We are not the only ones who recognize this awesome duo of Ann Arbor event planners. VLD Events was recently named by Mod Wedding as the Best Wedding Planners and Designers in Michigan and have been featured by MarthaStewart.com, Huffington Post, Hour Detroit, Style Me Pretty, and Bridal Guide. Recently we sat down with Alison to find out a little bit more about VLD Events and the advice she gives her brides. So Alison …
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your business and what you do?
We are Alison and Bryan, also known as VLD Events, an event planning and design company based in Ann Arbor. We are a husband and wife team who focuses on the logistics and aesthetics of an event, which together create an experience. Creating memorable experiences for our clients and their guests is our passion. We started our business in 2008 and currently do anywhere from 15-20 weddings a year, mostly in Metro Detroit and in Northern Michigan, but also do destination weddings and have done them as far away as France.
How did you get started?
Hospitality! Both Bryan and I started out working in restaurants and bars, and sort of naturally transitioned into working at establishments with private event spaces. We’ve now been working in hospitality for 15 years, and in the Chicago, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Portland, Seattle and Metro Detroit markets. Together, we’ve produced over 175 weddings. Bryan’s background is in Art and Film (he initially wanted to be a Curator and worked at MOMA in SF), while I went to school to be a counselor. Although, we didn’t end up doing either career, the skills we learned in the process have been incredibly helpful and applicable to what we do now.
What is advice do you always give your clients or brides planning their weddings?
Sooooo much advice…
1) (Obviously), hire a professional. People often assume that paying for a planner or designer to save them money is counterproductive, but it’s just like anything else in life. You wouldn’t go into renovating a house without consulting a professional on resources, budget, what works best, etc. – and events are no different. We know every aspect of an event from start to finish, ceiling to floor, and can cut down on hundreds of hours of legwork because of our vast experience. More than that, we can make it special. Which leads me to my next piece of advice…
2) As they say, “Do YOU!” So often we see people who just copy what they see on Pinterest, we’ve even had people copy our client’s events completely. It’s one thing to be inspired, but we really believe each event should be unique. When it’s your wedding, it should be a reflection of who you are and what you love. Pinterest (and other people’s weddings) can be overwhelming. We try to keep our heads (and our client’s heads) down, so that the end result can truly be special. (Sidenote: it’s a lot more work to do it this way, but I promise you the end result is so much more meaningful and magical.)
3) Budget meeting first! Always budget meeting first.
4) Have fun with it and don’t take anything too seriously.
You see so many weddings and all the gorgeous details, if you were getting married right now what would you incorporate into your special day?
This interview comes at a funny time, as we are about to head out to Saugatuck to celebrate our wedding anniversary! You know, to be honest with you, we were very true to ourselves for our wedding, and because of that we would’t change a thing! We had a backyard garden party under the open sky with a family style meal, craft cocktails, motown playing – to be honest with you, it was (and still is) perfect.
But for others, my favorite trends right now are cafe lights (always cafe lights), food and beverage with great presentation, the move towards bright pops of color vs blush blush everywhere blush, and a more elegant, romantic and ethereal vibe. Rustic is out and a more traditional (but still fun) Martha Stewart style is in!
Thank you Alison and Bryan!