I think all of us have the same fear about hiring a wedding planner: that you’re gonna go into it thinking you’re getting a pro, and wind up with the intern. Which is why Dominique Bell, aka the queen behind NYC’s Big Juicy Events advocates for what she calls Grown-Up Wedding Planning. Dominique gets that planning a wedding doesn’t often look like it does in the movies, and that for a lot of people, planning a wedding can be a deeply complex experience. Grown-Up Wedding Planning means she’s never going to treat you like a doe-eyed ingénue. Dominique explains:
I joke that I do weddings for grown-ups—I use this as a short hand to speak to certain commonalities. My clients are often in their thirties and forties, they have busy professional lives, and they are often taking on part of the financial responsibility for the wedding.
More importantly, they have, through life experiences, learned that no one and no thing is perfect. They have, most likely, experienced some heartbreak or romantic disappointment along the way. They are walking into marriage with their eyes open—grateful to have found this person who gets them, and they bring a similarly balanced perspective to the wedding itself. They understand that “best day ever” is more about a state of mind than it is about creating a party that can compete with what they’ve seen on wedding blogs. They are well aware that the marriage is more significant than the party.
So with that, here are five reasons Dominique is the Grown-Up Wedding Planner for you:
1. she’s no amateur
Dominique began her work life in the NYC restaurant business, working for some of the best chefs in the city—including Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, and Missy Robbins. She navigated through the restaurant business and flourished as a Wine Director, Service Director, and ultimately as an Events Director. Honing her skills in these settings helped Dominique dig in deep and learn to satisfy a discerning clientele. As any restaurant kid knows, working in the industry requires thinking on your feet, multi-tasking, and problem solving on a moments notice.
2. she’ll work work with your budget
Big Juicy Events offers customized planning for each and every client. In general terms, Month of coordinating starts at $3500, partial planning at $5500, and full planning is $7500. Keep in mind that “general” is key—if it seems like you’re a great fit, Dominique is happy to negotiate negotiations with flexibility an open mind. And, as past client Amira knows explained:
Our wedding was a dream and it was in large part due to Dominique. She did everything we needed and more. We were working with a tight budget and didn’t think we would need a coordinator but ultimately decided to get one so that we could enjoy the day more and not have to worry about details. Dominique far exceeded expectations—she worked with all of our vendors and handled every issue that arose with professionalism and ease. She was worth every penny and more. I will recommend her to anyone I know that is looking to plan an event. She met with me as much as I needed and triple checked details with other vendors. She managed our wedding day so smoothly! Our wedding was perfect!
3. She’s damn grateful for her job
Dominique is one of those rare NYC vendors who understands that her job is incredible. That wasn’t always the case for Dominique, so she’s deeply appreciative of the work she’s able to do with you guys. As she says:
I joke that I found the right work for my kind of crazy. I am a person that is thinking about a thousand things at any given moment, so I am well suited to wedding madness. On wedding days, the day is full of the crazy whirlwind of multitasking and running around. Then, when it is time for the ceremony, I get to stand completely still and be a witness to this amazing leap these people are taking.
This level of dedication isn’t lost on the people she works with. As Deb said:
Dominique and Big Juicy Events, without a doubt, made our entire wedding. Without her support, organization, sense of humor, and unmatchable taste, nothing we did would have been as enjoyable and memorable as it thankfully became. We knew we needed help but were fairly certain we wouldn’t find a coordinator who matched our sensibilities. Then we met the talented Dominique Bell, who not only had amazing vendor contacts and ideas (AMAZING IDEAS), which she gladly shared (saving us tons of research time), she took time to meet with us and frequently kept us in check with timelines and to-do lists.
She did an exemplary job of allowing our vision to shine through and also knew when to the take the reins to get the job done and free us from stress. Most importantly, the day of… ah, that whirlwind and dreamy “day of”… Dominique repeatedly went above and beyond seamlessly. To this day we still have no clue if or when any snafus arose, because if they did we wouldn’t even know. She kept everything running flawlessly. Dominique handled every ounce of pressure with ease. We really felt that she took the stress away and allowed us to just be in the moment. We have received so many compliments on what a heartfelt and cool event it was, and I can honestly say we owe most of this to Dominique and Big Juicy Events.
4. She’s Not here to make you feel bad:
Dominique told us:
I often get calls from people who start off planning their own weddings and then end up overwhelmed and reaching out for help. They are sometimes hard on themselves—as in “I can’t believe that planning a wedding is kicking my butt.” Stop that! There is nothing in “real life” that prepares us for wedding planning! It is its own strange and wonderful universe. Getting help from professionals is a great thing.
5. she knows what it’s like to make a big commitment
More than anything, you want to hire Big Juicy Events because she’s been there: Dominique is a native New Yorker who grew up in the city, went to NYU, and has been married and rocking in Brooklyn for the last ten years. Speaking of her own marriage, Dominique says that her weekly reminder of how awesome love is (aka your weddings), always makes her think of her husband: “…Of what we’ve created, and the hard work we’ve done. Of how my biggest fan is home waiting for me. This career? It makes it impossible for me to take my own marriage for granted.”
Bottom line: Big Juicy Events gets that when it comes to weddings, perfection is a myth. But impeccable wedding planning? That can be done.