Your Own Fairy Godmother: Wedding Planning Tips and Advice

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Dawn, Senior Coordinator of Your Own Fairy Godmother, has been coordinating weddings since 1996. She had always been touted as “THE” wedding coordinator and event planner, but she had always done it with her heart and soul; combining her love for wedding planning and coordinating events with a business seemed to be against the foundation of her passion.  She recently shared some tips and advice for brides. Thanks, Dawn for all of your wonderful advice!

If you had to give one important tip for brides, what would it be?

You need to absolutely *love* your photographer, wedding coordinator, and the DJ or band.  These three vendors will have a big impact on your big day, and it’s worth investing the time to find the right match for you.

Many couples just want to have fun on their wedding day, and they want their guests to have fun, too! What are some things they can do to guarantee a great celebration?

Guests take their cue from the couple.  If the bride and groom sit in a corner, the guests aren’t going to have fun.  If the couple will get on the dance floor, smile, laugh, and enjoy the few hours of celebration that they have, then their guests will be talking about their wedding for years to come.

Many brides try to save money by not hiring a wedding coordinator.  What are the benefits of hiring a wedding coordinator/planner?

A good professional wedding coordinator can often save the clients as much money (and sometimes even more) than what they charge for their services.  We receive discounts from vendors in almost every category, and we pass those discounts on directly to our clients.  The knowledge, expertise, and relationships that a seasoned coordinator has are invaluable to a client, because the coordinator can match a client’s needs, style, preferences, and budget to the vendors that can accommodate them.  In the event that a client is in need of a larger discount, vendors are more willing to negotiate with a planner that they work with often in order to ensure that the couple is taken care of.

Professional planners also have the resources and experience to prevent and/or repair wedding crises without the couple or their family having to even know that anything is wrong on the day of the event.  The bridal couple, wedding party, the families, and guests should all feel as if the event was not only successful, but also seamless.  A stressed-out bride is a sure sign that something is awry on the wedding day.  Everyone should have the opportunity to truly relax and enjoy the day without worrying over any details.

What common mistakes do brides make when planning their own wedding?

So many brides get excited about an idea, a venue, or a photographer and book them without due diligence.  There is a great deal of information online, but it isn’t always the “whole story.”  In addition, brides sign contracts without fully reading them or understanding what the contracts entail.  Both of these can be devastating.

Sometimes brides are misinformed about certain ideas about the wedding world. What’s one thing you would like to clarify for brides?

Not all planners and coordinators are Professionals.  Not all vendors are good vendors.  Ask questions.  Ask for references.  Ask for references not only from clients but from other vendors.

There are so many resources for brides! Which websites and/or blogs to you think are most helpful for brides and why?

This completely depends on the bride.  Yes, TheKnot.com is a wonderful resource, but it’s not the *only* resource.  There are websites that we love for invitation wording, cake photos, music clips/ideas, and every other element of the wedding.  Knowing a bride and understanding her vision and style are what makes recommendations relevant.

There are fantastic blogs for design, and a few of my personal favorites are:

HipHostess

Hostess with the Mostess

One Pretty Wedding

Style Me Pretty

Ruffled Blog

Bridal Snob

PostcardsAndPretties

Desire to Inspire (no, it’s not wedding-related, but it is style-related, and much of a wedding is a reflection of a couple’s style.)

What is your favorite wedding magazine and why?

Grace Ormonde Wedding Style – Have you seen it?  It’s always gorgeous. It may contain things that are “not my personal style,” but there are always amazingly fabulous pieces that inspire me.