Tammy Golson is one of the most essential components to a perfectly planned (and executed!) wedding. The Brooklyn-based event planner, who recently joined a collective of talented vendors called Brooklyn Betrothed, has a great eye and wealth of knowledge about the special details that make a wedding unique. (We know—she helped produce last year’s Wedding Crashers fair and after party, and you could see her excellent taste throughout.) We asked her to share memorable wedding stories and her insider’s tips on great venues, vendors, and how to stay sane while planning the big day.
How did you become an event planner? And do you plan more than weddings?
I love to entertain, plan parties, eat good food and help others, I was always looking for a reason to celebrate, then over 10 years ago an aquaintence who was a wedding planner needed an assistant and I jumped at the opportunity, loved it and never looked back.
Planning weddings is a good portion of my business. This year, I did a series of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, I coordinated a fundraising walking to raise money for Suicide Prevention International, I planned a new shop opening and the launch of an art gallery. I love planning children’s birthday parties, bridal showers and baby showers, too.
Is there a particular type of bride or couple that is particularly suited for a wedding planner?
Most professional couples who value their time and peace of mind would benefit from and immediately see the value in hiring a wedding planner.
What are your favorite aspects of wedding planning?
I like when the couple comes to me with a situation that is challenging them and I have a solution that suits them perfectly and they are happy. I love finding opportunities to honor couples’ family and friends in thoughtful and creative ways. Seeing it all come together and watching guests enjoy the wedding is truly rewarding.
Are there any trends you’re loving right now–colors, styles or themes that work really well?
I love that each wedding I plan is different from the next. I encourage couples to not do what they think they are supposed to do, but instead they should do what they are inspired to do and figure out what resonates with their style, tastes and the asthetic they are trying to achieve. I believe doing one’s own thing and not adhering to rules when it comes to wedding planning to be not a trend, but hopefully a mindset that is here to stay.
Are there any weddings you’ve planned or attended that have really stood out to you? Ones, perhaps, that bucked convention or trends?
I have favorite moments from almost every wedding I am a part of, and the moments, details and memories all vary. I love that one couple got married at sunrise in Montauk because seven years earlier a sunrise in Montauk was significant to their love story. At another wedding, the groom’s father, a retired graphic designer for Campbell Soup, illustrated all the couples’ table names, showcasing places the couple had traveled to during their courtship. This is still one of my single most favorite wedding details. Not because it’s necessarily original (they really were, but…) But it was honoring family, they were beautifully crafted and their was a wonderful story behind the process.
Do you have any favorite vendors that you enjoy working with?
I am surrounded by fantastic vendors. I am a huge fan of the wedding industry in New York. There is so much talent and an abundance of quality and kind vendors in most categories. I felt like I was surrounded by my favorites at the Wedding Crashers after party at The Green Building. Poppies and Posies‘s work is amazing! G! Designs is relatively new to the industry but is one to watch. I always tell Jason Fioto that some day I’ll plan my wedding around his schedule. Katie Fischer has introduced one of my favorite ideas of the year. Thanks to her collaboration with NewlyWish now I’ll be able to register for my The Story of Us, someday. Melangerie’s geneology charts are another favorite idea for a couple looking for something creative and personal. Ana Dolan is one of the hardest working and most generous souls and my go to for paper magic, be it invitations, a birthday box, signs, etc. Lastly, I am very excited to be a part of a community of Brooklyn-based wedding professionals. Brooklyn Betrothed is a collective of women who value creativity, share a passion for our individual crafts and are committed to servicing our clients with care.
What are your favorite wedding venues in New York?
I had a beautiful wedding at Gramercy Park Hotel last October, it’s the perfect combination of well designed interiors, lush outdoor space with city skyline views, amazing food and great service. It’s a stunning venue for an intimate crowd. Last month I had a wedding at Queens County Farm Museum for the first time; it’s a beautiful property and a bit of a blank canvas for couples interested in a tented wedding. I look forward to working at The Foundry in September. I recently toured Prospect Park Zoo. They’ve just started hosting weddings, where sea lions can perform during cocktail hour.
To keep the stress-level of planning to a minimum, do you have any advice for couples?
Early in the process determine a realistic budget, deciding where you want to splurge and where you want to save. Then be prepared to have the money conversations with those who are contributing to the wedding. Come up with a plan and schedule of things that need to get done. Hire excellent vendors and then trust them to their job. Communicate your vision, ideas and concerns to your fiance or the person helping you plan your wedding. Resist the urge to over share information about your wedding plans throughout the process, as welcoming ideas and options from many can complicate and cloud your judgement. Take nights off from planning or talking about the wedding at all. Think about final payments and gratuities the week before your wedding, so you can have envelopes prepared in advance and delegate someone the responsibility of distributing these at the end of the night.