We asked wedding planners your most pressing questions
Not too long ago, event planners were largely unheard of on the small-scale scene of the Capital City. Maybe for large events like galas, but certainly not for private affairs like weddings. However, as the city has grown, so too have the celebrations of the people that live within its limits. Now, weddings are frequently orchestrated by a planner with the know-how to do it all and do it within a set budget.
To learn more about what goes on behind the scenes and how to approach the planning process, we reached out to August Events’ Maranda Cardinale and Tiffany Pilgrim, who have been putting together events of all types for over four years. Check out their answers to some of our most burning questions below:
1. How early should brides enlist the help of an event planner?
To get the most out of the experience, it’s best to enlist help right away. Planning a wedding can feel very intimidating if you don’t already have a working knowledge of what Baton Rouge has to offer. We can help by recommending quality venues, caterers, florists and more within a certain budget right from the start.
2. When you first talk with a bride, where do you start?
Our brides tend to seek us out because they want their wedding to look or feel a certain way. For this reason, we like to start with their overall vision and budget. These two things set the tone for all the decisions that will be made moving forward.
3. What is your advice on nailing down a style?
Start with Pinterest, Instagram or Google images and just look at inspiration pictures. Pick your top five photos and look for what they all have in common. It won’t always be as black and white as choosing five barn weddings, but there will likely be similarities in each that can lead you in the right direction.
4. What is the ideal amount of time to have between an engagement and a wedding?
Twelve months is ideal, but this also depends on how flexible you are. If you have to get married at St. Louis Cathedral, you’re going to be looking at a much longer engagement than if you’re flexible with your venue and other vendors.
5. What does an event planner add to the big day? What are the advantages?
Peace of mind. Having a wedding planner means a much less stressful day for the bride. We also absorb many of the burdens that would fall upon members of her friends, family and wedding party. You want them to be able to relax and enjoy the day with you, not be running last-minute errands or answering calls from vendors.
6. What are your go-to ways to create wow-factor?
- Lighting! It’s so often overlooked, but it is so essential in transforming a space.
- Focus on guest experience. A great way to determine wow-factor is by thinking about what your guests will remember even after they leave.
- Concentrate on a few focal points. For weddings, this could mean an impactful entryway or a fun lounge area.
7. What are splurge-worthy elements?
A client’s personality is what dictates this for us. What’s important to them? What are they comfortable compromising? Splurge on what you love. The answer is different for everyone.
8. What is the biggest mistake you see brides make?
First, not considering their guests or the guest experience. That is so crucial in creating a successful event. Second, not trusting themselves or second-guessing themselves throughout the planning process. For example, when you find “the dress,” stop shopping! Trust your instincts and that you’ve made the right decision. The same goes with flowers, venue and linens. Once you make your selection, cross it off your list and don’t look back. It’s our job to catch it something isn’t the right fit.
9. What are some event trends for 2019?
- Playful send-offs such as smoke bombs and colorful confetti
- Neon signs
- Minimalist fashion, with simple and classic bridal gowns (Thanks, Meghan Markle) and custom suits for the guys
- Beautiful grazing tables piled high with delicious antipasti, charcuterie and dips
- Over-the-top floral installations influenced by the entrance to last year’s royal wedding
- Bringing the outside in with trees and foliage being used in places like ballrooms
- Bringing the inside out by making outdoor spaces feel as homey and inviting as possible
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10. What is your favorite party of working on weddings?
The design phase. We love picking out all of the personalized details with the couple that will make the day special.
11. Do you have any advice for brides-to-be?
Hire your team and hire them early. Make sure you enlist people who you can trust to execute your vision so that you’re not sweating the small stuff on your wedding day.