What are you wishing for? Wedding Jeannie encourages you to DREAM BIG, and expect the best for your wedding day. Our creativity, passion and attention to detail, combined with the most envied vendor list, make us your ONLY choice for event planning in Southern California.
Style Unveiled: What does being a wedding coordinator mean to you?
Jeannie Ward: Being a wedding coordinator is such a rewarding career. First and foremost it means to me that I'm helping a couple to enjoy their wedding planning process. Instead of feeling stress, they are relaxed and happy-going into their wedding day. It means that I helped a bride who doesn't have the time and resources, to realize her vision, and live a day that will be remembered fondly for the rest of her life.
Style Unveiled: Please explain the difference between having a day-of coordinator and full planning - as it pertains to your company, Wedding Jeannie.
Jeannie Ward: The difference between Day Of Coordination and Full Service planning is vast. Full service means we are involved in your day from the very beginning. The sooner you begin with us, the less time, stress and money you will incur. We have 12 years of experience in planning weddings. This means we bring an arsenal of resources and expertise to your experience. By utilizing our experience, you don't make costly mistakes. Not only do we provide you with the highest quality of service providers and products, but by working with your vendors from the outset, we are able to manage every element of your day successfully and flawlessly.
Style Unveiled: What are 3 things you have seen happen on a wedding day that a bride might not be prepared for, where a wedding coordinator is a HUGE savior?
Jeannie Ward: 1: Imagine your beautiful cake is bumped by delivery staff and one side is ruined. This happened recently. We calmly used tools from our emergency kit to fix the majority of the damage. Using our floral design experience, we were able to hide the corrections by decorating the cake with flowers.
2: A florist was required to move two very large urn arrangements from the couples' ceremony to their reception. One of the arrangements fell apart in transit. The florist was in a panic because she didn't have extra supplies, especially floral foam. She wanted to drive over an hour to her shop, pick up foam and return to correct it. With quick thinking, we called a nearby flower shop we have a relationship with, and arranged for our florist to buy floral foam from them. The shop was less than 10 minutes away, and our florist was able to create a new arrangement within 30 minutes during the cocktail hour. The bride never even knew about this hiccup. A calm head and quick thinking are the tools we used to avert disaster that day.
3. One of our couples had a very meaningful ceremony planned. They wrote their own vows, selected passages and poems to make their ceremony personal and meaningful. Their officiant had an emergency, and was unable to make it to their wedding. He called us one hour prior to the wedding, and we had to think fast. Luckily I ask every couple for a copy of the ceremony wording and vows prior to the wedding, just in case. We are always prepared with a back up plan. In this case, mine is the fact that I am ordained. Our DJ was also ordained. We came to the couple with the news and the options. They chose to have the DJ perform the ceremony, and it was wonderful. Again, a clear head and preparedness saved the day.
Style Unveiled: Do you help a bride choose wedding vendors for her day? Why is it nice for a bride to work with an experienced wedding coordinator when choosing her wedding day team?
Jeannie Ward: We do help our brides choose their vendor team. We never lose sight of the fact that it's their day, not ours. Knowing the budget our clients are working in, along with the style they desire we recommend 3 vendors in every category. Ultimately, the final decision is theirs, but knowing that their vendors have been screened by us, ensures a professional team of creative partners that put the client's needs first. Another advantage for our brides is that most of those vendors will offer them the Wedding Jeannie discount. Our brides not only have the best vendors available, they are also saving money.
Style Unveiled: Tell us the difference between hiring an experienced and professional wedding coordinator as opposed to just 'naming a friend or family member' to take care of the day.
Jeannie Ward: Asking a friend to serve as your wedding planner is never a wise decision. A professional planner is trained to manage your vendors, and keep your day flowing and on time. Your friend may have good intentions and be able to set up your escort cards, favors, and toasting glasses, but the job doesn't stop there. It's a 10 hour day that requires constant attention. When the venue manager, DJ, photographer, baker and kitchen staff need your help, you need to be in 10 places at once. You have to be calm, professional and helpful. You also must have the grace to do it with a fabulous attitude. The planner is pulled in different directions all day as problems arise, and things change. It's a requirement to have an advocate on your side who is ready for anything. When the event is done, and the guests leave, the planner must stay behind and ensure the gifts are packed, the vendors have broken down the space, and the venue is left exactly as it was prior to the event. I can't tell you how many times brides have given small tasks to their friends or family members only to be disappointed. Once cocktail hour begins, they no longer want to work, they want to be a guest. Your wedding is one day. One day to get it right. There are no do-overs. Only trust a professional to manage your day. Allow your friends and family to simply take part in your celebration.
Style Unveiled: Why are you passionate about weddings?
Jeannie Ward: I'm passionate about weddings, because it's an honor to be part of one of the most important days in our clients' lives. Witnessing a couple make a commitment to each other, and watching their families share in their joy is beautiful. In any given year we may be part of Latin weddings, Asian weddings, Middle Eastern weddings, and so many more. Because every couple brings their experiences, cultures, hobbies and style to the table, we get to work with them to design and plan a day that is unique to them. The diversity of couples in Southern California keeps me excited and creative. Planning weddings is what I was born to do. I live and dream weddings on a daily basis and I couldn't be more lucky.
Style Unveiled: What is your biggest piece of advice to planning brides?
Jeannie Ward: My biggest advice for couples planning their wedding is to start early. Don't wait until the last minute to hire vendors or make important decisions. Your vendors are the key to a successful wedding. Take the time to do your research and be sure the companies you hire are reputable and experienced. Interview three vendors in every category at the least. Hire the very best vendors your budget can afford. If you can't afford the services of a planner, consider the recommendations of your venue. They only recommend professionals they trust. You can trust in vendors that your venue trusts.
Style Unveiled: Do you only take a certain amount of weddings per season? What is the number and why do you limit yourself?
Jeannie Ward: Wedding Jeannie accepts a limited number events. We prefer to take 20 weddings per year. Depending on the complexity of those events, we may be able to take up to 25 or 30. The reason we limit ourselves is to give our clients our full attention. We prefer quality of events, over quantity of events.
Style Unveiled: How do you prepare for the unexpected on a wedding day?
Jeannie Ward: We spend much of our time contemplating what we've seen and what can happen at future events, and prepare accordingly. We carry an extensive emergency kit, we only recommend vendors who always have back up plans, we have an arsenal of resources at our finger tips. My reputation and "never panic" attitude, allows us to fix any problem without any stress to our clients.
Wedding Jeannie is a paid sponsor of Style Unveiled. We thank them very much!
Wedding Coordinator: Wedding Jeannie