Friday, December 2, 2011

Meeting The Team: Meghan Gwaltney

Meghan was born and raised here in Virginia Beach but has strong Southern roots with a family history stemming from the mountains of West Virginia. She spent most of her childhood singing and dancing anywhere and anytime someone would listen, never wasting an opportunity to perform. Years of dance classes, theater seminars, and vocal instruction landed her at James Madison University to study musical theater. Four years later, she left my dance shoes behind and graduated with a degree in Speech Pathology then continued on to get her Master’s degree in the same field in order to pursue a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist at a local children’s hospital.

An unlikely wedding planner you say? Well, she may not be a jack-of-all-trades, but her experiences putting on big theater productions and the creativity and organization she utilizes as a speech therapist have given her a unique skill set that eventually found its way in front of Emily Petersen, and in September 2011 she gladly and excitedly accepted a position with the Emily Weddings team.

"My passion for weddings is rooted in my strong desire to give every bride, groom, and family a day full of smiles and free of stress," says Meghan. A wedding can be a tremendously overwhelming day and she loves being able to say, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.” To give the family that sense of peace so they can relax and just enjoy the day is her goal from beginning to end.

"I’m really looking forward to a full wedding season with the Emily Weddings team and I promise I will do my best to control the urge to break it down at your reception!"

Q&A with Meghan:

What is your favorite current wedding trend?
"My favorite wedding trend comes from the recent influx of “just be yourself” weddings. Who says you have to do the first dance to a slow song? Who says the bridesmaids have to hold bouquets? I live down at the oceanfront in Virginia Beach and the culture here is all about riding beach cruisers – to the grocery store, to the beach, to the 7-11 down the street, why not to a wedding? I’d love to see a bride and groom leave the reception with their wedding party in a parade of bikes!"

What are your favorite wedding colors?
"My favorite color is lime green. Heck, my living room is painted lime green… for real. And it goes with anything… brown, pink, turquoise, yellow, orange, navy. It’s the new black. Use it. Love it. Then paint your living room with it."

What is your favorite wedding cake flavor?
"I’m a beach girl through and through so of course my favorite cake flavor is any combination of coconut with other fruit fillings."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meeting the Team: Brittany Cooper

High School was the start of it all for Brittany Cooper and her wedding planning career. While attending school in Florida, Brittany found herself coordinating the Prom festivities for her and her friends, everything from dinner to the limo and the after party. "I remember it being a "no brainer" and enjoyed every minute of the planning and coordinating." When she attended college in Gainesville, FL (Go Gators!), she reached out to Melissa DiStefano of Masterpiece Weddings in hopes of shadowing her and learning more about the wedding industry. "The experiences I had while assisting Masterpiece Weddings were truly catalysts for my growing curiosity and passion for event planning." Those experiences also supplemented her degree studies in Event Management at the University of Florida.

Brittany moved to Virginia Beach in the summer of 2010 and immediately began reaching out to area wedding professionals. It wasn't until February of the following year that she met Emily Petersen, owner of Emily Weddings. "It was truly a blessing to sit down and discuss my potential with Emily Weddings. Emily was so warm and welcoming and I felt that we connected both socially and professionally."

Currently, Brittany is completing her Professional Wedding Consultant certification. Upon completion, she will join Emily Petersen and her team members as a professionally certified consultant under the Association of Bridal Consultants.

"I am forever grateful for the Emily Weddings ladies. They all have good hearts and good intentions. The memories we have made and the success we have shared together will always stay with me. You are all my inspiration."

Q&A with Brittany:

Are you a fan of the "first look" or keeping it a secret?
"First Look definitely. I consider myself a very traditional person so it would seem appropriate for me to prefer keeping it a secret, but the pictures and the emotion in the "first look" far surpass any classic tradition."

What is your favorite wedding tradition?
"While it is very traditional...I'm a bit nostalgic and truly love the "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue". Marriage in my eyes is about love and the joining of lives, not just for the bride and groom but for their families as well. Passing on family treasures or keeping with an age old family tradition is what truly hits home for me."

What is your favorite part of a wedding?
My favorite part is definitely when the bride makes her entrance into the ceremony. Everyone always stands and watches the bride make her way down the aisle, but I instead turn to look at the groom (after admiring the bride's gorgeous dress of course). His expression says it all.