We are Cleveland wedding photographers for the couple that values legacy and authentic moments captured. We love telling wedding stories in a way even your grandchildren will feel like they experienced your day with you. We also photography a select number of senior pictures and information can be found on our SENIOR PHOTO page here. Dragonfly Photography is based in Cleveland, Ohio with destinations world wide.
Well, it’s 2018 ya’ll (I sound so local!) and today’s blog is going to be a bit different. 😉 BUT, I’m hoping it can start a bit of a trend around here and perhaps it will become something you come to expect. I want to get more personal and more chatty (if that’s a thing) and share a little beyond just my beautiful clients in this space.
I have been thinking about this for a while. I love so many things about the wedding industry but one of the things I deeply value is the creative community and how fantastic so many of the wedding vendors are that I am blessed enough to be friends with. I know that the many amazing people I get to call friends have a wealth of information that is worth listening too.
Because I have been a wedding photographer for a long time, I generally have a perspective on weddings and events that not everyone is going to have. Most of my beautiful brides are planning their first wedding, and walking into wedding planning can be, well, highly overwhelming. I love sharing my perspective with my brides and hopefully educating them to things that they may not have considered.
My crazy idea was that I have some brilliant and extremely knowledgeable friends in the industry that I adore hearing their wisdom and I thought perhaps you might as well. I wanted to occasionally bring a sort of wedding expert alongside to share some knowledge from her little corner of the wedding world. Hopefully it will give brides some helpful underwhelming tips into this whole crazy world of planning a wedding and the rest of you will get to meet some of my favorite people around.
I’m going to start this out with Jen of Fabuluxe Events. She is a wedding planner who is amazing to be around, energetic, kind, and caring. Her and her team adore their brides and creating beautiful events for them so I’m sitting down with Jen today to hear her perspective planning a wedding!
So Jen, to start, how long have you lived in Palm Beach and what do you love about it? I have lived in Palm Beach since 2001. I love having the beach nearby (even though I don’t go as often as I should). I love the friends I have made here through my business and friends I have made being part of the community with an active child.
What made you start your wedding planning company and get into this industry to begin with? It all started when we adopted our son in 2005. He had some special needs and we were in desperate need of resources for him. We came across Easter Seals and he began to receive amazing therapies. I began volunteering at their fundraisers and events and really enjoyed the work. At the time, I was working in Commercial Real Estate and the market was rapidly changing.
I decided to take a risk and actually try to make money doing something I was good at and loved. So the idea for Fabuluxe was born. I worked a full-time job and worked on Fabuluxe from 2009-2011 and then in 2011, Fabuluxe became my full-time job and I have never looked back. It has been an incredible journey.
What is your favorite thing about planning weddings? Seeing two people in love make a lifetime commitment to each other and watching two families become one. Because after the wedding, it all comes down to that love and commitment.
Tell me the funniest moment you’ve ever seen at a wedding? A few years ago we had a wedding party do a dance-off…Groomsmen vs. Bridesmaids. Not only was it well choreographed but it was hilarious and it is something I will never forget. The guys took it so much more seriously than the girls and that was the funniest part!
How about the most emotional? Recently we had a wedding where the bride’s father performed the ceremony as the officiant. It was so filled with genuine love for his daughter, her groom and everyone who was witnessing their love and commitment to each other. I think I sobbed the entire time….but with happy tears!
When brides inquire with Fabuluxe, what are a few qualities in a bride that just make you light up and know they’re going to be an amazing fit for your company? They are genuinely interested in forging a relationship with us. Our couples become our friends for life. They know what they want, but they are open to suggestions when needed. They are so excited to be marrying their partners for life. It is truly a partnership and friendship we create with each couple and couples that are interested in that type of relationship make my heart smile!
Do you think every bride needs a wedding planner? Yes, Yes, Yes….Full planning is best…but if a Month of Coordinator is all that they can afford, that is fine. So many times we hear, “we went to a wedding that didn’t have a planner and you won’t believe what happened”. We hear it from vendors and we hear it from our couples that are guests at weddings.
What would you say is lacking in the wedding industry, or what would you shout from the rooftops if you could? Education on what is real and not real on the internet and pinterest. I love wedding blogs and pinterest as much as the next person, but so many things are styled shoots in perfectly controlled settings. DIY is really done by professional “crafters” or insanely talented people in these instances…and takes so much more time than people realize.
And wedding vendors are small business owners paying their bills, supporting their families and trying to navigate this thing called life. By always trying to beat them up on price or not respecting office hours or boundaries, you are telling the wedding vendor that you don’t respect them. We all want to provide the best possible service to our clients. Our prices are set for various reasons and we aren’t just jacking up the price of things because it is a wedding.
If a bride is complaining about price then she needs to adjust expectations, priorities and potentially find different vendors. There are fantastic people at all price points and experience levels.
Tell me, for a bride that is very budget conscious, why would you consider it essential to still invest in a planner? A good planner can tell the bride how to spend her money wisely. This includes areas where it makes sense to save and where it makes sense to splurge. Vendor relationships that planners have can result in some better pricing. And a planner can help a bride stay on budget, prioritize items and manage the day in a way that no one else can.
What about a recently engaged bride, where would you point her towards first steps? The very first thing to do is to figure out budget and determine who is paying for what items. It’s one of the hardest conversations to have but absolutely must be discussed in the beginning to avoid heartbreak, misunderstanding, anger and frustration throughout the process.
Next task is guest list. You really can’t determine the size of the space you need without discussing guest list.
I always tell brides that, more people = more money, not just in food and beverage, but table decor, favors, invitations, etc etc.
Anything else you’d like to share? Couples need be honest with themselves and their vendors as to their budget and their priorities. We won’t judge, but it makes things incredibly difficult if we don’t have all of the information. Also, be respectful of your vendors and their time…on any day they could be working on multiple weddings and events and sometimes that has to be prioritized. It doesn’t mean any couple is more important than another but maybe deadlines are looming, etc. An emergency is not whether flowers are hot pink vs fuschia. An emergency is something you call 911 to report.
Remember after the wedding, two people are starting a life together. So take a day of the week and don’t work on the wedding, continue to go on date nights and keep in perspective why you are doing all of this.
And lastly, and only because one of my favorite pod-casts does this and I think it’s so much fun… tell me what 3 food items you can’t get enough of and you’ll never be without? Diet Coke, Peanut M&Ms, Steak – medium rare
Jen, I cannot thank you enough for these words and the heart behind them. You are a true professional and fantastic human – and I am very thankful to know you as a friend. Everyone else, what did you think? Wasn’t that amazing?? Tell me who else would you like to hear from? I have a list I want to have “talk” to us in this light but I’d love to know if there is an area you’d love to hear about.