What are “Talk About it Tuesdays”?
Talk About it Tuesdays are conversations with my favorite wedding vendors and friends to share a little more about what they offer in the wedding industry. Each and every person I interview is a vendor I’ve worked with, know, and trust.
This series was designed for couple’s who are in the planning process! I recognize there are SO many options when it comes to assembling your perfect vendor team, so I hope these vendor interviews give you a deeper glimpse into the person and team behind each and every business you’re considering hiring for your day.
As you watch this series know I’m cheering you on as you plan your perfect event and wedding day!
P.S. – Have a specific question you want to answered? A specific vendor to be interviewed? Send me a message or leave a comment below and we’ll make it happen!
And now lets head into today’s guest….Whitney, Owner and Lead Planner of Whitewood Events!
Talk About It Tuesday with Whitney, Owner + Lead Planner of Whitewood Events
First up we have my incredible friend Whitney, Owner of Whitewood Events, a wedding planning and design company based here in Athens, Georgia.
You can either hop on the video below and listen in to our conversation or read the blog post below! Whitney is one of my very best vendor friends so I’m thrilled to have her with us today!
Who are you? What is Whitewood Events?
I’m Whitney Downs! Owner and Lead Planner at Whitewood Events. We’re based here in Athens, Georgia – we do a good bit of work in Athens and also travel for weddings and destination events. We do planning, design, coordinating and everything in between!
Why do people need a planner? What benefit does a planner bring to a couple on a wedding day?
First – I don’t think that everybody needs a planner because every wedding is different. I will say that the majority of our clients need our services because they are planning a large event or are too busy to do it themselves. So if you’re doing something small (i.e. under 20 people) you may not need someone to plan or coordinate your day, but it is nice even in these situations that hand over everything so you can enjoy your day.
You want to enjoy and soak in the moments of your wedding day and you just can’t do that when you’re in charge, so that’s where we come in. If you want to sit back and enjoy the process planning is for you.
Often clients who hire us for partial planning will say later on that they wish they would have hired us for full planning because it all ended up being more stressful than they thought it would be. So – we’re here to help make your day easier so you can have more fun!
What is the difference between full vs. partial planning?
Coordinating – We don’t do a ton of coordinating because that’s just not where our joy is. We want to build relationships with our clients and that’s hard to do in a coordinating capacity. In coordinating we come in when you’re 30 days out and by that point everything has been planned so its really just taking over logistics and production at that point.
Partial Planning – We’re there to hold their hand and guide them, but they’re still doing a good amount of leg work. They have to have a good amount of time to put towards planning a wedding as well because we’re just giving them the tools to help them make the best decisions.
Full Planning – We’re not holding their hand so much as we’re now driving the car. We’re taking them along for the ride in the direction they want to go. And if they don’t have the time we drive that car because we have the tools and resources to do so.
Full planning is like we’re driving the car and partial planning we’re sitting in the passenger’s seat.
Design – We can do design with partial OR full! This is great because we get to help tell the couple’s story with all the details that are involved.
What does design look like? Can you explain that a bit more?
There are different levels of involvement we can get into with design! We can do something general like make a mood board that shows direction of where your wedding wants to go. We take your Pinterest board and ideas and narrow them down to make those ideas more specific to you.
In a more involved design process we’re involved with your budget where we’re showing you things that align with your aesthetic, personality, and story, but also your budget. Everybody has a wedding budget so when we’re doing that more involved design we are able to show the linens, chairs, tables, instillations, paper, etc. in a way that you. can afford. Every couple also has their own story to tell so we want to help make that happen.
This is a lot so we ALWAYS want to hop on a phone call with each couple to help you figure out what services will best suit your needs. If you’ve never been married before you don’t really know what you’re shopping for in anything especially a planner! So having a conversation up front is helpful especially in the beginning.
What would you say makes Whitewood Events stand out?
Oh goodness, we’re working on new branding right now and our designer asked us the same thing and I just blanked! I don’t like to compare us to other planners/designers because when we find ourselves matched up well with a client that’s where we thrive.
We are all about building relationships and we don’t feel we can do right by a client unless we have that relationship or know them.
I’ll try and mention a few things that I think help us stand out – We want to make this a personal experience for each client. We don’t tell clients what they need, we just want to guide them on options based on their personal needs. I love working with clients that value the same things that we value – details are important to tell your story, this isn’t just a wedding to show off it is about you and your family, and we’re huge on guest experience. We want everyone who is there that day comfortable.
We just work on making things super personal and that is our strength.
When clients are shopping around for a planner, what questions do you encourage them to ask to make sure the planner is a good fit for them?
I feel this is unique to the clients! Overall it just has to be a good personality match especially when it comes to your planner because we are going to be communicating closely on important details for a year or sometimes longer. So have a conversation with them in the beginning and make sure that that planner’s values align with yours. Get along with your vendors, that is key!
What’s one piece of marriage advice you’d give to a newlywed or engaged couple?
So…I’ve been married for 10 years this year! I have tons of advice, but I thin one of the big ones that you can start practicing in your engagement is -when you have a disagreement, which you will have, just be constructive about it. When you’re having a conversation with your partner just be constructive about it and speak kindly, that will help you go so far. You have to be on the same page and be kind. And that goes for everyone – just be kind!