1. Introduction: What's your story?
My name is Heather Blair and my sister's name is Chelzie Trujillo. Our love for wedding planning started when we were planning my wedding in 2017. I did not have a wedding planner or coordinator and we really enjoyed completing wedding related tasks and seeing our vison come together. And now we aim to do this for future brides, we want to make the vison they have of their wedding become a reality. I love decorating and developing designs for events and my sister Chelzie is an awesome photographer. She really enjoys capturing those moments that will be cherished forever. We decided to combine our forces in 2019 and create This is it Events!
2. What's your experience as a wedding planner? How many weddings have you planned?
We are fairly new to the industry as we started our business in 2019, but over the past year we have done 11 weddings! As a wedding planner and getting going in the year of COVID, I can truly and honestly say Love will Survive. The most important aspect we have learned is paying attention to feelings and desires of the couple, if they want to elope let them, maybe even help make their elopement special. We need to be adaptable to change and overcome obstacles, because no matter what at the end of the day we were hired for our couples and this is their day and we must do everything in our power to make their day something to remember.
3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?
We offer several services: Month/Day -of-Coordination, Full Planning, Officiant services, Decorations Set Up, Balloon Decorations, and Photography. We offer several package deals, combine our services to meet the needs of the client. Our goal is to be a one stop shop. We pride ourselves on being budget planners and feel that your wedding should not break the bank, because love is priceless so we can work with our clients on their budgets and see what services we can offer to work for them.
4. How do payments work (a percentage of the wedding budget, a flat fee etc.)? What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?
We generally charge a Flat Fee depending on the service that is needed. For Example our most popular service is our Day of Coordination package where we charge $800. We work with our client in the weeks leading up to the day, so it is more like Month of Coordination services. In our Day of Coordination services we have multiple consultations, work with vendors, develop the timeline, and create the floor lay out. These are just a few examples of what we offer under the Day of Coordination umbrella but we really like to try to go above and beyond for our clients. We will even help to create decorations! Day Of Coordination and Photography is our next most popular package for $2,500.
5. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?
My sister and I own This is it Events! And we love working with our family so depending on the scale of the event and the complexity we will bring some other members on the team, including my husband who I used to cater wedding with and my niece who is taking photography classes. We enjoy working together and highlighting each others talents and lifting each other up. If the wedding is small anything ranging from 25-75 people we will send 2 people, if the wedding is 90-120 people, we will have 3 people on the team, and for 150 -200 people we will have 4 team members.
6. What happens if you're sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of the wedding?
If one of us is sick we will make sure to fill in that position with another suitable wedding coordinator at no additional costs of course. Because we have several members on our team with the expertise needed to run a successful event they will take the lead position and delegate and manage the days events. This is why we find it so important to keep our team up to date with the wedding details and expectations so that any one of us can take over. Only in a severe emergency and An Act of God is where we would have to submit a full refund if necessary, for example, if there was an earth quake or something.
7. How many meetings will you have with the couple and how will they be involved?
Leading up to the event we think its important to have weekly meetings. We think it is super important to touch base and make sure wedding tasks are getting completed in a timely manner. We work off a shared platform called Aisle Planner where we can add the clients and they can have access to the checklists, we can create a design studio, and make notes for on another. One of our favorite aspects of Aisle Planner is the ability to assign tasks, once it is assigned it will send reminders. Depending on the service we are hired for will dictate how many meeting are needed as well. If we are booked for full planning, then we will need to have more consultations as we work towards developing the theme and book vendors, whereas with Day of Coordination, most vendors are already booked so there will be less meeting. We strongly believe that once we are booked we are there for our clients to answer any of their questions, we do not want them to feel like they cannot talk to us outside of our scheduled consultation times
8. Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?
We can assist in the Invitation development, and we have designed a few for our clients, which included pictures the wording and RSVP cards. We find that it is easier for the client to mail them out rather than compiling a list to provide us to send. We love developing the invitations, but prefer for our clients to send out on their own. Our clients can sync their guest list in our shared work platform which in turn will help create the seating charts and we can identify any special needs for some guests like 2 guests at table "4" are vegan etc. We can also create a wedding website for our clients containing important information and who they need to RSVP to.
9. Do you handle rentals? Will you coordinate delivery, arrival and set up times with the photographer, the florist, the musicians and the caterer/banquet manager?
As a wedding coordinator it is super important to coordinate with all the vendors for the wedding day. This is essential for the timeline development. If we did not coordinate with the vendors it could have drastic effects, for example if we planned for the ceremony to start at 3:00 p.m. but the couple booked their officiant to come at 4:00p.m, and put on their invitations for guests to arrive at 2:30p.m. we would have a big problem on our hands. We strongly believe that we have to communicate with all the vendors and review their contracts to have a clear understanding of expectations leading into the event. In developing the timeline we like to ask each vendor how much time they need for set up and take down and work this into the over plan for the day. Coordinating with the vendors is such an important part of the job and cannot get overlooked, in the planning process you cannot communicate enough. In regards to handling the rentals, we coordinate with the vendors but we do not submit payments or sign contracts on behalf of the client.
10. Can you create a timeline that tells everyone involved in the planning process (other pros, members of the wedding party, to-be-weds and families) what to do and when to do it? How will you make sure everyone sticks to the schedule?
We aim to create specific timelines that explain to all pertinent parties where to be, when to act etc. Our timelines not only include the times but also the responsible parties and and any important notes for that task. We make sure to send the timeline out to everyone that needs to view, no later than 2 weeks before the wedding so that everyone can prepare. On the day of, we will continue to check in with individuals to make sure they are on schedule. Our team has Walkie-Talkies so we can communicate with each other from different getting ready locations or to make sure all parties are in position for the ceremony processional. Communication is the key to success so it is important that we saty up to date on the timeline and send reminders when needed.