Do You Need A Wedding Planner? Sarah From Grace And Gold Gives Us All The Details

Today I am chatting with Sarah from Grace and Gold Events about all things Wedding Planner/Wedding Coordinator related. There are so many questions when it comes to whether you should hire one, why you should hire one and what the heck is the difference between Full planning, partial planning and day of details? I am lucky enough to work with Sarah’s couples quite often to provide calligraphy and signage, so I have seen Sarah work and I can say that I have witnessed how amazing she is at her job. She has that sweet southern hospitality coupled with an extreme attention to detail kind of personality, and you can see that she truly is meant for this job. Today she is going to shed some light on your burning questions here today on the Lavender And Sea Blog!

Tell us a little about yourself and Grace And Gold Events?

Wedding planner San Diego California

I have always known since I was a little girl I wanted to be an Event Planner. I grew up in Kentucky where I started helping my Aunt plan and work events when she entertained guests at her home before horse races. When I was 16 I took a job with a catering company where they did mainly weddings and from there I fell in love. I moved to California as a junior in College where I worked for Disney and also helped with their weddings on the weekends. I loved the industry even more and knew this was my passion. I worked for a LA based wedding planning company in 2014 where I planned weddings all over Southern California and truly learned the ins and outs of planning! I started Grace and Gold Events in 2017. We successfully did 13 weddings in 2017 (I also had my baby boy Ollie!) and 33 in 2018. In 2019 I decided it was time to expand my team and added 2 additional coordinators to take on their own weddings. I am so proud to see how far this company has come and cant wait to see what the future holds for it!

What is your favorite part of being a Wedding Planner?

Getting married is a once in a life time experience. Most of my clients have never gone thru anything like this and it’s our job to make sure they love their engagement rather than always being stressed during the planning. I love a challenge, so when our clients come to us I make it a mission to figure out how to solve it so we can get the clients back to stress-free planning! I would also have to say I love the wedding day itself. Yes, they are long, long hours but there is nothing more rewarding than seeing our clients come down the aisle MARRIED with nothing but smiles. It makes all the hard work of planning their wedding worth it!

Table with calligraphy San Diego Wedding

I know a lot of couples get confused about full planning, partial planning and "day of" planning. Can you help our readers to understand the difference?

  • *Readers keep in mind that this is how Grace And Gold refers to these 3 types of planning packages. Other coordinators may vary but they will usually be quite similar.

Yes! There is a huge difference between the three!

Day of Coordinating

This is when a couple has done all the hard work and planning themselves. They have hired their venue and vendors and designed everything from the wedding invitation to the reception. A Day of Coordinator will come in at the 6 week mark (for most companies) and help execute a timeline for the couple. We will also help with the ceremony and reception layout, work with the vendors you have hired, and answer any questions you may have during those 6 weeks. We want to take away as much stress as possible in those weeks leading up to your wedding!

Partial Planning

With Grace and Gold Events this includes everything in the day of package but also includes a few extras that a client may need if they have a busier schedule. A Grace and Gold Partial Planning package includes our team helping clients finding up to 3 of their vendors and negotiating contracts as well as adding in 1 meeting with each of those vendors. We also will help guide and assist you with your budget.

Full Planning

This includes everything you need if you are a couple who have busy jobs and need assistance with putting your whole wedding together from starting with venue searching to the wedding day! This would include finding as many vendors as you need that fit your personality and your budget, helping with the design of your wedding, and being the main communication between you and vendors. We will also help keep your budget where it needs to be, assist with the design you dream of and more meetings are added to make sure you are on the right track.

Why is having a Wedding Coordinator so important?

We are the backbone of your wedding. When we come in at that 6 week mark it’s our responsibility to coordinate with your venue and vendors and to have the best understanding of what is important to you on your big day!

San Diego wedding planner

What is one major timing/coordinating issue you see often at weddings and how do you suggest dealing with this issue?

Great question! We work a lot in the desert and one of the biggest timing/ coordinating issues we deal with is the sunset and when the best time to do the ceremony is. Most people getting married out there don't realize that if the sunset says 5:32 the sun actually begins disappearing about half an hour to an hour before the actual sunset time. It can be complicated as the last thing we want is for you to have your ceremony in complete darkness. I always work hard with the photographer on this to make sure we are on the same page!

Desert wedding

Can you tell us some of your current favorite Wedding Venues?

Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu has this magic touch I haven’t seen anything else like it! We are so excited to have a few weddings there this year!

We also love Ace Hotel In Palm Springs and Indian Wells Golf Resort as the desert lighting there can’t be beat!

YEA or NAY.... Tell us one wedding trend you LOVE right now and one that you wish would go away?

I love the pop of color trend happening right now! I have always told clients since I can remember that its ok to add color to the tables and I love seeing how bold some brides are getting to make a statement!

To be honest, Favors. I wish they would go away! I know in our parent’s generation it was tradition to give favors to your guests as a thank you for coming but in this day and age weddings can be about an experience and thats what guests will go home to discuss! I spend many conversations discussing what people should do for favors but I personally don't think they are needed! If you are having a photobooth, open bar or welcome party I think that is plenty for your guests to enjoy! It breaks my heart to have to pack up all the favors at the end of the night that guests don't take and send them back to the bride and grooms room.

Sarah, THANK YOU so much for chatting with us today. I definitely learned some new things that I wasn’t aware of and I think our readers will too! XO