Designing and planning special events is what we know. Others may promise to make the wedding planning process completely “stress-free” and, to be honest, we wish we had their magic ball. While we can’t predict the future, we can guarantee you that we’ll keep it real and have a good time doing so. There is so much to think about; flowers, invitations, budget, food, THE dress… Of COURSE, you’re stressed. You wouldn’t go on a 3-month trip without the proper preparation… OR… the proper guide, would you? Let us change the narrative. Wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful, but it won’t be entirely easy. With us as your guide, it will be an experience you won’t soon forget. Throughout our journey, we’ll provide you with tons of education, lessons from our past experiences, and some time-saving hacks that will leave you asking “Why does everyone tell me this is so hard? It’s not hard, they were just doing it wrong!”
it s an experience
It’s more than a plan
Have you downloaded a ‘planning checklist’ filled with less than helpful, generic, and crazy long to-do items? We thought so. Those don’t work for us. At TCE, we have created a planning process that is EASY to understand and can be implemented with every wedding, regardless of where you are with your planning process… we call this our Phase-Based Planning Process. Our Four Phases are broken down into small, easy to understand, stages of the planning process. And, yet, our approach is different each time, depending on the service provided and the stage of planning you’re in. Keep reading to learn more about our method…
what to expect
During this phase, we will collect all the necessary info to make the big decisions with confidence. First, we want get to know more about you and your fiance’s story, top priorities and overall vision. Keeping budget, guest count, and personal desires in mind, we will nail down your initial vendors and create a preliminary timeline. Already booked some of your vendors? No problem! We’ll review your decisions and contracts while developing your next steps.
01. DOWNLOAD & PLANNING
This is the fun part, where all the PRETTY comes in! Our TCE Design + Décor clients will work with us to design a wedding that is the perfect expression of you two as a couple. From the invitations and cake to the florals and décor, every detail will be unique to your story. Our goal through this step is to create a wedding for you that is unlike anything seen before, unique and planned with intention. Planning on your own? We’ll guide you through this process and review each of your contracts to ensure you can make a confident decision!
As we are working hard behind the scenes to organize all of your details, you can take a moment to breathe and enjoy your engagement. We’ll check in with you periodically to gather some of the smaller details of the big day, such as specific song requests and ceremony details, among other things. Your only job is to keep up with your RSVPs and relax.
03. COORDINATION + PLANNING “LULL”
Finally, it’s almost here! Once you finalize your guest count, we will jump in and update your layout, edit your vendor contracts/proposals, recommend unique elements to elevate your wedding day, and walk through your finalized timeline. Once your wedding day rolls will take care of all of the vendor communication, timing, and execution. We always say that “if your wedding day is chaotic + stressful, we haven’t done our jobs well”… most of the work should already be DONE! We are your eyes and ears on the wedding day. You only need to enjoy your glass of champagne (or a flavored Margarita) and relish your Wedding Day EXPERIENCE!
04. FINALIZE & ELEVATE
How many wedding do you do per year?
Why do I need a wedding planner?
Do you set up and breakdown decor?
How long have you been planning events?
How do I decide between event management and full service?
I am only looking for.a ‘day of coordinator’, can you just do that?
What is the difference between an in-house venue coordinator and an independent wedding planner?
Who is the Tracy Collins Events client?
What is the TCE process?
When are your office hours?
Will you ask for a discount on our behalf?
Do I have to use vendors from your list?
Why do we have to get on a call prior to receiving a proposal?
If I’m getting married in a church will you still do my rehearsal and ceremony?
Your DIY capabilities match our “black thumb”… let’s leave it to the professionals.
You kind of know what you want but don’t necessarily know how to get there, and have reasonable expectations… i.e. a $10,000 wedding budget with 500 guests and a caviar bar is not quite
You are equally focusing on the wedding AND the marriage
You are willing to let go and trust your experienced vendors
You believe in “hiring strangers and playing with family/friends”… aka, no ‘friendors’.
You like to think outside the box and welcome an active imagination!
You’re perfect for us if:
Tuesday – Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday + Saturday by Appointment
Sunday + Monday CLOSED
Consultations by appointment only. Emails received after business hours on Thursday may not be responded to until the following Tuesday.
No, not really. However, with our knowledge of the industry and experience in planning, we’ll be able to make sure you are booking vendors that are reasonable in pricing and keep you “in the know” on industry discounts and/or promotions. Some vendors offer discounts for our clients using a planner, which are always passed down to the client.
Absolutely not! We only recommend vendors that we have WORKED AN EVENT with, however, we would like to review all contracts you acquire, preferably prior to signing, so that we can do a little research and make sure that the vendor(s) you are LOVING are up to TCE standards.
Because you’re UNIQUE… as are your needs and planning personalities. Sure, we have planned hundreds of events, but we’ve never planned YOURS and we want to make sure that we are not only creating your personalized proposal, but also that we MESH and are a good match!
YES! Well, MOST of the time. In our experience, churches with more ‘strict’ expectations + regulations will assign a representative from the church to conduct your rehearsal and wedding day ceremony processional. In these cases, we are happy to attend and assist where needed without stepping on the toes of the sweet church reps.
Well, if you’re already here, we think that you already have your reasons or know why… but, if you still need convincing, we’d say: Because you just don’t know what you DON’T know… from the cost difference between catering service styles, to what florals are the best ‘value’ and who to use (or who NOT TO) for specific vendors, we can take the GUESSWORK out of planning your day. We’ve done this before and most often, you haven’t, so let us streamline the process and educate you to make the BEST decisions for YOU.
Yes and No. We require all of your vendors be ‘full service”, which is a formal way of saying “they have to be there for set up and break down”. We will set up and take down all of the items that are personal to you; this includes but isn’t limited to: Guest Book items, engagement photos, favors, signage, table numbers, menus, bridal portrait, cake knife and server, etc.
Well, what does this NOT include?
Great question… We will coordinate the appropriate vendors for these items, but don’t do it personally: tables, chairs, linens, chair pads, chair covers, chair sashes, back drops, centerpieces, tabletop items (dishware/flatware/glassware/etc).
Other planners say they do that, so why don’t you?
This is easy… because our job as your wedding coordinator/planner/designer is to be the eyes and ears for our clients; we are busy on the wedding day fielding questions, tweaking set up, and making sure that the agreed upon plan is executed fully and thoroughly. If we are tied up with setting up, we aren’t focused and available to do our OWN job and we are pretty sure the DJ won’t know otherwise if the cocktail linens are placed on guest tables or the florals are supposed to be BLUSH and not LAVENDER. That’s our job 😊
Really, my entire life… well, since Kindergarten. Our (sorry, habit… I have a twin sister!) 16th birthday party had over 400 guests and was hosted in a model home that I (somehow?) convinced our dad to let us use. Karaoke anyone??
Unlike a lot of the planners in the business, I didn’t start planning weddings AFTER I planned my own… After working through college (Hook’em Horns!) as a Marketing + Events Coordinator for a local corporation planning client-appreciation events, I was asked to join friends with their recently opened event planning company. That was over 10 years ago! After a few years in the industry, my partners found their careers moving in different directions and so I took the reins and rebranded into Tracy Collins Events.
Yes + No… this is discussed in more length during our initial consultation, but we don’t believe in the traditional “Day-Of Coordinator”. Let us explain… most of our clients have never planned a wedding/event before; even if you have, if you are here, you know that you need help this time around. For that reason, we believe in a ‘hands-on’ planning experience for ALL of our clients. You don’t know what you don’t know… but WE DO! And we want to make sure that you are making educated + smart decisions THROUGHOUT your planning process versus you sending us your contracts + expected plans a month before your wedding and having to execute a plan that perhaps ‘could have been done better/smarter/cheaper/etc.’ By then, some plans might be too far down the road to change OR unforeseen costs could arise, crippling a budget.
If you book ‘day-of’ with TCE, consider us your wedding planning tour guide, answering questions and educating you along the way. Our clients are able to sign contracts with confidence through our collaborative approach to planning. We start this service at $2,500, and we know that might be a little higher than our planning partners in the industry, however, we are certain that our experience and the time spent educating our clients makes for a better overall experience, and therefore a better event!
Kind of… after going under contract, we will create your Generalized Timeline + Generalized Budget during our Kick-Off Call. This will incorporate any/all contracts you’ve already committed to as well as take into consideration any/all of your priorities (i.e. Band vs. DJ, etc.) Once this is provided to you, it’s up to you to book within your means. We’ll update this budget along the way, making sure to give advice + suggestions accordingly… i.e. we won’t fall in love with an invitation if we know you can’t afford it. Besides education, maintaining expectations is a HUGE part of our job and a part of our responsibility we take quite seriously.
We start our Wedding Management at $2,500… this is for our clients that have done + booked everything, or want to, but want the reassurance of knowing that they are doing it well… we will review contracts and send vendor recommendations, but it is your job to seek them out and book them. From there, we offer a la carte Planning Sessions, for those that just need a little more time with us, but our most coveted service is Design + Décor. Although this is a pre-set cost, and not associated with your wedding budget, it is customized for each of our clients’ specific needs.
If you’re this deep into learning about wedding planners, and US!, you know that most planners promote their ‘Full-Service’ Package… well, we don’t! We believe that “FULL SERVICE” is/can be misleading… yes, there are many things that a planner/coordinator/designer can do for you, MOST things we do will be WITH you.
This is a common conversation with potential TCE clients, so we thought we would break it down:
Client: I’m confused… what does that mean?
TCE: We can’t tell you your favorite song, which photographer you will get along with the best, or which band you love the MOST… we can tell you who/what WE like, but your opinion is what matters and we need YOU to make the ultimate decision.
Client: So, I have to book my own vendors?
TCE: No, not at all… we like to use the expression “we can lead you to water, but we can’t make you drink it..” meaning, we will set you up for success, educate you about the options available and decipher any differences between vendors, if needed, but we just can’t tell you what you like/want/etc.
Client: So what is it that you WILL DO, with a Design + Décor package?
TCE: We will work with or for you on everything you can SEE… this includes ALL appointments + Proposals + Contracts for: Invitations, Florals, Tabletop (linens/plateware/glassware/flatware), Catering Selection + Service Determination, Draping, Lighting, Day-Of Signage, Rentals, Stage Design, favors, personalized elements (koozies, napkins, monogram cut outs), etc.
Client: Do you take a percentage of all of those elements?
TCE: NOPE! Our rate is an upfront, agreed upon, flat rate. We’d rather have your trust from the beginning than for you to every question whether we are making suggestions to line our pockets along the way. Transparency is important!