1. Introduction: What's your story?
Hi, I'm Blair Woerfel. The owner and lead planner for BW Studio + Events. I got started in the events industry through non-profit events. I started a non-profit organization with my fellow architecture and interior design fellows and eventually fell in love with the process of designing and executing large scale events. Before you knew it, I was hosting grand events for friends and family while juggling a full-time interior design career. I eventually decided to take this passion full time, and "the rest is history" as they say. I still have a passion for non-profit events, but private and intimate events are my happy place. I now have a small team of highly skilled wedding planners that take on a variety of scaled events throughout Chicago and the Midwest. We are passionate about providing very customized service for all of our couples. No two events are even remotely alike.
2. What's your experience as a wedding planner? How many weddings have you planned?
My experience is heavily in large, multicultural and family oriented weddings. We love when the entire family gets involved in the planning process. At this point, we have completed around 80+ weddings, but also around 20+ private events and social events like baby showers, bridal showers, and birthdays. No event is too big or too small, we just love to celebrate!
3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?
BW Studio provides everything from event management (or day-of coordination, as it's commonly called) through partial planning and all the way through full planning packages. No package is too big or too small, and we offer a lot of a la carte options for our couples. Some couples need more assistance in the planning process than others, and we are here to meet them where they need the most help!
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 take on about 5-10 full planning clients a year, and those projects are percentage based. We also take on another 5-10 partial planning projects a year, sometimes those are percentage based as well but often they are a flat fee. Our event management packages are always a flat fee with the option to add on services like rehearsal assistance or RSVP management. Our most popular is probably the Partial Planning Package, this is typically after a couple has already secured their venue and caterer, but is unsure of their remaining vendors.
5. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?
Currently, we have two other associate planners and two day of assistants that help out and support our planners. We are fortunate to always be growing!
6. What happens if you're sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of the wedding?
Thankfully, we have other associate planners that can jump in during an emergency. And we try to never double book on the same day unless it's a very popular date!
7. How many meetings will you have with the couple and how will they be involved?
Event Management couples can expect about 4x standard meetings; a kick of meeting when you hire us, a timeline meeting at three months, a one month décor meeting review, and a one week check in. But Full and Partial Planning clients can expect weekly emails and Monthly Meetings while we are securing vendors. Once the vendor team has been locked in, meetings taper off until the three month mark.
We always provide our couples with 3-10 vendor options that fit their budget and needs. Sometimes we KNOW they are going to love someone and we will limit the amount of options we send, but if we know they might be on the fence about a certain style or need we will send more options. Then we offer to connect them to the vendors so they can chat with them personally and get to know them before we hire them.
8. Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?
RSVP management is a separate service, but we are happy to do so!
Invitations, we do not manage.
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?
Our team does not personally handle rentals, but we will align our couples with great vendor recommendations. We will also do limited day-of setup of personal items like the guest book, card box, table numbers, favors, memorial tables, and such. But we will coordinate the delivery times, setup, and take down of all vendors associated with the wedding day. And on the day of, we are the main point of contact for all vendors.
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?
Yes, we create a detailed weekend timeline for all vendors and wedding party members. We share it at the three month mark, one month, and the week of. A tight timeline is essential to day-of success for all vendors.