Indianapolis-area wedding planners offer tips for bridal bliss

Indianapolis-area wedding planners offer tips for bridal bliss

What's the advantage of hiring a wedding planner for your big day?

Stephanie Drane: "The advantage of a wedding coordinator is to relieve stress for the bride, the family members and the bridal party. It can also be a time savings, because we're helping them find vendors and locations — most brides and grooms don't know where to start."

Lisa Gorman: "The big advantage is that you have someone that's able to help narrow down the choices such as which vendors to hire. Most couples have no idea what vendor is a good deal, what their reputation is or what their strengths and weaknesses are."

Deborah Bowman: "It makes it stress-free for the bride and the family. All the details are up to someone else, so they can enjoy the event. People don't realize how much it takes to pull an event together."

As a wedding coordinator, what are some of your job duties?

Stephanie Drane: "My titles would be coordinator, counselor, best friend, confidant and dress fitter. As a wedding planner, you grow very close to your client. You wear many hats when you're doing this job."

Lisa Gorman: "Going to meetings, giving them support and assistance, making purchases on their behalf, running errands and coordinating the entire day of the ceremony. It's a lot of communication, to-do lists and reminders."

Deborah Bowman: "We can do everything from helping them buy the dress, helping with invitations, doing a time line or just coordinating the ceremony. We can do everything from oversight to putting the entire event together."

How do you charge for your services and what's the cost?

Stephanie Drane: "We have three packages. A vendor referral consultation is $75 an hour. For day-of services, it's $600. The third is full planning and that's based on a quote."

Lisa Gorman: "I do it on a set fee. In my opinion, it's the best way to handle it. We'll settle on a fee up front so we and the client will have realistic expectations of the cost."

Deborah Bowman: "For the most part, we'll sit down and customize a package based on an hourly basis or a flat fee. Both are based on an estimate for the services they need."

What makes your service stand out from what other wedding planner's offer?

Stephanie Drane: "I think what sets us apart is our focus on the details."

Lisa Gorman: "The level of attention and the customer service I give to every one of my clients."

Deborah Bowman: "We go above and beyond and our prices are reasonable."

Can you describe one funny, horrifying or memorable experience that happened at a wedding you planned?

Stephanie Drane: "I've seen everything from someone getting sick at the altar, to a bride passing out, to a groom who got too excited and busted out the bottom of his pants. Perfect days don't happen."

Lisa Gorman: "Last year, one of my brides was getting into the limo to the reception and the entire zipper ripped out the back of her dress. Luckily, I called a seamstress that I can swear by. She had to sew her into the dress."

Deborah Bowman: "The florist broke her wrist, two vendors backed their cars into each other, a cow got loose and someone found a worm in their salad — all in one ceremony."

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