Introducing our GLE Team: Meet Caitlin

I am finally getting around to introducing you to the other ladies that make Gilded Lily Events tick! Being the boss is easy when you work with such sweet, hardworking and dedicated women. I will be rolling out the introductions over the next few weeks to bring you these friendly faces that you may have seen or will see on your wedding day that will work their hardest to make sure your day goes off without a hitch and you feel like you have made a new friend.

The story of Caitlin is that she emailed me in August of 2013 looking to work in the wedding industry. I just happened to have a wedding coming up where I could use an extra set of hands and I asked her to join us as a “trial run”. Of course, I fell in love with her work ethic and her quick wit.  She joined our team for that wedding season and quickly learned the ropes.  Caitlin has become not just a part of our GLE family but my actual family loves her too.

You will often find her on wedding days wrangling bridal parties, lining up escort cards in ABC order and packing up candles at the end of the night. All of her favorite tasks I can assure you (wink wink).

Here is a little more about Caitlin in a quick Q & A:

Me: What is your guilty pleasure?

C: Blasting 90’s pop music when I’m alone in the car and singing at the top of my lungs and I don’t feel guilty about it!

Me: What makes you laugh the most?

C: When a child belly laughs. I can’t help but crack up too!

Me: What is one thing you’ll never give up on?

C: Trying to make the people around me as happy and stress-free as possible!

Me: What do you love most about working in weddings?

C: Seeing how happy and in love the couple is on the day of their wedding.  I never thought that I would work in weddings, mostly because I was afraid of dealing with the demands and pressure that come along with coordinating one of the most important days of a couple’s lives, but I have enjoyed all of it and seeing it come together is incredible! I could without all the blisters though!

Me: Do you have a favorite moment with GLE?

C: It’s hard to pick one moment, but if I had to it would probably be when we had my favorite musician (from when I was in high school) as one of the groomsmen in a wedding- 17 year old me is still dying!

I mean …who can’t relate to baby belly laughs?  I can’t think of a sweeter sound right about now and 90’s music are my jams too! And that favorite musician she is speaking about… it was Ryan Cabrera! haha

Thank you Caitlin for emailing us all those years ago now! We couldn’t imagine the team without you!

Photo : Christina Lilly Photography

How to Enjoy Stress-Free Wedding Planning

It is estimated that millions of people got engaged on Valentine’s Day. Were you one of them? I hope so and I also hope that it was one of the most joy filled, exciting moments of your life! It should be because you are agreeing to spend the rest of your life with the one that you love and all that entails.

Now once champagne has been popped, the shiny ring photos have been sent and the rose petals cleaned up, the reality sets in. “I HAVE to plan a wedding! Where do I start? I have never planned anything before!” Here is where I do not want you to panic. Keep some things in perspective as you begin the journey for the next year  or two years to throw this personal celebration. Take a deep breath. You can do this!

Deep Breath #1: Set a realistic time frame for when your TO DO list items will be checked off. Nicole, one of our May brides says, “The entire wedding planning process was an absolute dream, I never made too many decisions at once and everything just fell into place.”  At Gilded Lily Events, I use a program that has a very comprehensive checklist that is broken up by month. We use this to stay on track and make sure items that are prerequisites are completed first. I also never recommend trying to make too many decisions at once. For starters, your wedding will not feel as thoughtful and many people change their mind over the course of the year. Divide & conquer so you feel confident about your decisions. It will save you time, heartbreak and money in the process.

Deep Breath #2: Delegate and involve your fiancé. Lauren and Jamie were married in April and she wisely states, “Remember this is your fiancé’s wedding day too so try to include him in the process”.  It is so very easy for brides to-be to take the reins and not ask for assistance, but you can very easily get overwhelmed that way. Delegate the tasks such as creating the play list for the band, making the final decision on the photographer, choosing his signature drink to name a few. It will be more enjoyable and a great lesson in compromise and working together.


Deep Breath #3: Celebrate little victories! I love Laura’s tip, “When we sent our save the dates, we popped champagne! We did it again when we sent our invites. And I most certainly did it when I found the dress with my mom and sisters. That keeps the process fun too”. Try not to take wedding planning TOO seriously! After all, it is a big party with your best friends and closest family. They want you to enjoy the process and much as the result.

Deep Breath #4: Focus on the details that make you happy.  Erin’s September wedding came together beautifully and she enjoyed it because she kept things in perspective. Erin says, “There were so many parts of my process I really enjoyed, especially when it came to my bridesmaids. I loved making them ‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’ boxes and creating really cute custom denim patch shirts to get ready in. I enjoyed the hunt of getting each girl the perfect statement earrings getting to try out my creative side.” When the big picture gets overwhelming, take some time out to do something fun and creative. When you are doing something for someone else, you are usually the happiest so spreading some love for your girlfriends or parents will make you feel lighter.

Deep Breath #5: Stay true to yourself. Pinterest and Instagram are great tools but many people get bogged down by the daily inspiration streaming in on all of their devices. I always recommend using these social media platforms as a jumping off point but keep in mind that all of the images you see may not be realistic. Do not be discouraged. A good designer with be able unearth what inspired you about those photos and propose something that will work for you. Our wise bride, Laura shares with us that “In order to enjoy the wedding planning process, I stayed true to myself. It’s hard to do that with Pinterest and Instagram, as well as the opinions of friends and family; but, in order for your wedding to reflect you (& your groom!), it’s crucial to stay true to yourself. Plus, the more guests are able to see you – the couple they’re there to celebrate – in your special day, the more unique it is!” I couldn’t agree more!

Deep Breath #6: Hire a wedding planner. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that hiring a wedding planner couldn’t hurt to ensure a more stress-free experience.  If it is not in your budget or personality to hire a wedding planner for the entire process, I recommend considering an event day coordinator who can help ease all of the stress that will inevitably come the month before the wedding when looming due dates, decisions and details abound. Here are some sweet comments from our past brides that I can not help but share! I loved working with them just as much and feel so lucky that I was able to make this process memorable and enjoyable!

“TRUST Paige. Her warm disposition and willingness to go above and beyond are remarkable. Her vision and style are impeccable.  So just remember to relax and enjoy the experience because if you have Paige there is no doubt that your wedding will be truly exceptional”. – Lauren 

“I also admittedly was more able to get to that relaxed place because I knew I had the best wedding planner around and I was in good hands. It may seem counter-intuitive but letting her have more creative room to do things without being so involved in every exact detail was blissful to me. I know we technically threw the party but on the day of it felt like a party thrown for us, it was perfect.” – Erin

“Being a person who pays way too much attention to detail, I knew I needed someone who shares that same passion to help plan our wedding. The minute I met Paige, she put my mind at ease that no detail would go unseen.  She also helped me create my wedding dream team and from there, I knew we were in good hands!”- Nicole

“It doesn’t hurt to hire an AMAZING wedding planner who’s able to interpret your vision and make it a reality.  There’s a reason wedding planners exist and do this full-time, just as there’s a reason you do what you do full-time. Take advantage of their knowledge and expertise!” – Laura
It is my goal as a wedding planner to help all of our couples-to-be to enjoy this journey. For most, it only comes along once in your lifetime and you want to look back at the time from saying “yes” to “I do” as a time that you were true to yourself and the love that you have for one another.
All of these gorgeous photos are from Jessa at Love & Light Photographs. I can not wait to share the stunning photos of Nicole and Mike’s May wedding.  How cute are these two during their engagement session?! I can confirm that these smiles never left their faces the entire time!

calligraphy by Mary Kate Moon