Why Hiring a Wedding Planner Is the Best Decision You’ll Make

Wedding planning can be a daunting task and you’re probably wondering if you should hire a wedding planner or not. 

Have you ever wondered why wedding planners are among the most valuable wedding vendors to hire? From wedding venue bookings to putting together a timeline and preparing wedding documents, wedding planners do much more than help you plan the wedding of your dreams. They provide peace of mind. When you hire a wedding planner, it will be their mission to take care of all your wedding-related needs and keep everything running smoothly. They’ll plan every detail with precision, from making sure all paperwork is in order to finding you the perfect wedding dress. So if you’re considering hiring someone for your wedding day, it may just be the best decision you make!

In this episode, we’re going to talk to Trish Simitakos of Trish Star Events about the benefits of hiring a wedding planner and why she thinks they’re so important. Stay tuned.


Gillian de Souza: Hi, there! So you’re planning your wedding or special event, and I know you’ve wondered, “Do I really need an event planner to help me with this?” Well, stay tuned. Our guest, Trish Simitakos of Trish Star Events is gonna give us some nuggets about why you should select a wedding planner and some of the tips that you need to do so. So stay tuned!

Hello, folks! It’s Gillian again with DC Weddings with Gillian, and I am so excited to talk to Trish of Trish Star Events. So I wanna introduce you to Trish. And Trish, you are going to say your last name for me, and then you are going to tell all our guests all about you, your elevator speech about Trish and Trish Star Events. 

Trish Simitakos: Thank you so much, Gillian. It’s such a pleasure to be here. I’m super excited for what you’re doing with this program. So I am Trish Simitakos. That is Greek. And I am the owner of Trish Star Events, which is a boutique social events planning agency. So we specialize in weddings and social events for clients.

I also own Singularity Event Production, which is focused on corporate, more meeting planning, destination planning, production. And I also have a YouTube show called Trish.O Show, which we might have time for, but those are my three main pillars of what I do and who I am.

Gillian de Souza: You are a busy lady, my dear. Trish, that’s what it sounds like to me. 

Trish Simitakos: No kids. I don’t have children. So, when people are like, “Oh, you’re so busy and you do this”, I’m like, I don’t have kids.” Bless all the mothers out there. If I had one, I couldn’t do half of what I do. So, there you go. 

Gillian de Souza: Well, we’ll just call this your baby. How about that? Okay. So now, what intrigued me, we last worked together on a corporate event, and corporate events are great. They’re good bread and butter, but I know your heart is for that fabulous event for a bride or a party, a social event where people are really celebrating something. So tell us about how you got into this industry, how you got this heart for doing this for our clients, and just let us know a little bit about you, Trish.

Trish Simitakos: Thank you. So I started in the industry in 1996 and I was working on the corporate end of things. I was working in meeting. Initially, I was doing a lot of like groups. Groups travel, group meetings, sort of working with smaller businesses. I then went to work for American Express and then Intercontinental Hotels.

And as my career progressed, I sort of developed my own taste for things, right? Like, what did I like to do? What didn’t I like to do? And what I love to do is connect with people. I will tell you that when you are my client, chances are we’re gonna be friends for years afterwards. I might be planning your children’s weddings.

It’s how long these relationships tend to last with me. And that’s because, it’s such a long and intimate process that I like to find out what is it about this event that’s so special? I mean, people get married all the time. People have social events all the time. But why is having this wedding, your wedding, your way. Like, why is that important to you that we use the color blue instead of the color red?

Why is it important to you that you get married at the church hall instead of a hotel ballroom? It’s finding out the backstory that is really what I’ve grown to love. And then of course using that to sort of bring to life some just a creative expression of that event.

And you can’t get up out on corporate. So I always say that my corporate side pays better, but it doesn’t pay the heart. So I do one business for the heart and I do one business for the wallet. 

Gillian de Souza: Indeed. I certainly can relate to that because you said a few key words there that are really to the core and the heart of what we do at Caribbean Caterers.

It’s that intimacy that we create with our client that allows us to give them that 100% what they need. You can’t do it, if you didn’t get intimate with them and really understand what they are talking about. So now, my bride and groom or couple that are listening now, don’t necessarily — they’re like, “What does that mean you’re going to get intimate with me? Are you gonna come home with me? Are you gonna ask me on my business? What does that really look like? So I’m just planning a wedding for the first time.” We’ve done hundreds, thousands, maybe of weddings, right? It’s their first time, and they’re like, “If you must select a wedding or event planner, why can’t I just select the person that’s given me the best price?” Why do you need to get intimate with you?”

Trish Simitakos: So that’s an amazing point that you bring up. Like, why would someone select a business like mine versus some of the others out there? The way I see kind of the wedding planning world, the arena of wedding planners, you’re pretty much gonna get one of three people out there in the world.

And that’s someone who really has a passion for it. But probably this isn’t their first line of business. It’s someone that’s going to be a very friendly handholding guide to you, but maybe they’re not the best connected in the industry. And again — and I wanna be perfectly clear — none of these three pillars that I’m talking about, there’s no wrong answer.

There’s just the right answer for you as a client. So for some people, it works because typically these people are less expensive and they’re available at odd hours, and for whatever reason that’s just a vibe that clicks with you and there’s nothing wrong with that.

As a second option, you’ll get someone who’s maybe part of like a larger agency. And maybe they have like 15 planners under their belt and they’re more of like a broker. So it’s like you contact the broker, they have a whole team and they’re gonna connect you with the team.

Again, nothing wrong with that because there’s safety in that, right? If something happens to your planner, you know you can go back to the broker and they’re gonna be able to connect you with another planner immediately. So there’s a good safety net there and they probably have a very good network.

But you’re also probably one of like 25 weddings for this one planner. So maybe that’s a good fit for someone who doesn’t need a lot of like high touch. If you’re just like someone like, “Nope, I just need someone to grab this file and run with it”, then that’s a good choice. The third type of planner, which is kind of where I fall into is someone that is more of that boutique, right?

We take the time to learn about your likes, your dislikes. I’m not the least expensive planner. I’m not the most expensive planner out there, and I don’t take on that many weddings per year. And I do that on purpose because I wanna make sure that I focus all my attention that I can give you so that you’re not feeling like you’re being pushed aside or that you’re feeling you’re getting the right level of attention.

But again, it’s only good if you want that kind of attention. Whichever way you go, again, there’s no wrong answer. You’re gonna have a wonderful wedding, regardless of who you choose. But you would choose me for that particular reason, because you’re like, “I don’t want the someone who is just kind of winging it. I don’t want the someone who’s gonna treat it more of like a process. I want somebody who’s gonna guide me, who’s going to talk me through and answer my crazy questions and not judge me if I send a 2 AM email.”

I may not answer your 2 AM email, but I will not judge your 2 AM email. I treat your wedding like it was the wedding of a friend, and I do that on purpose and with purpose. Does that answer your question? I’m sorry. 

Gillian de Souza: Fantastic! Yes. Not only does it answer my question, but it puts out there some interesting things for our couples to think about because just like in catering where there is full service catering, where we are doing not just the food, but we’ve got the staffing and the bartenders and all the linen and the China, and we are doing everything for the reception. There are other caterers that are doing just the food. Somebody else, a decorator or somebody else has to come in and do all that other stuff, and they’re just handling the food.

And then there are other caterers that just drop the food off and they’re gone like food is left to be orphans at an event. So it’s the same sort of thing that people are just getting to realize that there’re different types of catering, so there are different types of wedding and event planners and it’s not something that’s necessarily obvious to the first time buyer of an event planning service.

So it’s great to hear all the different types. And again, with that part-time, somebody that has their regular job, they’re still a great planner. They still have the passion that you may have, but they may not have the resources, they may not have the wherewithal. There’s pros and cons to everything. And I so like how you phrased it in that, it’s not wrong, it just might be right for you. So I love that. So that was great for our listener to hear.

Trish Simitakos: Sometimes I feel like the couple’s number one fear is the fear of being judged for making the bad choice. And I’ve said this for years, I don’t care who’s listening to me.

I don’t care what feathers I ruffle. All that’s important at the end of the day is that you both show up and that it’s legal. That’s it. All of the rest of it, I swear to you. If you want it to be just you at the city hall and you wanna go to Denny’s afterwards, that’s not wrong.

That’s just you. Don’t fear judgment because you wanted to spend $300,000 on a floral installation. Because just as there’s that person that it’s the same person, by the way, who’s gonna judge that person for spending $300K and judge the other woman who had her $20 Wegmans bouquet and say like, “Why did you spend your money that way?”

And it’s like, “Well, kindly take your hand out of my pocket and go along your day.” I feel what you’re saying. Couples just need to do what’s right for you. That’s it. And that’s what I’m here to do, is to help you figure that out.

Gillian de Souza: And that too is part of the intimacy that you get with your couples to understand what’s the right thing for them within the parameters of what you can offer. So this is great information for them to hear. So now I don’t believe that there is any couple that’s working with Caribbean Caterers that’s not interested in a passionate vendor because that’s what they get full on with us when they’re working with us.

And so when they looking to put a team together, I know that they’re already in that mode of hearing about that passion that you have. I know, only because I’ve experienced it with you and other planners is that there is so much more that’s going on than picking your venue and your linen color and how you walk down the aisle.

There are opinions from family members. And you can probably give a list as much longer than I probably can, but I know what I see in terms of how a planner such as yourself can help a couple navigate through things that aren’t even the typical things that they have to navigate. Any stories about that?

Trish Simitakos: I could probably do my own YouTube channel about like — and there are YouTube channel, there are plenty podcasts about wedding sort of — I won’t call them nightmares or horror stories, but certainly, interesting tales, we’ll call them.

If you were to ask me what the number one thing that a couple has to kind of concern themselves with, it’s not the weather, it’s not the wrong caterer, it’s your family. Really and truly. I have seen, ill intended wedding guests tank a wedding faster than anything else surrounding that wedding.

 It’s the unfortunate nature of dealing with human emotions. Part of what I do is logistical. Part of what I do is help you pick the right menu, the right dress, the right venue. But also part of it is therapy. A part of me is just like walking you through challenging situations.

Your mom wants this, but your mother-in-law wants that. Or, the sister-in-law won’t stop crying. How do you manage that? Sometimes it’s just playing therapist. I should probably charge more for that, but there you have it.

Gillian de Souza: And folks, you heard it here because this is such an important point because when you count your pennies and try to figure out, can I afford this service? You’re certainly not thinking about the things that can happen that can affect your event. I absolutely have seen Trish and others like her be in that situation where they are way over and above the pay grade of what they’re doing in order to get your event done. And so I hear that bit of a story and I know it’s exactly so, and it’s easy for us to say that these things happen. But I can hear you, the couple that’s listening say, “Oh no, my family’s not like that.” Hello! We get it. I see it and fortunately because I have great professionals like Trish, they shield the vendors from all the other things that can possibly be happening and going on and allow us to do our work since you still have a sparkling event that we can laugh about the things that happen behind the scenes next week, not tonight on your wedding night, next week. So thanks for that, Trish. That was wonderful. 

Trish Simitakos: You’re welcome. Again, it’s that whole keeping them focused and in the moment because stuff is gonna happen. To say that it won’t happen, it will happen. It’s a matter of like just being there for them at that vital time to steer them away from the distraction.

Gillian de Souza: So fabulous, fabulous. We didn’t mean to put a damper on this beautiful, happy time that you’re going to have in planning your wedding, but I think it’s we would be doing you a disservice if we led you down the road of thinking nothing ever happens and everything goes smooth sailing, and that’s why a Trish is so important in your corner so that you can have that smooth ceiling.

So that is absolutely great. So let’s talk about some more fun things then. Once couples have determined that they do need an event planner, someone to put all the pieces together and actually have this production on the day-of, smooth sailing and that they can literally concentrate on each other on being there for each other, being present in the moment, actually enjoy their event.

What would be the one thing you would tell a couple that’s important about working with you for them to have that type of day? 

Trish Simitakos: I tend to work with couples that are more focused on the bigger picture than the minor details. I’m gonna push to make sure you have the most perfect day that we can produce for you.

But part of that is sort of like an agreement. I agree to do my best to get you that perfect day. You agree to not be super focused, that the rose isn’t the right pick. Like you had asked all the guests to wear formal and then someone showed up in jeans.

It’s very unfortunate, but don’t let that ruin your day. So I tend to counsel people that way where I say, “Listen, focus on the things that are important to you. Focus on those details. Pick the two or three details. And for some people it’s the food.

The food has to be absolutely right and then the rest of it just has to look really good. For some people it is the flowers and then the rest of it can be whatever it is. We focus on things like your must-haves. And then we let the rest of it go because if everything becomes a must-have, you’re just gonna be a walking ball of nerves going down the aisle. Your wedding is gonna become a checklist of you walking down the aisle and instead of seeing like your guests and how wonderful your day is and how perfect everything is because you’re there, you know about to say your vows, you’re like, “Okay, the lights are good and she’s wearing the right thing, they know it’s raining outside or it’s drizzling.” You’re gonna start going through your checklist. It’s gonna pull you out of the experience. So it’s very important that you maintain the experience. Just let go. Let go of the things that don’t matter, because I swear to you, they don’t. 

At the end of the day, the pictures will be wonderful, because the memories will be about you as a couple. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re getting to, is creating that perfect memory as a couple.

Gillian de Souza: That is such great advice. Wow. You should bottle that bit of advice because indeed people do get into that minutiae, and I think it’s personality. Some have the personality where kind of controlling and everything has to be exactly. But as you said that, what came to my mind is, as a wedding professional ourselves as Caribbean Caterers, we cannot do our job expertly if we don’t have a Trish in our corner.

Because the things that you would lead a couple to find important, to find relevant in order to make their day so that they could translate that to the vendors and say, “Okay, the meal is particularly important.” And how we determine what style of service, whether it’s buffet or plated or family style or whatever it is.

All of that has to do with how they want to enjoy and what was important to them about that meal and that service and we get to that with them through you. And so I am glad that you can give that bit of advice because I think I’ve experienced that couples don’t necessarily see the correlation between you and the vendors and what they get on the end.

They see it on the day-of, they don’t necessarily see it walking through. So great bit of advice. Thank you for that. 

Trish Simitakos: You’re welcome. And you’re right. Working with an amazing team and that’s where really what you kind of wanna get to is working with an amazing team.

You wanna pick a highly qualified, professional catering service has a great reputation, is gonna knock it out of the park. This isn’t the day that you take chances. You could, again, no wrong answers, but if you want my opinion, select professionals and you’ll get a professional job.

Gillian de Souza: Indeed, indeed. Thanks for that. Well, we are really at the end of our time here together, but you have given our couples so many great nuggetAnd I want you to leave them with one thing that you would want anybody that works with you, what is the reason that they should select you and no one else?s that they didn’t see beforehand. So thank you for that. 

Trish Simitakos: You would select me because you like my style. You like the way I present things. I’m a helper. I’m an educator by nature. If you like that feeling of being got held by the hand and sort of guided through the process and I’m here to reassure you on your team, then that’s why you’re gonna work with me for sure. 

Gillian de Souza: Fantastic. Well, folks, we’ve been here with Trish Simitakos of Trish Star Events. She’s also of Singularity Event Productions. She’s also of All things Celebrations and Events. She is a busy lady, but she keeps busy because that’s how she does a better job for you. So look her up, give her a call and see if she is the right one to help you get your event done. So thank you so much, Trish. We appreciate you and look forward to working with you again. 

Trish Simitakos: Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed this and you just keep doing what you’re doing cuz this is wonderful.

Gillian de Souza: Thank you so much. Have a great night and happy holidays! Bye-bye. 

Trish Simitakos: Thank you! You too!

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