I recently met with Samantha from The Wedding Space. As we chatted, I learned a lot about her style and how she handles stressful situations that are inevitable in the wedding industry. She has a fairly laid-back approach, but not to the point where you worry that things are not getting done...just to the point where you know she is taking care of it, but she doesn't stress you out in the process. The perfect balance!
She has enough experience in the industry to know not to stress the small stuff and it really seems like she will do her very best to make sure your day runs as smoothly as possible.
She really loves to let her creative side shine and while some brides know exactly what they want, she can also be invaluable to a bride that is a little less decisive. She has the knowledge and experience to make any bride's special day run like clockwork.
She was definitely an easy person to talk to and she had a great understanding of weddings (I would hope so, as a planner, but not all do!). We ended up chatting for way too long, but I just couldn't help myself. :)
Here are the questions I asked and what she had to say...
I offer Month of Coordinating, Partial Planning and Full Service Planning. I also offer styling and design a la carte. I do create the overall vision if that is what the client has booked me for and I typically am the one who is styling the day of. Sometimes the client will book myself and a florist and we can collaborate on the design and styling.
2. How many weddings have you planned?
I have done 19 weddings and number 20 is my own! yay. My fiancé and I will be getting married this May.
3. Do you handle invitations and guest list coordination with RSVPs?
I do offer this service however I have yet had a client that has used me for it. It is included in my full service package called “Wedding Bells and Whistles”.
4. What was the biggest wedding mishap you ever had? How did you deal with it?
Oh boy there are so many little things that happen where I have to basically make it disappear. However, the biggest that comes to mind is when the grooms job was to book the DJ. Long story short this DJ turned out to be a scam artist that he found on Craigslist…. YIKES. Luckily I had a gut feeling something wasn’t right; unfortunately it was 2 weeks before the wedding day. I had my fiancé acting as an assistant call this guy requesting his credentials, insurance, licensing… you know, normal protocol for a wedding planner wink emoticon …. ; while I lined up a back up DJ in case this guy wasn’t going to show. Well, the guy basically agreed that my clients can forfeit the contract and he will send their deposit back. Thank God their wedding was on a Sunday and DJ Bob was available and saved the day by filling in. Whew.
5. How often do you meet with the bride before her wedding?
Typically 3 to 4 times but it really depends on the package they book. If the bride is local I find myself meeting them for coffee frequently. They all truly become a friend of mine and I always get sad when there is no excuse to hang out with them or talk to them on the phone anymore.
6. Do you have a minimum budget that you work with?
I never used to until this last year. I found myself booking low budget weddings but it turned out to be more costly for me and more work to pull off a flawless wedding for a very little cost. I believe in all budget weddings; However, for myself and my business’ well being I like to keep my minimum budget at 25,000.
7. What is your general wedding philosophy? Can you describe your style?
My general wedding philosophy is to make it as personal as possible and remember to just have fun. Being a bride myself this year I am having to remind myself of these things. I love to bring this up to my clients and make sure they really think about how to make their day truly theirs. We only have one shot to make this day their best day ever. Our slogan is “Let’s turn your dream into a memory"
8. How do you deal with difficult family members?
I feel like I am pretty good at this because I don’t have a mean bone in my body. So when I have a difficult family member I try to just remind them that my clients are the couple to be married and I will do anything to make sure that they are getting what they want with others wants aside if they conflict. Even if they are paying, the day isn’t about them. Always with a smile of course.
9. Can you briefly describe your process?
After booking my clients I send a questionnaire asking details about their vision of the day, wedding party information, booked vendor information, vendors still needed and try to schedule dates for venue walk throughs. From there I help fill in the needed vendors, narrow down style and start coming up with a solid design plan and timeline for the day. About 6 to 4 weeks out I connect with all the other booked vendors and introduce myself as my client’s wedding planner and begin really writing out the detailed timeline that works with all vendors and or clients. I help my clients design their ceremony and run their rehearsal. The day of Im usually the first one there and the last one to leave. I oversee all vendors set up, my staff and I typically style, I coordinate the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Then at the end of the night I am there to help break down with the other vendors and pack away any personal belongings of my clients. Each wedding is different but this is a general idea of my process.
10. How do you find the right vendors for each wedding? Do you use the same ones for every wedding?
My most popular package is my month of called “Tying the Knot”. Typically my clients are the ones finding and choosing their vendors. However, if I am hired to help plan and hire vendors I base my referrals on budget, style and personality. If i have a very introvert couple I won’t refer them to a vendor who is very flamboyant. I don’t use the same vendors all the time however I do have a preferred mental list of all types of vendors. This mental list of mine is based on who I’ve worked with or have seen at networking events. If you make a good impression then I will most likely remember you when my client asked who they should book.
11. Are there any tasks you definitely will NOT do?
I don’t think there is anything I won’t do as long as its in the agreement and its being paid for. My goal is to make my clients happy and if it takes me to go the extra mile to achieve that than I will.
12. What is your favorite thing to do as a wedding planner?
This is a really hard question because I really do love my job and all that comes with it. I do have a passion for design so I always love this full service jobs where I get to be apart of the design and styling process from the save the dates to the decor at the reception. I also love a job where Im hired solely as a wedding designer or stylist and that all I do. That is where I can really have some fun.