La Vie En Rose Events: Sane & Bad Ass NYC Wedding Planning

{All photos are from APW weddings La Vie En Rose Events worked on this summer}

Once upon a time, when APW first started working with sane wedding planners (insert lament about there being so few of them), I thought the complicated issue was deciding if you needed a wedding planner. I was wrong. That part is easy, because like so many wedding related things, chances are good that you don’t need a wedding planner. You may have very very good reasons for wanting a wedding planner (like my set in stone rule that you can’t Be In Charge and Get Married at the same time) and having a wedding planner might even be a damn good idea. But that’s not the complicated issue. It turns out the real trick for wedding planners is finding someone with a personality that meshes with your (probably no bullshit) wedding philosophy, who has the serious skill set to back that up with firepower. Because the thing is, you can look at a photographer’s portfolio and tell at a glance what their quality of work is, but figuring out a wedding planner’s skills is a little trickier. And this, in short, is why I’m always so profoundly glad to write about Meg (or Other Meg, as I call her, for lack of confusion) of La Vie En Rose Events, serving New York City and the greater Tri-State Area. Girlfriend has the sane and the skills, times one thousand.

Last time we wrote a post about La Vie En Rose Events, we did so because Associate Editor Maddie had worked with her, and vouched for her as one of the best planners she’d ever had the pleasure of seeing in action. But then in January, I took the APW book tour to New York City, and Other Meg organized the most bad ass party of the tour, in a bar, with crazy amazing cupcakes and food… for… basically no money, with the most solid organization I’ve ever seen… just because she loves the APW community. Girlfriend is a bad ass, and if you’re looking for a wedding planner in the Tri-State Area, you’ve found your lady.

Let’s put it in the words of one of Other Meg’s recent APW brides who said, “Meg is the best combination of fun and bossy.”  Right? (A quality job of upholding the standards of the name Meg, if you ask me.) Meg says, “I try to keep things fun (for both myself and my couples). Sometimes people find it ironic how, although I’m a wedding planner, I’m always de-emphasizing the material things associated with weddings. I can’t tell you how often I tell couples that I meet with that the reception is ‘just a party.’ Granted, it’s probably the most expensive/biggest party they’ve ever thrown, but ultimately, it’s a party and they shouldn’t get stressed out by others’ expectations or cultural pressures.”

Meg told me, “Last time I had a post on APW, I called myself a ‘wedding sherpa,’ and that label is still an accurate description of what I do for my clients—I enjoy guiding them through the process and alleviating stress whenever possible so that they can focus on the important stuff (and reminding them that ivory vs. diamond white is less of a concern than say, I don’t know, discussing things like how to combine finances or whether to have kids). Coming from a corporate event planning environment, I have the technical skill set to be bossy when necessary in order to get things done, but I also realize, bottom line, weddings are freakin’ fun! I realize that I’m super lucky to have stumbled into a career that I’m both good at and that I truly love. It’s amazingly fulfilling to help good people make happiness happen!” First off, I can tell you that all of this is true (having worked with Meg) and also exactly what you’re looking for in a wedding planner: someone who is fun, bossy, and understands what’s really important and what’s not (and is not trying to trick you into spending more money).

The reason La Vie En Rose Events gets you is because Other Meg was you at one point (complete with the twenty person city hall wedding). She says, “I think the biggest reason that I really jive with APW couples is because I was an APW bride myself—I’ve been there and I share the same core values with the couples that I meet through the site. Considering the personal nature of being involved in helping a couple navigate the planning process, it’s always so much easier for everyone when there’s a connection between the couple and myself. With APW couples, that connection is usually instantaneous.”

After this summer, she loves you guys more than ever… because she’s spent all summer working on your weddings (Yay!!!). She says, “My wedding season has been awesomesauce—almost two thirds of my clients have been APW couples, which tends to make my life much more fun!  The weddings have been so diverse that they’ve ranged from super-formal ballroom settings to horse farms and everything in between. The ceremonies have run the gamut from full on Catholic Mass to HinJew. But, for all that diversity, the one thing I consistently see that sets the APW couples apart is the depth and meaning of the ceremony. It’s obvious that to these couples, that ceremony is the most important part of the day and the rest is just glitter. APW weddings seem to have this extra special warm buzz around them—everyone is so real and happy that it actually permeates the air. That’s something I just always want to be around—it’s wedding crack!”

And at APW, we never like to hide the lead, so let’s talk about pricing.La Vie En Rose Events offers a number of services from Day-Of Coordination (well, a really the good version of that), to Full Planning (aka, being your wedding’s BFF). She doesn’t do packages because she bases her prices on simple logistics: how many locations, how many guests, type of venue, lead-time, etc. Her simplest service is Day-Of Coordination, which she treats as Month-Of Coordination (because she thinks it takes a month of work to do her job right). She explains her baseline rates this way, “On average, the Month-Of Coordination is typically around $2,000-2,500, though that figure fluctuates in both directions.”

She says, “There are less expensive planners/coordinators out there (and there are certainly way pricier ones too), but I definitely feel that my prices are justified by the quality of work and effort that I put in to each wedding. Just on the day of, I put in on average fourteen hours of work—I just did a blog post about a day in the life of a coordinator. Plus there’s all the hours in the weeks leading up to the wedding, when I’m working out the time line, booking transportation, confirming hotel reservation counts, checking in with vendors regarding payments and arrival times, reviewing contracts to make sure that all vendor duties are fulfilled, reviewing parent toasts to edit for embarrassing anecdotes, picking up decor/ceremony items, receiving shipments at my home (candles, favors, etc.), calming nerves, putting parents at ease, coordinating the rehearsal, etc. On top of that, when a couple books me for Month-Of Coordination, I provide them with a master spreadsheet/to-do list and I’m always available to give them advice or reassurance along the way. If they get stuck making a decision, and I can help them out, I couldn’t in good conscience tell them, ‘Oh, come back to me four weeks before your wedding—you only booked Month-Of.’  That’s something that some planners/coordinators do, and it’s total crap.” (And you guys, all I can say is that for the amount of stressful work Meg does… I think she’s a total steal. By which I mean there is no way I would work myself to the bone like that, for so many zillion hours, for such a reasonable amount of money… I have done wedding coordination, and I can’t begin to explain to you how hard and how tiring it is.) Plus! She’s offering a 10% discount for APW couples who book before 12/31/12.

But I’m going to let Meg’s recent APW clients bring it home. One says, “…the thing that really sets Meg apart is her genuine care for her clients. Never once did she treat us like just another wedding, but rather, she displayed a true interest and desire to help in exactly the way we needed her to. Basically, working with Meg was like having your best girlfriend, who also happens to be a crazy-talented professional event planner, by your side the whole way!”  (Meg’s note: “It’s extra easy to have that genuine care for my APW couples because they’ve all been so damn likeable!”) And another recent APW bride said, “Hiring Meg/La Vie En Rose Events was the best money we spent during the planning process. She is impressively organized, which put our minds at ease that no detail would be overlooked. That combined with her ability to keep others (vendors, our wedding party) on point allowed us to relax and fully enjoy the occasion, which we now believe would not have been possible without her.” So if you’re looking for a New York City wedding coordinator, ladies and gents of APW, you’ve found your match in La Vie En Rose Events. And sometimes a great, sane, wedding planner is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Seriously.

Photos: Love Me Do PhotographyHeidi E. Reuter PhotographyRichard B. FloresDan Loh PhotographySandeep IngaleLove Me Do PhotographyTiffany Atlas Photography

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  • Liz

    I am on month-of, and I absolutely want Other Meg to come and live with me and do her thing. She sounds amazing, and I am tired of doing all the things she is awesome at. The tragic thing is that first, she doesn’t do Canada, and second, I wouldn’t have believed how helpful someone like that could be far enough in advance to book her.

    The point of this comment: You sound wonderful, Other Meg.

    • Aww, Liz! Thank you! FWIW, I totally do Canada (and everywhere else, y’all!!!), though I don’t think my husband or puppies would want me heading up there for a month. :( Also, it’s not too late – if you’re really stuck, check around with local coordinators – I’ve stepped in as close as the 2 week point to help out with nailing down the final logistics. Whatever you do, I promise you’ll get through it and have a kick-ass wedding, because, well, you’re here, so you’re totally doing it right! xoxo. Other Meg

    • Alexandra

      I hate to advertise someone else’s business on a sponsored post, but if you’re in Toronto area, I might know a (sane) planner you could contact. My email is AnotherKatastrophy (at) gmail (dot) com if you want to email me.

  • APW Meg –
    I would like very much to put you in my purse (it’s roomy, don’t worry), and take you along to all of my initial consultations. :)

    Thanks for such a fabulous post.
    Other Meg

  • That NYC book launch event was SO AWESOME! Other Meg, you rock!

  • Can’t wait to work with Meg next weekend!

  • Em

    I couldn’t agree more with this post! A month after my fiancee and I booked the PERFECT venue for our intimate wedding, we received an email from the owners saying that they sold it, sorry. (It’s not just a scary story told to the newly engaged, these urban legends really happen.) We were devastated and crushed. Other Meg brought us back from the brink. She found us a ton of venues with the same feel and she helped us to secure a place even better than the one we lost!

    I cannot say enough great things about Meg’s can-do, make-it-happen attitude. She is part magician, part bulldog. From our first conversation, I knew she understood exactly what we wanted. She has been amazing and we feel lucky to have her in our corner.

    We are looking forward to having LVR work their magic on our wedding day!

    • Awww, EM. Thanks!! “Part magician, part bulldog” – LOVE it. That may need to be my tag-line! Can’t wait for your wedding! xo.

    • another Em

      whoa — the same thing happened to us (more or less) except we didn’t think to ask for help. there were a lot of tears before we tracked something else down. you’re a smarter lady than I, first Em!

  • Very nice blog thanks for publishing…