I don’t usually offer too, too much commentary on these wedding pro interviews, but something really struck me about Amanda Cursaro of baci designer stationery + events‘s description of “timeless elegance,” below.
When asked about her personal wedding-planning style, she said:
“I want to make sure my couples can look back at their wedding photos twenty years from now and still think their event is beautiful and not dated or tacky.”
It’s very much a look that appeals to me, as well, and Amanda’s ability to envision this concept and deliver consistent results, is probably one of the biggest factors that drew the two of us to each other in the first place! What keeps me around, though, is her kind and charming personality and her quiet energy and subtle strength, and — of course — her organizational ability! Amanda is a talented designer, but she’s also a great shoulder for a bride to have to lean on.
Ok — enough narrative — on to the main feature!
Amanda and her husband, Ilario, were married in October of 2007 – they like to think they started the trend of October being the most popular wedding month. While planning their Northwest Ohio wedding from their then-home in Charlotte, North Carolina, Amanda realized her passion for weddings and the absolute need for an extra set of hands during planning. Amanda started baci designer stationery + events in January of 2008 while still residing in the South and holding a full-time job as a Consumer Risk Analyst at Bank of America. In July 2008, Amanda and Ilario moved back to Northeast Ohio to be closer to family. It was then that Amanda took baci on full-time. Ilario, though a High School Social Studies teacher by day, is the Head of Technology and a Day-of Coordinator for baci. They currently reside in Cuyahoga Falls with their giant cat, Morris.
Something New Entertainment Disc Jockey Anna-Jeannine “AJ9” Herman: What first interested you in planning weddings and designing events?
Amanda Cursaro of baci events: I’ve always enjoyed weddings and planning any type of party, but it was around the time of my own 2007 wedding that I realized how passionate I was about it all. It was a scary journey to embark on – you know leaving a full time job and putting all your eggs in one basket, especially with the state of the economy at the time – so I was hesitant at first. After the millionth friend told me I should be a planner, I finally started to realize I could actually do it and do it well ;o)
DJ AJ9: How long have you worked in the design field?
Amanda: I started baci designer stationery + events in January 2008, but I’ve actually been designing in one sense or another since high school as the school yearbook and newspaper editor; then in college I started out as a Fashion Design major and finished as an Advertising major with a Marketing degree. Quite the interesting path, but I can’t complain because it’s brought me here – lol!
DJ AJ9: How would you describe your wedding planning style?
Amanda: I’m all about making sure the bride and groom get the event they’ve envisioned for themselves. I constantly keep up with the trends in the wedding industry, but I always make sure to keep the important traditions in place. I want to make sure my couples can look back at their wedding photos twenty years from now and still think their event is beautiful and not dated or tacky.
DJ AJ9: What do you enjoy most about being a wedding planner?
Amanda: The day of the wedding is my absolute favorite part – there is nothing better than seeing everything come in to place. That awesomeness is compounded by the love and joy surrounding the entire day!
DJ AJ9: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a planner for their wedding?
Amanda: I think it’s really important to work with a planner who is the couples’ style – from sense of humor to fashion sense, it’s all important when choosing your planner. You’re entrusting this person with some major decisions and if the planner totally gets your vision and all of your personalities mesh, you’re golden! When I think about my current clients, I could see us all as friends because we get along that well and you honestly do become friends through the process so be sure you’re choosing someone you can trust and depend on, someone a lot like you. Planner’s reviews and backgrounds are important, but even a high profile planner who isn’t your style won’t work as well with you as someone who really gets you as a couple.
DJ AJ9: How should a couple decide how much help they need?
Amanda: It 100% depends on the assistance they’ll be getting from their friends and family. My husband and I were living in Charlotte, North Carolina when we planned our Northwest Ohio wedding. If it weren’t for the help of my mom, my sister, my aunts, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-laws, I would have had to hire a planner, no doubt. These aren’t your typical ladies though – my husband and I are both blessed with friends and families that will literally do anything and everything to help out, without even batting an eyelash. Being in the wedding planning industry, it’s really opened my eyes to the fact that, unfortunately, not everyone has that type of support system. So, if you don’t think you can get that level of help from your family or friends, you’re going to need more help because it’s impossible to do it all yourself and not lose your mind – lol!
DJ AJ9: What’s the biggest misconception you think couples might have about wedding planners?
Amanda: That they can’t afford one. Most planners, myself included, offer completely customized packages based on what a couple needs and not on what they don’t. This makes packages more affordable for those couples with a smaller budget that still need help.
DJ AJ9: What’s the biggest misconception you think other vendors might have about wedding planners?
Amanda: That we’re overbearing. As planners, all we are looking for is information to prepare for the wedding and the day of the wedding we are simply making sure things go smoothly. If all that happens, we’ll be the first to party it up on the dance floor, having a good time. If it doesn’t, a crazy lady will come out. Better us than the bride – that’s why we’re there though
DJ AJ9: What are some ways that couples can prepare for their wedding day to help ensure a smoother, more memorable event?
Amanda: Be organized. It sounds so simple, but it’s honestly the only way you’re sure not to overlook anything. Be prepared, too. Don’t wait until the last minute to do everything because being rushed rarely leads to anything good.
DJ AJ9: What’s your favorite “must-have” moment during the day?
Amanda: I love the moment right before the bride walks down the aisle. I always tell her to stop before she proceeds, take a deep breath and look around because it’s all about her right then. That moment also leads up to my other favorite moment – the groom’s expression as he sees his bride. I could cry just thinking about it right now!!
DJ AJ9: What am I not asking you that you wish I would, or what’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?
Amanda: Hmmm – I’d love to tell you about my favorite trend in the wedding world right now: Femininity! I’m talking full-fledged softness, gorgeous sky-reaching high heels, flattering neck lines that show just the right amount of collar bone and creamy blush tones without being over-the-top candy-coated and girly. It’s beautiful and completely timeless. As for something clients don’t ask – I would tell all wedding couples to simply not be afraid to ask. Anything. If you’re stressed out because your mom is losing it or you can’t find the perfect bakery to design your dream cake – ask for help. That’s what we’re here for.
DJ AJ9: What do you look for in a great DJ and what are your DJ pet peeves? How can your DJ “co-workers”help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day?
Amanda: As a planner, and as a wedding guest, I’m looking for a DJ who really commands the room without being rude or pushy. It’s so nice to see someone who’s confident in what’s going on and what’s happening next – working with the planners on day-of timelines is super helpful with this! I also love a DJ that takes requests, but still keeps what the couple wants in mind. And Something New Entertainment definitely does all of that.
Drawing from a love of style and all things beautiful, baci designer stationery + events is a custom stationery and event planning boutique dedicated to inspiring one of a kind weddings for creative clients. Baci specializes in wedding planning, day of coordination and event design. Event services are available throughout the Akron and Cleveland Areas – destination planning and event design is available upon request.