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Because she’s being featured here, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that Brandi Hamerstone of All Events Planned is one of the most organized people I know. She also happens to be one of the very best listeners I know. When working with Brandi, I’ve found I always know what to expect, and I’ve seen first hand how that organization and listening ear can put her clients at ease.
Something New Entertainment’s Disc Jockey Anna-Jeannine “AJ9” Herman: What first interested you in planning weddings?
All Events Planned’s Brandi Hamerstone: Well, long, long ago in high school, PA Culinary came into one of my classes to promote their new course of classes in “Hotel & Restaurant Management.” I loved the hospitality industry and had been interested in becoming a Chef, so when they came in, I was prepared to be a Chef. After their presentation on Management, I liked the idea of being social and in charge more than cooking and running a kitchen. From that point I dedicated my college degree and career to hospitality, events, catering and all things related to management. Each job I held was in each area, every job was further along in the industry and more interesting. Finally, I came upon working with weddings, bridal clients and planning their events. I loved every single minute of it so I decided that instead of a broad career in hospitality, I would just focus on weddings. It’s been dresses, lace, cupcakes and twinkle lights since.
DJ AJ9: How long have you been planning weddings?
Brandi: I’ve been planning events for at least 10 years, it was the job I held through college. I’ve been dedicated totally to weddings for the past 8 years or so. I’ve planned weddings in Pittsburgh, PA, Greenville, SC, Akron, OH, Cleveland, OH and all the random suburbs surrounding each location!
DJ AJ9: How would you describe your wedding planning style?
Brandi: My wedding style is that of a coordinator who has a personal approach to planning, long-term thinking for the clients. I like to look out for my clients. I am hired by them and I have their interest as my priority when planning. I’m going to help them get what they want, help them see their dream wedding vision and then find a way to make it happen. There are so many people that think they can’t afford certain things, or that a certain idea “won’t work” or even that they don’t want to do a certain style because it isn’t what everyone else will like. Working with them I let them know that I’m there to make all of that happen for them but still keep them within their budget. The end result is the wedding they wanted, handled, organized by someone else (me) and no regrets. I like them to make the best decisions and have the wedding they will always remember, always love. I especially like to dedicate time to actually getting to know my clients so that I can help make the right decisions with them.
DJ AJ9: What do you enjoy most about being a wedding planner?
Brandi: Getting to know people. Getting to learn why they want the wedding they want, what special touches they want to add and what special memories they want to create. I love getting the chance to work with so many different people and then learning what vendors will “fit” with each client by getting to know them. Anyone can suggest “good” vendors but for someone to suggest the “perfect” vendor that the client will be thrilled to have had work on their big day, that’s a specialty. The best part is knowing they have walked away from the planning process feeling good about what they did. My heart is truly in the process and that allows me to enjoy it year after year.
DJ AJ9: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a planner for their wedding?
Brandi: I think that each couple has a different style and thankfully there are a number of wedding coordinators in the Cleveland area to meet each and every of their needs. I always suggest to my clients that they spend some time meeting with other wedding planners before they sign a contract, I would never want a bride to make the wrong decision on what coordinator to work with. There have been times when I’ve noticed that I just haven’t “clicked” with a certain bride before but knew the perfect planner that would, so I’ll send them the information for the other planner. Better a happy bride with the right coordinator than a disappointed bride with me.
DJ AJ9: How should a couple decide how much help they need?
Brandi: That decision is based totally on how much time they have. If you have limited time, then your money is really going to best spent on allowing someone else to spend their time working on the details and planning. The last thing you want to try and do is squeeze in planning and wedding decisions into the little bit of time you have to enjoy planning your wedding. If you have free time and want more creative control then you can have someone just to oversee your ideas and make sure they are all worked out on your wedding day. The best thing then is that you have created the wedding you wanted and hired the right person to see it through so you don’t have to “work” on your wedding day.
Then, there are some who have the free time but still want someone along the way to make sure they are making the best decisions and working with the right vendors. In that aspect you decide and review the entire process but you have an “expert” on hand to assist.
DJ AJ9: What’s the biggest misconception you think couples might have about wedding planners?
Brandi: That they don’t need them. Of course, every professional in any industry believes their services are the most important, but, I think, with wedding planner,s we have a good point. If you aren’t hiring a wedding planner then someone else will be “working” on your wedding day. Regardless of how you plan or how much you know, someone has to be in charge of details or has to be the “go-to” person for emergencies so why not just hire a professional to handle them as opposed to asking someone who would rather be involved in your wedding than working it? No one should have to deal with that stress on their wedding day.
DJ AJ9: What’s the biggest misconception you think other vendors might have about wedding planners?
Brandi: That anyone can do it. I’m not implying that you need years of experience and multiple certifications to be a wedding planner. What I’m saying is that people at weddings will wonder why their cousin, bridesmaid or even the Mother of the Bride didn’t just handle the wedding planning because “anyone can do it,” and that’s the hardest misconception to beat. Just because you know the bride doesn’t mean you are going to know how to plan her wedding or handle wedding emergencies. Just because you are related to the bride doesn’t mean that either. Wedding professionals are professionals, period. They know what they are doing, mistakes that you could make, issues that may arise and they are not someone who should have been a part of the wedding but instead had to work. If you don’t hire a planner you are taking someone away from your special day and asking them to “work” as opposed to just enjoying your day.
DJ AJ9: What are some ways that couples can prepare for their wedding day to help ensure a smoother, more memorable event?
Brandi: Plan ahead. Even the most casual, laid-back weddings need to be planned ahead of time. That’ the hardest thing to convey to clients who say they just want to have a fun day or they just want to have a “good time” at their wedding. I think the more casual and laid-back you want your wedding the more planning you need to do ahead of time so that there are absolutely NO issues on your wedding day, no questions and no confusion. So, if you don’t want to hire a planner (gasp) then yes, go get a binder and go through every single page and review every single detail to be sure all of your bases are covered then convey all of those details to all of the vendors you are working with so everyone is on the same page. Sounds a big complicated now, doesn’t it? Hire a planner.
DJ AJ9: What’s your favorite “must-have” moment during the day?
Brandi: You know, I love all of the traditional moments. I love the ceremony the most, because that’s the time that the couple is doing what they set out to do, get married. However, I have a favorite moment that seems to be catching on in the wedding industry. It is my favorite of all times. The “first look” that couples will do before their ceremony. I truly believe there are NO better pictures that come out. That moment, that is just the two of them, seeing each other for the first time amidst all the excitement, details and stress is incredible to me. I love that good photographers are so capable of catching such an emotion filled moment. I know that it isn’t for everyone, since some do not want to see their bride/groom prior to the ceremony but I still love it for those that are willing.
All Events Planned offers over 8 years of successful wedding planning experience with hundreds of delighted bridal clients whose wedding days were handled by a professional wedding planner whose interest was solely in the success of their wedding day. The company offers Pricing that includes full packages, partial packages, and budget packages. We also offer an hourly rate so you can have a coordinator available when you need one. Pricing and assistance are specific to you and your day. Extensive experience in the wedding industry with the vendors and the local sites gives us the ability to handle all of the planning details and successfully manage your wedding day. All you do is enjoy!