Listen to the Podcast About Engaged With Nora

Podcast for Engaged With Nora

Podcast Summary

Nora Cully Tuck, the owner of the renowned planning firms Engage with Nora and Engage and Co, joined Tina Naponelli on Eventful Endeavors on Valentine’s Day to discuss everything related to love and events. Nora shared insights into her thriving business based in Valley View, Ohio, where her dedicated team ensures seamless event planning experiences.

With an impressive staff, including Nora and her right-hand person Casey overseeing operations, eight associate planners handling clients, and 22 assistant planners executing event production, Engaged With Nora operates like a well-oiled machine. Tina highlighted Nora’s background in musical theater, leading to her non-traditional journey into the events industry.

Nora recounted transitioning from a professional performer to working at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City after a friend recommended her for a position. Her experience there managing hotel blocks worldwide honed her expertise in hospitality, complementing her bridal and fashion background. Now, Nora effortlessly navigates the complexities of hotel arrangements for clients’ events.

Despite her successful career in New York, Nora eventually relocated to Cleveland to be with her family and husband. Her unique path from the stage to event planning has equipped her with a diverse skill set that enriches her approach to creating unforgettable events for clients.

For an expert in event planning with a passion for love and creativity, Nora Cully Tuck and Engaged With Nora stand out in the industry, delivering exceptional experiences for every occasion.

This interview was provided by Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos.

Podcast Transcript

Tina (00:25)
All right, welcome Nora. We are so excited to have you on Eventful Endeavors and on Valentine’s Day too. Happy Valentine’s Day. Too perfect.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (00:35)
Happy Valentine’s Day, Tina. I’m so happy to be here discussing all things love today.

Tina (00:42)
Heck yeah, love it. All right, so we’ve got Nora Coley-Tuck on here. She is the owner of the award winning planning firms, Engage with Nora and Engage and Co. Out of Valley View, Ohio, right? Awesome. Perfect, cool. Yeah, we got connected. I worked with one of your planners, Tori, and she ended up having a couple that hired Felix and Fingers.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (00:56)
Yep, exactly, Cleveland, Ohio, yeah.


Tina (01:08)
and she was super awesome to work with, really communicative, very knowledgeable. She was great, so I’m glad that she was able to connect us.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (01:12)

Oh yeah, Tori’s a rock star. She assists me on all of my clients events and she also takes her own clients as well. So I’m very lucky to have her and I’m glad you had a good experience with her.

Tina (01:23)
Nice. Very cool.

Yeah, absolutely. How many people do you have working under you?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (01:31)
So we have a pretty large team. So there’s myself and my right-hand lady, Casey, who oversee both the companies. We have eight associate planners who all take their own clients, mostly coordination clients. And then we have 22 assistant planners who assist us on the wedding day and work with all of our clients on the actual production of the event.

Tina (01:39)

Oh my gosh.

Very cool. Well, you’ve got a little empire then, huh? So everybody, Nora definitely knows what she’s talking about. All right, so I loved reading a little bit about your background. I wanted to ask you first, you said that you were involved with music and you were a performer as well. And you actually went to college for musical theater. So obviously being from

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (02:03)
Trying to.

Tina (02:26)
a music vendor. I gotta ask about that. So how did you get into that?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (02:31)
Yeah, I have the most crazy story about how I got into events. Like, it’s a very non-traditional path, but I feel like it actually was so beneficial to making me into the planner that I am today. I started dancing when I was two years old and started competing nationally when I was eight. And I spent about ten years as a professional performer specializing in musical theater. Went into that for college. Graduated.

agent moved to New York was auditioning and working.

Tina (03:02)
Yeah, the dream.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (03:06)
dream happen. And while I was in New York City, I needed a job to pay my bills because performing was not making me any money. And I had a friend who was working at Kleinfeld Bridal, you know, home of Say Yes the Dress. And she posted on Facebook that they were looking to add a person to their team. And I instantly messaged her and she was like, Oh, yeah, you’re perfect for this.

Tina (03:18)
I’m sorry.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (03:36)
the next day was hired and that’s how I started my career in events. I spent about three years working for Kleinfeld. I worked in their hotel blocking division. So I was working in the store several days a week and then also assisting clients with booking their hotel blocks all over the world.

So I was learning simultaneously about bridal and fashion while also working on hospitality and hotels, which now when I’m working with clients, everyone’s so intimidated by hotel blocks. I’m like, I got this, this is the easiest thing.

Tina (04:13)
I got you.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (04:16)
And then I was with, yeah, I was with Klineful for about three years. And then my now husband was living in Cleveland still. So I decided to move back to be with my family and him. And I worked for a catering company here in Cleveland, ended up managing one of their venues for several years. And also as their marketing and design associate. And then COVID happened. So during COVID, everybody got furloughed.

Tina (04:41)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (04:46)
industry knows what a tough period that was. And I am not someone who likes to sit on my hands and wait for things to happen. So I was like, you know what? This is the sign. I got to start my own company. I got to do this. And it was amazing. We launched in October of 2020. My goal for 2021 was to have 12 weddings, and we had over 60.

Tina (05:12)
Oh my gosh.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (05:13)
It was insane, but I fully attribute that to the amazing network I had built over the years in Cleveland. You know, I got to soft launch things and, you know, vendors that I was close with were setting me leads. And then also because I had worked with the majority of planners in Cleveland, all of them had to postpone their 2020 clients to 2021. So they couldn’t take on any new clients. So they all started just setting them to me.

extremely lucky and grateful that I had the key that I had because I don’t think I’d be where I am now if I didn’t have that.

Tina (05:45)

For sure. Wow. That’s awesome. Well, first I want to ask, what was your favorite role you ever played in theater?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (05:57)
Oh, okay, well, I would say probably Demeter in Cats. She’s the cat that seems to have cavity and has a big dance solo, and that’s probably one of my favorites, yeah.

Tina (05:58)
I’m sorry.

Okay, alright.

Yes, I love cats. I could such a bad rap, but I love cats in musical.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (06:13)
It does! I mean, if you just take it for what it is, a silly play with great dancing and amazing costumes, then there’s nothing to hate there. If you’re trying to change your life by watching Cats, you’re going to be very disappointed.

Tina (06:19)
Right? Exactly. Wow. Well, you’ve got quite the repertoire in the wedding industry as well. A lot of background. That’s awesome. I honestly didn’t know that like Kleinfeld had kind of that planning side of things, I guess, because everybody obviously said, you know, sees say yes to the dress. But I had no idea they were kind of

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (06:43)

Tina (06:49)
did everything as well. Is that correct?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (06:50)
Yeah, it was a brand new part of the company when I started there. But it’s a completely free service and you don’t have to get your dress at Kleinfeld to use their hotel blocking service. Shout out to Laura and Michelle who run that entire side of the company. I still use them to do hotel blocks for my clients. But it’s amazing. I owe everything to them. They got me into this field and made me fall in love with live events. So I’m very grateful.

Tina (06:56)

Wow, that’s awesome.

Yeah. Well, and it’s like the parts that you like, don’t think about that much. That’s why we need people like you because I don’t even think about Hotel Black, you know? Who does that?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (07:26)
Yes. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Exactly. Who does them? How many do you need? What type of block do you need? You know, it’s a very complicated thing and something that we say all the time when we’re working with clients is that we have to remember that they don’t know what they don’t know. You know, for me, every time I’m working with a client, I’ve got, you know, 200 weddings underneath my belt, probably more at this point, and this is their first time, usually. I mean, occasionally we get somebody who’s been married before, but, and even the people who, this is a second

Tina (07:32)

Mm-hmm. Sure.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (07:57)
even in the past four years, that if you got married before the pandemic, this is a completely new experience, and there’s different types of vendors and restrictions and different ways of doing things. So being able to guide people through that process, it gives me a lot of, I don’t even know what I’m saying, but it’s very rewarding to help people and guide them through this, because I see people,

Tina (08:05)
Oh wow, yeah.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (08:27)
like, hey, do you want chargers? And they go, phone chargers? You know? And it’s just like, I have to remind myself that not everybody lives in this world and knows what they’re doing, and that’s why they’ve hired us.

Tina (08:34)
That’s a good idea too.


Yep. And then just breaking it down, making it easier, taking things off of their plate, right? That’s kind of what we say as well over here, just with being a music vendor. So I guess kind of going off of what you were just saying then is specific things about weddings. So I feel like everyone’s kind of trying to stand out right now, especially with social media, posting, you know, everything on social media. So what are the current trends that you’re seeing in the industry right now?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (08:51)

It’s so like…

Tina (09:10)
kind of putting their personal stamp on things.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (09:10)
Ooh, that’s a great question. Yeah, well, I specialize in pretty non-traditional weddings. So I’m always looking for something that’s going to basically put our stamp on it and make it stand out from typical weddings. We always say, like, if you want a pretty, pretty princess wedding, I’m not the girl for you. There are plenty of planners that I can recommend that would do an incredible job, but we’re not a match. So sometimes, we’re not a match.

Tina (09:33)

Honestly, he’s the best policy.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (09:38)
Exactly, exactly. I would be doing a disservice if I tried to plan you like a pink fairy tale wedding. It’s not, I’m not gonna do my best work and I’m gonna constantly be like, can we add black in? Can we do this?

Tina (09:43)
Right. No.

I had.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (09:53)
You know, very much knowing our brand. But some trends that we’re seeing a lot of, I mean, color is gonna be huge in 2024 and beyond. Even clients that I thought of would originally wanted a clean black and white wedding, they’re like, let’s add a little orange in. I’m like.

Tina (10:10)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (10:11)
Let’s do it. So I think color’s gonna be big. I’m particularly seeing a lot of orange and a lot of chartreuse coming in, I’m obsessed with right now. I think we’re also seeing an uptick in cocktail style receptions. So instead of doing seated dinners, we’re seeing a lot of people wanting more of like a cocktail style event, where it’s a lot of heavy hors d’oeuvres

Tina (10:17)
Okay. Sure.




Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (10:41)
still and you still get the dancing aspect, but you don’t feel like it’s a traditional wedding.

Tina (10:46)
Right, no assigned seats, right? Yeah.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (10:49)
Yeah, you just get a lot of lounge furnitures and small vignettes, but not huge tablescapes. And that’s a really, really cool thing that we’re seeing. We’re also seeing a lot of people opt to do restaurant buyouts rather than booking with traditional wedding venues. And then after parties are really huge right now. I think that’s kind of coinciding with the change up of the traditional reception.

Tina (10:57)



Uh huh.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (11:18)
Like the wedding that you and Tori are working on, we’re actually doing that over two days. So yeah, on Friday, a whole weekend. On Friday, we’re doing like a very small, intimate ceremony for them, followed by a welcome party for their entire guest count. And then on Saturday, we’re just doing a dinner with some music and entertainment. And then we’re buying out a pizza joint to do a big after party DJ, you know, crazy debauchery.

Tina (11:21)

Oh wow, I love that whole weekend.

I love that. That’s the way to do it. I mean, there’s so much invested in this one day that why not do multiple days and have everybody can have a good time for the whole weekend, right?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (11:50)
So we’re seeing…

Absolutely, yeah. Their Saturday isn’t going to be spent posing for photos for three hours. Like, they’re going to actually get to enjoy things. They want to go get coffee with some friends in the morning, and I’m like, yeah, let’s do it. Like, it’s just a more relaxed process. And I think baseline what we’re seeing is people trying to break away from tradition and step outside the box of what weddings have been. I think that’s the underlying trend underneath all of these trends.

Tina (12:05)
So true.




I like that. I’ve even found just by, you know, we obviously are music vendors, but we talk about the whole timeline with our couples. And I’ve definitely been seen like, I don’t want speeches. I don’t want the traditional, you know, blessing. I don’t want anyone to talk. But I’m loving it. I just feel like there really are no rules. And like, so why not do what you want.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (12:36)
Yeah, of course.

Thank you.

Yeah. We always say like break the rules. There are no rules. Like there’s no rules to break. So, you know, exactly.

Tina (12:54)
Right. Yeah. That’s great. We need a t-shirt that says that. Oh, great. So on topic of trends then, what trends do you wish that would go away?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (13:11)
Oh my gosh. Sparkler exits need to die. I don’t know whoever came up the idea of putting fire in drunk people’s hands at the very end. Yeah, it’s always a mess. I have to turn on my teacher voice and be like the mean planner when we do that because people are waving around.

Tina (13:11)
I’m sorry.

Oh, that is silly.

Nobody likes to do that.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (13:33)
three foot long sparklers, because you need them long enough to get the photos. And then it’s also, you know, most people can’t afford to have their photographer on site until the very end of the evening. So you’re not even doing it for the photos, you’re just doing it for fun. And it just seems a little always like a kind of a not clean way to end the evening. Like I think it’s always better to end on a high point on the dance floor and let everybody gradually leave and force everybody outside, make them do something that they don’t wanna do

Tina (13:35)



Mm-hmm. Like, hurting cats, right? Everyone’s just waiting there. Like, yeah.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (14:03)
exciting and fun. It’s the worst.

Tina (14:10)
Kind of awkward. Anything else that you’re hating? Disliking? Right. Okay. So, I’m going to go ahead and start the Q&A. Okay.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (14:13)
Oh gosh, I mean, bouquet toss, garter toss, but I feel like those have been trending out for a while. I think we’re seeing.

A lot of people go for more personal food choices rather than traditional food choices. So like stepping away from filet and short rib and going more for like, you know, Chilean sea bass or something that means something to them or recreating meals that they’ve shared at restaurants. I think we’re moving away from traditional food. Yeah.

Tina (14:30)


Yeah, I like that. That’s good to know. So I feel like this could also the garter toss or yeah the garter and bouquet toss and everything could kind of fall under like cringe worthy for me at least. Anything specific, obviously not naming names, but anything specific recently that has been like totally cringe worthy.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (14:56)

Oh, well, usually speeches are pretty cringy. Every time somebody starts with a speech with, for those of you who don’t know me, like that literally fills a piece of my soul every time. I’m like, there’s enough, let’s start this differently.

Tina (15:11)


Everybody knows you. Everyone’s reading the program.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (15:27)
and just say, hi, I’m Nora, I’m the maid of honor. That’s all I get to say. But yeah, that’s pretty cringy. I had a speech actually this past summer where the speaker brought out a katana and a sword, like a Japanese sword, and kind of like threatened the groom with it and then brought out.

Tina (15:44)
What is that?

Oh no. That is a bad idea.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (15:54)
a little sword for the couple’s future child to have. It was a very, very interesting way to start the evening, and it also took about 45 minutes, which was a nightmare. But yeah, usually speeches like that. When I, and usually, like what I find most cringey is people who try and take the attention away from the couple.

Tina (16:01)
Oh yes.


Mm hmm. Definitely.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (16:21)
So I don’t care what you’re doing, but if you’re trying to be the star of the show on somebody else’s wedding day, to me, that’s so cringy. Ha ha ha.

Tina (16:30)
Yep. You wouldn’t think that you would have to say no weapons at the wedding, but I guess now you

do. Oh my gosh. When you are planning with couples, what do you feel like the biggest source of drama with wedding planning is and how do you help couples with that?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (16:36)
One more thing.

Nine times out of ten, it’s family, unfortunately.

We actually considered making a policy that we wouldn’t work directly with parents. We would only work directly with the couple. Obviously, there’s exceptions to every rule. But we find that there’s a conflict between parents and children in the wedding planning process because of what parents think they know. With the age group that we’re working with, most of these parents got married in the 80s or early 90s.

Tina (17:02)

I was just about to say, yep, from the 80s.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (17:28)
Yeah, you booked a hall, you picked two, you picked your items for the buffet, you went and saw a band and you picked them and you brought a photographer. And that’s really the extent of the choices you made as a couple in the 80s or early 90s. Now, I saw a figure somewhere that the average couple makes 3,000 decisions planning their wedding. Yeah.

Tina (17:31)

Wow. Oh my gosh.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (17:56)
It was another planner I was talking to, and they had run a statistic, and yeah, 3,000 decisions. And it’s also just a much bigger production than it used to be. We’re talking about high design, extremely curated events, custom work. Documentation has such a bigger factor today. It’s not just your memories, it’s also what you share with people. It’s everything you have left after the wedding.

Tina (18:03)



Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (18:26)
So not only are parents really like freaking out over budgetary concerns, which I understand, not everybody can afford to have a six-figure wedding, and not everybody should invest in a six-figure wedding. I don’t think that’s the right choice for everybody. And then they don’t understand why we’re investing in certain aspects. Like I just had a conversation with a client.

Tina (18:36)


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (18:50)
the dad doesn’t understand why we want to put a vinyl wrap on the dance floor. He’s like, why would we do that? And I’m like, okay, it’s a parquet dance floor that comes with your venue. We’re going with a coastal Italian theme. A parquet dance floor does not fit in with that. And also every important moment that’s happening on, at the reception is happening on or around that dance floor. So in every photo you’re gonna see it, every moment people are gonna be staring at it all evening.

Tina (19:15)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (19:20)
there to tie everything together and create that aesthetic. We don’t have to go crazy everywhere, but we have to, in those important moments, find something to make it stand out. And so it’s just talking through things like that with parents. I think they just are completely what they thought they knew. They’re completely lost. And I shouldn’t say it’s blanket. I have some parents that like, I wish I was working with just them and not the kids.

Tina (19:38)
Mm-hmm. Yep.

So true.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (19:50)
You know, it’s so it really it’s hard for me to say like yeah parents are the hardest part But it really is a major source of drama. I think also since gas lists are now much smaller Like even for my own personal wedding my parents were like, well, why can’t we invite our cousins? I’m like your cousins Like 40 extra people and

Tina (20:07)
If you’re paying for them, I think. Right? How often do you see them?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (20:15)
I don’t even know who they are. I don’t even know their names. I’m not, I’m gonna, I don’t want to walk around my wedding and be like, I’m related to you and I don’t even know your name. And especially post COVID guest counts are much smaller so people don’t have the budget or the space to host those people. So I think that’s always something that comes up too. Usually guestless and money is where we find conflict with parents specifically.

Tina (20:27)
Mm-hmm. So true.


Yeah, I feel like they can add so much pressure onto the couple too, which is like just unnecessary. They already have enough pressure. I do wedding hair as well on the weekend. And yeah, it’s rarely they always are like people ask you like, what’s your worst Bridezilla? I’m like, honestly, I don’t really have Bridezilla. It’s either the mom or the aunt to be honest.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (20:45)


Not right. Right.

Yeah, yeah.

Tina (21:00)
So I know it’s a bummer sometimes, but yeah, I feel like they are kind of stuck in their ways and they don’t, they’re not open-minded to these, these new ideas. Yeah.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (21:08)
Like, yeah. And for every one of those difficult parents, there’s parents that I’m like, oh, I wish I could copy paste you.

Tina (21:16)
100% totally.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (21:18)
Last night I had a tasting with a couple and I literally sat there and I was just like, I can’t believe how much I love these parents. At one point they said, like I was asking about decisions, like about speeches and things like that. And the mom said, I do not have a preference on anything. Whatever bride and groom want, they will get this is their day. I don’t want this to be about me at all. And I was like, yes, that’s the exact reality that you should have.

Tina (21:24)


Thank you. Yeah, that’s fantastic.

Love that. Well, great. That’s good to know as well. So any advice then you can offer somebody just starting to plan their wedding.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (21:48)


So I think it’s important to have a family meeting, honestly. You, your fiancee, both sets of parents or, you know, whatever relatives or, you know, close people that you are going to rely on during this process. I think before you reach out to vendors or venues or start booking anything, you need to sit down and kind of flush out like what everyone feels comfortable with. Because what I find is that conflicts arise because these things haven’t been discussed.

Tina (22:10)

Thank you.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (22:30)
And I’m like, how many guests do we have? And they’re like, oh, we have 100. And then mom’s like, no, we have 200. And so it’s like, OK, this isn’t the time to be discussing that. I need to know who it’s going to be. So I suggest having everybody over, have a bottle of wine, have some dinner together. It’s the dinner of the week.

Tina (22:40)
Right. Yeah.

Why not? Yep.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (22:50)
Talk about contributions, talk about guest lists, talk about overall vision, talk about tradition, and kind of get a feel for what everyone’s expectations for the day are. Because if you start without that, it’s gonna cause a lot of problems down the road.

Tina (22:57)


100% communication. I feel like that’s where planners can come in too. And, you know, people don’t think about that and budget. I feel like budget is always the biggest thing in any type of event or relationship event. Like, it’s always going to be the thing that creates issues. So just, you know, spearheaded right away, right? Right.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (23:11)

Absolutely. And things change, they always change, but you know, everybody needs to have, needs to go into the process with the same mindset.

Tina (23:36)
Mm-hmm, totally agree. So I guess in the same nature then what are the best areas to invest in while you’re planning?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (23:46)
So I typically say documentation first. So the photo and video or content creation, we’re seeing a huge uptick in that as well. But that’s where I like to invest a decent amount because like I said, that’s all you have left after the wedding day. So we could plan a gorgeous wedding, but if we don’t have a great photographer to capture it, then what was all that worth?

Tina (23:54)



Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (24:13)
And then after that, I typically say entertainment, just because your guests will remember that. Yeah. I don’t know. Do you think they’ll remember? Yeah. You’re not going to remember centerpieces, but you will remember if the band was horrible.

Tina (24:17)

That’s what we always say too. Not gonna remember the flowers or the chicken. Nope.


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (24:31)
or if the DJ was incredible. You’ll remember that because it’s more about the environment than you’re creating rather than the specific pieces. So, you know, entertainment is a part of the atmosphere. They are usually handling your lighting, your sound, and a decent amount of visuals too, especially if you’re working with, you know, like a company like Feel Like Some Fingers where you’re using shells and you have a stage and, you know, it’s a focal point in the reception.

Tina (24:50)


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (25:01)
And after entertainment, I usually say design and decor. Just because, again, we’re working on creating an atmosphere and an environment. A lot of people, like when I ask their top three areas that they care about, they always mention food and beverage. And while I think that’s important, and especially as a former caterer, I know the importance of really good food at a wedding, but I tend to find that it’s forgettable to people sometimes. So people will only remember if the food is outstanding.

Tina (25:05)


He has.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (25:31)
or if the food is really bad. As long as it stays in that middle range of like, it’s a good meal, like everybody’s happy, the food was prepared nicely, it was filling, it came hot, you know, all that, people won’t care or care. It’s usually just one under the spectrum. So I usually say, save on catering where you can and invest in those other three areas.

Tina (25:44)


As long as people get some food on their stomachs before they start drinking, that’s all they care about. I totally agree. Totally agree. Discussing vendors still, these couples, I talk to people that are getting so many quotes, talking to so many different types of vendors, getting all these quotes. What is your advice when they’re making their final decisions and picking their vendors?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (26:01)
Exactly, exactly.

Tina (26:19)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (26:20)
Absolutely. So I think it all comes down to research first. I think a lot of people rely on social media to find a decent amount of their vendors. And while that’s good, we also have to remember that…

Specifically Instagram is a highlight reel. Vendors are putting out their absolute best work on their channels. If you’re scrolling through and like 90% of the work that you see on their socials doesn’t align with your vision, they’re not the right vendor for you. At all. Even if they’re.

Tina (26:40)

Yeah, plain and simple.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (26:53)
Yeah, it’s simple, right? So I always say, start with that research first. Find people who you align with aesthetically and align with your vision for the day. And then once you have that list, I typically only recommend getting quotes from three vendors. Because…

Tina (27:13)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (27:14)
There’s really not huge differences in pricing between certain vendors, especially if you’re looking for a specific style You’re gonna find just a handful of people that align with you. So reach out to your top three now if people aren’t Available or they come in crazy over budget then you can start reaching out to the few other people on your list But I usually just meeting with three photographers meeting with three bands meeting with three getting three floral quotes Just because that’s enough that you can kind of see a range

Tina (27:34)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (27:44)
can kind of see what general pricing looks like across the board. But it’s not so much that you’re trying to compare apples and oranges.

Tina (27:44)


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (27:52)
And then honestly, a lot of the times when we get quotes, they’re pretty similar to each other. So we end up making our decision based on the client relation with that vendor. Are they responding to emails timely? Are they bringing ideas to the table that align with your vision? Are they a personality match? I mean, specifically for documentation and entertainment, personality match is important.

Tina (28:08)


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (28:22)
are going to be around you all day and if you find your photographer annoying, you’re going to have a bad day.

Tina (28:27)
Oh, right. And you’re gonna see it in the pictures, I’m sure too. Right?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (28:31)
pictures. And then same thing with entertainment. Like if you don’t like that somebody’s like super high energy and that’s gonna like feels cheesy and choogie to you, then we need to make sure that we’re pulling somebody who’s a little bit more subtle or a little bit more sophisticated. So yeah, I usually end up hiring based on personality.

Tina (28:46)

Yep. And you’re working with these people sometimes for like nine months to a year, if not more. And yep, I completely agree. What a concept you’d think it would be, you know, more difficult than that, but it’s really not. That’s great advice.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (28:58)

It’s really not. And the money changes too. Keep in mind, when you get a florist quote, you might not know exactly how many tables you’re gonna have yet. So that floral quote that came in, $5,000 over another florist, may end up being less overall once you finalize your design and your counts. So always something to consider. Thank you.

Tina (29:17)


So much to think about. That’s why we need people like you. Oh

man, seriously so important. Now I’ve actually been finding lately, I haven’t heard this until recently, that a lot of venues are requiring planners. Have you found that a lot? That’s awesome.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (29:32)


Cleveland is slow to it. We really see it at high production venues. So the Cleveland Museum of Art is a gorgeous venue here. It’s the most luxury venue in Cleveland. They do require that you have a planner with you throughout the process and of course, through coordination and on the wedding day. And we’re seeing a lot more venues at least requiring coordination because I think there’s a big misconception

Tina (29:47)



Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (30:14)
between what a venue coordinator does and what an event coordinator does. So some of those venues, to make that clear, are saying, yeah, you need at least a coordinator to both of us. So I… Oh no, go ahead, go ahead, Sue.

Tina (30:18)
So true. Yes.

Yeah. Now, can you go into a little, oh, go ahead, sorry. I was just gonna say, can you go into a little more detail than kind of that difference between the venue coordinators and then especially what you at your company do as well?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (30:43)
Absolutely. So the clearest difference between a venue coordinator and an event coordinator is that the venue coordinator works for the venue and the event coordinator works for you. The venue coordinator is always going to do what’s in the best interest for the venue and the event coordinator is always going to do what’s in the best interest of you.

Tina (30:56)


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (31:07)
Also, the venue is there to handle your load-in and load-out times, make sure that vendors know where to park, you know, make sure that the tables and chairs are set up the way they’re supposed to be if they handle that. And really, they’re just there to manage the facilities. So make sure the bathroom is clean, make sure the caterer is using the kitchen properly, making sure that your guests aren’t, you know, puking on the sidewalk outside, you know,

Tina (31:24)


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (31:34)
all that stuff.

Tina (31:35)
It’s hard to avoid sometimes.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (31:37)
Absolutely, they’re there to manage the facility first and foremost. Oh my gosh, absolutely. If you’ve ever done a tentative backyard wedding and there’s no venue coordinator, whoo, it’s tough. It’s tough. Cause if they go.

Tina (31:40)
That’s super necessary as well, for sure. Yeah.


And then that falls on you.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (31:53)
It falls on me. Yeah, if a glass breaks on the dance floor, I’m the one on my hands and knees picking up all the little shards of glass and making sure no one gets hurt. So a venue coordinator is extremely important, but they are not your event coordinator. Your event coordinator is there to manage the logistics of the wedding day. So with our company Engage & Co., that’s all coordination services. We start those four months out from the wedding, that is when we start working on

Tina (32:01)
Oh, yep.



Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (32:23)
detailing and timeline. Timeline is really the main planning job of an event coordinator. We’re insane with our timelines. They’re typically between 20 and 30 pages long. They’re like a whole, yeah, they’re a booklet. They include every piece of information that any vendor working on your wedding would ever need to know. I’m a big proponent of teamwork when it

Tina (32:37)


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (32:53)
timelines to the photographer and the caterer and the entertainment because what if entertainment needs to know that photographer is coming in 30 minutes early to do a first glance with the couple and the lights aren’t on? You know, like we’re not set up or we haven’t even chosen the gobo color for that day. So everybody needs to know every aspect of the wedding. So timeline creation is the bloodline of an event coordinator.

Tina (32:59)



Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (33:19)

And vendor management, the week of, is extremely important so that you don’t have to focus on your band calling you and saying, hey, we haven’t turned on the cake cutting song yet. We need that. Instead of having a bunch of vendors, because you’ll have between 12 and 20 vendors on your wedding, you don’t want all of them coming at you that wedding week. You want someone to field those questions for you, answer what they can, and only come to you for the stuff that they really don’t

Tina (33:28)



Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (33:50)
have answers for.

And then of course on the wedding day, coordinator is there handling everything, making sure that all of your personal decor is set up the way it’s supposed to, making sure that the right number of chairs at each table and the right linens on each table and the right napkin fold is at each table. We also include bridal attending in our coordination services. So you have someone with the bride or with the couple for the entirety of the day, making sure that they go to the bathroom, eat, drink water, they’ll get you

Tina (34:19)
Right? Oh my gosh.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (34:20)
a dress,

is running on time, they work with your photographer to check off all your must-have photos, you know, they’re working with your transportation company so you know, you know, if we switch photo locations last minute, the transportation company is going to take you to the original location. So they’re really there to kind of guide you through the wedding day and make sure that everything that you’ve planned comes to fruition. So it’s a very different role than a venue coordinator.

Tina (34:34)

Yeah, I can’t even, there’s so many things that go into it. I can’t even imagine having brides do that on their own. So what is, yeah, what is the biggest difference in between or is there a difference between engaged with Nora and engaged in

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (34:51)
Yeah, yeah, it’s insane.

Tina (35:00)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (35:01)
Yeah, so Engage Nora is our first baby. So that’s the company I started in 2020. And those clients all work with me directly. So those are for full service planning clients with a design focus and typically more of a luxury budget. So we are handling all vendor communication selection. We do your full design, we manage your budget,

Tina (35:13)


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (35:31)
you invitations, you know, do your floor plan and timeline and all that. So it’s really, really full service on that side. And then Engage & Co. actually launched last year, last year. Yeah, so this was our, 2023 was our first full year, full season with Engage & Co. Thanks. And I started that company because originally we were housing coordination under Engage & Nora, but I don’t work with coordination clients.

Tina (35:45)


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (35:59)
So it was a little confusing.

Tina (36:01)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (36:01)
For people, they’d be like, oh, we hired Engage Nora, but Casey’s our planner, or Tori’s our planner. So it was just a little confusing. So Engage & Co. is our associate planning team. They specialize in coordination services. And then we also do add on, we have the option to add on a design service, but you wouldn’t be working with me, you’d be working with our associates. So is that clear? Absolutely.

Tina (36:07)

Awesome. Okay. That’s that is great to know. Yep. For future clients for sure. Now tell us something that makes each company unique. Stand out from the rest.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (36:32)
Oh yeah. So, Engage Nora, we have a very distinct style. If you look at our Instagram and our portfolio, it’s pretty clear. I always say, I like to design for rock stars. If you want something edgy and cool and non-tritional and different, then Engage Nora is for you. We always classify those weddings as chic and unique.

Tina (36:48)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (37:00)

Tina (37:01)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (37:03)
very much a very specific type of wedding that we do on that side. And then Engage in Co. I think what makes us different from other coordinators and planners on that side is our attention to detail and our documentation style. Like I said, our timelines are extremely long and detailed. I’m a believer and if it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist and no one’s going to remember it. So I think our detail,

Tina (37:19)


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (37:32)
we work with our clients is unmatched. And I think also, you know, the fact that we start working four months out is different than other companies. A lot of times people, or you see coordinators billed as day of coordinators. That doesn’t exist. That’s not a real service anybody offered.

Tina (37:40)

Right. You’re not going to know anything.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (37:50)
You’re not going to know anything. What is somebody who shows up on your wedding day and hasn’t met with you and hasn’t been involved in the planning process, what are they going to do for you? They’re going to put out your card box and then some signage, but they’re not going to manage the event in the right way. Yeah. Like you might as well have, you know, a friend come and do that for you. Uh, so yeah, I, we’re, we’re very involved with our coordination clients more so than, um, than just that month of or day of.

Tina (37:55)
All right, they’re just a guest.

Right. And get a free meal.


definitely seems like it. That’s great. Now how far do you travel? Are you just in the Cleveland area or just in Ohio or how far

are you willing to go?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (38:29)

anywhere. We’ll go anywhere. I will stay with you anytime. Yeah, I think that’s definitely something that we’re pushing for more as we go into 2024 and 2025. I mean, we’ve definitely done, we’ve done weddings in Pennsylvania and Indiana. We do some down in Cincinnati, which doesn’t seem that far, but is four hours away. So might as well be in a different state. And then in 2025, we are doing a wedding in Greece, which is very exciting. So we’re starting

Tina (38:31)
I’m in Illinois.


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (38:59)
international travel and destination wedding side, but we’ll go anywhere as long as you’ll have us. Really.

Tina (39:03)

Awesome. Very cool. Love that. Now, do you have just for any like future clients, do you have levels of packages for each company or Yeah, you can go into as much detail as you’d like or whatever.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (39:17)
Yeah, absolutely.

Sure. I’ll keep it simple because it can get complicated. But coordination is pretty cut and dry. We have our baseline coordination package under Engaged in Co. And like I said, you have the option to add on a mood board creation package, which helps you with the design. But that’s really there to just kind of set you up. So we usually do that at the beginning of the process. So you have kind of a roadmap for the rest of the planning process. And you can look back and say, does

Tina (39:24)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (39:51)
fit in with our vision, you know, something for you to refer to while you’re securing vendors and getting quotes. And then on Engage in Nora, I offer two levels of service. There’s full planning, which of course is, you know, everything, and the kitchen sink. And then partial planning, which I like to kind of refer to as like our consult and coordinate package. So we still help with the design at the beginning and the coordination at the end, but in the

Tina (39:54)

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (40:20)
remain the main point of contact with the vendors and they do work with Tori instead of myself on that personal level. Yeah, pretty simple.

Tina (40:29)
Okay, cool. Good to know. All right, great. Anything else that we should know about you or your companies?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (40:38)
Ooh, um, oh, I don’t, I, nothing, well, actually, I guess we do have a third company. So yeah, I just keep adding them. We have a third company, we just acquired it. It was started by my husband at the same time as Engage Nora, but we’re combining them because it just makes sense. But he runs a company called Mise en Studios, which is a production company. So that is all custom built

Tina (40:48)
Oh, twist.

Cool. Right?


Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (41:07)

So when we’re working with clients, we often are fabricating custom builds, and so Misa provides that for us. One stop shop. Yep. Absolutely. And we have a stability trail, which is good.

Tina (41:16)

That’s awesome. One stop shop, I’ll tell you. That’s awesome. Well, great. Yes, yes. Now, how can people find you? What’s the best way to reach out?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (41:33)
Yeah, well, make sure you follow us on Instagram. Our handles are at Engaged with Nora and at Engaged in Co. We also have an Engaged Nora TikTok, which is pretty fun. We put a lot of fun trendy stuff on there, lots of trend forecasts, that kind of stuff. And then the easiest way to reach out to us is via our websites. So and

Tina (41:47)
and I’ll see you then.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (42:01)

inquiry forms on both sites, so you just fill those out and we get back within 24 hours, usually like two hours, but within 24 hours. And that’s the best way to reach out.

Tina (42:15)
That’s awesome. Thank you so much. Such great advice for any current couples, future couples, anybody planning. So thank you so much for hopping on.

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (42:25)
Thank you for having me, Tina. This was a blast. Anytime I get an excuse to talk about weddings, I’ll always do it.

Tina (42:28)
It was fun.

Yes. Good. I can tell that you’re passionate. It’s fun. It’s such a fun business, right?

Nora Culley Tuck (Engaged With Nora) (42:37)
Absolutely, yeah. Endless fun. Thank you.

Tina (42:39)
Good. All right. Thank you so much.

This interview was made possible by Felix & Fingers Dueling Pianos

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