preparing budget

Thinking about Hiring a Wedding Planner? Get all the Answers with Lisa Dean!

As a wedding professional, we strive to deliver top-notch customer experience that couples expect and deserve.  We work with couples at all points in their wedding journey. Providing actionable tips to couples to ensure that exceptional end-to-end customer experience keeps on giving to their expectations is invaluable.

It’s such a privilege to sit down and speak to Lisa Dean from Divine Wedding Details. Lisa’s enthusiasm and passion for couples to have a successful and beautiful wedding truly radiates. If you are newly engaged and debating on hiring a wedding planner, this interview is just for you!

 Priya: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Lisa: My love for all things wedding started when I was planning my own wedding to the love my life, Rett Dean. Pulling and pinning the old fashion way from magazines, I found my love and passion for life in planning weddings and details for others.

At the time, I was finishing up my college education while working full-time as a trial paralegal.  With no family locally to help with the planning, my fiancé found us a planner to assist us with our plans while we kept moving on in our personal lives.  I finished up  [college] by the time our wedding came around and earned my Bachelor of Arts & Science from The University of Texas – Dallas in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice.

The foundation for producing the most perfectly designed and elegant affairs comes with more than 15 years of certified planning and design experience and more than 20 years on the legal field.  I also worked with Preston Bailey Wedding Planning Institute – Lovegevity as a certified instructor in design and planning, based out of Southern California.

 Priya: I wanted to focus on the newly engaged couple who wants to start planning a wedding? Where should they start?

Lisa: Holy Smoly you’re engaged!  Now, what?!?  It’s overwhelming to think about what to do first.  Get a manicure, post a ring-selfie, or dive in head first to wedding planning.

First things first: Insure your ring.  It will be the best decision you do before diving into planning your best day ever! Once engaged, ring insured, start thinking about your desired date. Certain seasons have more popular wedding dates, and venues get booked far in advance.

Hiring a wedding planner is the first peace of mind you can give yourselves and the best gift of all.  You can’t book your perfect date until you’ve nailed down your dream venue.  A wedding planner will take the stress out off finding your dream venue and also provide you with pricing, availability, and logistics.

 Priya: What is the role of a wedding planner? How do they help with the wedding process?

Lisa: Wedding planners take out the guesswork and multi-online researches. They put all your needs in a tidy little package and present it to the couples to make choices based on their vision, expectations and most importantly, budget.

Wedding planners help couples stick to their budget to keep them from debt, or worse, taking a loan.

Money is always, unfortunately, the one planning discussion no one likes to talk about and most times can lead to awkward and heated conversations. We put into perspective the couple’s vision that aligns with their budget.

Most couples have visions beyond budget, and this is a discussion that has to be had among the couple and any counterparts involved in the budget contributions such as parents.

A wedding planner that knows the costs associated with planning and can quickly research the best options can lighten the tense conversations with realistic numbers and providing vendor recommendations that can work within your budget.

 Priya: How do you choose a wedding planner right for you? Do you have questions a couple should ask?

Lisa: Choosing the perfect wedding planner to stand by your side throughout the entire planning, helps reduce the stress and ensures you have the most successful wedding day of your life.  You will be spending most of your time planning with this one person or team, and you want them to be the best fit for your personality and style, but also well experienced and well-seasoned.

Ask yourself these three key questions:

1. Am I comfortable spending the next eight months to a year talking to this person every single day        and having lengthy meetings?

2. Can I trust they will execute my visions and expectations to the highest level?

3. Can this person be an advocate throughout the entire planning process, understanding your priorities and implement a polished vision that exceeds your expectations?

Other considerations when hiring a wedding planner: ask for references, reviews, do online research and request a free consultation.

 Priya: That’s some excellent advice! How much do wedding planner services cost?

Lisa: Wedding planners are invaluable to a busy bride and groom. The cost varies widely.

There are three most common types of wedding planners:

1. Day-of  2. Partial Planning 3. Full-scale Planning

Relative to the variance pricing structures can vary.  Determining how much responsibility the bride and groom wish to take on and/or hands-off will determine the cost.

 Priya: When is the best time to choose a wedding planner? Is better at the beginning or halfway through?

Lisa: Hiring a wedding planner at the very beginning stage before you consider booking a venue/vendors will be able to guide you properly through the budget and breakdown of each category of plan, so nothing is left to stretch later.

Wedding planners help couples review contracts and make proper recommendations based on the couples’ expectations.  They work with couples to maximize the budget if they know what’s most important and what has the most impact.

Hiring a wedding planner half-way through the planning process doesn’t leave much room for them to be able to negotiate on your behalf once contracts are executed and locked down.  Expenditures already made can’t be undone.

Thank you so much Lisa for your insight! If you or a friend is interested in hiring a wedding planner, definitely check out her website (Divine Wedding Details) and book an appointment!

 https://www.raofactor.com/single-post/2018/09/12/Wondering-to-Hire-a-Wedding-Planner-Get-all-the-Answes-with-Lisa-Dean

Where to Cut the Budget

Where to cut the budget?

Couples ask us all the time how to cut their budget, yet have a great party.  We tell them to make two lists similar to what you do when preparing your guests list:  make a list of your ‘must-haves’ and ‘like-to-haves’.

Your must-haves are anything that will directly impact the wedding experience such as food/beverage, if you don’t provide these you will have a mob on your hands!

The ‘like-to-haves’ are going to be a band vs. DJ, lush and expensive floral, lighting.  It is easier to downgrade floral and the form of entertainment, but it’s not so easy to justify why the food is awful.