Q&A with Rachael Grammer and J Ross

In the game of love, there are no winners or losers … unless you enter a pew-decorating competition, come up with the brilliant idea to make custom fabric end pieces for classic white pews, and become the Overall Winner.  Two Hearts’ Rachael Grammer and Hot House‘s J Ross teamed up at our first-ever event this past fall, and today they share a few insights (and funny stories) with us.

Both Rachael, an event planner, and J, a designer and event specialist, have been married to their own spouses for twenty years and counting. Between the two of them, they have more than 30 years of wedding industry experience. That is the same amount of time as most brides have been alive!

Back in the day: “When we were married, DIY was the norm,” remembers Rachael, who “be-laced” (bedazzling’s great aunt) her shoes and made her own veil in 1990. J, whose nuptials were three years later, says his wife remembers looking out the window ten minutes before photos began to see her soon-to-be husband “in shorts and a t-shirt hanging wreaths on the doors. Of course I did my own flowers.” (J later became a wedding florist before segwaying into designing and event planning.) Rachael will never forget how her groomsmen “pulled a funny” by filing the air ducts of the couple’s brand new cherry red Chevy Blazer with baby powder; so, the newlyweds spent the first hour of their honeymoon vacuuming up the mess.

Yep, that’s Rachael on her big day. Hello 1990 … but look at that handmade veil!

Some people are crazy: Years of being present at couples’ big day has led to more than a few memorable moments. Once, Rachael helped a crying baby head outside a spacious, hardwood-floored ceremony, to ensure her bride’s recording would have perfect acoustics. Afterwards, a finicky guest publicly scolded her  – in front of 30+ other guests! – for “removing a baby.” Hey now! J, however, has seen the unthinkable happen: “the groom didn’t show.” Don’t worry, though – the couple still got married a few weeks later.

Polish it up: While both planners wholeheartedly advocate hiring a planner for your big day, here are a few quick and easy tips to make your wedding seamless –

  • make a schedule and stick to it. “Create a detailed timeline to keep the wedding day on schedule,” Rachael says. What’s more, be sure to discuss your schedule with all vendors and venues, and then designate a dependeable keeper of the schedule. “This person should be prepared to be the eyes and ears for the setup of the wedding day, as well as the point person for the vendors and wedding party.”
  • candles, candles, candles! You just can’t beat candlelight.
  • personal photos. “Photos of the couple” add a nice touch, says J.

Trend alert: Rachael loves how weddings today have become “unique and true representations of the bride and groom.” Anything goes! For example, J’s favorite current trend is “incorporating family heirloom jewelry into the bride’s bouquet.” It’s become a real blend of past and present, all utterly infused with personality.

All photos generously provided by Rachael Grammer (she’s one talented lady!). Check out more photos from our pew-decorating competition here and here, and be sure to visit both Hot House and Two Hearts‘ websites.


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