In this month's Wedding Planner Spotlight, we are so excited to introduce the talented Rebekah Carey McNall, owner of A & B Creative. She lives with her husband Alex and two sweet pups in Oakland and they spend part of the year in Oregon, where they are both from. We love the styling for the different weddings, events and shoots she has been a part of. She shares with us several great wedding planning tips, insights about the latest wedding trends, the right questions to ask a wedding planner and much more.
How did you get your start in wedding planning?
My foray into wedding and event design began with designing store vignettes and window displays. It was so much fun to create a little story within each look. That joy along with the fact that I have always loved and been fascinated by people's stories led me to desire being able to tell a couple's story through their wedding design.
What is your forecast for 2014 trends? Any trends in particular are you loving right now?
I'm really a fan of the organic pared-down style that we're seeing right now. I love wild floral arrangements that seem like they're still growing out of their vessels, linens that look like they were hang dried in the sun, and even a little wrinkled. I think weddings in 2014 are going to continue to be more and more bespoke with focus on very special and important details for the couple.
Best favor you’ve seen?
I loved the honey favors one of our couples gave their guests that was harvested from the bride's family farm, which was also the wedding venue. Another that was just plain cool was almost three years ago when a groom 3D printed little airplanes for all of the guests, I had never seen that technology at that point.
Tell us one detail you cherish at a wedding.
I can't get enough of vows. Watching a couple's eyes when they're locked on each other and they're professing and promising their love for each other is so intense, and it feels so incredibly intimate (and lucky) to be able to witness that again and again. It's also invariably the moment when I turn to Alex (my husband and partner who I work with at every one of our weddings) and say, "let's get married again!"
Do you have an ideal timeline for planning a wedding?
I really don't! I have worked with couples whose weddings are over a year away all the way to just eight weeks before. The ideal time to plan your wedding should be as much time as you need not to feel overly stressed and pressured.
How do you ensure a bride and groom’s personality is reflected in the wedding, rather than the wedding planner’s personality?
Honestly, making sure that the couple's personality is reflected in the wedding design is my first and foremost concern. I start by finding out what is most important to them, any inside jokes, their "story" and any cultural elements they want to incorporate. With learning those details in the beginning I can help them to make sure that their big day does in fact feel truly theirs.
When someone is looking for a planner, what are some good questions to ask at the meeting?
Definitely being up front about your expectations right from the beginning is huge. Everyone works differently so asking specific questions will help you to get a better feel for your planner. Also, keep in mind that all through the wedding planning process, however long yours is, this is going to be the person you communicate with the most. Make sure that you really like them as a person in addition to trusting them to advocate for you both.
Tips for brides and grooms planning their wedding.
Honoring your family is important, however don't forget that this is your wedding. From not being pressured into choices you're not on board with from family or friends, to really, the internet. There are so many beautiful blogs and magazines and places to gather wedding inspiration, that it can be overwhelming. I recommend having a cut-off date from looking at those items before your wedding. If you choose some of those designs last minute they'll be out of impulse and not because they're special or significant to you and your partner.
For a lot more wedding ideas, inspiration, styled shoots and to get in touch with Rebekah, visit her A & B Creative website.
* Photo of Rebekah by Erich McVey
* Family tree and table set-up photos by Kris Holland
* Couple photo by Jessica Roberts
* Drink display photo by Paige Jones
* Long table with garland photo by Delbarr Moradi