A lot of people make transitions in their careers. They may start out working in restaurants before transitioning to human resources. They could grow from social media management to full scale marketing and promotions. They could transition from a major corporation to a more fulfilling nonprofit organization.

But how many people make the transition from successful international singer to “event designer to the stars?”

Drew Vanlandingham of Vanlandingham Design Studio managed to do just that. 

Drew performed as a classical soloist both nationally and internationally in musical theater and opera productions. After conquering that field, he returned to his first love of event design and founded Vanlandingham Design Studio. 

Based out of Baltimore, the studio designs events in Maryland, Washington, DC, and New York. He’s created events for designer Steve Madden and members of the Baltimore Ravens. He’s also been featured in Engaged Magazine, Baltimore Bride, and The Baltimore Sun. Plus, he’s been seen on Say Yes to the Dress and Curvy Brides on TLC! 

Drew and his team offer a range of options. They can do partial wedding planning or full service planning, taking care of every aspect of the event from start to finish. They also offer “day of” coordination, making sure all vendors, party members, and guests know are in the right place at the right time. 

And they can provide design consultation services to help a couple create the look and feel of their wedding day. Wedding design includes aesthetic decisions like floor plans, flowers, furniture, linens, and lighting design. The team will take your general ideas and preferences and turn them into a masterpiece with their professional design skills.

Drew is a highly sought after industry expert. He’s been a speaker at events for the National Associate for Catering and Events (NACE) National Design Experience, the Association of Bridal Consultants, and Virginia Bridal Consultants. Plus, he was the 2009 Unforgettable Weddings Event Planner of the Year! 

We asked Drew to share some of his thoughts about the wedding industry. Don’t miss the impressive way a groomsman repurposed a 4-foot tall glass vase...

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

How did you get started in the wedding industry?

I began as a designer in a local floral shop. After traveling for years in a different career as a professional singer, I came back to my design roots and began planning and designing all different types of events. 

What’s your favorite venue and why?

The Grand in Baltimore. I would say that would be my favorite, as that is where I was once married and experienced the best day of my life. I love a venue that is workable without having to experience weather.  As a planner, you always think of "Plan B."  There are not many venues that are connected to a hotel. Most hotels are truly just a hotel.  The Grand is a classic venue where your guests may walk across the hall to also have a hotel experience.

Photo by Dani Leigh Photography at The Grand

What’s your favorite thing about weddings?

I love that it is the beginning of a chapter for not just the bride and groom or bride/bride or groom/groom. It is also one for all families involved. Every journey is a teaching moment for all parties. I think we learn and grow from all our life experiences and I think weddings begin a lot of those times.

What’s the wildest thing a couple has ever asked for?

Fireworks with their name in the fireworks.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen a member of the wedding party do?

Pick up the centerpiece — a LARGE vase — and drink beer in the hallway with a keg line out of the vase.  The vase was 4 feet tall and made of glass.

What’s the best “little kid moment” you’ve seen at a wedding?

When the flower girl stepped in on the first dance and danced with the groom.

What’s one thing you wish people knew about working at weddings?

A good vendor always finds a solution for the situation. They should always be applauded when they work hard to make sure all parties are happy with the hand they are dealt. 

What’s your favorite wedding movie and why?

The Wedding Planner...Because the level of stress and production she puts into a wedding truly shows how it happens.

What’s your best marriage advice?

Falling in love is the easy and fun part...being in love is the hard but enjoyable part. When you gat past the falling in love part, take joy in being in love because that is the love that will last forever and create a journey of memories that will last a lifetime.

If you’d like to talk to Drew and his team at Vanlandingham Design Studio about bringing their expertise to your event, fill out their online form.

And if you’d like to create the perfect soundtrack to go with their perfect design, we’d love to hear from you!

Published on:

Tuesday, May 19, 2020