An Interview with an Orlando Wedding Planner
Finding the perfect Orlando wedding planner is most important when planning your big day. From different personalities to getting down to business, picking the right planner can make or break your big day. Knowing this, we wanted to highlight and interview one of our co-owner at Taylor Rae Events.
Taylor Bianco shares everything you need to know about hiring a wedding planner for your Orlando wedding. Read her story as she shares what lead her to her dream career and the top tips to keep in mind when hiring a planner for your wedding day.
Tell us about yourself, how did you get into wedding planning?
I moved to Orlando in 2008 for college and planned on being a teacher, but on my first day of orientation I overheard a girl talking about how she was planning to study Event Management and become a wedding planner and it just sounded so fun! After all, I had seen pretty much every episode of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway and Say Yes to the Dress so why not?? I changed my major and started Event Management courses but quickly found out that the wedding industry was going to be much more challenging than picking out flowers and table linens.
I started interning at non-profits, private event venues, and even Disney World so that I could figure out what I liked and learn more about each side of the industry. Ultimately, I got an amazing internship at a private wedding venue and started meeting great local vendors and developing connections with them. I’ve been in the wedding industry for a total of 12 years now and I still love everything about it!
I live near downtown Orlando with my husband and 2 big but loveable pups and spend most weekends helping my clients bring their dream weddings to life. I feel so lucky to do what I love every single day!
What is your favorite thing about being a wedding planner in Orlando?
My favorite thing about being a wedding planner in Orlando is the incredible vendor community. There are so many amazing wedding vendors and local businesses that we get to incorporate into our client’s weddings and it makes their weddings even more special.
What personality trait, skills, or specific education is necessary for all planners?
It’s so important to have great customer service and time management skills. As a planner, you’re not only working to help your clients have an amazing wedding experience, but their guests as well. You’ll need to be able to keep vendors and bridal parties on a tight timeline, deal with pop-up situations, and keep a positive and friendly attitude at the same time. Additionally, keeping yourself educated and updated on wedding trends is really important- that way you can ensure that you are providing your couples with the best design suggestions possible.
Can you explain the difference between a wedding planner and a venue coordinator?
I actually have a long background in venue coordination prior to operating Taylor Rae Events! A venue coordinator is typically present to oversee the property and the safety of you and your guests throughout the event. Depending on the venue you select, they may be fairly hands-off or they might be more involved with set-up and supplying venue-included rental items. If food & beverage is in-house, they may also work alongside the catering team to coordinate dinner service. However, venue coordination does not typically include pre-planning meetings, creation of a timeline, or other important details such as ceremony and reception management. A wedding planner will communicate with you throughout the planning process and will be spending a lot more time behind the scenes working on pre-planning. It will be a more personal and customized experience whereas venue coordination is mainly focused on basic day-of details.
When should a couple book you? Before they book their venue? As soon as they get engaged?
I always recommend that couples start researching a wedding coordinator or planner as soon as possible. If they know they would like assistance with venue research and selection, they should book their planner prior to booking any other vendors. Otherwise, if they know they would like to be more hands-on with their planning process, they should book their planner right after booking their venue and confirming their wedding date.The earlier you book your coordinator or planner, the more time you have for professional guidance and quality vendor recommendations.
What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
The biggest misconception about what we do is that we just show up on the day of the wedding to make sure things run smoothly. Many people are surprised to hear that the majority of our job actually takes place behind the scenes throughout the course of a couple’s engagement. This includes site visits at the venue to discuss layouts and guest flow, phone calls and emails to vendors to work out wedding day logistics and final details, creating a wedding day timeline, and so much more.
Can you explain more about Taylor Rae Events?
Taylor Rae Events is an Orlando-based wedding planning company that focuses on creating memories that last a lifetime through a one-of-a-kind wedding experience. We strive to get to know our clients from day one so that we can help create a wedding that is unique to them as a couple. At Taylor Rae Events, we focus mainly on Month-of Coordination and Partial Planning & Design options, and then we have our sister brand, Silk and Sabal, where we focus on a full planning wedding experience from beginning to end.
What is a wedding day must-have that you cannot work without?
My timeline and floorplans! A few days before the wedding, I print out the wedding day timeline, a long list of set up notes including reference photos, and floorplans labeled with table numbers and seats counts. I even make a few extra copies for vendors in case they forget their copy on the wedding day. I also keep screenshots of all of these on my phone- that way no matter what I’m doing on the wedding day, I can reference my forms to answer questions or make split-second decisions.
What is your biggest tip you can give to brides who are currently wedding planning?
Enjoy the process! Wedding planning can be really stressful or feel confusing and overwhelming at times. Hiring at least a month-of coordinator who you can contact for advice or questions will help you feel more relaxed and stress-free. You should be able to focus on creating your dream wedding design, menu tasting, and picking out your wedding dress rather than worrying about keeping your wedding timeline on track or who is going to clean everything up at the end of the night.
Do you have a favorite style wedding venue to design at?
My personal favorite is an outdoor venue because I love pulling in design elements from the venue’s natural surroundings, but I really enjoy designing for any type of venue! I’ve designed everything from a chic rooftop vibe, to a luxe ballroom design, to an intimate garden dinner for 20!
You recently celebrated your fifth wedding anniversary! Congratulations! Looking back, how would you describe your personal experience when planning your own wedding? Would you do anything different today?
Thank you so much!! I personally loved my wedding planning experience from beginning to end. I knew it was important to choose quality vendors and I think that’s what made my wedding planning experience so great. Of course, I had the stress of tracking down last-minute RSVPs and rushing to finish some of my last-minute wedding errands just like any other couple, but my vendors made the planning process so easy and enjoyable.
I designed the wedding myself and handled my own floral and rental meetings, but I hired a fabulous month-of coordinator who I still rave about to this day. I knew I could trust her with our special day and she did such an amazing job making sure I could relax and enjoy myself. The only thing I would do differently is to hire a videographer. It’s not something I initially wanted but I think it would be great to have that memory of our vows and some special moments throughout the day.
What current design/style trend are you ready for the industry to move on from?
I’m ready to get away from the gold, ivory, and blush color palette. It’s a classy look but I want couple’s to choose a design or color palette that is truly unique to them. Lately when couple’s bring up gold and blush, I’ve been working to help them incorporate an additional complementing color or a variety of textures that help take the design to the next level.
What tips do you have for young professionals who are wanting to enter the industry?
I have two main tips for young professionals looking to get into the wedding industry:
1) Learn as many facets of the industry as possible. As a planner, I deal with so many different types of vendors from photographers to DJ’s to florists and everything in between. Understanding how they operate in terms of timelines, final deadlines, and load-in is so helpful when working with my clients.
2) Be realistic about what wedding planning or other elements of the wedding industry entail. At the end of the day we are helping clients have their dream wedding, but there is a lot of hard work behind the scenes. The wedding industry includes late nights and weekends, long days on your feet, and oftentimes dealing with a client’s family or personal emotions through the planning process. It’s incredible seeing the wedding come together on their special day, but there is a lot of time and dedication from their vendors to make their day this special.
What (wedding) design style do you wish to see more of?
Dark or bold colors and lots of mixed textures! I still enjoy the classic, neutral palette but I can’t get enough of dark or bold design. I’m currently loving velvet linens, lush, and cascading florals with unique pops of color, and layered place settings.
What is your number one tip when a couple is in search of their wedding venue?
Select a venue that you don’t want to change everything about. We can upgrade rentals and bring in incredible floral designs or production elements but we can’t change a venue’s location, exterior, or main aesthetic. It’s always best to enhance a venue’s design rather than try to work against it.