Imagine that it's your wedding day and you're sitting in your director's chair getting your hair and makeup done? You're about four hours out from saying I Do (eepp!). You start to notice that you're getting phone calls from your vendors asking where they should park; one of them is lost so they need step-by-step directions; the other needs help to unload or they won't be done on time; the bar is asking you to run down to confirm that the order of 200 bottles is correct. But you're torn because you need to get ready so you're on time to your ceremony. You're tempted to send a bridesmaid but she wasn't a part of the planning calls so how would she even know what to check for. The overwhelm starts to kick in as you swiftly start to scroll through your thousands of emails and you're not quite sure what to do. We can't talk about stress free wedding planning without talking about a professional wedding planner. Not every planner is professional and it's not a one size fits all kind of decision.
In this post, I'm going to explain how to avoid the nightmare described above by outlining what it's like to partner with a professional planner to help reduce wedding planning stress.
We're unlike most planners in that we specialize in working with multicultural couples . We help a very unique group of people that find their culture important but aren't quite sure how to make it all happen in an authentic and personal way. That could mean that we're helping you put together a Jewish/Indian wedding, a Korean wedding, a Filipino/Columbian wedding, a Persian/Lebanese wedding or a Chinese wedding . Whatever your story, you have a place with us.
What is a planner's role on the wedding day?
The role of a wedding planner is to reduce wedding planning stress by guiding our clients through every planning decision. On the wedding day we are the first on site and the last on site. I believe that planners need to adapt to each situation because every couple is different. Sometimes we need to be sounding boards; sometimes we need to be buffers; sometimes we need to be therapists; sometimes we need to be designers, babysitters, project managers, extra hands all of which cannot happen without experience in the field. When my couples can't make another decision or look at one more detail, we're there to move forward. When life plans change, we're there to continue pushing forward. When you unexpectedly start working more hours, we're there to push forward. If you end up in the middle of a big move, we're there to push forward. See at some point you'll be so deep into planning that no matter what, the wedding is happening with or without you. Just because you've taken a break, the tasks don't end. You've got to push forward or you risk falling behind.
"The role of a wedding planner is to guide our clients through every planning decision. You do not have to do this alone" Michelle Isabel & Co
When did I start Michelle Isabel & Co
I started planning for family and friends back in 2013. We officially launched Michelle Isabel & Co on January 1, 2016.
How did you get started in this industry/trade?
Back in 2014, I was a full-time event planner at a medical university and hospital. I helped plan and execute 3000 events per year and that's where I fell in love with planning and logistics.
How would you describe your style (is there anything you specialize in)?
We believe that every couple is unique and has a powerful story to tell. Unlike most planning companies, Michelle Isabel & Co specializes in helping cross-cultural couples plan an amazing wedding experience that delights guests every time. Our modern play on traditions blends both sides so that everyone feels included and heard. We are the only multicultural planning company specialized in blending cultures to create an unforgettable wedding experience.
What is your process like?
Connections and relationships are the most important facet of my process. Not just because we're social beings but because we know that you'll trust us more with your big day details ( so you're not stressed ) when we build a relationship with you as our client. We typically start off by gathering preliminary information from our clients to make sure that we'd be a great fit for each other. If we both agree that it's a perfect match, we'll send over an agreement and voila, we're officially planning partners. At that moment you can sit back and relax because you'll never feel lost or alone again.
What are some FAQs during your consultations and/or during the process that you specifically help couples with?
I always get asked about vendor recommendations . I mentioned before that relationships are critical for us. We've been in the industry so long we've seen businesses come and go. We've seen some bad apples and know how to identify them right away. We only partner with people we've worked with or connected with via an industry partnership. Depending on your budget, style, and needs I'll make recommendations for your specific situation.
We also get asked when is a good time to hire a planner. Simply put, they should be the first person you hire and should be done ASAP. Earlier I mentioned that planners are the first in and the last out on your wedding day. As you can imagine we can really only take one event per weekend especially if we're planning the rehearsal and the post-wedding day brunch. Many times we've had couples want to book us after a month of inquiring and we're simply no longer available. Especially in California where weddings are year around because we lack seasons, every season is booking season. Unlike every other wedding professional, planners know all the vendors you need to hire; and when you should hire them; and what you should hire them for. You'll be saving yourself a lot of time and your sanity if you partner with a planner right off the bat.
Another worry potential clients have is that sometimes they don’t know what service they need. In this case, I give my clients the option to book my base service and can upgrade later if they find themselves in state of overwhelm or have had unexpected life events happen.
What advice do you have for couples looking to hire a professional planner for their big day?
My biggest bit of advice is to hire your planner before you do any other wedding-related planning. Planners have the foresight and experience to teach you what your decisions may result in. Most couples enter the planning process completely clueless and the undertaking of planning is bigger than you can imagine. If you know that you're going to invest in a planner at some point in your planning journey, I recommend that you do so, in the beginning, to take advantage of their knowledge. The knowledge we possess, which we're happy to share, will save you so much time, money and hassle.
What are some of the results of not booking a professional planner?
Honestly, the wedding industry is like the wild west. The barrier of entry is low to none and so many people believe it in their bones that after planning their spectacular wedding themselves that they are now able to do it for others.
I've heard so many horror stories about 'planners' literally ruining the wedding day. So much pressure falls on the planner because your planner is the linchpin of your wedding day production. They are responsible for orchestrating the entire production to make sure each vendor is playing their part. We miss one detail and the entire orchestra can fall out of tune.
What is your wedding day worth to you? The chances of a problem occurring on your wedding day is guaranteed. It's a matter of when not if. Your planner will know how to prevent major issues from taking place on the wedding day. She will put out the smaller issues without ever having to involve you. She will manage your guests and guide them. She will improvise and even run out to the store for a forgotten or misplaced item. She will adapt and professionally alter the timeline to fit your needs.
How do you work with other vendors?
The biggest job a planner has is to manage and direct vendors. While each vendor knows their job, each couple is different and the planner is responsible for facilitating the client's needs and preferences to make sure expectations are being met.
Because each wedding business is dealing with so many points of contact, a planner ensures that every vendor is abiding by their contract. There have been several instances in my career where the vendor didn't provide a product and service as outlined in the contract and we've had to work with what we have or wait for the crew to return with the product.
How would you describe the clients you work best with?
The client's that we enjoy working with are the ones that trust us fully to take on their event from start to finish. They are most likely very high performing individuals with demanding careers and full social lives. They care about the important things but leave the logistics and minute details up to us so they can enjoy their engagement. While an authentic celebration and a remarkable guest experience is important for us, what's important to our clients is preparing for their marriage without anxiety and overwhelm.
10, 20 and 30 years from now you don't want to look back and regret your special day or the experience. This is literally the most monumental day because it's not about a thing or a place, it's about a symbolic beginning to your forever life.
Friends, you deserve to enjoy your wedding day. You should be a part of the celebration versus working it. Don't leave it up to a newbie or cousin that is all of sudden into planning. Whom you decide to hire as your planner will affect the way your entire wedding day flows and feels. Hire a professional planner.
If you’re looking for a dream team on your wedding day so you can relax and enjoy the moment, inquire below. We’ll make it all happen for you. All you have to do is say yes!