Top Five Exercise - A Must Do Before You Start Planning

As your planner it will be my honor to assist you in putting together this amazing celebration for you and your family and friends!!! So one of the first things I always do with my couples is the (drumroll please)......Top Five Exercise. This is a veeeeerrrry important exercise for you and your fiance to go through together to begin your planning process with ease and ensure that your big day is a reflection of your priorities as a couple!


Step 1: Grab a glass of wine (or beverage of choice), a pen, paper, and your fiance.

Step 2: Without distractions, make a list of all of the most important aspects of your wedding that you have dreamed of - the things that are must-haves, that will create the experience you want for your guests, and things the are non-negotiable for the two of you.

These things could be large, small, colorful, silly, or whatever!! Maybe you always wanted a large Motown band at your wedding, maybe your always wanted pancakes or Chick Fil A nuggets (me, over here!) at your wedding, maybe you want to get married at a historic home, or maybe you (or both of you) just want to wear hot pink shoes.... it can be anything!

Step 3: Now that you have this massive list, I want you to narrow it down to FIVE things. Just five. Agree on these five things. Know that these things are priority items, and we will ensure throughout our planning process that these five things will appear at your wedding.


Why is this so important? As the planning process goes along, you will find that you will constantly be bombarded by options, making planning feel a little overwhelming at times, not to mention friends and family making suggestions, traditional pressures, etc. BUT if we have this Top Five list handy, then we'll always have the ability to quickly choose needs vs. wants, knowing that your "needs" are already decided and will guide your decision-making process.

Featured on Southern Living: Elizabeth and Phil's Romantic Outdoor Celebration

From the moment I first met Liz and Phil I knew right away this was going to be a fun wedding!! With a focus on the experience for all of their out of town family and friends, and priorities being the band and food, we planned an amazing affair that included a 6 piece band, Southern buffet, and many individualized touches from the couple.

Liz was absolutely stunning in her lace gown surrounded by her best friends in a variety of blush pink styles. Phil and his groomsmen wore navy, the perfect compliment to the more casual rustic setting of Beaver Dam and backdrop of lush greenery and florals. The bride's father officiated the ceremony and guests were treated to a funny poem about the couple, read by the bride's brother and the groom's sister.

After the ceremony, guests were treated to a delicious Southern-style buffet, yard games, and an ice cream sundae bar with sports team hats as bowls (a must-have for the groom). Liz and Phil's guests never took a seat after dinner as The Royal Suits got the party going with upbeat songs and dancing! After a late night snack of pizza, the guests lined up for an epic sparkler sendoff!

What an absolutely beautiful day for such a beautiful couple! All the best to Liz and Phil!

Excited to announce that Liz and Phil's wedding was featured on Southern Living!! Check it out HERE!

Planning and Coordination: 13 Cedar Events

Photography: Sunshower Photography

Venue: Beaver Dam Historic House

Florals: Chelish Moore Flowers

Bridal Gown: Lily Rose Bridal

Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes

Catering: Armin's Catering

Entertainment: The Royal Suits

Hair and Makeup: Beauty Asylum Charlotte

Invitations: Minted

Restrooms: The Plush Flush





Bettye and Jim's Intimate Langtree Plantation Wedding

Bettye and Jim are the most adorable, loving, and fun couple!! These two were set up by a mutual friend a while back and they hit it off right away! We planned their wedding amidst Jim working out of town and the building of their new home on the lake. Their wedding at Historic Langtree Plantation was beautiful, despite a little rain, and I've never seen a happier bride and groom!

Bettye looked gorgeous in her navy strapless gown with lace jacket. She and her daughter, Juliana, both carried bouquets of white peonies, daisies, and roses, with green berries and blue hydrangeas. Jim and his best man were dashing in their navy suits and green ties. The ceremony was held in the rustic Langtree Boulder Room where Jim and Bettye said "I do" among their closest friends and family. The reception began in the elegant Langtree Pavillion with a saxophone entrance by the best man, Bob, and a swing band singing "This will be an everlasting love"! It was a grand entrance and set the stage for a night of dancing and fun under twinkle lights! Guests were treated to an amazing dinner and late night "make your own" crepe station - a favorite of the groom.

Cheers to the Rollers as they begin their amazing journey together!!!

Planning and Coordination: 13 Cedar Events

Photography: Jessica Arden Photography

Venue: Historic Langtree Plantation

Florals: Willow Branch Flowers

Bridal Gown: Classic Bride and Formals

Cake: Nona's Sweets

Catering: Family Catering Service

Liz and Dave's Naval Yacht Club Celebration

These Elon grads didn't date in college, but met after the fact at homecoming where the chemistry started immediately! Many of their friends predicted that Liz and Dave would marry well before they said "I do"!

Liz and Dave chose the Peninsula Yacht Club for their big day, a fitting venue as Dave is a Navy pilot and a nautical theme seemed like a perfect fit for these two. Liz was stunning in her lace gown with her best gals all in blush pink. Each of the girls had a bouquet made of each type of flower in Liz's bridal bouquet as a special nod to each of her best girlfriends on her wedding day. Dave, of course, wore his dress whites, along with several of his groomsmen. The two said their vows on the back lawn overlooking Lake Norman and exited through a sword arch. This long-standing tradition, welcomed Liz into the Navy with a bop on her bum and a kiss with her groom!

The evening was gorgeous and guests were treated to a delicious dinner and cake cutting by sword by the bride and groom. Liz and Dave danced the night away with their closest friends and included many Depman family and Navy traditions in the dance party. It was such a fun night for all!!

I know Liz and Dave will be dancing and laughing together forever, and I wish them all the best as Mr. and Mrs. Depman!!!

Wedding Coordination: 13 Cedar Events

Photography: Erin Kranz Photography

Florals: Willow Floral Boutique

Hair and Makeup: Lovely By Lindsey

Venue: Peninsula Yacht Club

Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes

DJ: Patrick Ryder, Carolina DJ Pros

Bridal Gown: Ladies of Lineage

Transportation: T&J Transportation



Spring Bridal Brunch Inspiration At Separk Mansion

When the Charlotte Wedding Collective founders, Amy and Stefanie, reached out to me about collaborating on a Spring bridal brunch styled shoot it took no time to exclaim "YES!" These two ladies are some of my favorite photographers in the city! 

We drew inspiration for this shoot from the elegant style of the venue, Separk Mansion, in Gastonia, NC. It features so many vibrant colors with a focus on classic clean and modern details. Such a beautiful and fun styled shoot that could be the perfect inspiration for any bridal shower or brunch!! Thanks to the following vendors:

Planning and Styling - 13 Cedar Events

Photography - Charlotte Wedding Collective

Venue - Separk Mansion

Florals - Jimmy Blooms

Cake - Ella's Celestial Cakes

Rentals - CE Rentals

Bride's Attire - Classic Bride and Formals

Guest's Attire - Dressed CLT

Romantic Southern Style Meets Modern Sophistication at Historic Ritchie Hill

Ritchie Hill in Concord, NC, is one of my favorite venues in the Charlotte area. So when Kevyn Dixon Photography contacted me about collaborating on a styled shoot at Ritchie Hill I was totally game!

The initial inspiration for this shoot came from Ritchie Hill’s historic charm with its original details preserved and giant wraparound porches. It’s not hard to fall completely in love with the front porch - it’s big enough to seat 150 guests and overlooks the beautifully manicured grounds and giant oaks! I wanted to first give a nod to the classic style of the house, but then bring in modern details and lots of cool neutrals to give it a modern twist. The rest is history!

Our models, Karla and Jon, were the cutest, sweetest married couple. They eloped several years ago, so this shoot was extra-special for us as we were able to give them some fresh new married couple photos of them all dolled up!


See the beauty for yourself and thank you to the below vendors who all contributed to this lovely shoot!


Planning/Styling: 13 Cedar Events

Photographer: Kevyn Dixon Photography,

Venue: Ritchie Hill,

Vintage Rentals: Evermore Event Company,

Cake: Cake Expressions by Lisa,

Florals: Bookout Blooms,

Hair and Makeup: Sweet Magnolia Beauties,

Dress: The Lily Rose Bridal,

Models: Jon and Karla Cavaleri

Stationary: Elle Dee Designs,

Jewelry/Accessories: The Bead Lady,

Linens: Cooke Rentals Lake Norman,



Sabrina and Andrew's Rustic Fall Celebration

Sabrina and Andrew were already dear friends of mine and I was thrilled to be able to assist them with their wedding!! Set in the beautiful countryside in Cedar Grove, NC, these two said "I Do" in style, surrounded by their closest friends and family.

Sabrina was gorgeous in her soft lace gown with the perfect sparkly touch in her ribbon belt. The bridesmaids in navy made the perfect backdrop for the wildflower and lavender bouquets they carried. Andrew and his guys were dressed up in gray and navy to complement the girls. The ceremony and reception were held at the beautifully rustic, Iron Horse Events. The ceremony was so special, featuring many personal touches from the bride and groom, and their officiant Amanda, a long time close friend of the couple. 

After the ceremony guests were treated to a Cajun-style buffet dinner and local brews. The couple's first dance was under the shimmering string lights as guests looked on. The night was full of dancing and celebrating this amazing couple!

All the best to the Hagarty's as they begin their new chapter together!!


Wedding Coordination: 13 Cedar Events

Photography: Michelle Gunton Photography

Hair and Makeup: Haven Salon

Venue: Iron Horse Events

Catering: La Place

165 Iron Horse events Wedding photos Michelle Gunton Photography copy.jpg

Does "day-of" coordination really exist?


Often times, wedding planners get calls from potential couples looking for a "day-of coordinator" for their wedding day. The truth is this service, simply does not exist as the name would have you believe. A more appropriate name for this option is “wedding day management.”

Let's be honest for a second – there are no details, plans or anything that can all be done in one day for a wedding:

A couple does not plan their wedding in one day.

An officiant does not slap together a ceremony plan in one day.

A floral designer does not wing it on your wedding day.

A wedding dress alteration pro does not have your dress ready in one day.

At a minimum your, wedding day manager starts working with you typically anywhere from four to six weeks prior to your wedding day (sometimes earlier). A wedding day manager will provide you with recommendations and advice; assist you with all the final details of the ceremony processional and recessional; check (and recheck) that catering rentals are correct; create timelines; answer vendor questions; manage set up and breakdown details; and so much more. Calling this weeks-long (or more) preparation “day of” seems to reduce the scope of the value and hard work that will be put in to make sure your big day is flawlessly executed.

If you've decided that a "day-of coordinator" is the best option for you, remember there is a lot more that goes into executing your wedding day than the name would imply.

This article was featured on Bustld, a great resource for curating your perfect team of vendors in the Charlotte area!