Graceful Event Productions specializes in day-of wedding planning and complete wedding planning, as well
as coordination of small occasions such as rehearsal dinners and post-wedding celebrations.
What are the most important things to consider when planning a wedding? There are so many important things to consider when planning a wedding—from the selection of the vendors and making sure they are true professionals—to the involvement and importance you place on the people closest to the wedding—family and the bridal party. I know the wedding day is, and should be, a celebration of the bride and groom, but it’s also really important to make sure your guests have a great time, too. A wedding is truly a celebration of a new couple and new group of family and friends. I really believe in making sure that is understood.
What advice do you have for a clueless bride? Where’s a good place to start? Talk to your families—not just the bride’s family but also the groom’s family. Often times the groom’s parents feel left out. I know tradition and culture dictates who pays and who has a say, but asking them to be involved even when all you need is advice and support is important and makes them feel included.
If you’re able to set the date then link up the ceremony and reception site, the major work is done. You then focus on hiring capable and professional vendors to do the rest and organize so you don’t have to micromanage them. Focusing on the details that make the night enjoyable is really important.
It’s also very important to set a budget and stick to it, so that you are able to make decisions based on what you have budgeted for that vendor.
How long does it take to plan a wedding? It really depends on the decisiveness of the bride and her budget, but truly if you are quick to make decisions about what you like and don’t like, you can plan an amazing wedding in three to six months.
What are some common dilemmas that occur during wedding planning, and how do you avoid—or remedy—them? Budget: agreeing and setting a budget. Often times there is a small budget but it hasn’t been defined. It’s best to create one with buckets and allot certain amounts of the budget to certain items based on how important they are to you. For example, most brides put the most money into photos and entertainment as well as food and beverage.
Time: you have to learn to manage your time effectively or else you will waste a lot of valuable time on the details too early on in the planning and when it comes time for the wedding, you’re burnt out and out of energy. My advice is to plan all the big stuff first then make time and energy for the details—after all, that’s what people talk about for months afterward.
Organization: it’s very important to create a file, share it with your fiancé or family on Dropbox or Google Docs, so that everyone is organized. If you have one invite list instead of 12, you’re less likely to make mistakes. It’s also very important to create a detailed itinerary and schedule of events the few days leading up to the wedding. Not only will this keep your vendors organized and on schedule, but it will ensure that they don’t miss getting footage of a special occurrence the day of the wedding. It also helps keep the bridal party and families on track when the festivities begin. Of course, budget permitting, it’s also wise to hire day-of coordinators to help smooth out the wrinkles the week leading up to the big day.
What is your personal style as a wedding planner? I definitely like elegant and classy décor and flowers but I pride myself on being someone who can conceptualize the bride and groom’s vision, not necessarily mine. I love to bounce ideas off them to make sure their vision and style is reflected in everything from the invitations to the décor to the cake! I, of course, can come in when needed as a voice of reason or offer different ideas, but I ultimately enjoy trying to make the best of what they budget and vision allows.
What’s the best thing about being a wedding planner? Feeling the love between a newly married couple and their families.