Always Yours Occasions is a TN based wedding service that offers Day of Coordination, full service, and partial service planning. Cheryl and Kate are both certified wedding planners who specialize in local and destination weddings!
Cheryl has done weddings and events for 20+ years! Her daughter Kate grew up helping with a variety of events. At the time Cheryl got married, wedding coordinators were not well-known. Looking back she wished she had one! Following her wedding, Cheryl wanted to serve others by helping their events flow smoothly. For years, she helped plan and administrate weddings and various events in order to make sure the unexpected could be handled in a timely and least stressful way for those involved. Following a season of volunteering to plan and coordinate multiple weddings, friends and wedding guests urged her to do this as a business since she brought peace and order to both the planning process and the wedding day. Meanwhile, Kate was looking for a position as a wedding coordinator upon graduating from college. Starting a family business impacts the whole family so we took the time to talk it over and pray.
The result? “We went back to school and became certified wedding planners. We founded Always Yours Occasions a little over 5 years ago and have had the privilege of being a part of so many memorable events!” says Kate. “We’re constantly learning and finding new ways to meet the demands of our couples. Communication is key throughout the whole wedding planning process! We can only give advice and assistance based on what we are told and in the amount of time we are part of their team. The earlier we know about a couple's priorities and concerns, learning what they desire in vendors and their venue, the more we can make a real difference in their wedding day” says Kate! “We love weddings and seeing all the talent and creativity of each wedding professional blend harmoniously in a beautiful celebration that blesses the couple and their guests get to experience. We love meeting in coffee shops and enjoying a relaxed atmosphere while we get to know each other. A planner is an important part of your team and we want our couples to have the confidence that we're the right fit. This is the time where we want to hear what is most important to you for your event, determine how we can best support you, and answer your questions about what it's like to work with us. Once you book, we have a welcome kit to make getting started simple. Specially designed resources are available to assist you throughout your planning. Our planning process is designed to make communicating easy for local or destination couples."
We asked Kate if there were any unforgettable weddings she’s had the pleasure of being a part of. “We had a couple, Crystal and Marlon, which hold a special place in our hearts. They married later in life and Crystal truly believed she would ever marry. They were old friends who reconnected and romance blossomed. It was obvious that they love and have great respect for one another. They describe their love as a gift from God and want their marriage to be a testimony of His goodness in their lives. The meet and greet the night before the wedding and the wedding day itself was filled with joy and community. We often overheard friends sharing their gratitude for Crystal and Marlon and their marriage. Crystal was a thoughtful bride who wanted her day to be an experience that made her fiance and friends feel loved, appreciated and cherished. She knew them well and incorporated meaningful surprises throughout the whole day such as a stretch hummer to pick up the bridal party, a vintage candy bar, a custom photo booth, and donuts as favors. One sweet, unique moment was when Marlon and Crystal took a sneak peek of the reception with their nieces. Crystal wanted them to know that dreams do come true and that it is worth waiting for the right person to come along. The grand finale was when they drove away in a '69 Cadillac, one of Marlon's favorite cars. His expression was priceless and the joy on her face about this final surprise said it all! These are the reasons we do what we do! It really is such a joy to see so many people come together for a wedding. We get to experience the father/daughter first look, the groom's expression when his bride walks down the aisle, joyful tears as they say their vows and the tender moments of the first dance. We are truly blessed that so many great couples have entrusted us to handle the unexpected throughout their wedding journey as well as knowing we've made a difference in their lives.”
“Crystal and Marlon knew exactly what they wanted from the beginning, so it was an absolute joy to part of the most important moments in both their lives. Not all couples come as prepared, so we’re happy to start planning with them right from the beginning. We wish couples knew how much planners could help them in the beginning stages of planning. Many times we begin working with couples once they've already made vendor or venue choices. Sometimes, the client encounters some difficulty because they have made choices that don't truly reflect what is important to them and without the benefit of someone who knows the industry. In working with us from the start, you have an advisor who has your best interest at heart. We won't make the decisions for you, but we will offer suggestions and expertise to help create a celebration that incorporates your priorities and respects your budget. It really helps to decide what your top priorities are and make sure you book those vendors early in your planning. It's also important to hire professionals who are a good fit both in the way they do business and in their personality. Know what you are getting in your contract. Choose vendors who have the credentials, licensing, and insurance to meet venue requirements. You will benefit from the experience and wisdom of professionals who are serious about serving their clients well. Couples can choose to have one or both of us to be onsite for their day depending on their needs.”
“Don’t forget”, says Kate, “In addition to planning and coordinating weddings, we can also help you book your honeymoon and future vacations or plan a destination/all-inclusive experience or elopement. We collaborate with you to create a custom Wedding Blueprint that paints a picture of your vision, helping you to stay on track. Personally communicating with vendors allows us to function as a true team on your wedding day. As members of the Association of Bridal Consultants, we are travel agents with Sandals, Beaches, and the Grand Pineapple. Book your honeymoon through Always Yours Occasions and receive 20% off any wedding planning or coordination package.
Here at The Bride Link, we know the importance of trends! That’s why we always ask if our members are seeing any new ones cropping up! “The trends we are seeing this year are destination and multi-day weddings and anniversaries. Couples emphasize spending time with family members who they may not see often and there is a reunion feel incorporated into their itinerary. Another trend, in general, is an increase in elopements and smaller weddings with a focus on the overall celebration experience.”
Always Yours Occasions would love to discuss your wedding vision! They work locally in the Knoxville, Maryville, and Smoky Mountains areas but also specialize in nationwide planning services. In addition, couples can expect help with a venue search, recommendations on wedding attire, honeymoon planning, elopements, rehearsal dinner planning, and budget assistance. They also can create your specific wedding overview, ceremony order of ceremony and reception overview. They offer educational resources for brides who have questions regarding honeymoon/vacation planning, and booking hotel room blocks.
PHOTO CREDIT: Roxy and Jon Photography - Sunshower Photography - Alyssa's Photography - Melinda Sheree Photography - Joshua Gull Photography - Photos by Derek Halkett.