1. Introduction: What's your story?
Hey! I'm Traci Fuqua Perkins, founder and lead planner, coordinator and designer at LoveLight Events. My love for wedding planning started 5 years ago when I began planning my own wedding. I found it so exciting to plan the entire event and seeing it all the way through. From selecting the venue, theme, colors and food tastings, I enjoyed all out nuances and little details that went into planning my dream wedding. After the completion of my wedding, I decided to enter into the industry as a planner, coordinator and designer.
2. What's your experience as a wedding planner? How many weddings have you planned?
When I first entered the industry, I started out as a Event Team Lead through Monumental Events. In this role I responsible for overseeing weddings being held at the venue that ranged from 75 to 250 plus guests. In 2019, I launched LoveLight Events which allowed me to step into the role of wedding planning, coordination and design. To date I have been involved as a coordinator, planner and designer for over 75 weddings. These weddings have taken place throughout all four seasons in various states.
3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?
Within my business I offer packages that include Full Planning & Design and Month of Coordination. With my Full Planning & Design services, I work with couples by creating a mood board and then using that as a guide to select the perfect venue that is within their ideal budget. After securing their venue, I will then work with the couple, to select the best vendor team, that will work together to bring their vision to life. This package is prefect for the couple who wants some involvement with planning their wedding, however they want a professional to help with the execution of bringing their vision to life. With my Month of Coordination, I work with couples 90 days out from their wedding day. This package is perfect for the couple who is very hands on with planning their wedding, however they understand the importance of turning over the management of the wedding day to a professional. All of my packages will include the creation of a timeline, assistance with floor plans, seating assignments and event management.
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?
All of my packages are a flat fee. The fee's are determined on the location of the wedding and the estimated guest count. I offer Full Wedding Planning & Design and Month of Coordination. Full Planning and Design is a more hands on package that starts at least a year out from a couples wedding date. I will work with the couple from the early stages of creating a mood board, selecting the venue and vendors and overseeing the execution of the event. Month of Coordination involves my assistance 90 days out from the wedding. I work with couples to create a timeline, recommend vendors and oversee the management of the wedding day. Currently my most popular package is Month of Coordination.
5. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?
Weddings are staffed based on guest count, location and the vendor team involved with the wedding day. A small intimate wedding of 75 people or less will be staffed by 1 person. Weddings that have more then 75 guests will be staffed with at least two people. Weddings with over 200 guest will be staffed with at least 3 people. We only coordinate and oversee 1 wedding a day. We believe that it is important to focus on one couple on a specific wedding day.
6. What happens if you're sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of the wedding?
In the event that I fall sick or have another matter that prevents me from being onsite the day of a couples wedding, I will have one of my experienced assistant coordinators step into my role. The experienced assistant coordinator will execute the couples wedding based on existing timelines, checklists, charts and other documentation related to the wedding day.
7. How many meetings will you have with the couple and how will they be involved?
When couples hire me for full wedding planning and design, the process starts by creating a mood board based on the time of year that the couple would like to get married. After the creation of the mood board, I work with the couple and suggest venues that I think will fit their mood board and is within their ideal budget. I typically attend up to 3 venue tours with the couple as they make a decision on what space is the best fit for them. I have custom checklists in place that allows couples to compare and contrast their top three venues. Once the couple selects their venue, I then work with them to select a photographer that meets their expectations of photograph style. Depending on restrictions of the venue, the couple will then have the opportunity to select vendors that will provide services such as food, beverage, rentals and entertainment. I have a great resource of vendors that I like to recommend to couples, who deliver great customer experience. I leave it up the couple to pick the vendors that they vibe with the most. During the Full Planning and Design process, I have at least 1meeting every 6 - 8 weeks, depending on the couple and their venue restrictions. I'm always a text away and typically text back and forth with my my couples throughout the week. Once all vendors are booked, as we get closer to the wedding day, I will then work with the couple and their vendor team, to create a detailed timeline. That timeline, will paint the overall picture of how the day will flow. I will attend final meetings with the couple and help address any unforeseen circumstances that arise before the actual wedding day. I will help facilitate the wedding rehearsal and manage the event on the wedding day.
When couples hire me for Day of Coordination, the process starts 90 days out from their wedding date. I will have at least 3 meetings with the couple leading up to their wedding day. During these meetings, I work with the couple as we begin to create the day of timeline that will paint the picture of how the day will flow. I make sure to reach out to all vendors they have hired to combine all vendor timelines together. I do this to make sure key activities that take place before the ceremony start at a reasonable time. I attend the final meeting with the couples venue, to make sure we are all on the same page, and that the couple is compliant with the venues rules and guidelines. I also use this opportunity to communicate with the couple, any additional vendors they need to hire, or any changes they need to make to their wedding, to ensure the day runs as smoothly as possible. This ensures no unforeseen or unpleasant costs to the couple on their wedding day. I will help facilitate the wedding rehearsal and manage the event on the wedding day.
8. Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?
I recommend Stationary Artists to my couples to help with the overall design, wording and addressing of the invitation suite. I will help couples assemble their invitation suite and mail them. Once couples receive RSVP's from guests, I work with them to create a seating chart for their guests. Seating chart design can range from table assignments to place cards.
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?
I recommend rental companies to my couples who need certain rental items to bring their wedding day vision to life. I will coordinate with the couples vendor team on delivery. arrival, set up and tear down times. Leading up to the wedding day, I prioritize communication amongst the vendor team, to make sure everyone is on the same page of creating a memorable wedding day for the couple. Each vendor receives a tailored timeline to their vendor role. I make sure each vendor has the entire vendor teams contact information, incase certain vendors need to collaborate their vendor role duties. I like to use the analogy that on the wedding day, the couple is the team owner, as the Wedding Coordinator, I fill the role of the coach, the vendors are the players of the team while the guests attending are the fans.
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?
I create a master timeline for the day. I use a software that is interactive for myself, the couple and their vendor team. Starting 60 day out from the wedding, I will work with the couple, their bridal party and vendor team, to create the timeline that will outline the wedding day including pre and post wedding activities. Each timeline will include charts, diagrams and detailed information of the day. The couple can expect to see a diagram of the ceremony lineup, timetables for hair & makeup. photography shot list and details of key items for the ceremony and reception. I make sure to include all contact information including social media handles for the venue and vendors within the timeline. Each vendor will receive a tailored timeline related to their vendor role including the vendor & venue contact information. With the software that I use, any key person of the bridal party or vendor team will receive text message reminders for key timeline items.