Rachel & I have known each other since our wee tiny days of daycare. <3 To say that I adore this lady would be an understatement. She has incredible style and her organization & attention to detail make her one of the most talented wedding planners I know! We've had the pleasure of collaborating on quite a few gorgeous weddings. All the images in this blog post are her weddings. :)
Tell us about you! How did you get started? Why did you become a wedding planner?
Well, I am a born-and-raised PNW native from beautiful Bellingham, WA, I graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in 2009 with my degree in Interior Design, and spent a handful of years in the hospitality field before joining Manette Gracie Events in the summer of 2013. I kind of got started in weddings young because I come from a very large family, so whenever someone got married it was always "all hands on deck" to help prep, and I loved being a part of creating someone's perfect celebration. And then the design challenge of it is always a blast! Especially when using the same trends from year to year in different ways that feel genuine to each couple and reflect who they are :)
I get to say 'I love my job' a lot.
Favorite wedding trend of the moment? Wedding trend you’d love to see disappear forever?
I'm LOVING the rose gold revival that's happening right now. It seems like that metallic tone is always ebbing and flowing in and out of fashion but it's always been one of my favorites, so I'm glad it's getting so much love right now!
This is completely personal opinion, but I'm not a big fan of burlap. In the right setting it totally fits and can look *wonderful*, but the stuff sheds everywhere! I'm kind of tired of being on high alert to make sure I'm not walking around a wedding looking like I rolled around in a lint trap
Is there one thing you think is an often overlooked but important wedding detail?
Space. This isn't an exciting answer, but make sure that whoever volunteers (or is volunteered) to take away personal items, decor, or food at the end of the night understands how much room these items will need. More than once I've taken items at the end of the night to prevent a late night venue charge for the couple and had to meet up with family members or friends after the fact because they just didn't have the room to take everything they signed up for.
Why is a good wedding planner so invaluable?
Stress relief in human form!
We know how much work this is, and yes-- it can be very overwhelming-- but a good planner is there to be a sounding board and keep couples on track while not letting the details bog down the excitement of getting to marry the love of your life. Whether it's a quick e-mail about using sparklers vs bubbles for the grand exit, or a long sit down about different ways to use great-grandma's beloved teacup collection into the decor without risking breakage, my ultimate goal is to make sure your wedding day is exactly how you want it and ensuring my couples (and their moms!) are enjoying the day, and not worrying about a thing
What are your favorite pacific northwest venues?
Oh gosh, there are so many! For the more hands-on options I love Wallace Falls Lodge, Shangri La On the Green. and Trinity Tree Farm; Farm Kitchen and Shafer Bailie House are wonderful options to stay on-site for the bridal party/family. For more inclusive spots Sodo Park is a perfect example of the urban industrial venue, as is AXIS Pioneer Square. The Edgewater is not only a Seattle icon, but hands down has one of the best views in the city (I think), and Semiahmoo is just an incredible spot-- and I know one of your favorites as well :)
What's the most important piece of advice you can offer a bride?
Make lists to get stuff done and make sure to schedule wedding-free days. A lot of times brides can get close to their wedding and have a feeling of 'senioritis' because it's been the focus of their attention for so long that they get excited for something new. That's not to say on the day of you won't over the moon, but it should feel like the days leading up to Christmas: 1 week to go! 2 more days! 1 more sleep til the wedding!!!
What are some of the most unique things you’ve helped couples put into their weddings?
I've been lucky enough to work with some spectacular couples with amazing ideas! One couple did away with the traditionals and had the entire reception after dinner was an epic, 80-person flip cup competition (their first date was Oktoberfest, so very fitting). Another who was having a kid-free wedding had flower grannies instead of flower girls for their ceremony. This summer there was a Japanese-Jewish wedding with a 40's themed reception where the Hora followed by swing dancing :)
As MUCH as I love the florals and candlelight and sparkle of weddings, it's those elements that are completely unique and entirely about the couple that I love the most