You’re in love. You’re ready to celebrate. You’ve gotta plan.
That last part can be pretty daunting, and with the massive amounts of uber-creative but often overwhelming wedding inspiration out there, it can be hard to focus on creating a ceremony that’s truly about you and the one you love.
Instead of just recommending their amazing Instagram feeds, we asked these five top-notch wedding planners to lend their wisdom on how to distill idea overload to meaningful realities for your big day.
JESSICA SLOANE | @JESSICASLOANE | NASHVILLE, TN
“I work with my clients to hone in on their individual values and worldviews. I challenge them to think about what really matters to them and then we take that and apply it to how they want their wedding day to feel and be experienced. We look at photos and they choose things that resonate with their values. That becomes a mood board that we build together to represent the overall feeling for their unique event.” — Jessica Sloane
EMILEE SUTHERLAND | @TASTEFULTATTERS | LOS ANGELES, CA
“First of all, we get to know them. Personally. Not just 'what color palette do you like?' or 'what florals do you hate?' But, 'how did you two meet?' 'What’s your favorite thing to do together?' 'What do you do for a living?' 'What do you wish you did for a living?' From there, we take the internet out of the equation.
We train [couples] on how to find inspiration away from Pinterest. Go outside. Look at a decor or fashion magazine. What colors and images stand out most to you? It's a really fun process and it's cool to see their eyes light up when they realize how ideas come together so effortlessly when you stop looking at 'wedding ideas.' And the end result is ultimately more them than they ever imagined.” — Emilee Sutherland
KATIE ROTIO | @KATHERINE_ELIZABETH_EVENTS | LEONIA, NJ
“I find myself asking 'why?' a lot. 'You want a barn wedding? Why?' 'You want a destination wedding? Why?' A lot of times just asking 'why?' helps the couple narrow down what they actually want, and cut through the noise of all the options out there.
The other important question I always ask a couple is, 'How do you want your day to feel?' I [ask them] to come to a consensus on how they'd like the day to feel (like a family bbq, like the fanciest party they've ever been to, like a dinner party, like a giant dance party, etc.) and then to come back to that idea with each decision they have to make. Band or DJ? Family Style or Buffet? Ceremony in a church or at the reception venue? Circling back to that feeling you want to achieve will help you make each of those seemingly small choices, and will help the whole event be more cohesive.” — Katie Rotio
MEGGIE FRANCISCO | @MEGGIEFRANCISCO | DALLAS, TX
“I like to get to know my couples' personalities and use that information to figure out where to allocate our resources in the most innovative ways possible. I ask them questions, like, ‘If money were no object in life, what would you buy?’ and, ‘Do you prefer to be the entertainer, or the entertained?’ Another question I love to ask is, ‘What could be the biggest compliment a guest could say about your wedding?’ The responses provide strong clues to help me design high-impact ‘statement’ elements for my clients' events, without depending on Pin-spiration.” — Meggie Francisco
VALERIE GERNHAUSER | @SAPHIREEVENTS | NEW ORLEANS, LA
“I focus on a process-driven design, and encourage my clients to tell me everything they can about their lifestyles. I want to know everything, from how they entertain at home, what they wear on a night out, what is on their bedside table, where they shop for their home, etc. This information helps me glean their personal style so that I can translate that into their event design!” — Valerie Gernhauser