I had the pleasure to work with Kentucky wedding planner Jules of JC Weddings & Events recently at a styled shoot in March of 2021. Jules was very friendly, professional, and capable of juggling all the moving parts of the styled shoot between the timeline, weather hiccups, and vendors. I can’t wait to work with Jules and JC Weddings in the future!
Tell me a little about yourself and/or your Kentucky wedding planner team!
I’m Jules McAnallen, the owner & lead planning & design director of JC Weddings & Events. I love being able to share life’s most important events & feel blessed to get to work with such wonderful people both in this industry and with my clients each day! I still pinch myself from time to time as a reminder that my dream job has become a reality. I couldn’t be more thankful to help others while pursuing the things I’m most passionate about.
I am originally from Lexington, Kentucky, and I’ve been planning & designing events for over eight years now in the major cities of Nashville, Washington D.C., Arlington, & Charleston. My job keeps me on my toes & has taken me on crazy adventures near & far, allowing me to get amazing opportunities to meet some incredible people in this crazy industry.
What made you want to be a Kentucky wedding planner?
I have been hooked on wedding planning ever since I began working as an intern at a wedding venue near where I went to college at Western Kentucky University. During that time is when I realized how much I loved working in this business, along with all the beautiful details that go into planning a wedding. So if you can’t tell yet, I am a very detail-oriented person who loves to makes checklists, and structured guides that help my job and my clients get things accomplished. So you will most likely receive many checklists from me, but believe me, you will turn to love them too!
What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?
Currently, JC Weddings & Events offers three different wedding planning packages as well as additional designing services both for weddings, events, and stationery designs. The three main wedding planning packages offered are full planning and design, partial planning and design, and month-of planning.
Will you handle every aspect of the planning or can we do some things on our own? In other words, what parts of the planning will we be responsible for?
This answer might be a little all over the place because it all depends on which service package that you book. With the full planning and design, essentially, JC Weddings & Events is fully in charge of all planning and developing the design for the event. Obviously, the client has full and final say in every decision, but the planning portion of getting the checklist items done, is typically handled by us when you book a full-service package. With the partial service package, the planning responsibilities are essentially split in half between the client and us. So it’s more of a partnership, working together to get the planning items accomplished. Lastly, the month-of package is perfect for the do-it-yourself couple, but who want someone to come in and tie everything up and finalize on the logistics. Typically this includes us stepping in about 3-months prior to the event date and taking over full responsibility at that point, which is mainly the final logistical items like the timeline, layouts, connecting with vendors, and sending them their final details for the day of the event, and so on. All three of our packages provide day-of coordination and management, which typically includes myself and at least one other team member. But the bigger the event, the more help we add on, so sometimes that may include three additional team members.
How many meetings will we have, and how will we be involved?
This again depends on what service package you book with us. For the full-service package, we will meet at least once every month! Typically just once a month is fine because they normally last around 4 hours, so we get a lot accomplished. With our partial service package, you receive up to (5) meetings which include; planning kick-off, venue walk-through, design momentum meeting, final design meeting, and month-of meeting. And for our month-of services package, you receive (3) meetings which include; planning kick-off, venue walk-through, final meeting one month prior to wedding date.
Do you handle professional services, contracts, and payment processing?
Yes absolutely! Especially for my full and partial service package clients. Typically since we are involved in booking the vendors for these two services- handling the contracts, payments, and final details with them is essential. For our month-of-service package, we still request to send all contracts for every booked vendor involved on the day of. This is mainly to review that nothing has been missed in terms of payments, timeline, schedules, and special requests from the vendors for the wedding day. Sometimes the little things like how many meals are required can be forgotten, so going through this again for them is very important.
Can you walk us through the process of selecting other vendors and how we would be involved?
Almost all of our vendors we recommend to our clients are vendors we have previously worked with on client events and branding events such as styled shoots. I provide a list of these vendors in our welcome packet, which is the first thing clients receive after they book with us. Often, it is the client’s final decision on which vendor they want to book, but these suggestions are always a great starting point for them. But a way that JC Weddings & Events gets to pick vendors to work with is planning editorial-styled shoots. This has become such an incredible way to allow us to let our designs and ideas shine freely, and it gives us the opportunity to work with some amazing vendors who our clients may not have booked yet! So a big way of getting involved, I think, is working with other vendors on fun collabs and showcase your designs together so that it’s double the marketing. You might end up finding one of your favorite new vendors you never even knew about!
Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?
For our full services package, we help design the overall look for the invitations and all stationery involved, including the signage for the day. This also includes the full productions of addressing, mailing, tracking RSVP’s and definitely guest list coordination. For our partial services, we typically do not assist with the full design of the invitations but work with our clients to come up with a beautiful look that they want and help them with the ordering for everything. Addressing and mailing is typically handled by them, but thanks to some incredible outlets we are familiar with, this process makes it very easy for them. We will also assist them with guest list coordination and will monitor the RSVP coordination, but we essentially do it all together rather than the JC Weddings & Events team fully handling it without the client.
Do you handle rentals? Will you coordinate delivery, arrival, and set up times with the photographer, the florist, the musicians, and the caterer/banquet manager?
Absolutely! Every single one of our packages receive the full assistance in handling the final rental needs and the full coordination of distributing this information to all vendors. Whether we booked the vendors or not, we will coordinate everything with them, which typically begins 3-months out!
How many people on your staff will be at the wedding?
This depends on the service package you book and also how large your wedding will be. For our full and partial services, I will have at least have 2 additional team members with me both on the day of the wedding and the day before. Sometimes if the wedding is very large and the setup is extensive, I may include 3 team members just for the extra hands. For my month-of package, you will always have me there as well as one more team member!
Can you create a timeline that tells everyone involved in the planning process (other pros, members of the wedding party, to-be-weds, and families) what to do and when to do it? How will you make sure everyone sticks to the schedule?
Yes, of course! The timeline essentially becomes our bible or full script for the day. It includes everyone’s responsibilities and what is expected of them, and at the time it is expected. So this is something that will always be included for our clients and the vendors. Also, for my full services package, I include an itinerary for your bridal party and family so that you aren’t hassled with a million questions leading up to your wedding. They typically receive this a month prior to the wedding, and it includes everything from the expected day of arrival, times, locations, room assignments, appropriate attire for each night’s events, expectations, and then their own timeline for the day of the wedding. It’s always such a relief when they receive this, because then you don’t have to worry about answering the question of what time they need to be at the venue to get ready, a million and one times!
And to ensure that everyone sticks to the schedule, there will always be a JC Weddings & Events team member around to ensure that everything is kept on schedule. That may sometimes include one team member with the bridal party to ensure they are on track, one member on-site at the venue setting up, and then another (typically me) going back and forth to ensure everything all around is on schedule, and everyone is happy!
How many weddings have you planned?
As of March 2021, I have planned 20-30 weddings.
What’s your secret for staying calm under pressure, and how do you deal with day-of disasters?
My secret is ensuring you have a fantastic timeline that you’ve read so often you don’t even need it in front of your face and properly preparing ahead of time on things that can be done days before and not taken care of last-minute during the day of. These things are typically regarding to anything for set-up, and ideally requesting to be on-site the day before the event to set up is a huge bonus point on being less stressed on the day of the event. I think having a strong team of individuals who know your picky points (creased linen is a huge no, no for me, so my team knows that the day before every event, we are having a steam party) is a great way to stay less stressed. Knowing that if I am not there and they can handle a situation is something that definitely helps me feel secure that the day will be perfect and stress-free.
Do any of your packages include honeymoon planning? If not, would you provide that service, and what would be the extra cost to include it in our contract?
No, this is not included in any of our packages, but it can be and would be an additional cost. As for pricing, it would depend on what is requested and needed from the client. So this would be priced based on requests and the time it would take to fulfill all the services requested.
Do you have references? (testimonials from both professionals and recent couples.)
I do, but they are not easily accessible. I’m still working on figuring this out to have them included both on my website and on other marketing sites I use.
What’s your biggest tip to a couple planning their big day?
Oh this one is my favorite question, because I am super passionate about my answer!
My biggest piece of advice to a couple planning their wedding is to be open to looking into more services provided by planners other than just a day-of coordination service. There is so much that goes into the planning and design of your wedding day that having someone come in at the last minute can potentially lead to important details missed. Having only a day-of coordinator is just not enough in our eyes, and it’s important to us to get to know our clients and take the time to learn about how we can make their special day a reality! There are so many ways that you can still stay within your budget while still hiring a wedding planner who provides helpful planning services and is perfect for you and your needs.
I answered this question for a recent Q&A that I did for a local magazine, and this is honestly a copy and paste answer. I also receive this service request a lot, and it is something that we don’t offer as a single service package. Again, it is included in all of our packages, but is not a package on its own, which seems to be what most people think all wedding planners have or provide, but we unfortunately do not. We set our standards extremely high, and incorporating time to get to know our clients more than during a couple of planning meetings is just not enough for us!