Events by Autumn
Frequently Asked Questions
CAN YOU WORK WITHIN OUR BUDGET?
Couples typically have a pre-set budget in mind, based on what funds are made available for their wedding. More often than not, the funds available don't cover everything the client wants. THAT'S OK! We actually start the planning process by reviewing the budget and getting you as much as we can for the funds you have available. Sometimes that requires getting creative with your designs, but that's why we're here - It's our job as professionals, to not only educate about realistic costs, but it's also our job to design a wedding that does fit the aesthetic AND the budget. It's helpful if a client has a minimum budget of $500 per person for their wedding (take your estimated guest count, and multiply x 500). This number encompasses ALL aspects of your wedding day: Catering, bar, photographer, videographer, dress, hair, makeup, venue, planning, florals, rentals, transportation, etc. If your budget is sitting at this figure right now, you'll have a lot more flexibility right off the bat to get what you want. If your budget isn't quite there, you'll need to have some flexibility with your designs, or you might want to consider our "wedding management" package.
HOW MANY MEETINGS WILL BE HAVE, AND HOW WILL WE BE INVOLVED?
If you book a full service package (either our Signature Event or our Full Service planning package), access to us is unlimited! Email us as many times as you need. You're always welcome to call any time during our office hours. However, we recognize that our clients have busy schedules, and many live on the other side of the country. Should you need to talk outside of business hours, it's as simple as just setting up a time to talk. When it comes to being involved, some clients want to be VERY involved, and others want to be completely hands off (or a mix of both!). Part of our on-boarding process is getting to know your personal preferences, so we can tailor our planning services to you. No decisions are made without you - we want your input. However, you're relying on our expertise to help reduce the legwork, and leave you with the parts of planning you enjoy!
HOW DOES THE VENDOR SELECTION PROCESS WORK?
Once we're at a good place with designs & budgeting (usually after the first month of planning), we'll send over a list of vendor suggestions that fit your specific event needs and style. We don't have a "preferred vendor list" - we tailor our suggestions to your individual needs. You'll receive a few suggestions in each vendor category, when possible We encourage you to take some time to visit their websites, review their social media, and/or set up interviews to get to know them. The decision of who you want to work with is always in your own hands. You can definitely suggest & choose vendors outside of our suggestions - we're always willing to work with new businesses! Either way, once you've selected your vendor team, we'll get involved again, and request contracts on your behalf. You are responsible for signing the contracts & paying your vendors, but having us ask for contracts ensures vendors know we're on board (and that makes future communications a lot easier!). Yes - in many cases, you're signing contracts with vendors without meeting in person. Later on in the planning, we'll set up a FAM (familiarization) trip, and that is the time for you to confirm which products you want, once you see everything in person. Please note, we never receive kick backs from vendors - our suggestions are professional vendors, who have a great track record, and do outstanding work. Vendor suggestions are only provided with Event Design, Basic Full Service, Elopements, and Signature Events.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ON YOUR STAFF WILL BE AT THE WEDDING?
On-site staffing is based on the size + scope of your wedding plans, as well as location. When we're quoting any of our planning packages, we're providing ample staffing to set up a standard ceremony, cocktail hour & reception. Our staff sets chairs, linens, place settings, paper products, floral arrangements, and more. It's our responsibility to get the room set in enough time for other vendors to do their jobs - photographer, florist, caterer, etc. We are not the type of planners to stand there with a clipboard and point. . . we are do-ers! We always want the room setup completed in enough time, so your photographer can get plenty of detail images. If there's more in depth set up needs, beyond what's "standard," we will talk about updating the staffing counts. If your guest count drops, and the plans are possible with a smaller staff, we'll cut back, and you'll save some money. The same staff is on site all day, and remains through the end of the wedding, to help pack up your decor and prep your rentals for vendor pickup.
HOW DO PAYMENTS WORK? WILL THERE BE ADDITIONAL FEES ON TOP OF YOUR BASE FEE? (TRAVEL, PARKING, FOOD, ETC.).
FULL SERVICE PACKAGE:
Deposit: $2500 due at the time of booking.
Remaining Balance: Divided in half: first half due at 120 days and remaining half due at 30 days.
Additional Payments: If you rent items from our inventory, or we custom create decor, there is a separate invoice + payment due following the wedding. You will receive a rental agreement prior to the event, to approve items we're providing.
SIGNATURE PACKAGE + ELOPEMENTS:
Deposit: $2500 at the time of booking.
Remaining Balance: Divided in half: first half due at 120 days and the remaining half at 30 days.
Additional Payments: Specialty hand-made linens + stationery is discussed, budgeted, and paid for at the time of creation. Custom decor is a separate invoice + payment is due following the wedding. Nothing is created without your approval of the overall wedding budget.
Deposit: $500 deposit.
Remaining balance: Due to release final organizational documents.
DAY OF PLANNING:
Deposit: $500 deposit.
Remaining balance: Due at 30 days out.
DO YOU CARRY PERSONAL LIABILITY + PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE?
Yes! We're fully insured, with $1,000,000 coverage. Although our business is insured, you'll be required to get event insurance too. It's the smartest $250 you'll spend (we budget for it), and it covers additional items, like cancellation or postponement, damages due to unforeseen circumstances like weather, vendor or guest mishaps.
HOW DOES THE PLANNING PROCESS WORK?
SHORT VERSION: I take your ideas and dreams, and I turn them into a reality!
LONGER VERSION: Through an initial (usually virtual, for destination clients) meeting and follow up consultations, I get a feel for your budget, goals and your story. From there, I can create a design plan customized for you. We can work through all those little details and decisions to make your event just like you envisioned. By the time the wedding date rolls around, I’m a pro at what you want, and what your vision is, so I can set it up, and manage everything just the way you wanted.
Being an artist, if you book my "Signature Event by Autumn," I can also create customized decor, paper products + more, to truly customize your wedding day. I like to say, I’m here to “lower your stress, and not your expectations!” The wedding week is your time to relax, hang out with friends and family, and just enjoy it! All you have to do it show up to the ceremony and reception, and let it take your breath away! We'll do all the "heavy lifting!"
More of the detailed planning process can be found HERE.
WHEN DO WE START PLANNING?
My services start on the day you sign your contract and pay the deposit. You’ll first receive a wedding planning workbook. The workbook is something I’ve created after years of event planning, that really helps you put your ideas down on paper. From there, we have an initial consultation where we dig into the nitty-gritty details and begin mapping out your wedding day!
At Events by Autumn, we realize that putting together a wedding is a very fluid thing. Couples change their minds continually over the course of the planning. My timeline helps us work together in setting goal dates for major decisions. From there, since every wedding is different, we’ll move at a pace that is personally acceptable to you. We want to relieve the planning stress as much as we can!
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
Events by Autumn travels!! My background is very diverse. Although I went to college in the South, and was raised a city girl, in the Midwest, I completely embrace my life as a Montana wedding planner (my office is located in Stevensville, which is part of the beautiful Bitterroot Valley). I’ve lived in Greece, and traveled throughout Europe, so I am sensitive to cultural differences, and have planned weddings of many religious denominations.
I'm very familiar with Montana weddings, which often means planning events in very desolate, but beautiful locations. In a typical year, about 95% of my clientelle are "destination wedding" clients, coming to Montana from another state. I've worked throughout the state of Montana, but I also offer services all over the globe! If you want a destination wedding; whether that’s coming to me, or me coming to you, I would be happy to work with you!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE YOU?
We've been planning events for so long, we're able to estimate the amount of time we'll spend working on your wedding or event (based on the guest count and scope). Therefore, we are able to list "starting prices," under each service option. We know what's required to pull off a smooth and successful event, and that's what you'll get for the starting price. From there, we customize each and every wedding quote based on the information you give us. You can always continue to add to your package along the way!
We require a non-refundable deposit at the time of contract signing to confirm your booking. Payments are setup in a maximum of 2 installments, and we require to be pre-paid for all planning services prior to the date of the wedding and/or event.
WHY SHOULD I HIRE YOU? WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER PLANNERS?
I've been delivering fun, relaxing wedding days to clients for the last 15+ years. I've planned over 6,500 events during my career so far - the most event planning experience of any planners in Montana. What have I learned over the years? Some "planners" are good at planning. Some "planners" are better at designing. Others are just coordinating the details. Events by Autumn is all three of these things in one package, because we've honed each skill through our years of experience.
We're type A planners - organized & methodical. You'll have everything you need at your fingertips, since we use an all digital planning portal to store your budget, designs, event order, timeline, etc. Everything we offer is accessible on your smart phone, making it easy to plan/reference if you're on the go. Our processes are smooth, and easy to use. We break the planning into manageable sections so you can focus on the parts that you really enjoy! If you're a visual person, we have tools you'll like to use. If you're a numbers person, we have tools for you too. No matter your personal preferences for planning, we can help!
We're very creative, professional artists. With our Fine Art Wedding package, we're able to design a wedding based on your personal style + wants, by hand crafting everything from stationery, to linens, custom decor installs, and even floral arrangements. Other planners would need to source each of these vendors at retail prices, but we're able to provide a lot more on a wholesale budget, letting you splurge in areas that hold the most importance (frequently a better dinner, a fully hosted bar, a videographer, live band, etc.). Not to mention the items we create are professional quality, beautifully crafted items.
And finally, we're great wedding day leaders! We do this by organizing and communicating with vendors in advance, in a very clear way (Event Order, Timeline, Maps, etc.). These tools help all the moving pieces of the long planning & design process come together flawlessly, and each vendor sees their involvement, and how it fits into the larger plan. We excel at managing the wedding day timeline, by working very closely with your vendors - we're flexible, but also know when to apply pressure to make your day run smoothly!
You won't find another planner in Montana with our specific skill set or years of experience.