Q&A with Cheryl & Shea banner

Wedding Planning Questions

 

What makes you different than everybody else?

Good question! We have a lot going for us, so let me lay it on the line for you –

1.) Shea and I are a husband and wife team, so you always get the two of us (and depending on the size and scope of your wedding – a gaggle of assistants and helpers too). Having a dude around means that I never had to poke my head into the guys changing room at your venue and yell, “Is anybody naked!” Shea gets to do that. It also means that my guy can keep your guy from passing out (or getting too drunk to form a coherent sentence) or help him if he needs to pick out a gift for you or pick the right socks to match his tie or help him write his vows or or or ….. you know, guy stuff, that guys need help with. Also, Shea has a knack for having one really great idea at each wedding – and then he’s done. But it’s usually a really really good idea that I would have never thought of – which makes me pretty excited that he’s my husband and kind of pissed that I didn’t think of it first.

2.) We’re big on you having the wedding that you want to have – not our wedding, or your mom’s wedding, or your maid of honor’s wedding – your wedding! “That’s just the way it’s done” is not likely to be a remark you ever hear us make. We love tradition as much as the next person but we really want you to end your wedding day feeling like it was a total reflection of the two of you, in whatever form that takes.

We’re okay if you don’t want your dad to be asked “Who gives this woman” or if you want your dog to be your ring bearer or if you think the garter toss is uber tacky or the greatest thing about the whole day. If that’s the way you want it, that’s what you’ll get. We’re very open to trying ideas that haven’t been done before. And we won’t look at you weird or give you a hard time if you’re not super traditional. Having said that, most of our couples are fairly traditional, with some twists here and there.

3.) We’ve been voted the Best Destination Wedding Planner in Texas for the last 4 years in a row! I know, kind of cool, right!?

Only about 25% of our couples actually live in this area. The majority of our couples live in Washington D.C., Houston, or New York (someplace other than here) and have us help them plan a wedding that they’re hosting here in the Austin area. But almost all of our destination wedding couples actually live in Austin and have us help them plan their weddings in Florida, the Caribbean, or Mexico. Kind of weird, I know. But we love to travel and it works for us – and it works for our couples too!

4.) We’re budget minded – Big one, little one, it doesn’t matter, everyone has one. One of the first things we do with our couples is decide on an honest budget and start putting it into an action plan. If your floral budget is only $4,000 then we’re not going to give you proposals for $5,000. End of story.

And we’re honest and to the point about what you can truly afford. If you’re describing a $250K wedding and you only have $100K budgeted, we’re going to let you know in the beginning – before we move forward. And we’ll make great suggestions to help you get the essence of what you want, without the resulting tears from inaccurate expectations.

With all of that being said – it’s really YOU that either sticks to the budget or strays. We can’t spend your money for you. And we can’t stop you from spending your money either.

5.) We have a private meteorologist on staff. Nope, not joking. Since a majority of our events are outdoors there is no way I’m leaving such a huge detail like the weather to chance. And Rob is amazing! He does everything from giving us the likelihood of inclement weather when we’re reviewing potential dates to updating us hour by hour (and sometimes minute by minute) on the actual wedding day as to weather related situations. We’ve moved locations, ceremony times, and more based on his expert knowledge. In 5 years we’ve only had to use the Weather Back Up Plan B once!

6.) There’s more. I could keep going – but in the interest of time, I won’t. You should just hire us anyway and be done with all this nonsense already. Besides, you’re probably reading this at work, and I’d hate for you to get caught planning your wedding when you’re supposed to be working – so gosend that email, or tell those guys where to drill in that spot that oil is supposed to be, or whatever it is you’re really supposed to be doing! But contact me to book your appointment first, of course!

 

We’ve heard that you only work with big budget wedding. What does our budget have to be to work with you?

Here’s the real deal – yes, our typical couple has a budget that starts somewhere around $100,000 and can go up from there, but don’t feel like we can’t work together if this isn’t your budget. Also, our Mexico destination clients usually spend A LOT less than this. We’ve worked with many clients that have other budget ranges. Since every wedding is so unique to the couple there are a lot of variables when it comes to your wedding budget. Our planning fee is the same, no matter what your budget is.

We’re not concerned about the size of your budget – we’re concerned about you. We’d love for you to have the wedding of your dreams – no matter what budget size that comes in.

 

Why don’t you offer Day of Coordination anymore? You did our friends wedding and we really wanted to use you!

Grrr, we know this has caused a great deal of frustration for our potential brides since we’ve stopped offering day of coordination. But we have very good reasons, we promise.

Over the past few years in our business the type and style of weddings that we have been working with have become progressively more intense and detailed (read – more extravagant). And being very logistically minded people, we love this! But a side effect of a more detailed event means that you really can’t do as many of them. Right now, our average wedding/event takes our team over 300 hours to complete from start to finish.

While we’d love to work with every person that inquires with us about their event it’s just not possible for us to continue to do so and still maintain such a high level of amazing work. We hope you understand. We’re more than pleased to offer a referral to other planners in our area that may have the time to work with you on your event, though.

 

How many events do you guys do each year?

That varies from year to year but we typically try to keep the number between 12 and 15. By keeping with such a small number of events we’re much more able to give you our complete and undivided attention.

 

Who don’t you work well with?

Holy hell, that’s an awesome question! And one I’d never heard before – until our bride Anna S asked us. And I was totally caught off guard, so thanks for making me think this one through Anna!

Well here’s the answer – I am a detail person. I just love it when your whole wedding comes together and everything looks like we designed it for a feature in Grace Ormonde! But sometimes we design it all to look that way and the pink napkins show up in Blush and not Bashful (I know you totally got the reference) and despite calling the vendor, checking the color sample, and overall trying every back up plan we have, we end up with that damn Bashful napkin!

If you are the kind of person that totally loses it, cries to her momma, stomps her feet, and generally has a tantrum that would embarrass a 3 year old because your whole wedding day is now ruined by that Bashful napkin – we shouldn’t work together – seriously – at all – ever. Because I am the kind of person that will exhaust every effort to make your wedding day the exact way you want it, but sometimes we all just need to realize that this day is about something other than the right shade of pink napkins. And we all move forward and we’re all good.

If at the end of the day you can’t roll with the punches, we might not be a good fit. Because we don’t yell at the vendors, and we’re not on a bad reality TV show, and neither are you.

What is not included with your planning services?

Good question! We don’t normally include –

  • Booking or attending your gown or wedding attire purchases
  • Booking or attending your hair and make up trial runs
  • Booking or attending your non wedding day related photo shoots – engagement, bridal, boudoir, etc
  • Booking or assisting with non wedding day related events –  rehearsal dinner, welcome party, Mehndi party, bridal shower or luncheon, etc. We’re happy to assist you with these events for an additional event planning fee.
  • Arranging hotel room blocks.If your venue is a hotel or resort they will work directly with you to arrange this. If you are not hosting your wedding at a hotel or resort venue, there is a wonderful organization that can help you with local room blocks at no charge. They are called Hotels for Hope.
  • Carting wedding guests from place to place (being your personal Uber driver). We’re happy to arrange the shuttle for the wedding day but getting your guests to 6th St for a night of drinking is on you.
  • There may be more things that we don’t specifically handle. Basically, if it pertains to the planning of the wedding it’s probably something we do. If it’s personal in nature, it may not be included.

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