Frequently Asked Questions

I’m confused! What is the difference between a wedding planner/coordinator/designer/stylist?
I can see why you’re confused! Here’s a quick summary: Typically, a wedding coordinator handles the logistical details of your wedding day, after you’ve hired all of your vendors and laid all of your plans. Sometimes you’ll hear this referred to as “Day Of” coordination though your coordinator should be involved at least 4 weeks prior to your wedding day to understand your wishes and formulate an air-tight itinerary!

A wedding planner will assist you with budgeting, organization, selection of and negotiation with vendors, advice and etiquette, and creation of your wedding day itinerary.

An event designer may be also be a wedding planner who can conceptualize your entire event … every little detail including your color palette; catering and signature cocktails; floral design, linens and décor; stationery and paper goods; favors and welcome bags; lighting & atmosphere, rentals and more…. and guide you to best resources for each.

A stylist takes it one step further by getting to know you as a couple … your story, your personalities, your style … and weaving important, meaningful details into each component of your wedding. A stylist may also assist you with styling your photographs including engagement, bridal and wedding day shoots … photo styling individual shots, suggesting shots and/or adding props to make every moment photo-worthy!

Why should I hire Susan Graham Signature Events?
SGSE has created and managed hundreds of social events since 2002. Susan’s creativity and style, calm manner and devotion to detail are some of her client’s favorite traits. Couples living away from their wedding destination or who have busy jobs appreciate her acting as their single point of contact and advocate with all vendors. Signature Style and Service clients gravitate towards her for her ability to concept and style every detail. Parents, or couples paying for their own weddings, seek out Susan to build a true estimate of the event costs, negotiate contracts and ensure that every dollar spent gets the max bang for the buck.

How much communication will we have?

With Signature Style and Service you will have unlimited communication with us. Milestone Coordination offers a limited number of consulting hours at a lower price. Wedding Day Coordination begins 4 weeks prior to your event.

How many weddings or events will you coordinate per day?
Only one, guaranteeing you the attention you deserve.

My venue has a planner; why do I need SGSE?
Although the planner at your venue may desire to help you, his/her first responsibility will be to the venue. If there is a problem in the kitchen and you need to be greeted and have your dress bustled, any venue challenge will take precedence. SGSE works for you and will be there every step of the way to help. In addition, SGSE is trained in helping you with the entire wedding weekend as opposed to just the part that relates to the venue.

SGSE sounds perfect for me. How do I get started?
Click Contact to send an email and save your date. As soon as we receive your inquiry we’ll send you our availability and more information, including the soonest dates we can meet for an initial meeting.

Do you accept commissions or kickbacks from any vendors?
No. We do not accept any commissions or kickbacks from vendors and will only refer qualified, reputable vendors who will best suit your needs, style, and budget.

How much of my budget should I invest in a planner?
A general rule of thumb is to invest 15-20% of your total funds to hire a professional coordinator, planner or stylist.

Do you charge for an initial meeting?
Our initial meeting is complimentary. This is a chance for us to get to know each other to see if we’re a good fit to work together.

Do you charge an hourly rate, a flat rate or a percentage of my overall wedding budget?
Susan Graham Signature Events charges a flat rate for the level of service that you choose.

How are payments scheduled? Do you accept credit cards?
A fee schedule will be tailored to your needs prior to signing a contract. In most cases, a retainer of 50% is required to secure our services. Susan Graham Signature Events prefers payment by check but can accept credit card payments via PayPal (3% service charge assessed).

What sizes of weddings have you coordinated in the past?

We have coordinated weddings from just the bride and groom only to hundreds of guests.

Do you plan events other than weddings?
Of course! Corporate events, non-profit fundraisers and galas, and any kind of social occasion you can dream up!

How do I become an intern or employee with Susan Graham Signature Events?
Thanks for your interest in working with SGSE. Resumes can be submitted at any time to employment@susangrahamevents.com. While time does not allow us to reply to each inquiry, your resume will be kept on file for consideration for up to 6 months.

How can I get started in event planning? What should I do to prepare for this career?
The best place to start is with an organization where you can learn the event industry in general and see what goes on behind the scenes at events. Try for an internship or job at a hotel or wedding venue, in catering, floral/décor, linen/rentals, or any segment of the wedding industry where you can work behind the scenes at real events and build a portfolio of work and network of colleagues.