What level of wedding planning and coordination service do I need?

Mercedes Morgan Photography

Mercedes Morgan Photography

Hello!  We are the Austin and Dallas wedding planners of Altar Ego Weddings.  We love working with brides and helping them plan their wedding days!  As you can see from our website, we offer several levels of wedding planning and coordination services.  We give an overview of what each package entails and list many of the tasks in each package.  But what do you really need?  Today let's go into some detail about each package so you can get a better feel for our wedding planning services.

We call our packages "Direct," "Guide" and "Create."  Cute, huh?  Those words describe each package in nice little tidbits, but there's definitely more to understand.  You have probably heard many wedding planning service descriptions since you started planning your wedding.  There's full-service wedding planning, wedding design, wedding day management, wedding day execution, month-of-coordination and day-of coordination, to name a few.  What do these terms mean and how do you know what to book?  Let's dive in, starting with our minimum package.

  • "Direct" - This package serves as our wedding day management, wedding day execution, month-of-coordination and/or day-of coordination offering.  This is the minimum level of service a bride may book with us and all of our packages include these items.  We believe that EVERY bride needs at least this service whether your venue has a "coordinator" or site manager or not.  Read THIS blog post to understand why.  The bride who books this package is someone who 1) wants to do all her own legwork, but benefit from a professional planner's guidance, 2) has time to do her own legwork, 3) has time to meet with vendors, 4) is confident meeting with vendors and asking questions, 5) has the wherewithal to manage her own budget, 6) has the motivation to make it through her planning checklist on her own and 7) values actually getting to ENJOY her own wedding day stress-free.  Here's an overview of what you get when you book our Direct package:
    • Email and phone access to your planner right away.  You can ask her any crazy question you want.  Anything!  We know you haven't planned a wedding before.  We have knowledge and experience that will help you more efficiently and effectively plan.  here's no dumb question, so ask away.
    • Access to an online planning system with tools, such as budget and planning checklist, to help you plan your wedding yourself.
    • Vendor recommendation - this is a big one.  Unless you enjoy googling "dallas wedding photographer" and sifting through thousands of businesses that may not be a fit for you, let us give you a short list.  This will save you a ton of time and effort.
    • Final consultation - about a month before your wedding, we will sit down at the venue and hammer out your wedding day timeline and ceremony seating diagram.  We will work with you and your vendors to put together a seamless plan for how your wedding day will work.
    • Rehearsal coordination - we run the rehearsal for you.  You don't have to get up in front of all your friends and family and bark orders at them.  Nobody likes that.  We've done hundreds of rehearsals and know exactly how to get them done quickly and easily.
    • Wedding day coordination - the final bang for your buck!   On your wedding day, your planner is the point of contact.  She will have already confirmed all the vendors for you and will greet everyone as they arrive.  Because we have all your contracts, we know who's doing what and exactly what they are providing.  We will be there on the wedding day to be the liaison between you and all of your vendors.  We remove the stress of up to 20+ vendors coming up to you asking a hundred questions.  They all know we are the point of contact and love that.  Vendors know that with a wedding planner on board, the entire thing will run better.  It allows each vendor to do their job, which is what they're best at.  All you have to do on your wedding day is be the bride!  Get pretty, get married and get partying!  Take a look at our beautiful brides enjoying their wedding days in our gallery!
  • "Guide" - With this package, we start with Direct and add on a la carte services from there.  During our initial consultation, certain tasks may come out as daunting to you and we can see you need help beyond the minimum service.  The majority of our brides land in this service level.  We can add on as many individuals tasks as you need.  Here are some scenarios of what we might suggest as a Guide package:
    • Bride A is very type A, is organized and on top of her planning, but feels she lacks the creativity needed to pull a vision together.  We would suggest Direct + Design.
    • Bride B is very creative, but is completely disorganized and doesn't understand the urgency in planning a wedding.  We'd recommend Direct + management of her wedding planning checklist.
    • Bride C needs a little bit of hand-holding at vendor meetings.  For her, we could add one hourly consulting so we could join her at her meetings.  This gives her the extra comfort that someone in the room knows what questions to ask.
    • Bride D doesn't live in the town where the wedding will be held (very common with our Austin brides) and needs someone else to manage hotel room blocks and transportation.
  • "Create" - Full-service wedding planning.  This is the our ultimate wedding planning service.  You get our expertise, scheduling and attendance at your vendor meetings, site visits, venue layout planning, management of your budget and planning checklist.  We interface with all the vendors for you.  We do all the back-and-forth things that need to happen in order to get customized quotes and services from your vendors at your wedding.  We design your wedding and go through as many design iterations as needed.  We help manage family relationships that can pop up during wedding planning.  We advise you on costs, keep you on budget and alert you when you're over.  We are with you every step of the way throughout your wedding planning process.  Brides who book this package have many reasons for doing so.  Some of them are busy professionals and don't have the time or attention to devote to wedding planning.  Some don't live near their venue and need "eyes on the ground."  Some get stressed out easily and/or can't make decisions.  They may not have a support network nearby who can help them with planning.  Others don't get along with their overbearing mothers and can't make it through planning a wedding without outside and objective support.  
Doberenz Photography

Doberenz Photography

At what point in your planning process should you book your wedding planner?  Now is good!  Ha!  In reality, brides come to us at all points in their planning.  Some find us as soon as they get engaged and don't have a venue yet.  Some book the venue and then realize they're in over their heads and visit us.  Others come in the middle when they've booked some of their vendors, but realize they need a bit more guidance on certain aspects.  If we're available, you can even book us a month out.  If you've reached the end of your wedding planning process, your wedding is rapidly approaching and you have just realized you're going to be too stressed out on your wedding day to have a good time, we can still help you!  We've also planned with short lead-times.  Jen, Altar Ego Weddings owner, is working on a full-planning wedding with only three months to plan.  Heidi, one of our Dallas planners, just planned her own wedding in only two weeks!

We hope this has enlightened you about your wedding planning and coordination options!  There's a level of service for every bride and we want to help you!  2017 is booking up and 2018 is coming sooner than you think, so contact us today.  We can't wait to meet you!