The Planners

Photo: Hannah Whitaker

Nicky Reinhard and Ann David

Tell me about your company.
AD: You always get us, not assistants. Ninety percent of our events are weddings—not hotel weddings as much as restaurant, private club, and tent weddings. We only do two a month.
NR: We do elegant, not quirky.

Who are your typical clients?
AD: They’ve lived together. They have their style defined. Wedding planning is a combined effort.
NR: Even with insanely generous budgets, like $1,000 to $3,000 a person, they still want understatement.

How do you charge?
NR: We charge a flat fee.
AD: Some planners are paid a commission from their vendors—on top of the fee from their clients—that they don’t divulge. We think that’s unethical.

Why is a planner worth the cost?
AD: If you’re both the bride and the planner, then you’re running around to make sure everything is okay, instead of fully enjoying your wedding day.

What kind of day-of magic do you bring?
AD: We make the flow seamless. We make sure that you’re sent down the aisle on time, that the cocktail hour is actually one hour, that the food is coming out promptly, that Dad is tapped on the shoulder to do his toast.

When is the best time to book a planner?
NR: Nine to twelve months in advance is ideal; six is enough. After you book us, we secure your venue and vendors.

What is your best keep-to-the-bottom-line advice?
NR: Control your guest count. Cut five couples and you’ve cut a table—the food, the linen, the centerpiece, the extra waiter. Also, beware any vendors billing you after the wedding. If you’re marrying out of town, ask: “Does that fee include travel expenses?”
AD: If you’re on a tight budget, food is the place to save and music is worth the cost.

Who do you recommend music-wise?
NR: For the ceremony, we love Curtis Music. Jarrell Entertainment has the best D.J.’s, and the most in-demand band right now is the Marianne Bennett Orchestra.

What if food is your thing?
AD: Hire a creative caterer like Peter Callahan, Olivier Cheng, or Jean Christophe Le Picart of Feast & Fêtes.
NR: Or book the right venue. The Four Seasons Restaurant and Blue Hill at Stone Barns are ideal.

What’s important but often overlooked?
NR: Transportation. It’s the first and last impression of the event and critical to the flow.
AD: We like hiring double-decker buses from Gray Line to transport guests to the reception. They can even put just married on the digital ticker. If you don’t have a planner, ask the bus company to provide an on-site dispatcher.
NR: If your party is off the beaten path, hire town cars for your guests—nothing worse than going to a beautiful wedding and then spending 45 minutes trying to get home. We like World Class Transportation.

By the way, are you married?
NR: I am. I actually had a planner and I fired her. She was working on another wedding, and she made me feel like second fiddle.
AD: I’m not married, but I’d elope.

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Color Scheming
“Look through design magazines and books—a fabric or wallpaper pattern could inspire you.”
Wallpaper, $250 a roll at Second Hand Rose.

Wallpaper Photograph: Hannah Whitaker/New York Magazine

The Planners