10 Questions with Renee Coolbaugh

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after wedding planners in Maryland, Renee Coolbaugh of RCC Weddings & Events. Baltimore based Renee is the founder and owner of RCC Weddings & Events.

RCC Weddings & Events

Planner - Renee Coolbaugh

10 Questions with Renee Coolbaugh

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hi! I am Renee Coshin Coolbaugh, founder and lead planner and coordinator at RCC Weddings & Events.

I was raised in the Philadelphia area yet followed my heart to Baltimore where she ultimately married the love of my life, Peter.

I graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Several years later, I returned and obtained a Certification in Project Management.

I have always been someone with an with an organizational mind and a tendency to make lists for everything under the sun, event planning and coordinating undoubtedly pulsated through my veins. As a social person, full of joy and always finding a reason to celebrate life, wedding and event coordination seemed to be a natural extension of my talents. In order to prove it to myself, I took a job with a wedding planning company where I worked for nearly three years, loving every minute of it. I couldn’t get enough so I decided to go on my own and RCC Weddings & Events became my dream come true.

I have since established myself as a certified wedding planner and attend numerous webinars and educational series throughout each year.

2. What's your experience as a wedding planner? How many weddings have you planned?

In my first year of business I had three weddings and was ecstatic! The next year, the number tripled. The following year it more than doubled and the next year is was even more. The trend of the number of weddings we handle each year is going in the right direction.

3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?

We offer many packages to meet your needs. We offer, day-of-coordination (partial and full), planning (including partial and simply assistance), and décor set up. In addition, we offer many a la carte services (some of which are included in our packages) such as personalized to-do lists, timeline creation, month-of assistance with favors, seating charts, RSVP management, etc. We also handle micro-weddings.

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 our contracts start with a deposit of $250. From there we typically have a schedule of payments due throughout the contract with the final payment being due about four weeks before your wedding.

Our day-of-coordination (DOC) packages are our most popular and include, among other things, several meetings prior to your wedding where we go over ALL of the details, attendance at the final venue walk-through, and a set number of hours on your wedding day. Also included are vendor confirmations, creation and circulation of the detailed day-of timeline, setup of your personal items (card box, favors, escort cards, etc.), coordination of your event and coordination of your vendors on your wedding day. Unlimited email and phone conversations are always included from the moment you sign a contract. As you can tell, while it is called a "day-of" package, it really is a lot more than just the one day.

Cost for a DOC package generally ranges between $950-$1,800.

5. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?

Along with myself, I currently have one other lead coordinator who will handle weddings, along with a team of assistants. On your wedding day, you will have a lead coordinator and an assistant coordinator. With all packages, even if I am not your lead coordinator, I will be by your side leading up to your wedding.

6. What happens if you're sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of the wedding?

While this has never happened, I have another lead coordinator who could step in for me if needed. Also, my assistant coordinators are well versed in how we handle things and could step into my role if needed on the day-of. Additionally, I know a lot of planners in the business and would be able to call on one of them to step in if needed. All of my notes, plans, timelines, etc. are kept electronically and access could be easily given to someone else in the event of an emergency.

7. How many meetings will you have with the couple and how will they be involved?

The number of meetings depends on a number of factors, including what services have been booked and how far out rom the wedding date have been booked. With planning, we typically have at least seven meetings and with day-of coordination, three meetings are included. Also included is the venue walk-through and rehearsal coordination, if needed. All of my contracts include the ability to add extra meetings if a couple would like to do so.

8. Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?

We do not handle invitations; however we can provide you with referrals to companies who specialize in creating, ordering, addressing and mailing invitations. We do have a RSVP management package where we will take your guest list and manage RSVPs as they come rolling in.

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?

While we do not offer rentals, we do work with companies who do. We will absolutely coordinate the delivery of rentals as well as the timing of all of your wedding vendor team members (caterer, florist, DJ/Band, photographer, etc.).

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 - with your input - very detailed timelines that not only identify what is happening when, but who is responsible for each task and/or involved in each task. Details include everything from when each of your vendors are arriving, your hair and makeup schedule, ceremony order, to your song selections, to the color of your linens and napkin fold to the names and table numbers of your guests giving toasts during the reception.

We work with each of your vendors leading up to your wedding to confirm that they are ok with the timing we have put together. On the day of we communicate with everyone throughout your day to make sure we are sticking tot he schedule and are on time. We pride ourselves on starting the ceremony on-time so the rest of your day is on track.

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020