Roan Wedding and Events | Kelly Jones on Breaking the Wedding Mold

While sitting outside a coffee shop recently in Moab, Utah, we had a great call with Kelly Jones (on the left in the photo above). She’s an awesome person who truly loves what she does. Roan Wedding and Events is a team of wedding planners who offer everything from full-service planning to day-of coordination. Their most popular service is partial planning, where couples have already started to plan their wedding, and Roan will step in and help you finish booking vendors, help you plan and design, create timelines, and completely manage your wedding day-of.

How Roan Wedding and Events Got Started

Kelly is the founder and lead planner of Roan Wedding and Events. She actually went to school for Journalism, and is the producer of a tv show during football season in Asheville. What got her started in wedding planning was really planning her own wedding. During that, she realized that planning a wedding is super similar to producing a football game or live television show. You get one chance, you have to make sure all the vendors are paid and run smoothly, you have to make sure the clients are happy, and you’ve got to be flexible because whatever happens, happens, and you have to just roll with that. Now, that’s how she approaches each wedding, with that journalistic and producing viewpoint on things.

Kelly had her wedding in June of 2016, and two months later in August she launched Roan. Soon after she started, Kelly ended up bringing Summer aboard, who is now the co-owner of Roan. Kelly and Summer played basketball against each other in school, so they went from on-court rivals to working with each other and having this really cool business together. They always joke that Kelly is like a cannonball of crazy ideas and Summer is the one that catches everything and is like “Okay, that’s a little crazy” or like ‘This is really good, let’s make it happen”. They work together really well, and that’s what makes Roan Wedding and Events the unique business that it is. 

Why Is Hiring A Planner Valuable?

Kelly always says she’s so proud of a couple when they reach out and want to have a wedding planner. It’s a huge thing to recognize that planning is a lot of work and instead of DIY-ing it, you’d rather hand it off to the professionals. She says a planner is kind of like your living, breathing insurance policy. They make sure that everything you want to happen, happens, (and happens when it’s supposed to!). Really, they put out any fires that could cause your real insurance policy to come into effect! A good planner will solve issues and make everything happen before anything even has to be brought to your attention. They’re someone who has done a lot of weddings before, someone that has that experience and knowledge that’s is in your corner and has your back, looking out for your best interests. 

Kelly remembers on the morning of her wedding having to sweep the venue herself, set up all the table layouts, and take care of the cake… It sounds good to do something yourself and save money and not hire a planner, but at the end of the day when you lose precious time and you add possible frustration, it’s just not worth it. That’s time that could be spent with each other, with your family and friends, really enjoying your day. 

The Experience Roan Wedding and Events Provides

The couples that really speak to Kelly and her team are the more laid-back and easygoing people, the ones that really trust in them and their process. Their style varies from the more boho and whimsical vibes to the more classic and glamorous couples. 

At times the weddings they plan will be at the same venues as past weddings, so Kelly’s goal is to have something different and new with each wedding. That way even if the venue is the same as a past couple, you will still have something unique and special to your day. The way they do that really comes down to talking to you, getting to know your story and how they can help create an experience that’s completely and unapologetically you. 

They do this by helping you think outside the box and break the mold of a traditional wedding. For example, at one elopement each guest had their own little picnic basket of food, each holding fried chicken, mac and cheese, and other sides in little mason jars as an alternative to a typical plated meal.

Another wedding they had this year was a couple from Texas that were planning their wedding to be in Italy, but they ended up having to cancel because of the pandemic. So instead, Kelly + her team helped the couple have a bohemian wedding in a castle in North Carolina. They also brought in a murder mystery team from Atlanta, and during dinner, they had a show for the guests to enjoy and guess who committed the murder. 

Roan Mountain, Banner Elk and Boone, NC

While Kelly + the team at Roan Weddings and Events plan weddings all over the country and frequent North Carolina, Virginia, East Tennessee and South Carolina, their home base is really Roan Mountain and the surrounding towns.

Roan Mountain, despite it’s name, itself isn’t really one mountain, it’s actually a five-mile long ridge. It runs along several summits, ranging from an elevation of 5,500 feet up to 6,286 feet at Roan High Knob. The Appalachian Trail runs along the ridge, weaving in and out of stands of spruce-fir trees, bunches of rhododendron, and expansive grassy balds.

Roan Mountain is famous for it’s sweeping, panoramic views of the nearby mountains. Go in the middle of June, and you’ll also be surrounded by a seemingly endless number of blooming rhododendrons. Really any time of year is insanely gorgeous, and that makes Roan Mountain an amazing place to get married to the love of your life.

Banner Elk is about a thirty minute drive from Roan Mountain, and Boone is right at an hour’s drive. These two mountain towns are popular vacation destinations, and have great shopping, entertainment and food options. The area is home to several ski resorts, and also has a wide variety of cabins and Airbnbs. If you’re looking for places to stay near Roan Mountain – Banner Elk and Boone are the best towns to search! They’re also home to some epic venues – Overlook Barn and Twickenham House are some of our favorites!

Roan Wedding and Events Going Into 2021

This year, Kelly + her team has helped multiple couples navigate Covid, and she said that they experience the heartbreak of having to reschedule and replan each wedding along with their couples, so in a way they know what they went through. Because of that, they are happy to help in any way they can – including reaching out to vendors and starting email chains with you included about covid-related things.

Kelly also sends out newsletters to her couples, helping them keep up to date with the local regulations and restrictions. The team at Roan Wedding and Events work with people from a number of states – Colorado, Texas, Hawaii and New York to name a few – so every time something in North Carolina changes or the governor has news, they let their couples know and keep them informed. 

The team at Roan believes that going into 2021 there will still be restrictions to some extent on the kinds and sizes of gatherings that can be held, so to anybody planning a larger wedding, make sure you have another backup plan in place. Kelly + her team will help plan your wedding, while also making sure you have something to fall back to if the larger wedding can’t take place for some reason. 

If you have to have a smaller wedding though, don’t let that bring you down. Kelly has had a lot of couples this year change their 250 person wedding to a 50 person wedding, and time and time again at the end of the night couples go up to her and tell her they wouldn’t change a thing. She always puts so much work into your day, making it the wedding of your dreams, and because of that, Kelly believes that in the end everything always works out how it’s supposed to.

Booking Your Wedding With Roan

When you inquire with Roan Wedding and Events, Kelly will send you an email to introduce herself. In that email she’ll see if you have any questions, and send you an initial survey. This survey is basically to get to know you better, explain a little about what you’re wanting, what your budget is, how many people you’re expecting, etc. Then you guys will do a quick 30 minute phone consultation to talk about your wedding day. Afterwards, Kelly will send over a custom quote for you guys and see if you have any more questions.

A month out from your wedding, they’ll set up another call. On this one you’ll kind of just catch up and discuss everything at this point in the process. Kelly + her team will also help you create a timeline and send it out to all the vendors a couple weeks before the wedding!

Once your wedding day comes, they take care of everything. Once you arrive that morning and head to your dressing room, you won’t have to come out unless you’re just curious about what’s going on. Their team does it all – from the heavy lifting setup to unclogging toilets. They don’t have a set amount of hours, they typically arrive in the morning, and stay until late at night. Really, anything that you want done that another vendor doesn’t take care of, Kelly + the team at Roan Wedding and Events have your back. 

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