Posts Tagged ‘advice’

More! Secrets to Success from Wedding Industry Experts

wedding industry expert 2012In a previous post, I introduced  Wedding Industry Experts  as a phenomenal resource for information pertaining to the wedding and event industry – especially for novice planners and aspiring event pros.  Much of the information is presented in reports featuring a panel of experts providing candid answers to a series of questions.

I’d like to share links to the most recent reports.  For a few questions below, I included my response – although by clicking through to the full report, you will see a very interesting and insightful array of answers.

Report #11. What marketing method has proven the most effective for you in attracting new clients?
Report #12. What do you consider as the most important skill a Wedding Planner or Wedding Designer should have and why?
Report #13. Please name some vendors you love working with.

Quince Lighting

A Flair for Affairs + Encore Creations

A: Tough question because the list is l-o-n-g!  It’s important to preface my answer by stating that every client deserves a tailored list of vendor referrals based on their needs and expectations.  

However, when I have the opportunity to bring together my fave “dream team” vendors, is always on my list.  I also reach out to Encore Creations for weddings and events with an elevated level of production due to theming, entertainment or both. 

What makes them, as well as more than a dozen other unnamed “dream team-ers” so great?  For starters, they all share these characteristics: high level of professionalism, quick response time and follow-up, respect for me and my role as project manager/team leader, drama-free, excellent quality equipment/service/product, dependable, consistent, pleasant personality, always prepared and willing to over-deliver.

Report #14. What is a random interesting fact about you or your business?
Report #15. How did you determine pricing for your services when you first started out and what advice can you give new planners/designers?
Report #16. What’s your favorite part of the entire wedding planning process?
Report #17. If you could give only one piece of advice to a bride/groom, what would that be?
A: Recently I completed an elaborate wedding for a very detail oriented bride. The venue manager said to me (while we were loading in and setting up) “I was surprised she hired a planner”.

Considering our team of three was on-site for 12 hours overseeing every imaginable aspect and occurrence, I don’t dare think what that wedding would have been like without us! A member of the venue team approached me at midpoint during the event and complimented our work; it was obvious from her comments and the actions of the staff they were somewhat out of their element.  My advice: Hire a planner… Even if others think/tell you that you don’t need one.

Report #18. What trends are your seeing this year?
Report #19. Fill in the blanks: I love working with a couple that …
A: I love working with a couple that is excited by trying new things – especially if they’re willing to entertain a few wild suggestions and unconventional ideas. Pair that up with a decent budget and I am in heaven!
Report #20. What is the biggest strength that you bring to your clients?
A: The number one benefit that comes to mind is experience… Twenty-something years in the industry translates into literally hundreds of events that I have either planned, coordinated, attended or collaborated on.An investment in experience is far wiser than savings gambled on inexperience.

The second major benefit is my network – consisting of seasoned, connected, like-minded professionals, who are driven to satisfy and succeed!

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To learn more about the how Elisa is differentiated from other Wedding Planners and Coordinators, please click on over to HIRE ME for additional information.

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If you are interested in receiving future reports, simply click to subscribe.



10 2012

Top Wedding Industry Experts Share Secrets to Success


Finally!! Someone (Vanessa Kiely) had the stellar idea to approach established wedding planners and designers from around the globe for the purpose of gathering information that is not readily available from any other source.


Questions are presented to the panel of experts and answers are shared in weekly reports via the WEDDING INDUSTRY EXPERTS website and email newsletters. (Why didn’t I think of this?!?)

Wedding Industry Expert logo
Suffice it to say I was beyond honored to be welcomed to the 2012 International Panel alongside such notables as Saundra Hadley, Lindsay Pitt, Kelly McWilliams, Bernadette Coveney Smith and numerous additional international planners and designers!

In a mere few short months the site is blossoming and recent additions include panels comprised of photographers, invitation designers, and more!

For a sampling of the original questions posed to our panel (the wedding planners and designers) just click the links below… Happy reading!

REPORT #1: Why did you become a Wedding Event Planner or Wedding Designer?

REPORT #2: What advice would you give someone thinking about becoming a Wedding Planner or Wedding Designer?

REPORT #3: Before you built your reputation as a leading Wedding Planner or Designer, how did …?

REPORT #4: When you first started your business, if you could have done one thing differently, what would it have been?

REPORT #5: What is the name of your business and why did you choose it? Do you have any advice for people trying to …?

REPORT #6: What type of people make the best Wedding Event Planners?

REPORT #7: What is the worst thing that has happened at a wedding and how did you deal with it?

REPORT #8: What do you do to prepare for a first meeting with a client?

REPORT #9: In your professional life, what are you most proud of?

REPORT #10: What is the most unexpected thing that has happened on the day of a client’s wedding?

Don’t miss upcoming reports! SUBSCRIBE to WEDDING INDUSTRY EXPERTS!

To learn more about the how Elisa is differentiated from other Wedding Planners and Coordinators, please click on over to HIRE ME for additional information.

Wedding Costs: The Average Bridal Budget

I expected that this post would be quick easy to write, and then my thoughts began to run wild.  As I recalled some of the most bizarre, distressing and implausible conversations I’ve had with both clients and potential clients regarding the “B”-word, I realized that talking budget is never easy.  { Truth be told, I am not alone in what I’ve experienced. When the wedding planner convention comes to town, stories about wedding budgets will be shared.}

Wedding Budget Advice

My best advice regarding a wedding budget is: have one.  The second piece of advice is: be sure it’s realistic.  This is where things get a bit sticky.  “Why?” you ask.  Because realistic is a subjective term – that’s why.

It’s always interesting when people ask me how much I think their wedding will cost.   Or conversely, they will ask if $XXX is enough to cover their wedding.  Seriously – it happens all the time, and typically on the first phone call.  It’s an impossible question.  “Why?” you ask.  Because I don’t have nearly enough information about the client’s situation or expectations to provide a reasonably accurate or relative answer.   Occasionally we receive the answer that every event planner loves to hear: “We don’t have a budget” or “Money is not an object”.  Unfortunately,when we ask if they are comfortable with a 100k working budget, more often than not, they answer no.

All weddings are not the same.  Even if you had two weddings with the same number of guests at the same location the final tabs would likely not even be close because there are so many variables.

I wanted to share this nifty wedding trivia and bridal budget infographic.  It highlights some average costs which I find to be pretty much in line with typical central Florida wedding expenses.  Can you have a wedding in Central Florida for less than $26,984? Absolutely!  Is it possible that you wedding will cost more than $26,984?  Absolutely!

True Cost of Wedding Infographic

click to view larger

Getting Started

Before you can do anything, you need a figure to start with.  Most planners with a few years experience have developed a few budget calculating tips.  For example:  Take a look at that number of $194 per guest.  $194 multiplied by 50 guests is not the same wedding as $194 multiplied by 150 guests.   While a smaller guest list will, or should I say can, result in lesser food and beverage costs, other expenses (DJ, photographer, wedding gown) will remain constant – meaning they are unaffected by guest count.  That being said, I can tell you my thoughts on what I think $194 per guest will buy you, and you can let me know if that’s what you had in mind.  (Alas, that’s where the free advice ends.)

I think people are reluctant to give a budget figure because they have some impression that the planner will make them over spend or charge a higher fee.  This could not be further from the truth.  An ethical planner is looking out for the client’s best interests, regardless of their budget, and wants every client to have the best wedding or event they can afford.

© 2011 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved


05 2011