Fall Wedding at a Pecan Orchard in Texas

I had the incredible privilege of traveling to Texas to witness & assist with my friend's wedding in Dallas. As I've said before, fall weddings have a special place in my heart, and my friend's wedding did not disappoint with thoughtful fall details (pumpkins, shades of red, orange and yellow, and just enough burlap). She is an art therapist by trade, so you can imagine how creative and uniquely handmade her wedding was. She left no detail untouched, from the adorable apple cider bar to the amazing TexMex food stations. The wedding was held at The Orchard in Azle, Texas, a little pecan orchard in the countryside (those trees... swoon!). The venue was fabulous and the staff were so helpful; I would highly recommend if you are looking for a venue in the Texas countryside!

I loved creating her programs, she had the great idea of using a real leaf print (digitally printed) #texaswedding A photo posted by Elaina Lynn Design (@elainalynndesign) on

I had the honor of designing her invitations & programs, as well as help with her day-of-coordination (my former trade), which I love doing for friends. Being the last one to fluff her dress before walking down the aisle was a special moment I will always treasure.

I couldn't go to Texas without finally making a stop at my best friend's house in Austin. I was so excited to finally meet her dog, Karli. We were instant best friends.

My friend and I spent the day in Downtown Austin, where I went (very) crazy with my Canon Rebel camera capturing the incredible scenery. More to come from our day in the city!

I was so thankful I could witness my friend's beautiful wedding in Texas. They are so perfect for each other, it was impossible to keep from crying throughout the night. Congrats you two!!

Wedding Season Comes to an End

Today was officially my last wedding of the summer. Quite the Indian Summer we had here in Oregon! It made it just perfect for all the August, September and yes October weddings I worked at. Thank you Mother Nature for giving us perfect lighting and temperature conditions! It made my job much more enjoyable.

If I had to sum up day-of wedding coordination in a word: Exhausting! Especially for me since I continued to work at my day job where I am on my feet all day, I feel like I haven't sat all summer. I assisted at a wedding nearly every weekend since the beginning of August. The diversity and beauty was incredible, but such a whirlwind! The best part is seeing two people so incredibly in love. That part never gets old.

The Life of an Oregonian Coordination Intern

My does time fly! Here we are midway through wedding season, and I've already learned so much as an intern for a wedding coordination company. Life has certainly been crazy as I've kept my day job in retail while working an occasional Friday/Saturday wedding. There is so much about wedding coordination that I would have never expected, so here's a quick rundown on what I've learned so far:

  1. Build up a wardrobe of black dresses WITH POCKETS and black leggings. The key is to blend in with the wedding guests, so no fuchsia cocktail dresses (duh). And the pockets are an essential for your phone, which ends up being your walkie talkie throughout the day.
  2. Wedding Coordination can't be taught. There's that moment where you are alone with the bride and she is a bundle of nerves before she walks down the aisle. In that moment, you either have it or you don't. I'm doing my best to observe how the coordinator I'm shadowing reacts in those types of situation, but when it comes down to it, you have to know how to think on your feet. Fast.
  3. Plan for ANYTHING to happen. That one time you forget to pack sunscreen will be the day with no shade in sight. Then, by night fall, you'll be freezing if you forgot to pack a sweater and scarf even to deal with the cold night winds. And heels are highly unpractical as you are hauling the garbage out through the gravel lot at the end of the night. Thankfully the coordination team warned us of most of these situations, so I have learned from their experiences in most cases.
  4. Oregon is a BEAUTIFUL state. I have lived here for over 2 years, but traveling to weddings in wine country or to a farm just out of the suburbs has opened my eyes to the incredible beauty that Oregon has to offer. I have a found a new appreciation for living here.

The Issue of Certification for Wedding Planners

There are many debates regarding the issue of certification. Many successful planners argue that they have never been asked by a client to see their certification, nor has it ever come in handy with the actual execution of an event. However, being a complete novice to the industry and lacking a mentor or specific job experience, I believe it might be quite a valuable asset. But then the next question that arises is, "which one?"

There are many online colleges that offer an event planning certification program, some more legitimate than others. The official accreditation, Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), is obtained after working in the industry for several years with hours of continued education. My goal is to ultimately achieve this designation, but I need to figure out a path to get there.

Meeting Professionals International is an industry-recognized organization that also offers a Global Certificate in Meetings and Business Events. This is a 5-day intensive program offered at a remote location. Unfortunately it's a little out of my price range to pay for travel AND courses, and I would like to find a program more specifically focused on wedding planning, at least to start.

The Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) seems to be the Fairy Godmother of wedding planners. They have stood the test of time and are specific to the area of event planning that I prefer. ABC offers a Core Home Study Program that I believe would be of great value to build my knowledge of the industry; however, again, everything costs $$.

There are also organizations like Backstage Bridal Pro and Sage Wedding Pros that produce incredibly valuable articles on being a wedding planner. They both offer workshops for budding wedding planners, but I am a little worried that I am too green to get the best value from a workshop.

Other (more economical options) include reading books on starting your own wedding planning business, interning with experienced wedding planners, or finding a job within the events industry. I need a job to find a job! My advertising degree from Washington State University (Go Cougs!) I'm sure will be of great value to me down the road. However, right now, I need the capital to continue supporting myself and obtain some additional training. Ideally, I find a position in the events industry, whether it be at a stationary shop or as a banquet server, to provide an opportunity to rub elbows with event professionals and see how they got there!

Do you have an opinion about certifications? Worth the money or better to focus on hands-on experience?