maybe to yes workshop

Creative Conversations | Meet an Atlanta Wedding Planner | Taylor Dawn

I met Taylor when I reached out to a local group of wedding professionals about doing a styled shoot.  She was the perfect person to our Coast Wedding Inspiration shoot with and from then we've gotten to know each other and even work on other projects as well!  I'm so excited to know this lady and you should too, which is why I did a little interview with her!  

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Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Taylor and I am a Wedding Planner here in Atlanta! Although most of my time is spent in the city, I also double-time as a coaches’ wife. My sweet husband is a high school football and baseball coach, so many Friday nights after rehearsals are spent on a ball field! I absolutely love my job and am so thankful to be able to work for myself full time! Making brides’ dreams come to fruition is my passion. I love seeing brides enjoy a stress free and beautiful wedding day with the people they love most!

 

How did you get into wedding planning?

I got in to wedding planning from my sweet friend, Molly McKinley! I met Molly while I was in college, and it was such a God thing. His direction in my life came at the most perfect time when I had NO idea what I wanted to “be when I grew up.” After working for Molly, and with my husband’s encouragement, I was able to start my own little business!

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What are your current favorite color combinations or trends?

Well! As I am currently going through rebranding, I have really been stretching myself to include more “color” into my life, and not just sticking to neutrals, which is totally my MO! I’m a neutral gal! I am loving soft mauves and darker pink and blue hues marrying neutrals. SO dreamy. 

 

Any advice for couples getting married?

Of course, my number one planning advice is to have a planner! (Shameless plug!) Really, having a great vendor team and someone to be the point of contact can really create a seamless day. I always tell my brides (and their moms!), you don’t want the caterer calling you while you’re getting your makeup done asking where a table should be placed. Also, and most importantly, remember that at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are GETTING MARREID! Don’t sweat the small stuff. Have a mimosa, kick back, and let your team take care of business!

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From our most recent shoot -  CLICK HERE  to see more.

From our most recent shoot - CLICK HERE to see more.

 

Any advice for new wedding planners just getting started?

There is no better way to learn than working at weddings! I would say to assist anyone and everyone. I have learned almost all that I know simply from doing weddings! Working with someone who is a bit further in her career than you should not be intimidating, you should soak it in! Learn from them! (Even if they’re doing the exact job you are!) It’s the best way! This business is made up of the best girl bosses!

 

Favorite Atlanta venue(s)?

My favorite venue has got to be Summerour. I absolutely love working with the staff there and it’s simple aesthetic just speaks to me! (Also, it takes me back to Italy, where we spent our honeymoon and I would be more than happy to move to tomorrow! Any takers?!) 

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What is something about wedding planners that many people may not know?

My favorite question I get asked, which can probably be echoed by most entrepreneurs, is “So what do you DO all day?” The answer is, my days are all different! However, being a wedding planner is really mixed with equal right and left-brain activities. Everything from making timelines, layouts, reviewing budgets, and catering proposals to meeting with brides, picking out flowers, scourging for the perfect invitation, and visiting venues!

 

What are your hobbies/ non wedding related activities?

As I mentioned before, with my hubby being a high school coach, you can usually find me at a baseball or football field any night of the week being a coach’s wife! I love these moments! Getting to know high schoolers and going through life with them is such a great experience. Also, you can probably find me out to eat with my sister, who is definitely my BFF, as often as possible (probably with a margarita in hand)!  Going out to eat is a hobby, right?!

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After planning your own wedding, was there anything you wish you did differently knowing what you know now as a professional?

Hmm, I would say that just not caring what other people think! The most important thing about getting married is your marriage! I love how truly the Lord’s love for us is displayed in marriage. Maybe also having a rain plan would have been a good idea from a professional point of view (oops, don’t tell my mother!)! 

atlanta wedding planner

Minimalist Modern Wedding Inspiration

I had the pleasure of photographing the Maybe to Yes Workshop hosted by Pop and Fizz earlier this year with some of my favorite creatives.  The workshop was geared towards educating wedding planners newer to the industry.  To show them how a styled shoot can show off your style and best work, this stunning shoot was created and is featured on Ruffled!  

Host and Planning | Pop and Fizz

Photography | Holly Von Lanken Photography

Style + Design | Taylor Dawn

Venue | 433 Bishop

Floral Design | Jacki of Stylish Stems

Paper | Mallory Overton

Dress | Kelly's Closet

Cake | Classic City Confections

Model | Sara Gerber

Hair and Makeup | Angelika Marie

Jewelry | Kendra Scott

Shoes | ALDO

Linens | I Do Linens

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10 Days in the Life of a Wedding Photographer

"You’re a photographer, right?  So, like, what do you do all day when you're not shooting?"

I get this question often.  It’s not that people are trying to discredit my profession or think that I just sit at home watching Netflix all day.  They are just genuinely curious.  It’s not a typical 9-5 job.  There is the flexibility that I can do laundry while I’m working or take a personal day if I need to, but many people don’t realize that running a photography business is actually less time shooting and much more time actually running a business.

To show people what I do, I decided to keep a record of everything I did for 10 days.  Each week could look different, but this may give you a good idea as to what a photographer does behind the scenes and what the day-to-day might look like.

DAY 1: Sunday, February 19th

10:30am - Church

12:30-5:00pm - Simply Foxhall Workshop - Hosted by Simply Cater.  I photographed the styled shoot element, shot some behind the scenes of the event, and spoke.

Side Note: I don’t typically work on Sundays, but an opportunity came up for me to speak and photograph at this event.  Last week I was talking on the phone with organizers, emailing, and preparing my talk - “How to draft your perfect photo timeline.”

BTS of Amberly, of Wrennwood Design, lighting the table at the Simply Foxhall Workshop

DAY 2: Monday, February 20th - President’s Day

Some of my friends with 9-5 jobs had this day as a holiday, some didn't.  I decided to go "halfsies".  Also seeing as I worked the day before, I felt no guilt about taking a half day.

AM- uploaded, culled, and began editing photos from Sunday

PM - took off to spend time with friends, rest, and read

DAY 3: Tuesday, February 21st

AM - Did some styled and BTS photos for Maybe to Yes Workshop at 433 Bishop

Then, had to leave for a little bit to go meet my clients for their engagement session in Cabbagetown.

PM - Returned for the afternoon portion of Maybe to Yes for more BTS shots.

At home “after hours” - uploaded engagement photos and day one of maybe to yes and culled images, Sent headshots to a friendor. 

BTS of Taylor, of Taylor Dawn Design, at the Maybe to Yes Workshop

DAY 4: Wednesday, February 22nd

AM + PM - At Maybe to Yes all day - headshots, styled shoot, and BTS photos

"After hours" Started drafting blog post for Brianne McMullan Events

DAY 5: Thursday, February 23rd

AM - uploaded and culled Maybe to Yes workshop and styled shoot photos from day 2, Returned emails, Booked an engagement session, Called ga doe about log in info

Went to the Atlanta Youth Academy (AYA) to hang out with my mentee, Precious.*

*Yes, this is one of the perks to making my own schedule.  I can volunteer in the middle of the day!

Returned groom’s suit from Sunday’s workshop

PM - Finished editing Simply Foxhall Workshop photos, Uploaded to online gallery, Returned more emails

Some goodies from Grice Grove that were at her pop up shop at Simply Foxhall Workshop

DAY 6: Friday, February 24th

AM - Chapel at AYA and 2nd graders were leading. (When I went the day before, Precious and her teacher asked if I was coming and who could say no to that sweet child so I went two days in row.)

Posted blog post and promoted on social media

PM - Uploading the rest of SFW photos to online gallery, Reviewed a portfolio/ website for a newer photographer, Met her for lunch, Sent Simply Foxhall Workshop photos to the organizers of the event, Edited MTY headshots

Our new Tuesdays Together Atlanta leaders and speakers at Maybe to Yes - Kristen Green and Sarah Chancey

DAY 7: Saturday, February 25th

8am - Engagement Session at O4W park - again I don't normally do portrait sessions on Saturdays that I don't have weddings, but she was flying in from Nebraska and thus, I broke my own rule again... must get better at that.

No more work this weekend! 

DAY 8: Sunday, February 26th

Church

Sabbath aka no work or emails for me today!

Taylor taught attendees about styling and they got to play with pretty paper, ribbon and jewelry

DAY 9: Monday, February 27th

AM - Emails - following up with brides, discussing engagement sessions, with my CPA to file my taxes, Submitting shoots to publications, Signed up for webinars, Editing -worked on MTY, finished editing an engagement session, Planning/ dreaming for future fun things like workshops, mentoring sessions and a summer intern. Be on the look out for all these fun things potentially happening in the future!

PM - Exported engagement sesh and uploaded to online gallery, Posting to social media, Blog post planning

DAY 10: Tuesday, February 28th

AM - Respond to emails, Finish blog post, Post blog post, Cull images for styled shoot submission

PM - Went on a run (again with the work perks - I give myself freedom to run in the middle of the day), Submit to publication, Research engagement shoot locations, Listen to Ashlyn Writes Webinar, Start editing MTY Workshop day 2

 

So there ya have it - 10 days in my life and what I did.  Like I said before, every week, every day could look different depending on what is necessary to accomplish that day.  Some days look more exciting with workshops and photo sessions while others tend to be a bit less exciting like doing taxes and talking to people on the phone at various government agencies.  Through it all, I'm happy to get to run my own company for as long as the Lord wills it.

Peace up, A-Town down,

Holly