Wedding planners help Chicago couples breathe easy

Alexandra Jusino, owner, Exquisite Weddings, Chicago, exquisite-weddings.com

Susan Cordogan, owner, Big City Bride, Chicago, bigcitybride.com

Frank Andonoplas, owner, Frank Event Design, Chicago, frankeventdesign.com

Why do brides-to-be need a wedding planner?

Jusino: A wedding is an investment, so why take a chance with one of life's most important days?

Cordogan: Most people only wed once and plan one wedding. We've planned hundreds of weddings and know the ins and outs.

Andonoplas: You hire a professional to do your taxes and take care of your car, so why not hire someone to entrust with the most important day of your life?

How long before the wedding should you hire one?

Jusino: It's ideal to hire a planner at the start, so we can create a timeline, or a month before, to act as wedding director.

Cordogan: As soon as you feel the need. We do the legwork and you make the decisions. Andonoplas: The day after you get engaged. I can save you time and prevent expensive mistakes. How much do wedding planning services cost?

Jusino: Pricing ranges from $1,500 to $5,500, depending on the production.

Cordogan: You'll find some who charge $800 and others $28,000. But if you hire someone who charges little to nothing, that's what you'll get.

Andonoplas: All weddings are different. I charge a flat fee determined at the first interview, depending on the amount of detail desired.

What services do you offer?

Jusino: We offer a wedding director, partial wedding planning and full-production wedding planning. Cordogan: We find your vendors and suppliers, oversee your budget and pull together your style. We keep everything moving perfectly.

Andonoplas: I'm usually hired to design, plan and coordinate the entire wedding. I work with the client to make their wedding unique.

Are your typical clients brides or parents?

Jusino: We tend to get hired by both. We've found most couples who hire are busy with their own careers and want a planner to do all the legwork.

Cordogan: A mix of both. We have a knack for balancing the "push and pull" some couples have with their parents.

Andonoplas: My clientele is mostly working professionals, senior management of corporations or family businesses.


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