Wedding Planner Q&A: Kristin Banta

kristin banta wedding plannerKristin Banta is a Los Angeles, Orange County, and New York City Wedding Planner and Coordinator who has been featured in countless magazines such as Real Simple Weddings, Southern Weddings, and InStyle Weddings, as well as her own special on Bravo, The Wedding Party. She’s an advocate for marriage quality and believes in letting her client find “their own voice” for their wedding day.

We recently reached out to Kristin to ask her a few questions about wedding planners and the wedding planning process. See what see had to say, below, and be sure to visit her website to see more of her work.

Woman Getting Married: What’s the first thing a bride should do when starting to plan her wedding?

Kristin Banta: Not just the bride, but the couple, should think about all the things they love and that are a part of their bond…their favorite foods, books, movies, places to travel, architecture, season, television shows, cocktails, inside jokes, that chair they picked out when they moved in together, etc.  This is what will make the wedding fun, special and memorable and will create a completely customized design for the wedding day that will be embedded with their unique story. After they have a grasp of what they want to say within the day, they can pick a location that really fits in with their story and a good event planner can then help them to design something incredible within that space that is relevant to all of their specific interests.

Is there one thing you think is an often overlooked but important wedding detail?

Kristin Banta: It is important to remember to address all of your guests’ “creature comforts” throughout the wedding day.  Do they have somewhere to sit?  Can they hear or on the other hand is it too loud to talk? Do they have enough to eat and drink?  Even if you spend $1 million on your wedding, the day will not be successful if your guests only remember that they spent the day cold, hungry, with sand in their favorite shoes, unable to talk over the music or with no where to sit during cocktail hour.

Why is a good wedding planner so invaluable?

Kristin Banta: The benefit of having one person with strong vendor relationships who is in a position to design and produce your wedding according to your unique vision is worth every penny.  You only have one chance to do this, and a trained wedding planner or event producer will know how to guide you.  They will introduce you to the best vendors for YOU with your specific style and personalities in mind. Even if you are on a budget, steer clear from the “day-of” coordinator (as this might elicit wedding day questions such as, “Beautiful flowers! Are they supposed to be purple?”). This is often not any different than hiring a random personal assistant for the day but often considerably more expensive.  At the very least, consider hiring a month-of coordinator to tie up the loose ends and to guide you and your vendors through the day as it will make a world of difference.

 What are your favorite Los Angeles/Orange County wedding venues?

Hotels in Orange County include Pelican Hill and The Montage. I love Grand Del Mar in San Diego and The Parker in Palm Springs is my happiest place on earth. Estate style properties in Los Angeles that I love include Vibiana, Church Estate Vineyards, and The Paramour while some of my favorite hotels would include The Montage Beverly Hills, The London and Hotel Bel Air.  Such a tough question!

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