Thursday, September 17, 2009

What does a Wedding Planner do for a Wedding?

OK, I am going to try really hard to let everyone know what I do when I start planning your wedding from day one, keep in mind I may miss a few things here and there, but here goes!

It all starts with an email or a phone call from a bride who is all excited and feeling a bit overwhelmed, she is full of excitement in her voice or in words and I can usually pick this up in her tone and with what she is writing. Most brides these days are relying on email to plan and that's fine with me.

The first email is great (as long as they put enough information in it for me) it goes something like;

Hi my name is ___. I am getting married on ______ and want to know what you charge?
My colors are_____ and ____, and I want to have an elegant, but fun Reception. We are inviting over 200 guest and our budget is $____. Can you let me know if this is doable and what you charge to be our Planner/Coordinator for the wedding and reception. I haven't really done anything yet except the guest list, oh and I did find a church that I want you to check out for me. I would love to have the reception at______ can you call them and set up an appointment for me to see it and find out how much it would be? I got my wedding dress it is beautiful, I can't wait for you to see it! Can you tell me how much this is going to cost? I guess I should find this out first instead of boring you with all the details, can you email me and let me know if you can do our wedding and how much it is going to cost?

Thank you
Bride (a very excited one at that)

From the email I can tell I have a very excited bride who is already thinking about all of the work, but wants to make sure it will fit into her budget to have a Wedding Planner.

First, I email her back and ask if she would like to set up a free consultation? I make sure it fits into her schedule in the evening (most brides do work). We meet at a coffee house of sorts so that we can get to know each other a little and go over some questions she may have for me. I can tell when she is comfortable, because the questions are never "How long have you been a Wedding Planner" or "How many weddings have you done" she digs right in telling me everything she wants and loves and can I help her do that (it is so cute to listen to) When the meeting is over and she knows what my pricing is, I always ask if she would like to think about it for a few days and get back to me...nine times out of ten she wants to sign and give a deposit so that her date does not get taken by another bride. Contract signed...I get to work.

Names of Venues and Vendors in hand I suggest a few at a time so as not to overwhelm her with them. A few are decided and I start calling to make sure dates are available, pricing for this bride and any discounts I may be able to get for her. This can be a process, but one that I hope gets done quickly so that she does get the venues that she wants. (dates fill up quickly). We look over the budget, what she has spent so far. Once she has the venue for the ceremony and is on to Photography. I offer up a few that I like and that I know will fit into the budget very nicely. If none of the work looks good we look for others until she finds the one she just has to have (problem: they do not always fit with the budget and she may have to take from another part of her budget to have this photographer, but we can make it work).
Next, onto Florist...same here, I offer a few that I think will fit with her style and budget. Numerous pictures are sent from her in emails until she finds just the right bouquet she is looking for. If it is a go than we start dealing with a few of the florist she liked and we start the process of seeing if we can get these to fit into the budget. Then comes the Cake and the Dj or Band. All of these things take time and countless hours are spent on the Internet and phone.

Now comes the part that you will have to wait for in the next blog...

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