the plannery

Ellie and Nicholas, Longview Gallery, Washington DC Wedding

Photo by Sarah Gormley

Photo by Sarah Gormley

Ellie and Nicholas got married at Longview Gallery, one of my favorite non-traditional wedding venues in DC. They were such a unique couple - their wedding hashtag was #acrosstheaisle - a nod to the fact that she’s a Democrat, and he’s a Republican. You can’t get more DC than that!! Their day started with some photos in the area (by the incredible Sarah Gormley). After a beautiful ceremony, they had cocktails in the back gallery while we flipped the ceremony space into the dining room - so they could eat the incredible meal from Well Dunn! Dancing and sweet treats (including mini Jeni’s ice creams…yummm) followed. He is in the military, and they honored that part of him not only by using his sword for the cake cutting, but with their cake toppers (incredible yoga soldier statues! Yoga for her, soldier for him). My most favorite detail, however, was their “guest book” - two posters for guests to sign: one of Reagan, the other of Obama.

Enjoy this awesome DC wedding! And congrats again Ellie and Nicholas!

Ellie and Nicholas’s Vendors:

Venue: Longview Gallery

Coordinator: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Caterer: Well Dunn

Photographer: Sarah Gormley

DJ: DJ Evan Reitmeyer

Florist: Uncloudy Studios

Ceremony Music: Tiffany Rose Violin

Hair/Make-up: Ariel Lewis

What does a wedding coordinator actually DO?

Photo by Jess Latos

Photo by Jess Latos

This week we're talking about wedding coordinators!

What to look for in a wedding coordinator? I firmly believe all wedding vendors should make the PROCESS (not just the day-of) easier. Look for a coordinator who is a clear communicator, easy to talk to, friendly, real and who also reflects your values (#loveislove folks!)

Does a coordinator only help out on the day of? NO! We are usually involved months ahead of time, to help couples with their timeline, look for any red flags in the structure and organization of the day, coordinate all details with all vendors, and do a final walk through of the venue. There's no way to do a good job on the day-of without prior planning and involvement.

Coordinators are also important because we help run the rehearsals, along with your officiant. We help line up and organize all wedding party members, talk through (and physically put them!) where they'll be during the ceremony, and cue both the music as well as the actual processional and recessional. All those small logistical details matter!

One of a coordinator's most important jobs is to make sure everyone else is doing their job! We are there at load-in to make sure the caterer, venue, sound/music, lighting and all other vendors are there on time, setting up as they're supposed to, and everything is going according to plan. Trust me, you want someone ELSE worrying about whether the DJ is an hour late (which has happened to me - it all worked out) :)

So what does a coordinator do during a wedding? I always say we think of it as a cueing system - we're always 5-10 minutes ahead of what's actually happening, thinking ahead to the next transition and what needs to happen to make it run smoothly. So why have a coordinator? So your DJ doesn't announce the toasts while the bride is in the bathroom (something I've seen happen at a wedding I didn't coordinate!). A coordinator helps all those seemingly effortless moments happen.

Introducing... our new Planner and Coordinator!

Photo by Duhon Photography

Photo by Duhon Photography

I’ve been hoping to add to The Plannery’s team for some time. But as you may remember before Tarra joined our team… I’m picky as hell. The Plannery is my first baby, and I’m very protective of it. I want to make sure anyone who joins is fully on board with our vibe, our high quality, our no-nonsense approach, and - obviously - gets sh*t done.

Which is why I’m thrilled to announce that Rebecca O’Donnell will be joining The Plannery as a Senior Planner and Coordinator. I’ve been obsessed with Rebecca pretty much since I met her years and years ago. In a sea of sugary sweet (and, frankly, bland) planners, she stood out for how direct and hilarious she was - and after she assisted me for a wedding where I needed help last minute (and also saved my butt), I also discovered that she’s a damned good planner. Very talented, gets it all done, kind and generous, funny, but also will be the driving force you sometimes need when making decisions (or dealing with difficult family or vendors).

Please join me in a hearty “welcome” to Rebecca - and head on over to our updated About page to learn more about her (including her own amazing wedding which I’m pretty much obsessed with). And don’t forget to check out our updated testimonials page to hear what clients say about her (and you can also always visit her old Wedding Wire page to see some reviews from past clients there as well!).

Rebecca, The Plannery is SO lucky to have you and cannot wait for all the sh*t we’re gonna get done for couples in 2019 :)

John and Jonathan's Long View Gallery, Washington, DC wedding

Susan Hornyak Photography

Susan Hornyak Photography

John and Jonathan were referred to me fairly last minute by some other clients of mine. I jumped in, super excited to work at Long View again and with this awesome couple - and on the day of DC pride, no less! Such a fun touch for their wedding day! 

John and Jonathan really wanted their evening to feel like a party - and they made some lovely small decisions that helped that vibe follow through. One of my favorites is that they greeted guests at the door prior to the ceremony. A reverse receiving line of sorts, I thought it was such a lovely touch that made guests feel welcome and made it an intimate affair. Their ceremony was also laid out with two aisles - an awesome decision that allowed the room to physically embody these two lives coming together, joining into a wonderful partnership and marriage. 

Post ceremony we had cocktails in the back gallery (with a champs bar, to boot), followed by a meal in the front gallery that featured three different stations for guests to visit which encouraged mingling and chatting. The room was stunning, with an awesome layout and rentals that really reflected the industrial vibe of Longview. 

Post dinner we all headed back to the gallery for The Bachelor Boys and the guys and their guests danced the night away!

Congrats again, John and Jonathan! And big thanks to Susan Hornyak Photography for the wonderful photos.

John and Jonathan's Vendors:

Coordination: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue: Long View Gallery

Caterer: Occasions Catering

Photographer: Susan Hornyak Photography

Band: The Bachelor Boys

Draping: Fabrication Events

Lighting: John Farr

Floral: Uncloudy Studio

Monica and Jason's Woodend Sanctuary wedding

Photo by George Street Photo

Photo by George Street Photo

Monica and Jason were married on the perfect summer/fall cusp day at the ever beautiful Woodend Sanctuary.  I really loved that Monica rocked her long, luxurious locks in a completely down-do by Styled by Anna Fazio. All of her bridesmaids sported half-up/half-down dos to round things out and they all happened to be brunettes…talk about complimentary looks!  

Although I was not present in the room, I know that Monica and Jason had the most special and intimate ceremonial Ketubah signing before their wedding. The actual Ketubah was spectacular with a vibrant blue circular design. It was displayed at the wedding ceremony alongside the equally spectacular chuppah designed by Growing Wild Floral.

Before their Ketubah signing the couple shared another intimate moment with their first look.  I usually am busy and/or want to give couples privacy during this time, but I couldn’t resist sneaking a peak on this one. It was so moving to watch Monica in her stunning dress walk along a picturesque path and reach out to touch Jason. His reaction was so freaking priceless and captured perfectly by Kyle Bergner with George Street Photo.

I would be remiss not to mention the guest appearance by their fur baby, Hunter.  Monica and Jason gave lots of thought about how much they wanted Hunter at the wedding, but realized how it would be logistically difficult and settled on an epic cardboard cut-out of him instead! A happy and hilarious compromise that made for a fun addition to their DIY photo guestbook station.   

This wedding had all the best elements. Wonderful couple, simplicity, class, and joy. Congrats to Monica and Jason!

Monica and Jason's Vendors:

Coordination: Tarra Morgan, The Plannery

Venue: Woodend Sanctuary

Catering: Corcoran Catering

DJ: DJ Evan Reitmeyer

Photography and Videography: George Street Photo

Florist: Growing Wild Floral

Hair: Styled by Anna Fazio

Make-up: Real Doll Makeup

Claire and Sam's Stone Tower Winery Vineyard Wedding

Photo by Anne Lord Photography

Photo by Anne Lord Photography

Claire and Sam were partial planning clients of mine. They were my last wedding pre-baby (!) and it was so wonderful to end my wedding season on such a high note. A fabulous, friendly couple to be around, their wedding day was equally awesome. Stone Tower Winery is such a gem (just check out these stunning photos by Anne Lord Photography as evidence) - and the rest of the vendor team, A La Carte Catering, Love Blooms, and DJ Andrew Logan, were a dream to work with as well. Enjoy these lovely pics and dream of warmer days while you do!

Congrats again, Claire and Sam!

Claire and Sam's vendors:

Planning: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue: Stone Tower Winery

Caterer: A La Carte Caterers

Photographer: Anne Lord

DJ: DJ Andrew Logan

Flowers: Love Blooms

Ceremony and Cocktail Music: Loudon Quartet

Hair/Make-up: Alison Harper & Co

Transportation: Point to Point Limo