How To Choose Your Wedding Planner and Make Epic Magic With Them by Miss USA Alyssa Campanella and Cake & Punch Productions

We're so excited to share this post from SCB Member Cake & Punch Productions who, along with Miss USA Alyssa Campanella, share advice on how to find your wedding planner. Here is what she has to say: "Our team at Cake & Punch Productions had the absolute pleasure of planning the wedding of Alyssa Campanella & Torrance Coombs at the beautiful Sunstone Villa this year. Some clients you really hit it off with and they were definitely one of them!

When choosing a wedding planner to work with it is so important that you gel with them personality and style wise. In most cases you are working very closely together throughout the entire planning process. As your planner we want the process to be as enjoyable as possible for you and your family. Here are three tips from the planner’s perspective on how to be a wonderful client and get the most out of your wedding planning experience. 
Trust & Communication: You hired a planner for a reason. Listen to our advice and really take what we say into consideration. We would never steer you wrong as your wedding experience is a direct reflection of us and our work. Trust, that we always have your best interest in mind every step of the way. We really want what’s best for you! Nothing is too silly or crazy to mention to us. We want to hear it because everything is important and the more we know the better we can prepare for any and all situations to ensure a smooth day for everyone.

Be Open Minded & Willing Collaborate: You may be the type who has dreamed of their wedding day their entire life and has a very specific vision. Knowing what you want is great, but being open minded to ideas and suggestions from your planner is encouraged. If we are suggesting different ideas for you to consider, it’s for a reason. We are taking everything into consideration and our suggestion might provide a smoother production and even more beautiful outcome in the end. 

Let it go on your wedding day: It’s our time to shine and run the show and it’s your time to relax, be present, and enjoy the best day of your life! Remember what it’s all about, which is you and your partner making a commitment to spend your lives together. So don’t sweat the small stuff! WE GOT YOU!

"I will be the first to admit that when Torrance and I first got engaged, hiring a wedding planner wasn’t on our radar. When Torrance and I casually discussed our dream wedding before our engagement, we didn’t mention hiring a wedding planner because we assumed my hands-on personality would handle it all. It wasn’t until a month into planning did I realize that while my husband and I could plan our wedding on our own, it would be easier and less stressful if we hired a professional. Despite all the weddings we had been to and despite being a maid of honor to my sister just a couple of months before our engagement, I very quickly realized I had no idea what I was doing. So, my husband and I thoroughly did our research and met with a few different wedding planning teams. Thanks to a few mutual friends, we set up a meeting with our eventual planners - Cake & Punch - and we never looked back.

When it came to planning our wedding, we wanted to work with a team that we naturally got along well with. We had met a couple of other wedding planners that a few of our friends had hired in the past, but we did not click with them as well as they did. It’s very important to click with your wedding planners because they are planning the most important and special day of your life. It all depends on your personality and style, but it’s very crucial to hire a wedding planner that makes you feel happy, especially since for the next several months you’ll probably be speaking to them more than anyone else! From the moment we met Christina and Erica at Cake & Punch, we felt we could share anything and everything with them. All four of our personalities blended well together. We instantly felt comfortable, and they were genuinely excited for us which made us even more excited for our special day.

Here are a few of my tips for finding and working with your dream wedding planner:

Do your research: It’s very important to figure out what kind of wedding planner you would like for your wedding day. There are different kinds of wedding planners - those that help you plan the entire event and those that are there for the day of your wedding only to make sure the day goes smoothly. My sister planned her entire wedding herself but had a planner run her actual wedding day so she could be hands-off and enjoy the day with her new husband. Torrance and I decided to hire planners that would be there throughout the entire planning process from start to finish. We went online on to research wedding planners in the Los Angeles area and also spoke to a few friends who hired some for their own weddings. Reading testimonials and checking out websites are very important, just like with any venture (yes, Instagram counts, too!). Most wedding planners should feature past weddings they have done, and it’s easy to get a feel for what a planner’s style is like through their past work. I also highly recommend arranging a meeting in person rather than a meeting on the phone because your impression with someone in person could be different than via email or phone.

Work together: Once you have found your dream team of wedding planners, now the fun can begin! But that doesn’t mean you can just toss in the towel and let your planners decide everything. Even with wedding planners, you’ll still be extremely hands on in regards to the planning since, after all, this is your wedding and not theirs. They are there to help ease the planning process but not to make every decision for you. They will make suggestions if they feel one option could be better than another since they have done this many times before (and most likely have relationships with reputable vendors), but at the end of the day all final decisions are made by you and your betrothed. At the same time, your planners will be a part of each step in the wedding planning process - from the venue selection to the cake selection to even the china and silverware selection. They are there to help you with these decisions and to make the planning less stressful and overwhelming. We absolutely loved collaborating with our wedding planners, especially since they would think of the littlest details that helped blend the whole day together that would have otherwise not have crossed our minds. It’s important to listen to your wedding planners’ suggestions as well as share your own because together you’ll create something perfect for you and your husband.

Have fun! Your wedding planners are there to help you, but never forget the reason you hired them in the first place - to help you celebrate a day that’s about you and your husband. While at some points it’ll feel like wedding planning will swallow you whole, your wedding planners are there to help ease that feeling of being overwhelmed. They want you to enjoy yourselves on your wedding day and not worry about the smallest things since they will have it covered. Also do not forget to have fun during the planning process! My husband and I had so much fun with our wedding planners that we looked forward to all our meetings and even our emails with Christina and Erica. Your wedding day is supposed to be a joyous day, so make sure the planning is, too! "

Wedding Vendors: Photography: Jana Williams Photography | Event Design & Florals: Cake & Punch Productions | Venue: Sunstone Winery in Santa Barbara County | Beauty: Studio Artist Collective