Hey Gorgeous, The Blog


Jan 16

Dear Brides

I hope you’ll read this. I hope you’ll read every little last bit of this. And I hope it’ll make you think.

What’s funny is that I didn’t run around as a little girl dreaming of the day I’d be a wedding planner. I always adored crafts and was impressively organized from a young age. But it wasn’t until my wedding day, that I decided I should be a wedding planner. Actually, scratch that. I decided I needed to be a wedding planner. Running around that day trying to get things styled and arranged, meeting and greeting my own vendors to make sure they were taken care of, trying to delegate things to people when I should have been playing bride. And then discovering I hadn’t even remembered to shave my legs on the biggest day of my life; I needed to make sure this didn’t happen to anyone else. Wedding planners are like bras. Sometimes you think you don’t need one until it’s too late. For me it was sort of too late. Because I needed help that day.

I get a lot of emails from potential clients. Newly engaged women. Women who are mere months away from the biggest day of the lives. Women who love pink peonies like I do. Women who have seen my work on Pinterest and can hardly count their lucky stars they’ve found me. Women who need and want my help. Except they always let me know, before I even have a chance to reply to them, that “they don’t have a big budget.”And I always know what that means. It means what I charge (because it’s on my website), what I value my services, time and expertise to be worth, is too much money for them. Either that, or they don’t truly understand what it is they are paying for. Whatever the reason it can be frustrating.

Wedding planning, coordination, consulting, styling, designing; it can be as confusing as tenth grade algebra (which I failed might I add). Because unlike a photographer who sends you your prints and your disk a few months after your wedding with tangible memories of your big day, I can’t possibly send you a boxed up memento of my wedding planning and coordination services. Three weeks, three months, three years and three decades after your big day is over, you can gaze over to your fireplace mantle and lovingly adore a framed portrait of you and your spouse. Unfortunately, next to that frame there won’t be a boxed up Hey Gorgeous Events experience (if there was though, you can bet it would be perfectly wrapped).

But here’s what you can do. You can remember sipping mimosas with your sister the morning of your big day. You can think back to how it felt seeing your reception space for the first time, decorated just the way you always dreamed of. You can remember what it felt like to sit back and enjoy each and every minute of the one day in your entire life that will seem to fly by the fastest. You can do all of these things and so much more, without having to worry about lifting a finger. Because I can guarantee that the metaphorical boxed up Hey Gorgeous Events experience I mentioned above, whether it’s provided by me or someone else, will be the prettiest, most meaningful, non-tangible piece of wedding memorabilia you own.

Brides, please know that a $500 price tag, for a skilled wedding planner to orchestrate your big day is a price tag too low. Please know that a wedding planner or even a coordinator is so worth each and every last penny. Please know that as a wedding planner I absolutely want to make your big day as perfect as possible. And I am flattered when you contact me to do the honors. Please also know that trying to negotiate my prices in your very first email, is as awkward for me as it would be for you to go to a steakhouse and tell your server that you are on a budget and can only afford $20.00 of your $60.00 filet; and well, you get my point. Kind of how you’ll get what you pay for with me.

I hope you’ll read this. I hope you’ll read every little last bit of this. And I hope it’ll make you think. But not this hard :)

You can leave the serious thinking to me. I mean look how good I am at it, ha! xoxo

84 thoughts on “Dear Brides”

  1. Keri says:

    I envy your way with words : )

  2. Megan says:

    you are woth every single penny and more of what you charge :) dont ever forget it

  3. Lauren @ ELD says:

    Amen amen AMEN!!!!!!!! Awesomely written Rhi!! I too hope brides read every last bit of this post!

  4. Raven says:

    Rhi, you are so awesome. Reading this made me want to leave work, drive to GR, and hug you! You truly are an inspiration! And, the picture at the end was just perfect. I chuckled to myself sitting at my work desk. Hope you have a fabulous Monday, Rhi. You deserve it! :)

  5. nicole haley says:

    And, as a photographer, I could argue that hiring a skilled planner can make photographs that much more beautiful. Because what is more beautiful than a relaxed, laid-back bride enjoying every single moment of her day? (Perfectly complimented by gorgeous details, of course.)

  6. I agree with Lauren…Amen!!! This is such a well written post and I couldn’t agree more with every word!! It’s really time that brides realized that we, as wedding planners, are an asset to their big day and not a liability. I always tell brides that, even if they don’t hire me, that they should be the BRIDE on their wedding day and their mom should be their mom, and not chasing vendors. Very well said!!!

  7. Katy says:

    Some moments are priceless and you help to make them happen. Do not devalue yourself or the love, energy, creativity and enthusiasm you bring.

  8. Gina says:

    So right to the point! Well said!

  9. Preach, girl! I couldn’t have said it better myself!

  10. Nora says:

    Wowwww. $500?? It seems downright rude. I’ve seen some planners offer a variety of prices, depending on the “level” or amount of time they spend, but even if you hire someone for the “day of,” it doesn’t seem fair to the planner/event organizer because they’ll end up spending more time dealing with all the odds and ends, rather than wrapping it up as they go. You’re smart and strong to value yourself highly and request what you deserve. You do an amazing job and are worth every penny.

  11. Seriously? Your amazing/gorgeous services are only $500.00…Rhi, I would have dropped as much as possible if I could have hired you. I truly think a planner is the way to go. That way you are not annoying their friends/family for every little thing!!!

  12. Lisa says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. As a wedding planner in the UK, where planners/stylists/coordinators are still not as recognised as they are in the US, we have to justify our fees constantly so it is refreshing (and frustrating) to know that it happens over in the States as well.

    I understand that couples are looking for the best deal but I agree with you in that our services are not tangible in the same way as a photographer or florist and so we are often asked to reduce our fees to help save budget in other areas.

    I only came across your blog for the first time this weekend but I spent quite a few hours reading through all of your posts and I have to say I am a big fan of your work. You seem to be doing some great stuff and have some exciting plans for the year ahead so I wish you every success!

  13. Danielle L says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a little while and this post is definitely a must read!! I love your honesty and pure heart, your brides must know how much you Love working for them! Remember we have every right to choose our clients, sometimes we have to hold off for the good ones, because they’re out there and would never give you a penny less than you deserve! Keep up the gorgeous work ;)

  14. jillian says:

    im glad you wrote this! i dont have a wedding planner but there are days i absolutely WISH i did! i am sure you do a fantastic job at all of your events and are worth every single penny! xo

  15. Melissa says:

    This is great! You’re so right :)

  16. Amber B says:

    You know I didn’t even consider a wedding planner when working on my wedding. A friend of our family took on this role and I didn’t appreciate it nearly enough until I was in a good friends wedding in October. We ran around getting things decorated and arranges until the wee hours the night before her big day. Then the day of she was still making sure things.were arranged and when all the guests left she changed clothes and we tore down all the decorations. The thing that I kept thinking was who cleaned up after our wedding? At that point I realized how important having a planner is. Someone to keep thing running so the beautiful bride can be just that, beautiful. Not stressed and sweaty or hairy for that matter. It is an expense worth figuring out.

  17. Sharon says:

    Great post! I’ve been following your blog for a while too. As a bride-to-be planning my May wedding, and as someone who coordinates events for a living, I understand the work that goes into important events from both sides. While am I organized and understand most of the ins and outs of event coordination — and am committed to not making anything stressful for myself or anyone else involved in my wedding — I would really prefer to not have to worry about details and leave at least the day-of coordination to a pro. However, due to budget concerns, I probably will be handling it myself or delegating to a few close family members or friends.

  18. Thanks for writing this post and the other posts that you blog here on your site! You truly are an inspiration to others and I value everything that you say. I love your work and your sense of humor haha love the photo at the end :)

    Your work has inspired me to go after my dream as a wedding planner and I love coming here for more inspirations :) Thank you, thank you and THANK YOU <3

  19. Tia R. Ervin says:

    I’m not a bride, but I sure enjoyed reading “every little last bit!” It is wonderful that you value yourself, your craft, and understand that your role to the wedding process is critical. Sadly, there are still too many of us (Wedding Planners that is) struggling with being able to stand up for our expertise. Instead of taking the time to educate brides, grooms, (and let’s not forget mom and dad who are sometimes footing the bill) about our value add, we accept the value they place on us instead. But I love your post and hope it will serve to shake others into action. Thank you for your firm, yet funny message. I will share with others.

  20. Amen sista! Great post! I do custom cookies and cupcake toppers and run into this price negotiation issue a lot. Im also looking to expand into a more event planning role.
    Situations like that can be disheartening as it can be really challenging to set a price on “what you’re worth”. As a beginning small business owner, I really struggle with setting a price on my services, so I tend to take it to heart when people question your pricing. Its almost as though they question my personal worth, which is something I know I need to separate, but your business is your whole heart, so thats not as easy as it sounds.
    Im glad that you put this out there. Thank you.

  21. Joelle says:

    This post couldn’t come at a better time for me. I met with a couple, twenty-five miles away from my home this past Friday night, bought them drinks and met with them for over an hour. We talked about what they wanted and how I could help. They had a good handle on things, but it was obvious that they really didn’t know what goes into coordinating a wedding the day of.

    I got an email yesterday, saying that they were just going to delegate tasks to family, and it broke my heart. Not just because I didn’t get a job, but because I know it isn’t going to turn out the way that they want it to turn out. And honestly, I charged only $500 for the day of, because they were only having 25 people. I know they think I charged a lot, but they wanted me to be there from 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. And $500 was still a lot…

    Thank you so much for posting this right now, because it is so true. People in general just don’t know what goes into planning a wedding, and the cost of getting it right. They only have this one day, and I really wish they would consider us a little bit more.

  22. Chelsy says:

    Love love love LOVE this.

  23. Naomi says:

    Perfectly written! You nailed it!!!

  24. Taylor says:

    Hi my name is Taylor I read your post I loved it! I’ve been thinking about wedding planning if you would be interested in talking with me I would appreciate it!!! My email is tay_dance_00@hotmail.com

  25. Perfectly put my dear! I take those as red flags if people want to negotiate too much. AND when I see advice saying” try to negotiate with your vendors for better pricing” in bride magazines and blogs it kind of irritates me, just sayin!

    You rock!

  26. Wow, this post comes just when I needed it. I spent days last week questioning my pricing and having to reassure myself that I’m worth it. We’re worth it! Really needed this post, and all the comments below it. Thank you!

  27. Louboo says:

    So so well said Rhi…can’t express clearly enough how important this message is. What you do is something special and should demand a price, whatever that price is. You rock. Simple as that. Lou x

  28. kate says:

    Loved this post! It’s so true, that just because you can’t box up the service you provide doesn’t make it any less valuable. You’re worth it!

  29. Kelly Sauer says:

    I need to write this one from a photographer’s perspective. Or I could hire you to do that… ;-)

  30. Bella says:

    I need this too from a designer/artists perspective ;) well said

  31. Coley says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. As a person who helps out with events on the side, people do not realize how much work, time, energy, and skills it takes to execute an event. It is a truly special person who can do your kind of work!

  32. Ruth says:

    A fantastic, honest post. Although wedding magazines are beautiful, I do find their advice can undermine those in the wedding industry as brides are told to negotiate all the way. I understand people want value for money, but the important thing is for them to realise what value for money is as opposed to just looking at making the bottom figures as low as is possible. I commend you writing this post and hope that it gets as widely read as it deserves.

  33. if we were in the same country I would gladly pay it Rhi! You absolutely deserve it and I know you would be of incredible help!

  34. You are amazing! And I love you! I love your honesty and your heart! You wrote this so eloquently and beautifully and hit each and every single nail right on the head. Don’t ever doubt that you are worth every single penny you earn, because you, my dear Rhi, are a rockstar! xoxo

  35. Marie says:

    Ah perfect timing, I’m so happy. :) Being an event planner, I’ve been going back and forth as to whether or not I should hire a wedding planner for my wedding. my close friends and family don’t see why I would need one since hey, I’m used to planning events from a-z, surely I can do this. But I’ve never planned a wedding, I’m sure there are things I could miss and not have the foresight to prevent certain things just bc I haven’t experienced it yet.

    And it’s because I know exactly how much work, attention to detail, time and vision it takes that I’m considering getting help. The last thing I want is to have a checklist going off in my head all day, like I’m working – straightening the centerpieces just so, or freaking out inside that someone forget to put this and that over there at the right time.

    I admire what you do and my-oh-my do I ever wish you lived closer. Not only do I know that I wouldn’t have to worry about a thing which is huge, everything would look just beautiful and perfect, and you can’t put a price on that. xo

  36. all i can say is amen, sister. amen!

  37. Well said. A genuinely good planner is worth every penny.
    All the best.

  38. Kristina says:

    So well said. If I had a budget that would allow I would have totally hired a wedding planner. I think wedding planners are amazing, especially you and your work.

  39. Ohhhhh that is brilliant. I could not agree with you more.
    We never tell the plumber that you only have a small budget as water is leaking/pouring from your washing machine all over the carpet & furniture, so why do some people think they can negotiate when the price for your services is as clear as perfectly polished wine glass…. I hear & feel your frustrations.

  40. Beautifully written and so terribly true… when the day comes, it’s too late for regrets… You need someone you can trust, you can rely on and you will then be 100% to enjoy the process, the day and the memories… Not sure you would like the pictures of a crazy, stressed, running-around-like-a-headless-chicken taken by your photographer on your day because this is all they could capture.

  41. Rhi,

    This is so on the spot! I am approaching my six year wedding anniversary and I can say without a doubt that hiring a wedding planner was one of the best investments I made as a bride. I had the day you wrote about. I can remember walking into the ballroom and seeing the reception tables and thinking how amazing everything looked. I still remember this! Granted, I wish you would have been in the business 6 years ago because I love you and would have flown you down to Oklahoma to plan my wedding! Maybe my 10 year vow renewal!?! Someplace crazy like Africa!??! XOXO

  42. I did not have a planner either and I wish I had. I was spread far too thin during my wedding and I think I would have enjoyed my engagement more if I could have delegated to a planner. I hope your business is going well!

  43. Excellent post! I totally agree with you. Time is money and money is also time. Yes, brides may have to spend a little extra money for a planner, but think of all that time they will save themselves in the long run. Time is such a valuable commodity and I feel we, as a generation, can forget that sometimes. And a wedding is such a special event, it is worth that extra time to cherish it and soak up those wonderful moments, big and small!

  44. Excellent post! I have a very small, very part-time event hostessing company and just last week had a client similar to what you just discussed. You cannot compromise yourself. Great post!!

  45. Fantastic post! I agree with everything you said. My step-father was very leery of my decision to hire a day of coordinator for our wedding. But after the wedding he said that she was worth every penny. He saw how hard she worked for our day to go smoothly. The services provided by wedding planners and coordinators are truly priceless.

  46. Aleah + Nick says:

    Well said, Rhi! The old adage is so very true: you always, ALWAYS get what you pay for. Wedding coordination is so much more than making things look pretty. There’s endless value in: negotiating vendor pricing, getting the benefit of years of hard work and relationships, reviewing contracts and banquet orders, plotting menus and schematics, organizing a day so that it’s not chaotic, and being there to deal with any issues from snowballing…..the list goes on. And on. And on. It’s a job that is so incredibly valuable to the success of a wedding and the start of a marriage: we pride ourselves on sending our couples into wedded bliss with a smile on their faces, not stressed out.

    The good thing is that if a potential bride doesn’t see value in what you {or any of us} offers then it’s better to not have entered into a relationship. Of course, everyone is on a budget. I don’t care who you are – even our priciest weddings come with sacrifices – but it’s how you VALUE what vendors are offering that’s key. Give vendors a chance to prove their value…

  47. simone says:

    I LOVE that photo….now that, gorgeous girl, IS CONCENTRATION!!!! And attention to detail :)

    Great post Rhi, perfectly put….YOU are worth it xxxx

  48. Lori says:

    I love, love, love this Rhi ~ it is open and honest ~ so honest!! As a type A personality myself I thought I had to do it all myself and do it fabulously ~ well I did it all ~ had some Bridezilla moments but so wish I knew then what I know now ~ it is worth every penny ~ you ARE worth it! Love that shot ~ too cute. xo

  49. Lena says:

    Very, very well said. You are worth every penny!

  50. Kelli says:

    You are amazing at what you do, from what I can see from your amazing blog and features! As other said – you get what you pay for: I’m sure brides can find coordinations services for less but they may not get what they want – or even pay MORE and not either. You can’t put a price tag on style and the experience they will enjoy. I had friend who hired a planner – and the planner was terrible as the bride still did alot of the styling herself because the planner did not understand her concept, AND she was not cheap! What you say about negotiating in the first e-mail is terrible, the brides should meet you for a consultation to make sure that there is a “FIT” before the price comes into the question for them. Your attention to deal is amazing (right down do the silverware!) and those are things that brides need to look at look at the service and the style they are paying for!

  51. Melina says:

    Not having a planner will always be my regret from my wedding day! I’m so glad you posted this!

  52. michaela says:

    THIS is why you will be my wedding planner. I will fly you out to it…whenever it may be. I totally agree with what you said in this post…planners are SO IMPORTANT to a bride’s big day going smoothly and for all the little details to be perfect!! You are the best at this, I have to say!! I may be biased since we’re friends and all, but just saying :) Love this, Rhi!

  53. milica says:

    Bartering is for fea markets and tag sales.. I find it utterly disrepectful for a prospective client to suggest a price reduction to a business owner. It simply underminds the event planners skill,talent and commitment that they are offering to you.If the price is not in your budget, find something that is.If you still feel opposed to this philosphy, spend a day with a wedding planner such as Rhiannon and then we can talk….

  54. Cindy says:

    If you EVER need someone to vouch for what you say, from the “done it wrong” end, please please email me. My daughter got married 3 years ago and she and fiance planned everything beautifully, but the one thing my daughter felt she didn’t need was a day of coordinator and she was right, for everything up to the wedding. The day of though, I was the one carrying the flowers all over the city, putting together the table settings because the venue coordinator had not thought about how much time it would take and when the reception finished, the lights went out and I was cleaning up the huge room, loading up the cars with things that had to be taken. My hair and make up were ruined before the wedding because of the heat and all of the running and stress. I’d do anything for my daughter and while she was willing to change and help clean up afterwards, it was her day, and I was determined nothing would ruin it for her. And it didn’t. But as MOTB, I felt defeated. I had no quiet time with my daughter before the event, no pictures of she and I together, and to be honest, while it was her day, I wanted to be able to look back on the day and cherish it fully. I’m sad that while it was a beautiful day and the memories are great, there is a side of me that feels like I missed that MOTB moment.

    When you don’t use a coordinator, you don’t realize how sorry you are until it’s too late. Someone has to do the anticipating of all the little details; it doesn’t just happen, fall into place, no matter how organized you are beforehand.

    You are well worth your cost and I hope people realize that.

  55. kirby says:

    wow! all these comments. felt like I was scrolling down for an eternity! I just wanted to say a quick hello. I haven’t been around in a while. I want to show you my support and I agree with you. I asked a friend who had done a fabulous job running her own wedding and was supper organized and a bit picky like me to coordinate things for me while I enjoyed being a bride. although, if I didn’t have a friend like her I would have 100% looked into hiring a coordinator, if only for the day.

    cheers to you! so glad to see things are going well for you!


  56. Can’t thank you enough for this. This time of year, getting an inbox FULL of inquiries with brides wanting prices, and then saying “I’m not sure if I can fit it in my budget” is so often heartbreaking. Despite my pleas to sit down and look at the value I provide (I’m no where near a $500 planner either) they quickly jump to some one who can do it for less (quality included). This absolutely made my day. Btw, that linen is amazing.

  57. Lindsie says:

    I don’t think this is fair to budget brides. I completely understand where you are coming from, but you also have to remember that other vendors ENCOURAGE brides to let them know if they have a smaller budget. Some vendors encourage brides to negotiate. So, my question is, how are brides supposed to know what vendors are okay with, or even encourage, them to negotiate, and which vendors will be offended?

  58. This is such a great post. My husband and I were married last March and we debated and debated on getting a wedding planner and in the end I ended up doing all the planning and co-ordinating myself which was so stressful. I too forgot to shave my legs and almost forgot my garter! Having a wedding planner would have saved me. It would have been wonderful to have someone take care of all those fine details so I could just enjoy myself and not have to worry about whether the photographer was actually taking photos and where the cake stand for our wedding cake mysteriously ran off to, or oops we forgot to do the farewell wave after the reception. It would have been worth every penny. I think what you do is a wonderful thing and a gift to every bride who is smart enough to go that route.

  59. I have fantasized many times about writing the makeup artist/hair stylists’ version of this. I wish every bride would realize they only have one shot at this and to take a moment and visualize how they want to spend the day. And to the MOTB Cindy who commented before me, I wish I could transport myself into that wedding, sit her down and pamper her for a moment and make her look fabulous while she and her daughter sip a mimosa together. That’s how it should have been.

  60. Stacey Lynn says:

    I hope all of my future brides who are about to contact me read this :) really…. so great. Thanks.

  61. Johanna says:

    You are definitely worth every penny. People don’t understand the value of a wedding planner and how they make your life as a bride so much easier. They make your day seamless. I know you guys work your tails off, first hand, and that’s so the brides can, like you said, remember all the small moments that make a big impact. That’s a very cool job, indeed!

  62. katie says:

    my husband is a designer & has the same type of problem with freelance work. people realize they need a designer, but don’t want to pay for quality work & talent. you certainly get what you pay for :)

  63. Natasha says:

    What a fantastic post Rhi! Kudos to you for saying the things that so many of us have trouble saying! I too got into the industry after having a similar experience on my own wedding day. I’m a firm believer in every bride and groom having the ability to be ‘present’ on their big day. It goes by in such a blur as it is and it’s truly a shame when the most vivid memories you have of one of the most important days of you life are of all of the little things you ended up running around taking care of and how flustered you felt.

  64. Why am I just now reading this?! Where have I been?! Wonderfully written post, Rhi. I love your passion and confidence–as well as your saavy business sense. :) You’re absolutely right about not being able to box up the experience of having a *great* wedding planner/event stylist. You can’t look back on it like you do your photos. But, you know, without one, you do look back with a tinge of regret knowing that you could have enjoyed the day SO MUCH more. Like you with your unshaven legs (hilarious, by the way!) or me seconds before walking down the aisle (biggest moment of my life, hello!) realizing the candles weren’t lit and frantically trying to find someone to light them during the ceremony. It’s the peace of mind, the feeling of utter relaxation and celebration that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. xo

  65. Kristin says:

    So well put lady. Your rates are what they are! p.s. Your tablecloth…I DIE!

  66. Krystal says:

    I for one don’t mind paying more for a better experience! If I was working we would for sure have a planner….I don’t know how women plan their weddings while working full-time! Thank goodness our daughter doesn’t start school until after the big day!

    People are willing to fork over a pretty penny for a photographer since they have those forever but what about what that photographer captures? Your services help paint that picture….actually…paint that picture! Anyone can have great photos of a generic wedding that everyone else has from the same venue decorator. It takes someone really special to help create something so perfect and meaningful and to be able to capture it with a great photographer is such a bonus.

    I hope brides read your post and understand what you’re saying and respect it, and you!

  67. Cara says:

    I am SOOO glad you put this out there…I get the same sort of response in my career {real estate}. In fact, the first question the seller said to me today as I was about to go through my listing presentation was “will you take 5%” ugh…I don’t even get a chance to distinguish myself from the washed up hag realtor that only cares about advertising their name on a yard sign. I truly value what I do differently, and I should get recognized more for it. Goes back to the old saying…
    “you get what you pay for”

  68. This is so true! Your services can’t have a cheap price tag when there are no cheap services!
    Will you be willing to find me a tall, dark and handsome fellow so we can get this thing rolling? ;)
    Great post, Rhi! It makes me rethink my prices as a graphic designer and to live up to my full potential and worth!

  69. this is excellent X 1 million. i have passed it onto 2 my wedding planner here on my little island of prince edward island!

  70. Amilea says:

    And with that, I am convinced. As soon as I get engaged, I’ll definitely be contacting you.

  71. I think your blogs and images are gorgeous just like your name :) very useful posts and I can clearly see the hard work that you are putting behind to come up with this brilliant stuff!

  72. I’ve absolutely no expertise in coding but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways, if you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject however I just wanted to ask. Thanks!

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