“Tag” You’re It! Vendors We Love!

We love our professional wedding vendors! So much so, that we play a game of “Tag, Your’e It!” on our social media channels to highlight them and why we use them. Serving with other professionals is our pleasure. We’ve been at this a long while now. Joan Day Weddings has been serving clients since 2007. Located initially, right in the heart of Washington, D.C. Now, centrally located in the Midlands area of Columbia, South Carolina, Joan Day Weddings’ network of highly-qualified, professional, vendors is vast and established. We know how challenging it can be to find a good vendor that you feel is worthy of your trust, business and signing a contract with!


#1 – Interview each vendor. Even several per category until you are completely comfortable with their answers, offerings, terms of service, and cancelation policy. Are they the kind of vendor you see yourself being happy with on your big day? If not, move on!

#2 – Ask for samples of their work and personal references. Google Reviews, as well as, The Knot and Wedding Wire, are other great resources to see what the buzz is about the vendor.

Much of the time, you’re comparing a Mandarine Orange to a Lady Gala Apple. Don’t fall subject to this fruit swap!

Joan Day Duerr, Owner + Visionary of Joan Day Weddings

#3 – Cost isn’t the qualifier! You really need to understand that you’re not always comparing apples to apples. Much of the time, you’re comparing a Mandarine Orange to a Lady Gala Apple. The shapes are slightly similar, but the color, scent, and taste are completely unique and apart from one another. One deejay does not equal another. One full-service caterer does not equal a non-full-service caterer. Their services and what they will cover for you are different and that’s the element of surprise for couples when they discover their catering company isn’t providing linens, silverware, or setup of the venue’s table and chairs. Ahhh,… ha!!! That is how their proposal came in $1,000 cheaper than their competitor.

#4 – Use your sensibility and tastes as the qualifier. Setup an expectation list of what you really want out of your wedding day. If it’s amazing food, or awesome entertainment, then make those adjustments in your wedding budget allocations, per category. That way you are able to serve a 5-star dining experience if you’re a foodie. Everyone’s happy!

Use your sensibility and tastes as the qualifier.

Joan Day Duerr, Owner + Visionary of Joan Day Weddings

#5 – Key Take Away – All vendors are not made the same. For example, Joan Day Weddings begins communications with all on-site coordination clients immediately upon hire. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 10 months before or 1.5 years out. It’s included. The services and meetings begin three months prior to the couple’s wedding date. This covers coordination of your venue walk through, final details with your catering company, and relaying all final numbers to your vendors. Other coordinators may not be meeting with you until two weeks prior to your wedding date. That leaves all the Finishing Touches and Final Weeks tasks up to you!

We’ve got an extensive, awesome Preferred Vendor network here in South Carolina. We have worked with many photographers and deejay entertainment companies outside of SC. Your photographers love to travel. Sometimes you can bring in an outsider for less than hiring a local. Crazy, right??? But, it’s worth exploring websites and images to see what style is truly yours.

  • Contact Joan Day Weddings to discover how we may best identify professional vendors in your area and serve you in this critical step of wedding planning.

Southern Wedding at Wavering Place

On the grounds of Wavering Place, you’ll step back into a time of southern hospitality, style and grace with its large acreage, canopy of trees, and historical markers. It’s a setting worth everything for your big day!

On March 20, 2021, the grounds were filled with the families of Sara Hockenberry and Erick Wells. The host had originally planned a fall wedding for September 2020. It was postponed and reset for spring due to the global pandemic. But, there was no time for crying over split milk. Everything was just as it should be. Lovely, fun and perfect!

Utilizing the front lawn of the great manor, Erick and Sara shared their nuptials at sunset. Everything looked so beautiful. Each bridal party member stood by to support their friends as they said “I do.” The bridal party processed to “Here comes the sun,” played by Mac McMillen a musician playing acoustic guitar, which was so fitting for this couple. They truly were happy, throughout their entire wedding day. The laughing and smiling that was captured by Morgan Stevens, Visionary Photo Film really said it all.

The Green Tree House was the spot for the couple’s reception. Fortunately, much time and consideration had been taken regarding the weather. It was a chilly day, while sunny, the air was cooler than warm. The guests were kept cozy and warm with mushroom heaters and clear side panels from the venue’s preferred rental company, Crisp Event Rentals. The fireplace was running and the doors were kept closed to create a cozy, intimate dining space.

“I talked to your dad go pick out a white dress. It’s a love story, baby, just say, “Yes.”

Taylor Swift

Southern Way Catering handled all the menu details. The guests began with a charcuterie board presented at each table. The reception selection offered a roasted chicken and fingerling potatoes, grilled panini station, and an assortment of vegetables. Guests were entertained by the music, and crackling of the fireplace.

With a spread of mini cupcakes and sweets, the couple shared a small Couple’s Cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes which was a delight to all. The party was fun, lively and comfortable. Guests had the opportunity to personalize messages to the bride and groom with a polaroid snap shot of themselves and message in a journal. This was their guest book, which was displayed on boards, added to throughout the evening made for a fun activity for guests.

Joan Day Weddings – wedding planning and design

Southern Way Catering – catering and beverages

Crisp Rentals – specialty linens and rentals

Wavering Place – venue

Mac McMillen – guitarist

American Floral – florals

Nothing Bundt Cakes – bakery

Disc Jockeys Now – Entertainment

Pink Posies and Pearls – signage and acrylic accents

Enaura Bridal – Bride’s gown

David’s Bridal – Bridesmaids’ dresses

Welcome to The Wedding Thread

2020 has been an unpredictable year filled with many obstacles beyond our control. My approach to challenges is to “get to work,” and turn all of my attention to the things that I can influence. My business has been the point of my focus and it’s amazing all that has been accomplished.

My vision is for 2021 to be the best year ever! It’s time for Joan Day Weddings to think BIG! We’ve been planning custom curated events since 2007, and as the single-owner, female entrepreneur, I have 20+ years in the hospitality and tourism industry to share. Knowledge is an invaluable commodity. It’s helpful tips to navigating contracts, how to select great vendors and avoiding the not such great ones, handpicking awesome templates and not losing time on those that hiccup when printing, and many other tried and true methods that come with this length of experience.

I want to broaden our influence and scope. Where does one begin? With the global pandemic closing down shops, stores, hair salons, and day-to-day business in general, everyone was scrambling to become a virtual resource. Fortunately, we’ve been planning and working remotely for years. Most of our clients live out of state, and need a home-based organization to assist with their wedding or event planning. Our mindset has always been custom, personalized services, delivered in-person, for day-of wedding or corporate events management, assisting with event decor, event flow, day-of setup, entertainment, and overall esthetics. Well … not anymore! It’s time to grow online and in a significant way.

Today, we’ve decided to broaden our scope, and cast a much larger net. We have established an online school, Joan Day’s Wedding Thread School hosted through Teachable.com. I am taking my business and experience to the next level. JD has jumped into the virtual world with both feet! Now offering exclusive membership to the Joan Day Wedding Thread School; an online informational and instructional school for DIY couples that wish to save funds on their wedding, but still have access to an expert at a small fraction of the cost. This is an option that a bride or groom can afford, no matter what their wedding budget or their location.

Also, we have established our own online store. We can now assist our clients with specialty items, such as groom’s gift and bridesmaids’ matching accessories, household goods, and a multitude of other options for couples. We have invested in a Cricut Maker and will be offering even greater design options for welcome baskets, custom favors, and detailed programs, or invitation ensembles.

I am excited to be launching our new journal, The Wedding Thread and coach others on how to host an event with style and grace. Hospitality is at the cornerstone of everything good. If you’ve got that one thing covered, the rest will follow. From my home to yours, welcome to The Wedding Thread.

Join the Club – Wedding Thread Membership Exclusive

For less than a dollar per day, you’ll have access to Joan Day Weddings’ expertise 24/7 all year long! You’re in the Club! By joining JDW’s Wedding Thread, via Membership, you’ll have access to a 20+ year seasoned event planner during the course of your planning activities. Online, on-demand, as you feel the desire to engage the Joan Day Weddings’ team, we will be there for you. We are offering Two Options: by the Month Membership and Annual Membership.

The process is seamless, on-line, monthly DIY sessions and guidance, as you go, all accomplished with electronic communications. While based in South Carolina, JDW’s ability to help couples is limitless. Virtual planning, web-resources, Live Chats, Group Shares, YouTube tutorials, and other great resources will help you navigate your event planning season! With a well-planned, assortment of engagement tools like Zoom, Calendly, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and others, you will have your own HoneyBook JDW Client portal to lead the way. You will receive a login to Teachable.com where the Joan Day’s Wedding Thread School is housed. You’ll have virtual access to a wedding planner at a fraction of the cost, but 100% of the convenience and knowledge!

The Wedding Thread Annual Membership

Membership Exclusives* – Annual Membership option is $359.99 – 40% off of JDW’s consultation rate of $150 at a discounted to $90 per Private Session – Private Sessions may be purchased as Private Chat Bundles for an even greater savings! – Virtual Q + A Live Sessions (driven by member topic submissions) – Access to JDW’s PDF Library: PlanningPro Tips; Planning Logistics; Day-of Timeline; Professional Vendors – Monthly idea exchanges and submissions – Guidance on Covid-19 social distancing and hosting precautions – Live Events hosted by Joan Day Weddings – Referrals to Joan Day Weddings’ exclusive preferred professionals (primarily for SC residents) – Minted Wedding Planning Program (savings 25% invitation suites and wedding decor; 35% Save the Dates, custom design options)* – 10% savings towards planning service offered by Joan Day Weddings* (primarily for SC residents or Destination SC Weddings) Joan Day Weddings will facilitate private and group sessions based on a Member’s personal requests or a collection of content requests. Forms will be shared and collected electronically prior to Club Chats. For Private Sessions submissions will be shared prior to the call for better management of the hour session.


The Wedding Thread by the Month

Same great benefits as the Annual Membership, however a slightly less discounted version for specific benefits. You’re in control of what month you join in and participate.


Cost-saving Wedding Tips

It’s the budget, silly! And it’s necessary to keep it in check. There are many ways to approach a wedding. Most weddings in the US cost an average of $28,000 – $32,000. That’s an average, not a rule. Depending on where weddings are held has a huge impact on the budget. Fifty percent of a wedding budget is always reserved for the reception venue, catering, bar and beverages, dessert bar and ceremony venue (if held in different locations).

Budgeting is a core concept to manage how much you’ll spend on each category and serves as a guideline for your priorities. Prioritizing your budget will help you determine where you want the biggest bang for your buck. Is it an awesome band to dance the night away? Are you a foodie, and want to offer fabulous cuisine? Every couple has their “thing” and it’s important to let your planner or wedding vendor know what it is prior to making commitments in a contractual way. The fun part of budgeting is replenishing one category that in affect bolsters another category, where a family member covers, say your wedding dress or other item.

One method for controlling costs is selecting a venue that offers a vast array of tables, chairs, and other benefits (options for rain plan, extra space for storage, full catering kitchen, etc.). If your venue has multiple locations onsite that offers an outdoor garden and a backup rain plan option, that will prevent you from renting a tent. Tents and labor for setup get up in price, by the thousands. If the venue has 100 chairs and 10 60 inch round tables, that’s a great start to supporting your hosting needs.

It’s nice to uncover a location that truly works for you, your family and guests. If it offers an in-house catering service, that’s fantastic so long as. you’ve experienced their food product. It may not be something you like and how can you make that decision without a tasting?Once you’ve locked yourself into that venue, it limits what vendors you can select.

All venues are not equal. That’s a fact. If it’s a beautiful location, but hard to get to and/or has no parking, then you’ll be dealing with providing transportation for your guests or valet parking. Both are easy to arrange, but they come at a cost and that includes tipping the service providers.

Get Organized

Yes… you have to be organized in order to reduce anxiety and stress. Weddings, like most events, have many moving parts. On game-day, you’ll need to have your decor items labeled, someone in charge of seating, an aunt to cut the cake, and staff to serve your guests. Having these details in a spreadsheet and/or notebook is critical.

Organize your event, and the rest will follow. These are the tools we like to use most: AllSeated.com; WeddingWire.com; Honeybook.com; and Google Suite.

My daily planner

My daily planner is a year-in-planning calendar, which has a full month page layout and then 7-day week daily on the following pages. I can project next year’s events on a full year calendar, to place a “W” next to weddings and obligations so that I don’t inadvertently double book.

I find great calendars at HomeGoods or TJMaxx. They are my go-to’s for office accessories. I always find a cute cover and matching accessories at a slightly lower price, then if I had purchased them elsewhere. There are many resources online to keep you up to date. Google suite or Office365 have great calendars, which can be integrated with other applications for syncing.

“Be your best self always. Treat everyone with respect, love, and compassion.


What’s next …