Photo by Sabrina Hall Photography
with Damara Gerig of re Inspired bride
Amy Dalesandro set her wedding date for only two months after her engagement, so she called in a professional to plan the 150-person event.
Damara Gerig, of re Inspired Bride, helped pick out the wedding colors, create a timeline, craft the wedding invitations and decorations for the ceremony and reception, book the venue and work with the photographer and caterer. On the big day, she was the first person at the church to set up and stayed to tear down.
“Not only was Damara extremely helpful throughout the planning process, but she is also one of the most creative people I know, so she was always excited to bring up new and unique ideas and help us think through the execution,” Dalesandro said. “She is so sweet, thoughtful and positive in everything she does, which was so calming during the chaos of the wedding planning.”
Gerig’s company, re Inspired Bride, was born while she was coordinating weddings for a church and realized she could extend her expertise to other venues. Today, she helps brides plan their weddings, supplies them with decorations and provides day-of coordination for events as close as Canton and as far away as Sandusky.
“It just gives them a peace of mind to know all the responsibility isn’t entirely on their shoulders,” she said.
Gerig spent more than a decade in bridal shops before taking the coordination job at a local church. By the end of 2017, she had worked on more than 200 weddings.
She started her business with what she calls “insurance for the day,” stepping in the week of a wedding and taking over so brides don’t have to worry about last-minute problems. Gerig also offers full planning, where she gives brides suggestions for trusted vendors she has worked with before and holds their hands through the process. And she does decorating and rentals—either creating custom signage, renting out items from her stock or bringing everything together for a cohesive wedding look.
The brides who have reviewed Gerig’s services on social media love her. They praise her for fixing ripped dresses and for making their weddings stress-free and perfect.
Jennifer McCrae got married at the Historic Onesto Hotel and Event Center in 2016, and she hired Gerig for day-of-wedding coordination, which meant she handled “literally everything,” McCrae said.
Gerig organized vendor drop-offs, placed decorations where they were supposed to go and kept the schedule on track.
“Honestly, one of my favorite things that she did for me was always making sure that I had a drink in my hand,” McCrae said. “We have four kids together, and it was nice to actually be waited on for once.”
Damara’s tips for brides
For the day of: Don’t sweat the small stuff!
“Once they’re at the wedding, what’s done is done,” Gerig said. “At that point, they need to just enjoy what’s there.” Besides, she added, there’s always something less-than-favorable that’s going to pop up, but guests take in the whole experience and probably won’t notice if one tiny thing is off.
For planning: Don’t overthink it.
Gerig said she has seen brides stress out over whether or not to upgrade to different chairs or linens, but guests at the wedding won’t even know there was another option—they’ll just see what’s there.
For thinking ahead: Lock in a venue and photographer first.
Those are the two vendors that fill up the quickest, Gerig said, and the rest of the vendors can be booked along the way. If there are any other things that are really important to the couple, those should be booked early, too.
For dealing with family: Things usually work out OK.
Gerig said she has a lot of couples who, going in, are nervous about some family dynamics, but people tend to pull themselves together for the wedding. As for the planning, brides will get lots of opinions from lots of people, and they just have to figure out who they want to listen to. In the end, it’s their wedding.
Find re Inspired Bride online:
Facebook: re Inspired Bride – handcrafted wedding design & coordinating