Wedding Planner


When I got married last fall, I did all of our planning without a wedding planner. So I’m here to say that it’s definitely possible because I also had family helping, but I do wish that I would have hired a planner at least for month/day-of coordination. I was also getting ready to move out of state so I could have had more time to spend with my friends and family instead of trying to do most of it on my own. My family and friends were super helpful during my planning, but it’s not the same as having a planner to help bring all your details together. There’s many reasons why working with a planner is beneficial to you as the bride and the way your wedding day will go. Hiring a planner doesn’t mean you have to give up any of the personal aspects of your wedding, it just means you have someone there to help it come to life even more! It‘s another person there to support you and understand you. It’s a connection you make now but that lasts even after your wedding day.


I reached out to Riley, from Elegant Affairs by Design, a full service design and wedding planning business to hear more about the experience of working with a wedding planner. She’s based in the Tampa Bay area, but travels out of the area and state for any wedding. Riley got started in wedding planning when she had the chance to assist a wedding planner for 2 years and then decided to become a wedding planner on her own! In January 2018, she started Elegant Affairs by Design, became a certified wedding planner, and has continued to serve her couples in so many amazing ways. Riley’s favorite part about being a wedding planner is seeing her couples enjoy their wedding day to the fullest and being able to take it all in without worries. She also loves connecting with her couples and seeing their journey from getting married to buying a house to having kids, etc. She stays connected to her couples and enjoys hearing about their lives even years after their wedding day.

Here are some tips Riley gave to brides looking for more information on wedding planners:

  • Set your wedding budget together with the anticipated expenses of each part (venue, photographer, catering, invitations, etc.) and then rank them by importance to you and your fiancé. The things that are most important to you two might not be to others so make sure you know what matters most to you as a couple.

  • If a full or partial wedding planning service doesn’t fit your budget, having a planner for at least month/day of coordination is a great thing to consider. Month of coordination helps all of the plans and vendor details come together.

  • Communication is important between all of your vendors.

  • Research your planner/other vendors and read any reviews they have online. But just because they might not have a lot doesn’t mean they aren’t great. It takes time to build reviews and connections. Don’t be afraid to ask around to see if anyone else knows them or has worked with them. Check them out on as many platforms as you can: Facebook, Instagram, personal website, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Marry Me Tampa Bay, etc.

  • Your planner creates your wedding day timeline which is one of the most important things to have to make your day go smoothly. It’s helpful to you as the couple and the other vendors that are part of your day.


More info on Riley and EAD:

  • When you inquire with Riley about her full service wedding planning, she has an amazing questionnaire that goes over details for your day so that you know what to think about. These are questions going over your venue ideas, theme and colors, budget, food and drink, etc.

  • One of the biggest things forgotten on a wedding day is transportation. Riley is there to help with that among other things, like hotel accommodations and rehearsal dinner location.

  • Day-of coordination means that Riley is there from you getting ready until after the reception.

  • If you’re not sure what exactly you want or you’re looking for some input, you can ask your wedding planner for their preference to help make your decision easier, like “Should we do plated meals or a buffet?” Riley is always there to help and give suggestions when needed.

  • If you’re looking to hire a wedding planner for the whole process with full service, it’s best to book at least a year out. If you’re looking for day/month of coordination, it’s best to book at least a few months out.

If you have any questions or want to find more info on Riley and Elegant Affairs by Design, check out her website: or her Instagram:

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