La Vie En Rose Events In The Tri-State Area

The greatest thing about wedding planners is not what you think it is.

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

“The big deal of the whole wedding is the marriage that results from it. The rest of it is just a party—yes, the most expensive and probably fanciest party you’ve ever thrown, but ultimately it’s just a party. It shouldn’t cause stress and tears, and planning it should be as fun as attending it.” —Meg, La Vie En Rose Events

La Vie En Rose Events | Photo by Inbal Sivan | A Practical Wedding

When I started writing APW, I really bought into the idea that wedding planners were for rich people. Like, sure, maybe they were nice to have (though I was convinced they were mostly crazy, actually), but they were not something a normal human being could or should afford. Plus, most of the stories I’d heard about planners involved them convincing you to spend MORE of your money, not less. And really, who wants to pay for that? But two things have happened. One, the wedding industry has changed, due in no small part to you guys, acting in one large voting-with-your-dollars block. You’ve allowed sane awesome people to make a good living in the wedding planning business, and I kind of want to kiss you for it. Two, my thinking has changed. Due in large part to this new breed of sane and awesome wedding planners, I’ve realized that if you can fit it in your budget hiring someone like Meg of La Vie En Rose events in New York and the Tri-State area, is one of the best and sanest moves you could make. Let’s discuss why (other than the fact that Meg, or “Other Meg” as I call her), is a really talented, chill, awesome human being… because the most helpful thing about wedding planners is probably not what you think it is.

La Vie En Rose Events | Photo by Alec Vanderboom | A Practical Wedding

Why Wedding Planners Are Awesome

You probably think the reason to consider hiring a wedding planner is so you have someone to coordinate your wedding on the day of. And that’s super important. You should not think that you can both get married, and be in charge of the day itself, because it will make you crazy. This might mean you hire someone awesome like Meg, who steps in six weeks before the wedding, and makes sure you’re taken care of. Or this might mean that you ask a friend to be your wedding stage manager (like I did).

La Vie En Rose Events | Photo by Alec Vanderboom | A Practical Wedding

But the real magic of talented, sane, experienced planners is that not only can they make sure your wedding day happens smoothly, but that they can easily and painlessly help you put together the right wedding for you. When I was planning my wedding, I was flying blind. I did the best research I could into Bay Area wedding venues, and booked the only one I thought we could afford. And while I loved our venue, I’ve since discovered that there are a pretty easy five to ten other venues we could have afforded and might have loved, that we just didn’t know anything about. But an experienced planner like Meg knows all the venues in your area (traditional and non-traditional) and can talk about what would be a good fit for what you want. Meg can give you advice on great places to go hunting for your wedding dress (again, traditional or non-traditional), she can advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of food trucks vs. traditional catering vs. self-catering. Even if you do the bulk of the planning legwork yourself and only pay for Meg to come in at the very end, having her in your back pocket is a bit like having a sassy, wise, wedding fairy godmother.

La Vie En Rose Events | Photo by Inbal Sivan | A Practical Wedding

Meg of LVR: Your Wedding Fairy Godmother

For those of you in New York City and the Tri-State Area, Meg is the wedding fairy godmother you’ve been looking for. Meg planned my awesome Brooklyn book tour party as a gift to me, and she’s worked with Maddie at weddings (Maddie says La Vie En Rose Events is the very best). When Meg is your planner, she’s firmly on your team. If you’re using her just for coordination, you can still call her up with quick questions. If you are working on a more complex problem (say picking a venue or finding a caterer), you can book her for an hour of consulting for $100… well, it’s $85 for APWers, because she loves you so much. (Plus, you don’t even have to be a client to book Meg for consulting. I KNOW, GET IT.)

La Vie En Rose Events | Photo by Becca Marie Photography | A Practical Wedding

All of which brings me to Meg’s rates, and her APW discount:

My pricing varies based on a number of factors (location, date, size, complexity, etc.). Generally speaking, Month-of (which is really six-weeks of) coordination starts at $2,700, partial planning ranges from $3,500–$5,500, and full planning starts at $5,500. I work with couples to create a custom proposal based on their specific needs/wants/strengths/weaknesses/timing issues as well as their budget. You won’t find one size fits all packages on my website—since generally speaking, I find them to be bullshit. However, I know that sometimes you just need someone to come in and just coordinate the shit out of the wedding that you planned. Since I love APW couples, I’m offering an APW Month-of Special at a seriously reduced price: $2,014 for 2014 Month-of-coordination. That’s over 25% off the starting price. Happy New Year, APWers! Couples looking for partial or full planning will also receive this discount on the coordination portion of their custom package. So yay! We do have limited availability for 2014, so in order to get this awesome deal, it would probably be best for you to reach out to me soon!

Also, I travel—I can get shit done anywhere! I always aim to keep travel fees to a minimum, and there are a lot of places where I’ll go without charging a lodging fee. As I look out my window at the snow on the ground, I’m dreaming of weddings in Mexico and the Caribbean, so call me.

Over the years I’ve learned that wedding planners come in a lot of stripes, and it’s important to pick one that fits your personality. What I love about Meg is not just that she gets you (and will never try to push a chair upgrade on you that you could care less about). It’s that she’s talented, experienced, in command… and chill. To do a good job, lots of wedding planners are a bit intense. It’s rare to find a wedding planner that’s super chill, yet will Get It Done. Meg is that magical unicorn.

La Vie En Rose Events | Photo by Belathee Photography | A Practical Wedding

Meg <3’s APWers

But enough from me. Here is (Other) Meg, talking about why she loves APW couples, her job, cake, and occasionally getting to boss people around with a smile:

I love working with APW couples—they are by far, always my favorites! APW couples are always so in tune with the things I feel are truly important—planning a meaningful event centered on love and joy—not material things. I often find myself saying some variation of this phrase during consultations: The big deal of the whole wedding is the marriage that results from it. The rest of it is just a party—yes, the most expensive and probably fanciest party you’ve ever thrown, but ultimately it’s just a party. It shouldn’t cause stress and tears, and planning it should be as fun as attending it. APW couples get that, and don’t need to be reminded of that daily!

The philosophy at LVR Events is all about the couple. I get to know my couples from day one—I want to know more than just the specifics about where the wedding is and what they want it to look like. I want to know how they met, how they got engaged, what their hobbies and cultures are, and more. I can’t help them plan a day that speaks to who they are without knowing about them. In order to keep things personal, I keep things small. I only book a limited number of weddings each year, so that the couples that I work with are never just a date or a number—they’re people, and they’re people that I really like on a personal level. I don’t have a spendy NYC office. Instead, I go to the couple’s neighborhood at a time that’s convenient for them, and I don’t pass on high overhead costs to them!

It’s always awkward saying “this is why I’m awesome,” but here it goes—I’m feisty yet professional, I’m opinionated yet open minded, I’m a good listener, I’m a doer, I’m reasonable/rational/sane/calm, but I’m also really fun! I love helping people, and I love smiling (smiling’s my favorite). I’m low maintenance and flexible. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard about high-maintenance wedding planners—um, how does that even work? I can’t imagine being a source of stress to my couples when my main purpose is to alleviate stress! I’m also really good at what I do—organizing and people management are things that come very naturally to me. So it never really seems like work! I meet amazing couples and hear their love stories, I’m surrounded by pretty things, I make spreadsheets, I boss people around (when appropriate), I solve problems, and hello, cake (or pie, or whatever), and champagne. All of my favorite things, rolled up into one!

Anyway, I promise I’m a genuine, friendly person who kicks ass at what I do. I’m not going to look down my nose at you because you want to buck tradition, and I’m not going to bat an eyelash if you really do want to embrace the old school. I’m not interested in trying to talk you into one way vs. another—I’m interested in making what you want happen. Some planners tend to get comfortable with doing things a certain way, and end up producing the same type of event over and over. I think that’s boring. The individuality and uniqueness of my clients’ weddings is what keeps me coming back for more. Pushing the envelope and expanding my comfort zone are incredibly important to me (yet another reason APW couples have the key to my heart).

La Vie En Rose Events | Photo by Alec Vanderboom | A Practical Wedding

As far as I’m concerned, if you’re planning a wedding in the Tri-State Area, Meg at La Vie En Rose Events is your lady. She’ll coordinate the shit out of your wedding day, yes. But she’ll also bring ease and joy to your planning. Once upon a time, weddings were something thrown by the families (read: Bride’s mother) for the couple. Now that it no longer works that way, it can be important to have someone on your team to help take care of you. If that person is Meg, you’re one lucky couple.

Photos: 1 and 4 by Inbal Sivan; 2, 3, and 7 by Alec Vanderboom; 5 by Becca Marie; 6 by Belathée Photography

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit #NASTY

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • As a vendor who worked with Meg, I can say it was a dream come true. My trio went up to NY to play a wedding at a venue that we had never been to, and Meg was wonderful. The wedding was one of the smoothest events we’d played, despite it being a completely unfamiliar place to us. :)

    • Awwww, thanks for the warm & fuzzies on this chilly day, Alison! I can’t wait to work with String Theory again soon!

      • Aw, you’re welcome!! I hope we can work together too!

  • Julia (Color Me Green)

    would love to know if anyone has recommendations for affordable Day of Coordinators (not month of…) in the NJ or tri state area (or how to look for them?). It’s not something I would have previously considered, but I may go with a caterer who’s never done weddings before and also know what a stressball I am in party prep mode, so think I need someone to hand off my binder day of and make sure everything’s happening as it should.

    • Hey Julia – we don’t usually do Day-of, but we occasionally offer that service. Let’s talk!

    • I used Ang Jandak of Lowbrow Events for our DOC. She is in NH, but travels and is AMAZING.

  • Amy

    *Is disappointed that her Tri-State area is not the one that (Other) Meg covers*

    Maybe hourly Skype consultations are the way to go…

    • Hi Amy! Which tri-state area is yours? We <3 travel. And yes, Skype sessions are always a great way to go!

      • Amy

        Meg, you are lovely!

        The Mister and I will be living in Philadelphia (PA/NJ/DE!), but our wedding is going to be in Pittsburgh (PA/OH/WV!).

        • Right back at ya, Amy! I have friends in the burbs of the ‘Burgh, so it’s a no-travel-fee zone. :)

          • Amy

            Fabulous! I’ll shoot you a message, let’s talk!

  • Angie

    I absolutely love it when Meg is the wedding coordinator for my clients! She makes everything run so smoothly without being pushy. One wedding we ended up running an hour behind due to the fact that the trolley couldn’t go on highways and it was the Friday evening before a three-day weekend on Long Island. Meg kept guests’ happy while the wedding party was stuck on the side roads. She worked with the event staff, bride’s parents and caterer to keep everyone fed, watered and happy while adjusting the schedule so I, the photographer, could get some awesome sunset pictures in a corn maze that the clients really, really wanted. I don’t think anyone even noticed that change in plans; she was THAT good.

    • Awww, Angie! Thanks! Someday I’ll figure out how to control traffic & weather, but until then, it’s all about the hustle! Those sunset photos were SO worth it – gorgeous!

  • Sarah

    Aww! I’m so happy to see Meg featured here! She was the amazing, wonderful, talented person who allowed us to enjoy our wedding without any stress. Really–she made so much of our day possible–like working with the venue to allow us to have an outdoor ceremony despite the rain, and even buying a birthday cake for our ring bearer when our venue forgot. Having Meg onsite made it possible to just enjoy the day and forget about all the logistics–and even more than that to feel like she got us, and our vision and would make sure it all happened smoothly. She’s the best and I’m so happy to see her post here!

    • Thanks so much, Sarah! Birthday cake is a MUST, especially when it’s for such an adorable little guy! I had so much fun helping make your wedding happen smoothly!

  • Ashley Gustafson

    As a vendor there is nothing sweeter than having Meg on the wedding team. Things happen and Meg is there to solve – so well that sometimes you’re none the wiser about the shit that hit the fan. She’s brilliant with people and generally amazing to be around. Now, with my own wedding in the works I’m SO glad she’s on my team too!

    • <3 – thanks, Ash! I can't wait for your wedding! I promise you won't know if any shit hits the fan. ;)

  • Alexis

    Meg is the best!!! She was the month-of coordinator for my wedding last spring (that’s me in photos 2 and 3) and I was so so grateful to have her help. I’m a pretty “plan-y” person in general and enjoyed handling all the major elements of my wedding on my own, but there were a ton of loose ends that I was honestly thrilled to not have to deal with, especially as I got closer to the actual event. Meg is great about offering suggestions based on her (extensive) experience without coming off as bossy or judgy, and – possibly most importantly – Meg is a PRO when it comes to mom-wrangling. With Meg on board I was able to avoid stressing over details (which I am prone to do), and just enjoy my wedding weekend.

    • Thanks, Alexis! I’m so happy that you were able to enjoy your wedding weekend (and what a weekend it was!!!!!). And yes, Mom-wrangling is one of my best skills, I think! xoxo

    • Alison O

      Oh where oh where was your dress from?? Gorgeous!

      • Hey Alison –
        Alexis’ dress was by Reem Acra – but she ordered it online at a major discount at GILT (I believe). It was several sizes too big – so the fabulous Wiliamsburg Seamster (seriously NYC area folks, SUCH amazing work) worked some magic to make it look as though it was custom-made for Alexis.

        • Guest

          Thanks Alison!! Meg is spot-on (typical helpfulness on her part), it’s Reem Acra, Spring 2011, but I got it on GILT for 60% off. I loooooved that dress, especially because i didn’t have to wear 100 pairs of spanx along with it…

    • Melissa the Researcher

      So glad to hear all of the great things, but what I really want to know is where you were in the third picture (second of you), and what the rest of those frames say. They are fabulous!!

      • Alexis

        Melissa – that was at the Ace hotel in NYC. The art is by James Victoire – I love his work, but it was pure luck that the exhibit was up during our wedding weekend! So glad you like it too.

  • Autumnmist

    Ah this is great timing! We’re currently considering venues in NJ and one place that is in our price range apparently doesn’t have any good space for a ceremony, and it’s been hard to find ceremony-only locations nearby! Maybe Meg can help us!

  • Yet another Meg

    Just another note to say that my fiance and are working with Meg for our August 2014 NYC wedding and we’re so excited to be working with her! So far she’s been amazingly chill, wonderful, helpful, knowledgeable, etc., etc. Not to mention absolutely patient with the crazy past few months that we have had! If you’re on the fence about hiring Meg (even though I can’t imagine anyone would be), do it!

  • natasha3

    wow…just a shout note to say thanks to Dr.Ekaka email: for the love spell he did for me last 2 weeks ago i really can’t believe that my ex can still show me love the way he did recently in the club and we are making preparation on getting married… it just still like a dream to me up till now i still feel like i’m dreaming that i really have my love back within four days after leaving each other for almost a year….i will keep on you to everyone..for help thanks to Dr Ekaka.