I got the chance to sit down with Mary Ann Dennis from All Events Realized and ask her some questions about Event and Wedding planning
Being a Wedding Photographer it was great to find more about her and the details of All business
Tell me a little about your background and how you got into Event and wedding planning? I feel that everything in my background has groomed me into becoming a “planner”. (no pun intended). I have a theatre degree with an emphasis in stage management, lighting & set design. After a long career in New York City eventually I “settled down” and switched careers to human resources and became a recruiter. These careers set me up to design, plan, and match just the right vendor with the bride’s style.
Why should the brides hire a wedding planner? There are a couple of reasons.
1.) I think brides just don’t realized the issues that can come up “in the heat of the moment”. I can go on and on about how exhausting a wedding can be for the bridesmaids and families who pick up all the pieces for bride that does not have a planner. Why not let the bridal party, family, and even the BRIDE be a “guest” at the event. Someone from the outside can keep things moving beautifully & fix things as they come up without people feeling the pressure of it.
2.) Planners have connections with a variety of vendors in each category and can connect the right style & budget with the style & budget of the bride saving them money, not to mention the security of reliable people.
That’s great, and really makes a lot of sense can you tell me what kind of services you offer? Other than “planning” with the bride and keeping them “on or under” budget, I can be contracted to design the décor, invitations and favors. About half the budget goes to the venue and catering which is often what kills the budget for the rest of the wedding and gets people off on the wrong foot. I can help with options to consider that can be drawn out on an excel sheet before getting all tied in contracts. I say let’s “map it out” first then commit. Here is a list of ways I can be of help
- Guidance — consultations
- Drafting a budget guideline
- Finding vendors within your budget
- Finding venues within your budget
- Advice on decor and how to execute it
- Someone to set up the decor that day
- Someone to tear down decor that day
- Someone to conduct the rehearsal
- Someone to coordinate the actual day
- Someone to put together out of town guest bags and deliver them to hotels
- Someone to set up room blocks at local
- Someone to handle addressing/sending/keeping track of invitations/RSVPs
- Hand crafted invitations
- Wedding favors
- Someone to guide us on what we need to rent
- Someone to create a specific timeline for our wedding day/weekend to hand out to our vendors & wedding party
- HELP US WITH THE WHOLE THING!
So you are saying the couple will save money if they hire you? Everyone I have worked with so far who has contracted me to do centerpieces, create favors or help them find the right vendor for what they are looking for has been able to put a price to their savings. So, I’d say for the most part, “yes” to that question. If not “save” them money, I’ve been able to help to save them from not go over their budget with the options I’ve been able to offer.
Tell me more about your free one hour consultation and what happens during that session. I call it a “free brainstorming session over coffee”. I figure, if I can help and they want to use my services, great! If not, they might walk away with some good ideas and we would have had fun figuring a bit of plan and would have given them some ideas that might help them. I love planning!
I have seen you in action and you are all about the details, tell us about some of the details you notice leading up to and on the wedding day. Well you’ve seen me straighten linens, fix picture frames, change some of the up-lighting to saturate the walls better, add flowers to an arrangement, snip greens that poke out due to the flowers shifting in transport, etc. The details matter. When you see a table cloth or a bow that just isn’t right, the camera is bound to pick it up. I was a photographer’s assistant for a while and I happen to notice the “hair” that’s out of place. Also, when planning, I like to help the bride stay within the same style she started with. That detail is often over-looked. Some details in the ceremony can really make the wedding special if it can really be about them!! Finally, It’s really special to keep a “through line”. It all starts with the engagement session that can influence the “save the date” & invitations, which affects the mood, style and feel of the whole wedding.
You and I have spoke and we both agree on how much we love weddings. Tell us What is that you love about weddings? I love “love”. I also love art and people. It is just so much fun to create some that is unique for each couple. I love seeing it all come together and in the end I feel like I’ve made a friend for life.
I hear a lot about DIY weddings. Tell us about that and how your services fit into that wedding plan. I’m a do it yourselfer! So I appreciate it, but a bride really can’t do it herself on the actual wedding day. That’s where I come in and can either set up or direct the set up so things will run smoothly. She can’t go back and forth and communicate with the groom and the families and make sure everything is all set up and ready to go at the ceremony. Some of the venues keep things going from the reception on, but do they go to the church or the gazebo in the park where you are getting married? But I do. Venue can make vendor recommendations but they don’t work you through the whole plan and keep you on track with style and budget.
What are some of the hot trends in weddings so far this year? Soft and romantic is always popular and in style. As for lighting – candle light is in and for up-lighting is all about amber to extend that “candle light” look. As for color this year, fashion experts have mentioned emerald green, but this color seems to not have hit Western Mass yet.
You know I am all about the photography, how does the wedding planning compliment the photography on the wedding day? I once did a prom and the photographer said that “it sure is easier to photograph something with a beautiful canvas”. The room was stunning and it really had that wow factor. It does make it easier for the photographer to have awesome to photograph.
Do you have anything else you like to add before we wrap up. Other than I just love what I do. I usually throw something in. For instance, I designed a label for wine and attached place cards at the top. The bride had no idea that I was going to display on something I asked my husband to build which was a similar to a step ladder for the bottles. I also had back lights and flowers behind it. She LOVED it. So did I.
IF you want to find out more about Mary Ann and wedding and event planning visit her website at www.alleventsrealized.com