Smoke bomb wedding engagement photos in the desert

Rena Sweeney

“Alchemy – a seemingly magical process of transformation or creation.”

I have been creating exceptional experiences in New Orleans & around the world for two decades for clients who are looking for something truly unique.  Nothing is more exciting than crafting a magical event that perfectly embodies who my clients are & giving their guests the experience of a lifetime!

We get to know you intimately to create a truly unique, one of a kind experience for you & your guests & incorporate those quirky little details that made you fall in love with one another.  We encourage you to embrace your wildest dreams & let our design & styling skills make them a reality while also working to coordinate all the details to help you maintain a stress free experience.

I love working with corporate & nonprofit clients also, my favorite being my partnership with the Humane Society of Louisiana, whose Board of Directors I am also a part of. I co-chair a 2 day vegan festival, NOLA Veggie Fest, for them, coordinating the event & sponsoring the volunteer area. I also participate in other HSLA events such as disaster rescue & relief, fundraising & traveling to Baton Rouge to support efforts in passing animal rights legislation.

I am also Creative Director for NOW Weddings magazine with interactive digital issues available on Issuu (follow the link on the last page to order the print edition).

I started my professional life in events & 20 years later it has continued to be my passion & lifelong career. I love helping others & would love to help you tell your story as your guests celebrate your unique union.  Embrace who you are and let’s make some magic!

Frequently Asked Questions

How did you get started in event coordination?

-I began my career working with corporate events such as trade shows & then went to work for a wedding coordinator.  When that person moved out of the country, I decided to launch my own business doing event coordination, offering my services to both corporate & private clients.  In the early years of my business, I was also the in-house coordinator for several venues in New Orleans.  I have also helped with the plans & design for the opening of another local venue & helped train their staff for several years when they first opened their doors.

I’ve been told that most coordinators limit communication.  Does Alchemy Events limit how often I can communicate whether it be via phone, email or text?  What about after business hours?

-No, the more communication, the better!  Our clients are free to contact us as much as you’d like!  Additionally, as we work with clients around the world, differences in time zones are often a factor.  We also know that clients are often not able to discuss personal matters during the workday so we are flexible to meet our clients needs, whatever they may be.

I’m interested in having an event in New Orleans but don’t live there.  Am I able to ship items ahead of time and have you
receive them, then ship them back after our event?  How do we handle selecting our vendors?

-Yes, shipping items is something we handle for our out-of-town clients frequently!  When it comes to vendor selection, we are always able to do live video site visits at venues or take you around New Orleans if you’d like to make a trip during your planning process.  We will work together to coordinate your schedule with your vendors and once we have that confirmed, our clients typically book their travel. Alternatively, some clients we don’t meet in person until they come into town for their event, so we are comfortable working either way.

I would like to wo
rk with you in a location other than New Orleans.  Do you charge travel fees?

-Yes, however, the fees are minimal and used to cover travel expenses.  We have a partnership with an international hotel chain, with various hotel types, that offers us discounted rates which also helps minimize the cost.  These fees are dependent on location, amount of travel & staffing required for your event.

Will you personally be at my event?

-Yes! I am personally on-site, hands-on with each event I produce and while I have staff that work alongside me, I am always the lead on each and every event that Alchemy Events produces!  I don’t show up as you walk down the aisle or leave you in an associate’s hands after the first dance, I am there from start to finish.

How many weddings do you plan a year?

-I am dedicated to giving you the experience of a lifetime! As such, I typically plan no more than two events per month, however, that number is dependent on the scope of each event.  I never book more than one event per weekend, ensuring you are my sole focus!

How do your payments work?

-We follow the industry standard, requiring a 50% deposit at the time of booking with the final balance being due no later than two weeks prior to the event. Payments toward your final balance may be made at any time or set up to automatically process via our private, secure system in the client portal.

Do you charge less for an intimate wedding than one with a large guest list?

-No, pricing is based on the quantity of work involved and not necessarily the size of your guest list. We have had events for less than 100 guests that have rivaled much larger events in terms of budget, number of vendors, details involved, staffing needed to flip a space, etc. so the number of guests is typically not a factor.

Do you receive referral fees or kick backs from vendors you recommend?

-No, we only recommend vendors to you based on our experience with them, knowing they will be the best fit for your style & budget!  We feel strongly that transparency is key so all contracts are between you & the vendors themselves, you pay them directly & you can be certain that any discounts they offer to you as an Alchemy Events client are just that- a discount, as we are not receiving referral fees from them for the recommendation.  Often vendors tell us that they know working with us will be much less work on their end & as such, they’re glad to offer our clients a discounted rate. We are here to help our clients & do what’s best for them!  Of course, even if a vendor does not offer discounted rates, you can still trust that you are getting the best service & quality available based on our years of experience!

How do event coordinators determine their pricing?

-According to a recent study, modern couples now spend an average of 528 hours of planning on their wedding!  Consider if you are planning something more elaborate or are having a multi-day affair how many more hours it takes.  Additionally, coordinators are often putting more detail into it than you might realize, as our timelines are often inclusive of details almost all of my clients say they would never have thought of.  Thus, the commitment involved along with our level & years of expertise are factored into our pricing.  Additionally, Alchemy Events gets to know our clients on an intimate level to customize each wedding to the specific couple, so we are also offering a level of service not provided by most others in our field.  With all of this in mind, we offer a free phone consultation to each potential client to get an idea of the level of service that will be involved & then send you a customized proposal as a starting point. Most couples should expect roughly 10% of their budget to go to coordination & design services, although it could be less or more, depending on your specific circumstances. Considering that you are paying someone to work for you for a year or more, entrusting your budget, emotions & every aspect of one of the largest investments you’ll ever make in your life, it’s an investment worth taking seriously!