It is highly recommended to have a planner for any size wedding or event. A wedding is a luxury item. It takes nothing more than a simple trip to the courthouse or justice of the peace to exchange vows. Terra Nickelson loves helping couples plan weddings because it is an awesome way to celebrate getting married.
Think of a wedding planner like they would a stage manager for a theater production; they are essential to the functionality and logistics of production, no matter the size or scope of the show.
Q&A With Terra Nickelson
I hope you would love the interview session with her;
What common mistakes do you see couples making?
I commonly see couples not clarify rules and policies with venues such as access times, rehearsal, clean-up, etc. I also don’t think couples fully understand the obstacles and challenges they’ll face when picking their venue, and oftentimes, they don’t know what to look for or what questions to ask when they tour. I also don’t think couples fully consider what all goes into an event; oftentimes.
They do not know the answers to these questions: who is bussing tables, who is taking care of trash all evening, who is cleaning up at the end of the night, what are you doing with florals, etc. Lastly, I have seen mistakes when it comes to planning late fall/winter weddings when it comes to timeline planning. Sunset happens very early, and if a couple wants outside photos, they need to really consider an early ceremony time or even having a First Look.
What’s the best tip you have for a couple planning a wedding?
HIRE A PLANNER! LOL. Okay, honestly, the best tip that I have is that I firmly believe couples should really have an honest conversation with each other about their expectations (especially when it comes to budget) for the wedding as this will help drive all decisions moving forward.
Is the objective to have a small guest list and splurge on guest experience? Is the objective to have a very simple wedding but ensure they can afford to invite everyone they want? Is the objective to make the event as personalized as possible? Are they wanting family to pitch in the help clean and setup? I think having a holistic view of the entire event will be incredibly helpful.
What don’t couples know about your business that they need to know?
We are really focused on creating a comprehensive client experience, meaning we don’t just show up on your wedding day. We realize that most couples have never planned a large-scale event, and we also know that couples want to not worry about a thing on their wedding day. We partner with couples many weeks before the actual wedding day so we can problem-solve with them, pose ideas/suggestions, assist with certain conversations with vendors, and so much more.
Weddings are a significant investment personally and financially, so we know it is important for couples to feel taken care of which is why we provide a comprehensive experience. Beyond planning help and creating timelines, we do offer a variety of add-on services from RSVP management to facility management.
What questions should couples be asking that they don’t know to ask?
To be honest, I think everything boils down to not knowing how/why things cost what they do and not knowing everything about logistics. It is impossible to list out all of the questions couples don’t ask because there are so many. Hiring a planner is such an essential part of your event.
We know the questions to be asking and we can help guide couples in asking these questions. We’re also there to be an advocate for couples, making sure their experience with planning their event is positive and less stressful.
What is your best piece of advice for couples planning a wedding?
Find vendors that fit your personality and find vendors that make you go, “I can really trust them; I feel heard by them.” Really vet your vendors: check out reviews, ask other vendors if they are willing to share who they love working with at weddings.
Also, if a vendor requires a consultation, JUMP ON THAT CALL. A pricing guide is not always going to be the best way to make an informed decision about who to hire.
What’s the most unusual wedding you ever did?
To be honest, nothing super unusual around here! We’ve had couples decide to forgo rehearsals and we’ve had brides who prefer to stand on the right of the “altar” instead of the left side. Although, I will say this, we do have a wedding this fall that has some pretty fun, unusual touches. I don’t want to spoil all of the fun, but I will share this one detail: instead of a wedding cake, the couple is going to smash a pinata.
What was the most memorable wedding you ever worked, and why?
Honestly, probably one of my most memorable weddings was this past July. Our team was hired for full service planning for both the rehearsal and the wedding, and we spent a lot of time getting to know the couple. This wedding was incredibly touching because no detail was forgotten when it came to design, service, and experience.
Additionally, the couple really wanted their ceremony to be significant and sentimental, and I had shared with them that my husband and I washed each other’s feet at our wedding. This couple decided to do the same, and it was an incredibly powerful moment. Also, with any large event, lots of little mishaps will happen because of the sheer amount of details and logistics. Of course, nothing too extreme happened that our team couldn’t fix or find a solution to! There are too many memorable things from this wedding, I would need an entire page to list everything!