Wedding To Remember

Hitches getting hitched? Wedding planners help budget, prioritize

Courtesy of Vicki Martin
Vicki Martin, in pink, coordinates from the sideline in her role her as wedding planner.

Wedding planners aren’t just the key to the perfect fairy-tale wedding, they also can help the happy couple save time and money when it comes to their “I dos.”

Wedding planner and Los Altos resident Vicki Martin has been guiding couples tying the knot since she planned her own daughter’s wedding four years ago. Now a wedding wiz with her own business, A Day to Remember, she recommends that all couples hire a planner to ensure that their journey to the aisle is a smooth one.

“(Wedding planners have) the professional knowledge and the networking that can help the couple with costly mistakes,” Martin said. “We can steer them in the direction of what’s going to work within their budget with the tried-and-true people in the industry, so they’re not getting some flake off the internet they found just because it costs $500.”

When planning a wedding, budget can be the driving factor in the details. A wedding planner can help focus a bride and groom’s vision and can keep them on budget. According to Martin, wedding planners are especially helpful when it comes to budgeting for those hidden fees a couple new to the wedding scene may not be aware of.

Paying someone to cut the cake, tipping vendors and purchasing the correct postage for invitations are all tips of the trade Martin noted can surprise couples, who may be blindsided as extra costs mount.

But wedding planners can assist with more than just avoiding sticker shock. Martin said her planning duties can range from handling the entire wedding – something she doesn’t often do – to a month or even single day of coordination.

A month of coordination, Martin said, starts approximately six weeks before the wedding. It’s an arrangement that works for couples who have planned their ceremony and reception. As the clock starts counting down to the big day, she jumps in and assumes responsibility for the contracts, creates a timeline, runs the rehearsal and oversees details on the day of the ceremony and reception. She said that a month of coordination is the minimum any couple should consider.

“You don’t have to worry if the florist is late because that’s what we do,” Martin said about being on-site. “Having us there beside you holding your hand is a great stress reliever for couples and their families.”

An eye for design

Martin said one of her favorite aspects of wedding planning is helping her couples with decor. While websites like Pinterest offer thousands of ideas and snapshots of dream weddings, Martin said they’re often impractical.

“Pinterest offers so much stylized stuff that they’re basically photo shoots,” she said. “You think, ‘Pinterest, oh DIY,’ – well, no, not really. If you want all this stuff on your table or all these decor items (someone has to make them).”

Martin added, however, that what Pinterest is good for is inspiring the visual. It helps brides find the styles they want, and then she can help them focus on what’s practical for their wedding.

What’s popular right now from the depths of Pinterest wedding boards? Martin said it’s “rustic chic.” But to her, it doesn’t matter what style the couple picks, she loves to run with it.

“I always tell (couples) from the very first meeting (that) what you have envisioned in your mind today is not probably what it’s going to be at the end, because it’s all a process, and that’s the part I love,” she said.

For more information on Martin’s planning services, call 279-3405 or visit

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