It all started with a willow tree.
When my family and I planted it, I was eleven years old and the tree was the same height as me. Standing next to the sapling, I told my parents that one day, I would be married underneath it.
Twenty years later, my husband and I married beneath its picturesque branches. It was the most magical day of my life and reflected my husband and I as a couple perfectly. We planned each detail together very carefully and took great joy in making it more like a party than a scripted event.
My approach to event planning is similar. I am interested in facilitating your personal vision in a meaningful way. I understand that each person, each couple, is different, and your event should reflect your unique experiences.
You should also know that my path to event planning was very personal. Growing up, my parents were - and still are - the ultimate hosts, infusing beauty, creativity, and love in to each detail from the moment guests walk through the door. Above all, my family taught me how to make others feel at ease and welcomed at an event. From this creative home I went on to pursue vocal performance at the Eastman School of Music and continued as a freelance performer in New York City. From the theater I bring an understanding of process and preparation necessary to make events run smoothly. Auditioning made me self-motivated and highly organized.
Alongside performing, I worked for 4 years as the New York Showroom Concierge and Front Desk Coordinator at Herman Miller. I was surrounded by beautiful design and had the opportunity to plan corporate events hosting some of the top design firms in NYC. Herman Miller rounded out my knowledge with an eye for design and attention to detail. An event can’t run smoothly without someone managing the details. When it comes to your events, I will juggle the overwhelming details, so that you don’t have to.
With each taste of event planning I came to love it even more, which led me here, helping others plan their special events. Truly it would be my pleasure to use my experience to help you create a stress-free wedding day that reflects you individually and as a couple.
A boutique firm committed to making your unique vision come to fruition.
For the couple who want assistant with design aspects.
For the couple who want assistant as the big day nears.
For the couple who want assistant with specific aspects.
Showers, Birthdays, House Parties and more!.
Here are some weddings that I've worked on.
"She is meticulous and thorough while still allowing your vision to be the most important part of the planning process."
Where do we even begin. My husband and I cannot recommend Gillian highly enough. From the very beginning we felt instantly connected to her in a way that made it possible for us to enjoy the wedding process rather than resent it. She is meticulous and thorough while still allowing your vision to be the most important part of the planning process. On the day of the wedding we didn't have to think about a single detail knowing she was there taking care of everything. We are beyond grateful to have had this time to get to know and work with her and are especially thankful now to call her a friend. You will not regret hiring this fantastic woman!
"Gillian really is the best you could ask for."
Gillian really is the best you could ask for. Our wedding decor was entirely DIY and not only did she handle hundreds of custom pieces, create beautiful table-scapes, handle difficulties with the venue, kept timelines and the wedding party on track, but she kept me (the bride) reassured and comfortable on the day, and the month preceding the wedding. Any worry or concern we had she handled with the perfect combination of professionalism and kindness and it was clear that she cared about our vision coming to life. I would recommend Gillian a thousand times over!
"We came to Gillian with an empty art gallery, a mountain of stress, and a dream, and out of it, she made magic."
We came to Gillian with an empty art gallery, a mountain of stress, and a dream, and out of it, she made magic.
We discovered Gillian less than one year out from our wedding at a time when we needed serious help to move forward with our planning. Work was overwhelming, logistics seemed a hopeless tangle, and we had chosen a DIY venue that required us to bring in absolutely everything from seating to plates to alcohol to food (without a kitchen or source of water). We planned our NY wedding from DC and felt super stressed about finding the right vendors remotely. But from the moment we first spoke with Gillian we knew we were in good hands. Gillian was kind, knowledgeable, easy to work with, and passionate about helping us plan a wedding that was truly “us” from top to bottom. She took the time to get to know us personally, understand our vision, and balance the competing needs of bride, groom, family and friends. From the start we expressed that we needed help finding and band and florist--in less than a week Gillian had found some amazing options and we jumped on a call to discuss the style and pricing of each. Gillian has a music background, which made the bands she presented us and the advice she gave us all the more valuable. We ended up with a fantastic band that fit our style to the T (and at a reasonable cost). Gillian was willing to work with us on our budget and helped us identify what our actual spend-range was when we weren't sure what to splurge on and what to leave out. Through Gillian's work, Monday check-in emails, her follow-ups, and her attention to detail, ideas became a plan, and a plan became a wedding.
On the big day, Gillian again went above and beyond to make sure everything went smoothly. It rained, the dinner caterer didn't have everything he needed, we ran out of gin--Gillian moved the ceremony indoors without a hitch, she handled the caterer, and made sure we didn't run out of booze. It was NOT easy, but Gillian handled it all with grace and professionalism. We simply cannot recommend Gillian highly enough. She exceeded our expectations in every conceivable way, and we have the utmost respect and appreciation for all her help.†
Thanks for bringing the magic, Gillian.
"She is the kind of professional who knows when to organize, when to produce, when to guide, and when to support."
With Gillian as our wedding coordinator, we didn't have to worry about a thing on the day of our wedding—not about the vendor who was late, or how our guests would transition from one small space to the next, or any of the unexpected details that do and WILL come up on the day of a wedding. Gillian knew when to ask us for direction and when to just take the reins and manage the situation herself. With Gillian present at our ceremony and reception, we could totally relax and enjoy our day and our families.
It's worth noting, as well, that although Gillian is extremely organized and a great event producer, she is also artistic. Our wedding was at our home, and both the ceremony and reception were held in the same space: our courtyard. This meant that none of the reception vendors, including the florist, would be able to set up in advance, because the space would first need to serve as our ceremony space. While we enjoyed cocktails inside with our families after the ceremony, Gillian directed staging to all of the vendors in the courtyard and created the most beautiful succulent and eucalyptus garland and artful table setting herself for our reception table. As I looked down the table from where I sat, all the flowers faced myself and my husband. These are the kinds of details Gillian thinks about.
I should also mention that Gillian is a true professional. Through years of event planning and her background in performance, she knows how to present herself at an event and with people in general. We had a very small wedding, so although Gillian was running the show, it was important to us that she blended into the fabric of our wedding party. It goes without saying that she did.
And by the way, you WILL be nervous leading up to your event, whether it's a wedding or a party, and Gillian has the calming yet focused energy you need around you as you prepare for a major event. Every time we spoke leading up to our wedding, I felt more calm and prepared for the event. Gillian always offered information and guidance, but never in a domineering way. She is the kind of professional who knows when to organize, when to produce, when to guide, and when to support.
We are so grateful Gillian was with us on our wedding day and we couldn't recommend her more.
"She really gives of herself, going above and beyond, as if it were her own special day."
Where to even begin... Gillian is a friend and colleague first, before she became my business card designer, baby shower host extraordinaire, and wedding day (let's be honest, month really...) coordinator. This woman has so many gifts! She is calm, confident, creative, uber organized and resourceful. Since I've had a lot of big life events this year including moving and a baby on the way, I really wanted to keep my wedding day intimate, low budget, detailed but simple, and mostly DIY. Gillian helped me brainstorm, make lists, offered ideas, went with me to buy my flowers, built all of my arrangements, bouquet, boutonnières and flower crowns herself, provided some of her own linens and decor, and was a rockstar on the day of the wedding. Of course my husband and I forgot a few important things, and didn't give her clear instructions for everything, but she managed to handle each situation seamlessly, without me knowing until much later about a few snafus... such as my step-father leaving all of our cheese for the reception in the car for several hours She is chill and graceful, but knows how to take charge and delegate tasks as necessary. I highly recommend Gillian for your wedding, and any other memorable event needs. She really gives of herself, going above and beyond, as if it were her own special day.
"Gillian was beyond dedicated...from the big picture to every last detail."
Gillian was beyond dedicated, with an extremely adept critical eye, helping to refine our visions step by step, from the big picture to every last detail. In the days leading up to the wedding, she was by our side without fail keeping us on track as we neared the big moment. But what really dropped my jaw was the magic wand she waved over the reception space - the last time I saw it, it was an overwhelming empty space filled with too many boxes. When I arrived with my bride, it was the "Daydream Ballroom" of our wildest dreams. Her eye for detail and personal aesthetic is classy, refined, and simply beautiful.
"Once Gillian and Willow Weddings were on board our worries were over! "
When our daughter became engaged we were wondering how we were going to help plan a wedding long distance (Michigan-New York). Once Gillian and Willow Weddings were on board our worries were over! Whenever there were questions or concerns about anything, Gillian was there with a solution. The wedding day itself was wonderful. There were no last minute details to worry about as we knew Gillian had everything well in hand. We were able to enjoy the day to its fullest. I have never seen post-ceremony photos go so smoothly and quickly! Gillian was a joy to work with and we highly recommend her services for any occasion.
"To say I was impressed with Gillian’s abilities as a wedding planner would be an understatement. "
Gillian coordinated my best friend’s wedding in September. As maid of honor to the bride, it was important to me that the day went smoothly with no unexpected or last minute issues. To say I was impressed with Gillian’s abilities as a wedding planner would be an understatement. A few days before the wedding, Gillian sent out a detailed time line of the big day to the entire wedding party, personalized for each person. This included hair and make-up times for the bridesmaids, crucial addresses/phone numbers and a time table for the wedding and reception. On the day of the wedding Gillian was easy to get a hold of and if I needed anything, she was just a call or text away. She also kept me updated on anything important the day of, so we didn’t have to bother the bride with any details.
The wedding day was the most organized wedding I’ve ever been a part of. Everything started on time from the ceremony to the reception, and everyone knew exactly where to be and when even with the large wedding party we had. Even post ceremony pictures, which can be a serious hassle and time suck, went so smoothly because Gillian had printed out a list of all the pictures the bride wanted and gathered all the necessary family members together right after the ceremony. I don’t think a single thing went wrong that day and if something did go wrong, I didn’t know about it because I’m sure Gillian fixed it before anyone noticed. I’d highly recommend Gillian as a wedding coordinator to anyone! She is a breeze to work with, and she’s clearly dedicated to making the day special and stress free for all involved!
"The day of the wedding my husband and I didn't have to lift a finger"
Gillian was a full planner for my September 6th wedding. My husband and I had ideas and a limited budget and she helped us organize and implement our vision every step of the way. Gillian also was instrumental in helping us get creative about how the event was structured. (We had really traditional elements and new ways of doing things) Gillian was responsible for shaping our ideas so that decision making was seamless, she thought of everything so we didn't have to!
The day of the wedding my husband and I didn't have to lift a finger, and there wasn't a single hiccup that we knew about. Our day was joyful, stress-free, and a huge dance party. All thanks to the vision, organization and hospitality of Gillian and her team from Willow Weddings. Highly Recommend her services for AT LEAST your day-of coordinator, and most certainly as your go-to person throughout the process!
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