Laurel & Elm Ranked Among Top Philadelphia Wedding Planners

We have been having an extremely busy fall wedding season around here so our blog has been a bit silent lately! However, last Thursday we found out that Laurel & Elm was rated as one of the top 20 wedding planners in Philadelphia (out of 274 Philadelphia wedding planners!) and had to take a minute to share! 

This is such a huge honor considering all of the talented planner friends we were ranked along with! I am extremely grateful for all of our Laurel & Elm couples that took the time to write us glowing reviews that helped with our ranking! 

Check out the list HERE! 

Labor Day Design Discounts!

This post is for those couples who are currently overwhelmed by the world of Pinterest and are going in a million different directions with the overall look of their wedding day... let us help you! From today until Labor Day (which is already next Monday!), Laurel & Elm is offering 10% off of our styling + design package if booked within the next week! 

There are SO many components that go into creating a completely cohesive event, so the style proposals we present you with are often over 20 pages long, touching on every aspect of your wedding that can be seen and cherished forever in your photographs. Check out a few photos below from the end results of a handful of our favorite design projects!

Copper + merlot fall vineyard wedding

Featured on Wedding Chicks

Photos by Tina Jay Photography

Photos by Tina Jay Photography

mixed metal woodsy winter wedding

Featured on Style Me Pretty

Photos by Brianna Wilbur Photography

Photos by Brianna Wilbur Photography

romantic jewel-toned wedding

Featured on Style Me Pretty

Photos by Brianna Wilbur Photography

Photos by Brianna Wilbur Photography

bright + modern vow renewal

Featured on Style Me Pretty, Ruffled and ModWedding

Photos by Tina Jay Photography

Photos by Tina Jay Photography

Here's just some of what the styling + design package includes:

  • Conceptual development and complete event design including ceremony, cocktail hour and reception
  • A detailed design proposal including theme, colors, style and completely customized wedding design ideas for your event from start to finish
  • Vendor recommendations within your style and budget
  • Sourcing and ordering of all all event decor to be styled at your event
  • Management of vendor relationships for design-related vendors 
  • A detailed set-up timeline
  • DIY project planning and assembly
  • Styling on site before your event and cleaning up afterwards
  • A venue walk-through at your ceremony and reception sites
  • Unlimited phone and email communication as always!

Head on over to the Contact page before this week is over and tell me about yourself for all the details and pricing! I can't wait to meet you! 

Laurel & Elm's New Look!

Happy Friday everyone! I'm  so excited to share Laurel & Elm's new look today! I'm thrilled with how these website changes turned out and can't stop staring at this snap below! 

Since Laurel & Elm opened just last year, this update is more of a website facelift rather than a re-do. We are still absolutely obsessed with the Laurel & Elm branding done by Melissa Yeager and wanted to display that prominently for sure! Melissa's logo captured the essence of my company before it had even started - the unique personalization and the attention to detail that translates to our amazing clients' experiences every day!

I wanted to update the website to feature some of our favorite work from the last year and showcase it in a light and sophisticated setting. Some of my absolute favorite images (like this one above from Brianna Wilbur Photography!) are front and center to show off the Laurel & Elm aesthetic that has grown and evolved with the help of so many talented friends. 

Speaking of talented friends, a huge thank you to Tina Jay Photography for the new headshot and Laurel & Elm family photos! Head on over to the ABOUT page to read more! 

Also new to the site is our REVIEWS page! I've lucked out with the sweetest clients you could ever imagine who have taken the time to write some of the most thoughtful notes about their experiences with Laurel & Elm. 

If you have a minute today, take a look around the new website and let me know what you think of the new layout and content! Hoping you love it as much as I do! 



Arts Ballroom Center City Philadelphia Wedding - Abby & Joe

Happy Friday friends! Today I'm blogging a few photos from Abby and Joe's center city Philadelphia wedding! This day makes me SO happy to relive because Abby and Joe were probably the most laid back couple ever. On top of that, their families were so unbelievably sweet and welcoming, it made working for them not seem like work at all! It was so evident throughout getting to know them how happy and excited they were just to be marrying each other, and working with couples like that is what makes me love my job! 

Abby and Joe live in Boston together with their sweet puppy, George Washington who joined us for some photos later in the day! Since a lot of their guests were traveling to Philadelphia for the weekend, we made sure to incorporate lots of Philly love to make them feel welcome! I love all of the great Philly locations that we stopped at for photos too! Thanks to Daniel Fullam Photography for capturing these great shots of the city that will always have a special place in Abby + Joe's hearts, even in Boston! Check out a few images below! 


Abby and Joe opted for a first look on the balcony at XIX! With a full catholic mass planned, their first look gave them so much more time for photos before the ceremony! 

How breathtaking is this view at St. Augustine's? Abby was such a beautiful bride and got to have the entrance she deserved with this long aisle! 

After the ceremony, we hopped on the trolley and made a few stops around the city to some favorite iconic Philly locations! 

After photos, we headed to the reception at Arts Ballroom! Loved everyone's entrance down these gorgeous steps into the ballroom! 

Good speeches make for the best photos! Daniel did such a great job of capturing their reactions! 

Abby and Joe, thanks for making us a part of your day! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together! 

5 Sparkler Exit Tips for Your Big Send Off!

With Fourth of July just behind us, I thought I'd share my 5 expert tips for those of you thinking of doing a sparkler exit at your wedding! 


With all of the budget planning that goes into making a wedding beautiful, it's so easy to look for little ways to save money that aren't obvious to your guests. This is NOT the time to do that.

Different than the Fourth of July sparklers you are probably used to, wedding sparklers are usually sold in 3 different sizes - somewhere around 12 inches, 24 inches and 36 inches. The 12 inch sparklers are by FAR the cheapest and initially the most appealing however sparklers burn at a rate of 1 foot per minute - so 3 minutes total for even the longest sparkler. Unless you have an extremely small, intimate wedding, you're going to need every second you can get to have all of those sparklers lit and guests lined up and ready to go!

I always suggest the 36 inch sparkers for my clients. To create that Pinterest picture you've seen time and time again, the sparklers need to be somewhat close to the newlyweds. The 36" sparklers allow both the guest and the happy couple to be a safe distance from the fire in addition to that extra time it allows for more photos!

venue agreement

As you can imagine, there are venues don't feel 100% comfortable with guests who have been drinking for hours waving around sticks with fire on the end of them. Who could blame them? 

Before you buy anything, make sure to check your venue guidelines on open flames and ask which areas of the venue (if any) you can have your grand exit! Some venues located within or close to a forrest or another highly flammable area might not permit this at all, unfortunately! 

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography


This is a HUGE photo opportunity! As soon as you know you'd like to have a sparkler exit, tell your photographer. Your photography contract outlines exactly how many hours of service your photo package includes, so you'll either want to adjust that timeframe with them so that they are there until the very end or preferably add additional hours so that they don't miss any of your getting ready details! This also allows your photographer to scope out the venue for the best spot to exit!

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

let your guests know!

To create that exit you've envisioned, you want to make sure as many of your guests as possible are there at the very end of your wedding! Some of your older guests, especially, who might otherwise leave a little earlier might decide to stick around if they know how important this is to you! A sign displayed at the reception AND a little timeline in their welcome bag never hurts so that your guests can plan their transportation accordingly! 

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

Photo by Tina Jay Photography

Photo by Tina Jay Photography

pack the supplies

This is the most important. Not having the right materials to execute this can cause huge problems! I usually suggest bringing along at least 1 lighter for every 20 guests - we pack a bunch with us too to help out! Check out Eric, my right hand husband/helper lighting 3 at a time! We take this seriously ;) 

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

The sparklers actually do a better job of lighting themselves from other sparklers than they do catching fire from matches, so designating a person (or hiring a wedding planner!) to be there to communicate this to your guests once they've got a few going can really help to speed the process along! 

One of the cutest sparkler packaging I've seen is from For Your Party. They sell these adorable sparkler sleeves with matches attached and allow you to customize your information, wedding font and colors to match! Just slip a sparkler in the slots at the top and bottom of the sleeve and everyone is informed and supplied! 


This cute little tag gives everyone with a sparkler an immediate way to light their sparkler and be ready for you! 

Last but certainly not least, have multiple water stations located a good distance apart from each other for your guests to put their sparklers out after you leave! Placing these in the general direction of the parking lot allows for your guests to give each other room so that nobody is turning around and surprising anyone! I usually suggest a metal pail of some sort so as not to create another fire with a plastic container of water. 

Keeping these tips in mind as you plan your grand exit can save you a lot of stress in the long run and allow you to achieve those memorable photos you've been wanting! 

Laurel & Elm Featured on Mod Wedding!

This bright + modern styled shoot from way back in January has truly been the gift that keeps on giving! On top of all of the beautiful photos from Tina Jay Photography, it has now been featured on Style Me Pretty, Ruffled and now Mod Wedding! After all of the hard work that goes into creating a styled shoot, it's so rewarding to know that all of these beautiful blogs loved it as much as we did! Here are the talented vendors that we teamed up with for this shoot: 

Venue: The Bond | Photography: Tina Jay Photography | Event Design + Coordination: Laurel & Elm | Cake: The Couture Cakery | Rentals: Party Rental LTD | Floral: Foster’s Flower Shop | Hair: Leann Foust of Mood Swings Salon Makeup: Veronique’s Creative Artistry | Stationery: Laurel & Elm | Tulle Skirt: Welcome to Royalty | Headpiece: Kristin Perry

Check out the feature HERE!

Choosing Your Exact Wedding Colors

Today I'm sharing one of my absolute favorite tips that I give to brides to help with the "big picture" look! After a recent trip to Home Depot to pick out some gray paint swatches for my new office, I was reminded of how helpful this is.

For all of my couples that don't have a handy pantone swatch book at home, head to your closest home improvement store and pick out your wedding colors in the paint swatches! Here's a handful of swatches I picked up for myself that are all considered gray:

This is crazy to me because some are clearly gray-purple, some are gray-brown and some are gray-blue. Had I just asked for "gray" paint, who knows what I would've come home with! 

Once you've picked out your favorite shades of your wedding colors, you can bring these swatches with you to all of your meetings! This ensures that every single vendor and detail - from stationery and floral to bridesmaids dresses and table linens - are on the same page with what "gray" is to YOU, the client.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's day everyone! It's no secret that greenery and gold details are some of our favorites at Laurel & Elm, so today we are sharing some of our best unintentional St. Patty's day inspiration! 

Photo by  Pat Furey Photo
Photo by  Pat Furey Photo
Photo by  Pat Furey Photo
Photo by  Pat Furey Photo
Photo by  Autumn Kern  

Photo by Autumn Kern 

Photo by  Autumn Kern

Photo by Autumn Kern

Photo by  AGP Collective

I hope everyone has a lucky day! 



Southern Destination Wedding - Kristi & Tom

Today I’m sharing Kristi and Tom’s classic, southern wedding! Kristi and Tom were married in May of 2015 but sometimes you have to keep the best things a secret for a while! It totally paid off because their wedding was just published in Alabama Weddings Magazine’s 15th Anniversary Edition which came out on January 1st! (Click here to read more about the feature!)

This wedding was Laurel & Elm’s first destination wedding and it was so much fun to do something different!  Kristi and Tom met in their high school gym class about 10 years ago, so this wedding was long awaited by the many people who traveled down from Philly to see them finally tie the knot in the south!

On top of all of the beautiful details, Kristi and Tom’s wedding day had the BEST weather for an outdoor wedding. As you can imagine, even in May, Alabama can get HOT. Their wedding day was a “cold” day in Alabama which means comfortable for Philadelphians :)

I’m going to walk you all through the day because there are just too many details not to talk about! A special thank you to Green Tree Photography for capturing their day so beautifully in all of these photos!


Even though the majority of the wedding was outdoors – the inside of Anderson Gail Farms had some of the most beautiful, classic details that made for a PERFECT backdrop for detail shots – my favorite :)

I just loved how these invitations turned out – Minted did such a nice job and worked through rounds of custom changes with us so that the invitations were exactly as we had planned! 

Kristi's Maggie Sottero gown was perfect for her. Pair that with Tom's black tux and you've got yourself a classy affair! 

Kristi and Tom decided to have a First Look, which I strongly suggest for every couple still on the fence about this. The irony of your wedding day is that on a day that’s all about the two of you, you will barely have any alone time together. Having a First Look allows you to spend some time together before all of your guests are pulling you in different directions AND it allows you more time for photos! 

After their first look, all of the guests arrived for the ceremony! Two of my favorite details of the day were this Guestbook Globe (Guestglobe?) and these custom hankerchiefs that served as ceremony programs that we designed to match Kristi & Tom’s invites! Southern hospitality at its finest.

Kristi and Tom had an intimate ceremony at the front of the house.

Afterwards, everyone headed in through the house and out back for cocktail hour, corn hole (with custom boards and bean bags of course) and a cigar bar.


These key escort cards are actually bottle openers too! Such a fun favor!

This was my first attempt at calligraphy! These place card stones added a personal touch while doubling as paperweights. Dinner outside was a little windy so this ended up being the perfect stylish solution to holding those napkins and personalized thank you cards down!

Tom actually made these custom corn hole boards for the wedding with their new monogram "L" on them! 

After lots of dancing, Kristi surprised Tom with fireworks to end their night! What a great gift!


I hope you all enjoyed their wedding as much as I did! Congratulations Kristi and Tom! Thank you for trusting us to design and plan your wedding! 

Styling + Design Package

Hi future brides and grooms! After many requests that turned into custom planning packages, I've decided that I needed to create a package exclusively for styling and design!

I've always offered full styling and event design in some of my larger packages, but this package is catered towards those who may need a little more help creatively and a little less help logistically than those looking for full service wedding planning! 

A Laurel & Elm styling + design couple can expect a relaxing engagement while we create detailed design plans from concept to implementation for every minute of your wedding filled with customized details galore! We'll be there to set it all up and style it to perfection so that all of your guests can enjoy being GUESTS! 

Hop on over to the Contact page for all of the details and pricing! Let us make your wedding beautiful! 

Kristi + Tom's Southern Destination Wedding Published!

I'm so excited because I JUST got my hands on this magazine all the way from Alabama! Last May, we had the pleasure of designing Laurel & Elm's first destination wedding! Kristi and Tom's wedding was filled with southern charm and ended with a firework show! The whole day was such a dream and took place at the most beautiful, classic venue. Huge thanks to Alabama Wedding Magazine for the gorgeous feature in their 15th Anniversary Edition! 

Venue: Anderson Gail Farms | Photographer: Green Tree Photography | Floral: Kathy Thomas Designs

Happy Friday everyone! 

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