Make It Possible With A Great Wedding Planner with Alicia Mae

Weddings from the Pros

Episode 70 with Nathan and Alicia Mae

Investing in your wedding dream doesn’t mean just having a good budget, because having a dependable wedding planner/coordinator is as equally important.

Learn from one of the best on this episode with Alicia Mae of ILE Events as she talks about the difference a wedding planner can make in creating a remarkable wedding experience for you.

Reach them through their website at www.ILEEvents.com and through Instagram @ileevents or you can send them an email at love@ileevents.com.

Check out Nathan’s Wedding Photography Studio
Also Find Angled Light Photography here on Instagram & Facebook!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • What does culture means and how it creates a beautiful atmosphere in your wedding day. 
  • How small things make big memorable memories.
  • How your wedding reflects who you are.
  • Why choosing a wedding planner who listens well to what you say and how they can help you make it to reality.

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 couples. Thank you again for joining me for another episode of the podcast guys, I'm glad you're here. If you've been listening for a little while now you've kind of heard that or you've seen that, you know, we've been doing a tour, so to speak of talking and visiting with incredible wedding professionals from all over the country and today is no different.

So I am very happy and very excited that Alicia Mae is joining us. She's the owner and lead planner from Alicia Mae CEO of Islay events and when she assisted applying glitter tattoos at a mindy Weiss produced bar mitzvah. From there, she fell in love with hosting events and after attending Pace University she decided to combine her years of hospitality and customer service with event planning. Alicia serves as a confident advisor and welcome calming voice for her clients during one of the most stressful times in their lives planning over 50 successful wedding and events featured in wedding media podcasts, social media profiles and articles when Alicia isn't busy planning the wedding of someone's dreams.

She's jumping on the trampoline with her two kids. She's cooking something from Tasty, She's reading or she's watching reruns of wedding flicks. So Alicia, thank you so much for being on the podcast. I'm glad you're here. How you doing? Thank you. Thank you were doing well and thank you so much for having me. Oh of course I'm I'm really, really excited. So first off Alicia tell us about the events like, well first off, what does he really stand for? That's such a cool, that's such a cool name.

Yeah, yeah, so I in the events, if you take it as an acronym, it's innocence, love experiences. And then the biggest part of it is um once in different languages that mean different things like in Aruba it means home and then another language it means like the island or down the aisle. So we like made it into where all the way around the world, it's like a positive impact for for people out there. Hey, that's so cool, I love that. So so tell me a little bit about how you got started into into coordinating and designing and planning a wedding events. Yeah.

So when I made my ah ha moment, I was on maternity leave, I'm pregnant with my first child, my son, he'll be turning eight, so we'll be turning eight and I did, I wanted like now it's like that like moment of oh I'm having a child, I'm gonna have to like influence somebody greatly and I have to actually be an adult. So it kind of made me want to, it made me think about what do I want for my life? Like I was making good money, had a career or whatever have you.

But I was like, what if like I need to be with my child or do certain things or you know, it was that sense of being a mother started kicking in and I wanted to also set set the example to my child that you do things that make you happy not just to do it. So that's when I started, I wrote down a list of things that I liked. It was like advertising because I've always wanted to be like this big advertising exact that's like making all these different ads and then it was planning and then it was like hotel and hospitality and things of that sort and planning made the cut and then so I did three events complementary to see if I actually liked it and then also worked under other big planners and things like that to learn the ropes to kind of get your education about it, real life experience and then that made the cut and then that was where Riley Evans was born.

That's so cool. So I really, the reason we reached out to you and the reason we wanted to have you on the podcast is because I know that you're a big believer in including culture and including, you know, making a wedding a celebration of who you are as a couple and that that resonates so well with us here. I mean we we are huge believers in the human side of wedding planning, right? We want the wedding to be reflection of the couple to tell a story of the couple, so to speak.

So I love the fact that that you're so big into inserting culture into the wedding planning process, not even just the wedding planning process but into the wedding itself. So I'm curious like where did that passion come from? Like what, what is it about adding culture into weddings that resonates with you so strong because I think for the most part when you are doing a wedding, we believe that it's the presentation to the world. So you're two separate individuals, you live two separate lives, All of that good stuff.

Now you're joining together to create your own legacy. So you can't like appreciate or move forward without honoring the past to us. So when you honor where your cultures are who you are as two people now joining is one. That's the best way to blend each other. So that's how we see the wedding. I know most people see weddings is like the pretty, the fluff that this right? But for us, the most important things are like what it's gonna mean the meaning to your life and to your family and when you start having Children and all of that good stuff girl, you are you you are my spirit animal over there in New Jersey.

We, I could not have said it better myself. So that's that's awesome. So let's let's talk for a minute about what does it actually mean? And and again it's okay if you need some time to kind of think about how you want to say this, but like what does it mean to add culture to a wedding? Like what when when we use the word culture, what does that mean to you? It could be in the most known way, right? Where you're adding, you know, if you're catholic, you're having certain things, if you're, you know African or you're from a certain type of tribe, you're adding the attire or you're doing certain traditions right?

But it also could mean smaller than that what your actual family does. So like one time we had a client who his grandmother had this well known how she baked her biscuits, right? The smell of it, the recipe. So the catering company, they got the recipe and they recreated and we had it at cocktail hour. Like of course it made it beautiful. It was a display of the biscuits grandma's biscuits right? That gave a feeling to all of his family members. That's just like when you, it gives you that muscle memory, that core memory when you're walking into a wedding and you're like, wait do I smoke grandma's biscuits, you know?

And it gave that and it like honored your family and that small detail, something like that is the way that you can honor your culture and how everything is in your families? Okay, so there's so much to talk about? There's so much unpacking that little example that you gave. The first thing I want to highlight though is is this, you know, we talk a lot about how do you give a memorable experience to the people that you're surrounding yourself with at your wedding? That's exactly what you're doing.

You know, choosing something that is meaningful for you and for your family and for the people that you love most and then having that be a part of your celebration, having that be a part of your wedding. It is something that enhances the experience for everybody that's around you. Like, that's that's such a that's such an incredible example for that very reason to us, we in this podcast is all about trying to help couples plan a fulfilling wedding experience, right? I want them when they walk away at the end of the night at the end of the weekend.

I want them to feel fulfilled. I want them to feel like what they just experienced and what they just went through was beautiful and unique and it really can't be any of those things. It can't be memorable, like what you're talking about without first considering some of these first questions, which is what it sounds like. Like what are, what are the relationships that mean a lot to me in my life, Right. Right. What are, what are those things talking about grandma's biscuits, right? Like, like what are the relationships and what are the things that that's been impactful to me in my life and how can I bring that to the wedding day and share that with everybody who's around me?

I think that's an incredible example right now. I mean and you see it in your guests faces, you see it in the couple's faces like and you just feel in and they just because those are the things that people will talk about, they won't like, okay, yes, it's a beautifully decorated room, people like, oh my God, that was so beautiful, right? But especially if grandma herself is you know, hopefully still alive and they're unable to experience it. That could give her a not like they appreciate me, you know, like Yeah, 100%.

And I like what you say, I want to highlight like the idea of honoring those things in your life that has made you who you are, right? Like that's a big deal, right? The things that influenced me and created Nathan, right? The person that I am now is different than than for you Alicia like and it's different for everybody and so to be able to honor, I think that's a great word by the way, I've never used that before. I think that I think that's so true.

I think you're onto something to be able to honor the things, the moments the aspects of your life that has created the person that the other person standing in front of you, whoever that is loves, you know, like that's a big deal and to be able to honor that for each other is a big deal to, you know, like, I think that that's really, really incredible, right? And it shows that you accept each other and then now you're also moving forward and creating your own because now we have to blend those two things together.

Yeah, yeah, That's incredible. Um, so, so talk to me then, uh, what's probably one thing in the past few years talking about bringing more culture and making weddings that are kind of a reflection of who you are, What's maybe another wedding that stands out in your mind as something that you were like, hey, that's, that's incredibly, that's incredibly them, right? Like that's something that, like when you walk into a space that's like the couples that I work with a lot. I'm a wedding photographer here in south Carolina and the best weddings that I've ever attended is when I walk into the room or I walk into the wedding and I look around and I go, yeah, like this is totally them.

Like this is exactly who they are. What's a wedding that kind of stands out in your mind that you feel like really kind of nailed who the couple was. So we had a wedding in Connecticut last year from years begins. Yeah, last year we had a wedding in Connecticut and so he is an exact Spotify and then she's an investor, but then also you could tell like they're working. And so for instance, we had the actual ceremony in front of it at a train station in Connecticut and then the guests got on a train to transport them like they're like, yeah, how cool is that?

And transport them to the reception area when they got off the train because he's, I mean, he's into music and then everybody talked about that too. But I mean he works at Spotify. So, and every step of the way there was some type of musical like presentation. So as soon as they got off the train, we had a second line band that escorted the guests from the train into the actual reception space. Then they played for the cocktail hour. Then when they got inside the dinner area of the, for the reception part, then we had the DJ with the tune.

So we had, okay, so let me go back to the ceremony. If we're going to talk about the musical journey ceremony. We had a trio for violinists and stuff like that doing ceremony. Then we had the second line band after they got off the train, then we had the DJ. So it was a musical journey and of course he had a playlist of different ebbs and flows and you know, I mean, the DJ definitely did his thing, but they definitely melded in jail because they even on the phone, on the consultation with them, me and the bride was looking like.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but they were so into the music, Yeah, you know when to beat this and and this song and you know this song and the DJ was even like, I usually don't talk to couples who know so much about such a variety of music, especially non popular, but like it's good music and like it was just a musical journey for him. And then also the small details of how she was raised, like being on the train, the type of venue that we read the lace factory, which used to be a actual lace factory, but now they do wedding venues and stuff like that and we had lace draped on the ceiling, it was like touches of like her raising and then his together and everybody knew that like it was just fabulous.

That's so cool. So when a couple comes to Alicia and they say, I believe what you believe, I want this wedding to be us and I want to bring our culture to the forefront, how do you get down to discovering what that is and what that means? Like how do you take who they are and and the culture that they've lived in and and the culture that made them who they are. How do you take that and then bring those ideas to life in a wedding? How do you discover what those things are for a person to then start to throw out ideas and say, hey, like what if we take your guest on a musical journey?

Like what if from the moment they walk in right through the entire wedding experience, they're going to be experiencing live music, they're gonna be experiencing a DJ, there could be experiencing classical pop, like, how do you start to infuse who they are with unique experiences that, that tell the story of who they are, right? So we asked out of the box questions and sometimes like in the beginning of it, they're like, are you asking me this, Right? And then like, this has nothing to do with the wedding.

So like, for instance, one question would be, um, if you were to, you know, have your ideal home, what style would it be and where would it be? So if you say to me, oh, you know, I would like a cottage, you know, and and Martha's vineyard or something like that, that tells me something about you 100% you know what I'm saying? And then if you say condo in a high rise in the city, then that tells me something else, right? And then during conversations, So, because we work closely with our clients, we kind of like, especially we kind of get to know them on a different level because if you talk to someone pretty much daily, you get to know their personalities and their quirks things that like bother them or somebody said something or you know, you get to know their families and things of that sort um between the two of them.

It's just really about listening, I guess at the end of the day, like listening to what they're saying, but then not what they're saying and we always have conversations that's not wedding related. Like sometimes people don't know I'm on the phone with a client because we'll be laughing. I'd be like, oh my goodness, yes, that was ugly like that. But you know, Alicia Yeah, that that makes total sense to me though. I mean, it makes total sense. I mean, I'm a big believer and I've said this with a lot of couples that I've talked, because I've worked with a lot of wedding coordinators, the ones, the wedding coordinators that I feel like I get it right, they really understand the couple.

They really know who the couple is, and you can only do that through asking great questions, right? Like, and that's something that we preach here at our studio with analog photography. When they come in, they sit down, we're gonna ask them great questions. I'm gonna ask the couple why they're getting married. Like that's that's that's kind of a big deal, right? Like that's a big deal, like that's why we're here. I want to know who you are and what your story is. And I want to know why you're choosing to get married.

You don't have to write, like, you could spend your entire life living together and choosing not to go through the the time and the effort to uh to have a wedding. Like, you don't have to do this thing. So why, why are you choosing to do it? And I found in my experience, the wedding planners that are the most effective that I feel like create best wedding experiences for couples. The most fulfilling wedding experiences for couples do tend to have a really intimate knowledge of who they are and that makes total sense.

Like you can't do that unless you're the type of person who asks them questions. And my experience. I've seen a lot of wedding coordinators who they're acting like a punch list coordinator, right? Like it's like they got they got a checklist, right? Yeah, they got they have this checklist and they bring the couple in is like, well, so where would you like to get married? And the couple gives them a few options. It's like, okay, well, let's probably go with this place. The couple says yes, and then at that point they give them, they kind of have like this checklist that they're just going through what I'm trying to get to is they kind of treat every couple kind of like a number, right?

And nobody says that in their marketing info on their website, right? Nobody says that everybody says we're going to give you a unique, uh, incredible, unique experience for your wedding day. We're gonna make your dreams come true. But that doesn't always happen like that. And I think that one of the things I usually advise couples is that when you're going in, you're meeting a wedding professional of any kind, right? And this could be your plan, or this could be your florist, this could be the venue that you're gonna be at.

This is this could be your photographer, your creative team. Obviously you should be acutely aware of the quality of questions that you're being asked. Like that's a big deal, right. If you're not being asked quality questions, then that should be a little bit of a red flag, especially when it comes to somebody to me as important as a wedding coordinator and a wedding designer. Wedding planner is um, the quality of the questions that they're asking you matters a lot. Um, and so, and again, that's, that's if you don't want to just kind of have the same wedding that somebody else had last weekend, right?

Yeah, that's the issue right now. And to your point, it is definitely about the questions. And then also, for instance, if certain things matter to certain couples, right? So certain couples, they don't want their guests to have to be not know where to go, even if you gave the address, they're like, well, can you take it a step further and actually have someone there waiting downstairs in the lobby to guide them. I know they have the address unless have someone guide them. If you don't talk to a couple to understand how their expectations because everyone a couple doesn't know they're new to this industry. Right?

So they don't know what we know, right? So they're not going to tell you can't expect them to tell you everything to in the same sense. Right? So just because you know the abc down the list 123 is this this that doesn't mean that that's what they exactly want. That's just what we do as a standard. Like the base they rendered is an industry. Yeah. 100%. Don't want, I don't want to comment to be taken bad. Like checklists are great, right? There may not have a checklist. Yeah, right?

Like, I'm not, I'm not saying that checklists are bad. All I'm saying is that if your wedding has the exact same checklist items that the previous wedding had on it, nothing's added, nothing is taken away. Nothing's modified or nothing is unique about your wedding from that planners perspective than the wedding before it. And obviously there's gonna be plenty of stuff that's going to be the same. I get it like logistically there are certain things that's gonna happen. So that aside, but what I'm trying to say is like if if there's some thought on the planner and designers part and intentionality right?

Because in my head great design comes from intention. And and again it's hard to have intentionality. I think without asking those really really incredible questions without asking those really high quality questions. And then I also have like one extra example from what you just said, we did a surprise last year. Last year was a very big year because everybody was like we're celebrating, right? So we did a surprise for one of our clients. They have the bride was a distant of Jamaican and Trinidadian I believe for a second one.

And so she had mentioned she never did carnival before because she's been here in the States and the pandemic blah blah blah. Right? She just softly mentioned it. Her sister goes every year and they call it play mass, right? So she never played mass before and her sister did it, obviously her mom always grew up doing it etcetera etcetera. But she just never really did it not know really particular reason, right? So we coordinated with our design team with the venue and the D. J. It was a moment and the reception will react like all the power went on okay.

And then her sister knew we had to tell somebody her sister. So we're super excited in the corner. Like I can't yes it's happening, it's happening because of course with the pandemic her sister hasn't been able to play a mass or anything like that, whatever and then all the power went out and then we had the fog machine, go with the smoke and then here comes the steel pan drum guy and I don't know if you know what kind of a list and then they have the big feather costume.

Yeah, yeah, very, very colorful costumes the my Children watched. Uh and if this is anything like what I'm thinking in my head Rio, Do you do you ever see that animated movie Rio? Okay. Okay. Alright. Yeah, okay, that's kind of what I have in my head. Yes, yes. And then, so here comes and then, so it's imagine it completely dark and then the music goes off, you're like, what, what happened? Right? And then you hear, you see the smoke, the DJ starts a little bit, you hear the steel pan drummers and he's coming out in the costume.

Then here comes the lady with her big costume, her, you know, her carnival costumes and the guys and they're dancing and then the music drops and everybody was like, oh my God, that's so cool, I didn't know what we're gonna do that, but we remember that, she like mentioned like, oh I probably should've did did it, it would have been going right now and her sister, which is then we, you know, we had to coordinate with somebody in the family and she was like, oh my God, that would be amazing, Especially for my family.

We haven't been able to do it, you know, did I? And so we played mass at her wedding and she had her first and then we also had, she had a bridal stylist. So the bridal stylist brought out her own costume that we added to her dress. So she got to like, just participate fully and it was just amazing. That's so cool. That's so cool. Yeah. And, and again, like, this is exactly, this is this is what I'm talking about, right? Like creating unique experiences, unforgettable experiences, remarkable experiences, right?

Like things that your guests and your family are going to be talking about, because it's relevant to you, right? It's not just going through the motions. I laugh with people and I've said this often the podcast, but there's some weddings I've gone to and there's more early in my career, for sure, But I've been to a lot of weddings where like I walk in and I look around and I'm like, I think I was just here last week, like, like I'm pretty sure like somebody literally copied and pasted, you know, copied and pasted last week's wedding and now I'm just going in and doing the exact same thing and that's kind of the challenge to some large extent.

I believe that everybody fundamentally wants their wedding to be unique. They strive for their wedding to be unique and they strive for it to be special and remarkable and all those great words that we're using, they strive for that. But what what ends up happening is that this is going to lead us kind of into our last bit of the conversation. What ends up happening though is that they get engaged, they get excited obviously, and then they enter into the planning process and I think, but you know what you said earlier was right, like they don't know what, they don't know.

It's a gigantic challenge. And so I'm gonna give, I'm gonna give this siren, I love where our studio is because our studio is like on one of the major streets here in the city. But it's also right. Yeah, because there's always a lot going on. I'll reset that, you know, everybody strives to have a remarkable wedding experience. Everybody wants that. But what happens is that they get engaged, they get excited, obviously they start the planning process and they don't know what you said earlier was right on, like they don't know what they don't know, like it is an issue.

So what they end up going to is what everybody else has already done, right? They end up thinking about the weddings that they've been to in the past and they end up going to Instagram and checking out the really awesome, unique things that somebody else did for them and then they end up just doing that for theirs as well. And sometimes it can be incredibly meaningful and sometimes it can be special because it may be relevant to them in their story, but oftentimes it's not, it's just something that they think is kind of cool, but it doesn't really mean much to them, you know what I mean?

And and so I guess what I wanna do is I want to encourage couples all over the world if you're listening to this, you know, find yourself, oh coordinator like Alicia may find somebody who is going to ask quality questions, who's going to get to know you, who can create really amazing experiences for you. Things that are unforgettable, right, are unforgettable. And I know that weddings to the couple, even if it doesn't feel like it's a remarkable wedding to the couple, it could very likely be special.

But I've also seen couples at the end of night that walk away and I've seen this where they, it feels like they want more, right? And not in a good way, like it feels like that they wanted more from their wedding. They just, it's just they, I guess they just had trouble bringing bringing some of that to the table when they were when they were going through the planning process. My next question is, you know, for a lot of people, I want to talk about budget and we can go really in whatever direction that you want to with this.

But I feel like that you would be a really great resource for this. When a couple starting out they have no idea because again they've never done this before. They have no idea what things cost, they have no idea what to expect and they have no idea what's appropriate. Right? So how would you go about it? Like if a new couples coming to you for the first time and there, I'm sure one of the questions you're gonna ask is probably gonna be like what are you trying to work within?

Like how do you like where you guys at with this? Can you kind of walk me through that just a little bit like what what is that conversation typically look like with couples for the first time. For the most part. I always ask us to your target. So because people always have two numbers in their head, they're like it would be great if I could spend this. But of course, but then I need to know your number where It's like absolutely not happening passed this like 100% what it is. Right?

100% right. And everyone has a budget and the amount of budget is relative. Like people always say, well what's a good budget? There's no such thing as a good budget to me. Right? And also then I need to know your guest count because your guest count could fluctuate. We always tell potential clients. I always say, Okay so if you have let's just put $100,000 out there. If you have $100,000 and you have 50 people, you could do a lot more than if you had $100,000 and you had 200 people and then there's like a big difference and then they think per plate but it's not even just per plate type of venue changes, Right?

Because 50 people, you you're opened up to a different set of venues and a different type of venue. Right? And then 200 people, you're kinda sometimes pigeonholed into other types of venues because not everybody can fit 201 right in service. Yeah, go ahead. Yeah. No, I think that's a that's a great point. And what I would want people to take away from that in addition to all the things that you just said was the number of people that you're thinking about inviting to your wedding matters right? If you're still early in the planning process, if you have dreams of a more lavish experience, then that probably means that and of course everybody's got a budget, they're trying to work with them.

But maybe that means that you look at reducing that guest count right? You really narrowed down to like the people that that matters the most to you in this world and that allows you to be able to have budget to spend on things that does make this part of your dream come or does allow you to go to this location that you've always, if you wanted to have that Jamaican destination wedding, I think you said that you were gonna be at next week if you want to have that Jamaican destination wedding or maybe that that's going to mean that you, you pare down your, your guest list a little bit because in a lot of cases, what I found talking with a lot of destination wedding coordinators and designers and even if they're not destination coordinators, is that your budget can go really, really far if you don't have a lot of people that you're trying to that you're trying to include and served as that sounds.

Yes, 100%. Um like so for instance the example of $100,000 and 200 people, It breaks down to $500 a person. So and then most people think of in terms of the venue or the catering per person read but everything is affected by that per person like to buy the guest count. So then I always tell potential clients, so I just gave you the analogy. So now go back over your guest list and think about look at each person and say Do I like you enough that I'll spend $500 on you. That's enough.

But that's that's what that's funny. But no that's that's but that's that's a real question like that's that I think would be a great clarifying question like that would be something that would give my wife and I have some clarity, you know, in order to make some good decisions there because I think that that's true, you know, like there's a lot of people that you kind of offhand say, hey, I'd love to invite this person. I'd love to invite that person. But you know, when you actually attach a dollar figure to the people, it does, it makes it kinda one of those things where it's like, I like, I don't know, I like you're a great friend, but I don't know if you really influenced my life enough or that we're close enough.

I feel good about spending that kind of money, that kind of money on you. So that's a great tactic. That's awesome. And I would say don't take them off completely. Sure 100%. Any other big suggestions. Guest count was was amazing. Maybe one more when it comes to budget was one maybe frame of mind that people should have when they're thinking about budget and when they're bringing a budget to a wedding designer. What what do they need to kind of keep in the back of their mind, the most important parts of the experience that are important to you.

Um so like all the things are important, right, floors are important, stationary are important. Every single portion of the wedding experience is very, very important, but we're going back to what's relevant to you, right? Um So if, you know, I don't want to say things that some of my look what vendor friends would be like, why did you say it's all right? If certain things are not important to you, Let's think of a more creative way to be able to utilize that. I know what I could say, but, but but it's the truth, but it's the truth though.

It's the truth. Look, I've had people who's walked in here and who's booked us and you know, and they said, hey, like their, their wedding budget was very small, right? Like we're talking like maybe it's like a really beautiful outdoor backyard wedding, right? But that entire budget that they had, They wanted to spend it on photos, right? Like basically the, all the money they were going to spend on their wedding, they like photos mattered so much to them. I mean, the vast bulk, right? Like 80, of the money that they had for their wedding.

They spend it on on video. And I've also seen and experienced others where that's not the case, right? Where photos like they just don't feel that for whatever reason, they just don't feel like photos is as important to them. They really like, for instance, they really want to focus on the experience that their guests is having, right? So they want to maybe they love dancing and going all out with the best DJ that they could find or the best live music and the best band that they could find spending lots and lots of money on the entertainment for that night that was worth their priority was right.

I think that's great advice though, right? Because our mission is to encourage couples to have a fulfilling wedding experience and you should be putting that money that you have in your budget to the things that matter the most to you. I think that that's spot on. I think that's 100% accurate. Right. Right. I mean, it's just like for instance, you can have a courthouse wedding, let's be honest. Right? But they still have a top photographer in those memories, you know what I mean? Like you and then go to dinner somewhere very chic.

Maybe go to dinner, I don't know at STK or something, you know, which is super chic 100% and just be done with it could be you and his parents and her, you know, whoever your partner's parents and your parents and 100% Yeah, go to the courthouse have like a two hour portrait session and explore the best locations in your city and just have a really fulfilling time with just you two and the photographer and then, you know, going out to dinner with the people who mean the most to your immediate family.

Maybe maybe if you have some really, really close friends that have influenced you in your relationship 100%. I totally agree with you. Like, I think, I think you're really onto something there and I think that, that, I don't think, I think it's talked about enough, but I think that it's hugely important for couples to understand like, and I tell every couple there is no right and wrong, like when it comes to your wedding, there is no right and wrong, right? Um and so it's really important to understand that, you know, it really comes down to what's important to you guys and what resonates the most with you and who you feel like you are.

So, I think that's, again, I just think that's great advice. Thank you. So let's let's finish up talking about what I'd like to ask and again, this is off record, this is before we start talking about, Is there a wedding that you'd like to highlight? Because you've done a great job telling some stories for some wedding that you've had and you've done a great job with that? Is there one that you really would like to highlight to talk about? For whatever reason we could talk about your upcoming one in Jamaica?

Oh, that would be a good one. Talk about. Okay, yeah, yeah, that's fine. Okay, cool. Okay, so Alicia, you tell me you said earlier that you're gonna be in Jamaica, was it next week? Yes, next week. Okay, cool. So tell me a little bit about that wedding as we close out, just, what are you excited about when it comes to the wedding that you have coming up? I mean obviously it's in Jamaica is going to be beautiful. Yeah, I mean yeah, well that, so one of the biggest details, so we just had our final meeting which was like an in person brunch, kind of like overview of everything and what made me be like, okay, I mean I'm always going to do a good job but it it just makes it more sentimental is the groom was speaking of how his grandmother, she hasn't been to Jamaica and like so many years, maybe like 10 years or something like that.

But that's what she was born and raised in the countryside of Jamaica and she's gonna stay for like three weeks and go visit family and all of this. So, and how they found out they've been dating for like nine years but they just recently found out that they're both Jamaican but they, for the most part of them to themselves, our generation here. Like they were born here in America but they found out both of their families actually like lived close and grew up in the same neighborhood in Jamaica.

No way, whoa, that's great. So this is like gonna be gonna be like a family reunion and so more pressure right? But like they know it like they're like, oh what's your uncle's name? Oh my God, I knew him and like, so it's like it's gonna be so cool that everybody's gonna get to like, see each other from when they were like, you know like the elders, you know what I mean? Like from when they were like little kids and things like that and kind of be like, oh my God, I can't believe that this is your nephew or this is, you know, so that's like a very cool aspect.

The second coolest aspect is the venue is very unique when you think of Jamaica because even their families, they said their families keep on thinking that they're having the wedding at the resort, right? But it's not at the resort, it's at a private residence that actually looks like you took, you popped a home from Italy or like Tuscan like and put it in Jamaica. So I'm excited to see everyone because even though they're from there, when they're telling their family like this is where it is there, like, I don't know what you're talking about, you know, and the owner of the home, he's super great, he calls himself, he's like, I'm an island boy and you know, but it was, it's very, very authentic.

Like when you're gonna like, when people see the pictures and everything like that and it's like you are in Jamaica. It looks like we really are like in somewhere in Italy or somewhere and it's just perfect. That's awesome. That's awesome. Let me ask you a question, why, why do most of the couples that you work with doing destination weddings? Why do they choose to have a destination wedding? This one obviously sounds like it's, they, they're choosing, where are they from there from Brooklyn, New York, Brooklyn, Gotcha.

So they're choosing to have it in Jamaica because it's meaningful to them. Right. Do you find that that's the case with a lot of the destination weddings, They choose to have it somewhere because that location is meaningful for them. Yeah, I would say about like A good number is because it's meaningful to them. And then another good number is because they wanted to have like a weeks longer experiences 100% more. We just attend because of that. Yeah. I actually just had a conversation with someone a few episodes ago and that's one of the major topics that we talked about and there was a beautiful wedding that I documented where they were there and it was a multiday event.

We've got another one coming up. There's some British expats that's going to be here having a destination wedding here in the United States and I'm gonna be doing their wedding as well. But that's what I found is that it really opens up the space and the time for people to really connect on a much deeper level, you know, which I think is just really, really cool. I've seen tons of weddings where like the couple like flies to the wedding and then they get to the end there.

like are we married like that, that just happened, you know, in the middle of this. Right? Right. But you know, to, to have a destination wedding, it allows people to slow down. It allows people to really get a lot of the things out of the way, like the greetings and the hugs, where all that's happening a lot of time on the day of right, and you can't be present in the moment of the wedding. It allows a lot of that stuff to happen beforehand. And so when it comes to the ceremony, you really can be present and you can you can be there and you can really experience it at its fullest, which is really, really cool in my opinion.

So Alicia, it has been a pleasure to talk with one of brides top wedding planners in America. I really can't tell you how much it means to us that you spent some time with us and you shared what you know, and more importantly what you believe, you know, with couples who are in their wedding planning journey right now. So thank you so much Alicia, where can people find more information if they have questions or they'd like to reach out to you. How can people get in touch with you?

Yeah, so they can visit our website www dot I I li events, I l e v e N t s dot com on Instagram Islay events and then also our email love at a rally events dot com. That's so cool. Thank you so much. Alicia, it means the world to me that you came and that you chose to be a part of your podcast and thank you so much for sharing what you know, thank you so much for having me, your welcome guys. I just wanna to leave you with this thought, you know, if you're listening to this podcast, you are probably the couple who wants to have a meaningful and fulfilling wedding experience.

It's important to you that you want to create this time and this moment that is going to be remarkable. That's going to be unforgettable, something that your guest, your family will be talking about forever and that they'll be talking about even when you have your kids and they're gonna be sitting down with their grandparents, their grandparents are gonna be talking about what an incredible experience the wedding for their parents was. If you're that kind of person, you should definitely reach out to Alicia, she's gonna take care of you and she's gonna create those authentic and meaningful experiences that's really going to level up your wedding and it's going to create a meaningful experience for you, your significant other and your friends and family guys, thank you so much for your attention.

It means the world that you listen, I hope you have an incredible week. We'll see you next time here, angle life 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. 71: Special Episode Part 3 – Style

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