Lowe House Events: Sane Bay Area Wedding Planning

This spring Elizabeth Clayton, the lady behind Lowe House Events joined APW as our first ever sane Bay Area wedding planner, filling a huge void in the market (What? Wedding planners that are not crazy? Yes! We have them!). And you guys roared into that void. Elizabeth has worked eleven APW weddings in a few short months, lifting, carrying, soothing nerves, handling vendor problems, putting out fires, and generally making it so you guys just had to show up and enjoy your weddings.
And then there was Yay New York. Elizabeth and I dreamed up this crazy plan to get two couples hitched in New York, and then Elizabeth pulled it off. Because let me be clear: I did stuff to help on that event. I pulled in favors. I got the community to show up. I wrote checks. But I did not handle the logistics, not even for a second. I’ve done big events, and I knew that I did not have the energy to pull one off this summer. So I handed it over to Elizabeth, and she Made. It. Happen.
Not only are her values perfectly in line with yours (fun fact: turns out she was one of the first ever readers of APW, and has read it every single day since the first month), but she’s also one of the most talented event managers I’ve ever worked with. Ask the Yay New York couples, who literally just walked into a room and got married. She makes it seem effortless, and that is talent.
Lowe House Events offers three different levels of services:

Consulting. This is the easy option. If you don’t want someone actually present on the day of, but you want an experienced hand to help you make it happen, you can hire Elizabeth for $60/hour, to help you organize and figure out your wedding (worth it). Consulting can take place over the phone or, if you’re in the Bay Area, at a coffee shop, bar, or your home.

Day of Coordination. This is where Elizabeth runs your wedding day and your rehearsal (with no maximum hours so no risk of expensive overtime charges). Day Of Coordination ranges from $900-$1500 (weddings with less than 40 guests cost less!) DOC slots for summer of 2012 are going fast, so if you’re interested, contact Elizabeth now!

Full Event Planning. First, let’s review. You don’t need a wedding planner. But you might want a wedding planner. Maybe you’re having a big wedding. Maybe you work 60 hours a week and you don’t have time to plan this thing. Maybe you have very difficult family and you want to hire someone to tell them “no.” Maybe you’d rather spend your money on saving your sanity than on expensive and uncomfortable chairs. Well, Elizabeth can help with all of these things. This morning we talked about letting someone else plan a wedding for you, and Elizabeth can do just that. This option starts up to 18 months before the wedding, and includes Day Of Coordination. Costs range from $2500-$5000, depending on the size and complexity of your event, as well as the level of involvement you’d like from her  (weddings with less than 40 guests cost less!). She has ONE full planning slot left for 2012, so if you’re looking for this email her now.

And because she loves you guys, Elizabeth is  offering a 20% discount on DOC services to APW couples whose weddings are taking place between Dec 2011- March 2012.
But mostly I want to tell you how much I love Elizabeth and Lowe House Event’s philosophy, and how much it lines up with mine. This summer, Elizabeth had a couple come to her after working with another planner. They wanted to throw a simple 100 person wedding in the East Bay for $20K-$25K. And the last planner had told them it couldn’t be done (Seriously? That makes me want to stab someone.). That planner had told them that the wedding they wanted would cost $60K. And they’d gotten really sad, but were smart enough to get a second opinion. So when they found Elizabeth, she apologized on behalf of the whole wedding industry, and told them of course they could have that wedding, and she would help. Why? This is the woman who gives all her new clients a copy of One Perfect Day… though she’s planning to buy the APW book in bulk, and next year give all her clients that. She dosen’t think you should Buy All The Things. Her favorite weddings are picnic weddings. She thinks you should throw a wedding that makes you happy. And she’s got serious skills to help make that happen.
But I’ll let her tell her about her love for APW-ers in her own words, “I worked with my first APW couple in June, and have coordinated the weddings of nine APW couples since then (well, actually eleven if you count the two Yay New York weddings). It has been a blast to start working with the readers of this site. Without exception, the APW couples I’ve worked with have been smart, fun, thoughtful, and sane—in other words, my dream clients, and people I’d like to have as friends. (I also have done several APW weddings where it turned out that I knew some of the guests, because yeah, my couples and I actually do have the same friends.) Every wedding has been totally different from the last, but they all carry the common thread of being really awesome parties that are just the beginnings of what are obviously going to be really awesome marriages. It’s literally a joy for me to get to help them start those marriages in as stress-free as possible of a way. These days I find myself driving home from a wedding, at the end of what’s often been a 12-14 hour day spent on my feet, smiling to myself as I turn the radio up because man, I have the best job in the world. So thank you, APW readers, for being such truly amazing clients, and for making me fall in love with my work all over again.”

So for those of you in Northern California (and beyond… she travels), who want to throw some money at the problem of making yourself less stressed, you could not do better than Lowe House Events. And trust me, she’ll figure out a package that works for you. So go, enjoy.

Pictures of Elizabeth in action: unknown wedding guest (at rehearsal), Christina Richards Weddings (APW Sponsor), Emily Takes Photos (APW Sponsor), calin + bisous photo (APW Sponsor), last three photos: Carmen Alverez Photography (APW Vendor Directory)

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  • Elizabeth is super duper sweet and an amazing voice of reason … hire her!

  • Tamara Van Horn

    I owe Elizabeth a glowing “official” testimonial, so here’s the start of it…

    I am an ex-event planner. I know all The Stuff about planning weddings. But my wedding? Eek! Elizabeth Clayton kept me sane as I planned my destination wedding in San Francisco. I called her up or emailed her after seeing a sponsor post on APW, and I was all atwitter and afraid about not Buying All the Things, and being in general not stylish enough for my own wedding. In ten minutes of phone, she had me sorted out.Cake? Delicious, Award-winning cake and she drives us to the tasting. Photographer? Sure. Photographer cancels? OK, let’s rally the APW community, and get Someone Better. Family crazy? Handled. And when we got to the Castro and our guests were stuck at City Hall, sans cabs, she berated and browbeat every company in town until everyone made it there. And those are the logistical things. She is warm, funny, and a great person to cruise Oakland with to taste cake. And affordable?! Shu. Worth double the price, and I mean that!!!

    I appreciate Elizabeth for her design eye, her willingness to “take aholt,” as we say back home, and for her ethic of “no job too big, no job too small.” And as I plan the post-wedding receptions that put me into a pit of procrastination, know that Elizabeth will be helping me long distance (yeah, E, I’m calling you again! How do you feel about OH and CO?) Love ya, womyn! You made our day amaze-balls.

  • Ash

    Elizabeth just did DOC for my best friends wedding a few weekends ago. She’s amazing. Her and her assistant worked such long hours! Every time we realized we needed something, we’d look and she was standing right there ready to take care of it! All of the details were covered from start to finish and she did an excellent job of problem managing little things so we didn’t have to stress. I know my friend felt confident in her from the get go! If I were getting married all over again, I’d hire her in a heart beat! She was a positive force the entire weekend!

  • North

    They wanted to throw a simple 100 person wedding in the East Bay for $20K-$25K. And the last planner had told them it couldn’t be done.

    Let me pick my jaw up off the floor. Geez.

  • Elizabeth planned the sh*t out of our YayNY wedding! It was effortless on our end (granted, this wasn’t your typical wedding situation). But she and the rest of the crew put together a fantastic day for us and our families, no detail was overlooked. I don’t know how she corralled a million moving parts, but she pulled it off and made it looks easy. Awesome work! Book her!

    • hahaha, Leanne, when I finally caved and joined LinkedIn recently I joked that I was going to make my ‘professional headline’ “I will plan the sh*t out of your wedding.” :) So glad you all enjoyed your (first) wedding as much as we did!

  • Jade

    This is slightly off topic but….

    OMG *squee* The top two photos are at my school!!! (We are thinking of having our wedding there!) It is totally beautiful. Also: I love the yellow dress.

    • Rebekah

      I just want to make sure Elizabeth and LHE get a well rounded review here. I actually worked FOR Liz at a wedding in August and she truly was the sanest person there. She was organized and detailed, good at delegating and problem solving, and was so, so approachable, just like a wedding planner should be. Everything went off beautifully and the couple, as well as their guests, danced the night away (almost literally!). There were no panicked moments, no impossible situations, no hitches in the giddy up.

      Ladies, she is your voice of reason. Budget for her.

  • To plan a wedding is not that easy, there are lot of things to consider. I salute you guys for a job well done and keep up the good work..

  • Wow I have to say that this is a pretty impressive feat. I would laugh if you really used that as your “professional headline” ;) My friend decided that she wanted to plan her own wedding and let me tell you she was so stressed she couldn’t even enjoy her wedding as much. Not to mention the day of she lost internet connection and couldn’t reach half her documents. Thank goodness for IT consulting in the Bay area!