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The Hostess Style to Planning Weddings

Randi Fracassi

Whenever you hire an event planner, making sure they work well with not only the vision you have for your wedding, but with you as a client is so incredibly important. You and your planner will have a relationship that is a mix of therapist, banker, Pinterest, wedding encyclopedia and friend,  the entire year or so you spend planning your wedding. Making sure that you work well with someone who will know so much about your relationship and wedding, as well as everything that goes into it (costs, payment schedules, stress from family and friends) is of the utmost importance when you go to hire your wedding planner.

What is equally important in the style in which they plan and coordinate, so I thought to share with you how the planners and stylists of Poppy Lane Events work in order to pull of wedding days and fanciful soirees.

My mother is the greatest hostess I know – place settings may not be fancy, the dinner may not be multiple courses, and the house may not have been decorated with specialized floral and artwork to compliment the event, but Mom was able to make get-togethers be about family and connecting with others. She L O V E S how big of a role food plays into bringing folks together, and knew how to create a balanced menu that everyone would love, and has always been able to make conversation with anyone. She  made sure that there were little details that made the event special, like having certain china or folding napkins just so. What stuck with me most though about the way she planned and coordinated events in her home was the absolute grace and humility she had when others would complement her work.

I sincerely believe that it was because of my mother’s travels to Louisiana that shaped her style of hostessing and being an entertainer. When I came to LSU and met more of her side of the family that lived here, I realized that they all had the very same style: a focus on the family, making sure everyone was taken care of, and then taking care of themselves and enjoying the party later. The attention to detail and the adding of personal touches to make events special was apparent at every Easter and Christmas party, and every crawfish boil I’ve attended in the last five years.  The level of kindness, graciousness, and overall feeling that you get whenever you’re attending one of their get-togethers could only be described as the epitome of Southern Hospitality.

When I realized that wedding planning was my calling, I knew I was going to take this same approach my mother and family did when it came to wedding days. I wanted to plan with the intention that a wedding is a gathering of loved ones, that everyone attending should feel special and important, and that this moment will never happen again. Partnering this kind of magic with a passion for logistics and ensuring no detail is overlooked is the style of planning that the planners, coordinators, and stylists of Poppy Lane Events pride themselves on having for our clients.  

You may encounter planners of many different styles and passions and see it in their work, most particularly on a wedding day when they are in full force and in their element. But take care to notice the planners that work quietly in the background, and the bride and groom always have a drink in their hand and wonderful things to say about the food (because they actually got a chance to eat it), it is because of a planner or coordinator with a Hostess Style of Planning.

Happy planning,


Congratulations! You're Engaged! Now What?

Randi Fracassi

A couple of weeks ago we determined what it truly meant to be engaged (you can read about that here). But now that you're engaged, what are the next steps in planning your wedding? Here are five quick things to do now that you're engaged. 

Image by Rachel Erin Photography

Image by Rachel Erin Photography

Determine what's important to you at your wedding.

Talk with your future spouse about what are things that cannot be missed at your wedding, whether it's photos, the kind of food, or a certain date. Be sure to write it down, and use it to help out with your budget. 

Set your budget and where money is coming from.

Use an excel sheet (like the one we talked about here), write it down, but make sure that there is no mistake of your budget, and make it easy to stay on track of your spending.

Get a planner (or binder) and write everything down that pertains to your wedding.

Whether you get one of of Etsy, the Knot, Southern Weddings, or DIY it. If you've decided that you want to hire someone to keep track of the details, 1) go ahead and hire them, and 2) ensure that they have solid communication with you to keep you on track of when you need to purchase or secure contracts, when payments are due, etc. 

Educate yourself.

Learn the prices, averages, and things about the region you're getting married in and how it affects the wedding industry. Just because a barn venue in Kentwood, Louisiana is one price does not make it the same or reasonable price as a barn venue in Dallas, Texas. Know also the differences in major fabrics and paper goods to make sure that you're not being overcharge for cardstock versus pressed paper or simple tablecloths versus elaborate or finely textured fabric. You can never know too much! 

Don't ask for or listen to everyone's opinions on your wedding.

As soon as it comes out that you're engaged, everyone and their mother comes out of the woodwork to pry, offer advice, and give recommendations. Take it all in, but you do not have to follow it all. Value the thoughts and words of your closest circle, as well as your future spouse. Remember that generally if you ask for advice on one topic, you'll get advice on every topic. 

Hope this was helpful as so many are getting a kick start on their wedding planning! Don't forget to check out our Wedding Planning Timeline or our Budget Series. Happy wedding planning! 

Thankfulness and Reflection 2016

Randi Fracassi

To be honest, I had a completely different post planned for today. I had planned on addressing the new trend of wedding planning before you've been proposed to or something about bridal or wedding discounts, but as I sit in my office quietly listening to the radio, it occurs to me just how great I have it in this life. 

I think about my health; granted, I've had a cold or two, but overall nothing serious or prolonged. I think about my family's health, and how thankful I am that my dad's ostiomyelitis (a fancy name for bone infection) has not spread, how thankful I am that my mom is beginning to drink less pop and more water and move around more, and that my sisters are doing ok. 

I think about how in light of the Great Flood of 2016, my apartment didn't take on water (when literally everyone around us did), and my S/O's family's homes didn't flood (minor damage relating to a stick in the roof, but other than that...). I think about the opportunities I've had to start my business and to travel and to plan beautiful events, and to be an active member of the Rising Tide Society, which has lead me to meet and interact with so many incredible creatives from around the world. 

I'm thankful because of the dream I've watched my S/O achieve and work towards, and how we've become closer as we both are going on this journey. God, am I so thankful that he has found his calling and is so much happier because of it. 

And most of all, I'm thankful for YOU, Poppy. I'm thankful for the time you take to read my blog, get to know my company, and watch as I take ideas and visions and make them realities for my clients. I'm thankful for my brides and grooms who have put their trust in me this year to make sure their weddings turn out beautifully, and for the conference organizers for letting me manage and take care of their logistics. I'm thankful for the chances and opportunities I will have in the year to come as I continue to plan their events. 

I'm very lucky, y'all. And it's because of you that I feel this way. Thank you.