10 Questions with Julie Riley

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after wedding planners in Massachusetts, Julie Riley of Something Bleu Wedding & Event Planning. Dedham based Julie is the Owner and Lead Planner of Something Bleu Wedding & Event Planning.

Something Bleu Wedding & Event Planning

Planner - Julie Riley

10 Questions with Julie Riley

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hello, I'm Julie Riley and I am the Owner and Lead Planner of Something Bleu Wedding & Event Planning, a boutique wedding and event planning company based just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

I started Something Bleu in 2013 to help busy and professional couples with planning their wedding day or special event. My love for wedding and event planning started when I was much younger. I have always been extremely organized and detail oriented in every aspect of my life from a very young age. I enjoyed helping plan themed parties and events in college, and then started with corporate events and meetings after college. My love for wedding planning really bloomed in my mid 20's. There is something so special and joyous about being able to help a couple plan one of the most special days in their lives!

2. What's your experience as a wedding planner? How many weddings have you planned?

I have been planning weddings and social events for over 12 years and I founded Something Bleu in 2013. At the end of this 2021 wedding season I will have been part of planning and executing over 60 weddings. I have also been fortunate to have been able to plan several editorial/styled shoots with some wonderful wedding vendors.

During the lull of the pandemic I was able to take the time to become a certified wedding planner in Planning, Styling, and Design through the Wedding Planner Institute. It was great to be able to take the time to become a certified wedding planner to further my career and provide more knowledge to my future couples. Each and every wedding is unique and there is the opportunity to learn from each and every one of them which is very exciting. I love to constantly learn to apply that knowledge to better serve my couples.

3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?

We offer Full Service Planning + Design which is a really comprehensive wedding planning service. Some clients come to us with their venue and date for this package, and others come to us with no venue or date and we are helping to source their perfect venue and then curating their vendor team and all of the design elements. We also offer a Partial Planning package (Concept, Theme, & Design). This is a design + execution package. This package is tailored to couples who have their venue and their key vendors such as photographer, videographer, catering, band/dj, transportation, etc. already selected. We will handle all of the design elements all the way through the final execution of the wedding day. Event Management (commonly referred to as Month/Day of Coordination) is our 3rd tier package we offer. This is a 2 month out package to assist with the logistics, timeline, and buttoning up all of the final details of the wedding day. We also offer custom planning packages to meet our couples exactly where they are in the planning process to ensure they get the exact wedding planning services they are looking for. The more time we have together working with the couple, the more detail oriented and involved we are in the process.

We do offer hourly consulting services and event planning for social and corporate events as well.

4. How do payments work (a percentage of the wedding budget, a flat fee etc.)? What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?

My packages are a flat fee, I don't work on a percentage basis at this time. We offer Full Service Planning + Design, Partial Planning (Concept, Theme, & Design), Event Management, consulting services, and event planning for social and corporate events.

Our most popular package is our Full Service Planning + Design package.

5. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?

I am the Owner and Lead Planner of Something Bleu. I have 2 day of assistant coordinators who are available to assist on the wedding day pending the demands of the wedding day itself. Some weddings I work alone and other weddings I will have an assistant with me.

6. What happens if you're sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of the wedding?

I have 2 day of assistant coordinators that would be available to assist if there were an emergency or if I was sick. I also have some great friendships with other planners that I know I could reach out to if needed. I have been extremely fortunate over the years to never have had to rely on my day of assistant coordinators or another planner to work a wedding in place of myself.

7. How many meetings will you have with the couple and how will they be involved?

Pending the wedding planning package a couple selects will determine how many meetings there will be and how involved they are. Full service clients have a monthly check in meeting, and more the closer the wedding day gets. Partial planning clients will also have monthly meetings and they may have more meetings during the design phase of planning. Event Management clients will have the least amount of meetings as our time together starts 2 months out from the wedding date.

Full service clients are normally quite involved with the planning and design process as it's a really collaborative time together. Partial planning clients are very involved as there will be aspects of their wedding that were planned before our time together starts. Most partial package clients are very involved in the design process as we work together to curate their design vendors and tie their wedding aesthetics and theme together.

8. Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?

This depends on the couple. We have many couples who order the invitations through online wedding invitation websites and others order invitations through a custom invitation maker or calligrapher. Our packages can include assisting with the wording of the invitations and mailing out the invitations. We provide a helpful RSVP guest list template for our full service couples. Wedding RSVP's are typically sent to the client directly, but we are always happy to help answer any RSVP questions.

9. 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?

Yes, we coordinate all of the rentals and different wedding vendors on the day of the wedding. We develop a custom wedding timeline for each of our couples and this incorporates other wedding vendors arrival and departure times. We will also work closely with the venue coordinator or catering team pending if we are working a private estate + tented wedding or a venue wedding.

10. 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, a custom timeline is included in all of our wedding planning packages. Other vendors arrival/departure times and key To Do's are also included in the timeline. I work really closely with all of the vendors on the wedding day to ensure we are working together as a team to meet the couples needs and to stick to the timeline. If anything needs to be adjusted last minute, I also work closely as a team to make sure all pertinent vendors know of any changes. There is also a lot of communication before the wedding day with all of the key wedding vendors to ensure a flawlessly executed wedding day. Communication is king in our industry!

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2021