There is no such thing as a typical day for Andrea Freeman, a successful celebrity wedding and party planner in New York. Luckily for her, she wouldn’t have it any other way! So just what are the responsibilities of a VIP wedding planner? Apart from the lunch and drink meetings with vendors and clients discussing themes, budgets and couples’ wishes, there are tours through new venues, floral arrangements and seating chart shenanigans, just to name a *few.* While it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin, for Andrea, it’s just another day in the life. In fact, she revels in it. For her, the task of creatively piecing together different elements to create a successful event and ultimately seeing her clients happy are what fuels her passion. To find out more about what drives Andrea every day, keep reading!
1. What is your morning routine?
I wake up at 6:30am, and after an early morning shower for myself and a bath for Izzy, it’s time to find the perfect work wear that inspires confidence but is still comfortable enough to run around in all day. I’m all about the gorgeous but comfortable shoe — and don’t get me started on wedges! A good breakfast is a must for energy, so I make a tray of baked oatmeal on Sunday which lasts all week. To keep it interesting, I change the toppings daily — switching between blueberries, bananas and almonds. Oatmeal is so healthy and filling — I’m addicted! By 9am, I’m ready and usually at a venue or a meeting with new clients.
2. How do you stay organized and motivated with your busy schedule?
Timelines are key. Little details can make or break the flowers, the food and the seating. Everything has to work together harmoniously and look as if it were easy, providing the right backdrop for a lifetime of perfect memories. Deliveries are timed to the quarter hour, and each vendor must arrive on time and in the correct location or it all goes off the rails — clear communication and timing are everything! In between all this, I’m usually on conference calls with clients, and making appointments to visit other venues, caterers and florists. On the day of an event, I always keep with me a client folder with copies of contracts, lighters for candles, office supplies (scissors, markets highlighters, tape, etc.), the all-important emergency kit for the bridal suite, my outfit, two pairs of extra shoes, phone charger, steamer for linens, table numbers, escort cards and ceremony programs. Of course, I do have an assistant who helps keep everything organized. It’s a little bit hectic, but worth every bit of effort when I see the looks on my clients’ faces, assuring me that I have given them exactly what they were hoping for and a little bit more!
3. I understand you have a baby girl, Izzy. How has becoming a mother affected your daily routine?
It has taught me how to become an expert multi-tasker!
4. What are your favorite ways to unwind after a long and busy day?
I love to spend some quality time with Izzy before feeding her and getting her ready for bed. Then it’s time for an at-home sushi date night and a nice glass of wine with my hubby, and maybe a movie.
5. What is the one thing you cannot function without?
My iPhone is the most important weapon to organize everything and everybody. I use it to approve floor plans, finalize production schedules and respond to messages from clients even when on-site for an installation or the party itself. Not to mention, I need to be there quickly if and when my daughter Izzy needs attention.
6. What are your favorite wedding trends this year?
In regards to style, high fashion is making its presence known as couples walk down the aisle. Gowns with thigh-high slits on loose skirts paired with crop tops are big, as are illusion and 3D lace. As for suits, velvet lapels and structured suits are in.
From the most elegant urban spaces to country tent weddings, the free-form, lush organic floral decor is very big. I’m seeing a lot of this in a very classy way — not like the DIY arrangements from a few years ago, but instead, expertly created arrangements that show off the beauty of nature.
For couples who believe more is more, enter mixed metallic decor. Gone are the days where you have to choose between gold, silver, rose gold or brass. This look goes with a variety of styles, and a single accent color creates a brand new look. I’m loving this!
Donut walls and dessert buffets are excellent ways to offer a variety of sweets, but wedding cakes won’t ever go out of style. Last year, marbled cakes were hot. Next year, it looks like the geode cake will take center stage. And cake with crystallized sugar… what’s not to love?!
A lot of couples keep it simple with table decor and opt for a big “wow factor” area. A floral installation over the dance floor is popular since a great deal of the night is spent there. There are also over-the-top escort card displays.
Food stations made the boring buffet interesting, and now that’s getting kicked up a notch. I’m working on an event right now with a festival feel. We’re featuring a roaming oyster shucker and also a buffalo mozzarella cart. Think build your own sundaes, but with cheese. Amazing!
7. Do you ever get nervous when working with well-known celebrities like Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder? If so, what are some ways you keep your cool?
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