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INTERVIEW: Brigid Horne-Nestor of i-do Weddings & Events

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An interview with Brigid Horne-Nestor of i-do Weddings & Events, an experienced and powerful wedding planning team, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Brigid is one of only sixty-nine Master Wedding Planners (MWP) in the entire world, and she joined us for a wide-ranging interview that touches on everything from the role of a wedding planner to advice for brides on how to seize control and make sure they get the wedding they truly want.

Q: How did you get started in wedding planning?

A: I first discovered my love of event planning as a child while organizing neighborhood talent shows starring my sisters and friends. While planning my own wedding, the spark was reignited when I began teaching a Communiversity class at the University of Cincinnati on wedding planning. In 1999, a local TV reporter did a story on my class mentioning the segment during an “Oprah” show commercial break. My phone started ringing immediately, and a wedding planning business was born.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: My favorite part about being a wedding planner is hearing “We could not have done it without you.”

Q: What services and help do you provide to brides and why is the role of a wedding planner so important?

A: We offer day of coordination, partial panning and full service planning, but we customize our services to the needs of our clients. Our most important job is allowing our clients to be fully present for every moment of the celebration rather than worrying about the logistical details of the day. When we ask potential clients why they want a wedding planner, the most common answer is to avoid being in charge on the wedding day.

Q: How should a bride select her wedding planner?

A: Just like any vendor, it’s important to choose a wedding planner with a good reputation, experience and a compatible personality. Look for positive online reviews and ask local venues, photographers and florists for recommendations.

Q: What is the first thing you would advise a bride to do in planning her wedding?

A: The first thing is to determine the guest count. This number effects every decision in the early stages of planning because the size of your venue and the budget for food/beverage are directly tied to this figure.  

Q: What is the second thing you would advise a bride to do in planning her wedding? 

A: Once the guest count is known, the next step is to book a ceremony and reception site that will accommodate the number of guests and budget.

Q: If a wedding planner is being paid by someone other than the bride, who should that planner have allegiance to? Who is the true client? 

A: No matter who pays the bill, we approach every wedding with the belief that all opinions deserve to be heard.  Feeling heard makes a person much less defensive and much more likely to listen to other opinions in return. Our “allegiance” is to having a great wedding, which is what everyone else wants too.  With that in mind, we strive to serve the needs of the client who signs our contract as well as those who love them.

Q: Does a planner ever have to make independent executive decisions without input from the bride, and if so, what are some examples? 

A: On the wedding day, there are times when we act on behalf of our clients without their input or knowledge. We do this when we are trying to solve problems like a missing wedding cake knife or escort cards that won’t fit in the holders provided or a wedding guest who is too drunk to drive. Clients hire us to do what they would do behind the scenes if they were not so busy getting married and enjoying the day.  We take that responsibility very seriously, and we only tell them about the “problems” if they ask us after the wedding.

Q: With so many family and friends, who lovingly give their opinions and influence, how can a bride make sure that her wedding is truly the way she wants it to be? 

A: While we believe it is important to listen to the opinions of loved ones, the voice that matters most is her own. Our advice is to love every idea for 5 minutes before saying anything. Feeling “heard” makes a person much less defensive and much more likely to listen to other opinions in return. So even if a bride hates an idea, we encourage her to say “I never thought of that.  I’ll consider it, but I’m also thinking of doing this…”

From left to right: Brigid Horne-Nestor (Master Wedding Planner), Karen Montgomery (Manager), Christina Brown (Lead Wedding Designer).

From left to right: Brigid Horne-Nestor (Master Wedding Planner), Karen Montgomery (Manager), Christina Brown (Lead Wedding Designer).

Q: What are some of the reasons a bride should hire a professional wedding planner instead of going it alone or asking a friend or family member to do the planning? 

A: The number one reason people hire wedding planners is because they do not want to be in charge of the bridal party, family, wedding guests or vendors on the wedding day. In reality, every wedding has a coordinator – but that person is typically the bride or her mother. While it’s tempting to give the job to a friend or family member, it is important to understand that the person in charge of the wedding will not feel like a guest.

Q: What are some things a bride can do to help her planner make her wedding day the best it can be? 

A: The most helpful thing a bride can offer her wedding planner is a timely response to questions about her preferences. As planners, it’s our job to represent the best interests of our clients. The key to doing that well is knowing exactly how our client would respond to any question or concern on the wedding day. When our client gives us all the information we need in order to act on her behalf, our job is much easier.

Q: What is the most common regret you hear from brides? 

A: The most common regret is not having a video of the day. While photos are great, brides often regret not being able to remember the toasts or maybe they did not get to hear the prelude music. It’s also something a couple can share with guests who could not make it or even their own children some day.

Q: What is the funniest thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding? 

A: A 93-year-old grandmother pulled one of our planners onto the dance floor. Our planner was mortified, but she did not want to disappoint grandma - so she obliged and we all had a good laugh.


You can find out more about the amazing wedding planning team of i-do Wedding & Events by calling them at 513.762.5550 and visiting their website: www.i-do-weddings.com