Wedding Planning Tips

Aisle Survive Podcast - PROVE YOUR WORTH

You have a great email back and forth with a wedding couple - things are looking good! You send your pricing sheet - and they're in shock.  They question your worth, try to strip down your services, whatever they can do to save a buck.  How do you explain why you're worth it?  This week's episode has three effective ways to market your value and close the sale. Music by Michael Holowatch of the Replicas.

Aisle Survive Podcast - Episode 4: BRIDAL PARTIES

We put the "party" in Bridal Parties with the latest episode of the Aisle Survive: Tales of a Former Wedding Planner Podcast!  From groomsmen who chase planners across the dance floor to bridesmaids who break up bachelorette parties, do I have some stories - and, tips for how to help your clients manage rogue members of their squad.

I also have tips for how to handle bridal parties that have big responsibilities on the wedding day - to ensure they feel supported, yet set you up for success.

Music by Michael Holowatch of The Replicas!

Aisle Survive Podcast - Episode 3: DUMMY PROOF

In this episode of the Aisle Survive: Tales of a Former Wedding Planner podcast, I talk about the dumb little things that can be a big, awkward issue on the day of.  As a wedding planner, we have to cross check everything - no one else is doing it, so we get blamed if something slips through the cracks.  In this episode, the top three things to make sure you double check before the big day.  Music by Michael Holowatch of the Replicas!

NOTE: Podcast vocal starts at 00:41, really long music intro on this one!

Aisle Survive: Tales of a Former Wedding Planner Podcast | FAMILY THERAPY

Ever feel like you're a professional arbitrator or MFT?  When what you thought you were doing was planning a wedding?  When family drama gets too much and we planners are in the middle of it, it can make our job exhausting and stressful. Here's how to get everyone to behave and treat you not like a member of the family, but like the professional you are. Tips start at 4.57.  Music is "She's So High" by Michael Holowatch of the Replicas. They provide outstanding live music for any event and are simply amazing. Many thanks to Michael for letting me use this track.

Questions?  Stories?  Just want to talk?  Email me at!

Aisle Survive: Tales of a Former Wedding Planner Podcast | BAD DECISIONS

Hi all,

The transition to podcasts has officially begun!  This first official episode of the Aisle Survive: Tales of a Former Wedding Planner podcast is up.  This episode is about Bad Decisions - the client who wants their cousin to do the lighting, their aunt to take the photos - you get the gist.  How to maintain integrity of the wedding, and thus your role, at the event?  I'll explain all. Any questions, input, comments, or war stories? Email me at

The music is "She's So High" by Michael Holowatch of the Replicas, one of the best bands EVER. If you need a killer band for your clients' wedding or event in Los Angeles and beyond, look no further!




How to hire the best wedding photographer for you

As you can imagine, often in my career as a planner, I'd have to recommend the best wedding photographers I work with.  And there I'd sit, having worked with about 200 or so wedding photographers - and knowing even more - and only sending out the same few names.  I'd say there are about 15-20 I regularly recommend, and a few more that fellow planners have worked with that swear by that I also hold in high regard.

Since digital photography became the standard, the wedding photography market became glutted.  Since people didn't need to buy costly film and spend hours in a darkroom, there was a lower barrier to entry in this segment of the wedding industry.

And what happens then? The pool of talent becomes very wide and shallow. How then to choose the best photographer for you?

Photo by  Brady Puryear

Photo by Brady Puryear

Don't be dazzled by just a few photos.

You'll see this advice a lot - look at ALL their photos from a few weddings, not just a handful.  In the old days, this was easy - you could check out their work in cohesive albums.  Now, they can just post a few photos per wedding on their website and show off the most beautiful. But, pro photographers will still have albums made (not just to show off their talents, but to let you see and feel an album in case you want to purchase one).

Experience counts.

Yes, just about anyone can pick up a professional camera these days and start snapping away with little risk - photo didn't turn out right? Just delete it! - so you need to make sure they have experience.  This doesn't mean someone 1-2 years into their business is not a good candidate- I've worked with a lot of newbies who had years of formal training and second shooting for other photographers before going solo, and can talk shop with expertise.  I'd rather work with someone with less years of experience but better instinct than photographers who have had years of experience, but still can't follow a timeline.

Photo by  Iris and Light

They must be familiar with timelines.

It's not just getting pretty pictures.  If they cannot manage a timeline, the photographer is going to back up and delay your entire day.  This is 90% of what makes a wedding photographer a good one - being able to get just about everything on the shot list (and making sure it's a reasonable list) while hitting deadlines throughout the day.  I've had lots of stories about this that I could share all day long about this. 

How can you tell if they know how to manage a timeline? ask for a couple coordinators' references and ask them directly if the photographer was able to manage the timeline without significant assistance from the coordinator's team.

Personality Counts.

A photographer with a gruff or wishy-washy personality will not serve you well. Someone upbeat, authoritative without being bossy, with a sheen of calm, is exactly what you want.  This comes out in the interview, and also via references from their past clients.