I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss hiring a wedding planner because this comes up a lot for my brides and maybe you are pining over this decision too.
When I think back to my own wedding (which was absolutely the most insane planning process ever) hiring a solid planner was my biggest regret by far. The amount of stress I endured planning a destination wedding surely gave me my first gray hairs and a ton of eye twitching to say the least. So when my brides ask for my thoughts on this, I always revert back to that time in my life and offer a quick “Yes, Definitely”.
Of course, I realize that every wedding is not like my own but regardless of who you may have helping you, weddings can involve a lot of stress and the finishing details at the end can cause way more heartache than they are worth. Trust me when I say, no one cares if your napkins aren’t the right color. But that’s really not the problem, because YOU care and it is important to YOU. I totally get it as a bride who has been there before.
As a wedding photographer, I can help you with organizing a photography timeline but when something happens with one of your vendors, a dress snaps or something or someone is missing, wedding planners are the ones who can step in and hold people accountable. A lot of times they can save the day without the couple ever knowing any of the details and it’s really hard to put a price tag on that. You put so much time, money and effort into such a special day that it is hard to weigh the cost of someone making sure it is just perfect.
If you are thinking yeah, yeah but I’m on a budget. I get that too. Just remember though there are vendors out there for every budget or maybe a planner can even help you to pull some strings to fit them into your budget. They know a lot of other vendors, their fees and most importantly who is trustworthy.
So piggybacking off this topic, I decided to reach out to one of my favorite Dallas Wedding Planners, Ayra Springs-Foster with Inspired by Faith Events, to have her answer a few questions, give us a bit of information and offer some helpful tips for your planning process.
What type of services do you offer? Do you offer design in addition to wedding planning? What do you handle for the bride?
We offer month of coordination, partial wedding planning, and full service wedding planning. We solely focus on coordinating and planning so we don’t offer any design services. I believe that I’m great at what I do but I prefer to leave the design to the florists and design pros. I’ve encountered too many vendors that try to do multiple jobs and when this happens sometimes the clients suffer. If I’m handling floral production the night before your wedding, how can I make sure your rehearsal runs smoothly? I want to be in your corner to offer the best wedding planning experience by using my expertise that I’ve spent years perfecting. We’re available for brides that want to do all of their planning or for brides that prefer to leave all the planning to us.
Why and when should a bride think about hiring a wedding planner?
Once the excitement of your engagement wears off hire a wedding planner as soon as possible. Wedding planners save you money while putting together the best group of vendors to meet all of your needs. My goal is to always give my clients their dream wedding regardless of their budget. I work hard to keep my clients and their families stress free. Wedding planning is supposed to be a fun experience and hiring a wedding planner will keep the experience enjoyable.
What does the process look like after booking with you?
The first thing I do is put together a custom vendor referral list. Each bride gets a different list because it is based off what you have shared with me in your complimentary consultation including your style preferences and budget. I also try my best to match you with vendors that will work well with you personality. Once you give me an idea of wedding vendors you may be interested in, I begin setting up consultations. If a wedding venue has not been selected, we start there. I attend all the vendor consultations with my clients to help ensure they are comfortable and I also ask questions that they may not think to ask. Once the venue and vendors are booked, I assist my clients by offering; monthly to do lists, budget maintenance, paperie selection, rehearsal dinner planning, layout design, wedding day logistics, vendor confirmations, timeline creation, etc.
How did you get started?
While attending The Ohio State University, I worked for the Office of Commencement & Special Events. I loved every second of my job planning events for the university president, and the quarterly commencement services. A few years after graduating, I married my college sweetheart back in my hometown, Dallas. I had a big wedding with most guests and participants coming from out of state and it all went off without a hitch. After my special day, friends and family members were making requests for me to plan their upcoming, special events. I was bit by the event planning bug all over again and I decided to get my wedding and event planning certification from the University of Texas at Arlington through The Wedding Planning Institute. Once I was certified in 2009, Inspired by Faith Weddings & Events was born! My experience as a wedding and event planner has been one most one of the rewarding times of my life. I’m always honored when people from all walks of life choose me to help them with their most important life moments.
Tell us about one of your favorite weddings. Give us some details!
One of my favorite weddings was Sandi & Tim’s Elegant Four Seasons Wedding (pictured here). It was a joy to plan a wedding for a deserving couple that cared so much about their families. The details were stunning, and of course Jillian Hogan Photography captured the entire day perfectly. Their ceremony set the tone with a large cross with lush floral as the focal point and white draping created a heavenly ambiance in the ceremony space. The bride and groom were very much about sharing their Faith with their guests. From the pretty hues of white and grey, to the lucite menu cards, everything about this wedding reception was gorgeous! The reception sparkled with grey linens and floral from Bella Flora of Dallas. The wedding cake was beautifully designed with hand painted silver flowers while the groom’s cake paid homage to the groom’s alma mater, The Iowa Hawkeyes. Both cakes were the perfect accent to the decor staying within the white and grey color scheme and the cross from the ceremony created the perfect cake backdrop. The band was amazing and kept everyone grooving on the custom dance floor until guests sent the couple off with a sparkler exit.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I love when the event day is in full swing and I look at my clients to see that they are in full bliss. Happy clients and their families make me work harder to help make sure everyone can experience a flawless event day. I enjoy being apart of any milestone event. It’s an honor to know that someone has personally chosen me to make sure their day is memorable and stress free. I’ve been blessed to work within many different cultures and professions (even a few celebrities have been IBF clients) and I’m thankful for every client that has allowed me to plan their special day.
What tips/advice would you give to a bride looking for wedding planner?
When you’re looking for a wedding planner make sure you choose someone who is a certified wedding and event planner. This certification lets you know that the person has been properly trained. Also, you want to choose a planner that does wedding planning for their full time occupation. If your planner has a full time job outside of planning, they may be hard to reach.
What is the best way for a bride to contact you?
Thanks so much Ayra for answering all my questions! If you are a bride on the fence about hiring a wedding planner, I hope this can help you make the best decision for your big day.
Like this wedding? You can check out some of their amazing vendors below!
Venue- Four Seasons Dallas
Wedding Planner- Inspired by Faith Weddings and Events
Photography- Jillian Hogan Photography
Floral Design & Linens- Bella Flora of Dallas
Lighting & Draping: Dallas Drape & Lighting
Videographer- Renkes Films
Officiant- Sensational Ceremonies
Dance floor & stage –DFW Dance Floors
Hair & Makeup- Beauty & The Blush
Cake- Delicious Cakes
Band- Royal Dukes Band