Who is Your Ideal Client?
We’ll get along great if you are:
Trusting, assertive, decisive (You know what you want and you trust that I’ll help you get it.)
Creative, self-expressive (Let’s put your personality into your wedding styling!)
Guest-comfort focused. Your dearest friends and family are coming to your wedding to honor your union. Let’s thank them for their presence in your lives and at your wedding by making sure they’re well-fed and accommodated for. (AKA the amazing party you’re dreaming about!)
Excited about the personal growth you will experience with your partner during the planning process. (Seriously, it is awesome.)
Totally, madly in love with your partner. (It’s what we’re celebrating, after all!)
Why Don’t You Offer Day-Of Coordination?
I do offer a Wedding Coordination Package—I just don’t call it “Day-Of” or “Month-Of” Coordination because I am involved for much longer than just a day or a month. I have a lot to say about this subject, (so ask me if you’re curious!) but I believe that “Day-Of” and “Month-Of” Coordination as both terms and services have some big flaws:
Either these packages are called “Day-Of” or “Month-Of” Coordination but the services actually begin further out from the wedding than a day or a month, making the terms are misleading, or they really do begin the day or month of the wedding, in which case the coordinator hasn’t done the prior work necessary to successfully execute a day comprised of hundreds of unique details. At the very least, with Month-Of Coordination, the coordinator hasn’t given you the guidance during the planning process necessary to prevent hiccups they will probably spend the entire month of your wedding correcting. It’s a lose-lose situation. You deserve a stress-free planning experience with someone guiding you along even if you’re doing the planning yourself.
When Do You Begin Work With Your Clients?
Immediately. I don’t care whether your wedding is in two months or two years. As soon as we sign a contract I send you the resources you need to begin planning, and become available to recommend vendors, proofread contracts, answer questions, offer input, and keep you pointed in the best direction. My method is to prevent potential rookie mistakes by being available to educate you from the beginning. We’ll be better friends by your wedding day this way, too!
What’s the Difference Between a Venue Coordinator and a Wedding Coordinator?
These two job titles sound similar, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. I think about Venue Coordinators like they’re facility managers. They have the keys to unlock the venue doors. They know the Wifi password. They can adjust the air conditioning in the reception hall, and point your vendors in the direction of the loading zone. They know the venue rules and are primarily present on your wedding day to hold you accountable if you break them. They can be wonderful contacts to have before the wedding day to answer questions about parking, send the venue blueprints, and suggest a good time to start your ceremony.
As Venue Coordinators, however, they’re busy running the rest of the property as well. They won’t have time to hold your hand throughout your planning process. They won’t spend hours perfecting your Wedding Itinerary with you, or confirm the arrival and departure times with your vendors, coordinate your ceremony rehearsal, set up your guest book table, or cue your wedding party down the aisle. They won’t detach your archway arrangements after the ceremony and re-purpose them on your sweetheart table, or provide an emergency cake cutting set in case yours gets forgotten. They won’t pack up your personal items and load them into your dad’s truck at the end of the night. That’s my job!
When your venue tells you they provide a Venue Coordinator, consider this a bonus! You have a Point Person the day of your wedding who is an expert at all things specific to your venue! They’ll be a great asset to you and your vendors, but they and your Wedding Coordinator have different jobs.
What’s Your Wedding Coordination Process?
Once we’ve signed the contract and I’ve received your first payment, I’ll send over customized checklists, spreadsheets, access to my Preferred Vendors List, and ideas on when we can schedule our first Consultation together. I like to spread these 4 consultations out between the time we book and the week of your wedding so that I can get you started in the best direction right away and then help you tie up loose ends at the 11th Hour.
In the meantime, I ask my clients to forward me all of the contracts they’ve signed with vendors so far, along with the vendors they are considering. CCing me on all of the vendor conversations in your inbox will help get me up to speed and then keep me in the loop throughout the planning process. This gives me the opportunity to ask questions as they arise, offer input as needed and raise concerns if any red flags pop up. As I’m gathering info via email, I’m also updating our planning spreadsheets so they have the most up to date information. Lots of planning takes place via email!
One of our consultations will be at your venue. There, we can connect with the venue staff and do a walk-through. I’ll ask the staff all the good questions, and we’ll decide exactly where your seating and tables will go. After this consultation I will create and send you a digital version of your Floor Plan that we can share it with vendors and tweak as necessary up until the week of the wedding.
I’ll coordinate your rehearsal with your officiant and wedding party a day or so before your wedding. This typically takes place at the venue and lasts about an hour. If it’s difficult to rehearse at the venue, keep in mind we can rehearse just about anywhere—all I need is open space and your wedding party’s attention!
The day of your wedding will be full of excitement! I’ll be there as early as the venue will let me to oversee the set up of the chairs and tables and the decor items you bring in, letting vendors know where to set up as they arrive, checking in on you as you get ready, coordinating your First Look, greeting guests as they trickle in, and lining up your wedding party and cuing them down the aisle. Once you’ve said “I do” I’ll make sure your Marriage License gets signed, help vendors transition to Cocktail Hour, cue the DJ’s reception announcements, hand the mic to speakers for toasts, coordinate the Cake Cutting Ceremony, hand the bride the Toss Bouquet right before it’s time to toss it, and help pack up your flowers and decor as the wedding winds down. I’ll be there until the very end to oversee tear down, answer questions, and make sure your venue is clean when you depart (so that you don’t lose your security deposit!)
What’s Your Full Planning Process?
Everything I listed above I do for Full Planning as well. Instead of meeting 4 times spread out across the planning process, we’ll meet on a monthly basis as you’re available starting up to 18 months before your wedding (that’s 18 consultations that last 1-3 hours each!) We’ll spend a great deal of time planning face-to-face, but then we’ll continue the conversation via email. Our goals will be to go through your customized Month-By-Month Check-list, find your vendors, create your itineraries and floor plans, balance your budget, and work through any snafus that arise along the way. I spend 150+ hours on each wedding I plan, and am dedicated to helping you stay organized and stress-free!
What DON’T You Do on The Wedding Day?
Every wedding is unique and therefore different, and I bend over backwards at every single one to ensure things happen as they should. Trust me when I say I LOVE troubleshooting, and I take pride in the amount of times that I have prevented or resolved problems before anyone at the wedding ever found out. It’s important that I am available to run the day and troubleshoot, so there are a few things you should consider outsourcing:
I can’t replace another vendor. I may be at your wedding all day and I may be good with flowers, but that doesn’t mean I have time to arrange all of your centerpieces so that you can save money on a florist. Granted, I’ve got your vendors backs and will help them in any way I can, so if your florist needs help in the 11th Hour getting all those centerpieces onto your reception tables I will be the first to jump in. To do my job effectively, it’s important that I remain available to correct arising issues.
If you’re a Pinterest Goddess and are bringing in a U-Haul of DIY decor, I can’t single-handedly set it up for you. I am more than happy to oversee and pitch in as I can, but I’m just one person. We’ll need to make prior arrangements with a staffing agency or your family and wedding party to help execute such a big job. Remember that tear-down takes just as much time, if not more.
I won’t stay behind at your venue and clean the reception hall, bathrooms or kitchen. I leave when your last vendor leaves, but it should be the responsibility of each vendor to clean up after themselves anyway. If your caterer uses the kitchen, it’s their job to leave it as clean as they found it. Caterers or venue staff should also be available for taking out trash, just as the venue staff or janitors should be available for monitoring bathroom cleanliness. If professional staff for these tasks are not provided or hired, it is your responsibility to assign these tasks to other people.
I cannot take your items away in my car at the end of the night. My work on your wedding ends when the venue requires we be off the property at the end of the night.
How Many Events Do You Do Per Weekend?
One per weekend. Weddings are usually 14-hour days for me, and they almost always include a rehearsal the day before and some travel away from home. I pour my heart and soul into every wedding I am apart of (you should see me try to be a guest at my friends weddings—it’s impossible!) and I typically am functioning at about 30% my usual capacity the day after a wedding. There ain’t no way I’m taking on more than one wedding per weekend! If I were to split my weekend between two weddings, both would suffer, and I don’t believe that would be fair.
Do You Accept Commissions From Your Preferred Vendors?
This is a hot topic in the wedding industry right now, and my opinion on this changes as the industry changes. For many years I have not accepted commissions of any kind because I worried that clients wouldn’t trust my vendor recommendations if some would financially impact me and other would not.
I am NOT comfortable accepting commissions from individual vendors who want me to give them a shout, because I feel strongly that vendors such as photographers, caterers, florists, etc. are not one-size-fits-all vendors—they require individual connections with their clients, and styles can differ so much that I wouldn’t want personal incentive to recommend them every single time. So I won’t. I ask vendors like this who have offered me commission to extend that value to my clients instead.
However, I do accept a commission from a suit company who I have been recommending for years—years before they offered any commission to their partners. They offer this commission to planners because our referral helps get the word out about them in the wedding industry. They offer my clients a discount too (another reason why I love them!) and their products are genuinely reliable, some of the best in the industry, and I believe their business structure is changing the industry norms (in a great way!) too. If you’d rather work with someone else, that’s also totally alright!
Right now, I only accept commission from vendors who I believe are recommendable to every type client, and with whom I have been working with for years prior to accepting any commissions.
Do You Plan Weddings Out of State? How Do You Work in Oregon AND California?
I started my business in California in 2016 and moved to Oregon in 2018. I maintain my business in both states by traveling to California on a monthly basis to meet with all of my clients and coordinate their weddings. Face-to-face meetings are wonderful, but many of my clients also enjoy meeting over the phone or through video software. If you’re not on the West Coast but you’re getting married in either state, we can 100% plan your wedding from wherever you are through the wonders of technology.
If you’re getting married elsewhere but still want to work with me, I promise we can work out a way to get me to you. Let’s chat about it!