If you are planning a Virginia wedding, finding the right Virginia wedding planner is the first step! There are SO many incredibly talented Virginia wedding planners, so I thought it would be fun to feature some of the best here on the KWP blog!
Meet Amber with Amber Justine Events: Virginia wedding planner. When she’s not working, you can find her exploring life with her kids, oceanfront dinner dates with her husband, traveling around our beautiful state, and cooking a mean dinner. How cute is she?? Let’s get to know her!!
Describe your dream wedding day: The happiness of our couples is our happiness. We are open to suggestions that differ from the “norm” and love digging into fresh designs. It might be cliché, but our dream wedding day is the one where the couple doesn’t feel rushed and enjoys every moment of their next chapter beginning, which all ties into a carefully curated timeline, layout, design, vendor team, and guest experience.
What makes a dream client for you? We love couples that have a general vision of their wedding day and work with us as a team to hone in and refine the day itself. Wedding planning is a collaborative experience, especially at a partial and full planning level. Communication is key for a planner to execute a successful day, so we EXTRA love when our couples CC us into emails with their other vendors that discuss important details throughout the planning process (even if they are at our Wedding Management level).
What is the most popular service you offer? Partial planning has become our most popular service! It’s a true collaborative with the couple still involved in contacting vendors for services, but working with us to assist with design, hold additional planning meetings, and bounce ideas throughout the entire planning process.
How many weddings do you take on per year? How far outside of your location do you serve? Since we have four lead planners, we don’t focus on a cap per year. Instead, we cap the number we’ll take on per weekend (Friday to Sunday). We won’t book more than two weddings in one weekend except in very rare instances. Why do we have that rule with four lead planners? Well, it gives us assurance that we always have at least two experienced lead planners available to step in on a wedding day if a couple’s original lead planner has an unexpected emergency. This hasn’t happened yet (and hopefully that trend will continue), but it’s nice to have that security!
As for travel, we will go with you anywhere! In addition to weddings in our immediate area, we do a good number of weddings in Charlottesville, Northern Virginia, the Eastern Shore, and D.C. as well as a couple of other states. That being said, our “home bases” are in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Williamsburg.
Do you specialize in any particular type of weddings? Our team is happy to take on all types of weddings! That being said, I (Amber) am beginning to only accept partial and full planning weddings, especially in spring and fall.
Do you offer any services outside of full planning? Partial Planning and Wedding Management are our two other base packages. Wedding Management typically services the requirement of a “day-of coordinator”, but is much more than that. We think it’s a disservice to our couples to come in the final 30-60 days (or less!) and ask them to get us up-to-speed on all their planning. Sounds stressful! We prefer to be with you from booking onward even in our Wedding Management package.
Do you offer services on non-wedding days? We also plan rehearsal dinners and welcome parties. Those are fun to plan because it means we’re along for the full wedding weekend with our couples! Outside of wedding weekend events, we’re open to planning other major celebrations given it is a good fit for our team.
What are your top 3 favorite venues and why?
This is challenging because there are way more than three venues that we love locally! I’d say that most of our couples get married in hotels/estates/country clubs, museums, and private properties/gardens. Our design style veers more toward those locations than rustic or industrial venues, but that’s not to say that we don’t also love those places!
What would your advice be to brides who don’t currently have a planner? Not all budgets can fit a planner and that’s 100% ok! That being said, there is a value to having a professional on your side. Your venue coordinator is concerned with the venue’s functions just as your other vendors are there to do what you hired them to do – take photos, prepare beverages, etc. When there is an inevitable metaphorical “fire” to put out, you don’t want to pull someone like your photographer or friends away for 15 minutes to handle it. That means they are missing important moments! We do so, so much that is hard to quantify, but critical to the flow of the day. From timeline and layout creation to placement of your decor and packing it all up at the end of the night, our services are invaluable to the overall success of the day. We’re there to help you and your loved ones create those memories to last for decades beyond the wedding day itself. Keep them celebrating while we handle all the nitty gritty details!
Why did you decide to be a wedding planner? About a year after my own wedding, I started to feel the pull of needing something creative beyond my “daytime” job of construction project management. After thinking about it for some time, I realized that wedding planning was the perfect combination of logistics and art for my extroverted self that thrives in a fast-paced, adrenaline-centric role. Making people happy brings me happiness. It’s as simple as that. Combine that with my Type A, creative personality and you’ve got the perfect mix for a career!
What is your favorite part about wedding planning? The wedding day itself! We work with most couples for at least a year. Getting to see the finished spaces on the day is the cumulative effort of all that hard work!
#1 piece of advice for current brides wedding planning Where do we even begin? If we had to give one piece of advice, it would be to try and limit the number of mini “events” happening during your reception. While opting for a welcome speech, four toasts, four special dances, a bouquet toss, an anniversary dance, cake cutting, and photos with all guests sounds magical in theory, all of those events do eat at your time for open dancing and will make you feel rushed throughout the evening. See if you can move some of those events to the rehearsal dinner or take them off the plate entirely. It is totally fine to do all of those things, but do work under the assumption that you might have limited time for all your guests to dance!
Favorite current wedding trend We love that it’s becoming more popular to do away with recent traditions entirely. Most of the time, getting rid of or altering those traditions means you’re freeing up more time to get moving on the dance floor with your loved ones. No wedding party? We’re game! Don’t want a special exit so that you can dance with your loved ones until the last second? Totally cool! Moving toasts to the reception dinner instead of on the wedding day? Sounds great! Doing a first look so that you can get pictures done early and enjoy cocktail hour with your guests later? Perfection!
Favorite drink: Whiskey on the rocks or a G&T. Red wine as a dinner default. A hot vanilla latte or a Crunchy Hydration canned water as a non-alcoholic option.
Favorite thing to do when you’re not working? Exploring life with my kids, oceanfront dinner dates with my husband, traveling around our beautiful state, and cooking a mean dinner.
Look how cute their team is!!
Thank you Amber, for this amazing interview and expert advice from a Virginia wedding planner!! Wishing you the best wedding season!!
Brides, are you looking for more wedding inspo? Check these out: