1. Introduction: What's your story?
Porch & Pearls founder, Marian Braccia, is a powerful, intuitive, and creative planner and businesswoman. A native Philadelphian, Marian is no stranger to city living, working, and planning. In fact, she majored in Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania before earning her J.D. at Temple Law. Marian‘s passion and enthusiasm for event coordination became too strong to ignore after planning her own dream wedding in 2010. Having practiced law for ten years, Marian brings her negotiation, advocacy, quick thinking, and tactful problem solving skills to every event she handles (and to every toddler meltdown she diffuses!).
Marian is the proud mama of four gorgeous kids who are all perfectly polite and well behaved...so long as no one else is around to see it. Though a city girl through and through, Marian‘s other "happy places" include the beach at sunrise, a wooded trail run in the rain, or that one back road gas station in Birmingham, Alabama that had the best pecan pie she‘s ever tasted. When she‘s not in wedding mode or tackling dinnertime/bathtime/storytime/bedtime, Marian‘s probably curled up on the couch with her handsome hubby Brian, sipping white wine, and binge-watching "The Walking Dead" (you totally thought I was gonna say "A Wedding Story," didn‘t you?!).
2. What's your experience as a wedding planner? How many weddings have you planned?
With Porch & Pearls, you‘ll have a coordinator who exudes passion, perfectionism, and unparalleled creativity and resourcefulness. With hundreds of weddings in our portfolio and under our belt, there really isn't a wedding day snafu that we haven't tackled. From backyard micro-weddings to 500+ person galas and everything in between, we've planned and managed it all and we can't wait to see what's still to come!
3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?
Full planning, partial planning, and various levels of "day-of" coordination, which is really a total misnomer for Porch & Pearls because we remain so much more involved with our clients throughout the planning process than for just "one day."
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 require a 50% retainer to block out the date and put you on our events calendar. The balance is payable in installments until two weeks before the wedding. Our most popular package is our Level 2 day-of coordination, which includes rehearsal supervision and a venue site visit.
5. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?
We have six total coordinators and the number of coordinators at your event will depend on your total guest count. Typically, at 180 guests or more, we staff the event with two coordinators.
6. What happens if you're sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of the wedding?
Your Porch & Pearls coordinator will make every effort to personally appear at your wedding, but in case of emergency, Porch & Pearls guarantees a suitable substitute that can perform all contracted duties in a professional manner that complies with our high standards.
7. How many meetings will you have with the couple and how will they be involved?
We'll schedule an initial details intake session immediately upon contract, then schedule check-ins at roughly eight- to twelve-week intervals and a final wrap-up session around two weeks before the wedding. For planning packages, we're in touch with clients for scheduled check-ins even more frequently than this. Of course, we're always available for a call or text for quick "let-me-run-this-by-you" questions!
8. Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?
We LOVE handling invitations! We can even create a custom deign for you based on the inspiration you provide. We'll advise you on wording and etiquette, then place the order, assemble, stuff, stamp, and mail the invites for you! This service is included with either of our planning 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?
Of course! This is one of the many responsibilities we're proud to take on with any of our packages.
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 create the master day-of itinerary that covers every moment throughout the day from the time you open your eyes and start hair and makeup in the morning until approximately an hour past the end of the reception to allow for decor cleanup. That typically covers about 17 hours. We break that down into 15-minute increments and plug in every event throughout the day - all vendor arrival times, deliveries, setup times, styling appointments, photography timelines and locations, transportation arrivals and departures, and all the special events that are part of ceremony and reception.
We disseminate that itinerary to your whole team of vendors and all your VIPs (family, bridal party, etc.). How do we ensure that everyone sticks to it? By being the no-nonsense, highly effective, insanely organized, assertive, personable, badass industry leaders that the Porch & Pearls team is. That's how.