Experience. I’ve been planning and organizing since I can remember. But I also went to college for hospitality management and have worked all over the country executing events from 10 to 20,000 attendees. I did not plan a few friends’ weddings, sit on a charity gala committee and decide that I was equipped to run your event. Cate Bates has been in evolution for years. I’ve been on the opening team for a 1,000 room hotel and the opening of TPC Sawgrass’s clubhouse. I’ve run events for Super Bowls, major golf tournaments and million dollar weddings. I don’t think there will ever come a time when any event planner can claim they have seen it all, but I’ve been in the trenches for long enough and survived situations that make it possible for me to react instinctively. Having spent many years on the facility side of event management has also taught me the art of hustle. I can help you navigate the sometimes rough waters within facilities and vendors with many years of relationships and my experience working with c-level clients for over a decade.
Short answer: Need? No.
I’m not going to lie. You don’t need me there to have a wedding. Really, all you need is two consenting adults, some witnesses and an officiant. Rings are nice too. Flowers make it pretty. Photographers are handy for capturing the moment. Etc. etc. etc. But all you really need is your partner and someone to make it legal.
Today, weddings run the gamut from homespun backyard to fairytale ballroom. By the time I was married I had personally coordinated over 200 weddings and I decided that I NEEDED a coordinator. I did not want to deal with anything other than enjoying my day next to my husband, surrounded by our families, laughing, crying, hugging and just loving. I didn’t want to carry a bag, give people directions, help out-of-towners find their hotels, deal with the million different vendors, or ANYTHING. I wanted to just be in the moment. I didn’t have a care in the world that day, which is, I think, how it should be for every bride and groom.
As a coordinator, I want you to enjoy the little moments that happen. From the hand squeeze your fiancé gives you during your ceremony to the hug your Grandma gives you at the end of the night. You can’t do that if you’re worried about the florist showing up on time or the photographer getting stuck in traffic. Things happen and life goes on, but your memories will stay with you. And that’s why you might want a professional around for your big day so you can let go of the minutia and just enjoy the moment.
It’s honestly more a question of what won’t I do. Every wedding is different, and I’ve done everything from run interference between the bride & her mother, to move 150 ceremony chairs up a hill for the reception. I’ve gone to dress fittings, tastings, florist appointments, venue hunting. I’ve put together floral arrangements, reconstructed a fallen wedding cake, and I’ve stuck more stickers than I can count. And yes, I will help you navigate the ladies room in that dress. So, in short, whatever you don’t want to do, whatever you don’t have time to do, that’s what I do. I’m your mediator, therapist, secretary, personal shopper, and most of all, doer.
My goal is to help you create the wedding that you want. Not the wedding that your mother wants, or the wedding industry wants, or your best-friend from college insists you have to have. The only wrong way to do a wedding is to do it in a way that doesn’t make you happy. While it may not be the happiest day of your life, it should be pretty a killer one.
We do it all. Corporate meetings, charity events, baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, mitzvahs, communions, reunions, corporate events, engagement parties, Halloween parties, holiday parties, divorce parties, baby-namings, welcome home parties, retirement parties, product launches, book parties, you name it; we’ve got it covered.
If there’s a reason to celebrate, we’d be happy to be there to make it happen!
Honestly, the cost is different for every client. We don’t do packages – it’s just not our jam. I’m not in this business to make my fortune. However, I do need to pay my bills, so sadly I can’t do what I do for free. I’ll meet with you, gauge your needs and let you know what I suggest in terms of services and time. Based upon that, I’ll give you a proposal and we can take it from there. And I don’t charge for an initial consultation. So let’s chat about what we can do to make your day stress-free!
Anywhere, I love to travel. My concentrations are in Northern Florida and New England. I will meet you anywhere in the world. I’ll travel for cost – there are never any nebulous “travel fees” – just the actual expenses.
Oh, and I’ve got family in Maine, Southern Vermont, Boston, so if your event takes me there, I don’t need lodging.
We’ll meet for an informal consult, where I can share information with you, and learn about your needs and desires for your wedding. If you live out of town I can discuss over phone, email or Skype.
From there, you’ll get “homework” – an in depth worksheet you’ll each fill out that will help me get to know you and understand exactly what you are looking for. I offer suggestions for vows, readings, and rituals.
I’ll then write your ceremony for you, and send the draft to you for approval. We can include any quotes, elements, rituals, or readings that work for you – but there are no requirements.
Throughout the process, I am available for phone and email consultations. Clear and efficient communication is very important to me, and I want you to feel confident in your ceremony.