Quick Poll: How are you finding your wedding vendors?

I’m curious as to how you all have been finding success in getting a great vendor team together for your wedding.

Please take this one-question poll! Once we start getting votes, the results will appear here in real-time.

Are you having any difficulties in finding the right people to work with? Please share in the comments – I’ll answer any questions that I can.

 


{ Portland Wedding Planning } What is a “kick-off” consultation?

Sometimes the terms that are bounced around in the wedding planning process can be confusing.

In our {Wedding Planning Definitions} series, I’ll examine some different terms and products that come up often in discussions of wedding planning.

Today’s definition is:

“kick-off consult”.

Wedding-planner-portland-oregon

This is a program for clients who would like assistance from a wedding planner in the early stages of their engagement, but perhaps have not committed fully to using a planner for full services. The “kick-off consult” usually includes a design component, where the planner talks with you about your overall vision for the wedding in everything from colors and sounds to the food and drink, all the way to what the attendants will be wearing.  You can ask questions about the pros and cons of different sites, and also get ideas for sites you may not have thought of on your own.  Budget will be discussed, and vendor matches will be suggested. You should also get a wedding planning checklist with a list of to-do items for wedding planning and the dates the tasks should be completed.

The bride and groom-to-be leave this meeting armed with a great deal of information to make sound, educated decisions for the initial wedding planning process.  Time involvement varies from planner to planner, and is usually around 90 minutes to 2 hours, often with an email follow-up included. There is usually a flat or hourly fee for this meeting.

If you are having a hard time getting your wedding planning process off the ground (perhaps you are stuck without a date or venue and getting stressed), a one-time, “kick-off” consult could be just the thing you need.

A version of this blog post appeared on The Portland Wedding Coordinator on May 9, 2009.

Photo: Oliver M. P. Miller

What are the different kinds of wedding planning services, and how much do they cost?

Portland-oregon-wedding-planner-costs-reviewsMy assistant and I at a wedding in Boston in 2003. Many thanks to Craig Strong (yes, the Lensbaby inventor) for the photo.

Today's big question: "What are the different kinds of wedding planning services, and how much do they cost?" I can only answer this for my own business, and please know there are MANY fantastic business models out there. This is just what has worked for me for the past 14 years:

I offer three main types of planning, all with set, flat fees. After I meet with my client, I am able to create a customized proposal for them – sometimes all with one type of planning; but many times using elements of several, to get them exactly what they need.

Hourly consulting: We meet at my office, or at a specific place (e.g., invitation store, venue tours) and work on a specific project. Typically, after the project is complete (I find them a venue, we co-create decor designs or themes), I do not work on-site at the wedding.

Wedding month-of coordination (Also called "Day-Of Coordination"): The client leads all the planning themselves, but comes back to me about two months before the wedding and shows me all vendors booked, and explains how they would like the site to be laid out, how they want the day to flow. My assistants and I then take it from there and create/distribute the event plan communications, and coordinate at the rehearsal and at the event.

Full planning and design: The client is in creative control, but I lead the planning process, in that I push action items to the client. (e.g. "It's time to book your caterer"; "It's time to create your overall reception design".) This is our most popular program of service.

Planner-led vs. client-led is a spectrum; ask your coordinator what options are available to you based on your preference and budget.

You can read more in detail about these planning types and get pricing information over on the business website: ejpevents.com

I hope this info is helpful to you – please leave any questions in the comments, or email me! Are you a couple who has found the perfect wedding planner? Tell us about him or her!  Or – are you a wedding planner, who has found success in a different business model? I would love to hear your ideas.