I have a confession to make. I'm not good at "shopping" the competition. The truth is, I don't really consider the other wedding planners in Las Vegas competition, or outside of the market, for that matter. We are all so stylized, and our businesses tend to be so engrained with our personalities, that I truly believe a couple will choose their wedding planner based on that intangible thing that just makes people click. And so, because of that, I don't troll the other websites, I don't sneak around on blogs trying to pick up ideas, and I have never shopped another company, or asked someone else to call another business in an effort to get pricing information or hear their sales pitch.
Now, this isn't because I think that I am so much better than any other planners, or because I don't think there's anything else that I could learn. The opposite, in fact. I celebrate their joys and their successes when they have a great event, share a beautiful photo that they tweet, and leave comments when are published on a big wedding blog. Many of us meet for lunches and dinners and cocktails, we mingle at mixers, and one of the things that I am most proud of is that we serve as a resource for one another, helping out whenever someone needs information, advice, or support of any kind.
People have asked me, "If you don't know what your competition is doing, how can you sell against them?" And right there, that's the biggest difference that I see between me and a lot of other people out there. While many of them care about making a sale, I care about making a connection.
I believe that I am the best wedding planner in Las Vegas - for the right couples, at the right time, looking for the right experience. Now, what does that mean? It means that I choose my couples as much as they choose me. It's a choice, mutually made and based on that intangible "it" that draws people together and keeps them together - as friends, as lovers, as spouses, and even as wedding planners and couples.
There are a lot of talented, engaged wedding planners in Las Vegas. One of them is right for you. Am I that planner? How can you tell if you are making the right choice, and working with the right person? It goes beyond the websites, beyond the blogs, and it is about more than Instagram. The greatest indicator that you are working with the right person will be the feeling you get when you start talking and planning. There should be a moment of relive, and audible sigh that gives you a moment of peace that makes you feel like,"Yes...everything is going to be alright."
The Wedding Planner Credo: What I Believe...
I can't speak for the other wedding planners, but here are the things that I believe in.
I believe that love is the ultimate luxury, and that the only things that are worth doing in life come from this place.
I believe that every couple has a love story with a past, a present, and a future. The weddings I plan celebrate all three of these things.
I believe in doing the right thing, at the right moment, and for the right reason.
I believe that more is more and that bigger is often better...but that it's the whispers that draw people in and engage them. Together, we will make big statements with tiny details.
I believe that you will hire me to be your wedding planner, and in order to do that properly I will have to become so much more. Wedding Planner, Accountant, Designer, Best Friend, Taxi Driver, Middle of the Night Phone Call, Florist, Bus Boy, DJ, Jewelry Expert, Tailor, Food Tester, Lunch Partner, Doctor, and Therapist...Above all things, I am your ADVOCATE. I am on your side. All the time. I am a TRANSLATOR - taking the thoughts in your head and the words you use to discribe them and putting them into "wedding speak" so that all of the other players fully understand your vision. My job is to be what you need, when you need it, to get you to the alter and beyond in one piece and with a smile on your face.
I believe that wedding planning is not a 9-to-5 job. Which means I work when you want to plan. Whether your wedding planning happens in the morning while you have your coffee, on your lunch break, while you are driving, or late night when you just can't sleep, you should feel as if you can reach out to me and that I will be there. Inspiration (and panic) comes at random times. When you have either, or both, I am here.
I believe that everyone has a budget, and it is my job to manage both the number and the expectations that come with it. Premium products and premium service come at a premium price. Your wedding will cost money. Nothing is truly "free" - but we will make smart decisions and invest in area with major, lasting impact to give you the appearance of a limiteless budget!
I believe that Honesty and Respect are as important as Love. And therefore, we as a team will respect each other, our creative partners, the family, guests, and every person that contributes to making your day what it is. Everyone deserves down time and a day off, everyone has the right to take a moment to respond, and sometimes the answer to a question or a request will be no. And that's OK. Sometimes it's in the moments that we turn off that we find new inspitation. And every "no" will lead us to the "yes" that makes sense for you.
I believe that, sometimes, you just need to step away from Pinterset. And the bridal magazines. And the internet. Yes, I said it. Just put it down and back...away...slowly. Inspiration is great, but imitation is just that: An imitation. And we don't do that. Your wedding is not a knock off. We create. We design. We build something for you and only you.
I believe that there is no such thing as a Bridezilla. Or a Groomzilla. I believe that there are just men and women who bring a lifetime of emotion to this moment. I know how important this day is to you and your family. You are trying to bring to life an idea that has so much emotion attached to it, and that sometimes the pressure takes you to a temporary place of sadness or fustration. And I believe that it will pass.
And, lastly, I believe that your wedding is going to change your life in the most incredible of ways. And so big or small, with hundred and thousands of flowers, or by the light of a single candle, in the grandest of ballrooms or by the lake of a private garden, with 300 of your closest friends and family, or quietly with just the two of you....I am thrilled and excited and lucky as hell to be helping you plan a wedding that celebrates life, luxury, and above all else....Love.
If we are all going to be honest (see #8) then I have to be honest about the things that I not good at...
I am NOT your Wedding Planner if...
1. You are looking for someone who specializes in D.I.Y. It's just not something that I am good at. I don't have a gluegun, or a Cricket paper cutting machine, or a collection of glitter and ribbons. I am not going to macrame anything. I will scour Etsy with you and help you find a professional craftsmith to make anything you could possibly want, but I won't be the person actually making, gluing, glittering, assembling, or building anything. Sorry.
2. Likewise, I do not specialize in mason jars, little striped flags, cupckae towers, or picnic tables. If you saw something more than 5 times on any number of wedding websites and now "have to have it" because you want to be published on one of those sites, then I am not your planner.
*Sidebar: If the mason jars, or little striped flags, or cupcake towers actually mean something to you, and aren't just this year's gimmick, then I am all in. Game on. Bring it. We will mason jar the f*k out of your wedding!
3. You are looking for someone to tell you what to do or what to have, then I am not your planner. If you are old enough to get married, then you are old enough to make your own decisions. Let's be honest....Deep down, you know what you really want. You can decide between the chicken, the fish, and the beef. You know if you are a traditionalist, a romantic, or a minimalist. I am not here to impose any style, color, or theme on you. What I am here to do is listen to your thoughts, ruthlessly edit them, help you find your voice, and support you as you make the decisions about your wedding together.
4. You believe that your wedding is "your day" and you have an "all about me" attitude to match. I have never worked with a couple who start off with an "all about me" attitude. And I won't. My couples are both gracious and grateful. They design their day with their guesta in mind, and always seek to find ways to take care of the people they love.
5. You think you are hiring a bully....Or a pushover. See #8. I have a big personality, and a big voice. Some have gone so far as to call me a "force of nature" due to my relentless energy, my focus, and the fact that I almost never stop moving. But I use my powers for good, always. You are my client, and I am the client of the venue, the florist, the photographer, and all of highly skilled and well respected people that come together to give you your day. I will not abuse our position or the idea that "the customer is always right" - sometimes, we cannot have what we want. But we can work together until we find something better.
If my Wedding Planner's Credo and my personal list make sense to you, then I would LOVE to plan your wedding - and you can contact me here!
And if after reading this you think, "Meh....Not for me..." but you are still looking for a planner, then please feel free to email me anyway. I am more than happy to give you some recommendations.
Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito is often published, with works featured by the likes of BRIDES, Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, The NY Times, LA Times, Junebug Weddings, and more. With an eye catching style that shares not only the story, but the soul, of a wedding, Andrea's clients praise her for being their wedding planner, event designer, advocate, and friend.
An internationally acclaimed speaker, Andrea appears and speaks at events for the Engage! Luxury Wedding Summit, NACE, The Knot, the Wedding MBA, and more. Named the Best Wedding Planner in Las Vegas (2013, 2015, 2016), Wedding Professional of the Year (2011) and ranked as one of the top 50 wedding planners world-wide, Andrea works with celebrities, athletes, executives, and all people in love!
Based in Las Vegas, and working as a destination wedding planner world wide, you can learn more at www.AndreaEppolitoEvents.com.