Welcome Announcement - Starsha & Andrei!

Hello Friends!

Apologies for the radio silence as of late - the hubs and I are in the midst of a pretty epic move. We are fortunate enough to be selling our condo in Astoria and purchasing a little HOUSE ten minutes away on the other side of the neighborhood. I'm beyond excited at the prospect of setting up shop there, and envision writing blog entries from the urban privacy of the deck in our backyard very soon! But this week has been a frenzy of packing!

Without further ado, and in the midst of all of this, I'm thrilled to welcome my newest couple to the Stephanie Gatton Events family - STARSHA & ANDREI!

FUN FACT! Starsha and I met in 2005 - in our collective former lives in theatrical stage management! Fast forward to 2017, when Starsha is marrying her lovely man (and papa to their adorable daughter, Zora), back in Brooklyn (they now call Chicago home). 

Starsha found me - after all these years - crazily enough searching Instagram for #weddingshoes, and saw a recent post of mine. It was meant to be! As she wrote, "I have been very skeptical of my own ability to shut off the producing mode at my wedding. Then I saw you [on Instagram] and got VERY excited. I need a day-of coordinator and I already trust you implicitly because you taught me everything I know!!!"

That was just two weeks ago, folks. After planning the entire shindig, Starsha and Andrei will be getting hitched one week from tomorrow, on August 5, and I couldn't be more excited to have the privilege of being entrusted to carry their plans through to the finish line! I'm honored to join their team as the coordinator for their DIY, laid-back wedding at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. Let's do this!

xoxo,

 

Jon & Inna in the New York Times!

Hello friends!

Fresh off a 14-hour day of making wedding magic, I bring you a sneak peek of yesterday's clients, JON & INNA!

Their wedding was gorgeous - stay tuned for some amazing photos from Anthony Vazquez Photography - but in the meantime, here's their write-up in the Times (fun fact - they are my first NY Times couple!), as well as a few photos taken by yours truly to whet your appetite.

Happy Sunday!

xoxo,

 

Welcome Announcement - Inna & Jon!

Hello friends!

Happy Summer! Just a quick post to welcome my newest clients to the fold - INNA & JON!

You guys, word of mouth is a powerful thing. I’ve proud to have been sent this lovely couple by way of my dear friend, Rachel, who knows how PASSIONATE I am about my wedding clients and how I’ll work tirelessly for them. I had the pleasure of meeting with Inna and Jon, as well as Jon’s mother and sister, at the reception venue last month, and immediately knew it was a great fit!

These two have got a LOT of their decisions made and plans put in place (yay for them!), but are seeking help to bring all of the various pieces together cohesively for their wedding weekend. That's where I come in!

Friends for a year before they even began dating, Inna and Jon are connected through their church, their faith, their families, and their shared Armenian culture.

I'm honored to join the team as their coordinator for their July 2017 wedding at their local church, Holy Cross Church of Armenia in Washington Heights, followed by their reception at the New York Athletic Club in midtown, where their families are long-standing members.

Let's do this!

Xoxo,

 

SUMMER FLASH SALE!!!

Are you getting married this summer? Have I got a deal for you!

 

If you book me for one of my remaining free weekends, it's a flat fee of $1500 - UNLIMITED planning hours, and ALL travel included within 150 miles of Astoria, NY.

 

First come, first booked!

 

Available dates: 6/23-25; 6/30-7/4; 7/21-23; 8/11-13

xoxo,

 

(Super Belated) Welcome Announcement - Lisa & Paul!

Hello friends!

Well, it's confession time - this post was planned to be another Welcome Announcement on the blog back in late April - and then life - both personal and professional - intervened in a major way, and it never saw the light of day.

Still, it was written, and I want to acknowledge this lovely couple, and so, it'll get posted anyway, as an extremely belated (the couple were married last weekend!) Welcome Announcement. What can I say? I've been a busy gal!

Without further ado, here's what I wrote about six weeks ago: 

This one’s special, you guys - special for several reasons! But first, here’s the gorgeous couple - LISA & PAUL!

SPECIAL REASON #1: Lisa and Paul came to me as a referral from one of my oldest and dearest friends, Melanyann. Seriously, Mel and I have been in each other’s lives since the fourth grade, back when we were involved in a daily friendly competition between who had the longest hair, the biggest role in the Drama Club musical, or who had the best grades (answers: me, her, and it seesawed back and forth for four straight years!). Melanyann is one of the few people left on this earth who knew me before my mother passed away, when we were in the sixth grade. She’s seen me at my first emotional and stressful moment of my life, and watched as I came through in one piece to the other side. So, when Mel recommended me to her friends from her church choir, her opinion counted. A LOT.

SPECIAL REASON #2: Lisa and Paul live in San Francisco. Astute readers may note that I do NOT live in San Francisco (well, not anymore - I did spend two glorious and formative years in the Bay Area right out of college). But what’s a little distance or jetlag got to do with anything? We connected on a terrific Facetime call, hitting it off immediately, and the rest is history!

SPECIAL REASON #3: There’s no reason more special than that Lisa and Paul are awesome, in love, and want to share a joyous day with 320 (?!?) of their closest friends and family. That’s the most special reason of all!

I'm honored to join the team as their coordinator for their May 2017 wedding at at their local Catholic church, followed by a reception on Cal’s campus in Berkeley, my old stomping grounds. Let's do this!

xoxo,

 

 

PS - Lisa and Paul are just one example of how distance does not necessarily prevent me from helping you execute the biggest day of your lives! The Bay Area is just one of many cities across the country (and around the world) where I’ve got generous friends not-so-secretly stashed away, who are more than happy to let me stay with them while you fly me to town to take care of everything for your wedding weekend. (Here’s another secret - for trips like these, I’m willing to slash my fee to make the investment worth your while!). Whether it’s Berkeley, San Diego, Boston, Philadelphia, D.C., or even London, I’ll be there for you!

Welcome Announcement - Shiralee & Geoff

Hello friends!

Happy Spring! Just a quick post to welcome my newest clients to the fold - SHIRALEE AND GEOFF!

I’m proud to say that this lovely couple was sent my way by my newest collaborators, the amazing events team at Frankie’s Spuntino, where I’m now happy to coordinate weddings in their beautiful backyard garden and stable - seriously, this is easily my favorite location for intimate, absolutely delicious, and surprisingly affordable wedding bliss within the five boroughs.

When I think of a magical outdoor Brooklyn wedding, Frankie's 457 is the first place I have in mind...

With backgrounds embedded in the arts and fashion, Shiralee and Geoff are set to welcome 80 of their closest friends and family to an intimate - and uniquely “them” - evening of celebration.

Plus they have PUPPIES. So, honestly, they had me right there!

I'm honored to join the team as their coordinator for their July 2017 wedding at the original Frankie’s location in my first New York neighborhood of Carroll Gardens. Let's do this!

xoxo,

 

PS - Jealous of Shiralee and Geoff’s gorgeous venue? Think it’s the perfect fit for your upcoming nuptials? You aren’t alone! Hit me up to learn more about how to make your wedding magic happen here! I’ll gladly arrange and accompany you on a venue site visit with your betrothed, and I now offer a 10% DISCOUNT to all Frankie’s wedding couples!

Vendor Spotlight: Unreel Films Videography

Hello friends!

It’s been a busy winter - and feels like AGES since I’ve added to this series - but I’m back with a vendor spotlight you are sure to love! (Be sure to check out previous installments in this series if you’re looking for a classical guitarist or stylist for your big day).

This week, I bring to you an amazingly talented colleague of mine, Eric Mann, owner of Unreel Films. Eric and his team are a dream to work with, and he brings such an effervescent energy to the room! Read on - and view on - to learn more about how he can capture the essence of your wedding in stunning fashion.

Q: What led you to weddings, specifically, and how long have you been in the industry?

A: I first came to New York as an actor, performed on the National Tour of A Chorus Line, and worked both regionally and in New York. After about three years in between acting jobs, I had all this creative energy but nothing to put that energy into unless I was hired for a job, and so I picked up a camera one day, taught myself filming and editing, and found an incredible passion for telling stories through film. I also grew up painting and I always think of film/videography as a mesh between painting and acting/storytelling, so it truly is a perfect fit! After about a year of playing with a camera, I started my company Unreel Films, LLC in 2013, and have filmed, directed, editing, produced, and written over 300 individual promos, commercials, short films, documentaries, dance/music videos, and weddings. We also are so lucky to work with The Juilliard School on a regular basis for a lot of their promos. Within the first year of starting my own company, I filmed my first wedding (for a friend) and absolutely loved it!  

Q: Tell me a bit about the person behind the job and how you became a wedding videographer.

A: I adore telling stories through film, and to me weddings are extra special because it is such a beautiful moment in time where family, friends, and all loved ones come together to celebrate a union between two people. There is so much love there on that day, and to be able to capture that spirit not only between the couple, but also all the family and friends, is unbelievably moving and inspiring as a wedding videographer. It is always such a beautiful “story,” it’s just a real life story instead of a fictional story and that’s what makes it so much fun and why I love filming them.  

Q: What do you love most about being a wedding videographer?

A: I love capturing the feel like I mentioned above, but also I love getting to know the couple the day of because the photographer and videographer help to usher them throughout the day.  It’s amazing to be able to support them and create a trust with them since there is so many emotions abiding during the day.  

Q: Tell me about your most memorable and fun wedding.

A: I really have loved every wedding that I’ve filmed, but one time we got to use a drone to get some establishing B-Roll shots and that was really awesome! We were filming the wedding in Connecticut, and a police car drove by when we were getting drone shots outside of this awesome Victorian home, and the crew and I froze up like we were in big trouble, but the cop came over and was like: “What drone is that?” with a big smile on his face! That was pretty awesome!

Q: What does a typical wedding day look like for you?

A: Usually, it’s a packed event for me, especially in the morning, and I’m running between the two different parties getting ready. Once the couple comes together it’s slightly less running around, but we are always moving and that’s a lot of fun.  

Q: What is your favorite part of a wedding day? OR What is the best part of your job?

A: Mmm. I always love the food when we can eat it, but I don’t know if that is because when I film I forget that I’m hungry, and then by the time the food comes at the end I’m always like this is the BEST FOOD EVER! And it probably is, but it’s just heightened because I haven’t eaten! All kidding aside, I really love the ceremony, and even when I have just emailed the couple back and forth and only know them for a short while, I always get a little emotional. It’s just extremely powerful seeing all the love that is coming out of everyone at that moment and it’s really special.  

Q: From your experience, what should couples ask a potential videographer in the interview process?

A: I think it’s really important to be as clear as you can be in what you want the final product to look like. I always tell people we can scale it up or tone it down to what they would like. Obviously, a very cinematic wedding video will have more elements and cost a bit more, but if that is what you want and you have the budget, I say go for it. If you need to scale back, that’s totally doable and sometimes even gets to the heart of the day more than a big production wedding video, since you are not concerned with the shots, and more concerned with capturing the essence. I feel like I always first and foremost go with capturing the essence, but sometimes it’s fun to play with cool shots, too. It’s a balance. But again, I think it’s really what the couple wants and how they want the feel of their wedding to be. That definitely informs the role that I play that day. And I always try to listen to what the couple’s needs are.   

Q: On the day of the wedding, what are your exact roles?

A: The photographer runs the show in terms of logistics of shots. The videographer is there to capture the spirit of the day. Occasionally, I will ask for a specific shot, but mostly I am there to be a fly on the wall and get all the good moments!

Q: What are three main qualities that an excellent wedding videographer should have?

A: Listening (huge!), not being invasive (I’ve had many people say thank you that we weren’t up in people’s faces because it’s not my day - it’s the couple’s day and everyone who came), and having fun (guests always love the videographer and it’s important to feel like you are just there to have fun with them so they are loose around the camera and don’t tense up - although maybe not too loose!).  

Q: What makes you unique from other wedding videographers?

A: I think because I do a variety of different film projects and not solely weddings, I get to come in to a wedding with a fresh eye. Not to say those who film weddings on a regular basis aren’t amazing, because they totally are, but I feel that because I make short films and documentaries and dance videos I get the sense of how to tell a story really well, and that is what the wedding video is - a short documentary of the story of two people on a particular day where lots of dancing happens!  

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you can give your potential clients?

A: Make the wedding the ideal wedding for you. It’s a beautiful celebration of who you are, individually and collectively, and if something doesn’t feel right to you in terms of the event, make it unique and make it work for you. Also, it’s a whirlwind of a day (which is partially why I’m there because it will fly by), but also enjoy the day as much as you can. It’s definitely a lot and a lot to take in, but if you have a chance to just create some space in the day in your head and appreciate all the love, it will feel so good!  

Q: Where do you draw your wedding inspiration from?

A: I really try and find the really touching moments throughout the day. No one is ever going to capture all of them, but I try to keep my eyes peeled for really touching moments.  

Q: Tell me one thing we might not otherwise know about you.

A: I love to laugh, tell stories, dance, and obviously film. And I have an extra vertebrae in my spine. It didn’t make me taller though!  

Q: Do you have any special discounts or offers for Unreel Films at this time that my readers should know about?

A:  I don’t really have special discounts because I ebb and flow the budget to what the couple needs exactly, but if you are having a wedding in the Galapagos Islands, I’ll figure out a way to cut back the pricing ;)  [Editor's Note: Eric and I both suffer from acute wanderlust, and I, too, would be more than happy to negotiate pricing/travel fees on destination weddings or those out of the tri-state market. Couples around the world, hit me up to learn more!]

Q: Any last piece of advice for newly-engaged couples?

A: Have fun and bask in the joy of the day. Much love!!  

Enough talk! Click below to view three of Eric’s favorite wedding videos that Unreel Films has produced. Ready to hire Unreel Films to document your big day? Reach out to him HERE and be sure to mention my name in your inquiry!

xoxo,

 


Wedding Planner Pro-Tip of the Week: Make that trip to City Hall fun!

Hello friends!

Wedding Planner Pro-Tip of the Week: Make going to get your marriage license a special event! Stop for lunch or bring flowers to commemorate the occasion. 

Here's What I Mean By This: Planning your wedding should be all about the fun, enjoyable aspects of the process. Creating a ceremony that uniquely encapsulates the essence of you and your partner or throwing a kick-ass party for all of your loves ones are no-brainers.

But, as every planner knows, there are tons of tedious tasks that go along with planning your big day. And often, one of them involves getting your marriage license. Whether your officiant is your family minister, rabbi, or priest, or you've asked a close friend to do the honors, or you've hired one (I highly recommend THIS fabulous lady!), everyone needs a marriage license (and thankfully, EVERYONE has the legal right to obtain one now across the country!).

Do yourselves - and your wedding coordinator - a favor and DON'T PUT THIS OFF! You don't want to wait until it's too late, only to realize you can't actually get married "officially" on your wedding day. (Though of course, spiritually and emotionally, you'll be totally in the moment, and I believe that's what matters most). 

So, consult the laws of the state or country you're getting hitched in (not the state or country you live in, if they're different), and make a day out of getting that license. Here in Manhattan, there are tons of great restaurants to grab lunch or brunch just a short subway ride from the building - invite your honor attendants (your best people - man or woman) or your parents (if that won't stress you out) to join you on the trip. Dress up, if you like - you do you! Take the tedium out of this errand, and make it a festive occasion - it's the start of your marriage adventure!

xoxo,

 

 

 

Why Hire a Wedding Coordinator Reason #3!

Hello Friends!

I hope you’re having a wonderful start of the week! After an awesome seating planning meeting with these two, followed by getting to know some lovely new BK vendors at Wedding Crashers yesterday, I'm energized and invigorated for the next few weeks of wedding planning!

Photo courtesy of Milestone Images

Photo courtesy of Milestone Images

This week, I give to you a fairly obvious but often overlooked REASON #3 to hire a wedding coordinator:

EXPERIENCE!

Most people are planning their wedding with no knowledge of how to throw a large-scale event. Of course there are books and plenty of tips from well-meaning friends and family, but I have planned many events, and am here to give you access to all those years of accumulated wisdom! I know how to troubleshoot nearly any impossibility on a moment’s notice, often before you ever even realize a problem has occurred! I know what questions to ask your vendors and how to schedule the day so that you can get your photos taken, your guests fed, your speeches completed, and everyone out on the dance floor.

CASE IN POINT: Being able to throw a party does not necessarily mean you've got a knack for wedding planning. Your instincts could be dead-on and your creative ideas perfectly suited for your big day, but if you're not working in the industry day-in and day-out, you may not know which questions to ask.

  • When are the best times to schedule parent dances or toasts in the reception?

  • If you're sourcing your rentals directly, what are the correct sizes of linen to order?

  • Who should we tip and how much?

These are just a few of the pro-questions I get asked from almost every client, and because of my years of experience and genuine passion for the job, it's my pleasure to answer them!

 

My time-tested method for handling seating assignments - put a post-it on it! This level of organization and planning are what you get when you hire a pro coordinator to take care of business for you!

My time-tested method for handling seating assignments - put a post-it on it! This level of organization and planning are what you get when you hire a pro coordinator to take care of business for you!

I'll be back next week with another reason why a booking good coordinator can be the best wedding decision you ever make!

xoxo,