What to Look For: Wedding Planners | Featuring Shannon Rose Events Owner Shannon Ducker
Today we are continue with Part 2 of our new series for brides called "What to Look For" that's all about helping Dallas brides and Fort Worth brides find the most amazing wedding vendors for your day! For this series, I wanted couples to be able to hear from some of the best wedding vendors in the DFW area. This is not a "how to save money" series. This is a "how to understand value" series. My hope is that you walk away with 2 things:
A better understanding of what to look for when assembling your vendor team, and why each vendor category is important to your wedding day.
The ability to steward your wedding budget in a way that reflects the aspects of your wedding day you value most.
After an AMAZING start to the series with Part 1 from with Lip Service Makeup's Jennifer Trotter, today I'm so honored to have a truly brilliant designer and people-focused wedding planner join the conversation: Shannon Ducker, owner of Shannon Rose Events. Whenever we talk with brides about key decisions that will increase the quality of their wedding photos or wedding film, we have to talk about the value of adding a wedding planner, because these folks are the conductors of your wedding day symphony! And planners like Shannon are the Mozarts of the industry. This gal is the real deal. Her team's wedding designs are stunning, and the way she helps brides assemble their dream team of vendors that are working as one unit on "Team Bride and Groom" is next level.
I had the privilege of seeing Shannon's team live this out to perfection during one of last summer's weddings, when the weather forecast for our outdoor wedding at Dove Ridge Vineyard was waffling between sunny skies and torrential downpour all afternoon. They helped our bride stay calm, and led our vendor team to an absolute masterpiece of an end product. The images in this post are from our day together working with Shannon's team!
Here's what Shannon had to say:
Hiring a wedding planner is one of the best decisions a bride & groom can make when it comes to their wedding. Not only does hiring a wedding planner alleviate the stress of planning a wedding and the wedding day itself, but it also helps you make better, more well-informed decisions when it comes to hiring wedding vendors. I find that a lot of couples have trouble visualizing exactly how they want their wedding to look, and as a result, tend to lean on what they have seen others do on Pinterest to design their wedding. Simply copying Pinterest designs is a missed opportunity to design & create an event that is a true reflection of your personalities & relationship. By hiring a planner, we help take their initial vision along with your personal style and our design experience to create something more refined & unique.
Copying Pinterest designs is a missed opportunity to design & create an event that is a true reflection of your personalities & relationship.
I think one of the most preconceived notions I come across from couples, when it comes to hiring a wedding planner, is that they cause you to spend more money. However, this could not be further from the truth. In my experience, planners help clients spend money in the “right” areas, with the best vendors for them. As a result, not only do their clients stay on budget, they elevate their entire wedding from design to vendor experience.
Planners help clients spend money in the right areas, with the best vendors for them. As a result, not only do their clients stay on budget, they elevate their entire wedding.
Another reason why hiring a wedding planner is so crucial in the wedding planning process is their ability to organize the wedding day itself. From vendor management, timeline creation, to correcting problems as they arise on the wedding day (rain, broken dresses, ...etc), planners allow you to relax & have fun on your wedding day. This is due not only to their general presence on the wedding day itself but also through their involvement in the planning process prior to the wedding day. Their prior involvement, in turn, helps solve & correct problems before they arise on the wedding day, which as couples who have already tied the knot, know this is "priceless."
When hiring your wedding planner, a bride & groom should consider four things:
Personality: Since the planner is the one vendor that you will be in contact with the entire wedding planning process, considering how your personalities “gel” with one other is an important factor to consider.
Trust: You want to make sure you hire a planner that you not only get along with, but can trust. By finding a planner you trust, it will allow you to relax and let go, while enabling them to do their job to the best of their ability. It will also make the wedding planning process be more fun, as it should be!
Style: Considering a planner’s style is important with it comes to hiring a planner. You want to hire someone who’s work you find appealing & drawn to. We recommend learning more about the designer's process & overall style. What are they inspired by? Do they lean towards certain floral styles you like? Does their overall style align with yours?
Needs Assessment: It is essential to consider what planning items you find most important when hiring a wedding planner. Where you need assistance within the wedding planning process will help you figure out what type of planner would be most beneficial to you. For example: do you need help with the budget, vendor selection & design? In that case, I would recommend considering a full planner. However, if you find that you are more concerned with the management of the vendors & organization on the day itself, than I would recommend a Month of Planner instead.
Cost is a trickier consideration when it comes to wedding planning, because the service we provide scales with your vision (Editor's Note: this means all you December brides who want Santa and his reindeer flying overhead as you exit can expect to spend more than the traditional sparklers!). But remember, a great planner will help you stay on budget AND increase of the quality of your wedding day experience!
I want to get inside my brides' brains and understand their vision so clearly, we can almost finish each other's sentences!
Most planners operate in either a Flat Rate model or a Percentage model, where the planning fee is a percentage of the overall wedding budget. Generally speaking, hiring a full service planner to design your day will start around $7500, and a Month of Planner around $2000-3000. When dropping below these levels, two of the biggest risks you run are sacrificing experience, time, and/or quality. I know when I was starting out and charging less, I was taking on so many weddings that it was harder to create the same level of personal care and that we want to provide each of our couples today. Now, I'm able to really get inside my brides' brains and understand their vision so clearly, we can almost finish each other's sentences! Wedding planners are artists at heart, and focusing on a limited number of clients allows us to provide each couple we serve with the original, custom experience they deserve!
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