Welcome Announcement - Celia & Douglas!

Hello friends!

Though I've been working with this wonderful couple - and the groom's mother - since May, I'm only now just getting around to welcoming them officially to the Stephanie Gatton Events fold (how much more busy can this summer/fall get?!?). 

Welcome to CELIA & DOUGLAS!

This lovely couple were sent my way by the mother of the groom of a previous couple of mine (did I mention that parents LOVE me?). Moms talk, and one thing led to another, and I ended up hitting it off with THIS mother of the groom, who was busy helping her son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law plan a Hudson Valley wedding while they were living in Texas and Pennsylvania, respectively. A tall order on a normal day, I was pleased to come on board to relieve some of the stress of it all. From site visits to their gorgeous venue to intricate timelines, sourcing wedding favors, props artisans to put the finishing touches on decor items, and even designing the seating chart as well as handling all calligraphy needs for the place cards, you name it, I jumped in and did it!

Now, Celia and Douglas are here, back in Manhattan! Celia's family has made the trip over from her native China, and both families look forward to becoming one. And I look forward to their fall wedding weekend in the beautiful Hudson Valley! I am honored that they've brought me on board to serve as the coordinator for their big day. Let's do this!



Welcome Announcement - Rebecca & Andrew!

Hello friends,

Long time no see! It's been a BUSY end of summer/beginning of fall for me, as I took on a record number of wedding clients (way to go, baby business!), while also completing a move from our apartment into our new home in August, with MUCH work to be done there as well!

I've been remiss in my welcome announcements for all of my lovely couples, but I'm happy to return to this series to say welcome to REBECCA & ANDREW!

These two cuties are getting married at one of my favorite venues - The Green Building, which recommended my services to them (thanks, Susan!). Once Rebecca and I met last month, it was clear it was a match made in musical heaven! She's a talented jazz singer, he's a jazz double-bassist, and so it was an effortless fit for us all. I'm expecting to have a delightful time with these two!

They'll be getting hitched THIS WEEKEND in a fun and festive DIY wedding surrounded by 100 of their very favorite people, and I am honored to join their team as their month-of coordinator for this weekend's Brooklyn wedding. Let's do this!





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!



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!

Introducing: Wedding Planner Pro-Tip of the Week!

Hello Friends!

Welcome to what I hope will be a weekly installment of my favorite Wedding Planning Pro-Tips!
Let’s get started with a big one, one that comes in handy early in the planning process:

Wedding Planner Pro-Tip of the Week:

If you choose a venue that can be a unique and amazing focal point of your wedding, then the rest of your job is easy.

Here’s what I mean by this: a naked, or found, space can be really beautiful when dressed up with your unique vision. It can also be really expensive! Empty spaces - think hotel ballrooms or reception halls, or even lovely spaces such as The Foundry here in LIC - will need a lot of design love on your part (think lighting, decor, florals, etc.) to hide the fact that they’re simply a blank slate. How much work will you have to do to dress up the location?

On the other hand, a lush, beautiful garden with colorful florals and a view of the mountains behind you, or a vineyard patio surrounded by grapevines and already-strung bistro lighting, will go a long way in providing existing decor.

The more that already comes with a venue, the less you have to do to “spruce” it up. And you know what? Decorating, flowers, atmospheric lighting, pipe and drape to conceal beyond-basic ballroom walls - all of those elements add up, often times coming in at a much higher cost than if you had gone with the beautiful decorated space at a slightly higher rental fee.

Keeping your budget in mind, run the numbers on both scenarios. Often, you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you take into account the natural beauty and surroundings of a venue that comes with the package. This will keep your decor budget simple, and save you a ton of money and DIY hassle in the process!



So You’re Engaged, Now What?


photo courtesy of Jennifer Seay Photography


Hello Friends!

The holiday time shows a spike in proposals and engagements - chances are, if you’re reading this post, you may be newly engaged yourself.
If so, congrats! Here are five quick tips to remember in the early days of your engagement, no matter how long it may be until the actual wedding day:

  1. BREATHE AND ENJOY THIS MOMENT! I can tell you from my own personal experience that announcing your engagement will be one of the most heartfelt and warm moments of your life (probably right up there with your actual wedding day!) Friends and distant acquaintances whom you haven’t seen in decades will come out of the woodwork on social media to send you their congratulations. Everyone will offer to lend a hand (some may offer to “lend” an opinion, too!), and you and your significant other will be in a prime spot to bask in all of the love coming your way. DO THIS! At some point, you’ll have to turn to the realities of planning the wedding, but for now, be present with your partner in this moment of celebration.

  2. START A BUDGET. I’m afraid to say it all starts here, folks. In order to discuss any themes or decor ideas, venues, and vendors, you’ll need to have a frank discussion with your partner about how this is all getting paid for. Going the independent route and paying for it all yourselves? Well done, you! While you’ll be beholden to no one but each other in the decision-making process, you’ll also be on the hook entirely for the expenses you’re about to incur. Getting some help from family? Be sure to thank them for their generosity, but be upfront with them about what their monetary contributions will mean in real terms. Whether your budget is $10k, $30k, or $90k, the money will be spent, and it can be done in various ways, which leads me to my next point...

  3. BEGIN DISCUSSING A FIRST DRAFT GUEST LIST. A $30k wedding for 80 people will be something entirely different than a $30k wedding for 200 people (which can be done!). Having a ballpark estimate on how many guests you anticipate will go a long way in determining how you eventually spend your budget, and what venue and vendors you select. It’s also a good idea to get the ball rolling on A list and B list, if you need trim your numbers. These conversations may seem stressful, but they don’t have to be! Just be open and frank with your s.o. and trust me, you’ll arrive at a number you can both live with!

  4. SELECT 2-3 POSSIBLE DATES. Booking your dream venue should be one of your first priorities, but before you start reaching out to venue managers, you’ll want to have an idea of when the wedding will take place. Autumn? Summer? Indoor/Outdoor? Are you flexible with your dates, or is it non-negotiable (meaning, if Venue A doesn’t have your date available, you move on to Venue B)? Are you finishing law school, so you really need to hold off on your wedding until after you take the bar exam? Venues will want to know you’ve done your research before contacting them, and these conversations will go a long way in articulating your priorities!

  5. DETERMINE YOUR VENUE(S). Now that you’ve honed in on your top three wedding dates, it’s time to research and reach out to possible venues. This can take many forms. When it came time to select my wedding location, my s.o. and I knew there was only one place we wanted to get hitched, and we went all-in on making that venue work. Because of that priority, we had several July dates in mind, ultimately booking our second choice date, but at our first (and only) choice venue. Keep in mind that while many wedding venues book up to a year and a half in advance, conversely, there are some venues - particularly hotels - that don’t open up their wedding or special event bookings until one year or less out from the date in question. If that’s the case with your venue, you’ll want to carefully keep track of when the booking period opens, so that you don’t miss out on your dream location!

photo courtesy of Jennifer Seay Photography

Whew - that’s enough for now to get you started! Check back later for more timeline touch points as you move through the wedding planning process - including a frank discussion on priorities - and always feel free to reach out to me if you want to take advantage of my services or vendor connections!