Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday's Meeting: Audrey Jones

Audrey Jones, Event Coordinator, prides herself on her organizational skills as well as her ability to immediately see the big picture of a client’s vision for their wedding. A former lawyer and current author, she ensures that every client’s day contains the creative elements and organization necessary for any successful event. Audrey has a B.A. from Trinity University and J.D.  from Stetson University College of Law, 
and is a member of the Florida Bar.

What is your favorite part of being an event coordinator?

The organization! I love scheduling, organizing and planning everything down to the last minute; it’s so exciting to watch everything come together on the day of.

Is there one common piece of advice you give to all couples?

Don’t lose sight of what you’re really doing: getting married. The ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day; everything else is amazingly fun and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it pales in comparison to the commitment you are making to each other.

What was the most unexpected circumstance you encountered while planning a wedding?

It wasn’t when I was planning a wedding, but at my wedding: a guest showed up with a dog in her purse to our reception. It was unexpected, but absolutely fine – the hotel brought the dog food and water and it barely made a peep. In fact, the pooch is in our large family photo from that night, which makes the picture more unique.

What do you wish more couples would do while planning their weddings?

Think seriously about what they and guests will remember and dedicate time and energy to those things. As upsetting as it may be, things like menus or a brilliant cake topper are fun, but rarely what you recall from the day. Focus instead on a great band or photographer to make your day truly memorable.

What is the one thing you love that couples include in their wedding?

Without a doubt it’s personalized favors. I love favors that are monogrammed, and not only because I LOVE all monogrammed things. Cookies, chocolates or notepads with the couples names and initials are always something guests love.

What is the biggest budget blunder you see most brides commit?

Not giving themselves 24 or 48 hours to think over some decisions that may put them over budget or spend money needlessly. For example, a lot of money can be saved by traveling to a hair stylist or makeup artist instead of having them travel to you. This money can be reallocated into d├ęcor or food with little inconvenience to the bride and bridal party getting ready on the day of the wedding.

What is the most essential tool you use to plan a wedding?

The checklist; it’s the best tool for keeping everyone on track and making sure everything gets done. Because it ties in with the budget – meaning that I complete it at the same time as I update a couple’s budget – it’s the starting point for all planning for me.

Do you have any pre- or post-wedding rituals?

Honestly, I sit around a lot before I work a wedding because I know I won’t be sitting or relaxing for awhile.

What aspect of a wedding could you do without?

I would be seriously upset if one of our couples smashed cake in each other’s faces. Fortunately, that hasn’t yet happened.

What is the single most important piece/item of event design for any wedding?

Many times for me it’s linens and chairs. Those two elements can really enhance florals and make other design elements, like draping and lighting, less necessary.

What were the easiest and hardest design themes you’ve had to develop?

Right now I’m pondering how to incorporate robots into a wedding. I think it’s going to be a ton of fun!

What is the most difficult part of event design?

Knowing when to stop. Event design is amazing and really allows a couple’s personality to shine, but it’s important to avoid overkill.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I love working with HJ; I never imagined I’d have such a great group of women to spend so much time with while working such a fun job.

Also, here are two photos of my dog, who is incredible and the best dog in the world. I'm lobbying for him to become HJ's mascot.