Every once and a while, I like to interview other wedding professionals. It is fun to see their perspective on weddings and share their insights with readers of this blog. This time around I asked Gretchen, owner of Rocket Science Weddings and Events to share her expertise.
Gretchen Culver is a fabulous person and a think outside the box type of creative. She is a go getter, a mom, fantasy football smack talker, walking taco eater, and a great date to networking parties. I love her passion for her brides, and her creative ideas. She knows how to work a budget and be the calm force on the wedding day that makes everything go smoothly. She is also a member of the Independent Wedding Association which makes her an all new level of awesome =)
Here is our interview, enjoy!
What is your experience as a wedding planner?
I have been planning weddings since 2002 in some fashion or another. I launched my own company is 2009, Rocket Science Weddings and Events.
What is the biggest logistical issue on a wedding day that most couples overlook?
Who is going to pick everything up at the end of the night. There are a million different pieces that need to come together, especially if there are any DIY projects involved. Thought is given to how everything is going to be set up, but not how they are coming down.
Another logistical issue involves cars. If the bridal party drives to the church, but then gets in a limo after the ceremony to go to the reception, all of the cars are going to be at the church and the wedding party will have to figure out how to get there at the end of the night or the next morning.
What is the benefit of hiring a wedding planner first before your other vendors?
There are many!!! First, the amount of stress taken off the bride and groom. Some of the biggest decisions about the wedding day come first (venue, budget, guest list, etc.) and many couples try and tackle them on their own. This can be very stressful. I see a lot of couples coming to me after they have found the venue because they are too stressed out and done with planning. Getting engaged changes family dynamics too, which can be stressful.
Second, expertise. You are only getting married once, I help people get married every weekend. My expertise is going to translate into time and money savings for you. Who wants to spend hours and hours researching vendors?! And how do you know you are getting the best price? We are going to help you find the perfect vendors for your budget and style.
Third, design. Some brides have lots of ideas about how they want their wedding to be, without having any way to translate those ideas into reality. Additionally, a good designer can create more out of your vision than you thought possible. Not all wedding planners are designers, but can direct you to a designer if need be.
Do you do destination weddings as well as local?
If you count Wisconsin, I do destinations! I would love to do more destination weddings, but currently I do most of my events in the greater Twin Cities.
How many hours does a typical day-of planner work?
I am sure it varies from planner to planner, but my day-of package entails 30-40 hours of work. The day of can be 10-15, plus all of the preplanning.
If you have to trim a budget, how do you go about doing that? What goes into the decision making?
I think about what the bride and groom value, and trim everything else. For example, if they really really want letterpress invitations and the budget is already maxed out, we may have to cut from decor or somewhere else to accommodate. However, a well planned budget from the get go should account for all those expenses.
What is your favorite hidden gem wedding business in the Twin Cities?
I love Gold’n Treasures, it is literally a hidden gem. They are a jewelry shop like no other. As you enter the shop in the basement of a brownstone, you are greeted with dum dum suckers and diamonds. It is great!
For vintage rentals, which I love, the up and coming Lime Canary Vintage Rentals is a great resource.
What is your favorite first dance song?
“Stay with You” by John Legend. It was my first dance song, that is probably why.
What colors do you see being big for 2012 and 2013? Any other trends we should be aware of?
Colors – metals, bright colors and mixing and matching. A pale blue with a neon turquoise or something like that. A big trend I am seeing is creating lounge areas in the reception space. Oh, and my favorite trend, pre-ceremony cocktails! I really like to plan non-traditional weddings so the rules go out the window, I like to think of my brides as trendsetters.
What wedding tradition do you wish would go away? What tradition do you love?
The tradition I wish would go away is definitely the dollar dance. It just isn’t right. One tradition I love is using a signature flower for the bride and groom. This flower is only n the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s boutonniere and nowhere else in the arrangements or decor.