While browsing through Calluna Events‘ portfolio, it becomes evident that they have the diversity it takes to create anything. Their wedding designs transport guests into another reality, where every detail is elegant and ethereal. Calluna Events is a Boulder-based group of wedding planners owned by their talented ladyboss, Heather Dwight. Heather has over twenty years of wedding planning experience. We asked her four questions to help couples pick the best wedding planner for the wedding they are envisioning.
What questions should a couple ask a planner to find out if they are the right fit for the event they are planning?
Great question! I feel like a couple should first look for a planner whose aesthetic from events in the planners portfolio fits the couples’ style. They should be able to “see themselves” in the photos that they see on the planner’s Instagram and website. I personally feel like experience is a plus when hiring a planner. Not only does the planner have more weddings and events under their belt to pull from during the planning process, but also if anything happens on the day of the wedding a more experienced planner will pull from that vast knowledge and be able to stay calm under pressure.
Asking if they have experience working at their chosen venue is a good choice. What type of weddings the planner likes to plan and what their personality is during the planning process can really help a couple determine if the planner is going to be the best fit for them. If you are interviewing a high strung, very type A planner and you are a laid back, go with the flow bride, the partnership might not be a good fit. Try to know your budget before you meet with a planner and ask if your budget is a realistic one for them to work with. An experienced planner should be able to tell you right off the bat if your budget is in line with your vision for your day. Ask the planner their favorite type of wedding to plan or venue to work with. This will tell you more about your planner’s style and personality but also a good planner will be versatile and should be able to plan a variety of styles of events.
What should a couple look for in a planner when they are planning a large event (200+ people) vs. a small event?
The details of a small event vs. a large event often remain the same. We have planned intimate weddings of 10 people and large weddings of 550 people. The details and thoughts that go into the execution of small vs. large events are the same, however there are more moving parts of a large wedding. For larger weddings there are often more creative partners involved to execute the day and more of everything being set up (tables, chairs, china, bars, florals). This means that your vendors need to plan for ample time and more staffing.
A good planner will be able to manage a larger team and execute a seamless timeline for load in, the wedding day details and strike. A good planner will also know how to manage their team on the day of the wedding so no details are slipping through the cracks. A small wedding will require less staff and sometimes less set up time. Large weddings will obviously have more guests requiring more staff on the day of to assist with guest flow. So it’s important to ask your wedding planner how many assistants will be on site the day of the wedding.
How much of a vision for an event should a couple have before meeting with a planner?
We prefer the bride and groom to have had some conversation prior to meeting with us about their ideal location, their budget, who’s contributing and what is most important (music, food, ambiance, venue, etc.) to them prior to meeting with us. We ask these questions beforehand. Having them tell us a bit more about their ideal vision helps them to hone in on their most important pieces and allows us to determine how much assistance they need from us.
Should your wedding theme determine the planner you choose?
Somewhat. I think a good planner is a versatile one who can execute different styles of weddings. However you should look for a planner that has a definite style that is pervasive in their weddings and their brand. If you have a very specific theme or vision, you should definitely try to seek out planners whose aesthetic in their past events you are drawn to. A good planner will never copy another wedding and will try to infuse you, your personality and your style into your day. You are going to be more comfortable with a planner who understands your vision and your planner will be more successful executing an event where they can bring in the best vendors who match your vision.