September 2016 Archive

Simplicity Is Not Actually Simple | Winston-Salem NC Wedding Planner

“I really want a simple wedding. Maybe farm tables and garlands. Oh and I love lanterns and those wooden X back chairs. What if we used these candle holders from my friend’s wedding? She has like 250 and hasn’t cleaned them out yet but I can probably do it after work one day. And I saw these cute DIY favors on Pinterest. We could have those hanging from that tree at cocktail hour. Speaking of, I like the idea of tray passed signature cocktails — something easy like an old fashioned with an orange peel. You know, really pretty and curled like this picture? And my grandmother wants to sing at the reception, but we can’t tell my mother in law. She will want to sing too and she isn’t very good. What do you think about having all the groomsmen dance down the aisle at the ceremony? They will not all be at the rehearsal by the way. We can probably just skip a rehearsal since everyone is coming in so late on Friday. I don’t think I need a wedding planner. Probably just a day of coordinator for a few hours on wedding day to make sure everything is set up. I forgot to mention, can you take our bags and gifts to our hotel? We are staying about 45 minutes away since we need to leave for the airport super early. So yeah, the wedding should be pretty simple. I don’t want a lot of fuss.”

Scenario: You, the bride, just shared your thoughts (above) at a consultation with a potential wedding planner. You met with her after your friends recommended you talk to a planner. One friend really regrets not having one a planner and your other friend absolutely loved hers and says it is worth every penny. You spent some time talking to a few planners and they seemed really nice. Their work is really pretty and they have good reviews. But man, they are expensive! You decide you do not want to spend the money and you can do this thing on your own. I mean, your mom is super crafty and you are really organized.

Ok, so let’s do this thing! You can totally plan your own wedding.

You dive into planning and the following potentially (read: definitely) happens:

greensboro wedding planner why you need a wedding planner or coordinator

Anna Paschal Photography

Farm tables, garlands, lanterns, chairs: Farm tables rent for $80-$100. Garlands are $60 to $120 depending on width, type of greens, type of flowers, and labor. Your florist doesn’t have any lanterns for rent so they need to be purchased. You have to find a size that works with your table width then order the appropriate sized pillar candle for it. Those beautiful wooden chairs are $8.50 to $10.50 a chair plus a $1 pad. The tables, garlands, pillar candles, lanterns, chairs, and chair pads plus delivery, set up, and tax will cost you $6,200 for your 150 person wedding. You make a mental reminder to add on heaters, china, flatware, glassware, napkins, cocktail tables, and cocktail table linens to the rental order later.

Your friend’s candle holders: She didn’t use tea lights and you have to scrape wax out of 250 tiny holders. You also work a full time job and are thinking about going back to grad school. You also have to make sure they are all stored properly so they don’t get broken. Your friend definitely wants them back.

Favors in a tree: That tree doesn’t have any low hanging branches and it is really closer to the parking lot than your cocktail hour mingling space. The DIY favors you like are pretty heavy and hanging them will take several hours and extra support. You can only get into your venue 3 hours before the wedding starts. Oh, and you will have to squeeze in making those do it yourself favors after you clean out the candle holders.


Whitebox Photography


Tray passed cocktail: Your caterer doesn’t know about the old fashioned as a signature cocktail and it is two weeks before the wedding. You have already had some reallllyyy custom wooden signs made on Etsy (for only $120!!) and you really do not want to change it. Your caterer is trying to convince you to do another cocktail because old fashioned’s take a lot of time to make and are not the best option to tray pass. And they can definitely do that pretty garnish but it will be an extra $2 per cocktail.

Singing grandma. Potentially upset mother in law: Your fiance accidentally let it slip to his mom that your grandmother is singing. You now have to have a phone call with your MIL about her feelings and try to figure out how to make her happy. Your grandma is not going to be happy to share the spotlight since she has already planned out her solo of “Ava Maria” to a T. Your MIL would rather sing The Lord’s Prayer.


Alexa’s Photography

Dancing groomsmen: You take a few hours to choreograph the steps for the groomsmen. You have to figure out how to video yourself teaching the dance because your fiance doesn’t have time to help you because he is working extra hours to pay for the honeymoon. You finally email the tutorial to the guys and no one responds. You continuously ask them if they learned it and get a few half heart-ed yeses. It will probably be fine.

No rehearsal: You don’t schedule a rehearsal and the groomsmen plan to wing it on wedding day. You realize this two hours before the ceremony and have to scrap your first look to teach them the moves. There is also confusion about who walks down the aisle and sits where. Your mom is certain she is supposed to sit in a certain seat and side even though you googled and know it is the opposite.


Jon Black Photography

Now that you have a glimpse at your future, you are thinking that …. um .. sort of sounds fine. You can totally do this on your own ……………………. Right?????????? 

Maybe you will call that planner back. She had some ideas of how to get the overall look you wanted but more in line with your budget. Oh and she did mention how she has some great rentals you can get from her. Her rehearsals did sound organized and not super time consuming.

Yes, you are definitely going to call her back. It will be your gift to yourself. You deserve it.

Colorful Church Wedding + Sperry Tent Reception {Rankin + Brent} | Virginia Wedding Planner

Prepare to feast your eyes on some serrrrrious wedding eye candy. Rankin and Brent’s May wedding was one of my favorites of the year and was seriously SO much fun! I absolutely loved planning with them and could not be more pleased how everything came together on wedding day. Their event design was so true to the heart of what all of our LPW designs emote — effortlessly Southern, luxurious yet relatable, and lots of personality. Kemper Mills Fant captured every detail and moment perfectly and I loved reliving R+B’s day through his lens.  Enjoy!!

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First of all, can we all give a hands up praise emoji for all of these beautiful COLORS?! Amen! I adored our refreshing and bright spring color palette. Amy Lynne Originals, per usual, knocked the floral designs out of the park and were the perfect accessory to Rankin and her sweet maids. Peonies are always my favorite, but these king protea stole the show!

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Rankin and Brent were married in Rankin’s family church in a sweet and intimate ceremony for their closest family and friends.

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After the ceremony, their wedding guests were transported to Brent’s family home for cocktails, dinner, and lots of dancing. As you came around the bend of the of the property, a giant sail cloth Sperry tent was set against the blue Virginia sky (thank heavens.. no rain!!). The flags at the peaks blowing in the breeze, the wonderful weather, and delightful company made for the perfect ambiance.

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I could write an entire blog post just about how amazing 1618 On Location is. They always exceed my expectations in both service and their amazing cuisine. Outdoor weddings with no nearby buildings to work from are always a challenge for catering … but never for my friends at 1618. We created a pop up kitchen by the main tent where they served 350+ guests with ease. For cocktail hour on the lawn behind the main tent, we served drinks alongside passed hors d’oeuvres and a raw bar of shrimp and oysters shucked on site. The tray passed hors d’oeuvres were to die for! My two favorites were the demi glace short rib tacos with feta, butternut squash, and brussels sprout relish and pulled pork and collard green egg rolls with mango chutney. Once dinner began, guests dined all evening from assorted food stations serving everything from small plates of sesame seed crusted ahi tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes (my all time favorite) and grilled tenderloin with white cheddar potato cakes to smoked gouda mac and cheese and pomme frittes to a taco station and the most beautiful cheese and charcuterie display.

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Since I am on an emoji kick today, insert all the heart eyes over this beautiful tent. As you entered the tent, your eyes immediately went up to the stunning peaks and detail of the sail cloth tent. To match that, we opted for an even mix of high and low centerpieces to fill the space. The textured linens were the *perfect* shade of blue and complimented our punchy color palette beautifully. Just off of the dance floor, Paisley & Jade and I created a large lounge vignette for mingling and taking a rest from dancing.

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Rankin has a love for giraffes and found these precious gold ones online to serve as their cake topper. This touch of whimsy paired beautifully with the rough iced cake and blousey blooms from ALO. We served the cake alongside a more delicious treats from 1618: cheesecakes, truffles, strawberry shortcakes, buttermilk pies (a recipe from Rankin’s grandmother), and banana pudding.

Roanoke Virginia Wedding Photographer and Photography

Cheers to the perfect day for the most wonderful couple!!

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Planning + Event Design: Leigh Pearce Weddings | Photography: Kemper Mills Fant Photography | Floral Design: Amy Lynne Originals | Tent: Sperry Tent DC | Catering, Cake, Desserts: 1618 On Location | Rentals: CE Rental | Vintage Rentals: Paisley & Jade | Band: Major and the Monbacks | Officiant: Rev. Nathan Finnin |  MC: Jessica Mashburn | Power: Big Sky Rentals | Restroom Rental: Tidy Inc. | Invitations: Crane from Janice Cain Stationary | Transportation: Charis | Hair: Laura Bray | Makeup: Holly Burton | Valet: Park Inc. | Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Carole

Autumn Creek Vineyards Wedding {Hilary + Jeff} | Reidsville NC Event Planner

To say I love these two is an understatement. Hilary and Jeff are so kind and warm. They immediately made me feel like part of the family! Their wedding day was picture perfect despite the crazy heat that weekend. Every June in North Carolina there is one weekend that no matter what you do, the humidity is at 1,000,000,000% and you just have to make everyone as comfortable as possible and pray for the best. That said, you would have never known it was 100+ degrees looking at Hilary in these photos! It was like there was a magical bubble around her all day and I swear I never saw her sweat (even though I know she was pretty toasty in her gown!!). Without further ado, I hope you enjoy these beautiful images from the fantastic Sara Logan as much as I do!


The bouquets from Joy at Blooms and Thistle were hands down the showstopper elements in our event design. They were all perfectly textured with juuuust enough color while still staying perfectly elegant and summery.

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Autumn Creek Vineyards has the most lovely ceremony location. The quaint gazebo overlooks a picture perfect pond complete with a family of ducks.


There are a few photos I always search out first when I first see photos from my clients’ wedding — the cake cutting, the first look, and the march back down the aisle. To me, these are the moments where I find the most pure joy on my clients’ faces. I just ADORE this snap expertly captured by Sara!!

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These bouquets are what wedding planners dream about.

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Delicious Bakery never disappoints. This 4 tier beauty was not only gorgeous, but also delicious (pun intended!). My favorite detail was the cake topper, Better Together, as a nod to Hilary and Jeff’s first dance song. We also served cheesecake bites from Cheesecakes by Alex, the location of their engagement!

© Sara Logan Photography © Sara Logan Photography

After cocktail hour and a choreographed first dance, guests were seated to enjoy a delectable dinner from Southern Roots. The menu started with a summer salad of organic greens with sliced strawberries, goat cheese, and candied walnuts with balsamic vinaigrette. Next guests dined on a buffet of roasted beef tenderloin, stuffed chicken with blue cheese, cream cheese, and fresh herbs, redskin potatoes, spaghetti squash casserole (so good y’all), and haricot vert salad with feta, red onion, and roasted red pepper.

© Sara Logan Photography

Planning + Design: Leigh Pearce Weddings | Photography: Sara Logan | Floral Design: Blooms and Thistle | Venue + Bar Service: Autumn Creek Vineyards | Catering: Southern Roots | Rentals: Southern Event Rental | Makeup: Brianna Leigh Beauty | Hair: Madison Moseley |  Cake: Delicious Bakery | Cheesecake: Cheesecakes by Alex | Officiant: All Faiths Wedding Officiants of the Triad | Band: Brothers Pearl | Transportation: Holiday Tours

Featured on Southern Weddings | Greensboro NC Wedding Planner

What a treat to see Olivia and Scott’s preppy barn wedding on Southern Weddings today! I just loved working with these two last year on their May wedding at Summerfield Farms. Pop over to SW here to see the full feature. Enjoy!!


Crediting Your Vendors {Business Series} | Greensboro Event Planner

In school, we all learned about plagiarism and properly crediting our sources. So now that we are grown up and wedding vendors, do the same rules not apply? Of course they do! There is an ever growing trend online, in particular on social media, of wedding industry professionals (and hopefuls) posting photos with no credits to the people who produced the photo or the work shown. This may seem harmless, but it can have a big impact on your business. In general, I find that people in offense of this major faux pas fall into two categories: 1) a person or business who posts photos of work that they had a hand in creating but credit no one else involved and 2) a person or business who posts photos of work that they have NO hand in creating in any capacity.


Let’s dive in a little deeper and talk about these two respective camps:

The No Tagging of Your Vendors Person: This offense is SO easy to remedy. Just tag your vendors! Everyone has their own take on what this looks like, but for me, the best way is to take a three part approach.

1. Tag your vendors in the caption. Whether you are posting on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., this is the easiest and quickest way to incorporate your vendors. My go to formula is to select my photo, write my caption about said photo, then at the end of the caption, tag my vendors. Yeah, that simple! I analyze the photo and look at each element to make sure I do not forget anyone. Can you see any part of the venue? Tag them. Are there any floral elements? Tag them. Everyone wins with this method. You supported your fellow vendors, you may get a share from that vendor (bonus), and it makes you look professional.

2. Tag your vendors in the photo. This comes in to play in regards to Instagram. I like to tag my vendors in the actual photo (click the Tag People button before you post the photo to your profile). This means when someone taps your image, the names of those you tag pop up and someone can click on them to take them to their profile. Better yet, the image you posted will show up in their Photos of You tab in their Instagram profile. Potential clients may be looking at this, see the image, click over to your profile and voila! You now have a new lead.

3. Is there an opportunity to add a geotag? This can be done on Facebook and Instagram and connect you to a location’s online map so to speak. The marketing benefits are similar to tagging vendors in a photo. Your image now shows up under the geotag for that venue, for example, and any potential leads can see you and become interest in your work. Another no brainer.

The Posting Other People’s Work Person: This is the worst offense in my opinion and frankly, NO ONE should be doing it. You are misleading clients that the work you posted is your own. But wait, what if you tagged the vendors? This is a moot point because at a glace, looking at your Instagram profile, for example, a client could just see the thumbnails of the pictures you posted and assume all the work is yours without clicking. Posting work that you had NO hand in creating is misleading to clients and disrespectful to the vendors whose work you are posting. Moral of the story: Just don’t do it!


A few more important tips to keep in mind when posting images to your social media accounts that represent your business:

1. Pinterest is not a photo source. I repeat, Pinterest is not a photo source!  This goes back to posting work that is not your own. You must be thinking, “But Leigh! I posted my source. I found the picture on Pinterest!” Well, honey, Pinterest did not take the photo and edit it. Pinterest did not arrange that lovely bouquet. Pinterest did not take countless hours to design and plan the beautiful wide room shot you are looking at. PEOPLE did.

2. At minimum, tag the photographer. If you are following the rules and posting images that you had a hand in creating the content, then you should have no problem remembering who you partnered with. That said, if you happen to have a dose of amnesia or cannot find the person you are wanting to tag on social media, at minimum tag your photographer. If you cannot tag the photographer (or add their name in your caption) then do not post the photo.

3. Copying hashtags is bad. General hashtags like #wedding, #bouquet, etc. of course do not count. What I mean is do not try to ride on another business’s coat tails and post their curated, branded hashtags on your images unless it is 100% relevant. For example, you are a florist and you are posting images of your work (yay! you are off to a good start!). You wrote your caption, tagged the photographer, then typed out your hashtags. One of the hashtags you added was #leighpearceweddings, my business hashtag. But I did not work with you on that event. This misleads the customer to look like you worked with someone you did not, in this example. Also, and more importantly, now when someone clicks on my hashtag, they see your work and assume it is mine. This goes back to being misleading to the client and is a major no no. There are so many wonderful hashtags you can use to drum up business without stealing someone else’s ….. but that is a whole other post!

All in all, these are such SIMPLE solutions for what is becoming a really big problem. Friends, be CONFIDENT in your work and share your OWN work.  I would love to hear from YOU in the comments. Do you have any other tips to share about crediting vendors?