Statistics show the average wedding can take 12-15 months to plan. Anyone can benefit from having a professional Wedding Planner whether you are a busy working professional or planning a destination wedding in an unfamiliar place. Wedding planning takes time from researching ideas for venues, looking at blogs for design ideas, contacting potential vendors and organize all the different elements that need to come together. Having a Wedding Planner can save you time and money! We have the knowledge and experience to help prioritize tasks, recommend vendors, scout locations, accompany you to vendor meetings and know what questions to ask, negotiate on your behalf, answer etiquette questions, give design and decor ideas, review contracts, make sure you are staying on track with your budget and to do list, create a detailed timeline, coordinate your wedding rehearsal, help plan pre and post wedding activities and so much more! Having a professional Wedding Planner is like having a partner or trusted friend you can count on to make sure everything is getting done on time and ensures that on the wedding day you can enjoy celebrating with family and friends without any stress! We are there to take care of all the details for you no matter how big or small so you don't have to worry about a thing except getting married!
My venue has an on-site coordinator, why do I still need a wedding planner?
Venue Coordinators, Catering Managers or anyone that is directly related to your venue typically only oversees the wedding details that are directly related to the venue. Their job is to make sure the ceremony and/or reception is set up and all the food and beverage details are in order according to your contract. They are not responsible and will often not assist with any outside vendors you hire such as confirming who you have hired, what time they will arrive, etc. They will also not help with setting up any of your personal wedding decor, run your wedding timeline or make sure the wedding starts and ends on time. They do not assist with any pre-wedding planning tasks aside from what they need to know as the host of your wedding. A professional Wedding Planner will work along side the Venue Coordinator and catering team to make sure all the important details are being taken care of both at the venue as well as your personal needs on the wedding day.
how do i know which wedding package to choose? What if i don't see exactly what i need?
Don't worry if you are not sure which package is right for you. We are here to help! We typically recommend a phone or in person consultation to discuss your needs and budget which will help determine a package that would be a good fit. We will spend 30 minutes to 1 hour with you discussing your wedding vision and asking lots of questions to learn as much as we can about your wedding. During the consultation you are able to ask questions as well and get as much information as you can to make the best decision possible for your big day. We have designed 3 main packages to suit a variety of couple's needs, however, if you do not see one that works for you, let us know and we are happy to customize a package specifically for you!
i am planning a destination wedding, can you help?
Yes! Most of our couples do not live in the Santa Barbara area and come here specifically to have their dream wedding in this beautiful city! If you don't live in the area most of our communication would be over email, phone or skype so we can always keep in touch throughout the planning process. We are very fortunate to live and work in a highly sought after wedding destination where there is warm and sunny whether 10 months out of the year and endless options to choose from when it comes to wedding venues and locations. From private estates, ranches, beaches, hotels or resorts - Santa Barbara has it all! We are very familiar with this city and have relationships with local wedding professionals and establishments that we can recommend as well as a list of things to do to entertain your out of town guests. We can also help provide assistance booking hotels and transportation around town. Whether you are planning to have your wedding on a weekday or weekend, have a 3 day wedding weekend or a quick, intimate elopment we can help!
How do you determine what vendors to recommend? Are you involved in the hiring process?
After finding out as much information as we can about you, your wedding and your budget, we create a list of all the vendors that we feel would be a good match based on the criteria you give us. Referrals and recommendations are based on your style, personality, financial needs and who we believe will enhance your event. All vendors we recommend are experienced and professional who we trust. We like to surround ourselves with other vendors who we work well with and who will work with us as a team on the wedding day that will help make everything flow smootly.
We can be involved in the hiring and negotiating process in some cases depending on the wedding package you choose. We are happy to help guide you on what questions to ask or attend meetings with vendors if necessary. How involved we are is up to you and can be discussed during the initial consultation. We do not take any commission from the vendors we recommend. When you decide on a vendor to hire, you will sign their contract and pay them directly to retain their services. Once the contract is signed we will review it to make sure everything is in order and contact that vendor to confirm details with them as the wedding date approaches.
my friend had a day of coordinator at her wedding, is that something you offer?
The term "Day of Coordinator" is widely misunderstood and is not a term we generally use to describe our services. Although we do help coordinate the details of the wedding day, the process generally starts at a minimum 6 weeks before the wedding. This is what we refer to as "Simplified Wedding Management + Day of Coordination." It allows us enough time to review what you have done up to that point and to see what is left to do, resolve any last minute issues, communicate with your vendors to confirm their details, review contracts, create a detailed timeline and make sure everything is in order. If we see anything that is not correct or needs to be adddressed we still have time to fix it and get things back on track. For some couples this package works well because they like to be very involved and want to do a lot of the planning and design on their own but for others, this may not be the case.
As a professional Wedding Planner we would be doing a disservice to our clients if we just showed up on the wedding day expecting everything to run smoothly. Most couples find this term appealing because it generally is the most affordable and cost effective type of service, however, we suggest keeping in mind how much time you have to plan as well as the size and scope of the wedding before you decide on such a package. It may not be the right fit for you if you have 12 months to plan your wedding and the Wedding Planner you hired doesn't begin working with you until 6 weeks before. That means the majority of the planning until then is entirely up to you with very little involvement by the Wedding Planner until the end. If you have more than 6 months to plan and need help or feel overwhelmed by all there is to get done, we highly suggest one of the other packages so that we can work with you for a longer period of time, guiding you along the way and offering our expertise to make sure the wedding plans are on track and help you make the best decisions you can. Take advantage of the fact that we do this for a living and our time, talent and knowledge is an invaluable tool for you to utilize for such an important day in your life!
how long have you been in business? are you licensed?
Gatherings for Good was established in 2014. We are a licensed and insured event and wedding planning business in Santa Barbara, CA. Although the business itself is fairly new, the owner and Wedding Planner, Brenda Cali has over 15 years of event and wedding planning experience throughout her career. You can find out more on Brenda's experience and background on the About page.
There are a lot of choices for wedding planners, why should we choose gatherings for good?
We understand you have many choices to make when it comes to your wedding. Santa Barbara is a fairly small community with many experienced and talented wedding professionals. We all have something special and unique to offer. It's a good idea to interview as many Wedding Planners as possible and review their prices and services before making a final decision. Talking on the phone or meeting in person is the best way to find out if a Wedding Planner is going to be a good fit for you. Choose someone that understands your vision, has the experience you are looking for and who you feel you would get along with because you will likely be working very closely together over several months before the wedding.
At Gatherings for Good, we are extremely dedicated and passionate when it comes to working with our clients. We like to get to know you on a personal level, understand your love story and how you want that reflected on the wedding day through your personal details and design choices. We work together as a team and consider ourselves to be your partner in the wedding planning process. We are there to offer advice, give guidance when needed and help you figure out all the details and decisions that need to be made. We listen to your needs and make recommendations that we feel are going to be the most helpful to you but we never make decisions for you. This is your wedding and we want it to be exactly what you envision! We will never take over or tell you what to do. Our goal is to make sure you know your options, alleviate stress and take some of the guess work out of the planning by using our knowledge and expertise in the industry to save you time and money. Our goal on the wedding day is that you feel you are being taken care of and have a trusted partner/friend that is there from beginning to end to tend to all your needs so you can have a relaxing, stress-free wedding day!