Being an out of town bride, a wedding planner was an absolute must. I spent hours on the phone trying to find a wedding planner--balancing both services and budget. While Jennifer Laura Designs seemed like a good option at the time, I quickly began to regret my decision. Right away I noticed that she was always late to appointments, did not meet deadlines, and worst of all did not listen to what I wanted. I hired her for both design and coordination, and her first take on the design presentation was not only significantly shorter than the example she had sent me, but she presented in her words "a bohemian style" when I had specifically asked for "southern elegance". She did redo the presentation, but this was the first of some major communication issues that I continued to see throughout the process. The issues with planning were frustrating, but honestly would not be that big of a deal if the wedding day service would have been executed more professionally.
One of my biggest hang-ups with Jennifer is her lack of humility and being able to take responsibility for her mistakes--especially when they impact such a big day in people's lives. Here are some of the major things that happened day of (leaving out other things for brevity):
-Florals and timeline: I specifically chose a florist that works in the same office as Jennifer, because I thought that communication between them would be good and lead to a great design--but boy was I wrong. Day of, Jennifer had not communicated the schedule to the florist to ensure that certain installments were ready for us to take pictures with--which resulted in putting us behind schedule for photos. Furthermore, she worked with the florist on certain installments such as the seating chart and did not have the foresight to inquire about dimensions so the print outs she had ended up being way too large for the fl-oral rings they were put in.
-Photos: Communication here was an issue before the wedding. The photographer had asked for someone to help coordinate family members/friends during portraits and while Jennifer did respond in an email saying this: "we have never been asked to assist a photographer before, before the ceremony we are all hands on deck getting set up, but if you needed my assistant during the cocktail hour I can certainly add that to my notes if you don't have an assistant/second shooter. " leaving it open for interpretation and never following up with the photographer. While I do very much think that it was the photographer's fault for not having help/resources in place, better communication by Jennifer could have potentially prevented the situation. What most frustrated me about this though, is that during portraits when help was needed--not only was her assistant standing by us while the situation unfolded, not doing anything to help (aka obviously not all hands on deck)--when Jennifer did finally come help she was rude to me and my husband in front of our friends and family, blamed the photographer, and instead of trying to help, told the photographer it was their problem and left. Even if it was their fault, I would hope that a wedding planner could work with all types of people and help solve a crisis on a wedding day rather than just walking away.
-Clean-up: One of Jennifer's biggest selling points for us was that she would take care of all of the items after the wedding and deliver them at our convenience later. Unfortunately this did not happen, many items were missing, and my mom had to stay until 2am trying to clean up because Jennifer did not do her job.
Again, these are only a few of the many problems we experienced with Jennifer others involving poor communication with the cake designer, photobooth vendor, etc. What it all boils down to is that she has some issues communicating with other vendors/clients, will not take fault or apologize for her mistakes. So if you are considering booking her, double/triple check everything and make sure all of the vendors are on the same page-- I thought that I did, but unfortunately the coordination at the wedding caused a lot of problems for a wedding day that you will never get back.