Secrets from a Wedding Planner (not me)

There aren't many other planners that I would be happy to lose business to, but Tricia Dever of Always Eventful is one of them.  She has the background, skill and experience to be considered a "real" wedding planner. (and if you read my blog, you know I don't use that term on many people in my industry.

Not only am I lucky enough to be associated with Tricia but I've actually been able to work on a few weddings with her as well.  That's right "dual wedding planners" on one single "Day Of" wedding event.  I like to think that concept is best reserved for very special occasions and very special brides!



You can visit Tricia's site at
www.alwayseventful.com.  Of course, if you find yourself in search of another coordinator, I am always happy to recommend the few others out there that I have the utmost respect for as well. 

Well, enough promoting other planners, here are some Secrets Behind- Wedding Planning from Tricia Dever. 



Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: That hiring a wedding coordinator will save you lots of money....If you are hiring a reputable, well trained coordinator, you will probably pay a fair price.  They may not save you the equivalent in discounts from other vendors but they should save you countless hours and lots of stress....and in the end, that is much more valuable!

Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when choosing their vendor/site?
A: When choosing a site for weddings, many brides don't correctly calculate 2 things - their guestlist and their budget.  If you have not properly compiled an accurate guestlist, there is no way to pick a reception facility.  And if you have not completed a budget - no matter how small or large that budget is - it is difficult to pick a site.  It is important to add in all the little costs of a wedding - transportation, favors, breakfast for bridesmaids.... as they add up.


Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a reception site?
A: Cost, obviously....but all the hidden costs as well - security fees, taxes, service charges, cake cutting fees, etc....


Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a vendor for her wedding?

A: Service - will your wedding be handled by kind, caring and professional planners?

Q: What is the one thing a bride will save on when booking with you?
A: Stress!  


Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking?
A: Lighting - I think lighting makes all the difference in the overall decor and feeling of a wedding!


Q: What is the worst story you have heard about a mistake someone in your industry has made, anyone, ever. 

A: I used to religiously watch "Whose Wedding is it anyway!"  And to prove that even "famous" coordinators can make a mistake....I watched one that the coordinator sent the bride down the aisle without her bridal bouquet....and then to make it worse, she went up to the alter and handed it to one of the bridesmaids to hand to the bride!

But overall, one of the biggest mistakes I believe coordinators make is universal...they forget that the wedding is not theirs, and it is not about them.  It is the Brides day.  For the most part, coordinators should stay in the background.  There is no need for name tags, flashy monogrammed shirts and other such advertisements.  It is the brides day, give them the credit!

Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?

A: I try to offer all of my clients unique ideas and vendors that can make their wedding special.  Obviously, if there is a large budget, the number of special touches can be increased.  I believe in a lot of paper products - menus', programs, favor tags, valet tags, beautiful paper products with lots of enhancements. 
Lighting is key and something that I encourage in some part for all budgets.  Transportation for guests is also a nice added touch. 
For the meal - additional courses such as a sorbet course or an amuse.  Also adding special touches to the champagne glass (raspberries, champagne grapes) and the cake plate (chocolate covered strawberries, painted plates) are fantastic! 


Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in contracts with their vendor/site?
A:
With hotels - please watch the attrition clause...many hotels have a clause saying that you will be responsible for "say 80%" of the rooms that are blocked....could result in a lot of money if rooms are not picked up.  Watch for hidden fees. 


Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?
A: I have wonderful clients.  I wish they all could see the end product prior to booking as sometimes I can visualize.  After the weddings, I often hear, "this is the best money we have spent...." but in the booking phase, it is sometimes difficult for brides to realize how essential a good coordinator really is!


Well that about sums it up for my very first interview with a fellow coordinator!  I hope these answers were insightful for a few of you brides out there!  If you are a vendor or you want to see an interview with your favorite vendor, just send over an email.  If you haven't yet done so, take a look at the new site for All Events Planned as well.