Kentucky's Newest Luxury Wedding Venue & Bourbon Distillery - Castle & Key

We're not going to bore you with how awesome this collaboration was, we'll just show you and let you decide for yourself.  We're pretty confident you're going to love it – almost as must as we do.  Enjoy!

Venue:  Castle & Key – Frankfort, Kentucky|  Photographer:  The Malicotes   |   Design/Flowers:   Always Planned

Calligraphy by Kelsey Marie

Calligraphy by Kelsey Marie

Flowers & Design by Always Planned

Flowers & Design by Always Planned

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Furniture provided by Market on National

Furniture provided by Market on National

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Who We Are, What We Do & Why?

I recently wrote a very personal blog post, where I proclaim my love for the wedding industry and come clean about some real feelings I've had in the past few years. 

With this new fresh outlook on my business, I've decided to dive in to who we really are, and what Always Planned stands for.  We've always had a mission statement and core values as a business, but we recently re-evaluated who we are and who our ideal client is.  With this change, comes a few changes in how we work.  It's a lot of exciting things happening all at once, and just in time for engagement season! :)

In our quest to find our ideal client – we discovered our ideal company.  Here's a few of our answers to some key questions.  We believe in transparency so we're excited to share with you!

What does Always Planned do?

We create elegant, sophisticated experiences. Whether for weddings or corporate events, we curate each unique event to the very last detail.

What emotional benefits do we deliver to our clients?

We remove stress, offer a peace of mind, and act as a sounding board for our clients. We are their true support system while planning their event. We act as a mediator between stressful family situations and even combat vendor situations that arise. Our end goal is to make the biggest celebration of their lives one they will never forget.

What sets us apart from our competitors?

Always Planned is full service. With both event management and design direction, we encompass all planning that can fall into your event. We also provide in-house florals, invitation design, and travel bookings.

What's the primary message we want to convey to our clients?

Always Planned has their back!  We want their wedding/event to stand out as much as they do, and we take pride in creating a one-of-a-kind experience from start to finish. There's nothing more rewarding to us than bring our designs, and our clients dreams, to life.  

So there you go!  A little snippet into who we are and what we love. 

Next topic?  Community.  Stay tuned.


Vendor Spotlight - Reel Special Productions

Well, hello there!  Yeah, I'm talking to you.  We're starting a new series and it's all about the phenomenal group of people and companies it takes to pull off every event.  This is some hard work, and we love to surround ourselves with like minded individuals, who understand that it takes some serious organization and team effort to create the best parties. 

We're not saving the best for last – we can't help ourselves but to go straight to the top.  That's how we roll.

We've said it a thousand times and it never tires - Kentucky has some super talented people, who are proud to call Lexington home.  First up, is the crazy fun and energetic husband/wife team of Reel Special Productions.  They also happen to be the cutest couple, and have an honest passion for love and life. 

Here's what Ryan had to say about their company.  

Who is Reel Special Productions? 

Kentucky's premier wedding video provider. We pour our hearts into every wedding video we produce so you and your loved ones will treasure it forever. Every wedding is unique and special so we offer wedding video services that are tailored to meet all your needs.

Interested in meeting up with this great husband/wife team? We don't blame you!

Reel Special Productions would love to meet with you and discuss the possibility of capturing your wedding day. 

Here's how to find them. 

  (859) 221-3885    |   Facebook  |   Instagram   |   Twitter   |

Plus, did I mention that we love working with these guys?  We absolutely do! 

XO, Rayna


Top 5 Wedding Venues in Lexington, KY

With the 2016 wedding season officially over, and engagement season upon us, we decided to list our top 5 wedding venues in Lexington, KY.  Don't worry, our list for Louisville and Cincinnati will be out soon! 

1.  Apiary

Photograph courtesy of EOP Architects / Phebus Photography

Photograph courtesy of EOP Architects / Phebus Photography

Photograph courtesy of The Malicotes

Photograph courtesy of The Malicotes

 Photograph courtesy of Honey Heart Photography

 Photograph courtesy of Honey Heart Photography

 Photograph courtesy of Emily Mosely

 Photograph courtesy of Emily Mosely

 Photograph courtesy of Todd Pellowe

 Photograph courtesy of Todd Pellowe

Personal Letter To Wedding Vendors

It’s about to get real.  I’m opening up for probably the first time in years to an industry that has my heart - the world of weddings.  

When I first started Always Planned you found me at every networking event, social hour and opening party.  I started my day with early coffee dates, and finished most nights hopping into bed with a mind full of ideas, business thoughts and a to-do list that never stopped.  I immersed myself in the world of weddings – attending conferences and workshops to further my knowledge and make important connections.  While my business grew, I expanded and added to my team, then I launched new concepts and businesses (Simply Love Studio), along with it came our own vendor parties and networking events, then educational nights and bridal shows for couples planning their ultimate day.  I was busy, incredibly busy.

While I loved every moment of launching and growing my business – the larger it grew, the more my personal life suffered.  On the outside life was perfect, and on the inside I was failing hard and I didn’t know what to do, or how to handle it.  So I worked more, and harder - pushing the issues in my marriage to the back burner.  We would take exotic vacations thinking some time alone would help, but it didn’t.  We would fight almost the entire time.  I would come home to my happy business filled with champagne and happy brides celebrating love.

Finally I had a car accident and well, with it, a wake-up call.  My life wasn’t the “happy” that everyone thought it was and the more I tried to “fake it” the more I became a fraud.  So I addressed it, we entered counseling and I gave my business some space, selling off SLS and taking some things off my plate so I can focus on priorities.  But, I’m stubborn and hardheaded, and well our issues were monsters at this point.  I was tired, and wanted to give up, but we kept going. One night, after 6 months of counseling we got into a huge fight and I was done.  Officially over-it and utterly crushed.  

I told few people what was happening in my life, and the world of weddings that I loved for years, that had became my home, my solace, my retreat – was now where I felt most embarrassed.  I lived in a world where the only thing we did was celebrate love – and I was getting divorced.  I was the ultimate failure.

So after years of being the social butterfly, I became the recluse.  Instead of networking events, I made personal time a priority and instead of coffee dates, I planned for cocktails with friends.  I found myself hiding from the world that I felt most at home, and my wedding business only brought extreme sadness.  My family didn’t understand and my friends didn’t really know.  I felt utterly alone.  

But, as hard as it was, I knew that this was the industry I belonged to.  Oh I was still running from the friendships I loved in the industry I adored - and still embarrassed at the fact that I was divorced now and “selling” couples on the idea of “lifelong love”.  But I never gave up.  In my failures I found myself - vulnerable, hurt, angry, hard at times, often weak, but in the end stronger than ever and always the hopeless romantic.  

It’s been almost 5 years now, and I still have embarrassment.  I still have an entire world that I have’t been honest with.  This is the first time I’ve shared this part of me with the world of weddings that is my home.  I find complete strength and awakening in being so real and open with you.  This is my love letter to my friends in the wedding industry.  Thank you for accepting me, thank you for always giving me the space I needed, and for welcoming me when I was ready to come home.  

Next year, my company celebrates 10 years and there is no way I could have done it without you.  In order for me to grow into the business woman I want to be, I have to practice what I preach.  I believe in transparency and today I’m facing my biggest fear – that I let you down.  I’ve written this countless times, but today I send it to you.  Please be kind, it’s not easy to admit that I’m not as strong as I seem.  

To grow and be better, we must first face the fear that keeps us from doing so.  Today - I slapped fear in the face.  It feels pretty great!

xo, Rayna

Introducing the new AP Wedding Planner – Lauren McGaughey

Guys, we could not be more excited to introduce you to the newest addition to our AP team.  We've been working away at perfecting every aspect to our client experience, and Lauren is the finishing touch.  From the moment we met for coffee, I had no doubt that Lauren is the perfect choice to lead AP into it's next phase. 

Her role as Lead Wedding & Event Planner means she will work directly with each of our clients to help them craft the perfect celebration.  Recently married herself, Lauren is obsessed with love and all things wedding.  We cannot wait to have her take the reins on the many details for our upcoming events.  Plus, she's a crazy talented graphic designer - so be on the lookout for new AP collateral. 

Please join me in welcoming Lauren to our Always Planned Family!

Talara & Chris - Part 1

This past weekend was a complete dream.  Dream client, dream venue, and the most dreamy team of vendors around – like I said - complete dream! 

Where to start?  First, let's discuss meeting our beautiful bride, Talara.  It all started when we worked a wedding with her - yes, she's a wedding photographer!  So imagine our delight when she got engaged and she instantly thought of Always Planned to help her plan and design the perfect day and celebration. 

I met Talara and her mom, Sanda, for coffee shortly after Chris popped the big question.  We have definitely had fun organizing all of the details and creating a sophisticated and relaxed garden setting for their wedding day.  

I'll write more about our planning later, but for now - enjoy these gorgeous images from the insanely talented Hope Taylor.  Just wait until you see the detail images!  Oh, and there's a video in the works! Stay tuned!

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Guys, we just can't get over how perfect this day was - the couple, the friends and family, the vendors, the flowers, the details, and that puppy!  Oh my!   Stay tuned for PART 2.

The Creative Team:

 Wedding Planner + Event Design: Always Planned

Photographer: Hope Taylor Photographer

Venue: The Gardens of Hickoryland Farms

Hair: Larry Buchannon | Makeup: Victoria Phillips

DJ: Matt Krupp from Select Sounds KY

Caterer: Sassy Spoon Catering

Gown Designer: Hayley Paige | Gown Retailer: Twirl Boutique

Videographer: Megan Angel

Cake: Lisa Wilhite Gregory

Modern Trousseau - Sophisticated Style

There are few things as important on you wedding day, as the dress you get married in.  You see, it's more than just a dress.  Twenty, thirty, maybe event fifty years from now you will look back at photos of your wedding day and you will see a young beautiful bride in front of you - and you will see the gown she selected - the gown you selected, to celebrate in, to dance in, and to love in.  You get one day, one piece of of clothing, one moment to say "I do", and one person to love for the rest of your life. 

If there is one thing we love more than the wedding dress, it's the hunt itself.  The moment you put it on, a rush comes over you and you know.  This is your dress.  Plus, you may choose to take some of your favorite people shopping with you, add in some champagne and the day just got even better!

We're excited today about a new dress shop, Modern Trousseau.  You may have heard of them.  They just happen to be the leader in couture bridal gowns hand-made in the USA.  Yeah, those guys.  Well, they're opening their very first flagship store in Kentucky, Louisville to be exact. 

A few more details about a fabulous new addition to the Kentucky bridal scene!

Modern Trousseau, leader in couture bridal gowns hand-made in the USA, sets to open their doors in The Henry Clay in downtown Louisville early this month. The company (headquartered in Connecticut) is known for their modern style, sophistication, and customization.

The hallmark of a Modern Trousseau bridal gown is customization. Modern Trousseau’s style, innovation, and quality make the brand a leader in couture bridal gown fashion. Modern Trousseau's designer, Callie Tein, uses the finest Italian silks and French laces, creating luxury, romance, and elegance in every collection.

Once your choices are made, and detailed measurements are taken, your gown will be constructed with love and care by our family of seamstresses at our Connecticut atelier. You may also shop for veils, hair accessories, and sashes to perfectly coordinate with your dress design.

Our goal is to design your dream —not just your dress.

We invite you to experience couture bridal first-hand.
Schedule an appointment today to begin making your wedding visions a reality.

To learn more about Modern Trousseau Louisville and book an appointment, contact Morgan Edwards at (502) 749-4773 or email,

We will have more about them as we build our relationship with Morgan - and there is definitely an open house coming soon!  We cannot wait to check it out... and maybe try on a few dresses... :) 

xoxo, Rayna