Planning a wedding within budget

Story Image

Bubbly sweet: A wedding trend this year, according to One Fine Day Events, is one of true romance, where everything is soft, sweet and very sophisticated. The wedding planning business helped coordinate the recent wedding of Andrea and Gary Lassandrello at St. Christopher Church in Midlothian. | Photo by Heather DeCamp

Saying “I do” to a wedding planner might be the best insurance in which to safeguard your wedding day. Whether you’re considering help with your entire wedding or just the day of services, your planner will save you time, expenses and give you the peace of mind to enjoy the most memorable day of your life. Two of the Southland’s most reputable wedding planners offer their tips for a couple’s big day.

Desiree Dent, president, educator and lead planner of Dejanae Events, which has been serving the area since April, 2000, says the process starts with concept and development by her team asking the couple a series of questions and developing the key players in budget.

“We then put together a 25-page photo catalog with different concepts to show alternatives and information visually,” Dent said. “Our couples love this because it serves as a great guide and time-saver when booking vendors.

Dent stresses the extreme importance of working with a given budget while planning the big day.

“Once we have an official allowance, I tell my clients to pick three big dollar items that are important to them. From there, we allocate funds to make sure those things happen. This allows you to know what you can spend for the remaining factors.

“I strongly suggest using a spreadsheet to log purchases and to oversee your spending. This will help you from going over and keep you on track.”

Dent explains that couples with smaller budgets still have options, such as E-Wedding planning where the business helps couples plan their wedding via email or over the phone if they have a small budget or are planning from out of town.

“Every couple is different, so we are willing to customize our services to their individual needs,” she said.

Gina Vittorio-Orona, senior event planner and owner of One Fine Day Events, which has served Chicago and the Southland area since 2002, says the No. 1 advantage of hiring a wedding planner is to save money.

“The first thing we do is create a budget,” Vittorio-Orona said. “That sets the tone for the entire event. We know how much weddings cost and what it takes to get the job done. We do it all for our clients; all packages are customized according to budget. For the brides on a smaller budget we offer a month-of package, the part of the process when things get most hectic.”

Vittorio-Orona also stresses the importance of a couple checking out the credentials of those they hire as wedding planners.

“You want to make sure they are professionally certified with the Association of Bridal Consultants or event planning affiliated program,” she said. “You want to be comfortable with someone that understands your vision. I became certified in 2002 and have grown from satisfied customer referrals. Websites like or can be helpful when looking for certified professionals and their reviews.”

As for trends this year, Vittorio-Orona mentions that “it’s all about the blushing bride - a year of true romance where everything is soft, sweet and very sophisticated.”

More information about Dejanae Events is at Contact the business at (708) 790-9940 or by email at

More information about One Fine Day Events is at Contact the business at (630) 742-4010 or by email at