Top Desi & Interracial Wedding Planners in Texas - Dallas, Houston, Austin
If you have a roomier budget, and the thought of independently coordinating all these different vendors sounds a bit overwhelming, then you may want to consider a wedding planner! The support and services provided by a planner come in various packages, and leaning on these professionals can be well worth the investment for a busy bride and groom!
Costs will vary based on the services you request (full-service planning compared to day-of coordination), guest count (more guests will mean a larger wedding planning team), and travel as needed (if you are hiring a planner not located in the city you are getting married in). Day of planners can cost $2,000 - $10,000. Full-service planners can run $7,500 - $20,000+, especially when you are looking for top Desi wedding planners.
What are the different types of wedding planners?
There are three primary types of planners:
Full-Service Planner: This individual will plug in from the beginning of your journey, help you arrange and stick to your budget, curate and present to you vendors that fit your ideals, manage your guest list, support with day-of coordination, and much more. In South Asian weddings, this planner is also plugged into both families and should be willing to have the tough conversation (that you may not want to have) with the parents and anyone involved. You should plan to hire a full-service planner 10-12 months ahead of your wedding (or at the very beginning of your wedding planning process).
Partial Service Planner: This individual will likely specialize in particular vendor categories, and is best to be hired for select expertise. For example, you may want a planner only for venue selection and decorative purposes.
Day of/Month of Coordinator: This individual will step in close to your wedding date (about 3-4 weeks out), and support on all execution related tasks. Though they won’t have a hand in any of your selections, they are there to make sure your big day runs smoothly. They’ll support any final vendor contracts, the set up of your venue, and organize the tasks of your wedding day.
What is the job of a South Asian wedding planner?
The role of a wedding planner is to help the family and couple achieve their vision. The wedding planner’s responsibilities and how they help each client will vary based on the couple’s and family’s wants and needs. One client may want their South Asian wedding planner to take most decisions off their plates and bring a wedding to life under their budget. Another client may want their wedding planner to help them figure out how to bring two religions or cultures together into one ceremony. A third client may want to work closely with their wedding planner to bring the bespoke dreams to life.
South Asian planners and interracial wedding planners have tribal knowledge from having planned so many weddings before and can help across the below areas and more.
Vision: They’ve planned and seen potentially hundreds of weddings. A good planner can take your mood boards and words of inspiration and talk you through what is achievable under your budget or alternately how much your vision might cost.
Vendor curation: Finding high-quality, reliable vendors under a budget can be a time-consuming task. Even though there are resources like The Desi Bride, a wedding planner can offer you a second opinion or a hands-free approach in finding and selecting the right vendors.
Organization and communication with your vendors to bring your vision: South Asian weddings can have 15-25 vendors and sometimes even more. From your makeup artist to wedding photographer, DJ, food truck and other vendors, there are a lot of different moving pieces. Coordinating across these vendors, making sure they understand your vision and being responsible for collaborating with them to execute before, during, and the after the events, as needed, can be a responsibility your planner can take off your hands.
Time: Desi weddings with 3 - 4 days of events can take over a year to plan. With a constant task list, planning a wedding can feel like a full-time job. Wedding planners can help take some of the load and bring you in during key decision points.
Budget: Balancing budget with quality and vision is a constant challenge. A planner can help you understand what your options are under your budget, so you get the best quality you can without breaking the bank. They will find you the appropriate vendors and negotiate contracts, so you don’t have to.
Mediator: Wedding planning can feel like a stressful adventure. There is you and your significant other as well as the two families and potentially other relatives or friends involved. It’s helpful to have a third-party perspective who can provide guidance and help mediate when it’s a high stakes or controversial decision. South Asian wedding planners understand the complexity of Desi weddings and can make sure you don’t make the same mistakes other families and couples have made before you.
What are all of the details that wedding planners can help with?
Often there are hundreds of decisions and details that you never anticipate. This is where wedding planners can come in. Below are just a handle of activities a planner will take on:
Lead initial consultations with you and your family to understand your vision, budget, and any special requirements.
Collaborate with vendors to deliver your requirements and make sure vendors execute accordingly.
Negotiate contracts with vendors, understand payments and timelines, and work with you to make sure the deposits and final payments are completed on time.
Schedule a dress rehearsal with the couples, family, and key bridal party members to ensure everyone understands their responsibilities, timelines, and location for the wedding events.
Arrive early to all of the events to make sure décor, lighting, and any other special requirements are set up as planned. They check your plan and blueprint against the actual setup and ask the vendors to make any needed changes before guests arrive.
Ensure all of the wedding supplies, pooja items, wedding favors, and other accessories are safely transported on time to the venue(s)
Behind the scenes, day of, coordinate all of the key activities from priest and catering arrival, bride / groom / bridal party entrances, fireworks set up, and everything else happen as planned
Take care of last-minute details. Did your bridesmaids misplace your bangles? Did your mom forget to bring a bindi? Did one of your groomsmen accidentally tear his kurta and need a safety pin? Your planner and their team are prepared to take care of all these details and find a quick solution, so you can just focus on enjoying your wedding events.
How can wedding planners help with a micro wedding?
While many think micro weddings are a smaller production than the previously held big fat Desi weddings South Asians have known for, there is still a lot of planning and coordination that goes into a micro wedding. While micro weddings have smaller in-person guest counts, there is a large virtual guest count, which is a new component, AND, people spend more per guest, meaning more focus on planning a memorable experience.
Wedding planners can help you design a one-of-a-kind experience by bringing in ideas and vendors you may not have thoughts of.
While intimate weddings may have fewer guests, they can still have just as many activities. Having a planner that coordinates the arrival of vendors, timeline, and details can take the stress off your shoulders.
A huge change with the pandemic is virtual guests. Families and couples want to make sure their virtual guests actually have a good experience and are able to interact during the wedding. Putting on a high-quality production can take skill and experience, which a planner has.
How can wedding planners help with a pandemic wedding?
With Covid-19 and the uncertainty it has brought, state and county laws are constantly in flux. From making sure your guests feel safe before attending to having PPE and now with the vaccine rollout, wedding planners are in tune with the current standards and precautionary measures. They can help guide you on special requirements at the wedding or now to navigate vendor contracts if you need to make updates. It’s a challenging time, and having a planner can help you navigate the situation through an expert’s lens.
What key questions should I ask a potential wedding planner?
If you end up deciding to find a wedding planner to make your planning process less stressful and time-consuming, we recommend you make sure to find the right planner for you. We’ve included a series of questions to help you make the right decision.
Tell me about the company structure. How many people are on the team, and what are their roles?
Where are you based out of? Which cities do you usually plan weddings in?
How long have you been a wedding planner?
How many weddings do you plan a year? Do you plan multiple weddings for the same dates? These questions will help you understand how dedicated the planner will be to you.
What services do you provide in-house and what do you outsource (e.g., design, stationery, decor)?
Tell me about how your team would be structured if you were to plan my wedding. How many people would be helping at the wedding?
How do you typically work with couples and families in terms of the process and communication?
What decisions do you prefer to handle, and when do you expect our input?
Tell me about a crisis that came up at a recent wedding and how you / your team handled it.
What are the biggest problems you’ve seen couples face during a wedding event? This answer should give you a list of things you should be prepared to mitigate ahead of time.
What is your pricing and payment structure like? Ideally, you do not want to pay the full amount until after the wedding to ensure everything goes smoothly.
If you are looking into a destination wedding, ask if they have had international / US Desi clients before.
Ask for 2-3 references if you feel good about the planner.
Pre Contract Questions
Please explain the process to me and how you work with clients
How many weddings do they take every month?
How is the team assigned for a wedding?
How do you manage vendors?
Do you preferred vendors in [city of the wedding]? Do you negotiate with them? How do you coordinate with them?
Can we speak with a recent client, preferably married in [city or venue of location]?
What are your payment terms?
Can you provide a draft contract with costs, deposits and payment schedules?
Which venues would you recommend for [city of the wedding]?
Post Contract Questions
What is involved in decor cost? Ask to get an idea of what all the planner or vendor in the price quoted will include.
Does your team need accommodation and/or additional travel expenses?
What form of payment do you accept? Are there taxes or additional fees not included in your proposal?
Reconfirm: Will your team be onsite 24/7? How many people will be there from your team?
How many hours of photography/videography is included?
What are the deliverables, and when are they due?
Does the photographer/videographer require accommodations and/or additional travel expenses?
How many mehendi artists are required for guests?
How many makeup artists are required for bride / family / friends?
Does the makeup artist need accommodation and/or additional travel expenses?
If transportation is required, how many vehicles will be required?
What are the closest hotels for our guests? What is the group rate for our guests?
Will DJ play at all events? How many hours per event is included?
Does DJ need accommodation and/or additional travel expenses?
Who will arrange food for the hospitality team?
TIP: Fully understand the cultural/religious must-haves of your wedding, and pose specific questions to a potential wedding planner. You’ll want to really understand if they are aware of the festivities you’ll need and if they’ll be able to execute and support you the entire way.
Who are the top South Asian wedding planners in Texas?
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