Colorful Church Wedding + Sperry Tent Reception {Rankin + Brent} | Virginia Wedding Planner

Prepare to feast your eyes on some serrrrrious wedding eye candy. Rankin and Brent’s May wedding was one of my favorites of the year and was seriously SO much fun! I absolutely loved planning with them and could not be more pleased how everything came together on wedding day. Their event design was so true to the heart of what all of our LPW designs emote — effortlessly Southern, luxurious yet relatable, and lots of personality. Kemper Mills Fant captured every detail and moment perfectly and I loved reliving R+B’s day through his lens.  Enjoy!!

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First of all, can we all give a hands up praise emoji for all of these beautiful COLORS?! Amen! I adored our refreshing and bright spring color palette. Amy Lynne Originals, per usual, knocked the floral designs out of the park and were the perfect accessory to Rankin and her sweet maids. Peonies are always my favorite, but these king protea stole the show!

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Rankin and Brent were married in Rankin’s family church in a sweet and intimate ceremony for their closest family and friends.

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After the ceremony, their wedding guests were transported to Brent’s family home for cocktails, dinner, and lots of dancing. As you came around the bend of the of the property, a giant sail cloth Sperry tent was set against the blue Virginia sky (thank heavens.. no rain!!). The flags at the peaks blowing in the breeze, the wonderful weather, and delightful company made for the perfect ambiance.

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I could write an entire blog post just about how amazing 1618 On Location is. They always exceed my expectations in both service and their amazing cuisine. Outdoor weddings with no nearby buildings to work from are always a challenge for catering … but never for my friends at 1618. We created a pop up kitchen by the main tent where they served 350+ guests with ease. For cocktail hour on the lawn behind the main tent, we served drinks alongside passed hors d’oeuvres and a raw bar of shrimp and oysters shucked on site. The tray passed hors d’oeuvres were to die for! My two favorites were the demi glace short rib tacos with feta, butternut squash, and brussels sprout relish and pulled pork and collard green egg rolls with mango chutney. Once dinner began, guests dined all evening from assorted food stations serving everything from small plates of sesame seed crusted ahi tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes (my all time favorite) and grilled tenderloin with white cheddar potato cakes to smoked gouda mac and cheese and pomme frittes to a taco station and the most beautiful cheese and charcuterie display.

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Since I am on an emoji kick today, insert all the heart eyes over this beautiful tent. As you entered the tent, your eyes immediately went up to the stunning peaks and detail of the sail cloth tent. To match that, we opted for an even mix of high and low centerpieces to fill the space. The textured linens were the *perfect* shade of blue and complimented our punchy color palette beautifully. Just off of the dance floor, Paisley & Jade and I created a large lounge vignette for mingling and taking a rest from dancing.

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Rankin has a love for giraffes and found these precious gold ones online to serve as their cake topper. This touch of whimsy paired beautifully with the rough iced cake and blousey blooms from ALO. We served the cake alongside a more delicious treats from 1618: cheesecakes, truffles, strawberry shortcakes, buttermilk pies (a recipe from Rankin’s grandmother), and banana pudding.

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Cheers to the perfect day for the most wonderful couple!!

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Planning + Event Design: Leigh Pearce Weddings | Photography: Kemper Mills Fant Photography | Floral Design: Amy Lynne Originals | Tent: Sperry Tent DC | Catering, Cake, Desserts: 1618 On Location | Rentals: CE Rental | Vintage Rentals: Paisley & Jade | Band: Major and the Monbacks | Officiant: Rev. Nathan Finnin |  MC: Jessica Mashburn | Power: Big Sky Rentals | Restroom Rental: Tidy Inc. | Invitations: Crane from Janice Cain Stationary | Transportation: Charis | Hair: Laura Bray | Makeup: Holly Burton | Valet: Park Inc. | Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Carole

Autumn Creek Vineyards Wedding {Hilary + Jeff} | Reidsville NC Event Planner

To say I love these two is an understatement. Hilary and Jeff are so kind and warm. They immediately made me feel like part of the family! Their wedding day was picture perfect despite the crazy heat that weekend. Every June in North Carolina there is one weekend that no matter what you do, the humidity is at 1,000,000,000% and you just have to make everyone as comfortable as possible and pray for the best. That said, you would have never known it was 100+ degrees looking at Hilary in these photos! It was like there was a magical bubble around her all day and I swear I never saw her sweat (even though I know she was pretty toasty in her gown!!). Without further ado, I hope you enjoy these beautiful images from the fantastic Sara Logan as much as I do!

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The bouquets from Joy at Blooms and Thistle were hands down the showstopper elements in our event design. They were all perfectly textured with juuuust enough color while still staying perfectly elegant and summery.

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Autumn Creek Vineyards has the most lovely ceremony location. The quaint gazebo overlooks a picture perfect pond complete with a family of ducks.

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There are a few photos I always search out first when I first see photos from my clients’ wedding — the cake cutting, the first look, and the march back down the aisle. To me, these are the moments where I find the most pure joy on my clients’ faces. I just ADORE this snap expertly captured by Sara!!

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These bouquets are what wedding planners dream about.

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Delicious Bakery never disappoints. This 4 tier beauty was not only gorgeous, but also delicious (pun intended!). My favorite detail was the cake topper, Better Together, as a nod to Hilary and Jeff’s first dance song. We also served cheesecake bites from Cheesecakes by Alex, the location of their engagement!

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After cocktail hour and a choreographed first dance, guests were seated to enjoy a delectable dinner from Southern Roots. The menu started with a summer salad of organic greens with sliced strawberries, goat cheese, and candied walnuts with balsamic vinaigrette. Next guests dined on a buffet of roasted beef tenderloin, stuffed chicken with blue cheese, cream cheese, and fresh herbs, redskin potatoes, spaghetti squash casserole (so good y’all), and haricot vert salad with feta, red onion, and roasted red pepper.

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Planning + Design: Leigh Pearce Weddings | Photography: Sara Logan | Floral Design: Blooms and Thistle | Venue + Bar Service: Autumn Creek Vineyards | Catering: Southern Roots | Rentals: Southern Event Rental | Makeup: Brianna Leigh Beauty | Hair: Madison Moseley |  Cake: Delicious Bakery | Cheesecake: Cheesecakes by Alex | Officiant: All Faiths Wedding Officiants of the Triad | Band: Brothers Pearl | Transportation: Holiday Tours

Featured on Southern Weddings | Greensboro NC Wedding Planner

What a treat to see Olivia and Scott’s preppy barn wedding on Southern Weddings today! I just loved working with these two last year on their May wedding at Summerfield Farms. Pop over to SW here to see the full feature. Enjoy!!

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Crediting Your Vendors {Business Series} | Greensboro Event Planner

In school, we all learned about plagiarism and properly crediting our sources. So now that we are grown up and wedding vendors, do the same rules not apply? Of course they do! There is an ever growing trend online, in particular on social media, of wedding industry professionals (and hopefuls) posting photos with no credits to the people who produced the photo or the work shown. This may seem harmless, but it can have a big impact on your business. In general, I find that people in offense of this major faux pas fall into two categories: 1) a person or business who posts photos of work that they had a hand in creating but credit no one else involved and 2) a person or business who posts photos of work that they have NO hand in creating in any capacity.

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Let’s dive in a little deeper and talk about these two respective camps:

The No Tagging of Your Vendors Person: This offense is SO easy to remedy. Just tag your vendors! Everyone has their own take on what this looks like, but for me, the best way is to take a three part approach.

1. Tag your vendors in the caption. Whether you are posting on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., this is the easiest and quickest way to incorporate your vendors. My go to formula is to select my photo, write my caption about said photo, then at the end of the caption, tag my vendors. Yeah, that simple! I analyze the photo and look at each element to make sure I do not forget anyone. Can you see any part of the venue? Tag them. Are there any floral elements? Tag them. Everyone wins with this method. You supported your fellow vendors, you may get a share from that vendor (bonus), and it makes you look professional.

2. Tag your vendors in the photo. This comes in to play in regards to Instagram. I like to tag my vendors in the actual photo (click the Tag People button before you post the photo to your profile). This means when someone taps your image, the names of those you tag pop up and someone can click on them to take them to their profile. Better yet, the image you posted will show up in their Photos of You tab in their Instagram profile. Potential clients may be looking at this, see the image, click over to your profile and voila! You now have a new lead.

3. Is there an opportunity to add a geotag? This can be done on Facebook and Instagram and connect you to a location’s online map so to speak. The marketing benefits are similar to tagging vendors in a photo. Your image now shows up under the geotag for that venue, for example, and any potential leads can see you and become interest in your work. Another no brainer.

The Posting Other People’s Work Person: This is the worst offense in my opinion and frankly, NO ONE should be doing it. You are misleading clients that the work you posted is your own. But wait, what if you tagged the vendors? This is a moot point because at a glace, looking at your Instagram profile, for example, a client could just see the thumbnails of the pictures you posted and assume all the work is yours without clicking. Posting work that you had NO hand in creating is misleading to clients and disrespectful to the vendors whose work you are posting. Moral of the story: Just don’t do it!

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A few more important tips to keep in mind when posting images to your social media accounts that represent your business:

1. Pinterest is not a photo source. I repeat, Pinterest is not a photo source!  This goes back to posting work that is not your own. You must be thinking, “But Leigh! I posted my source. I found the picture on Pinterest!” Well, honey, Pinterest did not take the photo and edit it. Pinterest did not arrange that lovely bouquet. Pinterest did not take countless hours to design and plan the beautiful wide room shot you are looking at. PEOPLE did.

2. At minimum, tag the photographer. If you are following the rules and posting images that you had a hand in creating the content, then you should have no problem remembering who you partnered with. That said, if you happen to have a dose of amnesia or cannot find the person you are wanting to tag on social media, at minimum tag your photographer. If you cannot tag the photographer (or add their name in your caption) then do not post the photo.

3. Copying hashtags is bad. General hashtags like #wedding, #bouquet, etc. of course do not count. What I mean is do not try to ride on another business’s coat tails and post their curated, branded hashtags on your images unless it is 100% relevant. For example, you are a florist and you are posting images of your work (yay! you are off to a good start!). You wrote your caption, tagged the photographer, then typed out your hashtags. One of the hashtags you added was #leighpearceweddings, my business hashtag. But I did not work with you on that event. This misleads the customer to look like you worked with someone you did not, in this example. Also, and more importantly, now when someone clicks on my hashtag, they see your work and assume it is mine. This goes back to being misleading to the client and is a major no no. There are so many wonderful hashtags you can use to drum up business without stealing someone else’s ….. but that is a whole other post!

All in all, these are such SIMPLE solutions for what is becoming a really big problem. Friends, be CONFIDENT in your work and share your OWN work.  I would love to hear from YOU in the comments. Do you have any other tips to share about crediting vendors? 

The Barn at Summerfield Farm Wedding {Olivia + Scott} | Durham NC Wedding Planner

Olivia and Scott are one of those couples that you meet and instantly know that they are the perfect match for one another. They compliment each other so well and have such a great joy for their relationship. Planning with them both was SO much fun. We meticulously designed every detail to be a reflection of them, their venue, and Olivia’s killer style. And boy, were the details beautiful . But the feeling that I am left with when looking back on the day through Anna Paschal Photography’s lens is the amount of joy, happiness, and love these two have for one another.

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I just love their sweet first look. And can we all take a moment to swoon over Olivia’s dress? The ruffles, the jeweled belt, the sweetheart neckline .. it is definitely why Hayley Paige is a forever favorite of mine.

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The bridal party fashion tied together our preppy meets rustic feel. From the stripes in Olivia’s gown, to the navy jackets the guys sported, to the ruffled collars and bows on the bridesmaid dresses, to the loose and natural bouquets  .. it all tied together beautifully.

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Scott left Olivia the sweetest surprise on her shoes .. a note that she did not notice until their first look.

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Because Olivia and Scott had a private gathering before the ceremony with their close family and friends to sign their ketubah, the majority of the guest list was invited for pre-ceremony cocktails and mingling in the barn where cocktail hour would take place. After some mingling, guests were escorted onto large open air seated trailors and enjoyed a quick ride to the ceremony just up the hill. Once they arrived to the ceremony meadow, guests were greeted with a welcome table featuring wooden accordion fans to keep cool, yarmulkes, and a large calligraphed board that Olivia crafted. The statement piece for the entire ceremony was without a doubt the beautiful chuppah that Olivia’s father and brother constructed featuring a light and airy Swiss dot fabric sewn by Olivia’s mother.

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The traditional Jewish ceremony was set in front of this iconic tree in the meadow at Summerfield Farms. It served for the perfect backdrop for the ceremony and also provided wonderful shade for the guests.

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After the ceremony, guests were given a quick tractor ride through the breathtaking landscape at Summerfield Farms before being dropped off at the barn for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Guests enjoyed tray passed petite ham biscuits and pimento cheese biscuits alongside strawberry sangria and sparkling spiked lemonade. Both perfectly refreshing after a ceremony in the [expected] Southern humidity.

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We could not have asked for more perfect light after the ceremony!

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Dinner and dancing took place in an adjacent pole tent. I love working in a tent .. it gives the perfect crisp, clean backdrop to make any design come to life. For Olivia and Scott, I worked with The Farmer’s Wife to create an elegant meets rustic with a touch of preppy tablescape. Textured ivory linens, mint julep cups filled with blousey blooms, tall and bountiful arrangements in collected urns. Olivia hand crafted all of the wooden table numbers and water color place cards as well as calligraphed all the names and numbers.

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After introductions and some dancing, guests were seated for a delectable dinner of local fare. To start, guests enjoyed an Asian pear salad of mixed greens with crumbled bleu cheese, candied pecans and balsamic vinaigrette followed by a main course of herb rubbed grilled chicken, marinated flank steak with gorgonzola cream, char grilled parmesan and herb crusted corn on the cob, and grilled garlic green beans.

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Why have one cake when you can have three? Maxie B’s created these timeless cakes in strawberry buttercream, mocha, and raspberry lady. All divine and the perfect sweet treat to end the evening.

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Planning + Design: Leigh Pearce Weddings | Photography: Anna Paschal Photography | Venue: Summerfield Farms | Floral Design: The Farmer’s Wife | Catering: Fresh. Local. Good. Food Group | Linens: Party Makers | Bridal Gown: Hayley Paige | Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy | Hair + Makeup: Carla White | DJ: K2 Productions | Cake: Maxie B’s

Working with a Planner {Business Series} | North Carolina Event Planner

Usually here on the blog, you can find me sharing planninadvice, snaps of our events, and other news speaking mostly to clientele. But in addition to my lovely clients, a large part of my blog readership is actually other wedding and event professionals. In person, I love discussing industry trends, the best business practices, marketing, and the like with my colleagues — so why not put pen to paper (so to speak) and start a event business focused series on the blog! I am really excited about the content to come and would love any feedback on topics you are interested in hearing about.

Today’s post is something that I do not feel has been addressed very much online. However, I find myself discussing it pretty frequently with other planners and it is a top question I am asked by fellow vendors: how can vendors work better with a wedding or event planner? If you are a non-planner event professional (think photographer, rental provider, venue manager, caterer, DJ, etc.), the following tips are crucial in getting repeat business with a planner. Being added to a planner’s recommended vendor list takes more than just executing your contract to the client:

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Alisandra Photography

Be on time: This is so crucial and sets the tone for your working relationship. Professionalism is being on time (read: exactly on time or five minutes early) for in person meetings and conference calls during planning. Even more important is your arrival time on event day. If you confirm with the planner you will arrive at 2 PM and do not show up until 3:45 PM, you will most likely throw off the rest of the event schedule. Other vendors are relying on your part in the event before performing their part. Alternatively, being too early can also be bad. For example, if you are providing florals and show up extremely early, staff may still be placinlinens or even waiting for them to arrive. Planners love that you arrived early and are happy to see you, but please do not try to rush the process because you need to be at your next event.

Understand our job: Every planner is different, just like every <insert your job title here> is different. We have common practices but the way we perform our jobs and curate our client experiences all vary. When you begin working with a planner, ask them about what services the client rendered from them (day of coordination, full service, etc.). Also, ask them how your role in the event fits in with their overall planning time line and process. For example, all LPW clients receive a full service experience meaning we handle every detail from planning to design to coordination. So if you are a DJ, for example, I will handle the contracting, sharing of information, sending time lines, etc. There will be little to no need to communicate with our clients unless a face to face meeting is requested. Knowing this process then calling the client anyway to ask questions and not reading the detailed information sent over to you will quickly create frustration for the planner.

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Appreciate the the planner’s perspective: We have the whole picture of the event in our mind as well the complex knowledge of our clients, their family dynamics, budget constraints, and so on. If you disagree with a planner on a point, of course let them know. We encourage you to share your expertise with us! But do so respectively and in a constructive way. We may not be a DJ, to continue the example, but we have a great deal of knowledge on how your role in the event works and may have made a plan for you based on that. It is always better to talk it out before jumping to conclusions and especially before contacting the client.

Be a great communicator: Emails and phone calls should always be answered within 2 business days. Period. Even if you do not have a proper answer to return, at minimum send a note saying that the email was received and you will get back to them by a certain date. And stick to the date! It will build trust in your planner and thus, the client. Extremely delayed email responses that say something to the effect of “Sorry I am just so busy” or “I’m sorry! It is wedding season!” are not valid excuses. Sending this type of a response shows that you do not manage your time well and creates doubt in your planner about your management skills. Most importantly, after understanding what role the planner plays in the process, do not contact the client for any reason without connecting with the planner first. In the eyes of the client, it either makes you look bad because they expected you to contact the planner OR it makes the planner look bad because the client thinks the planner did not communicate with you.

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Be kind and honest: So simple and so important. We are all here to work for the same goal which is to provide our clients with the absolute best experience possible. If you look at your vendor partners for an event as a team, everyone, including the client, wins.  Another way to ensure honesty is giving credit where credit is due. Make sure to tag and reference vendors associated with an event (not just the planner!) on social media. This continues the teamwork mentality and showcases everyone’s hard work. Lastly, keep in mind the way you represent yourself online. Your language, quality of work, and brand should always shine through. Nothing is more disappointing than realizing that all the photos a vendor shares on Instagram actually do not belong to them and were found on Pinterest. Share your own work and represent yourself in an honest way.

Be informed + proactive: Set aside time to thoroughly read the time lines and information we email you. Nothing is more frustrating to a planner than for a vendor to show up to an event or meeting and be uninformed. If you have an adjustment or recommendation, please share! Planners are all about changes and being flexible, but also do not try to change or question every single detail. Furthermore, be prepared! Print out the information you have been sent. I cannot tell you how many times vendors have shown up to events and expected me to have the information that was sent to them in advance printed out for them. Lastly, look at your process. Forms and questionnaires serve a great purpose when a client does not have a planner. However, do not expect a planner to fill out a tedious worksheet that answers the same questions as our time line and other information you have been sent. This goes back to doing your homework and reading the information sent over.

Cultivating a great planner/vendor relationship is so important. We all work so hard to create a wonderful experience for our clients and joining forces can only make us all better.

Kind words from the mother of the bride | Winston-Salem Wedding Planner

I absolutely loved planning with Lauren and her mom, Lili! These two ladies are so sweet and made me feel right at home with them. Lili was so kind to share a few words with me the day after the wedding:

Thanks a million times over for your outstanding management of the wedding.  With you in charge, the stress level for us plummeted.  Awesome job. When Taylor makes the big announcement you will be the first person we call (after her grandmother of course). Thanks again for a superb job. We will sing your praises all over Winston!

 

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Lauren + Lili on wedding day!

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