Erin's Engagements.

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Question #1: I get asked a lot of questions but the top of the list is "I've seen the movies and shows, but really, do I need a wedding coordinator?"

The answer is that it depends on your personality, time, resources and the type of event you want. For many people these days there simply isn't time to enjoy yourself, have your day-to-day life, sleep, and plan a wedding. Often just getting the first three is hard to do without adding the task of organizing a big occasion. So the unfortunate reality is that something has to give way for the planning and it's usually either sleep or your enjoyment of life, the alternative to this is, of course, to outsource the worry and much of the legwork to a planner and coordinator. Yes the trade off is that she will cost more money than doing it yourself, but that money is buying you freedom from stress and more sleep at night. In addition many brides feel a great deal of pressure to have a "perfect" event, yet have a limited experience with organizing group activities of this nature or on this scale. Here again a planner is a great stress reducer as she has the benefit of having witnessed the great variety of decisions that comes with a wedding, common pitfalls and work-arounds, and great money-saving tricks.

For those with the extra time and who relish the thought of all the research and decision making that accompany a big event a planner may not be a great option, likewise those on a small budget may prefer to do it themselves. Many in these groups still choose coordination, but have those services tailored to fill in gaps that they find difficult or distasteful.

Question #2: You keep saying "planner" and "coordinator". What's the difference?

In a practical sense none, most people in the field do both regardless of what their job title says. However, if you want to get technical, a planner plans things ahead of time while a coordinator coordinates between entities, generally during the actual event itself.

I offer both planning and coordination services, and am happy to do both jobs for you, but depending on your situation you can use me for just one or the other. For instance if you want to do all of the planning yourself but just need someone to 'run the show' at the event, I offer day-of coordination services which start with a meeting only a few weeks before your event. If however you have chosen a venue which includes an on-site coordinator for the event, but find yourself over-whelmed with all the details leading up to the day, I can also provide you with advance planning services which would end when I handed all the details to your site coordinator at the rehearsal.

Question #3: Who are you?

Sorry; forgot to introduce myself: I'm Erin Peterson, coordinator and owner of Erin's Engagements (I know, you'd never have guessed from our name). I started out as an event coordinator for a local banquet hall and wedding chapel. Over time I started doing outside events for family, friends, and friends of friends because I wanted the greater challenge that a variety of locations, styles and budgets brings. Nowadays my favorite part of being a coordinator is finding out the secret vision a bride and groom have and helping them see that vision come true—even (especially!) when that means doing something a little different.

Question #4: Do you only do weddings?

Absolutely not, I have done many different types of events, including quinceaneras, fundraisers, anniversaries, holiday parties, graduations, conferences, auctions, and birthdays, though weddings tend to make up the bulk of my business. If, however, you'd like assistance with another sort of event I will be happy to handle it for you. And since my pricing is based on the amount of time and detail that goes into the event on my end, many non-wedding events will feature lower pricing than those signature occasions. Also I do offer discounts on events that are being paired up with weddings I'm already working on, so having me help plan engagement parties, bachelor/bachelorette, bridal showers, gift openings, and rehearsal dinners can come without breaking the bank!

Question #5: What if I hire you then change my date, location, or needed services?

I try to be as flexible as possible with my packages for this very reason, so whatever changes we will try to make sure you get the services you need. Often people begin looking for one set of services and decide later that they would like additional services (as when a day-of coordination client realizes that she wants to add some planning services as well), this is not a problem since we just add those needed options and adjust the balance on your account. Less often we have people who need to reduce services, for instance if the location they choose offers full service coordination, or if the date shifts. Again this is not a problem, we just discuss what you will be needing now and adjust your final balance accordingly. Since I usually do only one coordination event a weekend changing the date can be a serious problem, obviously I will not be cancelling on some other bride because your date changed, however we can always change your services to planning not coordination, or we can switch coordinators, though only once you've met her and given your permission of course!

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