Jelena has been in the wedding industry for 25 years as a wedding planner and florist, so I was thrilled to chat with her about her experiences and advice for couples.
SF (me): What is your favorite part of helping people design their wedding day?
JK: Well, I really love helping couples figure out what their vision truly is. I had a bride once who said she loved the boho pampas grass look and that's what she wanted. But talking with her more, I figured out she liked it but didn't love it. I told her she didn't want the pampas grass to be like the 1980's puffy sleeves. I figured out that she loves moss of all things, and she loves the "boho" colors orange, burgundy, and peach. Then I explained to her how I can combine moss and specific flowers in her colors to create the wedding of her dreams. (see photo below/ not my photo)
SF: What is the most interesting situation you've had?
JK: I've had a ton of things happen. One time an officiant didn't show up. I called another officiant and she was literally 15 minutes away headed to a rehearsal and could do the ceremony and come back for the paperwork.
Another time I had to take alcohol from a DJ. Not fun. I've even had to threaten to shut down a wedding because of unruly guests.
I've had to fix cakes, redo flowers, plate caterers' food because they walked away, sew bridesmaids and brides in their dresses. I’ve had a guest needing her pants sewn. Poor thing. Another time I had to stop a groomsman from dancing cause his pants were splitting, and they would have kept going all the way to the back.
SF: Is there a misconception you hear from other wedding pros about planners?
JK: I think a lot of vendors don’t like planners cause most planners really don’t do anything. I feel there are too few good planners out there.
SF: What would make a planner's life easier when working with photo/video?
JK: Communication is the key. Checking in with the planner so they know where the couple is at all times is so important. I always tell couples they have to really love and get along with their photographer because they will be in your face all day long. I also advise them to make a list of all the shots they want for bride and groom pictures, bridal party, and family.
SF: Do you have top tips you give couples when they are just starting to plan?
JK: Set your budget for your entire wedding. You can’t just wing it! They have to know how much they want to spend and how much they have to spend.
SF: Is there anything you need more of in your business?
JK: Just good vendors,
SF: What does a good vendor look like/act like?
JK: Professional manor, they don’t drink, they dress appropriately, they respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner, they work with other vendors as a team.
SO MUCH GOODNESS! My takeaways: 1) Planners are invaluable problem-solvers. 2) Having a team of vendors who communicate and work well together will help the day flow smoothly. 3) Couples need a budget when planning a wedding. 4) Good vendors will make/break the day. To work with Jelena, check out her website at www.jbkweddings.com