Posts tagged akron wedding planner
Who Really Needs a Planner- Louis & Nataya

Louis and Nataya were married October 1st, 2011 at the beautiful Club at Key Center.  Their wedding was an intimate affair of close family and friends, who all loved them both dearly.  The most love to be seen, though, was between the two of them.  From the minute I met them, they shared this wonderful friendship together that every couple wishes to have with their partner.  Louis was amazing to watch as a very, strong man, who still had the softest place in his heart for his wife.  They had fun with the planning (even as I gave birth to a son during the process) and when it came time for the wedding day they both glowed.  Everyone in the wedding party cried during their vows and just as quickly everyone celebrated their new love at the reception.  Thanks to Larry Spencer of Spencer Photography for capturing it all!  

Q: What made you decide to hire a wedding planner?
A: Louis said having a wedding planner was a requirement as part of the engagement. I have a tendency to over analyze, and become overwhelmed by minor details. Louis felt that having a planner would make the planning less stressful for the both of us. 

Q: What types of things attracted you to each planner that you interviewed?
A: Honestly, we Googled Cleveland wedding planners, checked out a few websites and decided to contact planners based on the look and feel of their websites, online reviews, price and availability. 

Q: What was something that made you NOT want to hire a particular planner and on the same note what was something you found that made you WANT to hire a certain planner?
 A: According to Louis the first planner we met with was “too agreeable” and seemed to good to be true. We decided to hire All Events Planned because Louis felt like Brandi would “keep it real”. 

Q: What was the best thing your wedding planner did for you? 
A: There were so many things... she kept me from going insane by  entertaining several major meltdowns about invitations and chivari chairs. During the planning process she was informative and enlightening. Brandi was there at every step of the process to remind us that our wedding was about what we wanted for our day. When the vision became blurry she was direct and honest and helped to keep us focused while being professional and respectful of our choices
The day of the wedding she was our peace of mind. We never worried or second guessed whether something would be done. 

Q: What was something your planner did that you would never have thought of doing?
A: There were certain parts of the planning I would not have assumed need so much attention. ex timeline. However because of Brandi’s experience and attention to detail our wedding day went according to plan the wedding actually started on time !

Q: Did you feel that your wedding planner was worth the cost?
A: The level of service we received was beyond what we could have imagined. Priceless would be an understatement
Q: Was there anything you would have changed about your experience with your wedding planner?
A: Well, there was this one thing (I'll point out that the ONE thing was me finding out I was pregnant during our planning process and then giving birth to a baby two months before their wedding)........but how that was handled is what solidified our decision in knowing we made the best choice by selecting All Events Planned as our wedding coordinator. Brandi’s professionalism and commitment to her clients is undeniable. 

Q: Is there any situation where you could see why a bride would NOT want a wedding planner?
A: No. I do understand that some brides feel like they can manage the planning process. However your wedding day goes by so fast, as a bride I wouldn’t want to spend a moment of it worrying about details. Even with the smallest budget, a wedding planner is an investment. Brandi helped us stay on track with our budget and helped us save money along they way. Finally, having a planner allows for the bride, groom, bridal party, family and guest to enjoy being part of the overall wedding experience without having to fold napkins, light candles and/or que the DJ.  
Louis and I both agree that selecting All Events Planned was one of the best wedding planning decision we could have made. Brandi is someone that we now call a friend.

Here are a few more pictures of their big day from one of Cleveland's best photographers, Larry Spencer of Spencer Photography.  Megan and the staff at Key Center deserve a ton of credit as they are always so wonderful to work with too!  

Happy Planning! 
What I Learned in 2010
Well my wedding season is coming to a close.  I'm sad to say that while I had a busy "regular" wedding season, my off season didn't fill up like it did last year.  So, I end 2010 on October 22nd with a wonderful vintage carnival themed wedding with two amazing people.  I'm excited to start on new adventures during the "off season" and of course, to start the blogging back up.

I always wonder how much information is too much information to share with, well, everyone so I skip sharing info on my clients and try to share information to help you become a better planner or to help the bride, better understand her need for a planner.  This series will do both.

No matter how long you've been in the industry, there will always be things you can learn.  No wedding is the same, no client has the same expectations as another, so you never really "get the hang of it" while working.  You get the basics, but there are never ending changes. 

This year, I'll review what I learned from the new facilities I've worked with, the new clients I've had the wonderful honor of getting to know and any of the mistakes that might have occurred in the planning process.  Yes, I said mistakes, nothing to worry about but definitely found a few things I would have done differently for my benefit, not for the clients. 

First topic will be- "A Bad Vendor is a Bad Vendor"
Look for it soon...

Happy Planning!
The Slow Season
Well, where do I even start.  The season is slowing down and my time is freeing up.  What is happening at this point though, is that people who want to get married next year, want to meet now to plan.  So to consider this "slow season" is a bit of a misrepresentation of what is going on. 

Wedding Shows start at the beginning of October and run through February.  If you choose to market your company that way, the timing is fantastic.  I'm not a fan of wedding shows for Wedding Planners.  If you want a Wedding Planner you find one, but you don't just see the service and decide to invest $1000 in someone you never considered having work with you prior to a wedding show.  That's just my call, they may work for others but I'm not sold.  Of  course, anything to get your name out is a good idea, so if you have it in the budget for your marketing, then go for it.

Clients start coming in during wedding season and keep coming through March.  It seems a rush of people get engaged around Christmas/New Year's Eve so you can always expect that rush of emails/calls around your holiday time.  You don't get a break when you are a Wedding Planner, usually the most important dates to other people are just as important to you.  It is your call whether you'll take calls on Christmas Day to book clients though. (I'm joking, sort of)

Another fun thing during slow season is catching up on your books.  That means finally logging all the miles from each appointment, event, rehearsal, networking event and lunch.  It also means finally entering all of the receipts from this year.  If you don't have a professional accountant, get one, this is NOT the time to figure things out on your own as there are too many "myths" about owning your own business and what you are and are not actually able to write off. 

Then there is blogging.  I'll finally be able to catch up on all things wedding.  I've learned so many things this wedding season that I can't wait to share.  I've even changed my ideas on somethings that I thought I knew everything about!  That's saying a ton since I thought I knew everything about everything!

I can't wait to get started, hope you are excited to start following along again.

Happy Planning,
Pay Attention When Hiring your Planner...
While I think that every bride needs a planner, I KNOW that not every planner is right for every bride.  Just as much as you wouldn't hire a photographer that you don't like, or a bakery without tasting their work, you shouldn't hire a planner without getting to know them.  I don't many people that hire a planner on their first email, but just in case you are wondering how the process should go, here are a few tips from a wedding planner on hiring your planner.  Good planners know better than to tell you what you want to hear, during the interview process but planners who just see you as "money" will tell you whatever they think you want them to say.  So this will help in paying attention to little things.

How do they communicate?
If you are strictly an email girl and the wedding planner you are talking to, really only communicates on the phone, that's going to be an issue along the way.  If don't enjoy technology and your planner insist on emails, the planning process is going to be difficult.  If they can't even meet you on your terms to schedule a meeting, then you may want to reconsider.

How timely are they?
This is pretty easy, but sometimes overlooked.  If your planner is late in returning calls, emails or meetings then you will need to be prepared for that during the planning process.  If you are more of a laid back bride and a few minutes here and there don't bother you, then go for it, but if you schedule by the minute, this type of planner will not "fit" into your plans.

Where do they want to meet?
This isn't always easy for a planner.  When you are busy, it is sometimes hard to travel an hour to meet with a potential client, given they haven't booked you yet.  However, trying to meet you in the middle or giving you options is a better idea than if they insist on meeting you where they are located.  I'll always meet with a potential client at her wedding site, since that really allows you to see more of their vision, which in turn will give you a really good idea of how your styles will work together. 

When do they want to meet?
If you hire a planner that can only meet in the evenings or in the weekends, it usually means she has another job during the day.  While this isn't usually an issue for planners, it does mean that she won't be available 24-7 for you.  If you aren't in the search for a 24-7 planner, than this won't be an issue for you, but if you want someone dedicated solely to the planning of weddings, then you'll have to look elsewhere. 

What did they wear?
Yup, even this will say something about your planner.  While, I'm not implying that planners should be in gowns for all appointments, it isn't a good sign if your planner shows up in sweats or anything dirty/wrinkled.  Beyond the obviously, your planners style will be expressed in how she dresses, so you should get a good idea of whether you'll have the same style in planning.  If you aren't a cardigan and pearls kind of girl, then the planner who shows up in them, might not be the right fit for you. 

What did they bring?
Do they have wedding magazines to give to you?  Examples of their work to review with you?  An example of a contract to show?  A notebook to take notes?  Showing up with nothing, is a bad sign that your planner isn't prepared.  Showing up with poorly done materials or old/out of date items, is another bad sign.

Who do they recommend?
I have a HUGE issue with this one.  If your planner immediately says to you "Oh, I have GREAT vendors that I love working with" when you tell her you need recommendations, then you should head out of that meeting.  No planner should be able to recommend vendors to you until they get to know more about your style, budget, timeline, date and any other detail that would matter when hiring a vendor.  It shouldn't matter who SHE likes to work with, it should matter who YOU would work well with.  Of course you will want recommendations from your planner, and we all have them, but they shouldn't be able to give them to you until they know you and know more about your wedding. 

How do they leave?
Did they tell you they would follow up?  Did they insist you book on the spot?  Did they give you documents to review at home?  How they go is just as important as when they show up.  Pay attention to these small details and you'll make a better choice on hiring a planner.

These details are small, but will give you a really good idea on how your planner is and how you'd like working with her/him.  These details are small enough that they can't be "faked" typically.  Anyone can "say" they've been in business for years and done hundreds of weddings but few can convey that level of experience in their meeting ability. 

When all else fails, you can just email me and I'll let you know what I think about the planner you are about to hire. 

Hope you all have a wonderful summer, post will be limited during wedding season but I thought now was a good time to give some information on hiring since I've seen lots of articles that, I wasn't sure, covered, all the details.  Really, this one doesn't either, I could get more into the meeting and how it is run, but that's for another post!

Planners, if you aren't sure how you run your meetings or how you come across, ask a few friends to "pretend" to be brides and then give you feedback.  You might be surprised at how good/bad people think you are in a wedding meeting.  And, even if you think you are amazing during your potential client meetings, it doesn't hurt to hear that feedback from someone.  I've even asked people to sit in and listen to meetings that I have with potential clients.  There is no thing as too much constructive criticism, at least I don't think so.

Happy Planning and for most of you Happy Weddings for the 2010 Wedding season!!!!