Wedding Planning - 6/29/2018
Few will argue the fact that planning a wedding is one of the most stressful things you will do in your life. Just look up "wedding planning" memes or watch an episode or two of "Bridezillas" or even that beloved film "Father of the Bride". Everyone agrees, planning a wedding can break you.
If only a girl and a boy and their families had a Fairy Godmother to magically take care of all things wedding.
Have no fear, Gail Rocquemore is here and she'll have your wedding sorted faster than you can say Bippity-Boppity-Boo.
OkBride snagged an interview with this wedding whisperer to find out why clients call her their Fairy Godmother.
OKBRIDE: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
GAIL: I moved to Edmond, Oklahoma from Dallas, Texas in 2014. I am married to Dr. Jeff King who moved here in 2012 to take a position at UCO. I did not come right away due to running my social events company in Dallas and still had events on our calendar.
OKBRIDE: Why work in the wedding industry?
GAIL: It is not lip service for me, but truly a passion. I get tremendous joy knowing that I help couples start their journey as life partners. Being able to be a part of helping to create great memories in someone life is such an honor.
OKBRIDE: What does a wedding consultant do?
GAIL: As a wedding consultant, I feel that my job is to be an expert listener, educate, direct, fend-off, be the voice of reason, be a problem solver, nerve calmer, idea maker, solution seeker-in-chief, sometimes mediate. Once getting to know my couples and with the trust we build between us, I feel that I am able to anticipate many of the needs of my clients. This ability goes a long way in creating a calm wedding planning and wedding day experience for my couples.
OKBRIDE: Give us an example using your last wedding.
GAIL: One of my recent weddings was with a couple who lived in Los Angeles, but the wedding was here in Oklahoma. There are many moving parts and logistical elements for couples planning from a long distance. Once listening to and understanding their needs, truly understanding their vision fully, and building that bond of trust, my bride had full confidence that her wedding would be as she had envisioned. Trusting that I provided the right referrals regarding vendor recommendations based on needs and budget help the couple to feel comfortable. One of the moms even had me look over the words she was going to say during the ceremony to help her to capture the sentiments she wanted to convey.
OKBRIDE: How does your presence change the bride's wedding day experience?
GAIL: I feel that I provide calm and peace of mind for my brides. I can often look at my bride and recognize times during rehearsal, getting dressed, right before going down the aisle, and sometimes even after the wedding and know that she is experiencing some anxiety or feeling a bit of unease. I know that I need to provide a calm release moment for them. I once had the pleasure of a bride write and perform a song to me on HER WEDDING DAY. I could not believe it. She took the tune to the Temptation's My Girl and called it My Gail. Her groom was the backup dancer. I was blown away. It still makes me smile when I think about it.
OKBRIDE: Okay, let's get down to brass tacks. I'm sure any bride would LOVE to hire you, but many are restricted by a tight budget. How much does this cost?
GAIL: I know that there are some consultants offering Day-of-Wedding services and are really coming in for a few hours the day of the wedding. I feel this does the client a disservice and they are not truly getting the value of what we do for their wedding day and not experiencing what their wedding can really be like. Our Day-of-Wedding service starts four weeks prior to the wedding day were we get to know the bride's vision as well as if we had helped plan it from the start. This service ranges from $1200.00 to $1800.00 depending on the size of the wedding. Our full-service wedding planning starts at $2750.00 and runs to $3500.00 or more also depending on the size of the wedding. We also offer our Pristine & Polish Perfectly Set set-up and breakdown service starting at $500. We have our Wed Savvy package that includes some decor items like linens, chair covers, draped backdrop, 1 specialty linen and day-of-wedding coordination for up to 150 guests for $2500.00. Because we also have a full line of decor rentals, we can also offer our decor designer services which is based on an hourly fee + rentals.
OKBRIDE: What do you advise brides who don't have much money to plan a wedding?
GAIL: I strongly suggest that they invest in a wedding planner. This can actually save them money, time, and headaches. If not for full-service planning, for sure hire a true professional for the month of the wedding. When a bride sets up a budget, list the top 5 most important element of the wedding and put the bulk of investment in these areas.
OKBRIDE: Anything else you'd like to add about your industry that I didn't think to ask?
GAIL: When booking a wedding planner, pay attention to how well you are being paid attention to. Is your planner really listening to you or is she/he preoccupied with other tasks at hand? If you feel you do not have their full attention, RUN! Better, yet contact Weddings by Gail. Your wedding should be about YOU, not about the planner.
Gail's calendar is filling quickly, but she does have spots available. The sooner you contact her, the better. Plan to provide a $300.00 retainer to save her for your wedding day, which will be applied toward your total. Brides often pay the rest in installments.
Find out more by contacting your future Fairy Godmother at WeddingsByGail.com