Talema Rice of Noir Blanc Events on the Importance of a Wedding Coordinator Knowing You

Have you ever considered hiring a wedding coordinator?

When planning a wedding, couples want everything to be perfect – the dress, décor, budget, and reception details must all be considered. But with so many tasks on the to-do list and only a limited amount of time to get them done, it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there is someone who can help lighten the load: a full-service wedding coordinator like Talema Rice from Noir Blanc Events. 

What is a wedding coordinator? A wedding coordinator is an experienced professional who can help bring the couple’s vision to life and ensure that no detail gets overlooked. But beyond handling the logistics and paperwork, a wedding coordinator can provide creative solutions and dispense sound advice, bringing a unique perspective that turns each ceremony into a truly special event. It’s incredible to witness the wonders a great wedding coordinator can create!

So, if you are looking for someone who will take the stress out of wedding planning, be sure to consider hiring a professional wedding coordinator like Talema Rice. Watch this episode to know the benefits of hiring a full-service wedding planner and how Talema focuses on getting to know her couples and sets her apart from the competition. 


Talema Rice

Gillian de Souza: Hi everyone! It’s Gillian with DC Weddings with Gillian. Let’s talk today about why it’s so important for your wedding coordinator to get to know you, to get to understand what you need for your big day, that they can give you that wedding experience that you deserve. It’s Talema Rice with Noir Blanc Events.

Welcome everybody! This is Gillian with DC Weddings with Gillian, and I am here with Talema Rice of Noir Blanc Events, and Talema is gonna tell us all about what she does and what she can do for you and your wedding. So welcome Talema.

Talema Rice: Thank you so much Gillian for having me. So my name is Talema Rice as Gillian mentioned. I am the owner and lead planner of Noir Blanc Events. We are based in Washington, DC but we also service the entire metropolitan area, so that includes Maryland and Virginia. We also stretched up to Delaware, Pennsylvania, specifically the Philadelphia area, and then Southern New Jersey as well.

Noir Blanc Events is a full service wedding planning agency. We also include a wedding design and a day-of coordination. So whatever end of the spectrum you are in. If you were the couple that would like to be more hands on in the details of planning your wedding and you just want someone to kind of swoop in a month out or a few weeks out to kind of bring those details together, work with your vendors and just make sure you have a great time on your wedding day, that would be day-of coordination. 

But then if you are the couple that just doesn’t know where to start in the whole planning process, you’re newly engaged and just are kind of like this is an overwhelming experience to start, we can help you there as well. So that is our full service.

And then when it comes to design, you have all these Pinterest photos and these Instagram photos that you’ve pinned or you’ve taken screenshots on your phone, maybe you’re just not sure where to start with them, we can help you with your overall design as well. So creating a design guide that include your color palette, your decor florals, all of that, bringing it all together to make it cohesive so that way everything on the day-of looks the same and just is pulled together nicely. We can help you with all of that. 

Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! So now, you mentioned about the couple that could be overwhelmed with planning, who just got engaged and I’m overwhelmed hearing all the things that you possibly can do for me. So how do I choose? So I’m a couple and me and my partner, we just got engaged and we are looking at the TV shows, asking friends, people giving us advice, and it’s just like too much. It’s too much already and the wedding isn’t even for another year. So how do I navigate to determine, do I need a full service and what does that really mean? Or do I just need somebody if I feel I can hire my caterer, or my baker, my officiant, my DJ, my photographer, my florist? What else do I need? I might do the 10 company if I’m outside, add lighting if I need that and keep going there. I mean, there could be 15 vendors in there, right? 

Talema Rice: Absolutely. 

Gillian de Souza: So, let’s say I decide, “Oh, I love to do that. I have time to take on all of that, and I want to be ever present on all of this planning. But I have never done this before. I’ve never planned something so big before.” How do I know what level of your service is best for me? 

Talema Rice: So first I will say, are you ready for another full-time job? If the answer is yes then I would say you could probably go with our day-of or month-of coordination because that says that you’re willing to kind of take on all that is wedding planning, reaching out to all the vendors, reading over all the vendor contracts, making sure that it is exactly what you need. If you have 15 vendors, that means there’s 15 contracts you have to look through, and that can be time consuming.

If your answer is no. You do not want to take on another full-time job. Then that’s where we come in with our full service planning. Again, that’s why we have jobs as wedding planners, but it is a full-time job.

A lot of couples, they step into and they’re like, “I can do this”, and then once they see all of the details that go into wedding planning, they either like “Okay, I think I need a little help here.” That’s my approach is. If you think you’re ready to take on another full-time job, then go ahead.

Gillian de Souza: But I’m still not convinced that it’s that much work and woah, I saw those prices for your full-time services. I’m not convinced that I need to make that spend on something I think I can do. And really a full-time job? My job is very demanding. It’s not gonna be like another full-time job. What can you tell me? 

Talema Rice: Oh Ma’am, there’s so much. I mean, there are so many — not just looking over contracts, they’re vendor appointments that you need to go to. And I will say the couple should visit them as well. But there’s so many just details that as a wedding vendor that’s been in the industry, there’s so many questions and things that we just know as wedding professionals. We know to ask certain vendors and who to work with at what point throughout the planning process. As someone that’s never done this before, as a couple, how will you know throughout the process when to work with such and such vendor? Who to reach out to at what point, and who to book first, and you know who to book less? 

Gillian de Souza: And then even from the perspective of there are so many vendors in every area, how do I narrow down? How do I figure out? How do I go to 20 catering appointments and how do I get it down to two catering appointments and feel confident that I’ve made the right choice that won’t kind of bite me?

 We get so many brides and grooms and couples that have selected a venue that can’t hold their guest count because they started off with what they thought was going to be a hundred and before you know it, it’s 150, but the venue can only hold 120 and drama. 

Talema Rice: Yep. That’s the other thing is being a wedding planner. Most times we know the venues in our area. If a couple wants to get married at such and such venue that only holds 150 guests and they know that their count is going to be 200 guests, we know off the bat, we got an next that venue because it’s not gonna work. We also kind of have that portfolio and that Rolodex of every single vendor. So catering, venue, photographer, all of that. And then the other thing to think about is the budget. There’s kind of a category for each vendor. So, everyone comes in at a different price point and as wedding professionals, we’ve worked with these vendors before. So we know based on your budget that we’ve solidified in the beginning of the process that we know which vendor is gonna work within your budget.

Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! So I think when we see couples that don’t yet have a coordinator, a wedding planner, these are the kinds of questions that they’re asking us, and we was like, “I don’t know.” The thing is, catering is such a big part of the reception that people think because we’ve got our ducks in a row, because we are very organized and we plan every aspect, but surely you can plan the rest of the wedding. You’re so precise with these things but that’s a skill that’s totally outside of our wheelhouse. I wouldn’t know how to walk you down the aisle. I wouldn’t know how to select a DJ. I wouldn’t know whether you know which side, who goes on or how to navigate a difficult parent or family member. All of these things, there’s just a vast array of things that we see wedding planners being able to help our couples navigate. That’s way beyond just selecting a vendor and putting some prettiness in a room.

Talema Rice: And also on your wedding day, if you’re the person planning it, I say at the very least you get a day-of coordinator, but if you’re the one coordinating everything, you don’t want your vendors calling you as the bride or groom on the day-of asking all the questions. It’s your day.

You’re supposed to be being pampered, taken care of, relaxed. And then again, that’s where we come in. So we handle everything on the day-of. So, being the professional in charge of everything and overseeing everything from the beginning, we know how everything should be run on the day-of.

We know how things have gone through the planning process. We know what the conversations have been like. So you know, if lighting or draping is being said, and there’s something not right with it, if I was involved in the contracting, well that wasn’t supposed to be set like that.

And we don’t want you as the bride and groom to show up and you walk into the ceremony space and you’re like, “That wasn’t supposed to be said like that.” That is where we come in as well. There are so many moving parts on a wedding day and a wedding planner is truly the glue that holds it all together. 

Gillian de Souza: Fantastic. So with that said, now that we convinced you guys that you need a wedding planner, let’s talk about Noir Blanc. What sets you apart? First, tell me about the name. 

Talema Rice: So the name Noir Blanc came about, I think any true business owner, your name is like your thing. You wanna be known by your name.

I didn’t wanna think too hard on it. So I just said, what embodies me? So I love black and white design. That is like truly just I think is an art form. Whenever I see art, black and white is truly just like breathtaking to me. When it comes down to wedding design, I love to design black and white weddings.

But I also just kind of tying it back to myself. Pinot Noir and then Sauvignon Blanc are my two favorite types of wines. Just kinda got playful with — and black and white are kind of like the basis of weddings, like traditionally, AA bride wears white and AA groom wears black. They’re timeless. They’re kind of like the foundations of weddings when it comes to design and the color palette. If you use those as a foundation, you can kind of go anywhere with their color palette. So that was kind of the story behind the name. 

Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! Fantastic! But you don’t only do black and white weddings, even if that’s a policy.

Talema Rice: No, ma’am. Yes, by the way, I love color too. With a Noir Blanc, my brand is very modern chic, and again just timeless. I also love bold colors. When it comes to design, I love black and white, but I also love color. 

Gillian de Souza: But bold colors go well with black and white. 

Talema Rice: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yes.

Gillian de Souza: Fabulous! So tell our couples what sets you apart from every other wedding planner that would do a good job for them? Why hire Talema and the team at Noir Blanc Events?

Talema Rice: You are guaranteed to get a hospitable experience from beginning to end. The brand is just very hospitality focus, and that’s what I wanted for my brand. And from the feedback I’ve received from a lot of my couples, I’m a very warm person, and that is just what I want my couples to feel when they speak to me.

I just want them to feel welcomed, and I think it’s very important to get to know your couples. Weddings are a very personal, a very intimate occasion in one’s life. So I feel that as a wedding planner, you should get to know your couples because wedding planning is a long journey.

You book your wedding planner at least 12 months out from your wedding date, if not more, 18 months preferred, but it’s a very personal journey. As a wedding planner, you need to know who your couple is. You wanna make sure that you’re a great fit for them and that you all mesh and vibe very well. That is very important to me and with the Noir Blanc experience. You will get nothing but hospitality from beginning to end, from the inquiry process all the way up until that exit interview, post wedding. So we don’t just have your wedding day and say, “All right, you know, you’re married now. We’re done.”

We have an exit interview to walk through your whole entire wedding process, receive any feedback that the couple has and at the end, you’ll always have a friend in us. So we hope that at the end we are friends or even family. I think a lot of our couples do become family at the end.

 After weddings, there are so many other life events that happen. We hope that our couples will hire us for other milestones in their lives after that. 

Gillian de Souza: Indeed. Tell us about a story of how you got to know one of your couples. What’s the thing that gets you to know your couples?

Talema Rice: I think just in the beginning, kind of setting that foundation when you have that initial inquiry when a couple reaches out to you, not just saying, “What are you looking for in a wedding planner?”

Like, “What’s going on in your lives? What brought you to this point? Tell me about your engagement.” We’re in a virtual world now, so I do think a lot of planners are meeting with their couples virtually. Whatever works for your schedule. I’m a personable person, so if you wanna meet in person, let’s meet in person. If you wanna meet virtually, let’s meet virtually. But I think, wedding planning, it can be overwhelming and stressful, but I think just starting the conversations with all the meetings, “What’s going on? How are you doing?” Instead of just jumping into the wedding planning. Again, as the wedding planners are the glue in terms of your whole vendor team. A vendor may reach out to you and say, “Oh, you know, just had a question about this couple. Oh, this is going on in their lives. They may not be so responsive because this is going on.”

Someone may have gotten a new job or just another life event may have happened. So I think it’s also important as the wedding planner just asking them what’s going on? And then also just like, what brings them joy? So if they love coffee, like I’m gonna send you a $10 gift card just to — you know what I mean?

I was thinking about you. So, they have coffee on me today. You know, the little things. Just understanding who your couple is and what’s going on, what brings them joy, and how you can kind of fill that space to just make the wedding planning process enjoyable for them. 

Gillian de Souza: So Talema, let’s tell all of our couples now, something, anything you want them to know about you or your business or working with you, the experience with you. Floor is yours. 

Talema Rice: Oh wow. With Noir Blanc, you will just get a great experience all around. Our day-of team is just amazing.

On the day-of, you will get one person with the bride, one person with the groom and they will just make sure that your needs are taken care of on the day-of. So that way you can literally just relax, enjoy your wedding day and have fun with all of your loved ones. That is like our main goal when it comes to wedding planning and just how we service our clients. We want you to be able to enjoy your day like, from the moment you rise, to the moment you walk out of the door of the venue, I want you to be able to remember all of the details from your wedding day.

And I want like all of the things that we’ve talked about throughout your journey, your wedding planning journey, all the things that you want, I want you to be able to see them come to life on your wedding day and that is truly like the experience that you will get. I want all of my couples to just have the best experience that they can have. 

Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! That is wonderful to hear. Isn’t that what this is all about? Because why do all of this, because you’re married already with that piece of paper, what is all this about if not to have this experience with those precious people that you’ve invited, the most important people in the world to you.

So thanks so much for sharing that and sharing all about you. If there was something that you said other than the fact that your personality is what people buy, your passion for having people have the best event that they can have is what people buy. But I heard you say that you would like them to contact you 18 months before. And let me tell you folks, you need to contact Talema 18 months before, not six months before, not eight months before. Ideally, that 18 months because it takes that much time and that much effort to put this thing together for you.

So we thank you so much Talema for your time, sharing your wisdom, sharing yourself, letting us know all about you and Noir Blanc Events. We are happy to have you and we wish you all the best! And Happy Thanksgiving!

Talema Rice: Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you so much, Gillian. I really appreciate you having me. 

Gillian de Souza: You’re very welcome. Anytime. We talk soon.

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