Sacramento wedding planners discuss services, costs
Cosette Conway, owner
Weddings by Cosette
Lora Ward, owner
A Day to Remember
Michelle Klaff, owner
Elegant Events by Michelle
What's the advantage of hiring a wedding planner for your big day?
Cosette Conway: "To be able to enjoy your day with no interruptions."
Lora Ward: "The benefits are that you save time and hopefully stress, you're guaranteed as flawless of an event as possible, and you're able to enjoy the engagement."
Michelle Klaff: "The biggest advantage is probably cost savings. Coordinators can review extra charges on contracts, and sometimes they'll have certain discounts that will be extended to the brides."
How do you charge for your services and what's the cost?
Conway: "I charge case by case. It's usually based off of how big the wedding is and how much planning the couple wants me to do."
Ward: "I charge a flat fee based on how many hours I think the project will take. The price varies depending on the wedding and how much needs to be done."
Klaff: "My minimum service is $1,300, and depending on the complexity of the event, it could be up to $2,500 or $3,000."
How do you help a couple manage their wedding budget? Is this difficult, especially if a bride has her heart set on a specific plan?
Conway: "Once they've given me an idea of what they want to spend, I give them a full Excel spreadsheet. Every time they sign a contract or purchase something, I update the spreadsheet. It's not difficult if they give a reasonable budget."
Ward: "I set up vendors who will comply to the overall budget. It's very difficult because most people have no clue what a wedding will cost.They come in with unrealistic budgets, and I have to tell them it's just not doable."
Klaff: "The first thing is to look at where they want to place their dollars. Usually the couple will have something that's their highest priority. We do a budget very early in the process and make sure we're looking in their price range."
How far in advance before the wedding should a couple book your services?
Conway: "I prefer a year, but I've done all the way up to a week before."
Ward: "One year is smart. Not much more is necessary, but it certainly depends on the season."
Klaff: "I think the ideal time is anywhere from six to 10 months."
What makes your service stand out from what other wedding planners offer?
Conway: "I'm the wedding coordinator who becomes your friend and someone you can rely on all the time. I go from start to finish to make sure the event runs smoothly all day."
Ward: "I'm fun. I have a great personality. I'm very easy and comfortable to work with. I have many years with great hands-on experience and knowledge at my fingertips."
Klaff: "My years of experience and attention to detail. A lot [of planners] in the area haven't had as much experience as I have."