Washington, D.C., wedding experts discuss their services
Shayna Walker, owner
Weddings by Shayna
2850 Sandy Bay Road Ste. 201-A
Elizabeth Bailey, owner
Elizabeth Bailey Weddings
Green Spring Station
2360 W. Joppa Road
Andrea Barnett, owner
Cloud Nine Events
As a wedding coordinator, what are some of your job duties?
Walker: "A wedding is like a play that you need someone to direct. Solving problems and keeping everyone calm is the biggest thing."
Bailey: "We work closely with the couple and make recommendations in their best interest. No reasonable request is refused."
Barnett: "Our duties include initially contacting the vendors to cleaning up, and everything in between."
How do you charge for your services and what's the cost?
Walker: "I do packages and customize as necessary. Packages start around $1,500 to $5,500."
Bailey: "We do hourly consultation all the way to full planning. The average is $1,500 to $15,000."
Barnett: "We charge a flat fee based on the package and level of service. Costs range from $1,600 to $4,500."
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?
Walker: "We start with a consultation to determine their needs, then go over it to find the top priorities within their budget."
Bailey: "We start budget talks at the very first stages. There are many ways to add special touches at little or no cost."
Barnett: "Our packages are designed to offer an extensive service at a reasonable price."
How do you handle difficult brides or family members?
Walker: "Getting to know your clients well is really helpful. A lot of client management ahead of time is key. We identify problems before they happen."
Bailey: "We approach any issue by listening and acting as the neutral party. Clients are only difficult if their expectations aren't being met."
Barnett: "I don't consider any bride difficult. Family members are important, but ultimately we're providing the dream for the couple."
Can you describe one funny, horrifying or memorable experience that happened at a wedding you planned?
Walker: "I felt like I earned my stripes when a bride's shoe broke. I got her shoe and left her mine."
Bailey: "Every wedding has memorable experiences that stand out. That means it's a good event."
Barnett: "One bride wouldn't listen to any advice, changed everything the day before and didn't inform me of any of it."