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  • Writer's pictureEmily Gustafson

Assemble the team/stay a team #wednesdaywisdom


Sorry, I couldn't resist a little Ron Burgundy reference.

This week's post is dedicated to two aspects of the same idea and a new addition to my website! That idea is assembling a strong event pro team and keeping your team tight throughout wedding planning and on your wedding day too.

Last week, I began assembling a list of preferred partners in the Knoxville wedding industry. This resource will hopefully make it easier for clients to find professional, experienced event vendors in East Tennessee and beyond. Believe me when I say, most if not all, of the wedding pros I know are up for traveling, so if you're planning a destination wedding you can always bring us along :) Each of the vendors I am listing on my preferred partners page delivers consistent, excellent work in their respective industry and are just plain nice to work people to work with on any project.

So, perhaps after you finish reading this post, you can head over to and check out the list of vendors and see if any of them will meet your needs for your upcoming weddings and events. Just click the star icon at the top right of my home page. If you need help or want me to contact them for you, I'll be happy to make the call on your behalf! If you contact them yourselves, please be sure to tell them that Emily sent you their way. A strong team of vendors will make for a smooth and easy wedding or event. They'll be on point for your day and with the calm, cool, and collected vibes that you want around you and the knowledge to handle any situation with (scrabble bonus word) aplomb and poise.

Now to the second part of this teamwork post - let's keep your team (meaning you and your fiancé) tight through the wedding planning process and especially on your wedding day.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - wedding planning can be stressful. There are a lot of decisions to make, a lot of opinions to consider, and the joining of two families who are often different in their traditions and ideas of how things should be done. Basically, there are lots of things that can be divisive at a time when you really need to focus on staying close to each other and preparing to be married to one another once this party is over.

Preparing to be married is just as important as preparing for the wedding celebration! You have to learn about each other even more and I recommend having some very honest conversations about your vision for your marriage. Many ministers will only agree to marry a couple if they undergo premartial couseling sessions, which is not necessary because anything is wrong, but because there simply are things that might never have really been openly discussed by you and the person that you want to marry. I think that any kind pre-martial counseling or conversation is an excellent idea! My husband and I were long distance during our entire engagement, so we scheduled weekly phone conversations where we worked through a book called The Hard Questions and it was a huge help to us. Even after 4 years of dating we covered topics that we had never touched on before.

After having been married for almost 11 years (next week!), I can you that tough conversations are still tough to have, even after two kids, 5 moves, big career changes, and all the rest. We still have to make the effort to be open and honest with each other about what we want, what's important, what's bothering us, what we need, and all the rest. Don't assume that your fiancé just knows what kind of home that you want to have, that you want to live near enough for Sunday dinners with family, and that you intend to change your career in the future. Get all these thoughts out in the open before your wedding day and you'll feel nothing but confidence and joy for your future on your wedding day. You're building a strong team with your partner and that's the foundation for a strong relationship going forward.

And speaking of your wedding day, I was able to coordinate the amazing wedding of Abby and Tim last weekend. Besides it being an amazing venue, with beautiful flowers (arranged by the bridal party and dear family friends), great food (can you say waffle bar?), and a stunningly handsome couple, they were special in another way as well. One of the remarkable things about their extremely person and heartfelt wedding day was the way that Abby and Tim stuck together from the moment that they saw each other. Abby practically skipped down to Tim she was so ready to marry him and he lit up at the sight of her. So often, the bride and groom get separated from each other at their reception in speaking with and hosting all of their guests. But, Abby and Tim were so excited to be married, they barely left one another's side. It was so sweet to always find them together. On the dance floor, greeting guests, taking photos; they held hands, joyfully and sometimes tearsfully embraced, and rarely pulled their focus away from each other.

I want to encourage you to find a balance in being the host/hostess of the party and remembering to stick close to the person whose love makes the day possible. Even if that means that you slip away for 15 minutes during the reception and just be alone together, make the effort to keep your team strong from day one. You will not regret it!

Happy planning,

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