A Sense Of Luxury Weddings With Elizabeth McKellar

Weddings from the Pros

Episode 74 with Nathan, Preston and Elizabeth McKellar

A lot of brides dream of having a luxurious wedding but often fear that they won’t be able to afford it because of the notion that luxury is expensive. On this episode, Elizabeth McKellar of The Nouveau Romantics, shares her concepts on luxury weddings and some advices on how to find a wedding planner who’ll perfectly suit you and help create a remarkable wedding experience for you.

Have a look at some of the work they’ve done at www.TheNouveauRomantics.com and on their Instagram @thenouveauromantics.

Check out Nathan’s Wedding Photography Studio

Also Find Angled Light Photography here on Instagram & Facebook!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How you can maximize your wedding experience and enjoy it with your love ones.
  • What is the definition of a luxurious wedding?
  • Why consulting a wedding planner helps you manage your wedding in a professional way.
  • How balancing your budget helps you on your wedding program.
  • How using your Five senses help you picture your wedding.

Listen to the Full Podcast Here!

Read the Full Transcription Below!

Here at Angled Light photography, we believe marriage is an amazing adventure and your wedding is the jumping off point. We'll explore planning an authentic and meaningful wedding experience as we connect with real life couples and the industry's top professionals. We're here to inspire and encourage you as you begin this journey of a lifetime. Hey, everyone welcome to weddings from the pros. My name is Nathan Woodworth, owner of angle life photography based here in Greenville south Carolina and this podcast is for intentional couples who are planning their weddings and I cannot wait to introduce to you today, Elizabeth McKellar and she's from Nouveau Romantics, Elizabeth.

How you doing? I'm great. I'm super stoked to be here and really excited. Yeah, that's awesome. I'm excited for you to be here. I was prepping for today's episode of today's show and the more I was prepping and the more I started digging in and learning more about you, the more excited I was getting. And then we like got on and it's, we've literally been talking now for like 45 minutes and we didn't even press record. So we have a lot to recover. We have, we have a lot of stuff to talk about.

Yeah, for sure. So please Elizabeth. Just tell the audience a little bit about yourself. How did the Nouveau Romantics. How did it begin? How did it start? And kind of where you're at today. Sure, absolutely. The very short, the short, long story. I have a background in architecture, went to school for architecture then worked in new York city for a really big firm there and actually moved to Austin started a PhD program and also started the Nouveau Romantics at the same time which was like quintessentially me because I didn't think about like what would happen if it went anywhere or what would happen didn't.

So I quickly quit my PhD program And took this on full time in 2010. And now here we are. So and I started the company because of the architecture background, I like to think of it as like we like to conceptualize the big picture and break it down into nitty gritty teeny tiny details and so weddings and events are for me the exact it's just an application in a different way And that we, I started it as like event design, stationery and florals. And then in 2012 for a really big client.

We added on full planning for 550 guests. So that was our trial by fire and we, it was amazing. And so ever since then it's been we essentially do full planning for destination weddings around the U. S. And the world. And yeah now here we are. Yeah and I forgot you're just saying right yeah literally right before we started recording, I was like, hey so make sure you mentioned your book like make sure you mention that and you're like oh yeah that's right. I got a book, it's a super handy little, it's actually like fabulous.

It's such a great idea, A publishing company reached out to me and I wrote the little book of wedding checklists. So it's essentially all the checklists, but it's actually like the questions you should ask every vendor from a planner. So these are the questions that I ask. These are the things that like I go through in detail if there's vendors that I haven't worked with. So it's actually brilliant because this isn't necessarily just coming from like magazines, which mean well, but like ask the questions you should ask your caterer from a planner's perspective versus like what everyone else thinks are like two very different things.

So it's a cute little like $9 book, you can get it off of amazon and it just fits in your purse. It's really small. So yeah, that's awesome, That's awesome. And I think I'd love to come back and talk about that a little bit more. That's one part of this conversation I'm really excited about, is to kind of talk about how, you know, what should couples expect from that kind of initial meeting that, that when they reach out to the wedding professional of their dreams and they start that conversation, what should that look like, what would that feel like to know that it's like the right connection.

So I want to come back to that. One of the things that really stuck out to me is that you've spent quite some time in like luxury. And I want to talk today about kind of this word luxury and what does it mean? What does it not mean? One of the things that really stuck out to me about you though was that you are not a wedding designer, who just puts the word luxury on their websites. You're a bit of a student, right? Of kind of that space.

You've attended these worldwide known conferences that kind of specializes in helping designers create really these incredible experiences for their couples. Like you're really someone who who has spent a great deal of time, not only saying that you're kind of this high end wedding designer, but actually being a high end wedding designer. And I think that that's, I think that that's, that's really cool. It's not easy to find people like yourself. So that's why I'm excited to talk about this with you. I'm even more excited because I think that you've got a really, you've got a very down to earth way of thinking about this.

And that's something else that I find doesn't happen often. Right. So, I'm curious from your perspective, let's kind of tackle this word luxury and let's talk about what is luxury really mean, right, what does luxury really mean? So, I just take it, take it from there. What do you think? Well, the first thing that actually, like the first thing that popped into my mind was like a great question for anyone. And and again, like, I am a perpetual student. I'm constantly, I love learning, I like questioning things.

I like challenging ideas. And so the first question that actually came to mind was like, what is luxury to you? And so it's like, I'll talk about like what luxury means to me. But the best question that you could be like, what is that look like, what does it feel like, what does it smell like, what does it taste like? And that if I were to take it for me, it's like I'm really into not shockingly really incredible environments that feel so good and so and like luxury is kind of like all the senses, you know how you can like perfect example.

I went to Bali once and like all the restaurants look incredible but the food just like didn't quite match up the like visual was one thing but the food and the execution wasn't there or maybe you have like the most incredible meal somewhere in. Like I was in Maine sometime and I had like the most amazing meal in, in an environment that I don't even remember, it was not anything. So for me like luxury one is like that's open to definition. Like that's really something for each and every one of us to define.

But for me it's really like all five senses and and like the feeling like it's funny because I think about like luxury, like what's the luxury environment or what's a luxury experience? And for me that's like really, like, how do I say this? Um the environment is really critical, which is shockingly, I design things for a living. So that's not surprising luxury experience also for like people planning weddings and from like a wedding planner again as a whole experience because it's not just the end result. We get to like from the moment you meet someone or a vendor all the way through to the end point.

What does that like? I like to ask couples and clients when I'm talking to them. Like what does that actually look like? Because Maine's like all the media, like nobody actually talks about this, which is wild because it's like, it's a marathon and it's as though focusing on the finish line when if anyone ran a marathon, it's 24 miles or it's half marathon, I've run a half, like it's 12 miles of a whole lot of time before you get there. So like how do you want that to feel?

And what do you need For that to be quote unquote successful? No, 100%. And I'm so glad that you said it that way. I'm so glad you phrased it that way. And we were talking before we got on, I think most people kind of attached luxury or the term luxury with money, right? They think about it in terms of money, they're like, well that's a lot of money or because I want to spend a lot of money on my wedding, it's luxurious. And I love the way you said it luxury, true luxury is not necessarily about money.

It's about the experience. Like, fundamentally, it's about the experience of your guests and your and your friends, like the people that you love the most and you've gathered there for your wedding day to have a luxurious experience doesn't necessarily mean that you're spending 102 101,000,001 1020. 5, like, like none of that necessarily means luxury. And I heard somebody say this one time and I really resonated with me and I want to see what you think about this. They said that, you know, to them, a luxurious wedding, right? A luxurious celebration was one that when people left and I loved the idea of like, engaging all five senses because I think that's something people don't think about often enough, but like when they leave the wedding, they're thinking to themselves, I'll probably never have an experience like that again.

And if they're able to think that to themselves, they're able to have that feeling that they leave this feeling that it's like I just witnessed something remarkable, right? Like extraordinary, extraordinary, right? Extraordinary. I just experienced something that is not usual. I just experienced something that ignited all five of my senses that, you know, I will probably never have an experience like that again, Like that's luxury, right? And that doesn't necessarily come with all the time. You know, a millionaire kind of budget, you can have experiences like that no matter what your budget is.

And so I'm trying to debunk with you like this idea that that ties money to luxury and luxury to money and to really kind of put a better definition around luxury for couples who are, who are planning their wedding right now. I could totally get into that hype team side of things. I, I like a memorable wedding. What started flashing through me is like past clients and like those kind of things. Absolutely. I think that and that it doesn't necessarily mean because we've all seen it where someone has spent a lot of money on something and it's not like a lot of money doesn't necessarily buy taste unpopular opinion, like that's a fact and to be a good steward of your like investment finances and money is like choosing the things that are really like, that's like our role, that's your role, that's everyone's role.

Like be a good steward of these resources and like funnel it into areas that really matter to you, matter to your guests and that like yeah, you can have a memorable and I mean, I think that's what comes up is like an incredibly memorable experience that you walk away from and it's like I can, I think of that as like, it's not taco, I mean it's not weddings, but like a simple taco meal, like that can be like, oh my God, it was incredible or like an insane, like a perfect doughnut or an amazing margarita or like the most perfect, beautiful like sunshine like after a great day.

And I think that's what actually, yeah, like a memorable experience and then the key ingredient to all of this, what's coming through very clearly is like the ability to like slow down and be present for it and experience it like luxurious is like your capacity to like, can you like take it all in and like enjoy it. That's like the extra level. That's the advanced, advanced like marks, like bonus points. Like you can do that then it's like 100% you know, I'll never forget when I was in Mexico City.

I there was a very, very posh restaurant that I went to and I had tacos and I had tequila. And it's funny you said that because I thought about this instantly and the best. Like I walked out of that restaurant thinking to myself, I will never taste fresher, more unique tacos in my life. The drinks were incredible, right? I mean, we're talking about tacos, We're talking about tacos, right? It's not the thing, right? It's the effect. It's the feeling, right? It's the quality of that thing. That's what, that's what moves something into a luxurious camp, right?

The fact that I walked out of that restaurant and I remember looking at my wife and thinking to myself, like we are never gonna have tacos like that ever again, right? Like like we're, I'm not going to get that down the street where I live, you know? And so I think that that's kind of the better way. I'm so glad I'm talking to you about this because like I think that's the better way to reframe in your mind what that is. And I also think you made something, I want to put a pin in this because I think this is really, really important.

You mentioned the day for the couple right? For the two people who are coming together and getting married, the day should unfold easily. Like I think that's another part of what luxurious experiences for the couple themselves. Like things are just kind of unfolding and they're getting to be present and experience all of the magical things that are happening on on that day. Right? I think that that's another part. There's no stress. There's no worry right? Like they are getting to basically have this event, the celebration that's unfolding before them.

That that's a reflection of who they are right? Like the choices that they made were made because they were probably working with a designer like yourself that that pulled out from them, who they are, what they believe, what they value. Like what are the things in their life that they love, right? And then you kind of brought all that personality to this event and so they're getting to experience it along with all their family and all their friends right to me that's also kind of a sign of a luxurious event. Yeah.

And then that like the task of the couple on the day of is to like take it all in and like experience it like that's your only job and and our brains like that is the last thing that like it's a task often that the pieces like when you have an incredible team like we're like at the fundamental like heart of hearts for every single person in the wedding industry, it's like we want to over deliver and blow your mind. So it's like once you have a great team and know that it's like that's our goal, that's our intention then it is like sit back, relax, enjoy the ride and like the task is just like be present and like enjoy it.

So yeah that's it is like and and luxury like it's if you think of like luxury I thought of like luxury handbags right? Like if you went and bought like a really nice handbag like what's the experience in that, what's the experience in the space? Like walking into like Y. S. L. Or or like I don't know whatever whatever floats your boat and like walking into like Y. S. L. Like what is that like room feel like what is the service feel like what is the like tacked out?

You know like that whole thing, like it's a whole experience and you could walk away with a change purse or like a key chain and it would still be, you know, it could be the exact same experience. But it's like that's a piece of like how do you want to feel is often a question that I ask a lot. Like how do you want to feel and how does this unfold? Like what does that look like? And yeah, and and we just get so tied up in like dollar amounts and like yes, there's a level of relationship to that, but I've also seen the opposite.

So it's like, you know, you can get some incredible like we did a wedding in santa fe and some of the pieces, like I was like, if you went anywhere else in the country, this is not the price that this would have been. But as we did it here or like Mexico, I actually had the most amazing meal, like an incredible meal in via to Guadalupe and I went and did research for that same client, we ended up in santa fe for and the like we didn't pick it for a variety of reasons.

But the meal I had was like a seven course, like they just kept coming, I had to tell them to like stop bringing food because I was like I'm full now. But it was incredible. And like that's a piece of just like I would go back just to go back to that restaurant? If I could like that. So, so I want to kind of touch on and because I want to try to give some very tactical is the wrong word, some very tactile kind of examples, right?

Like what we're talking about. And so you mentioned the five senses, right? And I'm just wondering and I don't mean to put you on the spot here. We don't have to do this if you don't want. But I'm just kind of curious like, like what would be an example of like obviously taste? We kind of talked about food a little bit and we kind of talked about what that what that looks like, what that means. But what about the other five senses? Because I I think that there's probably couples that's listening to this going, what we'll see, like what does that mean?

Right. I mean do you want to see your environment? So like again, we take in, we eat with our eyes before we even taste and you know, like we get our body oh, fun, like weirdo, nerd. Oh fact is like we get 2. 8 million bits of information per second and we can only process 128 of them and then we only focus on 2 to 5. So anyway, so we're getting so much information and again it comes down to like can you see it, can you be present to it? So the site I think of like where is it, how is it designed?

What are the aesthetic things? It could be like a really beautiful ceremony location or the way you orient your ceremony location or like for me a lot of sight comes into like when I think of like the unfold, it's an architecture thing like the unfolding of the path or the journey is like you will see things like what gets you to each piece and I will like put things in front of people so they can't see dance floor or they can't see other things. The seeing is easy is like what does everything look like?

Does it look cohesive? Does it look relaxing, does it look like vibrant and like I don't know vibrant and there's another word in that hearing is like what's the music, what are the natural, it can also be like natural sounds of nature. Like is there water? Is there whatever and or just like what's playing? Like what music, what ambiance is there? Is it sightsee here, smell is always kind of like and also seeing is like I'm such a visual food person that like nothing gives me more pleasure than to see beautiful food.

And again it doesn't have to be super fancy, It could just be like colorful. I always like to think of like when they're looking at like catering? Like if it's it's like plated meal is like, is it all brown, like what colors, like what's gonna look appetite like what's gonna look interesting that also tastes good. I've heard food is a new fashion. I think that's, that's, I think that's super true. Well even like when I cook at home, like my body loves, like I get so excited when there's color on my plate and I forget it because like, I love, you know, simple things as much as the next person.

But like when I put color, there's a palpable difference in my body. I'm like, oh, like what is this? So and then smell can also be like, I think of just where are you like, are you outdoors? You could technically, if you want to go like nuts, you can like pipe in different smells. You can have, I mean that's always like a touch and go based on like people's sensitivities, but you could have like natural flowers that smell like roses smell like there's things that smell and you can use that to your advantage.

The smell part is a little bit trickier because like people's sensitivities to that. But you can also think of like food, like what, like if you have like a rehearsal dinner really love like ribs, like something smoking or like a pizza or something. Like you can, your body takes in all that information. So it's just the next level thing. That's, that is so good and I think that it's the combination of all of that, right? The things that touch the five senses, it's the combination of all that that goes into great design, right?

And to me, great design is really about what is the effect that you have on somebody, Right? Are you having an effect on somebody? I mean like when they walk into it, when they walk into the space, if you're touching all five senses in an intentional way, because that's that's the key word, right? In an intentional way. If you're able to touch all five senses, then that person is going to have an experience, right? They can't not have an experience. They can't not be influenced by a great design.

Whether whether it's whether it's consciously or not, they're going to be influenced. I'm sorry, go ahead. They're going to have an experience period. What kind of experience? That's awesome. Yeah, that's that's a much better way to say it. How would you like them to walk? Like we were saying, how would you like them to walk away thinking and feeling about? So that's that's awesome. Yeah. You know, it's funny like I have yet to meet a single couple who doesn't want their wedding to be remarkable, right? Everybody every couple wants their wedding to be something that's going to be treasured and remembered and all that kind of stuff.

And and really at the end of the day, again, taking these things that you're talking about into consideration. Finding somebody And I wanna encourage couples like find somebody like Elizabeth And we're about to talk about this which is really important. Finding somebody like Elizabeth who can ask the right questions and I'm excited to talk about this, who can ask the right questions to bring together this. We use the word experience so much, but there's no better word for it. Who can bring something That is an unusual experience in a good way.

I don't use that. I don't use the word unusual in a bad way, but an unusual experience in a good way to you, your family and your friends. That is something that's really, really special. So the next part of our conversation I want to touch on is how do you find that person Elizabeth? Like how do you go about finding the right one? Because it's hard, it's difficult. I really sympathize with couples on this. How do you find the wedding professionals that's going to be able to do these things that we're talking about to create a luxurious experience for you and for your significant other and for everybody who's gonna be there with you on your wedding day.

You're helping me because I want to put together like a free take away. So like that's going to answer this first question one is like get Explorer like for each vendor, some of them are more important than others. And especially like planners, designers, people that you're gonna be working with a little bit more or photographers etcetera, like having a sense like and I will just make something, maybe I'll make it for you. And we can like tag it a little like pdf takeaway thing. Um question ask yourself before you start looking for vendors because it can just be it.

It's some of the questions that I ask straight off the bat is like, what do you need? Like, what do you want this experience to look like? There's a piece of like being curious, asking these questions and being curious, you don't have to have your final answer. But I think that piece, like what kind of personality do you want them to have or like what kind of like is it like you want someone who's really calm and just like flowing. You want a photographer whose really, whose like I giggle because photography, I was like, no, no, no, I need to be art directed like left, right and center.

I am awkward as hell given. Like I'm just not that and like I'm very clear about that. And so anytime any photographer tries, I was like, like art direct me do not leave me to my birthday, like don't want to be that, don't want that. And it's like, and I love getting like positive reinforcement and there's some pieces of that that are really important and just kind of thinking about the personality style and like really like what you need before you even start interviewing people. Like I think having getting curious with yourself and your partner and like what would be really like maybe one of you is really uncomfortable like with photos and all that stuff and the other one is that it's like, okay well we need to find someone who like speaks to both of us planners.

I ask a lot where it's like what do you need and someone, a lot of them usually is like on top of things detail oriented. But these are people that are gonna, you know, transportation is less of something like this but like the big, the heart of the team one, it's like there's a level of discernment, I would say interview at least three if not more the numbers for like luxury categories. I guess people are interview, we're getting them back where it's like 6 to 8 that sometimes can be really helpful if you're super off the mark.

But doing that first work of like thinking about what is it that I really need? Oh God and that's like a whole other master class, what is it that I need? What would make this experience really like incredible for you not even valuable but like what would make it feel like, oh my gosh, that would be amazing and then looking for vendors and that like price plays into it but I truly believe where it was like get clear and sometimes that interview or like those interviewing process or going back and forth will help you clarify what are some like non negotiables really important and things that are like less important and I'm like I'm a huge like you'll know like you've got to trust your gut and go with your intuition and it's got to fit for both of you.

Like it's it's a two way street. Like we want clients that like are looking for our specific style and that it's like so that we can be our best, most magical sparkly selves for you and then same. And so it's it's a twofer but I feel like that first part of getting like questioning what it is that you need and then looking and like exploring us like engaging with us and that interviewing and like asking good questions but maybe I'll do other interview questions that you can ask.

But like yeah, that first part of like self inquiry is really important. I am smiling ear to ear right now because because like you're literally so Preston and I president somebody else here in the studio, like we're currently working on a project right now that we are pretty, we've come to realize that for most couples and if you've listened to the podcast, if you're an audience member right now listening to this, you probably heard me say this over the last couple of episodes because it's becoming more and more evident to me, but typically couples that get engaged, They're very excited.

The first thing they're gonna do is they're gonna hit google, they'll look up their favorite wedding blog or they're looking their favorite wedding magazine that they've and there are these resources in there, right? That essentially the problem is they start tackling wedding planning and design and start they start working with their professionals backwards, right? Like they start thinking about like, okay, so what's the task that's gotta get checked off then what's the next box? I gotta check off in order for me to get to the next step of getting to my wedding.

In reality, you actually need to like sit back, take a nice deep breath. I mean it's awesome to be excited, but you need to ask better questions about you, about the character and about each other and about the character and nature of your relationship. Like that's the starting point. The starting point is not okay. I well, so I've got to go find a photographer. Let me let me let me book a consultation with three or four or seven photographers. That's not the place to start. The place to start is who are we write and what matters to us and what you said there, which was really cool.

Like you were like, I need a lot of direction, like that's what I want, that's that's who I am like you are intimately aware of, like what it is that you want and what it is that makes you feel safe and secure and like and you've had time to kind of process that and think about that. But so many couples that I talked to who come into the studio for that consultation, they don't have a lot of that and it's okay. I'll help them through that. Like that's not a problem.

That's actually very purposeful in my part. I try my hardest to do that. But I think for most couples you would get a lot further if you and I and I actually have this exercise that I tell couples do all the time. Like sit down, write with pen and paper. I want you to write down like the five words that you feel like describe you write down the five words, I feel like that you feel like describe your partner, five, write down the five words that you feel like describe your relationship, right?

And then slide that across the table to each other once you've done that exercise and then see what the other person and then like come to a consensus right? Because if you're able to make those choices, if you're able to be self aware and self conscious of those things that matter the most to you before you go into this process of planning your wedding man, you're gonna get so much further and it allows you to be more intentional with the decisions that you're making right with your designer.

Like when you sit down with your designer and your designers like asking you something and again, like there's gonna be plenty of things that you never thought of before. You don't know what you don't know and that's okay. Like I don't want anybody to think that you're supposed to know everything, but to have a good idea of who you are and what you guys are wanting to see come out of the wedding before you sit down with the designer, I would imagine it's going to get you a whole lot further initial consultation, don't you think?

Absolutely. And I'm gonna put it a step further just because like, it's a fun thing that's percolating in my world right now. It's not even what I want and what you want. It's what you need. And that like sometimes like we're so embarrassed. Like as a culture, I mean some people are super comfortable with that, but I think of like photographers where it's like, you know, and I can see couples or myself maybe years ago were swallowing the thing of like, I'm deeply uncomfortable in front of a camera.

I am very critical of myself in front of a camera and so I would be like, you know, bobbing like, yeah, yeah, it's okay. It's okay. It's okay. But like in reality I'm like, no, no, no, no, I need you. I need you to direct me so that I can which would provide me feeling more comfortable confident and like all that stuff and so it's like a piece of like, what are your wants, what are your dreams, what are your vision? What are your needs? Like hardcore?

Like what is it that you actually need? Because then that gives all of us, anyone you encounter the ability to be like, yes, I can do that. Or if someone's like, I want a type a person who only does checklists and I don't want anyone to ask me those questions, I'd be like amazing, I'm so glad you're clear on that. I'm probably not that person for you and me to some that are really great for that because like that's there and like my goodness, every single one of us want you to find your like dream team and like your dream team is rocking and like they are there and they're ready to go and they're so excited and it's a matter of kind of like navigating finding them and also having faith and like trust that they're there and a lot of it is just like I kept reiterating this last year, what was like, and our job is just to like keep looking, you know, like turn over the rocks until we get to the person that works because if you keep here's a heads up, it's a funny little story if you keep getting like roadblocks or like it's not working.

It usually is an indication I've been in this process now for a while where it's like, it was like makeup artists, like makeup artists were just not landing for us for this one client. And I kept saying I was like, I feel like we haven't gotten there yet. Like this is not our people, this is not our like and we kept trying to make it work and it was like, this is not our person and like that's why it's not working. So it's a piece of like if something feels slightly off, if someone like your intuition, your body, your gut has so much information and like you will find people at whatever price point that are like stoked beyond measure and that's what you wait, that's what you like search for.

But that self inquiry, that self exploration is a super valuable. It's like your compass, It's your like North Star, like it will guide you when you're like, I don't know what to do next. And it was like, we go back and I do that with my clients all the time. It's like go back to our initial questions. This is what you said, Is it still true or do we have to reevaluate? And that brings them back to like, oh yeah, that was the vision and like that's how it felt and this is why.

So because it's so it's so easy in the process to get off the rails a little bit like it's so easy. It's so easy to start to justify things, right? And to get to get off of what you, what you initially were wanting. I think that's a great piece of ice, and and I really want to highlight the word trust, because to me that's essentially what you're doing in the entire process of interviewing wedding professionals, you're essentially looking for the person, and you're asking yourself, can I trust this person, right?

Is this person gonna be able to give me what I need? I love that. That's so good to give me what I need. Is this person able to give me what I need, and can I trust that, that they're going to be able to do that in the way that I'm hoping that they will, right? And that means that those questions that you're gonna be asking each of those wedding professionals might be a little bit different, right? Like, if you're talking to a, if you're talking to a floral designer, it's gonna be a little bit different than a cake artist is gonna be a little different than, you know, your wedding designer, your plan, or your photographer, a videographer, whatever, Like, it's going to be different.

But for the most part, that is the common theme, that's what you're looking for is you're looking for, is this wedding professional, in my opinion, is this wedding professional really seeking to understand what I need, what I want need is this wedding professional really seeking what I need, and are they aligned with what it is that you know, I have envisioned what I need and what I have envisioned. I think that's so well said well and the and the best part is is like when you do the as like from the client side, when you do that self inquiry and self exploration and like I call it like dreaming and like, you know, like visioning, like just like play around with that when you get give, when you spend time there and get more clarity on it.

It means we can give you what you need even more so so it's like that piece and so much just as like a culture, you know where we have expectations and needs the other person is trying to fulfill them, but like we don't really know what it is, so we're kind of like hoping it works and then people are up, you know, and and it's a practice, it's a total practice. This is like often very like uncharted or unlike unpracticed territory and so like at the end of the day, I was saying before, we're like the biggest like, you know, we're an industry of people that deeply want to please you.

So like give us all the information you can to do that well and I and I can't, I think such a good point, like you have to be up front, you have to be honest and it's so important before you sign any kind of contract, before you put down any kind of initial payment before you say yes to that wedding professional, you really have to make sure that you're being upfront and honest about. And I'm gonna start using that from now on what you need. You have to be upfront and honest about what you need, right?

Because in our initial Call Discovery meetings, like in our Initial Discovery Meeting that we have with with new couples, I have a very purposeful set of questions that I go after, and usually our meetings are, can be several hours long because I'm really trying to get after and I've never thought about this before, but it is kind of what I'm doing. I'm like, I'm trying to get after what it is that they need in order to feel fulfilled, you know, from their wedding photography from, from the photography side of their wedding experience.

And it's so interesting that the only times in my past that, and this happened particularly more in kind of, the early, early stages of my career, but the times where I felt like the couple, anytime there was any kind of a little bit of friction. It was because essentially, I felt like what the couple was asking for, what they were looking for isn't what they initially said, right, and there was a disconnect there, there was an issue because if we booked that means that you're looking for what I provide, but what you're looking for now isn't what I provide.

Like there's a disconnect there, right? And so I feel like that and I as a wedding professional, I've tried to get much better at asking the right questions and getting better at, you know, finding the couples that really connect with what we do for sure. But I think in the past, the times where it has been problematic is, and I think we expect this a lot with with photo and video, just because of all the self consciousness that comes with like photo and video and all that kind of stuff.

But you know that there has been times where that's a little bit misaligned and I think that if we could give one piece of advice here for people who are going to talking to your creative team, it really comes down to being upfront honest about what you need. I think that's such a great piece of advice, right? I might make a real out of that one. That's some great, it's, it's just been like percolating and, and like cult. It's just like, as a society like that, we're not comfortable being that direct and being that honest.

And yet that's the place that like so much clarity and like power and like I see it as like your team comes together. It's like, imagine if you ever played any sports and you're like, coach didn't actually tell you what you needed to do for the play, but like you got it, you had to figure it out versus like when the coach tells you the play or like what the plan is, then the team members can like do it all and, but like if there isn't that communication, we're kind of like needle in a haystack and like we eventually, you know, we're, I'm a pretty good mind reader, you know, I'll figure it out, but it's like, it would be much, it'd be a lot more fun.

Like it's a lot clearer for me, it's like a lot more fun and, and allows the like expansion potential possibility. Like creative potential is like exponential. Like once we know what is that like nucleus? The like really important parts? Um then we can just kind of like play around around that. So yeah, absolutely. And fundamentally, I mean the basis of any great relationship fundamentally is honesty and trust, right, honesty and trust. And I guess what we're trying to say is finding your wedding professional is honestly no doubt.

I mean, you know, it is, it's based on the same mutual understanding of, of honesty and trust. So that's cool alright to kind of wrap things up to kind of bring us in for a landing here on this episode, which has been so much fun by the way, like it's been great talking to you, Is there any last last little piece of advice that you would have for couples who are really working to be intentional with their wedding planning process. Is there anything that you can think of, that you'd love to leave with the audience before?

Yeah, because like my, what's it called? Like it's not your manifesto but it's like my like planning your wedding has the potential and possibility to be a really powerful and like, delicious I like, but like powerful, incredible, amazing journey and exercise in like navigating what you and your partner and like, I like to call it baby families, like you're making a baby family, like by getting married, there's a reason culturally we have the engagement period way back when like it made sense and like, you know, the renaissance or whatever they did then, but like I truly believe that like the current version of engagement periods are there for a reason and that it's the point in time that you have to navigate so many different like family expectations, dynamics, traditions, cultures, how do you navigate that, the two of you and how do you navigate decision making and how do you navigate being a good steward of your financial resources?

Like how do you two as like your new baby family navigate that? And it can be like a, like this sucks and like blah blah blah blah or it can be the best exercise and if your partner is like not on board swing to this section and I'm talking to you, but it's like I see it as this like incredible opportunity to learn again. Like, like what we've been talking about, Like ask different questions, get to know each other even more deeply and like through that process than on your wedding day, like you'll feel awesome.

Like it feels really good because it's like, and it's it's hard and it's chunky and like, again, that's why I like having a good team like where I'm like baby therapist unregistered. But like, you know, it's like being able to navigate that and and it's a big thing and it's an important thing and it should be a big and important thing because like you're making a baby family regardless of how big your wedding is, whether you elope, it doesn't matter. But it's like, how do you make these decisions together and like setting you up as a family, like moving forward.

So that's my final, that's my ted talk. I love you. I cannot say that better myself. So I'm not going to try. We're gonna leave it right there. That was amazing. So Elizabeth, I can't tell you what a joy it was to have you on the podcast. Can you please tell everybody where can people find out more information about you if you have, if they have any questions or maybe they're looking for the right designer for them. Where can people find you the Nouveau Romantics dot com is my company's name.

So it's W W W dot the Nouveau Romantics dot com or Instagram is at the Nouveau Romantics. Um even if you massacre the spelling, you'll find it eventually. And I would love like, even if you have questions reach out, I'm always happy to help help. Happy to like direct people. The wedding industry is such a friendly bunch that like we're really, it's a very supportive community. So I've got people all over the place in a variety of styles and personalities and it's really like, it's like matchmaking because in the end, all of us from the vendor side want to find like our perfect fit and you got and we want you to find us.

So it's kind of like a big old matchmaking situation. But yeah, shoot over any of your questions. And yeah, maybe I'll give you a little pdf handout that you can like link to the bottom of this episode that people can grab. So that would be awesome. That'd be really great. I could do that. That sounds good. Alright, so guys, you got to go check out the show notes. It is on weddings from the pros dot com. When this episode is released, go check it out. And there will be a link to the pdf.

I'm really excited to see that Elizabeth. Thank you so much. It's amazing something amazing that you're doing for everybody who's listening to this right now. So guys, I'm gonna wrap it like Elizabeth. I want to I want to keep talking to you for like an hour. So we're probably gonna cancel, we'll probably continue talking for like an hour or so guys, if you have uh in the back of your mind, if you if this conversation resonated with you, if you were sitting there thinking to yourself. Yes, yes, yes.

Just like I was about what does it mean to have a luxurious experience? Like what does that actually mean? And the things that Elizabeth was talking about resonated with you. If her concept about finding and building kind of this authentic relationship and intentional relationship with your wedding professionals, if that resonated with you, like, you need to reach out for sure. Have a conversation with Elizabeth and tell her a little bit about what it is that you need for your wedding experience. Okay guys, thank you so much.

It's such an honor that you would take some time to listen and to tune in and and to to be a part of this podcast that we're building here called weddings from the pros until next time. We'll see you then here angle like photography, we believe marriage is an amazing adventure and your wedding is the jumping off point. We'll explore planning an authentic and meaningful wedding experience as we connect with real life couples and the industry's top professionals. We're here to inspire and encourage you as you begin this journey of a lifetime

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Ep. 75 : Revitalizing the Reception with Sean McGroarty and Shawn Stom

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