May 16

How to Work with a Wedding Planner :: Part 3 :: The Event Designer

Welcome back to our little working with a wedding planner series.  If you need a recap before you fulling plunge into part 3, you can read part 1 and 2 here and here.  And now moving forward with all the pretty details…

How to Work with an Event Designer | The Day's Design | Ashley Slater Photography

Photography: Ashley Slater Photography | Floral Design: The Day’s Design 

What in the world is an event designer?  The term is a little foreign and if you thought it was hard for people to understand the difference between a wedding planner and a coordinator – tell them you’re an event designer.  It’ll blow their mind.

Technically, an event designer isn’t a wedding planner at all, they’re a visual planner. Think interior designer, for a wedding.  That’s the best way I have to describe it.  When people hire me for this, it’s purely cosmetic.  Think all things aesthetically pleasing on the wedding day.  There really isn’t a clear cut line on what all this entails, it’s more of a case by case plan.  But generally speaking I’m going to meet with the bride and groom, discuss feelings, moods, color palettes, favorite flowers and more.  Then I’m going to go home and lay in bed that night dreaming about all the fancy details we discussed.  And then, my pen is going to hit the paper.

I love sketching out these ideas, playing with flower combinations and coordinating linens to the room layouts.  I daydream about ceremony backdrops, café lights and chandeliers.  I agonize over vessels for your centerpieces and coordinating votive holders.  I’ll make sure that the napkins fold just right and show off the custom stationary we commissioned.  The décor options are absolutely endless.  I can list off 10 different chair options right off the top of my head and where to get each of them.

So once I’ve done my research on what is actually possibly, works with your budget and isn’t just a wild dream of mine, I put it down on paper and send it to my clients.  They approve parts of it and often things get tweaked a touch here or there.  But once it’s all to their liking, I get to work sourcing all the pieces to make it happen.

Some of the work I will do myself.  I will create massive floral arches, moss and floral photo backdrops and let you rent my taper candle holders.  But sometimes I have to outsource certain projects.  It could be due to lack of resources, time or even know how.  I will subcontract vendors to make this happen.  It’s really nothing that my clients need to get involved in, I’ll sign the contract myself and add it to my invoice.  I have little clause in my contract projecting me if one of the wedding guests sets fire to a $100 linen or breaks a chair, my client will be held responsible.  And I also ask my clients to cover rentals that are over a certain dollar amount but I still work on my clients behalf handling the arranging of those services.

When it comes to the actual wedding day, I’ll be there.  I’ll be directing all the vendors that I hired.  But I won’t deal with the logistics or help manage your timeline.  I’ll be focusing solely on the visual aspects, making sure that every flower is perfectly placed and that beautiful arbor isn’t going to blow over during the ceremony.  It’s even possible that I’ll be gone before the bride ever sees the reception and I may not see her reaction to the space in person.

Dear Vendors: if I’m renting from you or working with you as an Event Designer, you’ll probably never meet my clients.  I’ll fill you in on the relevant details of the wedding and you’ll most likely hold onto my credit card number.  All communications will go through me and I’m technically your client.

Dear Clients: Trust that I’ve found you the best place for your chiavari chairs and all those floral extras are going to happen because I have flower friends who are amazing and willing to lend a hand.  I have spent countless hours shopping and researching and making sure everything is top notch just for you.  Sometimes that means that the sofa you wanted to rent lands on my final bill, making my service price seem a little crazy.  But trust me, I’ll be so worth it in the end.

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  1. […] floral design to event design to day-of management and more (all the tasks listed in parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series).  I’ve not so delicately referred to myself as a “wedding slave” to my full […]

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