I first met Temecula wedding planner Amanda, of Ivory & Lace Creative, on the platform that brings us all together: Instagram! Amanda was looking for wedding creatives to partner with for a luxury desert styled shoot, and I absolutely love to work with others in our industry, so I jumped on the chance! I had the opportunity to see how talented she was at bringing together a theme, all while organizing a vendor team that consisted of 14 parties!
As a Temecula wedding photographer, I’m always looking for new vendors to work with and refer to my couples. I recently sat down with Amanda to ask her a few questions about how she got into the wedding planning business, and some great input on why having a wedding planner on your wedding team is one of the best decisions you can make!
1) What made you want to become a wedding planner/what do you love about being a wedding planner?
I was raised in an extremely artistic household. My mother was an interior designer and amateur florist—she always made these incredible arrangements for our teachers and our halls were always decked with fresh pine garland around Christmas. I definitely got her creative gene!
I excelled at art classes in high school, but knew I wanted to be outside creating amazing things instead of in a workspace. I started in college as a Hospitality Tourism Major with an emphasis in Event Planning at San Diego State University, but switched to anthropology because I was really romanced by the amazingly rich traditions of different cultures around the globe. This degree path lead to a few years as a historian and archaeologist before my artistic soul needed to be nurtured again. I switched fields and started in the scenic department of an event production company (where I would explain my job to my parents as being someone who painted and prepped props for parties, haha!). After a few years of that, I decided to continue my education and I received a certification in Wedding Planning at California State University, San Marcos.
It’s an incredible experience to be a part of everyone’s most important day. I’m lucky to be in the field that I’m in.
2) What should a couple know before hiring a wedding planner?
The first piece of advice I would tell a couple when planning a wedding is: GET HELP. The majority of this demographic hasn’t gotten married before, so this is a completely new barrel of monkeys to deal with. The number one thing that couples regretted not getting for their wedding was a coordinator/planner. And I hate to sound self-serving, but it’s true. Planners act as the liaison and advocate for the couple. Our experience is vital to explaining the true logistics involved in an event. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve had to remind couples about the little things (like purchasing ice, renting heaters, and making sure a venue is handicap accessible). These are all things that a lovestruck couple can overlook because this is a completely new experience for them.
3) How does a couple find the right planner for them?
Know your budget and do your research! Listen to recommendations from the vendors you have already contracted, your friends and family that may have gotten married in the area before, or (for destination weddings in particular) blindly dive into specific wedding hashtags like #sandiegoweddingplanner or #temeculaweddingphotographer.
There is a huge pool of vendors to choose from in your area, which is both good and bad. It’s bad because it can feel overwhelming, but it’s good because it means that there is a wedding professional available for any budget.
Meet with this prospective coordinator before signing the dotted line. Talk with them. Get a sense of their personality. See if you feel a good vibe between you all. For the next few months to a year, you will be working very closely with this person. So you should feel comfortable joking with them, explaining your vision, expressing your concerns, and even having a meltdown with them.
4) How do you approach bringing a couples’ vision to life on their wedding day?
My main goal is to help be the narrator of their story together. Weddings are so much more unique than they were 20 years ago. This is the day that everyone you love comes together to celebrate your love story. When you have a meeting with your coordinator, discussing the style of your wedding isn’t just about the color of the linens; it’s about the interesting things that make you you and your partner your partner. Anything and everything can be personalized to reflect the things you love in life. I’m currently working on an amazing wedding where the bride and groom expressed to me that they want their wedding to be classic, yet really look like “them”. So I’m incorporating certain shapes and textures into their design to create the illusion of old Hollywood, movie reels, and Harry Potter—without being so on-the-nose. This way, they can look back at their photos in 20 years and not regret anything!
5) Do you recommend a couple on a budget hire a wedding planner?
Absolutely. Without a doubt. Please yes!
The budget planning aspect of the wedding is the scariest part. But there is so much research available to help couples figure out how much they should spend on certain categories for their big day. There will always be a vendor, venue, and coordinator within your budget.
As much as a hiring a coordinator feels frivolous, it is so necessary. What you are buying is peace of mind on your big day. Couples should not have to worry one second out of their day on the logistics—-because it won’t be your out-of-town aunt trying to scramble to find a tent if it rains; it’ll be a well-connected professional who has already implemented a plan B before you noticed the change in weather. Time is the most valuable thing on a wedding day. Any problem can be solved with enough time. So why waste a single second of it worrying about who is standing where, and when the cake should be cut. Take every second of that day. Soak it in. You are getting married. MARRIED! To your best friend. This is a day you’ve both been dreaming of. So make the emotional purchase of peace of mind.
6) What are your favorite trends? Where do you look for inspiration?
I am inspired everyday. But mostly by the passions of my couple. I want to make a beautiful painting inspired by their story!
However if I were to speak to my personal taste, I am drawn to the weird and wonderful. The stranger it is, the more I’m fascinated with it. Currently, I’m obsessed with using light and technology to really transform a space. So stay tuned to my instagram, @ivoryandlacecreative for all my designs and incredible couples!
You can find Amanda at her website, see more of her work on Instagram, or contact her via email! You can also see the amazing luxury desert styled shoot on which we recently partnered, and I photographed, on the local Temecula wedding planning blog, Mosaic Bride.
Thank you for your insight and expertise, Amanda!
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