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Q & A with Wedding Planner, Shelby Johnson with The White Antler

By IFM Staff

Published online: Jan 04, 2024 wedding
Viewed 1054 time(s)

Most every bride has been dreaming of her special day since she was a young girl. The magical feeling of promising to be with someone forever while celebrating with friends and family is one of the biggest days in her life.

From the gown to the venue, color schemes, flowers arrangements and to every last detail, the checklist for the big day can be long and overwhelming. We sat down with wedding planner Shelby Johnson, owner of The White Antler, to ask some of the questions every new bride-to-be is wondering and how to make the big day perfect.

Photos taken by Brooke Taelor.

IFM: What exactly is the job of a wedding planner?

SJ: Such a great question! First off, hiring all your key vendors is what I like to do right away.

A lot of brides will book about a year out, sometimes a little bit more. Right now we're starting to book for 2025. We are given a good amount of time, but we need that time to lock in those really solid vendors. There are checklists, spreadsheets, we go through budgets, lots of vision boards, lots of back and forth with vendors, things like that. Just making sure we have a solid plan and that it's exactly what our brides are wanting. We do all the set up and take down the day of as well, so our brides really get to enjoy those special moments with their loved ones.

IFM: What does the booking process look like for a bride-to-be?

SJ: We do everything straight through our website. So you go in, send an inquiry through our website and it comes straight to us and we answer it as quickly as we can.

IFM: What is the perk to having a wedding planner?

SJ: I feel like so many people that have had a wedding and they haven't hired someone, after the fact they're like, ‘Oh my gosh, I was so stressed the whole day.’ And then when it came time to make everything pretty, they didn't know how. You know, they don't do it every weekend. Or, ‘We were rushed, we didn't remember to do this important part or we forgot to do this.’ The nice thing about having a planner is we have a solid schedule. We have a plan of what everything's going to look like and there's really no straying from that plan. Every single one of our vendors also has the same plan so we really work together the whole day to make sure nothing is missed. The biggest thing is no stress on the day of the wedding. You want to be able to enjoy it with your mom, your aunts and your bridal party.

IFM: What was your favorite wedding trend in 2023?

SJ: Going into 2023, I absolutely loved the whites and the greenery and just staying very neutral, but I feel like we totally overdid that this year. Which is totally fine BUT I am so ready for some color in 2024 and I'm thinking that is what is going to be the next trend.

IFM: What advice would you give to a bride who doesn't know where to begin?

SJ: I would say if you don't know where to begin, hire a planner.

If a planner is not in your budget, at least get someone who has done a wedding in the last six months. They can really point you in the right direction as far as costs and how everything works. I think a lot of brides go into it and they get a couple of quotes and they think, ‘This is so expensive.’ Having good support by your side and really establishing a budget. It's nice to really get a solid budget so you know where and what you can afford.

IFM: What advice would you give to a bride who's stressed out before her wedding?

SJ: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Have a really solid plan. If you are wanting your decor a certain way, do a trial run. The more photos and examples you have, the better luck you will have getting exactly what you want. And then truly, I would say on the week of and on the day of the wedding, it is what it is. There is absolutely no reason to be upset or worried because it is what it is. There's nothing you can change at that point. I have a lot of brides that go into it thinking, ‘What if this happens? And what if this happens?’ When you have that, it is what it is and it's going to be great no matter what happens, and ‘I'm marrying the love of my life’ mindset. Going into the big day with the mindset that it's going to be great no matter what and just have that good attitude. Those are the brides that get the best wedding.

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