EventsByJen is a wedding planning business owned by Jeniree Tirado. Jen is based in Aberdeen, but she loves to travel and aspires to work with couples all throughout the Midwest. Even though EventsByJen is a fairly new endeavor for Jen, she has gained valuable experience working for the Dakota Event Center and planning her own wedding in 2018. As a coordinator, Jen found her passion in weddings, and as a bride, she understood the significance of a wedding planner’s responsibilities. In this feature, Jen explains the role of a wedding planner, her personal experiences, new trends we are likely to see going into 2022, and much more.
I wanted to become a wedding planner ever since I went through the process of planning my own wedding and hiring a planner for it. I decided that what I went through, no bride should experience that. Their wedding day should be one of the most magical days, and that’s what I wanted to do for them. I worked as a creative marketing assistant at the Dakota Event Center and that confirmed the love I have for planning events, specifically weddings. I’ve planned different events, and I usually work weddings as a day-of coordinator. I am looking forward to planning full weddings in 2022. Being a day-of coordinator is fun and special, but I feel like I have so much to offer with my creativity and ideas.
When a couple hires a wedding planner, they are basically hiring another set of eyes and hands in the process—a professional who can guide them in the process and make sure the couple is heard by their vendors, their guests, and the wedding party. The bride and groom will have control over everything, I’m just there to facilitate the process, bring their dream day to life, and make sure everything goes according to their plan.
The difference between a Wedding Planner and a Day-of Coordinator is that a wedding planner will be in the process from the beginning. We are one of the first vendors if not the first to be hired after the engagement. The wedding planner will help with managing the couple’s budget, meet with every vendor along the way, and assist with the design of their big day. On the other hand, a day-of coordinator typically meets with the couple one to three months before the wedding, will assist in creating a timeline for the day of the wedding, and make sure everyone sticks to the plan. The coordinator can assist with the rehearsal but will mainly focus on the wedding day.
When deciding which one a couple will need, I would say to look at your day to day. Are you a busy couple that will need someone to keep track of everything? Is your wedding big or small? A lot of factors come into consideration when deciding. That’s why I want to implement that first virtual meeting (integrated through my website) to help couples decide what they need or want. People who have everything handled already but need to have someone oversee the process and basically maintain order will most likely choose the day-of option.
How can couples make their weddings unique? This is my favorite question so far. There are tons of unique ideas that we rarely see in weddings, but they can make for an unforgettable day. From creating custom napkins or signature drinks that reflect you and your partner to replacing the traditional cake with a churro cart or ice cream bar to my personal favorite, having a vintage phone as a wedding guestbook. People can leave voice messages, and the company will turn that into a vinyl (or just a normal audio) and send it back to the couple to listen to forever.
The week before the wedding is crucial. In the words of Marion St. Claire from the movie Bride Wars, “The week before the wedding, I want my brides to look flawless. Perfect hair, skin, nails, everything.” It is crucial to test drive the full look, or makeup and hair at least, so you don’t have to worry about that on your big day. Break in your shoes and clear your work to-do list (if possible). You need all the stress-free time you can get. One tip that shouldn’t be missed is to clean your ring before the wedding. Brides forget that one all the time. Prepare payments and make sure the final shot list is ready for the photographer. For this you can meet with your wedding planner or coordinator. And that’s just some of the things!
For the couples who want to plan their own wedding, been there, done that! It’s possible, but it’s extremely hard if you don’t have all the knowledge. I would suggest sitting with a planner and making sure that you can do it. You’d be amazed at all the little details a bride and groom can miss on their process that are crucial to their wedding day. Or on the flip side, all the things that they buy or spend their time on that are not necessarily needed.
My ideas come from almost everywhere, but Pinterest and magazines are my number one source. I also like to follow creators on social media and see what other places around the world are incorporating in their weddings. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with different local vendors for weddings and events, and it’s always really good working with them. Some of my personal favorites (to name only a few) are Aberdeen Floral, jaceej Photography, and Olivia Ellen Media.
My favorite part of wedding planning I would say is seeing everything come together and then seeing the couple’s smile reflecting surprise and happiness because their wedding day came together like they dreamed.
So many trends are coming up for 2022, but my personal favorites would be seeing the greenery and earthy, nature-inspired palettes, more sustainable designs, and the always controversial (but awesome) destination elopements. //
If you have questions or want to set up a meeting with Jen, call 605-377-3880 and check out her Facebook page Events By Jen Tirado.