Your Wedding Planning Questions: Answered by the Expert
We sat down with Heather Dwight, founder and owner of Calluna Events. Calluna is well regarded as one of the top event planning companies in Colorado and the greater United States. Heather’s 10+ years of expertise in the industry made her the perfect person to ask everything our brides want to know about wedding planning.
LWD: Tell us about you! How did you get into wedding planning?
Heather: I started Calluna Events in 2004 after working in non profit and corporate events. Calluna was born on a night out with girlfriends who told me wedding planning was my calling! I did a little research and at that time and found there weren’t very many wedding planners in Boulder or Denver so I felt like there was a market for it. I will be the first to tell you I would have never considered myself an entrepreneur - I didn’t take any business courses in college - so everything I’ve created with Calluna I learned on my own.
LWD: What are the benefits of hiring a wedding planner?
Heather: There are so many benefits of hiring a wedding planner. We are on your team, we have connections, we can advocate for you and we’ve done this before. However, I find one of the most common reasons our wedding couples choose to hire us is for peace of mind. There are so many time-consuming details that come with planning a wedding that can be very difficult for our clients who have full-time jobs. In addition to peace of mind, the second most common reason our wedding couples hire us is for design and decor consulting. While our couples typically have excellent taste, a professional wedding planner will know how to translate your personal style into an event. To read more about why Calluna thinks you should hire a planner see our blog post about it!
LWD: What should couples look for when searching for a wedding planner?
Heather: A Personal Connection - A connection with your wedding planner is key! You want to be sure the person bringing your vision to life and spending hours on end with you is also someone whose company you genuinely enjoy!
Responsiveness & Strong Work Ethic - Having a planner that is quick to respond and willing to do the legwork on your behalf is important. If you're having trouble getting answers and information from a planner before you book with them, it's usually a good sign of what your planning experience will be like.
Knowledge & Experience - When planning a wedding, experienced planners will know the questions to ask, think fast and know what to do when things happen that are outside of your control (i.e. weather..).
LWD: What’s your favorite part of the wedding planning process?
Heather: I love that each of our couples are completely different and that makes our job so rewarding and exciting and inspiring every day! I love that our clients become friends and that I get to stay in their lives for years to come. I truly love working with the talented network of wedding vendors here in Colorado! Over the years, I have become good friends with many of them and I love that we get to share our passion for our work together and create magic for our clients.
LWD: How far in advance of the wedding should couples start working with you?
Heather: Ideally, I like to be involved as early in the planning process as possible. From providing recommendations on venue and date, mapping out a planning timeline, assisting with budgeting and providing the best recommendations for creative partners that fit your vision, personality and budget, the earlier we can come in the better for a seamless overall vision for your day. Some of our couples hire us 18 months out (or even two years). Although I'd ideally like at least a year with a couple I have planned a full wedding, start to finish in 3 weeks (twice!).
LWD: Do you do day-of coordination in addition to full service planning?
Heather: Calluna Events offers what we call Month-Of Coordination Package, which is more Event Management. Although we really dive in the details 2-3 months out, we provide vendor recommendations and are in touch and available as a resource throughout the planning process. All levels of our clients get access to our online planning software called Aisle Planner.
LWD: What’s your general price range?
Heather: Although we generally customize our pricing to our wedding couple's exact needs, our pricing typically ranges anywhere from $3,500 to $15,000 and more depending on the complexity of the event and needs of our client.
LWD: Is there anything else you’d like couples to know?
Heather: We truly love to work with our couples and fee honored each and every time a we are chosen to work with them on their wedding. Your wedding day is one of the few days where you get to be swept off your feet surrounded by all of your favorite people. We will be running around behind the scenes to make sure that you don’t have to worry about logistics on one of the most important days of your life. And we couldn’t be more happy to do this for you!