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What's Up Weddings

A Question and Answer with Maryland Wedding Planners

Nov 09, 2016 11:07AM, Published by Arden Haley, Categories: Planning


Kari Rider Events/ Perry Vaile Photography



By Tina Byland

Answers from wedding planners who truly care. Questions that brides may be too afraid to ask.

Planning a wedding takes time, energy, money, and organization. Whether you have experience in event planning or have never even attended a wedding yourself, the steps you take to reach that pinnacle moment on the big day can feel daunting and tricky to manage. We reached out to local talent and asked them some of your most tricky questions in hopes that it will help you get started as you design the perfect beginning to your happily ever after.

NoLo Weddings and Events/ Living Radiant Photography

 

So what is the most important thing to consider when looking for a wedding planner?

I always tell my clients that you need to trust your vendors. Selecting your vendor team (or getting recommendations from your planner) is very important to ensuring your wedding day is a great success! We are here to help you and have your best interest at heart.
—Cristina Calvert of Cristina Calvert Signature Weddings & Celebrations

Make sure your style aligns with that of the planner’s. It’s easy to get a feel for my style via Instagram and my website galleries. I’d advise clients to look through those first to make sure it’s going to be a good fit. While most of us planners are pretty versatile, it’s difficult to create an event in a style that’s completely out of our comfort zone. So make sure you like a planner’s overall look before committing.
—Kari Rider of Kari Rider Events
NoLo Weddings and Events/ Julie Lim Weddings

 

I saw X, Y, and Z on Pinterest and it is exactly what I want. I can make that happen, right?

Let’s be honest, you can make anything happen if you have an unlimited budget. Pinterest is a great resource for inspiration, but it can also set unrealistic expectations. With that said, a planner can suggest alternate ideas and help narrow down what is most important to you and assist with budgeting appropriately in each category. For an example, if a planner knows floral décor is most important to you, they may suggest pulling from other areas. Pinterest is a great way for planners to see the client’s vision, and also set realistic expectations from the very beginning.
—Katie Parks of White Oak Weddings & Events

Pinterest is both a blessing and an evil tool, to be honest. I love to find inspiration on Pinterest but recreating exactly what was done on the pin is sometimes hard for a few reasons. One, budgets are all different, which plays into how much you can replicate from a pin. Second, a pin is something that has already been done so in my personal opinion, use it for inspiration (color palette, styling, type of flowers, etc) but make sure to infuse your own ideas and personality in your final look. The long and short of this is, yes, you can do things from Pinterest, but do you really want to replicate someone else’s wedding or make it your own?
—Cristina Calvert of Cristina Calvert Signature Weddings & Celebrations
Kari Rider Events/ Perry Vaile Photography

 

How important is budget, really? What should my budget be?

How important budget is depends on the couple. What is important is that you know if budget is important to you. If it is, then it’s extremely important to create one at the very beginning and stick to it. You want to build a little leeway into your budget from day one. Things are going to pop up that you don’t expect. Budgets we see tend to start in the $25,000 range and go up to $50,000.
—Lorinda Leigh of NoLo Weddings + Events

Budget is important, but for a reason you may not be thinking. Planning a beautiful wedding that is a true reflection of you and your partner is important and obviously a budget will be needed to figure out exactly what can be done. That being said, plan a wedding that doesn’t break your bank and is truly an event that matches your personalities. If you and your fiancé are people who enjoy black-tie events and getting dressed up, then make that part of your wedding; however, if you are more interested in a casual, backyard affair, then make your reception to be reflective of this. Budgets should also be created with priorities and what is most important to you and to your fiancé (and family members if they are paying). What works for one person doesn’t always work for another.
—Cristina Calvert of Cristina Calvert Signature Weddings & Celebrations
White Oak Weddings and Events/ Manda Weaver Photography

 

I want my wedding day to be perfect. No surprises. Is that where you come in?

I can never promise there will be no surprises. What I can promise is that I will lesson those surprises and if possible save you from ever having to know about any of them. A wedding day with no surprises rarely happens, but I work to make sure I take on this stress rather than you, your mom, maid of honor etc. This can be a challenging part of my job, but a great learning experience. After handling so many weddings in my career, I can typically find a solution quickly and move on.
—Katie Parks of White Oak Weddings & Events

Wedding planning allows for structure and organization. We ask many questions before the actual day of the wedding to ensure that the day runs smoothly. However, there can always be a surprise or unexpected occurrence. The benefit of having hired a wedding planner, especially one with experience, is that he or she can take care of the issue professionally and discreetly.
—Shawn Gray of TreBella Events
Cristina Calvert Signature Weddings/ Laura’s Focus Photography

 

You designed and planned so-and-so’s wedding. That is what I want. Will you do it again?

The greatest thing about weddings is that they are all unique. Every couple, every love story, every wedding. Because of that, no two weddings will be the exact same and we couldn’t make them that way if we tried. Even if we could, we wouldn’t, because it wouldn’t be your story.
—Lorinda Leigh of NoLo Weddings + Events

No wedding is the same, and if I did that, I wouldn’t be doing my job. What I would do is use their wedding as inspiration and make it your own. This would also be the time I ask you about budget and be honest and realistic. I would also tell you a lot of times what clients “think” they want changes through the planning and design process and that’s where my guidance plays a huge role. There are so many wonderful and creative options out there; every wedding needs its own personal touch!
—Katie Parks of White Oak Weddings & Events
Kari Rider Events/ Perry Vaile Photography

 

I can’t afford a wedding planner. What advice can you give me as I go about planning my own wedding?

Choose your vendors wisely. I actually offer hourly consultations for clients who can’t afford a planner and, during these meetings, the majority of our conversation revolves around vendors. It’s so important to choose quality vendors who have the experience and the passion to make your event a success. I can’t stress that enough!
—Kari Rider of Kari Rider Events

At the end of the day, stay true to yourself. So many people are going to give you advice and there are so many opinions out there about etiquette and rules. You don’t have to listen to any of them unless you choose to. Just do what feels right for you and your fiancé. And stay excited! So much stress can be avoided if you just focus on staying excited!
—Lorinda Leigh of NoLo Weddings + Events

My venue has an event coordinator. Does that mean I don’t need a wedding planner?

The venue’s event coordinator is mainly concerned with matters involving the venue, such as trash, cleaning, etc. They aren’t aware of the intricate details that may have come up during the planning process, such as grandma needing a wheelchair on site or where to place the memorial candle to honor loved ones. They won’t call your baker if they are running behind. Again, they are concerned with the venue. Your planner is aware of these special issues, because you have discussed these concerns during the course of planning. It is their job to ensure the day runs as smoothly as possible with regard to all vendors and issues, including the venue.
—Shawn Gray of TreBella Events

You absolutely still need a wedding planner! Venue coordinators are fabulous. They walk you through all the venue options and ensure that everything runs smoothly on their end come wedding day. But they aren’t a wedding planner. They won’t develop a detailed event timeline, coordinate wedding day transportation, organize your wedding party for the ceremony, schedule hair and makeup, or assist with specialty décor choices such as linens and place settings. Wedding planners have their hand in every detail of the wedding day, not just those that pertain to the venue.
—Kari Rider of Kari Rider Events


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