Story of a… Wedding Planner

“It’s not all glittery and sunshine,” says Jaclyn Fraser, 28, who powers through with “lots of caffeine.”

Roberto Gonzalez

She planned her own wedding to her high school sweetheart... “My wedding was on the smaller and simpler side. However, there were plenty of thematic details and personal touches. A lot of brides don’t put personal touches into their wedding day. Also, so many of our couples have a large guest count and struggle to visit everyone.”

…while preparing for graduation and launching her own business. A senior at the time at UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Fraser worked at a wedding planning company throughout school. “I moved up in that company and became their head wedding planner. From there I built my own wedding planning company, At Last Wedding + Event Design, in 2010. I’m very driven.”

A take-charge talent. “Every wedding planner has to be a control freak. That’s part of the job—knowing exactly what’s happening, when it’s happening. The bride isn’t allowed to be a control freak on her wedding day.”

She gets to know the bridal party and family in advance. “I’ll do my research ahead of time. The wedding website will have photos of who’s in the wedding, and I’ll check out their Facebook accounts so I can get to know them. It makes my job way easier on the wedding day.”

Forget superstition. Contrary to tradition, Fraser recommends the bride and groom have a “first look” before the ceremony and have photos taken then. “It’s always much more special and intimate for the bride and groom, and it allows for a fun and relaxed cocktail-hour time.”

The truth about bridezillas. “I’ve had more momzillas than bridezillas. Some of my moms want to steal the thunder of the bride. They want the spotlight on them, but it’s not about them, so I’ll step in and mediate.”

Here’s Johnny! “You would be surprised how many couples come to us and say, ‘I want you to keep Uncle Johnny away from me, and keep Aunt Sally away from my mom because they’re in a huge fight right now,’ or ‘My ex-boyfriend might crash the wedding.’ Not on my watch. I make sure the event runs smoothly.”

The KISS principle. “A lot of people focus on too many details and have too many items that need to get set up. They’re not thinking about the most important thing: getting married. Keep it simple and personable. Don’t pack too much stuff into the timetable you have.”

Weddings can be magical. “We did a Harry Potter wedding. Their cake topper was a mythical creature. All the guests had wands at their place settings.”

Insert sigh here. “I really enjoy the moment as the bride and groom recess from their ceremony right after they’re pronounced husband and wife. I typically tuck them away from everyone as they exit, and I get to see that special moment that no one else does—when it’s just the two of them, and they’re all giddy and cute with each other.”

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