Vendor Spotlight | Suzy Berberian

[February] It's always exciting to connect with a fellow wedding vendor, someone who instantly feels like a good friend; that is Suzy Berberian.  We recently sat down at a local coffee shop to chat about weddings, life and everything in between.

What I love about Suzy's coordination style is that she's very methodical and accountable, yet still keeps one step back to let the day unfold naturally; never trying to force, micro-manage or rush the situation.  She has abundant experience in the wedding & event business; spending 5 years as Pier 39's Event Director which included coordinating everything from the mob scene of Fleet Week to crazy street performers.  Wanting to move closer to family, she headed north, coordinating some of the most beautiful weddings at the world class resort Auberge du Soleil.

And now, here is Suzy (with her precious side kick)...

Here are some thoughts from Suzy...

What trends are you seeing for 2011? A trend that continues from previous years is still going strong: personalization.  Everything from the favors to the music to the menu is being specially designed to reflect the couple and their passions, backgrounds and favorite things.  Last year I worked with a couple from Texas having their destination wedding at the Vintage Estate in Yountville.  We worked with the site to feature two beloved Texas desserts, Blue Bell ice cream and pie from Royers Round Top Cafe…shipped in that weekend from Texas!  Many couples are incorporating items they collect, or family heirlooms, into the wedding.  Florists and caterers can use these items in your décor, and your planner can help with the shipping details.  Be sure your photographer knows about special details so she or he can capture them for you.  You can also incorporate the strengths of family members into the day.  I’m working with a couple on their Valentines Weekend wedding this year, and the bride’s cousin, a professional auctioneer, will be calling an “auction” for the garter.

What should a couple look for when hiring a planner? Couples can look online for helpful guides and questions they can ask planners before making a final decision.  First, a positive personal connection is the foundation for a great planner-couple relationship.  Take your initial reaction to heart: Is he or she friendly, open-minded and responsive?  Couples should look for someone that understands their wedding vision as well as their budget for the day.  An experienced planner is so important.  Couples should look for someone that has done many weddings from start to finish (ask to see photos!), has planning as their full-time profession, and is licensed with proper insurance.

Any tips on having a stress free wedding? I believe that your wedding vendors will make all the difference in the ease and fun that couples have with their wedding planning.  Photography, catering, floral; all of these aspects are so important, and vendors with strong experience, professionalism and talent will help make your day amazing.  Great vendors may cost more than others, but they will give you peace of mind throughout the process and deliver for you on the wedding day (plus, eliminate last-minute emergency costs to repair mistakes).  Also, try to work with a team that is familiar with the region where your wedding will take place, and with the wedding venue.  They will be able to answer your questions quickly and easily, and give special tips about the area or site.  Of course, hiring a wedding planner means that you have a partner to help with all of the planning, budgeting, etiquette and emotion of the day!