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From day one, there was no question in my mind that we needed a wedding planner. Don’t get me wrong. It’s our wedding and of course we wanted to be hands on and involved. But honestly, there is something to be said for having an experienced professional to curate the options before for you and keep the decisions moving along. John and I didn’t want to worry about pulling every last detail together—and this is coming from a details person!

My first piece of advice to brides and grooms: please consider hiring a wedding planner! And my second piece of advice? Only hire someone whose style you admire, humor and work ethic you get, and company you enjoy. You need to find someone that you can trust entirely with your vision and will be your biggest advocate. Lucky for us, this was Jessie Baca.

Because of Jessie, our wedding exceeded our expectations in more ways than one (to come in future posts!). She didn’t hesitate to reply when I asked her the following question to help couples get a head start …

1. Budget

It is most helpful to start with the budget and have a good understanding of what will be spent on the wedding. Often couples have a unrealistic understanding of what a wedding entails money-wise. I think it is important to manage the expectation. Ultimately, I like to map out the budget so that your money is spent on the couples’ priorities and most importantly, not send them off to their honey moon completely in debt! The budget will affect every aspect of planning, so it is important to get a good grasp of this early in the planning process.

2. Priorities

The next thing I like to get a good sense of is the couples’ priorities. I usually ask couples what they want out of their wedding (besides starting a new and blissful life together!) I ask if they want their guests to come away having the best dance party of their whole lives, the best meal of their whole lives, the most heartfelt ceremony of their whole lives, or to have been in the most beautiful setting of their whole lives. Usually the answer is all of the above, but for the most part couples tend to lean to one persuasion or another.

3. Vision

I love to start with couples by asking what they envision their wedding day to be like. Often, it is just a “feeling” and I believe there is a way to craft an event to capture that feeling. Whether it be a rambling free-for-all or a sit-down ballroom affair, each “feeling” requires certain logistics, timing, and aesthetic to execute. Getting to know the clients is the best part of the planning process. After all, understanding their styles and preferences helps me to execute their vision on their wedding day. I ask about where they like to shop, their favorite restaurants, how they decorate their home. Anything that gives me a good sense of their style will help to get a consistent thread throughout the whole wedding and be sure to infuse the wedding with the personalities of the couple.

Thanks, Jessie!