Sara Reynolds Events » A Maryland based events & wedding planner

My vendor spotlight has been on a hiatus while I had some great weddings and styled shoots to show you! It’s back! The next vendor I want to highlight is someone I am working closely with on an upcoming wedding in May. Catharine Perry Design specializes in wedding branding. I will be honest, I was a skeptic too. On top of everything else, why do you need to brand your wedding? After pouring over images of weddings that I adored I noticed a trend-everything flowed. The invites, the place cards, the signage, all of it wove together to create this beautiful wedding day. Wedding branding is powerful, y’all! Now, to Catharine:

Why is your heart set on branding or invite design?

It simply comes down to the fact that I love hearing people’s stories; where they come from, how they met their future spouse, and what they hope for in their dream wedding. What I’m able to do is take their story and vision and translate that into a brand. If you think about it, this is what successful companies do – tell stories through their brand – and wedding branding is applying that the same concept to weddings.

A wedding brand board includes fonts, colors, logos, patterns, and graphic elements that serve as a blueprint for the design of your wedding invitations, day-of paper products, and everything in between.

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Why is branding and/or invite design important to the overall wedding design?

Great question! There are a couple of reasons. First, the very first things your guests see are your invitations and paper products. They set the tone for the wedding – what they expect the ceremony and reception to be like. Creating a cohesive look from the beginning will set the tone for your entire wedding.

Second, there are so many elements that you can incorporate your wedding brand into beyond your invitations and paper products. This is the part that I love – the small (or big) purposeful details and personal touches that can be incorporated. For example, your wedding logo can be used on a dance floor gobo, welcome bag stickers, or cake topper.

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How can branding experts and wedding planners work better together?

Wedding branding is a fundamental part of wedding planning because it so often transcends stationery and applies to all aspects of the wedding. I think it makes a lot of sense to have close ties between wedding planners and branding experts. Communication is key and meeting with clients together is a great way to kick off the relationship between the wedding planner, the couple, and the branding expert.

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What are some tips for brides and grooms just starting in the planning process?

Soak it in. Enjoy your engagement! Likely, the first question people will ask you after you get engaged is “When’s the wedding?” They do so lovingly, but it’s ok to not know when you’re getting married 24 hours after you get engaged. Enjoy the moment, celebrating with family and friends. And then get to work!
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IntriguedP I N I T Allow me to introduce you to Intrigue Design. Sarah Campbell (designer and owner) is amazing. She has been identified as the Wedding Expert and leader in the industry. Her floral designs are to.die.for. I am incredibly excited to be partnering with her on an upcoming wedding at Star Bright Farm!

In a few short weeks she will be hosting a workshop at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club called the Intrigued Experience. This is a 3 day, hands-on workshop that will cover floral design, styling, and business education. She has brought together a powerhouse of industry leaders as her educators. There are two aspects of this conference I am most looking forward to.

  • One, is meeting Natalie Franke and Krista Jones. These two ladies are not only exceptional photographers but together have built the Rising Tide Society. They are behind the hashtag #communityovercompetition and that has been a game changer. Some of the greatest friends I have made are in this industry. They push you, they “get” you, and most of all they uplift you. When I started this I felt like I only had my husband and my mom cheering me on. Now, I can text other planners, send a SOS email to a photographer, or just bounce an idea off a florist-99% of the time they are receptive (and have talked me off the ledge of quitting more than once). Natalie and Krista-thank you for helping to build this community.
  • Two, is the vast amount of hands-on experience this workshop will allow for their participants. I felt unstoppable after my one day hands-on workshop, after three days I am not sure the world can handle me!

Overall, I am just excited! Excited to learn, excited to grow, excited to bring out a love of something I never knew I had, excited to meet such amazing talent, and excited for all the surprises Sarah has in store for us! I will be instagramming during the experience (and if I feel real good about myself I might even Periscope. I doubt it but hey, the world is my oyster) so follow along on this ride!

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January’s cold has set in so I will walk down memory lane to this beautiful May wedding. It was sunny and 75 on their wedding day. Ahhhhh….

Let me set the stage for Danielle and Jared’s wedding. Danielle and Jared live in Baltimore and wanted to give their guests the true Baltimore experience. They booked their venue over a year in advance (because that was their first available date) at the infamous Baltimore Museum of Industry. They booked a local caterer who infused some Baltimore into their menu with crab dip and Natty Boh cheese dip as appetizers . They contracted their liquor vendor and made sure their selections had that Baltimore feeling-Natty Boh and a few from Union Craft Brewing. They were set. They brought me in at the tail end of all the planning. I was their day-of coordinator and Lord have mercy I am so glad they hired me.

April 28th is when Baltimore went buck wild with protests. My husband and I were in Nashville celebrating our one year anniversary and we were glued to the television. I still remember getting the text that said “I think we are changing the wedding venue because of the unrest and the city wide curfew”. Boom, vacation over. It’s game time. Four days before Danielle and Jared’s wedding we changed everything to the Winery at Elk Manor. New venue, new layout, no kitchen for catering, everything that was thought out and calculated over an 18 month span was compacted in 4 short days. I am 99% sure I didn’t sleep for four days but I knew in my heart this wedding had to be flawless for Danielle and Jared. And it was.

P.S. The internet loved this wedding! It was featured on Bayside Bride and My Eastern Shore Wedding!

Photographer: Brittany Thomas Photography

Event Planner: Sara Reynolds Events

Venue: The Winery at Elk Manor

Flowers: Sharon Smith (aunt of the bride)

Band: Electric Velvet

Videographer: Karly Forsyth Films

Catering: Zeffert and Gold

Bride’s Dress: Jill Andrews Gowns

Photo Booth: Pixelated Photo Booth

Favors: The Flying Barrel

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Wow, 2015.

The year I put it all out there and said “YES, I can do this”. The year that grew me not only as a woman but as a wife, a wedding planner, a daughter of Christ, and a small business owner. My first wedding taught me how to exercise the force majeure clause in contracts; thank you riots in Baltimore. One wedding taught me importance of having water readily available during the ceremony in case a bridesmaid passes out right before the kiss. I think the two best lessons I learned this year were to live by the mantra “grace, not perfection” and that it is OK to put yourself out there (you might fail but that is OK too).

2015 was a year of six weddings: six different love stories and six chances for growth.

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2015 was also a year of learning. I kicked the year off with a 1:1 mentoring session with Kat from Dear Sweetheart Events. Gosh, I love her heart and openness. I went in as a timid newbie and came out recharged and invigorated to (quite literally) own this business. I attended the Designed and Styled Workshop taught by Amanda Veronee and Kat. That lead me to my first styled shoot creating the florals with Hannah Leigh Photography! I also learned the amazing feeling of being featured. I am not ashamed to admit that I teared up a little with each email acceptance. I always had an eventual dream of being featured, the fact that it happened four times in my first year is incredible to me. Friends, it was a great year! I am honestly counting my blessings as I look back on it now.

Quick forecast of 2016:

  • One amazing marriage that we continue to work on every day
  • Two more styled shoots on the books. The theme and vendor teams lined up for these have me grinning from ear to ear.
  • Three day hands-on workshop hosted by Intrigue Designs called the Intrigued Experience at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. AH so excited for this!
  • (Hopefully) Four more publications
  • Five amazing couples. Five amazing weddings currently on the books.
  • Last, but certainly not least, a very real plan that will (hopefully) allow me to say in my 2016 wrap-up: I am officially a full time wedding planner!
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It is crazy to think that I have completed 6 weddings before I even thought about doing a styled shoot! Styled shoots scared me. You had to be a designer, have a “vision”, everything looked so flawless and ethereal, and amazing. I felt inadequate. I decided in October that I had to own that fear instead of it owning me. This vendor team was such a great support system to me and the whole experience was topped off by being featured in Charm City Wed this week!

Photographer: Bekah Kay Creative

Event Design: Sara Reynolds Events

Venue: Mt. Washington Mill Dye House

Floral Design: Eight Tree Street

Hair and Make-up: Glam Bridal Beauty 

Jewelry: J’Adorn Designs

Invitations and Calligraphy: Lauren Perry Studio

Rentals: White Glove Rentals

Men’s Attire: The QG

Welcome Baskets: Marigold & Grey

Boxwood Wreaths: The Blainthin Blair Shop

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