Today’s wedding planner interview is with Sarah of Sarah’s Wedding Coordination, based in Anaheim, CA! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
I specialize in day-of coordination, working with brides who have a pretty solid idea of what they want their wedding to look like, and need someone to come alongside and help make their ideas into a reality. Along with being a wedding coordinator, I am a mother of two kids and a wife to a wonderful, hard-working engineer. I live in Orange County, CA, and I am available for weddings in Orange and LA Counties.
How did you get into wedding planning?
Like many planners, it started with my own wedding. I was a bride who felt like I had everything together and didn’t really need help. The truth was, while I am strong in planning, I had simply never done a wedding before. No matter how talented someone is, an amateur isn’t going to do the best job possible without guidance from someone who has walked the road before them. I was blessed to have an experienced coordinator come alongside me and provide support in my planning, giving gentle guidance along the way. She relieved any stress I might have felt on my wedding day with her confidence and capability to handle all situations. That’s what I desire to do for brides. To accomplish this, I sought mentors, worked as an “apprentice” under a couple of coordinators, became certified, and started my business. I genuinely desire to be a blessing to couples I work with and relieve stress for all the wedding participants on the wedding day.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I love seeing the anticipation of the bride on the day of her wedding, and getting to be there right before she walks down the aisle. It is such a privilege and honor to share in that moment. It’s my job to make sure that moment, and all the other wonderful moments of the day, come together so that the bride ends up with a day full of “happy sigh” memories, and not a day full of stressful, last-minute decisions.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding planners just getting started?
No matter what part of the wedding industry you work in (photography,catering,coordinating), the first time you meet with a couple, leave your sales pitch at the door. It is far better to LISTEN to the bride and groom, before you go into all your services and experience and training. Ask lots of questions to get to know them, their desires for their wedding, their family dynamics, their hobbies and interests… the more you know about the couple you are working with, the better you will be able to anticipate what they want, both in the planning process and on the day of.
What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
In a way, wedding coordinating IS my hobby and “non-work” activity. My full time job is being mom to two little ones. My wedding coordination business helps me stay connected to the adult world (hard to do with an 9-month old and a toddler!) and gives me a place to pursue my passion for administration details. Unlike many planners, I didn’t get into the business because of my love for wedding design. In fact, I specialize in day-of coordination because I am strong in logistical planning, but not the creative design side of the business.
Other than working with weddings, I LOVE to cook. It’s the one creative endeavor in life in which I can feel successful. :) I also enjoy reading, sewing, serving on our Women’s Ministry leadership team at my church, and watching Sci Fi with my husband (we are on a serious Star Trek kick right now).
Any great stories from working with a client?
There is no one story in particular that stands out to me, but I have so appreciated the kind words from brides that I have worked with. In particular, one bride gave me the highest compliment I could have received, saying that she felt absolutely no stress on her wedding day and was able to just enjoy the day because she had confidence that everything was taken care of. What a joy to be such a blessing to others on such a special day in their lives!
What is your current favorite color combination?
In all honesty, I don’t have one. While picking colors for your wedding is a fun part of the planning process, the colors you choose are not nearly as important as decisions that affect your guests’ experience. A wedding is your first chance to host an event as a married couple, and how your guests are treated at your wedding will be remembered long after the color scheme and what flowers made up your centerpieces. A bride can (understandably) get so caught up in creating the perfect “look” that she forgets about the actual experience of her guests. I’m here to help the bride get to enjoy all the creative dreaming, while still staying grounded in what makes a good wedding… for both the couple AND the guests!
Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
One trend that I would love to see left behind is the increasing tendency to going into debt (or even depleting your savings) to finance your wedding. While a wedding is momentous occasion, what you invest in your wedding should never undermine your ability to invest in your marriage. I do my best to help brides keep perspective as they make decisions about what to include in their weddings, and use what budgeted funds they have to invest in the parts of the wedding that are important to them. This helps make the wedding a fulfilling experience for the couple without sabotaging a new marriage with undue financial burdens.
Thank you Sarah! For more about Sarah’s Wedding Coordination, check out her WeddingInviteLove profile, or head straight to her website.
Have any questions or comments for Sarah? Add them below!