Vendor Spotlight: Weddings with Wendy

May 30, 2017

weddings with wendy

Wendy Wojcik of Weddings with Wendy is giving us an inside look at wedding planning, her advice for couples planning their big day and a moment she will never forget.

How did you Weddings with Wendy get started?
Before I began my career planning weddings, I was a catering manager for a well-known facility and it was those experiences that lead me into becoming a wedding planner. It is my passion to always plan a perfect wedding and help couples realize their dreams, and many times surpass them. I am very organized, have a strong attention to detail and my veteran status as a planner has allowed me to form strong relationships with wedding vendors that have benefited my couples.

As a Northwest native I have been planning weddings for over twenty-five years and continually see the wedding industry evolve. Whether through technology, styles or their uniqueness there is one common thread and that is perfect planning.

What is your favorite thing about being involved in a couple’s big day?
I love seeing all the “Beautiful Moments” that just happen at each wedding and how all the moving parts come together for a perfect day!

What advice would you give to couples who are just starting the planning process?
Set a realistic budget based on your number of expected guests. The most common issue my clients experience is that no matter how much they have planned to spend on their wedding most of them don’t understand all the costs involved in planning a perfect event.

My best advice to help them create the wedding of their dreams whatever budget that may be?  First, we create a dynamic budget knowing that up in until the wedding day it will change but change doesn’t necessarily mean increase.  I work with my clients to help them prioritize what is most important to them and then we adjust the budget for each item up or down to help them stay within the overall budget.  Basically we rank what is most important to what is the least and spend more money on the higher ranked items and less on the lower.

Is there a recent wedding trend that we can expect to see a lot more of in 2017?
Here are just a few: naked cakes, live entertainment, metallic embellished dresses with see through silhouettes, natural settings with an abundance of greenery, oversized potted trees and unique food options.

Is there one moment in your career that stands out as something you’ll never forget?
Yes, I love to surprise my couples with something special to them. I had a couple get engaged on a Ferris wheel. So I happened to be able to get one delivered to them for their wedding day. It was AMAZING for them and all the guests really enjoyed it!

Vendor Spotlight: Aaron Horton Productions

April 24, 2017

Video footage from your wedding day is a great way to preserve those special moments for years to come. Aaron Horton of Aaron Horton Productions is giving us an inside look at the life of videographer and sharing his advice on hiring one for your big day.

https://vimeo.com/98485339

Video credit: Aaron Horton Productions

What is your advice to anyone who wants to hire a videographer for their big day?
Go with referrals from friends AND other vendors in our community.  The Seattle wedding community is small, everyone knows everyone else.  While there are vendors that have consistently come and gone in the last 15 years, there are also many who have been solid reputable companies who have grown and served their clients for over a decade.  These strong roots in the community are important for someone considering hiring a professional.  When a vendor recommends another vendor, they feel a responsibility for that recommendation’s quality of service.  In addition, you want a team that works well and cohesive as a unit… one that has a shared goal is to make the couple happy.

I highly recommend that couples request a FULL finished product.  Almost anyone can take the best clips from an event and throw together a decent online video, but you should have a very good idea of what to expect in a full finished product.  When you buy a car, you don’t just look in the trunk to see if you like it.  You need to know exactly what you are receiving so you can make the most informed decision.

What do you love most about your job?
I love my job because it is always a new challenge. I get paid to join families in what is always one of the happiest days of their lives, and at the end of the day, I feel responsible for preserving that feeling. Couples always tell me that when they sit down months after their wedding, they watch the video and start to feel the exact same emotions they felt as their day unfolded; nervous when they were getting ready, happy and excited during their first glance, tearful during a toast, or elated watching a sendoff. It’s quite an honor (and rewarding) to be able to tell someone’s story in a way that makes them feel so much emotion.

What is the one item you won’t attend a wedding without?
How about 20 items? And then backups of those 20 items!!!! I don’t have the luxury of doing re-takes. It’s my job to be everywhere and capture everything naturally. That said, I have to have all the equipment and backup to make sure that I can anticipate anything. My goal is to be the lowest maintenance team member at a wedding. I’ve done that for 15 years now by making sure that I’m prepared for anything. If really pressed, maybe I’d say comfortable dress shoes?

Getting to Know our Partner Vendor: Tasha Owen Photography

March 28, 2017

The photos from your wedding will be something that you cherish for the rest of your life. Tasha Owen of Tasha Owen Photography shares her insight on photography for the big day.

Photo credit: Tasha Owen Photography

How did you get started in wedding photography?
I was standing in my yard with my 3 Welsh Corgis when the Sanitation worker said his “Fiancé loved Corgi’s.” He got back in his truck, and I thought about it for a minute. I got in my car, chased him down, and told him I was a photographer, and that I would love to photograph his wedding. Lo and Behold… after that first wedding I was completely hooked. 580 weddings later I am still thrilled to be in the wedding industry and I love photography more today than I did when I started 35 years ago.

Are there any recent photography trends that you’re especially excited about?
The trend I embrace is authenticity. The images should reflect the vision of the Bride and Groom. No matter what pose, or what background, that it all suits them. Now that isn’t to say it always has to be a completely natural setting, if it feels right to a couple to play with a Film Noir style, I say let’s play! I need to have the technical knowledge and vision to pull those ideas together. To know where I can direct and when I need to step back and be more hands off. It’s a wonderful dance, to be able to focus on the day and bringing those moments to life in the camera- that is the trend that I feel becomes timeless.

Photo credit: Tasha Owen Photography

What’s your favorite part about being involved in a couple’s big day?
Oh boy, there are so many. Being with the bride and her father before she walks down the aisle. I have heard such beautiful things at those moments. Or the moment when the groom turns around and see’s his bride for the first time during their reveal moment. But probably my favorite part about being involved in their day is watching. The looking through my lens and seeing all those moments that are so vivid they take my breath away. A laugh, a kiss on a cheek, a tear, a stolen moment between parents… all these and more remind how fleeting life is and how important it is to capture it… if but for a second.

Are there any specific moments in your career that stand out as something you’ll never forget?
We were at the Rosario Resort on Orcus Island when we received word that Tom’s mother had passed away. It was an hour before we were to begin a wedding. It was a small outdoor wedding on the lawn overlooking the water. The skies were gray and there was a bit of rain and wind. The young couple stood up there under this huge tree and said their “I do’s”, and suddenly it all seemed so absolutely perfect to me. Life made perfect sense. My wonderful mother-in-law would have appreciated the circle of life I was feeling at that moment. The sweetness of grief, and the joy of new beginnings. I cherished that moment, and I was so very honored to be a part of ceremony and that young couples day. I never shared with them what had happened, but their kindness and how they included us in their day meant the world to us. The feelings of that day stay with me even now and I am ever so grateful.

You have obviously experienced many weddings. Any advice for a couple just starting the planning process?
Talk to each other about what is important. If things start to feel like a struggle in the planning, take a step back; take a look at your expectations. Don’t wear yourselves out! I know… easier said than done. Ask for help when you need it, and build a good team of vendors. On your wedding day, know you have done all you can, and everything is really perfect no matter what. Because at the end of the day, you two get the best part of all… each other.

The First Five Decisions to Make When Planning Your Wedding

January 25, 2017

La Vie Photography

Engagement season is in full swing! To help brides and grooms-to-be with the initial stages of wedding planning, we asked Megan from Clutch Events to share tips on the first five decisions you’ll need to make.

Set your budget. The purse strings control most wedding planning decisions you’ll make. As soon as you know your firm budget, enter it into a wedding budget calculator for a breakdown. Your wedding planner can also help to create a custom budget and help you decide which areas are most important to you, and that you’re willing to spend more on.

Decide on your wedding size. Maybe you’re dreaming of a large wedding or maybe a small, intimate affair is more your style. Start by thinking about how many guests feels good to you. 50? 100? 200+? Then, make a guest list in Excel and see where you land! You can cut back the list from there. And, of course, remember to get a list from your parents as well.

The guest count will also help you narrow down which venues will work for you and identify  variable costs. Variable costs to consider (and that are based on your wedding size!) include catering, rentals, florals, transportation and invitations.

Melissa Kilner Photography

Location. Where do you want to get married? Are you dreaming of a wedding close to home or a destination wedding? Consider your wedding vision, planning logistics and guest travel when weighing your options about a location.

Once you’ve settled on the location you can choose a venue. This is an important step as the venue will help shape the style and design of the wedding.

Time of Year. Consider the following when deciding what time of year to get married:

  • Average weather and temperature – especially if you want an outdoor event!
  • What time the sun sets – do you have a full day of light or will it get dark at 4PM?
  • Holiday weekends – these may be dates to avoid because of airfare costs and other travel issues
  • School schedules for guests that will be traveling with kids

If you have the flexibility to choose a season or a preferred month without having a specific date, there may be more availability when it comes to selecting a venue. Perhaps you want to get married in summer, but July is only six months away from when you got engaged. Make sure you give yourself enough time to plan your wedding and enjoy your engagement!

Jenny J Photography

Wedding Style. Casual? Semi-formal? Black tie? Do you have a sense of the style of wedding you’re going for? This is also an important factor to consider when deciding on budget and guest count. A formal wedding will likely increase the cost of the event.

Most importantly, remember that it’s the experience you have and people who surround you that are most significant to planning a wedding!

Thank you, Megan for sharing your expertise! For more wedding planning tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Rocking out with our Partner Vendor, Seattle Parties

June 14, 2016

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a rocking dance party at your wedding reception! In one of our most lively partner interviews to date, we chatted with one of Seattle’s top wedding and event DJs, DJ Leslie of Seattle Parties, to find out how she chooses songs for a wedding, her advice for engaged couples, and the most memorable moments she’s had while DJ-ing an event.

 1. What are your all-time favorite wedding songs?

Our songs, like our clients, vary greatly! We look at each wedding as a new challenge, which is what keeps it fun and exciting for us. Think of it as starting out with a blank canvas. First, we gather requests from the bride and groom, then the guests make requests during the course of the evening, and then we splash in a few songs that will compliment everything. A “musical painting” slowly forms, if you will.

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2. How did Seattle Parties get started?

In the late 90’s we were doing club promotions under the name “Cat Swingin’ Lounge Productions.” From there, we started to get requests to do lots of ‘swing theme’ corporate events. In 1998 we formed Seattle Parties and started getting seriously involved in weddings and corporate events. As well as talented DJ’s, we book live music, performance artists, and lighting and AV for events.

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3. What do you love most about your job?

I have been a DJ since my early teens and it’s my passion! I started out on vinyl and pride myself on mixing live and by ear. I love working closely with guests to formulate music that they’re happy and confident with. Every DJ who works for Seattle Parties is a musical artist and 100% passionate about what they do!

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4. Any advice for couples planning their wedding?

Make sure you feel really comfortable with the vendors you hire! Our motto is that we’ll meet with you as many times as needed until you’re satisfied with everything. During the wedding you should be focused on celebrating with your partner, friends, and family – not worrying about anyone’s role!

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5. Do you have a favorite memory and/or story from working at weddings?

I do have some funny stories from over the years! One time I was DJ’ing on a hill in Sun Valley Idaho and a dust storm swept up the Tiki-style DJ booth the client had hand crafted for me and it flew up and over my head and tumbled down the hill behind me. Another time, a major NBA player and all his friends got out on the dance floor and danced along to the Cupid Shuffle. I find that no matter how grand or intimate, each wedding has a funny story or memorable, heartwarming moment. For us, the most memorable moments are seeing our clients having a great time with their family and friends.

Thank you for giving us the inside scoop, Leslie! A full list of our partner vendors can be found here. Make sure to follow along with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest!

XO,

Herban Feast

Let’s Talk Event Design and Décor with Jenn Couture of Prop Gallery

May 26, 2016

Your wedding or celebration often starts as a blank slate, allowing you to build and create a day that’s uniquely “you.” Prop Gallery, one of our favorite event design partners, is here to help you turn that blank slate into a stunningly designed event! We sat down with Jenn Couture, Prop Gallery’s Director of Event Sales and Creative Design, to get a behind the scenes look at their event design business.

How was Prop Gallery started?

Prop Gallery actually started as a balloon retailer, Helium Roses Balloons, in 1985. We sold balloons for special occasions of all kinds. Then, in 1998 a new owner came along and changed the concept slightly, transforming the company into what it is today – complete special event design, décor and production.

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What are your three favorite pieces of inventory and why?

Just three?! That’s tough, but if I had to choose I’d say façade, drapes and vignette baubles. Façade allows for any venue to be completely re-imagined and customized, drapes are easy to execute and offer so many different textures and color combinations, and vignette baubles are always perfect to tie together a theme or provide a source of inspiration for a design.

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What is your favorite part of your job?

Hands down, my favorite part is getting to work on something new every day! From an intimate wedding to a corporate gala, a holiday party at a casino or a private auction, being surrounded by new ideas and inspirations every day makes my artistic heart content. Though, I have to say that my very favorite part is the diversity of people I get to work alongside of. Whether it’s meeting with vendors for a site visit or helping a newly engaged bride begin the planning process, each collaboration teaches me something new. It’s rewarding to be able to help others yet be constantly learning so much from them.

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Do you have a favorite memory from an event you worked on?

I have many great memories from events but one that sticks out is a gaming festival booth we assisted with recently. My client gave me complete design freedom and after a few hours of field research, I had what was one of my favorite designs to date. I thought I’d covered every last detail, however there was one final request. They wanted a six foot tall unicorn! Of course we said “yes” and created a unicorn that could seat three people. It was a huge hit at the festival and my client ended up purchasing it for her office. I’m not sure if there could be a stranger request, but I will eagerly wait for it!

Thanks for sharing with us, Jenn! A full list of our partner vendors (everything from event design to videographers!) can be found here.

For more behind the scenes happenings follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Xoxo,

Herban Feast

Emily Anderson of Lola Creative gives us the Inside Scoop

April 19, 2016

Do you know you want something different for your wedding but don’t know what or how it will all come together? This is where Lola Creative comes in! We chatted with Emily Anderson, President and Creative Director, to learn more about the company and get the inside scoop on event design.

What does Lola Creative offer for weddings and events?

Lola Creative offers full event design and production – anything that involves the look and feel of your event (i.e. floral, staging, drapes, props, furniture, and interesting details). We visualize with you and then fabricate, curate, and manage to ensure it happens!

Photo credit: Rubin Photography

Photography: Rubin Photography, Event Planner: Pink Blossom Events

What inspired you to start the company? 

I was a landscape architect and bored in my job. I yearned for projects I was thrilled to be a part of and I wanted more direct connection with my clients. The opportunity arose to start designing flowers for a local university and some small parties. I took it on to fuel my creative needs and ended up loving it more than my career. Floral design eventually merged into full event design and production and here we are!

Photo credit: Asgari Photography

Photography: Asgari Photography, Event Planner: TOLO Events

Any tips for couples planning their wedding?

You will hear a lot of people tell you to go ‘classic’ so that in 30 years you won’t be disgusted by your wedding photos. Don’t listen! Make your wedding true to who you are now. Make it special and sneak in personal touches wherever possible.

Photo credit: Alante Photography

Photography: Alante Photography, Event Planner: Pink Blossom Events

What do you love about working with Herban Feast?

The Herban Feast team is like a well-oiled machine! They are amazing to watch during a flip – when we change the room from ceremony to reception. They quietly come in. Stuff happens. And then it’s done. They are unflappable. And the food is beyond delicious.

What are three must-haves for every wedding?

Honestly, the most important things are your fiancé, an officiant to marry you, and the people who love you. Those are the only true must-haves. All the décor and design, it’s just the icing on the cake. So if you’re having a wedding day panic, relax! It will all be okay if you have those three core things.

Thank you for sharing with us Emily! A full list of our partner vendors can be found here. Make sure to follow along with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

XO,

Herban Feast

An Interview with our Partner Vendor, Vintage Ambiance

March 23, 2016

1. Vintage Ambiance is such a unique business, tell us a little bit about the company.

Vintage Ambiance provides one-of-a-kind antique and vintage rentals to help your event make a statement! Every day we are working on discovering beautiful and authentic vintage finds from coast-to-coast to bring back and offer to our Pacific Northwest brides and grooms. It a huge compliment when people tell us it’s easy to identify a Vintage Ambiance wedding or event because we pride ourselves on finding unique items that are different from anything else you’ll find on the market!

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2. What styling and décor trends do you see emerging lately?

Lately it’s all about soft, neutral color palettes and wild floral arrangements! Gone are the days where everything has to be absolutely perfect in order to be considered a great design. These days, brides are realizing that the beauty can be in the imperfection, whether it’s a soft, faded upholstered couch or a whimsical floral design with cascading flowers and stems.

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3. What is your favorite part of your job?

One of my favorite parts of the job is seeing how each of our pieces can be transformed in hundreds of different ways, based on the unique style and personality of the bride and wedding planner. I love that our pieces are constantly being used as the foundation for some really brilliant design work.

4. Do you have a favorite memory from an event you worked on?

There are so many memories, but one in particular stands out because it shows the amazing collaboration and support amongst Seattle wedding vendors! 48 hours before a wedding was scheduled, we got terrible news that the venue was being temporarily shut down due to flooding. It would have been easy for anyone to panic (myself included!), but instead the amazing wedding planner worked through the night to secure a new venue, while the rest of us vendors worked to re-adapt the original plans and rework the new space. It’s incredibly rare to work in an industry where vendors will drop everything to support each other when the unexpected happens; it’s truly a community that works together no matter what to create magic for our clients.

5. What (in your opinion!) is the one must-have piece for every wedding?

Lounge seating! I always recommend having at least one couch, but ideally a wedding should have a beautiful couch, two cozy armchairs and a table to tie it all together. Weddings are social celebrations created with the intention of bringing family and friends together and should be designed with both comfort and conversation in mind. It should be just as easy for your guests to find a cozy welcoming spot to engage in conversation as it is to hit the floor and dance the night away!

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A full list of Herban Feast’s partner vendors can be found here. See more partner vendor profiles here and here. And, don’t forget to connect with us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

XO,

Herban Feast

An Interview with Joanna Dyckhoff, Co-Founder of Bamboo Beats

January 26, 2016

What inspired you to start Bamboo Beats?

Bamboo Beats started when my husband (Bamboo Beats co-founder Isaac Dyckhoff) and I struggled to find a DJ for our own wedding. After a long search, we curated our own vinyl collection, set up the turntables and enlisted a couple friends to play DJ. We had so much fun preparing music for our own wedding that we started DJ-ing other weddings on the side. After several years of constant demand for our services we launched Bamboo Beats together in 2005.

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What are your three favorite wedding songs?

  1. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  2. Before I Let Go – Frankie Beverly & Maze
  3. I Want You Back – Jackson 5

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Have you noticed any recent trends for wedding music and entertainment?

We have recently seen an increase in pop music songs that play homage to the music of the 70s and 80s. It’s exciting for us because the music from those eras was so original and funky! Being able to spin these songs that hint back at classic tunes helps to bridge the gap in generations on the dance floor. We feel it’s our job to bring people together on the dance floor by celebrating cherished hits with the younger generation and introducing new music to the older generation.

As far as entertainment, we have been noticing more breakdancing and hip-hop dances being incorporated into the first dance and even grand entrances!

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What do you love about working with Herban Feast?

How attentive every staff member is! Every event we work with Herban Feast on is always timely and beautiful, with the utmost care to every detail.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that I get to work together with my husband to create magic for couples on their special day. I especially love the spontaneity and crazy dance moments that come to life on the dance floor!

Thank you for giving us a look inside Bamboo Beats, Joanna! A full list of Herban Feast’s partner vendors can be found here. See more partner vendor profiles here and here.

Make sure to follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Xo,

Herban Feast

Wedding Day Checklist

January 14, 2016

Your wedding day should be relaxing and enjoyable – with no stress! To make sure you don’t forget any day-of essentials we asked expert wedding planner, Holly Patton of Perfectly Posh Events for a comprehensive checklist. Keep this on hand for a stress-free big day!

 

Day of Wedding Checklist_2

Photo Credit: Ozlem Yavuz Photography

For the Bride

___ The ring

___ Wedding dress

___ Veil or headpiece

___ Undergarments

___ Shoes

___ Wedding jewelry

___ Clothes and makeup for the next day

___ Cell phone

___ Brush/comb

___ Hairspray

___ Makeup

___ Lip balm

___ Extra panty hose

___ Toiletries

___ Mints

___ Perfume

___ Bobby pins/hair ties

___ Clear nail polish (helpful for nylon runs!)

___ Pair of flat shoes

___ Straws (Prevents spilling on the dress when you are having a drink!)

___ $20 for “just in case”

___ Driver’s license

___ Camera

___ Snacks (Make sure they are light colored and non-messy!) and bottled water

___ Tissue

___ Umbrella

___ Lint brush

___ Hanger for wedding dress

 

Day of Wedding Checklist_3

Photo Credit: GH Kim Photography

For the Groom

___ The rings

___ Tuxedo or suit

___ Shoes

___ Clothes for the next day

___ Toiletries

___ Mints

___ Cologne

___ $20 for “just in case”

___ Driver’s license

___ Camera

___ Snacks and bottled water

___ Umbrella

___ Lint brush

 

Day of Wedding Checklist_1

Photo Credit: A Fist Full of Bolts Photography

Don’t forget!

___ Vendor final payment and gratuities

___ Marriage license

 

For more wedding tips and tricks connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Xo,

Herban Feast