Top DC, Virginia, and Maryland wedding planner Angelica Laws didn’t know from birth that she was destined to be an integral part of so many happy unions. The whole thing came about by accident.
As a senior in college, Angelica took a one-credit elective in Event Planning, thinking it would be an interesting course and an easy A. When she presented her final project at the end of the semester, her professor was blown away. She insisted that Angelica do her internship with one of her wedding planner friends. Angelica let herself be convinced. “After a series of saying ‘yes’ to all things wedding related from there, the rest truly is history,” She says.
After a few years learning the ropes, she launched her own wedding planning business, Angelica & Co Weddings. Her hard work has earned her dozens of five-star reviews, plus WeddingWire Couples Choice Awards for the past four years straight. She’s pretty much the best in the business.
Photo by Kir Tuben Photography
Angelica offers a full suite of wedding planning packages and services, from wedding day management all the way to full planning. For the couple happy to find and negotiate with their own vendors, she’ll do planning sessions to same-page with the couple, and create a master wedding timeline to keep track of vendor arrival and details.
And for those couples who want to hand all the details off to an expert, she offers a full planning package that includes budgeting, design guidance, guest list coordination and RSVP tracking, vendor recommendations and negotiations, and more. On the wedding day, she’ll be there to manage the event’s setup, ceremony, reception, and breakdown when it’s all over.
There are also partial planning packages available for couples who need help somewhere in between a full planning bundle and a lighter event management service.
Angelica’s path through the wedding industry hasn’t always been smooth. “When I first started my business,” she says, “it was fortunately in a time when same-sex marriage was recognized and legal. When I first got my foot into the weddings industry as a whole, however, I was trying to navigate through a career where that was not the case. As a gay black woman, it was a constant struggle to find love and appreciation for a career that didn't have it for you in return.”
Fortunately, gay marriage has been legal in Maryland since 2013 and in Virginia since 2014. Angelica has had a front-row seat to this long overdue change, and now gets to work in an industry where she feels welcome and included.
We asked Angelica to share some of her thoughts about weddings and some of her more memorable experiences. Here’s what she had to say.
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
What’s your favorite venue and why?
Private residence weddings really hold a special place in my heart. It's common to get married at a venue that already exists, but it's so beautiful to create magic at a place that already holds such a strong meaning to you—like your childhood home. I really thrive in those situations for my couples.
What’s your favorite thing about weddings?
Everything. But if I had to narrow it down my answer would be a series of random smirks and side glances I catch my couples sharing throughout the day. Their pure joy and undeniable happiness is the reason I keep planning.
Photo by Kir Tuben Photography
What’s the wildest thing a couple has ever asked for?
I had a bride whose sister was sadly also affected by the pandemic. When we successfully managed to postpone my couple's wedding, the sister's luck wasn't the same. Their family asked if it was possible to host a double wedding, where both of their daughters got married on the same date, just minutes after the other. The answer was, most obviously, YES!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen a member of the wedding party do?
I had groomsmen leap-frogging cocktail tables after dinner. You can't even make this kind of thing up...
What’s the best “little kid moment” you’ve seen at a wedding?
I'll never forget the day when I was doing a "reception reveal" for one of my couples and they saw their tent and squealed. The bride's face lit up and she, so excitedly said, "this is all for us?!" with the biggest glow on her face. It looked like she had just walked into a candy store.
Photos by Maddy Williams Photography
What’s one thing you wish people knew about working at weddings?
They're not all glamorous. One of the biggest misconceptions is that my job is super fluffy and "must be so fun". While it is absolutely fun, there are so many moving parts behind the scenes and an insane amount of logistical coordination that go into every single part of a wedding day. The painstaking attention to detail that requires is enough to drive any corporate planner insane!
What’s the best speech you’ve ever heard?
A father of the bride walked to the center of the dance floor and said "There's no advice I have to give, whatever I did obviously didn't work so well for me". His ex-wife was standing right next to him. The entire room erupted in laughter.
What’s your favorite wedding movie and why?
My Best Friends Wedding. The drama behind every scene is half the reason I watched it almost daily growing up. Also, it's Julia Roberts, c'mon.
What’s your best marriage advice?
Take your time. There's no rush on forever.
To work with Angelica, head over to her website to get some more info and start the conversation. And since you’ll need a soundtrack to go with your beautiful wedding, contact us to reserve your wedding date and start planning the perfect party playlist.
Header photo by Victoria Heer
Thursday, February 17, 2022