Plan the most authentic celebration
"If you know the term: I’m your wedding Stage Manager. You can also think of me as your anxiety, correctly outsourced."
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m Beca, the Maven Macaw, a wedding planner, and coordinator. I help couples plan their most authentic celebration (within budget and reason), and I help couples execute that vision on the actual day-- this is the difference between wedding planning and coordinating, btw! If you know the term: I’m your wedding Stage Manager. You can also think of me as your anxiety, correctly outsourced.
For years, I was that friend/bridesmaid who Had To Help. For years, people would tell me I should be doing this for a living. A little over a year ago, I finally listened and founded Maven Macaw Events.
I love getting to know my couples, so I can bring their wedding to life.
How did you become a wedding planner?
I love the challenges I face in this job. Because I choose to focus on offbeat, out-of-the-box weddings and couples, every single wedding I work is super different from every other wedding I’ve ever done. In the last year, I’ve done a spooky Salem wedding, a sunset beach frolic in Narragansett, a DIY backyard cookout, and a weekend-long recovering hippie/cage dancer campout. The only challenge all of them have shared? Having enough ice.
Tied into that: I love getting to know my couples, so I can bring their wedding to life. I love finding out why the cake topper is a mermaid and a lobster, or why Morgan Freeman is doing the emceeing (it was a computer-generated Morgan Freeman, but it was an excellent dupe!).
What are the differences between your wedding packages?
Mostly, how much time and effort is required from me. Some couples have the party perfectly planned and just want someone to make sure they eat and have enough mental and emotional resources to enjoy themselves (they should ask for the Bridal Bulldog package!). Other couples want a point person to coordinate their 37 vendors, make sure all the transitions happen on time, and that Uncle Dave doesn’t get a fourth drink (a Day-of Honeybadger package, with a prep meeting the fortnight previous to the wedding, would fit this perfectly). Maybe they want to do planning work, but need some hand-holding? A Busy Beaver package augments their Wedding Planning Team to three people, one of whom does this all the time. And if they want to basically just show up to a perfectly planned and executed party? Hire yourself a Mother Hen package, who will do all the leg work for you.
- Bridal Bulldog Package
- Day-of Honeybadger Package
- Busy Beaver Package
- Mother Hen Package
Do you have a preferred wedding style?
An honest one, that rings true and feels authentic to the people getting married. That can mean burlesque dancers, an all-night kegger, or three people on a beach.
Can couple review photos of weddings you have done?
I have weddings from before this summer on my website portfolio—I’m waiting on this season’s couples to get their professional shots to start adding them in! I always have candids on my Insta, though: Instagram.com/mavenmacaw.
Creating a wedding that was true to them, their faith, and their introversion, was a delicious challenge that I think we met with aplomb.
Do you have a wedding that you’re the most proudest of?
Oh man. Do I have to pick one? I’m very proud of the work I did with Jeanne and David (18 Aug.) and Ashley and Mike (11 Aug.), for very different reasons.
Jeanne and David hired me a month out from their wedding to be their Day-Of, and in a very short amount of time, we had 99.99% of their details nailed. Their wedding flowed beautifully, even with a last-minute weather-related location change!
And Ashley and Mike hired me almost a year ago, to do the heavy lifting for them, as their professional schedules were incredibly full. Creating a wedding that was true to them, their faith, and their introversion, was a delicious challenge that I think we met with aplomb.
What is important to you when working with a client?
What usually happens when you and a client disagree on an issue?
I explain my stance, as best as I can, and the reasoning behind it. Then I back off, usually. It’s their wedding, not mine. I want my clients to understand why I recommend something, but if, after understanding my rationale, they still want to go in another direction? I make that direction work.
How do you handle rowdy behavior at the reception?
Depends! If the couple welcome the rowdiness? As long as it’s not dangerous or in violation of any local laws or venue rules, I let them carry on! However, if it becomes dangerous, illegal, or unwelcome, I start with Mom Voice. I have a five-year-old kid; Mom Voice de-escalates 90% of rowdiness without further issue. If it goes further, I have options that can include: cutting off drinks, bouncing from the venue, or even getting the police involved (which has not yet needed to happen, thankfully!)
Could you explain your pricing structure – what is flat; what is additional?
All my packages are flat priced. I’m open to discussing custom packages/pricing, though, if someone wants something that I’m not covering
All my packages are flat priced. I’m open to discussing custom packages/pricing, though, if someone wants something that I’m not covering.
How frequently, and by what method, do you communicate with the bridal couple?
As required, usually by email (my memory works much better if I have a backup!) Which is not to say I don’t ever do the phone—I totally do, and some things really work better that way—but being able to go back and double check something is so helpful.
And frequency will vary, very much, depending on where we are in planning. A year out, we might be exchanging multiple daily emails to lock down a venue and a photographer, then not hear from each other for two months while I research caterers. I’m always happy to provide status reports, though, no matter where we are or what I’m doing.