Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life; a day that should feel joyous, magical and stress-free. And yet…there are so many details to coordinate and manage–how can you do it all and still enjoy your day? The truth is, you can’t. Sooner or later every couple realizes they will need help, and finding the right help is crucial to having a successful day.
No one knows this better than San Francisco wedding planner Ivy Lumpkin of Voulez Events
. Here Ivy shares tips on how to create a stress-free wedding and what drew her to become a wedding planner.
1. What made you decide to become a wedding planner?
Planning and hosting events in my high school years led to my discovery of the wedding industry and realization that this career path was my passion and my calling. I would treat each of my events – a fashion show birthday party, a New Year’s Eve masquerade ball, surprise birthday parties for friends and many themed parties – as if each were its own wedding with attention to detail. After all, each event was unique and none were identical. Soon it was time for me to discover a location where a wedding could be at the park, in the city, on a beach or in the mountains. After a few visits with my father in San Francisco, my destiny brought me here in the heart of the city.
2. What is your favorite part about being a wedding planner?
My favorite part about being a wedding planner is putting my all into creating events that are the happiest day of couples’ and families’ lives. I feel very proud to be of service in an industry that contributes to such sentimental ceremonies. I love a challenge, and I don’t control consumer behavior. Instead, I get to work with it and ride the changing tide of trends. Each event has its own challenges, and triumphantly overcoming challenges, exceeding expectations, and having touched lives the way these events do make very happy gives-you-the-chills-in-the-best-way moments.
3. What is the most challenging part about being a wedding planner?
The most challenging part about being a wedding planner is translating clients’ feedback about planning services into precise terms of their value. I don’t particularly like to disclose some disasters and almost-disasters I’ve prevented as a planner to my [prospective] clients because my job is to ensure a stress-free planning experience. My [prospective] clients should be aware of what mistakes to avoid, how to avoid them and details about plan A and plan B, but if those contingency plans fall through, then I want them to know I’ve got plans Q, R, S, or L, M, N, O, P. Planners won’t typically use the details of those plans as a selling point to [prospective] clients – it’s part of the job to relieve stress and certainly not to cause it. So it’s challenging for a planner to communicate exactly what added value planning services create behind the scenes, but it’s absolutely important to discuss with [prospective] clients.
4. Best tip for a stress-free wedding?
The best tip I can give for a stress-free wedding is to either hire a planner or learn the art of delegating duties among a group of volunteers – hired hands and many hands make little work and a lot less stress for everyone!
5. You offer a variety of services, including day-of planning. How does this service benefit a couple?
Day-of planning is a service that benefits couples who are as many as 3 months to as little as 10 days away from their wedding date. A couple may want a lot of autonomy, flexibility, ownership, involvement, responsibility, etc. only up until a couple of weeks away from the big day. Day-of/Month-of planning services entail a planner checking in 3, 2 and 1 month before the wedding, and becoming the single point of contact for all participating vendors in the 30 days leading to and the wedding day. Alternatively, a couple may have just come to the realization that there’s no one whom they can burden, trust, rely to deliver the perfect day while they’re busy getting married. This package guarantees a master checklist, detailed, color-coded, pocket-size timelines for the wedding party and vendors, management of delivery times, pickups, advisement, confirmation and stress-free month of.
6. What makes weddings magical?
What makes weddings special is each individual couple’s personal touch to create an atmosphere that’s different from anywhere else in any other moment; it’s the couple in love and in their element that makes weddings magical.
7. What’s a favorite wedding you’ve managed?
A favorite wedding I’ve managed [month-of] was a summer backyard ceremony on the Russian River in Guerneville. It was intimate, rustic, homey, DIY, colorful, and the atmosphere carried a hint of couple’s passion for camping, hookah [tents] and annual river magic! The cake consisted purely of Cowgirl Creamery rolls and wheels of aged cheeses, garnished with freshly plucked fruit from the garden. The bride owns a sustainability consulting firm and created a culture of going green in every aspect of the logistics process, and it was very inspiring to learn more about how to leave a smaller carbon footprint as I advised my clients. The couple hired all vendors with sustainability and local resources in mind. I loved hearing the story of how they met volunteering with a non-profit supporting sustainability – and I value what I learn from my clients – they left a non-carbon footprint impact on my planning and awareness!
8. How do clients find you?
Most clients have found Voulez Events by word-of-mouth, although the business is recently published in Oregon Bride and Seattle Bride magazines in articles about how to legally incorporate marijuana into weddings. Proposition 64 in California will rock the wedding industry boat in one way or another, and couples are certainly seeking answers to new questions. This is also how some clients discover Voulez Events.
9. Anything else to share?
I’m very excited to see what new trends we’ll see in weddings come the new year! It’s not very often that a new movement or law has prompted the wedding industry to really make a shift, and I look forward to the history the industry as couples create trends and companies navigate interesting challenges.
to receive the guide “Top 5 Tips For a Stress-Free Wedding”
SF wedding planner Ivy Lumpkin photographed by Grier Cooper