Love is in the Details
The sisters behind It Takes Two Events make your event twice as memorable
written by Linley Mobley | photography courtesy of MELISSA SCHOLLEART PHOTOGRAPHY; RUSTIC WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY; AUDREY ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY; CASTO PHOTOGRAPHY; VIC BONVINCI; LAUREN CARNES PHOTOGRAPHY; SKETCH BY CHARLOTTE RYVERSE
WEDDING PLANNING IS NO JOKE. As brides-to-be quickly discover, it’s not all just tasting delicious cakes and trying on pretty dresses. You have to budget and organize and plan and customize and design and coordinate and make decision after decision until you find yourself so worried about planning for that one day you forget to make any plans for your future as a married couple. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun along the way.
This is exactly why sisters Jenny Salter and Lauren Smith came together six years ago to create It Takes Two Events, a multi-service event-planning company that specializes in coordinating weddings tailored to each couple’s personalities and preferences.
“It’s our goal to relieve the stress of planning the wedding so our clients have the time they need to [start] their marriage with the best foot forward,” Smith said.
TURNING DREAMS INTO REALITY
Salter, who is currently a 28-year-old wife and mother of twins living in Alpharetta, interned at Modern Luxury Brides Atlanta in 2010 where her passion for the wedding market grew. She went on to study under a wedding planner and fell in love with the process. From there, she decided to start her own wedding planning business.
“My goal throughout college was always to be an entrepreneur,” Salter said. “I also wanted to work in a business that was relational, creative and always changing. This was truly a long-term goal, but once I got the idea to start the company, it became a reality a lot quicker than I expected.”
While Salter was playing with the idea, Smith — now 26 and living in Suwanee with her husband and baby — was in her senior year at University of Georgia working on her pre-vet degree.
Salter and Smith’s styles, personalities and tastes have always balanced each other well, so Salter knew from the beginning that she wanted to ask her sister to join her as a partner.
“I was Jenny’s hype girl from day one, and I knew I’d love getting to work with my sister every day,” Smith said.
“When Jenny introduced me to the idea of going into business with her, I was immediately all in.”
With the strong support of their family and friends, they quickly got to work branding and naming their business.
“When we were coming up with the name, we tossed ‘It Takes Two’ onto the table mostly as a joke,” Smith said.
“But as we mulled over it, we actually ended up really liking the idea because it encompasses everything that’s involved with wedding planning and marriage. It takes the two of us to run this business, it takes two people to get married, it takes us plus our vendors to make the wedding great; there’s nothing about wedding planning that’s an individual job. We just love the meaning behind it.”
The sisters launched It Takes Two Events in July 2011 and hit the ground running with a strong client base. As Salter and Smith devoted their time to building their business, happy brides quickly spread the word about the amazing duo.
CREATING THE RELATIONSHIP
Although their company specializes in offering wedding planning from the very beginning of the process, they also offer multiple levels of service including event styling, budget guidance, vendor coordination and timeline construction. Salter and Smith offer complimentary consultations to all of their potential clients in order to take time to find out what the bride and groom have in mind and allow the couple the opportunity to see if It Takes Two is the best fit for their needs.
“That initial consultation is so important for both parties,” Salter said. “The planning process relies so heavily on having a good couple/planner relationship, so that first meeting provides a great, pressure-free environment where we can give them realistic expectations based on their vision and budget.” Whether their clients need help with every facet of wedding planning or just someone to coordinate everything the day, week or month of the wedding, It Takes Two is ready to jump in and help where they’re needed.
“Everyone has a unique situation, a different budget and a different idea of how this process will play out, so it’s our goal to personalize our services to each couple so that we can do what’s in their best interest,” Salter said.
While the sisters are the main wedding planners of It Takes Two, they do have one other wedding planner on their team, Andie Adkins, along with an amazing network of assistants. Either Salter, Smith or Adkins will take the lead with a couple, but they all work together to assist the bride and groom. “We love to sit down with our couples and brainstorm,” Smith said. “We get to know their tastes, what’s important to them and what’s unique about them as a couple that can be reflected on their wedding day.”
Once they have a clear understanding of the couple’s needs, they collaborate with a team of artists to create sketches that allow the couple to have a realistic idea of what to expect. “This not only allows the bride and groom to be an integral part of the design process,” Salter said, “but it also helps them see their wedding before it happens.”
Once the vision and design have been finalized, the girls assemble a team of vendors that can execute everything while making it look like one person came in and did it all.
“We’re definitely very close with the vendors we collaborate with,” Smith said. “We know them on a personal level and have created some very strong relationships, and that’s great because not only do we trust them, but we can immediately determine which vendor would work best with which bride and that helps us provide personalized service.”
Whether it’s getting trapped in the elevator for three hours the day of the wedding and still pulling off a flawless event (which really happened to Smith!) or having to run out in the middle of the reception to purchase more drinks (which Salter has done without hesitation), the gals of It Takes Two ensure that the bride and groom have nothing to worry about on their big day except celebrating each other with friends and family.
While the women put in a lot of sweat and tears, the day is not complete without a little fun and games. “At all of our weddings, I always play a prank on Jenny,” the younger sister said. “She’s terrified of the dark and any creepy crawly thing, so I always have to take advantage of that.” “And we have a secret victory dance that we do together after every wedding,” Salter said.
MORE THAN JUST A JOB
After investing so much time with each couple, Salter and Smith often find themselves creating strong friendships with the brides and grooms.
“We become really invested in their lives and we truly care about them,” Smith said. “Most of the time after a wedding is over, I deal with a little separation anxiety because I’ve grown so close to the bride.”
Once that relationship has been formed with the couple, the sisters often find themselves working with the same families again as siblings, cousins and friends of the bride and groom start planning their own weddings.
The sisters have also had the exciting opportunity to coordinate celebrations for their own family members, including planning the wedding for former “The Bachelor” contestant, now sister-in-law Ashley Salter in the Bahamas. The sisters have also had the chance to plan destination weddings in Savannah, Ga., and parts of Florida as well as coordinate large events for nonprofits like Wings From Above and various churches in the metro-Atlanta area.
“This really is more than just a job for us,” Salter said. “It gives us a creative outlet, strengthens our sister relationship, introduces us to new friends and provides us with a way to give back in a very special way.”