1. Introduction: What's your story?
Hello! My name is Casey Lee and I am the owner of The Moment By Casey- a wedding and event planning company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After obtaining my Bachelors in Legal Studies at Maryville University in 2010, I began working as a legal assistant at a law firm. I desperately needed to fill up my fun and creative side in life. Having talked about my dream job of being a wedding planner for many years, I finally decided that it was time. I became a member of The Association of Bridal Consultants and began educating myself on all things wedding! After many hours of education, workshops, conferences and tests, I earned the designation of Certified Wedding planner in 2018. I have to say that in the beginning I really just wanted to plan weddings. I had no idea that it would lead to so many new friendships, goals, achievements and personal growth. Getting to live my passion every single day is a blessing I wont ever take for granted.
2. What's your experience as a wedding planner? How many weddings have you planned?
Since becoming a wedding planner in 2015, I have grown a lot. Having just moved to Tulsa, I had to start from scratch. I began meeting with wedding professionals, wedding vendors, talked with local wedding planners and then found my first Tulsa, Oklahoma bride. As expected, the first few years were slow in the growing and building process but each year came with more and more weddings. I am not a wedding planner that takes every single wedding that calls me. Throughout the planning process my couples and I are going to spend a LOT of time together filled with numerous conversations and meetings. The last thing anybody wants is to be spending time with someone that you don't mesh well with. My couples and I have to connect on a personal level, establish a good relationship and fit together comfortably so we can build the trust needed for a wedding day. I also want to make sure I am giving as much attention to your wedding day as you are. Personally, I am not effective in planning 50 weddings a year. My perfect range to fully meet or exceed my couples expectations is around 12-15 weddings a year. I absolutely love forming these friendships throughout the process and wouldn't change it one bit.
3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?
I have four different levels of services that I offer.
Month of Coordination- Most planners call this "Day Of Coordination;" however, I can't show up the day of your wedding and coordinate it well. That being said, I begin working with you 30-40 days before the wedding. This includes vendor communication, a customized wedding timeline, set up, vendor coordination, wedding party organization and clean up at the end.
Partial Coordination- This package begins upon hiring me. We meet in person to discuss the wedding vision, give vendor suggestions, timeline development, floor plan models, as well as all items included in the Month of Coordination.
Full Coordination- This is for the bride and groom that lack time and/or resources to effectively plan their own wedding. I get it! We meet and go through your wedding budget and vision in precise detail. From their, I begin my work reaching out to vendors that fit the budget, organize vendor meetings, begin timeline preparations, tour venues, negotiate contracts, as well as all the additional included in the other two packages. More and more couples are falling into this category as their careers are busy and they want their dream wedding.
Elopement Coordination- Not wanting to have a traditional wedding? That's okay! My elopement coordination helps couples that either eloped for their wedding day and then want to have a small reception later or couples who want a wedding and reception that is less than 40 guests. It's a budget friendly option that has also seen a lot of growth in the past year.
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 payments structure is extremely accommodating to my couples. I require a non-refundable 20% deposit at the signature of my contract to begin the planning process. Once that is paid, the remaining balance is due 14 days before the wedding. If they so choose, my couples have access to a personal portal where they can make payments at any time to help spread out the costs.
5. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?
To date, I am the owner and lead planner of The Moment By Casey. I also have two assistant planners, Kaelynn L. and Amber B. Both assistants have been closely working along side me for the past two years.
As for staffing, on the wedding day I am the sole planner on site. Depending on the guest count, size, and logistics of the wedding, if needed, I will have one (or two) assistants to make your day flow as best as possible. We base this on the specific details of each wedding.
6. What happens if you're sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of the wedding?
I pray this doesn't ever happen! I adore each of my brides and want to be there on their wedding day. In the unlikely event I am unable to attend the wedding, either of my two assistants would take over for me. Both have been closely assisting me for two years and know the expectations required of my business. They are professional, prompt, excellent communicators, quick with decision making and will be just as good as I am on your wedding day.
7. How many meetings will you have with the couple and how will they be involved?
This is dependent upon the package the couple chooses when hiring me. The following is what is currently included in my packages:
Month of Coordination- two in-person planning sessions.
Partial Coordination- three in-person planning sessions.
Full Coordination- five in-person planning sessions.
Once hired, I am available during normal business hours to discuss wedding details with my couples over the phone, through email and/or text as much as needed.
8. Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?
I currently partner with a few invitation companies and can offer my couples exclusive discounts on stationary, save the dates, invitations, programs, place cards, thank you cards, bridesmaids/groomsman gifts, etc. I offer this discounted rate to every couple that hires me. At this time, several of the companies I partner with will do automatic fulfillment of addressing and mailing the invitations so that is not something that I currently offer.
Guest list coordination and rsvp methods are definitely something that we can assist our couples with. There are many platforms that make this so easy to achieve. Depending on your specific wedding, we will address which option is best for you.
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?
The Moment By Casey does not offer any rentals at this time. I work with amazing rental companies and vendors that provide excellent customer service and quality products. Rental companies usually arrive the morning of the wedding to drop off all rentals. The items will be checked for accuracy before the rental company leaves. I will also be there working closely with the other hired vendors to navigate placement and the set-up of the items making sure that our vision is executed perfectly.
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?
Timelines a/k/a Gold (if you're a wedding planner)! I can't stress enough how vital it is to have a fully detailed and customized timeline for your wedding. When we are going through the planning process, the timeline is where I spend 70% of my coordination time. Timelines ensure your day will run as smooth as possible and that's what hiring a planner is all about, right?
What is the timeline process like? I begin working on the timeline as soon as we begin planning together. My couples are fully involved throughout this process. They assist with edits, modifications, additions or anything else so we make sure it's 100% accurate and up to date. Once changes are made, it is put in final mode. The couple can then distribute the final timeline to their immediate family members, wedding party attendants and anyone else that may be involved in the wedding. The Moment By Casey handles the delivery of the final customized timelines for each of the hired vendors. They don't receive the same timeline as the wedding party. Why? For example, the DJ doesn't really need to know when the cake is going to arrive for set-up so that is excluded on his timeline. However, he will need to know when the officiant is going to arrive so they can do a microphone check. Knowing all the logistics of weddings really simplifies the vendor timelines so they get what they need without all of the extra details they don't need.
On the wedding day, I am there ensuring that everything is running according to plan. If we are running behind due to unforeseen circumstances, then I can look through the timeline and adjust accordingly. I promise, your day is going to be wonderful. That's my priority!