“Passionate” is the word to describe Jodi Moraru, Founder and Creator of EVOKE event planning company. In 2011, Jodi planned my wedding at the Four Seasons in Washington, DC, and I was utterly impressed. With her out-of-the-box ideas and cravings for adventure, Jodi has definitely raised the bar for organizing state-of-the-art weddings with a charm that we love here at MODwedding. She has a knack for dramatic design and a bohemian style that she pulls together oh so well. Check out my exclusive interview with Jodi as she shares a few inspirations and secrets to her success with creating stunning weddings that brides only dream about. And thanks to Photographer Erin Lassahn, I’ve included a few snapshots of Jodi’s work from my beautiful wedding reception!
Nicole: What is EVOKE’s signature style?
Jodi: EVOKE’s style is sophisticated glamour with a nod to clean lines and fun elegance.
Nicole: Are there certain design elements that you rely on to make all of your celebrations extraordinary?
Jodi: With every event, we work through details to make at least one design element that is extraordinary and unique to that particular client. It’s important that the event reflects our clients’ tastes and personalities. A great example of this is a wedding that I just did on New Year’s Eve. To my delight my client loved disco balls, as do I. We were able to design a custom Chuppah that had gorgeous lit orbs and disco balls as part of the overhead interior design. It was stunning and the great part was that it became part of the ceiling treatment over the dance floor later in the night.
Nicole: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Jodi: There are truly so many rewarding parts of this job; it is truly a passion for me. However, I love the relationships that we have with our clients. They are life-long and when they celebrate on their special day, we celebrate with them.
Nicole: How are you able to balance the needs of your bride with your own vision?
Jodi: Listening is key. At the end of the day it’s not our event, it’s the clients’ events. Our clients hire us because we understand their wants, needs, and desires for their wedding and help them facilitate it in an easy and uncomplicated manner. The first questions we ask our clients are, “why are you hiring an event planner and what is important to you when working with one?” It’s not just about design; there are many reasons why people choose to hire a planner. When we understand their particular need or needs, then we can make sure that we are communicating with the client and working with them in the way that works best for them.
Nicole: What are your favorite wedding trends right now?
Jodi: Glamour is in! Glamour is always in at EVOKE. I love mixing metallics for a little extra bling and sparkle. I also think that a disco ball goes miles in décor. It can change the way the light reflects in the room completely. Entertainment production is key to the interest and flow of weddings as well. Great music and entertainment can elevate a wedding to new heights. As a foodie, I think food and beverages also enhance the experience of any event and should be reflective of the couple’s enjoyment of food. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s presented well and is tasty. Breakfast for dinner with mini fried chicken and waffles – delicious! Deli is making a comeback and our donut wall is a WOW!
Nicole: What three things do you feel are most important to having a remarkable wedding?
Jodi: A happy bride and groom and wonderful guests (family and friends) who are truly there to celebrate and share in the joy. If you have the above, any wedding is a true celebration. If you don’t, then the best food, the best band, the best photographer, the most gorgeous dress is nothing but a show. It sounds so simple but if you stop and think about it, love and support are the keys.
Nicole: Do you have any must-dos when it comes to planning a wedding?
Jodi: Work with a planner to come up with a realistic budget that will work for you based on your priorities. Things add up very quickly, and all the little details that are so charming can potentially add thousands of dollars to the bottom line. A good planner will help you make great decisions to create your special wedding and work with you to constantly update the budget spreadsheet.
Nicole: When you walk/scout a venue, what are the top three things you look for?
Jodi: First and foremost, prior to scouting a venue it’s imperative to know the number of guests because if you say you are going to have 200 guests and a venue can only hold 150 then there’s no point in going to that venue. Is the venue able to accommodate your flow (i.e., ceremony, cocktails, and reception)? What I look for when taking my clients to venues is their reaction and also the connection to the venue or catering manager. It’s a team effort so feeling comfortable with that part of the team is important.
Nicole: Lastly, what advice can you give people who are on the fence about hiring an event/wedding designer?
Jodi: I think hiring an event planner is the first thing a bride and groom should do once they get engaged because we take the stress off the planning process as it can be an overwhelming undertaking for many. More than that, we bring ideas, relationships, years of knowledge and experience to the table as well as the proper team of experts. We work with so many fabulous vendors because we know that as individual and unique as our clients are, so are the vendors, and we want to make sure to create the right match which also helps with budgetary decisions as well. If a full service planner is beyond the budget, I definitely recommend hiring someone during the “month of” to handle the wrap up of the event. This way, you can be a guest at your wedding and enjoy every moment.