Sara Reynolds Events » A Maryland based events & wedding planner

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

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

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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.

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Brittany Thomas PhotographyP I N I T

Amanda and Brian-BlogP I N I T

Kelly and Gary-Bride and Groom-0176P I N I T

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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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This is part two of my series called “Smooth Operator”. (You can catch up here) Weddings are a scary beast when you are on the outside looking in. There are so many factors to consider that have nothing to do with how pretty your wedding day will be. A well-thought out timeline can be the difference in a flawless wedding day and anarchy (ok, maybe I am being a bit dramatic but you know what I mean). The first part of the series I highlighted some overall concepts to take into consideration; this post is all about incorporating transportation into your timeline.

Guest shuttle

I will end the debate now. Yes, provide a shuttle for your guests. I know this service can get expensive but in my honest opinion it is worth every penny. Now for the logistics:

  • Google Maps is your friend but nothing can replace actually driving the route. Let’s be honest, Maryland traffic blows. On a map it might show the route only takes 15 minutes but in reality it takes 25 because of all the traffic lights. I initially map out the route so I can estimate how long I will need shuttles and then I actually drive the route before contracting the service.
  • Buffer time (are you starting to sense my theme with timelines?). It is safe to assume that your Great Aunt will need more time to get off the bus than your 10 year old cousin. I estimate anywhere from 5-10 minutes for the bus to load AND another 10 minutes for the bus to unload.
  • Always, always, always account for the time to travel back to the hotel if you have the same shuttle making two trips. Unfortunately many brides don’t account for that last trip back to the hotel, their timeline is off  and their guests miss half the ceremony.

    View More: http://michaelandcarinaphotography.pass.us/kellyandgaryP I N I T

    Photo Credit: Michael and Carina Photography

  • Take into account the size of the vehicle, total hours, and number of vehicles needed when contracting for your guest shuttles. There is not a one size fits all model.  I have worked with many transportation companies that now offer two hours before the ceremony and two hours after the reception instead of a minimum number of hours. I feel this is the most practical approach to guest shuttles but that brings me to my next point…
  • Take your guests into consideration. Do you have many elderly guests that would be happy to leave after the cake is cut or is the majority of the guest list your college friends that will pack the dance floor until the last song? You should allow options for both guests; you don’t want Grandpa falling asleep at his table.
  • Another important factor to take into consideration is when the first shuttle is arriving and what that will mean for your picture timeline. If you are a traditional bride that doesn’t want anyone seeing you until you walk down the aisle then make sure you are safely tucked away before guests get there.
  • Last but certainly not least, take yourselves into consideration! Will you want to get on the bus with everyone and spearhead the after-party or will you want a few minutes alone to soak in the day? I once had to drive a bride and groom to their hotel room because they didn’t account for how they were getting home!

xoxo,

Sara

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Do you remember when I attended Designed and Styled with Kat and Amanda? No? Well, check out my I-phone blog post here. After that I swore I would slowly but surely incorporate floral design into my services to brides. I did some small ceremony arrangements for Kate and Alan’s wedding and recently signed up for the Intrigue Experience (this one is going to be a game changer-I can’t wait). Well, what better way to practice than a styled shoot?

Hannah and I met through our Pursuit-Frederick group. She is such a sweet, sweet soul! I had reached out to her about a future collaboration and after some emails she asked if I knew of anyone who could do a floral crown and a bouquet. I figured it is now or never, right?! After ordering too many flowers, a trial run, and poking myself too many times with pins I made a small but mighty flower crown and bouquet. Hannah, thank you for trusting me and I can’t wait for our future styled shoot together!

Photographer| Hannah Leigh Photography

Flowers| Sara Reynolds Events

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