March 1, 2019
This is my dear friend, Sarah. She grew up surrounded by girls and design, so it is no surprise she ended up a wedding planner! This girl can make apple pie from scratch, without a recipe or measuring a single ingredient! She was the first in her family to move out of state from California to Texas. She believes that the best part of life is the connections we make with other people. She’s ambitious and truly has an eye for design and creating a luxury wedding which is why I chose to feature her as a Vendor of Light. Sarah and I have worked together numerous times and she never fails to impress me with her ability to truly capture the vision I have and bring it come to life. I know she does the same for her clients, which makes her such a gem in the wedding industry. I interviewed her to gain insight for my Brides of Light and I learned so much from her experience. I hope you will too!
What’s the most important aspect to your business?
The most important aspect of my business is building a relationship with couples beyond being their wedding planner or someone who works for them. I love getting to know my couples on a personal level, learning about their relationship, and creating ways to make their wedding day even more personal and special for them.
What need are you filling for your clients and how?
As a wedding planner, I wear a lot of hats and fill a lot of needs for my clients! Obviously, I help with budget, guests lists, timelines, contracts, etc. I also help with creating a wedding vision, a cohesive design for what the client wants their dream wedding to not only look like, but feel like. I love helping clients create an entire wedding atmosphere- what they want the music to be like, how they want the cake to be served, etc! It is all the tiny details that add up to create the dream wedding!
Where do you fnd inspiriation?
I find inspiration from my clients! I love the creative back and forth process that comes with creating a wedding design. I love to hear everything about the couple’s relationship and love story and who they are as people, and find new and unique ways to incorporate them into the wedding. Right now, I have a couple who met while going to school in London, so we are including an iconic London red phone booth and decking it out with flowers and greenery to create a sort of photo-booth for guests (and keeping it a total surprise for guests and the groom!)
What does your creative process look like?
As I kind of mentioned above, my creative process starts with learning all about the couple and how they met/fell in love. Personal details are truly what makes a wedding stand out. Once I have an idea of what the couple is looking for, I start to collaborate with other wedding vendors and utilize their creative minds as well. I love taking an idea to a florist or a calligrapher and having them add their design expertise to make something truly unique and custom to the couple!
What’s an appropriate budget for your segment of the industry?
This is such a tough question because the industry prices are always changing and there are so many factors that go into determining a client’s overall wedding budget. Formally, a wedding planner is not supposed to be considered as part of the wedding budget, however, most brides do not take this into consideration when generating their budget. There is no cut and dry rate that I charge each bride, however, I typically charge anywhere between 5% to 10% of the overall wedding budget for my full-service brides!
Why is it worth the investment?
I could truly go on about the importance of investing in a wedding planner forever, but I will try to keep this concise! Investing in a wedding planner is so important if you want to actually enjoy your wedding planning process and enjoy your wedding day! So many brides believe wedding planning is fun, exciting, and easy. Although it is fun and exciting, it is also STRESSFUL! There are so many little things that go into a wedding, and trying to keep track of all of that, on top of having a full time job or being a full time student can be overwhelming. A wedding planner will keep track of all of those small nitty-gritty details so that you can actually get excited about planning your wedding and focus on the truly fun parts of planning! As for the wedding day, a wedding coordinator is absolutely essential if you are wanting a stress free day. Think of your wedding planner as your shield on your wedding day; they are your first line of defense for any issues that may arise, and will handle anything from timing mishaps to vendor issues without you ever having to know!
What should brides know going into the process for your segment of the industry?
There are two very important things I believe brides should know when they are considering hiring a wedding planner
1. There is no such thing as a ‘day of’ planner! I get so many inquiries from brides who want to plan the wedding themselves and bring in a ‘day of’ planner to run the events the day of the wedding. I found out the hard way that this is not beneficial for the planner OR the bride. Having an experienced and knowledgable planner throughout the planning process will ensure that your planner is up to speed on all the details and communication between you and each vendor. This is so important because if and when an issue arises on the wedding day, your ‘day of’ planner doesn’t have to run to you with each issue and clarify anything, they can handle any mishaps and let you enjoy a stress-free day!
2. A venue coordinator is NOT a wedding coordinator. I hear brides say time and time again “I don’t need a wedding planner, my venue includes one.” Although it is great to have a venue coordinator on hand who knows the venue and can help the event run smoothly, at the end of the day, the venue coordinator works for the venue, not the bride. Venue coordinators tend to help with planning as it pertains to the venue, so things like timelines- when vendors will arrive, when guests have to leave, etc. However, venue coordinators are not going to attend your cake tasting and help calculate how many servings you will need, or assist you on the right wording for your invitations, or call hotels and reserve room blocks for your out of town guests. An independent wedding coordinator is the only one who will truly handle all aspects of your wedding!
What advice do you have for a bride preparing for, on her wedding day, and then for marriage?
While preparing for the wedding, I always try to remind the couple what is most important, which is celebrating their love they have for each other. This is the time in your life where it is okay to be a little selfish. Yes, it is always fun to have a big party and you should consider if your guests are having a nice time, but do not get caught up on the small things! Your guests are going to remember how much fun they had celebrating you, they are not going to remember if their fork was gold or silver, or if the linens were the perfect shade of pink.
On the wedding day, I advise couples to be present! It is one of the most important reasons to have a wedding planner in the first place. The only thing you should be focused on is enjoying this magical day with your spouse and being surrounded by your family and friends! Leave your phone in the bridal suite, kick your heels off, and enjoy the party that you spent months planning!
For marriage, I advise couples to value and enjoy one another! Wedding planning can be so stressful for couples, but I also get to see couples at the peak of their relationship and excited about love and marriage! I encourage them to always remember how they feel during this time when everything is new and exciting and carry that through their marriage.
Are there any other resources that would be helpful for your segment of the industry?
I always encourage brides to use Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. And here is why:
Pinterest- Most wedding vendors are not a fan of Pinterest, believing that it creates unrealistic expectations and focuses too heavily on trends. However, I think when used properly, it is a great resource to find inspiration for brides who are more picture oriented and maybe have issues communication their vision. The key is to use it as a search engine, just as you would use google, instead of social media. Instead of endless scrolling through images of ‘weddings,’ use the search bar for things like “organic fine art white bridal bouquet with greenery.” Vendors are always updating their latest work, as well as what they find inspiring, so make sure to follow your wedding vendors on Pinterest! My Pinterest handle is https://www.pinterest.com/sisteredstates/
Instagram- I always encourage clients who are recently engaged to get on Instagram and start following tons of local vendors! Follow everyone from photographers, bakeries, venues, florists, etc. This way, you not only get a sense for vendors style in your area, but you can also see who those vendors are working with by who they tag in their pictures and captions! If a photographer you like on Instagram is working a lot with a specific florist, you may want to look into that florist, because they will likely have a similar style, personality, and price point! Instagram works as almost a vetting process for finding vendors. You can check out my Instagram at @sisteredstates.
I hope you’ll consider Sarah for your wedding! She’s not just an aspect to your day, but the glue that brings everything together. If you’re wondering more about Vendors of Light, this is a select group of vendors I have hand-picked just for my Brides of Light to have access to. These vendors are some of my most trusted friends in the industry. Each goes through an interview process where I determine if their business, aesthetic, and product all correlate with the caliber my Brides of Light seek. If you want to learn more from these vendors, feel free to scroll through the Bridal Education portion of the blog OR become a Bride of Light to gain access to all the education in my exclusive “Bride of Light” magazine which contains interviews and key information to planning your wedding day.