Listen to the Podcast About Hanna Marie Events

Podcast for Hanna Marie Events

Podcast Summary

In an enlightening interview on Eventful Endeavors with host Alyssa Jones, Hanna Defoe from Hanna Marie Events shared her unique perspective and valuable insights on current event trends and overlooked details in wedding planning. Known for her innovative and meticulous planning approach, Hanna’s expertise shines in this discussion, making it a must-listen for those interested in Hanna Marie Events.

Hanna addressed the evolving trends in wedding customs, emphasizing the significance of personalizing ceremonies according to individual preferences. She expressed her admiration for couples who take a private dinner break, an emerging trend that allows newlyweds to enjoy their first meal as a married couple without rushing. Another innovative trend Hanna discussed was seating the wedding party during the ceremony to keep the focus on the bride and groom.

When asked about overlooked elements in wedding planning, Hanna surprised many by mentioning the cake box. A seemingly trivial detail, the cake box often gets overlooked in the flurry of event planning, often leading to chaos after the event when the leftover cake needs to be stored. To circumvent this common issue, the Hanna Marie Events team keeps extra cake boxes on hand, illustrating Hanna’s attention to detail and readiness for all eventualities.

Intriguing discussions about event trends and behind-the-scenes planning tips, this conversation with Hanna Defoe of Hanna Marie Events is valuable for event planners and potential clients. By delivering insights from a unique angle, Hanna continues to set a high standard in event planning, exemplifying the innovative spirit of Hanna Marie Events.

Learn more about Hanna Marie Events

This interview was provided by Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos

Podcast Transcript

Alyssa (00:24)
Hey everyone, this is Alyssa from Felix and Fingers here on Eventful Endeavors. We are so excited to have Hanna Defoe of Hanna Marie Events here today with us. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Hanna Defoe (00:37)
Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m excited.

Alyssa (00:41)
Awesome, okay, we’re gonna jump right in because Hanna has a lot of advice we’ve been talking before this call and I’m so excited because she’s sharing things that I’ve never heard before as someone who’s seen a lot of things at weddings. So my first question for you is gonna be what is a trend that you’ve seen recently?

Hanna Defoe (00:53)

Yeah, so a couple that, you know, probably at the end of last year and beginning of this year, I don’t know if it’s so much a trend is more of just something that people are, I guess that’s kind of what a trend is. People are starting to do, which I don’t want to call it a trend because I feel like trend means it’s only here for like a little bit. But two things that I’ve seen that I really like is when the bride and groom, if the timeline allows to just go and have like a personal dinner together.

I feel like sometimes dinner is just so rushed and to take 10 minutes to actually enjoy the food, talk, be alone. And then that way you can still come out. You can still be at the table and chat with everyone, but you’re not so rushed to like get your food, you know, cut the cake, do all those things. I like that. My other one is I’ve had two weddings do this now. And I think really depends on the wedding and the vibe, but the wedding party being seated during the ceremony. Now remember when I first heard this one?

feel about this, but like they still go up there stand for a photo, but then they’re seated and then all of the attention you know is on the bride and groom. Some couples maybe don’t want to do a ton with like flowers for the bridesmaids so this way they’re not like standing up there awkwardly like not sure what to do with their hands. So those are two that I’ve kind of seen that I like people doing.

Alyssa (02:18)
I love that. Okay, so this next one I’m very excited about because I know you and I have talked a lot about this. What are some small details that you feel like often get missed? Because I know people will sit with their wedding binders and plan out all these big things, but there are so many small little details that go into a wedding day. And I just want to know what are some things you think people just forget to think about?

Hanna Defoe (02:22)

Mm -hmm.

Yeah, yeah, great question. My number one is the cake box. So, how much communication we have, you know, with the dessert person leaving the dessert and the cake and make sure to save the box. Sometimes things just get recycled or, you know, a venue person or someone sees the box and recycles it and then we’re left without a cake box to put the cake into if the couple is saving it or, you know, whatnot. It’s not like you can just use any normal, you know, box.

Like you have to have one that is tall enough for the one or two or three tier cake. so we actually started buying some two tiered cake boxes from Hobby Lobby and each of like myself, my lead coordinators just keep a couple in our, vehicles. And that way, if we do have to have one, we have it on hand, we don’t have to worry about going to grab it. I think it’s just something that even no matter what kind of communication you have, even when I’m communicating it, it’s just.

busy on the wedding day and something that often just gets tossed or not the right size or something. So I always have that on hand.

Alyssa (03:49)
I love that. I feel like the hallmark of being a wedding vendor is having extras of everything in your car. My car is filled to the brim at all points. I have so many extra cables, so many extra things. I was like, everybody that I know that works in the wedding industry, just their car is full of just in case.

Hanna Defoe (03:53)
Mm -hmm. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Literally.

Literally just random stuff. Yep. We even started having a card box at one point because there was these Like these card boxes on Etsy that you can get like they’re like Hexagon and they’re super cute and they can be customized to your names but they don’t fit like 50 % of the envelopes that Like go and like that would need to go in the card box so we had a couple of those last year and I started keeping an extra card box just in case because people were just like

Alyssa (04:28)

Hanna Defoe (04:34)
laying their cards next to the box and they’re like, didn’t look great. So I don’t think many people are buying those Etsy ones anymore. But yeah, just a lot of random stuff.

Alyssa (04:40)
I love that. Again, such a small detail that you wouldn’t know, even know to think about unless it’s something that you’ve seen before. Okay, so kind of going along the same lines, I wanna ask you, this is like, can be like a hot topic, but is there something that you think couples should always do and something that they should never do?

Hanna Defoe (04:46)
Right. Right. Yep. Agreed.

Mm -hmm.

I would say they should never try to do tear down themselves. Now, people are like, hey, I get a couple people up in the night, save some money. Like, it’s no problem. But tear down is a lot more work than people think. Like even I didn’t realize how much tear down entailed until I started doing weddings. And after doing a couple weddings back in 2022, I’m like, yep, I’m hiring a team. I’m always having assistant. Like, there’s just a lot like.

Floating candles, for example, you gotta dump out the water, you gotta get the water outside. We always have a bucket for that to dump the water into. You gotta do something with the candle, you gotta put the vase back in the box, get the box in the car. There’s just a lot of steps and danger is organized and things aren’t gonna break. Now, some people want to do set up themselves, which depending on your vendors that you hire and what the forest is doing, that’s not too bad if you want to do it quick in the morning for hair and makeup, but the tear down.

No one wants to do Tear It On after a long day. Like, no one. No one.

Alyssa (06:02)
Definitely. And also something that I think people forget is that everything takes much longer than you think it’s going to take. And you don’t want to get the fee from the venue for being out late. That is like a huge thing.

Hanna Defoe (06:08)
Yes. Yup.

Right? Right. Because if you’re dancing, you’re dancing till midnight, you only have till 1am, that’s not a lot of time. Like we, when we do tear down, we are starting small throughout the night. We’re putting away like, you know, just like place cards and stuff and menus and then table numbers and things that aren’t being used, ceremony stuff. So we do it throughout the night. We’re not just doing it that last hour. Some people might do it just the last hour, but that always stress me out way too much. So yeah.

Alyssa (06:38)
Definitely. Okay, so with that, what is something that they should always do?

Hanna Defoe (06:44)
I, well, can I just say always hire someone for Teardown? Just kidding, just kidding. Yeah, I’ll just say always hire someone for Teardown. Yeah, yeah.

Alyssa (06:47)
Hey, that works for

That is, I mean, that really is such a good, kind of like we were talking about earlier, there’s so many, it’s those little details that I think so many people, you know, like one of the things that I always say is like, you want to get rid of as much stress as possible so you get to enjoy your day. And I think that the things that often create the most stress are things that aren’t.

Hanna Defoe (06:58)


Bye. Bye.

Alyssa (07:16)
stressful necessarily. They’re all the little things that add up and add up and add up and that’s what ends up making the day stressful. And so I think those little details are so important because you know I’m somebody I love planning but I know not everybody does and so that those little tiny things I think are so important because

Hanna Defoe (07:18)
Right, right. They’re combined. Yup. Right, right. It’s.

Yeah. Right. Right.


just to add up, yeah. Because a teardown, it’s not just decor, it’s the cards, the gifts, if you get extra food, desserts, like all that, like where’s all that going? That’s something that we cover in one of our last meetings just so we can put it away, not have to have couples worry about that at the end of the night. And some people are able to handle the teardown and do it themselves, but yeah, it’s not fun. Especially for your family and friends after a.

a long fun day. But yeah. Yeah, yeah. God, I’m sweating. Tear it out is, it’s a lot. But.

Alyssa (08:07)
Definitely Definitely plus you’re all sweaty from dancing. Yeah Yeah That’s why I always tell people the detail that I always think about is I’m like if it’s in the summer make sure it has some good AC if You’re gonna be dancing

Hanna Defoe (08:22)
Yeah, yeah, and if it doesn’t, you’re gonna, if you’re doing pyridon too, oof, it is, you’re, yeah, yeah, yeah, right, right, for sure.

Alyssa (08:27)
Definitely, or a heater in the winter. You don’t want to be too hot, too cold. Yes, for sure. Okay, so question for you. Can you tell me just a little bit about how you got into the wedding planning industry and what your favorite part of your job is?

Hanna Defoe (08:44)
Yes, great question. I wasn’t necessarily working the hospitality like industry prior to getting to wedding planning. It’s not like I had this dream since I was a little girl to be a wedding planner, but I always have loved planning. Like I planned out holidays months in advance. I plan on my birthday months in advance. I just had to know every detail. I had no what’s going on. I can have a vacation plan in like 10 minutes. Like I just love, love those details. So I,

I was working full time in HR for about eight years and a couple years ago I just knew that this wasn’t my forever thing and I didn’t want to necessarily get another full time job. I was just working for someone else. Some people can do it. I just, it was exhausting and I felt like I was just working my life away. So I had a conversation when I was with my brother and sister -in in Portland and she asked me if I could do anything, what would you want to do?

And I want to do some sort of like corporate planning or event planning. You know, I even remember telling her I didn’t want to do weddings because I didn’t want to work the weekends. And I sat on that conversation for like three weeks. I’m like, you know what? I will always remember that it was Friday, September 10th. I woke up and I’m like, I’m going to start running a business. Like I know nothing about entrepreneurship. I do have a business degree and I’ve worked in HR. So I at least know that side. But I wow, the amount of stuff that I had no idea back then.

So a couple of weeks later, my business was formed, started taking bookings and that’s kind of how the business started. And I already forgot your second question to that piece. My favorite part, everyone I get to work with, like the couples and just like getting to know them, like every wedding is just so unique. Like every design and theme and…

Alyssa (10:14)
What is your favorite part of your job?

Hanna Defoe (10:30)
just the wedding party, the family, like everybody is just so different, but truly getting to like know the couples, know their style, even if I’m not like planning, planning with them and just doing the coordinating, like still getting to know them, following them on Instagram, seeing, you know, their story and their life and seeing their bridal shower and the bachelorette party and what they’re doing. Like, it’s just so fun to see all those details that still make up like their wedding day and who they are. So I think that’s my favorite part for sure.

Alyssa (10:58)
I love that. And if you go look at Hanna’s website and go look on there, like you can really tell like how different every wedding is, which is something that I always like whenever I, that’s something that I’m very passionate about is your wedding should be your wedding. It should be authentic to you. And that is something, you know, that’s why I always am like, give me all the requests. I want to play every song that you dance to in your bathroom in front of your mirror in middle school. Like that’s, I want.

Hanna Defoe (11:06)
Mm -hmm.

Yes. Yes. I agree.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Alyssa (11:27)
everybody’s wedding to always feel like. It’s the day that commemorates all of the memories all in one room.

Hanna Defoe (11:29)
feel. Yes.

Right, I agree, I love that. I love that.

Alyssa (11:36)
I love that. Awesome. Okay, I have one last question for you. And this is the big one. If you have somebody who’s at the very beginning of their wedding planning journey, what is the number one piece of advice you’d give them?

Hanna Defoe (11:41)

Yes. I think this is a very popular response that I see on Instagram all the time. And maybe other people don’t see it. Maybe I just see it because I’m on like the wedding TikTok or wedding Instagram side of things. But honestly, just take a few weeks and enjoy, enjoy it before you jump into the wedding planning. Because once you jump in, like you are reaching out to vendors and venues and getting emails and quotes. And it’s, it’s a lot. It can be a lot. And.

Alyssa (11:58)

Hanna Defoe (12:18)
It just takes some time, like the time that you’re engaged and you’re excited. This new journey in your life, like just truly take a couple of weeks to enjoy it. Of course, the number two would be to hire a wedding planner coordinator, but I know everyone is different. Every, just every like need is different. So not everyone needs a wedding planner. I would say the minimum is a wedding coordinator, but once again, kind of depends on your venue and your needs, but.

really just a joy at being engaged. I was engaged for two years. It felt like the longest years of my life, but I also look back now and I’m like, wow, we only dated for two years. We were engaged for two years. Now we’ve been married for six. So it just seems like such a, like a blimp, like just such a quick time in our, in our relationship. So enjoy it. It goes by quick.

Alyssa (13:08)
I love that. That’s such good advice. I also want to jump on the second half of yours and say something that I know I’m not getting asked the questions, but my number one piece of advice that I always try to tell people is use your wedding planners, use your vendors. Like we get to sit here and talk with other vendors a lot of times and you know, we get to know who.

Hanna Defoe (13:12)

Mm -hmm.

Yeah. Right.

Alyssa (13:31)
who has this style and who has that style. And we love referring our friends. I had another person on the podcast who she says frienders, like we love getting to refer people that we think would be great fits. And we know a lot of people, so we’re able to give those. And I just think that’s such a great thing, because when you have a team working together, it’s such a magical thing. And it really makes us all feel like we get to.

Hanna Defoe (13:34)


Yes, friend us. Love that.

Yes. Yes.

I agree.

Alyssa (13:59)
Make your day as authentic to you as possible.

Hanna Defoe (14:00)
Yes, I agree. Like even when people just book us for coordination, you know, a year out, a couple months, year and a half, however long it is, like, we’re still here to give you recommendations, of course, like we have our, our list of people and we’re always willing to kind of, you know, different weddings, different styles and whatnot. And if some of those people aren’t fitting that we can, of course, recommend some others. But if someone has a question on like,

I don’t know, something random in their wedding planning, like use your vendors as resources. Email is best, of course, to just keep everything straight, especially during the wedding season. But vendors are truly willing to help out. Be sure to ask and yeah.

Alyssa (14:37)

Definitely. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Hanna, for being on the podcast today. You gave some great advice to all of our couples and we hope everybody really enjoyed listening. So again, this is Alyssa and Hanna and have a great rest of your day. Bye.

Hanna Defoe (14:46)
Cool. Yeah.

Thank you.

Thank you.

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