Meet Nicola from Nicola Harger Photography

When and how did you ‘fall into’ the photography business?
I studied photojournalism in university and was on that track until a friend of mine asked me to second shoot for him at a wedding. I started helping him out and fell in love with the creative process.

What do you believe wedding photography should be about?
Wedding photography is about creating images that last for years to come. After all the trends have come and died down again, you want the memories, the feelings and the emotions to rush back in when you look at your wedding photos.

What do you love about weddings? I love that your closest people in the world are all together to celebrate you for one, incredible day - it may never happen again, and that’s so meaningful.

What is your favorite moment during a wedding?
I love watching the parents during the toasts, especially if the MOH or best man is a sibling of the bride or groom. They (the parents) laugh harder than anyone and tear up the most - such a strong gesture of what family is.

Which moment do you think is the most ‘valuable moment’ to capture during a wedding day?
The first look is always a favorite moment of mine - it’s an incredible emotional part of the wedding. You’ve been waiting all day to see your almost-spouse and there’s usually tears.

What makes your heart skip a beat – both professionally and private?
Travel is exhilarating to me. Booking plane tickets to a place I’ve never been before, that’s a little off-the- road or a little wild is something I’ll never get over.

What is your ambition and your goals for your business in the long run?
To continue to support my family by doing what I love - taking photos. I can’t ask for much more.

What advice would give to someone new in the business?

Do the hard work you need to do - read your camera manual, meet people in your community and be a really kind and loving person all around. I really think your business will grow from doing those simple things.

What do you take away from the weddings you shoot?
I love the relationships I build with my clients - some turn into lasting friendships for years!

What is your inspiration in life – professionally and private?
I’m really inspired by travel and landscapes - it never gets old. Destination weddings are a favorite of mine because of this.

How important is marketing in photography and how do you do it?
Incredibly important - shooting is a small percentage of what wedding photographers actually do with their time. Marketing is key - you have to learn to do so many different things as a small business owner, and selling yourself is something I always need to get better at. The artist part of me just wants to make art that I love, but I’m up for the challenge of learning to sell myself better each year.

Meet Leila from Leila Karaze Photography

When and how did you ‘fall into’ the photography business?
After graduating from Ohio State with my BFA in Photography, I knew I wanted to do more than just work my 8-5 full time job. On the weekends I was shooting engagement sessions, family and senior portraits, and newborns, but always wanted to dip into weddings. A friend of mine who shot weddings had offered to let me second shoot one with her, and from there I fell in love with capturing couples on their most special day!


What do you believe wedding photography should be about?
Preserving each moment to last a lifetime. The wedding day will go fast...really fast. It is my job to capture every little detail and emotion, so that my couples can look back at their photos and really feel those moments.

When did you decide to do weddings – and was there ever a question not to shoot weddings?
I jumped into shooting weddings 3 years ago. I asked myself if I was taking on too much, how would I be able to edit these weddings in a decent turn around time while also working a full time job. But you know what? It worked out. I created a timeline and editing schedule for myself that I follow for every wedding I shoot, and usually end up delivering images early to my clients!

What do you love about weddings?
Details! From the invitation suite, to the florals, cake, and table arrangements, I love it all!

What is your favorite moment during a wedding?
When I get the bride and groom alone for portraits!

Which moment do you think is the most ‘valuable moment’ to capture during a wedding day?
Well, that’s easy, because some of my favorite photos are always when the bride and groom see each other for the first time! Whether they chose to have a first look, or wait until the ceremony, it’s one of the most emotional moments during the entire day.

Do you ever get emotional shooting a wedding?
Ooooh boy, I sure do! The father-daughter dance, it never fails to make me cry (happy tears of course).

What is your strength, both in photography, and in life?
Organization. I don’t think you can ever be too organized. It allows me to balance my time outside of working because I never feel stressed about editing timelines.

What makes your heart skip a beat – both professionally and private?
Shooting with my Pentax 645n film camera. There’s just something about being able to touch the film and see what I can create from it.

What is your ambition and your goals for your business in the long run?
To work for myself 100% and never have to worry about an 8-5 job. I also shot my first destination wedding last year and would LOVE to shoot many more!

Where did you learn to take photos?
I actually taught myself at a young age, playing with all sorts of digital and film cameras. My first film camera was a Minolta 35mm, I probably ruined a handful of rolls of film before finally realizing how to properly expose an image!

What advice would you give to someone new in the business?
Never compare yourself to another photographer. Learn from them, but don’t discourage yourself. There will always be creatives out there who have more experience and a different take on shooting weddings. Stay focused on what makes you happy and stay true to your own brand. Know that you will attract the right clients who appreciate your work based on your style!

Who or what makes you laugh really hard?
My dog. She is so wild and has such a quirky personality!

What do you take away from the weddings you shoot?
I’ve realized that no matter which venue a couple is getting married at, and whether or not I have shot there before, no two weddings will ever be the same.

What is your inspiration in life – professionally and private?
I follow a ton of extremely creative and talented photographers, bloggers, and designers from all over the world. Living in one place your entire life can sometimes seem limiting, so my husband and I have goals of traveling all over the world together and photographing couples every place we visit! Ireland is next on our list!

How important is marketing in photography and how do you do it?
I think marketing is important, but you don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money to promote your brand. Personally, all of my marketing is most successfully done through word of mouth and social media platforms. By establishing strong relationships with my couples, it has really helped boost my business! 

7 Tips For Stress Free Wedding Planning

Its no surprise that planning a wedding is stressful. It can consume your life from anywhere to a couple months to over a year! Two families are combining and everyone wants their opinion heard so its no wonder people lose sight of the real purpose of their engagement.  Couples put their heart and soul into making this day perfect, so here a few quick tips to ensure your planning process stays stress free.

1.Start with your guest list
You're engaged! Now what? Usually the first thing on the list is to decide on the right date, or maybe lock down a venue for the ceremony. While those are among some of the most important decisions, it may not be the first box to check off on your to-do list. Although its not the most exciting start of your planning, locking down the guest list will make you ahead of the game. The budget, the size of the venue and even catering all depends on how many guests will be attending. You don't want to fall in love with a venue that can only fit 100 people and then be stuck arguing over which distance uncle or cousin you have to un-invite.

2. Don't spend your entire dress budget on JUST the dress
The dress is such a big moment for any bride. Its meant to be this magical day spend with your closest friends and family all working together to make sure you find the perfect dress. But before you tell the consultant your budget, keep in mind there are extra expenses that could come up. The most obvious one is the alterations. If you put on a dress that fits like a glove, and needs no other alterations, you are one lucky lady! But for the rest of us, alterations can cost a least a couple hundred dollars. Of course you'll need a great pair of shoes and depending on your style, a veil and hair accessories could be apart of your ensemble as well. All those little accessories can add up so don't forget to add those into your budget!

3. DIY everything
The DIY trend has been around for quite some time, especially for weddings. Its a great way to cut costs for one the most expensive celebrations youll have. So what's not to love? As great as DIY sounds in theory, it can add more stress to your already busy life, that sometimes isn't worth what you would save in the end. Having a realistic plan of only a couple smaller projects will save you frustration in the end. As for couples on a smaller budget, plan a Pinterest party with your bridesmaids to get the more tedious project out of the way.

4. Not having a rain plan
Rain on your wedding day. Some say its good luck, but lets be honest its not the most ideal weather for your big day. Outside weddings can be beautiful but mother nature can be unpredictable, and the last thing you want to ruin all your hard work is a little water. If your venue doesn't have a rainy day plan, it doesn't hurt to look into renting a tent. However, if its peak wedding season don't wait too long because they can book up quick!

5. Makeup mishaps
The morning of your wedding day has arrived and the first thing on the agenda is getting hair and makeup started. No matter how many people are in your wedding party, the primping is going to take hours to make sure everyone looks great. Its assumed the bride should go last to make sure her makeup will last the longest, but that might not be such a good idea. The average bridal party has anywhere between 3-6 people, which is a lot of eyes to line and bobby pins to secure. Its much easier to switch up a look for a bridesmaid than rushing to finish our main girl. Make sure to go somewhere in the middle of the line to avoid being late to your own wedding!

6. Don't over share
This is going to be a hard one. You're so excited to be getting married that you want to share your joy with everyone. The problem with sharing all your plans is you're going to get an opinion from everyone. For those with thick skin, this may not even be a problem, but it can cause unnecessary drama for others. Stick to your closest confidante and maybe skip those co-workers that may not be as sensitive through the planning process. Also keep in mind the less you share, the more impact it will have on the guests!

7. Stop worrying
You've reached the finish line and by this time you should let go. You have a whole team behind you ready to take on anything that needs done. If the forks are put on the wrong side of the table, its not going to be the end of the world. Don't let the little stuff get in the way of your big day. You deserve to have fun with your new partner in crime!

Meet Amanda from Amanda Watson Photography

When and how did you get into the business? What steered you towards weddings?
I picked up photography in high school and became an avid hobbyist throughout college - when we began planning our own wedding was when I fell in love with all things weddings and, as the saying goes, 'do what you know' I started to pursue wedding photography. By this time, we were already married and didn't want to give up our weekends being away from each other so we decided to shoot together!

Tell us about yourself and Amanda Watson Photography! 
We are Amanda & Chris - a husband and wife wedding photography team - we have been shooting weddings together for over 8 years, are a family of 5 (we have two daughters ages 6 and 3 and just welcomed a little boy into the family in October!), coffee lovers and film shooters meaning we shoot the old-timey film photography (not video) ;)

What do you believe photography should be about?
Photography should be about the preservation of memories - moments in time to look back on and remember fondly. I lost my mom a few years ago and to be able to look back and show our children pictures of her and the memories we had together is priceless.


What is the best part of a wedding as a photographer?
The cake! Just kidding ;) my favorite part is the anticipation leading up to when the bride & groom see each other for the first time. Whether it be during a "first look" or at the ceremony, those moments are always filled with emotion and pure joy!

 

Do you have any crazy stories from shooting a wedding?
Of course, we all do, but we keep those to ourselves ;)
 

What are you goals for your business?
I enjoy teaching and helping others through their photography journey; workshops are something we've been focusing on building over the last year or so.

What would you suggest to someone trying to get into the business?
Attend a workshop! I speak on a number of subjects from business and branding, attracting your ideal client, shooting editorials and getting featured and there are no less than 4 amazing styled shoots - plus you leave with a deep sense of community through the relationships you've built with fellow attendees and our team of fabulous vendors! You can get more information at www.amandawatsonworkshops.com

What is your brides' typical budget for the photography portion of their wedding?
Typically our brides' spend around 15% of their total budget on photography

How should a bride choose their photographer?
You want to choose your photographer based on two factors, whether or not you love their work and whether or not you like them! Your photographer is someone that spends almost the entire wedding day by your side, you want to make sure that you jive well and trust them wholeheartedly to do the job you hired them to do.

What drives your inspiration, both in photography and life in general?
I pull inspiration from everywhere but I get the most joy out of traveling - I find myself truly inspired being in new places!

How important is marketing in photography and how do you do it?
Marketing is important but is tricky to do effectively. A lot of it comes down to what type of client you want to reach - for us, word of mouth & vendor referrals have been the most successful - building strong relationships with our brides as well as the amazing vendors we work with has truly helped our business!

Anything else you want to add? :)
Love what you do and be you - don't look to other photographers to emulate, find what brings you joy and carve your own path!

Meet Lindsey from 'Bello & Blue'

We are so excited to have you, Lindsey! Tell us a little about yourself and Bello & Blue
Well, that's a great way to start!  I'm 34, a Colorado native, an eternal optimist, and I am completely in love with love!  I am a certified planner, and hold a degree in Communication from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Having produced over 500 occasions and celebrations throughout my career, I have worked with award-winning venues and catering & event planning companies throughout Colorado and beyond. I realized a life-long dream with the launch of Bello & Blue Events in December 2013.  With a fresh take on events, over a decade of industry experience, and an undying love for throwing memorable celebrations, I quickly grew Bello & Blue into the well-recognized, award-winning company it is today.  I'm proud to have four talented Event Designers that work with me to allow us to do a high volume of events each year, and we all have a blast doing something we enjoy!  We're not afraid to roll up our sleeves, and love every minute of designing and producing events and happily ever afters!  While I loves all types of parties, I am wedding-obsessed and have been known to shed tears during first looks, vows, and father/daughter dances. 

How did you get into the business? What drew you to weddings?
One of my first jobs out of college was in sales for a brand new Country Club.  As with many start ups, when the doors opened, we all wore many hats.  So when they needed assistance planning themed parties for the members, and the first few weddings in the new clubhouse, I jumped at the opportunity, and caught my first glimpse of my dream job!  I never looked back, and since, I've been fortunate to work with award-winning catering, event design and planning companies throughout Colorado which has provided me invaluable experience in owning a business, and running my own event planning company.  While we offer event planning services for non profits, corporate, and social affairs as well, weddings are the ultimate celebration in my book- what better reason to throw a fabulous party than LOVE?

We couldn’t agree more! What do you love most about the job?
Sharing in the joy and love with our couples and their families.  Did I mention I love LOVE?   Love is one of the best parts of humanity, and it's just so special to get to have that be the basis of my career.  To see the overflowing love and adoration between a couple, their families, and their closest friends, is overwhelmingly gratifying.  We get to experience the best day of peoples lives, and make dreams come true- how cool is that?!

There truly is nothing like a wedding and all of the emotions you feel/witness from the people surrounding the bride and groom! What does the job entail? What does a typical day look like from morning to night?
One of the things I love most about the job, is no two days are ever the same!  This role is ever changing, the couples, the events, the locations, the trends!  It's a lot to keep track of, and lot to manage, so I aim to find work/life balance every day.  I always begin my day with a meditation, followed by a nice walk or jog with my dog, before diving into emails and phone calls with coffee and a smoothie if I don't have a breakfast or coffee meeting on the book.  We're often meeting with clients or vendors, and/or attending industry networking events in the evenings, and usually producing weddings or events on Saturdays.  Sundays are ideally a day of rest, and often consist of our favorite, mimosa brunches!  

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and what advice would you give to new wedding planners in the industry?
Know your worth.  Ask for help.  & perhaps most important, do the best you can with what you've got from where you are. When I first started, I was charging very little for my planning services even though I was an expert in the industry with nearly a decade of pertinent experience.  I thought I needed to place myself on sale to get bookings.  It took me a minute to realize I was well worth a more substantial fee, and that my clients recognized my value and had no problem paying higher rates.  Receiving a higher fee will allow you to hire talented helpers.  Running a business isn't easy, so don't be afraid to ask for assistance, and delegate responsibilities so you can focus on what's most important while there's a lot on your plate.  When operating a business that is based on personal service, it's easy to take things personally, and to compare yourself to others.  I find comfort in knowing as long as I am always doing the best I can with what I have from where I am, I know that I am enough, and getting better every day.  And that helps me sleep at night.  

That is great advice that I think people can apply to anything in life. So, what do you do outside of work?
I've always been a creative, part of why this job is perfect for me!  So I love interior design, painting, and cooking.  Beyond that, I'm a true Colorado girl!  I maintain my wedding endurance with skiing in the winter, and golf and hiking in the summer.  I love sipping and savoring delicious food and bevvys year round, and I absolutely love to travel!  Working for myself with this type of business allows me to work from anywhere, so I relish any opportunity to take in a new experience in a new place!  

Do you have any crazy stories from a wedding?
Ohh the stories are countless!  I joke that one of these days, when I have some spare time, I'm going to compile them all into a best-selling book!  To name a few, I've had to jump in a lake, been belted by sprinklers, hail, snow, and torrential downpour at the top of a mountain.  I've been hit on by grooms and groomsmen, dragged onto the dance floor by tipsy & friendly uncles, and politely turned away unwelcomed guests like wedding crashers, and even hungry black bears!  Suffice to say, in this job, there's never a dull moment. Stay tuned for the novel- it's sure to be a page turner! 

I can’t even begin imagine all of the stories that you could tell! What color comobos are you obsessing over right now?
Well it's no secret we love the color blue (our namesake)... all shades!  But currently, midnight blue is a real obsession.  It just pairs well with so many colors!  We recently did a midnight blue, berry, blush, and gold wedding on Lake Tahoe, and it was SO dreamy!  The perfect complement to that blue water and the time of year. In general, I love the juxtaposition of a bold hue paired with a pastel.  It feels unexpected, and rich, and gives us so much event design freedom to add interest, and play with floral and fabrics!

What trends do you love and which ones do you wish would go away and never come back?
LOVE- Metalics.  Rose gold is so hot right now, and it's fab.  But really, we love all different metallic shades and textures!  Sequin linens?  Yes please.  A little shimmer and shine adds a certain elegance and sparkle to any palette and celebration. 
Leave Behind- Lawn games.  Don't get me wrong, I think the concept is super cute!  But as we schlep Giant Jenga (essentially just a load of 2x4s), Corn Hole (large-scale wooden boxes and bean bags), and Bocce Ball (weighted balls), to each wedding, we curse the trend and pray for it to pass. We spend so much extra time and energy transferring, setting up and breaking down just so guests can enjoy 20-30 minutes of recreational activity during cocktail hour, while they often go completely untouched or unnoticed!  

What are some important questions for couples to ask when choosing their wedding planner?
Hiring a planner is a very personal decision, so there are lots of questions to ask!  Perhaps most important are details on their approach to planning, philosophy on weddings or celebrations in general, and references from clients and vendors alike.  At the end of the day, you should feel a personal connection, and 100% comfortable with your planner knowing you will be entrusting them with such a pivotal role in the success of your big day.  Understanding exactly who you are working with, and what that process looks like from the very beginning is the best way to enter into a beautiful working collaboration through to the wedding.  

How far should couples start planning for their wedding?
It really depends.  When working with a competent planner, really any schedule is doable as long as you keep up momentum.  We have some couples that prefer to take their time planning for 12- 18 months, while others choose to knock it out in six months of less!  I've planned a wedding in 90 days, and while the process was fast and furious, the end result was just as fabulous as if we'd had a year or more!

When in the planning process should a couple book a planner and why?
A good planner will book up on key dates during peak season, so to have your choice, the sooner the better!  Especially if you are looking for Full Service Planning, (ie: budget creation, venue selection, event design), we recommend hiring someone soon after the question and champagne bottles are popped so you can hit the ground running and begin checking things off!

What advice would you give to couples in the middle of planning their wedding?
You do you!  Honestly, when planning your dream wedding, it's paramount to remember to stay true to you.  There's lots of beautiful weddings out there, but what makes each one unique is the couple, and their personal style and vibe.  The wedding celebration should be a true reflection of who you are as as a pair. Also, enjoy the journey. As you navigate the process, it's important to select wedding professionals that complement your personality, style and budget, so you can be sure your wedding is an authentic reflection of who you are together, and that you've created the perfect celebration to begin your lives together.  Our best advice?  Don't stress. Enjoy the journey!  And if your budget allows, hire a talented planner, it's the best gift you can give yourself!

Meet Tasha from 'Toast with Tasha'

Good morning, Tasha! Tell us a little about yourself and your company!
I am a Seattle native, a die-hard SEAHAWKS fan and football season is my favorite time of year! Thanksgiving is definitely the best holiday. I love trying new restaurants and doing D-I-Y projects with friends. At least once a year my husband and I try to go to a music festival in a city we have never been.
I have been event planning for the past 7 years, coordinating everything from Weddings, Corporate Events, Galas, Fundraisers, Showers, Birthday Parties… you name it and I’ve done it! I love getting creative and thinking outside the box and I am never one to shy away from getting my hands dirty!
The goal at Toast with Tasha is to create events that reflect each couple, each person and/or business’ unique personality and style. I strive to provide a fresh approach in customizing each event and wedding to focus on planning a one of a kind bash!

How did you get into event planning? What drew you to weddings?
I started in corporate event planning but then a co-worker asked me to help them plan their wedding, and as they say, the rest was history! I just loved every part of helping them design their vision and see it come to life. It was such a blast. Ever since then I have been addicted to planning weddings, events and parties of all kinds.

What’s the best part of the job?
I would have to say my favorite part of my job is getting to know each couple and finding ways to get their personalities expressed in the design of their wedding day. I love being creative and the design aspect of each wedding or event allows me to do that.

What does a normal day look like for a typical wedding planner?
After waking up and getting my little one ready for the day, I grab a vanilla chai tea and start going through social media. From there I spend a few hours going through emails and following up with phone calls. Then I like to grab a lunch, otherwise I get so caught up and realize I skipped a meal. After lunch I like to start working on crafting design elements for the client. I personally can’t start this process in the morning. I find that my creative juices just aren’t flowing as freely. If there is a vendor meeting, I prefer to schedule them in the afternoons as that tends to be better for clients. After projects and/or vendor meetings, I go through emails again to make sure I haven’t left anyone without a response. Then it’s family time! I try to not check email, social media and/or take phone calls after 7pm. It’s important to me to make sure I can give my undivided attention to my loves!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and what advice would you give to a newbie in the business?
It’s better to start small. Often time’s new planners set high expectations for themselves and try to book a lot of clients right out of the gate. However, wedding planning and design takes a lot of time. It’s always better to give 100% to each client and have fewer clients, then to have a lot of clients but not produce your best work. Always remember that by producing an amazing day you will be more likely to have the couple recommend you to family and friends. Referrals are key in this business.

What are your hobbies & interests outside of work?
When I am not working I can usually be found hanging out with my husband and our daughter. We recently bought our first home and I found I have a love of decorating (which shouldn’t be a surprise)! We love to go on walks and discover new areas around our neighborhood. When I find time to myself I am either crafting or reading a book. Last year I was able to cross off an item on my bucket list: I read 100 books in one year!

Is there any good stories you can tell us about a couple you’ve worked with?
Last year a couple I worked with surprised everyone at the wedding, including myself, with doing a choreographed first dance. I say this was a surprise mostly because the Groom didn’t seem like he was much of a dancer. Oh how we were wrong. They had three of their favorite songs mixed together and totally rocked it. Everyone was on their feet watching and cheering. It was the first time I had seen a first day delivered like that. It was definitely a special moment for them. And that Groom could really bust a move! 

What is your favorite color combination?
Each season is different!
Winter: Pear Cream + Spruce + Apricot + Dark Chocolate
Spring: Seaweed, Seafoam, Apricot, Antique Gold
Summer: Rising Smoke + Seahawk + Ceramic + Muted Mauve
Fall: Deep green + Burnt Sienna + Dark Maroon + Bubble Gum

Any trends that you love?
I absolutely love everything Vintage Chic!

 

16. If there is a problem with a vendor anytime during the wedding planning process and wedding day do you handle the issues or do we?
17. What are the different planning packages you offer?
18. What aspects of the planning process are we responsible for?
19. Are you the coordinator who will be there the day of our wedding? Do you work with an assistant that will also be there on our wedding day?
20. In case of an emergency and you are unable to be at our wedding do you provide a backup planner?
21. When will you arrive and depart on our wedding day?
22. Do you stay on site after the wedding has ended to ensure everything is broken down and vendors have left?
23. Do you provide us a timeline and a floor plan?
24. Can we customize your existing packages?
25. Is the rehearsal included in any of your packages? Is a post-wedding brunch included in any of your packages? Or can these be added to a package?
26. When we will receive our contract if we book with you

What questions should a couple ask a wedding planner before hiring them?
1.    Do you have our wedding date open? Do you anticipate any issues with our date?
2.    Why did you become a wedding planner?
3.    What is the most challenging wedding you have worked with, how did you handle the problems related to that wedding?
4.    How are your communication and problem solving skills?
5.    How long have you been planning weddings? Do you have a business license?
6.    How many weddings have you planned and when was the last one?
7.    How many clients do you typically book in a year?
8.    How many clients do you expect to have during the month of our wedding?
9.    Is this your full time job?
10. Have you worked at our venue in the past?
11. Are we required to book vendors you recommend or can we choose our own?
12. Do you take a commission from the vendors you would refer us to? Or you get any kind of discount to use particular vendors?
13. Will you be at the vendor meetings and will you assist in reviewing the vendor contracts?
14. Do we pay the vendor fees directly to the vendor?
15. On the day of our wedding will you distribute final payments and gratuities to the vendors

27. Once we provide you will our budget, do you help us breakdown where monies should be spent and track that throughout the planning process?
28. What forms of payment do you accept?
29. What is the deposit due to reserve your services? When is the balance due?
30. Are there additional fees that aren’t in your packages that we need to be aware of?
31. What is the refund and/ or cancellation policy?
32. Are you able to provide us a list of references?

How far in advance would you suggest couples start planning for their big day?
It really depends on the couple. More often than not in order to ensure they are able to secure their first choice vendors, at least a year in advance of wedding date is ideal. The more time a couple is able to give themselves, the less overwhelming and/or stressful the whole process will be, and the easier on the budget!

When should a couple book a wedding planner?
If the couple is looking to have a wedding planner to provide coordination and design for the entire wedding, they should look at hiring the planner 10 to 12 months before the wedding. Hiring the planner at this stage of the process allows the planner to assist securing the best vendors for their wedding design. If they are looking for just the “day-of” services than they should hire someone about 2 to 3 months before the wedding. The “day-of” coordinator is just there to make sure everything is setup and runs smoothing so you don’t need as much lead time when hiring the coordinator.

Any advice or tips you would give to a couple planning their own wedding right now?
Couples should remember that this is their special day and should be a reflection of who they are. There are no hard and fast rules to weddings, whether they want to do everything traditional or if they want to beat to their own drum, either way it will be a day that they will never forget!