For our Winter 2016 issue of The Celebration Society (get a copy here!) we worked with planner Adair Currie of Dairing Events. The team transformed the models into a stunning bride and bridesmaids with their talents. Adair spoke with excitement as she sat down with me for a quick interview about her event planning business, the services she provides and her professional opinion on past/current wedding trends. Her thoughts on wedding trends and the personalization of weddings shed light on the sometimes vague idea of what event planning businesses actually do.
How long have you been a wedding planner?
“Five years, I started my business as a day-of coordinator. I didn’t have a day-of coordinator for my own wedding, I didn’t even know that that was a job, I had no idea.”
Adair’s path to becoming a wedding and event planner took several interesting turns to get where it is today. “I got my undergraduate degree in special education, deaf education. I did a couple internships with [St. Augustine’s] Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and it just didn’t feel right. I thought, well, I could get my Master’s Degree, be a lawyer and represent families with special needs children or children who were hard of hearing. I started taking non-profit classes and started working under a marketing director for a local non-profit organization and he did charity and fund-raising events. Therein lies the planning, it was kind of like ‘all roads lead to Rome’. So me working for him as their outreach coordinator, that’s what spring-boarded me into planning events and that’s how I started. I then rebranded my business as ‘Dairing Events’, which I love because it matches my personality.”
“Dairing Events” is a play on the unique spelling of Adair’s name, while also matching the planner’s adventurous and engaging personality.
What is the most important part of your job?
“My focus when I meet a client is to delve into the relationship they have with their partner and pull from that the inspiration to create their wedding day. Making sure everything goes the way it’s supposed to, is my main job. More than just the details, I tie up all the loose ends. A bride might come to me with a couple vendor ideas, I then reach out to them, make sure they’re available, see what they’re pricing is like and send the information to the bride. I do a lot of the coordination between vendors and make sure they know what to do during the wedding day… A wedding is kind of like building a house, you have a lot of subcontractors. For this style shoot, we have lighting, florals, rentals, so making sure all of those people come together and know where everything goes.”
Adair also feels like the parents’ weddings should be included in the bride and groom’s special day. “I incorporate special memories from the parents’ weddings into the wedding day and they feel like they were thought of as well. As a wedding planner, I think that’s our duty: to create those special memories to then have our children incorporate our weddings into their day, like an heirloom wedding.”
Are you there on the actual day of the wedding?
“Oh, absolutely. I know some wedding planners leave after the cake cutting, but its important to me and for my brides that I stay until the very end of the event. I make sure that all of their personal items get put in the right vehicles, they’re gifts, the cards, the dress, the veil; all of the special elements that the couple has brought to the venue that they put aside, I make sure are put back in a safe place. There’s so many details that people don’t think about and my job throughout the entire day is to make sure all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together and are then taken apart and put back where they need to go.”
So what was the first wedding you planned like?
“Well, the day started with me backing into a parked car. I thought, ‘I hope this doesn’t set the tone for the day.’ That was awful, but my first wedding, it ignited something in me. I knew that this was exactly what I should be doing and that this is what I want to be doing forever. It fueled my passion and at the end of the day everything went exactly how the bride wanted and I don’t think anything went wrong. Being my first wedding and having the responsibility of sending the bride down the aisle at the right time and having a timeline is daunting. But, like I said, it went so smoothly, it validated that I knew that this is exactly what I want to be doing.”
What was your wedding like, as the bride?
“You know, the one story that I always tell my clients is, my bridesmaids were all downstairs, running around, putting my wedding together for me and I was sitting upstairs by myself, drinking a mimosa and watching The Nanny. It was calming to me, but at the same time, I wish I had had my best friends hanging out with me. Once the ceremony started, I definitely felt like I could see nothing but my husband and I was walking on a cloud to him. It was definitely something that I can remember vividly. I don’t remember my reception, I remember the ceremony and feeling so in love with the people that were present and, obviously, my husband. If I could do anything different though, for some reason, I got it in my head that I wanted a green cake. I don’t know why. When it got to my wedding, it wasn’t even the right green. It was like a lime green when what I wanted was a really pretty sage green. But you know, everything gets lost in translation. Why I couldn’t have a white cake with a sage green ribbon on it, I have no idea.”
What is your favorite wedding style that you see a lot?
“You know, I actually get this question a lot from my brides, they ask ‘What is your planning style?’ I think my weddings are very on-trend for when brides are getting married. So two or three years ago when mason jars and burlap were hot, of course I did mason jar and burlap weddings. Then it got very glam for awhile, so dripping crystals were big. Now, we’re in an age of very organic, lots of greens and lush bohemian inspiration, a very Californian style.”
Of course, Adair also mentioned that all brides are unique and shouldn’t consider just the on-trend themes and/or styles. “So I think that while I stay ahead or on-trend, I try to get the style of the wedding from the couple and then from there, we build on to what the actual day is going to look like. I don’t think I subscribe to one trend because all of my brides are so different. I’ve had NFL cheerleaders, derby roller-skate girls, teachers and lawyers.”
Adair then explained that as a wedding planner, its her job to be open to who the bride is and what the couple is like. “Its hard to say what my style of planning is because I want to create a brand within myself that I can come to you and I can pull this beautiful wedding from your imagination. The style shoot, I think, so many different brides would identify with because it does have beautiful floral notes, it is neutral, it is very industrial, but its also very feminine. I would say, if anything, this [style shoot] is more my own personal style. However, I don’t want to create just one style of wedding because I want to be able to attract brides of all styles. I know I’m not one note, so I don’t want to have a one-note brand.”
What are 4 wedding trends that you dislike?
Every trend is popular for a reason and while Adair respects the wishes of her clients and will enthusiastically style the wedding around the couple, there are some trends that she doesn’t necessarily understand.
“Ugh, babies breath. Babies breath are my least favorite thing in the entire world. Its been sitting in water for probably a day and a half and its just stinky. People don’t think about that when they make their bridesmaids hold it. Its not less expensive because anything in mass, has a mass cost. To get those beautiful lush centerpieces that brides see on Pinterest, they have to have a lot of it and it still costs, its not cheap.
Oh and mason jars and burlap. What I have a problem with, mason jars and burlap, girls that shouldn’t identify with a mason jar and burlap, were having mason jar and burlap weddings. In ten years, that style is going to be so dated that they’ll look back on their wedding and say ‘that wasn’t even me at the time and that’s definitely not me now’. So, why do something trendy just because its trendy? Do something that’s meaningful to you. If you drank out of a mason jar when you were young or you lived on a farm, then you can incorporate those elements. Country/rustic is a totally beautiful theme and here in North Florida, we have a lot of barn venues, so it works.
I could do without bathroom baskets. People put apothecary jar baskets together and toiletry items for their guests. Its not necessary and people pillage them and at the end of the night, there’s nothing in them.
I also think sweetheart tables are a little dated. I don’t think that brides should separate themselves from their family. I think family should sit together, I don’t think you should have a groom’s family table and a bride’s family table. I think because you’re marrying into them, you should have a family table where the bride and groom sit with their parents and their siblings. Why would you keep them separated? I think that’s an outdated trend. I think the bride and groom would get their eating done faster if they just stole away for 10-15 minutes and ate by themselves. If you think about it, it takes longer for the bride and groom to eat if they’re constantly interrupted. To each their own, though.”
Images by Brian M Miller Photography