Event Planning FAQ
Meggie francisco Events
It’s important to select the event planner and designer who’s the best fit for you. Here are some answers to questions I hear often!
Q: What size weddings do you plan?
A: My core business is intimate, detailed weddings of 150 guests or fewer, although I’ve planned weddings as large as 400 guests and as small as 35 guests. I’ve found that at more intimate events, my clients glow because they feel so close with everyone in attendance and they are able to invest in unique details to create an extra-special experience. This exclusive and personal atmosphere is a joy for me to design, plan and execute.
Q: What is your philosophy on negotiating with wedding vendors?
A: I'm dedicated to doing the best thing for my clients, which means matching them with the right professionals for their needs, and asking those service providers to offer their best pricing. It’s important to create a win-win situation for everyone on the team, and my approach is respectful and considerate. I find that this benefits the client greatly because artists such as photographers, bakers, florists and musicians create their best work when they are treated as valued and appreciated teammates. This feeling of appreciation contributes to a strong collaborative attitude on wedding day, leading to flawless execution.
While I understand that some clients value a tough negotiation approach, I find that this creates win-lose scenarios, which does not produce the best final results for the client. It hinders our ability to create strong relationships with vendors who will go to the ends of the earth for a client, which is important to have in a bind. If your main goal is to have a tough negotiator on your side, I am not the right leader for your event. If your goal is to have a partner who can create synergy with a strong team and ensure you’re receiving fair pricing commensurate with talent and experience, I'm the perfect wedding planner for you!
Q: Do you accept booking incentives from vendors?
A: No. Any booking fees or commissions offered are passed directly on to my clients as savings for them. My clients pay me to provide honest recommendations, and it is not possible to do this if there are “kick-backs” in the background.
Q: We’re thinking about a destination wedding. Is that more expensive?
A: Actually, a destination wedding can be more affordable than a local wedding. The main reason for this is that destination weddings tend to have fewer guests, which is the #1 factor in budget management. Also, some resorts have incentive to offer clients strong wedding packages at attractive rates since they stand to gain revenue from room bookings. They may even offer perks like free suite upgrades and honeymoon benefits that clients would not receive at a local venue.
Contact me and let's talk more about how to make your destination wedding happen!
Q: Why is it better to hire you to plan our destination wedding, rather than a planner based in the location where we're getting married?
A: Working with a destination planner in the US provides notable benefits, such as:
You get a face-to-face relationship with a stateside planner who understands you completely. We build a rapport together, and that allows me to better serve you and your family on the wedding week.
I evaluate vendors based on current wedding style and service expectations expected in top U.S. cities. Often what's considered fresh and current here is not as common in overseas wedding locations, or you may need an advocate to help your Italian caterer understand that you really don’t want a 3-hour long dinner! I propose creative solutions to make sure my clients' experience is on par with their expectations.
You'll never have to talk with vendors in an inconvenient time zone. For instance, I do the 4am phone calls with your European venue or florist so you don't have to.
I ease the pain of communication style differences overseas. Many countries have different time standards for responding to emails. This relaxed attitude is exactly why those places make wonderful destination wedding spots! However, slow contact can be stressful for a couple planning a wedding. I consistently follow up and shield my clients from this inconvenience so they don't worry.
I often provide much more information than planners based in my clients' wedding locations, as I refuse all compensation from vendors. I do robust research into every location to learn about as many available resources as possible, and I openly provide my clients with access to my findings. I whittle each category down to a top 2 or 3 to help my clients avoid decision fatigue, but for many clients, knowing they have access to more options is very helpful.
There are certainly some great benefits of hiring a planner based in your wedding location. I encourage clients to consult with wedding planners near and far before making a decision.
Q: Do you offer day-of or month-of coordination? How about partial wedding planning?
A: Due to the high level of service and design I provide, I offer partial wedding planning contracts on a limited basis only for couples who have already booked a core group of strong vendors.
Successful day-of and month-of coordination are largely a myth. In my experience, I’ve found it’s not realistic for a planner to jump into the picture 30 days (or fewer) from your wedding and to execute it seamlessly. In very limited cases, I offer a light wedding day management package where we will check in on a monthly basis to review progress on your wedding. I then lead your wedding weekend. These packages are typically offered to clients who are fewer than 4 months from their wedding day and who have already booked a strong vendor team.
Q: What budgets do you typically oversee?
A: This varies widely depending on location and the guest count of the wedding. I have accomplished destination weddings in the Caribbean and Mexico with under 50 guests for less than $50,000, and I’ve created elaborate Dallas weddings well into the six figures. Each market is different, and each client has unique expectations.
As a general guideline to create the types of weddings you see in my portfolio, you’ll want to budget a minimum of $600 per guest attending. For example, for a 100-guest wedding, you can anticipate a starting budget of $60,000. For a 150-guest wedding, a starting budget would be around $90,000. I’ve found that this level of investment allows us to secure reputable, professional, experienced vendors who can deliver on the high level experience that I promise to my clients.
Budgets are very personal, and I’m happy to help you understand whether your budget expectations are reasonable before we ever sign a planning contract. Please complete the inquiry form on my contact page to open a conversation about your wedding! You’ll immediately receive more information about my wedding planning experience and philosophy, as well as a link to set up a 30-minute consultation call.
Q: Will Meggie be there on my wedding day?
A: Yes. I attend all my events as the lead coordinator unless otherwise specified.
In the event of major sickness or emergency, I have a contingency plan to call upon a trusted lead wedding planner in the community to handle the wedding seamlessly at no cost to the client. In the event a substitute could not be procured, I would refund funds paid for any services not performed. That said, I have never missed a wedding for any reason.
Q: How do you select your recommended vendors?
A: I invest significant time in getting to know wedding professionals. I design styled photo shoots to work with new teams, research websites and reviews on a weekly basis, have lunch and coffee to get to know respected pros, and attend industry networking events with groups like NACE and ILEA. I seek out vendors who have created beautiful portfolios, can provide strong client or industry references, and approach their work with a positive, above-and-beyond attitude.
Because I’ve competed in a top-tier wedding market (Dallas, Texas) and served clients around the world, I’ve gained a tremendous education on how vendors operate in different markets. This gives me a unique perspective on how to serve wedding clients at a very high standard.
Q: What is your favorite wedding style?
A: In my opinion, selecting the perfect venue is the most important style choice in the entire wedding planning process. I love to pull the color palette directly from the surroundings of the event, whether that's fall leaves in Colorado or moody blue-gray rocks on the coast of Cabo. This way, we can work seamlessly with the environment to create a cohesive, comfortable look, rather than fighting to bend the location to our design scheme.
I specifically encourage my clients to avoid DIY Pinterest madness and themed weddings in favor of creating a timeless look that they will look back on fondly for the rest of their lives. I believe in creating one-of-a-kind events that reflect my clients’ personalities rather than the latest fads. I love to be challenged to design something new that hasn’t been seen before. Contact me to start a conversation about your wedding!
Q: Is your business insured?
A: Yes. I am happy to provide documentation of my business insurance.
Q: Do you plan corporate or charity events?
A: Yes! I would love to lead your corporate or charity event. Whether you’re planning an incentive trip, holiday party, or charity gala, I can create a special experience that your guests will never forget.
Q: Do you plan social events?
A: Yes! I can absolutely help you plan your important anniversary party, milestone birthday party or bar/bat mitzvah.
Q: Are you LGBTQ+ friendly?
A: Yes! I believe that love is love. I would be honored to serve you in the special time, and I will ensure that your entire wedding vendor team is dedicated to the same level of caring, accepting service.