November 17, 2020
Welcome to the blog version of Episode 4 of Wedding Insiders with Brian Ly! I had the pleasure of speaking with Sarah Megan, who is a wedding planner based out of Pickering, Ontario! Our viewers were able to learn about Sarah’s educational background in events management, which led her to become WPIC certified, as well as her reasons on why you should hire a wedding planner. She also gives her top 3 tips when planning for your wedding. If all this sounds like your cup of tea, keep reading below!
For those new to Wedding Insiders with Brian Ly, this is an Instagram Live show I host every week featuring Durham Region wedding vendors to help future newlyweds plan their weddings! Each guest specializes in different segments of the wedding industry such as wedding planning, wedding florals, venue coordination, etc.! They all have a different perspective on the wedding industry through their experiences and expertise in their niche, and we get to hear directly from them on the Instagram Live shows! The goal of this show is for an engaged couple to take back at least one helpful tip that they can apply towards their own wedding!
I am a wedding planner in Durham Region, but service all over the place. I offer full wedding coordination, month-of coordination, partial coordination, consultation. I serve everywhere – I’ve gone as far as Ancaster and then in the other direction I’ve gone as far as Campbellford.
I’ve always loved finding out the details. I was the kid that drove my parents nuts needing to know all the details on family trips – weather and what time we’re leaving. Then during high school, I was the one planning my friend gatherings and all our Secret Santa’s when we were growing up. So, I really wanted to turn that into a career.
I love weddings because each wedding is a little different. You get to work with so many different people and awesome couples. You really get to get your creative juices going with weddings.
That was probably the hardest year of my schooling life! It was very demanding, but so worthwhile – I learned so much. We had to plan a couple events as part of the program and then I also had to do a placement where I got to do an event as well for them. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work, but I wouldn’t have changed a minute of it.
Yes, I got that back in 2016 and I decided to do it in Halifax when I was visiting my sister. They were offering a two-day program there. It was a lot of information thrown at you in two days, but the good thing is you got some time afterwards to go over all the material again before your final exam. I loved the course and community.
It’s just such a great community. We’re always there for each other to help and support. If you need assistance with weddings, you can always reach out to other WPIC planners. If you have a couple looking at a particular vendor you haven’t worked with, chances are someone in the community already has, so you can reach out and get a feel for them. It’s awesome to be part of that.
It just kind of depends on what kind of services they are looking for, whether it’s full wedding coordination or month-of. I get to know the couple, see what they’re looking for, make sure we’re a good match for each other, and build that relationship and trust that they’ll have in me for their wedding day to make sure everything goes smoothly. If it’s full wedding coordination – help them find their vendors, such as the venue, the photographer, and the DJ. If it’s more so month-of or day-of, then it’s tying everything together, doing the floorplan and timeline, making sure all the details are checked off and ready to go, and being there the day-of to support them and get everything done.
I like month-of coordination since I can come in to work with the couples towards the end making sure everything is finalized. But I also like full wedding coordination and being with them from the beginning too.
Kind of everything! Making sure everyone’s getting dressed, getting ready on time, getting their getting-ready photos, setting up at the ceremony, reception, and venue(s), putting out all the personal details, making sure everything is set how it needs to be set, and greeting the vendors and helping to direct them. Also making sure we’re following the timeline as best as possible and making adjustments if we have to.
Definitely at least look at month-of or day-of coordination just because it takes a lot of the stress and pressure off the couple and family and friends. They don’t have to worry about the details on the day-of and the different vendors trying to get a hold of them on the day-of asking questions when they should be enjoying the getting-ready process with their friends and family and just enjoying the day as a whole.
Also look at your budget and look where you’re at and find someone that is a good fit for you.
It really depends on the couples and what aspect is the most important to them whether its décor, food, entertainment, or the atmosphere as a whole. It could be a bride and she might want a really big and beautiful wedding dress. As long as it’s important to them and what their style is. It varies.
But generally, I would say the venue, food, and probably entertainment or photography depending on what they’re looking for in that area.
I put my heart into all my events. I’m there for them, to support them if they have questions or concerns, and just there to help make their wedding dreams a reality to the best of my abilities.
Coming up with a possible Plan B and figuring out what all the vendors’ policies are for cancellation and postponement. I know a lot of people have changed their contracts to fit with COVID related issues, so just really paying attention to that. Also figuring out their budget.
Thank you for reading the fourth blog post of Wedding Insiders with Brian Ly. What you just read was not even all the content! Head over to my Instagram to watch the full conversation I had with Sarah (timestamps listed below)! I hope you were able to take something from this conversation and can apply it to your wedding. Happy planning!
One of the most important vendors is your photographer that you select for your wedding. You can learn more about my approach towards your wedding day here!
Unfortunately, IGTV doesn’t allow for quick timestamp jumps to particular sections in the video, but you can use the below times as reference to drag the slider to a particular section you wanted to learn more about!
What services do you offer and what areas do you cater to? – 1:27
What inspired you to become a wedding planner? – 2:00
What was involved in the Event Management program at Niagara College? – 2:53
You also have your WPIC Certification? – 4:33
What does it mean to you to be WPIC certified? – 5:27
What’s one thing you love about being a wedding planner? – 6:22
What is your process like from initial inquiry by a couple and leading up to the wedding day? – 6:47
What is your main service? – 7:45
What are you doing on the day of the wedding? – 8:12
What is one of the most unique weddings you have planned? – 8:55
For couples on the fence about hiring a wedding planner, what are a couples of things you would tell them to show the value of having a wedding planner? – 9:43
What are your top 3 tips for couples for when they start to plan for their wedding? – 10:45
What adjustments have you had to make due to COVID? – 11:27
What are the top 3 areas couples should focus their budget on? – 12:34
What can couples expect having you as their wedding planner? – 13:37
What is one actionable step couples can do right now to start planning for their wedding? – 14:12
A Durham wedding photographer in Ontario, Canada, Brian Ly Photography specializes in candid wedding photography, storytelling real moments for laid-back couples who live in the now.
Brian Ly Photography provides services at wedding venues in Durham Region as well as the GTA.