The Plannery

There are some things you just can't plan...

Photo by This Rad Love 2017 is turning out to be quite an odd year for The Plannery. It's actually a wonderful lesson in what you can and can't plan. Tarra and I are, if I do say so myself, great planners and coordinators. We'll organize the heck out of your wedding. But sometimes in life, there are things that - try as you might - you just can't plan perfectly. And so it's with great excitement that I share that BOTH Tarra and I are expecting babies this Fall!

Tarra is due in mid October, and I am due in early November. While I'm super thrilled for everyone involved (especially Tarra and her wife cause this is their first - and that is just so darned special), it does mean The Plannery is taking a bit of an unplanned sabbatical this fall! We've had to transfer some of our wedding jobs over to other coordinators in the area (and thank goodness for the wonderful community of DC wedding vendors, you guys), and it means that much like the year I had my first baby, I'll be cutting back a bit on the amount of work and the number of jobs I take on. In addition to the new baby, Tarra is taking on another adventure and moving to the Baltimore area this summer (so reach out to us, you Baltimore couples!).

We'll be ready and eager to get back to work in 2018 for all you in the DMV area - so please don't hesitate to contact us about 2018 weddings!

Big congrats again to Tarra and her wife - and wish me luck as I attempt to wrangle a headstrong toddler and a newborn baby :)

ForBabyMorgan-CMYK

 

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Ann and Stephen // Clarendon Ballroom, Arlington, VA Wedding // VA Wedding Planner

Photo by Shandi Wallace Ann and Stephen were partial planning clients of mine - I helped them nail down their major vendors, and then returned later in the process to assist with month-of coordination. They were also some of the early test clients for our design services with Kim, and we'll be doing a separate post on that later to highlight how her mood board was brought to life!

Ann and Stephen got married at Clarendon Ballroom, yet another venue I somehow hadn't yet worked with - and was so excited to finally get to do so. They did some first-look photos with one of my favorite photogs, Shandi Wallace, prior to the ceremony (and Ann SLAYED in that lace dress, y'all. Seriously). After their ketubah signing they had their ceremony in the ballroom, and then due to the unfortunately fairly cold and windy day, the cocktail reception in the bar and lobby (rather than the rooftop) while we flipped the ballroom for the reception. The Clarendon staff was awesome to work with, and included some delicious food and a gorgeous wedding cake! Their DJ, Greg Sanchez, rocked the dance floor and their guests were really ready to party! It was a great night celebrating a wonderful couple and working with some fab vendors. Congrats again to Ann and Stephen!

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Ann and Stephen's Vendors:

Wedding Planner and Coordinator: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue, Food and Cake: Clarendon Ballroom

Florist: Blooming Spaces

DJ: Greg Sanchez

Photographer: Shandi Wallace

Officiant: Annie Bornstein

 

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Happy Holidays from The Plannery!

This has been quite the year for The Plannery. Owning and managing The Plannery as a small business afforded me the privilege to stay home with my daughter when she was an infant. But 2016 saw me slowly being able to get back to work, pick up speed again, and sign on more and more clients. I have to thank my amazing team: Tarra has been such an incredible part of our business this year - she took on a ton more coordinating jobs - and kicked a$$ at them all. I look forward to her continuing to take a bigger and bigger role in the coordination side of things here at The Plannery. She's excellent at her job and I hope 2017 means lots of more wedding coordination for her! And of course, at the end of this year we also launched our new event design services, thanks to Kim! In 2016 we tested and tried the services out, and I'm excited to see how that branch of the business can grow in 2017 as well.

Big thanks to all of our amazing clients, past, present and future, for being so wonderful to work with, and for trusting us with organizing your important day. Happy Holidays to you all and a very Happy New Year as well!

Photo by Danielle Hunter

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The Plannery Event Design - the details

KM-all For those of you who have been following along this week, we've been rolling out the exciting new event design services we'll now be offering as add-ons here at The Plannery. Below are more details, and you can also always find even more info here!

Moodboard Design:

Can be added to any of The Plannery’s planning packages. This design option is for the couple who likes to do more of their own design work, but needs help narrowing down a visual theme. About five months out from your wedding date, we’ll set up a meeting to go over your style, likes and dislikes, and colors. After this discussion, Kim creates a one-page moodboard filled with cohesive images and colors that convey the overall mood you’re looking for at your wedding. Once you’re happy with the direction of the moodboard, you’ll use it to convey your style and colors to your creative vendors. It also helps you make design decisions on your own that fit the visual theme. Exact Pantone color codes are provided so you and vendors use the same colors throughout. Kim will be available for unlimited email correspondence if you need help making decisions.

Full Design Plan:

Can only be added to The Plannery’s full or partial planning package. With this option you’ll receive everything that comes with creating the moodboard (see above), plus a multi-page PDF with exact specifications for all things design. We’ll start the design process seven to eight months out from your wedding date. Sample pages could include designs for invitations and paper products, florals, tabletop settings, place card display, ceremony setup, attire, and any other details you’d like included. The design plan includes links for where to buy any miscellaneous decor and other items that have been specified.

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More about Kim - The Plannery's new event designer

Photo by Jay Westcott  

Today I'm excited to tell you a bit more about Kim, our new event designer!

A trained graphic designer and a lover of all things visual, Kim’s favorite parts of planning her own wedding included picking flowers, invitation styles, colors, and wrangling various design elements.

Her eye for design and penchant for organization led to many of Kim’s friends tapping her for design advice when planning their weddings—which led her to realize she could share her skills with others! Looking for a way to broaden her design expertise, she reached out to Katie (who she had hired as her month-of coordinator) to see if she’d be interested in starting a design arm of her company. Katie loved the idea and after a few planning meetings and emails (OK, a lot of emails!) event design at The Plannery was born.

Kim holds a B.A. in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University and is currently a full-time graphic designer at a large consulting firm. She contracts with Katie for clients interested in adding design services on top of a general planning package. She currently lives in Fairfax with her husband in their newly purchased townhouse that she’s enjoyed decorating. In between her day job and wedding designs, Kim enjoys going to barre classes, watching documentaries on Netflix, and discussing Myers-Briggs personality types. She’s an ISFJ, if you’re wondering!

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Announcing - Event Design with The Plannery!

ND-moodboard-v3edit Event design is coming to The Plannery!

Many of you know that ever since the beginning, I have always viewed myself as a logistics-only person. While I do think I have a fairly good eye, and I've obviously learned a lot over my years of planning weddings about what works well and what doesn't, I have never studied design. I often get the question from potential clients as to whether I also do event design. And that answer, for a long time, was "no." Not considering myself anything close to an expert in the area of design, I've never felt comfortable calling myself an event designer. But I was disappointed that I couldn't provide those services to my clients.

And then Kim came along. I actually coordinated Kim's wedding. She was awesome to work with, and did some amazing DIY design pieces for her own wedding (see here). She reached out to me post-wedding to express her interest in partnering with The Plannery. She, unlike me, is an actual designer. As in, she holds a B.A. in Media Arts and Design and is a full time graphic designer - she therefore has a killer eye and is great at creating cohesive visual plans for event design.

As many of my current clients know, we've been testing out the relationship and the process this past year. Slowly rolling it out to see what works and what doesn't, and whether clients were even interested!

And so I'm thrilled to finally announce that The Plannery will officially be offering some great add-on packages to our current services to those interested in event design assistance. Many of my clients are very hands-on, but find they want resources and assistance to narrow down decisions. We're taking that same approach for event design and I'm really excited to offer my clients these new design options! More info is on our website now, and we'll be doing a series of blog posts this week to tell you more, including hearing from Kim herself and more details on the services!

 

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The Personal Is Political

Photo by Paired Images Like many of you, I woke up Wednesday in absolute horror. I’d slept a mere 4 hours. I woke to the sound of my daughter singing “Twinkle Twinkle” to herself in her crib and burst into tears. I also had that brief moment of legitimately considering a move. Americans value my worth and the worth of so many, so little? Fine, I’m done. I’m out. I was ready to shut down The Plannery. Get away from the DC area. Attempt to find some solace in solitude.

We are living among people who are silent (or not so silent) racists and/or misogynists. That is clear. Our new president has been an advocate of sexual harassment and misogyny, xenophobia, racism, and has been beyond vocal about his anti-Muslim, immigrant and LGBTQ leanings. Our rights are going to be threatened beyond anything we’ve ever seen.

So I need to be here for them. And I need to be here for you. Because though I’m a teeny, teeny, teeny tiny blip in this completely effed up, overwhelmingly terrible world, I believe that maintaining the strong voice of acceptance, love and equality that The Plannery has always had from day one is something I have to keep doing. I think it does actually matter that when a same-sex couple is searching for someone to support them, that they see my site filled with inclusive language and photos. That when an interracial couple is looking for assistance, they see this post. That someone looking for help who feels their rights, lives and love threatened, sees that there are businesses - and more importantly, people behind those businesses - who support them 100%. The personal is political. The world is so overwhelming right now, that I have to think small. I have to focus on what I can control. I have to believe that the small, personal choices I make every day will make a difference.

I have no idea how the wedding industry is going to change based on the tidal wave of shit I see coming. I have no idea if The Plannery will be able to survive. But I will try. Because while it’s nothing - nothing - compared to what so many people in public service and non-profits do every day, I have to believe my little company, my small voice that says “you matter, your love matters, I am here for you” might change someone’s day, someone’s life. We need to take time to mourn, but then we need to continue to celebrates life’s joys. I hold that thought close to my heart when my young daughter looks up at me and smiles, oblivious to what’s happening around her. I hold that in my heart when I head off this weekend to work a wedding, and hopefully bring a small bit of a joy to a family and community that has had an extremely tough week.

Much more important than this tiny company, I urge everyone to donate to the organizations that are going to need support and will be fighting way harder than I am to help make this world right again. Jezebel put together a wonderful list of options that I plan on donating to - both my money and my time. Please check it out and take action. Our time, our money, our actions matter. Sending peace and love to you all.

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Looking for day-of assistants!

plannery_0071b Hello everyone!

The Plannery team is looking for some new day-of assistants for this Fall and 2017! If you have some event background and want to get more experience or if you're thinking about making the transition into events and think you have something to offer, please reach out. We're looking for rad, reliable people who want to pick up some weekend events work - and we're always interested in people who might like to continue to grow with The Plannery in the future and work towards becoming a coordinator. Please be professional, proactive, and a great communicator. If you think you fit the bill, send a cover letter and resume to me at katie (at) theplannery.com.

Thank you thank you!

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How The Wedding Industry Has Changed

For a variety of reasons I’ve been thinking lately about how much things have changed in the wedding industry in last 5 years or so. What has gotten better, what has stayed the same, and where it’s headed next.

I think the biggest shift is that, generally, sane vendors have infiltrated the industry. And by being in business and providing sane options, couples realize that they have choices - and those choices don’t have to be one extreme or the other.

I think back on my own wedding, and it almost felt like a teenager’s rebellious phase. It was at a moment when people were finally calling out the wedding industry, but we didn’t have other vendors to choose from. And so we rebelled. Everything had to be anti-wedding industrial complex. You couldn’t hire a florist, you had to DIY your flowers. You couldn’t go to a traditional bridal gown store. You couldn’t even have a traditional structure to your wedding - you had to mix it up somehow, make it a cocktail reception, have an alternative venue - all to give a big middle finger to the industry. Looking back on it now, it felt desperate (but, it WAS desperate - it’s awful to not have options or feel you have choices). And that rebellion was necessary. (and without it my business wouldn’t exist!).

Nowadays, it feels like couples have matured. They’ve calmed down a bit. Because cool, down-to-earth vendors exist, couples aren’t as upset at the wedding world. No big EFF YOU’s are necessary. Now, they can embrace some of the traditions that work (ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner and dancing works for a reason), and get rid of the ones they don’t. They don’t get enraged when they try to find a wedding dress that fits them or their style, when they want a planner that doesn’t tell them what they “have” to do, when they want a non-diamond engagement ring (or no ring at all). Because they take a deep breath, and low and behold, those options are visible, are available, and are attainable (thanks interwebs!). I’m constantly seeing things and thinking “goddamn it, wish I’d had that option when I got married!”

All that being said, as our friends at Catalyst Wed Co are well aware of - and as I mulled over in a post after their great (un)convention - the wedding industry still needs disrupters. We all need to keep showing those options, providing validation, and reminding people over and over and over again that they have choices. But as I see and feel the ease from the clients I work with, as I more and more notice that they’re feeling quite confident in their decisions and quite happy with their options, I’m optimistic that we’re on the right track.

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T's 1st Birthday Party

IMG_7778 As some of you who follow me on Instagram know, my daughter recently turned 1 (which, as a side-note, is totally nuts... can't believe how fast that flew by!). I often like to share personal posts about parties I host in order to keep it real - to show you what I do to keep the stress low and the good times high. We ended up doing what you aren't supposed to do for a first birthday - invite a ton of people. But my husband's extended family all lives in the area, and we thought it would be a fun excuse to get family together. We did, however, try to embrace it being a casual affair, what with it being a 1 year old's birthday party!

To keep things simple, we ordered food from Pork Barrell BBQ - a great BBQ joint in our Del Ray neighborhood. We picked up some pulled pork and buns, mac and cheese, cole slaw and other fixings and it was a huge hit. My husband made some deviled eggs, and we had some simple chips and dip and salsa out for guests when they arrived. Beer was on the back porch in coolers. And we used paper plates and napkins and utensils (except we did use real wine glasses since not too many people were drinking wine and it's just so much nicer to drink out of real glasses!). My husband baked the cake which I decked out in some Target treasures - a yellow "1" candle and mini gold bunting.

For decor I also tried to keep it simple. We went with a yellow (her favorite color), pink and gold theme. I picked up some simple bunting (again, from Target), and we got some balloons from a nearby party store. My Mom swooped in and saved the day by helping me repurpose some of the bunting she made for my baby shower (!), adding pink "1's" she cut out and glued on (while I napped. Best. Mom. Ever). Similar to the food, we decided to also delegate the flowers and I reached out to one of my favorite florists, Emily at Love Blooms, to see if she'd be willing to make a fun pink and yellow centerpiece (and did she ever!).

Tallulah was enough entertainment, but in addition to her cake eating (which, btw, she ended up picking up the entire slice of cake and diving in... killed me!), I put out some notecards and asked guests to write a note for her to open on her 10th birthday. I was so surprised and delighted by how many people took it really seriously. I'd see family members go off in a corner, deep in thought - and one of my friends wrote on the front and back! This was a really simple way to create what will hopefully be a fun treasure for her later in life. I like to go for meaningful activities and this one was perfect.

So there you have it. Enjoy some glimpses into the party details below - and remember that even event planners take it easy when it comes to throwing a bash!

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