Recommended by 99%
John · event on: 11/03/2013
A Southern Soiree greatly assisted with the planning and execution of my marriage PROPOSAL. I had contacted a number of wedding planners who were unwilling or unable to assist. Megan, the owner, responded to me quickly and was enthusiastic, positive, and full of great ideas. She brought in Gina to help and she had the same level of enthusiasm and positivity. They really went the "extra mile" helping me scout locations, work out logistics, and arranged wonderful music, photography and a picnic. And the cost was extremely reasonable. My (now) fiancee was thrilled and surprised and gave me (and A Southern Soiree) an "A+"!!! GUYS: If you need help putting together a special proposal, contact "A Southern Soiree".
Danielle · Married on 09/22/2018
My original glowing review is too lengthy for Wedding Wire, so here is the consolidated version - A Southern Soiree is simply the BEST! As a vendor in the area, choosing our wedding team was difficult, but we ended up choosing A Southern Soiree for planning services because it was important to us that whatever planner we chose, that they would be able to meet and manage a few different obstacles unique to us and our guests. We were confident from the time of booking through day-of execution that the Southern Soiree team would be the ones to meet our needs, and boy were we right!
Our first priority was the management of our guests and bridal party on the day-of. Gina and her team handled our large bridal party (hello 21 groomsmen!) with ease and were so helpful to all of our guests, a large majority of which were traveling from out of town. They were beyond responsive and patient with my mom's emails (which were a lot) and made her feel like an important part of the planning process even though she was planning from out of town.
Personally, as a calligrapher, I was also looking for a planning company that would help me execute my dream wedding, which is a tall order to meet - and they nailed it. Gina was so helpful with making budgeting and execution decisions about the design, which would have been much more difficult for me to make on my own. She was so professional, had so much knowledge, and had a very practical approach to her opinions which I could not speak more highly about. I never felt that she was ever pushing me to book vendors or products or make any decisions other than what would be best for me, my groom and our wedding. It was a very personal experience that I could not have accomplished without her.
From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank the Southern Soiree team more for everything they did for our wedding. Our wedding will always be special to us, but now it will always be perfectly special because of them.
Stephanie · Married on 06/03/2018
Working with Southern Soiree, specifically with Gina, was the best wedding planning-related decision we made! I've said this so many times to friends recently engaged, but if you can find room in your wedding budget for a planner, it will be the best money you spend! And better yet, if you're looking for a planner in North Carolina, Southern Soiree is hands down the way to go! After we got engaged, we immediately began looking at venues, and after the number of phone calls, e-mails, and color-coded spreadsheets I made during the venue search, I knew I didn't have the bandwidth to plan a full wedding.
We started working with Gina immediately after we selected our venue, and I can honestly say the rest of wedding planning was completely smooth sailing! While we faced a few hiccups along the road, Gina never failed to swoop in and save the day. One example is when my mom was in town for my first wedding dress fitting. Upon arriving for our appointment, it was very clear the place was not a good fit for us and didn't have the skills necessary to alter my dress. We texted Gina, and within minutes she had another appointment scheduled with Just Sew by Renee (highly recommend!), who squeezed us into her busy Saturday and made my dress dreams come true (a few fittings later!).
Since we didn't have much time to commit to planning, we relied heavily on Gina for vendor, design,and organization recommendations. I always felt like Gina was giving us honest, practical advice when it came to making vendor or budget decisions. We said it time and time again, but the people who Gina and Southern Soiree work with are absolutely outstanding. So much of wedding planning is building relationships so you can clearly communicate what you want, and Gina made it so easy for us by connecting us to vendors who were also extraordinary people.
Planning honestly felt so stress-free with Gina on our team, which meant that we were able to fully enjoy our engagement and wedding day!
Tiffany · Married on 04/07/2018
We were introduced to A Southern Soiree after booking The Umstead Hotel for our wedding. Alyssa was our assigned planner and she made our dreams come true! She was extremely responsive to emails and gave us so many great recommendations. Alyssa offered ideas and made us think about things that we would have otherwise forgotten to plan. Alyssa is super sweet and talented at her job. She gives you 100% of her attention. We were so grateful for all of the work that Alyssa put into our wedding; she is detail-oriented and coordinated everything with our vendors. Alyssa made sure we stayed on schedule -- the entire day was flawless! Having a wedding planner is a must, even if it is just for the day of. We could not have asked for a better day; it was all made possible thanks to Alyssa!!
Lindsey · Married on 01/27/2018
A Southern Soiree was the best and easiest decision we made when planning our January wedding in Raleigh. Gina is AMAZING! I was planning from out of town, and Gina took a huge weight off my shoulders. She made everything so easy from picking venues and vendors to rehearsal to the actual day. I can't more highly recommend the team at A Southern Soiree for any event planning needs!
Lisa · Married on 09/23/2017
Megan was the absolute BEST. I had a great feeling following our first phone call and immediately knew we wanted to move forward with her. Her broad experience and close relationships with vendors, coupled with her organized, detail-oriented, and warm nature made planning a long distance wedding in 6 months as easy as you can imagine. Given our tight time frame, Megan got the ball rolling right away by getting us short-lists of the best available vendors so we could lock them in swiftly. The bands we wanted were already booked up, but Megan found us another option from a different management company, and they ended up being absolutely AMAZING. In general, I felt like she understood and picked up on our vibe very quickly, which made the planning process so seamless. The best part was that Megan never once forced a decision on us, but whenever I needed her opinion (which was frequently!), she was there to provide it with sound reasoning. I had complete faith in Megan and Gina, which gave us the ability to completely relax and enjoy ourselves on our wedding day. I also could not have been happier with how the room looked that night, from the gorgeous flowers and chairs, to the stage backdrop and lighting, it all came together perfectly. Seeing our vision come to life was a dream come true, all thanks to A Southern Soiree!
Taylor · Married on 08/12/2017
We love, love, love Gina! We chatted with several potential wedding planners and had a special feeling about Gina, and, boy, were we right. We booked Gina as a month-of coordinator (in retrospect, we wished we'd gone with the full service because she's amazing) and she went so above and beyond the month of the help us. She was always ready to answer questions and had quick responses for anything and everything. We had a change of plans the day of the wedding due to several rainy days leading up to the wedding (the ground had turned to mud) and Gina coordinated the change beautifully. If anything went wrong at our wedding, I was totally clueless. Additionally, Gina is an incredibly kind individual. She's good at her job AND she's a sweet lady. One last thing-- my sister (who isn't dating anyone right now) has already decided that she'll use Gina when she gets married-- Gina is that good! Thank you, Gina!
Karen · Married on 08/12/2017
Megan Gillikin is the best! Absolutely the best. We hired Megan to be the wedding planner for our oldest daughter’s wedding six years ago. When she became engaged, we were at a loss as to what was involved with planning a wedding. We had no vision and didn’t know where to begin. Fortunately, we met with Megan and hired her on the spot. That wedding was beyond anything we could have imagined and, as my husband says often, hiring Megan was the best decision we made and worth every penny we paid for her services.
When our second daughter became engaged last summer, hiring Megan again was a top priority. The result was that on August 12, 2017, our daughter and her (now) husband had a wedding where every detail was taken care of and we basked in the joy of a perfect event.
Megan takes the time to know each bride. She draws out her vision of the wedding. I appreciated that Megan told us at the start that the bride is her client. On the few instances that our daughter wanted to do things differently than I could imagine, Megan delicately advocated for the bride. At one point she told me “Trust me. I will make it work”. I trusted her completely and it did.
I also appreciated Megan’s attention to the budget that we had planned. When we were far along in the planning process, it became evident that we would have 20% more guests than we had budgeted, however. Megan guided us through figuring out what budgeted items were most important so we were able to make adjustments without sacrifices.
All weddings are wonderful and most are beautiful. Our daughter's wedding was both but, most importantly, it was exceptional because it was exactly the wedding she wanted. I never worried about details on the wedding day because Megan was there. She handled every detail and we were able to enjoy every moment. Interestingly, the guests gave me all the credit for planning a perfect wedding. I didn't. Megan did. Megan is the best! Absolutely the best!
Becca · Married on 08/12/2017
I cannot say enough good things about A Southern Soiree. We worked with Megan mainly with help from Gina and both of them were truly such a joy and made the whole process of planning a wedding easy, fun, and stress free. I came in with a lot of ideas about what I didn't want my wedding to be but very few clear thoughts on what I wanted the event to actually look like. Megan coached us through everything, asking questions about what we've liked about other weddings and getting a feel for who we were and what we wanted the day to be about, and she gave us the guidance we needed to make informed decisions based on those initial conversations. She also gave great advice and delicately let us know when something we suggested might not fit with what we were actually going for, which we absolutely needed and are so grateful for. She kept us on track and excited for the big day, keeping things in perspective for us throughout. She even threw in napkins with fun facts about us as a couple as a surprise, which was so thoughtful!
A Southern Soiree is a unique business that really does focus on the individual client and what will make them happy with their event, as opposed to pushing them in the direction that is the trendiest or most common. Megan and Gina took the time to get to know me and my family so that they could make sure that they gave the advice and guidance that would make our wedding truly ours.
TLDR - You can't go wrong with A Southern Soiree - they are amazing, worth every penny, and provide a personalized, fun experience to their clients.
Brianna · Married on 08/05/2017
Alyssa from A Southern Soiree made our day perfect! In the months leading up to our wedding she was always available to answer any questions I had. On our actual wedding day she helped make sure that everyone, from other vendors to the wedding party and family, was on schedule and in the right place. She even helped bustle my dress before the reception! I highly recommend using A Southern Soiree. My wedding would definitely not have run as smoothly without their help. :)
Kim · Married on 07/08/2017
Gina was exceptional - don't have enough superlatives to fully express how delighted my daughter and I were to have her as a wedding planner. She made it stress free, had outstanding suggestions whenever we needed something and went above and beyond at every occasion to make things easy for us. Because of her we had an amazing time at the wedding and when I realized I had forgotten to order the late night food - she easily and immediately handled everything from ordering to picking it up so it was seamless. She worked tirelessly and was so much fun - I can't rave enough about her and our experience with her!!
Robin · Married on 06/24/2017
We got to A Southern Soiree through working with The Umstead Hotel and Spa for our daughter's wedding. A modified package with them came with the hotel package. All I can say is that they were outstanding. Both Megan and Alyssa were organized, answered all of our questions promptly and thoroughly, and made our day go as smoothly as we could have asked for. They attended our important meetings, including the food tasting, the final hotel meeting and the rehearsal, and also attended the night of the wedding. Alyssa handled all of our detailed timelines and interacted with our vendors, saving us untold time and aggravation. Alyssa also stayed at our party until the bitter end to make sure no stone went unturned. I would highly recommend A Southern Soiree.
G · Married on 06/17/2017
Below is an email I sent to my wedding planners (Megan and Gina) that I would like to share:
THANK YOU SO MUCH. Words cannot convey how awed, amazed, and grateful both of us were this past weekend. For everything you guys have done to keep us on track, plan every little detail to help us not only bring the beautiful inspiration to life but also to guide us in thinking about what are little things that guests would appreciate and make them feel special as well. When the wedding day came, we were so mentally ready to do a mental trust fall onto you guys because we absolutely trusted that you had every little step of the way down and if anything were to happen we knew you guys were there. On the wedding day, I was thinking about how easy everything was and all I had to do was manage my own nerves, and then I had a really good mental image of you two wearing amazing superhero capes and flying around from the Wa Duke to the Chapel to the Bay 7 and back around to make sure every little thing was cared for. We cannot thank you enough for you two pouring everything you have onto our wedding, we could definitely feel your enthusiasm, energy, professionalism and love for everything you were doing for us, and we really appreciate that. Even greater than our appreciation for pulling this wedding off is how you guys had my mom’s back. It was a REALLY tough situation with my mom living on the opposite side of the world, me up in North and you guys being in Raleigh to talk through the inspirations with vendors and have me translate and go back and forth with communication, where things were bound to get lost, especially in foreign languages. And you guys did an AMAZING job making sure mom’s inspiration live and breathe that day. Both my mom and I literally gasped for air when we walked into Bay 7. The first thing I said was “this is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS” and then I said “I really hope my mom loves it”.
To be continued to the next review post...
G · Married on 06/17/2017
Continuing on from my previous post that got cut b/c of word limit:
The next thing I know, I see my mom running to come get my attention to say (in tears) that this is perfect and all the flowers were MAGNIFICENT, the lighting was like stars in the sky, and how the plate setting and the goblets and the rows of candles and flowers were EXACTLY as how she had envisioned it and on and on and on. It was an AMAZING sight to see my parents so happy and relaxed and breaking it down on the dance floor, with the happiest of smiles on their faces and just letting loose.
And all of this, you two made it happen. The vendors were AMAZING, but without you two recommending them, running around to meet Cydney and coordinating with all the vendors to make sure the look gets pulled off, I would have never seen my parents be that happy. You guys gave them the best night so far in their lives. Thank you so much. You two are the superheroes with invisible capes, saving couples’ lives everywhere as they take their first steps towards eternity of love together.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything you've done for John and I, and thank you for everything you've done for my parents. We appreciate you so much.
ASouthernSoiree wedding planners are amazing at what they do, and if you decide on them, they will go above and beyond!
Stacy · Married on 06/10/2017
Alyssa of A Southern Soiree was so lovely to work with as our day-of coordinator. She was incredibly responsive to my emails leading up to our wedding day, and offered lots of helpful advice for the inevitable questions that arise during the wedding planning process. She helped smooth over some slight tension that arose with our venue in the beginning of the planning process, and she was key in making our big day go wonderfully. She also was great about coming by my room as my bridesmaids and I were getting ready to be sure I was doing alright and assure me that everything was being taken care of. Thank you Alyssa for doing an amazing job and helping our wedding day be all we had hoped for!
Kelly · Married on 06/03/2017
There are no words to express my level of gratitude for having Kelley Ann by my side while planning my wedding. My year would not have been the same without her. I had little to zero stress throughout the planning process. The true measure being that my mom and I got along (for the most part) the entire time!! Every vendor KA recommended I accepted without question and I could not have been more pleased with all of her suggestions. Everyone she surrounded me with the day of could not have been more professional, accommodating, and pleasurable to work with. She was able to take my vague vision of how I wanted to make my day to look and create something truly beautiful. The attention to detail was apparent the day of and many of our guests took notice and complimented. Kelley Ann's personality is incredible and she truly made the planning process enjoyable. Everyone that interacted with KA walked away saying "I am so impressed. She knows her stuff." Every dollar spent on having Kelley Ann as my wedding planner was worth it and I cannot recommend her enough.
Camille · Married on 05/13/2017
We began planning our wedding in Sept 2016. When we finally chose the venue location, The Umstead Hotel provided A Southern Soiree by as a vendor to work with. After a brief intro call, Gina and I began mapping out the details of what my husband and I wanted for our big day. Luckily we had a pretty clear vision, but regardless of vision, being able to pull it all off can be a completely different story. From day one, Gina was on it. She would provide recommendations, give feedback, ask the important questions, and really help us nail down the ins and outs of our wedding. Every experience I had with recommended vendors was a good one. She was responsive to my communications and vendor communications.
All in all, it was truly a pleasure working with Gina. She is a great listener, intuitive, thoughtful, organized, professional, and has a great personality. I found working with her to be enjoyable, fun and seamless. She never once dropped the ball on a single item being thrown her way. On our wedding day, she was on the ball and things went smoother than I could have ever imagined. It felt like we had a lot of moving parts but when the day came, everything fell perfectly into place and went off without a single glitch, not that I expected there to be one.
I highly recommend using A Southern Soiree!
Liz · Married on 04/08/2017
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine how much work went into planning a wedding, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that my daughter's wedding could NEVER have been as exquisite as it was without the professionalism, help and support of Megan and her team at A Southern Soiree. The vendors they suggested were top-notch, the budget we set up was strictly adhered to, no detail was overlooked, and, most important of all, we were able to relax and enjoy this incredibly special day without one ounce of worry. They were, quite simply, perfect!
Kelli · Married on 11/12/2016
Book them now!! Kelley Ann was such a blessing to my wife and I throughout the planning process and especially on our big day. She took every little detail to heart and made every effort she could to help us relax and do nothing but enjoy our wedding. She is an absolutely wonderful person and we could tell from the moment that we met her that she cared just as much as we did about making our wedding unforgettable!
Teresa · Married on 11/05/2016
My advice is to book them! Gina Johnston is an amazing professional who is able to handle all the details, coordination, problems, and concerns with a smile on her face. She really took the pressure off of me and, if anything went wrong, I surely did not notice. I was able to enjoy not only my daughter's wedding but also the entire process because I knew Gina had everything in hand. Gina's ideas have great flair and elegance. She was able to find the right balance between my preferences and my daughter's. Hiring A Southern Soiree, and particularly Gina Johnston, was the best wedding decision that I made. You will not be disappointed!
Dennis · Married on 10/22/2016
Thanks so much to Kelley Ann at A Southern Soiree. She was such an amazing wedding planner. She was on top of everything and helped make sure our wedding day went perfectly. She made sure to stay in constant communication with us and was always there to answer questions and provide feedback. We can't recommend her highly enough!
Emily · Married on 10/16/2016
I can not say enough wonderful things about Megan! I felt an immediate connection to her when we met, and knew she would understand what me and my husband wanted for our wedding. Letting go of control is a challenge for me, but I completely trusted Megan and her team. The weeks leading up to the wedding and the day of the wedding were so smooth and everything went off without a hitch! We still have wedding guests raving about how amazing our wedding was and how great our wedding planner was. You hear horror stories about wedding planning or something going terribly wrong the day of the wedding, but I can honestly say the day of our wedding we were able to focus on us, getting married, and enjoying our guests, and that is all thanks to Megan!
Hilary · Married on 10/15/2016
Working with A Southern Soiree was hands-down the best decision I made in the entire wedding-planning process. I had a pretty good handle on how I wanted things to look, but we were planning from out of state and I knew I needed someone local to help guide me through the process. We were matched up with Kelley Ann for month-of coordination, and I cannot believe how lucky we were to have her help! Month-of was much, much more that just your typical day-of coordination, and Kelley Ann is just amazing. She gave me vendor recommendations that were spot-on and within my budget, (gently) guided us through the best way to order events, and navigated some tricky family politics with grace and tact. She explained every step in advance, was very responsive by email (my preferred form of communication since I live three time zones away), and checked in on me throughout the process. Our entire day was absolutely flawless. As Kelly Ann put it, her goal was to make me feel like a guest at my own wedding - and that's exactly what happened. I didn't stress about a thing the day of the wedding, and if anything went wrong I never knew about it. Every time I think back on our wedding day I can't help but beam with happiness. I am so grateful, and really cannot recommend Kelley Ann and A Southern Soiree enough.
Colin · Married on 10/08/2016
Megan and her team at A Southern Soiree are VERY experienced professionals that are constantly FOCUSED on making their clients' dreams come true. They deliver in a SPECTACULAR fashion that also allows for the client to sleep well at night! I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Megan and her team on my daughter's wedding in North Carolina. Although I live in Texas, Megan's outstanding and timely communication process made the geographical distance disappear. When evaluating wedding planners for my daughter's wedding, I was looking for FIVE things. First, I needed to work with someone who was CREATIVE. Megan's ideas were both original and unique while remaining focused on cost-effectiveness. Second, I was looking for EXPERIENCE...serious experience. Besides her extensive time spent in the field of wedding and event planning, one attribute that definitely made Megan stand out among her peers was her past formal training at one of the world's foremost hospitality companies. Third, it was imperative that the EXECUTION of the plan was flawless. She exceeded anything I could have imagined a planner to do on the day of the event. Fourth, I needed to work with someone who is HONEST. Due to her trustworthiness, I felt that an easy forum for collaboration with Megan resulted in a fabulous outcome. Fifth, it was important to work with someone that likes to have FUN. If you focus solely on the stress and anxiety at the expense of not having fun, was it all really worth it? Enjoy the journey and share it with someone who instills confidence that all of your DREAMS will come true.
Julie · Married on 10/01/2016
Probably the best decision we made was to use this company!