At Saphire Event Group, it’s no surprise that we love weddings. Our staff works tirelessly to ensure that over 400 couples every year leave our venues feeling like they truly had the best day ever. But there is something extra special about getting to give that same experience to one of your own, which is why we’re so excited to share that one of our long-time staff members is tying the knot at one of our venues! Meet Elizabeth Coleman, Production Training Manager here at SEG.
Hailing from Farmingdale, New Jersey, Elizabeth made her way to New England to attend Johnson & Wales University in Providence, where she majored in Sport/Entertainment/Event Management. She first started with the company as an intern in March 2012, and enjoyed her experience so much that she asked if she could stay of after graduation in May. It was then that a new position was created for her of Event Assistant. Elizabeth rose through the ranks in the Production team over the years, executing more than 500 weddings along the way and in 2019 was promoted a brand-new position within the company of Production Training Manager.
In addition to continuing to work with couples and help them achieve the wedding of their dreams, Elizabeth now uses her many years of experience to help create and execute training programs for other staff members and educate them on the SEG way. “The biggest joy I get from my job is when I am saying goodbye to the couple at the end of their wedding and can see how just over-the-moon happy they are with how everything went,” says Elizabeth. After eight years of helping others plan their own events, Elizabeth finally gets to turn the tables and be the bride herself, which leads us to our new series #SEGplanwithE!
In the coming months, we’ll be following along with Elizabeth and her fiancé Owen as they share their wedding plans, as well as their advice to other couples that are in the midst of nailing down the details for their own big day. With almost a decade of first-hand experience in the wedding industry, Elizabeth has picked up lots of helpful tips along the way that she wants to share with you! In addition, Elizabeth and Owen’s original 2020 wedding date had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, so they are in the same boat as many other couples out there this year and will be sharing some of their experiences involving pushing their event date out a full year later.
Make sure to check in with us each month as Elizabeth shares her experience with wedding planning on the other side of the coin. For now, let’s get to know Elizabeth and Owen a little bit better!
How did you two meet?
Elizabeth: “My coworker Hillary (SEG Planning & Production Manager) set us up! Hillary became friends with Owen during college, which was around the time when I began working at Saphire Estate.”
Owen: “She introduced us at my friend’s party in Providence back on January 19, 2013!” (Can we just say props to this groom for remembering the specific date they met?!)
Tell us your proposal story!
Owen: “After much thought and research, I popped the question on the second day of our European vacation at Ciutadella Park in Barcelona, Spain! We started our journey in Spain on August 7, then headed to Nice, France on August 9. We explored all over the French Riviera and even dipped into Italy for a day. We celebrated my 30th birthday on August 13 before heading to Paris from August 14 to 16. To say the trip was fun is an understatement – it was damn near perfect!”
Elizabeth: “I knew the proposal was coming on our European vacation but I didn’t know where or when. We were in Barcelona on the second day of the trip, I was taking a nap and Owen snuck out of the hotel to pick out the spot and ensure the photographer knew the location. I later woke up from my nap and started getting ready for our night, thinking it was a normal dinner out. Before going to the restaurant, Owen asked if we could go check out a park. We were walking through the park and I was starting to get a feeling something was up, but I was still not sure because I really didn’t think he would propose so early in the trip (it was day two of an eleven-day vacation!). Owen kept checking his watch, kind of hurrying us along. We then got to the park and start walking up the stairs, we paused and he started saying all these sweet things and I just burst out crying and said “you’re really doing it!” over and over again. Once the ring was on my finger I realized there was a photographer there capturing the whole proposal. The photographer then took us around and did a mini engagement photoshoot. We ended the night with a delicious dinner and dancing!”
You’ve been in the wedding business for many years and have seen all sorts of nuptials. What made you choose Saphire Estate for your own big day?
Elizabeth: “I know that we treat each couple that walks through our doors like royalty. I didn’t want to worry about another venue’s food and service being up to my standards after doing this for so many years, so I decided to go with Saphire Estate! It’s where I started my career in the wedding industry, and I just couldn’t imagine at this point getting married anywhere else.”
What are you most looking forward to about your own wedding and the planning process?
Elizabeth: “So many things – where do I begin?! I can’t wait until I’m walking down the aisle, just taking in the whole scene. Enjoying some drinks and our delicious hors d’ oeuvres during cocktail hour, entering the venue for the first time as husband and wife and having our first dance and of course, spending time with our loved ones.”
Owen: “I’m letting Beth handle everything – just give me good food, drinks, and music and I’m happy!”
After years of experience, what are your favorite wedding planning tips/resources and how will you be employing them to plan your own wedding?
Elizabeth: “Keep it simple. It is great to add the little details, but often that is what stressing our couples out is all the things they need to keep track of. All of the SEG properties are beautiful, so I’ve always felt they don’t need a ton of extra decor elements. I just want our guests to enjoy their evening eating, drinking, and dancing!”
Owen: “If there’s anything I’ve learned from Beth, it’s that everything has to be planned out way in advance. Nothing is left to chance! She’s very good at what she does so I’m not worried 🙂 As previously mentioned; all I need is a full belly and some bumpin’ jams and I’ll be one happy husband!”
What is your overall theme/color scheme for your big day?
Elizabeth: “As I said, Saphire Estate is so breathtaking without doing anything. I plan to keep the color scheme simple and just enhance the venue’s gorgeous landscape with some greenery for the outdoor pergola as well as for the centerpieces. Same with upgraded linens – nothing too crazy as far as colors go, but a little special something extra to accentuate the beautiful details within this classic New England-style ballroom.”
What is the most important thing to you when choosing vendors for your wedding?
Elizabeth: “I have been lucky enough to work with some of the South Shore’s best vendors for years now. It’s been so great getting to witness first-hand how they work with our couples and the staff. Unlike other couples who may be going into their planning having never heard their DJ spin before or tried the food, I definitely feel like I have an advantage of getting to experience how it is to work with these vendors up until and on the day of an event. After so many years of seeing their amazing work at other couple’s weddings, I’m so excited for it to be my turn!”
What is your overall vision for the day?
Owen: “I imagine it to go by in a blink of the eye, but I’m super confident just knowing that we’ll have a great staff taking care of us every step of the way!”
Elizabeth: “Selecting Saphire Estate as my wedding venue was a no-brainer to me. I have executed hundreds of weddings over the years at the property, and there is just a whimsical atmosphere about it that I love. For décor, I am planning on upgrading linen, with beautiful floral arrangements and a touch of signage. I am more focused on the feeling of the day and memory-making experiences. We are expecting to have lots of laughs and tears, great food, and a busy dance floor!”
Congrats again to Elizabeth and Owen, and thank you for taking us along with you for the ride. Stay tuned for the next installment of #SEGplanwithE, as we’ll be sharing lots more updates here on our blog as well as on our social media channels!