By Barbara S. Clark

Interview With Barbara

How long have you been a wedding planner and how did you get into the business of wedding planning?
I have been planning weddings for close to 15 years (yikes!) I can’t believe it myself. The time has just flown by! What has kept me so engaged in this business is the brides. Each bride is unique and brings her own experiences to the process of planning her wedding.I became a wedding planner because I wanted to have my own business. I had worked in the non-profit sector planning large fundraising events. I had also worked in the corporate world help to planning seminars and off-site team building meetings. 

My love of planning and my desire to have my own business propelled me into wedding coordinating at a time when it was a new field. There were only a few of us doing this when I started. I didn’t have mentors or role models. Brides did not know what a “wedding planner” did. I had to educate the brides. Of course, now it is a booming field.

We love your wedding planning services & portfolio. Everything sounds great . . . so can you tell me what really sets you apart from all the other wedding planners out there?
My years in the business give me an edge that many of the wedding planners do not have. Many wedding planners are people who are doing this on a part-time basis or they have planned their own weddings and have decided that they are now “experts” in planning weddings. Having planned your own wedding does not make you an expert on wedding planning. I have trained through the Association of Bridal Consultants achieving an accreditation and I continue to study the every changing field of wedding planning. I also attended an Emily Post Seminar on wedding etiquette for the modern bride which enables me to provide my brides with accurate information. As a wedding planner my goal is to bring to life the wedding that the bride envisions. It is not about me and what I like but rather it is about the bride and reflecting her unique style.We do not do “cookie cutter” weddings. We do not have one template that fits all. We take the time to understand the bride’s vision. We listen to her and ask lots of questions. We are the only planning company that specializes in “boutique” weddings by that I mean weddings that are very customized and one of a kind. 

This sounds wonderful. But, it also seems expensive, are we going to be able to afford all this?
We have read that it takes the average bride 400 hours to plan her wedding. That’s ten 40-hour work weeks! We’ve heard from brides who, after their weddings, tell us they ended up spending more on their wedding because of costly mistakes and still didn’t end up with what they wanted. As we know, there are no “do over’s” when it comes to weddings. We would hate for you to look back and have regrets about your special day ~ feelings of disappointment & sadness ~ that it was not what you had envisioned on this once in a lifetime day.We encourage you to really take the time to visualize your wedding day ~ walk through it in your mind ~ what does it feel like? Look like? We can help you make it a reality and save you time, money and energy in the process. Now does our service seem “too expensive”? 

Who do you Work best with?
We work best with brides who do their due diligence and when they hire us they have confidence that we will do the job for them. They do not “micro-manage” us. They are usually very busy people and don’t have time to be looking over our shoulders. They are decision-makers who are used to delegating. Once they have decided that we are a good fit for them, they entrust us to do the job. We in turn keep them posted on every decision made. Good communication is the key to a successful partnership.
Who is not going to benefit from my help planning your wedding?
The bride who cannot “let go” and even though she has hired us, she does not really believe we can do the job. There has to be a basic trust factor between the bride and An Elegant Affair. Our only goal is to provide the bride with the wedding she has envisioned. The best compliment we can receive is when a bride looks at us on the day of her wedding and says “this everything I hoped it would be and more”.
Will I lose control of my own wedding if you are planning it for me?
Absolutely not. Our goal is to create the wedding that you envision, that is why we spend so much time talking to you to be sure we understand exactly what you want for your special day. We are not planning our wedding ~~ we are planning your wedding. We never hijack your wedding! We listen and we communicate. We brainstorm with you and offer lots of different ideas and suggestions based on our vast experience.
Will you work with the vendors I have already found or people I really want to work with?
Absolutely. We have relationships with the “best of the best” wedding professionals and that information is at your disposal; however, if you have someone special you want to work with, we are always open to working with them. We would meet with them so we can understand how they work and form a good working relationship with them before the wedding.
Do you take credit cards and can we have a payment plan?
We accept most major credit cards. We can set up a payment plan for you so that each payment is automatically deducted when it is due. You don’t have to worry about remembering when payments to us are due. After all, you have so many other details to address.
Do you do more than one wedding per day?
No, we can only successfully plan one wedding per day ~ all our energy goes into your wedding and our entire focus is with you.
This sounds like everything we’ve been looking for. What happens next; how do we get started?
We will to set up a mutually convenient time for a complimentary “get acquainted” meeting and we can explain our services to you in detail. You will be meeting with the planner who is going to work with you throughout the entire process. Please email or call with several convenient dates for this complimentary meeting and we can get started. We can’t wait to meet you and hear all about your plans for this once in a lifetime event!

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