How One Philly Wedding Planner Is Prepping for Her Own Big Day Amid COVID-19
Allie Beik of Polka Dot Events hopes to say “I do” October 30th at Globe Dye Works.
When it comes to planning a wedding, Allie Beik of Polka Dot Events has a system. She knows what comes first. She knows what steps you need to take, what’s important and what’s not. And after last year, she — like many other event-industry pros — has become skilled at navigating a Big Day amid the pandemic. (She has worked on roughly 35 COVID-related celebrations since March 2020.) Now, she’s tackling her own: The Mount Airy-based expert, who got engaged to fiancé Tim Davis this past fall, is about nine months away from her own wedding, set for October 30th at Globe Dye Works in Northeast Philly. The nuptials will have a sustainable, local focus, filled with Philly vendors and practical, eco-friendly approaches. While COVID-19 may impact their final plan, their hope is to celebrate with about 150 of their closest friends and family. Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing their story. Follow along here.
This story is part of Philadelphia Wedding’s ongoing Real Talk series, in which real Philly couples share their unique approaches to wedding planning and marriage. If you have a unique story or experience worth sharing, we’d love to hear about it.
I booked the date and the venue before any proposal existed. I knew he was going to propose — I just didn’t know when. But the longer we dated, the more I had these ideas of what I wanted to do for the two of us right now. Not for my wedding, but for our wedding. So I asked him if we could start planning without a ring, and he said, “Sure.” A few weeks later, he popped the question. For us, I loved that we had talked about it beforehand, had told our families, and clearly knew we were doing this.
One of the reasons we chose Globe Dye Works is because of Birchtree Catering and its focus on sustainability. We want to keep our wedding as sustainable as possible, and Birchtree’s been a leader in that effort with composting. Globe is also perfect for Tim and me because I love the industrial look, and he’s a civil engineer. So for him, the machinery in the space was too cool to pass up.
When you feel a connection to a venue beyond just the space itself, you’re happier with any little problems it might have. With Globe, a lot of people don’t love it because you can’t have everyone in the same space for dinner — you have to separate things based on the dance floor and gallery. None of that mattered to us because we had all these reasons we loved it. Plus, hopefully, keeping people separate will make everyone a bit more comfortable at this time.
We hope things will be normal-ish by October, but we have a backup plan. It was one of the first things we talked about when we booked the date. Tim would rather postpone and wait to have a big party later, and I’m fine with that. We’ll make that call about three months ahead of time, before we send invitations. So every time we book a vendor, we’ve been making sure our plan will be okay — if it comes down to that.
I’d tell any couple planning right now the same thing: Figure out what your Plan B is first. Even if you pick a date in 2023, I don’t care — who knows what the world will look like then? As you book vendors, confirm they’re okay with that plan. And make sure you have that pandemic or COVID clause, not simply force majeure. For Tim and me, for example, our vendors will keep their deposits, but they just wouldn’t take the final payments until before the new date, not the old one.
One of the hardest things about planning amid the pandemic — thus far — has been dealing with its impact on vendors. A lot of vendors are on hiatus or are just being incredibly slow about getting back to me due to lower staff counts. I’m sure a lot of couples are also going through this, so my only advice would be to stay flexible and calm. If you really want that vendor, they’re worth the wait and will most likely be available, if they’re not answering anyone! Or if it’s a vendor you can live without, it’s okay to move on and find someone else.
We are working with local, sustainable vendors. We booked Redfield Photography. Papertini is doing our florals. We’ll have different-sized candles running down the centers of the tables and a few greenery-filled pillars around the space. We’re using fewer flowers in general. We have a hanging black grate for the ceremony with greenery and some colorful florals, which Papertini will repurpose and place behind the band. And I hope to work with Forget Me Knot to pick up the flowers at the end of the night. [Editor’s note: Forget Me Knot restyles bouquet and event blooms for patients in health-care facilities.]
While I’m planning most of it myself, I am getting some help. My business partner, Tracey Goldstein, helped out with the design. She’s been helping with gathering rentals, too. We’re going to have one of my Philly coordinators, Kim Paiz, who leads weddings here when I can’t do it, handle day-of. I can’t tell people to have a coordinator and not have one myself. I know how important it is.
This story has been edited for clarity and length.
Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Philadelphia Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.