February 4, 2009

Vendor Spotlight--Reveal by Jennifer Neal Edwards


I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to hang out with Event Designer, Jennifer Neal Edwards over coffee! We initially hit it off, which lead to amazing wedding & girl talk!! Jennifer is spunky, contemporary, a true visionary (she sketched ideas during out meeting....♥ her) & down to earth! I could hang with her on a daily basis & there would never be a dull moment!!

The vision that I have for Bridal Opulence is to be diverse in vendor relationships. I definitely am not one of those planners that stick to the same list of vendors. I believe in assessing the personalities of my clients and matching it to vendors. Client/vendor personality & business style is super important when hiring all of your wedding vendors! Let's face it, you are with most of us for at least 9+ months....

I am a college basketball fan (University of Kentucky...Go Big Blue) and I say all the time that "I believe in building a talented/diverse bench of qualified vendors/players" for my clients. Everyone is "first string" of course!! ☺

Jennifer is "First String" aka., a total package!

I introduce to some - Reveal by Jennifer Neal Edwards.

Company Name: Reveal Event Style

Years of Experience:
15 – I established my first company in college, POSH, which I kept for 8 years. I enriched my knowledge and expertise as I ventured creative fields in set decoration and art direction( See bio below.) These experiences helped me to understand how to bring just about anything you can imagine to reality. I have gathered invaluable list of resources and vendors throughout the years which I am happy to share with my clients.

What is your event design process?
Simple Version: 1. Introduction Meeting, 1 hour max. complimentary, general information is gathered and connections are established with the client. 2. Strategy meeting $75per hour. Proposal drafted and presented no more than one week after strategy meeting(once a client books with me the hourly meetings charges cease and a flat fee is set to encompass the meetings set during the planning process) 3. Sample table including sketches and inspiration board. The cost is a minimum of $500 . 4. Final meeting (2‐6weeks prior to the event date and with regard to the berevity of the event)

The Detailed Version:
No matter if I am creating an experience for a wedding or an event, my process begins with a conversation and the question, “how do you want your event to be remembered?”. This may seem funny to start at the end but it provides a certain insight to what the client really is hoping for. Each experience I create is different and a personal investment of my time and talents. I live vicariously through each of my brides and live out the celebrations for my corporate and private clients. I usually do not meet beyond the initial introduction meeting, with a bride ,to discuss details until she has chosen her gown. And often I am brought on to even help with that decision. The couple is the centerpiece of a wedding. Every aspect should revolve around and reflect back to the bride and groom’s personality which is why the attire is so very important. This single garment depicts the very style of the event. I like to note the intricate details, fabric and cut of the gown to pull elements of design from. Even the theme itself can come from a flourish from the bias of a gown.

The second question is , “what are the top 3 moments you are most looking forward to ?” Of course the obvious moments are standard but then maybe the processional is to be a specifically detailed moment, the caravan to the reception, the various photo ops, the presentations, first dance, the various activities, the food, a special performance, the lists are endless and vary with each client. I do all I can to provide as much visually as possible. Depending on how visual the client is I may provide such items along with the initial proposal. My need to never duplicate makes this almost necessary.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Many times from people’s personal stories, traveling, but it can also be a pair of shoes! I challenge myself daily as I will look upon an object or a song and try to plan a party around that very thing. My mind never stops! I have little books I keep near me so that at any time when a thought captures me I can write it down. These are closely guarded!

If we were to look on your IPOD or MP3 player right now, what playlist would we see & hear?  
I am an eclectic soul! I appreciate talent in general. My playlists range from Bluegrass to Moby , Adrea Bocelli to tribal. I love exposure to everything that is out there which fares well for me as I have to be ready to a client to approach me with wanting their favorite punk band to play for them at the Belle Meade Country Club and it’s my job to make that work!

What specific information do you get from couples to create their wedding day designs? 
I LOVE to hear their “meet cute”, how they met and the things they enjoy doing together and of course the engagement. But also getting to know them as individuals. Especially if they are from different backgrounds and upbringings . This especially can be very insightful as we prepare to entertain dynamically different audiences. Many challenges lie in cultural differences and bridging the gaps which for some couples, this is a moment that can make differences in the relationships they have with their new families.beyond the linens and favors;).

Name one thing daily that you use that you can't live without? GLUEGUN!

How do you work with the "Recessionista Bride" that is working with a tight budget? 
My motto is that there is always a way. I do not like to hear the word “NO” so I do not use the word “NO” when designing an event. We may have to go to plans B,C,D or Z but the core of what you hoped for will be there. It is also smarter to focus on one or two feature items, experiences during your wedding rather than piece‐meal the details . For instance, instead of 15 small centerpieces focus on one magnificent feature piece in a focal point in your space. If music is your thing spend the money on the band! In general lighting is everything, it can change a room and the ambiance in seconds, music how ever you bring it in via iPod or 20 piece band sets the mood and can make or break the momentum. Photos/videography should always be a priority. BE FLEXIBLE! There is always a way but you must be willing to bend alittle if the budget will not allow certain items but rest assured that a competent designer will create the most feasible options for you with your best interest in mind that will be tasteful and chic which has no relation to how much money you have to spend. Focus on the true meaning of the day! Which has nothing to do with whether you have the the monogrammed napkins or not! Unless of course that’s how you met or some significance but in general…. This is not THE most important item!

What are you style predictions for 2009?

‐More nostalgia influence ‐using borrowed items with personal meaning ‐day weddings ‐Weddings at home ‐More intimate weddings ‐More resourceful options ‐Romance will make a comback, back to basics!

BIO

Reveal Event Style is the fruition of 12 years experience in knowledge of all aspects of entertaining, celebrations and lifestyle... As a former producer for Colin Cowie Lifestyle, I am pleased to share my unique expertise of style, culture and fine living which define all aspects of exceptional creative design.

My experience has afforded me to design for clients all over the world. My journey has presented opportunities for me to express my talents for a wide range of mediums including film, television and various publications. I have created unforgettable moments for couples from the most intimate garden settings to elaborate week long fete. I take great pride in detailing each celebration from the moment of inspiration until the last guest bids adieu.

My educational background is rich in the study of art, design, architecture, professional commentary, business management and floriculture. I participated in competitions and was awarded for my bridal designs in affiliation with AIFD, the American Institute of Floral Designers. I held the office of Vice‐president and President of my student AIFD chapter. I conducted design programs for AIFD members as well as for flower societies and bridal shows in Los Angeles and Nashville.

I invite you to share with me your vision or allow me to embrace your inspirations and create a moment to exceed your expectations!

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