We’re so excited to start this series here on our blog featuring vendors in our area, to help couples the are planning elopements and intentional weddings! When we got married here in the Smokies three years ago, it was tough to find resources of recommended vendors, especially vendors that had our aesthetic and needs in mind. Our goal with our featured vendor series is to make it easy for couples to find vendors that match their vibe and who they can trust. We’ve handpicked each vendor that will be featured here for their dedication to and quality of service they provide to their clients. They’re really more than just vendors, they’re amazing people and industry leading business owners whose heart is to serve you and help you have the best, most amazing day you could possibly have. They align and have similar values to our own and we can wholeheartedly recommend them and the experience they create for you. Here’s the first post of our new series! Now to introduce our first vendor: Gabby Pinkerton, Owner/Founder of Cause We Can Events!
Who Is Cause We Can Events?
A couple weeks ago while traveling through Colorado and Utah, we took some time to hop on Zoom and chat with Gabby Pinkerton (Gabby is in the green jacket above). We were so excited to finally meet her after being Instagram friends for a while, and can truly say she’s just as sweet and has the same infectious energy in real life as she does on the ‘gram. Gabby is the founder of Cause We Can Events, a full-service destination wedding planning service for adventurous couples. While Gabby is based in Nashville, Tennessee, Cause We Can also has teams based in Los Angeles and Maine. They plan out-of-the-box, non traditional weddings – anything from a three-day festival wedding in Moab to an intimate destination wedding in Scotland.
Gabby’s passion around creating an adventurous wedding day experience for her couples, as well as an adventurous life for herself and her husband is super inspiring and will leave you ready to head out on an adventure of your own. Getting to talk to her about Cause We Can Events + what she brings to the table as our very first featured vendor isn’t a conversation we’ll soon forget and are so excited to share with you guys.
Types of Weddings Cause We Can Creates
The heart of Cause We Can is to really focus on the experience, and customize that to what you as an engaged couple want. Maybe you’re a couple who want to include your friends and family – not because you feel like you’re obligated to have a wedding, it’s truly what you want to do – and you want your love to be celebrated by all of your favorite people. Then Couples like you are who Gabby would help you plan larger, festival-style, weekend weddings, where up to 150 people gather together (and often, all sleep at the same place!) and spend the weekend celebrating the couple’s love.
Or maybe you’re the type of couple who wants a smaller event, and you just want to share their day with your closest friends – or even just yourselves. Gabby + her team love helping couples like you too, and will help plan an intimate elopement for you, surrounded by nature, intentionally planning out a day that speaks to what the you as the couple truly enjoy.
Really, their outlook is the more remote, the more dirt, the more free that people can be the better. They won’t just go through a checklist like do you have something blue, do you have a garter, etc. Sure, if there’s some traditions you want sprinkled into your ceremony, by all means they’re going to include them. But their approach is to sit down with you and talk about the your vision with all five senses, and then work backwards from there to plan out your day!
Why Hire A Planner For Your Destination Wedding Or Elopement?
What we absolutely love about Cause We Can is that they exclusively sell full-service planning. This means they won’t just book you and then show up day-of and coordinate your day. They work with you step by step through the whole process of planning your wedding. Being in the wedding industry, they have all sorts of connections in the planning process, and they use that to help you find gorgeous venues that you may not even know exist, and other vendors that are perfect for you and your wedding. They will help set up meetings with other vendors and help you through the process of booking them.
Besides that, they’ll be your people to contact for everything about the wedding. In the two weeks leading up to the ceremony, they’ll take calls from Aunt Sue wanting to know about the terrain. Texts from people asking about the weather. A couple people that might need a vegan meal – making sure that’s available to them. If your parents want to help but don’t want to overstep, they can text Gabby and she’ll be like “Awesome. I could use your help over here.” They take care of all these details and more so you don’t have to worry or stress about it.
What Working With Cause We Can Looks Like
They kick it all off with a vision and budget call. They talk with you about Pinterest Expectations vs. Reality Expectations, and how oftentimes more than not that’s tied to budget. Then they will find out what your priorities are, and then help you allocate more of their budget to those things, and less of their budget towards things that aren’t necessarily as important. That way the things you really care about get the absolute best possible.
Then they start creating a mood board for you with what you want your day to look like, and start reaching out to vendors that can make that happen, get quotes back, and then typically present you with three options in each category of vendors. They’ll set up phone calls for you guys to chat with them if you’d like. Then they get all the contracts in and signed. They are available when questions come up, and they try to take that off of your plate as much as possible. A lot of times the you won’t even know half of the stuff they do, because they’re like ghosts, just behind the scenes making everything work.
Getting closer, they’ll check in with all the vendors and make sure everything is good to go, and they’ll discuss the timeline with you, and give you like a ‘packing list’ of things to not forget. For festival weddings, they arrive Friday morning, say hi, and then start bringing in vendors and setting up generators and that type of thing. It’s really a hands-on day for them. Being there Friday also lets Gabby + her team get to know the guests in a casual setting, and the guests learn that if they need anything – first aid kit, gum, earplugs, wipes, anything – the Cause We Can team has their back.
Saturday they are there to help out where it’s needed, run the timeline, and answer vendor questions. And finally, they wrap everything up on Sunday and make sure everything gets packed up and sent off like it’s supposed to.
Under Canvas Weddings
A lot of Cause We Can’s weddings are at a venue with multiple locations around the country called Under Canvas. They have locations in the Great Smoky Mountains, Acadia National Park, Moab, Zion National Park, and more. Under Canvas is a glamping experience, where accommodations are in upscale safari-style canvas tents. These tents have king-size beds, wood burning stoves, and even optional bathrooms. The staff there is amazing as well – they’re ready to get their hands dirty, help out however they can, they’ll even start your fires for you in your tent. Under Canvas is amazing because it’s one of the only places short of a hotel that allows you to stay there the entire weekend, with all your guests, and rent the whole place out so it’s only you and your wedding guests there. You’re not held to a food and beverage minimum, you’re not required to hire their staff, literally you just buy out the venue, and people can pay for their individual rooms(you don’t have to worry about that though, Under Canvas takes care of all of that!). When Cause We Can creates a wedding there, most of the guests have never done anything like that before and they’re just blown away that they get to spend the whole weekend in a place as gorgeous as Under Canvas.
Imagine waking up and drinking a hot cup of coffee on the deck of your canvas tent, watching the fog roll through the valley. Going on a short hike in the mountain air, and taking moonshine shots with your friends in Gatlinburg, before returning to say your vows under string lights.
Or spending a day kicking up red dirt off-roading in the desert, and coming back in the afternoon to have your ceremony, and then watching the thousands of stars come out through a viewing window above your cozy king bed.
These are just some of the unique experiences you can have at one of Under Canvas’ locations.
What Makes Cause We Can Different
Gabby was born and raised in Montreal and moved to California right after college, and she got into the event industry out there 10-12 years ago. She would assist other planners of all sorts, and one thing that stood out to her was how other planners treated other vendors. They were bossy and sort of demanding, and she always took more of a friendship approach to it. That’s how she’s built Cause We Can Events. They’re not helicopter planners, running around and bossing everyone around all day. They hire vendors because they trust their creative process, and if anything comes up they value open communication. It’s working friendships with other vendors that are most important to Gabby, so everyone can enjoy it and be able to do their best.
With couples, Gabby and her team creates relationships with their clients. She says often that it feels like they’re invited to the wedding as guests, because they’ve developed so many friendships with their couples. They go through so much with you guys in this journey, they feel close to their clients. Cause We Can is nontraditional, and encourage the weird, the wild, and unconventional. They feel like your wedding has to be personalized to you and your vision as the couple.
Gabby + her team are like fire jugglers in an arena in the middle of their weddings, and they thrive on the busy stuff. People will tell them the thing that stands out is that they laugh in the face of problems. When things come up unexpectedly, they take it in stride and just pivot and make something amazing happen. They try and keep the stress level to nothing. When they’re onsite at a wedding, we act like project manager, making sure that as a whole, the event happens like it’s supposed to.
Advice For Brides Going Into 2021
“More than ever, I think this year has gone to help people realize that their big day should really be based around the couples, and what they want. Have a huge festival weekend to show your friends and family how you celebrate and party in your life. Have a small, intimate wedding with 10 people so your wedding has those you truly love at it. Whichever direction you go, make sure your wedding is what YOU want, not based off anyone else’s ideas.” – Gabby Pinkerton
A Note From Us
We don’t know what 2021 is going to hold for us yet with the pandemic, but we do know having a team of vendors all dedicated to making your vision a reality is key. That way no matter what happens, we can all help you roll with the punches. And while your day might look different then you originally expected, we can still create a day that’s authentic to you and your dream, and make your ultimate vision, getting married to the love of your life, still happen.