Enjoy the Most Magical Wedding in Columbus, OH
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m Arielle Gavin, a Wedding and events coordinator in Columbus, Ohio. I have a hospitality degree from the University of Central Florida Rosen College, and a Masters of Education from Walden University. I taught elementary school for five years after graduating and then was given the opportunity to open up my own wedding planning business after moving to Ohio. I was given 6 months to make the company a success, and we have now grown into the largest wedding planning firm in Columbus after almost 7 years. We have made amazing strides and grown a lot over the years including winning several Wedding Wire, Thumbtack, and Knot awards, as well as being inducted into The Knot Hall of Fame.
To this day, my favorite part of my job is taking the burden off of the couple, so that they can enjoy their day and be a guest at their own wedding.
How did you become a wedding planner?
I was going to school for my bachelors for advertising and public relations. When I realized getting into the program was a long shot, I started looking at alternative majors. While watching Jennifer Lopez in, “The Wedding Planner”, I realized, that I had a true passion for putting on extraordinary events, so I changed my major. Of course, I couldn’t find a job doing that right away and had to take different paths to get here. To this day, my favorite part of my job is taking the burden off of the couple, so that they can enjoy their day and be a guest at their own wedding.
Are there things that differentiate wedding planners?
Absolutely! The way a planner handles timelines can tell you a lot.
- A planner who times things to the minute is usually more high strung and doesn’t work well under the pressure of a fast-paced, ever-changing landscape.
- Whereas someone who can give you a more fluid timeline is more a more “go with the flow”, level headed, and realistic.
- Other major differences can be their use of technology, the amount of staff they have on hand, and even the way they charge their fees.
Make sure to bring a list of questions! Too many times I meet with couples who don’t know what to ask. Some great questions are how they prefer to communicate and how quickly they respond to questions. Is wedding planning their full-time job or do they have other obligations? Who do they use in case of an emergency and how do they transfer all of the details to them? You want someone who will have you covered from every angle! Most important of all, besides your photographers and videographers, your planner will be with you the most on your big day, make sure you mesh well with them!
What are the typical services/packages offered by wedding planners?
Most planners will offer everything from day-of/month-of services (which should be very similar) to partial planning help in order to finish up things that have not yet been accomplished, and then full planning from start to finish. However, there are companies that only specialize in certain aspects, like only day-of or only full planning. The prices will vary wildly based on location. In Columbus, planners range anywhere from $800-$2,000 for day-of/month-of services up to $3,000-$10,000 for planning everything. Wedded Perfection is competitively priced, as our company was founded on the idea that all brides should be able to get help for one of the most important days of their lives!
The prices will vary wildly based on location. In Columbus, planners range anywhere from $800-$2,000 for day-of/month-of services up to $3,000-$10,000 for planning everything.
How can we make a low-key wedding memorable?
Your enjoyment of your own wedding shows, and that’s what really makes a wedding memorable.
Add your own vibe! Bring in things that are memorable and show off you as a couple. Add items that you like and find fun, even if you think your guests won’t necessarily enjoy them. A lot of couples worry about their guests more than what they really want. Yes, having pizza at a wedding doesn’t seem typical, but if you as a couple love pizza, then, by all means, make it a pizza party. Your enjoyment of your own wedding shows, and that’s what really makes a wedding memorable. Also, traditional favors are becoming a thing of the past... The new favors are things or consumables that guests can use. Small jars of tea, hot cocoa, or honey are more memorable than bells or coasters.
How long do most couples spend planning their wedding?
Most couples start planning about a year and a half from their wedding day. This is most important because, in order to have the most abundant choice for venues and vendors, you need to book them before everyone else does.
We have planned weddings in as little as 2 months, but it is a much more difficult process when your first choice for things isn’t available. Even if you book all of your major vendors a year and a half out, you will still have plenty of smaller items to plan for that will make that time fly by.
Why is planning a wedding so stressful?
Having someone to help with that not only relieves stress, saves time and sanity, but it also can save you a lot of money in the long run.
The number of details that goes into planning a wedding can be mind-boggling. The hours that can go into doing research, calling vendors, emailing proposals, attending meetings, and laying out plans can go well past 600 hours if you don’t know what you’re doing. Having someone to help with that not only relieves stress, saves time and sanity, but it also can save you a lot of money in the long run. It’s said that money is the root cause of most marital arguments, and weddings are outrageously expensive. Without all the details to arrange, meetings to set up, and contracts to negotiate, just the amount spent alone is enough to stress anyone out.
What are some pre-wedding tips you would give to a couple?
Here are a few things I always try to get my couples to do before the wedding.
- One, I tell them to start a list of everything they are buying to bring to the wedding themselves. The items add up quickly, and over time, you will forget what you bought. When it comes time to set up, you will know exactly what you have and hopefully, know what you want to do with those items. It also cuts down on you buying things out of impulse.
- Two, hire a DJ you trust and let them do their job. Do not give your DJ a list of all of the songs they should play. Do give them your favorites and of course a do not play list, but for the most part, let them read the crowd and do their job. They go to way more weddings than you do and know what songs getting people going and which ones don’t.
- Three, make sure to give yourself an extra week from the time your RSVPs are due to call people who don’t RSVP. Your RSVP turnaround time should be no more than 2 weeks and you should have a final count of people by 30 days out. Remember you still have to tell your florist so they can order the flowers, your rental companies, your caterer, and of course create a floor plan. Give yourself enough time to do all of that.
What was the most difficult request you have handled?
Outside of the actual wedding day, the most difficult requests I have ever had was to find an Indian Wedding mandap that our bride had found online. The issue was she wouldn’t go for anything but the exact one she found, and of course, no one in Columbus had that exact one. We ended up finding the exact one she wanted in Atlanta, Georgia. We had to pay for the trip up and back, and of course the accommodations for the setup crew for the day before and after the wedding. Another rather difficult request was when I had a couple who wanted a white helicopter. The helicopter wasn’t too hard to find, but one in white was almost impossible. The helicopter had to fly almost three times as far, and I can tell you, it wasn’t cheap. During the wedding day, my most difficult request was to unpack and cut all of the flowers, strip the leaves, and place them in wine bottles. We were told there would be one rose per wine bottle we just had to stick in, but it was so much more than that. We barely finished as guests started to arrive and our hands were green for the rest of the evening. Make sure you are honest with your coordinators about what you actually need done day-of so that they can be prepared!
For me, the weddings where you really get to do everything from start to finish are the most memorable.
What was the most memorable wedding you planned?
For me, the weddings where you really get to do everything from start to finish are the most memorable. Recently, we were given the opportunity to completely transform a local community lodge into a magnificent winter wonderland. We brought in all of our most favorite vendors, built walls out of pipe and drape, added lighting, fog, snow, and dry ice machines to the dance floor and dining areas. We had bogos (images shining on the walls), an ice sculpture, crystal trees, and candles everywhere. It took about 20 hours with all hands on deck to set up, and it was incredible. Of course, the florist and I were nit-picky and worried that the couple wouldn’t be thrilled with what we had done with the money they entrusted us with. We questioned every decision the couple was gracious enough to let us make. In the end, the bride and groom were head over heels and the guests didn’t even recognize the space they had been to time and time again. The brides elated expression when she saw her wedding venue all put together for the first time, made all of the arduous hours of planning that went into making the day a reality, absolutely worthwhile.