One of the first lessons I learned when I started working in the wedding industry my senior year of college is that the wedding world is completely unique in so many ways. People who work in weddings can sometimes have a whole language of their own (who had heard of a chiavari chair before they started planning their wedding…) and it can often be confusing for those who aren't as familiar. I thought today it would be good to give an overview of what exactly I do, and how I can bring value to a wedding day!
Kat Schmoyer of Dear Sweetheart Events is one of my go-to resources for information on wedding planning. She is a planner out of Virginia (fun fact: that’s where I graduated from high school!) and has the biggest heart for educating and empowering creatives across the country. I first read about the four-stage planning process on her blog and have used it as the foundation for my business ever since. Essentially, the planning process for all brides follows the following four stages: planning, design, coordination and execution.
As the planner, my role is to walk with my brides through each of these stages and help them make decisions that make the most sense for their budget, their priorities, and their overall vision.
Planning: I often see brides who want to dive head-first into the design portion of the planning process before sitting down to go through some of the not-so-fun details first. While drafting guest lists and determining a budget is admittedly NOT the most fun part of wedding planning, taking the time to do this in the beginning will set you up for success throughout the whole rest of the process! The planning stage often includes the following items:
· Determining a budget
· Estimated guest count (this means that drafting a guest list should be one of the first things you do!)
· Choosing the date and venue
· Selecting all vendors
Design: The design process is exactly what it sounds like – working with your team to design what your wedding will look like! I like to say this stage of planning encompasses all of the “pretty” of the day. Think: layouts, table linens, cake design, floral arrangements, stationery suites, etc.
Coordination: The coordination process usually begins about 2-3 months before a wedding day – this is when I begin collecting all vendor contracts, working with the photographer to develop the bride’s itinerary, crafting a production timeline, and more. This portion of the planning process is when all of the puzzle pieces come together and we get to tie up any loose ends. I am a huge nerd for timelines and logistics, so the coordination phase is often my favorite part!
Execution: This phase comes on the wedding day when I partner with the vendor team to execute all of the plans that we have worked so hard on throughout your engagement season! More to come on this - next week will feature a post that encompasses everything that happens on a wedding day to make it come together smoothly (hint: it's a LOT!).
In my experience, I've found that most brides either want help all the way through the planning process, or they just want someone to come in at the end and make sure their day runs as smoothly as possible. Because of that, I offer two main packages: The Essentials (which includes Coordination + Day-Of Execution), and Concierge (which includes all four planning stages). In addition, I also offer a la carte services for brides who want more help than is offered with The Essentials, but don't quite need the level of support that is provided with Concierge. Every wedding (and every couple!) is different, so the a la carte portion allows a fully customized wedding planning experience
Want to know more about the packages? Learn more here.
Want to chat with me about your wedding day needs? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the contact form here!
PPS - Thank you Melanie Foster Photography for all of these beautiful images!