Modern Experts: A Q&A with Weekend Wedding Warrior owner Maggie Heely

Though there are certainly those brides and grooms who make planning their own weddings look effortless, for best results, it seems the wise thing to do is bring in a planner or coordinator for your big day. Maggie Heely is the owner of Weekend Wedding Warrior, a wedding coordination firm that takes care of everything so that all you have to do on your wedding day is focus on marrying the love of your life! To get some tips and tricks from someone who knows the wedding industry, we chatted with Maggie, who was happy to share her insight with the readers of Modern Louisville.

What is your preeminent piece of advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?
Make your wedding about you. It might be common sense, but so many couples are looking to please so many people that who they are gets muddled. Your wedding should reflect your tastes and preferences. If you don’t like cake, don’t have it. If you are vegan, have a vegan meal. If you love rave music, bring it on. It’s a reflection of who you are as a couple. Worrying about pleasing everyone will drive you insane and end up being a big waste of time and money.

What’s important to keep in mind the day of?
It is important to keep in mind that something will go wrong on the day of your wedding. I have never coordinated a wedding where something didn’t go at least slightly amiss. There are so many people and factors that can randomly affect your ability to enjoy your wedding day. Make sure you have someone designated to help so that you aren’t fielding any day-of issues. You should be focused on what is truly important: marrying your partner, not managing an event. There is a reason that “event manager/coordinator” is an actual job. It’s a lot of work. Also, make sure the person you designate isn’t a friend who is partying. You need someone legit and sober, ideally a professional wedding coordinator. Of course, I am biased!

What is a common mistake couples have made in the planning process that you can help others avoid?
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, make sure you have an inclement weather back-up plan that you are totally okay with. I’ve witnessed many disappointed couples on their rainy wedding day because they didn’t like their rain plan. We live in Kentucky. It can be 90 degrees one day and have a tornado warning with hail the next. Yes, we have beautiful outdoor venues and options here, but if you are not prepared and/or okay with the alternate weather plan, then you are going to be disappointed. Your wedding day is too expensive and important of a day to look back on with regret.

Are there any challenges or difficulties to planning an LGBTQ wedding in Louisville as opposed to a heterosexual one?
As much as I hate to say it, one challenge that people face planning an LGBTQ wedding is prejudice. There is a beautiful farm venue just outside of town that stopped allowing wedding ceremonies because they don’t want to allow the LGBTQ community to be married on site. It baffles me, but it seems there are venues and vendors that aren’t welcoming. Thankfully, we have a premier organization in the Fair Event Vendors Alliance (FEVA) here in Louisville where the LGBTQ community can find vendors that are excited to work with them, which is key to building a great wedding day team. Another challenge is having a learning curve from being new to wedding planning. Heterosexual couples typically have a friend or family member they can turn to and ask for advice. Most people have been to a heterosexual wedding. However, the LGBTQ community is relatively new to wedding planning. This is liberating, but also it is very challenging to know where to start, what is typical and who to ask for help.