The hardest part of planning a wedding is the fact that you’ve probably never done it before. Think of it this way – it’s like going directly from training wheels (pinning away wedding inspiration on Pinterest) to a solo cross-country bike ride (planning an event for 150 people). Wedding planning is no easy task, and as not only New Jersey wedding photographers, but an engaged couple ourselves, we know firsthand how overwhelming the whole process can be! So we sat down for an interview with a wedding planner to get some help.
Most of us have one image of what a wedding planner is like, and it’s JLO in the Wedding Planner movie – so we think we could never afford a planner or coordinator for our humble, DIY weddings and that if our vows aren’t exchanged in a castle, we definitely can’t keep up with the price tag of a little planning help. BUT, that’s thankfully not the case! Wedding planners are for any bride, and the options from full service planning to day-of coordinating vary for each unique couple!
Keep reading to see our interview with Priscilla from The Hopeful Romantic Events, where we get all of the details on hiring a wedding planner and how it can benefit you!
THR: A day-of-wedding coordinator is a planner hired to take responsibility for all of the little details, vendors and timing that go into your wedding. Think of us as your wingman for the entire day, to ensure you and your family can enjoy yourselves without worrying about mishaps or setting-up. Mother-of-the-groom forgot her curling iron? Caterer is 15 minutes late? Aunt Sue can’t find the venue? As coordinators, we are here to make sure all of the pieces to your dream wedding come together without you having the lift a finger! Having a day-of-coordinator is a great addition to weddings for DIY brides so they can relax and enjoy watching it come together.
Day-of-wedding coordinators are also amazing as, what I like to call, “umbrella planners”. If you happen to have two venues, one for reception and one for the ceremony and those both come with internal planners, a day-of-coordinator can be the connecting piece between coordinating the two.
We can also help assist the photographer to get everyone where they need to be during photos. Is your mother-in-law getting in the way with her cellphone camera? I’ll move her. Can’t find one of the groomsmen? I’ll locate him. We become a tag team for the entire day!
THR: We always start with a free introductory call (which you can book at any time through our scheduler here), to talk through your dream wedding. This is a chance to ask us any planning questions you may have, tell us your story and talk through the amount of help you’ll need.
All of our services are booked as custom packages, which means nothing is off limits. Our initial call is also a way to go through any requests you have and talk through how our services would work best for your wedding. After we personalize all the details, we email you your custom quote back in 24 hours.
Our services are also booked in quality over quantity. This means we always block-off up to 2 weeks prior to your wedding date to give you our full-undivided attention.
THR: Once you get the venue down, immediately make a list of all of the items the venue will not provide. Do they help with set-up? Do they have in-house catering? Do they offer furniture rentals or bars? You don’t have to start searching for all of those vendors right away, but it’s important to know that you need them!
Another thing to think about is ceremony vs. reception. Are you choosing a venue that provides both services? If not-make sure you also lock in a reception/ceremony venue nearby. You wouldn’t want to have one locked-in and not the other.
After booking a venue, the next big-ticket items to lock down are the photographer, videographer and catering.
THR: You don’t have to lift a finger. It’s tough to give up control on something you pour your heart into, which is why we ensure every bride loves our aesthetic and that we have every detail mapped out and approved prior to the wedding. We outline out every table placement, floral piece and seating arrangement so you are confident everything will be in the right place. Day-of-coordinators are amazing at placing those finishing details together that a DIY bride may forget.
Here’s my favorite day-of-coordinator detail – Where do guests get water during an outdoor ceremony in summer? Will there be water available for them? If you choose bottles are there garbage cans nearby? Where do they place their glasses when they are done?
The last thing you want to do is show up to your wedding and have a million people bombarding you with questions while you’re getting ready. We’re here to answer those questions. Think of a day-of-wedding coordinator as a giant “do not disturb” sign on your dressing room door.
THR: One of my favorite destination events to-date was in Iceland! I got to go in September for a proposal I was planning, which is right around the time of the Northern Lights. After my client proposed on the Gullfoss Falls, he invited me and the photographer on a Northern Lights tour with them. Definitely an awesome way to celebrate an engagement!
THR: My favorite 2020 wedding trend is grazing stations. One- because I’m a huge snacker and in love with cheese. Two- because it adds a dimensional element for your wedding photography. It can also bring a ton of extra color into your tablescape!
In terms of 2021 wedding trends, be on the lookout for self-service bars. Champagne walls, and chic beer tap campers are already popular. However, with COVID-19 having a major impact on large events I predict that eliminating as much human-contact as possible will start trending when weddings pick-up again. Self-service bar stations also look amazing in photos, and guests love the hands-on experience!
THR: Everything we plan is based off of personalized little details. I always promise my clients, whether they are tying the knot or preparing to propose, that their ideas will never be re-used. Our mission is to ensure every couple gets their rom-com story told in a way that is custom for them, and the only way to do that is to focus on those little details.
In terms of what we can offer- we have some awesome vendor discounts and connections, particularly for destination weddings. My boyfriend, Sebastien, is from France which allows us to have amazing connections with vendors for couples looking to propose or wed there. Nous offrons tout nos services egalement en francais (We can also offer all of our services in French).
If you’re interesting in learning more, visit our site.
We are New Jersey light & airy wedding photographers who would love to capture your big day! Click here for more information.
If you liked this interview with a wedding planner, check out more wedding planning tips on our blog here.