Bailey- Des Moines Wedding Assistant

We cannot believe that summer is almost here! Where has 2018 gone? What we love most about planning weddings and events are the people we get to meet along the way. Whether it is our clients and their families, vendors we work alongside, or the best wedding assistants around! We know WE CANNOT DO THIS ALONE! And finding the right team is what makes this crazy thing possible. We are so thrilled to introduce to you our newest Des Moines Wedding Assistant! 

Bailey 

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B, Bai, or Bailey. She'll answer to all. Is (at least we think) our shopping twin! She loves to shop at  Target, Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, and Forever 21! - We basically live there! What we love most about Bailey is her persistence and creativity. When we first opened a position in the Des Moines area for a wedding assistant this 2018 season, we knew we needed a go-getter! With all the travel and busy events we take on having a face in Des Moines that represents our brand, our clients, and most of all the love and attention our Iowa clients need from us. I was looking for a special person. I spoke to Bailey over the phone and heard all about her current event experiences. She worked at a venue that encompassed so many aspects of the industry, I knew her base knowledge would benefit us greatly. And she is nothing short of this! 

Bailey loves Mexican food. Um, yes! Bring on the queso! Isn't that the entire reason to go out for Mexican food? She loves to travel, so of course we loved her! Her favorite places to travel are Charleston, SC and Northern California. She draws inspiration from autumn. So, her dream wedding is an outdoor fall wedding (October is the best). She would use organic colors of the season incorporating leaves, pumpkins, apples and dark green grass. Even though it may never be her pet, her favorite animal is a baby kangaroo. She loves rose pink and pale yellow. And drinks Venti Mango Black Tea Lemonade with light ice at Starbucks. (Now that's a true Starbucks order)! She loves the show F.R.I.E.N.D.S and has watched it through 5 times! 

Did you know, I own all seasons (this was before Netflix) and have watched it through multiple times too! See, we told you she was a perfect fit for us! 

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Her favorite handbag is Michael Kors. - She JUST bought her first one. AHH! I do remember the day I bought my first designer handbag. It was day, I''ll never forget. Now, I cannot go back. Designer bags are my weakness. And Bailey cannot go without watching beauty videos on YouTube.

Did you know she has her own channel?? CHECK IT OUT! 

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We couldn't be more blessed to have Bailey on our team! Check out her on social media! 

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YouTube

And make sure you're following us to see all the beautiful events we work on together! 

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Pinterest

 

Ryan & Jo

We've said it before and we'll say it again. When you take something you love, teach it to others- empowering them to spread their wings. The BEST THING in this life, is seeing them fly! How many are with me? I am so honored to have the BEST team on earth. Although, I am bias, I'm not wrong. My planning team blows me away with their attention to detail. Their unwavering customer service, and dedication to loving EVERY SINGLE PERSON THEY MEET. If there is an example of how Mostly Becky strives to serve others, take a look at my wedding planners.

They teach me something everyday. 

So it is with GREAT HONOR to introduce another blog by our very own, Elizabeth. She planned this event of 270 ON HER OWN, Executed flawlessly, and trained up a team of assistants. Being proud is an UNDERSTATEMENT! Elizabeth is not one to take charge, being the youngest of 4. She tends to hide in the background. But, times have changed! Congrats to you Elizabeth, we are excited to watch you fly! 

Remember her here

By Elizabeth Thomas 

Ryan & Johanna Jolivette

 

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Meaningful and sentimental; those are the two words that kept coming to mind as the wedding plans and day unfolded for Johanna and Ryan in rural Iowa. 

 

Let’s start with the venue; Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp. On the surface, this quaint camp, snuggled next to the river is the perfect place for a day of celebration with loved ones. The rustic A-frame chapel with massive amounts of natural light to the beautiful old oak trees all around camp make the whole scene feel beautiful and cozy. For the couple, however, Riverside Bible Camp meant so much more.

It was the first place they met while playing soccer as campers.

Camp was the place they both grew closer to Jesus through time set aside at camp to meeting people who encouraged and challenged them in their faith. Not only was camp beautiful, but it was infused with memories from every step of their relationship. The sentiment did not end their either.

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The main meal was catered by a family friend from the bride’s hometown. Florals and baked goods were all done with local vendors.This was one of my favorite parts of the day. All the vendors this day brought a relaxed hometown feel to all they did. Their attention to detail and genuine care for the couple was evident in the services they provided.

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Specifically, the photographer, Less Traveled Photography, took the rustic and quaint backgrounds of camp and created beautiful backdrops for the gushing with love couple. Having met the couple at camp as camp counselors, he knew exactly the personalities and desires of the couple. This genuine relationship brought out the vibrant photos the couple will have to remember their special day forever.

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Early on in the planning, the bride made it evident she wanted to eat a hearty meal with loved ones and dance the night away. The bride and groom were able to keep the traditional aspects such as a father-daughter dance and mother-son dance while also incorporating their families famous polka dance.

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With this being my first solo wedding and a guest list projected of 300, calling in backup and an extra set of professional hands was a must.

 

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My assistant Kari for the day, a communications major from the University of Northern Iowa, blew me away. Many people think of being a wedding planner as a glamorous job when actually it is a lot more. From getting a table dropped on her toe early in the day to dealing with worst case scenarios, Kari handled the day with as much grace as an experienced assistant. The day would not have happened as smoothly if it was not for her proactive personality and genuine care for all those she encountered.

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The day was beautiful filled with so much joy! The vendors and guests raved about Elizabeth and all her hard work! We couldn't be more proud to have her on our team. 

Elizabeth was extremely professional, but also extremely friendly. Would recommend her to all of my friends. Elizabeth and the Mostly Becky team were so supportive to not only us, but to our families and friends.

Thanks for an amazing day!
— Ryan

 

This day would NOT have happened with out these AMAZING Des Moines area vendors who made the magic happen! 

 

Flowers: Story City Floral

Photographer: Less Traveled Photography

Catering: Hy-Vee

Rentals: Celebrations

Planning: Mostly Becky Weddings

 

How Much will being a Bridesmaid COST?

This summer I get the pleasure to plan and participate in my baby sister's wedding festivities! And now, as I am planning the bachelorette party getaway the planner in me LOVES making all the lists. I also feel SO OLD! How am I planning a weekend getaway for my baby sister?! So, as I layout everything that I have to do, I wanted to share a few tips to being a bridesmaid in 2018 and all that is may cost you! 

The planning, the pinteresting, the parties! Being a bridesmaid is so fun! But, it can be an investment. We wanted to breakdown some of the expected and appropriate costs of being a bridesmaid, so you can plan ahead! Of course, the cost will vary based on the location of the event, where you plan to travel for some of the parties and how far away you live. But, just in case take a look! 

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Engagement Party

Usually the first event! And because you are a bridesmaid you are the guest of honor! So, if you can make it it will be well worth it. Remember to factor in airfare if you don't live close enough to drive. And don't forget a gift! We need to congratulate them on their engagement, so don't come empty handed. 

Airfaret: $300
Weekend Extras: $200
Lodging: Free (hopefully you can stay with a friend) 
New Dress & Shoes: $250
Hair & Gel Nails: $160
Engagement Gift and Card: $50

Total Engagement Party With Airfare:  $960
Total Engagement Party Without Airfare: $710

Of course you can cut costs by wearing something you own, or borrowing from your sister. So, book your weekend and enjoy! But, the big question is...

CAN YOU SKIP THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY?

If you do not live within driving distance this is more acceptable. But, being apart of the bridal party you should make this a priority to attend. If nothing else, send a card and gift wishing you could make it. 

 Image by: Emily Crall Photogrpahy 

Image by: Emily Crall Photogrpahy 

Bridal Shower 

The 2nd event of the wedding is something as a part of the wedding party you should not only attend, but also chip in for. Speak to the host of the party and see where there is a need. Send money if your distance is too far to help. But, you can also support in other ways, provide help setting up or cleaning up afterwards. There is plenty to do, so make it known you are there to help out in any way. And at the bare minimum, you're going to have to attend,  look nice and buy a gift.

Airfare: $300
Weekend Extras: $200
New Dress: $100 (you already bought shoes for the engagement party, so wear those) 
Hair & Gel Nails: $160
Bridal Shower Gift and Card: $50
Bridal Shower Chip In Fee: $100 (or whatever your offered to bring/help with) 

Total Wedding Shower Investment With Airfare: $710
Total Wedding Shower Investment  Without Airfare: $410

Bachelorette Party 

By far, this may be some of the most fun you have as part of the bridal party. You travel to a beautiful location, you wear matching dresses, sip cocktails and get your pre-wedding glow on. It's is going to be magical, and most likely the most expensive! Why can't everything be free? 

 

Airfare: $300
Lodging (hopefully shared): $150
Weekend Extras: $200
Money For Bride's Room: $75 (always chip in for this!)
Bachelorette Present: $50
Matching Bridesmaid dresses/attire: $50
Vaca clothes because well of course: $200

Total Bachelorette Weekend: $950

Want to save some money? Bachelorette Tip! 

The earlier you book the better the rate you can secure. If you know the bride wants to a gataway then ask to help plan and get booking right away! This way, you can better plan your budget. 

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Your Bridemaid's Attire

We wanted to make sure that you didn't miss anything on the list here. Usually, the dress is a given and the cost is known well in advance. But, there is so much more to your look outside if your attire. It's the hair, makeup, nails, and shoes. So we've added those in for you too. 

Your Dress: $150
Shoes: $100
Gel Maini/Pedi: $160
Wedding Hair & Makeup: $100
Jewelry: $0 (this could be a cost if the bride does not have specific jewels she wants you in. If she does, she will gift you with them!)
Getting Ready Robe: $0 (The bride will provide this if she wants to include these)
Flowers: $0 (These are all included in the brides budget and should be no cost to you)

Your Bridesmaid Look: $510

The Wedding Day

Don't forget your gift! Besides travel to the wedding, here are a few more items we wanted to make sure you included when planning to be apart of this special day! 

Airfare: $300
Hotel: $200
Uber to the venue: $10 (hopefully you can share)
Starbucks day of and next day: $10
Wedding Gift: $50
Celebrating your best friends: Priceless

Day Of  Wedding Day Costs: $570

Now, you may realize this seems crazy expensive and all the plans or details listed may not apply to the wedding your in. But, in case that it does... we wanted to you to be well prepared and to ENJOY YOURSELF! 

Total Engagement Party: $960
Total Wedding Shower: $710
Total Bachelorette Weekend: $950
Your Total Look: $510
Day Of Wedding Day: $570
Total Bridesmaid Cost In 2018: $3,700

You don't want to FORGET to ask Your Wedding Planner this!

Booking is the easy part. You've found wedding vendors you love, planning bliss has begun. But... what happens when you forget to ask the right questions? Seriously, don't worry WE'VE GOT YOU! Here are questions you don't want to forget to ask your wedding planner. 

Should you have a grand exit from your reception?

Yes! If possible, what a fun way to end the best day of your life! There may be some regulations on some properties that will limit what your guests are allowed to toss or let go. But, if no laws are being broken, and we aren't hurting any animals GO FOR IT!  We love a grand exit. Some of our favorite have been lighting and letting go of Chinese lanterns, lighting sparklers while creating a tunnel for the couple to exit through, and bubbles if you leave when there is still some daylight. Make it your own, have fun, but be safe! 

 Photo by  Val Marlene

Photo by Val Marlene

Do I tip my vendors? Including my wedding planner?

What most don't realize is that tipping is definitely something that is overlooked at a wedding. Just like if you ordered dinner at a restaurant you would tip your bartender, servers etc. But, because of the hustle and bustle of a wedding day tipping seems to go unnoticed.  Typically, those who are working your wedding are working harder on that day than if they were working at a weekly gig. Whether, your DJ plays at a venue every Friday night, no doubt they are getting tips from their services for a party that is much easier on them then your wedding day. Every vendor involved in your big day is there to serve you! And is definitely, NOT expecting a tip. But, they of course appreciate a thank you for a job well done! If you received great service, let them know!  They understand how important this day is to you and if they delivered, tell them! 

What happens if someone brings an uninvited guest? 

When planning your event, we always encourage you to plan for the unexpected. As a general rule, plan that only 80% of your invited guests will actually show up. But, there will always be those who bring an uninvited plus one or someone who shoes up but forgets to RSVP. When planning your seating chart or your ceremony layout, always plan for an additional 15% of your RSVP's to attend. There is nothing worse than not having enough seats for guests! Your venue and wedding planner should be able to guide you to the number of chairs to ensure no one is without a seat. 

 Photo by  Alexander Michl

Which side of the aisle do the bride's guest sit on?

Traditionally, the bride is on the left. But, not everyone wants tradition! If you are looking at the alter the bridesmaid should be standing on the left and the bride's family should be seated on the left-side of the aisle. Many couples prefer to not have a "bride's sides" when seating guests at the ceremony. So just make sure to inform your ushers that unless they are family sitting in reserved seating, guests can sit on either side of the aisle. And if your ceremony is outdoors, there is even less reason to have guests be on a certain side of the aisle. But, no matter what, remember it is your wedding day! You can do whatever you want! 

 Photo by  Val Marlene

Photo by Val Marlene

DO WE INCLUDE A DRESS CODE ON OUR INVITATIONS?

Yes, this is so helpful and thoughtful.You have to be careful to not use cryptic wording such as "dress fancy" so keep it more specific. Use words like "black tie" or "resort dressy." I would never be afraid to google the real terminology for dress codes. Or as always, ask your wedding planner!  The time of your event, the location, season all do factor into your dress code. So seek out help to determine what you want for all your event specifics! 

Do we need a receiving line at an outdoor ceremony? 

A receiving line is such a nice touch to any event it allows you as the couple to personally thank and talk to every guest! But, this takes time! AND LOTS OF IT! So if thanking each guest is important to you, build it into your timeline. But, if you are more concerned with dancing and mingling casually with your guests during the reception there are other times during the event that allow you to keep things moving all the while still thanking them for attending!  If you do want to have a receiving line after your outdoor ceremony, you will probably have to have the officiate make an announcement. Traditionally, a church ceremony only allows guests to exit one way which then naturally creates a need for dismissal. But, with an outdoor ceremony typically there is more options for guests to disperse after the ceremony has ended. This can create a quick move from ceremony to the next event which is great if your appetizers are hot and cocktails are ready! Remember, that for an event with about 200 guests a receiving line will take up to 45 minutes so build that into your timeline. And make sure to have the officiate announce each row will be dismissed so you don't have scattered guests. But, it is always best to take the time to schedule things that are most important to you! Remember, it is your BIG DAY. Make it unique! 

Geena & Holden

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Guys, did you know Winterset, Iowa was so stinkin' beautiful? In the flat farm land of Iowa I think sometimes when we see hills, valleys and mountains, we don't know what to do with all the beauty!

TAKE A LOOK!

This wedding was such a special event for so many reasons, but mainly because we get to brag on our ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE Wedding Planner, Heather. Remember her? Heather worked closely with Geena & Holden in the pre-planning stages AND she took on this event SOLO! WHAAAAA??

The vendors RAVED about her, the couple couldn't have been more grateful for her. And boy, we couldn't be more proud!

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By Heather Helgren

Holden and Geena’s wedding was nothing short of a fairytale. When I drove around the many bends and hills of the Winterset, Iowa countryside, I knew that it was going to be unique.

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The best element about this wedding was the venue. It was a sweet, beautiful acreage with vast valleys and scenic views. The barn wasn’t perfect, and that is exactly what I loved about it. It complemented not only the couple’s vibes, but also the wedding party’s.  I knew this when I noticed that the groomsmen chose to camp right outside the Air BnB in a small tent. I loved that. They didn’t mind “roughin’ it” just a little bit. So when I walked into the barn for the first time, with the dirt floor, exposed wooden beams and dusty windows, I thought to myself, “this is perfect.”

Even when I met Geena, I knew that she had a simple elegance about her that radiated natural beauty and grace.

I admired her right away.

Her intimacy with her family further confirmed why she loves Holden the way that she does.  She chose to wear her mother’s wedding dress, and she was positively stunning.

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Holden’s relationship with his family and his groomsmen was something to be admired as well. I mean it with all my heart when I say I honestly loved working with the wedding party and their families. They were extremely encouraging and had “go with the flow” attitudes that wedding planners don’t find that often. They always approached me and asked what they could do to help.  When I looked stressed out or about to lose my mind, they would joke with me and be my comedy relief. These people were selfless, helpful, and even had a sense of humor that could make the hardest of hearts crack a smile. The wedding wouldn’t have been the same without them.

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Another unique element about the Rasmussen wedding was the culture that they incorporated into it. It was important for Geena’s family to express their heritage by presenting a bride piñata and groom piñata during the reception. Laughs erupted the entire barn as the blindfolded bride attempted to break the groom piñata, and the blindfolded groom tried to break the bride’s using a broomstick. Even the bridesmaids and groomsmen took at few swings at them! The joy and cohesiveness within their friends and families is clearly unbreakable (pun intended).

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I loved this wedding. The vendors were wonderful and talented (Up In Smoke BBQ was phenomenal!), the scenery was beautiful, and the guests were supportive and encouraging. It’s weddings like these that make me grateful to do what I do. It’s weddings like these that make the hours of sweat and problem solving all worth it.

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I am thankful to be working for Mostly Becky, and I am even more thankful for the people that I meet along the way.

-Heather Helgren

And AS ALWAYS this beautiful day would not have been possible without the hard working vendors we had the pleasure to work alongside. Thank you for all you do! 

Bridal Wear- Dornink Bridal

Tent- A to Z Rentals

Portable Restroom- A King's Throne

Chairs & Tables- Breeding True Value

Linen- Party Depot

Photography- Alexander Michl Photography

Venue - The Barn at Lone Oaks Farm

Wedding Planning & Coordination- Mostly Becky Weddings & Events

Catering- Up in Smoke BBQ

Gabrielle

When I started my wedding planning and project management business over 9 years ago I dreamed of the day when I would travel all over the world, have multiple hubs in most major cities in the U.S. and a team that spread nationwide! Well, friends today is that day! We have officially hired our wedding assistant here in the Richmond, VA area! Gabrielle is the coolest chick! When we met her, she had purple hair! I mean, we love a girl who loves what she loves and doesn't care who knows it! 

Gabrielle is confident, kind, attentive, and responsive. When we spoke on the phone for her initial interview we knew almost immediately that we wanted her on the team! But, due to distance we had to wait a few months to meet in person. When we had the pleasure to meet, she was early, knew exactly what Starbucks drink she wanted and all the those attributes that leaked through the phone were even more present in person. We knew she was meant to be! 

Gabrielle, more commonly known as, Gabby loves rabbits, sushi, the color purple (if you couldn't tell with her current hair color),  and CUTE CLOTHES- I mean who doesn't? Her favorite place to travel to is Florida! Lucky for us, we plan weddings there too! :) If she could have any purse it would be a Kate Spade- Um, great taste!! And she cannot go a day without her friends! 

We are so honored to call her a partner in this crazy business we work in! 

 Look at JUST how cute she is!! 

Look at JUST how cute she is!! 

 

Gabby, welcome to the team! We JUST LOVE that you are here! 

Make sure to keep up with her here! 

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XOX

5 WAYS YOUR WEDDING COULD GET YOU ARRESTED!

Wait, what? Is getting arrested something I should be worried about when planning my wedding? We hope not!  Which is why we are here to help you avoid some of these small ideas that can turn bad quickly! 

 Photo by  Val Marlene

Photo by Val Marlene

Drinking and Driving

This is obvious! But, there are small things you can add into your wedding plan that will help not only keep your guests safe, but make navigating through your wedding events a little easier. If you have a multi-location event make sure to reserve transportation for your wedding party. This is not an uncommon practice, plus it is a lot of fun! But, what you may want to consider is do your guests know the best possible way to get home safely? If you can, reserve a block of rooms at a location within walking distance or connected to your reception. This allows guests who maybe don't want to hassle with driving at all the option to stay close by and let loose without thinking about getting home at the end of the night. In the case that staying close by is not an option, look into public transportation, taxi's, and limos. There are so many creative car services these days that can be easy and affordable for anyone. But, because of this it can also be confusing to someone who is NOT familiar with it. Do your research and educate your guests. Post it on your wedding website, add it into your RVSP thank you response. Allowing your guests to have this information ahead of time will be so helpful, especially if your event is a destination! 

Over Serving Guests 

In the past few years brides have become creative with their wedding locations. We have seen less and less all inclusive wedding venues being first choice! If your venue does not provide a bartender who will hold or obtain a liquor licence you may need to do some research on what insurance and liability you are taking on as the event host while serving alcohol. Of course, over serving is never the goal at any event, but it can happen easier when a professional is not monitoring this! Do your research, ask your wedding planner and stay safe! 

 Photo by  Brooke Pavel

Photo by Brooke Pavel

Breaking Capacity on Fire Codes

Most venues will hold this responsibility and only allow your headcount to stay within the fire codes. But, this will be an important responsibility for you as the couple to create and stick to your guest list. If you need help crafting your guest list you can always ask your wedding planner for help. But, for a general rule. 80% of invited guests will actually arrive. Think through your guests list, where they are traveling from, and how likely they are to forget to RSVP and bring an uninvited guest. Although, you cannot predict any of these, your wedding planner can help plan for the instances when your guests surprise you! If your venue does not provide this information to you, ASK! 

Lighting Photo Booth Props on Fire

I know this may sound crazy. But, the wedding industry has taught me a lot and the biggest thing it has taught me is never say never. Yes, this instance has actually happened at an event I planned. Photo booths are sometimes the highlight of your guests night and such a great addition to any wedding reception. But, be careful think through where this is located, what props you plan to have available and always take precaution when serving alcohol. Make sure you have entirely read the contract of your venue to see what liability you take on as the paying couple!  And of course! Ask your wedding photographer or planner for tips! 

Breaking Liquor Licensing

This one can be confusing! So make sure to get a professionals help. Most full-service wedding venues will have this license and help guide you through the plan of your reception while staying within these guidelines. But, if your venue is a private space where there may not be straight forward guidelines, ask your wedding planner for help! They should be able to guide you to the right place for insurance and state laws for serving alcohol. Also, make sure if there are guidelines that seems a little out of the ordinary, run them by your wedding planner so they can help enforce them during the event to keep you and your guests safe. Plus, they can help avoid extra fees that may occur if these are broken. No matter how complicated it gets, remember, don't be afraid to ask! 

 Image by  Dust Studios

Image by Dust Studios

 

 

 

You've hired a wedding planner- What happens now?

You've heard it, hire a wedding planner.

Okay, so then what happens next? We wanted to help you know what to expect from your wedding planner, how to see the difference in a quality & experienced wedding professional compared to someone else on the market. 

 

They will be responsive to your needs. 

Any wedding professional who has quality experience will work with you. They know enough of the industry to be of help. In conversation with them you will hear their experiences in stories and tips. If your wedding professional is limiting times spent with them, limiting questions, or not offering reviews from trusted sources, be weary. 

Their experience will overflow into conversations. 

Always speak to the wedding planner you are interested in hiring. Websites can be made beautiful, Instagram, and online imagery can be easily persuasive. But, a wedding planner is much more than just pretty pictures! They should be a sounding board for all questions you have. When you ask, their experience should overflow into conversations. And the lessons they have learned along the way are to your benefit. If you are speaking to a wedding planner you like and questions are raised, but no real life examples can be given. I would keep looking!

They will be your guide.

Each wedding planner will have their own style. But, they should lead the way. Getting you to the next step. Even if they are NOT a full-service company. A experienced and great wedding planner will be someone who can tell you what to do next, give you estimates on how long things should take, and follow up with you to make sure you are staying on track. If you hire a wedding planner and never hear from them. Think again! 

They will tell you what to expect from other wedding vendors.

No matter if you are looking for vendors or working with ones you've already booked. A good wedding planner should be able to help you navigate what to expect from each of them. If you have questions or concerns with any wedding vendor your planner should know how to handle approach each situation. They will understand the market values and trends and be able to work with you to find or coordinate with each of them. If your wedding planner is not your biggest advocate, find someone who is!

 Image by:  Brooke Pavel

Image by: Brooke Pavel

They will work well with anyone. 

A good wedding planner will always carry themselves with poise. They will first off always respect your wishes, but will easily work well with everyone else involved in your wedding. Including, your one uncle, yeah you know the one. They understand that during this wedding event there are a lot of moving parts, wonderful people, and so many things to get done. They will know how to get the job done and respect the professionalism of each vendor and all your loved ones. If your planner is not getting along with others, I would take this as warning and run!