Planning a wedding?

Be it a sit-down dinner, black-tie affair, or simply an outdoor, casual gathering of family and friends, a wedding is one of the most important days of a couple’s life together.

Stark County planners tell you where to start

Be it a sit-down dinner, black-tie affair, or simply an outdoor, casual gathering of family and friends, a wedding is one of the most important days of a couple’s life together.

And, unless you have the time and contacts behind you to make the day perfect, think about hiring a wedding consultant. He or she is a specialist when it comes to planning for the big day.

“I always tell my brides they need to book their six major events first, as early as possible,” said Tricia Dever, owner of Always Eventful in North Canton. “But before you can book any vendors, you need to know how much money you have to spend.”

The six majors include the church, reception hall, photographer, videographer, music and florist. “After the six majors, it is time to think about the limousine, specialty drinks, cakes…”

And, don’t forget about the gown. The wedding budget should include that too, said Dever. Tuxedos usually are not included because oftentimes, the groom’s tux is provided by the store in exchange for the tuxes rented to groomsmen and ushers.

Wedding costs are driven by several things, including the number of guests, even the type of music — live versus a disc jockey — at the reception.

Andrea Perez, owner of Elegant Event Coordinating in Jackson Township, agreed the budget is an important factor in wedding planning.

“Many people take out a second mortgage on their house or pay for the wedding with credit cards,” she said.

She noted that the first thing a couple should think about is the date of their wedding. Based on that date, the other things will fall into place.

According to area planners, the average local wedding costs range between $12,000 and $26,000.

“You can do a budget wedding for around $10,000,” said Perez, adding that the average number of guests at weddings is 100 to 150.

As coordinators, wedding planners sit down with their clients and give them options on all aspects of the wedding. Once decisions have been made, the planner starts making appointments. He or she often goes with the couple. However, the coordinator lets the couple make the final decision on what they want.

“Our objective is to take all of the difficult work away from our clients so they can concentrate on enjoying their event,” said Perez.

Kimberly Zachardy, owner of Cummings Florists & Gifts in Massillon, is a flower consultant for weddings.

“We usually meet with the couple once they decide on the color of the gowns,” she said. “Flowers should compliment the color scheme.”

Flowers can be pricey, depending on the type of flowers the couple wants, she said. Certain flowers are available certain times of the year. Another decision is what look they want — classic, wildflower country look, or a simple, elegant look.

“We show them different options to choose from,” Zachardy said. “Flowers can range from $200 to $6,000, depending on what the couple wants.”

She recommends sitting down with the florist as soon as possible, noting that most weddings order a year in advance.

“Doing wedding flowers is my passion,” she said.


Always Eventful
(330) 244-0613
Web site:

Elegant Event Coordinating
(330) 854-7047
Web site:


 Give yourself enough time to plan your wedding. Weddings take time, and rushing will only stress you.

 Ask for help. If you don’t hire a wedding coordinator, ask a family member or a friend for assistance. If you can afford a wedding coordinator, get one. That will take away a lot of the stress that planning can cause, and coordinators often know how to find the good vendors.

 Hire reputable vendors. In the end, hiring good, qualified vendors makes all the difference. A little more money will mean a lot less stress!

 When planning a wedding think a little “outside the box.” Colors can be bright and bold: White and black always will be classic, but colors are definitely “in.” It’s the details that people will remember — the personal guest book, the menu cards, the toast that the groom gives to his lovely bride.

 Kids are adorable as flower girls and ring bearers, but they also are unpredictable. To alleviate the stress of “Will they go down the aisle?” have them go down the aisle after the bridesmaids, so they can watch others go first, but before the maid of honor.

 Grooms should feel free to make suggestions and be involved with the planning. Grooms should do anything they are comfortable doing, such as arranging for the limo or setting dates for tux fittings. They also should support the bride in her decisions.

 Most weddings take a year to plan. The sooner you get things done, the more you can relax.