My first wedding of 2018 is in just a few days and I’m ready to get back into the swing of things! While I’m looking ahead to this weekend, can’t help but think back to my first wedding last year.

2017 was the year for destination weddings (almost half were out of town!) and it started from the get-go. Logan and Jess were my first wedding of the year last March and for it, we hit the road headed for Highlands, North Carolina.

This sweet pair are from the Charlotte area. They met in high school and both attended East Carolina University. They now call Chapel Hill home while Jess studies dentistry at UNC. When it came down to where to marry, Logan and Jess decided on a destination wedding and I wasn’t mad about it! And not just because they chose The Farm at Old Edwards Inn as their venue. (Personally, Old Edwards Inn is a favorite place of my husband and I. He vacationed there a few times as a child, and we’ve taken quick vacations there since we’ve been together. We just love it up there. Old Edwards had also been on my “dream wedding venue list” since I started Hart & Co. Events. I’m super thankful I had the opportunity to work there and sure hope I get to do it again – and soon!)

Logan and I hit it off right away, so naturally I loved everything she had in mind for her wedding day. Inspired by the beautiful rock fireplaces at The Farm, she wanted a cozy, super romantic but not stuffy wedding. The fireplaces came in handy by the way…there was still a little bit of snow on the ground when we rolled into town. The wedding day was sunny and beautiful with temperatures that warmed up nicely. Once that sun went down though, the roaring fires felt just right!

I think the team that came together to help make it all happen absolutely nailed it. We collaborated with some of my favorite vendors from the Charlotte area but also had the opportunity to work with some great folks out of the Raleigh area, Charleston, and Highlands. And I can’t forget the amazing team at Old Edwards Inn. They are some of the best! (Full vendor team shared below!)

I know it’s been a year since this happy day, but somehow still feels like it was yesterday! Logan and Jess, thank you for trusting me to help you pull all the pieces together and be alongside you during this exciting time. I hope this first year has been amazing, but I think it’s really only the beginning of an amazing life for you two!

xx

The Farm at Old Edwards Inn {Venue} Kayla Coleman Photography {Photographer} Brian Bunn Films {Videographer} Springvine Design {Florals} Old South Vintage Rentals {Vintage Furniture} Party Reflections {Linens} LULA Hair & Makeup {HMU} Dylan Skidmore {DJ} Creative Pastries by Sid {Sid Jackson – Wedding Cake} Fabulous Frocks – Charlotte {Bride’s Gown} A Signature Welcome {Guest Welcome Gifts} Wedding Invitation + Paper Goods chosen by bride via Etsy

 

 

Simple or elaborate, your wedding day is a production. There can be a lot of moving parts and pieces with a cast of vendors helping to make it all happen. Keeping everyone on the same page is so important. And as it is in life, timing is everything on a wedding day.

I am sure everyone organizes themselves differently, which they should, but I’ve been told that my timelines are some of the most detailed. (Feel like I’ve even had a vendor or two lovingly make fun of me for it, ha.) But I think they should be, and here’s why: there are a lot of factors that contribute to a smooth wedding day – like working with a trusted team of creative pros – but having a well thought out, thorough, and detailed timeline is probably at the top of the list.

You work hard for months, making decisions and putting all these plans in place, not to mention the financial piece of it all. Why risk it with no organized plan (and backup plans for that matter) come the actual wedding day?

When you have Hart & Co. Events on your team, the timeline is something I spearhead and manage. As I sit here working on final details and prepare for the start of the spring wedding season, thought I’d share a few tidbits of how I approach a timeline and why a good one is clutch to a smooth day…

Start Backwards: I’m sure every bride, planner, or wedding industry pro has their own way of going about this, but I typically start backwards. I’ll put to paper the key moments that I know right off the bat – ceremony start time (the invitation time, the actual start time may be 5-15 minutes later if necessary) and time the night will end – then I just work my way back to the beginning of the day. Sometimes I may jump around a bit as I go – I may focus on just the reception or just the front half of the day for a little bit – but I always go at it with a work backwards approach. After I get the key moments in, I start plugging in when your vendors, such as the photographer, florist, band or DJ, might arrive.

Double Check Contracts: After I kind of have a shell of a timeline and see how the day is shaping up, I’ll go back and double check the contracts with key vendors. Most of the time, it’s been a while since a vendor was booked. And if I’m being honest, I don’t always have everyone’s contracts all memorized! This is where folks may realize they’re short on time with a vendor, and typically that’s the photographer. For example, you may want the photographer to cover everything from getting ready to that grand exit. That may take eight hours but you only booked them for six hours. You can either adjust the timeline where you can, or consider adding more hours to your contract. Everyone is different, but most photographers – and most other vendors – have options to add time. (Throwing in a note here, this is one of those examples of where working together from the beginning, before you sign contracts with anyone, helps. I can better guide you through that process from the get-go, so we’re not adding time (ahem, spending more money) toward the end of the planning process.)

Photography: Speaking of photographers, I don’t know if this is just me, but when I start confirming details with vendors, I usually start with the photographer(s). To me, next to the commitment you’re making with your fiancé, your wedding photos are the most important thing. They’ll be what you look at and reflect on for years, maybe even generations to come. Because of that, I like to start with the photographer. I’ll shoot them the draft timeline, and then talk it all through. If they don’t have the time that they need to capture everything (within reason…can’t take photos alllll day long, ha), and we don’t communicate well, then the day can just be and feel chaotic.

Keeps Everyone On The Same Page: Whether I’ve been solely communicating with the vendor team or you’ve been in touch with some of them, at some point they will all start asking the same questions. So while it may seem really early, I’ll start thinking through the timing of your wedding day about two months out and start working with everyone on what they need about a month to go. I always have way more in my timelines than each vendor may need, but I always relay that they are welcome to take what they need out of it for them and their team. Come the wedding day though, the final timeline is what guides the day and I believe that helps keep everyone on the same page. (That and excellent communication!)

Know When – And How – To Adjust: Timelines and the times on them are there for a reason, to keep things on track, but you have to know when it’s time to adjust. Because sometimes, in the middle of the wedding day, something may throw all your hard work and perfect timing off kilter. I had a destination wedding last year where we ran into an unfortunate incident with the caterer. A very long story short, I realized early in the day that we were going to have a situation with the vendor, so I did the best I could adjusting as the day went on. It’s an epic story that I should probably tell one day because it’s definitely one of those examples of why a planner can be one of the best investments you make while planning a wedding. But for now, I’ll just say dinner was two hours late and thankfully it all worked out ok (the food was really good) and the bride, groom, and their guests had a great time.

I know it’s easy to think that our job as a planner is to make everything look pretty. But honestly, if the day isn’t managed well, a lot of other things may not go well either and how pretty it is may not be what you, your family and your guests remember. I want to tell you that I love love and all the pretty things that come with weddings, which I do. But call me a nerd, I absolutely love logistics and coming up with a well-organized plan for your wedding day, which includes those timelines!

What do you think? If you ever have questions or think you need help sorting out how to go about planning your wedding day, I’d really love to help you! Drop me a line!

xx

Have you set a date yet? I feel like this is easily one of the top questions asked after you get engaged, perhaps right after being asked about how the proposal went down. Getting engaged is an exciting thing, so family and friends asking (tons of) questions and being curious about all the fun details is a normal reaction.

I’ve been chatting with some excited newly engaged couples who haven’t quite landed on a date yet. If you’re like them, recently engaged and don’t have a date nailed down yet, don’t panic! Enjoy the excitement a little and when you’re ready to pick a date, here are some tips to consider:

What’s Already on Tap: This may be an obvious place to start, but look at your schedules – work, school, and current obligations already on the calendar. My husband worked in NASCAR when we got engaged, so we were pretty bound by the (long) race schedule. (Seriously, it’s one of the longest professional sports seasons. We used to joke it runs from Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving!) That left us the options of getting married on the rare off-weekend, or waiting for the off season. We opted for the off season.

Take stock of what commitments and obligations you both might have, and consider what might work best for the people that you both feel are crucial to being there with you on your wedding day. NOTE: You will NOT please everyone with your wedding date and will drive yourself crazy trying to do so. Go with what works for YOU and what makes YOU happy, what works for those that you couldn’t imagine not being there, and set the date.

Budget + Don’t Rule Out Winter: It’s important to talk about the financial aspect early, too. A lot of couples don’t necessarily have a solid idea of what costs are associated with weddings, which is fine (and something we can help you with, too!). But it’s important to have this discussion between the two of you, consider what you might be contributing, and then have that conversation with who else might be contributing as well.

And how does this fit into picking a wedding date? There are definitely peak times of the year to get married – like May, June, September, October. Don’t rule out the winter. If you are open to it, some venues offer “off-season” rates for months like December, January and even February. This may vary by market, and of course, will vary by venue. But it’s worth keeping in mind while you weigh when to get married.

Be Open Minded: So maybe you don’t have a date picked, but you have your heart set on a certain venue. You reach out only to discover it’s booked solid every Saturday already. Have to have that venue? Be open minded. Ask if they are open to Friday or Sunday weddings. (I really, really, really think a brunch wedding would be fun. Any takers?!)

Mother Nature: She sure can be unpredictable. But let’s be honest. We all know it’s hot in the summer in the south. I never, ever want to crush anyone’s dreams of an outdoor wedding in July. I just always encourage clients to really think through what they – and their guests! – might experience. (Like…lots of sweating.) Consider what kind of experience is important to you and your guests, and how the weather might impact that.

And speaking of weather, we always come up with inclement weather plans especially with any wedding or event with a portion of it outdoors. Because…rain. If tenting isn’t your jam or in your budget, then focus on finding a venue with plenty of space to move things indoors should the need arise.

We know there are so many factors that can go into picking your wedding date. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, let us help you. That’s what we are here for!

xx,
Tiffany

Hard to believe there are only a few days left in 2017. Some days it feels like it was just yesterday that this year started. Other days, it’s like I can physically feel the past 12 months gone by…like a hard workout, with sore muscles, completely spent.

While the year was a bit of a roller coaster in many ways, it was a wonderful year for Hart & Co. Events. I don’t know that I could really sum up this year in just one post – or not be long winded about it, ha! – but here is my attempt to share a few highlights…

From the North Carolina Mountains, to the rolling hills of East Tennessee, and on to Austin, Texas, 2017 was the year of destination weddings for me – which I love and hope to do more of! The Charlotte area has many wonderful venues, but why not strike out and go somewhere different or that’s meaningful to you as a couple?

Read More “2017 Year in Review”

Excited to share a few of my favorite photos from the last wedding we had in 2016. Elizabeth and Dave were married on November 12 at the Historic Train Depot in Salisbury. Working with these two, along with the groom’s sweet mom and the bride’s amazing matron-of-honor, was absolutely a pleasure so it was a little bittersweet when the wedding day came and went! (I think I say that with each one though!)

Read More “Fall Wedding: Elizabeth + Dave”

Hard to believe we’ve reached the final two days of 2016. (Technically, it’s more like the final 36 hours by the time I get this posted…but you get the point, ha.) In the midst of spending some quality time with family over the holidays, I’ve also tried to take a little time to reflect back on this year for Hart & Co. Events. Weddings, a special birthday party, rehearsal dinners, a second annual realtor event, and even some political events mixed in (twas the season, y’all)…all I’ve got to say is…whew!

Read More “Thanks for the Memories, 2016!”

And just like that, the fall wedding season is all said and done for Hart & Co. Events. Feels like just yesterday I was kicking off the busy fall with Amy Sue and Aaron. (You can check out some of my favorites from their September 10th wedding here.) This past weekend, Elizabeth and Dave’s fun wedding at the Historic Train Depot in Salisbury marked my last for year.

Read More “That’s a Wrap!”

Well hello there, September!

Coming off a bit slower July and August, September marks the start to a busy season for Hart & Co. While not officially fall (no need to wave goodbye to summer just yet, you guys!), thought I’d take a sec to share a peek at what’s ahead here in the coming months…

  • Our fall wedding season kicks off next weekend. To keep up with the action, be sure to follow along via Insta (will admit, still trying to figure out the whole stories thing) and Snapchat (not sure that I have it figured out but I try! Username…hartandcoevents). And of course, you can always find us on Facebook and Twitter, too.

    Childress Sneak Peek - Hart & Co. Events
    iPhone sneak peek from a styled shoot at Childress Vineyards
  • Exact timing is still pending, but a shoot I did with Sarah Pascutti over the summer is going to be featured this month on a popular wedding and lifestyle blog. Beyond thankful for the opportunity and really excited to finally be able to share the photos! So, stay tuned!
  • I’ll log a few miles with a (non-wedding) client. While my primary focus with Hart & Co. is weddings, I welcome the change of pace and experience this particular client brings. I try not to pack my schedule too tight, as I’m a big believer in quality over quantity. So, with the travel and the weddings I have on tap, safe to say I’m booked till December!
  • Speaking of booked…we’ve already booked some spring 2017 weddings. Excited to dive into planning with these couples over the fall!
  • And not Hart & Co. related – can’t be all work and no play! – looking forward to some family time that we have on the calendar. We’ll head to Tennessee in October for a family wedding and I’m already looking forward to some quality time in Texas over Thanksgiving (mmmm, turkey).

Excited at what’s ahead! What about you?

xoxo

 

Lisa and Jake were married one year ago today! This wedding will always be special in my mind for a lot of reasons. At the top of the list, I’ve known Lisa and Jake for several years. I was incredibly happy to watch these two say “I Do.” Their wedding was also the first officially under the Hart & Co. banner, something I’ll always be grateful for.

These two tied the knot at a private residence in Sherrill’s Ford, just north of Charlotte. Their ceremony was sweet and the party that followed…pretty epic. Here are a few of my favorite memories from the days leading into their wedding day and the day of…

  • We turned a helicopter landing pad into a reception space. We had to strategically place tables so that the landing lights were hidden…those things don’t exactly move!
  • Despite confirming two months in advance, there was an issue with the officiant that came to light…four days before the wedding. Have no fear, as we quickly sorted it out and had ESPN reporter Marty Smith, dear friend of the couple and wedding guest, ready to rock the ceremony. And it turned out beyond perfect. The ceremony was personal, sweet, and really touching. Funny how those things work out.
  • The Doerfels played at the reception and were awesome. I don’t know how the cops felt about it when they showed up (!). Good thing they let the party continue just a little bit longer…
  • Family…both Jake and Lisa’s parents were on hand the days leading into the wedding. I loved getting to know them, and loved watching things fall into place for these two while surrounded by their family and their friends who probably feel a lot more like family than friends.

Lisa and Jake, thank you again for allowing me to help you with your wedding. May today be the first of many, many happy anniversaries!

xoxo

{Photography by Jason Mize. To see more from their special day, check out the gallery here.}

 

Not sure about you, but I can’t believe it’s already May! (Feel like I said that last month, too. And in March…I’m seeing a pattern here.) One of my goals before we hit the summer months is to get better about blogging, or at least come up with a better schedule than erratic sporadic once a month posts. Definitely have some fun updates to share along with details about what I’ve been up to and have planned.

In the meantime though, pulling another one out of the archives to share with you today…a little something bright and bold, perfect for a Cinco de Mayo or anytime de Mayo wedding or fiesta! Ole!

Read More “Cinco de Mayo!”