You Should have Perfect Florals for Your Perfect Wedding
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Emily: We’re Emily & Claire - wedding planners and floral designers! We primarily do day-of coordinating and floral design. We’ve been in the wedding business since 2016 (and can’t believe it’s our 4th year already)!
Claire: We live in Canton & Lansing, Michigan (about an hour away from each other) so it makes for an interesting work dynamic but we are able to service more of the state and pull from more resources!
How did you become a wedding planner?
Emily: Well, we met each other at church and both were not working in the industry. As we became friends, one of our husbands suggested that we start our own business together. We were in denial but then decided to go for it.
Claire: I got my bachelors degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Meeting & Events Management, so it was always the path I wanted to go down. Emily had been taking event coordinating certification courses and, when we decided we wanted to start our own company, we took the final course together at the local community college. We still work with our instructors/mentors to this day!
What do you like the most about your job?
Emily: Making couples happy and excited about their wedding day, being creative, and watching the celebration come together.
I LOVE standing back during the ceremony and seeing the end result-- everyone gathered together, celebrating this beautiful couple, and hearing the couple commit their lives to each other.
Claire: I LOVE standing back during the ceremony and seeing the end result-- everyone gathered together, celebrating this beautiful couple, and hearing the couple commit their lives to each other. That’s really what it’s all about-- helping our clients have a beautiful beginning to the rest of their lives.
What questions should I ask before hiring a wedding planner?
I think it’s important to know what services are included in the planner’s package.
Claire: I think it’s important to know what services are included in the planner’s package. Most will help with certain elements but then anything extra is an add-on, so keep that in mind when you make a list of what you’re looking for in a planner. It’s also important to find out how accessible your coordinator is-- Can you text them whenever? Do they have a limit to how many times you can meet in person?
What are your best expert wedding planning tips?
DEFINITELY have a binder with all of your planning information. Divide it into sections based on the different elements (Ceremony, Reception, Vendors, Dress, Decor, Cake, etc).
Claire: DEFINITELY have a binder with all of your planning information. Divide it into sections based on the different elements (Ceremony, Reception, Vendors, Dress, Decor, Cake, etc). Keep all your notes in those sections, as well as brochures and contracts from the different vendors. It’s so helpful to have everything in one place so you’re not having to scour your email, texts & rustle through a bunch of loose papers to find certain things. Organization is KEY!
What are a wedding planner's duties during the actual wedding?
Emily:Much of our job happens before the day of the wedding, but during the wedding specifically we are getting everyone down the aisle and making sure that that ceremony happens as practiced. Depending on the venue, we make sure that everyone exits the correct way and allow for the bride and groom to have a moment alone right after the ceremony.
Claire: We are the behind-the-scenes girls. Besides the fact that we’re usually wearing black, we are scurrying around like those little mice in Cinderella, working away to construct a beautiful setting for our bride & groom and their guests. We’re decorating beforehand, coordinating the ceremony, making sure cocktail hour and the reception run smoothly, and then packing up afterwards. We are the first to arrive and the last to leave.
What is your advice for couples that want to plan their own weddings?
Get on the same page as your fiancé. Start with a budget and vision for what you imagine your day to be like and remember to be flexible through the planning process.
Emily: Get on the same page as your fiancé. Start with a budget and vision for what you imagine your day to be like and remember to be flexible through the planning process. It might not all look EXACTLY like your Pinterest board.
YOU CAN DO IT! However, if you are starting to feel overwhelmed, that’s when I’d definitely consult a planner.
Claire: YOU CAN DO IT! However, if you are starting to feel overwhelmed, that’s when I’d definitely consult a planner. While friends and family are nice to turn to, some don’t always have the same vision as you for your wedding day and it’s also nice to let them enjoy the day along with you. A lot of coordinators offer consulting services where you can ask questions and get ideas but aren’t necessarily using them for executing the plans day-of. I think that can be super helpful-- basically picking the brain of an expert.
How to simplify the wedding planning process?
Claire: Lists! Make lists and timelines of what you need to solidify in the months, weeks, and days leading up to your wedding. Break things into groups so you’re biting off a little at a time.
What are the typical services/packages offered by wedding planners?
Claire: Typically, coordinators break things into 3-4 categories: Day of Coordinating, Full-Service Planning, A La Carte Services, and Consulting.
- Day-Of Coordinating is when the client makes all the decisions and conveys the vision and the coordinator makes it happen. Typically, this costs about $1,500-$3,000.
- Full Service is when the client has some ideas, but they want help with design, finding vendors, and also the coordination part. This can cost anywhere from $5,000-upwards of $10,000.
- A La Carte Services are add-ons. These could include making hotel welcome baskets or even adding on some planning type services to a Day-Of package (like finding vendors or picking out some decor). Those prices can vary.
- Consulting services are basically a Q&A and getting the planner’s ideas and feedback. This can cost between $100-$300 depending on how much time is spent with the coordinator.
What was the most memorable wedding you planned?
Emily: Oh definitely, Anna & Jake’s wedding. :) These two were troopers as rain invaded their day. It was super important to the bride to have an outdoor ceremony so we did what we could to make that happen. We ended up flipping the cocktail hour to happen before the ceremony, instead of after. This was a fun surprise for the guests because as they arrived they were greeted with an impromptu cocktail and the bride and groom mingled with their guests, while we waited for a break in the rain. It all worked out in the end and we were able to have that outdoor ceremony.
Claire: I’d have to say Bryan and Karaline. Everything went PERFECT for the ceremony-- the weather was fine. Then came the outdoor reception which was under a tent. Mix that with a torrential downpour and you have a recipe for disaster (usually). Emily and I ran around finding buckets from anywhere we could to catch the rain that was pouring down the sides of the tent and starting to turn the ground to mud. The “gutters” used to connect two tents together were overflowing and starting to leak onto the band’s equipment so I had to jump into action and reroute the water into a bucket… except for an entire full gutter of water poured right down my dress. You should have seen the look on the groom’s face! Luckily, the rain stopped a bit later. The bride & groom brought us out on the dance floor and we shook it off and danced to “Uptown Funk” in the center of the dance floor while all of the guests cheered us on. It’s not often that we get to enjoy the night like that but we really needed that moment.