clean up, hiring a coordinator doesn’t mean they will be there to put up tables and chairs, put on table linens, put food out, assemble your DIY centerpieces, and other decor, move chairs from ceremony location, to reception space, or to clean it all up, and pack everything up at the end of the night.  Hiring a coordinator means they will confirm with vendors, develop your timeline, do basic set up (i.e escort cards and table numbers) know all there is to know about your wedding, run your wedding ceremony, be the “go-to” person for the whole day, and so much more. I know from experience that when I’m trying to do 10 things at once, things get missed and the day can’t be as perfect as it should be. Most planners offer this service, but at an additional cost because it means bringing in more staff. 

Know that picking that amazing Pinterest-worthy barn venue that doesn’t have a staff to do set up, means you should budget for hiring a coordination team to run your day perfectly, set up all the beautiful decor you took months putting together, and put everything away at the end of the night so you, and your family don’t have to work, and get to truly enjoy your big day. Yes your family and friends could do it, but they shouldn’t have to. Hiring a coordinator-especially in that situation- is invaluable. 

neff+rutan photography 

neff+rutan photography 

xo, Val 

Why I Don’t Offer Day of Coordination

Hi Everyone!

Today I am going to be talking all about 'Day of Coordination'. A ‘Day of Coordinator' is someone you hire- that doesn’t work for your wedding venue- to come in a run your wedding day.  You’re probably thinking: “Val why don’t you offer that service?!” Well actually I do, I just don’t call it "Day of Coordination", I call it "Wedding Management". In the wedding planning community, we’re trying very hard to eliminate that “day-of” job title, The reason behind it is simple: It implies that we only do one day of work, and thus we shouldn’t be paid more than what, 10 hours of work?

In reality there is so much more that goes into coordinating someones wedding day.  To truly run someones wedding day perfectly, your coordinator must know your wedding like the back of their hand! They need to know your timeline exquisitely (which they took hours developing), know everything there is to know about the venue, know all your vendors, know all the vendors arrival times, know your wedding colors, know exactly what your centerpieces should look like, and an extensive list of other notes which include that the grooms grandmother is in a wheel chair, and that the ring bearer is severely allergic to peanuts. 


I put an average of 20 hours into my wedding management couples weddings, BEFORE their wedding day. I for one don’t feel comfortable coming in and running someones wedding without knowing EVERYTHING there is to know.  No planner should ever go in blind when it’s the most important day of someones life. So if you’re a bride looking to hire a coordinator, understand what goes into making your day absolutely flawless and stress free.  If you're a fellow planner, value yourself and your time, and start offering “wedding management”.

xo, Val 

 

 

2016 Wedding Recap

2016 was an AMAZING year! I seriously don’t know how I lucked out and got to meet and work with such amazing couples!

Here’s a beautiful overview of the amazing couples and their stunning weddings. As you can see, I also worked with amazing photographers!

 

Eric and Rachel • Canton, Ohio • J Kaiser Photography 

Eric and Rachel • Canton, Ohio • J Kaiser Photography 

Laura and Sam • The Sheraton Cuyahoga Falls • gra photography 

Laura and Sam • The Sheraton Cuyahoga Falls • gra photography 

Heather and Jon • Hale Farm • Sarah Renee Studios 

Heather and Jon • Hale Farm • Sarah Renee Studios 

Ashley and Storm • Brookside Farm • Eric & Christy Photographers 

Ashley and Storm • Brookside Farm • Eric & Christy Photographers 

Rebecca and Ben • Beechmont Country Club • Red Arrow Photography 

Rebecca and Ben • Beechmont Country Club • Red Arrow Photography 

Therese and Jimmy • Canton • AJF Photography 

Therese and Jimmy • Canton • AJF Photography 

Allie and Ray • Graystone Hall • neff + rutan photography 

Allie and Ray • Graystone Hall • neff + rutan photography 

Amanda and Wes • Peacock Ridge • Perception Studio

Amanda and Wes • Peacock Ridge • Perception Studio

Brianna and Aaron • CAP-ture Photography 

Brianna and Aaron • CAP-ture Photography 

Riana and John • Gable Farm • Maddie Widder Photography 

Riana and John • Gable Farm • Maddie Widder Photography 

Kayli and Duane • Tudor House • Ashleigh Saylor Photography 

Kayli and Duane • Tudor House • Ashleigh Saylor Photography 

Rebecca and Michael • SYB Club • Maria Sharp Photography 

Rebecca and Michael • SYB Club • Maria Sharp Photography 

Amber and Andrew • Kent, Ohio • Eagle Vision Photograpy 

Amber and Andrew • Kent, Ohio • Eagle Vision Photograpy 

Noelle and Josh • Windows on the River • Haas Wedding Photography 

Noelle and Josh • Windows on the River • Haas Wedding Photography 

I hope you enjoyed this beautiful look back on my 2016 wedding season!

xo, Val

What I would Have Done Differently At My Wedding

So when it came to planning my own wedding, I got pretty lucky because I was in the wedding industry for 4 years at the time. I knew what I liked, and what I didn’t like. I knew what was worth spending money on, and what wasn’t.  I knew what vendors I liked working with, and which vendors didn’t make a lasting impression- you get the picture!

our wedding day: June 20, 2015 | Akron Art Museum | Red Arrow Photography 

our wedding day: June 20, 2015 | Akron Art Museum | Red Arrow Photography 

 

 There are however, a few things I would have done differently!

 1.    I would have only worn my veil for my ceremony! I wasn’t sure I was going to wear a veil, but I fell in love with how my dress looked with a super long cathedral length veil! I absolutely did love it, and how it looked in pictures.  My problem was, I had my hair done with the veil in by 1:00 in the afternoon, and our ceremony wasn’t until 6:00!  We did all our pictures before the ceremony, and my veil got caught on, and stepped on more times than I could count! If I could have done it again, I would have had it on for a couple pictures, and for the ceremony, and THAT’S IT!

2.    I would have hired a different day of coordinator. Can you believe I’m saying this? When it was time to hire my day of coordinator, I wasn’t at the place in my career I am now. I wasn’t connecting with other planners, and I honestly didn’t personally know any in my area. Another wedding vendor recommended someone, so I hired her without having a connection with her. Very long story short, they were not at my wedding, and I had a last minute replacement.  My family had to do all the set up, and I was EXTREMELY stressed out.  Since then I understand even more the value of our services, and make it my mission to give every couple a completely stress free wedding day.

3.    I would have had late night food! I feel like every couple always has so many ideas, but you simply run out of time. Late night food was something we wanted, but when the day came, I realized I dropped the ball. We probably would have done Swenson’s! 

 

What are your wedding day regrets?

xo, Val