Wedding Planner

What It's Like to Be a Wedding Planner in The Wedding Party


What is it like to be a wedding planner in a wedding party?

In a word: exhausting

I had the distinct privilege of being Matron of Honor to one of my longest and best friends in May. We are practically sisters and I love her with all my heart. I would (and do) bend over backwards to do anything she asks of me. So when she asked me to be her matron of honor and asked if we could help her execute her dream day my mouth said this:


My mind said 

“That sounds like it could be difficult”

And it was. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way. 

Honestly I think it did great things for me professionally to experience things from both sides. I haven’t been in a wedding since we started Grace and Truth. And I’ve only ever been in one other one ever. So to experience the planning process as matron of honor and be able to advocate as her wedding planner was so fun! It was all the fun of helping your best friend plan a wedding with all the perks of doing it professionally. I felt like I could make worthwhile contributions and suggestions, meanwhile having complete faith that we would have the day under control and could execute her vision. 

The planning and meetings weren’t the hard part. The wedding day was the hard part. If only Ally had tried to warn me about that. 

(spoiler: she did. She tried. She tried real hard. And I still wasn’t prepared)

All day I was looking at the timeline and wondering if the vendors were on time and how the flowers looked and if family pictures were going according to schedule. 

Did they get all the pictures she wanted? 

Are the groomsmen dressed?

How does the cake look?

Is the guest book set up right?

I had all the thoughts and worries of a planner but I couldn’t do anything about it. I needed to be getting my own hair and makeup done! I needed to be enjoying the day with my best friend. And I could not be more grateful that Ally was in her corner all day while I was sipping mimosas and singing Jonas Brothers songs in the top of a barn.

And I’m not just doing a shameless plug here. I’m being totally honest when I tell you that for every stray thought or worry I had, I knew that Ally and Sherrie had it totally under control. While my mind was going ninety to nothing I actually wasn’t stressed about any of it.

The peace of mind that came with knowing we had gone over all the details with the bride and the family really made all the difference in the world as a member of the bridal party. We all had our timelines and we knew exactly what we needed to do. Ally and Sherrie executed the Bride’s vision seamlessly and made executive decisions when it was required. As a member of a bridal party I got to watch my best friend get ready and become a wife and not be worried about a single thing. It was exactly the day she wanted and I couldn’t be more grateful to have been there as a friend and as part of her planning team to see it all come together.

Happy Second Birthday, G&T!

It’s officially been 2 years since we incorporated Grace and Truth Weddings. In some ways it feels like a different lifetime, in other ways it feels like the blink of an eye.

We have been through pregnancies, births, deaths, celebrations, mournings, encouraging times, discouraging times, and many more emotions. I guess that’s part of why it feels like a long time ago. This was a huge leap of faith for us and we have experienced just about every emotion on the spectrum, multiple times, in our two little years of business.

Two years seems insignificant in the world of success and business, and sometimes we fall prey to playing the comparison game. If you’re in the Birmingham area, you know that there are so many wedding planners to choose from. And they’re all amazing. Eye-catching instagram feeds, modern and chic websites, testimonials and relationships with every venue and vendor. They seem to have it all, and here we are. Just starting out, still trying to find our voice, still building relationships. In all these ways it feels like we haven’t made any progress.

But then we sit and we reflect and we talk about all the things we have learned. And I’m always surprised at how far we’ve come. We’ve made mistakes, we’ve had lessons learned, and we grew from it. And that’s how I know one day we will make it. You can’t go into a new adventure thinking you’ll land on your feet every single time. Sometimes you fall flat on your face. I guess that’s one of the perks of working with your best friend. You don’t have to get back up on your own. You always have someone to look at, laugh with, get back up with, and make a plan to go forward.

We’ve learned lots of practical things like what to add and take out of our emergency kit. We’ve also learned real things. Things about the way our industry works, and about working with people, and about working with each other.

  1. Never underestimate yourself. {she says as she underestimates herself}. Really though. I think we have both learned that under pressure we can do whatever we have to do. I’ve slid in between closing elevator doors like Indiana Jones on the run from a mummy. Ally has stood in between two lines of sparklers with a lighter in each hand like a true pyromaniac. And afterwards, if you look at our apple watch, it would show you that we each died for a little bit because those things terrify us. This entire starting a business and working hard and being a mom and hoping it all works out thing is like standing in the elevator door with your eyes closed and walking through sparklers with a can of hairspray. But we want it bad. And we are going to make it happen.

  2. Over communicate.  If you have to think about whether or not you have communicated, you probably haven’t. There is really no such thing as over-communication. This is something we each learned from being married first I think. Granted, it’s a little different asking someone to fold the laundry and take out the trash than making sure every vendor has a timeline and is on the same page. But the principle still applies. The more you communicate, the more people communicate back. This applies to literally every aspect of what we do. We have to communicate with brides, parents, bridal parties, vendors, and each other. Thank goodness there’s two of us because between emails, texts, timelines, Marco Polos, and then husbands and toddlers in the background we could easily end up in the loony bin. But we have finally found our groove and we have a system of communicating with each other that helps us to communicate with others. Each of our prior job experiences has equipped us for this. Ally hates emails. She prefers talking to people in person. I much prefer emails and never make a phone call unless completely necessary. Every lesson we have learned just affirms the way we work together.

  3. Be kind.  Honestly, it’s not too much to ask. But the truth is that some people can be hard to work with. Not everyone always jives. People have different ideas, different perspectives, different ways of communicating. It’s not bad. It’s what makes us all unique and our own perspectives are all valuable and what makes us all come together to make beautiful wedding days. We love getting to talk with different florists, photographers, and videographers. They each have their own perspective and artistic vision. We have a certain way that we like to do things as individuals and as a team. Do we agree on everything all the time? Absolutely not. But when we communicate our perspectives and thoughts in a kind way, we have a discourse and come to an agreement every time. There has never been an unsolvable problem.

Here’s to two more years of learning hard lessons and growing into real business people. Happy Birthday, Grace and Truth!

How We Became Grace and Truth

Have you ever been in one of those situations where a joke becomes a reality? You just throw something out there and laugh about how inconceivable it is for you to do something that crazy.

Like starting a wedding planning business.  But let's back up a little bit....

Ally and I have been friends since we met at Calvary Tuscaloosa in 2012. We were both students at the University of Alabama and became friends through our small group Bible study. We could not have been more different. She contrasted my meek demeanor with a direct sensibility. Somehow we complimented each other. We joked about Ally being full of truth and me being full of grace. Both necessary but both so so different. Through the course of that school year we became the most unlikely pair, but great friends. We were both engaged at the same time and we both got married in 2013. I in June, she in September.

After that we were distanced by hundreds of miles between Birmingham and Memphis. Part of a long story somewhat shortened, she and her husband, Nathan, moved back to Birmingham in July of 2015. We reconnected instantly and picked up right where we left off.

Fast forward to the January of 2017. We are in Sweet Water, Alabama for a dear friends wedding weekend. Through the rehearsal dinner and preparations for the ceremony on Saturday, we found ourselves helping the bride with miscellaneous tasks. Small things. Having our husbands pick up the groom and keep him company, pinning on boutonnieres, arranging decorations, coordinating the reception timeline, requesting the photographer get certain shots and taking some pictures of our own, bustling (and re-bustling) the dress, and ensuring the getaway car was at the ready.

We joked that we could totally be wedding planners. My attention to detail accompanied by Ally's experience directing weddings with her mom would be a killer business combo! And wouldn't it be so funny to name it Grace and Truth?! That would be hilarious. That would be crazy.

But maybe not too crazy....

Could we do this? Could we really be professional wedding planners?

So we got some more information on how to go about starting a business. We were so excited, but felt like we were starting not just in square one. We were, like, in square negative 10. Overwhelmed but exhilarated by possibility.

Come May of 2017 we both ended up pregnant with our due dates 2 days apart. Due in January of 2018. NO, it wasn't planned, but thanks for asking! We hoped that if we put in some leg work now, we could make this our job and stay home with our babies.

We formed our LLC and bought our business name. Grace and Truth Weddings.

Our business started out with a lot of grace from our husbands allowing us to pursue this crazy idea, and a lot of truth from each other in trying to get this going.

We are made of grace and truth, and we operate with grace and truth. But most of all, we operate out of a passion for seeing people's dreams come true. And what's more beautiful than a little girl's childhood dream of marrying Mr. Right, in the perfect setting, with the perfect dress, the best band, and the most beautiful flowers, coming true?

Turns out dreams need lots of planning.