*This is a paid post from an APW Sponsor*
Cheerleader. Permission Giver.
The longer I spend doing this wedding gig (six years and counting), the more couples I see using Day-of Coordinators (DOCs) or Wedding Planners. And to be honest, it’s not that any of us were so against using them six years ago, it’s just that… sane wedding planners were few and far between. And most of us didn’t feel like paying cash money to have someone tell us YES, we really needed to shell out for the fancy chair covers. Or NO, nobody would like a taco truck wedding, “Because who wants to eat out of the back of a truck?” (Everyone. Everyone wants to eat tacos out of a truck, btw.)
But you’re lucky. Because these days, you can hire people like Meigh at Lula Mae Special Events in Washington, D.C. to give you advice (how can you find that affordable venue in D.C. that you’re looking for?). She can handle the stuff you really don’t want to deal with (hey, wedding planning spreadsheets). And she can even help you do those DIY projects (while letting you skip buying all those floral supplies you’ll never use again). But the best part? Meigh isn’t in it to tell you what to do. And if you wanna know if you should have a taco truck/drag queen performance/cliffside private ceremony? Well. She says:
I love to make my clients’ visions happen. Sometimes it feels like a client needs or wants permission to go with some really awesome wedding element, and I am always delighted to support their plans. “Enthusiastic cheerleading” is about fifteen percent of what I do. “Herding cats” and “handing out tissues” is the other ninety five percent. Yeah, I know that’s a 110%, but I handle it. Boom.
Lula Mae Events’ motto is: “Love your wedding; ditch the crazy.” Or: Helping sane people remain sane while throwing the most kick-ass, love-filled, magical bash ever.
<3 APWers <3
If you ask me, one of the coolest things about Meigh and Lula Mae Events and you is that Meigh has been reading APW since nearly the beginning. So, not only does she really get you, she also was you. And she wants to throw you the best wedding ever. (Also, she understands what to do when things go wrong. Her photographer disappeared shortly before her own wedding, and I managed to help find her a new one last minute. And she’s now paying it forward, to all of you, for forever.) Meigh says:
I was an APW reader long before Lula Mae Events was a thing, and my very first clients were APW folks, so it’s been a lengthy love affair on my end. APW readers are my favorites to work with because they’re smart, sane, and creative, and we’re often already on the same page about what’s essential in a wedding (two people, love, sometimes legal documents) and what’s not (individually monogrammed guest totes, chair covers, dance floor gobos). Also, they’re the people most likely to want a petting zoo at their wedding, and I’m dying to do that.
And, as a long time APWer, it’s no surprise that Lula Mae Events runs by the guiding principal, “Be a good person, do a good job for people.” Meigh says:
When I decided to start Lula Mae, it was after many years of feeling out of place, guarded, and unhappy with the corporate mold I was trying to fit into. It was important to me to do this project authentically, because people were entrusting me with one of the most significant, vulnerable, and meaningful days of their lives, and anything less is disrespectful. I told myself that if I was me at my most Meigh-ly, I would find the clients that I was supposed to be working with.
And I did! So, authenticity is a big deal for me, and I try to do everything in my business in the way I’d want someone to if I were the client. Also, I follow Wheaton’s Law, “Don’t be a dick.”
I’m the lady to talk to when you want to take something from your brain and make it real. I’m the lady to talk to when you want to know if something is too silly/weird/out there to work at a wedding (answer: no.). I’m the lady whose job it is to get in between my clients and stress, so they can fully enjoy and be present for every freaking second of their wedding. I’m so, so lucky to have found my people, the kind of people who value events that are sane, affordable, authentic, and fun. Oh, and I happen to be married to a (fantastic) lady, so I love doing same-sex weddings (or as I call them, weddings) and I have a lot of advice and insight on the challenges and adventures for same-gender folks getting hitched in D.C.
But best? Meigh is upfront about her rates, and you can definitely afford her (if only for an hour). Never one to hide the ball, she’s going to give you her current rates flat out.
Day-Of Coordination: $850
- Face-to-face meeting one to two weeks prior to wedding day to address timeline, vendors, special requests, etc.
- Vendor confirmation prior to the wedding
- Rehearsal coordination
- Full coverage on the wedding day, making sure everything runs smoothly from start to finish
Full and Partial Planning Services: From $1800 to $5000
- All proposals are custom, but Full and Partial Planning includes all Day-of Coordination services as well as things like event design, vendor research, custom planning documents and timelines, DIT crafts, and taking your call at 5am when you realize you forgot to order ice.
And also… DIT florals For Client weddings: $250
- I’ve started doing DIT floral along with some of my weddings, and it’s super fun. We take a trip to the flower market and do some planning and design, and then before the wedding the clients assemble a team and we make table arrangements, boutonnières, bouquets, etc. It’s a flat fee of $250 and I provide supplies, instruction, and transport (since with DIY/DIT, you don’t have a florist to drop them at the venue for you), and the clients provide the flowers, vessels, and person-power. I always end up with at least one hot glue burn, but it’s a lot of fun and guests are so impressed when the couple says they did their own flowers.
Make Stuff! Starting at $65
- I provide instruction and supplies, clients provide the man- or woman-power, and we get all your DIY ideas off of your Pinterest Board and into reality.
Hourly Consultation: $40
- What it says on the tin. If clients need some help figuring out invitations or how to find a food truck caterer or what to do when your cousin RSVPs with five uninvited guests, I’m there to help.
It makes me overwhelmingly happy that those of you getting married today can hire someone to do what I could only dream of: validate your petting zoo and food truck choices, help you with flowers, and help you find the best venues and vendors in your price range. It thrills me that for just $850, you can hire someone to be your wedding stage manager. For that amount, she’ll do something priceless: take care of hauling the chairs and dealing with your pain-in-the-ass aunt, so you can just tune into getting married. But what makes me the happiest is that when you hire Meigh, you’ll get someone who takes care of you emotionally. Someone who really understands why you’re there. And someone who knows that at the end of the day, it’s not about the chair covers, but it’s not even about the taco truck. It’s about love and family and life. I’ll leave Meigh with the final word:
A lot of my job is organizing logistics and wrangling all the moving parts of a big event, but the very best stuff I get to do is emotional. I love getting to interact with my clients and their families, and learn all about family traditions and gossip, and why-we-do-things-this-way. I get to help two people join their lives together; that’s huge. I still cry at the ceremonies when I get a chance to watch. I get to make things happen. I love love love the feeling at the end of the night, when the couple is blissfully away, the guests have gone, and despite the fact that my feet are killing me I look at my wife, who helps me with almost every wedding, because she is incredible, and we say, “That was a good one.”
And book her amazingly good rate, before it’s gone:
because Meigh will be going on maternity leave from mid-October until the new year, she’s offering 10% off for the first five 2015 clients to book before October 1. That’s off her 2014 prices, which will be increasing for 2015, so it’s a pretty amazing deal.