By now, the entire world should know that we looovee brunch! We love the smell it. How it makes us feel all tingly inside. Oh, and we love sipping on some mimosa. Today, we're changing gears a little bit. We're doing brunch with our little pinkies up (we're Brunch Snobs, after all). We're going to be a bit more demure and classy. NOT...lol But, we're going to talk about what goes into hosting a bridal brunch shower! I have with me today, the incomparable event planner, Victoria Lartey-Williams from victoriouseventsnyc.com. She's going to share with us the do's and don'ts of hiring a wedding planner and how she couldn't stay away from helping to plan her own bridal brunch shower.
Q: Victoria, please give our readers a quick synopsis of your resume.
A: I'm going into my fourth year of running my own event planning company. But I think I've always been a planner at heart. It's like second nature to me. I usually find myself planning my family's vacations, outings for celebrations, and naturally just take the lead. Before pursuing my dream, I worked in government and politics as a press secretary, but I often found myself drawn to the events department. I then transitioned to the jewelry industry on Wall Street, where I was surrounded by gorgeous engagement rings and wedding bands. But I couldn't help but wonder and fantasize about what came after that perfect ring. The proposal, the lavish wedding...what did it all look like? So, with my husband's encouragement, I decided to take a leap of faith and it's the best decision I've ever made.
Q: I attended your brunch bridal shower a few years back and might I say, I loved every inch of the decor. Were you involved in the planning and execution or was that solely your maid-of-honor's job?
A: I couldn't help but be involved! My best friend came up with the "La Vie En Rose" theme. She knows me very well so I fell in love with it immediately. We would talk on the phone for hours about all the details. If I weren't involved, it still would have been beautiful, but it's hard to not be a planner when you're also the bride.
Q: Before we delve into the Perfect Bridal Brunch Shower, tell me exactly what a wedding planner does and what are the benefits of hiring one as oppose to getting Aunt Suzie or your maid-of-honor to plan your wedding?
A: A wedding planner takes your ideas and brings them to life. I'm responsible for finding the venue and all of the vendors. From photography to stationery, your dress to transportation, I search for the very best vendors within your budget. I create design boards that showcase all the pretty details that will be incorporated into the wedding. I'm sorry, but Aunt Suzie just doesn't have the experience, connections, or vision that I do.
Sometimes my clients refer to me as their "Fairy Godmother" and I think it's pretty fitting. I want to make my clients' wishes come true. We have a lot of heart to heart talks. I find solutions to their problems. And I'll be honest if what they are envisioning isn't quite within their means. I advocate for them. I'm their biggest cheerleader. Being a wedding planner is so much more than just organizing a life event —It's giving you peace of mind that this huge investment of money and time is in the right hands. That alone is priceless. I know some couples who think they can't afford it. But the reality is you can't afford not to hire one.
Q: What's the anatomy of the Perfect Bridal Brunch Shower?
A: Personalization is key. Be sure to add fun and sentimental touches to the event to make it unforgettable for both the guests and the bride-to-be. For my bridal brunch, we had custom cookies designed with my name, quotes that related to the theme, and they were all within the same color palette. There's nothing better than decor that's also dessert!
Brunch is probably my favorite meal of the day, so picking a venue with a menu that offers delicious bites and tasty cocktails is a must! Not all brunches are created equal, so do some taste testing before putting down a deposit.
Think about what the bride-to-be really loves! And don't be afraid to ask her if you are unsure. Getting some feedback is a surefire way of creating the event she's been dreaming of.
Have fun! Think of a few fun activities to do during the brunch to illicit laughter all around the room. Games that test your knowledge of her or her relationship are always the best.
And lastly, surround yourself with your favorite people. Invite those with positive energy and intentions. There's no room for drama at the perfect bridal brunch.
Q: Do you have at least one DIY that always saves the day or saves your client money?
A: Personally, I'm not a huge fan of DIY projects. Unless you are a very talented artist, leave it to the professionals.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration from when you're planning a wedding or a bridal shower?
A: Believe it or not, I pull most of my inspiration from the couples themselves. We really dig deep into their wants and desires for their wedding day. I'll do research online, study magazines, follow interior design trends, and come up with a unique vision that tells the story of their love.
Q: Realistically, how long should one plan for a small wedding? A big wedding?
A: I've planned a wedding in as little as 3 months...but I don't recommend it. Give yourself at least a year, no matter the size. Even if you are eloping, if you don't see yourself in a chapel in Vegas, give yourself time to think about what you really want and how to make it special for you both.
Q: Do you have one piece of advice for couples who are looking to hire a wedding planner?
A: Definitely do your research and find someone who fits your personality. You'll be interacting with your wedding planner on a regular basis so you want to have a good rapport. Just like any relationship, if something feels off, don't be afraid to walk away and find a better match. Don't let your wallet rule you in that regard. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And that goes for any vendor.
Q: Where can people who want to learn about your services find you?
A: My most up to date portfolio is on Instagram @VicEventsNYC or you can visit my website at www.victoriouseventsnyc.com.