1. Introduction: What's your story?
Hello! I am Jaime Engebretson, the Owner and Executive Event Planner for J'aime Events. I started in the wedding industry as a church coordinator and found that couples were asking me for more insight and referrals. Being someone who could not say "I don't know or that's not what the church has hired me to do" I began researching and networking with others in the industry so that I could provide those answers. After planning my wedding in 2012 I was told by many family members and friends that I should be doing this for others because I am so detailed and organized along with having a design mindset. That spark along with my experience in the ceremony side of things led me to decide to get certified as a wedding planner. Upon completion of my certification from the New York Institute of Arts in Wedding and Event Planning I decided to start my own wedding planning and event design business. A year later, I quit my corporate job so that I could pursue this dream full time and I haven't looked back since.
2. What's your experience as a wedding planner? How many weddings have you planned?
I started as a church coordinator and would help out with non-member weddings so I have experience first in the ceremony side of the wedding day. It later translated into my studies to get certified as a wedding planner. I have been planning weddings and events through my own business since 2015.
3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?
I offer Day of Coordination, Partial Planning and Full Service Wedding Planning. I also have a la carte options for all the events leading up to the wedding day such as bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, bachelor/bachelorette party planning. Anything you need to have a stress-free wedding planning process we offer that.
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?
I ask for a deposit to hold the wedding date and the date for the rehearsal. I only take one wedding per weekend so the deposit covers my expenses up to your rehearsal and the final payment which would be due a month before the wedding will cover my time for your wedding week. My most popular package is actually my Full Service Planning package because of the value for all that is included but the next popular would be my Wedding Day Management (Day of Coordination) package. It really depends on how much support the couple is looking for.
5. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?
I am the only official employee of J'aime Events but I do hire out assistants for my Full Service Planning Package or if the client requests to add additional staffing to support their wedding day.
6. What happens if you're sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of the wedding?
I am part of a network of wonderful planners in the Twin Cities area and we support each other whether that is being someone's assistant for a wedding day or being someone's back up should it be needed.
I actually had this happen to me, my twins were not due for another month but being the planner that I am I had assembled my back up team should there be any complications during my pregnancy. On my final wedding before my maternity leave, my water broke and I had to send my back up lead and assistant to the wedding. They had all the notes, design details and the timeline so they just had to execute on the plan that I had put in place with my couple.
7. How many meetings will you have with the couple and how will they be involved?
Depends on which planning package is selected but there is a minimum of two meetings included in my packages (4 meetings included in my Full Service Planning Package). Outside of the meetings I have unlimited emails and phone calls within 4 months of the wedding and I send monthly check in emails to my couples to see where they are at in the process or if they have any questions/concerns.
8. Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?
If the client wants to add them a la carte to their package we would do that but it is currently not included in any of our packages.
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 coordinate all the timeline details and arrivals for vendors on the wedding day.
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, a timeline is created with the couple and once finalized it is emailed out to all of their vendors. If a vendor has not arrived at their scheduled arrival time I contact them to find out the ETA.