Wedding planners can save you money and reduce wedding-day stress

Zeina Evans is a wedding planner at Ever After Events, a Bellingham business. Other services provided by Ever After Events include event and floral design, and event rentals and staffing.

Question: What is the best part of your job as a wedding planner at Ever After Events?

Answer: I love that I have a career that allows me to be creative, to entertain people and to alleviate my customers’ stress. To see everything from visions that we have created on paper during meetings come together on the wedding day is something that’s truly amazing. To watch the love between couples, their family and guests, to see everyone having so much fun celebrating, and to know you helped in some way; that is a wonderful feeling!

Q: What’s your advice to a newly engaged couple on planning their wedding?

A: (1) Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t let stress overtake you. I see a lot of couples become overwhelmed by little details and decisions. Some will lose sight of why they are getting married. The most important part of the day is that you are marrying the one you love. Try to make the planning process a fun memory, not a daunting task. I hear too often that it goes by so fast, so try to soak it all up.

(2) This is your day, not anyone else’s. Choose what you want and like for your wedding. Often, the couple will allow other people’s wants and demands to take over. The couple should be the decision makers on such things as style and color of bridesmaids dresses and flower and décor options.

(3) Don’t take on too many other big responsibilities while you’re planning your wedding. Buying a house, moving, renovating, getting a pet, changing careers, they all can add a lot of stress physically, emotionally and financially. It can make it overwhelming for the couple while they plan their wedding.

(4) Hire professionals to take care of the important stuff on your wedding. While it may be nice and a big money-saver to use a friend, family member or a friend of a friend to do things like take your photos, make your cake or deejay your wedding, it can be a recipe for disaster!

When you hire a professional, you are leaving it in the hands of someone who has done it before. They are going to show up and get the job done in a professional manner. Plus, it allows friends and families to relax and enjoy your wedding day with you and your fiancé.

When friends and family take on wedding tasks, it can lead to tense relationships because couples don’t want to speak up for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. But when they have hired a professional, they don’t worry about voicing their opinion or unhappiness with something.

Q: How should a couple decide if they could benefit from a wedding planner?

A: Every couple can benefit from a wedding planner. Think of wedding planners as someone at your beck and call all day at your wedding. When something happens, or you and your wedding party need something, planners are there.

Q: What if a couple can’t afford a planner?

A : We often hear people say they don’t think they can afford a wedding planner. When a couple comes to our office to talk about planning, they are always shocked at how much we can save them by directing them to the right places and showing them what they need and don’t need. So many times, our fee is paid just with the amount we save them in their budget from other things they didn’t need.

Q: How soon should couples contact a wedding planner?

A: The sooner the better. If we are hired by a couple before they have planned anything else, we can help steer them in the right direction and options. However, most of our planning customers contact us two months or less before their wedding, because as they get closer to their wedding day they start to feel overwhelmed and need help.

Q: What should couples consider when they decide about gowns, tuxes or other clothing for the bride, groom and wedding party?

A: Keep in mind style and the overall look you’re going for. The biggest thing is comfort! Be sure to have comfortable yet stylish shoes. I always suggest having fun shoes for photos and the formalities, and then making a switch later in the day.

When choosing wedding party attire and family attire, keep in mind that everyone is built differently. Find something that looks and feels great on everyone. And keep price in mind. Members of the wedding parties can incur big expenses just by being in your wedding. It’s a sweet gesture if you can keep the cost of their attire down.

Q: What should couples keep in mind when planning food and drinks?

A: They should keep their guests, time of day, and season in mind. If they plan to do pictures after the ceremony, it’s nice to offer the guests something to eat while they wait for the photos to be finished. It’s fun to get creative with the menu and do something different, but sometimes if you get too different, your guests may not like your unusual choices.

What you choose to serve at your wedding could play a factor in the time you start your wedding. For instance, a wedding heavy with appetizers and cocktails would work better with a later start time.

Q: How should couples decide where to hold their wedding and reception?

A: Being in Washington, weather plays the biggest factor in picking a venue. When a couple decides on a date, they need to keep the weather in mind. Another major factor is the guest count. A couple should consider how many guests they might have before searching for venues, to make sure it can accommodate everyone.

The last thing to consider is the overall look the couple wants for their wedding. Sometimes, a cheaper venue can cost more in the long run if you have to spend more on décor for the style you want.

Q: What last-minute complications are common?

A: Many people take on too much on their own and become overwhelmed at the last minute. Another complication is when a couple relies on a close friend or family member to play an important role in the wedding and the person ends up being unreliable.

Q: Any bridezilla and groomzilla story?

A: We have had only one customer be a bit difficult or a little high strung, but I try to remember that, for them, planning their wedding may be a bit overwhelming. The only time I have heard “bridezilla” be true is when they have taken on way too much and have too many family and friends giving their opinions. Then, on the day of their wedding, they are trying to field 100 questions from everyone. Anyone would feel overwhelmed in that situation.

Q: What’s your advice for brides and grooms on staying sane on their wedding day?

A: Try to get as much done before the week of the wedding. Leave it to the professionals on the day of, so you can relax. The only responsibility a bride and groom should have on their wedding day is to get dressed, show up, and have the time of their life!