Unless you make a career out of planning events, navigating wedding planning without a qualified planning professional in your corner can be challenging.
Just think - do you know how to create a production schedule? Write and conduct a ceremony processional and recessional order? Know what size linens you need for a 60" round table? Understand how to word an invitation considering proper etiquette? I'm thinking your answer was likely. "no" to most of these questions!
As wedding professionals, we are experts in our field. Wedding planning is not our hobby. We aren't your Aunt Theresa who used to plan weddings at her local church. We have invested in our education and experience, and we are uniquely equipped to help you have the most stress-free wedding planning process imaginable so you can focus on what is really important - enjoying your engagement and celebrating along with your loved ones.
A qualified wedding planner can be an incredible investment, saving you not only precious, invaluable time (we know you're busy!) but also money! Hiring a wedding planner is a budget savvy decision! When you hire a planning partner, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience with planning events in the area. Especially if you hire us for full service planning, we start this process with you from the very beginning. We will work with you to set a realistic budget, first by finding you a venue that meets all of your needs. Fun fact! One of the number one mistakes couples without a planner make is blowing the budget at the beginning of the planning process on a venue that is a disproportionate amount of their budget. It makes the remainder of the planning process very difficult, and these couples end up having to make compromises down the line that they regret.
A planner will also help to pair you with vendors that are a perfect match for you as far as budget and aesthetic. We pride ourselves on curating custom vendor pairings for you that are sure to meet your needs! In addition to helping you make savvy budget-related decisions along the way, we also can extend many national discounts to you to merchants like Minted.com, The Black Tux, and more!
Wedding planning is a unique career field in that there isn't necessarily a "Wedding Planning" major in most universities. Many of the wedding planning professionals I know did not major in anything even CLOSE to what they do now in their current role in this industry. I know planners who used to work in corporate finance, photographers who used to be teachers, and florists who used to curate for art museums.
As a wedding planner, there are a core set of characteristics and necessary skills that are the foundation of being an effective planner. Communication, flexibility, organizational skills, attention to detail, creativity, the ability to improvise, confidence, and relationship building skills are all key to working in the wedding industry. Add in the ability to be compassionate, patient, and (on occasion) step in as an unofficial family mediator - I always joke that our second "hat" as a wedding planner is that of a therapist!
In addition to the above core skills, a commitment to continual education, knowledge of new trends and best practices, is important.
It is also important, as a planner, to have career experience in customer-facing fields. Many wedding industry professionals have background in the food and beverage industry. Some planning professionals do seek out additional education in this field. For example, Camila has a Masters Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University. She also has background in catering and venue management, which enables her to be well rounded as a planner. Mandalynn has had customer service roles her whole career, along with food and beverage service. This uniquely equips her to be focused on providing an excellent experience to our couples, and building relationships with couples and other vendors.
In summation, it is also important for a planner to secure the proper licensing and insurance! This is an often overlooked detail, but having a licensed planner is often a requirement by many venues!
This is a great question, and often is a point of confusion amongst many of our couples. Here is a quick, brief definition of each, and reasoning why their roles differ:
Venue Manager: Often sells the venue, and conducts walk throughs and site tours of the space for prospective couples. Is your point of contact when it comes to rules and standards specific to that unique venue. Typically has a generic list of vendors on a "preferred vendor list" that are not budget or aesthetic-specific. Sometimes doubles as the individual who sells catering and bar package (if the venue has onsite catering/bar offerings) and will work with you to put a menu together. This person, or a member of their team, often is also present in an office type setting on the day of the wedding - showing up to open up the facility, and check in with the Wedding Planner and other vendors to ensure things are going smoothly throughout the evening. Their goal, and first priority, is to ensure that the venue is being looked after, that vendors and guests are following proper protocols, and that both the couple and the venue are standing by agreed upon contractual terms.
Wedding Planner: Is the couple's resource for all things wedding. Can educate and logistically manage on a variety of topics, including a comprehensive wedding planning task checklist, budget, timeline, curated vendor selections specific to budget and aesthetic, decor planning and design, proper wedding invitation etiquette, guide on how to coordinate a wedding ceremony processional, and much much more. The Wedding Planner can also communicate with vendors on behalf of the couple, and are responsible for creating a Production Schedule for the day of the wedding to assure all vendors have arrived, their needs are met, they are delivering on their contractually agreed obligations, rental items have been delivered and set up, linens and table decor have been placed, and guide the wedding party and guests through the entirety of the wedding day program. The Wedding Planner, or team members, also stay through the end of the event to ensure all vendors clean up and remove their materials, and that the venue is as it was when the day began.
Easy answer. No!
We take great pride in working with couples from all walks of life. The average event budget, as indicated by wedding planning resource The Knot, is around $33,000. We work with many couples who have budgets both above and below this figure. We will not turn you away just because you have a lower than average wedding budget - we look forward to helping you be creative, and saving you precious time and money in the long run by leveraging our industry expertise!
If you want to work with us, we want to work with you! The reason you might se a planner that has a picture perfect, flawless Instagram with images that all are in the same editing style, with lavish decor and details is because they observe a minimum budget requirement. By doing that, they guarantee that the budgets of their clients will support covering photographers, florists, and other vendors that are representative of THEIR (the planners) aesthetic standards.
Let me just tell you right now, we couldn't care less what our Instagram looks like! We work with all budgets because we love forming relationships with our couples, and helping them to marry each other the way that works within their means. How we look on social media isn't our priority - we would rather invest that time and those resources toward providing great service to our couples. We WILL advise you if our fees will represent a disproportionate amount of your budget, and guide you to alternative pack options, or even to other esteemed industry friends and colleagues whose fee structure might be a better fit for your needs.
We are proud to offer a 10% discount for all first responders (fire, police, EMS) along with our esteemed active duty military.
Fun fact - both Mandalynn and Camila's spouses work for the Fire Department!
Outside of the above groups, we do not offer discounts at this time. Our pricing is structured in the way that it is so we are able to take only a certain number of events per year, which enables us to provide the best customer service experience possible. We also greatly value work-life balance, and save time to invest in our families, friends, hobbies, and volunteer activities.