Symone Shaw is a Birmingham wedding planner who loves a good fine art and southern wedding. When Symone Shaw, of Occasions with Symone Shaw, agreed to answer some questions for me I was ecstatic. Symone is just such a lovely person who serves her brides and others so incredibly well, and I am so excited to share this insight and advice that she has to share with you.
16 Wedding Questions with Symone of Occasions with Symone Shaw:
1. WHAT CAUSED YOU TO WANT TO WORK IN THE WEDDING INDUSTRY?
I have always known that I wanted to be a wedding planner, which is super weird I know, ha! Once I decided, focusing my studies, and then accepting positions within the industry followed.
2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT HELPING BRIDES PLAN THEIR WEDDING?
A few of my favorite things are getting to help the bride envision their dream day, designing the event, and bringing it to life!
3. WHAT DO YOU DRAW YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?
My team prides ourself in being able to bring a bride’s vision to life no matter how different her personal style is from our own! When it comes to my personal designs (seen in my styled shoots and any more traditional bride) inspiration comes from our beautiful southern surroundings! I am pretty traditional and so my go-to’s are neutrals, whites, creams and magnolia!
4. WHAT IS SOMETHING BRIDES SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN THEY ARE LOOKING FOR A WEDDING PLANNER?
Brides should consider the level of involvement they want from their planner! For example, do they want a full time planner with all of the bells and whistles, or are they really looking for a “day-of” planner?
5. WHAT IS SOMETHING BRIDES SHOULD THINK ABOUT WHEN THEY BOOK OTHER MAJOR VENDORS, SUCH AS A PHOTOGRAPHER, FLORIST, VENUE, ETC?
If you are working with a more strict budget, always always determine what means the most to you first. If you care more about your photographer and the photos than florals (for example), then you can allot more [of the budget] to that category than the other. This will help narrow down future decisions a lot easier.
6. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU THINK IS UNDERRATED WHEN IT COMES TO PLANNING A WEDDING?
Spending the money on a true planner! A lot of brides/families think that using a family friend who “helped with a wedding once a couple of years ago” or booking a day-of coordinator is an easy way to be able to enjoy their big day, but more times than not, that person is not the right fit for their needs. I am all about being able to save money but if you book someone with little to no formal experience then you are not going to be able to truly be stress free. Invest in the larger planners!
7. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU THINK IS OVERRATED?
Not doing a first look personally ha! When you do not do a first look, you have to carve out a significant amount of time for photos post-ceremony which means less time celebrating with your friends and family!
8. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR BRIDES WHO JUST GOT ENGAGED, AND ARE IN THE VERY BEGINNING STAGES OF PLANNING THEIR WEDDING?
Book your large vendors FIRST as they are more than likely going to be unavailable for your big day if you wait. Do not be shy to reach out a year in advance! Especially if your date is during wedding season (summer).
9. WHAT ARE SOME THINGS ABOUT WEDDINGS THAT YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE DID, AND WHY?
I wish that more couples realized that their voice is the most important when it comes to planning details of the big day. It is so easy to feel as if you have to please every single person involved and that is simply not the case. Do not forget the whole reason you are doing this in the first place….your marriage!
10. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE “OCCASIONS WITH SYMONE SHAW” IDEAL BRIDE? (PERSONALITY, AESTHETIC, ETC).
We love all of our brides so much but we always do a little happy dance when a sweet bride comes to us with the ability to throw a large traditional southern belle wedding! Heavy florals, beautiful stationary, and the aesthetic of Jackie O!
11. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR BRIDES WHO ARE BUDGET CONSCIENCE?
Again, determine what means the most to you and then book your largest vendors first!
12. WHAT VENDORS DO YOU BELIEVE ARE WORTH SPENDING THE EXTRA CASH ON WHEN IT COMES TO THE WEDDING BUDGET?
Definitely the planner, photographer, band, and caterer! These also happen to almost always the most expensive tickets.
13. DO YOU OFFER WEDDING SERVICES ON NON-WEEKEND DAYS, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING A DATE?
14. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO CONSIDER WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT VENUE FOR YOUR WEDDING?
If it is mostly an outdoor venue, a rain plan is top priority. Does the venue have an indoor space that can equally accommodate your guests & party? If not, will the rain plan break the bank? Tenting outdoor spaces basically starts at $6,000 and rapidly increases. I do not recommend outdoor only venues unless the client is able to accommodate a rain plan! Not a lot of people think about this when venue browsing unfortunately.
15. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO CONSIDER WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOUR WEDDING?
I often tell my brides to ask the photographer that they are considering to send them a full wedding gallery! Especially if they have shot at the venue the bride has booked. If detail photos are super important to you, pay close attention to how they shoot details. If family photos are the most important, really pay attention to how they capture family photos etc! If you are not 100% excited for the photographer and or an area of their work that is important to you is lacking, then do not book!
16. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WOULD TELL A BRIDE WHO HAS NO IDEA WHAT STYLE SHE WANTS FOR HER WEDDING DAY?
Do NOT focus on what is trendy! Of course it is fine to include cute trendy things here and there but do not get wrapped up in the perfect Instagram photo or fad. Your wedding should be authentically yours and full of elements that you will love FOREVER.
I hope this Q+A with Occasions with Symone Shaw was helpful as you plan your wedding!! You can view their website and book them by clicking here
RELATED LINKS TO OCCASIONS WITH SYMONE SHAW:
Occasions with Symone Shaw portfolio | Occasions with Symone Shaw testimonials | Fine art wedding galleries by Shelby Willoughby | Wedding planning tips from Shelby Willoughby | Occasions with Symone Shaw Facebook page | Occasions with Symone Shaw pinterest board inspirations | Inquire for your wedding here
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