Sometimes it’s hard to describe what exactly it is that wedding planners and coordinators do, because generally if they are doing their jobs well, you probably won’t ever witness them pulling all the strings behind the scenes and making magic happen on your wedding day. Luckily, being an industry professional has given me a backstage pass to see all this hard work myself. And what I’ve learned is that the difference between a good planner and a, uh, not so great planner, is night and day. A good planner will listen to your ideas, give you educated feedback, and work with you to come up with a game plan for how to execute your wedding in a way that’s going to keep everyone’s stress levels down. A not so great planner is going to treat all their clients the same and make you do things you don’t want to do because that’s the way things are done.
I have worked with both kinds of planners, but APW sponsors always (always) fall into the former category. And today I’m thrilled to add Dominique of Big Juicy Events in NYC to that list of good guys. First of all, Dominique is just kind of badass (check out her bio and tell me you don’t want to be friends with that lady). I mean, first of all, she’s a native New Yorker and you can’t buy the kind of local expertise that native’s possess. But perhaps just as important, you’re going to get whiplash from nodding at everything she has to say about this industry and why she does what she does. So keep reading to find out why Big Juicy Events might be the best news you’ve heard all week (hint: it may come in the form of a discount that Big Juicy Events is offering just for APW readers! Trust me, it’s a good one.)
Now, before we dive into the details of Big Juicy Events, I want to get right to the meat of what makes this lady special. Because when I asked Dominique about her business philosophy, I almost fell off my chair I was clapping so hard. Here’s what she had to say:
I firmly believe that a wedding should be about the getting married part! I consistently notice that when I start working with clients, they have a fear of getting it “wrong”. The mainstream wedding media is just relentless! So much of my job is helping clients de-program and get really clear on what they want vs what they have been told they want. I have always loved what I do and have always had a sense of the above philosophy, but it was when I was planning my own wedding in 2011 that I really got it. I was surprised to find that even I, knowing what I know, was having a lot of anxiety about the day. I knew I had entered crazy land when I was in the midst of a 15 email exchange with my cake baker trying to decide how large my cake would be and how many macaroons to have (Cake for 60 plus 100 macaroons? Cake for 70 and 75 macaroons?) Literally 15 emails. I had to talk myself down, remind myself that I have a Master’s Degree and am a successful entrepreneur and that there was no wrong answer! It is my mission to save couples from that kind of crazy!
I mean. Just—yes. So how does Big Juicy Events translate that philosophy into a business model? Well, Dominique believes that every couple deserves a beautiful wedding, regardless of budget, so her services vary far and wide to reflect that, from full-blown planning, to just a little help here and there. She explained to me, “I feel particularly committed to creating a beautiful day for every couple-instead of reserving a beautiful wedding just for those with a huge budget. For example, I have a couple right now who are both in rock bands. They aren’t crazy for flowers and they are on a tight budget. So I am making all of their centerpieces—origami kusudama flowers out of sheet music. Pretty cool!” (Um, yes. Want.)
And the Big Juicy Events‘ pricing reflects that philosophy as well. Dominique says:
- I will work with you to figure out exactly how best to help and support you.
- I will never sell you a one size-fits-all package, making you pay for things you don’t really need.
- I don’t believe in hidden costs
- We will create the right package at the right price.
- The value of the time saved and the peace of mind will make it well worth it!
And while each quote from Dominique is custom tailored to the client, Dominique told me that on average Day-of- Coordinating starts around $1800, with Full Service Planning starting around $3000. But she added that “There are so many factors that go into pricing-size, number of venues and events (rehearsal dinners, day-after brunches…) Sometimes I just fall in love with a prospective client and their vision, and in that case I like to be flexible enough to see if there is a way to make it work for both of us.” Which I think translates roughly to, “Call me up and we’ll work something out.” Plus, Dominique is offering a 20% discount to all APW couples (I KNOW). Just mention this ad and bam! Discount. (Note to self: do I have any friends in NYC getting married? Hmm…)
But what really sold me on Big Juicy Events was Dominique’s attitude towards her relationship with clients. I’m a firm believer that there isn’t really any competition in this industry. Either someone is meant to be your client, or they aren’t. And I love that Dominique agrees with me there. She explains, “I think I differentiate myself from some of my “competitors” in that I don’t actually think it’s a competition! When I meet with a couple, I stress to them that they need to find the right person for them. Even if it isn’t me. Ultimately, what I am offering is a relationship. During the duration of working together, there is some crazy intimacy that develops. You are trusting me with you vision and with helping you spend your money.” And that right there is how you know you have someone in your corner. Because any company that is willing to sacrifice their bottom line so that you can find a better fit is someone you can trust with your vision, and perhaps more importantly, your cash (depending on which you value more.)
At the end of the day, there’s no gimmick or flash with Big Juicy Events. Just a solid confidante who cares about you, who cares that you get the most for your money, and who cares that the end result of your collaboration is what you wanted (she even creates a shared Pinterest board with you just to make sure that you develop a “common language” about the vision of your wedding, since one person’s casual is another’s elegant.) And as if it needs repeating, anyone reading this ad gets an automatic 20% off Big Juicy Events’ services. So get to it, NYC friends. Because you know a deal like this from a professional like Dominique comes around about as frequently as Halley’s Comet. Perhaps less.
All photos by Dove + Sparrow