Alexandra Slawek entered into the wedding planning business in 2008, when she started as a full-time planner with Calgary’s Wedding Pavilion. Two years later she decided to branch out and started Always Alexandra’s Weddings and Events, a small boutique planning company, whose mission is to make a couple “feel like guests at their own wedding.”
Not sure if I needed a wedding planner, I decided to meet up with Alexandra over a cup of coffee, to discuss the benefits of hiring someone to coordinate my big day.
K. I always thought that only wealthy people had wedding planners, but after doing some research I’m not sure that’s true.
A. Definitely not, more and more people are going with a planner, especially for the day-of packages. Normally the mother of the bride is freaking out on the day of the wedding and she can’t enjoy herself like she should, but it doesn’t need to be that way.
K. I agree, I know that both my mom and I will be very stressed, and I think that a wedding planner would definitely ease our minds, but do you think that it pays off financially?
A. Absolutely, yes. Number one, because all of the vendors that are recommended to you by your planner are really good quality vendors and when I take a couple to meet a vendor nine times out of ten they’re given a discount. Secondly, I always get them the best quality for the best price, which is saving money right there. There’s also the fact that sometimes you go and spend money on something that you think is going to work out, but you don’t know, and a planner can tell you ‘yes that will work’ or ‘no it won’t’ and they can point you in the right direction so that you don’t end up wasting money. We [have the experience to] know what works and what doesn’t.
K. Why should couples choose you to plan their wedding?
A. I believe in personalized service. I don’t take on too many weddings in a year because I’ve been getting to know my couples really well. I like to learn their likes and dislikes and get to know their personalities and then I work [based on] that. My goal is to become like a part of their family for a short period of time in order to successfully create their dream day and make it memorable. To do that you need to get to know people.
K. I know that when my decorator told me that she had 75 weddings this summer it made me a little anxious. I thought, how much time and effort can she really be putting into these weddings when she has so many? Clearly she pulls it off, because her weddings look amazing, but how many weddings do you think are too many?
A. I try to aim for about ten weddings a year. Right now I offer a full planning package, a package for a bride who might be “stuck” and needs to be pointed in the right direction, and a month-of coordination package. With the month-of package I sit down with the couple a month before the wedding and we get everything organized and I come on board and start taking over from them, coordinating and confirming all of the vendors, making sure that everything is running smoothly. I think the full package is best, but I also like the “month of” because I get to know the couple a little bit, it’s not like “day of” where you come in the week before and you’re working with someone you don’t know. At least I get to know them.
Not only can it give you peace of mind, hiring a wedding planner can save you money in the long run. After meeting with Alexandra I am seriously considering a month-of planning package. Another fun bit of information: Alexandra recently had a collaborative inspiration shoot featured on the king of all wedding blogs, Style Me Pretty. Congratulations!