Frequently Asked Questions
I have no idea how much to budget for our wedding. Where should I start?
Definitely start by having an honest conversation as a couple about what you and your family can contribute. Then use our budget spreadsheet as a guide to input the numbers. I have a sample budget in there from a real wedding based in Southern California. You can expect your planner to be 10% - 15% of your overall budget. Our clients do not include our fee as we’re normally managing the overall budget.
Do you provide vendor recommendations?
Absolutely! All our clients receive a curated list of vetted professionals suited for their wedding. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the vendors we partner with. Team work truly does make the dream work.
Do you offer services outside of wedding planning?
We provide wedding planning and wedding design services only. Our two specialties are in working with couples from diverse backgrounds looking to blend their cultures together in their wedding design. Our other specialty lies in working in venues that are logistically challenging.
Can I make changes to my proposal after I book?
Of course! We’ve had couples book us for our base service later getting a promotion at work or a new life circumstance presents itself making the wedding planning a daunting task. We’ve been there to pick up where our couples left off.
What are your fees?
Our services begins at $4,997 and vary by the service you’re interested in. It also depends on how many events you want us to plan, how involved you need us to be, your guest count, and your location.
Do you take a referral fee from other vendors?
We are a no-referral fee based business. This means that we do not receive a commission for referring business to another business. When I refer a business or a vendor to you it’s based on performance, style, like-ability and budget. On occasions we’ve been gifted with a Starbucks gift card.
Do you have team?
Yes! Michelle is the founder and lead planner. Meghan is the client concierge. Desiree is our wedding day production assistant and Eric is director of operations.
Is it just you on my wedding day?
Never as it’s impossible to be in three locations at once. You’ll always have a lead planner, a ceremony manager and a reception manager. If the production of your event requires more setup, we’ll hire additional hands.
Once we book what does the payment schedule look like?
We require 50% due at signing of the contract and the remaining 50% is due 1 month before.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A WEDDING PLANNER?
I started planning events in 2014 starting with family and friends as a hobby. On January 1, 2016 I left my full-time career as an event planner and officially started Michelle Isabel & Co. We’ve been planning ever since.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING?
Always hire professionals. 95% of the time when you hear wedding nightmares (200 guests got sick, the photographer lost the photos, the rental company was 4 hours late, the florist never showed up etc.) are due to the couple wanting to save money by hiring a non-professional service. Follow your gut and do not ignore the red flags.
HOW/WHY DID YOU BECOME A WEDDING PLANNER?
Happenstance. I had just finished up my internship in DC organizing events for progressive political issues. After graduating college, I helped my sister plan her wedding with the experience I had from my internship and then I had friends/family approach me to help them with their events. I had a natural talent for planning but also VERY high-level customer service to manage the varying emotions and personalities inherently present on the wedding day. Over two years I planned 6000 events as a corporate planner and decided that working with couples is where my talents were best suited.
What is the hardest wedding you’ve ever planned?
We planned a high-end luxury wedding in a private home in Huntington Beach in under 4 months. I lived and breathed that event for 3.5 months straight working double time to make sure everything was completed on time. We are experts when it comes to working in logistically challenging spaces so if there was going to be a team to pull it off, it would be us.
Are you licensed and insured?
What areas do you work in?
Mostly Southern California but have traveled as far as New Mexico. We go where our events take us.
I don’t think I can afford a wedding planner?
It’s not a matter of “if” something will go wrong it’s a matter of “when.” No wedding is perfect and I would beware of anyone promising this as no wedding planner can control every human hand involved in your wedding especially not on the day. From the delivery personal to the wait staff, there is not way to hover over every helping hand to make sure they are performing at their best. Wedding planners are the only vendor that is responsible for managing and directing your entire team and production schedule. Your wedding is like a symphony and you need to have a conductor to make sure that everyone is playing their part. Hiring a planner is simply non-negotiable.
I’d love to drink with you on my wedding, can we take a shot together?
I’d love to share a drink with you as well but we have a no-drinking-on-the-job policy. But let’s definitely have drinks after your wedding day.