Planning a Raleigh wedding

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I remember the myriad of choices I had to make when planning our wedding day. Finding the best venue, choosing the best date while working around busy calendars, and deciding on the best photographers were all at the top of my list.  What made it especially challenging for me was trying to plan it all long distance. If it were not for my mom, it likely would not have all come together.

Since I had never planned a wedding prior to my own wedding day, there were a lot of things I did not know about, let alone even consider that would’ve helped me plan out my big day.

Now that I’ve been in the wedding industry for over six years as a wedding photographer, I have discovered many ideas that make a wedding day run seamlessly. I have also witnessed the other side of what a fairly stressful day looks like, simply because there was not a clear direction on how things should go.

For those who are in the midst of wedding planning or are about to plan a wedding, I know there is a lot to it. It can get stressful and it can be overwhelming, not to mention time consuming.

But today, I want to help by sharing with you my recent experience of working with a wedding planner – something I didn’t have for my own wedding day. In working with a planner, every detail is covered and planned with you ahead of time. You are then free to enjoy your day and do not need to worry about following up with individuals, finding the perfect vendors for your needs or stress about how everything will come together. The planner takes care of all of it for you, and it’s glorious!Planning a Raleigh wedding

Meet Emily Thomas, owner and founder of Emily Katherine Events. I had the pleasure of meeting Emily while networking with other wedding vendors in the Raleigh area. When I found out that she was a wedding and event planner, I sat down with her to learn more about her profession and find out how she could help brides in planning a Raleigh wedding. She gave me all the details on how she helps run things on the backend of weddings, as well as the big day itself.

“I want to bring YOUR vision to life, so I am not trying to insert myself or my preferences into your day! Every wedding is customized, so I don’t have a standard one size fits all process,” Emily said.

Emily Katherine Events launched in 2015 after Emily spent four years working as a wedding videographer. She shared, “I saw a lot of great ideas, terrible ideas, what worked well and what just didn’t work at all, just by being part of the behind the scenes of so many weddings.”

During our conversation, I approached Emily with an idea of creating a mock wedding day/bridal session for a styled photography shoot. What’s really impressed me about working with Emily over the last several months is witnessing her organization and initiative. I wear at least 20 different hats a day, between being a business owner, photographer/artist, mother of two young boys, wife, friend, and networker, so my time is very precious.  Emily took on the task of contacting vendors across the city and put me in touch with others I otherwise never would have met. Because she is so well connected, she can find a variety of vendors in any one category to fit your style and vision for what you hope to accomplish.

“The focus of my business is to allow my clients to be a guest at their own event. Not everyone needs a wedding planner, but I firmly believe that every bride needs a coordinator. Even the best-laid plans need to be executed, and bringing in an outside party to coordinate allows the bride and her guests to enjoy the day they’ve worked so hard to plan!”

When I asked Emily what she is most passionate about, she said it was getting to know her clients.

“I like to meet all my brides in person before they book, so I’ll take them out for coffee or drinks (or cake, whatever) and get to know them and the plans they’ve already made. By the end of the planning process, I’ve made two new friends. I’ve been there for moral support while they created their seating chart, and now there’s an unspoken bond that cannot be broken. I just love being a part of this special day, and then seeing their relationship grow (because yes, we will be Facebook friends :) ).”

Additionally, Emily shared her passion for eco-friendly weddings, also known as “sustainable” weddings.

“In my personal life I try to be pretty conscious of my environmental footprint (it’s an ongoing process), and would love to work with brides and vendors who want to make sure their wedding is sustainably planned.” She continued, “As a planner, I can help connect clients to vendors who share their vision of environmental stewardship and provide options they may not know are available to them.”

From working with Emily, I completely see the value and need to have individuals like her to help plan the details of your big day or next event. Event Planners help keep you on track, offer a variety of choices for you so you don’t have to do as much research on your own, and they keep it fun by removing the stress of planning.

For more information about Emily and her company, visit I know she’d be happy to meet you and hear more about your story!

If you’re in the market for a wedding photographer, contact me today so we can set up a meeting over coffee to chat.  I’d love to hear about your wedding day and the plans you’ve made!