Wedding Planners & Coordinators

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

Need a Day-of Coordinator for Wedding

May 2010

My oldest daughter is getting married in August in Oakland and I'm looking for a Day-Of-Coordinator who is reasonably priced. Any suggestions? Sue

Give Ann Saavedra at DreamCatcher Events a call. Her # is 925-947-3999 or email at ann [at] Ann has been doing event plannings, particularly weddings, for years. She is competent, warm, and organized. She will go the extra mile for you and I can assure you, you will be glad you have her help. She tells a story about the day of the wedding, where no one in the family could get a toddler to walk down the aisle. Ann came to the rescue, the boy responded to her and walked down the aisle to everyone's delight! A fan of Ann
Call Janece Shellooe at Every Elegant Detail and see if she is available. She wonderful, easy to work with and completely organized. I love knowing she is the coordinator when we cater weddings, because, as her name says, she does take care of every detail. Janece - 925.330.5193 Kerri
My friend just got married and used Erica, from Pretty Perfect Weddings & Events. She spoke pretty highly of her, and the event turned out very nice. She can be reached at 510-213-6880. J
With her permission, I recommend my colleague Beth Sandefur. Beth plans and runs a slew of events for our nonprofit every year, ranging from multiple intimate cocktail and larger dinner events for high-level donors to one absolutely gigantic auction/benefit that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. She would do your daughter's wedding as a freelance event on the side (because she loves organizing and running parties), so I bet she'd give you an excellent price, far less than what you'd pay elsewhere to get someone with her years of experience. You can contact her via her cell: (585) 269-2995. (She's local, despite the area code!) Good luck to you and your daughter--I hope she has a wonderful wedding! Darcy

Eco-friendly wedding planner

March 2009

Does anyone know of an eco-friendly wedding planner in the Bay area? My fiance and I have been struggling to find one! Thank you! Jenny

You might give Nicole Irvin a call. She is a wedding planner and was recently featured in ?The Knot? wedding magazine- they hired her to create an eco-wedding party featuring local ''green'' wedding vendors. Here is her contact info if you are still looking. Nicol Irvin Little Blue Box Weddings 415.358.4861 Congrats!
There are a couple local-ish green event planners (Clementine Eco Events in Petaluma, Mateo Granados of Healdsburg) mentioned in this article from the Dec 14, 2008 Chronicle: It also has other green event resources and tips. Have fun and congratulations! JP

Gay-Friendly Wedding Planner

June 2008

The Supreme Court ruling on May 15 has catapulted us, after 12 years together, into a wedding-planning frenzy. We have a date (Sept), a location with catering (Berkeley), and a rabbi, but the other details elude us. Can anyone recommend a gay-friendly wedding planner? Someone down-to-earth and easy-going, and not into us spending a bagillion dollars. Creativity and outside-the-box thinking is what we need....know anyone? Bride with Pride

I don't have a recommendation for a wedding planner but I wanted to say how happy our entire family is for you and your intended not to mention the thousands of others who are affected by this monumental decision by the CA Supreme Court. We are the parents of 2 boys who were aghast when we told them that until the late 1940s it was against the law for people of different races to marry (CA was the first state to rule otherwise). It is my hope that when they have children and share with them that once upon a time it was illegal for people of the same gender to marry their children will be just as astounded. Best of luck to you - we are THRILLED. straight, not narrow
Victoria Lieberman, I forget the name of her planning company, I think it's You Deserve the Best, is totally gay friendly. I'm not gay and she didn't plan my wedding but she did my best friends commitment ceremony and she did a work event for me. She's very down to earth, totally reasonable and pays extreme attention to details. She focuses on what you want not what would ''look good or be fabulous.'' She doesn't have a website (that's how down to earth she is) but her email is valieberman [at] She's from Oakland, an East Bay native and super approachable. I spoke to her recently about hiring her just for one day to help with my son's wedding and she's coming in just for the day at a very reasonable price. She said she's getting alot of calls for weddings lately from people who have been waiting a long, long, time to get married! Check her out. Good luck and congratulations. Jayne
Check out the newly launched My Queer Weddding at congrats!
For a fantastic gay friendly wedding coordinator I highly recommend Sharon Slater at Cal Neva Resort in Lake Tahoe. She recently had a booth at Pride Weekend in SF. You can reach her at: 1-800-225-6382 Corey
You might contact photographer, Kristin Hernandez: + 1 510 338 2997 She just shot my gay friend's wedding, was fabulous, and is photographing many more same-sex weddings this year. Happy planning! Lynda
We were 100% thrilled with Ilona of Fantasy Events, who helped plan our (same-sex) wedding that took place just last weekend, in Berkeley. You can reach her at, or phone (408) 655-2617. We couldn't have been happier with Ilona. My favorite part was when she said ''No, you two won't get a copy of the master timeline. You don't need to be thinking about who is doing what or when, you just get to enjoy yourselves that day.'' And we did. We are *so* glad we splurged to get help with the planning. Rahel

Wedding planner

May 2008

We're looking for a wedding planner. Suggestions? Ideas? Our questions are...
+ Do you know a good wedding planner? Tell us who it was! + Have you used a wedding planner you were *not* happy with? Please let us know. + What are the going rates for wedding planners?
Thanks! SR

Hi there. I used an excellent planner for my wedding two years ago. Her name is Maria Nurisio King. I can't find her website, but her e-mail is 4mkings [at] I don't remember her prices exactly, but I do remember them being reasonable. She was EXCELLENT. We hired her for 'day-of' coordinator services, but I know she also offers complete planning services. She took care of everything and managed a number of minor crises that I didn't find out about until after the festivities. (For example, they thought the ringbearer had lost the ring on the way down the aisle. No one could find it. Maria had an excellent solution of 'borrowing' someone else's ring for the ceremony & looking more for the ring later. We didn't need to do that ... the ring turned up ... but I was so impressed with her quick thinking and great organization.) My husband and I were able to completely be in-the-moment and enjoy our day knowing that she was taking care of all the details. She had an amazing! and very detailed timeline and she made sure everyone had the information they needed. She's also just really nice and pleasant to work with. Definitely get in touch with her. You can tell her I recommended her if you like. Good luck with your wedding and enjoy!! Shoshana

Do I need a wedding planner?

Nov 2007

We'll be getting married the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend at the gazebo in Civic Park in Walnut Creek. I picture an extended cocktail reception, a lot of great finger food, wine/champagne/ beer? then coffee & wedding cake, not a sit down dinner, from 4- 7pm for about 50 people & no kids. Should I use a wedding planner? I enjoy organizing social get-togethers but have never throw a wedding before. Many thanks, Bobbie

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! If you enjoy planning parties, I don't think you need a wedding planner for the scale of event you are planning, and with the timeframe you have. There are tons of planning guides in the form of books, checklists in magazines, and online forums. The challenge is to not get too caught up in the wedding mania and find yourself awake at 2am obsessing about whether the party favors match the napkins. Cull out the info that is useful/relevant, dump the rest, and keep your focus on why you are doing this in the first place--to celebrate your lifelong commitment with family and friends! A few recommendations: for music, you might want to consider contacting the music department at a local college or conservatory. You can find some advanced students to provide a string quartet or jazz trio who can play background music for your reception (and/or a soloist for ceremony music) and they won't be expensive.

Also, you may want to use language on your invitation like ''cocktail reception to follow,'' since otherwise your guests might come expecting dinner, given your start time. I don't know vendors in the Walnut Creek area, but I regularly recommend Blue Heron caterers in Oakland, and Masses in Berkeley and La Farine in Oakland both make great cakes. Have fun tasting! Enjoyed Planning My Own Wedding

I would say it sounds like you know exactly what you want and could certainly take care of it yourself. However, what I think would be invaluable would be a ''day-of'' coordinator. This person will come early on the wedding day, make sure all of your vendors are set up properly and prepared to go at the time(s) you want. YOU don't want to be doing that! Several of my ''poor'' friends have gotten married recently and had a friend take care of this for them, so even hiring someone isn't totally necessary. But you surely will need one POINT person for the day and it shouldn't be you! :)
been there, done that wedding thing

Coordinator for very small wedding in a park

May 2007

I'm looking for someone to coordinate a very small (30 people) wedding in a park this summer. I need someone to set up the tables and chairs, set the tables and put out flowers, put out the food and drink, make sure things run smoothly and guests are taken care of. Thank you for your recommendations. Berkeley Bride

I highly recommend Sandra Rubin as a wedding coordinator. She just did my day of coordinating and she was fabulous. She is also more reasonably priced than the other coordinators I called. Her number is 925- 255-3423 Sara

Need help with logistics, on a tight budget

Dec 2006

I need help planning a wedding ceremony and a wedding reception that will be months apart. For various reasons, we're going to have a small wedding ceremony in the spring and a large wedding reception in the summer. I need help with the logistics, such as figuring out invitations and announcements, and how to make the reception fun for all ages. And we're on a tight budget. I checked the website and recommendations for wedding planners are outdated. Thanks. Bride with Issues

I loved Nyla Commisso at The Whole Big Thing ( We were also on a tight budget and able to do an ''a la carte'' option with her. I appreciated that she was really low key. Her number is 650/464-8215 Patrice
We worked with Nina Conti because our wedding was at our house in the backyard and we had friends doing all the flowers, cooking, etc. and I didn't want anyone to get stressed out during the day, i wanted it to be fun. Nina was really low- key, never got hyper about things, and took a lot of responsibility for making the day flow, so others could enjoy the festivities. Her prices were really low compared to some of the other career wedding planners. Ours was the first wedding she did, and she's already done three of our friends weddings since then. Nina Conti (415) 302-5714 ninahatfield at Let her know Julie passed along her name. good luck Julie

Wedding planner who can think outside the box

June 2006

We're interested in having a non-traditional but individualistic/unique wedding. We would like recommendations on wedding planners that are creative and that can 'think outside the box' as well as incorporate cultural traditions, if need be. Thank you for your help

I had the wedding of my (grown up) dreams last February, and although I never imagined hiring a wedding planner, it was the smartest thing I ever did. Susan Anthony encouraged me to think outside the box, and every time I said, I'd like to try something, but don't know how it would work, she made it work. She is amazingly well=organized, very enthusiastic (with the energy she poured on for us, she could have been planning her own wedding!) imaginative, kind, and a great deal of fun to work with. She became my best friend, my sister, my alter ego, and my taskmaster for an intense few months, and I got to be totally present at my own wedding (I also hired her to produce the event so I didn't have to worry about having the cake delivered and when it was going to be cut). When I drew the budget line, she never argued with me. But she wasn't afraid to point out that some expenses (like a professional cake cutter when you have 200 pieces of cake to cut!) were really worthwhile. I adore Susan. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how fabulous she is for your wedding--I'll be happy to tell you some of the nontraditional things we did that she made work. Congratulations on your engagement! Enjoy your wedding. sabrina
As a professional photographer, I work with wedding planners. I find that Kat Clifford of Something Blue wedding planning is terrific for that sort of thing. She is creative, fun to work with and thrives on finding unique ways to do thing. She is here in the east bay and I believe has resonable rates. Her website is Christina S
Nina Conti helped us w/ our wedding, she is an organizer by profession and does weddings as a little side business. She has now helped 3 other friends w/ weddings and commitment ceremonies. she is creative, a bit non-traditional, and doesn't have a huge agenda. She can be as involved as you want her to be, for one friend's wedding, she also did all the centerpieces and favors. She can play a great role on the day- of, paying caterers, etc., dealing with parking hiccups, or other snafus that you don't want to know a thing about. Her rates are really reasonable and she has a really calm presence which is key! Let her know Julie suggested her Nina Conti (415) 302-5714 ninahatfield at Julie

Earlier Recommendations

Feb 2002

I am in search of a great wedding planner-does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks in advance!

You HAVE to call Linda at One Stop Wedding Shop in Alameda. She is so wonderful. I had hired another for my wedding who turned out to be horrible and kept most of my money. I went to Linda on the advice of another friend who used her. I was concerned b/c I wanted a fun wedding that wasn't too outrageous but not too traditional either and didn't want to have the same problems that I had with the first coordinator. I thought she might not ''get it''. But, she was perfect. She was extremely reasonable and worked far beyond the call of duty. I felt so guilty for how little $ she charged and how hard she worked that I gave her some more $. I think my husband did too. She and her husband run the shop and are great people. I got married almost 2 years ago and still miss Linda! She was such a joy to work with and made sure it was as stress free and fun as possible. I have referred several brides to her and they have all felt the same way. Congratulations! A One Stop Wedding Shop 1629 Park St Alameda (510) 814-8014 Nicole
My mother's best friend is a wedding coordinator. She helped plan our wedding three years ago and I was very happy with the way it reflected our individual style. She's also a talented decorator and florist, so everything was beautiful and elegant, and she knew just where to get all the best wholesale deals on everything. Her name is Ann Saavedra and her business is called Dreamcatcher ( She's in Walnut Creek: 925-947-3999. Whitney