Ask an Event / Wedding Planner
1. Who are you, what do you do, and how long have you been in the wedding industry? What should our readers know about you?
Jennifer Lane of Jennifer Lane Events. Our motto is: Creating extraordinary weddings since 1991, why you ask. Well, almost anyone can create a wedding, but we specialize in creating weddings that you & your guests will remember for a life time, special unique touches, elements and memorizing, he day runs like clock work and you feel like a princess for an entire day. A majority of our weddings are featured in magazines and TV shows – extraordinary.
2. How did you become a wedding planner? What do you like the most about your job?
I started planning high-end events and weddings in 1991, under the watchful eye of Pinehurst Country Clubs events manager. For nearly 15 years, every event and wedding that came through the facility, I was the lead planner for. We averaged 1000 events and weddings a year. In 2004, I decided that I’d like to be able to work with clients on a more personal level and broke out on my own. You know, quality rather than quantity. Now I can spend more time and really customize the events and weddings we work on to our clients. From finding the perfect location, assisting with vendor selection, to creating jaw-dropping décor elements, and making sure that you make it to the plane on time, it’s customer service 100% of the time.
What I love most about my job, is even when two clients come to me with the same color scheme, no two events or weddings are ever the same.
3. What are the typical services offered by a wedding planner? What is the typical cost (range)? Any tips for those on a tight budget?
We provide full service, however, we bill hourly, which means you only pay for the services you need. No package you have to upgrade to get what you want or need. You select which items you would like us to handle, and that is what we will do to the best of our ability and usually, exceeding expectations.
Full Service Event Planning & Production
Colorado, National and International
Full Service Wedding Planning & Production
Colorado, National and International
Entertainment and Talent
Event Design and Custom Created Decor and Lighting
Corporate Gift Selection, Awards and Promotional Items
Graphic Design, Collateral Pieces and Signage
Detailed Logistics Planning
Onsite Event Management
Site and Venue Selection
Travel, Accommodations and Transportation Services
Event Day Management (starts 30 days in advance of event)
Set up staff
Take down staff
Theater quality large prop design team
Decor design with decor glitz fairy installation
The typical or average cost for full wedding planning with our services and 26 years of expertise, to do everything and you just make selections, is 40 -60 hours or $4,000 -$6,000.
Tight budget tips: staying classic with design and style but adding a few trendy elements helps to keep the budget in check. Also if you and another bride have similar taste and are willing to use a majority of the same décor elements the two f you can share the overall costs cutting your budget even more. The last tip of advice for cutting costs and keeping the check book in good shape, is once you make your selections for your wedding, stay off Pinterest and Instagram.
4. How do your weddings differ, and how are they the same?
No two weddings are ever the same, why, we customize every wedding to our client, their vision, their budget and desires.
There are a few elements we keep the same, those are the order to have all of the main events happen in the reception. The reason why, is so that your guests don’t say, I missed the toast, the cutting f the cake, or the first dance.
5. What is the most unusual/creative wedding you planned?
We have three unbelievably unusual and extremely creative weddings, which were the by far some of the most fun to plan.
The first one – a week long wedding celebration in Italy. We re-created by the bride’s request the wedding of Bill & Giuliana Rancic, they did a 3 hour TV show about their wedding, which I happened to not see until the week we got back from doing this wedding, & we nailed every detail.
The second one was a wedding in California we did for a couple who love pirates and everything they stood for . We held the wedding on a ship, had Captain Jack Sparrow as cocktail hour entertainment. The groom swung into his ceremony from a rope in the crows nest. Everyone was so surprised, but had a ton of fun.
The third was a wedding in Sleepy Hallow New York on All Hollow’s eve, where the couple both loved haunted houses and really wanted to embody that feeling in their wedding. They dreamed of a headless horseman themed wedding & boy did we deliver! As the guests arrived they entered the ceremony through a mini haunted house we created on site. The headless horseman officiated, the demon horse was crawling out of a “grave” from within the cemetery which served as the back ground of the ceremony. For the reception, a team of make-up artists turned all of the guests into zombies for the zombie crawl.
6. Was there ever a time you had to improvise?
We are based in Colorado and many of our weddings happen in Colorado, perhaps you know that quote, “Welcome to Colorado, if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes, maybe you’ll like what happens next better.” As a result, we plan for options A, B and C for any outside planned event. We commonly have to create a last minute miracle for out door events. However, it goes smoother, considering we already have in place a couple back up plans.
7. Which portion of the process keeps you busy the most, and what takes the most energy? What does your day at the wedding itself look like typically?
The planning and custom décor creation takes the most time for sure. Most brides do not realize that we have hours of work already done before you even meet with us for the second time. As the first meeting, typically e have been hired, by the second meeting, we have locations and vendor appointments already scheduled to meet with you.
The typical wedding day for me & my team is 12-18 hours. We are the first to arrive and the last to leave every time. We start with the arrival of all of the items we are handling, most of the time that is custom décor elements, from back drops, chair covers, bars, ceremony arbor or chuppa, and elaborate photo booth set ups. We will be there for the arrival of all vendors and make sure everyone gets there on time to create a smooth running wedding day. At the end of the night, we will clean everything up, take down all décor elements, is some cases we are even the ones sweeping, vacuuming and mopping, including getting trash to the dumpster.
8. If you could ask one thing of the grooms and brides that would make your job at their wedding easier, what would it be?
Attending the first meeting with us where you bring your inspiration pictures is super helpful so we can get a really good idea to who you are and what things really important to you. In the past, we’ve had some clients not be honest about the budget they are really working with. Keeping this a secret from your wedding planner will end up in a disaster.