After giving Quincy some great Valentine’s Day tips, Maria DeGalleford helped us understand why it is so helpful to hire a wedding planner by answering few, more in-depth questions for us.
You mentioned we are currently in “Prime Consult” season. How far in advance would you advise someone to begin planning a big event?
The ideal timeframe for securing everything is 12-18 months prior to the big day.
The Hampton roads area is a destination location, with a lot of out-of-town clients as well as military clients and vendors and venues book quickly.
Although we will still be booking some of the smaller details up until 3-6 months, clients may not have as many options. We make monthly checklists to make sure we stay on track and that nothing is missed.
What is the craziest proposal you have helped orchestrate?
I haven’t had anything too crazy in terms of proposals. We have had time crunches or bad weather. One client wanted his hotel suite decorated with candles, rose petals, specialty foods, the whole thing. However, the hotel was brand new, and check-in was a bit delayed. We actually had to move at lightning speed to pull it off. I think we were ripping plastic off of stuff and throwing it all together in 20 minutes. We passed them in the hallway but she had no idea who we were, the end result was beautiful, so it worked out.
Another client insisted on this area of beach near the jetty. It had been raining on and off all day. He was adamant that the beach would be the best, so we had set and reset a few times during sprinkle showers. I swear when she showed up the skies cleared.
Are there any aspects of a wedding that the bride and groom might not be aware of that they need to include or plan for in the wedding?
Most couples plan for the setup but never for the breakdown. The end of the night breakdown is usually always an after thought. Lots of friends and family want to help “Set-up” but no one wants to stay for the breakdown after a full day of event prep and celebrating.
We handle all aspects of the breakdown and pack everything up and return it the following day. No one is waiting around to load up their car. We usually have a good assortment of rentals that need to be returned, the couple’s personal items and then random things that guests have left like shoes, cell phones, etc. Sometimes that pile is really odd😉.
Are you able to help with creative “elopements” such a wedding in a hot air balloon etc?
Absolutely! The more creative the better. Sometimes guys come to us and have the entire thing planned out. Other times it might be one or two things like her favorite flower or color and we build a design completely from that.
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We’re in a great location here because we do have open spaces for hot air balloons and skydiving fields. We also are surrounded by water for catarmaran and sunset cruises. Lot’s of unique and creative options. I’d say if you dream it we can plan it:)
What is the average budget range for a wedding, and can you help guide a couple towards the best budget for them?
The average wedding in this area is right around 33k. I think that most people have sticker shock if they’re not in the business or haven’t planned a large event before.
We help customize budgets for clients based on their must haves and their wish-list items. For every client these are different.
I see clients get in trouble when they start booking vendors without a budget in place. This is how you can break the bank. It is a numbers game that’s completely unique to each event.
During Covid, how can a couple create an event that is truly memorable not only for themselves, but for anyone who is attending “virtually?”
We have gone to great lengths to make sure that clients and guests are comfortable during the event in regard to safety. We have created color coded bracelets for guests to wear to show their comfort level. For instance, one color bracelet may signify you do not want to talk or touch and you’re more comfortable enjoying from a distance. Another color may represent that you are fine with talking but no touching and the third means you are fine with hugs and high fives.
We have also created sanitizer stations and have extra masks on hand. We put wipes near touch point zones like the guest book pens or photo booth items.
With Virtual wedding experiences this can be us using a tablet or smart device around the event or hiring a company to come in and film.
Companies are stepping in to film the ceremonies and receptions. We always make sure that the virtual guests have a great view and add in time for the couple to welcome and thank their virtual guests for a more personal experience.
For More Information:
Interested in special ways to celebrate your big day? Click here to check out this Heavenly Venue with Coastal Balloons.