Jeannene Lillie Events is a wedding and event planning and design company. We are based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and serve clients in Michigan, Pittsburgh, Ohio, and worldwide. The JLE Team is committed to coordinating and designing intentional events that celebrate the romantic and modern couple.
As a queer business owner, I am wholeheartedly dedicated to creating intentional and inclusive spaces in everything I do. I believe at my core that your event should be so personal that your guests will look around and say, “yup, this is so them!”. With a background and degrees in both nonprofit management and higher education, I have executed events for intimate local non-profit organizations to large scale campus-wide events at some of the largest universities in the country.
The JLE Team views ourselves as your event’s biggest cheerleader and advocate. Listed below is an opportunity to gain more insight into our dynamic team!
Who We Are: We are a full-service team that is fulfilled by serving you! We are inspired by architecture, fashion, nature, and travel. Our goal is to alleviate your stress during the process so you can find joy in every moment!
What We Do: We coordinate all of the logistics and work with you to design an event that is filled with intentional details, creative decor, and romantic designs. Your event should celebrate your love and connections.
What We Believe: We value creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for you and your loved ones. We are honored to be a part of the beginning of your family’s legacy and provide you with timeless heirlooms.
Who We Serve: We provide a full-scale experience for you as our couple, as well as your friends and family. We’re committed to learning about and becoming invested in your love story so we can better serve you.
What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?
I am so excited to see more couples intentionally working their own relationship and love story into their wedding decor and experiences. Some of my favorite ways to do this are by having wedding favors linked to a favorite past time or guest welcome bags with favorite local treats.
I am also excited to see that many couples are planning events across a few days versus just a one-day wedding ceremony and reception. With opportunities to connect with guests across multiple days (welcome dinners, post-wedding brunches, etc) the couple is able to share time with more of their guests and not feel rushed through the experience.
How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?
I absolutely believe that the relationships we have with other vendors are essential to us providing the best service for our clients. It’s truly amazing to be a part of a wedding/event team that comes together to create magic on the wedding day for our couples! We intentionally create meaningful connections with client-focused vendors across all categories and markets to fulfill the planning and design needs of our couples.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
After planning and designing (professionally or informally) weddings for other couples, it’s finally my turn! My fiance and I are getting married in a small elopement ceremony at the end of May 2020 and then celebrating on our 1 year anniversary with friends and family in May 2021! So many years have gone into planning these two celebrations and I cannot wait!
What’s the first event you can ever remember planning and how did it go?
One of the first events I planned about two years before starting my wedding planning business was a surprise proposal at a fraternity pinning ceremony. The event had minimal design aspects needed, but I was still so excited to work the couple’s story into the design. I worked in the girlfriend’s favorite colors, flowers, and photos from throughout their relationship – all while staying on a college student’s budget.
One of my favorite things I did was get a custom ring box made for the proposal with a painting of the girlfriend’s favorite Frank Lloyd Wright window designs. There were also custom painted canvases with lyrics from their song which they later displayed at their wedding. This event for sure ignited my passion for creating an event design that is connected to the couple’s story.
What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?
One of the biggest things I wish I knew prior to starting my business was that there truly is a market for every type of wedding planner. When I first started, I was nervous that my style and my values wouldn’t appeal to couples. I felt a little lost in the sea of what everyone else was doing and needed to take time to shift my mindset and refocus on my core values and my own personal “why”.