Hey folks! This is the last post from our awesome new associate coordinator, Tarra. When I first met her she mentioned she'd gotten married at AVAM and I asked to see a pic. I was blown away and thought you all would be, too! So enjoy this beautiful Baltimore wedding, and the lessons Tarra learned - hurricane and all! **The final photo took my breathe away. Officially convinced the best wedding photos are rainy day photos.
**Also, can we talk about how gorgeous these two ladies are?? Ok, I'm done now
I cannot recall dreaming about my wedding day as a child. I do, however, remembering orchestrating countless marriages between my Barbie and Ken, so at the very least I understood the concept weddings and how involved they can be. I also remember really enjoying the coordination aspect of it all, so much that I would literally try to assume every character there was in the “Barbie and Ken Wed” play –mother of the bride, bride, planner, limo driver, officiant, florist, caterer, cake baker, and DJ. It’s no wonder my sisters never liked to play with me! But there was no other way to do it. Things had to be right. I knew Barbie and Ken needed me to be detailed and meticulous…and I delivered!
So even though I initially headed in a different career path (Criminal Justice to be specific), this story shows that the planner has always been in me. When the time came for my very own wedding, that planner finally showed herself again!
Jessy and I were married on October 28, 2012 at the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Baltimore, MD. It was a pretty easy venue choice for us. Baltimore Inner Harbor – check! Non-traditional/unique – check! Artsy/quirky – check! AVAM provided indoor and outdoor options, which we really liked. Yes, we hoped for a freakishly warm fall day so we could have an outdoor ceremony, but that was totally not the case. It was all good in the end, because the gorgeous staircase inside the museum made the perfect ceremony stage for us!
One of the most important things for Jessy was our outfits…specifically the dress choices. While we did not want to see each other’s selection before the wedding, we just had to. She was adamant about us not clashing with each other as many bride-bride couple tend to do. Since I picked my dress out first, I thought maybe we could get away with me shopping with her and her trusting me that I would not steer us wrong. NOPE! I ended up describing my dress which was very unique and the sales consultant said, “I have something like that, let me bring it out and we will go from there”. What does she come walking in with….yup, you guessed it…my exact dress! She slapped that bad boy on a mannequin and Jessy tried on dresses and stood next to my dress until she found the perfect bride-bride match!
Catering vs. Coordinating
We used Absolutely Perfect Catering (APC). I have only great things to say about the delicious food, presentation and service in general. One of the major selling points about APC was the fact that our point of contact would act not only as a lead caterer, but also as a day-of coordinator for no additional cost. I felt this too good to be true, so the thought to hire a separate wedding coordinator absolutely crossed my mind. APC, however, insisted that it would not be necessary. I should mention that I was not at a wedding planner/coordinator at the time…not even close…so I was a new to the process as most other brides. With that said, I trusted that our contact could act as both a lead caterer and coordinator. Again, while I have nothing but great things to say about APC including our contact’s services…going with a great catering company that offers coordination services definitely has its limitations. Typically, such coordination services extend only to the reception, falling short on the ceremony and all pre-ceremony preparation. In other words, catering coordinators are not going to review all your vendor contracts before the wedding, make sure you and the rest of your wedding party are dressed in time, confirm transportation services for your guests, cue the ceremony, or make sure you don’t spend too long taking pictures during cocktail hour. Needless to say, I learned the hard way!
Sandy, oh Sandy!
They say rain on your wedding day is good luck! Well Jessy and I must be the luckiest people in the world because Hurricane Sandy brought on boatloads of rain the night of our wedding. As the storm was approaching the East Coast, I was in complete denial. It wasn’t until the phone calls started to come in from various guests apologizing because they were going to make it that I began to FREAK OUT. I knew the threat was very serious when the AVAM venue manager called to discuss potential flooding of the harbor and how we would be forced to cancel. [Editor's Note: Hey remember that post I wrote about having to cancel your wedding and insurance?] Around 7:00 AM the morning of the wedding, we were able to make the final decision that the show would go on!! Sandy was not scheduled to hit the Baltimore area until after midnight, well after our wedding send off. The rain started as we arrived to the venue and continued throughout the night. The air was pretty chilly and boy was it windy. The saddest part of it all (next to absent family/friends) was the lack of outdoor wedding photos…but our AMAZING photographers, Richard & Tara Veytsman, had such a great eye and awesome idea to drag us outside for some INCREDIBLE shots.
There is nothing I would change about our wedding. I consider all of the minor oversights/mistakes and misfortunes as invaluable lessons. Everything that was stressful and challenging about wedding planning was exactly what I loved about it. Strange, maybe? But that is me. I love worrying about everything and thinking through the solutions! And I really love seeing it all come together as perfectly as it was supposed to. Not even Sandy could hold us back…and the way I see it nothing can stop me from working hard to make others’ weddings just as remarkable as ours!