Choosing the right vendors for your wedding day can be overwhelming. There are LOTS of options out there. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and amazing vendors on wedding days, and whenever possible I love helping my clients create an outstanding vendor team. I frequently refer my clients to vendors who I have worked with and believe will do an amazing job for their wedding day.
Today meet Whitney from Whitewood Events and her team of planners and coordinators. Could they be any cuter??? Whitewood Events is one of my favorite wedding planning and design businesses based right here in Athens, GA. I know that whenever I work a wedding with them, everything will be stunning and everyone will be in great hands.
Here’s some Q & A to help us get to know Whitney and Whitewood Events better.
Who are you? What do you do?
I’m Owner and Lead Planner + Designer at Whitewood Events.
How many people work on your team? What areas do they serve?
Whitney, Erica, Caty, and Caitlin. We serve Athens, GA and surrounding areas, as well as destination location weddings
When a bride first contacts you, what information do you ask from her?
When I hear from a bride, the most important thing is making sure that we are a good fit for the couple aesthetically, financially, as well as personality wise! We like to know when and where they are planning their special day, and from there we love to set up a phone call to chat and talk further about what services they see themselves needing.
What information do you send to her?
Once we get an inquiry, we send them an Investment Guide, which breaks down our different levels of involvement and lists the services that we offer along with the starting cost.
What is the difference between a Planner? Coordinator? Day of Coordinator? Or other positions on your team.
Because we feel that we do our best job when we are fully in the know on all things associated with a client’s event, we do not offer a ‘Day Of’ only option. Our coordinating package allows to to begin communication and finishing details one month out from the special day. This way, there is less room for unwelcome surprises, and it allows the client to be more at ease in the weeks leading up to their big day .
When we are able to step up into the role of being the Planner, whether it’s Partial or Full Planning, that’s when we are the most fulfilled and flourish. We are able to get to know our clients, keeping open communication with them throughout the entire planning process, ensuring they are educated on their options and how to execute them. In the event that we are hired on to be the Full Planner for someone, we ensure that all design and implementation is taken care of, allowing the client to fully enjoy the process while also making sure everything that is important to them and their guests’ experience is included and created especially for them.
How do I figure out what is the best for me (i.e. should I hire a planner, coordinator, etc.)? Do you help brides decide this?
Assuming they have reached out to us based on the content they’ve seen from our social media and website + blog, and they feel they are a match style-wise, we go into their overall budget and vision for the day. It’s often within that initial conversation, that both our planners and the client get a good idea of how much assistance they need or want.
However, sometimes we are asked to jump in and be more involved if the client begins to feel burdened by the planning process, and that is the last thing anyone wants! We really do love to learn about our clients, and the more we know the more we can do for them and make sure that they remember their wedding planning experience as a fun memory and not a stressful one! That level of involvement for us is determined not just by price but how much time the client has to dedicate to planning, or how much they feel comfortable making design or vendor decisions, or how familiar they are with the location and logistics that come with that, etc. There are a lot of variables, so sometimes creating a custom package for them is ideal.
No two clients are alike, and no two weddings should be alike either. The one constant should be, enjoy the process!
What is the value in hiring a Planner? Coordinator? Or Day of Coordinator?
When we send our list of services to potential clients, it’s not ever going to fully list what all we ‘do’. The value is in how involved your planner is and how they help shape your experience, not just in helping choose linens and talk about flowers. You can place value on the ways they help you save money, or the recommendations they offer, or especially in the hours of research and communication they put into making everything perfect. The feeling of not playing hostess at your own wedding, and fully entrusting a professional with years of experience who is EQUALLY as excited about this special occasion as you and your guests…there is no way that can be put into words or in a list of services included.
Do you help with overall design? Or does someone else do that?
Because the overall design is so tightly woven by who the couple is and what is important to them, we offer full design services in our full planning package. This way we can offer up the best options, within their aesthetic and budget, and make sure it speaks true to them and not just a pretty event. With our design services, we first get to know the couple and what their priorities are. From there, we source and crunch the numbers, offering them options that they love and that fit their budget and season. Finally, we implement and handle the logistics that come along with creating that final vision.
Will you be there for the whole day of my wedding? When will you come and go?
I am always on site for at least 9 hours of the wedding day, in addition to the rehearsal that typically takes place the evening before the wedding day. We check in to make sure things get off to a good start, and that the bride has their planner on call for that 48 hours in case they need something before the planner or coordinator arrives. Our lead planners and coordinators typically arrive as hair and make-up is coming to an end, and we stay until the venue has been checked out of.
Do you send out wedding invitations for us?
Depending on the level of service, we certainly can offer mailing services. We like to be a part of that whole process anyway, as we are paper lovers at heart.
What are the biggest tips you would offer a brand new bride-to-be?
Be realistic in what is important to you at the end of the day. Be realistic in how many hours you have to spend on planning your wedding, and don’t underestimate the power of having a planner or even just a coordinator. If you are unsure of what you need, reach out to some that suit your style and offer prompt responses. In the end, you will want to remember the fun and ease of the entire experience – from engagement to ‘I Do’.
Do you coordinate with all my other vendors?
Will you help me create a wedding timeline?
Of course! Every package we offer has us heavily involved in the timing for the entire day, and often the days leading up to and after the wedding. Getting further involved, we create a checklist for the planning, based on how far out you are from the big day, as well as keeping up with payment due dates and reminders.
Will you help me stay on budget?
Our goal is to keep you within your budget, but if you start to venture outside of that number, we are always looking for ways to cut elsewhere and overall make sure you are educated in actual costs. Some of the biggest misconceptions in planning come from a client not being made aware of how much certain aspects cost. This is why our knowing your priorities and what’s important to you is pertinent to us. For example, you may really just care about the flowers, and then with the invitations you want something simple and more streamline affordable. It’s always about balance.
What else would you like brides-to-be to know?
I sometimes find myself with a client who says they just want help with design and coordination, thus cutting us out of planning help. Whether it’s because the client feels they’ve ‘got it’ on the planning front, or they want to try and save on our services, it’s important for them to know that it is often hard to assist in some things without being involved in others.
A great example of this is if you are asking for design help, yet I’m not involved in the budget planning or vendor shopping, etc, then I won’t be able to offer reasonable design suggestions that fit your vendor’s capabilities or your budget. Embracing your planner’s expertise and trusting them, if you’ve chosen the right one for you, is key in making sure you get the most out of your experience.
Why work with Whitewood Events?
Whomever you work with, make sure you connect with them on the level of service you are looking for, their personality with yours, and be sure that they are in line with the type of event you envision for you and your fiance. Ask your venue who they recommend if it’s a destination wedding, google and read testimonials, and don’t hesitate to reach out and set up a phone chat or in person meeting with the planning company you are considering.
You can learn a lot about them and how you ‘jive’ from a simple conversation! We consider it a win when we book a client who is equally excited to work with us as we are with them. As true with anything for us, it’s more about quality not quantity. Everyone is happy when you match up with the right vendor for you. If you book the right planner, you can rest assured that you’ll be working with the best vendors for you across the board, and then you really can have the perfect wedding day.