Five years out from wedding planning, I’ve come around to the theory that it’s a teeny bit like having a baby. It’s a huge experience, and you have no clue how it will impact you until you’re in the thick of it. At the beginning (or throughout the whole process if you’re like me), you believe that you will be different. You will be calm, chill, have fun, accomplish a ton of DIY projects, and singlehandedly coordinate the biggest party you’ve every thrown—all with twenty-four hours in the day and a full time job. It’s only when you get to the other side that you realize the priceless value of having a planner or coordinator, either because you caved at some point and hired one and now owe her your sanity and firstborn child, or because you didn’t and wish you did.
Enter founder and lead planner Meg Hotchkiss of New York City’s LVR Events. If those initials sound familiar to you, it’s because Meg and LVR (formerly known as La Vie En Rose), have been around the APW community for as long as there has been an APW community. She is an absolute gem who we adore, so you can trust that your wedding day—and your mental health in the months leading up to it—is in expert hands.
LVR’s day-of coordination packages begin at $3,o00 and partial planning begins at $4,000. For many New York City weddings (shout out to an expensive cityyyyy), this often works out to be less than 5 percent of the total wedding budget. That’s 5 percent of your budget for a priceless level of logistical and emotional support. Read on for why LVR Events are worth their weight in gold.
you can email LVR Events all the time
No seriously. Read that again. It doesn’t matter that you’re hiring them for “day-of coordination,” LVR offers unlimited email communication the entire time beforehand. Got an etiquette question? Need to vent? Just need someone to reassure you that you’re doing it right? Meg and her team have got you. Seriously, the earlier you book, the more emails you can send, and the more support you’ll receive.
What kind of support exactly? Here’s what Meg has to say:
I’m a whiz at timelines, sure, but I’m also really good at reminding couples that there are bigger things to focus on than personalized cocktail napkins. When you fall down the rabbit hole of pinning all the things, I’m there to gently remind you that, hey, maybe you should think about writing your vows.
need vendorS? LVR events will find you one
LVR Events have already researched (and worked with) tons of great vendors so you don’t have to. Booking LVR early in your planning process means getting access to their list of trusted sources and the peace of mind of hiring vendors who’ve been vetted by someone you trust. LVR Events also prioritizes making sure everything goes smoothly for your vendors (which means you get better results), and trust: vendors love LVR for their precise organization and calm and collected demeanor.
you can snag planning tools
Love those APW planning spreadsheets? Well you’re in luck, because LVR Events has a worksheet for everything. Plus their own planning guide, a master to-do list that won’t overwhelm you, a vendor manager, and more.
LVR EVENTS will save you money
Part of what LVR Events does best is find all the ways they can save you money, so budgeting for a planner and booking that planner early in the process will only work out in your favor. They’ll be up front, gentle, and honest with you about which expenses are bad ideas or unnecessary.
the best part? lvr events gives you total peace of mind
Hiring LVR Events early on in your wedding planning experience means you can avoid a lot of budget and planning related stress during the process, and when the day comes, your wedding is in the hands of someone who 1) knows how hard you worked and is fully capable of making your plans happen, 2) is a logistical ninja and professional wedding lifesaver, and 3) is a wonderfully funny, warm, get-shit-done human being that we personally adore.
Here’s Meg, in her own words:
My mission is to make planning as fun as it can be. I accomplish that by being this unique combination of friend, boss, and magician. I’m brutally honest, but I’m cheerful while I’m giving it to you straight up. And moms love me.
I love getting to be a part of a couple’s joy; it’s hard to not enjoy life when you are constantly surrounded by love and happiness. It’s contagious! And APW readers are my favorite couples. Every time. I love working with couples that realize that a wedding is one day and a marriage is forever. Yes, we should plan the shit out of a kickass party, but ultimately, it’s about love, commitment, and community. APW readers also think outside the box, and they aren’t afraid to embrace who they are and what they want (and don’t want) their weddings to be. That gets all the thumbs up emojis from me.
Also, I love working in logistics. Figuring out how to make things flow and putting together the game plan for the wedding day is just so much fun to me (I know, weirdo). Beyond being the person who shows up at the wedding and makes things look effortless, I’m a resource: I’ve been planning and coordinating events for over a decade, and I’ve seen some stuff. I’m always making sure that you have all of your bases covered for whatever situation may arise: All LVR Events Coordinators are ordained, because it would really suck if your officiant friend didn’t fill out the paperwork at city hall or your rabbi’s flight got delayed; I’ve tended bar and waited tables when a caterer showed up short-staffed; I’ve driven drunk guests who missed the shuttle home; I’ve found replacement vendors at the last minute when an emergency arose; I’ve planned around natural disasters; and the list goes on.
day-of coordination: STARTING AT $3,000
- Unlimited email communication
- Vendor guides, to-do lists, and more
- Overseeing setup, vendor management, transportation coordination, and everything else you need the day of
- In other words: the team spends 10 hours owning your wedding, and everyone’s super happy
Partial planning: $4,000–$5,000
You’ll receive the full Day-of Coordination package plus a partial planning package that’s completely tailored to your specific needs and requirements—and LVR Events offers a complimentary consultation to find out what those needs might be.
full service planning: $10,000
This is for the couple who wants to have someone take care of every single detail, from logistics (think venue scouting, budget planning, out of town guest management, vendor research, contract review and negotiations, rehearsal coordination, and way, way more) to aesthetics (color palettes, decor guidance, design curation, florals, etc.). LVR Events also handles day-of coordination and gives full service couples a personalized, secure login to their online project management software—where documents are stored and saved. Fancy!
DIY DOC BLUEPRINT: $500 (available worldwide)
LVR knows that having a day-of coordinator isn’t in everyone’s budget, and thanks to their awesome DIY DOC Package, your volunteer wedding stage manager can get some professional-level wisdom imparted upon them. Here’s what it includes:
- 1 hour consultation
- Vendor contract review
- Timeline creation
- Worksheets and checklists
- Floor plans and rental review
- An emergency kit packing list
- A meeting/call/Skype session with LVR Events and your stage manager to prep her/him to be a flawless DOC
Hiring LVR Events happens through an easy, four-step process:
- You chat with LVR Events (over the phone or in person)
- You review their Services Menu
- You fill out a simple form to pick and choose exactly what you need and create your custom package
- You sign the contract, pay a deposit, and the wedding planning begins!
It can be hard to ask for help. It can be even harder to convince yourself that you should part with hard-earned dollars to pay for help with things that you can technically do yourself. Trust me, I know because I couldn’t do it. The result? Having a part of the joy sucked out of our wedding by being the point person who was bottom lining the timeline and logistics, who was writing checks and figuring out tips, who had to go to the venue the morning after to clean up all the decorations we so lovingly put up twenty-four hours before. (And who had to give up on that activity to go find a place to cry.)
Help from friends and family is amazing, and wedding stage managers are magical sorts of friends that we should all be so lucky to have. (Especially when you’re on a shoestring budget—shout out to my own amazing one.) But when you have friends and family helping, the buck still stops with you and your partner. When you have a professional planner or coordinator, you can actually just sit back and enjoy your wedding instead of simultaneously directing it.
As LVR Events’ clients Deepa and Louis put it:
Hiring Meg was one of the best decisions we made throughout the wedding planning process. She was a great support through the early stages and even more valuable when things kicked into high gear. We really appreciated being able to trust someone with running the show so that we could actually enjoy the weekend with friends and family.
You don’t have to go it alone. When you hire LVR Events you get an advocate who is completely and totally on #teamwedding throughout the entire process. Someone who has no agenda or strong personal opinions about how your day should be, other than that it should be yours (and your partner’s, obvs). Meg and her team are your advocate, whether with vendors or opinionated parents, and your cheerleader. They’re there to deal with family dynamics, stress, drama, big picture logistics, small detail logistics—basically every single part of your wedding day—so you can show up, get married, and have a blast while doing so.
Wouldn’t you rather have that person on your side from day one than for just a few weeks?
Book A 2017 Day-of Coordination package before November 15, 2016, and receive Custom Budget Consultation, Accommodation Management, and Ceremony Blocking Consultation and Day-Prior Rehearsal Coordination ($600 total value) for free!