Details Details is one of the most respected wedding planning companies in Southern California, and founder Jeannie Savage leads a team known for their exquisite and flawless event planning, design and production. They’ve also recently launched a brand new seminar called Coordinator Confab that’s coming this June to help novice wedding planners, coordinators, and designers learn all the details of running a successful business. I recently had a chance to talk with Jeannie and ask her a few questions about her approach to wedding planning, and heres what she had to say
(images by Ira Lippke Studios)
Junebug: You began your career in the hospitality industry and became a hotel general manager – how did you get started in event planning?
Jeannie: When my husband and I were planning our own wedding, we had chosen to host a 3-day destination wedding with lots of events for all of our guest like croquet games, hiking trips, horseback-riding and spa services. As we met with planners, none of them seemed to have the experience we thought would be necessary to pull all the logistics together. Coming from the hotel side of things I knew what to ask and what information every different vendor would need to know, and eventually I gave-in to my husbands suggestions that it would be easier to figure out the logistics on our own. I brought in help for the day-of coordination, but I took care of all the planning.
Moving into wedding planning from managing hotels gave me the chance to use everything I’d learned over the years in a whole new way. I’ve always felt very grateful for those first people I worked with, who referred me for the weddings they did and trusted me to do a great job.
Now Im proud to work with a team of women who are extremely talented and professional. We have a strong training system, incredible assistants, and systematic procedures to ensure that every event is a success. In all of our years at Details Details we have never had an unhappy client! I’m excited to get to share information about how we got here with newer planners and designers during our upcoming seminar Coordinator Confab.
Junebug: Does Details Details have a particular specialty within weddings?
Jeannie: Pretty, modern and glamorous events are our forte and we really feel that we can do them differently than anyone else.
We get to know each bride and her style. Not just in relation to her wedding, but her life as well. Many brides come in not knowing what kind of a wedding they want, so we ask them questions that they do know the answers to. Where do you shop for clothes? Are you a Banana Republic kind of girl or an independent boutique kind of girl? Do you wear chunky jewelry or minimal jewelry? How about furniture – Z Gallerie or Crate and Barrel? We look through interior design books and ask lifestyle questions help to identify what style shes most attracted to. We want to know – what does she love?
(images by Braedon Photography)
Junebug: Your weddings seem to have a really cohesive sense of color and style. How do you achieve that?
Jeannie: Each person and every couple have such strong and unique personalities. If you like the color pink, pink can be done a million different ways. We like to use our website galleries to show that every wedding is distinct, and not just a replication of the same design in a different color palette. Every wedding we work on is totally individual.
Junebug: Is there any advice you like to give to the couples you work with?
Jeannie: We often find ourselves simply educating clients about the wedding planning process and how everyone fits into the picture. A large portion of a first meeting with clients is to help them understand what we do and what value we can bring to them and their wedding.
We also try to step in and help our clients get through difficult decisions – sometimes there have to be compromises. A wedding is all about the couple, but it’s also a family affair and includes important friends and loved ones. In those moments I really think, what can we do to make this enjoyable for everyone? If the guests are having a great time, then the bride is going to have a great time. She will feel that happy energy translate to her.
Junebug: If you could give any advice to all the brides out there reading this, what would it be?
Jeannie: Do your homework (if you don’t have a planner who can do the homework for you) to find wedding vendors who are good people. Not just good professionals, but people who also have good souls. Spend some time getting to know that person, not just what packages they offer. A working relationship is so much about character; so dont feel pressured to jump to a decision too quickly.
(images by Barnet Photography)
Junebug: Do you have favorite locations for weddings?
Jeannie: We love all kinds of wedding locations whether indoor or out, but in Orange County we have an abundance of luxury ballrooms, so we are known for working creatively inside them – we think of them as great palettes to work off of. Often times we drape the walls and start from scratch, but its also nice to simply add to the style of the existing location.
The Beverly Hills Hotel in LA is very classic and perfect for the traditional bride who wants amazing food, incredible flowers and an elegant event.
I love The Resort at Pelican Hill – although it’s massive and quite grand its also very private at the same time. All hands are on deck there to make your event perfect. The food is the best you can get because unlike at any other location the head chef and the resorts full culinary team are working together on your menu.
Im looking forward to working at the SLS Hotel because its so unique, and it’s perfect for a bride who wants a funky and innovative design – it would be a great design challenge!
Junebug: Tell us about a recent wedding you’ve planned that you really loved?
Jeannie: In October I worked on a wedding and the brides Mother was brilliant. She was so knowledgeable about juxtaposing color, shapes and texture. I enjoyed working with someone who had such a strong design style and who pushed me to be my most creative. I really had fun working on every detail.
(images by Victor Sizemore)
Junebug: What changes have you seen in weddings over the past few years?
Jeannie: The clients we meet are much more educated about lighting now – they’re well-versed on how photos turn out the way they do, so theyre asking for amazing lighting at their events and putting money aside in their budgets for it.
Also, people still want a unique dessert option, but their requests are evolving into newer creative ideas like liquid nitrogen ice cream, popsicle stands, cotton candy machines, pop corn machines, ice cream trucks and doughnut stations, rather than just a candy bar. Food trucks are very popular too, but often they’re not available on Saturdays.
Junebug: Whats the best thank you you’ve ever received?
Jeannie: The immediate thank-yous at the very end of the night I cherish so much, especially from a client who was hesitant about needing our services in the beginning. When it all turns around and they say things like “I don’t know what we would have done without you!” You’re a godsend!” or I don’t know what we were thinking!” those are the things that I really enjoy.
Thank you so much for talking with us Jeannie! It’s such a pleasure.
To learn more about the work of Details Details be sure to visit their website and blog, and if you’re looking to learn more about being a wedding planner, don’t miss Jeannie’s newest project Coordinator Confab!