In The Neighborhood is a special post you’ll see on the blog from time to time featuring local businesses and things I love. You’ll want to check out these posts if you’re looking for new ideas, tips / tricks, tutorials or even to find out something totally new. And since the weather has been amazing it can only mean wedding season is fast approaching. Which leads me to introduce you to…
So, who exactly is Vicki?
Vicki: My husband DeWayne and I built a house in Rocky Mount and have been there for 10 years. We have three boys – Drew (18), Sawyer (10) and Max (6). We met while both working at a hotel. He was the Chef and I was the Catering Director. That’s a tough combination because Catering Directors are bossy and like to tell Chefs what to do. And Chefs are egomaniacs who hate being told what to do. Go figure! We’ve been together ever since. I still tell him what to do and he still hates it!
You’re not new to the event planning world, how did it all start?
Vicki: I started working in the catering business in 1987. Yes, I’m THAT old!. It was my senior year of high school.
…That would make you…
Vicki: Stop doing the math in your head, I’m 43. I was in a work-release program …. I went to school half day and then was released to go work the other half of the day. I worked as an assistant to the GM’s assistant. Basically, I was a file clerk and typist. No, we didn’t even have computers back then! I fell in love with the business and have been doing it ever since. I’ve worked at three different hotels in Roanoke over the past 25 years, most recently as Director of Events for The Hotel Roanoke. Now, I work part time planning events and conferences across the state for an insurance company. That allows me the flexibility to build my own business – Simplicity! Not only does Simplicity offer event & wedding planning, we also offer “business services” for the small business owner. We handle the paperwork for various companies in town doing everything from designing and issuing contracts, maintaining social media pages, to handling accounts payable & receivable.
Ok, really, why would a bride need to hire a wedding coordinator?
Because the show Bridezilla is not made up!! Things do happen that will make you want to flip out! The wedding coordinator will catch it before it happens and fix it. And the bride will never know (until after she comes back from the honeymoon!). A wedding coordinator knows your grandmother’s etiquette, has an eye like Martha Stewart, is well-versed in family counseling tactics while constantly acting as your accountant.
Your wedding will be one of the most memorable days of your life. And it will be one of the most expensive days of your life. You need someone in your corner who will ensure you get your money’s worth while not breaking the bank. Having lived and worked in Roanoke for 25 years in the wedding industry, I know the best vendors in town and can recommend who fits your budget and can carry out your vision. Another important job of a wedding coordinator is to know who has what inventory at what prices in town. Why rent chocolate brown napkins if the caterer happens to have that color in their inventory?!
Don’t worry. Consultants do not “take over” planning your wedding (unless you want me to), but rather, we take all the parts and pieces and fit them together logistically and cohesively.
With having to coordinate with several people, between the food, linen, cake, and flowers, which should arrive onsite for the wedding day first?
Vicki: The linens have to be on the tables in order for the cake and food to be setup. And if there’s flowers on the cake, the cake baker has to be finished before the florist arrives. Most vendors will just ask what time they can be at the venue to setup.
I believe I know the answer to this, but who is the most important vendor to check with before you set the appointment time for your hair and make-up?
Vicki: Your photographer! You have to know what time they need you ready to start taking photos.
There’s definitely a lot of details when it comes to planning a wedding. What advice would you give brides when thinking through the details?
It’s the small details such as these that can potentially lead to chaos or you being billed for a vendors’ overtime because they had to wait for another vendor to arrive. It’s planning and organizing and communicating that is crucial to a successful and stress-free day for everyone! There are endless details to arrange, many logistics to organize, large numbers of vendors and service providers to hire, schedules, time-lines and budgets to manage… and as a result, so much room for error.
On your wedding day, you deserve to relax with the girls and enjoy your day. The last thing you need is constant interruptions. The florist needs to know where the cake is. The photographer needs to know where the groom ran off to. And Uncle John just met a girl last night who is coming to the wedding but you don’t have a seat for her!
In a recent survey conducted by SuperWeddings.com, 72% of recently married brides who did not use a wedding coordinator for their weddings said that if they could do it over again, they would indeed hire a wedding coordinator. And 49% reported that if they could only change only one thing about the entire wedding, this would be the thing they would do differently!
Convinced yet? Vicki offers a free initial consultation as a “get to know you” meeting. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your coorindator and you need to be sure your personalities mesh and that you are confident they “get you” and your vision.