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Here’s What to Do When Your DIY Wedding Needs Extra Help

DC: meet our girl Meigh of Lula Mae Events, wedding planning superstar

No one was born knowing how to plan a wedding. Also, no one was born knowing how to perform a triple bypass. And yet, there’s still this highly gendered assumption that if you’re a womxn, you know all about planning a wedding, and you’re just dying to do it. (Nobody makes this assumption about heart surgery, which may be only a tad less complicated.) But no. Unless you happen to be an event planner, you probably don’t have an innate understanding of how wedding planning works, and your enthusiasm may range from “Hell yassss” to “Dear God, noooo” with quite a few, “Making centerpieces sounds fun, hauling chairs sounds awful, and I already have a full-time job” in the middle. If this is you, you might really want the assistance of a wedding planner/day-of coordinator who totally gets the wedding planning enthusiasm spectrum, and will jump in with as much or as little assistance as you need—and have the budget for. Never heard of such a person? Meet Meigh of Lula Mae Events in Washington, D.C.

Meigh, who is a self-proclaimed “stress-defender, chair hauler, gown bustle-er, idea consolidater, relative wrangler, disaster averter, and listening ear for my couples,” was one of the very first planners to hang out on APW years ago. Back then, she was one of only a few pioneers offering sane, supportive, and affordable wedding planning and day-of coordination. Now, quite a few years later, she remains just as enthusiastic about helping create all kinds of weddings and just as committed to serving a diverse community of APWers, while being that much more experienced. But bonus! Her rates still start at just $75.

A wedding couple stand and smile on a garden walkway.A wedding couple dance during their reception with a T-Rex

One of the coolest things about Meigh and Lula Mae Events is that Meigh has been reading APW since the beginning, so not only does she really get youshe (and her wife and business partner Christina) also were you:

I was an APW reader long before Lula Mae Events was a thing, and my very first clients were APW folx, so it’s been a lengthy love affair on my end. APW readers are fantastic because we already share a language and a general set of priorities for a wedding: authenticity, minimal drama (well, the bad kind of drama. DRAMA ELEGANZA kind of drama, we can do), budget-friendliness, ridic amounts of fun, etc. APW readers are also so much fun to work with because they are incredibly smart and thoughtful about the wedding process, and without exception, they are just really interesting people. Plus I LOVE getting to know families for a weekend and hearing my couples’ love stories, getting to work with my amazing wife, and knowing at the end of each wedding that we’ve helped someone have an incredible, stress-free day on one of the most significant days of their life.

 

While there are many things to say about why working with Meigh is awesome (she gets your priorities, she can organize a great party, and she’s a pro at managing both logistics and high-maintenance family members), here’s our favorite: no judgment. Meigh will be there throughout the process to support you doing you, 110 percent, no matter what:

My answer to “Can we even do this?” is always an emphatic “YES!” My weddings are always client-driven; some planners do the same wedding over and over, or treat it like it’s their own wedding. Friends, I already had a wedding (it was great!), and nothing I do for a client ever has a formula. I want my clients’ weddings to be so them that nobody could ever mistake it. I love cheerleading your vision while organizing the moving parts so everything comes together seamlessly. Pizza truck? YES! Irish dancing? Sure! Balloon drop? Absolutely! I’ve had APW readers come at me with themes like, “’80s Miami Drug Dealer Mansion Meets Jurassic Park, with Sparkle” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream/Lush Forgotten Garden with Lights and Shiny Stuff plus Drag Queens.” These are actual real weddings I get to do, are you serious!? Best. Job. Ever.

I am an enthusiastic non-supporter of stress, drama, guilt, and budget shaming, and an enthusiastic supporter of geekery, feminists, any/all gender identities and sexual orientations and relationship configurations (somebody give me a poly wedding!), glitter, body positivity, flowerpups and other non-human wedding participants, dance parties, non-dance parties, brunch weddings, brunch in general, piñatas, and hilarity.

I’m thrilled to work with couples of all gender permutations (I married my spectacular wife/quasi-silent business partner back in the pre-marriage equality days, so I have a lot of insight on getting married in D.C. as a same-sex couple), and I am also excited I get to work with lots of interfaith and intercultural couples on creating a day that honors multiple heritages while still feeling cohesive. We’ve worked with tons of same-sex couples, couples combining different ethnic and religious traditions in their wedding, more dogs(!), clients from outside the D.C. area (from Canada, Chicago, Brooklyn, and Australia), and couples with families traveling in from outside the U.S. (Ireland—twice!, Korea, Kenya)!

A wedding couple stand outside the gates to a pool and hold hands.

Whether you’re just starting to plan and need advice (an affordable venue in D.C. is not going to find itself!), or whether the day is fast arriving and you’re realizing you need manpower or DIY support (it’s totally okay to not want to arrange your own chairs or Google how to make centerpieces, you know), Meigh has enthusiastically got you covered with a whole slew of options for professional support:

Consultation: $75/hour
You and Meigh chat for an hour and she applies the benefit of her professional experience to whatever is stressing you. Thorny etiquette problems solved, design dilemmas deciphered, timelines structured, hands held, advice advised.

Month-of Coordination: $1850
For when you’ve got it all planned but need someone to run the show so you can actually sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. This package includes:

  • Face-to-face meeting prior to wedding day to address timeline, vendors, special requests, etc.
  • Venue walkthrough with relevant vendors
  • Vendor confirmation prior to the wedding
  • Rehearsal coordination
  • Emergency kit o’ doom
  • Full coverage on the wedding day, making sure everything runs smoothly from start to finish

**APW READER FAVORITE** PARTIAL PLANNING: STARTING AT $2,800 for a one-day event, custom pricing for wedding weekends/multi-day events.

Normally $3,000, Meigh’s taking $200 off for APW readers as this is one of her most requested options. Basically, she has found that a lot of couples want to do “some” work on their wedding so that they feel ownership, but not so much that they’re overwhelmed. Enter Partial Planning! She creates a custom plan to get you started, and then acts as a resource, so every time you have questions you have a “wedding buddy” to bounce them off of. This package also includes all the month-of-coordinating helpfulness. Contact Meigh for more info and to come up with a plan of attack customized just for you.

FULL PLANNING: STARTING AT $6000
For folx who don’t have the time/energy/interest to plan a wedding, and just want to enjoy their wedding day with zero hassle, Meigh makes your vision—the wilder the better—into reality. A recent favorite was the couple who asked for a wedding that combined Jurassic Park and Miami Vice vibes. Meigh went to town sourcing palm trees, making faux-neon signs, spray painting a zillion tiny dinos and creating a jungle-tastic, neon-lit dance extravaganza in a deconsecrated-church-turned-art-gallery. It was as epic as it sounds.

MAKE FLORAL STUFF!: STARTING AT $300
This is an awesome excuse for family and friends to get together before the wedding. You and Meigh take a trip to the flower market in D.C. to create a design plan and budget, and then have a making party the day before the wedding to put everything together. Meigh provides design support, supplies, instructions, and transportation of the finished items, and the clients provide the flowers and person-power. We hear even the non-artistically inclined folks are surprised at how great things turn out!

A bride smiles as she puts on an earring.A mother helps a bride into her dress.A wedding couple cut the cake together.

Meigh told us that clients have been raving about month-of-coordination saving the day, and Rachel was no exception:

Hiring Meigh with Lula Mae Special Events for month-of coordination was hands-down one of the best decisions we made for our wedding day. There we were, one month before the wedding, starting to panic (maybe that was just me…) about the details still to be sorted out. In came Meigh with tips for every question/ concern we came up with and the spreadsheets/timelines we needed to keep us organized. She took over coordinating our vendors and helped us navigate the nitty-gritty, and was lovely to work with throughout the process. On the day of our wedding, she helped with everything from decor to keeping things moving on schedule and making sure all of our belongings went home with the right people at the end of the night (and I’m sure 1000 other things I wasn’t even aware of because they had it under control)—which allowed me to truly enjoy the day without worrying about any of the details. I would hire her again without a doubt, and cannot recommend working with Meigh/Lula Mae highly enough!

A wedding couple laugh during their ceremony.A wedding couple hold hands and walk together.Groomsmen assemble.

Did anyone else just let out a deep breath they didn’t know they were holding in? Take it from someone who’s been there, that no matter how much your family and friends care about you and your wedding, and will help out on it, there’s nothing that can replace the actual manual labor and front line support of someone who is an a consummate, caring professional, come hell or high water. And thankfully, you lucky ducks in the D.C.-area can just hire Lula Mae Events and get as much—or as little—help as you need. And whether that’s $75 for an hour of logistical advice at the beginning to save yourself some money and frustration at the end OR $1,850 for the priceless heavy lifting of that last month, when you work with Meigh, you’re also getting someone who takes care of you emotionally. Someone who knows what your priorities are and understands that they’re not the chair covers (duh) or even the taco truck. They’re family, and friends, and… love.

LULA MAE EVENTS IS AVAILABLE in WASHINGTON, D.C., and BEYOND—click here to explore your options and get in touch!

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