I had the chance to meet one of the up and coming London Ontario Event planners a few months back.  What first caught my eye was how flawlessly the wedding day was unfolding.  And as a wedding photographer the  level of calmness from the couple was  immediately noticeable.    I couldn’t help but wonder what was so different that was allowing the day to unfold the way it was envisioned?  And thats when I met Cheriss Marson of Cheriss Nicole events.  There truly was no small detail overlooked for the bride and grooms big day.  So I thought I would ask her a few questions to help future happy couples decide if a wedding planner or day of coordinator is right for them.  Read to the end to see the tips she leaves for couples!

winery, darkhorse, grandbend, london, Ontario, wedding, photographer, professional, wesley, Forbes, Photography

Tell us a little bit about how you decided to get into the wedding industry?
Cheriss :
I knew from a very young age event planning was something I was passionate about. I was always the designated planner when it came to getting our group of friends or family together and coordinating the logistics always came naturally to me. Each year on my birthday I would always plan extravagant parties.  I would invite sometimes up to 100 people organizing venue, food, beverage, transportation and entertainment. I enjoyed every aspect of the planning process and loved seeing an idea come to life. After graduating from The Recreation and Leisure Services program and Fanshawe College I got my first job at a golf course assisting their event planner. I got to see first hand the behind the scene operations of event planning, logistics and execution. At this time, it was my dream job.  Having worked alongside their Food and Beverage Manager, Executive Chef and the bride and groom to plan the menu and dinner service. I worked alongside the Event Planner to coordinate day of logistics of the wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and late night.  Working back to back 12-14 hour shifts and they absolutely flew by. I couldn’t wait to get to work and never wanted to leave. The adrenaline from being so hands on and responsible for ensuring every aspect of their day was a feeling of pure exhilaration. After a few months of two sometimes three weddings per weekend, I was asked by a friend if I could help her with her wedding. I worked with her through the whole wedding planning process and was her day of event coordinator. When I got home that night I was absolutely exhausted but kept replaying the amazing day I had just had and how I was so lucky to be such a major part of something so beautiful. It was a feeling of pure bliss. I knew that night this is a feeling no other career could come close to giving me. I knew right then and there I wanted to start my own business and do this for the rest of my life.

Why should couples hire a wedding planner?

A wedding is one of the most ( if not the most) important days of a someone’s life. It will be the single most expensive event you ever plan and there is a lot of pressure to have “the perfect day”. Most couples have never planned a wedding before so the learning curve is extremely steep. Reasons to Hire a wedding Planner

• They can help save you money by showing you where to cut costs

• Likely they have a large network and can recommend vendors that meet your needs , fit your style and are within your budget

• They are able to break down each step of the planning process and give you bite sized projects to be sure not to overwhelm you. Also, they can create to do lists to keep you organized and on track.

• A wedding planner takes care of the tasks you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do

• They are hired to work with you to ensure your day is exactly how you want it. Their work is customizable and are able to help you where you need it.

• A wedding planner is an expert in their field. They work in the industry every single day. They research trends, have contacts in the community and know the tips and tricks.

Do you see any new trends emerging in the wedding industry presently?

There are definitely a lot of trends emerging in the wedding industry. I think a lot of couples or anyone who is planning an event is looking to have their events very customized to their personality. I see a lot of couples take the “traditional elements” and mix them with modern day components . This can be anything from – Traditional wedding cake modernized to candy tables, doughnut walls or cupcakes – I notice a lot of couples are trading in table cloths and chair covers for simple linen and natural wooden chairs – Wedding themes based on couples hobbies / interests such as “Harry Potter Themed”. – Traditional simple bouquets to large bouquets featuring a lot of greenery. – Traditional ceremony spaces to barn / rustic spaces – Couples are using technology to their advantage with wedding websites and collecting RSVP’s online. I love how couples are being creative and stepping away from old age traditions but still paying tribute to elements of a traditional wedding.

Dance, First, wedding, London, Barn, twirl, dress, swoosh

There are so many vendors to chose from on a wedding day, how can you help the couple?

YES there are so many vendors to choose from and YES it can be overwhelming.  So I always break down the vendor process one at a time. I sit down with the couple and go over their vision for their wedding day. We make a list of which vendors they will need. Typically, the first vendor we book is the venue because that’s what all other vendors are based on. If a couple has a family friend who they know will be a vendor on their wedding day, or has fallen in love with a certain vendor and for sure wants to book them we reach out to them first to let them know the potential dates we are looking at and they are the first ones we ask after the venue has provided us with available dates. Examples include Hairdressers, Makeup artists, caterers etc. Your wedding planner should provide you with a list of vendors they think would be a good fit and have a list of questions to ask the vendors. Sometimes wedding planners will sit in on the vendor meetings and help negotiate or modify contracts to tailor them to meet your couples needs.

When someone is looking for a wedding planner, what are some questions they should ask in the meeting?

– Can you tell me about your previous experience?

– What types of services do you provide? (Example: Full Service, Partial Planning, Day of Coordination)

– Do you do both design and coordination? – Have you planned any weddings at our site? – What happens if you are sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of our wedding?

– Do you have any testimonials or references?

– How much are your services? – What is included?

– Do you have my date available? I would always ask the couple to have an idea of their wedding vision prior to the meeting. If possible they should know approximately how many guests they will be having, wedding location (generally speaking) , who’s paying for the wedding and what you are looking for help with. This should be more like a meeting rather than an interview. You want to make sure you and your wedding planner will be able to work together and that your personalities are a good match.

Tips and Tricks for Couple planning a wedding?
1. Stay organized, document everything
2. Take it one step at a time
3. Don’t be a superhero, ask for help
4. Pick your wedding party wisely
5. Create a budget and decide who’s paying early in the planning process
6. Pinterest is your friend but think about what’s important to you as a couple
7. Pick your non negotiable – when it comes down to making a decision between two things, what are you not willing to compromise on
8. Communicate with each other- you are a TEAM. Don’t let the planning process cause stress on your relationship
9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and negotiate contracts
10. Hire a wedding planner.



  1. Katelyn says:

    I couldn’t agree more! Hiring a planner is so important and truly alleviates so much stress and just makes the day the experience it should be. xo

  2. Kris says:

    Amazing wedding planners are worth their weight in gold!

  3. Avery says:

    I have been debating whether it’s worth hiring a planner or not and this was very helpful with making that decision! Thanks for sharing this perspective.

  4. Johnna says:

    Everyone benefits when couples hire a wedding planner. Communication is key to wedding vendors.

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