Stress reduction a key benefit of hiring a wedding planner
Portland wedding planners
Nora Totonchy, owner
Lake Oswego. Ore.
Mathew Weber, co-owner
A Swank Affair
What's the advantage of hiring a wedding planner for your big day?
Femi Wills: "The big thing is the stress factor: making sure vendors get there when they should and things are getting done. We take as much stress off the bride as possible."
Nora Totonchy: "It saves you a bunch of time and energy. We have vendor connections that can save you tons. We end up paying for ourselves through what we can save you."
Mathew Weber: "We're familiar with experienced and qualified vendors that will fit the bride and groom's budget and style. Also, having a professional there greatly reduces the couple's stress."
How do you charge for your services and what's the cost?
Wills: "It's a percent of the total wedding cost - usually around 10 percent - or an hourly rate."
Totonchy: "We have a 'day-of' package if the couple wants someone for ideas. That starts at $1,000. Full service from start to finish varies from wedding to wedding."
Weber: "We have a 'month-of' package that starts at $1,250 and a full event production package that starts at $3,500. We can also [work by the hour]. It's $75 per hour."
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?
Wills: "They tell me what they have and what they want. I'll try my best to get them what they want, but they have to be realistic."
Totonchy: "We have a budget we start with, and each vendor will fit into that budget. If a bride has her heart set on certain things, we can cut back in other areas."
Weber: "We work with our vendors to meet their budget and style. We find what's most important to the couple and meet those needs first."
Do you employ other people to help you plan a wedding? If so, is there an additional charge for the staff who helps out?
Wills: "Depending on the size, I could have two assistants at no additional charge."
Totonchy: "We have four coordinators and four assistants on staff. It's all-inclusive - there's no extra charge."
Weber: "We have three people on staff. We have one lead planner per wedding and one or two assistants that are available a couple days before and the day of the wedding."
Do you personally attend every wedding and rehearsal? If so, is there an extra fee for this?
Wills: "Yes, at no extra fee."
Totonchy: "I don't personally, but the coordinator in charge of the wedding does - that's also included."
Weber: "The lead planner attends the wedding and the rehearsal. It's included in our packages."