$$ – Affordable
Getting Engaged, Ceremony, Reception, Rehearsal, Wedding
Budgeting, Day-Of Coordination, Full Service Wedding Planning, Planning
I don't even know where to begin. A Southern Soirée as a whole is amazing but I honestly can not say enough about how amazing Gina is! I knew in the first 5 minutes when my mom and I went to sit down with her that I needed her help to plan my dream wedding and that she did and surpassed all of my expectations! Gina made everything so easy and painless. She even made miracles happen, like get my mother and I to agree! She spent close to 2 years planning our wedding with us so it's safe to say she became an honorary member of the family and bumped to number 1 in my email list! I never thought it would be so easy to plan our wedding and I never thought I would say that our wedding day went on without a single hiccup! That's all thanks to Gina and A Southern Soiree of course! I hated seeing our wedding day come to an end not only because it was the best day of my life, but because I knew that meant no more fun meetings and always happy and peppy emails coming in from Gina. Thank you Gina for making our dream wedding come true.
Working with A Southern Soiree was hands-down the best decision I made in the entire wedding-planning process. I had a pretty good handle on how I wanted things to look, but we were planning from out of state and I knew I needed someone local to help guide me through the process. We were matched up with Kelley Ann for month-of coordination, and I cannot believe how lucky we were to have her help! Month-of was much, much more that just your typical day-of coordination, and Kelley Ann is just amazing. She gave me vendor recommendations that were spot-on and within my budget, (gently) guided us through the best way to order events, and navigated some tricky family politics with grace and tact. She explained every step in advance, was very responsive by email (my preferred form of communication since I live three time zones away), and checked in on me throughout the process. Our entire day was absolutely flawless. As Kelly Ann put it, her goal was to make me feel like a guest at my own wedding - and that's exactly what happened. I didn't stress about a thing the day of the wedding, and if anything went wrong I never knew about it. Every time I think back on our wedding day I can't help but beam with happiness. I am so grateful, and really cannot recommend Kelley Ann and A Southern Soiree enough.
I truly do not know where to begin in writing about how wonderful our experience was with Gina at A Southern Soiree, because I truly feel like the words that I could type won't do my experience justice (but I will try to)! The moment we met Gina we knew she was the right planner for us. She genuinely wanted to get to know Matt and I, who we were as individuals and who we were/are as a couple before digging into the planning. We gave her our ideas of what we envisioned, what we liked and what we didn't and she guided us through every single step of the way with us in mind. She helped us pick vendors that she knew our personalities and visions would work well with, which you learn is so incredibly important, not just the vision but the people with whom you entrust to make your visions come to life. One of the most important things Gina did for us was help us navigate the tenting process in order to secure our wedding date at the Chapel (true LIFESAVER)!! Gina never missed one single appointment that we had with a vendor, and she was always so quick to respond whenever I had a question or just needed to simply vent. When it came time for the wedding day, Gina made me feel so incredibly calm and that everything was taken care of (which it was). There are so many little details that go into a wedding, and Gina had every single one of them covered (down to babysitters for little kids). There was not one hiccup, and if there was I will never know about it. After the wedding was over all of our family and friends, said how this was truly the best wedding they had ever been to, promptly followed up with "We love Gina". It is safe to say that our wedding wouldn't have been what it was without Gina, she made our dreams into a reality. Without her, I don't know if I would have been able to enter the alternate universe that was my most perfect day.
Best day-of planner, ever!!Reviewed on 11/14/2014 Jessica H
I cannot say enough about Kailey at A Southern Soiree! She is a super-planner and made our planning and day-of carefree and fun! Kailey met with my husband and I two times before the big day and went over, in very great detail, everything we wanted our day to be like, from the flowers to the table setup, to the music, etc... I did not have to ask what I was doing at any part of the day because she told me when it was time to do what and what I needed to bring and who needed to come with me. A day-of planner is the best way to go for a wedding and Kailey and A Southern Soiree do a wonderful job :)
Kept me Sane!Reviewed on 10/29/2014 Kathryn W
Gina was our wedding planner and she was the best! I could not have asked for someone more perfect to help my mom and I plan my husband and my wedding. She kept us sane and calm the whole time and was available to talk about whatever we needed to - whether it be about the wedding or anything that was stressing us out. Gina really became more of a friend then anything. Her and her crew made our day perfect! I highly recommend them--especially Gina!
Confused and DisappointedReviewed on 8/20/2014 Stephanie G
UPDATE: Megan reached out upon reading this and offered to pay us to remove this review. We obviously declined. We are nothing short of shocked and disheartened by the treatment we received from A Southern Soiree. We were led to believe that Megan was a good planner and were excited to work with her. But four months into planning, Megan became unresponsive and unprofessional – once even rude. She ultimately quit because we asked her to vet vendors before recommending them – to make sure they were in budget and available for our date and location. She couldn’t or wouldn’t and so she quit, keeping half our deposit, and leaving us without help, 1000 miles away. Megan was in my opinion disorganized and unprofessional. She did not negotiate on our behalf and we felt she was unhelpful in securing quality vendors. Here is our story: We hired Megan full service to help us plan our out of town wedding in North Carolina. Megan really seemed to understand our vision and told us she had experience working destinations. At first everything was great – she had some good ideas and provided us with good feedback on venues we had researched online. We visited those venues together and she asked great questions to help us make a decision. She also gave us a budget and generic checklist to work from and helped us find a photographer. Soon though, things began to fall apart. Megan became unresponsive to emails (said she was having a problem with her server) and things were getting forgotten or not heard. I had to set up monthly meetings and create agendas for them in order to keep her on track and streamline communications. When it came time to choose our band, Megan sent us two lists of bands. Many weren’t our style (no big deal), but worse, most were way (30 percent+) over the budget she set or wouldn’t play on Sundays (day of our wedding). We gave her an extra $1000 and asked her to revise the list. What we got back were two addition bands – one we really didn’t like (country) and one that we did. But the one we did, it turns out, doesn’t travel on Sundays. When we confronted Megan about this and asked her to please weed out unavailable options before sending them to us as recommendations. She quit. In her email she said things like, “I am not sure that I am the right fit for you.” But when we followed up by phone she said things like, “I’m not enjoying planning your wedding” and “I’m stressed out.” Well, honestly, wedding planning is her job and jobs are sometimes stressful. I was deeply offended by this but offered to keep her on if she wanted to stay. She said she would let us know in two days. She never called back and when we followed up she got upset that we hadn’t called her, so she quit again. We tried to get our deposit back as her contract did not allow her to keep it, but she would only agree to refund half our money because she had to answer 128 emails (her contract says unlimited emails). She wasn’t even organized enough to protect her from herself. Now we are out an exorbitant amount of money and no better off. She claimed to have helped with our bookings, but we found and booked our own venue and officiant; she found our photographer but never booked him. Nothing else has been done for the wedding. Megan’s lack of professionalism and organization is unfortunate for wedding planner. I would NOT recommend working with Megan or her company, A Southern Soiree.
Kailey is a dream come true!Reviewed on 2/13/2014 Delaina S
Kailey was our coordinator for our 31 January 2014 wedding day. I loved her from the first meeting! I'm a fairly artsy-crafty, DIY bride, but knew I needed someone to make sure I didn't forget everything and put me at ease the week of the wedding. Kailey was perfect. She is probably the sweetest person I've ever met and was always there when I needed her, and then some! She helped answer questions along the way and took care of everything the weekend of my wedding. She put a control-freak like myself completely at ease, and that's hard to do! I was deployed for six months of our planning process, and also out-of-state, but Kailey worked with me from afar, met with my Mom and other vendors when I couldn't make it, and brought the entire day together perfectly. I could not imagine going through it without her. I HIGHLY recommend a coordinator to anyone interested, especially from A Southern Soirée. They can customize and be as involved (or not) as you need - and up that worked out great for me. Thank you so much Kailey for helping make my dream wedding come true!!! One additional note - they are located in NC, not MD like it lists above...
the best!Reviewed on 11/05/2013 Courtney H
Working with A Southern Soiree, namely Megan and Gina, was an absolute blast. They are supremely personable, professional, and knowledgeable about all things wedding-related in the area. I had a lot of random ideas that these ladies were so skilled in tailoring into a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception. I feel like Megan and Gina know EVERYONE! You felt like a VIP whenever they were around because every vendor in the vicinity would bend over backwards for you. I felt like the knowledge of these ladies, as well as their relationships, helped us craft a well-organized, masterfully-staffed, and flawlessly executed event…not to mention an absolute BLAST! They say the true value in a Wedding Planner is how much money they save you…well A Southern Soiree not only saved me money, they saved me time, stress, and my overall sanity! When we got closer to the big day, and my emails got more frequent, the ladies never faltered, but rather shined and outdid themselves on a daily basis. I valued the planning process with these ladies, just as much as I valued the day-of services they offered. I dropped off two car loads of items to decorate, distribute, etc. at our wedding and these ladies personally handled setup of everything. Not to mention, Megan and Gina were there when you needed them while we were getting ready, moving from venue to venue, heading out for the night, etc. I am a type A PLUS personality (it’s hard for me to give up the reins), and throughout this process I truly trusted these ladies. I knew they would go above and beyond, and get the job done beautifully. Can we plan something else together soon? Thank you both!
Organized and Professional - Great Planning ServicReviewed on 10/28/2011 Maggie P
Adam and I have been working with Megan and her team for just over a year when we had our October 15th wedding. The number of wedding guest was large and the wedding party was very big, too. Megan and her team did a fantastic job! Everything was perfect and was an amazing reflection of both of us and both our families. We have heard over and over again that it was the best wedding and reception anyone had ever been to. Megan was wonderful to work with before the wedding with very specific lists of what we needed to do and how to get those accomplished. She also was able to work with our very busy schedules and get everything planned. The night of the wedding we had no worries at all (nor did any of our family members). Her team was where they needed to be and in control of everything. We would recommend Megan and a Southern Soiree over and over again!
Best Decision I MadeReviewed on 6/10/2011 Melissa S
Megan was wonderful to work with while planning our wedding on May 14, 2011. She was with me every step of the way offering her expert opinion on vendors, decor ideas, etiquette and, importantly, budget. As a result of her excellent guidance, I've had many guests call and email me since the wedding to tell me that it was the best wedding they had ever been to, from the venue to the food and dj. Megan is very organized and detail-oriented, and I never had one moment of stress because I knew I could count on her to pull everything together. She helped me prioritize budget items to make sure we were able to achieve the vision I had of my wedding day without wasting money or blowing the budget. She worked directly with the vendors we selected to ensure everyone was on schedule and she was invaluable the weekend of the wedding. The best thing about Megan, though, is her ability to make you feel like you're planning your wedding with an old friend. She is warm and friendly and so very easy to talk to, and always gives her honest opinion. I can't imagine having done this wedding without her.
Would have lost my mind without her!Reviewed on 8/27/2010 Jennifer M
I adore Cara at A Southern Soiree. I was planning my wedding from DC and she was beyond a lifesaver. Due to horrible snow storms, I was not able to travel to NC as often as I had needed to; Cara did so much legwork for me. She really held my hand through the drama, frustrations and smiles that come with planning a wedding. The end result was absolutely stunning. I had put a lot of pressure on myself to have the perfect wedding and she really helped execute exactly what I wanted. She was always a phone call or email away, even if it was something as simple as needing someone to tell me it will be okay. I cannot rave about her enough!
Best Money We SpentReviewed on 6/28/2010 Nikki S
Cara Zuelkhe is hands down the best wedding planner around. We chose to use her for helping coordinate our entire event but she gives you the options to do full coordination, minimum coordination or "Day Of" coordiantion, She was always on time, prepared and extremely knowledgable. Cara is so sweet and so pleasent to deal with. She answers emails and phone calls promptly - but to be honest you won't be needing to call her every hour because she's really amazing at what she does. She has great taste and is friends with everyone in the wedding business - so you know that your vendors will be exactly matched with what you need. My wedding day was so perfect mainly because Cara was taking care of EVERYTHING. I didn't have to worry about a thing - and it was so great. While most assume that a wedding coordinator isn't a necessary thing to spend money on, I completely disagree. I promise that you will be every bit satisfied by Cara and her team and happy that you carved out a section of you budget for it.