I have done several events and weddings over the years. From backyard gatherings like Jordan’s (pictured above) to Carnton Plantation to church ceremony with country club reception and a couple of rock n’ roll ones at The Red House. Each couple has a vision and a unique personality that I want to focus on. I love details…the small things that make your guests feel special and make it an experience for all who attend. Some have been big budget, do what you want (within reason) kinda events and some have been pick a couple of things you want to splurge on and the rest we will fit in as budget allows. I tell my brides to let me know what is most important to them….the pictures, the flowers, the food or the party. Once we have our priorities in order….let the designing and planning begin.
In this day of Pinterest and 24/7 access to websites and Etsy, brides start making decisions (and let’s be honest some of y’all started looking before you were even dating someone) on locations and vendors before they ever consult a wedding designer (makes it pretty) or planner (organizes and coordinates). Some think they can’t afford a planner or that they don’t really need one. Let me take you through a couple of examples on why a planner should be your first call.
WE KNOW VENDORS, we have either worked with them or know someone who has…..now if you aren’t around the event/wedding world most likely you won’t know all of your possibilities. You might have some suggestions from friends that have recently been married or attended a wedding that they were involved in. That being said….we know how they work, how they staff, how they handle mistakes (and there will be mistakes) if they can be counted on to make a vision come to life and most importantly how they perform under stress (and there will be stress). We can also help you negotiate your contract so you are getting the best price and exactly what you want with no surprises the week before.
I had a couple come to me with most of their vendors already chosen. No problem….except when I started looking over the contracts. Because the couple didn’t know what questions to ask or what was reasonable to charge for extras they wanted, they weren’t getting what they really wanted from a few of them. They were told “this is how we do it” and didn’t know that there were other options that would have fit their budget and plan so much better. Over and over again the couple told me they really should have hired me first because it was one thing after another. Looking over the costs, I could have easily saved them over $1000 and delivered the “extras” they wanted.
Another bride and her mother had started buying decor here and there….in the excitement of it all it was hard to wait. When we sat down for the design consult what they had bought and the look and feel of what they wanted were not the same. They admittedly had no plan and had they waited until after our meeting they would have saved several hundred dollars and had exactly what they wanted. They wanted to do some DIY, not so much for the budget but for the enjoyment of it but were a little overwhelmed with all of the possibilities. So we choose a few projects (I was able to get the supplies at better pricing than they could get retail) and put deadlines on when everything needed to be completed. They had fun and left the rest of production up to my staff and me.
I plan the look and feel of your wedding from invitations to the grand exit. I take into account how everything will impact your guests and plan for the unexpected. I make sure the vendors are giving you their best and that we have a back-up plan. Yes you can get a checklist from a website and browse through magazines and blogs and be an informed bride but the week before your wedding when you are trying to organize the vendor timeline and deal with late RSVPs and making sure there will be plenty of beer at the reception and what do you do if they run out of ice….yes those are the details planners take care of…..you will really wish you had someone else to take care of it.
So many horror stories come from “I thought Aunt Betty could take care of the reception” expect Aunt Betty is also a guest and in the end will want to participate in the festivities instead of being in charge of making sure the photographer is there for the cake cutting.
Your photographer can do a timeline for the pictures but will they coordinate with the florist and rental company to make sure things are in place for when the pictures start? Will they make sure the ceremony decor is perfectly placed and everyone behind the scenes is on time and double check deliveries? I don’t think so. Yes your DJ can do your reception timeline but is he going to make sure that the bartenders have the signature cocktail recipe just right and that the caterer has the food station decor set up correctly? Doubtful. I want the DJ to be responsible for keeping the dance floor packed all night long and helping with the flow of the reception. I want the photographer to be able to get those shots that will make you gasp when you see them, the ones with emotion and love that you will cherish not worrying about when the florist is going to deliver the flowers.
Yes a designer/planner will cost you money and in the beginning it might seem like an easy way to save on the budget but in the long run we can save you money, bring your vision to life and take the stress off the day so that you (and your family) are in the moment and soak up every minute of it.
Stylishly Yours, Kelly