Frequently Asked Questions...
Is BlackTie+Lace Wedding Planning & Design a person or a group?
Both. I (Scott DeMarco) am the Principal Planner and always your main point of contact.
Wait! Are you the same guy who officiates weddings?
One and the same. I have done hundreds of weddings as Rev. Scott DeMarco and I do one or the other and not both! Now how much do you think I LOVE WEDDINGS?!
Why should I hire a wedding planner?
Your wedding is not only one of the biggest and most memorable days of your life, it's also a big investment both in time and money. You are planning an experience for yourselves, your families, and your guests. There are so many pieces to planning your dream wedding, and as an expert in all things weddings I can help provide you with structure, direction, referrals and inspiration! And I always try to make it fun and because I LOVE what I do I am here for you every step of the way.
As a wedding planner, my goal is to create a cool, fun, unique and personal experience for you and your guests, while lowering your stress, helping you make smart decisions, and handling both big and small details that arise throughout the process. There will be things that you just don’t want to do, and I can do those for you. I’m there to ensure it all runs smoothly so that you can truly enjoy your day.
What sets BlackTie+Lace Wedding Planning and Design apart?
What sets me apart is that as I gain new clients I gain new friends. As a professional wedding planner I want you to feel confident that the people, places, and things that will make your day perfect are all in order. When you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to laugh with, I will be there.
I also stand out because I’m hours-based. This means that you only pay for the hours that you need me. If you need more (or even less) hours I can work with that!
If you're more comfortable with flat rate pricing for planning, I offer that as well.
Hey! Where are the picture of the other people that work with you?
When you hire BlackTie+Lace Wedding Planning & Design you are hiring me (Scott DeMarco, Principal Planner). I do no more than ten weddings a year, and while my coordinator team is amazing, I will be your point of contact from the day you start planning through your wedding day.
What are some examples of things I can help you with?
I will help with any wedding needs. Including but not limited to:
Invitations (wording, addressing, mailing, etc.)
Managing Vendor Set up
Where is your list of services?
My answer to all things “services” is of course I perform full and comprehensive professional planning, design and coordination services. Depending on your venue/vendors many things I as a planner "could do" would be redundant with the in-house venue rep or other wedding professionals.
Think of me a general contractor. I communicate, coordinate, and collaborate, with everyone from you, your wedding party and your family, to your venue and vendors.
Example: If I am planning a wedding for a couple at a venue which has comprehensive day of planning and coordination services included, I would not use my client’s hours on tasks that may be listed on our overall timeline but not performed by me. I would of course ensure that everything is in order. Set-up, decor, strike (teardown), vendor contact, etc are all things I can (and often) do. If strike is included in your venue fee I would not do that (nor charge for it).
My goal is not to sound important with a long list of things that may or may not be necessary, but my goal from years of experience is to be effective. I will assess what the needs are from my experience, my client (you!), and coordination with your vendor professionals. I then apply that to my timeline and task list. From that I will create a detailed timeline which will include a whole host of things that I and your other vendors will take care of. For example, if the florist, band and venue all “strike” (teardown) I will list it as their task and be sure it's done properly.
I could list a thousand things (here are some!) that I and my team can do, and some we never thought of. The goal is to plan your wedding and take care of the details so you can enjoy the process and most importantly, your wedding day!
If you subscribe to email lists from wedding magazines, websites, etc. you'll notice terrifying lists like "50 Things Every Bride Should Do on Their Wedding Day" or "100 Things Your Maid of Honor Should Do the Month Before Your Wedding". Whatever these details are, and whether or not they apply to you, I'll determine and handle!
How does an hourly pricing plan compare to plans and à la carte pricing?
Some planners work on “package” pricing with additional upcharges for specific tasks (which is just another way of approaching planning). I choose to operate on a total hours used with a percentage refundable which will allow you to control your planning expenses and in most cases, get money back. Also, I bill in minutes, so if I work on a small task I bill a small increment.
Although I think hourly is the way to go, I am happy to structure a custom package price as well.
Can’t hours packages get out of control?
Hours plan increases are often capped at 75 or 100 hours depending on our estimates which effectively create a “custom package”. We’re happy to extend an hours plan cap when we think it’s reasonable for you and for us. Note that hours caps incur a 22% gratuity automatically which will be assessed with your final bill. When you get your final bill, it will list all discounts, comped services, travel and incidentals and/or services listed at no charge. The regular rate for planning hours plus comped hours and services is used for computation of the gratuity. Travel and incidental fees are obviously not used for the calculation. When you see your final summary we’re pretty certain you’ll remain happy you chose to use an hours plan!
I think I can do the planning myself, but could use some advice. Do you do that?
Sure! Check out my DIY+ option above.
I saw something about "virtual planning"--what does that mean? Don't we meet in person?
For those couples that hire me for 35 planning hours or more, I will provide an iPad free for your use which is instantly updated with all of your wedding planning details. It's also got some cool stuff for you to look at (even a few wedding movies!) plus it's makes our off-site communications easy via messaging, FaceTime, etc. My clients are typically folks who are "on the go" so they appreciate the "digital" options. I also frequently work with out-of-town (even out-of-country) couples who are planning their wedding 100% off-site.
I am always happy to meet in person and you'll love my planning office where we can do everything from mood boards to vendor choices.
Will you handle payments to our vendors?
Yes and no. I will handle payments using your authorized payment method upon direct bill from your vendors. Our "pass through billing" means we will not mark-up invoices from your vendors. This can happen with (other) planners who provide their own payment method and subsequently bill you for vendor services.
What kind of parties have you planned? How many weddings?
I have planned weddings, bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, anniversary parties, birthday parties and corporate events in the hundreds. I also designed the opening of the Vatican Exhibit at the of the Library of Congress Rotunda reveal, and orchestrated a full-service catered train ride for freshman Congressmen from DC to Williamsburg.
When will you arrive on the big day and how long will you stay?
My team and I will arrive as early as you would like us and will stay as late as you need us. A perk with us is that you pick how many hours you want us there, we don’t tell you.
How many weddings will you plan per day?
I will only have one wedding per weekend and only 10 per year. My goal is to focus on you and your day, so that it is perfect. In most cases I bring additional coordinators on your wedding day which are usually billed at a lower hourly rate.
How will you dress for our event?
During the day I will look professional yet comfortable so that I am able to do any needed tasks. Prior to the wedding we will change our attire accordingly so that we match your wedding dress code.
If I want you to do my DIY project, what costs will be associated with that?
I will be happy to do your DIY project—the time spent will be drawn from your hours balance. If we need to purchase materials that will be drawn from your discretionary funds.
How do we determine which vendors we recommend?
I will base my vendor recommendations on you—your price point, style, color scheme/mood, etc. Obviously, I have professional insight which I will share, however I will never exclude any vendor.
When I text, email or reach out to you, when should I expect to hear back?
If you are an active client you will hear back from me within 24 hours. (Realistically you will hear back from me very quickly, i.e. immediately to an hour or two)
I'm afraid I'll get overcharged for the same things I could have paid for in a package with another vendor. How do you compare?
It's apples and oranges, BUT I am happy to work out an "hours cap" to meet or beat competitor pricing on scaled wedding planning. Just ask me!
Can I give you my wedding binder and have you handle the "day of?"
Yes and no. I'll be happy to handle day of coordination however I will need some time to review your binder, timeline, etc. to be sure we're able to seamlessly pull off the day. I prefer not to jump in at the last minute with no lead time so if that is your plan I would need to meet with you 30 days out minimum.
Do you do planning for same-sex couples?
Of course! I believe love knows no bounds.
Are you new?
I am fairly "new" under this business name, however, I have planned weddings and events since 1995 working for Maynard & David Catering & Events, Dean & DeLuca, Sutton Place Gourmet, Glorious Food, and Hamptons Creative Group. For many years I worked by referral only.