Hi! My name is Alyssa Arlene!
I’m a wedding planner in Lafayette, Louisiana. I’ve been planning weddings for about 4 years now but I’ve worked in the event industry for around 6. I love what I do and I’m blessed to be doing it.
** How did you know you wanted to become a wedding planner **
I’ve always known that I wanted to positively impact people’s lives. It’s a strange thing, but even as a child, I vividly remember always searching for a way to make an impact or a difference. I’m forever an optimist and truly believe that it takes just one person, taking one step or saying one word to make a difference. I spent most of high school and my freshman year of college believing that I was going to become a psychologist and start a non-profit because that was the only way I’d be able to “make a difference”…. it didn’t take long for me to realize that God had a different plan for me.
I soon after changed my major, joined a few clubs and started working events which eventually led to my first wedding as a coordinator. I will never forget it, the girls wore gorgeous black dresses, the bride was stunning and my heart fluttered every time the groom looked at her…. That was it, it was love at “first wedding”. I finally found my place, my way of creating an impact, making a small difference.
Now, wedding planning is by no means a life altering profession, but I like to think that by eliminating (or in the very least, reducing) the amount of stress on brides and families and by bringing to life the dreams that were dreamt up by little girls trying on their mom’s wedding dresses…. I’m making an impact. Not all brides have a strong support system and those brides need someone to care and guide them. By being that ear to listen, that voice of reason and that friend to console…. I’m making an impact. Doing what I do allows brides to focus on the most important part of getting married…. their marriage and embracing the special moments that are so fleeting and only happen once in a lifetime. Yes, I became a wedding planner for all of the fun reasons—I love designing, I love people, I love “love” and champagne and flowers and a good checklist and timelines, but I also became a wedding planner to be there for the bride who’s mom or sister can’t, to support the bride who feels overwhelmed, to guide the young bride and give her advice on all the changes that are coming and to make her feel comfortable, to fight for what each bride wants for her big day, to tell each bride how absolutely beautiful she is… not because it’s what you are supposed to say, but because she IS absolutely beautiful. I became a wedding planner because I truly believe that each bride deserves her perfect wedding day.
** What are the benefits to having a wedding planner **
“One of the biggest benefits to having a wedding planner is that you and your family can actually enjoy your day. You don’t have to worry about setting up, you don’t have to worry about vendors arriving on time, you don’t have to think about who’s going to open the doors or when to cut the cake…. Having a wedding planner ensures that each aspect of your wedding day flows smoothly and that your day is perfectly executed. In addition to the actual wedding day, we will guide you throughout the entire planning process. From phone calls, creating timelines and layouts, meeting with vendors, managing the budget, etc., we are your one stop shop to planning a wedding. Without a wedding planner, you could easily be running all around town or scouring the Internet for the best vendors and how to’s to create your dream wedding, having a planner saves a lot of time, stress and often, money!”
** How to choose your wedding planner & how to tell what makes a good one **
“Some might think this is a tricky question, but it really isn’t. I always suggest to each of my inquiring brides to carefully choose your wedding planner. If you can help it, try not to base your decision entirely on budget. You have to remember that you will be working very closely with this person and that you are essentially placing your wedding in their hands. It’s important that you feel comfortable with your planner, that you feel confident in their ability and that they offer or are willing to work with you to offer you exactly what you need. Choosing your planner entirely on budget can leave you feeling disconnected from your wedding, worried about how things will be handled and you can also feel as though you aren’t getting exactly what you need in terms of services. It can lead to more stress rather than alleviating it.
It’s also important to consider the following, how do they work with vendors and past clients? Do they have a good rapport in the community or with their past brides? So many different things can make a wedding planner awesome, but in my personal opinion, a fabulous planner gets things done, works well with the vendors, manages any issues that may arise, has a joke for a nervous groom and a hug for the bride at the end of the night and does everything with a smile on her face. There are so many different personalities, price points and service packages out there, so try to keep these things in mind when choosing your planner.”
** What do you love best about being a wedding planner **
“Being a wedding planner is such a rewarding job. There are so many amazing moments and some of the best are the hugs, text messages, and emails from brides and their families just saying THANK YOU. One of my favorite thank you moments was with a bride’s dad, (HEY Mr. Noel!), he pulled me aside and said “I don’t know what we paid for you, but I’d pay double” followed by a BIG hug. I’ve been very blessed to work with amazing brides who have amazing families and I’m even more blessed to call so many of them friends now.
Wedding planning isn’t always so pretty. Things happen during weddings that are often beyond our control (yet another reason to have a planner-to handle the unexpected!). One of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced was during an entirely outdoor wedding. Two hours prior to the wedding, after everything was set up and beautiful, the skies opened up and it poured…and poured.. and poured until about 45 minutes before the wedding. No worries though… everything was dried and made beautiful again and the bride and groom had the most beautiful ceremony until about 3 hours into the reception when the skies opened up again. We were able to rush the bride and groom along with the guests off just in the nick of time— they partied the night away indoors, dry while my team and myself cleaned up, in the rain… it was definitely an experience I’ll never forget! From rainy wedding days to toppled over cakes (yes, it happens), ripped wedding dresses (nothing like sewing it back together in a photobooth) and small fires (as in a real, small, electrical fire that was put out quickly), being a wedding planner is never dull and having someone to put out all of the fires (pun intended) on your wedding day is, in my opinion, essential to having the wedding of your dreams.“