Wedding Planner Q&A

An interview with a professional wedding planner

The three little birds at We Design Weddings have paired up with Come Join Us, LLC to answer some basic questions posed by brides about hiring a wedding planner for your Big Day! Lucia Herrera O’Connor has been planning weddings in the Kansas City area for the past three years, and has fallen in love with her job! “I love the idea of helping a bride enjoy her big day without worrying about all the ‘moving parts,’” she says. Please enjoy Lucia’s expert advice!

We asked Lucia to talk a little about wedding planning in general. It seems everyone has heard of a wedding planner, but many brides are left wondering how exactly a planner can make her planning process less stressful. Lucia answered:

What are the different ways we can involve a wedding planner in our preparations?
A wedding planner can be involved as little or as much as a couple would like. I have some brides who want to run every idea by me, and other brides who only need day-of coordination. I am flexible.

How do you think we can most effectively use a wedding planner?
Day-of coordination! As long as I get an understanding of the bride’s vision for her event and a list of all her vendors, I can make the day run smoothly.

Next, we compiled a set of common concerns voiced by brides about wedding planners. In a world of Pinterest Inspiration, we find there are a lot more do-it-yourselfers out there who see little or no need to hire a wedding planner. We asked Lucia to address some of these concerns.

It seems like hiring a wedding planner is very expensive. Could you speak to that?
How much is peace of mind worth? If you have reviewed a planner’s package list and the price is still a concern, see if he or she has a day-of only package. This package is often an economical option that allows you to just focus on getting married, not the details. Think of hiring a wedding planner as more of an investment in avoiding stress down the road rather than an added expense on top of your budget.

I am a pretty crafty bride, and I have a lot of family to help design and assemble everything. Do you think I could still benefit from hiring a planner?
Brides love Pinterest (planners do as well), but how many times have you tried something crafty and it did not go as planned? Oftentimes, brides end up wasting a lot of time and money trying to DIY. Many times, going through a vendor to rent or purchase ready-made décor saves both of these precious resources. Planning a wedding can be a stressful time, and relying on yourself or coordinating friends and family to put together your Big Day may only make the whole process more stressful.

What is your secret for staying calm under pressure, and how do you deal with day-of disasters?
You’ve probably heard this before, but I work better under pressure – the higher the better! What I tell my brides is this: just breathe! Nine times out of ten, if there is a day-of disaster, there are only three people who know about it: the bride, the groom and the planner. I work very hard to ensure everything goes according to plan, but I am also adept at making the day go smoothly no matter what happens. Sometimes, you have to recognize that it is out of your hands and we all just go with the flow.

How do you ensure our personality is reflected in the wedding design, rather than your own personality?
I am a great listener! I Listen to the bride, groom, family and friends. I like to conduct a recorded interview with the bride and groom, asking how they met, how long they dated, what the proposal was like, etc. It’s always surprising how much you can learn about a couple just by listening and watching them interact with myself and each other. I am always willing to offer suggestions, but my feelings are never hurt if my ideas don’t quite fit your vision. As we like to say, we take your wedding preparations off your shoulders, but never out of your hands!

After our brides’ concerns had been laid to rest, we wanted to gain some inside information about current wedding style, and Lucia’s take on what’s trending!

What is your favorite, trending wedding color palette?
I am loving the bold orange and navy palette these days! I also think there have been a lot of beautiful weddings with blush and champagne, creating a monotone, elegant affair. Mint is also making its mark, both as a feature color or an accent!

Are there any other trends that you love?
I love when couples take family traditions and give it their own twist. I also love the trend of late night munchies towards to end of the reception. I had one couple who served mini hot dogs and nachos about an hour left in the evening. It was a great way to add their personality as well as think of their guests.

Finally, We Design Weddings wanted to talk about the details. If you’ve decided you want to hire a planner, here are a few questions that might be lingering on your mind:

How long does it take to plan a wedding from beginning to end? How far in advance should I contact you to help plan our Big Day?
Generally, a year is plenty of time. I have planned a wedding in a month, but it’s not my recommendation. A wedding planner should be contacted as soon as possible, even if you are planning on just hiring them for day-of services. The more information the planner is given, the more accurately your vision will come together on your Big Day. No matter which package you book, I am yours from the day your contract is signed!

What value does a wedding planner bring to the table that I might not be thinking of when making this decision?
Wedding planners build networks of reliable vendors that we trust to get the job done. Sometimes we can negotiate a better deal with these vendors. Also, if you find something you like online, be sure to ask your planner about it, as they might have similar connections with online vendors!

What advice can you give to couples in the midst of planning the Big Day?
Enjoy each other. Weddings are more than just a day – they’re about starting a life with the person you love. Take time off from wedding planning! I always ask my couples to go on a date the week of the wedding. I have given gift cards to movie theaters, favorite restaurants or even massages. A date night the week-of is must!

We had a lot of fun chatting with Lucia about wedding planning! If you would like to get in touch with her, you can reach her any time day or night at 913-378-6488 or Be sure to visit her website,!