We recently caught up with the super talented Danielle Aspromatis, owner/founder of d’Luxe Events, one of New Jersey’s premier event planners. After working as a buyer in the fashion industry for eight years, Danielle took her eye for style to event planning, helping couples create truly spectacular events. In addition to event planning, d’Luxe also offers event design and day of coordination.
We asked her thoughts on how to find the perfect wedding planner, staying within your budget and her take on the biggest trends for 2015.
Why does a couple need a planner/event coordinator? What should they look for when searching for one?
This is such an important question! Couples tend to think that a wedding planner is a luxury not a necessity, but it is a necessity. Hiring a planner makes the engagement and planning process enjoyable and stress free but allows you on the day of your wedding to relax and enjoy the day as one of your guests would. With that being said, it is important to work with a planner that has flexible packages for every budget so that you are not blowing your entire wedding budget on a planner if you do not have unlimited funds to pull from. Full service is wonderful with a planner, but if you cannot afford that, it is important that you can be offered a modified or consulting package to still get your needs met on your particular budget. And just as chemistry in a relationship is key, you must also “click” with your planner and trust them. After all, this is someone you are going to be relying on throughout the process to be honest and steer you in the direction that is in your best interest.
What tips do you have for newly engaged couples starting to plan their wedding?
As much as I love all the details, design and décor that goes into planning, my best advice is to never lose sight of what the day is about: Two people joining their lives and families together. All the bells and whistles are great but at the end of the day it’s about love and not about flash.
What should couples know before they sign any contract with a vendor?
Contracts are perhaps the most daunting task to planning a wedding as the wording can be tricky! This is when having a planner to review your contracts is key so that you are getting everything that you are promised and nothing is being pulled over your head in regards to finances or services. Never just sign, always read everything multiple times! Also, every vendor is going to have different payment structures, I always suggest that if you do not have a planner to organize your payments for you, that your go-to action with contracts is to write the payment schedule down in a central location with all other vendor payments due, so that you are organized and know when you have to have money ready and sent out!
How can couples ensure costs don’t spiral out of control especially as they get closer to the big day?
A planner also plays a huge role in budgeting…before I start planning with my couples, we talk about each component, what is important and not important to them, and then I construct a budget pie chart that allocates a dollar amount to each piece of the pie. This way, we do not go over at all on the bottom line. If you go over your plan in one category, it must come out of another. It is a simple mathematical plan that we must stick to so that you have money allocated for everything you want to accomplish for your day.
What is your advice for the couple who initially feels they can do it all then gets overwhelmed as the big day approaches?
It’s hard to ask for help sometimes! Planning a wedding can take around 300 man hours for a couple (sometimes more!). It is a lot of work….if you are working all day and try to do everything for a wedding as well, it can cause stress, arguing and exhaustion. Not to mention financial strain and ultimately not ending up with the best vendors for your money or being able to properly execute the vision in your head. Hiring a professional for assistance is the best way to go for your sanity, your wallet and also for helping to create an out of the box, unique day for you that reflects you two as a couple.
How do you manage your couple’s expectations?
I always remain realistic to their budget. And communication is key just as it is within any relationship!
What trends are you seeing in 2015?
I think after coming off a few seasons where we were seeing some very neutral and dusty palattes (think ivory and blush) we are going to see a lot more vibrant colors in 2015. I think it will be uplifting and refreshing! Rose gold is going to continue, rustic venues and décor is still going strong, and bridesmaids all in different shades and silouhettes is still going to be big this year. One big trend I am seeing in bouquets is cascade bouquets making a comeback…I am very excited to see this!
What is the best piece of advice you have for couples planning a wedding?
This wedding should be reflective of you, not anyone else. It is YOUR day and should be unique to you!
Danielle in action! Getting her client ready for his big day
All photography provided by d’Luxe Events